Tag Archives: Much.

How Much Money Does Fortnite Make? About $1.5 Million Per Day—Just on iOS
October 6, 2018 6:00 pm|Comments (0)

Fortnite is one of the most popular games available at the moment, so it comes as no surprise that the title is making a ton of money on iOS devices alone.

Fortnite brought in $ 300 million in its first 200 days on Apple’s iOS platform, according to market analyst Sensor Tower. The game is free to play, but players can purchase Fortnite skins and dances. It’s made the most of any game on iOS in the first 200 days of availability. Users can buy skins and dances separately or purchase a season pass to get a collection of new releases. In just the month of April, Fortnite made $ 300 million across all its available platforms, The Verge reported.

Fortnite is also available on Android, the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It’s become a massive cultural phenomenon since its release in 2017. Celebrities like Drake have streamed themselves playing Fortnite, players streaming their games on platforms like Twitch have become a kind of celebrity of their own, and the premiere of Saturday Night Live’s 44th season even featured a Fortnite-themed sketch.

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Delta Is Being Accused of Sneakily Tricking People Into Booking Much Worse Seats Than They Think
September 3, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

When I book flights, I try to be patient.

Perhaps like many people, I go to Kayak or Google Flights, and hope to find everything that’s available. 

Then, I might wait a few days to see if prices go up or down, depending on the urgency of my booking.

It’s like playing with your cat, really. Most of the time, Tibkins is quicker. Just occasionally, though, you get him. 

The accusation was that Delta Air Lines made ordinary Economy Class flights appear as if they were Premium Economy when booked via Google Flights.

Or, as the Points-Saving God puts it: “Delta displays economy prices for Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy, and at no point during booking does it actually specifically tell you you’ve got the wrong deal.”

In essence, if you go through the Google Flights search process, wanting to book, say, return flights from London to LAX, you get what seems like a wonderful deal.

If you book via Delta’s site rather than its partner Virgin Atlantic’s, that is.

The price difference is more than $ 1,000. Which is clearly the very definition of a steal.

Because you like saving money and feelings clever, you click on that deal and still believe you’re booking Premium Economy.

It’s just that, if you look closely, it has a novel and delightful name: Economy Delight.

This is actually Virgin’s fancy name for something that’s slightly better than so-called Economy Classic, but is still very much Economy Class and not the wider seats and more pleasant experience of Premium Economy.

Which Virgin calls, oddly, Premium Economy.

For all you know, however, Economy Delight is what Delta calls Premium Economy.

There are so many names these days.

And nowhere, said God Save The Points, is it clear that it isn’t. After all, why are you being shown this option when you searched for Premium Economy fares?

I asked Delta for its view.

An airline spokeswoman told me: 

Delta recognizes the limitations of some current shopping experience on third-party sites may not be ideal. That’s why we are leading industry collaboration to ensure customers have access to all of Delta’s products, no matter where they shop.

Ah, so it’s Google Flights’ fault?

Delta seems to think so. Its spokeswoman continued: 

It’s time for third-party displays, including Google Flights, to invest in the technology necessary to display the various products available so customers can view all their options clearly, just as Delta has done for customers on delta.com. 

An airline mocking Google’s technology? That resembles entertainment.

So I asked the Silicon Valley company for its reaction and will update, should I hear.

I remained perplexed. If Virgin Atlantic’s fares are accurately depicted, why aren’t Delta’s?

I was so moved by all this that I tried the search for myself.

I got very similar results to God Save The Points. 

Not exactly close.

I clicked through to Delta’s site and there it was, the Economy Delight designation.

Only if I scrolled down would I see that an upgrade to Premium Economy would cost an additional $ 257.75 each way.

This all feels a touch unhealthy. 

Delta says it’s the champion of the people, but airlines aren’t always so keen to play with third-party sites, where many people go to make comparisons.

Risibly, the airlines’ lobbying group claims this is all intended to increase, please wait for it, transparency.

It might even, say the comparison sites’ lobbyists, threaten the ability of fare comparison sites to operate.

Worse, the airlines seem to believe that third-party sites should deliver all the detailed information that airlines have, yet those same airlines refuse, in some cases, to give those sites that very information.

Which all should make emptors do a lot of caveating.

And we thought technology is going to make things easier. 

Easier for corporations, perhaps.

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Facebook’s Stock Just Took a Massive Hit, Wiping Off As Much As $145 Billion in Market Cap
July 26, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

Facebook’s problems have reached a boiling point. After months of questions and, often reluctant, disclosures about massive information leaks and about how it handles false information on its site seen by hundreds of millions of people, disappointing user growth caused the social network’s stock to plummet in after-hours trading on Wednesday, shedding over $ 145 billion in market cap.

Investors’ alarm was likely triggered by a failure in growth in its most important markets, the combined U.S. and Canada segment and Europe. U.S. and Canadian traffic was flat from the previous quarter, while Europe shed 3 million average daily users quarter over quarter, down to 279 million.

U.S. and Canadian Facebook visitors provided an average revenue per user (ARPU) in the latest quarter of $ 25.91, the vast majority from advertising, while the ARPU of Europeans was $ 8.76, according to figures provided by Facebook. Other markets offer much less value: Asia-Pacific users rack up just $ 2.61 in revenue, and the rest of the world lumped together, a mere $ 1.91.

The drop in European visitors was potentially due to the continuous revelations highlighted there about Facebook’s breaches and weaknesses, and the implementation of the European Union and related entities’ General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in late May. The GDPR requires more disclosure and opting in to many tracking and ad-related behaviors that aren’t related to the core function of a website.

While the company saw revenue up 42% year-over-year to $ 13.2 billion in its second quarter, that was short of what Wall Street expected. Net income was similarly up, to $ 5.1 billion from $ 3.9 billion the year-ago quarter, but that didn’t assuage investors and institutions. The after-hours plunge came despite Facebook also beating a consensus estimate of earnings per share of $ 1.72 by two cents.

This slowing growth in valuable markets may have provided the jitters that led investors to significant after-hours profit taking. The company had a nearly unbroken steady climb in its stock price since mid-2014, with a blip shedding 15% in a matter of days in March when revelations about alleged data misuse by Cambridge Analytica emerged. Facebook stock recovered gradually, and was up 29% in the last year and 21% in 2018 through the close of regular trading today, rising to a new high of 217.50, before the after-hours tumble. Nearly the last year’s gains have now been lost.

Facebook has no end in sight for scrutiny and oversight, with regulators, prosecutors, and other public and private parties in multiple countries examining the company’s actions, those of nation states allegedly manipulating news and advertising, and that of firms like Cambridge Analytica, which obtained massive amounts of information that many Facebook users likely considered private.

Yesterday, BuzzFeed published a memo by chief security officer Alex Stamos written to staff in March after the initial Cambridge Analytica stories broke in which he urged the company to pick sides on important issues. Stamos reportedly still plans to leave the company next month, following a reorganization that the New York Times said earlier this year took away 98% of the group he managed. Today, Facebook’s chief legal officer announced he’s departing at the end of this year for family reasons.

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Rare Japanese unicorn Mercari surges as much as 100 percent in debut
June 19, 2018 6:05 am|Comments (0)

TOKYO (Reuters) – Flea market app operator Mercari Inc’s shares surged 100 percent in their Tokyo stock market debut on Tuesday, hitting their daily limit high, underscoring strong investor appetite for a rare Japanese unicorn bent on U.S. expansion.

FILE PHOTO: Novelty goods are displayed at Mercari’s Tokyo headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Shares rose as high as 6,000 yen in early afternoon trade, valuing the company at as much as $ 7.4 billion. That made it the most valuable firm on the Tokyo bourse’s Mothers market for startups, ahead of games and social network company Mixi Inc and robotics firm Cyberdyne Inc.

A popular smartphone app that allows people to trade used items online, Mercari has been downloaded 71 million times in Japan where it has 10.5 million active users. It makes money by charging sellers commission, and expects sales to jump 62 percent to 35.8 billion yen ($ 325.93 million) this financial year.

Mercari shares already look expensive, said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan. While the app is well known in Japan and still growing, it is likely to face more competition at home, he said, with companies such as Rakuten Inc and Start Today Co Ltd offering used-goods services.

Mercari shares were trading at 5,350 yen at 13:00 local time (0400 GMT).

Its initial public offering, the biggest in Japan this year, raised $ 1.2 billion through the sale of around a third of Mercari’s shares, with the majority bought by overseas investors.

The company is profitable at home but is losing money in the United States, where its expansion plans are being headed by former Facebook Inc executive John Lagerling.

Its U.S. expansion dragged it to a net loss of 4.2 billion yen in the last financial year through June 2017, with a further loss of 3.4 billion in the nine months to March as the company committed funds to improving its brand recognition through advertising.

“We can’t be successful globally without success in the U.S.,” Chief Executive and founder Shintaro Yamada told Reuters in April.

In a country that has many successful giant corporations but lacks a vibrant startup culture, Mercari gained attention as one of Japan’s two unicorns – startups with valuations above $ 1 billion – according to data provider CB Insights. The other is information technology startup Preferred Networks Inc.

Mercari’s growing popularity as Japanese shoppers shed their inhibitions about buying and selling used goods has seen it join the ranks of companies such as Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing Co Ltd that have grown by appealing to consumers’ economizing instincts.

The app has outperformed rivals with its focus on mobile, its ease of use – with users able to trade goods with just a few taps – and by offering anonymity to its privacy conscious Japanese audience.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Christopher Cushing

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Here’s How Much It’ll Cost to Fix Your Busted Apple HomePod
February 9, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

Whatever you do, treat your new Apple HomePod with care.

Apple has published a new support page on its HomePod that says the company will charge customers $ 279 to repair a HomePod that is broken and out of warranty. If customers need to ship back the HomePod to Apple for repair, the company will charge an additional $ 19.95, bringing the price to $ 300 to repair an ailing HomePod. Apple charges $ 349 for a new HomePod—$ 50 more than it’ll charge to fix a damaged unit.

Luckily, you won’t need to worry about that cost anytime soon. Apple’s standard HomePod warranty covers repairs on the unit for one year. The standard warranty also includes 90 days of complimentary telephone support. After that, however, you’re on your own unless you bought the AppleCare+ HomePod warranty for your smart speaker. That option extends repairs and telephone support to two years. It’s also nicely affordable at $ 39 and a far sight from the $ 279 it’ll take to repair the device.

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Apple’s pricing is no surprise to those who have dealt with damaged products in the past. Apple is notorious for assigning high prices on repairs, which make some people think opting for AppleCare+ is the way to go. And in many cases, it is.

HomePod support pricing comes as Apple has started selling the smart speaker it unveiled last year. The device, which is now available in Apple’s stores and the company’s online marketplace, supports the company’s Siri virtual personal assistant, giving users voice control to turn on music, control smart home devices, and more.

Apple has also said that the HomePod will sound substantially better than its competitors, including Amazon Echo and Google Home.

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Mark Zuckerberg Has Lost This Much Money for Changing Facebook’s Feed
January 15, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

Facebook stock took a hit after the social network announced massive changes to its news feed. And no one felt that hit more than Mark Zuckerberg.

The founder and CEO of Facebook owns over 400 million shares of the company, meaning stock fluctuations hit him the hardest. The trick is figuring out exactly how hard — and that’s where things get a little difficult.

As of April 14, 2017, the company’s last proxy statement, Zuckerberg owned over 2.6 million shares of Class A stock and nearly 411 million Class B shares. In September, though, he announced plans to sell as many as 75 million shares over the following 18 months “to fund the philanthropic initiatives of [he] and his wife, Priscilla Chan,” according to a filing.

So, for argument’s sake, let’s say he’s halfway through that sales goal (unlikely, but it doesn’t hurt to be conservative) — bringing his total holdings to approximately 377 million shares.

Given the company’s 4.5% drop on Friday, that would mean Zuckerberg lost more than $ 3.1 billion, on paper at least. (If he hasn’t sold any of the 75 million shares he’s planning to, the loss escalates to nearly $ 3.5 billion.)

Of course, Facebook shares will almost certainly rebound. And analysts say they expect the changes will drive higher ad prices and could result in more money for Facebook, something that always cheers investors.

Ultimately, though, Zuckerberg’s likely not concerned. He’s already pledged to give away 99% of his net worth in his lifetime.

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17 More Cartoons From ‘Too Much Coffee Man’ Shannon Wheeler
November 29, 2016 4:05 am|Comments (0)

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Some Insect Repellents Are Much More Effective At Fighting Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Than Others
November 7, 2016 3:50 pm|Comments (0)

What is the best repellent to avoid being bitten by a mosquito carrying the Zika virus? This question was originally answered on Quora by Tirumalai Kamala.


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Online gaming may boost school scores. Social media? Not so much.
August 13, 2016 6:45 pm|Comments (0)

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If you or your kids are avid gamers, here’s some good news: All that strategising may have a beneficial impact on school results. Whether regular Facebook use is a drag on one’s English test scores — that’s another question.

A study conducted by Alberto Posso, a professor at Australia’s RMIT University, found that teenagers who played online video games regularly were often able to improve their school scores. 

Students who were daily social media users, however, tended to under perform in maths, reading and science. “The results suggest that a student who uses online social networks on a daily basis will also obtain a grade in math that is 20 points lower than a student who never uses this type of social media,” Posso said in the report. Read more…

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