Ian Hickson, maintainer of the HTML5 specification, argues that the real purpose of DRM is to give content providers leverage over device manufacturers. Although this is true for some applications of DRM, in many cases the purpose is to lock customers to particular devices and services, and to raise barriers to entry against new devices and services. (more…)
The Takeover Panel (which regulated mergers and takeovers inn the UK) has sent me an email telling me that reproducing the list of takeover offers (i.e. a list of company names and dates) would be a breach of copyright, and that they would be unlikely to allow commercial reproduction except though “official news channels”.
This is a company I have not looked at for a very long time. My interest was raised by a post on Expecting Value. The price to book value of 0.5 and reasonable PE (5× pre-exceptional earnings) it looks like a bargain, and sales of assets paying off its debt, but with some worries about low returns and constant downward revaluations of fixed assets. (more…)
Future returns on investments in shares will come less from growth in the underlying businesses and more from income. This means that ratings should be lower, and, in particular, we should expect higher yields. (more…)
The usual argument in favour of legalising insider trading is that it is not actually harmful (or even beneficial) to investors. I think that insider trading is extremely harmful and in-ethical, but it should be legalised anyway. My reasons are the difficulties in enforcing the law, and the probable effects on markets of legalisation. (more…)
The greater fool effect is well established as a key mechanism that allows bubbles to inflate to ludicrous valuations: investors who know prices are too high keep buying. Prices can stay too high in a similar way outside a bubble: not necessarily massively over-valued or in the context of a broader market bubble. (more…)
Investors, and others who try to predict the future, are often fond of thinking in terms of megatrends. Changes in demographics, climate, technology and culture are often discussed. One that I believe to be the most significant of all is rarely mentioned, and I have never seen the implications discussed. It is also hard to accept, because it appears to be disproved by experience. (more…)
As so often, Richard Beddard tweeted something interesting that I had to respond to.
There are two things that strike me about the alliance agreed between Nokia and Microsoft:
- Combining Nokia’s failed smartphone strategy, with Microsoft’s failed smartphone operating system, is not a receipe for success.
- Nokia will now have three smartphone platforms, possibly falling back to two. This continued fragmentation is hardly a great way to get the critical mass then need.
The Huffington Post may not be a bad buy at the price AOL is paying, but that does not mean that AOL is right to buy it. (more…)