Thursday, August 27, 2015

Palm Springs Guru Remembers Red Skelton
Red Skelton enjoyed Palm Springs. He knew that Palm Springs and the greater Palm Springs area is a 365 day-a-year destination; the perfect place to visit, shop, dine, stay, work, play, relax, refresh, and rejuvenate.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Google's 11-Year Dream Run: From IPO to Alphabet

Google's 11-Year Dream Run: From IPO to Alphabet

It's been 11 years since Google Inc. GOOGL offered its stock to the public for the first time in a rather unusual way. The company went public in a modified Dutch auction, managed by Morgan Stanley MS and Credit Suisse CS.
The price? Only $85 per share.
On the very first day of trading, shares jumped 18% and never looked back. (And you can rest assured that its stock price will never reach those levels again, of course, without an aggressive stock split).
Those who invested in the early days have been rewarded generously. According to Fortune, “On a split-adjusted basis, Google’s stock price is up more than 1,500% from its offering price.”
Google’s 11-Year Roller Coaster Ride: A Timeline
From mobile search to Google Glass, Google has done some incredible things over the years. Here’s a look at just a few of the major milestones in its life after the IPO:
Prior to its IPO on Aug 19, 2004, Wall Street was very skeptical about Google. No one ever imagined how it would change the very future of technology and could hardly fathom its earnings potential.
In the first earnings report, Google triumphed. The company reported adjusted earnings of 70 cents per share in the quarter on $503 million in revenues (excluding traffic acquisition costs), beating the Wall Street consensus by 25%. According to the Street, analysts had expected 56 cents a share on $456 million revenues.
In 2005, Google bought Android, a company co-founded by Andy Rubin, and gave away the OS for free to handset makers on the gamble that users would search using Google. The gamble worked and Android now owns almost 85% of the smartphone market, per IDC.
A year later, Google released Finance, Calendar, Translate, Trends, Docs and Sheets. The company purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock, a deal that would “combine one of the largest and fastest-growing online-video entertainment communities with Google's expertise in organizing information and creating new models for advertising on the Internet."
From 2007 to 2009, Google Maps Street View debuted in five U.S. cities; DoubleClick, now its digital marketing arm, was acquired; and its first android phone (G1) was launched. Google Chrome, Google Ventures, Google Chrome OS and DoubleClick Ad exchange followed soon after. During this period, Google Maps Navigation went live.
2010 saw the rollout of Google Fiber and Google Instant; the AdMob buyout; and the fantastic concept of self-driving cars slowly taking the shape of reality.
In 2011, Google announced that the powerful trio of Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin and Larry Page would no longer exist, with CEO Schmidt handing the reins over to Page, and Brin moving to other projects.
NYSEFri, Aug 21, 2015 4:01 PM EDT

By this time, Android app downloads had touched 10 billion, while Google Wallet and Google+ already hit the market.
Google+, intended to be the online search giant’s answer to Twitter TWTR and Facebook FB, was officially launched in Sep 2011. Though the service has over 540 million users (as of Oct 2013, the last time the company released official statistics for it), consumers have never really taken much fancy to it.
Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, its biggest acquisition ever. With this, the company made its way into the handset game apart from strengthening the patent portfolio.
In 2012, Google unveiled Project Glass (which later became Google Glass), marking its official move into wearable technology. Google Glass garnered mix reactions, given its limited sales and high price tag ($1,500), despite a partnership with fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg.
Along with this, Google Drive was launched and Google released Maps for Apple AAPL.
In early 2014, Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, but retained the majority of its patents. This gave merit to the initial theory that the company wanted Motorola Mobility's patents all along.
Google moved into the home space later in 2014, with the Nest buyout in a cash transaction worth $3.2 billion. Nest manufactures Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect, a smart smoke alarm. The company also revealed its intention to enter the "Internet of Things" market.
Next came the glucose-monitoring contact lenses and Google's own self-driving car.
Present- 2015
In a move that both surprised and thrilled Wall Street, Google announced a major corporate restructuring that promises more clarity about its core business.
The exact mechanism it used sounds confusing: the formation of a new holding company called Alphabet whose wholly owned direct subsidiary along with a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Google merges into Google, which is itself a subsidiary of Alphabet. All shares of Google will automatically be concerted to an equal number of Alphabet shares and retain the same rights. Ticker symbols won’t change either.
The complicated structure seems designed to ensure that Page and Brin remain in control of the entire business as always.
What Actually Changed
Google Inc. now comprises the elements of the core business only, i.e. search, ads, YouTube, Android, Chrome and infrastructure. So it’s not surprising that Sundar Pichai, who headed Android, search, Google Drive, Chrome OS, Maps, apps, ads and more (most of the business, in fact, except YouTube) received the title to go with the job. He is the new CEO of Google and Ruth Porat the CFO.
The rest of the business that comprises X Labs (moonshots that led to Glass, self-diving cars, delivery drones, etc), Nest (smart thermostats and related products), Google Fiber (for high speed Internet access), robots, Calico (research on longevity), Life Sciences (contact lenses to test diabetes from tear drops, etc.), Google Capital and Google Ventures (investments in startups) and other things will be overseen by Alphabet management (Page as CEO, Brin as President, Schmidt as Executive Chairman and Porat as CFO).
Looking Ahead
Google has been a huge winner for investors — but not the biggest!
According to analysts at USA TODAY, there are 13 stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500 index that have topped Google since its IPO.
This includes energy drink seller Monster Beverage MNST, biotech company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals REGN and online retailer Priceline PCLN. Apple has also outperformed Google.
However, according to USA TODAY, there are some real numbers behind Google stock's growth. The company's revenues have soared a whopping 2,083% since 2004 to $69.6 billion while net income skyrocketed 3,701% to $15.2 billion.
It's been almost a dream run for the search giant, but the world is moving to several other things.
Facebook has been able to collect much more specific data that interests advertisers. It also happens to own Instagram, which is swiftly catching on with the younger mobile phone users who consider search as a commodity. Google’s social networking plans haven’t gone off well and the company recently announced its decision to strip Google+ of some key elements. Google does have Twitter integration and local searches going on, so all is probably not lost.
Google remains focused on just about everything, or maybe we should say on the future of everything and in that respect, not much has changed. The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock is still proud to call itself unconventional. So no one really knows what the next 11 years will bring!
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The Palm Springs Guru says "Thank you Zacks Equity Research for this interesting and informative article.

You can join people in Palm Springs and the greater Palm Springs area and read the original article at -;_ylt=AwrXgiIcOtpVPgMAKgjQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByNDZ0aWFxBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwM2BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg--

Sunday, August 16, 2015

It is hot in Palm Springs!

Yes, it is hot in Palm Springs and the greater Palm Springs area.
 The Palm Springs Guru loves our weather 365 days of the year.

Visit, shop, dine, stay, work, play, relax, refresh, and rejuvenate in Palm Springs.

You, too, can enjoy Palm Springs and our greater Palm Springs area 365 day a year.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Are You Left-Handed? Celebrate! Today is Left- Handed Day

Surprisingly, since 1976, Aug. 13 has been celebrated as International Left-Handers' Day. The organization that launched this strange (some would say) holiday is called "Left-Handers International," but despite their rather unsubtle name, they may have a point... or two.

Between 10 and 12 percent of all people are born left-handed, scientists say, with a higher prevalence among men. While many areas of the world accept this simple difference, other regions... well, not so much. Surveys of Chinese students, for instance, consistently report less than one percent to be left-handed, leading one team of researchers to suggest it is a bias against left-handedness, at least in part, that reduces actual as well as reported incidence.

Whether we are right-handed, left-handed or show no preference, one thing is clear: We are born that way. Ultrasound recordings indicate that by week 10 of gestation, most fetuses are moving the right arm more than the left and beginning in week 15, most are sucking the right thumb rather than the left. Importantly, as researchers of a 2014 study note, this fetal behavior strongly predicts which hand will be dominant after birth. Given these early signs, is it right to assume hand dominance is genetic?

Causes and Complications

There is some evidence suggesting handedness, as the scientists call it, is an inherited trait from our parents. Still, experts estimate only about a quarter of the variation is due to genetic influences. Interestingly, left-handedness is believed to be linked not to one gene, but a network of genes that contribute to the development of left-right asymmetry in both our bodies and our brains. However, the simple fact that about 23 percent of identical twins are opposite-handed (so-called “mirror twins”) suggests genes alone do not determine our handedness. Though some scientists argue this asymmetry arises in the process of twinning itself — the twins duke it out in the womb? — others say mirror twins prove other factors contribute to hand preference, and there's some fascinating evidence on their side.

For example, a Swedish research team investigated medical records of 6,858 men born at a hospital with ultrasound scanning during antenatal care and 172,537 men born in hospitals without ultrasound scanning. Based on their analysis, the researchers wrote “the risk of left-handedness was higher among those exposed to ultrasound” compared to those who were not and then concluded that prenatal ultrasound must affect the fetal brain.

Another possible determinant of left-handedness may be the weather or at least linked to it. One study discovered “evidence of a surplus of left-handed men born during the period November-January.” While no certain explanation can be given, scientists suggest the link between season and hand preference might be linked to variations in other factors, including prevalence of infectious agents — flu germs, for instance, spread during the winter months.

Possibly because its cause is mysterious, left-handedness has inspired the murkiest of imaginings throughout the centuries.

5 Points of Stigma

During Medieval times, left-handedness was considered to be a sign of the Devil, since this most evil of all demons was believed to be a lefty. Resulting, long-standing stigmas attached to left-handedness focus on, as might be expected, criminality, madness, and inferiority. Sadly, Medical Daily is unable to wipe this slate entirely clean.

For instance, left-handed people are more heavily represented in certain groups most of us would never wish to be a part of, most notably, pedophiles. Past research has associated sexual offending against children with elevated rates of non-right-handedness. Though most left-handed people certainly are not pedophiles, this does mean that not only lefties but also those who lack a dominant hand can be found tucked inside this group at proportionally higher numbers than in the general population.

Looking at patients with mental illness and disorders we see disproportionate numbers of lefties once again. Previous studies have identified increased rates of "atypical handedness" in patients with autism spectrum disorders and also in patients with schizophrenia. One study from earlier this year collected data on handedness, hospitalizations, and severity of mental disorders for 692 children and teens referred for psychiatric evaluation.

“Left-handedness was a phenotypic risk factor for psychiatric disorders and increased severity of psychiatric disorders,” the authors wrote. Specifically, left-handed children have increased odds, by 53 percent, of being prescribed an antipsychotic drug and increased odds, by 86 percent, of being prescribed an anxiolytic drug. Lefties also have a 66 percent greater risk of psychiatric hospitalizations.

According to another team of researchers, incidence of “atypical handedness” in American patients with epilepsy was significantly higher (17.6 percent) than in the general population. Finally, left-handedness links to intellectual disability, as well. One review of multiple studies, which examined data collected from a total of 16,076 people, discovered levels of non-right-handedness to be higher among intellectually disabled people.  Naturally, the left handed claim that, though they swell the ranks of the disabled, they also arrive in increased numbers among the gifted and creative. Unfortunately, the same review did not find this to be the case.

Health and Wealth

Clearly, the weight of these assorted burdens take their toll on the health and also the wealth of left-handers.
On average, left-handed people have shorter lifespans than their right-handed peers, as this study of women along with more general research has demonstrated. Following such grave reports of reduced longevity, a 2014 investigation theorized heart disease may be the underlying reason why. After tests and analysis, the researchers discovered left-handers' heart rate variability was significantly different from that of right-handers, and ultimately such "atypical cerebral organization” could be related to irregular heart function which in turn increased their risk of early death.

Lefties come up short in another way: Their bank accounts also reveal deficits. Research from 2014 indicates left-handed people have 10 to 12 percent lower annual earnings than right-handed people, on average, with greater disproportion in the comparison of right- and left-handed women.

Now, for the Good News…

…or at least the not-so-bad news. Perhaps to compensate for these two ills, lefties are taking to social networking sites in droves. A 2015 online survey which gathered responses from 3,287 participants found those who spent 30 or more hours each week on social media were “significantly more strongly left-handed.”

Left-handed teens are less likely to remember their dreams than their right-handed or mixed-handed peers, a 2014 study of more than 3,500 children and teens proved. (Not sure if this one qualifies as a blessing or a curse.)

Though many believe lefties are the proverbial "quiet loners," a 2013 assessment of 662 young adults in New Zealand proved left-handers and right-handers do not differ on any measure of the Big 5 personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotionality, and openness to experience. Interestingly, the researchers found mixed-handers to be more introverted than either group of dominant handers.

Last but not least, something to most definitely celebrate: A recent study detected an inverse relationship between ambidextrousness or left-handedness and Alzheimer’s disease. This supports prior research suggesting left-handed people, compared to the general population, are underrepresented among those who develop late onset Alzheimer’s disease.

In the end, it appears the left-handed pass through this life with greater suffering. Why not take the day to show some love to the lefties in your life?

Thank you to our friends at for this fine article. The Palm Springs Guru joins other left-handed people in today's celebration.