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tv   Bloomberg West  Bloomberg  April 16, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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>> live from pier three in san francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west," where we cover innovation, technology, and the future of business. i'm emily chang. we have the latest numbers from google. and one of the hippest offices in new york city. behind the scenes of yahoo!'s recent acquisition, tumblr. we have some breaking news, yahoo! has just nominated three new board members, and one of them is the yahoo! cofounder.
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another is the chairman and director of the charles schwab corporation. shareholders will be voting on the nominees at the company's annual meeting june 25. we will have more on this later this hour. first, the top technology headlines -- ibm has posted an eighth straight quarter of declining sales. sales fell almost 4% in the first quarter while profit tumbled 21%. the hardware and consulting services units were weak spots, but cloud revenue was up more than 63%. new york attorney general eric snyderman has sent subpoenas to six high-frequency trading firms. he is seeking information on their trading strategies and the arrangements firms have with the exchanges.
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he says he is concerned some trading platforms may sell services that are giving high frequency traders an edge in the market. giving up on plans to rehabilitate its business, instead the once prominent bitcoin exchange will ask a japanese court to liquidate its assets, saying that a rehab plan was too complex. mt. gox filed for bankruptcy in february after losing 860,000 bitcoins. the lead story of the day, mobile is having a big impact on google. it is driving down the prices of ads. google says its cost per click was down 9% in the first quarter. paid clicks rose 26%. overall, google reported first-quarter revenue of $22 billion, up 11%, net income up 3%, and, in one other sign of concern, expenses climbed 23% in the quarter to more than $11 billion.
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google has been on position -- acquisition spree, pursuing some of its moon-shots. google stock is down in after-hours. scott coley is the chairman of ad exchange, and paul, your immediate reaction, cost per clicks are down, but clicks are up. is this all because of mobile? >> it is. google, like most other companies come is trying to manage his business from the desktop to the mobile environment. as the usage moves to mobile, two things happen. number one, the actual usage of the site goes up. as you mentioned, clicks were up 26% at google. the flipside of the coin is advertising pricing on mobile devices comes at a lower price point than the desktop. in the case of google, the cost per click pricing was down 9%. google, like a lot of media
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companies, needs to manage the pricing on the ads versus the actual number of ads themselves. >> how serious is this? does is matter that cost per click is going down? >> it is relatively serious for google. to keep in place the growth, they need to start winning in mobile. it will take a real serious effort for them to put in place the technology and the people and things that need to be done to take to the next level. >> what more do they need to do? >> figure out how to help advertisers convert, which means making money in mobile. only a few categories in mobile are doing well. most of the off-line retailers and travel advertisers are figuring out how to use mobile. google needs to help them take it to the next level. >> how is this different from facebook or twitter? >> that's right, the migration
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to mobile was the number one issue for facebook after there are ipo. facebook had virtually none of its revenue coming from mobile devices, and now they will report well over 50%, much like google is over 50%. a lot of these internet companies are making some pretty good progress on mobile advertising, but the reality is they have a long way to go to catch up to the usage. a lot of usage for facebook, over 75% of the usage is from mobile devices, yet only 50% of the revenue comes from mobile. there is a gap there. there is a bigger gap for google. this is a challenge for all of these internet companies. they have to figure out products that work well on the mobile device. those products, advertising products may not be the same ones that work well on desktop devices. it is a big tech investment and strategy investment. i think the numbers are proving themselves out over time, but as google said today, it will be a longer-term pole to fully monetize mobile.
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>> zach, you have worked closely with facebook and other companies based on where advertisers want to place their ad. do these trends hurt google more than facebook? >> i think google is in a tough spot. they have a gigantic cash machine in search. they have really done well. investors believe in that strength. they have to keep that running and keep that printing money, and at the same time transition to an entirely new way of advertising and helping users buy and sell things. that is really hard for big, slower companies. younger startups are basically able to move much faster. google will be challenged in the next years to really continue the growth it has had. >> google has made a big acquisitions, facebook has also with oculus, and a drone company, google buying a drone company, a lot of robotics companies. paul, are the moon-shots and
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acquisitions hurting google's bottom line? >> when google became public, they said, listen, a certain percentage of our expenditures both and operating expenses will be for moon-shots. we will have speculative investments. larry, sergey brin have said that from the day one. some of these will pan out, some will not. google, it is part of their strategy. they have the cash to not only invest in their core search business but also swing for the fences. you compare that with facebook, the whatsapp deal, $19 billion, people in the valley and wall street are still scratching their heads on the number. not that it's not an outstanding platform with a tremendous user base, but $19 billion is a little hard to swallow. some of the folks on the street are trying to get a good handle
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on some of these big acquisitions that don't have a near-term payoff. >> zach, i was speaking with mark mahaney of rbc capital markets. when it comes to google and these acquisition, he is giving them the benefit of the doubt. would you give them the benefit of the doubt it will all work out? >> that is what this game is about, figuring out how these will turn into winners. or are they getting excited by new technology that is cool and interesting for an engineer but not necessarily turning into a business. as an investor in google, i love where they have gone, but it is scary to look at transitions. there are clearly transitions that you only need to do moon-shots when you don't think what you're doing now is the future. i think as investors, there are questions there. >> zach, ceo of triggit, as well as paul, bloomberg industry analyst, thank you both. yahoo! has nominated three new board members. how does this play into ceo marissa mayer's turnaround plan? that and more when "bloomberg west" returns. ♪
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>> welcome back to "bloomberg west." i'm emily chang. yahoo! is nominating three new board members. jon erlichman is in los angeles with the details. jon, some familiar names and some names that marissa mayer has presumably gotten to know well? >> you highlighted at the start of the show that h. lee scott, potentially someone she got to know from walmart's board. we know that yahoo! and marissa mayer have been on the hunt for board members for a long time. we learned in recent days that another board member would be leaving, not staying on, past the shareholder meeting, john
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hayes also leaving. this was beginning to be an awfully small board of about five people when you include marissa mayer. they have been looking for people for a very long time. in picking the three they have selected, lee scott, charles schwab, obviously a name that probably needs very little introduction, and david filo, cofounder of the company, you have two things. number one, in scott and schwab, we have heard a lot about the possibility in looking for new people to come onto the board they wanted people who had operational experience at big companies. certainly those two get that checkmark. they already have a tech flavor on this board. david filo is somebody who is still very active at yahoo!, somebody who has a good relationship with marissa mayer. we know jerry yang, the other cofounder of yahoo!, has pretty much moved on, but david and marissa have a good relationship, so that helps explain these picks.
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>> you wonder how each of these people fit into the vision of the future of yahoo! she brought on the cofounder of paypal, very much a product guy. she promoted maynard webb, who we speak too often on the show, a former executive at ebay, longtime executive, very respected person in silicon valley, now the chairman of the company. what does each of these people bring to the table? >> i think the fact they have a lot of traditional corporate america operational experience is what they are looking for. as you highlighted, with people like maynard, there is no shortage of good tech ideas that are fired around inside the boardroom. very clearly, marissa mayer has very astute views on where the industry is going. but if you think about some of the challenges ahead for yahoo!, they are not actually the worst challenge is to have.
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a lot of cash coming into the company through the ipo of alibaba, and the decisions they have to make on how to use that cash. yahoo! had earnings this week. a lot of questions centered around the corporate wall street types of issues, as opposed to the underlying yahoo! strategy, which is clearly already underway. another thing is, you look at the yahoo! business, and on its own, beyond the excitement surrounding alibaba, you have a business that struggles to grow its overall revenue from advertising. generating $1 billion per quarter, but it is the same old challenge the company has had. i think the first step was, let's go out and see if we can round out this board, it's got a lot smaller when dan loeb, the investor, sold some of his stake
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and left, along with two others. it's hard to run a company when there are only five board members. a lot of stuff has to be addressed. >> and leading up to this, before marissa mayer took over, yahoo! was really plagued by leaks. we don't know where the leaks were coming from, but marissa mayer came in and sort of locked it down. she not only overhauled the board, but she somehow gave her employees the confidence not to leak stuff to the public in the press before they were ready. >> you are absolutely right. this board has changed a lot over the last few years. i do think, in an effort to crack down on leaks, you are also looking to sort of make people excited about the place they are working. sometimes you have leaks come from companies like yahoo! because of people being disgruntled about what their role is. a lot of what marissa mayer has done over the last stretch as ceo is try to put a team in
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place that would sort of be on the same page about where they can go. >> anecdotally, employees i have talked to are a lot more excited than they used to be, although a lot remains to be seen as to whether her plan will pan out. jon erlichman, thank you so much for giving us the context on the new board nominees at yahoo! he is a rock star and former judge on the israeli version of "american idol." now he is transforming the video viewing experience. up next, video technology. watch us on your phone, tablet,, apple tv, and amazon fire tv. ♪
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>> ♪ >> that is a clip from one of the winning entries to be unveiled tonight in the nonlinear film category at the tribeca film festival. they challenge filmmakers to use technology from digital media company interlude. the technology lets users create an interactive music video that allows viewers to create their own outcome. joining me from new york with more is the interlude cofounder and ceo, yoni bloch. i have been watching some of the videos. they are really interesting. what do you mean by create your own outcome? how can i create my own outcome from a video? >> until now, all videos from tv to the internet, nothing
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changed. what our technology allows is to take advantage of the fact this is a two way channel and it lets users actually make choices inside the video to change the outcome of the video. the creator, instead of creating one linear timeline, builds a playground and lets people play in it. >> does this mean i could choose my own ending to a movie? >> yes, basically, that is what you would take from it. the idea is the creator would decide not to decide. to make different scenarios and let you choose what it would be. the basic ideas could be changing the outcome of the story, but it can also let users decide how they will actually engage with the video and what will happen, change the music, change the story, change anything. it's all in the hands of the creator. >> this would be useful for advertisers, i'm assuming, because they can pick up on what the viewers interested in, right? >> exactly.
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a lot of traction comes from advertisers like pepsi and subaru and lincoln. but what we are very proud of, because the company was founded by a band of musicians, we are very focused on creativity and storytelling capabilities, not necessarily -- it comes naturally because of sometimes you can tell a better story and engage the user much more. >> you mentioned pepsi, lincoln, looking at a subaru commercial. tell us about your clients and what they are asking for. >> our clients come because of the creative abilities mostly. we have a video that went viral for rolling stone a few months ago. it is especially directors and script writer see new ways they can actually tell their story, and viewers are enjoying it much more.
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it has over 70 million views. it was never on youtube. it is a big accomplishment for such a thing. >> i have seen this video. it is pretty amazing. now, do you need any special hardware for this to work? if you have a regular phone or tv, doesn't work for you? >> yeah, it was very important to make it the most comfortable and fun experience. it will work on ios, android, multiple platforms. it allows you to build your own story inside our website. it allows you to publish it to any world that you like. it is cross-platform, right out-of-the-box. you don't need any hardware to build it or play afterwards. >> you are working to creativity you where you monitor what a viewer is looking at, they don't necessarily make conscious choices about what comes next?
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>> in general, we don't limit the interface of how people in direct with the video. we are testing things from the oculus helmet to eye-tracking software that lets you choose the outcome to touch gestures, anything. we don't want to limit the way that people are able to transfer the stories. >> you guys are backed by some of the biggest names in silicon valley, sequoia, eric schmidt chairman of google. how have you convinced these guys to get on board? >> i think we have a lot of traction in general from a lot of different companies. creative stuff, like what we are doing tonight with tribeca, to education, big universities around the world are using this to create interactive courses, to even real estate agents making build-your-own tools, interactive building videos.
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i think the vastness of what this can be used for, we hope it will be like a real revolution and how we consume content and create content. >> i want to put this into context for viewers. you are like a rock star, especially in israel. you are a judge on the israeli version of "american idol." >> only in israel. >> how is it different being a rock star in israel to being a rock star in the united states? is it different? >> i'm not a rock star in the united states. israel is a small country, and it has less people than manhattan, i think. >> all right, yoni bloch, we are honored to have you on the show. thank you for stopping by and congratulations on this award from the tribeca film festival.
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coming up, have you ever lost your smartphone? phone makers like apple and samsung will help you find it with a kill switch. that is next. ♪
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>> you are watching "bloomberg west," where we cover innovation, technology, and the future of business. i'm emily chang. the biggest names in electronics and phone carrier services are signing on for a kill switch. as of july 2015, models built for retail sales in the united states will offer an antitheft tool, making the phone inoperable if it is lost or stolen. apple, samsung, and at&t have volunteered to participate. how much will it prevent theft? joining us are these cyber
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security reporter of bloomberg news. what does the kill switch mean? >> what is interesting about the announcement, a lot of the companies have had this capability, handset makers have had this capability since the phones were introduced. they are allowing consumers to access this feature. it allows you to wipe content remotely from your phone. if you want to brick the phone and make sure it does not work at all, you can do that. the interesting part is the phone companies have been able to do this until now, and now they are allowing consumers to do it. >> will this prevent the ball from actually stealing phones? if i steal a phone and it is wiped, can i still use it? >> what we have seen, we have seen the robbery statistics involving smartphones spike in major cities, san francisco, new york, oakland. these are crimes of opportunity. the criminals are not checking whether the user has a kill switch enabled on the phone. it's a crime of opportunity, they see somebody with a fancy phone in the wrong part of town,
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the wrong time. if they do enough robberies, they will find enough phones to sell on the black market. it will help people's peace of mind, but it will not stop standard street robbery. >> is it really possible to wipe a phone completely? are there cached files or things that remain of hackers wanted to find them? >> determined hackers have ways to access data. if you freeze a computer, you can extract data from memory. there are ways of physically manipulating the computer to access the data. there are few foolproof ways of deleting everything from a digital device. for most people, the ability to do this is a nice safeguard. it will pressure some mobile security companies that offer this kind of feature. >> the wireless association says it will be no cost to customers for phones made after july 2015. is that something that will continue?
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>> you hope that it would. this is kind of a commonsense feature to add to a device. the mobile carriers have already had this feature to begin with. you would hope this would not be a profit center for some of these companies. it is kind of a commonsense safeguard. >> did an amazon get in trouble for actually using this capability at one point to get rid of some sort of book that violated copyright? >> they did, ironically enough orwell's books. there was a copyright issue, amazon went into some kindles to remove the copyright infringing volumes. unfortunately, it was george orwell and it brought up these dystopian ideas of censorship and that sort of things. google has also removed malware. there is a real safety component to a kill switch because it allows you to remove bad things from the device. mobile companies have control over their devices in ways that pc makers don't. and a lot of ways that makes the devices more secure, but they can be misused as well.
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>> all right, jordan, thank you so much. the chinese microblogging site weibo will set its share price tonight ahead of its ipo tomorrow. the company is seeking a valuation of $3.9 billion, planning to offer shares at $17 and $19 apiece. as of december 2013, weibo had 129 million active users. joining me now is shaun ryan, managing director of china market research, joining us via skype from shanghai. shaun, i will start with you. is the valuation fair? >> the valuation seems quite high to me. there are a number of reasons. the first, if you look, weibo lost $47.4 million in q1 of this
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year, a bigger loss than last year. also importantly, their revenue in q1 of this year is 5% lower than it was at the end of q4 2013. the numbers are looking worse and worse. also importantly, as we talked about yesterday, the mobile phone messaging system has gotten really popular in the last three months. i am quite negative on weibo going forward. >> tell us how twitter and weibo are different. weibo is 140 chinese characters. what are you can do things with video. >> there are many ways financially they are different, too. weibo and twitter have the vast majority of users on mobile. twitter is doing a much better job of monetizing users with more revenue coming from mobile than desktop. weibo is still very desktop-centric. twitter's revenue is almost
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double and they have almost twice as many users. weibo is not as big of a threat, now that we have seen the numbers from the filing, to twitter as some might have expected. >> twitter is of course blocked in china. weibo, give us an idea of the competitive landscape within china and outside of china. >> within china, one of the interesting things is twitter, literally the day after it was blocked in china, weibo released and was accessible to all chinese users. 2, 3 years ago, everybody was talking about weibo that was the hot company like twitter, but in the last six months it has declined. over the summer, the chinese government went after weibo because they were worried about rumor-mongering. people with tens of millions of followers were getting arrested because they were too outspoken against the government. we have seen the regulatory environment has gotten a lot
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more difficult for weibo. it is more of a mobile phone interface. you only connect with your friends. people feel a lot more comfortable about putting up pictures, traveling on vacation when it's only their friends and families receiving the pictures rather than on weibo where you can have millions of people you don't know following you. the tilt is really going more towards we chat going forward. >> is weibo really competition to twitter outside of the chinese mainland? >> they are in countries around the world, but they mostly cater to chinese communities in those countries. if you look at their filing, they say what they are looking for in terms of expansion is some of the lower tier chinese cities. they have become very popular in shanghai and beijing, but they need to go into the cities in china where maybe people are not as tech savvy. that is where they are seeing most of their growth. >> when it comes to the ipo, how
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do you expect weibo's offerings to be different from twitter coming out of the gate? >> i think people are excited about china and the continued growth. the one thing investors need to note is before alibaba control 20% stake of weibo, now it is 33%. it will be key how weibo can be integrated into alibaba's commerce dominant. weibo is not really outside of china. they have not really translated their interface into english or any other language. it is a pure china play. i don't think he will be competitive against twitter anytime soon. we chat on the other hand has done in english and the entire world. i was in south africa giving a speech and everybody in south africa was using we chat. >> we will be watching. we are waiting for weibo to price at any moment. shaun, thank you very much.
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we will be right back with more "bloomberg west" right after this break. you can watch a streaming on your tablet, phone,, and on apple tv and amazon fire tv. ♪
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>> welcome back to "bloomberg west." i'm emily chang. we turn now to the new york auto show, where carmakers from around the world are gathering to show off their latest
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designs. matt miller sat down with bob carter, toyota's head of operations. he talked about the new and improved toyota camry just unveiled today. >> the last camry was introduced three years ago and we completely redesigned it. we started in the core of the added more high-strength steel, really strengthening the platform, the suspension, new steering, new braking, and we completely redid the interior, adding a lot of features customers told us they wanted. then we packaged it into a more stylish body. really the only thing that is comparable in this car is the small square piece of sheet metal on the roof. other than that everything is new. >> that's incredible because only three years into the new toyota camry, typically at this point you do a refresh maybe, change the front fascia, that is
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it. why the total overhaul? >> well, we are really fortunate. since we introduced the camry in 2012, it has been the number one selling car in the u.s. >> 13 years in a row. >> 13 years in a row. while the customers love the current camry, they're looking for more style and performance. we really take that to heart. while camry has been extremely successful, we have over 50 american families per hour per day, 365 take a new camry home. >> 50 families per hour, if the clock were running the whole day, open all day, 50 per hour? >> 24/7, 365, which represents about 45,000 units.
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-- 410,000 units. you're the only car that has reached that kind of level. typical of toyota, we ask customers how did you like the car and what would you like to see in the next camry. we got so many good ideas, we decided to incorporate it in year three. >> the head of the global toyota company has been pushing for a sportier, more passionate experience, driving experience. i think there is a japanese phrase for it i can never remember. this must bring that forward, but it kind of looks like a lexus. will there be a gelling of the two brands? the grill has that look. >> no, you will see really distinct directions for lexus and toyota. toyota was really found it on the principles of quality, reliability, durability, high fuel efficiency, and great value. that is in our dna. we are never changing that.
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but the consumer tastes have changed. we need to make our designs more emotional and get a little more passionate in the cars. what our goal is with the new camry and everything we do from the sports cars to suv's has changed from a nice-looking, great, high-quality car to a car that i really want to own, i really want to drive. >> that was matt miller with bob carter, toyota's head of auto operations at the new york auto show. tomorrow morning on "in the loop," betty liu is focusing on tesla, trying to sell their electric vehicles directly to consumers instead of through dealers. that conversation starts at 8 a.m., right here on bloomberg television. coming up, tumblr is not just an online destination for celebrities. we will get a tour of the company's hip nyc headquarters, next.
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>> welcome back to "bloomberg west." i'm emily chang. tumblr was a hot property when yahoo! bought it about a year ago. and now hosts 189 million blogs in over 2 billion posts. what does tumblr look like off your screen? we visited their manhattan headquarters to take a look. >> welcome to tumblr headquarters, home of one of new york city's hottest tech companies, located in manhattan's flatiron neighborhood. it proves it is not just a hip destination in the digital world.
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its office has colorful art -- >> everything on the walls are from artists. >> it has ping-pong -- >> so people can relax. >> it has phone booths. this is where i say don't forget to pick up the milk? >> sure. >> it even has standing desks. >> it's supposedly healthier. >> tumblr's growth has exploded since yahoo! bought the blogging site for $1.1 billion last year. the user base is up, time spent on the site is climbing, and tumblr is hiring five new people every week. as the headcounts wells, so does the square footage. from 5000 four years ago to 50,000 today. >> there would be people sitting on the radiators, the window sills, and finally we burst out. >> david is a high school dropout that founded tumblr
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seven years ago when he was 20. now he is a major player in the new york tech scene. as tumblr matures, he is worried about losing the start of nature. >> there are a whole weeks where he may not cross paths with people working on a particular project. it is a scary notion. it is something we work hard, to make sure you do not lose the sense of family. >> made in new york pride is on display through the office. meanwhile, its owner is 2500 miles away. the deal with yahoo!, when you think about tech, the power players are in northern california. why not make the move? >> it always came up, hey, there are all these engineers out here, how much would it take to move to the valley? being born and raised here, getting as far as we have here, i cannot imagine doing this and any other part of the world, let alone california. >> what?
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"let alone california"? jon erlichman, joining us from los angeles, can you believe what he just said? that was so rude. >> well, he is a new york guy. he is entitled. i think it is interesting, considering at yahoo! marissa mayer like to have more folks under the sunnyvale roof is she can make that happen because that encourages more communication and talking about ideas. she talks a lot about how they were able to make some changes to the weather app as a result of bumping into people in the halls. what would you go out and want to buy businesses, and obviously tumblr is one they wanted, if they want to stay in new york they are entitled to do it. i think it is encouraging to have different tech communities around the country. >> jon, that sounds like such a canadian thing to say. >> that was safe, right?
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listen -- >> you stay in new york, i will stay here in san francisco and enjoy my sunshine. >> there you go. i think, look, communities that get together and are created because of a certain idea, it is hard to break away from them. >> all right, even though you are canadian, i will allow a you to give us the bwest byte, a number that tells a whole lot. >> i will keep it tied to yahoo! the revenue increase at yahoo! in the most recent quarter was 1.9%. remember, yahoo! investors got excited after the latest yahoo! earnings, likely more because of its valuable stake in alibaba as opposed to the revenue growth at the core business. i say this, emily, google came
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out with its results and the stock was week after google reported. google had 19% revenue in its most recent quarter. >> right. however, cost per clicks going down, paid click going up, how does it continue to monetize mobile in the same way it has been able to monetize search? they have relied on search for so long, but mobile is the future and google has to figure out how it is going to build and continue to build and grow its core business, at the same time it is doing the moon-shots. >> i think sometimes when you do a quarter by quarter on the stories, we lose focus on the fact a lot of these big brands will give a lot of money to google to spend on different platforms. pc's, mobile. google is suggesting they are finding a way to do that. >> all right, jon erlichman. thank you all for watching this edition of "bloomberg west." see you tomorrow. ♪
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>> the following is a paid row graham. the opinions and views expressed do not reflect those of bloomberg lp, its affiliates, or employees. >> do you love sitting down to a big sunday dinner with the entire family? do you wish you could enjoy the meals?f those now you can take grandma's recipes and turn them into a


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