1 Reason to Buy NVIDIA Stock, and 1 Reason to Stay Away — The Motley Fool

Few investments have fared better over the past two years than shares of graphics chip leader NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA). NVIDIA stock has soared about 475% since the beginning of 2015, transforming a mid-cap chip company into a tech giant valued at over $110 billion.

Can NVIDIA stock possibly continue its epic run? There’s one reason to believe it could — the company is involved in nearly every major tech trend that will transform the industry in the coming years and decades. But there’s a downside — the stock is now pricier, relative to revenue, than it was during the heyday of the dot-com bubble.

NVIDIA's Tesla V100 accelerator.

The Tesla V100 accelerator. Image source: NVIDIA.

If there’s a trend, NVIDIA is there

NVIDIA still derives the bulk of its revenue from its PC gaming GPUs. The company enjoys a dominant market share, accounting for about 70% of all discrete GPUs sold during the second quarter of this year. Rival AMD, which recently launched new high-end GPUs aimed at loosening NVIDIA’s grip, remains a distant second.

But it isn’t the growth or the potential of the gaming business that’s driving NVIDIA stock higher. Point to any major tech trend, and NVIDIA is probably involved:

  • Virtual and augmented reality: A powerful GPU is needed to power VR headsets like the Oculus Rift. Standalone headsets, untethered to a PC, will still require powerful graphics processing capabilities. NVIDIA’s Tegra mobile chips can serve this purpose.
  • Cloud computing: All of the major cloud infrastructure providers, including Amazon Web Services and Azure, offer NVIDIA GPUs for rent. GPUs can accelerate enterprise workloads that are well-suited for the highly parallel architecture of GPUs. NVIDIA’s datacenter revenue, which includes sales to cloud computing giants, is on a $1.6 billion annual run rate and more than doubling year over year. NVIDIA is also planning its own GPU cloud service.
  • Artificial intelligence: One notable enterprise workload that NVIDIA’s GPUs are being used to accelerate is artificial intelligence. One recent win for NVIDIA in this area: Retailer Wal-Mart is planning to build massive data centers powered by NVIDIA’s GPUs to run AI workloads. IDC estimates that total spending on cognitive and AI systems will grow at a 55% annual rate through 2020, reaching $46 billion. NVIDIA is in a position to win a significant chunk of the market.
  • Self-driving cars: NVIDIA’s DRIVE PX platform, which is essentially a supercomputer for automobiles, is the core of the company’s efforts to power the self-driving car of the future. Tesla is already including NVIDIA hardware in every car that comes off the line, and other automakers, including Toyota, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, are building their self-driving efforts around NVIDIA’s DRIVE PX platform.
  • Cryptocurrency: The surge in cryptocurrency prices this year looks an awful lot like a mania that will eventually collapse under the weight of its own absurdity. But until then, NVIDIA is benefiting from the fact that GPUs are far more efficient than CPUs at mining the hundreds of different flavors of cryptocurrencies that have popped up.

With NVIDIA’s growth potential from these areas impossible to pin down, investors have become increasingly euphoric, pushing up the stock to dizzying heights. As long as this growth story remains intact, the stock could certainly continue to move higher.

Dot-com redux

NVIDIA is a far larger, and far more profitable, company than it was during the dot-com bubble. In 1999, NVIDIA produced $374.5 million of revenue and $38.1 million of net income. In 2016, the company produced $6.9 billion of revenue and $1.7 billion of net income.

But there’s one metric that should induce some caution among those considering an investment in NVIDIA. The stock trades for around 17 times last year’s revenue, a multiple that’s far beyond anything the stock achieved during the mania of the dot-com bubble.

NVDA PS Ratio (Annual) Chart

NVDA PS Ratio (Annual) data by YCharts

Relative to earnings, NVIDIA stock is pricey, trading for 66 times last year’s earnings. That’s a high price to pay, and it assumes that earnings will continue to grow at a blistering pace for quite some time. There’s certainly plenty of growth potential, but there’s also plenty of competition. When it comes to powering self-driving cars, there’s no shortage of other companies vying for a spot, including Intel and NXP Semiconductors. In AI, Alphabet‘s Google has developed its own custom AI chip that it claims vastly outperforms GPUs. And demand from cryptocurrency miners could disappear tomorrow if the market turns.

NVIDIA is the ultimate growth stock, with the company planting a flag in almost every major trend currently captivating investors. If you’re willing to pay a high price for growth, NVIDIA is the stock for you. But if growth doesn’t keep pace with ever-rising expectations, don’t be surprised if the stock takes a tumble.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Nvidia, and Tesla. The Motley Fool recommends Intel and NXP Semiconductors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

For some reason, Ron Paul has taken to Fox News to skewer SpaceX

Enlarge / Former Congressman Ron Paul: Not a fan of SpaceX.

Three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul has written an opinion piece for Fox News that comes out swinging against SpaceX, accusing the company of benefiting from potentially having a monopoly on national security launches. The article also attacks US Sen. John McCain as a “lead sponsor” of provisions to give SpaceX a monopoly on launch services.

“Allowing SpaceX to obtain a monopoly over launch services harms taxpayers much more than forbidding the Pentagon from purchasing Russian products harms Vladimir Putin,” Paul writes. “If this provision becomes law, SpaceX will be able to charge the government more than they could in even a quasi-competitive market. This monopoly will also stifle innovation in rocket launching technology.”

Paul correctly notes that SpaceX has enjoyed substantial support from NASA, but, in return, the company has provided services at a significantly lower cost for the space agency. However, the irony of his “monopoly” argument is that it was SpaceX, and its Falcon 9 rocket, that brought competition into the Air Force launch services agreements. Before SpaceX was certified two years ago to compete for national security launch contracts, United Launch Alliance was the sole provider of these services for a decade. SpaceX has since provided launches at a large discount for the military.

In recent years, McCain and other senators have been pushing the Air Force and United Launch Alliance to develop an alternative launch vehicle to its workhorse Atlas V rocket, which relies on Russian-made RD-180 engines for lift. Paul asserts that the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 represents “cronyism” for SpaceX because it “expressly forbids the Air Force from developing new launch vehicles by restricting expenditures to the development of new engines or the modification of existing systems.”

How the Air Force feels

The reality, according to Air Force officials, is that they don’t want to be saddled with the entire cost of building a new launch system to replace the Atlas V. This funding mechanism allows for United Launch Alliance to solicit engines from both Blue Origin and Aerojet Rocketdyne for its next-generation Vulcan launch vehicle. The authorization act Paul is lambasting as crony capitalism, therefore, is providing funding to United Launch Alliance to build a rocket that can compete with SpaceX on price.

Although Paul said Pentagon brass are concerned about the provision and its benefits for SpaceX, top Air Force officials have recently been complimentary of the rocket company founded by Elon Musk. “There are some very exciting things happening in commercial space that bring the opportunity for assured access to space at a very competitive price,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson testified in June, in reference to SpaceX. Gen. John Hyten, the head of US Strategic Command, also recently praised SpaceX’s approach.

It is not clear why Paul has chosen to weigh in on a complicated space policy matter such as the National Defense Authorization Act, but some clues may explain his hostility. Paul has not run for office since 2012, but at the time, two of his top six corporate donors were Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the parent companies of United Launch Alliance.

Paul also has been sympathetic to Russia in recent years, and SpaceX’s low-cost approach to launch threatens to take considerable market share away from Russian firms. For example, this year the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity has suggested the investigation into Russian meddling in US elections is a “farce” and said hostile efforts by US policymakers to sanction Russia were “irrational.”

Accounts getting perma banned for no reason 9 times during 3 days

I will start from the beginning. It starts with the friend of mine getting perma banned 3 days ago for no reason. He didn’t write or upload anything that he could get banned for. After that he created another account with the same name and got banned within few hours. Since then he created another 7 accounts, every from different pc or phone, from different places. Also he didn’t use his real name for every account, some of them had fake Names. Every one of them got banned within few hours for no reason, even when he didn’t log in on devices he was using for his first account.

So here is the question, can he do anything about this situation?

Building More Reliable Apps with Uber Engineering’s Startup Reason Reporter

With the November 2016 rewrite of the Uber rider app, we made significant inroads towards reducing our measured crash rate and improving the uptime of our core features. However, one nagging problem was app terminations caused by out of memory (OOM) exceptions or other reasons that are hard to detect. Anecdotally, we received reports of the app failing to launch in low-memory situations, particularly on older devices, but had little in the way of tooling to track down these issues.

With this in mind, Uber Engineering developed and open sourced our own Startup Reason Reporter. In this article, we discuss how we designed this powerful tool to help us—and others—detect startup reason on iOS and in the process build more reliable apps.

 

So…why did my app crash?  

From a developer point of view, detecting a typical crash on iOS is fairly straightforward. The foundation framework provides an NSSetUncaughtExceptionHandler callback, which gives the developer an opportunity to log information about uncaught exceptions. When an an application terminates for other reasons, however, it can potentially be very difficult to determine what went wrong. In both cases, the experience is the same: the app stops working and crashes. We sought to gain more insight into the frequency of these sorts of crashes to determine how we could track, and in turn, prevent them.

Our implementation of the Startup Reason Reporter is based on Facebook’s process of elimination for reducing OOM events outlined on the Facebook Engineering Blog. According to this framework, a fresh app launch may occur for a finite number of reasons, including:

  1. The app was launched for the first time
  2. The app is under development and the app crashed as part of debugging
  3. The app crashed on a prior run
  4. The OS was upgraded
  5. The app was upgraded
  6. The app was force quit on a prior run
  7. The phone was restarted
  8. The app was terminated in the background
  9. The phone ran out of memory and terminated the application

Figure 1: The flowchart above outlines possible startup reasons. In particular, OOM terminations can be difficult to track down.

To narrow down the list of possible reasons, the Startup Reason Reporter assumes that the application was launched for the first time. It then runs through each of these possibilities in sequence based on information saved from the prior launch. If we are unable to determine the reason the application launched from the stored data, then we assume the app was terminated because the phone ran OOM.

 

Persistence of prior run information

Critically, the Startup Reason Reporter requires that there be some sort of storage mechanism in order to persist the required information from the prior app run. Our implementation of the Startup Reason Reporter allows you to use whatever storage mechanism you prefer, so long as it implements UBApplicationStartupReasonReporterPriorRunInfoProtocol. This protocol abstracts all of the information required to determine the startup reason, such as the prior app version and whether the application was last in the background or foreground. We provide a concrete implementation, UBApplicationStartupReasonReporterPriorRunInfo, which is based on NSUserDefaults, but recognize that this may not be appropriate for all use cases.

 

Challenges

The Startup Reason Reporter relies heavily on the data available. In particular, the previousRunDidCrash flag must be accurate to properly report OOM issues. In short, the default assumption is that all crashes that do not fall into known buckets are considered OOM events, so if the provided data is inaccurate, some reported by the Startup Reason Reporter may actually be other issues. Capturing all variants of crashes is beyond the scope of this discussion, but it is important to capture all sorts of crashes such as watchdog timeouts, segmentation faults, and exceptions.

 

Next steps

The Startup Reason Reporter is written in Objective-C, but works when bridged to Swift as well.  Usage is fairly straightforward: shepherd the required information to an instance of UBApplicationStartupReasonReporter. The UBApplicationStartupReasonReporter will then make the startup reason available via the startupReason property. The result can then be fed to your analytics pipeline of choice for further analysis.

See something that we missed or have an idea for a hack that might make this project better?  Share your contributions to the Startup Reason Reporter on Github!

If tackling mobile engineering challenges at Uber-scale appeals to you, consider applying for a role on our iOS Platform team.

To learn more about mobile development at Uber, check out our Uber Mobility Meetup presentations on the Uber Engineering YouTube Channel.

Tuomas Artman and Alex Medearis are software engineers on Uber’s iOS Platform team.

Photo Header Credit: “French angelfish (almost) crashing into camera lens dome” by Conor Myhrvold, Bonaire.

NASA unlocks the reason behind drizzle : Current Affairs

Have you wondered why sometimes there is a drizzle while on other occasions it rains? Well, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has finally solved this puzzle for us.

According to a NASA study, conducted by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; UCLA; and the University of Tokyo, updrafts are more important than previously understood in determining what makes clouds produce a drizzle instead of full-sized raindrops, which overturns a common assumption.

The study offers a pathway for improving accuracy in weather and climate models’ treatments of rainfall, which is recognized as one of the greater challenges in improving short term weather forecasts and long-term climate projections.

Findings of the study

The research found that low-lying clouds over the ocean produce more drizzle droplets than the same type of cloud over land.

Water droplets

Water droplets in clouds initially form on microscopic airborne particles, or aerosols. Role of aerosols in clouds and rain has been a topic of study for researchers for decades.

There are more aerosols over land than over the ocean, and scientists had thought the additional aerosols would tend to form more drizzle over land as well. The new study shows that the presence of aerosols alone can’t explain where drizzle occurs.

What are updrafts?

Updrafts are plumes of warm air rising from the solar-heated Earth.

To understand what else apart from aerosols plays a role, research team leader Hanii Takahashi of the JPL and UCLA Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering looked at updrafts.

Within tall thunderclouds, strong updrafts play a role in rain formation. In low-lying clouds, however, updrafts are known to be much weaker, and they haven’t received much scientific attention in connection with rain.

“There was a previous hypothesis that updrafts could be important,” Takahashi said, according to NASA website.

“But the hypothesis had never been tested, and I wasn’t sure if updrafts were strong enough to affect the size of rain droplets,” Takahashi added.

How did the researchers go about the study?

Existing measurement systems struggle to monitor updraft velocities directly. To infer these velocities, the team combined measurements from NASA’s CloudSat and Aqua satellites and other sources with ground-level radar data from a US Department of Energy observing site in the Azores.

They found that the updrafts in low-lying clouds over land, while weaker than updrafts in tall thunderclouds, were still strong enough to keep drizzle droplets aloft.

As the droplets floated within clouds, they continued to grow until the updrafts couldn’t hold them up any longer. Then they fell as full-sized raindrops.

In similar clouds that formed over the ocean, updrafts were even weaker than over land. As a result, droplets fell out of the clouds as drizzle, before they had the opportunity to grow into full-sized raindrops. This helps explain the preponderance of drizzle over the ocean.

This finding gives new insight into the basic atmospheric process of rain formation, something that’s helpful in both weather forecasting and climate modeling.

“If we make updraft velocities more realistic in the models, we might get both more realistic drizzle and more realistic surface temperature projections as a result,” she said.

The results are published online in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society.

 

Interested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs section.

To get more updates on Current Affairs, send in your query by mail to education.intoday@gmail.com

 

Nvidia gave away its newest AI chips for free – and that’s part of the reason why it’s dominating the competition (NVDA) | 07/25/17

Nvidia ceo volta tesla v100Nvidia on YouTube

One wouldn’t think that giving away your best product is a winning business strategy, but for Nvidia, it’s one that’s working.

The graphics processing unit (GPU) maker arrived at a gathering of the top researchers with gifts. Nvidia gave 100 of its first “Volta” based GPUs to artificial intelligence researchers at the CVPR conference in Hawaii this week, according to a company press release.

Volta is the new GPU architecture   Nvidia revealed earlier this year. The new chips were promised to be such an improvement over current models that shares of the company jumped 17.8% in a single day after their announcement.

AI research requires training a computer program to be as efficient as possible before it works well. This training requires multiplying matrices of data, which normally would have to be done single numbers at a time. The new Volta GPU architecture is able to multiply entire rows and columns of matrices data at once, rapidly speeding up the AI training process. Nvidia claims the new Volta architecture is 12 times faster at processing matrix multiplication than its previous “Pascal” architecture. It reduces the duration of an AI training task that used to take 18 hours to 7.4 hours, according to company data.

Nvidia gave away 15 of its Volta-based Tesla V100 chips to top researchers attending the conference. The chips were some of the first ones available outside of the company, and were signed by CEO Jensen Huang.

nvidia volta tensor core illustrationNvidia on YouTube

“It’s exciting, especially to get Jensen’s signature,” Silvio Savarese, an associate producer of computer science at Stanford, said in a Nvidia press release. “My students will be even more excited.”

Courting the favor of researchers is not a new tactic for Nvidia. The company is known for sponsoring research in artificial intelligence and making sure its hardware is being used at top universities around the world.

Giving its chip to researchers who get excited about the technology and begin using it in their research is only the latest move in Nvidia’s strategy of courting strong relationships with researchers.

The move also demonstrates the company’s strong culture of innovation. MIT named Nvidia the smartest company in the world, in part, because the company’s culture is geared toward increasing adoption of its GPUs in every aspect of applicable computing.

AMD, Nvidia’s biggest rival in GPU manufacturing, is geared toward addressing the low-end market, while it seems like Nvidia’s ambitions are much larger. In addition to AI research, the company has addressed the self-driving car and cryptocurrency mining markets with specialized chips.

Its autonomous driving technology is currently being used by Toyota, Tesla, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and more.

Shares of Nvidia are up 62.85% this year, compared to the 9.46% advance by the S&P 500.

Nvidia stock priceMarkets Insider

Uber says its former engineer had a good reason to allegedly take Waymo’s files — and it wasn’t to give them to Uber


anthony levandowski otto uber
There’s a good reason why
Anthony Levandowski doesn’t want to testify, Uber
says.

Otto

No one knows why Anthony Levandowski allegedly downloaded 14,000
proprietary files before quitting his job at Google.

But Uber, the ride-hailing company that Levandowski
eventually joined and which is now being sued by Google, has a
theory: It was to protect his bonus.

Levandowski had “good reason” to believe his bonus was at
risk, Uber said in a legal filing on Friday. 

Levandowski is a star engineer in the red-hot
self-driving car industry, and he is at the center of
the acrimonious lawsuit between Uber and Google.

Google, and its self-driving car spinout Waymo, sued Uber
for trade theft in February. At the heart of the case is the
allegation that Levandowski downloaded 14,000 files
containing information on Google’s self-driving car program
before he left Google in late 2015. Some of those files,
particularly documents relating to the lidar systems in
self-driving cars, eventually made it to Uber, Waymo
alleges. 

Levandowski
has refused to testify
, relying on the Fifth Amendment
protection against self-incrimination. 

Uber didn’t provide much insight into its theory about
why Levandowski may have believed downloading
the files would protect a $120 million bonus he was
owed. But Uber offered a narrative in its filing on
Friday that sought to prove that Uber was the furthest thing
from Levandowski’s mind when he downloaded the files.

The narrative

Here’s the story, according to Uber:

Google had set up a bonus program for Levandowski when it
acquired his self-driving car “side project” many years ago,
according to the filing. The program was intended to act like an
stock grant at a standalone startup — the value of Levandowski’s
bonus was suppose to grow in tandem with the value of the
self-driving car project within Google.

But Google had shown a “grudging attitude” toward the bonus,
and there was “significant tension and disagreements between
Levandowski and senior managers at Google,” according to the
filing. As a result, Levandowski had reason to believe that
Google would undervalue the self-driving car effort, thus
reducing his bonus or even possibly denying it entirely.

“That gave him every incentive to download files in
December 2015, perhaps to protect his bonuses,” Uber said in the
filing.

Uber has denied that it used Waymo’s trade secrets. And after
Levandowski refused to cooperate in the case, Uber fired
him. 

Waymo’s response

A Waymo spokesman dubbed Uber’s bonus narrative “fictitious.”

In recent court filings, Waymo has tried to make the case that
Levandowski had no reason to worry about his bonus.

In a court document Waymo filed on Monday, the company said that
Levandowski was paid his bonus in December 2015 on time and was
paid the last of his bonuses in April 2016 — also on time. In a
separate document filed on Friday in response to Uber’s
assertions, Waymo said the company’s explanation for
Levandowski’s actions “doesn’t follow logically. And the idea
that Levandowski was owed money that was overdue was “simply
wrong,” Waymo said.

“The notion that Levandowski would subject himself to criminal
liability by stealing Waymo’s proprietary information and holding
it ‘ransom’ for his performance bonus strains credibility,” Waymo
said in the filing. 

Why it matters

The dueling court filings are part of a battle over whether
Levandowski’s invocation of the Fifth can be mentioned in a
possibly trial and how it could be characterized. Waymo is urging
the court to allow it to portray Levandowski’s refusal to testify
in a negative light, saying that it helps show Uber’s
culpability. Waymo argues that by taking the Fifth, Levandowski
is protecting not only himself but Uber and by making it more
difficult for Waymo to show that Uber had knowledge of the
allegedly stolen files.

Uber is fighting that effort and disputing that notion. It’s
trying to show that Levandowski has other reasons not to testify
that have nothing to do with it. 

The battle over Levandowski’s refusal to testify is only the
latest turn in the case. Earlier in July,
Waymo dropped
some of its patent claims
 in the lawsuit.

One Player Lost The World’s Highest Xbox Gamerscore…But For A Good Reason

by Robert Workman

Gamerscore

There are plenty of players out there that have incredibly high Gamerscores on their Xbox accounts, mainly because they’ve been cleaning up on Achievements across Xbox One and Xbox 360. But the thing is, even if you reach the top, that doesn’t always mean you stay there.

That’s the case with Raymond “Stallion83” Cox, who had the highest Gamerscore in the world, with 1,585,894. He’s had the record for some time, but it just got wiped away by Stephen “smrnov” Rowe, who now has a Gamerscore of 1,592,280.

A lot of players have been wondering if Cox is upset over the whole ordeal…but, honestly, there’s actually a good reason that he hasn’t been defending his Gamerscore.

See, Cox recently got married, and actually took some time off to go on his honeymoon with his new bride. So when Xbox Achievements asked on Twitter what will come next, Ray was quick to respond: “I’ve been too busy having all the sex,” complete with a GIF featuring Chris Farley stripping off his shirt from the Adam Sandler classic Billy Madison. So, yeah, it appears that he’s in good hands.

Cox is still fighting hard to keep competitive in the Gamerscore game, though, as he still intends to pass two million Gamerscore at one point or another.

Meanwhile, Rowe wrote a blog post on his achievement, which you can find here. He noted, “First off, thanks to everyone who sent messages of congrats, I appreciate it. I think it surprised most of you and myself really as it was never my goal to overtake Stallion83.”

He doesn’t intend to apply for the Guinness World Record for the score, which Cox currently has, and also made note that he pays for all of his games, both through purchases and through freebie offerings via EA Access and Xbox Live.

Cox previously won a lifetime membership to Xbox Live Gold when he got over one million Gamerscore on his account. No word yet if Rowe will be getting the same, but he certainly deserves it.

Meanwhile, expect Cox to get back in the hunt when he’s done with his honeymoon.