Categories
Apple

Jon Stewart on the Moment Things Went Bad with Apple

Jon Stewart, speaking in an interview on the The Town with Matthew Belloni podcast, reveals the moment he realized his relationship with the iPhone maker was destined for failure.

Categories
Apple finance

Apple Earnings Report Q2 2024

Thursday’s press release from Apple Newsroom:

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2024 second quarter ended March 30, 2024. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $90.8 billion, down 4 percent year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.53.

The three month year over year from Apple’s consolidated statement:

iPhone $45,963 million down 10%
Mac $7,451 million up 4%
iPad $5,559 million down 17%
Wearables, Home and Accessories $7,913 million down 10%
Services $23,867 million up 14%
Total Net Sales $90,753 million down 4%

Despite earning less, the stock price jumped 6% on the news.

See the Six Color Charts.

Categories
podcasting

Money Stuff Podcast

I’ve been a fan of Matt Levine’s Money Stuff newsletter for the past few years. Today I learned that he and Katie Greifeld have started a new weekly conversational style Money Stuff Podcast based on his recent Money Stuff articles. In the first episode, Katie and Matt discuss a hot fund for private stocks, a clever/illegal crypto trade and super users of US government data. Also there’s some fake Cormac McCarthy.

Categories
Apple

Apple Sued for Monopoly

Last Thursday the US Department of Justice announced it was suing Apple for monopolizing smartphone markets within the United States. I’ve spent the last few days trying to wrap my head around how much of this is hype and how much is a legitimate public concern?

From the Office of Public Affairs | US Dept. of Justice:

The complaint alleges that Apple’s anticompetitive course of conduct has taken several forms, many of which continue to evolve today, including:

  • Blocking Innovative Super Apps. Apple has disrupted the growth of apps with broad functionality that would make it easier for consumers to switch between competing smartphone platforms.
  • Suppressing Mobile Cloud Streaming Services. Apple has blocked the development of cloud-streaming apps and services that would allow consumers to enjoy high-quality video games and other cloud-based applications without having to pay for expensive smartphone hardware.
  • Excluding Cross-Platform Messaging Apps. Apple has made the quality of cross-platform messaging worse, less innovative, and less secure for users so that its customers have to keep buying iPhones.
  • Diminishing the Functionality of Non-Apple Smartwatches. Apple has limited the functionality of third-party smartwatches so that users who purchase the Apple Watch face substantial out-of-pocket costs if they do not keep buying iPhones.
  • Limiting Third Party Digital Wallets. Apple has prevented third-party apps from offering tap-to-pay functionality, inhibiting the creation of cross-platform third-party digital wallets.

The complaint also alleges that Apple’s conduct extends beyond these examples, affecting web browsers, video communication, news subscriptions, entertainment, automotive services, advertising, location services, and more. Apple has every incentive to extend and expand its course of conduct to acquire and maintain power over next-frontier devices and technologies.

After investigating the top five complaints…

Blocking Innovative Super Apps: Super Apps provide multiple services including payment and instant messaging services, effectively becoming an all-encompassing self-contained commerce and communication platform that embraces many aspects of personal and commercial life. At the same time they are taking Apple to task, regulators in the US and Europe have also expressed concerns about the overall power of the such super apps and appear to be giving mixed signals over their concerns of privacy and monopoly powers.

Suppressing Mobile Cloud Streaming Services: Although Apple originally put up some roadblocks for Microsoft and its Xbox streaming services, it is now allowed on iOS1. Perhaps there are other services of which I’m not aware that apply here, but it sounds like this is an older grievance that has been rectified.

Excluding Cross-Platform Messaging Apps: Although iPhone’s green bubbles have been characterized as the epitome of Apple’s unfairness — reading into the complaint it appears it’s more about the lack of SMS support in public APIs so that other apps can choose to mix their own propriety message protocols with SMS the way iMessage does. I agree, Apple should open up both phone and SMS messaging for third parties.

Diminishing the Functionality of Non-Apple Smartwatches: This complaint boils down again to restrictions on the public API that Apple’s private APIs don’t have. Although I think it’s absurd to say third party smartwatches only run on bluetooth and “Apple recognizes users frequently disable Bluetooth on their iPhone without realizing that doing so disconnects their watch”2 and has therefore allowed syncing to continue with Apple Watch while bluetooth is disconnected. But really… who frequently disables Bluetooth?

Limiting Third Party Digital Wallets: As explained in the briefing, “Digital wallets are apps that allow a user to store and use passes and credentials, including credit cards, personal identification, movie tickets, and car keys, in a single app.” The complaint alleges that if “financial institutions offered digital wallets, then users would have access to new apps and technologies without needing to share their private financial data with additional third parties, including Apple.” I’d rather share my private data with Apple who believes that privacy is a human right vs. the retailers who are notorious for tracking users.

It appears there might be some legitimate monopolistic behaviour even though Apple doesn’t have a 95% monopoly control of the market the way Microsoft did during the case in 1998. I suspect there will be a few concessions but even in that case, in which Microsoft was found guilty, the end result3 was basically a mere settlement promise from Microsoft to straighten up and fly right. The remaining mystery is, even if Apple is found guilty, will the cure actually be worse for consumers??

  1. in select countries[]
  2. emphasis mine[]
  3. after appeals and technicalities[]
Categories
humor

Kottke’s Choppke’s

Jason’s fake restaurant idea made me laugh.

A couple of years ago, frustrated by a takeout Italian sandwich with unevenly distributed fillings, I had a wonderful, life-changing idea: chopped sandwiches. It’s like what you get at those chopped salad places but instead of chopping up all the ingredients and putting them into a bowl, you put them between two slices of bread or in a hoagie roll or whatever. That way, you get all of the elements of the sandwich — cheese, tomato, lettuce, dressing/mayo, onion, whatever — in every single bite. Yum.

It also made me hungry.

Categories
documentary

Objectified

The documentary “Objectified” is 15 years old and to celebrate, the producers have made the film free to watch from March 14-17.

Objectified (2009, 75 minutes) is a documentary film about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?

It’s a great little film at a great price, from Gary Hustwit the director of Helvetica1.

(via)

  1. I thought it odd that the hard coded subtitles in Objectified were something so close but not Helvetica. If it’s a joke, I don’t get it.[]
Categories
birthday

45

It was my 45th birthday today. We celebrated with pizza and ice cream cake.

Here’s to another 45!

Categories
history religion

Kirtland Temple Sold to TCOJCOLDS

The other day the news leaked that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had purchased the Kirtland Temple.

Kirtland, not Kirkland, and not a “miracle”, after all, it turns out it’s true you can buy anything in this world for money, but still it’s a historic sale.

From The Church News:

Today, Tuesday, March 5, 2024, the responsibility and ownership for the Kirtland Temple, several historic buildings in Nauvoo, and various manuscripts and artifacts officially transferred from Community of Christ to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for an agreed-upon amount. Together, we share an interest in and reverence for these historic sites and items and are committed to preserving them for future generations.

Rumour has it the agreed upon amount is a whooping $192.5 million USD. Included in the sale:

  • The Bible used in the Joseph Smith Translation
  • Manuscripts of the Joseph Smith Translation
  • Seven letters from Smith to his wife Emma
  • A history of the church written by John Whitmer
  • The original David Rogers portraits of Joseph and Emma Smith
  • The cornerstone of the Nauvoo House, used to store the original Book of Mormon manuscript
  • The original door of Missouri’s Liberty Jail, where Joseph, Hyrum, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae, and Caleb Baldwin were famously held captive.
  • A document with the title of ‘Caractors,’ which are alleged to contain a sample of inscriptions from the gold plates. (In 2017, the church bought the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon from the Community of Christ for $35 million — an amount one historian called a bargain.)
  • Joseph Smith’s writing desk from the Kirtland Temple.
  • Emma Smith’s walking stick.
  • The home of Sidney Rigdon and wife Phebe.
  • The Smith Homestead
  • The Mansion house
  • The Nauvoo house
  • The Red Brick Store
  • Other homes and significant documents that belonged to early members.

This video about the news leaking explains how it went down:

Categories
bad review revue

The Bad Review Revue

Madame Web: “The real culprit here is the greed manifested by studio suits who keep hawking cheap knockoffs. ‘Madame Web’ feels like a random collection of half-baked ideas thrown into the air and allowed to land, with the cynical assumption that we’ll buy any lazy hack-work that is Spider-Man adjacent. Kill me now.” — Peter Travers, ABC News

Bob Marley: One Love: “If you’ve never heard of Bob Marley before watching the picture, you might know even less about him when the end credits roll.” — Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

Lisa Frankenstein: “Overall, Lisa Frankenstein remains a lifeless genre effort needing a spark of electricity.” — Eric Marchen, Rogers TV

Land of Bad: “Despite solid and brutal action throughout, the longer this goes on, the storytelling choices put one in a land of confusion” — Robert Kojder, Flickering Myth

Players: “Director Trish Sie’s middling and at times mawkish film not only makes us hate the game, but also its players.” — Courtney Howard, Variety

Categories
animation Disney Music

Firehouse Five and the Cinderella Surprise – cabel.com

Cabel Sasser won an auction of Dixieland jazz 78rpm records and found a long lost song cut from Cinderella:

My goal was to preserve some never-before-heard recordings of an incredible Dixieland jazz band made up of mostly Disney employees, the Firehouse Five Plus Two. But along the way, I accidentally discovered an incredible lost song that was cut from Walt Disney’s Cinderella. And you’re about to hear it too. Let’s go…

Read on cabel.com/2024/02/13/firehouse-five-and-the-cinderella-surprise/