Wednesday, March 30, 2005




This is from a reader email I received today:

I was reading your site for the first time today, and noticed this picture:

[This UPC code from the picture in your article] looked a little odd, so I checked it out. The first six digits of a UPC code make up the manufacturer’s code, the next five digits are the product code or SKU, and the last digit is used to verify accurate code entry. The manufacturer’s code is assigned at a hefty cost by the UCC ( I apologize if this explanation is redundant for you.

I plugged the number into and they don’t have it on file, which isn’t surprising since its a user-contributed database like CDDB or FreeDB. But the manufacturer’s code is known:


The original jingle for Campbell's Soup was " MMMMMM .... MMMMMM ... GOOD!"

You know, I always thought a great use for the icemate was to cap unused soup in can ....

Here is a picture I took of a Campbell's Soup On The Go can that would confirm the email assertion:

Jack has responded in the comments to this post. See them by clicking on the word; "comments" below.

When reading his reply, note the spin on licensing barcodes - also note that it is inaccurate. Barcodes for retail distribution are ALL licensed. If his barcodes were for inventory management then he is right, they do not have to be licensed.



Jack Campbell said...

That, sir, is perhaps the biggest, heartiest laugh I have had in a year or more. THANK YOU! ... and, for the amazing presentation of your equally amazing detective work, I will share with you the story behind your discovery.

Tiny hubby-wife business, Tennessee, trying to ship its second product, packing orders from a couple of folding tables in the den. Boxes and bubble wrap stacked everywhere.

A large international distributor calling and asking if they can place a large order for the IceMate. Panic. No packaging. No barcode.

A dash to the Mac, many scratches of the head, trying to instantly figure out how to not miss the order, or come off looking "unable to deliver in a timely manner..." Quick study turning up the 2 to 3 week process of signing up for a UCC-Council issued merchant ID number and block of barcodes.

Dashing about the house, looking for some product... any product... with a barcode that could temporarily be used to mark up some locally printed labels. An amazing moment in my kitchen, smiling, then laughing very much out loud, holding a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup in my hand...

Poetry. :-)

We got the order shipped. And, soon thereafter we obtained our own block of UPC codes, rolled forward, got surprisingly larger and successful, got 'corporate,' and...

Often, I miss moments like that one in my kitchen that afternoon. It's among my small trove of life's treasured moments.

Thank you, my friend for the reminder. You made my week.

FYT said...

Why is there ALWAYS an excuse with you?

Why do random things keep popping up about your past?

Why do you think temporary ignorance of the law is ok?

I have 3 icemate packages, they all say the same thing. I also have all the packaging from your other items ... none of them come up as belonging to you. Of course, they don't all come as Campbell's soup either.

Obviously, if I have these icemates, these products made it to retail. You just never seem to care about or understand your mistakes. You also have this attitude of "big successful guy" but that is ignorant to the law and disrespectful of any other company or individual in your rise to the top.

That is a cute story, and actually ... I believe you. In fact, I believe most of what you say and sometimes, I even understand why you say or do something out of the ordinary. You say you are a different bird when it comes to your competition ... sometimes that bird can be easily identified as a Dodo. Thing is, the Dodo is extinct. Are you trying to show yourself so that this becomes your fate?

FYT said...

And instead of answering ... where is this law or rule ... you are an exaggerator about saying ... I consulted with my attorney about that and he said that I am governed by the laws here ... here's a link.

Specifically point out your innocence. Have you always fallen prey to the untruth that is ... "innocent until proven guilty"?

Jack Campbell said...

Actually, Philip, I just seem to have a much broader sense of perspective than you seem to show, in that I know the difference between trivial and important items. I also think that there should be an element of fun in even the most serious of business activities.

I have not checked, but, I am certain the CEO at Campbell Soup Co. would do nothing but chuckle over this situation, if brought to his attention.

I've suggested this before Philip, but really... try lightening up a little. You'll live longer, and have a much better time along the way.

And, yes, DVForge, Inc. has a valid merchant ID and UPC block from the UCC. If you'll check that site you're using for looking up UPCs, you will see that it's based only on voluntary UPC submissions from readers.

If you will call the UCC and ask for the merchant code for DVForge, Inc., they'll give it to you.

And, really... try to see life with a little more good humor. You'll be much happier.

Jack Campbell said...

One minor yet important bit of information. The Uniform Code Council is a private industry. There is nothing "legal" or "illegal" about the use of UPC codes, as it is a voluntary system of marking and identification. All of us with merchant codes from the UCC simply agree that having a central librarian for the system is worth a small annual fee; so, we pay them for doing that work.

FYT said...

About lightening up:

This website and comments section intention is to provide a resource for Mac business owners and to empower consumers with knowledge. It's doing a great job of that.

I'm not up tight, I enjoy my life ...

Here's something interesting I've recently discovered ... it seems all Mac Specific peripheral manufacturers share the same paddle as your boat. Most of you are corrupt, backstabbing, drama laden egomaniacs ... you just happen to be one of the more vocal. You also have more drama surrounding you than most. Some have chosen not to get involved in the controversy - yet you you hit it head on in traffic without an airbag.

This site is more for people like you or that want to do things like you have done. Hopefully it will show them procedure, mistake, and therefore; success.

You continue to refute with words rather than actual linked pages. Your usual comment is made to make it look like all that's bad is just nitpicking technicality ... well ... speeding tickets are nitpicking technicality. Did you know that MOST states don't have an actual written law for speed limits? Just because it isn't written doesn't mean it isn't enforced.

As for the barcodes ... if someone is paying for something - it is theirs - voluntary or not. It is not your decision to participate or not participate due to ignorance.

Are you challenging me to ask Campell's soup? I will if you want ... just to see if they find it funny.

I also couldn't find MacMice (under which the icemate was produced and all your mice were produced) as EVER being a member and purchasing blocks of barcodes.

This UCC FAQ page:

speaks nothing of the system being voluntary. It does talk about licensing and fees though.

This membership page:

speaks nothing of the system being voluntary. And to be redundant ... it does talk about licensing and fees

Jack, please link to your membership.

And i would like to note the twist that you have put on this ... as all of your defenses...

The point was ... The Icemate had a Campbell's Soup barcode. It was intentional, it was an oversight, the most recent icemate that was acquired from your Deskmac website had the word "light" corrected but the barcode is the SAME! You have been producing these for almost 3 years now.

The point is ... you didn't have permission ... even if it were a joke.

How is it possible that I just happened to find one of this initial batch? Baloney!

Jack Campbell said...

Philip, the UCC doesn't publish a member list that I am aware of. But, I do know that you can call and verify the merchant code for any member merchant... as I suggested you do, if you wish. Our merchant code is 895041, and includes a block of 100 SKUs. The registrant company name is DVForge, Inc.

After the initial sales surge, the IceMate trickled off pretty quickly to just being a once every now and then little novelty product. It only went into retail stores and distribution for a few weeks, and after that, it staayed around as a web-only item. Thus, there was never any real need to give any detailed attention to the packaging or markings.

My continued issue with you is that you seem unable to separate tiny issues from major issues. The term "anally retentive" comes to mind, as in, not having a fully developed sense of humor about life's little twists and turns... as in not being able to just lighten up and recognize that mere mortals not only inhabit the planet here, but also run the businesses here.

That's not an "excuse," Philip as I have a reason to make excuses. It's just reality. There are "big picture" issues (like makign sure our products work, and that our customers and suppliers are properly served), and, there are small issues. Everybody here at our company is obsessed with making sure that the big issues never become issues.

You persist in attempting to paint me as evil. With that in mind, I offer the following info about our company, circa 2002 - 2005:

Editors Choice Awards = 11
Product Of The Year Nominations = 3
Buyers Guide Recommendations = 15
MacWorld Expo Macsimum Awards = 1
4+ star (or other icon) reviews (web + print)= 40+
Revenue growth = 1,800%+
Dealers = 1,700+
International distributors = 7
Cumulative customer base = 120,000+
Active ADC member = 3 years
Merchant account chargebacks = zero
BBB complaints = zero
Law suits = zero
Cease & desist letters = zero
Infringement notices = zero
Criminal charges = zero

Pretty evil, eh?

So, it seems that we actually do handle the big issues pretty well.

That said, can you begin to see how your persistent slamming of our work here is really and truly beginning to be very tiresome for us?

And, by the way... thank you for pointing out that I am the only Mac peripherals CEO who actually and regularly engages openly in public discussion. After three years of business, I can say that I am also the only Mac peripherals CEO who views this industry as a "community," and believes in actively engaging in efforts to boost the core ideas that are critically important to growing the Mac market. Everybody else simply leeches off of Apple's efforts, and toddles along on the coattails of whatever PR and marketing success Apple might be creating. Sometimes even you imply that it's not our role to proactively seek to boost the Apple products market... that we should "leave that to Apple." I disagree. I do not need Apple's permission to promote Apple's products, or the Apple lifestyle. And, I still do not need your permission to run this company how I see fit.

Have a nice day.

Jack Campbell said...

Error correction: That should have been: That's not an "excuse," Philip as I have NO reason to make excuses.

FYT said...

Actually your attorney told you that you shouldn't post as Jack Campbell or DVForge or MacMice or any of your zillion other "Jack identifying" monikers.

Why CAN'T you do that?

I don't see anything wrong with your posting stuff anywhere, but why do you have to daily embaraass yourself, your company, it's employees? Whether true, untrue, half truth, or heresay ... law, no law, restriction, ethical dilemna ... why do you HAVE to post as YOU?

You might have had an ounce of credibility with the contest if you had done it anonymously. Instead, you reopened the whole onslaught of negativity against you.

I tell people daily what a genius I think you are, but that it saddens me you have such a narcissitic ego.

You are a likeable person and a truly aggressive spirited businessman - but you don't follow process, law, or responsible expectations of a company.

You regulatly railroad other companies in the name of ignorance or "fun" as you put it.

You spin everything said bad about you into an ignorance statement.

Very few people care about this or you or what you sell. That doesn't mean that anyone shouldn't pay attention to the ongoing problem that you pose.

FYT said...

Editors Choice Awards = 11
Product Of The Year Nominations = 3
Buyers Guide Recommendations = 15
MacWorld Expo Macsimum Awards = 1
4+ star (or other icon) reviews (web + print)= 40+
Revenue growth = 1,800%+
Dealers = 1,700+
International distributors = 7
Cumulative customer base = 120,000+
Active ADC member = 3 years
Merchant account chargebacks = zero
BBB complaints = zero
Law suits = zero
Cease & desist letters = zero
Infringement notices = zero
Criminal charges = zero

Should read:

Editors Choice Awards = 11 (MacWorld gives stars to anyone who lets them keep products and there's dozens if not 100's of complaints about jumpy mice)

Product Of The Year Nominations = 3 (Not winners, but good job - the stuff DVForge distributes is neat)

Buyers Guide Recommendations = 15 ( again, I recommend your mouse if you send me one (which you have and I do, but I also recommend Kensington mice because they too have sent me a sample - Logitech mice are the best, but I don't recommend them - they have never sent me a review sample)

MacWorld Expo Macsimum Awards = 1 (ooooh, a website with less hit totals than JackWhispers gave you an award, you should be proud)

Revenue growth = 1,800%+ (Something the IRS no doubtedly should be aware of, especially from a previously convicted felon for tax evasion)

Dealers = 1,700+ (hogwash, you could hardly name more than 10% of that total)

International distributors = 7 (1 has been in contact with me and said you coerced him for advance payment and to "buy shares in the company")

Cumulative customer base = 120,000+ how is this when you stated almost two years ago you sold 20 THOUSAND iTilts alone!

Active ADC member = 3 years (nope)

Merchant account chargebacks = for your sake I will keep private our email concerning this

BBB complaints = (1) I know of - I made one 2 years ago!

Law suits = several cases are pending, several have not been pursued - anyone interested in this tidbit nead only to read the article that I have received praise for from 1000's of people (and critique from a few)

Cease & desist letters = (Two I know of) See below

Infringement notices = (3) That I know of (1) from DLO for the PodBuddy, (1) for the GScoot from Marathon, (1) for the iPerch from Griffin, and (1) was never sent from XOXIDE for the iBreeze because Skycable wouldn't back them up

Criminal charges = (2) and you served 7 years in TN State Prison for these charges - other charges were filed against you. You also said yourself ON THIS VERY SITE that you have served more time and for different reasons. You finished serving in 1999.

Anyone interested? Visit here

Type in Jack Campbell - he is a White Male

Jack Campbell said...

Every point you just made is false, or presented in a way that is deceptive.

If you are going to revert to direct falsehoods, then we'll be rewinding all the way to the time you first launched your attack on me, a long time ago.

As you sometimes say about me, I think your motives are justified in your own mind, and that you are behaving in a way that you believe is honorable. But, unsupported accusations of wrongdoing are not acceptable behavior in public, or in private.

I think you are taking email and verbal statements made by others at face value, without evidence. I think you still have me chalke up as being some sort of lying idiot, and hav eanyone else in the world who makes a bald assertion against me as being an honest citizen. Because, if you have really been told the things that you say here that you've been told, you have really, really been lied to, big time... and not by me, my friend.

And, note: "I" spent time in prison. My statement was that this company has never faced criminal charges. Your reply was nothing but a cheap shot that ignored the fact of our company's honorable operation, in order to take a swing at me, personally.

A couple of things that you suggest here border on libel.

You suggest that our company is not in compliance wiht our income tax filing requirements. You suggest that our company has lawsuits filed against it. You suggest that our company has a history of credit card merchant account chargebacks. You suggest that our company has not held an Apple Developer Connection membership for the past three years. And, you suggest that the many awards and recommendations that our products have won from the industry press have not been deserved. Several of these claims are serious issues, issues for which you should feel some responsibility in misrepresenting.

Finally, you know good and well that the very night I posted the 20,000 iTilt figure in a hurried messageboard post, I went back a few minutes later and admitted that it was a typo, and should have been 2,000. We ended up selling 3,000 of them before we finally discontinued the product.

I am remembering the confusion I felt about you early last year, when I realized that you were being utterly inconsistent. I belieevd you to be a nice, decent guy, ay many levels. But, I kept seeing a vindictive, ugly streak in the way you used clever attacks, while never once addressing my request for any proof of your assertions.

For the record, here are some items that are not "proof," and that any thinking adult should hold in the highest skepticism:

- verbal or email accusations from third-parties with whom our company either competes or with whom we have terminated a business relationship

- any anonymous email or verbal accusation made without submission of documentary evidence of the claim

The old "he said, she said" roundabout is acceptable discussion fodder in issues such as whether someone likes somebody else's hairstyle, or about some other trivial matter. It is not acceptable methodology for launching and sustaining a very public character assassination campaign, against me, or against anyone else.

You have regularly accepted bald assertions from competitors, from people within the industry and within Apple who are not our friends, and, from a variety of anonymous sources, as fact... as uncontestable truth. And, you have consistently rejected virtually everything I have ever said in repsonse to your attack as being a falsehood, simply on the presumption that I am "a liar."

An example of how this could work at the moment would be if you were to have a conversation with Gary Bart, owner of XtremeMac, today, about me. He and I are the two guys heatedly in a mad competition to get the first actually shipping iPod shuffle accessories into mass distribution. The entire iPod channel is poised, waiting for whichever one of us can actually start shipping out their orders first. He knows it. I know it. We regularly talk with the same buyers in the channel. They know it. And, next week, one of us will beat the other one to that moment, and will reap the windfall of initial big box orders that results, by a difference of possibly as little as a day, or even hours. I do not think today would be a good day to get an unskewed opinion about me from Gary, or for that matter, an unskewed opinion about Gary from me. But, you OBVIOUSLY do not think these sorts of dynamics have a thing to do with the sort of information quality you enjoy when you talk to people in the industry.

Another example: Over th past few months, what was previously a difficult relationship wiht Apple has degenerated into a complete break between Apple and our company. I hate their business practices, and I am extremely vocal, in public about it. They hate the lone-wolf approach I take to running our company, and the irritating ripple I am causing in their ordered little universe. We've actually now shifted our business model to be aggressively a non-Apple party line company. It gives us many advantages other "Mac peripherals makers" do not enjoy, at the price of selling our products outside of Apple's retail stores and web site. If you talked to anybody today at Apple about us, I wonder just how pleasant, positive and accurate the information you got "back channel" would be? And, given that any comments would be made off the record, privately, with no expectation of recourse, do you really expect to receive accurate data from them about us?

My big concern with you, Philip, is that you seem to not be much of a student of human nature. You miss the obvious on many occasions.

The people who feed you this derogatory information about me and our company here are not the faultless angels you seem to believe. And, frankly, I am not the spawn of satan you have me calked up as being. If only life were that clean and innocent.

Jack Campbell said...

... andm, only if these Blogger web sites would allow comments to be edited after being posted... I would gladly go back and fix the myriad typos in that last post. Sorry about that.

Jack Campbell said...

And... for your educational benefit, the TOMIS system in the Tennessee Department Of Corrections does not differentiate in its reportage between time in customdy and time on parole. You know that, because you have other evidence that I was managing EASI in 1998 - 1999. Yet, you just posted what you know to be false information, stating that I was incacerated during those two-years.

Philip, you cannot simultaneously be a champion of truth and justice, and, a bald liar. Even you must see the inconsistency there.

I would recommend at this point tat you go back and delete both your a my posts here. Otherwise, you will have sitting here irrefutable evidence (of your own construction) that you are a liar, or, at best, are capable of massive factual errors.

We couldn't have your spotless reputation tarnished now, could we?

Hopefully, for your sake, you can get the deletions done before Google caches the page... for eternity. Otherwise, you are going to be in one whale of a pickle in trying to get anyone to actually believe you, ever again.

Just for giggles, I think I'll save the whole page locally...

Middle-agedman said...

There is no doubt that Jack Campbell's various products have been innovative and compelling. There is also no doubt that his website, products descriptions, packaging, advertising, and promotions are all cleverly and often very professionally done. It is clear to me that Jack is a savvy businessman who knows how to do business successfully in the Mac peripherals marketplace.

These things being said, it is also clear that many of these products are not original with MacMice or DVForge despite Jack's enthusiastic verbiage regarding how he engineered this and designed that. The moderator of this site has also pointed out very serious ommissions in product descriptions and verbiage on the website and on the packaging. It may seem to be a small thing to make a reference to Apple on one's packaging or website, but there are very clear laws governing this that Jack has chosen to ignore. His "lighten-up" attitude is not credible at all, but a cover to his choice to ignore the laws and rules that govern the line of work that he has chosen to be in. Small wonder that Apple gazes on his business with less than enthusiasm.

Can you imagine getting pulled over by a state trooper for going 9 mph over the posted speed limit and suggesting that he was "anal-retentive" and ought to "lighten-up"? Putting on a big grin and employing a lot of charm in front of a judge and saying that you were in a hurry to deliver an order of 20,000 Ice-Mates? I'm just a tiny hubby-wife business from Tennessee with a couple of folding tables and a can of soup, so give me a break already?

We've all got to live in a society that is governed by rules of proper and fair practices. We can't just grin these rules away and tell people whose intellectual property we are stepping on to "lighten up." It's not fair to all of those in the Apple accessory business who do things the right way to tolerate those who do not.

You're not fooling people with your homespun yarns and pages of excuses and inaccurate statistics, Jack. The fact that other people are not commenting does not mean they are not taking note. Philip has clearly done his homework and has provided the evidence to back it up with and you have not.

FYT said...

Hey, Jack ... lighten up ... these are just small details ...

The point is, you have been caught multiple times in multiple [unethical practices]

You are the ONLY one refuting anything. Of course, now that I say that ... you will have some friend or made up anonymous character post in your favor.

Look, I know the Mac peripheral business is cut throat. I have no doubt that some people are out to bury the competition. But it's really easy for you. You have a big mouth and big personality. You ARE easier to pick on. There is OVERWHELMING evidence for all the things you have done. You have a defensive spin on everything. It's easy to refute most everything you say ... and since you handle yourself the way you do (opposite from your attorny advice) - you have no credibility. Some of the stuff you say could possibly be right and I want readers to know after personally talking to a lot of your competition about different topics, you always seem to come up. Their general reply is, "[you are] self imploding and drama that we don't care about."

Their general thought is, we are worried about product - you are worried about responding to drama and creating drama - via bogus contests, via posting to the web as Jack Campbell or DVForge.

I find it laughable that while you were calm for almost 6-7 months, things were going well for you and for your company. Things died down and I actually started to trust you again. I tried to forgive and forget myself.

I will gladly edit anything about your prison record if you will post all time served in jail. I cannot delete anything. I can make an edit statement though.

Your time served for real estate fraud and tax fraud DIRECTLY relates to any future business you have. A felony is NOT a misdemeanor. An unrepentant criminal who cannot draw connections in his life and therefore reform as a man, is not worthy of parole or sympathy from anyone who deals with them.

Side note on the cease and decist letters ... I almost forgot the most famous one: MacTable.

Of course, all readers know how you will rerspond to that. BUT - your attorney and I know how you should respond .... don't. Lay low. Distribute as you were doing, attend Macworld Expos, consult your attorney before doing anything big; otherwise .... face implosion.

Concerning your opinion of your Apple relationship ... wow ... interesting words I hope all of your resellers are looking at ... if you don't get along with them or don't like their rules ... you walk all over them, bad mouth them, and intentionally and openly break their rules and then cry, "Their wrong, I'm just the guy with a card table in his bedroom making mac stuff"