Archive for 2008

Financial crisis impacts online advertising, media companies

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Online media publishers that cover technology often depend on big-tech advertisers (Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Symantec, etc.). If those companies suffer on Wall Street – which they have – or in product sales due to shrinking consumer or enterprise spending, rightly or wrongly, some marketing and advertising budgets at big-tech companies will have to be scaled back.  While projections have been refactored to account for economic realities, the numbers are still in positive territory.

According to Clickz, “New figures from Wachovia has web ad spending growing by 10 percent in 2008, down from a previous prediction of 15%. Lehman/Barclays have are pegging growth for the year at 16.9% rather than 23.4%.”  Nevertheless, it would be a tad naive to not expect some firms to take a hit.

If history is any indicator at all, impacts will likely be felt in the form of resource reductions at some media companies that rely on advertising supplied by publicly traded firms. But, for the lucky ones, this can also be an incredible opportunity for growth and investment.

I don’t necessarily see it as a glass half full or empty, just a cyclical, scary reality that happens every decade or so. We aren’t yet where we were in mid-2002. Let’s hope we can start to slide to the bottom soon and slowly begin to work our way back up. We need some leadership.

To have this crisis hit right when a lame duck president was throttling down his tenure couldn’t have been worst timing. Then again, the administration really has nothing to lose at this point except their long-held ideologies.

In terms of predictions, I think 2009 very well could be the year already anemic US print newspapers begin to fold at an accelerated rate.

The financial crisis in layman’s terms

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The sub-prime mortgage crisis which has frozen credit markets has evolved into a full blown, once in a hundred years, worldwide financial disaster.

Dow plungesComplicated unregulated “instruments” (mathematical algorithms developed by scientists to try and make any bad loan still make money, which obviously didn’t work) and  “credit default swaps,” which are at the heart of this crisis, could involve nearly $60 trillion.  That’s not a typo.

The credit swaps are insurance-based in everything but name, because if they were called insurance, they would have to be regulated.  So, the mortgage securities were terrible investments sold to people who couldn’t afford them, and the swaps were “insurance” sold and traded to cover them.  What happens when people can’t pay their inflated mortgages that have lost their value?  The banks holding the notes and the places that sell the insurance can’t keep up, thus everything implodes.

Again, the credit swap market is potentially $50-60 trillion deep.  That’s 4 times the size of the U.S. debt.

Will the $700 billion approved by Congress and President Bush last week solve the problem?  From a psychological standpoint, maybe.  For a little while, at least.  But to me (and many others) it sounds like a David and Goliath problem.   A slingshot versus a giant.  And, we are hardly at the beginning of this mess.

Does anyone want to bail out this system?  Of course not, but right now no one (yet) seems to fully comprehend how dangerous a situation we are all in.  Even the people in charge don’t seem to know the specific magnitude.  Let’s just say that it’s bad enough to make a deeply conservative administration want to try and nationalize components of our banking system.  Think about that for a minute.

And if you’re curious how the political candidates’ polls will look later this week, know that 3rd-quarter 401k statements are in the mail and on their way to mailboxes around the U.S.  I don’t know if I even want to open mine to be honest.

These are serious problems that require serious people to try and pick up the pieces.  The effects of this crisis will likely be felt for 5-10 years at a minimum.  This historic time that we’re in today requires  far more important discourse than irrelevant and polarizing character attacks.  We need the smartest and most inspirational adults on the planet to be in charge, and we need people to come together and recognize when certain systems (and/or ideologies) of the past have failed us all.

Incredible Japanese commercial with naked bodies

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Slow down and stop panting. But, do watch this fantastic short clip.

Flip Video Mino Unboxing

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Received June 5, 2008. Sort of a strip tease, really, since you can’t touch it.

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WWDC 08 Rumor: iPhone Shuffle

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

With all of the other rumors making  everyone seem absolutely crazy right now over Apple’s upcoming conference, I’ve got one of my own.

The new Apple iPhone Shuffle.

One Button.  Makes random calls.

That’s right, you heard it here first, folks.