No way is the WSJ correct on its sales numbers for the gold Apple Watch

 Bullion bar with Coins

Paging Auric Goldfinger
[Via Daring Fireball]

Josh Centers does some back-of-the-envelope math to estimate how much raw gold Apple might need for Apple Watch Edition production:

There are two conclusions we can draw from this scattering of data. The first is that Apple is about to take over the world. Not only will it be the most valuable company on the planet, but it will also be bidding for a third of the world’s annual gold supply, wreaking havoc on gold prices and doing who knows what to the global economy.

The alternative is that the esteemed Wall Street Journal is off on its Apple Watch Edition sales by an order of magnitude (or more). That would put the number at 100,000 per month, which seems more plausible.

I think the WSJ’s sources are deeply suspect on these production numbers. There’s no way Apple is planning on selling one million Edition models a month. That’s just nutty. Rolex sells only 600,000 watches a year.


The numbers do not add up.

Always do the math. Amazing that the WSJ just acted as stenographers of the information rather than actually check their reality. I would not doubt that this was a leak from Apple used to determine who could not be trusted. I suspect someone mau have lost their job leaking this false information.

More instances of the high tech capitalist selling the rope to their own hanging

Death Noose 

SSL-busting code that threatened Lenovo users found in a dozen more apps
[Via Ars Technica]

The list of software known to use the same HTTPS-breaking technology recently found preinstalled on Lenovo laptops has risen dramatically with the discovery of at least 12 new titles, including one that’s categorized as a malicious trojan by a major antivirus provider.

Trojan.Nurjax, a malicious program Symantec discovered in December, hijacks the Web browsers of compromised computers and may download additional threats. According to a blog post published Friday by a security researcher from Facebook, Nurjax is one such example of newly found software that incorporates HTTPS-defeating code from an Israeli company called Komodia. Combined with the Superfish ad-injecting software preinstalled on some Lenovo computers and three additional applications that came to light shortly after that revelation, there are now 14 known apps that use Komodia technology.

“What all these applications have in common is that they make people less secure through their use of an easily obtained root CA [certificate authority], they provide little information about the risks of the technology, and in some cases they are difficult to remove,” Matt Richard, a threats researcher on the Facebook security team, wrote in Friday’s post. “Furthermore, it is likely that these intercepting SSL proxies won’t keep up with the HTTPS features in browsers (e.g., certificate pinning and forward secrecy), meaning they could potentially expose private data to network attackers. Some of these deficiencies can be detected by antivirus products as malware or adware, though from our research, detection successes are sporadic.”


This software, originally used to inject ads into encrypted  (and supposedly secure) web pages, actually make things less secure and allows a man-in-the-middle to capture all your data, including passwords to things like your bank accounts.

They essentially hacked the security of their own system to allow them to sell ads. 

These approaches made the user less secure, and never told the user that this was happening. I expect money changed hands to pre-install the software.

Makes one wonder what other things might be used by these guys  to make money at the expense of the security of the user?

Maybe a few good lawsuits will change this. Perhaps the rest of the sociopaths will get the message.

Former GM CEO does his Steve Ballmer impersonation


Apple would be crazy to make cars, former GM chief says 
[Via - CNET]

Talk of Apple entering the car market is serious enough that former General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has felt the need to offer his two cents: Don’t do it!

Akerson, who left GM in 2014, told Bloomberg in an interview published Wednesday that if he were an Apple shareholder hearing news of the company considering building an electric car, he “wouldn’t be very happy.”

“I would be highly suspect of the long-term prospect of getting into a low-margin, heavy-manufacturing” business, he told Bloomberg.


The former CEO of the worst car maker in the US doing his best Steve Ballmer impersonation. Here is what Ballmer said about the iPhone in 2007:

There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.

 That sure went well. The iPhone is not only increasing market share but also making most of the smartphone profits. Having your stuff in 60% of anything but making no money will never overcome 10% of the market with all the profits.

Because of Apple’s money, it can leverage all sorts of things to give itself a competitive edge. Few other makers can meet Apple’s prices and make a profit because Apple acts so much like a monopsonist by tying up long term contracts for parts that no one else can meet and even loaning the foundries money to upgrade themselves, as long as Apple gets first dibs.

The profit margin for Tesla is 25%. GM’s is 12%. Apple would love ot get Tesla’s and probably could.

In fact if Apple is going to make cars (something I really am skeptical of) it will follow Tesla not GM.

But if Apple ever does make a car, it will not be anything like what GM makes, just as the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac were not like anything that was being made before they entered the market.

Speculation is fun. I’m not even sure it will be private cars. Maybe combining auto-guided cars with flight.

Or perhaps coupling an electric car with Musk’s Hyperloop. The Hyperloop itself looks to be moving forward. Maybe you drive in your electric Apple car and get special pricing and perks (like a rest room).


How (Why) will Apple make a car?

Tesla Visit 18 

Apple has ‘several hundred’ workers designing new electric car, codenamed ‘Titan’ – report
[Via AppleInsider]

The smoke surrounding rumors of an Apple-branded vehicle has begun to thicken, as a new report says that Apple is indeed working on an all-electric vehicle that would take the shape of a minivan, with a huge team tasked to the project.


How will this work? This ar emy thoughts.

Tesla has a profit margin about the same as Apple so it would not necessarily reduce their profits but there is a big difference between making a lot of consumer products and a few thousand cars. There is a huge infrastructure need, what with batteries and what not.

I do not think that will need to build their own infrastructure. as with making iPhones, they will use infrastructure of others to build their cars. 

Perhaps even Tesla.

Tesla released their patents. Their goal is to create the standards for the industry. And this:

Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.

So they want competition, especially ones that use their own technology. 

And they are building a huge giga-factory for their batteries. In 5 years, it will be producing enough batteries for 500,000 cars.

Is Tesla going to market all those cars themselves? Or will they make cars designed by others?

Could Tesla and Apple actually be collaborating, using the design team from Apple and that of Tesla to create additional cars that Tesla could not just do by themselves?

And what would that car look like? Apple only enters an industry if it can change the rules. what would an Apple designed car do?

I’m not so sure but it is an interesting thought.

Green bubbles existed before blue bubbles

 iMessage conformation.

Being Green
[Via Daring Fireball]

Paul Ford:

A few months ago my friend Edd Dumbill shared a discovery. He pointed out that if you search Twitter for the words “green bubbles” you’ll find very consistent results. People hate green bubbles.

It’s a little thing, so very little, but it matters. One small factor among many that allow the iPhone to sustain higher prices and margins.


Yes, if you have an iPhone and send an iMessage to someone else who has an iPhone, you see a blue bubble. If it goes to a friend without an iPhone, it is a green bubble.

But Apple did not do this on purpose to get people yo hate Android. Any text message (usually SMS) that does not go through the security of iMessage is green. It is not simply an Android thing.

And, more importantly, the green bubble was present BEFORE iMessage existed.Yes, everyone used to be in a green bubble until Apple created its own messaging service. So, it kept green for SMS messaging, the same color it had always been, and chose blue for its own messages.

Why a different color? Cost for one thing as iMessages do not cost anything. And security for another. Point-to-point encryption.

As well as no 160 character limit. And all sorts of emojis. Easy to send pictures. The experience is much better because Apple provided specific interface improvements since it controls the servers. SMS is generic because it is used for everything else.

The hate for green bubbles came from the people using iOS. I’m sure Apple is not unhappy with this. But to say that the green was chosen simply to go after Android is ahistorical. This is simply a made up, stupid tempest in a tea pot.

Wall Street just does not understand social media companies

I'm with the Stupid network 

Facebook’s Worst Nightmare: What If Social Media Is Just That – Social?
[Via Crooks and Liars]

Facebook's Worst Nightmare: What If Social Media Is Just That - Social?

These are heady days for social media interests. Facebook and Twitter run rampant, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vine and Instagram are booming, Ello is all kinds of interesting, and somehow or another Google+ and StumbleUpon are still hanging in there. While there isn’t literally a new social net rolling out every 15 minutes, it sometimes feels that way.

The money in social is just insane. Take the leader of the pack, for instance. Facebook’s market cap is just north of $200B and NASDAQ’s analysis is all kinds of bullish. Why not? Have a look at their revenue projections.


And I think thayt a lot of these companies do not really understand their success either.

People love social because its … social. We love connecting. But we hate being made a commodity for others to enrich themselves at out expense. The companies that find win-win ways to exist will do fine. The sociopathic ones playing a zero-sum game will not.

Wall Street does not get this and is acting to reward the companies that are actually the least social in their outlook.

And the problem is that as it becomes cheaper and easier to launch a social organization online, people will self-organize in ways that simply do not fit the 20th century model of capital investment.

The app economy allows all sorts of organizations to exist. To rise and fall as they do better supporting the community rather than feeding their wealthy investors.

Wall Street is in for a big surprise.

Stay away from Colorado: Under-vaccinated state likely to become disease-ridden soon.

 Measles and Scarlet Fever

State With Lowest Rate Of Vaccinated Kids Proposes Bill To Make It Even Worse
[Via ThinkProgress]

As the United States grapples with a widespread measles outbreak that originated from an unvaccinated woman’s visit to Disneyland, lawmakers have started to discuss potential policies that could prevent the future spread of infectious diseases. California lawmakers, for instance, have introduced a measure that would make it harder to parents to opt out their kids from recommended vaccines.

But other states are taking the opposite approach. Colorado — which has the highest rate of schoolchildren who have not been immunized in line with federal guidelines — is proposing a measure that would underline parents’ rights to turn down vaccines.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just 82 percent of children in Colorado have gotten the two-dose vaccine that protects against measles. That’s far below the national average of 95 percent, as well as below the threshold needed to achieve herd immunity, which hovers around 94 percent. And certain parts of the state are even worse. Some school districts in Western Colorado have undervaccination rates five times higher than the state average.

“We are going to have a large outbreak of measles,” Dr. Edwin J. Asturias, a pediatrician with the Colorado School of Public Health and Children’s Hospital Colorado, told the Denver Post this week. “For almost a decade we have been accumulating people without protection. We are like a forest waiting to catch fire.”


82% is likely below the threshold for herd immunity for diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps, whooping cough, rubella, and smallpox. In fact, in some parts of the state, it is much lower than that.

Without herd immunity, not only is it very likely that all their kids will get sick, but that infants, the elderly, people whose immunity has worn off and immune-compromised individuals will also get sick. The selfishness of anti-vaxxers places large numbers of others at risk.

And these people shut down an attempt last year trying to educate people, calling it harassment and coercion.

You may have a right to be willfully ignorant in this country but not a right to harm others through your willful ignorance.

Their selfishness – which could result in major outbreaks of preventable disease, disabling many and costing millions – is more important than public safety.

That is not what made America great. But if they want to game the system for their own benefit, while harming America, fine. There should, however, be consequences.

Do not allow their children into public spaces or into contact with others. Go ahead, do not vaccinate but no public schooling. No trips to the mall. Or to football games. They should be civilly sued for getting sick and spreading the disease.

Heck places like Disneyland should look into technology to prevent children or adults who are shedding virus (and may not even be showing symptoms yet) from entering their parks. (Sure, these may take minutes now but who does not expect that to be greatly reduced in a few years.)

Heck, a smartphone attachment was just described and the results published. SO, go ahead and do not vaccinate. Just look forward to a whole lot of finger pricks for blood.

If I was an onwer of any place where people congregated, I would be worried about my employees’’ health and that of their families with weakened immune systems.

As well as law suits from anyone getting sick due to my facility.

I’m sure this will do wonders for the ski resorts when infectious disease spreads like wildfire throughout the state.

People are perfectly free to make decisions about their own health but they should not  be allowed to jeopardize the health of others.


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