Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Same Movie But It Is Different!

Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger


How Disney’s Bob Iger Vanquished Wall Street Agitator Nelson Peltz -- Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2024:

Iger has told Hollywood associates in recent weeks that he envisions the shake-up allowing Disney to produce more movies that achieve both commercial and critical success, the way Warner Bros.’s “Barbie,” 2023’s highest-grossing movie, and the Best Picture winner “Oppenheimer” dominated the conversation in the movie industry last year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Yet another Business


[4/10/24] - In addition to produce more movies, how about creating different versions of the same movie? One version for theatre release, one for DVDs, one for streaming, one for air plane watching, and etc. Currently, the movie industry is already doing it with the theater release version and director's cut version. The Doodle is for more versions. Each version differs by having more or less scenes. Lots of scenes get cut during editing, so instead of throwing them away, have a LP (long-play) version that streams with all scenes under Part I and Part II - this instantly doubles the movies offerred to fans. Different versions can also have different endings. Why have the good guy always win at the end? Let's have the bad guy win for a change, and offer both versions on streaming - again, this will double the movies offered.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Rumi vs. Confucius

Photograph: Reuters -- Yahoo Finance


What's Next for Pakistan -- March 27, 2024:

Perhaps Mr Khan can help overcome his country’s dysfunction by sharing new-found insights with generals and rival politicians. He might start with Rumi, the best-known Sufi poet: “Yesterday I was so clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Yet another Politics


[4/4/24] - Confucius has this saying in Vietnamese: "Tu thân, tề gia, trị quốc, bình thiên hạ". This is Bing Copilot's translation:

**Tu thân, tề gia, trị quốc, bình thiên hạ** is a significant principle in ancient Chinese culture. This phrase originates from the book **"Great Learning"** by the revered philosopher **Confucius**. Let's delve into the meaning of each part:

1. **Tu thân (修身)**: This is the foundational step for personal development. It involves self-cultivation and self-improvement. Only by refining ourselves can we serve as an example for our family and society.

2. **Tề gia (齐家)**: It means ensuring the well-being of our family. We must create a harmonious and virtuous family environment. A strong family foundation is essential for effective governance and societal well-being.

3. **Trị quốc (治国)**: This step pertains to governing the state. It involves responsible leadership, adhering to principles, and maintaining ethical governance. A well-governed nation contributes to overall peace and prosperity.

4. **Bình thiên hạ (平天下)**: The ultimate goal is to achieve peace and harmony throughout the world. This can only happen when individuals cultivate themselves, maintain strong families, and govern the state wisely.

In summary, **tu thân, tề gia, trị quốc, bình thiên hạ** forms a logical sequence, with each step building upon the previous one. It reflects the philosophy of personal growth contributing to a peaceful and prosperous society. ¹²³

My crude translation is "Change self, harmonize family, harmonize country, change the world". It seems Rumi and Confucius are saying the same thing in a different way.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

What About Knightscope?

Knightscope (KSCP) security robot patrols an outdoor parking lot -- Yahoo Finance


Knightscope Innovation Week -- March 11-15, 2024:

Knightscope has the K5 Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) to monitor schools.

Yet another Business


[4/2/24] - How about developing a "Robocop" K5 that can harass a shooting intruder? This "Robocop" K5 will have a bulletproof body frame, a gunshot noise detector, flashing lights, a protected camera, folding flag arms, and communication instruments. This ASR will patrol the hallways and, upon detecting gunshots or being directed by security, will speed to the source. Once the intruder is detected, the ASR will use its bulletproof frame, flashing lights, and unfolded flag arms to distract and harass the shooter. If the school has multiple ASRs, all of them will convene to swarm the shooter. The ASR actions will give time for students and staff to flee or barricade, and police to arrive. The camera and communication instruments will allow the security forces to locate and identify the threat.

When not dealing with shooters, the "Robocop" K5 will do the normal school monitoring.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

What about Walgreens?

Early "Walgreen Drugs" sign still in use in San Antonio, Texas -- Wikipedia


Walgreens’ frail quarter goes beyond the discretionary spending dips afflicting its competitors. It’s ‘just not very good at retailing,’ analyst says by Sasha Rogelberg -- Fri, March 29, 2024 :

“We count on folks to come in and to not only visit our pharmacies, but come in, buy impulse items, get last-minute items, get seasonal items,” Wentworth (Walgreen's CEO) told Bloomberg TV on Thursday. “A lot of those things are purchases that you have to get the value equation right on or else they feel discretionary to folks.”

Yet another Business


[3/30/24] - Besides impulse items, last-minute items, and seasonal items, how about treasure-hunt items? The Doodle is for Walgreens to reserve an aisle just for discounted items along the line of dollar stores. The focus is on toys and other children's goods. Walgreens stores will be the "in" stores for avid children and parents looking to buy something cheap for their children. Once the children have their toys, the parents, primarily mothers, may stop by the higher-margin cosmetic aisles since they are already in the stores.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Trench Buffer Along Gaza?


From the article Hamas surprise attack out of Gaza stuns Israel and leaves hundreds dead in fighting, retaliation by JOSEF FEDERMAN and ISSAM ADWAN (AP, Oct. 7, 2023):

The strength, sophistication and timing of the Saturday morning attack shocked Israelis. Hamas fighters used explosives to break through the border fence enclosing Gaza, then crossed with motorcycles, pickup trucks, paragliders and speed boats on the coast.

Yet another Geopolitic


I wonder if deep trenches before the border fence would make it harder for the Hamas fighters to breach. I asked Bing Chat about trench surrounding Gaza and got this reply:

I searched for information about a trench between Gaza and Israel but I couldn’t find any information about it. However, I found that Egypt completed its digging of a ditch at the Rafah Crossing Point in June 2015. It is located two kilometres from the border with Gaza outside of Rafah City and part of the enlarged buffer zone. The buffer zone will include water-filled trenches to thwart tunnel diggers and will be 500 meter wide and extended along the 13 km border.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Is There A Gap In Paying Attention To The Gap In Pay?


From the article Claudia Goldin Wins Nobel in Economics for Studying Women in the Work Force by Jeanna Smialek (New York Times, Oct. 9, 2023):

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded on Monday to Claudia Goldin, a Harvard professor, for advancing the world’s understanding of women’s progress in the work force.


In the past, gender wage gaps could be explained by education and occupation. But Dr. Goldin has shown that most of the earnings difference is now between men and women in the same jobs, the Nobel committee said. Notably, it kicks in after the birth of a woman’s first child.

In a 15-year study of business school students at the University of Chicago, for instance, Goldin and her colleagues found in one paper that the gap in pay started to widen a year or two after a woman had her first baby.


While there has been “monumental progressive change, at the same time there are important differences,” she said, and those differences often tie back to women doing more work in the home. “We’re never going to have gender equality until we also have couple equity.”

Yet another Economics


Should the gap in pay focus on not the salary difference but on the efficiency of the hours one assigns temselves (singular of themselves) to work for a company? A person with a new child may work fewer hours, and earn less pay - this is an easy spotting for a pay difference. What is harder to spot is a person doing the same full-time employment as teir (singular of their) peers, but with teir mind distracted, refusing to work long hours, finding excuses for not traveling, and making baby-related personal calls during working hours. A full-time working day of such a person is less productive than a full-time working day of teir peers who do not have a child to take care of, either through fewer input hours or less efficiency. Companies pay salaries based on the output, and whoever outputs more (either through more hours or more efficiency) earns more, fair and square.

Above, I use "person" instead of "woman". I know personally of a young man who just had twins. His team works 12 hours a day, and he restricts himself to 8 hours a day so he can go home early and be with his children. He expects to get a so-so annual review. He and his wife make good money and they have a nanny. But it is his choice to work full-time less. He should expect a "pay gap" with his coworkers who work full-time more.

To solve the so-called "pay gap" problem is more than looking at "gender equity" or "couple equity"; it is to look at "working hour efficiency" for both men and women. Measuring fewer hours is easy with a clock-in-clock-out or log-in-log-out setup. How to measure efficiency while one is doing work with the same number of hours as teir peers is a harder problem. Unlike a manufacturing operation where the number of gadgets produced is used for efficiency, the efficiency of white-collar work is not easy to measure. Finding a way to measure it would be worthy for another Nobel Economic Prize.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Where is Bernie Sanders with the Eggs?


From the article The Egg-Price Narrative Gets Scrambled by Aaron Back (Wall Street Journal - Heard on the Street, October 4, 2023):

Back in January, after a particularly good quarter on the back of surging egg prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted of the company, without using its name, that “Corporate greed is the producer of Egg-Land's Best, Farmhouse Eggs & Land O'Lake Eggs, increasing its profits by 65% last quarter to a record-breaking $198 million while doubling the price of eggs & reporting no positive cases of avian flu.”

Now the chickens have come home to roost—literally. Cal-Maine reported late Tuesday that egg production has recovered from the avian flu outbreak of 2022, which caused the deaths of nearly 58 million poultry in 47 states. Egg prices have collapsed as a result. Cal-Maine said its average selling price for eggs fell to $1.59 a dozen in its fiscal first quarter, compared to $2.28 a year earlier.

The company’s revenue in the quarter fell 30% from a year earlier. At the same time, though, labor and other costs have remained elevated, including expenses incurred to guard against future avian flu outbreaks. As a result, it posted an operating loss of $6.76 million, compared with an operating profit of $163.9 million a year earlier.

Yet another Economics


Where is Bernie Sanders now?

Is it yet another case of a clueless socialist living in the real world of capitalism? Another case for us to make fun of the like of Bernie Sanders?

Hardly! Mr. Sanders is a seasoned politician and knows what he is doing. Anything he says fits his brand of politics.

And what he says is very helpful. Yes, Cal-Maine increased the price of eggs due to a good business reason: the avian flu outbreak. However, without socialist politicians that issued alarmist sound bites, Cal-Maine as a good capitalist, will capitalize on this reason to tag on a little more than necessary profit - never let a crisis go to waste.

In Doc Ngu's Inexorable Law Of The Feedback Equation, the increase in price due to the avian flu is the forward equation, and the damping feedback equation is the socialists' and activists' alarms. All is well and good in the capitalist world.