Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Semiconductor Canaries: Chirp, Warble… Soon a Croak and Silence?

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In light of earnings reactions in the Semiconductor Equipment sector, it’s time for an update of a theme we have had in play since November, 2017

The canary is no longer chirping in a healthy manner and the economy’s coal mine has a toxic gas leak. While the recent Lam Research (LRCX) earnings report was pretty good and there were positive aspects to that of Applied Materials (AMAT), these highly cyclical companies that have been at the front end of the entire economic cycle that had its beginnings in 2013 are showing signs of wear.

Business is still good but when you are talking about cyclical leaders, it is growth rate that matters. I have read article after article touting strong current business and future drivers that will change the typical Semiconductor cycle as next generation Fabs are needed for ever more dynamic specialty chips for higher-end devices.

Applied Materials Slides After Softer Q3 Forecasts on Weaker Smartphone Demand

“Smartphone sales have been below expectations, particularly for high-end models, and in response, both semiconductor and display suppliers have made adjustments to their capacity planning,” CEO Gary Dickerson told investors on a conference call. “With inventory rebalance that we’re seeing from smartphones, we’re going to see a sequential dip in the Q3. But from our guidance into Q4, you can see that it recovers nicely into Q4.”


Bar Poetry Slam

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Though, in reviewing the incidents of my site development, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. I shall also carry with me the hope that my readers will view them with indulgence and that after thirteen years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as I myself must soon be to the mansions of rest. I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize the sweet enjoyment of partaking, In the midst of my fellow-traders, the benign influence of good comments under a free Slope, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

Kicking Cache and Taking Names

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Now that we’ve cleared our first full week on the new Slope, I wanted to mention a few important technical issues. I have a list of literally dozens of small improvements that will be happening on the new site, but I wanted to talk about three very specific items:

  • The Cache from Hell – A few of you have written me to tell me when you go to the blog page, it isn’t updated. It simply is the same as when you were there last, even though there are new posts, requiring you to clear the cache. Not good!! We’ve made a fix this morning which means this should NOT be the case anymore. For those having trouble, you might want to clear the cache ONE LAST TIME (Ctrl+F5) but that honestly should be all. In my experience, out of 500 people having trouble, ONE person might write me, so please, if you see this happen any more, email me! Thank you.
  • Quicker Comments – I am extremely excited about a fundamental change we’re going to make it comments very soon. I won’t go into it here, but the bottom line is that comments should update (God willing………) virtually INSTANTANEOUSLY as you are using them, so it’s more like a chat session. Believe me, I will make a big stink about this when it happens, which should be soon.
  • The Marquee – That “blog posts marquee” that appears at the top of the home page – – I know it drives people crazy that it’s not apparent what the most recent post it. We’re going to improve it somewhat so that, at a minimum, it has timestamps. Hopefully we’ll change it even more so that it’s uttery apparent how “aged” the posts are.


PLUS-Sized Model

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I’d like to “type out loud” for a bit about the site (notice I don’t say “blog” anymore…….).

Slope is my livelihood. As such, I am continually focused on how to make it better, how to make it more popular, and how to make it – – not to put too fine a point on it – – more profitable.

There are two distinct revenue streams from Slope. One is advertising. The other is premium memberships. Back during the crazy days of 2008, advertising was HUGE. I didn’t even have a premium membership in those days. The ad revenue was breathtaking.

These days, ad revenue is worse than piss-poor. As I was thinking about the new site, I figured I’d really amp up advertising to try to make up for its weakness with (a) more ads and (b) activating the system which screams at you to turn AdBlocker off, or else you aren’t allowed to see anything. (more…)