Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Lawyers Gone Mad -- Episode 1

As I sit here waiting for 4 days of e-mail to download and drinking a Dr. Pepper, I happened to read the Warning on the bottle.


You know...it was okay for the first couple of sentences, but that "especially while opening" part...that gets a person thinking. Let me see if I understand. Not only should I point the bottle away from my face while opening, but all the time? Hmmm...makes it tough to take a drink, doesn't it? Guess I'll carry a little cup around anytime I want a drink.

Wonder what lawyer got paid the big bucks for that little gem?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Cingular - AT&T Wireless BS

It seems big business is up to its old tricks again. A couple of weeks prior to the Cingular and AT&T Wireless Merger rolling out into the stores, my wife's AT&T phone died. Knowing the merger was in the works, I checked out the AT&T Wireless website and found this about the merger:

Wireless, as you know it, is changing for the better. Now that you are part of the Cingular family, rest assured you can continue to enjoy your existing benefits uninterrupted and without changes to your plan or its features. In addition, this union will provide you with many new benefits from Cingular in the near future.

* Access to the ALLOVERSM Network*, the largest digital voice and data network in America
* Expanded Mobile to Mobile calling to include 46 million Cingular and AT&T Wireless customers
* Cingular’s exclusive Rollover MinutesSM
* Strengthened commitment to service and innovation
* Faster, broader roll out of advanced products and services

As a member of the Cingular family, you can enjoy all this plus much, much more. Welcome to Cingular – we’re glad you’re here.

Let's focus on just one item. I'm sure there are more issues we could raise, but let's just talk about Rollover Minutes.

Would anyone in their right mind interpret this any way other than thinking that AT&T customers would immediately get Rollover Minutes? Apparently, Cingular thinks so.

Digging a little deeper after getting the runaround from Cingular today at the store led me to this little gem:

Q: If I don’t have Rollover MinutesSM, how can I get a plan that includes Rollover?

A: Beginning November 15th, 2004, Cingular Rollover Minutes will be available to you. Go to www.attwireless.com, or an AT&T Wireless store, to sign up for a Cingular Nation® Plan and get a new GSM phone to enjoy all the services Cingular offers. To find a store near you, use our store locator.

Rollover is available on Cingular Nation® Plans $39.99 and higher. These plans are a great value and feature no roaming or long distance charges, Mobile to Mobile calling to 46 million Cingular and AT&T Wireless customers, Night and Weekend calling and plenty of Nationwide Anytime Minutes. Switching to a Cingular Nation® Plan is easy.

A new GSM phone will be required.

So, not only will AT&T customers not be getting Rollover Minutes with their existing plans as you led them to believe, but you will also require them to sign a new contract and buy a new phone.

Deceptive? I think so.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

DVD Review -- Shrek 2

While I thoroughly enjoyed both Shrek and Shrek 2, I have 2 major gripes...one of which is DVD related.

  1. Can't Skip Promotional Material: The arrogance of Dreamworks has passed to new heights with the introduction of a children's DVD in which you CANNOT SKIP THE PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL. In Disney DVD's, for instance, you can skip promotional material by using the Menu button. In Shrek 2...no dice. Use of the menu button, the chapter skip button, and who knows what else is restricted. Your only option is the fast forward button which conveniently slows back down between the Shark's Tale and Madagascar promotions.

  2. Adult Content: Why must Dreamworks continue to infuse adult content into movies primarily intended for children? In Antz, characters used the word "damn" a few times. The first Shrek movie starts off with Shrek sitting on the toilet, reading a fairy tale after which he says "What a load of...", flushing the toilet at just the appropriate time. Shrek 2 adds to this dubious practice with Pinochio's thong and a "mostly true" maiden amongst other things. If this were promoted as an adult movie, I wouldn't have a problem, but Shrek is clearly marketed to children.

While Shrek 2 is very entertaining, Dreamworks' practices have forced me to seriously consider not supporting their future work.


Friday, November 05, 2004

Why did Bush Win?

Given that the country is obviously pretty evenly divided, why did Bush get the edge over Kerry? There are hundreds of reasons, and they may all be somewhat valid, but if you accept that the election was won (or lost in Kerry's case) in Ohio, there's really only one good reason...gay marriage. With gay marriage on the ballot in Ohio, it's no surprise that conservatives had an extremely high turnout.

The Democrats have underestimated the power of the issue. If they have a backbone, they will continue to support their position, but I'm betting they'll say and do whatever it takes to win.