Friday, February 29, 2008

PayPal/eBay Say That Apple's Safari Web Browser Isn't A Good Choice

From the article on Yahoo! Business:

Safari doesn't make PayPal's list of recommended browsers because it doesn't have two important anti-phishing security features, according to Michael Barrett, PayPal's chief information security officer.

"Apple, unfortunately, is lagging behind what they need to do, to protect their customers," Barrett said in an interview. "Our recommendation at this point, to our customers, is use Internet Explorer 7 or 8 when it comes out, or Firefox 2 or Firefox 3, or indeed Opera."

Safari is the default browser on Apple's Macintosh computers and the iPhone, but it is also available for the PC.

Quote: When it comes to fighting phishing, "Safari has got nothing in terms of security support, only SSL (Secure Sockets Layer encryption), that's it," he said. Apple representatives weren't immediately available to comment on this story.

Opera, IE, and Firefox are "safer, precisely because we think they are safer for the average consumer," he added. "I'd love to say that Safari was a safer browser, but at this point it isn't."


Link to full article


---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------



Ummm ... ok. No where does this article mention what problems PayPal or eBay have seen as a result of this.

This line kinda made me laugh:

"... safer, precisely because we think they are safer for the average consumer."


Microsoft says they have the best operating system, best MP3 player, and best gaming console - I suppose by that logic ... they are the best because THEY SAY SO!

Apple ... should they buy back stock or give a stock dividend?

Shareholders certainly have shared in Apple's success over the years. The stock topped out at $199.83 on Dec. 28, an almost 19-fold increase over five years. Yet the growth in the company's cash hoard is starting to make people wonder, What exactly will Apple do with all that money?

---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------



Apple's stock however has been down over the past month - as low as $117.50 per share. Today's price (@ 12PM EST Feb 29 2008) is $127.23. This represents almost a $50 billion difference from the December 28th high. Rather than a dividend, I'm hoping that Apple will be more aggressive with placing Apple stores in more areas AND instead of leasing space will start to buy actual real estate.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Understanding eBay's New No Negatives For Paying Buyer's Policy

-


I have to admit that when I first heard of eBay changing the feedback where paying buyers could not be left negative feedback - at first I hated it.

But I also have to admit that the feedback system on eBay is/was broken. It used to be the best system PERIOD for finding good / reliable buyers and sellers - but now it's turned into a haven for the picayune critics and a blessing for ill tempered "take no blame" retaliators.

Let me make this a more interesting story by saying that my birthday was February 23. So begin your violins for me.

A few days ago I posted negative feedback and a followup (below) after a situation occurred:

Here is the feedback I received on February 12 2008 (and then it's followup a few days ago):

+Great eBayer..fast payment, thanks so much for your purchase!! posted Feb-12-08 19:45

Follow-up by seller (Feb-22-08 05:56):
BUYER UPSET DUE TO USPS PROBLEM, LEFT UNCALLED FOR NEGATIVE FEEDBACK, REAL NICE

Reply by me (the buyer) (Feb-27-08 06:22):
WON Jan 31/Seller said mailed Feb 7/not mailed until Paypal complaint on Feb 19

Here is the feedback comment I left when I found out the USPS tracking # was invalid:

- Won & paid Jan 31 / no show by Feb 21 / no response 2 paypal dispute or 3 emails

Seller (followup) Feb-21-08 09:53
Item was mailed on Jan. 7th, I have reciept to verify, USPS problem, not ours.

Follow-up by me (the buyer) (Feb-22-08 06:27):
Obvious lie/How could it B shipped 1 month B4 payment? Package shows Feb 19 ship

Mailed to the seller:

My package says mailed on February 19. I made the PayPal complaint on February 19. The package arrived 3 days AFTER the Paypal complaint. I paid on January 31 ... so in all honestly - even mailing it out on Feb 5, 6, or 7 was late. Your story changed YET AGAIN - before your claim was that my pacjage was mailed out on the 7th, then it was the 6th, now it's the 5th. You also had some cockamamie story (and it could very well be true, but in my eyes another excuse) that your son being hospitalized for a week BEFORE the shipment prevented you from shipping out. Once I made the Paypal complaint, I received my package promptly. I was VERY careful about leaving you feedback and I realize feedback is important - but NONE of the stories you told me were consistent - not even your followup feedback which stated it was shipped on January 7th.


From my seller:

(I fixed a lot of bad grammar and punctuation to make it readable)

I don't appreciate being called a liar, if I had something I was not being truthful about I would certainly admit to it.

As I have continually stated I printed the postage for that on the 5th of February, as the records show when you pull up the information on ebay.

I then dropped it off with many other packages on the 6th of February.

I take my packages to the back door of the post office since I tend to have large ones as well, and I drop them off and they run them through after that.

Now I have just moved, which is causing some issues, with my mail and my PayPal as you so politely pointed out..and PayPal fax dept is on a backlog of 11 to 15 days, so that is taking way to much time.

As far as the post office, I am not certain what the whole issue is, but I have two other boxes dropped off at the same time that are still not delivered and nobody seems to know where they are.

So I have had to refund others and still do not have the item back.

So before you jump to what you THINK you know to be true, you may want to inquire. As stated you can review when I did the label on ebay direct.

And you can also see by my feedback that I have NEVER had any other issues before this

So thats why the comments on feedback, my feedback is very important to me, and had I not left you one already I would have returned the favor of the negative.

Guess that just teaches me to give it a longer waiting period next time

Thanks so much for your understanding with this whole situation!!!


More from my seller (previously):

(posted exactly as typed)

The items were droped in the mail on like the 6th.

You just sent me the emails questioning in the past week, and i had my son at the emergency room twice last week, tues and friday.

So i was a bit tied up with him and paypal has me on probation because i just moved an needed to change all of my account and bank info and as such i had to verify that i am who i am by sending in documents to them and there fax department is 11 days behind schedule so i cant even access the funds to cover shipping cost of other auctions. so again, sorry for your wait


___________________________________


The fact is I am very understanding and I know (as a seller myself) that I can have wild weird crazy weeks. But not a single story this person gave me matched up and therefore at least some of it seemed to be a lie. This person is obviously SO CONFUSED at the moment that she should not have listed on eBay if all this trauma was happening BUT EVEN IF ALL THIS WAS TRULY happening exactly as she said she should have mailed all her buyers and explained. I had emailed her 3 times with no response - I only got these responses AFTER making a Paypal claim.

Any thoughts?

Vista Capable Sticker Suit Gets Class Action Seal


As reported by Engadget:

Vista Capable sticker lawsuit gets class-action status

It looks like that little lawsuit over "Vista Capable" stickers on PCs could now be about to get quite a bit bigger, as a federal judge has now bestowed class-action status on the suit, which accuses Microsoft of misleading marketing. More specifically, as the AP reports, the suit alleges that the "Vista Capable" stickers slapped on PCs during the 2006 holiday season created an "artificial demand" for the computers, and "inflated prices for computers that couldn't be upgraded to the full-featured version of Vista." As we've seen, those stickers even took in at least one higher-up at Microsoft itself, who has made his thoughts on the program quite well known. While things are still obviously in the early stages, the law firm that filed the suit is now looking for others that feel they've been burned by the stickers.


----- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY -----


My experience is - even the computers that have Windows Vista preloaded are "incapable" of running it. I don't know a SINGLE Windows user that has NOT downgraded back to XP!

I had feared that Apple would be subject to a lawsuit like this some time ago with the transition (and death) from the OS 9 Classic environment. Many software boxes (still in stores as budget titles) say, "OS 9 or higher" as a requirement - when in fact; they won't work at all with Intel Macs or Leopard.

Lawyer Eats Family Dog In Front Of Children


This is just horrible ... and would have been fun to watch at the same time. I feel bad for the kids ... but as a kid I would have LOVED TO see this ... how sick & twisted of me? Yes!

Read the FULL story here


I posted this story last year:

I just heard a great story:


A boy encountered a rattlesnake in the woods. It was a cold day and the rattlesnake pleaded with the boy to pick him up and place him inside his shirt next to his body so that he could get warm. The boy said, "If I pick you up, you will bite me." The snake told the boy that if he would only get him warmed up he would not bite. The boy relented and put the snake inside his shirt to get him warm. Once the snake was warmed he bit the boy. The horrified boy said, "Mr. Snake, I thought that we had a deal. I warmed you up after you promised not to bite me and this is the repayment that I get." The snake replied, "But you knew what I was when you picked me up."


The lesson learned is, "Once a snake, always a snake"

I can modify that a bit:

A boy encountered a snake in the woods. It was a cold day and the snake pleaded with the boy to pick him up and place him inside his shirt next to his body so that he could get warm. The boy said, "If I pick you up, you will bite me." The snake told the boy that if he would only get him warmed up he would not bite. The boy relented and put the snake inside his shirt to get him warm. Once the snake was warmed he started to strangle the boy. The boy said with his last breath through his lungs, "Mr. Snake, I thought that we had a deal. I warmed you up after you promised not to hurt me and this is the repayment that I get." The snake replied, "Did I agree not to hurt you or not bite you?" And the snake tightened.


The lesson learned is, "Never trust a lawyer!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Fix (kinda) For The PowerBook G4 Lower Memory RAM Slot Not Working



An XLR8YourMac reader may have found a solution to some PowerBook G4 models not seeing the lower RAM slot (albeit a very clunky solution):

The lower memory slot on the PowerBook G4 is not fried. It was tested by starting up with a single DIMM in the lower slot. However, it still will not recognize the lower DIMM if there is memory in both the upper & lower slots. This may be different to what others are experiencing, so your mileage may vary.

* THIS INVOLVES THE USAGE OF OPEN FIRMWARE, YOU COULD PERMANENTLY DAMAGE YOUR MACHINE FOLLOWING THIS PRODECURE, SO PERFORM AT YOUR OWN RISK *

[The Powerbook G4] is physically detecting the RAM in Open Firmware ... simply not mapping it to any address space.

Logic dictates that if the ram isn't properly mapped to an address, it will not be visible in Mac OSX. [You can] artificially reduce the size of your system RAM in open firmware by changing these mappings.

1) A note about module sizes. sizes appear to be in hex.
- 10000000 = 256mb
- 20000000 = 512mb
- 40000000 = 1gb
- and so forth...

You need to use the sizes above to map your RAM to relavent address space.

2) Next boot into open firmware. Do this by holding cmd+opt+o+f just after the boot chime of your Mac.

3) This will bring you to the white open firmware prompt "0>".

From here you need to navigate to the memory device tree by typing: 0>dev/memory

4) To display the details about the current memory mappings type:

0>.properties



5) This is an example of how you can map a PowerBook's memory modules to a different address space.

0> 0 encode-int 10000000 encode-int encode+
2> 10000000 encode-int 40000000 encode-int encode+
4> encode+
2> " reg" delete-property
2> " reg" property
0> mac-boot

The first line loads onto the Open Firmware stack - the location of the 1st memory module. In this case it starts at address space 0 and is 10000000 (256mb) in size.

The second [command] loads the 2nd (lower) memory module onto the stack starting at address 10000000 (directly after the first upper module) and is 40000000 (1gb) in size.

The third line encodes the two lines above together on the stack.

The fourth line deletes the current address space mappings (the contents of the " reg" property).

The fifth pops the new memory mappings off the stack and onto the " reg" property.

Finally, the last line, starts the boot process for your Mac.

Check system profiler - both DIMMs should be registering now.

... it is not persistant, when you reboot your machine these mappings will be lost and you will be back to square one.


---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


XLR8YourMac is a favorite site of mine ... but it is really clunky to navigate or link to articles there ... Mike Breeden (XLR8YourMac's author) also doesn't edit ANY of his posts for grammar or proper punctuation - thus the reason for the repost with a substantial number of corrections.

I've had this happen to a number of my clients on their PowerBook G4s. I doubt I would do this as a solution as a tech, but rather inform the customer of the potential "jigger".

This really should be addressed by Apple now that someone has discovered this issue - a lot of Apple insiders read XLR8YourMac so I imagine now that they see the problem there is the possibility of it being addressed in a firmware update. I'll also monitor XLR8YourMac for a possible "better reader solution".

LoJack security for your iPhone

Free new software tweets your iPhone's location at scheduled intervals. Use a private account to keep tabs on your iPhone incase it's lost or stolen. Or use a public account with quicker updates to track your travel across the country.

read more | digg story

NOTE: Apple released iPhone Software Update 1.1.4 on Feb 26 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs That Have Lost Ethernet Port Functionality / Save A Costly Motherboard Repair



** NOW W/ FREE SHIPPING IN USA **

THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET WIRED ETHERNET ON THE NEW MACBOOK AIR! (That will also work on any other Mac!)

EXCLUSIVE USB To Ethernet Adapter


Save a costly motherboard repair for your Apple All In One iMac or 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.

EXCLUSIVE - I also 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

PLEASE EMAIL ME with any questions or for OS 9 compatibility ...

This adapter ONLY works with all updates applied on Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) or Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and All versions of Windows that support USB

Note: this adapter does not work with OS 8.6 - 9.2.2 or 10 , or 10.1 , or 10.2

Best compatibility and guaranteed to work with Panther, Tiger, Leopard, 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! Look at my feedback (I have each item labelled). I have sold nearly 1500 of these over the last year!

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

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

These adapters are BRAND NEW

Quote for the day

From the Bible / Luke Chapter 12 verses 2-3:

2There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered will be proclaimed from the roofs.

iPhone Signal Amplifier

I clicked on an advertisement that appeared on my website (under Google ADsense) for a signal amplifier for the Apple iPhone. They had this diagram of the antenna system on their website that I found interesting to see:

Wireless broadband and get rid of cable?

An interesting question was posed to the SlashDot:

"I've been hearing more and more about mobile broadband offered by the big wireless phone providers, and for the first time came to ask myself how it compares to using a wireless router. Since my wife and I both have laptops, and we're out a lot, would it be wise and/or worth it to do away with the standard cable-modem-plus-router setup and switch over to mobile broadband with (for example) AT&T or Sprint? I'm not really concerned about the cost of the PC cards themselves; they're not much more expensive than a decent router. Also, the cost of the wireless service per month is only (roughly) ten dollars more than my current ISP is charging me. Is it a good idea?"


Link to discussion: http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/22/0433248


---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


I have personally switched to AT&T 3G wireless broadband with a Sierra Wireless 881U USB adapter. I love it. I was able to dump Charter cable and the liberation feels great. Charter is the worst run company in the HISTORY OF BUSINESS in my opinion.

I'll be doing a review soon of the AT&T 3G service and the Sierra Wireless 881U USB modem that will also include an easy way to add 3G to ANY iPhone!

eBay Seller Strike ineffective and YOU don't care!

According to the most recent poll ... many of you either didn't hear about last week's eBay seller strike and 20% of you don't even use eBay AND don't care.

Obviously ... the seller strike was ineffective ... eBay only saw a small dip in listings over the week.

My opinion of the seller strike is that ... yeah the recent eBay changes suck, but they are a move in the right direction. The strike seemed to stem mostly from eBay's competition convincing a few sellers with blogs to post untrue posts like this one that I analyzed in my eBay blog:

Be very careful when considering a boycott & jumping on an ineffective bandwagon.

Read my research:

Two of the bloggers that responded negatively - promote the "bigcrumbs" pyramid scheme marketing. BIGCRUMBS.COM is currently being sued by eBay because they share affilaite revenue which is outside the terms and conditions of eBay. What many people don't know is that you can earn A LOT more money by signing up directly as an affiliate with eBay YOURSELF!!

One of the bloggers that responded negatively to my post promotes POWERSELLERS UNITE ...

* The site: http://www.powersellersunite.com/auctionsitewatch.php (PowerSellers Unite) is maintained by iOFFER.COM (that's why they are #2 on that list). Almost all of the iPods offered on the site are fake and are ACTUALLY iOFFER employees listings.

MANY iOFFER.COM employees have eBay accounts and MANY of them regularly diss eBay across the net. (Possibly in these blogs very subtly)

* I want to make it clear that I'm not accusing ANY blogger of actually being the competiton (although it IS possible) ... just know that the sources where some of these bloggers GET their information have an interest in ebay's demise and some of the bloggers seem to fall easily for scams.

So be careful who you follow and whose information you find engaging.

I just finished reading a VERY misleading and misinformed vitriolic blog entry by a blogger named SWEET_HALAPENA.

She/He deleted my comment so I thought I would post my own blog entry:

1) The post is filled with curse words yet ends with "God Bless" - very hypocritical. The cursing adds neither emphasis or education to this entry.

2) The blogger claimed that eBay could make us happy by offering FREE or REDUCED listings days. eBay offered such savings 214 days out of 365 last year!

3) eBay is at least trying. Encouraging small sellers to boycott could have ramifications beyond the intentions of the post. Most small sellers DEPEND greatly on the income they receive from eBay ... because they want to be a part of some fictitious and ineffective boycott may cost them more than just income.

4) The more effective way to get things done is get your voice heard. Be resourceful. Write to auctionbytes.com editors, eBay execs. Call your local news stations with a good story.

FROM the entry:

"Smarter sellers will steal your customers while you're Boycotting."

A: Too ridiculous and malicious to even seriously consider, since only an idiot would follow this line of opportunist thinking. Good, healthy businesses are built on the strengths of their own platforms, and not on the weaknesses of others. Goofy statements from transparent people who are obviously not sellers but predatory exploiters. Not a particularly desirable business model in any event.

Absolutely untrue. I sell exclusive TO ME AND ME ONLY eBay items. If I stopped selling them and stopped aggressively questioning and ending fake or imitation auctions SOMEONE WOULD STEP RIGHT IN and start selling them. I have my own website to sell them and I have a VERY high traffic blog. I only sell 3 a month from those sources, whereas on eBay I sell on average 75 a month!


Most of the changes were to punish bad eBay sellers and reward good ones - which is something I like. The eBay feedback system is the best around for online transaction safety BUT it had become broken and was long overdue for a change. It will be interesting to see if eBay will tweak the changes and fees further over the coming months.

Speed Trap Listings By State & City


A friend of mine tipped me to this database ...

SPEEDTRAP.ORG : Speed Trap Database

Some areas in your area you can definitely say "yep" to and there are others you may not have known of. You can also add your own speed trap areas.

This is also a good reference for court evidence as some cities have made a speed traps illegal for law enforcement to set up. If this applies to your city - check this database and use it as court evidence.

Buy an HD DVD player because ...

You know I kinda had a feeling that Blu-Ray would win out from the beginning. Apple joined the Blu-Ray alliance from the start but has thus far chosen not to add the technology as standard equipment (and I don't think as an option either). Many criticized Apple for not giving the Blu-Ray reading or writing capability but I can certainly see why they waited it out.

From SlashDot:

"Are you one of the few who boarded the HD-DVD Titanic ship headed to the bottom of ocean to join BetaMax? Fret no longer, friend, simply convert those and pretend like you never invested in the wrong technology! All you need is a Windows machine with a fast processor, an HD-DVD drive, a Blu-Ray burner, 30GB of free disk space, at least, though 40GB or more is recommended and an internet connection to download the software! Or you can sit and be the crazy guy who continues to argue that HD-DVD is the superior technology whether it's true or not."

TouchPad For iPhone



This is pretty amazing to see. There will be a lot of "interface control" apps like this with the SDK. Digidesign has an amazing "slider control" app that will be released very soon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

AT&T offers unlimited plan, includes Apple iPhone

"Quickly following a similar move by Verizon, cellular carrier AT&T today said it would introduce an unlimited plan of its own. The $100 monthly agreement allows subscribers to call anywhere within the US without the long distance or roaming charges that normally come with service, regardless of the length of the call.

read more | digg story

The plan will not be available until Friday February 22nd so DO NOT CALL to change your plan until then. When I called, the AT&T sales line was completely jammed and I had to wait 15 minutes. Usual wait time is less than 3 minutes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

eBay Allowing Church Of Scientology To Delete Auctions Of Used eMeters

As reported on SlashDot:

"The Church of Scientology can delete auctions from eBay with no supervision under the VeRO program, and has used this to delete all resale of the e-meters Scientologists use. This is to stop members from buying used units from ex-members instead of buying from the official (and very expensive) source. Given Scientology's record of fraud and abuse, should eBay give them this level of trust? Will this set a precedent for other companies that want to stop the aftermarket resale of their products?"

Wow ... Tiny Code Admits Lying To Readers Of MacRumors

Unbelievable post on MacRumors:
(Via a reader tip)


Hey Guys,
It's finally time I just come out and say it; I lied.

Tiny-Code never had any relations with Apple, Inc. or any other division of Apple. Never had the new firmware or any pre-SDK pack. Certainly never signed any NDA.

I find it interesting that a simple joke on the front of a minor at best Installer.app repo can cause so many wakes.
It is equivocally funny that a simple re-enforcement of the page by me posted earlier stating I had been "reprimanded" by Apple could throw it even more into believability.To top it all off, a simple redirection of the domain to Apple's iPhone Developer center would cause so many theories as to why that is so when it was to just stop the "where did it go" questions.

All of it should teach everyone at these rumor sites WWWide to not trust anything that did NOT come from the mouth of Apple.
8 lines of text were published on Friday, by Sunday those lines of text are one of the biggest talked about and debated lines of text across Apple related internet sites.

This goes to prove anyone can register a domain one week and less than two later be believed, talked about, debated over, defended, ratted on, bashed, requested to be interviewed on DowJones Newswire and everything else under the sun. The power of the internet is amazing.

I do however wish to make a few apologies because I never actually planned for anyone to give a flying **** about my page or what was on it, let alone make it so popular.

To Apple, Incorporated:

I duly apologize for any confusion I may have caused amongst your ranks attempting to figure out if Tiny-Code or KellyTM belonged to any of the developers you did in fact release firmware to.

I duly apologize for time wasted if anyone at Apple was called in to discuss what was released over a weekend when you should have been off.

To Developers out there:

I apologize for possibly making obtaining pre-release firmware harder to obtain in the future and possibly discrediting any of you in the process.

To MacRumors & other websites publishing information & threads based on what was found on my site:

I apologize you have wasted your time and front-page space on nothing but a made up joke filled with a lie.

I apologize for the time you spent creating your reports and articles and time you will spend writing an article about this.

To Everyone who defended me:

Thank you for your defense and had this not been a lie, you would have been defending someone and that is a good thing, be proud.

I apologize it wasn't truth.

To everyone who bashed me:
well, lol, I can't really apologize to you.

As for the up-side of this:

Rumor sites such as this, Apple Insider, etc, you will have to learn, things like this happen, and you should verify or attempt to credit things said on domains with no more than two pages.

Overall I just apologize. I do not expect forgiveness and I definitely understand the posts following this to be nothing more than bashing. Just know than when I posted that information I had no intention for attention or otherwise, it was simply an excuse to stop publishing to the repo; seemed like a good one at the time.

Sincerest Apologies,
KellyTM/Tiny-Code Developer


---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


I'll say again ... this is one of the MANY reasons Apple has been reluctant to release an SDK for its specialized products like the iPod and iPhone. And ... what a jerk for the last apology. Apple should litigate for false representation.

Apple could ... but Apple isn't.


Douglas McIntyre (from Wall St 24/7) advice on how Apple could raise its stock price back to $200:

The next thing the company needs to do is set the date for a release of the 3G version of the iPhone. Citigroup’s research analyst covering Apple says to look for that announcement in the next two quarters. But, Apple almost certainly already knows the timetable. If the iPhone has an Achilles heel it is that it runs on a slow data network which handicaps users. A 3G version which would run on AT&T’s high-speed network would almost certainly lift iPhone sales and get people who currently own the handset to upgrade.



---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


Apple will not release a 3G iPhone until at least 75% of the LAND AREA in the United States is covered and that won't happen (completely) until March 25th 2008 with more towers (and upgraded towers) going up until June 2008. My towers were suppose to be up by September of 2007 - proving that there is always the chance of delays. What if Apple announced a 3G iPhone and people delayed their purchase only to not be able to use it in most areas of the country. Why would Apple do that when the EDGE chips are less expensive and currently less power hungry?

My cellphone market is currently the largest per capita in the United States - WE DO NO HAVE GSM / AT&T 3G service here. Basically - only large cities have 3G. The first thing to come out of a 3G iPhone user's mouth when not in a 3G covered area, will be: "I though the internet was suppose to be fast under that 3G internet - maybe my iPhone is broken, I better call Apple!" Apple considers that people experiencing EDGE data rates while having a 3G iPhone will cause a customer service nightmare - I agree!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tiny Code A Tiny Bit Stupid

Over the past few days I've been following the iPhone SDK pre-release talk on MacRumors and found this drama rather interesting:

From MacRumors:


[Tiny posts on their website]

Tiny Code no longer produces fixes or applications for firmware 1.1.3. We can't say much, but we are working with Apple and with their SDK for the next firmware release and SDK applications and we shouldn't be missed for long. We will no longer update our Installer.app repo for legality reasons and you should see us soon on iTunes.


The side bar also lists "targetting fw 1.1.4 Alpha 2", though we would hope that a planned February release would have progressed beyond Alpha stage by now.

Update: Comments from the Tiny-Code developer:

Yes, Tiny-Code.com was ordered to be removed from operation by Apple, Inc because by releasing firmware versions and stating I had possession of the firmware and SDK was apparently a violation of the Non-Disclosure Agreement I agreed to when I accepted a copy of the SDK and firmware.


---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


The guys that do this sort of thing only prove why Apple is reluctant to release unapproved development kits for it's specialized products like the iPhone and iPod.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Google iPhone usage shocks search giant


Google on Wednesday said it has seen 50 times more search requests coming from Apple iPhones than any other mobile handset -- a revelation so astonishing that the company originally suspected it had made an error culling its own data.

read more | digg story

FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY


I make 20-30 searches EVERY day from my iPhone. I love to verify facts I hear or to research things I talk about in my conversations. I'm slowly but surely turning into the next Ken Jennings because of my iPhone!

iPhones, Schematics Stolen From Chinese Factory?

Some gray-market iPhones for sale in China may have been STOLEN FROM THE CHINESE FACTORY where iPhones are made for Apple. A distributor claims his source for stolen iPhones showed him stolen internal Apple documents that include iPhone schematics.

read more | digg story

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Problems With Together Dating: Together: Let Us Introduce You, Seduce You, Bruise You, Refuse You


Together®: Let Us Seduce You




"True love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly." ~ Jason Jordan


And so goes the principal behind most dating services. Dating services rely on the promise of poetry and the power of statistics. I truly believe the perfect person is out there for every individual. I also think that having ANYTHING in common isn't necessarily a qualifier for finding true love. I know many a military man that has married a woman who can't speak any English, grew up in dire poverty, and is a completely different person than they had ever been with before. It's actually what you don't have in common that makes or breaks a relationship. As an example, age has never meant much to me. I have dated women up to 8 years younger than me, the same general age as me, and up to 21 years older than me. I had more in common with the one who is 21 years older than with most of the women who were the same age or younger. We had completely different backgrounds, spiritual concepts, and attitudes - yet we got along. That's why I would say that:

"True love isn't easy to find and one is really only lucky if they find it through a dating or matching service ... but luck is common"


------- Together®: Let Us Seduce You -------


Together makes the claim on their "junk mail brochure":

"Over the years, our team has been responsible for thousands of relationships and marriages of quality singles.


The truth is, many marriages (and I would expect the same percentage) have resulted from random grocery store cart bumps, barhopping, traffic accidents, and possibly even funerals. The point is, dating services have NO better chance of helping you find that special someone than you would have on your own.

Know what you are asking Together® to do for you, "FORCE someone to go on a date with you." This is unlike any of the online matching services - where people have the option of meeting you or not.

You have a better opportunity of finding someone who is appealing through a self paced "browse" method. Think of searching for someone, like you would, trying to find a good tomato at a grocery store. Do you just pick any tomato laying there? Or do you inspect each one carefully? Do you send someone who doesn't know you at all to go do your grocery store shopping? Do you send someone who won't be eating the tomato if they don't know you?

"But wait!" (you're saying) ... "The purpose of Together® is to help me find someone because I don't know how to find anyone. I'm too busy, I'm isolated in my job, and I don't do the bar scene"

Well that is Together's perceived intention. The purpose of Together® is actually to make as much money as possible without any regard to you or your love life whatsoever. Are you saying that you won't fall right back into that "too busy, job isolated, no getting out pattern" once you get comfortable in your relationship? Shame on you. YOU are not ready for love if this is your philosophy.

Together relies on the simple inevitability of statistics that you will find someone they introduce you to. They do no more actual legwork than your your average website personals like eHarmony, MATCH.COM, or Yahoo Personals. Yet here's the difference: Online personals average $30 a month with simple refund or cancellation policies. They have so much competition that they cannot afford a single bad review of their site. Together®, who has minimal competition, costs a minimum of $2500 with no refunds or cancellations. If you find someone with Together® you don't receive a partial refund (even though you pay for blocks of dates) and you are out thousands of dollars.

Their claim is;

What is the price of love?"


The idiocy of that statement is that the MAJORITY of the people who are at Together® are also on MATCH.COM or another online personal site for $2470 less!!

_______________________________


Together® lists 6 reasons to join:
(commentary below each)

WE'LL INCREASE YOUR EXPOSURE.
"We reach millions of people in our relationship search, so you can meet people you'd never be able to meet on your own."

Millions more are on MATCH.COM ... far fewer people have $3000 dollars lying around to go to Together®. (This first "reason to join" will seem very ironic once I tell my personal story about Together®.)


YOU'LL FEEL SAFER "We place a high premium on safety; therefore, we're choosy about the members we accept. We meet everyone in person and conduct background checks on all members so you can feel more secure about the people you meet."

For the money that you pay Together® you (and each member) should get a lie detector test. Nothing prevents a member from lying about anything. Together makes little to no attempt to verify marriage or authenticity of a driver's license. Together® is therefore no more secure than a wise man is with a flashlight in an abandoned house.


YOU CAN END ONLINE DATING "Burnout" "Finding someone special is easy and comfortable with Together®. You can stop surfing the internet and playing the "Dating Deception" game.

Finding someone special is actually hard. There is nothing gratifying or confidence building by Together's method of matchmaking.


YOU CAN HAVE FUN "We've done all the hard work so you can have all the fun."

Ask my friend how much fun it was for her to be introduced to a married man, someone who was 4 years outside her preferred age range, and then go through a Better Business Bureau mediation, be insulted and humiliated in front of a number of individuals about the service, AND to lose almost $2700.00.


YOU SAVE TIME "We know life can be hectic. We designed our system to save busy people time, energy, and effort."

If you don't have the time, energy, and effort for finding someone ... you soon won't have the time, energy, or effort to maintain a relationship with them. I've always looked at effort with this analogy. Which card would your mother like better, the card from Hallmark that you spent five minutes driving to the local Walgreen's, two minutes picking out, another five minutes driving home, and one minute filling out, OR would she like a piece of paper folded in half with a drawing of you and her (stick figures) and a heart on the front of the home made card and a simple "I love you MOM" on the inside - also taking 15 minutes of your time?

Saving time & energy should never be in the same sentence with the word "effort". <-- Except here of course.

Lastly, the homemade card cost you almost nothing ... what did you spend on the gas, time, and money for the store bought card?





Together®: Let Us Bruise You


Before I begin with Part II I want to start off with a disclaimer.

Disclaimer:

* The following experience was given to me by a friend with whom I trust was giving me completely accurate information about Together Dating® in Greenville, South Carolina. I was involved ONLY in the resolution process for which this friend came to me for help. I stand by my decisions for resolution and believe the local franchise of Together Dating® to be a very poorly run business. I am in no way romantically involved with the person mentioned in this story. I have considered Together Dating® in the past and passed on their match making services. I have also conducted an interview with friends who have used the service. Together Dating® is a franchised business and your local branch may vary from this experience significantly.


Friends come to me for help. In fact, friends of my enemies come to me for help. They know that I can usually help them solve a problem - I am a problem solver.

It was difficult for me to handle this particular problem because I knew the person very well that was involved in the experience I'm about to relate to you. How well did I know this person? I had dated her two years prior. She IS the 21 years older than me woman that I mentioned in Part I of this story. It was even more difficult to help her as I have finally met the woman of my dreams and it's rather impossible for there not to be some conflict of interest with me helping a former girlfriend with a dating service issue - but I did just that and I hope to be able to tell you how to resolve a horrible experience with Together Dating® if you experience the same ... so please read the following story carefully.

Some time around March of 2007 a friend of mine, who (IMHO) is an extremely poor manager of money, decided to respond to a local advertisement for Together®.

From a Together® PR piece at Online Personals Watch:

How much are memberships?

Together CEO Paul Falzone: I can’t dictate what my franchisees charge but everybody is basically in the same ballpark. Smaller towns in the Midwest may not charge as much, but the programs start at around $2,000 to $3,000 and go up to $6,000 to $7,000.


Why would I bother to mention my friend is a poor manager of money? She COULD NOT afford the service, yet she went in with the assumption that ANYONE who could afford the service must be well off. Her interview with Together® consisted mostly of a high pressure sales pitch reinforcing lowering your expectations and dating criteria AND reinforcing the statement,

"What is the price of love?"


She ended up signing up for a $2700 contract and placing the entire charge on her credit card.

My friend is an attractive 54 year old woman. Her criteria was a single, widowed, or divorced man with an age range of 45-55 years old. She was prodded multiple times that if she just extended her age range to 60, she would have several more opportunities available. She resisted twice and caved on the third time she was pressured*.

*A matchmaking service making you feel like you are buying a car?

She came from the interview even more nervous about dating than when she had walked in.

The Together® process is rather simple:

1) They match you with people within a Together® database. (Both parties having forked over $2000+)

2) They mail you a profile. You have 3 days from the date of the profile mailing to accept or reject a date with that profile. At this point you are also promised a phone call 24 hours in advance of a date.

3) If you go on the date you "rate it" by a form that you are given and can reject a second date or choose to move further.


Her preferred age range was 45-55 years old - her DEMANDED criteria was Single, Widowed, or Divorced.

Remember, as pressured, she moved to age 60.

Before her first "introduction" she was not notified by mail as promised. She received no information about him as contractually promised. After receiving the information, she wished to cancel but had already set up a second date. Together® encouraged her not to cancel and to go ahead with the 2nd date. By paper work and details revealed by her second date with her first "introduction" she found out the details: The gentleman she was matched with was

SEPARATED and AGED 61!!


Her confidence with Together® was immediately lowered, but my friend is a very peace loving person - she decided to go on the date anyway.

The date was pleasant, but could not possibly be a match because of her Christian values - dating a married man was simply out of the question. In my mind, ANY form of separation (even "legal separation") is STILL married.

My friend was sent no other dates for 3 months.

She contacted me and asked for my help. After hearing her story, I could clearly see that this was a severe breach of contract by Together®. I suggested contacting them and asking for a refund. The ONLY response received was:

Paraphrased, "You signed a contract in several places and are bound to it with no refunds"

I reassured my friend that NO ONE can enforce a "NO REFUNDS" contract if they do not live up to the terms THEY place in the contract themselves. I explained that this is not an AS IS item from a pawn shop or thrift store. This isn't a defective DVD that one paid $20 for at Walmart! If Together® Dating makes this claim they are no better than a $1 book bought from a yard sale. Besides, this is an intangible service, not a tangible item that one can keep. It is also NOT an education or merit that one can use to further their career or better their lives. Together® offers no life coaching or dating advice (for the $2700 paid) <--- as many of the other high priced services do.

I told her the best thing to do would be to make a chargeback on her credit card. She did so ... the charge was put into dispute by Chase credit cards. A 30 day dispute process ensued. Many calls to Chase dispute resolution to check on the status provided more and more details that Chase was fighting the charge with Together® but that their contract was binding. After 45 days of disputes and a final decision not to reverse the charge - I suggested filing a Better Business Bureau report against the local Together® franchise. She did so.

Added detail by my friend after reading this story: "Chase initially reversed the charge and for 2 months I had a positive balance. THEN they re-charged it and it went into re-negotiation (? they had another word?) for several weeks (with several attempts / calls for follow up."


The director of the local Together® franchise responded to the BBB by sending my friend's ENTIRE profile as a response. This response, which was not blacked out in any way to protect my friend's privacy, included her social security number, her address, her phone number, her credit card number, and enough personal information to potentially figure out passwords.

I was outraged by this audacious move. Together® sent this information to show that my friend had signed the contract multiple times.

Next step: The Better Business Bureau offers mediation with members. Together® is a member of the Greenville SC BBB. I offered to attend a mediation and provide "non legal" support to my friend because I have dealt with the BBB before and been involved in several legal disputes over contacts.

Together® of Greenville (DBA as Palmetto Introductions®) has a poor BBB record:



With this in hand, I could see that there might be difficulty ahead ...

-Part III: Together®: Let US Refuse You [not published] -


Even though I have uncovered quite the controversy, and even though Together® refuses to refund for providing essentially zilch; I feel this is not a story worth pursuing or writing about when I myself have found true love and happiness in my life. I have come to the conclusion that this is not a battle I find worth fighting or investing any further energy in uncovering the scandal.

I had originally planned 4-6 parts in a series about Together® ... but this will be the final word in this post.

I have been let down by a few that were related to the making of this article ... including Together® corporate.

I'll end with showing you a lawsuit from 1997:

According to PR Newswire (August 1997), Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher sued an Erie, New York dating service on behalf of consumers. The suit charged that Together Dating Service…

Used deceptive and misleading verbal and written statements concerning the company’s ability to screen and match each consumer with a compatible customer of the dating service.

Provided consumers with referrals who did not meet the qualifications and physical traits identified by the customers.

Falsely represented to consumers that discounts were “one time only” in order to induce them to purchase memberships.

Told consumers that a referral did not count unless the referral resulted in a date, when in fact the written contract stated that the receipt of a referral entitled Together Dating Service to keep the entire membership fee regardless of whether a date resulted; and

Used a liquidation clause in its contract which required members to pay one half the total membership price even if the member canceled the agreement prior to receiving his or her first referral.

The attorney general said the membership fee typically ranged from $1,495 for six referrals to $2,995 for 30 referrals.


In the words of Forrest Gump ...

"And that's about all I have to say about that."


Thank you for all your comments - please feel free to ask any questions or leave your own Together experience here - I am certain at this point that there is pretty easy "class action" material here. If you would like to use this commentary in a legal matter please contact me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pic Of The Week!


* Picture Of Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove


The picture above is of Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove from the classic Stanley Kubrick film "Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb ( from 1964)

I found the name and picture very interesting to share with tomorrow being Valentine's Day.

USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs That Have Lost Ethernet Port Functionality / Save A Costly Motherboard Repair



** NOW W/ FREE SHIPPING IN USA **

THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET WIRED ETHERNET ON THE NEW MACBOOK AIR! (That will also work on any other Mac!)

EXCLUSIVE USB To Ethernet Adapter


Save a costly motherboard repair for your Apple All In One iMac or 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.

EXCLUSIVE - I also 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

PLEASE EMAIL ME with any questions or for OS 9 compatibility ...

This adapter ONLY works with all updates applied on Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) or Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and All versions of Windows that support USB

Note: this adapter does not work with OS 8.6 - 9.2.2 or 10 , or 10.1 , or 10.2

Best compatibility and guaranteed to work with Panther, Tiger, Leopard, 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! Look at my feedback (I have each item labelled). I have sold nearly 1500 of these over the last year!

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

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

These adapters are BRAND NEW

OpenID now open on Fix Your Thinking



Just to let you all know ...

the comments now have the ability to sign with your OpenID. What does that mean?

That means that if you have a LiveJournal WordPress TypePad AIM (or an iTunes/.Mac) account you can leave that name instead without registering for blogger and without leaving an anonymous comment.

Of course if you have a Google account you can always use that too. You have a Google account if you have a blog on Blogger (blogspot), have Gmail, have ADsense, or use the iGoogle Personalized HomePage.

You can also just type in your OWN name and a URL for your site or your favorite site.

While I encourage everyone to leave a comment here, it's best if you CAN leave some kind of calling card. Doing so will also help YOU keep track of your comments here and know when or if I or any other commenter responds.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

No Senor ... that's why!!!




From Daring Fireball:

The single most popular thing people use Flash for is to watch YouTube videos, which you can already watch a subset of using the native Mobile OS X YouTube app. In short, is the lack of Flash keeping people from buying iPhones and iPod Touches?


I say it's holding back some.

For one, my eBay auction advertisements (called "eBay To Go") don't show up without flash.

Two, Without Flash there's no Senor Cardgage

Beating A Dead Horse ... Bill Palmers, Engadgets Of The World, Listen Up!

From The American Institute For Graphic Artists [AIGA] website:

Position on spec work

Clients may, at times, request you compete for an engagement on the basis speculative work—that is, work done for no cost. [AIGA] is against speculative proposals.

Similarly, organizations sometimes initiate contests as a way of developing logos or other identity work. Unlike disciplines in which the designer can bill for implementation of the proposed design (e.g., architecture), in communication design, the submitted solution already represents the bulk of the intellectual work. AIGA encourages organizations to issue a request for proposals from qualified designers.

AIGA believes that doing speculative work seriously compromises the quality of work that clients are entitled to and also violates a tacit, long-standing ethical standard in the communication design profession worldwide. AIGA strongly discourages the practice of requesting that design work be produced and submitted on a speculative basis in order to be considered for acceptance on a project.


---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


I didn't know that there was such an organization or such a code of proposed conduct. It is voluntary, just like the SPJ [Society For Professional Journalism] code of ethics. And just like that code I'm sure a lot of the members pay no attention to the code.

Bill Palmer did this ... logo competitions, naming competitions, and more recently Engadget did it.

It's interesting for me to see this in place though ... didn't know it existed, and don't know if I agree.

* Link credit to Daring Fireball

Is Steve Wozniak Now A Microsoft Employee?


Microsoft announced on Monday that they had acquired Danger, Inc.

Danger designed (both hardware & software 'UI') for the popular Sidekick marketed through T-Mobile.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. The founders of Danger previously worked at Apple as engineers before leaving to found the company. Steve Wozniak was on the board of directors for Danger.

Copycatting someone else is the best form of flattery?

"Copycatting someone else is the best form of flattery"

Question: Do you agree or disagree?

My reply: It can be flattering if it doesn't cost more than you would make from stopping them.

Steve Jobs:

"Good artists copy ... great artists steal"

* some attribute the ^ quote to Pablo Picasso

eBay's Competition is FAR WORSE / A Note about iOffer.COM



This is the type of auction on IOFFER.COM. This is merely a fake 3rd Gen Nano "look-a-like". Unbelievable that ANYONE (read as most of those who claim to be striking against eBay) would consider selling their stuff on this site!!!

eBay Parody: FeePay On iOffer / About The eBay Seller Strike


I came across a really funny parody this morning on IOFFER.COM called FeePay

It seems many people are upset with the recent changes to the eBay feedback and fee system. Many eBay bloggers are even encouraging boycotts of eBay.

Know that the sources where some of these bloggers & protesters GET their information have an interest in eBay's demise and some of the bloggers seem to fall easily for scams by eBay's competition. I have a really good hunch that the majority of these "strike talks" and strike sites, youtube videos, etc popping up are just the competition trying to capitalize on a weak opportunity.

I've posted a few responses to to the "boycott threat":

I just finished reading a VERY misleading and misinformed blog entry by an eBay blogger.

1) The post is filled with curse words yet ends with "God Bless" - very hypocritical. The cursing adds neither emphasis or education to this entry.

2) The blogger claimed that eBay could make sellers happy by offering FREE or REDUCED listings days. eBay offered such savings 214 days out of 365 last year!

3) eBay is at least trying. Encouraging small sellers to boycott could have ramifications beyond the intentions of the post. Most small sellers DEPEND greatly on the income they receive from eBay ... because they want to be a part of some fictitious and ineffective boycott may cost them more than just income.

4) The more effective way to get things done is get your voice heard. Be resourceful. Write to auctionbytes.com editors, eBay execs. Call your local news stations with a good story.

FROM AN EBAY BLOG PROPOSING A BOYCOTT:

Question: "Won't smarter sellers steal your customers while you're Boycotting?"

Answer: Too ridiculous and malicious to even seriously consider, since only an idiot would follow this line
of opportunist thinking. Good, healthy businesses are built on the strengths of their own platforms,
and not on the weaknesses of others. Goofy statements from transparent people who are obviously
not sellers but predatory exploiters. Not a particularly desirable business model in any event.


My reply: Absolutely untrue. I sell exclusive TO ME AND ME ONLY eBay items. If I stopped selling them and stopped aggressively questioning and ending fake or imitation auctions SOMEONE WOULD STEP RIGHT IN and start selling them. I have other sources to sell my items but only sell a 10th of what i sell on eBay through those sources each month.

* IOFFER.COM is a scam auction site, I just think they have a good parody.

* This has gotten a little bit of coverage on CNN Money


* This YouTube video discusses more about the strike

* Here is a link to the most sensible encouragement/talk about the proposed "strike"

It's Official GCAP Internet Radio for iPhone and iPod

GCap Media has launched a new mobile website that provides iPhone and iPod Touch users a way to listen to live radio over the Internet. The new site launched at http://musicradio.com provides a mobile Safari optimized browsing experience that allows users to listen to live radio streamed over the internet. A wifi connection from your iPhone is required. No hacking of the iPhone is required.

read more | digg story

Monday, February 11, 2008

Awesome Product O The Month: Macessity LowKey iMac Stand




Visit WWW.MACESSITY.COM to view and maybe buy a great new stand for the iMac and all Apple LCD monitors. Looks great and has a built in USB Hub! Sells for $60.00 + shipping.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Lawsuit overturned: Even critics who call you WORSE than a "Yes Man" is protected speech

As reported by Slashdot:

"A recent ruling by the Court of Appeal of the State of California (PDF) in Krinsky v. Doe H030767 overturned a lower court ruling and decided that the First Amendment right to anonymous speech protects internet trolls, too. Specifically, the ruling said that 'this juvenile name-calling cannot reasonably be read as stating actual facts.' And, even though some of the statements were crudely sexual and accused Ms. Krinsky of being among 'boobs, liars and crooks,' the statements were held to 'fall into the category of crude, satirical hyperbole which, while reflecting the immaturity of the speaker, constitute protected opinion under the First Amendment.'"


---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


In a recent lawsuit against my blog the Plaintiff attorney tried to argue that my calling the owner of Bidzirk a "Yes Man" was offensive and cast him in a false light. This was argued as a case for defamation against me (and this blog). My state also does not recognize false light charges for defamation. (Further proving how little the attorney knew of the actual law.) Of course, once the judge reviewed my article and saw how ridiculous the Plaintiff attorney's claims were, the charge was dropped. This ruling (Krinsky vs Doe) actually gives comment makers in blogs the right to express their opinions as well.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Intel Sued Over Core 2 Duo

As reported by ENgadget:

Intel sued for Core 2 Duo patent infringement - by the University of Wisconsin

... a lawsuit filed today by the University of Wisconsin claims that the processor infringes on patented technology developed by one of its professors. Back in 1998, CS department chair Gurindar Sohi presented some of his developments relating to instruction level parallelism to Intel and offered to license it to them, but got nowhere -- yet the same tech is in the Core 2 Duo, according to the lawsuit. For its part, Intel says it's been talking to [Wisconsin U] for over a year now, and that it hasn't evaluated the complaint -- which it might want to do in short order, since UW's asking for the court to halt shipments of the Core 2 Duo in addition to monetary damages and legal fees.


* The Intel Core2Duo is currently shipping in all Macs both laptop & desktop.

AT&T: Upgrading To An iPhone 16GB Does NOT Extend 2 Year Contract

In an interview with iLounge:

Mark Siegel, Executive Director of Media and Analyst Relations with AT&T, told iLounge in an email, “If you upgrade from an 8 to a 16 GB iPhone, you sign a new contract. However, we automatically backdate it to the starting point of your contract on the 8 GB phone.” He added that the company “will make every effort to ensure that our reps provide customers with the correct information,” and clarified that customers should activate the SIM card that comes with the new model.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ebay To End Negative Feedback Ratings


eBay is planning to change its feedback system to stop sellers from leaving negative comments unless the buyer hasn't paid in a certain timeframe or a dispute hasn't been opened. Furthermore, no retaliation in the form of negative feedback will be allowed once the buyer has posted a rating. A dispute will have to be open to post feedback for buyers and the process will have to be approved by a human to review both feedbacks.

read more | digg story

---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


I think this is a good move. The majority of my negative feedback on eBay has been retalitory or in some cases fake feedback from stalkers.

I wrote an eBay blog entry about "escrowing feedback" some time back:

If eBay put negative feedback into escrow ... everything would be solved.

What do I mean?

When a buyer or seller wants to leave negative feedback they are presented with the following:

Note ... your negative feedback will not be immediately visible on the feedback profile of the user you are attempting to leave it.

The user will be contacted to inform them of the negative feedback so that they have the opportunity to respond. If, within 15 days from the notice a resolution can be reached, you will have the chance to return to this page and confirm the negative feedback comment on the user's account

eBay could possibly even make money off of this. They could do just the opposite of Squaretrade ... instead of paying to have a negative comment removed through Squaretrade ... a user that feels that they don't want to go through the 15 day wait and response plus confirmation from the seller, could pay to leave the negative feedback comment. OR buyers that leave more than 3 negatives within a 30 day period could be put on probation and pay bail to bid.

It is my opinion that the eBay feedback system is starting to fail ... mostly due to retaliation. eBay needs to address this issue soon.

The $$ could be refunded if the seller ends up being suspended or receives more than 3 negatives in a 30 day period. You'd be surprised at how easy all of this would be to implement into eBay and how much of the code is already in place to automate a process like this.

Unboxing a brand new Apple //c in 2008 [pics]

[from a post on DIGG] On Thursday night, I unboxed my latest Ebay acquisition: an Apple //c. There are many vintage Apple II computers available for auction, but this one is special: It's never been opened. Ever. It hasn't seen the light of day since before it was shipped on May 5th, 1988. Amazing to see. It's almost like going into the past ... if the internet had existed in 1988 - websites would have posted "unboxing pics".

read more | digg story

More Of Those Made Up Headlines ...

MacRumors aggregates two headlines:

Apple Interested In Yahoo

One report lists Apple amongst possible companies that are considering rival offers for Yahoo after Microsoft issued a public bid of $44.6 billion for the company last week. Part of the hesitation is reportedly Yahoo CEO, Jerry Yang, being reluctant to join Microsoft.
It is believed [Yang] would be particularly open to a rescue bid from Steve Jobs' Apple Corp, having openly expressed his admiration for the firm in the past. Yang last year invited Jobs to Yahoo's headquarters in Sunnyvale to give a motivational talk to staff.

While Apple does have $16 billion in the bank, representatives from other companies have already expressed reluctance to place a bid for Yahoo against Microsoft, who could easily top their bids. Meanwhile, it appears Google has been playing an active role in trying to hinder this move. Google CEO Eric Schmidt personally phoned Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang to offer assistance in fending off a Microsoft acquisition.


Microsoft Likely to Go Into Debt for Yahoo Deal

Microsoft has historically been renowned for its huge cash holdings, and its ability to avoid going into debt, but the company will probably need to borrow for the first time to help cover the cash portion of its giant Yahoo bid. The move underscores the magnitude of the Yahoo bid and the risk the company is apparently willing to take in its effort to make the deal happen. Microsoft is still generating cash at a considerable rate, reporting more than $5.8 billion in net cash from operations in its last quarter alone


---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


Microsoft is merely trying to kill two birds with one stone here. They will effectively eliminate Yahoo. At the very least they made Google execs and employees pretty sweaty when they saw their stock tumble 50 points on the news.

Apple would have NO interest whatsoever in Yahoo and would be FOOLISH to go into debt to purchase Yahoo! at such a ridiculous amount.

Obviously the second summary was completely made up as that's not how mergers work. There would be some sort of cash AND stock trade/split and employees from Yahoo! would be fired to make up a sizable return to Microsoft as well.

Tom over at The Small Wave has more thoughts on the situation: click here to read his opinion.

USB To Ethernet Adapter For Macs That Have Lost Ethernet Port Functionality / Save A Costly Motherboard Repair



** NOW W/ FREE SHIPPING IN USA **

THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET WIRED ETHERNET ON THE NEW MACBOOK AIR! (That will also work on any other Mac!)

EXCLUSIVE USB To Ethernet Adapter


Save a costly motherboard repair for your Apple All In One iMac or 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.

EXCLUSIVE - I also 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

PLEASE EMAIL ME with any questions or for OS 9 compatibility ...

This adapter ONLY works with all updates applied on Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) or Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and All versions of Windows that support USB

Note: this adapter does not work with OS 8.6 - 9.2.2 or 10 , or 10.1 , or 10.2

Best compatibility and guaranteed to work with Panther, Tiger, Leopard, 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! Look at my feedback (I have each item labelled). I have sold nearly 1500 of these over the last year!

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

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

These adapters are BRAND NEW

Vantage Point: What Is That Music From The Vantage Point Trailer?

I don't know if any of you have seen the trailer for the new movie Vantage Point or not. It looks great! It stars LOST's Matthew Fox. I've been following it closely because the website includes "LOST easter eggs". There seems to be a debate though as to what the fast paced / Indian or Persian song might be that is playing during the movie's preview trailer. My typical sources didn't seem to have an answer or at least didn't have the correct answer. Many have posted that it's a song by Philip Steir from The 300 called "To Victory (The Sacrifice For Sparta Remix)" ... but it's not.

If any of you can locate this song let me know.

Trailer for Vantage Point at APPLE.COM

Monday, February 04, 2008

Yahoo Music Customers The Latest To Get Real Screwed Over By The Music Subscription Model

Even though I own a lot of movies ... I actually did change my mind about owning vs renting movies during MacWorld Expo ... however, I want to own my music ... I want to be able to listen to my music at any time. Yahoo is yet another example of why Apple has been right in the own vs subscription for music debate.

My only question is; "Why couldn't they have just folded and not given their customers the shaft by telling them to go to REAL?"

Yahoo Closes Its Music Subscription Service

AT&T Has No Idea What Caused 9-Hour Outage

AT&T's EDGE and UMTS data networks went down yesterday at 2:30pm Pacific Time for BlackBerry, iPhone and other cell phone data customers in 18 states. Even now the company's technicians have NO IDEA WHAT CAUSED IT.

------ FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ------


[This story was reported as inaccurate on DIGG] I can confirm however that the EDGE network was down in South Carolina for almost the whole day on Saturday. I was told by a former AT&T colleague of mine it was because AT&T was upgrading towers across the country for 3G.

read more | digg story

MediaSentry role in RIAA lawsuit comes under scrutiny


A recent court filing accuses MediaSentry, the RIAA's hired investigative gun, of operating as a private investigator without a license. As a result, all evidence collected by the company could be thrown out. Without that evidence, there is no case. This is a VERY clever angle for those being sued to have taken.

---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


I have always thought that the RIAA could easily be sued for invasion of privacy.

I say an invasion of privacy because they come right out of the gate with NO law enforcement , just accusations and lawsuits.



read more | digg story

Friday, February 01, 2008

But the expectations were pretty low ...



Jeff Bezos said today:

""The Kindle, in terms of demand, is outpacing our expectations,""


The build up to the SEGWAY was hyped like the Kindle - as life changing as the light bulb ... while SEGWAYS are cool and every now and then you hear a celebrity (like Steve Wozniak) crashing on one during a SEGWAY polo match ... the SEGWAY has bombed. I give the Kindle 5 years before its either not sold at all or possibly just given away as some sort of Bezos' philanthropy - just to mask dismal sales.

I think a lot of the initial interest was from reviewers and possibly collectors ... as these people receive their units and the novelty wears off ... the only thing that will outpace the Kindle is overstock.

Previously I posited that Bezos will lose millions before he excepts defeat anyway.