Wednesday, October 31, 2007

USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs

My Lawsuit Victory Makes The Slashdot Front Page!!

SlashDot: Blogger Wins 1.5 Year Legal Battle

My favorite quote from the comments:

For some reason journalists think they are given special status by the Constitution. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Constitution does not give special status to anyone. Nor does it give anyone the freedom of speech or the press. It recognizes freedom of speech and press are natural rights. It makes it very clear that the government can not interfere with these rights. Your right to publish is as important as is the right of someone working for a newspaper. This case simply reinforces this fact.

And I would agree that most bloggers are not journalists - nor do they ever report news (or report anything that is verifiably factual & unbiased). This site however engages in personal diary (as most blogs) and journalistic reporting (I really do a lot of research and 1st reports here).

Also on DIGG (please DIGG up):

read more | digg story


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Apple sells 2 million copies of Leopard / Gruber claims 1.9 million due to his blog

As reported by Macminute:

2 million copies of 10.5 sold in 1st weekend

Apple today announced that it sold (or delivered in the case of maintenance agreements) over two million copies of Mac OS X Leopard since its release on Friday, far outpacing the first-weekend sales of Mac OS X Tiger, which was previously the most successful OS release in Apple’s history. Sales included copies sold at Apple’s retail stores, Apple Authorized Resellers, the online Apple Store, under maintenance agreements and bundled with new Mac computers. “Early indications are that Leopard will be a huge hit with customers,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Leopard’s innovative features are getting great reviews and making more people than ever think about switching to the Mac.”

4 of those sales were from me. I ordered 3 Mac UP TO DATE copies for my $9.95 each - then I ordered one copy for myself from AMAZON. I also went to Atlanta Georgia about 120 miles away for the launch festivities.

I'm not quite sure why, but John Gruber over at Daring Fireball wrote a whole post about how many people bought Leopard through his AMAZON affiliate link posted on his website. I'm not so sure if he's exaggerating* a bit, but c'est la vie.

For October 2007 Daring Fireball had 914,854 Page Views / 178,784 Unique Visitors

The average website should expect 1/10 of 1% of all visitors to click on an advertisement link. He claims that 579 visitors used HIS affiliate link that's the same kind that appears on just about every Mac website out there (including this one - mine gives me affiliate income). That adds up to 178 - even that would be a high estimate due to the proliferation of the link on Mac sites. It just struck me as funny and or suspicious that John Gruber would nmention this figure - as if almost to say "You're not cool if you didn't use my link!"

* I'm also not sure why he feels the NEED to exaggerate this claim

The Ultimate Consumerist.COM Guide To Fighting Back

How to fight back from CONSUMERIST.COM - packaged together into one big mega-post of usefulness.

Also don't forget about the WikiHow article I created:

How to PROTEST & COMPLAIN to get a refund

read more | digg story

Monday, October 29, 2007

Apple Limiting iPhone Sales to Two Per Person. Credit Only. NO Cash or Gift Cards!

Apple placed new limits on iPhone sales in an effort to limit unlocking/resale of the iPhone.

Apple is no longer accepting cash for iPhone purchases & now limits sale of the cell phone to two per person. The policy was enacted on Thursday according to an Apple spokesperson. Apple is also not accepting Apple gift cards.

read more | digg story


What's been going on in the last week?

Blogger wins lawsuit!

From Eric Goldman's Tech Blog:

BidZirk v. Smith, [is] a flagship example of how a pernicious and misguided plaintiff with a thin skin can ruin a blogger's life. Fortunately, even though the blogger handled the case pro se, the court saw the case's lack of merit and finally ended the case.

The case started when Smith blogged a lengthy post on his negative experiences with BidZirk, an eBay drop-off company. BidZirk struck back with a lawsuit claiming defamation, privacy invasion and trademark violations. After losing its request for a preliminary injunction, BidZirk appealed to the Fourth Circuit, which denied its request. Very messy discovery followed, with both parties getting chastised for their conduct*. Finally, in this ruling, the court granted Smith summary judgment, and threw in some sanctions against plaintiffs' counsel to boot.

Specifically, the court said:

* calling BidZirk's founder a "yes man" was an opinion and therefore not actionable as defamation

* South Carolina doesn't recognize the false light invasion, and even if it did, nothing portrayed the plaintiffs in a false light. Further, linking to a photo published on a third party website does not constitute a publicity rights violation

* Smith was immune from trademark claims because his reference to BidZirk was in the context of news reporting or news commentary. Though the court doesn't equate bloggers and journalists generally, it gives Smith the same protection given to journalists

* BidZirk's attorney filed a lis pendens on Smith's condo, and the court sanctioned the attorney because the attorney had no basis to claim a right against Smith's property

As the court says, "In essence, this is a case in which the Plaintiffs have sued Smith because he published articles on the internet critical of the Plaintiffs' business." Thus, on the surface, this appears to be a cautionary tale to all bloggers that we live in peril of being dragged into court whenever we negatively critique businesses. Yet I see this ruling as a redemption of sorts--it takes a lot of courage to blog, and it takes even more courage for bloggers to stand behind their words when challenged, but we have a responsibility to make sure we can't be bullied on either front. On behalf of bloggers everywhere, we applaud Philip Smith's courage and determination to defeat this case.

* I don't think I was ever chastised for my conduct in court or depositions. I was ridiculously reprimanded for chewing gum, but I sincerely apologized. It wasn't like I was popping bubbles though. It was more of a nervous thing than disrespect. I was also compelled by the court at the magistrate level to answer some ridiculous questions. I refused to answer. The District Judge later dismissed my having to answer because the Plaintiff attorney failed to give a reason why he needed an answer.

- The Plaintiff attorney forced me to reveal trade secret information regarding an invention of mine and also forced me to reveal several of my clients personal information. One subject of a completely unrelated article that I posted was contacted and prompted to say something bad about me. Instead, he contacted me and I posted his letter on my website.

* the Plaintiff attorney was chastised very firmly for asking me 3 separate invasive, irrelevant, and antagonizing questions.

"This court finds several of the plaintiff's requests are irrelevant, vague, overly broad, and unduly burdensome"

"Two of the discovery requests appear to have been made for no other purpose than to antagonize and embarrass the defendant"

Quote from District Judge Henry Herlong:

"... the court finds that based on Elwell's grossly improper conduct, he should be sanctioned"

* My counterclaims were all dismissed because the attorney was able to falsely claim lack of jurisdiction. I have put out requests for a lawsuit to a number of attorneys interested in the case.

* I think it's worth noting that I was warned by several attorneys with whom I consulted that my legal fees would approach the high 6 figures, one attorney even referenced Apple's litigation against bloggers.

* The ruling layed the foundation for a "litmus test for bloggers as journalists":

- It's not the format it's the content and intention that make text journalism / reporting.

* The MAIN reason my article was saved from defamation was that while I was critical I wasn't crazy and not once discouraged people from going to the business, nor did I register any domains such as BIDZIRKSUCKS.COM. (Although, with PayPalSUCKS.COM & WalmartSUCKS.COM - I'm sure I would have been protected had I chosen to do such.)


Star Wars Hologram Effect for iChat (Leopard)

A MacRumors user took some time to try to recreate the missing iChat Star Wars hologram effect that didn't make the final cut of Leopard.

read more | digg story

Ars Technica review of Leopard!

By FAR the best review of Leopard you'll read on the net.

read more | digg story

Friday, October 26, 2007

Leopard on an 8 year old G4 Power Mac -- can it be done?

It's no surprise to hear that Leopard smokes on the latest Intel box, right? That's all fine and dandy for new Mac owners but what about the rest of us (the majority) who are still pumping that legacy PowerPC architecture beneath Cupertino's OS? How does Apple's OS of tomorrow run onm say, an 8 year old Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics)?

read more | digg story

RIP, Classic Mac OS: 1984 - 2007

Apple's posted a note confirming that Leopard will not support Classic, even on PowerPC machines. Of course, Intel Macs have never been able to run Classic ...

read more | digg story

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Invisible holes???

FLIKr page showing the new laser cut holes on Apple's aluminum bluetooth wireless keyboard

Ever wonder how the power LED shows through the aluminum of Apple's new wireless keyboard when it's on, but blends into the metal when it's off? Here's how.

This design feature caught my eye as soon as I powered the keyboard up, so I brought it into work the next day and took a picture at 40X magnification using the scope in our lab. A small patter of what must be laser cut holes allows the light from the LED to shine through, but hides it from view when it's turned off.

---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------

I love my Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard. It takes up next to zero foot print and is perfectly designed for my "hunt and peck" typing style. (I still average 45 wpm) It also has the added benefit of waking my computer up faster for bluetooth than DiNovo bluetooth or Microsoft bluetooth keyboards do

* Link credit Daring Fireball

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Let's hope AT&T sticks to what the meaning of "UNLIMITED" is

As reported by ENgadget:

... For those still jaded from being cut off for "excessive use" earlier this year, justice has finally been served. [Verizon] has recently agreed to "reimburse the terminated subscribers for the cost of the laptop cards or laptop-connected cellphones" they purchased in order to surf the mobile broadband highway, and moreover, it'll be shelling out $150,000 in "penalties and costs" to New York state. Of course, [Verizon] now makes clear that BroadbandAccess customers can be snubbed if they continuously stream audio / video content, enable P2P sharing or exceed 5GB of data usage per month, but it sounds like reimbursement is on the way for those disconnected when terms were more ambiguous.


Wow! I hope AT&T never gets this bug ... my bill indicates I used nearly 8GB last month and 3.8GB the month prior. I have pretty much stopped taking my laptop most places and I'm using my iPhone almost exclusively to check my email, post in the comments on this website, take notes, use for directions, use for my music, etc etc.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Don't forget ... you can get Leopard for FREE (well almost free)

Mac OS X Leopard Up-to-Date Program

Apple certified refurbished Macs also qualify for the OS X Leopard Up-to-Date Program:

Hardware Up-To-Date

Customers who purchase a qualifying new Macintosh computer or an Apple Certified Refurbished computer from the Apple Online Store on or after October 1, 2007 that does not have Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard included can upgrade to Leopard.

Multiple Qualifying Computers on a Single Invoice

If you purchased multiple qualifying systems on a single invoice, you can either (1) purchase a Single-User Upgrade Kit for each qualifying product, at a cost of US$9.95*; or (2) purchase fewer Single-User Upgrade Kits and request the Right to Copy for the remaining qualifying products.

Mac OS X Leopard Server Up-To-Date, Leopard Xserve - Unlimited Client

Customers who purchase a qualifying new Xserve [MA409LL/A, Z0DB, FA409LL/A, G0449LL/A, G0450LL/A] on or after October 1, 2007 that does not have Mac OS X Server v10.5 Leopard Unlimited Client software included can upgrade to Mac OS X Server 10.5 Leopard Unlimited Client..."

See the Apple Leopard Up-to-Date page for full terms and conditions.


I just ordered an iMac for a customer two days ago. I'm going to send in their coupon and my $9.95 and get my copy of Leopard that way. I never install or recommend a new OS on any system that I sell until all the bugs are worked out.

I want to keep my current boot Tiger 10.4.9 OS X as-is for a while because I know there's going to be bugs & compatibility issues with some of my apps/utilities, but I still will test Leopard every now and then and probably surf and post here within it. Plus I really really want Time Machine!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hundreds of hacked iPhones!

Check out the read more link for a huge Flickr screenshot pool with hacks of all different kinds - themes, apps, icons & games. Very interesting!

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An interesting question regarding the impossible

I got this question on my USB to Ethernet adapter auction on eBay:

Question: Hi there... hoping you can help me! My friend knocked her imac g4 off a table and the usb ports broke off. I sent the board in to laptop rescuer who soldered them back on but alas they still do not work! So, am at a loss. Hoping perhaps to find ethernet to usb support? or firewire to usb? any thoughts? thanks

Answer: Sorry ... there is no such thing as an ethernet / USB bridge. The only thing you could do is use the unit as a netbooted Mac at this point. You could control it through a network ... that's all.

Steve Jobs: Open Letter About iPhone Applications

MacRumors reports:

Steve Jobs has posted an open letter revealing that Apple will be releasing a 3rd party Software Development Kit (SDK) for iPhone and iPod Touch applications. The SDK will be released in February 2008.

At this time, the letter only appears on Apple's Hot News page:

We've reproduced it here in its entirety:


Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

Some companies are already taking action. Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer. While this makes such a phone less than “totally open,” we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone’s amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs.

We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.


P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch.



Can I just tell all of my readers out there ... this is a slight of hand of sorts. I am aware of two applications that Apple is beta testing right now that everyone will flock to the iPhone specifically for. Jobs is right that the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever. I have been wanting a feature that is currently in development for years and you'll want it too if you don't own an iPhone.

I also think that someone like Griffin or DLO will come out with a bluetooth universal remote control application for the iPod that will be on screen and have a bluetooth to IR adapter to compliment.

And honestly, NO PHONE IS COMPLETE until it has Tetris - one of the few things I miss that all of my phones have had in the last 5 years.

Why Commercials Before Movies Is Worse Than Piracy

Interesting article posted on the Movie Blog: Quote: "I estimate the movie industry owes me $480 for uncompensated ad watching time out of the $456 million they made off pre-movie commercials. The principle for piracy and time theft is the same. Taking an asset (a movie, or your time) without providing the due compensation for taking that asset." The article also points out that midnight movie premeires are extended to 20-25 minutes beyond the show times. If you go see a 2 hour movie at midnight. You won't leave the theater until 2:30.

read more | digg story

Finally ...

Well after 3 months loading between 50 and 200 album's artwork a day ... I finally finished. All of my songs, quotes, tv themes, and obscure live recordings finally are done. It took a whole month longer than I predicted! Whew!!! 26,714 songs all pretty. All 1800 audio files on my iPhone have pretty pictures now.

Stephen Colbert announced on The Daily Show that he's officially considering whether he will announce that he's running for President of the United States.

He said he might be trying for the ticket in his home state of South Carolina.

The interesting thing is ... I would consider voting for him. I would love to see what a State Of The Union address would be like with Colbert.

And he's from my home state of South Carolina ... something I didn't know.

* For those of you wondering ... this IS NOT a joke. Colbert IS REALLY considering running.

More to come about this ...

Apple officially cuts DRM-free track prices to $.99

Apple officially lowered the price of its iTunes Plus offerings (AKA iTunes sans-DRM) to $0.99, instead of the higher-priced premium of $1.29. This matches recent offerings from Wal-mart and AmazonMP3 and their DRMfree songs. It will be interesting to see if Universal will allow their songs to become DRM-free and be on iTunes come January.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Edge data (on the iPhone) vs 3G (what everybody thinks they want)

As reported on SlashDot:

Blackfriars's communications has an interesting discourse on why the practical difference between 3G and EDGE cellphone data networks is less than it appears to be based on a naive bandwidth metric. Their argument is that the user experience of TCP/HTML is much more impacted by latency, error rates, and processor speed than by bandwidth — and Edge had the edge on all three. Additionally, EDGE may consume considerably less power."

Ars Technica did an informal analysis last month and determined that the Samsung Blackjack lasted 22% longer using JUST EDGE vs using JUST 3G. 3G (as it stands now) is a drain on the battery. In my experiences, 3G isn't that much faster anyway. In my area, there is no 3G implemented (yet) for AT&T - so it's moot for me any way. Would I like the speed of the EDGE network to be faster? Yes! Is it acceptable for me for what I do? Yes! There's rarely a time when I'm not near a WiFi hotspot any way.

iPhone report: most owners left Treos, Sidekicks behind

While we've seen a variety of surveys pitting the iPhone against its most notable rivals, a recent study conducted by the NPD Group breaks down the numbers behind who left what phone (and what carrier) to acquire an iPhone.

When I briefly worked with AT&T ... our most "switched from" phone was the Samsung Blackjack or a Blackberry. Most users couldn't believe the awesome "all you can eat" data deal AT&T offered for the iPhone for $20.

read more | digg story

Mac OS 10.5 Leopard: Spotted on October 26 2007 for release

Multiple sites have announced that Apple has officially announced Mac OS X 10.5 to be released on October 26 2007.

While I would love for any readers to help support this site by using the Fix Your Thinking affiliate link below, I hope that the majority of you will wait at least a month to install it on your Mac. Give the blogosphere and Apple News Internets some time to report on the problems and for Apple to release at least one update.

Tiger STILL has issues - as there have been 10 updates in 3 years since its release. (We are currently at Mac OS 10.4.10 in case you aren't keeping up.)

I would like to stress that it is VERY important that you at least have Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) by now. In my day to day job of Apple consulting ... it is very difficult to support 12 years worth of operating systems. Some of my customers still use OS 9. While it took until Panther for me to permantly switch to OS 10, I haven't looked back in over 3 years. Not until a few days ago had I even booted any computer into OS 9. (I had to in order to play Bugdom on an older iMac DV.)

I usually go to Atlanta (about 100 miles away) to attend the launch party of each OS (I went to the Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger launch parties ... no launch party announcement has been made as of yet.)

Back when Tiger was released many people got their AMAZON.COM shipments a few days early. This would possibly be an advantage of ordering from the link above.

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard requires:

* minimum of 512MB of RAM
* any Macintosh® computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5 or G4 (867 Mhz or faster) processor.

I wonder if this includes or excludes Dual 500's and Dual 800's?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Freak-a-zoids ... Robots ... IR-V's You Can't Dance With Macs!

Midnight Star - Anniversary Collection - Freak-A-Zoid

I collect robot toys ...

Over the weekend I found an interesting toy from 2001 called IR-V.

He was in the packaging and apparently worked with Macs as the user on the back of the packaging clearly has an Apple logo keyboard and is clearly using an Apple ADB mouse. (The monitor is Sony, the speakers are generic)

The package has a slogan:

The 1st Wireless Internet Robot!!

That should be two asterisks (**) instead of exclamation points (!!).

First off ... there's nothing really wireless about the robot. He apparently reacts to sounds and maybe IR signals that come from the IR-VONLINE.COM website which no longer resolves. I guess that shows how popular this toy was.

Second, he doesn't work with Macs eventhough the advertising is clearly showing the Mac OS, Internet Explorer for Macs, and Apple hardware controlling the robot. Here's a scan of the manual

NONE OF THIS COMPATIBILITY is mentioned on the outside of the package.

I wonder if anyone has ever sued because a package indicated Mac compatibility in the advertising but the actual product inside did not work with Macs. I suppose the statute of limitations has run out on this toy.

There is a small disclaimer on the box that reads:

Actual product may differ slightly from the photographs and infomercials

Is advertising Mac compatibility and having no Mac compatibility a slight diffrence?

The box also has this little piece of pop culture candy goodness:

"Your IR-V is equipped with W.I.T.™!

What is W.I.T.™?

"Wireless Interaction Technology" of course! An innovative system which allows Ir-V™ to download real-time signals from the internet!

There was a whole company (now defunct) formed around this robot. The company was located in Cottontown Tennessee USA. Honestly I think they should be ashamed for ever stealing venture capital.

He'll still make a good addition to my collection.

US News & World Report Part 1

Here is a link to part of the information that US News & World Report is reporting in a recent website entry:

Go Ahead and Spout Off on the Web. But It Can Cost You
When companies sue critics, they win even when they lose

By Emma Schwartz

Companies are beginning to take note of these rulings, and some are holding their legal fire in favor of a quieter resolution. Says Joseph Berghammer, a professor of trademark law at Northwestern University: "While you might win the legal battle you may have lost the public relations one."

As for the critics' battles, they are not always easily won. Philip Smith, a South Carolina computer consultant, hired a local eBay drop-off, BidZirk, to help get rid of a backlog of computer parts. He alleges in court filings that the company sold the parts for half the "appraised eBay value," cutting his profit. He detailed his troubles in a blog entry called "You Gotta Be Berserk To Use An eBay Listing Company."

Within weeks BidZirk sued him for trademark infringement and defamation. Although he has won a number of motions over the past two years, he has spent hundreds of hours defending himself and lost income. In other words, he says, even if he wins, he's lost.

* I'm the Philip Smith mentioned here.

Several attorneys with whom I've consulted say that if I had an attorney on retainer I'd be in the upper six figures by now defending this lawsuit against me. The paperwork and bureaucracy of the court and from the opposing attorney interferes greatly with my day to day activities and my emotional capacity to deal with life's every day stress. Thank goodness it seems to be coming to a close. I'm waiting for the judge's order to file a "malicious litigation, defamation, harassment, and breach of contract suit" against the Plaintiff.

$50k in Apple on 10/11/03 worth 1 million today

In the last 4 years, shares in Apple have gone 2273%.

This also means that a 25k thousand investment would be worth $500 thousand, a $12,500 investment would be worth 250k, and a small $6250 investment would be worth $250 thousand. If you had just kept your car 4 more years and made this investment instead!

read more | digg story

USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs

How to track the originating location of an email via it's IP address

Need to figure out where an email you received was sent from? Follow these simple steps and you'll be able to figure out the original starting location of a sent email! No need for email tracking software.

* This is a useful tool/method that I use often.

read more | digg story

Friday, October 12, 2007

Reader emails ...

I had an interesting email from one of my local customers (who's a Democrat) asking:

What do you think about Al Gore being drafted as President?

I don't think about it honestly. Look ... I don't care how he lost the election in 2000. If he couldn't beat as weak a candidate as George Bush by a landslide ... there's your answer. I doubt he would be any stronger against the stronger Republican candidates this go around.

I've been saying this for years!!!

Macrumors reports:

Fortune's Apple 2.0 Blog reports on an analyst research note by Berstein Research's Toni Sacconaghi Jr that reframes some of Apple's notebook marketshare numbers.

In breaking notebook shares into 5 separate price ranges (quintiles), Sacconaghi found that Apple's marketshare amongst the most expensive quintile of notebooks was as high as 29%. ...

... the most interesting tidbit of information gleaned was when they excluded business sales: Apple's 29% notebook marketshare rose to 46% when counting only consumer + educational sales.

This may confirm anecdotal reports that Apple's marketshare appears to be booming amongst college campuses. As a result, Apple's consumer marketshare could be substantially higher than the traditional 5-6% marketshare numbers would suggest.

I've been saying this for years, but ...

There is a VERY noticeable uptick in visible Apple laptops out in public. I've always seen them - but in the last 6-12 months they seem to be outnumbering the PC laptops I've seen in coffee shops and on campuses. Yesterday in a coffee shop, I noticed that Apple laptops outnumbered PC laptops 4 to 3.

Here is a Fix Your Thinking Article from January of 2006:

Just How Many Apple Computer Users Are There Really

The Untruthful Truth

So ... Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his movie and "efforts" in "An Inconvenient Truth"

Just about every "fact" that this movie tried to claim has been debunked by scientists. There is no such thing as man made Global Warming. Was the Ice Age also caused by man? Wasn't there warming after that? Was that caused by a rise in caveman fires? You need a real dose of reality if you believe there's such a thing as Global Warming. Do I believe the earth is warming up? Yes! Do I believe we should be environmentally concious? Yes!!

If you are Democrat or Republican or Independent ... you have been brainwashed by a bizarre group of people who want you to think that Global Warming is more than just an earth cycle. They want you to think that our distance from the sun, solar activity, volcanic activity, and the moon's slightly increasing distance from earth has had no affect on Global Warming at all. If you look at it closely, organizations and political interest groups that push this garbage are really pushing a New Age agenda - endowing humans with the powers of nature (and of God). This is a subtle way to diminish the relationship between religion and science.

I'm not loading some political opinion on you here. You have to understand that the majority of the Global Warming Gang wants YOUR MONEY! That's it. They want to sell you t-shirts and bumper stickers, rather than something tangible or useful.

Rated "R" warning, but good follow up:

Pen & Teller Bull****: Recycling

I would highly recommend watching Pen & Teller's full episode on recycling - it's the best research and straightforward talk from anything I've ever seen or heard on the subject of recycling.

I recycle aluminum cans and of course I recycle older Apple computers into displays, servers, fish tanks, computers for kids and senior citizens, and bust Macs into parts for eBay sales <-- therefore recycling them. I also feel like I do my part by recycling ink jet & laser toner cartridges and using all of my paper to shred and reuse as packaging material. I don't feel like a hypocrit saying any of this. Unlike Gore.

I also have my car tweaked as much as possible to save as much gas as possible. I use an additive called ZMax. I have a device called a Tornado. I use premium spark plugs. I change my air filter often. I drive the most fuel efficient [nonHYBRID] SUV on the market. I average 31 MPG.

I'm not a hypocrit like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak - I don't own a Toyota Prius and a Hummer. (The two cars that get the best and worst miles to the gallon for consumer available automoblies.)

British Courts reprimand Gore for 9 factual errors in movie about the environment

* Al Gore is on the Apple Board Of Directors

[UPDATE] Al Gore made the APPLE.COM front page:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

On top of this being a slow news week I have been very busy with a number of projects ...

* I'll post PART 2 of "Written Up, But Not Kept Down" very soon.

* I have two news pieces I've been working on for more than 3 months now that I also plan to post ... getting the full story on these two stories has been a little difficult.

* With a lengthy legal matter coming to a close I have suddenly been deluged with calls from lawyers wanting to represent me in a lawsuit against a Plaintiff that has been harassing me for almost two years now. The court is pretty much certifying that I have been harassed and mistreated by the Plaintiff. Here's a small blurb from a judge's ruling:

"This court finds several of the plaintiff's requests are irrelevant, vague, overly broad, and unduly burdensome"

"Two of the discovery requests appear to have been made for no other purpose than to antagonize and embarrass the defendant"

* Along those same lines ( ... Tom I'm name dropping again) I have been contacted by US News & World Report for an interview about this legal matter and how bloggers are being battered by big business and blogger's rights are being eroded simply because the blogger can't afford a legal defense. In my case, I've been Pro Se (representing myself) and I will hopefully win a key battle for bloggers.

* With YouTube going to a monetized / revenue sharing model I'm working on my first video upload which I think could generate me some good Google ad revenue. It's a secret ... but Fix Your Thinking Readers will get to see it first.

* I'm just now getting the T-Shirts in to send all the winners of the contest I held last month for readers. Thanks to everyone for being patient.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The iPhone Helps Me With The Guys Who Owe Me Money

Apple has posted some new iPhone ads. I particularly like the one with the guy below telling how he can see the people that owe him money and if their message is too long he knows its a story about how they aren't going to pay him ... very funny.

Alltel to charge ALL of $22.00 to access wifi hotspots that you can already access

With my iPhone using wifi I don't have to carry my laptop to as many places. I'm finding myself accessing more wifi hotspots nowadays.

Alltell announced today:

Based on a new section of Alltel's website, is getting into WiFi. Apparently, Alltel customers can sign up for a variety of WiFi plans that will enable them to surf the internet via their 802.11b/g-equipped laptop whenever they're near one of the "thousands of convenient hotspot locations." Among them; Barnes & Noble, Avis, Embassy Suites, Hilton Hotels, Holiday Inn Hotels, Marriot Hotels, Tully's Coffee and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

The rate plan for unlimited access to the "North and South American WiFi network" is $21.99 per month so long as you have any voice or data plan already,

AT&T has a similar plan in place.

A couple notes:

1) You can already get the wifi at the hotels mentioned. Just walk in, go to the front desk and ask what the password is.

2) Contrary to #1 MOST HOTELS will not allow loitering in the parking lots. I wonder if they are changing this. I've been in a hotel parking lot before on my laptop and was told if I was not a guest at the hotel I had to leave.

3) Wouldn't most places with hotels also have an Atlanta Bread or Panera Bread nearby?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Lawsuit updates (updated)

I've been slack on keeping up with Apple lawsuits lately. There's been quite a few. The Fix Your Thinking Reference section for Apple lawsuits is being updated as well ...

Suit claims Nike, Apple stole idea for Nike+ iPod Sport Kit

A little-known athletic company from Utah has filed a lawsuit that names both Nike and Apple, claiming that Nike knowingly stole its decade-old idea for the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit.

Notes: Note that there is no patent involved here. A company is just claiming it was their idea because of an integrated shoe pedometer.

Apple, Jobs, AT&T sued over iPhone price cut, rebates

Apple Inc., along with its chief executive and exclusive U.S. iPhone wireless partner AT&T, have been hit with a new lawsuit from a disgruntled customer who charges the trio with a variety of offenses stemming from the recent iPhone price cut.

Notes: Note that this woman wants $1 million from the $200 price cut due to "irreparable emotional harm" - that's her whole case.

Shareholder wins judge order to see Apple options records

A California judge ordered Apple Inc. to turn over board meeting minutes and historical records relating to the company's stock options accounting to an investor.

Notes: This sounds awfully fishy to me. This sounds like someone who's trying to find something to frame Apple. Why as an investor would you waste your own company's time & money? This information WILL come out.

Inmate's suit claims O.J. Simpson is "hitman" for Steve Jobs

Notes: If you are an inmate in South Carolina there's a frivolous lawsuit loophole. It was enacted to assist death row inmates. This guy may end closing this loophole as he files a new ridiculous suit like this every other month.

Apple Sued Over iPhone Bricking

California resident Timothy Smith sued Apple in a class-action case in Santa Clara County Superior court. The suit was filed by Damian Fernandez, a lawyer who's been soliciting plaintiffs since the 1.1.1 update for a case against Apple. The legal action seeks an injunction against Apple, which prevents it from selling the iPhone locked to AT&T. It also asks that Apple be enjoined from denying warranty service to users of unlocked iPhone, and from requiring iPhone users to get their phone service through AT&T.

Notes: I have always had AT&T ( formerly Cingular, formerly BellSouth Mobility) so it wasn't a problem for me ... but I don't like the fact that the iPhone is only on one network. There are more than just "AT&T had the best deal" reasons that Apple chose them.

• AT&T has the most subscribers
• AT&T's GSM technology is used internationally
• AT&T's network (because of the SIM card) is more secure
• AT&T has the most cash on hand for advertising/infrastructure build/deployment
• AT&T has more store locations than Verizon
• And obviously AT&T had an easier management to work with than Verizon


10 percent of September iPhones sold to unlocking teams?

Analysts for investment bank Piper Jaffray recently spent more time tracking unit sales at Apple Inc.'s retail stores and reported Thursday that their observations indicate that as many as 10 percent of the iPhones sold by the stores during the month of September were being purchased with the intention to be resold unlocked.

read more | digg story

Mac Marketshare at Universities Booming

The DailyPrincetonian reports on a growing trend amongst at least some universities. The Princeton University newspaper reports that Princeton's Mac marketshare has been rising dramatically, with 40 percent of students and faculty currently using a Mac as their personal computer.

A report last week indicated that Macs have gained a full 1.5% MORE in marketshare totaling 6.7%.

I have to say from personal experience that each year for the last 7 years I have sold close to 75 Macs a year with roughly 50 of those coming in the month of August when we have our tax free holiday. This year I have sold 216 Macs with 105 coming during our last tax free holiday in early August. I have had a huge increase in interest, service calls, and overall sales in the past year. (Mostly since January of 2007)

read more | digg story

Apple Admits To Aluminum iMac Problem

As reported by ENgadget:

Apple has admitted that at least some of the newest machines do have an issue. Reportedly, an Apple spokesperson stated that a "small number of iMac users have made us aware that a recent software update can sometimes cause their iMacs to freeze, requiring them to restart." Apparently, the machines become "unusable, requiring a hard reset in order to recover," and Cupertino is currently "tracking down the root cause of the bug." ... a software update with [a fix] should be coming "later this month."

This is one reason I usually only sell Apple refurbs to my customers instead of first generation Macs. I've had two customers who bought new iMacs since they came out ... one has had this issue ... the other has had a lot of problems with their keyboard.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Written Up, But Not Kept Down

As some of my long time readers know ... I've always written ... I mean way back - even into 3rd grade. I've kept a journal just about all of my life of every week of my life ... most times ... every day. For more than 10 years now, I've been writing a blog in some form or another. (This one for 5 years)

Every now and then I like to share a personal story from my past. So here goes ...

I'll post this in 3 parts ... starting with this introduction and background.

My father was very outspoken in educational matters while I was in school. He still is to this day. To say that the teachers in my school district hated him would be an understatement. It's not the kind of hate such as, "He's a bad guy, he's a jerk". No, just about everyone who knows my father respects him and likes him and feels the uncontrollable urge to shake his hand. Teachers have the kind of hate for my father like Lex Luthor hates Superman.

Teachers in my school district were corrupt back in my day. The cliche, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" certainly applies. My state has for many years tried WAY TOO HARD to figure out what's wrong with education. As time has passed this has given just about all political power in my state to the teachers.

My father has crusaded throughout the years to expose the injustices in the education system and the unfair taxation that the schools impose through property taxes in my state. In the early 80's, he discovered several booster club funds misappropriations and over all malfeasance amongst many school officials. He discovered that my junior high school had been built with left over materials from another job that the construction company had already completed. He discovered that the design of my junior high was very poor and architecturally unsound. He discovered that certain teachers were using funds from the booster club to buy personal items. He discovered some of the teachers having threesomes on school property (yes ... I know, weird and ewwww). He discovered that a coach was filming students having sex. He discovered that a coach was physically abusing players. (I don't mean in the light sense of spanking or over exercising like many whiney parents complain of today, I mean hitting them up side the head with equipment giving them concussions). He discovered school administrators and students doing hard core drugs - even teachers buying hard core drugs from students. And lastly, he discovered that some students were being given preferential treatment just because of social, economic, or political status with my community.

My father had few allies in the school system. Fortunately, one of those allies was the principal of my junior high school. My father and my principal made a simple agreement. I was not to get preferential treatment, but any teacher complaint about me was to be personally scrutinized by my principal. Besides this fact, most teachers feared my father. I don't mean in the sense of death. I mean in the sense of "Oh my God here comes Mr. Smith". Kind of like Lex Luthor knew Superman was going to put him in jail with the Monday paper would read "Lex Luthor's plot to destroy Metropolis; Foiled by Superman .... Again!"

I can't emphasize enough that my father was not a meddler. I never have considered my father a person who likes to stir up trouble. I know a lot of parents who are complainers when it comes to their children in school. They pretend as if their children are perfect angels and how dare the teachers proclaim otherwise. My father wasn't this way. In fact, he would tell me often, "If you do something stupid, Rusty, you are stupid. You need to be smart. If you're smart, people will call you smart." (Yes, a lot like Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does.") He asked that I never be treated with any preference. I was not to be treated differently just because teachers knew he would say something. In fact, my father was usually on the lookout for other students that may be having problems because he was interested in their well being too. You also must understand that my father was never considered as complaining too much. Again, let's go back to the Superman/Lex Luthor analogy. A teacher complaining about my father fighting what 90% of the population would consider wrong; is like Lex Luthor complaining that Superman fighting his plot to rob the world's banks and declare himself world ruler; was wrong.

USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A common merchandising technique ...

Daring Fireball writes:

Interesting example from Intel’s Timothy Mattson regarding the dizzying array of languages currently in vogue for parallel programming:

They created two displays of gourmet jams. One display had 24 jars. The other had 6. Each display invited people to try the jams and offered them a discount coupon to buy the jam. They alternated these displays in a grocery store and tracked how many people passed the displays, how many people stopped and sampled the jams, and how many subsequently used the offered coupon to buy the jam.

The results were surprising.

24 jar display: 60% of the people passing the display sampled the jam, 3% purchased jam.

6 jar display: 40% of the people passing the display sampled the jam, 30% purchased jam.

This is a common merchandising technique. Just put less of the item you want to sell on the rack. In fact ... you can even arrange items slighly off center and put fewer brochures next to it. The appearance that everyone else is buying one will get you more buyers. This bucks the common conception of supply and demand. I used to use this and another technique to sell macs when I did market representation for Apple back in 1998-2002.

Another way I sold Macs is to create ownership. Instead of using the words, "If you buy this" ... I would instead say, "Tomorrow morning when your using this ..." When I did iPod demos ... instead of spouting off about features, i would ask you what you had and tell you how the iPod was better simply by it's size and popularity.

These two principals are essentially the same thing. One shows people that others have bought it, one shows people they already own it they just need to get past the formality of a credit card swipe.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I don't see this connection ...

From The Rainer Brockerhoff forums:

What was, to me, unexpected was the reaction of some sectors of the press and of some users - mostly the same people who opposed the iPhone price cut, it seems.

See entire post HERE

* Link credit Daring Fireball

I don't see any connection. Of course there will always be people who complain about everything that have something in common with their last complaint.

In my case; I felt cheated for being loyal to Apple and telling dozens of my customers to buy an iPhone immediately (which they did). In the case of unlocking the iPhone, all those that unlocked showed a great disrespect for Apple and disregarded the multitude of warnings. I don't see any connection between unlocking the iPhone and wanting money back. In both cases, I think Apple has handled each perfectly.

Quote from the comments

Here's a good observation from Trotskiii (UK) - a commenter from a post yesterday here on Fix Your Thinking:

Working in the world of advertising - one of the unwritten rules is that you never ackowledge competitors who customers perceive to be smaller in than your company.

A good example of this is Coca Cola - which never mentions Pepsi, however Pepsi being the less established company is always mentioning Coke.

It seems that Nokia has broken all of these rules and by doing so is actually implying that Apple is the more dominant company.

I've always been fond of Coke vs Pepsi analogies ... it's what my economics teacher always used in high school.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Nokia unlocks anti-Apple campaign

* Photo courtesy of MacRumors

These posters were photographed in New York city over the weekend by a MacRumors forum member. While I don't agree with the message - it's interesting Nokia thinks Apple's 1% is a threat to it's 48% market share.

read more | digg story

New & Intriguing Details Emerge About 1-18-08

The 1-18-08 blog has updated with new information.

I don't know how many of you have been following this viral marketing campaign for the new movie "1-18-08" that comes out January 18th, 2008 ... but some new details have surfaced. If you like the backstory to the TV show LOST you'll appreaciate some of the new details to surface.

First ... a number of pictures have surfaced here

The 1-18-08 blogs seems to have found a second website associated with the "behind the story" elements of this movie. [see link above]

A brief note about MMS on the iPhone

Lack of MMS (Multimedia Messaging) is an AT&T limitation imposed on the iPhone that is on MANY other higher end cell phones from AT&T. You can still send & receive MMS messages - you do know that correct?

• To receive: You are sent a URL (on your iPhone) where you can type in a password & retrieve the message (on your home computer)

• To send: Use your computer to send to any cell phone (including the iPhone)

There is NO IMPORTANT message that would be sent to me via MMS. If you can't say it in text or via photo email ... I'd rather view it at home or in person anyway.

It's the most "Thinking Differentedness" Cell Phone Out There

From The Small Wave blog:

[TechCrunch posts] another post railing against not allowing unlocking or third-party apps apps on the iPhone. Yet, not only does the iPhone break many rules when it comes to the phone companies, Apple's decision to not allow third-party apps also goes against the grain. After all, third-party apps are touted all the time for Windows Mobile, Palm, etc.

Let’s look at a few ways the iPhone broke the rules:

•Activate the phone at home.

•Easily sync contacts, calendars, pictures, media, music, videos, and other stuff easily using Mac or PC.

•Uses WiFi and EDGE, automatically switches to WiFi when available.

•Affordable plans that all include unlimited data.

•Already been updated with new features twice, and obviously there are more coming.

And there are plenty more in just the software alone. My point is that the above, along with their differing views on third-party apps, are enough to make it clear Apple does not think like the phone companies.

Read the full story HERE


What the official "League Of Awesomeness" handshake should be like

The website ZeFrank once mentioned "The League Of Awesomeness"
[ an elite group I doubt I could ever be a part of ]. While surfing MySpace this past weekend I came across a profile that had a picture of this handshake. This is what I imagine the "League Of Awesomeness Handshake" would be like. Of course you'd have to have at least 3 to 5 people in your particular grouping of "LOA members".

What ever happened to the "Follow The White Laptop" Charity auction

As some of you may remember a URL popped up over a year ago to start a white MacBook around the world to be signed by celebrities in the Mac World. The concept of the charity benefit seemed interesting ... but it seems that A) not many people have signed it and B) Not many people care to sign it.

The website, which has been on hold since April 2007, stated that an auction for the laptop would happen sometime in the Summer of 2007. The site now says that the proceeds will go to the "One Laptop Per Child Program" which distributes these laptops [below] NOT Apple laptops - so the charity doesn't make much sense now. Only two people have signed the laptop so far as I can tell. The original goal was 50 or more famous signatures.

* I've sent several emails to the site requesting updates over the last two weeks with no reply.

I'm sure we all expected this ... but I say, "All the warning signs were there."

Just about the only way people found out about "iPhone unlocking" was through the internet. These same people also saw the "100 to 1 comments" saying, "Don't do it" or "I wouldn't do this" or "Apple is most likely going to break this in the next software update and possibly permantly damage the iPhone"

I have no sympathy for these protesters.

See also: Some iPhone Buyers Mulling Class Action Lawsuit