San Francisco, Feb 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- U.S. ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. Friday reported 3 billion U.S. dollars in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018, representing a 25-percent year-on-year increase.
The San Francisco-based firm said it generated a net revenue of about 11.4 billion dollars last year, and the 3 billion dollars in the last three months of the year was a 2-percent growth from the previous quarter.
Compared with the 43-percent annual growth rate of the full year of 2018 and the company's third quarter year-on-year increase of 38 percent, the 25-percent increase showed a slower pace of growth when the company is preparing a stock market debut.
According to Uber, its annual losses shrank 15 percent to 1.8 billion dollars from the figure of 2.2 billion dollars in 2017, indicating a narrowing trend from the previous year.
Uber's gross bookings amounted to 50 billion dollars in 2018, up 45 percent over 2017.
"Last year was our strongest yet, and Q4 set another record," Uber Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai said in a statement.
Uber filed in December 2018 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to list its shares on the open market in an initial public offering this year.
Uber is facing fierce competition in the ride-sharing business on the U.S. market from its main rival Lyft, which also filed last year with the SEC to go public.
Canberra, Feb 15 (Xinhua/UNB) - One of Australia's leading youth mental health experts warned Friday that smartphones are responsible for a crisis costing the nation 60 billion Australian dollars (42.5 billion U.S. dollars) every year.
Speaking ahead of a Mental Health and Wellbeing forum in Adelaide on Friday, Patrick McGorry said that the rate of anxiety and depression has surged with the introduction and spread of smartphones.
McGorry was named Australian of the Year in 2010 for his work establishing headspace, Australia's National Youth Mental Health Foundation.
"There's a paradox - (young people) have never been physically healthier but their mental health has never been worse," he told News Corp Australia in Adelaide.
With a general election looming in May, McGorry called on both major parties to commit to real solutions to the mental health crisis rather than simple "awareness" campaigns.
The government's National Mental Health Commission found in 2016 that the annual cost of mental ill-health was approximately 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) or 60 billion Australian dollars.
McGorry cited a study that found that, despite widespread national awareness campaigns, only 16 percent of Australians suffering from depression accessed evidence-based care.
"If 16 percent of women with breast cancer got access to evidence-based care, it would not be tolerated," he said.
"We are currently failing to fix," he said. "If this continues, we will be falling further behind in our obligation to improve mental health services for all"
"In a federal election year, I want to see a commitment for more funding to ensure better outcomes," he added.
Dhaka, Feb 14 (UNB) - Search engine giant Google is celebrating Valentine's Day 2019 with the most adorable doodle.
This year Google featured a pair of snakes, ladybugs to spiders in a moving Doodle dedicated for the day meant for love. The doodle tries to explain how love comes in all forms, shapes, sizes and the freedom to express it.
It said, “There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But when you get right down to it, today is all about one thing: the universal, undeniable power of love. Love comes in all shapes and sizes—or even species! Consider the lovestruck critters featured in today’s Doodle. Irresistibly drawn to one another, they will wriggle, chomp, and spin webs through any obstacles to express their eternal devotion.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day!” it said.
Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed in most countries of the world on February 14. People prefer spending time with their loved one, dedicating the day to express their love towards the significant other.
San Francisco, Feb 14 (AP/UNB) — Google plans to invest more than $13 billion this year on new and expanded data centers and offices across the U.S.
CEO Sundar Pichai announced the news in a blog post Wednesday , emphasizing the company's growth outside its Mountain View, California, home and across the Midwest and South.
"2019 marks the second year in a row we'll be growing faster outside of the (San Francisco) Bay Area than in it," he wrote.
Google will build new data centers in Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia. Pichai estimated the construction of the new centers will employ 10,000 workers.
It makes good political sense for Google to highlight its expansions outside coastal cities, said CFRA Research analyst Scott Kessler. U.S. legislators have paid increasing attention to Google and other big tech companies in the past year, and are considering passing privacy laws to regulate the companies' reach. Investing more widely across the U.S. could help it curry favor with federal politicians and officials, he said.
Google is focused on expanding its cloud-computing business, a market where it faces stiff competition from larger rivals Amazon and Microsoft.
The company will have a physical presence in 24 states by the end of the year. It currently has locations in 21 states, and is expanding into Nevada, Ohio and Nebraska.
Its expansion is likely also a way to attract new employees, Kessler said. Google will add an office in Georgia, and expand its offices in several cities including in Seattle and Chicago.
Google said it spent more than $9 billion on similar expansions across the country last year.
Google did not give an exact number of employees it expects to hire as a result of the 2019 expansions, but said it would be "tens of thousands" of full-time workers.
Dhaka, Feb 13 (UNB)-Banglalink, has recently launched ‘Najat’, a 360 degree Islamic service endorsed by the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh.
The service will enable the users to access authentic Islamic contents and useful religious features. Live Media Limited will be the technical partner of Banglalink in providing the service.
Along with using features such as religious video streaming, mosque locator, Namaj time, Islamic calendar and Jakat calculator, ‘Najat’ subscribers can avail Islamic Sawal Jabab service for religious advice. Furthermore, they will be able to listen to the live streaming of Bishwa Ijtema, one of the largest Islamic gatherings in the world.
The service can be accessed through apps, web and an IVR system. The android and IOS versions of ‘Najat’ apps are available on ‘Play Store’ and ‘App Store’, respectively. Customers can also use the service visiting the website- najat.com.bd.
In order to avail Islamic contents through IVR, customers need to dial 28155.
Abdul Muqit Ahmed, Digital Services Director of Banglalink said “We are really delighted to bring this unique Islamic service. It will give the users a spiritually satisfaction by enabling them to learn from authentic religious contents and other necessary features.“
Md Tamjid Atul, Director of Live Media Limited said “We are working as a technical partner of Banglalink with a view to providing the users with authentic sources of Islamic learning. Endorsed by Islamic Foundation Bangladesh, the Islamic contents and religious features will help the users to practice Islam in their daily lives.”
Banglalink will continue to add unique features to the service in order to bring more facilities for the subscribers.