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Tooting My Own Horn

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:46 PM

Just for the record, I get a lot of predictions wrong, but here's one I got right (at least long term) back before the iPad launched:

But, let's offer a wildcard alternative: fully wireless sync with your current Mac ecosystem. Perhaps this would be extended to some iPhones and iPod touches too — say just the 3GS. I expect Apple to play up sync in general in the future. As iTunes goes, so goes Apple's overall strategy. The introduction of “Home Sync” quietly last year is something I believe will be the harbinger of bigger plans, with Apple returning to sync in a big way this year after pretty much letting its previous strides rust and be forgotten (think of the big push on sync services in Mac OS X Tiger back in 2005 and those features integration with the service then known as .Mac and now christened MobileMe).

Clearly, iCloud is for Apple this decade what iTunes was for Apple last decade.

Outlawed By the Cloud

By Tim Butler | Posted at 3:58 PM

This was the first notice I received from Google:


After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account
poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a
responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due
to invalid activity, we've found it necessary to disable your AdSense
account. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will
both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers.

Please understand that we need to take such steps to maintain the
effectiveness of Google's advertising system, particularly the
advertiser-publisher relationship. We understand the inconvenience that
this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and

If you have any questions or concerns about the actions we've taken, how
you can appeal this decision, or invalid activity in general, you can find
more information by visiting


The Google AdSense Team

I followed the instructions and appealed, but received only an automated reply:


We're currently in the process of reviewing your account with the
additional information that you've provided. Please understand, however,
that there is no guarantee that your account will be reinstated into
AdSense. As a reminder, Google does reserve the right to disable an
account at any time, as stated in the AdSense Terms and Conditions

Thank you for your patience.


The Google AdSense Team

When I had heard nothing after several weeks, I wrote back by e-mail:

I just wanted to follow up on this. I sincerely believe we have always remained in perfect compliance with Google's TOS. It appears with the disabling of our account, we've also lost our Custom Search Engines. I'm looking into alternatives to replace them, but would love to keep using Google's services if at all possible. I've always been a big fan of Google, so it is disheartening having to look elsewhere.


They finally answered a few weeks after that:


Thank you for your appeal. We appreciate the additional information you've
provided, as well as your continued interest in the AdSense program.
However, after thoroughly re-reviewing your account data and taking your
feedback into consideration, our specialists have confirmed that we're
unable to reinstate your AdSense account.

As a reminder, if you have any questions or concerns about your account,
the actions we've taken, or invalid activity in general, you can find more
information by visiting


The Google AdSense Team

I wrote back again hoping to be able to talk to someone who could give a real reason for what was happening. This letter went unanswered:

I am very disappointed Google did not follow up on my offer to provide whatever evidence was necessary to restore my account. I did not violate the TOS and don't understand why I am being accused of doing so. As a long time AdSense publisher and fan of all things Google, this is very disheartening and (I believe) unfair. I would really appreciate it if I could talk to an actual human representative about this.


I even contacted Google's press relations department in hopes of better understanding the company's policies. But, as it turned out, they had no interest in clarifying them. The best I received was a message from a PR agent who insisted on not being attributed:

Hi Tim —

Sorry for the delay. I can't provide any official comment or provide specific guidance on your questions, but I can offer you some information on background (not for attribution):

We can't comment on specific publishers, but we can say, generally, that we base any decision to disable an AdSense account on the specifics of that account, not on unverified charges from a third-party. Notices of alleged copyright infringement from rights holders are handled differently than typical violations (see [LINK] for more information), but again, we do not remove publishers from the network solely based on an unverified accusation.

Once an AdSense account has been disabled, a publisher cannot use AdSense to monetize content or any other digital assets (such as search results and mobile applications). However, publishers can still use some other Google products and platforms, including implementing a Custom Search Engine on their sites.

[Name withheld]

In the end I simply had to give up because Google would give me nothing to work with. Shouldn't reasonable companies at least allow their clients the opportunity to prove innocence?

Politically Savvy

By Tim Butler | Posted at 3:10 PM

Conor Friedersdorf reports:

Asked who won the town hall between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, Los Angelenos were emphatic. The problem: The event hadn't yet happened.

Frightening and yet seemingly completely in agreement with my own experience discussing candidates with people.

Legends are Born in October

By Tim Butler | Posted at 2:18 AM

Last year's slogan for the Postseason seems apropos tonight as the Birds on the Bat managed to again do what they did so memorably last year: reach the final strike on the final out of Postseason elimination and come back in triumph. Not just a repeat though, recovering from an apparently hopeless 0-6 hole gives this team a new legend to chirp about: such a recovery has never been done before in this sort of situation.

The road to 12 in 12 continues onward. I'm excited.


By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:42 AM

An interesting study:

Results showed male subjects had an easier time recognizing Frutiger and thus spent less time glancing at the display and more time focused on the road ahead. Average glance time with Frutiger was 10.6 percent lower for men, and while that may sound insignificant, researchers say it works out to about 50 feet when traveling at typical highway speeds.

And people pretend that fonts don't matter.

Jeff Bezos is the New Steve Jobs

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:22 AM

Gruber writes:

Om Malik argues that Bezos is the inheritor to Steve Jobs’s crown. I agree. Not because Bezos has copied anything Jobs did, but because he has not. What he’s done that is Jobs-like is doggedly pursue, year after year, iteration after iteration, a vision unlike that of any other company — all in the name of making customers happy.

The jury is still out on whether the new Kindle Fires can be the first real competitor to the iPad. But, Amazon already has the only alternative vision to Apple's that is compelling on its own right. The expansion of Prime makes it easier and more enjoyable simply to go to Amazon for everything. If Amazon can get the Kindle Fire software to be mature enough to stand up to iOS, I wouldn't want to have to compete with Amazon.

Confirms My Polling Thoughts...

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:14 AM

I've been rather surprised to see numerous comments this election cycle about Rasmussen's alleged Republican bias in polling data. This was a surprise to me, since I've always found Rasmussen's polling rather accurate, probably in no small part because of Rasmussen's finely tuned robocalling strategy. The rationale for the alleged bias — other than the higher numbers Republicans sometimes receive in Rasmussen's polling — seems to be two-fold: Scott Rasmussen provides analysis for Fox News and is known to be a Republican.

The first issue is circular, since Rasmussen's alleged bias factors into the analysis of Fox News's own bias. Is Alan Colmes biased towards Republicans, too? The second issue is a red herring. Every pollster is biased, but that doesn't really have anything to do with his data unless his data is shown to be inaccurate. A Fordham University professor looked at 20 major polls to see which one most accurately reflected the actual results of the 2008 Presidential Election and found Rasmussen and Pew to be the only ones to match the real results. Rasmussen consistently showed McCain-Palin as stronger than the other polls did, but that wasn't a bias — it was an accurate prediction of how actual voting would go.

I personally don't follow pollsters because I agree or disagree with them, but because I think this or that one gives me better data. Isn't that what most folks (other than a politicos looking to gain momentum) want from polling data?

HT: Houston Chronicle

HP Introduces the New iMac

By Tim Butler | Posted at 3:45 PM

A brilliant headline for an on spot article. To be sure, it isn't an exact clone, but to the average consumer, it would be easy enough to confuse the new HP Spectre One with an iMac — it has many design cues that originated with the Apple iMac. Most blatant of all are the keyboard and trackpad, which are inexcusable knockoffs of the Apple Keyboard and Magic Trackpad. I'm sure many of the same people who defend Samsung for its most dubious acts of iOS cloning will defend HP too, but I don't really see how anyone wins when some of the biggest technology companies spend more time trying to create fake Apple products than they do innovating.

What if HP had kept producing its innovative WebOS product line instead?

HT: Gruber

Speak Softly...

By Tim Butler | Posted at 2:16 AM

Quoth Lesa Jansen:

It's still a mystery why President Barack Obama was holding a baseball bat during his telephone conversation with Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan earlier this week. An official White House photo shows the president with the bat in one hand and a phone in the other.

What was it Teddy Roosevelt said again?

The Canon EOS EF-M

By Tim Butler | Posted at 8:11 AM

This looks exactly like the sort of exciting compact bodied interchangeable lens camera that I have been hoping to see from Canon. While there may end up being disadvantages to using a full APS-C sized sensor in this body with regards to how small the EF-M lenses can be made, the fact that this camera shares a sensor with the EOS Rebel T4i also makes it a theoretically more capable than most of its peers. Assuming that the production version fixes some of the bugs that the press ran into with the early samples yesterday, I think this could prove to be a camera that any Canon EF system user will be mightily tempted by.

You are viewing page 8 of 197.