AAPL and Analysts

November 26, 2005 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Macintosh | Leave a comment

A good example of Internet accountability. Shortly after Apple announced the iPod in late 2001, alleged financial analyst Arne Alsin pronounced Apple dead. However, he was more negative than other analysts at the time, which is why he deserves a “worst foresight” award, as stubborn AAPL investors celebrate the stock reaching an all-time high.

The strange thing is that Alsin looks just like my previous financial adviser who had these words when I suggested adding AAPL to my portfolio after a small runup: It’s done – stick a fork in it [AAPL].

Thank God for E*TRADE 🙂

Monopoly Pricing on iTunes

November 20, 2005 at 9:07 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Lately, there have been news reports of the RIAA cartel pressuring Apple to raise iTunes prices, saying that the laws of supply and demand should determine prices. Joel Spolsky’s essay clearly shows that the RIAA is lying as usual. In a monopoly or collusive oligopoly like that of the RIAA and MPAA, price is not determined by supply and demand; price is a market signal set only by the suppliers.

On a side note, I’ve been perusing the TV shows available on iTunes (all five of them). Episode descriptions are quite long, but Apple has provided an “Info (i)” button to show the text in a popup.

Security Companies sleeping with Sony

November 20, 2005 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Rants, Technology | Leave a comment

This summary of the Sony rootkit fiasco shows that anti-virus companies like McAfee, Symantec, and even Microsoft are all in bed with Sony. It took an independent security analyst to break the real story. It took another two weeks for the same companies to realize they had to do something.

Anyone who has bought and relied upon software and services provided by the above companies is a tool and a fool.

The Sony boycott continues. Apology not accepted.

Sony Retreats – Still Unrepentant

November 11, 2005 at 9:55 pm | Posted in Rants, Technology | Leave a comment

It is often said that any publicity is good publicity. Not true. Mike Russinovich discovered the Sony/BMG DRM rootkit in early November. After 11 days of denial, excuses, backtracking, and half-assed solutions, Sony Music has finally announced that they will (temporarily) stop the production of copy-protected CDs.

There is a quote in the link above by DHS secretary Baker that I think is very important, as it hints of a possible limit beyond which companies like Sony and the RIAA Gestapo should not cross in trying to protect their intellectual property. In fact, it’s very similar to the saying that “your rights end where mine begins”:

“It’s very important to remember that it’s your intellectual property, [but] it’s not your computer,”

Let’s hope that as digital law is defined the idea expressed above is embodied in a legal framework, an “Intellectual Property Bill of Rights” for both consumer and IP owners.

Despite Sony doing the right thing above, it is not enough.

I urge everyone reading this to boycott all Sony products for the rest of the year. I mean all Sony products, not just SonyMusic CDs. Do not buy Playstations, Trinitrons/WEGAs. Do not buy their movies and UMD discs. Do not use your SonyStyle credit card. Either buy another product or wait until 2006.

I want the total destruction of their holiday revenue stream.

As for Sony, what they have done to date is not enough. They should do the following:

  1. Apologize for distributing the rootkit in question
  2. Announce and distribute a program to remove the rootkit. Now. No more bullshit and mealy-mouthed excuses.
  3. Announce the permanent removal of similar scheme from all current and future products. If DRM is to be included, it must be revealed before the customer buys the CD
  4. Give refunds to all those who have bought affected CDs.

A full-page ad in major newspapers with all the above should do it quite nicely and cheaply. Hopefully, the loss of such revenue will force Sony shareholders to take further action.

On another note, I have said to all my friends that I would rather buy a Sony Playstation over a Microsoft Xbox no matter how good the Xbox is, simply because I don’t approve of MS business practices. As of today, I hereby retract that statement. If I were to buy a console next year, I’m more likely to buy the Xbox 360 than the PS3.

I’m also offering to any Sony official the opportunity to buy my Playstation Portable and 2 UMD titles. $300 firm; I’ll eat the sales tax. Just make a comment on this blog entry.

Hybrid Benefits

November 9, 2005 at 9:47 pm | Posted in Fun Outdoors | Leave a comment

It looks like there are more and more reasons to buy a hybrid. Links galore:

  1. Saves gas
  2. Saves the envrionment
  3. Drive in the carpool lanes
  4. A federal tax deduction or credit
  5. No smog checks for a while
  6. It’s very quiet
  7. Good resale value
  8. Some enlightened companies, including a famous search engine company, will give you money if you buy one. If you don’t work for the right company, at least you can pretend like you do
  9. Minimize money being sent to terrorist-sponsoring nations. Beats driving an SUV

Why iPod > PSP

November 1, 2005 at 9:31 pm | Posted in Macintosh, Rants, Technology | 1 Comment

Even though both Apple and Sony have proprietary tendencies, both are trying to make their iPod and PSP products more computer-friendly, since the computer is the hub that contains a massive amount of content (I have about 800 Gigs of storage over four hard drives). In that sense, Sony’s Windows-only approach to support PSP as a PC/Mac peripheral will lose to Apple’s more mature and cross-platform support found in the iPod.

It’s already a given that a large amount of user-created content is done by people who use a Mac, and the fact that the PSP treats the Mac as a second-class citizen will ensure that the PSP will always be second-class to the iPod.

This is happening in Internet time, so Sony better act fast. Or die trying.

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