Friday, August 31, 2007
NBC wants to be able to do the best job it can in selling it's television shows, so what do they do? Simple: they remove those said shows from the biggest and best selling download service in the world, iTunes.
Hah, you say? Well, apparently the big wigs in NBC have very little brains as even a 'DEAD MOOSE-IN-HEAT' could have told you, if it could talk, that removing their successful selling shows from iTunes was as loony as a 'TALKING, DEAD MOOSE-IN-HEAT!'
First, it was Universal Music that limited its catalogue to a month-to-month basis on iTunes, so maybe NBC caught their looniness from them, I don't know? I do know, however, that they will probably live to regret their decision. Why would they do it? Is it, as some speculate, that they want to sell all their material through their own site? Is it because they are trying to get 'the upper-hand' and more control from Apple, or are they just suicidal? Or maybe, like Universal, they are just trying to punish Apple for its success, the very success that they were denied because of their greed in squeezing every last dime and nickel out of their customers?
I don't know the full answer to that, but I do know that if I can't buy it from the one source that I can trust, Apple, then I am not going to buy their material from any other service for the simple reason that none of them even comes close to the simplicity and ease of use that iTunes offers.
In the end, it is bad enough that we have to put up with children acting childish, but when multi-billion dollar corporations act childish because of their fear and jealousy of another successful corporate giant, well, then that is just too much. They, like children, may have to learn the hard way for their childishness, and frankly, any lost money and customers that result from their childishness will be well deserved on their part.
In the end, I predict they will lose a lot of customers and money as people, like myself, are saying that if they can't get it from iTunes they'll just get it the free way! And we know what that means, don't we?
And that is my 2 cents 4 the day, this Friday, August 31, 2007.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
According to the German web site, www.capital.de, Apple and Volkswagen are both in preliminary talks to design a new car ... the iCar! Could it really be true? What would an iCar look like, what special features would make you or I want to own and drive one? Obviously, your guess is as good as mine as the whole idea is, as I said, in it's early stages.
Even though it might seem to be a really far fetched idea, not long ago another story was posted around the world, that Apple was in talks to help design a completely new and radical navigation system with another German car maker, Mercedes-Benz. (Oooh, la, la, love those machines!) They have already successfully teamed up with yet another German auto company, BMW, to fully integrate the iPod into the 'Beamer.'
Well, if the reports are true, I have no doubts, that any iCar would be really cool, and, if they look anything like Apple's existing products, the new aluminum iMac, the iPhone and the ever present iPod, etc. then they are bound to be both sexy and highly desirable and, most likely, change people's attitudes and perceptions when it comes to automobiles just as Apple did with phones and portable music players.
Also, it is safe to assume that you could expect any iCar to seamlessly incorporate both the iPod and iPhone into the car and, as well, have OS X running all of the vital systems. Sounds interesting, but how true it is, well, again, your guess is as good as mine.
I for one love German automobiles; I for one love Apple computers, software, and designs and think that any iCar designed by the Germans with the American electronic giant would be something that would make us all stand up and take notice.
The very idea of an Apple design iCar drives me crazy just trying to imagine what special features it would have and what it would look like. Maybe it would, like the Lexus, automatically parallel park for you plus automatically break, back up and avoid oncoming hazards? Who knows? Where talking Apple here, the 'think different' company.
Ok, Apple and Volkswagen, bring it on! I want my iCar and I want it now.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Thursday, August 30, 2007.
Matt Sanchez wrote a recent article called, "U.S. soldiers befriend Iraqi children. Kids unafraid of gentle giants with body armor, dark glasses, weaponry," for WorldNetDaily. In the article he points out what most of the world's major news sources refuse to cover: The positive accomplishments of the coalition efforts in Iraq.
This I find very refreshing from all of the gloom and doom that both national and international press seems to love to dwell on and report and, for me over emphasize. They like to ignore, for some reason, that more Iraqi children are in school, more people have medical care and electrical services, etc. Why is that; why do they ignore the positive things and concentrate mostly on the negative? Good questions, and questions that deserve answers, answers that CNN, BBC, etc. refuse to give or address. I cannot help but wonder if the press, especially in the U.S. and Britain, are just as much the enemy as America's traditional enemies?
According to Mr. Sanchez's report from the Dora region, one of the bloodiest and most dangerous in the sprawling city of Baghdad, "there is a lot of genuine hope for the future." The biggest threat in Iraq comes not from the U.S. or the coalition forces, but according to Iraqis that spoke to him it is, "Iran, it is Iran – these guys will kill all Iraqis and they run this government. It is Iran that is the biggest threat."
I especially loved the quote of little children giving in the article: "Are you afraid of Americans?"
"I love them!"
"Because they don't shoot at us."
For me, this says a lot of the current situation and its not being reported fairly or in balanced. The question, again, is, "WHY NOT?"
I find it amazing how the world news organizations constantly portray the Americans as selfish, wanting only Iraqi's oil. This is in sharp contrast to the people, who at large, especially the children, actually think of America. Of course, from the press you wouldn't know this fact because it is simply not being reported for the most part.
As Mr. Sanchez points out, "Iraqi kids are plentiful, and unabashed by the presence of American military. Back home, only 1 percent of the population serves in the armed forces. In some places, like Manhattan, New York, where I live, it's possible to never meet someone who has served in the military. The typical Iraqi has had far greater contact with the U.S. military than the everyday American citizen. The military, for better or worse, will leave an impression on the Iraqi people, especially the young ones who eagerly want to talk to Americans. Some kids want footballs, others will insist on chocolate, but what is striking is how unafraid the children are of towering soldiers in complete body armor, dark glasses and imposing weaponry."
It is, after all, not the American or coalition forces that are committing suicide missions in Iraq that is killing and injuring the innocents of Iraq such as little Yossif, who's beautiful five-year old face was dosed with gasoline and set on fire. No, its comes from Islamic terrorists, funded and trained by Iran. But from the press you would think that its all just because America is there. Yes, who does the press blame and attack? Iran? Heaven forbid, its America and her allies, that they love to constantly report is the cause. This is insane and a cruel abandonment of all that is just, fair and equitable.
In my opinion it is bad enough that America has to battle the likes of Al Qeda and the rogue nations of the world such as Iran, Syria and North Korea, but when the major news organization constantly attack long-term American policy for short-term ratings, it is a sad day for all of us. A very sad day indeed. They, the press, seem determined to undermine and accelerate the dismiss of their own nations. How insane of them.
So, come on CNN, BBC, and all you other news sources, be it in Britain, America, France, Germany or where ever, let's start reporting on more of the positive things in Iraq and a little less on all the negativity (mostly not America's fault, but Iran's) or are you all hell-bent on helping Iran, etc. in their propaganda war against the very nations that five you the luxury of freedom of speech?
And that's my 2 cents 4 this day, Wednesday, August 29, 2007.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
According to the very popular news site, WorldNetDaily, we could be facing a complete dollar and stock market crash. I wish I could say otherwise, but I'm afraid I cannot. They just might be correct on this, even though I hope they are not. A lot of people will tell me that they don't own stocks or have much money in the bank and, therefore, they are NOT concerned! Amazing! Well they should BE concerned, very concerned.
What if, for example, the dollar and the stock market tanked BIG time? For one a lot of those same people are going to wake up and find that their pensions are gone, wiped out along with a stock market crash! Most people it seems don't have a clue as to where their pension checks come from, they don't realize that pension managers invest a significant amount of their pensions in the the stock market and dollar funds.
WorldNetDaily reports: "Econometrician John Williams documented in the most recent newsletter on his Shadow Government Statistics website that in the 11 trading days since the Fed has cut the discount rate, the effective Fed Funds rate has averaged 4.84 percent, ranging 25 to 50 basis points below the official 5.25 percent target rate."
Hmmm, now I'm not an economist, but that sounds pretty scary to me. Wall Street is begging for the Federal REserver to cut the Fed Funds target rate, but it already has been cut and now has very little wiggle-room to move, therefore, it could, but let's hope it doesn't, result in an unprecedented worldwide dollar sell-off. And that is BIG news, very big news that will effect not only everyone in America but everyone around the world.
Some are predicting that a massive U.S. recession is on the horizons, but personally I think Depression is one word that scares me the most, because, as other experts have been warning, it is not only possible, but most likely probable! The question is When? Unfortunately, that when might just be now! Let's all hope not.
And that is my 2 cents on this scary subject for Tuesday, August 28, 2007.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Breitbart.com has posted an article on the new upcoming $100 U.S. dollar, that it says will definitely cause double-takes by users. Its all part of an effort, of course, to thwart counterfeiters who are, with the ever increasing sophistication of modern computers, color copiers and scanners, becoming harder and harder to detect. Benjamin Franklin's C-note just happens to be the most foreign counterfeited U.S. bill and it is hoped that the new security measures will cut down any attempts to counterfeit the C-note in the future by making the printing process extremely hard to duplicate.
According to Breitbart, the new security thread looks like something that was dreamed-uped and magically produced by the occupants from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, the real magic of the new bills comes from the decades of research in areas such as micro-printing. The new micro-printing process uses tiny lenses, some 650,000 of them for a single bill! The lenses magnify the micro-printing in a very remarkable way. Simply by moving the bill from one side to the other the image will appear to move up and down; move the bill up and down and the image appears, like magic, to move from side to side. Cool!
Crane & Company in Dalton, Mass, has a $46 million dollar contract to produce the new security thread for the U.S. government. However, if your dying to see one in person please note: the process is now only about one-third of the way complete, so it will not be until next year, late next year, at the earliest, that we can expect to see Benjamin Franklin all decked out in his new security threads.
I'm not sure how successful the American government will be with the new note, but I'm hoping it will put a stop to the 'Super-Note' that has been circulating since the 1980's. The 'Super Note,' for those not familiar with it, is an all most indistinguishable $100 counterfeit that Iran, Syria and North Korea have been believed to be issuing in an attempt to undermine the U.S. economy and provide those rogue states with the benefits of such in the meantime.
From the www.wikipedia.com site's article on the 'Super Note' they state, "The notes are made with the highest quality ink and paper, designed to recreate the various security features of United States currency, such as the red and blue security fibers; the security thread; and the watermark; even experts need to study a note intensively before determining if it is a forgery. Officially they are known as the PN-14342 family, after the classification system the Secret Service uses. The notes are printed using the intaglio and typographic printing processes.
Several North Korean defectors have described the operation. They say the factory where the notes are printed is located in the city of Pyongsong and is part of Office 39. One defector had taken the notes to experts in the South Korean intelligence agency, who did not believe that they were fakes. The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed a North Korean chemist who described the operation; insisting on anonymity, he spoke about the technical details of the process as well as the distribution method, which he said was through North Korean diplomats and international crime syndicates."
Wow! This is amazing and, at the same time, very, very disturbing. I hate to see anybody, no matter who they be, or where they are, counterfeiting and damaging the U.S. economy, but the idea that these 'unstable' regimes could be using the profits to fund terror activities, etc. is something that should put the fear of God in all of us.
I hope that the American government can and does succeed in putting an end to all counterfeiting and especially the 'Super-Note,' as each and every counterfeit each and every one of us.
Now, as the U.S. government tries to figure out how to stop people from producing counterfeit C-notes, I only wish I could figure out a way that I could 'earn' as many of the real C-notes as I possibly can!
And that's my 2 cents 4 this day of Monday, August 27, 20007.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing: http://www.moneyfactory.gov
A history of U.S. currency from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: http://www.frbsf.org/currency/index.html
Friday, August 24, 2007
People, the world over, love to criticize President Bush's war on terrorism. They will point out a million different reasons to end the support of US troops in Iraq. It's not needed they say, let the Iraqi's deal with the terrorists themselves, it's none of our business.
They couldn't be more wrong. Case in point: Precious, beautiful Youssif... a boy who is beautiful no more! At least, his face isn't. That's because terrorists, five of them, masked and armed with matches and gasoline picked poor little and helpless Youssif out of a crowd and set him on fire! Why, it helps keep the populace in check and too frightened to hinder the terrorists from getting their objectives achieved, that's why.
According to CNN, Youssif's story has touched the hearts of it's viewers like no other has in it's 13-year history and has led to an outpouring of sympathy and offers of help for the precious child. Indeed, it should! But what about the war on terror? It probably will not change people's views. Why as long as it is the Americans in charge, Bush in particular, the world will do all in it's power to frustrate, hinder and complicate matters. There is, you see, a very real hatred for any one or anything that America stands for in the world and little Youssif's horror isn't going to help change that view.
Now getting back to precious little Youssif, CNN reports that he will be flown, with his family, to the United States were he will receive all the necessary treatment that he needs and that medical science can provide. Youssif is in my prayers. I can't stop thinking about him. How could any one, even in a million, billion years, even think of doing what those Islamic monsters did to that sweet innocent child? Its inhuman, its appalling, its sickening, its unthinkable and its why the United States is in Iraq in the first place and its why we are fighting terrorism there and elsewhere. These EVIL, TWISTED, MURDEROUS, ASSHOLES have to be stopped because the terrorist threat is getting worse, not better!
One thing that people should remember when considering the fate of this precious, innocent, little Iraqi boy is that, if and when, the terrorist can, they plan on doing the very same thing to the children of the United States and the entire western world, and with any means at their disposal, if we don't become subject to their will and give up our freedoms by converting to their religion. Already there are reports that Al Qeda has smuggled several suite-case nuclear weapons into the country and are just waiting for the signal from Bin Ladin to use them!
So, next time you think about the war on terrorism, think and reflect on the pictures of poor little Youssif, and remember, if we don't fight terrorism now, Youssiff's fate could very well be that of our own precious and innocent children, children who could suffer at the hands of these very same monsters! Let's beat them into nothing, were every they are, when ever we can, however we can; if we fail to fight them in Iraq and elsewhere now, we will only have to fight them later on our own soil later.
The choice is ours, let's not blow it!
Little Youssif, you are in my prayers and thoughts. I will never forget you; I will never stop hurting, thinking or caring about you!
And that is my 2 cents 4 the day, Friday, August 23, 2007.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Various news sources are reporting an increasing number of attempts by iTune competitors to gang up on the world's premier music service. It is now reported that both Wal-Mart and RealNetworks have strengthen their digital music offerings to better compete with iTunes. Wal-Mart began selling DRM Free music for 94 cents, while RealNetworks announced a deal that would promote their service on MTV and distribute it on Version cellular phones.
However, the L.A.Times Joseph Menn and Michelle Quin are reporting that their attempts to break the near monopoly of iTunes may, in fact, help more than hurt Apple's music business. The reason is simple: both Wal-Mart and RealNetworks music will be playable on the iconic iPod music player. It is the sale of the iPod and not the iTune store that makes money for Apple. The iTune store itself barely breaks even.
Also, Universal Music, the world's largest, has stated that it will be conducting a trial to sell DRM free music through just about anyone, except, of course, Apple's iTune service. Is this discrimination on their part or just rank stupidity? You tell me.
Now I don't know about you, but not only does this all sound childish, but it seems to be possibly an illegal act, namely, that of 'Restriction of Trade'. Its understandable that companies will try to get the advantage one over the other, but this is just plain stupid!
Apple is projected to become the world's largest music company within the next two years and clearly the other music companies, all of whom, by the way, are not doing so good, are desperate to stop Apple from taking over their own turf. Tuff for them! The problem isn't Apple: Apple is providing the solution. The problem, however, I believe, rests entirely in the hands of the greedy music companies themselves. For years they have enjoyed the profits from the music business by dictating price, features and choice for their own selfish ends, not the convenience, features, choice or advantage of their customers. Apple gives them that choice at a price that is reasonable; a service that is quick, fun and convenient.
Apple, of course, holds most of the cards in this game, but for how long? I'm hoping and praying, that the plans of these desperate music companies will backfire and that Apple will prevail, because, if they don't, we the consumers will ultimately pay the price. You can bet your last Tootsie Roll that if they succeed in breaking Apple's iTunes dominance, it will, in the end, result in all of us having fewer choices, less convenience and higher prices and ultimately, to the music companies own hurt, you can expect greater growth in illegal music downloads and frankly, it will serve them right!
That's my 2 cents 4 today, Thursday, August 23, 2007.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I wonder what the top brass at Vodafone are saying after Apple gave the iPhone to its chief competitors, T-Mobile in Germany, Orange in France and O2 in the U.K? No doubt what their saying contains a lot of four-letter words as losing the iPhone distribution rights in the main European markets has got to hurt, regardless of what they say.
Vodafone accused Apple of not playing fair, of being too greedy to work with, no impossible to work with! Vodafone is the largest carrier in Europe but not the only one, even though I think it would have been easier for Apple to do business with just the one company. However, it is safe to say that Vodafone needed Apple's iPhone a lot more than Apple needed Vodafone's huge European market share.
Vodafone said that Apple wanted too much, that it was too greedy, but apparently the three other huge carriers disagreed, and I think it will cost Vodafone big time, not only in lost profits, but in prestige as well. The others thought that it not only worth it, but the top brass even got personally involved with the negotiations!
Was Vodafone right, was Apple just too demanding and too greedy to do business with? We don't know that yet, maybe Vodafone has a 'killer' iPhone in the wings that we know nothing about, but in the end I think that it will be a case of Apple and its European partners laughing all the way to the bank as Vodafone is left with nothing but sour grapes to cry over!
And that's my 2 cents 4 this day of Wednesday, August 22, 2007.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Now that Leona Helmsley, the notorious 'Queen of Mean' is laying in her coffin, many of the living are, up and hopping, trying to access the size of the 'Queens' fortune. Certainly, she was on of the world's richest women! Some have pegged her fortune's worth at some 2.5 B! Wow, she could afford to be mean to anybody that she wanted. Just kidding, there is no excuse for being mean to anybody, even a nobody such as myself!
According to ETONLINE, "She would charge a $30 bra to the business ... if someone was late, they were canned ... a waiter who brought her soggy soup knew he would be fired the second he set that bowl on the table," Goldman says. "[Former NYC Mayor] ED KOCH called her 'The Wicked Witch of the West' [and] DONALD TRUMP once called her 'the meanest woman in history.'" Wow, super rich and with a super bad attitude to go with it!
It's anybody's guess as to were the 'Queen of Mean' vast fortune will go to? Will her heirs get it (lucky stiffs if they do!) or will she will it to go to charities, something she has been giving to a lot, just before her death, with some speculating it was for the purpose of raising her public image after her passing.
Speaking of the great folks at ETOline, they also reported this amazing story of the 'Queen of Mean' deceased son, ""She had one son who pre-deceased her, but when he passed away, she and her husband sued his widow for virtually everything that he had owned," Goldman says. "They evicted her from his house [and she was] left penniless trying to raise four kids."
Wow, can you believe that? I'm not sure how giving her millions away after her death could possibly improve her reputation after hearing that. That is more than being mean that is being 'inhuman' to the ultimate! Even as ETOnline reported, the 'Donald' call her, "the meanest woman in history!" He might be right, who knows?
She was a fascinating woman for sure and she will be hard to surpass and even harder to feel any sympathy for.
And that's my 2 cents 4 the day of August 21, 2007.
Photo source: Etonline.com
Monday, August 20, 2007
The Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley, the infamous real estate and hotelier tycoon has passed away at the ripe old age of 87. She died in Greenwich, CN, from heart failure in her fabulous multi-million dollar estate. Based on her record of mistreating employees and basically any one around her, it will be interested in seeing just how many people will cry any genuine tears over her passing?
I first heard of this lady, who was no lady according to many who came in contact with her, when she and her husband were in the news after she and her husband, Harry, were charged with tax invasion in the late 80's. Mrs. Helmsley eventually received a 18 month prison sentence for her part which was considerably reduced from the 16 year sentence originally handed down.
I remember when her husband celebrated his birthday they arranged a laser show that printed 'Happy Birthday Harry' on the side of one of their buildings... the Empire State Building! As a boy I always looked up to this building, (how could I not?), and I was shocked, as a young man, to realize how any one could be rich rich enough to actually own it. Whether or not it is still in the Helmsley corporate empire I don't know?
I also remembered as a youngster being riveted by news stories of how Mrs. Helmsley terrorized her employes. One terrorized employe, her former housekeeper, testifying in regards to her tax invasion, said that she had heard the 'queen of mean' say, "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." Sounds like Leona to me, not that I ever had the horror of actually confronting her, thankfully.
ETOnline reported, "In recent years, she became well known for her philanthropic contributions, donating millions to hospitals, Katrina relief, families of 9/11 firefighters and African-American churches that had been burned down in the South in the late '90s".
"She was extremely generous as a philanthropist and she gave tens of millions of dollars to charity right up until the last months of her life," her publicist HOWARD RUBENSTEIN tells ET. "I was very proud to represent her for so many years. Her family and many friends and business associates are deeply saddened by her death and will miss her greatly."
Well, I didn't know the woman, only of her 'queen of mean' reputation that stood as tall as her beloved Empire State Building. Sadly that reputation was not the kind, if true, that one would or could look up to, or want to leave behind as one's legacy. For some of her ex employee's, she was a terroist long before Osama Bin Laden ever came on the scene.
I can only hope that she was as kind and giving, in her later years, as her publicist was paid to say that she was? I hope that the real Mrs. Helmsley was a better person then that which her reputation was known for. No matter how rotten someone is or is reported to be, I always like to think that they have a better side just waiting to come out and surprise us. In Leona Helmsley case we may never know. One thing that we do know, however, is that she won't be terrorizing any one else anymore.
And that''s my 2 cents 4 this slow news day of Monday, August 20, 2007.
Picture from http://badattitudes.com/
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Jim Louderback, editor-in-chief of PCMag, has decided to step down. As the chief editor for PCMag, one of the most frustration things that he has seen in the past several years, while at the helm of the magazine, has been Vista. Just like a lot of people he is extremely frustrated with it even though he once heavily promoted it!
He states in his article, 'Passing the Torch,' "Maybe it was something in the water? I've been a big proponent of the new OS over the past few months, even going so far as loading it onto most of my computers and spending hours tweaking and optimizing it. So why, nine months after launch, am I so frustrated? The litany of what doesn't work and what still frustrates me stretches on endlessly."
Jim isn't alone in his disappointment with Vista. It seems that every time I go online I see a never ending stream of articles complaining about Vista. It seems that the Real Wow associated with it is how it could have been ever released in the first place! If Vista was not being forced down people's throats every time someone bought a new pc there would be a lot less then the 60-million copies out there that Microsoft likes to brag about.. In fact, in China Microsoft has only managed to sell some 244 legitimate copies of Vista. Most copies of Vista are, of course, pirated, but the news that only 244 legitimate copies were sold, despite a multi-million dollar promotion in the country must be very disappointing for the Redmond giant.
Mr. Louderback closes his article by saying, "I could go on and on about the lack of drivers, the bizarre wake-up rituals, the strange and nonreproducible system quirks, and more. But I won't bore you with the details. The upshot is that even after nine months, Vista just ain't cutting it. I definitely gave Microsoft too much of a free pass on this operating system: I expected it to get the kinks worked out more quickly. Boy, was I fooled! If Microsoft can't get Vista working, I might just do the unthinkable: I might move to Linux."
In my opinion Linux is preferable to Windows, any flavor, any day of the week, but if he looked closely at all of the facts, Mac OS X is the best upgrade solution by a long shot. Unlike Linux, OS X has a huge library of both open-source and, like Windows, commercial applications, many of which are totally unique to the Mac such as iWork and iLife. Unlike Linux distros Apple is a multi-billion dollar giant that can offer the kind of support that none of the Linux distros can. Apple, for example, did about $20,000,000,000 in sales last year. The largest Linux distro, Red Hat for instance, did about $175,000,000, mere peanuts for Apple. A full copy of OSX, with support, goes for about $129 US; Red Hat is free, but the support costs are around $179 US PER YEAR! That's right, each and every year you have to renew that support and your $179 dollars. Linux may be free to install, but far from free to maintain and support for the average user or small business person. Already several top Windows experts like Scott Finnie have switched and others like Chris Priscillo are seriously thinking of switching.
Jim has 16 years of editorial experience in the editorial business and I will miss him even though he will still do the occassional piece for PCMag. I wish him well at his new gig as CEO of Revision3.
Best of luck Jim.
And that's my rare (for a Saturday) 2 cents 4 today, Saturday, August 18, 2007.
Friday, August 17, 2007
ET Online has reported that Paris Hilton's launch of her new clothing line had caused quite the gridlock in Beverly Hills yesterday.
With Paris Hilton, in the equation, I'm not surprised that helicopters were hovering overhead and that seven police cars lined Robertson Blvd as photographers and thousands of fans lined the street hoping to get a glance of the heiress.
Paris's new clothing line is simply called " Paris Hilton" and includes shoes, dresses, handbags, T-shirts (imprinted with her likeness, of course!), lots of chunky sequins and satiny bubble tops.
"I just wanted it to be totally my style using bright colors and lots of sequins," Paris told ET Online. She said that her favorite items are the pink and white gold-foiled T-shirts branded with the slogan "Luv Thy Self."
Dollhouse representatives, the company behind the Paris Hilton line, stated that, "It's completely affordable," and added that, "The most expensive jean is $98 with the average being $78." The line ranges in price from $30 to $100." The new Paris collection will be available at both Macy's and Nordstrom department stores on August 30, but if you can't wait you can buy them now here: http://etonline.seenon.com/index.php
Thankfully, yesterday, I was a long way from Robertson Drive! I'm not sure how anybody can love the type of attention that this girl gets whenever she takes a simple breath. It would drive me bananas, or as my friends would say, more bananas, since they assure me I am, in their thinking, classified as such already.
I would love to know whether Miss Hilton, in fact, actually did personally designed the clothes that bear her name, or did others design them? Well, it doesn't matter to me, as I can assure you that no matter how nice you think her shoes, dresses, handbags or satiny bubble tops are, or what you think of her pricing, I personally don't plan to buy, let alone (for obvious reasons) plan to start wearing any of them anytime soon.
Yes, as you might of guessed, whenever I write about Paris, you know that I was just too stupid to think of anything smart to write about for the day. And so it is today.
And minus anything worthy to write about, that is my 2 cents 4 this Friday, August 17, 2007.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
BBC News: "Shares on Wall Street have mirrored losses elsewhere, as uncertainty over the impact of turmoil in the US sub-prime lending market persisted. The Dow Jones index of top US shares opened 1.2% lower, while the Nasdaq shed 1.1% in the first hour of trading.
And as concern about the state of world credit markets continued, London's FTSE 100 dived below 6,000 points."
Yes folks, it's bad out there and who knows, it may get a lot worse before it gets better?
The BBC also reported, "The recent financial market volatility has been triggered by the US sub-prime mortgage sector, which offers higher-risk loans to people with a poor credit history."
Well, that might be the case, but why is it that the rest of us have to pay for these stupid bank's mistakes? Don't make the mistake of thinking that it won't effect you, because it will. Already millions of people, and that includes millions of people with A1 credit, are now finding out that they are now not only forced to pay higher interests on everything they borrow, but that they are in, some cases, no longer able to even get a loan!
To give you an example what the current crises can mean you only have to look at that Wall Street darling, Apple Inc. The stock recently hit a high of $151 dollars and a market cap of some $127 B. Now, after some rotten rumors and the credit crisis, Apple's stock has crashed big time to a low of $115 per share. It's market cap even slipped to $99 B before recovering up slightly over the $ 100 B level. That's an incredibly drop of almost one quarter of it's stock price and a drop of some 22 % of it's market cap!
The really bad news is that Apple is not the only stock that reflects the current credit crisis effect, a lot of stocks are in the same boat - a sinking boat. The question is how long can this sinking boat stay afloat? That is anybody's guess.
If the stock market continues to reflect the current credit crisis in it's price you can rest assured (and that's a funny way of phrasing it?) will also effect other areas of the business world and we mere mortals. Car prices, food prices, durable and perishable goods, you name it, they could also be forced to jack up their prices. In other words we all end up suffering because of the mistakes of past greedy loan managers of those bad banks!
Is it time to press the panic button? Probably not quite yet, but it could be soon if this disgusting crisis is not solved and solved soon. I personally think governments and business's around the world will come up with some type of temporary solution, but sadly, it will be no more than that, a temporary solution.
We the western nations of the world have been living beyond our means for awhile now and it just may be time to pay the piper on this one.
And that's my 2 cents on the multi-billion dollar credit crisis for this Thursday, August 16, 2007.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Apple has quietly discontinued Appleworks. The venerable word processor/database/spreadsheet application is no more! Attempting to navigate to the Applework page, at Apple.com, will now automatically direct you to Apple's iLife 08 page. Of course, the new iWorks is the main reason for Appleworks demise as it clearly puts the old Appleworks to shame, but still, it's a little sad for me. Not only have I enjoyed using Appleworks in the past, I still actually use it to this day! Mind you, it's on a very limited basis, mostly for one specific task that I do each and everyday.
Of course, Appleworks was never designed to offer all of the features of Mac Office, but the features that it did have were easy, intuitive and frankly down right fun to use. Formating, in Appleworks, for one thing, left Office in the dust. Appleworks ease of use and it's sheer simplicity is what made it so useable, so damn wonderful!
Originally, Appleworks was introduced in 1984 for use on the venerable Apple II computer, where, for a time, it was known first as ClarisWorks. Oh, how that name brings up memories for me. It was a low class program that offered, in my thinking, high class usability and convenience! And that's more than I can say for a lot of newer programs, by the way.
Fortunately, even though Apple cut support for Applworks I have not. I will continue to use it for the task that I have given it, namely that of tracking my daily Bible reading. After faithfully tracking my daily reading (I'm finishing my 366th. reading of the entire Bible from 1993 to the present.) I would feel terribly guilty of disloyalty if I were to abandon it now. All those years, all those millions of words and all those memories - I can't abandon you now, my old friend!
Yes, I know that I can easily import my old Appleworks docs into iLife 08, but for now, I simply don't have the heart. Appleworks has been a kind and gentle friend to me over the years and like any good friend its hard to say goodbye!
And that's my 2 cents 4 this day of Wednesday, the 14th. of August, 2007.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Wow! And to think that I thought it was impossible for Hollywood to get any wackier I get the report from ET Online that Charlie Sheen's ex, Denise Richard's, (oh, she is so pretty!) wants him to do her a little, itty, bitty favor before he ties the knot with his fiance.
Now what just that be, you ask?
Well, according to ET Online, Mr. Sheen told their Mark Steins, "Now, despite their bitter feud, the 'Two and a Half Men' star says that Denise has, amazingly, asked him to help her have a third child -- as the biological father."
Wow! How weird can you get even for Hollywood standards? Her ex is getting married, so let's have a third child for old time sakes!
Charlie also thinks that its rather strange, himself, that the press knew, before he did, that Denise sent him flowers in congratulations for his upcoming marriage to Brooke Mueller. I do too Charlie.
Well, I don't know about you, as entertaining as it is, these Hollywood types get a little too much attention if you ask me. In a world threatened by extremists like Bin Laden, stock troubles and rogue states such as Iran I can think of more important things to cover.
So, why then am I covering this? Simple: its a slow news day and as trivial as such things are, we all know, we can't get enough of this type of gossip, now can we?
And that's my 2 cents 4 the day, this August 14, 2007.
Monday, August 13, 2007
There seems to be increasing chatter on the internet that Apple is secretly planning to turn the iPhone into a gaming machine that will rival Nintendo and it's DS portable playstation. In fact, one webstite called it, "Clash of the Titans."
Various on-and-off-the-record sources are predicting that the iPhone will, via iTunes, be able to soon download games at $29.00, and that only months after the initial launch of the iPhone.
Already many developers are having a field day developing iPhone apps for the hot device through the use of Apple's Safari web browser. Not only that, some of these apps are showing the incredible promise of the iPhone in ways previously unimagined. MacDaddy recently, for example, demoed what could very well be the first 'two-way' video call feature.... the first on any portable device that I know of!
Will Apple compete head on with Nintendo as a legitimate gaming device? I'm not sure, but if they do, you can count on it, being a very, very interesting development indeed. Even though Nintendo, which rumors had Apple buying, is a leader in the field, could find itself facing stiff competition from Apple. Apple, of course, is a relitively new comer, but remember, it is also a new comer in the cell space and look what it did - totally turned the world of cell phones on it's head and started a revolution that shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
In the past, Apple failed miserably with the Pipin, it's own gaming console. However, Steve wasn't there at the time, but now that he is, you can be sure he will maximize what Apple learned from the experience and turn it to Apple's advantage.
Personally, I'm not a gamer; I couldn't care less about gaming, but millions and millions of others do. If Apple can pull it off, turn the iPhone into a serious gaming platform to rival the likes of Nintendo, Apple will have succedded, once again, in turning an entire industry on it's head.
Regarding Apple vs Nintendo, I say: BRING IT ON BABY! This could prove to be quite the show and fun to watch.
And that's my 2 cents 4 Monday the 13th. of August, 2007.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
The mounting credit meltdown accelerated yesterday, resulting in an enormous slide of some 387 points! This is serious folks. Yes, even if you don't own one bloody penny stock, if the credit meltdown continues it could mean that all of our lives, our jobs, our possessions are at risk. Now that is serious!
To highlight the problem yesterday, France's largest bank, BNP Paribas, become the latest and the fourth major bank to suspend redemption's in major multi-billion dollar investment funds because of the bursting of the mortgage sub-prime credit bubble in the U.S.
Bloomberg's News stated, "The complete evaporation of liquidity in certain market segments of the U.S. securitization market has made it impossible to value certain assets fairly regardless of their quality or credit rating." World stocks tumbled after the BNP Paribas announcement.
The crisis prompted the European Central Bank to immediately take emergency measures by injecting 94.8 billion euros in reserves as part of an unlimited cash offer to financial institution borrowers at its main lending rate of 4 percent. Overnight, the rates shot up to 4.7 percent, their highest in nearly six years.
The Federal Reserve this morning added nearly $12 billion to banking reserves to help settle a growing worldwide credit crisis that has expanded over the past few weeks from the initial wave of bankruptcies in the sub-prime U.S. mortgage market.
Fears of a global credit bubble, have been reported before, that could burst as troubles apparent in the sub-prime mortgage market spread to collateralize loan obligations generally.
Today's worldwide equity sell-off signals the credit bubble burst now threatens to impair stock prices globally.
Well, I know a lot of people that have no idea what-in-hell is going on, and worst, couldn't care less! Fools, if this situation is not address, and addressed soon, they will be forced to confront some pretty heavy consequences that could totally change their lives such as whether they can borrow for a car, a house, or whether or not they will even have a job to pay for any of it!
Hopefully, governments will be able to fix the problem and hopefully soon. Sadly, however, I have the gut feeling that anything they do will only put off the day of reckoning for a wee bit longer. That day is approaching and at a very frightful clip.
I'm holding my breath, my fingers crossed, hoping for the best, but I have the terrible gut feeling it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I hope I'm wrong on this one and you should to.
And that's my 2 cents 4 the day for Friday the 9th. of August, 2007.
According to the 1394 Trade Association, of which Apple is a member, Apple now holds approximately 21 % of the computer market for households in the U.S. Further, they also pointed out that analysts predict that this figure will increase significantly this year and into 2009.
The Association has also stated that Apple's introduction of 1395b in it's new line of consumer iMacs is proof that Firewire 800 (Also known as Fire2ire 800) is gaining significant momentum.
Apple’s decision to incorporate 1394b into all of its iMacs is another indication of increasing momentum for the ‘b’ version of FireWire,” says James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association. “The storage product designers set the pace by adopting FireWire 800 for hard disk drives, and now, with this announcement from Apple, 1394b is in the mainstream.”
Before Steve Jobs introduced the new iMacs last Tuesday, Firewire 800 was only available on Apple's high-end MacPro's.
The adoption of the newer, faster and more capable Firewire 800 is one that I have been waiting for. People should notice a huge improvement when downloading their home movies, music, photos and everything else. This gives the Mac community just one more bragging right over Window and Linux consumers, as neither, that I know of, offer Firewire 800 in any of their consumer machines.
Wow! I heard that Apple could possibly hold 15% of the U.S. computer household market, but 21 %, if true, is amazing. But then again, Apple is an amazing company with amazing products and an amazing ability to do what people said was impossible to do, win market share from the big boys. But then again, Apple is now of the big boys with a market cap of some 117 B., down somewhat from the 127B of a week ago. Analysts, however, are predicting that it should not only regain that figure but easily surpass it in the near future. Some are calling for a high of between $165 to $205 per share. It's now about $132 and time for me to purchase some maybe?
And that's my 2 cents 4 the day this Thursday 9, 2007.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Jonathan Ratner, writing for The National Post, has reported that Apple's new revamped iMac's may result in sales of some two-million for the next fiscal quarter! The reasons are simple to deduce: they are being introduced just before the busy back-to-school and upcoming holiday season. After all, eager buyers have been forced to wait much longer than the normal 165 day refresh cycle that Apple normally gives to product upgrades. This time buyers had to wait almost a full year. I include myself in that group.
“Apple’s iMac update targets the sole of the home and student market, a key battleground for Microsoft switchers, and potential subsequent premium upgraders,” said Mike Abramsky at RBC Capital Markets. Mr. Abramsky also expects that Apple's market share to increase from 2.4 % to 3.3%.
Meanwhile, RBC's said that it's checks at Apple and AT&T show that demand for the iPhone also remains steady. Mr. Abramsky, therefore, is projecting that he sees sales of 13.4 million for the much hyped product over the next 18 months.
Apple also upgraded several software programs, at the same time, such as iWorks and iLife.
Well, I'm no analyst, but I do see good things for Apple too. The new iMacs are absolutely a great value. They are sexier than the ones that they replaced (and I though thatt it couldn't be done!) and at a considerable drop in price! What's not to like? I will personally buy one very soon and couldn't be happier. Of course, in the back of my mind, I can't but help remember what Steve said recently, "We got some 'KILLER' iMacs coming in January." Hmmmm, not sure what that means, but I can't wait that long, I will be ordering mine soon. How about you?
And that's my 2 cents 4 the day on the upgraded iMacs for August 8, 2007.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
I've been dying to get my hands on one of those yummy, sexy, huge, tremendous 24" inch iMacs for awhile now, but have been biting my nails, holding off, until they were replaced with rumors of an even yummier, sexier, huger and much more tremendous models.
Today is the day that is supposed to happen.
Wow, I hope its true, but we'll just have to wait and see? Some sites, no, in fact, a lot of sites are predicting that the Mac Mini will go the way of the Dodo bird, and, as well, so will the 17" iMac. A few, however, are predicting that both will live on, at least, for a little while longer. I hope that is so, especially for the Mac Mini.
Apple stock is up on the prospect of great new Macs, but I fear that if they are just 'so, so,' the stock will take another big hit. It has been hit hard the past week on rumors and what not, so I hate to see it sink even lower based on something that has a little more teeth.
Well, as I stated above, we will just have to wait and see, won't we. But oh, I hate waiting, so, come on Apple: bring em on..... don't tease the Mac faithful of which I am one, one bit more..... I can't take the suspense!
And that's my 2 cents 4 the day on the upcomiing new Macs for Tuesday the 7th. of August, 2007.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
A lot of people, myself included, didn't really want to know, but after some 14 months the identity of the 'real' "Fake Steve Jobs" has been outed. He is none other than a 46 year old senior editor at Forbes, Daniel Lyons.
The Fake Steve Jobs and his acerbic postings have kept many people in Silicon Valley and around the world, including the real Steve Jobs and even Bill Gates, guessing as to whom the real Fake Steve Jobs was. It has become a virtual pastime for many people who have tried in vain, up until now, to discover who was behind this fascinating blog, (fakesteve.blogspot.com).
“I’m stunned that it’s taken this long,” said Mr. Lyons, 46, when a reporter interrupted his vacation in Maine on Sunday to ask him about Fake Steve. “I have not been that good at keeping it a secret. I’ve been sort of waiting for this call for months.”
Sadly, even though Mr. Lyons didn't want to reveal who the Fake Steve Jobs was, other people analyzed his other blog, written in his own name, (floatingpoint.wordpress.com) and a book that he published in 1998, "Dog Days," and correctly deduced who he was, and, as they say, the gig was up.
Oh well, even though the fun of trying to figure out who was behind the Fake Steve Jobs blog is over, the blog is not. I'm glad to report that Mr. Lyons has been persuaded to continue to write the blog, only this time, Forbes will move it to their own site. The blog has been attracting as much as 700,000 readers per-month and receiving up to 50 replies each day! Wow, now that's blog power for you!
The Fake Steve Jobs is a brilliantly written and humorous blog and if you have never read it, well, shame on you.... you should! I only wish I could write like Dan Lyons and maybe with a million years of practice I might just get to be half as good.
And that's my 2 cents on Fake Steve Jobs 4 Monday, August 6, 2007.
Friday, August 3, 2007
In the past, only three companies had the distinction and the prestige of having UNIX 03 certification. The big three, as they are known are HP, Sun and IBM. The big three have now, however, just become known as the big four, as Apple has just received certification, by the Open Brand, as a geniune 100% Unix 03 system for it's upcoming OSX Leopard OS.
The Unix 03 certification is the internationally accepted guarantee of conformance to recognized standards, and elevates Apple's status to a tier-one Unix operating system, something that is no small feat, and especially for a BSD based OS.
Wow! What can I say but congratulations and way to go Apple! This is great news for those who love to brag about the superiority of their preferred choice of OS's. Many OS's, such as Linux, can brag that they are 'Unix Like', but OS X users, well, at least, future users of Leopard anyway, will now be able to honestly boast that they are a real 100%, certified UNIX system, and Unix 03, no less at that.
For the average user, of course, I'm not quite sure if they will notice anything different the next time they boot up their OS, but, at least, when it comes to bragging rights, it's one more thing that they can add to the pile, and, In the case of OS X, that pile that is starting to stack up rather high indeed.
And that's my 2 cents 4 the day on Unix 03 certification for August 03, 2007.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Shifting the blame to Apple's move to Intel based chips and their own move to a new file format for it's Microsoft Office 2008, Microsoft has stated that it will delay, yet again, the popular office suite to January of next year.
What a bummer, Office for Mac is one of the very few, in my opinion, products that the software giant produces. According to Craig Eisler, the general manager of Microsoft’s Macintosh business unit, said Wednesday that, “It really is just a quality issue across the board...”
Well, that's what Microsoft does best, I guest, delaying what ever they promised to deliver last year, to next year!
Office, be it the Windows version or the Mac version, is buggy, bloated and very expensive. Yes, despite that, I like it, but lately I have been using the free open-source Bean. Its a great little writing tool and I find it more convenient than Office. Still, I'm waiting for Office 2008 and my heart was set on buying it now, not next year. By the time it comes out I may no longer even be interested in it, but we will see.
And that's my 2 cents 4 the day for August 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
I love the internet. I practically live on the thing, but there is so much about it that I don't like too, such as: the terrible news stories, pornography, fishing shames, etc. So, after reading about celebrities that have gone bad, news of the Iraqi situation, etc., I decided to relax when I stumbled on three internet sites that I thought you all might enjoy.
Here is one of the cute little stories that I found at U.K. site, that you might enjoy. They have lots more, so check em out and laugh for a bit. I did.
"These 4 gents go out to play golf one sunny morning. One is detained in the clubhouse, and the other three are discussing their children while walking to the first tee.
"My son Kent," says one, "has made quite a name for himself in the home-building industry. He began as a carpenter, but now owns his own design and construction firm. He's so successful in fact, in the last year he was able to give a good friend a brand new home as a gift."
The second man, not to be out done, tells how his son began his career as a car salesman, but now owns a multi-line dealership. "Norm's so successful, in fact, in the last six months he gave his friend two brand new cars as a gift."
The third man's son, Greg, has worked his way up through a stock brokerage, and in the last few weeks has given a good friend a large stock portfolio as a gift.
As the fourth man arrives at the tee, another tells him that they have been discussing their progeny and asks what line his son is in.
"To tell the truth, I'm not very pleased with how my son turned out," he replies. "For 15 years, Chico's been a hairdresser, and I've just recently discovered he's gay. However, on the bright side, he must be good at what he does because his last three boyfriends have given him a brand new house, two cars, and a big pile of stock certificates."
And that's my 2 cents 4 the day on internet humor, August 1, 2007.