apple, boneheads, technology

iOS 5: Why I finally Jailbroke My iPod

First, I want to say that I love my iPod Touch. In Japan it was a constant companion. It was my map, my music, my entertainment during long commutes, my study aid, and a few other nice things along the way. Each very of iOS has brought with it a slew of enhancements that make it easier and more enjoyable to use. Unfortunately, each iteration of iOS brings something else as well, preloaded BS apps. While the available storage options have climbed, there is still just a scant 64gb peak. That means the iPod Touch and iPhone is more of a storage hill than a mountain.

This is a minor inconvenience. In the first version of iOS Apple decided users needed to have an app that let you watch YouTube (rarely use YouTube), write crappy Notes in sub-standard font, and told you about Stocks (I have better options) and the Weather (same as stocks). At first it didn’t seem so bad, but then came FaceTime and Game Center (neither have felt so much a single tap from my fingers).

Now comes NewsStand, yet another thing that I won’t use trapped on my iPod. This time Apple outdid itself, though. While none of their crappy and useless (to me) app are deletable, they at least allowed those apps to be put out of the way in a folder that I never had to worry about opening. NewsStand, on the other hand, spurns every effort to tuck it away.

Fast-forward to this very instant. As I type, my iPod is restoring from a backup. Once that finishes I’ll be the proud owner of a jailbroken iPod Touch. For the longest time I ignored jailbreaking, because it was just too much of a hassle for me. That changed with iOS 5. I want at least a third as much control over the device I own as Apple current holds over it. Hopefully, I’ll get that.

I really hope that Apple gets their act together. Until then I didn’t really see anything in iOS 5 that was worth the annoyance of the new crap they jammed it up with.

iPod Touch, I love you, but if you keep it up, it might be time we see other people.


From The NY Times:

Mr. McCain, a Republican from Arizona, said on the CBS news program “Face the Nation” that President Obama should sit down with Republican leaders and begin adopting some of their ideas for improving the nation’s health care system such as overhauling medical malpractice lawsuits, allowing residents of one state to buy health insurance from a company in another state, and granting tax credits for people who purchase health insurance on their own.

My opinion of John McCain has gone completely south. What an obnoxious thing to say. As senator Richard Durbin pointed out Obama tried to get Republicans to join him in reforming a system that abused the American public and they wouldn’t have any of it. What’s more he pointed out that “170 Republican amendments had been accepted.” Durbin called McCain’s statement improper. That’s being to kind, it is an outright lie.

More importantly, these ideas do not help the American public at all. Changing medical malpractice laws won’t make insurance companies stop dropping sick people and denying healthcare. All of these “ideas” only help lower the cost of insuring people, but only a very silly person would think that’ll translate to lower costs for Americans. It’ll translate to more profits, unless they get some federal pressure.

The most insulting of all the ideas is tax credit for people buying their own insurance. If you don’t make a lot of money you aren’t paying taxes anyway. Subtracting $200 from zero means you still pay zero. It doesn’t mean you get any more money back. This may help, in a very small way, the small portion of the middle class who do not have employer sponsored healthcare, but that’s it.

(chart source)


Facebook Bait and Switch

I rarely use Facebook, and when I do I usually just check to see what my friends and family are up to. So, I completely missed a big change. A Facebook application I hadn’t really ever used, but had installed, called My Aquarium, got bought out.

The only reason I noticed this was because I suddenly was getting notices from an application called SpeedDate. According to the new owners they were “changing the focus and function” of the application.

I’m shocked Facebook allowed something like this. This is essentially an insanely ridiculous form of bait and switch. It’s like getting on a bus to go downtown and halfway there the driver announces that bus company was bought out and now the bus is a gym and you are now a member. It makes no sense.

Or as tardate put it “Kind of like if Microsoft came along and bought up Adobe then sent an email to all Photoshop users saying they must all upgrade to Excel. Can you imagine the consumer revolt that would cause?”

All said, I think this is really bad for Facebook, as it hurts the site’s credibility.

boneheads, business, mac, technology

NBC Wants People to Stop Buying TV Shows

On the heels of iTunes getting rid of DRM in music NBC says they want more. NBC would also like to re-negotiate pricing and bundle shows. So far NBC has declined to renew its contract with Apple.

First issue: pricing. The pricing is fine. No one else really thinks it is too much or too little. Done.

Second issue: bundling. Users don’t want to be forced to buy a bundle and won’t like a change that removes a freedom of choice that they once had.

Third issue: DRM. Okay, more and more people are starting to agree that DRM is bad for consumers. Just look at Microsoft’s PlayForSure (which even the Zune doesn’t support) and Sony’s ATRAC (which has been dumped, leaving owners of those music file holding the bag). DRM limits how legitimate owners can use their purchased content and creates a situation in which it is likely that users will be locked out of different devices or just plain lock out of ever using the content again. The good thing is that many people just won’t purchase DRM burdened files. A user on one forum wrote a response to NBC’s demands:

Either I can buy a season of Scrubs and the Office when it starts again or I can find it in some other manner that will not benefit NBC at all.

Your call, NBC.

This exemplifies the main issue with DRM, that is that it agitates the problem it seeks to solve. By demanding an increased cost and adding DRM NBC simply pushes customers towards peer2peer sites and of course that will be far worse than unbundled slightly DRM’ed $1.99 TV episodes.

update: NBC and Apple are splitting ways. Apple has announced that they will not carry NBC shows because NBC wanted each episode to sell for $4.99 which is more than double what they cost now. We’ll see how NBC likes it when their own service fails and people turn to the peer2peer networks. It will be especially interesting to see how this effects the popularity of its shows, considering it was iTunes that saved the award winning show The Office from certain death.

boneheads, whatnot

Boycott Regal Cinemas

A little while back a 19 year old woman in Virginia was arrested for filming 20 seconds of Transformers with a digital camera (a Canon Powershot, not a video camera). The 20 second clip was for her 13 year old brother in order to get him excited about the movie.

Was that a little dumb? Yes.

But clearly this woman is no criminal. The worse case scenario would have been that her brother was not swayed by the 20 second clip and decided not to see the film. Arlington prosecutor, Richard E. Trodden realized that this was a harmless error in judgment and not some villainous pirate trying to steal the movie. He let the woman make a guilty plea, she paid a $71 fine and is on probation for a year. Seems fair.

Regal Cinemas didn’t think so. They wanted her prosecuted fully in accordance with their zero tolerance policy.

Regal Cinemas would like this woman’s life ruined over 20 seconds of a movie on a digital camera. Yes, it was stupid, but should she have been sent to jail for a year and be forced to pay $2,500 for that youthful mistake? No. And that is why everyone should boycott Regal Cinemas. Find the one nearest you and avoid it like a rabid porcupine. It is time that movie theaters stop treating customers like criminals. No more wearing night vision goggles, no more zero-tolerance policies.

Also, let them know how you feel:

boneheads, humor

Stupid Criminal (When Life Imitates The Onion)

It is no secret that they world is full of dummies, but come on! This guy robbed a liquor store wearing duct-tape on his face. As he was making his getting away with the “loot” (two rolls of coins) he was chased down and caught by the liquor store people who tackled and held him until police came. But that isn’t the best part… this fella claims that they’ve arrested the wrong guy! Obviously an easy claim to backup as the city if full of people with two rolls of coin in their hands and duct tape covering their faces.

The question is, what will The Onion do if real news continues to imitate fake news?


Congratulations State Sen. Scott Brown

Good old Wrentham, MA must be totally psyched that he is a bonehead! Seriously folks I have to hand it to this homophobic republican. At an assembly at the King Philip Regional High School Brown read some comments that students of that school had made about him on facebook, many of which contained profanity. Why did he think this was okay? Apparently Brown thinks that since some students wrote messages with profanity he could attack the entire student body with the very same profanity that outraged him.

The sad part is that he called what the students said hate speech, yet he fails to see the hate involved in his vote for the MA constitution to ban gay marriage. Kids aren’t as slimy, so they can’t hide their anger or hate, but it is clear that Sen. Brown has trouble with that too every now and again.