Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tea Leaves: We Have A Deal; Nothing About The Bakken; Microsoft's Gobbledygook On Its Smart Phone; Joins The Zune; Syrian Army With Really Nice Uniforms -- July 8, 2015

As predicted (back on June 21, 2015), Greece won't let that $8.1 billion slip away. Not only that but Greece suggested extending the two-year bailout to three years. The Wall Street Journal is reporting:
Greece formally asked for a three-year bailout from the eurozone’s rescue fund Wednesday.
The letter is a first step toward fulfilling a demand by international creditors to come up with tougher measures in return for desperately needed financing that could keep the country from bankruptcy and even worse economic turmoil.
It says Greece will put in place tax-reform and pension-related measures by the beginning of next week, though it doesn’t go into detail. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said his government would present more concrete measures on Thursday by a midnight deadline.
I always said that Greece should simply promise that it would comply with reforms but not go into specifics. $8.1 billion for some vague promises. And a reminder, which seems everyone continues to overlook, Greece remains in default to the IMF.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on Europe.

Meanwhile In Los Angeles: Crime Surges

The Los Angeles Times reports:
For the first time in more than a decade, overall crime is up in Los Angeles through the first six months of the year, rising by about 12%, according to a Times analysis.
The increase has continued despite the city's efforts to stem the crime surge, which followed consecutive declines since 2003.
At the time, [Police Chief Charlie] Beck stressed that the incoming Metro officers had more progressive training and a different mission from the aggressive operations of the past. The new plan, he said, wasn’t to make more arrests. Instead, the increased officer presence was designed to send a message that the LAPD was nearby and ready to respond.
Los Angeles police motto: when seconds count, the LAPD is only minutes away.

And minimizing arrests seems to be the answer, taking a page from the Baltimore play book: give them space to destroy.

NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity Video

The Los Angeles Times has a nice 8-minute video of NASA's Mars rover Opportunity traversing the red planet from 2004 to 2015, eleven years to complete 26.2 miles.

I assume the cameras are mounted on the front and the rover is moving forward. If so, it's hard to explain the tracks ahead of the rover, for example at 1 minute, 24 seconds into the video and many, many other examples. Very likely, that track was made by the press team that was sent in advance to film the rover.

Apple Phones Clobber Samsung Phones In China

At least according to this article by a contributor to Seeking Alpha.
In calendar Q1 Apple's revenue for Greater China grew by 71% year-over-year to $16.8 billion. The sales growth in China accounted for over 56% of Apple's total revenue growth for the quarter.
Based on the expectations of prominent Apple analysts such as Katy Huberty and Steve Milunovich, Apple is likely to post another extraordinarily strong quarter.
Expectations are for iPhone unit sales of better than 50 million and total revenue of about $48 billion. Clearly Apple is on a totally different trajectory than Samsung, with iPhone unit sales up over 40% y/y and total revenue up by over 28%, if these expectations are met.
Kantar Worldpanel smartphone OS market share data indicates that most of this growth occurs in China.
And just as this news comes out that Apple phones are clobbering Samsung phones, it's not much better for Microsoft which announced it will cut 7,800 jobs, mostly from phone unit
Microsoft said on Wednesday that it would eliminate up to 7,800 jobs, more than 6 percent of its work force, in a major overhaul of its struggling smartphone business.
The company also said it would take a $7.6 billion accounting charge related to its acquisition of Nokia’s handset operations, a clear acknowledgment that Microsoft’s foray into the mobile hardware business had borne little fruit.
While Microsoft will not stop making smartphones, the company’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, said on Monday that Microsoft would no longer focus on the growth of its own smartphone business, instead emphasizing the expansion of the broad “ecosystem” of products, including mobile phones, that ran its Windows software.
“I am committed to our first-party devices, including phones,” Mr. Nadella said in an email to Microsoft employees. “However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention.
Gobbledygook for "we're screwed." Exactly what does that mean, "focus our phone efforts." Oh, cut 8,000 jobs.

The Wall Street Journal's take on Microsoft and smartphones

President Obama Spent $500 Million To Train Syrian Army

Recruited 60 soldiers.

$500 million / 60 = $8 million /  soldier.

But they have really nice uniforms. I can't make this stuff up.

For those folks who still support President Obama, they simply are not paying attention.

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