Posts Tagged ‘Bloomberg’
An anchor made on-air comments about tracking log in information more than a year ago. A big deal internally — but handled quietly.
Executives at the financial information company Bloomberg have known about journalists using the company’s terminals to spy on clients at least since September 2011 — more than a year before the practice turned into a scandal that threatens the company's relationships with its clients.
That month, Erik Schatzker, an anchor at Bloomberg TV and host of “Market Makers,” was reprimanded for making on-air comments about using terminal data to track the activities of at least one story subject, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.
One source said the matter was a very big deal internally but was handled quietly.
“All the terminal guys freaked out,” said this source, referring to Bloomberg's army of salespeople who sell its $ 20,000 signature product. Bloomberg's 315,000 terminal subscribers, not its news operation, make up the vast majority of its revenue, which last year totaled $ 7.9 billion.
Schatzker declined comment, as did a Bloomberg representative, and a clip of Schatzker making the comment couldn't immediately be located.
Though no one outside Bloomberg's Manhattan headquarters complained about Schatzker's slip, executives at the time said they would disable the function that allowed journalists to access certain client data, said one source. But apparently that didn't happen until recently, and it only came to light after the New York Post reported that Goldman Sachs executives complained to Bloomberg about the ability of reporters to keep tabs on its bankers via the terminal. The Post also reported that JP Morgan Chase also believes that Bloomberg reporters tracked its employees.
The New York Times followed up the Post's report on Saturday with its own story saying that banking regulators at the Federal Reserve were concerned that they also were tracked by Bloomberg reporters. The Times story said that a preliminary investigation at Bloomberg revealed that “several hundred” reporters used a technique on the terminal, known as the “Z function,” to monitor client activities.
Part of the reason why nothing changed two years ago is because, while exposure of the practice shocked many outside observers, any Bloomberg terminal user with a moderate level of understanding knows that this kind of data is not only readily available, but also one reason why the company's terminals are so popular.
It is widely known, for instance, that every Bloomberg client has a profile page template and a company assigned email address. So, clients and Bloomberg employees can see how many times the profile of, say, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein (presuming he is a client) was looked up, but they can't see who precisely was checking him out. They can email him at his Bloomberg address, but odds are that he doesn't use it and would never see the message. Green, yellow, and red colored dots indicate whether someone is actively logged onto a terminal (green), logged on but inactive (yellow), or logged out/inactive (red).
Also visible were statistics over the previous week on what functions clients used the most — news, bonds, equities for instance — but not which actual stories or stocks were looked at. Reporters never had access to such information as trades, stock purchases, client messages, Bloomberg wrote in a blog post on its website.
This type of information has always been used by the terminal salespeople as a way to better serve client needs — knowing what features they are using and what stories they are reading helps them tailor products and services.
Editorially, this information was seen as so benign that surfacing it was an open practice, if not openly encouraged. Internally, reporters are taught to “harness the power of the terminal” to mine for stories, one former newsroom source said. Bloomberg reporters can see the aggregate number of readers for a specific story, but cannot identify the individual readers.
Indeed, not unlike at some other digital media companies, sources said half of the annual bonus for Bloomberg reporters is based in part on story views, so seeing which stories are gaining traction among readers is valuable in helping reporters determine what to chase. According to the former newsroom source, reporters pitch a lot of what Bloomberg calls “people movers” stories (i.e., a Morgan Stanley banker being hired by UBS) because they get a lot of traction among clients.
“I'm not sure what benefit you get out of exploiting this function other than to see if someone is logged in or not,” said one current newsroom source. “LinkedIn Pro is more useful and has better information for finding sources and helping to break news.”
Bloomberg moved quickly to put out the fire, saying in a blog post on its website titled “Safeguarding Customer Data” that it made a mistake and that last month it changed its policy “so that all reporters only have access to the same customer relationship data available to our clients.” The company also appointed Steve Ross, who was responsible for management of the terminal business, to the new position of Client Data Compliance Officer to ensure that “our news operations never have access to confidential customer data.”
Bloomberg News' editor-in-chief, Matthew Winkler, has yet to speak publicly on the issue — Dan Doctoroff, the CEO of parent company Bloomberg LP, wrote the blog post. Known as Bloomberg's standards enforcer, Winkler is famous for his bow ties, fierce temper and his high ethical standards, which include weekly internal memos expounding on the proper use of the words “but” or “announce.” Sources said he was in London on Friday but addressed the issue during the Friday morning global editors call by simply reminding everyone of the company's policy regarding client information.
These sources unanimously described Winkler as untouchable and said he likely would not suffer any repercussions from the revelations. Whether the newsroom's relationship with its clients and sources is equally ironclad remains to be seen.
Nokia looks like it’s hoping to turn up the volume of its Windows Phone-based Lumia smartphones in the U.S. by signing another carrier to its cause. Bloomberg is reporting that Nokia and Verizon have struck a deal that will see the carrier offer a forthcoming flagship, the Lumia 928, starting from next month. Neither the deal nor the device have been made public by Nokia or Verizon but Bloomberg said two people familiar with the situation have confirmed the impending launch.
Bloomberg’s report follows previous leaks in which the Lumia 928 was spotted in the FCC’s and Verizon’s systems. An apparent image of the handset was also leaked earlier this month. When approached for comment a Nokia spokesman told TechCrunch it does not comment on rumour and speculation.
If the Verizon deal is true, the Lumia 928 will be the first high end Lumia the carrier has ranged (it does already carry the mid-range Nokia Lumia 822). In the U.S. Lumia devices such as the flagship Lumia 920 have been exclusively carried by AT&T to date. Getting another major carrier on board with a flagship is vital for the once Mighty Finn to try to capture more marketshare. Verizon has some 100 million subscribers.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, the Lumia device that will launch on Verizon will have a metal body, a 4.5-inch touch screen, an 8-megapixel camera and wireless charging. Earlier rumours have suggested it will have a polycarbonate body, however, while the internals have generally been expected to remain the same as the Lumia 920.
North America has traditionally been a weak market for Nokia — historically, back in the Symbian days, but also since Nokia’s Windows Phone reboot. But in its Q1 results last week, the region was the only market in which Nokia saw a small increase in sales (up by 9%) compared to last year. Nokia reported selling a total of 5.6 million Lumias globally in the quarter.
Kantar stats we covered earlier this month indicate that Windows Phone as a whole — so not just Nokia devices but also HTC, Samsung etc — has moved up into a distant third place in the US smartphone market, behind the two leaders: Android and iOS, suggesting the platform is slowly building some regional momentum. That momentum may have helped convinced Verizon to take a punt on a Lumia flagship.
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Facebook briefly dallied last year with the idea of letting us track our friends while on the road, only to be spooked off for reasons unknown. It might have developed enough nerve for another shot, according to Bloomberg. The social network is purportedly building a smartphone app that would locate nearby contacts and, unlike last year’s Find Friends Nearby, would run in the background where it’s supported — making it more useful, if not very comforting to privacy advocates. Not much else is mentioned besides features that would “help [Facebook] profit” from its growing mobile base. The company itself certainly isn’t saying anything official at this stage. If the app arrives in mid-March as claimed, however, Apple’s Find My Friends and Google’s Latitude won’t have our attention (and location) to themselves.
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We’ve been fans of super-sized live tiles since the OG Titan occurred, but possibly we cannot depend on HTC to push things any sort of additional. According to Bloomberg‘s sources, the Taiwanese manufacturer has quit on a job to produce a Windows Phone with a display larger than five inches. Rather, it’ll concentrate all its big-screened efforts on Android, much as it’s currently doing with the Droid DNA (revealed above) and Japanese Butterfly.
The explanation? Well, that bit’s vague. Microsoft’s mobile OS does not currently play nice with 1080p, which puts a restriction on the pixel density of any type of big gadget– but then there’s constantly the capacity for software updates, and besides, the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II is hardly being held back by its 720 lines. Bloomberg does mention another, more possible explanation, which is that HTC simply thinks the WP market is too weak to transport a juggernaut.
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Cisco’s equipment offerings are about to slim a little, according to Bloomberg– the company has asked Barclays to help it eliminate its Linksys unit. The step belongs to Cisco’s recurring initiative to minimize its consumer businesses, the exact same approach that liquefied its Flip Video clip department last year. The typical “individuals with expertise of the scenario” recommended that the business may be courting TV makers, noting that the brand name is likely to offer for considerably less than the $ 500 million Cisco paid in 2003. Both Cisco and Barclays decreased to discuss the sale. We comprehend– after the Connect Cloud debacle, we wouldn’t wish to talk either.
[ Thanks, Tom ]
Filed under: NetworkingCommentsSource: Bloomberg
After Kodak’s auction to offload 1,100 of its digital imaging patents was green-lit this summer, it appeared like Apple and Google were prepared to do battle for the products. Now, however, Bloomberg points out a pair of sources who declare that the two titans have ended their face-off and are incorporating their efforts in a $ 500 million-plus bid for the patents. All three parties are remaining peaceful in the meantime, however the step would certainly not be out of type for innovation titans when it comes to rewarding, and potentially volatile, patents. Helping Kodak recover from bankruptcy with more cash in its coffers is nice enough, but staying clear of a courtroom fight on digital pictures is exactly what sweetens the flowerpot all around.
[ Image credit: Viktor Nagornyy, Flickr ]
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Microsoft isn’t having any type of difficulty offering its Xbox 360 game console even though it’s seven years old– the business just recently reported sales of 750,000 units over the current Black Friday weekend– but that doesn’t mean it isn’t really working on the following generation of the platform. Bloomberg, citing inside sources, is now reporting that Microsoft prepares to release the following generation Xbox in time for following year’s holiday season, likely in the nick of time to exploit 2013′s Black Friday. This shouldn’t come as a significant surprise to anyone that is following the gaming room– both Microsoft and Sony are expected to release next-generation systems following year, and reports of a late 2013 launch for the following Xbox have circulated because at least January …
Amidst all Nexus enjoyment from yesterday, Google simply hit the 700,000 Android application milestone in its Play Shop, according to Bloomberg. That would put it near par with Apple, who announced simply last month that its App Shop hit that same figure. Like Cupertino’s iOS store, Play (which started off as Android Market) has been peddling its robotic wares given that 2008, though shop opened several months after Apple’s. Google might have been set to trumpet new figure during Nexus launch yesterday as they did last June at I/O, but a particular Sandy might have wrenched that plan– so, we’re still hanging around for a formal announcement.
Filed under: Mobile phones, Tablets, Mobile, GoogleGoogle Play closing in on Apple’s shop with 700K applications, says Bloomberg originally appeared on Engadget on Tue,30 Oct 2012 11:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink Phandroid|Bloomberg|E-mail this|Comments
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The rumored iPad mini will reportedly introduce this October with a 7.85-inch display. Bloomberg has actually cited four different sources “used to the plans” for the date and display size. It says that the new, smaller sized, displays will be produced by both LG Display and AU Optronics. Its sources also state that 2 business, TPK Holding and Foxconn subsidiary Yeh Cheng, will supply the lamination covering for the gadget.
There’s no sign of just what resolution the iPad mini’s display will be, but Bloomberg’s report lines up with previous reports of a 7.85-inch tablet. Apple is expected to hold a press event on September 12th to announce the reported “iPhone 5,” and if Bloomberg’s October prediction is true, it’s likely that we’ll hear …
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We’d previously heard rumors that HTC and Facebook were working together on a new Android smartphone back in April, and now there’s a second source: Bloomberg West. The news program’s Twitter account posted that the rumored phone, which DigiTimes had said was going to be released in 2012, is now headed for a release in the middle of next year. Other than that, details are still slim — and of course there’s no official word yet from either Facebook or HTC — but we’ll keep you updated with any new information.
— Bloomberg West (@BloombergWest) July 25, 2012