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IT40 Places & Things in the Media for 01/30/2019

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IT40

#1 Xbox – Home

Xbox

Xbox updated their cover photo.

Microsoft’s Xbox One was unusable for a couple hours on Wednesday due to Xbox Live problems

If you’re seeing a black screen, don’t worry: your Xbox isn’t broken

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Xbox One owners had to deal with a pretty severe Xbox Live issue on Wednesday that made Microsoft’s console almost non-functional for some of those affected. Many people (just take a look at the Xbox One subreddit) reported seeing a black screen shortly after their console booted up. Others had issues accessing save data. At around 1PM Wednesday, Microsoft tweeted that it was aware of the “Xbox One console startup, title update, and sign-in errors” and said it would provide updates. By 3PM, Brad Rossetti from the Xbox team confirmed that things should be back to normal.

Xbox Support

@XboxSupport

We are aware of reports of Xbox One console startup, title update and sign-in errors. We will keep everyone informed once we have more information to share. Thank you all for your patience.

12.6K people are talking about this

Brad Rossetti@WorkWombatman

Xbox One Users - Service changed rolled back - please reboot to confirm the issue is fixed.

95 people are talking about this

Some gamers were alarmed and initially worried that their console hardware might be broken, but it was purely an Xbox Live and software issue — albeit a bad one that basically made the Xbox One unusable for a couple hours.

LG@LukeGross10

Xbox Live servers down? Turned on Xbox, nornal start up welcoming screen, then goes to home page and instant black screen. Can hear as I navigate around and such. Anybody else having issues?

344 people are talking about this

Thelonious Martin™

@KingThelonious

xbox servers is down on the coldest day in history.

I've never wanted a girlfriend more than today.

218 people are talking about this

While the problem was still happening, some reported that unplugging from ethernet allowed the console to start up normally since it wasn’t making any connection to Live. But consoles set up for a Wi-Fi network couldn’t use that workaround. Fortunately, the company pinpointed the problem shortly after trouble began and got to resolving it:

Brad Rossetti@WorkWombatman

Xbox One Users - we have identified the service causing the black screens and working on rolling back the service change - please be patient.

251 people are talking about this

But the situation is another reminder of how deeply woven into Xbox hardware the online service is. If the whole system can go haywire when something’s wrong with Xbox Live, maybe that link is a little too direct. Xbox chief Phil Spencer has previously acknowledgedthat some aspects of the Xbox are too dependent upon Microsoft’s services running smoothly at all times.

Update January 30th 2019 3:10PM: The article has been updated to reflect that Microsoft has fixed the issue.

 

#2 Snow squall 2019.01.30 Snow Squalls

US National Weather Service Boston MA

It's a rough timing, but it gives you the idea of when snow squalls & brief #blizzard conditions will sweep across S New England. Expect white-out conditions & gusty winds up to 50 mph! We encourage...

What is a snow squall? What to know about the weather phenomenon that can 'make roads a sheet of ice in minutes'

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:43AM
The polar vortex isn't the only weather phenomenon that has people talking this morning. "Snow squalls" are popping up in the Northeast and elsewhere.

Embedded video

So what are they? Often referred to as a whiteout, a "snow squall" is a sudden, moderately heavy snowfall that blows snow and strong surface winds, suddenly reducing visibility, AccuWeather explains.

Though the snow accumulation is not typically significant because they are so brief, snow squalls can create dangerous driving conditions due to visibility issues and quickly-forming ice.

Snow squalls actually have similarities to the types of thunderstorms you usually see in the summer, AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno explained.

"A snow squall is similar to a summertime thunderstorm in that it can have heavy bouts of precipitation in a short period of time and strong, gusty winds," he said, "except instead of getting rain, you're getting snow. And when you get heavy snow and wind, you could reduce visibility and make roads a sheet of ice in minutes."

Rescuers called to 'large pileup' during snow squall on Route 222

Rescuers called to 'large pileup' during snow squall on Rt. 222. Watch the report from 6abc.com on January 30, 2019.
Updated 1 hr 29 mins ago

Rescuers are on the scene of a crash that's described as a "large pileup" on Route 222 in Berks County.

The crash was reported around 1:18 p.m. Wednesday in the southbound lanes near the Route 422 Business interchange in Wyomissing.

The Reading Eagle

@ReadingEagle

The scene from the pileup crash during the snow squall on Route 222 in Wyomissing Story: http://ow.ly/DUon30nw4K6 
Watch the Facebook Live: http://ow.ly/vPf730nw4IY 

49 people are talking about this

It happened as a snow squall moved through the area.

A number of ambulances have been called to the scene. Authorities say the crash might involve more than two dozen vehicles.

The number and severity of injuries are not yet known.

Embedded video

Gray Hall

@GrayHall6abc

Snow Squall conditions along 76 W. Use caution if you have to head out. Get weather updates @6abc all day long.

55 people are talking about this

The southbound lanes of Route 222 are shut down.

RELATED: What is a snow squall?

Chris Sowers

@chris_sowers

The latest statement out of the NWS talks about 40+ mph wind gusts and up to 1” of snow with these squalls pushing through this afternoon. The visibility will also drop down to less than a quarter of a mile creating hazardous travel conditions.

See Chris Sowers's other Tweets

Stay with Action News and 6abc.com as this story develops.

#3 AMD stock AMD – Home

AMD

AMD updated their cover photo.

 

AMD Stock Could Continue to Climb — It’s Not Too Late to Chase It

Markets are still nervous but AMD stock continues to deliver

By NICOLAS CHAHINE, InvestorPlace Contributor

 http://bit.ly/2TjZY6w

amd stock Advanced micro devices stock

Source: Shutterstock

The semiconductor trade has been a tricky one in 2019. For most of last year, the sector had been under fire, but at least this year we have many big winners. Advanced Micro Devices(NASDAQ:AMD) is one. They reported last night and it’s getting a lot of love this morning. It also helps that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) stocks are also doing well this morning.

Coming into the earnings I was nervous about the short term reaction that AMD could suffer given what we saw happen to Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) on Monday. On the dip, I wrote about avoiding NVDA since it was two strikes in a row for management and that more pain could be coming.

Today I am suggesting that the AMD rip is the start of more gains to come. Luckily, even though I was nervous about the reaction to earnings, I took a small bullish bet favorable toward the AMD earnings outcome. I sold a credit put spreads to finance buying a debit call calendar. This will pay today.

If you don’t know options, don’t worry. This has nothing to do with today’s setup. It merely says that I come into today with profits in my pocket so I can afford to be brave and chase. Before you label me a perma-bull for AMD, I assure you that I am not. I have also suggesting shorting the stock when it ran to $30 per share. Those trades also paid well.

My thesis today is simple — I am betting that equity markets in general will rally this year, and AMD stock will rally with them. The fundamentals in it are not cheap. This is a stock that seems bloated from the traditional sense, but the story is long term.

We now need technology for every aspect of our lives and under the leadership of Lisa Su, AMD is positioned to grow with the need for tech for decades to come. In other words, for now I focus on growth and valuation is not a concern.

Other Positives for AMD Stock

I have other, shorter-term reasons to believe that AMD is headed higher. Technically, the stock looks frisky even after this spike. This is a ultra-momentum stock so it runs fast in either direction. This also makes it difficult to trade.

Last year the markets struggled and suffered the first loss since the financial debacle — but not AMD. It was up 50% while the rest struggled. This year it shares the spotlight with other like Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX). They are up 15% and 30% year-to-date. Compare that to the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSEARCA:SMH) which is only up about 7%.

This is a fancy way of saying that there is another potential breakout coming. If Advanced Micro Devices stock can rise above $22, it could trigger a buy signal that would invite more buyers into chasing it.

The size of the move could be another $4 from the neckline. So $26 would then be within range, but with potential resistance at $23.50, where it  failed in a big way back in early December.

While the technical reason I cite here sounds short-term and technical, it fits with the overall longer-term fundamental reason to own the shares, so why not start the bet now? If I am long, I stay long and perhaps add a little to my position. If I am starting a new AMD position then I may want to start now and leave some room to add.

Why the caution? We still have to contend with several deadlines looming on the tariff and political fronts. Politicians often have a way of messing up good things. For those who know how to trade options, I’d buy half the shares and commit to buying the rest by selling puts below. This reduces the out-of-pocket expense and gets me long AMD stock now but with room for error. If the stock falls then I’d own the full shares at a discounted entry point.

Nicolas Chahine is the managing director of SellSpreads.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him as @racernic on Twitter and Stocktwits.

Why Shares of AMD Are Surging Today

Despite a rough first-quarter outlook, the chip company still foresees revenue growth this year.

Jan 30, 2019 at 12:20PM

What happened

Shares of chip company Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) soared on Wednesday following a mixed fourth-quarter report. AMD produced less revenue than expected, and its earnings were in line with analyst estimates. The company's guidance for the first quarter called for a steep revenue decline, but its solid full-year guidance gave investors reason to cheer. The stock was up about 15.2% at 11:30 a.m. EST.

So what

AMD reported fourth-quarter revenue of $1.42 billion, up 6% year over year but about $20 million below the average analyst estimate. Computing and graphics revenue rose 8.6% year over year on the strength of the company's Ryzen PC processors. The enterprise, embedded, and semi-custom segment posted flat revenue, with growth in EPYC server CPU sales offsetting lower semi-custom revenue.

A rising stock chart.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at $0.08, up from $0.01 in the prior-year period and in line with analyst expectations. Non-GAAP gross margin was 41%, up 7 percentage points from the prior-year period, with the improvement driven by Ryzen and EPYC.

AMD's first-quarter guidance was downright awful thanks to the bursting of the cryptocurrency bubble. The company expects revenue of $1.25 billion, plus or minus $50 million, which represents a year-over-year decline of 24%. AMD is still working through excess graphics card inventory, and expected growth from Ryzen and EPYC won't be nearly enough to offset the graphics weakness.

However, AMD still expects to grow revenue in 2019. The company sees high-single-digit revenue growth this year, driven by Ryzen, EPYC, and the company's data center GPU products. That optimistic full-year outlook is likely what's driving the stock higher.

AMD will launch a new generation of Ryzen CPUs, built on a 7nm manufacturing process, sometime in mid-2019. The second generation of its EPYC server processors is also coming soon, and AMD is aiming to win a double-digit share of the lucrative data center market.

Growth from the CPU business will need to offset a slumping GPU business. AMD is going to start off 2019 with a steep revenue decline, but it's betting that a strong second half will more than offset its GPU troubles. With the stock rocketing higher, investors are buying into that story.

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#4 A.F.C. Bournemouth • Nathan Aké • Chelsea F.C. • Eddie Howe • Callum Wilson • Premier League

NBC Sports Soccer

From nearly dropping out of the Football League to Premier League football, the story of A.F.C. Bournemouth is remarkable. Follow it at www.nbcsports.com/promoted.

 

Joshua King
Joshua King scored twice as Bournemouth beat Chelsea 4-0 at Vitality Stadium.

Two goals and an assist by Joshua King saw Bournemouth put further pressure on Chelsea's bid for Champions League qualification at Vitality Stadium.

King scored either side of a composed David Brooks finish, before Charlie Daniels added a fourth as the Cherries condemned the visitors to a second consecutive league defeat.

Bournemouth were fortunate to be level at the interval as veteran goalkeeper Artur Boruc produced five impressive saves to deny a Chelsea side that failed to penetrate their hosts' defence despite 70% of possession.

But within a minute of the second half starting, Bournemouth took the lead as King arrived late in the Chelsea box to smash Brooks' cut-back past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The duo combined again for the second as King lofted the ball over a scrambling Chelsea defence for Brooks to latch on to and fire into the bottom corner.

The influential Welshman, 21, hobbled off in the second half, but King added a third with the final touch of a flowing Bournemouth move with a right-footed finish from close range.

Substitute Daniels produced the finishing touch within a minute of being on the pitch with a stooping header in injury time.A second consecutive league win for Bournemouth sees the Cherries move up to 10th in the table, while Chelsea drop to fifth by virtue of scoring fewer goals than Arsenal.

Home TeamBournemouthAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home12
Away11
Shots on Target
Home7
Away7
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home8
Away6

Chelsea transfer news: Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe delivers Nathan Ake update

CHELSEA have not made contact with Bournemouth over re-signing Nathan Ake.

PUBLISHED: 11:21, Wed, Jan 30, 2019 | UPDATED: 11:34, Wed, Jan 30, 2019

Nathan Ake

Bournemouth star Nathan Ake has been linked with a return to Chelsea (Image: GETTY)

Reports had suggested that Chelsea could take the Dutch defender back to Stamford Bridge this month.

It comes after the Blues sold the centre-back to Bournemouth in the summer of 2017 after he had spent half a season on the south coast.

Ake could never force a way into the Chelsea first team with Bournemouth paying a then club record £20m for his services.

But with Gary Cahill having been linked with a move away from the west London club, Chelsea could need reinforcements.

But Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has revealed that the Cherries have not had anyone contact them in relation to Ake’s availability.

Howe said: “We love working with Nathan.

“He’s got outstanding attributes and is getting better and better in his position.

"The speculation, as it has been all January, has been purely that.

Nathan Ake

Nathan Ake left Chelsea in the summer of 2017 (Image: GETTY)

Eddie Howe

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is not expecting Nathan Ake to leave the club (Image: GETTY)

"We've had no contact from any other club — so it’s business as usual."

Chelsea could still make a move for Ake in the summer with it recently claimed that the Blues inserted a buy-back clause into the original deal.

The Blues have been busy this transfer window, signing Christian Pulisic and Gonzalo Higuain.

Pulisic has been signed from Borussia Dortmund though is staying at the Bundesliga club on loan until the end of the season.

Higuain has joined on loan from Juventus and made his debut in the weekend’s FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday.

The Argentine could make his Premier League bow as the Blues travel to Bournemouth tonight (7.45pm).

Chelsea assistant Gianfranco Zola admitted Higuain struggled in his first game for the Blues.

“We are pleased with Gonzalo Higuain's performance,” he said.

“He was trying to find the space and get on the ball.

“It wasn't easy as they had a lot of players round him."

#5 Facebook • Revenue • Stock • Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook

Facebook updated their cover photo.

Facebook posts record results, beating expectations amid increasing pressure

The world’s largest social network also said its monthly active users rose 9 percent to 2.32 billion

By  | lsumagaysay@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group

PUBLISHED: January 30, 2019 at 1:36 pm | UPDATED: January 30, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Despite being plagued with scandals and calls for big changes, Facebook on Wednesday reported record fourth-quarter profit and said that its user base continued to grow.

The world’s largest social network posted $6.88 billion in net income, or $2.38 a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $4.27 billion in the year-ago quarter, easily beating analysts’ expectations of $6.36 billion, or $2.18 a share. Facebook posted revenue of $16.91 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of $16.4 billion.The Menlo Park company also said its monthly active users rose 9 percent to 2.32 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of 2.31 billion. It also said that it estimates about 2.7 billion people now use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger — what it calls its “Family” of services — each month.

Facebook shares, which have fallen more than 33 percent since their 52-week high of $217.50 last July, rose 4.3 percent to $150.42 to close regular trading Wednesday amid a mostly positive day for the U.S. stock markets. They were up nearly 8 percent in after-hours trading after the results were released.

Since Facebook’s last earnings call in October, the Menlo Park company has dealt with numerous controversial revelations.

The company was doing damage control in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which blew up last March and involved a political data consulting firm, which was used by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, accessing the personal information of up to 87 million Facebook users without their permission. That problem, which popped up as Facebook was dealing with questions over Russian interference in U.S. elections, brought CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Washington in April to face Congress.

Plenty of other news reports since then have revealed other practices that the company has either apologized for or discontinued. The most recent — paying users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 a month in gift cards to install a virtual private network app to gain access to most of their phone activity, supposedly for research — was reported by TechCrunch just this week. Facebook said it has pulled the app for iPhone users. Its availability on Apple’s App Store was against Apple’s policies.

Facebook’s business practices, plus the way it has dealt with controversy, have prompted calls for changes in leadership, more regulations, an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and more. Last year, California passed a sweeping data privacy bill that was sparked partly by reaction to Facebook’s high-profile privacy missteps.

Facebook profit beats Wall Street, shares jump after hours

Facebook logo is seen at a start-up companies gathering at Paris' Station F in Paris, France, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Shares of the world’s biggest online social network rose nearly 9 percent to $163.30 after the bell. They closed up 4.3 percent in regular trading.

Net income rose to $6.88 billion, or $2.38 per share, in the fourth quarter, up from $4.27 billion, or $1.44 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected earnings of $2.19 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total fourth-quarter revenue rose 30 percent to $16.9 billion from $12.97 billion, compared to analysts’ average estimate of $16.4 billion.

“The worst is over for this social media giant,” said Haris Anwar, an analyst at Investing.com: “Its ad business and user engagement haven’t been affected despite all the negative blows of the past year.”

Facebook has pledged to focus on the privacy and security of the world’s largest social network after a series of scandals over improperly shared user data and propaganda hurt its image and made it the target of political scrutiny across the globe.

The company’s shares have lost a third of their value since July, when it first warned about slowing growth in revenue and operating margin. The share price remains near its lowest point in two years.

“We’ve fundamentally changed how we run our company to focus on the biggest social issues, and we’re investing more to build new and inspiring ways for people to connect,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, said in a statement.

Previously, Facebook’s weakest quarterly sales growth as a publicly traded company, 32.2 percent, came in each of its first two reporting quarters in 2012.

Total expenses in the fourth quarter surged to $9.1 billion, up 62 percent compared with a year ago. The operating margin fell to 46 percent in the fourth quarter from 57 percent a year ago.

Apple bans Facebook app that paid teens for data

Despite its privacy issues, Facebook managed to gain some new users, particularly in India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Facebook said more than 2.7 billion users interact with at least one of its apps each month, up from 2.6 billion last quarter.

Monthly and daily users of the main Facebook app compared to last quarter were up 2.2 percent to 2.32 billion and 2.0 percent 1.52 billion, respectively.

Estimates were for 2.3 billion monthly users and 1.5 billion daily users, according to Refinitiv averages.

Facebook shares continue to trade at a discount to peers. Shares entering Wednesday of No. 1 online ad seller Alphabet Inc , for instance, were priced at 22.4 times expected earnings over the next 12 months, compared to 19.3 times for Facebook.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Katie Paul and Paresh Dave in San Francisco; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Bill Rigby

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