Apple delivers monster earnings as iPhone sales get back on track


Apple just posted its earnings report for the December quarter and the company appears to be back on track. Revenue wise, Apple posted $78.4 billion in revenue and an EPS of $3.36. As a point of comparison, Apple during the same quarter a year-ago posted revenue of $75.9 billion and EPS of $3.28.

Funny enough, for all the armchair pundits and professional analysts who have been so eager to proclaim Apple’s demise, Apple last quarter set a new quarterly record for revenue.

Incidentally, analysts were anticipating Apple to deliver revenue of $77.4 billion and EPS of $3.23.

“We’re thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way,” Tim Cook said in a press release. “We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch. Revenue from Services grew strongly over last year, led by record customer activity on the App Store, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline.”

Of course, the major barometer by which most every analyst measures Apple’s health continues to be iPhone sales. In this regard, Apple’s most recent earnings report finally gives investors something to cheer about. Following up on back to back quarters where iPhone growth took a dip, Apple sold 78.3 million iPhones last quarter, marking a slight uptick from last year’s holiday quarter where the company sold 74.7 million units. Analysts, meanwhile, were projecting iPhone sales for the quarter to come in at 78 million units.


As for other products in Apple’s lineup, iPad and Mac sales checked in at 13.1 million and 5.4 million units, respectively. This compares to 16.1 million iPad sales and 5.31 Mac sales in the year-ago quarter.

Apple’s Services division, meanwhile, generated revenue of $7.17 billion, representing a solid 18% increase year over year.

Developing…



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8-Bit Cinema Takes on ROGUE ONE in Latest Episode



It’s only been a month and a half since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released in theaters, but Star Wars fandom is already looking ahead to Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi and Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s young Han Solo movie. But before we dive into the next entry in the saga, let’s take a quick look back at Rogue One through the eyes of 8-Bit Cinema. The only thing I don’t agree with in their adaptation is the heart that pops up between Jyn and Cassian at the end; I felt like the movie didn’t really support a strong romantic reading of their relationship. But I guess that’s one of the points that’s left vague enough for people to argue and theorize about. How about you? Did you think Jyn and Cassian had a notable love story in the theatrical cut of Rogue One?




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From Apple to Tesla, Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies thrash Trump’s new immigration policy


President Donald Trump this past Friday signed off on an Executive Order which restricts refugees from 7 predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States for a period of 90 days. In turn, Trump’s new immigration initiative has been widely criticized from all angles and has sparked sharp criticism and waves of protests across the country.

Notably, tech industry giants have been particularly vocal in their opposition to Trump’s new immigration policies. This past Friday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a heartfelt email to Google employees (obtained by The Wall Street Journal) stating that as many as 187 Google employees may be affected by the aforementioned travel ban. Pichai added that the search giant will do any and everything in its power to help them.

“We’re upset about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US,” Pichai said. “It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues.”

Also entering the fray, Apple CEO Tim Cook over the weekend sent out a company wide email expressing similar concern regarding Trump’s immigration policies. Incidentally, it’s worth noting that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was himself the son of a Syrian immigrant.

Cook’s letter to Apple employees, via Business Insider, can be read below:

Team,

In my conversations with officials here in Washington this week, I’ve made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration — both to our company and to our nation’s future. Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.

I’ve heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.

There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them. We’re providing resources on AppleWeb for anyone with questions or concerns about immigration policies. And we have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.

As I’ve said many times, diversity makes our team stronger. And if there’s one thing I know about the people at Apple, it’s the depth of our empathy and support for one another. It’s as important now as it’s ever been, and it will not weaken one bit. I know I can count on all of you to make sure everyone at Apple feels welcome, respected and valued.

Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship. Our employees represent the finest talent in the world, and our team hails from every corner of the globe.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.”

Tim

As for other tech companies taking a stand, Lyft over the weekend promised to donate $1 million to the ACLU to help them fight on behalf of refugees.

“Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values,” Lyft said in a statement. “We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”

In a similar vein, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to Facebook where he characterized Trump’s immigration plan as patently un-American.


Trump’s actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all. Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe. A very sad week, and more to come with the lives of over 600,000 Dreamers here in a America under imminent threat. It is time to link arms together to protect American values of freedom and opportunity.

Also of note is that Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky promised to provide free housing for refugees unable to stay in the United States.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk also chimed in on the matter.

Some other statements of note include remarks from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Box CEO Aaron Levie.

Nadella relayed the following via LinkedIn.

As an immigrant and as a CEO, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world. We will continue to advocate on this important topic.

And perhaps taking the strongest position of all, Levie had this to say on the matter.

We’ll make sure to update this post as the saga continues to play out.



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Radical G.I. JOE Cartoon Character Cosplay Video


I’ve got an awesome cosplay video for you to check out featuring several cosplayers dressed up as G.I. Joe characters from the classic ’80s series. The video was shot at DragonCon as a tribute to their fallen friend. I am a huge G.I. Joe fan, I rarely see G.I. Joe cosplay like this, and I’m completely blown away by the costumes in this video. A big thanks to Blake Faucette of Distractotron for sending this over to us. I love it! I really hope the rest of you enjoy  the cosplay! I Also included some photos taken of the cosplayers below.




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$19 device instantly turns any water into drinking water


Having the right equipment with you when you venture out into the wilderness can mean the difference between life and death — and the Etekcity Portable Water Filter Filtration Device is definitely the “right equipment.” This incredibly affordable device can attach to any bottle or the included bag. Fill either with water from a river, lake or pond, attach this brilliant device, and drink as much as you want knowing that 99.9999% of of colibacillus, legionella, heavy metal ions, chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOC), organic and insect contaminants have been removed.

Some highlights from the product page:

  • 3 STAGE ADVANCED FILTRATION: includes pre-filter, 0.01 Microns antibacterial activated carbon filter and hollow fiber UF membrane inline filter; eliminating 99.9999% of colibacillus, legionella, heavy metal ions, chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOC), organic and insect contaminants
  • SAFETY TESTED: This water purifier has been tested by the TüV SüD Institute and meets EPA Water Quality Standards. The pouch complies with the FDA’s Food Contact test in accordance with 21 CFR 180.22 to ensure maximum quality and safety
  • DEPENDABLE ACCESSORIES: The filter kit comes with a foldable water pouch for collecting water, a longer straw to attach to the filter, and a syringe for cleaning and lifetime extension
  • PREPAREDNESS: Small and lightweight, ideal for backpacking, camping, hiking, scouting, and more. Store in emergency preparedness kits and survival bags to constantly be prepared for when disaster strikes
  • FILTER MORE: This filter will provide up to 1500 liters of safe drinking water from any source like creeks and streams whether clean or dirty

Follow @BGRDeals on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest deals we find around the web.


BGR Deals content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and BGR may receive a commission on purchases made through our posts.



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Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER Has Started Production


I recently saw that Mondo is planning to release a vinyl version of the score for Ryan Coogler’s Creed, which got me thinking about how utterly fantastic that movie is. I was excited to see what Coogler might do with a sequel (which still might happen), but I’m even more pumped to see what he does with Black Panther, the upcoming film from Marvel Studios. The company just sent out a press release stating that production is underway, and reading the cast list for this thing has me grinning bigger and bigger with every name. This cast is so stacked, it’s ridiculous. (I’m not sure if I even knew that Forest Whitaker was in this movie, but I know now.) Read the full press release below, which includes what I believe is the first official synopsis of the film:

BURBANK, CALIF. (January 26, 2017)—Marvel Studios announced today that production has begun on “Black Panther,” starring Chadwick Boseman (“Captain America: Civil War,”  “Get on Up”), Michael B. Jordan (“Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”), Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “12 Years a Slave”), Danai Gurira (“The Walking Dead,” upcoming “All Eyez on Me”), Martin Freeman (“Hobbit” trilogy, “Sherlock”), Daniel Kaluuya (upcoming “Get Out,” “Sicario”),  with Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett (“American Horror Story,” “London Has Fallen”), with Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”), and Andy Serkis (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”). 

Additional cast members include Letitia Wright (“Urban Hymn,” “Glasgow Girls”), Winston Duke (“Person of Interest, “Modern Family”), Florence Kasumba (“Captain America: Civil War,” “Emerald City”), Sterling K. Brown (“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”) and John Kani (“Captain America: Civil War,” “Coriolanus”).

Ryan Coogler (“Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”) directs Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” from a screenplay he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole (“The People v. O.J. Simpson:  American Crime Story”).  The film, which opens in U.S. theaters on February 16, 2018, will be shot in Atlanta and South Korea.  

“Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk.  

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” is produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. 


Coogler’s creative brain trust includes his frequent collaborators: director of photography Rachel Morrison, A.S.C. (“Dope,” “Fruitvale Station”), production designer Hannah Beachler (“Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”), editors Claudia Castello (“Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”) and Michael P. Shawver (“Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”); along with costume designer Ruth E. Carter (“Selma,” Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”), visuals effects supervisor Geoffrey Baumann (“Doctor Strange,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Academy Award®- winning makeup designer Joel Harlow (“Star Trek Beyond,” “Black Mass”) and seven-time Academy Award® nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (“Captain America: Civil War,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”). 

Based on the Marvel comic character that first appeared in “Fantastic Four Vol. 1” Issue 52, published in 1966, “Black Panther” joins Marvel Studios’ slate of releasesin its Phase 3 commitment to introduce film audiences to new heroes and continue the adventures of fan favorites over the course of four years and nine films.

In 2016, Marvel Studios continued its unprecedented success with the release of “Captain America: Civil War,” which opened on May 6 with the fifth largest opening weekend of all time and has since garnered box office receipts of over $1.1 billion worldwide. 

The juggernaut studio ended the year with its newest Super Hero “Doctor Strange,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rachel McAdams. The film opened #1 at the box office on November 4 and went on to gross more than $659 million worldwide to date. The two films propelled Marvel Studios’ #1 domestic box-office opening streak to a record-breaking 14 consecutive films.

Marvel Studios’ other epic big-screen adventures includeMarvel’s“Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Ant-Man,” and the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (May 5, 2017), “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (July 7, 2017), “Thor: Ragnarok” (November 3, 2017) and “Avengers: Infinity War” (May 4, 2018).



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HP recalls 101,000 more laptop batteries due to fire hazards


The Galaxy Note 7 recall is probably the most prominent case where a device manufacturer had to recall and cancel a product on account of fire hazards. But it’s not just smartphone batteries that can catch fire. On Tuesday, HP announced a recall of 101,000 laptop batteries due to similar concerns. The batteries “can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards,” an official notice reads.

HP recalled 41,000 batteries last June, but a new incident prompted it to recall 101,000 more units.

The affected units include HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP Envy, Compaq Presario, and HP Pavilion notebooks. These devices were shipped in the US, Canada, and Mexico between March 2013 and October 2016.

Users are advised to check the barcodes on their batteries. If they start with 6BZLU, 6CGFK, 6CGFQ, 6CZMB, 6DEMA, 6DEMH, 6DGAL or 6EBVA, then they should remove the batteries and contact HP for a free replacement.


Until a battery is received, users are advised to use the notebook by plugging it in.

The voluntary recall follows “one additional report of the battery overheating, melting and charring and causing about $1,000 in property damage,” according to an announcement posted on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website.

The CPSC worked with Samsung on the Galaxy Note 7 recall, and it’s practically the only way to properly issue a product recall. In case you own one of the HP laptops that might be affected by the matter, check out CPSC’s full announcement where you’ll also find contact information for HP.



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Mercy Puts on Her Stethoscope in This Awesome OVERWATCH Cosplay



If you read the Overwatch lore you know that Mercy is actually a doctor when she’s not keeping you alive! Dr. Angela Ziegler, as she’s called, became a member of Overwatch when the team took notice of her life-saving technology that saved thousands of lives worldwide. While we know from the lore Ziegler is a doctor, we have yet to see a doctor skin in-game! Thanks to Shappi Workshop, we now have an idea of what that would look like!


Shappi has appeared on the site before and is the same Mercy you’ll see plastered all over the web in cosplay! Her latest doctor variant costume can be seen below, as well as a few other pictures and a video showcasing her Mercy costume. Keep up the great work Shappi! Be sure to check out her talented photographers as well: Lewandowski Photography, Studio Zahora, and Konwenty Poludniowe!



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The first Super Bowl 51 commercial is already here


Super Bowl 51 is just around the corner, which means we’ll soon get to see this year’s collection of ads that were created specifically for this moment. Sure, the game and the half-time show are the main attractions, but there are always some Super Bowl commercials you’ll always remember.

That said, the first Super Bowl ad is here two weeks before the actual event. It’s from Lexus, and it’s for a brand new car series. It’s also pretty “meh,” despite featuring a sleek new car that plenty of people are going to drool over.

Titled Man and Machine, the ad features a man and a machine, side by side. The man (Lil Buck) is dancing around a 2017 Lexus LC model, and that’s pretty much all that happens in the entire spot — an extended cut of the ad is available at the end of this post.

The car, on the other hand, sounds exciting. According to Lexus, the first-ever LC 500 and LC 500h will join the Lexus lineup this year. In addition to these LC performance coupes, Lexus has one other flagship for you in 2018, the completely redesigned Lexus LS 500 luxury sedan. The new LS is nowhere to be found in this particular spot, though.


If you like the song, you should know it’s Sia’s Move Your Body from This Is Acting. Minnie Driver does the voiceover in Lexus new ads.

Check out this early taste of things to come during Super Bowl 51 below. We’re betting there will be a few more memorable spots in the days and weeks to come.

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