Tuesday, 13 March 2018

70% of Netflix viewing happens on TVs

Source:  Data from Netflix, reported by Recode, 7th March 2018
(Follow the link to see data for Thailand, Italy, Colombia, South Africa and Poland)

Nearly $2bn worth of robots were bought in the US in 2017

"2017 was a milestone year for the North American robotics market as it surpassed previous high water marks in all four statistical categories: order units, order revenue, shipment units, and shipment revenue.
The amount of robots sold in North America last year surpassed all previous records. Customers purchased 34,904 total units representing $1.9 billion in total sales. These numbers show growth of 0.9% in units and 0.1% in dollars from 2016. While automotive-related orders were down compared to the previous year (-7.3% in units and -3.8% in dollars), non-automotive orders fueled the rise in 2017 with 20.5% growth in units and 7.3% in dollars.
The industry also set records for North American shipments in 2017: 33,575 robots valued at $1.94 billion shipped to customers last year. This is an expansion of 8.7% in units and 6.9% in dollars over 2016 levels, with non-automotive related shipments once again providing the growth. 2017 shipments increased 29.7% in units and 19.7% in dollars from 2016 results. The largest growth rates for units shipped came from the plastics and rubber (59.6%), metals (53.9%), and food & consumer goods (44.2%). Automotive shipments were flat in both units and dollars compared to 2016."

Mobile payments are approaching a tipping point in the UK

"Mobile payments are fast approaching a tipping point, with spending via smartphones accelerating according to the latest consumer spending data from Worldpay.
The number of in-store contactless transactions made via a mobile device totalled 126 million last year, with the amount spent topping £975 million. This marks a 328% year-on-year rise in in-store mobile spending; and with almost a third  of consumers now taking advantage of their phone’s payment capabilities, these numbers are set for exponential growth over the next 12 months.
Accounting for 59% of all in-store mobile transactions, the supermarket sector has been an important driver in the uptake of digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, as time-poor shoppers grab groceries on the go. Pubs, bars and restaurants make up a further 12.5% of the total spend.
But according to Worldpay’s analysis, shoppers are now starting to purchase higher value items via their smartphones. In the second half of 2017, the average spend per transaction increased by 11%*, with a notable lift-off following the increase in retailers accepting ‘limitless’ Apple Pay transactions in May. Consequently, luxury department stores and high end boutiques are now one of the fastest growing sectors for mobile payments; although the volume of mobile transactions in this category still remains a small fraction of the total (2.9%), its share of the market has more than doubled since last year."

Nearly half of the ICOs launched in 2017 failed

"Of the initial coin offerings that blasted onto the scene in 2017 along with the price of bitcoin, 46 percent have failed.
That’s according to Engadget, which — citing data from TokenData — reported that of the 902 ICOs in 2017, 46 percent have failed. Among that percentage, 142 never got the funding and another 276 have faded away or were scams. What’s more, the report noted that another 113 ICOs have stopped talking about their project online or haven’t had enough adopters that success will be likely. Of the survivors, the report noted that only a few have raised more than $10 million via an ICO.
According to Engadget, excluding the ICOs that were outright scams, it’s not surprising that many of the ICOs and the virtual coins failed to take off. Many were focused on niches such as dentistry or trucking, while others were riding the coattails of other successful tokens and thus didn’t stand out enough to get traction. The report noted that ICOs remain popular this year, but there’s no guarantee that they will have a better go at it."

Fake news spreads more quickly than genuine news

"We investigated the differential diffusion of all of the verified true and false news stories distributed on Twitter from 2006 to 2017. The data comprise ~126,000 stories tweeted by ~3 million people more than 4.5 million times. We classified news as true or false using information from six independent fact-checking organizations that exhibited 95 to 98% agreement on the classifications. Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information. We found that false news was more novel than true news, which suggests that people were more likely to share novel information. Whereas false stories inspired fear, disgust, and surprise in replies, true stories inspired anticipation, sadness, joy, and trust. Contrary to conventional wisdom, robots accelerated the spread of true and false news at the same rate, implying that false news spreads more than the truth because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it."
Source:  Abstract of The spread of true and false news online by Soroush Vosoughi1, Deb Roy, Sinan Aral, reported in Science, 9th March 2018