An Honest Mac Review

PC vs Hard Gay... I mean, Mac

Finally, a refreshingly honest article on what it’s like to switch from Windows to Mac. No hype, no hipsterness, none of that nonsense.

I haven’t used a Mac in years, for one simple reason: I don’t need to. We just bought a brand new dual-core HP a little over a month ago, and we love it. It’s incredibly fast, and we’re hoping it’ll last us through at least the next five years (save a new graphics card if we get more into PC gaming). As it seems that Macs are making more of a come-back, perhaps I’ll consider one when I purchase my next computer - but then again, I really don’t know why that would be necessary since I can do everything I want to do on Windows.

For the record, I hate Mac’s commercials.

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Cisco vs Apple: The iPhone Incident

Cisco vs Apple

Everyone who follows technology, or has watched the news, over the last couple of days has heard by now that Apple’s coming out with an iPod-cell phone dubbed iPhone. Clever. :| What you may not have heard, however, is that Cisco - the world’s leading networking manufacturer, not the R&B sensation that brought us such hits as “The Thong Song” and… well, that was pretty much it - have already produced a phone called iPhone. This is not new; in fact, they’ve held the trademark on “iPhone” since 2000. So why is Apple using the iPhone name? That’s what I’d like to know.

From what I understand, Apple and Cisco were in talks to work out a deal that would allow Apple to use the iPhone name with their new product. Those talks ended on or around Monday, no deal had been reached, but Apple continued to announce their iPhone anyway. Apple’s iPhone is both a portable music device and a cell phone, while Cisco’s iPhone is used for VoIP telecom. They are different, but not as different as Apple would like you to believe:

Apple argues it’s entitled to use the name iPhone because the products are materially different.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris called Cisco’s lawsuit “silly” and said there are already several other companies using the name iPhone for products like Cisco’s that use the increasingly popular Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.

“We believe that Cisco’s U.S. trademark registration is tenuous at best,” she said. “Apple’s the first company to use the iPhone name for a cell phone. And if Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we’re very confident we will prevail.” [source]

Those “other companies” might be using the iPhone name, but none of them are making as much money as Apple will make with its iPhone implementation. As far as “Apple’s the first company to use the iPhone name for a cell phone” - OK, that’s great, but you’re still using the name of a product trademarked by another company for a similar product. If I wanted to make an airplane by the name “Corvette”, you could bet your ass I’d be sued by GM. A more relevant example - if I wanted to make a phone called “iPod”, Apple would absolutely sue the crap out of me.

I’m not a legal expert by any means, but Cornell University has a pretty good understanding of it: “The owner of a trademark has exclusive right to use it on the product it was intended to identify and often on related products.” A phone’s a phone; in my opinion, we really are comparing apples to Apple’s here.

Ideas for a new name?

Update - February 22, 2007

Looks like the hipsters at Apple and the geeks at Cisco came to an agreement on the use of the iPhone name, and are even looking into joint ventures on future products. Figures.

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 21 (UPI) — U.S. consumer-electronics company Apple Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. have resolved their dispute over the iPhone trademark, the companies said Wednesday.

The agreement lets Apple and Cisco both use the iPhone trademark on their products globally and acknowledge the trademark ownership rights that have been granted, the companies said.

Each side will dismiss any pending actions regarding the trademark.

Cisco and Apple will also explore opportunities for “interoperability” between the companies’ products in the areas of security, and consumer and business communications. [source]

Wii - First Impressions

Wii System and Remote

Having pre-ordered my Wii back in October, I was fortunate enough to not have to wait in ridiculous lines for hours and hours in cold rain, unlike many other Oregonians who purchased their Wiis upon its midnight launch last Saturday. I got home from my Wii adventure around 12:45am, where I began to carefully unpack the new Nintendo system. I lived this moment in slow motion, unwrapping each component with the care and respect it deserves to be afforded. My experience could be likened to the N64 kid on several elephant tranquilzers.

Power-Up Your Linksys

I found this cool article on the always awesome Lifehacker that shows you how to upgrade the firmware on your Linksys router. I haven’t done it yet but I plan to tomorrow night; should be good times assuming all goes smoothly. Which always happens. 8-|

The upgrade modifies your router’s firmware to the open source DD-WRT, which installs to the router’s built-in flash memory. The new firmware does a multitude of things, but all I really wanna do is boost the signal strength so I can take my laptop to Mexico and still get a signal. Like I said, there are tons of other options for the geek-minded to explore as well.

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