Monday, October 16, 2017

ESOcast 133: ESO Telescopes Observe First Light from Gravitational Wave ...

Federal Judge Nixes Allergan Patents - blockbuster drug may be copied now

A US district judge for Eastern Texas,William Bryson,has tossed out Allergan's patents on its blockbuster dry eye treatment Restasis,which has been marketed by a long-running TV commercial campaign.The judge said the patents were based on obvious ideas.He additionally disliked Allergan's attempt to shield the patents by transferring the rights to the St.Regis Mohawk Indian tribe in New York State last month-a move Members of Congress have also criticised.Allergan's rivals have been seeking the ruling,led by Mylan NV and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.*
The ruling may clear the way for other drugmakers to produce generic versions of Restasis.*
Last year,Restasis generated 10% of Allergan's revenue and 15% of its profits.The company,through its chief legal officer,Robert Bailey,said it was disappointed in the decision and was considering all of its options.*
As of time of publication,Allergan was down 3.51%;Teva had dropped 1.84%;while Mylan rose 0.59%.*
Allergan plc (AGN),Mylan NV (MYL),Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd ADR (TEVA)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Boeing to Acquire Aurora Flight Sciences - Avionics - photo

Boeing to Acquire Aurora Flight Sciences - Avionics: Boeing plans to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences Corp., the to-be subsidiary said. Although the sale is not yet official, the two parties have signed an agreement. Terms have not been disclosed. “The combined strength and innovation of our teams will advance the development of autonomy for our commercial and military systems,” said Greg Hyslop, CTO …

Monday, October 2, 2017

Goldman Sachs and Fidelity Attracted by Digital Currencies

At least two major financial firms,Goldman Sachs and Fidelity,are actively searching out the realm of Bitcoin and Ethereum as investor demand for exposure to digital currencies swells.A Goldman spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal that:
In response to client interest in digital currencies,we are exploring how best to serve them in this space.*
Indeed,Goldman has been following the currencies for some time now.One of its vice presidents issued a report on Bitcoin price action earlier this year,when it sharply increased to more than 5,000 dollars.The price has since declined all the way to below 1,000,before recovering  to over 4,000.*
About 75 funds related to digital currencies have sprung up so far.*
Privately held Fidelity Investments,Inc. have also been probing this prospect,with CEO Abigail Johnson revealing they have made several venture investments in Bitcoin-related businesses and are looking at the blockchain technologies that underlie the currencies with a number of top universities.
Fidelity has gone even farther than Goldman,setting up a digital currency mining operation for educational purposes that uses hardware from 21 Inc.Ms.Johnson said:
We set up a small Bitcoin and Ethereum mining operation...that miraculously now is making a lot of money.*
The Ark Innovation exchange-traded fund provides exposure to digital currencies and other advanced concepts.*
Among the skeptics,JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has dismissed digital currencies as being a fraud.*
At time of publication,the currency prices were:
Bitcoin (BTC) 4360.00 +1.20%
Ethereum (ETH) 294.97 -2.13%
Bitcoin Futures 4318.00 + 1.38%*
Goldman Sachs (GS),Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Wall Street Not Worried About Citi - shares edge up

At a Barclays' investor conference,Citigroup's Chief Financial Officer,John Gerspach,said that Citi's Q3 revenue would probably fall by 15% on the year.Barclays' own analyst,Jason Goldberg,had forecast a 12% drop in Citi revenue,so Mr.Gerspach wasn't saying anything the Street didn't already know.The decline is related to lower market volatility,meaning people are trading less often,being more confident in their positions as US presidential election and Brexit fears have abated.*
Mr.Gerspach also expressed optimism about Citi's investment banking business.As well,he is pleased that regulatory reform is on the table in Washington,although the talks are going more slowly than he would like,with several finance-related government posts being vacant.*
Citigroup shares were up 1.54 on the day as of press time,or 2.33%,to 67.71,with the yield at 1.89%.*
Citigroup,Inc (C)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 - inside the science of the rare event

Scientists are able to observe layers of the Sun's atmosphere during a solar eclipse that they cannot image otherwise.The corona,the outermost layer of the Sun,is a halo of gas streaming out from the Sun's surface in plumes and loops.Eclipse observing will help to solve the question of why the corona is hotter than the Sun's surface.Remember that it is cooler the farther away you get from a stove;that is not the case with the Sun,where the opposite is occurring.The photosphere surface of the Sun that emits sunlight is an average of 5500 degrees Centigrade;but the corona above it is up to millions of degrees C.Studying the corona during an eclipse and measuring how quickly the coronal gas oscillates can help distinguish between the general classes of ideas about this problem or perhaps ascertain that both processes are occurring:
1.The nanoflame hypothesis is a model that suggests that millions of tiny explosions could combine to heat up the corona.Millions of the flares going off per second ,each with a billionth as much energy as a large flare,would keep the corona broiling hot.
2.Magnetic or Alfven waves propagate through coronal loops,interacting with one another and dissipating some of their energy,either in the lower ends of the loop or throughout the corona.*
Rapid readouts with Charge-Coupled Devices,or CCDs,on ground-based telescopes will capture images several times per second-much faster than space telescopes can.*
NASA is funding 11 proposals:six for coronal studies and five for the response of Earth's atmosphere to dramatic eclipse cooling.A variety of observations from ground and space will provide the most comprehensive study ever made of the infrared corona,its spectrum and its polarisation.*
Combining ground-based observations with those from satellites in the visible,UV,X-ray and radio parts of the spectrum will provide the most complete view of the solar atmosphere ever obtained.*
A small group of scientists will use the small pixels and precise calibration of CCD detectors to test Einstein's theory of relativity by looking for evidence that the Sun's mass is bending the light of distant stars behind it,an effect caused by the relativistic warping of space-time.
First,the telescopes will be calibrated by measuring several nighttime star images.Because of the ESA's newly-released catalog of star positions,we know their positions with very high precision,so we can look for any deflections caused by the Sun more easily,with fewer calibrations of the telescopes.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Indirect Investing in Cryptocurrencies - a path for cautious investors

There are a number of companies who have included cryptocurrencies,aka digital currencies,such as Bitcoin and Ether in their operations in one way or another.Buying stocks of these companies,therefore,is a way for more conservative investors to participate in the cryptocurrency sector as a part of their portfolios.After all,cryptocurrencies are only one aspect of these businesses,and by no means the only thing they have going for them.*
First of all,companies such as Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia are manufacturing graphics cards,or GPUs,that speculators need for discovering currency mining algorithms.These are especially powerful cards,not the general GPUs.*
Online video gaming firm Zynga was an early adopter of Bitcoin transactions.The company had a good Q1 2017 and its stock price had appreciated 44% year to date as of late June.The fact that Zynga accepts Bitcoin makes it an attractive place to play games for the growing crowd of digital currency owners.*
Paypal has formed partnerships with three Bitcoin-based service providers.More and more people want to transact in Bitcoin,so Paypal has positioned itself to help them do just that.*
ARK Web X.O ETF invests primarily in innovative technology firms.The Bitcoin Investment Trust is its largest holding,at 8.8% of its portfolio as of March 2017.Other holdings in the etf include such firms as AthenaHealth,Amazon,Tesla,Netflix,Alphabet (Google) and Facebook.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD),ARK Web X.O ETF (NYSEArca:ARKW),Nvidia Inc (NVID),Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL),Zynga Inc (ZNGA)

Here's Why A BitcoinIRA Is Enticing Some To Risk Their Savings | CNBC

Companies Across The Board Benefit From Cryptocurrency | CNBC

Monday, July 3, 2017

GM's Super Cruise Technology Coming This Autumn

This fall,General Motors is introducing its Super Cruise (TM) technology on the Cadillac G6.It will only be available on the G6.The company has no comment on future plans for the system.*
The point of Super Cruise is to allow you to safely relax or lightly multitask as long as you keep your eyes on the road.The car's sensors and navigation system will keep you in your chosen lane and prevent you from striking other cars.
The technology is for highway use only.You cannot sleep,watch videos and so on.It isn't perfect,but is intended as a good first mass market step in this technology,which is believed to be the next big thing in the auto industry.
With Super Cruise,you could eat,adjust your audio system,rear view mirror,etc.As long as you don't look away for too long in relation to your speed,the car will keep running.
If you look away for too long,the vehicle will warn you with a red light on the steering wheel and then a seat vibration.If you still don't respond,it will safely get the vehicle off the road and bring it to a stop.*
General Motors (GM)

Cadillac Super Cruise™

General Motors Launching 'Super Cruise Control' Technology For Hands-Fre...

Monday, June 12, 2017

Part 2 of the BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year - Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 17 "Little Russian": II. Andantino marzia...

GE Chief Jeff Immelt Resigns - major investor sought sea change

Jeff Immelt,who led General Electric through some tumultuous years after the celebrated Jack Welch retired,has turned over the reigns of the multinational conglomerate to John Flannery,President and CEO of the GE Health Care subsidiary.Mr.Immelt was faulted by investors for the company's lackluster share price;indeed,it was down about 12% on the year as of close of trading on Friday.
Mr.Flannery said:
I am privileged to have spent the last 16 years at the company working for Jeff,one of the greatest business leaders of our time.*
Mr.Flannery,who takes over on 1 August,also promised to assess the company's condition.He was credited with the turnaround of GE Health Care,increasing organic revenue by five percent in 2016.*
Mr.Immelt was well-liked by his fellow CEOs,including Jamie Dimon of Chase;Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs;and Jack Welch,his predecessor.As for GE itself,it stated that:
Immelt's vision has positioned GE for the future and greatly strengthened the GE culture.
Lead independent director Jack Brennan added that:
During this time of dynamic global markets and relentless focus on technical and operational excellence,there is no better person to lead GE than John Flannery.He brings unique experience and a broad skill set to the job.*
Jeff Immelt,who took charge immediately before the 9-11 attacks,saw the company through the years of the Afghan and Iraq Wars,as well as the Financial Crisis.He slimmed GE Finance down and jettisoned GE Appliances;while at the same time purchasing France's Alstom Power and establishing GE Software.This wasn't quite enough for one of the firm's biggest investors,billionaire Nelson Pelz,whose Trian Capital bought a one percent stake in GE in 2015.Trian pushed GE to reduce costs and boost profitability.*
The company's shares rose 3.67% to 28.97 as of 12:36 pm.*
General Electric (GE)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

US Air Force CSAR Pave Hawk Successor Reaches Critical Design Review - Rotor & Wing

US Air Force CSAR Pave Hawk Successor Reaches Critical Design Review - Rotor & Wing: Sikorsky’s HH-60W can now prepare for assembly, test and evaluation, Lockheed Martin said. The U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) project has successfully reached air vehicle critical design review. “This milestone is an important achievement and demonstrates Sikorsky and the Air Force are well aligned on the technical requirements of the HH-60W,” said Tim …

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Restless Ford Motor Picks New Leader

Ford Motor Company,prodded by anxious shareholders,who have seen rival Tesla Motors overtake Ford in market cap recently,has chosen insider Jim Hackett to replace longtime Ford executive Mark Fields.Ford's executive chairman,Bill Ford,great grandson of company founder Henry Ford,denied that Fields had been fired.They simply sat down together and decided it was time for new leadership,Mr.Ford said.
Mr.Fields had replaced the retiring Alan Mulally,who was credited with shepherding Ford through the Financial Crisis.*
Mr.Hackett,a Ford board member,had been serving as Chairman of Ford Smart Mobility,the unit charged with crafting Ford's response to a changing transportation sector rapidly altered by firms such as Uber,Lyft and Google.Mr.Fields had been CEO for only three years and kept the company profitable,although its core auto manufacturing business has shown lackluster results as of late.*
In a previous position as CEO of office furniture maker Steelcase,Mr.Hackett shifted the company from cubicles to the rising open office format.From 2014-2016,he was interim athletic director at the University of Michigan,bringing on NFL coach Jim Harbaugh and hence restoring Michigan football to competitiveness.Bill Ford noted that:
These are really unprecedented times,and it really requires transformational leadership during these times.*
Ford's first electric SUV won't be ready till 2020.*
Ford Motor Company (F)