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  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    James, I fear we've crossed the line to representation without taxation. Also tyranny.

    Recent sociological research shows that regardless of the personal benefit or sensibility of a cooperative system, participants will withhold cooperation if they perceive others are not cooperating or if they feel their participation is not voluntary. Sounds like our nation now.

    Leaders understand psychology in a different way than confidence artists, and political leaders rally the people, especially in the face of a national crisis. Our crowd in DC holds the People in utter contempt but has completely mastered the art of gaining confidence based on words and charm only.

    Only Americans can solve this problem, and if you don't even ask them to cooperate, I can assure they will not.

    Today our President is putting his Party before Country. I don't think he believes there is a real problem that campaigning can't solve, because the only problem he is trying to solve is the advancement of power, prestige, and wealth for his Party and his elite ruling class.
    Dec 3 07:57 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Samsung Giving Apple A Run For Its Money [View article]
    Why is this in AAPL? This is a Samsung PR release. There is no analysis, commentary, nor even statement of issues to watch.

    Apple is not in the wearable devices market and has no announced plans in that market. It would be impossible to beat Apple in that market.
    Sep 14 08:50 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's iPhone 6 Market Impacts [View article]
    He said Apple doesn't keep it. Obviously the merchant knows, and the CC processor has to get the merchant to know who to credit. Your charges will look just like any other, and will be administered the same way as always.

    Tokenization is a well proven technology that hasn't been universally rolled out due to stalling by the credit card issuers who got Congress to put them in charge of their own regulations, and the processors and POS software vendors, who suffer no costs for fraud. Tokenization would have prevented all the recent high profile breaches and it is used routinely for CC processing -- just not widespread.

    We just converted our small chain to tokenization, and it was like pulling teeth to get the vendors to provide the integration they needed to do. In the end, we couldn't budge them and had to just wait while they took their own time to get around to it.

    When the processors provide merchants with stand alone machines which are not connected to the cash register, they help themselves to end to end encryption, which also hasn't been widely available to merchants of any size who need to use a POS system.

    EMV will greatly reduce fraud, not because of the chip, but because along with it we get end to end encryption, which for some odd reason the credit card companies call point to point. All encryption is from some point to some other point: the significant aspect of the new protocol is that encryption is done at the swipe and stays encrypted until it arrives at the processor.

    The misrepresentation will be continued, and the credit card companies will insist that EMV counters merchant security failures. But really, the chip only protects the credit card companies from counterfeit cards, the costs of which they must absorb.

    Apple is taking tokenization to the next level. It sounds to me like they are tokenizing the CC data itself, not just the transaction data. The card identity will reside at the processor.
    Sep 10 12:02 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Time To Reduce Exposure And Take Profits [View article]
    I'm among Apple bulls. None of us are saying anything runs forever. But if investing isn't about discriminating what will outperform in the period just before us, what is it?

    Talking about what "eventually" happens is useless to us. It's an exercise for journalists without a story to cover today.

    As a perspective exercise, I like to substitute Amazon for Apple and skim the story again. Then I take myself a few years back and try out Microsoft.

    Apple is just liable to be more of a blue chip "eventually" than a First Solar or Polaroid. For today's decisions it doesn't matter.
    Sep 27 09:47 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama And Lew Say This Is Serious - Are They Just Grandstanding Or Is This Time Different? [View article]
    Thanks for a succinct and clear rundown of the situation. I have wavered on hedging, and took one small hedge off to lock a profit.

    This time could be different. I'm thinking I may be too complacent. This President is quite different for one thing, and has an ability to throw a tantrum not seen since Nixon. It might be better to miss any gains in the market this month than to ride in the car with this guy.

    I am amazed at the number of posts from the left along he lines of "current policies and laws are the result of a democratic process; the Republicans have no right to try to change them. What we say are facts; what they say are hateful opinions." I would hope the President has a better insight than that and is just indulging in irresponsible and unhelpful rhetoric. But maybe not, and maybe this one is best watched from the sidelines.
    Oct 6 11:07 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Loser Strategy [View article]
    "Apple has lost their edge, it's been years since we have had an iPad like product. They are late with their watch, larger phones and TV, if they can't be innovative they can at least be nimble."

    Just over two years.

    Late? On what? A modicum of critical thinking is required here. The media is chock full of plans for an imaginary company. Our culture can barely distinguish myth from reality anymore.

    Apple has never announced any of these. The TV initiative is full speed ahead. (Hint: the broken code was that TV is dead and there is no product. The two relevant businesses are content and display, both of which Apple is pursuing.)

    Apple is a unique company with a generation long culture. People who don't like it should make better use of their time than sniping. They may be right or they may be wrong. Make your decision and move on.
    Sep 12 01:19 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Charlie Munger Thinks Oil Is Absolutely Certain To Become Incredibly Short In Supply [View article]
    Please, feedtheworld, we need presidents who will get out of the way, not ruler-kings who orchestrate lock-step unison dances of their subjects.

    Governments have been trying to push NG vehicles for decades. Now that it is actually the sensible thing to do, as opposed to a guilt assuaging and supercilious posturing for contempt-driven vote getting, the public companies are more than capable of rolling it out.

    Too many people think that the only cooperative social mechanism is government and that only tyrannies of pluralities can advance culture, but the cooperative and truly democratic mechanisms of the vast marketplaces, public companies, educational institutions, NGOs -- all legitimate democratic social institutions -- are far more effective and far less destructive of individual lives than the "government" and its heavily armed and pugilistic police.
    Sep 1 08:40 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • IBM: A Disaster In The Making [View article]
    Our internal systems have higher uptime than any cloud supplier. If you're considering space travel, don't choose any provider that uses any cloud services. It just isn't up to 24/7 mission critical apps. Enterprise is fine, but you can't run a factory or process with any physical risk on anything cloud.

    We did single user room sized computers, then arranged to share them. Then we did mainframes and went to time sharing. We went to minis and then shared them too. We went to personal computers, and put them on networks, then went to servers. Then we put personal devices in our pockets and connected them to the clouds. This cloud based centralization will be countered as the breath in / breath out cycle of centralizing and then re-distributing computing continues.

    Clouds will pass.
    Apr 23 05:54 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Perfect Storm For Lead Economic Indicators? [View article]
    The cynic in me says it's because the nuance would be lost on the voter of today.
    Feb 14 09:59 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Mac Is En Route To Dominance [View article]
    Mac TCO is much lower. All my operations have been Macs for 30 years, including a 300Mm financial custodian. They say it can't be done. But I saved the money to prove it. One PC for a bank's proprietary app cost five times the support, at least.

    All Apple here. Unfortunately way too much time doing the drudgery of Win server support for clients.

    Nobody lost their job choosing Windows. Many lost their company.
    Jul 29 12:50 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Highly Valued, But Is It Overvalued? Maybe And Maybe Not [View article]
    Profits cannot be reinvested until they are first profits.

    Amazon is buying revenue by taking little or no real margin. This is increasing volume. If itbis digging a hole, they are digging more furiously. They may be managing to expense some capital investments, but if so then they are the sort of capital expenditures that would be ongoing.

    If they stop the fire sale prices and these incremental volumes are price sensitive customers, they could evaporate in a hurry. If a disruption in something like transportation costs, or a large natural disaster, or a war should slash consumer spending, Amazon could end up in liquidity trouble in a hurry.

    I got caught a little flat footed when Apple topped. So I've got my eye on Amazon. I smell a similar fate for Amazon, especially with Apple memories fresh. The Amazon bulls sound a lot like the Apple bulls did a year ago, except they don't have nearly as many fundamentals going for them.

    The stock price may not have turned, but earnings have and there is a lot of shock and denial going on in my opinion.
    Jul 27 08:08 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Trends Indicates iPhone Sales Could Be Ready To Rebound [View article]
    You are saying iPhone 5 wasn't a hot seller at launch? Wasn't it supply constrained for weeks, selling all that could be made, and selling those mostly in advance with people waiting for delivery?

    The number of flat out false "facts" posted about Apple is extremely interesting. Most posters are unaware they are false, it seems. They are buying into an appealing story of a downfall for Apple and living in a mythical reality. (Mythical is not a deprecation to depth psychologists -- it reflects the human nature which uses stories to explain everything and make decisions.)

    There are very, very large psychological forces at work.

    But the dialog still pretends that specs and features will be the driving forces.
    Mar 5 01:49 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Trading At 2.56x 2016 Cash Flow [View article]
    Don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you've got nothing new to say. Originally directed at a group of Hells Angels who were drowning out the Dead concert a whole lot of people came to hear, after paying lots of good money to do so

    This board is for Apple investors, and we have serious work to do in evaluating whether to hold, add, or reduce. For many of us these assets are critical to our income or retirements.

    I, for one, would appreciate if people with only an attitude would stay out of the way of the real work for real money. Take the fan vs flame game to some tech review board.
    Dec 10 08:34 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    The politicians are not America. We need to really reduce the role of Federal government and let the real America re-emerge. Preaching to the choir here I imagine, but the media-induced view that all policy should be set in Washington, that we should align on a single set of values, and that all other significant American life consists of celebrities and sports is destroying us.
    Oct 9 09:25 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple's iPhone 5C/5S Strategy All Wrong? [View article]
    Apple is on a model year system. This is a one year game plan.

    We also hear reasonable speculation there could be some production constraints. We are talking millions of units here. A million is a very large number. It seems likely that there is a limit to the quantity of a bleeding edge tech device for which Apple can design, tool, ramp up, assure quality, deliver and support all within a single year. At the same time the next few years' cycles must be underway, and numerous other products must be similarly managed.

    It seems entirely possible that Apple looked at what could be realistically delivered, and then set the highest price they could expect for that number of units. That would be the only rational thing to do.

    Whether that represented sales growth or share growth would have to play out as it may. All you can sell is all you can make. All you can get for it is the most that people would pay.

    China might or might not be the best place to focus this year. Apple is probably not nearly as obsessed with that single market as analysts this week. Next year is right around the corner, and the planning horizon at Apple is far longer than the horizon of NASDAQ participants, by a long shot.
    Sep 15 08:26 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment