Friday, November 21, 2008

iPhone Snaps

These first two pics came from the playground at my son's elementary school. Yes ... that's a black widow.

This from a current eBay auction that I have up ... that's three different iterations of the Mac Plus including a Mac 512k.


I'll have a lot of updates and new stuff to post on Monday ... (Yeah ... this time I mean it)

Please take the time to look at my money saving article below on INSURANCE.

Even if you can't get USAA - automobile, life, health, home insurance is the one way to squeeze a few extra bucks out out of your paycheck by raising your deductible and or making sure that you are receiving all the right discounts and incentives. Insurance companies rely on your ignorance of just renewing.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Apple For Being Called Monopoly

A California judge has dismissed a counterclaim from Psystar which asserted that Apple violated federal and state anti-trust laws in limiting the sale and use of Mac OS X on Apple branded computers.

A 19-page order from Judge William Alsup rejects Psystar's claims and grants Apple's motion to have the countersuit thrown out of court should the clone maker not better its argument through an amended complaint that can be filed no later than Monday December 8th.

Psystar attempted to ask the court to define a "Mac OS market" in which Apple held a monopoly.

"Apple asks its customers to purchase Mac OS knowing that it is to be used only with Apple computers; it is certainly entitled to do so." ~ Judge Alsup

Multimedia Messaging (MMS) Coming to the iPhone

As reported by MacRumors:

Their solution appears that it may be a third party application developed by Swedish developer Mobispine. Mobispine is marketing their MMS application to mobile carriers (such as AT&T) as a solution to provide the service to their end users.

We're confident that operators will find the service easy to use and profitable with an opportunity to expand messaging usage, improve subscriber retention and hopefully increase revenue. The service will also increase customer loyalty and recognition as the brand is displayed on the user's phone. The application is white-labelled and will be branded for each operator and distributed via the App store.

I've gotten use to not getting MMS messages or sending them and just doing pictures in email - it seems faster and easier to "email photo" than to type someone's phone number in.

Personally I don't like people sending me messages with pictures to my phone anyway.

iPhone 2.2 Firmware released

As reported by MacRumors:

Apple has released the iPhone 2.2 firmware tonight shortly after midnight. The latest update is available in iTunes for existing iPhone and iPod touch owners. The update contains:

Enhancements to Maps
- Google Street View
- public transit and walking directions
- display address of dropped pins
- share location via email

Enhancements to Mail
- resolved isolated issues with scheduled fetching of email
- improved formatting of wide HTML email

Improved stability & performance of Safari

Podcasts now available for download in iTunes application (over Wi-Fi & cellular)

Decrease in call set-up failures & call drops

Improved sound quality of visual voicemail messages

Pressing the Home button from any Home screen takes you to the first Home screen

Preferences to turn on/off auto-correction in Keyboard settings

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two ways to save money: Thai Crystal Deodorant & Car & Home Insurance

In these "times of trimming our budgets" I've found two really unique ways to save money. Actually, not to gloat, but I've been using both of these "cost cutters" since about 2000.

First ... if you are an active or retired military officer, policeman, fireman or have a father, mother, or parent in-law that serves or has served ... you qualify to get USAA insurance for your home and car. Automobile insurance through USAA is HALF of Progressive, State Farm, AllState, and Geico.

I've told a lot of people about USAA insurance and most people - even military personnel don't know about it. They are the ONLY (as far as I know) non profit insurance company. Since my father and brother have both served - I qualify to get the awesome rates that USAA gives.

I've had people tell me that they don't believe me when I say I pay $280 A YEAR for my auto insurance. I do have a high deductible and I dropped collision & comprehensive last year (because my car has a junked title). BUT - before I raised my car insurance deductible from $500 to $1000 and dropped collision and comprehensive - my rate was $427.50 A YEAR. I have a good driving record which helps and I also have completed two separate driving courses. My car - A 2002 Suzuki Vitara, is also on insurance lists Top 10 safest vehicles ever made. <--- After the Suzuki Samurai rollover lawsuit - Suzuki allowed Consumer Reports (the defendant in the lawsuit) to help design their next generation SUV. The result was the Suzuki Sidekick - which became the Suzuki Vitara - which shares identical bodies with the GEO and Chevy Tracker.

It is impossible for any auto insurance company to give you a better rate than USAA. Plus, once joined, you cannot be dropped unless you fall into SR-22 status.

If you combine your insurance with a home insurance policy (which I receive this benefit from my Dad's home) - you can get an even further discount. Home insurance rates are equal in value - roughly half of all the major insurance companies.


My other money saving tip is - buying Thai Crystal deodorant. What I'm about to tell you will sound unbelievable. I have had the above deodorant for FOUR YEARS. I put it on every day. i don't have complaints about body odor. I'm realistic when I lift my arm and sniff and I do not smell at all. I got my wife to start using it and she recently had to replace hers because she dropped it and the blue container you see above busted. It costs between $8-$15. I got mine at a local health & vitamin store called Creative Health. You can also purchase the "blue brand" you see above at Walmart. I use Apple scented body splash and Delicious by Donna Karen as "my scent". I put a small amount of Delicious in the top of the container of my Thai Crystal deodorant each month to refresh it. Before I started using Thai Crystal deodorant I was buying roughly 1 spray deodorant bottle a month. This has ended up saving me about $40 a year.

One thing I forgot to mention that both my wife and best friend reminded me about:

Don't forget that crystal deodorant doesn't contain potentially harmful aluminum derivatives which is the reason that I prefer this type of deodorant.

iPhone Snaps

Yesterday, while in the McDonald's in Easley South Carolina, I was getting a $1 sweet tea at a self serve "get your own drink" dispenser - I had a tray of food in one hand, my tea in the other - when I pulled one of these lids out - 40 spilled onto the countertop - I put them back. I told management about it. I took this picture when I left 45 minutes later.

This is a receipt I got from a CVS pharmacy. I purchased 2 items. Four Quarters are pictured for scale. This is completely irresponsible and costly to CVS. Ink & Paper waste to the grossest level I think I've ever seen it.

This is a picture I took with my iPhone on election day right after I took my wife to the polling place nearby. THAT is what I call "election sky". It sounds kinda gay to say this - but when I saw that sky and I knew my wife and I had both voted for Obama - me reluctantly - I sighed because I knew God was going to get us through the rough times ahead and I felt that I had made the right decision.

This is a picture of a fun section of a local Clemson newsletter. Did you know John Carson was on TV for 300 YEARS! I thought Edward McMahon was old.

So ... where have I been and what have I been doing?

First ... I have to be honest ... I have really just been busy both working and figuring out how to get into an Apple Store position and doing various home duties as a new father and husband.

Second ... I have been having a lot of angst and depression over a court case that I'm getting rolling against Bidzirk. I've also had a number of individuals come forward about the owner of the business and I have been trying to sort out in my head and with God what the right path to continue on is at this point.

Third ... Not a lot has been happening really ... but I'm about to make up for all of my missed time today.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

My 1st DMCA Takedown Notice & Warning

Back in July I had someone list one of my ethernet adapters using the exact same title (and subtitle) in the same word order and also including the directions and instructions as I have included with my exclusive adapter since August of 2004.

I just had the certified return receipt requested letter sent back to me after 5 months of attempted deliveries.

I just wanted to post it here to make it even more official.

Monday, November 03, 2008

iPhone Snaps

(ABOVE) Two flowers that have appeared in a recently dried up lake bed at Lake Hartwell in Clemson SC.

This is a sign I saw in Kmart - the day before Halloween. These signs were taped all over the metal shelves. Look at how well employees follow directions.

A subliminal suggestion

As mentioned previously ... as much as it hurts me to do so ... I'm voting for Obama tomorrow. I've been reading up about the myths of voting and discovered that while you can still vote if you are wearing campaign clothing - you will be asked to cover it up. You won't be able to vote or stand in line until it is covered up.

If you are an Obama supporter, may I suggest you wear or print up an Alabama T-Shirt or Hoodie tonight for tomorrow.

It's a subliminal message without being a message at all.

I suspect it really will stick in people's minds as they see you at the polls.

A review of a Sinbad comedy concert ...

From The Daily Collegian [A Penn State College Paper]:

Sinbad was hilarious, but at the same time realistic. He made people laugh, but did it in a way many comedians today do not -- he didn't curse. Ever get the feeling watching some comedians that they feel some insatiable desire to curse in most of their routines?

Sinbad never gave this impression as he appeared comfortable and maintained an easygoing rapport with the crowd, conversing freely. At times, some of his best laughs came when he put audience members on the spot. For instance, he responded to one audience member who asked about his chances of a romance with "World" co-star Jasmine Guy with, "Like you got a chance."

Also unlike other comedians, Sinbad did not elicit laughter at the expense of oppressed people. His humor was not tinged with any of the -isms: racism, sexism, or homophobia. In other words, Sinbad told what I call a "straight joke." In my opinion, these are the best to tell.

His delivery and timing were excellent. In his first appearance, Sinbad really attempted to go the extra mile for the audience. I sensed sincerity and a willingness to come down to the fans' level and communicate with them.

Exxon has record profit after R&D and new technology investment

As reported by AutoBlogGREEN:

Another quarter passes, another record profit is set by Exxon Mobil. It's a bit of a broken record by now... literally. If you have a weak stomach, perhaps you should quit reading here. For the rest of us, here are the gory details: Total net profit comes in at a staggering $14.83 billion, besting its previous record (which was just set last quarter) of 11.68 billion. That income equals $1,865.69 per second, in case you cared. Total revenue taken in was $137.7 billion, which equates to a lot of gas, though it produced 8 percent less oil that it had the previous quarter.

Perennial number-two oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, also did rather well for itself last quarter, raking in $8.45 billion in profits. British Petroleum, for its part, managed to make some $10.5 billion over the same period of time. These record profits have managed to catch some major attention, including that of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who suggested that the oil giants perhaps share the wealth a bit. Yeah, that sounds likely.


Another comparison:

Exxon's profits this year = all of Apple's profits for the past 15 years! Yes 15! Apple is the wealthiest technology company with 24 billion in the bank.


Your responsibility ...


This message is just to my United States readers but is actually a note to all of my readers every where. Tomorrow, November 4th 2008, may be the single most important election in the history of The United States.

While there's always someone, somewhere saying that in every election and there have been important elections in the past - there has never been a black man running for President nor has there been a viable female VP - one that would most likely go on to run in 4 years. (Geraldine Ferraro ran as VP in 1984 but the re-election of Reagan was by a landslide, Ferraro was also not a viable Presidential candidate). Further - McCain, if elected, has hinted that he would run for one term only - leaving Palin as a viable candidate for President.

Whomever is elected - it was solely YOU who elected them. It's a hard concept to grasp. I look at it kind of like how - when I bought that first Mac in 1985 - just me - I went on to influence 1000's of Mac sales. If you vote, and you encourage others to vote - you WILL influence this election. Your vote counts.

PLEASE do NOT be discouraged by long lines or any neutrality in your own politics.

I really like Palin - but John McCain is very weak on personality and I fear he will be more of the same. I have been a Republican voter since my first year of voting in 1992. If Palin were running for President I would vote for her without reservation.

With much consternation - I will be voting for Obama. I think the President of a company (or country) is all about personality - which IS the ability the sell something. Even if a company has great advisors and a great upper management - if the President has a weak personality - the company ultimately fails. Apple / Steve Jobs - what better example [of success] could be given?

____________ /America = for me ... it's going to be Obama this go around.

In a way, I'm sad that this is the choice I have ... but I'm excited that whomever wins - the elected will be in office for the first time in American history.

Please also vote in the poll to the right ;-)

Throwing money in the trash?

I had promised a post about Daring Fireball's John Gruber last week ...

I had a lot to plan for my October 31 costume party so I didn't have a lot of time to get anything posted (or written) ...

So, here's one more teaser.

Back in March 2008, Gruber posted this:

This kind of shocked me - that even if wealthy - Gruber was throwing money away.

Then, last week, I saw a post linking to a sponsorship page. Apparently, Gruber charges $2000 a week for sponsoring his feeds on his website. WOW! But, if he charged a penny less, his sponsorships would be $1999.99 - under $2000! All he would have to do is keep 52 of those pennies that he found ... or threw in the trash.