Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Keep on Truckin’

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10-4, good buddy.  You got a bear on your back door and your comic book is full.  I’m 10 and on the side.

That’s about all the CB talk I’m good for, but KeepTruckin is good for plenty more.

The developer of both hardware and software that helps truck drivers manage their vehicles and cargo has raised $149 million in Series D funding, with Greenoaks Capital leading the round and including participation from GV, IVP, Index Ventures, and Scale Venture Partners.

According to a report in TechCrunch, this Series D round values KeepTruckin at $1.25B, and the company was founded in 2013 and has garned some 55K unique customers, and deployed its software in hundreds of thousands of vehicles.

“Our technology really improves the life of the driver,” [CEO Shoaib] Makani told TechCrunch. “These are real people doing work that keeps our economy moving. Trucking is really the foundation of the American economy. More than 70 percent of all freight is moved over the road in a truck. This is how we eat, consume and produce; without it, our economy wouldn’t thrive.”

KeepTruckin’s software is intended to bring the antiquated trucking industry into the digital age. Its platform provides electronic logs and fleet management tools, including GPS tracking and driver performance monitoring for fleet managers and dispatchers to track and communicate with their drivers.

“We are competing against paper and pencil,” Makani explained

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’…into the 21st century.

Written by turbotodd

April 23, 2019 at 9:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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The Folding Fold

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Happy Monday.

As I expected would happen, Samsung is apparently folding on the rollout this Friday of its Galaxy Fold smartphone this Friday due to folding issues with the new device.

According to a report from Reuters, it has cancelled media events for the Fold in both Hong Kong and Shanghai.

And The Wall Street Journal is reporting that “the company’s internal investigation remains ongoing,” and that the Galaxy Fold’s reported issues “stem from problems affecting the handset’s hinge and extra pressure applied to the internal screen.”

Whatta ya think, is the Fold a solution looking for a problem? Whatever the case, the price point ($1,800) could still care off even the most audacious of early adopters.

Over at AWS, it seems that Apple has become a huuuugeee customer of theirs, having spent $350M in 2018 and now at a $30M/month run rate in 2019.

According to CNBC, Apple has a multiyear agreement with AWS, and spends more on Amazon’s cloud than Lyft and Pinterest, even as the company invests heavily in its own cloud infrastructure.

Apple’s cloud expenditure reflects the company’s determination to deliver online services like iCloud quickly and reliably, even if it must depend on a rival to do so.

The company is investing heavily to build its own infrastructure: In January 2018, Apple announced plans to spend $10 billion on data centers in the U.S. within five years. In December, Apple said it would spend $4.5 billion of that amount through 2019. The company also depends on smaller third-party cloud providers. But it also relies on the big cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services and Alphabet subsidiary Google. Microsoft has also provided cloud tools to Apple in the past.

So when Apple wins, Amazon does, too.  Coopetition is your friend!

Also on the Apple front, 9to5Mac is gathering some early leaks on the company’s coming WWDC developer event. 

What’s expected to be announced thus far? New Siri intents, APIs to port apps to Mac, a new AR content creation app (does this mean we can play Pokemon again??), support for stereo AR headsets. All the leaks thus far can be found here.

And if you’ve been wondering how the Mueller Report is going over, as I was, editions from Skyhorse Publishing and The Washington Post now a best-seller and ranked #1 and #2 on Amazon’s best-seller list. 

Which is funny that people are signing up to buy the printed book, when you consider it’s available in PDF format at any number of institutions, including here at WAPO.

I’m just curious if anyone’s actually reading it.

Written by turbotodd

April 22, 2019 at 12:00 pm

Posted in 2019, samsung, smartphone

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Floating Unicorns and Robert Mueller

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This is a big news day. Too much to keep up with.

Yes, the long awaited Mueller investigation report has been made public, and we mere mortals can finally read about what did or didn’t happen in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. I got my copy from the "failing" New York Times.

But there’s also big news in Tech. Pinterest and Zoom went public today, and Zoom shares are already zooming up some 75%. Pinterest began trading up 25%. Will these unicorns continue to prosper? Stay tuned.

I’ve got bad news for those of you who were excited about the coming Samsung Galaxy Foldable phones. The Verge (and other reviewers) have indicated the Folds have started to…well…uh…fold. Actually, the pictures they’ve shared show more of a crease, bu The Verge author indicated whatever you call it that "its just enough to slightly distort the screen."

Here’s more:

It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit. More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it. You can see the telltale lines of a broken OLED converging on the spot where the bulge is.

FYI, the list price for the Fold is $1,980, and is expected to be available next week. Could we soon see a repeat of earlier Samsung recalls?

Me, personally, I’m find with my perfectly flat iPhone 7 plus for the time being, and I’m not an Android (although some might argue otherwise).

If you’re looking for a place to invest, you might want to look towards the future of crypto. Not necessarily just the currency, but also the pick and shovel plays that plan on putting the blockchain to work for business.

According to a report from Reuters, VC investments in crypto and blockchain startups this year have surpassed $850M, and reached $2.4B over 117 investments last year. Blockchain may be struggling to find a place it can call home, but that’s not keeping away the angel wolves willing to throw it a few million Bitcoins its way!

And whoopsie, I almost forgot: Facebook had another privacy breach. This time, they "unintentionally uploaded" 1.5 million people’s email contacts without their consent.

Writes Business Insider:

Since May 2016, the social-networking company has collected the contact lists of 1.5 million users new to the social network, Business Insider can reveal. The Silicon Valley company said the contact data was "unintentionally uploaded to Facebook," and it is now deleting them.

The more things change…

Written by turbotodd

April 18, 2019 at 11:27 am

When the Chips Are Down

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We now know more about the Apple/Qualcomm settlement.

It was all (or mostly) about 5G.

No sooner was the settlement announced that Intel announced it was pulling out of the 5G smartphone chip market.

Apple and Qualcomm’s six-year licensing agreement will help ensure the launch of the first 5G iPhone in 2020.

According to a report from Nikkei Asian Review, the settlement included an undisclosed payment to Qualcomm by Apple, which "several weeks ago asked its suppliers to begin testing the chipmaker’s 5G modems."

Intel told Nikkei Asian in a statement that there was "no clear path to profitability and positive returns in the smartphone little business. That said, 5G remains a strategic priority across Intel and we continue to invest in our 5G network infrastructure business."

Apparently, Apple had long been concerned that Intel could not meet its 5G schedule, likely prompting the settlement with Qualcomm.

Nikkei Asian notes that Intel had been the sole modem chip supplier for iPhones since 2018, which, ironically, were due to Apple’s legal dispute with Qualcomm

What to do when the chips are down?!

Written by turbotodd

April 17, 2019 at 10:30 am

IBM Reports 1Q 2019 Results, Accelerates Cloud Revenue

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IBM announced its first quarter 2019 financial results this afternoon, with the lead being it both accelerated its cloud revenue growth and continued its margin expansion.

The top line: 

  • GAAP EPS from continuing operations of $1.78
  • Operating (non-GAAP) EPS of $2.25
  • Revenue of $18.2 billion, down 4.7 percent (down 0.9 percent adjusting for currency)
  • Cloud revenue growth accelerated in the quarter; now $19.5 billion over the last 12 months, up 10 percent (up 12 percent adjusting for currency)
  • As-a-service annual exit run rate for cloud revenue of $11.7 billion, up 10 percent year to year (up 15 percent adjusting for currency)
  • Gross profit margin: GAAP, up 100 basis points; Operating (non-GAAP), up 90 basis points — GBS gross profit margin up 280 basis points; GTS up 110 basis points
  • Pre-tax income margin: GAAP, up 440 basis points; Operating (non-GAAP), up 320 basis points
  • Maintains full-year EPS and free cash flow expectations ARMONK, N.Y.

“In the first quarter, our cloud revenue growth accelerated, and we again grew in key, high-value areas in Cloud and Cognitive Software and in consulting,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. “IBM’s investments in innovative technologies coupled with our industry expertise and our commitment to trust and security position us well to help clients move to chapter two of their digital reinvention.”

Written by turbotodd

April 16, 2019 at 3:57 pm

Posted in 2019

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Apple, Qualcomm Settle

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Well I certainly didn’t see that one coming!

CNBC is reporting the Apple and Qualcomm has settled their royalty and patent dispute that was going to trial in San Diego this week.

According to the report, as part of the settlement all legal action worldwide between the two companies will be dropped, and Qualcomm said it expected a $2 increase in earnings per share as its stock rose over 15% on the announcement.

Apple shares were up less than 1%.

The trial started yesterday and was expected to last until May, according to the report from CNBC, and both sides were asking for billions in damages.

Their legal battle centered around modem chips and had been going on since 2016.

Apple had bought those chips from Qualcomm for years, but “chafed under Qualcomm’s prices and requirement that any company using its chips would also pay licensing fees for its patents.”

Here’s the lede from the Apple press release:

Qualcomm and Apple today announced an agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm. The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.

Written by turbotodd

April 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm

Fast Burning Algos

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Watching Notre Dame burn yesterday seemed like yet another undeserved heavy punch dealt to one of my favorite cities across the globe, Paris.

But I’ve also seen the resilience of Parisians in years past, including after the Charlie Hebdo and November 2015 terrorist attacks, and was really happy to wake up to headlines that the church is still structurally sound and rebuilding is on the horizon once the investigation into what started the fire is complete.

However, some algos apparently got tripped up during coverage of yesterday’s Notre Dame fire. The Verge reported that many news networks were, logically, providing live coverage of the breaking news. But on YouTube, the algos apparently confused the breaking news from Paris with an undercarriage explaining the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in NYC.

The Verge explains that the small paragraph regarding 9/11 was actually part of YouTube’s fact-checking to "prevent the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories on the platform." Said a YouTube spokesperson, "These panels are triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call."

And though real fires may drive algos, in turn, algos can also drive virtual fires, as apparently was the case with Facebook and news media organizations when the social network essentially de-emphasized media sites with algo changes it made early last year. WIRED goes deep on the disenfranchisement across the board in a new feature entitled "15 Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook."

I wonder if WIRED’s ranking just lost a few points on Facebook’s News Feed with that headline??

Written by turbotodd

April 16, 2019 at 10:20 am

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