All Posts by Robyn Thompson

Clay iPad 2 has people scammed!

Retail giants Future Shop and Best Buy had a huge wakeup call when they discovered that their stores in Metro Vancouver, B.C. were victimized by scam artists who replaced several boxes containing the Apple iPad 2 with bricks of modeling clay. Apparently, they accomplished this by first purchasing several boxes and after opening them, replace the contents with clay, reseal them then secretly putting them back on the shelves.

This came as a shock to Mark Sandhu, a customer of Future Shop who bought a $620 iPad 2 as a gift for his wife Sundeep for Christmas. At first they did not suspect anything, but when it finally came time for the family to open the presents, that’s when Sandhu knew that something was wrong. His wife on the other hand; overcome with excitement, assumed that it was merely a protective casing, but upon closer inspection it wasn’t.

He then proceeded to complain to Future Shop for a refund, but was rebuked by the staff under the assumption that he was scamming them, “Maybe the way I was dressed, I don’t know,” he said. “She made me feel like I’m trying to scam them out of $700. I was the one getting scammed.”

He then contacted the head office of Future Shop, Apple and even the local authorities, but was met with disbelief from all parties and thusly ignored. It was only when he contacted CTV’s Steele on Your Side that the company took notice.

As it turned out, Sandhu wasn’t the only B.C. consumer that had fallen victim to this scam. There were 10 others in different locations of Future Shop and Best Buy stores in Metro Vancouver.

“Customers don’t expect to receive this kind of product from Future Shop, so it’s a very serious matter and something we are addressing right away for anyone who has been impacted,” spokesperson Elliott Chun said.

Upgraded Mac iPad Manager Platinum

Aieesoft has recently announced that it has upgraded the Mac iPad Manager Platinum to be capable of running the new iOS 5. This new transferring software will enable users to import/export virtually all forms of data (local files, music, emails, movies etc.) from other iPads and Apple devices (iPhones and iPods), convert DVD/videos into iPad videos, etc.

The new transfer software has many advantages as well, as it is compatible with almost every iOS including the new iPhone 4S and iPad 2. Users will be able to download, convert and watch movies/videos online or from DVD in no time at all because of the improved conversion speed. Other benefits of this amazing new software include being able to create ringtones from popular movies, DVD and audio.avi files.

Since the release of the new iOS 5 updates on October 12, 2011, users experienced difficulty installing them in their devices which resulted in internal errors and while Macworld editors were able to update their devices without as much as a hitch, it was still particularly difficult for several others to accept the updates that incited complaints from customers. Fortunately with the advent of this recent upgrade all problems have already been set aside and with the added bonus of the processing speed cutting down on the time it would usually take for users to exchange and download files.

While the rumors of the iPad 3 are currently wreaking havoc on the media, it seems to have not tarnished the popularity of other Apple devices in any way, with sales still at an all time high during the holiday season and expected to continue all throughout the final days of the year and beyond, Apple is confident that with this new feature they will still be a few steps ahead of major competitors.

iPad 3 set to unveil in February

Various sources have recently been divulging information to news websites pertaining to the much anticipated iPad 3, which will supposedly be set to release on the day of Steve Jobs’ birthday on February 24 which is a Friday, or at least according to some versions of the rumor while others suspect that simply an annunciation of the product will transpire not an actual release.

Certain analysts however have stated that while the rumors are as of now uncertain, there is slight plausibility in the claim because Apple traditionally launches new products on that day.

While it may seem to be another fallacy, local Chinese language newspapers have reported it to be a fitting tribute to the late CEO and based on the information that has been given, local manufacturers of iPad 3 components will be heavily entrenched in production all throughout the Lunar Year in order to meet up with the deadline, with shipments expected to reach about 4 million upon initial release.

In addition, recent reports have revealed that sales of the iPad 2 were able to increase steadily during the Christmas holidays as opposed to earlier speculations that it would drop considerably due to the circulating rumors of the new tablet.

Still, dedicated users are still in fervent anticipation of the new iPad and have already speculated on its design specs like a higher resolution camera, the much awaited personal assistant SIri, a fully functional retina scan, the A5 processor (with the A6 coming much later) and a thicker body by about 7 mm (while many state it to be thinner).

Google is also expected to release their own tablet; the Google Nexus, which they claim will be a formidable match to the iPad line of Apple’s tablets. This may also provide some feasibility to the rumors because it only stands to reason for the company to catch up with major competitions.

Remember that this is still pure speculation and subject to debate, which is why all that you can do is wait and be patient. Don’t pull your hair out or waste your time and hard earned cash for something that still isn’t there yet.

Bangor Savings Bank Helping Entrepreneurs in Maine

Bangor Savings bank in Bangor, Maine stated in a recent release that they gave out over “$14,889,050 in loans to 68 new or existing businesses.” For the small businesses and retailers that make up the Maine economy, those loans are often what keep them alive and help them grow despite a down economy. According to Jim Conlon, President and CEO of Bangor Savings Bank, “Maine is home to 147,484 small businesses, representing 97% of employers in Maine. In the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, Maine banks granted more than 390 SBA loans totaling $79 million to small businesses statewide.” Bangor Savings bank was the “SBA lender in Maine for 2011.” the report says.

Bangor Savings Bank is encouraging young entrepreneurs to make money by starting their own lemonade stand–they have dubbed the project “Lemonade Day Maine.”

“Bangor Savings Bank is not only investing in today’s entrepreneurs – we are investing in our next generation of entrepreneurs,” wrote Conlon in an email to Black Friday Magazine’s editor.

Conlon described Lemonade Day Maine as “an entrepreneurial educational initiative designed to teach children how to start, own and operate their own business using a lemonade stand as a vehicle.” The statement goes on to say that “[Lemonade Day Maine] is free for kids, unites a network of youth support organizations, and brings out the entire community to support tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.”

Lemonade Day in Maine was started in June 2010 and was initially only held in the Greater Portland area, but according to Conlan, it has since “[expanded] to the Greater Bangor area [this year]!”

To find out more about Lemonade Day Maine visit http://maine.lemonadeday.org.

“After-Christmas Sales” at Amazon.com, Walmart, Best Buy

Popular retailers Amazon.com, Best Buy and Walmart will hold their annual “After-Christmas Sales” this year, starting on December 26th (the day after Christmas). This year, prices will drop to unimaginable lows and shoppers will have the opportunity to pick up that “special something” that they didn’t get in their stocking or under the tree.

The After-Christmas Sales ads will be released or leaked sometime in the next two weeks and from the looks of the current “Christmas deals” that are up now, the After-Christmas deals will be amazing this year.

Amazon.com is offering LG BD630 Blu-ray Players for only $59.98 (reduced from $119.99), ASUS G53SW-XA1 Gaming Laptop for only $899.99 (reduced from $1,299.99) and “Sony L Series VPCL232FX/B 24” Flat Screen TVs for only $949.99 (reduced from $1,099.99).

You can see all of Amazon.com’s annual Christmas sales at Amazon.com

Walmart is offering the 8GB iPod Touch by Apple for only $184, Nintendo DSi Value Bundles for $159 and Tablet PCs for only $99.

You can see all of Walmart’s annual Christmas sales at Walmart.com

Best Buy is offering free shipping on everything they sell through 11 AM on December 20th. The Best Buy “Wrap it Up Sale” features Toshiba 46″ 1080p HDTVs for only $599.99, Asus X54L-BBK4 Laptops for only $399.99 and 20% off on Energy Star Kitchen Appliances.

You can see all of Best Buy’s annual Christmas sales at BestBuy.com

Apple Genius Fired for Facebook Rampage

Apple Inc. fired employee Samuel Crisp, who worked in the company’s Norwich store as an Apple “Genius” after he allegedly posted anti-Apple remarks on his private Facebook page. UK courts found that the firing was legal, setting yet another precedent in an area of the law where the boundaries of free speech and privacy are often muddled. Crisp posted on his Facebook page a number of anti-Apple remarks and was exposed to Apple by an associate that had access to his private Facebook page. Apple has a strict zero-tolerance policy for social media use in order to safeguard the company’s brand image in a world where low-ranking employees are often as visible (or more so) than their executive counterparts.

Crisp is not the first employee to get fired for posting remarks about a boss or an employer. A number of recent cases with similarities to Crisps have cropped up recently, as the legal system struggles to find where the freedom of expression starts and ends on the internet.

In a related incident, Dawnmarie Souza was fired from her job at American Medical Response after she went on social media to vent her frustrations at work, including a specific rant against her boss. Souza went to the National Labor Relations Board to file a formal complaint and won–The NLRB found that Souza was not legally fired due to legislation that protects workers’ right to free speech.

In order to justify firing an employee over remarks made on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, a company must set clear expectations and guidelines for social media use by employees.