Apple blacklisting hacked iPhones?

by ZDNet‘s Jason D. O’Grady

I received the following email from a colleague: Speaking of hacks, Today I went into an Apple store with a less than two week old iPhone that had the green tint camera problem. Because it had been “hacked” with some 3rd party apps and was running T-Mobile they refused to service it, said the warranty was []

MAC Expose Overload

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expose_overload, originally uploaded by jeffseb.

Wow… and i thought my Vista was bad!

An Open Letter to Microsoft Legal Department (Xbox Legal Group)

[Update 1] – I finally was able to speak with someone other then a low end rep from God knows where and got some things straight out. Let me know if you guys think i should leave this post or just remove it. Am i happy with the end result? Partly, but i do have to say that actually speaking with someone who has the ability to respond to me with something other then a long pause and then a scripted sentence does make all the trouble I’ve been going through almost worth it. I am just happy that i was actually able to get someone who has the ability (and apparently the authority) to make things up to me a little bit more.

I wonder if this means i still get 2 free games? And if so, do i actually get something good?

[update 2] – |2007-09-18| Well, what a long, long experience this was. In the end, i ended up having my case escalated all the way up to the Manager of the escalation team. A mister Walter who did call me back and spoke with me directly. But this was only after I replied to about 15 emails, all of them CC’d to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. It really was crazy. In the end It still took an additional week and half for me to get unit. They could not find my unit in the ware house but otter speaking to several drones at the other end of the 800-My-Xbox and with Mr. Walter at the escalation department it turned out that I had multiple addressed in my account. One was my home address that I used to register my unit, the other was my office address which I was using to ship the unit. This apparently caused a glitch that even Mr. Walter was baffled. The people in the warehouse just did not get the right messages. And my Xbox, AS I found out, was fixed and sent out to another owner the day after it got to the warehouse. So the serial # I had was useless… L

I got my brand new, refurbished Feb. 2007 manufactured Xbox 360 overnight express shipped back to me on Thursday, and arriving Friday morning the next day. 3 weeks I was without my Xbox, (better the most people I am told), but only after I called 800-MY-XBOX 27 times, emailed Ballmer and other remember of support from the corporate office to the email support 3 times per day for a week. Only then I finally got a call from the Manger and then it took another week.

So, to everyone out there who might have read this, who is reading this; DON’T GIVE UP. Don’t let them give you the run around, don’t wait for the supervisor to give you a call within the next 1-2 business days. Call every day, ask for a supervisor, email support and Ballmer [always with your repair #] everyday, several times per day. Don’t take NO. Call, call, email then call again. Maybe, only then, when millions of us call in, email in, and complain in our blog will they finally start using overnight shipping (like my HP laptop people). I did get 9 months of Xbox live gold, and a charging station. But that is LITTLE consolation for not being able to play by BIOSHOC for 3 weeks. Right when it came out.

PS, Microsoft deleted the post on their forum that I posted linking back to my blog post. (shame on you Microsoft).

Anyone can always email me at – good luck! (Lohan) and don’t give up!


Microsoft Legal Department

ATTN: Xbox Legal Group

One Microsoft Way

Redmond, WA 98052-9953

Xbox Repair Reference # 104 226 9853

<!–[if supportFields]> DATE \@ "dddd, MMMM dd, yyyy" <![endif]–>Tuesday, August 21, 2007<!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>

To whom it may concern,

I am writing in hopes of bringing to your attention the grave dissatisfaction with the customer service I received concerning the second repair of my Xbox 360 system.

Last Friday, 2007-08-17 I called in your support department to report a funny noise coming from my DVD drive within my Xbox 360. This ‘crackling’ noise was present ever since I received my replacement order just over 2 months ago. I had thought that over time the noise would go away because this was supposedly a new unit. Around last week, my systems stopped being able to read disks while in the middle of a game. In one particular incident, I was playing ‘The Darkness’ and after about one hour playing I got a warning msg saying that my disk was scratched and the drive was unable to read it. I checked the disk and there was not a single scratch on, especially since I had just purchase the game a few days before.

The noise only got worse after this point and after I placed my initial support order last week, the drive stopped working all together.

Additionally, I received a email from a ‘Kevin Lamb’ (attached) who informed me that after several attempts was unable to contact me. Then directed me to contact 1-800-4MY-XBOX so they could address my concerns. When calling in the number indicated by Mister Lamb’s email no one was able assist me, or address the issues or transfer me to Mister Lamb’s extension or provide me with any way to contact Mister Lamb. I replied to Mister Lamb’s email 2 times so far providing him with my direct office phone number and extension where I can always be found, but have not heard anything from him.

At this point, my frustration has been escalated even further with the inability to have anyone who can address the issues first documented on my first letter to you (attached), then the inability to reach Mister Lamb, then the failed replaced hardware I received from your repair department.

The bottom line is that I was out of my first system for over a month, almost 6 weeks. Then when receiving it, I was basically told that the unit was replaced with a brand new unit. At that point, I expected the new hardware to work flawlessly. But I did not. It came with a defective DVD Drive.

This on top of everything else makes me question the ability of Microsoft in keeping it’s promises and in establishing functional hardware.

So now, after having my unit replaced with supposedly a brand new unit, having to replace it again because it was not new after all. It’s my observation that the unit is most likely a refurbished unit with a bad DVD Drive. I am worried not that it might have actually scratched some of my very expensive $65.00+ game (with tax) that I’ve spent so much of my hard earned cash on.

I am not some 15 year old gamer who has nothing better to do then spend hours on the phone with support to get nothing resolved, or devote additional hours in writing this very long letter. I am a hard working 29 year old working professional male, parent of a wonderful 11 year old little girl, who spends too much money on my children and family to expect nothing but excellence when it comes to quality and assurances. I’ve worked for the gaming industry and logistics industry as Quality Assurance Engineer and Manager and I am very much aware of the difficulties in production, research, development, customer relations, and budgeting. I know you probably get thousands of these letters and I am nothing but a infinitesimal number to you. But let me assure you that I am not just a number, and from my perspective, there is just one Xbox 360 in my living room.

I am also very disturbed by the fact that it took the Microsoft Legal Department, Xbox Legal Group almost two months to even try to get back to my original issue. I write you this letter and will most likely not hear from you until Christmas.

How disappointing…

I believe that at this point, I will also submit this letter and all attachment documentation as a open letter on your message board in hope to get a faster response.


A very Sad Customer,


Lohan Roberto

3xx W 42nd St Apt xx

New York, NY 10036

Game Tag ID: zxo2000

Office: 212-xxxx-xxxx x469 (please contact me on this #)

Cell: 917-375-xxxx


RE: You’re Letter to Xbox

From: xxxx

Sent: Fri 8/17/07 6:29 PM

To: (

Dear Lohan,

We have attempted to contact you by phone on 8/3, 8/15, and 8/17/2007. However, we have been unable to get a hold of you.

Please contact us at 1-800-4MY-XBOX, so we may address your issue.


Xbox Global Escalation Team


SRX1042269853ID – Xbox Repair – Box Shipped

From: Xbox Customer Care (

Sent: Mon 8/20/07 8:10 PM



Dear Lohan Roberto,

Xbox Support Service Request ID#: 1042269853

Serial Number: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

To make this process as easy as possible for you, we are sending you the packaging materials you need to send your Xbox console in for repair/exchange. Once we have received your Xbox console at our Service Center. Your Xbox console will be serviced and you should receive it within 4-6 weeks.

Below is the shipping information for the packaging materials.

Carrier Name: UPS

Carrier Tracking Number: 1Z05W3581219830734

You can track the status of your package using the UPS website and the tracking number provided above.

You can also track the status of your order online by accessing You will need your Windows Live ID and Xbox console Serial Number included above to access the status of your order. Once you have logged in, click on “Review your repair status”.

Please follow the instructions below when sending your Xbox console in for service:

· Before sending your Xbox console in for repair/exchange, it is your responsibility to keep a separate backup copy of any data stored on your Xbox console. You will be responsible for reinstalling all data that was on the Xbox console. Data recovery is not included in the service and Microsoft is not responsible for data that may be lost or damaged during transit or repair.

· It is very important that you send only your Xbox console; any additional items included in the shipping box that you send to us will not be returned.

o Remove any disk in the tray

o Remove any custom face plate (Xbox360 ONLY)

o Remove your Hard Drive (Xbox360 ONLY)

o Don’t not include any controllers, power cords, and or AV Cables unless instructed by the Xbox Customer Support agent over the phone

· All service requests are governed by the terms and conditions of the limited warranty. This request for service is only good for 30 days. If we do not receive your Xbox console within 30 days, a new service request will be required to repair your Xbox console.

· If requested by the Xbox customer service agent, submit proof of purchase in the form of a bona fide, dated bill of sale, receipt, or invoice (or a copy) evidencing that your request for service is made within the warranty period. If proof of purchase is not received or if your proof of purchase indicates that your Xbox console is not in warranty, your Xbox console will be returned to you unopened, freight collect.

You will receive e-mail notification when your Xbox console arrives at our service center.

If you have questions, please go to for the most up to date information.

Thank you for your business.

Note: Please do not reply to this message, as it is not a monitored e-mail address.


Microsoft Legal Department

ATTN: Xbox Legal Group

One Microsoft Way

Redmond, WA 98052-9953

Xbox Repair Reference # 103 630 6321

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

To whom it may concern,

I am writing in hopes of bring to your attention the grave dissatisfaction with the customer service I received concerning the repair of my Xbox 360 system.

I am extremely displeased with the fact that it has taken me over a month to get my Xbox 360 system fixed. I was giving the run around by your representatives, wrong information and told I would get my system derived today 6/20/07 but in fact, the system was not given to UPS for delivery till yesterday, 6/19/07, which mean I won’t get it till Friday the 22nd. (UPS REFERENCE # 1Z 05W 358 39 1396 274 0).

Now, I had spoken with a representative last Friday 6/15/07, and again this Monday 6/18/07, which I was then given the tracking # and the date in which I would receive the delivery. The information I was given was completely wrong and in wrong. I feel I was basically lied to and everyone I spoke with refused to help me.

Last night, I spoke with a Sheryl, who is a team supervisor at your call center. I informed her of my dilemma and that I really wanted my system delivery re-prioritized for overnight delivery. She was very un-helpful and refused to assist, saying that there was no was possible to reprioritize a shipment after its gone out.

Now, I know this to be in FACT wrong, I’ve worked for a logistics industry in the past and I know for a FACT that a shipment service can and will be upgraded if the SHIPPER contacts them and tells them to upgrade the package. After arguing with me for 40 minutes over the phone, Sheryl basically told me to call UPS and have the package upgraded if I could but she refused to let me contact her manager, or the repair center directly.

Sheryl should have been much more helpful. I just can’t believe the level of unhelpfulness she provided. She even went forward in offering me a ‘free game’ for my trouble.

The bottom line is this; I’ve spent thousands of dollars on my Xbox 360 system, accessories and software. After downloading YOUR spring update, my unit died and it has taken you, Microsoft, a month to fix it. Why don’t you start taking care of your loyal customer by shipping your defecting unit over night instead of 3-day service? You would catch allot more customers with honey then with vinegar.

PS, I am still waiting for my Xbox. And to see what you will do to make up the fact that all my friends have passed me up GameScore because I have not had my system.

Irate Customer,


Lohan Roberto

3xx W 42nd St Apt xx

New York, NY 10036


Troja Arc Lamp Is Sexier Than Most Women

The Troja Arc Lamp is so gorgeous it’s practically edible. The huge, arcing lamp is designed by Germany’s hansandfranz studio and uses hundreds of individual LEDs in an adjustable aluminum frame to create a soft, unobtrusive glow. There is no information yet as to whether the Troja Arc will be available anytime soon (or at all); the only thing that’s known is that it’s a must-have if you’re a brooding, warehouse-living artist with obscene amounts of space and a flair for the dramatic.

[HansandFranz via TechnaBob]

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Vacuum Bomb Ushers in Cold War 2.0

newVideoPlayer(“russianvacbomb_gawker.flv”, 475, 376);

Nuclear weapons are so last century—these days everyone has them, and international treaties make them virtually impossible to use anyway. That’s why Russia has been working on a new type of apocalypse-bringing device, the Vacuum Bomb. It creates a huge and destructive shockwave, but doesn’t have any of those pesky fallout side effects. That means you can flatten a country, and safely move right on in there.

The bomb was tested this week, dropped from a Tupolev Tu-160—the same bombers that have been buzzing around the UK borders in recent months. Footage released afterwards showed multi-story buildings crumpling, so it looks like the test went pretty well.


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Latest Google Earth has flight sim Easter Egg

Google Earth Flight Simulator
When we told you about the new Google Sky feature in the latest version of Google Earth, what we didn’t know is that this version actually contains an Easter Egg, of sorts. It turns out that if you press Ctrl-Alt-A on a PC, or Command-Option-A on a Mac (making sure that the focus is not in a text field), you’ll enable a flight simulator. It’s not particularly well hidden, and once you’ve successfully flown one of the planes it actually shows up as an option on the Tools menu in Google Earth, but still it’s a pretty cool feature.

In fact, it’s one of those “why didn’t we think of it?” types of features. It seems obvious to use Google’s satellite imagery and on-the-fly (sorry for the pun) map loading technology in the context of a flight sim.

So, what is the experience like? Better than you might expect. You get the choice of flying either an F16 jet or an SR22 prop plane, with the obvious speed difference. The controls are pretty delicate and difficult to master, particularly on a keyboard. It appears that Google Earth actually supports joystick input for the flight sim mode, although we haven’t had a chance to try it yet. Most of the world’s biggest airports are represented in the list of starting spots, but you can also choose to start at the current position you were viewing in Google Earth before invoking the flight sim mode.

Before taking to the sky, it is worth reading through the Flight Simulator Keyboard Controls, but if all you want to do is get off the ground, press Page Up repeatedly then press the Down Arrow key a few time as the plane’s velocity increases. This will effectively pull back on the plane’s joystick and vault you into the air. Good luck!

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