Apple announced the long-awaited modular Mac Pro yesterday. It's expensive, starting at $5000, but the faithful wanted some truly pro equipment and they got it. Even the 6k monitor to go with it is hard to fault at $4000, as there's nothing else out there to compete but for a plasticy 8k Dell that's only a little cheaper.
But $1000 for the stand? Even that was a little much for the audience at WWDC, whose collective gasp gave the presenter something to trip over.
Still, compare it to the roasting Steve Jobs got when he announced that Internet Explorer would be the default Mac browser:
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates made some comments this week on the 'tax the rich' ideas making the rounds in America.
Taxing the rich is fine, he said in an interview with The Verge, and "more progressive" taxes on the ultra rich are okay.
Gates then went on to characterize Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as an 'extreme' politician who is missing the point by focusing on targeting high income brackets. Read the rest
This fascinating infographic compares the values of various assets (gold, silver, cryptocurrency, real estate, stocks, and so on) by presenting each asset as a number of $100 billion squares.
All the global assets combined are dwarfed by the derivatives market.
The infographic includes this quote from Warren Buffett:
The derivatives genie is now well out of the bottle, and these instruments will almost certainly multiply in variety and number until some event makes their toxicity clear. Central banks and governments have so far found no effective way to control, or even monitor, the risks posed by these contracts. In my view, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.
(The infographic was made in 2017 when the market capitalization of bitcoin was $100 billion. It's now $60 billion.) Read the rest
Amazon, including subsidiaries such as Whole Foods and temp work programs, will pay $15 an hour or more to all its U.S. workers.
This comes as Amazon is facing increasing scrutiny over how its workers are treated and paid. Senator Bernie Sanders, for example, recently introduced legislation to end what he calls “corporate welfare” — and it’s pretty clear who he had in mind, since the bill was titled Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS).
Now unionize. Read the rest
For the first time, the most common US bill in circulation is the $100: these benjamins aren't being used to transact our daily business -- they're the preferred form of savings after a long spell of low inflation and nonexistent interest rates, when there are so many obvious reasons to distrust the banks. (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest
Making a living as an Uber or Lyft driver can be tough. An over saturated market, having too few people in need of your services, paying to maintain your ride and the high cost of gas can all take a serious bite out of a driver's bottom line. Read the rest
Walmart has been whining about Amazon drinking what it considers to be its milkshake for some time. Sucking cash out of the pockets of the same low-income earners that you pay just enough to keep alive is a seriously competitive business. With Amazon's online shopping dominance in North America has left Walmart’s brick-and-mortar empire only capable of making Scrooge McDuck money when it’s really Jeff Bezos money that they’re after. In an effort to top off their coffers, Walmart’s been pushing, hard, into catching up to Amazon in the area of online sales. Earlier this week, they announced a partnership with Microsoft that’ll ensure that Walmart’s online shopping experience is faster, more secure and a lot more reliable. Maybe it’ll help!
If not, plopping out yet another online video streaming service to compete against Amazon Prime video and, perhaps you’ve heard of it, a little thing called Netflix, will totally help them to make the crazy-hunting-man-because-he’s-the-most-dangerous-game cash that they’re so horny for.
From The Information (subscription required):
Discussions are still ongoing, and the retailer may eventually decide against offering a service. But Walmart executives believe their customers, particularly in the middle of America, would be interested in a lower-cost option than what is currently available, the person said. Netflix and Amazon are seen as more popular with people on the East and West Coasts of the U.S., one of the people said.
Yeah. No matter what middle America’s viewing habits might be, or how little they opt to charge for the privilege of watching Highway to Heaven on-demand, I don’t know that I trust Walmart to pull this off. Read the rest
Did you know the US Department of Treasury has a mutilated currency division? One of its jobs is to analyze stacks of paper currency that have been burned in a fire or chewed up by vermin. In this video, Eric Walsh, the assistant manager of the division, shows how they do their job. It looks like painstaking, but interesting, work. They reimburse about $40 million every year.
One six-year-old kid, one thousand dollars, one day to spend it.
The guys at Yes Theory gave Huck a cool grand in cash to spend on anything he wanted. Inspired by a scene in Home Alone, he starts with renting a limo. Then it's eating pizza in the limo and then it's taking the limo to the toy store. By the end of (what is a surprisingly heartwarming) video, he's got a bag full of candy and empty pockets (see what he did with the remainder of his cash).
America's health care is totally screwed up, Part Ten Gazillion: in many cases, the medicines your doctor prescribes are cheaper than the co-pay your health insurance charges, which means that if you just buy the meds instead of charging them to insurance, you save money. Read the rest
I've seen people in the US count money in nearly all these ways but perhaps certain methods are dominant in different countries. In any case, the Belarusian finger flip is new to me and rather impressive. Try doing that with your stinkin' bitcoins!
"70 People Reveal How To Count Money in Their Country" (Condé Nast Traveler) Read the rest