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  • BlackBerry's Funeral May Have To Wait. It Seems To Have Returned From The Dead [View article]
    Syncing is a nice convenience. But may come at a cost. When my daughter first got her S3, it was set to sync to Google cloud storage which was free. But the data transfer was not free. Before we knew it, a bill of C$250 resulted. The carrier was reasonable enough to reverse all the charges even that was due to our ignorance. Just make sure that your syncing is through free WIFI.
    Jan 9 09:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry's Funeral May Have To Wait. It Seems To Have Returned From The Dead [View article]
    I have Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio and Calm Radio on my Z30. That is enough music for me.

    I bought my music in CD and ripped them. I like to own my music outright.

    I don't watch Netflix on the small smartphone and tablet screen. I watch Netflix on large TV with home theatre sound system. So not having Netflix on BB10 does not concern me.
    Jan 9 09:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry's Funeral May Have To Wait. It Seems To Have Returned From The Dead [View article]
    Thanks for the clarification. I was just being facetious. Unfortunately, ecosystem is not a quantitively measurable parameter. It is more of a qualitative parameter. Hence, a lot of people like to throw this around to muddle the discussion.

    Ecosystem can be a two edged sword. I personally prefer open ecosystem. Because of this preferance, I generally stay away from Apple products. I believe that Apple lost in the previous PC war because of its close ecosystem. It is highly probable history will repeat for Apple in the smartphone and tablet war.
    Jan 9 01:33 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry's Funeral May Have To Wait. It Seems To Have Returned From The Dead [View article]
    I find the casual use of the word "ecosystem" to discredit any platforms, Blackberry in particular, very concerning. Can someone please define this term for me, a dumb engineer.

    I am quite sure all platforms have some form of ecosystem. Some may argue that Apple and Android have the strongest and most complete ecosystem, Microsoft less so and Blackberry even less, but not "zero".

    Anyway, Blackberry's ecosystem suits me just fine. So far, I have all the apps that I need for my purpose of using this Z30.
    Jan 9 12:31 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry's Funeral May Have To Wait. It Seems To Have Returned From The Dead [View article]
    Yap. I know that. It was one of the reasons for me to switch to Z30. Yes. The speakers are the best I have heard from all smartphones.

    I use Neutron to play my music. It is a real great app for playing music.
    Jan 9 12:19 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry's Funeral May Have To Wait. It Seems To Have Returned From The Dead [View article]
    I was very tempted to buy some Blackberry shares when it was around $6. But chickened out. I always thought Blackberry would survive in some form. Well, as I am to retirement, I am playing slightly more conservatively with money.

    My household is pretty brand agnostic. We have computers, tablets and smartphones from Apple, Blackberry, Microsoft, Samsung and Google (Nexus). They all serve the the purposes we bought them for.

    I have recently switched to Blackberry Z30 from Galaxy Nexus with an early upgrade. After the discount in both hardware and subscription, I saved a little money on the early upgrade. I wonder whether Blackberry was providing some of the incentives.

    Z30 has better connectivity than Galaxy Nexus in the remote area where I work. Now, my wife can get hold of me much easier. I am not sure if that is a good thing.

    BB10 have all the apps that I need. I wonder if the argument that BB10 lack of apps is very valid now. Blackberry just needs to get their phones into the hands of end users, usually through financial incentives. See what T-Mobile is doing in the States. They are paying the early temination cost of new customers if they switch from another carrier. When I was in technical marketing, we gave early adopters a lot of incentives through discounts. Blackberry may have to forego some profit margin to create momentum at launching and gain some critical market share.

    I introduced BBM to my two daughters who use Samsung S3 and iPhone 5. Both of them like it because of the PIN feature. Unfortunately, most of their friends are on whatsapp, so whatsapp remains their main text messager. Blackberry has to somehow win these people over.
    Jan 9 11:35 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry's Reincarnation Won't Be Exciting But It Might Be Profitable [View article]
    Stock market is now one large casino. A very sad development.
    Dec 24 04:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry misses by $0.24, misses on revenues [View news story]
    One can interpret information many ways. I wonder all these bad news and losses are intentional. These massive write downs and other costs can be blamed on the previous management. I believe most of the losses in the last two quarters are paper losses. They could have just booked the phones and parts as assets and depreciate as required.

    I worked for a very large company that reported losses recently when we knew for sure that they were making very good money. They were selling their products at close to 100% gross margin. A good accountant can make those gross profits disappear with a couple of keystrokes.

    Now if they start to generate revenue from those written down/off inventories, things will start to look good on paper. I am not an accountant. If Blackberry starts to book those revenues as pure profit, all of a sudden things can look rather rosy for Mr. John Chen. Do that for 2-3 quarters. All of a sudden, Blackberry is on the path to sustainable profitability.

    If my thinking is right, Blackberry is trying to write a new more rosy play for the next 2-3 quarters. Basically, managing expectation and image.
    Dec 20 10:46 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Short BlackBerry After Earnings [View article]
    Hi, Ashraf,

    I enjoy your technical articles and respect your opinions. But in this particular instance, your thinking may be a little pessimistic and premature. Yes. Blackberry is in deep trouble and needs some great work in the near future to escape the deadbed.

    I am of the opinion that Blackberry will survive, most probably not in the current business model. Well, time will tell. The partnership with Foxconn is an intereting strategy. Same for Samsung in Africa. I won't be surprised if more of this kind of strategic partnerships are announced in the near future, say like with lenovo in China, and some companies in India. I think this kind of strategy is mutually beneficial for these companies in their fight with Apple.

    By the way, my household is quite brand and OS agnostic. I use Z30 & Sruface RT, my wife uses Galaxy Captivate, Playbook & Surface RT, my daughters use Galaxy S3, iPhone 5, Surface RT & iPad. Last night my wife told me of the three devices she uses, Playbook is the easiest to use. so her next smartphone will be Z30 or Z50 (if and when it shows up). My daughters are now using BBM to communicate with me. They like the security aspect of this service. What I am trying to say, Blackberry has something that appeals to people. It is up to Blackberry to identify and exploit these appeals to get these potential customers.
    Dec 20 09:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Google May Be Next In Line To Boycott Intel [View article]
    Some years ago, I was contract construction manager for one of Intel Pentium chip factories in Malaysia. Because of that experience, I have great respect for Intel for their technical expertise and project execution. Their project team was very focused and committed to deadline. We had design changes and those were made in a very timely manner. Depsite the size of the company, their reaction to changes were surprisingly fast.

    Intel has been king of the chip design and manufacturing for a long time. They have been making good money. So it stands to reason that others want a piece of the action. Just capatalism in action. I believe that Intel will continue to win most of the time because of their past performance, although no guarantee.

    I have invested in Intel before. Usually, bought on the dip, held for a while and sold at a profit margin that made me happy.

    I use Google products a lot. I believe they make most of their money in search and target advertizing. I would be a little concerned about their foray into so many industries outside their core business and expertise. Let's see:

    - Self driving car - Very interesting idea. When is this going bring home the money? I believe acceptance of self driving car is going to take some persuasions. People still feel more comfortable with mass rapid trains with driver even when it is not needed at all.

    - Robotic - I believe Japan is the leader at the moment.

    - Space travel - How many people can afford this luxury?

    - Solar & wind power - I don't think Google is contributing anything new here. They are using these technologies to support their core business for both cost and public relationship reason. These two industries are regulation and subsidy driven at the moment. There have been a few major casualties lately.

    - Human monorail - I have seen a couple of implementations in other countries. It is not a very cost effective way to move people, except may be in theme parks.

    - Fiber optic network - No new technology here. Just an investment strategy in order to push data ever faster to support their core business of search and target advertizing.
    Dec 19 09:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Bears Throw In The Towel [View article]
    That is true. But is the margin interesting enough for Apple to consider venturing.

    I believe the Visa that I use charges the merchant 2-3% per transaction. But I get 1-2% money back depending on what I spend it on. So we are looking at 1-2% per transaction. I don't what is the cost to make that 1-2%. Well, we will know soon enough.

    I use either Visa or paypal. Besides the money back, I also get rental insurance, purchase protection and a couple other benefits. It has been very convenient for me. I see no reason to switch. I wonder how many of us are out there.
    Dec 15 12:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Apple's Next Big Innovation Might Be iBeacons And Mobile Payment Processing [View article]
    I like wondering and exploring. My wife does not. When I was in a new place or city, I sort of lost myself. I have been pleasantly surprised many a time. Have fun wondering.
    Dec 14 01:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Bears Throw In The Towel [View article]
    From what I have read in Seekingalpha, iPhone only has about 15% of worldwide market. How does Apple plan to convince the other non-Apple 85% to use their payment services. Well, may be just servicing their devoted 15% is profitable enough.

    Visa and MasterCard are not tied to any particular company or bank. Just about anyone can use them if they financially qualify. Well, may be even not, considering banks are giving out credit cards just like candies on Halloween.
    Dec 14 12:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Bears Throw In The Towel [View article]
    Canadian Oil Sands COS on Toronto.
    Dec 14 12:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Bears Throw In The Towel [View article]
    I am just wondering. If iBeacon and Apple's mobile payment processing are to be widely accepted, does it mean that Apple has to increase its device market share? Well, I guess Apple can try to get its app into Android and Windows devices. May be market share is critical to widespread accptance of certain services. Your comment is appreciated.
    Dec 13 05:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment