Amazon’s AWS boost
E-commerce mammoth Amazon had both good and bad news to share this week – the company is seeing continual growth in its ‘Amazon Web Services’ wing, but it still reported a $57 million loss in the first quarter of 2015.
Increased sales in North America, along with the success of AWS have given Amazon a revenue boost. AWS accounted for $1.57 billion of the company’s revenue, and Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos thinks the company’s web services business will continue to grow.
“Amazon Web Services is a $5 billion business and still growing fast — in fact it’s accelerating,” he said in a company press release. “AWS is a good example of how we approach ideas and risk-taking at Amazon.”
The Seattle-based company came under fire last week for its heavy re-investment strategies, rather than a focus to pay back investors. It seems that the company hasn’t drastically altered its values, supporting projects like drone delivery and video streaming with some new offerings set to release in the near future. Most recently is a hotel booking service dubbed ‘Amazon Destinations,’ aimed to entice people shopping for products to book a hotel stay in the U.S.
Researchers say Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor could be hacked
Samsung took a hit to its Galaxy S5 this week, as security researches suggest that the fingerprint sensor can be copied by hackers and used elsewhere.
According to the BBC, Yulong Zhang and Tao Wei, the researchers from FireEye who discovered the apparent security flaw, suggested that attackers simply needed access to a smartphone’s memory to gain fingerprint data – from there, they could program a user’s phone to authorize payments every time they swipe to unlock his phone.
Fingerprint sensors have gained in popularity due to their innovative nature – the well-received iPhone 6 also boasts such capabilities. The security flaw may not be isolated to just Samsung, but all Android devices that employ fingerprint scanners.
The FireEye researches also say the flaw is not existence in versions above Android Lollipop 5.0, so an upgrade should solve the problem. They are set to present their findings at the RSA security conference on April 24 in San Francisco.
Samsung isn’t waiting until then to address what could be a detrimental hole in its smartphones security. “Samsung takes consumer privacy and data security very seriously, said a Samsung spokesperson according to Forbes. “We are currently investigating Fire Eye’s claims.
WhatsApp introduces iOS calls
Messenger apps are evolving, as demonstrated by a Facebook Messenger that has quietly gathered 600 million users with plans to implement features like reservation booking, order tracking, and integration with third party apps like ESPN and the Weather Channel.
Facebook owned Whatsapp, currently the world’s most popular smartphone messaging app with over 800 million users according to Wired, is no exception. Users can now not only send unlimited messages anywhere on the globe for an incredibly minimal annual fee, but can now also make free phone calls to any other Whatsapp user. This function had been available for Android users since the end of March, but now the iOS version has been released.
“Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country,” said the Menlo Park, CA based company said in its description. “WhatsApp calls uses your phone’s internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes.”
Facebook acquired Whatsapp for a staggering $19 billion in February 2014, and since then the app has only grown more and more in popularity. With more added features and steady innovation, it seems unlikely that that growth will stop anytime soon.