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September 2018

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The newest hardware from the famous app, Snapchat, might help users use the app easily but might start a privacy issue for the public

Snap Inc.’s first ever device, the Spectacles, spark a very big question; isn’t the option of taking a video of another person without them noticing, invasion of privacy? We live in a world full of people demanding more privacy and although the new invention is made for fun, it might being used in a way the company never intended.

People do tend to misuse inventions made to make lives easier. The Spectacles is no different. Users using the device could start invasion of other people’s privacy as there will be no way of controlling what type of videos they make. If someone is taking a video on his phone, it is noticeable and thus most people resist the temptation, if they have any. However, with the help of this device, it gives them all the freedom they need to do something which might end up hurting the people around them.

This might sound something you’d hear from a conspiracy theorist, but the governments might be interested in using the device as well. In a world full of security concerns, the device fits the bill. The camera on the new device is fit on a set of stylish sunglasses and allows the person wearing it to make a video of what they’re looking at. It doesn’t require the person to pick up their smartphone and point it at someone and take a snap or a video. Now, they can simply take videos more easily through the Snapchat app.

The audience to which the new invention is catered to is a very diverse one, consisting of more than 10 million people, according to the company. It is suggested that the $130 price-tag will put off many suitors but the company is confident that enticing the users in an experience which would let them relive their memories, according to Snap Inc. CEO, Evan Spiegel.

The CEO used the device as a prototype on a trip in 2015, when he went to Big Sur. He claims that when he saw the clips made through the device, he thought as if he was reliving his memories. He claims that it is a big step that the device can allow people to do what’s more important in a vacation or a concert; keep their phones inside and have fun and enjoy the company of the people around them.

However, the adoption of the device is also something which the company should look at first for it to be a success. Wearable glasses have seen a high profile flop in the past with the Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Glass. However, with the more defined usage profile of the Spectacles, we don’t think it’ll have the same fate as the Google Glass.

Pixel devices main goal is to compete head on with iPhones, Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer explains the company’s plan

When Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) first introduced its new Pixel smartphones, many speculated that these devices were the company’s serious attempts to contest head to head with Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone. And yes, the devices have all the potential traits to compete with high-end smartphones manufacturers.  

The Pixel flagship from Google comes with a modest price tag, and all complimentary attributes offered by Apple and Samsung on their devices. Keeping in mind the Mountain View company’s vast control over their devices’ development and support, it seemed to many that the main goal was to win over iPhone users in the long run.

In an interview on TWiT’s All About Android show, Google’s intentions were made crystal clear about how and what they have planned the Pixel family to do. Google’s senior vice president (VP) of Android, Chrome OS, and Play, Hiroshi Lockheimer, acknowledged that the company’s main motive was to entice iPhone users towards the Pixel devices.

Further explaining the company’s plan, Mr. Lockheimer noted that the company’s plan was to cater marketing of their flagships towards Apple’s users. Pixel ads have drawn a sleek line of comparison towards Apple’s ads. This apparently suggests that such decisions were intentionally driven to contest the iPhone makers. Mr. Lockheimer cited, “I work with all partners, including the internal hardware team and Samsung, etc. I think for the Pixel specifically, they’re really trying to capture new users of smartphones, as well as users who are perhaps on other platforms. It’s always nice to expand the ‘pie’ of Android, not to change the look internally but to expand.”

Further explaining the Mountain View company’s intentions, he noted, “I think you’ve seen a lot of things the Pixel team has done to cater the message around iPhone users, and highlighting some of the great things about Android.”

Both models from Google have all the sought-after offerings as to the likes of Samsung’s and Apple’s devices. We, at TCC, believe that it can shine in the smartphone ecosystem. These contested smartphone manufacturers will have to up their game of they want to compete head on with the Pixel family.

Samsung is aiming to develop its very own AI bot to compete with the upcoming Apple iPhone 8

Recently, Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) acquired Viv, an artificial intelligence company which is aiming to develop a new AI bot for the upcoming Galaxy S8. This would give the Korean-based tech giant a better chance at competing against the heavily-anticipated Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 8.

According to a new report from GalaxyClub, Samsung is looking to develop two different personalities for its much-discussed Galaxy S8. These varying personalities will include a male AI bot called Bixby and a female AI bot called Kestra. Both these artificial intelligence bots will have their own personalities which is something that is limited on Apple’s AI bot. Also, Galaxy S8 users will be able to use their artificially intelligent bot powering their smartphone to make voice activated payments. The same source has confirmed that the smartphone giant has filed an application with South Korea and the European Union regarding the trademark of these two varying AI bot names.

If you already don’t know, Apple is planning big changes for its upcoming iPhone model, dubbed as the iPhone 8 in order to celebrate the tenth official anniversary of the first-generation iPhone. Although the Cupertino-based tech giant has kept its upcoming projects far away from the spotlight, reliable tech analysts, including the ever reliable Ming-Chi Kuo has tipped the upcoming iPhone 8 to incorporate significant upgrades including an OLED display, wireless charging and an all-glass display.

Samsung knows that the next-gen iPhone could be a game changer for the smartphone world which is why the company has to think outside the box regarding its own upcoming flagship smartphone. After the recent struggles of its faulty Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is at a delicate stage which can only be overcome if the company steps up with its upcoming Galaxy S8.

IRS and US Treasury have introduced a new set of rules to limit corporate inversion and might very well block the Pfizer’s acquisition of Allergan

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) might have to alter its plans to acquire Allergan (NYSE:AGN) thanks to new temporary and proposed regulatory changes by the US Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The proposal, if accepted, would reduce and limit the benefit of corporate inversions.

Alex Arfaei, analyst at BMO capital analyzed the potential impacts of the proposed changes and believes it could block or completely alter the scenario pertaining to Allergan acquisition. Today’s proposition by the US Treasury includes quite a troublesome clause which will prevent Pfizer from acquiring the Ireland based Allergan. As per the rule, the stock of a foreign company acquired from an American company within three years of acquisition is excluded from the calculation of ownership percentage, which, serves as a primary indicator of whether to treat an acquisition as inversion. According to analysts’ observations, Allergan doesn’t satisfy the criteria laid by the new rule and Pfizer will have to considerably alter the expectations from the acquisition.

Allergan was acquired by Forest Labs on July 01, 2014 for a total consideration of $21 billion, later; Actavis acquired majority interest in Allergen for $77 billion on March 17, 2015. According to analysts’ estimate, the introduced formula when applied to PFE and AGN will not be able to meet the 60/40 threshold required for inversion. If the calculation is extended to include Actavis’ acquisition of Warner Chilcott in 2013 (less than 3 years ago), then, inversion will not be an option for Pfizer on the basis of Allergan acquisition.

The gains for PFE from AGN acquisition are quite diminished following the new regulatory propositions and imply an adverse tax consequence for Pfizer’s transaction. The analyst believes that the benefits of acquisition for Pfizer shareholders are severely reduced and make little sense. The analyst maintained an Outperform rating on Pfizer with $39 price target, regardless of the outcome of the acquisition dilemma. The analyst opinion on Pfizer stock has four Strong Buy, nine Buy, and five Hold ratings. Pfizer stock is currently traded at $31.49 in the premarket.

Tesla will reportedly introduce two new features to the new Model S: trifocal Autopilot camera and pedestrian noise unit

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been working on the next-generation Autopilot hardware lately, as it had been hiring one of top chipmakers and engineers for its autonomous driving program. The company recently refreshed its premium sedan, the Model S, which now includes new front-end design and features.

CleanTechnica reported the new Model S, which is expected to hit the roads in June, will include two key features: a triple camera for Autopilot (trifocal Autopilot camera) and a pedestrian nose unit. However, it is unclear if the new camera system would be part of the second-generation Autopilot hardware.

The next-gen Autopilot hardware will likely have cameras all around a Tesla car or Autopilot 1.5 hardware, in a way, to improve the existing system, which has radar, a front camera, and ultrasonic sensors around Model S and Model X, according to Electrek.

Interestingly, Tesla Autopilot key supplier Mobileye NV (NYSE:MBLY) offers self-driving technology consisting of trifocal camera. Last month, CEO Elon Musk visited Mobileye’s headquarters in Jerusalem, Israel to test the tech startup’s technology for its Autopilot program.

Conversely, the pedestrian nose unit is a technology that emits a noise to warn pedestrians around the vehicle at low speed. Since Teslas like other EVs are practically soundless, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found in 2013 that the probability of a green-energy vehicle being involved in an accident with a pedestrian is 19% more than that of a louder internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Since then, some states have been designing a law for the issue.

Although the ruling has been delayed many times, it is claimed to be imminent. Once the regulation is imposed, the carmakers will get 18 months to add an audio alert system in the cars. Thus, it is a good sign that Tesla is already prepared for the upcoming ruling.

Tesla is set to release the 75kWh battery option for the Model S shortly. The company may introduce the two new features along with the new variant.

 

Refreshed A series from the South Korean company is teased as being water-resistant, launch will take place next year at the CES

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (OCTMKTS:SSNLF) is teasing its consumer base suggesting the upcoming Galaxy A series phones will sport water-resistant capabilities. The refresh of the Galaxy A series for the year 2017 will be held at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

If the South Korean company’s previously-launched Windows were any hint, in the coming weeks Samsung lovers are most likely due for new models of the Galaxy A series. Suggestions from the company’s Malaysian outlet highlighted the company’s refreshing models of the Galaxy A series would be water-resistant.

Initially, the South Korean company will most likely introduce the Galaxy A3, the Galaxy A5, and the Galaxy A7, which will ultimately be followed by the Galaxy A9. The refresh of the A-series line-up will be held at the CES.

For the last 50 years or so, CES has been the up-to-date launch pad for innovation in technology. The event is held every January at Las Vegas, Nevada. CES is considered as one of the finest tradeshows which highlight consumer technology and consumer electronics globally. For tech fanatics, CES is the place to go. It is a gathering for all enthusiasts who flourish on consumer technology business and a place where next-generation, state-of-the-art innovations are introduced.

The South Korean company has recently suffered from the massive Note 7 debacle. It is making all efforts to regain lost consumer faith. With the release of new, refreshed flagship, the company wants to entice consumers while making profit.

We all are aware of the problems the South Korean company has faced. It should come up with phones which consumers would feel are safe. If it makes one more mistake of a similar kind with the safety of its smartphones, the company would face disastrous consequences.

TCC is aware of the potential the South Korean company possesses. With the release of the water-resistant Galaxy A series, we believe users will, to an extent, convert to their long-loved and admired smartphone manufacturing company – Samsung.

The drugmaker has to work hard on the development and launching of new molecules in order to gain its position in the pharmaceutical market

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) is one of the largest companies that is indulged in the development and marketing of multiple categories of drugs for the management and treatment of oncology, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, organ transplant rejection, and psychiatric disorders.

The cardiovascular category of the company includes Eliquis, which contributed a hefty amount in the company’s total revenue in second quarter financial year 2016 (2QFY16.) The drug is available in oral formulation and plays a vital role in the prevention of strokes in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation along with the inhibition of venous thromboembolism and its allied ailments.

In 2014, the drug has generated revenue of $774 million and contributed approximately 430% year-over-year (YoY.) According to Bloomberg, the drug’s contribution in the overall revenue is expected to show a growth of 20% by 2020.

In the 2QFY16, the molecule has shown a spike in growth of 78% with revenue of $777 compared to $437 million during the same time last year. The drug has been developed in mutual collaboration with Pfizer and was approved in 2012 for reducing the incidence of strokes. With further label expansion, the drug was approved in 2014 for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), post-hip and knee surgery clot prevention, and pulmonary embolism (PE) prevention and treatment.

The label expansions of the drug created a fierce competition with Johnson & Johnson’s Xarelto, which was launched in 2011, which has racked $1.50 billion in 2014.

The company is optimistic regarding the growth of the drug and is of the point that it will be new blockbuster in the near future along with Opdivo for the next decade. In order to overcome the patent expiration side effects, the company is emphasizing on the pathological conditions such as arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and heart failure. On the other hand, the drugmaker is working to ascertain the linkage between diabetes and heart disease to manufacture a molecule that will control the diabetes as well as provide the patients its cardiovascular help.

According to the Bloomberg statistics, the company has the capability to show growth to $22.30 billion, but it all depends upon the drug pipeline and launching of new molecules. The company is also facing the patent expiration effects of its blockbuster drug Abilify, while its HIV drug, Sustiva is expected to show a negative median of 0.70% by financial year FY19.

The weakening DRAM environment and debt financing may lead to further downside

Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) has been downgraded at Susquehanna to a Neutral rating from prior positive rating. Analyst Mehdi Hosseini also handed the stock a price cut as he believes the Inotera acquisition has added further pressure in the form of debt financing and the further weakening DRAM environment has put a strangle hold on the company’s financial situation.

Mr. Hosseini added that as per his analysis, DRAM margins have hit the bottom and they are going to get better in time. However, weakened DRAM environment combined, uncertainty surrounding NAND trends in Taiwan and Korea, and debt that has accompanied the acquisition of Inotera, have elevated the risk levels. The analyst’s long term view regarding the stock now has considerable risk which has led to cut in estimates, downgrade and a reduced price target.

The analyst based his downgrade on decline in average selling price of DRAM bits and significant demand declines in Korea and Taiwan. Furthermore, NAND sector has consistent demand but the price pressure continues to mount; also, debt financing has hurt the profitability and the balance sheet position of the stock, Inotera acquisition is yet to bring any benefit and the mobile server and DRAM “die penalty” has heavily negated the impact of Inotera’s cost synergies effectively offsetting any upside relating to gross margins expansion.

Susquehanna lowered the EPS estimate for year 2016 to $0.11 from $0.33. For 2017, the estimate goes to $0.48 down from a previous estimate of $1.49. The analyst also reduced the price target on the stock to $10 from $15 with a Neutral rating. The analyst opinion on the stock has four strong Buys, 17 Buys, 10 Holds, two Underperforms and one Sell rating. The stock is currently trading at $10.82 in premarket hours.

The Chinese conglomerate’s stock has experienced significant gains in the last three months

All those individual and institutional investors who did not reckon potential in Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd (NYSE:BABA) stock may be cursing themselves now. A majority of these institutional investors include hedge funds who did not consider the Beijing-based retailer’s stock as a lucrative addition to their portfolios. Now that the e-commerce giant has defied all concerns by entering a new era of prosperity, it has become quite clear that the views persisted by the Country Caller since June were no wonder accurate.

Bloomberg reports that the Chinese conglomerate’s stock has experienced significant gains in the last three months, which are as high as 38%. One of the best performing investment management companies, Thornburg Investment Management has outperformed its peers in majority of the instances, regrets why it shorted Alibaba stock. Its portfolio manager, Charlie Wilson said that the decision to short was indeed a wrong one.

Even in the latest 13-f filings, there was an increase in the holdings for rival Amazon.com’s stock, but Alibaba still could not make its way through. That being said, it is still not too late to realize the potential of this hidden gem. The optimism reflects in the Street’s valuations, as renowned brokerages such as MKM Partners reckon healthy gains to investors.

Hence, going forward, it will be interesting to see how many hedge funds realize its potential in the next 13-f filings due in November. Our top picks in hedge funds that might add the $263 billion company to their portfolio are Berkshire Hathaway and Icahn Capital Management. It won’t be wrong to say that the e-commerce giant’s potential is not dependent on institutional investors only, as it has followed an upward trend recently. The current consensus PT is very close to the market price of the stock, but as previously stated, Alibaba’s potential is not bound to price targets.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active might not be the most rugged phone after failing a water-resistance test

Samsung Electronics Co. (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) recently released the its latest flagship lineup in the form of the Galaxy S7. The Galaxy S7 comes in three different variants in the form of the S7, S7 Edge and S7 Active. Samsung marketed their new smartphones with a focus on the use of the water-resistance technology on the devices. However, the Galaxy S7 Active has failed to live up to claims by the company of being water-resistant.

According to a report published by non-profit rating group Consumer Reports, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active, which has just been released in the US exclusively at AT&T for a staggering price of $795, failed the tests that were conducted by the agency.

Samsung has said that all variants of the Galaxy S7 come with IP68 compliance, which provides protection against water and dust. The company also claims that all three devices are capable of staying under 5 feet of water for at least 30 minutes.

The test claims that the device was put under 5 feet of water and when taken out after 30 minutes, the screen failed to function. The same thing happened when a second device was subjected to the same test. When the devices were pulled apart, there was water present in the camera lenses as well as the SIM card slot. The phones as a result failed to function again.

Samsung was quick to respond to the matter as the company released the following statement “one of the most rugged phones to date and that there may be an off-chance that a defective device is not as watertight as it should be.” The company also mentioned that it has received very few complaints regarding the issue and that the company is looking into the report published by Consumer Reports.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge on the other hand passed the test with flying colors.