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!