Actually, um, maybe–yes–at least, according to a new study, in which almost 75 percent of American Gen Z and Millennials told researchers that they prefer to talk with other people via text message–as opposed to actually talking with them.
This is all via a 4,000-person survey conducted last month by the folks at LivePerson, a company that provides mobile and online messaging business solutions, asking participants in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Japan, and France about their digital media and in-person preferences.
The company also surveyed 1,016 adults 35 years old or older in the United States to use as a benchmark to which they could compare the Millennial and Gen Z answers.
“What we see in the research data is the phone truly becoming an extension of the self, and the platforms and apps within it — digital life — occupying more than their offline interactions,” said Rurik Bradbury, global head of communications and research at LivePerson.
Among the other findings:
1. The phone is the new wallet
Given a choice to leave either their wallet or phone at home, just under 62 percent said their wallet. Among the older cohort, 72 percent of those over age 35 said they’d leave their phone and take their wallet.
2. The phone is almost a part of the body
Nearly two-thirds of 18-34 year olds say they habitually bring their phones with them when they use the bathroom, and nearly half say they regularly text while walking in crowds. Also, more than 70 percent of Gen Z and Millenials say they sleep with their phones within reach. Half say they automaticallypick it upif they’re awakened during the night. Also,They’re super-impatient.
3. Instant gratification
According to the study, Millennials and Gen Z “expect digital convenience in all aspects of their lives,” or they’ll walk away from a sale.
“For less expensive purchases (under $ 20 or equivalent), 73.4 percent of Millennials will give up on a brand within 10 minutes if they don’t get the answer they need,” the report sys. Forty percent said they’ll wait no more than five minutes.
4. Phones over dollars
More than half of Millennials and Gen Z respondents said it would take more than $ 1 million to convince them to give up their smartphones; in fact just over 43 percent said it would take at least $ 5 million.
5. Forget “digital first,” how about “digital only?”
Seven out of 10 of the 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed said they could imagine a world in which there is no longer any such thing as brick and mortar stores, and all purchases would be made digitally or online. Moreover, almost 20 percent of Americans in that age range said they’d actually prefer to do all shopping digitally, without ever talking with a human being.
When data center operator Switch goes public on Friday it will be the latest tech firm using special shares to limit the rights of minority investors, making it ineligible for inclusion in the S&P 500 under new rules meant to deter such practices.
The Las Vegas company, run by enigmatic founder and CEO Rob Roy, plans to sell 31.3 million shares in an initial public offer late on Thursday for between $ 14 and $ 16 a piece, which would raise nearly $ 500 million and make it the largest technology listing this year after Snap.
Underwriters closed their order book late on Wednesday and the deal was oversubscribed, according to a source close to the IPO.
Roy, who describes himself as an “inventrepreneur” and “tech futurist,” will have 68% of voting power following the IPO, thanks to a special share class providing 10 votes per share.
That will keep Switch out of the S&P 500 and other related indexes under new rules instituted by S&P Dow Jones in July after Snap sold shares without any voting rights in its $ 3.4 billion IPO earlier this year.
Rule changes enacted last month for FTSE Russell indexes, also in reaction to Snap, require new constituents of its indexes to have at least 5% of their voting rights in the hands of public shareholders.
The shares being sold in Switch’s IPO will include 4.9% of the company’s voting rights, or 5.6% if underwriters exercise an option to buy additional shares.
In its IPO filing and a profile of Roy on the company website, Switch gives no details about what he did before founding the company in 2000 or his academic qualifications. The profile describes him as “a recognized expert in advanced end-to-end solutions for mission-critical facilities.”
A company spokesman declined to provide additional information about Roy, and he does not appear in a 38-minute video marketing the IPO.
The IPO could value Switch, which operates three data centers in Michigan and Nevada, at almost $ 4 billion.
Snap co-founder Evan Spiegel was well known to Wall Street ahead of the Snapchat-owner’s February share offer, with many investors essentially betting on his talent. With Roy less known, investors may be taking a greater risk on a company in which they will have little say.
“Investors do look at voting control as well as the price you pay. If you put so much stock in the CEO, normally he’s going to part of the sales pitch for the company,” said Ken Bertsch, Executive Director of the Council of Institutional Investors, which represents top U.S. pension funds.
As many of 15% of U.S. IPOs in recent years have used dual share classes meant to give insiders outsized voting rights, according to the Council of Institutional Investors.
Inclusion in a stock index can be an important milestone for young companies, bringing their shares into many passive funds and others that closely follow indexes like the S&P 500, a guide for trillions of dollars of capital worldwide.
Other companies excluded from major indexes under their new rules include video-streaming company Roku Inc, whose IPO last week kept 97% of voting power with insiders. Software seller Mulesoft’s IPO in February included a share class with 10 votes per share, as did Blue Apron in its June debut.
Suggesting that the tide may be turning toward sharing power with minority investors, privately-held ride-hailing company Uber on Tuesday said it would abandon a dual share class system that favored insiders including former CEO Travis Kalanick.
Responding to a shareholder lawsuit, Facebook Inc in September gave up plans for a new class of stock that was meant to be a way for Mark Zuckerberg to retain control over the company he founded while fulfilling a pledge to give away his wealth.
With Blade Runner 2049 ready to premier on October 26, marketers are pulling out all the stops to bring in the bodies. Advance reviews are great, but why take chances? So the studio commissioned and has released three free shorts that fill in some of the story gaps in the 30 years that were supposed to have passed since the original.
Blade Runner, roughly based on a Phillip K. Dick novel, is different in that no one had been actively extending the fan base or creating additional properties. After 35 years, even with all the hype surrounding the sequel, it helps to bridge an enormous actual time gap, both between the releases and the years in which the films are supposed to take place.
The writer and director could try to fill everything in, but that presents some difficulties in storytelling and filming. So the studio and director Denis Villeneuve invited some other filmmakers to create a series of backstories for the new movie. They’re both prequel to Blade Runner 2049 and sequel to the original. Each tells one part of the time gap, from a revolution and destruction of global communications, the creation of a new version of the synthetic humans called Replicants, and a hunt for one of the Replicants. Below are the three: the first in anime and then two live action.
Over a few months, they’ve given fans something to chew on, get excited over, and promote virally. It’s a clever approach that builds on what studios have previously done to add live to existing properties, whether offering blooper reels, behind-the-scenes videos, or launching online games in support of marketing.
You can also think of this as a variation on what other companies have done with their brands, like merchandise sales. The more you can keep top of someone’s mind, the more easily they will remember you when you come around to sell something new.
I take a lot of pride in the fact that my portfolio has never experienced a dividend cut. I came close once with KMI, but I managed to sell the position before the cut was announced. I spend a lot of my time during the due diligence process focusing on dividend-related metrics with a specific focus on sustainability and dividend growth prospects. Well, I just put that perfect record at risk with a purchase of Uniti Group (UNIT) shares at $ 15.01, or a very hefty 15.98% yield.
This ~16% yield is nearly double my previously high yield, which was Omega Healthcare Inc (OHI) at just a tad bit more than 8%. Typically, when I see yields in the double digits, I get nervous. Yields that high mean the asset is distressed. When looking at stocks like UNIT investors are receiving a very high potential reward for exposing themselves to a very high perceived risk. I’m not a huge fan of making these risky bets. But, I’ve spent a lot of time reading articles and commentary about UNIT published over the last couple of weeks focused on the company’s enormous ~40% fall since the start of August. I’ve read enough bullish commentary to get me interested in the stock, especially from contributors here at Seeking Alpha that I’ve come to respect over the years.
Honestly, I think this company’s recent drama has been exhausted by the Seeking Alpha community and I don’t have anything new to add to the conversation other than the fact that I am now long the stock. I like to keep followers up to date on my recent portfolio maneuvers though, so I wanted to write this piece. However, instead of re-hash the pros and cons of UNIT ownership here, I will link you to some of my favorite articles recently published regarding UNIT.
My absolute favorite REIT contributor here at Seeking Alpha is Brad Thomas. Mr. Thomas has led me to highly profitable investment decisions on several occasions. I respect his opinion in the REIT space above all others. In late August/early September, he published two bullish pieces on UNIT (when shares were trading at levels much higher than they are today). One of them remains behind SA’s Marketplace paywall, but another is free to the public. Here’s a link to Mr. Thomas’s most recent UNIT piece which includes an informative interview with UNIT’s CEO Kenny Gunderson and a reiteration of Mr. Thomas’ “BUY” rating on shares post Q2 results.
Another UNIT piece that really caught my eye was Dividend Sensei’s recent article explaining why he’s adding to his UNIT stake, making it his largest individual position. I really like Dividend Sensei’s work here at SA. He puts together a very in-depth analysis that is also easy to understand. I admit that I am much more risk-averse than he seems to be. He trades with margin and oftentimes seeks much higher yields than I do. I would never allow a company like UNIT to become my largest holding. Actually, I don’t imagine a future where UNIT ever makes up more than 1% of my overall portfolio (right now, it’s weighting is ~0.375%). Even so, I oftentimes find is opinions to be more than reasonable and while our portfolio management strategies aren’t the same (which is to be expected because no two people are in the same situation when it comes to personal finance and long-term financial goals), I still respect his opinion immensely.
I’ll talk more about this piece in a bit, but Ian Bezek’s recent article on the matter was valuable to me as well, especially in terms of trying to put this company’s potential risks into perspective against what seems to be an overly bullish consensus amongst SA contributors and readers, mainly, I think, because of UNIT’s incredibly high yield. Ian is long UNIT, although as of his latest piece, he hadn’t added to his position on more recent weakness. I think Ian has a keen eye for value and the fact that he too was long, played a role in my decision-making.
Alpha Gen Capital wrote a particularly bullish piece, hinting at the fact that UNIT could be one of the year’s best opportunities due to recent overreactions in the share price movement. This piece really breaks down the issues that UNIT is facing with WIN, some of the potential fallouts of legal/bankruptcy scenarios. All of this is very confusing and remains highly speculative, though my main takeaway is that it appears likely that, regardless of a WIN bankruptcy, UNIT will still be in a position of strength due to the Master Lease arrangement it has with WIN. Lease re-negotiation still appears to be a possible scenario here, which would change the landscape that UNIT operates in the present, but for the time being, I’m willing to trust in the payments from the Master Lease deal and rely on the strength of UNIT’s infrastructure, which should remain in demand moving forward.
And most recently, Beyond Saving and Dane Bowler have written pieces regarding the breaking news that broke this week surrounding more legal/head fund issues regarding WIN bonds defaulting. The comment streams following all of these pieces have been enlightening. There are bulls and bears on either side of the aisle, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that another one of my favorite SA REIT contributors, Bill Stoller, recently went long UNIT as well. As far as I know, Mr. Stroller hasn’t published an article focused on UNIT, but I’ve seen him make enough solid calls in the past to give weight to his recent purchase in my own decision-making process.
So, there you have it. This is a unique situation for me, investing in a speculative income play like this. I may not like to take big risks like this, but I have always said that I like to buy things when they’re cheap. At this point, I admit that UNIT could just as easily turn out to be a value trap as it could a tremendous value. Looking at the value of the company’s assets and its cash flow potential, I see validity in calls that have price targets in the $ 35-40 range. That would imply massive upside at today’s prices. Due to issues that UNIT faces with its over-reliance on distressed Windstream (WIN), I don’t foresee UNIT selling anywhere near the fair value of its parts anytime soon though, so their estimates really amount to a hill of beans.
There are so many rumors and potentially headwinds swirling around this stock that I think it’s nearly impossible to predict its future share price movements. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a short squeeze that sends the stock rocketing up to $ 20 or more tomorrow. I also wouldn’t be surprised to continued pressure on shares, sending them down into the single digits. I won’t attempt to signal any sort of direction of these shares; simply put, I acknowledge that I am speculating here.
This is why I bought a relatively small, ¼ position. I bought these shares because of the combined upside potential of the shares in a turnaround as well as the very high ~16% dividend yield. Right now, it appears that UNIT’s dividend is covered by AFFO, which management expects to come in somewhere in the $ 2.50 range in 2017. This is a good thing. However, as discussed at length in this article by Ian Bezek, a dividend cut may still be in the cards because without one, it will be very difficult for UNIT to raise cash.
UNIT needs to raise cash over time to continue to diversify itself away from WIN. Right now, WIN makes up ~70% of the company’s business. Management has stated plans to get this ratio down to ~50% in the short-term; however, this transformation will require additional acquisitions and I think it’s ludicrous to think that UNIT management will be able to find investments with cap rates that exceed its current dividend yield.
Because of this scenario, one could argue that a dividend cut for UNIT would actually be a good thing for the long-term. It might enable it to continue to diversify away from WIN exposure and grow its asset base. Michael Boyd wrote an article focused on this possibility today. This general point was that a distribution cut for UNIT is the right move for management to make. Once again, in the comment section, there are members on both sides of the fence of this issue. There are many question marks when it comes to UNIT in the present, but the one thing that is clear is that the company’s 16% has surely caught the eye on SA’s dividend and income community.
My portfolio’s rule regarding dividend cuts is cut and dry. A cut equals a sell, without exception. Well, being that an investment in UNIT breaks just about half of my stock screening rules anyway, I will be in wait and see mode if UNIT should slash its dividend. This is a small enough position for me that in the event of sudden weakness, it won’t do significant damage to my portfolio’s overall returns. On the flip side of this coin, UNIT’s yield is high enough to move the needle a bit in terms of my annual income expectations. Due to its extremely high yield, this ¼ position in UNIT is currently scheduled to generate the same amount of income as a typical full position with a “normal” yield for my portfolio would over a year in just a couple of quarters (my portfolio’s overall yield is just a tad above 2%).
Investing in distressed assets has led to riches for investors throughout the history. It has also lead to ruins. I’m not saying that I’m smart enough to pick and choose the winners, but I have seen enough bullish opinions from well-respected analysts/contributors to inspire me to make a small bet on UNIT. I don’t think these shares are for the faint of heart. There are so many rumors flying around regarding WIN that attempting to trade in and out of UNIT on a daily basis seems to be a fool’s errand as well. I plan on stashing the small position of UNIT shares that I bought at $ 15 away and accepting the income that they generate for my portfolio, whatever that may be. I bought one day before UNIT went ex-dividend, meaning that I’ve already captured one $ 0.60 payment. I don’t know how many more investors can expect at this level, but if management is able to maintain the dividend, I expect to do quite well here.
Although I realize that I may end up having to stay in this name for awhile depending on what happens moving forward, I don’t think this is a buy and forget type of stock. It’s both a speculative income play as well as a turnaround play. If it turns around, I think it will turn around quickly. I will continue to monitor the business and management’s attempt at diversifying its customer base. If management cuts the dividend I’m sure the share price will suffer and at that point I’ll be in it for the long-haul, hoping for a Kinder Morgan-like recovery post dividend cut. If the market receives better than expected news out of WIN and UNIT bounces drastically, I will be happy to sell my shares, taking my profits large short-term profits (these shares are held in a tax-advantaged account so that I don’t pay taxes on that hefty dividend).
Disclosure:I am/we are long UNIT, OHI.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Ah, fall. A wonderful time of football, things inexplicably getting pumpkin spice flavoring, and way more new TV than anyone could ever possibly watch. Seriously, there are a gajillion channels and streaming networks now, how can anyone dream of knowing what to turn on? Between all the superheroes, strictly-for-adults animated programs, and 1990s reboots out there it’s impossible to keep up. But we have some ideas. Below are WIRED’s picks for what you should watch (or at least DVR) this season—and one or two suggestions for what you can easily skip.
The Orville (Fox)
By far the funniest part of this science fiction adventure comedy is when the opening credits say “created by Seth MacFarlane,” because longtime Star Trek fans will immediately recognize everything else as the DNA (and proteins, bones, musculature, and central nervous system) of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It might be the weirdest thing on television—produced by a Trek stalwart, Brannon Braga, The Orville is a gleaming exploratory starship that seeks out weirdly foreheaded aliens with moral quandaries. Just find-and-replace the preachiness with a little snark. And you know what? It works. I liked TNG, and flying aboard the Orville feels like coming home. —Adam Rogers
Watch: Thursdays, 9pm/8pm Central
American Horror Story: Cult (FX)
By now, you know if you’re an American Horror Story person or not. Now in its seventh installment, FX’s anthology series has collected many devoted acolytes. If you’re in that camp, Cult is here and waiting for you, complete with all of the usual Ryan Murphy players: Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Billie Lourd, etc. If you’re not on the AHS train, though, its latest incarnation likely won’t make you a convert. A twisted look at life in America after the 2016 election, it’s got all the usual scares and camp, but—as Entertainment Weekly rightly noted—it can occasionally devolve into muddled satire. Perhaps not as strong as the series’ highpoints like Asylum or Hotel, Cult has its moments (or at least has in its first few episodes), but isn’t yet totally firing on all cylinders. But give it time, it could come around. If nothing else, it’ll be there for everyone to binge when they finally join the AHS movement. —Angela Watercutter
Watch: Tuesdays, 10pm
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (NBC)
Less than two years after FX’s Emmy-winning The People v. O.J. Simpson, NBC makes its own journey to the era of peak tabloid-TV with a limited series focusing on the brutal 1989 double-murder of wealthy Los Angeles couple Jose and Kitty Menendez. The prime suspects? Their own rich-kid sons, Lyle and Erik, whose subsequent trials—full of tales of big spending, and allegations of abuse—would rattle LA and fuel a gazillion episodes of A Current Affair. Edie Falco plays defense attorney Leslie Abramson, alongside a that cast includes Josh Charles, Lolita Davidovich, and Heather Graham. Expect plenty of of cross-examinations, a perhaps a few tent-sized double-breasted suits. —Brian Raftery
Watch: Tuesdays, 10pm/9pm Central
Big Mouth (Netflix)
After Nick Kroll and John Mulaney became kinda-household names with improv-show-turned-recurring-sketch-turned-Broadway-sensation Oh Hello, they took their talents where so many other comedy vets have been as of late: Netflix. Rather than starring as crusty old Manhattanites all over again, this time the pair voices hyperhormonal proto-teens coming of age in the New York suburbs—with all the basketball-playing-penises fantasy sequences that entails. Friend-of-every-pod Jason Mantzoukas is a regular, along with Jordan Peele and enough SNL alums for a “Californians” episode, so if your dream stream is a mashup of Comedy Bang Bang, Freaks and Geeks, and Bojack Horseman, get your Emmy write-in pencil ready. —Peter Rubin
Watch: September 29
If you were one of the handful of people who paid to see The Inhumans in IMAX, then you already know: This show is pretty bad. Like, not campy, comic-book-adaptation bad, actually hard-to-watch bad. And if you didn’t pay to see it in IMAX, then you probably still know it’s not great because you’ve seen, well, any of its production stills and/or Friday night time slot. Set simultaneously on Hawaii and the moon colony Attilan (just go with it), it sets up the kind of us-vs.-them dynamic that has been at the core of any story about people with special abilities, except it seems to do it with little or no blood in its veins. It’s hard to place exactly where it goes off the rails—is “everywhere” an acceptable answer?—but when it does, it’s not worth following. Also, most of its heroes’ superpowers aren’t that super. (See here.) Not everything to come out of the Marvel TV universe has been knock-down stellar, but coming from the same family that produces Jessica Jones and even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it’s pretty inhumane. —Angela Watercutter
The beauty of the Marvel Netflix shows has always been that they can get away with everything the summer tentpole movies and ABC shows can’t: Sex! Drinking! Cursing! Punisher promises to turn that up to 11. Based on the trailer alone, the show has more blood and gunplay than any of the Defenders’ shows have offered up so far. Starring Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal as the titular antihero, Punisher goes deep and dark on the story of Frank Castle, a man who becomes a vigilante after the death of his wife and children. Sure it’s another “gritty crime show in New York,” but, hey, if you haven’t tired of those yet, why start now? Also, based on his fired-up appearance at Comic-Con International this year, Bernthal is ready to go all-in and all-out on this one. It’ll be fun to watch. —Angela Watercutter
Watch: Date TBD
Clearly, Adam Scott and Craig Robinson had their eyes on each other during the Parks and Recreation–The Office softball games on the NBC lot, because they’ve eloped to one of the weirder paranormal comedies that TV has. Co-created by Scott and his wife Naomi, the show stars the two ensemble vets as strangers recruited by a—stop me if you’ve heard this one—clandestine government agency in order to investigate the disappearance of another agent. The odd-couple dynamic feels forced in the pilot, but the two actors have enough experience and chops to develop things further. Even if things err toward the broad and kinetic early on, it’s probably worth a close encounter of the second kind, if not the third. —Peter Rubin
David Simon, architect behind HBO’s cult favorite The Wire, creates with the flair and patience of an attentive carpenter—which is to say it’s all in what he sees. Thematically, Simon has always had a creative fetish for how institutions work: the way, say, a school system operates or a city government falls apart. With The Deuce, Simon sets his sights on a nascent 1970s porn boom and prostitutes who stalk the sidewalks of Times Square. With frequent collaborator George Pelecanos, and veterans like Michelle McLaren and Richard Price attached to the project, Simon gathered the precise blend of ingredients for a slow-simmering, high-stakes drama. There’s crime and porn and drugs and the atmospheric charm of a disco-era period piece. James Franco plays the part of twin brothers, Frankie and Vincent, whose fates are eternally intertwined; there’s also Gbenga Akinnagbe’s slick-tongued Larry Brown, a hard-nosed pimp with a heart, and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Candy, a sex worker and single mother with big dreams. There’s corrupt cops, soulless mobsters, wayward college students, and women just trying to survive the lure of a New York City night. The show’s sleek prowess is a sure credit to Simon & Co.’s deliberately downplayed thesis; it never over explains or feels like cultural voyeurism. The Deuce simply says: This is Vincent and Larry and Candy. And this is how they live. (Davis Simon pro-tip: Wait until the show concludes and binge watch the series over the course of a weekend—it’s more delectable in one long bite.) —Jason Parham
Watch: Sundays, 9 pm
The Gifted (Fox)
Super-powered mutants go on the run in a world that hates and fears them. But because The Gifted is on Fox, owner of the rights to the X-Men, this Marvel Comics-based show actually gets to use the word “mutant,” and the characters are a delightful scrape of the X-books. Hey, it’s the teleporting Blink! And Polaris, Mutant Mistress of Magnetism! But let me sweeten the pot: Garret Dillahunt is the bad guy. Genially hilarious in Raising Hope, laconically terrifying in Justified and Deadwood … Dillahunt is the best. And the showrunner is Matt Nix, whose show Burn Notice was the spy version of MacGyver, and if you hate that, we’re not friends. —Adam Rogers
Watch: Mondays 9pm/8pm Central, starting Oct. 2
The first ever podcast-to-Prime adaptation, Lore is a six-episode anthology series based on Aaron Mahnke’s hit horror show, bringing together re-enactments and archival footage to dramatize (supposed) real-life tales of spookiness. The cast includes ex-X-Files star Robert Patrick and Teen Wolf‘s Holland Roden, but the real star might be the trailer’s creepy, dead-eyed doll, who looks kind of like a Motherboy costume come to life. Arriving just in time for Halloween, Lore will at least give folks something new to dig into after they’ve rewatched A Nightmare on Elm Street for the gazillionth time. —Brian Raftery
Watch: Oct. 13
Back (Sundance Now)
Even if comedy duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb hadn’t given us the absurd perfection that is “Numberwang,” they’d still deserve a lifetime achievement award for sitcom Peep Show, which lasted for nine seasons of perspective-shifting bliss. (Seriously, everyone, watch Peep Show.) And now, they’re back! The new sitcom—in which a beleaguered man (Mitchell) is reunited with a long-lost, and insufferably smarmy, foster brother (Webb)—reprises the superego-vs-id dynamic the pair is so beloved for. Granted, it’s on Sundance’s streaming platform, Sundance Now, meaning you’d have to pony up for yet another subscription, but if you have a VPN you can watch it for free on the site for UK network Channel 4. And if not … well, what would Superhans do? —Peter Rubin
Watch: Nov. 5
Future Man (Hulu)
Seth Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg have taken on just about every genre out there, from disaster movies (This Is the End) to comic-book adaptations (Preacher) to animation (Sausage Party), but it’s taken them until now to bring their filthy comedic lens to sci-fi. A janitor (Josh Hutcherson) finds out his favorite video game is actually a recruitment tool—and now he’s conscripted by the game’s heroes (Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson) to put those skills to use, time-hopping through his family’s history in a bid to stave off global disaster. At least, that’s the masturbation-joke-free version; the real version is exactly what you’d expect, if Rogen and Goldberg had shared a Back to the Future–Last Starfighter-psilocybin smoothie. —Peter Rubin
Watch: Nov. 14
The Runaways (Hulu)
Super-powered teenagers go on the run in a world that hates and fears them. But because The Runaways is on Hulu and made by Disney-Marvel, this Marvel Comics-based show does not have mutants or X-Men. Nosiree. Maybe some Inhumans. Thing is, the comic was created by Bryan K. Vaughan, and its X-Manly premise is that the millennial kids find out their Gen-X parents are super villains. Which seems right. Like the Netflix Marvel shows, Runaways is nominally set in the same universe as the Avengers, but, shyyeaah, whatever. Oh, remember James Marsters, who was so yummy as bad boy Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Well, he’s the dad now, so let that sink in. —Adam Rogers
Watch: Nov. 21
She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix)
Movie-to-TV remakes are one of the hardest gambles in television. Which is not to say there haven’t been successes; Fargo and Friday Night Lights are as equally beloved as their cinema archetypes. It’s just that it can be difficult to live up to the film’s original glory. (The cynic in me would do away with TV remakes altogether; creators have a duty to construct modern ideas not rework used concepts). Spike Lee’s episodic update of his 1986 debut feature falls somewhere in the middle. It’s got a phenomenal score, mouthfuls of beautiful camera work, and emerging talents like Anthony Ramos as Mars Blackmon, who is nothing but electricity and charisma. But it’s still a 2017 Spike Lee joint, which means the seasoned auteur is regrettably going to rely on some of his old habits—mainly, the heavy-handed approach to storytelling. He rarely lets the viewer do any of the labor, or arrive at their own conclusions. Even so, She’s Gotta Have It is a treat to watch, especially its small, digressive conversations about gentrification or white privilege or sexual hypocrisy. It’s here, in the intimate space between lovers and friends, where Lee hits his stride. —Jason Parham
Watch: Nov. 23
Of all the Grant Morrison comics you can imagine as a TV show, Happy—his 2013 miniseries about a cop-turned-hitman who changes his ways when he finds himself saddled with a tiny imaginary talking blue unicorn—might be the last. Then again, you’re not Syfy. With Chris Meloni as the hired gun in question, and Patton Oswalt as the titular unicorn, this one is poised to be a holiday miracle. Assuming it’s a faithful adaptation, hope you don’t mind some psycho Santas and sex crimes with your eggnog! Not for the faint of heart, but it might be just the thing to get you in the state of mind for some time with the family. —Peter Rubin
Watch: Dec. 6
Will & Grace (NBC)
It’s been 11 years since Will & Grace went off the air. But after the cast reunited for a get-out-the-vote video during last year’s election, America—or rather, NBC and show creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick—decided it was time to bring Will (Eric McCormack), Grace (Debra Messing), Jack (Sean Hayes), and Karen (Megan Mullally) back to TV. Although the showrunners have promised W&G v. 2.0 will address the current political climate the way its previous Bush/Cheney-needling seasons did, they’ve also sworn it won’t be all-Trump-jokes-all-the-time. A lot has changed in the queer rights movement and in the TV landscape since Will & Grace ended in 2006, and its hard to tell if the show can be as revolutionary now as it was when it first aired in 1998. But even if it doesn’t change the world, watching it reclaim its magic will be a hoot. —Angela Watercutter
To be clear, Cantrell isn’t saying that Musk lacks in the brain department (I think we all know that). In fact, he acknowledges that Musk is highly intelligent. He’s simply saying that other factors do Musk more good and that intelligence isn’t always a prerequisite for success.
So what are those factors for success, specifically?
1. Do something you’re good at or have an inherent talent for.
Musk has many different talents–he speaks with conviction, responds fabulously to his customers, and has a knack for pulling together the resources he needs, for example. But his biggest gift, arguably, is his ability to see the genius in what other people would write off, to identify which moonshots are actually worth pursuing. And after he’s identified great moonshots, he’s able to convince others they’re doable.
2. Do something that creates value (and that you can sell now or later).
Although Musk’s cutting-edge electric cars and groundbreaking initiatives solar initiatives are geared toward those who care about the Earth, they’re highly marketable overall, appealing to the need for both travel and energy. Even space travel entices with novelty. In time, it might become a necessity, too.
3. Raw, Pure Passion.
Elon Musk doesn’t spend his days churning out complex math formulas or training with NASA. But he genuinely believes that space exploration and making humanity “a multi-planetary species” is essential to our long-term survival. In the same way, he believes that the fossil fuel industry is a danger and that electric cars and solar are legitimate paths to saving the environment. His sincere concerns drive him to keep innovating on each platform, even when others have doubts.
But what’s really made Musk successful, Cantrell says, is sheer determination. He just doesn’t give up. So dig your heels in. Don’t quit. Even if you ‘fail’, the amount of experience you gain is priceless, including what you learn about yourself. And when you’re learning, improvement is inevitable.
Preface Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is dropping hard after its event to announce the new series of hardware, in particular the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X as well as the Apple Watch 3.
It’s Different This Time Normally when Apple stock dives on lukewarm product reviews we stand firmly in our position that the stock market reaction is over blown. Our simple thesis for that response is to look at demand, which is hypnotically strong, every time. That is not the case this time.
A New Risk is Not Obvious But is Enormous Apple announced a more complicated lineup of iPhones this time around. It introduced the iPhone 8 series which is an upgrade to the iPhone 7, and then it announced the highly anticipated iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten).
Then the company made the iPhone 8 available this month, but pushed delivery of iPhone X to early November, which pre-orders stating in late October. That has created a risk.
It turns out that Apple hyped the iPhone X so much, and poured so much new technology into it, that it has left the demand for iPhone 8 lackluster in Apple terms. Here’s what we mean.
If you go to the Apple Store, and try to purchase an iPhone 8, the wait time is essentially 1-3 days for the smaller memory version. Here is an image:
That is for the iPhone 8, in Los Angeles, on Verizon’s (NYSE:VZ) network. The other networks are essentially the same. A normal wait time for a new iPhone release is usually several weeks, let’s say 2-4 depending on where you are in the world.
There are also reports that in store lines are much smaller than before, with one report pinpointing Sydney Australia, where only 30 people were camped out for the new release. Reports from China are similar.
Tim Cook just said he “couldn’t be happier” with the iPhone release (and Apple Watch 3). While sales are lower than prior models, there is one reason, a big reason, that he may actually be telling the truth.
Is There a Plan? One of the headlines that surfaced from the Apple Event was that the iPhone X was very expensive, starting at $ 999 and climbing to $ 1,200 based on the configuration.
It’s possible, maybe even likely, that Apple decided to release the iPhone 8 for less to make it appear that it was not forcing Apple loyalists to buy a far more expensive phone by offering a reduced priced new model (iPhone 8).
In fact, it does appear that even in the bearish analyst notes, each tends to comment on the fact that demand reduction for the iPhone 8 is simply a reflection of the outsized demand for the iPhone X.
If that’s true, then Apple will have an average selling price significantly higher than in prior times, and if demand is in fact to the point where Apple also sells more units, then that would bring a windfall of profits larger than any company has ever seen in one quarter. If that sound overly bullish, it’s just the choice of words — Apple already has the largest earnings ever in one quarter, so this would be a breaking of its own record — also known more simply as, “growth.”
Back to Risk While there is a rather bullish narrative to wrap around this odd iPhone selection, there is also, in earnest this time, a reasonable bearish thesis.
Apple won’t be delivering its iPhone X until well into November, and if demand is very strong, it might not even be able to deliver before the holiday season in the United States. And while, certainly, if all of those sales simply occur later in the year (or early 2018), then that’s fine, but to consider that a foregone conclusion is a step we are not willing to take with blind faith.
Some consumers, perhaps many consumers, will not wait. And while Apple loyalists may stick around for a later date, the all-important “Android switchers” (those smartphone Android owners that switch to Apple) may not — and that is a real risk and worthy of a stock drop, until proven otherwise.
Apple gained 9.1% in the UK, mostly at the expense of Windows phones.
The iPhone grew its market share in Australia, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK and USA, with Android seeing its own share drop in all of these countries bar Italy, where its growth was less than half that of iOS.
Those are Android switchers and Apple may have just put that group, or at least that trend, in serious jeopardy.
Now What? We believe the iPhone X is going to be a knock-down drag-out mega hit, and the elevated price will make it yet an even larger success. But, the risk that Apple took, as of right now, is hurting the company both with iPhone 8 sales, and potentially, with Android switchers. And that is not a false narrative — it is accurate.
That risk means the stock should drop, and is dropping.
But, we’re not done yet. What we did not show you, and is easily missed unless you are really looking, is how hard Apple is focusing consumers on the iPhone X over the iPhone 8 — in our opinion.
I recorded a 45 second video arriving on the Apple Store and looking at iPhones. I have turned to video to allow you to make your own decision, as opposed to snapshots, which are too selective and an be used to weave any narrative the author likes.
When you watch this video (below), decide for yourself if you feel that Apple is purposefully pointing people to the iPhone X over the iPhone 8. Here we go:
That’s hardly headline grabbing footage, but we found it noteworthy.
Apple Watch 3 There have been some pretty poor reviews of the Apple Watch 3 surrounding its LTE connectivity and its battery life. This is one of those times where the reviews are meaningless. Demand is strong and that’s all that matters.
Here is a snapshot from the Apple Store for that product:
We see the Watch becoming a runaway success as people learn to use that wearable device as a standalone product — leaving the phone at home on runs, meetings, swims, hikes, and whatever other times such a convenience could be desired.
Conclusion We maintain our Top Pick status on Apple, but have certainly tempered our bullishness with an undeniable new risk. It might work out very well, but, it might not, and that is a new risk to Apple stock.
The author is long shares of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL).
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Everyone makes mistakes. But working at Amazon Web Services means an incorrectly entered input can lead to a massive outage that cripples popular websites and services. That’s apparently what happened earlier this week, when the AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) in the provider’s Northern Virginia region experienced an 11-hour system failure.
Other Amazon services in the US-EAST-1 region that rely on S3, like Elastic Block Store, Lambda, and the new instance launch for the Elastic Compute Cloud infrastructure-as-a-service offering were all impacted by the outage.
One Redditor has made a mistake that you can be assured he will not make again: He deleted an entire zone of his company’s Domain Name System in the Microsoft Azure cloud.
“I meant to delete a single record, but it’s the same button in the same place as deleting a zone. As soon as I hit the button I knew what I had done, then all our websites start failing,” the Redditor confesses.
That’s an oops. He goes on to describe how his unidentified company’s VOIP phones went offline and the backup domain controller began having issues resolving DNS.
Meanwhile, in the ‘when it rains it pours’ line of thinking, an unrelated error occurred AT THE SAME TIME on the company’s Hyper-V server network interface cards (NICs).
The king of Linux, Red Hat, continues its growth as a leading Linux vendor that’s betting big on the cloud. Yesterday, the company announced financial results for its second quarter of fiscal year 2017 ended August 31, 2016.
The company generated $ 600 million in revenue for the quarter, a 19 percent year-over-year increase. Red Hat is often credited with creating a business model around Linux and Open Source: a subscription based service and support model.
Subscription revenue for the quarter was $ 531 million, which accounts for 89% of total revenue. It was a 20% year-over-year increase. Based on these numbers we can safely assume that Red Hat will be generating revenues around $ 2.415 billion in this fiscal year. That makes Red Hat the most successful pure open source company to date.
Yet, even if the product exists (and augments the more enterprise-oriented Yammer app owned by Microsoft), it will need to provide some innovative new features for group collaboration. The biggest one that’s missing today? It’s all over Reddit, it’s in some email apps, and it’s even in some comment threads including the one at Computerworld.
Hard on the heels of its Demandware acquisition in June, Salesforce confirmed on Monday that it’s acquiring cloud collaboration software maker Quip.
The purchase price is $ 582 million, plus the value of Salesforce’s previous investments in the company, according to a regulatory filing late last week. According to one estimate, the total value amounts to roughly $ 750 million.
IBM saw from the get-go that the cloud was going to cause a major disruption to its business.
“We knew it was a massive opportunity for IBM, but not in a way that necessarily fit our mold,” said Jim Comfort, who is now CTO for IBM Cloud. “Every dimension of our business model would change — we knew that going in.”
Change they have, and there’s little denying that the cloud businesses is now a ray of sunshine brightening IBM’s outlook as its legacy businesses struggle. In its second-quarter earnings report last week, cloud revenue was up 30 percent for the quarter year over year, reaching $ 11.6 billion over the preceding 12 months. Revenue from systems hardware and operating systems software, on the other hand, was down more than 23 percent.
Big data may offer companies a world of untold potential, but realizing the benefits is typically no walk in the park. That’s why “big data as a service” platforms have begun to emerge, and it’s also why Bigstep is taking a like-minded approach to the increasingly common data lake.
Launched last year, U.K.-based Bigstep has been offering big data as a service through its Full Metal Cloud platform, which already includes compute instances, block storage and network components. Now, the Full Metal Data Lake extends that platform to include exabyte-scale storage for big-data workloads as well.
“Businesses today have access to infinite amounts of data but no fast, easy or cost-effective way to make sense of it,” said Flaviu Radulescu, Bigstep’s CEO.
BOSTON — The cameras inside a McDonalds recently captured the facial expressions of customers and employees. Every tick, twitch, smile or frown was fed into a computer algorithm.
The algorithm, from start-up Emotient, determined how everybody was feeling about the service: Employees who were stressed out during the lunch hour rush transmitted their stress to customers. Customers were also more unhappy while waiting for their order than when they were waiting to order in the first place.
Emotient, whose software uses video streams for emotion detection and sentiment analysis based on facial expressions, is targeting retail, legal and advertising firms — any market where reading people’s emotions can give them an edge.
This is what's left of a trampoline after Sunday's high winds and funnel clouds
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SAP S/4 HANA revisited, public GA for cloud editions, more messaging issues
The SAP S/4HANA release 1506 cloud editions (cloud project services, cloud marketing and cloud enterprise edition) are generally available for all customers as of June, 18th 2015. After the launch of the SAP S/4HANA on-premise edition in February, this … Read more on Diginomica
Govt mulls use of cloud seeding technology for artificial rains in Karachi
With an aim to generate artificial rainfall in parts of Sindh witnessing an intense heatwave, the government is now mulling the use of cloud seeding technology, Express News reported. Talking to the media, Director General Ports and Shipping Abdul … Read more on The Express Tribune
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