No wonder Tivo is going out of business

I can sort of understand why they have had so much trouble. It is a nice product and sets up well. But I wanted to upgrade the plan from a yearly $129 to a lifetime $400. And when I called, they said, they couldn’t take my money. They have a 30 day window and the plan then locks in, so even if you want to pay them more money now, they refuse to take it.

This is one case, where you can see why cellular companies can make money, but TiVo has such a hard time. You would think the policy would be upgrade anytime you want and this extends your commitment. If you downgrade, then there is a big penalty. But essentially, if you con’t change in the 30 day window, TiVo locks out any additional revenue opportunities for themselves for a year.

New Mac Mini

Continuing the trend of impossibly powerful machines at zero cost, the Mac Mini just got an update and most significant thing is that it uses the 9400M graphics chip, so you can play call of duty with it. It is $649 vs. $1200 for a full MacBook. It is a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 120GB disk and $149 AppleCare Protection Plan that extends it to three years as a warranty. Marginal given the low cost of the device.

Apple Announces New iMacs, Mac Minis, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule – Mac Rumors

For the same $1,499 price as the previous generation 20-inch iMac, the new 24-inch iMac delivers a 30 percent larger display, twice the memory and twice the storage. Apple also claims up to five times better graphics performance in the new Mac mini with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics. 2.66Ghz, 640GB hard drive, 4GB ram

Apple Announces New iMacs, Mac Minis, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule – Mac Rumors

$799. 2.0GHz Mac mini. 2GB 1066 MHz DDR SDRAM, GeForce 9400M integrated graphics, 320GB HD, 8x SuperDrive, Mini DisplayPort and mini-DVI, 5 USB Ports, One FireWire 800 Port

Apple Announces New iMacs, Mac Minis, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule – Mac Rumors

Apple also updated the AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule, which are now offering simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band networking “for optimal performance, range and compatibility.” The new models also offer the ability to set up a secondary Internet-only Wi-Fi network to allow family and friends to access the Internet without giving them the password to the primary network

Apple Announces New iMacs, Mac Minis, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule – Mac Rumors

MacMall is offering $25-$100 rebates on new Mac minis and iMacs.

An easy way to figure out what band your Macbook is on…

Also just tried this Option key trick for other icons. It works for the network icon, you get the band, for bluetooth, you get the Mac’s bluetooth name and software version.

Software Updates Explain Dual-Band Networking – TheAppleBlog

Hold down the option key when clicking on your airport icon in the menu bar. That’ll give you your network specs, like what band, signal strength, etc.

Time Capsule 7.4.1

TG Daily – Apple’s new firmware enables remote disk sharing on wireless base stations

Apple quietly revised the hardware of its Time Capsule wireless appliance and AirPort Extreme base station this past Tuesday. New models sport updated hardware that enables dual-band support which utilizes both 2.4GHz and 5Ghz bands simultaneously to maximize wireless network performance, even with slower 802.11b/g clients on a network, like the iPhone, that would have otherwise degraded overall performance of a whole network. Guest networking is another new feature enabled in hardware that lets you create a separate guest network, password-protected or not, which is isolated from the rest of your network – great when a friend stops by and wants to check his email but you don’t like the idea of handing him your network credentials.

Remote drive sharing is the third new feature and the only one which works on both new and previous-generation base station models because it is enabled via software. Remote drive sharing allows users to remotely access files stored on an internal or external hard drive attached to a base station utilizing paid $99 a year MobileMe subscription. On Tuesday and Thursday evening, Apple posted 7.4.1 firmware updates for both new and previous base station models and AirPort Utility 5.4.1 that are essential if you want to take advantage of new features.

New York Bars

The stalwarts, like the Four Seasons, the Blue Bar at the Algonquin and Bemelman’s at the Carlyle, and (here’s hoping) the Oak Room, which is to reopen in the Plaza later this summer.

For the early crowd that finds that description of the late-night scene nauseating, how about a calm drink with a view at the Mandarin Oriental’s Lobby Lounge, on the 35th floor overlooking the southern reaches of Central Park.

Cool hip bars

If you’re looking for a hotel bar plunked down in the midst of a bustling, hip neighborhood, it is really rather impossible to beat Hotel on Rivington’s Thor, a lounge (and in the back, a restaurant) on a particularly happening stretch of Rivington Street in the 21st-century playground known as the Lower East Side.

For the late-night crowd, there’s the Bryant Park Hotel’s Cellar Bar, more like a club than a bar, attracting a young crowd to dance under the Guastavino-style vaulted ceilings as bikini-clad writhers-for-hire dance behind the bar.

A few new roof spots this summer have become instant favorites. There’s the Salon de Ning at the Peninsula in Midtown, a total overhaul of what was the Pentop Bar. The Chinese Contemporary art on the ceiling and walls, and Chinese daybeds on the buzzing patios is supposed to evoke the salon of the completely made up 1930s Shanghai socialite Madame Ning.

The other new roof in town is the Roosevelt Hotel’s mad46, with a gimmicky special entrance and a dedicated elevator attended by a guy who radios upstairs how many people he has with him.

Alas, the hotel roof with the best view, at Sixty Thompson, is open only to guests and members and people who manage to get into places that are open only to guests and members. Whereas your average rooftop is stuck in Midtown, with high-rises blocking views, this one, Above 60, is in SoHo, the low-rise valley between downtown and Midtown.

Weekend in New York – Hotel Bars – High on the View as Much as the Cocktails – NYTimes.com

High on the View as Much as the Cocktails

Kindle for iPhone

Now the Kindle 2 just needs to arrive 🙂

Amazon Releases Free ‘Kindle for iPhone’ Application – Mac Rumors

Kindle for iPhone allows Apple iPhone and iPod touch owners to read Kindle books using a simple, easy-to-use interface. You can shop for hundreds of thousands of books at www.amazon.com/kindlestore, and wirelessly transfer the books to your iPhone or iPod touch. Enjoy AmazonÂ’s low prices on Kindle books, including New York Times Best Sellers and most new releases for $9.99, unless marked otherwise.

Berkshire Hathaway

Their shares have been hammered, but Warren Buffet continues to be consistent http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/letters.html. I love his rules of building companies and investments:

Take a look again at the 44-year table on page 2. In 75% of those years, the S&P stocks recorded a
gain. I would guess that a roughly similar percentage of years will be positive in the next 44. But neither Charlie Munger, my partner in running Berkshire, nor I can predict the winning and losing years in advance. (In our usual opinionated view, we don’t think anyone else can either.) We’re certain, for example, that the economy will be in shambles throughout 2009 – and, for that matter, probably well beyond – but that conclusion does not tell us whether the stock market will rise or fall.

In good years and bad, Charlie and I simply focus on four goals:
(1) maintaining Berkshire’s Gibraltar-like financial position, which features huge amounts of
excess liquidity, near-term obligations that are modest, and dozens of sources of earnings
and cash;
(2) widening the “moats” around our operating businesses that give them durable competitive
advantages;
(3) acquiring and developing new and varied streams of earnings;
(4) expanding and nurturing the cadre of outstanding operating managers who, over the years,
have delivered Berkshire exceptional results.