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  • Are Electronic Cigarettes A Genuine Threat To Big Tobacco? [View article]
    Imagine my surprise to see this article! I've been vaping for a little under a year now and I haven't touched more than 2 or 3 cigarettes since, and normally because I was around other smokers and just wanted to. One or two puffs on an "analog" (vape slang for old fashioned cigs) and I'd be nearly sick with the smell and taste of it. Once you find a good machine (I prefer the Smokeless Image Volt) it's all about finding your favorite accessories, etc.

    This is a huge market and already small business owners are capitalizing on the need for better batteries, cartos, and particularly flavors. There are some who make money in the industry doing nothing but mixing up batches of Caramel Creme, Mint Double Chocolate Chip, or facsimiles of brands like Newport, Camel, and Marlboro. As many vapers tend to stay so for a long time, there is heavy brand loyalty and a hands on customer service aspect that you just don't get from regular cigarette companies.

    There are people dropping hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars into the hands of entrepreneurs who have gotten into the new market. Now it probably sounds like I'm some kind of e-cig cheerleader and it's probably because I am. I am a lot healthier since ditching analogs and the variety afforded by vaping can't be beat by anyone in Big T; especially with more "juice" makers hitting the market.

    I definitely see e-cigs growing in popularity in the future.
    Nov 30, 2012. 11:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Grand Bargain: Are Fiscal Spending Cuts And Revenue Increases Both Needed? Part 1 [View article]
    Yes, because the mores of Industrial Victoriana worked SO WELL back then too! I'd like a side of poverty with my tuberculosis if you don't mind; I figure we'll share since both of us would end up in the same place.

    Get your nose out of the Dickens novels; you wouldn't have been nearly as high up as you think you would be.
    Nov 9, 2012. 11:29 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why World Of Warcraft Will Drag Activision Blizzard's Earnings Down [View article]
    Great analysis, but as another commenter said, I think we're forgetting the social factor of World of Warcraft. While the graphics are outdated, the game play repetitious, and the monthly fee a bit of an annoyance; it is the MMO with the easiest, and most widespread, entrance. There's only one other MMO I can think of that has that much of a "cult" behind it and that would probably be Eve Online.

    I don't think any one game is going to be a WoW killer. Ultimately, WoW has killed itself; simultaneously adding ridiculous new grind quests and little to no ROI for long hours of play. How many of us made it to level 85 only to realize that more grinding was required just to be able to enter those high level dungeons that were dangled in front of us like carrots. While WoW has an easy entrance, said entrance is becoming even more expensive, especially since each and every expansion is needed to get to the latest material.

    There is something really obnoxious about purchasing over $100 in expansion you barely ever touch or see the content of; especially if you came in at Cataclysm.

    That said I do think WoW will be around for many more years to come, and if an upgrade to graphics and new storylines can be created, the experience of joining a guild, raiding until 3 A.M., and only playing a Priest because it gets you into more parties will, once again, become an expected rite of passage within the gaming world..

    I own, and am long on, ATVI.
    Oct 10, 2012. 04:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Worse Than The Great Depression? [View article]
    It's scary to think the American people have not realized how their own spending habits are effecting the actual growth/slow down of the economy. Even the crash it self, can be partially laid at our feet; were so many of us not willing to be house rich and cash poor, the subprime crisis may have been smaller, if not completely averted.

    I'm terrified to think what will happen when the student debt bubble bursts.
    Aug 2, 2012. 12:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Bernanke Cargo Cult: Bankrupt Policy For A Bankrupt Generation [View article]
    This is a great article. Thank you for writing it. I'm in my late twenties, but I am hoping to make the right moves to insure I can save enough for retirement while also diversifying my portfolio and investment vehicles. All in all, it seems like a no-win situation for those in my position.

    We can keep our money in the stock market and suffer the backlash when things actually correct OR we can put our money in worthless bonds and savings accounts with no interest. With so much going on behind the scenes, and financial managers/analysts constantly disagreeing on what can/should be done by the smart investor (with a good bit of risk tolerance) your piece makes my need to research and assess that much more obvious.
    Jul 26, 2012. 03:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix Continues To Stagnate [View article]
    I'm speaking, purely, as someone who is a subscriber to Netflix, so my bias is going to be obvious. I do not, nor do I plan on using Apple's Itunes for anything other than storing my free podcasts. I find their intrusiveness grating, and their software's constant need for updates while, subsequently, managing to malfunction if you don't update "right away darn it!" to be more than obnoxious.

    I do think Netflix is stagnating because it's attempting to grow too quickly, but I don't think it will ever "fade out." Of all of the platforms available Netflix is the easiest to use, while being available on all gaming platforms and charging a flat rate to view all of its content. I remember when Starz was pulling out of their arrangement and the entire web was abuzz with the notion that it was the "end of Netflix", but not only have I not noticed the missing Starz material (I wasn't a fan when they were trying to get me to pay to watch their tripe) and most people could care less.

    I think Netflix is hitting that same kind of growing pain that Microsoft now faces, where to go next. Purchasing the rights to cancelled series and beginning production perhaps?
    Jul 26, 2012. 03:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fed Beige Book: The report paints a more optimistic picture of the economy than much of the recent data. Growth continues at a moderate pace in all districts with just Philadelphia reporting a slowing in the rate of expansion. Residential real estate activity improved in most districts, although the recovery remains fragile.  [View news story]
    I sometimes wonder what people thought was going to happen after a second Depression? Especially while most lawmakers are too busy touting ideology and jockeying for elections to come to a necessary balance of measures to help get the economy moving a bit more rapidly while also cutting debt.
    Jun 6, 2012. 03:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment