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Business

Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox has held talks to sell most of its film and television assets to Walt Disney Co, which would gain new programming and expand its international reach, CNBC reported on Monday.

Fox’s shares jumped 9.9 percent to close at $27.45 on Nasdaq, and Disney shares climbed 2.0 percent to $100.64 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The two sides are not currently talking, but had held talks in the last few weeks, CNBC reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

The discussions reflect a view among Fox executives that the media company could not reach the size needed to compete with Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and other major media players.

Representatives of Disney and Fox had no comment. reuters.com
State-owned Swedish energy company Vattenfall has signed a 10-year deal to power Microsoft's international data center operations in the Netherlands using wind power.

Microsoft will receive all the energy output from a new onshore wind farm to be built approximately 40 kilometers north of Amsterdam, Vattenfall said in an announcement Thursday.

The Wieringermeer wind farm will begin producing renewable energy from 2019, it said.

It was recently announced that Vattenfall would invest over 200 million euros ($233.06 million) to "repower and expand" the Wieringermeer facility, which will be home to 100 windmills.

These will collectively generate around 1.3 billion kilowatt hours of renewable electricity, equivalent to the consumption of roughly 370,000 homes.

In its own announcement, also released Thursday, Microsoft said that the wind farm would be built and operated by Nuon, part of Vattenfall. cnbc.com
In early 2015, a Twitter employee discovered a vast amount of Twitter accounts with IP addresses in Russia and Ukraine. 

The worker, Leslie Miley, said most of them were inactive or fake but were not deleted at the time.

Miley, who was the company's engineering manager of product safety and security at the time, said efforts to root out spam and manipulation on the platform were slowed down by the company's growth team, which focused on increasing users and revenue. 

"Anything we would do that would slow down signups, delete accounts, or remove accounts had to go through the growth team," Miley said.

"They were more concerned with growth numbers than fake and compromised accounts." bloomberg.com
Nestlé, the biggest food company in the world, announced Thursday it will only use eggs from cage-free hens for all its food products globally by 2025—a major step in the global cage-free movement, animal rights advocates said.

The company said the transition will happen in Europe and the U.S. by the end of 2020, with the rest of the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania to follow by 2025.

"Our purpose is to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.

This includes ensuring decent welfare standards for animals that are reared for the ingredients used in our products," Nestlé said in its announcement.

"Switching to cage-free supplies worldwide requires time and investment.

We will manage this in a sustainable and cost effective way during the implementation period, ensuring consumers continue to access affordable high quality foods throughout." ecowatch.com
TripAdvisor users report that the site has deleted their accounts of being raped and assaulted while traveling.

The users say they were told their reviews were deemed hearsay or unsuitable for the family-friendly site.

The site makes money from hotels that pay commissions and advertising fees.

A TripAdvisor spokesperson said that the company will introduce a new “badge” notification system.

The travel booking and review website TripAdvisor is built on trust between itself, its users, and the businesses that receive reviews and customers from the site.

But that trust is breaking in dangerous ways, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which found numerous examples of users reporting first-hand accounts of rape and assault in reviews for hotels and resorts, only to find that their testimonies had been removed by the site. businessinsider.my
After RT published excerpts from Twitter’s “limited offer” to spend millions on US election marketing, the company abruptly banned all advertising from the news network.

This makes full disclosure and transparency imperative, so here goes.

On Thursday, the micro-blogging platform announced a policy decision to ban ads from RT and Sputnik, citing alleged meddling in the 2016 US election.

It followed Twitter’s report implying that RT was trying to influence US public opinion, crucially without providing context that virtually all news media organizations spend money on advertising their news coverage.

RT was thereby forced to reveal some details of the 2016 negotiations during which Twitter representatives made an exclusive multi-million dollar advertising proposal to spend big during the US presidential election, which was turned down.

Having since been banned, and in order to set the record straight, we are publishing Twitter’s presentation and details of the offer in full. rt.com
Microsoft's Office 365 commercial monthly active users number is now at 120 million, up from 100 million in April 2017, said officials during the company's earnings report on October 26.

(Microsoft's Office 365 consumer active user number is at 28 million for Q1 FY 2018, which is up from 27 million in Q4 FY 2017.)

As of last quarter, Microsoft officials said that Microsoft is generating more revenue from Office 365 Commercial subscriptions than Office sold via non-subscription licensing.

That is still true as of this quarter, Microsoft officials said.

Microsoft officials said recently that the company expects to have two-thirds of its Office business customers in the cloud by some time in its fiscal 2019 (which kicks off on July 1, 2018).

Office 365 is believed to be providing the biggest contribution to Microsoft's "commercial cloud," its collection of several of its business cloud services, including Azure, Dynamics 365, Power BI and Enterprise Security + Mobility, along with Office 365. (Microsoft won't break out any of these product lines separately.)  zdnet.com