Tag Archives: Million

How Some New College Graduates Are Pulling Over $1 Million a Year (Courtesy of Elon Musk)
April 21, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

Artificial intelligence experts can command huge salaries and bonuses–even at a nonprofit.

OpenAI, a nonprofit research lab started by Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk released the salary details of it’s employees–and they are striking. The organization’s top researcher was paid more than $ 1.9 million in 2016, and another leading researcher who was only recruited in March was paid $ 800,000 that year, according to a recent article in the New York Times.

Salaries for top A.I. researchers have skyrocketed because there is high demand for the skills–thousands of companies want to work with the technology–and few people have them. So even researchers at a nonprofit can make big money.

It likely has more to do with competition than interest in the field itself, however. The Times points out that both of the researchers employed by OpenAI used to work at Google. At DeepMind, a Google-owned A.I. lab in London, $ 138 million was spent on the salaries of 400 employees, translating to $ 345,000 per employee including researchers and other staff, the Times reports. 

OpenAI was started by Musk who recruited several engineers from Google and Facebook, two companies pushing the industry into artificial intelligence. People who work at major companies told the Times that while top names can expect compensation packages in the millions, even A.I. specialists with no industry experience can expect to make between $ 300,000 and $ 500,000 in salary and stock as demand for the skills continues to outstrip supply. 

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Apple Music appoints new head, hits 48 million subscribers
April 11, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Apple Inc on Wednesday appointed a new executive to oversee its Apple Music streaming business and hit 48 million subscribers, the company said.

Apple said it had appointed Oliver Schusser as vice president of Apple Music and international content. Schusser, who joined Apple 14 years ago, will report directly to Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue and will also oversee Apple’s services outside the United States, including the App Store and iTunes.

Apple’s top streaming music rival Spotify Technology SA has 71 million so-called premium subscribers, a figure that includes users who have given the company a credit card number for a free trial. Spotify became a public company earlier this month after holding a so-called direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

On a comparable basis, the Apple Music service has 48 million subscribers, 40 million of whom are paying subscribers and 8 million of whom are on a free trial, Apple said. Both firms charge $ 9.99 a month for streaming music but provide discounts for student and family plans.

Variety magazine earlier reported the new subscriber figures and Schusser’s promotion. He previously built up Apple’s services businesses outside the U.S. in 155 markets, including China, Japan and Latin America, Apple said.

Apple’s services business, which includes Apple Music, the App Store and iCloud, is becoming increasingly important to the Apple’s financial outlook because the smart phone market has matured and iPhone sales growth has slowed. In its most recent quarter, Apple’s services business grew 18 percent to $ 8.4 billion, missing analyst expectations of $ 8.6 billion.

(This version of the story corrects paragraph 1 to Wednesday instead of Thursday)

Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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Smugglers Caught Using Drones to Drop $80 Million Worth of iPhones Into China
March 30, 2018 6:32 pm|Comments (0)

Chinese customs officers have arrested smugglers who attempted to drop millions of dollars worth of iPhones from drones into China.

Twenty-six suspects were arrested in China recently after they tried to use drones to fly two 660-foot cables from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, according to Reuters. Those cables were going to be used to lift iPhones worth 500 million yuan ($ 79.6 million) to the mainland, where they could be sold via the black market for a hefty profit, according to the report. A local Chinese report from the Legal Daily said it was the first time drones were employed to smuggle phones.

The operation was set to go off at night, where smugglers would pack small bags with approximately 10 iPhones and attach them to the drones. Those drones would then fly from Hong Kong to the mainland in just a matter of seconds. According to Reuters, the smugglers had the ability to transport up to 15,000 iPhones each night.

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Smuggling of high-value products—like iPhones, jewelry, and luxury products—is nothing new in China. In fact, the government has been working hard to crackdown on the practice and do a better job of breaking up what has become an increasingly powerful black market.

Smuggling gangs often steal devices or buy them at a deeply reduced rate and sell them for a higher price in China. They’re careful, however, to keep their prices below the going rate for those who purchase products legitimately. The result is a profitable business for smugglers and an opportunity for Chinese consumers to get authentic goods at a cheaper price.

Despite breaking up the drone attempt, Shenzhen officials warned that smuggling would continue. According to Reuters, the customs officers are planning to use several types of equipment to thwart other attempts by the smugglers.

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Spotify says about two million users blocked ads without paying
March 23, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Spotify Technology SA (SPOT.N) said on Friday it uncovered 2 million users of its free service who had blocked advertising without paying, highlighting a potential revenue risk for the soon-to-be public company.

FILE PHOTO: Headphones are seen in front of a logo of online music streaming service Spotify, February 18, 2014 REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

In an amended version of the share prospectus filed last month, the Swedish company said it continues to be impacted by third-party attempts to gain unauthorized access to its premium service.

The music-streaming company previously included the 2 million users in calculations for some of its key performance indicators, including MAUs, ad-supported users, content hours, and content hours per MAU. More here

Spotify said it currently does not have the data to adjust previously provided key performance indicators, and as a result certain metrics may be ‘overstated’ in its prospectus.

The company had 157 million active users as of Dec. 31, of which about 71 million were paid subscribers who access ad-free versions of the service, according to its website.

Spotify had filed this week for a direct listing of its shares, instead of a traditional IPO.

The direct listing will let investors and employees sell shares without the company raising new capital or hiring a Wall Street bank or broker to underwrite the offering.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta

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U.S. announces arrests in $530 million cyber identity fraud scheme
February 7, 2018 6:15 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday announced indictments of 36 people in a global internet identity theft scheme that caused more than $ 530 million in losses to consumers, businesses and financial institutions.

International law enforcement authorities arrested 13 defendants from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia.

“Today’s indictment and arrests mark one of the largest cyberfraud enterprise prosecutions ever undertaken by the Department of Justice,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by David Alexander

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China's Leshi says $890 million of debts due this year, shares drop 10 percent
February 5, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s Leshi Internet said about 5.62 billion yuan ($ 890 million) of its debts would be due by the end of this year, or almost two-thirds of the company’s total loans and liabilities, sending its shares down for a ninth day.

This is the first time the video-streaming firm – which is battling the fallout from a severe cash crunch at its founder Jia Yueting’s embattled technology conglomerate LeEco – has provided an estimate for its debt in 2018.

Earlier, the company had said that a part of its total loans and financial liabilities of 9.29 billion yuan ($ 1.5 billion)would be due this year, without giving any further details.

Leshi shares plunged by the daily limit of 10 percent on Monday. Nine days of declines, since the stock resumed trading in January after a nine-month suspension, have knocked 37.5 billion yuan off the company’s market capitalization, that is currently at 23.7 billion yuan.

At its peak in 2015, Leshi was valued at 153 billion yuan.

Just last week, Leshi flagged that it expected a loss of 11.6 billion yuan for 2017, more than five times its combined profits since listing on the Shenzhen stock exchange in 2010, due to the ongoing crisis at LeEco.

LeEco was once China’s Netflix-to-Tesla contender but ran into a cash crunch since late 2016 after expanding too fast. Leshi used to be the main listed unit of the conglomerate.

But under the control of property developer Sunac China – its second-largest shareholder, Leshi is now trying to distance itself from the LeEco brand.

Leshi says its largest shareholder Jia and related LeEco units owe it 7.5 billion yuan ($ 1.19 billion). LeEco disputes the figure.

Shares of Sunac plunged as much as 6 percent, lagging a nearly 2 percent fall for the benchmark index.

Reporting by Sijia Jiang; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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South Korea says uncovered about $600 million in cryptocurrency crimes
January 31, 2018 6:14 am|Comments (0)

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea has uncovered illegal cryptocurrency foreign exchange trading worth nearly $ 600 million, a sign authorities are tightening the regulatory screws on the digital asset that many global policymakers consider to be opaque and risky.

The country’s customs service said in a statement on Wednesday that about 637.5 billion won ($ 596.02 million) worth of foreign exchange crimes were detected.

“Customs service have been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government’s task force,” it said, underscoring stepped-up efforts by Seoul to crack down on illegal trade in the digital asset.

Illegal foreign currency trading of 472.3 billion formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes, Customs said, but gave no details on what action authorities were taking against the rule breaches.

South Korea has adopted a tough stance on regulating cryptocurrency trading as many locals, including students and housewives, jumped into a frenzied market despite warnings from policy makers around the world of a bubble.

Effective from Jan. 30, authorities will allow only real-name bank accounts to be used for cryptocurrency trading designed to stop virtual coins from being used for money laundering and other crimes.

Among other breaches, Customs said there were also cases where investors in Japan sent their yen worth 53.7 billion won to their partners in South Korea for illegal currency trade.

It said authorities will continue to monitor for any violations of foreign exchange rules or of money laundering activities.

Seoul previously said that it is considering shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, which threw the market into turmoil and hammered bitcoin prices. Officials later clarified that an outright ban is only one of the steps being considered, and a final decision was yet to be made.

Bitcoin stood at $ 9,800.00 as of 0502 GMT on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. The heightened regulatory scrutiny around the world, however, has seen bitcoin dive about 31 percent so far this month, on track for its biggest monthly decline since December 2013.

Cryptocurrencies got another jolt last week after Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck said hackers stole over $ 500 million in one of the world’s biggest cyber heists.

($ 1 = 1,069.6000 won)

Reporting by Dahee Kim and Cynthia Kim; Editing by Sam Holmes & Shri Navaratnam

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Hacked Tokyo cryptocurrency exchange to repay owners $425 million
January 28, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc said on Sunday it would return about 46.3 billion yen ($ 425 million) of the virtual money it lost to hackers two days ago in one of the biggest-ever thefts of digital money.

That amounts to nearly 90 percent of the 58 billion yen worth of NEM coins the company lost in an attack that forced it to suspend on Friday withdrawals of all cryptocurrencies except bitcoin.

Coincheck said in a statement it would repay the roughly 260,000 owners of NEM coins in Japanese yen, though it was still working on timing and method.

The theft underscores security and regulatory concerns about bitcoin and other virtual currencies even as a global boom in them shows little signs of fizzling.

Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) sent a notice to the country’s roughly 30 firms that operate virtual currency exchanges to warn of further possible cyber-attacks, urging them to step up security.

The financial watchdog is also considering administrative punishment for Coincheck under the financial settlements law, one of the sources said.

Japan started to require cryptocurrency exchange operators to register with the government only in April 2017. Pre-existing operators such as Coincheck have been allowed to continue offering services while awaiting approval. Coincheck’s application, submitted in September, is still pending.

Coincheck told a late-Friday news conference that its NEM coins were stored in a “hot wallet” instead of the more secure “cold wallet”, outside the internet. Asked why, company President Koichiro Wada cited technical difficulties and a shortage of staff capable of dealing with them.

In 2014, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, which once handled 80 percent of the world’s bitcoin trades, filed for bankruptcy after losing around half a billion dollars worth of bitcoins. More recently, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Youbit last month shut down and filed for bankruptcy after being hacked twice last year.

World leaders meeting in Davos last week issued fresh warnings about the dangers of cryptocurrencies, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin relating Washington’s concern about the money being used for illicit activity.

Reporting by Takahiko Wada and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates

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The Brutally Honest Advice that Inspired RXBAR to Become a $600 Million Company
January 2, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

The Brutally Honest Advice that Inspired RXBAR to Become a $ 600 Million Company [VIDEO] | Inc.com

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Exclusive: FCC plans to fine Sinclair $13.3 million over undisclosed commercials
December 15, 2017 6:04 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Communications Commission plans to fine Sinclair Broadcasting Corp $ 13.3 million after it failed to properly disclose that paid programming that aired on local TV stations was sponsored by a cancer institute, three people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The proposed fine, which covers about 1,700 spots including commercials that looked like news stories that aired during newscasts for the Utah-based Huntsman Cancer Institute over a six-month period in 2016, could bolster critics of Sinclair’s proposed $ 3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Co.

Sinclair Broadcasting and a spokesman for the FCC declined to comment. Sinclair, which has told reporters previously the violations were unintentional, disclosed the investigation in financial filings.

Sinclair, which owns more than 170 U.S. television stations and is the largest U.S. operator, announced plans in May to acquire Tribune’s 42 TV stations in 33 markets as well as cable network WGN America and digital multicast network Antenna TV, extending its reach to 72 percent of American households. The FCC and Justice Department are reviewing Sinclair’s proposed acquisition of Tribune.

The proposed fine, which was approved by the five-member FCC earlier this week but has not yet been made public, is significant, officials said. The penalty represents an average fine of about $ 7,700 for each of the improperly aired spots but is significantly less than the maximum fine Sinclair could have faced under the law.

Sinclair will have the opportunity to respond to the proposed fine before it becomes final.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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