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Comment: Wow, the ignorance is breathtaking (Score 0) 286

by Colin Smith (#41600825) Attached to: The Case That Apple Should Buy Nokia

Slashdot is full of blowhards these days.

It's been clear since the 9210 that mobile phones would replace the desktop, maybe not in every respect but most of them. Anyone with half a brain has been watching the mobile space closely. That seems to exclude most of Slashdot though, why don't know this stuff, what's wrong with you?

Nokia is the 2nd largest phone manufacturer on the planet, marginally behind Samsung. Apple is trailing a long way off in the distance.

Their new generation of smartphones are about two years ahead of the competition, maybe three years ahead of Apple. You'll see the features from the Lumia 920 in the iPhone 7 or 8 if you're lucky, but looking at the iPhone 5 vs 4s, I frankly doubt it.

They have turned their S40 "dumb" phones into smartphones, of which they're selling 70 million a quarter at less than 1/5th the price of an iPhone and making a profit doing it.

They are one of the biggest mapping companies as well, rivalling or surpassing Google but nobody here had a god damned clue. It's come as a total surprise to everybody.

Apple don't have 100 billion in cash; they have it invested in the markets and should Apple attempt to buy Nokia, it's likely their market capitalisation would double or more so they're never going to get the company for the current price. Should MSFT attempt to buy Nokia OTOH, someone will be going to prison. Putting it clearly, Nokia's market cap is currently priced for bankruptcy despite the fact that only the smartphone division is now losing money and while Q3 is probably going to suck due to their announcement timing, as I pointed out anyone who's looked at recent reviews anywhere, their new stuff is noticeably ahead of all the competition and due out next month.

So, I hope you're happy fondling the APPL stock you bought at $700, the hedge funds will send you a thank you card for your support I'm sure in due course. I am of course talking my book with NOK that I bought when the world was ending, as it does so often.

Comment: You don't make 50% margin by spending money (Score 1) 451

by Colin Smith (#41493421) Attached to: Apple CEO Tim Cook Apologizes For Maps App, Recommends Alternatives

"They should have either been investing more on a better solution of their own"

Look... Why do you think the iPhone 5 is identical to the iPhone 4?
Why do you think Apple even had to talk about how the iPhone 5 was produced at all? Nobody cares how a phone is manufactured. They had to talk about how difficult and anal it was to produce because nothing else changed. The device is functionally and in design, identical to the iPhone 4.
Why do you think iOS 6 is identical to previous version?

Why do you think nothing changed? Nothing changed so that Apple can make 50% margin on their phones. You take more money in but don't spend money. It's how you get 100 billion in the bank. It's great business as long as nobody notices. The point being you are sacrificing the future at the expense of today and people do start to notice.

They start to notice that Samsung have more power and a bigger brighter screen, Google have better maps, they notice that Nokia have wireless charging, next generation cameras, nfc, better screens, higher quality offline maps, better design and ironically, a better easier to use interface.

Eventually people start asking if the 50% margin going to the hedge funds is worth what's being paid.

Comment: You know how long it took Google and Nokia? (Score 4, Interesting) 451

by Colin Smith (#41492403) Attached to: Apple CEO Tim Cook Apologizes For Maps App, Recommends Alternatives

Apple users are saying, "we'll get that fixed next time."

Apple iPhone users have no idea what they're talking about.

Fixing a buggy application can be done in a point release of software. The app is irrelevant, everybody, their dog and their dog's fleas have map reading software. What they don't have is good data. Why? It's expensive.

Fixing terabytes to petabytes of poor data is an entirely different matter from upgrading a map reading application. There are really only 2 companies with good data. Google and Nokia. Both have been buying, assembling, collecting POI data and updating and fixing base map data for years.

To fix this Apple are probably going to have to spend a fortune on large amounts of data, infrastructure to handle it, thousands of people to manage and check it. Both, expensive and slow. Then there's the weird melting 3D world that's going to have to change entirely. They'll have to decide if it's worth doing it properly or if they still think they can do it on the cheap.

Looking at what they have right now, it absolutely will not be "fixed next time".

Comment: *Nokia* is the other mapping giant (Score 4, Interesting) 561

by Colin Smith (#41482597) Attached to: Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_web_map_services

People forget they bought Navteq in 2007. Wonder why they did that now...

Yahoo maps: Nokia
Garmin: Nokia data
Mapquest: Nokia data
Navigon: Nokia data
Onstar: Nokia data
Amazon: Nokia maps
Microsoft Bing maps: See the Nokia logo at the bottom?
Pretty much every in car system on the planet uses Nokia data.

The list just goes on and on. But why would a ***mobile*** phone company care? Did you notice I highlighted the word "mobile"?

Now look at their new phones, the 920 now has "citylens" which is first generation augmented reality. You can use it to "see through" buildings to find things nearby. They added Nokia Transport public transport and Nokia Drive turn by turn navigation. Their music app gives you nearby gigs.

Nokia phones are going to be *highly* context aware, with superb 2D & 3D data and superb POIs. Google's the only other company which is even close with respect to mapping on mobiles. As you've seen

http://theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com/

Apple Maps is now *years* (longer) behind in terms of data, they have a vast area to cover. They totally blew it when they told Google to go take a running jump.

What I find amusing is that Apple have a hundred billion dollars that they have no idea what to do with. Looks like they're now going to have to try and hire thousands of Nokia and Google map experts (and no, we're not just talking about software developers, they are ten a penny in comparison).

Comment: Why do they want to get rid of cash? (Score 4, Informative) 292

by Colin Smith (#40172189) Attached to: IEEE Spectrum Digs Into the Future of Money

The nature of a bank you see is to make their credit seem as good as cash. Spend it here, spend it there, spend it everywhere.

For example, you go to your bank and deposit $100. (It is legally a loan to the bank.)
The bank takes your $100 and notes in your account $100 of credit....

Did you see what just happened? The money supply increased. There is now $100 of cash which the bank can loan out and $100 worth of credit in your account to spend. The bank just created money out of thin air. Interestingly, not US dollars. This is just bank credit which represents dollars. By using credit to pay for things you are using a completely private money created by your bank.

This is why banks are heavily regulated compared to for example paypal, they manipulate the money supply. It's why they are orders of magnitude more dangerous than paypal no matter how much you may dislike them.

So. There are some regulations, banks have to retain a certain amount of money as reserve in case people ask for their money back. Around 10% in the US. In fact they could only loan out $90. Not what happens in reality mind you. They loan first and find reserves later in reality. You may note that this means they don't have your money in their vaults, they loaned it out. It also means that they can only ever pay back 10% of their depositors, in the event of a bank run 90% are going to lose out. It's why there are bank runs the first place, you have to be at the head of the queue to get any money back.

Now, the more people depend on credit rather than cash, the lower the reserve ratio can be pushed, and the higher the leverage can be pushed. In Europe, the reserve ratios are discretionary and in reality between 30 (3%) and 50:1 (2%). If nobody ever used cash, in theory the reserve could be 0 and the reserve ratio could be infinite... i.e. banks could create as much money as they wanted, they could leverage up as far as the eye can see.

This is the real reason for the constant push for credit cards, debit cards... Always trying to get rid of cash. Cash limits their ability to create money.

You would like to own a money tree? All a banker needs is a book of accounts and a pen. All this talk of counterfeiting is complete rubbish, banks already create far more credit money than there is cash. In fact orders of magnitude more. The UK: 30 times more. EU 50 times more. Only a tiny percentage of our money is cash by now.

Comment: Banks are welfare leaches. (Score 2, Insightful) 471

by Colin Smith (#40068143) Attached to: Facebook Shares Retreat Below IPO Price

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Citi are at the top of the list of banks making use of Federal Reserve loan facilities. If they are and were so healthy why are they at the top of the list of heavy users?

http://projects.propublica.org/tables/treasury-facilities-loans

The simple truth is they did need the money and would have failed as spectacularly as Bear Stearns and Lehman without it. I'll just point out that the Federal Reserve was created for exactly the purpose of transferring risk to taxpayers by exactly the banks who made most use of it.

Oh and JP Morgan did everyone a favour for taking Bear Stearns over a $2 a share, financed again by the Federal Reserve? Oh please.

If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.

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