Tag: Big

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Is the IPO Market Stealing Big Tech’s Thunder?

Investors were dumping FAANG stocks again Friday and there just may be some very plausible explanations as to why that’s happening after an apparent rebound from a correction over and done with.

FAANG stocks fell 13% in a span of several weeks in September. Valuations were in re-rate mode as at-home growth services like cloud computing, data center storage, e-commerce and streaming may have seen a massive demand pulled forward from later years in the maturity cycle of these businesses. Friday, FAANG stocks were down more than 2% by 2:15 PM EDT. Cyclical stocks, on a day which employment figures missed estimates and caused some investor anxiety in the morning about the speed of the economic recovery, mostly rose. And the 10-Year Treasury yield rose to as much as 0.70% from 0.67%. That indicates growing inflation expectations, which indicates a recovering economy and means investors do not have to take risk with high-multiple growth stocks, as some beaten value stocks like airlines and restaurants can move up with the economy.

Yet Friday’s sell-off was all about tech.

Here’s one potential explanation:

“People are looking to fund some of the other [trades],” by selling large cap tech stocks,” Marc Preffer, chief investment officer at CLS Investments told TheStreet. “The IPOs the last couple of weeks — it’s possible you’ve been seeing other technology stocks go down and they [investors] are just looking to make room for purchases. The first place people go for that [funding other stock purchases] — selling some of the old tech and into these new technology companies.”

The pressing question on FAANG stocks the last few years — all risk factors considered — has been whether their outperformance can continue, whether the premium near-term earnings growth relative to value sectors will be outweighed by their maturing disruptive

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Grand Ole Opry’s Circle Network Joins Four Big Video-Streaming Platforms

Circle Network, a country music channel co-owned by the Grand Ole Opry’s parent company and station group Gray Television, said it has signed distribution deals with four big streaming platforms: Roku, Samsung’s TV Plus, Vizio’s SmartCast, and Comcast-owned Xumo.

The four outlets collectively claim 76 million monthly average users, and represent a big jump in audience accessibility for the 10-month-old network, said Circle’s General Manager Drew Reifenberger. Opry Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of Ryman Hospitality Properties, is a co-owner of the network with Gray, one of the nation’s biggest broadcast station groups.

The channel has been anchored by Saturday night broadcasts of performances on Opry Live from the Grand Ole Opry’s storied stage in Nashville, Tenn., continuing even through the pandemic’s strictures, though without live audiences.

The Opry “has had shows, with no audience, for 32 weeks now,” Reifenberger said. “The Opry is going on 95 years of uninterrupted Saturday night broadcasts, coming up on 5,000 performances and we’re not going to break that. We’re the only ones with original content every week, particularly in the early stages (of the pandemic). That’s what the Opry is all about.”

For all the rich tradition of those hour-long performances, however, Reifenberger said the Circle Network was built to appeal to country music’s Millennial and Gen Z audiences, who now make up about half the nation’s population.

“The why of creating this channel was simple research,” Reifenberger said. “There are 120 million country music fans who simply are being underserved. We think it’s very much about the lifestyle as much as it is about the music. It’s a platform to bring artists and the audiences closer together.”

To feed those audiences, the channel has 16 original or exclusive shows, then pieces in licensed movies and other

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Big scary chasm opens up in Microsoft Flight Simulator reboot

Microsoft released its rebooted Flight Simulator program in August 2020, immediately wowing gamers with its hyper-realistic scenery, digitally distilled from satellite imagery.



a plane sitting on top of a grass covered field: Microsoft Flight Simulator chasm


© Microsoft
Microsoft Flight Simulator chasm

The sim gives its users the ability to fly anywhere in the world, with our planet reconstructed with real-time weather conditions using Microsoft Bing mapping technology.

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So it’s a little surprising that a huge terrifying abyss has opened up in the middle of Brazil.

Reddit user ReversedWindow appears to have been the first to report the freaky discovery and was brave enough to pilot an airplane down it.

Turns out it gets stranger: There’s a whole airport down there. The above YouTube video by Kwad Damage shows this remarkable journey to the center of the Earth, while the screengrab at the top is from PC Gamer’s Christopher Livingston’s adventure.

The airport in question is Lagoa Nova, which in the real world is a little airstrip in Rio Grande de Norte and not an actual hellmouth.

To get to the chasm in the sim, you just need to set Lagoa Nova as your destination.

PC Gamer magazine speculates that the glitch is most likely due to a typo and that the airfield’s elevation above sea level may be mis-entered in a spreadsheet somewhere.

It’s already been noted that the program has some quirky dimensions.

CNN Travel reported last month that if you chart a route over the North Pole, you can fly beyond the realm of Bing Maps.

“As we flew over the North Pole we were looking at different weird map structures that may have just been glitches or may have been the video game filling in, but we didn’t know where we were,” content creator and streaming host Bruce Greene told CNN.

It’s said that when Alexander the Great

01
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Section 230 will be on the chopping block at the next big tech hearing

It looks like we’re in for another big tech CEO hearing.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted Thursday to move forward with subpoenas for Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet. The unusual decision to subpoena the social media chief executives adds yet another politically volatile event to the schedule in the run-up to the most contentious election in modern U.S. history.

The hearing will focus on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the key law that shields online platforms from legal liability for the content their users create.

While the topic might sound dry for the unacquainted, the law is an explosive topic, both politically and in the eyes of the tech industry, which could be left reeling from even what might seem like minor changes to the legal shield.

Committee Chairman Roger Wicker called the decision to hold the hearing “imperative” in order for Americans to “receive a full accounting from the heads of these companies about their content moderation practices.”

Remarkably, the decision to subpoena the CEOs was unanimous, with ranking Democrat Maria Cantwell joining the vote to subpoena the companies after initially opposing the decision.

Cantwell previously called the idea of issuing subpoenas an “extraordinary” step intended to “chill the efforts” of companies to remove misinformation and harassment from their platforms.

Republican members of the Senate Commerce Committee include its Wicker, Ted Cruz, John Thune and Rick Scott. Democrats on the committee include Cantwell, Amy Klobuchar, Brian Schatz, and Kyrsten Sinema.

What’s going on with Section 230?

Section 230 is generally regarded as the legal infrastructure that made the social internet possible, from Facebook accounts and comments sections to Yelp and Amazon reviews. It’s a short law but in 2020 an increasingly controversial one as lawmakers scramble for levers to

01
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Senate panel issues subpoenas for Big Tech CEOs

A Senate panel voted Thursday to subpoena the top executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter to answer questions on disinformation, online scams and a range of social ills.

The Commerce Committee agreed unanimously to call Jack Dorsey of Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google parent Alphabet.

The move comes with Big Tech platforms facing heightened scrutiny on monopoly concerns, and also for failing to stem hateful and nefarious content.

“After extending an invitation to these executives, I regret that they have again declined to participate and answer questions on the record about issues that are so visible and urgent to the American people,” said Republican Senator Roger Wicker, who chairs the panel.

“We have questioned how they are protecting and securing the data of millions of Americans, we’ve explored how they’re combating disinformation fraud and other online scams, we’ve examined whether they are providing a safe and secure internet experience for children and teens.”

Wicker added that the panel wants to know “how they are removing content from their sites that encourages extremism and mass violence… their use of secret algorithms that may manipulate users and drive compulsive usage of the internet, among our youth.”

Big Tech firms, including Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, have seen their economic power grow in recent years and accelerate during the coronavirus pandemic, dominating a range of economic sectors.

President Donald Trump and his allies have claimed tech platforms are biased against conservatives, despite his own vast social media following.

Democrats meanwhile have expressed concerns over monopoly abuses and the failure of social media to stem misinformation from Trump himself.

Lawmakers from both parties have called for changes to the legal liability shield of online services under a law known as Section 230, claiming the provision enables toxic and harmful content