The Northern Spy: stock in trade
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

The Northern Spy: stock in trade

By Rick Sutcliffe

Apple's stock continues to behave strangely, but with more explanation in recent weeks. Seems a couple of large hedge funds sold billions in Apple shares over a short period, driving the price down. More recently, another fund manager speculated on a stock split, which caused a short rally in the shares. Yet another wants to extract cash from Apple's hoard into his own pocket.

All these moves are both short-sighted and self-serving. Indeed, it seems to the Spy that any plans to sell large dollar values of a stock should be reportable, even as are ones to trade in large percentages. What if a billion in shares is less than a quarter of a percent? Surely transactions that large should be regarded as insider trading, for shares are obviously sensitive to such dumps. It's not every day that someone is ready and able to increase their holdings by several billion dollars.

Speculating on a stock split is like speculating on what new products Apple will release -- utterly futile. Either that, or it's a deliberate attempt to manipulate a stock that is known to be ultra sensitive to any kind of news, even when it is manufactured. 'Course, some people are adept at manufacturing both history and news.

Finally, it seems somewhat galling to the Spy to have an investor come to the plate with a small stake and demand Apple hand over cash just because he or his company owns a few shares. Seems to me there has to be a balance between the best interests of the company and the immediate desires of a few shareholders to acquire cash. From the outside, this looks like a clash between builders and looters.

Let's hope the company directors understand and act on the fact that their fiduciary duty goes far beyond maximizing shareholder value. Their first loyalty is to the health and well-being of the company, not to the Swiss bank accounts of a few already well-heeled and greedy-for-more speculators. That's why current wisdom has it that a board should include some (even a majority) of independent directors, who own no shares, and therefore will not interpret their duty to stakeholders to include only those like themselves. Or, when does such a duty become pure self-interest.

The Spy still believes ATNBT (Almost The Next Big Thing) from Apple could require a lot of capital, either to buy or to build infrastructure. If one of those Things is TV, for instance, both a content vault and a means of distribution could be necessary, and neither would come cheap. A pile of cash will be needed. If it is iWatch, neither is required, just some new wholesale channels to get them into every jewelry store on the continent.

And on the subject of new products, the Spy notes that Apple has already ceased taking orders on the MacPro in Europe due to product standards issues. Perhaps the rollout of the tower's replacement was originally planned for later in the year, but this may need to be accelerated, for Apple owes its developers.

The Spy is more convinced than ever that said replacement will not be a tower, but a system, a collection of components if you will. Given that MacPro towers are no longer displayed in retail stores, this seems a decision long made, awaiting only the depletion of current stock, the completion of OSX 10.9, and/or exit from the research and prototyping lab of the new professionals' gold standard machine--call it, for sake of argument, the iProMac.

Try these specs: Box number one is the CPU (8 or 16 cores, a couple of speed options), no more than twice the size of a MacMini. It has a power cord, two USB3, four Thunderbolt, one or two internal solid state drive positions, possibly two ethernet ports and HDMI, with Firewire and card reader slots clocking in at a very low percentage call. A truly minimalist design (which Apple often does) would have only the Thunderbolt ports, nothing else. It might not be a serviceable unit.

Optional box number two connects by Thunderbolt (or a proprietary electro-mechanical latch) and has up to six slots for PCI cards (maybe comes in two models, only one of which can take full length cards). It will be quickly imitated by third parties, but they will face long delays getting approval to market Thunderbolt devices.

Optional box number three (for which we may need to go third party for lack of interest on Apple's part) also connects by Thunderbolt and has multiple I/O ports, including video, audio, Firewire, USB, eSATA, etc. (though the Spy has little incentive to purchase any more eSATA--to finicky, little or no speed gain, and a reliability loss compared to FW800. Better to use a disk enclosure with its own Thunderbolt port.) Buy your own monitor, and optional box number four--for your raid array.

Trickiest engineering, and perhaps the reason for the delay--getting said boxes to play coolly without fans. You can bet one of iSteve's last will and testament items was to banish the latter going forward. Wouldn't it be nice to program it in the brand new Modula-2 R10? (link below)

Oh, yes, the mainstream media's speculators and Apple watchers have other interests. But frankly, the Spy has no interest in cellphones any more, little in the larger iPads and is happy enough for now with his several-years-old iPodTouch. When it breaks down, he'd like a pocket iPud/Pad/Pod with a five to seven inch screen (when unfolded or unrolled). By that time (three years?), its capabilities may approach those of his PIEA (Personal Intelligence Enhancement Appliance) that he described here, in "The Fourth Civilization", and in his Alternate History SF, starting two decades back. Perhaps by then the Internet and the apps to use it will begin to mimic the Metalibrary he described with the PIEA. If so, it will be Apple that defines both the software and hardware interface. No one else is innovating these days.

--The Northern Spy

Opinions expressed here are entirely the author's own, and no endorsement is implied by any community or organization to which he may be attached. Rick Sutcliffe, (a.k.a. The Northern Spy) is professor of Computing Science and Mathematics at Canada's Trinity Western University. He has been involved as a member or consultant with the boards of several organizations, including in the corporate sector, and participated in industry standards at the national and international level. He is a long time technology author and has written two textbooks and six novels, one named best ePublished SF novel for 2003. His columns have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers (paper and online), and he's a regular speaker at churches, schools, academic meetings, and conferences. He and his wife Joyce have lived in the Aldergrove/Bradner area of BC since 1972.

Want to discuss this and other Northern Spy columns? Surf on over to ArjayBB.com. Participate and you could win free web hosting from the WebNameHost.net subsidiary of Arjay Web Services. Rick Sutcliffe's fiction can be purchased in various eBook formats from Fictionwise, and in dead tree form from Amazon's Booksurge.

URLs for Rick Sutcliffe's Arjay Enterprises:
The Northern Spy Home Page: http://www.TheNorthernSpy.com
opundo : http://opundo.com
Sheaves Christian Resources : http://sheaves.org
WebNameHost : http://www.WebNameHost.net
WebNameSource : http://www.WebNameSource.net
nameman : http://nameman.net
General URLs for Rick Sutcliffe's Books:
Author Site: http://www.arjay.ca
Publisher's Site: http://www.writers-exchange.com/Richard-Sutcliffe.html

URLs for items mentioned in this column
Modula-2 R10--see the link at: http://www.modula-2.com/

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Airfoil 5.1.2 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
Firefox 49.0.1 - Fast, safe Web browser.
Firefox offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals and casual... Read more
Default Folder X 5.0.7 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
Safari Technology Preview 10.1 - The new...
Safari Technology Preview contains the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit and the latest advances in Safari web technologies. And once installed, you will receive notifications of... Read more
Pinegrow Web Designer 2.94 - Mockup and...
Pinegrow Web Designer is desktop app that lets you mockup and design webpages faster with multi-page editing, CSS and LESS styling, and smart components for Bootstrap, Foundation, Angular JS, and... Read more
ExpanDrive 5.4.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.1.3 - Search and ins...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click app installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on... Read more
VOX 2.8.6 - Music player that supports m...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
Espionage 3.6.6 - Simple, state-of-the-a...
Espionage offers state-of-the-art encryption and plausible deniability for your confidential data. Sometimes, encrypting your data isn't enough to protect it. That's why Espionage 3 goes beyond data... Read more
VOX 2.8.6 - Music player that supports m...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more

3 tips for catching the gnarliest waves...
Like a wave breaking on the shore, Tidal Rider swept its way onto the App Store charts this week settling firmly in the top 10. It’s a one-touch high score-chaser in which you pull surfing stunts while dodging seagulls and collecting coins. The... | Read more »
The beginner's guide to destroying...
Age of Heroes: Conquest is 5th Planet Games’ all new turn-based multiplayer RPG, full of fantasy exploration, guild building, and treasure hunting. It’s pretty user-friendly as far as these games go, but when you really get down to it, you’ll find... | Read more »
Infinite Tanks (Games)
Infinite Tanks 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders (FULL)...
Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders (FULL) 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders Your weapon is your knowledge. Your wits will be put to the ultimate... | Read more »
HeadlessD (Games)
HeadlessD 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: HeadlessD is hand-painted dungeon crawler with intuitive touch controls and NO in-app purchases. | Read more »
Leaf for Twitter (Social Networking)
Leaf for Twitter 1.0.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Social Networking Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Banner Saga 2 (Games)
Banner Saga 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The epic award winning story-based role-playing game continues its emotional journey across a breaking world. Lead your Viking... | Read more »
Concrete Jungle (Games)
Concrete Jungle 1.16 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.16 (iTunes) Description: A follow up to the puzzle hit 'MegaCity'! Concrete Jungle is a new take on the city building genre that swaps micro-... | Read more »
5 great apps for the budget traveller
Travelling abroad, or even within your home country, has never been easier thanks to our handy smartphone companions. There are hundreds of apps on the market that promise to make your world journeys hassle-free, but we've selected five of the... | Read more »
Zip—Zap (Games)
Zip—Zap 1.01 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.01 (iTunes) Description: Touch to contract.Release to let go.Bring the clumsy mechanical beings home. · · · over 100 levelsno adsno in-app-purchases Zip—... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

12-inch 32GB WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $50 o...
B&H Photo has 12″ 32GB WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for $50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50 off MSRP -... Read more
Recent price drops on refurbished iPad minis...
Apple recently dropped prices on several Certified Refurbished iPad mini 4s and 2s as well as iPad Air 2s. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 16GB iPad... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available startin...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $928...
Overstock has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $927.99 including free shipping. Their price is $171 off MSRP. Read more
Buying McLaren Would Give Apple Instant Car C...
Apple “iCar” rumors have waxed and waned over the years, piquing interest and speculation as to whether Apple is seriously interested in getting into the automotobile business, either in a joint... Read more
Aetna to Transform Members’ Consumer Health E...
Health care benefits company Aetna, which has an estimated 46.3 million clients, today announced a new initiative to revolutionize members consumer health experience by combining the power of iOS... Read more
USB-IF Announces USB Audio Device Class 3.0 S...
USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the support organization for the advancement and adoption of USB technology, today announced the USB Audio Device Class 3.0 specification to establish USB Audio over... Read more
Clearance 12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks, App...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks available for $1189, or $410 off original MSRP. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free... Read more
Logitech SmartDock and Skype For Business Com...
Logitech has announced Logitech SmartDock, an AV meeting room solution designed in collaboration with Microsoft. Logitech SmartDock works with Skype for Business and qualified devices, including... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $220 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1899.99 $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Raleigh...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
User Support Specialist *Apple* Product Spe...
…Description:Ciber, Inc. is seeking a User Support Specialist - Apple Product Support in Nashville, TN!Responsibilities:Support, implementation, and upgrade of Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
US- *Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple (Un...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.