Archive for August, 2013

 

iPhone Nano

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

So apparently September 10 is the day that new iPhones will be announced. And everyone seems to be expecting a new iPhone that is fully capable, the same size as the existing form factor, but maybe with a plastic back that is cheaper to make. This is foolishness. I am sticking with my original prediction for an iPhone nano, and what I’ve been seeing in the marketplace has only confirmed my expectations.

Recently, I’ve been seeing a number of young women carrying old Motorola Star-Tac type phones. Why are they doing this? Because existing phones are too big and unwieldy for them. iPhones have gotten bigger, and Android phones are ridiculous. But also, these women have taken to carrying iPad Minis in their purses. So they don’t feel like they need a full fledged phone on them at all times. They prefer the larger iPad Mini for app related stuff, and the phone they just use for talking and texting.

This combination, of an iPhone Nano, whose features mirror that of the original iPhone plus Siri, and an iPad Mini, tethered to the iPhone Nano, could be VERY attractive for many women. And it could be priced as free with a contract, or at $150 stand alone (with a corresponding price-drop for the existing iPod Nano). That would make the combination of a iPad Mini plus an iPhone Nano still cheaper than a single iPhone 5S purchased without a contract, and for a lot of people the combination is more compelling.

So that’s what I expect to see. Take a look at that iPhone Nano and figure on something maybe slightly thicker but looks an awful lot like it in every other respect. I expect it will be a HUGE hit.

 
 

Detroit!

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Much ink has been spilled over what to do about Detroit. Perhaps my favorite idea I’ve seen thus far is to turn it into a sort of “Free City“, a Hong Kong like libertarian paradise. But I have a different idea, one inspired by the near-death experiences of America’s newspapers, particularly the Boston Globe and more recently, the Washington Post.

I think we should sell Detroit to Canada.

Detroit sits right on the Canadian border, just across the straights from Windsor Ontario. So it’s not difficult to imagine it becoming a part of Canada. You would just have to extend the border westward a bit. The price would be paying off Detroit’s bondholders, which is somewhere around $20 billion, a price which Canada surely ought to be able to finance based on their GDP. Simply sign the treaty, put up a fence in the middle of the night around the border, and declare everybody inside to be Canadians, and just hand over the keys to Canada.

But why adopt this solution? What’s in it for the United States? For Canada?

Well, for the United States the benefits are obvious. America can rid itself of a failed city, full of leftist half-literate “voters”, criminals, collapsing buildings, etc. Selling Detroit would stand as a stark reminder of harsh punishments to be exacted for not maintaining your city properly. Imagine, selling Los Angeles off to Mexico, Seattle to the Japanese, Boston the the British. The precedent set ought to send shivers down the spines of the residents of these cities. It says to them, “You’re not welcome in this country if you can’t manage your own affairs.” And finally, in the specific case of Detroit, offloading that city to Canada would likely turn Michigan red, which helps garner better governance both at the state and at the national level as well.

What about Canada? Well, it would be an opportunity to own a storied city, and the home of North America’s automobile industry. Moreover, Canada, being a different sovereign, would have no obligation to the contractual obligations of the last sovereign. Having paid off the bond-holders, they would be free to dismiss pension obligations and return the city to solvency virtually overnight. With no history of institutionalized racism, they would be immune to the baiting of race mongers. Canada could right the ship in relatively short order, and have a beautiful functioning metropolis in no time at all.

So I don’t see much downside here. Anybody want to call the Canadian embassy and begin negotiations?