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Congress should block FCC’s net neutrality vote, Internet experts say

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The Obama-era regulation might come to an end.
Time

More than 20 Internet experts want Congress to prevent the Federal Communications Commission’s vote to overturn the 2015 rules that prohibit Internet service providers from blocking and slowing online content.

The group, which includes Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf, often called “the father of the Internet,” sent a letter to Senate and House tech leaders seeking a cancellation of the FCC’s vote, scheduled for Thursday.

That vote, expected to take place at the agency’s monthly meeting, the signers say, “would repeal key network neutrality protections that prevent Internet access providers from blocking content, websites and applications, slowing or speeding up services or classes of service, and charging online services for access or fast lanes to Internet access providers’ customers.”

More: Wozniak Copps: Ending net neutrality will end the Internet as we know it

More: What’s at stake with the FCC’s net neutrality vote

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Those protections were part of the 2015 Open Internet order, or net neutrality rules, supported by President Obama and passed by the Democrat-led FCC.

The current FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Trump, voted against those rules when he was a commissioner. He has supported “light-touch” regulations that instead require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to disclose any blocking or prioritization of their own content or from their partners.

An “Internet Conduct Standard” meant to protect consumers will also be rescinded under the new rules, which are meant to free up ISP investment and innovation.

But the 21 Internet experts are concerned that rules written to replace the current ones are based “on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology,” they say in the letter.

The letter signers also mentioned “major problems” the FCC had with its online comment system. The FCC received 23 million comments on the issue of net neutrality, but millions of them were fake submissions — with both sides of the issue hit. And nearly a half-million comments came from Russian email addresses.

The FCC is expected to pass the new regulations, as all three Republicans on the commission have said they support the measure. 

Congress should cancel the agency’s vote, the experts say, because the FCC’s “rushed and technically incorrect proposed Order to abolish net neutrality protections without any replacement is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create.”

More: After net neutrality: How to tell if your ISP is slowing your Internet

More: FCC rebuffs calls from senators, NY AG to delay net neutrality vote over fake comments

More: FCC Chairman takes on net neutrality critics including Cher and Hulk

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

Bangladesh should embrace Internet of Things: experts

Bangladesh should embrace the “Internet of Things” as it can help the country efficiently maintain key infrastructure, manage traffic properly and boost economic growth, according to experts.

IoT can immediately improve traffic management of cities, increase crop production, and maintain important infrastructure, they told a seminar at the Digital World on Friday.

For example, running air-conditioners at over 25 degree Celsius alone can save $67,644 a day in Bangladesh and IoT can ensure that.

“The whole world is moving towards this new technical innovation and if we fail to embrace it we will miss our next development scope,” said Khursheed Khan, managing partner at California-based Sagacious Solutions Inc, at the seminar titled “Fourth Industrial Revolution and Opportunities of Internet of Things”.

Khan said big data analytics, IoT and sensors can give a huge boost to the environment and agriculture, transportation and logistics, healthcare, manufacturing and utilities.

IoT is all about connecting objects to the network and enabling them to collect and share data. Machines, buildings, cars and many more things can be embedded with software and sensors that let them collect and exchange data.

It means people can control temperature of a room using an app or turn on the lights remotely. At city scale, IoT can generate real-time information with sensors in the road monitoring the flow of traffic and a public app showing available parking spots.

Faruk Ahmed Jewel, an expert from the Prime Minister’s Office, said using IoT can help cut city congestion by at least 40 percent.

“So, the government is seriously considering adopting it.  Different government agencies have a huge amount of information and we need to use the information to find solutions,” he said.

DataSoft Systems Bangladesh Ltd, a local IT firm, is working in many countries on IoT. It is helping the Democratic Republic of the Congo run one of its longest bridges.

M Manjur Mahmud, chief operating officer of DataSoft, said, “We have been able to convince Japan how IoT can help cut electricity bills. Using this promise we are now installing IoT in 10,000 flats in Japan.”

M Helal Uddin Ahmed, chairman of the management information systems at Dhaka University, said IoT can help boost the country’s overall growth.

“Billions of devices are connected with each other which are giving us a huge amount of information. We can create new knowledge by analysing the data and it can change our lifestyle,” said Ahmed.

Mahboob Zaman, a former president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, said adopting new technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality is needed to grow further.

Bangladesh should embrace Internet of Things: experts

Bangladesh should embrace the “Internet of Things” as it can help the country efficiently maintain key infrastructure, manage traffic properly and boost economic growth, according to experts.

IoT can immediately improve traffic management of cities, increase crop production, and maintain important infrastructure, they told a seminar at the Digital World on Friday.

For example, running air-conditioners at over 25 degree Celsius alone can save $67,644 a day in Bangladesh and IoT can ensure that.

“The whole world is moving towards this new technical innovation and if we fail to embrace it we will miss our next development scope,” said Khursheed Khan, managing partner at California-based Sagacious Solutions Inc, at the seminar titled “Fourth Industrial Revolution and Opportunities of Internet of Things”.

Khan said big data analytics, IoT and sensors can give a huge boost to the environment and agriculture, transportation and logistics, healthcare, manufacturing and utilities.

IoT is all about connecting objects to the network and enabling them to collect and share data. Machines, buildings, cars and many more things can be embedded with software and sensors that let them collect and exchange data.

It means people can control temperature of a room using an app or turn on the lights remotely. At city scale, IoT can generate real-time information with sensors in the road monitoring the flow of traffic and a public app showing available parking spots.

Faruk Ahmed Jewel, an expert from the Prime Minister’s Office, said using IoT can help cut city congestion by at least 40 percent.

“So, the government is seriously considering adopting it.  Different government agencies have a huge amount of information and we need to use the information to find solutions,” he said.

DataSoft Systems Bangladesh Ltd, a local IT firm, is working in many countries on IoT. It is helping the Democratic Republic of the Congo run one of its longest bridges.

M Manjur Mahmud, chief operating officer of DataSoft, said, “We have been able to convince Japan how IoT can help cut electricity bills. Using this promise we are now installing IoT in 10,000 flats in Japan.”

M Helal Uddin Ahmed, chairman of the management information systems at Dhaka University, said IoT can help boost the country’s overall growth.

“Billions of devices are connected with each other which are giving us a huge amount of information. We can create new knowledge by analysing the data and it can change our lifestyle,” said Ahmed.

Mahboob Zaman, a former president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, said adopting new technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality is needed to grow further.

Ben Sasse should get off the Internet and do something


Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Former college president Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) has some propositions to share.

First, “humanities social sciences.” Next, “hard sciences social sciences.” In case you thought we were only talking academics, “sports social sciences.” And, of course, “economics all other social sciences.”

Sasse took to Twitter on Thursday to express these inequalities, which many other users were quick to point out don’t offer much insight into his overall ranking of the disciplines. They do, though, fit in with the rest of Sasse’s personal Twitter feed, which mixes political truisms (“Elections are not only about the present moment. They are also about who we are as a people and who we want to be in the future”) with amateur sports commentary and the occasional jape.

Sasse’s feed seems designed to give the impression of the Nebraska Republican as a regular fella, and a funny one at that. Once, he shared photos of him with colleagues outside the Senate captioned, “holy moly — it looks like @SenSchumer and I are smoking reefer outside a wedding.”

So, this most recent display could be read as tongue-in-cheek — though Sasse seems content to engage earnestly with followers asking him whether he considers history to be one of the humanities (Sasse, who has a PhD in the subject, does). But whatever Sasse intended, for many who saw the tweets, it fell flat.

Hard sciences are better than social sciences? Well, some pointed out, Sasse wouldn’t sign on with five other Republicans to a Democratic amendment in Congress declaring climate change is real and caused by humans. And he’s all too happy to throw around non-scientific terms like “partial-birth abortion” when it’s useful to his agenda. Economics all other social sciences? Sasse just voted for a tax bill that only one of 42 top economists thinks would boost the economy.

And Sasse’s knock on the social sciences seems misplaced coming from a man who wrote a book about a self-invented sociological phenomenon: “The Vanishing American Adult,” subtitled with “Our Coming-of-Age Crisis.” Sasse, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science, has also been eager to cite social scientists in his writing and in interviews.

If Sasse was serious, his detractors online said, he was being a hypocrite. It’s much more likely he was kidding — but even then he’s tone deaf. The House’s version of the tax bill Sasse voted for attacks higher education, and that’s part of a broader populist revolt against academia that is overtaking the Republican Party. Just look at President Trump, an avowed anti-intellectual: He does not read, and he does not care about reading. That attitude spills over into his fact-challenged base. There’s a real threat to critical thinking and learning in America, and Sasse — who with his credentials is in a prime position to fight it — is making lame jokes.

Sasse is all contradictions: His tweets are out of sync with how he actually behaves, and how he actually behaves is out of sync with how he claims to see the world in his book and his speeches. Sasse isn’t living up to his own ideals, online or in the Capitol. He markets himself as an independent Republican whose moral compass doesn’t waver according to the commander in chief’s whims, and he’s happy to snipe at the president. Yet, he’s less happy to vote against him when it matters. He says Alabama GOP candidate Roy Moore doesn’t deserve a spot in the Senate, but he criticizes Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) for donating to the Democratic opponent.

Sasse may not be as tainted by Trumpism as most other Republicans, but so far he has failed to back up his rhetoric with something more substantive than words, words, words. Instead, he’s trolling people on the Internet.

What computer should I buy to run Minecraft?


Could you provide an update to your previous articles on the system requirements for Minecraft? I would love a recommendation on a laptop for my 10-year-old son. I have a £500 budget, and I would have no problem with a refurbished device. Craig

This is a frequently-asked question, and similar queries have come from Jo (seven-year-old son, £450 budget), Lauren (13-year-old son), Ronda (12-year-old daughter), and Natalie (11-year-old son, £200 to £250 budget). I answered much the same question in December last year (What’s the best cheap laptop for running Minecraft?), in December 2015 (What’s the best laptop for running Minecraft?) and earlier. The principles have not changed, so you may still find them useful. However, the products change, which is why the question keeps coming up.

PC or not?

The main edition of Minecraft is written in Java, so it runs on PCs running Microsoft Windows, Apple’s MacOS, and Linux. Most parents want the same machine to cover schoolwork and other requirements on a budget, so they generally opt for Windows.

There’s also a “pocket” or Bedrock Edition of Minecraft that runs on Windows 10, games consoles, tablets, Gear VR, Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV. Many players want the main edition because the Bedrock version does not support “mods” or modding platforms such as Pixelmon.

Mojang is still busy programming the Bedrock Edition to add many of the capabilities of the main version, but without its performance being sandbagged by Java. There are already Add-Ons, Resource Packs and Scenarios to change Minecraft’s appearance and behaviour.

Bedrock is still some way from the Java version. Nonetheless, running Minecraft as a Windows 10 app is one way to run it on a less powerful laptop while still having a machine that’s good for school work. The latest Windows 10 Minecraft is available as a free trial app on the Windows Store, so it’s worth a go. You can always install the full version later.

Running Minecraft



More is better … ‘Extra power will give you better frame rates, longer rendering distances, more textures etc, and the ability to run more mods.’ Photograph: Voisin/Phanie/REX

Most serious games can consume as many resources as you can throw at them, and Minecraft is no exception. Unfortunately, Minecraft also has to run the Java “virtual machine” (JVM) that runs the Minecraft code.

Today’s targets, for running Minecraft, are a relatively recent Intel Core i5 or i7 or equivalent processor, 8GB of memory, a 128GB SSD, and a 15.6in Full HD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. By “relatively recent” I mean a 5th generation Core chip, or later. (We’re currently moving to 8th generation versions.)

In every case, more is better. Extra power will give you better frame rates, longer rendering distances, more textures etc, and the ability to run more mods.

You should still be able to run Minecraft pretty well on a recent Core i3 with 4GB of memory, either a 64GB SSD or a traditional hard drive, and a 1366 x 768 screen, though you may have to dial back some graphical effects.

However, you should still be able to run Minecraft on less powerful machines, if you use the lowest settings and install the Optifine mod to get a usable frame rate. (I assume everybody will install Optifine on whatever they buy.)

In previous years, I’ve looked for laptops with dedicated graphics cards with their own 2GB or more video RAM. Today’s mainstream laptops use the processor’s integrated graphics capabilities and the PC’s main memory instead. This makes it an even better idea to buy a desktop PC than a laptop for running Minecraft and other games.

Desktop towers have plenty of room for fans so they can use hotter processors that run faster than the laptop equivalents, and even cheap chips like the Intel Pentium G4560 become viable. Many desktops also have dedicated graphics cards, and if they don’t, you can probably install one in an empty expansion slot. (Check the upgrade options before you buy.)

Gaming laptops?

Most of the laptops that still have dedicated graphics cards are now described as “gaming laptops”, and they bust your budget. For example, Currys PC World has an HP Pavilion Power 15-bc350sa with a Core i7-7500U processor, 8GB of memory, a 1TB hard drive and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M for £679.99. That’s not a pocket money price. HP’s real “gaming laptop” is the Omen, which you can get with a GeForce GTX 1050 for £799.99.

Manufacturers used to sell reasonably affordable laptops with dedicated graphics cards, but those days appear to have gone.

You can hunt around for second-hand gaming laptops, but these are not the stock in trade of professional refurbishing companies. They mostly sell ex-corporate “fleet computers” such as ThinkPads, HP Elitebooks and Dell Latitudes. If you decide to go for a refurbished machine, an Elitebook might be the best bet.

Possible choices

Having eliminated games machines, we’re left with mainstream laptops. The usual suspects include Lenovo’s 110 and 320 models, HP Pavilions, and Asus VivoBooks. Take your pick …

The best specification I can find within a £500 budget is the Lenovo Ideapad 80XL035QUK, which has an i5-7200U, 8GB of memory, a 2TB hard drive and a 1920 x 1080 screen for £499.99.

There are lots of different Ideapad 310, 320 and 320S models around, and many of them have 128GB SSDs. Unfortunately, most of those only have 4GB memories and 1366 x 768 screens. You can increase the memory but they usually have only one memory slot. You have to remove the 4GB and insert an 8GB module (over £80), instead of simply adding 4GB (around £45). Switching to a 16GB module could cost roughly £165.

For someone on a smaller budget, the IdeaPad 310-15ISK is still good value at £329.95 from John Lewis. though you can find other sources by searching for 80SM01MAUK. It has a nippy Core i3-6100U processor, 4GB of memory, a 1TB hard drive and a 1366 x 768-pixel screen. The seventh-generation i3-7100U isn’t really any faster.



Perhaps a new or second-hand XBox One is a good choice. Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Currys PC World has a similar laptop with a slower Core i3-6006U processor for £299.98. This chip has a PassMark benchmark score of 3131, which is close to if not below the minimum required to run full Minecraft well. In fact, it’s better to have a chip that scores over 4000. For comparison, the latest Intel Core i7-8700K scores 16274.

There are a couple of 14in machines that are also worth considering for their 128GB SSDs. The HP Pavilion 14-bp070sa has a Core i5-7200U processor, 4GB of memory and a 1920 x 1080-pixel screen for £449. The Asus VivoBook X405 is a nicer laptop for £20 less, but it only offers a Core i3-7100U.

Low-end systems

Going below £300 involves a huge reduction in processing power, unless you can find a discounted bargain. The options include the slow AMD A6-9220 (PassMark 2368), the slower Intel Pentium N4200 (PassMark 2002), the Intel Celeron N3160 (PassMark 1695) and the Celeron N3060 (PassMark 990).

None of these processors is intended for gaming, or any serious computing.

The real problem is that if you stick to my recommended minimum of 4GB of memory, even low-end computers are not particularly cheap. For example, a 14in HP 14-bp066sa with a Celeron N3060 and 64GB of eMMC storage – which is slower than an SSD – costs £249 at Currys PC World. You are giving up a lot of processor speed and storage space to save £50. It’s really not worth it.

Dropping from an IdeaPad 320-14ISK with an i3-6006U processor (£299.98) to an IdeaPad 320-14IAP with a Pentium N4200 (£279.99) only saves £20.

The result is that I can’t recommend today’s low-end machines for playing the full version of Minecraft, even if – as mentioned above – they can run it at the lowest settings with Optifine. The “pocket” or Bedrock Edition would be a better bet, and even that would run better on a new or second-hand Xbox One.

If you can’t justify spending around £300, you could take a flyer on the Linx 12X64, which is now available for around £200. Eligible parents and students can get it for £179.99 from Microsoft.

The Linx 12X64 is a 12.5in tablet with a detachable keyboard and a slow Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor (PassMark 1314), so it’s nobody’s idea of a games machine. However, at least it has 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage, so it’s not as cramping as most ultra-cheap machines, which have 2GB and 32GB. It even has a Full HD 1920 x 1080-pixel screen. I found it a decent and reliable machine at its original £299.99, so deducting £100 makes it a bit of a bargain.

Have you got a question? Email it to Ask.Jack@theguardian.com


This article contains affiliate links to products. Our journalism is independent and is never written to promote these products although we may earn a small commission if a reader makes a purchase.

Best Health And Fitness Apps You Should Download Right Now

Many have chastised the overuse of apps and thus the smartphones they are installed on, branding them the driving force behind the health problems, obesity in children and even early death.  But not all apps on our phones are about keeping us engaged for as long as possible or making life easier so that we can do less. There are thousands of apps out there that look to benefit our health, whether that’s physical health, mental health or general well-being.

There’s hundreds of health apps available for your smartphone, but here are the best ones

Of course, not all of the fitness apps in the Apple or Android app stores are as good as they promise, but most of them have a common goal: to get you off that sofa, to get you away from the desk and turn any negative, unhealthy habits that you may have on their head. With that, I’ve compiled a list of what I deem the best health and fitness apps of this year to help you achieve your health and fitness goals, whatever they may be.

Updated 6/12/17

Meditation Studio

Meditation has been proven to help people decrease stress, reduce anxiety, improve sleep and generally aid in managing challenging situations. Meditation Studio is one of the best apps in helping newbies and more advanced meditators alike achieve their zen goals.

The app features a wide scope of meditation collections for many of life’s challenges, including stress, pain, sleep, happiness, confidence, performance, all designed to fit easily into peoples’ lives. It also provides access to some of the world’s most influential experts, including Dr. Elisha Goldstein, Emily Fletcher, Michael Apollo, Susan Piver, and so on.

Meditation Studio is an easy-to-use app that introduces meditation in a well-designed and intuitive interface for users of any level.

Mealpal

Have all the intentions to eat healthy at lunch but then a rumbling belly ensures you grab the highest calorie or closet food in sight? Story of my life. It’s lack of planning that can really get in the way of your health goals when it comes to meal times. Well, there’s an app for that, too, of course. It’s called MealPal.

Live now as an app or a desktop web page, MealPal is super easy to use. Simply order your lunch from over 100 local restaurants that offer meals every weekday, pickup the meal on your lunch break and skip the queue at a time which suits you, and there you go. This way you can ensure you’re eating the meal you intended to, as you’re simply picking up the dish you order before 10am that same day. Planning is the key to healthy sustenance, it seems!

MealPal is currently available in major cities across the world: Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Denver, London, Manchester, Melbourne, Miami,, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto and Washington,n DC.

Fantastic Services

A good foundation of keeping yourself healthy is a clean home. But being on top of house work can be tough when you’ve got a busy work schedule, so getting a cleaner in to help you keep your place in tip top shape is sometimes the only way around it. One of the best ways to do this is by arranging the job through an online service. One of the best apps I’ve used in this domain is Fantastic Services. One off cleaning is available from just £14 per hour, and it’s even cheaper if you dedicate yourself to a regular cleaner. There’s also tons of other home services available immediately through the app, too, such as DIY and handy men – if you ever need them.

Linux then, and why you should learn it now

The booming popularity of Linux happened around the same time as the rise of the web. The server world, once proprietary, eventually fell in love with Linux just the same way networking did. But for years after it began growing in popularity, it remained in the background. It powered some of the largest servers, but couldn’t find success on personal devices. That all changed with Google’s release of Android in 2008, and just like that, Linux found its way not only onto phones but onto other consumer devices.

The same shift from proprietary to open is happening in networking. Specialized hardware that came from one of the “big 3” networking vendors isn’t so necessary anymore. What used to require this specialized hardware can now be done (with horsepower to spare) using off-the-shelf hardware, with Intel CPUs, and with the Linux operating system. Linux unifies the stack, and knowing it is useful for both the network and the rest of the rack. With Linux, networking is far more affordable, more scalable, easier to learn, and more adaptable to the needs of the business.

Linux networking is the network of the future for the enterprise data center and enterprise cloud; it’s an operating solution now used by so many that it is considered the most installed operating system in the world. According to 2016 findings from Gartner, data center expansion and cloud computing helped cost-effective and popular Linux grow 10.4%. A report from The Linux Foundation released ahead of the 25th anniversary last year noted over 13,500 developers from more than 1,300 companies have contributed to the Linux kernel since the adoption of Git made detailed tracking possible.

While you have probably heard of it before, you may be wanting to find out a bit more: what is the history, beyond what we have discussed already? Why exactly is it so popular, and what are the benefits of using it today?

Report shows why Apple should have launched iPhone X sooner

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7c21a_104819324-GettyImages-869824588-1.530x298 Report shows why Apple should have launched iPhone X sooner

Apple’s delayed launch of the iPhone X hurt the iPhone market share around the world, research firm Kantar Worldpanel said on Tuesday.

Apple launched the iPhone X in the beginning of November, instead of in September when it launched the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

It’s this window that Kantar believes may have hurt Apple’s market share. Data from Kantar shows that Apple’s share fell by 7.6 percentage points in the U.S. during the October quarter, compared to the same period last year. Likewise, it slipped 8.5 percentage points in Great Britain, 1.6 percentage points in Germany, 6.9 percentage points in Japan and 2.1 percentage points in the European Union Five. Android saw growth in all of those markets except in China.

“It was somewhat inevitable that Apple would see volume share fall once we had a full comparative month of sales taking into account the non-flagship iPhone 8 vs. the flagship iPhone 7 from 2016,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global business unit director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “This decrease is significant and puts pressure on the iPhone X to perform. Considering the complete overhaul that the iPhone X offers, consumers may be postponing their purchase decisions until they can test the iPhone X and decide whether the higher price, compared to the iPhone 8, is worth the premium to them.”

Despite this, Apple said earlier this year that sales during the last quarter exceeded expectations and were up 3 percent year-on-year. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus quickly became Apple’s most popular iPhone models and remained the best-selling until the iPhone X went on sale. Also, Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus rollout wasn’t completed until the end of October, so some markets didn’t yet have those phones.

Early reports had suggested Apple pushed the launch of the iPhone X due to supply issues, though that hasn’t seemed to be much of an issue. While supply did seem limited initially, the iPhone X is now much easier to buy without much of a wait.

Read the full report from Kantar Worldpanel.

7c21a_104819324-GettyImages-869824588-1.530x298 Report shows why Apple should have launched iPhone X sooner



Report shows why Apple should have launched iPhone X sooner

<!– –>


7c21a_104819324-GettyImages-869824588-1.530x298 Report shows why Apple should have launched iPhone X sooner

Apple’s delayed launch of the iPhone X hurt the iPhone market share around the world, research firm Kantar Worldpanel said on Tuesday.

Apple launched the iPhone X in the beginning of November, instead of in September when it launched the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

It’s this window that Kantar believes may have hurt Apple’s market share. Data from Kantar shows that Apple’s share fell by 7.6 percentage points in the U.S. during the October quarter, compared to the same period last year. Likewise, it slipped 8.5 percentage points in Great Britain, 1.6 percentage points in Germany, 6.9 percentage points in Japan and 2.1 percentage points in the European Union Five. Android saw growth in all of those markets except in China.

“It was somewhat inevitable that Apple would see volume share fall once we had a full comparative month of sales taking into account the non-flagship iPhone 8 vs. the flagship iPhone 7 from 2016,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global business unit director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “This decrease is significant and puts pressure on the iPhone X to perform. Considering the complete overhaul that the iPhone X offers, consumers may be postponing their purchase decisions until they can test the iPhone X and decide whether the higher price, compared to the iPhone 8, is worth the premium to them.”

Despite this, Apple said earlier this year that sales during the last quarter exceeded expectations and were up 3 percent year-on-year. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus quickly became Apple’s most popular iPhone models and remained the best-selling until the iPhone X went on sale. Also, Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus rollout wasn’t completed until the end of October, so some markets didn’t yet have those phones.

Early reports had suggested Apple pushed the launch of the iPhone X due to supply issues, though that hasn’t seemed to be much of an issue. While supply did seem limited initially, the iPhone X is now much easier to buy without much of a wait.

Read the full report from Kantar Worldpanel.

7c21a_104819324-GettyImages-869824588-1.530x298 Report shows why Apple should have launched iPhone X sooner



10 Useful Windows 10 Features You Probably Never Use But Should

5ffd5_po3cvsudjljogvv2an1a 10 Useful Windows 10 Features You Probably Never Use But Should
Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

Windows has been knocking around in some form or another for a grand total of 32 years now, and in that time it’s amassed a lot of features—not just the newest bells and whistles but long-standing features you might have forgotten about or never even discovered in the first place. Here are 10 really useful tricks that Windows 10 is capable of that you might not know about, but should definitely know about.


1) Virtual desktops

Windows 10 finally ushered in virtual desktops for the operating system, giving you separate spaces for arranging your program windows and work. If you click the Task View button (just to the right of the search box on the taskbar), you can bring up all your open windows, and your virtual desktops underneath—click New desktop to create a new space.

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The taskbar changes to show whichever apps you have open on that desktop, though pinned app shortcuts (on the taskbar) stay the same across all desktops. If you need a way to manage separate areas for web browsing, and spreadsheet making, and image editing, it’s ideal. Click the cross icon next to any virtual desktop thumbnail in Task View to close it.


2) Video and media streaming

Image: Screenshot

You may well use something like Plex to get videos and music from Windows to another device, like your big-screen TV, but Microsoft’s OS comes with its own built-in video and media streaming protocol in the form of DLNA (after the Digital Living Network Alliance). All you need is a DLNA-compatible device to stream to, like an Xbox One S or a Roku.

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To enable it, search for “media streaming” from the taskbar, click the option that appears, then select Turn on media streaming. We won’t do a full DLNA guide here (see here for Roku instructions), but assuming your receiving device has been correctly configured, streaming over content is as easy as right-clicking on a file and choosing Cast to Device.


3) Scheduling tasks

Image: Screenshot

Task Scheduler is a veteran Windows utility that’s been serving users since the days of Windows 95, way before the likes of IFTTT appeared on the scene. As the name suggests, it lets you schedule tasks in Windows, whether you want to shut down your machine at a particular time of night, or get a system maintenance app running on a regular schedule.

Type “task scheduler” into the search box to find the utility and bring up the interface: It may seem a little daunting at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it if you click around and experiment with what’s on offer. Click Create Basic Task or Create Task to get started, and you’ll then need to provide a trigger (a time) and a resulting action for each task.


4) Malware removal

Microsoft has flipped and flopped over including security software in Windows, but for the moment, it’s in: If you don’t want to pay for antivirus protection then Windows Defender will do an adequate job of keeping nasty malware away from your system, though you can certainly get more comprehensive security cover by opting for a third-party alternative.

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Another built-in Windows security tool you might not know about is the Malicious Software Removal Tool, which runs silently in the background to make sure nothing takes root on your system. If you’ve configured Windows 10 to update itself automatically (it’s now very hard not to do this), then you’ll automatically have the latest version of the MSRT too.


5) Reclaim lost disk space

Image: Screenshot

Disk Clean-up is another old-school Windows utility that’s still going strong, and you can launch it by typing its name into the taskbar search box and picking the first result. It tackles that most perennial of problems, Windows bloat, by detecting and erasing all those redundant files taking up room on your system that you don’t really need to keep.

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Click on any of the entries in the list to see a description of what the files are and how much room you can reclaim on your hard drive by getting rid of them (files in the Recycle Bin will be one of the options listed). Put ticks in the boxes next to the file types you know you can live without, then choose Clean up system files to put the purge into action.


6) Remote assistance

If a friend or family member is struggling with a computer problem then you might be tempted to reach for something like Skype or TeamViewer, but Windows actually lets you run managed remote assistance sessions without any extra software. Type “remote assistance” into the search box on the taskbar, then pick the top option to get started.

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The opening splash screen lets you select whether you want to get help or give help—you’ll then be guided through the process of either sending or accepting an invitation. You get full control over the other person’s computer, including the mouse and keyboard. If both of you are on Windows 10, find the Quick Assist utility instead.


7) Share files around the house

Image: Screenshot

If your family has documents to work on together, or music to share, or home movies that everyone needs access to, then these files can be shared with everyone very simply, with no need to mess around with sharing links or email attachments or anything else (they will need Windows). As an added bonus, you can share access to a printer around the whole household as well.

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To get started, go to Network Internet from Settings and click on HomeGroup—if the service isn’t already set up, click on Create a homegroup and follow the instructions. Windows will ask you which types of files and devices you want to share around the local network, before displaying a password that other people will need to join the homegroup.


8) Check for missing files and disk errors

To the command prompt! A couple of long-standing text commands can be useful here in troubleshooting and fixing issues with your computer: Firstly, launch the command prompt by typing “cmd” into the taskbar search box, right-clicking on the Command Prompt link, and choosing Run as administrator from the pop-up menu that appears.

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Enter “sfc /scannow” to run the System File Checker, which scours the hard drive for any missing Windows files that the OS relies on to work properly, and replaces any that need replacing (see here for more). You can also try “chkdsk /f” to check the local hard drive for problems, fixing those errors if possible along the way (more information available here).


9) Print to PDF

Image: Screenshot

Don’t subject friends and family to badly formatted, proprietary file types that look different on every system—send them a nice clean PDF instead. That’s going to keep its appearance across all devices. Thankfully, Windows 10 adds native support for PDF exports, so you don’t need to install any other third-party tools to get the job done.

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The Print to PDF option appears in your list of printers in whatever program you’re trying to output a file from, so head to that program’s print option, wherever it is, and choose the Microsoft Print to PDF entry from the printer list. You don’t really get much in the way of export options, but you can choose the output document size via Printer Properties.


10) Record screen activity

We’ve flagged this one up before, but it’s worth repeating: If you’ve ever got any kind of screen recording to do, then Windows 10 comes with a built-in app for the job. Called Game DVR—it’s designed to record in-game footage for sharing online, but you can easily adapt it to record tutorials or tips or whatever else in most of the apps on Windows 10.

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First open the application you want to do some recording from, then If you hit the Win+G keyboard shortcut, the console opens up—you might have to tick a box confirming that you’re running a game, even if you aren’t. You can use the check box at the bottom to turn audio recording on or off, then click on the big red record button to start recording footage.

10 Useful Windows 10 Features You Probably Never Use But Should

5ffd5_po3cvsudjljogvv2an1a 10 Useful Windows 10 Features You Probably Never Use But Should
Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

Windows has been knocking around in some form or another for a grand total of 32 years now, and in that time it’s amassed a lot of features—not just the newest bells and whistles but long-standing features you might have forgotten about or never even discovered in the first place. Here are 10 really useful tricks that Windows 10 is capable of that you might not know about, but should definitely know about.


1) Virtual desktops

Windows 10 finally ushered in virtual desktops for the operating system, giving you separate spaces for arranging your program windows and work. If you click the Task View button (just to the right of the search box on the taskbar), you can bring up all your open windows, and your virtual desktops underneath—click New desktop to create a new space.

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The taskbar changes to show whichever apps you have open on that desktop, though pinned app shortcuts (on the taskbar) stay the same across all desktops. If you need a way to manage separate areas for web browsing, and spreadsheet making, and image editing, it’s ideal. Click the cross icon next to any virtual desktop thumbnail in Task View to close it.


2) Video and media streaming

Image: Screenshot

You may well use something like Plex to get videos and music from Windows to another device, like your big-screen TV, but Microsoft’s OS comes with its own built-in video and media streaming protocol in the form of DLNA (after the Digital Living Network Alliance). All you need is a DLNA-compatible device to stream to, like an Xbox One S or a Roku.

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To enable it, search for “media streaming” from the taskbar, click the option that appears, then select Turn on media streaming. We won’t do a full DLNA guide here (see here for Roku instructions), but assuming your receiving device has been correctly configured, streaming over content is as easy as right-clicking on a file and choosing Cast to Device.


3) Scheduling tasks

Image: Screenshot

Task Scheduler is a veteran Windows utility that’s been serving users since the days of Windows 95, way before the likes of IFTTT appeared on the scene. As the name suggests, it lets you schedule tasks in Windows, whether you want to shut down your machine at a particular time of night, or get a system maintenance app running on a regular schedule.

Type “task scheduler” into the search box to find the utility and bring up the interface: It may seem a little daunting at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it if you click around and experiment with what’s on offer. Click Create Basic Task or Create Task to get started, and you’ll then need to provide a trigger (a time) and a resulting action for each task.


4) Malware removal

Microsoft has flipped and flopped over including security software in Windows, but for the moment, it’s in: If you don’t want to pay for antivirus protection then Windows Defender will do an adequate job of keeping nasty malware away from your system, though you can certainly get more comprehensive security cover by opting for a third-party alternative.

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Another built-in Windows security tool you might not know about is the Malicious Software Removal Tool, which runs silently in the background to make sure nothing takes root on your system. If you’ve configured Windows 10 to update itself automatically (it’s now very hard not to do this), then you’ll automatically have the latest version of the MSRT too.


5) Reclaim lost disk space

Image: Screenshot

Disk Clean-up is another old-school Windows utility that’s still going strong, and you can launch it by typing its name into the taskbar search box and picking the first result. It tackles that most perennial of problems, Windows bloat, by detecting and erasing all those redundant files taking up room on your system that you don’t really need to keep.

Advertisement

Click on any of the entries in the list to see a description of what the files are and how much room you can reclaim on your hard drive by getting rid of them (files in the Recycle Bin will be one of the options listed). Put ticks in the boxes next to the file types you know you can live without, then choose Clean up system files to put the purge into action.


6) Remote assistance

If a friend or family member is struggling with a computer problem then you might be tempted to reach for something like Skype or TeamViewer, but Windows actually lets you run managed remote assistance sessions without any extra software. Type “remote assistance” into the search box on the taskbar, then pick the top option to get started.

Advertisement

The opening splash screen lets you select whether you want to get help or give help—you’ll then be guided through the process of either sending or accepting an invitation. You get full control over the other person’s computer, including the mouse and keyboard. If both of you are on Windows 10, find the Quick Assist utility instead.


7) Share files around the house

Image: Screenshot

If your family has documents to work on together, or music to share, or home movies that everyone needs access to, then these files can be shared with everyone very simply, with no need to mess around with sharing links or email attachments or anything else (they will need Windows). As an added bonus, you can share access to a printer around the whole household as well.

Advertisement

To get started, go to Network Internet from Settings and click on HomeGroup—if the service isn’t already set up, click on Create a homegroup and follow the instructions. Windows will ask you which types of files and devices you want to share around the local network, before displaying a password that other people will need to join the homegroup.


8) Check for missing files and disk errors

To the command prompt! A couple of long-standing text commands can be useful here in troubleshooting and fixing issues with your computer: Firstly, launch the command prompt by typing “cmd” into the taskbar search box, right-clicking on the Command Prompt link, and choosing Run as administrator from the pop-up menu that appears.

Advertisement

Enter “sfc /scannow” to run the System File Checker, which scours the hard drive for any missing Windows files that the OS relies on to work properly, and replaces any that need replacing (see here for more). You can also try “chkdsk /f” to check the local hard drive for problems, fixing those errors if possible along the way (more information available here).


9) Print to PDF

Image: Screenshot

Don’t subject friends and family to badly formatted, proprietary file types that look different on every system—send them a nice clean PDF instead. That’s going to keep its appearance across all devices. Thankfully, Windows 10 adds native support for PDF exports, so you don’t need to install any other third-party tools to get the job done.

Advertisement

The Print to PDF option appears in your list of printers in whatever program you’re trying to output a file from, so head to that program’s print option, wherever it is, and choose the Microsoft Print to PDF entry from the printer list. You don’t really get much in the way of export options, but you can choose the output document size via Printer Properties.


10) Record screen activity

We’ve flagged this one up before, but it’s worth repeating: If you’ve ever got any kind of screen recording to do, then Windows 10 comes with a built-in app for the job. Called Game DVR—it’s designed to record in-game footage for sharing online, but you can easily adapt it to record tutorials or tips or whatever else in most of the apps on Windows 10.

Advertisement

First open the application you want to do some recording from, then If you hit the Win+G keyboard shortcut, the console opens up—you might have to tick a box confirming that you’re running a game, even if you aren’t. You can use the check box at the bottom to turn audio recording on or off, then click on the big red record button to start recording footage.

Why You Should Lock Your iPhone with a Password, Not a PIN

If you’re running iOS 11 on your Apple iPhone, make sure you’ve got an alphanumeric password, or at least a six-digit PIN, protecting your lockscreen.

 Why You Should Lock Your iPhone with a Password, Not a PINCredit: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Why? Because that lockscreen passcode may be the only thing standing between you and complete identity theft. With iOS 11, Apple purportedly makes it possible to reset the passwords on both your Apple ID and your iPhone backup in iTunes with only your iPhone’s lockscreen PIN – which isn’t that hard for an attacker to get.

“Once an intruder gains access to the user’s iPhone and knows (or recovers) the passcode, there is no single extra layer of protection left,” wrote Oleg Afonin, a researcher for Russian forensics firm Elcomsoft, in a blog posting last week. “Everything (and I mean, everything) is now completely exposed.”

This means that even a casual thief could use your iPhone to hijack your Apple ID, your iCloud account and any third-party accounts — Google, Facebook, and so on — whose login credentials are stored in your Apple Keychain.

MORE: Why Apple iPhones Don’t Need Antivirus Software

Elcomsoft makes software used by police to break into suspects’ smartphones. Conveniences added by Apple to iOS 10, the researchers say, made the new iPhone software less secure than it was in earlier versions of iOS, and iOS 11 makes things worse. Ironically, enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on your Apple account seems to make this takeover easier.

Lockscreen PIN level-up

When iOS 10 was released last year, Afonin and his colleagues noticed something new: If you had 2FA enabled on your Apple account, you could reset the Apple ID password simply by entering the lockscreen passcode for your iPhone.

And if you had recently unlocked your iPhone with the lockscreen passcode (but not Touch ID), then you wouldn’t need to enter anything at all. You could simply go into your iPhone’s Settings to reset your Apple ID password, without authentication. (You can do the same thing in the Find My iPhone app on iOS 10 and 11, the Elcomsoft researchers say.)

Sounds reasonable? It may not be. In earlier versions of iOS, say Elcomsoft’s people, you’d have had to answer security questions to reset your Apple password, regardless of whether you knew the lockscreen passcode for your iPhone, or had recently unlocked it using your lockscreen PIN. That’s the way it should work.

But on iOS 10, that safeguard was removed, and even a casual thief who happened to see you enter your lockscreen PIN before he stole your iPhone, or snatched it out of your hand soon after you unlocked the screen, would be able to reset your Apple ID password and take over your Apple account.

However, if a thief used this method to hijack your Apple account, he wouldn’t necessarily be able to hijack non-Apple accounts as well. (He could certainly try, as he’d now receive one-time 2FA codes texted to your phone.)

Lockscreen PIN God Mode

But a change in iOS 11 makes hijacking third-party accounts possible, say the Elcomsoft researchers. Previously, when you backed up all the data on your iPhone to a PC or Mac using iTunes, and then secured that backup with a passcode, that passcode (which should be different from the lockscreen passcode AND your Apple ID passcode) would be required to access ALL backups made from your iPhone — even backups made to a new PC or Mac.

Now, with iOS 11, you don’t need to know that backup passcode to access the backup. You can simply reset the backup password — using, again, your iPhone’s lockscreen PIN.

That doesn’t sound so bad at first, right? But it is because, per the Elcomsoft researchers, poking into the iPhone backup on a PC or Mac (especially with software tools such as Elcomsoft’s own $79 Phone Breaker) reveals things that you couldn’t get on the iPhone itself.

These include the Keychain, Apple’s built-in password manager, which stores usernames and passwords for third-party accounts such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

“This is just scary,” Afonin wrote in his blog post. “Why Apple decided to get rid of the system that used to deliver a seemingly perfect balance between security and convenience is beyond us.”

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment from Tom’s Guide.

You may have heard that brute-forcing an iPhone’s lockscreen PIN is hard. After all, didn’t the FBI have a hell of a time getting into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone? Apple makes it hard by increasing the amount of time between each failed guess of a PIN, finally locking the iPhone temporarily after six failed attempts.

However, there are ways to get around these safeguards and brute-force a four-digit PIN in a few days. This $300 device introduced a couple of year ago did so, but may no longer work.

How to at least make this less bad

You should really be using at least a six-digit PIN, which Apple made the default when creating a new PIN in iOS 9, although you can override that easily or continue to use a four-digit PIN on an upgraded device. A six-digit PIN has a million possible combinations; a four-digit one has only 10,000 possible combinations.

Better still is an alphanumeric lockscreen password comprising numbers, punctuation marks, lowercase letters and uppercase letters. Even a four-character password made up of the 85 or so standard U.S. keyboard characters would have something like 50 million possible combinations — not enough for an online password (such as your Apple ID), but fine for a device that drastically limits the rate of brute-force guessing.

To enable an alphanumeric password, go to Settings, then Touch ID Passcode. Type in your existing passcode. Select Change Passcode, then type in your existing passcode again. At this stage, select Passcode Options, then select Custom Alphanumeric Code. (Thanks to Tom’s Guide colleague Andrew Freedman for showing us how to do this.)

 Why You Should Lock Your iPhone with a Password, Not a PINCredit: Andrew Freedman/Tom’s Guide

You wouldn’t need to enter the password every time you unlocked your screen if you have Touch ID or Face ID enabled; you’d need it only when power-cycling your phone, or when you hadn’t used your phone for a few days. It would also be tougher for a “shoulder surfer” to guess your passcode if he’d seen you enter it only once.

So use that alphanumeric password for your lockscreen instead of a PIN. It’s a minor inconvenience made up for with a major improvement in security.

Best Mac Antivirus Software

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#cml-reponsive-table-269223-7:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item8 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-7:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item6 { opacity: 0.2; }

#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .responsive-table-steps > ul { width: 400%; }
#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { width: 12.5%; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step0 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step0 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step0 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-1:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-1:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-1:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -100%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-1:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-1:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step0 { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step2 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step2 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -200%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step4 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step2 { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-3:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-3:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-3:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -300%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-3:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step9 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-3:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step6 { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step4 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step4 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -400%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step16 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step12 { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-5:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step5 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-5:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step5 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-5:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -500%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-5:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step25 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-5:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step20 { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step6 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step6 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -600%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step36 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step30 { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-7:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step7 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-7:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step7 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-7:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -700%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-7:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step49 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-7:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step42 { opacity: 0; }
}

@media screen and (min-width: 781px) and (max-width: 800px) {

#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .carousel-multi-css-item-ctn {
width: auto;
}
#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .carousel-multi-css-wrapper > li{
width: 12.5%;
}
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item2 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item3 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item4 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item5 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item0 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item1 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item6 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item7 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item2 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item3 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item8 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item9 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item4 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item5 { opacity: 0.2; }

#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .responsive-table-steps > ul { width: 200%; }
#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { width: 25%; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step0 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step0 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step2 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step2 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -100%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -100%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step4 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 { opacity: 0; }
}

@media screen and (min-width: 801px) and (max-width: 990px) {

#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .carousel-multi-css-item-ctn {
width: auto;
}
#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .carousel-multi-css-wrapper > li{
width: 12.5%;
}
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item2 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item3 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item4 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item5 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item0 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item1 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item6 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item7 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item2 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item3 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item8 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item9 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item4 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item5 { opacity: 0.2; }

#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .responsive-table-steps > ul { width: 200%; }
#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { width: 25%; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step0 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step0 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step2 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step2 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -100%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -100%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step4 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 { opacity: 0; }
}

@media screen and (min-width: 991px) {

#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .carousel-multi-css-item-ctn {
width: auto;
}
#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .carousel-multi-css-wrapper > li{
width: 12.5%;
}
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item2 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item3 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item4 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item5 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item0 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item1 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item6 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item7 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item2 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item3 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item8 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item9 { opacity: 0.2; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item4 { opacity: 0.2; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .carousel-multi-css-ctn .carousel-multi-css-wrapper #carousel-multi-css-item5 { opacity: 0.2; }

#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .responsive-table-steps > ul { width: 200%; }
#carousel-multi-css–reponsive-table-269223- .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { width: 25%; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step0 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step0 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-2:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step2 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step2 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -100%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-4:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn { font-weight: bold; color: }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step3 .responsive-table-steps-item-ctn:before { opacity: 1; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-0:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -0%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps > ul { left: -100%; }
#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step4 ~ li { opacity: 0; }

#cml-reponsive-table-269223-6:checked ~ .responsive-table-steps .responsive-table-step1 { opacity: 0; }
}

]]>

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Baidu: Should You Own This Fast Growing Internet Company?

Source: fortune.com

Some Fine China For Your Portfolio

Baidu Inc. (BIDU) is the third largest internet company in China, has a market cap of over $80 billion, and is the second most widely used search engine in the world. The company has enormous growth prospects, continuously beats EPS guidance, and appears to be undervalued considering its robust revenue growth and future earning potential. Due to China’s constant growth in internet usage and a low internet penetration rate of roughly 52%, Baidu is likely to grow EPS at a faster pace than is currently expected. The company also appears to be able to sustain a relatively high growth rate for its top and bottom line for a number of years going forward.

Baidu’s current valuation of 24 times this year’s earnings is very likely to decrease to under 20 next year. This seems like a relatively low price to pay for a company with a dominant position in China’s search segment which provides direct access to the country’s nearly $1 trillion online spending market that has been expanding by 32% annually for the past 5 years.

Baidu Growth Potential

China continues to expand economically, and is currently growing GDP at roughly 6.8%. Due to the country’s continuous economic expansion, more and more people in China are on the internet and using mobile every year. The country easily has the most internet users in the world, about 730 million as of October 2017. China also has 5 of the 10 largest internet companies in the world, has an internet penetration rate of only 52% vs the U.S.’s 88%, has online spending of $967 billion vs the U.S.’s $1.1 trillion, and has been growing internet spending at 32% annually for the past 5 years.

Therefore, Baidu has enormous growth potential within China that could be sustainable over a prolonged period of time, at least 5-10 years. The company has a leading position in China’s search market with 76% of total queries performed through its site. Baidu has an even more dominant position in China’s mobile search market with about 82.5% of the share.

Source: chinainternetwatch.com


Although Baidu has enormous growth and profit potential within China, the company may be able to grow market share outside of its home country as well. Baidu has just a 2.75% share of the total world search market, compared to Google’s behemoth share of approximately 92%. However, many Chinese people outside China use primarily Baidu. The company is expanding globally and is currently a leader at the forefront of the developing AI industry as well as other breakthrough technologies and market segments. For example, the company plans to make self-driving car technology available in 2018, and in time these developing businesses should introduce powerful new revenue streams to significantly increase Baidu’s top line.

Source: en.people.cn

Baidu’s Profit Potential

Baidu consistently beats EPS estimates by quite a wide margin, roughly 25% on average the past 2 years. Moreover, Baidu has beat EPS estimates 26 out of the last 30 times the company has reported since 2010. It seems safe to say that analysts regularly underestimate the company’s EPS potential.

Next year’s average revenue projections are at $15.8 billion for Baidu, a 23% increase from this year’s revenues. However, analysts’ average projected EPS growth is just 4% yoy. Judging by the company’s perpetual ability to surpass analysts’ expectations concerning EPS, and the disproportionately low average EPS growth forecasts in relation to next year’s revenue growth, it appears many analysts may be lowballing 2018’s EPS numbers.

So, what is Baidu likely to earn next year? Over the past two years, Baidu has surpassed quarterly consensus earnings estimates by an average of about 25%. The 25% mark is also consistent with the estimated average 23% yoy revenue growth forecast. If we apply a 25% increase to 2018’s average EPS estimate of $9.52 we arrive at earnings of $11.90 for next year.

At the current price of $235, and applying an $11.90 EPS for next year implies that Baidu is presently trading at about 19.75 times next year’s earnings. My estimate is firmly within reason as higher range analyst estimates have 2018 EPS at over $13.00.

Therefore, the current forward valuation seems very cheap for a company that is experiencing roughly 30% growth in its ad business. To put things in context Google’s revenues are projected to rise by just 18% next year and the company trades at about 25 times next year’s projected earnings. It seems that with higher revenue growth and a lower home market saturation rate, Baidu shares should be trading at a premium and not the other way around. Google is still a relatively inexpensive stock considering its dominant market position and robust growth, however, Baidu shares look outright cheap here.

Threats to Baidu

Alphabet (GOOG), (GOOGL) is the largest internet search company in the world, therefore it naturally poses some level of threat to Baidu. However, Baidu derives the vast majority of its revenues and growth from within China, where Google has a smidgen of the online search market worth only about 1.84%, and a less impressive 0.6% of the mobile market’s share. In comparison, Baidu owns about 76% of China’s online search, and 82.5% of mobile search. Google has failed to dominate search in China, and due to its limited popularity and influence is not likely to takeaway noticeable market share from Baidu going forward.

Baidu Earnings

Although Baidu crushed EPS estimates by 90% last quarter $3.98 vs $2.04, the company’s revenue forecast for next quarter came in lower than expected, $3.34 – $3.52 billion vs $3.73 billion consensus estimates. The stock took a hit due to the lower than expected guidance, declining by as much as 18% from recent highs. However, the revenue guidance “miss” does not appear to be the result of any systemic growth issues at Baidu. Instead, it is likely that revenue growth projections simply got ahead of themselves, and the company’s forecast still represents a very healthy yoy revenue increase of 22% – 29%.

Technical Image

Baidu’s stock dropped on heavy volume following the revenue guidance miss in late October. Since then, the stock has held the $230 – $235 level and appears to be in the process of making a triple bottom. If the $230 – $235 level holds over the next days and weeks, BIDU has the potential to go significantly higher and is likely to start hitting all-time highs again.

The technical indicators appear sound right now, and are not illustrating any noticeable abnormalities in price action. BIDU looks to have had a healthy correction of roughly 18%, is now going through a normal consolidation period, and is likely to move higher over the coming weeks and months.

BIDU 1-Year Chart
Source: stockcharts.com

BIDU 5-Year Chart

Valuation and Financial Highlights

Market Cap: $81.6 billion at $235 a share

Quarterly Revenue Growth: 29%

Quarterly Earnings Growth: 160%

2017 P/E: 25 at $9.16 EPS Estimate

2018 P/E: 19.75 at $11.90 EPS Estimate

Profit Margin: 18%

Total Cash: $17.72 billion

Total Debt: $7.84 billion

52 Week Change: 43%

Shares Short: Under 3%

The Bottom Line

Baidu is a powerful online leader in China, the world’s biggest search market with a relatively low penetration rate, and high ad spending growth. The company has a strong balance sheet, is growing revenues at a high rate, and has enormous profit potential. The current valuation seems cheap for a company with such impressive prospects, and next year’s EPS estimates appear to be low, suggesting Baidu is likely to surprise to the upside going into 2018 and beyond, which should translate to a higher stock price going forward.

Note: This article expresses solely my opinions, is produced for informational purposes, and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. Investing comes with risk to loss of principal. Please always conduct your own research and consider your investment decisions very carefully.

Disclosure: I am/we are long BIDU.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: I have been an investor in BIDU since 2007

5 Android stories you should have read this week

Don’t you just love Sunday? It’s that one day of the week where you get to do whatever you want. Including catch up on the week’s best Android gaming news.

That’s where Droid Gamers comes in. We’ve rounded up the absolute best stories we ran this week so you don’t have to scour the site. So sit back, grab a coffee, and let’s go through them.

GRID Autosport launched on iOS, but when will it launch on Android?

GRID Autosport brought console racing to the iOS masses this week. It plays incredibly well, with a bunch of different control schemes to get your racing fix on the go.

But when will it launch on Android? That’s what we care about. Well, we found out – not until 2018. Read the full story here for more information.

We found an upcoming city builder that won’t contain IAPs

City building sims like SimCity should work an absolute treat on mobile. Often though, the experience is completely ruined by freemium mechanics like wait timers and a lack of resources.

But Pocket City aims to change all of that. It’s coming in 2018, and is a completely premium city builder. Read all about it right here.

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is officially announced for mobile, and we saw the trailer

Last week the talk of Android was the sheer number of PUBG clones hitting Google Play. This week, we found out that the real thing is coming soon to the Chinese market.

So we don’t know if it’s going to launch west, but chances are slim that it won’t. Would developer PUBG Corp really want to miss out on all of that money? Find out more here.

We also saw an official trailer for the experience, and it looks remarkably similar to the PC experience. We wrote a story about it here.

7e499_player-unknown-1024x576 5 Android stories you should have read this week

Google Play announced its top five games of the year

Google Play announced its top five games of the year this week, and it included Super Mario RunBubble Witch 3 Saga, and Magic Tiles 3.

Here’s the full list on Droid Gamers.

7e499_player-unknown-1024x576 5 Android stories you should have read this week

Pocket Legends Adventures launched on Android

This week saw the sequel to one of mobile’s first, and finest, MMORPGs. Pocket Legends Adventures is that very game, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

We went into more detail in the news article, so go ahead and read that here.

Someone Should Have Gotten Tyrese Off of Al Gore’s Internet Years Ago

dc913_fthzocvll9agdacb5arx Someone Should Have Gotten Tyrese Off of Al Gore's Internet Years Ago
Mike Windle/Getty Images

Maybe you’ve noticed, but in recent weeks and months, Tyrese Gibson has been more annoying than usual on social media. From swinging back and forth from the Rock’s jock to sharing far too many details about his child-custody case, down to claiming that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith slid him $5 million, the former Coca-Cola crooner has understandably alarmed folks with his behavior.

For those fans who have been wondering “What the hell is wrong with that fool?” Tyrese has finally offered a bit of an explanation—naturally, on Instagram.

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“A few weeks back while stressed and of course as I embarrassingly spoke on this.. I was advised to use some psych meds called Rexulti and I did and did some really stupid things publicly and privately that will take me a while to recover from,” Black Ty wrote Nov. 28.

He went on to add:

To clear the air cause I’m an open book and got nothing to hide. My wife is NOT pregnant and never was (those meds had me on one) I owe no one any money on any level matter of fact I just took care of both of my lawyers fully 108k for my lawyer and almost 20k for Shaylas lawyer. I could never give what I don’t have. Smart folks do the math!

I don’t know much about algebra, but I do know that this Negro has one too many times displayed symptoms of damn fool.

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Now, I loves me an antidepressant and am familiar with the unfortunate reality that the side effects may sometimes send one into a tizzy, but when it comes to Tyrese, hasn’t this man shown his ass on social media multiple times over the years?

In April, Tyrese ended up apologizing to women after a BET video featured him railing against “sluts, skeezers, hoes, tramps and overly aggressive, promiscuous women.”

A month prior, he had this to say about women who wear weave and elect to get cosmetic surgery in an Instagram op-ed that was later taken down:

WE KNOW the difference in real hair and fake clips-ons, we know eyelash extensions… you guys are really starting to go TOO FAR with manufactured beauty —fake lips, skinny nose barely can even breathe through your own nostrils. I’m not trying to be mean I’m just sending a message that US REAL MEN SEE THE BULLS**T and IF He decide to rock with you it’s just cause they wanna get one off. No one will EVER take you serious… [because] you look like a manufactured clown.

Could that have been related to his medication? Possibly, but do we not recall the days in which Tyrese professed himself to be a relationship expert and consistently drilled various strains of sexism on his audience? It was only a year ago when Amber Rose had to explain the notion of consent to both him and Rev. Run on that needless but thankfully canceled OWN series It’s Not You, It’s Men. Tyrese didn’t understand why you can’t just grope women on the dance floor no matter how they are dressed.

A year before that, he cautioned women to “be humble” and not stress their men out.

Then there are interviews such as those in which he scolded “independent women.”

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That’s unsurprising, given that this is the same man who once said (again on Instagram):

I was just asked today what qualities attract me at this point in a women…. I love a woman that’s smart, confident, educated, self sufficient, (available to be as spontaneous as this lifestyle I live.) I use to be attracted to women with HUGE personalities LOUD and AGGRESSIVE and I would always [h]it a wall…. Now I’m in a zone where I am ONLY attracted to women who’s voice is so soft and she has the energy and presence of grace and regal sophistication….. Not subservient REGAL!!!

And do we not remember the crazy shit he used to say when he was on Twitter calling himself the Vision Implementer?

An actual tweet from that era:

Ladies.. I’m a lesbian …I just love every aspect of every piece of you Feed me I’m always hungry . I’m yours forever.

He also referred to himself as an “African Mandingo Warrior.”

Also, remember when he called his group TGT, with Tank and Ginuwine, the “RB Avengers”? How did that group go? Well, Ginuwine ended up branding him a “diva” and blasting him for what he felt were “pussy” moves. Ginuwine also branded him a “wack lil boy” for announcing the group’s end on Instagram.

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Since we’re talking his greatest hits, whatever happened to that Teddy Pendergrass project Tyrese said he had the rights to? Are those rights sitting next to Will and Jada’s checkbook? Sorry, it’s 2017. Do rich people use Venmo? Maybe there’s a pdf of the rights next to that. I can’t call it.

Point is, Tyrese has been sexist, argumentative and farcical, and has had his co-workers fucked up in the game, long before that prescription. To that end, the only artists I want to hear singing about side effects are Mariah Carey and Jeezy. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish Black Ty and his presumed lifetime supply of Cokes any harm. Quite the contrary. I want him to pull it together, and I hope that comes in the form of a proper dosage, therapy, spell-check, a book club and any greater sense of spirituality that doesn’t involve Xenu.

In the meantime, Demetria Lucas D’Oyley once wrote a post related to Tyrese entitled “Women, Stop Listening to Sexist Relationship ‘Experts.’” I have a follow-up suggestion: Humanity, Ignore This Nigga Until He Pulls It Together. If you know this man and you care about him, keep him off the internet until the very second he does. God bless.

Should You Flip Out Over This New Android Robot? Elon Musk Did.

Like hundreds of thousands of people this last week, Elon Musk watched the following video of the latest version of Boston Dynamics‘ android Atlas. It was released for SoftBank’s International Robotics Exhibition (iRex 2017). Softbank, a Japanese tech multinational conglomerate, bought Boston Dynamics from Alphabet.

Robot moves like a gymnast–balance, grace and speed

The backstory on Boston Dynamics robots

Boston Dynamics first came out of MIT with a passion to build robots inspired by natural anatomy. Atlas is a science project built mostly by DARPA dollars in 2013, and has since continued to evolve as the world’s most dexterous humanoid robot. A year ago, Atlas could walk out of a building, through woods and snow, but needed a big battery tether to lug his power supply around with him. He was impressive, but he ran out of charge too fast to be fully terrifying. Today, he’s not just unleashed–he’s able to do backflips, springs, and jumps like a gymnast. Watching the video, one commentator opined he could see this robot carrying a machine gun in 10 years. Hate to say it, but I’m not aware of any technical reason it can’t carry one right now, while aiming and firing faster than you.

After watching Atlas do backflips, Musk flipped a little too:

Then he came back with a more polished, policy-pushing perspective:

Is robot fear justified?

Musk should know–he is one of the best robot builders out there, from Tesla cars to the gigafactory. He’s also an expert at managing fear productively–the sacred art form of all entrepreneurs. With every incredible scientific progress, there’s a good side and a bad side. Think nuclear power vs. nuclear war. With robots, it’s absolutely the same. Just think, today’s state-of-the-art robot muscles, according to a recent paper, can “lift 1000x its own weight.” 1000x? That’s like a duck lifting a truck, a researcher clarified.

It’s just the beginning of what robots are capable of, as Musk pointed out.

You live in a world where artificial intelligence like Google’s Alpha Go can master the game further and faster than any human player. Our own DNA can be   biohacked–in a hospital setting. Artificial intelligence companies are solving all kinds of problems, faster and more adaptively than people can.

What is human is up for grabs for the first time in history. 

Battlestar Galactica reruns, anyone?

Typically, when there is a powerful new innovation, legislation to manage it hasn’t been too far behind. However now, our technology is growing so quickly–and won’t slow down short of apocalypse or asteroid–that our legislative process pacing 10 years behind can become a relic or historical footnote unless we hasten our approach.

A Japanese multinational like Softbank, with a $100 billion dollar Vision fund, that owns a firm like Boston Dynamics among many others, isn’t easy to influence any other way.  Fear or fascination with the future won’t have an impact. The question Atlas has for all of us today is, what kinds of problems are we willing to tackle backflips over with our legislators and policymakers right now?

Should the Internet Be Regulated?

The Federal Communications Commission’s plan to roll back net neutrality has sparked intense debate; those in favor worry that deregulation would limit access to information in a way that disproportionally affects vulnerable populations, while opponents argue that the market naturally regulates itself without government interference. Here are three books that examine both arguments and their historical precedents.

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90a91_30newsbook-netneutrality2-master180 Should the Internet Be Regulated?

THE VICTORIAN INTERNET
The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s Online Pioneers
By Tom Standage
227 pp. Walker Co. (1998)

In this history of the telegraph, which was developed in the United States and Britain during the 1840s, Standage demonstrates the parallels between the innovative technology of that era and today’s internet. The telegraph allowed people to communicate globally, changing the way business was conducted and even making transnational romance a possibility. Many hoped the accelerated communication would inspire greater international harmony. Standage cites a toast by the British ambassador in 1858 to “the telegraph wire, the nerve of international life, transmitting knowledge of events, removing causes of misunderstanding and promoting peace and harmony throughout the world.” The reality was less idyllic; people found ways to use the new form of communication to nefarious ends (like delaying messages or hacking private communication) and divisions were still perpetuated. But the telegraph’s cultural impact is undeniable, and Standage discusses its enduring influence in this book.

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90a91_30newsbook-netneutrality2-master180 Should the Internet Be Regulated?

WHO CONTROLS THE INTERNET?
Illusions of a Borderless World
By Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu
238 pp. Oxford University Press. (2006)

For an overview of the fight to keep the internet open, turn to this book, written by Wu, the Columbia law professor who coined the term “network neutrality,” and Harvard professor Jack Goldsmith. As the subtitle suggests, Goldsmith and Wu reckon with the idea that the internet would transcend borders and territorial rule. They cite case studies like Google’s struggle to do business in France and Yahoo’s compliance with Chinese censorship to demonstrate how governments continue to exert their influence to control the web. In his second book, “The Master Switch,” Wu discusses how consolidation in the communications industry can lead to stringent control of information by corporations and threaten the internet’s democratic design.

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90a91_30newsbook-netneutrality2-master180 Should the Internet Be Regulated?

THE FALLACY OF NET NEUTRALITY
By Thomas W. Hazlett
56 pp. Encounter Books. (2011)

This brief primer presents the opposing view; Hazlett argues that government regulation stalls and suppresses innovation and that competing networks should be allowed to hash out the rules of managing web traffic among themselves. As he writes in his book, “This bountiful marketplace has emerged unplanned, unregulated, from the visions of technologists, the risks of venture capitalists, and the innovations of entrepreneurs.” Hazlett believes that trend can and should continue on its own.


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The time-saving typing trick every Android user should try …

You’ve probably figured this out by now, but I love finding clever little ways to save time and make life a teensy bit easier. And when it comes to Android and Chromebooks, boy howdy, are there plenty of efficiency-enhancing gems just waiting to be unearthed.

One area where I’m always hungry for improvement is in the reliably irritating realm of smartphone text input. Sure, Google’s own Android keyboard has gotten pretty good over the years — and yes, there are some commendable third-party alternatives as well — but more often than not, inputting text on a touchscreen still leaves something to be desired. (And voice input isn’t always a viable option.)

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how frequently I write the same stuff over and over from my phone — in emails, text messages, Slack messages, you name it — and how much time I could save by somehow automating those phrases and saving myself the trouble of typing them out repeatedly. I could include everything from mailing addresses to phone numbers and all the silly phrases I find myself tapping too often.

I got to work on finding a way to make it happen, and I came across some seriously useful tools — beginning with the basic and moving on to an incredibly powerful multilayered option.

The time-saving typing trick every Android user should try

You’ve probably figured this out by now, but I love finding clever little ways to save time and make life a teensy bit easier. And when it comes to Android and Chromebooks, boy howdy, are there plenty of efficiency-enhancing gems just waiting to be unearthed.

One area where I’m always hungry for improvement is in the reliably irritating realm of smartphone text input. Sure, Google’s own Android keyboard has gotten pretty good over the years — and yes, there are some commendable third-party alternatives as well — but more often than not, inputting text on a touchscreen still leaves something to be desired. (And voice input isn’t always a viable option.)

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how frequently I write the same stuff over and over from my phone — in emails, text messages, Slack messages, you name it — and how much time I could save by somehow automating those phrases and saving myself the trouble of typing them out repeatedly. I could include everything from mailing addresses to phone numbers and all the silly phrases I find myself tapping too often.

I got to work on finding a way to make it happen, and I came across some seriously useful tools — beginning with the basic and moving on to an incredibly powerful multilayered option.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The iPhone X’s biggest myth, investing overseas, and why you should buy gold

This week:

  • Business Insider executive editor Sara Silverstein talks about the iPhone X, the release of which many people thought would trigger a so-called upgrade supercycle. She breaks down a recent UBS report arguing that this isn’t true, citing data showing that iPhone sales will remain flat from a year ago. UBS says that people are still most concerned about price and battery life, not the newly announced functions that Apple has been advertising so heavily. UBS still has a buy rating on the stock, despite the firm’s reservations over the upgrade cycle.
  • Silverstein sits down with Jim Rickards, the editor of Strategic Intelligence and the author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis. He breaks down his $10,000/oz price target for gold, saying that some central banks may have to resort to the gold standard to restore confidence in the markets. Rickards says that $10,000 is the perfect pricing in order to to avoid a disaster scenario. He says what reflects reality is “complexity theory,” which has been successful in other fields, and for which he’s been a pioneer for bringing to financial markets. Rickards shares his thoughts on the Fed, and questions why the central bank is unwinding its balance sheet while economic growth is slow. He says it’s because the Fed is already preparing for the next recession.
  • In the Fidelity Insight of the week, Silverstein speaks to Bill Bower, a portfolio manager at the firm. He’d just returned from a visit to Japan, and tells Silverstein that when he invests there, he likes to look at individual stocks. Bower says that he’s looking at secular growth ideas in factory automation, as well as more value-based names in the financial sector. He says that he’s taken a recent liking to financials in European, where he sees opportunities due to earnings growth. In general, when Bower invests internationally, he’s more interested in secular ideas than cyclical ones. He’s specifically intrigued by China, which he says will transition from a centrally-planned economy to a consumer, and notes that technology and the internet caters to that space.



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