Google updates Anthos, SEC redefines investors, NBA, WNBA and MLB teams boycott games in protest and Salesforce achieves first $5B quarter but announces 1000 possible job cuts

08/27/2020 - Jin Woo

Published every Thursday, The Blue Print recaps the industry’s most intriguing news, unexpected shifts and developing trends that are defining the business and technology landscape.

 

Associated Press: NBA, WNBA, MLB and MLS games called off as players boycott in response to Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake
All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday were postponed, with players around the league choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice. Called off: Games between the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. The NBA said all three games would be rescheduled but did not say when. The reverberations quickly moved into Major League Baseball, the WNBA and Major League Soccer.

Why It Matters: While as marketers and technologists we focus on how to create viral content, it’s powerful to see just how quickly celebrities and athletes can mobilize a nation using their platform combined with social media as injustice continues in our country. It’s a stark reminder of our need to constantly evaluate our actions (and in some cases our inactions), including use of technology, for the betterment of our society.

Tags: NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS, Jacob Blake, Kenosha, Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Brewers

 

FOX News: Company paying $1,000 to go camping at national park, albeit with no ‘technology’ or internet access
If any of you whippersnappers can stay off your phone for a couple of dag-gum days, you might just earn yourself a crisp Grover Cleveland. SatelliteInternet.com, a satellite-internet comparison resource operated by Clear Link Technologies LLC, is ironically seeking one brave soul to partake in a “digital detox” camping adventure at a U.S. national park, with “no technology allowed” for the duration of the weekend. If the chosen participant is successful, they’ll be rewarded with $1,000 bucks plus reimbursed expenses.

Why It Matters: It’s not clear why a satellite internet company would run a promotion for someone to be disconnected but it did get a lot of national media attention. It does however reinforce the idea that being disconnected and enjoying nature, away from our computers, laptops, phones and any other connected device is an enjoyable experience with both mental and physical benefits.

Tags: SatelliteInternet.com, Clear Link Technologies LLC

 

ZDNet: Google Cloud launches Anthos updates for identity, Kubernetes clusters, app modernization tools
Google Cloud launched a series of new Anthos tools that revolve around modernizing applications. The rollout, delivered during the latest installment of the Next OnAir virtual conference, highlight how Google Cloud is leveraging Anthos to win more enterprise accounts.
Google Cloud has been stepping up its Anthos cadence as it has been gaining traction in hybrid enterprise deployments.

Why It Matters: Google Anthos is a cloud application development platform that runs on Kubernetes. Google claims 100,000 customers use the application modernization platform, which includes Anthos, Google Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Run and Cloud Functions. This enables customers to take advantage of AI capabilities found in Anthos as Google continues to catch up to Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud wars.

Tags: Google, Anthos, Kubernetes, Cloud Run, Cloud Functions, AI, Amazon, Microsoft

 

CNBC: Salesforce cuts about 1,000 jobs even as stock has record one-day surge
Salesforce is cutting about 1,000 jobs, or close to 2% of its workforce, after a blowout earnings report pushed the stock up 26% to a record valuation on Wednesday. Employees affected by the cuts are being given 60 days to find a new job within the company, the spokesperson said, and will have access to internal resources to help them in their search. Thus, the number who ultimately end up leaving the company could be far less than 1,000. Salesforce shares jumped more than 26% on Wednesday — the stock’s best day ever, surpassing a 19% gain in November 2008. On Monday it was announced that the stock will be added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a change that will go into effect next week. It’s up 67% this year. The news comes the day after Salesforce reported a quarterly profit of $2.63 billion on revenue of $5.15 billion, with revenue growth of 29% from the previous year. The company said it now expects total revenue of $20.7 billion to $20.8 billion in its current fiscal year, which ends next Jan. 31.

Why It Matters: On the heels of its first $5 billion quarter and anticipated move to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Salesforce announced that 1000 positions will be eliminated. Digital transformation and the pandemic are changing business strategies and purchase decisions that require suppliers and tech companies to pivot and reinvent themselves to ensure long-term alignment and growth. For employees, it’s a reminder to continue learning and adding new skills to remain relevant.

Tags: Salesforce, jobs, stock market, Dow Jones Industrial Average

 

Network World: 5G spectrum auctions expected in 2021 after Pentagon gives up frequencies
The U.S. Department of Defense will turn over some of its 5G frequency spectrum in a bid to help U.S. carriers bring commercial 5G services to market faster. The DoD controls large portions of the mid-band 5G spectrum in the 3 GHz to 6 GHz range, which is used for military radar. Earlier this year, the White House and DoD formed “America’s Mid-Band Initiative Team,” or AMBIT, with the goal of making a contiguous, 100 MHz segment of mid-band spectrum available for use in 5G development by the end of the summer.

Why It Matters: Low and high band frequencies deliver either higher penetration or the ability to carry the signal further. This enables service providers to provide consumers and businesses with 5G capabilities with more reliability. While the method of auctioning off this spectrum raises a lot of questions, it does help the United States catch up to 5G capabilities already available in other countries.

Tags: DoD, 5G, spectrum, military radar

 

Crunchbase News: SEC expands qualifications for accredited investors
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday that it has expanded the definition of an “accredited investor,” allowing people with professional knowledge, experience or certifications to qualify as accredited investors. The new amendments to the accredited investor definition also increases the list of entities that can qualify as accredited investors. “For the first time, individuals will be permitted to participate in our private capital markets not only based on their income or net worth, but also based on established, clear measures of financial sophistication,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement. “I am also pleased that we have expanded and updated the list of entities, including tribal governments and other organizations, that may qualify to participate in certain private offerings.”

Why It Matters: Despite SEC regulations geared toward protecting individual investors, the rules are being updated as it has drawn criticism for limiting investment opportunities to those with the deepest financial resources. Still many say these adjustments don’t move the needle enough.

Tags: SEC, investors

 

CRN: SDN Startup Lumina Networks Becomes A COVID-19 Casualty
Software-defined networking specialist Lumina Networks is closing its doors, the three-year old startup announced on Tuesday. Lumina Networks, which provided an open source-based SDN controller and received funding from heavyweights Verizon and AT&T, said it will begin to shut down the business because required revenue to operate and manage a large open source project hasn‘t scaled. The company also pointed to COVID-19 as an obstacle that has pushed customers to build out their infrastructure, rather than investing in automation.

Why It Matters: While SDN acquisitions are starting to slow, there was interest in security and SDN technologies to form the foundation of SASE architectures. Staying true to its open source roots, Lumina Networks, formerly a part of Brocade, declined to sell to a proprietary vendor.

Tags: Lumina Networks, SDN, software defined networking, Verizon, AT&T, Brocade

 

CryptoPotato: This is How Hackers Stole 116 BTC From University of California
Hackers pulled off a successful ransomware attack on COVID-19 researchers from the University of California in San Francisco and received 116 bitcoins. Now, recently surfaced transcripts reveal how the entire operation played out. Although the name of the group was initially a mystery, the Bloomberg report said that the organization had a history of targeting health-care entities. Later on, a group dubbed Netwalker claimed credit for executing the ransomware attack on the University of California in San Francisco in early June.

The UCSF confirmed the attack specifying that the target was a research team testing a possible coronavirus vaccine. The university had alerted security experts and law enforcement agencies of the attack and that “with their assistance, we are conducting a thorough assessment of the incident, including a determination of what, if any, information may have been compromised.” By executing a ransomware attack, the hackers gain control over sensitive information belonging to the victim and request some form of a ransom paid to unlock it. In this particular scenario, Netwalker initially demanded $3 million.

Why It Matters: Ransomware attacks continue to rise both in volume and scale. From manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and government agencies, hackers are targeting companies. In fact recent research suggests that nearly two-thirds of organizations have been victims of ransomware and are costing businesses more than $75 billion each year. Bad actors are preying on heightened anxiety during the pandemic while threat surfaces are increasing with the shift to remote work. With digital transformation seen as a business imperative there is increasing complexity in the IT infrastructure mix that makes organizations vulnerable.

Tags: UCSF, University of California San Francisco, Coronavirus, vaccine, ransomware, hackers, Netwalker