Hopefully a fun trademark battle to watch

The SVP/General Counsel for Cisco blogged about the iPhone trademark. I love the fact that he brought up this point:

How would Apple react if someone launched a product called iPod but claimed it was ok to use the name because it used a different video format? Would that be ok? We know the answer – Apple is a very aggressive enforcer of their trademark rights. And that needs to be a two-way street.

Apple has been famously protective of their trademarks, which brings a sense of hypocracy to the whole issue. Leo Laporte often uses the term “Netcast” instead of “Podcast” for fear that Apple will one day try to go after that word.

It seems like most of the “experts” think this will get settled quickly, and out of court. Although then I read this from an Apple spokeswoman:

“There are already several companies using the iPhone name for VoIP (voice over IP) products,” Kerris said. “We’re the first company ever to use iPhone for a cell phone. If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we’re confident we’ll prevail.”

That sounds like a fight to me. I hope it’s entertaining.

Small World

So I’m listening to last.fm and a life track from the Red Hot Chili Peppers comes on with crowd noise in the background. Last.fm tells me this was from their Live In Hyde Park album. So I go to Amazon and it says “Taken from their mammoth shows in June 2004…”

It’s funny going back and reading this post of mine from June 19, 2004 when I was in London:

I found a bunch of young drunk people and figured I’d follow them to where the fun is. After a few minutes of walking, we ended up in a park where still more young people were walking. It was clear that we were going somewhere where things were happening. I took a quick look around to make sure I wasn’t accidentally walking to a British KKK rally or something. I saw enough ordinary-looking people to assure myself I wasn’t going somewhere out of the ordinary.

It turned out the park I was in was Hyde Park and the reason everyone was going there is because the Red Hot Chili Peppers were playing. It was an outdoor concert so you could see the show (albeit at a distance) without paying to get into the fenced-off area.

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Football Predictions – Part 2

I did a mediocre job of predicting the outcome of this weekend’s games. I got 3 out of the 4 outcomes correct. The one I didn’t get right was the game I went to, and the Cowboys would have won that game if Romo hadn’t made a historic blunder. I had also expected the Chiefs-Colts game to be close, which it was for a little while (Chiefs forced 3 Peyton Manning interceptions) but the Chiefs offense was amazingly absent, and the final score reflected that.

Next weeks matchups are even harder to predict, so in the interest of embarrassing myself further, my predictions are:

  • Patriots upset the Chargers (I can’t bring myself to say anything different)
  • Ravens beat the Colts (this is the toughest one for me to call)
  • Bears beat the Seahawks (almost totally dependent on how Rex Grossman plays. They slaughtered the Seahawks during the year)
  • Saints beat the Eagles

It's time to admit I actually use my cell phone

I’ve always had the cheapest cell phone plan available – 200 daytime minutes per month, 1000 night and weekend minutes. I do most of my back home/family calling on weekends. It wasn’t until I moved to Seattle and joined Dodgeball that I made the slightest increase to my plan. I added 200 monthly text messages for $5, bringing my total monthly bill to $35. That may not sound like a lot to seasoned cell phone users, but it pained me to add $5 to something that I’d generally considered a “utility” that I needed but didn’t spend considerable time with.

A few months ago I started creeping over the plan limits, sometimes in daytime minutes, sometimes in text messages. I kept telling myself that “next month” I’d keep it under. Then November came and my bill made it painfully obvious that I actually use my cell phone. 637 daytime minutes, 440 text messages, and $235 later I’ve hit the harsh realization that my cell phone is actually an important part of my life.

Added on to that is the fact that I’ve really been envious of people with real internet access on their phones – an actual browser that you can actually do stuff with. So, it’s time for a change. The problem is: 1) Every provider offers internet access that I’d consider ‘too expensive’, and 2) I have yet to see a device that I actually want to use. The closest thing available is probably the Blackjack. I have my fingers crossed that Apple will announce something awesome, although that doesn’t solve the problem that internet access on the phone seems to be going for $40/month. Can someone do it for $20? I’m not talking about Cingular’s EDGE crap either – I want the good stuff.

NFL Playoff Predictions

For some reason I feel compelled to jot down my predictions for the NFL playoffs, even though I find football very hard to predict. Part of the reason is that the football playoffs are one-and-done, so all it takes is one bad game, or even one bad play, and a whole team’s season can be over. It’s awesome.

  • Colts beat the Chiefs (should be a close one)
  • Cowboys beat the Seahawks (sorry Seattle)
  • Patriots beat the Jets (of course)
  • Eagles beat the Giants (the Giants are playing like crap)

I’m only predicting for round 1 right now, because the logic gets too complicated for future rounds based on who wins here.