Thursday, 27 June 2019

iPhone X Sales Collapse

ChannelNews in America has revealed Apple is facing hundreds of millions of dollars in penalty payments to Samsung because iPhone demand has fallen. Apple "demanded" that Samsung construct one of the world's biggest OLED manufacturing facilities exclusively for iPhone screens. Overconfidence of Tim Cook, not adjusting forecasts for trade wars nor a structural decline in global growth, has crushed Apple iPhone demand across the world and breached the contract of 100M OLED iPhone screens per year with Samsung.

While trade wars and lower global growth negatively weighed on iPhone demand, the price of the iPhone X also deterred consumers from upgrading. Apple responded by announcing the supplied Samsung OLED were "faulty" which sources say is a stalling tactic as lawyers are negotiating the fines. The drop in units for Apple iPhone X with an OLED screen is occurring at the same time the smartphone bubble is deflating. Even Samsung Galaxy smartphones are experiencing declining sales.

ETNews said Apple has started to work with LG Display for OLED panels, but analysts believe the move will result in less production capacity and more expensive OLED panels than Samsung. Apple has also invested in JDI (Japan Display) who will be manufacturing the company's LED panels in the near future.

It is hard to imagine how the largest corporation in the world [Apple] could make such a careless sales forecast of one of its most popular products that resulted in hefty fines. Nevertheless, what's more, baffling is how Apple could not see the cycle down of the global economy that started in 1Q18.

Monday, 24 June 2019


This morning on BBC Radio 4 Today programme Sir Nick Clegg was extolling the virtues of Facebook by promoting it's attempt at a clean-up, by passing the buck over to politicians saying "Mistakes have been made but laws and governance come from politicians".

An internal Facebook document reveals that the social media giant monitors its users' offline behaviour as part of how the company determines whether a person should be classified as a "Hate Agent," according to Breitbart's Allum Bokhari who has reviewed the document. Unfortunately Nick Robinson did not ask Sir Nick Clegg about this.

Titled "Hate Agent Policy Review," the document reveals that Facebook employs a series of "signals" which include a person's behaviour both on and off the platform. Once determined to be a "hate agent," a person is banned from the platform.

Facebook divides hate speech into three tiers depending on the severity of the offence.

Tier 1 attacks, which target a person or group of people who share one of the above-listed characteristics or immigration status [including all subsets except those described as having carried out violent crimes or sexual offenses], where attack is defined as

Any violent speech or support in written or visual form

Dehumanizing speech such as reference or comparison to:

Insects; Animals that are culturally perceived as intellectually or physically inferior; Filth, bacteria, disease, Sexual predator, Sub-humanity, Violent and sexual criminals, Other criminals [including but not limited to “thieves,” “bank robbers,” or saying “all are criminals”]; Mocking the concept, events or victims of hate crimes even if no real person is depicted in an image.

Tier 2 attacks, which target a person or group of people who share any of the above-listed characteristics, where attack is defined as; Statements of inferiority or an image implying a person's or a group's physical, mental, or moral deficiency; Physical; Mental; Moral; Expressions of contempt or their visual equivalent. Expressions of disgust or their visual equivalent. Cursing at a person or group of people who share protected characteristics.

Tier 3 attacks, which are calls to exclude or segregate a person or group of people based on the above-listed characteristics. We do allow criticism of immigration policies and arguments for restricting those policies.

If you have done any of the above over the past two years, Facebook considers it a 'hate signal.'

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

The price of Brexit

YouGuv published a poll which showed some amazing statistics.

The first result showed that the Tories would prefer Scotland to leave the Union rather than Brexit not happen.

The second was allowing significant damage to the UK economy rather than Brexit not happen, remember, this is speculation as no one can say whether the UK will rise or fall after Brexit as there is no evidence.

The third was leaving Northern Ireland, even though they have ALL constantly been saying this will never happen, it now appears they will give up Northern Ireland rather than Brexit not happen.

The fourth was the total destruction of the Conservative party! and yes, they will happily allow this rather than Brexit not happen.

The final statistic was Jeremy Corbyn being PM, this time they will happily allow Brexit to fail.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Tory Leadership Contest

So what have we learnt in the last week?

It started with 12 and now there are 6, what happened.

Matt Hancock
Mark Harper
Andrea Leadsom
Esther McVey
Penny Mordaunt
Amber Rudd

Anyone else notice that all the women are out!

In the first ballot of Conservative parliamentarians last week, former foreign secretary Johnson received 114 votes, more than double his nearest rival, the current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who received 43. Environment Secretary Michael Gove was in third place with 37 votes.

Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey were eliminated after receiving fewer than 17 votes, and Matt Hancock dropped out on Friday, saying he accepted that the party was not looking for a “fresh face”.

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart has become a surprise star of the race, rising to second place this week. He was named the winner of Channel 4's debate.

Who is left? [in alphabetical order]

Michael Gove
Jeremy Hunt
Sajid Javid
Boris Johnson
Dominic Raab
Rory Stewart

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Deal with Mexico

It would appear that Donald Trump's tariff threat worked.

Donald Trump had announced the tariff threat in response to a surge in illegal migration to the U.S. through Mexico this year. More than 144,000 people were apprehended after illegally crossing the southern border in May or were refused entry to the U.S. That’s the most in a single month in at least five years; the number has grown every month since January.

Have tariffs become an official weapon for Donald Trump to achieve his geopolitical goals? It would appears so. As Bloomberg notes, US negotiators had been asking Mexico since the election of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in July 2018 to do more to stop the flow of migrants. But it was only in the past week, under the threat of tariffs, that they felt Mexico had begun negotiating seriously, according to a U.S. official.

Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, who was in the Washington for the talks, said in a tweet that the tariffs wouldn’t be imposed, giving his “Thanks to everyone who has supported us by realizing the greatness of Mexico" and adding previously that the country was prepared to deploy about 6,000 guard troops. And the country already has been hosting asylum seekers while their cases were being processed.

While the U.S. had originally demanded that Central American migrants apply for asylum in Mexico instead of the U.S, Mexico beat back that demand. Also, there was no formal language related to increased purchases of U.S. agricultural products, as Trump promised on Twitter, but on Saturday he used Twitter to announce, in call capital letters, Mexico’s buying plans without providing details.

As Bloomberg further notes, this was not the first time the president has faced criticism over his stance on tariffs. What made this time different was just how alone Trump was in his position. The list of opponents to the idea was long: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, farm groups, automakers and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who took the rare step of saying publicly he disagreed with the president. Additionally, opposition to the tariff threat was present even within the Trump administration as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly opposed them, as did Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the New York Times reported.

Shortly after the announcement, relieved Republicans quickly rallied around the president for securing the deal and suggested this could clear the way for Congress to approve the new trade deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, known as the USMCA.

Monday, 10 June 2019


In the 5th century Socrates said "The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

Does that ring a bell?

Do we believe that indulgent parenting, educational strategies or technological addiction have produced a generation of people who simultaneously have an overinflated sense of self-worth and a lack of the patience required to achieve their goals,  individuals willing to ban anyone who says anything that hurts their feelings, and a bunch of people who indulge in politically correct nonsense on campus instead of entering the real world and getting a job.

Politically their view seems to go in the opposite direction, as they overwhelming throw their support behind one-size-fits-all public bodies like the National Health Service and state-managed schools over healthcare reform and free schools. But why is this the case?

The reason is the extremely justifiable anger coursing through young people today due to the political choices of previous generations. They are the ones who will be picking up the tab for benefits they are unlikely to ever receive.

Technology has also allowed people to become very insular, gaming on PC's rather than as a group, communicating via social media on mobiles, the joke where two people on a park bench talk to each other via phones is no longer funny but realistic.

How long before we return to extended family groups being the norm?

Thursday, 6 June 2019

D Day 75

A very poignant morning has taken place in Normandy today [6-June-2019] to celebrate the day that started the invasion [the locals prefer liberation] of Europe to end World War two.

After Bucking Palace, banquets, tours of London and Portsmouth, President Donal Trump is currently in Ireland while President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Theresa May are in Normandy for the anniversary. There was an interesting statement from President Macron presumably hinting at Brexit "Leaders come and go. But the work they do continues and the power of our link goes beyond the events of a given moment."

One point highlighted this morning was the types of casualties, not just British soldiers, Canadian, Australian, American, but the French civilians, because Normandy had been bombarded all night by the battleships in the channel, and they continued this bombardment for days after the initial landing. We have records of the soldiers lost from all the nations but not an accurate figure of the civilian loss.

Queen Elizabeth II also hinted at the banquet three days ago that after the war various countries made a commitment to prevent such events by sticking together "While the world has changed, we are forever mindful of the original purpose of these structures: nations working together to safeguard a hard won peace." as organisations like NATO seem to be struggling today in a fractious society.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Plea from The White Helmets

We are rescue workers, medics and humanitarians struggling right now to save our people from relentless Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes. In eight years, we have never witnessed such ferocious attacks on Idlib. We are devastated that the world has turned its back on us.

We fear that the full-scale military assault we have been dreading has begun. In the past two weeks alone, 169 civilians have been killed, 30 of them children. 16 hospitals and medical facilities have been bombed with patients still being treated inside. On Sunday, three hospitals were destroyed in the space of just three hours. Kafranbel Surgical Hospital alone was bombed four times with only three to five minutes between each airstrike. Injured and sick, our patients had to run for their lives, some of them with their IVs still attached.

Already, one White Helmet volunteer has died in a double-tap strike when an airplane bombed a house and then circled back to bomb the people that had gathered to help. Separately, one of the White Helmets’ main warehouses was targeted and dozens of ambulances as well excavation vehicles used to lift people out of the rubble were destroyed. We feel responsible for the communities we serve and increasingly helpless with every blow to our capacity to save lives.

Time and time again we’ve witnessed attacks by the Syrian regime and Russia on hospitals and civil defence centres ahead of major escalations. We’ve seen it in Aleppo, East Ghouta, Daraa, and elsewhere. After those offensives, residents were forcibly displaced to Idlib — this time the people of Idlib have nowhere left to flee. With the Turkish borders closed to them, people are sleeping in the open air, without shelter.

The areas we are operating in are covered by a Russian and Turkish demilitarisation agreement that is supposed to protect civilians. But civilians are not being protected, they are being hunted. The whole time we are pulling survivors from the rubble, they are screaming the names of their children or parents or siblings and asking us if they are alive. In ambulances and in hospitals, we have the terrible job of informing them that their loved ones are dead. Many end up wishing they hadn’t made it. We are physically and emotionally exhausted and worry that the worst is yet to come.

To humans everywhere, we ask you to bear witness and spread the word about what’s happening in Idlib. Share our letter and send it to your politicians and journalists you might know.

To the guarantors of the demilitarisation agreement and members of the UN Security Council, we hold you accountable for every civilian life lost and demand you uphold your responsibility to stop the bombs.

To donor governments, we ask you to immediately allocate funding to allow the organisations on the ground to respond to the humanitarian crisis.


Medics, humanitarians and White Helmets in northwest Syria