Weekly roundup in tech and retail

News and commentaries

Note: I noticed that quite a few news headlines sometimes reflect the bias of the writer, or perhaps it’s just click bait. Depending on how an article is titled, it can immediately invoke a response from readers – outrage, excitement, confirmation of bias – that they immediately click on the link. As journalism evolves and as we increasingly turn to social networks, blogs, and other formerly “illegitimate” news sources, the competition is high to draw the attention of the reader. I find that Business Week, Business Insider, TechCrunch are some of the worst offenders while “traditional” sources such as The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal still maintain that neutral integrity when it comes to news articles (there’s still a reason to pay to subscribe after all).

I am sometimes guilty of this, as a fangirl of Google or as a former fan of the iPhone and iPad, I’m sure that these sentiments come out on how I title some of the posts. Most of the time though, in this series of the weekly roundup, I try to title the link in such a way that it is merely a statement of facts. I hope that I am largely successful because as a reader myself, I find myself cheated when the title of an article I click is not really a representation of the facts.

Having said that, here are the most relevant news in tech and retail this week:

In tech:

  1. Google’s new project Baseline Study will collect genetic/molecular data from 175 people to create picture of a healthy human being; $1B Twitch acquisition now confirmed
  2. China’s largest Internet search engine, Baidu reports 34% rise in second-quarter profits, boosted by mobile services
  3. Xiaomi, dubbed “Chinese Apple”, launches Mi 4, a higher end smartphone in emerging markets: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and India
  4. Apple reports fiscal 2014 third quarter (ending June 28, 2014) revenues of $37.4B and net profit of $6.9B, driven by strong iPhone and Mac sales; patent for smartwatch iTime, approved by US Patent Office
  5. Zillow is rumored to be in advanced talks to acquire real-estate-information website, Trulia

In retail:

  1. Amazon reports second quarter results: 23% revenue increase at $19.34B, loss of $126 million compared to last year’s $7M loss
  2. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton shares fell as much as 7% as first-half profits miss estimates
  3. 1,600 users of eBay ticket marketplace unit, StubHub, hacked in an identity theft scam 
  4. Indian e-commerce company, Flipkart, raises $1B in fresh funding at a $5B valuation
  5. Swatch Group first-half earnings drop for the first time in 5 years due to strong Swiss franc, marketing expenses, workshop fire affecting production; warns of uncertainties in Hong Kong market
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