Rocket Bomber - RBGSX

Geek Biz Report, week ending 6 June 2010

filed under , 7 June 2010, 14:07 by

Lead Story: Borders gets it’s sh!t together, investors shrug: stock price goes up a whole 10¢

there is an extended editorial posted in the article above this one.

& Just quick links for the rest this week (I’m already posting late)

Publishing

► Yet another article on self-publishing, but this one is from the Wall Street Journal.

► I’ll note here that the WSJ has been publishing a whole series on The Future of the Book

Hardware

► Not really news: it pays to buy last year’s tech — in the midst of iPad post-launch-glow and the leaks and subsequent nerdgasm over the 4G iPhone it’s good to note that the iPhone 3G S is only $97 from Wal-Mart.

Yes, Wal-Mart. Early adopters and continual upgraders pwn the web coverage of these devices, but from this point forward, it is the Wal-Mart masses that will truly be the Apple user base. Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!.

Editorial

► This is just too weird not to link to, though there is absolutely no factual basis to the claims. (I think) Apple Didn’t Beat Microsoft, Robbie Bach Did: Apple’s Secret 5th Column

related: Mac Daily News does they own takedown of the Enderle column.

I firmly believe that in a heads-up contest between conspiracy theory and Human Stupidity, stupidity and incompetence is always the most likely answer. Occam’s Razor.

RBGSX

Aggregate prices on the Rocket Bomber Geek Stock Index fell 37.57 points (-3.85%) to 937.36. This doesn’t reflect poorly on the industry, which is chugging along as well as can be expected, but is merely an expression of broader doubts about things like oil spills, the Euro, and the lingering recession.

Charted: 23-week RBGSX Aggregate Price

[past 23 weeks, starting from 12/31/09]

& the 25 stocks: CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA), Wiley John & Sons Inc. (NYSE:JW.A), The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP), Lagardere SCA (EPA:MMB), Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Books-A-Million, Inc. (NASDAQ:BAMM), Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE:BGP), Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), Hastings Entertainment, Inc (NASDAQ:HAST), Indigo Books & Music Inc. (TSE:IDG), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Navarre Corporation (NASDAQ:NAVR), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), Nintendo Co., Ltd (OTC:NTDOY), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Please note: nothing here is investment advice. full disclaimer



Geek Biz Report, week ending 30 May 2010

filed under , 29 May 2010, 23:23 by


Lead Story: “FUNimation Entertainment’s strategy and capital requirements are distinctly different from those of the Company’s core business. While FUNimation’s recent results have generally met expectations, the strategies required to grow the business include co-productions of original anime content, social networks and digital broadcasting. The Company anticipates that those plans are best executed with ownership that has assets or expertise in those areas.”

That’s from Navarre’s Official Press Release — and word that Navarre is looking to maybe sell FUNimation isn’t bad news. They’ve highlighted that this is a business that could grow, with more capital and the right ownership. They’ve noted that FUNi’s day-to-day operations (production of localized DVDs) is outside of their other, core business lines. They aren’t making any rash moves: the PR, in fact, merely says that they’ve hired expert help to look at the situation.

The last time I remember something like this, B&N spun off GameStop — and we all remember what has happened since then: store closings, drop in stock value, sliding market share, looming bankrup…

What’s that? GameStop now operates 6,450 outlets in 18 countries — and even in a recession has been opening new stores and growing revenue and is the market leader? All because someone made the choice to let GME stand on it’s own, and seek new money in the market: GameStop raised $325 Million in it’s initial public offering back in 2002, and they’ve used it well.

Navarre is looking to sell FUNimation, as a unit, outright (I bought a lottery ticket today, just in case) rather than spin it off — but the fact that they are looking to grow their brands through considered investment (& perhaps, careful divestment) rather than kicking FUNi to the curb (or having a fire-sale) should be considered, with a few tiny reservations, as good news.

Media Conglomerates

► So, did you know General Electric bought Universal from French conglomerate Vivendi SA and merged it with NBC into a new standalone company, not surprisingly called NBC Universal? That’s old news, happened in ’04; But were you aware Comcast, cable operator of note, was buying controlling interest (51%) of NBCU from GE for $30 Billion Dollars?

This one kind of slipped past me because it was announced back in December, when I was a tad busy running a retail store during the holidays. It’s also been a slow simmering process, not a lightning strike, not least because of the anti-trust issues this raises. If approved & completed, Comcast takes ownership of NBC in about a year, no sooner.

Related: Universal rebuilds & improves their back lot

► TV Sucks. That’s why I don’t own one. [oh, fine, the actual headline is CBS Cancels 7 Shows”]

Related: …CBS may lag in the ratings but they’ll have to pry it from Redstone’s cold, dead fingers: He’ll Never Sell CBS or Viacom

Book Retail

Amazon reconciles with Penguin

► Borders may have new investment, and a new chairman, but the man behind the curtain is still Bill Ackman if he exercises all the warrants he ‘bought’ by loaning BGP money during the depths of the credit crunch. If he felt the (additional) investment was worth it, Ackman’s Pershing Square could end up owning 36% of the company.

Related: Ackman also buying major holding in Citigroup and is the focus of a new book, Confidence Game: How A Hedge Fund Manager Called Wall Street’s Bluff

► It happened in Canada, so you likely never heard and don’t care, but a mistake by Penguin CA compounded by some seemingly preferrential shipping terms meant Chapters had copies of the year’s most anticipated book in stock and for sale up to 11 days before smaller independent retailers even saw the book. This has many otherwise polite Canadian bookstore owners pissed.

In the U.S. there was an embargo on the book (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest in English translation, isbn 9780307269997) until the official release date, 25 May.

This is standard operating procedure; there are at least two major releases with strict on-sale dates each and every Tuesday that I, as a retailer, have to observe else I face fines [per contractual agreements] — or worse, delayed or even cancelled shipments of future hot new releases. How Penguin CA missed this is odd (though oversights do occasionally happen) and I hope, at the least, they can offer additional discounts on Stieg Larssen titles for the affected Canadian booksellers.

DVDs

Coinstar drops electronic payments division to focus on their RedBox self-serve DVD kiosks. This seems to be where the DVD rental business is heading, at least as a stop gap for a decade or so, until even Grandma streams all her video from the net.

► Speaking of which, Blockbuster is failing, hard, and I’m not sure what, if anything, is proping the comapany up. — yeah, Blockbuster has kiosks too, but those are built and run by NCR [an ATM manufacturer, among other things] and I get the feeling Blockbuster only gets a licensing fee for the name. NCR won’t step in to bail out BB, if it turns south; if anything they’re likely salivating at the chance to buy the brand on the cheap.

Video Games

Electronic Arts filed their Annual Report this week – highlights: while 2010 wasn’t as big a year for EA as 2009, they still reported net revenue of $3.6 Billion (down from $4.6 Billion in 2009, & about what they did in 2008). Billions. So, how much of that ended up as profits? Ah, um, well, they actually reported a loss of $677 Million. Video Games: not recession proof. The good news is that losses were less than what the company dropped in 2009; last year they reported losses of $1 Billion.

aside: Doesn’t this EA map of operations look like a Bond Villain’s?
“Number 2, have the data and agents for the next operation in our Singapore office by Tuesday.”

Digital/Hardware

Tivo also reports losses, now into a sixth straight quarter

Apple is getting some pushback from NBC and Time Warner on lack of Flash for iPad

Acer, the laptop manufacturer, announces new slates in both an e-reader and tablet form factor

► Missed it last week, but the headline is too good not to post — CNN: “What’s the bug up Apple’s @$$?”

► Sony partners up to launch e-books in Japan.

Editorial

Not much in the way of commentary this week, past what I posted above in the lead. Added some section headers to make the breakdown (and potential relevance) of links a little clearer. That’s all folks. Now, let’s run the numbers:

RBGSX

Aggregate prices on the Rocket Bomber Geek Stock Index rose 31.86 points (3.38%) to 974.93. As you can see from the graph below, we’re yo-yoing right now and I couldn’t begin to tell you why.

Charted: 22-week RBGSX Aggregate Price

[past 22 weeks, starting from 12/31/09]

& the 25 stocks: CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA), Wiley John & Sons Inc. (NYSE:JW.A), The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP), Lagardere SCA (EPA:MMB), Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Books-A-Million, Inc. (NASDAQ:BAMM), Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE:BGP), Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), Hastings Entertainment, Inc (NASDAQ:HAST), Indigo Books & Music Inc. (TSE:IDG), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Navarre Corporation (NASDAQ:NAVR), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), Nintendo Co., Ltd (OTC:NTDOY), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Please note: nothing here is investment advice. full disclaimer



Geek Biz Report, week ending 23 May 2010

filed under , 23 May 2010, 08:17 by

Lead Story: Japan Recovers. W00T!


[a new spring, after a near-20-year-long winter. Image Credit, non-commercial CC license]

Deflation is still an issue, as consumer prices fall in Japan and the effects of global commerce continue to give headaches to those who must traffic on such wild waters, but growth is growth — and if the sum creative output of Japan from 1990 on is what they as a nation managed in a slump, well, maybe suffering is good for art but one also hopes that good times for Japan means good times for Japanese Consumers and good times for Japanese Manga and Anime; and as one of the bottom-feeders who only get to dine of the mere scraps of Japanese Content that manage to filter down through mulitple layers of muck before it is available to my (American) market, I look forward to more and tastier tidbits.

##

“The news story speaks for itself, but this one has really caught us by surprise as CMX is one of the few imprints we considered ‘large’ and ‘safe’”

I’ll skip my first response to the news (though it’s still up, two posts below this one) and instead link to my more reasoned analysis

► Navarre (NASDAQ:NAVR) owns Funimation, anime localizer of repute and the reason NAVR garnered a place on the RBGSX, but Navarre is quite a bit more than just a content company; it’s one of those ‘consumer & lifestyle brand’ companies (like Conglom-O in Rocko’s Modern Life) so occasionally there’s an announcement like this:

Navarre Corporation Announces Encore’s Acquisition of Punch! Software

…which has nothing to do with anime or Funimation, but thank several gods that at least one anime DVD house has a successful corporate parent that isn’t betting it all on otaku.

► Disney [pre-Marvel] tries a type of comics; fails. (in related news, [as linked] Disney as a corporation has it’s own shudder-inducing fan sites.)

Best Buy expands to UK. Hey, you know who else tried that? Borders.

While on the topic: Best Buy also making forays into streaming video

Good Luck. …but nothing says desperation (or perhaps, “oo, oo, me too!” -ism) like showing up late to the party in last years trendy kit.

► Axis of Evil: “Amazon.com Inc., the biggest online retailer, created a shopping application for Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet computer, expanding its reach with the help of a rival device.”

Three Hundred Sixty Five. – submitted without further comment.

► Wired.com has a roundup of available tablets, kinda like the iPad though all are lacking, one way or another similar to their previous roundup of e-readers

► You know all that licensed crap? No, not the cool lunchboxes or Japanese Figma (or manga and anime, which are also ‘licensed’ but in a different sense) but the crap: trinkets, tchotchkes, t-shirts, jigsaw puzzles, bad board games, pens, journals, vibrators, bondage wear, and other apparel — you know, the crap? Crap has it’s own expo

► Throw Down: Apple says search is dead, Apps the future – so

[Geek Biz Editorial]

Yes, Apple is right. Apps are the future, in that tailored, curated experiences seem to be all the general public wants, so long as all the ‘general public’ wants is a set of predefined experiences anticipated for them in advance by Big Brother Apple or whichever gate-keeper we choose for ourselves.

Weather, Scores, Headlines, Funny?

Sure, queue it up.

But every now and then we need something we don’t even know the name of yet. Or we want it all, without filters. Or we just want to double-check your ass. We want to drink from the firehose, even if initially we don’t know what to make of all that info (right away) and our underwear gets wet.

Apps are Apps, the Internet is the Internet, and it’s best not to confuse the two.

And the Internet is literally [literally and without irony literally everything] so:

There are four sliding scales: User Experience, Information, Accessibility, and Veracity.

The best information means nothing if we can’t find it. The most accessible information means nothing if it’s not true. A slick UI is criminal if it only points to incorrect info, and even when it’s easy to find verifiable, comprehensive, and close to exhaustive data on just about any topic — the system is still broken

My point would be that the internet, and the iPad, are still human systems and subject to human error, whether that be an open honest system that is vulnerable to concerted attacks, or the hubris of a Steve Jobs who will claim to know every last thing we really want to do with a computer, and so closes out options of what we might or could do with the hardware.

Neither side of this debate is right. But, given an option, I’ll take a Mad Max Thunderdome of competing ideas, some of which try to kill me but all of which are available, over a Zardoz artificially-created walled garden, which seems perfect but piggybacks (and is parasitic upon) the wild internets just beyond the protective bubble.

[Do I have to provide links? One hopes you get the pop-culture references, or can wiki them.]

[/editorial]

► So, my notes on this next link (past “Dear Matt: re-read and comment on this when you are sober.”) were “First Impression: Someone Needs to Synthesize This with McCloud and Start Preaching the Effin’ WORD.”

Since there wasn’t time for sober reflection this week, I’ll let my first impression stand.

##

Retailer News:

Borders gets $25 mil, new chairman. I’ll also note the current [interim] CEO of Borders, Mike Edwards, really wants the job. Since he was the VP of Merchandise prior to the temp-stint at the top — and as such, is a bookseller — I hope they give the opportunity to him. It takes a brave person to stand on top of a huge steaming pile that was someone else’s fault and say, “No, I really like it here; please, give me the job, give me a chance to make this better” [that was a paraphrase and putting words I’m not sure he ever said into Edwards’s mouth. That, and He Must Be Nuts but more power to ‘im]

Bamm reports Q1 earnings – highlights: sales down but company still makes money. (and really, that’s all we need to know)

And almost not-news but everyone is going to make a fuss about it:

Barnes & Noble to offer digital self publishing

[yeah, and I suppose this is editorial too, but it feels more like common sense]

That is to say, if you have a book, and since the actual costs to bring most books into an ‘e-book’ format are minimal, if not semantic, and since B&N has this huge honking website anyway (to say nothing of the new e-book appliance they’re shoving down the throat of an almost-ready market) – Your hopes and tears and e-book-ready manuscript can be swept up by a major company with nothing but the promise of a database listing & a contractual agreement to give you ‘some’ of your profits.

Sure: Now folks can buy your e-book on nook or bn.com; but: you still have to sell it yourself. B&N is providing access, not support. This isn’t even a Faustian bargain, this is more like the book deal we’d offer to Sisyphus.

[once again, I’ll ask you to wiki any reference you didn’t get — classical, not sci-fi, but really: those are interchangeable (if not overlapping) fandoms]

this is actually B&Ns second foray into self publishing, though B&N only took a 49% stake in that company. B&N sold the entirety of the self-pub. business to their largest competitor and washed their hands of this mess years ago, until the new technology made it stupid-easy:

“Say, I’m looking for a broadcast platform but instead of facing the internet, which is bold, brash reality, I instead insist that I’m an Author and the message I intended to relate is Most Definitely A Book. No, not a blog, a book. I find it hard to believe my doc file is only 60 pages, you’re formatting it wrong; did you try a larger font size? Or a different font?”

more on self-pub — Cory Doctorow @ Publishers Weeklyfirst column (of five, so far) & the latest

[/editorial]

##

Aggregate prices on the Rocket Bomber Geek Stock Index fell 31.37 points (3.22%) to 943.07. Again, this has nothing to do with the actual companies traded, it’s just the markets are fragile (between the euro-crisis and BP attempting to sell us the gulf shrimp & seafood plate , blackened, and dressed in oil.)

Charted: 21-week RBGSX Aggregate Price

[Went back for historical prices to 12/31/09; we’re slowly working up to first, a 26-week graph, and eventually a full year. After a year, presuming my attention span holds out, I’ll graph-and-post a rolling 52 week window of the RBGSX]

& the 25 stocks: CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA), Wiley John & Sons Inc. (NYSE:JW.A), The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP), Lagardere SCA (EPA:MMB), Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Books-A-Million, Inc. (NASDAQ:BAMM), Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE:BGP), Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), Hastings Entertainment, Inc (NASDAQ:HAST), Indigo Books & Music Inc. (TSE:IDG), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Navarre Corporation (NASDAQ:NAVR), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), Nintendo Co., Ltd (OTC:NTDOY), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Please note: nothing here is investment advice. full disclaimer



Geek Biz Report, week ending 16 May 2010

filed under , 15 May 2010, 14:33 by

If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on twitter for any length of time (say, a week or so) you know 3 salient facts about me: 1. I like beer 2. I like manga & 3. My name is Matt [Usually you discover this by clicking a profile or ‘about me’ link where I say things like “Hi, my name is Matt, I drink beer and read manga”]

This product announcement fills me with serious nerdlust

##

Geek Biz Report, week ending 16 May 2010

I’m going to lead with the editorial this week; in fact I’m going to lead with a reader comment, and then my editorial, and then the biz links; if you’d rather skip my drunken rambling I can provide a link to do exactly that

From Steven Marsh, comments on last week’s Geek Biz Report

I’m a long-time site follower, first-time commenter.

I generally find your insight to be interesting, and you’re right more often then not. Still, I find your analysis of the iPad to be off-base.

First, you mention that selling one million of a $500+-product in a couple of months isn’t a noteworthy event. You cite lots of numbers that are bigger than a million. Okay, whatever. It raises the question, though: At what number threshold do you consider the number of units sold to be a big deal? At what point will they start being something to pay attention to?

10 million? That’s a trivial amount — barely enough to reach the few largest cities in the world combined. Oh, it’s also about how many Blu-Ray players there are, I believe (after four years’ head start) — and, last time I checked, most big-box retailers (book or otherwise) had Blu-Ray sections.

250 million? That’s not even enough to ensure that everyone in the U.S. has one, let alone worldwide. That’s how many iPods have been sold, I believe — and with it has come online audiobook sales, among other retail-affecting developments. To contemplate that the iPod hasn’t been a game-changer in a number of ways is, I think, foolish.

Anyway, I’m curious if you have that internal threshold for what number of iPads would be enough to take notice — or if anything less than seven billion (enough for every man, woman, and child on the planet) is not worthy of contemplation.

Second, I think your analysis of what the iPad is and does is woefully underdeveloped. I have used it to watch videos, but that’s not (in my opinion) the best usage of it — and underestimating this versatility is practically tantamount to dismissing the telephone because all you can use it for is to call your lab assistants.

Last night before I went to bed—in the span of an hour—I read a chapter of a book, played a recreation of the original Dragon’s Lair game, checked my e-mail, and started a game of sudoku. I could’ve watched an episode of something, but I decided against it. None of these would’ve been remotely convenient a year ago.

The people who derided the original MP3s a decade ago were correct but misguided: …Why would I want something that stores less than a cassette player, in worse quality? They didn’t recognize the benefits (lightweight, long battery life, convenience) nor realize the undercurrent changes in technology that would irrevocably change the music industry. Two decades before that, people derided cell phones for the same reason (Why do I want something so expensive that is worse than my home telephone?). Again, same result to the telephone industry.

I believe history is repeating itself, with the iPad. I’m not sure what industries it’s going to revolutionize yet, but calling it a TV Walkman is, I believe, ludicrous and out-of-touch.
It remains to be seen which of us is correct. :-)

Let’s review Apple, shall we?
[this article recycles, in part, some thoughts first posted 28 January]

The Macintosh was a repackaging of PARC‘s Alto user interface — if Wikipedia is to be believed, Apple engineers vistited PARC to get hands-on with the Alto, so there’s no getting around the fact that Apple’s second major success was yet another example of standing on the shoulders of giants and not the revolution propogated in commercials and the Apple company mythos. Jobs & Co. didn’t do the heavy lifting on the Macintosh; they showed up late, with some spiffy new hardware and a polished user interface that immediately captured the attention of a fraction of the market — an enduring fanbase — but the Macintosh wasn’t new, and it never held more than 10% of the PC market until just two years ago — and the more recent bump in Apple desktop & laptop sales are likely largely linked to the success of iTunes, iPods, and iPhones. Apple as a brand, and as a consumer lifestyle choice.

The iPod wasn’t new either; it was a slick revisioning of existing MP3 players. MP3s were introduced, largely, in 1994; spiked in 1997 with the advent of Winamp and other players (not to mention 1999’s Napster and other, later P2P networks) — & the first iPod went on sale in October of 2001 — long after the introduction of digital music files and quite a bit after we’d loaded up hard drives and multiple back-up media with all kinds of music [some of it illegal]. So we were listening to music [even digital music] for quite a while before Apple approached this market: Jobs & Co. didn’t do the heavy lifting on the iPod; they showed up late, with some spiffy new hardware and a polished user interface that immediately captured the attention of a major fraction of the market.

Palm/Handspring or Blackberry deserve more credit in the development of ‘smart phones’ than Apple. The iPhone wasn’t new. However, it had/has the best touchscreen available, Apple built on the success of ‘iTunes’ with their App Store, and the stars just seemed to align for the iPhone. Jobs & Co. didn’t do the heavy lifting on the iPhone; they showed up late, with some spiffy new hardware and a polished user interface that immediately captured the attention of a major fraction of the market.

— and now, we pause.

The iPad is the latest iteration of the Apple/Macintosh spirit. Sure, it’s shiny. But it’s not a desktop replacement (It was never pitched by Apple as a desktop replacement, and yet if you only read PR releases and blogs you’d swear the iPad was the second coming of the PC and all our bases belong to Jobs)

The iPad seems like a revolution. But. [*ahem*] Jobs & Co. didn’t do the heavy lifting on the iPad; they showed up late, with some spiffy new hardware and a polished user interface that immediately captured the attention of a major fraction of the market. One can make the argument that Apple ‘invented’ the tablet computer, since no other successful entrant exists to make the claim, but I’ve yet to see, read, or hear why a ‘tablet computer’ is such a good thing.

On top of that [to repost my initial response to Marsh]:

I don’t buy into the cult of Apple though I can see the appeal. I think some of it is hype, and much of the discussion is shaped by marketing. Apple makes pretty product, and they’re good at selling it.

So, in my comments on Apple and the iPad (flagged as opinion) I feel free to let rip. I Still Don’t Get It. Nintendo has 140 Million DS units out there, and doesn’t get the hype.

Actually, a million is a nice round number, and is a sustainable user base even if aliens land in San Jose tomorrow and in addition to introducing The Next Best New Thing, also drop a nuke on Cupertino on the flight in.

The iPad is here to stay.

It’s a nifty device. It’s a new platform. It’s a toy. There is nothing that can be done on the iPad that couldn’t be done in a web-browser, and as such is available to all platforms, but Apple is Apple and so they get a second look, and a free pass. Yeah, iPad, get that. It’s nice, and you spent a lot of money on it, and I hate to repeat myself: but there is nothing that can be done on the iPad that couldn’t be done in a web-browser, and as such is available to all platforms

The iPad is an internet appliance, the first of many— and actually not quite first but Apple has this knack for making their hardware seem like the first available [with an appropriate mark-up] when in fact the utility and usability of their hardware has been available for years, just without the Apple logo and outside their staked territory.

No, really. Outside of artificially constructed ‘apps’ available from the proprietary ‘app store’ the iPad does absolutely nothing new, and even the Apps are recycled [iPhone] and mostly just copy web functionality, with occasional added GPS and a price tag. It’s all just a slick interface. No matter how beautiful the interface — Not A Damn Thing Is New.

I’m a new-model luddite, in that I prefer mouse-and-keyboard over a touch screen. Hell, I ran computers from the command prompt—keyboard only—for years before I finally upgraded to Windows 95… in 1999. And after that I didn’t upgrade until XP service pack 2 — and only because I stopped building desktops and had to take whatever the laptop manufacturer wanted to sell me (eventually I’ll go to Ubuntu, I suppose, when I stop upgrading my deck every two years and settle in with some older hardware)

My first computer was an Atari 800. I went to Georgia Tech in addition to building computers, so I’ve worked with Macs and wintel, Sun SPARCstations, unix terminals, and used telnet over dial-up to the campus servers to check my email — back in 1992. I remember mudding in the basement cluster at the CoC, using Mosaic on the library Macs, and the time when Usenet slowly overtook BBSs as the internet fora of choice. I fondly recall green and amber monochrome. I know Lynx. I know Gopher. I know vi.

I tell you all this not to brag (because I’ll only come off as ‘grumpy old internet guy’) but to illustrate that the keyboard is my native tongue — the first ‘language’ I learned and still my primary interface. In fact, years of running DOS and Unix programs with nary a mouse in sight conditioned me to default to keyboard shortcuts in all their F-key, ctrl- and alt- glory — a habit that served me quite well when I switched to laptops back in 2004.

And here comes the iPhone, basically a track-pad overlaid on a backlit LCD screen. From my experience, that’s 2 things I don’t really need, but together they’re the only interface on an iPhone, except for a ‘keyboard’ that pops up when, you know, you actually want to communicate with someone.

Eventually I will be superseeded, relegated to the unix cluster of history, when the touch-this and minority-report-style-that are the last remaining interfaces. Touch-screen is fine for browsing, but blogging needs input, and the on-screen keybord isn’t quite up to the task yet. iPads are fine for passive consumption, but the internet is not TV; the new model, [grumpyoldman] the model we built, dammit [/grumpyoldman] is interaction and contribution. Read, enjoy, yes. But also remix, re-post, reply, and eventually, post your own. This is why I characterize the iPad as merely a ‘smart tv’. It is a consumption-only device.

But Computers… are Computers — with all the possibilites and applications we’ve discovered in the last 35 years. I’m going to need all of that to keep writing, to keep churning long lists of numbers into usable facts, to keep up with long-distance friendships with folks I haven’t even met yet (in person) and to keep contributing to the conversation. The internet isn’t jokes, porn, lolcats, blogs, streaming video, and quick updates on ‘social networking’ sites: the internet is a conversation a billion people have about everything and nothing, all at once. The iPad can connect to the internet— to read, watch, or consume it—but that is not the internet’s primary function. Take away the ability to react, reply, and contribute and the internet is just fancy cable TV. While some could argue that YouTube-style “video reactions” can take this role, I’m not giving up my keyboard yet. In fact, I think you’ll have to pry my keyboard from my cold, lifeless hands after my death.

[If I plan it right, I’ll have 6 months of blog posts queued and uploaded at that point so the site lives even after me. Immortality, for the short term]

Even if I persist in 20th century interfaces, it’ll be a long, long while before I have to give up my physical-button keyboard — no technology I’ve seen yet is an adequate replacement.

##

And. One Million iPads. Great. Bully for Apple.

Perspective: one mil out of One Billion Screens — oh, and those are just PC screens, and doesn’t include the additional 1.5 billion TV sets. So the iPad (at one million proud units) is just four-thousandths of one percent of the total ways we view content, and just one hundredth of one percent of available ‘computer’ screens.

Google is focused on the web: which is accessable (at least in theory) to all of the one billion PCs. I like that potential market better.

and the next internet boom will be phones not iPads — and cheap phones, at that. Twitter, as the bridge between SMS text message and the web, is better positioned than Apple or Facebook (or Google) to be the bright beacon that leads us into the new internet age, and the simplicity (some might call them limitations) of Twitter captures the core of the internet: interaction, and conversation. — and might I add, 6 billion people using mobile phones to exchange text is like the first information revolution, the telegraph on steroids and amphetimines. The internet is just getting started, folks.

Apple will do quite well with the iPad. They will continue as a company long after the iPad brand is retired, and however we consume content in 2076 (the year of Apple’s centennial) no doubt, Apple will be a part of that. Maybe not the largest part, however.

A company can be significant, successful, and profitable without controlling its market, or even directing the overall range and scope of development in it’s field, or even pioneering the new technologies that drive that market. Apple will make money. But it’s not because Apple is a leader in computers. They sell content (iTunes, a 4 Billion Dollar business), they sell a lifestyle brand, and they sell a customer experience.

It’s fine to talk about Apple in any of these contexts. It’s even OK to discuss Apple as a (very fine) hardware manufacturer, as that has always been the core of their business and is the source of both their reputation and sizable profits — but Apple is not a market leader. Through pricing and other strategic decisions, they have purposely limited themselves to niche markets and the top fraction of consumers. They do what they do very well, but they themselves are not the mainstream, or the future. And for my money, the iPad is no laptop — and that’s a deal-breaker. As fine as it is at what it does, it still falls short.

My opinion matters for naught, and Apple will make billions off of other people who don’t share my needs, background, and perspective. Like all Apple products, it’s awfully pretty. But I still think the iPad is a toy (or a TV—a special type of toy) and does little to advance computing or the development of the internet.

[/editorial]

##

Rich Johnson @The Beat on iPad – re: e-books — we owned them already

► There are two hardware-focused manufacturers who continue to play as “content” publishers, and at least one commenter is finding it hard to tell the two apart. – let me note, the DSi XL is $300 cheaper than an iPad, and also plays Chrono Trigger. Nintendo, or at least one Nintendo executive, considers the war with Sony over, and the war with Apple the next challenge

► Speaking of Nintendo and the DS, they sold 440,000 of them in March — the DS doesn’t get the coverage of Apple’s-latest; in fact, it’s considered by most as ‘old’ tech, or merely gamer tech, not worthy of blogging. Not quite a million in sales this month, but the DS is six years old already and at 140MM, total, puts iPad to shame. Since (as previously stated) I consider the iPad to be little more than an content-consumption device, I have to wonder why Apple gets all the love, while Nintendo gets zilch. [The DS doesn’t connect to the internet; that’s the only thing I’ve been able to come up with.]

Would otherwise be the lead story:

Viz Media Layoffs. There is all kinds of reaction to this news [& 1, 2, & an official response]

We’re in a recession; the news isn’t that Viz reported layoffs, but that they held on for 2 years before they had to.

► One assumes Go!Comi remains as a corporate fictional entity—and potential ongoing manga publisher at some future point—but short of outside rescue, it’s hard to see how they’ll survive the year. Once again, the web comments on this in detail.

► 4Kids reports loss. I’d love to characterize that as “4Kids acknowledges error; returns to anime” but if the Choatic bet had paid off, it’d be a whole new market. Wizards of the Coast [now wholly owned by Hasbro] was founded on less. Chaotic wasn’t a bad move on the part of 4Kids; given the success of Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic and other CCG – hell, it looked like a slam dunk. Trends are not guarantees, however, and the kids didn’t pick up on Chaotic; maybe it lacked that ‘Japanese’ cuteness or some other intangible. At any rate, 4kids is now, once again, primarily a licensee with a kids anime focus

► via Pop Culture Shock, Dark Horse’s Carl Horn on Love & Wonder — while I was over at the Dark Horse site I also unearthed ‘Overdelivered’ Would Be An Understatement and Manga on the Wing

► e-books aren’t new; looks like the technology is 24 years old

► EA Not Going to Be Happy Until It Steals Shooter Market from Activision. EA also reports quarterly earnings

► The Census Bureau [love ‘em] report retail sales numbers for April.

► Lagardere SCA [owner of Hachette, and Yen Press] reports 1st quarter revenue is down, but that trends are encouraging. In fact net publishing sales are up – though largely due to Twilight, Meyer, et al.

The Age of the Blog Is Upon Us

Sony reports loss but looks to future profits

Disney is still making money

Amazon does the obvious and drops ‘free’ from it’s ebook bestseller list Dude, this took more than a year? Isn’t it obvious that ‘free’ and ‘seller’ are antonyms?

And:

► Via tested.com All of this week’s tablet news in a nutshell
► Plus Sony Considering Tablet to Compete with iPad

##

Aggregate prices on the Rocket Bomber Geek Stock Index rose 38.38 points (4.1%) to 974.44. Last week was nuts, this week was marginally more sane, and yet, stock prices are only a marginal indicator of either company strength or investment value.

Rolling 20-week RBGSX Aggregate Price

[we’re slowly working up to first, a 26-week graph, and eventually a full year]

& the 25 stocks: CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA), Wiley John & Sons Inc. (NYSE:JW.A), The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP), Lagardere SCA (EPA:MMB), Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Books-A-Million, Inc. (NASDAQ:BAMM), Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE:BGP), Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), Hastings Entertainment, Inc (NASDAQ:HAST), Indigo Books & Music Inc. (TSE:IDG), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Navarre Corporation (NASDAQ:NAVR), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), Nintendo Co., Ltd (OTC:NTDOY), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Please note: nothing here is investment advice. full disclaimer



Geek Biz Report: week ending 2 May 2010

filed under , 2 May 2010, 01:46 by

Newsflash!: Steve Jobs posted a letter; sure, fine. Ah! but Mister Jalopy suggested a remix, which Mark Frauenfelder linked to from Boing Boing and a lot of us read it, and thoughtfully chuckled.

see also: major media (Associated Press in this case) reporting on the letter, Will Smith at Tested.com for one tech blog take [pro-Apple, to balance out the snark], and of course Adobe has a reaction

What is the letter actually about? Who cares. Both sides of the Apple/iPad v Adobe/Flash debate are, substantially, correct: We need open systems that run open standards. And both sides of this issue have some failings in one area or both, as do nearly all companies that are attempting to extract money from the gadget-and-computer-using public.

► Related: free video is still out there, but more and more sites would much rather you pay for it

Bungie Has 10-Year Plan for Secret New Game Series Headline says it all.

Well, OK, I think part of the news here is that Bungie (formally separated from Microsoft in 2007) is going to partner with Activision to distribute whatever the Grand Secret Game Universe Thing is — at least to the PC and gamer decks. (Movies and/or Cable TV and/or breakfast cereals would obvious utilize different channels). Small coup for Activision, large coup for Bungie (they retain ownership of the big secret) and potentially good news for gamers, if the thing lives up to both the legacy of Halo and the hype.

Intel, Sony, and Google gang up to provide future generations with all the TV they will ever need

Sony provides the screen hardware, Intel the chips to drive it, and Google will bake up an Android-variant dubbed Dragonpoint to run the thing. Logitech gets pulled into the mix (as providing the keyboard-cum-remote) and there’s even a rumour (though it’s a rumour reported by the New York Times) that set-top box testing is already taking place with select Dish Network customers.

[Geek Biz Editorial]

meh. I’ve already given up my TV to watch DVDs and streaming video on my laptop. In fact, I still use the external DVD player I bought 4 years ago when the internal drive failed on my first laptop (and it has in fact survived to serve both my 4th laptop and noteably, the drive-less netbook) and finding that old blog post to link back to reminds me that I’ve been without a TV since Sep. 2004 and I’ve not felt the lack, yet. Super TVs running Chrome OS on Atom chips isn’t about to get me to switch back, either. This isn’t the hardware solution I’m looking for.
[/editorial]

► Electronic Arts, News Corp, CBS, & Time Warner all report earnings in the next couple of weeks. Viacom reported earnings on Thursday — still making billions, but down slightly (4%) from last year, attibuted to lower box-office (down 6%) and the fact that their new DVD slate for Q1 2010 wasn’t quite as good as the releases for the same time period last year (strong sales of “DreamWorks Animation Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa DVD release in first quarter of 2009” is name-checked in the press release; …Really? Madagascar 2? ugh.)

Say, someone remind me to look into why Viacom is carrying $6.79 billion in debt. I’m sure it’s a movie thing, just don’t recall any news (good or bad) on the topic.

Indigo lanched their Kobo e-reader in stores and online this past Saturday which is impressive, but only if you live in Canada. No word yet on when Indigo’s partner in the Kobo, Borders, will have the device for sale in the U.S.

They better start soon… the e-reader party is getting awfully crowded.

Selling point: The Kobo streets for just $149. (Canadian, but the exchange rate is tight) — That’s a $110 less that the next lowest price point [Kindle, Nook]. Here, have some

► Amazon, not content to under-cut sales, attempts to patent ‘meeting at the bookstore or coffee shop’ to exchange goods for money. Um, I think the entirety of Craiglist could be used to prove ‘prior art’ to immediately deny the claim. Seriously, who let this past Legal? Or do Amazon’s lawyers relish a challenge?

##

Aggregate prices on the Rocket Bomber Geek Stock Index fell 23.93 points (2.27%) – Everyone was down for the week. (If I knew why I’d be making a lot of money)

Rolling 10-week RBGSX Aggregate Price

Value at close of markets Friday 30 April 2010: $1030.63

& the 25 stocks: CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA), Wiley John & Sons Inc. (NYSE:JW.A), The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP), Lagardere SCA (EPA:MMB), Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Books-A-Million, Inc. (NASDAQ:BAMM), Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE:BGP), Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), Hastings Entertainment, Inc (NASDAQ:HAST), Indigo Books & Music Inc. (TSE:IDG), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Navarre Corporation (NASDAQ:NAVR), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), Nintendo Co., Ltd (OTC:NTDOY), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Please note: nothing here is investment advice. full disclaimer



Geek Biz Report: week ending 25 April 2010

filed under , 24 April 2010, 02:10 by

Both Amazon and Apple reported quarterly earnings this past week. Could someone remind them there’s a recession on?

AAPL:

CUPERTINO, California—April 20, 2010—Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2010 second quarter ended March 27, 2010. The Company posted revenue of $13.50 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.07 billion, or $3.33 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $9.08 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.62 billion, or $1.79 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 41.7 percent, up from 39.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 58 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple sold 2.94 million Macintosh® computers during the quarter, representing a 33 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 8.75 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 131 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 10.89 million iPods during the quarter, representing a one percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.


And that doesn’t even include the new iPad, which launched just a couple weeks ago.

AMZN:

SEATTLE, Apr 22, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) —Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2010.

Operating cash flow was $2.78 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $1.76 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2009. Free cash flow increased 62% to $2.32 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $1.43 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2009.

Net sales increased 46% to $7.13 billion in the first quarter, compared with $4.89 billion in first quarter 2009. Excluding the $185 million favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales would have grown 42% compared with first quarter 2009.

Worldwide Media sales grew 26% to $3.43 billion. Excluding the favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 22%. Worldwide Electronics & Other General Merchandise sales grew 72% to $3.51 billion. Excluding the favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 68%.

The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 500,000 books, including 100 of 111 New York Times Bestsellers, more than 9,000 blogs, and more than 175 top U.S. and International newspapers and magazines, including: The New York Times, Le Monde, USA Today, The Times (U.K.), The Economist, Fortune, Newsweek, and Time.

Independent estimates (some of it based on availability of parts) put the Kindle ecosystem at 7 Million units. Compare to 24 Million Xboxes, 42 Million iPhones, 140 Million Nintendo DS systems, or 1 Billion PCs.

[Honestly, business folks, y’all are supposed to be smart: the iPad is nifty and all but there are One Billion Screens out there already — why do we have to wait for an Amazon proprietary e-book or Apple app to get legitimate digital comics? One tenth of one percent of a billion is a million freakin’ customers. Is .001 too high of a target to aim for?]

My other take on it is: Amazon has a 7 Million unit head start in the coming device war, but Apple will sell 7 Million units by Christmas. I’m not sure which horse to back in this race. Apple just wants to become the new ‘cable company’, siphoning money off the top while providing content produced by others, while Amazon—not content with merely killing off bookstores—would also like to kill off traditional publishing.

[Geek Biz Editorial]

And the long aside:
One might think there is value in the death of ‘publishing’, as the author gets a bigger chunk of the profits and the time to get a ‘book’ to the reader is compressed as vast chunks of the process are either unnecessary or skipped anyway: I write a book, I sign with Amazon, they format it for Kindle and it goes on sale next week. Neat, right?

Well… only if you ignore the role of editor in the production of books. Without an editor — and fact-checker, and proof-reader, and publicist — there is no book: Unedited writing is already out there, in vast quantities and most of it free: you’re reading some of it right now.

The Book As Object, Artefact, and Work is not the sole output of the writer alone, it is the end product of a process, a collaboration between writer, editor, publisher (the fine people for whom ‘Publisher’ is a job title, not the companies) and quite a few others on staff who contribute smaller chunks, from the folks who write jacket copy, & compile indices, to those who design covers and introduce each season’s new slate of releases to booksellers (Occasionally in person: here’s a shout out to Toni, my RH field rep, who does excellent work that benefits both RH and those of us in stores). Much of the usefulness of a ‘book’ comes from these add-ons, and much of our enjoyment of a work is the result of this polish and finess that is added after the manuscript is submitted.

And while some large media conglomerates also seem to be slowly abandoning the traditional (and highly effective) editorial process in favour of… well, I’m not really sure what they’re in favour of, other than money — their lax habits and slacking-off should not be taken as an opening for a greedy internet retailer to implement an even worse new system.

Dear Amazon: There is already a platform for authors to publish direct to readers, without an editor, or proper marketing, or the input of a team of professionals whose profession and calling is the production of books

It’s called the internet. And if e-books, in their intrinsic quality and worth, are little more than the collected archives of a blog, why in the hell would I pay you $10 for it? There are some geniuses out there, obviously. And the publishing industry is far from perfect — but the process works and every bestseller on both your website and your precious e-reader is the result of that process, and all your filthy profits on e-books are just parasitic bloodsucking on the art and craft of real book production, contributing nothing in and of itself, and until you recognise that salient fact, you are doomed to fail.

Oh, you might be able to kill off dead-tree-books, but you won’t be able to replace them with your current business model. You may sell billions of them, and think you know the business, but Amazon, you have much to learn about what a book is.
[/Editorial]

Speaking of e-readers:
Via Shelf Awareness – a review of the TV marketing for the top 4 contending devices: Nook, Kindle, Sony and Apple: go take a look

Also of note:

  • Kindle to sell at Target; B&N’s Nook to sell at Best Buy. [multiple links; visit a store or Google it if you’d like details]
  • Manga anthology Yen Plus goes digital
  • SCOTUS reaffirms First Amendment Rights — yes, even for stuff that lacks taste, merit, or “serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical or artistic value.” You know: crap; some of it really offensive crap. Now, we’re waiting to see the case where this ruling encounters the Miller Test. Folks, your right to say anything, buy anything, or even see anything means putting up with the icky. And you don’t have to look if you don’t want to. Just, a little forbearance and forgiveness, and the return of some damn privacy for what is done behind closed doors and we can all get along in peace.
  • Any advances made on one front are almost immediately countered: Pirate Manga Apps for your iPhone. Dudes: not cool. If you want to steal, take up mugging. At least mugging is more ‘honest’ than this crap, in that you have to physically interact with your victim, not just charge money to look at stolen stuff second-hand. Oh, and Apple needs to clean up this crap, right quick; we put up with your walled garden and draconian rule because it’s supposed to prevent this kind of raw, unapoligetic grift. Way to drop the ball, Apple.

##

Aggregate prices on the Rocket Bomber Geek Stock Index rose 41.42 points this past week (up 4.09%) bouyed by larger gains at Netflix and Apple, and general gains across all stocks tracked. It’s interesting to note, however, that AMZN dropped 6.46 points after posting their Q1 numbers on Thursday (I guess as good as they were, some investors were betting on more) — despite that AMZN was still up $1.46 week-to-week.

Rolling 10-week RBGSX Aggregate Price

Value at close of markets Friday 23 April 2010: $1054.56

& the 25 stocks: CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA), Wiley John & Sons Inc. (NYSE:JW.A), The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP), Lagardere SCA (EPA:MMB), Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Books-A-Million, Inc. (NASDAQ:BAMM), Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE:BGP), Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), Hastings Entertainment, Inc (NASDAQ:HAST), Indigo Books & Music Inc. (TSE:IDG), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Navarre Corporation (NASDAQ:NAVR), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), Nintendo Co., Ltd (OTC:NTDOY), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Please note: nothing here is investment advice. full disclaimer



RBGSX update 1: sense of scale, sense of history.

filed under , 19 April 2010, 17:21 by

So, after work today I looked up the first 15 weeks of past stock prices (the Friday closing price) for my 25 stocks, chunked ‘em into a spreadsheet, ran the mess through a pivot table, and came up with a (sort of) fancy chart:

Rocket Bomber Geek Stock Index Performance, 2010

RB Geek Stock Index, first 15 weeks of 2010

This chart is just the Σ stock prices, not the weighted index I came up with in the introductory post — I actually kind of like the way this works, so I might leave it at that.

The growth in the geek sector is largely due to gains at Apple (+36.67) and Netflix (+30.22) over these three months, though all but one stock (Scholastic) gained value over the quarter.

And of course some stocks would be a much better return on [short-term] investment, like Borders: it more than doubled in price, going from 1.18 on 31 Dec to 2.74 on this past Friday. —not bad, but it was trading above $20 three years ago (back in June of ’07) so a lot depends on when you got in, and when you got out, and a lot of folks lost money on this horse.

Stock prices have precious little to do with company performance, but it’s available information so I’m guessing this will be worth tracking for at least a few months; we’ll see if it’s something both of us [blogger & reader] can get some value out of.

For the curious:

12/31/09 $877.28
01/08/10 $883.48
01/15/10 $864.98
01/22/10 $843.70
01/29/10 $850.41
02/05/10 $840.91
02/12/10 $852.83
02/19/10 $867.27
02/26/10 $863.52
03/05/10 $914.94
03/12/10 $931.32
03/19/10 $935.45
03/26/10 $966.38
04/01/10 $971.61
04/09/10 $1,003.39
04/16/10 $1,013.14

& the 25 stocks: CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA), Wiley John & Sons Inc. (NYSE:JW.A), The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP), Lagardere SCA (EPA:MMB), Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Books-A-Million, Inc. (NASDAQ:BAMM), Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE:BGP), Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), Hastings Entertainment, Inc (NASDAQ:HAST), Indigo Books & Music Inc. (TSE:IDG), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Navarre Corporation (NASDAQ:NAVR), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), Nintendo Co., Ltd (OTC:NTDOY), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Please note: nothing here is investment advice. full disclaimer



          


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