Apple's most expensive iPhone ever might also be its shortest lived. A report from Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities predicts Apple will end production of the iPhone X after shipping 18 million devices in the first quarter of 2018, per AppleInsider. If confirmed, and we should point out that "Kuo has a very impressive and accurate track record when it comes to Apple's plans, the decision would mark the first time Apple has opted to kill an iPhone before its first birthday. So what's up? Kuo blames poor sales in China. In a second report obtained by MacRumors, he also cites fears that the iPhone X, offered at a reduced price, would hurt sales of new Apple devices this fall. An analysis from Canalys finds the iPhone X performed "slightly below industry expectations" over the last three months of 2017. Still, if Apple were to slash the price of the iPhone X by $150 (as it has with other year-old models), that $849 phone might tempt buyers away from a second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X and a 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus rumored to be offered this fall starting at $999. More likely, though, it would affect sales of a rumored 6.1-inch iPhone starting at $799. Apple will be pushing this phone over the iPhone X as it's expected to include a cheaper LCD screen. (Mashable)
We'll Have Steak and Water. That'll Be $1,350 Please.
Four Japanese tourists were reportedly taken to the cleaners by a Venice restaurant, and now authorities are investigating. Reportedly, the tourists ordered four steaks, a platter of grilled fish and just mineral water to drink. The spot near St. Mark's Square reportedly charged them $1,350 for the meal; they paid the tab then filed a complaint. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro pledged to get to the bottom of the matter saying, "If this shameful episode is confirmed, we'll do all we can to punish those responsible. We are for justice, always!" However, other reports claim the group ordered hearty "Fiorentine" cuts of beef, that the fish dish was sized to serve four, and that they drank aperitifs and pricey Amarone wine. A rep for the unnamed restaurant is said to have told local media that he had "no recollection of any problems with Japanese customers." Man, that guy must be watching a lot of America senate hearings. "I do not recall... " (ANSA)
Kid Complains About Bullying. Then Kills Herself.
While suspended from school for an alleged fight, 12-year-old Gabriella "Gabbie" Green walked into her mother's bedroom on Jan. 10 to complain about "girl drama" and the "particularly heavy" harassment and bullying she was receiving from classmates. Forty minutes later, she killed herself. Now, two Panama City, Florida 12-year-olds have been charged with cyberstalking. After an investigation involving cellphone data and social media activity, police say two 12-year-olds admitted to behavior they knew would cause Gabbie emotional distress. Gabbie's mother, Tanya Green, who identifies the suspects as a male and female, describes the charges as "gratifying," but she and Gabbie's dad say parents and the school system are really to blame. Tanya and Shane Green allege their daughter was bullied by students and teachers at Surfside Middle School almost as soon as the family moved to Panama City in October 2016. One February 2017 report notes a student was accused of threatening to fight Gabbie. Though the complaint was found to be unsubstantiated, Gabbie's parents say the bullying only escalated until students were encouraging their daughter to kill herself. Gabbie's father recalls, "I said, 'Someone's going to end up dead. I never thought this would come to fruition." The school calls Gabbie's suicide "an absolutely tragic situation" but says it followed procedure in regard to the bullying complaint. It notes counseling was ordered for the students involved, who were also told to avoid contact in person and online. (Panama City News Herald)
America's Ten Most Hated Companies
If you've ever felt neglected, ignored, or even scammed by a company, well, 24/7 Wall St. has figured out who's the very best at being the very worst. The site looked at a variety of consumer surveys, using three main criteria: customer service, financial performance, and how happy workers are. From that they determined the top ten worst companies in America. Some have been dogged by headline-making scandals, while others are simply plagued by bad service, shoddy security of customer data, or even "deceitful" business practices. And here they are:
- Spirit Airlines
- Vice Media
- Foxconn Technology Group
- Electronic Arts
- University of Phoenix
- Fox Entertainment Group
(24/7 Wall Street)
And Suddenly Democrats Love "W"
A lot can change in nine years, as the latest CNN poll on presidential popularity demonstrates. While having one of the lowest approval ratings in history when he left office, some 61% of Americans now give George W. Bush a favorable rating. That's a far cry from the 33% rating he had when he moved out of the White House. Most surprisingly, the rise in popularity comes entirely from Democrats and independents: Some 54% of Democrats now give Bush a thumbs-up, compared to just 11% in 2009. Bush's approval rating among Republicans has fluctuated over the years, but it now stands at 76%, the same as when he left office. The poll, conducted by SSRS, found that Barack Obama has a 66% favorable rating, while President Trump is well below both ex-presidents at 40%. Much of the shift in Bush's popularity comes from nonwhite voters and people under 35, groups that tended to give him low marks during his presidency. That may have something to do with the fact that Bush has given several speeches criticizing Trumpism. "Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication," he said in a speech last fall. "Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children." In the CNN poll, 59% said Trump's actions and statements since becoming president have caused them to lose confidence in his ability to govern. (CNN)
So Sad, So Sad, So Sad!
Very sad news for Neil Diamond fans. The beloved singer has announced his retirement from touring effective immediately because of a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. Diamond, who turns 77 today (1/24/18), says he has had to call off the Australia and New Zealand legs of his 50th Anniversary tour, which included more than 50 shows in the US and Europe last year. A statement on his website reads: "It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years. My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows." However it's not all bad news. Diamond says, "I plan to remain active in writing, recording, and other projects for a long time to come. My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been 'so good, so good, so good' thanks to you.'" Diamond, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys on Sunday. (Reuters)
What the What?
Britain's Jack Reynolds is one amazing guy. At 105 years-old he holds the world record for being the oldest person to ride a rollercoaster and still enjoys repelling down rock walls. So what's his secret? Speaking to local media, his daughter Jayne Goodwin says, "He has whisky in his tea every morning and two more shots of whiskey in a glass with lemonade at night and swears by it." She added, "If we've got a cold or anything he straight away gives us a whisky, that's his medicine and it's not done him bad". Oh by the way, when he turned 104, Reynolds became the oldest person to receive a first tattoo, marking the occasion with "Jacko 16-04-1912" (his birthday) inked on his shoulder. That's right, Jack was born the same year the Titanic sailed... and sank. He was also the oldest person to do the Ice Bucket Challenge when he was 102 completing the online stunt wearing nothing but a pair of union jack underpants. (TheDrinksBusiness.com)