Monthly Archives

June 2009

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Apple Store Kenwood remodeled

A couple of weeks ago I walked by the Kenwood Apple Store and it was closed for remodeling, reopening on June 12.
AppleStore1.jpgYesterday, I went to the Apple Store with my Mac Pro that needed some repairs.  Lucky for me there was still two months left on my 3 year Applecare warranty plan.

The Apple Store is still recognizably Apple, but the look is very different.  The whole center part of the store used to be shelves of software which have now been replaced by large tables and stools where laptops were being demonstrated.  Most of the non-computer product has been pushed into the corners in the back with only a small wall of software being displayed.
AppleStore2.jpgIt was 3:00 Wednesday afternoon and the place was packed.  Lots of people waiting at the Genius Bar and people in every stool trying out the Macbooks.  In contrast, I walked by the Sony Style store and there were probably a total of 7 people inside.    

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NYTimes.com: China Requires Censorship Software on New PCs

NYTimes.com: China Requires Censorship Software on New PCs

China has issued a sweeping directive requiring all personal computers sold in the country to include sophisticated software that can filter out pornography and other “unhealthy information” from the Internet.

“This is a very bad thing,” said Charles Mok, chairman of the Hong Kong chapter of the Internet Society, an international advisory group on Internet standards. “It’s like downloading spyware onto your computer, but the government is the spy.”

Called Green Dam — a reference to slogans that describe a smut-free Internet as “green” — the software is designed to filter out sexually explicit images and words, according to the company that designed it. Computer experts, however, warn that once installed, the software could be directed to block all manner of content or allow the government to monitor Internet use and collect personal information.

China has been blocking and filtering information for a long time, but not like this.  The ability for the government to monitor, block, and capture personal information on an individual’s PC is frightening.  The Chinese government in the attempt to control information might unwittingly be creating a bigger issue and battle than democracy- the right to privacy.
 

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Crazy fan “assaults” Roger Federer at French Open

It’s pretty crazy how easily a fan could get out on the court and how nonchalant Roger Federer was about it.  Maybe he’s already forgotten about the Monica Seles stabbing.  It’s an unfortunate incident that thankfully did not affect the final result.  It’s a tremendous accomplishment for Roger Federer to win all four slams, something that I didn’t think would be possible seeing how dominant Rafael Nadal has been.

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So marriage is sacred?

From THR.com: Fox reality gets ‘Stranger’

Fox is developing a matrimonial reality series where brides-to-be don’t meet their husbands until they exchange vows.

In A. Smith & Co.’s “I Married a Stranger,” a woman frustrated by the dating scene agrees to wed a man she’s never met. While she prepares for her blind wedding, friends and family are shown selecting a spouse from a pool of six eligible suitors offered by producers. The men are eliminated one by one until only two candidates remain. Both finalists walk down the aisle, but only one makes it to the altar to reveal himself to his new wife.

“She never meets him until the actual moment when they say ‘I do,’ ” a source close to the project said. “It’s like the big scene that comes after an entire season of ‘The Bachelor,’ only this is in every episode.”

So marriage is sacred?

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NYTimes.com: Budget Airline to Charge for Toilet Use

NYTimes.com: Budget Airline to Charge for Toilet Use

Faced with an annual loss for the first time in two decades, Ryanair, the European budget airline, confirmed on Tuesday that it plans to start charging passengers for the luxury of using the toilet on its jets.

My initial reaction was that this was pretty ridiculous.  How can you charge for using the toilet?  It seems the bad feelings generated would outweigh the revenue.

But, what if that meant lower fares for those of us who don’t need the toilet during a one hour flight?  I use the bathroom on an airplane as an absolute last resort so the only time I use it is on very long flights which Ryanair doesn’t fly.  I believe that the majority of the people who fly Ryanair don’t use the bathroom on the plane, so these passengers are subsidizing it for those who do.

So, it kind of makes sense in a way, but I am bothered by it.  Having a snack on the plane is a choice, but going to the bathroom really isn’t.

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NYTimes.com: The Lord Justice Hath Ruled: Pringles Are Potato Chips

NYTimes.com: The Lord Justice Hath Ruled: Pringles Are Potato Chips

Britain’s Supreme Court of Judicature has answered a question that has long puzzled late-night dorm-room snackers: What, exactly, is a Pringle? With citations ranging from Baroness Hale of Richmond to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Lord Justice Robin Jacob concluded that, legally, it is a potato chip.

Procter & Gamble’s lawyers argued that Pringles were not potato chips to get out of paying $160 million in taxes.

In Britain, most foods are exempt from the value-added tax, but potato chips — known as crisps — and “similar products made from the potato, or from potato flour,” are taxable. Procter & Gamble, in what could be considered a plea for strict construction, argued that Pringles — which are about 40 percent potato flour, but also contain corn, rice and wheat — should not be considered potato chips or “similar products.” Rather, they are “savory snacks.”

Getting out of paying the tax put P&G in the awkward position of arguing that Pringles lack “Potatoness”.  I wonder what marketing things about that.