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Dana Blankenhorn

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  • Wal-Mart and Target Could Lead U.S. Retail Recovery [View article]
    I agree that the Great Recession will never truly end until we break the link between growth and oil prices. It has gotten so tight that now oil prices rise with each increase in stock prices -- they don't wait for demand changes.

    The solution is harvesting the abundant renewable energy all around us, starting with the cheapest such energy, which we have more of than any other country. Waste. Then moving the cost of solar, wind and biomass down, through research and scaling, so it becomes the cheap energy.

    That has little to do with WalMart, although WalMart can do some interesting things.
    Aug 17 08:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart and Target Could Lead U.S. Retail Recovery [View article]
    I think that is why their strategy has changed. I find it interesting. They made their name by being able to bulk-ship to stores, which is why they built big stores. With smaller stores, they have to break bulk at the shipment level. When other stores have done this, it cost so much they had to raise prices. If WalMart has to do that, it really breaks them. People will immediately start publicizing the price differences between WalMart and WalMart.

    The problem you cite, by the way, is only true for WalMart branded stores, stores where people buy each product in a small quantity. It's not true at Sam's Club, where bulk is never broken.

    Point is that breaking bulk at minimal cost is a huge challenge.
    Aug 17 08:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Google, Motorola Deal as Rat Poison [View article]
    A few charges offered without proof aren't evidence of a conspiracy. Sorry. I compare Google with its peers in the tech space and I don't see anything egregious. Especially compared with the companies you find out are usually behind the charges like AT&T, Oracle and Apple.
    Aug 17 05:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Android Take Google Down? [View article]
    I hate to get jingoistic about this but it will also be great for America.

    Think about it. A few years ago all the dominant phone platforms were foreign -- Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Samsung etc. Now all the platforms are American -- iPhone, Android and (let's be fair) Windows. Quite a turnaround in a very short time.
    Aug 17 03:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Android Take Google Down? [View article]
    I don't think we disagree much on the motivation. The common view is that ":Jobs and Co. will eat their lunch," and they've been doing this for some years now, so there's reason to see that as true.

    But some important points. Google has lots of cash to throw at this. The Chinese OEMs want a choice of platforms -- there are tons of guys getting shut out by the way Apple does business. And there remain opportunities for Chinese OEMs to optimize within the Android ecosystem that don't exist in the Apple universe. For example they can tweak the code inside chips, to meet a set of open specifications.

    Even though Android is now more "closed" than it was, it's still based on visible code, it's still got a lot of open source in it, and there are still opportunities there to be innovative many Chinese companies will want to pursue.

    To me, it's the difference between a semi-free market and a dictatorship.
    Aug 17 03:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here's Cisco's Real Problem [View article]
    When you concentrate on a small customer set with an extremely long, expensive sales cycle, you often find yourself unable to deal with a truly competitive market.

    It's a contracting mindset you can find in any large firm that does substantial business in Washington. It's very French, actually. I don't like seeing American businesses copy French methods, and I don't see why they should be defended.
    Aug 17 03:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Google, Motorola Deal as Rat Poison [View article]
    I was responding to the post above mine, and noting that I have seen that kind of active distrust, even cynicism as to motives, from others.

    The idea that Google owns Washington (they don't), the idea that somehow Google's desire for profit is obscene (while others' isn't) the implication that they are thieves (completely unproven) smacks of an active dislike toward the company which, while I've found it before, I've always found curious.

    Google's ethics are, on the whole, pretty good. They built what they felt was an open source phone with open source parts, and their view is they were suddenly hit with trolls and claims that no one else should be allowed to create a smart phone, even with open source, without paying royalties.

    Having covered open source for six years at ZDNet, I have some sympathy for that, and some knowledge of the background.

    I suppose it's because their unofficial motto is "don't be evil" that some insist on seeing evil intent in everything they do. But I've seen a lot of companies, and I'd stack Google's ethics, overall, against any other firm's.
    Aug 17 03:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How the NYT Paywall Is Working [View article]
    Business of Journalism 101. The content and printing are paid for by the advertising. The only thing paid for by the subscriber is the cost of getting it to them.

    I suspect the Times is claiming great success here without evidence.
    Aug 17 11:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Android Take Google Down? [View article]
    Apple is no more a hardware company these days than Google is.

    They don't make hardware. Foxconn does. Apple designs hardware, which mostly means they do software and specifications.

    Android is software and a specification. So there really isn't as much difference as you think between what the two do. Page is copying Jobs' strategy, and maybe you think no one can but I don't think that's true.

    Microsoft failed because Microsoft's software sucked. Google's software does not suck. Now it will try to monetize this advantage. (Which answers your other question -- why are they doing this.)
    Aug 17 11:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Todd Harrison's quick take on the proposed transactions tax from Merkozy this afternoon: "This will quell HFT and impact the banks" banking coin from these strategies. Longer term, eliminating 70% of the daily volume risks creating a "zombie market" where shares trade by appointment.  [View news story]
    Thank you, Secretary Mellon. Your solution worked so well 80 years ago, I'm sure it's going to do even better now.
    Aug 17 08:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Android Take Google Down? [View article]
    Y'all may be right, but if that's the case why the huge break-up fee? And why be so confident in the value of Motorola's patents given the fact they've been getting hammered in court, despite having those patents?

    Apple used its enormous cash advantage to gain control of its supply chain on iPhone, enabling it to deliver the best possible experience at the lowest possible cost. Why wouldn't Google at least try to do the same, given the success of the operating system? If it's a question of expertise, they can hire it.
    Aug 17 08:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Google, Motorola Deal as Rat Poison [View article]
    Interesting to find out where all this Google hate comes from. Not just yours, but others.

    Some of it, I know, is pure Astroturf, drummed up by people like Scott Cleland of the Precursor Blog. But some is doubtless organic, and I'd like to understand its source.
    Aug 17 08:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google is All-In with Motorola Purchase [View instapost]
    I think it will take time for Motorola to be accretive. Figure a year or two. The low multiple on Microsoft is due to the fact that it hasn't grown appreciably in earnings, that it's a "one-trick pony" (operating systems) whose other operations have been cash drains.

    Eventually all stocks fall to Earth, in terms of multiple. Larry Page is trying to do all he can to delay that. Depends on whether you think he can execute.

    Many think he can't.
    Aug 17 08:00 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. authorities have reportedly widened their inquiry into News Corp. (NWS) to determine whether they can find a broad pattern of misconduct despite not finding any hard evidence so far that company journalists hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims.
     [View news story]
    The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes what has already been revealed in the phone hacking scandal actionable by U.S. authorities.

    What they're saying is they haven't found evidence that News Corp. hacked the phones of 9-11 victims, but they're looking into other crimes. That could include FCPA charges.
    Aug 16 07:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How the NYT Paywall Is Working [View article]
    No, they can't. How many publications will you pay for online? Very, very few. A few will do OK, but the whole idea is stupid anyway, since the concept of paying for papers was always that the payment paid for the cost of getting the paper to you -- not the printing, and certainly not the reporting.

    And Felix, "beating internal expectations" is not the same thing as financial success. It's PR-speak. Let's see some quarterly reports.
    Aug 16 07:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment