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  • Nomura: Mulally to be Microsoft's next CEO [View news story]
    Two of the things I don't like about Fords and Lincolns, happen to be the Microsoft software and the Sony sound systems. It seems to me that the Microsoft deal was a 'good ole boy' contract that Mulally imposed. I own Ford stock and have owned Fords in the past and several Lincolns. The Lincoln Navigators that I owned had Alpine amplifiers for their sound system. This is a high end audio brand for cars. The difference is sonic quality between Alpine and Sony is huge! I also am an audiophile and spend way too much for my home systems as well.

    My current Lincoln has the Sync System which is a predecessor to the MyTouch junk. It would be interesting to see if Mulally could get MS to fix that software. My guess is that he probably couldn't. MS is well known to produce software loaded with bugs. It has been this way from the beginning. Bill Gates was a brilliant business man, but in no way was MS ever considered to release 'reliable' software. I think the Xbox is the lone quality offering in the MS product line. Of course, the Xbox is just a gaming system.

    My opinion is 1) that MS is too big a mess for Mulally to fix. 2) Mulally is not a techie kind of guy and that Boeing and Ford have more in common that Ford and Microsoft. So I don't see Mulally as a good fit for Microsoft in terms of fixing their main problem which is that put out crappy software. It has been long built into their DNA that quality and reliability isn't a big deal. Microsoft needs a tech savy CEO that will demand great, reliable products first. Then he can go about determining the direction of the company's future.

    As far as the impact on Ford with the departure of Mulally ... I can't say. I don't know enough about the culture and the type of leadership outside of Mulally.
    Dec 5 02:41 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Ford Will Easily Plow Through $25 In 2014 [View article]
    Growth in China will most likely exceed the loses in Europe.
    Dec 5 04:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Not Out Of The Woods Yet [View article]
    I don't like to use the "s" word. It sounds so adolescent, but Android is just beginning to start the "s"ing process. The more hardware platforms it has to support and the more releases it must support the more tangled the web becomes. Then when the hardware platforms add another layer of custom code on top ... well ... there are going to be issues. One features works on the last release but not on the new release. It's unavoidable and that has been a big part of the complexity (bugginess) of MS Windows for PCs. I currently use a Samsung Note II. So I like phablets and big displays. However, that doesn't mean that I don't have some issues with how it works. I do have to power cycle and reset defaults on occasion.

    Android has had it's issues and it will continue to have issues.
    Dec 3 09:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Linn Energy Offers Bullish Guidance [View article]
    I may be a little different than most folks, but with a distribution that yields 10% I'm much more concerned that the distribution does not decrease than I am concerned that the distribution increases. Sure increases are great, but decreases can be disastrous.
    Dec 3 09:28 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Ford Will Easily Plow Through $25 In 2014 [View article]
    MrVicent you are living in the past. To do well in the stock market you need to look towards the future. Companies can change. Ford began improving it's quality in the 90's getting better year over year. Today the fusion and the F150's are rated very high by the various groups that analyze reliability.
    Dec 3 12:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Samsung Is Apple's Worst Nightmare [View article]
    Please Michael ... Ashraf sounds like a young guy with not much real world experience with this article. This is an old story about any large company building everything in house vs using suppliers. It has been lived out many times. Think fabless chip companies, remember when IBM made their own printers and terminals?

    He gets a ton of hits on this one because of his Geraldo Rivera headline "... apple's worst nightmare ..."

    Nonetheless; you support it because it supports your shorting dreams, but not because it is spot on.
    Nov 8 01:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Samsung Is Apple's Worst Nightmare [View article]
    I have a different take on all this Ashraf. I believe that Samsung is now at the pinnacle of its 'golden era'.

    First, just by the fact that Samsung is at the top means that everybody else in the sector hates them and is gunning for them. HTC, Motorola, Nokia, LG and on down the line are all looking for alternate suppliers. They don't want to be beholden to the whims of Samsung when it comes to pricing and supply. They all HAVE to be looking elsewhere and making plans to be independent from a single supplier.

    Second, Samsung is reliant on GOOG for android and QCOM for processors. While they enjoy success they also enjoy their own success even more. What I mean is that they have different goals and probably don't like seeing Samsung getting to big for it's britches.

    Third when you supply components for your competition you can put yourself into a sticky situation and unforeseen issues can complicate relations. Also as a supplier it takes focus away from your mission for the assembled product. Apple does not want or need to defocus itself from the final products.

    Fourth, if Apple were to buy ... say Micron, then it has to upgrade the fab on a regular basis to keep it's process current and relevant. To keep the fab profitable you have find a maintain other customers. I don't think that is something that Apple needs to take on for most of these components. I think a fab for memory and possibly processors is worth considering, but I'm not convinced that is the best way to solve the problem.

    Time will tell, but I think in 5 years Samsung will be in a position similar to where Sony is today.

    BTW -- You have a typo. "Samsing" owns nothing.
    Nov 7 02:24 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Samsung Is Apple's Worst Nightmare [View article]
    I never thought of that "yesterday". I think a GoPro purchase would be a brilliant move for apple. I can imagine all kinds of innovative tricks Apple could do with that acquisition.
    Nov 7 02:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware The Linn Energy Spike [View article]
    yada yada yada ... a short hanging on by the thinest of skin. I believe that the merger has a 99.9% chance of closing. It will be positive for share holders of BRY and unit holders of LINE and LNCO. I love the yield. I'm long both LINE and LNCO. I added to my position after both Barron's articles. Last buy was at $27, I was tempted at $23, but decided to hold and let the dust settle. I'm happy with my decision. The distributions have been great. I'm not rolling a pile of fancy numbers, but my gut feeling is that LINE will settle around $36 and will rise to $40-42 within the next 12 months.
    Nov 1 02:42 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Does Something Amazing [View article]
    I enjoyed the depth of this article and I don't think it is too complex although it is far more technically complex than most SA articles. However, I'm not too sure I get the point other than Apple did a world class design job and it will likely not use Intel or Qualcomm for it's mobile devices. Somebody likes your article a lot ... aapl is up 2.4%.
    Oct 21 02:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Ford Isn't Caught Up In Teslamania [View article]
    They use 7000 cell phone batteries, but some are charging while others are used for power as needed. They use more than required because of reliability and redundancy. They have software that monitors charge level, etc and use an algorithm to insure longest possible battery life. It is more than just slapping a few battery management chips on a board.
    Oct 1 03:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Ford Isn't Caught Up In Teslamania [View article]
    @Rik1381 you are vastly more qualified to state the "natural gas combined cycle power plant" efficiency than I. So ... it must be ~60%.
    Sep 27 03:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Ford Isn't Caught Up In Teslamania [View article]
    Maybe things have changed (or my memory is off), but what I'm saying is that if you measure the energy released by burning natural gas, then take that same amount of natural gas burn it in a power plant and turn that into electrical power and then measure the energy of the electrical power it is only about 27% ... maybe I remember wrong, (it has been a long time since I was in college) perhaps it was that if you turn that electricity into heat that the total efficiency is only 27%.

    Taking your number of 60% it still shows that we throw away a lot of energy and it would considerably more efficient to just burn that natural gas in car or truck vs putting batteries in the car or truck.
    Sep 27 03:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Ford Isn't Caught Up In Teslamania [View article]
    Here's my 2 cents on Tesla vs Ford vs RIMM. I don't know that RIMM is the best comparison to Tesla, but I do see the similarities. What was the beginning of the end for Tesla ... it wasn't Samsung or Motorola or LG or Nokia. It was Apple that saw what RIMM was doing and said we can do that better and add all this extra functionality. Add features the nonbusiness user will use. Things like all the iPod functionality, creating an app store where 3rd parties can create their own extra's. Once Apple got email security to the point that businesses would use the iPhone it was all over; just a matter of time. Google followed suit and copied much of the functionality of the iPhone. More recently Samsung has stepped up the functionality another level.

    So it was a company that was not in the phone business that destroyed RIMM. The major phone manufacturing companies when RIMM started were Nokia, Erickson, and Motorola. Those companies weren't able to step outside the box and make revolutionary changes. Eventually they had to make some type of smartphone or shut their doors. Nokia is in serious trouble because they waited too long and then they partnered with Microsoft and nobody really cares about Windows on a phone. Samsung saw an opportunity and jumped on the Droid bandwagon kind of late, but they are leading edge with their phones. Motorola got bought by Google. I think this was Google saying "we need to own the hardware just like Apple".

    So back to Tesla. The major automakers will always move much slower than Tesla. Look at all the people working at the auto companies. They are gear heads. They now internal combustion motors inside out. They know transmissions and clutches and alternators and starters and radiators and lead acid batteries. None of those things exist in a Tesla. All the magic sauce for Tesla is in the battery management. That is where the technology is for a Tesla. The motor is nothing new or extra special. Then you add a large touch screen panel and include a nav system that uses google maps. Have stuff like bluetooth, ect. Put this in an attractive car and that is the approach as I see it. The first model was expensive, but it's competition from a performance standpoint was the likes of Porsche twin turbo. Now they have a high end sedan and will grow the product line from there.

    I see Tesla, more like Apple than RIMM. They have a revolutionary approach and they are not auto-company insiders. They aren't hiring a bunch of gear heads. It is the other way around. The established auto companies are hiring Tesla employees where they can.

    I don't think that Tesla can rule the world. The world is a long ways from being 100% EV. How many lithium batteries can we make? Where does the lithium come from? How do we dispose of the old batteries. What is the environmental impact of disposing millions of lithium batteries? How will we generate the electricity? Nuclear power is probably out of the question after Fukushima. Wind and solar don't generate enough power. We have some hydroelectric, but that is not going to increase significantly. So that leaves us with coal, and natural gas. From my college class in thermal dynamics I understand that the coal and natural gas power plants are only 27% efficient.

    I see Tesla staying at the high end and companies like Ford and Toyota growing the rest of the business with hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
    Sep 27 02:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Ford Isn't Caught Up In Teslamania [View article]
    Thanks for the article you make a lot of good points. I'm long Ford and loaded up during it's last low point where it was hanging in the $9-12 range. Now I wish I had bought even more. I think the combination of hybrids, plug in hybrids, and EVs will do Ford well and they will continue to evolve both on the combustible and electric fronts. I think we will natural gas more readily available. Natural gas is already available in areas of Texas and Ok. Places other than truck stops. So I expect natural gas vehicles to also be a growth area.

    I did catch a minor typo in your article.

    "27 miles per hour in the city and 38 miles per hour in the highway"

    You can't get "miles per hour" "in" the highway.
    Sep 26 03:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment