A cut cable causes Virginia voter website to crash on final day of registration for election

Virginia’s voter registration website went down on Tuesday, the final day for people in the state to register ahead of Election Day. As of early Tuesday afternoon, the website was still not working. 

“Due to a network outage, the Citizen Portal is temporarily unavailable,” the Virginia Department of Elections wrote on its site Tuesday morning. 

Officials said on Twitter that a “fiber cut” in Chester, near the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center, impacted connectivity for multiple state agencies. The cut cable, which appeared to be an accident, affected both the voting portal and the registrar’s offices. 

“We are working with our network providers to restore service as quickly as possible,” the department said. “Please check back later for your online voter registration or absentee needs.”

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Voters looking to register were directed to this statement from the Virginia Department of Elections during the outage on October 13, 2020.

Virginia Department of Elections


The department said it would provide updates via Twitter

The website currently directs voters to fill out and print a paper application for voter registration and a paper application for voting by mail. 

When asked for comment by CBS News, the Virginia Department of Elections said the department is still working to fix the outage. No further updates were provided. 

Angry voters are taking to social media to demand a deadline extension, calling the outage “voter suppression.” Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax called on the state to extend the voter registration deadline due to the outage. 

“I am officially calling for Virginia’s Registration Deadline to be extended beyond today due to the service outages impacting voters’ ability to register statewide,” Fairfax tweeted. “We will work with the Administration to resolve this issue and ensure all voters have access to #Vote.”

Cisco, Arista Cut to Neutral On Concern About Network Demand

Cisco Systems  (CSCO) – Get Report and Arista Networks  (ANET) – Get Report were downgraded by Citigroup analyst Jim Suva, who sees the coronavirus pandemic continuing to blunt corporate demand for networks.

Cisco has networking systems for internet communications and internet technology, and Arista has cloud networking solutions.

Suva cut his share-price targets to $43 from $48 for Cisco and to $230 from $290 for Arista. 

Cisco, San Jose, Calif., recently traded at $40.31, up 1.2%. The stock has slumped 16% year to date. 

Arista recently traded at $226.29, down 0.6%. The stock has gained 11% year to date. The S&P 500 has climbed 10% year to date

“It is clear to us that business and life will not return to the pre covid-19 normal,” Suva wrote in a commentary.

“While we recognize there is likely a permanent shift to a more flexible work environment, we have found most companies have figured out how to fully support all employees working from home, all employees returning to the office, and any combination of home versus work location. This has led to additional cloud and white box adoption and less … demand for enterprise equipment.”

Morningstar analyst Mark Cash is a bit more optimistic. Though Cisco has issues now, the future looks brighter, he said in an Aug. 12 commentary.

“While we expect demand weakness to continue impacting Cisco in the near term, the company’s product portfolio strategy, solid operating profile, and balance sheet give us confidence in the longer term. We are maintaining our $48 fair value estimate,” Cash wrote.

“Cisco continues to push toward more recurring revenue,” he noted.

Will Tesla Continue To See Demand Or Is Another Price Cut On The Way?

Over the last year, Tesla (TSLA) has been on a fast ride. Its stock has soared more than 400% in 2020, and its delivery schedule has beaten the estimates of Wall Street. But some analysts are concerned that the electric carmaker may be running out of road.

In Q3 2020, Tesla delivered 139,300 vehicles, up from analyst expectations of 136,350, CNBC reported. While Tesla is on course to hit its goal of 500,000 vehicle deliveries for the year, some are wondering if demand for the electric cars will continue.

Joseph Spak, an analyst at RBC Capital, told Market Watch, “We do believe there could be some supply constraint, but bears may also point to some potential demand concerns. Some of the early data we’ve seen in Europe suggests sales may be softer than we expected, and we continue to believe Model 3 sales in the U.S. are down y/y [but Model Y helps U.S. demand].”

Tesla has been making some strong moves in recent months. The company has plans to open a factory in Austin, Texas, by May 2021, and could hit $500 per share in the coming years, some analysts predict, but the carmaker left many underwhelmed by its “Battery Day” event.

Leading up to the Sept. 22 gathering, Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked about the company’s plan to produce a cheaper, lower-cost battery, but there was no actual unveiling of an electric vehicle battery or news on the “million-mile battery” as anticipated. Musk, who hyped the event by saying it would be “insane,” left many disappointed.

But one important nugget did come out of Battery Day which could signal what’s ahead for Tesla. Musk reiterated the company’s plans to build a $25,000 electric vehicle. This could be taken as a sign that Tesla is ready to drop its

American Express Shares Cut to Neutral on Valuation

American Express shares were cut to neutral from buy by Susquehanna analyst James Friedman, based on a full valuation at the credit card and travel services company.

His rating was at buy for at least three years, according to MarketWatch. Friedman affirmed his share-price target at $110.

“It would be hard for [the company] to do better than its merchants, so consensus 2021 revenue up 11% looks full to us,” Friedman wrote in a commentary, according to MarketWatch. He said 7.5% growth is more like it, according to The Fly.

AmEx shares recently traded at $105.31, down 0.7%. They had fallen 15% year to date through Thursday. They also have risen 11% since Sept. 24, including Friday’s move.

Morningstar analyst Eric Compton sees American Express close to his fair-value estimate of $108.

“Investors should expect a difficult year for AmEx, as the company battles the coronavirus pandemic,” he wrote in a July commentary. “We expect payments volumes will decrease, revenue will decline, and credit costs will rise.”

About 30% of the company’s billings come from the travel and entertainment industry, “further exposing the company to some of the most affected industries,” Compton said. 

“These trends will eventually reverse as the economy recovers, but Amex will indeed be dependent on that recovery to return to pre-Covid-19 profitability levels,” he wrote.

For the long term, “we still anticipate American Express’s greatest challenge will be adapting to the evolving landscape in payments while targeting a new generation of millennial consumers who don’t place as much importance on AmEx’s brand when selecting a credit card,” Compton said.

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Predictive Analytics Software from Ctrl2GO Helped Industrial Companies Cut Costs by 20% in 2020

HOUSTON, Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ctrl2GO, the global provider of predictive analytics and maintenance services, has helped its clients cut equipment maintenance costs by 20% in 2020. Such figures were attained on average by enterprises in the machine-building, oil and gas, energy and other industries, which have implemented Ctrl2GO PMM software  (Predictive Maintenance and Monitoring) in their operational processes.

The solutions developed by Ctrl2GO are designed to efficiently process and analyze big industrial data, assessing the technical condition of the equipment and predicting its potential behavior. Such an approach allows companies to streamline maintenance processes, extend overhaul intervals, and prevent up to 80% of equipment malfunctions.

Over the past year, companies using PMM software packages have reduced downtime by 20%, unplanned repairs by 20%, and cut direct repair costs by 5-8%. Diagnostics lead times have been reduced by 90%, while the technical productivity of staff rose by 15-22%.

A definitive case that illustrates the effectiveness of the PMM solution is the servicing of a metals mining and processing giant that saved $510,000 due to higher reliability of the equipment. The issues faced by the client involved the insufficiency of reliability of the equipment that caused unplanned failures in the operation of boilers and turbines, leading to a loss of revenue due to downtime. The solution developed by Ctrl2GO provided technical condition tracking, which was integrated into a single maintenance and repair process of the enterprise equipment. This resulted in a unified approach to monitoring heterogeneous equipment fleets and a transfer of existing technologies to previously unfamiliar equipment. As a result, the client managed to reduce repair costs by $50,700, and increased revenues while reducing equipment downtime to $455,000.

Another example of successful integration of Ctrl2GO solutions can be found in the oil and gas sector,