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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Mitt Romney

    • Incoming Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah has doubled down on Wednesday's scathing critique of US President Donald Trump, refusing to say if Trump is worth endorsing for the 2020 presidential election.
    • Romney told CNN on Wednesday that he would be looking at "the alternatives" before making a decision.
    • Romney turned many heads with his withering assessment of Trump's fitness for the highest office in the country, just months before the 2016 election.
    • The incoming US senator added that he would not make another run for the White House in 2020.

    Incoming Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah has added to his critique of US President Donald Trump, by leaving open the possibility that he may not endorse the sitting president for the White House in 2020.

    Romney told CNN on Wednesday that he would be looking at “the alternatives” before backing the president ahead of the 2020 presidential election, after writing an opinion piece in The Washington Post that lamented the president's character and his performance as the nation's moral pivot.

    The in-house tiff at the top of the GOP escalated on Wednesday when Trump used a 90-minute sit-in with members of the press and his cabinet to fire back at the former presidential candidate.

    In the opinion column published Tuesday, Romney wrote: "It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling."

    "It did not," he said.

    In a nutshell, Trump’s behavior and particularly his actions in December are proof "that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office," Romney's op-ed reads.

    In return, the president wondered aloud during his cabinet meeting about Romney's loyalty to the GOP.

    "I don’t know if he’s going to become a team player. I hope he does," Trump said. "If he does, it will be better for him I think people are upset with what he did," Trump said.

    Regardless, Romney told CNN that as senator, he would "vote with my conscience," and not according to presidential instruction or party line.

    He also dismissed the possibility of running for the White House again in 2020.

    "I’ve had that experience," Romney said." And, by the way, I acknowledge the president was successful. And I was not."

    SEE ALSO: Trump rants about the government shutdown, stock-market 'glitches,' Tom Cruise, and more during wild Cabinet meeting

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence,  Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    mobile banking features

    In recent years, we've seen a ballooning of activity in fintech — an expansive term applied to technology-driven disruptions in financial services. And 2018 has been no different, with fintechs' staggering influence on the market evidenced by record funding levels for the industry — by Q3 2018, overall funding was already up 82% from 2017’s total figure, according to CB Insights.

    Additionally, this year marked a watershed moment for the industry, with the once clear distinction between fintechs and financial services proper now blurred significantly. Virtually every incumbent financial institution (FI) is now looking inward and engaging in an innovation drive, spurred on by competition from fintechs. As such, incumbents are now actively investing in, acquiring, and collaborating with their fintech rivals.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence details recent developments in fintech funding and regulation that are defining the environment these startups operate in. We also examine the business model changes being employed among different categories of fintechs as they strive to embed themselves further in mainstream finance and prove sustainability. Finally, we consider which elements of the fintech industry are rapidly rubbing off on incumbent financial services providers, and what the future of fintech will look like.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Funding Circle, GreenSky, Transferwise, Ant Financial, Nubank, Cellulant, Oscar Health, Stripe, One97, UiPath, LianLian Pay, Wacai.com, Gusto, Toast, PingPong, Flywire, Deposit Solutions, Root, Robinhood, Atom, N26, Revolut, OneConnect, PolicyBazaar, WeCash, Zurich, OneDegree, Dinghy, Vouch Insurance, Laka, Cleo, Ernit, Monzo, Moneybox, Bud, Tandem, Starling, Varo Money, Square, ING, Chase, AmEx, Amazon, Monese, Betterment, Tiller Investments, West Hill Capital, Square, Ameritrade, JPMorgan, eToro, Lendy, OnDeck, Ripple, Quorom, Chain, Coinbase, Fidelity, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Bank of America, TransferGo, Klarna, Western Union, Veriff, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Canada, Facebook, ThreatMetrix, Relx, Entersekt, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Gemalto, Lloyd's of London, Kingdom Trust, Aviva, Symbility LINK, eTrade, Allianz, AXA, Broadridge, TD Bank, First Republic Bank, BBVA Compass, Capital One, Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse, Ally, Goldman Sachs.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Fintech funding has already reached new highs globally in 2018, with overall funding hitting $32.6 billion at the end of Q3.
    • Some new regions, including South America and Africa, are emerging on the fintech scene.
    • We've seen considerable scaling in older corners of the fintech ecosystem, including among neobanks and alt lenders.
    • Some fintechs, including a number of insurtechs, have dipped into new markets to escape heightened competition.
    • Emergent areas like blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), as well as digital identity, are gaining traction.
    • Many incumbents are undertaking business transformations that aim to reimagine everything from products and services to front-end systems and back-end processes.

     In full, the report:

    • Details the funding and regulatory landscape in the US, Europe, and Asia.
    • Gives an overview into a number of fintech segments and how they've changed over the past year.
    • Discusses how incumbents are reacting to fintechs in order to stay relevant in the changing financial services sector.
    • Evaluates what the future of fintech will look like and what trends to look out for in the coming year.

    Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

    SEE ALSO: How the largest US financial institutions rank on offering the mobile banking features customers value most

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Nancy Pelosi

    • Likely incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will not give President Donald Trump funding for his desired wall along the US southern border.
    • "No, no," Pelosi says in a tweeted clip from an interview with the "TODAY" show. "Nothing for the wall."
    • The interview will air on Thursday — which is both day 13 of a partial government shutdown that has centered around funding for the wall, and the day that the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives.

    Likely incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will not give President Donald Trump funding for his desired wall along the US southern border.

    "No, no," Pelosi says in a tweeted clip from an interview with the "TODAY" show. "Nothing for the wall."

    Pelosi was responding to a question from anchor Savannah Guthrie, who asked if Democrats were "willing to come up and give him some of this money for the wall?"

    "Because apparently that's the sticking point," Guthrie says.

    Pelosi said Democrats would give money for "border security" but not a wall.

    The interview will air on Thursday — which is both day 13 of a partial government shutdown that has centered around funding for the wall, and the day that the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives.

     

    The partial government shutdown began after no deal was reached by the end of December 21. President Trump said he would not sign a stopgap continuing resolution to fund part of the government until February 8.

    The Senate passed the stopgap bill with the understanding that the president would sign it, however, after criticism from those on his base, Trump changed course. House Republicans — before giving up their majority — passed a spending bill with $5.7 billion for the wall. That bill, however, does not have the 60 votes in the Senate needed to pass.

    Read more:Trump rants about the government shutdown, stock market 'glitches,' Tom Cruise, and more during wild Cabinet meeting

    As Business Insider's Bob Bryan reported, around 75% of the government was funded through a series of bills passed prior to the wall-related impasse (five of 12 were passed). However, nine federal agencies were not funded, impacting roughly 800,000 federal workers; 420,000 must work without pay, while the rest are furloughed until the shutdown is over. The shutdown, which was the third of 2018 (and spilled over into 2019), is affecting national monuments in Washington, DC and national parks around the country.

    On Wednesday, Trump met with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders, but no deal was made.

    On January 3, the Democrats take control of the House, and on Monday they unveiled bills that would open the government but not provide funding for the border wall. Trump asked leaders to meet again on Friday.

    SEE ALSO: Trump and Democrats dig in their heels as the partial government shutdown extends into the new year with no end in sight

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    Nancy Pelosi Chuck Schumer

    • President Donald Trump reportedly made an appeal to Nancy Pelosi's Catholic faith to gain her support for his proposal to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
    • Trump, who refused to reopen the government as it enters day 13 of a partial shutdown, reportedly described Pelosi as "a good Catholic" and encouraged her to support his agenda for a wall because Vatican City also has a wall.
    • The Vatican does have walls; however, the ninth-century-era structure was constructed to repel a barbarian horde according to reports published in 2016 from The New York Times and CNN.
    • The wall around the Vatican does not prevent people from visiting St. Peter's Square.

    President Donald Trump reportedly made an appeal to Nancy Pelosi's Catholic faith to convince Democrats to allocate funding for a wall on the US-Mexico border, according to a New York Times report published Wednesday.

    Trump, who refused to reopen the government as it enters day 13 of a partial government shutdown, described Pelosi as "a good Catholic" and encouraged her to fund his wall because the Vatican City also has a wall, an official familiar with a meeting between the president and Democrats told The Times.

    Pelosi's roots in Catholicism spans decades; she attended an all-girls Catholic high school and college. The presumptive House Speaker remains a devout Catholic but has distanced herself from some of the more conservative stances from the Vatican, including its opposition to abortion. Pelosi has also called for a "complete change" of how the Catholic Church operates after numerous sexual-misconduct reports emerged throughout the years.

    Trump appeared to reference his comments from a freewheeling Cabinet meeting, hours before his meeting with Democrats in the Situation Room on Wednesday, according to The Times. Speaking amongst his senior advisers, Trump pointed to the walls in Vatican City, the Catholic Church's city-state in Rome, and described them as an impenetrable force.

    "When they say 'the wall's immoral' — well then you gotta do something about the Vatican, 'cause the Vatican has the biggest wall of them all. The wall is immoral, look at all of the countries that have walls. And they work 100%. It's never going to change. A wall is a wall."

    The Vatican does have walls; however, the ninth-century-era structure was reportedly constructed to repel a barbarian horde,. The Vatican's wall does not prohibit people from visiting St. Peter's Square, unlike the planned border wall that seeks to prevent migrants from Latin America who are attempting to enter the US illegally.

    "The fortifications were built a very long time ago," Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at large at America: The Jesuit Review, said in a CNN report in 2016. "This Pope didn't build them — and he certainly didn't build them to keep out poor migrants."

    The Trump administration has pushed for $5.6 billion in funding for the border wall, which Democrats and some Republicans have adamantly opposed. Pelosi plans to raise two bills on Thursday to reopen the government and pay the roughly 800,000 employees who are affected by the shutdown, in addition to the over $1 billion in funding for border security that does not include a wall.

    SEE ALSO: 'Somebody does need to challenge the president': Republican Jeff Flake calls for civility, says Trump 'owns' the government shutdown

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    Manhattan

    • Real estate in Manhattan has been moving toward a buyers' market.
    • The median sales price of units sold in Manhattan fell 6% in the final three months of 2018.
    • The fourth quarter marked the first time in three years that the figure was below $1 million.

    In the latest sign that Manhattan is heading toward a softer real-estate market, the typical cost of housing sold fell below $1 million during the final stretch of 2018 for the first time in three years.

    The median sales price of units sold in the borough fell nearly 6% from the same period last year to $999,000 from October to December, according to a report from listing broker Douglas Elliman Real Estate, the lowest since 2015. Though the rate of decline is steadying, the number of total sales fell for a fifth straight quarter.

    With bidding wars occurring at the lowest rate within the market in six years, according to the report, Douglas Elliman's New York City office president Steven James said market dynamics had offered "an excellent opportunity for buyers."

    Co-ops performed better than condos, the report out Thursday said. Most inventory gains were seen in the studio and one-bedroom market, while home prices skewed the overall average higher through larger-sized sales.

    "All-in-all, this was a weaker market than a year ago, but there was nothing dramatic to change from prior quarters in 2018," added report author Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Inc. "It looks like 2019 market sales and prices might show us 'more of the same' as the federal tax law and higher rates play a crucial role in the housing marketplace."

    Real-estate activity in Manhattan has contrasted with trends across the country, where housing shortages are expected to persist in the months ahead. Compounded by falling residential-construction activity and rising interest rates, that could price some Americans out of the market.

    The new tax law could be one possible reason for the disconnect. Lower mortgage-interest deductions and new caps on state and local tax deductions have reduced incentives for Americans to own homes. This means the next buyer might adjust how much they are willing to pay, according to Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American.

    "This is particularly relevant in New York," Fleming said. "It's now more expensive than before to own a higher-priced home."

    Meanwhile, the rate at which national home costs are rising appears to be slowing. A CoreLogic report out Wednesday showed annual price gains slowed to 5.1% in November from 6.2% a year earlier.

    Now Read:

    The world's biggest stock bear explains why the battered market is still doomed to lose another 50%

    Industry insiders are predicting a battle between the biggest hedge-fund names for top quant talent

    SEE ALSO: The housing market is cooling off — and uncertainty isn't helping

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The equity chief at $6.3 trillion BlackRock weighs in on the trade war, a possible recession, and offers her best investing advice for a tricky 2019 landscape


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    change4 model

    • China has landed on the far side of the moon, in a giant step for humankind — and a decent stride towards China's desire to match the United States and Russia in space exploration.
    • The Chang'e 4 robotic probe made a soft landing on the South Pole Aitken basin on the Moon's far side, the first time any country has landed spacecraft on the dark side of the moon.
    • China Central Television said the craft landed at 10:26 a.m. on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

    China has landed on the far side of the moon, according to state media, in a giant step for humankind — and a step towards China's desire to match the United States and Russia in space exploration. The unmanned Chang’e 4 probe reportedly touched down on the moon at 10:26 a.m. on January 3, according to China Central Television.

    The probe was launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket on December 8 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, and its sister relay satellite has been in orbit since May.

    China's National Space Administration (CNSA) announced that the Chang'e 4 probe entered a planned elliptical orbit some 9 miles from the surface on December 30 in preparation for a soft landing on the the South Pole–Aitken basin.

    moon china cops

    Six payloads

    According to the award-winning US space author and journalist Leonard David, upon landing, the robotic probe will survey the geography, geology, and atmosphere on the previously unexplored moonscape.

    Since the moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, the same side always faces us down here on Earth. The side that does not face Earth is called the "dark side" not because it's pitch black, because it's lesser-known.

    The Chang'e 4 mission is to shed light on the dark side. This will include surveying terrain, mineral composition, and shallow lunar surface structure, along with other scientific observations, according to David.

    The Chang’e 4 mission totes six kinds of scientific payloads, David says: "On the lander, it carries the Landing Camera (LCAM), the Terrain Camera (TCAM), and the Low Frequency Spectrometer (LFS). There are three kinds of payloads on the rover, the Panoramic Camera (PCAM), the Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR), and the Visible and Near-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS)."

    China's space ambitions

    President Xi Jinping wants to make China a space powerhouse within the next decade. Conquering the moon's mysteries has been an early and critical first goal of China's ambitious space program.

    In 2013, China became the third country after the US and the former Soviet Union to “soft-land” on the moon.

    The US made its own incredible firsts this week. On New Year’s Day, NASA’s New Horizons probe flew past the most distant place ever explored by humankind – a frozen rock at the edge of the solar system.

    President Donald Trump has vowed to strengthen America’s supremacy in space, saying he wants to go back to the moon, and proposing a Space Force branch of the military.

    SEE ALSO: NASA just released the first close-up photos of the farthest object humanity has ever explored — and it looks like a giant red snowman

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The world's largest cruise ship just landed in Miami — here's what it's like on board


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    The App Marketplace

    In an increasingly digitized world, brick-and-mortar retailers are facing immense pressure to understand and accommodate their customers’ changing needs, including at the point of sale (POS). 

    More than two years after the EMV liability shift in October 2015, most large merchants globally have upgraded their payment systems. And beyond upgrading to meet new standards, many major retailers are adopting full-feature, “smart” devices — and supplementing them with valuable tools and services — to help them better engage customers and build loyalty.

    But POS solutions aren’t “one size fits all.” Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don't usually have the same capabilities as larger merchants, which often have the resources and funds to adopt robust solutions or develop them in-house. That's where app marketplaces come in: POS app marketplaces are platforms, typically deployed by POS providers, where developers can host third-party business apps that offer back-office services, like accounting and inventory, and customer-retention tools, like loyalty programs and coupons.

    SMBs' growing needs present a huge opportunity for POS terminal providers, software providers, and resellers. The US counts roughly 8 million SMBs, or 99.7% of all businesses. Until now, constraints such as time and budget have made it difficult for SMBs to implement value-added services that meet their unique needs. But app marketplaces enable providers to cater to SMBs with specialized solutions. 

    App marketplaces also alleviate some of the issues associated with the overcrowded payments space. Relatively new players that have effectively leveraged the rise of the digital economy, like mPOS firm Square, are increasingly encroaching on the payments industry, putting pricing pressure on payment hardware and service giants. This has diminished client loyalty as merchants seek out the most affordable solution, and it's resulted in lost revenue for providers. However, app marketplaces can be used as tools not only to build client loyalty, but also as a revenue booster — Verifone, for instance, charges developers 30% of net revenue for each installed app and a distribution fee for each free app.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence looks at the drivers of POS app marketplaces and the legacy and challenger firms that are supplying them. The report also highlights the strategies these providers are employing, and the ways that they can capitalize on the emergence of this new market. Finally, it looks to the future of POS app marketplaces, and how they may evolve moving forward.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • SMBs are a massive force in the US, which makes understanding their needs a necessity for POS terminal providers, software providers, and resellers — the US counts roughly 8 million SMBs, or 99.7% of all businesses.
    • The entrance of new challengers into the payment space has put pricing pressure on the entire industry, forcing all of the players in the industry to find new solutions to keep customers loyal while also gaining a new revenue source.
    • Major firms in the industry, like Verifone and Ingenico, have turned to value-added services, specifically app marketplaces, to not only build loyalty but also giving them a new revenue source — Verifone charges developers 30% of net revenue for each installed app and a distribution fee for each free app.
    • According to a recent survey by Intuit, 68% of SMBs stated that they use an average of four apps to run their businesses. As developers flock to the space to grab a piece of the pie, it's likely that increased competition will lead to robust, revenue-generating marketplaces.
    • And there are plenty of opportunities to build out app marketplace capabilities, such as in-person training, to further engage with users — 66% of app users would hire someone to train and educate them on which apps are right for their businesses. 

    In full, the report:

    • Identifies the factors that have changed how SMBs are choosing payment providers.  
    • Discusses why firms in the payments industry have started to introduce app marketplaces over the last four years.
    • Analyzes some of the most popular app marketplaces in the industry and identifies the strengths of each.
    • Breaks down the concerns merchants have relating to app marketplaces, and discusses how providers can solve these issues.
    • Explores what app marketplace providers will have to do going forward in order to avoid being outperformed in an industry that's becoming increasingly saturated. 

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    tv usage decline

    As streaming becomes an increasingly mainstream behavior among consumers, the video industry has produced new combinations of streaming video programming services to prepare for the progressive overhaul in how media is distributed.

    These streaming bundles have emerged in response to the problems of media fragmentation, cord-cutting, and high consumer costs. Declining usage of traditional TV across every demographic, particularly among young viewers, has also demanded new solutions to the traditional distribution model that is pay-TV.

    Although streaming media bundles are still evolving, four distinct models have emerged:

    • Skinny bundles — Cheaper, streaming versions of the traditional pay-TV bundle, but with fewer channels.
    • SVOD aggregators — Facilitate a la carte sign-ups to third-party streaming services through a central user portal. The primary example so far is Amazon Channels, Amazon's SVOD partner program. 
    • SVOD integrations — SVOD services like Netflix that bring their offerings to a traditional operator's service.
    • Streaming service partnerships — Combine one or more streaming services under a single offering, at a lower cost than the total price separately.

    In the SVOD Bundling Report, Business Insider Intelligence examines the state of the US video ecosystem and how media companies are refining their distribution strategies to meet the changing needs of consumers. The report situates each of the four bundle model types within the overall SVOD market, and investigates the overarching advantages and challenges each faces. Finally, we predict how player dynamics might transform and adapt, outlining best practices for providers to succeed within the new TV landscape.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • SVOD bundles partake in a growing SVOD market in the US. Business Insider Intelligence estimates that the SVOD market totals $13.6 billion in 2018, primarily driven by uptake on services from SVOD giants Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. 
    • Streaming video accessed on over-the-top (OTT) platforms is going mainstream, while consumers — particularly younger viewers — are reducing usage on live, linear TV. Traditional TV usage among viewers ages 18-24 has dropped 48% since 2011, 35% among 25-34 year olds, and 18% in the 35-49 demographic. 
    • Skinny bundle services are growing in popularity, with 7.2 million subscribers in the US, but they suffer fundamental financial sustainability problems. 
    • Distributors with at-scale platforms and powerful back-end tech can capitalize on the growing consumer demand for content consolidation among consumers. Faced with a fragmented and expanding universe of content options, more than two-thirds of consumers say they would prefer to get all their services from a single source, per Hub Entertainment Research. 
    • Winners in the bundling shakeout will have prioritized internet-connected tech, an effective user experience, reasonable pricing, and content diversity. 

    In full, the report:

    • Identifies the four SVOD model types that have emerged as alternatives or supplements to traditional distribution.
    • Investigates the top advantages and challenges of each model type.
    • Outlines strategies that players across media and distribution companies can use to address business or market challenges.
    • Explores how the dynamics of each model type will evolve as services converge under new bundled offerings.

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    ariana grande

    • The Coachella lineup has been announced — and, at least for now, Kanye West is nowhere to be found.
    • The Indio, California music festival's headliners are Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande.
    • Per the usual, the annual festival will run during two weekends: April 12-14 and April 19-21.
    • Kanye West was initially rumored to headline the festival, however, according to a TMZ report, there was a disagreement over some logistical issues.

    The Coachella 2019 lineup has been announced — and Kanye West, at least for now, is nowhere to be found. The Indio, California, music festival's headliners are Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande.

    The lineup was announced via Twitter on Wednesday night.

    Other big names include Solange, Janelle Monáe, Weezer, Mac DeMarco, CHVRCHES, Blood Orange, Jaden Smith, and Pusha T.

    Per the usual, the festival will run during two weekends: April 12-14 and April 19-21. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 4 at 11 a.m. PT.

    Coachella

    It was initially rumored that West, who headlined the festival in 2011, would perform again. However, according to TMZ, West had a disagreement over some logistical issues. The rapper wanted a larger stage than the traditional 60 by 40-foot size, which Goldenvoice, the company that produces Coachella, said it could not accommodate.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The reason some men can't grow full beards, according to a dermatologist


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    trump cabinet

    Hello! Here's everything you need to know on Thursday.

    1.  From Amazon to Intel, technology stocks took a hit.And it's likely because Apple announced that holiday quarter revenue was lower than expected.

    2.  The US President Donald Trump held a rambling Cabinet meeting.The meeting covered topics ranging from the government shutdown and the stock-market to Tom Cruise.

    3.  There's a long list of reasons why China's latest weak manufacturing data is so worrying. It suggests that not only are tariffs are having an impact, but the world's second largest economy appears to be decelerating faster than than anticipated.

    4McDonald's has a new secret menu item that looks straight out of Dunkin's playbook.These leaked internal documents show that the fast-food-breakfast battle is starting to sizzle.

    5.  The US Navy's carriers have a gaping hole in their defenses against a growing threat.And a growing school of thought says drones can fill that hole.

    6.  A "flash crash" has torn through Asian currency markets following bad Apple numbers.The Japanese yen jumped almost 8% against the Australian dollar to its strongest since 2009, and jumped 10% against the Turkish lira.

    7.  Six people have died and 16 were injured in a train crash in Denmark.The train was struck by falling debris from a passing freight train full of beer.

    8.  A top Nordstrom executive and heir to the department-store dynasty has died. Blake Nordstrom, a copresident of Nordstrom Inc. and great-grandson of the company's founder, died on Wednesday.

    9.  NASA just released the first close-up photos of the farthest object humanity has ever explored.And it is shaped a bit like a snowman.

    10. Incoming Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said he's already "had that experience" of running for president. But he told CNN he may not endorse Trump.

    And finally ...

    Our international correspondent Harrison Jacobs rang in the New Year at an all-night rave in the Moroccan desert. These epic images show how it left the festivities in Times Square in the dust.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Bernie Madoff was arrested 10 years ago today — here's what his life is like in prison


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    • The Internet of Things is fueling the data-based economy and bridging the divide between physical and digital worlds.
    • Consumers, companies, and governments will install more than 40 billion IoT devices worldwide through 2023.
    • The next five years will mark a pivotal transformation in how companies and jurisdictions operate, and how consumers live.

    Being successful in the digital age doesn’t just require knowing the latest buzzwords; it means identifying the transformational trends – and where they’re heading – before they ever heat up.

    IoT Forecast BookTake the Internet of Things (IoT), for example, which now receives not only daily tech news coverage with each new device launch, but also hefty investments from global organizations ushering in worldwide adoption. By 2023, consumers, companies, and governments will install more than 40 billion IoT devices globally. And it’s not just the ones you hear about all the time, like smart speakers and connected cars.

    To successfully navigate this changing landscape, individuals and organizations must understand the full extent and functionality of the “Things” included in this network, the key drivers of each market segment, and how it all relates to the work they do every day.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has forecasted the start of the IoT’s global proliferation in The IoT Forecast Book 2018— and the next five years will be transformational for consumers, enterprises, and governments.

    • Consumer IoT: In the US alone, the number of smart home devices is estimated to surpass 1 billion by 2023, with consumers dishing out about $725 per household — a total of over $90 billion in spending on IoT solutions.
    • Enterprise IoT: Comprising the most mature segment of the IoT, companies will continue pouring billions of dollars into connected devices and automation. By 2023, the total industrial robotic system installed base will approach 6 million worldwide, while annual spending on manufacturing IoT solutions will reach about $450 billion.
    • Government IoT: Governments globally are ushering in IoT devices to spur the development of smart cities, which would be equipped with innovations like connected cameras, smart street lights, and connected meters to provide a real-time view of traffic, utilities usage, crime, and environmental factors. Annual investment in this area is expected to reach nearly $900 billion by 2023.

    Want to Learn More?

    People, companies, and organizations all over the world are racing to adopt the latest IoT solutions and prevent growing pains amidst a technological transformation. The IoT Forecast Book 2018 from Business Insider Intelligence is a detailed three-part slide deck outlining the most important trends impacting consumer, enterprise, and government IoT — and the key drivers propelling each segment forward.

    Representing thousands of hours of exhaustive research, our multipart forecast books are considered must-reads by thousands of highly successful business professionals. These informative slide decks are packed with charts and statistics outlining the most influential trends on the leading edge of your industry. Keep them for reference or drop the most valuable data into your own presentations to share with your teams.

    Whether you’re newly interested in a topic or you already consider yourself a subject matter expert, The IoT Forecast Book 2018 can provide you with the actionable insights you need to make better decisions.

     

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    Ajit Pai mug

    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

    1. Apple's made a shock announcement that it was lowering its revenue guidance for its first fiscal quarter, ending December. The company had previously told investors to expect revenue between $89 billion and $93 billion, but revised that estimate down to $84 billion.
    2. Apple CEO Tim Cook placed a significant portion of the blame for its slowdown on China's economic slowdown, which Cook said was caused in part by President Donald Trump's trade war."We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States," Cook wrote.
    3. Apple's surprise announcement on Wednesday sent shockwaves across the business and investing world. Amazon, Intel, Alphabet, and others all took hits in after-hours stock trading.
    4. The CEO of China's dominant internet search company gave employees an alarming new year message, telling them: "Winter is coming." Baidu CEO Robin Li Yanhong stated that economic restructuring is "as cold and real as winter to every company," in reference to China's slowing economic growth.
    5. Facebook pledged to improve the quality of news on the platform, but viral sites still get the most engagement. According to Facebook-owned CrowdTangle, the list of top 10 media outlets by interactions is dominated by Unilad, Ladbible, 9Gag, and Viral Thread — outlets that trade in viral and sensational stories.
    6. Netflix has stopped allowing users of Apple devices to join or rejoin the streaming service via iTunes, curbing a potential $256 million revenue stream. The change allows Netflix to avoid paying Apple's levies on new in-app subscriptions. 
    7. Tesla tanked as much as 9.34%, to $301.49 a share on Monday, after the company missed on vehicle deliveries and cut prices for three of its models. Tesla missed on annual deliveries for the Model 3, Model S, and Model X, and announced a $2,000 price reduction for all the three vehicles in the US starting Wednesday.
    8. Silicon Valley venture capital firm August Capital has reportedly imploded despite recently celebrating its first close for a $250 million fund. According to Axios, LPs wobbled thanks to August's under-performing sixth fund and changes to the partnership.
    9. Netflix confirmed that it's hired former Activision Blizzard exec Spencer Neumann as its finance chief. He will replace David Wells, who has served as Netflix's CFO since 2010.
    10. FCC chairman Ajit Pai thanked Congress on Wednesday for killing off net neutrality rules."I'm pleased that a strong bipartisan majority of the US House of Representatives declined to reinstate heavy-handed Internet regulation," Pai said.

    Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for "Business Insider" in your Alexa's flash briefing settings.

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    NOW WATCH: Why Harvard scientists think this interstellar object might be an alien spacecraft


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    Dark side of the moon China

    • China's space agency shared images of the dark side of the moon from its Chang'e 4 lunar probe's historic landing on Thursday.
    • China is the first nation to land on the moon's far side, a major step in its ambitions to compete with the US and Russia in space exploration.
    • The images are close-ups of the moon's dark side, showing its cratered surface.

    China released photos of the dark side of the moon from its successful mission to become the first country to land a spacecraft on the moon's far side.

    Photos shared by China's National Space Administration (CNSA) show close-ups of the lunar surface captured in what was both a first in history and a win for China in its efforts to compete with the US and Russia in space exploration.

    The images were captured by cameras on China's Chang'e 4 lunar probe, which landed on the moon at 10:26 a.m. on January 3, according to CNSA.

    This image was taken on the south side of the landing site, CNSA said.

    dark side of the moon China

    CNSA also shared an image of the moon's surface after the landing.

    China dark side of the moon

    China became the third country in the world to "soft-land"— land without damage — on the moon in 2013. But it has now become the first country to land on its dark side — a big step in President Xi Jinping's aims to make China a powerhouse of space exploration.

    The soft landing is different from an "impact"— where an object smashes into the surface at speed. The first man-made object to hit the dark side of the moon was NASA's Ranger 4 craft in 1964, which crashed after a system failure.

    Although the region is called the dark side of the moon, it is not actually deprived of light. It is called "dark" because humans know much less about it than the "light" side that faces earth.

    The Chang'e 4's objective is to learn more about this part of the moon, including studying its mineral composition and the structure of its surface, CNSA said.

    The agency also said that the reduced radio signals from earth would allow scientists to study the sun, other planets, and the origin of stars.

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    Drones — also commonly referred to as unmanned aircraft — are no longer a cool, new novelty that companies in only a handful of industries are testing.

    Businesses across various industries and levels of government in the US are utilizing at least a handful of drones. But more importantly, drone users are now realizing a deep return on their investments from the aircraft's ability to help save hours of time and labor.

    Farmers' Plans for Drones in 2018

    However, to successfully get a drone program up and running, businesses need to have an idea of what they want the aircraft to do, and the value they hope to create. To that end, companies need to know what their competitors are doing with the aircraft so they can plan their own projects accordingly.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence details how unmanned aircraft are disrupting a slew of different industries, including agriculture, construction and mining, insurance, media and telecommunications, and the public sector. We also size the market for global enterprise drone shipments, and pinpoint the features that make drones useful tools within different industries. Lastly, we make predictions for how drone use in these industries will evolve over the next five to 10 years and to what extent their impact will be magnified over this period.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implemented its Part 107 regulations for unmanned aircraft in August 2016, the commercial drone industry in the US has taken off. 
    • Companies across the US have rushed to deploy drones to cut costs, boost operational efficiency, and open up new streams of revenue. Meanwhile, firms elsewhere in the world have taken notice and ramped up their own drone projects.
    • Unmanned aircraft have the potential to create the greatest business value in the construction, mining, and agriculture industries. The agriculture industry was a relatively early adopter of drones, and today one-third of farmers in the US plan to use at least one drone this year. Meanwhile, drones will have a less significant, yet noticeable, impact on media, telecommunications, and insurance businesses.
    • Drones will lead these industries to become highly data-driven in the coming years, making the aircraft a must-have for companies to keep pace with their competitors. They will allow businesses to synthesize and analyze trends in their workflows to bolster their operational efficiency and predict problems before they happen.

    In full, the report:

    • Analyzes the development of drone use across five different industries.
    • Offers a look at how drone use in these industries will evolve over the coming years.
    • Sizes the market for enterprise drone shipments over a seven-year period, both in the US and abroad.

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    stock trader

    • Apple is plunging 7.5% in premarket trading, or about $56 billion in market value, after warning that sales in China are slowing. 
    • Global stocks slide after a shock revenue guidance downgrade from Apple, and troubling comments about the economic impact of Trump's trade war from CEO Tim Cook.
    • During the European morning, tech stocks slumped while Chinese indexes fell. 
    • US futures are also pointing to a horrible day stateside, with the Nasdaq set to drop 2.5%.

    After a rollercoaster day of trading to start 2019, global markets are enduring more turbulence on Thursday after Apple warned investors that sales were slowing in China, reigniting fears about a slowdown in the world's second largest economy.

    "While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China," Apple said after the close of trading on Wednesday. 

    Apple plunged 8% in after-hours trading and was down 7.5% in US premarket trading as of 9:30 am in London (4:30 am in New York). That sent so called FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) stocks tumbling as well. A slump in tech shares dragged global markets lower. 

    The shock revenue guidance downgrade, along with troublingcomments from CEO Tim Cook about the economic impact of Trump's trade war are adding to fears that have already gripped investors.

    "The trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy," Cook said in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday.

    Cook's words, as well as continuing fears around monetary policy tightening from global central banks and a general slowdown in the world economy, have helped push markets downwards on the second day of trading in 2019.

    Here's the scoreboard:

    • FAANG stocks slid, with Facebook down 1.6%, Amazon down 2.1%, Netflix down 2%, and Google down 2.1% in premarket trading.
    • US stocks look set for a substantial drop Thursday following Cook's comments, which came after markets closed for the day. Futures point to a fall of 2.5% in the tech-heavy Nasdaq, while both the S&P 500 and Dow are set to open 1.3% lower.
    • In Asia, China's Shenzhen Composite ended 0.8% lower, while Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.3%.
    • As European trading kicked off, shares also fell, with the Euro Stoxx 50 broad index down 0.7%, and Germany's DAX down 0.8%.

    Thursday's market moves extend a brutal start to the new year after 2018 ended on a sour note for markets. The S&P 500 was down 6.2% in 2018, booking its worst year since the financial crisis and worst December since the Great Depression.

    Read more:Chinese stocks were the worst on Earth in 2018, losing 27% — here's why

    Away from stocks, currency markets also took a pounding overnight with a suspected "flash crash" sending the dollar, pound and euro sharply lower, and pushing the Japanese yen into orbit.

    The moves, which are also thought to be linked to Cook's comments, saw investors pull money rapidly out of Western currencies like the dollar, and push it into the perceived safe haven of the yen.

    Sharp moves in the yen

    At its peak, the yen was up around 2.5% against the dollar. The dollar tumbled to an intra-day low of 104.96 yen, its lowest since March 2018.

    The Australian dollar, often considered a gauge of global risk appetite, fell to its lowest level since 2009 in early Asian trade to an intra-day low of $0.6776.

    The spike in risk aversion triggered massive stop-loss flows from investors who had held short positions on the yen for months. A lack of liquidity, with Japan still on holiday after the New Year, added to the sharp surge.

    SEE ALSO: 'Flash crash’ rips through Asia's currency markets sending the yen into orbit and the Aussie dollar crashing to Earth

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    NOW WATCH: The equity chief at $6.3 trillion BlackRock weighs in on the trade war, a possible recession, and offers her best investing advice for a tricky 2019 landscape


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    Qantas Boeing 787-9

    Despite a topsy-turvy 2018, commercial air travel remains one of the safest forms of transportation in the world. 

    On Thursday, AirlineRatings.com unveiled its list of the safest airlines in the world for 2019. The Australian website, which reviews aviation safety and in-flight products, selected the winning carriers from a pool of 405 airlines. 

    "These airlines are standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation, and the design and launching of new aircraft," Geoffrey Thomas, AirlineRatings.com's editor in chief, said in a statement. 

    According to AirlineRatings.com, the safest airlines in the world for 2019 is Qantas. 

    Read more: The 10 best airlines in the world for 2019.

    "It is extraordinary that Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years and has not had a fatality in the jet era," Thomas said.

    "But Qantas is not alone," Thomas continued. "Long established airlines such as Hawaiian and Finnair have perfect records in the jet era."

    Qantas was not immediately available for comment. 

    Apart from Qantas, AirlineRatings.com declined to rank the other 20 airlines on its list. 

    Airlines from Europe and Asia dominate the list with eight and six entrants, respectively. No airlines from South America or Africa made the list.

    According to the publication's editorial team, the airlines are selected based a host of factors, including results from audits conducted by aviation-governing bodies, government audits, the airline's crash and accident records, fleet age, and profitability. 

    Here's a look at the safest airlines in the world counting down from 21 in reverse-alphabetical order, except for Qantas, which holds the No. 1 spot:

    SEE ALSO: The CEOs of Brazil's biggest airlines reveal the extreme challenges they are up against

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    21. Virgin Australia, the Australian offshoot of Richard Branson's aviation empire, was founded in 1999 as a low-cost carrier called Virgin Blue. In 2011, the company switched to a traditional, full-service business model and was rebranded as Virgin Australia. The airline has no fatal crashes in its history.



    20. Virgin Atlantic is Branson's original aviation venture. Since 2012, 49% of the Crawley, England-based carrier has been under the control of the Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines. Virgin Atlantic has not suffered any fatal crashes in its history.



    19. Chicago-based United Airlines took its current shape in 2012 with the merger of United and Continental airlines. United has not suffered a fatal crash unrelated to terrorism in more than 20 years.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Robert Mueller

    • Prosecutors working for the special counsel Robert Mueller indicated Thursday that their case against several Russian entities accused of carrying out a social-media disinformation scheme to interfere in the 2016 election is tied to an ongoing "matter occurring before the grand jury."
    • The revelation prompted fervent observers of the Russia probe to say that prosecutors may be referring to a separate and secret legal battle between Mueller and an unknown foreign company fighting a grand-jury subpoena.
    • The subpoena case has been shrouded in mystery since last summer, and the Supreme Court is weighing whether to force the unidentified company to pay fines that were imposed on it by a lower court for refusing to comply with Mueller's subpoena.

    In a new court filing Thursday, the special counsel Robert Mueller's team asked the US District Court in Washington, DC, to file a sealed response to lawyers representing an indicted Russian company because the government's response "discusses 'a matter occurring before the grand jury.'"

    Fervent observers of Mueller's investigation into Russia's election interference were quick to say that the court filing could be tied to a separate and ongoing legal battle between Mueller and an unknown entity over a grand-jury subpoena.

    Thursday's filing was related to Mueller's case against Concord Management and Consulting LLC and the Internet Research Agency (IRA), two of three Russian entities the special counsel indicted last year on charges of conspiring to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election via a social-media disinformation campaign.

    Concord is owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Kremlin-allied Russian oligarch who was also indicted and is accused of using his companies to bankroll the IRA.

    Concord asked to share millions of pages of evidence turned over by Mueller with Prigozhin, but the documents first have to be reviewed by a "firewall" counsel working for the US government because of Prigozhin's suspected ties to Russian intelligence.

    Last month, Concord asked a federal judge to allow discovery regarding how the US government turned over confidential information to the firewall counsel. Prosecutors then asked to file their response under seal on Thursday, citing an ongoing grand-jury case.

    Read more:Washington is buzzing about a mysterious grand-jury fight between Mueller's office and an unknown witness

    Meanwhile, the grand-jury subpoena case, which has been shrouded in mystery since it was mounted in August, took an interesting turn last month when the DC appeals court issued a ruling revealing that the unnamed witness in the case isn't a person but a foreign corporation, described in documents only as being "owned by Country A."

    The ruling indicates that the company has been fighting a subpoena from Mueller's office to hand over information to the grand jury, saying that doing so would violate the law in "Country A."

    The document said the court rejected the company's rationale for not complying with the subpoena and ordered it to hand over the information. It also revealed that the corporation is being fined every day that it doesn't comply with the subpoena.

    The unnamed company took its case to the Supreme Court after losing at the appeals court, and Chief Justice John Roberts allowed a temporary freeze on the mounting fines last month.

    The company and the Justice Department made written arguments to the court last week, and the company submitted a reply under seal to the court on Wednesday. The full court is now gearing up to decide whether to compel the company to pay its fines or to keep the freeze in place.

    SEE ALSO: Washington is buzzing about a mysterious grand-jury fight between Mueller's office and an unknown witness

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    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    Jupiter research

    • TILT Holdings, a publicly-traded marijuana company, said it is buying vaporizer company Jupiter Research for $210 million in cash and stock.
    • The acquisition allows TILT to go after a new category — and one that represents "exponential growth" TILT executive Joel Milton said in an interview with Business Insider.
    • TILT was created out of a four-way merger in May and went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange in December. 

    It's 2019, and the marijuana M&A market is already heating up.

    Cannabis technology company TILT Holdings on Thursday signed an agreement to acquire Jupiter Research, a vaporizer-maker, for $210 million in cash and stock.

    "We never expected to acquire a hardware company," Joel Milton, TILT's senior vice president of software and services told Business Insider in an interview.

    But when Milton and TILT's CEO, Alex Coleman, met with Jupiter's CEO, Mark Scatterday, "we were really impressed with what they were doing," said Milton. 

    Read more: A top marijuana CPA says the 'bubble will burst' for weed M&A deals

    That, coupled with the "exponential growth" vapes offer made Jupiter a nice fit within TILT's arsenal, said Milton.

    Jupiter booked over $100 million in orders last year, up from under $25 million in 2017, according to a December note from Canaccord Genuity. 

    The deal is expected to close in the "near future," said Milton. 

    A 'B2B approach' to marijuana

    TILT was created out of a four-way merger between marijuana software company Baker Technologies— where Milton served as CEO — with Briteside Holdings, Sea Hunter Therapeutics, and Santé Veritas Holdings in May 2018.

    The combined entity went public via a reverse merger on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) last December and began to roll-up other marijuana companies shortly after. 

    "We're a little differentiated from some of our other peers in the market in that we take a much more B2B (business-to-business) approach in terms of how we look at the industry," Milton said.

    Read more: Marijuana companies are using a 'backdoor' strategy to tap the public markets — and it's fueling an M&A boom

    Whereas other US-based marijuana companies, known as multi-state operators, are focused on acquisitions that expand their geographical retail presence, TILT is focused on supplying software and services — and now hardware — to marijuana dispensaries. 

     TILT acquired Blackbird, a marijuana distribution and software company in December.

    "So rather than solely focused on opening retail stores, we're really focused on providing solutions to the whole industry," Milton said, adding that the Jupiter acquisition is an "unbelievable" way to expand TILT's reach into a new category.

    "When you look at the data within the states [where marijuana is legal], vaporizers are growing rapidly," Milton said. "When you have that growth within a market over time plus new markets, you get exponential growth. And quite frankly we have really, really high expectations for what the vaporizer market's going to look like." 

    Vape companies, whether used for marijuana or otherwise, have been prime acquisition targets in recent weeks. Altria, the tobacco-maker behind Marlboro, sank $12.8 billion into a 35% stake of Juul, a popular e-cigarette maker in December. 

    Marijuana is legal in Canada and for adult use in 10 states, and medical use in 33. In December, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said legalizing the adult use of marijuana is one of his top legislative priorities for next year.

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    For the first time in history, a space mission has touched down on the far side of the moon. China's Chang'e-4 probe landed in the the oldest and deepest basin on the moon's surface. Making the mission a milestone for both China and space exploration as a whole.

    This isn't the first time China has landed on the moon. In 2013,  Chang'e-3 successfully touched down on Mare Imbrium, a huge lava plane on the moon's surface. But until now, China has never explored the moon's mysterious dark side. No one has.

    That's actually why it's called the "dark side". It's not hidden from the sun. It's hidden from our view. That's because the Earth and moon are in what's called synchronous rotation. Which means every time the moon rotates once on its axis, it also completes one orbit around the Earth.

    As a result, we see the same face of the moon every night. In fact, we only got our first glimpse of the far side in 1959 when the Soviet Union's Luna 3 took pictures as it flew by. And while we've had numerous landings on the near side of the moon no one's attempted to touch down on the far side before. And for good reason.

    It's impossible to communicate with anything over there. Any signal would get blocked by the rest of the moon. But China's team had a solution. They launched a relay satellite with  a clear view of both Chang'e-4 and the Earth. And so far, the plan's working. Here are the very first images taken by Chang'e-4. The first in history ever taken from the surface on the dark side of the moon. What's more, you're looking at the oldest, largest, and deepest basin the moon has.

    Chang'e-4 landed in Von Karman a flat landscape that sits inside: South Pole–Aitken basin. The basin is around 2500 km across — that's about the distance from New York to Dallas! And it's a whopping 8 km deep — for comparison, the deepest natural point on Earth, the Challenger Deep, is nearly 11 km deep.  Next, the lander will release a rover that will explore the surrounding area. One of its tasks is to study the composition of rocks and dirt in the basin. Since scientists believe this is the oldest basin on the moon learning what it's made of might help us understand how Earth's only moon formed and evolved.

    But that's only one goal of the mission. Besides cameras and spectrometers, Chang'e-4 also brought along potatoes and silkworm eggs. Researchers hope to test how well plants can grow and eggs can hatch in the moon's low gravity. It's the mini-first greenhouse to ever land on another world in our solar system and might help prepare us for space colonies in the future.

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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    Blockchain is seemingly being explored by innovation teams in every corner of every industry. This includes the logistics industry, which, despite continuing on an impressive upward trajectory — the market is expected to reach $15.5 trillion by 2023, up from $8.1 trillion in 2015 — is filled with inefficiencies that the distributed ledger technology (DLT) is potentially well suited to fix.

    BiTA

    As a result, the DLT has become one of the most attractive investment opportunities for companies in the logistics space; in fact, the market for blockchain technology in supply chain management is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49% from $41 million in 2017 to $667 million in 2024, according to Zion Market Research.

    This is leading some of the largest firms in the logistics industry to explore blockchain and its potential use cases. For example, in 2017, a group of technology, transportation, and supply chain executives formed the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) to create a forum for the development of blockchain standards and education for the freight industry. BiTA now has over 450 members, including global heavyweights UPS, FedEx, SAP, Google, Cisco, and Daimler.

     However, there are still major hurdles to overcome before the technology can become commonplace. Many companies, especially small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), are still unaware of what blockchain is, how it works, or what the benefits of the technology are. 

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explores how blockchain can provide value to the global logistics industry. We break down some of the inefficiencies in the logistics industry that are leading firms to explore blockchain and explain how the technology can be used to solve these issues. Additionally, we examine some specific use cases along the supply chain and identify some of the hurdles to adoption. And finally, we take a look at what needs to occur in the logistics industry for blockchain to be deployed widely. 

    The companies mentioned in this report are: BiTA, FedEx, IBM, Maersk, Modum, SAP, Volt Technology, and Walmart.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • The logistics industry suffers from a number of inefficiencies caused by outdated processes that blockchain could solve. Some of the issues plaguing the space include a lack of transparency caused by siloed, disparate systems, high costs as a result of slow, manual processes, and difficulties related to the amount of time it takes to create and close a contract.
    • Firms that deploy blockchain-based solutions are likely to achieve a more streamlined experience through a reduced need for intermediaries, better planning capabilities as a result of improved visibility, and lower costs through the digitization of documentation.
    • Major companies are allocating resources toward developing a viable blockchain-based platform. Although few solutions have actually been fully developed, companies including IBM and Maersk, as well as retail heavyweight Walmart and FedEx, are making considerable strides in bringing their blockchain solutions to market.
    • However, use of the technology is still in its infancy within the logistics industry. Firms are still confused about the potential benefits of the technology — only 11% of respondents to an MHI Annual Industry survey believe they have a working knowledge of blockchain.
    • Having industry-specific case studies will show firms that are exploring the technology how they can go from testing to full deployment. These high-profile companies, which are some of the biggest and most influential in the world, will also be able to help shape a global standard for the use of blockchain and aid in the development of new legislation.

    In full, the report:

    • Sizes the potential market for blockchain in the management of the supply chain.
    • Explains how blockchain technology can be used to improve the inefficiencies that have long plagued the logistics industry. 
    • Details how specific companies are testing blockchain technology to enhance parts of the supply chain, including freight shipments and last-mile delivery. 
    • Discusses the potential barriers that will challenge the adoption of blockchain in logistics and how these hurdles can be overcome.
    • Pinpoints what will likely need to happen next for the mass adoption of blockchain to occur.

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