Thursday, December 28, 2006

How to: Protest & Complain



Another of my articles from this blog made it onto the front page of WikiHow.

How To Protest and Complain

I suppose it was published for the sake of holiday refunds as it mostly deals with getting satisfaction during a return or complaint of a product or service from a business.

Here is the original article from June 2006:

There's a first time for everything

Saturday, December 23, 2006

iPhone timeline


* Photo courtesy of slashphone


Here is a very detailed blog post with a timeline for all things "iPhone":

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/timeline-apple-iphone-rumors-1999-present

Use it combat any naysayers or anti-Apple posts.

While on the topic of the iPhone, as I was perusing the various Apple related threads at SlashDot ... which most seem to be talking about the "iPhone". Apple haters (read as trolls) are constantly using the recent news that Cisco released a VOIP phone called the iPhone and owns the trademark in the US.

Here is one of my replies to the subject:

Any negotiations over the "iPhone" name with such a large company (like Cisco) that Apple couldn't control all the loose lips would have certainly given away that Apple is indeed producing a cellphone ... therefore ... no negotiations. Has anyone ever considered A) It's only called the "iPhone" as a codename, or B) Cisco/Linksys released an "iPhone" to make the name a lot more valuable. That's what I would've done! Then sell the name for twice as much and divide the extra cash amongst my immediate staff.


Here is a recently released patent from the USPTO:



FIG. 3A shows a generalized device suitable for use as a portable wireless device 305 (non-transfer device) according to one embodiment of the invention. The portable wireless device 305 includes a display 310 used to view text or graphics, and a control panel 320 such as a keypad or touchpad. Additionally, portable wireless device 305 contains one or more of the following (not shown): one or more speakers, a microphone, a headphone jack, a port for connecting with a transfer device (e.g., FireWire.RTM. or USB port), one or more slots to accept flash memory cards (e.g., CompactFlash (CF) or SmartMedia (SM) cards), and one or more antennae or ports used to connect to a local networks, for example, Bluetooth.RTM., infrared (IR), or WiFi (IEEE 802.11). Contained within portable wireless device 305 is system memory (not shown), which may include both volatile and nonvolatile memory and, optionally, a hard drive (not shown).


More on this connection can be found here where a blog commenter also makes a up cool name ... TeliPod

Merry Christmas!

Merry
Christmas

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Donate To The James & Kati Kim Memorial

If you find an extra dollar in your Paypal account this holiday season ... consider donating to the James & Kati Kim memorial.

If you recall, James Kim was stranded and lost while on a trip through Oregon.

I had the pleasure of shaking hands with James at a MacWorld Expo and appreciated his Mac advocacy and reporting while he was on TechTV.

Please see this official website:

http://www.jamesandkati.com/

I hate to have to sound like I am making an insensitive comment here ... but one thing has crossed my mind since this has happened. Why didn't a technology guru have a GPS with him? This tradgedy would have been avoided easily ... since news has come that the Kim family veered off the road onto an ungated logging trail by accident ... apparently due to poor visibility. A voice guided GPS would have alerted Kim as soon as he veered more than 50 feet off of the designated route.

Related:

James Kim found, family rescued

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Brilliant!


* Photo courtesy of slashphone


I just read about this "iPhone" concept for an Apple cellphone and found it to be brilliant ... in fact ... if I was a betting man (which I'm not, but let's say I am for purpose of this post) ... I would say this IS the ACTUAL phone.

The author of this Slashphone blog post indicated that this may be an actual storyboard / ad concept design because of the warning in the right corner. (Click on the pic for more detail) If I were to speculate about the rest of this wording ... I would venture to say it completes like a Mission Impossible assignment - to destroy immediately following the presentation.

I suppose the only argument not supporting this theory is that Apple most likely would have asked for the images to be taken down if they were actual images and the people within this presentation room (which I imagine were a very elite handful) would all be suspect and their job at stake.

However, if you take the time to explore this concept, it is nothing short of genius on Apple's part (if true and I think it is) ... imagine just drawing numbers with your finger on the bottom trackpad, then just spelling out the contacts name. Now imagine how cool it would be to search for a song by the first letter by just forming the letter on the trackpad? Now imagine this as a bluetooth device and being interactive as an input device on a computer as a wireless bluetooth trackpad.

This design and the look matches Kevin Rose's speculation from a few weeks ago. (* Looks like the new Nano, except slightly bigger)

My biggest pet peeve about candy bar telephones is that you push buttons inadvertently ... this concept solves that problem as well. This just appears so very clearly as something Apple engineers thought about.

Out of all the speculation thus far, and from my own personal knowledge of the phone and its existence ... this has been the most plausible and most realistic rumor speculation to come out yet.

* Although the name iPhone is now taken for a communications device ... the name iPhone remains the codename/accepted rumor name for Apple's iPod Cellphone.

Think Secret Doesn't Have Sources? You Don't Say ...



Inner Daemon makes a few interesting observations about recent Think Secret reports:

From Think Secret: December 15, 2006 - As Apple’s entry into the mobile phone market draws nearer each day, Think Secret sources have steadily been gleaning details of the device and its status.

Inner Daemon: Translation: I have been very busy using this:




A few months back (maybe a year) an anonymous “Thinksecret reader” submitted a bogus story and made out like they were a trusted source. This was the rumor about the plasma TV / DVR Mac Mini from Apple … Thinksecret reported all the details as almost assured fact.

The lead writer, Nick Ciarelli, who probably uses Macs, obviously has a vendetta against Apple. I honestly think his site exists for the sole purpose of harming Apple by trying to scoop product releases or in the hopes of being wrong about a great rumor and causing irrational financial analyst speculation or stock rise and crash (when said rumor doesn’t materialize).

This may be true with the “iPhone” … the iPhone rumor is now built into the stock and even the entire 2007 sales figures for it … if it doesn’t pan out … watch Apple’s stock TANK!

Follow up:

Here's why I hate rumors sites

Monday, December 18, 2006

Time Magazine Person Of The Year: Me & You

I truly can say that I am "Person Of The Year" ... a Warner Publication contacted me earlier in the year and said that this was going to be the "Year Of The Blogger" ... they asked for a few of my comments on the topic since my case would essentially seal the rights of bloggers as journalists. Alas my case has been postponed from the courts while we wait on the opposing attorney's appeal of two lower court rulings in my favor. I don't mean to get all grandiose on you ... but my injunction ruling has already been used in 3 cases for reference. MY case may also mean a lot to the future of YouTube and its anonymous, non commercial use of copyrighted material.

* The keyboard (in the picture on the cover) is an Apple keyboard

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Will it Blend: iPod

AWESOME!
I'm a Mac, I'm a PC -- ZUNE REMIX

This inadvertently points out the biggest single problem with the sharing feature of the Zune: who are you going to share your Zune songs with if all your friends have iPods? 80 million iPods are out there, less than 180,000 Zunes have been placed into retail and from what I see only maybe half of those have been sold.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Apple Headquarters flooded

As reported by The Unofficial Apple Weblog:
This morning a major water leak left a foot of water on the floors of an Apple Computer Inc building in Cupertino. According to a Santa Clara County Fire Department dispatcher, "more than 100 gallons of water per minute were pouring into the building from a leak under the first floor." ...


The article is continued:

We here at TUAW are the first to admit that we think Apple goes overboard in worrying about leaks, but it seems like the one this morning wouldn't have been plugged even with copious nondisclosure agreements.


I don't find this funny ... It's one thing to make funny headlines ... another to add insult without any notion of seriousness or poignant satire.

As of late, I have been missing a lot of the drama that I usually cover due to my depression over a legal matter which makes for a lack of interest in posting a lot of stories here any more. I didn't want another headline that I usually comment on slip by.

A new feature story coming soon....

Apple Customers Rejoice As Apple Techs Lose Revenue!


* Photo courtesy of Engadget


As reported by Engadget:

If you've been tempted by Panasonic's new HDC-DX1 AVCHD camcorder seen heading our way, then check this DVD drive from Japan's Logitec (no, not Logitech). The LDR-PMC8U2 is said to be "an industry first" to slot load those 8-cm mini-DVDs used by Panny's 3CCD recorder. It also supports standard format CDs and DVDs with an on-the-go bonus Y-USB cable for drawing power off 2x USB ports when 5V just ain't enough to support the unit's max read/write data rates: 8x DVD±R/+RW, 5x DVD-RAM, 6x DVD-RW, 4x DVD+R DL/-R DL, 24x CD-R/-RW 24, and 8x DVD-ROM and 24x CD-ROM. It also touts Labelflash support for burning custom motifs or images onto compatible media. All in a slim, portable drive measuring just 17.5-mm (0.69-inches) thick. Hitting Japan at the end of December for ¥22,050 or about $188 should they ever come this way.


As an Apple Tech ... I welcome this "innovation" ... I have fished 5 8cm mini CDs (from Sony CD digital cameras) over the last 5 years out of slot drives.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Zunes ... being discounted already???


I noticed this in an email flyer I got last night ...

The Zune ... now $229.99!

Has Apple ever discounted the iPod? *

*for anything more than a retail storewide black Friday sale

I don't think the iPod has ever been discounted at retail because ... gasp ... it hasn't needed a discount to generate interest.

From a quick survey of the various office stores which I frequent for parts and supplies on a weekly basis ... only Office Depot had sold ANY since their debut.
While cruising through Flikr to find the last two pics from the previous post ... I found one of my favorite Holiday images:



I forget who originally showed this to me.
I used to point this kind of thing out all the time here on this blog, but I think these two instances are particularly noteworthy.

Best Buy advertises a lot of "Windows stuff" using pasted over Mac OS laptops with XP screens . . .


Saturday, December 09, 2006

That $100 is more like $970



Slashdot linked to an interesting article this morning:

"The '$100 laptop' Negroponte is hoping to put in the hands of millions of kids in developing nations may actually be more like the '$900 laptop.' From the article, 'Jon Camfield says...once maintenance, training, Internet connectivity, and other factors are taken into account, the actual cost of each laptop rises to more than $970. This, he says, doesn't even take in to account the additional costs associated with theft, loss, or accidental damage. Camfield contends that such an expensive undertaking should at least be field-tested in pilot programs designed to establish the viability of the project before asking countries to invest millions, or perhaps billions, of dollars.'"


I have to give myself the typical "self-backpatting" as many bloggers tend to do and say, I saw this from the very beginning when the One Laptop Per Child program was announced.

This sounds cruel ... but I have always thought:

How many calories does it burn to crank the laptop (to power it) ... how much more food will we have to send in aid to make up the difference?

Another thought:

Even if Negroponte decided (unethically) to skim $1 off of each "$100 laptop" and sold the the proposed 1 million ... you do the math. This has sounded like a scam from this perspective from the beginning, but from a "forced support and training" perspective as well. Volunteer IT workers AREN'T EVEN CONSIDERED for the OLPC program. They are ALL paid! This has had scandal written all over it.
Geek Squad Fraud

Interesting news report on Computer repair fraud.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The "Actual" Transcript From The Upcoming Negotiations Between Apple & Universal Music


While I try to avoid John Gruber's Daring Fireball website as much as possible since his true colors really came out before, during, and after the most recent mid-term elections, and for the simple fact he joined the ranks of Bill Palmer for not sending me my dang T-Shirt ... I have to admit that he's still a great writer - although I still despise (not in a jealous way mind you) that he's the darling of the Mac editorial/blog world right now.

Anyway ... yesterday, Gruber published a feature titled, "A Conjectural Transcript Of The Upcoming Negotiations Between Apple and Universal Music". It was a great read, but since I have a real crystal ball and can actually see into the future ... the ACTUAL negotiations I think will be much shorter ... although I feel the conversation will start in the same way so I will just quote Gruber to start.

[Place & Time] Early 2007. The Executive Boardroom, Universal Music Group Headquarters; Santa Monica, California

A large table dominates the room. Seated on one side is Universal Music CEO Doug Morris and six Universal attorneys, three on each side of Morris. On the other side sits Steve Jobs and one Apple attorney. On the table in front of Morris and each of the Universal attorneys are various neatly stacked folders, contracts, and legal pads. In front of Jobs the table is completely clear; he holds nothing in his hands.

Morris: Steve, it’s great to see you again. I hope your flight was good.

Jobs: It was terrific, thanks.

Morris: Well, let’s get right down to it. I’m sure you heard, together with our friends at Microsoft, we created a really interesting arrangement for their “Zune”. What it is, is that for each hardware unit Microsoft sells, Universal gets a small fee. A nominal fee.

Morris uses his fingers to indicate the quotes.

Jobs: Yes. Very interesting.


Gruber continues by saying that the conversation ends with Jobs telling Doug Morris to stick the Zune up his Wazoo (in more dramatic gross detail as Gruber tends to write).

I say the conversation picks up here:

A brief pause in the conversation ...

Jobs: I heard through the DIGGvine that it was "$1 per Zune sold" ... I agree ... done deal. Apple will pay Universal $1 per iPod sold ... starting in July 2007.

Jobs turns to the Apple counsel and indicates arched shoulders with his hands on each armrest of the chair

Jobs: So that's it guys ... great meeting!

Morris wide eyed

Morris: So that's it ... you ... you agree?

Jobs and Apple counsel leave the room and as he reaches the doorway says,

Jobs: You betcha.

While on the way to the limo waiting just beyond the turnstyle entrance to Universal Headquaters

Jobs: That was great. Lets wait a week or two into August to announce new pricing at the iTunes Music Store.

Apple Counsel: I follow you, I think

Jobs: Since we don't have to pay them on a per song basis any more we should effectively be able to reduce all Universal titles to 49 cents per song

Apple Counsel: I'll draw up the formal agreement Steve

Jobs: Gosh, I hope the other labels want that deal ... we're going to make millions! I feel like we just walked out of PARC!*


* Legend goes that Jobs and Wozniak first discovered the Graphical User Interface and Mouse interaction at Xerox's PARC facility and integrated it into the Mac GUI.

Monday, December 04, 2006

By Spending ... You Are Actually Saving!

Not that any of you would find this interesting, but I thought this was funny. One premise I built this website on was to root out marketing scandals in the Mac World. I have always been intrigued by the "speech of the salesman" ... mostly because I would consider myself a pretty decent one. In my days as being an Apple Sales Rep I was often praised for being top salesman.

Well, anyway ... this past weekend I was flipping through channels and briefly stopped on HSN (The Home Shopping Network). The item up for sale and hyped and hocked for the current 5 minutes was an el cheapo MP3 player. The announcer, a female, was careful not to mention the word "iPod" and very insistent that readers know that the majority of music is in the WMA format and that THIS PLAYER played WMA.



But the best line to come from this sales pitch was this:

"You're actually saving more than you are spending with this gift"


While I know what she was saying, logically that was sales talk to brainwash a buyer into thinking they are actually saving money to buy the item. Fact is ... if you spend ANY MONEY you are not saving money. And the kicker is that this same MP3 player (512MB flash MP3) can be found at 3 of my favorite retail sources for 25% less and some with free shipping which the HSN sale was not offering.

Of course, a common line used on HSN was also used in context with this MP3 player:

"HSN is offering this for the lowest price you can find any where!"

Friday, December 01, 2006

Zap the talker, the crying baby, or the rowdy teen!


Engadget links to a post on TechDirt about Regal Cinemas starting to offer "Tattle tale pagers" to select Regal Crown Club Rewards customers.

The idea is simple ... the pager has 4 buttons:

Button #1: Alerts management to a disturbance
Button #2: Alerts management about a projection problem
Button #3: Alerts management about a temperature problem
Button #4: The "everything else" button

If you recall, I posted this article on movies back in April of this year - a 3 part series on movies and movie theater chains. While I'm sure my article had little to no impact on this decision, I did print the full article out and mail it to Regal Cinemas - since they were the main focus of the problems I have experienced with movie theaters.

See that article here:

Do you like movies, but hate watching them?