A pulse of highly charged particles from the sun collided with the Earth's magnetic field this morning at 1 a.m. ET. The storm -- rated a G5, the highest on the space weather scale -- was expected sometime around noon. Space weather forecasters (we don't make this stuff up) feared the storm would cause power outages, mess with airline communications, and possibly damage satellites, but no major problems were reported.
According to those who track such things, a G5 storm last hit home in 1989. Sounds like more good news for bulls: The 1990s were great for stocks.
On a more serious note, our thoughts are with those battling the wild fires in southern California. Keep safe.
In today's Motley Fool Take:
- Nokia Doubles CDMA
- Quote of Note
- Monster Never Settles
- Shameless Plug: Motley Fool Hidden Gems
- Amazon Searching and Searching
- Discussion Board of the Day: Amazon
- More Fool News
- And Finally...
Nokia Doubles CDMA
In a period where investors are looking for some excitement to kick-start the next bull run, wireless stalwart Nokia
Nokia doubled its share of CDMA handset sales in the global market. Some were unfazed because of the basis -- Nokia only claimed a single-digit share of the market one year ago. But claiming market share of CDMA handsets in the mid-teens is an important milestone for Nokia. Ignoring this statistic due to its dominance in the GSM space may be justified in the short term. But overlooking this event is a long-term blunder because of the small fact that -- oh, by the way -- CDMA is the future of all mobile communications.
Nokia's past performance in CDMA has been far from stellar. One of the first licensees of Qualcomm's
Nokia's setbacks in CDMA stemmed from flaws in CDMA chipsets and software they developed in-house rather than buying from Qualcomm. Due to the delivery of poorly performing CDMA phones in the late 1990s, the two major CDMA operators in the U.S. -- Verizon Wireless
Nokia displaced cellular king Motorola
Quote of Note
"I dream for a living." -- Steven Spielberg
Monster Never Settles
Super Bowl admeister Monster Worldwide
Somewhat perplexingly, Monster Worldwide's job search service actually performs better as a business in good economic times, when there are fewer active job seekers out there. The service, which accounts for most of the company's revenue and operating profit, is paid by the recruiters and corporations that use it. (It's free for job seekers.)
It's free for searchers, and when lots of people are looking for work -- as is the case today -- there's less need for companies to outsource in order to find qualified candidates. (We discussed this a bit more broadly in an article earlier this month that took a look at recent Labor Department data.)
But the doors can't close while Monster Worldwide waits for a prolonged uptick in the economy. Management must earn its keep -- and they're doing pretty well so far this year. Monster Worldwide managed to grow revenues year over year and turn in a net profit, in part by managing costs.
The operating model is leaner since the company spun off its eResourcing and executive search units in March, creating Hudson Highland Group
Investors are sticking with Monster Worldwide, its shares outperforming the S&P 500 by quite a bit these last 12 months. So while the company appears stable and well-managed, investors thinking about a purchase at recent prices -- the shares are down in morning trading, but still appear fully valued based on projected 2004 EPS growth -- should consider whether the share price already reflects an employment environment that doesn't yet exist.
Shameless Plug: Motley Fool Hidden Gems
In his monthly Hidden Gems newsletter, Tom Gardner's mission is to find the best of the best undervalued stocks and get on board before the Wall Street bandwagon leaves the curb. Sign up for a free trial -- what have you got to lose?
Amazon Searching and Searching
Last Wednesday, Amazon
The move may be Amazon's latest maneuver in the battle against Google over search results. Besides expanding its offerings through partnerships -- as, most recently, with The Bombay Company
The latest commentary on the "Search Inside the Book" feature is quite favorable, to put it mildly. Slate's Steven Johnson gushed in his article that the functionality "will probably turn out to be one of those transformative Web moments when a tool suddenly appears and six months later you can't imagine life without it." Wired's Gary Wolf, in his story, called it "an ingenious attempt to illuminate the dark region of books."
My own inside-the-book searching has left me a bit less enthusiastic. I chose to see all 5909 results of my first search -- for "Italian vegetarian cooking" -- and I sorted them by average customer review, as I usually do. The first results were, in this order, a novel called Waiting in Vain, a wonderful book called The Beatles Anthology, another novel, and a book on Fibromyalgia.
Why? Because Amazon's keyword search now searches inside the book by default, and because searching inside the book vastly increases the number of results. Think about it: If my search returns only those books that contain my three search terms in the title, author and keyword fields, there will be far fewer results than if it returns books that contain my terms anywhere. Fewer results, in general, mean greater accuracy.
Amazon's "Search Inside the Book" feature has been praised, as noted, by many a technology commentator. But sometimes such coverage overlooks the Web's most important element: the user. An inside-the-book search is no doubt highly innovative, and may lead to an interesting change in the publishing industry. But is it helpful? For now, ironically, I'll be using Google's Site Search to search for books on Amazon.com.
Discussion Board of the Day: Amazon
What do you think of the "Search Inside the Book" feature? Fools have been discussing it on our Amazon discussion board. And if you're not yet a Fool Community member, test out the boards with a free trial.
More Fool News
- Halliburton "Proud" of Iraq Work
- Pudging Up With Plastic
- Disney's DVD Disappointment
- Maxim Looks Hot
- Fine China
- Keeping It Real
For a list of all our stories from today, see Today's Headlines.
Today on Fool.com, we're Pushing the Netflix Envelope. After that, we ask the age-old question: Will Debt Destroy Us Again? Then we move on to our Ghoulish Trick of the Day: American Airlines parent AMR.
Bob Bobala, Robert Brokamp, Paul Elliott, Mathew Emmert, Jeff Fischer, Jeff Hwang, Tom Jacobs, LouAnn Lofton, Alyce Lomax, Bill Mann, Selena Maranjian, Dave Marino-Nachison, Rex Moore, Rick Munarriz, Reggie Santiago, Dayana Yochim