Summary of “Cinema Chains Take It On The Chin”

Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox, said at a presentation at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference earlier this month that the top four animated films grossed 50% less than in 2016, and that this accounted for 90% of the drop in the summer box office.
The immediate cyclical issue is that 50% drop; the secular one is that cinemas’ fortunes are so concentrated in so few films.
Sector bankers and analysts expect some snap-back in cinema chains’ stock prices as the box office picks up again.
With AMC, one person points out that there is elevated short interest-bets on a decline in the stock price – and that, as the company gets its leverage under control and fears about Dalian Wanda ebb, recovery can be expected there, too.
The limited number of studios producing very few major hits casts a long shadow, another secular force weighing down on the industry.
Cinemas currently enjoy a window of exclusivity for exhibiting films; VOD would see studios cut into that window, offering customers a chance to stream new films for a premium price before they’re available on TV networks or ordinary streaming services like Netflix.
Studios and cinema chains have been in extended negotiations over whether the exclusivity window will be shortened.
Murdoch, in his presentation, pointed out that a lot of piracy of film content happens in the 45-day black-out period after the box office run of a film ends, and said that this doesn’t make sense.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What’s the biggest food delivery service in each city?”

Chances are DoorDash will fork over your food in San Jose and Fort Worth.
The takeout food delivery market is a fractured one, according to data from Second Measure, a company that analyzes billions of dollars worth of anonymized debit and credit card purchases.
GrubHub, which includes Seamless, has the greatest overall market share and is the most popular takeout delivery platform in nine major cities, according to August data for the 22 most populous cities in the U.S. Grubhub’s marketshare is likely to increase after GrubHub’s recent acquisition of Eat24, Yelp’s delivery platform.
In these cities DoorDash has the second overall markets share, while UberEATS is third.
UberEATS, which launched in several cities last year and is now profitable in 27 of 108 cities worldwide, has the benefit of existing driver networks around the country from its parent company Uber.
Amazon – which only leads food delivery in its hometown of Seattle – has huge organizational and delivery chops from its retail business that it could leverage to grow its food delivery business.
Prepared food delivery makes up the vast majority of Postmates’ sales, but the service does deliver groceries and non-food items as well – a useful fallback from food delivery.
Caviar has the biggest market share in the highly competitive and tech-forward San Francisco.

The orginal article.

Summary of “We have a pretty good idea of when humans will go extinct”

Several decades ago, Princeton’s J. Richard Gott got the idea of applying the principle to our position in time.
If his visit took place at the very beginning of that middle portion of the Wall’s existence, Gott reasoned, that eight years would represent exactly one quarter of the way into its history.
In the case of Gott’s visit to the Berlin Wall, to achieve 95 percent confidence on his prediction he’d have to say the Wall’s future life span was somewhere between 0.2 and 320 years, instead of the 2.66 to 24 years predicted at the 50 percent accuracy threshold.
Assuming that you and I are not so special as to be born at either the dawn of a very long-lasting human civilization or the twilight years of a short-lived one, we can apply Gott’s 95 percent confidence formula to arrive at an estimate of when the human race will go extinct: between 5,100 and 7.8 million years from now.
Mammalian species typically last around 1 million years before going extinct.
As Gott points out, our Neanderthal ancestors were around for only 300,000 years, while Homo erectus survived for about 1.6 million.
Gott has put his Copernican formula to the test in a number of different ways over the years, with some surprising results.
There’s not much reason to suspect that we’ll remain one forever: Using the Copernican formula several years ago, Gott estimated that “If our location within the history of human space travel is not special, there is a 50 percent chance that we are in the last half now and that its future duration is less than 48 years.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “YouTube Grows Up: Inside the Plan to Take on Netflix and Hulu”

Hulu and CNN also were said to be in the mix, but a surprising distributor quickly rose to the top: YouTube.
When Super Size Me 2 debuts on YouTube Red, the company’s $10-a-month streaming service, in 2018 after a run in theaters, it will front a small but growing slate of films – among them a documentary from rapper Warren G and a special starring Katy Perry – that YouTube global head of original content Susanne Daniels is hoping will help turn the world’s biggest repository for web video into an arbiter of taste and culture, a player in both the Oscar and Emmy races.
An arms race among cash-rich new players – led by Netflix and Amazon and now including Hulu, Apple, Facebook and, yes, YouTube – has electrified the content business as legacy distribution models continue to fracture.
Where does all this leave YouTube, the site that launched the streaming age in 2005 with user-generated cat videos but now wants to be taken seriously as a prestige subscription destination? During a recent visit with THR at Google’s Mountain View campus in Northern California, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki laid out her multipronged offensive: a slate of ad-supported unscripted originals from such names as Demi Lovato, Ryan Seacrest and Ellen DeGeneres, coupled with a scripted push for YouTube Red that combines existing IP with projects fronted by its homegrown digital stars.
This summer, YouTube Red went head-to-head with Netflix, Hulu, AMC and Amazon to land Sony TV’s Karate Kid reboot, set 30 years after the coming-of-age classic, with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprising their roles.
At YouTube, the main challenge is its uniquely annoying platform architecture, in which each original series must live on a designated YouTube channel.
As Netflix and others look to own more of their shows, YouTube could get a boost.
Sitting in her Playa Vista office in August after her weekly production update meeting, Daniels contemplates just what it will take to turn YouTube into the kind of platform that gets mentioned in the same breath with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The algorithm is innocent”

The company tried to downplay the event in a statement, saying the reason 4chan appeared at the very top of its search results, highlighted with a photo and set aside in a box, was the fault of an algorithm.
In this case, the algorithm weighted “Freshness” too heavily over “Authoritativeness.” There were not many results for the name, and therefore the algorithm lowered its standards for its top stories module, which includes content from both news sites and around the web.
The company behind the app called it “An unfortunate side-effect” of the algorithm and “Not intended behavior.” After ProPublica reported that Facebook allowed advertisers to target “Jew haters,” the New York Times chalked it up to a “Faulty algorithm.” In all three cases – the 4chan Google result, the racist Faceapp filter, and the Jew hater ad targeting – the algorithm was not faulty.
If I were designing an algorithm that was going to scrape the web and highlight stories at the top of Google, I might blacklist some sites to make sure it’s not littered with bullshit.
While algorithms like the ones that govern Google’s search engine have gotten sophisticated and complicated, Google still has full and complete control over them.
Over on Facebook’s “Trending” section, algorithmically compiled stories for the shooting includes an article from a Russian propaganda outlet, Sputnik, incorrectly saying that the FBI had connected the shooter to ISIS. Facebook may not have intended for its algorithm to be surfacing false information from Russian state-owned news outlets, but that doesn’t mean it is the algorithm’s fault.
When these curated answers are wrong, Google often points to low search volume, which means too little data for the algorithm to come up with a good result.
It’s not about what the algorithm was supposed to do, except that it went off and did a bad thing instead. Google’s business lives and dies by these things we call algorithms; getting this stuff right is its one job.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Lawyer Who Beat Big Tobacco Takes On the Opioid Industry”

Moore had become familiar with the signs of an overdose since his nephew, for whom he’s a father figure, filled his first legal prescriptions in 2006 for Percocet, an opioid painkiller made by Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. By 2010, his nephew, who asked not to be named, was obtaining generic fentanyl on the street.
The suits allege that the companies triggered the opioid epidemic by minimizing the addiction and overdose risk of painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Duragesic.
States have tried to legally challenge opioid marketing practices, aiming mostly at Purdue, since at least 2001.
The case may not have done much to waylay Purdue, but it did give Moore early insight into how opioid litigation could work and helped him establish connections with attorneys who are now among the most active filers.
According to the state, Purdue, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Janssen, Endo, and Allergan invested millions to change attitudes about opioid prescribing.
Janssen distributed a patient education guide calling opioid addiction a “Myth,” for example, while Endo advertised that an abuse-deterrent reformulation of one of its most popular opioids, Opana ER, made it crush-resistant, despite its own studies disproving that claim.
Of the roughly 234 million annual opioid prescriptions, only 4 million, or 1.7 percent, are for Purdue drugs.
Moore is confident that the opioid industry will be driven to negotiate for the same reasons tobacco companies were: to end the demonization and obtain financial predictability.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Elon Musk says that, if given the green light, he can power Puerto Rico”

When Scott Stapf read a story about Puerto Rico’s “Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink how it gets electricity,” he had a thought: Could Elon Musk rebuild the country’s electricity system with independent solar and battery systems?
The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too.
Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR.- Elon Musk October 5, 2017.
As Musk says in his tweet, Tesla TSLA, -2.03% is familiar with what it takes, though on a smaller scale than the one desperately needed in Puerto Rico.
Late Thursday, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricky Rossello expressed his interest, tweeting “Let’s talk” to Musk, saying “PR could be that flagship project.”
Musk has already stepped up in a big way to do his part for Puerto Rico.
Musk also donated $250,000 of his own money to the relief effort.
Tesla shares have gained 66% in 2017, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.07% has gained 14% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.04% has gained 15%..

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Odds And Perils Of Gambling Successfully On Japan’s New Casinos”

While Yakuza were traditionally notorious for their violent methods, one figure stood out for favoring a more cerebral approach to profiteering: Susumu Ishii – the second-generation leader of the Inagawa-kai, Japan’s third-largest yakuza group.
When the laws changed and Ishii was jailed in the late 197os for organizing gambling, he revised his views on what the yakuza should be and heralded the rise of the modern-day Yakuza, who have at times turned the Japanese stock market into their own private casino.
Casinos could open a whole new revenue stream for the yakuza.
What casino companies coming into Japan should really fear, according to Jake Adelstein, an investigative journalist who has covered organized crime in the country for more than 20 years, is not losing money to cheating yakuza customers, but the infiltration of their companies and casino staff by organized crime members.
It might be possible to set up excellent surveillance at casinos to keep yakuza from walking in the front door.
So what else can be done to mitigate the “Yakuza risk” associated with doing business in Japan, especially as it concerns legalized gaming? First and foremost, accurate and timely due diligence must be completed prior to hiring staff and engaging in any business relationship, as the monetary incentive to penetrate or compromise legalized gaming establishments is just too great.
Third, educating all vetted casino staff on recognizing yakuza and the signs of their entrapment schemes, as well as cultivating awareness among staff of how they could become targeted as a gateway into the casino operation, is indispensable.
Cyber security may merit special attention; vulnerabilities have been discovered at casinos in other locations around Asia, so casino operators will need state-of-the-art cyber security as well.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Amazon Is Testing Its Own Delivery Service to Rival FedEx and UPS”

Amazon.com Inc. is experimenting with a new delivery service intended to make more products available for free two-day delivery and relieve overcrowding in its warehouses, according to two people familiar with the plan, which will push the online retailer deeper into functions handled by longtime partners United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. The service began two years ago in India, and Amazon has been slowly marketing it to U.S. merchants in preparation for a national expansion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the U.S. pilot project is confidential.
Amazon will oversee pickup of packages from warehouses of third-party merchants selling goods on Amazon.com and their delivery to customers’ homes, the people said – work that is now often handled by UPS and FedEx.
Handling more deliveries itself would give Amazon greater flexibility and control over the last mile to shoppers’ doorsteps, let it save money through volume discounts, and help avoid congestion in its own warehouses by keeping merchandise in the outside sellers’ own facilities.
The merchants had to demonstrate they could meet Amazon’s delivery pledge, and many used UPS and FedEx for deliveries.
Seller Flex would also give Seattle-based Amazon more visibility into the warehousing and delivery operations of its merchant partners, potentially helping it make full use of their product inventory, storage space and proximity to customers while still guaranteeing quick delivery.
The project underscores Amazon’s ambitions to expand its logistics operations and wean itself off the delivery networks of UPS and FedEx.
Taking over some responsibility for delivery enables Amazon to protect that edge as rivals like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. enhance their own delivery operations.
“But if you look at the world of e-commerce and double-digit growth year after year, FedEx and UPS are still going to get their share of growth. If Amazon does take a few customers, the whole ecommerce pie is growing so fast that FedEx and UPS won’t miss a beat.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Sophia Amoruso Learned From Nasty Gal’s Bankruptcy”

In 2006, Sophia Amoruso started Nasty Gal and was met with huge success.
Amoruso had an estimated net worth of $280 million, enough to earn her a spot on Forbes’ list of the Richest Self-Made Women, where she was one of the youngest members.
“It was the day Trump was elected,” recalls Amoruso, now 32, speaking at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in Boston Tuesday.
Amoruso hosts conferences she calls Girlboss Rallys and there was even a Netflix series based on her life.
“We are exploring the concept of what success means,” says Amoruso.
The pains of the last year still fresh, Amoruso is already thinking hard about what future success will look like for herself and others.
“You don’t get what you don’t ask for.” Amoruso recommends tools like Boomerang, a G-mail app the resurfaces e-mails when recipients haven’t responded.
“Asking and asking again and asking again goes really far.” “Being naive is a really really beautiful thing. You can accomplish so much.” “Focus on less things and be great at those things.” Focus can be hard, especially when you are a creative person with lots of ideas.

The orginal article.