Category: Apple

iPad Security Flaw; Rush Limbaugh on Matthew Shepard

iPad Security Flaw

I titled this post with iPad because I know so many read this blog on an iPad, but it’s a security flaw that’s with other Apple devices, too. If you haven’t been reading or listening to the news to learn about an update that hopefully fixes it you might have to deal with what’s called a cyber “man in the middle attack.” I updated immediately. It’s a really a quick fix that doesn’t take long. And from what I’ve read it’s mostly for people who use unsecured Wi-Fi connections.

Some people have issues with the update. I didn’t have a problem. I highly suggest reading this article below for more information.

The iPad upgrade, though, was something of a disaster. The device disconnected itself in the middle of the upgrade for some reason (I really don’t know why; I had it sitting off by itself on the corner of my desk; all I can think of is the cable got bumped). Interrupting the process is never good, and in this case it totally freaked out my iPad. I lost everything on it and it wouldn’t even show me my home screen!

I didn’t have any issues when I upgraded, knock wood. But evidently that’s not the case with everyone. If you are tech challenged you might want to check it out with an Apple rep.

You can read more here.

Rush Limbaugh on Matthew Shepard

Faker and multi-millionaire pundit who will do anything for a buck or to get attention, Rush Limbaugh, recently commented that the death of Matthew Shepard was not a gay hate crime. His highly disorganized sentence doesn’t even make sense.

‘Jason Coll(ins) – who by the way took number 98 in solidarity with Matthew Shepard, who was, it’s now been proven didn’t happen, but reputed to have beaten up by a bunch of anti-gay bigots.’

You can read more here about the Matthew Shepard hate crime, where there are several details about what transpired.

In 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act  which allows for added charges and harsher jail sentences for those convicted of what is deemed to be a hate crime, a crime against somebody’s race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The article gives an assumption about why Limbaugh doesn’t think Shepard’s case was a hate crime. But I’m not weighing on that. My point with this entire part of the post is to inform people that Rush Limbaugh is a pundit, a radio personality, an actor, and a personality who will do anything to get attention. In a way, he’s an exaggerated clown given far too much credibility than he deserves.  He’s laughing all the way to the proverbial bank. And he’s not the only one. He’s just like the rest of them, even his biggest competition on the liberal end. Don’t pay attention to anything these pundit people say. They are getting paid millions of dollars to sensationalize and spin truth and most people don’t realize this.

Penis Politics; 1-800-Flowers, Rush Limbaugh; Huge Tech Firms Ruling Us

Penis Politics

This article to which I’m linking talks about the way some gay men tend to exaggerate when it comes to penis size. And, how studies have shown penis size has a direct correlation to capitalism and money. It also discusses Grindr and how it’s hard to depend on anything at a glance, so to speak. But most of all, it talks about the unrealistic expectations most gay men have when it comes to penis politics.

Instead of holding out for an unrealistic fantasy, Justin Huang believes gay men should start embracing each other for exactly who they are. “Gay men need to stop expecting each other to be porn stars,” Huang said. “If you dump a guy just because of his penis size, you are an asshole. So if you love your man, tell him that you like his penis. After all, when you’re dating a guy, you’re dating two people: You’re dating him and you’re dating his penis. We need to start valuing and appreciating both of them.”

What Huang says makes perfect sense, and for the most part I think this is something gay men learn as they grow and mature. In other words, after you’ve gone through enough bad partners because of your unrealistic expectations (and judgments) there comes a time in life when you start to realize you have to stop thinking that way. It happens to most of us under the age of thirty. My grandmother, in her blunt way, used to have an old saying about this: if you want to live happily ever after you’d better lower your God damn standards or you’re going to wind up old and alone.

You can read more about penis politics here.

1-800-Flowers, Rush Limbaugh

I guess you can’t be too careful about anything these days. Last week I ordered a flower arrangement for Valentine’s Day from to be delivered to my mom from Tony and me. I’ve used them before, most recently in December for two gay friends…a couple who’ve been together for over thirty years…who got married in New Jersey. When my mom got the arrangement she sent me an e-photo and I posted that on Facebook with a comment about One of my FB friends saw it an commented that 1-800-Flowers is a major advertiser for none other than anti-gay Rush Limbaugh.

I did a simple search and found this:

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, this is to remind consumers, that after spotlighting these three Limbaugh sponsors last week, they have all chosen to ignore the thousands of requests to move their ads from just one show. They have opted to support his racism, sexism, bigotry, gay-hating and smut for the chance to make a few more dollars. In the end, they lose.

One of the three sponsors is 1-800-Flowers.

Then I found this:

Many of you may be contemplating ordering flowers for Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to remind you that when you place an order with 1800Flowers you are helping to support Rush Limbaugh.
Help spread the word and buy your flowers elsewhere.

I only wish I’d known before I placed the order. There are plenty of  supportive florists right here in Bucks County, PA I would have used had I known 1-800-Flowers supports anti-gay pundits. And while I have no issue with Limbaugh or 1-800-Flowers exercising their right to free speech, I personally will never support 1-800-Flowers again in response to their free speech. I think I have a right to free speech, too, last I heard.

I’m not a huge fan of boycotts. I’m not sure they work and they aren’t always productive. However, in this case, knowing how Rush Limbaugh takes advantage of his platform to sensationalize and spread hate for money (because he knows he can), it would be counter-productive to support any business affiliated with the likes of Rush Limbaugh. And for the record, I’m not a huge fan of any pundits or circus clowns. I’m not even fond of Rachel Maddow. They will do anything for money, and unlike prostitution what they do is legal.

Stay away from 1-800-Flowers and pundits making millions of dollars at our expense.

 Huge Tech Firms Ruling Us

This next article talks about how large tech companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google are continuously branching out into new fields and slowly taking control of everything in sight. It’s reaching a point where it’s getting harder for smaller companies to compete.

Increasingly, American technology is dominated by a handful of companies allied to a small but powerful group of investors and serial entrepreneurs. These firms and individuals certainly compete but largely only with other members of their elite club. And while top executives and investors move from one firm to another, the big companies have constrained competition for those below the executive tier with gentleman’s agreements not to recruit each other’s top employees.

This is a long and in-depth article that covers a lot of ground, from the way Amazon is getting into space travel, to the way our geographical power centers like NY and LA have shifted to places like Silicon Valley, to how journalism and news is changing almost daily.

While there is no way to stop this kind of progress, I don’t always understand why consumers are so faithful to some of these companies. It’s just as easy to order from a smaller online business as it is from a mega tech firm. Maybe it’s time for a consumer watch for all purchases online, where there are guides and examples to show consumers they are NOT at the mercy of these big companies and the more they fuel them the harder it’s going to be for smaller online retailers.

You can rad more here.

Federal Judge Cuts Damage Award to Apple

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh lowered the damages awarded to Apple Inc. by $450.5 million for 14 Samsung products including some products in its hot-selling Galaxy lineup, saying jurors had not properly followed her instruction in calculating some of the damages.

This is significant for many reasons, one of which is Samsung had been expected to pay 1 billion dollars in damages to Apple.

Judge Koh also found errors that pertain to how and when Apple notified Samsung about allegedly violating patents with iPhone and iPad. And she ordered a new trial.

Samsung is thrilled.

No comment from the royal palace of Apple.

The more I read this article the more I liked Judge Koh. And I’m by no means an expert.

In December, Koh refused to order a sales ban on the products the jury found infringed Apple’s patents. She said Apple failed to prove the purloined technology is what drove consumers to buy a Samsung product instead of an Apple iPhone or iPad. Samsung says that it is continues to sell only three of the two dozen products found to have infringed Apple’s patents.

What drives customers to buy a Samsung product over Apple is a little more complicated than what Apple allegedly claims. I stay away from Apple products because I don’t like the general concept of control Apple has always wanted to promote and maintain with its products and how it views the Internet as a whole.

You can read more here.

What really bothers me about all this is the jury’s original verdict. Things have changed in the past ten or fifteen years. People aren’t the same as they used to be. I know people who would die for Apple and they don’t even know why. If you ask them they draw a blank…and these are people who most of the time can’t even afford an Apple product. They’re all so political, but yet when you ask them a specific political question that goes deeper than what they read on facebook or twitter they either don’t know or get the answer dead wrong. And to trust something as complicated as this to a jury that I would bet didn’t understand half of what happened during the trial truly makes me wonder about how the legal systems works.

On a much smaller scale, I’ve seen a few other cases that ended in ways no one would ever have predicted. And it’s going to be interesting to see how this all unfolds.

E-Book Pricing: DOJ/Publisher Settlement Approved

When I saw this tonight I wanted to post something fast.

For those who have been led to believe this is about e-books putting bookshops and print books out of business you might want to read the facts a little closer.

As I see it, this is more about collusion. Period.

A federal judge has approved the U.S. Justice Department’s settlement with a trio of electronic book publishers accused of conspiring in a price-fixing scheme orchestrated by the late Steve Jobs.

Among other things, the agreement requires the publishers — Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster — to abandon the pricing system that they had conceived with Apple before it released its iPad tablet in 2010. The change is supposed to come within the next week.

You can read more here at Bloomberg Businessweek.

Apple Awarded 1.051 Billion by Jury

It seems Apple is involved in a legal battle almost everywhere I look these days. I’ve only been following this one from a distance, but I have to admit I’m a little surprised…knowing how Apple tends to do business from reading about their past records. Steve Jobs himself made comments about stealing ideas and concepts and laughed them off with a quote from someone I can’t name now. I read that in his bio and it was one of the things that stuck with me…along with how peculiar he was when it come to food, how poorly he treated people, and how he regarded his own daughter.

The jury in the landmark Apple-Samsung trial ruled mostly in favor of Apple, including awarding Apple $1,051,855,000 in damages. Samsung, on the other hand, was granted a total of $0 in damages.

Here’s a quick rundown of how the jury came down on both of the companies. Remember, there are plenty of devices at play here — on Samsung’s side alone, there’s the Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Fascinate, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Prevail, Galaxy S, Exhibit, Infuse 4G, Mesmerize, Nexus S 4G, Gem, Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Replenish, Vibrant, plus every carrier’s version of the Galaxy S II.

■The jury found no infringement by Apple on any of Samsung’s utility patents.
■The jury found that Samsung infringed on patents for ’381 “bounce back” scrolling functionality on all devices.

You can read more here.

Frankly, when I read things like this it worries me about how jury members think and process information. I was stunned recently by more than a few high profile murder cases, and I can’t help wondering if jury members are different now than they were twenty or thirty years ago.

This part scares me the most, especially the part about them not coming from technical backgrounds:

The verdict came in shockingly quickly, as the jury was only in deliberation for three days. The jury worked one hour late yesterday and reached a decision at 2:35 PT today. Over 700 individual decisions had to be made by members of the jury, which does not come from particularly technical backgrounds, on their complex worksheets.

Android, Small Tablets, and Apple

Here’s an interesting article from CNET that discusses the rumor of a small tablet kind of/sort of iPad from Apple. But with android tablets working so well for so many people is it really necessary for Apple to compete in this market?

I’ve posted about how much I love my Nextbook tablet more than once. For me, the Nextbook tablet was the alternative to an iPad…because I have three dedicated e-readers, an iPhone, and three working computers. I’m not even counting Tony’s notebook, his computers, or the two laptops. We work at home; we need to have backups at all times.

So the last thing I needed was to spend over five hundred dollars on an iPad that may or may not become obsolete within the next two years. For me, tech devices aren’t a hobby and they aren’t toys. I need to think about performance as well as cost at all times. I opted for the Nextbook tablet instead, mainly because it was cheaper and because I knew it wouldn’t be around for more than two years. I simply just assume nowadays that new devices will be launched and I’ll wind up looking for the next best deal. And I’ve been more than satisfied with the performance and the speed of the Nextbook. I even love reading on it. And it’s evident I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I (and presumably millions of other people) have been using the 7-inch Kindle Fire since late last year. It’s a great deal for $199, offering the basics that satisfy a lot of non-techie consumers: a good e-mail app, fast browser, Kindle reader, good movie viewer (I quit Netflix and went with Amazon’s service). And it has a good display, to boot.

Then, of course, we have the $199 Google Nexus 7, which got an Editor’s Choice rating from CNET Reviews.

I’m curious about this one myself. At this point, I don’t need it. But if I did it would probably be in my top ten choices.

Which brings us back to Apple. It already offers the 9.7-inch $399 iPad 2. Does Apple need to go lower, smaller than that?

I will admit that if Apple did come out with something very different from smaller androids I would seriously think about buying one. Although I’ve never been a huge Apple fan because of their philosophy, I have to be honest about the fact that I do prefer the quality of my iPhone over all other devices I own. As I said, I’m happy with my Nextbook. I would do it over again to save the money. But when I switch from using my iPhone to my Nextbook it’s a lot like switching from a well made luxury car to a basic economy car. In this sense, you get what you pay for. But then again we don’t all need well made luxury cars to get from point A to point B.

Apple Wanted Readers to Pay More for E-books?

I’ve posted about the DOJ lawsuit before, and about literary agents writing letters because they feared a settlement would be “onerous” to publishing as we know it.

And now I’m linking to an article by that talks about how Apple allegedly wanted readers to pay more for e-books.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote noted in her written ruling that Jobs had made statements that agreements between the publishers and Apple Inc., based in Cupertino, Calif., would cause consumers to “pay a little more” and that prices would “be the same” at Apple and

The judge noted that Jobs told the publishers that “the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway.”

I’m sure there’s more to come from all this. And it sounds as if Judge Cote isn’t buying any of it.

DOJ Lawsuit with Apple: The Simple Version

I wanted to post something simple about the DOJ’s lawsuit with Apple. I’ve read so much, and so many complicated articles, I thought this one seemed to nail it in a basic sense. There’s also a poll I thought was interesting, especially because I’m with the majority of other people who took the poll. The law is the law and no one is above it, not even Apple, regardless of personal opinions.

This is important because it can change things down the line. The link I found is from the LA Times. As far as explanations go, this is one of the best I’ve seen so far. You can get there from here.

Seth Godin, Censorship,, and Apple

(Update: I received an e-mail from with an explanation as to what might have happened. They were very gracious and took the time to explain everything in detail to me. Evidently, it’s something to do with the way the book was tagged. Which I understand. I will post more soon. I’ve always supported ARe for their excellent product descriptions, and it’s nice to know they care enough to get back this soon.)

Late last night I went over to Dystel & Goderich to read a few blog posts to take my mind off the fact that ARe banned one of my books for no valid reason I can see, and I found a blog post there about censorship with a link to a great article written by Seth Godin.

Although Seth Godin’s situation is quite different from mine, it’s still the same thing in a general sense. Apple is allegedly refusing to carry his book for their own reasons, which are explained in detail in his article.

In my case with “Skater Boy” it’s not only unfair because my book doesn’t fall under any of the targeted categories that are being banned, but also because it’s implying I write books with these taboo topics. In other words, I have never written about incest, bestiality, and the other taboo topics that are all being banned right now. I’ve never read them either. I don’t even read BDSM books. I respect those who do. But it’s not for me. (Not to mention the fact that ARe took down “Skater Boy” this week, and left up an anthology where the same story was published a few years earlier under the title “In This Our Day.”)

And the sheer fact that I don’t have the choice anymore bothers me intensely. As a reader, I don’t like other people making these decisions for me, nor do I like having my freedom taken away. I’m an adult and I feel capable of making adult decisions without anyone’s help.

Anyway, check out Seth’s article about his experience. It’s very interesting.

There’s been a long history of ubiquity at the bookstore. With a few extreme exceptions, just about every book is available at every bookstore if you’re willing to order it. Universal availability feels like part of the contract we make with bookstores-we expect them to sell everything. In the digital world, this goes triple, because there’s no issue of shelf space to deal with. Read more…

Apple/Publisher Law Suit Over E-book Pricing

I’ve posted about how it really galls me that I’m expected to pay upward of 9.99 for an e-book from one of the big six. I get so annoyed, I usually just pass on the book altogether. I don’t like being manipulated that way, not by Apple, not by anyone. It’s also the reason I don’t own any Apple products and why I’m always supporting smaller companies like Kobo who seem to care more about their customers.

I found this article about a new law suit involving Apple and several large publishers extremely interesting. It’s still too soon to tell whether or not there are grounds for a law suit. But my fingers are crossed because I don’t like that fact that e-book prices are being controlled. My initial hope was that publishers would get smart and realize we, as readers, aren’t paying attention to their prices or their control. We are passing on e-books that are 9.99 or more and we’re shopping for books that are being released by smaller publishers instead.

Here’s the article. If you’re a book buyer and a reader, it’s worth checking out.