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The Apple Is Rotting March 11, 2011

Posted by weare1 in commentary, economics, frugality, geek, OS X, rant, software.
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Steve’s not gone for five minutes before they start up with the old greedy tricks again. Apple’s done it again by charging $5 for their compiler. Do they hope to increase their bottom line $5 at a time from DEVELOPERS?! Or maybe they just want to alienate their developers. Or maybe they want to discourage the next great developer from writing the next great thing for their platform. Hello Apple, you WANT developers.  Repeat until understood; Developers are not a profit center!

Those of you that are old school remember when Steve left (got kicked out) in the mid 80’s and what happened to Apple then; They produced marketing limited computers, and shoddy overpriced products. Straight up, they got lazy and greedy. Lest us not forget that it was Apple during this time that invented the mandatory operating system upgrade, now standard industry practice for revenue generation (greed.)

Maybe their success with their AppStore went to their head, and they think that now they don’t need developers, or that they can be treated poorly, or even milked for revenue.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  Apple’s distribution costs are essentially zero, I just don’t understand this decision at all.  I understand the people running the company now are MBA’s just like Scully was, it’s so obvious.  While the street might say that you need MBA’s to run this company, it’s painfully obvious they want to run it into the ground by milking every drip of revenue from it they can.  They know nothing about sustainability or innovation.

Apple you’re going in the wrong direction again. Charging for your development platform has to be the stupidest decision in the modern computer business. You should, in addition to reverting the compiler back to free, go one step further and either continue to support your older operating systems like 10.4 or offer upgrades for free. Making operating systems essentially a subscription service might apparently help your bottom line, but you risk losing customers. If your competitors weren’t lazier and more greedy then you, then you might have real competition; Rest assured at some point in time it will happen. Lets hope by then you’re not too fat, lazy, and greedy to change.

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United Breaks Guitars July 7, 2009

Posted by weare1 in comedy, commentary, economics, frugality, links, music, rant, travel.
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YouTube – United Breaks Guitars

The Power of the Internet Community October 19, 2007

Posted by weare1 in economics, frugality, Internet, rant, travel.
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holidayparty12.jpgI’m asking for your help, thats right, you. I’m helping out a buddy trying to get some donations going for the Johnny’s trip project. This is a great cause and he could use a break, help prove the power and generosity of the Internet community at:

http://johnnystrip.chipin.com

ALWAYS use American Express June 20, 2007

Posted by weare1 in economics, frugality, travel.
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American Express won a customer for life in me.  I only use American Express now for any purchase where it is accepted.  The reason?  Outstanding customer service.  By excellent customer service I don’t mean nice CSRs.  They really saved my bacon when I was traveling and SAS lost my bag which they had charged me $235(US) in overweight fees, and refused to refund.  Because SAS was being completely customer hostile and refusing me any help at all I called AMEX travel services and told them my information.  They called all the airlines for me, and ultimately found my bag saving my trip.  I was blown away by the ease of using this service and the professionalism of the representative who really went above and beyond and took down all my information comprehensively and politely.  If I had used another card I wouldn’t have had this help when I needed it most and not have enjoyed my very expensive vacation.  Use Amex for everything, they stand behind their customers.

Stealth Inflation October 14, 2006

Posted by weare1 in commentary, economics, frugality, rant.
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sr-71_blackbird_3.jpgAt the simplest level inflation is where your dollar buys less then it did before. If you follow the Federal numbers on inflation you would think inflation is under control, well I’ve got news for you, they have manipulated their statistics not to show real inflation. Stealth inflation is the slow creep of value being drained from your dollar. Does it cost you the same to live the same way now as it did last month? No, just a little bit more. If you’ll read some of my earlier posts you’ll see some complaints about hidden pricing. I’ve had 2 service providers pull bullshit “regulatory compliance fee” price hikes this month alone. This is stealth inflation. It costs me more this month to use my cell phone and Internet then it did last month, however if you called up those companies and said “how much is your service” they would tell you the same numbers they did last month. They lie. My cable TV costs have risen about 25%, for less service. These companies are going to continue adding hidden pricing just as fast as they think they can get away with, this problem isn’t going to get better, it’s going to get worse, a lot worse. Unless and until consumers band together and refuse to accept hidden pricing it will continue. Clog their customer service lines, cancel your service (price hikes allow you to escape your contract or commitment.) Incidentally two-year contacts are a relatively recent development starting around ’95. Because we consumers have refused to argue this practice is now quite widespread. Contacts like this are purely in the corporate interest, they don’t help you at all, if you think it protects you against price hikes you’re wrong, they still pull stealth increases like additional “regulatory compliance fee.” What kind of bullshit is that? They obviously want you to believe it’s some sort of official tax, thats why they list it with the real taxes and not in your main bill, their intention is to deceive you. Are you stupid? They think so. If you accept these you may very well be. My generation has seen approximately 35% inflation over our lifetime, meaning my dollar can buy 35% less stuff then my dad’s dollar. Think about that.

At the same time are you making 35% more income then your parents? Not likely as wages have been essentially stagnant for the last 15 years. We are going in the wrong direction. With our law making bodies hopeless addicted to special interests and their corporate bosses, what chance do we have to change the way things are going? Not good. I am very seriously considering cashing in all my investments and investing in Euros to protect my investments against inflation.

I would love to hear some arguments telling me why I’m wrong, or what we should do.

I don’t digg getting shafted by large corporations!

Bad Company October 13, 2006

Posted by weare1 in frugality.
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sprint.jpgNo, Sprint, you can’t raise my “surcharges & fees” without any advance notice then refuse to tell me why when I call you up. Oh, and if you hang upon me, I’m going to switch providers. After navigating Sprint’s bullshit voice-mail system to talk to a “real” person, the first CSR flat out refused to help me, I nicely asked to speak with his supervisor, who was even less helpful, and downright hostile. I said that I’ve been a customer for over 7 years, and would they please transfer me to customer retention, because I was going to quit Sprint, if they couldn’t answer my question. Not only couldn’t the customer retention specialist help me, she hung up on me when I told her I would have to switch if they couldn’t help me. 1) how are these reps trained? 2) “this call may be monitored for quality assurance”, does anyone actually review these, because these reps had no hesitation to be rude and unresponsive.

Long story short, don’t use Sprint unless you want unexplained mysterious new poorly named charges on your bill, rude customer service, and to be hung up on by CSRs.

JungleDisk – Reliable online storage powered by Amazon S3™ October 4, 2006

Posted by weare1 in frugality, gadgets, geek, Internet, OS X, software.
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jdisk.jpgHard disks fail. It’s only a matter of time. Backups are a pain in the ass. Finally I’ve found a great solution for this common computing problem. JungleDisk is a cross-platform application to backup your data off-site on Amazon’s S3 storage server cloud. This thing is fantastic, and the economics of the S3 backup service are good. Having your data off-site is essential because any catastrophe could take out your original data as well as your on-site backups. Even RAID is not a good solution because of the locality of the data.

While JungleDisk isn’t perfect, it’s a great start. It has built-in encryption to protect your data, you can backup and access your data as a drive letter disk. This tool is going to help me sleep better at night, and that’s a good thing. I heartily recommend this application and service.

JungleDisk – Reliable online storage powered by Amazon S3™

I digg sleeping better at night

Fair and Balanced – no really October 1, 2006

Posted by weare1 in frugality, gadgets, rant.
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dsc01313.JPGWhile I do use this blog to bitch about stuff that isn’t up to par, a frightfully common occurrence, I forgot to mention this good story about Sony a while back in the pre-blog days, well for me anyhow. Although the LCD HDTV I got from Sony was great, it didn’t work with the Sony camera I had. I even went in to the Sony Style store in San Francisco and showed them it didn’t work on their TV with their camera. They said they would follow-up (but they didn’t). I called Sony and after what seemed like a brush off they came back to me albeit about a month later with a patch for my TV’s firmware on a USB memory stick.

So kudos to Sony for doing the right thing. I know they’ve got a bad rep these days after that rootkit fiasco, their music software really is dookieware, but they did come through for me when I needed it. I use my TV (BRAVIA XBR-32) to review my digital camera photos, and it looks mahvalous, well when I can hold my tiny Sony digital camera (T-5) steady that is.

Bogus Pricing Dept. – Incumbents Back Off Fees, Why Not Speakeasy? October 1, 2006

Posted by weare1 in frugality, Internet, rant.
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>$Speakeasy.net replaced their actual FUSF tax with a line item called “Regulatory Compliance Fee” after the FCC stopped the FUSF fee requirement. This is a bogus way to hide prices, a hidden charge, one which they would not quote to a new customer. SE has been a great ISP for me for the last few years but they are about to lose my business over this stupid issue. They will lose about $86/mo in revenue by defending this bogus $4.16 charge, good business, no, sleazy business.

Shame on Speakeasy for sleazy business practices, shame on the FCC for not protecting consumers. Where are the DA’s for WA and CA? Anyone who wants to form a class action, leave a comment.
broadband help » News » Incumbents Back Off Fees, Why Not Speakeasy? – Fee re-balancing act allows ISP to dodge media bullets

Shit that falls apart is not cool September 22, 2006

Posted by weare1 in frugality, rant.
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I’m getting sick of cheaply made products that don’t last. Stuff just isn’t built to last these days. These Philips headphones literally fell apart after a year of use. The headphones they replaced lasted for over five years under the same conditions. Can someone recommend a pair of comfortable headphones with good sound quality that will last longer then a year?

 

 

Update: Philips customer service (rudely) told me they could care less that their shit falls apart, stupid consumer.