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Lorenzo Gritti

Good afternoon.

Net Positive

The Apple icons you see today have surprisingly ancient roots. Susan Kare designed the icons for Apple’s first computer, the Macintosh; many are still in use today. To create these early icons, Kare drew inspiration from surprising sources, from Swedish campgrounds to ancient hieroglyphics.

The Apple icons you see today have surprisingly ancient roots

This is so cool—the friendly design of early Apple icons made computers much more appealing to consumers.

The internet, contrary to how many of us think of it, is not a self-propagating entity—it’s created and shaped by humans. Susan has had an outsized impact in the way we experienced the web, both in its early days and today.

Investors’ unicorn problem

What comes after the iPhone?

Can Apple do it again? The iPhone turned Apple from a successful computer company into the world’s most profitable consumer electronics operation. But as this Quartz member exclusive shows, its success could also spell Apple’s undoing.

Can Apple do it again?

Apple is at crossroads. It revolutionized the way we communicate with the iPhone nearly 13 years ago, but its longtime cash cow has started to waver. Apple has a host of new bets in the works, some that could also change the world as the iPhone did. But will any of them actually be able to do it?

Apple is currently a perfect example of a business case where a company which itself creates a high bar that it become de facto standard and is now at crossroads as it hasn't been able to repeat its same success.

Consumers are looking for beyond mobile phone for sure. Hence very interesting to watch

Apple is currently a perfect example of a business case where a company which itself creates a high bar that it become de facto standard and is now at crossroads as it hasn't been able to repeat its same success.

Consumers are looking for beyond mobile phone for sure. Hence very interesting to watch as to how they would turn it around by either building a full ecosystem of products/services or new revolutionary ideas.

I don't think apple will be able to come up with a product as influential as the Iphone was to its quarterly revenue. The focus should really be on the apple ecosystem (apple pay, music, tv...etc). This would mean selling the iphone at an even cheaper price to allow users to embrace apple services. This

I don't think apple will be able to come up with a product as influential as the Iphone was to its quarterly revenue. The focus should really be on the apple ecosystem (apple pay, music, tv...etc). This would mean selling the iphone at an even cheaper price to allow users to embrace apple services. This is the most sensible strategy in the near term while they work on the next big thing which may not be big after all.

I see hope that Apple will soon re-imagine the mobile device again. Consumers are craving a new way, simpler method of connecting and communicating. Stagnant iPhone growth shows that we’ve hit a wall of all the doo dads and new wrappers that simply boost the current experience. But I see a glimmer of

I see hope that Apple will soon re-imagine the mobile device again. Consumers are craving a new way, simpler method of connecting and communicating. Stagnant iPhone growth shows that we’ve hit a wall of all the doo dads and new wrappers that simply boost the current experience. But I see a glimmer of change with Apple’s introduction of screen time, grayscale, health monitoring, which potentially forecasts the company’s testing of a new experience that combats the addictive tech dependencies and negative impacts of its tentpole product. Holding out hope for a re-imagining as Apple approaches an anniversary year :)

Apple’s streaming service is surrounded by questions. We know that Apple TV+ will cost $4.99, that it’ll launch on Nov. 1 with eight original series, and that it won’t have ads. But most of the rest is still a mystery.

Trying to dominate TV is like nothing Apple has ever done before

It is smart to offer the service at $5/month...

I am not convinced that Apple will dominate original content out of the gate. It would depend heavily upon personnel. Everyone loves to festoon Netflix and Amazon with developmental praise but from what I’ve seen, most of their best content is leftovers

It is smart to offer the service at $5/month...

I am not convinced that Apple will dominate original content out of the gate. It would depend heavily upon personnel. Everyone loves to festoon Netflix and Amazon with developmental praise but from what I’ve seen, most of their best content is leftovers from things developed elsewhere. I truly believe that unless you bring on the behind-the-scenes creatives, your front-of-house content will not have the same depth and stamina boasted by the long term heavy hitters like HBO. Not to mention half of what Netflix distributes was created entirely independent of the studio, which is cool and great but doesn’t prove that the newcomers have the secret sauce recipe. It just indicates they can recognize another’s well conceived ideas and then distribute them, which is a very smart way to build your catalogue and brand loyalty while waiting for the truly original content to resonate. Apple doesn’t have a catalogue and the current trend of pulling libraries is likely to continue.

Apple did right to bring over some great industry heavy hitters but imagining yourself as a direct competitor of HBO is a bit like me taking my first novel to Random House.

Democratic debate watch

Twelve (possibly angry) Democrats are on stage in Ohio. The remaining candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination take part in the fourth debate of the campaign, Reuters reports, and the first since the start of an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.

Factbox: Six things to watch at the Democratic debate in Ohio

If the candidates do sound angry and focus on foreign policy it will make a good change from earlier events when they just sounded like insurance sales people. still, I think Biden will have trouble tonight because though he may have done nothing wrong, being at the heart of Trump’s Ukraine dealings hasn’t made him appealing.

Sports get political

In sport, society and geopolitics, we have LeBron James... The Los Angeles Lakers star has waded into the row between the NBA and China by saying Houston’s Daryl Morey “wasn’t educated about the situation at hand” when he tweeted support for the Hong Kong protesters, ESPN reports.

LeBron: Rockets' Morey 'wasn't educated' on China tweet

LeBron on China.

A profound embarrassment.

But at least he’s saying it as a Laker.

Lebron is a brilliant man, but even he is not immune to motivated reasoning. There is a lot of the money on the line for Lebron in deciding his stance on the Hong Kong protests, and my guess is that he will find any evidence that helps him believe that Morey wasn't educated on the matter.

The escalating Syria conflict

China’s culture wars

China’s propaganda app can snoop into users’ phones. The Chinese Communist Party bills its app as a fun educational tool. But it can learn the habits of more than 100 million users.

An app to teach Xi Jinping thought can study the phones of its 100 million users

Funny, you’d figure the CCP would have co-opted Weibo to do exactly the same thing - but with a great many more users. Of course, there is nothing that says it hasn’t done that also. More of the same from China’s all glorious, just and far seeing Communist Party.

It might be the end of the last online sanctuary for China’s liberals. For years alternative thinkers found a refuge on a platform that appeared to pass under the radar because of its relatively small size. Now its users fear its days are numbered.

“We feel like cyber-refugees”: The decline of the last online sanctuary for China’s liberals

Imagine your FB timeline starting from one day the only updates showing up are your own posts. Everyone else’s stopped on Oct. 5/6. It feels like a time freeze. Having been a Douban user for a decade, I’m empathetic to the platform—at least the “pause” is temporary, the broadcast function will resume, the site will continue.

Come back soon

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Marvel Comics co-creator Stan Lee dies at the age of 95

Marvel Comics co-creator Stan Lee dies at the age of 95

Read more on Comicbook.com

From Our Members

  • My brother and I started collecting comic books in the late 70’s, when people were still throwing out copies of silver age comic books or selling them a nickel a piece at flea markets. We were attracted to Marvel as a brand: Stan Lee created living, breathing characters in comparison to DC’s stuffy

    My brother and I started collecting comic books in the late 70’s, when people were still throwing out copies of silver age comic books or selling them a nickel a piece at flea markets. We were attracted to Marvel as a brand: Stan Lee created living, breathing characters in comparison to DC’s stuffy, cardboard superheroes.

    Behind Stan Lee’s Iron Man was a drunk with a failing heart. Behind his SpiderMan was a troubled teenager who had lost his parents and uncle. Even Thor and Silver Surfer, who each spoke like washouts from an Elizabethan theater troupe, were relatable characters.

    Lee understood that the way to make them important was to give the most powerful creatures in the universe feet of clay, while fitting them into Joseph Campbell’s hero cycle.

    He also had a knack for finding the greatest artistic talent the comic world has and will ever see: Ditko, Kirby, Kane, Miller and so many more...

    I loved Stan Lee’s work and agree with others that say his face belongs on the Mount Rushmore of American culture.

  • If there were a Mt. Rushmore of American culture, Stan Lee would be there alongside Mark Twain, John Ford, and Tennessee Williams. His importance to, well, everything touching entertainment and pop culture cannot be overstated. And to be fair, he didn’t do it in a vacuum. Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko

    If there were a Mt. Rushmore of American culture, Stan Lee would be there alongside Mark Twain, John Ford, and Tennessee Williams. His importance to, well, everything touching entertainment and pop culture cannot be overstated. And to be fair, he didn’t do it in a vacuum. Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko — iconic and legendary co-creators of Captain America/Hulk/Thor/Fantastic Four/Black Panther and Spider-Man/Dr. Strange — are just as important to Lee’s success as Lee himself. Still, his passing, while not unexpected, is decisively the end of an era that has lasted nearly 60 years.

  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Thank you Stan Lee for making my childhood and adulthood a better place. You taught us many life lessons through fantasy.

    This is a sad day for sure!

  • The cultural impact of Stan Lee and his work is enormous. RIP.

  • With great power comes great responsibility. Stan Lee was a master storyteller who created several universes for us all to visit and inhabit. May he Rest In Peace.

  • I am saddened by news of his passing. Stan Lee was a true legend and his characters were an integral part of my childhood. Saturday mornings were spent watching the Fantastic Four (loved Thing), Spider Man, and the Hulk with my brother over a bowl of Froot Loops. RIP Stan Lee.

  • Stanley Lieber never wanted to stop working, and I hope Hollywood finds a clever way to immortalize his cameo appearances so he never does.

    “Most people say, “I can’t wait to retire so I can play golf,” or go yachting or whatever they do. Well, if I was playing golf, I would want that to finish so

    Stanley Lieber never wanted to stop working, and I hope Hollywood finds a clever way to immortalize his cameo appearances so he never does.

    “Most people say, “I can’t wait to retire so I can play golf,” or go yachting or whatever they do. Well, if I was playing golf, I would want that to finish so I could go and dream up a new TV show.” S.L.

  • My heart fell right to my stomach when this notification appeared. Honestly unbelievable. We wanted him to live forever.

  • All those years of hard work. All of that entertainment. All of those wonderful hours that my children and I would spend watching the cartoons, playing the video games, watching the movies and his interviews. What an enormous legacy. This guy will be missed. I am sad.

  • Watching new Marvel movies just won't be the same without Stan Lee Cameos. A great man.

  • It's sad to see him go. I hope the "one above all" will take care of him.

  • It's strange to have an emotional connection to a person you've never met, but whose presence and work had such a profound impact on your life and formative years. Despite my ebullience and larger than life personality (read: loud and opinionated), I spent a lot of my childhood and early teens alone

    It's strange to have an emotional connection to a person you've never met, but whose presence and work had such a profound impact on your life and formative years. Despite my ebullience and larger than life personality (read: loud and opinionated), I spent a lot of my childhood and early teens alone with my skateboard, comic books and whimsical space fantasies. I remember the Guardians of the Galaxy when Starhawk was their leader, when Spiderman allowed J Jonah Jameson to search Peter Parker's apartment for proof he was the webslinger (favorite line from Jameson: "Decorated in 'early-disgusting.') The way the X-Men were multicultural before anyone used the word. How Nightcrawler brought dignity to being "the other". Many like myself dove into comics to find answers to questions we were afraid to ask our peers, our parents, our teachers, and ultimately, ourselves. Stan Lee and the Marvel bullpen offered not just one pat answer, but multiple answers and forced us to ask ourselves questions about who we are and what we could be. When we see the characters brought to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's our dreams made real, the dreams of Stan Lee who taught us that one person could make a difference.

  • The best way to describe Stan Lee’s legacy is to acknowledge the influence of superheroes in mainstream media. He was that kind of stubborn man who always get away, even with murder, just because his vision helped to shape a new era of entertainment, lead by the most powerful army in the world: the fans.

  • Stan Lee made it safe, fun, and cool to be weird while providing generations with hope and years of entertainment. Thank you Stan.

  • RIP Stan...

  • One of the reasons his characters were such a hit was because they blended extraordinary powers with very ordinary and everyday kinds of problems. They could scale tall buildings, but also worried about things like dandruff and relationship troubles. Relatable superheroes, even though that sounds like an oxymoron.

  • Nooo...what a loss. My thoughts and prayers to his loved ones.

  • Thank you, Mr Lee for my childhood Saturday morning memories. The world was better with you in it. In today’s hate filled society, you offered an escape, if only for the length of a movie.

  • Many thanks to a real-life superhero who transformed the comic book industry and taught us there are good things worth fighting for, and that we can use our creativity to bring people joy and to make the world better.

  • Legendary loss

  • What an incredible loss. This notification was the first I got, and following it, many heartfelt tributes. There are few who can say they touched as many lives as this man did. He was a legendary icon, a hero.

    RIP Stan Lee. Thank you for the memories. You will be sorely missed.

  • We tell our kids that hard work pays off, but that’s only half of it. Stan Lee worked extremely hard, as did his co-creators Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. But Lee understood the importance of self promotion, which is why he’s widely celebrated and mourned and the contributions of Kirby (co-creator of the

    We tell our kids that hard work pays off, but that’s only half of it. Stan Lee worked extremely hard, as did his co-creators Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. But Lee understood the importance of self promotion, which is why he’s widely celebrated and mourned and the contributions of Kirby (co-creator of the Fantastic Four, Avengers, Hulk, the X-Men and others) and Ditko (Spider-Man and Dr. Strange) are known mainly to die-hard fans. Lee’s showmanship helped Marvel’s characters become household names, while lifting his profile as well. His name was in every Marvel comic, even years after he stopped writing them, he narrated cartoons on TV, and famously had cameo appearances in all the Marvel movies. There was nothing fraudulent about Lee’s self-promotional zeal; it seemed to flow naturally from his energy and enthusiasm. More than ever, our culture (and politics) rewards celebrity, and Lee’s instinct for publicity was ahead of his time. History remembers those who write themselves into the history books.

  • Sad times, such a great and humble man with imagination that will continue to entertain and enlighten for generations to come.

  • May God rest his soul. He made an impact in society. His legacy will live on.

  • I am not ok with this. Why is this a thing that happened? It's just not acceptable that the universe does these things.

    At least he is immortal in the Marvel-verse

  • The achievement he left behind is too big. RIP.

  • I just wanna say thank you for creating the great Marvel World.

  • RIP Stan. The MCU won’t be the same without you

  • Really enjoy the Marvel world you created and it makes my childhood and even adulthood a better place! Missing so much the surprising moment you show up in Marvel films... I believe you are going to bring the joy of Marvel to the heaven. RIP.

  • RIP. I didn't know who Stan Lee was until I started watching the Big Bang Theory (neither did Penny). Prediction: his passing will be mourned on a Big Bang episode, possibly in Stuart's comic book store. #stanlee #marvel #bigbangtheory

  • Stan Lee’s contributions to American pop culture are matched by extraordinarily few. Saddened by his passing, but also remembering that his legacy will live on and keep delighting others for generations to come.

  • From Baby Boomers to Millennials, He gave us hours of enjoyment, thrills, and escape. Rest In Peace Stan Lee.

  • RIP STAN

  • Wow is very sad for all those u watch those movies

  • What an incredible legacy he leaves. RIP to the original True Believer

  • Thank you for your creativity and ingenuity. Mr. Lee you will be missed.

  • You’re a legend Stan!!