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Randal James

Randal James
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  • BlackBerry Will Continue Its Rise [View article]
    Wall & Guest

    Saying there is room for profit when compared to Apple is a little stretchy. Apple gets $625,000 per employee in revenue and has the highest margins in the business. BBRY gets a whopping $153,000 per dude and that's only with the benefit of selling real estate. The obvious solution is to hire Apple employees. :)
    Jul 9 06:32 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Demystified 8: Did Volkswagen Just Buy A Critical Part Of BlackBerry's QNX Team? [View article]

    For those of us that don't have cars with in-dash GPS, the Nokia system is great for directions to somewhere that the user doesn't recognize. It is exactly like the Google directions except audible. "At Western Street, turn left. Follow the course of the road for 2.3 miles. You have reached your destination." We've hit a few bumps in Seattle itself when there has been construction. That may have been related to not downloading the most recent WA map. On a recent trip, to point out we'd missed a key turn, the instruction was "Make a U-turn..."
    Jul 8 05:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]

    I'm guessing you know your comment is loaded with horse patootie. Wealth leaves the US every damn day to buy useless crap from China sold at WM. It is extremely likely that not a stitch of clothing on your body was ever from anything produced in the USA or that your car was not composed of foreign parts/ownership.

    As for the question of how many billions or trillions of dollars that would need to be spent to harvest our oil... aren't we really talking about timing? It would be spent anyway, perhaps not just in the next 15 years before the best of it is used up. That is a low-grade comment and you should be embarrassed about it.

    The US will never lose a war again because we've finally learned what it means to be involved and the real costs. We did not need Iraq or the Afgan conflicts to prove our resolve. The "terrorists" are not housewives and merchants - simply folks who are bent on damaging us because... we like Jews.

    Too simplistic? Barry Goldwater once advocated bombing Viet Nam "Back into the Stone Age".

    When we do indeed run out of fossil fuels, we will revert to the carnivores we despise today.
    Jul 8 09:59 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happened To 'Peak Oil'? [View article]


    Lemme ask ya a question. There is a lot of chest-thumping about laws relating to oil exports. Many believe it has to be done or else domestic prices will suffer and profits won't be as high. Good for consumers, not so hot for Anadarko or the dozens of shale outfits. We live between two other countries that have just woken up to how much oil they have (lots!!) and we used to import a few billion barrels from each.

    As a fundamentally selfish bas****, I would much rather we retained our oil for several reasons.

    Most of the shale fields have sharp declines in production from month one to month six. Often, they've produced enough to cover the cost of the well so the rest is gravy. But every company has to keep drilling constantly to maintain output. When it's gone...

    Many of the fields, including the Balkan and Permian, have layers of producing rock that are just now being evaluated. Results are promising! Do I really want to send that oil to France? The supply is limited and won't last for decades.

    I'm old enough to remember the first OPEC action in 1973. Suppose we decide that it is just dandy for the US companies to profit now and pump everything they can get their hands on. Soon enough, perhaps not in my lifetime, the wells will start to pump dust. Then, once again, we're left to whoever still has some at prices we can (are you kiddin' me?) afford.

    If our export policy caused us to profit now rather than have 5 years of homegrown reserves, I find that to be a poor trade. I live in WA which has a hugish portion of energy delivered through hydro. Think East Coast, where plenty of homes still use heating oil and, if the question was about easing the commute, people wouldn't be driving 40 miles to work in NYC.

    There have been times when the USA has angered foreign suppliers or outright went to war against them. If you believe we are beloved by anyone other than Israel/Jordan that is delusional. How we doin' with our buddy Putin? To the maximum extent possible, I would keep our oil and gas in border with the exception of aiding our allies.
    Jul 8 03:04 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • At Google IO, The Smartphone Wars Are Over: The War For Share Of Time Has Begun [View article]

    The imbalance is because Apple has reached its 20%, the great majority of whom are in markets such as N. A. and EU where the devices have been sold for years. It is the unwashed, unloved, and economically unqualified where phones sales will still spread like a California wildfire.

    It is hard to know who will capture the majority of those new users but since Google runs Android and that is the dominant system, its a sure bet Google will get the lion's share with Windows, Tizen and Blackberry getting the scraps. Did you know that half the world doesn't have Internet yet? Think of those billions of customers and how is Apple innovating to capture them? A new watch that measures BMI and keeps appointments? Well, Lah Dee Dah.

    With all their cash, Apple can thrash around for years not really doing much other than cashing in on replacement devices. I'd buy the shares for the income but growth investors will seek other paths.
    Jul 8 12:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Will Continue Its Rise [View article]

    Let us not forget that there are several outcomes for Chen in his quest for success. I have a mental image from that classic movie, Back to the Future, starring, appropriately, Canadian Michael J. Fox. This one might be called "Chen takes a bad turn..."

    Jul 7 11:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: 5 Key Questions For The Rest Of 2014 [View article]
    Hi Willy

    And the best to you as well.

    I'm not a huge fan of the Chinese autocracy. They do give homegrown companies special preferences to ensure the playing field is especially level for them and not for competitors. And the stuff we buy from them is mind-boggling! Food ingredients that might wind up in your next can of Chef Boyardee (yes, not you personally, of course). Up in N. Dakota, frac sand brought all the way over from China.

    Their propensity for piracy is well-known and I don't doubt among the earliest purchasers of the new iPhone will be several shipped back to CN for immediate teardowns so they can figure out how to produce similar results as cheaply as possible. But Microsoft, Sony, Lenovo and the rest will do the same.

    For most of our electronics, the USA has thrown in the towel on Buy American and even more in the notion of Made in the USA. Remember that old ad campaign with the jingle "Look for, the Union label..." Haven't seen the ad or a label in years. Unless we develop an anti-Chinese bias, the future iterations of Huaweis (etc.) that closely mimic the Samsungs and Apples will probably be snatched up, much in the way we gradually came to accept Hondas and Toyotas.

    I am delighted that the term 'reshoring' is gaining use and application. With automation becoming very sophisticated (Tesla) there are fewer reasons not to produce domestically and it still requires operators and technicians - often better jobs than the assembly lines of earlier decades.

    As always, the path before us is uncertain and, at times, treacherous. I like your notion that unbound freedom will prove to be the key to success in its many layers. Pax.
    Jul 4 12:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Demystified 8: Did Volkswagen Just Buy A Critical Part Of BlackBerry's QNX Team? [View article]

    It is tough to get a handle on who sold what at point X in time. We're always sure of lots of Androids and a smaller, but more expensive set of iPhones.

    This survey, from a Windows website, suggests BBRY isn't doing as well.

    And this is the full data sheet from Kantar for May, which is just released. Windows declined in the USA but was solidly up in Europe, Japan and Australia. Also a decline in China. I'd take those numbers any day over how Blackberry fared from the same sample.

    In theory, if the Z3 sales are numerically strong, we should get actual BBRY press releases to trumpet that information. The countries targeted for Z3 releases are not typically covered in most surveys.
    Jul 4 03:45 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Demystified 8: Did Volkswagen Just Buy A Critical Part Of BlackBerry's QNX Team? [View article]

    Next time you are on a trail and come to a steaming, curious-looking pile of purplish dung, often shaped like a pyramid, please do not conclude grizzlies don't eat berries.
    Jul 3 02:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Demystified 8: Did Volkswagen Just Buy A Critical Part Of BlackBerry's QNX Team? [View article]
    I thought he was...
    Jul 3 02:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Demystified 8: Did Volkswagen Just Buy A Critical Part Of BlackBerry's QNX Team? [View article]

    Can't fault your thinking. Do stay on your toes because the rise you wish for will not likely be linear. Very perceptive on the Passport argument - it could be a runaway hit in Asia, where big form factors are appreciated. Like a horse race, impossible to guess success until the first reports come in. Luck 2 ya (and, of course, your shareholder pals).
    Jul 3 02:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Demystified 8: Did Volkswagen Just Buy A Critical Part Of BlackBerry's QNX Team? [View article]

    You know better! When MSFT bought Nokia's phone division, they transferred some 30,000 workers. You think that was all just assembly line folks and MSFT was going to "get the hang" of the engineering part as time went by? Corporations sell operating divisions all the time. Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas - you think they didn't want the engineers?

    Manpower isn't owned, for which you get a bronze-ish star. But people with jobs tend to stay there unless cuts are in the mix. Frankly? If I was working on technical advancements for automobiles and my division was sold to VW, the 9th largest company in the world. I wouldn't march out the door in tears. VW's nameplates, among others, include Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche. Vroom, Vroom indeed.
    Jul 3 02:42 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: 5 Key Questions For The Rest Of 2014 [View article]

    Of course the Xiaomi phone is not the same, nor does it have iToys to connect to nor a zillion apps. I'd be willing to guess it is more Chinese-friendly (intuitive) and sensible ($). I've come to believe the Chinese are very family-centric, so a user's principle reason to own one would be communications quality first, bells and whistles second, and overriding those would be affordability. Most Chinese are not checking their portfolios or trying to gauge whether the Bing Zhou shale deposit is better than the Mingananu Basin.

    Like you, he probably was astonished at how much better his new phone was than the last. He's showed it to co-workers and family with happiness. He knows it isn't the same as the department supervisor's new iPhone, but how many can afford that?

    There are perhaps a dozen of these Chinese and Indian upstarts that have staying power and.. heck, I don't know, do you acquire them or let them die in peace? Anyway, there will be a future Samsung or three in that group. They will make their own stuff, source cheaply, copy every one of the best designs and, with the money earned from selling a few hundred million devices in their modest economies, expand. Well before the end of this decade you will see them commonly on shelves in Verizon and ATT stores. (Huawei and ZTE are already there).

    ALL OF US can only conjecture on how the landscape will change with Lenovo suddenly holding one-time king Motorola and Microsoft now (apparently) willing to go all-in with the other former champ, Nokia. With Chinese firms killing their home turf and a resurgent LG and Sony, the smart thing might be to step out of the way and check back in to see who still has a pulse in two years.
    Jul 3 02:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • At Google IO, The Smartphone Wars Are Over: The War For Share Of Time Has Begun [View article]

    Although I loathe car comparisons when we speak of phones, the question of brand loyalty is readily observable. Anyone here have a fave sports team?

    I grew up in Colorado before there was any real pro sports team other than the Broncos and most of my era so strongly identify with the team and brand that we'll be the best kind of forever friends a team could want. Despite losing far more Super Bowls than the magnificent 2 we put in the sack...

    My Dad was a Buick guy. Liked the dealer, the notion of luxury but not the full-monty of being a Cadillac owner. His Father wouldn't cross the street for anything except a Chrysler. One of my brothers has never owned anything except Chevys. Another loves Subarus but you can't tow anything with one so has owned Jeeps and Dodge four wheelers.

    If you have travelled much in the USA, there are places where you raise an eyebrow and wonder who, in their right mind, would ever live there? I feel that about NYC but clearly, others, Billy Joel, Ed Koch, etc... do not. The residents of Cheyenne Wyoming have a fine rodeo and that's it. But not to the people who lovingly call it home.

    And so it is with phones we disdain and those we love. I had a Nokia first and it was sturdy and on the Sprint Network. Neither made a lasting impression. I've had Razr's and Samsungs since on ATT and both were improvements though ATT kept raising my fees. $90? Seriously? I'm really happy with the LG-made Nexus I use now on T Mobile. My GF is delighted and sometimes I'm amazed at some of the features built into her entry-level Nokia 520. We have both arrived at brand loyalty.

    My phone may or not be better than yours. But it suits me just fine.
    Jul 2 03:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry's Short Squeeze Just Starting [View article]

    I just hope you can differentiate between real cows and nightmare cows.

    [the following is a meaningless link, meant to coax a smile. also one of the strangest videos I've ever run across...]
    Jul 2 01:18 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment