The Plenty-Of-Surprises Edition Sunday, June 4, 2017

This 82-Year-Old Woman Is WWDC’s Oldest Attendee, by Leena Rao, Fortune

Retired banker Masako Wakamiya was frustrated by the lack of mobile games that catered to the elderly, who have a tougher time keeping up with the action-packed games that are popular with teens. So the 82-year-old from Japan started taking online tutorials to learn how to write software code.


Wakamiya, who first started using computers when she was 60-years-old, ultimately created a game in March that is based on the Japanese doll festival, Hinamatsuri, a holiday that celebrates the health and well-being of girls. And to appeal to older players, its pace is slow and its narrator speaks slowly.

Apple’s WWDC 2017: A Siri Speaker, iOS 11, And What Else To Expect, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

There haven’t been a ton of leaks this year, so while we have some ideas of what Apple’s planning, there should still be plenty of surprises in store.

Why Don’t More Tech Companies Offer On-site Child Care?, by Rollin Bishop, The Outline

In fact, child care benefits in general are not the norm. Only 10 percent of American workers in private industry have access to some form of child care benefit according to a 2016 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which defined a “child care” benefit as any “workplace program that provides for either the full or partial cost of caring for an employee’s children in a nursery, day care center, or a baby sitter in facilities either on or off the employer’s premises.” That number doubles for those jobs in the top 25 percent in terms of average wages, and it almost triples to 29 percent for those companies with 500 or more employees.

Why do people keep bringing up on-site child care when it is in fact so rare? Child care benefits, and more specifically the use of on-site centers, has a huge impact on retention of new parents and especially women. Patagonia, for example, reportedly had a retention rate of 100 percent for mothers coming back to work after giving birth over a five-year period as of 2016. The top 10 companies from the 2016 Working Mother 100 Best Companies all offer some kind of child care assistance, with several having on-site care.

Dissecting Marissa Mayer’s $900,000-a-Week Yahoo Paycheck, by Vindu Goel, New York Times

So why did Ms. Mayer receive more than $900,000 a week? The answer, like so many things about Yahoo, is surprisingly complicated. It is rooted partly in the never-lose structure of modern executive compensation packages, but also in two farsighted investments made long ago by one of Yahoo’s founders, Jerry Yang.

By Wall Street’s most basic yardstick — Yahoo’s stock price — Ms. Mayer earned every penny she got. Yahoo’s share price more than tripled during her tenure. After the $4.5 billion sale to Verizon, shareholders will still own an investment company with $57 billion of stock in two Asian internet companies, Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan.

Ms. Mayer’s pay was mostly in stock and stock options, and she reaped the rewards alongside the other stockholders.

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Predictions and Wish List (You figure out which is which): Time Machine on iOS, automation support from more Apple's iOS apps (including Springboard), a customizable iOS Control Center, macOS 10.13, Handoff for iTunes, AirDrop to apps, Beats TV.

Can't wait for Apple's announcement... can't wait for the box-lunch reviews.


Tomorrow's edition will be delayed. Because, stuff.


Thanks for reading.