Monthly Archives: October 2015

Windows 10 — Coming Soon To A TV Near You, If You Live In India

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My 2014 Best Performers, Looking Ahead To 2015

[at Forbes] – Over the last couple of years, Microsoft has streamlined and optimized Windows in an effort to make the OS run on smaller, less powerful devices. Whereas older versions of Windows, in the pre-Windows 7 era, usually required more robust hardware than earlier versions to run well, Windows 10 can run






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Hands On: Lenovo MiiX 3 is better with Windows 10

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My 2014 Best Performers, Looking Ahead To 2015

Lenovo’s third-generation MiiX 3 looks like an ordinary laptop, but it’s really a 10-inch Windows tablet and a keyboard dock. The unusual thing about the design is that – as with the forthcoming Dell XPS 12 – the two parts are never really joined.

One advantage is that there’s no delay in switching between the laptop and tablet modes. The disadvantage is that, with no hinge, the screen sits at a fixed angle. This could be a deal-breaker for some users, but third-party Bluetooth docks such as the Microsoft Universal Keyboard (MUK) suffer from the same problem, and plenty of people use those.

There are other reasons why I bought a MiiX 3 to replace the tablet/MUK combo I had been using for reading and writing on public transport and around the house….

First, the MiiX 3 has an IdeaPad-style Accutype keyboard, which is much more comfortable for touch-typing than Microsoft’s MUK. In fact, it’s better than most other 10-inch laptops, including the Asus Transformer T100 and the HP Stream 11.

Like Microsoft’s Surface PCs, the MiiX 3 has electrical contacts and uses magnets to attach the screen to the keyboard. They are not as strong, but you can still lift the whole system by the screen without the keyboard falling on the floor.

Second, the MiiX 3 has a good 1920 x 1200-pixel IPS screen. (An earlier version had a 1200 x 800 screen.) It’s not the brightest screen, but colour and contrast are both excellent for this class of machine. It only has five touch-points but it doesn’t actually need more.

Third, it has a 2GB of main memory, where many 8-inch and 10-inch tablets have only 1GB. (It still runs 32-bit Windows on a 64-bit processor, but you can’t have everything.)

Fourth, as you’d expect from a 10-inch convertible, the MiiX 3 is fairly small and light. The tablet part is 9.3mm thick and weighs 582g, while the keyboard dock adds 473g for a grand total of 1,055g (1.1kg) or 2.3 pounds.

Fifth, it was very cheap, as part of a special Windows 10 launch offer. The price climbed dramatically until stocks ran out, and discounts may be increasingly had to find.

In other respects, the MiiX 3-1030 Model 80HV has the sort of specification you’d expect: a 1.33GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F (with Intel Burst up to 1.83GHz), 2GB of memory, and 32GB of eMMC Flash storage. The tablet part includes a MicroSD Card slot – needed to expand the storage to 64GB or more – plus a MicroUSB/charging port, MicroHDMI for video, and a combo audio port. The keyboard dock has two full-sized USB 2.0 ports.

The quad-core Atom Z3735F (Silvermont) delivers good performance for the price. It’s faster than the Celeron-branded N28xx Atom chips used in most cheap Windows laptops, though not as good as the Pentium-branded N35xx range. The Z3735F got 5.9 on the Windows Experience Index and scored 202 on the NovaBench benchmark. It’s fine for its intended purposes: web browsing, email, social networking, YouTube videos, and light Microsoft Office tasks. (A one-year Office 365 subscription is included in the price.)

Microsoft has deprecated its Windows Experience Index, but for comparison purposes, the MiiX 3 scored as follows: CPU 5.9; RAM 5.5; Graphics 3.9; Gaming graphics 4.1, and hard disk 7.0. It scored 336 on the Nova Bench benchmark, being let down by the eMMC chip “hard drive”.

For reference, the same 4W Atom Z3735F is also used in the Asus Transformer T100TAF and EeeBook X205A, the Acer Aspire Switch 10, and the Toshiba Satellite Click Mini.

Better with Windows 10

My MiiX 3 arrived with Windows 8.1 but Microsoft soon offered a free upgrade to Windows 10. This installed perfectly, and really improved the machine in at least three ways.

First, the high screen resolution on a 10.1-inch screen meant everything was a bit too small. Windows 8.1 allowed scaling to a maximum of 150%, but with Windows 10, this went up to 175%.

Second, there was no way to control the keyboard dock’s touchpad from Windows 8.1. After Windows 10 was installed, there was a new icon for the Synaptics TouchPad in the systray, which allowed full control. Finally, I could turn off “tap to click”.

Third, Windows 10 includes Cortana, though the MiiX 3 installation said “Cortana Search is disabled by company policy”. Happily, Cortana started working after I installed the English Language pack and downloaded the English UK speech language option.

Summing up

Such a low-powered device isn’t going to be anyone’s first choice PC, or even their first choice laptop. However, it works surprisingly well as a casual tablet, with the advantage that you can add a touch-typing keyboard almost instantly. In other words, it has much the same appeal as an Atom-powered Microsoft Surface, but with a better keyboard and (at least in my case) a much lower price.






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Billionaire Stephen Mandel Is Betting Big on Tech and These Are His Favorite Picks

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My 2014 Best Performers, Looking Ahead To 2015

The broader market sell-off in the third quarter did not leave almost any hedge fund unaffected, with many of those investors extended their losses throughout the entire year amid a sluggish economic growth and low oil prices. Tiger cub Stephen Mandel‘s Lone Pine Capital is no exception, as its funds,  Cypress, Kauri, Cascade and  Tamarack lost between 3% and 4% during the third quarter. However, they still managed to outperform the S&P 500 and the MSCI World Index during this period and they are still in the green in year-to-date terms, according to Lone Pine’s letter to investors for the third quarter. Despite the losses, Lone Pine is still bullish on most of its holdings and projects steady returns for the next several years. In addition to discussing the current environment and projections, Lone Pine also presented the top 20 positions of Lone Cypress and in this article we are going to discuss the top five of them.

Lone Pine Capital 2015 Q2 Investor Letter

Lone Pine is one of over 730 funds that we track as part of our small-cap strategy. By analyzing their 13F filings, we determine the collective sentiment towards these funds have towards different stocks and this allows us to see whether or not they see any long-term value in these companies. However, we focus on their top 15 small-cap ideas, because our research showed that these stocks can provide the highest returns among all picks of the funds we track. In this way, our strategy has returned 102%  since August 2012, and has managed to outperform the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by around 53 percentage points (see more details here).

Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) represents Lone Cypress’ largest holding, which amasses 5.3% of equity as of the end of September. In its 13F for the second quarter, Lone Pine revealed holding 1.19 million shares of Priceline, which represented its second-largest holding in terms of value. The stock trades at a 32.4 times earnings, which is higher than the S&P 500’s average, but is below the industry average and it has a PEG ratio of around 1.1. The funds from our database are collectively bullish on Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), as 71 funds reported stakes equal to nearly 13% of the company as of the end of June. Chase Coleman, another Tiger Cub, is also bullish on Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), with Tiger Global Management disclosing ownership of 727,939 shares as of the end of June.

Follow Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN)

On the second spot is Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), in which Lone Cypress’ holding is equal to 4.2% of its equity. However, Lone Pine did not disclose holding shares of Amazon in its last 13F. Following solid financial results for the third quarter, Amazon’s stock jumped by over 10% and sent the stock’s year-to-date gain to over 100%. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) represents a good bet since the company is not only one of the leaders in the e-commerce space, but it is also making significant progress with its Amazon Web Services segment in the cloud-computing industry. Amazon is trading at a huge 85 times forward earnings, but investors also anticipate a significant growth since it also has a PEG ratio of under 1.0. In the current round of 13F filings, billionaire Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management reported holding some 2.50 million shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Follow Amazon Com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN)

On the following page, we are going to discuss the other three picks of Lone Cypress, namely JD.Com Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:JD), Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).






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‘Halo 6’ Might Have Splitscreen Because Of ‘Halo 5’ Backlash

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My 2014 Best Performers, Looking Ahead To 2015

[at Forbes] – Complain loudly and often enough, and you just might actually accomplish something. This is probably the fourth article I’ve written about Halo 5’s unfortunate lack of splitscreen, and I’m definitely not the only one who has been disappointed by 343’s decision to leave it out. And as it turns out,






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Microsoft Corporation and Intel Corporation Are Spending Big to Get You to Replace Your PC

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My 2014 Best Performers, Looking Ahead To 2015

G
Hewlett-Packard’s Spectre x2. Source: Hewlett-Packard

Consumers just aren’t buying PCs like they used to.

Microsoft‘s (NASDAQ:MSFT) latest operating system, Windows 10, has received overwhelmingly positive reviews and has already been installed on over 110 million devices just three months after its debut. Still, PC shipments continue to tumble. Earlier this month, research firm Gartner reported that shipments of traditional PCs fell 7.7% in the third quarter, continuing an ongoing trend. For most of the last four years, PC shipments have been in decline.

In an effort to reignite demand, Microsoft has teamed up with its partners — including Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Lenovo — on an aggressive marketing campaign.

It does what?
The campaign consists of a series of TV spots highlighting newer features that owners of older machines may not be familiar with. Touch screens, folding hinges, better battery life, solid state drives, and facial recognition are all emphasized, among other offerings. One ad features a gymnastics coach using a folded laptop like a tablet; another shows a man stranded in the ocean typing away (“Up to 18 hour battery life” the ad declares).

There are more than 500 million PCs in use that are at least five years old, according to Intel. Although consumers may still find them adequate, they’re ripe for replacement. If it works, this ad campaign could convince users of these machines to upgrade, triggering a massive refresh cycle and helping PC shipments stabilize, or even return to growth. Analysts are more skeptical — Gartner believes the PC market will eventually rebound but not until 2017.

Mobile devices have taken a toll
These new machines indisputably provide a better computing experience, but many consumers may continue to resist the urge to upgrade. People simply don’t place as much importance on their PCs as they once did.

Earlier this year, eMarketer estimated that adults in the UK would spend an average of nearly 2.5 hours with their mobile devices each day — five times as much as they did in 2011. Crucially, they’d spend more time with their mobile devices than with their desktop or laptop computers.

In a survey conducted last year, CNet found that more of its readers regularly carry tablets than laptops and that smartphones were of the utmost importance. A full 83% of those surveyed said their handset was their single most important gadget. Other surveys have produced similar results. Pew Research found that a growing number of Americans are forgoing other computing devices altogether: A full 7% of Americans are fully smartphone dependent — that is, their smartphone is almost the only way they access the Internet — and 15% of Americans are mostly smartphone dependent.

If you spend most of your computing time with your smartphone or your tablet, and your PC is reserved for increasingly rare uses (if any), it’s not clear that you’d be inclined to upgrade your PC anytime soon — touch screen or not.

Winning without new hardware
Even if PCs sales remain stagnant, PC-related firms can continue to reward shareholders.

Microsoft is currently offering Windows 10 as a free download to owners of PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8. In other words, many of those 500 million 5-year old plus PCs are capable of running it — no upgrade required. It’s clearly taking a toll on Microsoft’s Windows revenue (despite Windows 10’s impressive uptake, Windows OEM revenue slipped 6% last quarter) but benefiting its other business. Last quarter, for the first time, Microsoft’s search engine Bing achieved profitability. Bing is deeply integrated into Windows 10 and is helping to drive increased usage. Subscriptions to Office 365, Microsoft’s Office subscription service, also continue to surge, up three million last quarter.

Intel still depends on the chips used in traditional PCs for much of its business, but it is increasingly diversifying into other segments. Last quarter, its client computing group segment brought in just under 60% of its revenue. However, its data center group, which is centered on its server offerings, brought in almost 29% — up from about 25% in the same quarter last year. 

In the long-run, both companies could struggle if the PC platform continues to slide into irrelevancy. For now, they don’t necessarily need consumers to upgrade — though it’d certainly be a welcome development.

The next billion-dollar iSecret
The world’s biggest tech company forgot to show you something at its recent event, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn’t miss a beat: There’s a small company that’s powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors! To be one of them, just click here.

Sam Mattera has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Gartner and Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.






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This simple goal will change your child's life forever

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Year-To-Date Winners: We Have Found The Market And It's Apple

APPLE – THE BEST OPPORTUNITY EVER?

I SEE APPLE GOING BACK ABOVE $300, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

Given a choice, which of the following would you prefer?

a) A penny that doubles every day for 30 days.

b) $1,000,000

Most people would likely choose $1,000,000. The penny that doubles every day for thirty days, however, would result in more than ten times that amount — or $10.7 million to be exact. This simple question is a perfect, if somewhat extreme, illustration of the power of compounding.

We can do better
The principle of compounding is central to growing wealth over the long term. Alas, this subject is rarely taught effectively to American students. Perhaps it’s no surprise that many of them, later in their lives, will struggle with debt and an inability to save.

Too much of our schools’ curriculums are dedicated to abstract topics that are infinitely less useful than compounding and the notion of opportunity cost. The latter term, defined simply, is what one would give up by choosing an alternative option.

The weaknesses of our current system became abundantly clear to me when I saw my eighth grade son doing his algebra homework last year. Algebra is actually a very difficult subject for students to grasp, yet for some reason we place it at the beginning of the sequence of math courses. Unfortunately, the complexity of Algebra often dissuades students from taking additional math classes later in their course work. And those later courses — like statistics and basic finance — are often a lot more practical for the future.

Far too often, students won’t even be exposed to the principles of compounding and opportunity cost until they go to college. And even then, they don’t actually learn them very well. I bet many adults would struggle to clearly explain these powerful concepts.

A way forward
I believe strongly that education should be about applying knowledge toward achieving a specific objective. In this case, these two concepts could help each of us achieve financial independence. Below, I’ll show you precisely how that might be accomplished for young people.

Here’s a possible objective that all students might strive to achieve. What if we asked every child to try and save $100,000? Sure, it sounds crazy, but I think we might also agree that it’spossible.

Our children should always have bold, audacious goals. And far too many adults, I might add, haven’t saved anything close to $100,000. Why not get our kids started early? Remember, anything they end up saving would still be better than nothing.

Obviously, it won’t be easy for them to save $100,000. But the earlier one starts saving, the more attainable the goal will become. And once you reach six figures, the magical $1,000,000 mark isn’t all that far to go. Whether or not Einstein actually said that “compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world,” there’s still an extremely valuable insight from that statement. Those who understand compounding are destined to collect interest over the course of their lives. Those who do not understand it will be paying it, sadly.

One of the biggest downfalls for people trying to save is that they don’t fully understand the opportunity costs associated with spending today versus investing for tomorrow. It’s understandable, of course. What kid doesn’t want a new pair of Kevin Durant sneakers? Or what about those Venti Frappuccinos several times a week? As the comedian Gary Gulman has observed, “it only adds up if you add it up!”

Somehow, we’ve created generations of people who have been encouraged to ring up debt and pay compound interest instead of collecting it. We choose to finance depreciating assets like automobiles in order to make them seem more affordable. We ring up unsustainable debt for high-priced degrees from institutions that seem more like country clubs than rigorous institutions of higher learning. Is it any wonder that student debt is now a $1 trillion problem in America?

You begin this way
We must do better. That’s why encouraging young people to try and save $100,000 is such a worthy goal. In order to hit the target, they’ll need to ask difficult questions. Do I want to spend my money on fast food and the latest gadgets? Would a public college make more sense than a private one? How can I invest my savings to make it grow more quickly?

Here’s one invaluable lesson they’ll learn from this endeavor. If you spend $1,600 this year — assuming you could earn 9% per year on an investment — it’s costing you $50,000 forty years from now. A penny spent today is worth a ton of lost pennies later, as I’m sure someone famous has said previously.

So why not take up my challenge and encourage a young person (or two) to try and save $100,000. Help them set up a plan to achieve that audacious goal. The very act of trying will change the way they think about everything relating to personal finances. And let’s say they try, but miss the target by half. Saving $50,000 is still a lot more than millions of Americans have managed to save over the course of their lifetimes.

The next billion-dollar iSecret
The world’s biggest tech company forgot to show you something at its recent event, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn’t miss a beat: There’s a small company that’s powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors! To be one of them, just click here.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

SPONSOR CONTENT: Forget the iPhone 6. Next Apple Sensation Leaked

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The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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Slow Down Your Smartphone For The Real App Experience

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Year-To-Date Winners: We Have Found The Market And It's Apple

APPLE – THE BEST OPPORTUNITY EVER?

I SEE APPLE GOING BACK ABOVE $300, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

[at Forbes] – Reading the news that Facebook is not only going to push a number of employees to live on a slow internet connection (in the jauntily-titled 2G Tuesday) but also switching them to using Android handsets instead of iPhones, part of me wonders why the team isn’t already doing this.






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Apple Inc.'s AI Challenge

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Year-To-Date Winners: We Have Found The Market And It's Apple

APPLE – THE BEST OPPORTUNITY EVER?

I SEE APPLE GOING BACK ABOVE $300, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced Siri in 2011, and at the time the feature was groundbreaking. But since then, competing AI-based digital assistants have cropped up and surpassed Siri’s capabilities. CEO Tim Cook’s focus on privacy has made staying ahead of the competition impossible, but the company has a renewed focus on developing more powerful AI algorithms.

Check out the following slideshow to learn about the unique challenge Apple engineers face and how management is helping the company improve its AI while keeping user data private.

The next billion-dollar iSecret
The world’s biggest tech company forgot to show you something at its recent event, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn’t miss a beat: There’s a small company that’s powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors! To be one of them, just click here.

Apple’s AI Challenge from The Motley Fool

Adam Levy owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Apple’s Gross Margins Helped By Lower Warranty Accruals

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Year-To-Date Winners: We Have Found The Market And It's Apple

APPLE – THE BEST OPPORTUNITY EVER?

I SEE APPLE GOING BACK ABOVE $300, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER






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MEDIA LINK-U.S. Tech Giants May Blur National Security Boundaries in China Deals – NYT

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My 2014 Best Performers, Looking Ahead To 2015

Oct 31 (Reuters) – Source link-http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/31/technology/us-tech-giants-may-blur-national-security-boundaries-in-china-deals.html

Note: Reuters has not verified this story and does not vouch for its accuracy (Reporting by Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)






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