July 31, 2008

July 31, 2008
Thanks for joining me for another day in my life. Hope yours is going great this week.

I am still on bed rest by my doctor so it was another very low key day. I ended up not getting to sleep good until around 6am and slept until 1pm. When I woke up Gary was at home because he is also still sick. We have both had the same virus since last Friday and are still feeling like shit and running a small grade fever while sweating our asses off. It makes your eyes burn while also having repetitive sneezing and watery eyes.

Gary was a sweetheart and handled the problems I was having with a new photo processing program on my computer. I had recently received Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 to work with all my photograph files and had been unable to get it correctly installed on the computer. When I had contacted Adobe concerning the program they told me the product number was not on their databases and was therefore fraud merchandise. After finally finding a customer service number for Amazon after googling for the information since I could not find it on their website; I was told they would send out a new copy of the program and the customer service representative showed absolutely no concern that her employer may be selling fraudulent merchandise.

Well then I had called back to Adobe to see if I could get technical help with the program after I received the new copy of the program in the mail a few days later. After they could finally confirm the new product number I was then given the technical support number. I then turned everything over to Gary to handle for me since he is much better with computers than I especially when it comes to the technical software and file manipulation. Gary ended up being on the phone for almost two and a half hours with the technical support person before being able to get the program fixed where it finally works. I am so thankful Gary was able to get everything done for me because my head would have been exploding dealing with poor customer service. Just goes to show that sometimes it is better to buy from a brick and mortar where you can actually go back and ask questions in person.

Now the big news of the day came from the west coast. n one of the most significant legal rulings in the tech industry this year, a Superior Court judge in California has ruled that the practice of charging consumers a fee for ending their cell phone contract early is illegal and violates state law. The preliminary, tentative judgment orders Sprint Nextel to pay customers $18.2 million in reimbursements and, more importantly, orders Sprint to stop trying to collect another $54.7 million from California customers (some 2 million customers total) who have canceled their contracts but refused or failed to pay the termination fee. While an appeal is inevitable, the ruling could have massive fallout throughout the industry. Without the threat of levying early termination fees, the cellular carriers lose the power that's enabled them to lock customers into contracts for multiple years at a time. And while those contracts can be heinously long, they also let the carriers offer cell phone hardware at reduced (subsidized) prices. AT&T's two-year contract is the only reason the iPhone 3G costs $199. If subsidies vanish, what happens to hardware lock-in? Could an era of expensive, but unlocked, hardware be just around the corner? It's highly probable. Of course, the carriers aren't going to take this lying down. Early termination fees are seen as critical to business, so carriers are expected to look for ways to reclassify the fees (such as by calling them "rates," part of the arcane set of laws that covers the telecommunications industry). The industry is also pushing for the federal government to step in and claim oversight over the early termination fee issue, which would invalidate any state ruling. The FCC is generally more tolerant of such fees, though Chairman Kevin Martin has proposed a plan whereby the fees are decreased the closer you are to the end of your contract. The FCC may also buy the argument that, since carriers are nationally based (and consumers can use their phones anywhere in the country), that a single policy should apply across the nation, rather than creating a patchwork of legislation that could lead to confusion and chaos caused by having 50 different policies. Is the early termination fee dead? Not yet, but it's looking a little haggard.

Have you heard about the 44 pound cat? A 44-pound cat found lumbering around New Jersey was abandoned by a woman who said her home was foreclosed, an animal shelter official said Thursday. The porky white cat found Saturday became a local media sensation and was dubbed Princess Chunk. But the animal is really a male whose name is Powder. The cat appeared Thursday on Live With Regis and Kelly. A veterinarian on the show examined it and determine he was indeed a male. Now I know my Kitty is a little over weight because she is an older indoor cat but that is ridiculous and can't be healthy for the cat.

Tonight we ended up ordering oriental from 5 points. I had the vegetarian plate with garlic sauce and rice while Gary had the shrimp plate and shrimp egg roll. It took forever for the delivery to get here and we were both starving. Mine was excellent but I was unable to finish the huge portion that came and will have the rest for lunch in the next couple of days. We ended up watching a rerun of Ugly Betty that we had not seen before and then the results night episode of So You Think You Can Dance. My favorite two female dancers have made it into the final! So I will definitely be watching again next week to see who wins.

That's about it for my day so I am getting ready to head off to dreamland. I hope you have pleasant dreams also. Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab