Mixer Plays the Long Game with Ninja Exclusivity Deal

  • Poaching is occurring every week in the live-streaming wars.
  • Mixer’s latest announcement gives insight into its possible long-term strategy.
  • Can exclusivity deals be leveraged into more valuable endorsements?

The live-stream wars are in full swing with no clear indicators of where exactly it’s headed. With bank transfers rumored to be in the millions and low-impact metrics, many are wondering where the payoff lies. Mixer’s latest announcement may have given more insight into its long-term strategy, though.

Name of the game

Microsoft and its streaming platform Mixer were first to fire in the so-called live-streaming wars. The August exclusivity deal was announced with gaming’s most iconic personality, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, and Mixer set off a proverbial warfare.

Ninja draws first blood in live-streaming wars. | Source: Ninja/YouTube

Mixer continued on a streamer shopping spree enlisting Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, Cory “King Gothalion” Michael, and Soleil “Ewok” Wheeler to its platform. This caused YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and even Caffeine to lock horns and fight back with exclusive arrangements of their own. The model has formed an atmosphere in which platforms must fight for their content creators. There’s also no telling when the poaching will end.

Wheres the value?

The logic behind each deal seemed fairly cut-and-dry; on-board popular personalities and increase viewership metrics of the platform. To some extent, it’s worked. On the day of Ninja’s transition, Mixer became the No. 1 app in the iOS store and achieved the highest possible Google Trend score.

Although, an Oct. 14 report from Stream Elements outlined Twitch still reigned supreme with 75.6% of live-streaming hours watched. Meanwhile, viewership of the streamers themselves are suffering.

Take ex-professional CS:GO player and variety streamer Shroud, for example. The week prior to joining Mixer, Shroud boasted an impressive average viewer count of 27,245. In his last two weeks on Mixer, Shroud has averaged just 6,506 viewers.

Shroud’s viewership counts have sunk since switching over to Mixer. | Source: Twitch Metrics

At scale, the exclusive agreements likely haven’t garnered the type of growth Mixer was hoping for. That’s not to say Microsoft doesn’t have something up its sleeve in the long run, though.

Playing the long game

While there has been endless amounts of speculation, no one truly knows the parameters of these contracts – what they’re worth, what the guidelines are, and what other obligations are tied to that money. For the most part, it’s truly a mystery.

The arrival of Halo: Master Chief Collection on PC Dec. 3 is one of Microsoft’s biggest foreseeable debuts. The following day, its streaming platform will host Mixer Matchups, an event to promote the game’s release. Apart from the Mixer streamers participating, the event itself will be hosted by Ninja on his channel. Having Ninja as an anchor for the tournament should help drive its viewership and awareness.

The news comes as Mixer’s first tactic to utilize one of its superstar streamers beyond its opening deal. And frankly, it’s what many have suspected since the very beginning.

Ninja to host Halo: Master Chief Collection event on Dec. 4 | Source: Twitter

Perhaps that the Mixer deal was actually designed for more than just promoting the streaming platform itself. Maybe it was a cunning plan by Microsoft to promote its upcoming products with the gaming world’s most influential players. And with two massive releases – Xbox Scarlett and Halo: Infinite – on the horizon, they are likely aligning themselves for an unignorable campaign. Hell, Ninja could even be the frontman of an entire new console generation for Microsoft. No one really knows.

What’s next?

In Ninja’s announcement video, he talked about “getting back to his roots.” Prior to rocketing up to Fortnite stardom, the streamer was known as a professional Halo player. Going professional in 2009, Ninja went on to play Halo under some the most recognizable organizations in eSports. That list includes Team Liquid, Luminosity Gaming, Cloud9, Evil Geniuses, and the unmistakable Final Boss. We could only assume that picking up and streaming Halo for a few hours a day come the time of its launch will be natural to him.

What else will come from this partnership with Microsoft? Well, we can only really speculate at this point. There’s no telling whether or not Ninja would have participated in the Mixer Matchups event previously – or at least without a big bag of cash attached to it. Participation in further tournaments, appearances, endorsement, and whatever else Microsoft can drum up alongside its team of influencers is all a possibility.

Either way, we’ll get our first glimpse of Ninja revisiting his old love interest on Dec. 4 with Mixer Matchups. You can view the tournament on the day at Ninja’s Mixer channel starting at 7 p.m. EST.

TV Host Refusing Free 100 Bitcoin Because It’s Worthless Is Hypocritical

  • A TV personality in China refused to accept 100 bitcoin for free in 2014.
  • Five years later, he was again offered free BTCs but again, he refused.
  • Bitcoin performs better than fiat currency in the four properties of sound money.

If you were offered 100 bitcoin for free, would you hesitate to jump on the opportunity? Chances are, you won’t think twice to supercharge your stockpile of satoshis. With bitcoin trading around $7,000, 100 BTCs is worth $700,000

Well, a certain professor and TV host in China was offered 100 BTCs for free on air. His name is Lang Xianping, also known as “Larry.” Back in 2014, the lucky professor shocked the crypto community when he refused the offer. At the time, the top cryptocurrency was trading at $650.

According to Larry, the number one cryptocurrency has no value. Would he change his mind now that bitcoin is worth $700,000?

Apparently, the professor is sticking to his guns. Recently, Larry was asked again on TV if he would accept free bitcoin. Surprisingly, he insisted on refusing because “it’s worthless.”

I’m not sure what Larry is smoking but I’m having none of that. Thinking that bitcoin is worthless is hypocritical and shows total ignorance of how money works.

Bitcoin Is Outperforming Paper Currency

I hope Larry gets to read this article so he learns that bitcoin fares so much better than fiat currency in the four properties of money. For instance, sound money should be a safe store of value. The U.S. dollar is an awful store of value, having lost 96% of its value in 100 years. With the Federal Reserve printing more money, the greenback is bound to lose more purchasing power.

On the other hand, bitcoin maybe volatile but the volatility has been on the upside. If Larry accepted the 100 BTC in 2014, he would have made over 992% in gains by today.

Another property of sound money is scarcity. Bitcoin is the most scarce currency in existence. There will only be 21 million BTCs ever mined. Meanwhile, governments can print as much fiat currency as they want.

Also, bitcoin is divisible just like the dollar or the Renminbi. The number one cryptocurrency is divisible to eight decimal points. Each decimal point or unit is referred to as a “satoshi.”

Lastly, bitcoin performs a lot better in the transferability aspect of sound money than paper currency. If you want to transfer fiat currency to a person in another country, it might take days before the cash reaches the recipient. With bitcoin, the transfer may take less than an hour. That’s the power of blockchain technology maintained by a healthy network of miners.

These are some of the reasons why bitcoin is worth more than any fiat currency. In fact, one BTC is worth 700,000% more than one U.S. dollar. If Larry the professor uses paper currency, claiming that bitcoin is worthless is just hypocrisy.

Disclaimer: The above should not be considered trading advice from CCN. The writer owns bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

US Housing Market Bubble Won’t See Broke Millennials Buying Boomers’ Homes

  • Baby boomers own half of all American homes. As they reach old age, they’ll sell up and unleash 21 million houses on an already frothy market.
  • Millennials and Gen X can’t afford to buy the flood of homes on the market, potentially triggering a national housing crisis.
  • Signs of an imminent US housing bubble are already flashing red as price/income ratio hits record highs.

Baby boomers rode the housing bubble all the way to top. And now they’re about to pop it.

A whopping 50% of all homes in America are owned by the over 55s. But what happens when they retire and downsize? What happens when they move to community homes or unfortunately pass away?

The answer is worrying. There could be an epic crisis in the housing market.

“A wave of homes for sale, hitting the housing market. A scale we haven’t seen since the housing bubble in the mid-2000s… This is homes being sold by baby boomers like myself and there’s no-one there to buy them” – Fox News.

Boomers will sell an estimated 21 million homes in the next two decades (a quarter of the total US housing market).

The problem is, Gen X and millennials can’t afford to buy them.

Millennials can’t afford to buy boomer homes

A New American report revealed that millennials earn 20% less than boomers at the same stage of their life. Wage stagnation, decline in company benefits, and a rise in contract work means millennials can’t afford the same homes their parents could.

millennials housing downpayment
Half of renting millennials have zero savings to put towards a home downpayment. Source: Apartment List

According to Apartment List, one in five millennial renters now think they’ll be renting forever. That figure rises to one in four in Californian cities.

As real wages stagnate, house prices are running away. The average price-to-income ratio in 2017 hit 4.2 (in California it’s as high as 8). Back in 1980 it was just 3.2.

house prices to income ratio 1980
Home price-to-income ratio in 1980 was an average 3.2. Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University
home prices housing bubble 2017
By 2017, the home price-to-income ratio has increased to 4.2. Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University

Unable to scrounge a downpayment, millennials are doomed to become “Generation Rent.”

A survey analysis from Apartment List reads:

We estimate that at current savings rates, only 25% of millennial renters will be able to afford a 10% down payment on a median-priced home in the next 5 years.

Gen X can’t save the housing bubble either

But what about Gen X? Can they fill the gap and buy up all the boomer homes? Not likely. Gen X took a major hit from the 2008 recession and now struggle with many of the same money issues as millennials.

“I wish GenX and older millennials were given more space to talk about the impact of the recession on our lives. Wiped out savings, career paths diverted, homeownership delayed, debt everywhere we turn, the feeling of being perpetually behind what your parents accomplished” – Writer Austin Channing Brown.

Many in their 40s report struggling to get by and stuck in a cycle of renting.

“Mid 40’s, renting a house, buried in student dept for a degree that has done me no good at all, barely getting by. We have more in common with younger millennials than we do with boomers” – Gen Xer, Gwen Gilpin.

Is the housing crisis already here?

All of this may seem like a decade away from playing out, but some believe the housing crisis is much more prescient. According to the US Commerce Department, sales of new and existing homes slumped in September 2019, down 8.8% year-over-year.

Fannie Mae also hinted at a potential slump in its latest report. Homebuyer sentiment declined 2.7% in October with a net share of 21% of Americans say that now is a good time to buy a house. All this despite mortgage rates at record lows, giving a small boost to affordability.

With strong whispers of US recession around the corner, the appeal of big-ticket purchases like houses has already started to fall.

NCAA Player Nathan Bain Can Accept Crowdfunding but James Wiseman Isn’t So Lucky

  • Nathan Bain’s GoFundMe page is getting a lot of traffic after the Lumberjack forward scored a game-winner against Duke.
  • There are also numerous crowdfunding projects for James Wiseman.
  • Unfortunately, the Memphis star would be violating NCAA rules if he accepted the money.

Thanksgiving is a great time to share your blessings. One way you can do that is by making a donation to people who are suffering from a stroke of bad luck. A crowdfunding campaign can swiftly change the fortunes of the recipients and help them get back on their feet.

Unfortunately, NCAA rules on crowdfunding can be confusing. The guidelines state specific situations when a student-athlete can start or participate in a crowdfunding campaign. The rules have been scrutinized by the media as they allow a Stephen F. Austin (SFA) player to receive crowdfunded donations. On the other hand, suspended Memphis star James Wiseman won’t be allowed to accept the money.

This left many fans scratching their heads. How come one crowdfunded campaign was given the green light while the other was blocked when both are for charitable purposes?

Family of SFA Player to Receive Over $105,000

SFA scored one of the biggest upsets in more than a decade as the Lumberjacks handed Duke its first loss of the season. The heart-stopping game saw the two teams trade one huge bucket after another in the final two minutes of regulation. As a result, Duke missed their chance to ice the game in the final possession of the second half which sent the game to overtime.

It was a neck and neck battle in the extra time period. Duke had a chance to come away with the win. But the Lumberjacks forced a crucial turnover with five ticks left on the clock. This gave Nathan Bain enough time to outrun everyone and score the game winner.

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Fans across the country were quick to show their appreciation to the SFA forward. The two-month-old GoFundMe page for Bain’s family suddenly received a surge of donations. The SFA athletic department put up the crowdfunding campaign to help Bain’s family, which resides in the Bahamas. They were hit hard by Hurricane Dorian in September.

GoFundMe campaign for Nathan Bain’s family
GoFundMe campaign for Nathan Bain’s family | Source: GoFundMe

According to the NCAA’s rules on crowdfunding,

A college or university may use crowdfunding in conjunction with its institutional fundraising efforts if the rules of the institutional, charitable, education or nonprofit promotions regulations are satisfied.

Apparently, this charitable effort satisfies NCAA’s rules. While James Wiseman’s case does not.

Suspended James Wiseman Cannot Accept GoFundMe Money Says NCAA

The Memphis star was suspended for 12 games for breaking rules on recruiting inducements. According to reports, Wiseman accepted $11,500 from Memphis coach Penny Hardaway for relocation purposes. The NCAA also required Wiseman to donate $11,500 to charity.

Fans set up Crowdfunding campaigns on the internet to help the potential number one pick pay the fine. Unfortunately, the NCAA won’t allow Wiseman to accept the donation. As per TMZ, the donation must come out of the pocket of Wiseman and his family.

NCAA Crowdfunding Regulations Look Absurd

The NCAA’s rulings in these situations do not inspire clarity considering that the crowdfunding campaigns are both for charitable purposes. In Nathan Bain’s case, it will help his family rebuild after suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. Meanwhile, James Wiseman’s fine will ultimately benefit a charitable organization.

What’s even more absurd is that Wiseman is not allowed to receive money from others even in the form of a loan. How do they expect the player to pay his $11,500 fine? Without the help of the public, Wiseman and his family might suffer for years to settle the fine. How is this different from Nathan Bain’s family misfortunes?

Sure, rules are rules but it would be great though if they made sense.

Tesla Cybertruck Memes Explode but Elon Musk Laughs Last as Orders Skyrocket

  • Tesla’s Cybertruck has been the subject of countless memes as of late.
  • CEO Elon Musk suggested on Twitter that there are 250,000 orders for the electric pick up.
  • The sheer number of Cybertruck volume may be saving Tesla from a selloff.

There’s no such thing as bad publicity. It appears that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk knows this all too well.

On Nov. 21, the business magnate unveiled Tesla’s first electric pickup called the Cybertruck. If you’ve been living under a rock over the last few days, let’s just say that the presentation did not go so well. The shatterproof windows were shattered.

In absolute shock, Musk exclaimed,

Oh my fu—– god! Well… maybe that was a little too hard. 

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On top of that, the vehicle’s eccentric design became the subject of thousands of jokes and memes. Even a week later, memes about the Cybertruck are still dominating various social media platforms. People and even companies can laugh all they want. Tesla has managed to turn an epic fail of an unveil event into a massive win.

Lego Taking a Cheap Shot at Tesla’s Cybertruck

The botched debut of the Cybertruck sparked countless memes on social media. Many of the memes poked fun at the vehicle’s unusual trapezoid shape. For instance, one meme is circulating just in time for Thanksgiving.

Elon Musk Thanksgiving turkey
We all know how Elon Musk’s Thanksgiving turkey would look like. | Source: Twitter

One of the most popular memes involves a poorly rendered version of Lara Croft. Everything looks edgy just like the Cybertruck.

The resemblance is uncanny
The resemblance is uncanny. | Source: Twitter

There’s even a meme about the Cybertruck being one of Elon Musk’s earliest drawings.

Age 4 Elon Musk drawing
Even at age four, Musk was already showing a lot of potential. | Source: Twitter

Arguably, the best Cybertruck meme came from Danish company Lego. The toy maker broke Twitterverse with its own truck that comes with a shatterproof guarantee.

Cybertruck Lego
Perhaps the most durable truck out there | Source: Twitter

With thousands of memes circulating in various social media platforms, it is easy to think that Tesla is becoming a big joke. Haters can laugh all they want but Elon is making bank.

Twitter Memes Is a Stroke of Marketing Genius From Elon Musk

Elon Musk is one of the most revered figures on Twitter, so it’s not surprising that he’s constantly updating the number of Cybertruck pre-orders on the microblogging platform.

On Wednesday, the tech magnate suggested that there are 250,000 orders for Tesla’s electric pickup. That’s an additional $25 million dollars on the company’s balance sheet.

250K Cybertruck orders
The numbers show that the Cybertruck is getting a lot of love. | Source: Twitter

What’s even more remarkable about Musk’s regular updates is its potential to drive investor sentiment. The number of pre-orders may push investors to hit the buy button. At the very least, traders who are bearish on Tesla would think twice in shorting the stock.

The hype works well for an equity that’s trading close to the last line of resistance for the bears. With technical indicators flashing oversold readings, Tesla should be a textbook short.

Tesla’s weekly chart reveals that bears should have the upper hand
Tesla’s weekly chart reveals that bears should have the upper hand. | Source: TradingView

A look at the weekly chart tells me that Tesla should be ripe for a retracement. But the enormous volume of Cybertruck pre-orders sows seed of doubt to would-be shorters. With the company getting a lot of organic attention, there’s an argument to be made that this time may be different for the stock. This time, bulls may muster the strength to finally breach resistance of between $360 and $390.

That’s the genius of Elon Musk. The best thing about it is that he’s not paying a dime to warrant such attention. People can joke as much as they want but at the end of the day, Musk gets the last laugh.

Disclaimer: The above should not be considered trading advice from CCN.

Dow Futures Plunge from Record Highs on Thanksgiving as Hong Kong Protesters Celebrate President Trump

  • U.S. stock futures decline across the board on Thursday; Dow futures fall as much as 144 points.
  • President Trump’s backing of Hong Kong protesters could strain U.S.-China trade relations.
  • The New York Stock Exchange is closed for Thanksgiving.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined on Thursday after President Trump signed into a law a controversial bill backing protestors in Hong Kong – a move that could further strain to U.S.-China trade relations.

Dow Futures Tumble

Futures on all three major U.S. indexes declined sharply through the early part of Thursday trading. Dow futures were off by as much as 144 points before paring losses. The index was last down 71 points, or 0.3%.

Dow Jones futures
Dow futures point to volatile end to the week. | Chart: barchart.com

Futures contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were each down 0.2%.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market rose to new all-time highs Wednesday, largely thanks to upbeat economic data. Revised estimates from the Commerce Department showed U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.1% annually in the third quarter, higher than the 1.9% initially forecast.

President Trump Backs Hong Kong Protesters

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Asian equities came under pressure Thursday after President Trump signed a bill backing Hong Kong protesters, fueling concerns about the prospect of a ‘phase one’ trade deal with China.

The bill, approved unanimously by the Senate, threatens to impose sanctions on human rights violators in Hong Kong. Beijing condemned the legislation as “full of prejudice and arrogance.”

China’s ministry of foreign affairs issued the following statement, according to The Guardian:

This is a pure interference in China’s internal affairs…Such an act will make Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots, understand the sinister intentions and hegemonic nature of the US … The U.S. plot is doomed to fail.

Hong Kong protesters held celebratory, pro-U.S. demonstrations Thursday, thanking President Trump for his solidarity.

Investors fear that the Hong Kong bill cold derail already fragile trade negotiations between the United States and China. It has been more than a month-and-a-half since President Trump first teased an interim trade deal. An agreement has yet to be finalized and conflicting reports suggest both sides are further apart than initially believed.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that a phase one trade deal was unlikely to be signed before the new year. But President Trump remains adamant that both sides are in the “final throes” of negotiations.

Jeff Bezos is the World’s Richest Again, Thanks to Your Holiday Shopping

  • The holiday shopping season has boosted Amazon’s stock, helping Jeff Bezos reclaim the top billionaire spot.
  • Amazon has already doubled the number of seasonal workers it will hire.
  • So far this month, U.S. online shoppers have spent over $50 billion.

A little over a month since Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates trounced Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person, the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) chairman and CEO has reclaimed the spot as the top dog. This comes as Amazon’s stock climbed to a two-month high as holiday shoppers started opening their wallets.

Bezos is now worth $113 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bill Gates is in second position with a net worth of $111 billion.

Battle of the billionaires

Prior to being toppled by Gates, Bezos had been the world’s richest person since 2018. At one point, the gap between him and Gates was so large it looked insurmountable. His divorce earlier this year, however, saw his stake in Amazon fall from around 17% to about 12%.

Bill Gates remains one of the world’s richest individuals despite largely focusing his time on philanthropy in recent years. | Source: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Gates’ run as the world’s second-richest person is also under threat from French billionaire Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of luxury goods giant LVMH.

Bezos, whose wealth is mostly concentrated in Amazon, largely owes the world’s richest title to the stock’s recent upward trend.  On the day before Thanksgiving, Amazon closed at $1,818. That’s a gain of around 7% from the six-month low recorded in late October. The stock had been hovering below the $1,800 level in the past few weeks. The upward trend that started late last week coincided with Amazon launching Black Friday deals on Nov. 22.

Amazon
Amazon stock price has recovered from the October low. | Source: TradingView

Amazon whetting its appetite for the festive season

The stock could rise further, making Jeff Bezos even richer,ahead of a lucrative holiday shopping season. So far this month, online sales in the U.S. have increased by 15.8% year-on-year, giving investors more reason to be bullish. Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 26, U.S. consumers have spent $50.1 billion shopping online.

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According to Adobe Analytics, online spending in 2019 is expected to increase by 14.1% this year to hit $143.7 billion.

In anticipation of heightened activity, Amazon is ramping up its holiday hiring plans. Per the Associated Press, the online retail giant plans to recruit 200,000 workers for the holiday season.

Jeff Bezos
Source: Twitter

Last year Amazon hired 100,000 people in preparing for the busy holiday shopping period. So far, Amazon has outpaced other retailers in its hiring strategy. Big box retailer Target, for instance, plans to recruit 130,000 seasonal workers of which only 8,000 will exclusively serve online shoppers.

Still-Expensive VR Hardware is Bad News for Half-Life: Alyx

  • VR is back under the spotlight thanks to upcoming Half-Life: Alyx title.
  • The game may be the stand out title the tech needs to progress.
  • Yet, the cost of hardware remains an obstacle to mass adoption.

Yesterday, we speculated that while the industry remains divided on the prospects of VR, Valve is looking to make a splash by bringing a big name hit to the platform in the form of Half-Life: Alyx.

VR has long lacked a stand-out title capable of yanking the tech out of its cloistered confines and into the mainstream.

Alyx may be what’s required to do just. The pedigree of the Half-Life IP and broad initial interest from gamers are powerful forces.

Since the Alyx announcement, Valve’s own Index VR headset has reportedly sold out in the US and Canada, proof that players are jumping on the game well ahead of release next March.

VR Is Expensive

While examining the various Index bundles Valve currently has on Steam, it becomes all too clear that the biggest obstacles to both Alyx and VR ‘s success are the price of the hardware and the associated system requirements.

Prohibitive Hardware Costs Could Spell Downfall of VR and Half-Life: Alyx
Source: Valve

For example, Valve’s flagship Index VR Kit bundle, that includes a headset, controllers, two movement tracking base stations, and a copy of Half-Life: Alyx costs a staggering $1000. These aren’t optional pieces of hardware, but prerequisites to play the game. So, unless you’ve purchased one of them separately, that’s the basic price to play Half-Life: Alyx.

The price jumps down slightly $750 for the headset and controllers only kit. For the headset alone and the game, you still have to fork out $500.

Alyx System Requirements

On top of all this, you also need to factor in a gaming PC. Valve says you’ll need at least an Intel i5 Core 7500 or equivalent CPU, 12 GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060. While not the beefiest PC by any stretch of the imagination, that’s still, at best, a $600 to $700 build.

According to Steam’s ongoing Hardware survey, only 35% of Steam users have an equivalent or better GPU. A brand new build may not be necessary, but, a few costly choice upgrades are on the cards for most.

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Half-Life: Alyx looks incredible. Yet, the sheer cost of the hardware may be too prohibitive for many. And this could dent Valve’s ambitions of raising VR’s merits in the eyes of the average gamer.

Dow Futures Plunge as North Korea Missiles Join Trump’s Problems

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures fell 100 points on Thanksgiving Thursday.
  • North Korea reportedly fired two short-range missiles into open waters near Japan.
  • Geopolitical tensions flare for Trump after his Hong Kong bill threatens to derail US-China trade negotiations.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures took a 100 point hit on Thursday morning. While the US stock market is closed for Thanksgiving, traders are still active on the futures market.

Geopolitical tensions flared across Asia this morning as North Korea reportedly fired two missiles into international waters near Japan. Kim Jong Un’s missile test is a clear warning to Trump. Two years since the infamous “fire and fury” incident, the two superpowers face a looming end-of-year deadline over nuclear talks with no agreement in place.

The US will face a “great threat” if it does nothing, a rep from North Korea’s State Affairs Commission said earlier this month, adding:

We, without being given anything, gave things the US president can brag about but the US side has not yet taken any corresponding step.

The missile test comes just hours after Trump signed two bills into law supporting Hong Kong protestors. The move is likely to anger China and weaken Xi Jinping’s image at home. Chinese spokespeople have already vowed countermeasures which may threaten trade deal progress.

Dow futures in triple-digit plunge

Dow futures contracts dropped as much as 100 points on Thursday as traders struggle to hold onto Wednesday’s record highs.

Dow DJIA stock market futures chart
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures took a double blow on Thanksgiving with tensions in China and North Korea. Source: Yahoo Finance

S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq Composite futures fell 0.3% each. Bitcoin bounced back to $7,458.

North Korea missile test: a message to Trump

Kim Jong Un has given Trump until the end of the year to wind down the economic sanctions on his authoritarian state. Bloomberg sources claim that Kim Jong Un has grown frustrated by the lack of progress from the US after the largely ceremonial meeting at the DMZ.

A spokesperson for the State Affairs Commission – an institution run by Kim – said Trump faces a “great threat” if it does nothing.

It’s been two years since the infamous “fire and fury” incident where North Korea tested a ballistic missile capable of reaching the US. The years since saw a diplomatic truce between Trump and Kim, but the two sides still don’t agree on the issue of denuclearization.

Trump riles China over Hong Kong

The North Korea missile adds yet more pressure on Trump after he angered China late on Wednesday night. The president passed two bills in support of Hong Kong protestors.

I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi [Jinping], China and the people of Hong Kong. They are being enacted in the hope that leaders and representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences, leading to long-term peace and prosperity for all.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Trump’s “sinister intentions” for interfering with Hong Kong. Analysts believe the move may weaken Xi Jinping’s image in China and trigger a series of countermeasures in the ongoing trade war.

The US stock market is closed today for Thanksgiving.

5 Reasons Elon Musk’s ‘Pedo Guy’ Court Testimony Could be a Trainwreck

  • Tesla CEO’s courtroom strategy appears to be that he is his own best defense lawyer.
  • With this strategy, more legal setbacks could be awaiting  Eon Musk.
  • The defamation trial kicks off early December.

Elon Musk suffered a legal blow earlier this week when a federal judge rejected the Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO’s attempts to have a defamation lawsuit filed against him by a British cave explorer thrown out. Now the tech visionary could be setting himself up for more legal setbacks with his newest decision to testify in his own defense in court. This is in the case filed by Vern Unsworth where he is accused of defaming the British cave explorer by calling him a pedophile.

Given Musk’s record and personality, this could turn out to be the worst decision he has ever made. Coming less than a week since the embarrassing unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck, the court appearance could turn out to be another moment where Musk tries to showcase solid bullet-proof arguments only to have holes poked in them!

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Here are five reasons why Musk’s lawyers shouldn’t allow the Tesla CEO to take to the witness stand.

Elon Musk’s Credibility problem

It is no secret that Musk has a credibility problem. Several times he has issued statements on Twitter exaggerating Tesla’s delivery numbers and other company fundamentals.

Just last year, he stated that he was going to take Tesla private at $420 a share and that funding had been secured. None of this materialized. The list is long and all of this will serve the plaintiff’s lawyers in casting him as a witness whose testimony is not to be believed.

Temper tantrums

No matter how hard his lawyers prepare him, no matter how much time is spent coaching him, Musk could easily go off the beaten trail.

While testifying Elon Musk is likely to get asked questions he won’t like. Unfortunately, if the past is any guide, Musk doesn’t handle such situations well. A case in point is his behavior during an earnings call last year in March. This was right after Tesla had just announced a record quarterly loss of over $700 million.

After analysts posed probing financial questions, Musk snapped and ruled out answering further. As he lambasted the analysts for asking “boring bonehead questions” that were “not cool”, he went on to allow a YouTuber to ask 10 questions! Lawyers for the plaintiff would be fools to fail not to try to exploit this character flaw.

Tesla
Source: Twitter

Tesla CEO’s Poor Judgment

Musk has previously shown poor judgment in various situations. Arguably one of the most hilarious of these incidents was Musk smoking marijuana in a media appearance. It is hard not to see the plaintiff’s lawyers painting the alleged defamation of Unsworth as true to Musk’s character where he once again demonstrated poor judgment.

Massive Ego

The defamation lawsuit he is facing might not have come to see the light of day had Musk let it go after the initial baseless accusation. Instead, Musk doubled down at various points in time. After accusing Unsworth of being a pedophile in July, Musk went on to apologize.

But in late August the Tesla CEO brought it up again suggesting that the reason he hadn’t been sued at the time might have been because his accusations were not off the mark. Unsworth was to file the lawsuit the following month.

Elon Musk
Source: Twitter

Knowing his weaknesses and flaws, it wouldn’t take much for the plaintiff’s lawyers to make him say something regrettable in a courtroom.

Idiocy

He may be regarded by some as a tech genius but that has never stopped Musk from doing or saying something dumb.

Early last month, Musk claimed in court documents that he had hired a private investigator to look into Unsworth’s background and obtain dirt on the British cave diver. The Tesla CEO admitted the private investigator fooled him, stating:

I’m a f**king idiot.

But while some may see his folly as being taken in by the PI, the bigger question is why the CEO of a billion-dollar firm would go around throwing insults at an obscure personality? Why? The answer lies in Musk’s own colorful phrase.

All his life Musk has excelled at nearly everything he has put his mind into. His entrepreneurial and technological genius has seen him explore diverse fields offering mankind solutions to pressing challenges. But until he can invent personality transplants, he should avoid appearing as his own witness in court.