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Dana Blankenhorn

 
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  • Considering Bill Gross's Demand for Immediate Stimulus [View article]
    I think Gross' point is what kind of stimulus. Specifically he's suggesting an infrastructure bank, which is bonds committed to rebuilding roads, ports, and repairing the economy's arteries.

    That's one reason why he sounds so liberal. While his letter quotes Warren Buffett on this, I saw an MSNBC ad in which host Rachel Maddow made the same point about the need for infrastructure. Which is why I mentioned it in the piece.
    Jun 21 04:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • RBC notes a decade of wage inflation in China vs. stagnation in Mexico has left the U.S. southern neighbor quite competitive. Toss in a new world of expensive energy, and Mexico's advantage over China gets clearer. Look for Mexico's share of U.S. imports - 12.5% in 2010 - to keep rising.  [View news story]
    Yeah, except for all that gang violence and drug wars and complete lack of education or sophisticated infrastructure they're exactly the same!
    Jun 21 03:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Android Faces Legal Threats [View article]
    Microsoft's changing attitude toward intellectual property is well documenting in the book "Burning the Ships." It switched in the early 2000s from demanding business partners agree not to sue on patent claims to its present stance (copying IBM) of having as many patents as possible so it can freely enter any business it wants.

    One key weakness Google has, according to Mueller, is its patent portfolio. That's why it is trying to buy the remains of Nortel -- to get its patent portfolio as a set of bargaining chips in future negotiations.
    Jun 21 03:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Android Faces Legal Threats [View article]
    I can't speak to ORCL as an investment in this case, but the likelihood of a large success of it does seem to be impacting GOOG negatively.
    Jun 21 03:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Investors Are Not Seeing Solar Profits [View article]
    SHEC Labs has had no public announcements of any note since November. They announced a patent filing in May that looks similar to a 2005 filing. Earlier versions of a company with that name www.shec-labs.com/pres... ended in tears -- accusations of penny stock fraud out of Saskatoon. www.investmentbanter.c...

    When there's some there there worth investing in, it won't be necessary to run to Saskatoon to find funding. In my opinion. Loved to be proven wrong.
    Jun 21 12:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Investors Are Not Seeing Solar Profits [View article]
    No, we can do more than panels. We may see roll-on solar cells that work like wallpaper. We may see systems that work like paint.

    As costs decline, the accessible market also changes. Right now it makes no sense without direct, constant sunlight. That's also going to change.

    Don't get locked into what things look like now. Think instead about what technology makes possible.
    Jun 21 11:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Investors Are Not Seeing Solar Profits [View article]
    There are several dimensions to cost-effectiveness, other than mere cell efficiency. There is the cost of cell production. There is the cost of installation. All those goes into the cost-per-watt calculation, where in fact you're getting the kind of halving of costs every 18 months Gordon Moore predicted in his famous article.
    Jun 21 09:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Investors Are Not Seeing Solar Profits [View article]
    California was very much ahead of the curve when it came to semiconductors, and it's ahead of the curve with this related technology as well.

    I emphasize the 1971 date in part because we have yet to see the final form this technology will take. You say you see solar panels everywhere in Italy. But will it stay a panel-based technology, with all the attendant installation costs?
    Jun 21 09:25 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Investors Are Not Seeing Solar Profits [View article]
    My problem is identifying winners. There were a lot of chip companies in the early 70s, and a ton of PC companies in the mid-70s, that were gone by the 80s.

    Yet that industry was driving through the "s" curve, making money hand over fist.

    It's a mistake to confuse the direction of a market with that of any player in that market.
    Jun 20 05:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Investors Are Not Seeing Solar Profits [View article]
    At this point in the cycle you shouldn't expect manufacturing profits. The first people to profit will be retailers, those who are making a market. And the big profits remain in efficiency, not in generation.

    The important point to note, however, is the trend. As prices plunge new opportunities open up, in different sectors of the ecosystem.

    The subsidies are designed to hasten the crossover, which is now seen coming in 2014 or 2015, from solar being the "expensive energy that needs subsidies" to being the "cheap energy that doesn't."

    Yes, even without charging fossil fuel people for the external costs of what they're doing to the Earth, the water table, and the air, solar panels will be cheaper in just a few years.
    Jun 20 05:40 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft's Comeback Plan Is All About IP [View article]
    I personally don't believe in software patents, but your financial analysis looks accurate to me.

    It's important in looking at financial matters not to let your personal preferences get in the way of the facts. That's a great way to lose money.
    Jun 20 01:57 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Search for the Next First Solar [View article]
    I don't see their technology as being especially compelling. Someone might take a flyer on it out of bankruptcy, but when your market cap is collapsing no one wants to jump on the falling knife in any way, shape or form.
    Jun 20 01:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Is Still a Retailer [View article]
    AMZN stock is high because people see that hockey stick in the same way you do.

    Whatever Amazon's margin is on EC2 and the Kindle, their total operating margins are just 10%, according to its balance sheet, which is more in line with retailing than it is with tech.

    I would actually hope Amazon's margins on cloud and Kindle are modest, because those are fast-growing businesses and you want to invest ahead of demand.
    Jun 17 05:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Is Still a Retailer [View article]
    Total profit on the product is expected to come down with competition.

    But linking people to Apple's app store is the key to its future. And Apple takes 30% off the top there.
    Jun 17 05:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Is Still a Retailer [View article]
    Cloud Foundry from VMWare and Red Hat's OpenShift are other PaaS platforms out there. This is strategic to every enterprise computing player, because many think it will in time replace enterprise computing.

    I am not disagreeing with you. You bring up an excellent point. There will be growing competition in this segment.
    Jun 17 05:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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