Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is There Going To Be a Tablet for Every OS?

The iPad, of course, uses Apple's operating system.  Windows, Linux and Android tablets are all announced for late year introductions.  And now we have HP planning to introduce a Palm tablet computer.

I guess HP had to do something with their Palm acquisition...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Six New Economic "Normals"

Fortune has a list of what they consider the five new "Economic Normals":
1.Long-term unemployment
2.Renting over owning
3.Saving over spending
4.Staycations over vacations
5.Higher taxes for 'the rich'
 
And I will add my own:
6. "Flat" is the new "Up"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kickbacks at Apple?

I am a little astounded, and as someone who sells technology appalled: Apple manager indicted on kickback charges:

(Apple Manager) Devine, 37, is accused of accepting more than $1 million in exchange for providing confidential information to Apple suppliers in Asia. The suppliers allegedly used the information to negotiate favorable contracts with Apple, which is based in Cupertino.
Right now the companies involved are saying that they did not know this guy worked at Apple and were buying "consulting services". That just happen to help them win contracts at Apple.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Trip Aboard the California Surfliner

I have traveled on trains in literally dozens of countries.  It is the main mode of transportation for getting around Japan, and I use it whenever possible when country-hopping around Europe.  The funny thing is I rarely use trains in the U.S.  I have been on a few into NYC, and have been on the subway or train systems in Boston, Chicago, DC, etc., but it is a rare event.

So when a buddy suggested we hop the train from Orange Country, CA to Del Mar for a day at the track I thought both the ride and the races would prove a nice little adventure.  The "California Surfliner" heads up and down the Southern California coast and for car trips of less than an our there actually isn't much of a time savings in taking the train, BUT there were three other great benefits: a great view, not having to worry about traffic, AND we could sit in the bar-car and drink at our leisure.

Compared to other countries the train stations in SoCal are low-key and low-volume.  The majority of the people on the train - and all of them in the bar car - were heading to the track.  The evening trains do have more commuters who live/work in different locations up and down the coast.  Unlike Japan, there is no seat-side service for refreshments and everyone has to make their way down to the second car bar area if they want anything from a beer to a water.  There are a few seats in the bar car, but you have to get them early and hold them down.

The main selling point of the Surfliner is the view, which is entirely coastal once the train hits San Juan Capistrano.  At some points you feel you are on the beach with all the vacationers.




The beach goers are good natured, giving the train a wave, with a few moons here and there.   Not all of the scenery is beachy, ranging from a nuclear power plants to camper areas.  Eventually you make it down to the track, which requires a little free bus-hopper from Solana Beach train station.  It's a nice track.



And then you can watch the fillies....


Saturday, August 07, 2010

HP's Hurd - My Theory

HP's Mark Hurd Resigns After Sexual-Harassment Probe
Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Mark Hurd resigned as chief executive officer after an investigation found he had a personal relationship with a contractor who received numerous inappropriate payments from the company.
...
Hurd submitted receipts for expenses ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 over two years, including meals and travel, that should have been labeled as personal and not related to business, said a person familiar with the situation.

The expenses were incurred at HP-hosted “CEO forums,” mostly in North America, in which Hurd participated, this person said. The woman worked as a contractor hosting the events

Then

HP Contractor Didn't Have Sex or Affair With CEO Hurd, Lawyer Allred Says

So the CEO lays out thousands of dollars in business expenses to go around the country with this woman for...not having sex or an affair?  Riiiiggght.

Actually there could be one plausible explanation that fits these facts: There was a mentor-mentee, father-daughter thing going on where Hurd was trying to shepherd the girl and they became emotionally intimate.  If she then approached him for a sexual relationship and he turned her down, her anger would drive her to try to destroy him by going to a lawyer, despite the fact there was never any sex.