Facebook goes express to mega-cap status - now valued more than AT&T, Coke

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of ZenicaBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the days after its infamously mishandled initial public offering in May 2012, it looked as if Facebook would struggle to become a must-own for fund managers. The gains represent a reversal of fortune for the social media company.



Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after critical tweet

Southwest Airlines jets wait on the tarmac at Denver International Airport in Denver(Story refiled to correct typographical error on third paragraph) (Reuters) - A Minnesota man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent. Duff Watson said he was flying from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday and tried to board in a spot for frequent flyer privileges he held and take his sons, ages 6 and 9, with him, even though they had a later spot to board the plane. Watson replied that he had boarded early with them before and then sent out a tweet that read "RUDEST AGENT IN DENVER. Once at the gate, the agent said that unless the tweet was deleted, police would be called and the family would not be allowed back onboard.



Facebook shares hit record high as market likes earnings

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters in Palo AltoShares of Facebook Inc hit a record high on Thursday after a surge in mobile advertising revenue helped the world's No. 1 social network trounce analysts' expectations for quarterly profit and revenue. At that price, Facebook's market value is just short of $200 billion, putting the company in position to overtake IBM Corp as the fourth-largest U.S.-listed tech company. The top three are Apple Inc , Google Inc and Microsoft Corp . At $100, Facebook would be valued at more than $250 billion.



ECB says website hacked, no sensitive data affected

A passerby uses his smartphone to take a picture of the euro sign landmark in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in FrankfurtThe European Central Bank said on Thursday its website had been hacked and some email addresses and other contact information stolen but insisted no market-sensitive data were affected. The hackers broke into a database storing details of people who had registered for ECB conferences, visits and other events, the bank said. "No internal systems or market sensitive data were compromised," the ECB said in a statement. The ECB is currently running a particularly sensitive review of the euro zone's top lenders, collecting streams of data to gauge whether banks have valued loans and other assets correctly, before it starts supervising them.



China regulator determines Qualcomm has monopoly: state-run newspaper

Visitors walk past the Qualcomm stand at the Mobile World Congress in BarcelonaBy Paul Carsten and Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) - China's antitrust regulator has confirmed that Qualcomm Inc, one of the world's biggest mobile chipmakers, has a monopoly, the state-run Securities Times newspaper reported on Thursday, as Qualcomm's chief executive held talks in China. The regulator, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), is investigating Qualcomm's local subsidiary after it said in February the U.S. chipmaker was suspected of overcharging and abusing its market position in wireless communication standards, allegations which could see it hit with record fines of more than $1 billion. The Securities Times report, based on unidentified sources it said were close to the NDRC, did not say whether the regulator had determined that Qualcomm had abused its monopoly.



Flaws could expose users of privacy-protecting software, researchers say
By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Researchers have found a flaw that could expose the identities of people using a privacy-oriented operating system touted by Edward Snowden, just two days after widely used anonymity service Tor acknowledged a similar problem. The most recent finding concerns a complex, heavily encrypted networking program called the Invisible Internet Project, or I2P. Though a core purpose of I2P is to obscure the Internet Protocol addresses of its roughly 30,000 users, anyone who visits a booby-trapped website could have their true address revealed, making it likely that their name could be exposed as well, according to researchers at Exodus Intelligence. “People shouldn’t trust something wholeheartedly just because Snowden says,” Exodus Vice President Aaron Portnoy told Reuters.

FTC commissioner warns on mobile health-data gathering
Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill, speaking in Washington on Wednesday, expressed concern about the way apps on smartphones and mobile devices are siphoning sensitive health data, and how some of that information may then be shared with third parties. The debate around the gathering of consumer data is intensifying as Silicon Valley tech companies take a more active interest in mobile health. Apple Inc and Google Inc revealed new health-focused services for apps developers in recent months, dubbed Google Fit and HealthKit. Brill's comments followed a May report in which the FTC revealed the results of a study of mobile health-app developers, which found that a good portion collect consumer health data and give it to third-party entities.

LA Clippers player asks followers for help in finding aunt's killer

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder(Reuters) - A player for the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers has taken to social media to ask for help in finding a man wanted for stabbing his aunt to death, generating new tips in the case, his family said on Wednesday. Clippers forward Matt Barnes posted pictures of Michael Williams, 51, to his Instagram and Twitter accounts on Tuesday, saying the man was wanted by police in the California capital in connection with the fatal stabbing of his aunt, Tanganyika Williams, 48. On Wednesday, Tanganyika Williams' adult son, David Williams Jr., said that since that message was published, the family has received multiple calls from people who said they had seen Michael Williams in stores around Sacramento. "There are going to be less and less places that this guy is going to have to hide," said David Williams, who is not related to the suspect by blood.



Facebook beats Wall Street targets, stock hits record high

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters in Palo AltoBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's fast-growing mobile advertising business helped drive a 61 percent increase in revenue during the second quarter, beating Wall Street's financial targets and sending shares to a record-high in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Facebook now counts 1.5 million advertising customers and the company's ad business saw strong growth across all of its geographic regions, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. Investors bid up shares of Facebook roughly 5 percent to $75.13 in after-hours trading on Wednesday, giving the Internet company a roughly $190 billion valuation, putting it on par with IBM Corp. "It might be more expensive from a market cap perspective, but I don’t think anyone was expecting this level of profitability," JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey said. Facebook's operating margin expanded to 48 percent of revenue in the second quarter, up from 31 percent in the year-ago period.



Angie's List forecasts revenue below Street
Angie's List Inc, which operates a website that allows users to review local businesses, forecast quarterly revenue below estimates and reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as it spent more to sign up customers. Angie's List, which competes with Yelp Inc and HomeAdvisor Inc, said it expects revenue of $80.5 million-$82.5 million for the third quarter ending September. Analysts on average were expecting $86.63 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Angie's List's "big deals" product, which offers emailed discounts to members, lagged expectations and weighed on the revenue forecast, Barrington Research Associates analyst Jeff Houston said. The company, named after co-founder Angie Hicks, also forecast marketing expenses of $20 million-$23 million.

Seven arrests made in $1.6 million StubHub cyberfraud case

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. speaks during a news conference at his office in midtown Manhattan, New YorkBy Karen Freifeld NEW YORK (Reuters) - Police have arrested seven people on charges they were tied to an international ring that defrauded eBay Inc's StubHub online ticketing service of some $1.6 million, the latest in a string of high-profile cybercrime busts in recent months. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr announced the arrests on Wednesday. They were charged with involvement in a cybercrime ring that used stolen credit card numbers to purchase thousands of tickets to events, including concerts of Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z as well as games for sports teams including the Boston Red Sox and New York Giants, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday. StubHub's head of global communications, Glenn Lehrman, told Reuters his firm has been working with law enforcement around the world for the last year on the case.



TripAdvisor's profit misses estimate as costs climb
(Reuters) - Online travel research company TripAdvisor Inc reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, sending its shares down 9 percent in extended trading. Total selling and marketing costs rose 53 percent to $127 million in the second quarter ended June 30. Net income rose to $68 million, or 47 cents per share, from $67 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier. (http://bit.ly/1A7iLn8) Excluding items, TripAdvisor earned 55 cents per share, 6 cents below what analysts on average had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. ...

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