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  • BlackBerry sells U.S. HQ [View news story]
    Sale-leasebacks are bog standard methods for raising capital. Owning your corporate campus is actually wasteful, and indicative of a company with money to burn. Yes, that means a company owning its campus is profitable, but it also means that there's wasteful spending that can be trimmed back.

    The point being, its a good strategy when you are looking to boost margins and need some cash to restructure your ops.
    Mar 10 09:23 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ukraine developments prompt calls for more U.S. gas exports [View news story]
    As long as we import and consume what we produce, any notion of exports doesn't make sense: it increases domestics costs while decreasing the costs of int'l competitors. No matter how the argument is phrased to make it more appealing or to fit in a specific doctrine or political persuasion: 'picking winners', 'restricting private interests and business', 'favoring allies'... it doesn't change the fundamental point that it is bad for the public interest when it increases the costs of most Americans and the domestic business interests needing low cost energy.
    Mar 7 02:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Has Had The Right Strategy All Along And Has The Right One Today [View article]
    Thunderbolt may well become another failure of INTC. Are we going to point that out, or ignore it because Apple is involved?
    Mar 6 12:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Has Had The Right Strategy All Along And Has The Right One Today [View article]
    That low power market is also low margin and margins are pushing to zero. 5 years from now we may find ourselves saying that "wow, Intel avoiding the low gross and margin compression of the mobile market was a stroke of genius!" for all we know. Looking backward never tells us what's coming, but looking forward is usually just a guess as well.

    Intel's number 1 problem is how well Google is executing versus MSFT and how rapidly Google is transitioning Android/ChomeOS into viable Windows alternatives, and how poorly Ballmer ran MSFT over the last decade. Intel was clearly concerned and could see what was going on - hence its forays into linux and mobile OS products, but real threats to the business model have been slow to appear.

    Intel will only be in trouble when the tablet OS products become viable for Production, they are still primarily Consumption products. But I have been thinking of late that Google's strategy has two OS because it is positioning them for two uses: Android for consumption and tightly Google Product connected ChromeOS for production.

    What will MSFT do.... That's the question.
    Mar 6 11:57 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Has Had The Right Strategy All Along And Has The Right One Today [View article]
    More power -creates- the viability of new products.

    To wit: One of the key convergences of consumer oriented smartphones, a major enabler, if you will, of the success of the iPhone, was it's almost simultaneous introduction at the time 3g was being rolled out. Without 3g, the consumer viability of the device would have been similar to, say, current internet TV products: sure they provide some functionality, maybe even more functionality than Windows Media Center of old, but not really a compelling mass market appeal, and very techy.

    3g and 4g are really the enablers of mobile video. But mobile video, especially in higher resolution, requires higher processing power. And thus the need for more powerful hardware.

    The netbooks of a few years ago, were founded precisely on the idea that people don't really need more power to do email and browsing, and yet.... clearly, they do, since they are moving to more powerful hardware.
    Mar 6 11:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Has Had The Right Strategy All Along And Has The Right One Today [View article]
    Still reading the article but I just wanted to weigh in this sentence:

    "Most forecasters think the smartphone and tablet markets are still growing "
    Growing or not those markets are experiencing serious margin compression.

    And, with Best Buy putting out INTC powered full Windows based products at $200, the tablet OS products are in serious trouble. I don't know what kind of margins these INTC powered products are pulling, if they are even positive, but I do know this:

    First ARM beat INTC on power envelope: no longer.
    Next, ARM beat INTC on price: apparently, no longer.

    So, ARM is left to compete on performance. But if performance were as meaningful as many ARM fanatics make it out to be, wouldn't they be.... Intel fanatics?
    Mar 6 11:39 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ukraine developments prompt calls for more U.S. gas exports [View news story]
    Europe has been targeting North Africa for gas alternatives but none of the countries/prospects there have settled enough for reliability.

    France and Italy among others moved very aggressively in making deals in post Ghaddafi Libya, but the security situation hasn't helped. Europe has also moved to build more capacity from Central Asia and NW Africa.

    It's pretty debatable that the US should sell cheap energy to it's international competitors to enable them to be more competitive, or that the US should be defending Europe's energy supply situation. If Europe wants Energy Security it needs to be more aggressive on promoting its own interests on its own behalf. Frankly, the call for the US to do provide Europe energy security is assinine.
    Mar 6 11:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Making More Progress In Mobile Than People Think [View article]
    God, that's such an oversimplification, and a highly erroneous one at that, of what's happened in the mobile world that it doesn't even merit a 2 sentence response DanoX, sorry.
    Mar 3 08:11 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Making More Progress In Mobile Than People Think [View article]
    The Geeksphone Revolution dual OS Android/Firefox product (shipping now) is running an INTC processor.

    Interesting in that it was one of the first FirefoxOS devices announced, although there have been a few more announced since.

    The speed with which the likes of Nokia, Palm, HTC, Blackberry fell from mass market grace is really indicative of the speed with which the mobile world moves. Mobile devices are iterative products in a market that thrives on complete device replacement in short spans of time, making allowance for rapid changes in the hardware landscape. And the iterative nature of the mobile market is the only reason so many devices get sold in the space....

    If somehow it becomes possible with Android devices to keep your product and install updates from 'Android Update' instead of buying new hardware just to get the latest version, the dynamics of the market will change dramatically, and it will actually be pretty bad for the numbers touted by Google and its assorted Android partners, not good (so I don't expect that happening anytime soon), although it'd be great for consumers. And more interestingly, a lot fewer processors will get sold...

    I've been toying with the idea of offloading some of my tech and mobile office chores onto Android and wow wow wow, but it can't happen seamlessly or easily. Serious work continues to be done, and, as far as I can tell, can only be done, on x86 based products.

    Mobile devices continue to need and rely on the fully developed desktop ecosystems extant, at the same time that those ecosystems are slowly invading the mobile world: Linux with Ubuntu Touch, and Windows with these low power x86 products Intel is pushing.

    Most of the hand wringing over Intel in mobile is just so overstated, it's a small market, with margins that are still pushing to zero, and close to zero already. Even as the ARM competition reaches meaningfully competitive x86 computing envelopes, Intel and it's fully developed home in mature x86 ecosystems is reaching meaningfully competitive power efficiency.

    I'm long Intel because even with the rapid movement of the mobile market I find it hard to grok how Android can ever mount a serious a challenge to Windows without a centralized depository for drivers and without Windows' hardware promiscuity, especially without harming the ARM processor market.
    Mar 3 07:12 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: The Real 'Problem' With Bay Trail [View article]
    "Android is the most popular tablet OS today, and it is poised to continue growth - especially in the low end of the market - for many years to come"

    Is a guess, and likely an unrealistic one. If MSFT does, as it appears it may, make windowsphone free, and reduce the prices on RT and full blown Windows on cheaper devices, and if it executes well in integrating its platforms under its new CEO, Android's future will be short lived.

    If of course, we live in the world of "IF", Tizen could be the dominant platform next year. Lots of "ifs" out there.

    In my household we now have 3 Android tablets, 2 Windows tablets, and assorted Blackberry products. It's really debateable how many more 'low cost' ARM powered devices we can or are willing to consume... especially since I am way more interested in INTEL powered Windows/Linux devices these days as they increasingly appear in the 8" form factor that used to be owned by Android.

    I personally see no future for Windows powered by ARM, and see increasingly more value in hardware competing with Android running Windows on x86. A lot of the prognostications of inevitable Android market dominance are based on linear projections forward without assuming the market can change, even as it does, in fact, change.

    So, anyway, without guessing what hardware 'may' end up in this year's devices where does that leave Intel longs like me? Another year of 4% divvies, an extremely unlikely possibility of Intel's cessation of relevance, and likely a rangebound stock price. Nothing bad here. Intel making progress, MSFT making progress, Android/Apple feeling saturated as all they have left to target is low margin EM.... while Intel provides the backbone of the world's internet with it's high margin server products... that all these Android/iOS products need to function at all anyway... and continues to improve its product line....

    Yeah. I'm sitting pretty comfortable on my INTC, thanks.
    Mar 2 08:48 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Relax, Intel Is Doing Just Fine In Tablets [View article]
    Out of curiousity, are we to believe that Dell's discounts on Intel powered tablets mean that Intel is taking a beating on the product? Should we not assume that the more product Dell moves with Intel inside, the better for Intel?

    If Dell is promoting them as heavily as suggested, one wonders if it is taking a loss on excessive inventory, or whether it is making enough money to justify the effort, which can't possibly be hurting Intel.
    Feb 27 11:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia's Non-Android Android Phone [View article]
    Don't forget that MSFT already collects royalties from Android manufacturers. One wonders if MSFT -not- charging said royalties to Nokia handsets running Android might not make them cheaper than the competition - or at least higher margin.
    Feb 25 06:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia's Non-Android Android Phone [View article]
    Blackberry also is one of these 'non-androids' in that you can use Android apps on the platform. Blackphone, the security oriented device that just debuted, is another, and is built on Android. Another point to make is that it seems there were some not very highly published efforts to port iOS apps to other platforms, which met with some success, but likely hit the brick Apple ecosystem lockdown wall.

    Why is this interesting? Because it may suggest an OS-agnostic future for our devices. OS-agnosticism may allow developers to offer unique products that still have the benefits on a huge installed base of software (the apps) which would otherwise create a significant barrier of entry. Blackberry, Windowsphone, Tizen, the assorted Chinese products built on Android, all have the app ecosystem as their biggest barrier to relevance.

    The real question is what will google eventually do about it? And the answer there seems to be Google Play/Apps.
    Feb 25 08:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fannie Mae repays Treasury, and more [View news story]
    Taking ownership of the GSEs would put them on the Treasury's balance sheet along with their several trillion of liabilities, not something Treasury was keen on. The method employed kept the balance sheet neater.
    Feb 22 08:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix pay dispute with carriers leads to slower streaming [View news story]
    A clear example of an incumbent with vested interests - its own tv services - attempting to structure the playing field in its own favor. With the focus on 'disruption' from the current crop of entrepreneurs, clearly a model destined to fail.
    Feb 19 08:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment