Monthly Archives: July 2008

Dumb PC Makers

Classic tale of market disruption in Matt Richtel’s net-top story today in the NYT. I cant believe the quotes from Sony and Fujitsu dismissing the tiny-notebook market. How could they cede this kind of ground, dismissing the Asus EE PCs as underpowered and low-margin? So many companies have fallen victim to their own inability to sacrifice margin to piddling newcomers willing to sell something inferior at a lower price with fewer features. Eventually the Asuses of the world mature and start adding more complicated machines to their arsenal. How could Sony forget this lesson? It was the one that started out with tinpot radios and ended up hollowing out RCA, et al.

Walt Mossberg, technically speaking

Walt mossberg, technically speaking

This house ad in today’s Journal really jumped out at me. It took Rupert no time to move one of the WSJ’s stars to the Fox Business Network. Walt used to do commentary for CNBC. The move was done in such haste, apparently, that the proofreaders at News Corp or its hapless agency failed to correct the unfortunate grammar error in the headline copy. Walt makes the “only business network” in true in HD more “advanced, technically.” If they meant Walt makes FBN more advanced in talking about technology, then I would have to agree. But maybe they mean that Walt makes Fox Biz only a tiny bit more advanced than it already is, such as in some narrow way, technically speaking. I would agree to that even more.

Have fun at Fox, Walt. Can’t wait to see you saddle up with their yellers, technically speaking.

All star weekend

Ah the pageantry
All star weekend

Blue Bottle iced coffee

This was probably the best cup of coffee I ever had. Had it last Weds morning in SF on Mint Street. No bitterness. Just sweet. Like bourbon. Takes 8-10 hours to make one liter of coffee. So plan ahead. Where do I buy one of these contraptions?

How Congress Caused The Energy Crisis

I couldn’t have said it better myself. This comes from a note over the weekend from Michael Cembalest, chief investment officer at JPMorgan’s private bank. (And one of the better minds on Wall Street, or any street for that matter):

1776.  “I have come to the conclusion, that one useless man is a Disgrace,
two are a Law Firm and three are called a Congress”.  So said John Adams on
U.S. Independence.  The same applies to Energy Independence in 2008.  As
the U.S. endures an energy crisis and imports 60%+ of its energy needs, the
House and Senate decided to take action: they overwhelmingly voted to allow
OPEC to be sued in U.S. courts for running a cartel.  The mind reels…Over
the last 30 years, U.S. elected officials blocked nuclear build-out and
spent fuel storage construction, impeded construction of oil refineries,
refrained from passing meaningful alternative energy legislation, imposed
an import tax on cheaper Brazilian ethanol, prevented offshore drilling in
Alaska, California and Florida, delayed for 30 years tighter “CAFE” auto
fuel efficiency standards, blocked the construction of LNG ports (in the
Oregon Democratic primary, Clinton claimed to be more anti-LNG than Obama),
killed wind farms in their own backyards (and back bays), and neglected
opportunities for public-private sector partnerships on energy R&D.  They
got it wrong; Congress should sue itself instead.

Happy July 4 from John Adams

From John Adams’ inaugural address (inspired as I am by watching the excellent HBO miniseries), this sums up the power embedded in the humility of those who launched the American experiment:

If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable it is when it
springs, not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from
conviction of national innocence, information, and benevolence.

Dan Frommer’s Jimmy Kimmel?

Separated at birth:

Dan Frommer, rumpled, wry tech blogger at Silicon Alley Insider
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Jimmy Kimmel, rumpled, wry talk show host on ABC
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