Up, Up and Up

It’s earnings season on Wall Street and the news is very good:

Amazon- Q1 profit up 29%
Apple- Q1 profit up 36%
Google- Q1 profit up 30%
Broadcom – Q1 profit up 22%

Most of the results are due to non-US strength, but they are very stong results across the board…

Should I stay, or should I go?

This is the eternal question every Londoner (or any urbanite) faces:

You’ve missed the bus- do you walk to the next stop to try to catch it, or do you stay put and wait for the next one to come along?

There is a precise mathematical equation that can be used anytime you’re faced with this dilemma:


The long and short of it is, if you walk to the next bus stop- chances are the bus will pass you by, and you’ll end up waiting even longer…so stay put.

You can read the full proof here, Walk versus Wait:
The Lazy Mathematician Wins
, if that’s your thing.

Quote of the Day- Gordon Brown

Responding to criticism that the UK property market is crashing, Gordon Brown stated:

"We’ve seen house prices rise by about 180% over the last 10 years and
they have risen by about 18% over the last three years, so a 2.5% fall
is something that is containable," Brown said.

A quick check shows that Bear Sterns was up 150% over the last 10 years as at Dec 2007 ($90/share)…

Then, the bottom fell out and the stock is trading down (87%) YTD ($10/share). What destroyed their share value? The credit crunch.

Guess what’s about to crack the UK housing market?

Microsoft invests in Facebook at $15 billion

The Wall Street Journal has a good overview and recap of the negotiation process.

Facebook is reported to have circa $150 million in revenue currently (and are launching their own advertising platform shortly). As a point of reference, Facebook’s revenue is worth 7.1x more on a price/sales basis than Google.

Looking back at the last round of venture funding, Accel participated in the $25 million round at a whopping $500 million pre-money. This was before the site was adding 200,000 users per day. Not a bad paper return given the price they bought in at… Now, how long until Facebook a) implodes or b) goes public?

How to make your customers very unhappy

Radiohead have taken their fate into their own hands– they’ve refused to sell their new album through iTunes (and apparently other online stores as well). I don’t think you can buy physical CDs either.

Normally, I would cheer them on, but…

The problem is, YOU CAN’T DOWNLOAD THE MUSIC. I put their release date in my calendar (I’m a pretty big radiohead fan). Went to the site on the 10th of October. The site was crashed. Went back this weekend. Site not working. (I did manage to read something about the new album, but almost went BLIND trying to read their website.)

Do I go back and try to download the album again? Or should I now boycott Radiohead until they release their music on iTunes where it’s convenient for me?

Steve Jobs had a good point- most people would prefer to pay $9.99 for an album rather than “work for minimum wage” to download an album for free (or even £1). I happily bought Thom Yorke’s Eraser on iTunes. One click an it was on my iPod.

I’ve actually spent more time trying to get the new Radiohead album than its taken to write this rant (which is far, far to long). Maybe someone will be kind enough to download the music, burn it on a CD and give it to me for my birthday.

Migrate from .Mac to Gmail in three steps


It’s almost that time of year again- the annual “Do I keep .mac, or do I leave it” decision. I’ve had a mac email address since the iTools days when it was all free. After years of paying my mac tax, I’ve decided to leave .mac and migrate to my own domain (hosted within my gmail account).


Google lets you manage your own domain effortlessly. I’ve set up a Google Apps account for jasonball.com which lets me manage about 100 emails on the jasonball.com domain.

The key here is I’m reading and managing everything from within one unified inbox at my gmail account (could have been from within the jasonball.com/gmail account, but I already use most Google products through my existing gmail account).

Google have made it dead easy to migrate from any service. For .mac there are three steps:

Step One– Move *all* your messages into your Inbox. This includes your sent messages. Although Google won’t register sent messages in your gmail inbox, nor in your gmail “sent” folder, it does add them to your archive- with the right date AND threading. This makes it easy to import all your inbox and sent messages- making them easily searchable.

Step Two– Go to the Settings>Accounts>Get mail from other accounts. Add .mac (even though it refers to POP accounts). You’ll need to input your username, password and these pop server details: mail.mac.com, port 995, select “use secure connection”, select “archive incoming messages” and you’re off to the races.

I chose to leave the messages on .mac just in case I change my mind over the next five months. Google only loads 200 messages at a time, so it will take a while for all your emails to automagically appear in gmail (but they will and the time stamps will all be correct also.)

Step Three– There is no step three! (well, maybe some cleaning up, select as read/filing/tagging you might want to do, but not required. You might also want to uncheck that “auto renew” button for your .mac account).

Final Thoughts

Why leave .mac? Well, aside from calling it .crap for years…

I don’t use the blogging tools (I use TypePad).
I don’t use the photo albums (I use Flickr Pro).
I don’t use iDisk other than for backup- and a total of 2GB doesn’t get you very far (I now use Mozy, which offers 2GB for free, but pay the $50 per year to back up my entire HD).
I don’t use the iSync bookmarks feature I use Google Browser Sync and Delicious.

.Mac costs me about $150 per year (I have my wife, mom and dad on the service so it costs more than the standard $99). My current set up costs me about $75 net per year (Typepad gets offset with Adsense)- and I get much, much more for my money.

Other small details: .mac’s spam filter is pitiful. I had to buy Spamsieve a while back (excellent software) which meant that I had to read emails in my Mail.app. Google has caught every spam message that .mac missed. Also, the tight integration with calendar is great as well (i.e. there’s an event mentioned in an email and a “add to calendar” appears to the right of the message.

Any questions or problems doing the same, drop me a line: blog at jasonball dot com.

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