A Life Untold

Ranting while I’m Raving; Technology News and Views

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Archive for January, 2008

Really Outdated Apple iPod Site

Posted by titusferguson on January 31, 2008

So I was doing some research for an article of iTunes and Audible when I stumbled upon this really old iPod site, on the Apple webpage:


I don’t exactly know what the lae directory is, or what country its for. Update: lae is Latin America, apparently they get to read outdated information down there. Reading the specs on the products, this site is from around September 2003. The iPods are generation 3’s, which was the first iPod I had.

Oddly enough, its only the iPods that have this old information up. Looking at the OS X link is all about Leopard. I wonder what mistake was made?

Update: hehe its been fixed. I wonder if I have a cached copy?

Posted in apple, internet, iPod, iTunes, technology | Leave a Comment »

Shopping Experience

Posted by titusferguson on January 31, 2008

I am a student at the University of Western Ontario, in London Ontario. Like all schools in North America, the administration is more concerned with making money then learning and development. For this reason space is often rented out in the University Community Centre (UCC) to retailers. The UCC is like the hub of the campus, the cafeteria, bookstore, printers, gym etc is all in there. The majority of the student population shuffles through there at least once a day, its a high traffic area.

So it was no surprise on Tuesday to see a bunch of clothing racks and decide to browse through them. I found a shirt I liked as well as a hoodie that was kinda cool. I bought the shirt and put a $5 deposit on the hoody so they would hold it for me. I specifically asked about returns and they said only exchanges. I was fine with that since I had seen other items I liked.

When I got home I tried the shirt on a bit more and looked in the mirror. I came the conclusion that it wasn’t quite the item for me. No problem, I was told I could exchange it if I didn’t like it. Thankfully I hadn’t lost my receipt this time, so everything was in order.

The next day I’m back at school and I head back to the UCC to browse through the clothing. I eventually find an item I like. The whole time that I am shopping, I might add, all sorts of “employees” are coming up to me and telling me how great everything looks on me. I can tell they are just being patronistic and only care about making a sale. I can *kinda appreciate that, I have worked retail. I take the item I want up to the girl at the cash, tell her I want to do an exchange. She says no problem, then asks what I had originally bought. I showed here and she walks over to another guy, and confers with him for a moment. He starts shaking his head no. He walks over and tells me that they can’t really do the return because its from a different vendor, blah blah blah.

At this point I am really pissed off. I was already tired of being patronized and coddled. I had been told on numerous occasions by these people that there would be no problem exchanging. And on top of that, as he told me he wouldn’t do the exchange he was bagging the other item, as if he thought I would still want to take it. I had to raise my voice at this guy to get him to stop. He was not appologetic, all he cared about was to make another sale.

To make things worse, I then had to tell him I wanted my deposit back, and I know for a fact that he knew I had paid it, because it was the same guy I had talked to yesterday. He looks in the cash drawer, sees only $20s and asks me if I have any change. Since I didn’t have any he went off to go get some.

While he was gone, the cashier standing there kept apologizing, but it was so blantantly fake, I knew she didn’t care. Eventually I found out why, since she felt so bad she would give me a deal on the shirt I was going to exchange. Did these people not get it?!?! I did not want more stuff! Once I explained this to her one last time, she just walked off. The guy had been gone for a while and I was starting to think that maybe he was going to make off with my $5. Little did he know that I Scot will wait around for quite some time. He did come back eventually, handed me my money and left.

The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth, and I realise that I should have trusted my gut feeling with these guys, the whole thing seemed sketch. Now I am not totally against corporations, I’m not anti-capitalistic or hate commerce. I just hate getting shafted and screwed over. I’ll no doubt support a small vendor again at some point, I’ll just think more critically about it before I do.

Posted in ideas, life, school | 1 Comment »

Inside Source: Apple to Release an Ultra Portable Device

Posted by titusferguson on January 30, 2008

Yes, I know Apple has already announced the Macbook air, this is a completely different product. I would describe it as a combination of the air and the iPhone.The device is said to require two hands and be a touch based device. The device could then be a more upgraded iPhone or more developed iPod Touch. Another option is that this device would be more like current windows-based tablet PCs.

As per other Apple products, most of the speculation comes from hardware orders. Inside sources have tipped that recently Apple has been working with a German company Balda to purchase 5.2″ touch panels. This was also the same place that Apple procured their iPhone screens.

For a more in depth analysis check out David Sieger’s Eye on Apple blog. Mac Rumors  has also discussed this device before.

If this is in fact true, it would be very exciting news. Ever since the iPhone came out, Apple fans have been debating, is it a phone or is it a mobile computer. A new device would finally settle everything. But probably not Merlin Mann’s continuing desire for a return to the 12″ Powerbook

Posted in apple, rumors, technology | 3 Comments »

Microsoft Mobile 7 to Destroy Apple’s iPhone

Posted by titusferguson on January 29, 2008

According to Michael Ashley over at NetworkWorld Microsoft’s upcoming (?) mobile 7 will, feature wise, effectively destroy Apple’s iPhone.

The iPhone is certain to fade into history as another cool Apple innovation, that others soon rushed competitive, like-products to market, blowing away any significant lead Apple might have. The iPod mp3 player is an industry Apple essentially created, the iPhone isn’t. Too many major players are in the mobile phone market, who have and will bring iPhone-like products to market over the coming months and years. LG has already done so with the LG Voyager phone, and now Microsoft’s plans for Windows Mobile 7 OS have been leaked and described in considerable detail by InsideMicrosoft blogger Nathan Weinberg.


I really like the thought Microsoft has put into WM7. It’s more than must “iPhone compete” — Microsoft is taking key ideas and extending them well beyond current mobile phone interfaces. I’m encouraged by the depth of Microsoft’s thinking about WM7.

I can already hear all the objections. Here are my thoughts on this article.

1. This is a Planned 2009 release from Microsoft. We already know how far behind Microsoft gets from their planned dates. Witness Vista. And who knows what innovations Apple will develop, they will not sit still and will continue to improved the iPhone.

2. Obviously there are others involved in the wireless industry who will try to release produces similar to the iPhone. Up until now they haven’t released a products as revolutionary as the iPhone, which puts Apple ahead of their competition, including Microsoft.

3. This is a leaked Microsoft announcement about their own products. Of course its going to say they’ll kick Apple’s butt. Problem is, they haven’t yet. For example, Vista, basically a 5 year late, rip-off of OS X.

4. This is Microsoft, they don’t release nice products. They release usable products. And even that isn’t even quit true, its pretty hard to use a product always under the Blue Screen of Death.

In the end? Microsoft might release a better product in 2009, but it will be a better product then a 2007 release. Who cares about that?

Posted in apple, ideas, internet, iPhone, technology | 20 Comments »

A Few Days Off and I’m Back

Posted by titusferguson on January 22, 2008

Yesterday I was up at Blue Mountain in Collingwood ON for a day of skiing. Except for the snowmaking, which produces tiny pellets of ice, the conditions were great. We got an amazing deal on lift tickets which made the day even better.

It was my first day out with my new skis, a pair of Solomon SC equipe, and boots, a pair of Rossignols. It took a few runs to get used to them but eventually they were a great ski. They really helped me keep up my form as well and didn’t let me get to lazy. I spent most of the day improving  my form, and by the end of the day definitely noticed an improvement.

I’m going to take today off as far as tech news, but by tomorrow I’ll have something new to report on.

Posted in life, skiing | Leave a Comment »

iPhone news: CDMA, Canada, and Corporations

Posted by titusferguson on January 18, 2008

Well, Steve Job’s Keynote has passed and Macworld 2008 is wrapping up today and what news have we got about the iPhone?

  • iPhone 1.1.3 : The firmware update that was widely expected ever since the video appeared back in December. I’ll leave it to other sites to describe exactly what new features have been released.
  • iPhone Corporate accounts: AT&T will be releasing a corporate account for the iPhone on January 21st. Gizmodo for more details.
  • No CDMA iPhone announcment: I don’t really know if this is that big of a surprise since apparently Apple and AT&T have a five year agreement. Since this is exclusively in the U.S then we might still see a CDMA phone in Canada or Europe.
  • No 16gb model: A lot of people, including most analysts and pundits, were expecting this release. That it wasn’t announced at Macworld might mean that Apple is planning big announcements later in the year.

What this means for potential Canadian iPhone users is that we’re stuck waiting for Rogers and Apple to come up with an agreement. Finally, Lance Wiggs has a great post about Apple and its treatment of international users.

Posted in apple, internet, iPhone, Macworld, technology | Leave a Comment »

Facebook Spam

Posted by titusferguson on January 18, 2008

I’ve had my first experience with Facebook spam.

By spam, I do not mean the hordes of chain letters, application invites, and general annoyances I get from my friends lists. Spam is completely unsolicited messages or wall posts from people I do not have on my contact list. Spam is basically automated communication.

Last night I got a message in my inbox from someone that thought I was cool, wished we could chat, but since Facebook had no such feature, wanted me to join another social networking site.

I was quite surprised by this. First, did they just type a random name in to the send box? Second, how does Facebook allow sending messages to people you don’t have on your contact list? Has anyone else had experience with this?

I hope that this does not increase, or even continue. Facebook remained the last place where I was free from spam. I liked it that way, and want it to remain spam-free.

Posted in facebook, spam, technology | Leave a Comment »

Current Life State

Posted by titusferguson on January 16, 2008

I think its time for an update about whats going on in my life right now. I know I primarily blog about technology, but when I first started it wasn’t like that. Some people who read this might actually care about me as a person too…

I’ve started going back to school this term. After working full time for the past 8 months, its been quite a transition for me. I’m enjoying not having to get up as early in the morning. However when I find that I get bored a lot easier. Working took up a lot of my time, more then is currently been used in school.

My courses have been pretty light this year; Canadian geography, cell biology, advanced plant physiology, philosophy of language. They have all been interesting with decent profs so I should have no trouble focusing on the work.

I’ve started “exercising” more too. Since I’m no longer working I need to remain active. I’ve already been running and swimming this week, finally getting some use of the school gym. I’m also working with weights to keep my strength up. I want to return to work in May and not be so out of shape that I’m in extreme pain by the end of the day.

Posted in blabing, life | Leave a Comment »

Macworld 2008 Keynote Thoughts

Posted by titusferguson on January 15, 2008

Steve Jobs has wrapped up his keynote for this years Macworld. Here are my thoughts on the announcements that he made. This are really just prelimiary though, on the go as the keynote progressed.

The Time Capsule looks really cool. Since I need a new router anyways, and I’m always saying I need to back up more often, it might be a good idea to get one. The cost does seem high at first though.

The new iPhone software: I’m sure people that with iPhones will be happy. Doesn’t really do that much for me right now. Glad to see that they finally will be releasing an SDK though. Applying the same upgrades to the touch is cool, but charging people for them is not.

iTunes Movie rentals: Not a big surprise everyone was expecting that. I wonder when availability outside of the U.S will come? I like the price point though.

Apple TV: Doesn’t need a computer anymore. This is great news that will boost the number of units sold. A new user interface as well, always appreciated. All in all the Apple TV looks great. I kinda want one now, but it makes no practical sense for me.

Macbook Air: The worlds thinnest laptop…. amazing.. fits in a manilla envelope! No optical drive, that might be annoying. The remote disc option is really only any good if you have several laptops. Personally I need an optical drive, I still rip a lot of CDs and DVDs. I’m not ready to do all my shopping via Apple. Sealed case means no user-swapping batteries. I know the internet is not going to like that.

I love Merlin’s comments on this weeks Macbreak weekly. Nobody knows anything about what is going to be released ahead of time, its just a bunch of speculation. However everyone does it so they don’t lose their job. Well the speculation is over and I personally like what I’ve seen! In a few days I’ll discuss in more depth my complete reaction.

Posted in apple, internet, iPhone, iTunes, Macworld, software, technology | Leave a Comment »

Following the Keynote Live

Posted by titusferguson on January 15, 2008

How I’m following the 2008 Macworld Keynote

Anywhere else to recommend?

I’m glad I’ve finally got highspeed at home, or else this would have been difficult.

Posted in apple, Macworld | Leave a Comment »