Friday, December 31, 2004

Quit calling it that ...

I'm not sure if this headless iMac will materialize - that is being rumored, but if it does; I wish people would quit calling it a "loss leader":

Here's a few facts:

• It sounds like an iBook without an LCD, built in keyboard/trackpad, and no battery

• Apple's profit margin on the iBook is about 24%

• LCD cost is about $200
• We'll call it a wash on the keyboard/trackpad for optical mouse & USB keyboard
• Sans battery - probably $40 cost to Apple.
• There are a few other components that will "be less of an iBook" - let's just subtract another $20 (eventhough that may be too low)


If we go with the low end iBook - I see this costing Apple about $325-$400 to produce

Wow, whatta you know same* average profit margin 20% (maybe slightly lower)

[UPDATE] This eventually became the Mac Mini

..

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Tsunami Relief from the distributors of Sosumi

The Sosumi Sound of course is a system sound from Apple Computer's past.

Apple's front page this entire week has looked like this:




Hats off to Apple!
That said, after seeing this [below] on MacSlash, I felt obligated to remind some of the readers posting in the forums there:

Signs Of Corporate Conscience

someone caring writes "Links to aid donating to tsunami disaster relief are cropping up in a number of places. Some predictable places include the Yahoo and Google homepages. Less predictable location are large corporate homepages (Apple and Amazon) generally reserved for the latest and greatest product or service. I'm sure that every human heart feels sadness at a time like this. I just wasn't expecting to come across a sign that maybe there is such a thing a corporate conscience. Amazon and Apple you're class acts. I'm sure there are other example. Has anyone run across them? I wouldn't mind the list as a tiebreaker when I make a future purchasing decision."

FogCreek Software is donating half of all revenue this week to Oxfam. Although it's a small token, we're following their lead and donating half of MacSlash's ad and affilliate revenue from this week (Dec 26 - Jan 1) to Doctors Without Borders (Medicines sans Frontieres). Any Amazon purchases made through our amazon affiliate link helps those who are hurting in the aftermath of the tsunami, as do the ads displayed on the site.


__________________________________

My comment:

You must be careful though...

Thursday December 30, @09:40AM

Tugging at the heart strings is a common ploy to get business.

While I believe Apple and Amazon are sincere - anyone who joins in after this point may be just trying to bring their readers in by taking advantage of them.

A small cost to pay to get hit totals up!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

BS follows BR

This was found on the front page of the BleuRose.com website:

"The release of Black & Bleu™ v10 marks the end of our participation in the Macintosh software marketplace.

The shrinking number of Mac users, the increasing reluctance of those users left to actually pay for software products and the apparently significant number of thieves willing to steal rather than pay at all coupled with Apple's seeming lack of concern about compatibility across its product versions and the alarming problem with its software quality (over 100,000 new bugs reported during the months of October & November, 2004 alone) has combined to render Mac OS software development unprofitable for us.


So with this final release of Black & Bleu™, we will be exiting from the Mac application marketplace and focusing our attention on other areas of endeavor.


Bleu Rose Ltd. will continue to exist but with a much different product direction in the future.


We will continue to make copies of our current products available here on our web site for the next several months."


Update:

The standard version is $30, while the pro version is $130.

Yikes! Nobody could afford it! Another reason?

Here's a link to the "no-so-great" reviews Black & Bleu gets @ versiontracker.com:

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/673

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Pssst ... over here ... looking for an Apple laptop?



Details are sketchy but it looks like someone bought this in alley somewhere in New York.

In the year 2000 ... In the year 2 THOU SAAAAAAAND!

I just read this story at Engadget:

The stolen GSM phone database

This was kind of always something we’d hoped or assumed existed in every cellphone company’s dark su-basement, underfunded and otherwise unused. That it didn’t exist is unsettling, but at least they’re making their way now, yeah? So the GSM Association (the consortium of GSM network operators, which includes T-Mobile and Cingular in America, of course) has finally gotten around to setting up a simple database that tracks stolen GSM phones. You don’t even have to know your IMEI, too; when you report your phone as stolen, your carrier uploads the data to the DB, and the next time the phone is used they’ll triangulate your location and the perp’s totally busted. Sweet, sweet justice.



This is pretty awesome. I lost my phone a few weeks back.

As cellphones get more and more feature rich and hold more and more data - this is almost a MUST.

The question is - are they going to return the phone to the original owner?

The other question would be - wouldn't it be great to have a GSM cellphone (with SIM card) built in to a laptop? Then if they get online using the GSM portion - sirens sirens sirens!

I wish i could offer this as part of the Hijacked & Stolen Registry - as an actual hardware solution.

If Apple would or could integrate an iPod into a cellphone - think about what a great feature this would be!!! Never get your iPod stolen - at least not without consequences!

Monday, December 27, 2004

Stories Floating In Cue

These posts from around the web contain themes common to FYT

I have had several auctions ended by Microsoft on eBay unjustly. Looks like MacSlash was "Big Brother Bitch Slapped" not too long ago:

Microsoft tries to shut the MacSlash website down

And here's a commentary from MacMind. The best part of this commentary is the forum comments below the article. Most convey my sentiments.

Why I'm not an Apple Fanboy

Thursday, December 23, 2004

World's Craziest Mac Crimes Caught On Camera


Wow, what perfect timing but a series of unfortunate events for the Apple Store in Pittsburgh:

As reported by Channel 4 TV in Pittsburgh:

Smash-and-grab at Pittsburgh Apple Store

"Thieves swiped about US$9,000 worth of Apple laptops at the company's retail store in Pittsburgh's Shadyside neighborhood, police said. "Surveillance video from Dec. 12 shows someone smashing through the glass front door at the store in the 5500 block of Walnut Street. A man is seen rushing to the back of the building while a woman grabs three laptops from a shelf. Both people then run outside. The entire episode takes just 19 seconds."

The reason I say perfect timing is because Jackwhispers has been preparing a story on the very topic of video surveillance on a Mac. I'll see what I can do to get it up for Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

For Your Eyes Only ...

This message appears IN RED on the latest build of Mac OS 10.4 for developers:



"PRE-RELEASE SOFTWARE IS APPLE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION. YOUR UNAUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION OF PRE-RELEASE SOFTWARE OR DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION RELATING TO PRE-RELEASE SOFTWARE (INCLUDING THE POSTING OF SCREEN SHOTS) MAY SUBJECT YOU TO BOTH CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY AND RESULT IN IMMEDIATE TERMINATION OF YOUR ADC MEMBERSHIP."




....

A Christmas Gift To You

Apple is giving away $10 off coupons on it's website for taking a lengthy survey.

http://www.apple.com/retail/feedback/

Enjoy!

I like customer feedback surveys - I typed quite a bit into the suggestions and added a lot of praise. There is NO RETAIL like an Apple RETAIL store!

By The Time It Got To Other End Of The Room

I have always been of the opinion that Nick Deplume [the alias of the editor] of Think Secret holds a hatred for Apple Computer for some reason. All the stories posted there seem to have some sort of "twist" to them that try to steal the thunder from an Apple announcement or just be downright negative.

The most recent story on Think Secret is about an iPod shortage. [See this Fix Your Thinking entry] The negative spin placed on the article is that Apple probably will disappoint investors and not meet the "4 million iPods sold this quarter" forecast. My personal belief is that Apple has actually produced and will continue to produce close to 5 million iPods and HP iPods this quarter and will FAR exceed analysts expectations.

I will concede that Apple should FORCE resellers to post a sign that says - if out of stock, order from Apple.com. If several stores are out of stock - many people will just "go with the other brand". But let me say this to parents and to readers in general: There is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE IPOD No one has a better package with better support and 3rd party accessory compliment - EVER IN HISTORY - yes HISTORY! There are more things made for the iPod than the Sony Playstation! The iPod is sold in more outlets worldwide than BATTERIES!

As for MacOSRumors (not to be confused with MacRumors) - This site has pretty much been erased into oblivion and I question the marketing departments of ANY of its advertisers.

SpyMac - well - I just can't stand this site or it's main user base. They continue to post rumors scattered over the forums - which breaks the terms of an official Mac User's Group - which they claim to be.

[UPDATE]

Here is a link to the 1st time Apple sued anonymous sources over product leaks

[UPDATE] MacOSRumors continues a trail of lies to get money & hits - this past week it reached a ridiculous level. The following was posted this past week:

As many of you know, frequent Rumors editor Toby Braun was involved in a multi-car pileup last week and was without insurance at the time. He has recently begun waking up and his prognosis for recovery is good. He has only been able to speak a little so far and is still heavily medicated, but Toby has definitely expressed thanks more than once for everyone's generous donations and words of support. Although himself recovering from serious complications of an old cycling injury, the site's founder and administrator Ryan Meader has been on hand to rally the troops and is working to develop several new sites for the Organization including a revamped version of MOSR that is very nearly ready for a public beta in February.

From all of us here, thank you! It's been an honor to have the opportunity of the past nine years, and we think you'll be pleased with what we have in store. As always, running a good site boils down to giving the readers what they want....so drop us a line and let us know what you think!


Tangier Clark writes: I have been reading from several sites the notions of a possible 30-inch monitor from Apple. Just curious if there have been any more developments on this rumor. How well-based is it? I am interested in purchasing the 23-inch, but if knowledge of this monitor surfaces with the intent of being available in the near future, I may hold off on that purchase.

There is a very strong body of evidence in reports from all over the globe corroborating Apple's efforts over the past five months to develop and bring to market a much larger display not only for use with high-end workstations but also as a home entertainment system for high-end HDTV. Although it's been a while since any major new information has come in on the subject, as of the past few months, we had good reason to believe that Apple had committed to orders of a 30-inch LCD display panel with industry-leading image quality, brightness, contrast, and resolution from at least two vendors.

As always, the factor that is most difficult for us to comment on with confidence is timing. Apple has already passed several milestones mentioned in some of the older documents we had been basing our projections on in the past, without any word on stand-alone display updates. Reportedly, the blame lies with stubborn, hovering LCD prices that aren't falling as Apple had hoped; until the price drops arrive and Apple can make the room in its price structure for the 30-inch panel or some similar advance in size and features, timing is at best a big honking question mark. We still expect an update of some sort soon, with new enclosures to match the Powermac G5 and some price drops to boot, but whether the new high-end panel will arrive that soon is an open question.

The company was also taking bids as recently as six weeks ago for even larger displays, and not necessarily just those based on common TFT LCD technology but any range of emerging technologies such as OLED, advanced Plasma, or anything else that Apple's various display contractors could come up with under $5,000. Some bidders reportedly offered up panels as large as 42 inches! "

Monday, December 20, 2004

The 2 worst give us the 10 worst

Here is Jim Louderback of PC Magazine mention for worst Desktop PC of the year:

Apple's the entry-level eMac really does represent Think Different. That's because for a company that prides itself on quality, this computer is different. As in bad. On the plus side, it's stylish. On the downside, it's slow, underpowered, and pathetic. The 40GB hard drive will fill up quickly, the lack of a DVD burner makes offloading files impossible, and the Radeon 9200 graphics card won't even run this fall's hot Mac games. And at around $800, this eMac ain't cheap. If you're considering a home Apple, think different. Buy a Dell. Or be prepared to spend a lot more for an acceptable Apple computer. Our Desktop Product Guide can lead you to the best Apples, along with the best of the rest.

This was my slashdot response to this:

The two worst PC industry commentators of the year

Jim Louderback [this story's writer]

John C Dvorak [mentioned in this story as having a credible opinion]

Both of these guys are Mac haters and neither have a valid merit to make any statement about the Personal Computer or electronics industry.

See these two Fix Your Thinking stories for more background:

Gee, four Reasons Not To Watch TechTV
The Headless Horseman's Identity Revealed


[UPDATE] ( posted @ PC Mag under this article )

Jim you are such a wannabe journalist.

You post John C. Dvorak as a credible PC columnist and you rag on one of the top Apple computers with false misleading statements.

You didn't mention that:

• you CAN get a superdive in an eMac
• you CAN get one for less than $600 (regularly from the special deals section @ Apple)
• eMac G4 processors are the equivalent of 2X (almost) of a PC counterpart 1.25GHz G4= 2.2Ghz Pc
• You get iLife, MacOSX, and AppleWorks + Quicken on any eMac
• You DO NOT have the virus/spyware tax on a Mac
• The $499 -$799 PCs are really $250 higher just try to get one from Dell
• Dells and Gateway's prices are after rebate - rebates usually process in 3 months
• The video on the Dell is integrated and shared with the motherboard RAM = a lot slower
• Most games I have tested that are ported to the Mac (Call of Duty, Unreal, Sims) all perform VERY well

Didn't your commentary over Macworld get you demoted at TechTV? Didn't John and your own comments just constantly being wrong and bashing Apple get you both almost completely off the air there? Where else are you guys gonna go - because there is a rather big effort starting at Slashdot for letters to your editor to remove the two of you.

[UPDATE] AUG 2007: Louderback replaced / resigned / fired

Friday, December 17, 2004

Apples sues someone but no one

Apple sues over trade secret leak

Possible candidates from recent rumors:

• Flash iPods ( low probability - because I don't see this happening )

• Satellite iPods using Sirius Sat Radio ( low probaility - because I just don't think the two could be integrated right now and just doesn't seem like Apple )

• Apple Asteroid Firewire Audio Interface ( high probability - Apple has found new life in catering to the audiophile )

• Apple iPhone ( high probability - I have been made aware by my own sources in Moto that this HAS been "on the table" for some time - I also think THIS is the reason Apple is partnering with Flash media )

• New PowerBooks, eMacs, G5 Xserves ( high probability - but not likely the focus of this suit )

• Apple Tivo ( low probability - Steve jobs doesn't like to record commercial video for some reason )

• Apple PDA ( medium probability - this hasn't been discussed recently - but Steve Jobs said they have developed but never brought a unit to fruition - I think Apple may try it out sometime before 2005 ends )



That's all I can think of...

[UPDATE] This ended up being over The Asteroid Audio Device

Thursday, December 16, 2004

An iPod shortage???

One of the missions of FixYourThinking is to present a problem seen within the Mac Community, but then to resolve it with a solution or a suggestion to make things better.

I hate when Mac news sites post a story such as this {It only proves they aren't news sites - just repackagers]:

MacMinute:

"The Wall Street Journal reports that major retailers across the US are having trouble with iPod shortages this holiday season. "Many of the most-popular models--including some of the colorful, diminutive iPod minis and the 20-gigabyte white iPod--are out of stock through Amazon.com, Buy.com and other Web sites. Target stores in Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area say they are out of many iPods, as does J&R Electronics, a big electronics store in New York. Best Buy is out of most iPods on its Web site, although a company spokesman says the vast majority of its stores 'have at least one' iPod in stock."


I have been to quite a few electronic retailers over the past week.

Fry's Brick & Mortar stores and CompUSAs seem to have ample stock - at least in 5 Southern US cities I have been to.

Remember, you can call ANY store up and ask to speak to the manager and have them mail you anything in the store. That is of course if you are willing to pay.

Remember your local Mac Resellers and Radio Shacks too!

Try big cities in small population states!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

REALly hitting the fan

As reported by MacMinute:

iPod software update renders Real downloads unplayable

CNET News.com reports that Apple has quietly updated its iPod firmware so that songs purchased from the RealNetworks music store will not play on iPod photo models. "The move could render tunes purchased by many iPod owners unplayable on their music players. For the last four months, RealNetworks has marketed its music store as the only Apple rival compatible with the iPod, following the company's discovery of a way to let its customers play their downloaded tunes on Apple's MP3 player. Apple criticized RealNetworks' workaround, dubbed Harmony, as the 'tactics...of a hacker,' and warned in July that RealNetworks-purchased songs would likely 'cease to work with current and future iPods.'"

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Insight into the recent past that is to become the future

There IS credible evidence that Apple is developing an iPhone.

THIS IS, in my opinion, the flash based iPod everyone is rumormongering about. I seriously doubt Apple [Steve] will want to backtrack about "flash iPods" and let the Creative CEO who has pretty much declared war on Apple have any fodder. He's already saying that he's just waiting to make a BIG deal out of Steve's comments if a flash iPod becomes true.

There is also very credible evidence for phone collaborations any way.

If any of you remember, the Cingular CEO spoke two MacWorlds back on stage - nothing has ever come of that other than very tight Sony Ericssson phone integration as far as I can see.

Motorola has started to lose ground with Cingular and only recently been the "cool guy" again with the Razr [a cingular exclusive] - by the way, this phone could easily have an iPod integrated in to it - especially a flash based iPod.

I have also heard that Motorola is working on a cell phone based radio network to be deployed by Cingular/AT&T through Cingulars aquired CDMA lines [of AT&T's] while keeping the GSM towers of AT&T's.

Realize that the recent merger of Nextel and Sprint was bad news for Motorola as Sprint loves Sanyo and Panasonic. Nextel was exclusively Motorola. I think Motorola sold off their share in Nextel for capital to partner with Cingular.

Update:

"We've said we have something coming on this in the first half of 2005 and we're definitely on schedule for that. Hopefully you'll be able to see more about it soon," Eddy Cue, vice president of applications at Apple, told Forbes. "What we've talked about is a something that is valuable for the mass market. It has to be a phone in the middle-tier of the market, not a $500-tier phone. It has to be very seamless to use. And we're very happy with the results."

- the website address http://www.iphone.org points to apple.com [for the past 5 years]

Friday, December 10, 2004

PayPal Ain't My Buddy

Apple is now accepting Paypal for the iTunes music store

I posted this @ Macrumors in the forum discussing the topic:

"One of the MAIN reasons Apple is doing this is because Paypal most likely saw that people were paying with their Paypal debit card and getting 1.5% back.

When an item goes for pennies it sucks for paypal and for the merchant. I'm sure both companies are gaining by this.

Anyone who says paypal sucks has just had an atypical experience or is just a nut.

And don't point anyone to paypalsucks.com - it's a scam site itself to try to get you to sign up with Ikobo and Yowcow payment services"

The original BLOG entry:

This story was a matter of concern for me. I discovered that PayPalsucks.com was sponsored by PayPal's competition and that the majority of posts there were inflamatory rants seemingly made by those out to destroy Paypal at any cost.

The owners of paypalwarning.com had a very interesting business behind it as well.

I also noticed that a lot of scammers used a description like this in their auctions on Yahoo:

"I don't accept paypal because they rip off your money - don't believe me, see here" (with link to paypalsucks.com)

This gives the impression the seller is on the up and up. After all, he's warning you of a scam right?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Apple iBook Repair Deadline approaches

December 18 2004 deadline for the free iBook repair program approaches.

"The program is available for certain iBook models with serial numbers in the following range:

UV117XXXXXX to UV342XXXXXX

iBooks with these serial numbers [as listed above] may be referred to as:

iBook (16 VRAM)
iBook (14.1 LCD 16 VRAM)
iBook (Opaque 16 VRAM)
iBook (32 VRAM)
iBook (14.1 LCD 32 VRAM)
iBook (800MHz 32 VRAM)
iBook (900MHz 32 VRAM)
iBook (14.1 LCD 900MHz 32 VRAM)
iBook (Dual USB)
iBook (Late 2001)
iBook (14.1 LCD)

Nicknames iBook "IceBook" iBook "Snow"

600Mhz and faster

The program covers affected iBooks for three years after the first retail sale of the unit or until December 18, 2004, whichever provides longer coverage for you. Apple will continue to evaluate the repair data and will provide further repair extensions as needed."

See the Fix Your Thinking RECALLS section for other Apple recalls and repair extensions

Another Day, Another iPod Scam

I have to give credit to the creator of IPODMYPHOTO.COM for 3 things:

1) Entreprenurial spirit

2) Great website design and idea

3) Providing me with an editorial topic in an other wise VERY slow week

Tomorrow, in this BLOG, I will give a little background history to the Apple iPod ad and show how even it may be a copy of prior art. I will also use the tutorial that I linked to in the story to create my own iPod ad and give a timed result.

I believe this wouldn't have been so bad if the price was $5 or if the creator had designed an applescript for Photoshop or even a full blown program, but $20 is just robbery. You can be a novice in photoshop and do this in less than 20 minutes.

Here is a comparison of fonts to use in the iPod ad, if you decide to create one yourself. From a Google search, it seems Applw uses the Myriad font in the iPod silhouette ads.

Update: Comments in the BLOG seem to think by just changing an existing iPod ad I must be missing the point.

It took me 9 minutes and now I know a few things, another picture would probably take much less time.

I took a picture from this story on Yahoo News:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/041207/480/dcsa10712070000

Update: A new website with an innovative idea that SHOULD be marketed - based on this same concept

http://podfolio.desclides.net/

Monday, December 06, 2004

Shattered Glass



The movie Shattered Glass is on HBO tonight at 7PM EST


If you look at the bottom of each story page you will see an Amazon Link to buy this movie.

It is the story of Stephen Glass ... a former writer for the popular political magazine The New Republic. This magazine is read by anyone who's any one in Washington and read on Airforce One by the President.

The story involves Stephen Glass and his insatiable appetite for embellishing stories.

An "A Class" performance by Hayden Christenson [Anakin Skywalker/Young Darth Vader in the Star Wars Prequels]

This and Catch Me If You Can are regularly on HBO. If you have never seen either movie, you should watch them - you will see a common thread of these stories and editorial subjects here at Fix Your Thinking.

Most of the editorials at Jackwhispers focus on scams as they relate to the Macintosh Community. These two movies reveal two of the greatest scam artists in HISTORY!

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Absolute Cheapest Way To Get An iPod This Christmas!

This seems like a lot of work, but once you are a part of all of these rewards programs you can use them for other apple purchases too and end up saving about 6% off of retail.

With this deal on the ipod as I have discussed in this story you are getting approximately 16% off of a retail iPod - even more if you consider tax and shipping charges that may be applied elsewhere or locally.

None of the items linked or discussed are gimmicks - I use all of these methods with just about every purchase I make.

Warnings:

DO NOT BUY AN IPOD ON EBAY! It's just too risky ... it is the #1 scam auction at the moment

When you particpate in offers make sure to check or uncheck that you do not want affilate emails sent to you.

Set up a special inbox with the rules "Gold Points" and "MyPoints" and all of these emails should direct in to a nice organized place for you. make sure that emails from your rewards are not going to your Junk email.

Save all your online email receipts in case your rewards program doesn't properly credit you.

I am rather upset that many of my favorite Apple News websites find it ok to whore the advertisements of the free iPod scams on their sites.

From a reader comment:

"What I did to buy my iPod was take advantage of the Audible offer.
They offer a $100 certificate toward the purchase of an iPod at major retailers including Amazon.com.

They do require a commitment to a ~$15 or ~$20 per month service for 1 year, but having that $100 up front gave me the ability to buy a 40 gig iPod instead of a 20. And I would have continued to use Audible anyway.
It's like getting my Audible subscription for less than half price ($6.62/month) for a year, and paying off part of my iPod over time, interest free.

You might like sdrawer.com - it's a directory of stores and how much various point, bonus, or rebate programs give back to the user for shopping there.

And of course, if you ever shop Amazon, be sure to do a few searches at a9.com beforehand - then Amazon will give you a 3.14/2 discount, literally a "piece of the PI"."


Note: while there are other discount services, points programs, and rebates -- the only two that I have found that respect your privacy, are easy to understand, and get rewards from quickly are; the MyPOINTS & GOLD Points programs.

Another slightly tricky thing you can do is BUY IT FROM YOURSELF - that's right, if you sign up to be a linkshare affiliate you could make an extra 3% - 10% just by buying from your own affilate program.

Monday, November 22, 2004

What's In Store For Apple . . .

I think many analysts are discreditting Apple's cleanliness and organization and the fact that Apple Stores are destinations as a reason the Apple Stores are doing well.

I perceive that the iPod and iMac are helping sales, but more and more people are being exposed to The Apple Store as they become more prevalent.

Do you own an Apple Computer related business? How do you draw customers?

Here are the REAL reasons Apple is gaining marketshare:

These are a few of the REAL reasons:

- Stores
- Clean stores
- More stores
- No handwritten signs, no gimmicky sales
- People are honestly seeking alternatives to Microsoft
- Linuxheads are finding that the MacOS is just as powerful
- Community/Grassroots support
- Artist bandwagoning / idol worship

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Tracking down a spammer Part II

An interesting article on Slashdot sparked a few new comments that I thought I would add to the BLOG, as this story seems to be getting the most attention [besides The MacMIce Story] than any other story I have posted on FixYourThinking.

I have fielded close to 100 emails about Subscriberbase, Consumer Research Corporation, and Product Test Panel.

I hope that the suggestions and comments here have helped and I hope that my efforts are able to bust this fraudulent company.

Here is what I posted at Slashdot

"The interesting thing is; Slashdot seems to be the #1 place (that I have seen) that readers regularly bash SPAM, but that also participate in one of the MOST MASSIVE email campaigns I have ever seen - the FREE iPOD DEALS.

Look in just about any thread here on Slashdot - you'll see a dozen signatures with people linking to THEIR free iPod link so they can get their required 5 people to join.

What happens is your email is INSTANTLY sold to OptInRealBig when you sign up for this "free deal". OptInRealBIg in turn - is also a harvester - but they can legitimately prove they buy email addresses. So, if quetioned by novice understanding authorities - they can prove they are legit.

Point is - the very people that complain about it [slashdotters] - as far as I can see - are the main contributors to it.

People also fall for these emails from websites like Wotch.com that have little funny flash cartoons. People forward these sites to dozens of their friends - which in turn - each of those emails are harvested.

It kinda is like the election scenario - the people that complained the most; either didn't vote or couldn't vote!



Here is a link to another FixYourThinking article:

Tracking Down A Spammer Pt I

Thursday, November 18, 2004

One man's trash is another man at the landfill's treasure

As reported by MacMinute:

MacFair attendees dispose of over five tons of waste

November 18 2004  - At the Southern California MacFair at Cerritos College this past weekend, over 800 attendees took part in 43 Mac seminars and 25 intensive Mac workshops. In addition, this year the Southern California MacFair 2004 made arrangements to provide attendees free disposal of their old computer equipment including monitors, CPUs, fax machines, printers, servers, phone systems and virtually any office electronics product. In two days, attendees disposed of over 11,280 pounds of electronic waste.


Let's do a little math; shall we?

(These weights are pulled from an average of boxes in my possession)

Average computer tower weight = 20 pounds

Average printer weight = 7 pounds

Average Monitor weight = 25 pounds

Average fax machine = 20 pounds

The printer average assumes no Apple LaserWriter II's - which weighed 45 pounds!


Now consider the math of what metals, both precious and hazardous, are found in computers - CLICK HERE

This was a big waste of time, effort, and energy. Hope the guys at the landfill got something good to put on eBay.

11,280 pounds I would say comes out to about 300 computer systems

I recycle this amount of computing equipment on eBay every quarter - where it doesn't get taken to the landfill!

Now 100,000 lbs would have been something to report!!

Friday, November 12, 2004

TechTV officially axed in January???

I was really upset to see on Kevin Rose's website/BLOG that TechTV content will officially be axed in January.

Here is a list of management emails to express your disgust.

MANAGEMENT


Charles Hirschhorn
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
CHirschhorn@g4media.com


Debra Green
Chief Operating Officer
DGreen@g4media.com


Dale Hopkins
Senior Vice President, Affiliate & Advertising Sales
DHopkins@g4media.com


Peter M. Green
Senior Vice President, Programming and Production
PGreen@g4media.com


Julie Fields
Vice President, Creative
JFields@g4media.com


Tina Kowalewski
Vice President, Games Editorial
TKowaleeski@g4media.com


Tom Russo
Director, Program Development
TRusso@g4media.com


ADVERTISING
Jason Liebowitz
jliebowitz@g4media.com

[UPDATE] Kevin Rose went on from host of TechTV shows to found DIGG.COM

Audion Is Now Audioff

I want to reiterate the respect I hold for Panic and the excellent piece they wrote concerning "the history of Audion".

I do have to say that I rarely find writers that can sell anything beyond words. It is also just as rare to find a salesman that can write.

Oddly enough, you would think it to be just the opposite. Why can't the author vocalize the sales pitch for their book to be published? Why can't the salesman use his mastery of the art of the sale to write a book that would sell?

I'm not a great writer, but everyone that knows me, knows I am a pretty good salesman.

The people at Panic are talented authors ... my critique was more of their ability to creatively sell.

Monday, November 08, 2004

What A Kon Man!

This was one of the first FixYourThinking stories to be posted after the new design in June of 2004.

I received a lot of praise through email for the contents of this editorial, but I also received some serious hate mail and I believe stalking on Slashdot by Arlo Rose himself.

Arlo is a very talented programmer, but he just doesn't get how a capitalistic society works.

I'm glad he's releasing Konfabulator on Windows - that is a solution, but the question has popped up on many Mac Websites - is he going to continue development on the Mac version or is he going to leave the 100's who bought this software in the dust?

As a potential windows customer who may buy Konfabulator - would you buy something that the programmer may decide to just drop support within a year's time?

The most important aspect of this story was the fact that Arlo was claiming sole right to the concept of Konfabulator - it is quite clear that Apple had something like this in System 6.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Your vote counts ...



Best place to keep up with election results: http://news.yahoo.com/electionresults

Nader is a cartoon - no submissions necessary.

• In the 1829 election for the U.S. House of Representatives in Kentucky's 2nd District, Jackson Democrat Nicholas Coleman defeated National Republican Adam Beatty 2,520 to 2,519.

• In the 1847 election for the U.S. House of Representatives in Indiana's 6th District, Whig candidate George G. Dunn defeated Democratic candidate David M. Dobson 7,455 to 7,454. Also in 1847, Whig Thomas S.Flournoy defeated a Democratic candidate named Treadway 650 to 649 in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 3rd District of Virginia.

• In the 1854 election for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 7th District of Illinois, Democratic candidate James C. Allen bested Republican William B. Archer 8,452 to 8,451.

• In the 1882 election for U.S. House of Representatives in the 1st District of Virginia, Readjuster Robert M. Mayo defeated Democrat George T. Garrison 10,505 to 10,504.

RECENT EXAMPLES IN NONFEDERAL ELECTIONS

• In 1977, Vermont State Representative Sydney Nixon was seated as an apparent one vote winner, 570 to 569. Mr. Nixon resigned when the State House determined , after a recount, that he had lost to Robert Emond, 572 to 571.

• In 1989, a Lansing, Michigan School District millage proposition failed when the final recount produced a tie vote, 5,147 for, and 5,147 against. On the original vote count, votes against the proposition were ten more than those in favor. The result meant that the school district had to reduce its budget by $2.5 million.

• In 1994, Republican Randall Luthi and Independent Larry Call tied for the seat in the Wyoming House of Representatives from the Jackson Hole area, with 1,941 votes each. A recount produced the same result. Mr. Luthi was finally declared the winner when, in a drawing before the State Canvassing Board, a PingPong ball bearing his name was pulled from the cowboy hat of Democratic Governor Mike Sullivan.

• In 1997, South Dakota Democrat John McIntyre led Republican Hal Wick 4,195 - 4,191 for the second seat in Legislative District 12 on election night. A subsequent recount showed Wick the winner at 4192 - 4,191. The State Supreme Court, however, ruled that one ballot counted for Wick was invalid due to an overvote. This left the race a tie. After hearing arguments from both sides, the State Legislature voted to seat Wick 46-20.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Trick Or Treat: This Year I'm Dressing Up As A Free iPod & The Headless Horseman's Identity Revealed

I enjoyed writing this story. I hope it all fits together well.

It's a combination of stories that have been building in this BLOG.

A couple of notes:

More research is being done on the FreeSlide free iPod story - FixYourThinking will bring you updates at a later date. [I have to wait for my attorney general to complete an investigation]

I have been in contact with Savvis/Exodus - FreeSlide's internet service provider - the technical service department head said they have over 20,000 complaints on file about the company.

In an interview with fellow tenants in the same building as Freeslide, they realize their neighbor is a "despised cohabitor"

I have been wanting to do a story on the loathsome John C. Dvorak for a while. I would like to start a petiton for PC magazine to fire him. He is idiotic and nonsensical in just about everything he does.

I hope you all know what Mad Libs are - they were stories with blanks - you had to fill in adjectives, nouns, and verbs in certain places.

Here is a capture of the video from the Drudge Report of Kerry pulling something out his jacket during the 1st debate. To see the video - click on the picture:

http://homepage.mac.com/cfj/.Movies/JFKCheat.mov

I had a stupid cheap idea for a costume ... to go as "The Internet" - print maybe 100 sites on paper and laminate them - then attach them all together into a costume.

eBay, Google, Apple, MacSurfer, CNN, Yahoo, Amazon, Slashdot, and of Course FixYourThinking to name a few would be great websites to use.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Why The Cherry Or The Pear May Be Apple's Next Lemon

One of the most helpful resources for this story was the slashdot article: Cherry OS Claims Mac OS X Capability For x86

I also used Google to research the company owner, the company MXS, and several other keywords.

I conducted an email interview a few months back, with the President of FWB. FWB leased the code for Softwindows from Insignia solutions.

The statements made about Connectix are purely speculation, but are rooted in patterned venture capital strategy.

The real beef to this article is that it is just not physically or technically possible to deliver on the claims that Cherry OS makes:

• Full hardware and port support
• 80% of the Pentium mhz = the speed of the G4 emulated / Example: 1Ghz Pentium = an 800Mhz G4

This also may promote fraud as many might take the OS from an eMac box rather than actually purchase the Mac OS. Worse yet, there may be a greater demand for illegally downloading the Mac OS from peer to peer services.

If this becomes more prevalent and actually starts working or delivering anywhere close the claims of Cherry OS; this could be a big support problem for Apple and Apple Consultants everywhere.

Friday, October 08, 2004

First flag claims the bounty ...

Apple was first to lay claim to a successful online music store.

Apple was also first to develop a "good enough" protection system for the recording industry to be satisfied and allow online music stores.

There is a noticeable audio quality difference amongst the competing formats... WMA being inferior to Apple's AAC.

This article points out that Apple is the cause of a major standards problem amongst the digital music downloads right now.

No, Apple has 70%+ of ALL legal music downloads. They have 40% of worldwide music player sales. They were first. Others should standardize on Apple's format and if they can't [because Apple may not let them] - they need to come up with a different type of copy protection system.

Making a protected file is NOT the only way to secure a file.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Tracking down a spammer...

I'm tracking down a spammer from a company called Freeslide that is based out of South Carolina [my home state] - they are the originator of the "Free iPod" semi-scams that are hitting your inbox.

More to come, but here's a few facts:

This company - called Freeslide is actually; Product Test Panel and actually they are Subscriberbase.com and then of course they are also Consumer Research Corporation - and there may be several other aliases thrown in there. At least all of these aliases are associated with same address in Columbia SC, in the DOZENS of emails I have received.

Here's something the guy I have been "talking to" has written:

How the Can SPAM ACT will bring a renaissance in email marketing for 2004 and beyond.

(Make sure you scroll a bit to start reading)

Another interesting point: This "free iPod" "free HP Photo Printer" or "free Toshiba 30" LCD TV" will actually cost you 45% MORE than retail!

You'll have to participate [at minimum] in $361.05 of offers to get a $249 iPod Mini. The owner has stated that, yes but you also get the offers from the "participating programs" - one being Columbia House DVDs. This is the scam for 5 DVDs for a dollar. [cough cough with $7.99 each shipped] + a commitment to more DVDs for 2 more years at $17.99 - $39.99 a DVD (average) + $7.99 EACH shipping. Remember, the average DVD price at Walmart, Best Buy, and other electronics stores for $12.99-$19.99 + tax. In these DVD programs you are sent the "movie of the month" without consent and if you don't send it back you have to pay for it. And that's only 1/4 of the deals you must complete to get your "free iPod".

The owner says, "The words free iPod are NOT misleading."

The owner also had the audacity to imply that I had actually signed up for this marketing program and that he was controlling how his "affiliates" distributed these email lists.


Here is what the CAN SPAM ACT really means.

Update Sept 23 2004: Don't say FixYourThinking wasn't right about this!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Give them something, then they mess it up or complain...

" Apple is having problems with content from independent UK artists, according to a report by The Guardian. "Thousands of tracks by independent artists, including the single certain to top the charts tomorrow and all the songs by the Mercury prize winners Franz Ferdinand, are still unavailable on iTunes, three months after its UK launch. Independent record labels spoke of their frustration last night that, despite an agreement to license their music to iTunes, Apple had still not made their work available to fans."

You know, it took Apple a pretty long time to get iTunes perfect here in the US. It also took almost a year for Apple to implement indie artists into the US iTunes Music Store. You can almost be assured that Apple wants as many songs as possible to sell. I say, give it time, and just quit yaya-ing.

"Consumer watchdog, the Consumer's Association (CA) has complained to the UK's Offer of Fair Trading (OFT) that Apple's iTunes Music Store is ripping-off consumers, reports Macworld UK. "The complaint relates to how much Apple charges UK iTunes customers for tracks - 79p, approximately 1.2 Euros. But Apple's French and German customers are charged just 0.99 Euros - a 20 per cent difference for an identical service." 

Look, I'm sure Apple wants to make the pricing as fair and as cheap as possible so they can compete. Because the UK has the wackiest licensing terms and the craziest VAT [ Value Added Tax ] - Apple has to price the songs differently. If you don't like the price, don't buy them! It really bothers me when people say, "gimme gimme gimme" then turn right around and say, "but I want this and more and that, and it's not fair" No, what's not fair is that you ruin it all for ALL OF US. The iTunes Music Store International is more expensive for another subtle reason - having to hire international lawyers to deal with all this whining and PR blather!

"RealNetworks plans to release new software this week that allows songs purchased through its online music store to be played on Apple's iPod -- the first time a company other than Apple has sold songs with DRM (digital rights management) that will work with the popular device. The new technology, called Harmony, was created without Apple's authorization. In April, RealNetworks chief executive Rob Glaser sent an e-mail to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, asking him to license Apple's Fairplay digital rights management technology. Jobs never replied, so RealNetworks created Harmony, Glaser said. "

AND

"Stirring controversy is the development and release of the open source project known as Playfair. Playfair is an application that strips the digital rights management (DRM) info from protected AAC's purchased at the iTunes Music Store, resulting in an unprotected AAC that can be played on any machine. From the project site:

Playfair takes one of the iTMS Protected AAC Audio Files, decodes it using a key obtained from your iPod or Microsoft Windows system and then writes the new, decoded version to disk as a regular AAC Audio File. It then, optionally copies the metadata tags that describe the song, including the cover art, to the new file.

The application is able to strip the DRM information by reading a key found in the user's system, which means that an individual can only deprotect his/her own AAC's. Playfair is a sourcecode download and must be compiled before it can be used."


Wow, Windows and Linux people complain for a year that Apple won't make an iPod specifically for them. Almost immediately after after Apple releases a Windows iPod - multiple sources come out and crack the Digital Rights Management. They ruin it for all of us by adding development costs, attorney costs, and public relations problems. I say if you are going to do something illegal - in this case, reverse engineer a copy protection - why not just do something less complicated and continue to get songs off of LimeWire or Kazaa?

As for Real, the CEO of this company is just a clod. I see his moves as actually a good thing for Apple. I see Real out of business within 2 years time due to his poor judgement and bridge burning .... buffering....7%....buffering .....16%.......

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

There will be an answer .... let it be...

Here's what Wikipedia (online encyclopedia) says about the Beatles Apple Corp lawsuit Against Apple for releasing iTunes:

"In 1981 Apple Corps, i.e. The Beatles filed suit against Apple Computer for trademark infringement. The suit settled with an undisclosed amount being paid to Apple Corps for using the name in contexts not associated with music. This amount has been estimated to $50 - $200 million.

In 1989 Apple added MIDI capabilities to its computers, and Apple Corps sued and won again, with Apple Computer paying $26.5 million in damages. At this time, an Apple employee added a system sound called "xylophone" to the Macintosh operating system, but was forced by the legal department to change the name. It was changed to "sosumi", which was told to be Japanese for "the absence of musicality", but actually should be read out as so sue me.

In September 2003, Apple were sued by Apple Corps again, this time for introducing iTunes and the iPod, both clearly positioned in the music market where Apple Corps own the trademark."


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


I disagree with this definition of clearly. Apple has settled in the past and never admitted to wrongdoing. This time I think Apple should either buy out Apple Corp and then sell them to another entity with useage clauses or fight this all the way to an international tribunal at the UN.

Here's your conspiracy theory. Could Rob Glaser of Real Networks, the heads behind Creative and Archos, possibly even Microsoft or Dell be behind some of this in part - at least to consult with the Beatles attorneys?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Lame Game Of Using The Same Name




(Both Griffin Technology & Newer Technology have FM transmitters called The RoadTrip)

* Originally published August 19, 2004 *

From The iTunes Music Store: The Name Game ~ Taj Mahal

This is a tough one. I like both of these companies, but there's a problem here. I love Griffin products and most of the company's designs and ideas; it's not to say they don't have problems. I suppose all companies have a few things wrong with them. The good news about the RadioShark is; that eventhough it was delayed YET AGAIN! (From an announced mid July release date) - I have first hand knowledge that it finally is a real product. In fact, it is the second most useful peripheral (next to my Sony Ericcson T616 bluetooth cell phone) that I have ever owned for my Mac. (And I have owned almost every known gadget or Mac peripheral to ever exist) I have to send a sincere "Thank you" out to Griffin for letting me have a preproduction unit to beta test. Finally, I have AM Talk Radio with no batteries or clunky clocks to deal with - and best of all I can record radio directly to my Mac!

Moving on to Newer Technology. To be honest, if FixYourThinking had existed at the time when Newer Technology declared bankruptcy, went out of business, and then sold off their assets; there would have been at least two stories about them. Newer Technology in it's original form was a very innovative company. They forever have my heart for releasing the coolest PowerBook Duo Docks. That said, Newer's support was abyssmal, especially when they got into the G3 upgrade business. Since then, they dissolved and have now re-emerged as a subsidary of Other World Computing; who bought part of the assets of the original company. Newer Technology as it exists today, makes OWC's Mercury line of G3 and G4 processor upgrades and higher capacity batteries for PowerBooks, amongst other things. NewerTech's, original owners and employees, moved on to form a storage peripheral company called WiebeTech and another company called QuickerTek.

Addendum August 20 2004: A reader noted that there was actually a fourth company that came of the original Newer Technology solvency; TechnoWarehouse. This company distributes items from the three other brands and few other odds and ends.

The interesting part about QuickerTek and WiebeTech is that they are VERY high priced product distributors. QuickerTek is slightly different, in that they actually offer a service of value. They sell products and upgrade services to extend the range of Airport Wireless on Macs. This is being very kind in this desciption though; the PowerBook antennas are the silliest, most overpriced, pieces of crap I have ever seen a company offer. It destroys the elegance and ease of use of the wireless experience. Their Airport Base Station antennas however, are a great solution. As for WiebeTech, I can't be 100% positive on this, but it doesn't seem like they produce a single original product. Seems like they are simply a rebrander. Their drives come at about a 20% premium over other sellers - selling the exact same products.

I'm not sure if Other World Computing, a company whom I have a lot of respect for, is running Newer Technology or whether it's independent. I do know that the only outlet for a new product that Newer Technology is offering; is Other World. Here's that product:

Hello! It's named RoadTrip! Griffin Technology gave a press release for their RoadTrip on August 12, 2004 (and had announced this product in April). The two products have somewhat similar functionality, in that, they are both FM radio transmitters. I don't see why Newer Technology would choose to name their product the RoadTrip. Griffin has a substantial lead time on the name with an established line of "trip accessories" - the iTrip FM transmitter for iPods and the iTripMINI for the iPod mini. Griffin's product is also an original product where it's clear that the Newer Technology is just some gadget from a Taiwanese source.

It's bad enough that the two companies have an FM transmitter by the same name, but in case you didn't catch this similarity, I'll point it out to you.

Griffin Technology

Newer Technology



I think this will lead to a lot of consumer confusion over the manufacturer of the product, even though they are obviously different devices. But the real problem lies within my technical observation of the NewerTechnology offering. Notice that it plugs into the cigarette lighter to draw power for the transmission. Notice that the other end goes into the headphone port on the iPod. Sounds goes from the iPod to the adapter end and the adapter transmits the audio to 107.7FM. There is no way I would plug my iPod into the cigarette lighter in this fashion. (Especially into a port that is not used for power!) When you start your car, you can often times, especially in the dry winter season, send a lot of volatage throughout your car. This is one of the number one reasons cell phones batteries die. People start their car with the car charger in their cellphone, just slightly surging it each time.

The Griffin RoadTrip also plugs into the cigarette lighter, but the power is routed through the proper dock port, minmizing the situation I described above.

So look Newer, if you're gonna rebrand a product like the other arms of the former Newer Technology, at least name it something original!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

If Eloquence Makes The Sale For You...

Then buy a Retro-Enbabulator!

As reported on StreetTech.com & Engadget.com, a sales pitch for the "Retro-Encabulor" starts off like it's an interesting product, but the wording gets so confusing by the end, you won't be able to understand how you or the company you work for, has ever lived without one. The problem is, you still won't know what it does!

Windows Media File Of Retro Encabulator commercial

Does this commercial remind you of the way other companies describe their products?


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

When a product makes it to Toilet Entertainment you know it's big!

I read on MacCentral this morning about the pPod. This little addition to the iPod gives an audible and visual guide to London Toilets. It gives reviews of the facilities (both written in the iPod note system and by auditory review in the form of MP3). It also plays several different tunes for your "toilet time" entertainment.

Immediately I thought of Peek A Boo by Souixsie & The Banshees

The chorus line from the song is:

Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eek a Boo

Saturday, July 10, 2004

The Big Mac Not Compatible With The Mac




I find it very ironic how McDonald's latest promotion in conjunction with the Sony Connect Music is being promoted. Each Big Mac you buy has a code for the Sony Connect Music Store (similar to iTunes Music Store). Here's the catch, the Sony Connect Music Store isn't compatible with the Mac! The songs are encoded in a special (read as inferior and proprietary) ATRAC format that cannot be read on the Mac.

McDonald's is losing out on a lot of potential and a lot of cross promotion with Apple. But, in a way, Apple shot itself in the foot by going with pepsi for a promotion any way. It was not handled very well. Pepsi doesn't have the proper US distribution channel (at least in comparison to Coca Cola) Since McDonald's is a Coke exclusive fast food chain, I'm sure Coke had a lot to do with the consultation on NOT going with iTunes.




Proof Apple should have gone with Coca Cola for the iTunes Song Give Away

Friday, January 30, 2004

How Much Did That Cost?



Have you ever been curious about a product's cost? Have you ever wondered ... I'm paying $30.00 ... but what is the retailer making off of my purchase ... and in turn ... how much is the manufacturer or distributor making? I've always been curious about these things. The 3rd party iPod accessory industry has boomed ... mostly due to the very high profit margin involved in making accessories such as cases and transmitters.

Have you ever wondered what a packaging mistake or packaging upgrade costs a manufacturer?

While this section won't be able to provide concrete details all of the time ... I believe I'm tied enough into retail and to marketing that I can make a very educated guess.


The Griffin iTrip - a packaging mistake for the most popular iPod accessory?

iProng Picture Upload post

This is just a place for me to upload pictures :-)

Thanks for looking:



* This picture post was used to track how many people view this picture.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Recording Phone Call Laws By State

* Major update June 24, 2014
* Content & comment updates

* THESE LAWS &THIS FORUM APPLY ONLY TO TELEPHONE & CELLPHONE CALL RECORDING *

* I have deleted a lot of the redundant and "in article answered" questions. PLEASE READ this entire article (and comments) and do not skim. If you still have a question after reading this reference and ALL comments, I would love to answer your question. Please do not ask questions about face to face or video recording - these laws vary greatly across the country; even within a city.

These laws and the following dialogue pertain ONLY to recording telephone & cellphone conversations - NOT face to face conversations or public or office meetings. You are NOT permitted to record ANYONE (video or voice) without their specific confirmation and written release that they know they are being recorded at any time, in ANY place (even inside your residence or your business) - unless it is a telephone/cellphone conversation - THEN you must also follow each state's laws regarding such. Public EVENTS are the ONLY exception to video or voice recording and fall under fair use laws. <--- Fair use/Public nature does not APPLY to phone recording.

* If a judge will not allow your recording in court and you consider it of case winning relevance - request a new judge - possibly even a new venue. You want a judge who is technology savvy presiding over your case when using telephone/cellphone recordings.
___________________________

Recording a face to face conversation and trying to combine them with your legal rights to recording telecommunications could result in your case being tossed out on a technicality.

A Reference For Harassing Phone Calls From Debt Collectors


___________________________

Some things to ask yourself before action ...

1) Was the cell phone a company issued cellphone?

2) Were you on company time or on company property at the time of the recording?

3) Were you damaged by the recording?

4) Did you specifically ask not to be recorded and the phone call he made to you - was it harassing?

If you file for wrongful termination, harassment, etc etc - you may use this as a pendant charge - meaning it will enhance your case.  Rarely can you make a case just out of recording a call. It's usually considered part of a pattern off harassment.

Usually, the only "entity" that can be sued or "punished" by the law is a creditor that records you without your permission.
___________________________

Remember, there is no such thing as phone call recording PERMISSION or AUTHORIZATION ...


Note that the law is specifically 1 or 2 party NOTIFICATION. No one can deny you the right to record a phone conversation IF you properly notify them and follow the laws within your state.

Recently, I received a phone call from a debt collector. This debt collector refused to listen to me and kept interrupting me ... I started recording the phone call. I asked her "what state she was calling from" ... she refused to tell me (A creditor rules violation) ... I looked on my iPhone - it said Carrolton, Texas. Texas is a one party notification state. Although I did not have to inform her she was being recorded; I did. She stated,
"I do not give you permission to record this conversation."

She could have said, "I don't authorize you to record this conversation." ... and it means the same thing.

My recommendation isn't to argue ... just continue the conversation and continue recording.

Understand a few facts about this conversation and a few very common myths:

1) If you are in a one party state and the other person online is in a one party state - you do not have to inform them they are being recorded. You knowing that you are recording, qualifies as the one party notification. This is not an interpretation of the law. IT IS THE LAW!

2) If you are being recorded, you have the right to record the conversation AS LONG AS you follow the laws of your state.

3) There is no such thing as "permission to record" - continuing a conversation IS a permission granted by the other party. One cannot "authorize" or "de-authorize" you from recording. I feel silly typing that, but if someone who you are in a heated argument with threatens you about permission, it makes it SOUND ominous. Don't let their ignorance of the law intimidate you. If the other party continues the conversation after your notifying them that you are recording - they are granting you the right to record. PERIOD. Again, this is not an interpretation of the law. IT IS THE LAW!

You may have OTHER rights if the other party "claims" you do not have permission to record a phone conversation (Particularly if they are a creditor, law enforcement officer, or attorney*). Many people, especially law enforcement and creditors, PRETEND to know the law regarding recording of phone calls. Often, they THINK phone call recording and face to face recording are the same. It is not. There are specific laws governing each. Phone call recording happens to be very concrete.

Please also know that it is your RIGHT to request (properly & politely) for any recording a company/attorney may have of you and they are required by law to make it available to you. Note that this doesn't mean they are required to make it convenient for you to have the recording. The other party is also not required to give it to you any form that you request. As an example, you cannot request a CD, tape, transcript, or email. It is up to the other party to determine what "form" they will provide the recording. A general rule of thumb is 30 days from a WRITTEN request.

* You may want to request dismissal in court, dismissal of debt collection, and/ or sanctions if a person claims you do not have a right to record. Seek out a good attorney for further instruction.

* If a judge will not allow your recording and you consider it case winning relavance - request a new judge - possibly even a new venue. You want a judge who is technology savvy presiding over your case.

* Feel free to refer anyone to
the reference you are reading for clarification.

* I have worked
very hard to maintain this page and try to respond as promptly as possible to any comment ... please consider clicking on an advertisement to kick a few cents back my way or even better sending me $1 through Paypal - see the right side bar.

* Post your comment or question
AFTER reading all of the comments. I usually will answer your question within a couple hours. I monitor and moderate these comments carefully. I realize it's a lot to read. But if you do, this will answer 99% of all your questions.

* PLEASE understand that this is not a substitute for a good attorney's advice. Many attorneys seem to be using this database on my site. While I spent a long time researching this database, it's well documented and well researched, and I consult with friends and an attorney -
PLEASE KNOW I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY.

If I'm being harassed by phone, I send a letter to the other party* - notifying them by mail that ALL conversations will be recorded.

* Sending certified with signature confirmation is recommended.

EXAMPLE:
Mr. X,

Due to the nature of our communication, please know that I will be recording all calls to phone number (xxx) XXX-XXXX for reference or possible evidence in court proceedings. This applies to
ALL of our telephone conversations. This may be your ONLY notification.

Regards,

Philip Smith
06/24/12
* Obtaining a notary seal on such a letter may also be another good step.

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 make sure I record most of the phone calls I make to verify content here on FixYourThinking ...

I also record most phone calls that relate to my business dealings.

It's very easy for someone to say something and not follow through, or just forget what they said on the phone.

Most newer cell phones can record calls directly into the phone - my Sony Ericssson s710a records it directly as an MP3.

Here are the laws for recording phone calls state by state ... be aware, that most of the time, your phone calls are being recorded - sometimes without your knowledge. Most states are
"one party consent". This means that only one person (even the one who initiates the recording) need know.

One way to avoid these laws entirely is to chat and record through instant message - most IM programs automatically keep a file on your computer. VOIP phone conversations and audio chat ARE NOT governed by these laws! BUT IF YOU HAVE A PHONE NUMBER associated with your VOIP phone (IE A Skype-In/Vonage #) then you must follow the same laws as a normal phone conversation.

Also know that this is a disadvantage of phone call recording websites or "circumvention numbers" - you are ONLY allowed to record calls that you initiate or are a part of or for a number that it has been pre-established that you are being recorded. Just because these "mechanisms for recording" exist doesn't mean they are legal.

A good way to look at this:

• Apple doesn't allow applications in the App Store and AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile/Sprint do not promote such "circumvention" because it is illegal.

• There ARE applications for the iPhone though if you jailbreak your iPhone.

Synonomous:

• Because you own a gun doesn't mean you can shoot and kill a person.

• You can shoot and kill a person. It is against the law.

• You can shoot and kill a person in self defense.

If you are in a two party notification state and you are TOLD you are being recorded; you have no legal rights if you continue your conversation beyond that point. Arguing with the recording party over
the right to record is consent to record; based on laws governing harassment.

It is best to gain confirmation and identification.

EXAMPLE:

"Roger, why can't you support me as my boss"
OR

"As your secretary, I expect more clarification from you so I can do my job."
Extrapolate and adapt those identifiers for your situation.

Court evidence is much more credible with as much proof as you can obtain (even if there is a known person or an admittance by the recorded party that they are who they are). Plus, you can carry the argument further by saying,
"He knows he's my boss and he's putting me in an awkward position." <--- saying that to a jury puts a lot more weight on the recorded conversation and gives you the rare opportunity to interject an opinion about the Defendant. Concerning police assisting in a phone call recording: as long as the other party KNOWS the police is recording the call they can admit the evidence into court. You can try to claim that you were set up - most jurisdictions don't allow police entrapment. MOST police jurisdictions don't know the laws or proper procedure regarding phone conversation recording. You will want to make sure that the call is played in its entirety in a court room for two reasons. 


1) Context of the statement

2) Confusion of the issue - a lengthy call will be lost in translation with a jury.

You may also want to check into your rights as far as police involvement - believe it or not; an individual has more rights to record a call than the local police officers do. The only way this makes a difference is if the nature of the call was terror related or you made a threat to harm a high ranking government official.

Again, make sure that their recording is within context and object to any interpretation as hearsay.

A phone recording made from a out of state phone line or made to an out of state party, has to have the party informed of the recording and his/her consent or the tone on line, every 15 seconds, or a consent in writing before the recording is started.

Just because you have a spoofed telephone number from a different state does not mean you have the rights of that state's phone number. In other words you must always go by your state's laws, but more importantly, the state lawof the person who's call you are recording.


Scenario from a comment:

What charges would be brought up against someone that recorded me? How would I use my right to my privacy in court?

It's what is called a pendant charge.
You must have action or cause to "use" the law. One can't really prosecute solely on the basis of someone recording you - even though it's breaking the law. It can be done but the cost of an attorney or the frustration of representing yourself in a complex law that even most judges don't understand - wouldn't really be worth it.
Are you trying to get custody of a child and need to prove the other spouse isn't trustworthy or is oblivious to the law? Good point to bring up to the judge. 
Are you in a battle with a creditor? They must follow the law to a tee to collect. If they record you without telling you OR use your recorded info for ANYTHING other than the stated purpose (which is usually "quality control") ... Then you MAY have rights to cancel that debt. Remember, no matter how much an attorney will argue to the court, "quality control" is NOT an ambiguous term. Calls, simply stated as "quality control recorded", unless stated that the information may be collected and used against you, is NOT legal to be used against you in court.
Here are the laws state by state:

States Requiring One Party Notification

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
District Of Columbia
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
Ohio
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

States Requiring Two Party Notification

California
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Massachusetts
Maryland
Michigan
Montana
New Hampshire
Pennsylvania
Washington

The
ONLY times you relinquish consent in a two party state is when:

1) You are a government official and your conversation isn't 100% COMPLETELY government business related.

2) You are using a corporate issued cellphone and it is contractually stated that the calls may be intercepted AND the issuer of the cellphone has allowed a warranted tap

3) You have already agreed to a previous or ongoing tap onto your phone

4) You call a law enforcement officer, judge, or government official

5) You are calling to or being called from an Indian reservation or foreign phone number that does not originate in the USA

The phone call, is in all ways not allowed into evidence, if the
OTHER phone was being tapped and did not include a message that the call was being recorded or if the caller did not say you were being recorded - remember - staying on the phone after someone informs you that you may be recorded IS consent.

Warranted taps ONLY APPLY TO INDIVIDUALS not general phone lines.

The following states have exceptional amounts of case law regarding telecommunications recording - here is a sampling and brief clarification.

A large university library is an excellent resource to research case law - a librarian will be more than happy to help you.

Arizona

Arizona is a "one-party" state, ARS 13-3005.A(1)(2), and also permits a telephone "subscriber" (the person who orders the phone service and whose name is on the bill) to tape (intercept) calls without being a party to the conversation and without requiring any notification to any parties to the call, ARS 13-3012(5)(c).

California

Although California is a two-party state, it is legal to record a conversation if you include a beep on the recorder and for the parties to hear. This information is included with California telephone bills:

California prohibits telephone monitoring or recording, including the use of information obtained through interception unless all parties to the conversation consent (California Penal Code Sections 631 & 632). There is no statutory business telephone exception and the relevant case law all but excludes this possibility. California courts have recognized "implied" consent as being sufficient to satisfy the statute where one party has expressly agreed to the taping and the other continues the conversation after having been informed that the call is being recorded. Violation is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. A civil plaintiff may recover the greater of $3,000 or three times the amount of any actual damages sustained.

Connecticut

Connecticut is a two-party consent state. The State Police strictly enforce wiretapping laws.

Illinois

Illinois is, by statute, a two-party state. However, case law from both the Illinois Supreme Court and various Illinois appellate courts have declared Illinois a one-party state in the case of private citizens (businesses and individuals -
NOT law enforcement). The consensus is that one-party consensual recording is merely "enhanced note-taking" and since some people have total recall without recording, how can the other party have any expectation of privacy to a conversation held with another person.

Illinois requires prior consent of all participants to monitor or record a phone conversation. Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 38, Sec. 14-2. There is no specific business telephone exception, but in general courts have found extension telephones do not constitute eavesdropping devices. Criminal penalties for unlawful eavesdropping include up to three years' imprisonment or $10,000 in fines and the civil remedy provides for recovery of actual and punitive damages.

In Illinois; It is illegal in any way to tap into cordless home phones via a scanner or other device.



2012: There have been recent court rulings in Illinois regarding wire taps and recording of police conversations.

Indiana

In the state of Indiana, it is one party authorization. As far as what is admissible in court it is still being tested per each case individually by the prosecutors office in the county in which the investigation or case was done.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts requires consent of all parties unless another exception applies (Massachusetts Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 272, Sec. 99). Telephone equipment, which is furnished to a phone company subscriber and used in the ordinary course of business, is excluded from the definition of unlawful interception devices (Id. at 99(B)(3)). Office intercommunication systems used in the ordinary course of business are similarly exempt (Id. at 99(D)(1)(b)). The criminal penalty is a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both. In civil litigation, an injured party may recover actual and punitive damages as well as costs and fees. It is a separate violation to divulge or use the information garnered through unlawful interception and an additional penalty of up to two years in prison or $5,000 may be imposed on this count.

New York

New York is a one party state, however some courts will not admit an interview with a witness to an event if they were not informed they were being recorded. Judges may use their discretion on a case by case basis.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania requires the consent of all parties. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. Sec. 5704(4) with the following exception: any individual may record a phone conversation without the other party's consent if:

The non-consenting party threatens the life or physical well being of the consenting party, or any member of his/her family.
The non-consenting party commits any criminal action (the statute specifically uses the example of telling the consenting party that they have marijuana they want the consenter to buy, but does state ANY criminal act).

Felony penalties may be imposed for violation of the Pennsylvania statute.

Washington

Washington requires the consent of all parties. Some companies manage to work around that by going to the Indian reservations or any federally owned property to make the call - Federal law is a one party consent.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a 1 party state, but legislators are constantly trying to introduce laws to change it to two-party state. Any evidence gathered by a one-party consensual recording is inadmissible except in murder or drug related cases.

The Wisconsin Statute 885.365 for recorded telephone conversation (1) states "Evidence obtained as the result of the use of voice recording equipment for recording of telephone conversations, by way of interception of a communication or in any other number, shall be totally inadmissible in the court of this state in civil actions, except as provided by 968.28 to 968.37." Exceptions are it the party is informed before the recording is informed at the time that the conversation is being recorded and that any evidence thereby obtained may be used in a court of law or such recording is made through a recorder connector proved by the telecommunications utility as defined in WI Stats 968.28 - 968.37 (which is the stat for court ordered wiretaps) which automatically produces a distinctive recorder tone that is repeated at intervals of approximately 15 seconds. Fire department or law enforcement agencies are exempt as are court ordered wire taps.

This does not allow a person that's not a part of the conversation to record any part of the conversation without the parties to the conversation being informed the 3rd party is recording the conversation.

References:

Electronic Communications Privacy Act. United States Code. Title 18. Crimes & Criminal Procedure. Part I – Crimes. Chapter 119 – Wire & Electronic Communications Interception & Interception Of Oral Communications.

http://floridalawfirm.com/privacy.html

Reporters Committee For Freedom Of The Press: A Practical Guide To Taping Phone Calls & In-Person Conversations in the 50 States & District Of Columbia

http://www.rcfp.org/taping

Broadcast of Telephone Conversations, 47 C.F.R. §73.1206 (1989)

P.L. 99-508 ("The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986"), amending 18 U.S.C. § 2510

18 U.S.C. § 2510 - (1999) (Wire & Electronic Communications Interception & Interception of Oral Communications)

FCC Consumer Information Bureau: http://www.fcc.gov/cib

“Recording Telephone Conversations”

http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Factsheets/record.html

“Interception & Divulgence Of Radio Communications”

http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Factsheets/investigation.html

U.S. Department of Justice: http://www.usdoj.gov/

USA Bulletin, September 1997 Vol. 45, No. 5, 6. Electronic Investigative Techniques I, II:

1) http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usab4505.pdf

2) http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usab4506.pdf

Telephone Tape Recording Law. Ralph Thomas. National Association Of Investigative Specialists.


http://www.pimall.com/nais/n.tel.tape.law.html

Dealing with Phone Calls from Debt Creditors Looking for Your Payment

http://mobile.associatedcontent.com/article/37390/dealing_with_phone_calls_from_debt.html



* Even though I've tried to contain the comments to one page and eliminate redundancy - comments have now spilled onto a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th page. Please remember that your question may be answered on another page of comments. (You may have to click on "newer comments" to see them)

Refer to these related Fix Your Thinking articles:

Unmask Anonymous or blocked caller IDs

How Can I Place A Call Anonymously


Also see this wikipedia article:


http://www.wikihow.com/Trace-Cell-Phone-Numbers