Saturday, June 30, 2007

iPhone Stress Tests



Excellent video by PC World's Eric Butterfield showing:

1) Keys in your pocket scratch test (PASSED)

2) Drop on carpet from 5 feet (PASSED)

3) The painful to watch - drop on linoleum from 5 feet (PASSED)

4) The "will make you cry" 3 times dropping it on pavement from 5 feet up test (PASSED ... wow)

iPhone Stress Test

Friday, June 29, 2007

iMugged

ValleyWag reports:

First attempted iPhone mugging

Steven Levy of Newsweek, "one of only four" people allowed to review the iPhone early, was just jumped and nearly mugged, live on Fox News (9:26 AM EDT). The foolish mugger was quickly dispatched by police and camera men; Levy quickly bounced up and proceeded to demo the device (it did not appear to be scratched or harmed for those concerned) with much aplomb to the shaken announcer -- even though Fox initially cut away and did not know how to handle the situation. Now that the iPhone will be released, you don't need to hide it... but you might be wise to do so.


I'm not sure what I'm concerned about more ... that someone mugs a relative tech celeb or they try to do it right in front of a news crew? Jeeez

Colbert reviews the iPhone he doesn't have ...



[Stephen Colbert: Review Of The iPhone Apple Won't Send Him]

.

The only two ways I know to get an iPhone discount

It won't be much of a discount, but these are the only ways I know of to get a discount on an iPhone:

1) Get someone to buy it for you through your website Apple Store or AT&T affiliate - about 3%.

2) Buy through the Apple Store online using mypoints.com - netting you a $10 gift certificate to most stores. See the right side column of this site [www.fixyourthinking.com] and scroll down to the MyPoints link to learn more.

and as always ...

3) You can buy with a rewards credit card. I've explained a few times how I manage to double dip with two rewards programs for anything I buy online.

Can any of you think of any other discounts?

Amaphone or Affiliphone??

As press released by Karelia Software:

Karelia Software today announced the release of the beta version of Amaphone, its utility to browse and shop Amazon.com on an iPhone. Amaphone is a Web-based application that users access by visiting www.amaphone.com on their iPhone browser. Amaphone allows users to enter search terms, to browse by category, and to make purchases directly from Amazon.com. It also works great from any Safari Web browser, Mac or PC.


I wonder if this is a clever means of making affiliate income from Amazon?

Meredith Vieira: Tool

So Meredith Vieira was on set on the Today Show this morning ... seeming to have PURPOSEFUL trouble with using the iPhone ... pretending like it wasn't working and blaming her fumbling on her "dislike for ALL gadgets".

THEN 10 minutes later ...

Another segment is introduced ... ["The iPhone may be out today ... but another big company is also making waves ... Microsoft has inventive technologies coming up too!"]

WHAT???

What an OBVIOUS plant by Microsoft to try to steal thunder. Whether or not I'm bias in saying this or not ... today's tech news IS ALL iPHONE ... period.

Get this ... the segment intro ended with "... even printing digital coupons!"

ooooooooh cooooooupons!

Then it was introduced again as "When we return ... Microsoft's answer to the iPhone"

Microsoft doesn't have an answer - the iPhone is the answer to I can't understand this stupid Windows Mobile phone interface"




The only thing that could trump it is Microsoft inventing ... teleportation!

The Microsoft piece was a carefully engineered piece that has obviously been getting edited for weeks ... how convenient that it's introduced on the day of the iPhone launch.

If anyone wants to assist with a video link when it's posted later let me know.
It's Today!


* It's been a busy week for me ... normal posting will resume Monday.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs





EXCLUSIVE USB To Ethernet Adapter

Save a costly motherboard repair for your Apple All In One iMac, eMac, Mac Mini, or your iBook & Powerbook, MacBook or MacBook Pro

I personally use this adapter on my MacBook so I don't have to plug in my ethernet cable ... I just use a USB hub with two of these adapters so one can be hooked to the internet and one cable can be hooked to a network printer. I don't have to worry about IP addresses or the constant plugging and unplugging ruining my laptop's broadband connection. The USB also stands an intermediary for surges from the network as well.

I am the only one to offer this adapter for OS 9 (Classic) * PLEASE email me for details

This is for your surged ethernet/broadband port on your Apple computer

USB 2.0 ... backwards compatible with USB 1.1

Another great use is for network printers and NAS storage - have this plugged into a free USB port while accessing your network or broadband connection on your Ethernet port.

Your ethernet port does not have to be bad to use this adapter.

Get this in case of an emergency!

Comes complete with drivers in pack with manual/instructions

This adapter ONLY works with OS 9.2.2 with all updates applied OR Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) or Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) and All versions of Windows that support USB

Note: this adapter does not work with OS 8.6 - 9.2.1 or 10 or 10.1 or 10.2

Best compatibility and guaranteed to work with Panther, Tiger, and Windows 2000, Windows Millenium, and Windows XP ... all other operating systems are not guaranteed ... but please email me for details.

I am the EXCLUSIVE eBay seller of this item!

I have sold nearly 500 of these over the last year!

* Item may vary slightly in appearance, but warranted for advertised functionality

I also warrant this to work with the Playstation 2 and Tivo! (you MUST mention that you need this function when ordering)

* Just thought I'd plug this helpful auction of mine and test out a new ebay feature

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

iPhone Service Plans Announced

AT&T and Apple today announced three service plans for the iPhone starting at US$59.99 per month. All three plans include unlimited data, Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, roll-over minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling.

All iPhone monthly service plans are available for individuals and families and are based on a new two-year service agreement with AT&T. Individual plans are priced as follows:

$59.99 for 450 minutes

$79.99 for 900 minutes

$99.99 for 1,350 minutes.

All plans include unlimited data (email and Web), Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, roll over minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile and a one-time activation fee of $36. Family plans are also available.

I use 2500 minutes a month, which I figured to be $149.99 a month + taxes.

Evan Almighty: Arcane family movie.



Roget's Thesaurus: arcane (as in "arcane") adj. : requiring secret or mysterious knowledge;

You've got to go into this movie expecting a PG movie. Not a PG-13 movie - a PG family film. Why this movie didn't actually get a G rating I'll never know. This movie had no more violence or action than a Pixar film. The only reason I saw that it may have gotten a PG was - it dealt with Christian themes. The PG rating doesn't explain at the bottom what it is for.

Can I just say that Morgan Freeman IS GOD? He is what I envision God to look like and is the perfect casting for God.

One of my favorite lines from this movie involves Morgan Freeman (God) explaining to Evan's wife (Lauren Graham) how God operates:

God: "Do you think I just snap my fingers and make someone patient?"

...

"Or do you think I give some the opportunity to be patient?"

"Do you think I just give someone courage?"

"Or do you think I give them an opportunity to be courageous?"


It all boils down to free will and initiative. God is made out perfectly in this film. He deals with abstracts in laymen's terms. He deals with people by placing them in situations rather than controlling the situation - yet he knows the outcome from before he started.

I was really surprised that this movie only pulled in $32 million over its first weekend in the US. A lot of local churches were promoting it - church groups were even giving away tickets to the first showing on Friday at 7PM.

This movie is destined to be on the every cable channel and destined to be a HUGE video release - so I doubt that it loses money in the long run. I also think because of its ties to "corrupt Washington DC, and the stories of Gilgamesh" that it may do well once released in full internationally.

I highly recommend taking your kids ... they'll love it.

8 out of 10 stars would be an appropriate rating.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wanna Surf the Internet With An iPhone Right Now?


Very creative although limited app from MarketCircle - iPhoney - an "iPhone Web Experience" Simulator.

Check it out...

Download iPhoney

Apple also posted a great tutorial that looks like it's going to come on a CD inside the iPhone packaging.

Check it out here:

iPhone Welcome: Guided Tour

If this demo doesn't make you say "awesome" or "wow" twice, and doesn't make you want to get one on launch day - something is wrong with you.

.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs





EXCLUSIVE USB To Ethernet Adapter

Save a costly motherboard repair for your Apple All In One iMac, eMac, Mac Mini, or your iBook & Powerbook, MacBook or MacBook Pro

I personally use this adapter on my MacBook so I don't have to plug in my ethernet cable ... I just use a USB hub with two of these adapters so one can be hooked to the internet and one cable can be hooked to a network printer. I don't have to worry about IP addresses or the constant plugging and unplugging ruining my laptop's broadband connection. The USB also stands an intermediary for surges from the network as well.

I am the only one to offer this adapter for OS 9 (Classic) * PLEASE email me for details

This is for your surged ethernet/broadband port on your Apple computer

USB 2.0 ... backwards compatible with USB 1.1

Another great use is for network printers and NAS storage - have this plugged into a free USB port while accessing your network or broadband connection on your Ethernet port.

Your ethernet port does not have to be bad to use this adapter.

Get this in case of an emergency!

Comes complete with drivers in pack with manual/instructions

This adapter ONLY works with OS 9.2.2 with all updates applied OR Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) or Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) and All versions of Windows that support USB

Note: this adapter does not work with OS 8.6 - 9.2.1 or 10 or 10.1 or 10.2

Best compatibility and guaranteed to work with Panther, Tiger, and Windows 2000, Windows Millenium, and Windows XP ... all other operating systems are not guaranteed ... but please email me for details.

I am the EXCLUSIVE eBay seller of this item!

I have sold nearly 500 of these over the last year!

* Item may vary slightly in appearance, but warranted for advertised functionality

I also warrant this to work with the Playstation 2 and Tivo! (you MUST mention that you need this function when ordering)

* Just thought I'd plug this helpful auction of mine and test out a new ebay feature

Step Into The Light



Small Wave points to a recent article on The Red Ferret Journal that seeks to warn us all of the 10 "serious problems" with touchscreens that we should know before June 29 (i.e., the date the iPhone is released).

From Small Wave:

Well, let's get started.

"1. Sunshine is not your friend. Don’t bother trying to dial from that sunny beach."

Yes, this is not only "serious," but since it's well known that most iPhone users will be spending their time at the nearest beach, it will be a major issue. Of course, any other backlit screen will be washed out, too, so I suppose the legions of people bringing their other phones to the beach are in for a struggle as well.


I have had 28 (yes, 28!) DIFFERENT cellphones in the past three months - trying a different phone out every few days. I wanted to get a good idea of all the "customer experiences out there" so I could give a thorough and honest review of the iPhone in comparison to the most popular AND the most tech-heavy cellular phones currently available.

Out of those 28 phones - I had ZERO that I could see clearly in bright sunlight. Why is this a complaint? That being said, I can almost assure you that this will not be a big issue because YOU CAN see the iPhone in bright light.

* By the way, an AWESOME FEATURE of GSM SIM card phones is the ability to own ANY GSM SIM card phone INSTANTLY - no programming, no network handshaking, no visit to the local "cellphone store" to get it working.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Instead Of Using A Convenient Pocket Sized Device To Find A Destination ... You'll Use A Device The Size Of A Small Car ... Take That Apple!



Here's a GREAT parody of Microsoft's recent Surface technology demonstration.

Microsoft Surface Parody

.

The Fake iPhone Isn't The Interesting Thing About This Video



Engadget uncovers this YouTube video:

Fake iPhone unboxing and demo


Watch the video and see this notice written across the back of the "Fake iPhone":

Notice: iPhone is the world mark registered by Apple Inc in USA
Warning: It will break the law without authorized by Apple Inc if you use "iPhone" logo on any electronic products.


Also take note that it's called the tPhone on the front and iPhone on the back.

The sad thing is Apple can't do anything about this ... this is produced in Taiwan - where copyright exists but isn't enforced and where manufacturers are essentially encouraged to rip off American products by the lack of enforcement.

Hey, Just Because I Saw A Billboard For "Upstate Mulch" Doesn't Mean I'm A Dummy!


* Because of the difficulty of getting out of a car on major highway - this sign is "simulated". The picture above was taken from a brochure and added to a billboard.


I live in Greenville South Carolina. The region in which I live is called the "Upstate".

Recently, billboards have started popping up all over the area advertising for Upstate Mulch - a local gardening and landscaping chain.

I did a double take the first time I saw this sign about a month ago ... but now the billboards are everywhere - obviously they're drawing in customers. Knowing that I couldn't possibly be the only one who saw a problem with these signs that adorn major highways such as I-85 I showed the ad to all of my friends. I showed them a picture of the sign and said, "This is the new Upstate Mulch billboard ... notice anything funny about that sign?" Everyone that I showed it to, with the exception of a waiter at a local chicken wings restaurant immediately said, "Yeah it says DUMMY!"

The sign looks like it spells the word DUMMY with the letters;

D - U - M - E.

The graphic designer for this ad should be fired, then told what he did wrong. Like I said, in my brief and informal survey, I had 5 out of 6 respondents immediately tell me what was wrong with the sign. I realize it's subtle. But the subtlety is what is most wrong with it - it ends up being almost subliminal. A billboard is meant to leave a lasting impression from a 2 second glance.

The impression I get is:

"I'm a dummy and I can't even spell the word "DUMMY" right"

The billboard should show a pitchfork without a grip handle on the shaft; like the old style. Only a dummy at the ad agency that designed this wouldn't have seen this.

Factoids about movie revenue . . .

* Studios (on average) receive 55% of box office ticket revenue and receive an additional 2% in preview advertising + 5% in licensing.

* Some movies generate up to 10% of production costs for advertising and product placement - such as Coca Cola or Dodge automobiles.

* Most movies make an additional 50% of the box office take in video sales and an additional 10% in revenue for television licensing/viewing.

* Cable television and network television have differing licensing deals. Cable television networks usually split advertising revenue with the studios, whereas networks pay a flat (negotiated) fee per showing.

* It is expected that online downloads of movies will generate 10% of production costs for movies (once released for download) by 2010

* Once released on video - a blockbuster usually receives 10% of the original box office take each year for the next few years - this eventually drops to 5%.

* A blockbuster is considered a movie that will gross $150 million or more - meaning that at least 1.5 million of the movie going population has seen a movie.

* Sources: BOXOFFICEMOJO.COM, IMDB.COM, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Macalope Proves: Blogging Is A Qualification To Be Become A Journalist

The Macalope will now blog for CNET for money

Congratulations to the Macalope. Because of his "anonymity" I'm not sure he has a journalism background ... but neither do a lot of the big guys.

I'm just proud to have been one of his roasts.

Honestly.

.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Stan Flack Of MacMinute: Message To Readers.

Publisher's Message to MacMinute Readers:

Dear MacMinute Readers: First of all, thank you for all of your emails of support and concern you sent in last week. I appreciate it. Monday evening I was rushed to emergency and immediately placed in intensive care due to a serious medical issue. After surgery I was heavily sedated for most of the week, and everything happened so quickly I had no opportunity to post a message to the site or make arrangements for the writing staff -- to authorize someone to approve content to be posted. I sincerely apologize to everyone for the gap in our coverage. Something like this has never happened before. I am back on my feet, mostly, and everything should return to normal effective today. Thanks again for your patience and understanding. - Stan Flack, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief.


I'm glad Stan is ok. Anyone who wishes to wish him well - should just visit sponsors on the MACMINUTE.COM website - as I'm sure his inbox has been flooded with, "Where are you's?", "Are you OK's?", and "Glad you are OK's" ...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

AT&T is here

So, I swapped my SIM card into "another phone" this morning - and my network switches in front of my eyes from Cingular to AT&T.

AT&T


I put the SIM card back into my "normal phone" - it says AT&T there too. I looked at a few other "formerly Cingular phones" they were all switched. Pretty cool.

So ... how is the summer box office doing so far? [UPDATED]

Here is a total for all of the blockbuster movies and movies that have become sleeper hits for the Summer of 2007.

All totals as of Monday June 18 2007:

Spiderman 3 Worldwide: $873 million
Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 Worldwide: $821 million
Ocean's 13 Worldwide $137 million
Shrek 3 Worldwide (not in full release yet) $403 million

These four movies cost a total of almost $1 Billion combined to produce.

To date they have earned (combined): +/- $2.3 Billion

This equals a 200% +/- return to movie studios

Disturbia (In US release only) $79 million (cost $25 million)
Knocked Up( In US release only) $90 million (cost $30 million)

These two movies have earned $169 million combined.

The two of them cost $55 million which makes for 300% + return to movie studios

From my observance: there are 5 films that have only earned exactly their money to produce and one film that was a major box office flop: Grindhouse.

The irony is:

The two movies that have had the biggest return; Disturbia and Knocked Up and the movie that has lost the most money this year so far, Grindhouse are inarguably three of best films I have seen this year. None of the blockbuster sequels have been all that memorable (to me at least).

The box office take so far this year has been HUGE - especially if you count The 300 and Blades Of Glory.

We still have 3 major releases to go: Ratatouille, The Transformers & Harry Potter 5 (which will reach 1 billion + guaranteed)

If this happens, the movie industry is on track to have a 20%+ box office increase worldwide this year.

What will the MPAA say? What happened to piracy taking a toll on the movie industry? They've already said it. "The box office would be up 30% if their were no piracy" - which I honestly don't see how that would be possible - people only spend SO much on movies, and the year so far has already stretched budgets pretty thin ... especially with gas prices being high.

* data obtained from boxofficemojo.com

* Studios (on average) receive 55% of box office ticket revenue and receive an additional 2% in preview advertising + 5% in licensing

* Most movies make an additional 50% of the box office take in video sales and an additional 10% in revenue for television licensing/viewing

* A blockbuster is considered a movie that will gross $150 million or more - meaning that at least 1.5 million of the movie going population has seen a movie.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Apple Bluetooth Headset


This headset (as pictured) was approved by the FCC and released on the FCC website today. Looks a lot like the Sony Headset I just mentioned yesterday - hmmm ... you'd almost think I knew something.

You can download the PDF approval letter and diagram from the FCC website here:

http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/forms/blobs/retrieve.cgi?attachment_id=803691&native_or_pdf=pdf

* Warning the above link is a PDF - not a website address.

MacMinute not updating ... As The Apple Turns Finally Not Resolving



While noticing that MacMinute has not updated since June 11, 2007 (it's now the 15th) ... I thought I would type in the As The Apple Turns web address (WWW.APPLETURNS.COM) and noticed that it no longer resolves.

I still have no idea why Jack Miller, ATAT author chose to just disappear without any goodbye or reason. His absence has left a noticeable void in the humor of the Mac Community and weird vibe about his safety/health amongst the fans of his work.

I think there's a strong possibility that Jack Miller is involved with The Fake Steve Blog - and this one of the reasons no one (or not but a very priveledged few) know Fake Steve's identity.

[UPDATE] It appears as if someone read this site and put WWW.APPLETURNS.COM back up. It's getting to be a bad joke now - no updates since October 2005. Why keep it up and why pay for the domain any more?

[UPDATE] Apparently, Stan Flack (Macminute publisher) was critically injured (specifics not discussed) ... he is better now and Macminute is back to a regular update schedule.

[UPDATE] Stan Flack passed away and MacMinute is no more (but not due to the above mentioned health issue). Jack Miller has been located and just dropped all of his readers without anything further to say. Find more details by clicking the As The Apple Turns tag below.

Will I Be Able To Print From The iPhone? Yes ... Maybe!





Will I Be Able To Print From The iPhone?



Since taking a job with AT&T (specifically focusing on iPhone support) the most repeated question I have received other than, "Can I get on a reserve list?" is; "Can I print from the iPhone?"

I have to be honest and say ... I don't know.


But ...

The iPhone does have Bluetooth. I personally own two Bluetooth printers. The first is made by Kodak; a nice Bluetooth photo printer called the EasyShare 500. The second is made by HP; a wireless printer called the 450BT (the current model is the 460wBT). (see pictures below)



* The Kodak EasyShare 500 Bluetooth printer




* The HP 450 Bluetooth printer / Bluetooth is optional




* The HP 460 Bluetooth printer / Bluetooth is built in


I say there is a good possibility that the iPhone will be able to print via Bluetooth. If Apple advertises this as "this isn't the watered down version of the internet" - I say the internet is printable. If they advertise "a phone like no other" - I say the average smartphone is VERY difficult to learn how to print from - if you can print from it at all.

This is one thing I loved about the Newton. If you bought an Apple Stylewriter inkjet printer - boom - you were printing with little to no effort.

If I understand Bluetooth correctly - it is a standard in and of itself - for any type of protocol that it is assigned. Meaning - if a "certain something" has the ability to be paired and/or discovered via bluetooth - then it should work.

I know that with both the Kodak and HP bluetooth printers that I have - I did not have to load any drivers and I do not think the drivers were in my basic OS install for these printers.

I would love to hear reader thoughts on this.

digg story

[ANSWER] NO ... at least not yet.

[UPDATE] One can now print from the iPhone via HP e series wireless printers. These are the ONLY printers officially supported at this time and can be found at most office and electronics stores online and at retail for $75 and up to $399.99.

ALL HACKS that enable this feature on "other printers" require a very complicated setup and require a nearby computer to be turned on and used as a server.

[UPDATE] The latest iPhone OS 5 allows printing.

The iPod: Proliferating sound but destroying the visual arts?


* Picture courtesy of Engadget/David Hockney pictured


As reported by Engadget:

If you've been yearning for controversy, why not meet Mr. David Hockney? Commonly know as "Britain's best-loved living painter," Hockney has suggested that the proliferation of the iPod has been a primary contributor to the recent "fallow period of painting." He insists that today's society is "all about sound," and even mentions that people are turning off their eyes and ignoring contemporary art whilst "plugging their ears." Put simply, he believes the modern "decline in visual awareness" rests heavily on Apple's own cash cow, and further stirred the pot by insinuating that it led to "badly dressed people" who cared not about lines nor mass. As expected, a spokeswoman for Apple Australia refuted the claims, and while we certainly have seen no shortage of brilliant creations since the iPod explosion, there's always two sides to the canvas.


If the iPod has contributed to the lack of "visual art" then why has the iPod itself won design awards? I think it could easily be argued that the beauty and simplicity of design of the iPod actually inspires art and creativity. I know I can't draw or paint without music. My downstairs neighbor is an artist and she plays music just to get inspiration.

This REALLY sounds like a guy who wrote a piece to purposely get attention (using the Dvorak formula).



Ask a blind man if he can describe a scenario to you by hearing something ... close your eyes and listen to music and you "see the music" - even if classical or instrumental - your mind creates a visual.

I often described a sound with a color and vice versa to my blind grandfather. In truth, with the best art, I think it's hard to separate the two.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

How to pair MOST Sony Bluetooth cellphone headsets

*UPDATE September 30, 2013 … yes, this post is 6 years old but still rings true and is one of my highest ranked searches in Google. If this post helped you, please consider going to the right and sending me $1.

I can only assume that the interest in the iPhone will also raise interest in bluetooth headsets (the current bling amongst the "in crowd") and will result in many people having headsets that they will have forgotten how to pair them with their cellphones.


* Sony Ericsson HBH-IV835 Headset

Here are the pair instructions and pairing code for some of the more stylish line of headsets from Sony Ericsson - called the HBH series:
To pair the headset in manually pairing mode:
1. Press both VOLUME BUTTONS, (+) and (-), at the same time for 5 seconds until your hear a beep.
2. The indicator light will now flash red and green, which indicates that the headset is in “Pairing mode”.
3. In the phone, you now have to add the headset to the phone's list of Bluetooth devices. For detailed instructions, click on Product Information/Getting Started in the left hand navigation menu, or use the phone's user guide.
4. You have to enter a Bluetooth passkey in the phone. The default passkey is 0000.
If this helped you out, consider returning the favor ... donate $1 via Paypal ... look to the right of every page.

eBay Bullies Google?


As reported by ComputerWorld

On Monday, Google announced it would throw a party in Boston on Thursday evening designed to attract eBay merchants who would be in town to attend the eBay Live annual seller conference.

The purpose of the party: protesting eBay's decision to forbid merchants in its marketplace from using Google's [Paypal alternative] "Google Checkout" online transaction system.

eBay found Google's move to be in bad taste and, at some point after the party was announced, took the drastic measure of pulling all of its ads from Google's AdWords U.S. network.

A source familiar with the situation said that eBay's decision to turn off the ads had come from the company's top executives who were steaming over what they perceived as a low blow by Google designed to embarrass eBay in front of its top merchants.

It would be hard to disagree with eBay executives' assessment, considering the mocking tone of Google's party announcement , encouraging eBay merchants to gather at the Old South Meeting House, where in 1773 mass protest meetings were held, leading to the Boston Tea Party.

"We’ll use the same spot where revolutionaries launched the Boston Tea Party to celebrate freedom with free food, free drinks, free live music -- even free massages," the official blog posting reads.

Then, this afternoon, Google unexpectedly canceled the party after its officials apparently determined they had gone too far.


I'm very suprised by this ... Google should have let them sweat. I think eBay would have been hurt MORE by not having Adsense directing users to eBay.They would have have been forced to re-evaluate the decision.

It is VERY concerning how much power eBay has over freedom of speech on the internet and even more concerning how they claim all of the fraudulent activity that goes on on their own site - that is "uncontrollable" or "acceptable within a certain tolerance".

I would consider Google the ONLY company capable of giving ebay an attitude adjustment ... this news is a big let down.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mr. Wizard: Don Herbert 1917-2007


Mr. Wizard, Don Herbert passed away today. I attribute a lot of my interest in science and technology to him. I used to wake up early each morning to watch his show on Nickolodeon. It was the first show where I actually saw real people interacting with a real robot (Hero). He was a very honest, sincere man. He will always be a part of my memory.

If you want Apple to be open ... how about being open about your idea?

As reported on Gizmodo

The potential failure of the iPhone as a truly revolutionary platform.




Summary:

The reason: no SDK to harness the true power of Mac OS X and the frameworks contained in Apple's smart cell. From the article: 'According to Apple, "no software developer kit is required for the iPhone." However, the truth is that the lack of an SDK means that there won't be a killer application for the iPhone. It also means the iPhone's potential as an amazing computing and communication platform will never be realized. And because of this and no matter how Apple tries to sell it, the iPhone won't make a revolution happen.


So let's hear your ideas for a killer app for the iPhone ... c'mon, if you want Apple to be open about it, let's hear it. I think the iPhone in and of itself IS THE KILLER APPLICATION of preexisting applications.

I do see the potential for bluetooth GPS - but honestly you should expect that Apple WILL introduce this. I think the potential for web apps is actually pretty amazing - tons of different database applications - just as Apple showed. These programs could easily be charged for through a secure web login as well.

It seems to me that complaining "developers" want to make money from the apps for the iPhone and don't want to cut Apple in on the action. They want FREE and OPEN access. Give it time. You have to understand that opening the iPhone would also open the iPod - this could mean hacks galore for iPods ... something that Apple has been very good at thusfar - securing.

I hate when people complain about not having options then can't think of WHICH options they would want. It's like Democrats claiming the war in Iraq should be fought differently - HOW THEN???!!!

[UPDATE] A cool iPhone App was just released today: OneTrip

...

Journalists blurring the line ... Bloggers blurring the line

As reported by CNet

Blogger from the Courier-Journal of Louisville, KY recently ejected from an NCAA game for live-blogging.

"According to the Courier-Journal, staff blogger Brian Bennett was approached by NCAA officials in the fifth inning of a game between the University of Lousville and Oklahoma State, told that blogging 'from an NCAA championship event "is against NCAA policies (and) we're revoking the (press) credential and need to ask you to leave the stadium."'


This isn't about "blogging". It's about live/near-live coverage of an event by a person with press credentials. This is NO different than someone setting up an announcer's booth within the stadium and broadcasting play by play.

This blogger (who was caught) actually RECEIVED a press badge AND actually received a memo stating the following:

No blogging allowed during the game while present in ANY NCAA arena


Besides, this particular blogger is paid and receives revenue particularly from his blogging/journalism on sports events. This is not some home based blogger that is reporting in the sense of news and news commentary.

Between the litigation that I am in and my case not being dismissed simply for "Fair Use" - rather being dismissed for "News and News Commentary" and things like this - where a credentialed journalist who works for a paper trying to claim "blogging rights" - the lines of journalism are being so complicated that the law itself governing the the medium will be next to impossible to interpret by judges, jurys, and attorneys for many years to come.

A journalist who blogs - blogs - he is NOT a blogger.

A blogger who blogs and does so with the intent to inform or educate/deliver news and news commentary is a journalist blogger.

A blogger who blogs about their personal life without any intent to inform or entertain the average reader - is just a blogger.

A friend of mine made a good point regarding bloggers - the majority of bloggers really just post on personal "MYspace" pages - they mostly write things that only their friends care about and do not promote their stories via any of the news or social news aggregating websites.

Apple distributes Safari for FREE and generates revenue?


This was certainly my most educational bit of news for the week. Shortly after Steve Jobs keynote presentation yesterday, John Gruber posted a recap on Daring Fireball:

It’s not widely publicized, but those integrated search bars in web browser toolbars are revenue generators. When you do a Google search from Safari’s toolbar, Google pays Apple a portion of the ad revenue from the resulting page. (Ever notice the “client=safari” string in the URL query?)

The same goes for Mozilla (and, I presume, just about every other mainstream browser.) According to this report by Ryan Naraine, for example, the Mozilla Foundation earned over $50 million in search engine ad revenue in 2005, mostly from Google.

My somewhat-informed understanding is that Apple is currently generating about $2 million per month from Safari’s Google integration. That’s $25 million per year. If Safari for Windows is even moderately successful, it’s easy to see how that might grow to $100 million per year or more.

There’ve been many attempts to finance app development with advertising; what’s interesting about web browser search engine deals is that browser developers earn money – a lot of it – for ads that users were going to see anyway, just by performing the same search without the built-in integration.


That's awesome for Apple and now that I think about; it makes sense. I honestly thought it was the exact opposite. I thought Apple had to pay Google to license the Google name to place into the search bar and that it actually was a "loss" for Apple to produce Safari.

Apple releasing Safari for the PC seems like a no brainer to me now ... I wonder why Apple didn't do it a year ago?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ocean's 13 Review

I love movies where you like the bad guys. Only the best directors and best casting combine to make "likeable bad guys". The Ocean's 11 movies are examples of great casting and great directing combining to make "likeable bad guys".

In this installment, the Ocean's Gang unites to seek out revenge when a Casino mogul reneges on a partnership with one of the crew.

I hate to keep using this cliche in this summer of trilogies, but this is the 3rd best Ocean's movie in the 3 part series thus far.

This movie chose a slightly different directoral path - by revealing the "how" of the con the entire movie. While there is a very interesting twist at the end, the action comes more from the improvisation and intelligence of the Ocean's Gang in this film.

I particularly liked the odes to Sinatra (who originally played Danny Ocean). I also enjoyed seeing Super Dave Osborne as one of the stars.

In some places the dialogue is a little too wordy and was kind of hard to follow.

You don't really have to have seen the other two for this movie to make sense, but it does help.

I would recommend it, but this one might be a "wait for it on video" release kind of recommendation.

That being said, this is the best of the summer movies that I've seen thus far. I might change my mind once I see Transformers.

The MacTech 25

The MacTech 25


MacTech
has published a list of the 25 Most Influential People in the Mac Community. Most I agree with. Some I don't. Take a look and decide for yourself. It's definitely a good "name with the face" type of article. It gives you a good reference for MacWorld Expo to know who's who.

I would include Larry O' Conner from Other World Computing, Mike Breeden - writer/owner of XLR8YourMac, and most definitely Arnold Kim - owner/founder of MacRumors.com.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Golden Rule, Not The Same As The Biblical Rule With eBay Dropoffs



Found on the eAuction Depot website

OUR FOUNDATION

We consider our foundation a lot like our colors: Blue (Stability) and Orange (Inspirational). Single mom Amy Cooper founded eAuction-Depot after success as an eBay trading assistant. She used her customer service and appraisal skills to open the first eBay drop off store in Augusta, Georgia. She inspired partners with operations, sales, and marketing experience to join the team. Our system was perfected on two more corporate stores, before we launched our franchise concept at an eBay Live convention. Now, eAuction-Depot is offering you a fun opportunity to open a retail store with no expensive inventory to order! You sell your customers' hidden treasures on eBay. You act as a bridge between your clients and about 200 million registered shoppers on eBay. eAuction-Depot is a great investment and a wonderful owner/operator opportunity. We live by our Golden Rule, "Have fun, make money, live your dreams."


I thought the Golden Rule was:

Don't let friends open an eBay Dropoff .... er .... I mean

Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

How can these "eBay Dropoffs" continue to promote these franchise stores like this? It's one of the most deceptive marketing campaigns in recent memory to me.

She used her customer service and appraisal skills to open the first eBay drop off store in Augusta, Georgia. She inspired partners with operations, sales, and marketing experience to join the team.

^ The funny thing is ... none of this experience (as listed above) is what sells items on eBay. It's not knowledge of the item, it's value, or the customer service you provide (as most eBayers are ONE TIME buyers - they AREN'T coming back to you ANYWAY!) - it's all in the way you present the item and in the viral marketing you can promote; which NO eBay dropoff store does that I am aware of.

A small note about eAuction Depot:

They don't own this domain name: http://eauctiondepot.com/

They own this one: http://www.eauction-depot.com/

It's these small details to me that show a total lack of understanding as to how internet commerce works. That dash can DRAMATICALLY mess with search engine results.

Movies That Need To Be Remade Or Need A Sequel: 2001 & 2010



I know Stanley Kubrick fans worldwide will probably flame me for this ... but I honestly think 2010: The Year We Make Contact (directed by Peter Hyams) is better than than the original 2001: A Space Oddessy (directed by Stanley Kubrick).

The visuals from both movies are stunning. All modern filmmakers credit Stanley Kubrick's 2001 as one of the foundations of their career. It's just that Kubrick chose to go a little too far with the existentialism.

All of the unique visuals from 2001 obesessive compulsively created by Kubrick fail to match a scene in 2010 for me though. One of my favorite scenes in a movie, is the awesome visual of Jupiter collapsing in the movie 2010.


* Picture of Jupiter fading from the movie 2010


The movie is also unique in that it is the first documented collaboartion over the internet - in 1982-83 between writer Arthur C. Clarke and Hyams.

Peter Hyams, the director of 2010 has been very selective in what he directs - however, the body of his work includes some of my favorite films: Timecop (starring Jeane Claude Van Damme) and A Sound Of Thunder (starring Ben Kingsley) - both movies contain unique twists on time travel. Both were panned so bad by movie critics that it steered people away from seeing them and giving them the box office they deserved.



A third book, written by Arthur C. Clarke exists for which a 3rd movie could be made titled 2061. The Wikipedia page for 2061 indicates interest from Tom Hanks to star.

With the interest in trilogies - I really would like to see this third installment. I'm not sure if the interest is there though.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Just scratching the Surface?

Daniel Eran writes another masterpiece on his Roughly Drafted website:

Scratching the Surface of Microsoft's New Table PC

It's a great look into the "Xbox-ness" of Microsoft's latest "we did it first, but we'll never do it right" marketing.

Choice quotes:

I can't help but feel like the sudden release of a new product with such a magical aura is simply suspicious.


Run the clock back another decade, and time reveals that Microsoft has an unbroken record of floating an idea, blowing cash at it, renaming it repeatedly to fit it into the most recent marketing push, then leaving it to rot.


Since the box costs $5,000 to $10,000, certainly Ballmer could afford using a Mac. It’s also too hard to resist the Ballmerism, “$10,000 for a PC table? That's the most expensive PC on the planet! And it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard!”

Sunday, June 03, 2007

You should see for yourself ...


The new iPhone TV ads ... Simply amazing! Oh and they give a launch date too!

http://www.apple.com/iphone/ads/


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An F with 2 lines through it is an A+

One of the first assignments I received after returning from Summer vacation to the 4th grade was to write a 500 word essay for the Amana Kitchen Of The Future Sweepstakes. The essay was open to anyone. The contest was simple; write an essay 500 words or less stating why an Amana microwave, Amana double door refridgerator with in door ice & chilled water dispenser, an Amana dishwasher, and an Amana oven with self cleaning and digital timer features would make your home a home of the future and you could win just that!


* Disney's Carousel of Progress modified to represent contest look & feel


Sounds cheesey, right?

If you take a trip down memory lane ... many TV game shows and contests from the 70's and 80's featured appliances as prizes. In the early 80's, a family with a microwave was considered wealthy or fortunate.

My mother often fantasized about having a microwave and how much easier it would be to cook with one. She often clipped microwave recipes from various magazines like Southern Living - in the hopes that ONE day she would be able to use them.

I guess I was interested in this essay contest because my favorite ride at Disneyland was and still is The Carousel of Progress. The Carousel of Progress is the theme park attraction Walt Disney used to first showcase his attraction's robotic actors at Disney theme parks. The attraction features a revolving theater. The audience watches an American family as it experiences technological changes throughout the twentieth century. My family went to Florida (and The Magic Kingdom in Disney World) almost every summer when I was a child. Every time I would want to go to this attraction first! Initially, Epcot was centered around the family from The Carousel of Progress - I was disappointed when I went this past April to see that Epcot had completely abandoned the theme.

__________________________________________


The essay "promotional page" had a family in a modern looking kitchen. The "mother" was depicted smiling as she placed something in the microwave, while the "father" was depicted smiling getting ice from the double door ice dispensing refridgerator. There was a dog on the kitchen floor barking at an Omnibot 2000 robot made by Tomy.

I WANTED THAT ROBOT!


Alas ... the robot WAS NOT part of the contest.

So, I came home and sat down on my bedroom floor and thought long and hard about how I could get the robot. Who cares about Amana appliances?

So I wrote the following:

Dear Amana,

My name is Rusty. That is just my nick name. I am in the 4th grade. The ONLY way my home would be the home of the future is if I had the robot pictured in your contest. My family would smile just like every one in the picture. I would smile alot! Mommy would smile if you gave her the microwave. We already have the other stuff. Thank you.


I turned "my entry" in on a Friday.

The following Monday, I received the paper back marked with:

"F Didn't follow assignment"

I was heartbroken, but not defeated.

I went home, rewrote my entry onto another piece of notebook paper, placed it into an envelope, asked for a stamp, and took it to the mailbox.

I didn't show the grade to my parents.

Four weeks later ... I receive a letter from Amana.

Dear Philip Smith (Rusty),

We received your essay entry for our "Amana: Kitchen Of The Future" Sweepstakes. While your entry did not win the grand prize; a complete Amana kitchen or the first or second prizes; we have chosen to make you an "Honorable Mention" winner. We were touched by the honesty and sincerity of your short but sweet essay. Please accept our congratulations. You will be receiving your prize within 10 business days.

XXXXX XXXXX
Amana Appliances Of America


Five days later ... I received two large boxes. One with the Omnibot 2000 and One Amana microwave for my mother.

My dad was very curious how I had gotten these packages. I decided to come clean about getting an "F" on my paper. My dad was furious! Squinting his eyes angrily, he went to the kitchen, got a red ink pen, and drew a line down from the top of the "F" and another small line through the overhang at the top. He crossed out "Didn't follow assignment"

Something like this:



He said with a stern voice:

"Rusty - take this paper back to your teacher, tell her this is the grade you received. You won the contest. The point of the assignment was to win the contest."


Today, teachers have what is called a PT conference. This stands for Parent-Teacher conference. With my dad, it was ALWAYS a PTPA conference - Parent-Teacher-Principal-Apology conference. This was no exception.

We met with my English teacher and the Principal the following day in the Principal's office.

After a few handshakes and introductions, my dad reiterated once again:

"Forget the content of the letter my son wrote, he won! The purpose of every contest is to win. Rusty did nothing unethical. He won, that's all there is to it. For him to get an "F" is insulting his intelligence and frankly is insulting to mine as well. I was taught that the willingness to stand up for yourself in life is the secret to acheiving success above and beyond your peers. Which of Rusty's peers won this contest? Was there any other child in the state who won anything from this contest?"


I mostly remember open mouths and blank stares at my father and I from the teacher and principal.

My dad concluded the meeting saying,

"Judy will be happy to make you both dinner in our new Amana microwave Rusty won for our family ... she's been clipping recipes for months."


I still have that robot. My mother STILL has the microwave. After 20+ years, neither work. They make great trophies though.

digg story

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Stephen Colbert: Apple REALLY SHOULD send him a free iPhone


As always, Stephen Colbert doesn't disappoint ...

Check out his latest masterpiece:

Stephen Colbert At D: All Things Digital Conference

...

The "SHUT UP" button finally makes it theaters!

Last year I did a story called Do you love movies but hate watching them?"

Regal Cinemas honored me with a reply a few months later saying they may have a solution: "A tattle tale remote".

WCBS TV News in New York is reporting that this past Memorial Day Weekend, the system was finally put into place in a limited number of theaters. The remote allows you to alert theater management to obnoxious movie patrons, film quality issues, and suspected piracy.

All you have to do is press the appropriate button—one for picture, two for sound, three for piracy, and the last for "other disturbance"— and supposedly an usher will "respond".

Best of all, the users say they won't identify the person who pressed the alert - good because I have felt like I was going to be jumped after the movie several times after reporting annoying people.