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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Europe Fights the Last Google War

Posted by hkarner - 20. Juli 2018

Date: 19-07-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

By the time this case is over, markets will be on to the next technology.

European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

It’s uncanny how the antitrust czars in Brussels never miss an opportunity to fight the last war. So it is with the record-setting €4.34 billion ($5 billion) fine they levied against Google Wednesday in a case that will seem quaint five years from now, if it doesn’t already.

Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager whacked Google for insisting that smartphone handset makers preload Google’s search and web browser apps in phones using Google’s Android operating system. Brussels also frets that Google paid some manufacturers to preinstall the search app. These arrangements, Brussels says, are illegally intended to protect Google’s popularity in search, which the company exploits to sell advertising.

Google wants as many people as possible to use its apps, but this case makes you wonder if the EU learned anything from its decade-plus wrangle with Microsoft over browsers on desktop computers. That fight involved objections to Microsoft making its Internet Explorer the default browser on new computers using Microsoft Windows. You may have forgotten because as that legal tussle was wrapping up, a smartphone-and-tablet market dominated by Apple and Google was emerging to challenge Microsoft’s dominance in PC software. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Big Tech’s Growth Comes With a Big Bill

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juli 2018

Date: 18-07-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tech giants are delivering above-average growth, but the cost of staying competitive is rising more

Apple Inc., Amazon.com, Alphabet Inc., Microsoft and Facebook are expected to average sales growth of 21% on a combined basis this year compared with 19% last year.

By being so big and still growing so fast, the world’s largest technology companies are in uncharted territory. But pulling that off has been expensive—and will be getting even more so.

Combined annual revenue for the world’s five largest companies by market value already tops the gross domestic product of 90% of the world’s countries. And their revenue keeps climbing at a surprising rate. Apple Inc., Amazon.com , Alphabet Inc., Microsoft and Facebook are expected to average sales growth of 21% on a combined basis this year compared with 19% last year. Results for the June quarter coming over the next two weeks from the five giants are expected to show combined growth of 26% year-over-year compared with 8.7% growth projected for the S&P 500, according to FactSet.

But the cost to generate that growth is going upward as well—at a faster clip. Combined spending on research and development is expected to rise 24% in 2018, while capital expenditures for the five are expected to surge by 48% compared with last year. For Big Tech, these expenses reflect the rising costs of running their current businesses while also developing new ones to stay more competitive—in a world where their most significant source of competition is mostly each other. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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America’s tech giants vie with China’s in third countries

Posted by hkarner - 7. Juli 2018

Date: 05-07-2018
Source: The Economist
Subject: FAANGs v BATs

The most titanic commercial battle in the world

IT IS the world’s most titanic commercial fight. Facing off are the towering giants of American and Chinese tech, led by the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google’s parent, Alphabet) on one side and the BATs (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) on the other. These are some of the planet’s biggest firms, with a combined stockmarket capitalisation of more than $4trn. At play are some of its most promising markets. Why, then, has the battle largely escaped attention?

One reason is where it is taking place. The titans have avoided each other in their home markets, and rising trade tensions make it ever less likely that a clash will happen there. Except for Amazon and Apple, the FAANGs are already all but banned in China. America, meanwhile, is putting up barriers to Chinese firms. This week the Trump administration declared China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier, a potential threat to national security. Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba, was stopped from buying an American payments firm earlier this year. Tighter investment restrictions are on the way. So the cream of America and China are taking each other on directly only in third countries, such as Brazil, India and Indonesia. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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‚It’s going to create a revolution‘: how AI is transforming the NHS

Posted by hkarner - 6. Juli 2018

Date: 05-07-2018
Source: The Guardian

Scan of head in profile with tumour highlighted in red

Technology is making impressive inroads into cancer treatment, saving lives and money

The tumour is hard to miss on the scan. The size of a golf ball, it sits bold and white on the brain stem, a part of the organ that sends messages back and forth between body and brain. In many ways it is the master controller: from the top of the spinal cord, the brain stem conducts every heartbeat, every swallow, every breath.

For this young man, the cancer came to light in dramatic fashion. The growing tumour blocked fluid draining from his brain, triggering a huge seizure. Now doctors must work out the best way to treat him.

Raj Jena, a neuro-oncologist at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge, has pulled up the image to explain how doctors plan radiotherapy for patients. For a case like this he might need to study more than 100 images, each showing a thin slice of the brain. Then, image by image, Jena must carefully mark out the border of the tumour and the contours of sensitive brain regions that should be spared the radiotherapy beams: the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, the pathways to the brain’s vision centres, for example. The process can take hours. But only once it is done can computers start calculating how to hit the tumour with radiotherapy beams without frazzling important parts nearby. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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„Bankenreport Deutschland 2030“ – von Oliver Wyman – ein Gespenst geht um in Deutschlands Bankenwelt

Posted by hkarner - 6. Juli 2018

Dank an E.F.
Fast alles richtig und realistisch. Bis auf das Wyman-Szenario der 300 Banken (statt 1600). Weil auch die kapieren nicht die Chance für die Kleinen (=Genossenschaftsbanken, aber auch die vielen neuen Fintechs, die entstehen werden, bis sie sich halt dann viel später konsolidieren). hfk

Ralf Koelbach

Ralf Koelbach, Vorstand Westerwald Bank eG Volks- und Raiffeisenbank. CTO / Member of the Board of Managing Directors

Vor einigen Monaten erschien der „Bankenreport 2030“ von Oliver Wyman:

http://www.oliverwyman.de/our-expertise/insights/2018/feb/Bankenreport-Deutschland-2030.html

Der Untertitel „Noch da! Wie man zu den 150 deutschen Banken gehört“, zeigt die Ergebnisse der Analyse sehr plastisch auf und deutet massiven Handlungsbedarf für die Banken an.

Normalerweise bin ich kein Freund derartiger „lauter“ Über- oder Unterschriften in Ausarbeitungen mit Anspruch.

Jedoch bewegt diese Studie die Branche und sie verdient, das sei schon jetzt gesagt, genaues Studium.

Aber der Reihe nach.

Im Management Summary vorneweg wird die Botschaft und Essenz der Ausarbeitung auf den Punkt gebracht: Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Facebook, Google Aren’t Tech Stocks? What That Means for Investors

Posted by hkarner - 3. Juli 2018

Date: 02-07-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Changes by index providers mean that funds tracking the current telecom, tech and consumer-discretionary sectors will be forced to trade billions of dollars of shares to realign their holdings

The technology sector’s dominance of the stock market is about to face a big test.

Facebook Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. are expected to say goodbye in September to the highflying tech sector of the S&P 500. They will join a new communications-services group that will also house media giants such as Netflix Inc. and Comcast Corp. that now reside in the consumer-discretionary group.

This is far more than mere housekeeping on the part of an index provider. The revisions mean that funds tracking the current telecom, tech and consumer-discretionary sectors will be forced to trade billions of dollars of shares to realign their holdings before the moves become effective Sept. 28. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Big Tech Is a Big Problem

Posted by hkarner - 3. Juli 2018

KennKenneth Rogoffeth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

The prosperity of the US has always depended on its ability to harness economic growth to technology-driven innovation. But right now Big Tech is as much a part of the problem as it is a part of the solution.

CAMBRIDGE – Have the tech giants – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft – grown too big, rich, and powerful for regulators and politicians ever to take them on? The international investment community seems to think so, at least if sky-high tech valuations are any indication. But while that might be good news for the tech oligarchs, whether it is good for the economy is far from clear.

To be fair, the tech sector has been the United States’ economic pride and joy in recent decades, a seemingly endless wellspring of innovation. The speed and power of Google’s search engine is breathtaking, putting extraordinary knowledge at our fingertips. Internet telephony allows friends, relatives, and co-workers to interact face to face from halfway around the world, at very modest cost.

Yet, despite all this innovation, the pace of productivity growth in the broader economy remains lackluster. Many economists describe the current situation as a “second Solow moment,” referring to legendary MIT economist Robert Solow’s famous 1987 remark: “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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US-Digitalkonzerne sind wertvollste Unternehmen der Welt

Posted by hkarner - 29. Juni 2018

29. Juni 2018, 10:53 derstandard.at

Apple ist das teuerste Unternehmen, Alibaba und Tencent sind unter den Top 10

Frankfurt – Die US-Giganten Apple, Amazon und Co dominieren einer Studie zufolge die Weltbörsen. Erstmals finden sich unter den teuersten sechs Unternehmen weltweit ausschließlich Digitalkonzerne, wie aus einer am Freitag veröffentlichten Analyse des Beratungs- und Prüfungsunternehmens EY hervorgeht. Angeführt wird das Ranking Ende Juni erneut vom iPhone-Hersteller Apple mit einem Marktwert von 905 Milliarden Dollar (781 Milliarden Euro, Stichtag 27. Juni). Mit zwei Ausnahmen dominieren US-Konzerne die Liste der Top 10. Deutsche Konzerne landen auf den hinteren Rängen der Top 100, österreichische Unternehmen scheinen nicht auf. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Does the West Want What Technology Wants? Jun 27, 2018 Ricardo Hausmann

Posted by hkarner - 29. Juni 2018

Project Syndicate, June 27, 2018

Ricardo Hausmann, a former minister of planning of Venezuela and former Chief Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank, is Director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University and a professor of economics at the Harvard Kennedy School.

In a world where technological progress promises large benefits, the capacity to supply the necessary conditions may determine which economies are positioned for success, and which are bound to go the way of the Spanish, Portuguese, or Ottoman Empires. That should worry today’s West more than it worries China.

CAMBRIDGE – In many dimensions, today’s West is not at its best. Many people are challenging the values of liberal democracy (individual rights and majority rule) and even those of the Enlightenment (reason, science, and truth). Populist parties are channeling such sentiments with considerable electoral success, capitalizing on economic malaise, widening inequality, and rising immigration.

Technology is often blamed for the social ills underpinning the populist surge. But what about the causal arrow that runs in the opposite direction, from society to technology? In a world where technological progress promises large benefits, the capacity to supply “what technology wants” may determine which economies are positioned for success, and which are bound to go the way of the Spanish, Portuguese, or Ottoman Empires. Nowadays, that should worry the West more than it worries China. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Most stockmarket returns come from a tiny fraction of shares

Posted by hkarner - 23. Juni 2018

Date: 21-06-2018
Source: The Economist: Buttonwood

Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (FAANG) have been the motor of the S&P 500

IN his book about the use of language, “The King’s English”, Kingsley Amis describes a tug-of-war. On one side are “berks”, careless and coarse, who would destroy the language by polluting it. On the other side are priggish “wankers”, who would destroy it by sterilisation.

The battle lines look similar in investment. The divide is not on points of grammar but on attitudes towards a handful of modish companies, known as FAANG. These stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) have been the motor of the S&P 500 (see chart). All but Apple hit record highs on June 20th. Fill your boots is the attitude of coarse stockmarket berks. FAANG makes more sense than stocks in dying industries. For the prigs, the mania for FAANG stocks is as abhorrent as a split infinitive. The high-minded investor stands apart from the herd.

In matters of grammar, the unsure often follow the sticklers. They at least have rules. But they are often too rigid. Stockmarket sticklers can similarly lead others astray. For most investors, it is often a mistake to shun individual stocks simply because other people are keen on them.

A recent paper* by Hendrik Bessembinder of Arizona State University explains why. Since 1926, most stockmarket returns in America have come from a tiny fraction of shares. Just five stocks (Apple, ExxonMobil, Microsoft, GE and IBM) accounted for a tenth of all the wealth created for shareholders between 1926 and 2016. The top 50 stocks account for two-fifths of the total. More than half the 25,000 or so stocks listed in America in the past 90 years proved to be worse investments than Treasury bills.

The sway that FAANG stocks have held recently is not out of the ordinary. A new report by analysts at Macquarie, a bank, find that the clout of leading stocks in the S&P 500 has often been higher in the past. Mr Bessembinder’s results complement the verdict of another strain of research, which says that most stock returns are made on relatively few trading days. Just as it is important not to be out of the market on those days, it is important not to omit key stocks from your portfolio. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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