Google Stadia and Apple AR Gaming, Good Data Collection, with Andrew Orr - ACM 506

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

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Google Stadia looks likely to shake up the gaming world, but there’s more than one way to skin a gaming cat, and Apple is focused on AR. Bryan Chaffin is joined by guest cohost Andrew Orr to discuss how those different tracts might fare. They also talk about the good sides of corporate data surveillance, and yes, they will both forgive you if you are surprised either would entertain such a notion.

Augmented Reality, Practical Robots, and Modern Cabling, with John Kheit - ACM 505

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

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Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit don their futurist caps and look for the killer app in Augmented Reality. Spoiler: they have different ideas on what form it might take. They also explore the near-term future of practical robots, starting with today’s vacuumbots. They cap the show looking at the slow pace of progress when it comes to modern cabling. Let’s get that Cat 8 and 40 GB/s throughput!

In 2023 Apple Wants to Have Zero Net Cash

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Apple has US$245 of gross cash and other things like long-term securities. It has US$115 billion in long-term debt. This makes its net cash position US$130 billion, and Apple CFO Luca Maestri has said eventually the company wants to have a net cash neutral position. Tiernan Ray writes about issues that may arise because of this.

Come 2023, will investors balk at an Apple suddenly less generous with its capital returns? And if Apple puts off that day as much as possible, plodding along with no significant increase in capital returns, will it lose the support of those fickle buyers hungry for shares with meaningful dividend buyback increases every year?

Examining Apple's Recycling Ambitions

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Maddie Stone wrote a great dive into Apple’s recycling ambitions and the company’s quest to some day stop mining resources.

For a company that sells over 200 million smartphones a year, along with millions more tablets and computers, achieving what sustainability wonks call a “circular economy” will amount to a complete overhaul of everything from how Apple devices are manufactured to what we do with those devices at the end of their lives…The question is whether that’s a future Apple truly wants—or one that its investors will allow.

Apple is Hiring More Software Employees Than Hardware

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For the first time in years, Apple has been hiring more software employees than hardware employees. I think this is a great move because Apple software is generally basic.

It makes sense for Apple: its hardware is now not only ubiquitous, but demand has finally plateaud. At the end of 2018 (right around when Apple began its earnest search for more software people), it became very clear that the iPhone was no longer Apple’s meal ticket as sales lagged followed by a very rare warnings call from Tim Cook.

So now what? Lock people into the ecosystem with software and services. How to get there? Hire people who know how to build that walled garden.

Robots, Apple Robots, Autonomous Vehicle Robots, and Foldable Phones with John Martellaro - ACM 503

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

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This episode is all about robots! Apple robots, military robots, delivery repots, preacher robots, manufacturing robots, and self driving car robots! Bryan Chaffin is joined by guest host John Martellaro to deep into what’s happening with robots today and what they expect for robots in the future. Put your SciFi futurist cap on for this one. They also talk about foldable phones, or as they like to think of it, the netbook of 2019.

Apple Cash Holdings Could Lead to Emulating General Electric

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Apple and a Big Pile of Cash

At BetaNews, Robert X. Cringely writes:

But most importantly for those who are still looking for a headline, Apple will in 2019 greatly expand its profile in the finance industry. Tim Cook has already started in 2019 along the same path forged by GE’s Jack Welch back in 1981.

This strategic shift started to show just this week with Apple directly financing iPhone sales in China and announcing an Apple credit card with Goldman Sachs.

The theme here is wiser utilization of all that cash to make more cash. That’s what Big Companies do and what Apple seems poised to do now.

Apple Video Hows to Use Depth Control, and Defuse Awkward Situations With Your Partner

· · Cool Stuff Found

Ever taken a lovely portrait, only for it to be ruined by someone lurking in the background? Apple feels you. Ever had a nice snap of your partner, but their friend or colleague features in it accidentally? Again, Apple feels you. That’s why it introduced depth control to iOS- the ability to adjust the depth of field before or after a picture is taken. As a new video released Sunday shows, the depth control tool can also help defuse an awkward conversation with your partner!