GOAL IS SMOOTH
The world's largest plane makers are testing its seemingly simple formula to smooth production , cut costs, and flatten profits. Make more of the parts that go into their jets themselves. After United Technologies proposed $23 billion deal to buy Rockwell Collins Inc , that push is taking on more urgency The deal is the latest in a round of consolidation among the world's biggest suppliers of aviation parts, something Boeing Co and European rival Airbus Se have monitored warily. Earlier this week, Boeing said it might cancel some of its parts contracts if the latest deal further undermines competition in the aerospace supply chain. Airbus had previously expressed its skepticism over the transaction. Worried about getting squeezed by the consolidation Boeing and Airbus have moved to protect them selves by building more ot their parts in house. This month Boeing will start construction of a new production facility in Sheifield England that will make some of its own actuation equipment, motors that help move a wing's flaps. Airbus, meanwhile is planning to build some of its own facilities, the metalcsings that house a plane's engines.
SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER 1
HACKING IS INCREASING
TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) has asked Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) for a 30-day suspension of its applications on two pipeline projects targeted to deliver crude oil from western Alberta’s oil sands to the east coast of Canada. The delay comes just six weeks after the company initiated an open season seeking additional customers for its Keystone XL pipeline project to transport crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The stated reason for the delay on the Energy East and Eastern Mainline projects is to give TransCanada time to review changes the NEB recently requested “regarding the list of issues and environmental assessment factors of the projects while understanding how these changes impact the projects’ costs, schedules and viability.”The Energy East and Eastern Mainline projects were proposed as paths to move oil from Alberta to shipping points on Canada’s east coast if and when the Keystone XL was rejected. When President Trump made it one of his first orders to lift President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL, the two eastbound projects became less critical.
The July announcement of an open season seeking “additional binding commitments” to transport crude on the Keystone XL pipeline indicates that there may also be a lack of interest from oil sands producers in moving oil through the proposed pipeline. The Keystone XL could also be endangered, not by environmentalists but by shippers.But the long delay in getting approval for the Keystone XL combined with low (and stagnant oil prices) cooled shippers’ enthusiasm for entering long-term binding agreements to ship on the pipeline. Canada’s federal government also recently had approved the Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to transport oil sands crude to the British Columbia.
According to a report at Reuters, the NEB last month expanded the scope of its review of the Energy East project by saying it plans to take into consideration the indirect greenhouse gas emissions related to the pipeline’s construction. TransCanada opposes that decision and has called it “completely redundant and unnecessary.”If TransCanada decides to abandon its plans for the two eastbound projects, “the carrying value of its investment in the projects as well as its ability to recover development costs incurred to date would be negatively impacted.” That is, the company will have to write down its investment to date.Opposition to the Keystone XL, Trans Mountain and Energy East pipelines no longer makes headlines, but it remains firm in its goal to stifle further extraction from the oil sands.TransCanada stock closed at $51.43 on Thursday and was down fractionally on Friday to $51.30. The stock’s 52-week range is $42.69 to $51.81, and the 12-month consensus price target is $57.61.
PLANE MAKERS WANT PARTS
CHINA TEST FLIGHTS JET
Nearly 41 million U.S. internet users will go online only on a mobile device in 2017, an increase of more than 4 million users from a year earlier, according to a recent report from digital data analyst eMarketer, as an increasing number of Americans rely on mobile devices to access the internet.The number of people forecast to go online exclusively on mobile phones or tablets is forecast to rise to 14.9% of internet users, up from 14.6%, according to New York-based eMarketer. Smartphone adoption will fuel an increase in mobile-only internet users, forecast to rise to 53.2 million people, or 18.3% of internet users, by the end of the forecast period of 2021.By the end of 2017, 84.1% of the U.S. population will go online regularly, and there will be a shift toward using mobile devices for internet access.EMarketer says there will be 274.6 million U.S. internet users in 2017, and 93.4% of them will go online via mobile device. By 2021, that proportion will rise to 95.4%.
Smartphone adoption is climbing in the United States. About 67.3% of the population will own a version of this device this year, or 219.8 million people. Adoption by adults 65 years old and over will help drive growth. The number of smartphone users is expected to reach 245 million by 2021.Some of the most popular digital activities among internet users are video viewing (81.1%), audio listening (71.4%) and social networking (70.7%). All these activities have been powered by expanding smartphone ownership and usage.
Last May, China’s first manufacturer of a commercial jet, Comac, conducted its first flight test of its competitor to Boeing Co.’s (NYSE: BA) single-aisle 737 and the Airbus A320. The company now says the second test flight will occur in October. That gap is many times longer than the typical gap between test flights.
According to a report in Aviation Week, Comac’s chief designer said that none of the issues that have caused the delay were the company’s fault, but he did not elaborate.
A second prototype of the plane, designated as the C919, is also being built and is tentatively scheduled to make its first test flight before the end of the year.
The C919 program was launched in 2008 with a goal of first delivery to a customer set for 2016. A new target delivery date of 2020 is considered likely, but Comac has not confirmed that date.
Aviation Week noted that the five-month delay between test flights of the C919 is “extraordinary,” citing Mitsubishi’s MRJ regional jet’s eight-day interval between a first and second test flight and a five-day interval for the Airbus A350. Comac’s five-month delay jeopardizes a first delivery date of 2020, according to the report.
Earlier this month People’s Daily reported that China is also developing its own engine to replace the CFM Leap-1C engines built by CFM, a 50/50 joint venture between General Electric and French engine maker Safran. No in-service date was given in the announcement.
Comac is building six prototypes of the C919 and plans to use three for flight testing and three to verify avionics and lighting.
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The data breach at credit reporting firm Equifax has grabbed a lot of headlines in the past few weeks, but not even counting the 143 million personally identifiable records exposed in that breach, the number of records exposed globally in the first six months of 2017 totaled more than 1.9 billion.
According to Netherlands-based security firm Gemalto, that equals 10.5 million exposed records every day, 438,000 records every hour, 7,300 records every minute and 122 records every second. The firm reported 918 data breaches, up 13% compared to the final six months of 2016, but the number of breached records rose by 164%, from 721 million in the last half of last year.
Identity theft was the most common type of data breach, and malicious outsiders were the leading source of data breaches in the first half of the year.
Gemalto maintains a database of worldwide data breaches, including the number of breaches, number of data records lost or stolen and data breaches by the source of the breach, type of breach, industry and country or region. From the Breach Level Index database the firm assigns a score based on the number of records breached, the source of the breach and how thieves used the data.
The biggest breach in the first half of 2017 exposed 1.3 billion records when an email marketing firm named River City Media failed properly to protect backups of its billion email accounts, resulting in the exposed data. Gemalto categorized this as a nuisance breach because River City Media is a well-known spammer that sends out as many as a billion emails a day.
The largest identity theft breach occurred when an outside contractor to the U.S. Republican National Committee accidentally exposed personal data of 198 million U.S. voters by misconfiguring an Amazon Web Services publicly available cloud server.
Excluding the massive data breach at River City Media, the sector with the greatest number of exposed records globally was government with more than 404 million, followed by nearly 60 million exposed by tech firms, 32 million by educational groups and 31 million by health care organizations.
Of the 918 total incidents Gemalto recorded, 88% (808) occurred in North America with 781 in the United states alone. The United Kingdom with 40 incidents and Canada with 26 ranked second and third for number of breaches.