Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Media Blogger's Association Launches New Website & Membership

The Media Blogger's Association has launched a new website with a new mission statement.

I find this part of the statement particularly poignant:

These forces, whether they be government, corporations, individuals, or others groups or organization, manifest themselves as deep-pocketed litigants who can afford to use the threat of litigation to suppress speech they do not like.

Few bloggers have the financial resources to defend against such a threat and even if they did, few are willing to spend several years in court litigating over their blog which is, for most, a sideline. Having dealt with many such cases over those first three years, we knew that for most bloggers would simply remove a post or even shut down their blog entirely in the fact of what was often a baseless threat. The net effect has been a chilling effect on citizen media, which, left unchecked, would only further embolden litigants and encourage further efforts to encroach on blogger speech. We concluded that bloggers needed a reliable way to punch back, a credible threat, a way to access the same sorts of legal and financial resources being used in attempts to shut down their blogs. Whatever doubts many of us have with traditional media - and there are many – it was also clear that they had been dealing with the exact same sort of threats and learned how to defend themselves.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog's New Logo Is Officially Ugly

The logo with the "Apple logo" embedded was clever and well thought out ... the new logo is just a word in a "200 fonts for $9.99" format ... that's considered a redesign. Seems more like a downgrade.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lawsuit Over Apple iPhone Batteries Dismissed

As reported by Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. won't face a lawsuit claiming it didn't immediately tell customers about the limited life of batteries for its iPhone or their $86 replacement cost, including delivery.

U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly in Chicago granted Apple's request that he dismiss the lawsuit on the evidence and the law without a trial -- a so-called summary judgment.

"Apple disclosed on the outside of the iPhone package that the 'battery has limited recharge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced by Apple service provider,' Kennelly wrote in his Sept. 23 opinion, quoting the packaging. Under the circumstances, no reasonable jury could find that deception occurred."

Jose Trujillo sued Apple in Illinois state court in July 2007, accusing the company of consumer fraud and seeking class- action, or group, status. Cupertino, California-based Apple had the case moved to federal court.

Trujillo's lawyer, James R. Rowe of Chicago, didn't return a phone call seeking comment yesterday.

I think it should be noted that this guy sued Apple BEFORE the iPhone had been out even a week with no reasonable test of the battery. My iPhone battery has lasted quite well. I use the internet frequently on my iPhone and it DOES DRAIN the battery but I expect it to. My iPhone still charges quickly and lasts just as long as day one - 15 months later.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul Newman passes away ... unique story.

This weekend actor Paul Newman passed away. I have a rather unique personal story to tell ...

For 8 years (2000-2008) I lived in a condo complex in Greenville, South Carolina called McDaniel Heights. It's located at 601 Cleveland St and is bordered on the right side of the property by Newman St. This street was named after Paul Newman. I was told that Joanne Woodward, Newman's wife, lived in the condo complex during the 1960's while at Furman University. Some of the residents at the complex have a Newman St. address. During the 80's and 90's the complex was neglected by the management company and became rundown. Recently, a new management company has taken over and is starting to restore it. The other cool part of history this complex holds is that it has one of the oldest known trees in South Carolina - a dutch elm. Supposedly this tree once had Woodward's & Newman's initials carved into it, but I could never locate them.

This history doesn't seem to be written down anywhere that I know of, but several of the elderly residents that live at the condo had confirmed this story to me over the years.

* Paul Newman voiced "Doc Hudson" in Pixar's Cars


Would any of you be interested in a contest where I gave away 5 FREE AMAZON MP3 downloads? Or say a whole album download from Amazon? The songs downloaded can play on the iPod or any MP3 player as they are DRM free.

Swivel Sweeper: Still better than a broom or a 'cuum

Back in July I told you about how I had gone against my better judgement and gotten a Swivel Sweeper©. One post indicated that I should do a three month followup to say if I still liked it.

Well ... I still love it. It's one of the best infomercial products ever produced in my opinion. It works very well on kitchen floors. And you'd almost SWEAR that it has a vacuum. It cleans better than ANY small vacuum like a DustBuster© in my opinion.

It's perfect for an office, kitchen, or even a shop.

One thing I've noticed too - I do a lot of repair with small screws. Every now and then i'll drop one and can't see it. I can take my swivel sweeper - hear it get trapped in bristles and be reassured that i haven't lost it. I can then open the little compartment and retrieve the screw.

In my last review I made mention of how I hated cleaning the hair out of the rollers. Well, while I was repurposing the box for an eBay shipment - I noticed a small thread puller in the styrofoam. While this certainly makes it easier to remove the hair that gets trapped on the rollers (and that reduces performance) - it's still a big pain to clean it and kinda gross - yuck! But, the kitchen and my work area have never been cleaner and I have really enjoyed using it. The battery seems to be holding up very well too.

iPhone Snaps

The two pictures above are of a cantaloupe vine that I grew from scooping the seeds out of a store bought cantaloupe and just chunking them into a small hole in the ground. I replanted two of the plants that grew a few weeks ago into a planter on my porch - as you can see it's doing quite well and I should have the beginnings of a cantaloupe soon. Right now I have two hummingbirds helping to pollenate. If I can grab a picture of them - I'll post it too.

The picture above is of a custom license plate I saw on Friday - I think it's meant to say "DREAM LIVING". I thought it was a good plate for an RIAA / MPAA executive or legal rep - DRM LIVIN'. My wife and I thought it'd be a good plate for a mortician too - Dr. I'm Living.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Will the real anonymous please stand up?

Well ... it's finally that time.

I need an anonymous poster to step forward in regards to the Bidzirk vs Smith trial - it's actually Smith vs Bidzirk now ... I am obtaining depositions and I desperately need your contact. You know who you are and I know that you read this site enough to know when I make a comment about Bidzirk.

Please contact me by posting here or calling me - you have my phone number.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MYCOKEREWARDS : Is it worth it? How should you redeem your points?

One thing that I really enjoy doing with my wife and son is taking a daily walk ...

We just about always find loose change on the street. Since July 10th 2008 we have found and collected $13.64 in change. Recently we started collecting cans and Coke and Pepsi bottle caps. In 30 days, I've collected enough Coca Cola caps to get 8 coupons for free Coke and enough Pepsi caps to get 3 free AmazonMP3 downloads for my iPod. I've also been able to enter a few sweepstakes. I've found that the best use of the "cap rewards" is to redeem them for small tangible things - like the MP3s or the free Coke.

I've read a lot of forums about MYCOKERWARDS. It seems the sweepstakes entries (which usually cost 1 cap of points) are legit, but a lot of people enter - so while the odds are higher than the lottery - it is still chance. I'm going for the sure thing mostly.

The best way to get points credit for both programs is signing up for the cellphone texting option and just texting the code. Otherwise, you have to go to two very slow websites and also click through several steps just to get credited for each cap.

If I add up the total between bottle caps, MP3s, "can cash", and money found - I get almost $200 since July 10th. Pretty good. I think my wife and I are planning on donating the "found money" fund to a needy person around Christmas time. My son say it's good money to go on a vacation to Las Vegas with.

I've Been Doing This For Years

I've been recycling boxes and packing peanuts for years. I even had the idea of selling packing peanuts on eBay that I got from a local health food store back in 2000.

Looks like a new company is making a business model out of it while helping businesses and consumers (eBayers) out as well.


Your other "free" alternative is going behind a Staples or Radio Shack and helping yourself.

USB To Ethernet ( LAN Network ) Adapter For Apple G3 G4 G5 Intel Macs

Monday, September 22, 2008

Recycle or Reuse? Burning Aluminum Cans?

Today I plan to take my son to go to the metal recycler and get some money for all the cans we've collected over the last two months - I'm expecting about $50.00.

This morning I googled for "recycling aluminum cans" and came up with this link:


It tells how there is nearly 6X the energy of gasoline and 6X the heating power of natural gas or kerosene of the same weight.

The site also discusses how cars could be powered off of the metal at a much cheaper price than gasoline.

Aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth and there's nearly an unlimited supply to recycle. Burned aluminum produces a powder that can be turned back into useable aluminum.

The site seems as if they are going to be "selling something" - come next summer.

Have any of you ever heard of burning aluminum for energy or heat?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Nail Hitting The Head ...

Quote by John Gruber of Daring Fireball, explaining reasons why Microsoft nor PC Makers, will probably never "get it":

Apple and Microsoft are undeniably engaged in one of the longest running and most interesting rivalries in business history, but it is very odd ... Apple’s direct competition isn’t Microsoft, but instead PC makers who sell computers running Windows.

Most of the other guys also don't make phones .... well HP does ... but I've had an iPaq Phone and it was the worst phone I had ever had; not because it ran Windows Mobile (well that was one reason) but because nothing about it was pleasant. The GPS was hard to use. The internet was hard to navigate and limited. The keyboard was very difficult for texting. The iPhone is not just great hardware, but it's Mac OS X lite (in a sense).

Apple is like a car company. Some would say they are the BMW of the industry. I say they are more like Toyota and their only model is a Prius. It's what they run on that's the difference. Everyone is running on gas ... the rest of the industry is GM and Ford. Dell is GM. HP is Ford. Acer is Nissan. The only thing the other companies can do is try to play catch up while Toyota innovates even further into the lead. By the time they catch up ... Toyota will have released full plug in hybrids partially solar powered.

Apple Recalls iPhone 3G Charger

Apple issued a recall on Friday September 19, 2008 for the USB power adapter included with the iPhone 3G.

Apple has received reports of the metal prongs breaking off of the adapter and remaining lodged in power outlets, creating the risk of electric shock.

According to Apple's support article on the recall, the adapter was included with every iPhone 3G sold in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru. The adapter was also available as a standalone accessory in those countries, as well as Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Users with ultracompact power adapters should immediately stop using them until they exchange them for a new, redesigned ultracompact adapter.

Apple notes that replacement adapters, which will not be available until October 10th, will contain a green dot on them in order to make identification simple.

Affected users may order a replacement adapter via Apple's web-based form or in person at an Apple retail store beginning October 10th.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Seller Feedback Discussion @ eBay Live

I just found this on YouTube ... I've been discussing the last situation seen here - what I call "Feedback escrow". If one wants to leave a negative, they must put the negative into escrow. If the seller can prove fixing, refund, or satisfaction - then it would NOT be possible for the negative to post. If the buyer cannot achieve one of these three resolutions - then negative feedback is posted to the seller's account. The buyer is then allowed to rate the seller with a detailed seller rating and each rating is attached to a buyer. If the rating is less than what the seller expected they should be allowed to eliminate one low rating per 30 days - kind of like olympic judging - where the highest and lowest scores are eliminated then an average is taken from the remaining scores.

* Check out YouTube for other videos from this year's eBay Live - it seems like there were quite a number of upset sellers and the conference had its lowest attendance ever.

I think it will come out that Meg Whitman (former eBay CEO) will have left because she knew things were about to get really ugly at eBay.

Headline: Heads roll.

Microsoft to cancel poorly received Seinfeld TV spots

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

At eBay, Is Skype There to Stay?

The head of eBay's Skype unit is happy to talk about his company's more than 330 million users and six straight quarters of profitability, but to earn its keep at eBay, [Skype] needs to boost growth and gain traction on mobile phones. Otherwise, a sale may be in the offing.

read more | digg story

This is an example of how unfocused eBay has become ... Skype has nothing to do with innovation in the online auction market.

Apple & eBay CEOs To Discuss Online Sales With EU

Apple & eBay CEOs To Discuss Online Sales With EU

As reported by Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, EBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe and other business leaders plan to meet with European Union officials for a private conference on online sales of music and consumer goods.

"Online issues are generally important to consumers and we're looking forward to a constructive meeting," said Alice Lythgoe-Goldstein, a spokeswoman for eBay said.

EBay, the world's largest Internet auctioneer, was ordered to pay 40 million euros ($56 million) to LVMH by a French court in July over claims the San Jose, California-based company didn't do enough to stop the sale of counterfeit goods.

Apple, whose iPod is the world's best-selling media player, agreed to cut the price of music downloads from its U.K. iTunes music store to settle a European Union antitrust case in January.

Choice quote of the week with a reading between the lines ...

"Online issues are generally important to consumers and we're looking forward to a constructive meeting,"

Generally, issues are important to consumers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Official: Netshare not returning to App Store

Looks like Apple has decided they will not be allowing any tethering applications in the AppStore. As such, NetShare will not be available in the iTunes AppStore. We are seeing a lot of similar reports from various developers who's applications were abruptly removed and banned from the AppStore without any violations of the terms of service.

read more | digg story

A Money Saving Tip That Saves The Planet And A Kid.

Continuing the Fix Your Thinking series on being green ... here's a money saving tip for you.

I think that part of being green is managing your finances tightly. You don't necessarily have to be frugal to save money - you can cut back by wasting less and by doing with less.

One great way to save money is to get your hair cut short instead of getting it cut every month or quarter.

I actually did this this summer - going completely bald in early July.

I usually get my hair cut every 3 weeks - instead I went bald and haven't had my hair cut since July 10th. I'm just now approaching the length I was before "the shave". I've saved nearly 4 haircuts worth of funds - totaling $100.

Plus, I also get the benefit of seeing my son enjoy shaving my hair. He decided to do it too - so I also saved money on his haircut.

Don't like to be seen bald? I usually wear a hat any way. It also makes for good conversation at work. And ... you never know - you might like the new look.

Saving money isn't the only benefit of going short

You can participate in a St. Baldrick's fundraiser or Locks Of Love Donation to help childhood cancer.

This is something that both men and women can do - Locks of Love and St. Baldrick's work on very different principles - so choose the one that fits your mantra.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Steve Jobs Barcode License Plate Mystery Solved

* PIC from Cult Of Mac Blog *

Questions surrounded the supposed UPC barcode pictured on Jobs' Mercedes SL55 AMG in lieu of of an official California license plate. We discovered wild rumors have dated back several years spawning constant speculation over Jobs' barcode license plate.

[FYT NOTE: This story doesn't actually tell you that celebrities in California can obtain these for additional privacy.]

read more | digg story

[UPDATE] I misstated my note above .... what I meant to express is that certain celebs are given exceptions to the license plate display policy. I know for certain that he does NOT have a barcode license plate. I would also posit that none of these pictures ever show the FRONT of his car. He may very well keep the tag on his seat beside him. Take into account that Jobs does not drive a lot and his house is VERY close to the Apple campus and downtown San Fran.

From the comments:

Fix Your Thinking said ...

He's not being allowed to do anything special and he's not breaking the law.

I asked my aunt in California and she said some certain celebs that require an extra measure of privacy are allowed to do this. She says Shwartzenager did it before he was governor.


1) I believe the car has a FRONT tag (instead of a rear or both)

2) He could carry the tag in the car. If pulled - the exception may be noted with the DMV

With all this being said, I'm not sure if this issue is now providing Jobs any security at all. It seems like it may be piquing interest in stalking him. This is an incredibly irrelevant issue and I'm shocked at the levels people are going to - invading his privacy and liberty.

HP considering making its own OS to counter Vista

As reported by Engadget:

HP said to be considering making its own OS to counter Vista

HP unsurprisingly isn't ready to touch this one in any sort of official way just yet, but BusinessWeek is reporting that at least some folks at the company are "exploring the possibility of building a mass-market operating system," which would be positioned as an alternative to Vista. That OS, as you might have guessed, would be based on Linux, although BusinessWeek's sources say it "would be simpler and easier for mainstream users." By all indications, however, this so-called "skunk works team" within HP doesn't seem to have moved much beyond the brainstorming stage, and HP is sticking strictly to its official line that it is more interested in "innovating on top of Vista," with HP chief technology officer Phil McKinney even going so far as to say that the idea that it's funding a huge R&D team to go off and create an operating system "makes no sense."

This continues the backward thinking of "the other guys" - they don't know who their competition is.

Letter mailed to Internet Fraud, San Fran BBB, California Attorney General, and litigants (and attorneys) currently suing eBay

Before making my statement I would like to offer the following:

eBay has no actual phone number to address customer service issues. Their phones are merely staffed to comply with regulations. No one manning these phones is capable of routing you to the proper department to address a problem. ALL one is given is a canned response of "emailing the problem to the Trust and Safety department".

Upon emailing eBay's Trust and Safety department one receives only canned responses with links to policy and not answers to questions or considerations of actual policy. Many of these responders do not know eBay policy.

Upon using eBay's Live Chat feature - one is directed to "email the problem to the Trust and Safety department".

This is a circular system.

I have tried every route of communication possible with eBay and received nothing but canned scripted answers that usually don't even make sense.

For example, if asked to remove a negative comment - I receive a canned response to leave a followup comment and then EACH TIME told to review steps on how to do that.

I am an 11 year eBay seller. I know how to leave a followup comment. I always do so immediately if I need to explain something on my feedback (which is rare).

This indicates to me that they have not even read my complaint and just looked at the nature of my complaint and have a copy and paste process as an answer.

(complaint - see posts below)

Another eBay feedback total error ...

Whilst trying to sort out a recent feedback mess on eBay I tried to find all my negatives and neutrals.

I recently received (3) negatives - two of them being shill from one vindictive eBayer with two accounts.

So I investigated ...

On the ALL FEEDBACK RECEIVED page, the total is: 3657.

As a note ... I have sold 9700 items under this ^ ID and another in my 11 years as an eBay seller. eBay's lack of encouraging positive feedback from buyers really hurts sellers. To me, feedback is half of the payment and part of the fun and unique process of eBay.

On the FEEDBACK RECEIVED AS A SELLER page, the total is: 2434

On the FEEDBACK RECEIVED AS A BUYER page, the total is: 370

If I add these totals up; I don't come up with anything close to 3657 (all feedback received) or 3458 (which is my feedback score)

I have only 20 negatives total, 15 withdrawns, and 15 neutrals. I have 90 repeat feedbacks.

None of the feedback or detailed seller ratings add up properly on my account.

So, I decided to spend a few HOURS <-- yes HOURS ... looking at other sellers with similar high feedback as me. I noticed the same improper tabulations.

Note that eBay now charges fees based on feedback ... how can it possibly be fair if they aren't tabulating these numbers correctly?

2nd Microsoft / Seinfeld / Gates Ad ... just tell me when its going to at least be entertaining.

Ok, if the first ad made any sense to you ... what about this ad?

They simply want to generate hits ...

Daring Fireball with a scenario about Steve Jobs health:

So consider this: What if instead of holding Tuesday’s event, Apple had instead done just what Lyons and Quittner propose, and announced this week’s news via press release? What would Lyons have written then? My guess is he would have jumped on it as evidence that Jobs was too ill to take the stage, and that his hubris was now harming Apple and its shareholders by robbing the company of the free publicity these events generate.

Exactly ... its all about perpetuating this ignorance of the facts to get hit totals. Lyons and Quittner both know that big hit total commentary sites like Gruber's Daring Fireball will discuss their articles ad nauseam. They don't base their comments about Jobs' health on medical reasoning - they simply want to generate hits. Oh yeah ... and if it causes Apple's stock to tank because of the news ... they get a chance to report on that too.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fix Your Thinking's Got Proper Grammar

So, my wife and I were having a grammar debate last night. It's one of the many reasons I love her ... because I love to debate about grammar and love word play.

So does the television show America's Got Talent use proper grammar in its name?

Is it ok to contract "America has" to "America's"? And is it proper grammar to say "America has got talent"?

I say yes to both. 

She says that it must say, "America has talent." (Making it just, "America's Talent"

What do you say?

By the way, I'm pulling for Nuttin' But Strings

Craigslist ... Philip Smith for hire in Upstate South Carolina for Apple Computer Repair

I'm willing to try out anything once ... I tried myspace out. I've tried WikiHow. Today, I'm trying out craigslist (even though it's owned by eBay.)

I posted my Greenville Spartanburg Anderson Pickens Upstate South Carolina "resume" for Apple Computer Repair Service, Sales, and Networking for Philip Smith.

The entry here and there will also help a search engine ranking for the terms mentioned in this post.

Apple Service in Upstate South Carolina: Greenville Spartanburg Anderson Pickens

USB to Ethernet Adapter for Apple Mac Intel G3 G4 G5 : PowerBook iBook iMac Mac Pro Macbook Air Mini

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A letter to the EFF about eBay.


My name is Philip Smith.

I'm sure you get lots of inquiries concerning pissed off eBayers, but I feel I have a unique enough situation with details that merits the attention of the EFF.

To give a bit of background, I have previously worked with the EFF concerning my blogger rights case - Bidzirk vs Smith. This precedent setting trial, in which I ended up defending Pro Se paved the way for bloggers as journalists - finally giving bloggers a federal district ruling granting Lanham Act protection to internet journalists concerning copyright, defamation, and invasion of privacy. It also set precedent for attaching assets via plaintiff lis pendens claims.

I have been an eBay seller for 11 years. eBay has become 90% of my monthly income. I have taken considerable pride in my eBay sales over the years. I ship fast, I provide unparalleled support, and I charge reasonable competitive prices.

As you may know, eBay recently revamped their entire structure. Sellers were not given a choice as to accept these new terms of service and the changes were not integrated slowly or with any consideration to "long time, in good standing" sellers. eBay has not implemented key parts of this system; so right now everything is totally imbalanced.

The main changes were:

1) Sellers can no longer leave negative feedback. This leads to a misrepresentation of a buyer as there are bad buyers out there. Allowing their feedback to be artificially positive is like allowing a known felon to buy a gun. This also promotes fraud - as his been the case with me. In the case referenced above that I won for blogger rights - I have found the owner of the business to be a very vindictive person. I believe I will be able to prove that he (or an accomplice) has interfered with my eBay sales on an ongoing basis since early 2006.

a) No one can dispute feedback any more. eBay has told me that they no longer use Squaretrade to dispute negative feedback. They also do not allow dialogue to remove it. I have mailed both electronically and by usps certified mail that the case as described above may be a factor in my complaints. This information has fallen on a deaf ear - only receiving canned responses that just provide link to policy.

This is an actual set of emails containing my requests of eBay for dispute over feedback that ultimately led to me being suspended.

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to Feedback Abuse

Thanks for trying to leave more accurate feedback for this member.
However, members can't edit or remove feedback comments once they've
been posted.

I've reviewed the comment and I see that it doesn't meet our criteria
for removal. We'll remove feedback only if it's abusive or meets
specific requirements of our removal policy.

At this point, I recommend that you leave a follow-up comment to your
feedback so that you can explain the situation. This way, other eBay
members will be able to understand exactly what happened.

Here's how to post a follow-up comment:

1. Click the "Site Map" link at the top of most eBay pages.
2. Click the "Follow Up to Feedback You Left for Others" link. You may
be asked to sign in.
3. Find the feedback you left and select the "Follow up" button.
4. Type in your comment and select the "Leave Follow-up Comment" button.

To clarify our policy, sellers are no longer able to leave either
negative or neutral Feedback for buyers, regardless of how the
transaction transpired. As such, by leaving a Positive Feedback
containing negative comments, sellers attempt to undermine the new
Feedback policies, and this is considered a violation.

I realize that it can be very frustrating being unable to leave Feedback
for a transaction, but we strongly suggest that in order to abide by
eBay's policies, you only leave appropriate Positive Feedback for buyers
who deserve positive Feedback.

We feel that filing appropriate unpaid item disputes and reporting any
possible violation to eBay is the best way to warn other sellers because
if the buyer continues this behavior they will eventually become
suspended and any negative or neutral Feedback they left will be
removed. Also with the new buyer requirements sellers can be protected
better from buyers who violate eBay policy.

-- Related Links --

Feedback Abuse:
Feedback Withdrawal and Removal:

Thank you for your time.


eBay Customer Support

Original Message Follows:

I have NOT expressed anything about defamation ... EBAY policy is to
remove feedback if the poster has improper contact information ... Had
I had this information, I would have been able to communicate with the
buyer and therefore avoid the negative. Also, upon posting a negative
I must check that I have communicated with my seller... thus buyer
checked that box and made NO attempt to communicate with me.

On Sep 5, 2008, at 8:26 PM, eBay Customer Support


Dear Philip,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to the feedback that you have
received from whitneybk0xi6.

I understand your concern about remarks posted to the site, but The
Forum and Discussion Boards are places where members express their
opinions freely. We don't censor opinions or investigate remarks for
accuracy. We only remove comments that violate our Feedback Abuse

The forum and boards are all governed by a federal law known as the
Communications Decency Act. Under that law, we're not legally
responsible for remarks posted to our site, even if those remarks are
- Related Links --
Feedback Abuse:
Discussion Boards Usage:

I understand your frustration regarding this matter and apologize for
the inconvenience it caused you.


eBay Customer Support

Dear Philip,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to your Feedback concerns.

Please rest assured we have in fact verified the other member's contact
information. We can remove feedback if it's abusive or meets any of the
conditions of our withdrawal and removal policy. As stated prior, we've
reviewed the feedback you asked about and, unfortunately, it doesn't
meet these requirements.

-- Related Links --

Feedback Abuse:
Feedback Withdrawal and Removal:

Thank you for your time.


eBay Trust & Safety

If I follow this link (http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/feedback-removal.html) as suggested by these emails that detail what feedback will be removed ...

Here is the policy:

A member provided eBay with an email address that is invalid and could not be contacted at the time of the transaction.

b) Sellers pay fees based on a new "Detailed Seller Ratings" system- this, is in my mind, ok - but only if eBay tabulates these ratings correctly. eBay has stated that my detailed seller rating and my feedback percentage found at:


are to low to sell on eBay. My detailed seller ratings remain unchanged averaging 4.7. My feedback is higher than the majority of sellers.

How my shipping charges rating could be anything less than a 5.0 is very strange. I have not charged for shipping in over 2 years. What could be anything but perfect about FREE SHIPPING?

ALL of my items ship for free or nominally internationally as well - the international charge is listed IN MY AUCTIONS. This charge is generally a $6 extra charge and international postage for my items usually runs $9.35. This means I'm applying a $3.35 CREDIT to international buyers.

The detailed seller rating also does not tally up to the number of feedbacks I have received; which coincidentally is not being tabulated properly either.

As you can see, I have only 160 Detailed seller ratings, but 274 positive feedback remarks. One is required to leave at least ONE detailed seller rating ... how is it possible that I have such an imbalance in detailed seller ratings vs feedback comments?

Before the detailed seller rating was in effect it was hard to quantify how a negative rating could impact you as a seller and how much money it would cost. Now, it's easy to tell - bad buyers are PURPOSELY rating EVERY PART of the transaction poor even if they paid for standard shipping and received an item overnight - they are leaving a 1 star rating for "shipping time". This misrepresentation by vindictive eBayers is completely unfair, especially if the seller has NO WAY whatsoever to correct the rating.

Furthermore, eBay isn't counting the full total NUMBER of feedbacks to figure out the rating. See how in the picture above I have 274 positives - but when figuring my total feedback the SAME PAGE shows 256 feedbacks? The 12 month totals between these two figures is inaccurate, eBay refuses to fix it, and suspends my account because I am below 99%. If the proper figure were included, I would be at 99% - and NOT suspended. Besides this fact - my powerseller status AND the fee rates I pay to eBay are base on these numbers. It has to be purposeful so as to obtain higher fees - the internet is littered with this same complaint - and not just by ranters - by intelligent thinkers who have figured this discrepancy out, notified eBay, and heard no response.

c) eBay is allowing certain sellers to pay no or low eBay fees as incentives to sell on eBay.

BUY.COM is my best example. They are offering NO price benefit to eBay buyers. They are selling items on eBay for the same price as they are on their website.

From Slashdot:

eBay's recent deal with Buy.com appears to be seriously irritating its veteran individual sellers. The deal allows Buy.com and other large fixed-price retailers to list millions of items on eBay without paying listing fees, and appears to be the direction that eBay will follow in the future. Understandably, individual sellers are outraged. 'I've paid eBay many hundreds of thousands in fees over the past several years and believed them when they talked about a level playing field. And they just plain and simple are going back on their word.'[said one seller]

I've noticed BUY.COM's listings for a Hawking Brand Mac compatible wireless adapter. They offer it for the same price on their website as they do on eBay. They offer no discounts on items. It ends up essentially just being a FREE shill advertisement for things on BUY.COM. Why would I buy on eBay when I can get the same thing for 10-20% less if I use a discount on BUY.COM? What if I wanted to sell this same adapter? I have looked into becoming an authorized Hawking reseller - how could I compete against someone who is getting to list for free who most likely was able to ink a better reseller deal with the manufacturer?

BUY.COM adapter

Same adapter, same price on eBay

I noticed this because I recently got an inventory of these items in myself and wanted to sell them on eBay - instead these items are listed by the dozens almost every day - and BUY.COM is paying less for them I'm sure AND WITH NO eBay cost attached to them. How is this possibly fair to me?

d) This is a charity auction for a "Spiderman 4 Experience"

I take great exception to this (even if for a charity) - I am not allowed to sell anything that cannot be delivered / completed within 30 days according to the eBay rules regarding "presale auctions".

eBay permits Pre-sale listings only on a limited basis. The seller must guarantee that the item will be available for shipping within 30 days from the date of purchase (i.e., the day the listing ends or the date the item is purchased from a store front listing). The seller must also clearly indicate within the listing the fact that the item is a pre-sale item with a delivery date that indicates the item will be shipped by the 30th day from the end date of the listing. Additionally, this text must be no less than the default font size of the eBay Sell-Your-Item form. Currently, the default font size is HTML font size 3.


eBay, at its discretion, for special promotional events, may approve an actual manufacturer of an item (like the game publisher in the examples above) to sell an item outside of the 30-day pre-sale guideline as long as the actual manufacturer is supplying the actual item for sale. These exceptions will be made for certain promotions and must be approved prior to listing items for sale on eBay that fit the exception above.

It is not even certain if there will be a Spiderman 4, it's not certain if filming will begin within a year, it's not certain if it will have to be a reboot or recast because of current actors unwilling to participate based on a script. The biggest exception is - the prize cannot be delivered for at least one year - possibly more. If shooting began now - the movie couldn't come out until summer 2010.

It's not fair that eBay is making these deals with "big causes & big companies" that are not just exceptions to policy but extreme exceptions to their policies.

e) eBay is now only allowing Paypal & merchant credit cards that have to be approved and the merchant must pay an access fee to a service called Propay. There is no excuse whatsoever for eBay to only accept Paypal. I understand restricting some services, but Google's checkout is FAR more secure and easier for me to use than Paypal. Plus a problem with Google checkout does not cause a disaster with my eBay account, nor can eBay freeze my funds.

f) For the duration of my suspension (because I received 3 negatives within a 1 month period) ALL of my funds at Paypal have been placed on hold for 30 days. This has left me with zero income. I am unable to pay my mortgage, my child's lunch money, my electric bill, etc etc. This is incredibly obtuse of eBay to do this. Not only am I in need of the money but I have no money to refund customers if they asked for a refund - thus possibly resulting in more negative feedback.

g) eBay recently ended this auction (below) of mine saying it was NOT an Apple adapter - even though in my description I make it VERY clear that it is not Apple's adapter. I have been selling this adapter for 5 years at the rate of about 25 a month with this same basic description. I use the "Apple" as an identifier not a brand. But I understood their point somewhat. This said, I had a separate problem a month earlier where I asked eBay to remove a copycat auction. This auction used this exact same title, worded the EXACT same way, in the exact same order; using my picture and my description. They were even including a copy of my instructions and my CD that I have worked nearly 5 years on honing. They refused to remove it, saying it did not violate their "copyright policy". Again, I understood why they removed mine, but they should apply this rule to the copycat as well. That auction remaining in the system was hurting my sales - I am the EXCLUSIVE eBay seller of the item.

Apple Mac USB To Ethernet Adapter iMac iBook eMac Mini
Powerbook G3 G4 MacBook Pro Air Save motherboard repair Item number: 320280005944

I realize this message was long and very detailed. I hope you read it, understand it, and want to take action over it.

It is insane to suggest I sell some where else or not sell on eBay at all. eBay is a public forum. I am not breaking any law and no one is complaining to local authorities or to the feds regarding my sales. I have tried every other means I possibly can - none have the exposure, acceptance, and ease of use as eBay does. By all other mediums - even if I offer my items for HALF the price; I sell maybe 5% of what I sell on eBay in just 1 month.

eBay must be put back into the hands of the eBayer - not the buyer, not the seller - but the internet customer. They are destroying the fun experience that they were a part of creating 12 years ago.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dell Keeps Delivering Packages to Wrong Address

A woman switched to a Mac after Dell twice sent Windows XP replacement CDs to her old address. After each failed delivery attempt, she called Dell, which repeatedly promised that they'd get it right next time. One customer service rep claimed that he personally called DHL to change the shipping address. (He didn't.)

To be fair ... Apple's system is sorta the same. You must change your shipping address BEFORE shipment of a product or your purchases, rebates, and or service parts will ship to your old address. Also, she could have called DHL and told them to hold the "CDs" at the customer counter and gone and picked them up - it can't have been more than 30 miles.

read more | digg story

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Energy Ball

As reported by Engadget:

As much as we prefer a good old-fashioned bird-killin' three blade wind turbine, apparently they cause a bit too much vibration and disturbance for regular home use. That's where the Energy Ball comes in, with its spherical shape that captures wind less obtrusively and yet more efficiently. At least that's what we're told, we're a bit short on details. We do know that it's in the prototype stages and was designed by Swedish company Home Energy, who claims their smallest Energy Ball can provide about 15% of the necessary energy to power the average Swedish home.

This combined with a solar roof could easily make a self sustaining home. If we at some point had plug-in hybrid cars - we could potentially move off of oil completely. It sounds like a pipe dream - but I think as time moves on this will become reality.

Friday, September 05, 2008

First Bill Gates + Jerry Seinfeld Microsoft Ad Makes No Sense

The ad has nothing to do with Microsoft and features the guy who is no longer CEO being made into the cool guy of an awkward pair. The two have no chemistry. The acting is bad (maybe on purpose). It's almost a good ad for Apple - Apple seems WAY cooler after watching it.

read more | digg story

From Microsoft:

"Today, we are kicking off a highly visible advertising campaign. The first phase of this campaign is designed to engage consumers and spark a new conversation about Windows – a conversation that will evolve as the campaign progresses, but will always be marked by humor and humanity. The first in this series of television ads airs initially in the U.S., and it aims to re-ignite consumer excitement about the broader value of Windows."

I think it should be renamed: "I'm a PC and I'm a WebTV"

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Creation: Movie about the life of Charles Darwin

As reported by COMINGSOON.NET:

Bettany & Connelly to Star in Creation

Real-life husband and wife Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly have signed on to play a married couple in Creation, Jon Amiel's project about the life of Charles Darwin, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Bettany will play the British father of evolutionary theory, and Connelly will play his wife, Emma, in the big-screen take on the life of the controversial "On the Origin of Species" author.

Darwin will be a portrayed as a man torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own growing belief in a world where God has no place. The scientist finds himself caught in a struggle between faith and reason, love and truth.

The script is based on Randal Keynes' book "Annie's Box," about the life of Darwin, his great great grandfather.

I've got a deal for some of my regular readers - I'll go see this movie if you will watch The Privileged Planet and Expelled.

There is NO WAY it happened any other way than a comet ...

Scene from Meet The Robinsons - my favorite depiction of a dinosaur

In yet another surprising turn of events, the commonly held extinction of dinosaurs theory may be wrong:

As reported by Slashdot:

"Everyone's got their favorite theories of Dinosaur extinction, but new speculation is rampant in a book that gives cause to believe it may have been disease-carrying insects. Due to the length of their slow and eventual extinction (the 'K-T Boundary'), it is argued that this would more likely be attributed to the spread of disease and the rise of parasitic insects like ticks or biting flies. Are our immune systems the only reason any animals survived?"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Copyrighting the law ???

As reported by Slashdot:

"California claims copyright to its laws, and warns people not to share them. And that's not sitting right with Internet gadfly, and open-access hero, Carl Malamud. He has spent the last couple months scanning tens of thousands of pages containing city, county and state laws — think building codes, banking laws, etc. Malamud wants California to sue him, which is almost a given if the state wants to continue claiming copyright. He thinks a federal court will rule in his favor: It is illegal to copyright the law since people are required to know it. Malamud helped force the SEC to put corporate filings online in 1994, and did the same with the patent office. He got the Smithsonian to loosen its claim of copyright, CSPAN to stop forbidding people from sharing its videos, and most recently Oregon to quit claiming copyright on state laws."

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

I have a California state law posted in this website's recording phone call laws reference section. I would remind California that THEY do not "own the law" - if anyone could lay claim to it - it would be taxpayers. I have had many a California taxpayer thank me for my comprehensive reference - that section is my most commented and most "Google linked in" page.

Copyrighting the law would be like copyrighting the number order 0-9 on a standard calculator.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Tribute to Don LaFontaine: The Voice

750,000 television spots, 5,000 movie trailers, 1 voice, Don LaFontaine has the most recognizable voice in the game right now. Here is the legend's story told by none other than the legend himself. RIP, Don, the moviegoing world will miss you. I had the personal pleasure of sharing an elevator with LaFontaine once while in Atlanta. An awesome presence and an extremely funny and pleasant person.

read more | digg story

Curtis Jackson May Be 50 Cent ... But My Real Name Is

Rapper 50 Cent's real name is Curtis Jackson. On Friday I received a "rebate VISA" from Staples for an HP printer purchase.

Printed below my name is "50 Dollars"

It looks like Philip Smith aka 50 Dollars.

I think I might frame it.

"Go shorty ... it's your birthday ... we gonna party ... like it's your birthday."

Where ever would they get a theory like that?

Research conducted by a team of North American scientist shows our solar system is special, contrary to the accepted theory that it is an average planetary system. Using computer simulations to follow the development of planets, it was shown that very specific conditions are needed for a proto-stellar disk to evolve into a solar system-like planetary system.

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

I think you can believe whatever you want to believe - but this is even more support from secular science that maybe there IS something special going on here on this pale blue dot - and Carl Sagan will go down as one of the most doubted and disproved scientists in his field.

Collecting your nominations ... Best Movie Prayer.

After watching Meet The Parents this weekend on video ... I decided to see if any one had done a "Best Movie Prayers" list ... usually these kind of lists make DIGG and are usually found on a website called CRACKED.COM. I searched the web and it doesn't appear anyone has made a list like this ... so I thought I would give it a try.

Do any of you have any nominations?

So far I have nominated:

Meet The Parents (2000)

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

Right now ... I'm gonna go for Catch Me If You Can as having the Best Prayer In A Movie.

That prayer is made by Frank Abignale, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Abignale clasps his hands together tightly more like a victory symbol than in reverence. He bows his head, closes his eyes, and without referencing thanks for the meal or reverence for God says:

Two mice fell into a bucket of cream. One mouse quickly gave up swimming and drown, but the other mouse kept swimming and churned the cream into butter and climbed out. Amen

Monday, September 01, 2008

Is Steve Jobs Moonlighting In Customer Service?

What's the easiest way to get ahold of Steve Jobs? Don't bother calling Apple PR or looking for a quote in the business press. Just email him, apparently: Apple's super-secretive boss appears to be increasingly responding to individuals' notes, which then inevitably get leaked to the Mac/gadget sites and made public."But then again, Steve's history of supposedly replying to some emails could be enough to inspire a few attention seekers to pen some fan fiction. And it's not too difficult to "predict" that Apple would want to fix the iPhone's bugs in a software update. In other words, it's entirely possible some (or all) of these are fake."

read more | digg story