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Why Would Indexers Become Anti-Competitive Monopolists?

I have previously discussed all of the ways active managers have been slagging low cost indexers, but here is a quick reminder for you:

“Active-investing advocates warn us that low-cost indexing is “worse than Marxism,” is “devouring capitalism” an is “lobotomized investing.” The litany of complaints doesn’t end there: Passive investing is “distorting market liquidity,” creating a “mania,” and is a “frightening risk” to markets; indexers “ignore fundamentals,” and are “terrible for our economy.”

That is from my Bloomberg column, which takes a rational, mathematical-based look at this issue (more on that tomorrow). None of these financial analyses have gained traction. And so, failing in market-based arguments, the debate has shifted to the truly bizarre – and it comes from the lawyers.1

For now, I have other questions about this foolishness.

Loosely based on a 1986 analysis on joint ventures2 that used GM-Toyota’s joint venture in making cars as its core example, a few legal scholars have tortured this thesis to extend to index fund and the companies they all own simultaneously.3

This theoretical argument, as applied to index funds, makes no sense; there is no viable evidence in support of it. It does raise lots of other questions.

We were reminded of this frippery courtesy of last week’s Morningstar Investment Conference. A panel that looked at the absurdist question “Are Index Funds Eating the World?” According to Barron’s, one of the panelists, University of Chicago law school professor Eric Posner, argued that “The concentration of ownership, particularly by the Big Three indexers, BlackRock, Vanguard Group, and State Street, can hurt consumers.”

Wait, what?

These three intensely competitive fund managers fighting for market share and customers, are somehow hurting consumers? (I was away last week – did we throw out the basic rules of capitalism?)

In my Bloomberg column, I explain all of the reasons this is wrong. But in this space, I want to supplement those arguments by asking the simple question “Why?

Why would the giant indexers engage in a criminal conspiracy to restrain trade and fix prices? What would motivate these giant indexers to put their brand reputations and indeed their entire franchises at risk?

Why, why, why?

Consider: Blackrock is a publicly owned investment manager running over 6 trillion dollars. It has a market capitalization of $72 billion dollars, revenues close to $14 billion dollars and a gross profit of $7 billion dollars. Vanguard Group, the mutual held jointly by its investors, manages over $5 trillion dollars. And while the third largest indexer, State Street, is smaller than the first two, it is still a $1 billion-dollar company.

So the argument put forth is that somehow, Blackrock and Vanguard and State Street are going to put all of the success they have achieved over decades at risk, throw out their investment philosophy, ignore their own companies’ fiduciary obligations to their investors, risk all of that, for . . . what? To allow some of the 1000s of companies they hold to raise prices and reduce competition?

Why?

Towards what ends might this possibly serve? The risk/reward ratio of this seems terribly reckless. Risk the franchise for the benefit of a few holdings that might increase revenues to those companies? Who  int he world would risk billions of dollars in revenue and profits and market cap for a result that at best has a nebulous benefit?

Such idiocy could only come from academia.

Pensions & Investments, in an editorial earlier this year, warned “This, theoretically, could give a handful of index fund managers enormous power over U.S. companies through their corporate governance actions. By voting their proxies they could determine who serves on the boards of directors, how much top managers are paid and even strongly influence corporate strategies.”

Which is an odd thing to warn against, because those are exactly the sorts of things that funds, operating on behalf of the investor-shareholders, are supposed to do. Legally.

While the index ownership thesis may be a thought experiment, it is one that requires you to suspend reality and hypothesize a world where companies operate against their own best interest for reasons that are not quite fathomable.

Until its supporters manage to dig up some evidence that the largest indexers are conspiring to work with the corporate management of the companies they hold to defraud consumers, this thesis should be consigned, with the rest of the crazy conspirators, with Alex Jones, Anti-Vaxxers and the Flat-Earthers.

_________

1. Anticompetitive Effects of Common Ownership Journal of Finance, 73(4), 2018 79 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2014 Last revised: 13 May 2018 José Azar University of Navarra, IESE Business School; CEPR Martin C. Schmalz University of Oxford – Finance; CEPR; CESifo; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) Isabel Tecu Charles River Associates (CRA)

2. “Quantifying the competitive effects of production joint ventures” Timothy Bresnahan (tbres@stanford.edu) and Steven C. Salop International Journal of Industrial Organization, 1986, vol. 4, issue 2, 155-175

3. That plant has changed ownership. Formerly known as NUMMI, you now know it as 100% Tesla Motors-owned production facility.

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A CEO who manages a $1 billion firm teaches her teen daughter 3 core lessons about investing

  • Renee Kwok is a certified financial planner and the CEO of TFC Financial in Boston, a $1 billion financial planning and asset management firm.
  • Kwok says the most important investing advice she shares with her teenage daughter is to keep savings in a high-interest account, invest extra savings in stocks, and contribute to investments regularly.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Moms are chock full of advice, but when Renee Kwok talks to her daughter about money, her words may very well carry twice the weight.

Kwok is a certified financial planner and the CEO of TFC Financial, a $1 billion financial planning and asset management firm based in Boston.

She tells her daughter to “work hard and save most of your money. The three-bucket philosophy endures today: spend a little, donate some — and save most.” But, Kwok says, it’s what you do with your savings that matters most.

1. Put your savings in a high-interest account

“You can’t collect interest or grow your stacks of cash if they are sitting in an envelope in your desk drawer,” Kwok tells her daughter.

A high-yield savings account or money-market account is often the best place to keep savings so it grows, but remains easily accessible. While you won’t wreck your financial life by not storing savings in a high-interest account, your money will almost certainly lose value thanks to inflation.

Online savings accounts, as opposed to big bank branches, usually offer the best rates, which can be up to 200 times more than a checking account.

“Even in today’s low interest rate environment,” Kwok told Business Insider, “getting some interest on your cash in a bank account is better than getting no interest — and you’ll never have to worry about your parents accidentally throwing out your ‘home’ bank account if they decide they need to clean your room.”

Want to find a high-yield savings account for your extra cash? Consider these offers from our partners:

2. Invest your extra savings in index funds

When you have enough savings to cover your short-term needs, turn to the stock market, Kwok advises her daughter and other young investors.

“For young people who have their lifetimes, 40 or 50 or 60 years to stay invested in the stock market and ride out the bumps along the way, history shows us that’s the smartest move financially,” she said.

“Low-cost index mutual funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) from companies like Vanguard, BlackRock (iShares), Schwab, and Fidelity are an excellent option for young people investing their first few thousand dollars in the market,” Kwok said.

Index funds are a type of passive investment that exposes investors to a broad selection of stocks in order to diversify and ultimately minimize risk. They’re typically low-cost and even outperform actively managed funds.

3. Contribute to your investments early and regularly

Compound interest shows us that the more money we contribute to our savings and investments, and the earlier we do it, the more they’ll grow.

“A dollar you put in a Roth IRA in your teen years in the long run may be worth just as much as $8 or $10 you invest in your 50s or 60s — because that dollar benefits from decades more compounded growth and reinvestment,” Kwok said.

And most importantly, Kwok tells her daughter, don’t monitor your investments on your phone every day.

Investing experts often give advice along these lines because investments fluctuate from day to day. Watching every dip and valley creates an almost irresistible temptation to interfere and try to compensate for any losses or hustle for more gains — which is a mistake. When you’re investing for the long term, you want to leave your money alone and let it grow over time without interference. Over a matter of decades, those daily dips will usually even themselves out.

How much could your savings grow over time? Find out with this calculator from our partners:

Personal Finance Insider offers tools and calculators to help you make smart decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to buy or sell stocks or other financial products. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of the recommendations listed in the calculator, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners.

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Barbie jeep with motorcycle engine looks like Mario Kart in real life

The folks at Grind Hard Plumbing Co took their souped-up Barbie Jeep to a mudding event in Canada and had a great deal of fun.

[via DIGG]

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Apple pushes ‘incredible’ iPhone 6s with new ‘Made in India’ marketing campaign

Apple has launched a new marketing campaign in India focused on the iPhone 6s. The campaign focuses on the fact that the iPhone 6s is “made in India,” and highlights the device’s low cost.

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Apple started manufacturing the iPhone 6s in India back in June of last year. Apple supplier Winstron first received approval for its iPhone plant in India in March of the same year, starting production of the iPhone SE in the country.

The new Made in India iPhone 6s ad campaign was first spotted by Varun Krishnan on Twitter. Apple touts that the iPhone 6s gives users a 12MP camera with 4K video, as well as a Retina HD display, A9 processor, and “long battery life” (via The Verge).

Apple has used its Made in India initiative as a way to avoid import taxes imposed by the Indian government. A report last year suggested that Apple was also planning to manufacture high-end iPhones in India as well, but more recent reports have cast doubt on that.

Despite the focus on local manufacturing, however, Apple has struggled in India. The company stopped selling the dated iPhone 6 in the country earlier this year as a way to improve its brand image. Furthermore, Apple’s India team has undergone restructuring over the last year, naming former Nokia executive Ashish Chowdhary its head of India operations.

Apple and Tim Cook were at one point very bullish on the growing size of India’s smartphone market. Recent data, however, has suggested that Apple has a very small share of that market. Apple is also still working to meet a requirement of 30% locally-made products to receive approval to open Apple Stores in the country.

Just saw this ad , Apple is explicitly promoting made in India pic.twitter.com/OpjClRJAhs

— Varun Krishnan (@varunkrish) May 15, 2019

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Facebook is raising the minimum wage of its contractors and content moderators after facing scrutiny over low pay and ‘inhumane’ working conditions (FB)

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, the Facebook’s developer conference.

AP Photo/Tony Avelar

Facebook is increasing wages for its contract workers in the US, from janitors to content moderators.

On Monday, the Silicon Valley tech giant said that it will pay at least $22 per hour for content reviewers in the Bay Area, New York City, and Washington, DC; $20 per hour to those living in Seattle; and $18 per hour in all other metro areas in the United States.

In recent months, Facebook has faced scrutiny over the pay and working conditions of its content moderators. An investigation from The Verge found that workers, who were being paid just $28,800 a year, faced intense working conditions and some developed PTSD. And Business Insider previously reported that moderators complained about “inhumane” working conditions that they said erode their “sense of humanity.”

The $520 billion company is also raising wages for US contract workers like cafeteria staff and janitors to a minimum of $20 per hour in San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Washington, DC, and to $18 per hour in Seattle.

Facebook last raised minimum wages for contract workers in 2015 to $15 per hour in its bid to narrow the widening gap between the technology sector’s elite and the lower-paid workers.

“In the years since, it’s become clear that $15 per hour doesn’t meet the cost of living in some of the places where we operate. After reviewing a number of factors including third-party guidelines, we’re committing to a higher standard that better reflects local costs of living,” the social media giant said in a blog post.

Last year, Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour after facing harsh criticism over poor pay and working conditions. The online retailer said at the time that it would lobby Washington for the federal minimum wage to be raised. US corporations have been finding it tougher to attract workers, with US unemployment at its lowest level in nearly 50 years, while there has been growing political pressure on companies to pay workers a fair living wage.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and the largest US private sector employer, pays workers $11 an hour at entry-level, while Target said in April it would raise its US minimum wage to $13 an hour.

It’s not clear what will happen to the wages of contract staff outside of the US. Reuters previously reported that some Arabic-language content reviewers working on behalf of Facebook in India were being paid just $6 a day.


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SpaceX postpones launch of its first Internet network satellites – Gulf Times

AFP/Washington

SpaceX postponed a launch of 60 satellites into low-Earth orbit that was scheduled for Thursday night, possibly until next week, citing a need for software updates.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral was to be the first of potentially thousands in its Starlink project to beam broadband Internet across the planet.

“Standing down to update satellite software and triple-check everything again,” said a tweet from the official SpaceX account. “Always want to do everything we can on the ground to maximise mission success, next launch opportunity in about a week.”

The launch, which was initially envisaged for Wednesday, was first delayed because of high winds.

Billionaire Elon Musk’s firm, which is leading the private space race when it comes to rocket launches, is now looking to seize a chunk of the future space Internet market.

The launch will make it an early forerunner, along with rival OneWeb, a startup, but well ahead of Amazon’s Project Kuiper, the brainchild of Musk’s space rival Jeff Bezos.

Musk is hoping to grab three to 5% of the future global market, a figure he shared Wednesday during a call with reporters.

That could earn SpaceX an eye-watering $30bn a year, more than ten times what rocket launches make, he added.

The goal is to finance the development of future rockets and spacecraft, to realise the boss’s dream of colonising Mars.

Each of the satellites weighs just 227 kilograms (500 pounds) and was built in-house in Redmond, near Seattle.

The second stage of the rocket will begin to release them one hour after launch, at an altitude of 270 miles (440km), and then the satellites will use their thrusters to take up their places in a relatively low orbit of 340 miles (550km). That’s slightly higher than the International Space Station, but well below the majority of terrestrial satellites, the highest of which sit in a geostationary orbit of 22,400 miles (36,000km). The advantage of being so low is reduced lag times, key for broadband connectivity.

The disadvantage though is more satellites are required to cover the globe, and, being closer to the atmosphere, they fall back to earth faster, after a few years.

SpaceX will therefore have to replace them regularly — something that only became realistic from a price perspective recently with the rapid decline in the cost of manufacturing satellites and the development of mini-satellites.

SpaceX has obtained approval from the US government to launch up to 12,000 satellites, at varying levels of orbit, but Musk said Wednesday that a thousand would be enough for it to be “economically viable.”

Starlink will become operational once 800 satellites have been activated, which will require a dozen more launches.

“I think within a year and a half, maybe two years, if things go well, SpaceX will probably have more satellites in orbit than all other satellites combined,” said Musk.

Today there are about 2,100 active satellites orbiting our planet (and thousands of others that aren’t operational any more). In order to receive SpaceX Internet, users will need an antenna which “basically looks like a sort of a small to medium sized pizza,” said Musk, adding it would be a “flat disc.”

The company plans to team up with telecoms operators, but hasn’t yet begun the process of finding clients, he said.

The satellites will be designed such that 95% will burn up as they fall back through the atmosphere, with the rest of the debris falling into the Pacific ocean.

Finally, to reduce the risk of striking other satellites, each piece of the constellation will be equipped with anti-collision technology, according to SpaceX.

Musk added: “We don’t want to trivialise it or not take it seriously because we certainly do take it seriously.

But it’s not crowded up there, it’s extremely sparse.”

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GOLDMAN SACHS: These 16 stocks will get crushed on a sharp market pullback. Here’s a dirt-cheap way to profit from their demise.

on sale sign store


Reuters / Shannon Stapleton

  • As investor nerves fray at the edges, Goldman Sachs has seen a sudden uptick in client requests for downside protection.
  • The firm has identified 16 vulnerable stocks that have low free cash flow and whose hedges looks cheap relative to the broader market.
  • This stock-identification strategy can also be used to make directional bearish bets that would profit from large share-price losses.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Clients of Goldman Sachs are spooked.

So says the firm’s derivatives team, which says it has seen a “sharp increase” in requests for attractively priced hedging ideas in recent weeks.

The obvious catalyst for this sudden concern is the US-China trade war, which has kicked into high gear in recent weeks. But Goldman says client concerns stretch well beyond that. And for that reason, it’s been on the hunt for attractively priced downside protection.

“Broadly, our studies show that puts on stocks with low free cash flow are systematically undervalued,” John Marshall, a derivatives strategist at Goldman, wrote in a recent client note. (Puts are options contracts that, when bought, profit when a stock declines.)

But finding such market dislocations is easier said than done, which is why Goldman has created a rigid methodology to aid in its pursuit.

Read more: ‘The disruptors will be disrupted’: The man who runs the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund offers bold predictions for how different the world will look in 10 years

It ultimately amounts to a two-part strategy:

  1. Identifying stocks with low free-cash-flow yield— “We show that low FCF yield stocks have less downside support than high FCF stocks, yet put prices systematically underprice the downside risk,” Marshall said.
  2. Identifying stocks with downside potential— “We focus on stocks where our analysts see downside potential to their price target and rate the stocks Sell or Neutral.”

Of course, one trader’s hedge can be another trader’s bearish directional wager. In other words, it’s also possible to use this strategy to profit from the assumed underlying stock decline — and do so at dirt-cheap prices. It’s really up to investors which approach they prefer.

With that established, let’s get on to the list. Below are the 16 stocks identified by Goldman as best fitting the criteria listed above.

They’re listed in decreasing order of upside to price target. Each entry also provides the cost of 5% out-of-the-market put contracts.


Markets Insider

Ticker: SAFM

Market cap: $3 billion

Stock rating: Neutral

Upside to price target: -13%

5% OTM option price: 4.3%

Source: Goldman Sachs


Markets Insider

Ticker: WEC

Market cap: $25 billion

Stock rating: Sell

Upside to price target: -14%

5% OTM option price: 1.4%

Source: Goldman Sachs


Markets Insider

Ticker: PSA

Market cap: $40 billion

Stock rating: Sell

Upside to price target: -14%

5% OTM option price: 1.8%

Source: Goldman Sachs


Markets Insider

Ticker: SO

Market cap: $56 billion

Stock rating: Sell

Upside to price target: -15%

5% OTM option price: 1.6%

Source: Goldman Sachs





6/

11. American Water Works


Markets Insider

Ticker: AWK

Market cap: $20 billion

Stock rating: Neutral

Upside to price target: -15%

5% OTM option price: 1.4%

Source: Goldman Sachs





7/

10. Realty Income Corp.


Markets Insider

Ticker: O

Market cap: $22 billion

Stock rating: Sell

Upside to price target: -17%

5% OTM option price: 1.9%

Source: Goldman Sachs


Markets Insider

Ticker: EQR

Market cap: $28 billion

Stock rating: Sell

Upside to price target: -17%

5% OTM option price: 1.7%

Source: Goldman Sachs





9/

8. Navistar International


Markets Insider

Ticker: NAV

Market cap: $3 billion

Stock rating: Sell

Upside to price target: -17%

5% OTM option price: 6.8%

Source: Goldman Sachs


Markets Insider

Ticker: VECO

Market cap: $641 million

Stock rating: Neutral

Upside to price target: -17%

5% OTM option price: 7.3%

Source: Goldman Sachs


Markets Insider

Ticker: AMT

Market cap: $87 billion

Stock rating: Neutral

Upside to price target: -18%

5% OTM option price: 2.0%

Source: Goldman Sachs





12/

5. Tanger Factory Outlet


Markets Insider

Ticker: SKT

Market cap: $2 billion

Stock rating: Sell

Upside to price target: -19%

5% OTM option price: 3.9%

Source: Goldman Sachs


Markets Insider

Ticker: UNM

Market cap: $7 billion

Stock rating: Sell

Upside to price target: -22%

5% OTM option price: 4.3%

Source: Goldman Sachs


Markets Insider

Ticker: SPWR

Market cap: $1 billion

Stock rating: Neutral

Upside to price target: -25%

5% OTM option price: 8.1%

Source: Goldman Sachs


Markets Insider

Ticker: VTR

Market cap: $23 billion

Stock rating: Sell

Upside to price target: -29%

5% OTM option price: 2.3%

Source: Goldman Sachs

Get the latest Goldman Sachs stock price here.

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Country star Travis Tritt involved in fatal accident, 2 dead and one injured – Fox News

Country music star Travis Tritt was involved in a fatal car crash early Saturday morning where two people died after a car traveling the wrong way on a South Carolina highway collided with another vehicle.

Tritt took to social media after being “shaken up” by the deadly crash that took place in front of his tour bus on Veterans Highway in Myrtle beach.

“Thank God we are all okay. I feel so bad for those who died needlessly tonight. I’m really shaken up by what I witnessed,” Tritt wrote on Twitter. “God bless those who died.”

KACEY MUSGRAVES SHUTS DOWN AUSTRALIAN AUDIENCE’S ‘SHOEY’ REQUEST: ‘I’M NOT F—ING DRINKING OUT OF YOUR SHOE’

The musician shared a picture showing the extent of the damage caused by the collision.

He said that while everyone inside the bus was not harmed, their vehicle sustained minor damage as the driver attempted to avoid the collision directly in front of them.

Horry County Fire and Rescue said that two unidentified people died during a multi-vehicle crash Highway 22 at around 3:30 a.m. A third person sustained only minor injuries.

While the cause of the crash is still being investigated by the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Tritt said on Twitter that he was informed that the accident was a result of a “drunk or impaired” driver.

He used the traumatic event to remind people “to never drive if you’ve been drinking or impaired in anyway.”

“Uber or Lyft is just a phone call away.”

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“I beg everyone to please, please, please drive sober. Know when to admit that you are too impaired to drive,” he said in a separate tweet.

The Grammy award-winning artist was traveling out of the state after performing at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach Friday night.

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Tariffs and new streamers will cost you in 2019

This was “Streaming Week,” and the action took place in New York, where Disney, Warner Media and others gave ad buyers and the media community a sneak peek at what’s coming down the pike. 

That would be more subscription services, with programming that used to appear elsewhere – like “The Office” on Netflix – moving to the new ones and more requests for you to spend more money to watch TV.  

Ka-ching. 

This was also the week President Donald Trump doubled down on his trade war with China, announcing higher tariffs that threaten to add 25% or more to the cost of electronic devices and other products produced in China. These would go into effect on June 25.

The list of some 3,805 products includes popular everyday items like laptops, tablets and TVs. Chinese giant Lenovo had the No. 1 market share in personal computer shipments in 2018, over Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Apple. 

In the United States, many big-box retailers offer Chinese brands like TCL and Hisense TVs offered at substantial discounts. The “Roku” branded TV featuring a built-in streaming player from Roku is made by TCL.

For Apple, the big question is whether America’s best-selling consumer device – the iPhone, which is already pricey to begin with, starting at $1,099 for the top of the line model – will end up with a 25% tariff. 

Nomura analyst Jeffrey Kvaal said he believes it will and warned investors about potential issues with Apple’s earnings. “A 25% tariff on device imports a pain any way they slice it,” he said in a note to investors. 

JP Morgan predicted the tariffs would raise the price of the iPhone XS to $1,142 from $1,000. 

But Gene Munster, an analyst and investor with Loup Ventures, takes a minority opinion that Apple will survive without being hit.

“Apple is based in the United States,” he says. “So the probability of Apple being impacted is slim to none.”

DJI, the Chinese company best known for selling drones and cameras, would be hit, Munster says, along with makers of low-cost phones most consumers haven’t heard of, like One Touch or Oppo. 

Huawei Technologies, ranked No. 3 worldwide in phone shipments after Samsung and Apple, doesn’t sell a lot of phones in the United States and apparently won’t be growing here either. The Trump administration put the company on the Commerce Department’s “Entity List,” essentially banning it from doing business here. 

Meanwhile, in streaming, Disney announced that it was now soon to be the majority owner of Hulu, the company that had originally been formed by three of the four broadcast TV networks as a way to reach cord cutters. 

Disney, which now owns Fox and ABC, bought out NBC-owner Comcast, and said NBC shows like “The Office” and “Saturday Night Live,” would remain on Hulu for five years. 

NBC meanwhile, is launching its own streamer, set to debut in 2020, that will include ads. The service will be free for cable subscribers, not so for cord cutters. 

Disney has removed its movies and other programming from Netflix to prepare for its new Disney+ service, which launches Nov. 12 and will cost $6.99 monthly. 

Warner Media, home of HBO and the Warner Bros. movie and TV studio, is also set to launch a new service and admits that Warner programming seen elsewhere will leave to “put on our own (streaming) product,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said this week. AT&T owns Warner. 

Apple also has a new streaming service, Apple TV+, set to launch in the fall with programming from Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon. 

“People will be paying more for streaming, there’s no doubt,” says Munster. 

In other tech news this week

DJI, the Chinese drone and camera manufacturer, introduced the Osmo Action, a clone of the popular GoPro Hero action camera. The big difference: a color preview screen on the front for video selfies and a promise by the company of steadier video images. True? Take a look at our first look back-to-back test. 

Facebook and Eventbrite announced a new partnership to let anyone with a Facebook page create tickets for their events. It’s aimed at everyone from cooking classes and art classes to small businesses putting on presentations in their stores. The tickets can be accessed for free or sold. 

Sprint and Verizon put the first 5G phones for their networks on sale. Sprint said the LG V50 ThinQ 5G will be available on May 31, while Verizon began this week selling Samsung’s first 5G phone, the Galaxy S10. 

This week’s Talking Tech podcasts

This week’s Talking Tech podcasts

We reviewed that new biography of Apple CEO Tim Cook. 

Amazon introduced new home security features for Alexa. 

Review: DJI Osmo Action

FCC is clueless on robocalls

How tech has changed photo touring

Finally, readers of Talking Tech probably know we recently spent just over two weeks touring Spain and Portugal. First stop: Madrid.  

That’s it for this week’s Talking Tech wrap. Subscribe http://technewsletter.usatoday.com, listen to the daily #TalkingTech podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts and follow me (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2019/05/18/trump-tariffs-and-new-streamers-disney-warner-nbc-cost-you/3711441002/

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Could a pharmacist’s consultation help more people get vaccinated? – Rossland News

Giving pharmacists an incentive to speak with patients about vaccines could drastically decrease the number of people hit with the flu each year, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo looked into the effects of a $15 consultation fee for pharmacists to consult a patient aged 65 years and older, and found that, in Ontario, it could prevent about 2,400 influenza cases each year.

“Given the high level of interactions pharmacists have with this vulnerable age group, encouraging these discussions at the community level could greatly reduce the number of seniors impacted by the disease,” said Dr. Gokul Raj Pullagura, a PhD candidate and lead author of the study, released Wednesday and published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

READ MORE: Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

The team used computer modelling to examine the cost effectiveness of a $15 influenza consultation fee for community pharmacists, balancing the cost of any resulting vaccinations and the savings from any avoided hospital visits.

The findings suggest such a fee, in addition to the current compensation for administering the vaccine, would cost about $2 more per person for the government to set up, but save major costs on hospitalizations.

“Considering our current method of encouraging people to get the flu shot is resulting in low vaccination rates, using pharmacists to their full potential could be a cost-effective way of achieving our goals,” Pullagura said.

READ MORE: Another case of measles brings total to 27 in B.C.

According to Health Canada, the flu causes about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths each year.

The BC Centre for Disease Control distributes roughly 1.5 million doses of influenza vaccine each year, free to residents. Authorized pharmacists have been able to administer vaccines to people aged five years and older since 2009.


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