Business

NSA scandal’s threat to the cloud computing business model

NSA scandal’s threat to the cloud computing business model

I am a big believer in cloud computing. As storage and mobile bandwidth costs plummet, the ease of use that mobile devices give us makes the cloud compelling. The ability to access your data, your company’s data or someone else’s data anywhere and from any device is a huge boon to productivity in businesses and to ease of use to consumers. The NSA spying scandal casts this business model in a different light.

Excess cash on the balance sheet is wealth destruction

Excess cash on the balance sheet is wealth destruction

Many of the largest technology companies are making so much money that they are rapidly accumulating cash on their balance sheets. While on could argue that this cash should be stripped off the balance sheet for valuation purposes, I would argue that the cash is worth less than face value because having excess cash on the balance sheet is an invitation to wealth-destroying acquisitions. The excess cash should be returned to shareholders as quickly as possible in the form of dividends or share buybacks to prevent such an outcome.

Samsung: It doesn’t take a genius

Samsung: It doesn’t take a genius

I think Apple is going to clean up this quarter. What happens after that is another story. But the reality is the iPhone 5 isn’t a killer on the specs. It will drive upgrades, yes. But many other phones now have better specs. Samsung is onto this. Take a look at their cheeky ad comparing their top of the line […]

Why I am switching from a PC to a Mac

Why I am switching from a PC to a Mac

Last weekend, I got that familiar blue screen of death on my PC laptop, you know that blue screen with a bunch of cryptic lines of words on it that tells you your computer just crashed and everything you were working on was for naught. I have been getting these at least once or twice a day on my 3-year old Windows 7 HP Laptop and frankly I had got sick of it. So I put it out there on Facebook that I was ready to move back to the Mac after 17 years in the PC world. Everyone who responded told me to go for it. So I did. Here’s my story so far on why I’m switching from PC to Mac.

Facebook Snaps a $1-Billion Photo

Facebook Snaps a $1-Billion Photo

“What made Instagram worth $1 billion to Facebook?”

When asked this question recently, I responded with an immediate, “Nothing.”

I’m not usually so terse or emphatic with my answers, as any longtime reader knows. But in this case, there really was nothing inherently valuable inside Instagram that made them worth the unbelievable sum Facebook agreed to pay. Yet they did it anyway. Clearly, there’s something missing from a traditional valuation analysis here.

Anti-employee Control Fraud

Anti-employee Control Fraud

Apple has released a report on working conditions in its suppliers’ factories. It highlights a form of control fraud that criminology has identified but rarely discussed. I write overwhelmingly about accounting control fraud because it drives our recurrent, intensifying financial crises. The primary intended victims of accounting control frauds are the shareholders and the creditors. Other private sector control frauds target customers (e.g., George Akerlof’s 1970 article on “lemons”), and the public (e.g., the unlawful disposal of toxic waste, illegal logging, and tax fraud).

Video: Walt Mossberg Reviews iTunes Match

Video: Walt Mossberg Reviews iTunes Match

Apple has introduced a ‘music locker’ service which does away with the need to upload most of your music. I have tried it out in addition to Amazon and Google’s competing services and I like it, especially the part about not having to upload my collection. Google’s uploader is particularly annoying and CPU intensive, so this is a great boon […]