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Germany Is Most Likely to Win 2018 FIFA World Cup, UBS Simulation Reveals

The investment bank has crunched the numbers.

Germany’s national soccer team could have a very good summer, UBS revealed on Thursday. The investment bank has run a simulation of 10,000 virtual tournaments to deduce who is most likely to win this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, running from June 14 to July 15. Based on the data, it looks like the last tournament’s winners are set to claim a fifth title — but there’s always the chance of a last-minute upset.

Overall, the research showed that the likelihood of either Germany, Brazil or Spain winning is 60 percent. Michael Bollinger, head of emerging market asset allocation, said that the teams share “a number of factors which tend to be reliable indicators of how well a team will be doing during the tournament.” They are the top three teams according to the Elo rating that measures how well teams have played in the past, giving stronger weight to teams that beat higher-ranked teams. None of them lost a game in the qualifiers, bar Brazil that only lost its first game against Chile in 2015. All three have also won the World Cup before. Bearing these factors in mind, the team devised a simulation, based on the last five tournaments, to produce the winners:

The chances of each team and how far they will get into the World Cup.

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The team used what’s called a Monte Carlo simulation to find the odds. That means the statisticians drew a number of random variables out to allow for the fact that sports sometimes produces surprise results. It’s the same statistical method that revealed how black holes can “flip” other black holes, and it’s ideal in places where random variables would likely upset the probability of certain results.

While UBS expects Germany and Brazil to get an easy start, Spain will have to work hard to beat European champions Portugal in the opening match. The research also suggests to not count Belgium, England, France or Argentina out of the running just yet. Argentina will depend on star player performance, but France’s results will depend on who they face in the semi-final. England and Belgium have balanced teams, but will probably have to face Brazil.

The opening game, set for June 14, will be the first big test of UBS’ simulation. At 6 p.m. Moscow time, Russia faces Saudi Arabia in a game that Russia is expected to win with a probability of 78 percent. Of course, that also means there’s a 22 percent likelihood that doesn’t happen.

Soccer is of great interest to investors and statisticians, and sometimes the results are surprising. A report published in November 2017 claimed that nations who have played each other in the World Cup are 56 percent more likely to later engage in conflict.

Stadia Release Date: Google Exec Hints at Date for Stadia's Next Appearance

An update could be just around the corner.

Stadia’s announcement on Tuesday gave gamers around the world a glimpse at what it would be like to play AAA titles without overly expensive hardware or grueling download times. But for every bold claim made by the head of Stadia, Phil Harrison, there were often as many unanswered questions.

To the chagrin of many users, the presentation at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco ended without mentioning a price, release date, or an even semi-completed list of games that will be featured on the service. But in some subsequent media interviews, Harrison came a little bit closer to revealing when Stadia could become available to the public.

Google Stadia: Price, Release Date, Features, Titles for the Streaming Service

A glimpse at the future of gaming.

Stadia, Google’s long-awaited cloud gaming service, was finally unveiled at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco on Tuesday. In one fell swoop, Stadia, once known as Project Stream, laid out a plan to take on console giants— like Sony and Microsoft — the PC-gaming industry, and even the live streaming platform, Twitch.

Google Stadia Price: How the Streaming Service Could Beat xCloud and PS Now

The service faces tough competition.

Google is joining a tough market. The world’s largest search engine announced on Tuesday plans to enter video games with Stadia, a streaming platform designed to eliminate the need for expensive hardware. While Google has removed one payment from the gaming equation, details about any further payments were notably missing from the presentation.

Apple Announcement 2019: AirPods, iPods, and AirPower Coming This Week?

Apple may be about to launch even more products.

Apple has had a bumper week of product launches so far, and it could continue the momentum by making even more surprise announcements. In a week that saw the release of two new iPad models on Monday and new versions of the iMac Tuesday, talk is turning to other rumored products like the AirPods wireless headphones, AirPower charging mat and a new iPod Touch.

The Best Wireless Earbuds for Audio Quality

What truly wireless earbuds are actually worth your time?

Filed Under Amazon, Apple & Music

While we’ve been well on our way to a truly wireless existence (I’m looking at you, umbilical cord) in almost every facet of our life, the “truly wireless” headphone segment has been dominated by Apple’s AirPods, and for good reason. They’re the headphones to beat when it comes to ease of use, and seemingly every manufacturer is trying to best Apple with their own AirPod alternative.