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

Fed Fails - American Spending Growth Is Weakest Since March 2011

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Core personal consumption growth in July was just 1.2% - the weakest since March 2011. Whatever The Fed is doing to grow the middle class (yes, yes, we know: that's not in the mandate - only the "wealth effect" is) is not workingm and as the following chart suggests hasn't worked for the past 35 years.

Chart: Blooomberg

Lower rates is not helping,  and higher rates didn't work in the 90s: maybe The Fed is all talk and CONfidence after all.


...

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Phil's Favorites

The Troubling Decline Of Financial Independence In America

Courtesy of Charles Hugh-Smith, Of Two Minds 

By financial independence, I don't mean an inherited trust fund. I mean earning an independent living as a self-employed person. Sure, it's nice if you chose the right parents and inherited a fortune. But even without the inherited fortune, financial independence via self-employment has always been an integral part of the American Dream.

Indeed, it could be argued that financial independence is the American Dream because it gives us the freedom to say Take This Job And Shove It (Johnny Paycheck).

This chart shows the self-employed as a percentage of those with jobs (all nonfarm employees). According to the FRED data base, there are 142 million employed and 9.4 million self-employed. (This d...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Charting the Markets: Stocks Rally to Erase the Week's Losses (Bloomberg)

The turmoil in financial markets to start the week is fast becoming a blip in the rear-view mirror, with developed market equities posting robust gains on Thursday as volatility subsided and the commodity complex largely advanced.

Dow sets a 2-day record, fin...



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Chart School

Shorts Rally - But For How Long?

Courtesy of Declan.

A second day of gains keeps pressure on shorts in squeezing them out of their positions, but is also looking to sucker shorts into trying to second guess when this rally will end.

The S&P is heading fast towards 2,044. Given the speed at which it has enjoyed this advance it will be there by Tuesday! In reality, it will likely slow before it gets there. When markets do head lower it will be important they do so slowly to sow further doubt into shorts.


The Nasdaq will be testing resistance tomorrow, and is close to coming up against its 200-day MA.  Those who bought the low will be very happy.

...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.




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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Kimble Charting Solutions

30,000 Foot view after a wild 10-days

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

If one takes the highs of 1987 and the lows of 2003 and ties them together and then projects a line into the future, you get line (1). The Dow hit line (1) and its Fibonacci 161% level in May and the Dow could make no more upward progress after that!

Speaking of momentum, it reached lofty levels at the same time! Momentum recently hit levels last seen in 2000 and 2007.

This was a price point where the Power of the Pattern suggested that “Slow Money members”...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Finally, market capitulation gives bulls a real test of conviction, plus perhaps a buying opportunity

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

The dark veil around China is creating a little too much uncertainty for investors, with the usual fear mongers piling on and sending the vast buy-the-dip crowd running for the sidelines until the smoke clears. Furthermore, Sabrient’s fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings have been flashing near-term defensive signals. The end result is a long overdue capitulation event that has left no market segment unscathed in its mass carnage. The historically long technical consolidation finally came to the point of having to break one way or the other, and it decided to break hard to the downside, actually testing the lows from last ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of August 24th, 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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ValueWalk

Some Hedge Funds "Hedged" During Stock Market Sell Off, Others Not As Risk Focused

By Mark Melin. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With the VIX index jumping 120 percent on a weekly basis, the most in its history, and with the index measuring volatility or "fear" up near 47 percent on the day, one might think professional investors might be concerned. While the sell off did surprise some, certain hedge fund managers have started to dip their toes in the water to buy stocks they have on their accumulation list, while other algorithmic strategies are actually prospering in this volatile but generally consistently trending market.

Stock market sell off surprises some while others were prepared and are hedged prospering

While so...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Battered After "Governance Coup"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Naysyers are warning that the recent plunge in Bitcoin prices - from almost $318 at its peak during the Greek crisis, to $221 yesterday - is due to growing power struggle over the future of the cryptocurrency that is dividing its lead developers. On Saturday, a rival version of the current software was released by two bitcoin big guns. As Reuters reports, Bitcoin XT would increase the block size to 8 megabytes enabling more transactions to be processed every second. Those who oppose Bitcoin XT say the bigger block size jeopardizes the vision of a decentralized payments system that bitcoin is built on with some believing ...



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Pharmboy

Baxter's Spinoff

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

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).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...



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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

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. 

Since...



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Promotions

Watch the Phil Davis Special on Money Talk on BNN TV!

Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene

 

The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below. 

Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets) Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies) Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...

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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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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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