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Saturday Morning Coffee, Afternoon Edition

My brother, Jay, or rather Jerry as you know him, usually has a piece on his weblog called “Saturday Morning Coffee.” It’s something I look forward to reading. There’s always something I find interesting. It looks like we’re not going to get a post today, so I thought I’d run one.

Let’s get started. Here’s how Jay starts his post:

“So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….”

Rob's Coffee MugOh, he also includes a picture of the coffee mug he’s using. Here’s mine. Unlike Jay I only have one I use regularly. Not that we’re lacking in the coffee mug department, we have quite a few, but this one is mine. It’s a hand crafted masterpiece I purchased at our local Farmers Market.

Super Bowl

Unless you’re one of those folks that don’t like football you know tomorrow is Super Bowl XLVII, in beautiful New Orleans, LA. The Baltimore Ravens will face the San Francisco 49ers. I’m pulling for the Ravens. I’ve had a hate-hate relationship with the Niners since “The Catch.” I was a Cowboys fan at the time and even though I’ve moved on to the Bears the hate for the Niners remains. Let’s hope Baltimore can pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Speaking of Baltimore. It looks like Ray Lewis has caused a bit of a crap storm over his quick recovery from a torn triceps early in the season. PEDs, or performance enhancing drugs, are not new to pro sports. This is just another in a long line of pro athletes being called out. I’d wager to bet he did use something to help him recover, so did Lance Armstrong, and Barry Bonds. Hey, it’s a part of pro sports. I’m probably in the minority here but I say let them use PEDs under the care of a licensed physician as long as they’re aware of the problems associated with them. They’re adults, let them make the decision.

Hey, how about this for goofy move. CBS has banned SodaStream’s Super Bowl commercial. Really weird. From a Forbes report:

“CBS banned SodaStream’s Super Bowl spot because, apparently, it was too much of a direct hit to two of its biggest sponsors, Coke and Pepsi.

Please pause and read that sentence again.”

That says a lot about how fragile Coke and Pepsi have become as a business. It looks like it’s time for those companies to rethink what they do if they’re scared of SodaStream. Things change. Roll with the punches guys. Good luck SodaStream.

Don’t call me RIM

It looks like BlackBerry is not the official name of the company formerly known as RIM. Does anyone else remember the “RIM Jobs” website. Good one. Anyway, BlackBerry announced the new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 phones this week. The Z10 is a touch based device while the Q10 holds true to a traditional BlackBerry device and has a physical QWERTY keyboard. At first glance I thought the Z10 looked a lot like an iPhone 4, and tweeted as much, but later I realized it’s not as similar as I thought. At first glance the back of the device looked like the all glass iPhone 4 back, it’s not.

I think the Z10 looks pretty nice and the Q10 is a great choice for the keyboard loving BlackBerry loyalists. Will they succeed? Only time will tell.

Twitter Hacked

It looks like hackers were able to gain access to 250,000 user accounts. Whoops. I find the choice of headlines in the weblog post announcing the hack disingenuous. The headline read “Keeping our users secure” then goes on to explain:

“This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords – for approximately 250,000 users.”

Come on guys. Quit spinning bad news like it’s a good thing. You should’ve said something like “We’ve been hacked. We’re sorry.”

Weekend Box Office

It looks like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is number one at the box office. We haven’t seen a movie since The Hobit and have missed a bunch of great films that have released since the fall. I think my wife and I need to get out a bit more often. Maybe we can catch Hansel and Gretel soon.

The Twilight Zone, A.K.A. The Stock Market

As Jay pointed out last weekend, Apple took a hit on the stock market. They reported record revenue. The largest revenue of any corporation, ever. From an Extreme Tech article:

“Yet again, Apple has broken its own record and posted revenues of $54.5 billion — the greatest quarter of any company ever — driven entirely by sales of the iPhone and iPad.”

Of course the stock tanked.

On the flip side we have Amazon. A great company? Absolutely. They did however report a $39 loss million for the year. Their quarterly report wasn’t great either:

“Net income fell 45% to $97 million, or 21 cents a share, down from $177 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Street consensus was for EPS of 27 cents. Sales were up 22% to $21.27 billion, from $17.43 billion a year ago. That, too, missed Street views of $22.26 billion.”

The stock was up, of course.

The market is a fickle thing.

The End

Have a great weekend and make sure to visit Jerry’s site next weekend for the real deal, not this wannabe version of Saturday Morning Coffee.


Amazon to buy Palm?

VentureBeat: “Who will save what’s left of Palm from HP’s bumbling? It could be Amazon, as the online retailing giant is in serious negotiations to snap up Palm from HP, VentureBeat has learned.”

That would be awesome beyond belief. It’s obvious based on their moves with the Kindle Fire Amazon doesn’t want to be beholden to an OS vendor. This could be a great move for them and the entire webOS loving world.

Oh please, oh please, oh please, click buy!


Kindle Fire

Yesterday Amazon announced its long awaited 7″ multi-touch tablet, dubbed the Kindle Fire. If you’re into computing you probably heard about it. I haven’t held the device, much less used one, but I think Amazon has hit a home run. I predict this will become the second most popular tablet device on the market in short order. I’m not sure what their current Kindle sales numbers look like, but Amazon will push this device hard around the holidays. They’ll sell.

Why they’ll sell

People like my wife is why they’ll sell. She’s had a Kindle for at least three years now and loves it. She has a large library of books in her Amazon library, she’d like to have a tablet, and, here’s the crazy one, she likes to play Flash based games on Facebook. That’s right Flash. The Kindle Fire, according to the website, “Supports Adobe® Flash® Player.” That means she can play all those games she likes. The Fire is also a media player. You can listen to your music library and watch movies. Hey, if you’re an Amazon Prime member you can stream movies and T.V. shows for free from their library of over 10,000 titles. Not bad. Oh, and you get all this for $199.00.


Can you believe that price? I can’t. I figured it would come in around $350 to $400. Amazon has just taken over the low end of the tablet market with, what appears to be, a great device. This brand new, ready to be fully supported by Amazon, device is priced only $50 above the TouchPad that HP is abandoning. Unbelievable, and unbeatable, price.

Kindle Fire

What about the software?

Do people care about the operating system? Well, sure, some of us do. There are those of us that care deeply about the operating system. Some will say Amazon doesn’t care, others will completely disagree. I think Amazon does care about the OS, that’s why they played the ole sneakaroo with Google. It’s rumored they took a cut of Android, prior to Honeycomb, to use as their new tablet OS. I’d say it was genius. Not only will the Fire become the second most popular tablet device, it will become the top Android powered device, much to the chagrin of Google. I don’t think Amazon really cares that deeply about Android, but they needed an OS for their new device. It was a means to an end. They’ve equipped the Fire with a great set of software pre-installed and they have their own App Store with fully vetted applications. That’s important. They’re building a safe ecosystem for their users and creating an OS to build their future on. For Amazon, it’s all about the user experience.

I think things are going to get very interesting in the tablet space.

Kindle Fire