In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology news:
- Red Hat lands European Space Agency as a customer for cloud services
- Uber raises $1.6 billion
- Honda Aircraft’s CEO receives aviation award
- Google may be selling wireless service
- eBay is slashing jobs
- LG readies launch of curved smartphone
- European Space Agency selects Red Hat
The European Space Agency has built its own private “cloud,” and it utilizes Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
“ESA’s mission is to ensure that investments in space developments are used to benefit all European citizens. Its employees and service providers manage the IT infrastructure and services necessary for everyday corporate activities and offer advanced solutions to restricted groups of power users who need the highest levels of service availability. The Agency’s IT department has to support users operating across Europe who need specific applications, which – along with their data – must be available at all times,” the ESA and Red Hat explained.
“To meet these requirements, ESA decided to develop a private cloud infrastructure, called ESA Cloud. This cloud infrastructure is based on VCE systems, on a blade x86 architecture, and is managed entirely by Orange Business Services. ESA chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux as one of the platforms supported in the ESA Cloud.”
- Uber raises $1.6 billion in financing from Goldman Sachs
Popular ride-hailing app Uber has raised $1.6 billion in a deal with Goldman Sachs wealth management clients.
Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Andrea Raphael says the financing comes in the form of a bond that can later be converted into stock when Uber goes public. Goldman says the deal completed a few days ago is one of the largest private convertible debt offerings on record. It was earlier reported by Bloomberg News.
Last month, San Francisco-based Uber raised $1.2 billion in financing that valued the company at $40 billion. That puts it in the ballpark of public companies such as DirecTV and Kraft Foods.
Uber is working on expanding internationally, though it faces regulatory hurdles and opposition from traditional taxi companies in many countries. Uber could not immediately be reached for comment.
- Aviation award for HondaJet exec
Michimasa Fujino, CEO of Greensboro-based Honda Aircraft which is building the new HondaJet, received the Aviation Industry Leader of the Year Award for the development, production, marketing and sales of the jet.
“We are pleased to grant Michimasa Fujino this award for his contributions to the advancement of business aviation with his original concept design, the HondaJet,” said Kiddie Hawk volunteer Paul Lips. “With this award, we recognize his efforts and vision to create new technology with the HondaJet Over-The-Wing Engine Mount configuration.”
- Reports: Google planning to sell wireless phone service
Google is planning to sell wireless phone service directly to consumers using the networks of Sprint and T-Mobile, according to reports published Wednesday.
If everything falls into place, Google Inc. could offer discounted wireless data plans that would pressure other major carriers to offer better deals and services or risk losing customers to a powerful rival.
More affordable plans, in turn, could bring more people online, something that Google is trying to do because it runs the Internet’s dominant search engine and largest advertising network. The Mountain View, California, company would profit from a potentially larger audience for its services.
Google also implants its services in its Android mobile operating system, the mostly widely used software on smartphones.
Both the technology news site The Information and The Wall Street Journal reported Google’s intention to become a wireless service provider. The reports cited unnamed people familiar with the matter.
Representatives from Google, Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. declined to comment on the reports.
- EBay to cut 2,400 jobs, spin off or sell enterprise unit
EBay plans to cut 2,400 jobs, or 7 percent of its staff, in the first quarter to simplify its structure and boost profit ahead of a planned separation of its business.
The job cuts will fall across its marketplaces, PayPal and enterprise businesses.
They come as the e-commerce company reported Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income rose 10 percent on continued strength of its PayPal payments business, which it expects to spin off in the second half of the year.
Other developments Wednesday: EBay said it may also spin off or sell its enterprise unit, which develops online shopping sites for brick-and-mortar retailers, and agreed to add an executive from activist investor Carl Icahn’s firm to its board.
- LG to launch curved G Flex 2 smartphone next week
LG Electronics Inc. said it will start selling a new curved smartphone next week in its latest effort to bring the curve to a mass market.
The South Korean company said Thursday that the G Flex 2 will be launched locally on Jan. 30 and overseas in coming months.
Curved screens are a way of differentiating high smartphones that have come to share many similar features such as high resolution displays and powerful cameras.
The phone features a 5.5-inch screen curved from top to bottom. In an improvement from its predecessor, the phone’s self-healing back can repair scratches in seconds rather than minutes. LG said both the screen and the body are more resilient to shocks than other phones.
LG’s hometown rival Samsung Electronics Co. is also experimenting with curved screens. Last year, Samsung released the Galaxy Note 4 Edge, which has a screen on its curved edge that displays information.