Monday, March 22, 2010

Things You'll Need To Record Phone Calls

I love maintaining this reference .... and I particularly like answering various commenter's questions.


Because I wish that all the knowledge contained was around years ago. Over the years, I've been threatened by people (including attorneys) trying to say they'd sue me if I recorded their conversations. I've also been told that I didn't understand the law. Well ... not any more. I have researched EVERY state, researched case law, consulted with attorneys, and read just about every reference I can find regarding cellphone and land line recording of conversations.

Many people I've spoken to, including my wife, wish they had known me when they had problems with an ex. Most lawyers, most police, most judges, don't know the law or interpret it incorrectly. I've found quite a few attorneys using my reference in court cases ... I even have had a judge use the reference in a ruling because it is so well documented.

From the reference:
I can record ANYTHING I wish - laws may prevent me from using this information, but it is ALWAYS up to a judge to allow ANY evidence as admissible whether obtained illegally or not. That being said ... know that a sneaky attorney could call for a mistrial because you submitted evidence improperly or illegally. Read ALL of the comments below to see where I have thoroughly discussed this scenario.

To clarify; know that one can record anything without notification - even in a 2 party state. It is a threat to use or actual use of these recorded conversations to defame, frame, or harass where these laws come in to play.
I record ALL of my calls that regard money or family. Using NON COMPUTER hardware is easier to present in court and less suspect for tampering. Plus it's just easier to use no matter how awesome the interface or the operating system on a computer. With a call recording device such as the one featured here from TELEPHONECALLRECORDER.COM you can organize all your recorded phone calls in iTunes very easily. The SleuthGear Voice D4002 has the added benefit of having a microSD slot - making archiving of your conversations even easier.

Keystroke loggers … I've been asked at least a half dozen times over the years to help retrieve AOL Instant Messenger logs from a computer of a suspected cheating spouse.

These devices aren't cheap ... but know that my hourly rate is $100+ and I'm inexpensive for a computer technician. Why not have a device that you can use in the future and keep some of the data private and keep some of the embarrassing evidence to yourself. A keystroke logger is very stealth and wont be recognized, especially on a desktop computer.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

AMC Theaters Make "No Kids Under >6 After 6" Policy

Awesome. I'd like to see Regal implement this and take it a step further. No cellphone conversations in the theater during the movie from all day to all night.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Picture Of The Facade Around The Apple Store Coming To Greenville In Haywood Mall

By the size, this obviously won't be a mini store - thank goodness. But by mall constraints - it will be the same ole same ole mall design. I'm very excited.

What Does My Cable Or Satellite Provider Pay For The Channels I Have ?

Below is a chart detailing the prices Dish Network, DirecTV, Charter Cable, Time Warner, and Comcast pay to the various networks to broadcast their stations via their service.

One common question is, "If these are the prices, how can they make the deals they do for the first six months or a year?" That's because of deals that are struck. When I worked with Charter, I discovered that the average station was a flat rate of 5¢ per channel for the first six months in cost to to them. This means that if they provided you 60 channels for $29.99 - their cost for the first six months was only $3. The next six months channel wholesale costs would move to half of their normal value. The second year, channels would cost similar to what you see below.

Via The Consumerist:


One thing this chart really shows is that "a la carte pricing" where the consumer pays only for channels they want would be a much better deal. For example, ESPN, which I don't watch, would allow me to get 20+ channels in it's place.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

About Ad-blocking ...

A few weeks ago, I started a part time job working at a local PC fix it shop - hired mostly to do any Mac work that came their way, but to do most anything else too.

One highlight of this job was my perk of getting to work on my websites during any down time - the one you're reading and my local website to where I live ATLIBERTYTOSAY.COM.

One day, not having my Macbook, I asked the owner of the PC shop if I could use his computer to look at my website. I noticed that the formatting was off. I couldn't figure out why ... then he made the quip ...

"None of your ads are showing up."

I said, "Oh, why is that?"

He told me he had ad-blocking software turned on and that he hated ads.

My Google adsense ads and a few private ad contracts are honestly my ONLY motivation for keeping this site going nowadays. For my ATLIBERTYTOSAY.COM website it actually pays my bills. If you have ad blocking turned on, you take away from what Google measures as a hit on my webpage. Not even viewing ads hurts my revenue stream, without which I would not be able to make the time to update this site.

To give you some statistics:

- The "Recording Phone Calls" reference which I answer and update religiously is viewed over 5000 times monthly.

- My bluetooth headset references are viewed by over 1000 monthly

- My "As The Apple Turns" and Jack Miller stories are linked all over the web

- My "Worst Date For An Apple Tech" story has received over 100,000 hits since I wrote it

- My "Together Dating" reference and "Bidzirk" story have become major parts of litigation to protect consumers, bloggers, and constitutional rights.

Here's a poignant article summary from a website called ARS TECHNICA about the importance of advertisement:

"Ars Technica recently conducted a 12-hour experiment in which story content was hidden from users of popular ad blocking tools. Explaining the experiment, Ken Fisher appealed to Ars's readership: 'My argument is simple: blocking ads can be devastating to the sites you love. I am not making an argument that blocking ads is a form of stealing, or is immoral, or unethical, or makes someone the son of the devil. It can result in people losing their jobs, it can result in less content on any given site, and it definitely can affect the quality of content. It can also put sites into a real advertising death spin. As ad revenues go down, many sites are lured into running advertising of a truly questionable nature. We've all seen it happen. I am very proud of the fact that we routinely talk to you guys in our feedback forum about the quality of our ads. I have proven over 12 years that we will fight on the behalf of readers whenever we can. Does that mean that there are the occasional intrusive ads, expanding this way and that? Yes, sometimes we have to accept those ads. But any of you reading this site for any significant period of time know that these are few and far between. We turn down offers every month for advertising like that out of respect for you guys. We simply ask that you return the favor and not block ads.'"

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Why Don't They Just Call Us "Leanders"?

My local paper, The Greenville News writes in a story about a potential Apple Store locating within my state:

"Apple is the manufacturer of the popular iPhone, iPod and Mac laptops. So intense are customers’ loyalty to the products they sometimes call themselves the Cult of Mac."

I'm a former Apple employee, lifetime Mac owner, iPhone owner, Mac User Group member, Apple Tech, Computer shop tech, topical Apple blogger ... Never in my life have I ever heard someone I know identify themselves as a "Cult Of Mac".

* Leander Kahney is the author of The Cult Of Mac Blog