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What exactly is the matter with Peloton?

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What exactly is the matter with Peloton? Techydeed.com

All fingers point to John Foley, the exiting CEO.

Peloton’s fortunes aren’t looking so good these days. The connected fitness business, which was once a corporate darling, has seen its stock price plummet in recent months. Peloton’s bike has become a fatal punchline on TV shows, and there’s been no shortage of whispers about which firm should buy it to save it from certain doom.

Peloton’s Q2 earnings call began today with a rush of news: the company has a new CEO. It’s laying off 2,800 people worldwide, cutting marketing budgets, and putting its North American production plans on hold. Overall, it’s a bleak picture that raises doubts about Peloton’s ability to pull out of this crisis.

Peloton’s business difficulties perplex me as a fitness technology critic because the company offers a terrific product. While the gear is costly, it is aesthetically beautiful and well-built. The classes are interesting, and the instructors have devoted followings of their own (especially Cody Rigsby). Peloton users are frequently characterized as a cult, and the Tread Plus recall was insufficient to persuade some owners to return the product. While Peloton’s financial news has been bleak recently, CFO Jill Woodworth was eager to remind us that engagement is still high, with a 0.79 percent monthly churn rate for Q2.

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So, how did Peloton, a company with a great product and a loyal following in the growing connected fitness market, end up in this situation? In a nutshell, Peloton overstretched itself and failed to anticipate lower demand once gyms reopened.

Peloton’s supply chain was having trouble keeping up with an unanticipated rise in demand caused by consumers who were suddenly ready to work out at home in 2020. In order to avoid months-long fulfillment delays, Peloton opted to invest considerably in expanding its manufacturing capabilities. It spent millions to speed up shipping and another $420 million to purchase Precor, one of the largest commercial fitness equipment manufacturers in the world. Another $400 million was invested in a facility in Ohio. The company was preparing to quickly produce bikes and treadmills for a market that couldn’t get enough of them.

Peloton’s success story began to crumble in 2021. Following reports of multiple damaged youngsters, including one death, both of their treadmills were publicly recalled. The company’s upcoming Peloton Guide strength training system has received lukewarm reviews. And after the quarantine restrictions were eased, some people returned to the gym, resulting in a drop in demand for the company’s products. Peloton’s market valuation has plummeted from a historic high of approximately $50 billion to around $8 billion last week, following reports that the firm would stop producing all of its goods. That whole commercial fiasco with Christopher Noth, who played Sex and the City, undoubtedly didn’t help matters.

John Foley, Pelotone’s founder and CEO, is in the midst of it all.

John Foley, the creator and CEO of Peloton, is at the center of this shambles. Blackwells Capital, an activist investor, sent an open letter requesting that Foley be dismissed for leading Peloton off the cliff a few weeks ago. Foley was accused of initially refusing to cooperate with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on treadmill recalls, hiring his wife as VP of apparel, making poor real estate commitments, failing to correctly predict consumer demand, and “upending the product roadmap he himself authored,” among other things.

You’d think that the skeptics would be placated by today’s announcement that Foley will be replaced by Barry McCarthy, the former chief financial officer of Spotify and Netflix. After all, Peloton claims that its cost-cutting strategies will save $800 million to $150 million in capital expenditures this year. Peloton’s stock has also risen as a result of the news.

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That’s not the case. In response to the news, Blackwells Capital issued a blistering presentation that ripped through the company’s leadership but singled out Foley. It includes embarrassing remarks from Foley, such as how he goes months without speaking to Peloton’s CTO and how he doesn’t think his coworkers would praise his leadership.

This company is horribly mishandled, “agrees Eric Schiffer, CEO of Patriarch Organization, a private equity firm.” “I believe it boils down to the fact that you have a CEO that is completely out of his depth.” He’s attempting to operate an enterprise that has the potential to be amazing, but he keeps falling off the bicycle. “

“I think it has to do with the fact that your CEO is just out of his league.”

Schiffer went on to add that Foley is surrounded by a “painful delusion” and that the best thing the CEO could do is quit. McCarthy’s hiring did not inspire confidence in Schiffer, who highlighted that his background is essentially that of a CFO. Furthermore, Schiffer claims that nothing has changed because Foley will likely continue to run the show as executive chairman from behind the scenes. “The brand, in my opinion, is on the verge of dying operationally.” They can apply whatever bandages they choose, but the fundamental dynamics and leadership remain devastating.

That’s why speculators are salivating at the prospect of a sale. You’ve got a wonderful brand and product with a lot of room for expansion if you can just find the proper person (or company) to run it.

There’s only one problem: Foley doesn’t appear to want to sell. Not yet, at least. Foley may no longer be CEO, but he and his team still control 80 percent of Peloton’s voting power. In other words, no sale will take place until Foley agrees.

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Without Foley’s consent, no sale will take place.

Even though investors are keen to see his company sold off, Foley appears to favor a future in which his company remains independent. Before the company’s second-quarter earnings call, Foley told The Wall Street Journal that he and new CEO McCarthy could “create a complete grown-up and develop a truly spectacular firm” together. During today’s investor call, analysts avoided the topic, but Foley insisted that Peloton still has room to develop.

According to Julie Gillespie, head of market research at TipRanks, it’s not impossible for Peloton to succeed as a separate firm if it sticks to the plan announced today. “They’re cutting back; they’re winding down development of their own facility, sticking with current providers, lowering costs, cutting workers—I think they’ll be able to go back to a point where they’ll be profitable on their own.” We’re just going to see a much slower rate of progress. “

And that could be the root of the problem. According to Peloton, the benefits of these efforts will not be realized until the second half of 2022. Investors and customers will need to be patient in order for these corrective steps to function. Peloton aficionados aren’t leaving, and experts agree that connected fitness is here to stay. Even if it implies slow growth, there’s reason to be positive about Peloton’s future in the long run. Investors, on the other hand, want a piece of the action, and patience is in short supply.

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According to Gillespie, “People went crazy” when Apple, Amazon, Nike, and Disney were mentioned as potential Peloton purchasers. In some ways, Peloton has become a victim of its own soaring success. “Investors expect that kind of excitement and enthusiasm, and there’s a lot of pressure to keep that up versus gradual and steady long-term growth.” “I haven’t had the patience in the previous couple of years.”

Schiffer concurs. While Peloton may choose to slow down, this would irritate investors because it would certainly result in a lower valuation and, as a result, less profit. As a result, Schiffer feels it’s unlikely that investors will abandon their efforts to sell the company.

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“I believe you’ll continue to see carnage and a slow bleed out with Foley and the leadership, but investors will put pressure on him to step down at some point.”

So the question isn’t whether Peloton will be able to turn the ship around. It can, and it will, most likely. It’s an issue of whether it can do so as a separate entity. Only Foley knows for sure right now.

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Clubhouse removed personal information from Afghan users’ accounts as a security measure

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Clubhouse removed personal information from Afghan users' accounts as a security measure techydeed.com

The platform aims to protect users’ privacy and security.

Clubhouse, a social audio app, has joined other social networks in protecting the privacy and security of Afghan users. The platform reset the bios and photos of tens to thousands of Afghan users earlier this week and made it more difficult for search engines to find their accounts. Clubhouse spokesperson said that the actions did not affect users’ followers and that all changes can be reversed if desired.

Clubhouse reminds its Afghan customers that pseudonyms are allowed for safety and human rights reasons. According to the spokesperson, Clubhouse consulted experts in violent extremism and free expression to develop its approach.

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As the Taliban have regained control of the country, many people in Afghanistan have tried to delete photos from their social media accounts and phones that could show a connection to the West or the former Afghan government.

Despite bans on several social platforms, the Taliban was able to push their messaging on social media. The Washington Post said that they have become sophisticated at social media tactics to change their image.

On Thursday, Facebook said it had added security measures for users in Afghanistan, including hiding “friends” lists and adding a tool to lock down accounts quickly.

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It’s not a good idea to overthink it. Elon Musk’s Tesla Bot jokes

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It's not a good idea to overthink it. Elon Musk's Tesla Bot jokes techydeed.com

A distraction and an empty promise

After a lengthy presentation on the unquestionably remarkable work, Tesla is doing in AI, Elon Musk, the company’s Technoking, brought out a spandex-clad dancer to cap the evening. Behold, said Musk: my Tesla Bot.

He said that the dancer in the suit was the model for the new humanoid robot Tesla will be producing shortly. The applause and dubstep had subsided, and the briefing slides that promised that the Tesla Bot would stand at five feet eight inches (1.7m), be 125 pounds (56kg), and have “human-level hands” and be able to eliminate “dangerous and repetitive, boring tasks” were discarded.

A ROBOT IS A TESLA WITHOUT WHEELS. SAYS MUSK

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Musk stated that Musk’s goal to build a human-replacement robotics system — something that no other company is even close to being able, was a natural step in Tesla’s efforts to develop self-driving cars. Musk said that cars are semi-sentient robots with wheels. It makes sense to add that to a humanoid body. We are also very skilled at actuators, batteries, and sensors, so we expect to have a prototype next year that looks something like this.

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It was an extraordinary and brilliant piece of tomfoolery, even by Musk’s standards. A multipurpose sideshow that entertained Tesla skeptics and fed the fans while also creating headlines. The latter is particularly important in a week when most Tesla news has focused on a federal investigation into the company’s Autopilot software to crash into parked emergency vehicles. Musk says that all this is irrelevant. Just look at the man in the spandex suit. It’ll be an actual robot next year, I promise.

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Are you willing to believe him? Do you think he is a fool? Although I can’t answer your question, I will give you the facts. Last night, Elon Musk took to the stage to promise that Tesla, a company with driver assistance software that cannot avoid parked ambulances reliably, would soon create a fully functioning humanoid robotic machine. Musk stated that the device would follow human instructions and respond correctly to commands such as “please go to the store and get me these groceries.” This was just minutes after he had shown a spandex-clad dancer demonstrating the Tesla Bot. You have to admire Musk’s chutzpah.

To help Musk understand his claims, it is important to remember that Boston Dynamics, which made Atlas, the most advanced bipedal robotic robot globally, has never called its machines anything other than R&D. It’s far from commercial deployment. In recent machine videos, the company showed how difficult building a bipedal robot is and how often Atlas trips and falls. Boston Dynamics has been working with Atlas and its bipedal predecessors for more than a decade. __S.50__

“[CALLING IT] HORSESHIT SOUNDS GENEROUS AND FRANKLY.”

Carl Berry, a UK University of Central Lancashire lecturer in robotics engineering, told me that “Calling it horse shit sounds generously honest.” Berry said that robotics and AI should not be used in manufacturing research.

He said that while he didn’t deny Tesla’s research into this topic was a bad thing, “but they and Boston Dynamics leave the public with unrealistic expectations about what robotics can do or will do for many years.”

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I don’t doubt Musk can make something that looks like the Tesla Bot in 2022. It wouldn’t be hard to make a decent automaton — something on the level of Disney’s more advanced theme park models, for example. He can send it into space once he has it walking out on stage, just for the headlines. It will just be another distraction if he does. While robotics significantly impacts manufacturing, there is no reason to assume that robots don’t need to look like humans to do so.

Musk often uses this bait-and-switch method. Think about the changes Musk made to his Hyperloop plans over time. The technology was announced as a railgun-like train system that would move people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than half an hour. Over the years, these ambitions have shrunk until the project morphed into The Loop: a small tunnel that you can drive a car through if you want. Also known as A tunnel.

The Tesla Bot reminded me of Sophia, the automated chatbot who has appeared on magazine covers and chat shows. Sophia relies on misdirection to fool audiences and is a frequent target of AI experts’ scorn. It also has a job. As one of the robot’s creators, Ben Goertzel, told me in 2017, Sophia works by priming our imagination, encouraging us to fool ourselves into thinking the future is nearer than the evidence suggests. The robot generates news coverage and funding for its creators.

Goertzel stated, “If I tell people that I use probabilistic logic to reason on how to prune the backward-chaining inference trees in our logic engine,” They will feel more comfortable believing that AGI is possible if I show them a smiling robot face.

This is Musk’s goal, whether he is aiming to instill that feeling in investors or others. The Sophia strategy has a twist. Musk doesn’t need a simulacrum robot to sell his dream. He only needs a spandex-clad dancer. That’s innovation.

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OnlyFans has a new policy that bans sexually explicit Content

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OnlyFans has a new policy that bans sexually explicit Content techydeed.com

Masturbation and sex, actual or simulated, are not allowed.

On Thursday, the video and image sharing site OnlyFans announced plans to bans sexually explicit content” starting October 1. While we’re still not sure exactly why it’s changing so drastically, it just sent out an updated Terms of Service policy to the creators who’ve built the site detailing precisely what won’t be allowed going forward.

The new OnlyFans, Acceptable Use Policy, is visible when compared to the previous one.

You must not upload, post, or display Content on OnlyFans.

  • Promotes, advertises, or refers to “sexually explicit behavior,” which can be:
  • Actual or simulated sexual intercourse between any two persons, including oral-genital and anal-genital intercourses and genital-genital and oral-genital intercourses.
  • Actual or simulated masturbation
  • Any display of the anus and genitals of another person that is extreme or offensive
  • Actual or simulated material showing bodily fluids often secreted during sexual activity;
  • All Content that promotes, advertises, or refers to “sexually explicit behavior” must be deleted before December 1, 2021, or any other date we communicate to users.

The policy’s other sections that prohibit deepfakes, drug use, and violence are unchanged. The site sent an email to OnlyFans creators stating that Content containing nudity would be permitted as long as it was consistent with the policy. Posts may show body parts but not anything explicit. Your account may be suspended or terminated for any breach, as well as access to your earnings.

OnlyFans’ billion-dollar brand and business have been built mainly because onlyFans sex workers provide precisely the type of Content being banned. These content creators now have until December 1 to delete all traces of suddenly unacceptable Content from their profiles.

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