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LanceList - Issue #108

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Elon Musk; Apple’s Big Earnings Change; Sophia the Robot
 

LanceList

November 2 · Issue #108 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

Elon Musk; Apple’s Big Earnings Change; Sophia the Robot

Clicks
Elon speaks. As you know, I track Elon Musk quite closely for my daily podcast, 33 Million Miles to Mars. So this new, in-depth interview with Musk by Recode’s Kara Swisher was catnip for me. Is it packed with SpaceX, Tesla, and Boring news? (The last time I heard Swisher interview Musk, he announced Neuralink) No, but there are a lot of juicy bits. Elon explained his use and misuse of Twitter, how not all journalists are bad, and his surprising support for Space Force.
Elon Musk: The Recode interview - Recode Elon Musk: The Recode interview - Recode
Find another way. I like to track Apple’s Earnings and listening in on the calls (hosted by Tim Cook) that follow the reports, especially because there’s often so much hidden news or even hints of product direction. This week, after Apple posted strong revenue but basically flat iPhone sales, it made bigger-than-normal news by promising to pull iPhone unit sales numbers from future reports. This stunned me. The number of iPhones sold each quarter is essentially the benchmark we use to measure Apple as a company (they make so much money from them). But, as this article astutely notes, while the median price of iPhones goes up, those iPhone sales unit numbers are probably done growing, or at least growing they way they used to. (Mac and iPad numbers have declined for years, but Apple will still report them). Increasingly, the biggest growth driver has come from services. Still, it’s the end of an era and I will miss it.
 Apple will no longer report iPhone sales unit numbers - Business Insider
Apple will no longer report iPhone sales unit numbers - Business Insider
I, Robot. I want to like Sophia the robot. I’m a robotics fan, I dream of owning my own C-3PO, but I can’t warm up to Sophia. With her human-ish face, she skates along the edge of the uncanny valley. Sometimes, she’s fascinating to look at, other times, she’s a horror show. Sophia doesn’t walk or move very well at all, but from the neck up, she’s remarkably expressive, or should I say emotive. What’s never been clear to me, though, its how much the AI is driving Sophia’s responses and how much is driven by her creator, David Hanson, from behind a curtain. In any case, this video is illuminating.
How Sophia the robot copies human facial expressions - CNN Style How Sophia the robot copies human facial expressions - CNN Style
P.S. He’s still doing this?
Housekeeping
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