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Tim Cook’s A(pple)+

It was fitting for Apple, Inc.’s brass to present its “+” services in the Steve Jobs Theater in northern California. That “one more thing” addition at the end of those now iconic Steve Jobs presentations from yesteryear is thankfully ingrained in the cultural and innovative DNA of Apple. And after recent years of veritable coasting regarding the popular yet technologically and stylistically static iPhone, iPad and the like, Tim Cook’s Apple needed to make an imaginative splash that would generate new curiosity and excitement.

The details from Apple’s big event yesterday are limited. However, the potential of the new services and the industry leaders creating with the innovative tech giant is enough of a headline and opening statement to quench our thirst for now. Here are the highlights of Apple’s big day.

Apple gets an A+ for recruiting top talent to join its streaming video service via future TV and film offerings. Above all, Steven Spielberg’s partnership with Apple is truly special.

Speaking of Mr. Spielberg, it should be noted that some people are criticizing the famed director because of his recent stand against Netflix films being nominated for Academy Awards without a long theatrical release are misguided in their criticism.

By the way, Mr. Spielberg is 100% correct in his view.

During his presentation yesterday, the Academy award winner did not advocate for films on Apple’s new streaming service to be eligible for Academy Awards. He did not mention anything of the sort. All he discussed is the exciting potential for creating new stories on its expanded video streaming platform, which is in concert with his recent comments that great TV shows and movies are being made today on many different platforms.

Just needed to offer a quick and necessary defense of Steven Spielberg because of the fact that details matter. And the details concerning all of the new Apple + services will ultimately determine the future success of Tim Cook’s Apple in a variety of areas during the next five to 10 years.

What Apple did yesterday at its March 2019 event was prove it can still surprise with excitement.

And we can take that to the bank like never before.

I Wish This Buffet(t) Deal Was in My Hometown

Bracket filled-out? Check. Doing well so far on Day 1? Check. Currently working for Warren Buffet? No…

“In an interview with CNBC last month, Buffett said any employee who accurately predicts all Sweet 16 teams will receive $1 million per year for the rest of his or her life.”
–“Warren Buffett’s NCAA tournament bracket challenge: Perfection earns $1 million a year for life” by Tom Schad, USA Today

“The Oracle of Omaha” is clearly in the spirit of the “one shining moment” in March Madness. This isn’t the first time the 87-year-old has made a similar wager for his employees. And not only is it amazingly generous to award $1 million/year for the rest of your life (damn!), but to award a perfect Sweet 16 is the stunning part of this spectacular monetary equation. Not a perfect bracket or a perfect Final Four, but a perfect Sweet 16. That’s not a slam dunk by any means, yet it is possible with a little bit of luck.

It’s not a chocolate factory, but it’s still pretty good.

FIFA’s Questionable Call

What is the opposite of a shocking revelation?

“While acknowledging for the first time that votes were bought in past World Cup hosting contests, FIFA is seeking to claim “tens of millions of dollars” in bribe money seized by U.S. federal prosecutors.”
–Associated Press

Then there’s this.

“FIFA claims it is the victim of corrupt individuals, despite widespread criticism that bribe-taking was embedded in its culture in the presidencies of Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter, who was forced from office after 17 years by the current scandal.”
–Associated Press

Should we be shocked at this point?

First, there have been countless assertions throughout the past decade of institutions failing all around us. Remember though, it’s not so much the institutions failing as much as the people running those institutions who are letting people down.

Second, when leaders in powerful positions are revealed as corrupt, the guilty parties should/need to recognize and sincerely apologize for their deceit and/or willful ignorance to the public. Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be the stance of FIFA. When widespread hearsay became an infuriating reality for the global soccer organization in the summer of 2015, one presumed a 180-degree turn in tone and approach.

One would be wrong.

Does FIFA have a legitimate gripe?

In a courtroom, perhaps.

In the real world, seen through the lens of soccer’s most impassioned fans?

Everyone roll your eyes and put your hands in the air with a dispirited expression aimed into the unknown.

Soccer doesn’t have instant replay, but FIFA’s assertions certainly requires a second and third look to be believed for its specious contention.

At first glance, it looks out-of-bounds.

If I Had a Perfect Ticket

Tonight, it will take only six numbers to get to a billion.

The astronomical $1.5 billion jackpot for the Powerball Lottery has reached a mind-bending level. This is Christopher Nolan territory. Contemplating having $1.5 billion dollars is surprisingly (and refreshingly) difficult to wrap my head around. This amount of money is not life-altering, but world-altering.

Every successful person, regardless of industry, has benefited from luck at some point(s). We’ve all experienced lucky circumstances in our personal lives that change our path in life for the better. And if we, by some stroke of otherworldly magic, defy all odds and find ourselves in possession of a ticket with the 5 winning numbers (plus the Powerball), I’d—

Wait. Let’s start with just a million dollars. I believe Barenaked Ladies have a say in the matter.

Winning $1.5 billion dollars will make barenaked ladies sound really good and it might spark a follow-up anthem.

The winning numbers will be announced on our local news tonight at 11:00 p.m. ET.