Numlock News: June 18, 2021 • Diamonds, Argentina, Movie Trailers

By Walt Hickey

Have a great weekend!


Weekly television spending on movie trailers is up considerably compared to last year, with $15.1 million in ad buys from June 7 to 13. That’s the second-highest weekly spend of the year, with the only higher one being the week of the Oscars (which had $18.5 million), and triple the level seen as recently as late April. Spending on movie trailers has been rising at a considerable clip as cinemas heat up amid rising vaccination rates in the United States, with a solid possibility that the weekly spend on advertising movies will rise above the levels seen in the same weeks of 2019 sometime soon.

Gavin Bridge, Variety


A 1,098 carat diamond was mined in Botswana two weeks ago, a hair lighter than the second-largest diamond ever found. Debswana, the miner who hauled the rock out of the ground, is a joint venture between De Beers and the country’s government, with up to 80 percent of the income from sales going to the country. The largest diamond ever found was the Cullinan, found in South Africa in 1905, which came in at 3,106 carats; the second-largest is Lesedi La Rona, and sold for $53 million in 2017.

BBC News


A teardown of the newest 12.9-inch iPad released in May found that the composition of the tablet has changed considerably compared to the previous iteration. According to Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, the estimated production cost of the new iPad is $510, up 30 percent from the previous model. Taiwan’s share of the parts as a percentage of costs rose from 1.7 percent to 18.5 percent, primarily owing to LCD backlight components; U.S. parts are 16.8 percent of the cost, and China stayed flat at 7.5 percent of the iPad’s value by cost. South Korean parts in the iPad fell to 38.6 percent of the value of the tablet thanks to the DRAM and LCD, still a plurality but down slightly from 44 percent of the previous edition’s costs.

Norio Matsumoto, Hideaki Ryugen and Naoki Watanabe, Nikkei Asia


OnlyFans, which is Substack for attractive people, seems to be making moves towards bringing in new investors. The U.K.-based company that controls the subscription service, Fenix International, has upped the number of shares it has from 100 to 1 million shares, which is what you do when you want to potentially bring in some new blood to your content, music and pornography company. Business is booming: last year’s revenues through November were £283.5 million, a sevenfold increase. Pre-tax profits rose from £6 million in 2019 to £53 million in 2020; this year’s profits are projected to be over £300 million.

Patricia Nilsson, Financial Times


Conectar Igualdad was a project the Argentinean government launched in 2010, which began to end in 2015 and eventually folded completely in 2018. The plan was simple: the government would give a netbook to every single high school student. These weren’t supercomputers exactly, and most had only basic functionality and specs for the time, but the knock on effects were stellar: for lots of families, this was the first computer the entire family ever had, and for the 4 million students who got a machine from 2011 to 2015, the ripple effect was, if anything, rather loud. Starting in 2017, Argentina’s music scene exploded, with an entire generation of trap musicians, DJs and video makers who cut their teeth on the government-issued netbooks developing into a robust cultural market that the government’s cultural ministry has come back around to support.

Juan José Relmucao, Rest of World


A new report puts the United States housing shortage at 3.8 million units, up from 2.5 million housing units in 2018. That puts a small building boomlet in perspective: last year was one of the best ever years for new apartments since 1990, and only 389,000 apartment units began construction. This year, a projected 446,000 units will begin construction, and while that’s distinctly an improvement, there’s still a huge deficit to contend with.

Patrick Sisson, Bloomberg

Hot In Here

The Earth takes in an estimated 240 watts per square meter of energy from the sun, according to the latest estimates from NOAA. Back in 2005, Earth was radiating back out into space 239.5 of those watts. That meant that there was a net 0.5 watts per square meter that was accumulating on Earth, mostly (about 90 percent) being absorbed by the oceans. The problem, however, is that by the end of 2019, according to NOAA, that 0.5 watt accumulation had doubled to 1 watt per square meter, owing to decreased cloud cover, sea ice and an increase in greenhouse gasses.

Tik Root, The Washington Post

Last Sunday, I spoke to Victoria Knight who wrote “Once Banned, For-Profit Medical Schools Are On The Rise Again In The U.S.” for Kaiser Health News. We spoke about why schools in the for-profit model began to emerge several years ago, and what that means for medical training across the country. Knight can be found at Kaiser Health News and on Twitter.

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