Cisco Brings 3D Holographic Projections To Center Stage

Sometimes it seems as if I have no reason to go meet with people. If I have a question or want to contact someone I just use text; send them an email, text message, instant message or direct twit. If I need to hear or see them I call them at their office, on their cell, skype them or video chat.

While none of these forms of communication reach the emotional level of actually hanging out or having a face to face conversation. I have never believed technology could replace that experience, until now. Guy Kawasaki tipped me off to this video of the guys from Cisco and Musion presenting the most advanced communication platform ever made. When I first saw Cisco's(CSCO) telepresence system, I thought it was pretty gimmikee. I can see how a major corporation with a giant budget might get a couple, but thats about it.

After watching this video showing conversations between holographic projections and real people, I feel communication may never be the same again. If Cisco is right, and within the next 10-20 years everyone has one of these systems in their home, that might just make Cisco one of the best tech investments around. Help me Obe One Kenobi you're my only hope.

Click to see the video

Handheld Hero

I understand that they are trying to leverage the brand and milk guitar hero for all its worth, but is it worth destroying the experience? The reason Guitar Hero took off was because it leveraged the idea of playing an instrument. People who have never played the guitar felt like rockstars and guitar enthusiasts loved it because they were so damn good at the game. This is what happens when the market size and money clouds your vision and becomes more important than the brand. This is a perfect place for an analogy but I can't think of one... can you?

If It's Not Creative, Don't Bother

I have always been a sucker for a good marketing campaign. In this day in age, if you are going to use traditional marketing distribution channels, you better be creative. Here are a couple of great campaigns that I stumbled upon at

Special Thanks To The Gov For My Economic Stimulus Package

Jamba Juice Finally Extends It's Brand, Officially

I have been a big believer in Jamba Juice since back before it was a public company. Not only have I lost a lot of money owning JMBA, but it has been very disappointing. I have been patiently waiting for the new management to do something and finally the day has come.

Today Jamba announced that distribution has launched of the new Nestle/Jamba ready-to-drink beverages in eight western states. Nestle's giant distribution channel is exactly what JMBA needed to get it's products to the masses. Drinks will be available at Target, Safeway, Albertsons, Ralph's, 7-Eleven, Raley's, and Walgreens the very first day the produts launch. The starting lineup includes six drinks, three smoothies & three juices. They include: Strawberries Wild w/Energy Boost, Orange Dream Machine w/Immunity, Banana Berry w/Heart Healthy Boost; and, three Jamba Juicies named Orange Strawberry Banana w/Protein Boost, Mango Orange Peach w/Fiber Boost, Very Berry w/Calcium Boost.

Now the magic touch here with the Jamba drinks are the boosts. I believe the secret ingredient here are the boosts. Anyone familiar with a Jamba Juice smoothie knows how they work and I think boosts will translate to these ready-to-make drinks nicely. I hate to compare, but the energy drink market is HUGE and profitable. Anyone who rode the wave at Hansens(HANS) knows what I'm talking about.

The stock got a nice pop today on the announcement (12%) but I think we might finally see a gradual turnaround of this unloved stock. As investors start seeing the drinks and as announcements come out of distribution expansions we could have the next JSDA on our hands. I am going to pick up some more shares here even though I am way overweight and have lost a lot of money with JMBA. It is just one of those stocks that I have always believed in. The real test will be the drinks. I will come back and update once I have tried one.

UPDATE: Somehow I left out a Starbucks reference. The business model is a lot like theirs. Starbucks's largest growth came when they began licensing out and selling coffee outside their store.

Related Articles:
Jamba Juice Explodes On Record Earnings, And Then Tanks (12 June, 2007)
JMBA- All Time Lows, & Taking Me With It (15 August, 2007)
JMBA- Cutting Back(21 August, 2007)

The End Of Oil, Buy DUG

oil-barrelI have never been big on trading commodities. It seems like the price of them is intertwined with to many other various factors that I have yet to figure out. The one commodity that gets the most press and I hear about the most is the price of oil. As a regular watcher of CNBC it seems that they talk about the price of oil every 5 minutes. From what I have been hearing and from the way people are reacting it is my belief that the price of oil is topping out. The guys on FastMoney have even referred to the chart below as "going parabolic".


Oil has had an unbelievable run this year doubling from $60 a barrel to a new high of roughly $135 last night. I am going to avoid the technical reasons all together and explain my three simple psychological reasons as to why we have had such a huge run up in oil.

1) Bush and his republican buddies are leaving the White House. I can't help but think about Bush's connections as a Texas oil man and all he is doing in the middle east and around the world with regards to oil. It is almost as if this is the last chance Bush and all his oil buddies have to reap the rewards of the high price of oil.

2) The Democrats are going to be pro alternative and renewable energy and from this point forward, oil will play a less important role in transportation. Demand is going to slow and supply/demand will no longer be an excuse for speculators to lean on.

3) This might be the last chance to rally oil for as long as we live. That's right. This might very well be the last run oil ever makes if we are able to convert the world to alternative energies.

With this in mind, the only thing we can do at this point is try and call a top and get short oil. The most likely candidate for doing so is DUG, The ProShares UltraShort Oil & Gas Fund. This ETF shorts roughly 80 various oil and gas companies with half of the fund being made up of companies like ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), and ConocoPhillips (COP). The fund has seen explosive volume in recent days up roughly 400%. I am going to start building a position now, because once oil starts to drop, it is going to be a slippery slope.


Introduce Yourself

Fighting For Furminators

furminatorJust when I thought people are abandoning eBaY for other online shopping sites I was proved wrong. My mom called me this morning and left this voicemail:

"Greg, I need to get this special dog hair brush for Kelsey. It is called THE FURMINATOR and my friend said the best place to get it is on ebay. You are much better at that stuff than I am so can you do it for me?"

So I hop onto ebay, search "furminator" and I was shocked. There were over 650 items (which is what I expected because eBaY is so over crowded) but almost ALL of them had bids. People were fighting for Furminators!

It comes in 3 different sizes: small($23.99), medium($28.99) and large($33.99). Of course my mom said she needs the large one. Every single one is selling and some of them have over 15 bids before the auction is over. Inventing this product is one thing, but whoever is behind the viral marketing campaign is a genius.

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