* Posts by squirrelboy

6 posts • joined 25 Sep 2010

Remember the FBI's promise it wasn’t abusing the NSA’s data on US citizens? Well, guess what…


Re: Makes sense

"They've got this huge database of information about US persons, what are they supposed to do - not use it, spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on gathering the same information again through other channels...?"

If they can't get a Warrant to use it, then absolutely YES.

"...I wouldn't hesitate. I wouldn't think I was doing anything wrong, either."

That is the problem. They don't think that anything is wrong with it. But if it isn't actually wrong, why to they need to lie about it? It is one thing to search the database without a Warrant, but for a Law Enforcement Agency to actively lie to Judges and Congress, under oath, is a MASSIVE issue.

"Your privacy can be invaded by a team of half a dozen agents and a full dossier created specifically on you..."

That is old news. The issue isn't that this database exists, or that the FBI was given access to it, the issue is that the FBI did so without a Warrant on such a massive scale and outside the scope it their access was intended for. Getting a Warrant is a fairly standard process, and for some Warrants all it takes is a phone call to a Judge. The Judge then decides if they have a good enough reason to pull information from the database, not the FBI investigators. Instead, the FBI treats the database like a phonebook instead of a set of highly privileged information they only have the right to use on a case-by-case basis with Judicial oversight.

Due process is a big thing in the court system. If it comes out that the FBI used this information in prosecutions without a Warrant, and having lied under oath, hundreds of court cases could be thrown out.

An upset tummy and a sphincter-loosening blackout: Lunar spaceflight is all glamour


For those interested in following the events as they happened...

Apollo 50th (https://twitter.com/apollo_50th) is live-tweeting Apollo events as they happened 50 years ago.

Apple's zippy silicon leaves Android rivals choking on dust


Re: Android on an iPhone would have been a fair comparison...

Actually the article does make the point that CPU was the only reason the test was so different... unless of course you didn't actually read the article. Just the title alone spells it out: "Apple's zippy silicon leaves Android rivals choking on dust".

I'll happily maintain my position that speed isn't the only metric people use when buying a phone (regardless of whether it is CPU or UI speed). You say I have no proof that people value other factors matter, but similarly you have absolutely no proof that UI speed is the only factor for everyone.

It is nice that you seem to appreciate speed as your only valued metric, but I like my Android phone that has a fast enough UI for everyday usage, real multitasking (and Fast App Switching is NOT multitasking), expandable storage, a real headphone jack (with Quad DACs driving it) and a battery that will last more than a single day (and my phone even has a removable battery). Yes, many of the features I mentioned are things I look for, but I know I am not alone. It is clear from market share alone (Android 85+%, iPhone ~12%) that many people do want more from their phones than what Apple offer (whether that is a cheaper phone, a phone with more features or a phone that isn't locked to a Apple's walled garden).


Android on an iPhone would have been a fair comparison...

This test video doesn't prove that Apple's hardware alone is faster than the Android phones. If you wanted a fair side-by-side measure that then you need to run Android on the iPhone too. All this proves is that iOS is highly optimized for the hardware, which is far easier for Apple to do when they have tight control over all the hardware elements. As for hardware costs, again it is a bit of a unfair comparison when all you are going by is retail pricing. The exact margins are a closely guarded secret for Apple, but I'd suggest that they are far more likely to take a hit on each iPhone sale as long as it keeps people locked into their AppStore ecosystem and they proprietary accessories (ie. Lightning connector cables/dongles).

These days, speed isn't the only metric people use. In fact, as phones get faster, speed as a metric for phone sales becomes even less important. What does count are things like battery life (and all Android models in the test outperform the iPhone by significant margins there), features (like dual cameras, expandable storage, quick charge, etc), standardized connectors (headphone jacks, USB-micro or USB-C) and more software choice.

Apple worth more than Microsoft and Intel combined


Market Cap is not a fair measure of company size

Market cap is simply a measure of what shareholders value a company at.

Unfortunately a comparison of Apple shares vs Microsoft and Intel shares isn't exactly fair as there is a key difference between them: Apple does not pay dividends.

For shareholder return on investment, they can only sell for a profit, which drives the share price up. As Apple is the golden boy of the market, prices will remain high, and people will continue to drive up share prices. But this means Apple's valuation is artificially high.

For a better indication of company size, try looking at equity (total assets minus liabilities). Apple may have a wickedly high market capitalization, but it has a smaller equity than Intel.

Apple now world's second-largest company


Market cap != Company Size

Journalists are very quick to throw around Apple's market capitalization as a figure of total company size. Market capitalization is simply one indication. It is more a market perception of value than an actual value/book value.

What a lot of people don't realise is that unlike most other companies, Apple does not pay dividends (and hasn't since 1995). This keeps it sitting on a huge cash reserve. Even given this huge cash reserve, the market cap is around 6 times it's book value.

Due to the lack of dividends, for a return on investment shareholders are far more likely to hold onto shares and that creates a somewhat artificial scarcity of shares and that in turn drives up the price. Due to the simple fact that Apple does not and will not pay dividends, a comparison of company size on market cap alone is not entirely fair.

I do not deny that Apple is a large company, but I do believe that it is quite over valued. In these times, many people are looking for a secure investment and typically companies with high market caps are considered to be quite safe, especially with Apple's 'Reality Distortion Field'. I think in Apple's case, it is too high and it could be set for a bit of a tumble.

But that is just my $0.02.


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