Month: July 2008

Tree removal

We’re having some trees removed that have just grown too big over the years. Most are around the house that are blocking windows, touching the house, filling the gutters, etc. But here’s an Alder tree that is far from the house being removed that was not very healthy and likely to fall in the next wind storm:

The guy is 60-70 feet in the air. With a chainsaw.

“More photos and videos at Flickr”:


David Pogue from the NY Times has written “an article”: on the MobileMe outage, criticizing Apple’s pathetic handling of it:

But the real problem is how Apple is responding. For a company that’s so brilliant at marketing, it seems to have absolutely no clue about crisis management.

One of my correspondents put it like this: “I love Apple. My first computer ever was a 128K Macintosh. But the lack of explanation and communication on the MobileMe problem is outrageous. Why not update the status message? Why not give us some indication of what’s going on?”

I called Apple. Would the P.R. team be willing to say what the problem is? What is being done to solve it? When might it be fixed? What kind of resources or time is being spent on a resolution?

No. Apple declined to comment on any of that.

That’s about as far as Apple will go in expressing an understanding of the emotional toll the outage is causing those 20,000 people.

It’s amazing that Apple doesn’t recognize this situation. This is an airplane that’s stuck on the runway for hours with no food or working bathroom. And the pilot doesn’t come on the P.A. system to tell the customers what the problem is, what’s being done to fix it, how much longer they might be stuck, and how he empathizes with their plight. Instead, he comes on once every three hours to repeat the same thing: “We apologize for the inconvenience.”

MobileMess, indeed.

More Tour de France

I must have misheard Phil Liggett yesterday because today’s stage is much harder: three HC climbs including Col du Galibier, 131 miles and a finish on the famous L’Alpe d’Huez.

The best-placed American is Vandevelde but he lost time yesterday and is 3:15 back. Unless he does well today, I think Schleck, Sastre or Cadel Evans will be the winner in Paris. Schleck’s got the strongest team so it’ll be hard to beat him today.


Sastre attacked on Alpe d’Huez. Helped by his teammates, the Schleck brothers, he beat the other contenders by over 2 minutes. It looks like it’ll come down to Saturday’s time trial between him and Cadel Evans. Vandevelde didn’t do anything to help his cause.

Apple's MobileMe outage

Last Friday morning, my .Mac (now renamed “MobileMe”) email went offline. Long story short, it’s still out and Apple has no estimate on when it’ll be fixed. Fortunately, most of my email is on my Gmail account, but lots of people use .Mac mail as their only email account. Why not? It costs $99/year, it should be more reliable than the free email services. But it’s not.

I know how hard it is to keep an online service up for a long time and how hard it is when things go awry and you’re hurrying to fix it. But Apple has really fallen down on the customer service and PR. Apple has always had top-notch customer service, but this debacle is a lesson in how not to do customer service.

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Anheuser-Busch sells out

I love this. “Anheuser-Busch has agreed to be bought”: by InBev, a Belgian company. Finally, America no longer makes the carbonated urine that most Americans call “beer”. That’s for the Europeans and Canadians now. America’s beers are now the best in the world. Since most mergers tend to fail or at least stumble, American craft brewers should have an opportunity to give the Bud-swilling masses a beer that has flavor.

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Kindle Review

After three weeks with the “Kindle”:, I’ve read six books. That’s a lot for me in three weeks. And I’ve probably read a seventh book considering all the samples of books I read (and decided not to buy). Overall, the Kindle is great. It creates a good reading experience and is light enough to hold for long periods of time, unlike a big hardcover book. It’s also very close to being the iPod of books. I have several books available to me, so if I decide I’d rather read another book, it’s there. So when you’re going to read, you just grab the Kindle, lay down on the hammock and then decide what you want to read.

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