Posts filed under “Technology”

Steve Jobs: FT Person of the Year


To hell with Zuckerberg, says the Financial Times, its Jobs:

“Buoyed by the iPad, Apple’s shares finally surpassed Microsoft in May to make it the world’s most valuable technology concern. Others now have Apple in their sights, forcing Mr Jobs into the competitive moves that would once have seemed out of character. Apple has acknowledged its rivalry with Facebook, for instance, by releasing Ping, a me-too social network for iTunes users that a prouder Steve Jobs would not have let out the door.”

Query: Which firm is more likely to have greater revenues and/or profits in 5 years — Apple or Facebook? 10 years? 20 ?

(Note: FT is a business publication, and does not meet our Cover indicator criteria)


The Single Company Magazine Cover Indicator (March 20th, 2006)

Silicon Valley visionary who put Apple on top
Richard Waters and Joseph Menn
NYT, December 22 2010

Category: Financial Press, Technology, Web/Tech

Dartmouth Prof: Wikileaks Could Spell End of Email


Wikileaks Exposes All Firms and Could Spell the End of Email, Says Dartmouth Professor
Peter Gorenstein
Tech Ticker Dec 23, 2010

Category: Technology, Video

Scraping Twitter to Find the Mood of the Monkeys

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the Derwent Absolute Return Fund was seeded with an initial 25 million pounds ($39 million) and will begin trading in February. Its model? Following posts on Twitter, and tracking emotionally significant words to anticipate the market’s next jag up or down. A recent study concluded that short term market moves can…Read More

Category: Psychology, Quantitative, Technology

Is There A Natural Limit for Kindle Device Sales?

Everybody’s excited today because Bloomberg came out with some “hard” numbers on Kindle device sales for 2010 that exceeded expectations at 8 million units. That’s well ahead of the analyst consensus that Amazon would sell 5 million Kindles this year which would have more than doubled the 2.4 million that sold in 2009.

Of course, Amazon still refuses to verify any of these numbers. That’s a shame. Because even though readers and market watchers are still in the full flush of seeing electronic readers and tablets out-pace all hopes, there are some important questions worth asking about the Kindle device. Like, is there a natural ceiling for Kindle sales? And are we getting close to it?

Before I get there, let’s be clear that I’m talking about the electronic reader itself, not the Kindle service itself. Amazon seems to have won a very important victory this year that’s gone mostly un-noticed. By aggressively building and deploying the Kindle app for every hand-held device imaginable and making sure there was a Kindle app for iPad there on day one, Amazon has migrated Kindle from being device dependent to becoming a full-fledged cloud service.

This isn’t a small detail. Amazon as a device agnostic repository of your reading is a powerful market position. Under the agency pricing model, Amazon takes a 30% toll on all sales through the app. The gross margins are sure to be substantial. The barriers to entry and endowment effect for both competitors and customers will be huge. Down the road, 2010 is likely to be seen not as the year Amazon cut the price of the Kindle below $200 but the year they fended off Apple, Barnes and Noble and Google to become the dominant force in cloud-based reading.

That brings me back to the 8 million Kindle devices Amazon sold this year. That’s nothing to sneeze at. And, at first glance, Kindle device sales seem to be accelerating. Here’s how Bloomberg’s Joseph Galante and Peter Burrows put it:

In October, the company said that sales of the lighter, faster Kindles, which were introduced in July, had surpassed total Kindle sales in the fourth quarter of 2009, the company’s busiest time of year.

But one of the things we think we know about Kindle buyers is that they are heavy readers. That would make sense. The value of the device is greater for the regular book buyer than it is for the occasional reader.

Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Technology, Think Tank

Monster Turbine High-Performance In-Ear Speakers

Last week, in our Holiday Shopping for Audiophiles, I mentioned the Monster Turbine High-Performance In-Ear Speakers. I found they are great iPod headphones, but pricey at $179.

Amazon is running a one day special: Today only, $59:  Buy a pair for yourself.
(check out the video here)

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Category: Music, Technology, Weekend

What Would Steve Do ?

This is terribly funny: WWSJD ? Hat tip Eric Savitz

Category: Humor, Technology, Weekend

Kvetching on 311: What New Yorkers Complain About

> Interesting graphic at Wired, about one of the innovations of the Bloomberg administration: 311. Originally conceived of as a way to eliminate non emergency calls to 911, it has turned out to be a giant success, fielding its 100 millionth call recently. Here’s Wired: “Launched in March 2003, 311 now fields on average more…Read More

Category: Technology

Bought the iPad

Ok, so you guys convinced me: I finally bought a iPad (wifi 32G) for my birthday — had it about 3 weeks now. Here are some observations: 1) I’ve been a Mac guy since my Classic in 1989 — and I was shocked at the lack of instructions, documentations, anything. To be blunt, it was…Read More

Category: Technology

Light in Your Ears: Treatment for SAD

The days are getting shorter in the Northern latitudes. I don’t suffer from Seasonal Affectation Disorder, but I know plenty of people who do. Which is why I thought this doohickey from Finland (from a start up called Valkee) was so interesting. It works by beaming a specific frequency of light into your brain —…Read More

Category: Technology, Weekend

Atomic Tom’s Take Me Out — LIVE on iPhones

The spin is the band Atomic Tom had their instruments stolen. They were riding the New York subway, happened to have a speaker set up with 4 inputs from iPhones (and a hardly impromptu two camera shoot). All four members play their iPhones and put on quite the show for their fellow riders. The result…Read More

Category: Music, Technology, Weekend