“I apologize for the the gratuitous poke at you, which was unnecessary. But the fact that ERM is a contractor hired by Keystone is really not at all a controversy. It is horrible, but it is consistent with the law, not just for this impact report, but for any impact report. Informing your readers that this is how NEPA always works would let them focus their EIR comments on the content of the report, rather than on outrage at Keystone paying for ERM's work. We all want comments on this EIR to focus on the substantive reasons to reject the proposal.”
“The science may be bad, but there is nothing illegal or uncommon about having the project proponent (in this case Keystone) hire and pay for the consultant who does the Environmental Impact Report. In fact, this is standard procedure and consistent with the Environmental Policy Act (the law that requires EIRs in the first place). I COMPLETELY agree that this is a crummy way to do business, but it is not surprising - it is standard operating procedure and has been since the law was passed in the early '70s.”
“Just to refocus the outrage a little - environmental impact reports are _almost always_ written by consultants paid for by project proponents. This is the way EIRs have _always_ worked in the United States. I am not defending the practice, but the National Environmental Policy Act explicitly puts the cost of developing EIRs on to project proponents (as it should). We could all imagine a better system (where the costs are born by the proponent but the research is done by an independent consultant selected by EPA), but that is NOT the way the law is written, and it has never been done that way.
So the outrage here can focus on the conclusions, or on what the State Dept. did with the conclusions, but complaining about the role of ERM or the fact that they were paid by Keystone just shows that the authors of this article don't understand how the Environmental Policy Act works. And that doesn't help our side at all.”
hp blogger Brad Johnson on Mar 7, 2013 at 14:53:55
“Have you used the Note to make calls? It's like talking in to a sandwich. And while it has a gorgeous screen and plent of processor power... and a stylus (Palm called and wants it back!) , it doesn't have the one thing that would topple Apple - wide popularity and huge sales. And it never will because it is one of dozens of Samsung phones, each with their own slightly tweaked versions of Android, don't get me wrong, Samsung will do fine, but Apple won't fall because of the Note.”
“Although nobody should be complacent when a stock price gets this high, I'm disappointed with the quality of your analysis. First and most importantly, you offer no evidence (other than vague "it happened to different companies in the past and that's how capitalism works" handwaving) that there are any companies who _are_ actually competing with Apple in terms of quality and price (your off-hand reference to a favorable review of the HTC One X is second-hand anecdote, not data).
The comparison with Nokia is particularly inapt. Nokia did not produce products that disrupted their competitors business models (as Apple did with the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad). Nokia had competitive advantages over its rivals, but never sought or held the tight control of its supply chain that Apple now commands. Tablet makers in particular have not (yet) been able to offer a similar product at a competitive price simply because they cannot MANUFACTURE their products as cheaply as Apple. For much of its supply chain (particularly for flash memory and high-quality screens), Apple is effectively a monopsony - a buyer so large and powerful that they control the market.
None of this means that these advantages will always remain - companies fall, and Apple's stock price will one day return to earth. But when it does, it will do so because it has been genuinely out-competed, and we will be able to SEE IT HAPPENING. Right now, there is no viable competition in sight.”
SwiftJonathan on Apr 4, 2012 at 23:49:49
“"Right now, there is no viable competition in sight."
That's not even close to being true. The Samsung Note is, by far, the superior phablet when compared to an iPhone. Samsung seems to be selling a million of them a month now.
What's worse for Apple, though, is that it may be the device to prove that "larger is better" is the new "cuter is better". And if that's the case, Apple will have to make a decision very quickly about its next products, before they find themselves stranded without a phablet.”