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Pivotal Software closed up 5% following IPO, raised $555 million

Stock market investors showed lukewarm enthusiasm for Pivotal Software’s debut on Friday. After pricing the IPO at $15, the company closed the day at $15.73. Although it didn’t “pop” for new investors, pricing at the midpoint of its proposed range allowed Pivotal to raise $555 million. Its public company market cap exceeded $3 billion. The enterprise cloud computing company has been majority-owned by Dell, which came about after its  merger with EMC in 2016.  It was spun off from Dell, EMC and VMware in April 2013. After that, it  raised $1.7 billion in funding  from Microsoft, Ford and General Electric. Here’s how it describes its business in the S-1 filing: Pivotal looks to “provide a leading cloud-native platform that makes software development and IT operations a strategic advantage for our customers. Our cloud-native platform,  Pivotal   Cloud Foundry (‘PCF’), accelerates and streamlines software development by reducing the complexity of building, deploying and operating new cloud-native applications and modernizing legacy applications.” According to the filing, Pivotal brought in $509.4 million in revenue for its fiscal year ending in February. This is up from $416.3 million in revenue for 2017 and $280.9 million in revenue the year before. The company is still losing a lot of money, however. Losses for fiscal 2018 stood at $163.5 million, improved from the than the negative $232.5 million seen in 2017 and $282.5 million in 2016. “We have incurred substantial losses and may not be able to generate sufficient revenue to achieve and sustain profitability,” the company warned in the requisite “risk factors” section of its IPO filing. Pivotal also acknowledged that it faces competition from “legacy application infrastructure and middleware form vendors” like IBM and Oracle. The company says it additionally competes with “open-source based offerings supported by vendors” like RedHat. Pivotal also faces challenges from SAP Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

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Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry grow closer

Containers are eating the software world — and Kubernetes is the king of containers. So if you are working on any major software project, especially in the enterprise, you will run into it sooner or later. Cloud Foundry, which hosted its semi-annual developer conference in Boston this week, is an interesting example for this. Outside of the world of enterprise developers, Cloud Foundry remains a bit of an unknown entity, despite having users in at least half of the Fortune 500 companies (though in the startup world, it has almost no traction). If you are unfamiliar with Cloud Foundry, you can think of it as somewhat similar to Heroku , but as an open-source project with a large commercial ecosystem and the ability to run it at scale on any cloud or on-premises installation. Developers write their code (following the twelve-factor methodology ), define what it needs to run and Cloud Foundry handles all of the underlying infrastructure and — if necessary — scaling. Ideally, that frees up the developer from having to think about where their applications will run and lets them work more efficiently. To enable all of this, the Cloud Foundry Foundation made a very early bet on containers, even before Docker was a thing. Since Kubernetes wasn’t around at the time, the various companies involved in Cloud Foundry came together to build their own container orchestration system, which still underpins much of the service today. As it took off, though, the pressure to bring support for Kubernetes grew inside of the Cloud Foundry ecosystem. Last year, the Foundation announced its first major move in this direction by launching its Kubernetes-based Container Runtime for managing containers, which sits next to the existing Application Runtime. With this, developers can use Cloud Foundry to run and manage their new (and existing) monolithic apps and run them in parallel with the new services they develop. But remember how Cloud Foundry also still uses its own container service for the Application Runtime? There is really no reason to do that now that Kubernetes (and the various other projects in its ecosystem) have become the default of handling containers. It’s maybe no surprise then that there is now a Cloud Foundry project that aims to rip out the old container management systems and replace them with Kubernetes.

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Companies are scaling back and simplifying their ToS to comply with GDPR because users’ consent would be legally invalid if they don’t understand the…

Nate Lanxon / Bloomberg : Companies are scaling back and simplifying their ToS to comply with GDPR because users' consent would be legally invalid if they don't understand the agreement   —  Everyone from Uber to PayPal is facing a backlash against their impenetrable legalese.  —  Eleanor Margolis had used PayPal …

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ZTE says US ban on sales to the company is unfair and threatens its survival, vows to safeguard its interests through all legal means (Anne Marie…

Anne Marie Roantree / Reuters : ZTE says US ban on sales to the company is unfair and threatens its survival, vows to safeguard its interests through all legal means   —  HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's ZTE Corp (0763.HK) (000063.SZ) said on Friday that a ban on the sale of parts and software to the company was unfair …

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Google announces Chat, a carrier messaging service based on Universal RCS, as a replacement to SMS, with typing indicators, full-res images, video,…

Dieter Bohn / The Verge : Google announces Chat, a carrier messaging service based on Universal RCS, as a replacement to SMS, with typing indicators, full-res images, video, group texts   —  A top-tier Android phone can cost upwards of a thousand dollars, and for that money, you'll get some amazing features.

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Interview with Jeff Wilke, who runs Amazon’s worldwide consumer division and has been Bezos’ right-hand man for 18 years, on its usage of USPS and…

Bloomberg : Interview with Jeff Wilke, who runs Amazon's worldwide consumer division and has been Bezos' right-hand man for 18 years, on its usage of USPS and more   —  Retail chief Jeff Wilke talks about the company's AI ambitions and downplays Trump concerns.  —  Donald Trump has hammered Amazon.com …

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Nest says it will donate 1M smart thermostats to low- and moderate-income Americans over the next five years, as part of its new Power Project…

Abner Li / 9to5Google : Nest says it will donate 1M smart thermostats to low- and moderate-income Americans over the next five years, as part of its new Power Project initiative   —  The smart home is often touted as delivering conveniences like automation and remote control.  One often overlooked aspect of installing …

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Sources: Qualcomm is cutting ~1,500 jobs, mostly in California, in an effort to cut costs by $1B; the company employs 34K people globally (Bloomberg)

Bloomberg : Sources: Qualcomm is cutting ~1,500 jobs, mostly in California, in an effort to cut costs by $1B; the company employs 34K people globally   —  Company to reduce California workforce by about 1,500  —  Management acting in response to shareholder pressure  —  Qualcomm Inc. has begun cutting …

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Netflix launches 30-second preview videos on iOS shown in vertical format, to be displayed like a slideshow, and coming soon to Android (Cameron…

Cameron Johnson / Netflix Media Center : Netflix launches 30-second preview videos on iOS shown in vertical format, to be displayed like a slideshow, and coming soon to Android   —  One of the best ways to know if you'll like a new series or movie is to watch a quick trailer.  Today, we are excited to introduce mobile previews …

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Facebook moves to shrink its legal liabilities under GDPR

Facebook has another change in the works to respond to the European Union’s beefed up data protection framework — and this one looks intended to shrink its legal liabilities under GDPR , and at scale. Late yesterday Reuters  reported on a change incoming to Facebook’s T&Cs that it said will be pushed out next month — meaning all non-EU international are switched from having their data processed by Facebook Ireland to Facebook USA. With this shift, Facebook will ensure that the privacy protections afforded by the EU’s incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — which applies from May 25 — will not cover the ~1.5BN+ international Facebook users who aren’t EU citizens (but current have their data processed in the EU, by Facebook Ireland). The U.S. does not have a comparable data protection framework to GDPR. While the incoming EU framework substantially strengthens penalties for data protection violations, making the move a pretty logical one for Facebook’s lawyers thinking about how it can shrink its GDPR liabilities. Reuters says Facebook confirmed the impending update to the T&Cs of non-EU international users, though the company played down the significance — repeating its claim that it will be making the same privacy “controls and settings” available everywhere. (Though, as experts have pointed out, this does not mean the same GDPR principles will be applied by Facebook everywhere.) Critics have couched the T&Cs shift as regressive — arguing it’s a reduction in the level of privacy protection that would otherwise have applied for international users, thanks to GDPR. Although whether these EU privacy rights would really have been enforceable for non-Europeans is questionable . A t the time of writing Facebook had not responded to a request for comment on the change.  Update:  It’s now sent us the following statement — attributed to deputy chief global privacy officer, Stephen Deadman: “The GDPR and EU consumer law set out specific rules for terms and data policies which we have incorporated for EU users.  We have been clear that we are offering everyone who uses Facebook the same privacy protections, controls and settings, no matter where they live. These updates do not change that.”  The company’s generally argument is that the EU law takes a prescriptive approach — which can make certain elements irrelevant for international users outside the bloc. It also claims it’s working on being more responsive to regional norms and local frameworks. (Which will presumably be music to the New Zealand privacy commissioner ‘s ears, for one…) According to Reuters the T&Cs shift will affect more than 70 per cent of Facebook’s 2BN+ users. As of December, Facebook had 239M users in the US and Canada; 370M in Europe; and 1.52BN users elsewhere. The news agency also reports that Microsoft -owned LinkedIn is one of several other multinational companies planning to make the same data processing shift for international users — with LinkedIn’s new terms set to take effect on May 8, moving non-Europeans to contracts with the U.S.-based LinkedIn Corp.

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