I think Greta should cut her hair

No, I am not one of those that make fun of the girl. I admire her and fully support the effort. From a communications point of view, Greta Thunberg greatly helped both bring forward important issues and the idiots that oppose global warming initiatives with no valid scientific or logical counter-arguments. In fact, I have an idea to cut emissions immediately, drastically and effectively.

Shave your head.

In fact don’t shave it, use a machine, less waste. If the entire planet shaved their heads the benefits would be enormous. I challenge some universities to calculate them in detail. We start of course with shampoos and conditioners and all those other hair washing products, their plastic containers, moving them across the globe, disposing of them. Then there is the water wasted in hours of washing hair, the energy to heat that water. Chemicals, gels, dyes, poisoning us and the planet. Electricity wasted drying hair, straightening or whatever else you do to hair. Time and energy wasted going to hair salons and all other trips related to hair. If we run the entire chain backward and eliminate hair care, I am pretty sure we can shave off 1 degree Celsius from the planet just by shaving our heads.

Starting with Greta.

My head. (I am setting a good example for the rest of you)

The end of Apple has begun (Forbes deleted this article)

Just take whatever the article says and add “oh, and somebody thought it would be a good idea to delete this article”. I wrote about how Google got revenge on Apple for their privacy initiative through the Pixel 3a some time ago. Here is what the original article said:

The End of Apple Has Begun

Stephen McBride

Stephen McBrideContributor MarketsThe editor of RiskHedge Report

The End of Apple
The End of Apple© 2019 BLOOMBERG FINANCE LP

When Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage this September, nobody expected the shocking news he was about to deliver…

He unveiled the new iPhone 11—the most advanced phone Apple has ever made.

But it was not the triple-lens camera and lustrous finishes that stole the show. It was the phone’s price tag.

For the first time ever, Apple cut its iPhone price.

As I’ll explain, Apple made this move out of desperation… and it may well spell the beginning of the end of Apple’s run as a dominant company.

Apple Is a Phone Company

Let’s get one thing straight…

Apple is not a computer company anymore.

Apple is a phone company.

Since it introduced the iPhone in 2007, Apple has sold 2.2 billion phones raking in over a trillion dollars in sales—more than any other phone maker in history. Meanwhile, Apple stock shot up over 2,037%… and became the world’s largest publicly traded company.


iPhone Is Apple’s Golden Goose

Apple has earned a whopping $1.99 trillion since 2007. The thing is, more than half of it came from iPhone sales.

iPhone is not only Apple’s best-selling product by far. It’s also the company’s most profitable product.

For every dollar an iPhone brings into the company, Apple earns $0.60–0.74, according to PhoneArena. Compare that to the MacBook Air… Apple’s most profitable notebook…which earns a mere $0.29 on the dollar.

If it weren’t for the iPhone, Apple wouldn’t be where it is today. Without the iPhone, Apple would be a mediocre computer company like Dell at best.

iPhone Sales Stalled Out

For years, iPhone revenues have sprinted higher at an exponential pace.

But in 2015, Apple reached an inflection point. The growth of its iPhone sales has died out, as you can see below…


Last year, Apple sold 14 million fewer phones than it did three years ago.

That’s not unusual, though.

When Apple unveiled the first iPhone, the smartphone was groundbreaking technology. The typical lifecycle of a groundbreaking technology looks like this:

Sales skyrocket out of the gate… then flatten out as the market matures… and finally take an inevitable downturn.

Twelve years ago, only 120 million people had a cell phone. Today, over five billion people own a smartphone, according to IDC.

Apple Found a Way to Extend the iPhone Lifecycle

As I wrote earlier, Apple has found a masterful way to extend iPhone’s prime time. The company raised iPhone prices to offset slowing sales and keep its revenue figures growing.

Think about it… In 2010, you could buy a brand-new iPhone 4 for $599.

In 2017, you would have had to fork over $849 for the iPhone 8 and $1,149 for the iPhone X… Apple’s most expensive phone.

The price hikes kept Apple’s growth engine alive… and for this reason, its revenues have gone on marching higher since 2011.

But there was also another reason Apple was forced to hike its phone prices…

iPhones Are More Expensive for Apple, Too

Take a close look at the chart below. It shows how much it costs for Apple to make an iPhone…


With the exception of a few years, the cost of making an iPhone has been climbing higher since 2007.

The first iPhone cost Apple just above $200 to make. Meanwhile, iPhone XS (the latest iPhone Apple reported on) costs double that.

Apple has always set records with its phone prices. But as you can see, it did it for a reason. It had to offset the ever-growing costs.

But as I warned my readers before, it was just a matter of time before Apple had to pull back with its pricing.

It didn’t take long….

iPhone Has a New Feature: Lower Prices

Last September, Apple unveiled iPhone XR, a less advanced and more affordable version of the iPhone X.

It cost $749, a 35% drop from the iPhone X’s $1,145 price tag.

But in truth, it was almost the same iPhone X, only disguised as a budget phone. It was basically an excuse for Apple to release a cheaper phone to get its sales figures back on track.

This year, Apple went a step further. It slashed the price of its full-fledged iPhone. The newly released iPhone 11 started at $699, a price point not seen since 2017.

Apple did it as a last resort to spur lackluster demand. But in doing so, it has signaled the beginning of the end of its lucrative iPhone business.

The End of Apple

See what’s happening?

Not only is Apple selling fewer iPhones, it’s now earning much less on each one.

Recent financial reports show that iPhone revenues… which have been Apple’s lifeblood… are starting to sink.

Last quarter, Apple earned 10% less from iPhones than it did during the same period last year. That’s a loss of about $20 billion!

Apple has never earned so little from iPhones… and all this will start showing up in Apple’s financial reports very soon.

Let me make it clear: half of Apple’s business is going off the rails, and there’s no turning back.

While Apple admits the demise of iPhone and is looking into new business directions, these things don’t happen overnight. Meanwhile, Apple’s money-making machine is grinding to a halt.

As I warned you earlier this year, Apple is a ticking time bomb… and for this reason, I’d recommend staying away from this stock.

Written with the assistance of Dainius Runkevičius.

As it appears in Google search cache

Pretty straightforward stuff. Forbes’ analysts have made similar predictions in the past, that is what analysts do after all. Last August Forbes published one entitled “Dark days are closing in on Apple” for example. But getting an article deleted like this now is either Apple with its usual heavy-handed journalist blackmailing techniques or a very clever and sneaky Forbes self-promotion.


Thanos Dimadis: a media phenomenon

Twitter, Instagram and a variety of blogs yet I hadn’t ever noticed him. Apparently he was a journalist for AlphaTV or something. Which isn’t saying much. And then the Guardian expose stated that “multiple email communications from 2018 and 2019 detail the entwinement of two senior executives at Bayer’s US operations with a Greek journalist and “communications strategist” named Thanos Dimadis who served briefly as executive director for the 101-year-old New York-based Foreign Press Association (FPA), and the related Foreign Press Foundation (FPF).”

That sounds important. As if he was quite high up in the pecking order. Wikipedia says that ” Athanasios “Thanos” Dimadis is a Greek journalist, political analyst, communications strategist, TV news personality, In 2018, Lally Weymouth, the senior editor of Washington Post, stated publicly about Dimadis “sets a great example to all young people who want to become journalists.” ” Wow. A great example eh?

So it was interesting to read a Facebook post by a Facebook friend which openly described him as completely useless and well, a moron. (Doubt Google translate will help you, he lays on the verbal abuse pretty heavily.) I was just about to defend Mr Dimadis. After all the expose was not really focused on his abilities or lack of abilities but the organization he worked for. And then Mr Dimadis decided to intervene himself.

In what must be a model of “how NOT to handle a negative Facebook post”, unless the profile is a fake account and/or being written by a vicious troll, Mr Dimadis first tried to intimidate though a veiled threat of legal action. Kostas called his bluff. It was too easy. Then the Thanos Dimadis profile decided to call me a “malaka” (common Greek profanity -literally means “masturbator”) which was not only uncalled for, it was downright ridiculous. This man held positions of responsibility in the Foreign Press Association (FPA)? It can’t be.

Yet there he was, just digging himself deeper and deeper into a completely ludicrous position on a public Facebook post. I have seen six years olds handle such situations better than him. The scandal is not really if he sent the emails the Guardian article refers to and what that may mean for Bayer, lobbying and corporate pressure on news’ organizations. The scandal is that someone like Thanos Dimadis was on the other end of such an email in the first place.


If you live in the UK, switch off Facebook for a few weeks

I have a Masters degree in Media, Communication and Society. Yet I have no exact data to give you about precisely how Facebook messes up our heads. But I know it is dangerous before a snap election. And you can’t win. So take a break.

Facebook is evil. Those that try and bunch it with Amazon, Google or Apple are completely missing the point. Facebook reflects all the immaturity of Mark Zuckerberg, essentially still an adolescent hacker, just with more money and power. That is a really bad combination. And he isn’t improving. Anyone that uses Facebook knows how often it just breaks, weird things happen and normal things don’t happen. Mark doesn’t care. If you use it for business it is even worse. It feels like a very one-sided relationship. He pretends and strongly suggests you do something, you do it, win for a little and then he screws you. He says “everyone make a Facebook page for your company” and then he neuters pages. Effectively nobody sees your page unless you pay. Then he says “video is the future”. At first videos get ridiculously good response. Then, you guessed it, pay to be seen. Groups, Live, every feature the same trick.

Does Facebook sell your data? Hell yeah! In as many ways as it can get away with! And if you catch them with one Cambridge Analytica it will just find different ways to do the same thing. It is more of a losing race than building antibiotics for new viruses because in this game Facebook holds all the cards.

But no, you think, I am a mature adult, with good critical thinking skills and a firm grip on what happens around me. So you think you will “help” your friends read the political situation do you? Guess again! Nobody is reading your posts. Facebook is designed to surround you with a few, the same, people liking and commenting. Your impact is close to zero unless you want to pay a few million to Facebook HQ for a deal as good as their big customers.

So to all fellow British passport holders, anyone going to vote in the upcoming UK elections I say “turn it off”. Deactivate your account for a month, no big deal. You will have more time to do yoga, meditation or anything that will help you be calm and accepting of the results. You are not deciding who wins. Mark is going to do you over again. So just prepare for the morning after.


World Health solved (it is still noon)

Nope. Not yet. I will not buy a smartwatch. Not smart enough. Sure, if you like wearing a watch anyway, there are plenty choices that also measure things. It’s not that I am waiting for more sensors. Even with what is available today on a $30 smart band we should be getting more useful information.

My phone knows how much ground I am covering when walking my kids to school. The watch knows my heart rate. So why isn’t it telling me if I am getting more or less fit? My phone knows how much screen time I am getting late at night. My watch knows how well I slept. So why isn’t it telling me exactly what to change in my schedule? Hey Google, should I watch a movie or mess about on Facebook right now?

These examples are simply scratching the surface. As I fire up Google Docs and start writing, it could even give me ideas like “go drink something, you are struggling to get a decent sentence” or “I see you can’t find a catchy title. Maybe tomorrow you go for a walk first, statistically, you come up with titles much faster on days that you walked in the morning before.”

The only rational reason a company like Google isn’t doing this is so that we don’t freak out. It is far from inconceivable that the company knows when we go to the toilet and how long we spend there. Without demanding any user input (that’s how I like it best) we could be getting very very useful advice on diet and lifestyle that really make a massive difference. Our phone knows which doctors we visit and when anyway. Our Google searches, the apps we use, the speed with which we click or even how often we idly play with our phone’s screen unlock, all these data points, when connected, surely give a powerful insight into our health, mood and potential at any point in time. Over time and with millions of people on this platform, it is safe to assume major new roads of inquiry would open in terms of global health.

The more you think about it like that, it is ludicrous that doctors aren’t demanding this data in order to make better decisions.


World “adopt an iPhone user” day!

We all have blind spots. In technology, we get excited about them too very often. Opinionated. Most times it doesn’t matter. People buy what they want to buy and find ways to convince themselves it was a good choice.

Especially if it costs more than a thousand bucks.

My partner was an iPhone user. Not one of those that just uses it as a phone and for posting selfies on Instagram. Due to her demanding work, she really puts it through its paces, uses many apps for many parts of her life. And then she met me. With a 250 dollar “flagship killing” Chinese Android smartphone that kicked the iPhone’s ass on every front.

First it was the wifi. “Alex, how come your phone is already connected and mine is struggling?” Don’t know hon, maybe because Apple has always been a walled garden technologically? “OK, let’s say they do it for some internal political or security reason. But why does your phone see eight wifi networks and mine struggles to see three from the exact same location?”

Then it was the signal. I mean the actual “I need to use the phone” connection. On the same provider, from the same location. I am loud and clear, whizzing at 4G speeds on my browser and not even the ghost of Steve Jobs holding the iPhone “correctly” could save this poor device.

Even I, the great iPhone hater, the person that has ranted against Apple since 1981 more or less without a toilet break, thought it must be the device. Maybe it is faulty. Try a hard format. Try changing the device. Nope. Nada. Even if you uninstall dozens of apps and have it running as “clean” and lite as possible, the iPhone is no match.

Do you care? Well, unless you are next to me, you won’t notice. My PocoF1, an old phone by now, only scores 91 on DXOmark for its camera, the iPhone should be blasting me with its fantastic camera, shouldn’t it? Well it doesn’t. Because I have flexibility. And sure, theoretically, a well informed iPhone user has options in software and add-ons to make feature films and masterpieces. But the Apple mentality is “keep it simple stupid” and that is what the users end up being. Stupid. I could go through hundreds (literally) things like that. Plug an Android phone into your computer, drag and drop mp3s, documents or movies to your memory card. Watch them cringe with envy as you say “damn, that 256GB cost me almost 30 bucks!” Anything an iPhone does, an Android does better, faster, cheaper or for free and with more options. Even if you are rich, even if you have zero time to think about your smartphone, some of these are important to your life. Important to real things that make a real difference. Sure you can work around them. You can ignore them. You can be, well, stupid.

No pressure from me, my partner switched to Android. Now we marvel how much better the GPS is, how I can guess where she is on the plane as our Location Sharing becomes amazingly useful rather than the vague blob it was before. She has a 4000mAh battery and doesn’t have to carry cables, adaptors and worry about running out of juice all the time. Working seamlessly with Google Calendar, Keep, Gmail, Photos, Docs and all the other truly amazing free services from Google improves life instantly and effortlessly. And what she is starting to understand as the phone learns around her Google account is just how well Android adapts to your life and interests.

An occasional Google user, through Gmail and even Chrome if you use it instead of Safari, really isn’t experiencing Google magic. My phone usually knows what I want to do or learn within two or three moves of my finger. That is why I gladly give Google whatever it needs to know about me, my life is infinitely better, more productive and hassle-free. Tim Cook was wrong to start using privacy as a differentiating factor. Not only is Apple as guilty as everyone else in this respect, but it risks making Apple AI and Apple devices even more stupid than they are right now compared to Google.

So adopt an iPhone user. If you love somebody, set them free from Apple blindspots and show them how the rest of the world, even in poor parts of the world, even with sub 200 dollar smartphones, the world is coming together to celebrate the marvels of information-done-right AI productivity.


Why do Pixel phones exist? (and how they just hurt Apple in revenge big time)

I never cease to amaze how wrong tech writers get some things. For years now I read about how Google has failed with Pixel phones, “never quite got it right”, “hasn’t got market share” and other such comparisons with companies that are nothing like Google.

Pixel phones were never meant to sell a lot. That would be suicidal. Google is not a hardware company. (Yet) And if it becomes one, it will not be from selling phones that the profits will come. Google sells ads. Everything else is an enticing freebie. To get you to buy ads.

Case in point, Android. The dominant superpower of smartphones globally. Unless you live in a bubble in the West Coast, New York ….or the magazines and tech blogger world. They write about a company with less than 1/10th of the market share globally, as if it is an equally powerful opponent. It is a rerun of the PCs vs Mac “wars” of the past. Again, a completely insignificant market share of Macs was held up so antitrust authorities and whoever doesn’t like monopolies could pretend Microsoft had an opponent.

But Google needed to find a way to control the ecosystem. They tried Nexus, they tried Google One (Google Go, whatever) and they tried Google Pixel. They don’t want to sell million of phones. They want to sell just enough to goad the rest of the market in the right direction. Everyone now talks about a “clean Android” experience as a major selling point. Bloatware on Samsung and other market leaders has gone down dramatically. You are either with Google or …well, with Google but they let you add a twist here and there in case you come up with something innovative.

Enter the Pixel3a. Now that is something different and mysterious. So far they artificially kept Pixel prices high so as not to antagonize other Android manufacturers. Here we have a different story. This is revenge. The product launched just as Tim Cook had decided to make privacy a major selling point on iOS. And with the launch of one device, Google kicked him back in the groin. Just as millions of iPhone users are wondering if it is worth spending 1000 bucks on a new device, the Pixel3a offers premium everything at 400.

Google will not pursue it further. You can be sure that there will be problems with availability and all the other excuses they have used in the past years to purposely stop Pixel and Nexus devices from eating up market share from Google’s Android partners. Tim Cook seems to be backing down on his privacy-based effort to differentiate Apple products. If he doesn’t, Google can easily wipe more value off his company by launching a Pixel 4a or shelling out Amazon Prime day offers for the 3a at 300 bucks or whatever it takes to demolish all that magic dust Apple took years to rub onto their overpriced devices. Google doesn’t even need to make another mid-priced phone. They have just officialized the category. Xiaomi and other manufacturers can now capitalize on it.

It is a great example of how a company loses focus and fails. Apple is too big to fail of course, more an international currency than the dollar. But some of us, in times like this, get a glimpse at just how well a behemoth such as Google can play the monopoly game with style.

Oh, and grab a Pixel 3a, it really is a stunning device for that sort of money.


The retards over at Apple

I am pretty sure that word gets all politically correct bells ringing so let me explain: it took Apple users almost a decade to figure out how useful wireless Bluetooth is. They are permanently retarded in their adoption of technology, always waiting for Apple to tell them what to do, like well schooled, but ignorant, infants.

I remember thinking this about a decade ago when I was excited about my Gear4 Bluetooth headphones. They had A2DP and I know this nerdy acronym because back then I had to mention it and insist at stores while I explained that A2DP meant stereo Bluetooth basically. Ten years ago.

Yesterday I listened to the New York Times popcast about AirPods. I pitied them. These are highly intelligent people, writing for the peak of global media, influencing millions around the world. And their list of excuses was pathetic. “Sure the sound quality is not good but I don’t listen to much music really” or “it is ok for calls and music is just for drowning background noise for me”.

It got even worse while discussing the planned obsolescence. “Yeah, they will probably die one day after their warranty” or “it is cheaper to buy new ones than repair them”. These people are resigned to Apple like some sort of tax. One poor woman bought a pair that didn’t work and then bought another pair which also didn’t work with her phone! Is that the definition of a hopeless loser or what? Almost everyone agreed that the AirPods look horrible, geeky or just plain stupid, one hides them under her hair.

Worse still, the only positive they could think of about the specific devices was the “seamless experience”. This refers to the fact that Apple, as usual, didn’t follow Bluetooth properly but tweaked it. Bluetooth has been around since 1994 and the A2DP profile mandated the use of the SBC audio codec as a minimum, rather than enforcing the direct transfer of other audio standards like mp3, mwa, and aac. Even though these are supported, the teams making protocols try to get everyone aboard so consumers don’t need to worry about incompatibilities. Unless those consumers are retards of course.

While I was enjoying my wireless headphone Bluetooth freedom these past years, iPhone users waited for Apple to “reinvent” the accessory. Apple has a tiny percentage of the smartphone market, yet in their little bubbles, the users think they are advanced. The entire planet moves along without them. Retarded. Sorry, no better word to describe the pathetic bunch of people that slavishly follow the Apple path to a walled garden dead end.

Business Technology

Huawei ban is a joke and so is the cheap Pixel

You just don’t get it, do you?

The tech world also has cliches. And if you have been around long enough they stand out. Apple as an opponent is a big one. When Microsoft ruled the world, they made it look as if a company with less than 7% market share was the opponent. That way they could pretend not to be a monopoly.

Google is copying that strategy. Inundating us with ads comparing the new, affordable Pixel to an iPhone. Yeah, right, sure, anything you say. Android is running billions of phones all over the world while iPhones are relevant only in a few countries or even cities. Or maybe just the posh neighborhoods within those cities. Google owns the AI, the data and the tech. Apple is buying up 2 companies a month trying to catch up as always.
Google does not even want to sell many Pixel phones, they never did. Pixel phones are just a way of kicking the rest of the Android ecosystem in the butt. The cheap Pixel is also a shot across the bow at Tim Cook for him talking crap about privacy.

There is of course absolutely no justification for what Donald Trump did to Huawei. Not that the Chinese are not terrible at stealing intellectual property and ripping off stuff. They are also likely to be trying to spy on us through their tech. But hitting Huawei is no solution. Why not Xiaomi too? Or any number of other Chinese manufacturers for that matter. And why just tech? They copy, steal and might be up to nasty spying with all sorts of other things they produce. Maybe even toys. Apple and Google met with Trump. He made them both promise to spend gazillions on new offices so that he could talk about new jobs in America. That is how it works.

Donald Trump does not understand what the late great master of propaganda Steve Jobs and his teacher Bill Gates knew well. His heavy-handed approach and erratic moves to please either his corporate friends or Russian blackmailers are ruining the facade so carefully built over many years.

Running a monopoly is not the hard part. Pretending it is not a monopoly is the real game.


The incredible power of not seeing what you don’t like anymore

Sometimes as I tidy the house or while looking for something else, I find something the kids have made.  These days it is mainly my ever creative daughter. It is often touching. So I might stand there with a little “i love u dad” note in my hand crying.  It isn’t the joy of parenthood I think, it is the surprise reminder of how strong emotions run within us, a pent up bottle of fizzy information we keep forgetting.

Like many other NBA fans, this year I stopped watching.  Somewhere between the Warriors’ dominance and LeBron not making the play offs I lost motivation to spend any more of my precious time following the NBA.  Bear in mind that this is the business I have help up as a shining example to follow. The best storytellers in the world, what marketers should emulate, God’s gift to all of us.  I have written articles, analysis and done podcasts telling everyone to follow the NBA and analyse its every move. I honestly believe it is not only the best sport to follow but also the best organization and media savvy institution to analyze and learn from.

But I have had enough.  I need to move on. So I want to cut out the NBA in order to learn something else.  If I am watching live matches when I wake up at 4am (Greek time), I am not reading a new book.  And this is when I realised how much power these new tools give me.

I just tuned the NBA out of my life.

First of all I went to google settings and removed it from my interests.  That pretty much solved a lot of the ways scores popped up on my phone. Same with news, I just removed the topic from the (excellent) Google News app.  “Not interested”. It didn’t even feel like a major ceremony, two taps and it was gone. YouTube needed a little more help and guidance. I had to tell it I wasn’t interested in 7-8 videos and then click to remove the channels.  Sorted.

For someone deeply immersed in everything NBA for the past 2 years it was surprisingly easy.  I feel like one of those people who quit smoking and then say “oh, it was just a decision”. Only it is even easier.  The NBA simply doesn’t exist around me anymore. Unless I walk into a sports bar and it is playing on the TVs, or some friend posts about it, I simply don’t see it anywhere.  The equivalent for my savana dwelling ancestors would be to tap twice on a baobab tree and make all baobab trees instantly disappear from their line of sight.

We read enough complaints about our digital world, how we are inundated with information, much of it useless or confusing.  Here is my – very real – objection. Never in the history of homo sapiens have we been able to control our informational environment as much as now.  What many consider a disadvantage , the fact that I check my phone a million times a day, the fact that Google owns me, all this is simply fantastic when you are ever so slightly disciplined enough to tell it what you want to see around you.

It is also very exciting.  Can’t wait to learn something new.  And as my kids grow up and stop surprising me with notes around the house, I am pretty sure the rest of this vibrant digital planet will do something similar for me.