Basis Points – September 10, 2019

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Above the Fold

Every year in late fall, techies, noobs, fashionistas, hipsters, bloggers and just about everyone in between gather around to witness the release of the latest iPhone from Apple Inc., along with software updates, features and maybe even a surprise or two. Today at 10 a.m. PDT, Apple is expected to release its 11th(ish) iteration of its best-selling product; and for the first time, you can watch the event live on any browser (including Microsoft Edge).

Leaked internal documents confirm that the three latest models will be the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. But experts don’t expect any earth-shattering, Steve Jobs “One Last Thing” type surprises. The new lineup will offer slightly faster processors, OLED technology and a cool triple-lens camera system on their top-tier models with upgraded software across the board. A recent Bloomberg study indicated the new camera system will accel in low-light situations and offer ultra-high-resolution imagery with even more features to make that selfie even better. Matte finishes and supposed Apple Pencil support may also be available.

Storage is expected to double compared to last year’s phones and “reverse charging” will allow the new phones to charge their iPods and potentially share “juice” with another phone that might be low on charge. Apple is also expected to include a more powerful wall charger. New software will also be released with the phone and offered to existing users in October, according to reports.

And while Apple watchers seem to already know everything about this release, there’s still a chance for the unpredicted product, offering or even detail that wows us. With Steve Jobs gone and Design Chief Jony Ivey also departing, investors and fans may have discounted Apple’s ability to create magic, but those low expectations set the bar low for Apple to impress.

Three Things

  1. Travel Tribulations in Hong Kong – Protests continued to wreak havoc in Hong Kong, stifling air and subway travel as visitors and shoppers are caught in the crossfire. As a result, monthly visitors to the region dropped by 40% in August, the most since the SARS epidemic in 2003. 
  2. Pilots Protesting Across the Pond – Pilots for British Airways walked off the job when compensation talks broke down. The two-day strike caused the cancellation of nearly ALL flights, affects more than 195,000 customers and is costing the airline nearly $50 million per day. Another strike is planned for Sept. 27.
  3. School Cell Phone Ban … Blame Parents – Social media isn’t the only thing causing some schools to ban cell phones in class, it’s partly the barrage of texts that some parents are sending their kids throughout the day. While it’s easy to delay a “what’s up?” text from a friend who’s probably in the room next to them, most kids feel obligated to respond to a scheduling or “check-in” text from their parents at school. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that parents are at least partly responsible for their kids’ daily phone distractions. 


Did You Know?

A cocktail may have contributed to President Lincoln’s assassination… 

Unfortunately for Lincoln, the United States Secret Service was created just months after his assassination in April of 1865. And they weren’t formally tasked with protecting the president until 1902, after the assassination of President William McKinley. 

But Lincoln did have an armed guard, John Frederick Parker (one of four regular police guards), watching over him that fateful night. But Parker’s history as a dedicated lawman was spotty at best. He was known for using foul language, falling asleep on the job and drinking while on duty. 

According to the Smithsonian, Parker’s original seat was behind Lincoln near the doorway where he would have seen John Wilkes Booth enter; that also meant Parker couldn’t see the play. So once Lincoln’s entourage had entered and greeted the crowd, Parker excused himself to first gallery where he could watch “Our American Cousin.” During the intermission, Parker joined Lincoln’s coachman at the Star Saloon next door for drinks. Soon after the play resumed, Wilkes Booth entered the President’s suite and shot him — Parker’s seat stood empty.

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