Better, faster. “‘We are now able to execute change faster,’ Jeremy King, Walmart’s chief technology officer, told Reuters. He added that Walmart can now make over 170,000 monthly changes to software that supports its website, compared to less than 100 changes previously.”
Security matters. “Security was another big factor behind the effort, enabling the retailer to better protect customer data. That secrecy extends to the locations of its six ‘mega clouds’ or giant server farms, and 75 ‘micro clouds’ whose locations the company declined to disclose publicly.”
Impacts on staffing. The Journal’s Sarah Nassauer reports that the retailer’s online investments, combined with labor cost issues and a need to improve store customer service, is leading Walmart to shift how it uses its roughly 1.5 million U.S. employees. Walmart this week is eliminating two department manager positions in some of its 4,700 U.S. stores. Earlier this year, Walmart cut thousands of co-manager roles, a group of workers just below store managers.
- Uber posted narrower quarterly losses as revenue climbed 12%.
- JAAP ARRIENS/ZUMA PRESS
Uber posts fourth-quarter loss of $1.1 billion on higher sales.
Uber Technologies Inc. continued to boost ridership and revenue throughout last year, despite a punishing stretch that included a sexual harassment scandal, the resignation of its longtime chief and a blockbuster lawsuit from its primary rival in self-driving vehicles, the WSJ’s Greg Bensigner reports. The San Francisco company said revenue rose 12% in the fourth quarter to $2.26 billion from three months earlier while its loss narrowed to $1.1 billion, according to a detailed financial statement reviewed by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
Baidu claws its way back from a challenging year. The Beijing-based company on Tuesday reported revenue of $3.7 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, up 29% from the year-earlier period, the Journal’s Alyssa Abkowitz and Maria Armental report. Analysts said the strong results showed Baidu’s progress on two fronts—providing a steady stream of revenue from search-related advertising while transitions to businesses powered by artificial intelligence. Baidu has pledged to deliver a self-driving bus by the end of the year and fully autonomous cars by 2021.
MORE TECHNOLOGY NEWS
CFPB chief says Equifax probe continues. A federal consumer-finance regulator’s probe of the data breach at
Equifax Inc. hasn’t changed since the Trump administration took over the agency, the interim head of the U.S. agency said Tuesday, dismissing a report suggesting that it had pulled back from the investigation. More than 30 Democratic senators sent a letter last week to Mick Mulvaney about the Equifax investigation, following a news report that the CFPB may have halted its probe of the Equifax hack, which compromised personal data of 145.5 million Americans. The Journal’s Yuka Hiyashi has the story.
Google’s new AMP stories bring Snapchat-like content to mobile web.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google unveiled new technology that lets publishers create visual-oriented stories in a mobile-friendly format similar to the style popularized by Snapchat and Instagram, says the Journal’s Benjamin Mullin. The format builds on code from its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, a framework that allows publishers to create webpages that load much faster than conventional pages on the mobile web. As of yet, AMP stories don’t yet allow advertising to be incorporated.
AT&T considers calling antitrust chief to testify in trial. In the months since the Justice Department sued to block the
Time Warner Inc. deal last November,
AT&T Inc. has publicly questioned the department’s motives in light of President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to disallow the deal and his repeated disparagement of CNN, the Journal’s Brent Kendall and Drew FitzGerald report. Now AT&T is considering an unusual bid to seek testimony from the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust chief in the coming trial over its $85 billion acquisition.
U.K. unveils content blocking tool. The UK government said it may force tech companies to use a tool it developed that blocks extremist content, the BBC reports. The tool was trained by “viewing” thousands of hours of Islamic State content. Home Secretary Amber Rudd is in the U.S. this week to discuss with tech companies efforts at tackling extremism.
Google hires Samsung exec to lead IoT. Injong Rhee, formerly
Samsung Electronics Co.’s CTO, will lead Google’s IoT business, serving under Google Cloud chief Diane Greene, Reuters reports.
Mining for ad revenue. Like Salon? Hate ads? If the answer to both is yes and you use an ad blocker prepare for an unusual pitch. The online magazine is asking readers to consider sparing some of their computing power to let it mine some coin in exchange for an ad-free experience. Reads the FAQ: “For our beta program, we’ll start by applying your processing power to mine cryptocurrencies to recoup lost ad revenue when you use an ad blocker. We plan to further use any learnings from this to help support the evolution and growth of blockchain technology, digital currencies and other ways to better service the value exchange between content and user contribution.”
Keep your tiny hands away from my phone. Researchers are working on an algorithm that can tell when kids are swiping a smartphone and then block apps users want to keep off-limits. The algorithm works off the observation that children, with “smaller hands and shorter fingertips,” make smaller wipes and touch a smaller area of the screen, MIT Technology Review reports.
Knock, knock. Boston Dynamics, home of the scary robot, released a new video Monday showing a five-limbed metal monstrosity clickety-clacketing up to a door and… opening it. The Guardian shares the video. But all is not lost. Robots still can’t ski. Not well, anyway.
EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW
A March 5 deadline is looming for a resolution for nearly 700,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The young people, their schools and employers are beginning to make contingency plans. (WSJ)
Nordstrom Inc.’s founding family is reinventing their department stores as they restart talks with bankers about financing a buyout—but is the family’s vision visionary enough to survive the industry’s calamities? (WSJ)
Chipotle Mexican Grill named Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol its next chief executive, tapping a fast-food veteran to try to revive the struggling burrito chain. (WSJ)
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, said he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to an adult-movie actress who alleged a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump. (WSJ)
The Morning Download is edited by Tom Loftus and cues up the most important news in business technology every weekday morning. You can get The Morning Download emailed to you each weekday morning by clicking http://wsj.com/TheMorningDownload.
Source : https://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2018/02/14/the-morning-download-walmart-cto-says-investment-in-private-cloud-pays-off/