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Heinz Doofenshmirtz

Heinz Doofenshmirtz
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  • Uncertainty Allows For Great Investment Opportunity In U.S. Silica [View article]
    Good company facing stiff headwinds unforeseen a year ago.

    The type of company that can weather the storm and shine when the sun comes out.

    When will the sun come out? I don't know. I'm a long term investor and I like this bet.
    Feb 27, 2015. 09:38 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will The Tablet Upgrade Cycle Ever Get Here? [View article]
    Arrghh. Editing period timed out.

    I with the author that the war is never ending. Imagine the upcoming cycle/generation featuring gesture recognition in tandem with the mouse/keyboard/touch. Nobody is there yet at consumer prices, so I don't see how you can declare that war over when it hasn't been started.
    Feb 17, 2015. 05:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will The Tablet Upgrade Cycle Ever Get Here? [View article]
    I think another big reason that tablet sales have leveled off is that once folks have one, they have something concrete to compare usefulness between products at concrete price points.

    "That mobility thing is great at times, but when I have to sit down to do a long stretch of work, I like to do it in front of a large 24-30-40-50 inch screen monitor."

    Now if you want to do that on the cheap, you can buy a 10-inch Asus Transformer Book T100TA for $245 and a ~20s inch monitor for the low $100s

    Throw in a real mouse, real keyboard, and a micro-HDMI-to-HDMI cable for another ~$100 (less if you have them on hand), and you've got a tablet that can act as a full desktop for under $600.

    EDIT: Or you could go dirt cheap with a $60 WinBook TW700 Tablet built with a BayTrail processor.
    Feb 17, 2015. 04:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-austerity Syriza set to sweep Greek elections [View news story]
    I agree.

    This is a necessary tourniquet. Painful, but in the long run, the increased accountability of more but smaller, more cohesive government entities will be better for Europe.

    "The Euro was a mistake."
    -Of Obvious, MS
    Jan 26, 2015. 01:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-austerity Syriza set to sweep Greek elections [View news story]
    Plus the Germans bombed Patras Harbor
    Jan 26, 2015. 01:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today In SA PRO: Monday, January 12 [View article]
    TX Value Investor called the Nuverra plunge as early as August 23, 2013. (Formerly know as MBA Investor. I guess congrats on the degree are in order.)

    I wish I'd listened to him. (A least it was a small position for me.) I didn't see the rapid energy price plunge coming, and even I would have known that would likely be curtains for Nuverra.
    Jan 16, 2015. 10:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Q4 comp miss on the radar [View news story]
    Jan 7, 2015. 01:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Microsoft's Windows 10 Oust Google Or Apple? [View article]
    It takes a little savvy to use Windows 8.1, as when working on a PC, you definitely want to stay in the multi-windowed PC/Desktop mode and stay away from the one-application-at-a-time Tiles mode. This savvy includes PC maintenance such as exercising your Google-Fu to find out what to download and install when you find yourself stuck in the one-application-at-a-time Tile-mode Adobe Reader app that came as the default on the machine I purchased.

    For the consumer market, this was a major blunder. I can see a bunch of propeller-heads sitting around wondering why asking the typical user to do this was a very bad idea.

    But once you know how to stay in the multi-windowed PC/Desktop mode and stay away from the one-application-at-a-time Tiles mode, you get a much faster computing experience using Windows 8.1 versus Windows 7. Boot times cut to a third of the prior experience. Faster web browsing. It would cause me great frustration if I had to go back to the much-slower Windows 7.

    In Microsoft's defense, the author touches the magnitude of what Microsoft is trying to do when he states "I wouldn't consider the (Windows 10) delay a major problem due to the magnitude of the undertaking." And while this article targeted to a non-propeller head audience, the author writes "Around fall of next year, Microsoft will release Windows 10, promising to make it the sole operating system across devices", what Microsoft is really doing is reorganizing its gazillion lines of Windows OS code so that each piece does its own job well, such that the pieces can be composed back together seamlessly for any device, making the end-user experience one of a "sole operating system".

    Steve Jobs once said "Simple can be much harder to achieve than complex. But once you get there, you can move mountains." If Microsoft can deliver a Windows 10 that is reasonably close* to "each piece does its own job well, such that the pieces can be composed back together seamlessly for any device", then Microsoft will have greatly reduced the work needed to be done by developers for future applications and also for itself in subsequent Windows improvements.

    The magnitude of this back-end consolidation is much larger than "get the damn Desktop versus Tiles GUI experience right".

    *I say "reasonably close" since time constraints always force some concessions/corner cutting from those who are building the code for shipment by a certain date. I think that the delay of Windows 10 until the fall likely reflects a refusal to cut corners.
    Jan 2, 2015. 11:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Windows 10 likely to be released early next fall [View news story]
    Windows 8 is a lot less bloated than Windows 7.

    Too bad Microsoft blew it on Windows 8 with its misguided decision to replace the desktop StartMenu w/ the Metro StartScreen in the only-one-app-at-a-time Tile world.

    I greatly prefer the Windows 8 experience. However, it takes a little savvy to recognize how to hop back and forth between the desktop world and the only-one-app-at-a-time Tile world (two clicks w/ little mouse movement in between). And a little savvy to recognize the app installs necessary to avoid having to work in the only-one-app-at-a-time Tile world (e.g. pre-installed Acrobat defaults).

    It's well worth it for those who can recognize how to do it. But I can see how the unintuitive navigation and environment maintenance would cause enormous unnecessary frustration for users who don't recognize what to do.

    My biggest issue with slowness lately has been my ongoing battle with unwanted adware. I don't claim to have mastered it, but I've gotten a lot better, and my Windows 8.1 machines are running much better than they were earlier this year. Once I found the free AdwCleaner adware removal tool (to remove unwanted browser plug-ins) and stopped trying to block adware calls from within IE (Internet Options - Security - Restricted Sites), then my user experience greatly improved. (I also use Chrome but you can't attempt to block sites/URLs from within Chrome, at least out-of-the-box.)

    So I agree. The barriers to entry to a decent (not perfect, but good-enough functioning) user experience are too high.
    Dec 11, 2014. 10:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Fuels: Natural Gas Conversion And A Stronger Network Will Lead To Growth [View article]
    OK, who's going to acknowledge the elephant in the room?

    The plunge in oil prices of the last ~month or so is a somewhat relevant factor that is not addressed in the article.
    Dec 11, 2014. 10:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Has Google Finally Made Microsoft Obsolete? [View article]
    "Compatible" does not mean "hassle-free". (I'm not familiar w/ LibreOffice, but I'd be willing to bet you wouldn't open a presentation to a managing director/etc in Office/LibreOffice which was created in LibreOffice/Office.)

    And hassles cost time which costs money.
    Aug 27, 2014. 04:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Has Google Finally Made Microsoft Obsolete? [View article]
    Bingo: Switching from Office to Google Apps is just not going to move the profitability needle in many information worker environments.

    Which one of the following is a distraction?

    Top Company Goals for the Present Year:
    1) Expand Sales by 25%
    2) Cut costs by 10% (headcount, big ticket items)
    3) Switch from Office to Google Apps
    (saving license costs equivalent of ~0.5 days pay per employee per year)

    Of course, being free is a big attraction to new startups that lack existing process dependencies/complexit... In firms with complex processes, it falls very low on the priority list.

    Aug 27, 2014. 03:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft: A Nail In The Coffin For The Windows Phone [View article]
    Actually, I think sharing an external dvd drive amongst all household computers would make sense. How often nowadays do you use your cd/dvd drive.

    But this is a small redundant cost, and so "who cares" will be the market's take.
    Jul 9, 2014. 12:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hong Kong outlook cut over rift with Beijing [View news story]
    I'm long a small amount of EWH, but I've always worried that China would someday assert a more heavy-handed control over Hong Kong.

    But then I thought, what could possibly motivate a dominion (Hong Kong) to stay productive and semi-independent better than that?

    I'm staying long rather than selling after the development/news.
    Jul 7, 2014. 09:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Premarket Gainers / Losers [View news story]
    NOK just went ex-Dividend on the ~50 cent combined regular and special dividend, so if the price is down 47 cents from yesterday (per SA), then holders are actually up ~3 cents in total.
    Jun 19, 2014. 10:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment