Nobody will give you a free iPhone X for liking a Facebook page, so stop falling for these scams – BGR

I get it, the iPhone X is incredibly expensive at $999. And that’s just the starting price that gets you a measly 64GB of storage. But most buyers will not have to pay the price outright. There are plenty of financing option to help them deal with the wallet hit, including the iPhone Upgrade Program and various carrier offers.

But remember, iPhone fans, there’s no such thing as a free iPhone X. As a general rule of thumb, nothing in life is free. One way or another you’re going to pay for it. Falling for social scams that entice you to follow a Facebook page, YouTube channel or Instagram account, however, isn’t going to get you an iPhone X. Someone is taking advantage of you, and you won’t come away with a free phone.

There are many scammers out there looking to take advantage of the new iPhone release by promoting fake “free iPhone” offers. And the iPhone X could not be a better tool given that it’s the most expensive iPhone ever released.

According to ZeroFox, there are 532 fraudulent iPhone social accounts right now, and the number is going up.

What the purpose of these fake free iPhone offers on social media? The creators are looking to increase their follower counts. Some of the people looking to score a free iPhone X or iPhone 8 will follow, like, or share social content to have a chance of winning. However, the owners of these fraudulent social pages are only looking to quickly boost the number of followers, and then repurpose the page for something else.

Remember, there is no such thing as a free iPhone X for a like, share, or follow!

Other free iPhone offers will actually instruct users to share personal information that may be then used to steal a person’s identity.

Remember, there is no such thing as a free iPhone X for a like, share, or follow!

ZeroFox also says that free iPhones offers may also trick gullible users into clicking on malicious links and falling for phishing schemes. It goes without saying that you should never click on these links or install any apps if prompted to do so.

Remember, there is no such thing as a free iPhone X for a like, share, or follow!

Oh, and while we’re at it, nobody is looking to ditch old iPhone stock, including Apple. One of the great things about the iPhone is that it’s a valuable device. Even older models retain their value, so nobody will “ditch” them.

That’s not to say there aren’t genuine iPhone promotions that offer free iPhone models. However, before trying your luck, make sure you’re dealing with a verified company rather than an impersonator or some random person. In many cases, there may be certain conditions that must be met to make you eligible to win a free iPhone. If you’ve been a sucker for one of these fake offers in the past, you might consider going through the entire ZeroFox article and sharing it with friends. You will not win a free iPhone X offer if you do, but there’s still plenty of value in helping people steer clear of scams.

Also, consider reporting the fake pages and websites to the appropriate companies. It’s effortless to do so if we’re talking about Facebook pages or other social media accounts.

Finally, remember, there is no such thing as a free iPhone X for a like, share, or follow!

Nvidia’s Shares At Risk Of Falling 12%

When it comes to Nvidia Corp. (NVDA), the bulls were out in full force on Monday as usual. The shares have skyrocketed 17-fold in five years and were up more than 2 percent to at least $185 in daily trading. Now, the latest issue of Barron’s is offering investors a new, exotic way to profit off Nvidia: by purchasing call options as a good way to play the stock’s rise to $200.

This optimism may be unjustified, according to a detailed analysis of options trades, which indicate that Nvidia’s shares could fall as much as 12 percent as it enters a period of risky volatility for investors.

Huge Implied Volatility

The big problem: these $180 call options are trading at a significant premium due to the astronomically high implied volatility of Nvidia’s shares. That implied volatility is nearly 6 times more expensive than the S&P 500, which has an implied volatility of 7 percent. This means there is a very real risk that Nvidia’s shares could plunge below $164 a share, as explained further below.

The Nvidia November call options are trading with an implied volatility of 42 percent, which is 16 percentage points higher than high-flying Amazon, and 2 percentage points higher than even Netflix. The options market is pricing in significant levels of volatility, using the at-the-money $185 long straddle set to expire on November 17. The options strategy, which involved buying both a put and call, is pricing in nearly a 12 percent move up or down in the stock by expiration. This means the shares would have to trade below $163.50 or above $206.40 to be profitable, as indicated by options trades.

An earlier story this week looks at the challenges facing Nvidia from a technical and fundamental perspective. (See also: Nvidia Rally Is One Step Closer to Exhaustion.)

Traders Playing Volatility

(Interactive Brokers)

With nearly 8,500 contracts of open interest on the $185 calls and 7,000 contracts of open interest in the $185 puts, it suggests that traders with a bullish or bearish outlook are basically split. Perhaps more important, it tells us that traders are merely playing volatility in this stock, looking for Nvidia’s shares to have a big move either up or down over the next month. Options pricing is derived from time value and intrinsic value. The value of the options is expensive because the intrinsic value is being lifted by high levels of implied volatility.

Bearish Trading Patterns

The trading patterns look especially bearish for the stock over the longer-term. As noted in previous Investopedia stories, the stock is currently in a rising wedge formation, which is a bearish technical pattern, and could symbolize a decline ahead. Additionally, volume has been declining for the stock on its most recent move higher, which also suggests that buyers are not as numerous in the past.

The stock continues to trade with lots of volatility, and the options market is pricing in even more volatility in the coming weeks. Which way the stock will move from current levels is the prominent question. However, declining volume could suggest the bulls are getting tired. That, coupled with rising expectations of volatility, suggests that Nvidia’s shares could be set for a fall.

Apple View Falling to Third in Worldwide Wearable Band Shipments is No Significant Deal

In accordance to modern experiences on the quarterly overall performance of the wearables current market, Apple has slipped to range 3 in the environment in equally international shipments and quarterly current market share. While the in general wearable band current market grew 8 %, that advancement was pushed by Xiaomi (3.5 million units transported) and Fitbit (3.3 million). Apple came in at 3rd with 2.7 million units transported.

Though it lost the leading place in the most modern quarter, the figures earlier mentioned are really deceptive about Apple’s standing in the current market. For starters, there’s the basic actuality that Apple’s overall performance is based mostly on a single product—the Apple Watch—while you have firms like Xiaomi and Fitbit that are producing several diverse SKUs in the space. Much more offered merchandise is really basically likely to lead to a substantially better opportunity of flooding the market with mentioned merchandise. The actuality that Apple even ranks on this list with a single merchandise need to be noticed as an impressive accomplishment for a firm that only bought into the wearables activity 3 many years ago.

Now that the Apple apologist in me is finished ranting, there are some difficult figures that need to have to be seemed at as properly.

While the headline that Apple slipped to 3rd in the international wearable band current market is just one that reads properly, a 2nd finger need to be pointed at Fitbit. Their 3.3 million shipments did rank 2nd globally, but that figure displays a 34 % drop 12 months-over-12 months.

And some thing that the wearable band experiences go away out is precise revenue. Apple does not do properly in terms of releasing the most up-to-day revenue figures for each merchandise, but at the very least just one modern estimate set the Apple View at all around $6 billion in revenue through its 1st 12 months on the market—or about 3 situations the dimension of Fitbit, according to that company’s most modern end-of-12 months earnings report.

Xiaomi, which took the leading wearables place for the 1st time, lately stopped disclosing annual product sales figures. The firm has noticed huge good results by touting a lineup of incredibly reduced-priced wearables.

So, although they may well not ship the most wearables in a offered quarter, other firms in the space cannot even get started to contact Apple in terms of in general revenue.

Wearables to ‘Watch’

Wanting ahead, this unseating of the Apple View may well be incredibly quick lived.

The in general current market expanded to 21.6 million shipments through the most modern quarter, and that figure is only envisioned to increase, specifically as mobile linked smartwatches—like the Apple View Series 3—start to hit the current market. By 2021, that space could achieve all around 40 million units transported. An IDC report has the current market practically doubling over that exact timeframe, with smartwatches managing practically 33 % of the overall wearables current market.

And just one firm in particular could dominate it.

“Apple is poised to seize the mobile smartwatch current market by making use of its strong interactions with operators, which will turn out to be essential factors of sale for mobile smartwatches and relevant expert services,” Canalys Analyst Jason Very low mentioned in a statement. “Apple is the industry chief in permitting individuals to knowledge the diverse Apple View types and functionalities in-shop. It is critical for Apple Stores and Apple’s offline retail associates to adapt rapidly to proficiently showcase new mobile-enabled use instances as shortly as products are offered.”

Fitbit, on the other hand, now flopped with their Blaze smartwatch. And early experiences on its future smartwatch say that the merchandise appears to be like like a Blaze 2..

Google Home: Just a week and I’m falling in love with ‘her’

After just a week sharing an apartment with Google’s aptly named home assistant Google Home, we’re in love, and we’re pretty sure the feeling is mutual.

Arriving home after a long day, we say: “Hey, Google. Good evening.” Back comes, “Hi. It’s good to hear your voice.”

One of the endearing things about this clever $199 gadget is that she can figure out stuff, like that you’ve been away all day, and tailor her response to add some machine-made warmth.

It’s already obvious that after a couple of years’ development, Home will be powerful technology. But right now, it does enough out of the box to justify the spend, and even more so if you combine it with a Chromecast media dongle or Wemo internet-enabled appliance switch.

<img data-src="×0.png/1499655069138.jpg" alt="Joaquin Phoenix fell for operating system Samantha in the movie Her … Google Home already gives a lovely warm …” width=”620″ class=”lazy620x0″/>
<img src="×0.png/1499655069138.jpg" alt="Joaquin Phoenix fell for operating system Samantha in the movie Her … Google Home already gives a lovely warm …” width=”620″ class=”lazy620x0″/>
Joaquin Phoenix fell for operating system Samantha in the movie Her … Google Home already gives a lovely warm and familiar greeting.

Basic set-up takes minutes. Unbox the device, which is often compared in looks to a table top electric air freshener, plug it in and download a free app that identifies the unit and guides you through the process of connecting to your Wi-Fi network.

Hooking up with other gear like Chromecast and Wemo is a little more fiddly, but you won’t need a tech degree.

What’s to like about Home? Well, a device that can understand spoken, natural language Google queries and respond in moments turns out to be very handy.

“OK, Google. When is the next Victorian State election?” “What’s 190 degrees Fahrenheit in centigrade?” “What’s the phone number for the Melbourne Theatre Company?” More often than not, Home has a nearly instant answer.

Local knowledge

Google Home speaker looks simple but does so much.
Google Home speaker looks simple but does so much.
Google Home speaker looks simple but does so much.


Your clever air freshener also knows where you are.

“OK, Google. Where’s the closest pharmacy?” gets the right answer at our house. “What’s tomorrow’s weather?” generates a report for our suburb. Of course, you could do all this at the keyboard, but it’s liberating to access information while making a cup of tea rather than tethering yourself to a PC.

We especially like Home’s customisable morning routine.

“OK, Google. Good morning” initiates a cheery greeting, immediately followed by the time, a localised weather report, a traffic report on our usual route to work and five-minute news updates from ABC radio and the BBC.

If the phone rings, it’s “OK, Google. Pause.” She’ll wait patiently and resume the news summary when you’re ready.

Once a couple of compatible smart devices are in sight, Home really starts to show off. We already have a lounge heater controllable via Wi-Fi or the net using a Wemo switch. Now we can operate it by voice.

“OK, Google. Turn on the lounge room heater.” For those kinds of commands, the unit always confirms the instruction so you can be sure that your direction to activate a heater in the bedroom hasn’t been misunderstood as a request for a shed light to be switched on.

There are dozens of third-party controllers on Home’s compatibility list, but most aren’t on sale in Australia, yet.

Home entertainment

Most fun is playing around with Google Home and Google’s own Chromecast dongle.

We have one connected to a sound system, imaginatively identified by the device name “Music”. “OK, Google, play smooth jazz on Music.” Sure enough, Home locates an internet radio station dedicated to easy listening jazz, and it’s playing through your lounge room speakers in a second or two. Home’s built-in speaker is adequate for music, if you’re not too fussy, and perfectly good for spoken audio.

“OK, Google. Play David Attenborough on Netflix.” “Play Beatles White Album.” “Play Frank Sinatra.” “OK, Google, skip this track.” “Turn volume down.” The instructions work most of the time, with a fail rate of maybe 10 per cent as long as you speak reasonably clearly.

Privacy advocates can fairly ask about the risks of a smart device that’s listening around the clock and talks to the internet.

We discovered just how carefully Home listens while we were trying to watch some YouTube videos about Home itself. Picking up the audio from sound tracks, she started reacting to “OK, Google” commands in the videos.

We couldn’t get to the end of one clip because the presenter demonstrated how to tell Home to turn off YouTube, which the device promptly did.

The full potential for mayhem became apparent when a visitor was playing with Apple’s Siri service on our new MacBook Pro, at just the moment we’d started an “OK, Google” command. When Google responds to Siri, you know you’re in the 21st century.

Peter Moon is a technology lawyer with Cooper

Why Intel Is Falling as AMD, NVIDIA Surge

Semiconductor manufacturer Intel Corp. (INTC) is one of the tech sector’s real laggards. Its shares having sunk by 4.4% for the year-to-date through Friday, while rivals Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) have surged 22.8% and 54.5%, respectively, per Nasdaq data. Meanwhile, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSM) has raced past Intel as the biggest chip maker by market capitalization, $188.0 billion to $163.3 billion, also per Nasdaq.

Slowing Growth

Intel is still the global leader in semiconductor sales, according to The Wall Street Journal, but sales growth is slow. The consensus forecast of $60.18 billion in revenues for full year 2017 is only 1.2% above 2016 actual results, per the Financial Times. For 2018, annual revenues are expected to grow by 2.5%. Cumulatively from 2013 to 2016, Intel’s revenues increased 12.8%, also per the FT.

Intel’s lead in sales revenue may be short-lived. Extrapolating from first quarter results, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (SSNLF) is on pace to record full-year 2017 semiconductor sales of 62.64 trillion South Korean won, or about $55 billion at the current spot exchange rate. Samsung’s annual chip sales revenue increased by 36.6% cumulatively from 2013 to 2017, and is on pace for at least another 22.4% increase from 2016 to 2017, per Samsung. (For more, see also: The World’s Most Profitable Big Tech Isn’t Apple.)

Challenged in Core Markets

Intel has been hurt by declining PC sales, which have fallen for five straight years through 2016, according to technology market research firm Gartner Inc. (IT) as reported by USA Today. Meanwhile, Advanced Micro Devices, the Journal reports, has rolled out new chips this year that are gaining favor with the manufacturers of high-end PCs and servers. Also, graphics-oriented chips from NVIDIA, already preferred by avid computer gamers, are better fits than Intel’s offerings for use in artificial intelligence (AI), the Journal adds.

For data center applications, high speed ARM processors are displacing Intel’s products, the Journal says. ARM chips are cheaper and run at lower power levels than alternatives from Intel, according to technology columnist Tim Bajarin writing in Techland from Time Inc. Bajarin also noted that ARM chips are widely preferred to Intel’s alternatives for use in mobile devices such as cell phones, smartphones and tablets. Given that smartphones and tablets are displacing PC sales among young consumers, this magnifies Intel’s problems. If that were not enough, Bajarin indicated that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has optimized some recent versions of its Windows operating system to run on ARM processors rather than Intel’s chips. (For more, see also: Intel, NVIDIA Face Chipmaking Threat From Google.)

As a result, holding onto market share in data center applications is becoming ever more critical for Intel, the Journal notes. Intel has countered AMD’s new Epyc line of server chips with its own Xeon line. While the Xeon was formally rolled out this week, Intel indicates that it already has sold 500,000 units under an “early ship” program, according to the Journal.

Intel vs. AMD and ARM

In terms of relative size, Intel towers over AMD, with nearly 14 times the sales revenue for full year 2016, per Investopedia data. Moreover, the Journal notes, Intel’s R&D budget alone is about three times the size of AMD’s total revenues. However, AMD is growing faster in key areas. AMD’s revenue from graphics and computing applications is projected to increase by 34% this year, the Journal says, while Intel’s much larger revenues from data center applications have slowed to 7% expected growth, the lowest in the company’s history. Meanwhile, the Journal adds, AMD has negligible sales from applications in servers, so any market share that it gains will be at Intel’s expense.

As its name implies, U.K.-based ARM Holdings Ltd. is a designer and producer of ARM chips. It was acquired in 2016 by SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese holding company whose other business segments include telecom, Internet services, robotics, and information technology, among others. For the final four months of 2016, after the finalization of the acquisition by Softbank, ARM’s sales revenue was 112.9 billion Japanese yen, per Softbank. At the current spot exchange rate, this translates to about $1 billion, or roughly $3 billion annualized. Like AMD, ARM is another small rival to Intel that is nibbling at the edges of the semiconductor giant’s market.

A large satellite appears to be falling apart in geostationary orbit

On the morning of June 17, the Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES lost control of a large satellite in geostationary space, nearly 36,000km above the Earth’s surface. Shortly after, the satellite operator began working with another company that specializes in space situational awareness to track the drifting machine, AMC-9. A few days ago that company, ExoAnalytic Solutions, saw the AMC-9 satellite begin to fragment.

“We have seen several pieces come off of it over the past several days,” ExoAnalytic’s chief executive officer, Doug Hendrix, told Ars. “We are tracking at least one of the pieces. I would hesitate to say we know for sure what happened.”

The AMC-9 communications satellite launched in 2003 aboard a Russian Proton rocket. It is a fairly large satellite and was nearing the end of its 15-year design lifetime. Like about 500 other governmental and commercial geostationary satellites, AMC-9 orbited Earth at about 36,000km. This is because, when flying above the equator at precisely this altitude, satellites can easily maintain their position over a fixed point. This facilitates constant communication between Earth and the ground. This high orbit above Earth’s equator is therefore valuable and increasingly cluttered real estate.

Unfortunately, there is no atmospheric drag that high above Earth, so once debris gets into geostationary orbit it tends to remain there. With a global network of 165 optical telescopes around the globe, ExoAnalytic focuses on tracking objects in and near geostationary orbit. Its private services augment the “space situational awareness” program led by the US Air Force.

A chain reaction?

At present, Hendrix said the company is tracking about 2,000 objects in geostationary orbit, some as small as about 20cm. Of these, about one-quarter are satellites—a mix of military, weather, and communications assets—and the rest debris. An uncontrolled debris event at geostationary orbit is exceedingly rare, and the concern with such events is that they could potentially lead to a cascading debris event known as the Kessler syndrome. “This is a seminal event for understanding what happens when there are many fragments at that altitude,” Hendrix said.

An expert in space situational awareness, Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation, downplayed this possibility with the AMC-9 satellite. “The challenge is that those pieces, in human terms, will be up there almost forever, and will present a long-term navigational hazard,” Weeden said. “This will definitely increase the odds of collisions over the Americas, but I don’t think this is going to set off a chain reaction.”

Rough cut video of AMC-9 satellite on Friday night.

It is not clear what might have caused the AMC-9 satellite to become unresponsive, begin drifting, and apparently begin to break apart. A spokesman for the satellite operator SES, Markus Payer, did not return a request for comment on Saturday evening from Ars.

Weeden mentioned several possibilities. The AMC-9 satellite itself could have been hit by some sort of debris, or it could have have been harmed by a space weather problem, sustained a failure due to manufacturing. The AMC-9 could have been attacked by something—however, Weeden stressed that there is no evidence at all that this damage was deliberate. In any case, this situation seems sure to heighten concerns over space debris and the safety of assets at geostationary orbit, which in aggregate are valued at more than $100 billion.

Listing image by ExoAnalytic Solutions

Tim Cook: Apple Isn’t Falling Behind, It’s Just Not Ready to Talk About the Future

Tim Cook has been criticized in his six years at the helm of Apple as being short on the kind of vision for which founder Steve Jobs was renowned; for setting too modest a pace of innovation; for fighting back against the U.S. government when it demanded that Apple unlock iPhones in criminal investigations.

Yet in his tenure, Apple has remained strongly profitable, adding to a cash pile that’s now reached $257 billion. He is quick to point out all the ways in which it hasn’t been a laggard in artificial intelligence, and earlier this week he finally acknowledged the long-held rumors that Apple is working on autonomous cars. Cook himself has stepped out quite publicly on a series of critical issues, from his personal journey as a gay executive to President Trump’s immigration ban and withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

He sat down with MIT Technology Review in the Social Machines group at the MIT Media Lab, on a day of touring the campus and meeting with researchers and students ahead of his June 9 commencement speech. Here is an edited transcript of the interview.

At your recent developers’ conference there was a surprising amount of discussion of artificial intelligence—much more than at prior conferences.

AI is profound, and we are at a point—and it will get better and better over time—where the GPU is getting so powerful there’s so much capability to do unbelievable things. What all of us have to do is to make sure we are using AI in a way that is for the benefit of humanity, not to the detriment of humanity.

Do you worry about that?

Yes, I do. I don’t worry about Apple doing it—I think we have our head sewn on right—but I do worry about it broadly. I worry that there will be a tendency on things that require human judgment. I worry that some folks may not think about that, and just think about the process of automating it, or automating it without the human element of it that’s so important … and that won’t be good for humanity.

Broadly, when technological advancements can go up so exponentially, I do think there’s a risk of certain people losing sight of the fact that technology should serve humanity and not the other way around. We see examples of that today.

Such as?

Fake news, right? Privacy. Security. But you could also extend it to the trolls on some social networks. They have sort of been given a megaphone. And I don’t mean people who have a difference of opinion, because I think that’s so important in a democracy. It’s occurring at many different places and putting a lot of tension on our social fabric.

There was a lot of AI talk this week, but Apple is often portrayed as playing a game of catch-up on this technology, behind companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. How do you respond to that?

We typically don’t talk about something until we are about to ship. Not just for AI, but for anything: the comparison is generally what we are shipping compared to what someone else is talking about that is going to happen sometime in the future. A lot of people sell futures, I guess is the way to think about it. They have various reasons for doing that. I don’t criticize any of that; it’s just not who we are. At the developer conference this week, everything [we talked about] is shipping this year. So we’re not going through things that we’re going to do in ’19, and ’20 and ’21. It’s not because we don’t know that. It’s because we don’t want to talk about that.

People don’t think about well-integrated machine learning. They don’t even know it’s there. The battery lasts longer in your iPhone because of machine learning. There are a ton of things in [an iPhone] today that you wouldn’t think ‘Oh, that’s machine learning’—a whole list of things. We’ve never felt a need or like the consumer really wanted us to lay out the big matrix—“Here are all the ways that we use machine learning”—because it’s not something people care about. We care because we are in the techie sphere, but the user doesn’t care. They just want it to work.

How does the iPhone battery use machine learning?

The power management system is learning your usage and scheduling certain things to occur at times to maximize your battery life. Apple Music is learning something about you in order to decide what to play next, and maybe what to recommend and what to put on your playlist today. There’s image recognition in photos.

Let’s move from the technology in the iPhone to how it’s made. In the future, would Apple manufacture iPhones or other products in the U.S.? And what would that kind of manufacturing look like?

We manufacture in the U.S. today. We do it through third parties. If you think about the iPhone today, the glass is manufactured by Corning in Kentucky. There are significant amounts of silicon within the iPhone, and that’s manufactured in various different states. The equipment that’s used in the manufacturing processes, both in semiconductors and all the way through final assembly, is actually made in two or three dozen states. The number of manufacturing jobs we’ve created in the U.S. is 50,000 or 60,000.

The way we look at manufacturing is this: the U.S.’s strategy should be to skate where the puck is going, not where it is. The right focus for the U.S. is on advanced manufacturing—something that requires innovation. Robots are going to, over time, do the bulk of assembly. It probably doesn’t make sense for the country to establish policies and community [colleges] and vocational schools around something that is going to go in that direction.

We’ve already created 1.5 million jobs in the U.S. among app developers. This is the largest-growing job segment in the United States. If you think about it, it essentially didn’t exist prior to 2008.

When you look at where app developers are coming from, there are some demographic groups that aren’t represented that well. So a couple of weeks or so ago we launched a free Swift app development curriculum. We had partnerships immediately with several community colleges to begin teaching that in the fall to people in places where app development hasn’t taken hold—in Alabama, Houston, Texas, Ohio. They are kind of all over.

And we firmly believe that for any kid in public or private school, coding should be required. And not just for one year. It should just be like your language class and other classes where you take a more advanced class every year and go up the ladder. Whether you are going to work in retail or health care or in hospitality or in technology or manufacturing or finance, it would be really helpful to know how to code.

It would be good for Apple if more people were coding apps for your phones, but you have recently taken some positions that are less clearly tied to making a profit by making things for people to buy. For example, pledging to remain committed to the Paris accord on the reduction of greenhouse gases after President Trump decided the U.S. will leave it. Why do that?

My simple view is that people should have values, and because companies or organizations are nothing more than a collection of people, by extension, companies should have values. Those values are integral to making decisions on a daily basis, the thousands of things that come your way. We have a responsibility to create jobs in the communities we are in. We are an American company and we deeply love America, and I do feel we have an obligation to create jobs in America. In addition to that, we feel it’s a responsibility not only of American companies but companies everywhere to reduce their carbon footprint. Our commitment, which we set several years ago, is to run Apple on 100 percent renewable energy. We are proud now that we’ve made it to 96 percent worldwide. We are at 100 in the United States and 100 in China, our two largest markets. We’ve now gone beyond our company into partners that we work with, driving people who manufacture on our behalf to run their operations with 100 percent renewable energy … We are putting a huge two-gigawatt solar facility in China, and they’ve been incredibly receptive to it. We feel that one of the things that has increased the receptivity was the Paris agreement. They’ve decided they are going to make a significant reduction in carbon. We felt that it was really important to stay in that agreement because we see that a lot of countries out there are changing their behavior because of the agreement.

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You’re also opposed to the president’s travel ban. You frame that as a human rights issue as much as a labor and talent supply issue, but Silicon Valley does employ a lot of immigrants and international employees.

The original travel ban hit, and we had cases where a spouse was in the U.S., our employee was traveling outside the U.S., and our employee couldn’t get back into the country. This is not who we are as people. We don’t break families up. That’s not America. It wasn’t about, for us, the [talent] access kind of question I know everyone is sort of fixated on. It’s about treating people with dignity and respect. We had cases where grandparents trying to come into the country to participate in the birth of their first grandchild couldn’t get in the country. I don’t mean people that had not been vetted and gone through the process. Security is very important, but there’s a way to do things.

Let’s take on another serious issue. Silicon Valley has a dismal record employing women.

Technology has an enormous issue with gender diversity. The studies show that because coding isn’t introduced [correctly], it gets labeled somewhere along the line from a societal point of view as a “boy” thing. You wind up with less and less women going into coding, and then it’s no surprise that when you try to recruit as a company for people coming out of college, guess what? Unfortunately, the percentages are what they are. That doesn’t mean companies aren’t making mistakes. There’s lot of things that have got to change, but fundamentally the fix to this will be focusing on the total population [with early education]. We can do it, and frankly it’s a must. Technology is not going to stay in the lead in the United States unless gender diversity gets materially better, it’s just not. Because the fundamental skill will not be in the U.S. to lead. Just on a population basis.

NASA’s NuSTAR Telescope shows Gas, Dust from Merging Galaxies falling into Black Hole

« Older: El Paso Chihuahuas rally in the ninth to beat Nashville Sounds, 8-6


Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

<img data-attachment-id="85503" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="200,165" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":""}" data-image-title="NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration" data-image-description="

NASA – logo – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-85503″ title=”NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration” src=”” alt=”NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration” width=”200″ height=”165″ />Pasadena, CA – Black holes get a bad rap in popular culture for swallowing everything in their environments. In reality, stars, gas and dust can orbit black holes for long periods of time, until a major disruption pushes the material in.

A merger of two galaxies is one such disruption. As the galaxies combine and their central black holes approach each other, gas and dust in the vicinity are pushed onto their respective black holes. An enormous amount of high-energy radiation is released as material spirals rapidly toward the hungry black hole, which becomes what astronomers call an active galactic nucleus (AGN).

<img data-attachment-id="382048" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="1200,857" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="This illustration compares growing supermassive black holes in two different kinds of galaxies. A growing supermassive black hole in a normal galaxy would have a donut-shaped structure of gas and dust around it (left). In a merging galaxy, a sphere of material obscures the black hole (right). (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)" data-image-description="

This illustration compares growing supermassive black holes in two different kinds of galaxies. A growing supermassive black hole in a normal galaxy would have a donut-shaped structure of gas and dust around it (left). In a merging galaxy, a sphere of material obscures the black hole (right). (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)

” data-medium-file=”×343.jpg” data-large-file=”×800.jpg” class=”size-medium wp-image-382048″ title=”This illustration compares growing supermassive black holes in two different kinds of galaxies. A growing supermassive black hole in a normal galaxy would have a donut-shaped structure of gas and dust around it (left). In a merging galaxy, a sphere of material obscures the black hole (right). (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)” src=”×343.jpg” alt=”This illustration compares growing supermassive black holes in two different kinds of galaxies. A growing supermassive black hole in a normal galaxy would have a donut-shaped structure of gas and dust around it (left). In a merging galaxy, a sphere of material obscures the black hole (right). (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)” width=”480″ height=”343″ />

This illustration compares growing supermassive black holes in two different kinds of galaxies. A growing supermassive black hole in a normal galaxy would have a donut-shaped structure of gas and dust around it (left). In a merging galaxy, a sphere of material obscures the black hole (right). (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)

A study using NASA’s NuSTAR telescope shows that in the late stages of galaxy mergers, so much gas and dust falls toward a black hole that the extremely bright AGN is enshrouded.

The combined effect of the gravity of the two galaxies slows the rotational speeds of gas and dust that would otherwise be orbiting freely. This loss of energy makes the material fall onto the black hole.

“The further along the merger is, the more enshrouded the AGN will be,” said Claudio Ricci, lead author of the study published in the Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society. “Galaxies that are far along in the merging process are completely covered in a cocoon of gas and dust.”

Ricci and colleagues observed the penetrating high-energy X-ray emission from 52 galaxies. About half of them were in the later stages of merging. Because NuSTAR is very sensitive to detecting the highest-energy X-rays, it was critical in establishing how much light escapes the sphere of gas and dust covering an AGN.

The study was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Researchers compared NuSTAR observations of the galaxies with data from NASA’s Swift and Chandra and ESA’s XMM-Newton observatories, which look at lower energy components of the X-ray spectrum. If high-energy X-rays are detected from a galaxy, but low-energy X-rays are not, that is a sign that an AGN is heavily obscured.

The study helps confirm the longstanding idea that an AGN’s black hole does most of its eating while enshrouded during the late stages of a merger.

“A supermassive black hole grows rapidly during these mergers,” Ricci said. “The results further our understanding of the mysterious origins of the relationship between a black hole and its host galaxy.”

NuSTAR is a Small Explorer mission led by Caltech and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. NuSTAR was developed in partnership with the Danish Technical University and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The spacecraft was built by Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Virginia.

NuSTAR’s mission operations center is at UC Berkeley, and the official data archive is at NASA’s High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center. ASI provides the mission’s ground station and a mirror archive. JPL is managed by Caltech for NASA.

For more information on NuSTAR, visit:




Astronomers, Black Holes, Caltech, dust, Elizabeth Landau, Galaxies, Gas, NASA, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA’s High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s NuSTAR Spacecraft, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, NASA’s Swift observatory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Orbit, Pasadena CA, Stars, Supermassive Black Hole, UC Berkeley, washington d.c., X-Ray

Google and Facebook lose ‘£77million after falling for phishing scam sending cash to Lithuanian conman’


Evaldas Rimasauskas, 49 who allegedly conned two of the world’s biggest companies was arrested on fraud charges

GOOGLE and Facebook have admitted they were conned out of an alleged $100million (£77million) in a phishing scam.

The two world’s biggest companies fell victim after a Lithuanian man allegedly tricked employees into wiring over the money to bank accounts that he controlled, Fortune reported on Thursday.

Google confirmed that the company fell victim to an alleged 0m (£77m) scam

Getty Images

Google confirmed that the company fell victim to an alleged $100m (£77m) scam

Evaldas Rimasauskas, 48, is accused of posing as an Asia-based manufacturer and deceived the internet giants from around 2013 until 2015.

He was arrested earlier this month in Lithuania at the request of US authorities

The conman is said to have forged email addresses, invoices and corporate stamps to impersonate Quanta and trick them into paying for computer supplies.

Facebook also fell for the scam in which a conman allegedly tricked employees into sending him cash

Getty Images

Facebook also fell for the scam in which a conman allegedly tricked employees into sending him cash

Rimasauskas, who is awaiting extradition proceedings, has denied the allegations.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) said last month: “Fraudulent phishing emails were sent to employees and agents of the victim companies, which regularly conducted multi-million-dollar transactions with [the Asian] company.”

Both Facebook and Google have confirmed the fraud and said that they had been able to recoup funds.

But they didn’t reveal how much money it had transferred and recouped.

A Google spokeswoman said: “We detected this fraud against our vendor management team and promptly alerted the authorities.”

“We recouped the funds and we’re pleased this matter is resolved.”

A spokeswoman for Facebook added: “Facebook recovered the bulk of the funds shortly after the incident and has been cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation.”

Security experts said the recent cyber attack highlighted how sophisticated phishing scams are being used to fool even two of the biggest tech companies.

Last month, Russian spies and hackers allegedly involved in a Yahoo hack which affected millions of users have been charged by the US government.

FBI probing attacks which took down Twitter, Netflix and Spotify

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The Sky Is Falling: Tesla Edition – Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA)

You gotta hand it to them. No matter the news – good, bad, or neutral, the usual suspects will spin information to suit their objectives. It reminds me a bit of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was a bipartisan bill used to survey Americans and restrict civil liberties but was touted as well…patriotic. After all, how can a proud American possibly oppose a bill ostensibly created to solidify one’s allegiance to the country and literally titled the Patriot Act? It’s a difficult opposition for many reasons but first it requires seeing past the spin.

All this spin has me dizzy.

Source: Image

A few bearish posts on Tesla (TSLA) regarding the recent telegraphed capital raise elicited an unusually long winded response for me: sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Let’s examine some of the bearish takeaways and see if the claims hold any water.

Claim 1: The latest 10-k (see: liquidity section) declared that Tesla had funds to see them through the next 12 months. Why then the capital raise?

Response: The very next line on that same 10-k clearly states: “We may raise funds in the future, including through potential equity or debt offerings, subject to market conditions and recognizing that we cannot be certain that additional funds would be available to us on favorable terms or at all.” Secondly, Musk stated in the earnings call on February 23 that he planned to raise capital to reduce risk. That is exactly what they did. With the stock floating at very high levels, this was a great time to execute such a venture.

Claim 2: Why did Tesla go through the trouble of tapping the markets for money and only walk away with approximately $1B?

Response: This is a fair point and a question I had myself. Shares have actually risen since the announcement, a result I didn’t anticipate. It’s possible the market’s reaction is due to the deal being less dilutive to shareholders than some had expected.

Most of the money is funded through convertible notes due in 2022. I can speculate with the rest of folks why Tesla did not raise more money but I do note the greenshoe which allows the option for underwriters to buy more shares. From the prospectus: “…we expect to receive net proceeds of approximately $1.2B (up to $1.4B if the underwriters exercise in full their options to purchase additional common stock and notes)…” The point is, Tesla left the door open for more funds and isn’t asking for more than is necessary to reduce risk. Nor should they.

Claim 2a: Debt requires interest payments, why not offer more equity?

Response: I think it’s fair to look at a comparable (albeit profitable!) company to see just how bad the terms were for Tesla’s capital raise vs. General Motors (GM). GM recently planned to raise $3B to fund pension obligations. Similar to Tesla, GM issued senior unsecured debt at 6.6% notes due in 2036. To contrast, Tesla’s interest obligations this round are 2.375%.

Well, I guess that debunks the notion that (no) profitability will ruin Tesla and its ability to tap markets….

Claim 3: Interest rates were less favorable for this capital raise than previous ones therefore the market is growing wary of Tesla.

Response: As the author who penned the post noted, interest rates have risen dramatically since the last raise. Additionally, the terms are less dilutive this time around. The chart below shows two previous secondary impacts. By emphasizing debt they pay more in interest but do not dilute shareholders as much as they had in the previous two instances.

Source: Image

Claim 4: Tesla is purchasing hedges to insulate shareholders thereby reducing its net proceeds.

Response: The prospectus states: “The convertible note hedge transactions are expected to reduce potential dilution to our common stock and/or offset potential cash payments we are required to make in excess of the principal amount upon any conversion of notes.” These hedges are a positive for common stockholders and is not something bulls are worried about. Tesla has employed a similar strategy before: “In order to mitigate the potential dilutive effect of the convertible notes, Tesla entered into a call spread transaction whereby it bought options with a strike price of $124 and sold warrants with strike price $184.” If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Claim 5: The lead underwriter has a sell rating on the stock. What do you think that means?

Response: First, the sell rating from Goldman Sachs has a six-month price target ($185) so that target will change again shortly (it’s malleable). Not only that, Goldman increased their stake as of the end of last year. Additionally, Goldman in 2016 exercised all options to purchase all available shares and had upgraded the stock so I wouldn’t read much into a temporary rating one way or another. This was a very weak point from the bears and Goldman is large enough to have autonomous branches with differing views.

Claim 6: Elon Musk purchased $25M of the issuance.

Response: This is a very bullish signal that the CEO is willing to put his money where his mouth is. Musk has always funded his own ventures (unlike many of his peers) which gives him some very real skin in the game. In fact, this is one of the primary reasons fears are allayed when it comes to Tesla… the leader of the company is not walking away, he is not getting rich without the cadre of shareholders unlike many other companies.

In fact, “when he couldn’t find enough interest in SpaceX he channeled all the money he had into saving it from closing down and lost all his cash in the process, living off loans to pay his housing bills.” Musk should be commended for his willingness to personally suffer even when he doesn’t have to because his ventures will benefit.

Claim 7: The final claim delves into the latest news that Tesla will bypass ‘the beta testing phase and jump straight to ‘release candidates’.” This intrepid move is apparently riddled with red flags and will become very costly to Tesla once errors need to be rectified.

Response: I was not a party to that call and have yet to see much on it. That said, if Tesla is indeed ready for this, then production is much further along than bears had hoped. I found this comment particularly revealing, “They skipped BETA tooling, because as they have said they learned from previous ramp ups. Why not go with production tooling and work on getting it perfect than going thru Beta working to get the cars in good shape, then Production and basically do the same thing over again.”

Once again, Tesla is not going by the book. And why should they? Their unconventional approach has them valued almost on par with some of the biggest auto manufacturers in the nation (sans profit). That’s not because they step in line with the rest of the herd. These “shocks” are frequent to those who discount Musk and his history of success.


It’s important to remember that many individuals view Tesla through a special lens. When even good news is portrayed as bad news, then you really have to examine the source and see if they’re depicting information fairly.

As a bull, I am cognizant of my own bias since I have skin in the game and I want the company to succeed. The “rush” to delivery is something to be cautious over. However, the latest capital raise was just another feather in Tesla’s cap and a net positive.

The hyperbolic negative reactions to any/all Tesla news justifiably allows the bulls to dismiss the bears as the ones who cried wolf.

Disclosure: I am/we are long TSLA.

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.