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  • Pity Poor Demand Media - Or Maybe Not [View article]
    Rocco -

    Unfortunately, I don't base my opinion of a stock based on the happiness of the employees, nor the smiles and handshakes of management. That's a bit naive, from an investment perspective. Instead, I base it largely on the expected value of an ownership stake in the issuing company.

    So let's take a look at what owning a piece of DMD gets you. In the three reported public quarters, the company lost $0.63, $0.54 and $0.13 per share, respectively. Naturally, a company needs to be profitable to justify a non-zero stock price. Therefore, as an investor, I assume you must have a time in mind when the company will be profitable, and by how much. I'm on the record saying this stock is worth $0. In other words, I don't expect profits. If you have a valuation and a justification, let's have it. That's the kind of argument that I would find convincing.

    I can absolutely see why you think so highly of the quality of employment, though. The income statement shows that by far the largest increase in expenditure came from SG&A. That's the trouble with differentiating a company from its stock, however. The best company in the world could have very little income available to its stockholders, after internal (employee salary, etc.) and debt costs are deducted. However, that's what stock prices are based on.
    Jul 30, 2011. 10:31 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • iPad: Magical Indeed [View article]
    Magic is in the eye of the beholder.
    May 5, 2010. 02:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • iPad: Magical Indeed [View article]
    I think you would find that the technologies underlying Seeking Alpha did not exist 15 years ago. But more specifically, we can't even begin to discuss Flash (introduced 1996) and the vast majority of the internet it powers. In fact, it is already becoming regarded as an obsolete technology, replaced (driven in small part by Apple's refusal to support it) by the open HTML5 standard. Perhaps you could browse the internet with Hypercard, the technology that inspired the video game MYST, which was in turn the chief driver of CD-ROM adoption (another technology you may remember from 15 years ago, when it's replacement, the DVD, was first produced).

    The game of "what has changed my lifestyle" is ultimately a silly one - you may have been perfectly happy, technology-wise, in the 1995 world. For me, there are aspects of my profession which were not even possible with that technology. Have you ever written a paper in LATEX, or edited a photo on your computer? For that matter, remember when cameras could only take 24 pictures at a time? And you had to carry albums around to share them with people? The traffic and weather reports you (or your pilot) rely on when you travel are in turn based on new technology and models; alternatively, your subway is part of a sophisticated grid. The pills you take are discovered with advanced data models that Windows 95 couldn't begin to power. The best "revolutionary" advances should be invisible - which is why its especially amazing to me when one is available for purchase.

    Yes, I don't *need* a GPS to tell me where I am, or the ability to carry an always-up-to-date map around in my pocket. Paper maps suited me just fine (except when they were out of date). I'm sure there are people who think even those maps are unnecessary - why can't we just remember directions? Everyone will have their own comfort level with technology, and if yours is circa 1995 then more power to you, for everything available then can be done now faster and more efficiently.

    For those of us who do recognize the technological progress of the last few decades, your point that the iPad is, at its core, just a toy is not wasted. I get it. It's a gadget. It's fun. And it's locked down, so I can't even take full advantage of it. But the technology underpinning it is anything but. The candy-coated glossy sheen is just Apple's way of baby-proofing the device; I respect your opinion if we see differently.
    May 5, 2010. 02:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • iPad: Magical Indeed [View article]
    Ah, the sad story of the Joo Joo Tablet. In a nutshell, the tablet was "appropriated" away from Michael Arrington of TechCrunch by the development studio in the 11th hour.

    This isn't the cleanest version of the story, but it's guaranteed to be up to date:
    May 5, 2010. 02:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • iPad: Magical Indeed [View article]
    Respectfully, my automobile example was to make the same point as you - that many technologies fail to reach transformative milestones.

    With regard to computers, however, I couldn't disagree more. You are fooling yourself if you think broadband and data delivery are the only forms of improvement - otherwise your screen would be a scrolling mess of zeros and ones. In fact, those are merely bandwidth improvements - not at all different from their decades-old predecessor. The software that makes sense of that data is the where the real brilliance lies. Your web browser is a fantastically complicated piece of code, capable of importing billions of datapoints and relaying them in a manner that makes sense to you but is largely independent of their content or your hardware. On top of that, it is capable of running arbitrary code on websites, which is what turns the internet from an abstract conduit into a full-fledged application.

    Connectivity alone is great; making use of it is incredible. Browsers are just one catch-all example. Data engines power everything from pharmaceutical research to weather reports to stock exchanges and on and on. "Beautiful interfaces," I grant, is purely subjective. But "engines of intuition" is not. An extraordinary amount of thought went into condensing the iPad's email application to 4 buttons and a list that are nonetheless on par with their desktop counterparts. Same for Mobile Safari and Mobile iTunes. These powerful applications take the same data that ugly, button-heavy "fat apps" do and render it in a form that is not only aesthetic but complies with the user's intuition with regard to appropriate behavior. It could be something as simple as brining up a numeric keypad when the input is certain to be a number and characters when text is required. Don't believe me? Ask any six year old to send an email to her mother in Windows 95. With an iPad, you wouldn't even have time to finish the question - and she might throw in a picture to boot.

    And that's just software. Dismiss the touchscreen as frivolous if you like (people said the same about mice, once upon a time) - the most basic fact is that you can carry these applications around! They don't need wires! That's revolutionary in and of itself. Sure, we've had laptops forever -- but if you've used an iPad you know there's no comparison. Form factor, portability, ease of sharing, even startup time all contribute to a pretty significant breakthrough in mobile computing.
    May 5, 2010. 02:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Tablet OS=Snow Leopard's Dashboard? [View article]
    I agree - the reason I used a Wikipedia image instead of my own dashboard for the article is because I so infrequently use mine. Nonetheless, if an iPhone-like interface was lurking somewhere in my Mac's OS X, I wouldn't use that either - but I use it every day on my phone.

    I trust that if this were implemented as the main interface of the tablet, Apple would see to it that it was at the center of workflow, and not a slow and often hidden accessory thereof.

    But the metaphor isn't so different from OS X proper - in its most basic form, it's just a bunch of apps viewed at once on a screen. Not too different than running many windows at once, just somewhat more stylized and lacking full cross-application interactions.
    Jan 20, 2010. 11:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Tablet OS=Snow Leopard's Dashboard? [View article]
    Respectfully, I don't run any advertisements on my blog, nor do I choose which of my articles Seeking Alpha chooses to run on theirs (to be honest, I was a little surprised by this one!).
    Jan 20, 2010. 11:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Tablet OS=Snow Leopard's Dashboard? [View article]
    They may not be based on Dashboard widgets from a software perspective (since they would be native application rather than what amount to essentially web apps), but iPhone apps themselves don't look too different from Dashboard widgets, although somewhat more rectangular.

    I agree however, the majority of apps might adopt a more traditional GUI as the highly stylized widget appearance might not translate well to a full featured app.
    Jan 20, 2010. 11:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Tablet OS=Snow Leopard's Dashboard? [View article]
    No, not webOS -- which we should note is a Palm product. It's true that the current Dashboard essentially runs webOS applications (html + css + java) but it would be a massive step backwards -- specifically to the first generation, pre-SDK iPhone -- for Apple not to allow native application in their new environment.

    I only described the webOS-esque widgets because that's the state of Dashboard today. I certainly do not expect that to continue in the near future.
    Jan 20, 2010. 11:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Tablet OS=Snow Leopard's Dashboard? [View article]
    Please don't misunderstand - the question at hand is "what will the interface look like," not "what software will drive the interface."

    If the iPhone OS (which, as you point out, is nothing more than a slimmed down breed of OS X proper) were capable of running background applications, then it would essentially be running apps on top of each other (since the iPhone screen only displays one app at a time - the other apps would figuratively be running behind the visible one). It has been said that the only reason the iPhone does not run background apps is the demand on both the processor and the battery - two factors that should be ameliorated with the forthcoming tablet and new iPhone hardware. The tablet's larger screen should allow those background apps to move out from under the front app and run next to it - in an environment that would by definition look a lot like Dashboard's multi-app workspace.
    Jan 20, 2010. 11:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Tablet OS=Snow Leopard's Dashboard? [View article]
    hmmm... that should read:

    Excellent point and ones that frustrates iPhone users daily. The hunt/point/click paradigm doesn't work as well when all the icons aren't laid out at once, or when search is (unbearably) slow.

    A large screen, however, would allow more icons to be laid out in more intelligent ways (not necessarily scrolling left to right, but with depth, scaling or rotation. Favorites - or mobile docks of favorites - could be placed more intuitively. Typing should be faster than with just thumbs, allow a spotlight-esque (or Quicksilver, if you prefer) interface to really shine. Finally, gesture based launchers can't be that far off...
    Jan 20, 2010. 10:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Tablet OS=Snow Leopard's Dashboard? [View article]
    Excellent point and one that frustrates iPhone
    Jan 20, 2010. 10:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google's Nexus One: Not All That Different from the Droid [View article]
    That's a great point - and, interestingly, one which Apple is playing up in their new iPhone commercials. Verizon may have better coverage, but for some people that's a dealbreaker.
    Jan 4, 2010. 10:23 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Google's Phone Doesn't Change Things Much (Yet) [View article]
    That's exactly what I meant - thank you for pointing it out! I've edited the original, but unfortunately I'm not sure how to change SA's copy...

    On Dec 14 12:48 PM Matthew Sanders wrote:

    > did you mean to say, "...DON'T hold my breath and wait..."?
    Dec 14, 2009. 04:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment