Cyber Monday and Thoughts From Jim Cramer

December is upon us, and stocks are off to a great start. Strength on the first day of the month followed solid returns produced in November.

Apple has been riding the ta ilwinds as well. The stock traded ahead of the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indices by quite a bit through the Tuesday trading session. Probably helping to explain bullishness is good news on holiday sales projections.

Cyber Monday uplift

Data from Adobe Analytics has confirmed what was already expected: this has been the year of e-commerce. Cyber Monday spending increased 15% over 2019 levels, with curbside pickup – a fairly new way to shop – rising 30%. Adobe estimates that online sales in the current holiday season will grow year-over-year by 30% to $184 billion, substantially more than what one should expect of consumer spending in general.

It is clear to me that these numbers favor

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AI helps scientists understand brain activity behind thoughts — ScienceDaily

A team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University has developed artificial intelligence (AI) models that help them better understand the brain computations that underlie thoughts. This is new, because until now there has been no method to measure thoughts. The researchers first developed a new model that can estimate thoughts by evaluating behavior, and then tested their model on a trained artificial brain where they found neural activity associated with those estimates of thoughts. The theoretical study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“For centuries, neuroscientists have studied how the brain works by relating brain activity to inputs and outputs. For instance, when studying the neuroscience of movement, scientists measure muscle movements as well as neuronal activity, and then relate those two measurements,” said corresponding author Dr. Xaq Pitkow, assistant professor of neuroscience at Baylor and of electrical and computer engineering

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People Have *Thoughts* About Twitter’s New Fleet Feature

Twitter

If you logged onto Twitter today and did a double-take, you weren’t the only one. Twitter is the latest social platform to introduce disappearing posts that just so happen to be accessed via small circles at the top of the app — and they’re called Fleets. Look familiar? It’s reminiscent (read: exactly like) Instagram’s Stories and Snapchat.

“Some of you tell us that Tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there’s so much pressure to rack up Retweets and Likes,” design director Joshua Harris and product manager Sam Haveson wrote in a blog post.

Fleets disappear after 24 hours and unlike tweets, they don’t earn Likes or RTs and there’s no way to post a public reply. For now, they’re only available on Twitter’s mobile platform, so if the new development is triggering some sort of social media trauma, stick to Twitter on

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Social media analytics now a valuable tool in understanding the thoughts and actions of the public during a pandemic — ScienceDaily

With 2020 hijacked by COVID-19, a team of QUT researchers in Brisbane, Australia, say social media analytics can capture the attitudes and perceptions of the public during a pandemic. They also suggest social media is now the best way to encourage people to follow measures and restrictions.

Led by Associate Professor Tan Yigitcanlar from QUT’s School of Built Environment, and in collaboration with researchers in Afghanistan, Iran and Italy, the researchers collected 96,666 geotagged tweets originating from Australia between 1 January and 4 May 2020, and analysed 35,969 of them after data cleaning to remove automated messages, irrelevant messages and web links.

The resultant paper — How can social media analytics assist authorities in pandemic-related policy decisions? Insights from Australian states and territories — has been published by Springer journal Health Information Science and Systems.

“From the Plague of Athens in 430 B.C., to the Black Death of the

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AMD’s Blockbuster Deal to Acquire Xilinx: 6 Thoughts

AMD  (AMD) – Get Report and Xilinx  (XLNX) – Get Report are eager to work together not just on new server platforms, but also on joint offerings for 5G base stations, cars and much else, its CEOs stress.

Three weeks after The Wall Street Journal first reported that a potential $30 billion-plus deal was being discussed, AMD announced on Tuesday morning that it’s buying top FPGA developer Xilinx in an all-stock deal that values Xilinx at more than $33 billion based on AMD’s current trading price.

The companies aim to close the deal by the end of 2021, and to generate $300 million worth of annual cost savings within 18 months of closing. AMD shareholders stand to own 74% of the post-merger company, and Xilinx shareholders the other 26%.

In tandem with the announcement, AMD posted its Q3 report, which was originally scheduled to arrive on

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