U.S. 'net neutrality' rules will end on June 11 -FCC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Communications Commission said in a notice on Thursday that landmark 2015 U.S. open-internet rules will cease on June 11, and new rules handing providers power over what content consumers can access will take effect.

FILE PHOTO: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) logo is seen before the FCC Net Neutrality hearing in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

The FCC in December repealed the Obama-era “net neutrality” rules, allowing internet providers to block or slow websites as long as they disclose the practice. The FCC said the new rules will take effect on June 11.

A group of states and others have sued to try to block the new rules from taking effect. The revised rules were a win for internet service providers like AT&T Inc (T.N) and Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) but are opposed by internet firms like Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O).

“The agency failed to listen to the American public and gave short shrift to their deeply held belief that internet openness should remain the law of the land,” FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said Thursday. “The FCC is on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American people.”

The U.S. Senate is set to vote as early as next week on whether to reject the FCC repeal of the net neutrality rules – but that effort faces an uphill battle.

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Proponents currently have the backing of 47 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats, as well as Republican Senator Susan Collins. With the prolonged absence of Republican Senator John McCain due to illness, proponents believe they will win on a 50-49 vote.

Senator Ed Markey said it was “likely” the vote will take place in the middle of next week. On Wednesday, senators officially filed a petition to force a net neutrality vote and 10 hours of floor debate under the Congressional Review Act.

Following the FCC announcement, Markey wrote on Twitter, “the Senate must act NOW and pass my resolution to save the internet as we know it.”

The FCC voted 3-2 to reverse Obama-era rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain online content.

Once they take effect, the new FCC rules would give internet service providers sweeping powers to change how consumers access the internet but include new transparency requirements that require them to disclose any changes to consumers.

If the Senate approves the measure, it would not likely pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. If the legislation were to pass the House, President Donald Trump would be expected to veto it.

In February, a coalition of 22 state attorneys general refiled legal challenges intended to block the Trump administration’s repeal of net neutrality.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has often said he is confident the agency’s order will be upheld.

Democrats have said they believe the issue would be key in November’s midterm congressional elections, especially among younger internet-savvy voters.

Republicans have said the FCC repeal would eliminate heavy-handed government regulations, encourage investment and return the internet to pre-2015 rules.

Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Walmart to buy controlling stake in India's Flipkart for $16 bln

MUMBAI/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Walmart Inc (WMT.N) will pay $16 billion for a roughly 77 percent stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart, the U.S. retailer’s largest-ever deal, in an attempt to compete with rival Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) in a key growth market.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of India’s e-commerce firm Flipkart is seen on the company’s office in Bengaluru, India April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa/File Photo

Shares of Walmart fell 4 percent in early trade as the company warned the deal would dent earnings. It expects the transaction to hurt fiscal 2019 earnings per share by 25 cents to 30 cents if the deal closes before the end of the second quarter.

“We will not know for 5-10 years whether this transaction is successful strategically or financially,” said Steven Roorda, portfolio manager with Minnesota-based Stonebridge Capital Advisors. “Walmart has a very poor track record operating outside North America,” he said.

The deal opens a new front in Walmart’s battle with Amazon, which had expressed interest in making a competing offer for a stake. Amazon now holds about 27 percent of India’s burgeoning e-commerce market, according to Euromonitor, where Walmart and only operates 21 cash-and-carry wholesale stores in the country that sell to businesses.

The purchase is about “setting the company up for growth and profits in the future,” Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon said on a call with investors.

Walmart said Flipkart’s logistics, payments and apparel businesses offer new areas of growth.

The Walmart logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Flipkart sells consumer goods ranging from soaps to smartphones and clothes, and gives Walmart access to an e-commerce market that could be worth $200 billion a year within a decade, according to Morgan Stanley.

FOCUS ON INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

The acquisition underscores Walmart’s renewed focus on fixing its international business and catching up with competitors in key markets. It follows Walmart’s decision to retreat from Britain by selling a controlling stake in its British arm ASDA to J Sainsbury Plc (SBRY.L).

Walmart is also trying to offload a majority stake in its Brazilian operations to private equity firm Advent International.

Walmart said it plans to fund the deal through a combination of newly-issued debt and cash on hand.

Its investment will include $2 billion of new equity funding and the company said it remains in talks with other potential investors to join the funding round. (GRAPHIC-Walmart’s top 5 acquisitions: reut.rs/2rvc15j)

A new investor could lower Walmart’s stake, but the company plans to continue to retain majority control of Flipkart. Reuters previously reported Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O) may buy a roughly 15-percent stake in Flipkart for $3 billion.

The remainder will be held by existing shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK), Tiger Global Management and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), the company said.

The Walmart statement made no reference to the exit of Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal or SoftBank Group (9984.T), which was one of the largest investors in Flipkart through its Vision Fund. (GRAPHIC-Top five M&A deals targeting Indian companies: reut.rs/2rwfZKI)

Reuters had previously reported that Bansal and SoftBank would sell their entire stakes in Flipkart.

“The deal reaffirms that there is big opportunity in Indian retail,” said Arvind Singhal, Managing Director of retail consultancy Technopak, adding it would attract more global investment into Indian retail.

Additional reporting by Sam Nussey, Abhirup Roy, Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Siddharth Cavale, Swati Bhat and Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Euan Rocha, Bernard Orr and Nick Zieminski

NetApp adds Google Cloud NAS and AFF A800 NVMe flash array

NetApp has announced a NAS file access service in the Google public cloud plus an NVMe flash and NVMe-over Fibre Channel storage array, the AFF A800.

NetApp Cloud Volumes for GCP (Google Cloud Platform) provides cloud-native NAS file access storage that makes use of NetApp’s Ontap operating system in the cloud.

The move follows hot on the heels of Dell EMC’s Isilon Cloud for GCP and the cloud NAS services recently announced by Elastifile.

The new cloud NAS offering will be managed by NetApp and will offer enterprises the ability to migrate on-premise workloads to NetApp storage in the cloud or to deploy hybrid or multi-cloud operations that require NAS storage.

The service will support advanced Ontap functionality, such as snapshots, replication and clones.

NetApp Cloud Volumes for GCP can be provisioned and managed via the Google Cloud Launcher interface or via APIs and will support NFS and CIFS/SMB protocol access.

For now the service is only available to selected beta customers but will be widely available later in the year.

Google was until recently the only major public cloud provider not to offer NAS file access. Amazon has had Elastic File System, while NetApp provides cloud NAS file services on AWS. And, Microsoft has Azure Enterprise NFS, co-developed with NetApp.

Interest in file storage in the cloud is increasing as organisations seek the ability to migrate key applications to the cloud.

While a large proportion of contemporary application data needs are met by block and object storage in public cloud, a significant number of on-premises applications require NAS storage.

To be able to migrate NAS data to the cloud requires that the big cloud players offer sophisticated NAS services, and that’s what’s driving the big players in the market to the current levels of activity around file storage in the cloud.

Meanwhile, NetApp has released its first NVMe flash array, the AFF A800, which can deliver 1.3 million IOPS at 200?s.

The A800 can hold from 48 up up to 240 NVMe drives per HA pair, with 12 pairs possible in a cluster.

This allows for maximum capacity of 6.6PB per pair, with up to 79PB for a fully-loaded cluster. You can multiply those figure by about 4x to get effective capacity after data reduction technologies are applied.

Low latency and throughput

The A800 makes use of NVMe flash drives, which help provide low latency and throughput of around 300GBps in a cluster.

NVMe flash is driving an emerging class of flash drives that use the PCIe-based protocol to speed flash traffic. Where existing HDD-format flash drives use spinning disk era SCSI protocols, NVMe has done away with that and optimised access to solid state drives.

Meanwhile, NetApp has provided NVMe-over-Fibre Channel as a fabric interconnect for the A800, which the company says boosts throughput across the fabric/network by around double.

The A800 has integrated access with cloud platforms that include AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Bluemix (IBM Cloud).

Finally, NetApp has announced an upgrade of its operating system, Ontap, to version 9.4. Key features announced include tiering to Micrsoft Azure, post process data deduplication (added to existing inline capability), and NVMe support.

Exclusive: Walmart's grocery delivery partnerships with Uber, Lyft fail to take off

(Reuters) – Walmart Inc’s (WMT.N) online grocery delivery partnerships with ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft have ended, according to two sources, a potential setback for the retailer’s ambitions to challenge Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) head-on with speedy delivery of groceries to people’s homes.

The end of the Walmart partnerships, which has not been previously reported and was confirmed by Walmart and Uber, undercuts a vision the ride-hailing companies laid out: a service that can efficiently deliver anything on-demand, including people and cargo, at the touch of a smartphone app.

“It is incredibly hard to deliver people and packages together,” said a source with a delivery company that works with Walmart and has direct knowledge of the matter. “They are two completely different business models.”

The decision marks an abrupt end to a business relationship that Walmart and Uber announced with much fanfare less than two years ago. At Walmart’s shareholders meeting in June 2016, CEO Doug McMillon touted the company’s investments in technology and spoke about the partnerships in front of a cheering crowd of 14,000 employees. goo.gl/xJdN2e

Soon after, Uber’s grocery delivery service was launched and expanded to four markets. As recently as March, just before Uber ended the arrangement, Walmart said Uber would be a partner in its plans to deliver groceries to more than 40 percent of the country.

“There was clearly some lack of communication there,” said one of the sources with knowledge of the partnerships ending.

Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman confirmed the end of the tie-ups when asked by Reuters, but did not detail the reasons behind the decision. She said Walmart will use other delivery service providers in the four markets where it had previously used Uber.

“Customers shouldn’t notice any difference as the transition takes place,” said Blakeman, who added that the partnership with Lyft never expanded beyond the initial test market of Denver.

Blakeman said the end of the partnerships will not impact Walmart’s plans to scale grocery delivery as they are not tied to any single provider.

Uber put a stop to the grocery partnership when it informed Walmart in March that it would cease delivery operations on June 30, Uber spokeswoman Ellen Cohn told Reuters. The retailer was Uber’s largest partner for its ‘Rush’ service, which delivered groceries as well as clothes, flowers and other goods.

Uber will shutter the entire Rush program at the end of next month.

“We are coordinating with Walmart to make this change as seamless as possible,” Cohn said.

Lyft declined comment and deferred to Walmart on the issue.

For Walmart, which is the country’s largest grocer and gets 56 percent revenue from groceries, the partnerships offered a fast solution to expand its online grocery offerings and improve overall revenue from internet shoppers.

FILE PHOTO: A customer pushes a shopping cart at a Walmart store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. November 23, 2016. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File Photo

For example, Walmart delivers groceries in China through a partnership with ecommerce company JD.com Inc (JD.O), and in Japan through an alliance with Rakuten.

But the retailer was recently punished for its fourth-quarter online sales performance, which investors say is key to the company’s future.

LAST-MILE COMPETITION

Last-mile delivery of packages is an intensely competitive business, with companies ranging from Amazon to United Parcel Services Inc (UPS.N), FedEx Corp (FDX.N) and the U.S. Postal service, as well as startups like Instacart and Deliv, vying for a share.

Since the dot-com boom, companies have tried to crack the business model for online grocery delivery. The rush to solve the technological and logistical challenges has gotten even more frenzied since Amazon acquired high-end grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc for $13.7 billion last year, a deal that has intensified competition in the sector.

Former Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick touted the idea of carrying a person in the backseat and a bag of groceries in the trunk as the ultimate cash-generating transportation service in a smart-phone era.

The delivery service marked the first time Uber publicly committed to a business outside of ride-hailing that was supposed to be meaningful to its bottom line and support its stratospheric valuation, although the private company never offered exact dollar projections.

But startup investors and experts in on-demand delivery say there is a much different set of logistical and economic challenges for moving around cargo than people, requiring a single company to be proficient in two distinct business models.

Uber’s Cohn said Rush was “an experiment” and the company has turned its focus and resources to UberEats, a restaurant delivery service that in the fourth quarter last year generated $1.1 billion, or about 10 percent of Uber’s overall revenue.

NEW PARTNERS

Walmart has added startups Deliv, Postmates and DoorDash to its list of delivery partners. These companies have the singular business of delivering goods, not people, and drivers have more experience safely transporting perishables.

It remains unclear if these startups will step in and replace Uber in the various markets they served.

    A particular challenge for companies such as Postmates, however, will be offering rush delivery in suburban and rural areas, where most Walmart stores are located. Such startups have been most successful in urban centers, where there is a high density of customers and couriers can use bicycles or walk to deliver multiple packages in one trip.

“Density has been a challenge historically for all types of delivery companies, all the way back to the Pony Express,” said Ben Narasin, a partner at venture capitalist firm NEA who has been critical of the on-demand delivery business model. “The reality is that the far-away drives will likely be subsidized.”

Reporting by Nandita Bose in New York and Heather Somerville in San Francisco; Editing by Vanessa O’Connell and Edward Tobin

How to Watch the Google I/O 2018 Keynote Address

We’re just hours away from Google I/O.

The annual developers conference, which is slated to kick off this afternoon, will be streamed online starting at 1 p.m. ET. But rather than force you to go to a special site to watch the show or even worse, try to keep track of all the announcements with a liveblog, Google has instead made it available to stream on YouTube and just about any other site on the Web. Better yet, I’ve embedded the livestream below, so if you want to catch the show, simply come back here at 1 p.m. ET and you can watch it on this page.

Google I/O is the company’s annual developer confab and its keynote kicks off a three-day show in Mountain View, Calif. Google I/O is an opportunity for developers to work with Google’s own engineers and others to learn more about developing apps for Google’s many platforms. It’s also home to workshops and other events that all aim at improving the software experience across Google’s services.

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But it’s the keynote that kicks off the show that unarguably captures the most attention. And although Google has revealed few details about its keynote plans, the company is expected to discuss the upcoming Android P operating system, as well as improvements it’s planning for Android Wear OS, its wearable operating system. Aside from that, look for Google to discuss new hardware for both the living room and the smart home, and for the company’s vendor partners, like LG and Samsung, to unveil new products.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai will kick off the festivities at 1 p.m EST.

What Ecologists Can Learn From Memes

This story originally appeared on Atlas Obscura and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

A meme of two angry men recently stampeded across the internet. It’s a scene from the reality show American Chopper, broken out into stacked panels, like a comic strip. The still images are pulled from a scene in which one man is firing the other. Things escalate quickly: Fists are pounded, faces are flushed, fingers are jabbed, chairs are flung.

Like many memes, its particulars matter less than its elasticity. There are zillions of permutations, and one especially notable riff came courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

In their version, the meme asks how a conservation agency ought to reach out and connect with people—particularly folks who don’t spend much time worrying about the ocean. “We have to reach people where they are for conservation to break through the noise!” the first panel reads. “This is a really popular meme right now—maybe it can generate a non-zero amount of ocean awareness!” screams another.

On the other side of the country, Mason Fidino, a quantitative ecologist at the Urban Wildlife Institute at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, was wondering something similar: How should ecologists and wildlife management teams be thinking about the internet, both as a source of information and as a tool to harness in order to get their message out?

Fidino’s training is in statistics, computer programming, and ecology, but he also runs his group’s Twitter account—a side project that no one quite taught him how to do. When the UWI played around the idea of a social media presence, he says, they decided, “Hey, let’s make this thing, and Mason will be in charge of it.” In a new paper, published this week in Human Dimensions of Wildlife, Fidino and his collaborators advance the idea that the nooks and crannies of the web hold useful data points, and maybe a bit of a roadmap.

“When we think about humans interacting with the environment, I think we’re at a point now where we cannot ignore the internet,” Fidino says. “That’s the way that so many people learn about the world around them.” If a raccoon is ambling around your fire escape and peering in your window, for instance, you’d probably consult Google before seeking out a friendly neighborhood zoologist. “As humans and the environment are incontrovertibly linked, so too then are the internet and the environment,” the authors write. That is to say, the web and the offline world coexist as one ever-growing ecosystem.

To better understand what happens inside it, Fidino and his coauthors analyzed more than 50,000 comments left on the most-watched YouTube videos depicting three common species of North American mammals—coyotes (Canis latrans), opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and raccoons (Procyon lotor).

The videos illustrate a range of scenarios: Some show the mammals being coddled as pets, while others picture them sparring among themselves or being hunted by humans. Each averages more than a million views plus a slew of comments, which the researchers coded into various categories based on an existing typology of attitudes towards animals. These include “humanistic” (cooing over the creatures and wanting to snuggle them as pets), “dominionistic” (emphasizing turf and control), and “negativistic” (the idea that certain animals are simply gross). To control for spammers skewing the results, the researchers only counted a user’s first comment on each video.

Most of the top-viewed coyote videos showed humans hunting them, while the majority of the opossum videos depicted the animals as pets or in captivity. Half of the videos of raccoons cast them as bandits stealing food or otherwise stirring up shenanigans. Dominionistic comments were the most common type on coyote videos. (“Destroy all coyote who ruin deer hunts,” read one.) Humanistic comments were the common responses on the videos of raccoons and opossums—though a sizable share of the latter were negativistic, too. Some people were pretty grossed out by the beady-eyed marsupial.

Fidino acknowledges that YouTube commenters are a self-selected and notoriously vocal bunch, and their views aren’t necessarily representative of everyone else’s. But getting a handle on the prevailing, pervasive ideas that viewers have about different animal species, he says, could help wildlife organizations think about messaging and misconceptions.

“How do we encourage people to be like, ‘Okay, you can take a photo of this animal, but you don’t want this raccoon to be a pet,’” Fidino asks. “Whereas, conversely, with coyotes, it seems like the biggest hurdle that you have to overcome with that is that people are afraid of them.”

The paper doesn’t make any specific recommendations about how wildlife officials should go about becoming more internet-savvy, but Fidino thinks they should give it a shot. “If I went into these [comments] and said, ‘Oh, hi, I’m Dr. Mason, the ecologist, and you probably shouldn’t say that you want raccoons as a pet, and here are some reasons why,’ that probably wouldn’t have much of an impact,” Fidino says. His vision involves messaging on a larger scale—and maybe a more playful one. “Should there be a science center that crafts memes or something?” he says. “I don’t know, but it would be pretty cool, I think.”

The meme approach worked out pretty well for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Their take—which Fidino describes as “a really awesome example”—was retweeted 44,000 times. Afterwards, the account managers hopped back in to try to redirect some of those eyeballs to the institute’s more-rigorous, less-punny efforts. “Wow, this really blew up,” they tweeted. “Here’s a link to our newest sea otter research paper and a bonus otter gif! Thanks for the love and for doing your part for the ocean!”

The Spectacular Wonders of Europe's Libraries

Veteran photographer Robert Dawson earned his bona fides in the 1980s and ’90s shooting spectacular images of the American West, often intended to highlight environmental threats such as drought and overdevelopment. Around the turn of the millennium, though, Dawson refocused on a seemingly unrelated subject: libraries. He began traveling across the country, photographing hundreds of them from the modest to the monumental. The project culminated in 2014 with the publication of The Public Library: A Photographic Essay. The Library of Congress ended up purchasing the archive for its permanent collection.

“It wasn’t actually much of a leap for me to go from the commons of the environment to a different type of commons, in this case our cultural commons,” Dawson explains. “As our country gets increasingly commercialized, the library is one of the last real public spaces.”

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After exhaustively documenting American libraries, Dawson decided to expand the project worldwide, starting with Europe. He’s spent the past few years criss-crossing the continent from Paris to Moscow, shooting a staggering array of libraries from the ancient to the contemporary, the mundane to the spectacular. Although Dawson included many famous libraries—such as the Baroque-style Abbey Library of Saint Gallen in Switzerland and the ultra-modern, all-white Stuttgart City Library—he had no interest in publishing yet another coffee table book.

“There are many people who photograph and publish books on beautiful libraries all over the world,” he says. “They’re very nice and I like them, but I’m more interested in the stories the libraries have to tell. The physical beauty of the architecture is definitely part of it, but some of the most interesting libraries are not very pretty.”

Take the homely building in Tarnogród, Poland that used to be the city’s Jewish synagogue but was converted after the Holocaust into a library and community center—the sad fate of many other synagogues across Eastern Europe. All that remains of the pre-WWII Zaluski Library in Warsaw is a stone staircase, which Dawson also photographed. “The legacy of [World War II], especially in countries like Poland and Ukraine, is just so overwhelming,” the photographer says.

Dawson was traveling through Europe at the height of the 2016 Syrian refugee crisis, and made a point of visiting as many refugee camps as he could, always looking to photograph the makeshift libraries that had been set up to give migrants access to books and computers. These libraries are often the first place migrants go upon reaching the camp, Dawson was told. “In my experience,” he adds, “the library is usually about the only decent place in the whole camp.”

At the makeshift refugee camp in Calais, France, Dawson found a brightly painted shack called the Jungle Books Library, where a handful of English volunteers had established a place to give language lessons to the adult migrants and tutoring to the children. At a time of rising economic inequality and festering ethnic nationalism, Dawson sees libraries as symbols of democratic engagement—places of connection in what seems an increasingly disconnected world.

“Libraries are especially useful in this moment, because they’re open to everybody,” he says. “They can be a way for us to talk to each other. Throughout the world, they’re symbols of hope.”

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ZTE says asked U.S. Commerce Department to suspend business ban

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s ZTE Corp (0763.HK) (000063.SZ) has submitted an application to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for the suspension of a business ban, it said in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: A ZTE smart phone is pictured in this illustration taken April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Illustration/File Photo

Washington imposed a seven-year ban on U.S. companies selling components and software to ZTE last month after finding the Chinese telecoms company breached U.S. sanctions on Iran.

ZTE’s exchange filing on Sunday did not give details of its request or say when it had been made, but it did say that the company had provided additional material at the BIS’s request.

Last week, Chinese negotiators holding trade talks with U.S. counterparts in Beijing asked the United States to hear ZTE’s appeal, take into account the company’s efforts to improve its compliance and amend the ban.

U.S. officials have said the action against ZTE was not related to trade policy, but the move has been seen by many in China as part of the broader trade spat playing out between the world’s two biggest economies.

The ban on sales to ZTE, which is heavily reliant on imports of U.S. chips, had threatened to scupper the Chinese firm’s smartphone business.

It has also underscored China’s heavy reliance on semiconductor imports amid growing trade tensions with the United States. ZTE has said the ban was unacceptable and threatened its survival.

Reporting by Min Zhang in BEIJING and John Ruwitch in SHANGHAI; Editing by Keith Weir and Adrian Croft

How to Watch the 2018 Kentucky Derby for Free on TV or Live Streaming

The Kentucky Derby horses are filing into Churchill Downs for horse racing’s most exciting annual event. Meanwhile, in living rooms and off-track betting offices around the world, people are placing their bets and gathering around their televisions—but will they be able to watch the race?

Cable subscribers are cutting the cord at a faster pace than ever before, which means that casual television viewers may not have what it takes to watch the Kentucky Derby online, on cable, or over the air. If this sounds like you, fear not. With either a digital antenna or a trial subscription to a streaming television service, you can watch the 2018 Kentucky Derby for free. Here’s how.

Get a digital television antenna

Knowledge is power when it comes to gaming the pay television scheme, so start by figuring out what channel the Kentucky Derby is on. NBC has the broadcast rights to the horse race, and even though the network is owned by Comcast, you can still watch it for free, with the right equipment. Start by buying a digital television antenna, a device that can grab over-the-air television signals and display them on your flatscreen, just like bunny-ear antennas did it in TV’s Golden Age. Since NBC is a broadcast network, you should be able to watch the Kentucky Derby live, for free, as long as you have one of these antennas plugged into your television.

Try DirecTV Now for free

Subscribing to a streaming service just to watch the Kentucky Derby online may seem like a bad bet, but with DirecTV Now‘s seven-day free trial, you can tack on a few extra days of entertainment, gratis, before any payments would kick in. The company’s base streaming television service costs $35 per month—currently $10 for the first three months with a special offer—for a package that includes more than 60 live channels. This base-level plan includes NBC, as well as local affiliates for CBS, and FOX. But before you sign up, check DirecTV Now’s local channel availability here, because not every market includes every station, and you don’t want to miss out on watching the big race.

Watch the horses run with Hulu

Most people think of Hulu as a place to watch on-demand shows, but Hulu with Live TV also works as advertised, delivering NBC—the channel the Kentucky Derby in on—among other networks. Also offering a seven-day free trial, Hulu with Live TV costs more than DirecTV Now at $39-per-month once the free run ends, but it also includes 50 hours of cloud DVR service per month. That means if you happen to hit the Kentucky Derby trifecta, and you want to re-watch the moment you beat the odds, you can.

Sling TV won’t break the bank

If you’re thinking of sticking with a low-cost streaming television service after the Kentucky Derby final results are announced, the odds are that Sling TV will be a winner for you. Also offering a seven-day free preview, Sling TV offers service as low as $20 per month for 30 channels, but if you want to get NBC, which is where the Kentucky Derby is airing, you’ll have to sign up for the 45-channel package that costs $25 monthly. But again, before you commit, check to see if NBC is included. Like with DirectTV Now, local affiliates are only available in select markets on Sling TV.

The Derby makes YouTube TV a sure bet

Another streaming television service worth looking into before the Kentucky Derby’s start is Google’s YouTube TV. Most people think of YouTube for its popular video-hosting website, but the live, online television service offers a lot more than just cat videos. Coming with a seven-day free trial and more than 50 channels of programming, along with unlimited cloud DVR capability for $40 per month (after the promotion ends) YouTube TV, also includes all the major networks—not just NBC, but also CBS and FOX. But the catch with live streaming the Kentucky Derby on YouTube TV is that Google’s service is only available in select markets, although has been expanded to quite a few cities.

Instagram Is Starting to Take Payments—But Not for Products Just Yet

Facebook’s Instagram app has in the last couple years become more than just a photo-sharing platform—it’s increasingly becoming a place for commerce, too.

Instagram already lets brands effectively put storefronts on the platform, where users can click on the items they like—at least, those with “shoppable tags”—and get taken through to the brand’s website to make a purchase. But now, Instagram appears to be working on ways to accept payments through Instagram itself.

As reported by TechCrunch, the Instagram payment system—already visible to some users in the U.S. and U.K.—is starting in the field of booking appointments and making reservations.

There’s a limited set of initial partners, one of which is Resy, a dinner reservation service. Later this year, it will apparently become possible to book movie tickets through Instagram, too.

The obvious future for this functionality is to meld it with Instagram’s shoppable tags. It’s not here yet, but Instagram would be setting the stage for it by getting its users’ payment data. As TechCrunch points out, advertisers may spend more money on Instagram if they know conversions can take place with as little friction as possible.

Other social and messaging platforms are also getting into payments, although mostly on a peer-to-peer basis rather than for commerce: see Facebook Messenger and Snapchat for examples. China is way ahead on this front, with Tencent’s WeChat already serving as an e-commerce platform.