Monday, May 31, 2010

Honoring Our Fallen Heros

Today I honor all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. May you rest in peace.

Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar drawing nigh,
Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh.

Then goodnight, peaceful night;
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.
God is near, do not fear,
Friend, goodnight.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What's wrong with cell phone contracts

AT&T announced today their plans to significantly raise their early termination fees (ETF) on smart phones. Of course, this is messed up! Now they claim that they have these fees to recoup the cost they incur by subsidizing the cost of the phone to make them more affordable for consumers. The truth, of course, is that they're just money hungry and they prey on our insatiable need for the latest gadget. I don't begrudge them their right to make money but customers are supposed to come first.

There are two simple options the cell phone companies could employ to make the ETF more reasonable and fair to consumers.

Option 1

This option involves a bit of calculation. The cost of the subsidy plus a reasonable profit margin (10%) = the ETF. Furthermore, the ETF is then divided by the term of the contract and for each month completed, that amount is subtracted.

Here's an example
AT&T's Cost to Apple$500
Phone's cost to Consmuer$200
Subsidy paid by AT&T$300
Reasonable Profit$50
Total Subsidy/ETF$350
Amount deducted each month of a 24 month contract$14.58

So, let's say you complete 9 months of your contract and you've had enough. Your early termination fee would be $218.75

Option 2

This option is really an extension of the firstTake the phone back. AT&T can refurbish and resell that same phone for $150. It costs maybe $50 on average to refurb the phone. So, give the consumer a $50 credit for the phone, which comes off the top of the ETF. Additionally, the phone company gets to make another $50 on the phone.

This isn't rocket science.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Macs are no more secure than PCs

In the news today is yet ANOTHER example that Macs are no more secure than PCs. It is just as easy for a Mac to be hacked as a PC. I admit, there is less risk of falling prey to a cyber attack on a Mac but Macs are not less vulnerable. There is nothing magical (or even scientific) about Macs or Safari that make them impervious to exploitation.

The difference between the two is market share. Apple has roughly an 8% market share in the US. That means 92% of computers ARE NOT Macs. In other words, the world runs on PC's. So, if you are a nefarious person wishing to profit either financially or through some sick pleasure by writing viruses and exploiting computers, who will you go after? PC's of course! You'll go after the biggest group to impact the most number of people possible.

So Mac people, you really ought to get off your high horse because one day, you're probably going to be sorry that you weren't more conscious about security than just playing the odds.