Giving Up? Broadcom Officially Drops Qualcomm Bid

Broadcom is officially withdrawing its $117 billion bid to buy U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm, two days after President Donald Trump blocked the Singapore company's ambitions over national security fears.

Wednesday's move is a formality since the presidential order issued Monday had ensured the deal would be killed in any U.S. regulatory review.

Broadcom Ltd. said Wednesday that it was disappointed with Trump's decision. The company withdrew its proposed candidates for Qualcomm's board, but still plans to move its headquarters to the United States. Broadcom had its headquarters in Irvine, California, until a Singapore-based company bought it in 2015. Qualcomm had rejected Broadcom's unsolicited offer in February before the government stepped in.

Broadcom's attempted takeover came as companies around the world are gearing up to build ultra-fast "5G" mobile networks that could tip the balance of power in technology. The technology is expected to provide speeds needed to fuel the "internet of things" like self-driving cars and connected home appliances.

5G remains in the early stages of development. Companies including Qualcomm and China's Huawei have been investing heavily to stake their claim in the underlying technology.

Broadcom's ambitions sparked U.S. government concerns over which country will dominate the technology, as well as fears over national security.

Earlier this month, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews the national security implications of foreign investments in U.S. companies, cited concerns about the proposed Broadcom-Qualcomm marriage.

If the bid had gone through, Broadcom's penchant for cutting costs such as research spending could have resulted in Qualcomm losing its leadership in telecom technologies, the committee warned.

In addition, lawmakers have expressed concerns in the past about foreign companies gaining a foothold in U.S. telecom infrastructure, which could lead to spying or cybertheft.

Broadcom and Qualcomm are likely to pursue other deals now that Broadcom's offer has been withdrawn. Qualcomm Inc., which...

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Famed Physicist Stephen Hawking Has Died

Stephen Hawking, whose brilliant mind ranged across time and space though his body was paralyzed by disease, died early Wednesday, a University of Cambridge spokesman said. He was 76 years old.

Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, England.

The best-known theoretical physicist of his time, Hawking wrote so lucidly of the mysteries of space, time and black holes that his book, "A Brief History of Time," became an international best seller, making him one of science's biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.

"He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years," his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement. "He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' We will miss him forever."

Even though his body was attacked by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, when Hawking was 21, he stunned doctors by living with the normally fatal illness for more than 50 years. A severe attack of pneumonia in 1985 left him breathing through a tube, forcing him to communicate through an electronic voice synthesizer that gave him his distinctive robotic monotone.

But he continued his scientific work, appeared on television and married for a second time.

As one of Isaac Newton's successors as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, Hawking was involved in the search for the great goal of physics -- a "unified theory."

Such a theory would resolve the contradictions between Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which describes the laws of gravity that govern the motion of large objects like planets, and the Theory of...

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Google To Ban Bitcoin Advertisements Amid Cryptocurrency Crackdown

Google will ban all adverts for cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and initial coin offerings (ICOs), as it seeks to "tackle emerging threats."

The ad ban will come into force from June as part of a clampdown on unregulated financial products. Google's director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer, said in a blogpost : "We updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs)."

Google said its ban includes cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets. The company will also begin blocking some gambling ads, such as those for services using virtual items worth real-world money, known as skins betting, as it seeks to "combat new threats and improve the ads experience online."

The move follows similar bans made by advertising rival Facebook, which banned all cryptocurrency and ICO adverts in January after finding that many were being used to scam potential investors.

"As consumer trends evolve, as our methods to protect the open web get better, so do online scams," said Scott. "Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that's removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us."

Bitcoin and its cryptocurrency siblings such as ethereum have exploded in popularity over the last couple of years, fueling a rapid growth in value peaking at just under $20,000 per bitcoin in 2017. Bitcoin was trading at around $8,800 at the time of publishing, according to data from Bitstamp.

Cryptocurrency trading has attracted scam artists as it it is unregulated, with ICOs being used to generate millions of dollars that can simply disappear along with their operators, leaving investors out of pocket.

Google said it removed more than 3.2bn ads that violated its policies in 2017, blocking what it described as the "majority of bad ad experiences," including malvertising...

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In Latest Amazon Jab, Walmart Expands Same-Day Grocery Delivery

Walmart is expanding its same-day online grocery delivery service to more than 40 percent of U.S. households, or 100 metro areas, by year-end as it tries to keep pace with online leader Amazon.com.

The service is currently available in six markets.

Tom Ward, vice president of Walmart's digital operations, says the retail giant is powering the expansion of its same-day delivery service using its online grocery pickup program. That service uses personal shoppers to select items and then take them to shoppers' cars parked at the curb.

So far, Walmart offers curbside grocery pickup at 1,200 stores and plans to accelerate the rollout to 2,200 by year-end. It's currently using 18,000 personal shoppers.

Walmart says it will continue to use of ride-hailing services like Uber to deliver the goods to shoppers' homes as it expands its service.

Shoppers pay a flat fee of $9.95 but are required to spend at least $30 per order.

Walmart Inc. has also been testing a service using its U.S. store workers to drop off general merchandise like toys and bedding to customers' homes after they finish work.

Ward noted that Walmart is learning from its delivery services in such countries as China and the United Kingdom.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods Market last year has raised the stakes in the highly competitive grocery delivery wars. Amazon recently added free two-hour Whole Foods delivery to six cities, including Atlanta, Dallas and Cincinnati for its Prime members who pay $99 a year.

Amazon is now rolling out free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods groceries in six cities to Prime members who pay $99 a year. Meanwhile, grocery startup Instacart has been expanding its roster of clients including B.J.'s and Kroger.

And Target, through its acquisition of grocery delivery startup Shipt last year, is expanding same-day delivery of such items as groceries and electronics to nearly every...

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Magic Launches xpi 4.7, Renews Salesforce Partnership

Laguna Hills, CA -- Magic Software Enterprises Ltd., (NASDAQ and TASE: MGIC), a global provider of end-to-end integration and application development solutions and IT consulting services, today announced the launch of Magic xpi 4.7, a solution that enables organizations to quickly adapt to changing technologies and business conditions, while providing a multi-point low code solution that aims to lower IT development and operational costs associated with integration.

Magic Software, which recently extended its partnership with Salesforce, included new features in Magic xpi 4.7 to make the integration between Salesforce and other systems even easier.

By collaborating with Salesforce, Magic Software is significantly expanding its partners?EU? network and maximizing its service offering to customers around the world, enabling them to better serve their customers via all channels by connecting to back-office ERP and finance applications, and streamlining business processes across numerous applications.

Magic xpi 4.7 delivers quick, reliable and cost-effective enterprise application and business process integration for CRM, ERP and e-commerce vendors including Salesforce, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Sage, SYSPRO, Microsoft SharePoint and more.

Enhancements in the Magic xpi 4.7 Release Include:

- Expanded out-of-the-box connectivity with a new OData Provider connector. Magic xpi?EU?s OData Client connector is now joined by a new OData Provider connector, making legacy back office data accessible as real-time OData to external systems, including Lightning Connect, an application development framework from Salesforce.

- Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) support for the SharePoint Online (MOSS) connector, adding an extra level of security to SharePoint integration projects. ADFS will authenticate users to Active Directory and also provide access to claims-aware applications, including Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365.

- Ability to write new connectors based on Magic xpa Application Platform's runtime technology.

- Multiple features...

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Magic Launches xpi 4.7, Renews Salesforce Partnership

Laguna Hills, CA -- Magic Software Enterprises Ltd., (NASDAQ and TASE: MGIC), a global provider of end-to-end integration and application development solutions and IT consulting services, today announced the launch of Magic xpi 4.7, a solution that enables organizations to quickly adapt to changing technologies and business conditions, while providing a multi-point low code solution that aims to lower IT development and operational costs associated with integration.

Magic Software, which recently extended its partnership with Salesforce, included new features in Magic xpi 4.7 to make the integration between Salesforce and other systems even easier.

By collaborating with Salesforce, Magic Software is significantly expanding its partners?EU? network and maximizing its service offering to customers around the world, enabling them to better serve their customers via all channels by connecting to back-office ERP and finance applications, and streamlining business processes across numerous applications.

Magic xpi 4.7 delivers quick, reliable and cost-effective enterprise application and business process integration for CRM, ERP and e-commerce vendors including Salesforce, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Sage, SYSPRO, Microsoft SharePoint and more.

Enhancements in the Magic xpi 4.7 Release Include:

- Expanded out-of-the-box connectivity with a new OData Provider connector. Magic xpi?EU?s OData Client connector is now joined by a new OData Provider connector, making legacy back office data accessible as real-time OData to external systems, including Lightning Connect, an application development framework from Salesforce.

- Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) support for the SharePoint Online (MOSS) connector, adding an extra level of security to SharePoint integration projects. ADFS will authenticate users to Active Directory and also provide access to claims-aware applications, including Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365.

- Ability to write new connectors based on Magic xpa Application Platform's runtime technology.

- Multiple features...

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Six Battles That IT Needs To Be Armed for in 2018

IT managers face tough challenges even in the best of times. New technologies are always appearing, tried-and-true business models are evolving, and user expectations are soaring. As digital transformation picks up speed, it might seem like you?EU?re under nonstop, full-scale assault.

To survive and thrive, you need to be ready for what?EU?s coming next. Here?EU?s a quick look at six of the top battles you?EU?ll be facing in 2018.

The App Explosion

Today?EU?s users can choose from more software applications than ever, delivered via innovative models. Cloud-based software is available for anyone in the enterprise to access and use for free, or download at the swipe of a credit card. In fact, today?EU?s businesses can choose from more than 5000 apps for marketing software-as-a-service (SaaS) alone.

According to Netskope, the average enterprise has over 800 cloud apps and growing. Software vendors are encouraging the wave, making it fast and easy for enterprise users to engage for free-and hope for widespread adoption that leads to a bigger IT investment down the line. Slack messaging is a perfect example of this "try before you buy?EU? approach. Many other app vendors are pursuing a similar penetrate and spread strategy. It?EU?s fast, inexpensive, and convenient for end-users, but it also subverts IT controls, can introduce security and compliance risks, and is difficult to turn off. According to Netskope, 94.7 percent of cloud services are not enterprise-ready.

B2B apps are also powering the wave of growth. Most every B2B company provides an app to access their service. You?EU?re probably already using apps from your 401k provider, your health care provider, airlines, hotels, car service, and other businesses. The software may be free to the user and the enterprise, but access and management of so many apps, on multiple devices, is daunting.

Ownership Wars

App ownership is another ongoing battle. The lines...

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Fitbit’s New Versa Smart Watch Offers Fitness, Health Features Galore

When Fitbit announced its Ionic smartwatch at the tail end of 2017, the company said it planned to make more watches in the near future and the first is already here under the name Fitbit Versa.

The Versa shares a lot with the Fitbit Ionic from last year and while the design is a touch smaller, there are a few less features and the price is slightly lower, it looks to be a solid addition to the Fitbit family.

Fitbit has yet to confirm so, but the price point and feature set looks to make it a suitable replacement for the Fitbit Blaze. That means if you were holding out for the long-rumored Fitbit Blaze 2 you may want to take a look at this watch from the company instead as we may never get one under that name.

Below we've broken down everything you need to know about the Fitbit Versa.

Fitbit Versa Price and Release Date

Let's start with price, and you'll be spending a similar amount here to what you would have if you bought the Fitbit Blaze on day one, with the RRP set at [$199.95.].

There are two special edition versions of the watch with woven straps in the box that cost [$229.95], as well as a variety of other straps made of metal and Horween leather available to buy separately.

You're able to pre-order around the world on the official Fitbit website, while other retailers and Fitbit itself will be shipping the watch from some point in April.

Fitbit Versa Design and Display

Unlike some previous Fitbit products, this comes with a full metal unibody design that feels premium but is much smaller on the wrist than the Ionic. We've yet to learn of the exact dimensions, but it's slimmer and lighter than the Ionic or the Blaze so looks to...

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With Magazine Acquisition, Apple Adds ‘Texture’ to Its Services

Apple is dipping its hand in the journalism industry, announcing Monday its plans to acquire digital magazine distributor Texture.

Texture offers 200 magazines digitally in its app for a $10-a-month subscription. Within its large catalog, the app curates magazine articles based on the user's interests.

Texture is available on both iOS and Android, and Apple says it won't take down its Android platform, according to Recode.

Apple's purchase of Texture signals the Cupertino tech giant's expansion of its services segment, which includes Apple Music, iBooks and other services. The segment has been one of its fastest-growing across all its revenue streams; the services segment revenue grew 18 percent in the company's most recent quarter compared with the same period last year, only behind the "other devices" segment -- which includes Apple Watch, AirPods, and Apple TV -- at 36 percent.

Apple has purchased other media-focused companies, such as Beats for $3 billion and BookLamp, which was then touted as a "Pandora for books," for as much as $15 million in 2014. Texture is the first known acquisition Apple made in direct contact with publishers and journalism outlets.

"We're excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world's leading publishers," said Apple executive Eddy Cue in a press release. "We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users."

Apple did not disclose how much it paid for Texture. Texture, which is owned by many big publishers such as Conde Nast and Hearst, has hundreds of thousands of subscribers, according to its CEO John Loughlin in 2016.

In 2015, Loughlin and his company, Next Issue Media, raised $90 million, $50 million of which came from the private equity firm KKR after its subscription magazine app was rebranded to...

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Demisto’s SOAR Platform Honored by Info Security Products Guide

CUPERTINO, Calif., March 13, 2018 -- Demisto, an innovator in Security Automation and Orchestration and Response technology, today announced that Info Security Products Guide, the industry's leading information security research and advisory guide, has named its Security Operations Platform as a Gold Winner in the 14th Annual 2018 Info Security PG's Global Excellence Awards®. Demisto took top honors in the Most Innovative Security Product (Software) of the Year Awards Category for companies with less than 100 employees.

These prestigious global awards recognize cybersecurity and information technology vendors with advanced ground-breaking products, solutions, and services that are helping set the bar higher for others in all areas of security and technologies.

Demisto Enterprise integrates with more than 160 security products and enables organizations to build playbooks for different security operations. By integrating other security products with Demisto, users can orchestrate actions across a suite of products in one window, automate response actions through playbooks, and run live security commands from a collaboration interface to remediate threats. All of which can reduce mean time to response (MTTR) for security incidents and maximize ROI for the user company's entire security product investment. In addition, the case management and machine learning capabilities help security teams save resources and time while enforcing rigor and process to incident response. Demisto helps future-proof security operation centers (SOCs).

?EU?We are pleased to be recognized as having the industry's most innovative security software product of the year by Info Security Products Guide,?EU? said Rishi Bhargava, Demisto co-founder and VP of Marketing. ?EU?Our most recent security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) innovations enable SOC analysts to better understand the metrics and trends of collected incident data from their networks to most effectively respond to potential security issues. The industry turns to Demisto, including a number of Fortune 500 companies, to address not only...

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