For the first time ever, in early morning trading, Apple's stock (AAPL) value reached over $500 billion. This makes Apple one of only five countries to ever be worth half a trillion dollars. This causes Apple to have a net worth higher than that of several third world countries' GDPs, even such countries as Poland, Belgium, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan . Apple even has more cash-on-hand than the United States government. Despite the sheer size of the companies wealth Apple is still one of the world's fast growing companies growing 73% last year, a feat better than any tech company in history and second most of any U.S. company ever. To put this in perspective Apple was only worth $10 billion at the beginning of the last decade. Along with being one of the U.S. markets fastest growing companies, Apple is also relatively undervalued as compared to projected earnings for 2012, even at it's current $543 per share. Much of this is in part to the companies innovative i-product line. iPods, iPhones, and iPads have set industry standards and are the highest selling among their product lines. Mp3 players were largely unheard of until the release of the ipod. For a look at other things Apple is worth more check out Things Apple Is Worth More Than.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
It seems the mobile industry is falling over itself this year to release the most cutting edge phones to date and the results are impressive from 41 megapixel phones to phones with quad-core processors and built-in projectors. The event is The Mobile World Congresses Expo in Barcelona, Spain. The 41 mega pixel phone belongs to cell manufacturing giant Nokia, it is their 808 PureView and boasts technology rival to digital cameras in the thousands of dollars (and here I thought my measly 8 mega pixels was awesome). Priced at about $600 the phone will be released in May. Other ground breaking devices include the Samsung Galaxy Beam which includes a built-in projector, which seems a little overkill but it beats trying to watch movies and YouTube videos on a tiny phone screen. Other groundbreaking technologies include water and shock resistant phones, so no more worries when you drunkenly drop your brand new phone in the toilet...well almost no worries. Many major retailers are also upgrading their Point Of Sale Terminals to include paying simply by a tap of the phone rather than the swipe of a credit card and keep up to date with all your purchases through a secure app. Tapping is also a major feature being worked on by the people at Google, allowing you to easily trade information by simply bumping phones together be it business cards, songs, games , or anything else. The chip sets are also greatly increasing with many retailers opting for quad-core processing phones putting that laptop you got for ChristmaHanaKwanzikka to shame. So to quote the Professor Brothers "It's Gettin' Sweeter!"
Saturday, February 25, 2012
So before I leave everyone for the night I thought I mention to those of you who don't already know tonight will be one of the first nights to view the alignment between Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. The event will be visible all over the world. So even if you're reading this in Saudi Arabia, The Philippines, Russia or the U.S. (these just happen to be my biggest audiences) you'll be able to see it. However, if it's a little too cold to watch the event you can see it here as well complete with commentary. On March 5th you'll actually be able to see Mars rising in the East and later on that evening Saturn will be able to be seen. So over the the next few weeks everyone should have a pretty interesting view of the night sky enjoy.
In a story I've been reporting on for sometime now, a Federal Appeals Court has ruled that forcing the defendant to decrypt their hard drive would be a violation of their 5th Amendment right. Stating that it would be a kin to forcing an individual to release the combination to a safe. This is the first ruling of it's kind and is a win for 21st century civil liberties which, in my view, have been under attack since the beginning of the century.
The Atlanta court released in a statement:
"First the decryption and production of the hard drives would require the use of the contents of 'Doe's' mind and could not be fairly characterized to a physical act that would be non-testimonial in nature. We conclude that the decryption and production would be tantamount to testimony by Doe of his knowledge of the existence and location of potentially incriminating files; of his possession, control and access to the encrypted portions of the drives; and of his capability to decrypt the files."
As of late several similar cases have cropped up and hopefully the Atlanta Appeals court has put the issue to rest. In my mind this seems like a no brainer from a judiciary stand point, a clear cut case of 5th Amendment right. Yet, the judge in the preliminary case decide to violate the rights of said defendant "Doe." I applaud the Atlanta Appeals Court for making the right decision. Now if only a judge could rule against warrantless wiretapping of American citizens as unconstitutional.
Friday, February 24, 2012
If you're logging into a free website chances are you're not the customer. Since the advent of Facebook more and more online companies, especially social networking sites, are using a new found concept to make money. The concept is called data mining. What these companies do is collect your personal information and sell this information to advertisers. The increase in this type of direct style "ad tailored" marketing has actually caused the White House to step in with the Consumer Privacy Bill Of Rights. This, however, does not end the process of these companies using your personal information as a way to monetize their sites and sell your information to advertisers. It just ensures the process is safer and slightly less intrusive. Their are some benefits to tailored ads, like not having to set through ads that do not apply to you. Gone will be the days of me sitting uncomfortably while suffering through another Tampax commercial or listening to Wilfred Brimley talking about his "dibetis." However, in this continuing battle some sites are putting the data mining back in your hands by allowing you to actually monetize your personal information through advertising, how well those work remain to be seen. If you have any comments or reactions I would love to hear them. I leave you with Wilfred Brimley talkin' bout' the 'betes.
In the face of budget restrictions the US Army is moving all emails into cloud computing. The measure is in line with a group of other efficiency measures to make a leaner more efficient Armed Forces. The Army has described this a Lean Six Sigma style process. It has been reported that by making this move the Army would be cutting costs of email communication by 75% by moving to a cloud by DISA. Last year Under Secretary of the Army, Joseph Westphal, noted it to be ",especially important for the Army to embrace process improvement methodologies given the declining budgets and the need to do more with less," according to the Army's website. With news of deficits and a poorly performing economy the US Military has been continuing with the goal of attaining a much leaner milhtary, focusing on cost effectiveness. All branches have made similar statements to that of the Under Secretary of the Army and it would not be a surprise if the entire military converted DISA's cloud concept. I for one was witness to much of these cutbacks during my time in the Navy just two years ago.