Snap debuts as a public company in soaring IPO, AWS suffers major outage and Nokia is reviving Snake. These are the top tech headlines of the week explained.
1.Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, had a stellar first day in its public debut on the New York Stock Exchange, popping 44 percent. The self-proclaimedcamera companythat began its roots as an ephemeral photo-sharing app first priced its IPO at $17 per share on Wednesday. The stock opened at $24 and closed the day at $24.51. The companys market cap is being reported as $34 billion (fully diluted), and is already more valuable than Twitter, Ferrari and two major U.S. airlines.We also broke down everything there is to know about the IPO, live on Facebook.
2.Amazons AWS S3 experienced a widespreadoutagethat lasted about 4 hours, causing trouble for the many sites and app backends that rely on itsstorage service. S3 has remaineddependable over the years, and while outages are a fact of life, the company rightfully took a ton of heat. Amazon explained that the core of the issue was human error, in which an engineer was supposed to take down a small number of servers on an S3 sub-system, but accidentally took down a much larger set.
3.Mobile World Congress is more than a product showcase for mobile retailers.While HMD and Nokias revival of the 3310 with Snakestole the show, the massive mobile conference was againa snapshot of the global smartphone landscape. Some of the major takeaways from this years event were that smartwatch excitement has died down, smartphone makers are betting big on camerasand, if all else fails, show a prototype. The Samsung Galaxy S8 leaked a month before we were supposed to see it. 5G is stillgetting plenty of lip service and its true that the next-gen comms standard is coming. It will be better, faster and cheaper and will support a large range of devices. But were not there yet.
4.Uber is using a secret tool called Greyball to identify and evadegovernment officials, reported The New York Times. What we know so far is that the software, later renamed theviolation of terms of service or VTOS program, issaid to employ data analysis on info collected by the Uber app to identify individuals violating Ubers terms of service, and blocks riders from being able to hail rides who fall into that category including, according to the report, members of code enforcement authoritiesor city officials who are attempting to gather data about Uber in cities where its service is banned.
5.Its iPhone rumor season again (really, when is it not?) and new details have emerged. It has been reported that the next iPhone will have a curved OLED screen (similar to the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge). The high-end premium model is said to cost $1,000, and all versions of the iPhone 8 may be dropping the Lightning port in favor of USB-C.
6.YouTube isnow set to challenge traditional cable TV players. The Google-owned companyunveiled YouTube TV, its new live TV streaming service, which will cost $35 per month for a family of six accounts. YouTube haspartnered with all of the broadcast networks in order to offer comprehensive national coverage with ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox all included.
7.We got our hands on the long-awaitedNintendo Switch. The home console has two modes. It can act like a regular gaming console when plugged into your TV, or can be playedindividually as its ownhandheld unit. Its a huge gamble to compete directly with the PS4, but the more you think about it, the more it seems like the only bet Nintendocould have made. And, well, Zelda.
8.Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has admitted that he needs leadership help. Right afterthecompany wasaccused of intellectual theftandsexual harassment, Kalanick apologized for a video that surfaced in which he is shown in a heated argument with an Uber driver over the companys business model. In the video, driver Fawzi Kamel tells Kalanick that Uber has cost him nearly $100,000 and that hes now bankrupt, to which Kalanick shrugs and says the claims are bullshit. This is the first time Ive been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it, penned Kalanick.
9.Finally, you can launch your own spacecraft. NASA released a ton of software for free in a downloadable catalog, which lists many apps, code libraries and tools up for grabs. But really, if youre thinking about building a drone or a satellite, theres plenty of inspiration here.
10.S3 outage aside, AWS may need to watch its back. When you consider thelargest global cloud players, Alibaba might not come to mind before companies like AWSand Google, but Alibabas cloud division has begun to make its presence felt in China and the rest of Asia.Alibabas cloud unit has been growing withtriple digit year-over-year growth for its last sevenquarters, including 115 percent in its most recent report. Based on that growth, Alibaba Cloudis probably one or two quarters from reaching break-even or profit, but already it has surpassed the $1 billion run rate mark.