Particle Debris (wk. ending 7/30) Taking Stock

Opinions vary on the technical quality of the reporting by Consumer Reports magazine. Some people believe that they have done a competent job, especially with automobiles. Others point out that the publication has consistently hosed up its coverage of the Mac. The fact that Consumer Reports has declined to endorse the Mac over Windows causes some people to suspect the mental competence of CR. Others believe it’s a sign of balance, fairness, and a recognition that all OSes have their faire share of problems. In any case, Gene Steinberg of the TechNightOwl has weighed in on some of the issues regarding CR’s handling of the iP4’s antenna problems - if that’s the right word. I didn’t agree with everything Gene said, but that didn’t keep me from finding his essay thought provoking.

For those of you who dabble in Apple’s stock (AAPL), a Romanian mathematician has conducted a historical analysis of that stock and sent it to Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune. Nicolae Mihalache Ciurdea’s analysis suggests that Apple stock, based on the last 12 quarters, is a bargain at US$260.00. Mr. DeWitt continues the analysis, which gets fairly technical, and comes up with interesting results. Warning: you’ll need to be experienced with technical terms used by investors.

Last week, ZDNET (amongst others) advised users to be aware of upgrading a 2008 iPhone 3G to iOS 4. Apparently, there were some real issues with slow downs, and, eventually Apple started to look into the matter.

This is a little off the beaten path, but I know you’ll appreciate my reference. We all know about the lunatics who believe the Apollo moon landings were faked. Here’s an interesting comedy skit that “proves” the landings couldn’t have been faked, in typical British understated humor.

My former boss’s boss at Apple, David Sobotta is still writing about his tenure and departure from Apple. In this blog entry, he writes a poignant and revealing essay in which he reminisces about those days. Lots of people think that Apple is and always was Camelot, so reading the reflections by a former Apple executive who was poorly treated is always enlightening.

How do you know when the iPhone has truly arrived for the masses? It’s simple. When your wife wants one. Here’s a nice article on the iPhone’s technology critical mass point: “The Jill Hotchkiss Inflection Point.” Mr. Hotchkiss writes: “There’s something important to note here in attitudes towards technology that we digerati, gathered together on the leading edge of the bell curve, often forget. Technology only becomes important to most people when it lets them do something they care about.” Good stuff here.

At TMO, I and other often write about how the iPad opens up new possibilities for publishers of magazines and newspapers. However, it’s a been a rocky road for Time, Inc. who can’t seem to navigate the Apple quagmire of publishing rules. Here’s the story at All Things Digital: “Time Inc.’s iPad Problem Is Trouble for Every Magazine Publisher,” by Peter Kafka. You might even say Time’s experience has been Kafkaesque.

SAI says, “Here’s a fun thought experiment. Let’s say all the major tech companies decide to reward their employees by divvying up cash on hand and giving it to the staff. Which employees would get the biggest payday?” You’ll be mildly surprised by the result in the SAI Chart of the day from Jul 28.

There was a time, last week, when it may have been possible for Apple to buy Infineon — if Infineon really wanted to sell. It may well be, now, that Intel has the inside track, but never mind. TechCrunch made a semi-convincing argument for Apple to do that, aside from antitrust issues. Besides, making a hurried purchase with dubious legal ramifications in order to screw a partner is seldom a good idea. Even so, TechCrunch makes a few good arguments. Decide for yourself in “Why Apple Should Buy Infineon: To Own Mobile And Screw Intel.”

Now.Stop.Salivating.Evil.You.

I’ll finish with a thoughtful essay that pertains to the Apple world, but the tech world on general. See if you can spot yourself in this article, “The Audacity of Free: The Products and Services Edition.” My thinking is that when readers go overboard with their comments, write volumes, and write often, they tend to think of themselves as semi-famous. Of course, if you’re famous, but without responsibility or constraints, you can justify a sense of self-entitlement. It’s a dangerous game.

In this case, do me a favor and don’t kill the messenger.