Saturday, July 30, 2005

HP = The Most Confusing Ally Apple Has Ever Had: Perspective On The iPod From A Former HP Rep


Photo - courtesy iLounge


As reported by MacMinute:

HP to stop selling iPods July 29, 2005 - The Wall Street Journal today reported that Hewlett-Packard has decided to stop selling its branded iPods. Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton said, "They've decided that reselling iPods doesn't fit with their company's current digital media strategy.". HP will phase out its iPod sales immediately.


Since the shakeup at Hewlett Packard over Carly Fiorina's resignation, a lot of restructuring has been going on.

- First, there were the layoffs. I can say with almost 100% certainty this was very closely related to the immense payoff Fiorina received from HP. A restructuring of the marketing department was going on just before Fiorina's departure, but I am inclined to believe, she was already on her way out. The layoffs and restructuring prior to her departure were simply precursory. [A LITTLE OFF TOPIC] I would like to add my two cents worth. Almost all of Corporate America is bloated at the moment. They are inundated with the slacking workers that average about 60% of a day's work - that workers use to produce. There's personal email, extended lunch breaks, tardiness, leaving early, and a number of other factors contributing the the decay of the corporate giants at the moment.

- Second, there has been a good bit of restructuring of HP's camera and printing units. Thank goodness. Companies are wise to diversify, but some companies try too much to be "everything" companies - in a corporate environment this can really draw the company out of touch with its buyers - as there is too broad of a demographic to appeal to.

- Third, HP has dropped the iPod. I'm not so sure what motivated this move; but I can provide a few details behind it:

  • HP had almost zero R&D costs or channel distribution costs.

  • The iPod DID fit quite nicely into the "HP strategy" - it provided them a chance to tie the most successful product IN HISTORY to their own - something no other PC maker can claim.

  • It also brought people to the channels where HP products were sold. The iPod is the hottest, most visible retail product EVER - having the iPod at Walmart, Radio Shack, and other HP channels was a huge traffic draw.

  • HP had a 5% marketshare of all iPods sold. That may seem small. However, in the last quarter iPods sold 6.1 million units - that equals 305,000 units and $9.15 MILLION in profits! I seriously doubt HP makes this kind of profit on all it's lines.

  • The HP iPod, in a small way, added confirmation of the iPod's PC compatibility and support. A number of people thought the Apple logo meant Apple compatible only. (You'd be surprised!)


Of course this is contrary to Paul Thurrott's expert opinion:

How bad was the deal? According to the AP, part of the agreement states that HP can't sell a competing MP3 player until August 2006. It was virtually impossible for HP to make any money on iPod sales, because of the deal structure that Fiorina agreed to. And HP was (and still is) responsible for honoring the warranties of those iPods it sold ... even though it never made any money on them. The net result is that HP will lose money on the iPod deal. You may also recall that Fiorina held aloft a blue iPod during the January 2004 announcement. There is little doubt that even Fiorina believed, at the time, that HP would be able to do more customizing with the iPod that it was really able to. When the HP iPod shipped months later, it was identical to the Apple version, adding only a laser-engraved HP logo on the back, below the Apple logo. HP instead created iPod tatoos, allowing it to both save face and involve its crucial printer business.


[NOTE: Paul Thurrott is often compared to the likes of Bill Palmer & John C. Dvorak concerning his opinions in the Macintosh Universe.]

Does HP enjoy their on again, off again relationship with Apple?




HP produced the last of the Apple's branded serial printers - the 4100 & 4500. After these printers were produced; HP only created one more serial printer for the Apple market over the next 2 years - the 895CSE.

HP picked up support again for Apple products with Steve Jobs return and the advent of USB on iMacs.

Up until 10.3, not all HP printers had Macintosh drivers. (Such as low end laser printers)

It's pretty much the same story with scanners - following the same early 90's partnership with SCSI based scanners, mid 90's break, late 90's partnership with USB scanners and now almost full seamless product lines comingling with macs and PCs alike.

The real benefit to the Apple HP partnership was Apple's loyal fan base. I think the iPod relationship may have had some small meaning to Apple user's perception of HP as a partner. With high double digit growth and significant gains in Apple market share - does HP really want a half hearted relationship with Apple?

The Macrumors forum about this topic brought up the possibility of HP iPods being collectible.

I guess I'll have a collectors item in about 5 years now.

Jackwhispers response:

This is exactly what I was thinking. I've also thought the 1st gen iPods would be collectible one day.

This is going to make the HP shuffle an INSTANT collectible - go get em now at SAM'S.

I don't think this is a big deal to distribution as Walmart AND Radio Shack have both picked up Apple branded iPods.


I think it would be disasterous for HP to pick up selling PCs with Mac OS X and then drop them as if they were a passing trend or the day of contract end .

[UPDATE] There is a great commentary from a former HP Rep in the comments. Please take a look!

...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Pick A City To Sell Your Stuff: But Don't PickACity.com [UPDATED]


A few months back I received an instant message from a local guy marketing his new auction website: pickacity.com.

Eventhough I hate instant message marketers, I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt since he was local.

[WARNING: DO NOT VISIT THIS SITE! It is adware & spyware filled and is a multi-level marketing scam]

He sent an unsolicited instant message. (Called SPIM)

Apparently, this guy was going through the local Yahoo Member Directory seeing who was online and just phishing for interested victims .... errr ummm ... people.

I stated from the start of the conversation that I was not interested in his offer and to please take me off any marketing list.

This guy proceeded to jump immediately on to a sales pitch and offensive.

Here's that conversation [editted for repetitiveness & obscenities] from May 2005:


danmurphy95: I'm local to Greenville and see that you sell on ebay. I'm launching a new type of Live Online Auction. We want to get to where we put buyers and sellers together in their local communites. For right now we are holding Auctions that anyone can attend as the items will be shipped.

danmurphy95: Our new auction dates have not been uploaded. But you can see our site at www.pickacity.com


I immediately noticed an LCD monitor that was up for auction on the site, that started at a $219.99 opening bid, and had this exhange with him through instant message:


adzoox: I noticed this on your site: Tatung 15" display: MSRP: 349.99 USD Retails Online: 299.99 USD

adzoox: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=AS-1503SG and that's before I can apply a 10% discount.

danmurphy95: I'll check out your link.

adzoox: Computer Geeks regularly has Tatung displays (15 inch) for $150.00 or less

adzoox: Doesn't look like there's any bargains or any advantage over eBay

danmurphy95: I'm just testing a way to get our auctions started with Yahoo contacts.

adzoox: I can get a 15" LCD NEW for $140.00 + $8.00 shipping that is better quality than a Tatung (especially refurbed) and wouldn't you have to charge local sales tax?

danmurphy95:I don't care. I'm just doing some testing. Buy from Ebay then. They can use your money as well.

adzoox: Sorry, but I can get better prices than that and it doesn't seem to provide me with any advantage - trustworthiness - pricing - vs eBay - vs selling locally - vs buying at retail

adzoox: just trying to give you feedback - the site design is awkward as well

danmurphy95: We are promoting Live Local Autions. I'm just selling dropship items to get the momentum going.

danmurphy95: After we get enough bidders we may try a No Reserve Auction. I would be happy with break-even if necessary just to get the auctions started.

danmurphy95: We will be Radio Advertising in the areas we want to open. We are starting in Sioux City, Iowa. So when the Sioux City people come to the auctions there will be bidding doing on.

danmurphy95: How I got your contact info....

danmurphy95: I'm experimenting with adding people to my contact list through the chat rooms and through the Yahoo search. Friday I will do a mass invite to everyone in the folder. Life isn't easy for innovators sometimes.

danmurphy95: So anyway. With that said. You can go back to your beloved Ebay and I will do my thing. Goodbye.

adzoox: ok, but it still is not appealing to ME - I was just trying to give you some constructive critique - I could post your site on Spamhaus for IM abuse and report you to yahoo for the same, but I wanted to talk to you first.

adzoox: glad you understand glad you understand


Now, here is another conversation from Today, July 27, 2005 [editted for repitiveness & obscenity]:



danmurphy95: Hello. You've been on my contact list for awhile and I see you online quite often. Do you work from home?

danmurphy95: Where do you live?

adzoox: you emailed me before and I told you TWICE to take me off your marketing list - I won't ask you again!

danmurphy95: You dim wit. I was going to show you how to make some money on the net. But you keep doing whatever worthless *bleep* you do and I will take you off my list now.

adzoox: With that attitude I'm glad

adzoox: You were 50% higher on LCD monitors last time you sent your scam auction site

danmurphy95: You are one of those people that think everything is a scam. I've made over $100,000 a year on the net for the last 3 years. This year I will probably make over $400,000. You probably play Solitaire and play with your *bleep* all day long. Bye *bleep*.

adzoox: I'm reporting you to Yahoo and reporting your site to the BBB

danmurphy95: LOL... If you knew how stupid you really are you would sit down and cry like a baby.


"I've made over $100,000 a year on the net for the last 3 years. This year I will probably make over $400,000. "

Does that sound familiar?

Key Facts:

Company Name: DVForge, Inc.
Business Type: Tennessee "C" Corp.
Date Founded: October 2002
Ownership: Private
2003 Growth Rate: 378%
2004 Growth Rate: 660%
Projected 2005 Growth: 800%

OR

LoadPod: the nation's leader in iPod loading services


I would like all of my local clients and anyone reading this on the internet to know who this arrogant scammer is and how to avoid him:

Registrant of www.pickacity.com:

Registered through: GoDaddy.com
Domain Name: PICKACITY.COM
Created on: 17-Nov-02
Expires on: 17-Nov-05
Last Updated on: 21-Mar-05

Administrative Contact:
Murphy, Dan
dan-murphy@softhome.net
danmurphy95@yahoo.com
*** ***** **
Greer, South Carolina 29651
United States
***-***-3952
[editted to be considerate]

You gotta love whois information. It's one of the main research tools I use at Jackwhispers.

Here's a little more interesting information about this "company" and the site. It seems that a majority of the items up for sale (currently) are owned or for sale by Dan Murphy ... this detail in the "about section" looks like a couple of loopholes and conflict of interest to me.

Dispute Settlement Policy

Disputes between Buyers and Sellers are normally handled quite easily by the PickaCity.com Arbitrators. Once an Arbitration Case has been submitted by either Buyer or Seller an Arbitrator will call each party to determine which party defaulted. Sellers can potentially Default by either misrepresentation or omitting important information. Buyers can Default by not showing up to pay for and take delivery of the items purchased at Auction. Once an Arbitrator determines the defaulting party PickaCity will resolve the dispute as follows:

Seller Defaulted... If it is determined that the Seller defaulted the Auction Fee paid by the Buyer will be immediately refunded in full. The Seller will be required to correct the problem if they want to sell the item at a future PickaCity.com Auction. The Auction Fee paid by the Seller will not be refunded.

Buyer Defaulted... If the Buyer was determined to be in default then the Seller can sell the item again at any PickaCity Auction of their choosing at no additional cost to the Seller. The Auction Fee paid by the Buyer will not be refunded.


eBay is becoming the defacto standard for auctions. I have been very pleased with the security measures they have implemented over the last two years in conjunction with Paypal. Yahoo auctions have become the haven for fraudulent auctions. eBay's feedback system and the fact that they are a publicly traded company really helps them to be a safer place than any other to buy or sell online.

[UPDATE] Yahoo reported on story this week about the elderly losing millions to fake auction sites and phishing scam /MLM auction sites.

See these related Jackwhispers stories:

How To Avoid An Auction Scam Without Really Trying

Yahoo Becoming Sin City?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Apple Campus and Mystery Island Have Something In Common


photo of Apple campus from Steve Jobs keynote at WWDC 2005


I don't usually post just straight up copies of headlines, but this just speaks for itself:

Did Microsoft wipe Apple off the map, literally?

by Tred Bridis

Associated Press

Jul. 25, 2005 03:11 PM

As software rivals, Microsoft wants to wipe Apple Computer off the map. With Microsoft's new Web service for satellite photographs, did the world's largest software company find a way to do exactly that?

Internet sleuths discovered that anyone using Microsoft's new "Virtual Earth" Web site for a bird's-eye view of Apple's corporate headquarters saw only a grainy overhead photograph of what appears to be a single, nondescript warehouse and a deserted parking lot - not Apple's sprawling campus, with 11 modern buildings surrounding a plush courtyard.

Microsoft blames an outdated photograph. But Apple's headquarters in Silicon Valley shows up more appropriately for anyone viewing the same location using Google's mapping Web site, which also combines many of the same government-funded satellite and aerial overhead photographs.
advertisement

Is Microsoft's version of the landscape a fantasy for Bill Gates?

Microsoft said its new mapping service, made available free during the weekend, was still in its testing phase and includes some older, black-and-white photographs from October 1991 for the neighborhood around Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The only dates displayed on the images are copyright notices from 2004 and 2005.

"This is about mapping for consumers," spokesman Adam Sohn said. "We pull the right addresses, it just seems the images are perhaps older." Sohn said Microsoft is buying newer photographs for parts of the country, and many areas already include the most recent images available.

Google's mapping site includes color aerial photographs from October 2002 with more detail for Apple's neighborhood, provided by the U.S. Geological Survey.

One satellite expert said companies should provide more details, such as the date for each photograph, to help Internet users make sense of these images.

"It's a problem, one of the real challenges. There's a reason why most pictures in magazines and newspapers have captions," said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org. "What's missing from this imagery is, there are no captions to tell you when the image was acquired or what you're seeing or why you should care."


Here is the photo in question from Microsoft's mapping service ... to me it looks photoshopped!




[UPDATE] It appears that Microsoft uses US Geological Survey data maps for the state of California that are taken from the 70's. This may be due to geological and seismology study - interesting none the less.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Appeal To The Average Joe To Win Marketshare: An Apple NASCAR sponsorship?



Should Apple sponsor NASCAR?

This was a question posed in a recent AppleMatters article by Chris Siebold.

It is one of the more insightful editorials I have seen in some time and think it would be a great move on Apple's part!

The only way to gain marketshare is to get Macs in the hands of people with lower incomes. The low income and middle class are what drive the economy in the US - not the wealthy. The wealthy are pretty much buying Macs - get the "NASCAR" crowd in it and you'll stop hearing "I thought Apple was out of business" and "Do they still make Apples?"

My photoshop skills are limited, but I did a mockup of a car. I'm sure Apple's car would be one of the most beautifully painted cars ever to see the NASCAR circuit.



I also don't see this costing Apple a lot because of the additional sponsors they could get on board, such as HP, ATI, NVidia, IBM, Motorola, Intel, Pepsi, Canon, Epson - at the same time advertise for Apple stuff such as the iPod, iLife, Quicktime and more.

NASCAR fans are very loyal to their drivers - if they saw Apple sponsoring their favorite driver or favorite team - it would be a flood of press and sales + I believe they would be able to license out the car to be reproduced as collectible replicas and for art and TShirts!

...

The Truth Behind Recent Apple Headlines [Updated]

...

I just thought I'd make a quick post about a few recent Mac related headlines:

Think Secret apparently acquired some Apple part numbers from a retailer's inventory. Shame on the retailer for providing this information to them. It has been speculated on enough that Apple is overdue for iBook and MacMini revisons due to the distance between the last updates. The only reason Think Secret comes out with such sensationalist information is to continue to undermine Apple sales. Continuing to prove the real title to this site should be Trade Secret



See Jackwhispers previous article where I provide EXCLUSIVE content and research about this website and it's owner; Nick Ciarelli.

Save Nick vs Save Apple


The January 2005 Archive also has several articles on the topic of Think Secret

______________________________________________


Arlo Rose of "Apple stole Konfabulator" fame has managed to undermine Apple again with this quote found in a Reuter's article that says; Yahoo has purchased Konfabulator. I think the only reason Apple didn't pursue a legal case against Rose, for Konfabulator, was because he was a former Apple employee and a well respected developer - Yahoo might find themselves in a legal battle - if Apple so chooses now that Rose has relinquished the software.

"Apple liked the concept so much that it includes a widgets dashboard in the Mac's operating system. With just three employees, Konfabulator designs its widget software to run on the ubiquitous Windows operating system as well"


Actually Apple had created a dashboard concept looooong before Arlo Rose released Konfabulator. Just take a look at this screenshot of System 6.



Read this Jackwhispers story for more details. What A Kon! Arlo Rose Of Konfabulator

______________________________________________


And I just wanted to follow up with a comment I found at Insanely Great Mac concerning Bill Palmer. As he recently made headlines calling me "a depraved lunatic":

- Bill Bill Bill

by Chris

Bill Palmer is the perfect example of a blogger who suddenly thinks he is far more influential than he truly is. I've read his stuff for over a year and been on several of his online MUGS, and his problem is that he is believing his own hype. Just like Thurrott, Dvorak, and Enderle, though on the Mac side.

Bill's problem, so evident here but also evident in many of his other blog entries, is that he determines what's good for Apple based on his own personal preferences, like the eMac and iBook. He has no use for the higher end Macs or iMacs. He blasts those who like the higher end products as "not real mac lovers", mostly because he is jealous that he cannot personally afford those products. (he whined about buying a PB for weeks before finally doing it.) He drives a crappy car, lives in a crappy apartment, is about 27, and generally uses his three mac sites to blast anything he finds against his own taste.

Again, he is not anti-Mac, but he is pompous, ignorant about typical mac users, and venomous in his attacks. Remember, folks, like most bloggers, this is his only claim to fame, and he has been bashing the headless idea for at least a year, if not longer.

The great irony with Bill, that no one has touched on yet, is the fact that he thinks the eMac is the greatest Mac out there for switchers. He is big on switching people to the Mac. So why he would hate the MiniMac is beyond me. My bet is that he made up his mind long ago that this would fail, made his opinion public, and is now so pompous about LoadPod, iPodGarage, etc. that he cannot see how stupid and imbicilic he looks right about now. He will probably be proven wrong, but, happily, he is fuming over the bad press and his ranting prove this. No one will read him again, and he will be the Mac bloggers' own Thurrott, never taken seriously.


Note that this is from January 13, 2005 and in response to a main article at IGM titled: Bill Palmer: Two strikes, no balls, no one on by ron carlson - way before I did MY first post about Bill Palmer. The internet is littered with similar comments about Bill.

And honestly, I feel compelled to back this rant [above] about Bill Palmer with a link to this forum at Macrumors:

Bill goes out of control over a small issue

______________________________________________


Thanks to Bill Fox at MacsOnly.com for providing this detailed view of the Henrico County School decision to switch from Apple to Dell for the student laptop program:

Details on How Apple iBooks Lost to Dell Inspirions in Henrico County (VA) High Schools: Apple rocketed back onto the frontpage of K-12 educational computing with a deal to supply tens of thousands of iBooks to the Henrico County (VA) Public Schools for daily use by students, teachers and administrators. This pioneering effort revolutionized K-12 education as many school districts across the U.S. and in Canada followed suit and supplied their students, teachers and administrators with laptops. But, like in all walks of life, success brings serious competitors. In the case of one-to-one classroom portable computing, Apple's success attracted Dell, the company that has been eating Apple's education desktop lunch for some time.

This year the four-year contract for high school laptops in the Henrico County Public Schools was up for re-bidding. Dell was awarded the new four-year contract over Apple (and CDWG) through votes of 9-0 by an evaluation committee and 5-0 by the school board. Apple retains the contract for elementary and middle schools, at least for now. But how did Apple lose unanimously at every stage in the high school contracting process?

Three principal issues were brought up by students, parents and teachers for consideration in designing the new contract: downtime for maintenance, the fees the schools charged parents and teachers and the desire for Microsoft Office. On the surface, none of these issues appear to be decidely in favor of Dell over Apple. In fact, the maintenance issue would seem to subtantially favor Apple and Mac OS X over Dell and Windows XP.

The iBooks' maintenance rate was 4-5 per cent of the laptops at any given time and Apple was 96 per cent effective at fixing things within 24 hours according to a school system report. This is actually surprisingly good performance to us, especially for laptops in the hands of high school students. Downtime could be reduced to near zero by having a small percentage of the laptops available as loaners as some school districts have done. Indeed, this is the approach taken by Henrico County and both Apple's and Dell's bids contained a 2 per cent overage for loaners. But, according to a school report, Dell also bid that it would increase the number to 5 per cent if that proved necessary. Dell appears to have been the smarter bidder by promising to cover the repair rate experienced with iBooks and appearing to offer a no downtime solution. But what if the Dells experience a repair rate that greatly exceeds the iBooks 4-5 per cent and fails to meet Apple's 96 per cent rate of repairs in 24 hours? The school district loses, of course. What data did Henrico County look at to determine if the Dells would have an expected repair rate lower than 5 per cent? The schools system's report does not say. The next four years will tell if the school system got bamboozled. We think they did.

The fee issue is partly an issue of how the laptop program will be paid for. But if eliminated, the fees are simply transferred to the cost of the contract and the county's school revenue sources rather than individual parents of students and teachers using the laptops. Doing so will also likely have the effect of increasing the repair rate since the damage waiver fee for students is an incentive to maintain the laptops. Henrico County kept the $50 student use fee but eliminated the $50 teacher use fee and the $100 student damage waiver. Care to guess which way the repair rate is headed?

Penultimately, there's the Microsoft Office issue. Dell's bid included Microsoft Office, of course, and Apple's included AppleWorks. As far as I am concerned, AppleWorks is perfectly fine piece of software and meets any possible actual requirement for high school use. But since the users expressed a desire for Microsoft Office, this issue is a no-brainer. If you offer people what they say they want, all things being equal they are going to take it, no? Even if all things are not exactly equal, an expressed desire is really an unwritten requirement that very definitely will be weighed in the decision, like it or not, especially when it is a voting situation rather than a strictly technical decision. Apple could have offered Microsoft Office but doing so probably would have increased the cost of its bid more than that of Dell's.

Finally, there is price. Dell bid $256 lower for each of 15,800 laptops than did Apple, i.e. $1,130 per 14" Inspirion 600m versus $1,386 per 12" iBook. The Henrico County Public Schools report did not include an estimate of the total cost of ownership. The report does mention a transition cost that it will bear in switching to the Dells but it did not reduce it to dollars for comparing the bid prices.

So, it looks like meeting repair rate expectations, Microsoft Office and price beat Apple. We think the first is bogus and Henrico County will regret its decision on this issue alone but only time and good, honest monitoring will tell. Microsoft Office, like it or not, is a monopoly just like Windows and the only way for Apple to win in situations where Microsoft Office is a desired element is to offer it. The only way that Apple can do that and come close on price is to license Microsoft Office for many if not all of its computers just like the Windows computer makers. It is curious that a base Inspirion 600m with 256MB RAM and base Microsoft Office sells for $1,610 on Dell's Web store while a base 12" iBook sells for $999 on Apple's Web store. On the surface, it looks as if Apple could have done better on price. Apple will have to do better on price or come up with some new killer innovations to beat Dell. We are betting on the latter. [Bill Fox]


I have nothing to add to that really. Just a shocking truth. Based on my own experiences though; Dell provides kickbacks to school district employees who assist in switching from Gateway or Apple.

In Late August, I plan to publish a week's worth of updates to all the stories posted on Jackwhispers thus far. I have also been updating stories for grammar and current information.

...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I'll Scratch Your Back, But Keep Your Dirty Hands Off My Back

...

From a reader email:

Did you notice how Jack advertises MacMice on Bill Palmer's sites, but Jack doesn't promote Bill Palmer's iPodGarage on his own site?

I do find that interesting, but I will point out that Bill Palmer does relinquish the title of iPod Site God to Dennis Lloyd at iPodLounge. He does make claims often that he will overtake iPodlounge and that membership at iPodgarage is growing every day!

Here is wording from the about section at iPodGarage:

The iPod Garage is the voice of the iPod generation, offering readers the widest variety of iPod-related original content available anywhere on the internet. Published daily, iPod Garage original content includes iPod and iTunes commentary, product reviews, humor pieces, news wrap-ups, and a weekly column devoted solely to music. The iPod Garage has the largest full-time staff of any iPod website.






[UPDATE] Jack has now updated his BLOG site - linking to Bill Palmer

I deleted a comment he made here due to pending legal matters.

Wrong About The Right Guy; Write About The Bad Guy: Another Look At The Cherry OS & PearPC After The Intel Deal



I haven't seen any other Mac website bring this topic up ... but has anyone thought about the Cherry OS or PearPC lately?

If readers remember, the Cherry OS was suppose to be an emulator for PCs to run Mac OSX with 75% of the host's CPU speed and full hardware support. Cherry OS FAQ pages indicated that a 3Ghz Pentium would yeild a 2.25Ghz G4 in speed.

While the Cherry OS was outed for their blatant copy of code of PearPC from the Open Source community; it is interesting that these claims are actually possible now that Apple is switching to Intel processors.

I wonder where this leaves Cherry OS and PearPC now? I think it would be interesting to see someone create a Windows emulation that runs on an Intel Mac - yet somehow secure the machine with the underpinnings of OS X on the internet.



Read Jackwhispers previous story on the Cherry OS for more background:

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

For more perspective on Apple's decison to move to Intel see these BLOG entries:

http://jackwhispers.blogspot.com/2005/06/24-hours-to-think-about-it-why-apple.html

http://jackwhispers.blogspot.com/2005/06/switch-newton-fans-have-waited-for.html

http://jackwhispers.blogspot.com/2005/06/maybe-it-wasnt-ibm-or-motorolas-fault.html

http://jackwhispers.blogspot.com/2005/06/losing-classic-why-how-of-keeping-os-7.html

Monday, July 18, 2005

The 411 on the 419 Finally Getting A 911 - About Nigerian eMail Scams & Mac Users

...

From Slashdot

"Almost all of us get those junk emails from someone in Africa usually promising millions of dollars if you give them your bank details. Finally good to know that they are being caught by the authorities and punished. These are also known as 419 emails named after the Nigerian penal code for fraud. As an interesting aside, fooling these scammers by responding to their emails is a fun passtime for quite a few who call themselves baiters. Check out the trophy pictures of these spammers.. pretty funny."

In fact, here is one (of the 6) in my inbox this morning when I woke up:

FROM THE DESK OF:
MR. PAUL ABRAMS
STANDARD BANK
CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA.

I am Mr.Roland Mabota, credit officer of standard bank ,cape town south africa. I have an urgent and very confidential business proposition for you.

In June, 1999, a German property consultant and importer of used cars ,Mr Andreas Schranner made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit for twelve calendar months, valued at US$35,000,000.00(Thirty five Million United States Dollars
only) in my branch. It was to our utter suprise that we heard of his death, wife and children in an AF4590 plane crash in July 2000. See website below:



On further investigation,I found out that he died without making a WILL, and hitherto, all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless. Mr Andreas Schranner was residing at No 1 Rue de Avenida, pretoria south africa.

I therefore made further investigation and discovered that Mr Andreas Schranner did not declare any kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank. This sum of US$15,000,000.00 is still sitting in my Bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at theend of each year. No one will ever come forward to claim it.

Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin or business partner to Mr Andreas Schranner so that the fruits of this old man's labor will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials. This is simple, I will like you to provide immediately your full names and address,phone and fax numbers so that the attorney will prepare the necessary documents and affidavits that will put you in place as the next of kin or business partner. I have two of my colleagues who are top officials of the bank involved in this transaction.

Your role in the transaction is to send an application for claim of the funds to our bank. Then, as top officials of the bank, we shall work behind-the-scene to make sure that your application is approved by the management of the bank, and the funds transfered to your nominated bank account.

Please note that there is no iota of risks at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will be done legitimately and with our positions as top officials of the bank would ensure a successful execution of this transaction.If you are interested, please reply immediately to my email box.

Please send me your confidential telephone and fax numbers for easy communication.

You should observe utmost CONFIDENTIALITY AND SECRECY in this transaction,and rest assured that this transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I will require your assistance to invest my share in your
country.

Note:Am in Netherland at the moment on a sabatical leave.

I look forward to your prompt response.

Thanks and regards.


Mr.Roland Mabota.

Alternative email address: (rolandmabota@excite.com)


I mention this on a Mac centric site for several reasons.

1) It seems, typically the people that fall for these emails, are those that are struggling financially - a lot of freelance graphic artists = Mac users

2) Older people - who tend to be more trusting and are have a weird understanding about Macs - that these type of emails wouldn't come to them on a Mac if they were not legit. Yes, I have had several older clients say that because of the security on Mac - they felt the emails were legit.

3) The people who have the "get rich quick mentality" - which seem to be a number of Mac users I have met in the 10 years I have been servicing Macs.

4) A friend of mine who fits #1, #2, and #3 actually fell for this scam and lost $25,000 +

I'm glad that this type of scam is getting out in the open and these criminals are finally being brought to justice.

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

More pictures, more proof

A recent troll post to the forum here in this BLOG prompted me to provide further visual proof for my claims about Bill Palmer:



Here's what's circled in red:

"LoadPod, the nation's leader in iPod loading services." - untrue - it's RipDigital

A sponsorship ad from MacMice - possibly contributing to collusion between Jack & Bill to defame and discredit me

"There's a depraved lunatic slandering me" Pot, Kettle, Black [cough cough]

"...because he wanted to work for my company, LoadPod" Company? Work? Employment?

Finally, since LoadPod became a sponsor of the headline aggregator MacBytes - all of my submissions for stories have been refused for publication and ALL that Bill has submitted have been accepted .... hmmmm .... think about it. Before this sponsorship and before the article on Bill - my headlines were accepted both times I submitted them.

I would also like to point out a "string pulling" at Macsurfer. Out of all the websites on the internet, I am most thankful to the team at Macsurfer. It has been the biggest help in promotion of this website. That said, it seems Bill forced Macsurfer to republish "Bill's article" for two days straight - so that it could be seen in response to TWO totally different articles I published.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Apple Employee Discount Program???

I'm sure all of you have seen the TV commercials for the GM Employee Discount Program ... it's done well and given GM a 15%+ boost in sales. Looks like Dodge & Ford are jumping on the bandwagon.

So are a number of other companies ... and I'm glad one of them is NOT Apple.

Are Macs more expensive? Yes.

Are Apple computers priced at a premium? Yes.

Does Apple need to stay in line with the competition? Yes.

But the answer is also, "Yes" to Apple needing as high a margin as possible at this critical time in their history. And why discount Macs at all, when sales are strong? So strong; that sales are growing at a 25-55% rate for Macs and 200% - 600% for iPods.

Yesterday's 3rd quarter 2005 profits blew any naysayers forecasts out of the water for lackluster or lower than expected iPod & Mac sales.

Apple doesn't need an employee discount - lower prices on Macs can be found if you just know where to look.

I'm also glad Apple doesn't participate in gimmicky rebates either.

It's also noteworthy - that GM announced a TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND employee layoff just before this promotion. Apple is still hiring!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Kill Bill Pt III: The True Story Behind Bill Palmer & LoadPod

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For all those interested ...

I have posted a feature story on FIXYOURTHINKING titled:

Kill Bill Pt III: The True Story Of Bill Palmer & LoadPod

Why that title?

I thought it fit in with Catch Me If You can Pt II: The True Story Behind Macmice

There are a number similarities and links between Jack Campbell and Bill Palmer.

For those that emailed me requesting a link to my article ... this is it!

Quietly, in the background, I have been updating the main site and adding features to this BLOG. I will post these new features as they become fully functional.

If you are interested in sponsorship of this site; please email me (go to the email section) and request a review.

Thank you for all the pats on the back I received from readers yesterday. I was particularly lifted by [people who have known Bill] congratulating me for the story and sending encouraging words concerning the deceitful, misleading, vitriolic rant Bill wrote about me.

[UPDATE] It has been very interesting to see the people attracted to this story. It is very fitting of Bill's title to his article. Now, apparently I have several depraved lunatics trolling this site - posting in my forums with foul language and off topic rants about censorship. Unlike any other article I have written here; have I run into a more hateful crowd, or is it JUST Bill?
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Monday, July 11, 2005

Nanny Nanny Boo Boo - Bill Palmer Writes Another Masterpiece! (This time criticizing a Mac consumer awareness website)

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Bill Palmer wrote a personal BLOG entry specifically about me this past weekend. I would say I'm flattered, but it's quite libelous.

First off, he accuses me here of applying for a job with him:

About twelve months ago, an individual named Philip Smith contacted me because he wanted to work for my company, LoadPod. Or, as he put it in an email he sent me on June 30th of 2004, "I have an interest in doing the loadpod service and offering it in my store." Because LoadPod already had sufficient coverage in Mr. Smith's area code, I politely turned him down.


The reality here is, I wanted to see who IS/WAS the local "affiliate for Loadpod" - I never wanted to work for the company. Bill refused to disclose the name of the local affiliate in email, so I tried to set a "dummy service call" to get the name.

My area has a lot of people who claim to be "Apple technicians" ... I wanted to know if the local affiliate for LoadPod was one of these "Apple technicians". I also was interested to see how much business he has done and if he was a guy I could recommend some of my clients to.

I had concerns about the LoadPod service for several reasons:

1) Strangers coming into houses (Many of my clients are female freelance graphic artists)
2) Possible Apple technicians coming into businesses & homes I serve trying to steal business
3) The slight illegality of ripping whatever tunes you wanted to your OWN computer while performing the service
4) The possibility of not ever seeing your iPod or music again.

These were all questions I felt a true need to have answered. Honestly, questions that could only be answered by meeting the local "LoadPod Guy". And yes, there was the possibility of my offering the local affiliate an office within my business, possibly for no charge.

And, if we wanted to get right down to it, I would have been comfortable being the local affiliate. That was, until I started to read about Bill Palmer.

Here are the exact emails I sent to two of the advertisers on Bill Palmer's sites:


To Whom It May Concern,

It is of great concern to me that you have an affiliate program or possibly an advertising contract with Bill Palmer of iPod Garage.

This individual is hurting your image as a reputable company.

I have purposely been steering my customers away from [your site] specifically for this apparent connection.

I plan to do an article on these connections with shady companies soon on my website. Of course anyone who comments can have their site omitted and their comments left private.

Please read this article (below) and respond in kind to this email.

http://fixyourthinking.com/2005/07/historical-bill-palmer-not-
found-in.html

Philip Smith
Editor @ Jackwhispers


I see this no different than sending a letter to or requesting a boycott of Proctor & Gamble - asking them to stop advertising during Desperate Housewives as a concerned consumer.

One of these advertisers has been very dodgy with me and won't say for certain if they pay Bill Palmer for advertising or not.

I assumed, since Jack clarified that he liked Bill Palmer, that he supported him - and that Jack Campbell was a paid advertiser. This supporter alone is telling of the type of person Bill is by accepting money from Jack.

Look, I have no vendetta against Bill ... I want him to be prosperous. This said, Bill has risen to a similar celebrity status in the Mac Universe. I'd imagine some of his audience holds a lot of respect for him as well.

However, with his most recent article - it's easy to see he is not a gentleman, nor a professional. A professional business man or journalist would have contacted me, provided visible contrary proof to my claims, and then asked me to publish it. I would have done so gladly. A professional might have even called me and asked me to drop my axe. Instead, I was critiqued as if on a 1st grade schoolyard.

From the article:

- There's a depraved lunatic slandering me

- what a goofball



And now to address this paragraph:

You see, in an alternate universe that apparently exists only within this guy's head, it turns out my life is quite a bit different that I thought it was. In Mr. Smith's imaginary universe, it turns out that none of the advertisers on any of my websites really exist, I have no income, and perhaps most interestingly, my company LoadPod has no customers and doesn't really exist. Furthermore, all those times I've read articles about LoadPod in the New York Times, or BusinessWeek, or watched news stories about LoadPod on television, none of that really happened. And the quotes about LoadPod from those news sources that are displayed on the LoadPod website? In Mr. Smith's imaginary world, it turns out I made them all up.


Actually, this couldn't be further from the truth. In my examples, I have never mentioned Businessweek or the New York Times. Because THEY HAVE mentioned him and his services. What I pointed out are his references to Fox News & NBC News. If they have said this, they've said it on a local level, not a national level. I have access to both Fox News and NBC transcripts on the national level. Fox News or NBC News have no mention of LoadPod in their archives. Bill Palmer's reference quotes give the illusion that his service has been on something like the Today Show or the O'Reilly Factor.

"LoadPod takes the hassle out of loading CDs"

- NBC News

''LoadPod: it's the easiest thing I ever did!"

- Fox News



I also provided proof - from a June 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics:

Bill has chosen not to respond to this pictoral proof that he's not even in the top ten when it comes to "iPod Loading Services". The picture you see above has the top five services rated and top 10 services listed. Again, this IS a national source for news and a well respected one at that. How can this be a true statement with the Popular Mechanics article?

"After all, every now and then, I have to remind the world that I single-handedly built the iPod loadingindustry from the ground up." ~Bill Palmer on billpalmer.net


Do I believe LoadPod makes money? Yes. Do I believe LoadPod has a national network of customers and service providers? Yes.

Finally, this statement:

Right now I'm contemplating my next step, and I'm not entirely sure whether that's going to be hiring a lawyer and getting an injunction against Mr. Smith, or just calling his local police department and filing criminal charges.


Questions to Bill:

First off, what was my criminal act?

Second, what proof has been provided to counter the claims I have made?

Third, are you also going to sue all of the Macrumors and Macbytes forum members for saying the same thing?

Lastly, why do you advertise MacMice and DVForge stuff again?

Bill Palmer holds the word MACS up to a mirror

The reason Bill Palmer resurfaced on my radar again is because a few months back, Jack Campbell was very active - I wanted to see which websites were promoting his products beyond retail. I wanted to see who he had affiliate relationships with. Bill Palmer's website was one of the first I noticed. I started reading some of his writings on his personal BLOG and iPodGarage. Then, I started to read all the comments made about him in the various forums surrounding his "press releases". I wasn't the only one who had noticed the strangeness of his writings or the lack of viable sources. Ends up, his writings (and his crazy claims and made up statistics) are so similar to Jack Campbell that I felt compelled to make note of him on this (my) consumer awareness website.

I would like Bill to point to these posts precisely:

The best part of it all, I think, is how he would post stuff in the comments section of his own site, pretending to be me -- and then he (no longer pretending to be me) would criticize me for posting the comments! It takes a special kind of crazy to come up with stuff like that. Who was this guy, and what did I ever do to him? I didn't know.


This seems identical to a Jack Campbell accusation - and telling again of how irrational a thinker Bill is. As always, no proof of his allegations or assertions can be seen.

Every single word that has ever been written about me by Philip Smith is an out-and-out lie. Every word Philip Smith will ever write about me in the future will also likely be an out-and-out lie.~Bill Palmer


Bill Palmer is a professional. LoadPod is the #1 service in the "iPod Loading Industry". Bill Palmer never makes anything up.

[UPDATE] A reader email indicated another interesting similarity between Jack and Bill ... they both respond to people who comment on their press releases. People who don't know, or don't pick up that they (or people from MacMice, Bill Palmer Inc) are the majority of comments in most stories about them. This gives an illusion to many they have a hot topic.

[UPDATE] Another reader email indicated that I should point out another exaggeration. I cannot vouch personally for the quality or the necessity of the LoadPod service. I can point a small discrepancy in the marketing though:

I just placed a 71 minute CD (Greatest Grammy Moments 2005) into my 24X slot load drive, using a 550Mhz G4 with 1GB of RAM.

The total time to look the CD up in the CDDB, rip the song using import in iTunes, and turn the song into a 192 bit rate file took a grand total of 4 minutes 3 seconds. Not all CDs are this long, sometimes certain CDs will go faster, sometimes slightly slower. The better the processor and better the optical drive - the better the performance as well.

4 minutes average TIMES 50 CDs does not equal 10 hours as the advertisement above indicates - instead it equals 3 hours 20 minutes - throw in 10 minutes for breaks or ejects/inserts - you've got 3 1/2 hours. NOT TEN!

The other thing is, this can all be done in the background while working as well.

[UPDATE] Bill removed his masterpiece from the front page of iPodGarage and placed it into the archives. He deleted any positive comments that were made; keeping only those that agreed with him. Three readers emailed me saying they posted comments there. It appears that one of the critical comments I left in my posts here, is a Bill Palmer Lackey named James Monahan. I deleted a number of comments from the forum here and closed the comments section off. It was apparent that Bill was sending his fold here to post. At the very least, blind followers or simply flamebait trolls were posting here. I had comments ranging from; "You're so lame, get a life!" to "What is your real name, is it Jack Whispers? Why are you hiding ... what are you...a coward?" to one post that accused me of yellow journalism. I left the few insightful critiques, answered them, then closed the forums off for this story. Slashdot has lost a lot of credibility over the last two years because of the refusal to moderate it's discussions - I refused from the beginning to fall into the same trap because of how active people like Jack Campbell and Bill Palmer are on the net.
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Friday, July 08, 2005

New BLOG Feature: JackLooks



I'm starting a new feature at Jackwhispers called JackLooks. This will be a rather infrequent post of searches that I make on the internet that relate to Macs. I often make interesting searches. Sometimes, the results are hard to sort through.

The first search I'm going to include is actually a plug for my own commerce website. For months, I searched for a solution to network All In One Macs that had the ethernet port burned out. Since there is no inexpensive way to replace the ethernet port on an iMac, iBook, MacMini, eMac, etc - I tried to find a solution. I found one - a USB to ethernet adapter.

Macs that don't have PCI slots can cost up to $500 or more to fix - if your ethernet port has been zapped. the reason is because - usually the whole motherboard has to be replaced. The ethernet port and controller chip are soldered to the logic board (motherboard) of the Mac.



There actually two types of adapters:

I found one ethernet adapter that works only in OS 9.2.2 - while the documentation for the adapter says the requirements are just USB and Mac OS 8.6 and higher, I have yet to get it working on any Mac that has below 9.2.1 installed. However, once the adapter is installed; it works flawlessly. The adapter does not work in Classic mode.

Now, after lightening storms (which most commonly hit ethernet ports and 56k modems) - I have a solution for my customers.

I was a little upset at first because of what happened when I first found this solution. A customer bought one from me then posted the brand name and drivers on the XLR8yourMac website. I don't think this has cut in to many sales, but none the less ... it did give me the sense of being backstabbed.

The OS 9 adapter is more of a hardware abstraction than software - this is why there are relatively no ethernet adapters like this available.

There are actually several adapters that can be used for OS 10. These adapters require OS 10.3 or 10.4 (Panther or Tiger). I have settled on one adapter because of it's consistency in chip components. A Belkin USB to ethernet adapter that is commonly recommended around the web for the USB Pegasus Driver doesn't always work due to the variance in the adapter's components. The USB Pegasus driver was developed by SourceForge - an open source software website. These are the drivers I use to allow the adapter I sell to work.

The adapter that I have for sale on my adzoox.com website has no variance in components and works great.

For those that have OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) - you are out of luck! TCP/IP Networking changed dramatically from 10.1/10.2 to 10.3/10.4. It is best to upgrade to Panther or Tiger on any Mac that can accept the upgrade because there are an enormous amount of new features in the newer OS releases. I have also benchmarked a machine before each upgrade.

Using a common Mac OS X benchmarking utility:

A G4 550/1GB RAM/40GB 7200RPM HD/8MB VRAM running Jaguar received a benchmark score of 132

This same configuration running Panther received a benchmark score of 151 - a 15% increase in realized speed.

This same configuration running Tiger received a benchmark score of 165 - a 25% increase in realized speed over the original 10.2. This is almost a 15% increase in speed over Panther.

Notes: Panther will install on any G3, G4, or G5 Mac while Tiger will only install on G3, G4, G5 Mac with built in firewire.

I have found drivers for the OSX adapter I sell that work in OS 9, but it is very hit or miss. I recommend upgrading to Panther if you can or checking my stock of the OS 9 adapter described above.


So, when considering this adapter, consider upgrading to Panther or Tiger - there will more benefit than just regaining ethernet/networking capability.

Are there any useful searches you have made that you would like to pass along?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Historical Bill Palmer, Not Found In Any History Books

Quick blurb about Bill Palmer:

"After all, every now and then, I have to remind the world that I single-handedly built the iPod loadingindustry from the ground up."


[The quote above is exactly as it appears on the BillPalmer.net site]

I wish Bill would take the time to link to, post video of, or provide any solid proof that LoadPod is even a player in the "iPod Loading Industry" and proof that it's a money maker. News sources contacted that Bill quotes on his website deny any mention of Bill Palmer or LoadPod. (They did not vouch for any local level news stations, but Bill's references lead us to believe these were national news sources)

"LoadPod takes the hassle out of loading CDs"

- NBC News

''LoadPod: it's the easiest thing I ever did!"

- Fox News




Here's a snapshot of the June 2005 Issue of Popular Mechanics. You' think that they would mention the pioneer of this service wouldn't they?





I'll also note that two weeks ago, Bill noted a weeklong hiatus on MacMischief.com - he returned with a few blurbs about meaningless news - and now hasn't updated in two weeks. Where was our warning message?

See the previous JackWhispers [NOW FIX YOUR THINKING] story on Bill Palmer; Billwhispers??

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates: A Tax Perspective (Why A Recent Gesture From Steve Jobs Is 100% From The Heart)



CNN Money first reported this morning that Steve Jobs called the father of a teen who was slain over the weekend for his iPod.

The true beauty of his gesture is that YOU KNOW 100% it is from the heart. It won't be a tax write off.

Bill Gates & Paul Allen steal just as much or more from taxpayers in Washington than they give by way of incredibly large tax write offs.

A tax write off merely shifts the burden to those in the blue collar away from the white collar.

I'm sure Steve Jobs takes as many tax write offs as possible, but it is a good illustration of recent trends.

I have had my doubts about the Live 8 Concerts around the world. If the musicians and producers that are contributing to this concert to raise awareness for African Financial and Food Assistance truly care about it - they will give of their money freely and not claim any of the event expenses for travel, crew, or accomodation as a tax write off.

This is a very backhanded way for the wealthy to force the government (and the taxpayer) into donating to a certain cause. For, if one is receiving a tax credit and not paying in to the system - there has to be someone who is making up that revenue and is paying in to the system.

In the case of Paul Allen's generosity - taxes are significantly high in Washington state to offset the cost of a stadium he helped build. Bill Gates is sure to take write offs for the computers and copies of Windows given to Washington state school districts.

In the case of Live 8 musicians and producers - I wonder if they are helping to pay for the police patrol, city cleanup from the events, and not taking tax write offs?


Recent Apple homepage snapshot with no "sales or ad" links


Another example of a "non tax write off" effort made by Apple would be for the recent Tsunami Relief Effort. Apple changed the homepage of their website for 2 weeks to allow for a donation page. I don't see how this could have been much of a tax write off. However, it was also publicly announced that Bill Gates gave a lot of money to the effort. While a nice gesture - it would be interesting to know if he took a tax write off for his donation.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Alladin / Allume Can Take Their Software And Stuff It!

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As reported by MacMinute:

Smith Micro announces acquisition of Allume Systems

July 5- Smith Micro Software today announced it has acquired Allume Systems, a provider of compression software solutions that enable compression, security and archiving of data including JPEG, MPEG and MP3 platforms. "The Company's pioneering product suite known as StuffIt(R) has been a de facto industry standard since 1986." According to the terms of the agreement, Smith Micro will pay US$11 million in cash and $1.75 million in Smith Micro shares to purchase all outstanding shares of Allume.


This is rather interesting news to me. Allume, as some of you may know, used to be Alladin Systems. They were sued over the name - eventhough they had held it for over 15 years.

From the history page:

July 26, 2004- Aladdin Systems, Inc. changes its name to Allume Systems, as a result of a lawsuit over the Aladdin name.

If you care to read, this is one of the most distorted histories I have ever read of a company. Different owners and product names are littered throughout the website. It is difficult to understand a coherent past of this company.

I have always despised the download process of Stuffit Expander. You have to navigate through pages, upon pages to get to the downloads where you are baraged with "other offers". Then, you must fill out a form where your personal information is collected, just to get an email sent to you with a special download code.

Stuffit has also been a major contributing factor to crashes and problems throughout Mac OS releases from 8.1 to 10.4.1. It's very frustrating to have a file not open and a message pop up saying that your version of Stuffit needs to be updated - because you know you have over 10 minutes worth of work ahead of you.

Before, Alladin became Allume, I had done a story about tricky opt out registrations and included this graphic:



Alladin, Allume, or whatever the next name they have may be is destined for obscurity. I was happy to see that Apple included their own compression into OSX that has helped to wean us all off of Stuffit.

I think this poorly run company, who regularly decieved it's users and distributed buggy software had this coming...

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Vote For Jackwhispers!

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C/Net is running a vote for BEST TECH BLOG.

Head over to vote for Jackwhispers!

Remember, this site is truly a Blog. Most Apple websites are trying to jump on the "BLOG" bandwagon and claim they are Blogs, but they aren't, they are for the most part, just news recyclers, and headline aggregating sites.

I hope that readers find the content here unique and insightful.

You can vote for Jackwhispers here

I have almost fully updated Catch Me If You Can Part II: The True Story Of MacMice - it should be published some time soon.

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Monday, July 04, 2005

This Land Is Your Land, But Really This Land Is My Land (says the government)

One of the most beautiful aspects of humanity is laying claim to a piece of earth. It is inspirational to own your own home, plant your own favorite flowers and have others think of you as successful and wise - due only to the fact that you own actual dirt - a piece of a planet - an inkling of the entire universe - yours.

Today, as Independence Day celebrated in the United States - I have to say, "I don't hear freedom ringing." Cliche statement - no. I am truly awestruck that the Supreme Court ruled last week in Kelo vs. City of New London that:

city governments are allowed to take land from one private owner and give it to another, if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.


What you see above are Justice David H. Souter's actual words.

Recently, in my home town of Greenville South Carolina, we have had a hard lesson in what is termed imminent domain. The city thought that a condominium complex and shopping district would better suited to an area of our downtown. So, the city tried to declare imminent domain to seize property from the owner of a respected downtown establishment. The building in question was decent in appearance and not an eye sore. Despite strong political and financial figures pushing for this development, the city lost the battle with the owner of the property. But, with our mayor, key city property owners, and through backscratching - the building was declared condemned by the city - saying it was structurally unsound. Why? Because the development was moved backwards about 30 feet and multitudes of damage occurred to the building during construction of the new development. It was also postulated ( read as fictionalized) by "several architects" that the building would not withstand time being in such a high traffic area. So, after a year long battle - the original owner finally seceded and gave up the land.

Readers - the US Constitution was changed a few days ago. The 5th amendment reads:

"...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

In terms of economic development - what is just and fair compensation? With the new development - isn't the property now worth more? When other development centers around this property - doesn't the value of the land increase?

The reason I say the constitution was changed is to reflect another part of Suter's ruling that said the new development in the case of Kelo vs City Of New London was "for the public good". Note public use vs public good. Public use is defined by roads, government buildings, parks, and taxpayer benefit - NOT - TAXPAYING benefit.

I am afraid this ruling will have a slow ripple affect across the country. City governments who need to generate revenue through job activity, business and property tax, and development will start to seize land from long time land owners. One day, this will stretch into whole neighborhoods - just to build shopping malls and luxury condominiums.

Of interest, a company called FreeStar Media has started a campaign to seize Justice Suter's home and develop the plot into a hotel called The Lost Liberty Hotel seen as a fitting spot to commerate the day we lost our 5th amendment rights. The premise is that this hotel will serve as a constitutional attraction - attracting visitors who want to research and commerate the history of the constitution. This proposed development would bring in far greater revenue than the property tax that Justice Suter is paying for his home now.

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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Happy 4th Of July!

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Happy 4th of July.

Most sites say, Happy 4th Of July To Our Visitors From The USA!"

I say, Happy 4th Of July to everyone - worldwide.

Without the formation of the United States - the greatest country in the world - I truly believe the world would be a much less productive and prosperous place.

This is also a time to celebrate the genius of our forefathers that created the greatest document next to the Bible - The US Constitution.

Jackwhispers will return on Monday (or Tuesday) to go a little off topic and discuss a recent event that has affected the USA like no other. I have been personally involved and hope to provide you with some perspective on a recent changing of the US Constitution.

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