February 2010
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Day February 3, 2010

Yahoo Finance “Key Statistics” Are Wrong

Deagol, one of the most accurate forecasters of Apple’s financial performance rages against the failure of mainstream databases to correctly report financial data. Having witnessed incompetent analysis and lapses of basic fact checking from paid and certified financial professionals, I’m not surprised.

As the theme of this blog goes, there is an asymmetry of information in the world. Take advantage of it.

Read Deagol…


They want the thing in the movies

Mike Monteiro writes:

I went back for a second helping of Avatar this Sunday. There’s a scene early on in the movie where one of the scientists walks across the lab carrying the “mobile computer slab of the future.” We’ve seen one of these in almost every sci-fi movie of the last 50 years. It comes free with a jetpack, I suppose. Except this time, one month later, my 12 year old son turns to me and whispers “Look Dad, it’s an iPad.”

The iPad isn’t the future of computing; it’s a replacement for computing.

Right on!

I like root access as much as the next guy, but at least I can understand that you don’t sell a car by convincing the buyer that the car manufacturer’s engine was developed from freely modifiable blueprints that were available to other car manufacturers without a license fee.


iPhone will come to Verizon when Verizon rolls out a network compatible with the iPhone

Obviously, not everyone is on the cluetrain…

Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin :

“Our analysis suggests that Apple will eventually sell the device at all carriers; however, there is a much greater probability that AT&T keeps exclusivity for another 12-18 months than investors realize,” he writes. “We think this has profound impacts for Apple, the carriers and the other handset OEMs.”

The iPhone on Verizon: The April Fool’s Joke That Works Every Day.

(footnote: Sorry about the graphic but I could not bear putting up the world’s worst logo).


Dick Brass Vents

I knew of Dick Brass at the time when he was promoting ClearType inside Microsoft. We met his team to consider licensing our table recognition algorithms for the production of ebooks for Microsoft Reader, an early ebook reading solution for the PocketPC. It was then I learned about plans for “reading solutions” from Microsoft, almost 10 years ago.

Now he writes about the tragedy of Microsoft’s complete absence from the future of mobile computing.

“…why Microsoft, America’s most famous and prosperous technology company, no longer brings us the future, whether it’s tablet computers like the iPad, e-books like Amazon’s Kindle, smartphones like the BlackBerry and iPhone, search engines like Google, digital music systems like iPod and iTunes or popular Web services like Facebook and Twitter.”

Part of the answer, Brass writes, is that Microsoft put too much faith in aggressive managers (like himself) who nurtured a culture of conflict. But mostly, he says, it’s because of inter-departmental bullying by Microsoft’s established divisions and a “dysfunctional” corporate culture that thwarts innovation.

To support his contention, he offers a couple of telling anecdotes in which he does everything but name names:

Microsoft’s ClearType display technology languished in the lab for years, he says, because engineers in the Windows group “falsely claimed” it made the display go haywire, the head of Office products said it was fuzzy and gave him headaches, and the vice president for pocket devices was said he’d support ClearType only if Brass transferred the programmers to his control.

In 2001, the vice president in charge of Microsoft Office refused to modify Word, Excel and Outlook to work properly with Brass’ tablet. Result: “if you wanted to enter a number into a spreadsheet or correct a word in an e-mail message, you had to write it in a special pop-up box, which then transferred the information to Office. Annoying, clumsy and slow… To this day, you still can’t use Office directly on a Tablet PC. And despite the certainty that an Apple tablet was coming this year, the tablet group at Microsoft was eliminated.”

Brass believes that the intense, sometimes cut-throat, internal competition that Bill Gates fostered among his managers has devolved into something uncontrolled and destructive: “The big established groups are allowed to prey upon emerging teams, belittle their efforts, compete unfairly against them for resources, and over time hector them out of existence.”

He also gives a nod to the modular/integrated dichotomy to which we are always pointing accusing fingers:

“Part of the problem is a historic preference to develop (highly profitable) software without undertaking (highly risky) hardware. This made economic sense when the company was founded in 1975, but now makes it far more difficult to create tightly integrated, beautifully designed products like an iPhone or TiVo. “

“It’s not an accident,” he writes, “that almost all the executives in charge of Microsoft’s music, e-books, phone, online, search and tablet efforts over the past decade have left.”

Read More (New York Times)…