Friday, August 31, 2007

Open Letter to Universal from iLounge Writer Jeremy Horowitz

Open Letter to Universal from iLounge Writer Jeremy Horowitz

Well put and I would ask that ANY Fix Your Thinking readers join in on the potential revolt/protest mentioned at the end of this well written piece.

* credit DARING FIREBALL for the link

Get It Quick, But Don't Buy It Just Yet



Ambrosia Software just released an iPhone ring tone transfer program that requires NO hacks and does not alter or "trick" the iPhone in any way.

DO NOT BUY this program until after Apple finishes with it's special event next week (Sept 5 2007) ... where I think they will actually release this as a new iTunes feature.

I've tried it out and it works great!

I really like the Matrix Theme for a ring tone and I like a certain hip hop song for my best friend's ringtone.

Get iToner here


I'd move quick to download this if you have an iPhone because there's also the possibility that Apple will send Ambrosia Software a cease & desist.

Another Great Universal Business Decision ...

As reported on Slashdot:

"NBC Universal has cancelled its iTunes contract and will withdraw the television shows it currently offers through the service in December, when the current contract expires. This is a huge blow for the service, as NBC is the controlling interest in Apple customer-friendly intellectual properties like The Office, Battlestar Galactica, My Name is Earl and Heroes. From the article: 'The decision to withdraw the content follows disagreements between the two firms. Apple is thought to have rejected NBC's demands for more restrictive DRM and the introduction of flexible pricing. Apple was informed of NBC Universal's decision late last night. The report states that neither Apple nor NBC Universal would comment on the matter, but said they continue to talk, "free of acrimony".'"


This comment was added to the piece:

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

Meaning ... people will start finding it on bit torrent or other FREE peer to peer services. I, for one, was interested in Bionic Woman, but will now just skip watching it unless Universal decides to start playing nice with Apple. It's really not an issue for me that Universal doesn't seem to like Apple ... it's that other services don't support Macs very well - that's why I like iTunes ... I know that Apple is out to support Macs FIRST!

[UPDATE] Official Apple Statement and Early withdrawal from Universal Contract

Summarized:

Apple's agreement with NBC ends in December. Since NBC would withdraw their shows in the middle of the television season, Apple has decided to not offer NBC TV shows for the upcoming television season beginning in September.

[UPDATE] NBC says Apple is the reason for the problem

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Man sued by Viacom for violating his own copyright

As reported by SlashDot:

Chris Knight writes:

"I ran for school board where I live this past fall and created some TV commercials including one with a 'Star Wars' theme. A few months ago VH1 grabbed the commercial from YouTube and featured it in a segment of its show 'Web Junk 2.0.' Neither VH1 or its parent company Viacom told me they were doing this or asked my permission to use it, but I didn't mind it if they did. I thought that Aries Spears's commentary about it was pretty hilarious, so I posted a clip of VH1's segment on YouTube so that I could put it on my blog. I just got an e-mail from YouTube saying that the video has been pulled because Viacom is claiming that I'm violating its copyright. Viacom used my video without permission on their commercial television show, and now says that I am infringing on their copyright for showing the clip of the work that Viacom made in violation of my own copyright!"


Fair use?

What a Difference An Ocean Makes

I noticed something interesting while reviewing movies for another movie revenue installment that I'll be posting soon ...

Here's the domestic and foreign revenue for the wide release of the movie Knocked Up:



Domestic: $147,802,215 85.3%
+ Foreign: $25,536,260 14.7%
_________________________
= Worldwide: $173,338,475

Cost to produce: $30 million

* Knocked Up is rated R

And here's the domestic and foreign revenue for the wide release of the movie Mr. Bean's Holiday

Domestic: $11,637,800 5.8%
+ Foreign: $189,252,292 94.2%
_________________________
= Worldwide: $200,890,092

Cost to produce: estimated $22 million

* Mr. Bean's Holiday is rated G

Ironically both are released by Universal Pictures who despite the totals of these two films has had a surprising box office disaster with Evan Almighty



Domestic: $99,004,205 70.9%
+ Foreign: $40,700,375 29.1%
_________________________
= Worldwide: $139,704,580

Cost to produce: $175 million

* Evan Almighty is rated PG-13 (but is essentially G in content)

Cliche statement: Look how all those profits got washed away. Evan Almighty would have to make $350 million just to break even ... something it may not even be able to do until 5 or 6 years into home video release.

* Source for revenue data and pictures is BOXOFFICEMOJO.COM

* Movie distributors such as Universal see roughly 50% of box office revenue


I personally think Knocked Up is the best comedy I've seen since Wedding Crashers and Evan Almighty is one of the best family films to come out in a looooooong time. I don't even care to see Mr. Bean's Holiday.

[UPDATE] I got an interesting response to this post from someone I know that asked not be published by name, but that I might want to point out:

The movie, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; a comedy about two guys that decide to fake a gay marriage cost $85 million to produce ... here are it's numbers:

Domestic: $114,649,735 94.0%
+ Foreign: $7,355,755 6.0%
_________________________
= Worldwide: $122,005,490

* I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is rated PG-13

This movie was also released by Universal ... it would have to make $170 million to break even ... something it won't do for several years after it's home video release.

I didn't go see this movie because it didn't look in the least bit appealing to me.

That was my point but the inclusion of I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry helped my point a bit.

Universal was stupid to greenlight that much on the production of either I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry or Evan Almighty. The business decisions at Universal are horrible.

* Jeff Gaspin is CEO Of Universal.

Catch Up On Some Headlines

If you've been reading this site you know most of this already ... but BusinessWeek has a good perspective about iPhone hacks ...

  • Iris 0.5.8b
    (Nifty iSight camera enhancements)

  • BusinessWeek: Why Apple Can't Stop iPhone Hackers
    Opposite opinion of my piece from Tuesday

  • iPhone Lawsuit Calls for Unblocking Services
    You don't HAVE TO activate it on AT&T, you can use it carrier-less

  • $100,000 Bounty for iPhone Unlock to release for free
    LOTS of spelling errors on page raise doubts about validity

    FYI: The NJ teen that hardware unlocked the iPhone updated his blog to note he traded his unlocked iPhone for a Nissan 350Z and three 8GB iPhones


  • Unlocking the iPhone could invite DMCA suit
    Nothing new here ... just pointing to it because I said it first

  • New Casio Cameras Sport YouTube Capture Mode
    Can anyone say, iPhone software update?

    ...
  • USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs





    EXCLUSIVE USB To Ethernet Adapter

    Save a costly motherboard repair for your Apple All In One iMac, eMac, Mac Mini, or your iBook & Powerbook, MacBook or MacBook Pro

    I personally use this adapter on my MacBook so I don't have to plug in my ethernet cable ... I just use a USB hub with two of these adapters so one can be hooked to the internet and one cable can be hooked to a network printer. I don't have to worry about IP addresses or the constant plugging and unplugging ruining my laptop's broadband connection. The USB also stands an intermediary for surges from the network as well.

    I am the only one to offer this adapter for OS 9 (Classic) * PLEASE email me for details

    This is for your surged ethernet/broadband port on your Apple computer

    USB 2.0 ... backwards compatible with USB 1.1

    Another great use is for network printers and NAS storage - have this plugged into a free USB port while accessing your network or broadband connection on your Ethernet port.

    Your ethernet port does not have to be bad to use this adapter.

    Get this in case of an emergency!

    Comes complete with drivers in pack with manual/instructions

    This adapter ONLY works with OS 9.2.2 with all updates applied OR Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) or Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) and All versions of Windows that support USB

    Note: this adapter does not work with OS 8.6 - 9.2.1 or 10 or 10.1 or 10.2

    Best compatibility and guaranteed to work with Panther, Tiger, and Windows 2000, Windows Millenium, and Windows XP ... all other operating systems are not guaranteed ... but please email me for details.

    I am the EXCLUSIVE eBay seller of this item!

    I have sold nearly 500 of these over the last year!

    * Item may vary slightly in appearance, but warranted for advertised functionality

    I also warrant this to work with the Playstation 2 and Tivo! (you MUST mention that you need this function when ordering)

    * Let me know if this adapter helps you or if you need any assistance!

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    Apple Sculpture

    Here's an interesting apple sculpture that I got a snap of with my iPhone in nearby Spartanburg South Carolina:



    * The crows are part of the piece. It kinda looks like green tomatoes in the picture. There was no inscription or plaque on the sculpture.

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    Hunter misses the "Hunt"




    In an interesting piece on his blog Craig Hunter points out:

    Business aspects aside, the main issue I see as a traditional developer is that iPhone web app development is still very limited. Outside of some viewport settings, a couple special link types (really only the “tel:” link is new), and some new “-webkit” style attributes, there is little about making iPhone-specific web apps that differs from generic web apps. And that’s possibly the most disappointing aspect of all from my standpoint. Apple’s announcement states that “developers can create Web 2.0 applications which look and behave just like the applications built into iPhone”, but that’s not the case.


    The retro-Nintendo game DUCK HUNT that was specifically designed for the iPhone (located here) .... looks a lot like an iPhone only app. It's not really playable on a desktop or laptop computer. I would bet that 9 out of 10 people you showed it to would say, "How did you get that on your iPhone?" .... meaning they thought it WAS an application developed JUST FOR the iPhone.

    * Credit to Daring Fireball for the link

    Why An UNLOCKED iPhone doesn't matter ...


    As reported by MacRumors:

    ... a number of iPhone unlocking claims were made by different individuals with one confirmed success. A second company (iPhoneUnlocking) also announced they had a software-only solution, but according to a press release, they claim to have been contacted by AT&T's law firm to prevent the release of their unlocking service.

    The sale of unlocking codes is on hold after the company received a telephone call from a Menlo Park, California, law firm at approximately 2:54 a.m. this morning (GMT).

    After saying they were phoning on behalf of AT&T, the law firm presented issues such as copyright infringement and illegal software dissemination. Uniquephones is seeking legal advice to ascertain whether AT&T was sending a warning shot or directly threatening legal action.

    * The original iPhone unlocking site iPhoneSimFree.com


    Engadget makes the claim that they actually SAW an iPhoneSimFree demonstration with a working iPhone on T-Mobile.

    Over the weekend I must have had a dozen people mention this story to me. I can tell you why it won't matter. Apple AND AT&T both have your IMEI number on your iPhone. This number is a sort of extended phone number and serial number that your phone transmits with every data and voice connection. If AT&T wants to - they can disable the iPhone on the spot at any time they choose. It will be locked even beyond the SIM CARD.

    If Apple wanted to shut your phone off because you had it hacked ... all they would have to do is add an important feature in the next software update. When one went to download and install the update ... the update would check for the carrier name on the phone and then disable the phone completely or write over the hack once installed.

    ALL AT&T has to do is give T-Mobile or any other GSM carrier the IMEI numbers for iPhones and tell them if these numbers register on their networks they are required to shut them off. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) could easily be applied and granted injunction in court in this situation.

    So ... beyond the litigation factor, you would be STUPID to try to perform this hack - as your phone could be shut off at any second.

    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Intro Movie For Leopard



    Take notice of the newly discovered Apple Nebula in the background ;-)

    * Apple had the movie removed

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Alltel ... you're next




    I took this picture in my local mall yesterday.

    I don't see any consumer groups jumping on Alltel about advertising appealing to anorexia!

    Apple was asked to pull it's recent iMac Tagline

    "You can't be too thin. Or too powerful."


    ...

    Great ... now everyone will think it's Starbucks!

    SUNW = JAVA


    Apparently Sun Microsystems thinks that changing it's ticker symbol on the stock market will get more investors:

    From Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog: The Rise of JAVA

    The Retirement of SUNW

    I've spoken before about the value of brand - this post is a good example. And I wanted to follow up with a few more thoughts, and an important shift in how Sun (NASDAQ:SUNW) presents itself to the world - and more importantly, how the world now presents itself to Sun.


    NO ONE will equate Sun Microsystems with the word "Java" - NO ONE - subconsciously ... not even computer people. I mean I will know ... but when I see the ticker symbol going by I will think StarBucks or a coffee.

    Sun has never gotten "the value of brand" nor the "ease of coding" nor the _______ or the _______.

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    Bait & Switch?

    From The Small Wave:


    "Microsoft is for anything that gets people to Wal-Mart's music site. After all, when visitors find out they can't get current Universal titles DRM-free, perhaps the "bait and switch" kicks in and they'll buy the WMA version."


    Walmart IS offering DRM & DRM free songs side by side and you do have the choice of paying $0.09 cents less for the DRM version. That to me IS a bait and switch by tugging at your wallet!

    From what I'm reading the Universal tracks actually do have DRM with watermarks at the front and rear of the tracks ... meaning that one day a firmware patch could be uploaded to disable them AND they could be tracked on file sharing services.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    Woz pulled over for doing 104 mph in his Prius. Wow.


    He would have gone to jail in my state. This is also his second 50+ over the speed limit ticket in 5 years.

    read more | digg story

    iMac Tagline Pulled from Site: Eating Disorder Blamed

    Apple's new iMac Campagin states that, "You can't be too thin. Or too powerful." The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness calls upon Apple to rethink their new media campaign.

    read more | digg story

    This is silly. Why must everyone use Apple's popularity as a soapbox.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    WalMart Starts Selling Songs Without Restrictions: Universal Aims To Make A Profitless iTunes Music Store


    Summarized from Yahoo News:

    Wal-mart begins selling DRM-free MP3s

    Walmart, today, started selling DRM free music on it's website - available for download. The interesting catch is it's not in AAC format like Apple's DRM free music. The other interesting piece here is the price. "Thousands of albums and songs" from both EMI & Universal are priced at $0.94 per track or $9.22 per album.


    Universal has refused to offer Apple the "right" to sell its library DRM-free and has even been public about offering DRM-free tracks to everyone BUT Apple.

    What is the point behind this? How could excluding yourself from the largest segment of the market (iTunes downloads account for 78% of all legal music downloads) be a wise business decision?

    I'm estimating here ... but I would say Walmart may be making $0.03 cents or less on each song sold DRM-free. This is probably why Universal likes the deal so much. They don't want anyone BUT Universal making a profit.

    These, DRM-free music downloads, are suppose to be another way the record companies are trying to curb piracy.

    ______________________________________


    How serious are the music companies about stopping piracy and illegal downloads?

    Not very ....

    Just go to:

    www.umusic.com [Universal Music Group]

    OR

    www.wmg.com [Warner Bros Music Group]

    OR

    www.sonymusic.com [SONY Music Group]

    OR

    Recording Industry Association Of America

    OR

    IFPI [International Recording Association = like RIAA Global]

    OR

    GOOGLE [Type in: "how do I report music piracy?"]

    None of these sites or searches will yield results about how to report music piracy. NONE of these sites offer an easy way to report violations from people like you and me. With this small website [Fix Your Thinking] I get DOZENS of reports each month about people scamming in the eBay & Macintosh communities - imagine what kind of leads people would provide to the music companies and to the RIAA?

    I'm a strong believer in Peer-to-Peer sharing of music. I believe it is the best form of promotion and the best way for artists to maintain and build interest in their music. This music is distributed freely. I do not believe in "flea market sellers" selling copied CDs and DVDs for profit.

    I have wanted to report several sellers at my local flea market - but there's no way TO report an offender ... many flea market owners encourage pirated media sales and even sell pirated CDs and DVDs themselves ... this is how serious the music industry is about piracy!

    ______________________________________

    Monday, August 20, 2007

    USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs



    EXCLUSIVE USB To Ethernet Adapter

    Save a costly motherboard repair for your Apple All In One iMac, eMac, Mac Mini, or your iBook & Powerbook, MacBook or MacBook Pro

    I personally use this adapter on my MacBook so I don't have to plug in my ethernet cable ... I just use a USB hub with two of these adapters so one can be hooked to the internet and one cable can be hooked to a network printer. I don't have to worry about IP addresses or the constant plugging and unplugging ruining my laptop's broadband connection. The USB also stands an intermediary for surges from the network as well.

    I am the only one to offer this adapter for OS 9 (Classic) * PLEASE email me for details

    This is for your surged ethernet/broadband port on your Apple computer

    USB 2.0 ... backwards compatible with USB 1.1

    Another great use is for network printers and NAS storage - have this plugged into a free USB port while accessing your network or broadband connection on your Ethernet port.

    Your ethernet port does not have to be bad to use this adapter.

    Get this in case of an emergency!

    Comes complete with drivers in pack with manual/instructions

    This adapter ONLY works with OS 9.2.2 with all updates applied OR Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) or Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) and All versions of Windows that support USB

    Note: this adapter does not work with OS 8.6 - 9.2.1 or 10 or 10.1 or 10.2

    Best compatibility and guaranteed to work with Panther, Tiger, and Windows 2000, Windows Millenium, and Windows XP ... all other operating systems are not guaranteed ... but please email me for details.

    I am the EXCLUSIVE eBay seller of this item!

    I have sold nearly 500 of these over the last year!

    * Item may vary slightly in appearance, but warranted for advertised functionality

    I also warrant this to work with the Playstation 2 and Tivo! (you MUST mention that you need this function when ordering)

    * Let me know if this adapter helps you or if you need any assistance!

    Saturday, August 18, 2007

    Intelligent Qube For Playstation

    I've gotten several emails about my posting of the game Intelligent Qube yesterday. (Mostly asking how you can get it and how do you play.) Here's a YouTube video of the Final Stage ... it'll give you a good idea of the gameplay and also let you hear how the voiceover and music really add to the intensity and drama of the game.

    Friday, August 17, 2007

    Hey, I use DHL ... they're just criticized for being slow

    I get the complaint every now and then that DHL is slow ... but rarely do I get a "damage claim". I get damage claims a lot with UPS ... here's why I think:



    * Video link via The Consumerist

    A Look Back: The 3 Things I Don't Do Because I Don't Have OS9 Any More.



    I thought I would post a quick retrospective about OS9 - remember ... it was the operating system before Mac OS X?

    I got to thinking about this last night as I played my Playstation 2. It's been a while since I've played one of my own video game consoles - over the last few months I've played on a friend's Nintendo Wii and played on an Xbox 360 and Intellivision. I only own one native PS2 game. I own 25 PS1 games ... mostly all puzzle games. I used to play Playstation games a lot more. Why? Because I would play them on my Mac - via Connectix Virtual Game Station.



    There are emulation solutions available for OS X. With the Intel Macs however the only "no compromise" solution is to load a Playstation emulator into Windows (booted natively into Windows XP).

    My favorite game of all time on any platform EVER EVER EVER is called Intelligent Qube.

    Here's a review of this game that I posted in the reviews section on eBay:

    This game is a rare find on eBay. I own my original copy that I bought in 1998. Since owning this game I have sold 5 here on eBay. My average eBay end price has been $80 each. So - expect to pay around that for this game. I assure you it is worth it.

    This game had a bit of licensing controversy between the creator and Sony - with it ending up that the creator barred Sony from ever releasing or rereleasing the game again.

    If you like Tetris (like I do) - you will love this game (like I do)

    Offering unique gameplay - your task is to mark a spot on a platform as "qubes" cascade towards you. When a cube lands on the marked spot, you detonate the area removing the "qube" from the playing field. You must remove all the "qubes" before they push you to the edge.

    The best thing I like about this game is the music - it's "over the top" angelic choir music and gameplay narrated by a god-like Patrick Stewart (Capt Picard on Star Trek TNG) voice.

    Once you understand the concept and learn to mark "qubes" in advance - you will be able to easily advance.

    You are given an IQ score based on how many "qubes" you clear.

    And by the way - it is supposedly a measure of IQ so the actual name IS SPELLED "Intelligent Qube"


    So ... the #1 thing I don't do because I don't have OS 9 is; play Playstation games as much.


    * picture courtesy AppleMuseum


    #2) I miss the Scrapbook. Man ... did I ever use the Classic OS Scrapbook. I never have gotten use to macros or using third party programs in OS X like Keyboard Maestro for cutting and pasting. Honestly, in OS X, I've just gotten used to typing out redundant things and just finding, uploading, and/or pasting pictures when I need them. For some reason though, the old Classic Scrapbook always seemed logical and easy to me - everything else seems hard to get used to. I'm not even sure if Apple brought such a thing back that I would use it because I've been doing things the hard way for 6 years now.

    #3) Use third party hacks and OS enhancements.

    I used to have Mac OS 9 tricked out. I had animated icons via a program called Kinetic. I had the Mac OS themed with a program called Kaleidoscope!. I had fonts smoothed ... with SmoothType. I had a dock called A-Dock.

    Mac OS X is negatively affected by the smallest of changes to the core OS ... so I just don't do hacks any more.

    Is there anything you miss from the old days?


    ...

    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    Requesting Sinbad's Comments ...


    I sent an email to whom I think is Sinbad's agent; Scott Simpson, this morning:

    Scott,

    I hope this reaches the right person.

    I've seen Sinbad at MacWorld Expos (An annual Apple Computer Expo held in San Francisco)

    Recently a topic was discussed at another expo called C4; Blacks Don't Use Macs

    I would love to hear Sinbad's comment on this.

    How long has he been a Mac user?

    Why does he think African Americans do not use Apple Computers ... or at least disproportionately?

    Here is an article I wrote about the topic today:

    http://fixyourthinking.com/2007/08/blacks-macs.html

    I sincerely appreciate your help if you are able to forward this for comment to Sinbad ... whom I think would be very interested in commenting on the topic.

    Philip Smith
    ***@ppple.com
    www.fixyourthinking.com


    If anyone happens to know how to contact Sinbad more directly ... please let me know.

    Max Assurance At OfficeMax Not For Macs But At Least They Advertise Macs And A Happy Black Man

    I thought this would be appropriate to post with today's other topic. I've been meaning to post it for a while.

    OfficeMax's "Laptop Warranty/Repair Service" called MaxAssurance does NOT offer service for Apple laptops ... yet the laptop pictured here is clearly an Apple PowerBook G4 15".

    Blacks & Macs


    * Photo courtesy of John Gruber Flikr account


    An interesting topic that I hoped to one day cover here on this blog was discussed by Open Source Advocate/Mac User notable; DrunkenBatman. You may remember DrunkenBatman from outting the guys over at CherryOS for stealing Open Source code and using it as their own.

    In my 10 years selling Macs - 10 YEARS!!!! ... I have only sold one used Mac to a black person. Two years ago, I sold Final Cut Pro to a black couple starting a wedding video business ... that is ALL!

    Unlike Gruber, I found DrunkenBatman's topic interesting.



    I'm not sure what was said, as Gruber seems to be one of only a few really summarizing this ... but I have hard facts. I make about 4 sales a week and visit 9-10 businesses and homes a week. I see greater than 500 customers a year. I think my sampling of Mac users is certainly valid.

    Here's John Gruber of Daring Fireball with his summary of DrunkenBatman's Blacks & Macs:

    Gruber: DrunkenBatman’s second topic ... “Black People Don’t Use Macs”.

    Several panelists and audience members disputed DrunkenBatman’s basic premise. One audience member spoke up with his observation that at Macworld Expo, the largest gathering of Mac users in the U.S., there are plenty of black people. Drunkenbatman responded by turning up the hyperbole. As I transcribed it in my notebook, he said: “The only black people at Macworld are outside begging for change.”

    ______________________________________


    [ FixYourThinking Note: One of the ONLY black people I remember seeing at MacWorld was Sinbad. ]

    ______________________________________


    Gruber: Racial diversity is a legitimate and important topic (although I question whether it was a good topic for this panel at this conference). Some truths are uncomfortable, and the only way to get at them is through uncomfortable discussions. DrunkenBatman’s “begging for change” statement, however, was neither true nor simply a controversial opinion. It was stupid.

    ______________________________________


    [ FixYourThinking Note: But I don't see Gruber saying, "Well I remember this specific person or that one. I mean blacks are 13% of the population - that means out of the tens of thousands of MacWorld attendees - some should be noticeable. And truly, my San Francisco experience was poor - 75% or better of the beggars/homeless on the streets near the Moscone Center (where MacWorld Expos are held) ARE black or so it seemed ]

    ______________________________________


    Gruber: It was an exaggeration intended to emphasize his implied thesis, which is that black people, in general, are under-represented in the Mac community compared to the communities surrounding other OS platforms. I don’t know whether that’s true; I hope it’s not, but I don’t know. When opinions run as hot as they can regarding an issue such as racial diversity, it’s essential to argue with as many facts as possible — and but alas, DrunkenBatman had no numbers to cite.

    ______________________________________


    [ FixYourThinking Note: He didn't need numbers ... it's an observable fact ... although I think I have given some answers here ]

    ______________________________________




    Final comments:

    Look at the picture Gruber has ... notice any particular race missing?

    Out of ANY Mac site I think I am the ONLY one to quote Martin Luther King Jr. on every page:

    "Injustice any where is a threat to justice every where"

    So ... I certainly don't bring this topic up because I'm racist ... I have always found it interesting.

    I'll have more to say on this at a later date ... I'll contact DrunkenBatman and give you a brief poll of fellow Apple Consultants in my area.

    [UPDATE] More comments here: DrunkenBatman is NOT a racist!



    read more | digg story

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    iPhone Phone Bill Is More Like The Phone Book



    A very attractive girl put a video online showing her 300 page iPhone detailed bill. It's pretty funny.

    [Maybe it's just me ... but is this girl attractive, but also weird looking? Her eyebrows are sculpted like some wierd comma]

    From Tasty Blog Snack:

    I finally got my first bill from AT&T in a cardboard box containing 300 pages of it. Apparently, they give you a detail transaction of every text message sent and received. Completely unnecessary.


    The 300 page iPhone Phone Bill


    This has to be the most boneheaded thing AT&T has done and it must be costing them 100's of thousands of dollars - because I've read other accounts of large bills being received around the net.

    They should just be sending out a letter saying,

    Dear AT&T Customer,

    Your detailed phone bill for your iPhone is greater than 50 pages long. You are entitled to a hard copy of this bill to examine your charges. This bill can be viewed online using ATT.COM or you can mail this postage paid envelope back to us to request your detailed bill in hard copy. Please do not use the prepaid envelope for payments.

    We appreciate your business.


    Your NEW AT&T


    [Credit to ENGADGET for the link]

    I got my second bill two days ago and it was 80 pages - fortunately I already had e-billing.

    Unfortunately my bill was wrong ...

    1) My AT&T employee discount was not applied (only 10% off)

    2) My plan had reverted to my old plan somehow and was therefore $80 higher.

    A quick phone call remedied the situation, but none the less ... so far it seems AT&T has been the one making all the mistakes in the AT&T/Apple partnership.

    iTunes Pro?

    An interesting quote from The Shots Ring Out blog:

    Why is Universal making it harder for you, and especially the less net-savvy crowd, to get DRM-free music? They don’t really want you to have it and if you must have it they sure don’t want Apple to be the one to give it to you. So why is Universal so scared of Apple? Because Apple is one signed band away from being the most powerful music label of them all: a music label that understands both branding and technology.


    Yes, with The Beatles lawsuit out of the way ... I expect Apple to announce at the '08 MacWorld or maybe even the next "iPod upgrade event" a MAJOR singer will actually record, produce and sign with Apple as a LABEL not just a distributor. I also expect Apple to tout Logic and Garageband as tools used to produce the iTunes only album AND upgrade iTunes with built in "Recording Studio In A Box" features ... possibly even offering a paid "iTunes Pro" package.

    Sunday, August 12, 2007

    A friend's perspective of my news yesterday.

    From my best friend's email:

    I just got caught up on your website and I’m going to give you my opinion on something. I really seriously think you need to take off the graphic description of the guy dying in front of you. If you want to mention it, you need to edit it down to something that takes out the graphic descriptions and particularly the part about eating out afterwards. I’m definitely sorry you had to witness that scene but its seriously sickening to even hear about it and I’m recommending either taking it out entirely or editing it down to something like this:

    “I’m a little shaken up after witnessing a horrifying accident on the road the other day. A man riding a moped without a helmet crashed and sustained massive head injuries. I got out of my car to try to help him after calling 911, but his injuries were too serious and he died in front of me while we were waiting for the ambulance. [ I ] then helped direct traffic around the accident while the paramedics and firemen assisted at the scene.”

    What you did in an effort to try to help this man was truly admirable and heroic, and the current way you have it on your website does not convey that. The graphic description of the aftermath and the comment about eating Mexican food afterwards makes it seem as though you are almost making a joke about it and takes away from the care and concern that you clearly showed in stopping at all.


    I edited the description down and posted the account my friend gave. I apologize to readers for the graphic nature of my last post and I in no way meant for the food description to be mocking the man's death. It was [in my own way] a way to get over it by writing it down.

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    Lawsuits Lawsuits Lawsuits!

    I'm sorry posting has been light over the last week after I promised I would be back in full swing.

    [edited] I'm a little shaken up after witnessing a man that wiped out on a moped (that wasn't wearing helmet) die right in front of me yesterday.

    Anyways ...

    Looks like Apple legal is going to be busy (as if they aren't already) ...

    First ...

    iPhone Keyboard Patent

    A Des Moines, Iowa, surgeon claims that the touch keyboard on the iPhone violates a patent he holds through a company called SP Technologies.

    Laptop Battery Charge Status Lights

    A man in Michigan, claims Apple has violated patents he owns for the inclusion of status lights on rechargeable laptop batteries. If his claim proves successful, Apple could find themselves accounting for lost profits and paying triple the awarded amount for the patent infringement.

    My question is: Does Dell pay this man a licensing fee? Some Dell batteries also have led indicators on them. I've got one right here in front of me.



    Then there's this:

    Class Action over Apple violating Fair Credit Reporting Act through emailed receipts

    A class action lawsuit was filed against Apple yesterday in a Florida federal court alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that put Apple customers at risk for identity theft.

    Apple's offense? Printing credit card expiration dates on Apple Store online receipts.

    According to the suit this violates a 2003 amendment to the FCRA which states: "No person that accepts credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last five digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the card holder at the point of sale or transaction."

    [credit for lawsuits descriptions to InformationWeek]

    ...

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    Duck Hunt for the iPhone



    One of my favorite games for the original Nintendo that I remember playing in junior high school is Duck Hunt.

    I still don't get all the critics who said the web was not "a good enough-for-now platform" to develop for the iPhone.... it seems that thus far the possibilities have been endless.

    * You shoot by tapping/hitting the ducks with your finger.

    * [UPDATE MARCH 2008] Game was removed from website due to copyright issues

    Monday, August 06, 2007

    The benefits of blogging for one’s career or business are so profound ...

    From DASHES.COM:

    Anil Dash states:

    My initial temptation was to mark Lyons as a hypocrite. Upon reflection, it seems there’s a more profound lesson: The benefits of blogging for one’s career or business are so profound that they were even able to persuade a dedicated detractor.


    [Link credit Daring Fireball]

    In this case - it has most likely MADE Dan Lyons career.

    I Found A Ratatouille In My Chicken McNugget!


    I wanted to revisit my 15 minutes of fame from this website for a moment.

    In March of 2006 I wrote:

    The 5 Things Steve Jobs Has Misled Us About In The Last 30 Years

    This story remains my most commented on, most linked, and most hit page. The article was also published on several "How To Write a Great Blog" tip sites.

    In this article, I stated as the #5 item Steve Jobs has misled us about:

    ... the Disney buyout of Pixar ...

    Personally, I think this merger comes at a different time than say Pre-Incredibles.

    I think the merger is dishonest because this will be Pixar's least successful film to date.

    This movie (Cars) is geared towards boys - girls have no interest in cars ... I feel it's why A Bug's Life didn't do great ($160 million) vs Finding Nemo ($340 million) (US Domestic)

    While I'm sure it will be a great film --- outdoing anything Dreamworks could possibly think up ... I just think this deal is being made at a time when Pixar stock could take a huge hit because of lackluster box office results for Cars.


    Cars ended up making $244 million at the US domestic box office. Adjusted for inflation; this is slightly more money than A Bug's Life made. A Bug's Life has ended up being a classic Disney film with an attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom being the centerpiece of the entire theme park. There's hardly any merchandising at all with Cars at Disney World - although Cars has been very successful in toy and NASCAR tie-ins.

    One of the things I noticed about Ratatouille is that it wasn't possible to market it with a McDonald's Happy Meal - no one wants to associate RATS! with their food.

    It now appears as if Ratatouille, while certainly a box office success; will end up being Pixar's worst performing movie at the box office to date. In my opinion, it's not that great of a movie ... but like Cars may have a limited appeal to all children and certainly a limited appeal to cross promotions at restaurants - where Disney typically floods children's vision with tie-in toys and advertising.

    It is very possible that Ratatouille even loses money - the first Pixar film to do so ; if the film does not make another $45 million at the box office ... which is doubtful)

    Ratatouille Box Office as of August 6 2007:

    USA: $188,282,000 78.7%
    Foreign: $50,890,000 21.3%
    ________________________________
    = Worldwide: $239,172,000

    A movie studio sees roughly 55% of it's box office revenue. Ratatouille cost $150 million - the most expensive Pixar film to date.

    Ratatouille also seems to have less licensing and less toys/promotion than other Pixar films. (An area where Cars excelled.)

    Good thing Steve Jobs sold Pixar when when he did aye?

    I'm having to admit a lot of wrong today ... first Fake Steve - now this.

    I was wrong about Ratatouille ... I honestly thought it would be one of Pixar's best performing films. At the beginning of the summer I stated:
    Ratatouille - I think Pixar and Disney were hoping for a better box office from Charlotte's Web so as to popularize "rats in film". I see this movie making a lot more than Cars and being a huge hit internationally. I predict this movie will make $250 million in the US, but $400 million internationally. I'm also keen to see if there was any "Steve Jobs is head of Pixar & Apple effect" that has worn off since the sale of Pixar to Disney. Disney's current CGI animated picture - Meet The Robinsons is essentially a Pixar film - just not under the name. It's not fairing too well.
    Also a few readers said that The Simpsons was going to be a big movie and I scoffed. WOW! Was I ever wrong about that. The Simpsons cost $75 million to make and has already pulled in $236 million Worldwide.

    So ... let's just say ... 3 strikes I'm out ... next inning.
    ...

    Is Dan Lyons TOTALLY Fake?

    A while back when it was being speculated that Andy Inatkho was Fake Steve I said,

    "I can assure you with near 99.594678432% accuracy it's ... [look at the tags]."

    The tags for that article implicated Jack Miller of As The Apple Turns.

    Jack has been missing in action for almost two years now ... without a trace of ANY online activity or writing.

    Writers, such as myself, can not just quit cold turkey. Writing is a passion. It's like giving up cigarettes or even sex. Once a writer ... always a writer. I can understand Jack Miller getting tired of the medium of the internet ... but I would have expected to see him writing elsewhere; maybe a column for some Mac magazine or even as a show host for some podcast. He was too witty and too well loved for someone not to have snapped him up, like The Macalope has been by CNet.

    While I was obviously wrong with my answer as to the identity of Fake Steve ... I almost think there could be a small bit of misdirection here. I think Fake Steve may be a few people and they are revealing Dan Lyons so that the others can remain anonymous ... or maybe they are just going to give Lyons all the credit. There are just too many clues that add up to some Jack Miller collaboration.

    I'm going to admit I was wrong on this one. I just wanted to voice that we may be getting a bit of smoke and mirrors though.

    Fake Steve Reveals Himself As Dan Lyons


    Tom over at The Small Wave returned home from vacation with some excellent commentary on the whole reveal including this:

    Some look to a Lyons article critical of blogging and claim for him to have written FSJ was hypocrisy. No, it was someone brilliantly turning the medium into a powerful tool. It also shows that smart people can change their minds. Don't be bitter just because he pulled it off while you never even thought of it (and probably couldn't pull it off if you had).

    Some are upset that the blog was published anonymously, but FSJ could never have happened without it, and that’s proof enough (if any were needed) that it can be a very useful technique. (Hey, it worked for The Federalist Papers.) Forget the anonymity for a moment, FSJ doesn’t take off unless the writing kicks ass. How many people know or care about all the other “fake” sites?

    In this day and age we’re all too quick to kill the messenger and ignore the message. In FSJ’s case it was the message we discussed. That was a very good thing. Now that he’s been unmasked, some “messenger killing” seems to have begun. We’ll see a lot more of it in the days to come, but I disagree. The writing of FSJ did not magically change with his unmasking, nor should we be even remotely surprised that his creator shares the same views and biases.


    Truthfully I'm quite jealous - Fake Steve was the best idea blogging has had in a while. It was (and still is) very creative and innovative.

    Friday, August 03, 2007

    USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs



    EXCLUSIVE USB To Ethernet Adapter

    Save a costly motherboard repair for your Apple All In One iMac, eMac, Mac Mini, or your iBook & Powerbook, MacBook or MacBook Pro

    I personally use this adapter on my MacBook so I don't have to plug in my ethernet cable ... I just use a USB hub with two of these adapters so one can be hooked to the internet and one cable can be hooked to a network printer. I don't have to worry about IP addresses or the constant plugging and unplugging ruining my laptop's broadband connection. The USB also stands an intermediary for surges from the network as well.

    I am the only one to offer this adapter for OS 9 (Classic) * PLEASE email me for details

    This is for your surged ethernet/broadband port on your Apple computer

    USB 2.0 ... backwards compatible with USB 1.1

    Another great use is for network printers and NAS storage - have this plugged into a free USB port while accessing your network or broadband connection on your Ethernet port.

    Your ethernet port does not have to be bad to use this adapter.

    Get this in case of an emergency!

    Comes complete with drivers in pack with manual/instructions

    This adapter ONLY works with OS 9.2.2 with all updates applied OR Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) or Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) and All versions of Windows that support USB

    Note: this adapter does not work with OS 8.6 - 9.2.1 or 10 or 10.1 or 10.2

    Best compatibility and guaranteed to work with Panther, Tiger, and Windows 2000, Windows Millenium, and Windows XP ... all other operating systems are not guaranteed ... but please email me for details.

    I am the EXCLUSIVE eBay seller of this item!

    I have sold nearly 500 of these over the last year!

    * Item may vary slightly in appearance, but warranted for advertised functionality

    I also warrant this to work with the Playstation 2 and Tivo! (you MUST mention that you need this function when ordering)

    * Let me know if this adapter helps you or if you need any assistance!

    The Official Apple iPhone Sim Card Tool


    Insanely Great Apple T's shares this interesting piece of info from their blog - about the *EXTRA BENEFIT of getting a replacement iPhone:

    Apple includes an "official" paperclip with replacements for SIM card removal
    ...

    Tax Free Weekends This Weekend

    Don't forget that tax free also applies to online Apple Store orders which is $60+ per $1000 spent.

    These states offer tax-free shopping days during the month of August:

    Alabama Aug 3-5
    Georgia Aug 2-5
    Missouri Aug 3-5
    North Carolina Aug 3-5
    South Carolina Aug 3-5
    Tennessee Aug 3-5

    I've only listed states that computer purchases apply.

    My home state of South Carolina is the most liberal with the things it applies to with very few restrictions. Most states have $ amount limitations.

    3 Wheelin' ???

    So ... last week I was at my local flea market and the parking lot was completely full.

    It was hard to maneuver and weave through the lot to find a space. A truck pulled up close behind me and could obviously see I had no where to go. I got out and politely asked if he could back up. He insisted that I could fit through a narrow opening. I told him I refused to attempt going around a few cars ... 1) I might scratch my car on the bramble 2) I wasn't so sure about the stability of the embankment. I got back in my car hoping he would just move.

    He could have easily backed up.

    He started beeping his horn. I just turned off my car and got out, leaned on my door and started checking my email on my iPhone. He smacked his hands down on the steering wheel, made his face red with road rage and pulled around me ... tearing up gravel and dirt with his back tires.

    Here's his truck. After he did this, I was able to back up and get to a better spot.


    Thursday, August 02, 2007

    Is this good poetry?

    One of the things you are going to start seeing more of on this blog is "My writing". I enjoy sharing my personal experiences ... I have an almost unlimited amount of stories to tell. I just told one last night that I'm honing a bit for posting soon. I'm still having a few issues trying to get the new blogger template I switched to to cooperate. I think it will be neat to start having polls and better reference sections here. Also, for anyone that wants to know. I have to moderate close to 30 comments a day now. This site is pretty ingrained into Google searches. A lot of comments I respond to as well ... so this has been sort of time consuming.

    Here's some poetry I wrote recently:

    You are beautiful
    No, not just beautiful
    You are the rarest, most wonderful

    Your voice is a soothing saxophone
    Playing a love song tailored just for me
    Perfect; for me

    Your eyes are undiscovered stars
    Unique to the universe
    But visible in my heart's sky

    Your body is a sculpture
    Crafted by God
    As an example of "Eve"

    Microsoft gives you another reason to switch to a Mac and NEVER look back (at ANYTHING Microsoft)!

    Microsoft delays Office 2008 for Mac

    The Associated Press notes that Microsoft is delaying the launch of Mac Office 2008 until mid-January 2008, citing the need to fix a few remaining bugs in it's flagship office suite. "It really is just a quality issue across the board," said Craig Eisler, General Manager of Microsoft's Mac Business Unit. Eisler also said Apple 's "decision to switch to Intel-based chips disrupted the software development process, as did Microsoft's move to a new file format with the release of Office 2007 for Windows-based computers."


    I use Pages, TextEdit, and Open Office. I REFUSE to place office on anyone's computer that buys a Mac from me. While Mac Office is a great product - Pages and Keynote ARE better. I just hope Apple gets an iWork update out of the door before January and includes a spreadsheet app - something that is most likely a given.