Apple gets ready for life after the iPhone with services push

On Monday, Apple will do something it has never done when making a product announcement — focus largely on other companies, not itself. Apple is expected to launch two services on March 25, including its rumored video streaming service, at an event in Cupertino, Calif. that will be attended by Hollywood celebrities such as JJ Abrams and Jennifer Aniston. This is in stark contrast to past events, which have largely featured tech journalists, Wall Street and industry analysts. As part of the video streaming service, Apple is expected to place a heavy emphasis on selling others’ services for them, according to a report in Recode. It will work similar to the App Store and Amazon’s successful Amazon Channels initiative, in that it will sell the services for them and take a cut of the transaction. Apple is also likely to unveil some of its own content, some of which stars Aniston as well as Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell and others. On Sunday, The New York Times reported that five of the first shows that Apple has funded as part of its big content push have already been completed. Apple, which has not yet given a name to the service, is also said to be wooing other cable companies, such as HBO, Starz and Showtime ahead of the launch, according to Bloomberg. Earlier this week, Apple unveiled new iPads, new iMacs and new AirPods. They were all introduced with simple press releases and without the usual fanfare Apple has given its products in the past, a stark reminder that Apple sees itself as more than just a consumer electronics company. CEO Tim Cook, who has become increasingly active in touting the company’s business outside of its iPhone, has previously said the company would double its service revenue by 2020 from 2016 levels. Revenue attributed to its Services-related business totaled $10.9 billion in its most recent quarter, up 19 percent year-over-year. To effort this along, Apple is said to be spending at least $1 billion on content, a venture that has been marred by reports of intrusion from Apple executives wary of content that might be considered overly graphic or anti-technology. Earlier this month, The New York Post reported that Cook has been seen on the set on one of the Apple-funded shows “See,” a futuristic sci-fi drama starring “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa. Several of the company’s top brass, including Cook himself, have given notes to writers and showrunners, a process that has been deemed “intrusive,” according to the Post’s sources. Apple’s push into television and movie making is being led by two executives it hired away from Sony, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who were responsible for shows such as “Breaking Bad” and “The Goldberg’s.” Monness Crespi analyst Brian White, arguably Apple’s biggest supporter on Wall Street, believes the event will kick into high-gear the mindset that Apple is trying to shape how it is viewed. Apple is no longer just about iDevices, but rather a ubiquitous and indispensable part of everyone’s lives, White believes. “In our view, Apple’s digital ecosystem remains a major differentiator, developing hardware, software and services to create a unique experience with devices working seamlessly together on Planet Apple,” White wrote in a note to investors. White added that Apple, which had more than 1.4 billion active devices at the end of its most recent quarter, will be well-positioned as more devices become a computer, allowing it to sell more services. “As more ‘things’ become a computer, we believe Apple is well positioned to benefit and unveil even more new services,” White continued.

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Feds offer $1,000 to people willing to adopt an untrained wild horse or burro

The U.S. government is offering up to $1,000 to those willing to adopt an untrained wild horse or burro to combat the overpopulation of the animals in the open country. The “Adoption Incentive Program” comes from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), within the Interior Department. The incentive is part of an effort to “encourage more adopters to give a wild horse or burro a good home.” The bureau states online that the goal is to reduce the agency’s “recurring costs to care for unadopted and untrained wild horses and burros while helping to enable the BLM to confront a growing over-population of wild horses and burros on fragile public rangelands.” Both wild horses and burros are federally protected. Since 1971, when the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was signed into law, the animals have been considered “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” In accordance with the law, the animals are protected from “capture, branding, harassment, or death.” The $1,000 incentive is broken into two parts: those who adopt a wild horse or burro that’s eligible for a new home after March 12 can receive $500 within 60 days of the adoption, in addition to another $500 within 60 days of “titling the animal.” Officials said a $25 adoption fee will apply. Earlier this month, the government said they were seeking more private pastures for the overpopulation of wild horses. Over 55,000 more horses and burros live wild in the West than the roughly 27,000 the BLM says can thrive in harmony with the landscape. For those interested in the adoption of a wild horse or burro, visit the bureau’s website.

Done with it: Republicans shun heavily politicized late-night TV, poll finds

A comprehensive new survey conducted by Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter reveals what many Republicans already know: Late-night TV has become Democratic turf thanks to heavily politicized content. The wide-ranging poll of more than 2,000 Americans finds that 54 percent of Democrats said they watch late-night talk shows — compared to just 26 percent of Republicans. There is also a pronounced cultural divide. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say they liked late-night hosts to discuss politics. Sixty-two percent of the Democrats want that political content, and 63 percent prefer that late-night hosts express their personal political views. More than half — 51 percent — say they would be more likely to watch a late-night talk show if a politician made a guest appearance. Republicans appear to favor late-night TV from a previous era, which did not base the nightly fare exclusively on divisive politics. They are “diametrically opposed” from Democrats in their views, the poll analysis said. “Republicans, by contrast, seem to prefer less political discourse in their late-night viewing: Sixty-two percent of Republicans said they did not like when late-night hosts discuss politics, and 61 percent said they did not like it when hosts shared personal political opinions. Fifty-six percent said they would be less likely to watch a show that included a politician’s guest appearance,” the analysis said. “One thing the parties were able to agree on was the perceived political leanings of late-night talk show hosts: 57 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats said that they thought late-night talk show hosts tended to lean more liberal,” the survey noted.

Early birds have more sex, make more money and sleep better than night owls, study finds

If you’re energetic and confident, enjoy cooking and believe in love at first sight, new research shows you’re probably an early bird. A look into our sleeping habits revealed some interesting differences between those who stay up late and those who rise early, from our personality traits, hobbies, and even our sex lives. The survey of 2,000 Americans, split evenly between self-identified early birds and night owls, found that early birds have more sex per week, on average than their late-night counterparts. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Sleepopolis in advance of World Sleep Day on March 15, the survey gave insight into our personalities and relationships by examining our sleeping style. Night owls were found to be shy and sarcastic, more likely to use Instagram and to believe in ghosts and cryptids. They were also more likely to be single, whereas early birds were more likely to be married and have children living in the house. To find love, early birds are also more likely to have tried online dating. Early birds were found to earn more money and were more likely to work in an office — though surprisingly, they were also more likely to report always being late for work. Additionally, early birds were 10 percent more likely to identify as happy, while night owls identified more strongly as loyal. There was also found to be a difference in gender: Men were more likely to be early birds, while women identified more heavily as night owls. Those who consider themselves early birds were found to have more active hobbies; they were more likely to enjoy walking and hiking, playing sports and exercising in a gym. Hobbies for night owls were more laid-back, however, and included reading and sleeping. (Regardless of what they were into, respondents reported spending just less than three hours a hobby in the average day.) There wasn’t a major difference in the amount of sleep people received — an average of six hours a night for night owls versus seven hours for early birds — but the survey did find some interesting differences in how we sleep. Early birds were more likely to be light sleepers and always feel well-rested in the morning. They were also more likely to identify as clean and organized, and it shows — early birds were more likely to make their bed in the morning than night owls. They were also more likely to dream, and to always remember their dreams upon waking. Night owls, on the other hand, were more likely to have trouble falling asleep, and then perhaps unsurprisingly, were less likely to report high-quality sleep. “More important than being a night owl or an early bird is making sure to have a consistent sleep schedule and get enough rest,” said Logan Block, the director of content at Sleepopolis. “With World Sleep Day approaching, it’s a nice time to reflect on our sleeping habits.” On the subject of sleep, early birds were also more likely to talk, snore and move around in their sleep, and were also more likely to prefer sleeping with music on or window open. On the other hand, night owls were more likely to prefer having a fan on, and enjoyed sleeping with a pet or a significant other in the bed with them.

Fascinating!  For more, click on the text above, and see if their analysis applies/is accurate for you.     🙂

Marie-Kondo effect: Goodwill doesn’t want your junk

For some Goodwill and thrift stores Opens a New Window. across the country the “Marie-Kondo effect,” or the uptick in donations seen after the launch of the Netflix Opens a New Window. reality series on decluttering, has become somewhat problematic. Since the show launched, many secondhand shops are receiving mass quantities of unsellable stuff — from moth-infested clothing to broken appliances and toys. In “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” which made its Netflix debut in January, Japanese home organization guru Kondo teaches viewers how to rid their lives of clutter by parting with things that, as she puts it, no longer “spark joy.” A number of Goodwill markets saw a year-over-year spike in donations that they attribute directly to the show, says Lauren Lawson-Zilai, senior director of public relations at Goodwill Industries International. “The Houston market was up 22 percent; donations in Roanoke, Virginia, rose 20 percent, Washington, D.C. was up 30 percent; and Grand Rapids, Michigan went up nearly 20 percent,” Lawson-Zilai says. But many Goodwill and second-hand shops say the increased volume has brought with it more headaches and extra work, as people are donating things that nobody would want. “If someone gives us something that we can’t use, like a broken refrigerator that we have to take to the landfill, or a stroller that’s been recalled, or shredded or ripped clothing, we do our best to educate them about the transaction, but they can get testy,” says Salvation Army’s national spokesperson Lt. Col. Ward Matthews. A spokesperson for Netflix did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment. Getting ready to do your own spring cleaning? Should you donate, sell or toss it? Click here for some expert advice on how to know what could be another man’s treasure, vs. what belongs on the curb.

Why Wendy’s is the only fast food chain with baked potatoes

When you go to a fast food burger chain, the one side dish you can absolutely count on are fries. But for all the chopped and fried taters in the restaurant, one side is conspicuously missing from all but one: baked potatoes. Wendy’s baked potatoes might be even more famous than the chain’s fries. Customers load tubers up with chili, broccoli and cheese, sour cream and chives, and more. The “side” can get hefty enough to count as a meal of its own—each potato is about 11.5 ounces before adding toppings, according to Thrillist. Wendy’s sells a whopping 1 million baked potatoes every week, making it a pretty major revenue-builder for the company. So why haven’t more chains gotten on board? First of all, let’s go back to why Wendy’s started selling spuds in the first place. In the ’80s and ’90s, low-fat diets were all the rage. but there was definite appeal to replacing oil-drenched fries with a fat-free potato. Low-carb diets rose and fell, but the modest baked potato kept standing. We now know why “fat is bad”, but the baked potatoes are still a virtuous choice when you’re surrounded by fattier, saltier options. A regular baked potato has 270 calories, seven grams each of protein and fiber, and no fat to speak of. Ordering one with broccoli and cheese can add some green to your plate, too. Even loading a potato with cheese and bacon bits won’t put the 480-calorie side far off from the 420 calories in a medium order of fries, which only have five grams of fiber and six grams of protein. As health-conscious customers have made the push to fast food chains to serve more nutritious choices—most have side salads and apple slices—you’d think a plain baked potato would be a simple no-brainer. But for chains emphasizing the “fast” in “fast food,” it’s not that simple. “If you’ve ever cooked baked potatoes at home, you know it takes a while,” Lori Estrada, Wendy’s vice president of culinary innovation, tells Thrilist. “And we cook them from a raw state, in an oven, wrapped in foil, baked for an hour, just like you would at home.” Naturally, the cooking itself would take a lot of planning. But there’s also the matter of equipment. Fast food restaurants don’t typically have convection ovens, like the ones Wendy’s uses for its famous potatoes. Adding one in every location would be a major expense, and most chains just aren’t willing to make the move—especially if Wendy’s already has its grip on the fast-food potato market. A few chains have tried to make the jump. Carl Jr. used to sell baked potatoes, and as did Burger King during its early-’90s attempt to create a classier environment with table-service Dinner Baskets. Canadian Arby’s and select U.S. locations have them on the menu, as does the Mid-Atlantic chain, Roy Rogers. Unless anyone else decides to make push for potatoes, though, you’ll have to head to Wendy’s for your fast food non-fry fix if you’re in another part of the country.

From pens to notebooks, office theft on the rise

Accidentally slip some of those new office Opens a New Window. pens into your bag to save a couple bucks? Discretely tuck some of your employer’s new manilla folders into your briefcase? If so, join the club of office thieves whose numbers have been on the rise over the last 15 years. According to data from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner, office Opens a New Window. stealing of noncash items — ranging from scissors and notebooks, to staplers and paperclips, has ballooned to 21 percent of corporate-theft losses in 2018 from 10.6 percent in 2002. The Atlantic, Opens a New Window. which was first to report the trend, added that most workers aren’t even coy about it, with more than 52 percent of workers admitting they steal company property in a survey from 2013. Hot items include scissors, notebooks, staplers and tape, especially during the gift-wrapping holidays. The uptick has even forced managers to routinely stock up on 20 percent more supplies in order to account for lost items right off the bat. Mark Doyle, the president of the loss-prevention consultancy Jack L. Hayes International, told The Atlantic that there are a few factors to blame for office ransacking. He points to the decrease in supervision and the uptick in employees working from home for the increase.