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Heinz Doofenshmirtz

Heinz Doofenshmirtz
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  • Is Windows An Ecosystem In Decline? [View article]
    I have 100 shares of MSFT. Wooo. More that that in index funds. I don't think about it much. If I have a bias, it's much more that I have done more work in Microsoft environments than other environments.

    As a financial/software engineer, what I do think about daily is how to compose systems from reusable elemental pieces. I follow the maxims DRY. Don't Repeat Yourself. And the Single Responsibility Principle. Each part should do it's own well defined job and expose itself in a way that others can use it.

    I like a segment of a comment below by rsbduff@gmail.com

    "Imagine a perfect world....where you could have your application on the screen, and then when it asked you to type something complicated like a 26 letter alphabet, you merely touch your three fingers on either hand (in all languages)....in a recognizable pattern (There's no keyboard), and magically (space age) the letters that you wanted.... appeared on the screen."

    My extension of his comments is that a collection of devices should do their own jobs well, and work well when composed together. The Virtual Keyboard is one component. The computing unit is another. A display is a third. Sometime I may want that on a small device, and sometime I may want to see it projected on the whole wall.

    No one is there yet, but Microsoft is striving to get there with a somewhat consistent operating system, forcing themselves to identify what is common among environments and what is different. Write once, deploy to multiple configurations of devices is what MSFT is striving for. (As I said, they're not there yet.)

    Who knows, maybe Apple or Google will throw one of their OSs away and somehow beat Microsoft to the truly smooth-working, non device-specific OS. Or maybe they will beat Microsoft to establishing interfaces/standards between their separate OSs in a way that they can work together. But as someone who composes systems, it's how I see the world. I could be wrong. And yes, in the short term, Apple won the last five years with monolithic, centralized designs that won on the on the touch experience overshadowing other considerations. But the most complex, evolving systems (humans composed of cells, city processes composed of many people acting independently) don't function as stand-alones.
    Apr 14 11:43 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Windows An Ecosystem In Decline? [View article]
    Time = Money.

    Which do you think an executive would put on his FIVE THINGS TO DO.

    1. Raise efficiency as defined by Revenue/Employee by thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands per employee

    2. Save a few hundred bucks per employee.

    The "cost" you worry about is a drop in the bucket to Wall Street firms, etc.
    Apr 14 05:51 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Windows An Ecosystem In Decline? [View article]
    You're forgetting the enterprise, where the real money is.

    See Mark Stanford's post above about how he'd like to switch to a Mac, but for the little problem that his work tool doesn't exist for the Mac.

    Enterprise logistics/processes are a lot more complex than 99.44% of consumer usages. You just don't say, hey I'd like to try a new logistics system this month.
    Apr 14 05:16 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Windows An Ecosystem In Decline? [View article]
    Agreed, techy. This article completely misses the big picture.

    In another thread, I noticed that you hook your $380 ASUS T-100 transformer book to a 50 inch plasma screen when you want it in desktop mode. Poor me, I only hook up my ASUS T-100 transformer to a $190 24 inch screen.

    The ASUS T-100 can serve as a touch-enabled tablet, a touch enabled laptop, or a touch enabled workstation. (My $190 screen isn't touch enabled, so when I'm in desktop mode with two screens--the 10inch ASUS tablet proper and the additional 24 inch screen, I only have touch on the 10 inch tablet proper screen.)

    The big picture point, however, is that I don't want to be limited by the damn OS. When I want a large screen experience, I want to use a mouse. I bet you'd rather move your mouse about 1 inch to move the cursor from side to side rather than walk over to your 50 inch screen to move the cursor by touch from one side to the other :)

    But sometimes, say when I'm watching Netflix in tablet mode on the go, I'd rather work in tablet mode.

    My choice. I decide. No constraints.
    Apr 14 05:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Commodity ETF Flows: Energy Funds Gather Flows, Coffee Fund Jumps 19% [View article]
    Small typo that happens to change the meaning significantly

    "First Trust ISE-Reverse Natural Gas (FCG) saw an inflow of $23 million;"

    It's "First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas (http://bit.ly/1hzi7rx)". The small s typo made me do a double-take and think, "What? that's not an inverse fund."
    Apr 11 08:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Fidelity reportedly working on new low-cost exchange [View news story]
    HFTs "prey" are the large-scale, market-moving transactions of the big institutions. So if the little guy believes that a large, actively-managed fund like Fidelity Magellan is the way to go, HFTs are indirectly skimming him by getting in front of Magellan's block trades.

    But me, making 100 share transactions? I don't move the market. There's nothing for HFTs to get in front of.

    There have always been middlemen. Recall that in, say, the 1970s, if you wanted to buy 500 shares, you'd be facing 100s of dollars in commissions plus a 25 cent bid-ask spread. Those were the days of "bankers hours" where the middlemen would take a much larger chunk of your trade and be on the golf course by 3PM.
    Apr 10 04:14 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kill The Microsoft Surface Tablet [View article]
    I should have added that Office is included in the $375 price, but eats up about half of the 64GB SSD space.
    Apr 10 10:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kill The Microsoft Surface Tablet [View article]
    Exactly $vix

    At home, my family LOVEs our ASUS Transformer Book. Going now for $375.

    http://amzn.to/PSC9le

    Its a tablet, a laptop, and workstation (when we hook it up to a $190 24-inch monitor and employ a ~$40 wireless mouse*)

    I'm a cheap end user consumer, and it's "good enough". The only limitations are 2GB of ram and 64GB of solid state drive. (It's got an 11 hour battery life!) But, jeez, for that little spent, I can't complain.

    If I was in charge of an IT budget, I'd go ahead and spend the extra money on the more powerful Surface 2.

    Yeah, Windows 8 can be a little frustrating at the beginning. But once you figure out how to get to "Desktop Mode", it's just a normal Windows computer.

    *The last piece of extra equipment is a ~$10 micro HDMI to HDMI cable.
    Apr 9 04:30 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reuters: GM to launch cheaper 2016 Volt [View news story]
    Easy.

    Just run a line out to your neighbor's garage and charge it in the night.
    Apr 9 12:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney: The Dividend Isn't Coming Back Anytime Soon [View article]
    http://bit.ly/1h3B5Ag
    Mar 28 02:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hangman: The ETF Revolution [View article]
    Patient: "Doctor, it hurts when I do this."

    Doctor: "Don't do that."
    Mar 25 07:08 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Inc. misses by $0.06, beats on revenue [View news story]
    Yeah, it seemed strange that a miss would lead to an after hours price increase, unless there was some nugget or newly improved guidance.

    I'm seeing $16.99/$18.10 now
    Mar 10 05:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Inc. misses by $0.06, beats on revenue [View news story]
    Charles Schwab showing NES bid/ask of $18.19/$18.60 in after-hours trading.
    Mar 10 04:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Explaining The Worldwide PC Slump [View article]
    I bought a Bay Trail-based ASUS T100 after Thanksgiving for $379, and it gets the most use by my kids.

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    I added a non-touch 24-inch monitor for $190, plus a display cord and a wireless mouse for ~$50. It came with Office 2013 pre-installed, and has an 11-hour battery capacity.

    It's a touch limited in that it only has 2GB of RAM and 64GB of (Solid State!) disk space, but for $379, it is an extremely competitive full computer.

    When the kids need a PC for school, they plug it into the 24-inch monitor, and wala!, they have a PC (with access to a wireless printer). When my daughter wants to lug it around the house to play games, she's free to do so. When my son needs to take his $30 academic version of the statistical package Minitab to his math tutor (the non-academic Minitab goes for over $1,000), we just take this bad-boy hybrid along.
    Mar 10 10:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Explaining The Worldwide PC Slump [View article]
    "Suddenly it hit me. With the exception of myself, my entire family uses a computer to socialize, text, chat and communicate with friends. The only reason they use to do it on the PC is because that was the only medium years ago. Now that they have another medium on which to socialize on, the PC is no longer a necessity."

    What you're hitting on here is the lessening of constraints as technology improves. Yet, in the rest of the article, you're still thinking in terms of "phone" versus "PC".

    Imagine the future--it won't be long--where instead of phone versus PC, components perform their own function and can be plugged into other devices that do their own function very well.

    Want to see the content of the computing device you carry around on the wall-sized "TV/display device"? Why not? No TV, want to see it on the wall? What about as a "hologram-like" display*? And who needs a mouse? The computing device can recognize your gestures (or voice) and respond appropriately.

    No one is there yet. Each of your referenced stocks has its own foothold, which gives them a way to stay in the game and innovate for tomorrow. There is a long ways "to go" (infinite?), and I wouldn't consider any of them as "hopelessly left behind" yet.

    *Like the projection of Tupac Shakur (which included some trickery, but isn't trickery often at the heart of breakthroughs)? http://onforb.es/1h6CDeF
    Mar 10 09:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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248 Comments
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