Weekly reading – 20th August 2022

What I wrote last week

Did App Tracking Transparency Really Ruin Small Businesses?

Business

The HBO Max Rumor Mill Was Wrong — But There’s Still Pain to Come. The streaming business gets increasingly interesting yet complicated for me to wrap my head around. There are so many factors that go into the decision making and unfortunately, companies don’t divulge enough to investors. Anyway, it’s a good piece on HBO Max and the rumor that the new parent company will merge it and Discovery+.

Personalized coffees and prestige skincare: Consumers snap up premium products despite cost-of-living crisis. Who would have thought that consumers would prefer private label grocery brands to national names but be willing to spend on expensive coffee and pricey skincare products?

($) U.S. Approves Nearly All Tech Exports to China, Data Shows. Reading this article, I think the heart of this issue is communication failure. Other agencies don’t give effective input to the Commerce Department. Their objective is to facilitate trade between the US and other countries. China is rich enough that if the US restricts exports, other countries are willing to fill the void, especially when such exports are not 100% exclusive and rare. Also, there is no consensus on what should be the balance between not arming a worthy adversary and protecting the trade interests.

Dr Drew’s podcast episode with Morgan Housel. There are a lot of gems in this episode. One of them is the definition of rich vs wealthy. According to Morgan Housel, rich means that you are able to pay monthly bills on your own. Wealthy means that you set aside some capital for investments that you don’t have to use to pay for expenses. Once we are wealthy based on such a definition, what brings us misery is our greed and jealousy. I have to agree with him.

($) Should Disney Get Rid of ESPN? The Debate Returns. ESPN is an important asset of Disney as it holds broadcast rights to popular sports leagues such as NBA. ESPN+ is a crucial piece in the Disney+ puzzle and the bundle that Disney wants to sell to consumers. Therefore, I don’t see any reason why Disney should get rid of ESPN

Here’s why HBO Max is pulling dozens of films and TV series from the streaming platform. “While HBO Max already paid for the production of these shows, it’s still on the hook for residuals, including so-called back-end payments to cast, crew and writers, based on long-term viewership metrics. By removing these films and shows, especially the ones HBO Max created rather than licensed, executives can cut expenses immediately. Warner Bros. Discovery has promised at least $3 billion in synergies stemming from the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, announced in May. The content eliminations in total will save “tens of millions of dollars,” according to two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the finances are private.”

Other stuff I find interesting

Is dark chocolate really good for you? For those that are interested in the health benefits or potential risks of dark chocolate

The Day You Decided to Take the Leap. Building this blog was a leap to me several years ago. I was not a writer. I did not feel comfortable talking about myself or my thoughts. But I felt the urge. The urge of finding a medium through which I can improve myself while satisfying all the other requirements (school, work). I took that leap. Even though I haven’t had any financial returns (in fact it is an expense to maintain this blog), I find joy from this habit. It’s a sanctuary where I can be myself creatively and escape mentally at times. Those weren’t on the benefit list when I contemplated taking the leap.

We need to try harder to prevent the next pandemic. What do they always say? Failing to plan means planning to fail. As a country, it seems like we are planning to get hit again with another crushing pandemic. Our pandemic prevention budget went from an ambitious $65 billion to less than $3 billion, half of which will be dedicated to the modernization of CDC’s labs. You know how much we spend on military? $725 billion in 2020. It’s well documented that our generals didn’t think we need that much money on defense. Plus, an insider like the author of the book Kill Chain outlined all the monumental wasteful investments in defense. That we budget less than $3 billion on the prevention of pandemics, the latest of which took 1 million lives in America is baffling to me. Well, I mean pathetic.

Fresh Herbs & Spices in Vietnamese Food. Some of the herbs are not popular around here in the US or many countries. I am happy whenever I can introduce my country and culture to others

Ultimate list of Japanese Vegetable Cutting Techniques

Stats

In 2020, 16% of Blockbuster’s revenue ($ 800 million) came from fine fees

“38% of white adults say their parents or older relatives have given them or their family gifts or loans worth $10,000 or more over the course of their adult lives.”

Retail expenses make up 78% of a cup of coffee’s price

July 2022 was the world’s sixth-hottest July on record

One solar Watt in the US costs $2.77, about 4 times more expensive than in Australia

There were 43,000 traffic deaths in the US in 2021

5-10 hours of moderate physical activity or 2.5 to 5 hours of vigorous exercise will help lower the risk of premature mortality

Source: Supermarketnews

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