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Microsoft reports revenue of $21.5B, earnings of $6.38B

Now it’s Microsoft’s turn to show Wall Street just how well it’s doing — and all eyes are on Windows 8 and what CEO Steve Ballmer calls “our big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows.”

After the close of trading today, Microsoft reported a quarter that came in just a bit shy of what Wall Street was looking for. Not exactly a Google performance, but certainly not Apple either.

The world’s largest software maker said it earned $6.38 billion, or 76 cents a share, on revenue of $21.46 billion in its latest quarter, which ended in December. That’s a drop from the year ago quarter, when Microsoft earned $6.62 billion, or 78 cents a share. The results are also slightly below Wall Street estimates of 77 cents a share on revenue of $21.53 billion.

Microsoft’s second-quarter report comes amid little Wall Street enthusiasm — the stock is about 16 percent off its 52-week high of $32.95, reached last March — and intense concern over Microsoft’s core Windows business. The stock, which rose slightly today, was down 1.3 percent in after-hours trading.

Yet the Windows Division posted strong growth, with revenue up 24 percent from the year-ago quarter to $5.88 billion.

In a statement, CEO Steve Ballmer said:

Our big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers. With new Windows devices, including Surface Pro, and the new Office on the horizon, we’ll continue to drive excitement for the Windows ecosystem and deliver our software through devices and services people love and businesses need.


One sour point: The company saw weaker sales of its Xbox game system over the holidays. Microsoft said the Entertainment and Devices Division posted revenue of $3.77 billion, a decrease of 11 percent from the prior year period.

AT&T narrows Q4 loss to $3.9B, sells 8.6M iPhones

AT&T’s developer summit at CES 2013.

(Credit: Roger Cheng/CNET)

AT & T posted a narrower fourth quarter loss, which was again weighed down by a change in the assessment of its employee pension plan.

Report the results to date, the company has, however, added 780,000 subscribers during the period of the contract, and sold a record 10.2 million smartphones, of which 8.6 million were iPhones.

AT & T posted a loss of $ 3.9 billion, or 68 cents per share, compared with a loss of $ 6.7 billion, or $ 1.12 per share, for the same period a year ago. Excluding pension issues, an adjustment for the sale of its advertising unit, and the impact of Superstorm Sandy, reported adjusted earnings of 44 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, a forecast of 45 cents per share in earnings and $ 32.2 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.

Rival Verizon on Tuesday reported a wider fourth quarter loss and results that fell short of expectations, but painted a rosy picture for 2013 between reducing costs and improving business fundamentals.

Neither AT & T nor Verizon can not escape the fact that when the iPhone sales spike for the quarter, so do the subsidies paid to Apple. This is one reason why the carriers have been aggressively promoting other phones, requesting a grant small and do not have much impact on earnings.

AT & T has always been more reliant on the iPhone. With the iPhone represents the majority of smartphones sold in the period, his bottom line took a hit. The company said sales thatAndroid also beat his record, despite the lower percentage.

AT & T was trying to compensate with mobile data sharing plans. The company said that 90 percent of its smartphones are family, business, incentive plans or mobile and 6.6 million subscribers are on the ground to share data with more than one quarter to opt for the high-end 10-gigabyte account.

Beyond phone plans, AT & T has been increasingly expanding into other products, connecting everything from cars to pill bottles and tablets. The company added a net 246,000 connected devices in the period, as well as 234,000 customers through retailers.

In total, the wireless business generated $ 17.6 billion in revenue, up 5.7 percent from a year ago.

The wireline business, which continues to see a decline in traditional DSL connections, saw 192,000 net new U-verse TV customers to reach 4.5 million euro, and added 609,000 U-Verse Internet customers hit a total of 7.7 million euro. Including DSL, in general growth of broadband subscribers was flat.

AT & T wireline revenues slipped 0.5 percent to $ 14.9 billion.

Meanwhile, AT & T expects its adjusted profit per share to grow in the upper single digits or higher on a percentage basis in 2013. Consolidated revenue growth to exceed 2 percent. Analysts expect earnings per share of about 9 per cent growth in revenues and approximately 1.5 percent.

Capital expenditure, meanwhile, are expected to amount to about $ 21 billion.

CEO Randall Stephenson said during a conference call with analysts for 2013, AT & T will focus on the aggressive launch of Project VIP, as well as scale new businesses like digital life, mobile wallet, and car-related.

VIP project, which stands for IP Velocity project, consists of an investment of $ 14 billion dollars over the next three years – $ 8 billion to $ 6 billion for wireless and wireline – and is designed to expand the coverage of the company on 4G LTE side access and faster service, more fiber optic lines, and extended U-Verse availability on the fixed network.

He also noted that while the wireless companies will always be looking for more spectrum, it feels “good” about the location of AT & T at this time. AT & T has signed nearly 50 bids to increase its spectrum national average of about one third, he said. Earlier this week, AT & T said it is spending $ 780 million to collect a vector called Atlantic Tele-Network.

He added that AT & T can do a couple of offers of spectrum more this year to fill the gaps.

“I like how we are ready for 2013,” said Stephenson.

Ring covered in human skin gives design the finger

Fashion designer Sruli Recht combines a 4-inch piece of himself with a gold ring to create a unique fashion accessory that comes with a DNA certificate. Got $470,000 to spare?Forget Me Knot ring

It takes a special kind of person to want this ring.

(Credit: Sruli Recht)

People sometimes joke about pouring blood, sweat, and tears into their work. Iceland-based designer Sruli Recht put some actual skin into his.

The Forget Me Knot ring is mainly made of 24-carat gold, but instead of sporting a diamond or an emerald, it has a bit of human skin for embellishment. That skin came from a willing donor, the designer himself.

Recht had a 4 inch by 0.4 inch piece removed from his abdomen. The skin was tanned, complete with hair intact, and mounted to the ring. I think even Sauron would think twice about wearing it.

In case you’re concerned about the authenticity of your $470,000 human skin ring purchase, the buyer will received a DNA certificate and a DVD documentary of the whole process. You could invite your unsuspecting friends over for a very special movie night to view it.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can watch a graphic video of the ring’s creation over on YouTube.

Sruli Recht pre-surgery

Sruli Recht preparing to donate a piece of himself for art.

(Credit: Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET)

(Via Oddity Central)

How to post Instagram photos to a Facebook Page

Share an Instagram photo to your Facebook Page instead of your personal account.(Credit: Jason Cipriani/CNET)

Currently the default location to share photos on Facebook from Instagram is your Timeline or Wall. (The label of where the photo is shared depends on if you’re using the Android or iOS version of the app.) If you manage a Facebook Page and want to share a photo on that page, you may have found yourself uploading the photo to Instagram, then going back to your Camera Roll or Gallery and sharing the photo from there. But you can set up Instagram to share with your Facebook page by default. Here’s how:

  • To share a photo on a Facebook Page instead of your personal account, launch Instagram and view the Options page. In the iOS app, you can find the Options page by viewing your profile, then tapping on the gear icon. On Android, view your profile and tap on the Menu icon in the top-right corner.
  • Select “Share Settings.”
  • Tap “Facebook,” then “Share Photos To” on the next screen.
(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET)
  • If you manage any Facebook Pages, you should see a list of them on this screen. Tapping your preferred Page will then default any future Instagram sharing on Facebook to that respective Page.

In the future if you want to switch back to posting Instagram photos on your personal account, you’ll need to follow these steps again and select your Timeline instead of a Page. It would be nice if Instagram would prompt you where to send the photo once you enable Facebook sharing for a particular photo, similar to what happens when you enable “E-mail” for a photo in the iOS app.

French court to Twitter: Hand over names of racist tweeters

After Twitter, France has been hit with a series of anti-Semitic tweet in October, the court ruled the social networking service you need to identify who is behind the posts. Twitter is considering the judgment.

A French court ruled today that Twitter must turn over the identities users who post racist tweets.

(Credit: Illustration by James Martin/CNET)

Twitter must hand over user identities in France and send tweets racist, a French court ruled today.

According to AFP, the Court’s ruling stemmed from a test of “who opposed the right to freedom of expression against laws banning hate speech,” and responded to a petition in October as part of ‘French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), which stated that many anti-Semitic tweet had violated the law in the European country.

The UEJF had asked Twitter to do a better job of police, of course, anti-Semitic tweet.
Twitter said today in a statement that “we are reviewing the court’s decision.”

In October, Twitter was flooded with anti-Semitic language related to French tweet hashtag “# unbonjuif” (“a good Jew”), prompting many to argue that social media in general and Twitter in particular, blacks are sources of content questionable (Article in French). An important element of the complaints aimed at Twitter was that it was too difficult for users to report questionable tweets.

At the moment, Twitter refuted this argument, pointing out that a simple Google search for, say, “Report Twitter behavior” returns a number of different methods for reporting, and reporting, abusive messages or users.

Twitter also said in October that it was concerned about the behavior of users and can egregious, and sometimes does, act against the perpetrators of such activities. The company said, for example, that can monitor trending topics, proactively remove these conditions that are considered offensive by his highly influential real-time list of popular subjects, such as “swastika.” Today, AFP reported that Twitter had removed some of the anti-Semitic tweet in October.

But Twitter has also long emphasized the freedom of expression of users and the company said in October alone, there is nothing of a term like “good Jew” that is inherently anti-Semitic. In a case such as that in France, is to alert users of abusive tweets, the company claimed, and reserves the right not to intervene unless these posts are clearly illegal in the country where it was reported the tweet.

It ‘s almost certain that the position which brought the UEJF to take his case to the French courts.

ITC decides to review Apple complaint against Samsung

Apple initially won a judgment handed down by an administrative law judge, but now the ITC wants to make a final decision.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decided yesterday to review a judgment given by a court of law and administrative proceedings for patent infringement saga between Apple and Samsung.

Judge Thomas Pender in October ruled that Samsung infringed one of Apple’s design patents for iPhone, as well as three patents of software functions, in some of its mobile products. Two other patents brought before the court by Apple were not infringed by Samsung.

In a statement issued yesterday (PDF), the ITC announced its intention to revise the judgment pronounced by a court Pender. The organization said it had received “petitions for review” by Apple and Samsung. In December, Google, developer of the Android operating system running on devices from Samsung, has submitted a request “in response to the request for statements relating to the public interest.” The ITC did not say what was in the presentation of Google, but the company allegedly shared his support for Samsung.

After losing the initial judgment in October, Samsung criticized the result, saying it “could lead to fewer choices, less innovation and higher prices potentially available to American consumers.” The company also said it is optimistic that the full ITC Commission should review its decision and come down on one side.

“We remain confident that the full commission finally reach a final decision affirms our position that the patent law should not be manipulated to give a company a monopoly rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is improving every day from Samsung and other companies , “the company said at the time.

The decision of the ITC is a microcosm of the patent struggle going on between Apple and Samsung. From time to time, a company won a decision, only to have appealed the loser. Subsequent hearings on the subject are then held. The result is not definitive and more opportunities for Apple and Samsung to add alleged violation of their clothes.

The ITC had previously been reserved on March 27 for a hearing on his final initial determination on the case. With the review process now paying off, that date will be pushed back.