Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Web World – “Who Owns Who ?”

It is a common thing for one big company to own several other large companies. As a matter of fact, there are about a dozen companies that own all the other ones. Did you know that only a while ago (December 2017), Apple acquired Shazam for $400 million? Or that Facebook owns both Instagram and WhatsApp, and that Microsoft bought LinkedIn, Skype, MSN, and Bing? However, before becoming a child company of Microsoft, Skype was actually under eBay’s wing. The world appears to be small when you take a look at all big company acquisitions that happened over the years, and all the leading companies are somehow always intertwined. It’s like a business-themed soap opera. As there’s much going on, we’ll focus on two major names in the eCommerce world, namely Amazon and eBay.

Briefly about eBay

Founded in 1995, eBay is one of the largest auction websites, where people can buy literally everything. There have even been instances where people tried to sell air on eBay! As a matter of fact, there was an active listing for a bag of air up until a while ago. Now that we’ve proved our point – that people can find everything on eBay – let’s talk about some stats.
There are 6.7 million sellers on this auction site that offer a large selection of products. eBay lists about 1 billion items and covers 190 markets from around the world. On average, Americans visit eBay two times a week and spend approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes on the website on a weekly basis. Among eBay’s visitors, you’ll also find NASA that had used the auction website in search of outdated replacement parts.

Companies acquired by eBay over the years

About 59 companies have been acquired by eBay. The greatest number of those companies belongs in the online auction industry. The first company of the sort that was acquired by eBay was, while others include Butterfield & Butterfield (1999), Kruse International (1999), Alando (1999), Internet Auction Co. (2001), iBazar (2001), (2003), (2004), and Tradera (2006).
Another type of companies eBay has acquired over the years belongs to the classified advertising field. The most famous company in this category is Craigslist, which eBay purchased in August 2004. Other names that eBay has bought include (2004), (2004), Loquo (2005), and Gumtree (2005).
The last big group of companies that eBay acquired over the years is from the electronic commerce industry. These companies include StubHub (2007), GittiGidiyor (2007), Bill Me Later (2008), Magento (2010), and brands4friends (2010)

Biggest eBay acquisitions

The two biggest acquisitions for eBay were Skype (2005) and PayPal (2002). The eCommerce giant paid $2,600,000,000 for acquiring Skype, only to sell it to a private investment group four years later for $1.8 billion. Skype eventually ended up as a part of Microsoft which bought the Luxembourg-based company for $8.5 billion.
As far as the relationship between eBay and PayPal goes, eBay had a long history with PayPal from 2002 to 2015. The two companies worked side by side for 13 years until they decided to go separate ways and function as two standalone businesses in 2015.

Briefly about Amazon

Founded back in 1994, Amazon was first known as Cadabra, Inc. The founder, chairman and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos had the vision to build a place where people can buy anything, but he also wanted that company to be heavily focused on its customers. In the beginning, Amazon sold books only. Today, it’s one of the largest retailers selling everything from software and electronics to toys, jewelry, and more.
There are 541,900 employees working at Amazon, and the company’s revenue is US$135.98 billion. According to research, Amazon has about 300 million users. The company ships about 3 million packages on a daily basis and has more than half a billion items on sale. The most popular products on Amazon are books, followed by electronics. When it comes to specific products, the best-selling items are tablets, memory cards, Amazon Bluetooth speakers (Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot), robotic vacuum cleaners, and headphones.

Companies acquired by Amazon

The biggest acquisition Amazon has ever made happened in June 2017, when Amazon purchased Whole Food Markets for $13.7 billion. The following companies were either bought in full, or Amazon only bought shares in those companies. The first ever acquisition Amazon made was back in 1998 when the company acquired PlanetAll – a reminder service. That same year Amazon bought four other companies –, Junglee, Telebook, and IMDB.
1999 was another good year for Amazon, as they bought 16 more companies. Some of them include, Alexa Internet, MindCorps Incorporated, Back to Basics Toys, GeoWorks,, and among others. In 2002, the online shopping giant acquired, and in 2004 which is an eCommerce website. Between 2005 and 2010, Amazon purchased more than 20 companies and Shopbop, Brilliance Audio,, Zappos, Stanza, and Woot are only some of them.
In the period between 2010 and 2016 Amazon bought 25 more companies and among the most profitable acquisitions were Twitch, Annapurna Labs, and Kiva Systems. In 2017, Amazon purchased,, GameSparks, Body Labs, and as previously mentioned, Whole Foods Market – its biggest acquisition ever.
Based on what we’ve outlined above, it’s evident that both brands are keen on expanding their kinship. However, they are not the only ones to keep up with this trend – especially when it comes to the online shopping business. Check out the infographic below to see what other online giants have bought and sold over the years.

Source/Credits :

Friday, February 23, 2018

ZBOX Mini PC 2018 Range Unveiled At CES 2018

ZBOX Mini PC 2018 Range
Joining other hardware manufacturers at CES 2018 in Las Vegas this week, Zotac has revealed details about new additions to its ZBOX mini PC 2018 range of Pico systems, equipped with Intel Gemini Lake chips and taking the form of the Zotac ZBOX Pico PI226 and Pico PI336 both of which offer ultra small form factors with the PI336 being slightly larger than the PI226.
Starting with the ZBOX Pico PI226 this compact mini PC system measures just 3.8 x 2.5 x 0.3 inches in size and features a fanless chassis which offers connectivity via a micro USB port for charging, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C ports, and a handy microSD card reader. The system also comes supplied with a USB-C to HDMI adapter and its included USB ports support connections from hubs, accessories and displays. The ZBOX Pico PI226 will be equipped with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage, but at the current time Zotac has not released any launch dates or pricing although you can expect it to be priced similarly to the current model which is priced at around $200 or below.
The slightly larger ZBOX Pico PI336 desktop many PC measures 4.5 x 3 x 0.8 inches in size and also comes fitted with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage and is also passively cooled. However it slightly larger size allows it to be equipped with a number of other connections including Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, Headset, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 Type-C port and microSD card reader.
As soon as more information is made available on shipping dates for the new systems we will keep you up-to-date as always but expect to see at least one arriving sometime in the second quarter of 2018.

Pornhub continued to host 'deepfake' porn with millions of views, despite promise to ban

Pornhub has removed the videos in question, based on the same search term used earlier on Monday. The company initially didn't respond to an additional request for comment. When asked again about the videos, a spokesperson reiterated that "nonconsensual content" violated its terms of service, but didn’t detail why the content was allowed to stay on the site.

Pornhub has to remove "deepfake" porn from its massive video platform. But 48 of these videos remained online Monday morning, some with millions of views.

"Deepfake" porn typically features actresses or other celebrity women who haven't consented to appearing in the videos. New and easily-accessible software makes it simple for anyone to stitch footage of one person's face onto another's, which has predictably resulted in hardcore porn featuring the likenesses of Scarlett Johansson, Gal Gadot, and others.

"We do not tolerate any nonconsensual content on the site and we remove all said content as soon as we are made aware of it," a spokesperson reportedly told Motherboard. "Nonconsensual content directly violates our TOS [terms of service] and consists of content such as revenge porn, deepfakes or anything published without a person’s consent or permission.”

But a search for "deepfake" on Pornhub Monday revealed that plenty were still available — and had been since before the website issued its statements to press.

One video featuring Scarlett Johannson's face had been viewed 742,000 times:

Another, with Gal Gadot's face, had 2 million views, while yet another with Emma Watson's had 354,000. There was even a deepfake video featuring Ivanka Trump:

Though the videos are considered "nonconsensual" by the platform, according to its own statement, experts believe there is little legal recourse for people who have been featured in deepfake porn. 

"There's no pornographic picture of the actual individual being released," Jonathan Masur, a professor who specializes in patent and technology law at the University of Chicago Law School, told Mashable earlier this month. "It's just the individual's face on someone else's body."

Apart from the obvious concerns pertaining to non-consenting individuals being shoved into hardcore porn, deepfakes may represent a new frontier in the internet's "fake news" crisis. As the technology improves, video footage featuring politicians, CEOs, or any relevant person could easily be doctored, leading the public to distrust information, no matter where it came from. 

Put another way, if you think your Trump-worshipping uncle is in his own reality on Facebook because of a few Infowars clips, just wait until he has "video evidence" backing up his claims. As the rift between echo chambers widens, people may figure any news could be "fake" — so why believe anything at all?

Porn's a problem, but it's only the opening act of a much more complicated play.

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