Archive for the ‘jose mercury news’ tag
If it seems like it might be getting tougher to hire employees in the tech sector, where there’s always a war for the best talent, this could explain why.
The nine-county region — which includes San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and surrounding cities — produced its best one-month job growth since September 2011. It was buoyed by tech jobs and growth in the East Bay, Michael Bernick, a research fellow with the Milken Institute, told the San Jose Mercury News. He said that tech firms, social media companies and internet commerce companies are leading the recovery.
The East Bay (Oakland) added 7,400 jobs, while the South Bay (San Jose) added 4,000 and the San Francisco-San Mateo area added 6,100, according to the California Employment Development Department. Beacon Economics said a quarter of the gains were due to tech.
The comeback in June compared to weakness in May, when only 3,800 jobs were added, and April, when the region grew by 2,400 jobs. That was sharply slower than in the winter and fall.
California itself added 38,300 jobs last month, and the Bay Area accounted for 44 percent of the job gains. It was also 21 percent of the job gains for the entire nation. Statewide, the unemployment rate is 10.7 percent, compared with 8.5 percent in the Bay Area. That is down slightly from 8.6 percent in May in the Bay Area.
[Image credit: 1008racing]
Filed under: VentureBeat
Earnings season starts this week for tech companies, and no one is expecting outstanding second-quarter results. If the reports turn out to be weaker than expected, then tech investors might run for the hills, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The world economy has been shaky, mainly due to a slowdown in Europe. Demand for PCs, corporate computing gear, and software may have had a weak quarter. China’s economy is slowing, hurting the growth of the PC market, according to Bloomberg. And some suppliers to the PC market have warned about weaker financials.
Starting on Tuesday, Intel and Yahoo will report their second-quarter earnings. They will be followed by eBay and IBM on Wednesday; Google, Advanced Micro Devices, SanDisk and Microsoft report on Thursday. Apple reports on July 24.
“Weakness is broad and is spreading in tech land,” Ambrish Srivastava, a financial analyst at BMO Capital Markets, warned in a report, the Mercury News said.
Apple is expected to have a good quarter, but there’s a chance that its sales will level off as consumers wait for an as-yet-unannounced new version of the iPhone. Facebook, on the other hand, has seen its stock price falter, bringing social game maker Zynga down with it. Yahoo has had a tough time with its CEO turnover.
Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM and Intel will rise or fall based on sales in the commercial tech sector. Advanced Micro Devices, a maker of microprocessors, and Applied Materials, the largest maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, warned that their sales would be lower than expected. Seagate, the storage giant, also offered a warning.
Nobody is expecting an outlook as gloomy as the 2008 financial crash.
Here’s the schedule for upcoming earnings announcements:
Tuesday July 17: Intel, Yahoo
Wednesday July 18: eBay, IBM
Thursday July 19: Google, AMD, SanDisk, Microsoft
July 23: VMware, THQ
July 24: Apple, Netflix, Juniper Networks, EMC
July 25: Symantec, Zynga
July 26: Facebook, Informatica
July 30: EA, Yelp, Seagate
Aug. 2: Activision, LinkedIn
Aug. 9: Nvidia
Aug. 13: GameStop, Groupon
Aug. 21: Dell
Aug. 22: HP
Apple has the biggest market value of any tech company, so it’s no surprise that Apple chief executive Tim Cook has become the highest-paid CEO at a publicly traded company in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cook beat out Larry Ellison ($77.5 million) of Oracle for the title, bringing in $378 million in his first year as Apple’s boss, according to an analysis by the San Jose Mercury News. The pay was mostly in shares that Cook won’t be able to sell for years. Cook’s actual take-home pay was $1.8 million.
The median pay for Bay Area CEOs was $3 million, according to the Merc’s What the Boss Makes annual survey. That number was up from $2.8 million in 2010. The survey includes salaries, bonuses, stock grants and options reported by 198 publicly traded companies in the fiscal year 2011.
Third place was John Hammergren, CEO of healthcare firm McKesson, at $32 million. John Daane of Altera got $29.6 million and Chevron’s John Watson got $18.1 million. Meg Whitman of HP got $16.5 million, while the previous CEO, Leo Apotheker, got $13.2 million after he was fired.
Former PG&E CEO Peter Darbee got a $34.8 million retirement package, even after he left the company in the wake of a deadly gas line explosion in San Bruno, Calif. Carol Bartz, former yahoo CEO, got $3 million in severance, while AMD’s former CEO Dirk Meyer got $8.7 million.
Filed under: VentureBeat
Yoga instructor Alice Van Ness made headlines this week because she was canned from her job teaching classes at Facebook, after she tried to silence a student from using her cell phone during a class.
The incident was one more example of how social etiquette isn’t in step with the rapid advances of the digital age. It raises the question: Is it OK to text or talk on your phone in certain places? The movie theater is not OK. But what about a yoga class?
Van Ness (pictured) was teaching yoga at the Facebook Fitness Center last month when one student began using her phone while Van Ness was demonstrating the difficult half-moon pose. Van Ness didn’t say anything, but she gave the student a look of disapproval. The student later complained, and it cost Van Ness her job with Plus One Health Management, the company that operates the gym at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif. office.
Plus One Health Management told the San Jose Mercury News that Van Ness had been told that she could not prohibit cell phone use in class. Van Ness has already picked up new work.
Who do you think was right? Please take our poll.
[Photo credit: Robert Van Ness, Alice Van Ness]
Filed under: mobile
Roblox has become a testing ground where kids and teens build their own video games and let others play them. The virtual world has become a way for kids to understand physics, learn coding, and build their own games using Lego-like building blocks.
On Saturday, Roblox denizens gathered for the company’s conference at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley. Hundreds of game designers gathered for a conference and hackathon. The Roblox community is one of the strongest examples that self-made games could follow music and videos in becoming a mass cultural phenomenon, like YouTube. San Mateo, Calif.-based Roblox debuted five years ago and it now commands 21 million-game hours and a billion page views in a month. Last year, players built 5.4 million games inside the Roblox world.
David Baszucki, chief executive, told the San Jose Mercury News that you “learn by doing.” One of the most popular teens was Luke Weber, 19, nicknamed Stickmasterluke, who has designed games that have been played more than 10 million times in Roblox. Weber now works three days a week for Roblox. A popular game is The Laser Tag Arena, which was favorited more than 100,400 times on Roblox. was periodically mobbed for his autograph.
Brandon La Rouche sold out of his book, Basic Roblox Lau Programming. Roblox raised $4 million in a round last year.
Filed under: games
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Malware Could Strand Thousands When Domains Go Dark on Monday (Wired)
Tens of thousands of U.S. Internet users could be left in the digital dark on Monday when the FBI pulls the plug on domains related to DNSChanger malware. Computers belonging to an estimated 64,000 users in the United States, and an additional 200,000 users outside the United States, are still infected with the malware, despite repeated warnings in the news, email messages sent by ISPs and alerts posted by Google and Facebook. The Wall Street Journal In a highly unusual move, the FBI set up a safety net. They brought in a private company to install two clean Internet servers to take over for the malicious servers so that people would not suddenly lose their Internet. The temporary Internet system they set up, however, will be shut down at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Monday. CNBC Hackers are to blame for the malware attack, which was part of an international online advertising scam. The malicious software disabled users’ antivirus software, which could also make their computer prone to other issues. San Jose Mercury News Google and Facebook each used different technical methods of determining which users might have the DNSChanger infection, according to security consultant Barry Greene, a member of the public-private working group that’s been tackling the problem. While Google has alerted users to a potential malware threat once before, Greene said he wasn’t aware that Facebook had ever done so. Google began showing notices to affected users in May; Facebook followed suit last month. AP To check whether a computer is infected, users can visit a website run by the group brought in by the FBI: http://www.dcwg.org. The site includes links to respected commercial sites that will run a quick check on the computer, and it also lays out detailed instructions if users want to actually check the computer themselves. The Globe and Mail Users whose computers are still infected Monday will lose their ability to go online. They will have to call their service providers for help deleting the malware and reconnecting to the Internet. continued…
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The jury in the long-running infringement case between Google and Oracle has ruled that certain pieces of Android APIs were too similar to code used in Oracle’s Java programming tools. But the jury was split on whether or not Google could claim fair use in its defense, which could lead to a mistrial.
The decision comes after nearly two years of legal wrangling between the companies: Oracle originally filed the lawsuit in August 2010, claiming that Android infringed on technology that it had acquired from Sun Microsystems a year earlier.
But it wasn’t a quick or decisive ruling: The jury’s decision came down after District Judge William Alsup urged jurors to take the weekend to consider claims, after it had reached a partial decision last week. Even with that time, the jury was still unable to rule whether Google was protected under the fair use doctrine. That could throw a wrench in things, as an attorney for Google said the search giant would file for mistrial as a result, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The decision is just the first of three portions of deliberation in the jury trial. The first section revolves around the copyright question related to the alleged infringement. The jury will return to consider patent questions in the second round of deliberations, and will consider damages that Google might be liable for in a third round.
I’ve reached out to Google and Oracle for official comment on the jury’s decision and will update this post when/if I hear back!
Update. Google issued the following statement: “We appreciate the jury’s efforts, and know that fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin. The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that’s for the court to decide. We expect to prevail on this issue and Oracle’s other claims.“
Startup NimbleCommerce wants to become the daily deal platform for media companies (often, but not always, the traditional ones that are struggling to make money online), and today it’s announcing a big customer — Digital First Media, which manages the MediaNews Group (the second largest newspaper chain in the United States) and the Journal Register Company.
Altogether, Digital First says it reaches 57 million Americans in 18 states. Its newspapers include The Denver Post, The Salt Lake Tribune, and the San Jose Mercury News. Chief Digital Officer Arturo Duran tells me the company has already seen success with daily deals in some markets, like Denver and San Jose. However, NimbleCommerce allows Digital First to unify the deal platform across all its properties, exporting the successful models to other markets and making it easier for businesses to offer their deals in more than one paper. (He also insists that the partnership wasn’t about price, but presumably this lowers costs, too.)
Duran argues that this move is part of Digital First’s broader strategy for surviving in the digital age.
“The newspapers grew up thinking that they had to be different,” Duran says. “One of our big strategies has been standardization — the navigation, the backend, it has to be universal. … We think a big piece of why the newspapers do not survive is because they try to do everything on the small scale.”
For now, the partnership is focused on daily deals initially, but Duran and NimbleCommerce CEO Prashant Nedungadi say it could eventually expand into some of the other services that NimbleCommerce offers, such as other forms of e-commerce. Nedungadi also says that his company is now profitable, and that it’s managing nearly $150 million in revenue through its platform.
Google’s top three executives have offered to pay $33 million through a jointly owned company to save Hangar One, a historic building used to house large airships at Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif.
Google’s Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt made the proposal back in September via H211, a jointly owned company that manages their fleet of private jets. Ken Ambrose, director of operations at H211, says that NASA — which owns Moffett Field — is considering the offer, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
The report also brings to light another interesting tidbit: Google’s execs own eight private jets. As part of H211′s offer, the company is also asking for use of up to two-thirds of Hangar One’s floor space for the private jets.
It seems that everyone wins if H211′s offer is approved. NASA gets to save a historic landmark, and Google’s execs get a home base for their private jets right near Google’s Mountain View headquarters.
Speaking at a meeting on Thursday of the Hangar One Subcommittee of the Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board, Ambrose expressed his frustration about NASA’s delayed response. “A decision should have been made by now,” he said, as the Mercury News reports. “It’s quarter to midnight as far as I can see.”
Ambrose says that to get the restoration up and running by the summer, H211 needs immediate approval to start gathering consultants, permits, and other necessities. There’s a heightened sense of urgency now, since NASA has begun removing Hangar One’s PCB-filled exterior paneling, leaving the interior of the building exposed to the elements.
H211 isn’t trying to buy out Hangar One from NASA. As part of H211′s deal, NASA will still retain ownership of the building and will be able to lease out space to others.
Photo by Jennifer Morrow/Flickr
Filed under: VentureBeat
Customers who used the self-checkout lanes at Lucky Supermarkets have been hacked. The grocer, which operates stores in California, says some of their credit card machines have been altered with sniffers to capture credit and debit card numbers. Lucky, owned by parent company Save Mart, is telling customers who used those machines to close their bank and credit card accounts. At least 80 at-risk accounts have been identified and the supermarket chain has gotten calls from more than 500 calls from customers who fear they are victims of fraud.
Card-skimming scams have been reported at gas stations and ATMs and retail chain stores. But this appears to be a first widespread attack at a supermarket checkout lane.
A key question remains how criminals could have attached these devices at multiple Lucky locations without anyone noticing. Lucky says at least 24 Bay area stores have been affected.
According to a report in the San Jose Mercury News, Save Mart’s CFO doesn’t think it’s an inside job, saying “It’s pretty well-understood technology. If a bad guy really wanted to go do this, they could probably go online and educate themselves at Google.”
Lucky first got suspicious on November 11th, when an employee doing maintenance noticed something that didn’t look right. They discovered an extra computer board inside the checkout machine recording customer info. Lucky says it warned customers on November 23rd, but it wasn’t aware of any cases of fraud at the time.
The checkout card readers were made by VeriFone, which confirmed there was a problem. The Lucky spokesman told the Mercury News “it was a very sophisticated device that they’d never seen before.” In addition to making credit card readers, VeriFone has a partnership with Google for NFC-based mobile payments.
Save Mart operates 233 stores in Northern California and Nevada under the names Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky and FoodMaxx brands. Lucky has posted a list of stores affected and information for consumers on their website.