The Ripest-Margins Edition Monday, April 25, 2022

The Finance Secrets Of Big Tech, by The Economist

What emerges is a picture of big tech in which the titans appear more vulnerable than their superficial omnipotence suggests. Their secretive profit pools are indeed deep. But the firms’ finance secrets betray weaknesses, too. Three stand out: a high concentration of profits, waning customer loyalty and the sheer sums at risk from assorted antitrust actions.


Many attempts to check the power of the platforms have gone nowhere. The current crop is likely to be watered down and could take years to take effect. But just a few successful tech-bashing efforts could make a meaningful dent in the firms’ prospects. And by lifting the veil on tech titans’ secret finances, they are already alerting challengers to where exactly margins are ripest for eating into.

It's Time For Apple To Start Thinking Different Again–and A Little Weird, by Dan Moren, Macworld

So Apple shouldn’t stop being weird. If it has a great idea for a robot that walks your dog, or a giant table-sized iPad, or a speaker that you wear in a hat, it should give it a go, because you never know what the upside might be.

Apple’s Private Relay Can Cause The System To Ignore Firewall Rules, by Mullvad VPN

It is hard to speculate about the severity of this leak since the traffic is encrypted, meaning we cannot really know what it contains. This does however signal to your local network and ISP that you are using a macOS device. If your threat model forbids this, you should disable the Private Relay.


Latest 'Shot On iPhone 13 Pro' Video Highlights Singapore's Chicken Rice War, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Released on Sunday to the official Apple YouTube channel, "Shot on iPhone 13 Pro - Poached" explores food served at hawker centers, food halls in Singapore, with the main focus being on chicken rice.

Belkin's Wemo Smart Video Doorbell With HomeKit Secure Video Now Available From Apple, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

The Wemo Smart Video Doorbell, which is also available directly from Belkin, is one of the few doorbells on the market so far to support ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌, which not only allows video feeds to show up directly in the Home app on your devices, but with a paid iCloud+ subscription, video activity for the past 10 days can be securely uploaded for viewing and sharing.


Apple Supplier Foxconn Suspends Production At Two China Factories, SCMP Reports, by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee, Rhea Binoy, Reuters

A source familiar with the situation said the plant is not a major supplier for Apple products and the company was able to shift production to other facilities.

Was Steve Jobs The Soul Of Apple Inc.? Reporter Says Yes And Charts The Aftermath, by Kevin Canfield, San Francisco Chronicles

In March 2019, Apple Inc. invited reporters and celebrities to its grand headquarters in Cupertino, where CEO Tim Cook announced the launch of Apple TV+, one of several subscription services designed to complement the company’s ubiquitous personal devices.

To Tripp Mickle, the author of “After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul,” this signaled a distinct shift in priorities. “After years of being hounded by the same question — What’s the next new device? — Cook finally delivered his answer: There isn’t one,” Mickle writes.

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FYI, Find My network will minimize the risks of leaving your unreleased devices behind in a bar. Google, get with the program.



As far as I can remember, I have never eaten at the two Chicken Rice hawker stalls featured in the Apple's "Shot on iPhone 13 Pro" video. For one, the hawker centre is actually quite far from where I stay and work here in Singapore. Also: I don't fancy queuing up for food, and if I hear correctly, there is always long queue at these two stalls during meal time. (I'm not sure what's the situation is like during the past two years; but even during relatively brief lockdown, we were still able to go out and buy food.)

If you ask one hundred Singaporeans what is the best part of a good Chicken Rice meal, you will get back two hundred different answers. For me, the savory of the rice -- usually cooked with chicken stock, among other ingredients -- is quintessential of what makes Chicken Rice great. My spouse, on the other hand, judges how good the chef is mostly on the quality of the chili dipping sauce.


My favorite Singapore street food changes every once in a while, but my current favorite is Bak chor mee, or minced meat noodles. Yummy.


Thanks for reading.