Categories
Apple finance

Apple Earnings Call Q2 2021

Apple released it’s second quarter earnings today and blew out even the most exuberant expectations with revenue reaching a record $89.6 billion, up 54 percent year over year. The results were fabulous across the board.

iPhone $47,938 million (up 66%)
Mac $9,102 million (up 70%)
iPad $7,807 million (up 79%)
Wearables, Home and Accessories $7,836 million (up 25%)
Services $16,901 million (up 27%)
Total Net Sales $89,584 million (up 54%)

What a great quarter. Particularly iPad and Mac were very, very strong. Just look at Mac alone — the last three quarters have each returned record earnings. Sales looking forward are predicted to be supply constrained rather than demand constrained.

More details of their earnings can be found in Apple’s Fiscal Year 2021 Second Quarter Consolidated Financial Statement.

Check out the charts at Six Colors.

Categories
pandemic

Online Learning

We’ll be shifting to online learning at my workplace for at least the next couple weeks after 66% of our school is considered close contacts with positive COVID-19 cases. My class is one of the classes that are out so hopefully this will give my vaccination the necessary 10 days for maximum efficacy. Hopefully I didn’t catch it in the one day I was back at school after getting my shot.

Categories
technology

Charlie Warzel has a Substack

Charlie Warzel, former technology opinion writer for the New York Times, has quit his job there to jump onto the newsletter subscription Substack bandwagon. He’s calling his, “Galaxy Brain”.

In the introduction to his foray in the Substack revolution he explains why he would jump ship.

“The last two places I worked were big, polarizing brands, which also meant that a huge chunk of my readers on a given story were there because they wanted to use what I’d written — usually just the headline — as ammunition in a culture war battle… And if I’m honest, it’s burned me out and left me feeling grim about the role of mainstream media.”

His latest instalment features him outlining why he is skeptical of Facebook’s courtship of creators. While I enjoyed the piece, I’m not exactly neutral on Facebook in the first place. Go figure — Facebook again ripping-off another platform in a blatant attempt to capitalize on the latest trends… who would have thunk-it?

Categories
pandemic

Vaccination Day

We got the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination today. I had a little bit of the tingles that some people are complaining about but no headache or other issues that my friends who got the vaccine had. Andrea says she has no symptoms at all. We’ll see how the night progresses. I’m super relieved to get it.

One of my close friends told me about his cousin who as a 45 year old teacher educational assistant contracted the virus. She got worse and worse over the last couple weeks going into the hospital and then the ICU. Today he let me know they took his cousin off life support and she died. She contracted the virus at work. Though I’ve never met her, I feel awful for her husband and two young kids.

Update: The next day was a different story. I was wiped out! Headache and joint aches. The symptoms calmed down a bit yesterday but three days out I’m still feeling residual stiffness in my joints and a slight headache. If this is just a small taste of what getting the actual disease is like… I hate to imagine.

Update: There is now a gofundme page for the Therrien family.

Categories
backmasking

Backmasking

During a 1974 interview published in Rolling Stone Magazine, Paul McCartney discussed the many hidden meanings in The Beatles’ work that consumed obsessive fans. He mentioned that some people believed the cover of Abbey Road to contain clues revealing that he died. He pointed out that it’s easy to see hidden meanings in things if you were looking for hidden meanings.

He also discussed backmasking. Backmasking is the phenomenon in which artists will put backward messages in their songs. (See my backmasking page). While there are some examples of intentional backmasking, other times fans hear messages in songs played backward the artist did not intentionally put there. For example, Paul admitted that one of the songs from Sgt. Pepper sounds like it included the f-word when played backward even though he wasn’t aware of this until after the album’s completion.

From the 1974 interview with Paul McCartney (also Linda) in Rolling Stone Magazine:

[Paul:] Once you get analyzing something and looking into it, things do begin to appear and things do begin to tie in. Because everything ties in, and what you get depends on your approach to it. You look at everything with a black attitude and it’s all black.

This other idea of Paul Is Dead. That was on for a while. I had just turned up at a photo session and it was at the time when Linda and I were just beginning to knock around with each other steadily. It was a hot day in London, a really nice hot day, and I think I wore sandals. I only had to walk around the corner to the crossing because I lived pretty nearby. I had me sandals on and for the photo session I thought I’ll take my sandals off.

Linda: No, you were barefoot.

Paul: Oh, I was barefoot. Yeah, that’s it. You know, so what? Barefoot, nice warm day, I didn’t feel like wearing shoes. So I went around to the photo session and showed me bare feet. Of course when that comes out and people start looking at it they say, “Why has he got no shoes on? He’s never done that before.” OK, you’ve never seen me do it before, but, in actual fact, it’s just me with my shoes off. Turns out to be some old Mafia sign of death or something.

Then the this-little-bit-if-you-play-it-backwards stuff. As I say, nine times out of ten it’s really nothing. Take the end of Sgt. Pepper, that backward thing, “We’ll f— you like Supermen.” Some fans came around to my door giggling. I said, “Hello, what do you want?” They said, “Is it true, that bit at the end? Is it true? It says ‘We’ll f— you like Supermen’.” I said, “No, you’re kidding. I haven’t heard it, but I’ll play it.” It was just some piece of conversation that was recorded and turned backwards. But I went inside after I’d seen them and played it studiously, turned it backwards with my thumb against the motor, turned the motor off and did it backwards. And there it was, sure as anything, plain as anything. “We’ll f— you like Supermen.” I thought, Jesus, what can you do?

And then there was “I buried Paul.”

That wasn’t “I buried Paul” at all, that was John saying “cranberry sauce.” It was the end of “Strawberry Fields.” That’s John’s humor. John would say something totally out of synch, like “cranberry sauce.” If you don’t realize that John’s apt to say “cranberry sauce” when he feels like it, then you start to hear a funny little word there, and you think “Aha!”

When you were alive and presumed dead, what did you think?

Someone from the office rang me up and said, “Look, Paul, you’re dead.” And I said, “Oh, I don’t agree with that.” And they said, “Look, what are you going to do about it? It’s a big thing breaking in America. You’re dead.” And so I said leave it, just let them say it. It’ll probably be the best publicity we’ve ever had and I won’t have to do a thing except stay alive. So I managed to stay alive through it.

Paul is dead, but Chris Farley found out that he isn’t.

Categories
pandemic

COVID-19 Vaccine

Early this morning the news broke that people over 40 in Alberta can get the AstraZeneca vaccine starting tomorrow.

I couldn’t get an appointment for after work tomorrow but I signed up Andrea and myself for Wednesday. I’m super excited to finally be getting this huge Covid stress out of my life.

I wrote to my coworkers a mass email about how I was excited to be getting my shot on Wednesday. I expected a deluge of congratulatory messages; instead crickets. Am I crazy? Is this not a huge deal?

I can’t imagine why anybody would want to prolong this pandemic? We’re all in this together and in order to move forward we all need to get vaccinated.

Categories
advertising ethics

Attack Ad Against WordPress

Matt Mullenweg, the CEO Automattic (the people behind WordPress.org among others) posted a response to the recent attack ad campaign from Wix in which they personify the open source software WordPress as an annoying, neglectful, glitchy father and complain about its problems in a confrontational therapy session.

It’s ironic that they would want to point out WordPress as a father figure considering it’s not a point of pride they copied WordPress’s code but haven’t been following the copyleft terms of share and share-alike that one must abide if you’re going to reuse said code.

From Matt’s post, Wix and Their Dirty Tricks:

I have a lot of empathy for whoever was forced to work on these ads, including the actors, it must have felt bad working on something that’s like Encyclopedia Britannica attacking Wikipedia. WordPress is a global movement of hundreds of thousands of volunteers and community members, coming together to make the web a better place. The code, and everything you put into it, belongs to you, and its open source license ensures that you’re in complete control, now and forever. WordPress is free, and also gives you freedom.

He goes on to explain that Wix itself is more fitting to be personified as an abuser. Their investor presentation explicitly outlines their business model of making it difficult to leave by not allowing users to export their data and consumers complain it’s difficult to get a refund. The for profit company knows that once they’ve got you locked in they can continue to charge more each year.

So if we’re comparing website builders to abusive relationships, Wix is one that locks you in the basement and doesn’t let you leave. I’m surprised consumer protection agencies haven’t gone after them.

Is this simply a difference in opinion between the value of open source versus paid software? He continues:

Philosophically, I believe in open source, and if WordPress isn’t a good fit for you there are other great open source communities like Drupal, Joomla, Jekyll, and Typo3. We also have a great relationship with some of our proprietary competitors, and I have huge respect for the teams at Shopify and Squarespace, and even though we compete I’ve always seen them operate with integrity and I’d recommend them without hesitation.

Here is one of the ads in question it feels like a cheap ripoff of Apple’s 2006 Mac vs PC Campaign. You be the judge.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=2JyW4yAyTl0%3Fautoplay%3D1%26modestbranding%3D1

Categories
inspirational

Green Shirt Day

I wore green yesterday to honour the Logan Boulet Effect and to support donor awareness.

From the CBC:

Inspired by coach and mentor Ric Suggitt, Logan signed an organ donor card on his birthday, just weeks before his death. He also made his wishes known to his family.

Logan survived long enough for his organs and corneas to be gathered before he was taken off life support.

“Logan was able to make six people’s lives better,” Toby says. “He basically saved six lives.”

That decision has since inspired an estimated 300,000 Canadians to sign their donor cards in what has become to be known online as the #LoganBouletEffect.

Green Shirt Day on April 7 was created to honour, remember, and recognize the victims and families of that fatal crash and to continue Logan’s legacy by raising awareness for organ donation.

I’m a registered donor — have you thought about signing up?

Categories
books

Brian Sibley’s Signed Books – Adventures of Tom Bombadil

Quite a few Christmases ago, my uncle Dennis gave our family a copy of The Hobbit radio-play on tape. A few years after that I learned that the Hobbit had a great sequel called, “The Lord of the Rings”. I loved the books and enjoyed BBC Radio 4’s 26-part adaptation of that one too.

In the credits of each episode I kept hearing the producers name and one day, on a lark, I decided to look him up. I discovered Brian Sibley’s blog which is full of interesting reading.

During my first reading of The Lord of the Rings, I remember not even liking the parts with Tom Bombadil when I first encountered the enigmatic figure. I didn’t get the weirdness of it all — who was this guy and why was he slowing down what was otherwise turning out to be a pretty great adventure? When I talked to friends who were fans of the book they encouraged me to expand my mind and appreciate the poetry, novelty, and esoteric nature of the character. Hearing that they loved Tom Bombadil made me reconsider my own opinion and I even found myself being disappointed when it was cut from the radio-play and subsequent movie.

But, it appears Mr. Sibley didn’t make the cuts lightly and eventually tried to make things right. From his post about his signed copy of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil he explains:

in 1992, eleven years after the BBC radio dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings, I attempted to make my peace with those fans who had been so outraged at the character’s omission from the original broadcasts. I created a six-part series for BBC Radio 5, based on Tolkien’s shorter fiction and, alongside Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wootton Major and Leaf by Niggle, included The Adventures of Tom Bombadil which was, essentially, the previously-ignored chapters from The Lord of the Rings…

I’m going to add it to my long list of audio I’d like to listen to on my way to work.

Categories
recipe

Fajita Seasoning Recipe

Just the recipe — little or no chit-chat:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Directions:

Mix ingredients together and then season as your other recipes call for Mexican seasoning.

We usually double it and keep a jar full in the pantry.

(Via Allrecipes.com)