The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

Apple’s Siri will definitely speak Chinese


Tim Cook, Apple’s new(ish) CEO, has advised us that China continues to be the fastest-growing market for the company.

I eluded to this, and more in one of my earlier posts: Apples are good for you Androids not so much.

In the latest quarter, sales were up nearly four times from last year and made up one-sixth of Apple’s overall sales.

peace be to my Brothers and sisters.

brian patrick cork


I like Apple’s stock better than Googles numbers


I’ll be exposing Google’s sinister “infomercial” practice later this week, early next week, at the latest, once we verify a few facts.

meanwhile, being careful not to offend the irascible Troy Brown (who is not really Troy Brown) I won’t be mentioning Larry Page in this post.


while your standing by for information relative to the provocative opening line of this post, consider the following, even though it’s not necessarily corollary. it might be. but, let’s not concern ourselves with that.

I’ll just lift some material from another online infomercial story, and build off of that…

“Google is threatening to do to Apple in tablet computers what it did in smart phones: blast past to grab biggest slice of the worldwide market. Apple’s share of the worldwide tablet market slipped to 75% from 95% in the fourth quarter tech tracker Strategy Analytics [apparently, but who confirms this stuff?] said Monday.  Google’s Android software, by contrast, grabbed 22% of the worldwide tablet market during the fourth quarter, up from just 2.3% during the third quarter, according to the firm.

It’s a pattern that’s mirrored by the evolution of the smart phone market over the past year: Google and its partners have catapulted past a fast-growing Apple to claim the top spot in the worldwide smart phone market. Apple isn’t exactly suffering. It owns 16% of worldwide smart phone sales, most of the profits, and sales are up 85.9% over the year-ago quarter.”

that all seems fine and good. however, is anyone – and, it should be everyone noticing, that for all the touting, Google’s stock is not moving North relative to the potential impact of the stories? this means Wall Street isn’t buying into this story-line, and neither should you.

“Does quantity have a quality all its own? will the sheer volume of Android handsets give Google an edge with developers? Or does Apple’s head start give it a lock on profits — if not market share — that Google and its partners won’t be able to rival?”

here is a look at my kind of bottom-line…

Apple rewards it’s collective shareholders with ever-improved valuation. Tim Cook will likely replace Steve Jobs with command-and-and-control of Apple (just not our hearts, inspiration, and imagination). that’s already baked into the stock price. Larry Page (oops) replacing Eric Schmidt is bold, but it’s not inspiring investor confidence. at least not yet anyway. and, that’s baked into Google’s stock price (which is up over 11%, but does not really matter, yet). to be fair, Mr. Page does not step up officially until April, I think.

in any event, all the hooplah aside, Google can sell push Android through more devices than Apple, but Apple is still more profitable. that is more important to me as both a consumer, and more so, a shareholder.

part of my above referenced post is also going to include a call for Google to become more efficient. that will affect the share price. and, I’m prepared to to take the credit for that. shareholders can buy the Modelo’s at the Olde Blind Dog when the time is appropriate.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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in 2010 the geniuses (as in government) at the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) managed to lose $8.7 billon.

this informations comes from people that won’t return your calls.

in the coming year the USPS intends to burrow the last $3.5 billion of the $15 billion line of credit it has with the U.S . Treasury. When it takes this money, the Postal Service will have exhausted all of its sources of funding and could qualify under standards for bankruptcy by this time next year – just in time to be in competition with California and Medicaid for scarce bailout dollars.

I’ll trust you to understand that impacts tax dollars and other service – or, lack thereof.

we need the gnashing of teeth (beneath lips snarled), and the shaking of fists. voices must needs be raised.

they did that while the big boys at United Parcel Service (“UPS”) increased profits by 7.2% in the final quarter, and ripped a roaring profit of $11.73 billion.

…that’s a swing of  almost $20 billion dollars.

NOTE: both organizations are plagued by unions. however, UPS appears to manage the burden smarter, some how.

I’m sure (sure) someone better looking than me has come up with this line-of-thinking, but can we put the United States Mail system into private hands?

obviously, I’ll nominate UPS.

I’m reasonably confident this country could do a lot (better) with an extra $20 billion actually working for citizens.

more later.

brian patrick cork


China and the evolution revolution – the vital difference between a trend and a fad


You’ll have no choice but to relish this example of evolution, of a kind.

And, I see a global revolution, of it’s own kind advancing like a glassy-fronted wave. And, it could very well “break” (that’s a good thing from a surfers view) right here on the shores of our own country (that’s the United States, by way of reminder).

Here is the background:

The word out of Shanghai is that factory workers demanding better wages and working conditions are hastening the eventual end of an era of cheap costs that helped make southern coastal China the world’s factory floor.

My people on the ground there are advising me that a series of strikes over the past two months have been a rude wake-up call for the many foreign companies that depend on China’s low costs to compete overseas, from makers of Christmas trees to manufacturers of gadgets like the iPad.

Where once low-tech factories and scant wages were welcomed in a China eager to escape isolation and poverty, workers are now demanding a bigger share of the profits.

So… It’s revolution intersecting evolution, then.

The government, meanwhile, is pushing foreign companies to make investments in areas it believes will create greater wealth for China, like high technology.

Many companies are striving to stay profitable by shifting factories to cheaper areas farther inland or to other developing countries, and, not just a few, are even resuming production in the West.

They have little choice. Many of today’s Chinese factory workers have both a taste of western influence, and now higher ambitions than their parents, who generally saved their earnings from assembling toys and television sets for retirement in their rural hometowns. This change-oriented generation are also choosier about wages and working conditions. “The conflicts are challenging the current set-up of low-wage, low-tech manufacturing, and may catalyze the transformation of China’s industrial sector,” said Yu Hai, a sociology professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University.

Even with recent increases, wages for Chinese workers are still a fraction of those for Americans (even their distant Indian brothers). However, studies clearly indicate that China’s overall cost advantage is shrinking. That’s a trend and not a fad.

It might turn out that outsourcing, in general, was the fad.

Labor costs have been climbing about fifteen percent (15%) a year since a 2008 labor contract law that made workers more aware of their rights. It should be noted that tax preferences for foreign companies ended in 2007. Land, water, energy and shipping costs are unquestionably on the rise.

In its most recent survey, issued in February, restructuring firm Alix Partners found that, overall, China was more expensive than Mexico, India, Vietnam, Russia and Romania. We’re investigating the Philippines (but, then so are most law enforcement agencies, eh).

Makers of toys and trinkets, Christmas trees and cheap shoes already have folded by the thousands or moved away, some to Vietnam, Indonesia or Cambodia. But those countries lack the huge work force, infrastructure and markets China can offer, and most face the same labor issues as China.

Here is an opportunity, if not form of prediction:

So, ironically the evolution of our own economy may be setting the stage and create opportunities for companies around the globe to bring manufacturing and related services back to the United States. We have massive infrastructure and trained people throughout the midwest ready, willing and able to take-on the assembly line for a chance at a dignified living. Now we need our own government to step-up and incentivize companies to create another industrial revolution.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell

photos by John Campbell


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