eXtensions - Saturday 29 October 2022
Saturday Notes: Ups and Downs in Stocks; Surprise Mac mini; Update Discoveries; and More
By Graham K. Rogers
Although some had expected bad news with the recent planned layoffs, Intel reported a profit (Ryan Smith, Anand Tech), but there is a sting in that tail. Revenue showed a decline year over year, but there was a profit of $1 billion, which may suggest the brakes have been successfully applied, although a tax "benefit" certainly helped. Intel is still bleeding money.
Apple, on the other hand had record quarterly revenue of $90.15 billion, beating analysts' guesses by $1.38 billion. That produced $20.7 billion profit and Apple has declared a $0.23 dividend. Even with record iPhone sales in China, some analysts had predicted higher sales for the device - $42.63B against a predicted $43.21B - and are apparently negative because of this (Brian Heater, TechCrunch). I would recommend finding some new analysts. Many of these self-elected experts are persistently wrong. This is what Apple reports:
"Our record September quarter results continue to demonstrate our ability to execute effectively in spite of a challenging and volatile macroeconomic backdrop," said Luca Maestri, Apple's CFO. "We continued to invest in our long-term growth plans, generated over $24 billion in operating cash flow, and returned over $29 billion to our shareholders during the quarter. The strength of our ecosystem, unmatched customer loyalty, and record sales spurred our active installed base of devices to a new all-time high. This quarter capped another record-breaking year for Apple, with revenue growing over $28 billion and operating cash flow up $18 billion versus last year."
After the report, Tim Cook and Luca Maestri made statements then answered questions from analysts. Jason Snell of Six Colors has the transcript on this hour-long event. This is a useful (if long) read that gives a number of insights to the company. The executives have the answers but they still have to think on their feet.
Several analysts were proved wrong again and one had the grace to admit it. Perhaps they will rethink how they look at Apple and not see negatives in every change in the wind. Why do these analysts think that Warren Buffet and others hold on to Apple and make huge investments in the company? The share price rose 8% in contrast to many other stock prices, underlining the long term differences here. I bet Mark Zuckerberg wishes he was holding Apple shares this week and not Meta. Note, however, that in the conference call, Luca Maestri said, after outlining product deliveries, "we expect Mac revenue to decline substantially year-over-year during the December quarter."
Latest iPad - Image courtesy of Apple
For those changing from the last A-series version, that M2 chip will make all the difference. Several sources have made comments on the same lines: this update is not a game-changer, but an edge forward. Some of the changes in the new 10th generation iPad, point to a more extensive update for the iPad Pro next time although it appears that the USB-C port is limited to USB 2.0 speeds and 4K 30Hz video output: Lightning with an updated port.
Just after the release of these two iPads as expected iPadOS 16.1 and the new Ventura were released. There was also an iOS 16.1 update with some security fixes. Over breakfast, I started with iPadOS on the iPad mini and iOS 16.1. These were quick and easy with no obvious problems. Once I had finished reading the news, I updated the iPad Pro with similar ease. Ventura on the MacBook Pro was less willing.
Mac minis: old and new (top)
As there is a Dock and I am able to use keystrokes to switch between open apps like on a Mac, Stage manager began to slow me down, albeit this was a new wrinkle that would have to be learned for the best effects. I don't even like Split View really. While some apps, such as Mail, were usable in a partial screen display, I found myself enlarging most app panels as that is how I like to view my information: text, browser, photos, et al. Out of the box, this was not working for me.
Time Machine in Ventura: System Settings > General
As most students (and quite a few academics) want to start with the finished product this is a worthwhile illustration. I found the pages I wanted in an old notebook. I keep them all, including the notes I took at the 2007 iPhone introduction and took 3 photographs. I took the notebooks into the class and the grad students were quite interested in the 2007 notebook. The point about notes was made.
When I synchronized the three images to Photos on the Mac, I selected then cropped the image, but when I tried to straighten the picture, the control wheel was missing. I reexamined the panel and at the top were now 3 options: Straighten, Vertical (Perspective) and Horizontal (Keystone). It has taken several years for these controls - which are in Photos on the iPhone and iPad - to appear on the Mac. I guess we should be grateful for small mercies.
New Perspective and Keystone controls in Photos on Ventura
I tried removing the iPad Pro from the Smart Folio case, but that did not work. I looked carefully at what was displayed, making changes on the screen, accessing the Files folder and examining the file information (hard press on the file icon); but then I noticed that the name of the file in Numbers was not centered as it has been for the last few years. As normal there was a small down arrow next to the name. When I tried that, several of the options had been moved here, including Export. I checked Pages and Keynote on the iPad. The same changes had been made there. Whose bright idea was that? Export on the Mac from these apps uses an option in the File menu as before.
However, I do note the number of people still using older devices, for example those Android phones with plastic buttons that use micro-USB to connect to their chargers. Although they seem to have an unusual longevity, at some stage they will be replaced. All the cables and chargers will be trashed. While some of the assemblies, like the metals in cables and circuits might be recyclable, there is much that will end up as waste.
I have seen 3 versions of All Quiet on the Western Front: the 1930 version in black and white, with Lew Ayres; a 1979 television version which also had a cinema release; and now the Netflix release which misses some of the scenes I remember from the other two versions and the book which I also read, but which has a harsh reality in the battlefields and trenches, also repeated well in War Horse. The ending was also more plausible than the 1979 version.
Next on my list are a couple of Apple movies: Sidney, about Sidney Poitier; and Black and Blue on the life of Louis Armstrong. They will be followed by Series 2 of Young Royals back on Netflix. I only watched Series 1 because it was a fallow time and nothing much else interested me. Once it was under way, like many of the Scandinavian and German series I have enjoyed, it had an unusual story to it, with the young actors putting in some sterling performances.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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