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