Thursday, February 26, 2004

Irony: SI breaking CU rape story.

This from a typically hilarious sports parody site. Read the first paragraph on the page - it's less humor than a good point. - The Sports Humor and Satire Site on the Internet

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Colin Powell for President

I just thought that I'd post this article to get your neurons working. You heard it here first: at the '04 Republican convention, Bush will drop Cheney as VP and elevate Colin Powell, thus positioning him for an '08 run for Pres.

Think about it: my only impression of Cheney from the past 4 years is his connection with Halliburton, and if others have this P.O.V., he's definitely a liability. Powell, on the other hand, is firstly an extremely capable leader, a veteran politico (both as Sec. of State and Chief of the JCS) and finally a great demographic counter to the Democrats.

(I'd really like to see what the chances of a minority VP do to minority voting. I'm hoping (and believing) that (ignoring the merits of the candidates) minority voters would opt for the qualified minority candidate over the party candidate.
My read on the '04 Nader run for President is much like this article The Village Voice: Nation: Mondo Washington: Dems Call Ralph by James Ridgeway

I think Dems should view Nader more like an option - from now until November he's another accredited anti-Bush voice, but if the race is close he can bail out, and even boost the Democratic nominee's campaign by formally endorsing him (Kerry?)

Yes, if Nader goes the distance he's a net siphon on the Dems' candidate, but don't put it in the books yet.

INcidentally, while I don't very much agree with Nader's politics, I do appreciate the passion and consistency that he has.

On a related note, this marks the fourth election in a row with a major independent (or, more accurately non-Dem or non-Republican) candidate. (Perot and Nader.)

Perot peaked at 19% of the vote, and Nader gained 9% in '00. I sure hope that someday soon another independent candidate can build on this momentum and present a candidacy free of typical party politics.
As far as I'm concerneded, this article is the beginning and the end of the argument over foreign outsourcing.

Not only does it intelligently ask 'why do we care about where our coding is done if we don't care where we get out sneakers or our fruit?' but also provides a roadmap to our competitive future ("INNOVATION.")

This article may have really resonated with me because I'm already professionally in a similar situation - we would consider outsourcing less vital 'grunt work,' while retaining the high-value innovative work.

Wired 12.02: The New Face of the Silicon Age
The Agitator is always a good place to find intelligent contrarian analysis that makes you wonder why - in spite of all of the evidence to the contrary - we still let politicians make important decisions. Lou's Blues: Comments
I'm shocked......

at how easily I'm given access to an insane amount of credit.

I'm in the process of buying my first home, and yesterday dealt with my mortgage pre-approval. Now, standards may tighten as a I move from pre-approval to final mortgage, but the laxity still shocked me. For example:

I was pre-approved for 4.5X my annual salary, or 33% higher than my calculated ceiling.. How did I manage this? I mentioned my recent bonus (20% of my salary), which my broker promptly assumed would occur every year (and at the same payout level.) Gulp.

Not only that, but my broker also suggested a loan structure that while still representing 95% of the prospective value of the house, didn't include PMI, as 15% of the loan was in the form of a home equity loan (or 2nd mortgage.)

While such generous credit terms won't really affect my personal choices, I'm wondering how many other loaded guns are walking around out there with an excess of mortgage debt and NO PMI!
one aspect of the California-gay marriages hub-bub that everyone seems to be missing......

is the complete disregard for the rule of law in the midst of a socially charged issue. No matter what your stance on gay marriages, I just can't find any rationale that would permit the mayor of SF to "break the law" by sanctioning such weddings.

If the mayor or others felt that this law was in error or unjust, there are many channels to address the perceived injustice. How about suing in state court (as in Mass.), lobbying the state legislature, or perhaps starting a drive to have this on the ballot during the November elections ("Proposition XXX," or the like)?

Regardless of your feelings on the gay marriage issue (and I haven't yet figured my feelings out yet), I don't think the mayor of SF can choose which laws to enforce and which to openly flaunt, any more than I can choose which traffic laws to obey. ("I don't agree that this road should be only 25, so I'll just go 50 mph.")

I'm gonna predict that it's just a matter of time before some clever mayor does to the drug laws what the SF mayor has done to the marriage laws.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

excellent article on Apple's product faults and "what they need to do." I only wish the current situation wasn't quite so glum.
Apple is debt-free....(good news or bad news?)

Taking a look at the numbers for a second, the stock market values Apple @ $8.58B, but of that value, $4.8B is cold hard cash, meaning that ignoring the bank account, AAPL as a company is worth only $3.78B. (Or roughly 1/23rd of the value of Dell.)

(Hmm, funny how this is roughly AAPL's marketshare too.)

Anyway, if the next digital media product from Apple after the iPod mini is a hit, expect somebody like Sony to scoop Apple up for little more than a a rounding error (in Sony's terms, $3.8B is peanuts.)

Alternatively, some larger but weaker player could buy AAPL mostly for the cash.

Regardless of Apple's fate, there's a strong implied message when more than half of a company's value is simply it's bank account: "we can't find a better use of the money!" This is especially sad when Apple's $4.8B is cash is earning an interest rate of probably only 1-2%. Apple is in effect saying that investing the cash into R & D, or any other operating expense will do less than earn a 1-2% return on investment.

Personally, I'm stunned that Apple can't find any interesting partnerships or acquisitions to make to spend some of this money, and I'm stunned by what this implies. (To me, it says one of 2 things: either we're so in love withourselves that we can't find any partners worthy of our loot, or because Macs have such a small share of the market and developer interest, there aren't any Mac-based (software or hardware) business worth investing in. (by extension, all of the innovation starts on other platforms.)

The other option, that Apple has somehow avoided, is to return the cash to the shareholders, either thru a dividend or a share buyback. (That's what I'd like to see.)

99mac - 99% Macintosh - Powered By vBindex
I noticed this list of best-selling books by country while traveling a couple of days ago. I was struck by what canbe implied from the best-selling non-fiction in Germany and India: 2 of the top 5 in Germany are whiny books by Michael Moore, while #2 in India is Jack Welch's autobiographical how-to "Jack."

Which country do you think is cultivating an era of growth and which is heading further down the road to serfdom?

IHT: A glance at bestselling books around the world

Monday, February 09, 2004

Glad to see that I'm not the only one disappointed that the real critical piece in Apple's quest to leverage their position in the music biz is the iMac and is currently disappointing.

I've also got one other thought on Apple's future: 70% share of downloaded music, 30% share of the player market. Since Apple's is a closed system, I'd bet a lot of $$$ that the former figure approachs the latter over time.

PC Pro - Computing in the Real World

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Here's a great financial look at Apple's future, or at least one possible scenarios.....

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
Click to go to my online photography

World sun clock

Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous