Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dems Turn their Back on Principles Regarding Iraq

That is according to some strategists:
House Democratic leaders are intent on sidetracking bipartisan attempts
to change course in Iraq at least until fall, officials said Tuesday, rather
than allow nervous Republicans to vote for legislation that lacks a troop
withdrawal deadline.


Several lawmakers and aides said the goal was to deny members of the
GOP rank and file a chance to proclaim their independence from President Bush by voting for a limited measure — after months of backing his policy in an
increasingly unpopular war.

So instead of bringing the Republicans around to their way of thinking and ending the "illegal war of conquest" in Iraq they would rather punish them instead. So they aren't sticking to their guns and getting bipartisan support to end the war they are just delaying things until the fall. Basically, they are selling out the Far Left "get out of Iraq now" crowd in order to keep people from agreeing with them. And they wonder why their approval rating is in the toilet.

Opposition Party Wants Abe Out

Here is some more fallout from the LDP getting trounced in the Upper House elections in Japan over the weekend.
Ichiro Ozawa, the Democrats' leader, made clear the opposition would
make Abe's ouster a rallying cry.


"I do not believe that such action that defies common sense and
rules will receive the understanding of the people," Ozawa said at a party
meeting on nationally televised news.
Not all of the people according to this poll:
But a nationwide telephone survey by Kyodo News was not as clear cut on
whether Abe should resign, with 49.5 percent of the respondents saying Abe
must leave, and 43.7 percent saying he should stay.

Is it just me or does this Ichiro Ozawa character look kind of like Boss Nass

Edwards Wants to Hold up Middle East Weapon sales

According to Edwards it is okay to renege on weapons deals that have already been struck for this reason:
Edwards said the arms deal could backfire by giving Iran an incentive
to build its nuclear strength.


"They have to try to offset the conventional arms deficiencies that
they're faced with," Edwards said. "That's the whole problem with this idea that
you deal with these things in terms of what's helpful at the moment instead of
what needs to be done over the long term."


Yup selling the Saudis weapons will give the Iranians incentives to build the nukes that they are probably already building. So I guess Edwards is going to stiff the Saudis and have them buy those weapons from the Russians/Europeans/Chinese instead? This guy should not be trusted in any foreign policy capacity.

Murdochs Pressure May be Working

It looks like the idiot Bancroft family is going to finally accept an offer that values their company at almost double what it was a few months ago. It isn't a done deal but they would be stupid not to take the money and run.
Members of the Bancroft family had a 5 p.m. deadline Monday to tell
the family's lead trustee how they would vote, but negotiations apparently
continued over other matters in an attempt to persuade holdout votes to sign
on. The Journal reported Tuesday that Dow Jones' board had agreed to set
aside funds to pay the Bancroft family's advisory fees, which could total at
least $30 million.

What a racket. They even get an extra $30 million for "consulting fees" on top of the billions that they might soon be getting. I assume that they will be getting that money simply for taking the time to vote for the offer or not. I wish I could charge a consulting fee every time I got a proxy notice and took the time to vote.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/31/07

+$646.98 +1.42%

Monday, July 30, 2007

Murdoch may Pull His Bid for DJ

I guess he is just tired of waiting for these crazy Bancrofts to make up their minds.
On Monday a News Corp. spokesman said the company was "highly unlikely"
to go ahead with the deal if the level of support among the Bancrofts remained
at just 28 percent of the shareholder vote, which The Wall Street Journal
reported was the level of commitment as of Sunday.

You might see DJ fall off the page as soon as Murdoch steps away from this thing. There does seem to be more puts in play then calls but you never know how this thing will come out. I figure there will be some sell off and then the stock probably will hover higher then the pre-buyout price for a while thinking that this company is worth more then it actually is.

The deal seemed pretty much like Murdoch going after the Wall Street Journal so he can name his new finance network the Wall Street Journal Channel or something like that. Right now there is just too many complications to make that happen with the Bancrofts running things.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/30/07

+$1,518.01 +3.46%

Friday, July 27, 2007

Republican Candidates To Duck the YouTube Debates

It looks like the frontrunners on the Repub side are going to try to dodge the YouTube debates scheduled for Sept. 17:
A story in the Washington Post this morning suggested that “sources familiar” with the Giuliani campaign said that the GOP frontrunner was considering bypassing the debate. A spokesman for Governor Mitt Romney said that the campaign had received 7 debate invitations over an 11 day period in September and had not committed to any of them. Romney himself expressed some good natured skepticism with the YouTube format saying “I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman,” referring to a questioner at the Democratic debates on Monday night who dressed as a snowman to ask about global warming.
That was a snowman made by an American citizen that is asking a question of a person that wants to lead his country. Romneys scoffing opinion of an American that did something creative to get his voice heard is indicative of why Romney will lose this thing strait up if he manages to win the Republican nod.

The Rebulicans are show time and time again that they are simply unwilling to embrace technology and try to use it to its fullest. The Dems know that this "intraweb thing" is very powerful and is a game changer when it comes to trying to become President for here on in. These YouTube debates allow actual Americans to ask questions of their potential leaders in their own voice. They get to do so on a national stage without being put on the spot with all eyes on them like at a Town Hall meeting.

These aren't questions posed by elites, journalists, or big media types. Instead they are written by any regular American that owns a webcam. The only bad part is that the YouTube questioners don't get a followup so they can cut through the political BS that is usually shoveled out by candidates.

If the Republican frontrunners dodge this thing then they are thumbing their nose at Web 2.0. How will this person handle all of the technological change that will occur during the next 4-8 years in office? Will Romney be the next Republican Luddite to stand in the way of Stem Cells, Alternative Energy, or any other type of technological change coming down the pike?

In any case I can't trust a guy like Romney when he is unwilling to listen to an American because he feels that he is "higher level" then that American. Romney should remember that he is at a job interview and the American people are his potential employer. And he better give our snowmen some respect.

Dem Congress Finally Does Something

I guess the criticism is finally getting to them. The Dems are finally passing some bills.
Along with a boost in the minimum wage, which went into effect on
Tuesday, the 9/11 Commission bill would be at the top of the Democratic
majority's achievement list if President Bush signs it into law.


The White House has expressed opposition to several provisions in the
bill, particularly a requirement that within five years all ship containers be
scanned for nuclear devices before they leave foreign ports for the United
States, but it has not issued a veto threat.


The administration has questioned the feasibility of installing
radiation monitoring equipment in more than 600 foreign ports. To soften
opposition, the bill's authors gave the Homeland Security secretary authority to
delay implementation in two-year increments if needed.

I question that feasibility as well. How can they scan the contents of 7.8 million containers per year quickly and easily without slowing down foreign trade? Just screening the exports coming out of China would be a Herculean task. Will the Chinese install these monitoring device and will they screen containers that are going to Australia or Venezuela or some other country as well? Or are they going to keep all the US bound containers in one place or coming out of just one port or something? Also will they bill the US for the installation and maintenance cost of this equipment? How are you going to force foreign 600 ports to do anything at all?

Finally, what keeps the terrorists from shipping the material to Mexico or Canada and simply driving them across the porous border in a truck? I have a feeling that this provision will be delayed for quite a few years after that 5 year deadline. Then it will probably be taken out by another bill.

Clinton and Obama Spar on direct talks to Iran/Cuba

It looks like Senator Clinton has a wedge issue to separate her from Obama.
Clinton considers the first-term senator from Illinois naive for saying
he would be willing to meet leaders of hostile nations like Iran and Cuba, while
Obama thinks Clinton is sticking to the foreign policy status quo of the
much-criticized Bush administration.

This is also the status quo for many Presidents Democrat and Republican through the years. You don't engage the foreign leaders face-to-face without lower level contacts paving the way. The last thing you want is Iran to use a failed meeting for propaganda purposes. I guess sitting down with murderous, thug, dictators and religious radicals and legitimizing them is what the Obama campaign is all about.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/27/07

-$858.00 -1.92%

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Porche Hybrid?

This seems like a good idea to make rich environmentally conscious people choose Porche.
Porsche's Cayenne hybrid is being developed in part with Volkswagen AG
and Audi AG, and when complete is expected to reduce the sport utility vehicle's
fuel consumption by almost one-third.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/26/07

-$2,663.00 -5.61%

Monday, July 23, 2007

YouTube Debate Throws Off Dems

Now this is a weird crossroads of Web 2.0 with the old media of CNN. This was funny when I read this:
To Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois: Are you black enough? "You know, when
I'm catching a cab in Manhattan ... I'm giving my credentials," he
replied.


To Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York: Are you feminine
enough? "I couldn't run as anything other than a woman,"


Her answer drew a challenge from former Sen. John Edwards, who said
he was the best advocate for women on the debate stage. "I have the strongest,
boldest ideas," he said.

I thought the challenge from Edwards was going to be "no Sen. Clinton you are far too manly to be a woman." Or maybe he would reveal that he is indeed a woman trapped in a man's body or that he was much far more feminine then Clinton will ever be. He even has the $400 haircut to prove it.

Of course Obama answered the Iraq question in the typical mealy mouthed Democratic fashion:
Obama took the opportunity to take a slap at his rivals who voted to
give Bush authority to invade Iraq, including Clinton and Edwards. "The time to
ask how we're going to get out of Iraq was before we got in," he said, without
naming Clinton, Edwards and other foes.

No Sen. Obama we ARE IN IT we need to ask those "How are we going to get out of it" questions right now. Trying to ask questions that are 5 years old and rehash this stuff wastes time when we need to decide things right now. It smacks of the Howard Deans famous "I'll tell you what were not going to do" line.

Finally this has to be the all-time stupid question ever:
When was the last time a presidential candidate was forced to promise
to work at minimum wage? That is effectively what seemed to happen when a voter asked whether the candidates would serve four years at $5.85 an hour rather than the president's annual $400,000 salary.

"Sure," replied Clinton.
I'm sure she thought "because I am already rich." Edwards was thinking "I'm taking a big pay cut to take that $400,000 salary, I made that much just chasing 1 ambulance."

"Game-changer" from Corning?

It seems they have figured out a way to make Fiberoptics bend without losing its signal. Their President says it is a "game-changing" breakthrough:
"This is a game-changing technology for telecommunications
applications," said Corning's president, Peter Volanakis. "We have developed an
optical fiber cable that is as rugged as copper cable but with all of the
bandwidth benefits of fiber."

This should be great for all those people who want a fast network in their apartment without having to resort to DSL. This will also be good for those people that have to share their bandwidth with a bunch of people in the other apartments surrounding you. So you don't have to worry about being lag killed when your next door neighbor is on YouTube 24/7 or using Joost to watch High Def TV.

It doesn't look like a gamechanger for the stock since it only rose $0.18 to $26.71 but there is heavy Call buying in the Aug, Nov, and Jan 30 strikes. It could be a good long term play once we see how much of this new super-bendy cable Verizon will be willing to lay and if other telecom providers switch to this stuff as well.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/23/07

+$331.09 +0.66%

Weird Symbol Saved from NYC Building

Now this is a pretty odd symbol that they found on a NYC warehouse built 175 years ago:

There are 7 bricks facing north south at the top and 14 bricks at the bottom. It kind of looks like a Freemason symbol to me. The triangle looks a little like that triangle with the eye in it that you see in some of their iconography. And the bricks going north south kind of look like the plane and measuring device in this picture.




Friday, July 20, 2007

Obama Won't Stay in Iraq to Prevent Genocide

It is another case of the Dems being soft on genocide. However he does have to cleave to the Far Left "don't use troops to stop the killing" wing of the party.
"Well, look, if that's the criteria by which we are making decisions on
the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000
troops in the Congo right now — where millions have been slaughtered as a
consequence of ethnic strife — which we haven't done," Obama said in an
interview with The Associated Press.


"We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which
we haven't done. Those of us who care about Darfur don't think it would be a
good idea," he said.

There is nothing better then deploying 300,000 troops to save the lives of millions. I thought these were the Progressives that want to help people in foreign places not be slaughtered by the millions. The UN is worthless when it comes to genocide so someone needs to step up. We unfortunately are on the short list of countries that would be able to do it. I guess all the FDR and JFK Democrats have retired.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/20/07

-$262.21 -0.52%

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hillary "Reinforces Enemy Propaganda" Says Pentagon

Now this is some pretty strong words from the Pentagon.
A copy of Edelman's response, dated July 16, was obtained Thursday by
The Associated Press.


"Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces
from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its
allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and
Somalia," Edelman wrote.

I'm pretty sure the Pentagon can draw up a withdrawal plan without telegraphing it to the Insurgents like Hillary wants them to do. I think this might cleave to the notion that Hillary doesn't trust the military to do their jobs. And she wants to be Commander and Chief?

Google Misses Estimates by $.03

I guess they were just hiring too fast and the bill came due.
Instead, the company hired more aggressively than even it had planned
to during the beginning of the year, CEO Eric Schmidt told investors during a
conference call.


"We exceeded spending when it came to headcount, and going forward
we will watch this very carefully," Schmidt said. The bulk of the new hires were
sales, marketing, and engineering personnel, the company said.

I wonder if any of this shortfall was due to Ebay pulling their ads off of the Google US sites in for that Google Checkout spat in June?
SAN FRANCISCO (Thomson Financial) - EBay Inc and Google Inc have turned
from ardent partners to nettled adversaries, with the renowned online auction
site yanking it ads from the world's most popular Internet search
engine.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/19/07

+806.00 +1.63%

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dendreon Supporters take out Washington Post Ad

Now this is an interesting development from the Dendreon support camp.
Usually activist shareholders target an actual company for change to
enhance share prices, but a group of shareholders, patients, advocates, and
activists have a made an unusual move. In Sunday's Washington Post, this
group took out an advertisement calling for citizens to contact their
Congressional representatives to urge the FDA to reverse their delay of
Provenge.

This drug is a big deal for these people because Provenge is one of the few drugs that will combat late stage Prostate Cancer. It is a drug that could potentially keep a guy alive for another few months so people are going to be passionate about it.

A few months doesn't seem like much to some people but it is enough to gather your family members together for a nice sendoff. And to these people the FDA is standing in the way waiting by waiting 2 or 3 years for more data. I think I'll e-mail my Congressman like the ad says to do.

Another IPhone Supplier: ST Microelectronics (STM)

This is the company that makes something called the LIS302 accelerometer according to this article. There is nothing like an item that will bring in $2.95 per IPhone sold when the company looks like a real dog according to Sramana Mitra's rundown of the company.
One of the coolest features of the iPhone is the orientation sensor
that detects whether you are holding the phone vertically or horizontally
and automatically changes the display to portrait or landscape. ST Micro is
the supplier for this orientation sensor, also known as the LIS302
accelerometer. Considering the estimated price of $2.95 per unit, the ST
Micro accelerometer accounts for around 1.3% of iPhone’s component
price.



J. Michels Uranium Index 7/17/07

-383.01 -0.77%

Monday, July 16, 2007

IHOP to buy Applebee's

I guess IHOP figures that pancakes goes well with whatever crap that Applebees serves (I have heard that Applebees really sucks.)
Stewart, a former Applebee's International Inc. executive, said once
the deal closes, IHOP Corp. would revive the Applebee's brand and increase its
emphasis on franchises by selling most of the 508 company-owned stores at a rate of 40 per quarter, a process that could take until 2010 to complete. In doing
so, the company would reduce the percentage of company-owned stores to 5 percent from the current 25 percent, a transformation similar to the one she led at IHOP beginning in 2003.

More Theater when Dems pull All-Nighter

Now the Dems are going for even more idiodic theater pieces when it comes to the Iraq.
The rare, round-the-clock session Tuesday night through Wednesday
morning is intended to bait Republicans into an exhaustive debate on the
politically unpopular war, as well as punish GOP members for routinely blocking
anti-war legislation.


"How many sleepless nights have our soldiers and their families
had?" said Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Yup they are pulling an all-nighter simply to "bait" Republicans and "punish them" for blocking anti-war legislation. They can't even give the colleagues enough respect to debate this stuff like regular people. The Dems don't care about the actual debate they just want to pretend like they are doing something substantial. I guess the Hollywood Wing of the Democratic party is in charge now. I think the Repubs should just show up with sleeping bags and dressed in casual clothes and call the Dems bluff.

This is all a big joke anyway because nothing at all is going to get done until we have that September assessment in hand. I swear the Dems have such contempt for the generals in Iraq that they can't even wait until the guy can give is honest opinion on the surge. They just declare that it has failed and they need to pull the troops out. And they want to run the "War on Terror?"

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/16/07

-$955.00 -1.89%

Friday, July 13, 2007

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/13/07

-$1,386.00 -2.68%

McCain's Campaign might be DOA

One bad thing after another might scuttle his chances at becoming the next president.
The campaign raised $25 million in the first half of the year, but blew
through nearly all of it during the same period. By Sunday, the campaign will
report to the Federal Election Commission that it has $2 million cash on hand
but more than $1 million in outstanding debt, according to officials. They say
McCain could end up having as little as a couple hundred thousand dollars to
spend as he tries to revitalize his campaign.

How could they have blown through $23 million and it isn't even the same year that the primaries will be held in? They aren't even close to the meat of the campaign and it looks like they are almost broke. McCain is not the fiscal conservative that I made him out to be. I guess this is what he has been spending most of his money on.
For April, the measurement firm reported John McCain 2008 ran over 11.5
million impressions, but Romney had none. The only other presidential
campaign running ads online in April that were tracked by AdRelevance was
the Hillary Clinton for President Exploratory Committee, which ran just
395,000 impressions.

It is sad when Hillary's people, who seem to be net savvy, are holding their powder on the Internet while McCain is going hog wild. I would be willing to bet even money that he isn't doing anything but spinning his wheels on the Net this early into the campaign.

I think some slick, Internet ad broker sold his campaign managers a bill of goods. He probably said something like "Howard Dean became a Net celebrity and you could be one too if you drop big bucks on the Net." Instead McCain is broke and his campaign is a mess. Oh well lets hope Rudy is doing a better job managing his campaign funds.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Outstanding Slate Article on Pullouts

This should be required reading for all the Cindy Sheehan "let's-pull-them-out-now" crowd.
But one thing is clear, and it can be seen time and again in the
examples above: Leaving a chaotic place with no one to hand the keys to can be
very dangerous. In Vietnam, the result was victory for the North; in
Afghanistan, the emergence of the Taliban regime; in Lebanon, the strengthening
of Hezbollah; in Gaza, the domination of Hamas.


And there's something else we shouldn't forget: When a decision to
withdraw is made, there's hardly ever a chance to turn back. The players on the
ground in Iraq are already watching and adjusting to the possibility of a
pullout. Once the wheels are set in motion, there's rarely a chance for "further
discussion."

Advice to the Dems

Give up going after Bush. His presidency is going down in flames and the American people have already turned against him. He is damaged goods and it looks like they are intent to follow him down the drain. I think the so-called Bush Derangement Syndrome may come back to haunt the Dems if they aren't really careful.

However this looks like as good a time as any for the Dems to look like true statesmen. Instead of wasting all this money and time going after Bush they could be giving us a taste of the so-called "Progressive Agenda." They can bring forth some sort of Health Care Reform that may be radical or game changing as Michael Moore wants in "Sicko." This "socialized" medicine may cost us all a bundle and raise taxes through the roof but at least the Dems will be cleaving to their principals.

The Dems could give us a comprehensive way forward in Iraq that doesn't involve leaving the Iraqis and their so-called "failed government" to their own devices. What is the Democratic plan anyway? Pull every troop out of the combat zone by April of next year and let the country fall to chaos? What is the Democratic plan if things get even worse and there is wholesale slaughter or true civil war with Shiite and Sunni armies marching in the field by May of next year? I think the American people don't see any Democratic plan other then to put this whole mess in Bushes lap and catcall against *any* strategy that anyone else comes up with be they military general or White House staff.

Also what the hell happened to their first 180 days? They didn't get a single thing passed other then to have Bush veto a "cut-and-run bill." Where was the minimum wage hike? That would have at least theoretically helped the poor people that the Dems normally care about. They haven't done a thing to help anyone since they got into power. Are they waiting on winning the White House before they introduce America to the "Progressive way of doing things?" What if they don't win? Are they going to just bash Giuliani all day long and still not get anything done?

Also can't the Dems come up with anything better on energy then to rob Big Oil of their record profits? I thought they were the green party? They can't come up with a comprehensive energy bill that would increase alternative fuel spending by like a $200 billion dollars over 10 years or something like that. They could mandate raising the taxes on coal fired plants by a certain amount while providing tax subsidies to other more "green" forms of power like nuclear or natural gas. The Dems need to provide incentives for Big Oil to change into Big Nuclear, Big Ethanol, or Big Alternative Energy.

In any case the Dems should start thinking for themselves and stop thinking about what they can do to hurt Bush. Bush is knocked out already. They simply need to step over the wreckage of his administration and lead this nation. Stop saying "I'll tell you what I won't do " and say "I'll tell you what we will do ." Or they can just talk to empty chairs and fight border wars with the Vice President over funding. Maybe they are just intent on waiting until next November when this Bush Derangement Disorder that afflicts so many on the Left will finally be cured.

Dems talk to an Empty Chair in Miers Absence


And they are wondering why they are at multiple year lows in approval rating?

Incensed, Democrats held the hearing anyway. Addressing an empty chair
at the witness table with a nameplate reading "Ms. Miers," Sanchez and Conyers
left little doubt that contempt proceedings by the full Judiciary Committee —
and later the full House — would be the next step unless Miers and the
administration change their positions.


"What we've got here is an empty chair. I mean, that is as
contemptuous as anybody can be of the government," said Rep. Steve Cohen,
D-Tenn. "I resent the fact that this lady is not here."

Yes you read this right. These men and women who make $165,200 per year in my tax money were talking to an empty chair. These Dems could have been debating health care reform, human rights in the Muslim World, raising the minimum wage, coming up with a better immigration bill, or coming up with an alternative energy bill that could break the backs of the Oil Sheiks. Instead they are talking to an empty chair. If this isn't the very highest form of political theatre, and a case-in-point of how messed up the Dem Congress is, then I don't know what is.

IPhone Review

Well I finally got my hands on an IPhone at the Apple store in Kahala Mall and I have to say I am very impressed. It kind of lives up to that high-tech, must have, gadget of the century hype that Apple wants to make it out to be.

The Design:
It has that cool chrome-backed look that has the made the IPod famous. The front screen is a nice dark color and there is only one button on the front. I also almost missed the camera because it was so tiny. It is a little pinhole looking thing the upper back part of the phone. The display is nice and bright and the colors are pretty vibrant. The design of the menu is attractive to the eye and is very intuitive.

The Touchscreen:
This was the thing I wanted to check out the most since it would be the make it or break it thing of the phone. Since there was only one button on the phone you will have to use the touchscreen nearly 100% of the time. If it didn't register your touches or didn't respond quickly enough the IPhone would stink IMO.

I was surprised that this was not the case. The Touchscreen was a gem and even typing with my fat fingers was possible. In fact I found it a bit easier to type then the Blackberry for some reason. Everything that I touched came up quickly and without any problems. There was a Stocks option on the main screen and I typed in the stock price for VRSN quickly and easily.

Ease of Use:
This thing is a snap to use and you don't have to make a ton of different button presses to get something like the calculator to come up. It is just one press and you are figuring out the tip. The Motorola KRZR that I have takes 4 presses to get to the calculator and it takes 23 different button pushes (and several minutes of time) to make my stocks come up. The IPhone just needs one push and you can check what your Yahoo portfolio (it seems linked to Yahoo so I'm not sure if you could link it to Etrade or something) is doing. There is even a little chart below the stock (which is a novelty since when you study the chart you want it pretty big.)

The camera came up pretty quickly by again hitting one button in the menu. The pictures that it took were very clear and can be checked easily on the touch screen. The KRZR just shows about 4 grainy photos when you check them out. They are sometimes hard to see clearly until you enlarge them. On IPhone it was very easy to make out all the doofs who took pictures of themselves at the Apple Store.

The map feature (which uses Google maps) came up after only a little wait. I figure it would be a very handy thing to have when you are out walking and looking for some place to eat or something. I didn't use it too much so I can't give a really good rundown of its ease of use.

This was just a preliminary walkthrough so I don't know how easy it would be to add contacts or make phone calls. But if it is as easy as getting the other stuff to work then this device will be a real winner. Too bad it costs so damn much or I would seriously think about switching to AT&T to get my hands on this thing.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/12/07

+$74.00 +0.14%

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

SEC Investigates Dendreon

At least it is an informal probe into the goings on at DNDN.
Dendreon reported multiple insider sales from April to May 9--when the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration ultimately denied the prostate-cancer drug an
immediate approval. For instance, on April 2, Chief Executive
Mitchell
Gold
sold 202,000 shares at $13.46 for a profit of $2.7 million.
Two other directors also unloaded shares during this period.

It looks like the CEO may get accused of selling some shares ahead of the tape. I should have bought even more puts then I already had if I knew this was happening.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/11/07

+866.00 +1.70%

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gap: The Brand for Weird, Emaciated People

I was recently researching some retail short candidates and I came across Gap Inc. corporate webpage. Is it just me does it seem like Gap makes their clothes for emaciated freaks?


The one on the left just took a double take on seeing a person eating ice cream.

It is almost like Gap photoshopped her head to make her look even more weird.


Watch out these women will bite your face off if they even smell carbs!

Chinese Broadband

This is an interesting story on how China is growing their broadband base. This fact pisses me off though:
Chinese broadband users now pay about $8 monthly, roughly 40% lower than in
2003, says BDA.
We end up paying more just because of the monopolies that some of the Telecoms control. If there were 5 different broadband service companies then we would get rates like this as well. Instead we are stuck with DSL from Hawaiian Telcom, Road Runner, and Clearwire. None of them costs $8 a month.

In any case this trend of Chinese Internet adoption should be good for these companies:

China's broadband growth will boost sales and profits for a wide range
of companies trading in the U.S., from Chinese portals Sina.com
(NasdaqGS:
SINA - News) and Sohu.com (NasdaqGS:SOHU - News) and Chinese
search leader Baidu.com (NasdaqGM:
BIDU - News), to U.S. giants Amazon (NasdaqGS:AMZN - News), Yahoo (NasdaqGS:YHOO - News),
eBay (NasdaqGS:
EBAY - News) and Google (NasdaqGS:GOOG - News) as
well as infrastructure firms.

Shares of Sina, Sohu and Baidu have all done well this year. So have Chinese firms focusing on e-commerce, new media and online gaming. They include Global Sources (NasdaqGS:
GSOL - News), Ctrip.com (NasdaqGS:CTRP
-
News), Shanda Interactive (NasdaqGS:SNDA - News) and The9 Ltd. (NasdaqGM:NCTY - News)

I have owned Ctrip.com and made some pretty decent money off of them with both stock appreciation and selling their calls. I have also been checking out The9 for quite a while and they seem like a great company as well. They have some pretty nice call selling opportunities as well.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/10/07

-$1,600.99 -3.05%

Friday, July 06, 2007

Why Does Britian Grow Terrorists and America Doesn't?

This is a very interesting article on why the English Muslim is more likely to become a terrorist while the American Muslim seems less likely.
Bob Ayers , a security and terrorism expert with London's Chatham House
, a foreign-policy research center, thinks that immigrants to the U.S. actually
become Americans, giving the United States a huge advantage in avoiding
homegrown al Qaida terrorists. Europeans encourage immigrants to retain their
native cultures, causing them to be ostracized more readily.


"The Islamic population in the United States is better assimilated
into the general population, whereas here, in Germany , in France , they're very
much on the outside looking in," he said. "When people get disaffected, sadly,
there's not much loyalty to country in that sort of situation."

Yup, that is a big advantage to keeping home grown Al-Quida from spreading. It seems we are much more accepting of foreign religions then Europe. We can relate to people that believe in One God with a Prophet since Americans are much more religious then Europeans. Basically Americans don't belittle their beliefs or try to marginalize Muslims.

In fact the US Muslim has freedoms that many in the Muslim world don't even enjoy. We don't require anyone to wear a Berka or cover their hair unless they want to. We let Muslims worship how they want without putting any restrictions on their conduct or way of life. About the only thing that the US cracks down on is polygamy. If you are a Muslim and aren't radical enough to strap on a bomb belt then the US is the place for you.

We might bother you if you start to pray in a group before going on an airplane in front of people. But that is basically because we are ignorant when it comes to foreign cultures. If Muslims just understand that Americans fear what they don't know and jump to conclusions we can all work things out.

Target and Macy's on the Buyout Block?

It might be because of its extensive real estate portfolio. That was one of the catalysts on the Hilton Hotels buyout earlier this week. They get to use that real estate portfolio as leverage to help in the buyout. Here is what that article says about Macys and Target:
Big retailers Macy's Inc. and Target Corp. -- whose shares
were each up about 5 percent late on Friday -- may be attractive buyout targets
due to the embedded value of their real estate. Such deals would be similar to
the 2005 buyout of Toys 'R' Us, which leveraged off its properties for
financing.

It would be interesting to see how much Target's real estate portfolio is actually worth. It says their property plant and equipment is valued at $21 billion. However it is hard to tell what properties they actually own though. In any case that number could make that $57 billion purchase price go down a little easier for the private equity buyer.

There might be something up though because call volume is almost double put volume from the 62.50 to the 75.00 strikes. It is kind of similar to what was happening before the Hilton Hotels deal. However the Hilton deal had some straddle action though because there were quite a few puts bought as well. Maybe people weren't so sure of the Hilton deals numbers (because they were on vacation or getting ready to go because of that short trading day.)

Some people are also talking insider trading on that Hilton deal as well. Maybe some of the same things are in the air on a potential Taget deal as well.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/6/07

+$93.99 +0.18%

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Italian Tomb Raiders

This is a very interesting story on how Italian Tomb raiding has gone down in recent years. One thing the Italians could do is to employ some of these guys to help their archeology departments:
He soon developed a keen eye for promising sites — sometimes using a
friend's glider to spot them from above, but more often by paying attention to
details on the ground.


"When I dig I often know beforehand what I will find, because I
have learned to read the land," he said. "For example if you see brambles
growing tall and yellowish you know the roots are leaning on buried walls."

But since this guy didn't have a PhD and such (or any formal education at all) he would be iced out of any legitimate archeology work. He instead used his skills to steal stuff out of the sites with a bulldozer.

I wonder if he were given the chance to pursue archeology without having to endure decades of schooling he would have chosen to be a tomb raider like this? He might have been pretty skilled at excavating these sites without having to be tenured, published, credentialed, or any of that other stuff. Too bad his schooling only gave him enough potential to either carry the dirt on a legitimate project or bulldoze for treasure on an illegal one.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/5/07

+$872.02 +1.72%

Apple sold 700,000 IPhones

Now this is good news for all those APPL shareholders.
After speculation earlier in the week that Apple had sold between 400-500,000 iPhones, the actual new sales figures for the iPhone are even wilder than earlier figures: Apple and AT&T moved 700,000 iPhones to the close of business Sunday.

According to MacNN, Apple is said to have sold out of iPhones in 95 of 164
stores and AT&T has nearly depleted its entire stock. The report quotes
American Technology Research predicting that the iPhone would likely be
AT&T’s fastest ever selling product and that the iPhone could rank among the
fastest selling consumer electronics devices of all time.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More IPhone Suppliers

We can add National Semiconductor to this list now.
Infineon Technologies found its way into the iPhone with its digital
baseband, radio-frequency transceiver and power-management technologies, and National Semiconductor Corp. supplies the chip that connects the iPhone's
display to its graphics controller.


ISuppli said the touch-screen, considered to be one of the iPhone's
top selling points, is supplied by Epson, Sharp and Toshiba Matsushita, while
the display module is provided by German company Balda and its Chinese partner, TPK Holdings.

Balda is traded on the XetraDAX and TPK Holdings is 50% owned by Balda. It seems that Balda was pretty much a plastics injection modeling company from what I read. They seem to be branching out into a very technical field using this TPK Holdings expertise. I haven't read too many complaints about the touchscreen yet so this may be an interesting stock as well.

IPhones Fat Profit Margin

I guess only Apple can get away with a 55% profit margin on a tech device.
On Tuesday, iSuppli reported that a teardown analysis of the iPhone
showed its bill of materials and manufacturing costs totaled $265.83. That means
Apple would generate a margin of more than 55 percent for every 8 gigabyte
iPhone it sold for the $599 retail price, iSuppli said in a report.


Eric Pratt, iSuppli's senior director of teardown, said iSuppli is
still fine-tuning its report and it now thinks that the product's margin is over
50 percent, when accounting for factors like royalties and software costs. He
wasn't surprised by the margin, he said, because the company's earlier
research-based modeling called for a basic iPhone cost of $264.85.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/3/07

-$232.99 -0.46%

Monday, July 02, 2007

What Companies make the guts of the IPhone?

This is a great article on taking apart an IPhone to see what is inside of it. However this is the most important part to investors.

The chip on the bottom center that looks blank in our image actually has this text: MARVELL, W8686B13, 702AUUP. This is Marvell's 802.11b/g 18.4mm2 chip.

The chip in the upper right is a Skyworks GSM/Edge Power amplifier (SKY77340)

The silver chip to the left of the Skyworks chip reads CSR 41814 3A06U K715FB. This is a CSR BlueCore4-ROM WLCSP single chip radio and baseband IC for Bluetooth 2+EDR.

The chip covered by the white sticker in the photo has the part numbers 338S0289 and 8G60710 on it. EETimes claims this is an Infineon M1817A11.

The chip with the blue dot on it is rumored to be an Intel Wireless Flash 32 MB chip. Part numbers 1030W0YTQ2, 5716A673, and Z717074A. EE Times adds the part #PF38F1030W0YTQ2.

The chip in the lower right reads 338S 0297 G0719. Some claim this is an Apple-branded chip, but it's purpose is currently unknown.

The chip in the lower left is an Infineon PMB8876 S-Gold 2 multimedia engine. Part numbers: 337S3235, 60708, and EL629058S03.
So the companies we have on this list are Intel, Marvell, Skyworks, Infineon, (CSR isn't traded in the US) and a chip who's purpose is unknown. This may be a Broadcom chip according to this article. But your guess is as good as mine.
UBS' Gauna believes Broadcom's supplying the chips controlling the
device's touch screen, perhaps its most unique feature. As a result,
Broadcom could see up to a 7 percent boost in sales in 2008 should Apple hit
its iPhone sales goal, he estimates.

In any case it seems that Skyworks may be an interesting play judging from how much Call interest has gone into the stock. The Jul 07 alone is trading 10 to 1 Calls to Puts and there seems to be heavy short interest at 13%. Too bad the company is negative in EPS and revenue growth. Maybe that IPhone money pouring in will turn those numbers around. In fact it is already sold out at AT&T stores.
In a sign of strong initial demand, AT&T said it had sold almost
all its phones within hours of the device going on sale at its 1,800 stores. The
company did not say how many units it had sold.

J. Michels Uranium Index 7/2/07

+$1,353.99 +2.74%