Apple’s Mac line of computers — which includes MacBook laptops and iMac desktops — just had its slowest sales quarter since the same period in 2013, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing the latest analyst estimates.
The overall PC market has been shrinking for some time, and that did not change in the third quarter, with worldwide shipments dipping 10.8% to 71 million units, says analyst firm IDC.
Apple continued its streak of consistently bucking that trend, with worldwide shipments down only 3.4% in Q3, shipping an estimated 5.3 million units compared to 5.5 million units a year ago, according to IDC.
(While research firm Gartner estimated that Apple’s PC shipment increased 1.5% year-on-year in the third quarter, the WSJ noted that that represents slowest growth rate since Q3 2013).
Even as Apple Mac shipments slowed, other PC manufacturers fared even worse, meaning that Apple’s overall marketshare in the third quarter went up to 7.6%, compared to the 6.9% share it commanded in the third quarter of 2014, said Gartner.
But it’s still Apple’s worst performance since Q3 2013, according to the Journal report.
After that stumble two years ago, Apple recovered its lost ground and perhaps it will do so again. But Apple must be acutely aware that it can’t outrun the fate of the PC market, which is expected to keep shrinking until at least 2017.
It’s very likely a big part of why it introduced the iPad Pro, a tablet that works like a laptop. Just like Microsoft and Google, Apple is attempting to stay ahead of the curve, as people turn to touchscreen devices and mobile for their computing needs.
SEE ALSO: Everybody is suddenly copying Microsoft
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In July, Sega soft launched their sequel to Sonic Dash, but now it’s almost ready for its global launch. For Android users in the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Africa, you can expect the game to arrive on October 15, 2015.
Steve Jobs once called Apple design chief Jony Ive his “spiritual partner” and the two execs had an incredibly close professional and personal relationship.
When Ive remembers his friend and coworker four years after Jobs’ death, what stands out is the Apple cofounder’s ability to stay completely and utterly focused on whatever he was working on.
Ive says that he never managed to achieve the same level of focus as Jobs had, but that the daily exercise helped him realize how satisfying it could be to say no.
Nearly every day, Jobs would ask Ive the same question.
“He would try to help me improve my focus by asking me, ‘How many times did you say no today?'” Ive said onstage at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.
In Jobs’ opinion, the more “no’s” the better. To have extreme, laser-like focus, he was always willing to reject a lot of opportunities, even if they sounded great.
“The discipline to turn your back on something you believe in passionately so you can apply yourself to what’s at hand is really remarkable,” Ive said. “It’s a deeply uncomfortable but really effective thing to do. It’s more than a practice, it’s more than a habit… it’s a really wonderful ability.”
He was humble about his level of focus compared to Jobs’ on stage, but Jobs once said Ive was “the most focused human being I’ve come across.”
Ive also talked about his new job and the stress of the creation process.
“‘Tortured’ doesn’t even begin to capture it,” he said.
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When asked about the fact that Apple keeps hiring Tesla engineers, Musk didn’t bother to spare anyone’s feelings:
“They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the ‘Tesla Graveyard.’ If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding,” Musk says.
On the concept of Apple building a car at all, he agreed it was “the next logical thing,” for the iPhone giant. But he doesn’t seem to take their plans too seriously as a threat to Tesla.
“Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch? (laughs) No, seriously: It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches,” Musk said.
SEE ALSO: The Apple Car is coming in 2019
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The trend of cord-cutting among millennials has drawn intense focus from media companies over the last few years as cable providers scramble to figure out ways to hang on to and bring on new subscribers.
Three analysts, however, don’t think cord-cutting is the biggest issue facing the providers.
Instead, they say outright “theft” of over-the-top content by millennials is the real danger to the industry.
“The millennials are a generation that grew up (and will likely grow old) ‘sharing’ (read stealing) passwords for access to content if it continues to be ignored,” wrote Jefferies analysts Mike McCormack, Scott Goldman, and Tudor Mustata in a note to clients Tuesday. “We believe it is the most significant cause of the declining pay TV subscriber base.”
Recent studies estimate 10% of Netflix and Hulu viewers use accounts paid for by someone outside their own household. The analysts say people are stealing cable-based services in the same way.
“Once upon a time, the pay TV industry faced a very serious problem and subscriber numbers suffered accordingly. The problem at that time was called ‘theft of service’,” said the analysts. “It took the form of illegal cable drops, third party set-tops, and reprogrammed satellite cards, and it took a significant effort to combat. Magically subscriber metrics recovered when the industry addressed the problem.”
The analysts suggest media companies should make a similar effort to crack down on password sharing instead, which could drive subscribers back up.
The solution they offer is to limit the number of devices an account can be logged onto through authentication. But they have found those in the industry are reluctant to do so.
For one, HBO executives have repeatedly said they aren’t concerned about the issue, and the analysts say other cable providers are fine with it as long as they are using broadband.
“A few believe the more apps usage, the more broadband consumption (wireless and wireline),” said the Jefferies’ analysts. “The inherent risk is clearly the de facto turning a blind eye to password sharing (theft, in our view), and it also makes an assumption that the users are subscribers to the video provider’s broadband products (a significant leap of faith, in our view).”
Additionally, they say industry insiders don’t want to alienate the younger demographic that uses the streaming services more frequently.
HBO Go and HBO Now do limit the number of concurrent streams already, but not the number of logged-in devices. Showtime Anytime has a hard five-device cap, but most services simply limit concurrent streaming, per TechHive.
The analysts believe a la carte programming, which allows people to choose exactly which channels they receive, could be another long-term solution, but in the meantime cable companies should go after freeloaders.
“Although a la carte would be attractive for many demographics, it is unlikely in the offing soon, but in the meantime, the industry needs to stop being taken advantage of by a growing demographic of non-paying, app-authenticated video consumers.”
Evidence suggests that Amazon is planning a brick-and-mortar bookstore in University Village, a shopping mall in Seattle.
Shelf Awareness, a newsletter about the book industry, reports that Amazon has been rumored to be looking at a spot in the mall ever since Barnes & Noble vacated in 2012.
Now, a mysterious tenant named “Ann Bookstore” is working on a vacant spot in the mall that used to be owned by a restaurant, according to city work permits. All of the major bookstores in Seattle told the publication they’re not planning a new store in that mall.
In addition, Amazon has been approaching booksellers at other bookstores in Seattle about a “new initiative,” offering pay of up to $18 an hour.
Geekwire then went sniffing around the site, and talked to a construction worker who had heard through the grapevine that the tenant was Amazon. Geekwire also saw a construction worker holding what looked like an electronic reader.
If Amazon does open a store, it may not only carry physical books — or carry physical books at all. It’s possible that Amazon will instead ape the Apple and Microsoft stores located in the same mall and use it as a display room for its Kindle and Fire devices.
Amazon didn’t respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
NOW WATCH: Maybe working at Amazon is hard for a reason
Using Tasker tools already explored, we build an automated time card in this Android customization post. This is part 1 of 2, be sure to join us again next week.
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Pix the Cat, the popular arcade-style puzzler, has just made its way to the Play Store for the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Android TV.
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Fast-food restaurants are eating up Apple Pay.
Apple Pay will expand to Starbucks, KFC, and Chili’s in 2016 in its goal to “replace the wallet,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s VP of Apple Pay and Internet Services, on-stage at Code/Mobile in Half Moon Bay.
Apple’s payments system, which lets people store credit cards and loyalty cards on their phones, already lets coffee lovers fill up their Starbucks card to pay at the register. Starting in 2016, Starbucks will start piloting Apple Pay in a few stores before expanding to the 7,500 corporate-owned stores, Bailey said.
The expansion into more food locations is part of a larger restaurant shift. Talking to restaurant owners, she said she found that restaurant-goers spend 25 percent of their time waiting for the check.
Chili’s is going to cut down on that wait-time by installing Apple Pay at the table. Chili’s already installed tablets at every table, and the roll-out in 2016 will let restaurant-goers skip waiting for the bill and be able to pay right at the table.
Bringing Apple Pay into the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain was a special one for Bailey, too.
“KFC has a special place in my heart. it was my first job ever,” Bailey said.
At his recent talk at Code/Mobile, Android co-founder Andy Rubin talks the future of mobile, U.S. carriers, AI and even fragmentation.
Amazon launched Amazon Handmade Thursday, a new marketplace for artisanal and handcrafted goods.
That puts Amazon Handmade squarely in competition with another artisanal goods marketplace Etsy.
Given Amazon’s market size, it’s a major potential threat to the $1.5 billion company that just went public in April. Amazon has roughly 285 million active customers versus Etsy’s 22 million.
And new data from Wedbush analysts suggest it’s likely going to get worse for Etsy going forward.
According to a Wedbush note published last week, nearly 90% of current Etsy sellers said they’re planning to or would consider selling items on Amazon’s new marketplace. Although the survey only asked 30 Etsy sellers, it’s a sign that shows many of the sellers “lack a sense of loyalty” to Etsy, Wedbush noted.
The bigger concern is that Etsy sellers are becoming growingly upset about Etsy’s recent decision to open up the marketplace to mass-manufactured items. Etsy used to have rules against selling items mass produced, sticking to its artisinal roots, but launched Etsy Manufacturing last month to broaden its market.
“A majority of [Etsy] sellers we surveyed were concerned with the presence of mass manufactured and potentially counterfeit merchandise on the platform,” the Wedbush note wrote. “Many sellers complained that lower-priced manufactured items from China resulted in an unmatchable pricing environment and lower sales volumes.”
It added, “We believe this will further drive Etsy sellers to the Amazon platform, as many of them are already frustrated by manufactured items on the site as our survey indicates.”
Amazon Handmade, on the other hand, has strict rules against manufactured goods. It states in its press release, “We only approve artisans whose products are handcrafted. We are factory-free.”
But shifting to Amazon Handmade will come at a price. Amazon Handmade takes a 12% cut of the sales (which includes all costs associated with payments and security) versus Etsy’s 3.5% cut.
Etsy shares closed down 4.3% Thursday, continuing its slide of more than 50% since its IPO in April.
Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson sent the following statement in response to Wedbush’s note:
“We believe we are the best platform for creative entrepreneurs, empowering them to succeed on their own terms. Etsy has a decade of experience understanding the needs of artists and sellers and supporting them in ways that no other marketplace can. Our platform attracts 21+ million thoughtful consumers seeking to discover unique goods, and build relationships with the people who make and sell them.”
OnePlus may have launched with a storm last year but a combination of errors resulted in the OnePlus 2 falling flat. Is OnePlus done? What can it do next?
Business Insider’s flagship conference, IGNITION, is in its 6th year running, bringing you conversations with the best and brightest minds in digital. This year we’ve lined up an amazing list of speakers that includes founders of buzzy startups like Kik, Blue Apron, DraftKings, Blendle, and Refinery29, and CEOs from major corporations like CBS, GE, The New York Times, and Sony Pictures. Plus we’ve got demos, unicorns, YouTube stars, and group of NYC teenagers dishing about their real-world media consumption habits — a session you will talk about for weeks.
Interested in hearing what Jonah Peretti is planning for BuzzFeed? Want to know how Lowell McAdam thinks the Verizon-AOL merger has gone so far? Curious to learn how Smosh picked up 21 million followers on YouTube? You can hear it all straight from them if you attend IGNITION with us in December.
Check out the incredible lineup of speakers below.
Jeff Immelt, Chairman & CEO, GE Brian Roberts, Chairman & CEO, Comcast Jeff Bewkes, Chairman & CEO, Time Warner, Inc. Leslie Moonves, President & CEO, CBS Corporation Lowell McAdam, Chairman & CEO, Verizon Hiroshi Mikitani, Founder & CEO, Rakuten Jonah Peretti, Founder & CEO, BuzzFeed Jim Cramer, Chairman, TheStreet.com Al Roker, Founder & CEO, Al Roker Entertainment Ian Hecox & Anthony Padilla, Co-founders, SMOSH Ted Livingston, Founder & CEO, Kik Michael Lynton, Chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook Jason Robins, CEO, DraftKings Jennifer Hyman, Co-Founder & CEO, Rent the Runway Thomas Tull, CEO, Legendary Entertainment Linda Boff, Executive Director of Global Brand Marketing, GE Philippe von Borries, Co-founder & Co-CEO, Refinery29 Kerry Trainor, CEO, Vimeo Mark Thompson, President & CEO, The New York Times Company Ben Barokas, Founder & CEO, Sourcepoint Technologies Yoni Bloch, Founder & CEO, Interlude Barry Blumberg, Chief Content Officer, DEFY Media Jim Breyer, Founder & CEO, Breyer Capital Mike Hopkins, CEO, Hulu Patrick Keane, President, Sharethrough Jonathan Klein, Co-founder & Chairman, Getty Images Alexander Klöpping, Co-founder, Blendle Jim Lanzone, President & CEO, CBS Interactive Stephanie Retblatt, Chief Brainiac, Smarty Pants Kevin Ryan, Chairman & Founder, Gilt Groupe Matthew Salzberg, Co-founder & CEO, Blue Apron Adam Singolda, Founder & CEO, Taboola Anthony Wood, Founder & CEO, Roku Mark Mahaney, Managing Director of Internet, RBC Capital Markets Gene Munster, Managing Director & Senior Research Analyst, Piper Jaffray Ted Leonsis, Founder & Partner, Revolution Growth
Don’t miss your opportunity to get insight into their many successes and experiences, and learn what’s next for the changing digital landscape.
Stay tuned for all the exciting updates we will have over the next few months leading up to the event. Until then check out our jam-packed agenda to get an idea of what you’ll hear at IGNITION.
IGNITION takes place December 8-9 at the Time Warner Center in New York City — and you should be there!
You’re going to see a lot more pre-roll video ads on Twitter.
The company hosted a splashy event in New York on Thursday to showcase new video ad features for marketers. The gist of it is that publishers will now be able to make money from videos they post on Twitter, by letting the internet company append pre-roll video ads in front of the clips.
Twitter will share the revenue with publishers, though it did not say what the split will be, although Re/code reports Twitter will take 30%.
The approach is similar to Google’s YouTube, which allows content producers to monetize their videos by letting YouTube run pre-roll ads. Many of the YouTube ads are skippable, providing users the option of skipping the ad after a few seconds. It’s not clear if Twitter will have a similar feature.
The new ad feature comes hot on the heels of Twitter’s newly-launched Moments feature, which provides curated collections of tweets and content around live events and other topics.
Twitter is trying to jumpstart its sagging user growth and engagement with a slew of new features and under the leadership of cofounder Jack Dorsey who took over as the company’s new permanent CEO this week.
An injection of pre-roll video ads onto the service might make content providers and marketers happy, but it remains to be seen how users will react.
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Analyst Colin Sebastian at Baird thinks that Google’s recent Alphabet restructuring could make it the “GE of the new technology generation,” according to a research note published this morning.
For GE, the success of the lightbulb became a foundation for diversification and market dominance in areas like aircraft engines, oil and gas, and financial services.
Similarly, the success of Google search will be the foundation to new products and services like hardware division Nest, its Life Sciences unit, and shipping, logistics, and shopping service, Express.
Baird did a calculation of the potential “billion dollar businesses” Alphabet could grow, based on market opportunities:
Nest — home automation and connectivity: $20 billion market Life Sciences — biotech and medical products: $45 billion market Express — local commerce: $1.4 trillion market Fiber — broadband internet access: $140 billion market
Baird also highlighted virtual reality, drones, machine learning, automotive tech, and its VC firms Google Capital and Google Ventures as potentially lucrative areas Alphabet is working.
All those divisions existed internally before Google turned itself into Alphabet, but the idea is that now that they’ll be able to move faster and be held accountable as independently operated companies under the Alphabet umbrella.
Here’s an excerpt from the note (emphasis ours):
While not a perfect analogy, we would point to GE as one precedent in viewing Alphabet’s opportunities for cross-industry growth; and just as lighting-related products once generated the bulk of GE’s revenues and subsequently served as the foundation for the eventual diversification and dominance in new markets, Google has Search. Moreover, like Google, GE committed significant resources to fund growth initiatives and acquisitions, including capital intensive industries such as aircraft engines, oil & gas, healthcare, financial services and transportation. With a number of long-term but large-scale investment in large growth markets, Google, in our view, is using software and engineering as a core competency to disrupt new markets, and as a result, may turn out to be the GE of the new technology generation.
Microsoft held its Microsoft Windows 10 Device Briefing on Tuesday in New York City, where it unveiled a full range of new devices, including the Windows Phone flagship, a new laptop, and a new Xbox controller. However, it was the announcement of the company’s efforts to build out its app platform that may be the most crucial element to Microsoft’s mobile comeback efforts.
Previous Windows Phone versions, like the most recent Windows Phone 8.1, struggled to gain traction in large part due to its lack of apps. The problem was a catch-22: Consumers didn’t want to come to a mobile platform that was lacking in apps, and developers didn’t want to spend time and resources developing apps for a platform where there are relatively few consumers.
Universal apps are the wall-less approach Microsoft is taking to app development, in which one app store houses apps for all types of devices, and built-in adaptive qualities make an app usable on large and small devices alike.
There were over 1.25 billion visits to the Windows 10 app store in the past 10 weeks. While this Microsoft-provided figure doesn’t give enough context to infer download volume, the company did state that Windows 10 developers are seeing significantly higher engagement on the new platform. Developer revenue has increased by a factor of four over the past 10 weeks and in line with growth in overall app usage. Major companies like Facebook and Instagram are building out universal apps for the Windows platform. Facebook will roll out Windows 10 apps for its main business, as well as for its ancillary products, including Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Microsoft has a long way to go to become properly competitive with Android and iOS. The Windows Store has around 670,000 apps, compared with the App Store’s 1.5 billion, and Google Play’s 1.6 billion.
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Microsoft’s universal app approach could potentially eliminate one of the biggest hurdles to Windows Phone adoption, and its success could help Windows 10 become a viable competitive platform against the likes of Android and iOS. This will become more evident as the difference between mobile and more productive devices lessens. At the event, Microsoft announced that there are now 110 million devices running Windows 10, an increase of 10 million over the last month.
Here are other stories you need to know from today’s MOBILE INSIDER Newsletter:
AT&T receives go-ahead for Wi-Fi calling Amazon Web Services boasts more than 1 million customers Companies in the news: Synaptics, Google, Facebook, Sony
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“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, / And sorry I could not travel both,” wrote Robert Frost.
Major business decisions can leave many of us feeling “sorry” we can’t have it both ways, as well as panicked and overwhelmed by the possible consequences — especially if our choice affects other people.
A new online tool promises to help. This week, Cloverpop launched a free preview of a product to assist managers in making business-focused decisions, like whether to hire more people or open another store.
To design the tool, Cloverpop reviewed scientific research on how people make decisions (they relied especially heavily on behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman’s work) and spent time testing out several iterations of the product on different business teams.
The tool takes into careful consideration factors such as how much uncertainty there is about the decision and how much team members are in conflict over the issue. It also accounts for the expected impacts of different choices a year down the line.
The manager and her team members input potential consequences of and alternatives to a decision; then an algorithm parses all that data to figure out what the best course of action might be.
With this new product, Cloverpop hopes to reach a wider user base. For the past year, the company has offered an online tool to help individual users make personal decisions — whether to attend grad school or switch jobs, for example. The product has only about 11,000 users, and in January, the company decided to change directions.
I recently tested out the new tool by inputting two hypothetical decisions: “Should I go out for lunch today?” and “Should we have [now-weekly] strategy meetings twice a week?” (Larson cautioned that the tool doesn’t really work if you use a “fake” choice, but I did anyway.)
My experience suggests that the product could be useful, but only as a launching point for in-person discussions about the issue. In fact, that’s exactly how some of the tool’s beta testers have been using it.
When I spoke with Cloverpop’s CEO Erik Larson, a Harvard Business School graduate and former product executive at Adobe, he told me that every major decision requires a manager to spend at least 35 hours deliberating and at least eight team meetings. The new tool is designed to not only speed up the decision-making process, but also to eliminate sources of human bias that inevitably creep in.
The manager starts by entering information about the decision — such as how much conflict and uncertainty there is, what all the available options are, and what the impact of going forward with each option could be.
Then each team member weighs in on each of the options, how they think each option will affect the organization’s goals, and adds any other ideas that come to mind. Larson recommends that no more than six people give their feedback, but managers can invite as many people as they want.
Finally, the manager is presented with colorful charts that display each team members’ thoughts on the different alternatives, and a recommendation for the final decision.
Each team member re-ranks his or her top choices and a decision is officially made. The whole process takes about 10 minutes per person.
In the months leading up to the preview launch, Cloverpop allowed different organizations to test the tool. Larson cited one example of a manager at a restaurant chain who wanted to decide whether to get rid of the lounge act that performed on Fridays. The act took up four tables that could otherwise be used to seat additional customers.
The manager and a few of his team members used Cloverpop and discovered that everyone agreed that they should eliminate the lounge act.
“They’d never come together like that before,” Larson told me. “Everyone was reluctant to say explicitly” that they wanted to oust the performers.
Larson has also been working closely with David Daniels, a doctoral student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. When I told Daniels that I had reservations about making decisions using a digital tool that lacks empathy, he said the product is meant to augment — not replace — the process of talking out a big decision with coworkers, family, and friends.
In terms of reducing biases, Daniels said research suggests that people tend to focus on the near-term effects of their decision, and largely forget about the long-term effects. Cloverpop’s tool prompts people to consider the potential effects of different decisions, say, a year down the line.
Instead of simply making a pros/cons list or walking you through a cost/benefit analysis, Daniels said, Cloverpop “broadens your horizons of what should be considered.”
Larson emphasized that one of the most important aspects of the tool is that, about halfway through the decision-making process, it asks you to generate a fourth alternative, besides the three you initially came up with.
I can imagine that, should the user be making a serious decision that potentially affects the company’s bottom line, Cloverpop might come in handy. For one, it prompts you to realize that there are almost always alternatives you didn’t think of at first (for my decisions, those were “have a snack later” and “have a strategy meeting over Slack chat”).
Another enlightening piece of the process is the one in which it asks you whether you’re missing any important information (one of my colleagues pointed out that he was missing information about how willing I was to pay for lunch).
At the same time, I would not advocate using the product as a stand-in for in-person meetings, especially if the decision is a sensitive one.
It’s also worth noting that parts of the process are slightly confusing. For example, when I was asked to list all the options for “Should I go out for lunch today?” I didn’t realize that I had to list “going out for lunch” as one of the options — I assumed these were alternatives to going out for lunch.
In general, I think the most useful part of the tool isn’t the final decision that the algorithm spits out, but actually taking the time to label your thoughts and feelings about the issue. In a real-life business situation, every team member could be required to complete the Cloverpop process before coming to the meeting, so that they can clarify their own feelings about the topic instead of showing up with conflicting thoughts.
As of Thursday morning, 500 managers had signed up to be invited to the preview release. Larson expects the preview period to last six months, but the basic product will remain free to use. Cloverpop will also offer a monthly premium subscription that includes advanced features such as enhanced analytics and executive dashboards. At this point, they haven’t set pricing for the premium model.
We recently released a list of the 50 most powerful companies in America.
To create this list, we factored in fiscal revenue, number of employees, press mentions, and social media influence, as ranked on a scale of 1 to 100 by Klout, a site that analyzes social-media influence of companies and individuals across all platforms.
We decided to re-rank the companies by Klout score to determine which companies command the most influence on social media. Read here for a detailed description of how Klout score is calculated.
Tech giants Amazon and Microsoft are both in the top spot with a near-perfect Klout score of 99 out of a possible 100. Walmart, the No. 1 most powerful company in America, drops to No. 18 when ranked only by social media influence.
Scroll through to find out which of America’s most powerful companies stack up on social media.
25. Wells Fargo
2014 revenue: $84.34 billion
Number of employees: 265,800
The largest bank in America by market capitalization was also named the most valuable bank brand in the world three years in a row by Brand Finance. The company is somewhat influential online with a Klout score of 88, commanding 172,000 Twitter followers and over 800,000 Facebook likes.
Wells Fargo, unlike its competitors, has focused on traditional lending rather than investments, which has led to more rising profits since the financial crisis. Big investors have taken notice of the San Francisco-based bank — as of May 2015, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owned 470 million shares of Wells Fargo.
24. Lockheed Martin
2014 revenue: $45.6 billion
Number of employees: 112,000
Security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin builds everything from military aircraft and radar to cybersecurity systems and missiles. The company has a respectable Klout score of 89, with half a million combined followers on Facebook and Twitter.
In short, the Owego, New York-based company supplies our defenses and keeps them strong. And since it doesn’t look like the military is going defunct anytime soon, the defense industry will remain in high supply.
23. Goldman Sachs
2014 revenue: $34.53 billion
Number of employees: 34,000
On Wall Street, few names inspire as much respect as Goldman Sachs. And the investment banking firm is on the rise — it grew profits 5% last year and recently garnered attention for backing Symphony, a secure internal chat system that has been called a “Bloomberg killer.”
Goldman also proves its social media influence with over 400,000 followers on Twitter and more than 30,000 likes on Facebook, earning the New York-based bank a Klout score of 89.
NOW WATCH: More trouble for Subway’s Jared Fogle…
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It’s a myth that search engines like Google need to keep track of people’s digital footprint to make a profit, at least that’s what Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of rival search engine DuckDuckGo, says.
DuckDuckGo bills itself as the search engine “that doesn’t track you,” and recently announced it sees more than 10 million searches a day.
In a recent “AMA” (ask me anything) hosted by Y Combinator’s Hacker News, the outspoken critic of Google made it clear that his company doesn’t need to mine user data to stay afloat:
“DuckDuckGo is actually profitable! It is a myth you need to track people to make money in Web search,” Weinberg told Hacker News. “Most of the money is still made without tracking people by showing you ads based on your keyword, i.e. type in car and get a car ad.”
The concept is rather simple: if you look for the price of, say, a Microsoft Surface Book, you get an ad for the laptop in your results; as opposed to having your search for “hotels in Paris” follow you around three months after typing it into your browser, as Weinberg explained in a recent interview with Business Insider.
“The issue with Google is they run four of the biggest ad networks in the world and only one is search related,” he said. “The rest are on millions of sites and apps across the Internet and they use tracking to do better at ads on these third-party sites,” but then go on to apply the data for searches, which Weinberg believes is a central conflict.
DuckDuckGo was created in 2008, before online surveillance and privacy became major concerns. But business has been booming since the NSA revelations, which showed the extent internet tracking programs such as PRISM went to collect people’s meta-data.
Weinberg went on to explain that direct searches on DuckDuckGo have increased 600% since the revelations, which is on track to do 3 billion searches this year. He attributes the recent success to the combination of a change in attitudes about online privacy — citing a Pew Research poll showing 40% of Americans believe search engine providers shouldn’t retain information about their activity — along with DuckDuckGo’s partnership with Apple and Mozilla, both of which have had rocky relationships with Google and have come out in favor of encryption.
But even with a growing customer base, Weinberg said in both in his previous interview with Business Insider and during his Hacker News AMA that the biggest issue facing the search engine is simply getting noticed.
“A very small percentage of people have ever heard of DuckDuckGo,” he explained on the AMA forum. “As a result, we think we have a lot of room to focus on making the product better and growing, and that is really our future plans in a nutshell.”
One of those future plans includes DuckDuckHack, or “community-driven instant answers for most searches,” which will provide information on everything from Lego parts to municipal bonds.
“Right now anyone can suggest an instant answer source, and anyone can develop it,” Weinberg wrote. “The answers themselves and the entire platform [are] open source.”
But as DuckDuckGo experiments with new features and expansion, Weinberg says the best thing loyal users can do for the company is spread the word.
Not only is the first episode of Tales from the Borderlands free in the Play Store, Telltale Games is also giving us a first look at the season finale, The Vault of the Traveler!
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Facebook has just announced that it’s now testing Reactions, which can be thought of as a more expressive Like button.
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SwiftKey’s new Neural keyboard is quite similar to the standard SwiftKey keyboard, but with a big twist.
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Back in 2013 we reviewed the Power A Moga Pro Power and liked what we saw. Now that the price has dropped down to just $31 on Amazon, we recommend it more than ever.
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Crossover is coming to Android by the end of this year, with WINE to follow sometime shortly after. This programs will allow you to run Windows applications on select Android devices.
Looking to build your own circuits and kickstart your new adventures building robots and IoT devices? Arduino is definitely the way to go, and the AA Deals Store has a sweet treat for those aspiring to learn to work on this platform.
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Most robotic parts used to today are rigid, have a limited range of motion and don’t really look lifelike. Inspired by both nature and biology, a scientist has designed a novel robotic finger that looks, feels and works like the real thing. Using shape memory alloy, a 3D CAD model of a human finger, a 3D printer and a unique thermal training technique, this robotic finger could ultimately be adapted for use as a prosthetic device, such as on a prosthetic hand.
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