Wednesday, November 30, 2005

How To Avoid An Auction Scam Without Really Trying

* All about buying Apple Computers & iPod auctions this Holiday Shopping Season.



Recently, I had a really bad problem with my eBay account. I was temporarily suspended due to ... in part ... this website. eBay disagreed with my posting of a list of buyers and sellers that I have on my internal blocked list or that I have left negative feedback for. I eventually got eBay to understand the situation from my point of view. I agreed to remove the reference section where I posted about bad eBayers entirely from Jackwhispers. If you are ever in a bind with an eBay problem, don't hesitate to contact me. I am very kean on eBay as I have been a member for almost 9 years, taught eBay at a local technical college, and have been involved with several ebay ventures. I also list and sell about 100 Apple parts a month (used to do about 250) and buy maybe a dozen items a month from eBay.

Later this week ... I hope to bring readers a story about the problems with eBay listing companies. One in particular, that I have dealt with on a large scale called; BIDZIRK.

Some primer notes for this upcoming article:

These listing companies (where you take items to them, they list them, and send you a check) are not upfront about their fees

It seems reasonably fair for them to take out 25% to 35%, but by the time you get your check ... you are often splitting your auction 50 / 50. For most items, this is unfair and often less than you would receive from having a yard sale or having a day at the flea market, listing it in the local paper, or taking it to a specialized curious goods dealer (ie, pawn shop, collectibles shop, comics shop, etc)

These companies often have generic, mediocre listings that do not get top dollar.

Sometimes, these companies charge outrageous shipping and handling charges for your item, therefore lowering the final bid.

_______________________________________________________

"How To Avoid An Auction Scam Without Really Trying"

eBay ~ Weird Al Yankovic from the iTunes Music Store


Mac customers are an easy target. Most of us have the money to cough up, but are still frugal. Some of us, can't afford the premium price that Macs (even used) command and so are often on the prowl for the best deal.

Here's an interesting thought: Did you know MACS spelled backwards is SCAM?



Tips for eBay & Yahoo auctions:

The rule of: "If it's too good to be true it probably is" - should read "If it's to good to be true it definitely is" for auctions.

Avoid buying a new product at auction ...

If the item is for sale at less than 30% of current retail - sorry it's not a deal - it's a scam

Think about it, at 30% - you are paying less than it cost APPLE to make it. Average net for Apple on products is 22%

If the seller doesn't offer one of the following, don't buy:

Credit Cards
Paypal
PayDirect (As of Jan 2005, Paydirect is no longer available)
COD


Do not use the following:

C2it
Stormpay
Swiftpay
Bidpay
Yowcow
iKobo
Money Order/Personal Check




With a money order or personal check you have recourse through the post office for Mail Fraud, but the process can take up to 2 years! It is illegal, if even if your item did not get shipped, to cancel a check. This can be used in court against you. The seller could say, the buyer cancelled the funds so, I never shipped. You may be out court costs and may owe damages to the seller.

With PayPal; ONLY fund the charge WITH a credit card - UNLESS you are confident in the seller.

A seller CAN NOT (according to both services regulations) specify that funds come from a balance or checking account.

If you don't pay by credit card you have NO RECOURSE - PayPal usually won't be able to recover the funds if you don't receive your shipment. Paypal now offers insurance and it is reasonably good about claims ... however, if you received the item and it is damaged, not what you ordered, or breaks within 30 days ... and the seller won't make right on the auction ... PayPal makes you send the item to them for inspection in order to pay out on the claim. In some cases paying for insured shipping to Paypal could result in a net loss as they do not usually refund the shipping costs of the original shipment. So, for example if you paid a high shipping and handling fee for an eBay auction and the shipping is reasonably high to ship the item to paypal, you may end up almost paying for the item and it's insurance yourself!

EXAMPLE: You won item for $15 - ITEM cost $25 to ship from seller - ITEM cost $15 to send to PayPal for claim - your gain = $0.00

Of course, this process does serve to lodge complaint against the seller and could result in the seller's suspension from Paypal and eBay.

By my estimate on April 2 2004 (by a quick overview of the entire eBay & Yahoo Macintosh auction sections):
* checked again on November 30 2005 same stats below hold true

Yahoo: 75% appear to be scams
eBay: 10% appear to be scams

But the real statistic here is: there are 19300 items in the Mac categories on eBay (if you exclude the iPod); only about 30 on Yahoo auctions.

If you include iPod auctions the figures get better (but are still bad) for Yahoo auctions and the figures are abyssmal for eBay:

eBay iPod auctions: about 40% seem to be scams
Yahoo iPod Auctions: about 60% seem to be scams

Any seller that won't provide you with a verifiable address AND phone number - NO MONEY! If sending more than $200 - call them!

Presale auctions are ponzi schemes - they don't have the merchandise - they may pay off a few people every now & then by refund or actual product shipment in order to get a positive feedback comment.

Scenario: If I have 50 sales of $2000 each (avg Mac price) every MONTH - I only have to pay off 10 people!! WOW! I just netted $80,000! A lot of sellers are selling things that won't ship to even Apple for several MONTHS! IE There were "presalers" selling 17" PowerBooks in January when, if ordered just two weeks after the introduction, wouldn't arrive in this country until May 6th.

Both eBay and Yahoo have regulations on Presale Auctions. One rule being that the shipment of the presale item must be made within 30 days or the money should be refunded. If you look through most "presaler's" feedback you'll see "Never received", "It's been 2 months, where's my laptop"



Make sure to always review feedback. With eBay and Yahoo, also read the feedback the seller has left. Have they left a lot of negatives? Have they sold a diverse range of items? How active have they been? How long have they been selling?

Some sellers charge very high shipping/handling rates. Some people charge $8 to ship a keyboard then mail media rate for $3.55. It is illegal and considered mail fraud to ship anything other than books or CDs/software or manuals via media rate - all other items must go parcel post or Priority/First Class if mailed by the US Postal Service.

Federal banking law, PayPal, and Paydirect regulations prohibit ANYONE from charging a surcharge on credit cards or for their use. This is by FTC law considered "part of doing business & should be built into to the retailer's cost" Yahoo auctions and PayPal payments are governed by California Law that prohibit credit card surcharges.

See the Paypal User Agreement Payments sections / subsection V


Some auctions to be cautious of:

1. Radeon 7000 PCI & 8500 AGP video cards are often PC products; flashed with the Mac video card ROM. Usually there aren't any problems, but the cost of a PC video card is very cheap in comparison to a Macintosh version, and the work it takes to flash them is is minimal, if you have the proper equipment. The majority of the time, a flashed card, will not function properly with a major system upgrade; such as X.2 to X.3 or 9.1 to 9.2.2

2. Tech CD's for auction containing Apple Service Source PDF files have to be considered burned CD-R's unless you see an actual picture of the CD sourced from Apple. Of course, you can download most of these files off the web, just Google. It is illegal to SELL Apple Tech CDs due to copyright and trademark infringement. It is also illegal to distribute Apple part numbers, even though, most are on the web.



Here is a such a source: Apple Manuals


3. Hard drives. Many sellers will just print out new labels, and affix them to Maxtor store bought hard drive,s and call them "original iMac/original G4" hard drives. Same goes with SuperDrives - just store bought Pioneer A05 & A06 drives with a home printed Apple label on them.



eBay and Yahoo auctions are pretty much your only source for reliable auctions without hassle. eBay obviously moreso. Other companies sell your email and personal contact information, are not legit, or are just wannabes!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Apple Didn't Just Release BroadBand Tuner ... It Released Consumer Primer!



Today's Mac news outlets are widely reporting that Apple released a small software utility called: "Apple Broadband Tuner 1.0"

Download from here: Apple Broadband Tuner 1.0

I could type endlessly about the implications this has or the underlying reasons Apple released this utility ... but, I won't.

I'll say this simply ... this was a VERY calculated and concerted move by Apple to slowly implant the notion that, "broadband is better" in the Apple Computer owner's mind.

Truly, Apple telling it's consumers that "it's tuning broadband" for better performance has a psychological impact on the Apple Customer base ... but that's not where this Consumer Primer 1.0 ends ...

If you didn't notice; Apple has stopped shipping Macs with built in modems ... now 56k modems are an external USB OPTION ... read that again ... option!

Apple is slowly axing the landline 56k modem the same way it did with the floppy ... by just not including it ... and then hyping the alternative ... can anyone say "floppy drive NO vs. Super Drive WOW"

And that is truly the difference between broadband options such as T1, 802.11b/g wireless hotspots, cable modem, DSL, and 2 WAY satellite and 56k telephone internet access ... one is a SLOW "NO" the other is a quick and loud "YES!"

Apple's focus is becoming online downloaded digital media via iTunes Music Store Songs and now Video ... in order for these services to grow ... it needs ... well ... more people that can connect!

The I-N-T-E -G in Intego, are not the same I-N-T-E-G from INTEGRITY



As reported by XLR8YourMac:

"I thought I'd let you know about something that happened to me as a customer of Intego Software. I own two Intego products (NetBarrier and Personal Backup X). Along with the software came a Preference Pane called NetUpdate, which monitors Intego's site for software updates, including updates to NetUpdate. The most recent upgrade to NetUpdate included an option called "Background Update", which is supposed to automatically download and install software updates as they become available. It appears to be activated by default.

Monday morning, NetUpdate promptly checked Intego for new software. Then, without clueing me in on what it was doing, it downloaded a new, unlicensed copy of Personal Backup X4, deleted my licensed copy of Personal Backup X3 and installed the newer version.

The next time I tried to do a backup, I was given the option of entering in an X4 license or using the software in "Demo" mode for 30 days.

Needless to say, I sent an email to Intego's Tech Support. They sent me a useless and unhelpful reply. Contrary to the experience of many online, I have always had good things to say about Intego's products. This, however, seems practically criminal to me. Intego customers need to be aware that they must to deselect "Background Update" in the NetUpdate Preference Pane if they use any of their software.

As for me, I'm buying copies of Firewalk and SuperDuper! To replace my Intego products as soon as I can get it together to do so.

-Andrew "


Personally ... I have always thought Intego was a backhanded company ...



Last year they made a big deal about the potential of a virus and used the hacker buzz words "proof of concept" to blast it to all Mac Media websites. It inspired the paranoid to buy Intego's Virus Barrier software. Norton picked up on this genius (read as evil) marketing ploy and then Norton released their own FUD headlines to get more sales for Norton AntiVirus for the Mac platform.

This, then inspired Jack Campbell to launch a highly controversial contest for anyone to write a virus for the Mac platform to prove it could be done. This contest even offered Norton employees a $25,000 bonus.

At this point, Macs do not need virus protection software ... only Windows & Linux based PCs. If even the smallest virus came out (and was a valid virus) trust me ... it would be such an INTERNATIONAL headline that even the nightly news and ALL newspapers would carry it for hours ... I assure you it would be nothing less of OJ level coverage.

For the most part, I have found the virus software for Macs to be buggy, problematic, and at the very least annoying.

Please read the following FYT stories about this topic:

PC Virus Affecting Macs, Not Infecting Macs

The Mac Support Store Supporting The Spread Of Viruses

I'm Starting A Mac Virus Contest, I Meant, I'd Like To Start One

Mac Fanatics Cause iVirus (In this story I discuss Intego's previous integrity issues)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Picking An Apple To Pick On

As reported by ENgadget:

Ok, so apparently some people are having some weird horizontal line issue with the new Apple PowerBooks that have the higher res, higher brightness displays — apparently it’s even something that’s been spotted on display models in Apple stores. Frankly, given the gallery of pictures of the issue, we can’t really see much of a problem going on; then again, it may well be one of those things you have to eye in person to properly perceive...


And here is a close up picture:



Do you see anything? What I see is a kind of optical illusion ... the only way to tell if this problem were real is if the people would test the screen with solid colors.

[UPDATE] I went to the local CompUSA to see if I could see anything ... if I looked closely enough, I could see it ... I went to the displays control panel and adjusted the display in expert user mode using colorsync calibration ... no more perceptable problem!

What is the deal with everyone picking the smallest of things about Apple lately?

Of course this wouldn't be Jackwhispers, if I didn't float these reasons out there:

1) Competition putting these ideas into hypochondriacs heads (IE, iPod Nano scratches, iPod Battery issues)

2) Disgruntled employees or contractors (those fired over leaks)

3) The person(s) behind the reseller lawsuit (Elite Computer, Macadam)

4) The EFF or Think Secret attorneys trying to divert Apple's attention away from their lawsuit to buy more time

5) *legit reason* - more wierd whiney people are buying Macs

6) Media outlets just creating these stories because they know how Mac Users drive up hit totals

Movie Reviews: Scent Of A Woman / Cube & Cube II: HyperCube

Today's movies are: Scent Of A Woman & Cube & Cube II: Hypercube

Scent Of A Woman, in my opinion is Al Pacino's best role. The movie is full of memorable scenes and especially memorable lines. It's also a Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday movie as the story centers around a student's fall break.



If you've only seen this movie on TV ... you've missed a lot. There are nearly 20 minutes of the movie cut due to "PG-13 elements" and vulgar humor. But, like any Eddie Murphy concert, most of the jokes don't work without the sexual innuendo or cursing. In the DVD version, you get to see more of Col. Slade (played by Al Pacino) through his hard line attitude.

I have always loved this line from the movie, as it holds true to my own life;

"If I were the man I was 5 years ago, I'd take a flamethrower to this place!


Here is a brief plot synopsis:

"Frank Slade is a retired Lt Col in the US army. He's blind and impossible to get along with. Charlie, a prep school student on financial is looking forward to going to a ivy league college. To help pay for a trip home for Christmas, he agrees to look after Frank over Thanksgiving. Frank's niece says, "It will be easy money", but she didn't think her blind Lt Col relative would be spending his Thanksgiving in New York ... doing the tango, chokeholding other relatives at dinner, and driving a Ferrari ... not to mention his plans for a military issue revolver!"


The next movie(s) are Cube & Cube II. These were small, independent, direct to video releases that have a small cult following amongst geeks everywhere. If you were to give the movies a genre, it would be sci-fi ... but they have so much more depth than that.



Obvious that first movie did well enough to make a second ... the second is even better, due to a slightly bigger budget. That said, this set of movies really proves that quality movies don't need the big budget and stranglehold distribution model that Hollywood currently pushes.

Here is the plot summary from IMDB.COM:

Seven total strangers awaken one day to find themselves alone in a cubical maze. Once they meet, they work together using their given skills and talents to survive the deadly traps which guard many of the colored cubic rooms. Using Leaven's mathematical skills, they press forward, upword, and downward through the hatches to try and find the outer shell.



There has been a 3rd movie made, called Cube Zero but it just came out on wide release video a few months ago ... I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but certainly want to.

[UPDATE] : Saw Cube Zero and didn't like it at all - it's mostly centered around the construction of the first Cube prison.



Oddly enough, when the Apple G4 Cube came out ... I was an Apple Market Representative ... to showcase the DVD-ROM in the Cube ... I used the 1st Cube movie ... I sold several copies of the movie with the purchases of G4 Cubes!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am truly thankful to all of the readers who have supported this site with their visits, their dollar, and their thoughts shared ...

Happy
Thanksgiving!


Unless any earthshattering news comes my way ... next entry will be Sunday or Monday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Followup: MacMerc Just A Jerc!




From Roget's Thesaurus

1) mercenary (as in "adventurer") n. : a person hired to fight for another country than their own

2)mercenary (as in "materialistic") adj. : marked by materialism

3) mercenary (as in "mercenary(a)") adj. : used of soldiers hired by a foreign army

4) mercenary (as in "mercantile") adj. : profit oriented; "a commercial book"; "preached a mercantile and militant patriotism"- John Buchan; "a mercenary enterprise"; "a moneymaking business"


Last week, I reported that I felt a certain semi popular Mac website had either lifted an idea from this website (most likely scenario) or just not done enough research to see if another website (cough cough ... this one) had already reported it. I didn't really care that someone had used an idea from this site, or even missed that this corner of the web had reported it first. What I did care about is that the webmaster of MacMerc Rick Yeager had been so nasty to me once it was pointed out to him, and chose not to give credit once it was pointed out.

I'd like to back up a second ... step into reality and stop being pretentious. I realize that it's quite easy and extremely possible others have the same thoughts as I post on this website. It's actually VERY hard to lay claim to any original idea in today's BLOG infested, over media medicated society ... but ... I don't think that's what has happened here. (As exampled in the picture at the top which I will now explain)

Rick Yeager, MacMerc webmaster, posted in a forum after I pointed to my story that was well publicized on Macsurfer, CNet, and other headline aggregators 11 days prior to his story.

Here is a picture of what he said (from the MacMerc website):



And here's a quote from an email sent to me by Rick Yeager:

"Could it be that some people don't read JackWhispers at all? Might their be people who have never heard of JackWhispers?"


* His incorrect spelling of there not mine.

Now, note the following came from CNET's Blog100 comments forum:



Jackwhispers was named one of the TOP 100 Blogs in the BLOG 100, Rick Yeager posted here that he HAD read all of the BLOGs featured there and even whored his own site that DIDN'T make the list.

If you think it's hard to come up with original ideas on the internet ... trying lying ... it's even harder!

So, had Mr. Yeager seen this site? You be the judge. I say Mr. Yeager thinks this site is such an insignificant part of the web that stories reported on his site will seem to get more press. His site is nothing but a headline agrregator, with rare original content.

(turned back)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The RIAA Attacking Apple For The Sake Of The Labels; Through The Use Of FUD Headlines



As reported by Yahoo News! & Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online criminals shifted their attacks in 2005 from computer operating systems such as Windows and others to media players and software programs, according to a study released on Tuesday.


Among the software programs that attackers are now targeting are anti-virus software as well as programs used to listen to online audio and video programing, according to the SANS Institute, a nonprofit research group based in Bethesda, Md.

Attackers are changing their targets after Internet service providers and operating systems designers such as Microsoft started shoring up their systems following a barrage of worms, viruses and other online threats in recent years.

The group's "SANS Top20" report identifies the 20 most targeted software flaws that criminals use to infiltrate computers.

Top Windows vulnerabilities include Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer Web browser and Windows Office and Outlook Express. The report also listed Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh operating system as a top vulnerability among Unix operating systems. [What a bogus statement!]

Apple's OS X operating system is based on Unix, a heavy-duty operating system used principally in corporate data centers and high-powered computers.

Network devices such as routers and switches that direct Internet traffic also are being targeted, SANS said. Cisco Systems Inc. made the list with its "IOS" router product line.

"Network devices often have on-board operating systems and can be programmed like computers," the group said in a statement. "Compromises of network devices can provide attackers one of the most fruitful platforms for eavesdropping and launching targeted attacks."

SANS released the study in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Response Team, the UK's National Infrastructure Security Co-Ordination Center and Canada's Cyber Incident Response Center.


Make no mistake that this headline was perpetrated on behalf of the labels and probably seeded by the RIAA. Recent headlines have tried to almost force Apple to raise iTunes Music Store prices.

It's pretty obvious there's an affront from the labels who don't feel they are getting their fair price for songs distributed digitally.

iTunes, at this point in time, IS digital downloaded music ... the other 4 players: Real, Napster, Microsoft, and Yahoo have SUCH an insignificant share of the market and are distributed through vastly inferior networks that it doesn't even matter ... this article is bogus ... only to belittle and berate Apple, potentially hurt iTunes Music Store sales, and therefore force retail sales, and Apple to raise prices.

My two cents: it won't work.

See this related story reported yesterday here on FYT:

Competion Paying For Apple Security Flaws?

Discontent Is The 1st Step ...



Many of my critics say this site is nothing but a whiney complaint site ...

I found this fortune from my meal at a Chinese restaurant quite insightful ... expressing the true sentiment of this website:

"Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation."

Monday, November 21, 2005

Competition Paying For Apple Security Flaws



As reported by MacMinute:

iTunes security flaw


November 18 - A story on CNET News.com today reports that security firm eEye Digital Security issued a warning yesterday that a "critical vulnerability" in iTunes could allow attackers to remotely take over a user's computer. "Although an Apple spokesman was not immediately available for comment, the company has a policy of not discussing or confirming security issues until it has conducted an investigation and issued any needed patches, according to Apple's posting on its site," notes the story. "eEye, meanwhile, does not provide extensive details on the flaws it finds until a vendor releases a patch to resolve the security flaw."


It makes me wonder sometimes ... are people legitimately looking for things like this or is Apple's competition finding these flaws, reporting them to companies like eEye, then said security firms overpublicize these security flaws?

It seems like evey week that Apple announces positive news ... something mysteriously pops up in the news around the Mac web about a bogus lawsuit or bogus security flaw ...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bugs In Lugz Thugs Story???

After the little bruhaha that ensued over who made the "shuffle ad connection" ... I looked around the net for information on when the story of Lugz copying the ad first came out.

It appears that a lot of Mac sites picked this up late, including me. The Mac World didn't pick up that Apple may have been copying Lugz ads all along until late October, but ADweek reported on the fiasco back in mid October (within 2 days of the showing of the video at the ONE MORE THING event)

From that link is the following forum poster's information that no one seems to have elaborated on:

First off, the Lugz ad was created and ran in 2002. The iPod silo campaign only started in 2003. AFTER the Lugz campaign.

Second, Psyop has created ads for Chiat Day between 2002 and now (infinity car campaign).

Third, Eminem knows and has hung with Funk Master Flex, the DJ hiphop personality featured in the Lugz ads.

The Lugz campaign ran (in 2002) in heavy (albiet short) rotation on MTV, VH1, and BET, as well as a corresponding print campaign that ran in VIBE, SPIN and XXL.

The Lugz ad also won a nomination from D&AD (that's the British Design and Art Direction Awards) in early 2003. One of the most prestigious awards in the advertising community.

As a Creative director in advertising, I have no doubt whatsoever that Chiat Day and Logan flagrently ripped off the Lugz ad.


The important part that a lot of websites are missing is that the Lugz ads predated the ENTIRE iPod silhouette ad campaign. TWBA/Chiat Day really need to be called out on this ... because I have pointed out several other retailers that have copied Apple's silhouette ads ... when really ... all along they were copying Lugz advertisement.

This really brings the merit of thorough research to the forefont of our publications and inventions. Unique inventions and concepts are harder to produce now more than ever. Licensing, copyright, and legal matters are getting so difficult to research and so easily prosecuted ; it is getting difficult for businesses to seperate themselves creatively. Great minds think alike;but is thinking alike protected?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

This Isn't That Small Of A Site Anymore & This Isn't As Big Of A World As You Think



This website has grown in many ways over the last year. One of the most important ways is by readers that consider themselves "friends" of the site" ...

One of my most frequent commenters, who claims to have been turned on to Macs because of my exposure of Jack Campbell is BLOGDOG. His claim is that Mac Users are a community that looks out for each other and shares knowledge and creativity freely.

Thank you BLOGDOG.

BLOGDOG (who's real identity I cannot share) emails me regularly concerning stories. BLOGDOG isn't unique in this aspect though. I find this website to be more of a true blog ... iterating my truest most personal thoughts ... therefore, many more people tend to interact with me directly through instant message or email than choose to comment here.

BLOGDOG wrote to me today with this email message:

Philip,

You may find this page (screenshot below) at a website called MacMerc interesting and ironic ...



Here is an associated thread where the author continues with a story that he thinks he "reported first" ... I read this same opinion and analysis on your site 10 days ago ... within literally minutes of the news coming out about the suit against Apple from Lugz.

[BLOGDOG]


This message is on EVERY Fix Your Thinking page:

"All Fix Your Thinking content is editorial & educational. © CopyLeft Fix Your Thinking 2005
Free 2 quote & free 2 use - just mention fixyourthinking.com if you use the news"


To readers . . .

Thank you for pointing this out to me ... if you see another site lifting a unique opinion from this website please let me know so I can expose them here.

What makes me most angry about this "theft" is that it made it into several Mac news aggregators ... some that refuse to publish stories from this site due to "controversial content" or exposure of their sponsors ... such as Macbytes because I expose Bill Palmer's shenanigans on a regular basis.

Here is the original story:

Lugz Think Their Thugs Look The Same As Apple's

And here is a followup story I did the next day that has a very interesting twist on the whole Lugz story:

Another Day, Another iPod Scam: About iPodMyPhoto / Should Lugz Also Sue iPodMyPhoto.com

In some ways I see this as a lesson to MacMerc ... about how easy it is to miss something that they think is small and have a similar idea ... MacMerc is claiming in the forum to have never visited this site (until now). So ... who says Apple or Chiat Day ever saw the Lugz ad? I certainly had never heard of Lugz shoes ... much less seen the ad.

[UPDATE] This morning I returned to the forum to find several things have changed:

1) My username, password, and IP address are no longer valid on the website

2) My comments in the forum that merely linked to my content and stated I had reported on it 11 days ago ... have been removed

3) There is STILL no mention of my pointing this out or giving this site credit for pointing it out sooner.

iPodder Becomes Fodder For Apple Legal

As reported by The Unofficial Apple Weblog:

Apple Legal forces iPodder name change

We've mentioned iPodder several times before, but now it is evidently illegal to call them iPodder anymore. Okay, not really. But, Apple legal has again put their shoulder into someone's back and made them change their name. The new name for iPodder is Juice Receiver.

I have to say, I think this is kind of crappy. I mean, iTunes already is dominating the Mac market in the podcasting field, and Apple clearly is benefitting from the "pod" association of podcasting with iPod. Why go to these lengths to force a great free community resource into changing its name? Just to be the big bad bully? I don't think they really need to worry about "protecting their brand" at this point, considering how omnipresent the iPod is.


I disagree with TUAW that Apple should not protect their name whenever possible, but I do find Apple very inconsistent with the targets they go after.

What about Bill Palmer's iPodGarage and LoadPod websites?

I have heard Apple sent him letters ... Dennis Loyd of iPodLounge caved in quickly ... from rumor - so he could save Apple as an advertiser ... iPodLounge is now iLounge.

Personally, iPodLounge gave Apple a good name, I don't see how either of Bill Palmer's site do ANYTHING good for Apple.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

FYT Recommends 10 Of These Each Day!






Apples To Apples - a great board game of comparison and competition

Apple Shampoo - I am always complimented on how great my hair smells ... perfect for men or women

Either would make a great Christmas or birthday gift for that special Apple Computer lover in your life!

Check 'em out in the right hand sidebar advertisements!

I Hate Children & Their Little Laptops Too! Is There Collusion Between Linux Community Leaders, MIT, & AMD & A Conspiracy Against Apple & Microsoft?



As reported by Macrumors:

The Wall Street Journal reports on an initiative to develop a $100 laptop targetted at school children in developing nations. A non-profit organization called One Laptop Per Child has been formed to oversee the project with plans to put the laptop into the hands of 100-150 million children.

The $100 design remains a challenge and has not yet been solidified, but due to the scope of the project has drawn interest from many industry leaders, including Microsoft and Apple.

According to the WSJ, Steve Jobs offered to provide Mac OS X for free for the upcoming machine. The offer was declined [ due to demand by organizers ] for a 100% opensource solution. This offer was only possible as Mac OS X is now capable of running on the x86 architecture; as well as the PowerPC. The new $100 laptop will be powered by an AMD processor running Red Hat Linux.

Official site: http://laptop.media.mit.edu/


[UPDATE] I've gotten one comment here, an email from a friend, and two other reader emails concerning the title of the article and the feature picture. This is meant to be satirical. My point is strong ... I was criticized on the Macrumors board (where I discussed this early this morning) for not being understanding of children's true needs. I care, I do my part (and then some) ... so I am by no means hypocritical. I constructed the title to separate this article from others discussing this topic. I did the picture to be an eye opener and in some ways a truth. - Philip / Jackwhispers Editor

Am I the only one that is seeing some conflict of interest here? I find it interesting that AMD has been chosen as the supplier of chips ... it is the "chip producer of choice" amongst the Linux community because it's not mega corporation like Intel. AMD embraces Linux moreso than Intel.

This could mean HUGE research money to other parties involved in this; MIT, Red Hat ... trust me ... these entities have dollar $IGN$ in their eyes, not tears for needy children.



The problems with using Linux is that the software is going to be limited, the online support is going to be limited to get the most out of the software used or available, and the big one ... Linux is a mindset .... more than an operating system ... even KDE desktop isn't easy to understand and intuitive like the Mac OS.

I guess this laptop will be able to have Mac On Linux though ... so anyone thinking the Mac OS is still out of the equation ... there is a possibility.

My gripes with this plan:

1) Isn't food, shelter, water, clothing, and economic investment better to pursue? Only if factories for these laptops could be placed nearby that would be support hubs, jobs, and wealth creation would this be a true success.

2) I have a problem with this program going forward without a true plan for the content for education that is placed on the laptop ... what are we going to give them on the hard drives?

3) What will stop someone from selling their laptop on eBay ... you can be assured this will happen or a black market will arise.

4) Will children who are JUST AS NEEDY of this technology receive them in the USA, Japan, and England? A starving body and a starving mind are equal as born into this world.

5) Is there ulterior motive in using Linux that isn't being discussed here? Microsoft has shown interest, but won't fund a Linux project. Microsoft (and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation) have deep pockets. This really wreaks of the communistic/socialist attitude that a lot of Linux types have ... you only need to visit Slashdot to see how apes the Linux community is over this news ... they think it will mainstream Linux and provide them a new avenue for revenue ... Linux isn't as free and open source as most "who use it" would have you believe.

It is mythical that Linux is free ... it is only free to the complex mind ... for people that know how to assemble 100's of components from dozens of sources ... support isn't free ... hey ... Red Hat has to make SOME money or they wouldn't be in business.

The ONLY way there can be success in this is if there was benefit to a larger corporation that would donate in lieu of research gained ... this is why I find the movie Contact so interesting ... how the world gets together to to build the machine ... "that may change mankind" .... but when it comes down to paying ... countries and corporations have to be pawned politically to make it work. I find that insightful into this situation.



Anyone saying iTunes is needed is just wasting breath because while it is "the reason the iPod is so successful" and is the easiest to use - it also connects to the iTunes Music store as a compelling part of its component ... can someone who qualifies for a $100 laptop afford a CD or an iTunes download?

That opens a whole new can of worms in my opinion ... if you think piracy is bad now, put the ability to download, listen to, and play music into the hands of 150 million children who will discover pop culture with these laptops!

... I say we just go ahead with The Modest Proposal

For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being Aburden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public

By Jonathan Swift (1729)


Speaking of which, are those laptops Soylent Green colored?

...

Movie Reviews: The Quick & The Dead / Shattered Glass



So, I am using Google & Blogger to host my picture content now. It makes for a faster site and for obvious reasons, eases the bandwidth on my domain.

_____________________________________________________



I am a movie buff ... I have always thought it interesting that Hollywood often features Macs in a lot of the movies set in the modern era. I also always find it telling of how good a director is, by the subtle elements hidden in the scenery of the movie.

So, from time to time - I will post two movies that feature famous "apple or jack" keywords, actors, and imagery and/or themes that relate to the content on this website.

Today's movies are: The Quick & The Dead and Shattered Glass:



Shattered Glass ... the true story of Stephen Glass who worked for the nationally respected political magazine The New Republic who made up almost all of his stories (that were suppose to be true) that he had published. Great character study of a narcissist and pathological liar.

The Quick & The Dead ... The only movie, my dad (a western junkie) says " ...beats The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly". Great cast ... detailed direction ... and classic scene where Gene Hackman peels an apple highlight this movie.

Apple is Oil?



From a series of posts I responded to on Slashdot:

/. Poster: Keeping the prices high on what is essentially commodity hardware does nothing to alleviate the cost problem."

Jackwhispers INSERT OIL into that and you see how non sequitur it sounds

Commodities have no quality equation (at least not completely) ... therefore a computer cannot be a commodity.

"Keeping the prices high on oil (what is essentially a commodity) does nothing to alleviate the cost problem."

Sure it does, demand goes down if prices are high ... but you fail to see the value of Apple beyond a computing platform ...

1) No virus tax,

2) Quality components,

3) Better (and tested) feature set,

4) Included apps or low cost apps that do what would cost $1000's on a PC

I'm sure you've seen the Apple fanboy posts (which are mostly true):

A similarly equipped PC vs an Apple is either more expensive or equal in price ... and that does not factor in the above.


Last quarter's sales stats show that demand for Apple products (not just iPods) is on the rise ... therefore prices for Apple computers do NEED to go down. Demand is being driven by quality, experience, and recommendation ... something that doesn't factor into a commodity ... such as oil.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pod Induced Stress Syndrome? PISS?




As reported by Engadget:

iPod thumb? ... could very well be the cause of discrete repetitive stress injury according to Carl Irwin of the British Chiropractic Association. He set the record straight for ... Apple MP3 player inflicted pains: “The action needed to move the wheel on an iPod is totally unnatural and effectively separates the joint in the thumb every time you use it.” His patients apparently have had iPod-related RIS issues not only in their thumbs and fingers, but as far up as their elbows and necks....


I really thought I was reading a joke when I first saw this ... but it is real ... and this chiropractor is actually making this claim.

I modified the title of the malady to Pod Induced Stress Syndrome

This really just speaks for itself and the utter stupidity that the iPod is bringing to surface as it filters more and more into pop culture.

I have had a growing malady myself; Bristish Syndrome. It is the stress caused by Brits who sue because they don't like Americans or American made products.

MacMischief; Loading Up With Articles Again


I noticed that Bill Palmer's MacMischief website is now being updated almost everyday; after going for almost a year with only 10 updates TOTAL

That's great ... it's really indicative of how well his iPod Loading business (LOADPOD) & IPODGARAGE.COM website must be doing.

I didn't know the iLoad (which hasn't even been released yet) would have that quick of an affect on his business ;-)

For more information concerning LoadPod & Bill Palmer see Jackwhispers previous articles:

Kill Bill: The True Story Behind Bill Palmer & LoadPod

Billwhispers

The Historical Bill Palmer; Not In Any History Books

Nanny Nanny Boo Boo: Bill Palmer writes another Masterpiece

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Goodbye LoadPod , Go Buy iLoad


* image courtesy of Engadget & Tech Ticker


As reported by Engadget:

[from Tech Ticker] The iLoad is used for ripping CDs (compact discs: the medium of choice after cassette tapes and before MP3s) and transferring the contents directly onto an iPod. We heard somewhere that a computer is also capable of this amazing feat, but who are we to knock a product that simplifies the process and makes it portable? Along with the lack of specs is, of course, a lack of price, but that info should be available in no time as the manufacturer promises that the iLoad will be “Loading Soon!”


Looks like Bill Palmer's nationwide service employing 100's of reps was just replaced for the price of $149.99 ... less than his own service to "load 100 CDs for you"

I've always thought that Bill Palmer has overvalued his service (LOADPOD), certainly over estimating it's reach and "pioneer" claims. This only strengthens that opinion.

The other great thing about the iLoad is that it will also convert cassettes and Vinyl records - due to it's audio in jack.

Truthfully, I think this is a great way for small computer businesses to break into offering this service for it's customers.

For more information concerning LoadPod & Bill Palmer:

Kill Bill: The True Story Behind Bill Palmer & LoadPod

Billwhispers

The Historical Bill Palmer; Not In Any History Books

Nanny Nanny Boo: Bill Palmer writes another Masterpiece

Monday, November 07, 2005

Another Day, Another iPod Scam: About iPodMyPhoto.com / Could Lugz Also Sue Them?

With the weekend news that Apple was being sued by Lugz over the most recent iPod Ad campaign, I thought I would post this story from fall 2004 about iPodMyPhoto.com. In a way, there's a new spin to this ... could Lugz also sue the website iPodMyPhoto if he creates yellow background "Eminem iTunes like" ads?

Pulled from the current iPodMyPhoto dot com website:



Another Day, Another iPod Scam

Imitation Leather Shoes ~ Widespread Panic /
Imitation Leather Shoes


The subject of today's FixYourThinking article is a new website called: iPodMyPhoto.com This site promises to take your photos and turn them in to a close facsimile of the iPod Television and Print ads as seen below.



If you will notice the picture above isn't totally color saturated with purple. That's because I took an iPod ad that already exists and changed it into a color scheme that matches Jackwhispers. I wanted to see how long it took me to do it. If I had spent maybe five more minutes on it, it would be indistinguishable from an original Apple ad.

I have to give credit for the entreprenurial spirit, but this should have been a web tutorial rather than a business model.

According to a whois search, IPODMYPHOTO.COM was registered on November 23, 2004 by:

Patrick Swayzine
Rhode Island

I also have to give credit for putting up such a nice website in this short of a time period:




The reason I present a snapshot of this website to you above is; I hope to maintain it for posterity sake. I would be very surprised, if after today, Apple lets the website stand. It is a blatant ripoff of conceptual art and design done for Apple and is in complete disrespect for the people that came up with the ad campaign.

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"


I don't agree with that quote in this case. Mr. Swayzine had two options for this:

1) Create a nice web tutorial & submit to a major Mac News website (even this one)
2) Create a website & try to take advantage of people for $20
3) Then of course, there was the 3rd option; just not do it at all!

Don't fall for this ... there are several tutorials available online. I was able to find a good one by doing a quick search in Google:

http://www.photoshopsupport.com/tutorials/jennifer/ipod.html

* I also think the word iPod in the website title may go against Apple naming policy.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Lugz Think Their Thugs Look The Same As Apple's




Footwear company Lugz sent a cease and desist order to Apple on Friday claiming that Apple's latest iPod TV spot is a copy cat. Steve Jobs liked this ad so much he had to show it twice at the special media event a few weeks back.

An interesting development to say the least. Because, Lugz ad campaign actually predates ALL the iPod silhouette ads. It is from 2002.

The most interesting thing I see in the ad - a similar arrow animation to Apple's previous iPod Shuffle campaign.

Personally, I have always thought the iTunes Silhouette Ad campaign was weak. It didn't showcase how cool the iPod was. Ironic, that a weak product, the iTunes Phone (Motorola's ROKR) actually had a more innovative ad campaign.

I think Lugz has a good case here, most people who file suit against Apple are just trying to make a buck at Apple's expense, but I do see merit here.

The ad creator at Chiat Day (Apple's ad creator) will certainly be firing someone.

Notes:

* Motorola's ROKR cellphone is the 1st cellphone to use Apple's iTunes

* The iTunes Silhouette Ad campaign is actually a camera technique that was developed in the 70's and used on The Muppets and Sesame Street by Jim Henson.

* Many companies have copied the iTunes ad campaign SINCE Apple first started using it

* Readers may want to follow up with this previous post:

Rooms To Go: iPod Ad Copy Cat

[UPDATE] One last editorial opinion (I thought about making this a separate article) ...

I think Apple is realizing an old saying, "Hang with bad people, and bad things happen when you hang with them."

Note that Emimen previously had sued Apple (but apparently dropped the suit) over using his song in a Switch campaign commercial.

Now, it appears Eminem has dropped the lawsuit, but Apple is now being sued for a different reason ... for using Eminem in a copycat ad.

I actually like some of Eminem's music, but I wouldn't promote him with my company as Apple is doing. While many disagree with Bono's politics ... no one would say Bono is a thug and I rarely if ever have heard Bono use questionable explicit lyrics in his songs. Bono also tries to make himself out to be a positive role model for world economic change ... Eminem ... last time I checked wrote a song about how he hated his mother and another about a guy killing his girlfriend and committing suicide!

Review: Chicken Little; A Little Like Shrek; A Little Less Than A Pixar Film



I went to see Chicken Little last night and thought I would give a review in case you're interested in taking your children to see it. Or, you may be interested yourself ... how it stacks up against Disney/Pixar collaborations.

As you may or may not know ... this is the first fully computer generated "fairy tale" type story Disney has done with an inhouse animation team. There was a previous attempt in 2000, when Disney released the inhouse production; Dinosaur, but Chicken Little represents a true departure from sole use of Pixar. In fact, I believe many people will think this IS a Pixar film ... and on that note ... I have to say ... I hope not.

*** Steve Jobs is CEO of Pixar and Apple Computer


[UPDATE ... WAS CEO of Pixar ... Pixar now sold to Disney]

The humor in the film was more Shrek like; being, "burp and fart joke" oriented.; instead of clever Warner Brothers-like adult humor and themes that also make children laugh.

The animation is also lacking vs a Pixar film. While the characters in Pixar Films look cartoonish, they look believable. (Almost, as if they were in an alternate universe, where people actually look like that.) In Chicken Little; animation looks poorly rendered, pixelated, and "good enough". You can tell that Disney didn't do any "Pixar like" studies of hair or feathers. Hair, feathers, and facial expressions don't match up and have that quick and slow pause that I have always found annoying with computer animation.

Here is one example. I thought Foxy Loxy looked like a famous Playstation video game character; Crash Bandicoot.







There are some funny elements and the story is decent. It was enough to keep a seemingly loud and obnoxious kid who sat near me; entertained. He only caused two or three outbursts, but was clearly a problem child before the show started. I was worried about how he would talk during the movie.

A lot of the elements in the movie were borrowed or lifted from other movies, but still ... it's pieced together well.

So ... Disney's attempt was just that, in my opinion ... an attempt. My best friend and I gave it a joint rating of 6.5 out of 10.

As for the music, there is one song by Five For Fighting called "All I Know" that was one of the best songs I've heard in a while.

Unfortunately, it is not available as a single from the iTunes Music Store ... only as part of a $9.99 album purchase. You can find it here:

All I Know ~ Five For Fighting

All I Know


This is the song where Chicken Little is sulking because no one believes him. Here are some of the lyrics:

"I bruise you
You bruise me
We bruise
so
easily

too easily to let it show

I love you
And that's
All I know

All my plans have fallen through
All my plans
Depend on you
To help them grow

I love you
And that's all I know"


This is a cover of a 1972 Art Garfunkel Song, but it is MUCH better in this remake!

Friday, November 04, 2005

No Support From The Mac Support Store

No Support From The Mac Support Store
No Support (Instrumental) ~ Epitome

No Support (Instrumental)




Have any readers received junk email from MacSupportStore?

I can't make up a good filter to filter their email directly to junk because of the keywords involved.

Each email is illegally solicited without an unsubscribe link at the bottom.

Today's email involved buying AppleCare without a box at a discount. I am not aware of such a reseller program.

Here is the page from the Mac Support Store website:

http://www.macsupportstore.com/showpages.asp?pid=1025

Usually a place that has to include a disclaimer like this on a page is scam:

"Apple products may only be purchased at an Authorized Apple Reseller Location. The Mac Support Store enables up to date anti-fraud safeguards, and will prosceute all fraudulent orders to the fullest extent of both national and international law. Additionally, we report any fraudulent activity to the FBI Internet Fraud Complaint Center at www.ifccfbi.gov."


Notices like these are usually given so as to give an appearance of integrity and a false security that the site is on the up and up. After all, why would a site be interested in fraud complaints that is a fraud themselves?

Also, Apple products can be sold anywhere by anyone ... warranties are still valid if within warranty no matter who buys, sells, or posseses the unit.

And just a question, what the heck does this mean?

"The Mac Support Store enables up to date anti-fraud safeguards..."

Then there are MANY product descriptions that have grammar problems like this:



A couple other notes about Mac Support Store:

1) When I called, I was placed on hold, and never responded to - not once - but twice

2) As you can see in the first graphic - Mac Support store claims to be Apple Authorized - yet, I couldn't find them here

3) You can also see in the first graphic that pages do not render properly in Safari (they do render fine in Internet Explorer & Firefox) - but what Mac Store doesn't cater asthetically to Mac users?

4) The entire website is obviously created with an editor, yet the editor information has been removed (I looked at the source of some pages) - I would imagine the web site designer would be very displeased and the editting program always leaves a credit to the software used to create it.

"...there is a press release about their Apple Care Direct at Macsimum News. Since it's something they came up with themselves, you wouldn't expect to see it anywhere else, so you can't hold that against them. It would be interesting to know exactly how it works, and if Apple has anything to say about it..."

FixYourThinking reply:

Thanks for the link to the Macsimum page, but read this [from the same page]:

"The Mac Support Store, a Mac consulting-support company, has launched AppleCare Direct, an alternative to the AppleCare in a box program from Apple. It’s designed to be less expensive and faster than traditional AppleCare, according to Mac Support Store CEO Jeff Graber (who is also a contributing editor for Macsimum News)."

A little bias and not really a press release is it?

Also, they are pitching this as AppleCare - this is NOT an Apple sponsored service!

If they are J.U.M.P. - then they should have changed that - The Mac Support Store has been as it is today and as pictured here in this BLOG for 3 months that I know of

Besides, none of this explains how they got my email address and why they have an illegally solicited advertisement because there is no unsubscribe.

I did sign up at Macsimum News to make comments though, so if I find my email was sold or used for marketing purposes I will take action.

Besides, the discount off this service, even if legit, is not equivalent to a missing Techtool CD - which program retails for >$100.00.

My guess, is, if this is LEGIT, then they are selling the TechTool CDs either in bulk to a third party OR selling them on eBay themselves!

An anonymous poster noted:

They're never on iChat either as the website claims.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Websites That Help: Yeah, Help Void Your Warranty

Fix It ~ Static-X / GET IT FROM
Fix


I
was a little dismayed when I first saw PBFixit.com make a press release to the majority of Mac news websites about their "free" PowerBook Repair Guides. In typical fashion, MacCentral, MacMinute, and even Slashdot fell for this sneaky advertising gimmick.




PowerBookFixit's motive is to get a press release every quarter or so about a new set of "repair guides available for free from their website". In turn, they mention several times that you can buy all the parts you need for these repairs from them. I have to admit they have a great marketing scheme - but really it IS A SCHEME. Here's why ...

Having one of these repair guides on your hard drive doesn't indicate a wrong doing even under AppleCare - however, it is conclusive to a "warranty honoring issue" if you have it on there and the unit has been disassembled to repair "non-user" installable parts.

The above link includes ONLY these three things: Feet, Memory, Airport Extreme Card - yet the PBFIxit guide tells you how to replace the hard drive, the optical drive and just about anything else in the PowerBook. I believe in self repairing an Apple desktop or tower - but I have issue with a novice trying to repair a PowerBook or iBook. I just replaced a hard drive in a 12" PowerBook G4, a few days ago. There are close to 40 screws that have to be removed, very small thin ribbon cables, and parts that need to be removed with the proper tools. It takes an Apple Certified Technician (such as myself) who has ripped a few of these cables, and stripped a couple of these screws, in his time as an Apple Repair Specialist, to service the unit properly.

If I were not an Apple Authorized technician, I would disassemble my stuff in and out of warranty - but I wouldn't ask for warranty coverage if I screwed it up. It WOULD cross my mind. It would be an "angel on one shoulder, devil on the other scenario". Most people just have a devil on both shoulders - when it comes to this because of the expense.

You wouldn't believe how much of a problem this [self repair while under warranty] is - even by Apple's most modest estimate.

Often, without the proper routine of taking apart your Apple laptop; you tend to have a "reassembly surplus". [extra screws etc]

While I don't advocate taking apart ANY unit that is under warranty, I do advocate fixing older Apple laptops. So, while I try not to appear contradictory, here's a tip:

Draw 4 diagrams of the iBook or PowerBook. Make them neat pictures (maybe even use Photoshop.)

Print them out. Places the screws on the places on the picture where they go.

This is what I've done. When I get a PowerBook or iBook in for repair I just print out the four different sides of screw removal:

Outer shell bottom
Outer shell top/display
Inside logic board/magnetic sheild bottom
Inside logic board/ top

You can also draw places where cables go too.

Once you have it on your computer you can print them out again in the future.

___________________________________________________


Back to the ethical issue of "self repairing". EVERY TIME I get a unit in for warranty I type in "repair" "manual" "fix" and "how to"

These terms come up in a search. I do not find this to be snooping or unethical. I would love your thoughts on this in the Comments Section. I do not browse through a customer's hard drive. I only search for a repair manual, if (and only if) I suspect customer repair as "the repair problem".

For Apple's sake, should I be defending customers who take advantage of warranties?

PBfixit isn't the only culprit. 100's of eBay auctions offer Apple Repair Manuals for computers that are still under warranty. Dozens of websites offer self repair tips that void the warranty if performed.

If you are looking for Apple parts and repair manuals - take note that is ILLEGAL to sell the Original Apple Repair manuals - called, "Apple Service Source Manuals". Typically these are found in a CD and contain manuals in PDF form. It is against copyright law to sell these manuals and besides folks - they are available for free from all over the internet. Just type in "Apple Repair Manual" in to Google.



I'm all for people wanting to save money. These seem like great how to guides with clear instructions and great pictures.

That said, what I don't like is novices that are "cheapskates" that buy these things, use them, screw up their computer while they are still under warranty, then take them to a service provider (me, & others) and then have the units fixed for free - it's no less than fraud - because usually someone that messes their unit up after doing something like this doesn't disclose that information.

I have had many a customer tell me that NO ONE has ever opened their computer (including them) - I open it up and there are screws missing, the magnetic sheild has fingerprints on it, etc etc.

Example: I saw ALL of this on an iBook a while back. The customer said they hadn't touched it. There was a long blonde hair inside UNDER THE HARD DRIVE and one of "these manuals" on the hard drive.

Pssst: the customer was a long haired blonde.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Yesterday: Apple Delivered The Treat & Alsoft Delivered The Trick



Alsoft releases new revision for Diskwarrior


From above linked page:

October 31, 2005 -- Alsoft, Inc. today released a revised DiskWarrior CD that can start up the most recently released computers from Apple Computer, Inc. As new Macintosh models are released, Mac OS X must be updated to support them. The new DiskWarrior CD is designated as revision 39 and it contains an updated version of Mac OS X that now starts up the newly revised iBook, PowerBook, iMac G5 (with built-in iSight), and Power Macintosh (dual-core) models. The DiskWarrior application is unchanged and remains at version 3.0.3.


Apparently all they added was a few boot files. Read on ...

DiskWarrior CD revision 39 is available now. Customers that have an older DiskWarrior 3.x CD and one of the new Mac models may purchase the revised CD for $12.95 USD plus shipping and handling. The retail price for new copies of DiskWarrior is $79.95 USD. Site licensing and volume purchase discounts are available. Customers who own DiskWarrior 1.x or 2.x can purchase a DiskWarrior 3.0.3 upgrade for $39.95 plus shipping and handling. Alsoft can be reached at 800-257-6381 or 281-353-4090.


This is quite ridiculous. Especially seeing since I just bought a new CD yesterday. (And bought one in February) Alsoft didn't make a press release early in the morning .. and as far as I can see - Jackwhispers may be the first site to announce it.

I also needed the update that this provides. The revision number didn't change. So, this should have been made available as a downloadable update. As an Apple service tech, Diskwarrior is indispensible to me. But, I shouldn't be taxed the 3 to 5 times a year Apple releases new Macs. I greatly appreciate the work Alsoft does, but their customer service and PR with pricing updates has always been abyssmal. Yesterday, when I called, as usual; I received rude, insensitive operators.



Apple releases most stable version of Tiger, that breaks few things & increases stability across the board

From the Apple website:

About Mac OS X 10.4.3 Tiger:

Meet the world’s most advanced operating system. Mac OS X Tiger delivers 200+ new features which make it easier than ever to find, access and enjoy everything on your computer.

It includes fixes for:
- AFP, SMB/CIFS, NFS and FTP network and file services
- AirPort and Bluetooth wireless access
- Core Graphics, Core Audio, Core Image, and RAW camera support
- disc recording when creating and burning media
- .Mac sync services
- Spotlight indexing and searching
- Dashboard widgets: Dictionary, Flight Tracker, Stickies, and Unit Converter
- Address Book, AppleScript, Automator, Dictionary, Font Book, iCal, iSync, Mail, and Safari applications
- Disk Utility, Keychain Access, Migration Assistant, and Software Update
- compatibility with third party applications and devices
- previous standalone security updates


This update to Tiger solved a lot of issues I was having with Printing, Safari, and Mail. This may finally be the time I can recommend Tiger to all of my clients.

I've Got Two Other Four Letter Words For The Kids At SmashMYiPod.com: WASH & SOAP


Stills taken from the video


I was appalled when I saw the video of several kids causing a disruption in the Apple Store over at smashmyipod.com.

Not only was it disruptive, but they curse in the video ... not once, not twice, but multiple times. It's not just small, funny talk either. It covers all the bases of four letter foul language.

These kids need a thorough dose of military school and their mouths washed out with soap; if you ask me!

Further, the kids lie to the Sony Store Rep, lie in front of customers at the Apple Store (after they were kicked out) - which means not only were they trespassing, but they were breaking the law by providing false statements.

QUOTE from Ben Simpson (apparent ringleader):

"Since our iPod was a piece of crap and fell apart, we're going to go to talk to our friends at the Sony Store to see if we can replace this piece of S**T with a better MP3 player"


Synopsis: Several kids (Apple haters) start a website called SMASHMYIPOD.COM to raise money to buy an iPod and smash it INSIDE an Apple Retail Store. After opening an iPod in an Apple Store, a kid drops it on the floor and starts to jump up and down on it. The manager asks the kids to leave. They return (after taking a hammer to the iPod) and say they dropped it on the subway and that the iPod warranty should cover it. They also explain to a Sony store rep (in the same mall) that they "need a better MP3 player, that doesn't suck"

This wasn't in the least bit funny. I really wish Apple would make an example out of them and press charges against them.

They top this grotesque behaviour off with this transition:





By the way, the question has been posed: "Who gave them the money?"

My answer is "Probably exactly!"



Photo courtesy of ENgadget


I wouldn't be surprised if they received money from Sim Wong Who, the Creative CEO who has recently been decimated in market share against the iPod; while declaring war on Apple almost a year ago.

To first time buyers who may have been in the store - this may have been a deal breaker.

* I do want to add that the sales person who sold the iPod to the kids was a VERY poor presenter, lacking knowledge of the product and its warranty coverage. It was disappointing (and atypical) to witness to this Apple Store sale.

competition is good; collaboration is better.

competition is good; collaboration is better.
Annette Estes