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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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Twitter wants to become an app for news

Twitter wants to become an app for news

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