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  • Micron Technology: Convertible Disaster [View article]
    Fantastic article. Thanks.
    Apr 13 09:22 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 Things That Really Matter For Apple's New Share Buyback Program [View article]
    "Apple_investor", thanks. I was wondering when someone would point out that Apple pays no dividends on the bought-back shares. From a cash flow perspective, it's central to the math, and makes the buyback a no-brainer.

    Alternatively, Apple can keep static the cash flow that has been dedicated to dividends, and raise the dividend rate to compensate for fewer shares extant. Increasing the dividend rate directly creates value for shareholders.
    Mar 28 09:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • WSJ's Apple / Comcast Story Not Accurate, News Being Overblown On Wall Street [View article]
    Thanks for responding, MattZN2.

    Actually, the two scenarios are similar enough; magtape dropouts happen in bursts, too. And I covered the different packets to different customers issue.

    But, really my point is the technical situation has changed drastically in the last few years, because receivers are so much more capable. Receiver power enables you to use redundancy to solve UDP's weaknesses.

    If XOR packets won't do it, just duplicate every packet, delaying the duplicates by N (ten or more, if that's what it takes) seconds, and have the receiver buffer N seconds before starting display. Two packets 10 seconds apart still not enough? Go to triple redundancy.

    My point is that any such scheme would still be vastly, vastly more bandwidth-efficient than today's massively redundant TCP streams.
    Mar 26 03:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • WSJ's Apple / Comcast Story Not Accurate, News Being Overblown On Wall Street [View article]

    The answer to your question is: slight data redundancy. After every N packets send a packet which is the XOR of the previous N packets' payloads. If one of the N was lost, its payload can be recovered from the XOR packet.

    The scheme described above was designed to maximize reliability of magnetic tape backup savesets over 40 years ago.

    Of course, the receivers need to be smart enough to utilize the redundant packet. But the beauty part is, it works end-to-end; i.e. different receivers with different errors each recover the specific data that they missed.

    I don't know the details of UDP multicast; maybe it already has a scheme defined for this. If it doesn't, no big deal, just augment it.
    Mar 25 09:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Unexpected Drop In Leasing Velocity Helps Reset RealPage [View article]
    "Under these conditions, RP expected rental managers to prefer to sign new renters at higher lease rates. Instead, they chose to renew. RP also implied that these renewals occurred without rent hikes. This is a very odd combination of dynamics, and RP noted its in-house economist cannot explain these events."

    Well, I'll have a try: the logic is in essence "a bird in the hand" - in this case is not worth "two in the bush", but is worth a fatter bird that may not pay its rent, or may annoy the neighbors, or ... who knows. To apply another aphorism: "better the devil you know than the devil you don't".

    There is also generally some significant expense when a tenant moves out: at least a thorough cleaning, maybe some repainting and repairs. Finally, during the recession some tenants lost jobs and got behind on their rent but now are employed again and catching up; evicting them forces a loss.
    Feb 26 11:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Ways To Play The Power Crisis In Internet Data Centers [View article]

    You almost lost me at the first sentence: "complain about the price of Mac Software". The Mac OS X operating system, iLife suite of 3 programs (iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand), and iWord suite of 3 programs (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), are all free with new Macs.

    Other than that, nice survey, but most investors in this space already know most of this stuff. Just a suggestion: you have written a lot of articles but not developed a significant following. Your efforts might gain you one if you focus on just one niche - say, the disrupters FIO, VMEM, and NMBL. Read every SEC filing, learn their deepest details, stay abreast of their news, and keep your followers apprised of their ups and downs, the way Ashraf Eassa and Russ Fischer cover Micron and Intel. It's to your readers' benefit if you take no position in the stocks but simply report developments and interrelationships.

    Good luck!
    Feb 14 06:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Tim Cook's Brilliant Move [View article]

    AAPL taking itself private: tantalizing idea, but the math doesn't work. I wish it did.
    Feb 8 09:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Takes A Page From BlackBerry [View article]
    Your "pretty slow" claim is baloney. Turn off iOS 7s' new animations (which take time to execute, otherwise you wouldn't be able to see them) and you can see that iOS 7 is no slower on iPhone 4 than iOS 6 was.
    Feb 6 07:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Takes A Page From BlackBerry [View article]
    Your "sluggish" claim is baloney. Turn off iOS 7s' new animations (which take time to execute, otherwise you wouldn't be able to see them) and you can see that iOS 7 is no slower on iPhone 4 than iOS 6 was.
    Feb 6 07:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Technology: The Insider Sellers [View article]
    I've been making sense of messy data since 1977, so this counts double: kudos for doing a hard thing very well indeed.
    Having "been there and done that" with employee options, my experience is they can work pretty well to encourage hard work by lower-level employees who can only indirectly affect the company's success; however, for high-level executives who actually know what the company's quarterly numbers are going to be, they encourage all sorts of quasi-illegal gaming that is not aligned with shareholder interests.
    That said, I don't think Ron Foster's incentives are so much the problem. Your numbers prove he's just absolutely horrible with money... both his and the company's. A thought question: which did more damage to their company: Ron Foster's hare-brained hedging, or Hynix's fire? Consider: one can (and Hynix did) insure against fire.
    Feb 5 07:48 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Falling gasoline prices hurts big oil's plea for U.S. crude exports [View news story]
    PositiveThoughts: Two things:
    1) The USA will never have "extra" crude as long as there is unfilled capacity in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, created to make sure the US is never again held hostage by foreign oil producers as we were in 1975.
    2) You propose to let our taxpayer-subsidized oil producers sell American crude - pumped from government and private USA property, and routinely damaging our citizens' air, water, health and lands through offshore and pipeline spills, fracking pollution, and train derailments - to the highest foreign bidder. Clearly, that would help those producers make even higher profits from our national resources. But "help the US" ? You have a rather unpatriotic definition of "the US".
    Jan 28 05:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Could Intel Miss The Mobile Chip Business? [View article]
    C'mon, Russ, you're the best S-A has on this topic, we can't afford to have you deluding yourself and thus us.

    Intel missed mobile when Otellini turned down the opportunity to be in the first iPhone. Saying Intel instead focused on data centers is implying that Intel can only do one thing at a time, belying their corporate strategy of being in everything that computes.

    Incidentally, Otellini gave Intel's projected profitability at Apple's required price point as his reason. I don't buy that. Steve Ballmer later stated publicly that he believed Apple's phone "had no chance". I suspect Otellini based his decision on Ballmer's privately solicited opinion.
    Jan 20 09:37 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Poor Jobs Report Breaks Down Australian Dollar But Is THIS The Trough? [View article]

    But on the other hand, show me an unregulated market that avoided ever-worsening boom/bust cycles. Those cycles destroy progress rather than supporting it and inevitably lead to war.
    Jan 19 09:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Poor Year Of Employment Should Pressure The Bank Of Canada And The Canadian Dollar [View article]
    Uncle Pie,

    It depends where the "printed" money goes. If it is just sequestered in banks' deposits at the Fed, which is the case in the US, the increased supply is just a number in a ledger with no external effects.

    The price of oil enters into it very directly because it is by far Canada's largest export by value, particularly in the winter when few agricultural products are moving but demand for heating oil is high. The net between export value and import value determines the flow between Canadian dollars and foreign funds, which determines the net pressure on the Canadian dollar.
    Jan 18 08:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena's Belviq Scripts Showing Traction - Vivus As Well [View article]
    "Likeit" and "about": name-calling contributes nothing to any discussion. Sooner or later Seeking Alpha will bow to demand and implement an "ignore" feature... and you will disappear.
    Jan 17 03:43 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment