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Apple to cut iPhone production in first quarter of 2017


Apple Inc (AAPL.O) will trim production of iPhones by about 10 percent in the January-March quarter of 2017, the Nikkei financial daily reported on Thursday, citing calculations based on data from suppliers.

The company had slashed output by 30 percent in January-March this year due to accumulated inventory, the paper said. Apple’s shares were down 0.84 percent in midday trading, in line with the Nasdaq stock index.

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Inmarsat switches to Arianespace for satellite launch after SpaceX delays


British satellite company inmarsat will switch to using arianespace from rival SpaceX to launch a new satellite to provide broadband connectivity to air passengers, it said on Thursday.

The S-band satellite had been scheduled to launch with technology billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX but Inmarsat said setbacks to SpaceX’s launch schedule prompted it to turn to Arianespace instead. Inmarsat said on Thursday that European-owned Arianespace will launch the S-band satellite in mid-2017. SpaceX has been forced to delay December rocket launches until January as an investigation continues into why one rocket burst into flames on Sept. 1.

SpaceX has a backlog of more than 70 missions for NASA and commercial customers, worth more than $10 billion. No-one at SpaceX was immediately available to comment on the loss of the contract, the value of which was not revealed by Inmarsat.

Inmarsat said that it still planned to launch a different satellite, the Inmarsat-5 F4, with SpaceX during the first-half of 2017, adding that it looked forward to working with SpaceX in future. Inmarsat plans to use the S-band satellite for providing air passengers with connectivity, as part of the European Aviation Network project with Deutsche Telecom.

Silicon Valley’s obscure unicorns could boost 2017 IPO market


Social media firm Snap Inc may be the highest profile tech IPO planned for 2017, with the potential to raise billions.

But more than a dozen expected stock offerings of relatively obscure software firms targeting business customers – little-known names such as Apttus, Tintri and Okta – could be just as important in thawing a long-frozen IPO market, according to investment bankers and advisers who work on IPOs. Such firms are a “leading indicator” of broader investor demand for market debuts, said Justin Smolkin, head of Americas technology equity capital markets at UBS Group AG. “They tend to be viewed as cream of the crop, and where investors make the most money,” he said.

Such enterprise software companies generally sell their services through subscriptions that produce reliable revenue streams. They aim to sign contracts lasting several years, giving investors more predictable returns than many Internet or consumer-oriented companies that depend on advertising or high volumes of individual transactions. The firms provide a range of back-of-the-house services, such as automating business processes, security, accounting, training software and expense management.

Although such companies have moderate valuations, between about $500 million and $4 billion, the sector accounts for most of the tech IPO market, said Will Connolly, Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (GS.N) head of U.S. technology equity capital markets. “Most of the technology IPO activity is actually not big, large-cap companies going public,” Connolly said. “It’s small and midcap growth companies going public that are innovators in their own markets and are helping drive the next generation of technology.” Greg Becker, chief executive of Silicon Valley Bank, a lender to venture capital-backed companies, predicted that between 30 to 45 venture capital-backed technology companies could go public in 2017, compared to 15 in 2016.

These companies could also be aiming to get ahead of tech giants Airbnb Inc and Uber Technologies Inc, whose long-anticipated IPOs would require ample investor dollars and attention. If the enterprise software firms’ IPOs succeed, it could offer a boost to early-stage investors who provided key funding in the hopes of profiting by selling shares down the line. Only 20 technology companies went public in 2016, less than any year since 2008, according to Thomson Reuters data. “It will be important for everyone that these deals work well in the market to create positive momentum for the year,” said Anthony Kontoleon, global head of syndicate in the equity capital markets group of Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.S).

If technology IPOs don’t take off in 2017, some venture capital fund managers could struggle to keep their investors happy. Startups that have attracted and retained talented employees with the promise of a lucrative IPO could also suffer. The handful of technology companies that managed to go public near the end of 2016 have shown strong stock performances. Twilio Inc (TWLO.N), Coupa Software Inc (COUP.O), Nutanix Inc (NTNX.O) and Blackline Inc (BL.O) are now trading above their offer prices, boosting the confidence of their private peers that there is pent-up demand for such IPOs.

The recent stock market rally and companies beginning to accept a more modest pricing of offerings for IPOs has more tech companies ready to test the waters. Many had put IPO plans on hold in 2016 because they did not want to go public at lower valuations than the private fundraising rounds preceding them. Enterprise software companies recognise that an IPO could be a major marketing event that gives them clout with potential customers that are publicly traded companies themselves – and conduct extensive due diligence before choosing a software vendor.

“The greatest benefit of an IPO is the transparency it creates. It comes with a much greater sense of legitimacy,” said Rob Bernshteyn, chief executive of Coupa Software (COUP.O), a spend management tech company that went public in October. Dheeraj Pandey, chief executive of Nutanix (NTNX.O) said he believes the company’s IPO in 2016 won the hybrid cloud software maker new enterprise customers.  “Customers want to know you’re going to be around for a long time,” Pandey said. Similar firms now looking to go public realise they have a marketing challenge ahead as they seek to capture investor interest before their market debuts. With names that trip up a spell checker and arcane business-model descriptions, they need to educate investors on their niche strategies and to start those efforts long before the typical two-week investor road shows that precede IPOs.

Apttus, for example, helps salespeople give a price quote quickly when trying to close a complicated deal that includes different products. The company has already briefed many potential IPO investors in earlier funding rounds, said chief executive officer Kirk Krappe.

Factbox – Software companies preparing for 2017 IPOs


At least 15 enterprise software companies are preparing to go public in 2017. Here’s a rundown of their plans and business models.

Anaplan: The San Francisco-based company that helps companies with business planning is in the early stages of prepping an IPO for 2017, according to sources familiar with the matter. It has not yet selected underwriters for its offering, the sources said. It said in August it would surpass $100 million in annual revenue this year. Anaplan declined to comment.

AppDynamics: The applications management company based in San Francisco made its IPO filing public on Wednesday. For the first nine months of the year, its revenue increased to $158.43 million, up from $102.79 millin a year earlier. It posted a net loss of $95 million, a slightly wider loss than a year earlier.

Appian: The software company based in Reston, Virginia focuses on business process management and has spoken to banks about an IPO in 2017, according to a source familiar with the matter. Appian could not be reached for comment.

Apttus: The software company based in San Mateo, California helps salespeople come up with pricing quotes for complex bundled products. The company told Reuters it is exploring an IPO for 2017. “Running the company without investment for our first seven years, totally bootstrapping, is another reason we feel very strongly about operating as a public, profitable company in the near future,” Apttus chief executive Kirk Krappe said.

AppNexus: The New York-based advertising technology company, which makes software that forecasts and helps target online ads, filed confidentially for its IPO late this year, according to a source familiar with the matter. The company declined to comment.

Avalara: Reuters has previously reported that U.S. tax accounting software company Avalara Inc interviewed banks late this year to help prepare for an IPO that could come in 2017 and value the company at roughly $1 billion.

Carbon Black: The Boston area cyber security company has hired underwriters and filed confidentially for an IPO, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company could not be reached for comment.

ForeScout Technologies Inc: Reuters previously reported that cyber security company ForeScout interviewed investment banks in the fall for an IPO. San Jose, California-based ForeScout makes software that helps companies monitor every device connected to their networks and ensure the connections are secure.

Greenwave Systems Inc: Greenwave, which makes software that connects devices such as doorbells and televisions, hired Goldman Sachs to explore a 2017 IPO, its CEO said earlier this year. Irvine, California-based Greenwave is expecting to generate $100 million in revenue next year, a spokeswoman said.

LogRhythm: The cyber security company selected bankers back in 2015 with an eye on a $1 billion-plus IPO in the second half of that year, but altered course when the market began to chill. In August, with an IPO still not in the immediate future, LogRhythm raised $50 million from private investors. The company’ s investors say it will go public when the IPO market opens back up. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

MuleSoft: San Francisco-based applications software maker MuleSoft has hired banks for an IPO in 2017 that could value the company at more than $1 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter. MuleSoft declined to comment.

Pluralsight: Reuters reported in late 2015 that Pluralsight LLC, a startup that offers online courses on computer programming and software development, was preparing for an IPO in 2016 and had more than $85 million in revenue. Sources tell Reuters the company is still working towards an IPO. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Okta: Reuters previously reported that Okta Inc, a U.S. cloud identity management company valued at $1.2 billion in its latest private fundraising round, has hired Goldman Sachs Group to lead an initial public offering or potential sale. Okta helps companies organize passwords and authenticate the identity of employees who log into work applications made by other software firms

Tintri: The flash storage company based in Mountain View, California is being closely watched as an IPO candidate in 2017. Earlier this year, it filed its paperwork confidentially for an IPO, according to Fortune. The company declined to comment.

Yext: Reuters previously reported that New York-based Yext, which helps businesses manage their location-based internet profiles, hired banks at the of 2016 to help prepare for a 2017 IPO. Yext generated $89 million in revenue in its last fiscal year, a 48 percent increase from a year prior.

Aircraft Lifetime and Corrosion


The lifetime of an aircraft can be expressed in terms of flight-hours and in terms of flights an aircraft makes. Which is most convenient, depends on the part. For parts like the landing gear and the fuselage (due to fatigue caused by repeated pressurization) it is most convenient to express their lifetime in amount of flights. For parts like the engine, it is most convenient to express the lifetime in the flight-hours.
Corrosion is an unwanted attack on the material, resulting from chemical or electro-chemical reactions with the surrounding environment. Corrosion resistance is an important factor to consider during material selection. There are many forms of corrosion. Besides general corrosion there are galvanic or contact corrosion, which occurs due to a difference in electric potential between touching parts, intercrystalline corrosion, where the more active edges of the crystals are attacked while the rest of the crystals remain intact, stress corrosion, where mechanical stress increases the chemical activity of the material, and fretting corrosion, where wear between surfaces results in corrosion products (hard oxides) increasing the local corrosive effect.
Methods to prevent corrosion include painting, which can be relatively heavy, anodising, where the aircraft is covered with a stable protective oxide layer, cladding, where a layer of pure aluminum is attached during rolling (attaching a less noble material to a more noble material), cadmium plating, where a more noble material covers a less noble material, choosing an alternative material, or regular cleaning.