Author Archive

Boeing 737 MAX Crash Sends Market Cap Lower

Every month, AeroAnalysis International covers the orders and deliveries for Boeing (BA) and Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY, OTCPK:EADSF). Now, there’s a lot more than just orders and deliveries. Some subjects are worthy of more detailed analysis, and some are not. The subjects that are not are not necessarily unimportant. Therefore, AeroAnalysis has been running a monthly series that bundles some of the most interesting news items that do not justify a separate article or deserve to be mentioned again. You can read the February report here. In this report, some news items from March will be highlighted.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor 737 max

Source: Axios

Share Price Development in March

In March 2019, Boeing’s shares lost 13.4% compared to a 13.6% gain a month earlier. Boeing’s shares significantly underperformed the Dow Jones, which was flat for the month.

The reach for the downward pressure on Boeing shares during the month is clear: The crash with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 from Ethiopian Airlines marking the second fatal crash.

A look at some price target announcements in March:

  • Argus initially gave Boeing shares a $460 with a buy rating but reverted to a Hold rating after the Ethiopian Airlines crash with a $371.30 price target.
  • Edward Jones downgraded Boeing shares from a Buy to Hold with a $300 price target.
  • DZ Bank downgraded Boeing shares from a Buy to Hold with a $300 price target.
  • Norddeutsche Landesbank set a $300 on Boeing shares with a Sell rating.
  • Tigres Financial reiterated its Buy rating.
  • Citi Group resumed with a Buy rating.

What we did see in the aftermath of the second fatal crash with the Boeing 737 MAX is that analyst sentiment deteriorated, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. This stepdown in sentiment was expected, but it remains to be seen whether going forward, with fixes implemented and a return to service for the MAX, this negative sentiment will endure.

Commercial Airplanes News

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor boeing 777

Source: Boeing

During the month of March, the crash with the Boeing 737 MAX captured most attention. Boeing shares declined in value after the crash on fears that there is a design flaw on the Boeing 737 MAX. In the aftermath of the first crash, I already pointed out that the MCAS design might not have been robust and that it was unclear as to how this part of the speed trim system was certified by the FAA and aviation administrations around the globe. While I consider this a shortcoming on Boeing’s side, even with a preliminary report out, it is not clear why the pilots flew the aircraft at a very high speed which might have made regaining control over the aircraft nearly impossible. Currently, Boeing is working on a fix, which will likely be closely eyeballed by administrations around the globe because confidence in Boeing as well as the FAA has been severely dented. Until the fix is approved, the fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will remain on the ground and no deliveries will occur. The crash is likely going to impact Boeing’s earnings for the simple reason that the grounding is costing money, possibly beyond the amount Boeing is covered for by insurers, and revenue is being delayed due to the production stop resulting in working capital increases.

I’ve written a few reports on the subject, which you can read here:

In the aftermath of the two crashes, Indonesian carriers are looking for cancellations of their direct orders for the MAX with Boeing and agreements with lessors while Boeing is being probed.

The only other noteworthy news item regarding commercial aircraft was the order for 20 Boeing 787-9s from Lufthansa (OTCQX:DLAKF). Boeing had been battling Airbus for an order for months, and Lufthansa eventually ended up splitting the order between both jet makers.

Investment News

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor boeing global services

Source: The Boeing Company

Fitting its after-sales and digital solutions strategy, Boeing acquired ForeFlight, a leading provider of innovative mobile and web-based aviation applications.

ForeFlight has partnered with Boeing for the past two years to bring aviators Jeppesen’s aeronautical data and charts through ForeFlight’s popular mobile platforms. Now, the teams will integrate talent and offerings to bring innovative, expanded digital solutions to all segments of the aviation industry.

As part of the joint venture between Boeing and Embraer (ERJ), Boeing announced three leadership moves aimed at further strengthening the company’s global presence and partnerships:

  • Marc Allen has been named senior vice president of Boeing and president of Embraer Partnership and Group Operations;
  • Sir Michael Arthur has been named president of Boeing International;
  • John Slattery announced as president and chief executive officer of the commercial aviation and services joint venture between Boeing and Embraer.

Global Services

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor aircraft maintenance

Source: Aviation Jobs and Aviation Employment – AviationCV.com

In March, there was no notable news for Boeing’s Global Services division.

Defense News

Source: The Boeing Company

For Boeing Defense, there were a couple of news events. A program capturing some negative attention was the KC-46A. In February, the USAF stopped accepting tankers from Boeing as foreign object debris was found inside the tankers. Deliveries resumed in March, which should have been a good thing were it not that the USAF halted deliveries again in early April. While the second delivery stop is an April news event, I think it is important to highlight it in this report, which covers the March news events as well.

More positive news came from Boeing’s F-18 fighter jet program. Boeing was awarded a three-year contract award for 78 F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets. The contract is valued $4B and is expected to save US taxpayer $395 million.

A major milestone was also achieved by the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT; The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT™ helicopter achieved first flight. The helicopter is participating in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role-Medium Technology Demonstrator program. Data from DEFIANT will help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030s. This flight marks a key milestone for the Sikorsky-Boeing team and is the culmination of significant design, simulation, and test activity to further demonstrate the capability of the X2 Technology.

X2 Technology is scalable to a variety of military missions such as attack and assault, long-range transportation, infiltration and resupply. DEFIANT is the third X2®aircraft in less than 10 years.

During the month, there also was a milestone for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense [GMD] system as the US Missile Defense Agency and Boeing for the first time launched two GMD system interceptors to destroy a threat-representative target, validating the fielded system protects the United States from intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In the test, one interceptor struck the target in space. The second interceptor observed that intercept before destroying additional debris to ensure missile destruction. The test is known as a “two-shot salvo” engagement. The target launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean while the interceptors launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Conclusion

Without doubt, March was a bad month for Boeing. For a company’s share to perform well, you ultimately need a good product, coupled with good execution or you need good execution to make a good product. With the second crash of a Boeing 737 MAX, it does seem like Boeing has failed miserably on the execution part, which I expect will affect their current year performance.

Boeing had some highlights as well with a milestone order from Lufthansa and a production contract for its Super Hornet fighter, but not nearly enough to mitigate the pressure the Boeing 737 MAX cash cow is currently putting on Boeing. During the month of March, Boeing’s market cap declined by $33.4B. This decline cannot be fully explained by closing math (there is no calculation to support the cap decline), but such a big decline in market cap is perfectly understandable, given the importance of the Boeing 737 program to Boeing and the uncertainty regarding the aircraft. I expect that the Boeing 737 MAX will eventually be approved for flight again, and as investors and stakeholders around the world regain confidence, Boeing should see recovery in its market cap. In fact, in the first days of March, nearly $9B in market cap was recovered. At the end of the day, Boeing should be learning lessons from this.

If you enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to hit the “Follow” button at the top of this page (below the article title) to receive updates for my upcoming articles.

Disclosure: I am/we are long BA, EADSF. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Want to Know How to Build a Better Democracy? Ask Wikipedia

Pity the poor public-relations specialist hired to influence what is said about his clients on Wikipedia. The sprawling, chaotic storehouse of knowledge is governed by thousands of independent-minded volunteers committed to being neutral and allergic to self-serving manipulators.

The barriers are formidable, but so is the temptation to do some reputational polishing there. What appears on Wikipedia matters. Daily traffic to the English site has barely grown in years, but that is because Wikipedia articles are so reputable that they are baked into the Internet—particularly Google’s results pages. A biographical capsule Google publishes on me, for example, has all its facts taken straight from Wikipedia, except for my age being 20, which Google came up with on its own. When YouTube tried to contain proliferating conspiracies, it turned to Wikipedia. Of course men landed on the moon, it says so right here on Wikipedia!

Attempts to influence the site are, as the recent college admissions scandal shows, sadly inevitable; there are few areas immune to power of wealth and status. How long can Wikipedia resist?

Noam Cohen


author photo
About

Noam Cohen is a journalist and author of The Know-It-Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball, which uses the history of computer science and Stanford University to understand the libertarian ideas promoted by tech leaders. While working for The New York Times, Cohen wrote some of the earliest articles about Wikipedia, bitcoin, Wikileaks, and Twitter. He lives with his family in Brooklyn.

Throughout Wikipedia’s history people have tried to nudge the content in their favor. There have been elaborate nonprofessional campaigns to promote nationalistic causes, such as what to call the Sea of Japan/East Sea. Likewise, there have been examples of stealth editing, presumably by the subjects of Wikipedia articles, as well as contributors secretly paid to polish the reputations of certain clients. These actions are considered conflicts of interest, prohibited along with a bunch of other sketchy practices as a threat to the Wikipedia’s ideal of a neutral point of view.

A recent account in The Huffington Post highlighted a novel approach by one marketing executive hired to influence what appears on Wikipedia: Instead of paid editing, Ed Sussman provides paid advocacy. Sussman, who is CEO of the marketing firm Buzzr.com, represents a range of clients, including the Axios news website, NBC, and the Facebook PR team. For NBC, he has focused on minimizing controversies, such as the question of whether NBC News handled allegations against Matt Lauer properly. In the case of one Facebook executive, Sussman’s goal was to get an article about her published.

For his fee, Sussman does not personally publish or edit the articles his clients care about; he won’t do that, he explains, because he has an obvious conflict of interest. As he writes on his Wikipedia user page: “If you ever think any of my work doesn’t conform to Wikipedia policy, please let me know and I’ll do my best to fix it!”

Instead, Sussman, who is a lawyer by training, prepares drafts of revised articles, or in the case of the Facebook executive, the entire article, which he posts on the pages used to discuss how to improve Wikipedia. His work is well written and well sourced. He then tries to persuade editors to make those changes themselves. After all, a frequent concern of Wikipedia editors is that articles are too short and too thinly sourced, and Sussman is doing his part to reduce that problem.

Indeed, for many dedicated volunteers, Sussman poses few problems, because he is so transparent about his motives. On reading the HuffPo headline, one Wikipedia administrator, Swarm, wrote that the news seemed “extremely alarming, and I was ready to crucify this guy.” Digging deeper, Swarm came to the opposite conclusion: “Most of the supposed ‘whitewashing’ seems to be mundane matters that don’t harm articles at all, if not actual improvements.”

The flip side of this embrace of transparency by Sussman, however, is that Wikipedia editors have tried, and in at least one case, succeeded, in transparently informing readers that the articles have been advocated for by a paid Wikipedia editor. The Axios article was edited to mention the news site had hired an advocate to “beef up its Wikipedia page (mostly with benign—if largely flattering—stats about Axios’ accomplishments).” Including such a sentence, of course, somewhat defeats the purpose of hiring an advocate; the best lobbyists blend into the background.

When Wikipedia editors complain about Sussman they, in essence, say he is behaving like an overly excited, and legally trained, flack. His arguments are long and have oodles of sources. One editor, kashmiri, a non-native-English speaker, pleaded for mercy: “May I kindly ask you to be more concise? I agree English is a beautiful language, but requiring other editors to read walls of text from you on every single issue is tad daunting, sorry.” While a good advocate tries to make every argument they can think of, in case one of them sticks, among Wikipedians the tactic is called bludgeoning and is frowned on.

Taking a step back, what could be wrong with making a case for a client with rigor and a broad range of sources, hoping that it gets adopted by the community? It’s not the careful attention that is the problem, but that the careful attention only goes to those who can pay. When different standards apply based on status and wealth, in areas as important as education and criminal justice, as well as relatively trivial ones like Wikipedia, poof, there goes the fairness crucial to a functioning democracy.

Wikipedia’s approach is collective, not individualistic. To come up with a solution, the community deliberates and seeks a consensus. Those deliberations, ideally, are driven by people far removed from the issues and parties involved. There is a belief in a type of karmic justice for those who try to game the system, which played out in the Axios article. It’s called the Streisand effect, so named in the wake of Barbra Streisand’s attempt to suppress photos of her Malibu home. Her efforts to deny access to those images only created more interest. Imagine a world where the more you try to manipulate the system, the more you are exposed!

By contrast, we know that large social networks respond to manipulations by those who have power and ignore those who don’t. Facebook, for example, fails to hire translators as genocide rages in Myanmar, yet personally apologizes in front of Congress when called out by conservatives for determining that the extreme rhetoric from a pair of Trump supporters, Diamond and Silk, was not safe for its community. Likewise, Twitter’s decision to allow President Trump to break its community standards for harassment and bullying, because as president what he says is newsworthy, is the ultimate example of a two-tiered system.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has witnessed firsthand how Facebook bends in the face of a powerful critic—herself. Facebook took down a Warren ad for supposed technical violations and then quickly restored it after an uproar. The experience left a bad taste: “You shouldn’t have to contact Facebook’s publicists in order for them to decide to ‘allow robust debate’ about Facebook,” she wrote on Twitter. “They shouldn’t have that much power.”

Perhaps the just-the-facts folks at Wikipedia can teach us all something.


More Great WIRED Stories

South Korean, U.S. telcos roll out 5G services early as race heats up

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s three mobile carriers and top U.S. telco Verizon Communications commercially launched 5G services on Wednesday, ahead of their initial schedules, as they rushed for first spot in the race to roll out the latest wireless technology.

People take photographs during a launching ceremony for SK Telecom’s 5G service, in Seoul, South Korea, April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SK Telecom and two smaller carriers had planned to initially launch 5G in South Korea on Friday with Samsung Electronics’ new 5G-enabled smartphone Galaxy S10.

Verizon was due to roll out the technology in Chicago and Minneapolis on April 11, and said last month customers could use 5G on Motorola’s Z3 and a “Moto Mod”, a physical magnet-like attachment for the phone.

Countries including South Korea, United States, China and Japan are racing to market 5G, hoping the technology will spur breakthrough in fields such as smart cities and autonomous cars.

The technology can offer 20-times faster data speeds than 4G long-term evolution (LTE) networks and better support for artificial intelligence and virtual reality with low latency.

Sometimes it can offer 100-times faster speeds.

South Korea claimed to be the first country to launch 5G, but that was disputed by U.S. carriers who say they rolled out 5G in limited areas as early as last year.

U.S. telco AT&T Inc said it was the first to launch a “commercial and standards-based” 5G network in December 2018. The service, however, was made available to mobile hotspot devices but is not yet on phones.

SK Telecom spokeswoman Irene Kim told Reuters the company had internal discussions and decided to launch the 5G service early as the company had networks and customers ready.

South Korean carriers started offering 5G services at 11 p.m. local time (1400 GMT) on Wednesday.

FANFARE

In South Korea, telcos and smartphone makers are pulling out all stops to market 5G services and devices.

On Wednesday, SK Telecom showed off K-pop stars and an Olympic gold medalist as its first 5G customers.

The company said it was working with its memory-chip making affiliate SK Hynix to build a highly digitized and connected factory powered by 5G technology.

Smaller rival KT Corp said it will offer cheaper 5G plans than its LTE service, with unlimited data and four-year installments to buy 5G devices.

Samsung was the first to unwrap a 5G phone in February when it unveiled the Galaxy S10 5G and a nearly $2,000 folding smartphone, putting the world’s top smartphone maker by volume in pole position in the 5G race, some analysts say.

LG Electronics Inc plans to release its 5G smartphone in South Korea later this month.

SECURITY CONCERNS

While security concerns over 5G networks using telecom equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd have marred the buildup to the release of these services, South Korean telcos have tried to shrug them off.

“I don’t think we have a security issue in South Korea,” Park Jin-hyo, head of SK Telecom’s information and communication tech research center, told reporters.

Slideshow (2 Images)

He added the company uses advanced technology to block eavesdropping or hacking into 5G networks.

Among South Korea’s three operators, SK Telecom and KT Corp do not use Huawei equipment for 5G. Smaller carrier LG Uplus Corp uses Huawei gear.

But SK Telecom officials said it was likely there will be an open auction for network equipment makers including Huawei if South Korea needs more base stations for higher frequencies. The country has one of the world’s top smartphone penetration rates.

Reporting by Ju-min Park in Seoul and Kenneth Li in New York; Editing by Diane Craft, Sayantani Ghosh and Himani Sarkar

How Much Higher Can Apple Climb?

Apple (AAPL) keeps moving, from the stock that everyone hated in December to a stock that everyone loves again. The technical charts suggest the shares continue to rise and move higher toward $209 in the coming weeks. Additionally, options betting for the stock continues to be bullish.

On March 15 I noted that Apple’s stock was nearing a big break out and could rise to $195. Well, the stock is now at $195 and is breaking out again.

Breaking Out

The technical chart shows that Apple is once again rising above a significant level of technical resistance – this time at $195. Shares have crossed that resistance level and now may be on their way to $209, where the next significant level of resistance awaits.

The equity is entering a region where trading volumes were very light as the stock fell sharply in the fall. That should provide very little resistance for the stock should it continue to rise.

The relative strength index (RSI) is still trending higher and is entering overbought territory. But it still indicates that the stock can continue to rise. However, should the stock rise to $209 an overbought RSI could mean the shares are setting up for a pullback, so one should watch how it performs closely.

Bullish Options

The options for expiration on June 21 suggest the stock rises or falls about 9% from the $200 strike price using the long straddle strategy. It places the stock in a trading range between $182 and $218 by the middle of June. However, the open interest level for the calls far outweighs the puts, by a ratio of about 2 to 1, with almost 21,000 open call contracts to just 10,000 open put contracts. It would suggest that the stock price continues to rise.

A buyer of the $200 calls would need the stock’s price to rise to around $207 by expiration, a gain of about 6% over the coming weeks. The open interest levels have been steadily rising over the past six months

(Apple June 18 $200 Calls)

No Longer Cheap

If there’s one reason for caution, it’s that the stock is nearing a point where the valuation is getting lofty trading at about 14.7 times one-year forward earnings estimates. In the past, this region has been at the upper end of the range. It would suggest that the stock may be running out of room to rise.

Chart

Data by YCharts

Revaluing

However, should analyst estimates for next year begin to rise then that could help the multiple from expanding too far. Additionally, it isn’t clear yet if the market is in the process of revaluing Apple from a hardware maker of phones to a higher multiple consumer product- subscription service company. Investors typically give hardware companies cheaper earnings multiples because margins are tighter and the business is highly cyclical. However, service businesses typically trade with a higher earnings multiple because of the better margins and a more predictable revenue stream.

The path of least resistance for Apple still appears to be higher for now. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Disclosure: I am/we are long AAPL. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: Mott Capital Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Upon request, the advisor will provide a list of all recommendations made during the past twelve months. Past performance is not indicative of future results. t

Toyota to give royalty-free access to hybrid-vehicle patents

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said it would offer royalty-free access to its hybrid-vehicle technology patents through 2030, as it seeks to expand use of lower emissions vehicles before the global auto industry shifts to all-battery electric cars.

FILE PHOTO : Toyota Motor Corp’s logo is pictured on the engine of a plug-in hybrid vehicle displayed at the company’s showroom in Tokyo September 24, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/File Photo

The Japanese automaker said it would grant licenses on nearly 24,000 patents on technologies covering hybrid power systems, which comprise motors, power converters and batteries.

“Based on the high volume of inquiries we receive about of vehicle electrification systems from companies that recognize a need to popularize hybrid and other electrified vehicle technologies, now is the time for cooperation,” Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Nikkei Asian Review first reported Toyota’s plans to give royalty-free access to hybrid-vehicle patents.

   Since pioneering the Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car, in 1997, Toyota has sold more than 13 million cars featuring the technology, which twins a conventional gasoline engine and electric motor, saving fuel by capturing energy during coasting and breaking and using it to power the motor.

Hybrid vehicles account for around 3 percent of all vehicles sold globally, eclipsing the roughly 1 percent share of all-battery electric vehicles (EVs), according to LMC Automotive.

Toyota vehicles account for more than 80 percent of the hybrid vehicle market.

Global automakers have pledged to electrify their offerings in coming years amid tightening global emissions regulations, but many acknowledge that shifting to all-battery EVs will take time due to the high cost of the required batteries.

Toyota has long held to its belief that its hybrids, whose fuel efficiency is roughly double that of gasoline cars, are a cost-effective alternative to all-battery EVs, due to their lower cost, lack of need for charging infrastructure, and because they operate more or less like gasoline cars.

Beyond hybrids, Toyota is betting on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as the ultimate zero-emissions vehicle, and as a result, it has lagged many of its rivals in marketing all-battery EVs.

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu in TOKYO abd Aby Jose Koilparambil in BENGALURU; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Himani Sarkar

Here Are the All the Fastest Growing Private Companies in Europe

It’s an uncertain time in Europe, not least because nobody really has an idea what’s going to happen with Brexit. But these companies are thriving nevertheless, from Austria and Belgium to Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

I’ve spent a bit of time perusing, and it’s an interesting mix. The absolute top, examined by Inc.’s Malak Saleh, includes:

1. UICE Group

Based in Kiev, the UICE Group trades stocks and derivatives, as well as commodities including oil, gas, and coal.

2. Sanderson Contract Management Limited

This is a U.K.-based recruitment company, specializing in IT, business change, and professional services.

3. Hiperion Hotel Group SL

Hiperion, based in Madrid, Spain, is hotel group with 36 facilities across the islands of Ibiza and Mallorca. 

4. Servisny Tsentr Metalloprokata

Based in in Ekaterinburg, Russia, Service Center Metal manufactures rolled metals and produces more than 3,000 products including roofing materials, facade surfaces and metal piping.

5. GA Smart Building

Rounding out the top five, GA Smart Building, based in Toulouse, France, is a real estate development company that designs and constructs sustainable buildings and structures. 

You can find the entire list — all 5,000 companies — here, along with a deeper look at the top 10.

Here’s what else I’m reading today:

Facebook Had a Busy Weekend, From News Feed to Livestream Changes

While millions of Americans were enjoying a warm spring weekend, Facebook employees were hard at work responding to an avalanche of news about their company. After an already busy week for the social media platform—including a lawsuit from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as a policy change regarding white nationalist and separationist content—five major Facebook stories broke over the last few days, including a Washington Post op-ed in which CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls for the social network to be regulated. Here’s what you need to know to get caught up.

Facebook Explores Restricting Who Can Livestream

The torrent of Facebook news began Friday, when COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company was “exploring restrictions on who can go Live depending on factors such as prior Community Standard violations.” The decision came less than three weeks after a terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed 50 people was livestreamed on Facebook. The social network, as well as other companies like YouTube, struggled to stop the shooter’s video from being reuploaded and redistributed on their platforms.

In 2016, Zuckerberg said that live video would “create new opportunities for people to come together.” Around the same time, the company invested millions of dollars to encourage publishers like Buzzfeed to experiment with Facebook Live. The feature provided an unedited, real-time window into events like police shootings, but it was also repeatedly used to broadcast disturbing events. After the Christchurch attack, Facebook is now reexamining who should have the ability to share live video, which has proven difficult for the company to moderate effectively.

Sandberg also said Facebook will research building better technology to “quickly identify edited versions of violent videos and images and prevent people from re-sharing these versions.” She added that Facebook had identified over 900 different variations of the Christchurch shooter’s original livestream. Sandberg made her announcement in a blog post published not to the Facebook Newsroom but to Instagram’s Info Center, indicating Facebook wants its subsidiaries to appear more unified.

Old Zuckerberg Blog Posts Disappear

Also on Friday, Business Insider reported that years of Zuckerberg’s public writings had mysteriously disappeared, “obscuring details about core moments in Facebook’s history.” The missing trove included everything the CEO wrote in 2007 and 2008, as well as more recent announcements, like the blog post Zuckerberg penned in 2012 when Facebook acquired Instagram.

Facebook said that the posts were mistakenly deleted as the result of technical errors. “The work required to restore them would have been extensive and not guaranteed, so we didn’t do it,” a spokesperson for the company told Business Insider. They added that they didn’t know exactly how many posts were lost in total.

This isn’t the first time Zuckerberg’s content has gone missing from Facebook. Last April, TechCrunch reported that some of the CEO’s messages were erased from people’s private inboxes. (Facebook later extended an “unsend” feature to all Facebook Messenger users.) And in 2016, “around 10” Zuckerberg blog posts also disappeared from the social network. The deletion was similarly blamed on a technical error, but in that case the blogs were later restored.

Zuckerberg Calls for Regulation in Four Areas

In an interview with WIRED last month, Zuckerberg said, “There are some really nuanced questions … about how to regulate, which I think are extremely interesting intellectually.” On Saturday, the Facebook CEO expanded on that idea in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post. “I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators,” Zuckerberg wrote, calling for new regulation in four particular areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy, and data portability.

In the piece, Zuckerberg acknowledged that he believes his company has too much power when it comes to regulating speech on the internet. He also mentioned Facebook’s new independent oversight board, which will decide on cases where users have appealed the content decisions made by Facebook’s moderators. (On Monday, Facebook announced it was soliciting public feedback about the new process.)

Zuckerberg also said the rest of the world should adopt comprehensive privacy legislation similar to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation that went into effect last year. There’s currently no modern privacy law in the United States, though California passed a strong privacy bill last summer, which Facebook originally opposed. Now a number of lawmakers, and lobbyists, are jockeying to get a federal privacy law in place before the state-level rules take effect next year.

The op-ed arrives as Facebook faces a looming Federal Trade Commission investigation over alleged privacy violations. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have also recently expressed an interest in regulating or even breaking up the social media giant. Zuckerberg’s op-ed provides a sketch of the kind of regulation that his company would be comfortable adopting. Some critics have also argued that legislation like GDPR can strengthen the dominant position of companies like Facebook and Google.

Facebook Opens Up About How News Feed Works

How Facebook chooses what content to feature in the News Feed has consistently remained mostly a mystery. As Will Oremus wrote last week in Slate, “For all of Facebook’s efforts to improve its news feed over the years, the social network remains as capricious and opaque an information source as ever.”

But on Sunday evening, Facebook quietly announced that it will begin revealing more about why users see one post over another when they scroll through their feeds. The company will soon launch a “Why am I seeing this post?” button, similar to the one it launched in 2014 for advertisements. It will begin rolling out this week and will be available for all Facebook users by the middle of May, according to Buzzfeed.

“This is the first time that we’ve built information on how ranking works directly into the app,” Ramya Sethuraman, a product manager at Facebook, wrote in a blog post. The new feature might tell users, for example, that they’re seeing a post because they are friends with someone on Facebook or because they joined a specific group. But the button will also provide more granular information, such as telling users they’re seeing a specific photo because they’ve “commented on posts with photos more than other media types.”

Facebook is also making updates to its preexisting “Why am I seeing this ad?” button. It will now tell users when an advertiser has uploaded their contact information to Facebook. In addition, it will show users when advertisers work with third-party marketing firms. For example, an ad for a shoe company might reveal the name of the marketing agency it hired to sell its new sandals.

Pivot to Paying Publishers?

On Monday morning, Zuckerberg suggested he might create a new section of Facebook dedicated to “high-quality news.” Details are scarce, but it may feature content Facebook pays publishers directly to share. The remarks were made during an interview Zuckerberg did with European media executive Mathias Döpfner, which the CEO posted to his personal Facebook page. The announcement comes a year after Facebook said it would begin deprioritizing news stories in its News Feed in favor of content from friends and family.

Last week, Apple announced it was launching a $10 per month paid news aggregation service called News+ (it features content from WIRED). But unlike Apple, Facebook doesn’t appear to be getting into the subscription business. “We’re coming to this from a very different perspective than I think some of the other players in the space who view news as a way that they want to maximize their revenue. That’s not necessarily the way that we’re thinking about this,” Zuckerberg said in the interview.

Facebook’s earlier attempts to partner with media organizations have been a mixed bag. The social network also previously explored creating a dedicated feed for publishers but abandoned the project. Without knowing more, it remains to be seen what, if anything, is going be different this time.


More Great WIRED Stories

Could Your Conference Rooms Cause Bad Decisions? 

The average American spends 93% of their life indoors. The media headlines often talk about the depleting outdoor air quality, but neglect to talk about the air inside that we happen to be breathing the majority of our lives. For those who have chosen the “startup path” proper ventilation and constant monitoring of the air quality is often treated as a luxury than a necessity.

Personally, I have advised and worked for early-stage companies that had very humble office beginnings. I’ve walked into poorly ventilated rooms and could instantly determine what my co-workers had for breakfast and who forgot to give an extra swipe of deodorant that morning. Sometimes I would roll out of a marathon strategy session in a small room and feel lightheaded, never knowing if it was the lack of oxygen, the fluorescent lights, or the fiscal policy that made me wheezy. Needless to say, startups aren’t for everyone.

Scientific studies have shown that poor indoor air quality could play a big part in how we feel at work, and it could also have a direct correlation to cognitive function. Studies from Berkeley National Laboratory and Harvard University looked at indoor carbon dioxide (C02) levels and how it affects our cognitive function and decision making.

First, let’s flashback to 5th-grade science class to get a quick recap of carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is a greenhouse gas that is natural and safe in small quantities, yet high levels can quickly escalate to be harmful to your health. Because humans produce carbon dioxide (CO2) when we exhale, concentrations of CO2 in occupied indoor spaces are higher than concentrations outdoors. The less ventilation, the more CO2 can hang around and cause problems.

The studies looked at both CO2 in the office and evaluated human participates decision-making skills in environments with different levels of CO2. What they found directly correlates to the zonked feeling you get when you tumble out of a crowded meeting room. First, it had been previously stated that 350-1000 pmm was typical for indoor buildings with good air quality. The study showed that at the 1000 pmm level there was some moderate, yet statistically significant decrements in decision making among the subjects. At 2500 pmm the deficits became more significant. People in these environments who complained about the indoor air quality also reported more acute health symptoms, such as headaches. They often work slightly slower and they were more often absent from work or school.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that in approximately 500 indoor air quality (IAQ) investigations in the last decade, 52 percent of the indoor air quality problems were related to inadequate ventilation. On an even sadder note, the Berkeley National Laboratory study looked at crowded elementary classrooms in California and Texas and documented that the average CO2 concentrations were above 1,000 ppm, a substantial proportion exceeded 2,000 ppm, and in 21% of Texas classrooms peak, CO2 concentration exceeded 3,000 ppm!

Now, back to our excessively long meeting in a closed room. When several people are talking in a closed off room for several hours the CO2 levels rise. Studies say those CO2 levels can exceed 1000 ppm and get as high as 5000 ppm depending on the ventilation and number of people. The longer the meeting, the more CO2 is trapped in the room with you and your coworkers. The levels are highest at the end of the meeting, at the same time when important decisions are being made. 

For companies of all sizes, when you are evaluating office space it is important to keep air quality in mind, especially in the conference rooms. Monitors are now inexpensive and can help your team stay on top of any issues. Additional filtration systems and office plants can also aid in ensuring healthy levels of CO2 in the office.

Over-indexing for a healthy work environment will pay dividends in the future to your employees’ overall health, happiness, proper decision making. Indoor air quality should not be taken for granted as the risks to business are too high.

South Korea's burned out millennials chose YouTube over Samsung

SEOUL (Reuters) – Yoon Chang-hyun’s parents told him to get his sanity checked when he quit his secure job as a researcher at Samsung Electronics Co in 2015 to start his own YouTube channel.

Yoon Chang-hyun works on his Youtube clip in Seongnam, South Korea, February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The 65 million won ($57,619) a year salary – triple South Korea’s average entry level wage – plus top-notch healthcare and other benefits offered by the world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker was the envy of many college graduates.

But burned out and disillusioned by repeated night shifts, narrowing opportunities for promotion and skyrocketing property prices that have pushed home ownership out of reach, the then 32-year old Yoon gave it all up in favor of an uncertain career as an internet content provider.

Yoon is among a growing wave of South Korean millennials ditching stable white collar jobs, even as unemployment spikes and millions of others still fight to get into the powerful, family-controlled conglomerates known as chaebol.

Some young Koreans are also moving out of city for farming or taking blue collar jobs abroad, shunning their society’s traditional measures of success – well-paid office work, raising a family and buying an apartment.

“I got asked a lot if I had gone crazy,” Yoon said. “But I’d quit again if I go back. My bosses didn’t look happy. They were overworked, lonely…”

Yoon now runs a YouTube channel about pursuing dream jobs and is supporting himself from his savings.

Samsung Electronics declined to comment for this article.

Chaebols such as Samsung and Hyundai powered South Korea’s dramatic rise from the ashes of the 1950-53 war into Asia’s fourth-largest economy in less than a generation. Well-paid, secure jobs provided a gateway to the middle-class for many baby boomers.

But with economic growth stagnating and competition from lower cost producers weighing on wages, even milliennials who graduated from top universities and secured chaebol jobs say they are less inclined to try to fulfill society’s expectations.

Similar issues among younger workers are being seen globally. However, South Korea’s strict hierarchical corporate culture and oversupply of college graduates with homogeneous skills make the problem worse, says Ban Ga-woon, a labor market researcher at state-run Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training.

South Koreans had the shortest job tenure among member countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as of 2012, just 6.6 years compared to the average of 9.4 years and 11.5 years in neighboring Japan.

The same survey also showed barely 55 percent of South Koreans were satisfied with their jobs, the lowest rate in the OECD.

This January, ‘quitting jobs’ appeared on the nation’s top 10 new year resolution list on major social media sites.

‘DON’T TELL THE BOSS’

Some workers are even going back to school to learn how to do just that.

A small three-classroom campus in southern Seoul, named “School of Quitting Jobs”, has attracted over 7,000 attendees since opening in 2016, founder Jang Su-han told Reuters.

The 34-year-old Jang, who himself quit Samsung Electronics in 2015 to launch the school, said it now offers about 50 courses, including classes on how-to-YouTube, manage an identity crisis, and how to brainstorm a Plan B.

The school’s rules are displayed at its entrance: “Don’t tell your bosses, say nothing even if you run into a colleague, and never get caught until your graduation.”

“There is strong demand for identity-related courses, as so many of us were too busy with cram schools to seriously think about what we want to do when were teenagers,” he said.

To be sure, the lure of a prestigious chaebol job remains strong, especially with the country mired in its worst job slump since 2009 and youth joblessness near a record high.

Samsung Electronics is still the most desired workplace for graduates as of 2019, a survey of 1,040 job seekers by Saramin, a job portal, showed in February.

However, many entering the workforce are much less willing to accept the long hours or mandatory drinking sessions synonymous with the country’s hierarchical, cutthroat corporate life, says Duncan Harrison, country head of London-based recruitment agency Robert Walters Plc.

“The mindset of people entering the workforce is very different from past generations,” Harrison said.

YOUTUBER, SPORTS STAR, CLEANER

Among elementary school students, YouTube creator is now the fifth-ranked dream job, behind being a sports star, school teacher, doctor or a chef, a 2018 government poll showed.

Some are choosing a simpler life in the country.

Between 2013 and 2017, South Korea saw a 24 percent increase in the number of households who ditched city life for farming – more than 12,000 in total.

And in the face of dwindling opportunities at home, nearly 5,800 people also went abroad for jobs last year using government-subsidized programs, more than tripling from 2013, according to government data.

Others left without support or new jobs lined up.

Slideshow (7 Images)

Plant engineer Cho Seung-duk bought one-way tickets to Australia in December with his wife and two kids.

“I don’t think my son could get jobs like mine in South Korea,” said 37 year-old Cho, who moved from Hyundai Engineering & Construction to another top construction firm in 2015 before he emigrated.

“I will probably clean offices in Brisbane, but that’s ok.”

Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Lincoln Feast

The Art of the Bracket Smack Talk, Perfected With Purpose Inside Your Company

Host a company-wide bracket challenge – they’re already doing it anyway, even if you don’t know about it. Offer a grand prize that doesn’t cost cash, like an extra day off, or convert an office lunch you were already planning into a bracket-themed bonanza. Then have a bunch of smaller inexpensive gifts for top contenders. Encourage a number of smaller pools by team to increase everyone’s chances of winning something.

To do March Madness right, and to have more fun, you must introduce smack talk. It doesn’t have to be mean or dirty. Sports have provided a long line of terrific trash talkers, but rappers, celebrities, and soldiers have all contributed greatly to the Western cannon of smack.

2.     “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

3.     “I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.” – Coco Chanel

4.     “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” – Dr. Seuss

7.     “May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.” – General George S. Patton

9.     “Ladies and Gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” – Theodore Roosevelt

10.  “I don’t talk trash often, but when I do, I go for the jugular.” – Kobe Bryant

11.  “I’m just looking around to see who’s gonna finish second.” – Larry Bird

14.  “I got my own back.” – Maya Angelou

15.  “Get your popcorn ready, ’cause I’m gonna put on a show.” – Terrell Owens

18.  “The best thing I like about human beings is that they stack so neatly.” – Frank Underwood

19.  “If he calls that number, I’ll be sure to pick up after the fifth ring.” – Kobe Bryant

20.  “All right. They’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us … They can’t get away this time.” – Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller

23.  “I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.” – Muhammad Ali

Unique Premium WP Themes Free
Ritzywordpressthemes.com is a site dedicated to procure for you free Wordpress themes and/or uniquely designed premium Wordpress themes for your blogs. Though exclusively designed themes normally have a cost, for most cases, we are able to find a company willing to sponsor the theme; hence you will have it for free. Contact us for more info.
Cloud Computing Tutorials