Here’s Why Expedia’s Shares Are Falling This Morning

Those fearing that Expedia expe lost its guardian angel with the departure of CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to Uber will be feeling vindicated this morning.

Shares in the online travel services company are being marked down sharply Friday after a bleak earnings report that fell short of consensus forecasts and led the company to cut its own forecast for earnings this year. The company’s top managers also told analysts in a conference call late Thursday that 2018 would be difficult too, due not least to spending on Cloud-based infrastructure and services, along with marketing efforts.

The company said hurricanes and a poor performance by its Trivago hotel-search website would mean that this year’s basic operating profit (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) would now be up less than 10% from last year. It had previously forecast a rise of up to 15%.

“After recording strong second-quarter results, Expedia reversed course in the third-quarter, missing on every single metric, including a 4 percent room-night shortfall versus expectations,” Benchmark Company analyst Daniel Kurnos said. “It may take some time … to regain its momentum.”

The company did not provide a detailed 2018 forecast, but said its expectations for Trivago were now “significantly lower than they otherwise would have been,” after a quarter in which advertizers were put off by changes to its pricing policy (it also spent heavily on a duff advertising campaign of its own). Trivago had a basic operating loss of $ 8 million operating loss in the quarter.

Several analysts said competitor Priceline pcln may be the chief beneficiary of Expedia losing its way.

“We believe Expedia and Trivago are facing more company-specific issues, and given Expedia’s comments around a strong macro lodging environment, we think impact to Priceline should be limited,” said JPMorgan Securities analyst Doug Anmuth.

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Old Windows Server machines can still fend off hacks. Here’s how

If you’re running a Windows Server 2003 machine, you have a problem. Your already-vulnerable computer is now at severe risk of being hacked.

That’s due to the internet release earlier this month of a batch of updates that paint a bulls-eye on computers running Windows Server 2003, according to security researchers.

“I can teach my mom how to use some of these exploits,” said Jake Williams, founder of Rendition Infosec, a security provider. “They are not very complicated at all.”

Experts are urging affected businesses to upgrade to the latest Windows OSes, which offer security patches that can address the threat.

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Here’s What the Last Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Trailer Revealed About the Villains and Their Plans

Last night was the premiere of the last trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. A lot of stuff wasn’t new, but what was new was that our new villain explained herself. And Nebula got enough screentime to help us chart her path.

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Here’s what you should know, and do, about the Yahoo breach

Yahoo’s announcement that state-sponsored hackers have stolen the details of at least 500 million accounts shocks both through scale — it’s the largest data breach ever — and the potential security implications for users.

That’s because Yahoo, unlike MySpace, LinkedIn and other online services that suffered large breaches in recent years, is an email provider; and email accounts are central to users’ online lives. Not only are email addresses used for private communications, but they serve as recovery points and log-in credentials for accounts on many other websites.

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Here’s what you should know, and do, about the Yahoo breach

Yahoo’s announcement that state-sponsored hackers stole the details of at least 500 million accounts shocks both through scale — it’s the largest data breach ever — and the potential security implications for users.

That’s because Yahoo, unlike MySpace, LinkedIn and other online services that suffered large breaches in recent years, is an email provider; and email accounts are central to users’ online lives. Not only are email addresses used for private communications, but they serve as recovery points and log-in credentials for accounts on many other websites.

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Here’s Why Google Is Focusing on Travel

Recently, Alphabet Inc.’s subsidiary Google introduced “Google Trips” – a mobile app intended to reduce travel related hassles by aggregating all trip information relating to day plans, reservations, things to do, etc., bundles within the app. The company has also ensured that the “download” button for each trip can save this information on the users phone offline. This launch comes nearly six years after Google acquired flight information firm ITA software and indicates the Google is finally ready to foray into the travel segment. In 2015, direct leisure travel spending by domestic and international travelers in the U.S. was more than $ 650 billion and nearly four out of five domestic trips were taken for leisure purpose. This indicates the strong potential of the market for leisure travel – the segment which Google Trips targets. We believe the company can generate significant revenues from this segment, given that its Maps app is already a hugely popular product among travelers, with more than a billion active users globally. The potential power of the platform is considerable. Google Trips leverages both Gmail and Google Maps to combine information relating to flight information and hotel reservations (via Gmail); and it additionally generates customized itineraries, based on a desired locations pinned on Google Maps via the address and location information therein. Given these breadth of these offerings, Google Trips has huge potential to capture a significant share in the online travel market.


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JUST MARRIED: Ciara & Russell Wilson Tie The Knot In Britain, And Here’s The First Photo!

 photo Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 5.42.48 PM_zpsjvirffhp.png

And just like that, they’re hitched! Ciara & Russell Wilson have officially tied the knot.  Get their beautiful first wedding pic and details inside…

A British wedding for America’s sweethearts! 

R&B star Ciara and NFL champ Russell Wilson officially wed in a romantic ceremony at a secret location (guests were taken there in cars) in England in front of 100 guests.  Said secret location: The Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, England.

There were reportedly six bridesmaids, including Ciara’s besties LaLa Anthony, Serena Williams and Kelly Rowland.

Ciara looked regal in a stark white lace-covered custom Roberto Cavalli gown with a bustier-like top and long lace flared sleeves.  It was designed by Creative Director Peter Dundas himself. And we can’t wait to see what her 2-year-old son Future looked like!

E! News says the wedding was full of tears and heartfelt words:

The source tells us it was a very traditional and “heartfelt” ceremony, filled with flowers and clean, classic decor. A pastor said some “enlightening” words, incorporating their love of faith and God into the nuptials. The happy couple also took a moment to share words from their heart with one another, while a few personal speeches were mixed in throughout.

Our insider said Russell could barely keep his composure as Ciara—who wore a custom Roberto Cavalli dress, designed by the label’s creative director, Peter Dundas—walked down the aisle toward him, looking like a “big, teary-eyed teddy bear.” She, too, was shaking as she tried to hold back her tears.

Both CiCi & Russ put up matching Instagram posts with the first wedding pic above with the same caption that reads, We are The Wilsons!

Last night, the couple was spotted at their rehearsal dinner at The Titanic Hotel in Liverpool as plenty of celebs coyly posted about jetting to England yesterday.

All of Ciara’s best friends and family were there, so we hear.  LaLa and Kelly reportedly never left her side from the rehearsal dinner to the big day.   Russell’s Seahawks teammates, family and friends were also there in full support.

Apparently, Ci’s other “bestie” Kim K. was busy, as she always seems to be when certain friends have big momentous life occasions.

 photo rs_1024x727-160706125656-1024.Ciara-Wedding-bridesmaids-sketch-exclusive.tt.070616a_zpskt3l1ihx.jpg

Designer Michael Costello put out sketches of the bridesmaid dresses, all designed by him.  Is Sabena is Serena?

Around this time last year, Russell explained during an interview at The Rock Church why the couple chose to remain celibate until marriage.

“I asked her, ‘What would you do if we took all that other stuff off the table and did it Jesus’ way, no sex?’ I knew God had brought me into her life to bless her and for her to bless me and to bless so many people with the impact that she has and I have. We’re not going to be perfect, by any means.”

The two have been dating for a little over a year.

When a man plays no games, knows exactly what and who he wants, makes a move WITH HASTE, and screams it from the mountaintops…here we are.  And we love it.

Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Wilson!

 

BONUS: Jennifer Hudson, wearing a pink Christian Siriano gown, was also at the wedding festivities with her family.  How dapper are they:

 

Me n my lovely date ! He’s a classy guy brought me all the way to the uk for some fun !

A photo posted by Jennifer Hudson (@iamjhud) on

 

Oh look at here , I lucked out with two dates today ! Lucky girl ! @davidotunga

A photo posted by Jennifer Hudson (@iamjhud) on

Photos: Instagram

Source: http://theybf.com/2016/07/06/just-married-ciara-russell-wilson-tie-the-knot-in-britain-and-heres-the-first-pic

Alice Dodd Alicia Keys Alicia Witt Amanda Bynes Amanda Detmer Amanda Marcum


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Wileyfox is Europe’s newest mobile brand — here’s how its first smartphone stacks up

Wileyfox Swift

Fledgling European mobile phone brand Wileyfox announced its arrival in the smartphone realm a month ago, and now the London-based company is preparing to launch its first ever product: The Wileyfox Swift.

Initially slated for launch this week, Wileyfox revealed that shipping for the $ 200 Android device has been delayed until September 30. But while you wait, VentureBeat has grabbed some serious hands-on time with the phone, and here’s the lowdown on what you need to know.

Vital stats

Wileyfox Swift: Rear view

Above: Wileyfox Swift: Rear view

The Wileyfox Swift is powered by Cyanogen OS, the commercial, customizable Android-based operating system from Cyanogen Inc. It sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor, 5″ Gorilla Glass screen (1,280 x 720 pixels), 13MP rear-facing camera, 5MP front-facing camera, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage (expandable up to 32GB). It also supports 4G, has two SIM card slots, and it will set you back €179 EUR (£129 GBP / $ 205 USD).

As a slight aside, launching a month after the Swift is the souped-up €279 (£199 GBP / $ 315 USD) Wileyfox Storm, which offers a 5.5″ full HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, a whopping 20MP rear-facing camera, 3GB RAM, and 32GB of storage (expandable up to 128GB).

From VentureBeat

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Available for preorder now through the Wileyfox website, as well as online retailers such as Amazon, Expansys, and E-buyer, the Swift is pitched squarely at the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) market, with localized call center support, a replacement screen service, and an extended three-year warranty offered for the equivalent of around $ 15 for each service.

That said, the phone can be purchased in other territories, including the U.S., but Wileyfox said the “experience will not be full” elsewhere. For example, in the U.S., data streaming would be limited because the phone uses CDMA — voice and SMS should be fine on the Swift, as would Wi-Fi, but 4G / LTE would suffer. And there won’t be dedicated phone support outside EMEA, either.

Look and feel

Perhaps the most immediately striking facet of the Wileyfox Swift is its looks — it doesn’t resemble a cheap phone, despite what its price would have you believe. The rough-ish, sandstone black rear, embossed logo, and colored brand marking gives it a premium feel.

Wileyfox: Back

Above: Wileyfox Swift (Right): Back

The front side sports a clear screen with no physical buttons, and down the right edge you’ll find the volume control and power button. On the bottom edge is the micro-USB port and two speakers.

Wileyfox Front

Above: Wileyfox Front

Image Credit: Paul Sawers / VentureBeat

The Wileyfox Swift is noticeably light in the hand — at 135 grams, it’s 30 percent lighter than my OnePlus 2, though it is also around 0.5″ smaller. While this is good, it does make it feel a little bit cheaper to me — but that’s probably just because I’m used to a heftier handset.

Indeed, many people will like its deftness, and looking at other premium phones on the market, the Swift isn’t actually too light — the marginally larger Samsung Galaxy S6 weighs only 3 grams more, while the slightly smaller iPhone 6 comes in at 129 grams. In other words, the Swift is about the right weight for its size; it’s really just down to what you’re already accustomed to.

Under the hood

With Cyanogen OS on board, Wileyfox brings some useful features to the mainstream market. Cyanogen is already supported by many handsets, but in the West not many actually ship with the OS preinstalled.

Highlights include being able to lock some apps in protected folders on the home screen. Tap on a folder, hit the little padlock icon, enter a code, and voila.

Folder Protection

Above: Folder protection

Other neat little touches include Privacy Guard, which gives users easy access to control what data is shared with which apps. And with Truecaller built in, the Swift can block spam calls and texts from specific numbers — a giant smack in the face to robocallers everywhere.

Truecaller and App Privacy

Above: Truecaller and App Privacy

General performance

One of the downsides of Cyanogen OS is that it is prone to bugs, and at times it’s not the most responsive to touch. For example, occasionally I would attempt to swipe down from the top to access notifications and settings, and literally nothing would happen. This was similar to what I experienced with the OnePlus One, which ran Cyanogenmod 12.

That said, it’s not prevalent enough for it to be a deal-breaker — it just gets a little frustrating at times for those 5 seconds or so I’m desperately trying to swipe the screen.

In terms of juice, the Wileyfox Swift packs a removable (yay!) 2500mAh battery that promises stand-by time of up to 200 hours and talk time of up to 10 hours (2G) or 8 hours (3G).

Of course, nobody really uses their smartphones for calling anymore — they use them for tweeting, WhatsApp-ing, Google Maps-ing, YouTube-ing, and Spotify-ing. I didn’t stress-test the battery; I used it as I would any phone throughout a day (Google Maps, Twitter, BBC News app, and very little media streaming), and it lasted from when I awoke to when I went to bed, at which point there was around 10 percent battery remaining.

Elsewhere, the 13MP camera works pretty well for daylight shots, but I found it lacked somewhat in clarity for low-lighting situations. But at $ 200, this was never promising the best lens on the market. The on-board dual speakers were actually pretty darn good for casual listening at this price point, though you would of course want to use a Bluetooth speaker if you’re hosting a party.

The cherry on the cake, for me, is the display. It may not be full HD, but I found the screen to be clear and crisp. Again, this isn’t going to be for perfectionists who love watching movies on their phone with all the trimmings, but for the price it’s definitely very good.

Wileyfox Display

Above: Wileyfox display

Dual-SIM

This feature gets a special mention. dual-SIM phones are popular in many developing markets, but they’ve never really become much of a “thing” in the West. There’s no real reason why dual-SIM devices shouldn’t be popular in Europe or the U.S. — it was one of the reasons why I upgraded my personal phone to the OnePlus 2.

The use cases for dual-SIM are numerous. You can have one number for all your friends and family, and one for companies that may be inclined to call at inappropriate times. The second SIM slot can basically be your spam line, just like that Yahoo email account you keep for special occasions. You could have one domestic SIM and one business SIM, if you travel abroad often. Or you could have two domestic SIMs — one for calls and SMS, the other for Internet — if you find separate good deals from two companies.

And if you have absolutely no need for two SIMs, you don’t have to use that second slot.

Verdict

In our original assessment, we stated that Wileyfox wants to be the OnePlus of Europe. While the basic sentiment of that still rings true, it doesn’t really tell the whole picture — OnePlus sells premium phones at a knockdown price. The Wileyfox Swift is a decent mid-range device — and excellent value for the money — but it’s definitely not a premium phone.

The Wileyfox Swift should be well received when it finally goes to market. However, it sits in an awkward position for me. The customization options are excellent, but it feels a little like the handset is aimed at a more tech-savvy market, where fine-tuning privacy options are important. It’s a market, perhaps, that would be more inclined to shell out for a proper high-end phone.

That said, the Wileyfox Swift could find a sizable niche in the gift-giving fraternity. It’s the perfect price for someone to buy a family member / significant other for their birthday or Christmas. You probably wouldn’t buy a $ 600 iPhone for your dad, but you’d maybe drop a couple hundred bucks on a Swift.



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Here’s the one VR concept that the smartest people at Oculus admit they’re nowhere near figuring out

Yes, there is something that Abrash doesn't know how to do.

We finally have a workable virtual-reality platform, but plenty of obstacles are between us and a Star Trek-style holodeck.

If you reach out to touch a table, you’ll feel the molecules of that piece of furniture push against your hand. Do the same thing in virtual reality, and you’ll feel nothing. This is a problem — and it’s one of the few that Oculus VR says it has no idea how to solve.

The company held a keynote address as part of its annual Oculus Connect developers conference today, and it put on something of a parade of its top talent. Business-development leader Anna Sweet, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, and even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg all took the stage. But one of the more interesting points came when Oculus chef scientist Michael Abrash gave an in-depth speech about everything the company needs to do to go from where VR is today to where it should get to in the future.

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Abrash talked about improving the visuals with a wider field of view. He talked about providing 3D audio. He even speculated about creating a chemical-based way to deliver various smells to Rift users.

For every problem, he posed a solution that is either possible today or one that the company sees a way to work to in the future. Well, he did that for every problem except one.

Abrash pointed out that no one is even working on a technology that will make it feel like your hand is touching a table where no table exists.

This is something I asked Palmer Luckey about in a conversation we had a few months ago. He told me — and Abrash’s talk today reiterates this point — that the company wants to solve every aspect of VR. He essentially wants Oculus working on a way to fool every one of your senses. When I asked him about touching an object and feeling like it exists, that led us to the aforementioned Star Trek holodecks. That sci-fi technology manifests protons that it can give mass to. When I posed that idea to Luckey as a joke, I was surprised that he had already considered the idea.

“Photons are a dead-end,” said Luckey then.

So while Oculus doesn’t know what will work to make objects feel real in VR, it has already scratched one idea off the list.

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