Tag Archives: First

Walmart opens first small high-tech supermarket in China
April 2, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

BEIJING/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Walmart Inc has opened its first small high-tech supermarket in China, where smartphones can be used to pay for items that are mostly available on the U.S. retailer’s store on Chinese online marketplace JD.com, it said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk past a signboard of Wal-Mart at its branch store in Beijing, China, October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

The world’s largest retailer, known for its hypermarkets, is expanding in China as shopping with mobile devices gains popularity in the country, and as retailers and technology companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd cut deals to integrate online and offline shopping.

Walmart is also targeting more online shoppers, who spend twice as much in the United States when buying on its website.

Walmart had run smaller Walmart Express stores in the United States, with 12,000 to 15,000 square feet, compared with about 105,000 square feet for its typical supermarket. But the concept did not take off and the retailer was forced to shut them down in 2016.

Walmart did not specify the size of the China store, in the southern city of Shenzhen. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The outlet will stock more than 8,000 items ranging from stir-fried clams to fresh fruit, 90 percent of which will be available online, it said in a statement. Items can be delivered within a 2 kilometer (1.2 mile) radius as quickly as 29 minutes, said Walmart, which owns a stake in JD.com.

Customers can opt to pay with their smartphone using a program on Tencent Holding Ltd’s WeChat messaging.

In March, Walmart said it would expand its grocery home deliveries in key markets to reach more than 40 percent of U.S. households, or 100 metro areas from six currently.

Reporting by Pei Li and Brenda Goh in Beijing and Nandita Bose in New York; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Richard Chang

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Here’s Why Analysts Are Still Frustrated With Twitter Despite It Reporting Its First Profit
February 8, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

Twitter surprised investors and followers Thursday with revenue gains and its first profit, but some analysts say the company is still withholding vital information.

Twitter (twtr), on its earnings conference call, declined to give hard daily active user (DAU) statistics, simply saying it achieved its fifth consecutive quarter of double digit DAU growth, with a 12% year-over-year increase. That’s all well and good, say analysts, but without actual numbers, it’s a relatively meaningless boast.

“The DAU growth metric is literally the FIRST THING in their shareholder letter,” said Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter via Twitter. “Their excuse that they won’t disclose is lame. If they can’t tell us the numbers, why brag about growth? It’s either important (and should be disclosed) or not (and should be ignored).”

Pachter’s frustration grew as the call went on.

And he wasn’t the only critic.

Relying on percentage growth figures without giving any sort of base is an old trick of corporations. The reigning king of this strategy is Amazon, which has yet to give hard numbers regarding Amazon Prime members, though it has regularly touted the service’s membership growth.

While Twitter won’t disclose the number of daily users, it did, however, shed some light on monthly active users. That number was roughly the same as the prior quarter at 330 million, a lower-than-projected total that the company attributed in part to stepped-up efforts to reduce spam, malicious activity, and fake accounts.

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Infiniti's 2019 QX50 Is the First Car With a Variable Compression Engine
December 1, 2017 12:19 am|Comments (0)

The coolest thing about Infiniti’s newly redesigned QX50 crossover has nothing to do with its looks, its technological goodies, or even its ability to (kinda) drive itself. No, the best thing about this vehicle is sitting under the hood, and it’s got an important message for the drivers of Earth: Reports of the internal combustion engine’s demise might be a tad premature.

That’s because this compact five-seater features the world’s first variable compression engine. We’ve known about this clever system for a few years, but now it’s finally entering the market.

The trick lies in the engine’s ability to change the compression ration, which determines how tightly the pistons squeeze the air and fuel before the spark plug ignites the mixture (that’s the combustion bit). It does that by changing the angle of a center link, which rotates around the crank shaft and separates upper and lower piston links, and thus the distance the piston travels up the cylinder.

If you didn’t catch that, all you need to know is that Nissan, Infiniti’s parent company, has developed an engine that can optimize its behavior for whatever you want in the moment: performance or fuel economy.

INFINITI

The somewhat Rube Golbergian contraption smacks of added complexity, but the company’s engineers have been working on the VC-Turbo, as the call it, for 20 years, and swear it will stand up to hundreds of thousands of miles of use. The automaker plans to eventually distribute the engine to other models across its Nissan and Infiniti lineups. As that happens, it could stave off the advent of electric propulsion, or at least ease the transition.

The QX50 has some other goodies worth mentioning. It’s the first Infiniti to offer Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous system (which was already available on the Leaf and Rogue). Like Tesla’s Autopilot, ProPilot can control braking, acceleration, and steering, tracking road markings to keep in its lane and radar to monitor its proximity to other vehicles.

Like most of these systems, it really only works on the highway, and still requires hands-on participation from the driver (otherwise it beeps aggressively), but it has an easy to understand user interface, a bonus in the too often murky world of semi-autonomy. It also capitalizes on Infiniti’s steer-by-wire technology to generate more precise control of the vehicle’s reactions to obstacles and other vehicles.

If you’re eager to take home the new engine—then let it drive you around—you’ve got until late 2018 to save up $ 35,000.


Engineering Exploits

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Jaguar Land Rover tests first driverless vehicle on public roads
November 17, 2017 12:01 pm|Comments (0)

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest automaker, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), has tested its first driverless car on public roads, it said on Friday, as carmakers race against each other and tech firms to tap into new technologies.

Signs are seen outside the Jaguar Land Rover plant at Halewood in Liverpool, northern England, September 12 , 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Last October, a pod heavily adapted from a compact Renault car was the first autonomous car to take to Britain’s streets as part of government-backed trials aimed at seeing more widespread use of such vehicles by 2020.

Politicians are trying to make it as easy as possible to test new driving technologies in Britain, seeking to build an industry to serve a worldwide market expected to be worth around 900 billion pounds ($ 1.2 trillion) by 2025.

An Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill is currently being debated in parliament to set out how new technologies will operate in Britain.

JLR hopes the testing will allow it to understand more about how self-driving vehicles interact with other cars and road infrastructure such as traffic lights and how models can replicate human behavior whilst driving.

“By using inputs from multiple sensors, and finding intelligent ways to process this data, we are gaining accurate technical insight to pioneer the automotive application of these technologies,” said Nick Rogers, the firm’s Executive Director for Product Engineering.

The testing is taking place in the central English city of Coventry, the historic heart of the British car industry, where JLR is headquartered. Trials will continue into next year.

Major automakers are seeking to head off the challenge not just from each other but also from technology firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo, which is also developing autonomous vehicles.

Waymo said earlier this month that it will launch a ride-hailing service with no human behind the steering wheel and has been testing the fully self-driving cars on public roads in the U.S. state of Arizona.

($ 1 = 0.7548 pounds)

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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AMD forecasts first revenue drop in seven quarters, shares plummet
October 25, 2017 12:00 am|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Advanced Micro Devices Inc on Tuesday flagged competitive pressures with a forecast that pointed to the first revenue drop in seven quarters, sending the chipmaker’s shares plunging 11 percent in after-hours trading.

FILE PHOTO: AMD Opteron 6000 series processor is seen on a motherboard during a product launch in Taipei April 14, 2010. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang/File Photo

The company, which has gained from a surge in demand for its chips from cryptocurrency miners, also sought to tamp down expectations of benefits from the boom.

“We’re also predicting that there will be some leveling off of some of the cryptocurrency demand,” said Chief Executive Lisa Su on a post-earnings call.

AMD’s underwhelming forecast overshadowed a strong third-quarter performance, which was aided by a slew of launches this year such as the Epyc processors for servers and a new range of Ryzen desktop processors.

The company said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to fall about 12 percent to 18 percent from the third quarter. This implies a revenue of about $ 1.35 billion to $ 1.44 billion, according to Reuters calculation.

“AMD has headwinds with competition from Intel and Nvidia among other worries,” Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer at GBH Insights said.

Bigger rival Intel Corp recently launched its new line of Coffee Lake processors, which analysts said could challenge AMD’s Ryzen processors.

AMD’s total revenue surged 25.7 percent to $ 1.64 billion in the third quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of $ 1.51 billion.

Sales in its graphics and computing business, which makes processors for servers and gaming consoles such as Microsoft Corp’s Xbox and Sony Corp’s PlayStation, surged 73.5 percent to $ 819 million.

“We anticipate seasonal demand to remain healthy as our customers enter the holiday sales cycle with Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft’s Xbox One X,” Lisa Su said on the call.

France-based company Atari said last month that its latest gaming console Ataribox would feature AMD’s customised processor Radeon.

AMD reported a net income of $ 71 million, or 7 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $ 406 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 10 cents per share, topping analysts’ estimate of 8 cents, according Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

AMD’s shares have risen 25.7 percent this year, outperforming the S&P 500’s nearly 15 percent increase but underperfoming the Philadelphia semiconductor index’s 37 percent gain.

Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sriraj Kalluvila

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Every Fast-Growing Company Knows This…. The Customer Must Come First
September 30, 2017 10:35 pm|Comments (0)

How many times have you walked into a restaurant with plenty of free tables, only to have wait while a waiter busily cleared the dishes left behind by departed diners from another table? How many times have you gone up to a check-out counter ready to make a purchase and stood unhelped by a salesperson who was engrossed in reshelving inventory that others had not chosen to take home? How many times have you watched someone field a personal phone call instead of reaching out to a customer in her midst? Undoubtedly, the answer is countless. Why? Because many business owners have either never understood or somehow forgotten, the importance of putting the customer first. I have found that keeping this one idea–that of framing everything my company does in terms of the customer’s needs–at the heart of my business strategy has netted growth at every stage of my business. Here are some simple ways I do so.

Ask employees to handle customers before inventory. Regardless of how messy your shelves may look, how many tables are left uncleared, or how many items need to be restocked, all of those issues will be there long after your customer is gone. Help your customer first, and put every other task behind him in line. You don’t want to let your customer walk out the door empty-handed because you’re engaged in something other than seeing to his needs. You have his attention for as long as he is willing to give it to you, and that depends entirely on how important, valuable, and significant you make him feel.

Instruct staff that, when on the clock, their personal lives take a backseat to the customer’s experience. People seem to blur the lines of personal and professional more and more every day, and when they get caught up in their own interests, they forget everything else around them. Ask employees to put away their phones, table intra-staff conflicts, and silence any unnecessary chatter when customers are within eyesight and earshot. A customer should never be made to feel like a burden, an interruption, or downright uncomfortable when he is visiting your company and considering buying something.

Prioritize a customer who is ready to purchase over everything else. Deciding to purchase is a very emotional experience. It’s when a customer feels most vulnerable because he is about to hand over his money and he wants to know he is giving it to a company that deserves it. Take him in hand quickly, so he feels reassured that he is making the right decision. Whether this means accompanying him to the point of purchase, showing you are ready to take his order immediately, or just asking if he needs help, the important thing is to be alert, attentive, and accommodating.

Customers are precious. They walk through our doors fleetingly, unless we are prepared for their arrival, forthcoming with our help, and devoted to their needs. It is only by peaking their interest, earning their support, and winning their business that we can grow.

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Microsoft Opens First Cloud Data Centers in South Africa
July 26, 2017 12:25 pm|Comments (0)

“The data centers, which will serve customers of the software giant’s Azure cloud-computing business, will be the first of their size built in Africa by one …


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Cloud Computing has crossed the finish line first in the Preakness Stakes
July 3, 2017 8:30 am|Comments (0)

Cloud Computing (2), ridden by Javier Castellano, wins142nd Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico race course as Classic Empire with Julien …
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The Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector Releases Its First Results
June 24, 2017 12:43 pm|Comments (0)

Around eighty-five percent of the matter scientists have detected in the universe comes from something we can’t feel or see. It’s a seemingly enormous amount of mass whose gravity bends other stars’ light and makes galaxies spin strangely. And scientists really, really want to know what this so-called dark matter is.

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Elite trainer Chad Brown gets first Triple Crown win with Cloud Computing in Preakness
May 30, 2017 3:55 am|Comments (0)

Cloud Computing’s trainer Chad Brown celebrates with the trophy in the winner’s cirlce after the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico …
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