Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Twitter Account

I started a new twitter account called:

1 OR 2 WORD REVIEW


It's purpose?

... to give 1 or 2 word movie reviews on Twitter.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Movie Review: Terminator Salvation

Sorry to post so many movie reviews, but the holidays are my best chance to catch up on movies I missed at the theater and to actually go to the theater with my wife and family willingly.

If you like the Terminator series of movies, you'll enjoy this installment. It seems to almost erase the timeline of the third movie Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines and start fresh. It also seems to abandon anything that happened in the Sarah Conner Chronicles that aired on Fox.

The movie relies heavily on the audience knowing the plots of Terminator I & II - it also helps if you got to see the Terminator Experience at Universal Studios.

Terminator: Salvation starts with a convicted murderer being put to death and promised a new life.

We then fast forward to the year 2018, when he revives in a post apocalyptic world.

With a new lease on life, he tries to make sense of his new confusing surroundings.

He befriends Kyle Reese as a teenager. Kyle Reese is John Conner's father.

He finds out that his purpose in life wasn't to be terminated as a murderer - instead he is to continue a murderous life as a terminator - Model T-001.






The centerpiece of this movie is suppose to be Christian Bale - as in Batman: Dark Knight his "tough guy voice" is almost laughable - it's hard to understand as he slurs and spits words. I enjoyed this movie, but haven't liked Bale since American Psycho.

I'd give Terminator: Salvation an 8 out of 10.

Sam Worthington is good in this movie. He seems to be the next big star as he was in Terminator: Salvation, Avatar, and plays the lead in the upcoming Clash Of The Titans remake.




Note: there's a fairly well kept secret about the ending of this movie that will be sure to delight you if you're a fan of the original series.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Movie Reviews: Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakuel/ Avatar

One of my holiday traditions is to catch up on a few movies ...

My son has been pretty excited to see two movies: Avatar and Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakuel.

We went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks II on Thursday night.

I rather enjoyed the first installment of the live action translation to the classic animated series of cartoons. It was a well done homage.

This second installment however was lacking the same wittiness and seemed sort of rushed.


I'd give it a 6 out of 10 rating.

General plot:

Alvin, Simon and Theodore (the chipmunks) now famous performing pop stars end up being "chipmunk-sat" by caretaker Dave's 25 year old nephew. The chipmunks take some time out to go to school. On their first day, they find out that the principal, a closet chipmunk groupie, wants the chipmunks to represent the school in a district talent show. Alvin and his two brothers unexpectedly meet their match when a trio of female singing chipmunks known as The Chipettes show up to compete against them.

Next up is Avatar ...

I didn't really have high hopes for this movie, it didn't really look all that appealing beyond the visuals to me. I had an idea that it would be yet another "environmental statement" type movie - turns out, I was right. Avatar lacked uniqueness in plot and instead tried to gloss over the borrowed themes with astounding visuals.

The plot of Avatar:

A paraplegic war veteran, is brought to another planet, Pandora, to acquaint himself with the inhabitants called the Na'vi. The 12 foot tall Na'vi have a unique brain which allows the transfer of thoughts (and actions) using a process called "Avatar". This unique ability has allowed scientists from Earth to grow human/Na'vi counterparts that are genetically linked.

Upon arrival, the soldier finds that "the Avatar project" is mostly about corporate greed. The intention of the program is to supplant or exterminate the "Na'vi" in order to mine for a precious metal - ironically called unobtanium. The soldier gains the trust of the natives of Pandora - only to find himself metaphorically - a puppet. A real bond is made with the Na'vi as they think humans are finally making an effort to understand them. He finds out that understanding the natives is understanding the corrupt nature of the human heart.


I read a short review of this movie that said it was a live action Ferngully. I agree. This plot has been used so many times and seems rather abused by Hollywood as of late.

I'd rate Avatar 5 out of 10.

Avatar ranks as the most expensive movie ever made with budget estimates at upwards of $460 million. That means the movie will have to make nearly a billion dollars just to recoup costs - something very few movies ever do.

Also know that - although this film is being promoted to children via McDonald's Happy Meal toys - there is every curse word in the book in the film - including roughly a dozen times the Lord's name is taken in vain.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Semi-Official End To Jackwhispers

Last night, I officially moved to this site to FIXYOURTHINKING.COM for my domain ... I've been hesitant because it meant losing a lot of search engine traffic that is engrained with jackwhispers.com and jackwhispers.blogspot.com

Everything should still register if someone types in jackwhispers.blogspot.com.

This was a hard decision because 1000's of people read the telephone law recording reference here each month.

I just hope it will make it back into the searches soon.

For the past year two years, if I've created a link on DIGG or to send to Macsurfer - I've been using FIXYOURTHINKING.COM.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Review: District 9


I finally got around to seeing the movie District 9 last night. I liked it a lot. I don't know if it deserves a spot in my top 100 ranking or not, but it was very enter- taining. It's symbolism on racial issues and the greed of large megacorporations is very well done. The special effects are also perfect - something that is an awesome achievement for such a low budget movie. Most of the the movie is filmed like Cloverfield - from a first person perspective. I would highly recommend seeing it when it comes to video on December 22, 2009.

The basic plot of the movie is:

In 1982, an enormous alien spaceship stops above Johannesburg, South Africa - seemingly stranded. After waiting weeks for any communication from the ship, an exploratory team cuts into the hovering ship and discovers a group of one million unhealthy and leaderless members of an insect-like alien race. The aliens are given asylum on Earth. The alien camp turns into a run down, poverty and violence stricken area. After demands from the people to stop their spread, the aliens are confined to a government camp inside Johannesburg, called District 9. The camp soon turns into a slum that resembles a third world outer city ghetto.

Approximately 25 years later, a private military contractor named Multinational United (MNU) is placed in charge of policing and relocating the growing alien population to District 10, a new camp about 150 miles away. MNU hires a likable and nerdy figurehead that can "show the people" how civilized the operation of the "eviction and transplantation" of the aliens transpires.

Very worried about the operation going smoothly, this leader finds himself in opposition to the military commander and the executives in charge of MNU. He also experiences first hand how the aliens have been unfairly ostracized and mistreated.

______________________________


From the previews, this movie seemed like it was going to have a very high "gross factor". It ends up that a lot of the people blown up are done so in a comical way - in pure Peter Jackson (executive producer) form. I also enjoyed the subtle ghetto references - in particular - the aliens trading some of their weapons for sex with humans. <- No it's not as graphic as it sounds.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gaga goo goo: I thought the song Poker Face was saying "Cutie pie, Cutie pie"

I was using up some of my end of the year free credits at the Amazon MP3 store today ... I decided to download Lady Gaga's song Poker Face.

Once I heard it for the first time through my headphones - I heard what it was she was actually saying. So I googled for the lyrics and confirmed she was saying something entirely different. I've been going around singing this song in my head for a while now - singing the wrong lyrics - I still like my version better.

Original:

can't read my, can't read my
no, he can't read my poker face


What I thought she was singing:

Cutie pie, Cutie pie
no, can't read my poker face

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Change Blindness ...



This is an experiment to see if participants can recognize sudden dramatic change. By this experiment 75% can not.

This reminds me of my favorite episode of LA LAW ... Harry Hamlin playing the role of attorney Michael Kuzak is cross examining a witness who claims to have seen his client (a black man who was allegedly wearing dark clothes) in a dark alley for a few seconds - committing a murder. He questions the eyewitness [paraphrased from memory]

Facing the witness:

Kuzak: "So I want to confirm, you are telling this court that you could identify my client, a black man, wearing dark clothes, in a dimly lit alley?"

Witness: "Yes."

Still facing the witness - pacing in front of her on purpose, purposely playing with his tie:

Kuzak: "How long have you been on the witness stand today?"

Witness: "I'm not sure I understand."

Attorney Kuzak stops in front of the witness, leans over the stand, purposely tucking his tie into his jacket.

Kuzak: "How long have you been here testifying today?"

Witness: "30 minutes maybe?"

Kuzak starts talking as he turns his back to the witness:

Kuzak: "You've gotten a good look at me? Would you say I'm an attractive man?"

Opposing attorney: "Relevance, your honor?"

Supreme Court Judge: "Mr. Kuzak, this court requires strict adherence to procedure, we aren't here for legal games or lolly gagging."

Kuzak turns around as the judge is speaking, agreeing to the admonishment.

Kuzak turns his back to the witness again.

Kuzak says to Witness: "What color of tie am I wearing?"

Witness: "I don't know."

Kuzak: "Can you give me a guess, a pattern, a polka dot?"

Witness: "Red striped."

Kuzak turns around (LA Law victory music cues in the background). Kuzak's tie is solid blue.

Kuzak: "This witness claims to have seen me for 30 minutes or more, yet can't even tell a single detail about my tie. It seems she can give specific details about a two or three second encounter from a 20 foot or more vantage point about a black man, wearing dark clothes, in a dimly lit alley?"

(LA Law victory music is very loud.)

Next scene shows Kuzak, in his final series appearance, and his client walking out of the court shaking hands; smiling.

____________________________________


One thing this should teach us is to always be observant. If you happen to be in a bank or a convenience store that may be silently robbed or if you see unusual behavior - you can't imagine how small details you give to police can lead to an arrest. It's amazing in the video, that these people didn't notice the change. It's amazing in the scenario I mentioned that the witness didn't notice the detail that was the same - even though it was being flaunted on purpose for her to notice right in front of her face.

* video via Daring Fireball

Monday, December 14, 2009

FREE Energy - at least it looks good.



* via ENGADGET

This is a good video ... playing on the fact that they've been called a hoax by every well known scientist in the world.

Other stories on STEORN:

Steorn FREE energy device powered by an iMac?

The Very Phishy Wishy Washy Parallel Between OLPC & The Tablet Formerly Known As "The Crunchpad"

For those of you that follow this site ... you're aware that I've had my reservations about the One Laptop Per Child program from its inception.



This article remains one of the most viewed on FixYourThinking:

I Hate Children And Their Little Laptops Too!


In this piece, I indicated that the OLPC laptops are really nothing more than a light ponzi scheme and that the $100 price tag most likely is a penny, a dime, or a dollar too much.

The goal of the OLPC program, headed by Nick Negroponte, is to distribute 1 BILLION laptops to children. Just a penny shaved is $10 Million dollars to pocket if the program was to reach it's one billion distribution target.

Over the weekend, a twitter post from Tom Reestman, got me thinking ...



Just an opinion, but I think Mike Arrington was planning some sort of similar boondoggle as the OLPC program with his "CrunchPad" and most likely FusionGarage caught on.

Wikipedia's entry on TechCrunch:

TechCrunch is a blog company that profiles startup companies, products and websites. It was founded by Michael Arrington in 2005. The blog's first post was on June 11, 2005.


Just a hunch, but I'd bet that Arrington was lining up deals with publishers to line his own pockets. Arrington wanted publishers to subsidize the Crunchpad and for FusionGarage to manufacture the hardware and shave a few dollars here and there for a volumetric profit - a la the OLPC program.

What Arrington didn't realize however is that he's not dealing with unwitting, non sensical spending government entities - he's dealing with businesses that are cut throat and solely focused on their bottom line - businesses that will toss you out on a technicality at any point they can. After all, if you are getting a cut, you are an expense. In the "game of OLPC" and pitching it to governments around the world there's also a lot of goodwill recognition. In private enterprise, few people could care about what goodwill you have or if you want to change the world - something Arrington promised with his internet tablet and the magazine and newspaper publishing empires.

See this previous story ...

Base Your Business On How Your Partner Looks ..."

Also of interest ...

From MacRumors:

A small startup company called Pixel Qi recently announced that they will start production of the first batch of their new LCD screens shortly. These new screens promise low power, easy readability in direct sunlight as well support for full color and are expected to ship in quantity in Q1 2010. Regarding the screen's benefits:

Pixel Qi has been closely followed in the industry as it was founded by One Laptop Per Child's (OLPC) former Chief Technology Officer Mary Lou Jepsen.


This technology was developed (most likely) under the OLPC project - PixelQi is a "for profit" company. So, OLPC served as a great "free research and development firm" for this new display.

DIGG

Monday, December 07, 2009

Base Your Business On How Your Partner Looks ...

I'm not too sure how many of you are interested in the CrunchPad saga - where Mike Arrington - the universally despised editor @ TechCrunch threatened to shake up the world with a $200 internet tablet that was better than an iPhone or a laptop BUT ...

Here's the details in short:

From VentureBeat:

"The computer, named the Crunchpad, was scheduled to ship in time for Black Friday / Cyber Monday shoppers two weeks ago. It would have been a great tale of how a journalist proved his own claims for the new rules of entrepreneurialism.

But at the last minute, Arrington posted a claim that the production contractor, Fusion Garage — a 12 person company set up in Silicon Valley in February — had told him without warning that they and their investors had decided to sell the product themselves. Arrington would be pushed aside into a marketing / evangelism role."


Well, here's a picture of the guy that made the presentation about the "soon to ship" tablet renamed JooJoo:


Picture from ENGADGET


Sorry to be shallow ... but if you look like that - WE ARE NOT DOING ANY BUSINESS TOGETHER!

A business partnership is like a marriage and my wife is a fox!

AT&T releases "Mark The Spot App" : You can't say they aren't at least appearing to try

AT&T just released "AT&T Mark the Spot" , a FREE iPhone application that allows users to alert the company to problems with its wireless network. The application takes advantage of the iPhone's GPS receiver to pinpoint the user's location and allows them to submit reports on a number of network issues, including dropped calls, failed calls, coverage holes, data service failures, and voice quality issues.

You can download it here
(Will open iTunes)


You can't say they aren't at least appearing to try.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Apple Pries "TabletMac" Name From Other World Computing & Axiotron

As reported by MacRumors:

A couple of years ago, a company called Axiotron announced an aftermarket modification for the MacBook that converted the Apple laptop into a tablet. The modification remains for sale at $699 and takes a stock MacBook, removes the keyboard and screen, and adds a Wacom pen-based screen to give the device a tablet form factor.

Axiotron originally began marketing the devices as a "TabletMac" as referenced in this 2007 press release and filed a trademark for the term. Sometime in the past year, however, the trademark was transferred from Axiotron to Apple, and Apple is now listed as the owner of the trademark.


It's funny that Apple would dispute this with Axiotron (which is a joint venture with Other World Computing) - On Apple's Copyright & Trademark Guidelines page - they have this:

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

Acceptable: MacVenus MacCharlie

Not acceptable: MacCharleston MacSales


The website for Other World Computing is WWW.MACSALES.COM

Friday, November 27, 2009

3 Free MP3 Music Downloads From Amazon



Here's a link to get 3 FREE Amazon MP3 Music Downloads:

3 FREE AMAZON MP3 Downloads


Amazon downloads work on ALL MP3 players including the iPod, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

* will require installation of Amazon MP3 Downloader software / Virus Free
You can download it directly from Amazon HERE


AND DON'T FORGET:

If you do ANY online shopping today, don't forget to try your search here [below] first and you can kick a few cents back towards supporting this site. I can almost guaranty that these prices will be lower than any you can find at retail:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's Been A While, But I've Got An "I Told You So" Moment

In March 2008 FYT reported this story:

Unsafe Magsafe: Fake Apple Magsafe AC Adapter On eBay


From that article:



A Hong Kong distributor has started selling fake/modded MagSafe AC adapters on eBay. Apple has not licensed any 3rd party that I am aware of to use the MagSafe adapter. As I was perusing ebay to find a replacement for a customer I found this.

From the auction description:

60W power charger AC Adapter for Apple MacBook ONE pieces.
*This is a Brand new Power AC Adapter made by PANASONIC, We modify with a Original Brand New Magsafe DC plug, and use for MacBook, (Not for MacBook Pro).

size: 170 x 82 x 40 mm

Input Voltage: 100-240V 50-60Hz (USE for WORLDWIDE)

Condition: Brand New Panasonic AC Adapter + Brand New Original Apple Magsafe cord, 30 days warranty, fully refund (less postage) and buyer need pay return postage by himself, If you no accept,Please don't BID.


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



Besides this being ugly ... there's just no way this could be safe or convenient - it's just $30 cheaper than a MagSafe adapter from Apple. Its sad to see eBay allow such auctions.

Link to current auction

Same eBay ID (sib auctions) with knockoff looking Magsafe

PATENT INFO:

Apple owns US patent 7,311,526, "Magnetic connector for electronic device", for this technology.

Apple also owns a copyright and trademark on the name MAGSAFE©™



Today Macrumors posted:

Apple Files Patent Infringement Suit Over Knock Off Power Adapters


Apple's complaint charges that Media Solutions Holdings, through the Web sites www.laptopsforless.com, www.laptopacadapter.com and www.ereplacements.com, sells "various consumer electronic accessories at retail, including knock-off power adapters for use with genuine Apple portable computers."

"Through various Web sites and otherwise, the Defendants market these knock-off power adapters for use with Apple portable computers, such as the MacBook," the complaint states.


* ereplacements was the company listing the AC adapter I had mentioned. Although Apple is filing the suit against the company for making a copycat "look and functionality" ac adapter - ereplacements is responsible for selling rejiggered AC adapters on eBay as well.

From what I've been able to dig up ...

Apple apparently replaced a man's MacBook Pro 4 times for the same issue - Magsafe power port problems. Turns out this guy , after his third repair and second replacement under AppleCare - had one of these AC adapters.

Great App: Great Discount For Thanksgiving! FlowerPedia

I've used this app a number of times since I downloaded it last month:

FlowerPedia – 60% off for a limited time Thanksgiving Day (normally $4.99 / Sale $1.99)

From the FlowerPedia description page on iTunes:

FlowerPedia is an iPhone application for flower enthusiasts, containing:

* Over 100 flower families representing 100,000 species from around the world
* Over 1500 high resolution flower photos
* Browse by photo rating or flower family
* Search by flower anatomy
* Search by name
* Play slideshow
* Save any photo to your phone and share with friends, or use as backgrounds
* Rate photos according to your tastes
* No internet connection required


FlowerPedia is a highly visual iPhone flower encyclopedia, identification tool and photo gallery, featuring over 1500 high-resolution photos of flowers, organised by flower family, genus, etc.

DOWNLOAD HERE

Droid Doesn't

A link to a post at Daring Fireball:

The Droid Battery Cover Problem
Funny, I’ve never heard of any problems with the iPhone battery cover falling off.


Gruber's comment struck me as a good jab - but what's even funnier is the comments to this article.

People are posting little “hacks and tips” like:

"use double sided tape"

"ask Motorola/Verizon to send you a new battery cover"


or my favorite

"press just in the center of the phone and slide up"


Can you imagine that over at the Apple forums? “Here's a tip; place a small dab of mighty putty on the back of your iPhone to [insert your iPhone problem here]”. It would be front page CNN News!

I suspect a lot of people complaining about the apparent “problems” with the iPhone (like no multitasking, no swappable battery,no physical keyboard, etc.) have simply never used one. My wife thought it was awkward at first, now she loves it.

Most critics of the iPhone have complained ad nauseam about multi-tasking not being available for 3rd party apps. Apple designed the iPhone OS to launch apps quickly and save the "state of quit+ - this provides nearly identical functionality to actual multi-tasking with none of the downside (i.e., system slowdowns, resource hogging, and rapidly draining battery power from apps accidentally left running.) I have experienced that first hand with a jailbroken iPhone - which can run apps in the background.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Free Movie Rental @ Redbox Kiosks

Redbox, the $1 a day movie rental kiosk company is offering a free movie rental every month if you sign up for text messages. You can use this link.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Verizon sends a secret over-the-air update to Droid phones



ENgadget reports:

Motorola Droid Autofocus Camera Fixed In Secrecy


IF THIS EVER HAPPENED WITHOUT MY CONSENT TO FIX ANYTHING ON THE iPHONE I WOULD ENCOURAGE/JOIN/PROMOTE A LAWSUIT AGAINST AT&T!

How dare they fix something that I may not think is broken or is an exploitable hack that may be to my benefit without my consent or request to fix it?

Hey, you may get more coverage on Verizon - and you know why they have more coverage? They can control your phone like this.

[UPDATE] So here's where ENgadget's credibility comes into play - it appears as if there wasn't an over the air update after all - it's just a bug that "pops up" every few days due to a timestamp that the phone places with pictures in conjunction with the camera causing the camera to malfunction.

This is another reason I hate it when people quote ENgadget to me to prove their case - rarely can you count on them to give you a non sensationalist story - written solely for hits.

This said - this KIND OF THING wouldn't be beyond Verizon - and could very easily have been issued "secretly over the air" - this kind of control is not beyond Verizon. It just so happens they didn't do it this time. With the common outrage that has appeared in forums around the net - I'm sure they would consider thinking twice if they ever do decide.

That's not just an "Ouch" - it's a "YeeeeOW!"

As reported by MacRumors:

Earlier this month, AT&T filed suit against rival Verizon over a series of Verizon commercials attacking AT&T's wireless network, claiming that the ads were "blatantly false and misleading".

Late yesterday, Engadget reported that Verizon had filed a 53-page legal response to the lawsuit, and taken the opportunity to focus the case on what it claims is AT&T's failure to commit the resources to build out its network appropriately. The tone of Verizon's response is set from the very first sentence of its response's introduction:

AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon's "There's A Map For That" advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon's ads are true and the truth hurts.

Six pages later, Verizon concludes its introduction with a similar take:

In the final analysis, AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon's side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T's confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business, and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly. AT&T may not like the message that the ads send, but this Court should reject its efforts to silence the messenger.


I hate that AT&T has been put in this predicament - it does have an inferior network to Verizon - I'm not sure that it matters to 90% of the people who have phones or even 90% of iPhone users - EDGE to me - especially when I weathered 56k speeds creating media rich web content in the 90's - is acceptable. In fact, my iPhone on EDGE, it seems quite fast. I think this is the main gist of AT&T's argument. Verizon is claiming that it's 3G network is better because it's bigger and has a fancy map to show it.

Several discussions have popped up here on this site over the last month regarding this ... Verizon is in a completely different boat than AT&T is or was - and continues to be.

First, AT&T's investment has been somewhat stunted by the Cingular, SBC, Bellsouth merger. I do believe AT&T is just now recovering from that internal accounting and network management fiasco. There was a whole lot of tower lease wrangling, image management, lawsuits from employees, taking care of severance packages, etc. This merger only happened 2 years ago! I am not apologizing for AT&T in any way for AT&T's network. When i got my wife an iPhone, the first complaint she had was about the dropped calls and slow speeds where we lived BUT it HAS gotten better.

Further, what a lot of people - including Verizon's lawyers - don't know is - AT&T has a few extra tidbits of evidence up it's sleeve to disprove those "there's a map for that" maps. (see my other posts below)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What They Call 3G?

Verizon's coverage of what THEY CALL 3G is in most areas the speed of EDGE or lower. Plus, Verizon's network doesn't allow simultaneous voice and data.

I know for a fact that the Verizon commercial maps are wrong just for my state. I have personally verifiable coverage in a wide area around me - there is no blue whatsoever ANYWHERE close to me on the Verizon commercial maps. Furthermore - by my own experience - I cannot even get Verizon 3G in my area - but Verizon DOES SHOW 3G in my area with their red areas.

Friday, November 13, 2009

PPPLE.COM Domain Name For Sale



PPPLE.COM FOR SALE

Ideas:

PPP is a networking term
(see this wikipedia link for more description = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point-to-Point_Protocol)

PPPLE = a cool way to spell PEOPLE - an excellent twitter-like catchy domain - perfect for social networking. The term "PEOPLE" spelled in this way could fit ANY business - especially an internet business

PPPLE - I personally have used this domain for four years as a business called "The Apple People" ... You can have that name and idea as well with this domain. It's one letter different from APPLE.COM - one of the most popular domains on the internet! It's pretty cool as an Apple tech to put your name like this: myname@ppple.com.

3 Pattersons 1 Levin - a law firm or a company started by 4 or five people? Could stand for initials?

A Pie maker - have a logo with three pies then the LE

Available 5 LETTER DOMAINS that are reasonably priced AND that make sense are RARE! Just try thinking of any four or five letter word - it's taken. If it is up for sale it's VERY, VERY expensive.

Not only am I giving you the domain, but I'd be happy to give you some more ideas! Maybe this domain can spark some ideas for your new business.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You Don't Want It "Free".

From The Consumerist:

"... Meet David Free, the man behind QMS, a company that sells and sometimes even ships an aluminum mousepad called the "MacPadd". When the guys at TomsHardware.com started asking why [their order] hadn't arrived, they discovered that Free does business his own way. Or sometimes not at all:

Free then exclaimed, "Get out of my f***ing life!" And hung up on us. By now it was becoming clear to us that we weren't going to receive the product we paid for.


Tom's Hardware pointed out that Apple owns the trademark for the name "MacPad".

You can view Apple's trademark/copyright policy here.

The whole MACPADD.COM website seems suspiciously "Jack Campbell-esque" in nature.

For instance ... look at this claim from the MACPADD website:

This text is cleaned up considerably for grammar and spacing for easier reading


MacPadd is the cleanest mouse pad you will ever use. Other mouse pads gather DIRT and BACTERIA and cannot be cleaned. This spells trouble in mission critical environments that require highly sanitary conditions.

1.MacPadd can be disinfected with a sanitary wipe.

2.Clean your work station and MacPadd daily.

3.MacPadd does not contribute to the spread of dirt or bacteria.

4.MacPadd will help you keep your hands cleaner longer.

5.MacPadd is ideal for work stations in hospitals or clinics that has multiple users.

6.MacPadd can be put into an autoclave and then ready for use after its cleaning (special non stick surface available)

7.Neoprene mouse pads collect materials that contribute to an unsanitary office environment

MacPadd: Sanitary and Effective

MacPadd’s Sanitary Surface is Ideal for;

• Hospitals
• Research Laboratories
• Dental Offices
• Medical Clinics
• Medical Offices

One Swipe with an antibacterial cloth and its sanitized

MacPadd

H1N1 RESISTANT


I have my own stories about QMS, Inc of Canada:

I can't say for certain, this happened 7 years ago, but I believe this guy (below) worked with QMS, Inc:

From a previous FIXYOURTHINKING blog entry (7 years ago):

I sent $120 to a "Canadian" - no shipment received in 30 days - I filed a Paypal complaint - he typed in a tracking number - that appeased Paypal - I received a brick via FedEx. Yes folks, a brick!



And then, more recently, I sent this cease and desist to QMS, Inc in Canada which was returned to me after two months of attempted deliveries.



I sent this because QMS was copying my auctions for Apple Compatible Ethernet Adapters.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

DO NOT UPDATE SNOW LEOPARD TO 10.6.2!



This is a note to everyone out there and everyone that I have helped over the last few months install Leopard onto netbooks:

DO NOT UPDATE TO MAC OS X 10.6.2.

If you do, your system will not boot.

You may install any security update / iTunes / Quicktime updates.

My motto is - if ain't broke or mandatory don't try to fix it.

[UPDATE] There are other notes around the web of MAC Mail app issues and sound problems after thus update.

John Gruber at Daring Fireball suggests that this may simply be a bug in the 10.6.2 update.

Further, a small ethical debate has ensued in the comments to my article that's worth a read.

[UPDATE] A court has decided that installing Mac OS X on NON APPLE hardware is not allowed according to Apple's licensing terms in Psystar vs Apple.

Barring appeal - I suppose I'll not help anyone install on netbooks anymore, and by help in the past, I mean I pointed people in the direction of a tutorial that's easy to find on the web and told them to read a review on XLR8YourMac on which netbook to buy. I don't feel I was encouraging, just not discouraging. In my cases, I always recommend Apple hardware, but sometimes the budget does not allow it - even if a refurb can be had. The lure of netbooks - good ones - at $299 - is well ... alluring. I have a black Macbook - I'd like to have a Dell Mini w/ built in TV tuner triple booting Ubuntu, XP, and Snow Leopard. Hopefully Apple recognizes this segment - maybe they will - maybe this is what "the tablet" is.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A followup to the "There's A Map For That" Fiasco.

I've found two reasons Verizon's map is different:

1) Because of the breakup of AT&T (landline) and then recombination / merger of AT&T (landline AND wireless) many towers across the country went from AT&T ownership to third party lease. All three companies that merged gave up tower leases to meet regulatory approval. Verizon's map does not include any third party lease towers.

AT&T was formed by partial mergers of Bellsouth, SBC, Cingular (a Bellsouth subsidary), and portions of the AT&T wireless network and the AT&T landline and Networking divisions.

2) In certain areas, such as my own, AT&T wireless operated under third party companies or MVNO's (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) such as Suncom Wireless. Suncom was purchased by T-Mobile in 2008. In MOST places in the country TMobile is on a separate band for the 3G wireless coverage - but in the south - they operate on the same band. AT&T & T-Mobile actually share a sort of data roaming agreement. Certain towers in my area (and I'm sure others) are "special towers" used to dole out signal (voice and data) to T-Mobile (former Suncom Wireless customers) and to AT&T (former Cingular customers).

Neither of these facts are taken into account with Verizon's "there's a map for that" maps.

Combined with the fact that Verizon used older 2008 maps where they DID have more coverage - this is the reason there's such a huge discrepancy.

Verizon is trying to "trick" all those iPhone customers that have complained about AT&T's poor signal. While I have had my share of problems with AT&T and had my share of signal issues - it HAS gotten better over the last year. Better than Verizon would have you believe.

Movie Reviews: The Box



I was interested in the premise of this movie:

A strange man comes to your door and offers you a million dollars if you simply press a button on a small box. The caveat, he says,

"When you press the button, someone who you don't know in the world, will die."



In the movie trailer ... we get to see Norma (played by Cameron Diaz) sitting at the table discussing it with her husband and then slamming her hand on the button after desperately saying how much they could use the million dollars.


* Movie trailer for The Box


What we don't see is Arlington Steward (expertly and eerily played by Frank Langella) returning to retrieve the box with the million dollars in hand and saying, "Here's your one million dollars as promised, the box will now be reset and given to someone who you don't know."

If you think I've given a way the plot, you're wrong. I have given away the most thought provoking part of the movie.

I'm sad to say that this would have made a great 30 minute episode of the Twilight Zone - having left out a lot of unnecessary plot twists. Instead, director Richard Kelly decided to make this one of the most puzzling and absurd movies I've ever seen.

When I got out of the theater with my wife and friends we had thoughts such as,

"Do you get the feeling that the director saw that movie a lot differently than we did?"

"That would have been good if they had left a lot of the background story to the viewers imagination."

"You know, I wanted to walk out, but I just couldn't, I wanted to see what could possibly top weird scene after weirder!"

On the way home from the movie theater, my wife and I settled on giving the movie a 4.5 out of 10.

It isn't worth the ticket ... it's not worth renting when it comes to video ... don't fret too much if you miss it when it comes to TV.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

AT&T Sues Verizon Over False Claims About Coverage In Commercial


I would have loved to title this, "There's A Lawsuit For That" or "Can You Sue Us Now?" ... alas those headlines are not only taken - but it seems every Apple, cellphone, and major news outlet has already overused them.

I knew the commercial was making false claims just from my own state's depiction (South Carolina). The disclaimer at the bottom was also too small to read. You needed a movie screen and then a magnifying glass to see it.

[removed inaccurate map]



According to AT&T's brochures - 3G coverage is much better here. Verizon's maps also don't account for recent activations - in fact - it appears as if the maps Verizon used are 1.5 years old. Since the launch of the iPhone (and most likely BECAUSE of it) AT&T has made huge improvements to their network. I just got 3G in my small town last week - and I've noticed nearly full coverage within a 40 mile radius of my home. Verizon's map indicates nearly zero coverage anywhere near where I live.

Verizon should learn that stating fact within a commercial may not be fact by the time its audience see it and its advertising department (coincidentally located nearby me) should have known the net would call them out on the claims.

[UPDATE] I've found two reasons Verizon's map is different:

1) Because of the breakup of AT&T (landline) and then recombination / merger of AT&T (landline AND wireless) many towers across the country went from AT&T ownership to third party lease. Verizon's map does not include any third party lease towers.

2) In certain areas, such as my own, AT&T wireless operated under third party companies or MVNO's (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) such as Suncom Wireless. Suncom was purchased by T-Mobile in 2008. In MOST places in the country TMobile is on a separate band for the 3G wireless coverage - but in the south - they operate on the same band. AT&T & T-Mobile actually share a sort of data roaming agreement. Certain towers in my area (and I'm sure others) are "special towers" used to dole out signal (voice and data) to T-Mobile (former Suncom Wireless customers) and to AT&T (former Cingular customers).

Neither of these facts are taken into account with Verizon's "there's a map for that" maps.

Combined with the fact that Verizon used older 2008 maps where they DID have more coverage - this is the reason there's such a huge discrepancy.

Verizon is trying to "trick" all those iPhone customers that have complained about AT&T's poor signal. While I have had my share of problems with AT&T and had my share of signal issues - it HAS gotten better over the last year. Better than Verizon would have you believe.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

An Almost Fair Review Of The iPhone VS The Droid That Almost Picks The Droid As The Winner


Picture from mobilecrunch.com


Here's a review from MobileCrunch that compares the new Motorola Droid to the iPhone 3Gs:

Smartphone Showdown: iPhone 3GS vs Motorola Droid


In it, Greg Kumparak concludes:

"Would I recommend it over the iPhone? Two thousand plus words later, you might be a bit sad to read: Nope. But I wouldn’t recommend the iPhone over the Droid, either – and that’s the Droid’s real win here. This is the very first phone in over two years that I would consider carrying for day-to-day use instead of my iPhone, but that doesn’t mean I would recommend it whole heartedly to everyone."


This article, while very good and very fair in it's comparison - stumbles commonly with other "iPhone VS ..." reviews and articles ...

1) The iPhone is gorgeous physically - the droid looks like a piece of junk even though it actually isn't - it looks like the cobbled together 'droids that it takes its Star Wars namesake from - it looks physically like the hard choice you'd have to make between R2D2 and the more functional (but flawed) R5 with a squared off head.

2) And most importantly ...

One thing all reviewers forget about the iPhone ... It is an iPod ... Not only is this awesome because iTunes is awesome ... it is awesome because accessories aren't just everywhere - they have become a standard! iPod docks, cables, covers - yes all three- are available at places like 7/11 and even DollarTree for $1.00 + tax. I'll repeat -cases, covers, cables, chargers, small docks, custom headphones, etc (decent quality too - even Griffin, Speck, DLO, and Belkin overstocks / buyouts) are at 500+ Dollar Tree locations for $1.00 + tax. Win, win, win, win for the iPhone.

I'm the kind of person that needs this ... I know a lot of people with iPhones (and other phones for that matter) that constantly need accessories, or desire to try and use new ones, or new implementations of them, or try new designs for utilitarian or fashion reasons.

Mall kiosks and flea market vendors that sell cases, chargers, and accessories are nearly 25% iPhone now, but they represent probably 1% of their total "number of cellphones represented to accessorize".

[UPDATE]

Some other notes since the writing of this post that are worth mentioning:

From Roughly Drafted:

Do any of you realize Verizon's network can't handle voice and data at the same time? So if you get a call while you are using your free Google Nav your maps are dead until the call ends and your email is not being sent if you were sending an email when the call came in...

"Apple has long associated with the iPhone: the ability to talk on the phone while browsing the web to search for seafood restaurants in the Marina, or the capacity to effortlessly add, hold or drop multiple parties in the same conference call. CDMA phones from Verizon can’t [do] either of those things; data services like the web are dead when you’re on a CDMA voice conversation."

- Daniel Eran Dilger,
RoughlyDrafted Magazine

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Corner Of the World Officially Gets 3G ...

I posted this on my ATLIBERTYTOSAY website:



* screenshot of my iPhone indicating downtown Liberty reception of 3G


Wow! What a surprise! My iPhone internet connection has been very slow over the past few days ... the reason appears to be that they were upgrading the towers for 3G. Yep ... Liberty officially has 3G from AT&T.

Residents of Liberty closer to Norris were already receiving a decent 3G signal - from a 3G Tower in Clemson.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Private Enterprise Can Do What The Government Should Not

Admittedly, Apple is in a much better financial situation that just about every company in the world - with record profits at the peak of a worldwide recession. But, here you have the answer to the "Healthcare Debate":

ifoApplestore reports:

"In the midst of a heated national debate over legislation to provide all Americans with affordable health insurance, Apple will skip the controversy entirely and extend full-benefit medical insurance to part-time employees in January 2010. According to sources, the benefits now offered only to full-time employees, including those who work at the retail stores, will be offered to those working as few as 15 hours a week, which would include nearly all store employees. The insurance benefit will apply to employees who have at least one year of service with Apple. The change in coverage is significant, since American businesses have traditionally offered medical and other benefits only to full-time employees, and sometimes reduced benefits to those who work at least 20-hours a week. Apple has 16,500 full-time equivalent retail store employees, according to the company’s latest financial filing. It’s estimated the staff is composed of about 9,900 part-time employees who will be affected by the insurance change. Based on the average cost of medical insurance policies purchased by employers, the annual cost of extending medical benefits to part-time store employees could be at least $80 million a year."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Aptera To Be Eligible For Funding From Dept Of Energy



As many of you know, I follow Aptera news pretty closely ...

Here's some welcome news.

As reported by AutoBlogGREEN:

Following months of debate, Congress has approved a bill that will pave the way for three-wheeled vehicle manufacturers like Aptera to qualify for funding from the Department of Energy.

... Assuming the bill passes the President's desk, any manufacturer of enclosed three-wheeled vehicles that can carry at least two adults while returning at least 75 miles per gallon will be eligible for funding, though the DOE will still approve applications on a case-by-case basis.


Obama is expected to sign the bill.

[UPDATE] A reader tip reminded me that Obama did sign the bill ... and Aptera applied for and is expected receive additional funding from the Department Of Energy

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We sure are saving a bunch of money in schools by buying Dell ...

Last night I went up to my son's elementary school to view a Book Fair ...

This is the first thing I noticed when I walked in the door to the library:




This is roughly 40 computer stations. As you can see every one of these computers (Brand New Core2Duo 2.16Ghz DELLs)has a DVD Writer installed. How many K4- 4th Graders are capable of burning a DVD? How many NEED to burn to DVD and could our school district have saved at least $5 per computer if they all just had DVD/CDRW combo drives instead of DVD burners?

I've heard the estimate that Pickens County got 1200 new computers - that would equal $6,000 in savings if it was just $5 per computer.

Friday, October 02, 2009

If Apple Wanted Verizon They Would HAVE Verizon.

Macsimum News posted a "new facts/same argument" post called:

Apple has got to be considering an iPhone for Verizon


In this post, Dennis Sellers says,

Apple surely must be considering signing up other US carriers for the iPhone besides AT&T (that singularity is why I don’t own an Apple phone). If they’re not, they should reconsider.


The main reason for this suggestion is: the number one complaint of iPhone users, in a recent analyst report, is AT&T - not the iPhone itself. The article goes on to hash this figure out a half dozen ways.

But this factoid from the article deserves a further look:

The most logical next choice for a US carrier is Verizon. But for that to happen, Apple must be willing to build an iPhone just for Verizon’s CDMA network. The other alternative is simply too expensive. About $1.78 billion to be exact.

That’s according to a report looking at the capital expenditures needed to deploy 4G, or LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks, issued Wednesday by Aircom International, a U.K.-based network consulting group. And that’s just for the first year.

Will Apple make an iPhone for Verizon’s network? I think it will, at least eventually. Until then, it will have the world’s most loved smartphone on a carrier that a lot of folks would like to ditch.


1) It won't happen on CDMA - the next gen LTE network is already starting to be built out with a good penetration in effect by the end of next year. I doubt seriously that Verizon is playing the AT&T game of "coming soon".

2) No one seems to have considered that $1.78 Billion is chump change to Apple's $34 Billion in the bank. What few grasp is that Apple's $34 Billion is with NO DEBT obligations and growing at a rate of $1 Billion + per fiscal quarter. If Apple were displeased enough with AT&T, which I think they might be, they would go halvers with Verizon and give them their money next summer. For a controlling stake, Apple would probably be willing to spend $2 Billion and make the network even better than planned.

3) Apple has done this with investments for both NAND memory and small hard drive manufacturing for iPod/iPhone use and for LCD production. Apple has also cooperated and invested in Intel for production of custom chips for production in the MacBook Air. I can't see why an investment in a data network (maybe that could be enhanced by their new North Carolina data center) isn't along these same lines.

To sum up ... if Apple wanted Verizon ... they would invest in Verizon's network and deployment and would do so with just 3 or 4 months profit. That time may certainly come next summer when AT&T's agreement comes up for renewal.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

NOOOOOOOO! Say It Ain't So ... Aptera Production Design Released?

I've commented many times about how Microsoft runs their business like a car company ... throwing out designs and prototypes months (sometimes years) before shipping the actual product. Then that final product usually ends up being radically different from the original concept.

One car company recently went from awesome to completely ugly ... Toyota ... with the 2010 Prius.

This was the concept 2010 Prius:



This is what the actual 2010 Prius looks like:



The wind has been knocked out my sails completely if the following rumor is true ...

Aptera's final production design:



One of the things that drew me to the Aptera was it's radical departure from today's automobile design. This "new design" (if true) is a huge letdown to everyone that has adamantly supported Aptera for the past two years.

I love the original design:



I doubt I'd even take the new design if it were given to me.

Monday, September 21, 2009

iPhone "Liquid Sensor" Faulty ... Yes, but it's not just iPhones


Consumerist: Is The iPhone 3G Liquid Sensor A Filthy Liar?


This is a cellphone insurance/ warranty fraud issue that is perpetrated by EVERY cellular carrier for the strict purpose of not honoring insurance claims. This isn't an Apple issue at all - even though Apple is stuck having to follow the policy.

Last week, my daughter's Samsung Blackjack II stopped charging. I took it into the AT&T store and asked that the $4.99 per month insurance cover the issue ... the salesperson took the battery cover off of the phone and said, "Oopsy the liquid sensor has been tripped, you'll have to pay the deductible." The deductible is $50.00. That makes the total cost of this phone in the 6 moths she's had it $684.20 (unsubsidized).

This isn't the first Samsung (or other cell phone) that I've had this happen ...

In March, I wanted to switch my wife from Verizon to an iPhone on AT&T under my account. She had a nice Samsung Alias phone that was in pretty good condition. I had a number of extra chargers and a Samsung branded bluetooth headset for it. Expecting to get $100.00 + for it and use the money towards the iPhone purchase, I took it to a local "Buy/Sell/Trade/Repair Cellphone Shop" called Hybrid Wireless in Greenville, South Carolina. The first thing they said was, "We can't take this, the water sensor has been tripped." - with the cap on, he pointed with a sharpie marker showing me a tiny sticker just above the battery that he said was suppose to be solid white. Instead, it had little pink crosses on it.


I've had two other cellphones with AT&T; a Nokia flip phone and an HP Smartphone. I never dropped either of them in water, never had them in the shower or in a steamy locker room ... just maybe a normal humid day in South Carolina ... EVERY day! Both stickers were pink inside these phones too - dramatically reducing their value for resale and voiding their warranties.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Together Dating: Let Us Choose You



I've recently had a flurry of activity on my Together Dating article:

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


It's a good read ... especially now that I've finally combined the whole story.

A few notes:

• Remember ... there's NO SUCH THING as a no cancellation policy if the goods or services were never delivered as contracted.

• There have been MANY class actions against Together Dating and they have NEVER WON any of them.

• One of the best things you can do to help others with their problems (and possibly help yourself) is report your local Together to the BBB.

• I have been contacted by multiple attorneys in the 1.5 years since this has been posted ... This is just my thoughts, but I have a feeling Together is about to be investigated by the FTC for deceptive practices.

• Know that Together finds people and chooses people to be involved (they recruit them) ... usually from other low cost dating websites. You will usually do about the same if you pay $15-$30 a month for Yahoo Personals or MATCH.COM. Together actually uses these services to increase their "pool" so to speak.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Fake PR machine @ eBay / Sellers are happy?



Last week, I got an "eBay magazine" in the mail ... sent from eBay telling me how to "optimize my sales".

It had a number of sellers with brief quotes about how they "liked" the new eBay changes.

I emailed one of the sellers "mentioned in the magazine" ... he said his actual email to eBay was far different and that he had sprinkled his posting with positive statements to get his point across - saying, "...a totally critical message usually falls on deaf ears."

What you can read below from SlashDot is what's really going on:

You can read the full article and all the comments here.

One thing that the story mentions is that sellers are complaining about their auction pages not rendering correctly after eBay enhanced its look. A lot of the "problem" is being blamed on sellers browsers - and - I'm sure you can guess - that anything besides Internet Explorer 7 or higher in Windows XP or higher is being blamed for the problems.

The changes implemented since 2007 have made eBay a miserable place for the "at home seller" ... eBay was more or less an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of thing. The ONLY change that needed to be made was lower prices and a negative feedback escrow that I've mentioned here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Our staff uses IBM computers and digital images must be in this format ... wait ... what?



My daughter is taking out a senior ad in her yearbook.

Part of the "instructions" state:

"Our staff uses IBM computers and digital images must be in this format."


It also says, "... images must be saved on disk, CD, or zip disk" ... okay ... I'll make sure to put it on zip disk.

I just thought this was interesting ... since pretty much day one of digital imagery the format has been .jpg hasn't it?

I mean professional images are in the raw format ... but wouldn't it help to have something saying .gif, .jpg, or .png instead of this?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Launch Of AT LIBERTY TO SAY DOT COM

Today ... I'm proud to announce the launch of my new website:

ATLIBERTYTOSAY.COM


FIXYOURTHINKING.COM will remain in place as my tech news and opinion blog.

I wanted to have a more personal website where I could discuss local issues ... in my hometown of Liberty SC.

I've kept a journal since I was in 5th grade (10 years old) ... when I was told to start keeping this journal by a family court judge at the end of my parent's divorce, I backdated it to when I was 5 with a few stories from when I was younger.

I've always enjoyed writing ... I discovered that it was my true calling during my biggest test ... a federal court case that was brought against my blog (FIXYOURTHINKING) ...

So, I'm going to try hard to make a go of it ...

For the next 6 months ...I'm going to try to write both here (@ FIXYOURTHINKING.COM) and ATLIBERTYTOSAY.COM.

I've noticed that world of tech news and opinion is hard to follow sometimes because so many people are reporting false stories ... just so they can be the first to report them.

With local news that I can observe first hand ... I have my own perspective, my own facts, and therefore my own stories.

I also think publishing my personal stories on a more local website may get more eyes with more "I care, because I know who, what, and where he's talking about."

I'm still in the early stages of launch ... I hope to polish the look soon. I used this site as my template so you may not notice a whole lot different at the moment.

ATLIBERTYTOSAY.COM

Friday, September 04, 2009

AT&T press release about the iPhone & MMS

AT&T announced yesterday that MMS would be on the iPhone on September 25 and would involve a software update - I'm guessing from Apple and I'm guessing this will be the 3.1 update.

The AT&T press release:

http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=1574

I found the press release honest and forthcoming ... but the constant complainers managed to see negatives.

From the press release:

We know that iPhone users will embrace MMS. The unique capabilities and high usage of the iPhone’s multimedia capabilities required us to work on our network MMS architecture to carry the expected record volumes of MMS traffic and ensure an excellent experience from Day One. We appreciate your patience as we work toward that end.

We’re riding the leading edge of smartphone growth that’s resulted in an explosion of traffic over the AT&T network. Wireless use on our network has grown an average of 350 percent year-over-year for the past two years, and is projected to continue at a rapid pace in 2009 and beyond. The volume of smartphone data traffic the AT&T network is handling is unmatched in the wireless industry. We want you to know that we’re working relentlessly to innovate and invest in our network to anticipate this growth in usage and to stay ahead of the anticipated growth in data demand, new devices and applications for years to come.


As I mentioned earlier, my sources tell me that there was a huge network security issue to work out as well.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The difference between sell in and sell through ...

The Palm Pre vs the iPhone:

"... analyst David Eller asserted in a research note this morning that sales of the Pre “are continuing to slow,” and “likely will come in dramatically below” Sprint’s (S) reputed target of 1 million to 1.5 million customers for the year. Eller now sees the company selling 416,000 units in the August quarter overall, down from a previous estimate of 488,000. For the November quarter, Eller expects the company to ship 785,000 units."

The confusion between sell-in and sell-through continues.

In the piece above from Barron's Tech Trader Daily Blog, the terms SELL IN & SELL THROUGH are used interchangeably. Sell-in units are sales by Palm to those who sell to end-users (IE Best Buy/Sprint Stores/Radio Shack), Sell-through units are sales to end-users (IE You, Me, Shoppers, Corporations).

The 416,000 is a sell-THROUGH rate, the 700,000+ is a sell-in rate.

Palm sold-IN somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 LAST quarter ... they sold-through none at all.

Because of worldwide demand for the Apple iPhone - "sell through rates" for the iPhone at retailers are nearly neck and neck with Apple's "sell in rates".

This means there was still a glut of Pre's lying around at retailers.

When I went into a Sprint Store last month, the sales associate, in a dead store, in a busy area, hadn't seen but about 3 sales a week.

I see an iPhone at least 3 times a day and I take notice of just about everyone's phone nowadays and usually even discuss their phone with them if we have more than 10 seconds together ... agree with John Gruber of Daring Fireball from yesterday ...

"Anecdotally, I haven’t seen a single Pre in use in real life."

The Pre isn't stoking demand for Sprint as much as anticipated.

The iPhone, even with the mass attack on AT&T service, is generating an enormous influx of users for AT&T.

T-Mobile Raised Rates on 09/01/09 / Use This As A Reason To Switch Without An Early Termination Fee To AT&T/ Use savings to get an iPhone

T-Mobile Raises Rates


As reported by The Consumerist:

T-mobile [raised] overage rates September 1st.

Customers can use it to cancel without early termination fee.

For single line plans under $59.99 and pooling plans under $89.99, overage rates increase to $.45. All other single and pooling plans increase to $.40. The rate increase amounts to what is known as a "materially adverse change of contract," which, under standard contract law, voids the original agreement, making it so customers can leave their cellphone contract without the usual early termination penalty.

... they may say things to you like, "you have to have had overage charges recently for the change to affect you". Or,"that based on your plan history, the change won't effect you." That's not how materially adverse changes work. It's if it could effect you.

If you need it, here is the relevant paragraph from the T-mobile contract to read:

Changes to the Agreement or Charges. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY LAW, IF WE: (A)INCREASE THE CHARGES INCLUDED IN YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING ACCESS RATE PLAN, OR (B) MODIFY A MATERIAL TERM OF OUR AGREEMENT WITH YOU AND THE MODIFICATION WOULD BE MATERIALLY ADVERSE TO YOU, WE WILL NOTIFY YOU OF THE INCREASE OR MODIFICATION AND YOU CAN CANCEL THAT SERVICE WITHOUT PAYING A CANCELLATION FEE (WHICH IS YOUR ONLY REMEDY) BY FOLLOWING THE CANCELLATION INSTRUCTIONS IN THE NOTICE. IF YOU DO NOT CANCEL YOUR SERVICE BY FOLLOWING THOSE INSTRUCTIONS, OR YOU OTHERWISE ACCEPT THE CHANGE, THEN YOU AGREE TO THE INCREASE OR MODIFICATION, EVEN IF YOU PAID FOR SERVICE IN ADVANCE. IF THE NOTICE DOES NOT SAY HOW LONG YOU HAVE TO CANCEL, THEN IT IS WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE NOTICE, UNLESS A LONGER PERIOD IS REQUIRED BY LAW. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY LAW, CHARGES FOR PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OPTIONAL SERVICES, OR ANY OTHER CHARGES THAT ARE NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING ACCESS RATE PLAN (SUCH AS DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE, ROAMING, DOWNLOADS, AND THIRD-PARTY CONTENT) ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE, AND IF YOU CONTINUE TO USE THOSE SERVICES, OR YOU OTHERWISE AGREE TO THE CHANGES, THEN YOU AGREE TO THE NEW CHARGES. VISIT OUR WEB SITE, RETAIL LOCATIONS, OR CALL CUSTOMER CARE FOR CURRENT CHARGES.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

eBay Sells Skype For Loss/Strategy Of Shareholders The Same

In yet another eBay management blunder:




GigaOm's Om Malik:


Om Malik on the news that eBay is selling Skype for a loss:


... eBay paid billions for Skype but didn’t get the crown jewels, a.k.a. the technology. I reported this oversight back in 2005. How then-CEO Meg Whitman signed off on the deal, I still can’t understand. I mean, even a lemonade stand owner who can’t tie his shoelaces wouldn’t overlook something as simple as that. And what about the eBay executives who were shepherding that deal?


Meg Whitman abandoned eBay just as things were about to get bad ... really bad.


eBay, as a friendly online yard sale, is long gone. It's turned into a place where sellers from Hong Kong can fence things through customs without paying duties and a place where hoardes of buyers armed with ruining your business without recourse or complication congregate.


It's obvious that eBay has been making bad decisions for 5+ years. This is one of many things to come.


See where eBay bought and sold another unrelated to its core business called "StumbleUpon" here:




I stay on ebay in limited capacity because it's easy for me to advertise and link to and gives the apprearance of a reputation that I cannot show to the world in any other economical way.