AMITIAE - Monday 18 February 2013
Cassandra - Monday Review: It will soon be Friday
By Graham K. Rogers
Opening Gambit:An error corrected (I hope). More interesting figures added. Hedge funds, litigation, Apple and share prices: someone not being honest? Analysts' magic (or something). Apple use of suppliers: 16 in Thailand (19 factories). iOS update expected this week. iWatch by Samsung? Samsung dropping Android for Tizen. International tex avoidance: politicians to act after 100 years of sitting on their hands. Massive Google security flaw becomes massive Google censorship: author holds her head high. Flaky internet connections here. Flaky True Visions app.
Apple StuffAs soon as I saw the item from Mikey Campbell on AppleInsider, I knew that what I had written on Friday was wrong. I will blame a late night and an early morning, but I misread Mikey's first article and suggested that iOS 6 had 83% of all web traffic. In a later report he wrote that the share of Apple and Samsung devices for north-American web traffic was about equal, so the 83% was clearly wrong: that actually referred to the share of iOS 6 traffic compared to other iOS use. I have amended the Friday Cassandra text.
Another view of what the statistics revealed was provided by Patently Apple who had the charts and points out that although the earlier 50-50 split was a comparison between iPhone 5 and Galaxy SIII in North America, when the figures for web traffic by mobile phone is displayed, the total Apple figure versus the total Samsung figure has a different look: 6.6% for the iPhone 5, 34.9% for other iPhones, giving Apple a 41.5% share; while Samsung has 6.4% for the Galaxy SIII and 14.2% for the rest of the range, giving Samsung 20.6%. Other smartphones took 37.8% of the traffic.
Earlier the Financial Times, in an item by Tim Bradshaw, had reported Apple's claims that Eindhorn was "attempting to hold other shareholders "hostage" to a proposal that does not serve the "public interest"" with comments suggesting that the only interests served by the filing are Eindhorn's own. Indeed, reading that article a little more shows that Eindhorn has been in contact with Apple for a few months, trying to free up some of the cash and that other large investors are supporting Apple's stance on preferred stock.
Almost a straight line from 2007 to now
But the financial analysts are not finished - is it silly season all year there? - as Brooke Crothers reports on the words of Citibank analyst Glen Yeung who thinks that with the iPad flavour of the month (flavour of the year) the PC will see a resurgence when Intel's Haswell chip and the touch screens that Intel demands go with it, begin to appear. More like the Surface Pro? That will be fun. I suggest putting money into iPad futures.
While before, the analysts who were the most successful were the amateurs, that has changed a bit now. He writes, "Although Apple has yet to miss its own guidance, it has on more than a few occasions come in short of the amateurs' over-heated estimates" and missing the consensus has hit the share price, even though it has reached and exceeded its own guidance.
As a part of the digging that went into creating that map, Seth Weintraub on 9to5 Mac highlights a factory in Fremont, CA, owned by Quanta Computer. the premises are final assembly facilities and there is speculation that this could house the product line that Apple has promised to move to the USA. This was mentioned in the interview with Brian Williams last year and also in the President's State of the Union address last week.
Half and HalfWe have been overwhelmed with news of an iWatch that everyone and his dog is sure that Apple is about to make, thus reinventing the market and making the half of the world that never use watches clamouring for the product. That seems to be the general theme but there is not much concrete information to back this up. Now however, we read in an item by Casey Johnston on Ars Technica of a Samsung watch that will complement its Galaxy phones or boil an egg and make coffee.
It latest move seems to be the report that it is to drop Android as the main operating system for its mobile phones and is to replace it with Tizen (I thought that was a carbonated drink). Several sites have reports on this, beginning with an interview with Kara Swisher that David Eun did last week. Casey Johnston on Ars Technica also gives some of the background to the decision and explains more about Tizen. Ah, Open Source. Another free one that Samsung thinks it can get away with? As with the Open Source Android, sometimes "free" is more expensive than you want.
Local Twitter user Daveoli made this prediction last year.
In the articles, there is also a suggestion that if Samsung does make the move, the new apple of Google's eye (so to speak) could be Motorola. As Google now owns this, maybe it should have invested more in its own show than with the Koreans.
Now it seems a group of governments are, according to a Reuters article. Britain, Germany and France are to think about reform of international tax laws and "crack down on tax avoidance by multinational companies". Which is a bit of propaganda-speak: companies use the current laws to protect their interests. I adore the quote by the UK Minister, George Osborne which reflects the sit on hands approach of many politicians,
Unbelievably our tax rules were created a hundred years ago by the League of Nations, and much has happened to our international economy since then
It is not unbelievable at all and this is something that in the UK has been happening for years: I can remember a report on this in the 1960s, for example.
Other MattersSome people are a little sensitive to censorship - perceived or actual - and recently there was pressure on CNet News to deny a prize to a winner at CES, as well as other moves that may not have been in the public interest. One of the CNET contributors (only one) left because of this, and Greg Sandoval is now more honorably employed at The Verge.
This week, another case of pressure - shall we call it? - came to light as it appears Google (Do no Evil) did not like a story about their security. News.com.au reported that a story was amended at the request of Google, Daniel Eran Dilger reports on AppleInsider. Claire Porter had originally written a story detailing a massive Google security flaw that had been found by a developer and which allowed undisclosed sharing of customer data. [Al Franken, Al Franken. Paging Al Franken.]
That "Massive" and "huge" were removed, and the word "Flaw" was put into inverted commas. Dilger reporting that Google "apparently views the issue of sharing customers' data as non-newsworthy policy that shouldn't be reported as a security flaw, especially not as a serious one that users should take notice of." Oh yeah?
The author of the article added a rider to the amended output that to me now makes Google look ten times as bad as it had before: the original might just have slipped by, now everyone knows. She wrote,
For the people asking how the story was amended: Despite the fact that Google refused to comment on the record, I was asked to change the headline (both the homepage headline and SEO headline inside the story), as well as the standfirst and lead (first paragraph). Google's issue was with the use of the word 'flaw.'
Good for her.
Local ItemsThe Internet here was a bit droopy over the weekend with some US sites loading fine, but others not loading or only loading half the information. ComputerWorld was not loading anything apart from the page outline, while MacWorld also only got halfway: accessing the page and the head, but not loading content. It came back later. Apple was OK. Local sites were too. My own eXtensions site loaded as fast as usual, even though the pages are hosted in the USA. AppleBitch and OS X Daily were not affected, AppleInsider was although that came back soon after.
I tried Traceroute and that was inconclusive: some got through, some didn't. Ping worked for Computerworld, but not for MacWorld - even with the IP number - so there appeared to be some dubious links when I was trying.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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