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Posts Tagged ‘consumer reports’

Apple Needs Some RF Design Engineers

Apple Needs Some RF Design Engineers

A Chinese man walks past a authorized Apple retailer in Beijing on July 12, 2010. Despite a new flagship showroom that just opened in Shanghai, Apple is striving to overcome price disadvantages and an underground market. Most fans of its Apple products here have been buying their iPhones, iPods and Mac computers from smugglers who operate through underground electronics markets.  UPI/Stephen Shaver Photo via Newscom

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Yep, as I suspected….

It’s official. Consumer Reports’ engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its reception. When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side—an easy thing, especially for lefties—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can’t recommend the iPhone 4.

That’s Consumer Reports, incidentally, which put the phone in an RF-isolated room to perform their tests along with a base-station emulator.

Oops – that’s about as close to proof as you’re going to find.  In an RF-quiet environment it’s pretty easy to prove your case, and it appears that CR did so.

The tests also indicate that AT&T’s network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4′s much-reported signal woes.

"Might" not?  

I have never been impressed with the iPhone (any generation) in terms of RF.  Ever. It has always been a "form before function" device from my perspective, all the way back to the original units.  Then again I’m spoiled – the best RF-performing GSM phone I’ve ever used was a Nokia 3395.  I may still have one laying around here somewhere, and all of my old Nokias (including a 6610 which was nearly as good) still work just fine.  Old, yes, but one thing Nokia does know how to do is design and build an RF section.

Incidentally, buying devices that work before selecting them for "sex appeal" may be why I’ve never had a material problem with the "can you hear me?" BS that so many suffer with when it comes to cellphones.  I guess my view is that a cellphone is for communicating rather than trying to shag some hot chick at the local bar by flashing my "bling."

This is a common flaw for consumer devices – be sexy rather than be smart – or good.  Of course sex sells, and so the more "sexy" you can make something look the better it sells, and as long as you remain within the "acceptable" functionality envelope you don’t get hurt – too badly.  Witness Motorola, which had the "hot" phone for a long time…
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An iPhone 4 Recall Will Hurt Apple More By Opening Additional Oppurtunity for Android Devices Than Increased Expenses

An iPhone 4 Recall Will Hurt Apple More By Opening Additional Opportunity for Android Devices Than Increased Expenses

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton writing at Zero Hedge 

Apple has had a hell of a time with what is arguably its most important product release since the initial iPhone in 2007. The handsets have been plagued with spotty screens, combustible USB ports, signal strength measurement inconsistencies, and the most damaging of the issues – an ill-conceived antenna design that causes attenuation when held from the lower left had corner. Steve Jobs did the Blankfein (Goldman Sachs CEO, stating that the Wall Street bank was doing God’s work) imitation by opening his mouth when he shouldn’t have and said that users were “hold the phone the wrong way”. Not only that, but Consumer Reports just came out with a report stating that they can not recommend the buying of an iPhone until the antenna situation has been rectified, prompting speculation that Apple will be forced to recall millions of phones.

As a matter of fact, the review was rather poignant:

“If you want an iPhone that works well without a masking-tape fix, we continue to recommend an older model, the 3G S.”

Apple iPhone 4 antenna problem solution tape
One solution to the Apple iPhone 4’s antenna problem is to cover the lower left corner with tape.

As evidence of the danger of relying on “lifestyle” marketing (see An Introduction to How Apple Apple Will Compete With the Google/Android Onslaught)…

It is very easy to fall out of favor with the trendy crowd. While I doubt very seriously that Apple is in danger of doing this anytime soon, a massive recall will open the door for devices which are technically much more capable, flexible and open than the iPhone, ex. the Android powered HTC and Samsung devices. Basically, the danger to Apple here is not the expense of a recall, but the loss of mindshare and potential widening of the opening for some very capable competition – an opening that did not have to be there!

Don’t believe me, click the link to the consumer reports article and peruse the comment section…

Posted by: John |
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Zero Hedge

How AT&T Just "Beat"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

... in one simple chart.

Courtesy of @Not_Jim_Cramer

...

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Phil's Favorites

Email From US Special Forces Veteran; 500 US Blackwater Mercenaries in Ukraine? US Backs Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

Courtesy of Mish.

US Special Forces in Ukraine?

In response to US Special Forces in Mariupol? I received an interesting email from "Dan" a 23-year Army veteran with four years in special services.

Dan writes ...
I was a soldier in the US Army for 23 years including four years in Special forces Stationed in Germany. I would agree that there is a strong likelihood that this is a US Special Forces soldier.

I can tell you that we were issued AK 74s and would use them on a mission such as this. That is about all I would really want to say at this point.

It is obvious to me that our strategy is the Balkanization of the various hot spots in the world, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq and so forth.

You can call m...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Chart School

S&P 500 Snapshot: A Plunge on Weak Earnings and (Mostly) Bad Economic News

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Weak earnings and an ugly Durable Goods Report for December apparently took their toll today, despite a stunning surge in Consumer Confidence. The S&P 500 plunged in the opening minutes and hit its -1.81% intraday low at 10:45, seemingly ignoring the 10 AM release of the surprisingly cheerful Consumer Confidence report. A slow upward trend ensued and lasted until the mid-afternoon, trimming the decline to -0.68%. But the selling resumed and the index ended the day with a 1.34% loss.

The yield on the 10-year Note closed at 1.83%, unchanged from yesterday's close.

Here is a 15-minute chart of the past five sessions.

...

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Insider Scoop

Morgan Stanley Asks, 'What's Driving Gold?'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related GLD Jim Cramer Shares His Thoughts On Gold, Kinder Morgan And Dollar Tree Mike Khouw Sees Bullish Options Activity In SPDR Gold Trust Making Money With Charles Payne: 11/13/14 (Fox Business)

While other commodity prices have further softened recently, Gold rallied – rising from December low of $1,174/oz. to touch $1,300/oz. Joel Crane, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, expressed pessimism that...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of January 26th, 2015

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: With the Fed fading into shadows, investors look overseas for new catalysts

Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

By Scott Martindale

Last week, the S&P 500 put an end to its streak of weekly losses, despite giving back some gains on Friday. Thursday provided the big catalyst, with the ECB’s announcement of its bold new monetary stimulus plan. Investors were cheered and soothed for the moment. And U.S. fundamentals still look strong. But with Greece trying to turn back time, with volatility elevated (and likely to continue as such), and with the technical situation still dicey, the near term outlook is still worrisome.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart...



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Market Shadows

Are You Trading or Gambling?

ARE YOU TRADING OR GAMBLING?

An interview with John Ehlers of Stock Spotter and Mesa Software

By Ilene

Ilene: John, in our last discussion about trading systems in general and yours in particular (Can trading be reduced to cycles, stresses and vibrations?) you mentioned Monte Carlo simulations and their use in measuring performance. Can you explain more about how you measure the performance of a trading system?

John: Let's start with comparing trading with gambling. The two have several things in common.  In both ...



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Digital Currencies

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services

So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.  

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services 

By 



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Pharmboy

2015 - Biotech Fever

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 

 

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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