The Bulletin
1D
Shopify signs up to the Libra Association
Facebook's Libra Association has been boosted by the addition of Shopify. A number of companies have withdrawn from the crypto project in recent months but Shopify has taken the opposite step. "Our mission is to make commerce better for everyone," it said in a statement. Shopify works with over one million businesses in 175 countries. It becomes Libra's 21st member.
1D
Microsoft adds new AI capabilties to Dynamics 356
Microsoft has unveiled new and enhanced AI capabilities across Dynamics 365 applications, as well as a new solution to help project-centric services organisations transform their operations. In a release the company said it expected the new tools to let sales professionals "forecast sales more accurately". In addition, workflows will also be prioritised using AI.
1D
Industry leaders form group to lobby for flying cellphone antennae
A group of global industry leaders has formed the HAPS Alliance, an association of world-leading telecommunications, technology, aviation, and aerospace. The companies are promoting the use of high altitude vehicles in the Earth’s stratosphere to eliminate the digital divide and bring connectivity to more people, places, and things worldwide. Members include Deutsche Telekom, Nokia and Ericsson.
1D
Kronos and Ultimate Software merge to form $22 billion giant
The HR software market has seen a major merger between two industry leaders. Kronos and Ultimate Software will combine to form a company worth $22 billion. Kronos CEO Aron Ain will lead the enterprise once the merger closes. It will have $3 billion of annual revenue and 12,000 employees worldwide. Hellman & Friedman LLC is currently the controlling shareholder of both Kronos and Ultimate Software.
1D
Sweden tests "e-krona" on Corda blockchain
Riksbank, Sweden's central bank, has is now testing its central digital currency e-krona. The currency runs on Corda blockchain and has been developed as part of a year-long pilot with Accenture. Riksbank says the project is a "learning experience" and that it doesn't guarantee e-krona will be rolled out permanently. If it did, e-krona would be the world's first central bank digital currency.
2D
Microsoft to invest $1.1 billion in Mexico
Satya Nadella has revealed Microsoft's plans to invest $1.1 billion in Mexico. A new data centre will Microsoft's Azure cloud platform to Mexican enterprises, while it will also invest in training labs and skills programmes. Nadella pledged the money in a promotional video released by the country's government. The cash will be spent over a five-year period.
2D
Etsy completes migration to Google Cloud
Google Cloud today announced that Etsy, the global marketplace, has completed its two-year migration to Google Cloud. Etsy began its migration in 2018, and has since moved 5.5 petabytes of data, the equivalent of about 40 billion photos, from 2,000 on-premise servers to Google Cloud. Etsy has been able to shift 15% of its engineers from infrastructure to customer experience since the move.
2D
Details of 10.6 million MGM guests leaked, says report
The details of 10.6 million guests at MGM Resorts have been hacked on an internet forum, according to ZDNet. Leaked files included personal details of celebrities, tech CEOs, reporters, government officials, and employees at some of the world's largest tech companies, said the report. MGM has said it is confident no financial, payment card or password data has been leaked.
2D
Google Cloud snaps up Cornerstone for mainframe migrations
Google Cloud has continued its acquisition spree with the buyout of Dutch firm Cornerstone Technology. Following on from the recent agreements with Alooma and CloudSimple, the Cornerstone acquisition will strengthen Google's mainframe migration capabilities. Cornerstone's technology, built over more than 30 years, automates large parts of the migration process.
2D
US DOJ backs Oracle in Google copyright dispute
The US Department of Justice has urged the Supreme Court to support Oracle in its long-running copyright dispute with Google. Oracle claims Google lifted some of its original code to launch its Android operating system. Google says all software developers rely on open source code to build products. The case has been running for more than 10 years. Oracle and Google will go to court next month.
3D
Nokia to make Elenion acquisition
Nokia is to acquire Elenion, a US firm that specialises in silicon photonics technology. The buyout will give Nokia more expertise in the optical connectivity requirements critical to 5G, cloud and enterprise networking. Elenion was only founded in 2014 but has pioneered a design toolset for low-cost silicon photonics technologies. Terms of the acquisition were not revealed to the press.
3D
Google opens first Cloud Platform in South Korea
Google has announced that its new Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region in Seoul is officially open for business. Designed to support Korean customers, the Seoul region is the company's first GCP region in South Korea and eighth in Asia Pacific. With this region, Google Cloud now offers 21 regions and 64 zones across 16 countries worldwide.
3D
Huawei legal bid to overturn U.S. ban scuppered by judge
A judge has told Huawei that it cannot sue the U.S. government over its decision to ban government agencies from buying Huawei equipment. Huawei had argued that the ban was unconstitutional as it has singled out the company without evidence. But in a ruling, District Judge Amos Mazzant disagreed, deciding that the government had acted within its powers when it banned the Chinese firm.
3D
AWS offers eye into machine learning lab successes
AWS has offered rare insights into its Machine Learning Solutions Lab. A blog post from the cloud giant revealed it has created more than 175 original ML-powered solutions for customers in industries including healthcare, retail and energy. The lab was launched two years ago to help clients solve problems through machine learning. It now has branches in the US, Asia, Europe and Australia.
3D
Intel and QuTech unveil spec for cryogenic quantum computing control chip
Intel has unveiled the technical designs for its first cryogenic quantum computing control chip, made in collaboration with QuTech. "Horse Ridge" promises to deliver capabilities for quantum scaling, flexibility and fidelity. "We’re continuing to make steady progress on quantum computing," said an Intel spokesperson. The designs were shown at the International Solid State Circuits Conference.
4D
HCL to open new US global delivery centre
HCL Technologies plans to inaugurate a global delivery centre in Hartford, Connecticut. It will offer digital transformation services to the smart manufacturing, insurance, aerospace and defence industries from the site. Stanley Black & Decker will be the first anchor client at the new centre. "This centre will be a true testament to our collective vision," said an HCL spokesperson.
4D
Samsung bags Qualcomm 5G chip contract, says Reuters
Samsung's semiconductor manufacturing division has won a lucrative contract to make Qualcomm 5G chips, according to a report by Reuters. The news agency quoted two people familiar with the matter, adding that the award will give the company a boost in its market share battle with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. The contract is to manufacture Qualcomm’s X60 modem chips.
4D
Dell close to selling RSA Security for $2 billion: WSJ
Dell Technologies has moved a step closer to tying up a $2 billion deal to sell RSA Security LLC business to private-equity firm STG Partners LLC, according to the Wall Street Journal. It cited people "familiar with the matter" and said the agreement could officially be announced today. It had previously been reported in November 2019 that Dell was considering the sale of RSA Security.
4D
UK Met Office invests £1.2 billion in HPE's Cray supercomputer
The UK's weather and climate unit is buying an HPE Cray supercomputer for £1.2 billion. Met Office says the investment will allow it to "lead the fight" against climate change and meet emissions targets. Cray will be able to more accurately predict storms and other changes to climate. It will be 18x faster than the Met Office's current solution, with a peak speed of 145 petaflops.
4D
Atomico to fund European tech after $820 million investment
Venture capital company Atomico has closed its fifth fund with a total of $820 million. The cash will be invested in early-stage technology companies in Europe, with a focus on the Series A level. "We see Europe having a particular edge," said investment partner Siraj Khaliq. Atomico's total assets are now worth $2.7 billion. The company was created by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom.
5D
UEFA to distribute 1 million tickets via blockchain system
UEFA has unveiled a new ticketing system based on blockchain technology. It says it will be able to distribute one million tickets through the mobile application, which will utilise QR codes and Bluetooth. The system, designed to prevent ticket duplication, has been introduced ahead of the Euro 2020 competition this summer. UEFA has processed 28.3 million ticket requests for the tournament.
5D
Motorola awarded $764mn in copyright and theft case against Hytera
Motorola Solutions has been awarded $764 million in trade-secret theft case against Hytera. A federal jury ruled unanimously that Hytera Communications stole land-mobile-radio (LMR) trade secrets and infringed upon copyrights owned by Motorola Solutions. Motorola was awarded $418.8 million in punitive damages and $345.8 million in compensatory damages, the maximum amount allowed.
5D
IT failure leads to Heathrow Airport disruption
The UK's busiest airport was struck by an IT failure at the weekend. Thousands of passengers at Heathrow Airport were affected as a systems crash caused flights to be cancelled. The technical problem was resolved late on Sunday night but delays continued at the beginning of the working week. Heathrow apologised to travellers and brought in extra staff to deal with the subsequent disruption.
5D
Arista Networks acquires Big Switch Networks
Cloud networking specialist Arista Networks has acquired Big Switch Networks, a network monitoring and SDN pioneer. The acquisition of Big Switch will further strengthen the company’s network monitoring and observability suite delivered through Arista’s software platform CloudVision and DANZ (Data ANalyZer) capabilities. Neither company has disclosed the value of the deal.
5D
Google and VMware to cut cloud workforce
Both Google and VMware are planning to make small cuts to their cloud teams, reports SiliconAngle. Google is undertaking a "reorganisation" of its cloud business, a statement to press confirmed. At VMware, 200 workers are set to lose their jobs in April in a "regular workforce rebalancing" initiative. Both companies have enjoyed rapid recent growth in their cloud businesses.
8D
Second Spectrum makes AWS switch
Second Spectrum, the sports analytics firm which works with the NBA and the Premier League, has signed a major new service agreement with AWS. It will have access to AWS's artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, as well as its suite of cloud products. Second Spectrum produces analytics, visualisations and searchable video clips for leagues and their media partners.
8D
Iliad partners with Nokia for 5G rollout in France and Italy
Nokia has won the contract to bring 5G to Iliad customers across France and Italy. Iliad will connect 17 million users in the two countries to the super-fast network. The pair have been collaborating since 2012. Iliad's CEO said: "Nokia’s innovative 5G technologies and solutions will enable us to launch quickly and efficiently." It will install Nokia’s newest radio access tech for the launch.
8D
Deutsche Bank invites bids to overhaul tech networks - report
Deutsche Bank has invited bids from Microsoft, Google and Amazon to overhaul the German bank’s "outdated and fragmented technology networks", according to Reuters. Citing people close to the matter, the news agency said the plan is part of a $14.2 billion technology investment strategy by the bank. Bernd Leukert, CTO, will be overseeing the initiative, the report added.
8D
Huawei hits back at fresh charges from the US
Huawei has responded defiantly to new US charges. Prosecutors accused the Chinese firm of "racketeering and theft" in fresh allegations made on Thursday. In a retaliatory statement, Huawei slammed the charges as an attempt to "irrevocably damage" its reputation. The US accuses Huawei of trying to steal trade secrets from six technology companies and install surveillance equipment in Iran.
8D
AWS wins Jedi injunction in battle against Microsoft
A judge has ordered that work on the Jedi cloud contract for the US Defense Department be halted. AWS was tipped to win the $10bn contract, but it was awarded to arch rival Microsoft. But AWS is challenging the decision, claiming pressure from President Trump was central to Microsoft winning the contract. Microsoft will have to stop working on the project until AWS's case is heard in court.
9D
Ericsson boosts network services with AI
Ericsson has bolstered its network services portfolio with two new artificial intelligence-based offerings. The AI will help customers keep on top of emerging technologies and data growth in the communications space, says the telco. Network Intelligence and Omni Network Channel employ AI, automation and predictive analytics. Ericsson says the solution "put the service provider in the centre".
9D
FC Barcelona launches its own digital token
Spanish football giant FC Barcelona is creating its own digital token in partnership with blockchain platform Chiliz. Fans will be able to spend 'Barça Fan Tokens' on club-related products and events via Chiliz's voting and rewards site Socios.com. Bracelona is following Juventus and Paris St Germain in launching a native coin. The deal has been 17 months in the works, according to Chiliz's CEO.
9D
Google given go-ahead to complete $2.6bn Looker acquisition
The UK's competition watchdog has given Google the go-ahead to complete its $2.6bn acquisition of data analytics firm Looker Data Sciences. The Competition and Markets Authority said it was satisfied the deal would not increase prices or reduce quality in the business intelligence market. The deal has been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority.
9D
FTC orders tech giants to disclose all acquisition data from 2010-2019
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ordered five major technology firms to hand over details about previous acquisitions not reported to antitrust agencies. Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook have all been told to disclose details of all of their acquisitions from 2010-2019, regardless of transaction values. The FTC said it expects to review "hundreds" of transactions.
9D
GSMA pulls the plug on Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress (MWC) has been cancelled due to ongoing concerns over the coronavirus. GSMA pulled the plug on the mobile industry's biggest event after a raft of large companies withdrew their participation. Among the many to pull out were Amazon, Facebook and Intel. GSMA said the circumstances "made it impossible" for it to hold the event and that it would not be rescheduled this year.
10D
Oracle strengthens machine learning cloud capability
Oracle has released a new cloud platform for data scientists. "Oracle Cloud Data Science Platform" will, according to the company, support the development of machine learning solutions for enterprise. Its software automatically selects the most suitable training datasets for optimal ML models. A lack of tooling has previously hindered data science teams, says Oracle.
10D
440 million Estée Lauder records exposed
Estée Lauder has been the subject of a hack that has exposed 440 million unprotected records, although no customer data was involved. A security researcher from Security Discovery uncovered the online database, which included information on ports, pathways and storage, as well references to internal documents. Estée Lauder said it took immediate action to remedy the security vulnerability.
10D
Challenger bank N26 exits UK - blames Brexit
Fintech startup N26 is pulling out of the UK market, and is putting the blame squarely at the feet of Brexit. The German challenger bank said the "timing and framework" of the Withdrawal Agreement made it impossible to continue to operate in the UK. Its 200,000 customers in the UK have until 15 April to transfer funds out of their accounts, which will then be shut automatically.
10D
Facebook and Intel withdraw from MWC20, GSMA to hold crunch meeting
Facebook and Intel are the latest companies to pull out of the forthcoming MWC20 event, citing concerns over coronavirus. The showpiece event is scheduled to take place in Barcelona at the end of the month. However, a number of leading companies have now pulled out, with reports in Spain saying that the organiser of the event, GSMA, is to meet on Friday to decide whether it should still go ahead.
10D
Google joins Hedera Hashgraph's council
Google is the latest tech firm to sign up to the Hedera Governing Council. Hedera Hashgraph is a distributed ledger platform for enterprises that uses hashgraph consensus, widely tipped as more secure than blockchain alternatives. Companies on the council have an equal say on the development of the platform. IBM, Tata Communications and Deutsche Telekom are among the current members.
11D
JPMorgan could merge its blockchain unit with ConsenSys
JPMorgan is considering a merger between its blockchain unit and ConsenSys, a prominent crypto startup. Reports suggest a formal deal could be completed inside the next six months. Consolidation had been predicted between major financial services companies and young blockchain firms like ConsenSys. JPMorgan built the Quorum blockchain internally on the ethereum network.
11D
SoftBank and Nokia hold the first 5G connected car test
SoftBank and Nokia have worked together to pass a milestone in the connected car space. The pair completed the world’s first deployment of Nokia's 5G equipment for a connected vehicle at Honda's R&D hub in Japan. SoftBank tested four use cases, with Nokia believing 5G to be critical to safe communication between cars. The connected car market is set to be worth $225 billion by 2025.
11D
T-Mobile, Sprint merger wins approval
T-Mobile's monster merger with Sprint has been approved by a US district judge. States had come together to oppose the combination on the basis of competition rules. Judge Victor Marrero has today dismissed that claim. The California Public Utilities Commission still needs to rubber-stamp the deal before it can be finalised. Sprint's stock rose by 60% after news of the judge's ruling emerged.
11D
O2 announces LTE-M IoT network rollout for business
O2 has announced plans to roll out the first LTE-M network across the UK in 2020 – with 50 sites already live. The introduction of this low-power IoT technology will help enable business applications like asset tracking, connected traffic lights, parking sensors, soil monitoring, assisted living alerts and more. O2 said it is focussed on IoT as a long-term area for growth.
11D
Infosys buys Salesforce consultancy firm Simplus for up to $250 million
Infosys has tied up a deal worth up to $250 million for Simplus Inc, a Salesforce partner consulting firm. Infosys said the deal boosts its standing as "an end-to-end Salesforce enterprise cloud solutions and services provider, offering clients unparalleled capabilities for cloud-first digital transformation". The acquisition is expected to close during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020.
12D
ARM launches new AI chips for edge computing
ARM has unveiled two new chips designs that support AI at the edge. The ARM Cortex-M55 and the Ethos-U55 will run AI processing on device rather than via a cloud, offering more privacy and faster speeds. They are due to go to market with the chips next year, although it only licenses IP for its cores. ARM has market competition with Huawei and Intel making similar strides in recent months.
12D
Vantage Data Centers kicks off $2bn expansion with Etix Everywhere acquisition
Vantage Data Centers has kicked off a $2 billion expansion with the acquisition of Etix Everywhere and greenfield developments in four additional European markets. Etix’s portfolio includes a 55MW hyperscale data centre campus in Frankfurt, Germany, currently under construction. Vantage intends to invest $2 billion in its European expansion, including more than $800 million in new equity capital.
12D
Facebook acquires computer vision startup Scape Technologies
Facebook has completed the acquisition of Scape Technologies, a UK startup specialising in computer vision technology. Scape is building a tool that takes location accuracy beyond the capabilities of GPS. Its cloud-based service translates images into 3D maps. Reports suggest Facebook could have paid up to $40 million for the company. It now controls 75% of Scape, according to a regulatory filing.
12D
Data warehousing firm Snowflake raises $479mn in funding
Data warehousing firm Snowflake Computing has raised $479 million in funding, valuing the company at more than $12.7 billion. Funding was co-led by new investors, Dragoneer Investment Group and Salesforce Ventures. Existing Snowflake investors, including Altimeter Capital, ICONIQ Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia, and Sutter Hill Ventures, also participated in the round.
12D
Amazon and Sony withdraw from MWC
Amazon and Sony are the latest tech firms to pull out of this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC). Ongoing concerns over the coronavirus have led to the two companies following LG, Ericsson and Nvidia in withdrawing from the event. MWC insists it will still go ahead but new measures have been put in place, including a complete ban on visitors from China's Hubei province.