The Morning Download: Cubic Will Put Traffic Sensor Data in Microsoft Azure Cloud

Good morning. Cubic Transportation Systems, which provides the fare collection technology for metro trains in big cities such as New York and London, is moving its traffic management system to Microsoft Corp.'s Azure cloud, the WSJ's Jay Greene reports. Azure will be the foundation of its NextTraffic offering, according to the company. It currently uses "a tapestry" of technology to collect, monitor and process traffic data for government customers, said Matt Cole, Cubic Transportation's president.

Cubic Transportation also provides fare collection systems for London's Oyster card and New York's MetroCard, among others, though this deal covers the company's traffic management business. The company is a division of San Diego-based Cubic Corp.

The move should help Cubic's customers manage traffic flow, altering traffic light sequences, adjusting variable speed limit signs, and rerouting using mobile messaging signs, according to Mr. Cole. He said he expects the shift to reduce customer computing costs by 10% or more. It's a sign of the development of so-called Smart Cities, which have attracted the interest of Google parent Alphabet Inc. Over time, the growing use of the cloud could lay the foundation for new kinds of applications, as Gartner Inc.'s Ed Anderson told CIO Journal last year in its Special Report on the hybrid cloud.

U.S. Employers Shed 96K IT Jobs in May. Amid tighter budgets, many companies are holding off on recruiting efforts, while others are "reassessing their IT skills needs," IT industry trade group CompTIA said Friday in an analysis of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Despite the downturn, the unemployment rate for IT workers remains at roughly half of the national average, which inched down to 4.7% in May, as fewer people looked for work, the Labor Department reported.

Solving the prosperity puzzle. Major economic structural changes over the last several decades have made the GDP a poor gauge for determining wealth in an increasingly service-oriented age, CIO Journal Columnist Irving Wladawsky-Berger writes. Yet government officials still use GDP to inform their policies and decisions.

SECURITY AND PRIVACY

Zuckerberg's other social media accounts hacked. Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg's accounts on rival social networks Twitter and Pintest were hacked over the weekend, VentureBeat reports. Both accounts were suspended. A group claiming responsibility says the hacks were accomplished through the dump recently of 100 million stolen LinkedIn passwords.

N.Y. Fed flip-flopped on cyber-theft. Hours before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York approved four fraudulent requests to send $81 million from a Bangladesh Bank account to cyber thieves, the Fed branch blocked those same requests because they lacked information required to transfer money, two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The New York Fed initially rejected 35 requests to transfer funds to various overseas accounts, a New York Fed official and a senior Bangladesh Bank official told Reuters. The Fed's decision to later fulfill a handful of resubmitted requests raises questions about whether it missed red flags.

CLOUD

Google's Chrome is shiny. For most of what people need to accomplish on a computer, Google's Chrome operating system,  designed to be an operating system that relies on the cloud, is just better, the WSJ's Christopher Mims writes. Even so, the challenges facing Google's Chrome in the business world are substantial. Step one: Satisfy corporate information-technology professionals, who choose, or help choose, suppliers.

Oracle cloud case raises q's on cloud accounting. Reuters says a new whistleblower involving a former Oracle Corp. employee accusing the company of inflating its cloud revenue "underscores the pressures established computer companies face to show" that their cloud business is growing.  Former Oracle senior finance manager Svetlana Blackburn, who filed the lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, says the company pushed employees to "fit square data into round holes" to make cloud revenue look better.

First government digital service is not into apps. Ben Terrett, the former head of design at the UK Government Digital Service, tells GovInsider that development and maintenance costs make apps a poor way to digitally serve cities. "For government services that we were providing, the web is a far far better way… and still works on mobile," he says. The agency builds its websites on the assumption that citizens will not go to the main government site. "Google is the homepage," he said.

MORE TECHNOLOGY NEWS

Pentagon hires foreign chip supplier. The Pentagon has reached a seven-year agreement with Abu Dhabi-owned Globalfoundries Inc. to supply microchips used in U.S. spy satellites, missiles and combat jets, the WSJ's Doug Cameron reports. With much chip manufacturing now accomplished overseas, opening the military market beyond purely U.S.-made chipmakers helps the Pentagon keep pace with technology developments. But officials acknowledge that such arrangements require new ways to monitor chips to ensure they haven't been tampered with.

Smaller chips may depend on vacuum tube technology. The smaller transistors get, the more they leak electrons, the New York Times reports. To address that "Achilles' Heel," scientists are looking at (tiny, tiny) vacuum tubes. "The researchers have created a tiny tube formed from metal and capable of turning on and off the flow of electrons between four even smaller probes," the NYT reports. The tubes help reduce wasted energy and cut down on heat generation.

Cadillac bets on virtual dealerships. General Motor Co.'s Cadillac is looking for commitments from some dealership owners to support virtual stores, where customers can get a car serviced or learn about products via virtual reality headsets without getting behind the wheel, the WSJ reports. In fact, some dealerships may not have any vehicles at all.

Nest founder leaving company. Tony Fadell stepped down as chief executive of Alphabet Inc.'s home-automation unit Nest on Friday, the Journal's Jack Nicas reports. The former Apple Inc. executive  helped develop the iPod before co-founding Nest in 2011 to create internet-connected devices for the home. Nest was acquired by Google in 2014.

As mobile apps gain weight, Android tests new feature. Google is testing a feature that tells users which Android apps to uninstall when running low on phone or tablet storage space, the WSJ's Nathan Olivarez-Giles writes.

French tax authorities seek 356 million euros from Booking.com. Priceline Group unit Booking.com owes $397.37 million in unpaid taxes, say French tax authorities. It's the latest tax action taken in European countries against tech companies, many based in the U.S., which they say are exploiting loopholes to avoid paying taxes on bookings and services sold to citizens.

EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW

Shkreli faces new charge. Federal prosecutors on Friday unsealed a new conspiracy charge against former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli and his former lawyer, Evan Greebel. Both men were arrested last December and accused of scheming to steal money from pharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc., where Mr. Shkreli had been the chief executive, to cover up losses suffered by investors in Mr. Shkreli's hedge funds. Retrophin's board ousted Mr. Shkreli as CEO in 2014. Mr. Shkreli had pleaded not guilty to seven counts of securities fraud and conspiracy. Mr. Greebel had pleaded not guilty to one count of wire-fraud conspiracy.

Rate hike harder for Fed after Friday jobs data. The Federal Reserve's plans for raising short-term interest rates went on hold after Friday's dismal jobs report, with officials now wanting to wait and see whether the economy remains on track before they make a move. A rate increase at the Fed's June 14-15 meeting is almost surely off the table. A move at their July meeting six weeks later is still possible though less likely, because officials won't have that much more economic data to reassure themselves about the course of the economy's expansion, according to their remarks.

Chinese buyers forge ahead. An increasing number of Chinese deal-makers are showing up to the negotiating table uninvited, and facing push-back on their bids. The companies are often rushing headlong into global takeover battles—sometimes lobbing in rich offers after another bidder has already sealed a deal. So far this year, 13 Chinese companies have made a total of $78 billion of unsolicited offers for overseas targets. That follows a record 17 such offers in 2015, according to Dealogic.

Tom Loftus contributed to this article. The Morning Download comes from the editors of CIO Journal and cues up the most important news in business technology every weekday morning. Send us your tips, compliments and complaints. You can get The Morning Download emailed to you each weekday morning by clicking http://on.wsj.com/TheMorningDownloadSignup


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