Tag: phone

Under the Sun of That Dream

Filed in BP, deflation, Lear, o, silver, US Dollar by on January 17, 2011 0 Comments

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” — Martin Luther King Jr. My father grew up at the bottom of a hill. My mother lived at the top of that same hill, in Washington Heights, New York City, in the 1950s and 1960s. Both were the products of refugee families. My mother’s father, an avid reader of the news, left Germany just as the Nazis began to hang signs railing against “Juden!” My dad came to America in 1954, literally on a banana boat, leaving in the middle of the night, fleeing a coup that would be followed by decades of bloody war in Guatemala. My dad’s father was a well-known journalist with connections in government. They left my grandmother and my two aunts behind to be sent for six months later. My dad was 6 years old. For years, they lived at the bottom of the hill in New York. It was a slum, and it still is. My grandfather worked at a plastic factory, from which, my dad tells me, he would come home at the end of the day and peel off bits of plastic that had melted onto his face before bed. The top of the hill, only blocks away, wasn’t so bad. Despite opposition from some family members, my parents married, and there I was raised. Growing up as a child of a mixed marriage comes to my mind this Martin Luther King Day. Today, as I do most days, I drove to the office on a congested MLK Boulevard. Over lunch, I walked past the downtown library, where flyers promote upcoming meetings offering “An Honest Discussion of Race” — a topic promised again and again everywhere. I stopped attending these lectures years ago when I realized that these talks weren’t all that “honest” and that they were not attended by anyone actually interested in discussing anything. Among my fondest childhood memories are our Sunday trips down the hill, amazingly steep it seemed, to have lunch at my grandparents’ apartment. There, my grandfather and I would eat a snack on the fire escape and watch young hoodlums in the street below messing with parked cars, harassing passing girls and generally looking for trouble. My grandmother in the kitchen would attempt to pan fry hamburgers for her American grandsons. Bottles of beer — not cans: Sunday was a special day — went around…

Continue Reading »

Zillow: Another $1.7 Trillion to the Downside in Housing

Zillow: Another $1.7 Trillion to the Downside in Housing

My pal Charlie is as persistent as the sunrise. So when he called me last week to give me a hard time about my 2011 Housing Market Forecast the only surprise was it that took him so long. Twenty-four hours after it hit the web I saw Charlie’s number go up on line one. You see, a real estate agent by trade, he never misses a chance to call me an idiot when in his eyes I “bad mouth the American Dream” The result has been five-year running dialog in which I have bested him every single time. The guy is a glutton for punishment. So like a good pal I answer the phone anyway even though I know I’m in store for the rerun of my nightmares. “Steve,” he says, “you can’t be serious.” “As a heart attack,” I answer, “Like it or not dude there is still another 8-10% downside.” This obviously drove him to distraction since he must have forgotten the 100 or so conversations we already had that were exactly like this one. “Not a chance this time son. There has never been a better time a house”, he told me with what I can only guess was straight face. From that point on I knew I was just wasting my time again. The dude may have been great scrum-half but he didn’t know jack about the laws of supply and demand. In fact, I don’t think they actually teach that real estate school but I hear the Kool-aid is top notch. Meanwhile, the mountain of evidence against my friend continues to mount. From Bloomberg by By Hui-yong Yu entitled: U.S. Home Values May Drop by $1.7 Trillion This Year: Zillow “ U.S. home values are poised to drop by more than $1.7 trillion this year amid rising foreclosures and the expiration of homebuyer tax credits, said Zillow Inc., a closely held provider of home price data. This year’s estimated decline, more than the $1.05 trillion drop in 2009, brings the loss since the June 2006 home-price peak to $9 trillion, the Seattle-based company said today in a statement. The drop in home values pushed more buyers underwater, meaning they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, Zillow said. The percentage of homeowners with so-called negative equity reached 23.2 percent in the third quarter, up from 21.8 percent at the end of 2009. “ With foreclosures near an all-time high in late 2010 and high rates of negative equity persisting, it does not appear that the first part of 2011 will bring much relief,” Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, said in the …

Continue Reading »

Google’s Endless Ambition

Google’s Endless Ambition

It’s an exciting time for Google investors. Over the last few years, the company has positioned itself brilliantly. And it’s starting to pay off. Not only did they maintain their massive lead in search, they managed to grow it. And management made shrewd investments in other key areas. For example, in 2005 Google bought a little startup named Android. In 2005, most of us didn’t realize how quickly the smartphone market would take off. Google did, apparently. They moved into the space at just the right time. Google’s latest branded phone, the Nexus S Here we are five years later, and Google’s early investments are paying off in spades. Every day, 200,000 new Android devices are activated worldwide. Units sold rose 1373% in Q3, compared with the same period a year ago. That’s 20 million units sold last quarter, versus 1.4 million in Q3 of 2009. That is simply explosive growth. Dozens more Google-powered gadgets are in the pipeline at big manufacturers like Motorla, HTC, and LG; smart phones, e-readers, and tablets. They also just announced the Nexus S — their second Google-branded smart phone — a follow-up to the mediocre Nexus One . The new phone is the product of a partnership with Samsung. It does some unique tricks, like 3d graphics and some Nintendo Wii-like sensor functions. It’s slick-looking too, vastly more polished than its predecessor. Having a slick product is critical, as Apple has taught us. Tech retail isn’t easy, but Google is learning fast. PC World has a nice writeup on how the Nexus S stacks up against the iPhone 4 here . The S will be sold directly by Google, as opposed to most Android-powered phones, which are marketed independently. Best Buy secured the exclusive deal to sell the phone. I expect it to do well, especially with all the recent attention Android’s been getting. Google stands to make money from each Android-powered device sold by partners, as well. What’s that you ask? If Android is open source (free), how will they make money off it? Good question. Mobile ads, for one. Smartphone ad revenue will top $1 billion this year, and is growing at an incredible pace. With their dominant Adwords search platform, and their recent acquisition Admob, a leader in mobiles ads, Google was already set to dominate this market. Android’s success expands their reach in the space even further. Their apps marketplace will be another revenue driver. Apple has been making a killing selling apps and games for years, and Google is finally catching up. Android will drive revenue in other ways, too. But Google isn’t getting greedy, they’re focused on grabbing the most market share possible. Smartphones are still a young market, hard as that is to believe. Android could be a significant growth driver for decades to come. Getting the lead early, and keeping it, will be critical. Don’t think they forgot…

Continue Reading »

VeriFone (PAY): Smartphone Credit Cards?

Filed in Bank Gold by on September 30, 2010 0 Comments
VeriFone (PAY): Smartphone Credit Cards?

Filed under: Newsletters , VeriFone Holdings (PAY) , Stocks to Buy “You may currently use your smartphone for making calls, checking the Internet and snapping the occasional photo; but wouldn’t it be convenient if it served as a credit card as well?” asks Dr. Melvin Pasternak . The editor of Double-Digit Trading suggests, “Sound unreal? It’s not. Mobile banking is a new and fast-growing trend. And one company making this possible is VeriFone Systems ( PAY ). “Using small chips that emit short-wave signals, banking information can be securely transmitted from your smartphone to the cash register. You can make purchases by simply waving your phone over the store’s chip. Continue reading VeriFone (PAY): Smartphone Credit Cards? VeriFone (PAY): Smartphone Credit Cards? originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue Reading »

An Al Quds day letter to Tony Blair. From Lauren Booth, in Iran.

Filed in Gold by on September 4, 2010 0 Comments

I guess that Tony Blair’s sister in law, Lauren Booth, could easily use the phone and tell Tony what she thinks of him, his politics and his new memoir. However, being a peace activist she decided also to share it with the rest of us.

Continue Reading »

Google Takes on Skype with Phone Service via Gmail

Filed in South African Gold by on August 26, 2010 0 Comments
Google Takes on Skype with Phone Service via Gmail

Filed under: Competitive Strategy , Google (GOOG) , eBay (EBAY) Google ( GOOG ) has a new service, as reported in Reuters. Starting now, you can make free calls in the U.S. and Canada from you Gmail account . Calls to other countries will be as cheap as two cents per minute. Google’s stock was up $3.22 Wednesday to $454.62. The process is real simple. Just click on the “call line” option on the chat buddy list in Gmail and type in the number. You can also enter a contact person. Continue reading Google Takes on Skype with Phone Service via Gmail Google Takes on Skype with Phone Service via Gmail originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 26 Aug 2010 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue Reading »

Verizon Wireless To Sell DROID X For $199 Starting July 15th

Filed in Gold Investing, silver by on June 23, 2010 0 Comments

Verizon Wireless will start selling the DROID X on July 15th for $199. Unfortunately the phone lacks Adobe Flash as of right now, but it will arrive on the phone towards the end of the summer. The phone is $199 after a $100 mail in rebate and requires a 2 year contract. Below

Continue Reading »

Ski-Property Crash Has Barely Begun

Filed in Gold, Gold Bullion prices by on May 24, 2010 0 Comments
Ski-Property Crash Has Barely Begun

Colorado ski properties are enjoying a dead-cat bounce, although readers of a recent article in the Denver Post might infer there is something more to it than that. The article noted that in Eagle County, which includes tony Vail, residential transactions were up 190% year-over-year for the first quarter. That represents 276 properties changing hands, compared with 145 during the same period a year ago. However, as the article acknowledged, the surge was from very depressed levels, and it still fell 27 percent shy of the total for 2008 and 58 percent shy of the figure for 2007. Nowhere was there any mention of price trends or rental costs. If these factors had been taken into account, it would have made clear that valuations will have to fall much further before ski homes and condos could conceivably experience a sustainable bounce. We recently sat down with a Vail property owner who worked the numbers for us. He said that even after collapsing from a peak price of $1.3 million to around $800,000, a two-bedroom luxury condo in Vail is still a lousy investment. Assuming the unit is rented 130 nights at $350 per night – a fairly optimistic assumption, according to our source – annual gross income would be $45,500. Half of that would go to the leasing agent, leaving $22,750. Subtracting a further $15,000 for taxes, maintenance and homeowner association fees would leave $7,750. Then there are mortgage costs of about $30,000 per year. This is based on a 6.5% loan on 60% of the property’s value. You should add a 6% opportunity cost, or $19,200, on the 40% not financed, since that’s what you could earn – without all the hassles – in a closed-end muni-bond fund. Thus, the investor who scooped up a $1.3 million property for a supposed fire-sale price of $800,000 would still have negative annual cash flow of a little more than $41,000. That might work if ski condos were appreciating in value by 15% of more per year, as was the case before the housing market collapsed in 2007. But because prices have instead been falling, most speculators who bought within a few years of the top have taken a bath. It Gets Worse Things are likely to get much worse before they improve for a couple of reasons. For starters, listings in Vail, as well as in other Colorado ski resorts, not to mention ski properties in California, Vermont, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah and other states popular with skiers, are said to be as thick as the phone book – enough inventory to last for years,

Continue Reading »

Zacks Releases Four Powerful ”Buy” Stocks: Cooper Tire & Rubber, Johnson Controls, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Fossil – Press Releases

Filed in earnings, Gold Prices, Guidance, lead, shares, silver, ubs, upgrade by on May 19, 2010 0 Comments

For Immediate Release Chicago, IL – May 19, 2010 – Four free stock picks are being made available today on Zacks.com. The industry’s leading independent research firm highlights one Zacks #1 Rank Strong Buy or a Zacks #2 Rank Buy stock for each of the four main styles of investing: Aggressive Growth, Growth & Income, Momentum, and Value. The four highlighted picks are: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. ( CTB ), Johnson Controls ( JCI ), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. ( CMG ) and Fossil, Inc. ( FOSL ). Today, Zacks informs investors of its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Four daily picks are offered free at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5607 . Zacks #1 Rank Stocks have nearly tripled the S&P 500 since 1988, producing an average annual return of +28%. Performance has been notable even during volatile and down times. For example, during the last bear market, 2000-2002, the market tumbled -37.6% – but Zacks #1 Rank stocks gained +43.8%. Here is a summary of today’s selected stocks that are now highly rated by Zacks: Aggressive Growth – Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. ( CTB ) Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. shares set a new 52-week high after its latest quarterly release. Sales, estimates and the outlook are all improving. Zacks Guide to Aggressive Growth Investing (free!): http://at.zacks.com/?id=4309 Growth & Income – Johnson Controls ( JCI ) Johnson Controls recently beat analyst estimates, and management raised its earnings guidance for fiscal year 2010. Zacks Guide to Growth & Income Investing (free!): http://at.zacks.com/?id=4310 Momentum – Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. ( CMG ) Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. continues to trend higher as the company posts excellent revenue and earnings growth, on display with better than expected Q1 results from late April that included a 28% earnings surprise. The next-year estimate is bullish too, projecting 18% earnings growth. Zacks Guide to Momentum Investing (free!): http://at.zacks.com/?id=4311 Value – Fossil, Inc. ( FOSL ) Fossil, Inc. is hot as it recently reported a record first quarter and raised its full year guidance. It also surprised on the Zacks Consensus for the fourth quarter in a row. Zacks Guide to Value Investing (free!): http://at.zacks.com/?id=4312 How to Regularly Access Top Zacks Rank Picks Free: http://at.zacks.com/?id=7156 Underlying the four free stock picks is a simple truth that first appeared in a Financial Analysts Journal article published in 1979. Leonard Zacks, a Ph.D. in Mathematics from M.I.T. found that “earnings estimate revisions …

Continue Reading »

Obama Urged Merkel To Ram Through Euro Bailout

Filed in Bank Gold, Debt, euro, gld, Gold, lead by on May 11, 2010 0 Comments

Debt Aid Package for Europe Took Nudge From Washington STEVEN ERLANGER, KATRIN BENNHOLD and DAVID E. SANGER NY Times Tuesday, May 11, 2010 PARIS — President Obama had just flown into Hampton, Va., Sunday morning to deliver a commencement address. But before he donned his silky academic robes, he was on the phone with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, offering urgent advice — and some not so subtle prodding — that Europe needed to try something big. Weeks of hesitant half-steps to address Greece’s debt problems had only worsened market worries about the euro, and were threatening the still-fragile economic recoveries in the United States and Asia. Now, Mr. Obama told Mrs. Merkel that the Europeans needed an overwhelming financial rescue to end speculation that the euro — and European unity — could crumble. (ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW) “He was trying to convey that he knew these were politically difficult steps that the leaders there had to take, that he had gone through them as well,” said one senior administration official familiar with the conversation. “And that, from his experience, trying to get out ahead as much as possible was the right way to go.” That call was part of what a senior Treasury Department official called “one long conversation” with European leaders, who over an extraordinary weekend of late nights and early mornings overcame German resistance and agreed to a wholesale expansion of the bloc’s political and financial mission. Bending the rules, they backed the stability of all 16 countries that use the euro with loan guarantees adding up to nearly $1 trillion. Full story here.

Continue Reading »

Sprint Snubs Google’s Nexus One – Analyst Blog

Filed in Gold Investing, silver, ubs by on May 11, 2010 0 Comments

Sprint Nextel ( S ) has reportedly abandoned its plan of selling Google ’s ( GOOG ) so-called “Superphone” Nexus One. Instead, the third largest US wireless operator will focus on its forthcoming 4G smartphone HTC EVO 4G, which the carrier reckons is a better option for its subscribers.   The move makes Sprint the second major national carrier to dump Nexus One after Verizon ( VZ ). This is bad news for Google as it disrupts the Internet giant’s marketing strategy for the device.   Sprint announced in March 2010 that it will offer a CDMA version of Nexus One to its customers. However, the carrier has flipped its decision on the device in favor of EVO 4G, which is superior in terms of phone features and is being designed to run on a faster network.   Manufactured by the Taiwanese handset giant HTC, Nexus One is Google’s own branded Android smartphone (launched in January 2010), positioned as a challenger to Apple ’s ( AAPL ) iPhone. The current GSM version of Nexus One is being sold directly through Google’s website for an unsubsidized price of $530 and at a subsidized price of $180 under a two-year contract from Deutsche Telekom ’s ( DT ) US arm T-Mobile USA.   Google plans to revolutionize the current carrier-dominated US cell phone market by establishing an online marketplace for handsets. However, this new model so far has failed to meet expectations. Despite being one of the most sophisticated smartphones available today, Nexus One has been far from impressive in terms of sales volume.   Industry data reveal that merely 135,000 units of Nexus One were sold after 74 days of its launch compared to 1 million iPhones and 1.05 million Motorola ( MOT ) Droid smartphones. This can be attributable to the phone’s limited distribution and lackluster promotional support.   To boost sales, Google is desperately looking to expand Nexus One to multiple carriers, which will broaden customer reach. As a part of this effort, Google released a new version of Nexus One in March 2010, which is compatible with AT&T ’s ( T ) 3G network.   Apart from Sprint, Nexus One was also supposed to be carried by Verizon. However, Verizon rebuffed plans to offer the device in April 2010 as the carrier was preparing to launch the much-hyped HTC Droid Incredible (launched on April 29) Android smartphone, which boasts slightly better features vis-à-vis Nexus One.   Sprint’s move has put the future of Nexus One in question as the device misses the opportunity to reap the full advantage of the carrier’s vast nationwide 3G network coverage, claimed to be greater than AT&T and T-Mobile USA. Moreover, the lack of backing from Sprint and Verizon has effectively trimmed Nexus One’s addressable market.   Meanwhile, Sprint is gearing up for the launch of EVO 4G (expected in June

Continue Reading »