Aug 252012
 

Big win for Apple yesterday as a jury group ruled that Samsung has infringed on Apple’s patents and should pay Apple over a billion dollars for copying the technologies in iPads and iPhones. For consumers this probably doesn’t change anything in the immediate future. Samsung said they will try to appeal, so this case is just beginning and can last for years before we see a final outcome. Lawyers from both sides will have their works cut out for them.

Apple and Samsung have been fighting legal battles not just in the US, but all over the world where smart phones and tablets are sold. It raises an interesting question about how far you can patent something. For example Apple has a utility patent ‘163 which lets users zooms in on an item of interest by tapping on the screen. At what point should a function be standardized? I’ve heard that in the past Apple has been sued for violating a double click patent.  Maybe some things are better left open source, so others can improve upon it to foster innovation. But on the other hand, if you have a great idea and get it to market, shouldn’t you be entitled to a period of time to profit from it before everyone else can use it? What’s the point of spending time and money on research and development if you can’t protect it?

Jan 242012
 

I went to the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference over the weekend. It was organized by Cambridge House. It was a conference for businesses and investors to come together and discuss all things related to energy, metals, and other resources. Over 500 companies set up booths, and thousands of investors like myself showed up to the exhibit hall. There were guest speakers, workshops, lots of press/media, and tons of company swag.

I learned about how gold is mined. Touched bits of precious metals embedded inside rock samples. Learned how to better swing trade from the experts. Got an industry perspective on the resource boom. Learned about the business of natural gas, uranium, silver, and other types of resources. How to buy and store gold/silver properly. How to identify opportunities in Canadian stocks using fundamental and technical analysis. Got a crash course on the Keynesian multiplier, the free market, and Austrian macroeconomics. The entire experience has been a blast. Best of all, the whole event was sponsored, so it was free to the public. I was lucky to find out about this event through my bank just in time. Next time there’s a conference in Vancouver I’ll post a reminder for you guys. I think anyone who considers themselves an investor should go.

Here are some key points I took away from the event:
I’ll write about some of these topics in detail in future posts.

-Most traders lose money because they don’t take the time to learn.That is to say, learn about themselves! The biggest risk to investors is not the market or the economy but the investor himself. People let emotions take over and usually sell at the wrong time. Human behavior is the biggest factor when determining one’s success. Know yourself first.
-Geologists are in high demand for mining companies.
– Use falling tops and rising bottoms from a Japanese candle chart to help decide when to enter into a stock.
-tradescores.com is a useful website to practice your stock trading strategy by using it’s market simulator before actually putting real money at risk. It’s free. Good for people who want to learn about the stock market and try trading, but are not yet ready to open up a brokerage account.
Don’t buy stocks. Buy companies. Consider their infrastructure, politics, risks, and consistency.
-Most of the world’s Uranium production growth will come from Kazakhstan, (Borat’s home) And half of the world’s demand is expected to come from China.
-Demand in economic terms is not what people want, it’s the amount of money to buy what people want.

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On a side note. I’ll be making some changes to my blog over the next couple of weeks. It’s getting a small face lift and getting to a new host/registrar. If you come by and the site looks different, you’ll know why. During that time my blog could be down, un-readable, or unorganized, so just a heads up.

Jan 122012
 

The provincial government is giving us the opportunity to balance its budget. This is normally the responsibility of the finance minister but now we can voice our opinions as well.
What a great idea. Unfortunately what I really want to see are the live results of everyone’s inputs because it’s not like they don’t have that data already. Maybe they’ll post it up later with the final numbers but I doubt it. Governments are not known to be transparent.

Even if you don’t submit your ideas you can learn how we’re being taxed, and where those tax dollars are being used on. I’m surprised how much of the pie health and education take up. Health supports the old, and education supports the young, no wonder the working age people are getting taxed so much. Perhaps we should look at alternatives to health and education in Canada. Right now it seems like the waiting list for just about anything is too long. Other developed nations like Switzerland for example, has a 2 tiered health care program so people can either wait for a long time to have an operation, or pay money for quicker treatment. I work at a post-secondary private school. Our students have higher rates of employment than traditional universities, despite students paying the same amount of tuition to graduate. More solutions like these will take the stress off our public system and boost the economy by creating supply where there is actually demand. But what’s good for the economy doesn’t necessarily benefit everyone. I doubt current health and education workers want to lose their jobs. I hope we can find a happy medium to balance the books. In the meantime, save, invest, and continue to take control of your own money.