Chris Lau - Seeking Alpha

Monday, June 28, 2010

Notes on the How the Internet is Fostering our Stupidity

Bloomberg Businessweek reviewed the book 'The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.'  In it, Carr states that we are experiencing "a reversal of the early trajectory of civilization: We are evolving from being cultivators of personal knowledge to being hunters and gatherers in the electronic data forest."

With that frame of mind, this note will not be bombarded with the latest facts, statistics, or headline. Instead, three stories for essential reading are below below. 

One:
Barry Ritzholtz, The Big Picture, writes "A Closer Look at the Second Leg Down in Housing."  In it, he discusses the direction for home prices in the U.S., following the end of the home tax credits. As posted on InvestorInsight, Mauldin states that "The firm began raising cash in Q1 of 2010, and by the time the first quarter was over, was only 50% long. They sold more stock in April, and in a bit of good timing that Ritholtz will tell you was "dumb lucky" went to 100% cash on May 5, 2010 – the day before the 1,000 point flash crash. "

Two:
World Debt (source: the economist). This in turn makes the G20 response to European debt that much more significant.

Three:
RIM - Research In Motion - Stock decline over 10% after earnings were announced
What was Waterloo Canada's RIM thinking when a Bank of America Analyst asked:

"What will help RIMM regain U.S. market share? But it seems that AT&T channel is very strongly aligned with Apple. And Verizon and Sprint seems to be aligning with Android. So where does that leave RIM?

So the specific question I have is, what motivates customers to buy a BlackBerry 6.0 product instead of say the new iPhone 4.0 or new Android products? Other than network efficiency, what kind of differentiator should we focus on?"

RIM CEO Balsillie's Response:
"Well, I mean, be careful about your implicit assumptions in your question, or shall I say explicit assumptions in you questions. Yes, I think you guys just have to watch and see what the plans are.

I think there's a lot of implicit and explicit assumptions, and that maybe should be examined. And part of that is the question of how powerful is their innovation is a good question, with the timing of it, it's a good question. I think an important question to ask is, how much does constructive alignment matter to a carrier, because that's been just an enormous issue throughout Europe and Asia, and definitely coming on in Europe.

And I think how much does efficiency matter, and when you look at these pricing plans, I think that that should tell you something. So I mean, we watch and see. I mean, we have unprecedented campaigns and device programs and commitments in our history. And I'm just not going to talk anything more about our products and our launches until their time."
Not getting an answer to a question is one thing, but being told how to ask a question might be looked upon as...odd.



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