Thursday, December 30, 2010

Movie: Winter's Bone

Great movies immerse you. This movie completely immersed me. I'm not sure I want to ever go back there, but while watching I was completely there.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cr-48 Blues

December 7, 2010. A day that will live in infamy (in a small insignificant way to anyone but me).

Sitting on a conference call, speaker droning on, my eyes wandered over to the computer screen where they espied mention of an announcement regarding Google's long-awaited (by me) Chrome OS. A pilot program! A new laptop! Free for the asking!

I carefully filled out the online application, taking great care to be truthful. I could have made something up about my plans to port my million-selling iOS app over to Chrome as a free extension, but when it comes to Google I try never to be evil. And I figure they already know everything about me, so no use fibbing. So I told them I was new to the cloud and excited by its possibilities, that I was eager to demo what they had to offer, and I promised I knew the difference between faithful bug reports and whining.

The next day tech journalists started receiving their Cr-48 laptops. They wrote all about it. I figured mine would be coming soon.

A few days later non-journalists started received their laptops. They wrote all about it. I figured mine would be coming soon.

It didn't.

Someone hacked into UPS's tracking number system and posted a list of 2,000 pending Cr-48 shipments. One was scheduled for my zip code. I hoped it was mine.

It wasn't.

A few days later I saw a report of an Easter egg in one of the Google Chrome OS videos. I found it, scanned it in my phone, entered my information and figured now, for sure, I'd be seeing a Cr-48 show up on my doorstep.

I didn't.

At some point during this process, as I checked my door step for the hundredth time, I recalled the lottery's "dollar and a dream" campaign, in which they portrayed ticket buyers dreaming of what they'd do if they won, the point being that even if we didn't we could, just by buying a ticket, dream the dream until we found out we lost.

Here I hadn't even spent a dollar, and I got days of dreaming of Cr-48 goodness, so I did pretty well for myself, even though I didn't get one. Right?


Today I Googled "Cr-48" and what did I see? A Google text ad: "The Chrome notebook. You've heard about it. Now get it. Apply for the Pilot program today!" They're so eager to give these laptops away they're plastering these ads all over the web, yet they're so reluctant to give me one they've ignored two applications, including one via Easter egg!

The taste of rejection is so bitter.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What Is $1.00 Worth?

What is $1.00 worth, when earned by our leading technology companies? If we look at their current market capitalizations, and subtract out their cash and marketable securities, we are left with a valuation that, when compared with their annual net income, gives us a very crude approximation of what a $1.00 is worth when earned by them. Here is what $1.00 is worth for:

Amazon: $67.60.
Apple: $17.60.
Google: $20.00.
Microsoft: $9.50.

Clearly, $1.00 in earnings is not worth the same at these companies. Apple and Google are in the same valuation arena, while Microsoft is lagging far behind them -- each $1.00 of its earnings worth about half of theirs. Meanwhile, Amazon is wildly outpacing all them, with each of its $1.00 in earnings worth more than 3x what a comparable $1.00 is worth at Apple and Google. Is Amazon really that much more valuable than Apple and Google?