Displaying items by tag: New York

Tech giant to invest further $1 billion for NYC campus

Written on Thursday, 20 December 2018 09:01

Alphabet Inc. has announced it will invest more than $1 billion to build a new campus in New York.

The parent company of Google plans to make the Hudson Square site its primary global business hub; with new office space in Lower Manhattan, and new property at 550 Washington Street.

The 1.7 million square-foot campus is set to double its staff numbers within a decade.

Earlier this year, the tech giant spent $2.4 billion buying New York City’s historic Chelsea Market, with plans to add a community space, winter garden and a public water taxi landing. It closely resides to their 111 Eighth Avenue headquarters, which they purchased in 2010.

“New York City continues to be a great source of diverse, world-class talent—that’s what brought Google to the city in 2000 and that’s what keeps us here,” Says Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO of Google and Alphabet, on a blog post.

"It's now home to more than 7,000 employees, speaking 50 languages, working on a broad range of teams including Search, Ads, Maps, YouTube, Cloud, Technical Infrastructure, Sales, Partnerships and Research."

Fellow tech titan Amazon Inc. is also set to invest $5 billion in real estate across two new headquarters for their HQ2 project. It hopes its Long Island City site will create a further 25,000 new jobs in New York and North Virginia.

Published in Apps

US tech giants make huge investment in NYC

Written on Thursday, 29 November 2018 12:09

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google is reportedly set to purchase significant amounts of real estate throughout New York City, which could provide an extra 12,000 tech workers to multiply its workforce.

Parent company, Alphabet Inc. is nearing a deal to buy or lease three new properties in the city, including a 1.3 million-square foot building in St. John’s Terminal.

Earlier this year, the tech giant spent $2.4 billion buying New York City’s historic Chelsea Market, with plans to add a community space, winter garden and a public water taxi landing. It closely resides to their 111 Eighth Avenue headquarters, which they purchased in 2010.

Over the last two years Google has spent a reported $2.8 billion on real estate, and earlier this month paid $1 billion for a property in Mountain View, California.

Amazon is also set for expansion in New York, with plans set to split its headquarters between Long Island City in Queens and Arlington County VA, providing a further 25,000 jobs for the company. HQ2 is set to be the largest economic development project in New York State history, bringing billion of dollars in tax revenue.

Published in Finance

Infinera and Seaborn Networks (Seaborn) tells us they have deployed Infinera’s new XTS-3300 meshponders on Seaborn’s Seabras-1 submarine cable to rapidly offer cloud connectivity services like SeaCloud™. Seabras-1 is the only submarine cable system with a direct connection between São Paulo, Brazil and New York City, enabling Seaborn to offer SeaSpeed™, its proprietary lowest-latency route, between these key global financial centers. 

Seaborn recently announced that Seabras-1 is now ready for operations. At 10,600 kilometers of subsea cable with multiple branching units, Seabras-1 is the longest uncompensated cable deployed connecting North and South America. Seabras-1 is designed to provide additional route diversity to Virginia Beach, Miami, St. Croix, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, southern Brazil and Cape Town. Seaborn selected the XTS-3300 to deliver the industry’s highest subsea spectral efficiency and lowest power consumption available in a commercially deployed, compact, easy-to-use platform. 

While many subsea cables can take days to activate capacity, the Seaborn team was able to configure the XTS-3300 and light the fiber in an impressive 30 minutes. Infinera’s unique large-scale photonic integration technology delivers terabit super-channels and, along with the Advanced Coherent Toolkit (ACT), enables rapid activation of subsea links. With Infinera Instant Bandwidth, the industry’s first software defined capacity (SDC) solution, Seaborn can deploy bandwidth in 100 gigabits per second increments within minutes and a few clicks of a mouse, while the XTS-3300 platform enables scalability up to 11.8 terabits per second on a fiber. The XTS-3300 seamlessly integrates with Seaborn’s existing Infinera terrestrial backhaul networks in Brazil and New York, which include Infinera’s XTC and XTM Series.

The XTS-3300 provides Seaborn with a subsea platform that integrates the groundbreaking performance of the Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine 4 (ICE4), which features unique performance-enhancing technologies such as Nyquist subcarriers and SD-FEC gain sharing. The deployment of the XTS-3300 on Seabras-1 significantly exceeded Seaborn’s capacity-reach performance targets, helping increase the return on Seaborn’s deployed subsea cable asset. The XTS-3300 is a highly efficient rack-and-stack solution with the lowest power consumption in a commercially deployed platform.  

“In our quest to meet unprecedented bandwidth demand from our customers, we rely on solutions that are easy to operate, highly reliable and provide cloud scale capacity in a small form factor,” said Larry W. Schwartz, Chairman & CEO, Seaborn Networks. “The Infinera XTS3300 meshponder significantly exceeded our expectations, allowing us to provision services within minutes between our Infinera metro networks in Brazil and New York. This, combined with Instant Bandwidth, enables us to rapidly respond to our customers’ hyperscale requirements and offer cloud scale service on demand.”

“We are honored to partner with Seaborn to light the Seabras-1 cable,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera Chief Executive Officer. “Infinera continues to push the physics of the optical transport world for the benefit of our customers and the networks they run. The XTS-3300 is purpose-built for subsea applications, delivering industry leading subsea performance while integrating seamlessly into Seaborn’s existing terrestrial and subsea network.” 

Published in Infrastructure

The intelligence revolution is upon us, says Lenovo CEO

Written on Thursday, 22 June 2017 10:14

Today we are standing at the beginning of the Fourth ‘Intelligence’ Revolution, said Yuanqing Yang, Chairman and CEO of Lenovo at the company’s TANSFORM event held in New York on June 20. Yang said Lenovo will “redefine IT” and encouraged “intelligent transformation” driven by cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

“I can’t think of a better place to hold our TRANSFORM event than in New York – a city that has transformed from a humble trading post 40 years ago to one of the most vibrant cities in the world today,” said Yang. “It represents a perfect example of the rapid transformation of our world that has propelled us from the steam engine to the internet era in just 200 years.”

200 years ago there were only a few companies that operated on a global scale, Yang pointed out. The total value of the world’s economy was around US$180 billion which represented just $188 per person on earth. Today, there is a wealth of global companies competing to sell everything from crude oil to servers and software. These companies “drive a robust global economy worth over $705 trillion.”

What’s even more remarkable, Yang said, is that the economy has almost doubled every fifteen years since 1950. This represents significant transformation for businesses and for the world – “so much achieved in a tiny slice of time.” This transformation is the “result of the greatest advancement in technology in human history.” Not one but three industrial revolutions have occurred over the last 200 years, Yang said.

“Today we are standing at the beginning of the Fourth Revolution. This revolution will transform how we work and lead in ways that no one could have imagined in the 18th Century or even just 18 months ago. You are the people that will lead this revolution.”

IT is no longer just information technology but intelligent technology and intelligent transformation, Yang said. This transformation is driven by big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. It has transitioned from PC internet to mobile internet. Today, said Yang, we are facing another big leap: from the mobile internet to the smart internet or intelligent internet.

“In this smart internet era, cloud enables devices such as PCs and smartphones, smart speakers, smart TVs, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to provide content and services. But the evolution does not stop there… almost everything around us will become smart with building, computing, storage and network capabilities. This is what we call the ‘device + cloud’ transformation,” said Yang.

Smart devices incorporated with various sensors will continuously sense our environment and send us details about our surroundings, he predicts. In order to store this ever-increasing big data, and to support the delivery of cloud content and services, data center infrastructure is also transforming to become more agile, flexible and intelligent. This is what Lenovo calls the ‘infrastructure + cloud transformation’.

Human wisdom enables artificial intelligence to learn from big data and make everything around us smarter, said Yang. With big data collected from smart devices, computing power of the new infrastructure will train artificial intelligence. We can understand the world around us more accurately and make smarter decisions. We can make lives better, work easier, and society safer and healthier.

“Think about what is already possible since we started this transformation: smart assistants can help you place orders online without voice command; driverless cars can drive on the same road as traditional cars; chat bots can help troubleshoot customer issues; and virtual doctors already diagnose basic symptoms. This list goes on and on,” said Yang.

“Like every revolution before it, with intelligent transformation, we are fundamentally changing the nature of business. Understanding and preparing for that will be the key to the growth and success of your business.”

The first thing made possible by the Industrial Revolution was maximizing production, he said. Water and steam power enabled people to go from making things by hand to making them by machine. This transformed how fast things could be manufactured and also improved the quantity of work, which led to a massive increase in traffic. With this revolution, business scale increased as the number of customers exploded.

Fifty years later, the second revolution led to modern enterprise. Electricity and telegraph communication made business “faster and more complex” challenging businesses to become more efficient and meet entirely new customer demands.

In our own lifetimes we have witnessed the third revolution which made it possible to digitize enterprise, Yang explained, highlighting how the development of computers and the internet accelerated business beyond human speed. Now, global businesses have to deal with customers at the end of a cable, not with a handshake.

“While we are still dealing with the effects of digitized business, the fourth revolution is already upon us. In just the past three years, the growth of data and advancement in artificial intelligence has been astonishing. The computing power can now process the massive amount of data about your customers, suppliers, contractors, and provide insights you simply could not imagine before,” said Yang. “Artificial intelligence can tell you what your customers want today and also tell you what they will want tomorrow.”

This transformation isn’t just about making better business decisions or creating better customer relationships, Yang explained. It’s about making the world a better place. He believes we can build a new world without disease, war and poverty with the power of big data and artificial intelligence, which will be the revolutionary technology to make that possible.

Published in Featured

Facebook is going to the state of New York’s highest court to challenge search warrants seeking information from the social media giant’s user accounts. According to reports, Manhattan prosecutors sought search warrants in 2013 for the accounts of 381 Facebook users in connection with a disability benefits fraud case against New York City police and fire retirees.

Facebook challenged the search warrants but the lower courts sided with prosecutors, ABC News reported, ruling it was up to individual users to challenge the warrants seeking their private information. Therefore, Facebook provided the requested information, but continues to argue that it has the right to challenge search warrants for information it has about users.

Facebook came under fire regarding data sharing recently when the European Commission accused Facebook of providing them with false and misleading information in relation to its takeover of WhatsApp in 2014.

At the time of the proposed takeover, the European Commission queried the social media giants on the topic of data sharing. Facebook insisted at the time of the takeover that it would be unable to establish automated matching between users ID’s on its social media platform with those on WhatsApp.

However, the European Commission highlighted the latest update available to users on WhatsApp, which opens up the possibility of linking WhatsApp phone numbers with Facebook user ID’s. The European Commission believes this illustrates that the technology was available to do this when they bought WhatsApp two years ago.

The European Commission stated on record that it has taken the ‘preliminary view’ that Facebook knew this technology was available to do this in 2014, but withheld the information from the EC in order to complete the takeover and avoid the thorny issue of data sharing and data protection.

In another data sharing incident involving Facebook last year, despite the fact that Facebook, which owns WhatsApp messenger, cannot read its users messages because of end-to-end encryption on its messages, on June 30, a Brazilian court blocked 19.5 million reals ($6.07 million) of Facebook funds after the social media giant failed to reveal messages related to a drugs case.

Brazil’s federal police said Facebook repeatedly defied its orders to turn over messages that could be used against suspected members of an international cocaine smuggling group that had been under investigation since January 2016.

News website G1 reported that Brazilian police said it would be impossible to link the suspected members to those captured in recent raids and their confederates in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Spain.

The problem is, Facebook couldn’t do anything to help Brazil, because WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, meaning the company has absolutely no access to what its users share.

Brazil didn’t seem to understand this, because after repeatedly requesting that Facebook expose the messages, a judge in Brazil’s southern Parana state decided to freeze Facebook’s funds, which were equal to WhatsApp’s fines accumulated for not complying with the Brazilian court.

Published in Government

A leading Japanese telecommunications company is believed to be weighing up an investment of more than $1 billion in office-space start-up ‘WeWork’ – according to speculation circulating from the region.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that SoftBank Group Corp, which is headquartered in Tokyo, is keen on the investment which would represent the first deal from its $100 billion technology fund. Both organizations declined to comment on the speculation which simply added fuel that negotiations in relation to the proposed investment has begun.  

WeWork which is based in New York City is a company that provides shared workspace, community and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, start-ups, and small businesses. The firm which was founded in 2010 by Adam Neuman is currently valued at around $17 billion – and has over fifty co-working locations across the US, Europe and Israel – with further expansions detailing its ambition to reach every continent. It was also named among the ‘most innovative companies’ of 2015.

It has been disclosed that SoftBank had previously initiated primary discussions with WeWork, but at that stage no deal was brokered between the two organizations, so it has been suggested that there is no guarantee a deal will be struck this time either.

It has also been reported that a number of SoftBank executives have queried whether the WeWork deal is over-valued – citing that a company involved in office space is far removed from tech-focused investments. SoftBank have held discussion with global ride-hailing service Uber Technologies in recent times, but it has not been revealed whether or not an investment agreement was reached between them.

Any investment in WeWork or other companies wouldn’t happen until the SoftBank fund is finalized, which is expected in mid-February, according to people familiar with the matter.

Published in Finance

A new transatlantic cable which avoids the UK has been announced between Europe and the United States as the “chaos around Brexit” continues to grow. Named ‘Brexit-1’, the cable will link Marseille, France, to New York, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. The project was announced by telecom expert and entrepreneur Sunil Tagare, who first developed the concept of a fiber-optic link around the globe (FLAG) back in 1989.

Now owned by the Global Cloud Xchange, today FLAG extends to 28,000 Km. Tagare announced the ‘Brexit-1’ project on LinkedIn and explained that Brexit-1 will “be a submarine cable connecting more than a dozen cables landing in Marseilles from the Middle East, India and Asia to New York bypassing the United Kingdom.”

Neal claims the cable will be safer and more reliable than other trans-European solutions as it is a direct cable without points-of-presence (POP). Tagare has also said the cable will be the lowest latency infrastructure deployed between Marseille and New York.

Talking about Brexit, Tagare said: “With the chaos around Brexit, it is virtually impossible to know how it will shake out over the next few years. The best bet right now is to avoid UK completely and go directly to New York.”

Tagare’s announcement around the Brexit-1 cable was met with mixed reactions from industry professionals. Reacting to the announcement on LinkedIn, industry professionals questioned the higher reliability of Brexit-1 over other terrestrial routes between Marseille and cable landing stations on the Atlantic.

As for Brexit, experts highlighted that most major cables announced recently have also avoided the UK; however, not due to Brexit, but due to the lack of content providers’ data centers in the country.

Peter Jamieson, who serves as chairman of the European Subsea Cable Association and principal engineer for the Virgin Media core fiber optic network, commented on a personal level: “It is not just this cable, every future Trans-Atlantic cable recently installed or planned within the next five years (except Hibernia Express, which goes to the UK, but also has a branch to Eire) is avoiding the UK.”

“But it has nothing to do with Brexit, the new systems are being driven by the content guys and they do not have any data centers in the UK. Brexit will not impact any future builds to the UK. The UK is still well served by the infrastructure installed during the .com bubble, although it is getting a bit long in the tooth now.

“London will continue as global financial center after Brexit, and new infrastructure will be built when it is demanded. Indeed Brexit should be seen as an opportunity to de-shackle the UK from Euro legislation to encourage more content players, data center builders, etc. to base themselves in the UK and drive new cable builds to the UK.”

Published in Infrastructure

US satellite radio station Sirius XM  have agreed to pay $100 million in order to settle a dispute over playing music prior to 1972 – which is when US copyright laws came into force. Just last year, Sirius XM, which has its headquarters in New York, was forced to pay out a whopping $210 million over pre-1972 songs which were owned by major record labels.

Sirius XM – whose audience would be of the more mature variety, generally plays rock classics from the 60’s and 70’s, but this week a judge in LA ruled in favour of a series of class-action lawsuits against Sirius XM which were championed by 60’s group The Turtles – better known for their 1967 hit –‘Happy Together’.

The group also campaigned on behalf of smaller label and independent artists, and they argued that their music had still been protected by US states even though federal copyright law only applies to recordings starting on February 15, 1972. On the eve of a federal trial, lawyers The Turtles this week filed a proposed settlement with Sirius XM to resolve the suits in a federal court in Los Angeles.

If approved by federal judge Philip Gutierrez, Sirius XM will pay up to $100 million for past and future airing of pre-1972 songs, with the exact amount contingent on the network's revenue. The Turtles have a similar case pending against Pandora, the leading US internet radio network.

The United States has a complicated system of royalty payments that has long frustrated record labels and artists, with traditional radio stations paying only songwriters and not performers. The rise of internet and satellite music sites has muddled the waters further, with companies negotiating conditions with labels and publishers.

Published in Satellite Industry

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was recently released in New York and was welcomed by Samsung-enthusiasts with open arms. It’s a large device, similar in size to its predecessor, the Galaxy S7 Edge, also sporting a curved-screen. The Note 7 comes equipped with an iris scanner to unlock the phone, a new USB-C charger port, new S Pen tricks like magnification and GIF-making, and a larger battery. It’s a 5.7-inch device with a slightly larger screen than the 5.5-inch Edge.

The Galaxy Note 7 had a lot to live up to, measuring up against the successful Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which are widely considered to be the year’s best smartphones with excellent cameras and battery life. In terms of hardware, the S7 Edge and Note 7 share similarities, but what makes the Note 7 stand out is its gliding stylus and extra writing, drawing and navigation tools. It’s also waterproof like its predecessors, and features a similar 12-megapixel camera.

That being said, the Note 7’s camera app did get a nice upgrade with new features. You can swipe up and down to switch between the front and rear camera and swipe to the sides to bring up new filters and effects.

Samsung’s Note 7 comes in an appealing range of colors, including Coral Blue, Black Onyx, Silver Titanium, and Gold (which is only available in certain countries). Price is important to consider, seeing as Samsung’s Note devices are generally more expensive. In the U.S., AT&T is advertising the Note 7 at US$800, while T-Mobile is advertising the model for sale at US$849.

If you’re going to fork out that much money for an upgrade, you probably want to know what makes the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 so special. While the Note 7 looks relatively similar to the S7 Edge, there are a few physical differences, such as the Note 7’s symmetrically rounded front and back compared to the Edge’s flat back and curving front.

The S Pen sits neatly holstered away and you may not even notice that it’s there. It ejects from a small hole at the phone’s bottom edge. With a smaller pen tip, it’s supposed to be more accurate than the Note 5’s (there is no Note 6 for anyone wondering) and it’s also reportedly twice as sensitive with pressure levels jumping from 2,048 in the Note 5 to 4,096 in the Note 7. You can even use the pen when there’s water on the screen since the Note 7’s S Pen is water resistant and sealed with rubber and silicon.

Some other cool features of the S Pen is its ability to make an animated GIF, as well as a translation tool when hovering the pen over a word to have Google translate it (in over 70 languages). You can also use the pen as a magnifying glass to view text in larger form. The Samsung Notes app is for handwriting and drawing. There are art tools to use such as brushes that blend colors, and so on.

One of the biggest changes to Samsung’s fleet of smartphones in the Note 7 is the use of a USB Type-C charging port. According to reports, every Note 7 comes equipped with a Micro-USB to USB-C adapter in the box, so there’s nothing to worry about. The use of this new type of USB charging port, which is going to be the new industry-wide standard, is said to be linked to Samsung’s new version of its Gear VR headset for 2016 that will be compatible with Type-C and Micro-USB phones.

And who could forget the Note 7’s awesome new iris scanner. You can still unlock the phone using your fingerprint if that’s what you prefer, but the new feature allows you to use your eyes to open the phone if you’re into that. It makes unlocking the phone fast and efficient because it doesn’t matter if, for example when using the fingerprint scanner, your finger is wet or dirty. You simply hold the phone up to your face and the software takes care of the rest.

Looking ahead, users of the new Galaxy Note 7 can expect an upgrade down the line. Google’s Android Nougat software isn’t running on the Note 7 just yet, but it’s expected to release as an upgrade later this year. The model currently runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The Note 7’s menus are also much more colorful and spaced out than previous models, adding to its overall charm.

Published in Devices

Popular instant messaging app Line will list its shares in Tokyo and New York according to reports on Friday, June 10, in what could be one of the year's biggest initial public offerings. Japanese media, including the Nikkei business daily and Kyodo news agency, said the Tokyo-based firm was set to win approval from regulators Friday to go public as early as next month.

Japanese reports said Line, which is owned by South Korean internet provider Naver, plans to raise about 100 billion yen ($933 million) in a sale that would value the company at around 600 billion yen.

Bloomberg cited unnamed sources as saying the sale could rise between $1 billion and $2 billion, in what it said could be the world's biggest tech IPO this year. Neither Line nor the Tokyo Stock Exchange would confirm the reports, but a source close to the situation told AFP that a deal was likely to be announced later on Friday.

"It's true that a board meeting about Line's IPO is happening (in Tokyo)," said an anonymous source. "Naver wants to push through with the IPO so the chances of the board not approving the sale are quite low."

Line has already confirmed it has submitted listing documents to Japanese and U.S. market regulators. The reported sale comes two years after Line initially announced plans to list its shares. The sale was later shelved. The offering would be the biggest in Tokyo since Japan Post made its long-awaited trading debut in November with an IPO that topped $11.5 billion.

The popular app lets users make free calls, send instant messages, and post photos or short videos, along with a host of other paid-services. It combines attributes from Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp. The firm's messaging service was launched in 2011 after the quake-tsunami tragedy damaged telecoms infrastructure throughout Japan, forcing staff to resort to online resources to communicate.

Best known for letting users send each other cute cartoon "stickers", Line is hugely popular in Japan, particularly among teenagers. The app -- which claims to have more than 200 million monthly active users – also has a strong presence in Asian markets such as Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia, as well as some Spanish-speaking areas, including Spain and Mexico.
But the company has been looking to expand in bigger markets, such as the United States.

Published in Apps