Thursday, June 30, 2005

I caught a Phish THIS BIG!

Wow, this is one the best phishing scam emails I have seen to date. I almost fell for it. I'm pretty wise when it comes to rooting out scams. Most of them have poor grammar or say, Dear eBay Member or Dear eBay User

It seems the majority of phishers also have a problem with the word: information. Most phishing emails say something to the affect:

Dear eBay User,

We noticed recently that your eBay informations are out of order. Please visit the link below soon or your account might be suspended

Thank You,
The Ebay Team
Safe Harbor

[inserted type that appears to look like an ebay link, but is actually a picture of letters masking a hidden URL]


So - what does this have to do with Macs? Well, 99% of the stuff I sell on eBay are Apple parts. Also, the Apple category has a high number of fraudulent auctions versus the rest of eBay - mostly due to the average end cost of Macs versus PCs.

This email is especially clever because it appears that the all the links (except for the respond now link) are actual eBay links. This email uses eBay's own servers to serve the pictures.

I was able to get the following string of related online entities associated:

www.thefreelancerway.com
352Hosting.com
AAAQ.com
hostway.net

None of these services have viable contact information - but each has a very well done website. Some of the phone numbers available for these sites answer, but give a run around or just hang up.

Interesting that these sites have not been updated in a long time and the majority of them don't have easy to find contact information. (Some of the sites have 2002 copyrights on them)

[Update] I was able to get in contact with HostWay.net by dialing 1 866 467 8929 - an "executive manager" named Cassandra asked me to email their legal department about my issue. I expressed that I had already done so and gotten no response. She turned on the offensive, and started to berate me for not knowing what I was talking about. I dismissed the insults to inform her that the phone number (mentioned above) gives a circle of waiting cues. She defended this saying that it my statements were inaccurate. (I had called into this system 4 times.) She continued to tell me that I needed to inform legal by using the proper email address. I expressed that I had done so. She proceeds to tell me she IS the legal counsel and that she has received no such emails. (I had sent 4 over the past two weeks) She failed to answer why she couldn't address my issue while I had her on the phone.

I proceeded to ask her if she was aware about the association of the websites as mentioned above. She stated that AAAQ.com was part of their business and was a domain name registrar for their company. When I asked her to confirm if she knew of 352Hosting, she hung up.

There's something really odd about the graphic below for 352Hosting.com. A PowerBook G3 is out in the middle of the water??? Why? Could this be a subliminal "phishing scam" logo? Phish/Fish? Or is that just the conspiracy theorist in me talking?

The mind of a criminal really works like it does in the comics. I honestly think this is a subliminal message about this site being a phishing scam host. Take another example; Jack Campbell is often accused of being a pathological liar. He used to have a BLOG called TECHNICALLYTRUE.BLOGSPOT.COM that discussed tech issues. Is this a subliminal message that he knows he's a liar?

I am seeing a pattern amongst the hosting industry. They claim they are interested in the security and privacy of their users, yet they won't assist people in the simplest of ways with, at the very least, investigating claims such as mine.

Readers, please be careful. These scams are getting more and more clever by the day. Your best bet is to go to the websites individually and never click on a link in an email.

[Update] A friend informed me that eBay has a phishing scam alert section in place. eBay will now notify you by their alery system and by their onsite message system if something is wrong. Before you list an item for sale or confirm a purchas, a screen will show that alerts you to any problems with your ebay account.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

It Takes A Village ...

...

Apple-X.NET has posted a retelling of the Catch Me If You Can Part II Story

Please read it here. Make sure to read the comments.

I plan to spend the weekend editting my original story with up to date news. I also plan to finally post ALL of my proof and backup.

Details are to follow soon...

[UPDATE] Comments are currently closed to maintain the integrity of the comments sections - so that they may be used for legal purposes. Notification will posted here when comment posting returns.

...

Monday, June 27, 2005

Another Day ... Another Lawsuit Apple Will Have To File (Yet another competitor trying to take advantage of the iPod)



Usually, the iPod knockoffs come one a week. This week saw three.

It appears that a retailer named Unity Electronics has released an iPod Shuffle clone to the masses.

They make no bones about it being a Shuffle knockoff either. Not only does their ad campaign mimic the iPod Silhouette Ads but the website purchase page contains this description:

USB MP3 Player with Li-Polymer Rechargeable Battery, Headphones, Up to 1GB SD or MMC, Retail - Similar to iPod Shuffle


It is significantly different than the Shuffle, in that, it accepts removable secure digital cards.

That said, I think it's just this player from Aiptek being sourced directly by this retailer. So, Unity Electronics should be the one to get the lawsuit.

PearPC should be mad as well, Unity ripped off their logo! (The PearPC logo is sometimes depicted with a bite out of it)

[UPDATE] A reader in the engadget forum pointed out that even the silhouette ad (seen above) to promote this knockoff is copied from Playboy magazine.

[UPDATE] Yet another Shuffle clone - this time from LG. The interesting thing about this one is that LG is an Apple design partner - they supply iMacs, eMacs, and I believe Apple laptops with various parts.



Conspircay theory:

It has crossed my mind that competitors are funding these knockoffs to cut into Apple products. How easy would it be for Sim Wong Who of Creative, maker of the Zen Mp3 line, to just help a small retailer like this acquire the product and throw up a webpage? It's sure to cost Apple more in manpower, billable hours, and lost sales.

The iPod seems to have the most knockoffs of anything ever released. It's hard for me to believe it's all just because of its popularity.

*** Thank you to a few readers on Engadget.com for the bulk of this entry

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I can always count on Jack ...




Just when I thought it would be another slow news week ... Jack comes along and makes this site bubbling with news again.


On Slashdot today:

"It appears that DLO (Digital Lifestyle Outfitters) are using their patent #6,591,085 to keep a PodBuddy, designed by DVForge, a product, competing with DLO's TransPod, off the market. Another example where patents are interfering with innovation and in the end - the end users are suffering the consequences, because far more superior product can't see the light due to dirty tricks of the patent owners :("



Of course Jackwhispers readers know the true story



I'm not quite sure why this came up again; because it's an old story. It seems Jack is agonizing over finally starting to be called a goose. He's losing his negligible annoyance edge with the competition and they are finally starting to strike back.

I applaud DLO for being the first to step up to the plate. It's time for Griffin, Belkin, and Apple to step up to the plate and and hit a grand slam!

___________________________________


Something minor I have been wanting to point out from a reader email:



What the hell is wrong with this guy's psyche? Have you seen this from his website:

While many companies have larger, more advanced offices, we are still pretty proud of our new home. Because the new building was nothing but an empty warehouse shell, we had the chance to build every detail inside exactly the way we wanted it. The open office plan, the spaciousness, the wall, carpet, and ceiling colors, the use of MacTable desking systems, the custom built lighting fixtures... everything here has been carefully tweaked to our own sense of taste and style.

Found at: http://www.dvforge.com/bldg.shtml



Of course this in reference to Jack's first most famous incident involving MacTable which is documented at Macintouch and as originally seen here:

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Switch Newton Fans Have Waited For...



At first, I thought the rumor of an Apple/Intel partnership was going to be over an ARM processor for a new handheld device or possibly for WiMax technology.

The ARM processor made it's way into the first Apple Newton handhelds and continued with processor speed increases throughout the life of the Newton. Now ARM processors (and derivitaves) are found in most all Palm and PocketPC handheld PDA devices.

Intel now calls their version of the ARM - the XScale. (It used to be called the StrongARM)

Apple had significant investment in ARM shares, and sold them off little by little upon Steve Jobs return and then killing of the Newton.

I thought I would provide that brief history before I get into the background of this BLOG entry.

A company called Transmeta, who has recently seen hard times, produces a chip called, "The Crusoe". It's a low power, low heat processor that emulates the x86 (Intel processor). It features a unique code morphing ability. Similar (loosely) in process to what Apple will be doing in software with it's Rosetta technology to recompile PowerPC applications to run on Intel processors.

Theoretically, the x86 morphing layer in the Transmeta Crusoe could have been replaced with a PPC emulation layer.

So what?

Interestingly, in 2001, a few engineers left the Apple PowerBook team to develop an ultra portable handheld that would run a full blown operating system, not a paired down, custom PDA operating system. This company was called OQO. It was rumored that OQO went to Apple to see if they would buy into and invest in the handheld. It was rumored that Steve Jobs refused, and OQO went on to release a Windows XP OQO handheld. (Many thought the product was vaporware, until it finally came to market in December of 2004)

It features a 1Ghz Transmeta Crusoe processor, wifi, bluetooth, USB, and even firewire.

Since the WWDC conference, I've been trying to figure out the various implications and background that Intel processors have had at Apple since the year 2000. In his keynote, Steve Jobs announced that all versions of OSX had also secretly been developed on Intel processors. Were the OQO engineers aware of this? Was an OQO running Mac OS X?

I do find it a little odd the OQO has firewire

Steve Jobs has also said that Apple has had a number of prototypes floating around for handhelds, but hasn't seen the need or the market for them. He went on to say that he believes smart phones will take the place of PDAs eventually.

Now that we know there was a possibility of a full OSX version running on, in my opinion, the coolest handheld made to date, is there more hope one will be released now?

...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The only way the competition will ever sell more iPods than Apple



Call them iPods of course! Or Ipod as Shenzhen Orderly Science & Technology calls it. (yes they changed the capitalization on two letters)

I have to say, it probably wouldn't have sold any if it were named The Shenzhen Orderly Science & Technology Xt41million12t2 - but at least that name wouldn't have got such an obvious and immediate cease & decist from Apple.

I don't quite understand why they chose to call it the Ipod - because it's actually so much better.

Features include:

* Reads CF, SD, MMC, MemoryStick, SmartMedia, and XD
* Plays DivX, MPEG-4, & motion JPEG
* Audio support: MP3, WMA, and AAC
* 2-inch 558 x 234 pixel LCD display
* 20GB hard drive,
* 1 inch thick

Check out another JackWhispers story on the topic:

The Lame Game Of Using The Same Name

...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Maybe it wasn't IBM or Motorola's fault - but maybe it was - How Apple May Have Planned To Get Into The Processor Upgrade Business



I had an interesting thought late yesterday while testing a PowerLogix G3 upgrade that I had lying around.

What if the move to Intel processors was partially motivated by the dislike for the Apple Processor upgrade market?

I have heard heard random whispers from those in the know at Apple - that one barrier to the Mac's success (as perceived by Apple) is the processor upgrade market.

The main players are (or have been):

Sonnet (recently diversified into other products than just CPU upgrades)

PowerLogix

Newer Technology (now part of Other World Computing)

GigaFast

Daystar (which has been through multiple reorganizations)

Quotes from Low End Mac:

"Apple had deliberately chosen to thwart third-party (effectively any) processor upgrades by mounting the boot ROMs on the processor daughtercards.

Apple has consistently refused to license Apple ROMs to third parties -- and without a supply of ROMs, upgrades were impossible."


I know for a fact that one reason Steve Jobs loves the All In One design (such as the original Macs, eMac, and iMac) - it can't be easily upgraded or upgraded; at all.

I have also been made aware that there was possibly about to be a breakthrough with the G5 by at least one upgrade manufacturer that would have allowed most G4 towers to have G5 upgrades.

So, was this a motivating factor in Apple's decision to switch from the PowerPC to Intel processors? Is Apple possibly planning on selling upgrades in the near future? Is this a way to eliminate your competition before you come to market?



Apple is often very evil in it's subtlety.


____________________________

So, you see, Motorola and IBM sold processors to third party manufacturers for the processor upgrade market. Intel's newest processors have a Digital Rights Management feature on them. This DRM would effectively limit the sale of processors to whomever Apple wished them to be sold to.

Third party processor upgrade manufacturers would often get processors on the black market - buying them from Cisco surplus - buying in bulk on eBay - etc etc. Now, Apple can tie processors directly to it's own machines - and completely eliminate the majority of the black market.

[UPDATE] The comments section has a number of insightful posts - some that disagree with my theory here. Take into account that I don't think this is a main reason, or even a top ten reason for the switch. It is, however a possible motivating factor and, at the very least, a consideration.

Many who said that Apple didn't choose INTEL because of the DRM issue - may have been wrong afterall ... this further propogates my theory on control of the processor by Apple and as a means of possibly selling Apple branded Upgrade processors:

From Slashdot:


Apple: Mac OS X Intel Kernel Uses DRM

Monday August 01, @01:07AM

from the folks-are-surprised-about-this-why-exactly? dept.

An anonymous reader submits "Several people have discovered that the new Intel kernel Apple has included with the Developer Kit DVD uses TCPA/TPM DRM. More specifically, it includes "a TCPA/Palladium implementation that uses a Infineon 1.1 chip which will prevent certain parts of the OS from working unless authorized."


____________________________

eMusic gear says to iTunes, "I sue"



As reported by Macrumors:

AppleInsider reports that Contois Music Technology, run by David Contois, filed suit Monday against Apple for patent infringement based on the iTunes interface. David Contois and family run eMusicGear.

According to the suit, persons who were at the time employed by, or later became employed by, Apple were present at both trade shows and viewed Contois' software. The suit charges Apple later "copied" the invention and used the design ideas in the interface for its iTunes software.

Specifically, Contois documented 19 interface aspects of the iTunes software which it claims are in direct violation of its patent. These areas include iTunes' menu selection process for allowing the user to select music to be played, the ability of the software to transfer music tracks to a portable music player, and search capabilities such as sorting music tracks by their genre, artist and album attributes.

From Patent #5,864,868:

January 26, 1999 (filed February 13, 1996)
David C. Contois

Computer control system and user interface for media playing devices

A computer system and method for controlling a media playing device. The system provides a user interface for allowing a user access to media pieces stored in a media database. The interface is also for controlling a media playing device, like a player piano or movie playing video device, that is coupled to the computer to play the accessed or selected piece of media. In one embodiment there is a computer interface that allows a user to display only music that relates to a selected category, like jazz or classical music. Another embodiment allows the user to direct the media playing device to automatically play selected music pieces that are related to a selected music category. Another embodiment allows a user to direct the media playing device to automatically play selected music pieces that are related to the selected music composer or artist.


According to this blog, the suit was filed Monday June 13.


-------------------------------------

I understand that it may take a while for an attorney to fully research and conduct investigation into a patent infringement, but this is yet another reason that our patent and copyright system MUST be overhauled. There should be some sort of statute of limitations - a company shouldn't be allowed to see if something is going to be profittable before they decide to sue. If the patent was broken - it was broken well over a year ago! Contois knows Apple has deep pockets - this is the real motivation for this suit. I would imagine the eMusicgear biz is hurting badly and Contois saw this as "get rich quick (or within a year) scheme".

This suit will be added to the Jackwhispers Your Rights, The Law, & Litigation Section

...

Monday, June 20, 2005

When your competition forces you into false advertising

...

As reported by MacWorld

Sony BMG in DRM battle with Apple

Sony BMG intends introducing new CDs that implement copy protection technology that locks Windows-using iPod owners out.

The new software will be applied across many of the joint firm's forthcoming releases, the company said.

It's the first major label to bring such technologies to the mainstream. Other majors have resisted the move, stating that such technologies are too easy to defeat, and that they would impact against a consumers right to transfer music to portable devices.

Instead, they have been piling pressure on to Apple to "make its technologies compatible with copy-prevention tools".

However, Sony BMG's implementation means Windows users won't be able to transfer their music to an iPod - though they will be able to transfer music to Windows Media-supporting devices.

Thomas Hesse, president for global digital business at Sony BMG told The New York Times: "It's just a proprietary decision by Apple to decide whether to play along or not.

"We think we need to move this forward. Time is ticking, infringement of intellectual property is happening all over, and we've got to put a stop to it I think."


_____________________________

Jackwhispers analysis:

This will effectively make the iPod have a false advertising campaign - as the iPod promises you to be able to rip your CDs to your iPod.

This is an outrage in my opinion and a coup by Microsoft. Microsoft's WMA format has about 30% of the market - the iPod and AAC have 70%. It's not fair for the competition to single out one format over the other. I doubt seriously that this will go without legal challenge. Besides, where was that big partnership with Sony over audio and video that we've been hearing about?

...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Apple's Pricing Gets A Bad Rapt?



Mac fanatics get overwhelmed with emotion when someone dares to say "Macs are more expensive than PCs". We tend to go into this raging state and proclaim, "Macs are cheaper, because of the long term value, there's no "virus tax", and feature for feature, Apple has higher quality than budget PCs."

Rapt, creator of technology hardware & software pricing solutions, indicated being hired by Apple to help with pricing structure for Apple's products (Macs, Laptops, iPods, Software).

Rapt's Price Director software is used at Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo; to name two.


Seems this company's software looks at similar pricing around the retail channel from 100's of sources, takes your "bring to market cost" into account and helps you price your products accordingly (and competively) on the fly. In other words, if Apple's iMac were $1299.99 and a comparitively outfitted PC were $1239.99 - Apple would know that it may want to adjust the price to meet competitive pricing demands. Similarly, it can also analyse your own channel to see what your distributors are charging for your product. Apple will most likely be using this software for deployment in Apple Stores some time soon.

As Apple grows it will start to see more and more pricing pressure. At the moment, it is the darling of Wallstreet for it's historically high margins. No other computer maker even comes close to Apple's margins - which on some products exceed 30% - whereas the rest of the industry (both computer and MP3 player markets) enjoys 4%-11% - if they are lucky!

And just for my own comfort ... can someone please explain the RAPT logo? Does the guy in the logo have arms growing from his hip and leg?
...

Monday, June 13, 2005

Steve says, " College Schmollege " to Stanford Grads [updated]



Steve Jobs gave the commencement speech at this week's graduation ceremony at Stanford University in Palo Alto. His words for students and faculty in attendance:

"...dropping out of college was one of the "best decisions"


He told the audience how he continued to attend classes he felt like; simply by showing up.

Also of note during this event:

• Several students asked Jobs to hire them
• An environmental group flew a plane overhead protesting Apple's lack of an iPod recycling program

I guess the environmental group didn't get the message that Apple has an iPod recycling program. I also would assume that these protestors don't know that planes are fueled by fossil fuels. DOH!

It was extremist, disruptive, uncalled for (at this venue) and possibly unauthorized as I think college events were placed on a no fly list after 9/11 without authorization from the state. I have a private pilot's license and know this to be true for my home state of South Carolina - California law may be different.

I didn't go to college either.

I tease many people, but I'm actually quite serious when I say,

"College is a waste of time and I personally wouldn't go"

Note that I say college is a waste of time - education is not.

Steve Jobs also said in this keynote address that he continued to go to classes that he wanted to and that he tries to educate himself on a daily basis.

He is a great manager and a great leader - I don't think speech classes, management 101, accounting, etc - would have have made him any better.

A real education only comes through talent, responsibility, and willingness to be the best person you can be.

[Update] Stanford has posted a full transcript of Steve Jobs Speech - found here

...

Losing A Classic? The Why & How Of Keeping OS 7-9



I think Apple may be making a mistake by completely eliminating Classic -

Classic provides compatibility for newer Macs to use older applications that were written for Mac OS 7, 8, and 9.

I understand it from a support perspective, but not from a customer satisfaction perspective.

Rosetta seems to be able to do a decent job of emulation/translation for older applications that were built for OSX. That said, there may be potential lawsuit material on Apple's hands because of the way software is currently marked.

I have found some software that is marked:

Requires a Mac with a G3 processsor and OS 8.6 and higher - while I have found others that just say - Requires OS 8.6 or 9.2.2 and higher.

I'm not quite sure why Apple couldn't just port Mac On Linux over to the Mac and make it another emulation layer. Mac On Linux currently supports classic applications better than Classic on Macs - you can have any Apple OS installed that you want to. Mac OS 7 / 8 / 9 all run very well under Mac On Linux.

There are a number of children's games that have always been made for the Mac that will never be ported to OSX. These games would run acceptably under emulation - even under PearPC they run quite well.

Currently, an open source project called PearPC can emulate a G3 300 on a Pentium IV 3.2Ghz machine. This is plenty fast enough for Reader Rabbit and older 68k games and applications.

I even think Apple could go as far as to release its own software application called "Classic":

It could compile all the emulators for ALL Apple products onto a CD. Currently there are emulators available for:

The Apple II
The Newton
Mac Plus
Mac OS 6
Mac OS 7-9

I think this would be a great seller and a great marketing scheme. It would kind of be Apple's attempt at nostalgia and a thank you to all the programmers that have helped Apple stay alive through difficult (pre Jobs) times. I see a lot of value in Apple making it's own effort in house - much as The Blue Sky Rangers have done with the Intellivision Lives project.

At the very least, once the transition from PowerPC processors to Intel processors is complete; Apple should open source and offer OS 8 and OS 9 as free downloads - as they have done with OS 7.5.5

Doing so, could allow programmers to make such an emulator for classic applications, if Apple doesn't want to.

[UPDATE] I wonder if the switch (in some small way) had to do with Microsoft's purchase of Connectix's Virtual PC ... that would be an interesting angle to explore.

...

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Top 100 Movies Of All Time

...

I hate movie Top 100 lists. They seem influenced by politics, conformity, and by pay off. (Most Top Whatever lists are this way).

One mistake that most Top lists make is ranking items in order. The following list is a list of movies that are all classics. Of course there are some that I rank higher than others, but there is no particular order. In this list # 100 is as good as #1.

You'll notice that there are actually more than 100 movies in the top 100 list seen here. That's because - for the most part - I consider a trilogy of movies - one story - and therefore one long movie - broken into multiple parts. I have noted where this is not true.

There is absolutely no question that the following movies are the top 100; eventhough it's obvious I like science fiction.

There are some honorable mentions that I will add to this list later. These were movies that most people (including me) liked but I just don't feel are classics.

I think a Top 100 Movie is a movie you could watch over and over again and never get tired of it. It's a movie, that if you saw that it was coming on TV, and eventhough you own on DVD, would sit down and watch it.

In the case of some of these movies, such as Star Wars and Legend with Tom Cruise - the TV versions are DIFFERENT than the DVD or VHS versions.

If you'll notice, Breakfast At Tiffany's and It's A Wonderful Life aren't in the list - it's because those are movies that critics that typically make Top 100 Movie lists are expected to include. Whether you like them or not (which I consider them ok movies) - they aren't that great of a movie. Most people just put some movies in their top 100 because of childhood memories, family traditions, or because they are expected to. Some movies, such as A Christmas Story have classic elements, but just don't make the Top 100. And then there's movies like Teen Wolf with Micheal J. Fox, that I would actually watch over and over, but it's not a classic.

If you think there's a movie missing, please feel free to post it to the comments, there a few movies that I might consider bumping out of the top 100.




1. Star Wars (portions written on a PowerBook Duo)



2. Spider-Man (#1)



3. The Lord of the Rings



4. The Passion of The Christ

5. Jurassic Park (starring a Quadra 800)



6. Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump buys Apple stock)



7. The Lion King

8. Harry Potter

9. Independence Day (starring a PowerBook 3400)

10. Cat's Eye



11. The Matrix (starring an Apple Newton PDA Keyboard)



12. Meet the Parents / Meet The Fockers (starring an iBook & iMac G4's)

13. The Fly (Jeff Goldblum)



14. Monsters, Inc.

15. Batman (Features Twentieth Anniversay Mac)

16. Men in Black

17. Toy Story

18. The Breakfast Club



19. Ace Ventura

20. Weird Science



21. Ghostbusters

22. Beverly Hills Cop II

23. Cast Away

24. They Live (one of the best, but most overlooked scifi movies EVER)



25. Memoirs Of The Invisible Man (Chevy Chase)



26. Mrs. Doubtfire

27. Ghost



28. The Chronicles Of Narnia

29. Mission: Impossible (starring a PowerBook 3400)

30. X-Men (XMen 3 features Dell Computers - Dell sponsored the movie for product placement whereas Apple Computers are usually used "defacto" in most movies)

31. Austin Powers (starring a PowerBook G4)

32. Back to the Future (starring a Mac Plus)



33. Terminator

34. The Mummy

35. Gone With the Wind (digitally restored using Macs)

36. Indiana Jones

37. Gladiator

38. Fletch / Fletch Lives



39. Ocean's Eleven



40. Planet of the Apes (Charlton Heston)

41. The Mask (Jim Carrey)

42. Night At The Museum



43. Top Gun

44. There's Something About Mary

45. Rain Man



46. Beauty and the Beast (Disney)

47. Chicago



48. Catch Me If You Can



49. The Illusionist (2006)

50. The Sound of Music

51. Gremlins

52. Scent Of A Woman



53. I, Robot

54. National Lampoon's Animal House

55. A Few Good Men

56. Rush Hour

57. Forbidden Planet



58. Shawshank Redemption (written by Stephen King on a Mac)



59. The Village



60. Unbreakable



61. Close Encounters Of The 3rd Kind

62. Shattered Glass


63. Excalibur



64. Legend


65. Interview With The Vampire



66. The Quick & The Dead


67. Airplane

68. Twilight Zone: The Movie

69. Gattaca



70. Monty Python And The Holy Grail

71. Minority Report



72. Clash Of The Titans



73. The Wizard Of Oz



74. Robocop (Just #1)

75. Amadeus

76. Silver Bullet



77. The Black Hole

78. Cube & Cube II: Hypercube



79. Blade (1st movie) (All three movies feature Apple computers)

80. Freeway (starring Reese Witherspoon)



81. The Little Mermaid (Disney 1989)

82. The Princess Bride



83. Poltergeist (1st movie)

84. Edward Scissorhands

85. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (With Gene Wilder)



86. Superman & Superman II (with Christopher Reeve) + 2006 SuperMan Returns

87. Beetlejuice

88. Phantom Of The Opera (2005)



89. Office Space (feature the Mac OS & Apple keyboards)

90. Devil's Advocate

91. 2001 & 2010



92. Total Recall

93. The Lawnmower Man

94. Dark City



95. It

96. Storm Of The Century



97. The Game (Micheal Douglas - features Mac Monitors)



98. Cloverfield (aka 1-18-08)

99. The 300 (2007)



100. American Beauty

101. Contact (one of the only technologically themed movies I have scene that didn't feature a single Mac) This was due to a dispute between Apple and Contact writer/astonomist Carl Sagan





...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

iPed Will Have To Backpedal



A company called ThoughtOut has been sent a Cease & Decist order from Apple to stop selling or rename their iPod stand called The iPed

Jackwhispers has brought you similar stories in the past. If you want to release Apple products - development guidelines are pretty clear. I don't think they are executed with the same fairness though. I believe MacMice/DVForge has broken the naming guideline several times and I also believe that the Sonnet PodFreq breaks the naming guideline ( not to mention, possibly infringing on that DLO patent ).

Apple rules for product naming:

The Mac Trademark

1. You may not use the Mac trademark standing alone except to denote or refer to the Apple Macintosh product line.

2. You may use "Mac" in your product name, company name, trade name, or service name provided your name satisfies the following criteria:

a. Your product is not a computer, computer system, or operating system software.

b. Your product is Mac compatible or the third party business is associated with Mac based computers.

c. "Mac" is used in combination with another non-generic word.

Acceptable: MacVenus MacCharlie

Not acceptable: MacCharleston MacSales

d. "Mac" does not appear more prominently than the rest of the name in size, color, or typeface.

e. Your name does not suggest a false association with Apple.

f. Your name is not confusingly similar to any trademark owned or used by Apple.

g. You acknowledge that Apple is the sole owner of the "Mac" trademark and that you will not interfere with Apple's use or registration of "Mac" alone or in combination with other words.


Very similar rules for naming with the term Apple also exist

I have always loved the other bad example listed on this page:

Not acceptable: Jackintosh


...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It's All About The Pentiums

...

Finally, a good Weird Al song Mac Users Can Use:


It's All About The Pentiums ~ Weird Al Yankovic

It's All About the Pentiums (An Adaptation of "It's All About the Benjamins" By Puff Daddy)


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24 Hours To Think About It : Why The Apple P4 Was The Best Decision



Now that I have had 24 hours to really think about it, I see this as the best move Apple has ever made. It was bold and it apparently has been executed with a lot of forethought. I'm going to list out a few of the positives and negatives in bullet point style if you need some help with perspective:

Positives as I see them:

• Apple has had this plan in place for 5+ years - as a backup developing concurrent versions of Mac OS X for CISC chips (Intel) & RISC chips (PowerPC)

• Apple will make the transition to Intel Chips easier than the transition of OS 9 to OS X

It seems most all applications that already run natively on Mac OS X PPC will run fine in OS X for Intel

• This will alleviate production and progress concerns that Apple has had for YEARS with IBM and Motorola

• This will eliminate the Megahertz myth stigma that surrounds Apple Computer. Now Apple will be able to offer a faster, more secure OS on the same speed processor. So, those selling Macs will no longer have to explain why Macs have slower speed processors. Most retail PCs also do not have dual processors - this could be a HUGE benefit if Apple can start to squeeze dual Pentium processors into their entire line of computers.

• This will make running Windows applications as easy as running Mac applications and therefore eliminate the transcoding of games - games will now only need to be tweaked for the Mac.

• This potentially opens up the entire "Pentium required" library of software - also eliminating a reason not to buy a Mac - and giving hundreds if not thousands of oulets for software.

• This opens HP, Dell, and Sony up to potential installation of the Mac OS AND could VERY possibly allow Apple to truly compete on innovation in hardware and design. Apple would remain a hardware maker and maintain their current hardware marketshare of somewhere around 5% - 10% - keeping them as a LEXUS or BMW type player.

• Apple has included a technology called Rosetta which promises to run most apps currently on the Mac exceptionally well on the Intel based Macs - unlike using classic (OS 9) with OSX currently - this is NOT an emulation - instead it's a forced code translation - emulating the PowerPC processor instead (sort of, but not totally).

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Negatives as I see them:

• In a lot of ways, this really undermines Independent Apple Resellers. Just two days ago, I was explaining the advantages of a RISC chip vs a CISC chip with a customer. Now, that argument no longer separates Macs and PCs

• It appeared to me that IBM was on the edge of a true, meaningful leap forward (but see further explanation below) and the RISC PowerPC was going to succeed

• Intel has hyped for years that they have wanted to switch to RISC - I suppose both Apple and Intel are conceding RISC to the embedded market and leaving Linux and Windows Mobile to run on these devices. (Which may just be genius, but I'll get to that in minute)

• Apple has asked a lot of it's users over the last 12 years - this is by far the biggest leap - I have always liked Apple for their software AND their hardware - I pray this doesn't turn Apple into a hardware reference design and software company.

• It appears most all software will run (albeit slower) under Rosetta - a technology Apple is including with OSX for Intel - key words are most all.

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After watching the keynote twice, it seems to me Apple is doing a very good job relying on and working with the competition. The best way to compete is to be best friends with the competition and have rivalry rather than insidious backstabbing. Apple seems to have succesfully done this with Microsoft, and now, with Intel. May this be a lesson to the Apple & iPod Peripheral Industry!



Steve Jobs had a read between the lines comment that made GREAT sense to me. IBM now has Microsoft's XBox, Nintendo's Revolution, and Sony's Playstation 3 as customers. This sounds like it would have been a good thing for Apple to have that many strong partners. Here's the hidden conspiracy in that. The Sony Playstation has had the same processor since 1996 and was revamped 6 YEARS later. The Xbox has had the same processor for 4 years and isn't being updated until August of this year! It is doubtful the Nintendo Revolution will even be a player in the next generation of gaming consoles. All three must compete against the Mac and PC for gaming, not to mention all the other niche players - such as vintage games built into a joystick.

So why is that meaningful? This could very well mean that IBM could be content with a processor for 6 years. 6 years ago we hardly had good G3's!!! Macs were at 400Mhz G3s 6 years ago. If IBM was making millions of processors at 3 Ghz - what's their motivation to make anything higher for Apple?

The biggest coup here may be that of Linux. With a true UNIX based sytem now on Intel boxes and no meaningful consumer LINUX on RISC processors ... this could effectively kill Linux on the desktop and at the same time - make Linux TWICE AS STRONG by making it the sole benefactor of the embedded market; as most embedded chips (for onboard car computers, handheld devices, etc) are RISC based.

Motorola and IBM have really let Apple down. Motorola with the G4 - not being able to scale it it more than 10% every 16 months and now IBM not being able to scale the G5 at all. (especially seeing since they told Steve Jobs to expect 4Ghz G5's by the summer of 2004 - so he conservatively announced 3Ghz - it's now a year later and G5s top out at 2.7Ghz - now that I look at it - I would have done the exact same thing - Congratulations Steve for leading a company the right way - with will, guts, and courage!

I'm going to make this first quote that Jackwhispers will be remembered for:

"There are no longer enemies; but the war itself has been lengthened by decades"

Explanation: Microsoft and Intel (previously considered enemies took the stage yesterday at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference, but the battle for Apple marketshare was just lengthened.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

I was wrong and I'm shocked I was

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Wow, Intel processors in Macs

Mac OSX Tiger ALREADY READY for PC platform

Incredible!

Apple's moving Macs to Intel, Microsoft's moving Xbox360 to PPC... what's going on????

I see this as the boldest move Apple has made in it's history - it will serve to either destroy the company or make it #1 (again) ...

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Is Apple Up To A New Old Trick ?



Jackwhispers brought you the story, When There's No News; Just Make Up A Disaster Or A Rumor last year.

In this article, I discussed how websites, such as the PowerPage; often will just make up some rumor or post a very isolated Apple isssue just to get hits. Some Apple websites (read as all but Jackwhispers) will say something sensational just to get hits.

John Dvorak is most famous for doing this in his semi annual Apple hate columns. (Because he and whoever publishes his outlandish statements - know the Apple fan base (and hater base) generate web traffic.)



Recently, Think Secret has shown reputable news sources that Apple Rumors are hot and that these rumors fuel incredible hit totals. So, these reputable (read as as used to be reputable) news sources are just whoring themselves by either regurgitating the Apple is switching to Intel rumor or trying to provide bogus reports, with made up stats, to prove this is what will happen.

I believe Apple is playing the rumor sites own game this time around. My personal belief is that this rumor was seeded to

1) To root out more sources of leaks (note that CNET broke the story and CNET is related to Think Secret) - A Jackwhispers EXCLUSIVE SCOOP BY THE WAY



2) To build press over the World Wide Developer's Conference (That sleazy trick to make things up to gain hits)

3) To divert attention away from an even GREATER announcement

I also believe that there is a high likelyhood Apple WILL announce a partnership with Intel - but most likely over a widescale deployment of WIMAX (a wireless broadband technology touted as being the broadband for the rest of us).

[UPDATE] At the time, the graphic for the Deplume Organization Clients list was posted to the internet; C/NET had just purchased Ziff Davis ( Nick Deplume alias for Nick Ciarelli is writer/owner of Think Secret ) The association here is; that there are MOST LIKELY contacts within C/NET for Think Secret & most likely a few leaks.

[UPDATE] This is what I get for trying to make predictions - I still go with my 3 reasons for this leak:

1) Root out leaks
2) Build momentum for today's announcement
3) Divert attention for MUCH MUCH bigger things to come.

I do appreciate Steve's honesty in the failure of IBM and Motorola to deliver.

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Apple: Turning To The Dark Side? [UPDATED]



From the original post on Macrumors.com:

The rumor originated at The Wall Street Journal:
The report, citing two industry executives with knowledge of recent discussions between the companies, said Apple will agree to use Intel chips.

Apple has seriously considered switching to Intel at least twice in its history. One previous project code-named Star Trek actually ported Mac OS 7 to Intel based hardware in 1992. Most recently, internal IBM documents noted that Apple considered switching to Intel but felt it would cause too much trouble:

Apple believed that using Intel would deeply affect its current customer base. Using an Intel architecture might solve Apple's short-term megahertz dilemma, but customers would have to suffer through a slow transition from PowerPC over the long term.

Such a switch would traditionally require recompilation of applications, [recent] rumors have suggested the use of Transitive Technologies' software which claims to "dynamically translate and accelerate binaries" up to 80% performance matching, as well as unconfirmed reports of x86 seeds of Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).


Jackwhispers analysis:

Apple no longer owns a stake in ARM (sold it all to Intel), but they do have experience and could easily hire/rehire programmers that worked on Apple/ARM devices (read as Newton)

My guess is that this will be for a new ARM processor for the iPod - the custom chip is probably too weak for advanced features.

Intel has been wanting to move to RISC chips for some time - maybe they want to become a CELL/PowerPC production partner to catch on the wave - 100% of the gaming world will be using PowerPC or PowerPC deritives in the next year - year and a half -

Intel now owns the largest stake in ARM (bought from Apple) - this is the processor in the majority of PocketPCs, Palms, and GPS units. So - this Intel processor is most likely for a new device or even the iPod.

Also take into account that USB2.0 chipsets are currently made by Intel (and others) and that Apple uses Intel chips in the XServe line for RAID I/O.

As I read up in other forums about this topic - another intriguing possibility pops up ... Intel is the developer of WiMax technology - this would be the perfect continuity for the iTunes, iPod solution as WiMax is being pushed heavily as the broadband for the rest of us!

Of course, then there's the business strategy angle:

Apple may be putting heat on IBM for pricing & production concerns to get IBM's attention. Leaking this to a market analyst with a big mouth and big ego is an easy way for a story like this to get press.

Here is a post I made to the Engadget forums about this topic:

Intel developed WIMAX - they make the chipsets for WIMAX ...

Apple needs to expand the number of users that have access to the iTunes Music Store

They also need to have a broader base of users with broadband before they could launch an iMovie store

WIMAX is touted as broadband for the rest of us - it's the broadband that will go the extra mile and twice as fast as cable modems!

I see Apple jumping on this early ... just like they did with Airport - calling it AirportMAX and announcing a partnership with INTEL for a huge nationwide deployment - BOTH companies have the cash to fund this.


[UPDATE II] As always, Daring Fireball's John Gruber can say it better than me. Thank you for the readers that pointed this article out.

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The Truth Is Finally Known

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Congratulations to Mac Daily News for publishing this article about how recent statistics show an actual Apple Computer Install base of 16%.

I would slightly disagree with the 16% - my own gut feeling is that it is somewhere around 12% - 13%.

Many people confuse install base with quarterly marketshare.

Apple quarterly marketshare (= to # of computers sold in a quarter vs all computers sold) hovers around 4% - it has been very encouraging to see this number slowly creep up since the the introduction of the iPod, iMac, iBook, and now the Mac Mini.

What most "analysts" don't see is that the average PC is in use for an average of 3 years due to quality, obsolescence, or satisfaction. However; Macs are in use on an average of 7 years.

With more and more people looking to get out of virus oblivion - there are big things ahead for Apple.

See this previous Jackwhispers article related to this topic:

What's In Store For Apple

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Apple Agrees to iPod Battery Replacement Settlement

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http://www.appleipodsettlement.com/claim.html

Download the form for this settlement with the link above.

Here are some of the details as reported by Engadget:

Apple isn’t actually admitting any wrongdoing or misrepresentation, but they have agreed to the settlement, which stipulates that third-generation iPod purchasers who’ve experienced battery failure during an eligible one-year limited warrany extension (presumably this adds a year to the warranty you normally get) can submit a claim for either an iPod replacement or a $50 Apple Store credit (hmm, no brainer!). Those who purchased a new first- or second-generation iPod on or before May 31, 2004 and who’ve experienced battery failure within two years can choose between a $50 credit at the Apple Store (retail or online) or a $25 reimbursement check. Anyone with a 1-3G iPod purchased before May 31, 2004 who has already paid for battery-related services under the Apple Battery Replacement Program before June 3, 2005 (hurry!) is eligible for a 50 percent reimbursement.


I have to admit; I have had two 3rd generation batteries konk out on me. ( I've owned a number of different iPods within the last two years ). I will probably follow up on this lawsuit as I had a heck of a time with one. I ended up breaking the ribbon cable that goes from the line out/headphone port to the logic board of the iPod; when trying to replace the battery.

This is one of the biggest faults of the iPod in my mind. Apple could have a HUGE industry of replacement parts if they would offer an ejectable/replaceable battery model.

One thing readers should take into account:

1) This most likely will not have a negative impact on Apple financials because Apple takes out insurance on each new generation of products in case there is a recall or class action for the product. Usually, the third party that produced the recalled part is also held liable by Apple - such is the case with LG for the recent iBook battery recall. Apple will see no financial impact from this recall as LG will have to face the costs.

More details to follow ...

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

And His Motivation Was??

On March 21, 2005 Jack Campbell sent word to the Engadget website with the following:

Jack Campbell from DVForge just emailed us with some very interesting details about that Super Shuffle MP3 player Apple was up in arms about a few days ago—it turns out it was a publicity stunt. Read on for the full story:

A few moments after the first news story broke about the Super Shuffle at CeBit, I emailed LuxPro, asking for resale information. A day later, with no answer in hand, I called them. I spoke with Ms. Daisy Lee, Sales with LuxPro.

I introduced myself, referred Ms. Lee to two of our company’s existing ODM partners in China, stated my interest, then let her go. She emailed me less than an hour later. Both of our manufacturing partners I gave to her emailed me to tell me that ‘somebody from LuxPro’ had contacted them. So, it seems Ms. Lee checked our legitimacy. From that point forward, I have had direct communications with Ms. Lee and with two senior execs at LuxPro, including two cell telephone talks from the floor at CeBit, before that show closed last weekend. Here is what I have learned:

LuxPro had a USB 2.0 based music player architecture already in development, when Apple launched the shuffle, in January. The guys at LuxPro hatched a plan to leverage the media attention created by Apple to their advantage. They are a contract manufacturer, making their living by selling their circuitry, put into enclosures designed by U.S. or European branded resellers. So, they saw this advanture as a wonderful way to swing the world’s spotlight in their direction for a few days.

The facts:

1. The Super Shuffle is not in production by LuxPro.

2. There is no intent by LuxPro to ever put the Super Shuffle into production.

3. LuxPro is looking for companies (like mine) to hire LuxPro to build uniquely designed players, based around the same electronics inside the Super Shuffle.

4. The entire CeBit sideshow was planned from the start as a gambit to gain a hugely disproportionate share of the industry’s attention, so as to find a few customers for the Super Shuffle’s electronics.

We have decided to go a different route, and will not be a LuxPro customer. However, as of yesterday, there are at least two well-known U.S. sold brands that have expressed firm interest in bringing original design players to market, based around the same electronics inside the Super Shuffle. So, it seems, the LuxPro CeBit gamble has paid off for them already.

So, there will be no Apple lawsuits, no Super Shuffles fighting their way onto racks at Circuit City, no angry mobs of Apple lawyers storming the LuxPro factory.
This was not a prank, nor was it an act of blind stupidity. In my view, it was one of the most clever PR maneuvers I have ever seen executed by a small company.

And, that’s the reality of the Super Shuffle. Enjoy!


____________________________________

In the meantime ...

Luxpro has had a full website up for this Shuffle knockoff ( Renamed: Super Tangent ) ... and now ... someone has actually purchased one and reviewed it at iPodLounge.

What the heck was the motivation for Jack making that entire story up? Can you believe the immense detail that went into it?

Of course ... this is the person who said this:

Anyone who who would not lie to protect their business is suspect in my mind"

Free is Free, But There Is A Fee ( free credit check )

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Today, Southern States were added to the national free credit reports ...

Voluntarily, credit reporting companies Experian, Equifax, Transunion agreed to make credit reports available to consumers on once-per-year basis via an online printable report.

Northeastern States will be the last to be able to check on their report by this fall.

Currently, anyone living in the South, West, or Midwest can go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp to get their report.

This is NOT a scam, however, to actually get your credit score, you're going to have to pay $5.00. Your credit score is what banks use to measure what interest rate you will pay or if a loan can be approved in your name.

Still, it's nice to be able to see what's goin on with your credit. I was able to see one unfamiliar account - it was in the positive items though and closed two years back, so I left it undisputed.

I have 8 positives and 2 negatives. At the moment, I'm not in need of a loan, but it's nice to be reassured that I could get one based on the information I saw today.

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