Thursday, April 25, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I don’t remember ever being that cranky after a quarterly call from an awesome, incredibly profitable company. I think Tim Cook is a great operations guy and he fully deserves to be the COO. Can we please have somebody with balls to become the CEO so Tim Cook can apologize to him/her in private and the real CEO can tell the investors how awesome the company is and manipulate sell side analysts' expectations as one should? Yes, I did just say that. It was hardly an embarrassing quarter for Apple. What made the results embarrassing was the executives' apologetic attitude and complete failure to communicate with the analysts. Somebody please call Greg Maffei for help? His Microsoft quarterly calls should be studied by all public companies. I am sure that he has a big enough ego to run Apple. It seems that it should be a prerequisite in Apple CEO interviews.
That was the most poorly managed quarterly call in some time. Did they waterboard Peter Oppenheimer to follow the apologetic spin? This is unbelievable. Do we really need the reality distortion field to make Apple tick? What happened to the amazing culture that Steve created? Was it really all Steve Jobs? Were they completely blinded by the lawsuits and just lost their focus? Apple sounded nearly like RIM talking about future amazing products sometime in our lifetime (or end of the year, whichever comes first). Maybe they should also change their name to some berry out of respect for fruits? After following Apple for so many years I fell that I am understanding the company less and less.
There are many ways to skin a cat (or peel a fruit for that matter) and that was not how one should do it.
Full disclosure. I own Apple shares personally and for our clients at North Shore Asset Management.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Figure 1. CBOE SPX Volatility Index. Source: Bloomberg.
A slowdown in the Chinese economy would have also had a negative effect on the US economy. Despite the common perception that US is primarily an importer of Chinese goods, in 2011 China was Unites States’ 3rd largest export market (behind Canada and Mexico) and continued to be the fastest growing one (See Figure 2). Despite the incredible 542% increase in the US exports to China since 2000, the $103.9 billion in 2011 placed the US in 5th place, with only a 7% market share of total imports into China.
Figure 2. US Exports to China since 2000. Source: US Department of Commerce.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
After mapping which parts of the brain were firing at what rate when different frequencies of sound were played, they were able to identify the words patients were listening to and even reconstruct some of the words by turning the brain waves back into sound based on the computer model they've created.
It is just the beginning, but this research provides directions for work on generating words based on intended speech directly from brain activity. Such development could completely revolutionize augmentative and alternative communication capabilities.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Gizmodo: The Science of Taste Or: Why Dry-Aged Meat Is So Damned Delicious [Food] http://goo.gl/mag/8w6qB
Friday, December 9, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Eurostat Gross Domestic product, volumes - Percentage changes
Gross domestic product (GDP) at market prices is the final result of the production activity of resident producer units (ESA 1995, 8.89). It is defined as the value of all goods and services produced less the value of any goods or services used in their creation. Data are calculated as chain-linked volumes (i.e. data at previous year's prices, linked over the years via appropriate growth rates). Growth rates with respect to the previous quarter (Q/Q-1) are calculated from calendar and seasonally adjusted figures while growth rates with respect to the same quarter of the previous year (Q/Q-4) are calculated from raw data.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Does Music Change the Taste of Wine? and Christian Jarret's post Wine Tastes Like the Music You Are Listening To summarizing Adrian North's recent study on the effect of music on the taste of wine.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Lytro's pictures gallery, or take a look at the video below
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Am I the only person who thinks that all the recent moves in Europe suggest preparation for a Greek bankruptcy? Last week, after hearing about the larger than agreed to Greek budget deficit, the October 13th meeting was canceled and moved initially to Oct 17th, now it seems to be rescheduled again. Suddenly, nobody is really rushing to get money over to Greece. Recently Greece claimed to have enough money only until mid-November and there are approximately 2 million people who directly depend on the Greek government for their paychecks or unemployment benefits. Nobody can afford 2 million people to go to the streets, so we are running out of options here.
I did not really understand what the Europeans were doing until this morning's news. From all the signs it looks to me like Greece will be in a EU driven prepackaged bankruptcy within three weeks. In the meantime, IMF smells something or already knows something and they are not happy - urging all parties to stick to the July agreements. Why would they suddenly issue such a statement?
Unfortunately, at this point, prepackaged bankruptcy is probably the best and only option. It will be violent and we do not understand all its ramifications, so things can get ugly before bouncing back. However, it will stop the slow the bleeding and hopefully stop the European economic malaise. Of course the hope is that and once we get through it, Greece will be contained. I agree that avoiding a pan-European recession is much more important than bankrupting Greece, nationalizing a bunch of banks and saving other companies / institutions that might fail as part of the collateral damage. The problem is that we do likely not fully understand all the effects of a sovereign bankruptcy in the center of Europe. Stephen Wood, chief market strategist for Russell Investments said in a Bloomberg interview today that "While a Greece default is not something that can really be addressed or avoided, the consequences on the banking system can be avoided". I wish I was as optimistic about our ability to fully contain its effects on the banking system. At the time, I thought Lehman bankruptcy was the right things to do. I was clearly wrong. You live, you learn. I hope to be wrong this time.