Wednesday, April 30, 2008

AT&T to cut the price of Apple’s new iPhone

When the 3G iPhone is introduced this summer, AT&T, the exclusive U.S. iPhone sales partner with Apple, will subsidize the price by as much as $200, according to a Forbes source. The inclusion of a GPS is also confirmed.

read more | digg story

Monday, April 28, 2008

7 Confessions Of An Apple Store Specialist

"7 Confessions of an Apple Mac Specialist." A mostly accurate and honest appraisal of what an Apple Store specialist can help you with and what services are the best deals for your money + a look at what to expect if seeking employment at an Apple Store.

read more | digg story

Friday, April 25, 2008

Flack Family Posts Update On MacMinute

As many of you know (and read here) Stan Flack - publisher of the Mac News blog -MacMinute passed away two weeks ago. His ( I presume) daughter; Julie has posted a message updating readers with thank yous and notes.

Of interest to me:

We are in the process of setting up an education fund in Stan's name. ... This fund will be called the Stan Flack Memorial Education Fund. Stan always believed that a good education was a solid foundation for a successful career.

Is this something from a will, I wonder? Because I know if I ran a popular enough Mac News website, that I'm sure at my death could generate cash for charity - I would most likely want my family to make a "Macs For Kids" type charity.

Not to doubt the sincerity here - but education has no bearing on success. Success is all in the eye of the motivated beholder.

Maybe I should update my will now to say just that.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs That Have Lost Ethernet Port Functionality / Save A Costly Motherboard Repair



EXCLUSIVE USB To Ethernet Adapter

Save a costly motherboard repair for your Apple All In One iMac or 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.

EXCLUSIVE - I also 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

PLEASE EMAIL ME with any questions or for OS 9 compatibility ...

This adapter ONLY works with all updates applied on Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) or Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and All versions of Windows that support USB

Note: this adapter does not work with OS 8.6 - 9.2.2 or 10 , or 10.1 , or 10.2

Best compatibility and guaranteed to work with Panther, Tiger, Leopard, 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! Look at my feedback (I have each item labelled). I have sold nearly 1500 of these over the last year!

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

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

These adapters are BRAND NEW!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Creation Museum: In One Day I Saw All Seven!

* Picture of the front of The Creation Museum in Petersburg Kentucky

"These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage." ~ Jude1:16

I must give credit where credit is due. I hadn't heard anything about the Creation Museum, until I saw a brief post on John Gruber's Daring Fireball in November of 2007. One doesn't have to read Gruber's website a lot to know that he is obviously atheist, agnostic, or a combination of the two. Every couple of weeks or so, Gruber will post a blurb in his "linked lists" about a blog or "well known atheist" (like Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist) that says something critical about Christianity or organized religion.

More recently Gruber posted:

I was intrigued after reading this link in November 2007 on Gruber's site:


The Creation Museum is located in Petersburg, Kentucky - near the Cincinnati Ohio border and within just a few miles of The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. It is a based on a detailed scientific display of the first few chapters (1-8) of of the book of Genesis from the Holy Bible.

Readers ... I am a Christian. I was created by God Almighty. I was given salvation by Jesus Christ and through him everything positive, productive, and creative in my life flows. I am also a skeptic. I am a believer in evolution. I am believer in science and to me science has no designation of being secular or "God's Design". The documentaries in the Book of Genesis in the Bible are just as real to me as the biography and life work of Charles Darwin. Evolution has mutated since Darwin's discoveries into an evolution and origin of everything - not just life. I don't believe that evolution is the complete answer, the complete correct answer, or the only answer to our existence and the existence of all that we know and see.

The review of The Creation Museum below is formed from my own opinion both before and after visiting and following up over the last two weeks with careful and concise research into the science the museum uses, the background of the founders of the museum, and the evidence that is often used to refute such information.


I love to be challenged ... to be stumped ... to be told something is impossible. Because I know that through God ALL things are possible.

Atheists, Agnostics, Religious Haters latch on to the theory of evolution and scientific testing as it itself were a religion. The truth is, there is nothing written that has been discovered that can confirm anything is older than 6000 years. Writing is believed to have started in the 4th Millenium BC. All carbon dating (and other dating techniques), all of the theory of evolution beyond 6000 years is merely speculation - faith in science. Ask yourself, without being foolish or oblivious to fact, is there any way whatsoever that we know something ... anything is greater than 6000 years old?

Before visiting The Creation Museum, I was of the opinion that the earth was millions of years old. I believed that rocks, minerals, and oil were part of a long geological process. I believed that while God created the universe, the earth, and all living things in 6 days - that the most likely answer to all of this would be ... "To God time does not exist". I believed the passage from II Peter:

"Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

... meant that it is possible that those "Days Of Creation" were the millions of years that we all accept.

I still believe that way. The Creation Museum presents (read as; does not force) the theory that it truly was six actual 24 hour days and that God rested on the seventh day. I do know that God is powerful enough to have snapped his fingers and spent a few minutes more perfecting and that all of creation could have been created just as the Bible says. However it is not errant of me to believe that every word of the Bible is true and to believe that a day could have been a million years.

My best friend made a very poignant statement when I discussed my trip to The Creation Museum with him.

He said,

Why has everything come so far, so fast in such a short time?

For me, it is logical to see that there has been intervention, rather than evolution. Evolution to me is a way of explaining survival of the fittest and procreation of the desired - not the development of new species. Darwin was a genius to make the discoveries he did - but did he discover a process that could be easily reproduced or did he truly discover a way to finally debunk the creation theory?

Evolution is not modern science. Many think that just because Darwin's work was accepted during his lifetime and then became widely known by the 1930's - and lead to the general acceptance of today; that it is a new enlightenment - that it is the way "rational thinkers in the age of knowledge" are to accept.

ONLY ...

Be careful when someone uses the word "only". In the many references for this piece that I have about Darwin - it seems as though all of them say evolution is the only way to explain "the diversity of life". The Creation Museum is very careful to present the evidence as they see it and carefully relate it in a very detailed manner to the Bible. At no point did I see or hear anything at the The Creation Museum say that it was the "only" way this or that happened. A narrow mind thinks in the absolute and has the word "only" on the brain.

One way, in which The Creation Museum convincingly shows the case against the "thousands of years or millions of years of evolution theory" is by showing you how dogs in the modern age developed from what is nothing more than a wolf, dingo, or wild dog - all with the assistance of man breeding different characteristics over just a few generations of canine offspring. They show how man has created the "evolution" in a very short period of time. In just a few hundred years we have been able to produce over 800 different breeds of dogs - that would all seem like completely different animals.


One of the draws of The Creation Museum is its dinosaur display, exhibit, and theory.

Most people, when thinking of the Bible immediately say,

"Where does The Bible talk about dinosaurs?"

Many think that the book of Genesis simply dismisses them from creation. The Creation Museum presents the passages in the Bible where dinosaurs are mentioned. They also convincingly present evidence of dinosaurs throughout history.

One premise The Creation Museum presents is that it would be next to impossible to come up with the vision of a dragon. They posit that most fantasy is of positive imagery or simply farcical - such as beautiful mermaids or Medusa.

"Would you mistake an elephant or a giraffe for a dinosaur?"

Another logical premise The Creation Museum goes on is that the word "dinosaur" is a recently coined term. Mentioning the term "dinosaur" in the Bible would be like the Bible saying,

"David googled and could not find the answer, so he prayed."

The Creation Museum does speculate on an answer for "dinosaurs being mentioned in the Bible".

* When I say "speculate" - I mean just that. They don't throw all of this in front of you via a sermon or condemn you for not believing, they ask that you consider their answers. The Creation Museum at no point seemed like a church preaching or a scientist teaching. It felt exactly like a learning experience in the same way that EPCOT in Disney World is or like a trip to the Smithsonian would be.

Job 40:14-16 (King James Version)

15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.

16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.

Why not just say "elephant" if that's what "behemoth" was?


I went to The Creation Museum to see for myself whether or not this is some religious fanaticism and crazy theory. I also wanted to see if this was some creative way to get money to make religious predator's pockets fatter. I wanted to be the first (it seems) to review The Creation Museum without bias. You cannot expect a preacher, a biology teacher, an evolutionist, or a revolutionist to give you a non bias review of such a place.

The presentation of the museum is wonderful. The creativity, design, and overall detail is incredible. It's not meant to be eye candy for believers or technological trickery for non believers - even though it may seem as such to those who specifically want to criticize the museum.

Whether a believer or not, how could you possibly trust a bias review that starts out like this:

This Saturday, I made my much anticipated field trip to the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum, a $27 million monstrosity devoted to religious fanaticism, disguised as “science”.

Two of my heretical friends and I ventured an hour north up I-75 from Lexington, just short of Cincinnati, to discover a museum full of shocking idiocy and unintentional humor.

~ posted on the BLUEGRASS ROOTS blog

or like this ...

Yes, finally, ladies and gentlemen, I present you with your Creation Museum report! Thank you for your patience. Our report today has two parts: The first part is a photographic tour, with all the snarktasticness you’ve been no doubt hoping for. Click on the first picture and cruise on through. It’s long — 101 pictures — but, hey, you guys paid top dollar, so I don’t want to skimp. The second part, a think piece, if you will, is directly below. It’s no less snarky (as you will soon discover), but also somewhat more thoughtful. Enjoy.

~ John Scalzi November 12, 2007

You owe it to yourself to visit The Creation Museum to at least be entertained for a day. If you're a creative person or a designer it's worth going just to get a look at an example of excellent design for a venue or presentation. To me, it is one of the most compelling Christian presentations ever done - second only to Passion Of The Christ in my opinion. I consider myself, as do others, to be a very rational person. It just seems that The Creation Museum has chosen to allow one review by a fanatic to be on their website, and that several of the critics of the museum found the crazy people to interview for their YouTube exposes. I thought it was desperately needed for a positive review to compel everyone to go see this incredible place.

If you've ever wondered about there being "no proof" of God, or the creation from a divine intervention; this venue certainly makes you think with a presentation of real science and was given obvious detail and dollar to many years of research. If you are a skeptic, an atheist, or an agnostic your reading and accepting other negative reviews about this is being dishonest with yourself - if you consider yourself to be rational. After all, there are lots of poor reviews of Paris France and Disneyland! Are you going to let everyone else have the fun that wants to see for themselves?

read more | digg story

[UPDATE] Comment posting on this story is turned off, please DO NOT comment on this story on other posts. You may send me direct comments if you wish that will not be published.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Bad news seems plentiful for the OLPC program:

As reported by Slashdot:

"Many participants in OLPC's 'Give 1 Get 1' program of last November are now encountering what has come to be known as the 'stuck key' problem, in which one or more of the keys on their XO-1 laptop's built-in keyboard become stuck in an activated position, or are activated when adjacent keys are pressed. As of January 30th, the official word from OLPC is that the root cause of this problem is unknown because 'there are several manufacturers of the keyboards.' [message from OLPC spokesperson] - 'So far we don't know of any _reliable_ method of fixing the keyboard or the exact root cause.'

It is unknown just how widespread this problem currently is, as the 30-day manufacturer's warranty has already expired for most G1G1 participants. The OLPC forums are full of reports. OLPC is currently deploying the XO-1 to children in Mongolia and Peru, as well as other developing nations. If OLPC is actively deploying units with known, critical hardware bugs, without a dedicated support infrastructure in place, to children who have never seen a computer before, should they still be considered to be a responsible organization?"


It appears OLPC executives are resigning left and right .... my inferred reason? It's a sinking ship!


It appears as if the OLPC program will have to recall or pay significant licensing for the keyboards contained on all laptops distributed in Africa due to a lawsuit - even if they are defective!

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

It will be interesting to see how a "non-company" can fix an issue like a recall. This is where Apple with Apple Stores and specialists worldwide or any PC manufacturer with retail and mom pop fixit shops will make the difference. My state of South Carolina has been considering the OLPC laptop for children in my state - I hope they see stories like these to make them reconsider.

Hit the OLPC tag below to get more of my opinion on the OLPC program.

* OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)

PsyStar Doen't Even Exist Thar!

Gizmodo readers (living in Miami Florida where Psystar is supposedly located) banned together together to find the real story behind Psystar and their locations as listed on their website.

Here's what they found:

• The Miami Chamber of Commerce and BBB know nothing about a company named Psystar (confirmed by a reader report)

• The actual physical address listed on Psystar's website changed throughout the day during this report

• A Gizmodo reader went down to their first location, address courtesy of the Guardian's quick fingers, and saw that it was a residential address. It's a one story house with a truck and sedan out front. Not a business, but still holds the possibility of being a small home business.

• Another Gizmodo reader, visited their second website listed location and saw no Psystar, but a packing supply company called "USA KOEN PACK." The reader inquired to see if Psystar was leasing the building. He spoke with the manager, and they had never heard of Psystar, and USA KOEN PACK has been at that location for the last two years. KOEN PACK actually takes up from 10481 to 10490, so there's no chance of it being a mistaken address.

• Once the Gizmodo report came out: Psystar changed their address once again to 10471.

• After confirmation of no storefront actually there, other readers pointed out when they tried to purchase an Open Mac for themselves, and at no point was the credit card transaction secure - meaning did they have an HTTPS appear in the location bar of their browser (This was also confirmed by FixYourThinking.)

Today, when you visit their store page, you get this message:

"Thank you for visiting Psystar. We're sorry but the store is temporarily down due to the fact that we are currently unable to process any credit card transactions. Please send an e-mail to with the subject line "UPDATE" so that we can update you when the store comes back online. For customers who have already placed orders: if you received a confirmation e-mail then your item is in queue to be built and shipped."

• Another reader did some more digging in the Florida Corporate filing office, and it seems that Psystar's principles are Rodolfo & Roberto Pedraza, who are officers or agents on dozens of companies (can you say front men?). Only one of these companies besides Psystar is currently active: Floridatek.

• Forbes Online did this interview with Roberto Pedraza.

Highlights from that interview:

His explanation? The company has been overwhelmed by demand. He says his credit card processor, PowerPay, locked down his account for processing too many credit cards. When he turned to PayPal, Pedraza says Psystar's account with the online payments specialist was quickly overloaded, too.

"We have thousands of machines we have to build and ship out," <-- I could believe hundreds, BUT THOUSANDS!!??!! C'mon!

Pedraza ... won't go on the record about his educational background, detail his professional history or name any previous ventures. The company's Open Computer (previously named OpenMac) is based on a machine put together by his brother (whom he won't name). He says the company has 16 employees, and he just hired four more.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How To Make A Sawed Off USB Flash Drive

I thought this was an interesting DIY mod project ... and the pic used a MacBook Pro to boot.

This is a USB flash storage mod that gives the impression you ripped your USB cable in half.

Step by Step Instructions To Make A Sawed Off USB Flash Cable Drive


How Dare I Not Offer A 13 Month Warranty On An "AS IS" eBay Auction!

So, I got an interesting email the other night:

Here it is with some asterisks to protect the guilty ... I mean innocent:

Received April 15, 2008:


I bought the XLR8 from you last year and I have only just tried to use it, after a lot of messing about and getting in touch with the company that make it, I find out that it is over 9 years old. It was per-chested by my brother in-law through PayPal for me, his name is Mr. Peter Blount per-chested about the 14 March-2007.

George Hilton

This message was sent to me as a question on one of my current auctions - this is not allowed by eBay policy nor a normal means of asking a seller a question.

This was an auction for the XLR8 Interview - a USB 1.1 Video Capture Device.

I had found this device brand new in the box at the local flea market. I pretty much typed the description from the back of the box as the auction description.

The eBay auction title: XLR8 Interview 2.0 USB Video In / Capture For Apple Mac

Well, anyway, I thought a stupid question deserved a witty reply so I sent this email:

I'm sorry but your one year warranty expired"

This response was a mistake. I should have just not responded.

He persisted.

Hi Philip,

It is nothing to do with the warranty but the fact that you sold me an item that was at least 8 years out of date and could not be used on my Apple Mac running system 10. Please will you rethink what you say?

George Hilton

So, I then responded with this that I suppose all eBayers can take to heart:

It was new in the box and works as advertised - its outrageous to contact me more than a year after a purchase and complain about something such as you are ... The age has nothing to do with the functionality ... I have sold Apple items that are 30 years old before. I believe you can get a firmware update for the device. If you were not certain about the device you should have asked questions or done more research.

He fired back with another email:

Hi Philip,

Also the serial number you gave me will not work? QD16245540791

George Hilton

First, I didn't give him a serial number, the box was unopened. Second, I probably could have worked with him on this issue a year ago. So, at this point I suppose I should have just let it be, but I figured I needed to block his eBay ID and then send him a word or two showing him how ridiculous he was being. I figured he wasted enough of my time so I would waste more of mine and some of his and hopefully end this ridiculous squabble. So, I sent this email:

If you had addressed this any where close to the auction date I might have been able to help ... the item was sent as advertised. It was sent quickly and packed nicely. I take pride in my descriptions and customer service. It is obvious by my feedback that this is so. Even if I had given you a one year warranty and return for any reason (which I don't but I will always try very hard to help) - you are past that or any reasonable timeframe. At 90 days, I probably could have helped you get the firmware from xlr8 for a discount or for free. At 120 days I might have been able to exchange it with xlr8 because it was new (in the box). Do you see my point? eBay is an "as is", do your own research, and buy accordingly venue - YOU are wasting my time, energy, and effort and have asked the questions through a friend improperly on current auctions when all you have to do is contact me directly through ebay's messaging system.

I'm not even sure why you are complaining other than to complain or what you'd like for me to do one year after a purchase with no warranty expressed or implied for an item that had immense amounts of information available about it on the internet at the time purchase.

I'm trying to be as nice as I can by responding to you - my 1st response was a joke because I thought your question was laughable - if you had asked it within 30 days after the auction - I would have gladly made an honest effort to assist you and possibly replace or update the unit. That being said ... I'm 100% confident the unit works as advertised in the auction as I have examined that auction description.

Please do not contact me further regarding this transaction - I suggest you examine your auctions within 3 days if receipt and take up any issues with the seller within 10 days from auction end. Not doing so is being unfair to your seller and unwise as a buyer.

Philip Smith "Rus"
(864) ***-APPL


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So here's a theory about Psystar ... is it PRONGSTAR?

Over the last week, a lot of hullaballoo has been made about a company in Miami Florida selling a box that one can buy and install Mac OS Leopard on.

On April 15th 2008, The Gaurdian UK contributor; Charles Arthur came out with a piece entitled,

"So exactly who or what is Psystar? We dig a little."

In this brief dig, Arthur found that the business was located in Miami Florida in the United States.


And then we thought we'd look closer at the location they're in. And that's where things got really strange.

The address had changed completely.

Earlier in the day, [the Psystar website] was giving 10645 SW 112 St, Miami FL 33176.


And now, while I'd been writing this post [and after the investigation was complete], it's moved - to 10481 NW 28th St, Miami, FL 33172.


OK, that's got to be the weirdest thing I've ever seen in years of covering technology. The first address, on Google Maps, looks like your average row of suburban houses.

The second - new! - one looks far more office-y, or at least industrial.

So, I know how if someone looked up my business it would show a condo complex. I work from home. There's nothing wrong with Psystar starting out of their garage ... right? Right!

So, then I started thinking.

I went to BILL PALMER'S website: iPRONG.COM.

First - I haven't visited any of Bill Palmers websites, called "the" in over a year - I see that the site has now changed to iProng Magazine. There seems to be lots of interviews ... some kind of look like bothersome "follow the stars in the airport while they are getting their bags" kind of interviews ... but there are quality artists none the less seemingly talking freely with iProng interviewers. I just can't imagine an artist accepting the question,

"Will you do an interview for iProng magazine?"

I would laugh and decline.

Well, I searched through the iPRONG site because I had remembered that our friend Bill Palmer had (I thought) moved to Miami Florida. (Turns out he moved FROM Miami to Orlando)

The whois information for iPRONG.COM is as follows:

William Palmer
**** ****** ****** Apt 206
Kissimmee, Florida 34746

Okay, so this is somewhere near Orlando (in the middle of the state of Florida) - Miami (where Psystar is supposedly located*) is near the bottom of of the state of Florida.

Do you see where I'm trying to go here?

I've never done this on this site before - just thrown out information with nothing but a hunch - but I have a VERY VERY good spidey sense that Bill Palmer is either involved with this or indirectly involved with this.

Bill Palmer has little or no respect for intellectual property rights. He was forced to change the name of iPODGARAGE.COM to iPRONG.COM and forced to remove the patented iPod Clickwheel from his logo. He also held the names, "LOADPOD" and "MACBOOKGARAGE". At last year's MacWorld Expo ILOUNGE.COM claimed that Palmer was stealing reviews, pictures, and other copy material and placing them into the iPRONG review bin.

So, what if I'm wrong?

Palmer had discussed many times that he has friends in Miami, Florida on his personal blog. He also does Mac Consulting. It's a given that Palmer is a MAC user. It's also a given that he probably keeps up with MAC news better than most of us - because for the most part - MAC News is Apple News is iPod News. Why would Palmer at the VERY LEAST not investigate this and have an exclusive on his websites or get credit for the news and promote his websites?* It just sounds fishy to me ... and I will leave it at that.

Also, remember that Palmer denied receiving an Apple cease and desist over the iPODGARAGE name. This may explain why there's no mention of Apple sending a cease and desist ... yet.

[UPDATE] The My2Cents4TheDay blog has an interesting alternate theory.

* One advantage that Psystar has going for it is that it isn't neighbored by any state - so it's hard for someone to just hop in a car and visit the "facility" and get an exclusive interview - that is of course unless you lived in Florida.

* I stayed in Kissimmee last year when I went to DisneyWorld. It is also referred to as "HotelOrlando".

Monday, April 14, 2008

PsyStar Says, "On Guard!"

As reported by MacRumors:

InformationWeek spoke to an employee of Psystar, the company responsible for the previously reported $399 Mac Clone. [An] employee [for Psystar] known as "Robert" claims that they will challenge Apple's Mac OS X End User License Agreement (EULA) which specifically prohibits the installation of Mac OS X on non Apple-branded machines.

[Robert] also said Psystar believes Apple's prohibition against third-party installations might not hold up in court: "What if Honda said that, after you buy their car, you could only drive it on the roads they said you could?"

Robert said Psystar will continue to sell the OpenMac system, despite the fact that it appears to violate Apple's EULA. "We're not breaking any laws," he insisted.

Indeed, Apple's EULA agreement is not cast into law, but simply represents an implicit agreement ("contract") between the user and company. The enforceability of EULAs, however, has been a subject of much debate, and a true legal challenge would be very interesting. That being said, Robert's loose use of the word "monopoly" and car/road analogy does not necessarily inspire confidence in his legal prowess.

Of note, Psystar has changed the name of their Mac clone from "OpenMac" to "Open Computer", presumably due to trademark issues surrounding the use of the term "Mac".


Amazing Custom Apple IIGS Laptop

Ben Heckordorn - famous custom system modder has created a masterpiece IIGS laptop with custom keyboard and light up IIGS logo. Here's a pic (below) ... follow this link for more.

* Link & Photo credit = Engadget

If only we could get a Woz Special Edition!

Radio Shack Hacks The Mac Company With Tacky Ad

* Photo courtesy Engadget

Geez ... will this company just go out of business already!!

Radio Shack mailed and placed circulars in the newspaper this week featuring the iPod Touch... with the JAILBREAK "Installer" and "MobileChat" application icons clearly visible on the screen.

One thing that websites covering this misstep (including Engadget) failed to mention is that Apple has "pre-approved press imagery" and this violates Radio Shack's agreement as a Value Added Reseller.

From Engadget:

We're not sure who nodded off in the art department, but we're fairly certain they're going to be wide awake come Monday morning. Apparently, Radio Shack is running circulars this week featuring the iPod touch... with the Installer and MobileChat icons. We're sure Apple will be stoked to discover that a jailbroken iPod is hanging out in one of America's most-viewed ads, and we're equally sure that buyers will be pleased to learn they don't really get an IM application with their purchase. Champagne for everyone!

Obama Attacks The Mac?

Here's a screenshot of FOXNEWS headlines that in shortspeak translates to:

"Obama eases up on Hillary Clinton, Turns attack on John McCain"

iPhone Snaps

Here are some pics and commentary from my series called "iPhone Snaps":

This is a picture I took of a dogwood that has pinkish-purple AND white flowers on it. I've never seen a half and half dogwood like that. I suppose someone grafted the branches on in the tree's infancy.

On my way to the Creation Museum in Kentucky (review/article coming soon) we were looking at the news on my iPhone. FoxNews was reporting that tornados were moving through Kentucky and that one had killed two people the previous night. I looked up and saw this!

This is a picture of the food court in Kenwood Towne Centre Mall in Cincinatti Ohio. I thought this was interesting for a mall to have that also has an Apple Store in it.

Stan Flack Now A Sad Mac

Stan Flack founded MacCentral (which later became "the new" He also founded and published MacMinute.


Very sad ... I never really got along with Stan because he chose not to moderate his atrocious forum posters. One of the reasons I moved to this blog format was so that I could have moderated user comments that Macworld and MacMinute chose not to control. Macminute has also been very weak on news over the last 6 months - mostly just aggregating software update news.

Stan will be sorely missed and I owe a lot of my "blogging about Macs interest" to him.


Stan is the guy who got me into Mac journalism. In the early days of MacCentral, I began working for him part-time. As the web site grew (and grew and grew) I was given more and more work. Eventually, the MacCentral gig became a full time job. And I loved it. The rest of the central unit of MacCentral was Dave Moser, Ben Wilson, Jim Dalrymple and Peter Cohen, not to mention several others who did part-time work, columns or was there for a while (including Brad Gibson).
MacMinute was founded by Stan in 2001 to “keep you up-to-date on everything that is going on in the world of Macintosh as soon as it happens.”

Prior to creating MacMinute Stan Flack founded MacCentral. He sold it to Mac Publishing, the company behind the MacWorld properties on June 1, 1999. The web site was eventually folded into the MacWorld brand name and the last vestiges of MacCentral disappeared with the incorporation of the MacCentral Forum into the MacWorld forums in December 2007. However, leads to

And the company to get a cease & desist this week is ...


A company called Psystar is selling plain box PCs for $399 named OpenMac, with hacked versions of Mac OS X 10.5.
From their Questions and answers page:

Can I run updates on my OpenMac?

The answer is yes and no. No because there are some updates that are decidedly non-safe. Yes because most updates are not non-safe. It’s best to check on InsanelyMac for this information but when in doubt don’t update it. You may have to reinstall your OS X if it is a non-safe update.

* Take note of some of the grammar

As reported by Macrumors:

For $399, you get a tower computer with the following specs:

- 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
- 2GB of DDR2 667 memory
- Integrated Intel GMA 950 Graphics
- 20x DVD+/-R Drive
- 4 USB Ports
- 250GB 7200RPM Drive

Psystar is marketing this as a cheaper and more expandable alternative to a true Apple Mac.

The company claims that the machine is Leopard compatible with some "minimal patching" but does offer Leopard pre-installed. This is reportedly accomplished by using parts that are known to be compatible with Mac OS X Leopard, as well as the use of an EFI emulator.

The use of the Mac OS on non Apple-branded hardware is a violation of its End User License Agreement (EULA) and is specifically prohibited.

From the End User's License Agreement That ALL agree to BEFORE installing the Mac OS:

You agree not to install, use, or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so.

[UPDATE] The Psystar site went down for a while. They've changed the name to "Open Computer,"

Saturday, April 12, 2008

An Apple MVNO

Many people ask me what I mean when I say the "industry speak term" MVNO. I was VERY close to the iPhone launch from August through December 2006, before the official announcement at MacWorld 2007. I had speculated quite a bit that Apple would be an MVNO (which means Mobile Virtual Network Operator).

A Macrumors post confirms that my inferences from the two iPhone prototypes I saw in November were correct:

A newly published patent application reveals an abandoned possibility for the Apple iPhone. The patent details the methods for Apple to act as a "mobile virtual network operator" (MVNO).
When iPhone first connects to wireless network, it sends iTunes MVNO server it's ID and location, and get's back the information with the available networks, services and rates in the area.

Network selection can be done manually or simply based on the best price. All billing would have been consolidated under iTunes. The MVNO model would free Apple from any ties to any one particular mobile phone carrier and users would buy service directly from Apple. This possibility was discussed here on MacRumors back in 2005.

An earlier Wired article on the iPhone's origins had previously revealed that Apple was prepared to try to launch the iPhone themselves, if negotiations with Cingular (AT&T) fell through:
Apple was also prepared to buy wireless minutes wholesale and become a de facto carrier itself.

As readers know, negotiations were successful, and Apple launched the iPhone on AT&T exclusively. It's still interesting to see the other options Apple had explored in launching their own iPhone

I had leaned towards Apple having their own network and leasing time from AT&T and TMobile. I think the reason Apple went with AT&T is that AT&T has a HUGE number of stores across the United States. Just distributing 20 phones to each AT&T store and each Apple store sold nearly two hundred thousand handsets into the system at launch and insured proper activation and secured delivery. It was a far better resolution to go with AT&T exclusivity.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

eBay Trying Out PayPal ONLY Payments In Australia

As reported on SlashDot:

"Australian press are reporting that eBay is using Australia as a guinea pig to trial a new policy where all other modes of payment are barred except for PayPal. If successful, eBay will roll it out to other markets."

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

This is a hard judgement call for me. I have almost 99% of my payments processed through Paypal. It's actually a burden for people to send me a check or money order. However, when I sell a large item - I'd rather have the cash, or a certified check mailed overnight because of PayPal's lack of seller protection.

I've had a lot of Australian eBay purchasers over the last 6 months.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Is it possible to sell on eBay from my iPhone?

Reader question:
Is it possible to sell on eBay from my iPhone? I have been trying and don't know how to upload pictures to the selling page. Someone said use the browse button, which I haven't been able to locate. I don't have a computer yet, or I'd just use that.

Yes ...

But the only way to add pictures is to upload them to another website using a computer (or one of the email to web - websites) and point to the picture using an <IMG SRC> tag - as eBay uses a combination of java and flash to render the upload page. I have been reading in the community pages that eBay plans to release an "uploader" in June - developing it now with the iPhone SDK.

* Java and Adobe Flash are not supported on the iPhone - javascript is

Monday, April 07, 2008

iPhone Snaps

These are some pics I've taken with my iPhone over the last week ...

Above, is a picture of a chair that sits at the opening of the Krohn Conservatory in Cincinati Ohio. This is a beautiful piece of artwork that I would consider doing an Ocean's 11 on.

This is from Regal Cinemas in Greenville South Carolina on Friday April 4 2008 for the opening of Leatherheads - a movie that I went to on a triple date with my friends. We ended up not getting to see the movie because the power went out - we were tossed from the theater saying the power wouldn't be restored until 2AM the next morning.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hilarious Jeff Goldblum 1999 iMac / .Mac Commercial Slowed Down To Make Him Appear Drunk ...

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

I thought he sounded high in the original version!

Flordia Woman’s iPhone Helps To Catch Her Killer

When the body of 39 year-old lawyer Melissa Lewis was pulled from a canal off State Road 84, police had little information to go on. All signs pointed to her murder being a random act of violence, however thanks to her killer’s inability to resist her stolen iPhone, police were able to track and capture her killer, with the help of AT&T.

read more | digg story

Is Engadget Checking Any Fact About Any Story?

Seems Engadget posted a story from a random person this morning about an iPhone overheating and melting. Turns out ... someone in the forums at Engadget noticed it was a fake because the pictures used to illustrate "the meltdown" were of HIS dropped iPhone.

Engadget, of course, was called on the error and posted an update that they had been duped.

* Screenshot of Engadget article above (click to make larger)

iTunes # 1 Music Retailer

ArsTechnica is reporting:

The iTunes Store leads the pack with 19 percent, Wal-Mart (which includes the brick-and-mortar stores as well as its online properties) is second with 15 percent, and Best Buy is third with 13 percent. Amazon is a distant fourth at 6 percent, trailed by the likes of Borders, Circuit City, and Barnes & Noble. Rhapsody is in the tenth slot with 1 percent.

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

Arstechnica claims the news comes from an internal email from Apple executive management congratulating employees for being the new #1 Music Retailer in the U.S., surpassing Wal-Mart for the 1st time.

This comes after Apple announced in February that they had surpassed Best Buy to become the #2 music retailer - and after last week's announcement that Apple may be as high as 21% in the computer retail market.

Some websites have been quick to discount the feat as a redemption of Christmas stocking stuffer iTunes gift cards.

What those same naysayers aren't thinking about? How many people redeemed their Walmart gift cards for iTunes gift cards and iPods?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Pic Of The Week + History Lesson

The picture above comes from CRACKED.COM's look at the "Five Lies We Were Told About History" - this cartoon was featured in #3 Newton and the Apple.

I would link to the article but it's too seedy and potty mouthed. So here it is retouched a bit:

You've probably heard of Isaac Newton. In the late 17th century, Newton practically invented science. The discoveries we can thank him for include the laws of motion, the visible spectrum, the speed of sound, the law of cooling [thermodynamics], and calculus. One wonders if anybody in history ever had a thought before Newton.

Probably his most famous discovery, however, is the law of gravity. The story goes that Newton, a modest mathematician and professor of physics, was sitting under the shade of an apple tree one sunny day, when an apple dropped from a branch and bopped him right on the head.

While most people would merely think "Ouch!" and stare warily upward for 10 minutes, Newton's first instinct was to formulate the entire set of universal laws governing the motion of gravitating bodies, a theory so sound that it went unchallenged and unmodified for over 200 years.

The truth:

Newton never mentioned the thing with the apple, and in fact it was another guy named John Conduitt who first told the story some 60 years after it supposedly happened. Even then, he was decisively vague about whether Newton actually saw an apple, or whether the apple is a metaphor that he used to illustrate the idea of gravity for people less intelligent than he was

[Conduitt] "Whilst he was musing in a garden it came into his thought that the power of gravity (which brought an apple from the tree to the ground) was not limited to a certain distance from the earth but that this power must extend much further."

You'll notice that even then we don't get the thing with the apple actually hitting Newton in the head, it got added somewhere along the line to add the element of cartoonish slapstick to his genius life.

Future versions will say that Newton then vomited in agony.

We like to think complex discoveries happen this way, with a sudden light bulb popping on over our head. Kind of makes it seem like it could happen to us one day, the next great idea will just occur to us while we're wasting the afternoon on a park bench. In reality, Newton spent the best part of his life formulating and perfecting his theories.

USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs That Have Lost Ethernet Port Functionality / Save A Costly Motherboard Repair



EXCLUSIVE USB To Ethernet Adapter

Save a costly motherboard repair for your Apple All In One iMac or 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.

EXCLUSIVE - I also 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

PLEASE EMAIL ME with any questions or for OS 9 compatibility ...

This adapter ONLY works with all updates applied on Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) or Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and All versions of Windows that support USB

Note: this adapter does not work with OS 8.6 - 9.2.2 or 10 , or 10.1 , or 10.2

Best compatibility and guaranteed to work with Panther, Tiger, Leopard, 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! Look at my feedback (I have each item labelled). I have sold nearly 1500 of these over the last year!

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

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

These adapters are BRAND NEW!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

One Of My Favorite April Fool's Day Jokes

This isn't actually an April Fool's Day Joke ... but is an ACTUAL introduction video that both Chrysler and Rockwell used to show to new hires.

Apple Sued For What It Settled For Last Week

Apple Sued For Intentionally Deceiving iMac Customers - Advertising Millions Instead Of Thousands Of Colors on 20" iMacs

Choice quotes from the filing by Kabateck Brown Kellner law firm include:

"Apple is duping its customers into thinking they're buying 'new and improved' when in fact they're getting stuck with 'new and inferior,'"

"Beneath Apple's 'good guy' image is a corporation that takes advantage of its customers. Our goal is to help those customers who were deceived and make sure Apple tells the truth in the future."

~ Brian Kabateck, Managing Partner of the Kabateck Brown Kellner law firm

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

See what settling last week for this same issue with MacBooks got Apple? More money grubbing attorneys who want to "be settled with".