Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Globaldata Plc LSE:DATA London Ordinary Share GB00B87ZTG26 ORD 1/14P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  40.00 2.92% 1,410.00 1,380.00 1,440.00 1,410.00 1,370.00 1,370.00 49,629 15:55:27
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Media 178.4 28.6 19.4 72.7 1,442

Globaldata Share Discussion Threads

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hTTp:// FAANGs are out as tech sector changes leaders Disappointment at Netflix’ half-year results is evidence of change of leadership among technology stocks as smaller companies overtake larger rivals, says Fidelity’s Hyun Ho Sohn. by Michelle McGagh on Jul 18, 2018 at 07:00 Disappointment at Netflix’ half-year results this week is evidence of the change of leadership in the technology sector, as smaller companies overtake larger rivals and investors have to look beyond FAANG stocks for growth, says fund group Fidelity. Technology stocks have continued their run of growth over the past year but picking the big winners is no longer as easy as putting money into US FAANG stocks - Facebook (FB.O), Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Netflix (NFLX.O), and Google (GOOGL.O) - or their Chinese BAT equivalents - Baidu (BIDU.O), Alibaba (BABA.N), and Tencent (o700.HK) stocks. This was brought into stark relief by Netflix yesterday as shares in the TV streaming service plunged 14% on disappointing second quarter new subscriber figures. Hyun Ho Sohn, manager of the £2.7 billion Fidelity Funds Global Technology fund, said while 2017 was characterised by mega-cap outperformance, the ‘momentum is now extended to extreme levels’ and technology ‘sector leadership has changed’. Communications equipment, software and IT services are the best performing sectors in the past 12 months, pushing the large internet names off their perch. Ho Sohn added that small caps are now outperforming large and mega cap stocks and he remains underweight the latter. ‘There has been increasing dispersion among mega caps, with Amazon continuing to perform strongly, but with Tencent, Alphabet and Facebook weaker,’ he said. ‘Netflix had been on a stellar run in 2018 until [the] second quarter results, which undershot analyst expectations on new subscribers. Facebook has suffered from growing concerns about potential negative effects of regulation.’ There is also intensifying competition within the FAANG and BAT stocks as Google’s Alphabet and Amazon compete for advertising and cloud revenue, while Facebook competes with Alphabet-owned YouTube in video content. ‘Investors are underestimating the likely decline in returns on capital among these companies owing to increasing competition, with rising investment leading to declining returns on invested capital, with increasing regulation also leading to higher compliance costs,’ said Ho Sohn. The technology sector may be growing at more than double the rate of global GDP but Ho Sohn (pictured) said it remains ‘reasonably priced’ compared to its own history and global equities. The most expensive stocks were FAANG stocks on one hand and new companies floating on the stock market in initial public offers of new shares (IPOs). Demand for both was stoked by ‘loose liquidity conditions and ongoing low interest rates’, he said. ‘The sector as a whole is displaying increasing quality over time, with superior margins and return on equity relative to global equities,’ said Ho Sohn. Not all areas of technology are expensive, and Ho Sohn said there was still value in ‘mature software and large-cap semiconductor spaces’, the latter of which have been hit by trade war talk. He has increased his position in Oracle Corporation (ORCL.N) after it was ‘oversold due to negative narratives’. He said the fundamentals of Oracle are ‘much more resilient than consensus gives the company credit for’. The fund has also opened a new position in PC and mobile-based video games company Nexon (3659.T), which owns games franchises in China and Korea. ‘It is a high margin, cash generative business trading at an attractive valuation – one much cheaper than global gaming peers,’ said Ho Sohn. Within the semiconductor sector, the fund has benefited from a position in Intel (INTC.O), which is ‘working through security issues with its chips’ and should ‘benefit from growth and margin expansion driven by demand for data centres’. The fund has a new position in semiconductor equipment company KLA-Tencor (KLAC.O), which Ho Sohn said has a ‘dominant position in metrology and inspection tools’.
$761 million has been stolen from digital currency exchanges so far this year Bitcoin price warning: BTC will drop to ‘$100' after being 'regulated into oblivion' BITCOIN could be “worth just $100 in 10 years” says Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz who claims digital currencies will be “regulated into oblivion” in a future clampdown on money laundering. By David Dawkins PUBLISHED: 12:23, Mon, Jul 9, 2018 Joseph Stiglitz, the former chief economist of the World Bank has warned the crypto community central banks have not yet clamped-down on bitcoin and other leading coins because the market is still relatively small. The Columbia University professor told Financial News that once crypto “becomes significant” they will “use the hammer”. He said: “People in power will move to regulate anonymous transactions. That you can be sure of. “Bitcoin could easily be worth just $100 in 10 years.” Professor Stiglitz says that the main problem with bitcoin and other decentralised cryptocurrencies comes from the conflict between the near anonymity for users and the necessary transparency needed for a banking system. He said: “You cannot have a means of payment that is based on secrecy when you’re trying to create a transparent banking system. "If you open up a hole like bitcoin then all the nefarious activity will go through that hole, and no government can allow that.” On the need for regulation, industry onlookers are in agreement that changes are needed and new rules would help bring in the next wave of investment from big bank and institutional investors. However more shocking losses are expected to surface, leaving risk-adverse money markets unsure over what’s often dubbed a ‘wild west’ for investors According to new data from cybersecurity firm CipherTrace, $761 million has been stolen from digital currency exchanges so far this year compared to $266 million for the whole of 2017. Yet in the UK, trust in the exciting new technology appears to be on the up with recent discussion in the UK being described as a “model example” for how regulation should be fashioned. Last week MPs heard from a Treasury select committee on the potential for fraud, money laundering, hacking, crypto-jacking and phishing in the crypto space. The meeting has been viewed by industry onlookers as a positive step, and Kevin Murcko, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange CoinMetro argued that the Treasury hearing "set the right tone for the future of crypto-assets in the UK – one that reconciles the risks and benefits of the asset." During the hearing Director Donald Toon, Prosperity Command at the National Crime Agency, told MPs that the use of crypto-assets in money laundering was minimal, and that it paled in size to other laundering strategies. While Martin Etheridge, Head of Note Operations at the Bank of England, argued that crypto didn’t pose a threat to financial stability. (Today 1 Bitcoin = 6,384 United States Dollar)
08:26 Facebook, Google Aren't Tech Stocks? What That Means for Investors 01/07/2018 5:39pm Dow Jones News By Danielle Chemtob The technology sector's dominance of the stock market is about to face a big test. Facebook Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. are expected to say goodbye in September to the highflying tech sector of the S&P 500. They will join a new communications-services group that will also house media giants such as Netflix Inc. and Comcast Corp. that now reside in the consumer-discretionary group. This is far more than mere housekeeping on the part of an index provider. The revisions mean that funds tracking the current telecom, tech and consumer-discretionary sectors will be forced to trade billions of dollars of shares to realign their holdings before the moves become effective Sept. 28. The new sector's weighting in the broad S&P 500 will be more than 10%, up from less than 2% for the current telecom sector, according to a report from Credit Suisse. Some investors expect a pickup in volatility -- and price swings -- when the changes take effect as tech-focused funds drop Facebook and Alphabet. "It's almost like a philosophical question," said Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at Credit Suisse. "If we group companies differently, does that change the behavior of investors?" The answer: Most likely. Mr. Golub said he expects there will be "arbitrage opportunities" for traders and investors who are able to take advantage of any volatility. Here's what's happening: S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI Inc. are restructuring the current telecommunications sector in the S&P 500, which houses only three stocks: AT&T Inc.; Verizon Communications Inc.; and CenturyLink Inc. The sector's influence on the broader S&P 500 has waned over the years because of consolidation in the industry. So the sector can swing wildly when the stock price of just one company in the group moves. Those issues should be addressed by the index providers' plan to broaden the sector to include companies that focus on communication and offer content and information. They are scheduled Monday to unveil the full list of companies subject to the restructuring, having in January already have named some of the big companies affected by the changes. Already, some of the big fund companies are trying to limit the upheaval in the markets by setting up new funds that track the proposed communications sector ahead of its launch. So far, investors have been slow to take advantage. State Street Corp.'s new Communication Services Select Sector SPDR began trading June 19, but just $135.8 million has flowed into it as of Friday, according to FactSet. Vanguard's Communication Services Fund, a transition benchmark that began tracking the companies proposed for the new sector back in March, has seen minimal fund flow since the announcement, according to FactSet. "Because you're bringing in some names with much larger market caps for that index and names that are very top of wouldn't surprise us that investors would at least take a closer look," said Rich Powers, head of ETF product management at Vanguard. The changes create big opportunities for growth investors who have long shied from telecom companies, which are considered value plays for their steady dividend payments. Chris Cook, president and CEO of investment adviser Beacon Capital Management, said he nearly pulled his clients' assets out of Vanguard's telecom exchange-traded fund earlier this year because the firm was facing liquidity issues when trying to trade large blocks of shares. Beacon manages $3 billion in assets, the vast majority in ETFs tracking the 11 S&P 500 sectors. "It wasn't a diversified sector, and that's why we buy ETFs and invest at the sector level," he said. The proposed communication-services sector would have outperformed the S&P 500 since 2013 and would have gained 6.9% this year through June 15, compared with the S&P 500's 4% gain through that date, according to Credit Suisse. The current telecommunications sector, meanwhile, has underperformed this year, suffering the biggest losses of all 11 sectors in the index with an 11% decline through Friday. For those investors who want to make a blanket investment in growth companies, the technology sector may no longer be the best bet. The new consumer-discretionary sector will have the highest share of growth companies, followed by communication services, according to projections from State Street that were based on the initial list of companies affected. The makeup of the technology sector, considered the darling of growth investors, will fall to 49% growth from 61%. Meanwhile, investors who favor telecom stocks for their dividends and use passive funds that track the sector as a way to hedge against risk will also need to make changes. The new sector is expected to yield just 1.2%, according to Credit Suisse, compared with the current 5.6% yield of the telecom sector, which is the highest of any of the 11 S&P 500 sectors. "The guy that may hold [a telecommunications fund] may be an individual who is risk averse and who likes yields," Mr. Golub of Credit Suisse said. "He may wake up and the weights of AT&T and Verizon in that mutual fund are going to be much smaller, and he's going to end up with a bunch of Netflix and Google and Facebook. And he may be saying, 'Wait a second this isn't what I thought I had.'"
hTTps:// Brexit Killing London as Financial Hub? Not Just Yet A feared flood of bankers out of the U.K. has turned out to be a trickle By Max Colchester and Patricia Kowsmann June 29, 2018 9:07 a.m. ET "Brexit was meant to be a crippling blow to London’s position as the financial capital of Europe. With eight months to go before the U.K. is set to leave the European Union, the British capital’s role remains mostly undiminished, and no single other European city is close to claiming its crown. One key measure: what was expected to be a flood of bankers out of London to continental Europe has turned out to be a trickle."
Tencent is hunting for takeover targets in Britain Seems somewhat ironic that my holding in Tencent is now being used to invest in the UK.
The UK is in the top of our basket of considerations China's biggest technology company sets sights on pioneering UK rivals as it plots global expansion By Matt Oliver For The Daily Mail Published: 21:51, 24 June 2018 China's biggest technology company has set its sights on pioneering UK rivals as it plots a global expansion. Tencent is hunting for takeover targets in Britain because of the country’s talented entrepreneurs and impressive investment record, according to senior figures. And one of its top executives pointed to the billions of pounds of investment that had flowed in since the Brexit vote. However its interest in UK firms is likely to prompt concern from security experts. China has made bolstering its high-tech industries a national priority, with its moves to snap up foreign rivals causing unease in the West. Sir Gerald Howarth, a former Tory defence minister, said: ‘Ministers need to identify those industries that it would be prudent to watch closely so that, if companies are going to be sold, they can look at what threat it might pose to Britain’s national interest – and particularly security.’ Since the referendum in 2016, £5 billion has been ploughed into UK tech firms by venture capital funds – more than double any other European country. Tencent has already invested in British artificial intelligence start-up Medopad, partnered with Babylon Health and taken a minority stake in London-listed video games maker Frontier Development. Though largely unknown to most Western consumers, Tencent is China’s second most-valuable company. Most of its income comes from the lucrative video games business, where it distributes many Western hits such as Fortnite in the country. But it also owns Wechat, the hugely-popular Chinese messaging app – that also allows people to pay for shopping, hail taxis, play games and find restaurants. The app has 1 billion active users, more than 70 per cent of China’s population. Tencent employs some 45,000 staff and has built an entertainment empire as well. Its Tencent Music business is more popular than Apple and Spotify’s rival services in China, while it has helped to finance Hollywood blockbusters such as Wonder Woman and Kong: Skull Island. In the UK it helped jointly finance nature documentary Blue Planet 2 – watched by 220 million people worldwide – with the BBC. Seng Yee Lau, a senior executive vice president at Tencent, said: ‘The UK is in the top of our basket of considerations in our global merger acquisition market.’
hTTps:// Caoimhe Toman WebFG News 25 Jun, 2018 11:54 Trump clamps down on Chinese investment in US tech firms The US Treasury is drafting regulations that would block Chinese companies from buying US tech firms and stop US companies transferring important tech to China. Initial regulations would look to stop organisations with at least 25% Chinese ownership from investing in American companies that involve “industrially significant technology”. Following his Friday threat to impose tariffs on imported cars from Europe, the latest move in the mushrooming US-Chinese trade war, President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the government would limit Chinese access to US tech and will block additional technology exports to Beijing, the Wall Street Journal reported. The National Security Council and the Commerce Department are planing "enhanced" export controls to avoid shipments of technology to China. According to the WSJ, the White House's new plans would only affect new deals and not existing ones, but US-China joint ventures would not be able to make additional investments on certain US tech. These initiatives are sure to slow and possibly prevent China from reaching its goal to become a global leader in 10 broad areas of technology by 2025. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told the newspaper: “The President has made clear his desire to protect American technology. All possibilities that would better protect American technology, including potential changes to export controls, are under review.” These plans come after China and the EU decided to hit back at US tariffs against the states that elected Trump as president, just ahead of the US midterm elections. It’s likely that the US will be hit hard if it continues to ramp up the tariffs. One Chinese state media outlet cited research by the Rhodium Group pointing to a 92% drop in Chinese investment in the US to $1.8bn in 2018, its lowest level in seven years. Prior to the announcement from Washington, the People's Bank of China had cut the capital reserve requirements for domestic Chinese banks to the lowest level since 2010, as Beijing hopes to free up funding as the trade war looks set to slow down economic growth.
The Dutch East India Company raised 78 million Dutch guilders in the early 1600s, equivalent to $7.4 trillion today Ah, those were the days! hTTp:// ‘FAANGs are fine but we prefer smaller tech stocks’ Neil Goddin, Citywire A-rated manager of Kames Global Sustainable Equity fund, says US tech titans have further to run but smaller tech stocks could grow faster. by Jennifer Hill on Jun 21, 2018 at 08:07 "‘FAANG’ stocks have further to run, but smaller tech players stand to grow faster and deliver superior returns to shareholders, according to Kames Capital. While Facebook (FB.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O), Netflix (NFLX.O) and Google (GOOG.O) have seen their share prices soar ever higher this year, with some now closing in on the fabled $1 trillion (£760 billion) valuation, history suggests they have further to go. A direct comparison of their valuations with tech giants of the past shows they are not overvalued. Apple’s current market capitalisation is $950 billion, with Amazon closely behind at $823 billion and Alphabet (Google’s parent) at $795 billion. Cisco was worth $500 billion in 1999, but that is equivalent to $725 billion today and General Electric peaked at $572 billion in 1999, equivalent to $800 billion when adjusted for inflation. The Dutch East India Company raised 78 million Dutch guilders in the early 1600s, equivalent to $7.4 trillion today. Moreover, all of the FAANG stocks have improved their position in Kames’ in-house stock-screening process, which ranks companies based on their prospects for performance. ‘The strong fundamentals have shone through and so far in 2018 the FAANG stocks have actually improved their screen ranking, driven by strong earnings growth,’ said Neil Goddin, its head of equity quantitative analysis. Nevertheless, the Citywire A-rated manager has next to nothing in FAANG; he sees greater opportunities in a growing band of small and ‘mid-cap’ tech stocks that are climbing the rankings more rapidly. His two-year-old Kames Global Sustainable Equity fund has 3.1% of its assets in Facebook, but just 8.7% in mega caps overall – pointing to a ‘clear trend away from mega caps’. Its larger sister fund, Kames Global Equity , only invests in companies worth less than $30 billion and has 24.3% in information technology, many of them small and mid-cap names. ‘Ask anyone to name the top ten companies in the world and there would likely be a lot of commonality in their answers,’ said Goddin. ‘There are lots of funds out there investing in the biggest companies in the world; we want to do something different.’"
2 billion active Android devices .. a huge potential opportunity hTTps:// Fortnite now has 125 million players just one year after launch That’s a lot By Nick Statt Jun 12, 2018, 9:12pm EDT Developer Epic Games announced today that Fortnite has grown to 125 million registered players in less than a year. The metric, confirmed in a blog post about the game’s $100 million e-sports competition, is the first updated player figures from Epic since the company confirmed the game had been downloaded 45 million times back in January. Just last week, Epic investor Tencent confirmed that 40 million people play the game at once a month. Fortnite came out in July 2017, and its battle royale game mode didn’t launch until September 2017. It’s no wonder Fortnite has ballooned in popularity given that is both free and accessible on almost every major platform, including the Nintendo Switch as of earlier today. The only player base left untapped right now is Android, which is, of course, the largest on the planet due to the number of Android smartphones. Last year, Google announced there were more than 2 billion active Android devices across the globe. So that’s a huge potential opportunity for Epic to continue growing its battle royale hit.
hTTps:// Fortnite made nearly $300 million in the month of April Sales from Epic Games’ battle royale title more than doubled in just two months By Nick Statt May 24, 2018, 1:28pm EDT Epic Games’ Fortnite generated $296 million in the month of April across mobile, console, and PC platforms, according to digital game sales tracker SuperData Research. That amount is more than double what the game generated in the month of February, when it earned $126 million and surpassed Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds in monthly sales for the first time. The big difference between the games, and what really makes Fortnite shine, is Epic’s free-to-play model, which gets the title into as many players’ hands as possible and recoups the money, and then some, by way of in-game purchases. Epic sells players cosmetic items that do not affect gameplay, including goofy and topical character costumes and in-game dance moves purely for vanity purposes. It also sells a season subscription called the Battle Pass for around $10. Still, the company sells these items at such an alarming quantity that Fortnite made more money in April than Avengers: Infinity War did on its opening weekend later that same month. There’s a few reasons why Fortnite sales continue to climb. The game launched on mobile with an iOS beta in mid-March, and in the first week of April, it became available to everyone on Apple’s platform. That expansion of the iOS version of the game likely helped drive a significant amount of money, as mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower now reports the game is making more than $1 million on a day on mobile alone. In addition to that, Epic’s third season of the game was coming to a close in April, ahead of the much anticipated season 4 launch on May 1st. So many players may have spent money at the tail of the season to unlock exclusive rewards, like the coveted John Wick skin, that would be going away when the season closed at the end of the month. There’s reason to believe the game will only continue to get bigger. Epic is planning an Android release sometime this summer. The developer also announced earlier this week that it plans to put $100 million toward prize pools for Fortnite competitions in the first year of play, which is slated to begin later this year and stretch into 2019. If all goes according to the company’s plan, that should mean Fortnite stays at the forefront of e-sports and Twitch and YouTube streaming as it starts attracting high-profile competitive players and bigger venues for tournaments. At the E3 expo next month in Los Angeles, Epic is hosting its first big official celebrity event, titled the Fortnite Celebrity Pro Am, featuring 50 streamers and 50 celebrities all competing in teams of two. Blackbird Cloud Video 15 Jun 2018 What a great action-packed week! From working on Fortnite in LA, to seeing familiar faces at MediaProductionShow & listening to top sessions at AISummit - it's been awesome. Have a great weekend everyone!
But was any of the manipulation illegal? hTTps:// Iain Gilbert WebFG News 13 Jun, 2018 19:03 Bitcoin's meteoric rise was the result of manipulation, new report says As much as half of the Bitcoin boom in 2017 may have been part of a campaign of price manipulation, according to a new paper by John Griffin, an academic known for his ability to spot fraud in financial markets. Griffin, a finance professor at the University of Texas, and Amin Shams, a graduate student, looked at the flow of digital tokens moving through Bitfinex, one of the largest and least regulated cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, and saw distinct patterns that suggested that the exchange aimed to push up prices when they dipped at other exchanges. In order to achieve their goals, the person or persons involved used Tether, a virtual currency sold by the owners of Bitfinex, to stock up on other cryptocurrencies. Many within the crypto industry accused Bitfinex of being at least partly responsible for artificially inflating the price of Bitcoin at the time and the paper looks set to pour fuel on the fire of an existing debate over just how much of Bitcoin's meteoric rise was caused by the covert actions of a handful of players, rather than actual demand from legitimate investors. "There were obviously tremendous price increases last year, and this paper indicates that manipulation played a large part in those price increases," Griffin said. Bitfinex, which has previously denied it was involved in any kind of manipulation, is registered in the Caribbean, holds offices in Asia, and was subpoenaed by US regulators shortly after concerns over its actions were raised in 2017. Griffin and Shams scoured through millions of transactions on the blockchain, to identify patterns, a method that, while not conclusive, has aided government authorities and academics in spotting suspicious activity in the past. Griffin and Shams focused on the use of Tether, a token that is allegedly tied to the value of the US dollar, and found that 50% of the rise in Bitcoin in 2017 could be traced to the same times as Tether had flowed to a select group of other exchanges, specifically when the cryptocurrency's price was on the decline. Bitfinex did not respond to requests for comment.
the first time a streaming service has broadcast UK top-flight football live .. The Premier League is the most watched sports league in the world hTTp:// Amazon to stream 20 live Premier League matches from next year June 7, 2018 Amazon has won the rights to stream Premiere Leagues games, amounting to 20 matches per season, from 2019 onwards. The internet retail giant was among bidders for two packages of games which failed to make their reserve price during an auction in February. That original bidding process saw Sky, the owner of Sky News, secure more games for less money for the lifetime of the new contracts – due to run over three seasons from 2019/20. BT was handed an additional package of live games in the final round at a total cost of £90m, taking its tally of games per season to 52 versus the 128 for Sky. Amazon gets 20 games per season but its entry is significant because it marks the first time a streaming service has broadcast UK top-flight football live. The amount it paid was yet to be disclosed. Jay Marine, vice president of Prime Video in Europe, said: “We are always looking to add more value to Prime, and we’re delighted to now offer, for the first time, live Premier League matches to Prime members at no extra cost to their membership. “The Premier League is the most watched sports league in the world. “Over these two December fixture rounds Prime members will be able to watch every team, every game, so no matter which Premier League team you support, you’re guaranteed to see them play live on Prime Video.”The Premier League’s executive chairman, Richard Scudamore, added: “Amazon is an exciting new partner for the Premier League and we are very pleased they have chosen to invest in these rights. “Prime Video will be an excellent service on which fans can consume live Premier League football – including for the first time in the UK a full round of matches – and we look forward to working with them from season 2019/20 onwards.”
Real Madrid .. can engage with their 450 million fans where only 3% are based in Spain I didn't know that. hTTps:// The benefits of Edge computing in a Sports 2.0 world May 25, 2018 | News, Sports, Technology, Thought Leadership Everyone knows the benefits of cloud technology since we use it every day – viewing emails, streaming music/videos on smart devices during our daily commute. Yet do we really know the benefits of being on the edge of the cloud and not in it? Edge computing allows any device, including mobiles, servers, PCs and Macs to act as gateways between the physical world and cloud storage – running processes such as video transcoding and speech recognition as ‘close to the content’ as possible. This form of cloud computing is a breakthrough technology with direct benefits to the sports industry, ensuring professional sports athletes can maintain their competitive edge. For the Americas Cup, the British yachting team utilized Edge technology which transmitted performance data through the cloud, leading Sir Ben Ainslie and the Oracle team to win the race. Capturing and analysing performance data and performing ‘virtual chase boat’ projects allowed for immediate changes where 350 data points were captured for analysis. Edge also took the spotlight earlier this year at the Winter Olympics, with the US ski team utilising STRIVR’s 360-degree video to practice the Pyeongchang course over and over again. The ability to gain ‘mental access’, where physical presence was not possible, allowed the team to maximise their preparation. By uploading video content to the cloud, players and coaches were able to identify athletes’ weak spots and gauge the competition’s strategy. Edge technology has other benefits as well for both video professionals and sports fans, since it works on the principle of combining outputs from new video technologies and overlaying data in the most appropriate and efficient location – delivering the game rapidly without time delays. Edge technology is cost-effective for multimedia and production teams on smaller budgets since it removes the expense required to move video content and data to the same physical location. Fans also benefit, gaining the ultimate viewing experience without concerns of technical glitches causing time delays and receive sports scores fast. The advances in cloud and edge technology have blurred the lines between traditional broadcast and digital content delivery, allowing the games of minor sports teams to be accessible to fans at a much lower cost. Cloud Video and On-Demand, Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms have also made it possible for smaller leagues and individual teams to have their own channels. Tata Communications connected the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit to its global network and today works with more than 20 broadcasters to bring motor racing to fans worldwide. Vice President of Global Marketing, Mehul Kapadia, said “The cloud is levelling the playing field between sports giants like F1 and smaller local series like the F4 British Championship. You only need a few cameras to capture the action; the rest of the production can be done easily and inexpensively in the cloud”. Major sports teams such as Real Madrid, have found that by embrace cloud technology, they can engage with their 450 million fans where only 3% are based in Spain. José Ángel Sánchez, CEO, Real Madrid, said, “Using Microsoft Cloud, we are building a way of understanding who our fans are, where they are, and what they want from us.” In conclusion, the introduction of Edge computing into sports has lowered the barriers for smaller sports teams to experiment with innovative technologies. Edge computing has helped simplify video production and distribution, at a lower cost. Teams and sports professionals have the advantage of extending their online presence, reaching a global audience with a lower cost digital strategy. Our Blackbird Edge is a cloud-native solution which can run on multiple platforms including servers, public cloud services (AWS and Azure), in virtual machines and Mac OS X operating systems. It is fundamentally a software conduit to cloud workflows for our applications and Blackbird cloud video platform. Edge manages the referencing of content and creation of lightweight Blackbird proxy video. It provides Ascent and Forte users with conforming and render capabilities required to publish video content across multiple platforms based on user edit instructions. Find out more about email us at: References Davis.M. (2018, February) Winter Olympics: US skiers use VR goggles & brain zapping headphones. [ONLINE] Available at : [Accessed 24 May 2018]. Orton-Jones, C. (2017, March) Cloud giving sports teams the competitive edge – Competitors in a wide range of sports are benefiting from the advantage cloud computing can bring. [ONLINE] Available at: hxxps:// [Accessed 24 May 2018]. Miah, A., 2017. #Sports 20.0 #TransformingSportsforaDigitalWorld. 1st ed. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Pickup, O. (2018, January) Three major ways cloud is transforming sport – Sports organisations are using the cloud, on and off the field of play, to achieve record goals and reach a growing worldwide audience.[ONLINE] Available at : hxxps:// [Accessed 24 May 2018]. Unknown (2016, March) Real Madrid brings the stadium closer to 450 million fans around the globe, with the Microsoft Cloud. [Accessed 24 May 2018].
Present exchange rate 1 Bitcoin = 7,914.72 US Dollar Bitcoin price analysis: BTC/USD dives under $8,000; Vanguard economist believes it will go to zero Tanya Abrosimova FXStreet May 23, 03:30 GMT •Joe Davis devalues Bitcoin as a currency and a store of value. •BTC/USD needs to recover above $8,000 as soon as possible to mitigate downside pressure. Bitcoin's price action is to the downside today. Digital currency No. 1 lost about 5% of its value in the recent 24 hours, retracing from $8,400 on Tuesday to trade at $7,912. at the time of writing. The coin has been sliding for the third day in a row; its market value dropped to $135B, the lowest since April 18. Meanwhile, Joe Davis, a senior economist of the Vanguard Group, is another institutional guy who doesn't believe in Bitcoin as a currency or investment tool. He says that Bitcoin lacks the features of a currency as a means of payment, while high volatility makes it a bad store of value. “Over the past few months, I’ve gotten this question more than any other,” he wrote. “As for bitcoin the currency? I see a decent probability that its price goes to zero.” Bitcoin's technical picture Looking more broadly on a daily chart BTC/USD stays firmly below 50-DMA that coisides with 38.2% Fibo at $8,425. This bearish signal is intensified by the price diving under $8,000. Once the breakthrough is confirmed, the focus will shift to the next support seen at $7,683 (23.6% Fibo) and at $7,042 (the upside trendline). On the upside, a sustainable move above $8,420/50 might attract more buying interest with the next target at $8,855 (100-DMA)
I'm quite relieved that I don't have $130.8bn to spend. hTTp:// I've got way too much cash, thinks Jeff Bezos. Hmmm, pay more tax? Pay staff more? Nah, let's just go into space The world needs fewer men like Amazon's CEO By Iain Thomson in San Francisco 3 May 2018 at 07:01 "The Amazon chief executive has complained he has so much money, the only thing he can think to blow it on is his Blue Origin space tourism project. Bezos was in Germany last month to pick up the Axel Springer Award for being such an innovative person, and gave an extensive interview to the German publisher outlining his philosophy. In it he was asked, as the world's richest man with a net worth of $130.8bn, what money meant to him now. "The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel. That is basically it," Bezos said. "I am very lucky that I feel like I have a mission-driven purpose with Blue Origin that is, I think, incredibly important for civilization long term. And I am going to use my financial lottery winnings from Amazon to fund that." So desperate is Bezos to blast off into orbit and beyond, he's forgotten one thing. Earth. As in, the people on it right now. Specifically, the people who work for him, who made him rich, and the cities in which they live. They are being left behind in more ways than one as the internet baron prepares to lift off into the heavens." 73 comments
The cloud business, called Azure, jumped 93% in the fiscal third quarter Cloud Business Boosts Microsoft's Earnings -- 2nd Update 26/04/2018 11:29pm Dow Jones News By Jay Greene Microsoft Corp. extended its streak of wins in the latest quarter as the software giant moves into an era where its venerable Windows franchise plays a supporting role to its burgeoning cloud-computing operations. The cloud business, called Azure, jumped 93% in the fiscal third quarter, Microsoft reported Thursday. The business has never grown slower than 90% since the company began reporting the metric in October 2015. The other big piece of the company's cloud operations, the commercial version of its Office 365 online-productivity service, grew 42%. Microsoft doesn't disclose revenue for either business, but in the preceding second quarter it said Azure jumped 98% and commercial Office 365 grew 41%. The two businesses combined accounted for $6 billion in revenue, up 58% on what Microsoft financial chief Amy Hood said was "better-than-expected demand." Ms. Hood pointed to 20% growth in Microsoft's server-products and cloud-services revenue as a reflection of its focus on the so-called hybrid cloud, in which customers mix cloud services with software running on servers in their own data centers. Microsoft has capitalized on its legacy as a seller of server software to win over its longtime customers who choose to gradually move their operations to the cloud. That growth has propelled Microsoft into the role of chief cloud rival to Inc., which pioneered the business of renting out computing power and storage a decade ago. "Two years ago, there was a clear No. 1 with no clear No. 2," said Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Brad Reback. "There is no doubt that Microsoft has put significant distance between themselves and all of the other" Amazon rivals. The surging cloud business led Microsoft to post a profit increase of 35% to $7.42 billion, or 95 cents a share. Revenue rose 16% to $26.82 billion. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Market Intelligence expected Microsoft to report per-share earnings of 85 cents on revenue of $25.78 billion. Microsoft no longer reports adjusted figures, reflecting accounting changes it adopted at the start of the fiscal year. The year-ago figure reflects that change. Microsoft's stock was down 0.3% in after-hours trading, after finishing the day at $94.27, up 2.1%. Last month, Microsoft shares hit an all-time high of $96.77, a gain of nearly 40% over the past year. The company has jostled with Alphabet Inc. and Amazon for the No. 2 spot behind Apple Inc. as the world's most valuable company as measured by market capitalization. Microsoft's Azure business is part of its Intelligent Cloud segment. Revenue from that unit rose 17% to $7.9 billion. The Office franchise is part of Microsoft's Productivity and Business Processes segment, where revenue climbed 17% to $9.01 billion. The company continues to dole out huge sums building massive data centers around the globe to battle Amazon and others. In the quarter, Microsoft had $3.5 billion in capital expenses, with much of that money going toward its data-center expansion. A year ago, Microsoft had $2.1 billion in capital expenditures Microsoft doesn't break out revenue for its Windows business. Earlier this month, International Data Corp. reported world-wide PC shipments showed no growth in the most recent quarter. Revenue in Microsoft's More Personal Computing segment, which includes the company's slow-growing Windows franchise as well as the mobile-phone and Xbox gaming businesses, gained 13% to $9.92 billion. A month ago, Microsoft split the engineering group that develops products under the Windows banner among two separate divisions. It was a recognition that the product that had been synonymous with Microsoft for most of its 43 years will now play a supporting role to the company's cloud-computing efforts. Even as Microsoft has shifted its focus away from Windows, the operating system showed surprising resiliency. Revenue in the version of Windows that Microsoft generally sells to corporate customers, known as OEM Pro, grew 11%. And revenue from Microsoft's Surface line of computers jumped 32% to $1.10 billion. LinkedIn, the professional social network Microsoft bought for $27 billion more than a year ago, grew rapidly, with revenue climbing 37% to $1.34 billion.
A lot of companies will struggle to survive in the new digital ecosystem hxxp:// UK businesses ‘must act now to avoid tech giant domination by 2025’ April 26, 2018 By 2025, 80% of all digital services to be delivered through a few core platforms, according to a new forecast. Business consulting firm, Virtusa, predicts that hundreds are at risk due to the explosive growth of innovative tech giants led by Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (BAT), and Amazon. Virtusa warns that UK firms that deliver services, such as banks and telcos, are lagging behind in the digital economy compared to firms, such as those in China, that capitalize on emerging trends in other markets where those companies, like BAT, have perfected a new, horizontal business model. BAT has brought together products and services from a range of adjacent industries with one ultimate aim – the ability to own and monetise all facets of a consumer’s lifestyle choices. BAT has taken this horizontal expansion model and used it to incubate hundreds of companies outside of China across a dozen sectors; all dedicated to meeting every need of a billion customers through a single platform. Such acquisitions enable these businesses to build detailed digital personas through which they identify every customer touchpoint that can be monetised, providing a roadmap of new industries to enter. In this way, acquisitions are now becoming consumer-driven, creating a shift in strategic business thinking. Instead of choosing markets based on specific industry knowledge, BAT selects targets based on how they fit into the overall digital landscape to appeal to convenience-hungry millennials – examples are investments made by BAT in Snapchat, Farfetch, and Lyft. As a result, Virtusa predicts that digital platforms will become the primary provider for all our lifestyle needs, with consumers processing 80 percent of their purchases through a single provider by 2025. “In the new digital economy, intuitiveness is king – something BAT does better than anyone,” said Raj Rajgopal, president of Virtusa’s Digital Strategy Group and head of Virtusa’s China Insights Group. “Customers – especially millennials – don’t care who fulfills their order or delivers them a service. They don’t need to have a dedicated banking or telco provider, they’re perfectly happy to bank via a social media app if it works intuitively. BAT has extended this logic across all industries, and the success of these firms has been demonstrated by an astonishing 50 percent growth rate year-on-year. Their platform users can now deal with one company that can facilitate all their needs, from transport, to entertainment, to financial services – and BAT is still moving into new sectors. Firms are waking up to a world where the economy is being built around platforms, where only the fulfillment of a product or service will matter, not who fulfills it – a realisation that should serve as a wake up to all specialist businesses in the UK.” Virtusa predicts this shift will rock the foundations many UK businesses are built on. BAT, along with American giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook, will be the dominant force that channels all future sales – weakening the UK’s global presence unless they put in place strategies now to compete. As these platforms become the conduits through which all customer interactions take place – from cashier-less stores to magic mirrors, and even hybrid messaging/payment apps – we get closer to an age where brand, heritage, and expertise pale in importance when faced against convenience and intuitiveness. This will force UK businesses into adopting a supplier relationship with platform providers that would negatively impact profit margins – unless they take steps today to adapt. “A lot of companies will struggle to survive in the new digital ecosystem,” said Rajgopal. “The ones that plan to do so successfully will have to work through three options. Lead in the creation of a platform through a set of strategic acquisitions to provide end-to-end lifestyle services such as those provided by Alibaba or Tencent, enter into a network of strategic partnerships as a peer similar to the alliances we see in the airline industry, or transition into selling via somebody else’s platform, as many traditional retailers have with Amazon. We have created the China Insights Group to help companies analyse the competitive playbook of BAT, understand the threat they pose if these practices are adopted, prepare early on a strategy to pursue, and how to go about it.” Virtusa’s China Insights Group was set up four months ago to identify and define the strategies that companies like BAT employ to enter different markets. The group’s analysis has resulted in the creation of playbooks for Ali Baba, Tencent, Ping An Insurance, and ZhongAn. For each playbook, CIG has developed 20 detailed use cases that lay out each company’s strategy for expansion and the capabilities they plan to use to supplant the competition. These playbooks also include how these companies determine what types of services to provide and what customer journeys to support. The goal of CIG, in conjunction with Virtusa’s Digital Business Strategy team, is not to only to help clients battle the incoming threat of these Eastern tech giants. It is also to enable firms to emulate these strategies in order to build dominance in their own respective markets. In particular, it recommends that all firms: • Analyse the biggest digital threats they face and ‘wargame’; a strategy ahead of a new tech giant entering their sector. • Ensure they are tracking innovation in other markets, particularly China, to avoid falling behind the curve. • Start building detailed and comprehensive digital personas for individual consumers. Virtusa’s China Insights Group will continue to research and explore how Eastern innovators are achieving market dominance and will use those insights to help clients of Virtusa learn how to adopt similar strategies that will lead them to dominance in their own markets. Regulation in western geographies will slow the expansion of these Chinese giants allowing “Facebook, Google, and Amazon to catch up and compete with them,” said Rajgopal. “But for most firms who are experts in just one industry, meeting this new challenge is going to be incredibly difficult and they need to decide on their strategy. Unfortunately there’s no magic bullet and each company has to figure out its own path – but the decision needs to be made now because in five years’ time when BAT is at the door, it’ll be too late to respond.” hxxp:// Virtusa is headquartered in Massachusetts and has 50 offices across North America, Europe and Asia.
hxxp:// April 18, 2018 2:31PM PT Amazon Has More Than 100 Million Prime Subscribers, Jeff Bezos Discloses By Todd Spangler Amazon’s Prime membership program has now topped 100 million paying members worldwide, CEO Jeff Bezos said in his annual letter to shareholders. It’s the first time Amazon has revealed a specific number for Prime. But Bezos stayed opaque on numbers for its video and music businesses. He wrote in the April 18 letter that “Prime Video continues to drive Prime member adoption and retention.” Amazon Music “continues to grow fast and now has tens of millions of paid customers,” he said. Amazon Music Unlimited, the on-demand, ad-free offering, expanded to more than 30 new countries in 2017, and membership has more than doubled over the past six months, according to Bezos. Overall in 2017, Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items via Prime, its program that offers unlimited free two-day shipping on over 100 million different items in the U.S. along with other perks (including access to the original and licensed TV shows and movies on Prime Video). Prime costs $99 per year in the United States, where it first launched 13 years ago. The company last year expanded Prime to Mexico, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg last year, in addition to the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria, India, Japan, Italy, Spain and France. According to Bezos’s letter, more new members joined Prime in 2017 than in any previous year, both worldwide and in the U.S. Amazon didn’t break out the number of Prime customers by region. With Amazon playing close to the vest, analysts have produced estimates for the size of the Prime base. Those have varied widely: Cowen & Co. put the number of U.S. Prime households at about 60 million as of the end of 2017, while research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners pegged U.S. Prime members at around 90 million as of last September. Prime Video’s highlights last year included award-winning comedy “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which won two Critics’ Choice Awards and two Golden Globes, and Oscar-nominated movie “The Big Sick,” Bezos wrote. Amazon also expanded its slate of programming across the globe, with new seasons of “Bosch” and “Sneaky Pete” from the U.S., “The Grand Tour” from the U.K. — hosted by the former team from BBC’s “Top Gear” — and “You Are Wanted” from Germany. Bezos also rattled up several upcoming Amazon Studios original series: Tom Clancy’s “Jack Ryan” starring John Krasinski; “King Lear,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson; “The Romanoffs,” executive produced by Matt Weiner; “Carnival Row” starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne; “Good Omens” starring Jon Hamm; and “Homecoming,” executive produced by Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”) and starring Julia Roberts in her first TV series. “We acquired the global television rights for a multi-season production of ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ as well as ‘Cortés,’ a miniseries based on the epic saga of Hernán Cortés from executive producer Steven Spielberg, starring Javier Bardem, and we look forward to beginning work on those shows this year,” Bezos said in the letter. In addition, Amazon expanded its Prime Channels offerings, adding CBS All Access in the U.S. and launching channels in the U.K. and Germany. Bezos also pointed to Prime Video’s streaming of NFL “Thursday Night Football” on Prime Video worldwide, which drew more than 18 million total viewers over 11 games. Meanwhile, Bezos called out Amazon’s Prime Video Direct self-publishing program. Through that, Amazon obtained subscription VOD rights for more than 3,000 feature films and “committed over $18 million in royalties to independent filmmakers and other rights holders,” the CEO wrote. Bezos has issued the annual letter to shareholders since 1997.
hxxps:// NAB 2018 highlights : Intelligent cloud, AI & machine learning with cognitive services Apr 19, 2018 | Thought Leadership Huw Dymond, Product Manager "The team returned from NAB after a jam-packed week of Blackbird meetings with end users, service providers, technology partners and distributors across the news, media and entertainment (NME) sector – from news and broadcast to online and major sports organisations (as well as everything in between). From the very start, (pre-show set up) where an owner of a traditional storage provider, asked “Has the rest of the world caught up with you yet?” – the scene was set. Like our fellow exhibitor, we understand business models are evolving and this was reflected in the interests of those attending Blackbird meetings and demos. Every year NAB becomes a hub of discussion for trending topics in the industry, and this year Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) emerged as solutions to a problem that many haven’t recognised. Cloud is no longer a ‘maybe’ but a ‘given’ and conversations are shifting towards discussions of seamless migration. Companies are seeking new ways of minimising the spend and complexity inherent in delivering additional content to more platforms than ever before. Cognitive services emerged as a key topic, but the joined principles of ML and AI were recognised for their huge potential benefit to the industry. Cognitive services have the ability to assist automating the remaining manual workflow stages where a subjective opinion or a decision based on new, incomplete information is required. In media and entertainment, these principles are applied to gain the results of quality analysis and content analysis. In one particular meeting, the discussion highlighted huge fragmentation in the AI/ML market with over 7,000 technology providers and 10,000+ engines, up from 1,000 engines in the last 12 months. There is no doubt, many services are embedded offerings from a smaller number of core AI technologies, but the numbers are certainly not conducive to anyone wanting to carefully select a partner right now. There were also many, many demonstrations of intelligent and automated content indexing and metadata creation, yet few managed to clearly articulate the value of the service. Do we really need to know if a newsreader is wearing a purple shirt or a blue one? At Blackbird, we see great value in data and its ability to enhance or augment existing workflows. We understand that today’s workflows require progress in order to reach absolute efficiency and that the immediate challenge of AI/ML is awareness of the commercial benefits. A key driver could be captioning workflows which involve large amounts of manual and time-consuming data entry. This workflow covers traditional broadcast workflow and is crucial for online engagement. Captioning is widely used across social media platforms where a large number of consumers access feed content on mobile devices without any audio. Speech-to-text isn’t new, but when combined with AI and ML abilities to learn and continuously train – its high accuracy meets the point of realistic automation. Ensuring continual efficiency in production and delivery of meaningful content to consumers, maximises monetisation. We believe the value proposition for cognitive technologies will only increase over time and that the use of data to optimise workflows will be a key driver for the next generation of content creation and distribution."
global space services market is worth US$350 billion hxxp:// Soyuz later! Russia might exit satellite launch business Is it worth competing with SpaceX prices? By Richard Chirgwin 19 Apr 2018 at 05:02 Russia has dropped a broad hint that it might leave the space launch business to private operators. Space launches have become a relative commodity: SpaceX publishes a price list offering a Falcon 9 trip to geosynchronous transfer orbit for US$62 million, or $90 million for Falcon Heavy. Russia's official newsagency TASS carried a report suggesting the country might let the new generation of private launch vehicles have the business to themselves rather than try to build a platform that can compete with SpaceX. TASS reports Deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin, whose role puts him at the top of the country's defense industry, said in a television interview: “The share of launch vehicles is as small as four per cent of the overall market of space services”. Rogozin added that the global space services market is worth US$350 billion and that Russia could do better as a payload-builder than a launcher-for-hire. “The four per cent stake isn’t worth the effort to try to elbow Musk and China aside," he said. El Reg notes that India is also shaping up as a launch competitor, with its ultra-low-cost Mars orbiter and its PSLV vehicle proven since 1994 demonstrating capability and cost-competitiveness. There's a bit of realpolitik to consider here, too, because tension between the USA and Russia means the former nation isn't very keen on sending business Moscow's way. SpaceX, meanwhile, staged another boring, successful, nothing-blew-up launch earlier today, with its Falcon 9 carrying the much-anticipated NASA TESS planet-hunting satellite to orbit. 10 Comments
00:57 Amazon Prime Has More Than 100 Million Members -- Update 18/04/2018 11:35pm Dow Jones News By Austen Hufford More than 100 million people globally are now paying for Amazon Prime, a sign of how Inc. has used the service to evolve from an online marketplace that struggled with profitability into an internet-commerce powerhouse. Amazon, which has never disclosed the number of Prime members before, revealed the figure Wednesday in Chief Executive Jeff Bezos's closely followed annual letter to shareholders. Amazon also said a majority of goods sold on its platform are from third-party sellers.
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