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Apple spins services with iPhone sales slumping

Apple's quarterly profit slumped on a widely expected drop in iPhone sales, but gains in services offered some optimism on the company's efforts to curb dependence on its smartphone. The company said Tuesday that profit fell 19 percent to $9 billion in the fiscal quarter ending September 24. Revenue fell nine percent to $46.9 billion from $51.5 billion a year earlier. The results were largely in line with market forecasts and showed sales of the iPhone -- Apple's biggest revenue and profit driver -- down five percent from a year ago to 45.5 million units. The quarterly update only provided limited information on the reception of the newest iPhone models, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which were released in early September, and was likely to benefit from the woes of rival Samsung, …

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‘Siri, catch market cheats’: Wall Street watchdogs turn to A.I

Artificial intelligence programs have beaten chess masters and TV quiz show champions. Next up: stock market cheats. Two exchange operators have announced plans to launch artificial intelligence tools for market surveillance in the coming months and officials at a Wall Street regulator tell Reuters they are not far behind. Executives are hoping computers with humanoid wit can help mere mortals catch misbehavior more quickly. The software could, for instance, scrub chat-room messages to detect dubious bragging or back slapping around the time of a big trade. It could also more quickly unravel complex issues, like "layering," where orders are rapidly sent to exchanges and then canceled to artificially move a stock price. A.I. may even sniff out new types of chicanery, said Tom Gira, executive vice president for market regulation at the Financial …

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Big tech-media mergers raise fresh privacy concerns

They know how you browse the internet, your favorite TV shows and where you shop and travel. Data collected by internet and media companies is a powerful tool, and the big mergers planned by AT&T with Time Warner and Verizon with Yahoo offer those firms more data that can be used to target consumers with content and advertising. Privacy advocates say the prospect of firms using all that online and offline data without safeguards could be alarming. "Twenty-first century media is all about the ability to gather information on a single individual regardless of where they are -- whether they are using mobile phone or watching TV or in a grocery store," said Jeffrey Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, a privacy rights group. The $85 billion deal unveiled Saturday would combine AT&T, …

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Google acquires Eye-Tracking company for Virtual Reality efforts

Google just picked up a key piece of technology that might move its virtual reality ambitions closer to the masses. Eyefluence, which is working to enable eye movements to control digital screens, wrote in a blog post on Monday that it’s joining the search giant Alphabet Inc. The three-year-old startup, which had reportedly raised $21.6 million in funding, didn’t disclose a price. Google confirmed the deal with Eyefluence in an e-mailed statement. Jim Marggraff, the creator of the pioneering LeapPad tablet computer, started Eyefluence after buying up assets from neurological research firm Eye-Com. He pledged that the startup would allow people to manipulate objects and digital screens with their eye movements. Functional eye-tracking is a widely desired feature in virtual reality and augmented reality, which lets digital images interact with the physical world. Eye-tracking …

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Twitter planning hundreds more job cuts as soon as this week

Twitter Inc. is planning widespread job cuts, to be announced as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the matter. The company may cut about 8 percent of the workforce, or about 300 people, the same percentage it did last year when co-founder Jack Dorsey took over as chief executive officer, the people said. Planning for the cuts is still fluid and the number could change, they added. The people asked not to be identified talking about private company plans. An announcement about the job reductions may come before Twitter releases third-quarter earnings on Thursday, one of the people said. A Twitter representative declined to comment. Twitter, which loses money, is trying to control spending as sales growth slows. The company recently hired bankers to explore a sale, but the companies …

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Smartwatch sales tumble, dragged down by Apple

Global smartwatch sales slid 51.6 percent in the third quarter, amid a steep decline for the Apple Watch ahead of its updated device, a market tracker said Monday. The IDC survey said total smartwatch volumes were 2.7 million units, less than half the level of a year earlier. Apple, the largest smartwatch vendor, saw its sales down 71.6 percent. But IDC analyst Ramon Llamas said the decline is not as ominous as it appears -- because many consumers were waiting for the new version of the Apple Watch and upcoming Android devices. "The sharp decline in smartwatch shipment volumes reflects the way platforms and vendors are realigning," Llamas said. "Apple revealed a new look and feel to watchOS that did not arrive until the launch of the second generation watch at the end of …

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In insurance Big Data could lower rates for optimistic tweeters

When people take to Twitter to comment on the great evening they enjoyed with good food and wonderful friends, reducing their monthly insurance bill is probably the last thing on their mind. But such tweets could help insurers to price premiums for individuals, with research suggesting a direct link between positive posts and a reduced risk of heart disease. This could lead to future insurance cover based on "sentiment analysis", in which Big Data and artificial intelligence make predictive models ever more accurate. Swiss Re (SRENH.S) says technological advances will cut the price of insurance protection and help individuals and firms make better decisions through programs that offer advice and incentivise improvements in areas such as health and driving. However, detractors fret that such developments could erode customers' privacy or lead to increasingly personalized …

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Oracle unveils new cloud strategy: Intelligent Applications

Building on its position as the industry’s leading Cloud Applications provider, Oracle unveiled its strategy for next generation Software as a Service (SaaS) Cloud offerings that blend third-party data with real-time analytics and behavioral inputs to create Cloud Applications that adapt and learn. The result: intelligent Cloud Applications that automatically offer individualized recommended actions and streamline the tasks of business users such as human resource or finance professionals. Called Adaptive Intelligent Applications, these next generation Cloud offerings are based on the insights contained within Oracle’s Data Cloud, which is a collection of more than 5+ billion consumer and business profiles, with over 45,000 attributes. When activated, these new Adaptive Intelligent Applications use Oracle’s web-scale data and apply advanced data science to learn and ingest data about an organization’s users and their …

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SAP receives global gender equality certification

SAP SE has recently announced that it is the first multinational technology company to be awarded the worldwide Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) certificate, recognizing its global commitments and actions in achieving and sustaining gender diversity and equality in the workplace. The EDGE Certification is the premier standard and methodology for evaluating a corporate commitment to gender equality. Launched at the World Economic Forum, the EDGE assessment methodology is distinguished by its rigor and business impact. SAP’s worldwide certification process began in March 2016 — after it became the first tech company in the United States to achieve EDGE Certification earlier this year. Global certification, which requires that countries that comprise 80 percent of an organization be included, was awarded after a third-party review of company data, gender practices and employment …

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Online Art Appreciation with Leon Gallery’s LeonExchange.com

Leon Gallery, the premier fine art and antique auction house in the Philippines, will hold its anticipatedsecond online auction at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, 2016. Last July 2016, Leon Gallery launched its successful first online auction. Through its latest platform “Leon Exchange Online”, a selection of impressively rare and seldom seen pieces were auctioned off through the website, LeonExchange.com. Enticing and engaging, a number of emerging and seasoned collectors simply logged on and were able toview the artworks and register for the online auction. Going digital, it was accessible not only in the Philippines, but also to collectors from around the globe who bid for especially curated Filipino works. The upcoming landmark sale is set to feature an eclectic assortment of art and antiquities.Included are early works by various artists, …

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