theory

Apple Is Suddenly Spending Billions Of Dollars On Secret Projects (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-is-suddenly-spending-billions-of-dollars-on-secret-projects-2012-12

In the quarter ending June 2011, Apple spent less than $1 billion on property, plants, and equipment.

By March 2012, the number had spiked beyond $2 billion, beyond $3 billion, and approached $4 billion.

Horace Dediu thinks that number will zoom past $4 billion in 2013.

Here’s a chart he made to show what the spike looks like so far:

Apple Spike

Here’s the the interesting part about all this massive spending.

No one outside of Apple knows where it’s going.

“The capital is being deployed almost silently and, though vast in scale, barely gets a mention from analysts,” writes Dediu. “Not even a single question has been raised at any earnings call about this spending.”

His theory is that Apple, which prefers an “integrated” approach in everything it does, will soon make more of the components inside its gadgets, like chips.

That would explain why Apple has been so busy hiring former Texas Instruments employees, for example.

The truth is, Apple is a very secret company and it doesn’t have to say, specifically, where it’s spending that money.

For all we know, it could be building TV set factories.

One thing one know for sure is the Apple is always working on products that would cannibalize its current lineup. 

Maybe Apple is investing billions in a product that could kill the iPhone, like computerized glasses.

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Thursday, December 13th, 2012 news No Comments

The Nexus 4 Does Have LTE, It

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5961716/the-nexus-4-does-have-lte-its-just-not-switched-on

The Nexus 4 Does Have LTE, It’s Just Not Switched OnFollowing that iFixit teardown of the Nexus 4, it looks like LG and Google did kit out their new flagship with LTE after all—at least, there’s a Qualcomm multi-band LTE chip in there—it’s just not active. But why whack in a 4G chip and not bother to use it?

There are a couple of theories. The first is network restriction: perhaps one or more mobile carriers have called dibs on an LTE-equipped version to be “released” at a later date. Another theory, as suggested by Ars Technica is that LG’s just left the chip in there as a throw over from the Optimus G, on which the Nexus 4 is based, to reduce manufacturing streams. That’s possible, but why put a chip in there that costs you extra cash if you weren’t going to use it?

On the bright side, perhaps now we’ll have a reason for people to actually root stock Android. Maybe, just maybe, someone will be able to activate that dormant LTE chip and gift the Nexus 4 with 4G. That really would make Google’s flagship absolutely killer. [iFixit via Ars Technica]


The Nexus 4 Does Have LTE, It’s Just Not Switched OnOur newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.

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Monday, November 19th, 2012 news No Comments

The NYSE Composite Vs. Obama’s Re-Election Odds

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/82VUV2xy0no/stock-market-vs-obama-intrade-october-11-2012-10

Courtesy of Chartist Friend From Pittsburgh, the latest update on the relationship between the stock market and Obama’s odds of winning on InTrade.

We’re not crazy about all the lines, and the relationship may be spurious, but at least some analysts think there’s a connection. The theory is that Romney would fire Bernanke, and we’d get a more hawkish Fed.

image

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Thursday, October 11th, 2012 news No Comments

Teens Hate Twitter

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/SQvuDM88UaA/teens-hate-twitter-2012-7

One surprise finding of our big research report, “The Secret Lives of Teens” is that kids aged 12-17 have very little use for Twitter.

A majority of them text and check Facebook everyday, but look how few use Twitter during an average 24-hours:

Teens who use Twitter

Seriously, the “never” us it:
Teens who use Twitter 

 

So what gives? Is this a horrible sign for Twitter?

Maybe not.

One theory we’ve been kicking around: One reason it appears teens hate Twitter, is that what they actually hate is news (they never read it online) and Twitter’s best use is as a news-delivery service. 

For more surprising data, see…

The Secret Lives Of Teenagers Online: A Full Report From Business Insider >

 

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Sunday, July 15th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5906560/the-flashback-trojan-made-its-makers-10000-a-day

The Flashback Trojan Made Its Makers $10,000 a DayIf you’ve ever wondered why people write malware, it’s just like anything else – it’s all about the money. Symantec has worked out that the evil-doing bottom-feeders behind that nasty Flashback Trojan, which caught the Mac world with its pants down, were raking in around $10,000 a day.

Apparently Flashback was cheating Google out of ad money on a colossal scale, redirecting clicks and banking the cash. With 100,000s of users unknowingly infected, all those tiny 5p clicks quickly added up, and that was just one variant of the Trojan.

With that much money on the line it’s no wonder Macs have become a target – Windows users are supposedly wiser to these kinds of things. In theory it’s a lot easier, once you’ve actually managed to get onto a Mac, to hide-out there earning serious money. Now that they’ve successfully proved Macs are vulnerable, and made a hatful of money in the process, don’t expect the Mac to escape Windows-style virus hell – where there’s a will, there’s a way. [Symantec via MacWorld UK]

Image by Images of Money under Creative Commons license


The Flashback Trojan Made Its Makers $10,000 a DayOur newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.

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Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5906560/the-flashback-trojan-made-its-makers-10000-a-day

The Flashback Trojan Made Its Makers $10,000 a DayIf you’ve ever wondered why people write malware, it’s just like anything else – it’s all about the money. Symantec has worked out that the evil-doing bottom-feeders behind that nasty Flashback Trojan, which caught the Mac world with its pants down, were raking in around $10,000 a day.

Apparently Flashback was cheating Google out of ad money on a colossal scale, redirecting clicks and banking the cash. With 100,000s of users unknowingly infected, all those tiny 5p clicks quickly added up, and that was just one variant of the Trojan.

With that much money on the line it’s no wonder Macs have become a target – Windows users are supposedly wiser to these kinds of things. In theory it’s a lot easier, once you’ve actually managed to get onto a Mac, to hide-out there earning serious money. Now that they’ve successfully proved Macs are vulnerable, and made a hatful of money in the process, don’t expect the Mac to escape Windows-style virus hell – where there’s a will, there’s a way. [Symantec via MacWorld UK]

Image by Images of Money under Creative Commons license


The Flashback Trojan Made Its Makers $10,000 a DayOur newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.

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Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

An Apple Chart That’s Been Going DOWN For 10 Years

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-pe-ratio-vs-the-sp-500-pe-ratio-2012-3


From Reuters Scotty Barber, one of the only possible Apple charts you can make that doesn’t go up.

It’s a look at the company’s PE ratio vs. that of the S&P 500.

apple PE

Note that this is the “forward PE”, so at the moment it’s based on estimated earnings, but the gist would be the same even if you used trailing PE.

Of course, this chart makes Apple investors pull their hair out, since the ‘E’ has been growing so fast, they don’t understand why it’s converged with the general market like this. In theory, fast growing earnings should cause higher multiples.

On the other hand, as fast as it’s growing, we don’t think there are too many companies out there that have reversed such a big secular trend of PE compression.

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Friday, March 16th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882172/the-world-now-buys-more-smartphones-than-computers

The World Now Buys More Smartphones than ComputersIn 2011, manufacturers shipped 487.7 million smartphones and only 414.6 million computers—that’s desktops, laptops and tablets. Combined. We’d heard prophecy of this day, and now it may have arrived.

The study by Canalys has troves of data about global smartphone sales, which seem to lend credence to the theory that smartphones are becoming the main computing devices of the masses. Creation and productivity tasks aside, the vast majority of what we need to do or obtain from the internet can be accomplished on a $100 device that fits in our hand. And they’re becoming near-ubiquitous.

For the rest of the stat geekery, check out the full report if poring over data about product shipments is your thing. [Canalys]

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Um, Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” Sucks So Far

Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” launched with some fanfare and with jilted partner, Twitter, crying foul.  But the real proof is in the “pudding” and so far, from my own taste testing, the “puddin’s not all that good.” In fact, it’s downright spoiled.

In theory, returning results based on my own activities, photos, shares, etc. plus the social sharing activities of my circles of friends seems to make sense. After all, my friends should share similar interests, etc. However, in reality, this appears to be far from the truth.

Either my friends all suck at what they are sharing OR what I search for has very little to do with (or very little overlap with) what I and my friends are sharing. And I think the latter is more likely the case, because my friends are all awesome and I usually find what they share to be super informative and I always learn something new from them and the insightful curation they do.

So what is wrong with Google’s new personalized search, flavored with +1? And will it ever get better with time and more usage?

My current hypothesis is NO .. it won’t get better with time.  Here are a few reasons why I think so:

– what I search for (what I need at this moment) is not necessarily what I share (what I think my followers would be interested in)

– news items and other cool information that is shared are things I “discover” through the curation of my circles of friends and I like to browse these things to learn; this contrasts with things that I search for at any moment in time, which could include things that I need now, gifts for other people, research for clients in other industries that I am not in. What this means is that those search terms and the sites that I visit don’t necessarily have any bearing on any future searches and what I am interested in.

– finally, among all my friends, I would probably only ask 1 or 2 of them for restaurant recommendations (in New York) because they live here and are known for their expertise in food; I would ask different friends for advice on digital cameras (@designerguy), keyword research platforms (@glenngabe), ad networks (@jonathanmendez), etc. you get the idea. So canvassing my entire social graph for keyword based ways to personalize search results is actually making the results worse (see examples below).

Search ( photos )

[Redacted] – I don’t need to see my own photos from my own Picasa, which I already know is there.

Search  ( italian restaurants in New York  – no quotes )

 

 

Search ( spend polarization – no quotes )

spend polarization search results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 SEM, SEO, social networks No Comments

Aardvark Publishes A Research Paper Offering Unprecedented Insights Into Social Search

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/IMDRrISRf-8/

In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin published a paper[PDF] titled Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Search Engine, in which they outlined the core technology behind Google and the theory behind PageRank. Now, twelve years after that paper was published, the team behind social search engine Aardvark has drafted its own research paper that looks at the social side of search. Dubbed Anatomy of a Large-Scale Social Search Engine, the paper has just been accepted to WWW2010, the same conference where the classic Google paper was published.

Aardvark will be posting the paper in its entirety on its official blog at 9 AM PST, and they gave us the chance to take a sneak peek at it. It’s an interesting read to say the least, outlining some of the fundamental principles that could turn Aardvark and other social search engines into powerful complements to Google and its ilk. The paper likens Aardvark to a ‘Village’ search model, where answers come from the people in your social network; Google is part of ‘Library’ search, where the answers lie in already-written texts. The paper is well worth reading in its entirety (and most of it is pretty accessible), but here are some key points:

  • On traditional search engines like Google, the ‘long-tail’ of information can be acquired with the use of very thorough crawlers. With Aardvark, a breadth of knowledge is totally reliant on how many knowledgeable users are on the service. This leads Aardvark to conclude that “the strategy for increasing the knowledge base of Aardvark crucially involves creating a good experience for users so that they remain active and are inclined to invite their friends”. This will likely be one of Aardvark’s greatest challenges.
  • Beyond asking you about the topics you’re most familiar with, Aardvark will actually look at your past blog posts, existing online profiles, and tweets to identify what topics you know about.
  • If you seem to know about a topic and your friends do too, the system assumes you’re more knowledgeable than if you were the only one in a group of friends to know about that topic.
  • Aardvark concludes that while the amount of trust users place in information on engines like Google is related to a source website’s authority, the amount they trust a source on Aardvark is based on intimacy, and how they’re connected to the person giving them information
  • Some parts of the search process are actually easier for Aardvark’s technology than they are for traditional search engines. On Google, when you type in a query, the engine has to pair you up with exact websites that hold the answer to your query. On Aardvark, it only has to pair you with a person who knows about the topic — it doesn’t have to worry about actually finding the answer, and can be more flexible with how the query is worded.
  • As of October 2009, Aardvark had 90,361 users, of whom 55.9% had created content (asked or answered a question). The site’s average query volume was 3,167.2 questions per day, with the median active user asking 3.1 questions per month. Interestingly, mobile users are more active than desktop users. The Aardvark team attributes this to users wanting quick, short answers on their phones without having to dig for anything. They also think people are more used to using more natural language patterns on their phones.
  • The average query length was 18.6 words (median of 13) versus 2.2-2.9 words on a standard search engine.  Some of this difference comes from the more natural language people use (with words like “a”, “the”, and “if”).  It’s also because people tend to add more context to their queries, with the knowledge that it will be read by a human and will likely lead to a better answer.
  • 98.1% of questions asked on Aardvark were unique, compared with between 57 and 63% on traditional search engines.
  • 87.7% of questions submitted were answered, and nearly 60% of them were answered within 10 minutes.  The median answering time was 6 minutes and 37 seconds, with the average question receiving two answers.  70.4% of answers were deemed to be ‘good’, with 14.1% as ‘OK’ and 15.5% were rated as bad.
  • 86.7% of Aardvark users had been asked by Aardvark to answer a question, of whom 70% actually looked at the question and 38% could answer.  50% of all members had answered a question (including 75% of all users who had ever actually interacted with the site), though 20% of users accounted for 85% of answers.
Information provided by CrunchBase


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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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