Scripting News for 11/3/2006

If the Dems win a majority of just one of the houses of Congress, it could mean a dramatic shift in politics, finally there’s a chance for a real national discussion of our options in Iraq. With subpoena power, there may be hearings into every major decision, past and present. At least there will be a way to ask questions. That doesn’t mean of course that they will be answered, or if they are, that we will like the answers. But just being able to have a discussion that’s not dominated by a few smirking wiseasses could mean a lot for the future. 

Guardian: “British voters see US President Bush as a greater threat to world peace than either the North Korean leader or the Iranian president, according to a poll.” is tracking the Senate races.  

According to BusinessWeek, next week’s Web 2.0 conference is the “annual gathering of the digerati crème.” To people who give me grief for being an A-list elitist (a-litist?) gatekeeper, hey I wasn’t even invited to attend the conf, so according to my theory, I’m totally off the hook, so give the grief to someone more deserving. 🙂 

I bet you’re all getting tired of my Apple peeves, but here comes another one. I tried yesterday to make an appointment with the Apple genius (no sarcasm) at the Emeryville store, but I must have tried too late, and they said they were all full for that day. So I tried again today, same result. I decided to pay them the $99 for ProCare, although I consider this bordering on unethical to have to pay them just to talk to me (the problem might be their fault after all), but there’s no way to buy ProCare online, you have to go to the goddam store to buy it. Okay, don’t they know how much gas costs, and have they heard of global warming? And is my time as a customer who spends thousands of dollars with them a year, worth anything to them? I suppose they figure (rightly) that I can’t make a visit to an Apple store without buying something, but geez Louise, how about making something easy for the customer? End of rant.  

Thanks to Doc Searls for the pointer to the Donald Rumsfeld talking doll who says many of the clever things the real “Rummy” says. They have lots of others, including George Bush (elder and junior), Ann Coulter and Bill Clinton. 

If you doubted that PR plays a role in the today’s news flow, check out this post from a PR firm that representing a client that too aggressively wanted coverage from TechCrunch (and didn’t get it). See how Mike Arrington responds. Everyone is human, even the gatekeeper du jour, and deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt. tracks corporate campaign finance. There is a feed, although it’s somewhat hidden. 

I’m a longtime subscriber to Thomas Hawk’s photo stream, he does some great work. This picture is receiving justified accolades. Keep up the great work Thomas! 

9 responses to this post.

  1. This is a general FYI to other Scripting News reader:

    Andrew Tanenbaum’s Electoral Vote map, which I loved using to track the 2004 presidential race, is back, this time tracking Senate races.

    It also provides a wealth of information on House races, including this tabular listing of poll data:

    Tanenbaum invented the Minix operating system and had a famous online discussion with Linus Torvalds in the early days of Linux.


  2. Posted by stephen bove on November 3, 2006 at 11:19 am

    sophiticated, fast evolving product category: likelyhood of good support near zero

    apple support: oxymoron

    genius bar: hopeful customer waiting in line for the impossible bar

    the bigger apple gets: the more this is true

    expect nothing other than what comes in the box: be happy


  3. Posted by Paul on November 3, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    The ProCare thing is interesting, but I agree that it seems a bit of a stretch. They should really roll this into one package with AppleCare (the 3-year extended warranty program, which I bought for the first time on my last Mac, just because I had some extra cash and wanted the full 3 years out of that machine). That turned out to be a lucky deal because it broke (drive failure) right before the 3 year warranty expired, and then they replaced the drive with a better one, restored all my data, plus upgraded the OS (I don’t think they’re supposed to do that). However, I’m about to buy a mini for an AV center, and I’m not sure I will do it again. Now if they rolled the ProCare into AppleCare, that would be a real value, a total package that would truely stand out. Are there any Apple support product managers listening out there?

    BTW, what’s the problem and which Mac is it?


  4. Dave,

    I believe the appointments at your local store are reset at midnight each day, so save yourself $99 and set the alarm. 😉

    I’ve had to visit the store several times because of my MacBook problems (now resolved, fingers crossed), and each day they let me see a “genius,” even though the appointments were already sold out. Call the store and ask to speak with a manager.

    I agree that this is a horrible way to treat your customers.

    – Mike


  5. It’s the iBook G4 that stopped booting in May when I bought the MacBook to replace it. I tried booting from a CD to reinstall the OS, but it still crashed. So now it’s clear it needs to be repaired, I’d like to have it working even if it’s just a backup computer, or a server.


  6. Dave, I was just curious is you see President Bush is a greater threat to world peace than North Korea, or Iran for that matter.


  7. Dave,
    The way I see it, Apple is making a lot of money with their tactics. Your computer breaks you buy another one, when that one breaks you buy a third one, while complaining they are giving you crappy service on a machine under warranty. Now, you reward them by buying a special fast pass just to get your machine repaired? What message are you giving Apple? “Mistreated customers means more money” I don’t think Apple will improve…


  8. Just a tip for you guys, you can purchase AppleCare up to a year after buying a Mac. That’s what I do when I get a new laptop (which typically break more than non mobile machines–those LCDs are fragile!). Otherwise you’re giving an interest free loan to Apple for a year. This doesn’t work so hot unless you’re good at remembering things, so use at risk.

    A bonus tip, sometimes on the Hot Deals section of the online Apple Store you can pick up AppleCare at a discount. I think I saved $50 last time. I just bought a MacBook Pro last week so I won’t be purchasing AppleCare for a while, but I’ll keep watch for a deal.


  9. If you want to track what bloggers are saying about the races in your area there’s a pretty cool system here: – It even has a nifty RSS feed set up for the new blog postings about hopeful candidates.


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