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.
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…
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.”
One solution to the Apple iPhone 4’s antenna problem is to cover the lower left corner with tape.
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…
The news is filled with the everyday zigzags of those competing against each other for the Democrat and Republican Party nominations to run for the presidency of the United States. But one of the most important issues receiving little or no attention in this circus of political power lusting is the long-term danger from the huge and rising Federal government debt.
The Asian session had set up for big losses, but markets were able to defend against such losses even if finishing with a lower close.
The S&P tagged the January low, but it's hard to see it holding out if there's another challenge on 1,810.
The Nasdaq was able to register a higher close (although below the prior day's close). It probably did enough to negate what is normally a bearish black candlestick, but bulls won't have any confidence until the bearish channel is broken.
1) Phil gives his outlook for U.S. markets and the US economic economy. Canada may be heading into a recession because the energy is sector dead for years, at least, but the U.S. economy is slowly improving. What is the basis of Phil's 5% rule? Watch the video.
2) Phil explains why oil demand is falling globally and what the implications are for energy-rich economies like Canada. Hint: The TSX (Canada's oil weighted index) is not going to recover. Oil is not going to recover. Oil's not a thing anymore - like wagon wheels. This is why the Saudis aren't holding back on selling their oil. Canada is due for some painful adjustments.
3) Natural gas - Phil gives the details of his option...
Treasury 10-year yields dropped to the lowest level since 2012 as falling equities drove investors to the relative safety of government debt and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said weakening stock prices pose a risk to the economy.
MRC Global Inc. (NYSE: MRC) announced Wednesday, that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its U.S. OCTG business to Sooner Pipe, LLC, a subsidiary of Marubeni-Itochu Tubulars America, Inc., for $48 million, subject to certain adjustments. MRC Global's U.S. OCTG sales were approximately $305 million in 2015. As a result of the expected sale, a pre-tax charge of approximately $5.0 million is expected to be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2015. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions.
Andrew R. Lane, MRC Global's chairman, president and chief executive officer, stated, "The divestiture of our OCTG product line is the culmination of our strategy to reduce our exposure to upstream drilling volatility and to foc...
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Throughout the past 30 days of wild volatility, here’s what I didn’t do.
Panic. Worry. Sell.
In fact, the best I did was add to a couple of positions yesterday. The world was already in an uncertain state for the past 3+ years. It’s just that with the market rising, we pushed the issue to the back of our mind and ignored it.
A number of systemic, structural forces are intersecting in 2016. One is the rise of non-state, non-central-bank-issued crypto-currencies.
We all know money is created and distributed by governments and central banks. The reason is simple: control the money and you control everything.
The invention of the blockchain and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have opened the door to non-state, non-central-bank currencies--money that is global and independent of any state or central bank, or indeed, any bank, as crypto-currencies are structurally peer-to-peer, meaning they don't require a bank to function: people can exchange crypto-currencies to pay for goods and services without a bank acting as a clearinghouse for all these transactions.
Last year, the S&P 500 large caps closed 2015 essentially flat on a total return basis, while the NASDAQ 100 showed a little better performance at +8.3% and the Russell 2000 small caps fell -5.9%. Overall, stocks disappointed even in the face of modest expectations, especially the small caps as market leadership was mostly limited to a handful of large and mega-cap darlings.
Notably, the full year chart for the S&P 500 looks very much like 2011. It got off to a good start, drifted sideways for...
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Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
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 email@example.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.
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