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Data Sheet—Friday, July 10, 2015

Thank God it’s Friday, Data Sheet readers. Could stock analysts lose their jobs to robots? Where will Cisco give out billions of dollars next? How deep does the federal data breach reach? Read on for answers.

For a mid-afternoon break, watch Fortune Live at 3 pm Eastern. Among today’s featured segments: Is there or isn’t there a tech bubble?

If you’re heading to Aspen, Colorado, for Brainstorm Tech 2015, travel safe! If not, bookmark this link to find the livestream of all keynotes. Enjoy your weekend!


Can you tell who wrote that stock analysis? Financial services giants like Credit Suisse, T. Rowe Price Group, and American Century Investments are testing software that automate the creation of corporate summaries and investment tips. They’re far from alone. It’s difficult to beat the numbers-crunching capability, but humans are still integral for qualitative analysis. “Analysts need to advance clients’ thinking with their research, not report on what’s happening,” UBS AG’s investment research chief Barry Hurewitz told The Wall Street Journal.


eBay’s corporate e-commerce unit just lost a huge client. Toys “R” Us plans to run its own online retail site by mid-2016, reports WSJ. eBay can still claim IKEA’s online business. Still, this development doesn’t bode well for eBay’s scheme to sell off the operation as it preps for the breakup with PayPal this month.

The two blind spots in Facebook’s video plan? There are unresolved copyright questions. Not to mention the fact that visitors can turn off autoplay. That’s akin to someone leaving the room during television commercials. Still, it forges ahead. Plus, the social network is changing its definition of “cost per click.” In a good way.

Personal computer sales were off in the second quarter. Way off. Waiting around for Windows 10 salvation? The stronger dollar? Probably a bit of both.

C0nfused about how a connected home works? Target wants to educate consumers with its new “Open House” retail concept, but you’ll have to visit San Francisco for a peek.

Cisco is sending $1 billion across the pond, where it will be used to invest in U.K. technology startups. China received a way bigger pledge ($10 billion) just one month ago.

Uber explains why it should still be allowed to classify drivers as independent contractors, not payrolled employees. Its new 52-court filing is meant to convince a California court that a pending lawsuit shouldn’t be granted class-action status.

You thought that giant federal data breach only touched insiders? Think again. More than 21.5 million friends, family members and government job applicants were also exposed. By the way, agency officials are blaming the incident on outdated technology.


Welcome to Marriott’s hotel room of the future, coming in 2016

The hotel industry doesn’t embrace technology unless it improves the bottom line. Fortune’s Stacey Higginbotham explores where Marriott is putting its money.

Marriott hotels are getting into the digital age. Not because it’s the cool thing to do, but because the company sees a chance to recapture some of the travelers who have turned to booking their hotel stays through online travel agencies such as Expedia. The hotel chain plans to install doors that you can unlock with your phone, let customers log in to their Netflix accounts from their room TVs, and may also offer wireless charging.

Not in the works (as yet) are internet-connected lights and shades, unless there’s a compelling return on investment—and currently Bruce Hoffmeister, CIO with Marriott, says he doesn’t see one. He says requiring franchisees to invest in new technology is a tough sell unless it can increase revenue or cut down on costs. However, he agrees that investing in a mobile app and mobile check-in experience has been essential to driving customers to book their stays through Marriott rather than online travel firms.

So far, customers can book their stays and get a notification via their iOS, Android and Windows phone (and now also through an Apple Watch app) when their room is ready, but hopefully in the fourth quarter of this year the app will also let customers in 20 hotels bypass the front desk entirely. Instead of checking in and getting their keys, guests can get a code that will allow them to unlock their room using the bluetooth radio chips inside their phones.

Read more about the digital amenities being added by Marriott, as well as other big hoteliers such as Starwood and Hilton.


Amazon intends to one-up its cloud competition, with a new service that makes it simpler to hook mobile applications to resources such as mapping databases or analytics engines.

Data analytics darling Splunk plunked down millions for a hot security startup, Caspida.

NYSE points the finger. More details about the technical snafu that triggered Wednesday’s massive outage. For many traders, the incident rated a shrug not a shudder.

Even AmEx is taking on PayPal. Launch partners for Express Checkout include Avis Car Rental, Tory Burch, and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.

China’s ongoing corruption probe has reached into the country’s two biggest Internet companies, Tencent and Alibaba.


Here’s why IBM’s new computer chip matters by Alex Fitzpatrick

Why did this hot cryptocurrency company halt new account signups? by Daniel Roberts, Kia Kokalitcheva

Digg co-founder raising $50 million for Internet of things fund by Dan Primack

This startup is bringing Minecraft to the big screen by John Gaudiosi

Slack got the message about emoji “reactions” by Heather Clancy

Upstart mobile operators push mobile data pricing limits by Kevin Fitchard

Here’s why The New York Times should have acquired ViralNova by Mathew Ingram


Friends in name only? This fitness app can tell whether or not you actually like people you’ve allowed into your social networks. Or whether they stress you out.


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

Esri Business Summit: Mapping the value of data. (July 18 – 21; San Diego)

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

SuccessConnect: Simplify the way the world works. (Aug. 10 – 12; Las Vegas)

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

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

.conf2015: Splunk’s “get your data on” gathering. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)

Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; 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)

I Love APIs 2015: Apigee’s annual conference. (Oct. 12 – 14; San Jose, California)

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)

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

TBM Conference 2015: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)