IoT Is Vital for Our Future Success, Say 87% of Businesses

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LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 1, 2020–

Vodafone Business today launches its 2020 IoT Spotlight report, focused on the impact IoT is having on businesses at a time when their digital capabilities are put to the test by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IoT Spotlight features responses from 1,639 businesses globally, exploring how they are using IoT and how IoT is helping them be ready for the future.

During the COVID-19 crisis, IoT has made the difference

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost all businesses to change their working practices and priorities in a matter of weeks, with the findings showing 77% of adopters increased the pace of IoT projects during this time.

Adopters clearly believe IoT was vital to keep them going: 84% said the technology was key to maintaining business continuity during the pandemic. As a result, the majority of adopters ( 84% ) now view the integration of IoT devices with workers as a higher priority and 73% of businesses considering IoT agree the pandemic will accelerate their adoption plans.

IoT is key to improving business performance

The research findings are clear: IoT continues to generate value and ROI for adopters and 87% agree their core business strategy has changed for the better as a result of adopting IoT.

Almost all ( 95% ) say they have achieved a return on investment and 55% of adopters have seen operating costs decrease by an average of 21%.

From improving operational efficiency to creating new connected products and services, key benefits of IoT deployments include boosted employee productivity ( 49% ) and improved customer experience ( 59% ) .

Data is the key to future readiness

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. IoT data is becoming essential to support businesses’ decision-making ( 59% ) and the majority of adopters (84% )

Looking at the Improving Outlook Ahead of Q3 Earnings Season

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Note: The following is an excerpt from this week’s Earnings Trends report. You can access the full report that contains detailed historical actual and estimates for the current and following periods, please click here>>>

Here are the key points:

  • The outlook for corporate earnings has been steadily improving since early July, driven mostly by a better-than-expected economic recovery. This trend has been confirmed by the early 2020 Q3 recent earnings releases.
     
  • For 2020 Q3, total S&P 500 earnings are expected to decline -22.8% on -2.8% lower revenues. This is an improvement from the -26.5% earnings decline expected at the start of July and follows the -32.4% earnings drop in Q2.
     
  • Sectors with the weakest Q3 growth outlook remain the social-distancing exposed spaces like Transportation (-122.5% earnings decline), Energy (-102.2%), and Consumer Discretionary (-85.7%).
     
  • Out of the total 16 Zacks sectors, 14 sectors are expected to experience earnings declines in Q3, with Construction and Medical as the only sectors expected to show earnings growth.
     
  • Utilities (-3.4%), Technology (-3.8%), and Retail (-4.3%) are the sectors with the lowest expected earnings declines in Q3.
     
  • Q3 earnings for the Finance, Industrial Products and Basic Materials sectors are expected to be down -25.5%, -25.6% and -26.5% from the year-earlier period, respectively.
     
  • For full-year 2020, total earnings for the S&P 500 index are currently expected to be down -20.6% on -4.7% lower revenues. As with Q3 estimates, full-year estimates have improved since early July.
     
  • Growth is expected to resume next year, thanks to easy comparisons, but the dollar level of earnings in 2021 will still be below the 2019 level.
     
  • The implied ‘EPS’ for the S&P 500 index, calculated using current 2020 P/E of 26.3X and index close, as of September 29th, is $126.94, down from $159.85 in 2019. Using the same methodology, the index ‘EPS’

Joe Lonsdale: Why we built Palantir and what’s next after going public

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  • The software and data-analytics company Palantir Technologies went public on September 30 with a direct listing, instead of a traditional IPO, and is estimated to win a market valuation of $22 billion.
  • In this op-ed, Joe Lonsdale — one of the company’s cofounders alongside Peter Thiel and others — writes that Palantir’s reputation as an evil surveillance system is ironic because the company is the most sophisticated privacy engine and has kept the US safe.
  • Lonsdale says Palantir’s starting mission was to create a secure intelligence network to help prevent the next 9/11. Now its platform is being used in COVID-19 response efforts by key decision-makers in over 35 countries.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author. You can read more on Business Insider’s coverage of Palantir and its cofounders here.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In 2010, I gave a speech on the computer-science concept of “man-machine symbiosis.”

Computers are great at integrating and organizing data from thousands of sources to build a common operating picture in ways humans cannot. Humans have a comparative advantage at higher levels of abstraction: creativity, intuition, and holistic judgement.

Each is necessary.

The best technologies do not automate complex problems, as many assume; they equip people to solve them faster and more effectively. 

In the talk, I used the example of confronting a pandemic.

You can’t “automate” the fight against a viral disease. But great information technology can help health providers, epidemiologists, and governments test and trace, map supplies of personal protective equipment, and manage hospital traffic, while keeping health records private in the process.

In a crisis, leaders demand the best solution available to inform their decisions. Palantir’s platform was the common operating system for this year’s pandemic response efforts in 35 countries. 

When

Elon Musk says humans must leave Earth “because sun will engulf our planet”

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Elon Musk has said that humans have to become a "multi-planet species". (Getty)
Elon Musk has said that humans have to become a “multi-planet species”. (Getty)

When Elon Musk launched a Tesla into space, it carried a sign saying “Don’t panic” on the dashboard – but the billionaire was in a more doom-laden form this week.

The SpaceX and Tesla pioneer warned, in an interview with The New York Times podcast Sway, that travel to other planets was necessary as Earth would be engulfed by the Sun.

Speaking to host Kara Swisher, Musk said: “I think this is fundamentally important for ensuring the long-term survival of life as we know it, to be a multi-planet species.

“Eventually the Sun is going to expand and engulf Earth. It will expand and incinerate Earth. It is for sure going to happen – but not any time soon.”

Read More: Starlink, everything you need to know about the satellite network

This is something of an understatement, as the Sun’s expansion is not predicted to happen for at least seven billion years.

Musk said that becoming a multi-planet species would allow human civilisation to dodge extinction events that had affected other species.

He said: “The fossil record does show many extinction events over the millennia, from meteors, from super-volcanos, from natural climate variation.”

Watch: Elon Musk says Tesla will offer an affordable driverless car within 3 years

The billionaire also touched on one of his favourite topics when he warned of the threat of artificial intelligence (AI).

He said: “AI does not need to hate us to destroy us. If it decides that it needs to go in a particular direction, no hard feelings it would roll over us, like we would do with an anthill if we were building a road.

Read more: Elon Musk dismisses astronomy concerns over Starlink network

“We need to think of

Spellbreak Update 1.1 Fixes Bugs, Adds Anti-Cheat Measures, And Smooths Out Aiming Issues

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Spellbreak, a free-to-play battle royale where every player has an elemental power to fight with, has received its first major update. The game, which launched on PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One on September 3, has updated to version 1.1, and has fixed numerous bugs and issues in the process.

Update 1.1 brings several fixes to Spellbreak across all platforms, as well as some system-specific changes for each different version of the game. It doesn’t add any major new features, but instead focuses on tweaking and improving what is already there.

“We wanted the focus of this one to be on stability and performance across all of our platforms,” the Spellbreak blog reads before detailing the patch notes.

The complete patch notes for Spellbreak Update 1.1 are below.

Gameplay

  • The Lighting Bolts spell’s recovery animation can now be interrupted by casting a sorcery.
  • Fix edge case where reviving or exiling someone could be canceled in order to get faster spell firing.
  • Fixed an issue that caused projectiles to sometimes not register damage even though they hit.

Aim Assist

  • Smoothed out difference in aim assist strength between different framerates.
    • This results in more consistent behavior for all players and eliminates advantages that came from very high framerate.
  • Fixed an exploit where aim assist could be much stronger than intended under certain combinations of distance to target and input sensitivity.
    • This meant it was possible for players under certain circumstances to make their spells incredibly easy to hit. This was mostly clearly seen with the Lightning Gauntlet on PC.
  • Adjusted aim assist values for various console platforms.
  • Aim assist now decreases over distance.
  • Default Look Deadzone setting on Switch is now 0%.
    • This is generally what you want, because deadzones are handled by the OS itself.

Miscellaneous

  • Enabled some extra anti-cheat mechanisms.