Tuesday, May 30, 2006
New Media, Old Media, and de-MSFT-ing Your Life
Profits are increasing far faster for U.S. manufacturers than for U.S. companies as a whole, aided by a wave of consolidation that has wiped out weaker players, unrelenting cost cutting and a revival of pricing power in some sectors...Companies still find it tough to raise prices to consumers, helping curb overall inflation.
But within manufacturing, those that make important materials and intermediate products are raising prices to other producers, often in an effort to offset their own soaring costs. Many have moved some operations overseas, trimming costs... A surge in U.S. exports, dominated by manufactured goods, also is helping... Manufacturers could also face challenges keeping up profit growth amid rising interest rates, predictions of a global economic slowdown and the continued climb in prices for raw materials, particularly energy... Manufacturing profits almost quadrupled since 2001 on a pretax basis to $208 billion last year, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, while profits for all types of companies doubled to $1.2 trillion. Manufacturing profits now exceed the level they reached at the height of the late 1990s economic boom...
Surprise! :) Broadband is a part of everyday life for 84 million residents.
Here's the report from Pew Internet http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/184/report_display.asp
Internet advertising is poised to surpass newspaper advertising in the UK
McKinsey is getting agencies and new media together to develop their sales prospects... ooops..... for the good of the industry, to find a way to monetize new media. Is print at the table?
PC World has an article on the 25 worst PC products of all time http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,125772,pg,8,00.asp
I've had some of them, and I know others who might have had them. Gosh, there were some horrible products in the DOS era. Our first home computer, the IBM PCjr, made the list. I did lots of my doctoral work on it. What I think is funny about it (other than how most of today's PDAs are far more powerful than the PCjr) is that IBM sold over 400,000 of them. Had it come from a startup company, people would have been flocking to its initial public offering. The first Mac portable made the list, and deservedly so. A friend of mine had it, and it should have had wheels. The Mac puck mouse that shipped with the iMac only made the dishonorable mention list. I got carpal tunnel pains just by looking at it. I never understood how Apple could design such superb products but somehow some part of it would always be against natural law.... First on the list? AOL! Their parting shot: "[AOL] has never overcome the stigma of being the online service for people who don't know any better."
Good article on de-Microsofting your life (except for Windows OS; Linux isn't ready yet, and Apple is the best alternative to Windows))
I downloaded the beta of Office 2007, and boy was that awful. It's already off my system. The interface is quite different and is tolerable, and of more value to newbies. Lotus WordPro had more accessible formatting menus ten years ago, and it's been sitting there unimproved for the same number of years (ah, I still miss Lotus Manuscript for DOS; Word did not catch up to Manuscript's features until Word 6.0; Manuscript was abandoned when Lotus bought AmiPro from Samna; AmiPro was a big step back with fewer features than many DOS programs, especially Manuscript). Word 2007 still crashes; I couldn't even get to a blank document without it creating a massive crater. Powerpoint and Excel look okay. I won't be upgrading when it finally is released. I've switched permanently to StarOffice/OpenOffice Writer, I do most of my presentations in Impress, and am working my spreadsheet magic in Calc a little more every day. You can't beat Excel's charting capabilities; I've tried them all and Excel wins hands down. If you're just doing numbers and no pretty pictures, Calc works just fine. SO/OO's ability to save in MS formats has been just excellent.