iOS8 Works Fine On iPhone 5 – Upgrade Recommended

I upgraded my iPhone 5 to iOS8 yesterday. Everything looks fine, works fine.

There was just one glitch, automatic brightness is too dark, very hard to see the screen. I turned it off, upped the brightness, then turned off and on, then reset (hold down power and ‘home’ button at the same time until it restarts.) This seems to have fixed it.

The changes to the keyboard are GREAT!

So for at least iPhone 5 and newer, I recommend upgrading. Because what I say matters so much.

Ford C-Max Is Awesome

I bought a C-Max Hybrid in May. I have had it for a few months and I love this car, so I’m writing this review about it.

I had a 2000 Honda Accord and it was losing its reliability. I spent a lot of time researching cars. (My wife was finally saying “Jeeze, just buy a car already, I don’t care anymore, just buy any car and get it over with.”)

Before trying the C-Max I researched and drove (and rented when I could) Ford Focus & Fusion, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu, Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry. My favorite of those was the Volt but it was more expensive and my wife wasn’t as enthusiastic. I also liked the Accord.

The Fusion was nice but oddly my wife could barely see out of the passenger window and there were no options for raising the seat. (She is not short.) After driving the Fusion the salesperson suggested trying a C-Max — otherwise I would not have thought of it and hadn’t really even heard of it. This is when I discovered the C-Max, and both my wife and I loved it.

Gas Mileage

Even though I liked the Accord, I finally decided to buy either a hybrid like the Prius or a plug-in like the Volt or Ford’s Energi. (Notes: 1) I vastly prefer the C-Max now that I have been driving it. 2) Honda’s Accord Hybrid and plug-in Hybrid weren’t readily available yet and more expensive than they should be.) I’m just sick of being so dependent on the oil companies, shelling out huge amounts of $$ every time I fill up and filling up so often. I didn’t want a pure EV like the Leaf because of range. I want the freedom to take longer trips without renting a car. But the plug-in Energi didn’t work for me for a few reasons. (I am starting to regret the decision to just go hybrid.)
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More Yahoo Trouble

Recently in the post Avoid Yahoo I wrote about how Yahoo treats their customers. (Hint: terribly.)

I’m just trying to gain access to a control panel for a domain registered at Yahoo years ago. Yahoo “lost” the info about how to access it. This is done through Yahoo Small Business.

Emails get nowhere, and they ask you to call. But a call involves a promised wait of at least half an hour. I tried and gave up several times, including at 1am on a Saturday morning and again Sunday at that time.

So I gave up because of time, and am trying again. I have been holding 45 minutes so far.

Here’s the thing. THEY don’t know why I am calling, they just know that one of their “Small Business” customers needs help. 45 minute wait time SO FAR with no end in sight.

I’ll keep you posted, but obviously never, ever, ever do any kind of business with this company.

Update – been on hold for an hour now…

Update – 1 hour 7 min, reached a support rep. I ended up having to PAY YAHOO to get access to the control panel for this already-owned domain.

Avoid Yahoo

Avoid Yahoo. I just have to say it. I’m helping someone try to get access to a domain they registered at Yahoo a few years ago, still registered there but they “lost” the info about how to access it to change things…

Yahoo is “saving money.” Like so many tech companies they pretty much offer no custmer support. It’s terrible. They have automated everything and you just can’t get anything done.

Called, I get “your estimated wait time is over 30 minutes.”

Right.

So people, avoid Yahoo. Don’t do anything with that company. Seriously.

Congratulations China!

China has soft-landed a probe on the moon, named the Chang’e 3 lander, and it has successfully deployed a rover named Yutu. This is a big deal. Congratulations.

This is the first moon landing since 1976.

The moon has no atmosphere, so a lander has to use rockets. This is a big technical achievement. China hopes to have a base on the moon in the 2020s.

iOS7 Not For People Over 40

If you have to use glasses to read, then the new iPhone OS is not for you. They made all kinds of things too small to read (or even to see in many cases), especially in the Music app. I’d guess that Apple has too few people over 40 to tell them this.

PS To second comment: I started one of the first Mac software companies.

Apple

I checked out Apple’s announcements… They say a Maps app is coming to OSX — the computer OS. And they say that their map data is being fixed…

So I got out my iPhone and found where I had hidden the Apple Maps app. (I use the Google maps app, because it has accurate data, while the Apple app is grossly inaccurate. So I hid that app where I have little chance of accidentally using it by mistake.) Right there in the middle of Redwood City it still says “Downton Belmont.” I reported this immediately after the terrible Maps app came out, so it had to be close to the top of their user-reported “fix it” queue, yet nothing has been done.

For those not in the Bay Area, Belmont is two towns up from Redwood City, after San Carlos.

Apple Avoiding Billions And Billions Of Dollars In Taxes

Apple (like many giant, multinational corporations) has been avoiding paying the taxes they owe to the country by setting up foreign “subsidiaries” in tax-haven countries, and moving jobs and profit centers out of the country. They have accumulated billions upon billions of dollars in these tax havens. Now they want a special tax break to reward them for doing that.

Tomorrow the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is scheduled to hold a hearing titled “Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code – Part 2 (Apple, Inc.)” with Apple’s Tim Cook. Apple is holding more than $100 billion in tax haven countries, to evade U.S. taxes. At the hearing, Cook (2011 compensation $378 million) is expected to offer a proposal for changes to the corporate tax system.

Cook’s proposal is likely to be for a “tax repatriation holiday” and a “territorial tax system,” both of which mean giant, multinational companies like Apple will pay less in taxes, people like Cook will have even more money, and We the People will end up with higher taxes, fewer good schools and good roads and police and teachers and the other things government does to make our lives better. As a bonus, this makes giant multinationals that move jobs and profits overseas even more competitive against smaller American companies that keep jobs and profits here and do not have foreign “subsidiaries” located in tax havens.

New Report On Apple’s Tax Avoidance

Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the AFL-CIO held a conference call today to talk about a new report by CTJ, “Apple Holds Billions of Dollars in Foreign Tax Havens,” documenting Apple’s offshore tax avoidance. The report states that,

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Apple’s Extreme Prices Finally Hurting Them

One thing Apple is famous for is its “premium pricing.” Meaning gouge their customers for everything they can get, because they are “locked in” to the Apple ecosystem. This practice seems to have finally backfired on the company — people are just sick of it.

Example: the new iPhone (the one with the maps that send people to the wrong places) has a new connector. You can only get it from Apple. $19. An adapter to let you use the new iPhone with the old devices? $39. Never mind that the phone itself costs so much.

The new iPad mini? Starts at $329, but no GPS. To get a GPS is another $130!

I bought a Nexus 7 tablet instead, and I have to say it is so much better than an iPad! The OS is so much more flexible, can do so much more.

But it’s when you start looking for a laptop computer that the Apple pricing really bites you in the ass. A 15″ Macbook Pro starts at $1799! That’s with a 5400 RPM drive. Moving up to a 7200 RPM drive is $150 more, and this is not even a “hybrid” drive that is part SSD! You are literally paying double what you would pay for a comparable PC.

Apple is so over… and they did it to themselves.