And now for something completely different

The news is mostly politics and Twitter right now, so here’s a dose of perspective.

Apple finished Wednesday’s session with a $2.31 trillion market cap, according to Yahoo! Finance data. Alphabet, Amazon, and Meta were worth a combined $2.3 trillion. Meta’s meltdown, of course this year, backed– or helping to drive that underperformance there. Big Apple, though, indeed the winner.

These absurdly rich companies are happily sliding under the radar while Elon Musk is distracting everyone. Tax them all more.

Boy, I remember when everyone was predicting that Apple was going to decline into irrelevance.


  1. hemidactylus says

    I don’t hate Apple. I migrated late in the bloodbath Usenet wars from Linux partisanship into iOS device laziness (what’s a CLI?). The corporate “person” is a bit of a rich dickhead, but the products are ok (but overpriced).

    I have been tempted (apple reference) by OpenWRT as an alternative to relying on commercial router firmware, but never did more than read about the arcane installation process. Home router corporations are the worst.

    People have escaped into pure OpenWRT (Linux) and pfSense (FreeBSD). Apple used to provide their own routers based on VxWorks firmware but abandoned that for some reason. Mars rovers used VxWorks too.

  2. raven says

    Facebook is in serious trouble now.
    I can’t think of a company that deserves it more.

    Meta Is The S&P 500’s Worst Performer Of 2022 As Losses … › sites › dereksaul › 2022/11/03

    6 days ago — The social media titan is down 73.7% year-to-date and nearly 80% from its 2021 high of $384.

    The stock is down 80% from its high in 2021.
    Its revenues are also now declining.

    Facebook was a good idea implemented very badly.
    It’s also a predatory company that was exploiting its product, which is Facebook users.

  3. hemidactylus says

    I always saw Facebook as a potential personal trainwreck where ones real friends intersect badly with professional acquaintances and virtual “friends” and wanted nothing to do with that clusterfuck of oversharing. When I read about Zuck’s unethical shenanigans at Harvard I was confirmed in my initial disinclination toward using Facebook.

    “In 2003, before Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to start Facebook, he created a site called Facemash; at the time, The Harvard Crimson described it as a “popular Harvard version of the Am I Hot or Not? website.”

    After Harvard’s computer services department complained about the site, Zuckerberg was brought before Harvard’s Administrative Board, accused of violating individual privacy, breaching security and violating copyrights with Facemash.

    Zuckerberg chose to shut down the site because he didn’t see a good way around the issues.

    “Issues about violating people’s privacy don’t seem to be surmountable,” Zuckerberg told the Crimson about Facemash in an issue published in November 2003.”


    You don’t have to use Facebook for them to be snooping on you. Those Facebook buttons you see on websites may not be benign entities. Their entire business model seems based on exploiting users (the real product) and bystanders landing on participatory websites. What did the original Critical Theorists say about instrumental reason (against Kant’s categorical imperative of treating humans as ends not means)! Zuckerberg exudes cold instrumentality to a sociopathic extent. Also Critical Theory hinted at our technology becoming our shackles. Once locked into Facebook’s clutches good luck escaping.

  4. says

    One of my personal friends is employed at FB and is facing a major layoff announcement later today. Crossing my fingers for her job to remain. She is a talented software engineer, after all, but if her section does face cuts, she’s only been there 2 years and there’s a good chance she’ll be gone.

    If that happens she’ll be a talented Bay Area SWE looking for work in an environment suddenly flooded with talented Bay Area SWEs looking for work. That… does not sound pleasant. Especially since she finally got herself an apartment she really feels at home in. (She had rented 2 different places since she got her job, but neither was a really good fit for her. She’s been in the new place for 7 weeks.)

  5. says

    Apple has declined into irrelevance. They’re like Dell in the old days: they have some winner product designs and they are turning the crank on new versions.

    Apple got to where it is through visionary strategy – they knew what we wanted before we did and opened whole new markets. Does anyone see them doing that now? Maybe there is no more room for innovation? I doubt it, which means that the next innovator will seal up the new markets.

    Apple has demonstrated absolutely zero ability to innovate in software, which is a more nimble and open market. Instead they chose to cede that ground, which locked them out of significance in many ways.

    They will do fine for a good while until the air runs out and then it’ll be just like Blackberry; gone by sunrise.

  6. says

    Facebook was a good idea implemented very badly.

    But you gotta admit that their multibillion-dollar metaverse is the best implementation of Second Life since Second Life.

  7. jenorafeuer says

    @Marcus Ranum:
    I’m not sure I would even give them that. VRChat has a pretty extensive userbase and internal economy, though some people are starting to migrate to NeosVR. (Both of those may focus on VR headsets, but neither of them require headsets.) And I knew someone who worked for There back in the day, which arguably had a better design than Second Life twenty years ago but just never acquired enough of a dedicated userbase to be able to afford to continue at the time.

  8. Bad Bart says

    I am struck by the fact that Apple makes most of their money from actual things you can touch, while the other three are mostly services companies.

  9. petesh says

    @9: Apple does definitely make money from things like Music and the App Store but yes they mostly make physical products and do so rather well, IMHO. My first personal computer was a CP/M Kaypro, but I lusted after the first Mac (I had seen the HP machine that “inspired” Jobs so I was not too surprised) and bought the Plus. And more and more; I still play Tetris on my ancient iBook (it emulates the old system), though I travel with a MacBook Air and an iPhone and do my real work on a big-screen iMac. I curse Apple sometimes but I am locked in and see no good reason to change; I am just a little slow to upgrade. Their time will end, of course, some time after Cook quits (he’s only 62 but very rich) but I note that IBM is still around … don’t hold your breath.

  10. says

    Our organization focuses on (cautious, not quite paranoid) secure computing. We do not participate in social media, though we do occasionaly grab valuable ‘utube’ vids (John Oliver, etc) and the ‘podish sorta casts’ of course. Social media may have a few gems, but most are a cesspool that isn’t worth the risk and effort to navigate. We use air-gapped old computers for production work – 1998-2006 vintage. The only computers we allow to touch the internet run Linux in ‘read-only’ or ‘no-save’ mode (specifically JammyPup32 from usb which can run firefox, lynx or palemoon). The Brave browser is more secure than others. Apple is now an overly expensive bully you can’t tinker with. Chromebooks are locked hardware and software spyware. Windoze is not safe for internet use and reduces features with every iteration. Smartphone apps are almost always spyware (read the terms and conditions of each one, it will scare you). Stay safe, people.

  11. unclefrogy says

    I don’t like to read news about apple it just reminds me of the choice I made to not buy any of the stock back when it was really low cause I listened to my biases and not payed attention to the computer market and how apple could use it.
    oh well! I still don’t like apple much but they do seem to know how to make money these days which is all the stock market cares about.

  12. says

    I didn’t invest in Apple stock when it was really cheap because I didn’t have any money.
    I can’t buy it now because, again, I don’t have any money.
    My oldest son has stock investments and seems pretty savvy about them — he’s smarter than I am.

  13. says

    @4, in case your friend gets cut: my wife works for a small custom software company in Toronto, and they are hiring, including fully remote. They are a great company to work for. Look for Jonah Group.

  14. divineconspiracy667 says

    I’m old enough to remember when Microsoft saved Apple from bankruptcy.
    I hate both companies, but I hate Microsoft slightly less than Apple, for no real justifiable reason other than Apple is better at forcing people into a walled garden, but Microsoft is trying to catch up.