• Amazon's revenue increases even as spending rises

    Reuters - 5 minutes ago

    By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's revenue grew more than expected for the first quarter, largely offset by a sharp increase in spending on technology, content and new warehouses as the e-commerce company branches into new businesses. Amazon's international unit, which accounts for 40 percent of sales, continued to be a drag as sales growth slowed to 18 percent during the quarter. Global unit sales, a closely watched measure of how many items Amazon has sold, also decelerated, rising only 23 percent. "A lot of the things that we've done - making sure that we have the right pricing in place on behalf of the customers, making sure that our service levels are where we need them to be - those are the things we continue to work on in China," Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said during a conference call. More »Amazon's revenue increases even as spending rises

  • Baidu forecasts stronger-than-expected second-quarter revenue

    Reuters - 15 minutes ago

    Chinese Internet company Baidu Inc forecast better-than-expected revenue for the second quarter, sending shares up 5 percent in after-hours trading. Baidu said revenue in the second quarter will range between 11.820 billion yuan (1.130 billion pounds) and 12.110 billion yuan. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S were looking for second-quarter revenue of 11.573 billion yuan. Baidu said it saw strength in its core online search business during the first three months of the year and that it would continue to invest aggressively in its core business and in key strategic areas. More »Baidu forecasts stronger-than-expected second-quarter revenue

  • Chipmaker Synaptics rides popularity of fingerprint ID phones

    Reuters - 21 minutes ago

    The growing popularity of using fingerprints to unlock mobile phones and other devices is expected to drive growth at Synaptics Inc, which makes the chips enabling the technology popularized by Apple Inc's iPhone 5S. Synaptics' chips for fingerprint ID and touchscreens are used in Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Galaxy S5, and strong sales of the smartphone will help Synaptics post its strongest annual revenue growth since 2007. Synaptics could boast of a market share of as much as 80 percent in fingerprint recognition technology for the next few quarters as the S5 will be the dominant smartphone being shipped with the technology, Feltl & Co analyst Jeffrey Schreiner said. More »Chipmaker Synaptics rides popularity of fingerprint ID phones

  • Kerry: window closing for Russia to change course in Ukraine

    Reuters - 26 minutes ago

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Thursday that the United States is drawing closer to imposing more sanctions on Russia by saying time was running out for Moscow to change its course in Ukraine. In unusually blunt comments, Kerry accused Russia of using propaganda to hide what he said it was actually trying to do in eastern Ukraine: destabilize that region and undermine next month's planned Ukrainian elections. "If Russia chooses the path of de-escalation .. all of us will welcome it. But if Russia does not, the world will make sure that the costs for Russia will only grow," he said. More »Kerry: window closing for Russia to change course in Ukraine

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street

    Associated Press - 35 minutes ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Results from Microsoft's first quarterly earnings release under new CEO Satya Nadella offered fresh justification for his focus on cloud computing. More »Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street

  • Visa's 2Q profit jumps 26 percent as payments grow

    Associated Press - 40 minutes ago

    Visa Inc.'s profit jumped 26 percent in its fiscal second quarter from a year earlier as the company benefited from strong growth in payments volume, service revenue and a one-time tax gain. The latest ... More »Visa's 2Q profit jumps 26 percent as payments grow

  • Sina shares fall after China strips its licence in web porn crackdown

    Reuters - 40 minutes ago

    Chinese Internet firm Sina Corp has been stripped of its online publication licence after being targeted in a pornography crackdown, state media reported, prompting its share price to drop more than 7 percent. The licence revocation is the harshest punishment yet for a large Chinese Internet company in an intensifying online crackdown that is now targeting firms as well as individual web users. Twenty articles and four videos posted on Sina.com contained "lewd and pornographic content", the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, citing a statement by the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications. "As a result, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television revoked the company's two crucial licences on Internet publication and audio and video dissemination," Xinhua said. More »Sina shares fall after China strips its licence in web porn crackdown

  • Starbucks eyes soda and lunch as US sales climb

    Associated Press - 40 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks keeps finding ways to squeeze more money out of people. More »Starbucks eyes soda and lunch as US sales climb

  • Japan says no trade deal with U.S. as Obama prepares to depart

    Reuters - 40 minutes ago

    Japan and the United States have made progress in trade talks but not reached the deal that they were hoping to seal at a bilateral summit, Economy Minister Akira Amari said on Friday. But he said, "Overall, the gaps are steadily narrowing" between the two sides, which did not issue the customary joint statement after Thursday's summit between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. More »Japan says no trade deal with U.S. as Obama prepares to depart

  • Major oil and gas firm to list fracking chemicals

    Associated Press - 55 minutes ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — A major supplier to the oil and gas industry says it will begin disclosing 100 percent of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, with no exemptions for trade secrets. The move by Baker Hughes of Houston is a shift for a major firm; it's unclear if others will follow suit. More »Major oil and gas firm to list fracking chemicals

  • Netflix makes deals to appear on first U.S. cable boxes

    Reuters - 57 minutes ago

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Netflix Inc's streaming video service will be integrated into TiVo Inc set-top boxes provided by Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN, the cable providers said on Thursday. The deals are the first in the United States to bring Netflix as an app to cable set-top boxes. Netflix has similar arrangements with operators in Europe. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Steve Orlofsky) More »Netflix makes deals to appear on first U.S. cable boxes

  • Northwestern players to cast historic union vote

    Associated Press - 1 hour 2 minutes ago

    EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Northwestern University's football players will cast ballots Friday on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes — a potentially landmark vote that will be kept sealed for months and possibly years. More »Northwestern players to cast historic union vote

  • Netflix sees competition down, fees up if Comcast, TWC combine

    Reuters - 1 hour 2 minutes ago

    By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Netflix Inc, which opposes the proposed Comcast deal to buy rival Time Warner Cable Inc, outlined on Thursday the ways it thinks competition will be hurt if the merger goes ahead, most notably in the extraction of "arbitrary tolls." The popular video streaming service responded in a letter to Senator Al Franken, a vocal critic of the deal, saying a combined Comcast Corp and TWC, would mean video providers would pay more to get their movies and television shows into viewers' living rooms. "Comcast is limiting the capacity of connections between its network and other networks, unless the network agrees to pay Comcast for access," Netflix Vice President Christopher Libertelli wrote in the letter to Franken, a Minnesota Democrat. In a response, Comcast accused Netflix of trying to shift the costs of its bandwidth-heavy business onto all Internet users rather than just Netflix users, and said it has many agreements similar to the one with Netflix. More »Netflix sees competition down, fees up if Comcast, TWC combine

  • Google, Apple settle high-tech workers' lawsuit

    Associated Press - 1 hour 12 minutes ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe Systems have settled a class-action lawsuit alleging they conspired to prevent their engineers and other highly sought technology workers from getting better job offers from one another. More »Google, Apple settle high-tech workers' lawsuit

  • Perfumers promote fair trade for Haiti's 'super-crop'

    Reuters - 1 hour 15 minutes ago

    By David Adams LES CAYES, Haiti (Reuters) - With the sun barely up, beads of sweat already dot the brow of a barefoot farmer as he hacks at the soil with a pickax, digging up a precious root that has been dubbed Haiti's "super-crop." The vetiver plant, a tropical grass, is a little-known Haitian agricultural treasure, producing one of the most prized essential oils for high-end perfumes. "It's sent across the sea," said Rose-Marie Adona, a 55-year-old mother of six, working a vetiver plot on a hillside on the southwest coast near the city of Les Cayes. But they get it from us for close to nothing." The crop is a major employer in the region, where farmers have harvested vetiver from the region's dry, hilly soil for decades with little but a subsistence living to show for it - until recently. The perfume industry, spurred by the devastation from the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 Haitians, is seeking to do better by the people whose toil and land make possible the distillation of vetiver's aromatic, woody note - the base of famous fragrances sold by Chanel, Guerlain, Estee Lauder, Christian Dior and Hermès. More »Perfumers promote fair trade for Haiti's 'super-crop'

  • Starbucks eyes US expansion as sales climb

    Associated Press - 1 hour 16 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks keeps finding ways to squeeze more money out of people. More »Starbucks eyes US expansion as sales climb

  • Exclusive - Apple, Google agree to pay over $300 million to settle conspiracy lawsuit

    Reuters - 1 hour 19 minutes ago

    By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Four major tech companies including Apple and Google have agreed to pay a total of $324 million (192.8 million pounds) to settle a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley, sources familiar with the deal said, just weeks before a high profile trial had been scheduled to begin. Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another's employees in order to avert a salary war. The case has been closely watched due to the potentially high damages award and the opportunity to peek into the world of Silicon Valley's elite. The case was based largely on emails in which Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and some of their Silicon Valley rivals hatched plans to avoid poaching each other's prized engineers. More »Exclusive - Apple, Google agree to pay over $300 million to settle conspiracy lawsuit

  • Obama administration may unveil new deportation policy in two stages

    Reuters - 1 hour 27 minutes ago

    By Julia Edwards and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is considering small steps in the near term to ease the threat of deportation for some undocumented immigrants, but advocates in communication with the administration expect President Barack Obama to make bigger changes later in the year. With legislation to reform U.S. immigration policy stalled in Congress, Obama has come under increasing pressure from the immigrant community to take executive action to curb the rate of deportation that has reached a record level under his presidency. In the coming weeks, an Obama-ordered review of deportation enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security is expected to conclude that certain steps should be taken to ensure that some immigrants who have not committed serious crimes should be allowed to remain in the United States, according to several sources familiar with the review. More »Obama administration may unveil new deportation policy in two stages

  • Business Highlights

    Associated Press - 1 hour 33 minutes ago

    ___ FDA eases into regulating e-cigarettes The federal government's move to regulate e-cigarettes is a leap into the unknown. Proposed rules, issued Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration, tread ... More »Business Highlights

  • Internet industry seen as winner at global conference in Brazil

    Reuters - 1 hour 36 minutes ago

    By Esteban Israel SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Big Internet companies were the clear winners at a global conference hosted by Brazil on the future management of the Web where most participants agreed it should remain a self-regulated space free of government intervention. Convened by President Dilma Rousseff after revelations of U.S. surveillance undermined trust in the Internet, the NETmundial conference concluded that governments, companies, academics, technicians and users should all have a say in where to go next. That is exactly what companies such as Google or Facebook say is essential to spur innovation, expand the boundaries of the Internet and keep their businesses growing. "Our focus is on making sure the Net stays free and open," said Ross LaJeunesse, Google's head of international relations. More »Internet industry seen as winner at global conference in Brazil

  • UPS blames winter weather for drop in 1Q profit

    Associated Press - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    DALLAS (AP) — First-quarter net income at UPS slumped 12 percent as winter storms increased costs for the shipping giant and cut into its revenue. More »UPS blames winter weather for drop in 1Q profit

  • FDA OKs first-ever DNA alternative to Pap smear

    Associated Press - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health regulators have cleared a genetic test from Roche as a first-choice screening option for cervical cancer. It was a role previously reserved for the Pap smear, the decades-old mainstay of women's health. More »FDA OKs first-ever DNA alternative to Pap smear

  • Amazon 1st quarter net income jumps

    Associated Press - 1 hour 48 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's first-quarter profit rose 18 percent as shoppers continued to flock to the online mega retailer to buy goods. More »Amazon 1st quarter net income jumps

  • Conservative group pulls photo of Colorado theater massacre from attack ad

    Reuters - 1 hour 50 minutes ago

    By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A conservative advocacy group has pulled a photograph used in an attack ad against Democratic Senator Mark Udall that depicted him with a grim-faced President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Colorado theater massacre, after victims' families complained. The TV ad, paid for by Americans for Prosperity, the political group funded by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, showed a photograph of the first-term senator with Obama, linking Udall to the president's unpopular Affordable Health Care Act. The photo is a captured screen shot taken from a news conference that Obama, Udall and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper held shortly after the three Democrats met with victims of the mass shooting in July 2012. A message superimposed over the image reads: "Mark Udall voted for Obamacare." The parents of four victims slain in the massacre denounced the ad as "an utter disgrace." "(T)o insinuate the somber expressions were for anything other than their compassionate response to our heartbreak is beyond unconscionable," the families said in a statement. More »Conservative group pulls photo of Colorado theater massacre from attack ad

  • Senate panel to vote on Fischer, other Fed nominees on Tuesday

    Reuters - 1 hour 54 minutes ago

    By Jonathan Spicer and Emily Stephenson NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate Banking Committee will vote next week on three nominees to the Federal Reserve's board, including Stanley Fischer for vice chairman, in a big step toward bulking up the U.S. central bank's depleted ranks. In addition to Fischer, the panel will vote on Tuesday on the nominations of former senior U.S. Treasury official Lael Brainard and current Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who has been nominated for another term. Powell is one of only four governors currently on the normally seven-member Fed board. Another, Jeremy Stein, retires in a month, heightening the urgency to confirm the nominees. More »Senate panel to vote on Fischer, other Fed nominees on Tuesday

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