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The Actual Impact Of Bitcoin On War

The Actual Impact Of Bitcoin On War Authored by Matthew Pines via BitcoinMagazine.com, The impact of Bitcoin on war will not simply be the eradication of violence, a problem of humanity since the dawn of time... As bitcoin has appreciated and seen increased global adoption, it has emerged as a macroeconomically relevant phenomenon. This has turned formerly theoretical debates into live, practical questions on how Bitcoin will affect geopolitical relations. The current balance of global power is defined by complex arrangements of military alliances, trade flows, ethnic and religious affinity, cultural influence, linguistic agreement, and, of course, national borders. In this author’s view, it is hubris to expect Bitcoin to singularly override or sweep away the accumulated weight and historical inertia of this tightly-bound matrix of interlinked forces. Of course, it is tempting to smooth over this irreducible complexity and hypothesize a “saved” world, where bitcoin is that “one weird trick” to fix all that’s wrong with human civilization. This temptation to “immanentize the eschaton” is common among totalizing belief systems and becomes an emotionally attractive picture of the future, especially in an era where formerly trusted verities of common belief are losing their stabilizing force. And yet, we can still, and increasingly must, analyze the question of violence – especially state violence – in a future world order where Bitcoin is a major, if not the dominant, economic and political force. Some reason that Bitcoin will positively adjust the calculus of violence by which states decide how and where to project power and secure their respective interests. By shifting a large portion of national wealth from easily seized and vulnerable tangible assets into digital form, the incentives to violent conflict – as a means of confiscating this wealth – are substantially reduced. This moves the locus of inter-state conflict from the battlefield to the global, competitive mining market. Real wars become hash wars, and the negative externalities of the former (death and destruction) are replaced by the positive externalities of the latter (energy efficient computation and power generation). While this is well-reasoned and accords with the likely directional influence of Bitcoin on state competition, it is overly simplistic and incomplete. For human conflict exists on a spectrum: from soft power influence and psychological operations (psyops), gray zone subversion, and deniable covert action or sabotage to more overt forms of military violence via stand-off strikes, large-scale invasion, and (in the escalatory limit) all-out nuclear war. To claim Bitcoin will usher in an era of enduring world peace is to argue that it will eliminate all of these long-enduring sources and methods of human conflict. It is possible it will, but there are contrary forces at play that must not be overlooked. Considering the full set of relevant factors, a more reasonable thesis to hold is one in which Bitcoin may constrain certain forms of large-scale, expensive conventional war, but may not (on net) materially reduce human conflict or substantially constrain state violence. One can argue that all property claims, when it comes down to it, are enforced via violence or the threat thereof. (Bracket off for now the strong anthropological evidence, especially in human prehistory, that it is possible for communal social arrangements to endure with group-rights to “property,” though it remains an open question how durable these arrangements are as populations scale and cultural heterogeneity erodes the informal norms and coherence of group identity which mitigates violent dispute.) If Bitcoin succeeds in transposing most property claims from a vulnerable physical form to a more easily protected digital bearer asset, then one may argue that bitcoin removes one potent locus of physical violence from the world: physical property. However, even if one holds that all physical property claims are inherent or latent sources of violence, this doesn’t imply that all sources of human violence (namely, war) result from conflict over physical property. So even if Bitcoin succeeds in reducing one driver of war, one may not feel confident in the claim that Bitcoin fixes all, or even the dominant, drivers of war. I) Bitcoin reduces the state budget for war … but warfighting technology improvements will give states (and everyone else) “more for less” (partly because of bitcoin). One important, and little remarked-upon, factor is a corollary of Jeff Booth’s thesis (well-articulated in his book, ”The Price Of Tomorrow”) on the deflationary impact of technology. Much recent technological progress – especially in computational hardware, machine learning/artificial intelligence, resilient network communications, quantum computation, robotics/unmanned systems, 3D manufacturing, biological synthesis, propulsion systems, novel energetics, space launch and surveillance , among others – is being driven by and for military applications. The implication of Jeff Booth’s thesis (which has been borne out to date) is that just as technology drives exponential progress in consumer goods and services getting better and cheaper, so will the warfighter get “more for less.” More problematic, however, is that this will likely result in a proliferation of advanced technology that “democratizes” violence and distributes powerful capabilities to a broad range of human actors, with their use increasingly unconstrained by rules of engagement, Geneva Conventions, or deterrence considerations. One can imagine a world that has fully adopted a Bitcoin standard, but in which zero-day exploits in critical enterprise software and industrial control systems are found and deployed by teenage Minecraft players, autonomous drone-swarms are built and launched by hobbyists for a few hundred dollars, a disaffected postdoc cooks up synthetic viruses in his garage laboratory, and AI-bot armies execute continuous psyops campaigns against target populations. Further, as Jeff Booth has argued, Bitcoin’s natural alignment with these deflationary forces may accelerate technological progress, which while certainly positive for civilization at large, will likely have these kinds of spillover effects. At a different scale, once bitcoin becomes a globally-adopted neutral reserve asset, protection of domestic mining operations tightly integrated into energy grids becomes a national security issue. While mining firms within each nation will likely be regulated into coopetitive arrangements that dissuade disorderly sabotage, no such constraints will exist between states. In the zero-sum battle for the next nonce (and assuming the combination block reward and fee reflect the state of global adoption), the incentive to undercut one’s global competition will be large. This will manifest first in sophisticated corporate espionage and sabotage operations, likely involving the same sorts of firms which now hire armies of ex-intelligence and military professionals to conduct all sorts of unsavory activities around the world. As is the case with strategically important industries today, these types of activities tend to fuse with state intelligence services. Bitcoin mining may become a strategically important industry, if not the most important such industry in the most geopolitically powerful and relevant nations. Thus, it should not be surprising if we come to see state intelligence agencies brought into service to protect domestic mining operations and develop offensive capabilities to threaten their global competitors. Given the interconnection of these mining operations with regional energy production and grid networks, this will compound the existing risks states face in protecting against cyberattacks and disruption to critical infrastructure. States (and/or their deniable proxies) will find and exploit vulnerabilities in each other’s mining and national Bitcoin operations, which may range from executing sophisticated supply chain attacks that compromise competitor ASICs, to outright physical or cyber-enabled sabotage. This will set off an increasingly expensive game to relocate and protect one’s domestic mining infrastructure. However, the lessons from the current spate of cyber-incidents is that the offense is inherently advantaged over defense in these types of digital environments. It could be the case that the direct, substantial incentive that Bitcoin provides energy owners to protect their networks will finally focus attention on basic cyber-hygiene, insider-threat mitigation, and effective business continuity activities, but this is more a hope than a rational expectation. While beyond the scope of this essay to fully analyze, it is plausible that bitcoin, if adopted as the primary global neutral reserve asset, will constrain (but not eliminate) most forms of national debt finance. Note that it is likely that before it reaches equilibrium adoption as a unit of account (which could be a very long ways away), bitcoin will spend a substantial period of time as a reserve asset (taking increasingly dominant share of similar assets) in its store of value function and somewhat as a medium of exchange vehicle to settle large balances between institutions and governments and in jurisdictions which have adopted it as legal tender. In such a period, there are reasons to believe that large states will still find willing creditors for their national debt (denominated in local currency or, more likely, USD), subject to collateral conditions relating to that nation’s (provable) bitcoin reserve. Such creditors will assess the default risk of such sovereigns in a similar manner as today (and as throughout history), and will take the nation’s bitcoin reserve, its taxing ability, fiat currency acceptability, and extant geopolitical position as factors to consider when lending out their own bitcoin to help these governments’ finance expenditures beyond their existing fiscal balance. Note that this will likely be a much more constrained form of debt finance than we currently see, though it is hard to estimate this precisely. It most likely would not be sufficient to enable states to debt-finance large-scale, conventional wars involving mass mobilization, extensive heavy armaments, and protracted deployments, let alone decades-long occupations or “nation-building” imperial misadventures. Even if one doubts the above argument and believes that Bitcoin will absolutely bind governments to self-fund entirely via tax arrangements subject to revised social contracts delimiting the scope of such spending, war likely won’t disappear. This is because war (especially in the form near-future technology will enable) may not be that expensive to prosecute. As we saw above, the exponential effect of technological deflation (partly enabled by bitcoin shifting investor time preference and raising the hurdle rate for productive capital investment) will accelerate the trend already underway to radically cheap, but asymmetrically effective weapons. National defense strategies (among the most geopolitically significant states) will plausibly evolve towards a barbell strategy that combines irregular warfare capabilities with nuclear deterrence. The most expensive parts of national defense budgets derive from having to pay, train, equip, supply, transport, and provide medical benefits to human soldiers, and to construct manned platforms (e.g., aircraft carrier battlegroups) to project violent force. The next few decades will see a shift towards autonomous and unmanned weapons systems and cyber-enabled electronic warfare to deny, disrupt, and destroy similar adversary systems. Humans will be reserved for the special operations and irregular warfare activities in the broadening “gray zone” of state conflict that sits just below the threshold of overt peer-on-peer war. One perverse effect of the very power of nuclear weapons is the creation of deterrence voids for non-nuke threshold conflict, especially in deniable or gray-zone domains. As the capabilities to cheaply execute effective operations in these domains increases, the incentive to do so, while knowing the nuclear threshold sits high above, will be strong for many states. One can imagine revanchist regimes or those disposed to take special advantage of newly affordable weapons systems to prosecute long-awaited grievances or secure what they may see as marginal, and increasingly perishable, military superiority. For example, the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war saw Azerbaijan combine drone technology and long-range sensors to direct precision fires that dominated the battlefield and decisively tipped the scales in a decades-long conflict. These capabilities would have been out of reach just a few years ago, but were made affordable to such a small state by the deflationary impact of technological progress. It’s possible that even the relatively minimal costs of sustaining these forms of asymmetric capabilities will outweigh their benefit (priced in bitcoin, even). But this seems unlikely, especially if the technology deflation continues to make them ever cheaper, and while the world remains a contested, finite geography riven by historically embedded lines of division and political heterogeneity. II) States will likely continue to sustain and expand world-ending nuclear capabilities, even under a Bitcoin standard, merely as a result of the locked-in logic of deterrence. The one military technology where states are likely to be less cost sensitive are nuclear weapons. Despite the hopes of disarmament activists decades running, this particular genie isn’t going back in the bottle. The existential consequences of nuclear weapons will continue to hang like a sword of Damocles over humanity until we reach some (as yet unenvisioned) plane of enlightenment that ushers in enduring global accord. Until that time, we will require that states invest whatever is necessary in order to maintain extremely secure and reliable nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3) systems. It isn’t too much of a stretch to call the U.S. government (to take one example) as a form of nuclear monarchy. While our constitution vests the Commander in Chief (CiC) executive powers over the armed forces, it formally remands the authority to declare war with the Congress. While presidents have found various ways around this particular constraint, they still feel compelled to come to Congress to receive the political dispensation offered by “authorizations to use military force.” The time-scales of nuclear war, however, render all of that moot. Given the precious few minutes between launch detection and detonation, the CiC is given sole and unchallenged authority to issue counter-strike orders, able to select from a menu of pre-selected target packages (defined in the Single Integrated Operational Plan). This nuclear SIOP is designed explicitly to convince our nuclear adversaries that a devastating retaliatory strike is guaranteed, a deterrence logic captured by the dictum of mutually assured destruction. The fraught stability of this system courted catastrophe several times during the Cold War, and that era was comparatively simple from a game-theoretic perspective. As more (and less stable) states continue to nuclearize, the dynamics of multi-party deterrence becomes dangerously unpredictable. Further, technology is pushing the capability envelope, from dial-a-yield “tactical” weapons (e.g., the U.S. B61 bomb) to mega-weapons (e.g., Russia's Status-6 unmanned nuclear torpedo with a potentially 100MT payload), as well as novel delivery platforms like hypersonic glide vehicles and fractional orbital bombardment systems (like that recently demonstrated by China). Now, you may be asking why this excursion on nuclear weapons. Well, if the question at issue is the degree to which Bitcoin may constrain state violence, and war in particular, it seems to me absolutely imperative to recognize the deeply embedded present system of nuclear deterrence. Such a structure – which places the power of world-ending violence in the hands of individual political leaders – isn’t likely to change anytime soon (no matter what happens with Bitcoin). Humble Bitcoiners must reconcile themselves to this unfortunate reality, and hope that the enlightened Bitcoiner leaders of the future will dedicate themselves to reinvigorate the failed non-proliferation, denuclearization, and arms-reduction efforts of our current politicians. III) Bitcoin fixes a lot of things, but war is unlikely to be one of them (at least for the foreseeable future). More fundamentally, human conflict isn't always (or even mostly) motivated to directly seize monetary wealth. We fight each other for many reasons, including over scarce assets (e.g., water rights, agricultural land, minerals, rare earth metals, oil, and natural geographic features like ports, navigable waterways, straits, etc.), ethnic, tribal, or religious enmity, national pride or honor, domestic political wagging-of-the-dog, or just because of some individual leader’s mania or even group collective insanity. While humans are capable of some wondrous things, our capacity for violence and destruction (especially against our own self-considered and “rational” interest) is legion. In the "long-run," one can, possibly, envision a utopia of abundance where all conceivable axes of human conflict have been eliminated or mitigated. But this seems so far off as to distract from the more likely practical scenarios we must navigate in the decades ahead. Bitcoin as a bearer asset presents immense benefits as well as security challenges for individual holders. These will scale with the scale of adoption. It will be hard to steal a nation's or a large corporation’s bitcoin, but not impossible, and the incentives to try will be large. Right now, national governments substantially invest in securing domestic critical infrastructure – especially the financial system and its centralized, interconnected digital ledgers – from cyberattack, insider exploitation, theft, sabotage, and natural hazard disruption. Bitcoin’s ledger needs no such protection thanks to the geographic distribution, scale-free self-healing network structure, and endogenous incentives of miners (bracket off the 51% attack arguments here), but our keys do. If you don't believe the combined intelligence and defense capabilities of the world's (remaining, likely most powerful) states will not invest in forms of violence, compellence, theft, sabotage, and manipulation to undercut their rival's economic stability, I encourage more "adversarial thinking." Conclusion The precise outlines of the future state of geopolitical competition in a Bitcoin standard are hard to foresee. Exactly how the incentives of Bitcoin mining and national reserve adoption may affect the calculus of inter-state violence is unknowable. Still, we can reason and explore the parameter space of possibilities given present conditions and projected trends. There are good reasons to believe that Bitcoin may reduce the incentive for large-scale, conventional war and imperial-style occupations. At the same time, such forms of state violence may become outmoded regardless of Bitcoin due to the dramatic improvement in weapons technology to asymptotically project power with relatively little cost. Further, the posture of nuclear forces – and the taught logic of deterrence we rely on to prevent their use – will likely be entirely unchanged by Bitcoin (at least for the foreseeable future). Where does this leave us on the question of Bitcoin and war? Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic that it will fundamentally alter the strategic balance of geopolitical forces in such a way as to substantially reduce the likelihood of destructive state conflict. This is no fault of Bitcoin, which promises a great reformation and improvement in many critical aspects of our civilization. Rather, this is merely a statement that, for all its power, Bitcoin is unlikely to change (in our lifetimes, at least) inherent aspects of the human condition, existing as we are on a finite planet, burdened by the frailties of nature and our fraught history. Bitcoin is a net good for humanity, and especially good for those states that recognize its virtues before others. Bitcoin fixes a lot of things, and these should be explained clearly and proclaimed proudly, to all who wish to hear. For all its promise however, Bitcoin is unlikely to fix war. Until it does, stay humble and stack sats. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/21/2022 - 21:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 21st, 2022

4 Stocks & ETFs to Make the Most of Metaverse Boom

The Metaverse is a shared virtual 3D worlds that are interactive and collaborative. Analysts expect a huge market opportunity for the metaverse. These ETFs and stocks are great bets for cash in on the trend. The Metaverse is a shared virtual 3D world, or worlds, that are interactive and collaborative. It is facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality. The concept became extremely popular in 2021 particularly since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta Platforms (FB).With more and more companies from various industries joining the Meta bandwagon, it is clear that Metaverse will dictate the next generation of internet sooner or later. It offers a significant investment opportunity in the coming years.Bloomberg Intelligence expects the market opportunity for the metaverse to reach $800 billion by 2024 from $500 billion in 2020, based on its analysis and Newzoo, IDC, PWC, Statista and Two Circles data. The primary market for online game makers and gaming hardware may top $400 billion in 2024 while the remaining business will come from live entertainment and social media. Gaming, AR, VR create $413 billion primary market of Metaverse, per Bloomberg.Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few stocks and ETFs those are gearing up to capitalize on the metaverse boom. These stocks are all not pure-play tech stocks. So, investors who fear rising rate worries being a drag on the tech investing right now, may like those other industry plays.Stocks in FocusMeta Platforms Inc. FBZacks Rank #3 (Hold) Meta Platforms or Facebook is the top mot long-term bet. Facebook will now invest $50 million over a two-year period on metaverse initiatives through its recently introduced XR Programs and Research Fund.NIKE NKEZacks Rank #3 Nike is acquiring a virtual sneaker and collectibles start-up, RTFKT. RTKFT boasts one-of-a-kind virtual products and experiences created by leveraging the latest in-game engines, non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality. The move is part of the company’s digital transformation plan. The buyout is expected to expand NIKE’s base in the metaverse, with additional digital capabilities.Walmart WMTRetail giant Walmart has also plans to enter the field of highly immersive virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) and Blockchain-based world. Zacks Rank #3 Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs, per a CNBC article.Apple AAPLThough Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) Apple is not quite into Metaverse, investors can bet on Apple’s augmented-reality ambitions. The iPhone-maker’s rumored headset is the most anticipated product in 2022.ETFs in Focus Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF METAThe underlying Ball Metaverse Index seeks to track the performance of globally-listed equity securities of companies that engage in activities or provide products, services, technologies, or technological capabilities to enable the Metaverse, and benefit from its generated revenues. META charges 75 bps in fees.Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF BLOKSince blockchain is the basic technology of Metaverse, BLOK is sure to gain. The Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF is an actively managed ETF that seeks to provide total return by investing at least 80% of its net assets in the equity securities of companies actively involved in the development and utilization of transformational data sharing technologies. The ETF BLOK charges 71 bps in fees.Global X Data Center REITs & Digital Infrastructure ETF VPNMetaverse’s reliance on data centres makes the ETF VPN a lucrative bet. The boom in Metaverse will eventually upgrade the digital infrastructure incredibly. The underlying Solactive Data Center REITs & Digital Infrastructure Index seeks to provide exposure to companies that have business operations in the fields of data centers, cellular towers and digital infrastructure hardware. VPN charges 50 bps in fees.Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF GAMROnline game makers including Roblox, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take-Two, Tencent, NetEase and Nexon may increase engagement and sales by cashing in on the growth of 3D virtual worlds, per Bloomberg.Global X Video Games & Esports ETF looks to invest in companies that develop or publish video games, facilitate the streaming and distribution of video gaming or esports content, own and operate within competitive esports leagues or produce hardware used in video games and esports, including augmented and virtual reality. GAMR charges 75 bps in fees. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report NIKE, Inc. (NKE): Free Stock Analysis Report Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report Meta Platforms, Inc. (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (GAMR): ETF Research Reports Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK): ETF Research Reports Global X Data Center REITs & Digital Infrastructure ETF (VPN): ETF Research Reports Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF (META): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Will Nikola (NKLA) Be Back On An Even Keel This Year?

Nikola (NKLA) seems to have made a promising start this year, with various companies placing orders for its Tre BEV. While a string of collaborations provide a ray of hope, NKLA still faces an uphill battle ahead. It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Nikola Corporation NKLA since it went public on Jun 3, 2020. Shares of the electric vehicle (EV) startup hit a record high of $93.99 on Jun 9, 2020 amid the EV madness, as FOMO-ridden retail investors were betting big on the future of e-mobility, with little regard to companies’ fundamentals. But it didn’t take too long for Nikola’s shares to fall rapidly after the company was accused of fraud in September 2020. Since then, the firm’s credibility has been put into question. Nikola’s founder Trevor Milton was indicted in July 2021 by a federal grand jury on allegations of lying about “nearly all aspects of the business.”Nikola’s shares ended the last trading session of 2021 at $9.87, 90% off its all-time high attained in June 2020. With the company managing to pull itself out of the legal challenges late last month, will Nikola see stability in 2022? Would the recent spree of encouraging deals help the company regain some lost ground this year? And is the stock worth a wager now after its settlement agreement with SEC? Or is it still too early for investors to put their money on NKLA, considering the potential risks, no proven track record and a bitter past? A Quick Background of the ControversyIt all started in September 2020, when a short-selling firm Hindenburg Research published a report accusing Nikola of a series of fraud in showcasing its EV technology. Following the strongly-worded report about the company misleading investors, Milton resigned, which almost felt like an admission of guilt. Hindenburg's accusation, combined with Milton's "early retirement," left many of Nikola's potential partners questioning the business legitimacy. Milton’s exaggerated promises and tall claims fell through big time, tarnishing the company’s reputation and putting investors in a fix.Nikola was reeling under a double whammy of disaster with an enormously stretched valuation from overexcited investors and traders coupled with what seemed to be a mounting securities fraud situation that halted the firm’s ability to conduct business. Last year, Milton was indicted with three counts of criminal fraud. While Milton pleaded not guilty of the fraud charges, the regulatory probe weighed on the stock significantly.It was just last month that Nikola finally breathed a sigh of relief, as it agreed to pay the SEC a $125-million penalty, which freed the company of further investigations. The penalty has to be made in five installments over the next two years. The first installment was scheduled at 2021-end and the remaining will be paid semiannually through 2023. The company stated that the “settlement resolves and concludes all government investigations of Nikola.” NKLA neither admitted to nor denied the allegations.A Slew of Positive DevelopmentsIndeed, the controversial chapter has come to a close but it has left a scar that might not be too easy to forget until the company proves its mettle.That being said, Nikola is lately grabbing headlines for positive reasons, be it the delivery of its first electric truck, or a flurry of supply purchase agreements, or the approval of its Tre BEV as a zero-emission vehicle by the California Air Resources Board (‘CARB’).NKLA hit a major milestone last month with the delivery of its first Nikola Tre battery-electric vehicle (BEV) pilot trucks to Total Transportation Services Inc. (“TTSI”). TTSI issued a letter of intention (LOI) for 100 trucks (30 in 2022 and 70 in 2023) based on satisfactory completion of the vehicle trials. Last month, Nikola also received an initial order for 10 Tre BEV trucks from Heniff Transportation Services. Per the deal, the companies agreed to pursue the placement of an additional 90 trucks into Heniff’s fleet once the initial deployment of 10 units is completed successfully.So far this year, Nikola has inked agreements with USA Truck, Saia LTL Freight and Covenant Logistics Group for its heavy-duty Tre BEV trucks. USA Truck inked an LOI for the initial purchase of 10 trucks, with the option of purchasing an additional 90 trucks over the next two years. SAIA signed an LOI to purchase 100 Nikola Tre trucks following the successful completion of a demonstration program, which is supposed to begin in first-half 2022. Covenant has signed an LOI for 10 Nikola Tre BEVs and 40 Nikola Tre fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) upon the successful completion of a Nikola Tre BEV and Nikola Tre FCEV demonstration program.In another encouraging news, Nikola Tre BEV was approved by the CARB for the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project ("HVIP") program. The approval allows vehicle purchasers to be eligible for an incentive worth $120,000 per truck. The Nikola Tre BEV, having a range of up to 350 miles, is expected to have the longest range among the current HVIP eligible Class 8 tractors.A couple of days back, Nikola announced a multi-year agreement with Proterra, per which the latter would power NikolaTre BEV and Tre FCEV with Proterra battery technology. The first Proterra-powered Nikola is expected to be manufactured in fourth-quarter 2022.  Potential Risks AheadSure, Nikola seems to have made a promising start this year, with various companies placing orders for Tre BEV. While a string of collaborations provides a ray of hope, NKLA still faces an uphill battle ahead. Its trucks need to pass initial tests with commercial customers. After that, it depends on the company’s ability to ramp up production to keep pace with the follow-up orders. This could become particularly challenging amid the global chip crunch, which might delay the commercial production of Nikola’s trucks. Also, the electrification of light vehicles is getting prioritized over heavy-duty counterparts amid this chip crisis.High commodity and operational costs will also play a spoilsport. As a matter of fact, Nikola neither possesses any breakthrough technology nor a first-mover advantage. It does not have a proven track record either. What it has, though is a history of unfulfilled promises and lots to prove. Nikola is not generating meaningful revenues yet and is still months away from the production of electric trucks for commercial sales. Also, it remains to be seen how its pilot trucks are received by customers. Considering the afore-mentioned concerns, Nikola doesn’t seem convincing enough.Current Dip is Not a Buying OpportunityShares of Nikola have plunged 20.7% in the last three trading days. There wasn’t any negative piece of company-specific news that could have caused the decline. The stock took a beating amid the broader sell-off in high-growth tech stocks, as bond yields hit a two-year high on Jan 18. In fact, Nikola hit an all-time low yesterday, ending the session at $7.99. Could the dip be a buying opportunity? We don’t think so, in the light of potential risks surrounding the firm. Investors should at least wait until the real-world tests by potential customers confirm that Nikola’s trucks are road-ready. Even if things go well, it would still take at least a couple of years for the company to mass-produce and generate substantial revenues. So, hitting a buy button on the stock just yet doesn’t seem right. For risk-tolerant investors who already own NKLA’s shares, stay patient and wait for the scandal-tarred stock to get back on track.Parting ThoughtsWe could just hope that 2022 marks the beginning of a fresh phase for Nikola, devoid of any controversies. But the company has a long road ahead to build a strong name for itself in an overcrowded EV market.All eyes are on Nikola’s Q4 and full-year 2021 results, scheduled to release on Feb 24. Only then will investors will get some meaningful insight into the company’s turnaround efforts and financial projections.While Nikola currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), here are two top-ranked stocks that you can invest in if you want to play the EV boom and reap handsome rewards.Tesla TSLA: Tesla is riding on the rising demand for Models 3 and Y. The EV king hit an incredible milestone in third-quarter 2021, with record deliveries and production. Fourth-quarter 2021 marked the sixth consecutive quarter of record deliveries by the world's most valuable automaker. Over a multi-year horizon, Tesla anticipates achieving 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries.TSLA currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Tesla’s 2022 earnings and sales implies year-over-year growth of 33% and 44%, respectively.Ford F: This legacy automaker is hitting all the right notes toward an electrified future. While Mustang Mach-E has already become a hit among consumers and is boosting the company’s sales, the much-awaited electric version of the hot-selling pickup F-150 is set to further fuel Ford’s prospects. Ford’s efforts to boost its battery technology, proprietary software and hardware stack named Blue Oval Intelligence, and joint venture deals with SK innovation offer growth visibility.F currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ford’s 2022 earnings and sales implies year-over-year growth of 5% and 13%, respectively.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report Nikola Corporation (NKLA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

4 Stocks to Watch From the Prospering Business-Software Services Industry

The Zacks Business-Software Services industry players like CTSH, MSCI, TYL and PLUS are poised to benefit from the robust demand trend for multi-cloud-enabled software solutions. The Zacks Business-Software Services industry is benefiting from heightened demand for digital transformation and the ongoing shift to the cloud. Growing automation business processes across multiple industries and rapidly increasing enterprise data volumes are also driving demand for business software and services. Industry participants like Cognizant Technology Solutions CTSH, MSCI MSCI, Tyler Technologies TYL, and ePlus PLUS are gaining from these trends.Though the pandemic-induced chaos is expected to hurt in the near term, the health crisis has opened up new channels of growth for business software services providers. The industry participants have witnessed solid demand for software-as-a-service (SaaS) amid the pandemic-triggered surging need for remote working, online learning, and diagnosis software. SaaS offers a flexible and cost-effective delivery method of applications. It also cuts down on the deployment time compared to legacy systems. Moreover, SaaS attempts to deliver applications to any user, anywhere, anytime, and on any device.Industry DescriptionThe Zacks Business-Software Services industry primarily comprises companies that deliver application-specific software products and services. The applications are typically either license-based or cloud-based. The offerings generally include applications related to finance, sales & marketing, human resource, and supply chain, among others. The industry includes a broad range of companies offering a wide range of products and services including business processing and consulting, application development, testing and maintenance, office productivity suits, systems integration, infrastructure services, and network security applications. Some of the companies provide investment-decision support tools. Manufacturing, retail, banking, insurance, telecommunication, healthcare, and public sectors are the primary end markets for industry participants.4 Trends Shaping the Future of the Business-Software Services IndustryTransition to Cloud-Creating Opportunities: Companies in this industry have been gaining from the robust demand for multi-cloud-enabled software solutions, given the ongoing transition from legacy platforms to modern cloud-based infrastructure. These industry players are incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) in their applications to make the same more dynamic and result-oriented. Most industry players are now offering cloud-based versions of their solutions in addition to the on-premise ones, thereby expanding content accessibility. The enhanced interoperability features provide customers with differentiation and efficiency.Subscription Model Gaining Traction: The industry participants are modifying their business models to cope with clients’ shifting requirements. Subscription and term-license-based revenue pricing models have become highly popular and are now replacing the legacy upfront payment prototype. Subscription-based business models provide increased revenue visibility and higher recurring revenues, which bode well for companies over the long haul. However, due to this transition, the top-line growth of these companies might be affected in the days to come, as term-license revenues include advance payments, whereas subscription-based revenues are a bit delayed.Continuous M&A to Expand Product Offerings: The players in this industry are resorting to frequent mergers and acquisitions to supply complementary and end-to-end software products. Nonetheless, increasing investments in digital offerings and acquisitions might erode the industry’s profitability in the upcoming period.Evolving COVID-19 Situation Might Hurt Tech Spending: According to the latest report from Gartner, enterprises are likely to spend more on technology as they realize that sound technological infrastructure is the key to positive business outcomes. Therefore, the independent research firm estimates worldwide IT spending to increase 5.5% year over year and reach $4.5 trillion in 2022. However, with the emergence of the more contagious coronavirus variants — Delta and Omicron —several parts of the world are grappling with a massive spike in infection rates, leading to stringent lockdowns. This could affect IT spending across small- and medium-sized businesses, globally, as organizations may push back their investments in big and expensive technology products due to the global economic slowdown concerns. The uncertainty in business visibility could dent the industry’s performance in the near term.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bright ProspectsThe Zacks Business-Software Services industry is housed within the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #80, which places it in the top 31% of more than 250 Zacks industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bright near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.The industry’s positioning in the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of the positive earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are optimistic on this group’s earnings growth potential. The industry’s earnings estimate for 2022 has moved up by 18.5% to 96 cents over the past year.Estimate Revision For 2022Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.Industry Lags S&P 500, Outperforms SectorThe Zacks Business-Software Services industry has underperformed the S&P 500 Index but outperformed the broader Zacks Computer And Technology sector over the past year.The industry has risen 23.9% during this period compared with the broader sector’s rise of 19% and the S&P 500’s rally of 25.4%.One-Year Price PerformanceIndustry's Current ValuationComparing the industry with the S&P 500 composite and broader sector on the basis of the forward 12-month price-to-earnings, which is a commonly-used multiple for valuing business-software services stocks, we see, the industry’s ratio of 29.61X is higher than the S&P 500’s 21.59X and the sector’s 27.84X.Over the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 37.74X, as low as 6.60X, and recorded a median of 21.85X as the charts below show.F12M Price-to-Earnings Ratio (Industry Vs S&P 500)F12M Price-to-Earnings Ratio (Industry Vs Sector)4 Stocks to Keep a Close Eye On MSCI: This Zacks #2 (Buy) Ranked company offers investment decision support tools, including indexes; portfolio construction and risk management products and services; Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) research and ratings; and real estate research, reporting and benchmarking offerings. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. MSCI is benefiting from solid demand for custom and factor index modules, a recurring revenue business model and the growing adoption of its ESG solution in the investment process. The acquisition of Carbon Delta also enhances MSCI’s ability to provide climate-risk assessment and assist investors with climate-risk disclosure requirements. Additionally, the strong traction from client segments like wealth management, banks, and broker dealers is a positive for the company.Shares of this New York-based company have gained 30.2% during the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings has moved 7 cents north to $11.20 per share over the past seven days.Price and Consensus: MSCICognizant Technology Solutions: It is a leading professional services company. The company offers digital services and solutions, consulting, application development, systems integration, application testing, application maintenance, infrastructure services and business process services.Cognizant’s domain expertise and the ability to harness the ongoing digital transition are key catalysts. It is witnessing strength in high quality, lower-cost technology services including cloud and digital engineering services, and increased demand for interactive, Internet of Things and analytics solutions. Steady growth in Healthcare, Communications, Media and Technology clients is a positive.This Teaneck, NJ-based company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) at present. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings has moved up by a penny to $4.50 per share over the past 60 days. Shares of CTSH have gained 8.9% over the past year.Price and Consensus: CTSH Tyler Technologies: This Zacks Rank #3 company is a leading provider of integrated information-management solutions and services to the public sector. The company serves its customers both on-premise and in the cloud.Tyler is benefiting from higher recurring revenues, post-acquisition contributions of NIC, and constant rebound of the market and sales activities to pre-COVID levels. The public sector’s ongoing transition from on-premise and outdated systems to scalable cloud-based systems are positives. The coronavirus-led remote-working trend is also driving demand for its connectivity and cloud services.Shares of this Plano, TX-based company have gained 14.5% over the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings has moved up by 5 cents to $6.74 per share over the past 60 days.Price and Consensus: TYLePlus: This Herndon, VA-based company enables organizations to optimize their IT infrastructure and supply-chain processes by delivering world-class IT products from top manufacturers, professional services, flexible lease financing, proprietary software, and patented business methods.The company is benefiting from the pandemic-driven demand for work-from-home hardware and software including, PCs, tablets, connectivity, collaboration, and security products. Apart from this, the company’s strategy of acquiring regional solution providers is helping it grow across the higher-margin IT services market.This Zacks Rank #3 stock has gained approximately 9.4% in the trailing 12 months. The consensus mark for fiscal 2022 earnings has remained unchanged at $3.87 per share in 90 days’ time.Price and Consensus: PLUS Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation (CTSH): Free Stock Analysis Report MSCI Inc (MSCI): Free Stock Analysis Report ePlus inc. (PLUS): Free Stock Analysis Report Tyler Technologies, Inc. (TYL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022

CDW is a Solid Bet for Investors: Here are the Reasons Why

Growth across customer end markets, broad-based product and solutions portfolio and a healthy IT spending environment make CDW an attractive bet. Shares of CDW Corporation CDW have soared 48.6% compared with the industry’s growth of 0.9% in the past year. The company is gaining from an improved operating margin, lower interest expenses and a reduction in the effective tax rate. It is witnessing strong demand for products that enable remote working and operations continuity plans.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchEarnings estimates for the current and next fiscal have increased 0.3% and 1.4%, respectively, in the past two months. With impressive growth potential and robust fundamentals, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) integrated information technology solutions provider is an enticing investment option at the moment. CDW pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 12.2%, on average.Key DriversHeadquartered in Lincolnshire, IL, CDW is a leading provider of IT solutions to small, medium and large business, government and healthcare customers based in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Its solutions are delivered in physical, virtual and cloud-based environments through more than 6,000 customer-facing coworkers, including sellers and highly-skilled technology specialists.CDW has four operating segments, namely Corporate, Small Business, Public and Other. It offers discrete hardware and software products to integrated IT solutions businesses such as mobility, security, data center optimization, virtualization and collaboration. Its hardware products include network communications, video monitors, enterprise and data storage. Software products are application suites, security, virtualization, operating systems and network management.The company also delivers services such as warranties, managed services, consulting design and implementation. With growth across customer end markets, CDW is benefiting from the ongoing digital transformation and coronavirus-led work-from-home wave. It is registering strong revenue growth in product categories, including collaboration tools and enterprise storage. It is worth mentioning that the company is witnessing earnings growth at a faster rate, courtesy of its share repurchase initiatives.Moreover, CDW’s robust product portfolio and frequent product refreshes act as tailwinds. Backed by a healthy IT spending environment, the company has been expanding its solutions suite and services capabilities to cater to the accretive requirements of customers. Solid demand for consumer devices like notebooks and chromebooks plus servers is an upside for the company. Growth in software and services is also proving quite beneficial for CDW.When it comes to accelerating its organic growth, the company is focused on strategic acquisitions. Recently, it acquired Amplified IT, a Google Premium education partner. Further, the buyout of Scalar Decisions in January 2019 has broadened CDW Canada’s solutions portfolio, deepened technical skillset and extended its geographic reach. The buyout of Kelway TopCo (later rebranded it to CDW UK) in August 2015 improved its ability to provide IT solutions for U.S.-based customers. CDW believes that its addressable markets in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada represent more than $325 billion in annual sales.Other Stocks to ConsiderEndava plc DAVA is another top-ranked stock in the industry, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The consensus estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 6.8% upward in the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Endava delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 15.2%, on average. The stock has returned 71% in the past year.ASGN Incorporated ASGN carries a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised 3.3% upward in the past 90 days.ASGN delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 7.6%, on average. The stock has gained 33.8% in the past year.Microsoft Corporation MSFT also has a Zacks Rank #2, at present. The consensus estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 0.1% upward over the past 60 days.Microsoft delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 14.8%, on average. The stock has rallied 46.2% in the past year. MSFT has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 12%. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report ASGN Incorporated (ASGN): Free Stock Analysis Report CDW Corporation (CDW): Free Stock Analysis Report Endava PLC Sponsored ADR (DAVA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 13th, 2022

3 Technology Mutual Funds That Should Be on Your Radar

Below we share with you three top-ranked technology mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Risk lovers seeking healthy returns over a fairly long investment horizon may opt for technology mutual funds. It is believed that the technology sector is poised for a brighter earnings performance than others owing to innovation and greater demand. Improving industry fundamentals and emerging technologies — such as wearables, VR headsets, drones, virtual reality devices and artificial intelligence — are the key catalysts for the sector.Meanwhile, most mutual funds investing in securities from these sectors prefer a growth-oriented approach that includes focusing on companies with strong fundamentals and a relatively higher investment prospect. Moreover, technology now has broader coverage than just hardware and software companies. Social media and Internet companies are also part of the technology landscape today.Below we share with you three top-ranked technology mutual funds, viz., T. Rowe Price Global Technology Fund PRGTX, Fidelity Select Technology Portfolio FSPTX, and BlackRock Technology Opportunities Fund Investor A Shares BGSAX. EEach has earned a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is expected to outperform peers in the future. Investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.T. Rowe Price Global Technology Fund aims for long-term capital growth. PRGTX invests most of its assets in the common stocks of companies that its managers expect will generate the majority of their revenues from the development, advancement and use of technology. PRGTX usually invests in a minimum of five countries, and invests about one-fourth of its assets in non-U.S. companies.T. Rowe Price Global Technology Fund has three-year annualized returns of 38.4%. PRGTX has an expense ratio of 0.86% compared with the category average of 1.05%.Fidelity Select Technology Portfolio fund aims for capital appreciation. FSPTX invests primarily in equity securities, especially common stocks of companies engaged in offering, using or developing products, processes or services that will provide or benefit significantly from technological advances and improvements.Fidelity Select Technology Portfolio has three-year annualized returns of 39.7%. Brian Lempel is the fund manager of FSPTX since 2020.BlackRock Technology Opportunities Fund Investor A Shares aims for long-term capital appreciation. BGSAX invests the majority of assets in equity securities issued by domestic as well as foreign technology companies across all market capitalization ranges. Such companies are selected by BlackRock Technology Opportunities Fund Investor A Shares primarily for their rapid and sustainable growth potential from the development, advancement and use of technology.BlackRock Technology Opportunities Fund Investor A Shares has three-year annualized returns of 40.1%. As of the end of November 2021, BGSAX held 135 issues with 4.77% of its assets invested in Apple Inc.To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all technology mutual funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Get Your Free (PRGTX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (FSPTX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (BGSAX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 13th, 2022

Cisco"s (CSCO) Webex Platform Being Utilized for Space Mission

Cisco (CSCO) has built a special version of Webex for Callisto technology demonstration payload that will be integrated with Orion spacecraft. Cisco CSCO recently announced that its video collaboration and conferencing platform, Webex, would be utilized for a critical space mission. A special custom-built state-of-the-art version of the Webex platform will be part of Callisto technology demonstration payload.Callisto will be integrated with NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which will be used for the space agency’s ambitious unmanned Artemis I moon mission. At present, Artemis I slated for takeoff in early 2022.Callisto’s hardware and software development is a joint effort by Lockheed Martin, Cisco and Amazon AMZN. Callisto will explore the utility of both Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa and Webex platform to test next-generation deep space commercial video communications and collaboration technology.The special version of Webex will be able to connect with NASA’s Deep Space Network to facilitate video conferencing by overcoming challenges like atmospheric troubles, distance and space clatter, noted Cisco. Cisco’s custom-built Webex is connected to a highly-advanced Artificial Intelligence-backed Webex Desk Pro device. Webex Desk Pro will facilitate dynamic content-sharing as well as the testing of video interactions with technology aboard the Orion, added Cisco. Now, Webex Desk Pro is located at NASA’s Mission Control at Johnson Space Center in Houston.Cisco Systems, Inc. Price and Consensus  Cisco Systems, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Cisco Systems, Inc. Quote Opportunities Galore for WebexThe continuation of remote work set up and the adoption of hybrid work model, globally, triggered by the pandemic, are driving demand for cloud-based video conferencing, teleconferencing as well as workspace communication and collaboration solutions.The global video conferencing market is forecast to witness a CAGR of 11.4% between 2021 and 2028 and reach $9.95 billion, per Grand View Research data.Cisco is trying to gain a larger share of this booming market. In October 2021, at WebexOne, Cisco unveiled new features for Webex to provide a seamless experience for hybrid workforce. Back then, the company stated that it had incorporated more than 1000 new features into Webex in the past 12 months.In October 2021, Cisco also rolled out Webex Hologram, a new hybrid work collaboration tool, which integrates Webex meeting features with 3D holograms. The company also partnered with Bang & Olufsen to create the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 headset designed for hybrid work set up.However, higher expenses toward product development and stiff competition from the likes of Microsoft’s MSFT Teams App and Zoom Communications ZM are a concern.Microsoft is gaining from an expanding user base of different applications, including Teams owing to rapidly evolving workspace environment. The company noted that Microsoft Teams has 138 customers with more than 100,000 users of Teams and more than 3,000 clients with over 10,000 users in the last reported quarter.Zoom Video is certainly the biggest gainer of the pandemic-triggered remote and hybrid work trends. For the third quarter of 2021, the company reported revenue growth of 35.2% to $1.05 billion on a year over year basis.In the last reported quarter, Zoom had nearly 512,100 customers (with more than 10 employees), increasing 18% year over year. The company had 2,507 customers with more than $100,000 in trailing 12-month revenues, up about 94% year over year.  Zoom’s trailing 12-month net dollar-expansion rate in customers with more than 10 employees was above 130% for the 14th consecutive quarter.At present, Cisco carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First To New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 6th, 2022

SONY Unveils VR Headset for PS5 to Cash In On Metaverse Hype

In addition to the VR headset, Sony (SONY) has launched an exclusive game that will be among the first to tap the capabilities of the new headset. Sony Group Corporation SONY recently unveiled a virtual reality (“VR”) headset for its PS5 gaming console. Dubbed PSVR2, the new headset is billed to be one of the best-selling products in its category with an immersive gaming experience that is likely to capitalize on the increasing metaverse hype.The PSVR2 is equipped with upgraded hardware for improved headset features and VR2 Sense controllers for greater immersion capabilities. These include increased visual fidelity, head and eye tracking, a 110-degree field of view, adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. These, in turn, are likely to enable the gamers “interact with games in a much more visceral way.” The headset could be easily fitted with a single cable connected directly to PS5.Sony also launched an exclusive game that will be among the first to tap the capabilities of the new headset. Titled Horizon Call of the Mountain, the game will share its universe with the previous edition Horizon Zero Dawn and the upcoming Horizon Forbidden West. However, the company did not provide the release date of either the headset or the game.Sony launched PS5 in November 2020 to tap the uptick in pandemic-induced nesting activities — games, streaming video, and home fitness. The gaming console was an instant hit with customers and was immediately sold out worldwide, reportedly more than 10 million units to date. Sony has loaded the product with updated graphics, a newly-redesigned controller, and a collection of exclusive games. With a powerful 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor, 10.3 teraflops of graphics power, gorgeous 4K visuals and an immersive end-user experience, the PS5 promises one of the best performances witnessed in a gaming console. Moreover, PS5 loads games about 10 to 20 seconds faster than the PS4 Pro and can even read physical discs a few minutes faster, making it an ideal choice for tech-savvy gamers.The new headset is likely to augment the gaming experience in PS5 and enable Sony to play the catch-up game with rivals Microsoft Corporation’s MSFT Xbox Series X and Nintendo Co.’s NTDOY Switch.Microsoft is one of the three largest providers of gaming hardware. Its Xbox console was one of the first gaming devices of its kind. Microsoft supplemented the hardware with a number of popular video game titles. It also introduced the Xbox Live online gaming service, which enabled subscribers to play online Xbox games with each other and download new games directly onto the device.Nintendo has particularly flourished during the pandemic with its social simulation game titled ”Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” However, it faced supply chain disruptions and global chip shortages, forcing it to trim its sales forecast for 2021 by 6% to 24 million units.Although Sony is expected to face some supply chain headwinds for the PSVR2 headset as well, it is betting big on its success. The stock has gained 27.2% over the past year compared with the industry’s rise of 21.8%, driven by healthy revenues on the back of a flexible business model and solid market response for the PS5 gaming console. We remain impressed with the inherent growth potential of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchA better-ranked stock in the industry is Sonos, Inc. SONO, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Sonos delivered an earnings surprise of 177.9%, on average, in the trailing four quarters. It has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 17%. Earnings estimates for SONO’s current year have moved up 46.6% since January 2021. Over the past year, Sonos has gained a modest 24.8%. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Sonos, Inc. (SONO): Free Stock Analysis Report Nintendo Co. (NTDOY): Free Stock Analysis Report Sony Corporation (SONY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 5th, 2022

The Real Winners In Afghanistan: Private Contractors

The Real Winners In Afghanistan: Private Contractors After 20 years in Afghanistan which featured more than 22,000 US servicemember casualties, an official 46,000 civilians killed - including 7 children droned by the Biden administration on its way out, and trillions added to the US national debt, there are really two winners; The Taliban - which carved a path to Kabul in a matter of days and recovered billions of US military hardware left behind during the botch Biden withdrawal, and private contractors, who have raked in trillions according to the Wall Street Journal. A U.S. contractor checks on a military vehicle at Bagram Air Base in 2013. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images Those who benefited from the outpouring of government money range from major weapons manufacturers to entrepreneurs. A California businessman running a bar in Kyrgyzstan started a fuel business that brought in billions in revenue. A young Afghan translator transformed a deal to provide forces with bed sheets into a business empire including a TV station and a domestic airline. Two Army National Guardsmen from Ohio started a small business providing the military with Afghan interpreters that grew to become one of the Army’s top contractors. It collected nearly $4 billion in federal contracts, according to publicly available records. -WSJ Of the $14 trillion spent by the Pentagon since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, approximately one-third to one-half of that went to contractors, with $2.1 trillion of that going to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman - for services, weapons and supplies, according to the Costs of War Project maintained by Brown University. Of course, a constellation of smaller contractors made billions for various enterprises - including training Afghan (now Taliban) police officers, infrastructure expansion such as roads, establishing schools, and providing security services to Western diplomats, according to the report. According to former Green Beret and acting Trump Defense secretary Christopher Miller, "you have to outsource so much to contractors to do your operations" when you're running an all-volunteer military without a draft. Approximately $150 billion of the funds spent in Afghanistan - a drop in the bucket - was overseen by the US Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, which catalogued waste and fraud across hundreds of reports. For example, a survey released in 2021 found that of $7.8 billion subject to inspection, just $1.2 billion, or 15%, was spent as expected on hospitals, factories, roads and bridges. At least $2.4 billion was spent on military planes, police offices, farming initiatives and other development projects that were destroyed, abandoned, or repurposed. A U.S. civilian contractor arrives at the Forward Operating Base Naray in 2006 near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. Photo: Scott Peterson/Getty Images In yet more examples, $6 million was wasted on a project to import nine Italian goats in the hopes of boosting Afghanistan's cashmere market. $270 million was allocated by the US Agency for International Development to build 1,200 miles of gravel road - a project which was canceled after just 100 miles were built in three years and over 125 dead due to insurgent attacks. The Pentagon has defended its slush fund imperialism - with spokesman Maj. Rob Lodewick claiming that the "dedicated support offered by many thousands of contractors to U.S. military missions in Afghanistan served many important roles to include freeing up uniformed forces for vital war fighting efforts." The Inspector General who analyzed the reconstruction since 2012, John Sopko, said that many of the contractors were making best efforts to fulfill requirements by policymakers who made terrible decisions. "It’s so easy with a broad brush to say that all contractors are crooks or war profiteers," said Sopko. "The fact that some of them made a lot of money—that’s the capitalist system." The use of contractors is not new in American history. During the revolutionary war, the Continental Army made use of private firms for their military supply chain, and even to carry out raids on ships. During WWII, the US used one contractor for every seven service members, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The practice really took off in the 1990s surrounding the Gulf War, however, which accelerated even more after 9/11 when the United States set out to prosecute a global war on terror which left the Pentagon short-handed after downsizing the US military after the Cold War. In 2008, the U.S. had 187,900 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, the peak of the U.S. deployment, and 203,660 contractor personnel. The ratio of contractors to troops went up. When President Barack Obama ordered most U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan at the end of his second term, more than 26,000 contractors were in Afghanistan, compared with 9,800 troops. By the time President Donald Trump left office four years later, 18,000 contractors remained in Afghanistan, along with 2,500 troops. -WSJ "Contracting seems to be moving in only one direction—increasing—regardless of whether there is a Democrat or Republican in the White House," said Heidi Peltier, program manager at the Costs of War Project, who added that the reliance on contractors has led to the rise of the "camo economy," in which the true costs of war are camouflaged. According to statics from the Labor Department, more than 7,000 US service members died during two decades of war, while 3,500 US contractors died in Afghanistan and Iraq. Read the rest of the report here. Tyler Durden Mon, 01/03/2022 - 21:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 3rd, 2022

The best streaming services you can sign up for in 2022

These are the best streaming services in 2022 to watch popular shows and movies on, including Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO Max, and more. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.The best streaming services include on-demand, live TV, and channel-specific apps.Google Play; Netflix; Disney+; Apple TV; Amazon Prime Video; Hulu; Alyssa Powell/Business InsiderThe streaming market has grown a lot in recent years, with newer services like Paramount Plus, Peacock, Discovery Plus, and HBO Max launching to compete with industry juggernauts like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus.Viewers now have more places to watch their favorite movies and shows than ever, and studios are producing more original content to fill their streaming libraries. These new choices come with a price tag though, and signing up for every streaming service out there will quickly start to weigh on your wallet.Choosing the right streaming service for your needs will depend on a number of factors, including your budget, which exclusive programs you like the most, how many screens you want to watch on, and more.To help you decide what to sign up for, we rounded up the best streaming services of 2022 and broke down what makes each of them unique. Our picks primarily focus on on-demand platforms like Netflix and Hulu, but we also included separate sections for live TV and specialty streaming channels.Here are the best streaming services:Best on-demand streaming services: Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, Apple TV Plus, Paramount Plus, Discovery Plus, and Amazon Prime VideoBest live TV streaming services: Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, FuboTV, Philo TV, and DirecTV StreamBest channel-specific streaming services: Showtime, Starz, and ESPN+NetflixArtur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesNetflix Gift Card$25.00 FROM AMAZONNetflix Monthly Subscription$8.99 FROM NETFLIXWith its exclusive shows and incredible 4K quality, Netflix continues to set the streaming standard for the competition.Netflix Basic: $9 a month for standard definition (SD) streamingNetflix Standard: $14 a month for high definition (HD) streaming on up to two devices at the same timeNetflix Premium: $18 a month for up to 4K HDR streaming with Dolby Atmos on up to four devices at the same timePros: Fantastic library of originals, industry-leading video quality, impressive app support, special interface for kids, no commercialsCons: Slightly more expensive than the competition, movie selection pales in comparison to newer servicesNetflix has spent the last few years producing a growing collection of original programming, including exclusive movies, ongoing TV series, documentaries, and comedy specials. Netflix Originals keep subscribers invested when their favorite classic show or movie leaves the platform for another service. The success of Netflix exclusives, like "Squid Game," "Bridgerton," "The Witcher," and "Tiger King," has helped the service justify its slightly higher price, and encouraged streaming competitors to prioritize creating their own original titles to generate more value. Netflix also has a large library of children's series and a separate interface designed to let kids choose their own shows without running into adult programming, making it a good choice for families in need of all-ages entertainment.When it comes to app support, Netflix is available on virtually any streaming device you can think of, including computers, smartphones, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, smart TVs, and more. It also offers support for all of the latest video and audio formats, including 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos — though it does charge extra for those features.HuluTed Soqui/Contributor/Getty ImagesHulu Streaming Service $6.99 FROM HULUDisney+/Hulu/ESPN+ Bundle Monthly Subscription$13.99 FROM DISNEY+Thanks to a mix of content and various plans, Hulu remains one of the most affordable streaming options with unmatched choice.Hulu with ads: $7 a month for ad-supported on-demand streamingHulu without ads: $13 a month for ad-free on-demand streamingHulu + Live TV: $70 a month for ad-supported on-demand and live TV streamingHulu (No Ads) + Live TV: $76 a month for ad-free, on-demand and ad-supported live TV streamingRead our full breakdown of Hulu plans and pricesPros: On-demand library with live TV option, can subscribe to "channels" like HBO, discounted bundle with Disney Plus and ESPN+Cons: Harder to share due to two-device limit on basic plan, basic plan includes commercialsHulu offers two main packages that provide on-demand streaming, including a basic option with commercials and a premium plan without commercials. The service also offers upgrade packages that add live TV channels.Hulu arguably boasts the most impressive TV show library of any on-demand streaming service, with a wider range of new and classic shows than Netflix or Amazon. This includes next-day streaming access to select broadcast series on networks like ABC, FX, and Fox. Hulu also offers a solid selection of original shows, like "Dopesick," "Nine Perfect Strangers" and "The Handmaid's Tale," but its slate of exclusives isn't quite as notable as some of its competitors.Though Hulu does offer 4K and HDR streaming on select devices, its 4K lineup is limited compared to Netflix, Amazon, and Disney Plus. Hulu allows only two devices to stream at the same time, but you can remove that limit with Hulu + Live TV subscription and the $10 add-on for unlimited screens. Hulu also lets subscribers add other channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz for an extra monthly price. You can even bundle Hulu's on-demand service with Disney Plus and ESPN+ for a 30% discount on the monthly price of all three. All of Hulu's live TV plans now include the bundle as part of a standard subscription.Amazon Prime VideoAmazonAmazon Prime Video Monthly Subscription$8.99 FROM AMAZON PRIME VIDEOAmazon Prime Monthly Subscription$12.99 FROM AMAZONAmazon Prime Video is a capable, competitive streaming service that's more than just a Prime membership perk.Amazon Prime with Prime Video: $119 a year or $13 a month as part of an Amazon Prime membershipPrime Video (Standalone): $9 a month for Prime Video on its ownRead our Prime Video guidePros: Included with Amazon Prime, offers extra movie rental and purchase options, lots of international titles, can add streaming channels, 4K HDR support is included in base planCons: The Prime Video library is less impressive than the competitionMore than 110 million Amazon Prime members help make Prime Video one of the largest on-demand services in terms of subscribers, even if they're not all streaming video on a regular basis. Prime Video features a mix of movies and shows that are included with your membership. The selection even includes exclusive titles like "Wheel of Time," "The Boys" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." You can also rent or buy just about any film that's available on home video for your personal collection and watch with the Prime Video app whenever you like. This is a feature that most subscription streaming apps don't offer.Prime Video has launched several award-winning original shows since 2013 and has successfully imported dozens of series from the BBC, as well as Hindi language films from India. The platform offers up to 4K streaming with support for HDR10+ playback on select titles. And, unlike Netflix, it doesn't charge extra to get the best video and audio quality.Though Prime Video is included with a Prime Membership, you can subscribe to the service on its own for $9 a month if you prefer. You can also sign up for add-on channels to other services, like Showtime, AMC Plus, Starz, and even Paramount Plus.Disney PlusHakan Nural/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesDisney Plus Monthly Subscription Service$7.99 FROM DISNEY+Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ Bundle Monthly Subscription$13.99 FROM DISNEY+Disney Plus is the top streaming choice for families and fans of blockbuster franchises like Marvel and "Star Wars."Disney Plus: $8 a month or $80 a yearDisney Plus with ESPN+ and Hulu: $14 a monthRead our Disney Plus guidePros: Disney's vault of classic movies and shows, 4K HDR support, blockbuster Marvel and "Star Wars" titlesCons: Lack of mature content limits the platform's potentialDisney Plus is the fastest growing streaming service on the market, having amassed more than 100 million subscribers since its launch in November 2019. The platform is the sole subscription streaming home of Disney's classic animated films, as well as franchises like "Star Wars" and "The Simpsons."With that in mind, the main draw of the service is its wide catalog of existing Disney, "Star Wars," Marvel, and Pixar content. There are some original films and series as well, but the lineup remains small compared to Netflix and Amazon. It's also important to note that Disney Plus is designed to be family-oriented, so even Disney's hit exclusive shows, like "The Mandalorian" "Loki," and "Hawkeye" are rated for teen viewers. Movies are also limited to PG-13 so you won't find any R-rated content here.That said, at $8 a month with no commercials, Disney Plus might offer the best combination of titles, streaming quality, and value. With an endless supply of family friendly entertainment, Disney Plus is a popular choice for parents, but adults who didn't grow up on Disney or "Star Wars" may want to find a second streaming service to fill their palette with more mature shows.On that note, you can bundle Disney Plus with Hulu and ESPN+ for $14 a month. The bundle saves you about $8 a month compared to signing up for each service separately. HBO MaxSOPA Images/ShutterstockHBO Max Monthly Plan (ad-free)$14.99 FROM HBO MAXHBO Max (ad-supported)$9.99 FROM HBO MAXHBO Max is a premium service for fans of prestige television, iconic films, and the latest movie releases.HBO Max (ad-free): $15 a month for ad-free access to full HBO Max libraryHBO Max (ad-supported): $10 a month for ad-supported access to HBO Max library with the exception of Warner Bros in-theater releasesRead our HBO Max guide and our breakdown of the ad-supported HBO Max planPros: Prestige shows and films, new Warner Bros. movies 45 days after they debut in theaters, collections from Adult Swim, TCM, Sesame Street, and moreCons: More expensive than most competitors, only a few 4K titles so farHBO Max combines critically acclaimed shows and movies from HBO's cable network with new originals, additional WarnerMedia films, classic shows like "Friends," and collections from channels like Adult Swim, TCM, DC Universe, and the anime streaming service Crunchyroll.Like the cable channel, HBO Max prides itself on having some of the best movies recently released on home video. HBO exclusive shows, like "Succession," "Insecure," and "Station Eleven" continue to define prestige television and HBO Max is the best way to catch up on past hits like "The Wire" and "The Sopranos."New episodes of "Sesame Street" are the highlight of HBO Max's family offerings; there's not a ton of educational content for young children, but there's enough to satisfy kids for a few hours on an indoor afternoon.HBO Max was also home to brand-new Warner Bros. movies on the same day they premiered in theaters throughout 2021. Warner Bros. won't continue this release strategy in 2022, but upcoming releases, like "The Batman," are expected to arrive on HBO Max just 45 days after they hit theaters.For now, the biggest drawbacks of HBO Max are technology related. Outside of the new Warner releases, HBO Max doesn't offer much support for 4K or HDR, limiting the quality of some movies and shows. For example, "Game of Thrones" is available in 4K on Blu-ray, but HBO Max streams are limited to 1080p.Paramount PlusParamount PlusParamount Plus Premium Monthly Plan (ad-free)$9.99 FROM PARAMOUNTParamount Plus Essential Monthly Plan (ad-supported)$4.99 FROM PARAMOUNTParamount Plus is a fantastic destination for classic cable TV shows, with potential for even more value in the future.Paramount Plus (Essential): $5 a month or $50 a year for ad-supported streaming. Paramount Plus (Premium): $10 a month or $100 per year for commercial-free streaming and live CBS.Read our Paramount Plus guide and our Paramount Plus reviewPros: Huge library of classic TV shows, live CBS with Premium plan, new Paramount films 45 days after theater releaseCons: Less original content than the competitionParamount Plus is a new on-demand streaming service from ViacomCBS, replacing CBS All Access. The platform gives viewers access to the live CBS TV channel (Premium Plan only), along with a large collection of TV shows and movies. In addition to CBS series, Paramount Plus draws programming from Viacom cable channels like MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. Paramount Plus is also home to exclusive content like the "Yellowstone" spin-off "1883," a reboot of "iCarly" and several "Star Trek" shows.The streaming service hosts newly released Paramount movies as soon as 45 days after they hit theaters. "A Quiet Place Part II" was the first film to get an early release on the service. "The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run" was a launch title for Paramount Plus, and "Mission Impossible 7" is due out next year.Sports fans can also tune into local NFL games broadcast on CBS, as well as UEFA soccer matches and March Madness college basketball matchups when each season is in session. PeacockPeacockPeacock Premium (Monthly Plan)$4.99 FROM PEACOCK TVPeacock Premium (Annual Plan)$49.99 FROM PEACOCKWith free and premium streaming options, Peacock is a convenient source for hit TV shows and movie nostalgia.Peacock: Free for ad-supported streaming access to a limited library of contentPeacock Premium: $5 a month for ad-supported streaming access to the full Peacock libraryPeacock Premium Plus: $10 a month for ad-free access to the full Peacock libraryRead our Peacock guidePros: Free to watch many shows and movies, live news and sporting eventsCons: Premium plan doesn't offer many exclusives, movie library lacks newer releases, no 4K or HDR supportPeacock is the free-to-watch streaming home for NBCUniversal shows like "30 Rock," "Cheers," and "The Office," as well as some new original titles. The service also offers a rotating slate of hit movies. Though few of the choices are less than 10-years old, Peacock has dozens of memorable films.Peacock's base plan is free but it offers a limited library and it's ad-supported. If you want access to all of the platform's content you can pay $5 a month, but this plan still features commercials. To unlock everything with ad-free access, you need to pay $10 a month for the Peacock Premium Plus plan.Starting in 2022, the service will stream brand-new Universal movies within four months of their theatrical releases. Select movies also debuted on Peacock at the same time they premiered in theaters, like "The Boss Baby: Family Business" and "Halloween Kills."Peacock has some live news and sports broadcasts as well. In 2021, the service became the exclusive streaming home of WWE Network, and it streamed highlights from the 2021 Olympics.Peacock doesn't stream in 4K resolution, though given the platform's emphasis on television and older films, the 1080p limit isn't a huge drawback.Discovery PlusDiscovery PlusDiscovery Plus Monthly Plan (ad-supported)$4.99 FROM DISCOVERY PLUSDiscovery Plus is the on-demand streaming home for TLC, Food Network, HGTV, and Discovery shows.Discovery Plus (ad-supported): $5 a monthDiscovery Plus (ad-free): $7 a month for commercial-free streaming.Read our Discovery Plus guidePros: A huge library of shows from 14 cable networks, including Food Network, HGTV, TLC, History, and Animal PlanetCons: Certain newly aired shows won't appear on Discovery Plus, no downloads for offline viewing, and no parental controlsDiscovery Plus is one of the the fastest growing streaming services in the business, delivering a ton of popular shows for fans of reality TV, true crime, cooking, and competition series, like "Chopped," "Dirty Jobs," "Extreme Makeover," and "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives." The service collects shows, documentaries, and movies from more than a dozen different cable channels, including Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, ID, A&E, History, Lifetime, OWN, Travel, and more.Discovery Plus boasts more than 55,000 individual episodes for on-demand streaming, and the service includes "channels" to let you watch a 24-hour stream of specific shows like "House Hunters" and "Chopped."Unfortunately, Discovery Plus is not as technologically advanced as some other streaming services. There are no parental controls to prevent kids from watching explicit content, and the app does not include downloads for offline viewing when traveling. Its library is also lacking when it comes to scripted series, so the service will really only appeal to fans of nonfiction programming. Apple TV PlusIt's possible to cancel your Apple TV Plus subscription using different Apple devices.Halfpoint/ShutterstockApple TV Plus (Monthly Plan)$4.99 FROM APPLE TV+Apple One Subscription$14.95 FROM APPLEApple TV Plus has a limited lineup, but its cheap price makes it a solid option for fans of its exclusive shows.Apple TV Plus: $5 a month or $50 a year for ad-free streamingApple One: $15 a month for Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, 50GB of iCloud, and Apple ArcadeFind out how to get three months of Apple TV Plus for freePros: Affordable price, exclusive shows, movie rental and purchase options, can add streaming channels, 4K HDR supportCons: The lineup of movies and shows is small compared to other services, no back catalog of programs from a major studio or networkApple TV Plus is one of the most affordable streaming services you can subscribe to. The platform costs just $5 a month for ad-free access to its entire lineup of on-demand movies and shows, and new Apple devices include a three-month trial.While that's an attractive price, the Apple TV Plus library is relatively small compared to competing platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu. Most notably, the service lacks a large back catalog of movies and shows from other networks and studios. That said, there are some standout exclusive series like "Ted Lasso," "The Morning Show," and films like "Macbeth."Like Prime Video, Apple TV Plus also lets you access a huge library of additional movies and shows that you can pay to rent or purchase. Though it would be great to have more programs included as part of your subscription, being able to order more titles within the Apple TV Plus app is convenient. You can also add extra channels to your subscription, like Showtime, for an extra fee.If you're someone who plans to use other Apple services, you should also consider the Apple One bundle. The base package includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $15 a month.  The best live TV streaming servicesFurboLive TV streaming services are marketed as a cheaper alternative to cable or satellite, offering tighter channel packages for potential "cord cutters." However, prices have gone up in this space, reducing the cost benefit that streaming has over traditional TV.That said, in many cases you can still save with certain services, but choosing the right package is essential for getting the most out of these platforms, so you'll want to figure out which TV stations are your must-haves before you choose a provider.If you plan to use a live TV streaming service to replace cable on multiple TVs in your home, be prepared to pay a bit extra so you can stream simultaneously on separate devices. Also, keep in mind that these TV services have the same commercials and general experience as cable even though they're broadcast online.Streaming quality can vary from channel to channel, but they all typically maintain 720p or 1080p resolution. Again, you'll want to check the specific channel packages and other perks offered by each service to figure out which is best for you.Here's a rundown of the leading live TV services available now:Sling TV - Sling TV offers two different packages, Sling Blue and Sling Orange, for $35 a month each, or for $50 a month bundled together.Sling Blue offers streaming on up to three devices and more channels, including MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and the NFL Network. Sling Orange offers Disney channel and the ESPN family of networks, but only allows one streaming device at a time. You can find a full breakdown of Sling channels here.Getting the bundle makes the most sense, since you'll get the full set of channels and features for $15 extra. It's worth noting that Sling viewers can't access their local ABC or CBS affiliates, so if you want those channels, you should look to another service or an antenna.Sling TV $35.00 FROM SLINGHulu + Live TV - Hulu's Live TV plan costs $70 a month for access to around 75 channels. You need to pay for an upgrade to stream on more than two devices at the same time, however, and it also costs extra if you want more than 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage. On the plus side, Hulu + Live TV automatically includes Hulu's entire on-demand service, Disney Plus, and ESPN+, so you get a bit more value there.The base package includes all the major local networks in most markets, the ESPN family of channels, Fox and NBC Sports channels, and SEC Network. However, the service lacks access to AMC, NBA TV, and the MLB Network, all of which are standard for YouTube TV. Hulu + Live TV$69.98 FROM HULUFubo TV - FuboTV starts at $65 a month for over 100 channels, 250 hours of cloud DVR space, and streaming on up to three devices. Unlike most of its competitors, Fubo charges extra for sports channels like the SEC Network, NBA TV, and the MLB Network. Local channels are included at no additional cost.Fubo TV (Starter Plan)$64.98 FROM FUBOTVYouTube TV - YouTube TV costs $65 a month for more than 85 channels with unlimited cloud DVR storage and streaming on up to three devices at once. YouTubeTV includes more sports channels in its base package than its competitors, including ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, the NFL Network, NBA TV, and the MLB Network.YouTubeTV is also the only live TV streaming service currently offering PBS alongside local affiliate networks from CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC. New members can get their first three months for a discounted rate of $55 a month.Youtube TV$54.99 FROM YOUTUBEOriginally $64.98 | Save 15%DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) - Starting at $70 a month for a no-contract plan, DirecTV TV provides more pricing and package options than most live TV streaming competitors — the service offers nearly every channel, but like standard cable, it can be hard to get all the channels you want in a cheap bundle.Because DirecTV Stream comes from AT&T, which is HBO Max's parent company, most of the packages also include an HBO Max subscription, which would cost $15 a month separately.DirecTV Stream$69.98 FROM DIRECTVPhilo TV - Philo TV is the most affordable option at $25 a month for 60+ channels. Unfortunately, Philo viewers don't have access to their local affiliate networks, and the service doesn't offer many upgrade options for watching sports or cable news. It does offer popular channels like Comedy Central, MTV, and AMC, though, so there's still plenty to watch.Philo TV$25.00 FROM PHILOThe best streaming channelsAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderSome streaming services act as an online portal for access to a specific channel. If you want to watch Showtime, for instance, but don't want to subscribe through a cable provider, you can simply sign up for the network's standalone streaming option. Some of these channel-specific platforms also include exclusive content you can't find anywhere else.In many cases, these types of streaming channels can also be added to existing platforms, like Hulu and Prime Video, while others are exclusive to certain devices and services. Be sure to check if the channel you want is available on your device before signing up.Here's a breakdown of some of the best streaming channel services you can subscribe to now:Showtime - Showtime offers a lineup of critically acclaimed original shows and blockbuster movies from the premium cable channel. Some of Showtime's most popular hits are "Billions," "Shameless," and "Homeland." You can stream Showtime directly from the official website or app for $11 a month, or sign up through Prime Video or Hulu.Showtime Monthly Streaming Subscription$11.99 FROM SHOWTIME$10.99 FROM AMAZONStarz - Like Showtime and HBO, Starz offers on-demand streaming of its original shows and a rotating catalog of movies. Notably, Starz is home to series like "Outlander" and "American Gods." The service costs $9 a month, though new subscribers can get their first three months for $3 a month.Starz Streaming Service Monthly Subscription$8.99 FROM STARZESPN+ - ESPN's service is another example of a channel-specific streaming platform, offering live broadcasts of sporting events that aren't normally aired on cable and exclusive access to niche coverage of sports like UFC and "League of Legends." With that said, ESPN+ does not actually provide live streaming access to the regular ESPN cable channel. The service costs $7 a month, and you can bundle it with Disney Plus and Hulu for $14 a month.ESPN+ Monthly Subscription Service$6.99 FROM ESPNWhat we look for in on-demand streaming servicesMaskot/Getty ImagesSubscription services, like Netflix, popularized streaming by providing a larger library of on-demand movies and shows than cable providers could offer, and at a cheaper price. Subscribers gain instant access to thousands of titles rather than paying more for dozens of channels or rental fees for new releases. Many streaming services have also launched their own exclusive programming that you can't see anywhere else. Since the goal is entertainment, choosing the best on-demand streaming service for your needs will largely come down to your personal tastes. However, we can judge the different on-demand platforms based on a few common factors, like their library size, selection of critically acclaimed exclusives, video quality, app functionality, and price.The best on-demand streaming services have set a standard for 4K video quality, with support for HDR color and contrast on compatible TVs. TV channels rarely broadcast in 4K, so we have lower expectations for live TV streaming services, which still use HD resolutions like 1080p or 720p.Quality can still vary based on the movie or show being streamed, and you'll need a strong, stable internet connection to stream consistently at 4K. Even if you don't have a 4K TV, these services will still deliver the best possible quality for your setup.We expect app support on iOS, Android, and most home entertainment devices, though the growing number of streaming services has led to slower releases on competitive platforms, like Amazon and Roku. The best on-demand services also give subscribers an option to save select movies for offline viewing while they travel, though an online check-in is still required occasionally.When comparing catalogs, we try to consider the range of entertainment offered by each streaming service, how much the platform has invested in exclusive programming, and which age ranges are best suited to watch. While most streaming services will have a rotating list of movies, it's important to pay attention to which series and franchises will remain platform exclusive, like "The Office," "Star Wars," and "Stranger Things."The best deals on streaming servicesdamircudic/Getty ImagesStreaming services offer frequent promotions and discounts for new members and students. Special packages are also common, allowing you to bundle services together and save.Check out some notable streaming deals you can take advantage of right now, below. We'll update this list of deals with more discounts as they become available.College students can save big on streaming services — check out deals from Amazon Prime, Hulu, Paramount Plus, and moreDiscovery's streaming service, Discovery Plus, is free for an entire year for some Verizon Unlimited customersNew Apple Music subscribers can get 6 months free from Best Buy, no purchase necessaryNew and returning Starz subscribers can stream 3 months of service for only $3 a monthGet 3 months of Apple TV Plus for free when you buy select Apple devices, or 6 months if you own a PS5You can save 16% off the monthly price of Paramount Plus if you sign up for an annual planYou can get up to 6 months of Disney Plus for free with an Amazon Music Unlimited subscriptionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 3rd, 2022

Qualcomm (QCOM), Z-ONE TECH to Power Smart Vehicle Experience

Qualcomm (QCOM) has chip technologies and products, which are well-aligned with Z-ONE TECH's innovation in the field of intelligent car electronic architecture. Qualcomm Incorporated’s QCOM subsidiary Qualcomm Wireless Communication Technologies (China) Ltd. and Z-ONE TECH have announced a strategic alliance to provide intelligent cockpit experiences by utilizing the 4th Generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms with Z-ONE TECH’s Galaxy Full-Stack Solution 3.0.Z-ONE TECH is a platform and software technology company that focuses on developing high-value-added modules for smart vehicles.The 4th Generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms are one of the most comprehensive solutions in the automotive industry. These have been designed to address the transition to automotive architecture combining performance, artificial intelligence and safety.Qualcomm’s shares have gained 23.2% in the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 23.6%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe Z-ONE Galaxy Full-Stack Solution 3.0 will focus on solutions including the operation system, hardware solution, digital ecosystem to lead the trends of transformation for a software-defined vehicle.The companies will explore the solutions for the intelligent cockpit with the next-generation automotive architecture and accelerate the rollout of Z-ONE Galaxy Full-Stack Solution 3.0.Qualcomm has chip technologies and products, which are well-aligned with Z-ONE TECH’s innovation in the field of intelligent car electronic architecture. Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms will lay a foundation for in-vehicle experiences in the next-generation intelligent vehicles.Qualcomm’s automotive platform, Snapdragon Ride, enables automakers to transform their vehicles into self-driving cars using artificial intelligence. The scalable platform comprises the Snapdragon Ride Safety System-on-a-Chip, Accelerator and the Snapdragon Ride Autonomous Stack. The combination of these self-driving algorithms facilitates a robust architecture of hardware and software that supports advanced driver assistance systems.The company continues to benefit from the ramp-up in 5G-enabled chips and the rise in demand for digital transformation in the cloud economy. Qualcomm is leading the 5G transition with increasing revenues across RF front-end, IoT and Automotive as its business continues to diversify.QCOM currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Clearfield, Inc. CLFD is another top-ranked stock in the industry, sporting a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised upward by 8.8% over the past 60 days.Clearfield delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 50.8%, on average. It has soared 249% in the past year.Sierra Wireless, Inc. SWIR carries a Zacks Rank #2. The consensus mark for next-year earnings has been revised upward by 20.5% over the past 60 days.Sierra Wireless has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 34.2%, on average. The stock has returned 22.7% in the past year.United States Cellular Corporation USM carries a Zacks Rank #2. The consensus estimate for next-year earnings has been revised upward by 7.3% over the past 60 days.United States Cellular Corporation has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 4.1%, on average. The stock has inched up 2% in the past year. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First To New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM): Free Stock Analysis Report United States Cellular Corporation (USM): Free Stock Analysis Report Sierra Wireless, Inc. (SWIR): Free Stock Analysis Report Clearfield, Inc. (CLFD): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 3rd, 2022

Raytheon (RTX) Wins Deal to Support ESSM and NSMS Programs

Raytheon (RTX) clinches a modification contract to support the Evolved Seasparrow Missile and NATO Seasparrow Missile Systems programs. Raytheon Technologies Corp.RTX recently clinched a modification contract to provide support services for the Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) and NATO Seasparrow Missile Systems (NSMS) programs. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. awarded the deal.Details of the DealValued at $55.1 million, this contract includes engineering and technical services to support the ESSM and NSMS programs. A major portion of the work related to this deal will be carried out in Tucson, AZ.This contract will serve the U.S. government, and the governments of Japan and the United Arab Emirates under the Foreign Military Sales program. The work is scheduled to be completed by December 2022.Significance of ESSM and NSMSThe ESSM program is developed by the U.S. Navy and nine other allied nations of the NATO Seassparrow Consortium. It will bring transformational anti-ship missile defense capabilities to the United States, NATO and other allies.With 2,000 proven rounds in service or in production and another 1,500 rounds anticipated, the ESSM program is likely to be supported through 2030 and beyond.Meanwhile, under the NSMS program, Raytheon Technologies provides the hardware and processing required for the launch and control of the U.S. Navy’s MK 29 and MK 73 missile systems.Prospects For Raytheon TechnologiesNations across the globe are strengthening their defense capabilities amid rising geopolitical tensions. This resulted in huge defense spending by developed and developing economies on military arsenals and equipment. This, in turn, must have propelled demand for missile defense systems as nations hunt for the technologically advanced missile defense system to improve their weaponry and warfare capabilities. Consequently, this resulted in multiple contract wins for Raytheon Technologies, a prominent missile maker. The latest contract win is a testament to that.Looking ahead, per the report from the Markets and Markets firm, the global missile defense system is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% during the 2021-2026 period. This exhibits strong growth prospects for RTX, which might witness a solid inflow of orders involving missiles in the long run. This, in turn, should bolster its revenues from Raytheon’s Missiles and Defense segment.Peer GrowthConsidering the aforementioned growth prospects, defense majors who have forayed into the missile defense market are:Lockheed Martin’s LMT Missiles and Fire Control develops, manufactures and supports advanced combat missiles and rockets. These serve military customers, including the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, NASA and dozens of foreign allies.Lockheed Martin’s long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 3.6%. LMT’s shares have returned 1.7% in the past three months.Northrop Grumman NOC develops and builds some of the world’s most advanced missile defense technologies. Ranging from command systems to advanced interceptors, powerful space sensors, directed energy weapons and the systems that test and verify their efficacy, Northrop Grumman entails to provide the most reliable, effective protection against traditional ballistic, emerging hypersonic threats.Northrop Grumman has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8.9%. NOC’s investors have gained 26.2% in the past year.The Boeing Company’s BA proven portfolio of precision air and missile defense solutions continues to set the industry standard for performance and affordability. Boeing’s missile system comprises Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, Arrow, Avenger, Directed Energy, Ground-Based Midcourse Defense and PAC 3 Missile Seeker.The long-term earnings growth rate of Boeing is pegged at 4%. Shares of BA have returned 7.7% to its investors in the last month.Price MovementIn the past year, shares of Raytheon Technologies have rallied 20% compared with the industry’s growth of 10.6%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks RankRaytheon Technologies currently carries a Zacks #4 (Sell). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Boeing Company (BA): Free Stock Analysis Report Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT): Free Stock Analysis Report Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC): Free Stock Analysis Report Raytheon Technologies Corporation (RTX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 2nd, 2022

The biggest hit movies on HBO Max in 2021 that came out as part of Warner Bros. simultaneous release strategy

The Warner Bros. films that earned the most at the box office, like "Dune" and "Godzilla vs. Kong," also performed well on HBO Max. Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in "Dune."Warner Bros. Warner Bros. released all of its movies this year simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. Insider ranked each release by its opening weekend viewership on Max, according to data from measurement firm Samba TV. The data accounts for Thursday through Sunday viewership unless otherwise noted. Samba TV counts a view if a household watched at least five minutes of the movie, and the data is limited to connected-TV devices in the US, such as Roku and gaming consoles. But the data gives solid points of comparison for each movie's performance (Samba TV couldn't provide data for "Reminiscence"). The movies that performed the best at the box office also performed well on Max. 16. "Judas and the Black Messiah"Warner Bros.Released: February 12Max opening weekend viewership: 653,000 householdsUS box office: $5.4 millionGlobal box office: $6.8 million (No. 16)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 96%What critics said: "Judas and the Black Messiah can't do everything. What it accomplishes is nevertheless quite something. It is a bittersweet compliment to what's here that we end the film wishing it'd done even more." — Rolling Stone15. "In the Heights"Macall Polay/Warner Bros.Released: June 11Max opening weekend viewership: 693,000 householdsUS box office: $29.9 millionGlobal box office: $$43.9 million (No. 9)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%What critics said: "Jon M. Chu and Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical now stands as a celebration of [the] community's remarkable perseverance." — The Ringer14. "Cry Macho"Warner Bros.Released: September 17Max opening weekend viewership: 693,000 households (Friday through Sunday)US box office: $10.3 millionGlobal box office: $14.3 million (No. 14)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 57%What critics said: "As a director, [Clint] Eastwood keeps his tone almost primordially simple; not for 'Macho' are the murky moral calculations and defined character arcs of 'The Unforgiven,' 'American Sniper,' or even 'Gran Torino.'" — Entertainment Weekly 13. "King Richard"Chiabella James/Warner Bros.Released: November 19Max opening weekend viewership: 707,000 households (Friday through Sunday)US box office: $14.7 millionGlobal box office: $26.2 million (No. 12)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 91%What critics said: "Green's 'King Richard' isn't a great movie, but it doesn't need to be when the characters are this warm, and its message is so earnest." — Polygon 12. "Malignant"Warner Bros.Released: September 10Max opening weekend viewership: 933,000 householdsUS box office: $13.4 millionGlobal box office: $34 million (No. 10)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 76%What critics said: "None of this is especially scary, but, if you're patient, [James] Wan delivers the kind of hilariously sick climax that only a sadist would spoil." — New York Times11. "The Many Saints of Newark"Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. PicturesReleased: October 1Max opening weekend viewership: 1 million householdsUS box office: $8.2 millionGlobal box office: $12.7 million (No. 15)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 71%What critics said: "The movie was, to borrow an image from the 'Pine Barrens' episode, like sucking ketchup packets." — Boston Globe10. (tie) "Those Who Wish Me Dead"Warner Bros.Released: May 14Max opening weekend viewership: 1.2 million householdsUS box office: $7.3 millionGlobal box office: $23.4 million (No. 13)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 62%What critics said: "'Those Who Wish Me Dead' could have risen to meet [Angelina] Jolie's ability. But the film reflects the industry's lack of imagination for an older female action star." — The Atlantic10. (tie) "Tom and Jerry"Warner Bros.Released: February 26Max opening weekend viewership: 1.2 million householdsUS box office: $14.1 millionGlobal box office: $46.0 million (No. 8)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 31%What critics said: "Very young kids might find some enjoyment in the brightly hued, fast-paced mania of it all, but those with any real affection for the pair of violently opposed animals will leave unimpressed." — Guardian8. "The Little Things"Warner Bros.Released: January 29Max opening weekend viewership: 1.4 million householdsUS box office: $15.2 millionGlobal box office: $29.8 million (No. 11)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 45%What critics said: "It's a movie that's constantly on the verge of developing into something as intense and haunting as writer/director John Lee Hancock wants it to be, but it never achieves its goals, especially in its final half-hour." — RogerEbert.com7. "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It"Warner Bros.Released: June 4Max opening weekend viewership: 1.6 million householdsUS box office: $65.6 millionGlobal box office: $202 million (No. 3)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 55%What critics said: "Three films into this series (and eight into the overall 'Conjuring' franchise), it's not shocking that creative wells are starting to run a little dry, though that doesn't lessen the sting of this particular disappointment." — Indiewire6. "Dune"Warner Bros.Released: October 22Max opening weekend viewership: 1.9 million householdsUS box office: $107 millionGlobal box office: $393.5 million (No. 2)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%What critics said: "Denis Villeneuve's new big-screen adaptation underlines why generations have been fascinated by the story." — Vox5. "Space Jam: A New Legacy"Warner Bros.Released: July 15Max opening weekend viewership: 2.1 million householdsUS box office: $70.5 millionGlobal box office: $162.8 million (No. 5)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 25%What critics said: "Corporations handing a bag of unrelated IP and ordering screenwriters to come up with a story around them is the template for most studio filmmaking now, if not all of contemporary existence." — Slate4. "The Matrix Resurrections"Courtesy of Warner Bros. PicturesReleased: December 22Max opening weekend viewership: 2.8 million households (based on Wednesday through Sunday)US box office (as of December 27): $22.5 millionGlobal box office (as of December 27): $69.8 million (No. 7 as of December 27)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 65%What critics said: "It is a Matrix movie that could only have come with twenty-plus years of hindsight — and insight. I was moved, impressed — far more than I expected to be. The emotional engineering of 'The Matrix Resurrections' is exacting and rapturous." — Rolling Stone3. "The Suicide Squad"Warner Bros.Released: August 6Max opening weekend viewership: 2.8 million householdsUS box office: $55.8 millionGlobal box office: $167.4 million (No. 4)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%What critics said: "The gloriously unhinged James Gunn keeps Margot Robbie, John Cena and a top cast of crazies firing on all cylinders and turns a botch job original that was the worst movie of 2016 into the down-and-dirty whirlwind it was always meant to be." — ABC News2. "Godzilla vs. Kong"Warner Bros.Released: March 31Max opening weekend viewership: 3.6 million households (based on Wednesday through Sunday)US box office: $100.5 millionGlobal box office: $467.9 million (No. 1)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 75%What critics said: "Freed from the obligation to try and be anything more meaningful than it is, 'Godzilla vs. Kong' ekes out its biggest triumphs when it embraces silliness and spectacle." — Mashable 1. "Mortal Kombat"Warner Bros.Released: March 31Max opening weekend viewership: 3.8 million householdsUS box office: $42.2 millionGlobal box office: $83.6 million (No. 6)Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 54%What critics said: "Another paltry reminder that Hollywood has abandoned the sincere pleasure action films provide: pointing a camera at a person in motion to showcase their beauty and savagery." — VultureRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 27th, 2021

Sony"s A80J OLED is the best 4K TV you can buy if you want top picture quality

The A80J is a stunning 4K TV with infinite contrast, wide color, and Sony's unique image processing technology. Here's our full review. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Sony Sony's A80J OLED is the 4K TV to buy if you prioritize picture quality. The display produces stunning HDR images powered by Sony's advanced processor. Though the TV's Google operating system isn't my favorite, the A80J is a top performer overall. Sony 65-inch A80J OLED 4K TV$1999.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $2299.98 | Save 13%$1998.00 FROM AMAZONSony's OLED displays are known for their incredibly accurate images and stunning contrast. Its most recent model, the A80J, has taken the company's lineup even further with an advanced image processor, HDMI 2.1 ports, and an adjustable stand. As a high-end 4K TV, the A80J OLED excels on nearly every level, delivering the premium quality buyers expect from a display of this class. Though OLEDs from LG and Vizio offer similar image capabilities, Sony's display edges out the competition when it comes to pure picture performance.That said, the differences are subtle, and the benefits here will largely appeal to big home theater enthusiasts who crave the absolute best movie-watching performance. The A80J also has some minor issues when it comes to smart TV navigation, and its gaming support isn't as robust as it could be.After spending several weeks with the TV, however, it's hard to nitpick the A80J's shortcomings. Simply put, this is the OLED to buy if you want the best image quality.Sony A80J 4K OLED TV specificationsSony 65-inch A80J 4K TVSpecificationsPanel type65-inch OLEDResolution4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160)Refresh rate120Hz native refresh rateHDR supportHDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLGColorWide color supportDimensions57.13 x 33.88 x 13 inches with stand attached (standard position)Weight49.2 pounds without stand attachedHDMI portsFour HDMI inputs (two HDMI 2.1, including the eARC port)Smart TV systemGoogle TVConnectivityWi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in, and EthernetAudioAcoustic Surface Audio+ with two actuators and two woofersRemoteVoice remote with Google AssistantDesign and setupThe stand can be adjusted to raise the TV up and make room for a soundbar.Steven Cohen/InsiderSony's A80J features a handsome design marked by an incredibly thin profile. That said, the TV does protrude out more (about two inches) in the back where it houses its processors and ports. One design aspect I love about the A80J is its stand. Rather than require any screws, the left and right feet simply click into place on the bottom of the display. This makes it a breeze to  set up, and it still feels sturdy.The stand also allows buyers to choose between three different orientations: Standard, Narrow, and Soundbar. Standard places the feet nearly flush with the bottom of the display toward the sides of the TV. This is a good fit if you have a wide entertainment console. Narrow places the feet closer to the center of the TV to accommodate smaller consoles. Soundbar lifts the display up higher so you can easily fit a speaker or soundbar in front without blocking the screen.You do need to unscrew some parts on the feet to change the stand's orientation, but this is pretty simple and the feet still click right back into the display after they're configured. This is an incredibly convenient feature that gives buyers a lot of placement choices.Special note should also go the TV's unique acoustic surface audio design, which uses actuators to produce sound from the screen itself rather than traditional speaker drivers. The quality is rather impressive, making the A80J one of the few TVs that delivers solid audio without a separate soundbar.After you get your Wi-Fi configured and address some standard privacy policies and terms of use agreements, you can start watching built-in apps or switch inputs to any connected devices.For the most accurate out-of-box picture, I recommend using the Custom picture preset for SDR and HDR10 content with all extra processing features turned off. For Dolby Vision playback, you'll get the most accurate image using the Dolby Vision Dark preset, but if this is too dim for your room, you should switch to Dolby Vision Bright.Picture qualitySony's advanced picture processor analyzes and optimizes different image elements.AmazonOLED TVs deliver the best overall picture quality of any display type currently on the market, and Sony's A80J is at the top of the OLED pack. To be fair, all OLED displays — whether they're sold by LG, Vizio, or Sony — offer very similar picture quality. They all provide deep black levels with pixel-level dimming, an infinite contrast ratio, and wide viewing angles. What makes one model better than another really comes down to key differences in processing and brightness. And it's the A80J's processing that really helps it edge out the competition.Sony makes a big deal of its "cognitive image processing system," which is something that's new for its latest TVs. According to the company, this tech cross-analyzes different picture elements on screen to optimize the overall image in a manner that's similar to the way we actually see things. At the end of the day, this approach really does make a difference, and the results are rather stunning.This is especially true for high dynamic range (HDR) content, which looks simply gorgeous. I measured a peak brightness of about 745 nits, which is on par for an OLED of this type. Of course, test patterns only tell one side of the story. How a TV looks when you actually watch movies is much more important. My usual assortment of demo material includes 4K Blu-rays like "The Matrix," "Aquaman," "Blade Runner," and Spears & Munsil's "UHD Benchmark" disc. Whether displaying neon cityscapes or desert vistas, images pop from the screen. Sony's tone-mapping also does an excellent job of pushing brightness while optimizing detail. Intricate fine textures are readily visible, making it easy to make out individual feathers and strands of hair on animals. And, because the OLED panel has pixel-level contrast, you get inky black levels and precise highlights without any of the blooming or vignetting you'd see on even the most high-end QLED sets.  Upscaling of lower quality material is also impressive. Cable TV and compressed streams on YouTube look better on the A80J than they do on other OLEDs I've tested, which is another example of how Sony's processing gives it a slight advantage over other TVs.As a whole, the A80J is simply a picture quality champ, delivering an incredible movie- and TV-watching experience with whatever content you throw its way. Ultimately, the only real complaint I have is that the image can appear a bit too dim at times. Certain shows, like Marvel's "Loki," appear particularly dark when using calibrated settings. This is a common drawback for all OLED displays, but the A80J's overall brightness should still be sufficient for most rooms and viewing conditions.It should be noted, however, that Sony does sell another OLED, the A90J, which is capable of getting brighter, particularly if you don't mind using one of the TV's less accurate picture modes. That said, both models make use of the same cognitive image processing system. So, while the A90J is technically a little brighter, the huge price difference just doesn't justify that minor upgrade in picture.   Google TV performanceSteven Cohen/InsiderUnlike previous Sony OLEDs, the A80J uses the Google TV operating system rather than the old Android TV system. Google TV is pretty similar, but it has a more modern interface that is easier on the eyes and simpler to use.You get access to pretty every major app you could want, from Disney Plus to Apple TV Plus, with no major omissions. A remote with Google Assistant is also included for voice search and other smart functions. This works well, allowing you to find content and launch apps with spoken commands. For whatever reason, however, Hulu doesn't seem to launch with voice commands.Though solid overall, Google TV navigation can be a bit choppy at times. I found this to be particularly true when entering in account details to log in to services. To be clear, the TV's built-in interface gets the job done for most streaming needs, but I prefer to use a separate media device.I also encountered an issue with the TV's Wi-Fi settings in my initial review unit. Though the display worked just fine for a week or two, the TV suddenly stopped connecting to my Wi-Fi. In fact, it stopped being able to discover any Wi-Fi connections at all. A complete reboot didn't fix the problem, so Sony sent a replacement TV. The new unit worked consistently without any Wi-Fi problems. I'm not sure if this was a software or hardware glitch, but it doesn't appear to be a widespread issue. Should you buy the Sony A80J OLED TV?The Sony A80J OLED is our pick for the best high-end TV you can buy. Though its smart TV interface isn't the best, it delivers incredible picture quality, thanks to Sony's advanced processing.You can technically get a brighter image with Sony's more expensive A90J, but I just don't think that slight improvement is worth the huge jump in price. If you want a new TV and image performance is your top priority, the Sony A80J is the model to get. What are your alternatives?When it comes to similar OLED TVs, the A80J's main competitors are the LG C1 and Vizio H1. All three TVs offer very similar picture quality and features, but the Sony has slightly better image performance thanks to its superior processing.The Vizio also lacks a voice remote and its SmartCast OS is a bit lacking. That said, it's the only model of the three to include support for the HDR10+ format.The LG C1, on the other hand, is our pick for the best 4K TV overall. It's usually a little cheaper and we prefer its smart TV platform over the Google TV system. It also boasts integrated support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, whereas the A80J model only has Google Assistant. The C1 is also a better fit for gamers since it has more HDMI 2.1 ports and variable refresh rate (VRR) support. VRR is supposed to come to the A80J via a future update, but it's not clear when that will be available.Ultimately, the Sony A80J is the best pick for buyers who favor image quality above all else, while the Vizio is a good budget pick, and the LG C1 is the best all-around performer of the three. The bottom lineSonySony's A80J is a stunning 4K TV. The display's OLED panel and advanced processing work together to deliver some of the most impressive images I've seen on a consumer TV. You can get a slightly brighter picture on the step-up A90J, but the giant leap in price doesn't justify the small upgrade.We do think LG's C1 is a better overall buy when factoring in smart TV performance, gaming features, and typical selling price — but the A80J is the OLED champ for picture performance. Pros: Industry-leading picture quality with advanced image processing, OLED panel with infinite contrast, two HDMI 2.1 ports, wide viewing angles, convenient snap-in stand with multiple orientationsCons: Google TV OS is only average, no VRR support yet, LG OLEDs have more HDMI 2.1 ports, pricier than some competing OLEDs, not as bright as top QLED models$1999.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $2299.98 | Save 13%$1998.00 FROM AMAZONRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 23rd, 2021

Hybrid Working Gaining Momentum: Focus on These 4 Tech Stocks

Here's a sneak peek into four tech companies - Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), Zoom (ZM) and Cisco (CSCO) - that hold potential to capitalize on the growing adoption of the hybrid work culture. Hybrid working is here to stay, thanks to the rising concerns related to the Omicron variant and new travel restrictions. Organizations have started adopting the hybrid working model as it provides employees with the flexibility to split their time between office and remote working without compromising on productivity or work quality.A flexible work environment is reducing office administrative and marketing expenses as companies are transforming their businesses digitally. Alphabet’s GOOGL Google saved $1.4 billion in 2020 due to a reduction in advertising and promotional expenses. Further, GOOGL aims to continue investing in real estate and maintaining the hybrid work environment.Apart from organizations, employees are also preferring the hybrid work culture as it can maintain productivity from anywhere and ensure a work-life balance.Per a recent Work Trend Index survey report, 73% of the employees want remote working to continue in the post-pandemic period. Nonetheless, 67% of the employees prefer an in-person working environment. Further, 66% of the leaders said that their office is considering a hybrid work model.Another survey conducted by Zoom Video Communications ZM in collaboration with SurveyMonkey revealed that 65% of the respondents who have been remotely working over the last year preferred a hybrid work environment. In contrast, 20% of the surveyed candidates opted for work from office. Only 15% preferred complete work from home.Year-to-Date Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchStocks to WatchGiven the upbeat scenario, here are four tech stocks that are well poised to capitalize on the hybrid work prospects.Alphabet’s Google has been riding on the strength in its cloud arm, Google Cloud. Solid adoption of Google Workspace, driven by the ongoing momentum of the flexible work environment, remains a major positive. Its powerful set of tools including Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and Tasks ensure improved productivity, both in work-from-home and in-office setups.The company has been continuously adding new features to its tools to strengthen Workspace in order to gain momentum across organizations that are highly demanding productivity and collaboration software applications amid the pandemic.It recently introduced a feature, Time Insights in Google Calendar, to provide a customized experience and help paid Workspace users efficiently manage their time. GOOGL also added new features to Google Meet, through which the software will notify users in case of echo on video calls. Additionally, it introduced advanced features in Google Contacts, by which the software will help Workspace users know their colleagues.Currently, Alphabet carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Microsoft MSFT has been gaining from the hybrid working environment due to its growing initiatives to sustain in the present scenario.The company facilitates flexible working with the help of its cloud platform, Microsoft Azure. MSFT’s notable solutions including Microsoft Power Platform, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft Security help business teams to deliver quick and efficient results while working with flexibility.This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s employee experience platform named Microsoft Viva is a hybrid working tool that is powered by Microsoft 365 and builds on Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Viva empowers people and teams to be their best by bringing knowledge, learning, resources as well as insights into the flow of work.Further, Microsoft recently acquired a leading company in objectives and key results, Ally.io, to offer deeper communication and improved business results to enterprises amid a hybrid environment.Zoom Video Communications has been witnessing significant growth from coronavirus-induced lockdowns. The company provides reliable solutions for meetings, chat, phone, webinar, and rooms for ensuring seamless collaboration as well as communication between remote and in-office employees.The Zacks Rank #3 company recently made Zoom Apps and Zoom Events generally available. Zoom Apps seamlessly incorporates third-party apps within Zoom Meetings and desktop client experience to enhance collaboration, productivity, and entertainment of the hybrid workforce. Zoom Events, conversely, is a platform to create a wide range of interactive and immersive virtual events in order to attract more audiences.Further, Zoom introduced Zoom Phone Appliances, which include the Zoom technology with hardware from Poly and Yealink. The Phone Appliances supports HD video meetings, phone calls and interactive whiteboarding. The recent solution is focused on improving the hybrid work experience and fostering better collaboration between in-office and remote workforce.Cisco Systems CSCO has been gaining momentum in the video conferencing space amid a flexible work culture. The company recently expanded its partnership with AT&T, wherein Cisco’s secure access service edge platform has been made available as a managed service from AT&T. The partnership is aimed to help the hybrid workforce with secure and direct connections to web and SaaS applications.In addition, this Zacks Rank #3 company collaborated with Bang & Olufsen to launch a business headset, Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980. On the back of Cisco’s integrated meeting controls, adaptive active noise cancellation and frictionless IT management capabilities, the headset ensures to provide a high-quality audio experience to the hybrid workforce.Further, Cisco introduced a preview of its hybrid work collaboration tool, Webex Hologram, to minimize the gap between virtual and in-person collaboration and thereby provide an enhanced hybrid work experience. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 23rd, 2021

4 Big Data Stocks That Could Explode in 2022

Companies like MSFT, WK, MDB and DDOG are likely to gain from the growing adoption of big data analytics owing to accelerated digital transformation and cloud migration. Rapid digitization and technological advancement have led to the creation of an enormous volume of data from diverse sources. It is becoming difficult for traditional data processing solutions to harness, process and provide insights in real-time.This has paved the way for big data concepts as an effective way for decision-making in today’s business world. The adoption of big data analytics is likely to witness tremendous growth owing to accelerated digitization amid the ongoing coronavirus-led crisis, thereby leading to increased investments in the space. Thus, industry players like Microsoft MSFT, Workiva WK, MongoDB MDB and Datadog DDOG should gain in 2022 and beyond.Big Data Analytics Transforming BusinessesBig data along with other analytical tools helps companies in handling large volumes of data and use them to achieve valuable insights in many areas, including in-depth customer research, cost management, product development and competitive analysis.Big data analytics also provides operational intelligence, making troubleshooting far more convenient for organizations. The technology enhances the quick decision-making capabilities of companies, thereby helping them increase their business performances and generate better revenues.The applications of big data analytical tools are useful across every industry. Retailers use big data analytics in understanding customer behavior, buying patterns, improving customer experience and making more personalized recommendations. This helps companies in improving purchase rates in stores as well as on online platforms.Big data analytics helps media companies, especially video and music streaming services providers, make their platforms more user-friendly so that consumers conveniently find the content that suits their liking.The banking industry uses the big data concept in minimizing risks and fraud. In the manufacturing sector, faster problem-solving boosts productivity.Impressive Prospects for Big Data MarketThe adoption of big data analytics is growing rapidly owing to vast volumes of data being created and consumed worldwide. The pandemic has led to an accumulation of data in bulk over the past year as the majority of the global population is working, learning, and entertaining themselves from home.According to an Expert Market Research report, the global big data market was worth $208 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $450 billion by 2026 at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% during the 2021-2026 forecast period.Another market research firm, Allied Market Research, expects the global big data market to witness a CAGR of 13.5% during 2021-2030 and reach $684.12 billion in 2030 from $198.08 billion in 2020.Investments in big data analytics software, hardware and services are only expected to grow ahead due to rapid digitization across industries and the rise in the number of smartphones and apps. Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning are major catalysts as well. Additionally, growth in 5G and Internet of Things technologies has accelerated the amount of everyday data, thereby fueling the demand for big data analytics.Therefore, investors who seek to make the most of this rising trend should consider investing in big data companies.Investors can tap this burgeoning market by keeping track of the following stocks.Microsoft: The company’s Azure HDInsight platform is a managed, full-spectrum, open-source analytics service in the cloud for enterprises. The platform is designed to simplify analyzing large volumes of data spread across several computer structures. The Azure HDInsight cloud platform can run on several popular open-source frameworks including Apache Spark, Apache Hive, Apache Kafka, Apache Storm and Hadoop.Currently, Microsoft carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zack Consensus Estimate for its fiscal 2022 earnings has moved up by a penny over the past seven days. Shares of MSFT have surged 50.8% year to date (YTD). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Microsoft Corporation Price and EPS Surprise Microsoft Corporation price-eps-surprise | Microsoft Corporation QuoteWorkiva: It offers a cloud-based and mobile-enabled platform for enterprises to collect, manage, report and analyze critical business data in real-time. Workiva’s software helps organizations streamline complex business and reporting processes by linking teams, documents and data from initial sources to final reports.Workiva carries a Zacks Rank #3 at present. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised upward to 30 cents per share from a loss of 7 cents per share estimated 60 days ago. Shares of WK have gained 44.3% YTD.Workiva Inc. Price and EPS Surprise Workiva Inc. price-eps-surprise | Workiva Inc. QuoteMongoDB: The company operates as a general-purpose database platform that helps companies gather insight with ease, thus creating organizational value. MongoDB’s NoSQL database can support many big data systems, both in real-time operations as well as in offline capacities.Currently, MongoDB carries a Zacks Rank #3. For fiscal 2022, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has improved to a loss of 73 cents per share from $1.17 per share projected 30 days ago. Shares of MDB have increased 46.6% YTD.MongoDB, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise MongoDB, Inc. price-eps-surprise | MongoDB, Inc. QuoteDatadog: It offers a monitoring and analytics platform for developers, IT operations teams and business users in the cloud age. The company’s business runs around its portfolio of over 400 out-of-the-box integrations including public cloud, private cloud, on-premise hardware, databases and third-party software.Datadog carries a Zacks Rank #3 at present. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its 2021 earnings has been revised upward by 48% to 40 cents per share over the past 60 days. Shares of DDOG have gained 67.3% YTD.Datadog, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise Datadog, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Datadog, Inc. Quote Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First to New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Workiva Inc. (WK): Free Stock Analysis Report MongoDB, Inc. (MDB): Free Stock Analysis Report Datadog, Inc. (DDOG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 23rd, 2021

Bruker (BRKR) Introduces JPK NanoWizard V for AFM Research

Bruker's (BRKR) newly-introduced JPK NanoWizard V is expected to significantly contribute to life science atomic force microscopy investigations. Bruker Corporation BRKR recently introduced JPK NanoWizard V BioAFM-- the latest generation of the company’s industry-leading BioAFMs. This advanced system represents a milestone in automation and convenience of use in life science atomic force microscopy (AFM) research.It is worth noting that JPK joined Bruker in July 2018, bringing to the company extensive expertise in live-cell imaging, cellular mechanics, adhesion, and molecular force measurements, optical trapping, and biological stimulus-response characterization.NanoWizard V is a high-speed, automated BioAFM that may be completely integrated with advanced optical microscopes if required. It allows for quick, quantitative mechanical measurements as well as the analysis of the dynamics on samples varying in size, from sub-molecular to cells and tissues. The automated setup, alignment and re-adjustment of system parameters present new opportunities for long-term, self-regulating experiments on mechanobiological dynamics. The NanoWizard V's speed and resolution, ease-of-use and up-to-millimeter-range capabilities make it useful for AFM investigations in nanomedicine and biomedical applications.Per Bruker’s management, NanoWizard V is the most advanced BioAFM, which combines major advancements such as rapid, quantitative mechanobiology measurements, fast scanning AFM and automation with minimal user input in one system. The company anticipates this advanced system to significantly contribute to forming a better understanding of dynamic cellular processes and their underlying molecular mechanisms.More on the NanoWizard VNanoWizard V has been designed for high spatio-temporal resolution with a large scan area, flexible experiment design and excellent integration with advanced optical microscope systems. This system features a PeakForce-QI mode that allows rapid and flexible quantitative nanomechanical measurements. It is equipped with novel scanner and sensor technologies as well as state-of-the-art control software for real, easy-to-use AFM operation. The NanoWizard V consists of JPK’s Vortis 2 control electronics, enhanced digital control and new software concepts that improve the system’s multiparametric imaging capabilities and data processing routines.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn addition, when combined with the new automated hardware features and an extensive range of liquid cell and temperature control options, the NanoWizard V allows users of all levels to focus entirely on their experiments, making it the ideal tool for multi-user environments or imaging facilities.Industry ProspectsPer a report published in MarketsandMarkets, the atomic force microscopy market is expected to see a CAGR of 5.2% from 2021 to 2026. AFM has been a powerful nanotechnological imaging tool for the past three decades providing numerous modes for analyzing nanomaterial properties. Given this, various governments worldwide have increased funding for nanotechnology research, thereby driving the AFM market.Notable DevelopmentsIn December 2021, Bruker reported a significant development related to its FluoroType SARS-CoV-2 varID Q real-time multiplexed polymerase chain reaction assay. The company noted that this CE-IVD marked assay reliably detects all SARS-CoV-2 variants and is expected to provide a clear indication of Omicron (B.1.1.529), recently declared a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization.In November 2021, the company acquired MOLECUBES NV-- a dynamic innovator in benchtop preclinical nuclear molecular imaging (NMI) systems. Combining Bruker's preclinical imaging technologies and global footprint with MOLECUBES' modular benchtop CUBES systems will offer a more extensive NMI offering, thereby accelerating preclinical NMI adoption at academic medical centers and biopharma firms worldwide.Share Price PerformanceThe stock has outperformed its industry over the past year. It has grown 42.4% compared to the industry’s growth of 36.8%.Zacks Rank and Other Key PicksCurrently, Bruker carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).A few other top-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. APEN, West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. WST and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO, each sporting a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Apollo Endosurgery has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 25.6%, on average.Apollo Endosurgery has outperformed its industry over the past year. APEN has gained 129.2% versus the 7.5% industry growth.West Pharmaceutical has a long-term earnings growth rate of 27.6%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 29.4%.West Pharmaceutical has outperformed its industry over the past year. WST has rallied 55.1% versus the industry’s 11.9% rise.Thermo Fisher has a long-term earnings growth rate of 14%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 9%.Thermo Fisher has outperformed its industry over the past year. TMO has rallied 40.3% versus the industry’s 7.5% rise.Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO): Free Stock Analysis Report West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST): Free Stock Analysis Report Bruker Corporation (BRKR): Free Stock Analysis Report Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. (APEN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 21st, 2021

Homeland Security To Plug "Gaps" Following Biden"s Order To Halt Border Wall Construction

Homeland Security To Plug "Gaps" Following Biden's Order To Halt Border Wall Construction Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday it will restart some construction on the Trump administration’s border wall and will focus on gaps that were left in place after President Joe Biden ordered work to stop on the barrier during his first day in office. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday directed the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to close gaps that were left open when work was suspended in January, according to a news release. Among other directives, DHS told the agency specifically to “[close] small gaps that remain open from prior construction activities and remediating incomplete gates.” Other work that will be done on the border include completing or installing draining to prevent flooding, installing erosion control measures, disposing of “residual materials not required for completion of the work,” and completing access roads along the border, according to the agency. That work will be carried out in the Tucson, Arizona; El Paso, Texas; and Yuma, Arizona border sectors in a bid to “address safety concerns by closing construction access gaps that were left open at the time of the border barrier construction pause, and will also include adding missing gates, addressing incomplete foundations, and connecting power to gates that are already hung but are currently inoperable,” the news release said. “Rescue gates provide access for Border Patrol agents and first responders to access irrigation canals in emergency situations where the water is fast-moving and extremely dangerous,” the agency continued. “These emergency rescue gates are currently inoperable due to missing hardware or being welded shut.” According to its news release, DHS also called on Congress to cancel remaining Trump-era border wall funding and focus on “smarter border security measures.” Despite DHS saying the work is a matter of safety and environmental upgrades, others claimed it will reduce illegal immigration along the border. “Today’s announcement of increased border wall infrastructure and gates are a step in the right direction,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in a statement. While campaigning last year, then-candidate Joe Biden vowed that “not another foot” of border barrier will be constructed while he’s in office. The wall has long been championed by Trump, who argued it’s necessary to keep criminals from crossing the border into the United States. Upon taking office on Jan. 20, Biden signed an order that halted construction on the wall, alleging it is wasteful and ineffective spending. That order, along with others that rescinded Trump-era policies such as the “remain in Mexico” protocols, have fueled Republican attacks on Biden and Democrats that they support open-borders policies. In July, Mayorkas also authorized the repair of border barriers in San Diego, California. Tyler Durden Tue, 12/21/2021 - 11:35.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 21st, 2021

Oracle"s Cloud Shift Seems to Be Working

Last Thursday, Xerox Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: XRX) and Oracle Corporation, (NYSE: ORCL) announced a multi-year deal that will provide cloud-computing infrastructure and software for use by ventures developed in Xerox's business incubator. With its latest fiscal second-quarter earnings report, Oracle topped both top and bottom-line expectations with its quarterly guidance meeting consensus. However, payment of a judgment in a decade-long dispute with HP Inc (NYSE: HPQ) involving former CEO's recruitment somewhat spoiled the earnings picture but it was still an overall good quarter with Oracle's stock having its second-best day in two decades upon the results, making co-founder Larry Ellison the world's fifth-richest person, according to Forbes, surpassing Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)-owned Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. How Could Oracle's Co-Founder Surpass Google's? This comes as somewhat of a surprise as Google, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Meta (NASDAQ: FB) have been experiencing skyrocketing growth in the near past while Oracle followed the curve with merely single-digit growth. But the latest results are showing signs of acceleration, giving investors heightened confidence that it is transitioning successfully to the cloud. Fiscal Second Quarter Results For the quarter ended on November 30th, the software and hardware maker's revenue increased 6% YoY but the company swung to a net loss of $1.25 billion from net income of $2.44 billion in the year-ago quarter due to a payment for a judgment in a decade-long dispute stemming from 2010 when former CEO Mark Hurd arrived and became co-CEO alongside Safra Catz until he died in 2019, leaving Catz in charge. Non-GAAP profits rose 14% compared to last year's comparable quarter or $1.21 a share, slightly ahead of $1.11 that Wall Street expected. But, this profit sways to a loss of 46 ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaDec 20th, 2021

The 5 best mesh Wi-Fi routers for improving your home network

The best mesh Wi-Fi routers can improve your home network and eliminate dead spots. These are the top models we've tested. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Linksys; Amazon; Google Nest; TP-Link; Netgear; Alyssa Powell/InsiderMesh routers have surged in popularity over the last decade. They promise easy set up, more reliable performance, and superior coverage for large homes. Today's mesh routers deliver on these perks, and though often not the best choice for apartments or smaller homes, they are often the only viable option for large spaces. Most mesh routers are expensive. Even affordable mesh routers compete with the most expensive single-unit routers sold. We considered dozens of mesh routers to guarantee our picks don't waste your time and money. The results were clear. The Linksys Atlas Max 6E is the best mesh router you can buy today. It packs cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E support but also delivers excellent speeds to devices that use older Wi-Fi standards. It's an expensive choice, but owners of large homes will find it a worthwhile investment. Learn more about how Insider Reviews tests and researches tech products.Here are the best mesh routers of 2021Best mesh router overall: Linksys Atlas Max 6E, $1,099.99 on AmazonThe Linksys Atlas Max 6E can cover big homes up to 9,000 square feet in steady Wi-Fi and eliminate your bothersome coverage gaps.Best budget mesh router: TP-Link Deco X60, $229.99 on AmazonTP-Link's Deco X60 offers performance you can rely on to small homes with designs that can stump other routers or up to 7,000 square feet.Best value mesh router: Netgear Orbi RBK752, $314.51 on AmazonNetgear's Orbi RBK752 puts out speedy and steady Wi-Fi 6 conncetivity around your home at a decent price for what's on offer.Best mesh router for smart home: Eero Pro, $449 on AmazonAmazon's Eero Pro 6 is the ideal solution for anyone needing a mesh router with comprehensive smart home support. Best budget mesh router for smart home: Google Nest Wifi, $147 on AmazonGoogle's Nest Wifi is an excellent option for smart home lovers despite relatively modest performance compared to more expensive models.Best mesh router overallAmazon$1199.99 FROM AMAZON$899.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $1199.99 | Save 25%The Linksys Atlas Max 6E can blanket large homes in reliable Wi-Fi and wage war on annoying coverage gaps.Best Wi-Fi standard supported: Wi-Fi 6EEthernet Ports: 1x 5GbE WAN and 4x Gigabit LAN (per node)USB Ports: 1x USB-A (per node)Processor: 2.2GHz Quad-CorPros: Wi-Fi 6E support; extremely high maximum performance; great performance at long range; includes 5GbE WAN for faster Internet connections; attractive router node designCons: Nodes are large; setup could be quickerLinksys's Atlas Max 6E is a true titan of Wi-Fi. It includes the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard, which adds a new 6GHz wireless radio band capable of better performance than the existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The mesh router also has a 5GbE WAN port, which is essential for the lucky few with access to Internet speeds above a gigabit. The Atlas Max 6E was a stand-out performer in our testing. It delivered the best speeds in each of our benchmark scenarios and proved itself reliable in extended, subjective testing. The system was so fast that, in most cases, the maximum download speed provided by the services we use became a bottleneck well before we reached the mesh router's limits. We measured a maximum Wi-Fi download speed of 755Mbps.Wi-Fi 6E, the newest Wi-Fi standard, is included. This is not immediately useful because the standard is new, so odds are laptops, smartphones, and other Wi-Fi devices in your home don't support it. It will be common within a couple years, however. The Atlas Max 6E is as future proof as any mesh router you can buy today.That's important, because the Atlas Max 6E is expensive. Linksys's pricing starts at $499.99 for a single node and goes up to $1,199.99 for the three-point bundle we tested. This is an extremely high price to pay even for a mesh router, though we think the price is justified by its performance. Be warned the nodes are large. They measure about a foot tall and four inches wide. We also think Linksys should work on its setup process which takes more time than the competition, though managing to be simple enough. These problems are minor, and you will forgive them once you see your download speeds leap into the high triple-digits.Best budget mesh routerAmazon$229.99 FROM AMAZONTP-Link's Deco X60 delivers reliable performance to small homes with layouts that trouble other routers.Best Wi-Fi standard supported: Wi-Fi 6Ethernet Ports: 2x Gigabit WAN/LAN (per node)USB Ports: 1x USB-A (per node)Processor: 1GHz Quad-CorePros: Very affordable; reliable coverage of large areas; nodes are small; excellent appCons: Performance drops significantly at rangeMesh routers sold under $250 aren't difficult to find, but most are a waste of money. Cheap mesh routers provide no benefit over a conventional router and may, in fact, perform significantly worse. TP-Link's Deco X60 is an exception. Though its MSRP is above $250, the Deco X60 two-pack is sold for $240 or less at major online retailers. That snags you an intuitive Wi-Fi 6 mesh router. TP-Link's Deco app, available for Android and iOS, can stand toe-to-toe with Google's Home app and is a step above apps from Linksys and Netgear. It offers the best set up process of any mesh router we tested, and its attractive, logical design makes settings easy to find.The Deco X60 is fast at short range, achieving a maximum download speed of 717 Mbps. It beat several more expensive mesh routers, like the Netgear Orbi RBK752, when a device was in the same room as the router. Performance fell at a distance, though, and was spotty at the fringes of our test area. TP-Link's claim that the three-node system can cover 5,000 square feet seems suspect given that its coverage did not impress in a home less than half that size. The Deco X60 earns high marks for its size and design. Each point is a little larger than a can of soup and clad in glossy white plastic. You'll have no problem finding space to position each node in your home.Best value mesh routerAmazon$314.51 FROM AMAZONOriginally $449.99 | Save 30%Netgear's Orbi RBK752 delivers fast, reliable Wi-Fi 6 performance at a reasonable price.Best Wi-Fi standard supported: Wi-Fi 6Ethernet Ports: 4x Gigabit LAN (per router) 2x Gigabit LAN (per satellite)USB Ports: 1x USB-A (per node)Processor: 1GHz Quad-CorePros: Reliable performance, even at long range; attractive, intuitive app; easy to set up; great pricing Cons: Maximum performance is just OK; nodes are largeThe best mesh routers can reach outlandish speeds but come with a price tag that will make you think twice. Netgear's Orbi RBK752 is an alternative that hits a palatable price point while maintaining most of the performance found in more expensive alternatives. Though not the quickest mesh router, Netgear's Orbi RBK752 performed well in all benchmark test scenarios. It exceeded 500Mbps at short range yet still delivered over 50Mbps to a detached office. The system's reliability across all scenarios ultimately earned it a spot over Linksys' Velop 4200, a close competitor that performed better at short distances but sometimes cut out at long range.We like Netgear's setup process better than Linksys' alternative. Setup takes less than fifteen minutes. The app looks a bit basic, but it provides a logical layout that we think most users will find intuitive. However, TP-Link's Deco app is even better. Netgear's nodes are not massive, but larger than most competitors. They stand out in a room due to their industrial, workman-like design. You may have trouble finding a place to put each node. Pricing pushes the RBK752 near the top of our list. You can purchase a two-pack, which includes the router and one node, for $349.99. The RBK752's superior performance is worth the modest increase in price over budget alternatives, and it's often discounted.Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router for smart homeAmazon$449.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $599.00 | Save 25%Amazon's Eero Pro 6 is the best option for buyers craving a mesh router with extensive smart home connectivity. Best Wi-Fi standard supported: Wi-Fi 6Ethernet Ports: 2x Gigabit LAN (per node)USB Ports: NoneProcessor: 700Mhz Quad-CorePros: Supports Alexa and Zigbee; good performance at range; attractive app; compact designCons: Maximum performance is just OK for the price; some features locked behind subscriptionAmazon's Eero Pro is an attractive choice for people who want a mesh router that unlocks useful smart home features. The Eero Pro supports the Zigbee and Thread smart home wireless standards. It can be used to connect smart home devices that use Zigbee and Thread and then control them through Alexa. Eero Pro is controlled through an attractive and intuitive app. It can provide a wealth of detail about the activities of connected devices. However, Eero locks some features, like parental controls, behind a subscription that starts at $29.99 annually. This annoying downside adds to the mesh router's price over time. Performance is respectable. The Eero Pro can deliver strong Wi-Fi 6 speeds to a wide area, keeping pace with Netgear's Orbi RBK752 or the Linksys Velop 4200. However, an Eero Pro two-pack is $399.99, fifty dollars more than the Orbi RBK752. The Eero's smart home features tack a premium to the price, so make sure you need them before you buy. The Eero Pro is small, though much wider than it is tall, which could be a boon or hassle depending on where you intend to place it. The routers' simple, glossy white exterior will help them blend into their surroundings.Best budget mesh router for smart homeAmazon$147.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $169.00 | Save 13%$149.99 FROM B&HOriginally $169.99 | Save 12%Google's Nest Wifi is an outstanding choice for smart home enthusiasts despite its modest performance. Best Wi-Fi standard supported: Wi-Fi 5Ethernet Ports: 2x Gigabit LAN (per node)USB Ports: NoneProcessor: 1.4GHz Quad-CorePros: Excellent app experience; reliable coverage over large areas; nodes double as smart speakers; attractive, compact designCons: Only supports Wi-Fi 5; could be replaced soonGoogle's Nest Wifi is the grizzled veteran of the mesh router arena. First released in 2016 and then updated in 2019, the Nest Wifi earns its recommendation not with cutting-edge hardware but instead with an excellent app and smart home connectivity.  Unlike other mesh routers, which use an app focused on the mesh router itself, Google's Nest Wifi is controlled through the same Google Home app used to control a Chromecast, Nest Thermostat, Nest Protect, and other first- and third-party devices. The Home app is simple to use and, since it can handle multiple devices, becomes a smart home command center.The Nest Wifi's smart home connectivity is extended by nodes, which double as smart home speakers with Google Assistant support. Each point can play music or handle calls from connected mobile devices. You can even use voice commands to control other devices connected to Google Home.Performance is Nest Wifi's biggest flaw. This is an aging, inexpensive mesh router that's limited to Wi-Fi 5 support. Our testing revealed it can perform reliably over a wide area. However, maximum download speeds did not exceed 100Mbps. To be fair, the Nest Wifi was not far behind the TP-Link Deco X60 in most benchmarks, but maximum performance at close range is undoubtedly subpar. The compact Nest Wifi router, and its nodes, are the smallest and most attractive of any we tested. You can buy them in one of three colors to suit your décor: white, blue, or pink. That's good news if you have limited shelf space for the mesh router's nodes.How we test mesh routersWe evaluate mesh router performance using a file transfer test and the Ookla Speedtest app. The same files and app are used during testing of all routers to keep the result as objective as possible. Testing occurs in four predetermined locations in a single-level home. An office desk just three feet from the mesh router.A bedroom nightstand approximately 25 feet from the router. The second node was placed in this room.A living room chair about 40 feet from the primary router. The third node, if included, was placed in this room.A detached office about 50 feet from the router and 30 feet from the second node. Testing occurs while the Wi-Fi network is otherwise free from traffic to prevent interference from other devices. All routers have access to a Gigabit internet service verified to deliver speeds up to 930Mbps.Though we run our benchmarks in these specific conditions, we also evaluate routers subjectively by using them just as we would any other. Problems with connection reliability or general poor performance are noted when they occur.What else we consideredWe compared dozens of mesh routers for this guide. These alternatives left an impression, for better or worse.Amazon Eero mesh WiFi ($139.99): This affordable alternative to the Eero Pro or Google Nest Wifi looks attractively priced, but its performance does not impress and it lacks the built-in smart speaker functionality of the Nest Wifi.Arris Surfboard Max AX6600 ($399.99): A former favorite, the Arris Surfboard Max AX6000 is still a solid performer, but it no longer stands out as it once did. It remains a solid pick if you want an alternative to the Netgear Orbi RX752.Asus ZenWiFi AX6600 ($449.99): The Asus ZenWiFi AX6600 receives excellent reviews, but we were not able to test this mesh router first-hand. We also feel its value is reduced by recent price drops to the Netgear Orbi RBK752.Linksys Velop 4200 ($499.99): The Linksys AX4200 is a mesh router system that provided strong maximum performance in our testing, but we were disappointed by its performance at range.Netgear Nighthawk MK63S ($299.99): This Netgear system looks promising on paper, but we weren't able to evaluate it for this guide. We're also skeptical the app experience would compare well to TP-Link's Deco app and Google's Home app.Netgear Orbi RBK13 ($199.99): Though it carries the Orbi brand, this router doesn't seem to have anything in common with the Orbi RBK752, which we recommend. Shoppers looking at this mesh system would likely be better served by a similarly priced conventional router.Netgear Orbi RBK853 ($999.99): Netgear's Orbi RBK853 is an outstanding mesh Wi-Fi system that delivers excellent performance over a wide range. The only issue? It doesn't support Wi-Fi 6E. That's a problem because it's only a tad less expensive than the Linksys Atlas Max 6E.TP-Link Deco S4 ($149.99): This Wi-Fi 5 mesh router is affordable but only makes sense for small homes, in which case a conventional router is often a better choice.TP-Link Deco M5 ($189.99): We're skeptical of this system for the same reasons as the Deco S4. We don't think it makes sense to buy this over a conventional router. If you need a mesh router, at least pinch your pennies for the Deco X60.Common mesh router FAQsStandard routers vs. mesh routers: Which is better?A Wi-Fi router is a single device that is typically connected to an Internet modem and beams Wi-Fi in all directions. A mesh router also does this but has additional nodes specifically designed to pass along the mesh router's signal.We recommend a standard router for most people. The best Wi-Fi 6 routers, like TP-Link's Archer AX73, can deliver excellent coverage for a typical two-story house with about 2,000 to 2,500 square feet. It can handle larger areas when placed in a central location. Mesh routers can improve reliability by using multiple nodes to get around objects that cause Wi-Fi dead spots, like a large appliance or a concrete wall. However, you may be disappointed by their performance. Mesh routers typically fail to outperform standard routers at any given price point. There is an exception to this. Mesh routers reach into higher price points than standard routers. Our top pick, the Linksys Atlas Max 6E, has performance and range no consumer router can rival. Ease of setup and use are touted as perks for mesh routers, but that's no longer true. Router companies now offer app-based controls to all routers, mesh and otherwise. You may find a mesh router takes more time to set up because it has multiple nodes. Each must be unboxed, positioned, and configured individually. How many mesh router nodes should I buy?A mesh router with one node is enough for most homes. This will help you extend the mesh network in one direction from the mesh router and can bypass most obstacles. Most homes are unlikely to benefit from three nodes unless each node is rather weak, which is true of budget mesh systems.Homes that are large (we'd say 5,000 square feet or more) can benefit from a second node, for a total of one mesh router and two nodes. This can also be helpful in asymmetric homes  or if the mesh router can only be placed at the edge of a home rather than somewhere central. Some systems even support three nodes. We were not able to test any such systems for this guide, however, and our test home is far too small for this number of nodes to provide a difference in performance or reliability. What is Wi-Fi 6E?Wi-Fi 6E is the newest Wi-Fi standard. Mesh routers with Wi-Fi 6E are just now becoming available. Linksys's Atlas Max 6E was the first. This standard is much like Wi-Fi 6 but adds a new 6GHz wireless radio band that joins the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands available in previous standards. The higher frequency 6GHz band has the potential to deliver higher speeds. And, because it's a new radio band, it's less congested (until everyone has a Wi-Fi 6E router, at least).Despite its benefits, Wi-Fi 6E is currently a luxury rather than a requirement. It's not available in enough mesh routers and client devices to be immediately useful. It does future-proof a mesh router, however, as this standard will remain cutting-edge for several years.Wi-Fi 5 vs. Wi-Fi 6: Which is better?Wi-Fi 6 is a wireless standard that provides a big performance boost over Wi-Fi 5. In benchmarks, Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers can achieve maximum speeds at least two to three times better than similar Wi-Fi 5 mesh routers. You will need both a Wi-Fi 6 mesh router and a client device that supports Wi-Fi 6 to unlock the new standard's performance. This issue is quickly losing relevance, however, as Wi-Fi 6 devices are now common. Most smartphones, tablets, computers, and game consoles available today are compatible with Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers also support older standards. Devices that use Wi-Fi 5 (and even older standards) will still work. They just won't benefit from the new standard's superior performance. What is 2.5Gb, 5Gb, 10Gb Ethernet, and do I need it?Ethernet is commonly used as shorthand for Gigabit Ethernet, a standard that supports network speeds of up to 1Gbps. Faster 2.5Gb, 5Gb, and 10Gb Ethernet is now available with some mesh routers. These can handle speeds up to 2.5, 5, or even 10Gbps respectively. Although quicker, better Ethernet standards are not useful for most people. Few Internet service providers can deliver service speeds above 1Gbps. The enhanced speed is still useful for transferring files over your local network, which might matter if you have a home file server.Glossary of terms5G: Not to be confused with cellular data available to smartphones, the term "5G" is used to describe mesh routers with a 5 Gigabit Ethernet port. Occasionally, it may be used as shorthand for a mesh router's 5GHz band. Ethernet: This is the default standard for wired connectivity to the Internet and for home networks. Modern mesh routers have at least one Ethernet WAN port to accept an incoming connection from your Internet modem. Most mesh routers also have Ethernet LAN ports that can be used to connect additional wired devices to the router. ISP: This stands for Internet Service Provider, the company or organization that delivers Internet connectivity to your home. LAN: This stands for Local Area Network. With routers, it most frequently describes the Ethernet LAN ports used to connect wired devices. Connecting multiple wired devices to LAN ports creates a wired local area network. LAN ports can't connect to an Internet modem, though, which is how they differ from a WAN port.Mesh network: Mesh routers use multiple nodes to provide Wi-Fi coverage to a wide area. The nodes connect to each other and attempt to balance network loads between them. Devices connected to a mesh network will automatically connect to the mesh router or node with the best Wi-Fi signal. Mesh is not a technical standard, however. The details of how a mesh network works can differ widely between brands. WAN: This stands for Wide Area Network and, for routers, describes the Ethernet WAN port used to connect a router to an Internet modem. Wi-Fi 5: This standard was first introduced in 2013 under the name 802.11ac. It was rebranded as Wi-Fi 5 when the Wi-Fi 6 standard arrived. Wi-Fi 6: This standard arrived in 2017. It's supported by most new routers, laptops, smartphones, and game consoles.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 20th, 2021