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Data Sheet—Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015, 12:16 PM UTC

Good morning, readers. Now that Hillary Clinton has officially declared her presidential candidacy, you can expect gender equality to become an even louder workplace discussion. Symantec’s management might not have to follow through with its breakup plan, but Qualcomm is being pressured to think about one. Plus a pending funding round could value Spotify at around $8.4 billion. Read on for your Monday edition of Data Sheet.


Much speculation about Amazon’s cloud numbers. The e-commerce giant’s next financials update (out on April 22, aka Earth Day) will be the first to include specifics for Amazon Web ServicesCowen analyst John Blackledge calls for revenue of $5.9 billion this year, but AWS is obviously feeling the heat from rivals Microsoft and Google—his previous forecast was $6.6 billion.

Incidentally, get ready for the quarterly tech earnings onslaught: among those up this week are Intel (April 14), AMD and ServiceNow (both April 16). IBM, Google and Microsoft are due to report next week.


Activist investor pressures Qualcomm. Hedge fund Jana Partners wants the wireless chipmaker to spin out its patent-licensing division, cut costs and accelerate stock buybacks. Jana, which owns a $2 billion stake, has engaged the company in “constructive” conversations since late last year.

On second thought, perhaps Symantec won’t split up after all. The Wall Street Journal reports the security company might sell its data storage and recovery business instead for around $8 billion (far less than the $13.5 billion it paid for Veritas in the first place).

For its next act, Sprint will hand-deliver new smartphones. The share-challenged carrier—in danger of falling behind T-Mobile—will do almost anything to keep subscribers. That includes sending someone to deliver and set up new phones in person. Sprint will test this concept near its Kansas City headquarters.

Fallout from Yahoo restructuring. Analytics guru Simon Khalaf, who joined through the buyout of mobile advertising specialist Flurry last summer, was named a senior vice president. He’s now in charge of most consumer services. It also means Mike Kerns, the senior vice president of the Internet company’s news and video strategy, will leave at the end of April.

Twitter exercises the power of persuasion. The competition between the Periscope and Meerkat video streaming services is so intense that both sides are scrambling to recruit high-profile supporters. TechCrunch reports that the social network is proactively asking celebrities to pick Periscope, while Meerkat is poaching from Vine.

Speed of the essence in security breach detection. How a business handles a cyberattack within the first hour of discovery plays a big role in determining how much damage will be done. “There is a ‘golden hour’ for corrective action, and the clock starts the second an attack indicator is detected,’ Intel general manager for security Chris Young told Fortune.

Why Wall Street is worried. The list of startups facilitating online loans, payments processing and mobile stock trading—Lending Club, Stripe, Robinhood—is growing quickly. Google just poached Morgan Stanley’s chief financial officer. Nasdaq is building the technology behind a bitcoin trading exchange. Big financial services have finally noticed this rising threat: Goldman Sachs even estimates up to 7% of banks’ annual profits are at risk.


Spotify worth $8.4 billion? The streaming music service is about to close a $400 million funding round that includes Goldman Sachs (a return investor), according to the WSJ. That’s more than twice Pandora’s latest valuation.

PayPal warns of possible federal lawsuit. eBay’s payments company is at odds with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over finance charges related to its same-day lending service. It’s one of the investor risk factors cited in eBay’s filing last week about the pending breakup.

Get a charge out of this. Add battery technologies for wearables and autonomous vehicles to the list of research projects gaining momentum under Google X.

Amazon wants merchants to keep things real. Some consumers buy from specific e-commerce sites mainly because of what past customers have reported in online reviews. The e-commerce tries to police authenticity. Now it’s suing four companies it believes sell fake commentary “in bulk.”

Can touch this. A British company is prototyping virtual reality software that appeals to your sense of touch. The technology could have applications in automotive design or medical diagnostics.

Want to reach a business-to-business audience over social media? LinkedIn’s new Elevate app, tested by companies like Unilever and Adobe, aims to help companies get employees engaged in social marketing campaigns.


First Apple Watch sales results by Philip Elmer-DeWitt

The best company for women in tech? Not what you might expect by Erik Sherman

Zynga reminds us to be careful what we wish for by Richard Greenfield

Brainstorming with Marc Andreessen by Dan Primack

Apple backpedals on policy against hiring felons to build headquarters by Claire Zilman

The three martini office: Where drinking at work is a job requirement by Colleen Kane



Rest for the travel-weary. This innovative airline seat patent recently awarded to Boeing could make it less tortuous to steal a midflight nap.



Knowledge15: Automate IT services. (April 19 – 24; Las Vegas)

RSA Conference: The world talks security. (April 20 – 24; San Francisco)

Forrester’s Forum for Technology Leaders: Win in the age of the customer. (April 27 - 28; Orlando, Fla.)

MicrosoftIgnite: Business tech extravaganza. (May 4 – 8; Chicago)

NetSuite SuiteWorld: Cloud ERP strategy. (May 4 – 7; San Jose, California)

EMC World: Data strategy. (May 4 - 7; Las Vegas)

SAPPHIRE NOW: The SAP universe. (May 5 – 7; Orlando, Florida)

Gartner Digital Marketing Conference: Reach your destination faster. (May 5 – 7; San Diego)

Cornerstone Convergence: Connect, collaborate. (May 11 - 13; Los Angeles)

Cloud Foundry Summit: Open source development. (May 11 - 12; Santa Clara, California)

Annual Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference: JP Morgan’s 43rd invite-only event. (May 18 - 20; Boston)

Signal: The modern communications conference. (May 19 - 20; San Francisco)

MuleSoft Connect: Tie together apps, data and devices. (May 27 - 29; San Francisco)

MongoDB World: Scale the universe. (June 1 - 2; New York)

HP Discover: Trends and technologies. (June 2 - 4; Las Vegas)

Hadoop Summit San Jose: Mainstreaming adoption. (June 9 - 11; San Jose, California)

Red Hat Summit: Energize your enterprise. (June 23 - 26; Boston)

Brainstorm Tech: Fortune’s invite-only gathering of thinkers, influencers and entrepreneurs. (July 13 - 15; Aspen, Colorado)

LinuxCon North America: All about open source. (Aug. 17 - 19; Seattle)

VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)

Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 - 18; San Francisco)

BoxWorks 2015: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 - 30; San Francisco)

Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 - Oct. 1; Las Vegas)

HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 - 6; San Diego)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 - 8; Orlando, Florida)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 - 29; San Francisco)