Store.apple.com is down right now, which usually means one of tow things. Either Apple's IT staff is performing maintenance on their servers, or new products are about to be posted. Nope, neither is the case. The real reason; I bought a second iPhone today, and that brought the online store to its knees. Yes, that's it. Take that, Apple. Fortunately the store went down after my iPhone shipped.
Now to track my package and bring Fedex down as well.
[update:] It's back up and it appears to be nothing more than a maintenance update. I noticed the site was having issues throughout the day, shortly after I placed my order.
Apple's closest rivals in the wireless handset business are taking full advantage of the company's platform dictatorship, extolling the openness of their own software to application development. Highlighting a strategy of use me, abuse me, do what you want to me approach to software design, Microsoft and Symbian are quick to point out that their platforms aren't surrounded by high voltage fences and men in guard towers with sniper rifles.
Who can put a price on pain and suffering? Your attorney can, of course... to the total sum of a cool 1 Million dollars. Dongmei Li of Queens, New York (I didn't know people living in Queens could afford iPhones) claims that Apple's dramatic iPhone price cut is a flagrant violation of consumer price discrimination laws. Her suit alleges that the price cut hurts early adopters by deflating the iPhone's resale value. I call that the price of early adoption, but apparently it is grounds for litigation. Who knew?
So let me get this straight... if I walk into Wal-Mart and buy a head of lettuce, which then subsequently drops in price by 20 cents after I leave the store, I can then sue Wal-Mart for damages? Hot damn! I'm going to start watching for those falling prices and little yellow smiley faces.
figure 1: All this and more for just 70 Schrutebucks.
If you use a Windows PC as a DVR and are looking to get away from iTunes for syncing your video to your iPhone or iPod, it looks like Beyond TV might be worth a peek. The new version of Beyond TV, 4.7, not only syncs your shows to the iPhone or iPod, but also pulls out your podcasts from iTunes. Not bad!
figure 1: a mockup of a device on Intel's Moorestown chip
The Apple iPhone is currently based off the ARM processor platform, but they are reportedly considering a switch to Intel in 2009. Some sites are expanding that news as justification for no 3rd party development, but I don't buy it. And why not? Because a web widget -- the simplest form of native 3rd party development -- can be written in processor-agnostic fashion. Indeed, most of them would.
Tech curmudgeon John C. Dvorak (the C stands for cranky) points the spotlight of criticism on Apple for its blatant act of bricking unlocked iPhones. He points out that in many overseas markets unlocked phones are common place, and a lucrative business. Hey, John... I agree with you, but trying to get Apple to change its policies is like trying to wrestle a half ton alligator. It's a futile effort and just makes the gator angry.
Microsoft has come out with new Zune models. The original Zune is now known as the Zune 30GB, and added to the family are now the Zune 80GB and two flash models, the Zune 4GB and the Zune 8GB. It looks like they added some media formats for video and music, so the new Zunes should be more useful than the old Zunes. Also, features from the new Zunes will be ported to the Zune 30GB so the early adopters get the full Zune treatment. Still, if you're reading this, you likely have an iPhone, and like the rest of society have no use for a new Zune when they come out in November. [via]
My iPhone came well in advance of the computer. So for nearly ten days, I had an attractive looking paperweight. Meanwhile, a box full of accessories went to a different address -- I was on vacation you see -- so I couldn’t do much except stare at the iPhone box. Finally, I figured I would activate the iPhone on a different computer – though there is a danger to this madness. When I finally synched it to my home computer, I'd essentially be 'wiping' the iPhone and starting anew. Still, I had a working iPhone for a couple of days before the device and accessories were united.
Like a giddy young girl headed to the prom, my iPhone looked at the box of accessories. Cases, screen protectors, sync and charge cables, even a fancy Motorola Bluetooth headset were ready to take her out. The question of course: what to wear. Well, the one screen protector was a no-brainer. No one wants to get damaged on a night out. The sync and charge cable was a simple retracting affair. No, it was the cases that posed the most difficulty. There were three soft rubberized cases in pink, brown (yuck), and blue. Two semi hard cases, and a Tough Skin Sport by Speck. And the prettiest of the lot was an executive deep red leather case. For whatever reason, I was attracted to the light blue bad-boy-sounding Marware Sport Grip (store link, $14.95).
Ambrosia Software, makers of iToner, a software program used to put ringtones on an iPhone, have announced that they are still working on fixing iToner for firmware version 1.1.1. They expect to have an update Real Soon Now:
AT&T has modified their Terms of Service to bar their customers from griping. Their new terms of service now includes language that states they can terminate your connection for doing things that "tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries." An important distinction: the threat gag is just for the DSL portion of AT&T, aka BellSouth.
I don't expect it to work; actually, I expect it to backfire. Case in point, I'm going to slur the name of AT&T in this very sentence when I would not have otherwise:
Last week and the proceeding weekend I was on the receiving end of some terrible misfortune; the worst series of mishaps I have endured in... well, quite a long while. Fools rush in where hackers fear to tread. And I not only rushed in, I kicked in the door and set fire to the house on my in. Very unwise.
Someone has posted a YouTube parody video of Apple's 'Think different' campaign. Until folks manage to crack and hack the 1.1.1 firmware, it probably functions as a eulogy for the 1.0.2 firmware that allowed us to install 3rd party applications and unlock our iPhones. There was a nice little ecosystem going on the iPhone for a while, and it was pretty much nipped in the bud.
'For those claims which the Court is still likely to take into account, Li is requesting compensatory damages in the amount of $1 million, punitive damages in the amount to be determined at trial, and a court order that she is entitled to "threefold her damages, the costs involved in maintaining this action, and attorney's fees."'
Dongmei Lee's class-action lawsuit doesn't address the bricking of iPhones with the recent update, so maybe iPhoneClassActionLawsuitVille will be a two-horse town sooner rather than later.