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Heinz Doofenshmirtz

Heinz Doofenshmirtz
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  • Microsoft Still A Growth Story [View article]
    Me no how to spell "there". Sigh.
    Mar 25, 2015. 02:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nobody Wants To Be Seen In A McDonald's: Problem Or Opportunity? [View article]
    When I think of McDonalds, I think of a not-so-healthy Quarter Pounder and Fries. When I think of Chipolte, it's a healthy burrito (if you go without the wrap or adjust your daily caloric count for its near 500 calories).

    On the other hand, McDonald's has always been near the top of companies with the top supply management chains, and if minimum wages ever got pushed up to the $15/hr that's been bandied about, I would think that McDonalds would be one of the lead innovators in substituting automation for low-skill labor.

    Then I look at that ~20 P/E, and it seems as if Mr Market has adopted the latter perspective, that McDonald's will have no trouble adjusting.

    I'm not gonna pay a multiple of 20 for "no trouble adjusting".
    Mar 25, 2015. 01:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft Still A Growth Story [View article]
    As did I (went longer), same day.
    Mar 24, 2015. 04:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft Still A Growth Story [View article]

    As Steve Jobs used to say, "Simple can be much harder to achieve than complicated, but when you get their, you can move mountains."

    If Microsoft comes reasonably close to its goal of refactoring its code such that most redundancies between desktop, web, and mobile platforms are eliminated, not only will it offer developers a write-once, deploy-anywhere environment with fewer constraints than other ecosystems, but it will also become much more nimble itself.

    Furthermore, call me a Microsoft fanboi, but I just can't see spending $600-$800 on a phone (the car) when the data service can be had for $300/year at T-Mobile (the gas). I could see forking over that kind of dough to get the best experience when wireless would cost about the same, but now I think the "best value" point is $100-$200 and do it again when a better option comes out (without breaking the bank).

    I'm happy with my Windows apps, and I gotta believe the WinPhone will gain market share at the bargain point when Windows 10 comes out.
    Mar 24, 2015. 04:49 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 'The U.S. Is Broke' [View article]
    Well, we could look over the pond to Europe to see how they do it over there.

    And look carefully. Little job creation over the past 30 years.

    Oh, and as to who is going to pay for it? Guess who leads the OECD countries with the highest percentage of household taxes* paid by the Top Ten Percent? Did you guess the US?

    If we're going to go to a European-level of taxation, the middle class had better get ready to pay its fair share, because in the US, the upper class has always been the target, and you can only go to that well so often, as the European taxation model proves in practice.

    *Household taxes includes all taxes paid by households, including Social Security, Medicaid, etc.
    Mar 23, 2015. 01:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 'The U.S. Is Broke' [View article]
    Keep in mind that other than for those that qualify under present law to the current payments (as long as that law governs), entitlement recipients HAVE NO IRREVOCABLE CLAIM to their future entitlements.

    There is a social contract, which is enforced by politics alone. But when/if the situation gets bad enough that the politics favor cutting entitlements for the older retired class over increasing the burdens on the young producing class, then entitlements will be cut.

    It may produce an equilibrium that is based on the young vs the old, but the degree of freedom is there to "solve" the problem. It won't be pretty for many that are expecting more out of Social Security, et. al., but when the markets start telling us there is not enough money and these alternative measures need to be tapped (entitlement reductions or tax increases), they will be tapped.
    Mar 23, 2015. 01:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 'The U.S. Is Broke' [View article]
    In a bankruptcy, the rights of the creditors to their cashflows are reduced by some percentage/function.

    Now technically, no one other than those that qualify for benefits in the current year under present law has a legal claim on Social Security or other entitlements. But under the intuitive social contract, we paid our social security/medicare taxes, we are due our payment streams when the time comes.

    "And there is quite a bit that can be done to make this more palatable, like ...increasing the retirement age and/or means-testing benefits."

    Those are bankruptcy events.
    Mar 20, 2015. 01:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 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 | 4 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