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A fake chain message on Snapchat says all your 'Memories' will be deleted if you don't share it — Don't worry, it's not true (SNAP)

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 02:14 PM PDT

Smartphone Users

  • There is a fake screenshot making the rounds on Snapchat, saying that the app plans to delete the saved photos, aka "Memories," of users who do not share the image with all their friends.
  • Snapchat confirmed that the rumor is not true on Tuesday, via an official Twitter account. 
  • It is unclear how many people shared the fake announcement.


Snapchat's support team tweeted a warning to users Tuesday about a fake announcement making the rounds, saying that the app would be deleting all the saved pictures, known in Snapchat as "Memories," of users who didn't share the image with all their friends.

It's unclear how many people were fooled by the fake screenshot, but an official Snapchat account confirmed the rumors weren't true:

Snapchat declined to comment further on the matter, but the fake announcement was most-likely made by someone impersonating the official Team Snapchat account, which occasionally does send updates and instructions to users this way. 

A few users who had received the false alert, which is riddled with typos, posted it on Twitter:

Chain-style hoaxes are rampant on other social platforms—and of course, in emails—especially on Facebook, where a new chain status scam pops up every year or so.

SEE ALSO: Fortnite fans are convinced a falling meteor will change the game forever — and the game's creators are teasing them for it

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's the best smartphone camera you can buy

The process Jeff Bezos used to interview job candidates before he was a CEO became the way Amazon decided who got the job

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 01:36 PM PDT

Jeff Bezos

  • Amazon's hiring process has closely resembled that of investment-management firm D.E. Shaw, where Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos used to work.
  • Interviewees were asked to solve tough brainteasers, so the interviewers could see how they approached difficult problems.
  • Then all the interviewers voted on how much they want to hire the person.
  • Bezos has expressed how important it is to hire the right people at Amazon.


If you're applying for a job in the tech industry, you may be asked to solve at least one tricky brainteaser.

At Amazon, that aspect of the interview dates back to before the company even launched, when CEO Jeff Bezos worked at investment-management firm D.E. Shaw.

Brad Stone breaks it down in his 2013 book, "The Everything Store." According to Stone, qualified applicants were flown to New York for a day of "grueling" interviews. They'd be asked questions such as, "How many fax machines are in the United States?" Interviewers weren't looking for an answer, necessarily — instead, they wanted to know how the interviewees tried to solve difficult problems.

That's still what Amazon interviewers wanted to know years later.

In 2010, an applicant for a managerial position posted on Glassdoor that they were asked, "If you had 5,623 participants in a tournament, how many games would need to be played to determine the winner?" (A suggested response is asking the interviewer whether 5,623 represents the number of teams or individuals and then moving onto the next logical question based on the answer.)

It's not clear whether Amazon still asks these brain-teaser questions in job interviews. Other tech giants, like Google, have moved away from this practice in recent years.

At D.E. Shaw, the decision to hire someone had to be unanimous

The next step in Amazon's hiring process has also closely resembled D.E. Shaw's.

According to Stone, everyone who participated in the interview would gather and share their opinion of the interviewee: strong no hire, inclined not to hire, inclined to hire, or strong hire. Stone writes that one "holdout" could mean the difference between someone getting hired or not.

A HuffPost article adds more insight. According to Jeff Holden, the chief product officer at Uber who spent the early years of his career at D.E. Shaw with Jeff Bezos, a hiring decision had to be made in the room where the interviewees were gathered.

Gideon Shavit, a software engineer at Amazon, wrote on Quora in 2017 that Amazon continued to use much the same hiring practices. Once everyone has voted, Shavit wrote, they also "try to determine whether the candidate 'raises the bar', meaning is at least as good or better than the average current Amazon employee in the target position."

The rigorous hiring process that Bezos used at both D.E. Shaw and Amazon is no accident. Fast Company reports that Bezos told an Amazon colleague early on: "I'd rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person."

In his 1998 shareholder letter, Bezos elaborated on the way he selects new hires. Specifically, Bezos said he asks people in charge of hiring to consider three questions: "Will you admire this person?" "Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they're entering?" and "Along what dimension might this person be a superstar?"

Regarding the first question, about whether you'll admire the person, Bezos wrote, "I've always tried hard to work only with people I admire, and I encourage folks here to be just as demanding. Life is definitely too short to do otherwise."

SEE ALSO: Early Amazon interviews were so tough, one comment could disqualify a job candidate immediately

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Barclays: Salesforce is facing a 'new competitive reality' in M&A and Microsoft has an important edge (CRM, MSFT)

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 01:16 PM PDT

benioff_santya_2

  • Wall Street has high expectations for Salesforce's financial performance, but the company has an important weak spot. 
  • Salesforce's low margins and free cash flow will become increasingly detrimental as the company competes in the M&A arena with deep-pocketed rivals, Barclays says.
  • Salesforce lost its bid for LinkedIn to Microsoft in 2016 because it wasn't able to do an all-cash deal.


If Salesforce wants to stay in Wall Street's good graces for the long term, management is going to have to find a way to grow the company's margins and improve its cash flow, according to a Barclays note published Tuesday.  

The reason: Less cash means Salesforce is less competitive against large competitors such as Microsoft — especially when it comes to acquisitions. 

"Salesforce faces a new competitive reality, especially against the Mega-Tech vendors like Microsoft," Barclays analyst Raimo Lenschow wrote in the note.

"For its $10 billion revenue scale, Salesforce has disappointing profitability," Lenschow said. "Suboptimal margins and cash flows can hurt Salesforce’s competitive position in the long term, especially when it comes to strategic M&A."

Salesforce grew its operating margins by 130 basis points in fiscal year 2018, which ended January 31. The company expects to grow its margins between 125 and 150 basis points in fiscal year 2019. 

But Barclays wants to see Salesforce's margins grow by 250 to 350 basis points, which it believes will "allow Salesforce to sustain its healthy growth at scale, while mitigating the risk from its new competitive realities." 

More cash means more leverage in acquisition talks 

Wall Street sentiment has greatly improved since Salesforce first announced its record-breaking $6.86 billion acquisition of MuleSoft at the end of March. Salesforce paid a 32% premium to buy MuleSoft, which many analysts struggled to make sense of.  

They were assuaged, at least partially, when a timeline of the acquisition revealed that the high price-tag was the result of a quick turn around time and high pressure negotiations with MuleSoft CEO Greg Schott — rather than a bidding war, as many analysts assumed. 

But Lenschow believes that Salesforce could have paid less if it had more cash on hand, and that the company will continue to pay high-premiums for acquisition down the road if it doesn't grow its margins and improve cash-flow before its next purchase. 

"We believe that M&A will be a critical pillar for Salesforce to not only defend its leadership position in the CRM market, but also to become more strategic to enterprise customers as it moves further upmarket. As such, we believe subpar margins and cash flows can hurt Salesforce in key M&A situations, where all-cash buyers tend to be better positioned," Lenschow said. 

As Lenschow points out, Salesforce has already lost out for this exact reason. In 2016, Microsoft won a bidding war against Salesforce to acquire LinkedIn for $26 billion. Salesforce actually outbid Microsoft in price per share, but lost since more than half of its offer was in Salesforce stock, rather than cash. 

SEE ALSO: Meet the Salesforce power players helping Marc Benioff take his $87 billion cloud empire to the next level

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Tech experts talk about what makes virtual reality so promising for making movies and TV (IBM)

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 01:10 PM PDT

Tribeca Film Festival panel AR/VR in media

  • For years, the entertainment industry has been excited by the possibility of using Virtual Reality to tell stories, but so far few have seen real success. 
  • At this year's Tribeca Film Festival, two executives from companies making strides in VR and AR discussed the presence and future of these technologies in storytelling in a panel moderated by Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget, State of the Art: How AR, VR, and AI are Transforming Media.
  • The panelists agreed that turning a traditional movie into a VR experience wouldn't cut it — here's what they said works when it comes to a different medium that calls for a different set of rules. 

Virtual reality is a relatively new form of storytelling that Hollywood is trying to master, as experts discussed in a panel at the 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival in Lower Manhattan. 

The panel, titled "State of the Art: How AR, VR, and AI are Transforming Media," included Mitzi Reaugh, VP of  development and strategy at Jaunt VR, as well as Michael Ludden, director of product for IBM's AR/VR Labs. It was moderated by Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget. 

Over the course of the panel, the tech experts discussed use cases for the different technologies in VR storytelling, where they're seeing success, and what they're most excited about going forward.

“I think photogrammetry is going to be a big part of immersive entertainment going forward,” said Ludden, referring to a sort of 3D model visual that users can walk around.

Both Ludden and Reaugh agreed that if a filmmaker were to take a traditional movie and just turn it into a 360 experience, it's not going to work — in fact, would just be boring, Ludden said. 

“Fundamentally, [VR]'s a different medium, so there is different storytelling things that you need to consider," said Reaugh. She said to consider two things that really help make a great story: "escape" and "empathy." 

Giving headsets to patients in hospitals and allowing them to temporarily transport to another location allows escape, while connecting with someone by seeing what they see creates empathy; this is why Ludden refers to VR as "an empathy machine." 

That isn't enough to make a distinction between what works for a traditional film and what works for a VR film, of course. Plenty of movies today allow us to escape or feel empathy, albeit not in an immersive way. Reaugh outlined three things to keep in mind in order to create a good 360 or VR experience that people will actually pay for:

  • Pacing: “It’s not the same pacing that you would get in linear video, because you have to let somebody settle into the environment and recognize where they are.”
  • Sound: “There’s a lot of opportunity to use sound to help the person look where they need to go and follow where the story’s happening.” You need to know which direction to turn your head in, for example. 
  • Location: "I think you really have to think about stories where the location matters," she said "Thinking about where it is that’s compelling to transport people.”

Looking forward, the panelists were excited about AR and VR's presence in industries including athletics, healthcare, and enterprise. But storytelling stuck out to the panelists as the application for VR that's most poised for success. 

“You can literally be in the perspective of somebody that’s not you,” said Ludden. “There’s a really powerful emotional, low-hanging fruit piece here.”

SEE ALSO: Father of virtual reality: Facebook and Google are dangerous 'behavior-modification empires' resulting from a tragic mistake

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The incredible story of the 'Virtual Boy' — Nintendo's VR headset from 1995 that failed spectacularly

The 8 Marvel movies you should watch before 'Infinity War'

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 12:57 PM PDT

Red SkullNot planning a two-day Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon right before seeing "Avengers: Infinity War?"

Nobody has time for that. 

To accommodate fans who want to freshen up their knowledge, we collected a list of the most essential MCU movies to watch right before you see "Infinity War," which is scheduled for release April 27.

From "Captain America: The First Avenger" to "Thor: Ragnarok," here are the 8 MCU movies you need to catch up on.

(To see where to watch, check our list of where to stream all 18 movies in the MCU.) 

Here's 8 MCU movies to watch before seeing "Infinity War":

SEE ALSO: Where you can watch all 18 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before you see 'Infinity War'

"Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011)

In addition to debuting Captain America, this movie introduces us to the Infinity Stones, setting up the story years before "Infinity War." The film's villain, Red Skull, is trying to gain the power of the Tesseract, which contains the blue Space Stone. 



"The Avengers" (2012)

In "The Avengers," Loki is working for Thanos. He makes a failed attempt to get the Tesseract and take over Earth. It's also an introduction to the Avengers team, and Mark Ruffalo's version of the Hulk. In 2012, this movie felt like the biggest movie of all time, but now it feels so small. 



"Captain America: Civil War" (2016)

"Civil War" is important because it divides the team right before "Infinity War." It's also essentially an Avengers movie. Captain America and his friends are now on the run from the law because of what happens in this movie, so it will be interesting to see how a team that is so divided sets aside their differences and comes together. 

"Civil War" is available to stream on Netflix. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Amazon now lets shoppers track the exact location of delivery drivers in a 'creepy, but convenient' map (AMZN)

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 12:46 PM PDT

amazon delivery

  • Amazon Map Tracking allows shoppers to track the location of delivery drivers in real time, Amazon told Business Insider.
  • The tool tells shoppers how many stops drivers have remaining on their routes before their package is delivered. 
  • Amazon quietly rolled out map tracking in November. It's now available for all packages delivered by Amazon in the US.
  • Many shoppers love the new tool, though some have called it "creepy."

Amazon now lets shoppers track the exact location of their delivery drivers on a map.

The new feature, called Amazon Map Tracking, provides live updates on drivers' delivery routes, including how many stops are left before their package arrives, Amazon told Business Insider.

Amazon launched the Map Tracking feature in November, and it's now available for all packages delivered by Amazon in the US, the company said. 

"The Amazon Map Tracking feature is another delivery innovation we are working on to improve convenience for our customers and provide them greater visibility into their deliveries," Amazon spokeswoman Alana Broadbent said.

Amazon sends a notification to customers when they can see their delivery drivers on the tracking map. Customers can also access the map by visiting the "track package" feature on Amazon's website or app.

The driver's location will become available to customers when fewer than 10 stops remain on the courier's route to deliver their package. 

In posts on social media, many shoppers said they love the new tool.

"It's like waiting for an Uber/Lyft to arrive," one person wrote on Twitter. "We're living in the future and it's so amazing." 

"THIS IS AWESOME!" another person wrote. "Great job!!!! First-world, high-class service."

Others were less enthusiastic, calling it "scary" and "creepy, but convenient." One person said he was going "insane" watching a delivery driver circle his house for 30 minutes. Another person said she now stalks her Amazon delivery driver like a "crazy ex-girlfriend."

Amazon also recently started requiring delivery drivers to snap photos of packages upon delivery, and on Tuesday, the company announced it would start allowing couriers to deliver packages directly to shoppers' cars

Here's how shoppers are reacting to the map tracking service on social media:

 

SEE ALSO: Amazon can now unlock and deliver packages to these 5 car brands — find out if yours is on the list

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The story behind Warren Buffett's million dollar charity lunches at Smith & Wollensky

Amazon expands Alexa's presence in the car and home (AMZN)

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 12:36 PM PDT

This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence IoT Briefing subscribers hours before it appeared on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here.

Amazon's two-part strategy to establish itself as an integral player in the lives of connected consumers got a pair of updates over the past week, as reports surfaced on Amazon's efforts to expand Alexa's presence in the car and further establish itself as a leader in the connected home.

The first part of Amazon's effort focuses on increasing uptake of Alexa outside the home as part of its "Alexa Everywhere" strategy. The other is developing new technologies and platforms to dominate digital time within the home, as the consumer IoT proliferates.

us smart speaker penetration

Here are the latest updates to Amazon's two-pronged approach:

  • Amazon is bringing Echo speakers into connected cars. Amazon is testing a series of Echo devices purpose-built for connected cars in India, and plans to roll them out globally in the year ahead, Factor Daily reports. These in-car Echo speakers are expected to take aim at infotainment centers, though Amazon has also been working to implement voice control supported by Alexa in a series of partnerships with automakers. Additionally, Amazon teamed up with Brewster Ambulance Service to bring Echo Dots into emergency vehicles to assist ambulance personnel in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
  • For in-home dominance, Amazon is reportedly building domestic robots.Amazon's Lab126, which incubates new products and services like Echo speakers, is reportedly developing smart robots equipped with cameras and computer vision software that will enable them to drive around homes, according to Bloomberg. The domestic robots, which are codenamed Vesta and could launch as soon as 2019, may include native Alexa integration. Bloomberg speculates that the robots will serve as a "mobile Alexa," accompanying customers in their home where Echo devices aren't located. The rumored robots could be part of a larger effort to maintain Alexa's dominance in the home; Amazon already holds 52% of the global smart speaker market, but it's facing increased competition. A new product form factor, like home robots, could disrupt Alexa's hold if a competitor created a voice-assistant-infused robot ahead of Amazon.

Amazon is trying to infuse Alexa into as many devices as possible to stay ahead of the growing trend of ubiquitous computing. Ubiquitous computing is the idea of embedding computational capability into everyday objects, allowing them to communicate, and in turn, reduce the end user's need to interact with computers. In this way, Alexa remains at the heart of the consumer's journey — from the home, to the car, and then in smartphones when leaving the car. This bodes well for Amazon, as an increased dependence on Alexa and Echo speakers could help the company sustain its early lead in the smart speaker market and its leading position in the smart home space.

AI 101: FREE Report

Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has written a detailed report on voice apps that explores the two major viable voice app stores. It identifies the three big issues voice apps are facing — discoverability, monetization, and retention — and presents possible short-term solutions ahead of industry-wide fixes.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • The market for smart speakers and voice platforms is expanding rapidly. The installed base of smart speakers and the volume of voice apps that can be accessed on them each saw significant gains in 2017. But the new format and the emerging voice ecosystems that are making their way into smart speaker-equipped homes is so far failing to align with consumer needs. 
  • Voice app development is a virtuous cycle with several broken components. The addressable consumer market is expanding, which is prompting more brands and developers to developer voice apps, but the ability to monetize and iterate those voice apps is limited, which could inhibit voice app growth. 
  • Monetization is only one broken component of the voice app ecosystem. Discoverability and user retention are equally problematic for voice app development. 
  • While the two major voice app ecosystems — Amazon's and Google's — have some Band-Aid solutions and workarounds, their options for improving monetization, discoverability, and retention for voice apps are currently limited.
  • There are some strategies that developers and brands can employ in the near term ahead of more robust tools and solutions.

 In full, the report:

  • Sizes the current voice app ecosystem. 
  • Outlines the most pressing problems in voice app development and evolution in the space by examining the three most damning shortcoming: monetization, discoverability, and retention. 
  • Discusses the solutions being offered up by today's biggest voice platforms. 
  • Presents workaround solutions and alternative approaches that could catalyze development and evolution ahead of wider industry-wide fixes from the platforms.

Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

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Here are all the Japanese cars made in the USA

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 12:35 PM PDT

Acura NSX 7

  • Dozens of Japanese vehicles are built at plants in the US.
  • The factories are in the southern US and have been in operation in some cases for decades.
  • They employ thousands of Americans.

President Donald Trump made some confusing statements about American and Japanese cars.

Last year, Trump argued that more American vehicles should be sold in Japan, where historically almost no American cars have been on the market. But he also seemed to misunderstand that Japanese automakers have been building vehicles in the US for decades, employing thousands of Americans in the process.

In fact, Toyota and Mazda have announced that they'll invest $1.6 billion and construct a new factory in Alabama, with the goal of hiring 4,000 workers.

We started to wonder if folks know just how many Japanese cars are actually made in the US. It's a lot. We added it up:

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Acura NSX: Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc., Marysville Auto Plant, Marysville, Ohio.



Honda Accord: Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. Marysville Auto Plant. Marysville, Ohio.



Acura ILX: Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc., Marysville Auto Plant, Marysville, Ohio.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The idea that most successful startup founders are in their twenties is a myth — the average entrepreneur is much older

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 12:28 PM PDT

young steve jobs

  • A study by MIT found that the average age of startup founders is around 42, and the average age of entrepreneurs who founded high-growth companies is 45.
  • The study also found that 20-something founders have the lowest likelihood of starting a company with a successful exit.


Mark Zuckerberg was 19 when he started Facebook from his Harvard dorm room. Steve Jobs was 21 when he launched Apple Computer from his family's garage. David Karp was 20 when he started his microblogging site Tumblr. 

The list of successful, youthful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs is long, and it might seem as though celebrated startup founders are getting younger all the time.

However, it turns out that the idea that most successful startup founders are 20-something entrepreneurs is more of a persistent Silicon Valley myth. Yes, they exist, but statistically it's rare. According to a recent study by MIT, the average age of a successful company founder is much older than you might think. The study, which was conducted by MIT Sloan professor Pierre Azoulay and PhD student Daniel Kim, analyzed 2.7 million people who founded companies between 2007 and 2014.

According to the results, the average age of entrepreneurs who started a company that went on to hire just one employee was 41.9, and the average age of founders who started a high-growth company is even older, at 45 years old. 

The study also examined the age of entrepreneurs in sectors like specialized tech employment, venture capital investing, and patent firms, which yielded similar results: The average age of these people, too, was somewhere in their early-to-mid forties.

"Our primary finding is that successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young," the study reads. "Founders in their early 20s have the lowest likelihood of successful exit or creating a 1 in 1,000 top growth firm."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Google, Apple, and Amazon are in a war that no one will win

'Solo: A Star Wars Story' original directors said Alden Ehrenreich was literally the first actor they saw for Han Solo, but they still auditioned 3,000 people

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 12:22 PM PDT

star wars

  • According to Esquire, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the original directors of "Solo: A Star Wars Story," auditioned 3,000 actors for the role of Han Solo.
  • But Alden Ehrenreich, who landed the part, was "literally" the first to audition.
  • Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said the number is closer to 1,600, though — still a hefty number.

 

Phil Lord and Chris Miller — the original directors of "Solo: A Star Wars Story," who were fired and replaced by Ron Howard late into production — confirmed a long-standing rumor that they auditioned 3,000 actors for the role of a young Han Solo.

But they said that Alden Ehrenreich, who landed the role, was literally the first actor they saw.

According to Esquire, the directors confirmed that Ehrenreich was the first actor of thousands they saw for the part, and that he "remained the person to beat from day one."

The rumor of 3,000 auditions circulated when Ehrenreich was confirmed for the role in 2016, but this is the first time the directors have talked publicly it.

"We brought [Ehrenreich] in many times, pushed him, tried to test his range, and he was always up for it and brought something new, with a great sense of humor," Miller told Esquire.

"He felt classic and contemporary all at once," Lord added. "He seemed like a tough guy who was really scared."

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy estimated they saw fewer actors, putting the number at 1,600, but told Esquire that Ehrenreich "stood out from his very first screen test."

Either way, that is a huge amount of auditions.

Hopefully Ehrenreich impresses in the final film. He accidentally told Esquire that he's signed on for three "Star Wars" movies, so we can assume he's expected to be in two more after "Solo" — despite reports that Lucasfilm hired an acting coach to help with his performance.

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" comes to theaters on May 25.

SEE ALSO: The new Han Solo accidentally revealed he's signed on for 3 'Star Wars' movies

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NOW WATCH: What living on Earth would be like without the moon

One of the scariest effects of climate change might already be happening — and it'd mean our projections are way off

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 12:05 PM PDT

antarctica Mertz Glacier pulse

  • Warm waters are pooling underneath Antarctic glaciers in a way that's causing glaciers to melt more rapidly and preventing the formation of cool water beneath Antarctica, according to a new study.
  • This could slow ocean currents and potentially lead to a rapid sea-level rise event known as a pulse.
  • Such an event could be devastating, causing sea levels to rise by more than 10 feet by the end of the century.


The worst-case climate scenario for coastal cities is known as a "pulse."

In that situation, abnormally warm water could cause the glaciers that hold back ice sheets on top of Antarctica and Greenland to collapse. That would cause massive quantities of ice to pour into the world's oceans, which could lead to extremely rapid sea-level rise around the world. 

If such a scenario were to occur, current sea-level rise predictions for vulnerable cities like Miami would be far too low.

Right now, scientists predict Miami will likely be surrounded by seas up to 7 or 8 feet higher than they were in 1900 by the end of this century. But in the case of a pulse, some experts think South Florida could see 10 to 30 feet of sea-level rise by 2100.

Models predict that amount of rise could also be accompanied by superstorms.

Conditions that might mark the start of such a scenario seem to already be underway in Antarctica, according to a recent study published in the journal Science Advances.

The researchers behind the work found that in at least two Antarctic regions where there's been notable ice loss,  glaciers are melting fast enough to counteract a process that would normally keep the waters under the Antarctic cool. And where warm water collects, faster melting happens.

"Our study shows that this feedback process is not only possible but is in fact already underway, and may drive further acceleration of the rate of sea-level rise in the future," Alessandro Silvano, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Warm water pooling below the ice

The two areas analyzed in the study were the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica and the Sabrina Coast in East Antarctica. 

US Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star Antarctica

Normally, holes in Antarctic ice rapidly cool waters around the Antarctic continental shelf, which prevents warm water from melting glaciers. That cooling process creates a type of ocean water known as dense shelf water, which is so cold and dense that it sinks, eventually forming a mass of water called Antarctic bottom water.

But at the regions the researchers studied, water exposed at the surface is not being cooled and sinking. Instead, warm water is kept warm by rapidly melting glaciers, creating a mass of warm water underneath the ice.

"This process is similar to what happens when you put oil and water in a container, with the oil floating on top because it's lighter and less dense," Silvano said. "We found that in this way increased glacial meltwater can cause a positive feedback, driving further melt of ice shelves and hence an increase in sea level rise."

That means warm water is melting glaciers from below.

From what researchers can tell, a similar melting process may have triggered a sea-level rise of 16 feet at the end of the last glacial period. 

weddell polynya antarctica sea ice

A series of concerning events

The pooling of warm water beneath Antarctic glaciers makes rapid glacier melt more likely, which increases the possibility of ice shelf collapse and rapid sea-level rise.

At the same time, Antarctic bottom water helps drive the global currents, which enable the ocean to absorb heat and carbon dioxide. A lack of Antarctic bottom water could therefore slow ocean currents, and slower currents are associated with more superstorms, according to the historical record and computer models.

Global annual temperature and CO2 levels, 1959–2016

This slowing would also cause warming to happen more rapidly in Earth's atmosphere — further accelerating glacier melt.

"In combination, the two processes we identified feed off each other to further accelerate climate change," Silvano said.

As the researchers explain in the study, there's still a lot to learn about this process and its connection to climate change. But they said what we're seeing now is further evidence that stopping the rise of global temperatures is essential.

The burning of fossil fuels is causing Earth's temperature to creep higher and higher above pre-industrial levels. The higher the temperature gets, the more likely the collapse of ice shelves becomes — as well as the potential pulse that comes with it.

SEE ALSO: Cities around the US are flooding on sunny days — here's what it's like

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Here's how Amazon's and Apple's new smart speakers stack up with consumers (AMZN, AAPL)

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 12:03 PM PDT

tech adoption likely buyersThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

Smart speakers — Amazon's Echo, for example — are the latest device category poised to take a chunk of our increasingly digital lives. These devices are made primarily for the home and execute a user's voice commands via an integrated digital assistant. These digital assistants can play music, answer questions, and control other devices within a user's home, among other things. 

The central question for this new product category is not when they will take off, but which devices will rise to the top. To answer this question, Business Insider Intelligence surveyed our leading-edge consumer panel, gathering exclusive data on Amazon's recently released Echo Show and Echo Look, as well as Apple's HomePod. 

In a new Smart Speaker report, Business Insider Intelligence analyzes the market potential of the Echo Look, Echo Show, and HomePod. Using exclusive survey data, we evaluate each device's potential for adoption based on four criteria: awareness, excitement, usefulness, and purchase intent. And we draw some inferences from our data about the direction the smart speaker market could take from here.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Amazon's new Echo Show is the big winner — it has mass-market appeal and looks like it will take off. The combination of usefulness and excitement will drive consumers to buy the Echo Show. The Echo Look, though, seems like it will struggle to attract that same level of interest.
  • Apple's HomePod looks likely to find a place in the smart speaker market but won't dominate its space like the iPhone or iPad did.
  • The smart speaker market will evolve rapidly in the next few years, with more devices featuring screens, a variety of more focused products emerging, and eventually, the voice assistant moving beyond the smart speaker.

In full, the report:

  • Showcases exclusive survey data on initial consumer reactions to the Echo Look, Echo Show, and HomePod.
  • Highlights the aims and strategies of major players in the smart speaker market.
  • Provides analysis on the direction this nascent market will take and the opportunity for companies considering a move into the space.

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Amazon's dropping as part of a broader tech sell-off (AMZN)

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 12:02 PM PDT

Screen Shot 2018 04 24 at 2.44.34 PM


Amazon shares are down more than 4% to an intraday low of $1,448.64 a share Tuesday, as part of a broader tech sell-off. 

Amazon isn't the only FANG stock to drop Tuesday. Facebook is down more than 3.5%, while Alphabet is down 5%, as its better-than-expected earnings results were outweighed by its soaring costs. Netflix is down more than 3.5%, meanwhile. 

All three major US indices are down Tuesday, after the US 10-year treasury yield hit 3%, worrying investors about a noticeable uptick in inflation. 

Amazon is up 22.88% on the year. 

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Paypal has one big hurdle to clear with Venmo (PYPL)

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 12:00 PM PDT

Hurdle

  • PayPal is set to report its quarterly results after Wednesday's closing bell.
  • Investors are waiting for PayPal's plan to monetize Venmo.
  • RBC sees 29% growth in Total Payment Volume but also sees a decrease in the take rate due to Venmo.
  • If the company can monetize Venmo, RBC predicts an additional $0.09 of earnings per share in fiscal year 2018.
  • Watch PayPal trade in real time here.

Paypal, the digital-payments giant, is getting ready to report its quarterly results following Wednesday's closing bell and investors will be honing on one key thing: how the company plans to monetize the mobile-payment service Venmo. 

The potential for Venmo is there, but the company has brought in little revenue from transactions on the platform. 

RBC analyst Daniel Perlin anticipates 29% year-over-year growth in Total Payment Volume (TPV), but he also expects the take rate to fall by about 17 basis points. The take rate refers to the cut of a transaction that the company gets to keep as revenue, which means a higher take rate will result in more revenue per transaction.

While the growing adoption of Venmo boosts the number of transactions taking place, it presents a problem for PayPal as the company makes little money off peer-to-peer transactions. With peer-to-peer payments, Venmo takes a 3% cut if a credit card is used, but charges nothing if one pays a friend by connecting a bank account or an existing Venmo balance. 

Monetization of Venmo presents a large opportunity for revenue growth, especially as Perlin expects another solid quarter of volume growth. 

"We expect Venmo to report another solid quarter of volume growth (86% y/y last quarter) and believe investors will look for an update on the potential monetization of this volume, including Pay with Venmo, which was rolled out for all US merchants during Q4/17," Perlin wrote in a note sent to clients on Tuesday.

"We estimate that Venmo monetization could represent a potential $0.09 to EPS in FY18 (some amount possibly already contemplated in guidance) and $0.15 in FY19."

Though competition is increasing, Perlin reiterated his outperform rating and remains impressed by Paypal's strong account growth driven mainly by Paypal and Venmo. At the end of the fourth quarter, the company had 227 million active customer accounts and 18 million active merchant accounts, he writes. He also noted new active accounts jumped 61% versus a year ago during that quarter.

Wall Street is expecting PayPal to report adjusted earnings of $0.54 a share on revenue of $3.59 billion, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

PayPal shares are up 2.35% this year.

PayPal

SEE ALSO: Google-parent Alphabet slides after earnings

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Netflix continues to sink after its junk bond announcement

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 11:52 AM PDT

Netflix stock price

SEE ALSO: Netflix is planning to raise $1.5 billion as its 'cash burn continues to grow' (NFLX)

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Steve Cohen is backing a former Amex exec solving a financial pain point facing 35% of the American workforce

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 11:48 AM PDT

Steve Cohen

  • Steve Cohen's Point72 Ventures has led a $3 million seed fundraising round for Extend, a New York-based fintech company. 
  • The company aims to make life easier for the millions of Americans freelancing.   

A financial technology startup has snagged $3 million to take advantage of a pain point impacting the millions of freelancers in the US. 

Extend, a New York-based firm, told Business Insider Tuesday that it raised the investment in a seed fundraising round led by Steve Cohen's Point72 Ventures, and involving WorldQuant Ventures, Plug and Play, and other investors. 

Extend's platform allows companies to issue a temporary credit card to freelance employees.

It's a win-win for both freelancers and employers. Freelancers can expense items like travel purchases without dealing with a lengthy and complicated reimbursement process. Employers, meanwhile, can extend credit to temporary employees without worrying about spend getting out of control.  

"With Extend, the days of uncomfortably handing over your credit card to an employee or freelancer are over," Extend's chief executive Andrew Jamison said. "We eliminate the need for individuals to use their personal cards to pay for business expenses."

A study by Upwork, a freelance platform, found the freelance economy makes up more than 35% of the workforce, covering 55 million Americans. 

Jamison, a former American Express executive, came up with the idea for Extend when he was a freelance consultant, working for a number of Big Four accounting firms. 

"I was being asked to travel to meet with different financial services institutions," Jamison told Business Insider. "Since I wasn't an employee, they would have to reimburse me and sometimes it would take months."

Point72 Ventures, the venture arm of Steve Cohen's hedge fund Point72, counts Extend as one of its many recent investments. As Business Insider first reported, the firm invested in SAY, another financial technology company. It also invested in DriveWealth, a technology firm powering free stock trading, Business Insider previously reported

Matthew Granade, the chief market intelligence officer at Point72 who oversees Point72 Ventures, told Business Insider the firm tries to identify companies that are alone in solving a big problem and are doing so in a way that works within the existing financial infrastructure. 

" It's fine for fintech startups to say I'm going to tear down the banks, or whatever else, we think the most promising businesses come from people who understand the ecosystem and figure out how they can fit into that ecosystem to improve it," Granade said of Extend. "And this is a beautiful example."

SEE ALSO: We talked to Steve Cohen's right-hand man about Point72 Ventures' latest investment, tech on Wall Street, and cryptocurrency

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Apple will start paying $16 billion in back taxes to Ireland (AAPL)

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 11:48 AM PDT

Tim Cook sad unhappy

  • Apple was hit by the European Commission with a $16 billion bill for back taxes in 2016.
  • It's starting to pay the funds into an escrow account.
  • Apple will appeal the ruling.

It's time for Apple to pay the tax man.

Apple has to pay €13 billion, or about $16 billion, as part of a record-breaking back tax judgment from August 2016.

Basically, the European Commission, led by Margrethe Vestager, said that Apple had received special treatment from Ireland that ended up cutting its tax bill by billions between 2003 and 2014. 

Here's an EU graphic that shows how Apple was able to have a large amount of revenue that wasn't taxed in any jurisdiction — even Ireland, where Apple subsidiaries were based. 

Apple state aid

Now Ireland will collect the penalty, it said on Tuesday, although there's still a chance Apple could get the money back. Both Apple and Ireland are appealing, and that process is likely to begin this fall, Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Tuesday, according to Reuters and the Financial Times. Donohoe said he "fundamentally disagrees with the ruling," but will collect it regardless. 

"We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don't owe them any more than we've already paid," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a 2016 letter

In the meantime, the money will be held by an escrow account, Donohoe said. Apple will start making payments this quarter, with all of the funds in the escrow account by the end of the third quarter. Additional interest will be calculated after the first €13 billion is collected. 

Apple shouldn't be sweating the fine, even though it's huge. Apple said it had already set aside the money, and the company still has $285.1 billion in cash and marketable securities, according to its last earnings report. 

SEE ALSO: The remains of Yahoo just got hit with a $35 million fine because it didn't tell investors about Russian hacking

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China is about to open the world's longest sea bridge — here are the 12 longest bridges in the world

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 11:41 AM PDT

china worlds longest sea bridge

This summer, China is expected to open its long-awaited Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, a 34-mile highway that connects three major cities across the country.

The bridge features six lanes and four tunnels, one of which is underwater. It's an impressive megaproject, but it's nowhere near as large as the 102-mile-long  Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge, which is considered the longest in the world.

Take a look at some of the most extraordinary bridge projects in cities around the globe.

SEE ALSO: China is opening the world's longest sea bridge — and it contains enough steel to build 60 Eiffel Towers

Linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the King Fahd Causeway Bridge opened in 1986 and measures 16 miles long.

Source: Arab News



But most of the world's longest bridges are in China. The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, for example, spans 16.6 miles and connects the eastern city of Qingdao to the island of Huangdao.

The bridge is part of the larger Jiaozhou Bay Connection Project, a 25.8-mile expressway along the coastline of the bay, according to The Guardian.



Also in China, the Donghai Bridge has a long, narrow speedway that measures 20.2 miles. It connects Shanghai and Zhejiang and was completed in 2005.

Source: Shanghai Daily



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Apple has a warning for customers in its newest iOS update: Don't use third parties to repair iPhones and iPads

Posted: 24 Apr 2018 11:31 AM PDT

Apple iphone

  • Apple released iOS 11.3.1 on Tuesday, which claims to fix unresponsive touchscreen behavior experienced by iPhone 8 units.
  • Apple says some iPhone 8 touchscreens had become responsive after the previous iOS 11.3 update because they were serviced by third parties.
  • Apple's release notes warns users against taking their phones into third-party repair shops that use "non-genuine replacement displays."

 

On Tuesday, Apple released an update to iOS 11 that claims to fix some iPhone 8 touchscreens that had recently become unresponsive.

Some iPhone 8 owners that had their displays repaired by third parties noticed their touchscreens became responsive after the previous iOS 11.3 update rolled out. The new update, iOS 11.3.1, will reportedly fix this issue.

In its release notes, Apple also warns users against using "non-genuine replacement displays." According to Apple, these third-party parts are to blame for the difficulties experienced by iPhone 8 users. 

Apple iOS 11.3

iOS 11.3 was originally released late last month. Notably, it implemented a feature that allowed users to turn off the ability to slow down iPhone performance when battery levels are low.

SEE ALSO: Apple makes a subtle hint in its preview of the upcoming iOS update about the feature that slowed down iPhones

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