Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thank goodness for the FTCR?

An Infoworld story tells of the efforts of the FTCR (Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumers Rights) to get Apple to warranty the iPhone battery for the life of the iPhone.

Infoworld FTCR Story

Two quotes:

"Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights (FTCR) asked that iPhone battery issues be disclosed in all advertising, before retail sales close and during activation using iTunes "to ensure that no customers are misled concerning the performance and effective cost of the unit." The letter also urged Apple to provide replacement batteries free of charge throughout the life of the iPhone."

"The FTCR has history with Apple. In 2006, it filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of not offering dissatisfied iPod nano buyers a full refund after its screen became scratched."

I have a general hope that they fail in the first endeavor, thus eliminating a long run on sentence being mindlessly repeated at every ATT and Apple store, "Thank you for coming to our store and thank you for your interest in iPhone. Do you realize that you are buying a disposable consumer device which, depending on use, may require you to get a new battery. We are telling you this because you might not have a web brower, or read online news, or read blogs, or have any sensory apparatus whatsoever - AND you might have assumed that you were buying unbreakable titanium tablets which you also hoped could be passed down to your granchildren's children's children. May I have your credit card please?"

So when I look at this proposal and the second quote about how, "gasp", Nano's plastic screens could be scratched, I wonder what is the "life of the product"? And I see the looming generation gap that breaks maybe between 35 and under, versus above?

"Life of the product" to a late gen-xer or gen-d person is somewhere between "I get tired of the color" and "there is a new version with enough new features that mine isn't new enough anymore". In most cases this product life is shorter than the average product battery life. (Now - I do agree that the original owner's little brother or sister, or the buyer at the church rummage sale might need to get a new battery, but hey that's the "long tail" of short life fashion products I guess.)

If you are a tweener or baby-boomer then I am sure you instantly bought a rubber sheath for your iPod or iPhone taking an elegant, stylish product and making it look like a Zune, only bouncy. But, the fact that you have cultural inhibitions which will make you keep the product long past its cultural life - whose responsibility is it to bear that cost?

FAIR DISCLOSURE: I have my original blue iPod mini which is now scratched after I took my bouncy wrapper off as a result of watching the under-25 crowd at work. I do have my original Nintendo yellow-screen GameBoy, and would have my Pong, but my sister dropped it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


My company, CohesiveFT, is launching a pretty cool beta today - for Elastic Server On-Demand. Elastic Server's are end-user configured (engineer, developer) middleware stacks that are dynamically built and delivered via download in virtualization-ready formats.

We are launching a private beta but opening it up over the course of the summer. You can always contact me for a signup code - if you are nice - I will get you one.

Why are we doing this? Simply put both ISVs and customers are having difficulty as the middleware market shifts from single-sourced, tightly-coupled, vertically integrated stacks to multi-sourced, loosely-coupled, vertically-aware stacks. We think we can help. We are not out to displace any particular choice or brand of middleware, rather we are working to make middleware accessible, manageable and affordable.

Elastic Server has its own blog here