Thursday, July 30, 2015

Intel & Micron Make History With 3D Xpoint

Intel and Micron have once again made computer chip history

Earlier this week, technology giants Intel (INTC) and Micron (MU) unveiled a new class of computer memory chip, dubbed 3D Xpoint, that is apparently up to 1,000 times faster than current NAND chips. 3D Xpoint marks “the first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989.”

This exciting news has the tech industry buzzing, as INTC and MU shares have jumped 2% and 10%, respectively, since Tuesday morning’s announcement.

3D Xpoint chips are the culmination of more than a decade of R&D, and utilize never-before-seen methodology and “unique material compounds” invented by both INTC and MU specifically for this project.

According to Intel, “If storage devices were sprinters, in the time it takes a hard drive to sprint the length of a basketball court, NAND could finish a marathon, and 3D Xpoint Technology could circle the globe!”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sony Drones Are Coming, But SNE Isn't Delivering Packages

SNE and ZMP are capturing the Internet of Things market with drones

Innovation in aerial robotics is fueling massive growth in the commercial drone industry, which is pegged to reach $1.27 billion by the year 2020— that’s growth of more than double every year.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the epicenter of the commercial drone market is in Silicon Valley, and is steered by “geeks working in garages,” rather than grizzled weapon manufacturers like Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC).

And like all high-growth industries dealing with revolutionary technological advancements, there’s likely a plethora of companies cropping up.

That insane growth is why Sony (SNE) announced its plans to co-venture a commercial drone company with Japanese startup ZMP, Inc, a Tokyo-based robotics company specializing in driverless-car technology.

Monday, July 27, 2015

SanDisk Stock Still Has a Long Path to Recovery

It will take more than a better memory chip to prevent SanDisk stock from slipping again.

In a markedly dramatic turn of events, shares of SanDisk (SNDK) jumped more than 13% during after-hours trading on Wednesday, with the rally continuing through Thursday. Prior to the announcement, SanDisk stock had been down nearly 45% year to date and 40% over the past year.

However, thanks to better-than-expected Q2 earnings and positive guidance for Q3 and FY2015, the Street seems to have taken a liking to SNDK again, at least for the time being.

Management reported EPS of 66 cents — doubling analyst estimates of 33 cents per share — and revenue of $1.24 billion, which was a decline of nearly 24% from the same quarter last year, but still ahead of estimates. Additionally, management announced a third-quarter dividend of 30 cents per share.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Adobe Flash Might Be Dying, But Adobe Stock Is Very Much Alive (ADBE)

Flash is dead. Long live Adobe anyways!

The witch hunt to kill off Flash — not the DC Comics superhero, but rather the antiquated browser plugin from Adobe (ADBE) — has grown beyond the realm of IT departments, to an angry mob of citizens wielding digital pitchforks.

In a plot twist eerily reminiscent of The Fifth Estate, a super-secret organization calling itself “Hacking Team” was itself the victim of a security breach last week leading to the leak of thousands of confidential documents.

Among them were detailed descriptions of Hacking Team’s successful efforts to exploit vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash, giving hackers free rein to “cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.”

Monday, July 13, 2015

We’re Getting Closer to Legitimate Drone Stocks

The FAA has granted 700 approvals for commercial drone use

You’ve probably seen countless videos of outdoor concerts and breathtaking landscapes shot from cameras attached to quadcopters — remote controlled drones. The budding drone market is possibly the most interesting segment of the technology sector, and it’s projected to grow into a $91 billion market within the next 10 years.

This news is exciting for investors interested in drone stocks.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many publicly traded drone companies right now. A number of larger tech companies have experimented with drones, though, and dedicated impressive resources for R&D.

Here’s a look at how close we are to full-fledged drone stocks.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Standalone Facebook Messenger Won’t Make Money

Facebook Messenger may one day become the most popular chat app in the world, but Facebook won't profit from it

Last week, Facebook (FB) announced a policy change that, while seemingly counter-productive, could have far-reaching benefits for the social media giant.

Effective immediately, a Facebook account is no longer required to use the company’s Messenger app.

At the FB annual shareholder meeting, CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that the number of current Messenger users has topped 700 million and is still growing strong. Allowing use of Messenger by people who don’t already have a Facebook account might initially seem irrelevant, or even questionable. Isn’t the goal to get as many people as possible to create FB accounts and use the company’s services?

Indeed, more people using Facebook means more people to whom ads can be served. However, Zuckerberg has repeatedly demonstrated an uncanny intuition with regard to future tech developments, and an ability to recognize opportunities for expansion and advancement, and this is no exception.

MSFT and AOL to Take On GOOGL With New Microsoft Bing Deal

Microsoft is handing over ad sales responsibilities to AOL

On Monday, Microsoft (MSFT) announced in a blog post that, beginning in January 2016, it will transfer the majority of its ad sales business to AOL. Microsoft’s entire advertising division workforce — approximately 1,200 employees — will be offered positions at AOL. Additionally, AOL has agreed to replace Google with Microsoft Bing as its default search engine for the next 10 years.

The ramifications of the MSFT-AOL partnership will be far-reaching and impact both Microsoft and the current king of search, Google (GOOGL, GOOG). The question, though, is whether Microsoft’s partnership with AOL will help or hurt these companies.

Handing over the reigns to AOL will give MSFT some much-needed breathing space and allow management to focus on products and services that actually turn a profit.