Because you can't find it anywhere else

My Own Class Action Suits

So apparently there’s been a class-action lawsuit filed against Apple because, in the plaintiff’s words:

Unknown to the Plaintiff, and undisclosed to the public, prior to purchase, the iPhone is a sealed unit with its battery soldered on the inside of the device so that it cannot be changed by the owner… The battery enclosed in the iPhone can only be charged approximately 300 times before it will be in need of replacement, necessitating a new battery annually for owners of the iPhone.

Let me get this straight. This guy claims that the fact that the iPhone’s battery isn’t user-replaceable is “undisclosed to the public.” Apparently he didn’t pay attention to all the news stories about this exact point, or didn’t even bother to look at an iPhone to see that there isn’t a way to remove the battery. (And in addition to all that’ he can’t even get his facts straight.) Well, if morons like this get to file class-action lawsuits for things like this, I think I deserve a few of my own:

  • The fruit I bought at the supermarket went bad after I didn’t eat it for a month. There was no notice saying it spoils, and the cashier didn’t tell me, so I feel I’m due a couple hundred grand for the pain and suffering caused by eating an overripe pear.
  • My cell phone broke when I accidentally dropped it, ran it over with my car, and flushed the battered remains down the toilet. I saw no “Do not drop, run over, or flush” warnings when I bought it, so pony up, Cingular.
  • My TV uses electricity, adding a sinister hidden cost to its advertised price. Pay me, Sony.
  • I suffered ear damage after listening to my iPod at maximum volume for hours on end. You owe me for my surgery, Apple.

Oh crap, that last one is real. I’ll stop there or I may give someone ideas. But seriously, how screwed up is our justice system when crap like this sucks the time and money out of the courts? This almost makes me wish for the good old days, when all you had to worry about was being sued over creased pants.

Cheating Made Easy

So the other day I went to a magic act. The venue was a darkened room, it was about the size of a hallway. The paint on the walls was chipping, and the floor was concrete. There was a single table at the end. A shadeless bulb hung over the table, illuminating it. The whole time I was wondered if this was an elaborate act to get random people into an isolated area to mug them. I’m sure there was at least one pickpocket among them.

This was an act specifically based on deception with playing cards, and the table was where the example card games would be played. There weren’t even chairs for watching. The audience (of 4 people) stood.

The illusionist was a 40-something guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt and slacks. He seemed out of place. He began talking some card history and handed some decks out to be shuffled. He started off with a small demo of 3 Card Monte. Being an amateur Monte practitioner, I was intrigued. Even though I knew exactly what he was doing, he managed to trick me. At one point the cards even changed. He was wearing short sleeves. I decided this guy was legit.

After that he got to the fun parts. He would take a shuffled deck, shuffle it a few times, and have the audience call out random cards that he would then whip out of the deck without looking at the card faces. At one point through his casual shuffling, he had arranged the entire deck into an order he had memorized. This is all basically an introduction to me talking about something completely different.

The book this guy learned all of his crazy mind games from a book called The Expert at the Card Table by S. W. Erdnase. Erdnase isn’t a real person, and nobody knows who it really was. I believe he was a ninja. Anyway, the book gives detailed info on how to pull off slight of hand tricks for use with any card game that involves….cards. So it is useful.

Now I know what most of you are going to say.

“Why would I shell out $8 for a potentially life changing skill set?” Because it gets you girls, thats why.

“If this book is so good, why doesn’t everyone know about it?” Because it is old. Over a century old, in fact. I guess people forgot about it.

“If it’s so old, how could it possibly apply?” Because card games still use cards.

“Wont other people knowing about this negate my ability to use the slight of hand?” No, because even if you know how to use the techniques, they are so good that even professionals can not see them. WHAT YOU SAY? Yes, that’s right. They are so perfect, they can not even be seen by the people who apply them.

So go out and read this book guys. Next week we can have a poker game.


Point/Counterpoint: Harry Potter

The second half of this article was written by George. I can’t believe ObscurePorn doesn’t support multiple authors. Technical Editor, get on that! Yeah, I’m addressing you from inside an article! Maybe if we had multiple author support I wouldn’t be embarrassing you like this. OK just read the article.

I Love Harry Potter!
by Julie Tibler, age 11

Editor’s Note: This editorial takes place before Book 7. The person who wrote it doesn’t know what happens in Book 7. You should read it from a pre-Book 7 perspective. It’s like a time machine back to six days ago.

I love Harry Potter! He is the greatest. He is the coolest wizard ever. I wish I had powers like him. Harry Potter can do anything he wants, cause he is the Boy Who Lived. I think You-Know-Who doesn’t stand a chance against Harry Potter, cause Harry is way better. I have read every Harry Potter book at least five times cause they are the best books ever. My favorite is Harry Potter and the Half-Baked Plot- I mean Half-Blood Prince. Every other book ever written is not worth the time. Once Harry Potter is over, I’m never reading again. Nothing could be as good as Harry Potter. He is so cool! Don’t you wish you had a magic wand? I would use mine to Petrificus Totalus my little brother so he would leave me alone. But actually, I couldn’t do that cause I’m just a Muggle. I wish I was a wizard so I could go to Hogwarts and meet Harry. I want to take magic classes and go on adventures with Harry. Actually, he is six years older than me, so we wouldn’t be in the same class, but I would still see him. Maybe I would see Ron and Hermione too! But they’re not as cool as Harry. I would tell Proffessor [sic] Snape to leave Harry alone cause Harry is really good and Snape is just being mean. Ooh, I forgot that Snape killed Dumbledore. He probably doesn’t even teach there anymore. Is Dumbledore really dead? I don’t think so. I hope he’s not. Dumbledore is really nice to Harry and also a really good wizard. If he’s dead that would be bad.

Harry Potter is like my best friend. He is so much better than anyone I know. He would be nice to me, like he was to Ginny. He wouldn’t make fun of me because of my hunchback. I bet he would show me his Patronus if I asked him. I really want to meet Harry Potter. But I guess that can’t happen. I mean because he lives in England and that’s really far away. I wrote a million letters (oops, I’m not supposed to exaggerate. I meant 9,997 letters) to J.K. Rowling asking if I could meet him but they must’ve gotten lost in the mail cause she never wrote back. Oh well. At least I have a life-size cardboard cutout of him. In conclusion, the Harry Potter series is a masterfully written and vividly imagined literary tour de force that has enormous appeal for readers of all ages. I heartily recommend it.

Harry Potter is a Fucking Douche.
by Draco Malfoy, age… 17, I think

Editor’s Note: This editorial takes place after, but ignores the events of, Book 7. Who knows whether Draco is even alive right now (I do and I’m sure plenty of other people do, but if you haven’t read Book 7 yet you don’t. So pbbbblt [Editor’s Editor’s Note: that was the raspberry sound]!) But anyway, you should read this from a pre-Book 7 perspective. If you don’t, things might not be the same as they would otherwise. So you shouldn’t do that. Shouldn’t not read it from a pre-Book 7 perspective, I mean. Look just take this as I meant it and don’t misconstrue anything. If you do, it’s the fault of your shitty reading, not my shitty writing.

First of all, I have no idea what that idiot muggle girl is talking about with J.K. Rowling and “the Harry Potter books.” She oughta be put in the loony bin, if you ask me. Or a cage, so she doesn’t hurt herself. The world would be so much better if all the muggles were caged…

But back to the point: Harry Potter is a fucking douche. Widdle Potty, the Boy Who Needed a Better Attitude. Loved by teachers (except Snape, the only good teacher of the lot), followed around by that mudblood Granger and practically living with those blood traitor Weasleys (I’m amazed they can even afford to feed themselves, let alone him). He just happened to get lucky once or twice… or three times. Or six. He got lucky six times and now everyone is so dazzled by his scar that they don’t notice how much of a douche he is. Believe me, he’s a douche.

The first time I met him, 6 years ago, in Madam Malkin’s, I tried to be nice (this was before I found out what an attention-seeking, muggle-loving goody two shoes he was). Sure, he wasn’t as rich as I was, but his father did come from an old wizarding family and he was famous… look, I was young and didn’t know any better. I don’t have to explain myself to you. But as I was saying, I offered to be his friend and he turned me down! Me! HE, the little orphan with no friends, turned ME down. What a douche.

It’s okay, though. I got him back on the Hogwarts Express this year. He snuck into our compartment and tried to spy on us with his fancy little invisibility cloak, but I saw him anyway. I stunned him and broke his nose, the little spy-douche-sneak. I stomped on his nose just like-

What do you want, mom?!? I’m busy right now. And I told you, CALL ME DRACO YOU BITCH.
Don’t you talk to me like that, young man. Now get down here and walk the dog right this instant or…
Coming, mom!

Ugh, I have to go. But Harry Potter is still a douche.

"This Article Is About College." TRUE.

Recently I got into college. And through discussion with my colleagues and business associates, I have discovered that there are a lot of misconceptions regarding the college experience. Therefore, as a public service, I have compiled a sort of FAQ: College Edition, consisting of commonly held beliefs about college, followed by the word TRUE, if the statement is true, or FALSE, if the statement is not true. Or if the statement is false. That really means the same thing. Why did I even bother making that clarification. There then follows a brief explanation of why the answer is TRUE or FALSE. You could treat it as a little game too, by trying to guess whether the answer is TRUE or FALSE. Well, except the answers are right there. That probably wouldn’t be that fun of a game. Unless you like instant gratification. Well, enough delay, let’s (as they say on the Vault commercials) get to it!

“I will gain ‘the Freshman 15.’” TRUE. Presented with an astounding variety of easy-to-access food sources, most freshman tend to lose control and eat more than they should. In addition, the presence of the mandatory “Gain 15 Pounds” course that is required of freshman at all accredited universities certainly doesn’t help.

“College costs a lot of money.” TRUE. Unfortunately, the cost of college has spiraled upwards in recent years. Why, in the good old days you could take an entire semester of classes for a nickel and still have change for the dining hall. These days, the average cost of a college education is $150,000 (absolutely fact-checked) and rising. Then you have to pay $400,000 to buy the books you’ll need for one class, and another $2 million to stay in a dorm room every night. Your professors charge you $4 trillion just to enter their classrooms, and to even look at your final exam, you have to pay more than the GNP of most countries. The only way most people are able to pay for their college educations is by taking out student loans, which they spend the rest of their lives paying off, and in fact the debt often passes to their children when they die.

“Everybody at college is a bunch of jerks.” TRUE. You will be alone and depressed in your dorm room during your entire four years. Nobody will want to talk to you because they will already have friends, and you’re not that interesting of a person anyway.

“I will get a great job after attending college.” TRUE. If by “get a great job” you mean “move back in with your parents”! Ha! Seriously, in today’s job market it’s not even worth the money to go to college. You should just become a plumber or something. There’s an exciting life! You get to travel, meet people, fix their toilets… something you’ll never get to do at college.

“College will be the best four years of my life.” TR- FA- well, it depends. No, I’m sorry, I can’t give a one word answer for this question. Well, I don’t care if it messes up the format. I’m not changing it just because of editorial pressure. What? You can’t fire me! I fire you! You’re fired! Get out of my office! I’m calling the police! BANG


“College is a non-stop orgy of pleasure and hedonism.” TRUE. If you’re not achieving orgasm during every moment of your four years at college, you’re not doing it right.

“I’m allowed to be unhygienic at college.” RESPONSE HAZY, TRY AGAIN LATER.

“Can I borrow one hundred fifty thousand dollars?” FALSE. No, you can’t. I barely even know you.

“Wait a second, how can a question be true or false? That doesn’t make sense.” FALSE. Look, I make the rules around here, and I say it was FALSE. Hey, get away from there! Stop that! Let go! Ow! What the- gih- juh- ARGH! Oh, that’s it! If you don’t stop, I’m not answering your questions anymore. Okay. Glad we could come to an agreement. Jerk. Yeah, you heard me. “I am a jerk.” TRUE. Yeah, well you would’ve said it if you were being honest.

“College will bring me lots of knowledge.” FALSE. While a cursory glance in my rhyming dictionary indicates that the words “college” and “knowledge” do indeed rhyme, I’m not sure that they have any association beyond that. I don’t know, I could be wrong here. You might want to make up your own mind on this one.

“College takes place several hundred feet above the ground.” FALSE. What? I don’t know where you got that idea. That doesn’t even make any sense. It’s false.

“College was invented in 1782 by the Montgolfier brothers.” FALSE. The collegiate system as we know it was developed during the Middle Ages, and certainly not by a single person or persons.

“College is powered by a temperature difference between the air on the inside and the air on the outside that generates lift.” FALSE. Oh, I think I see what happened. You’re confusing college with a hot air balloon.

“Oh, you’re right. I thought this was FAQ: Hot Air Balloon Edition.” FALSE. No, you didn’t. You were asking college-related questions a second ago!

“Yeah, you’re right. My friend put me up to this. Great, now I’m not gonna get the ten bucks.” FALSE. You can still get it. I’ll tell him that you satisfied the conditions of the bet, just as long as you start asking me questions about college again.

“I’m allowed to be unhygienic at college.” TRUE. But I mean, you’re allowed to be unhygienic any time you want. It’s just at college no one will know the difference.

“It is better to give than to receive.” FALSE. What the hell. It is so much better to receive. Unless you’re giving it to yourself, or you’re giving like a bomb or something, or someone else is giving something to you, it’s definitely better to receive.

“A lot more of these statements were false than true.” TRUE. Hey, maybe if you didn’t have such stupid opinions! Geez, it’s not my fault you’re wrong all the time.

“You actually know anything about college.” FALSE. Yes, it’s false: I actually know anything about college. Or, to put it another way, yes, it’s true: I don’t actually know anything about college. Maybe you should’ve asked somebody who’s actually been to college. I’m certainly not qualified to be answering these questions.

Well, that concludes this FAQ. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you’d like to see more, then vote with your wallets! Actually, if you could just send me some money, that would be good. I have to go to college somehow. “This article is over.” TRUE.

Idle Hands

It begins on a typical Thursday afternoon. You’re sitting at your desk, staring blankly in the direction of your computer screen. “I don’t want to do any work,” your brains tells you. You nod in agreement.

Unfortunately, the situation is getting desperate. This late into the summer, you’ve already seen all the internet has to offer. You can’t talk to your coworkers because, well… you can’t talk to your coworkers (Trust me, you’re better off this way. signed, unexplained-narrator-telling-you-about your-own-life). You can’t even listen to music, as you finished your iTaco for lunch (and accidently lost half your music collection in the process) over an hour ago. In desperation, you turn to the thing that has helped you out of countless tough spots and dire situations in the past. From helping with homework to finding your way in an unfamiliar town to teaching you to love again after your heart was broken back in the 8th grade, it has always been there for you. You turn, of course, to Google (and, more specifically, to gmail chat).

Scanning your contacts list with increasing dismay, you realize that none of your friends are online. In fact, the only person who is online is that weird kid from your math class the year before. You don’t know much about him, because he only ever talked to ask for help on whatever assignment you had for the day. And even those conversations were brief because, more often than not, you were asleep or ignoring the work completely in some other way. Just as you move to close the browser in disgust and actually do your work, you notice his status change.

“this computer doesn’t even have JAVA?!??!?!?!?!”
The interrobangs catch your eye and the sheer ridiculousness of the question hooks you in. He seems to be lost in his own world of strange priorities (Java on the computers) and stranger expectations (Java on the computers). His gmail status, you soon realize, is a window into this world, and you, voyeur that you are, can’t resist peeking in.

Over the next few days, you share in his experiences. You laugh as he celebrates beating what you assume is some computer game (“OH MY GOD, I BEAT 5X5!!!!” he raves). You gasp in concern as he defies his mentor and stands up for his principles (“screw it, I’m right. my mentor’s wrong,” he declares, steeling himself for the clash of wills ahead, “x.x”) and then chuckle as he learns the hard way to trust in experience (“x.x”). You sit puzzled as he boldly speaks his mind (declaring “The bathroom smells like popcorn; it smells delicious”). You’re shocked as, one, day, the tone of the status changes dramatically. “Waldman…” he warns ominously and a million questions race through your head. Who is Waldman? What could he have done to evoke such ire? Okay… two questions race through your head. But they’re big questions. Slightly worried for your little friend, you realize that you can’t really do anything but wait.

Luckily, things are back to normal by the next day. He frantically scrambles to do his work (“OMG, where’s the integral sign in Matlab!?!??”). Evidently he’s found it by the end of the day, though, because he has time to ponder politics. As he wonders “Why is Obama so popular?” you can tell he has no idea who Obama is. You imagine him wonder to himself “Obama… Obama… why does that sound so familiar… was he in my Spanish class last year?” The next day brings another shock with a gmail status of “gay, so gay.” Who is he calling gay? Could it be Waldman? What is going on between those two? But again, you are forced to wait and worry.

The next few days find the subject of your study uncharacteristically happy, full of Disney songs and similar lyrics such as “Oh baby, baby this is not a lie Let’s stop this tonight.” You wonder for the thousandth time whether he realizes that anyone could read his gmail status, but just smile and continue with your day.

And then, one day, the pieces finally start to fit together. The morning starts with “Waldman, omg I’m gonna get you.” You spend the better part of the morning puzzling over this not-so-new development. You finally get your answer that afternoon, when his status changes to “SO GAY SO GAY SO GAY.” You gasp in epiphany as you realize that he’s not insulting anyone, or directing that at anyone else. All this time, he’s been talking about himself, revealing his inner thoughts and feelings. You realize that all along, he hasn’t been angry at Waldman. Those seemingly ominous status messages are not the angry warnings of a spited coworker, rather they tell a tale of a young man declaring his love to the world. Your heart aches as you discover that you’ve come to understand this strange boy, watching his trials and tribulations, his soaring victories and crushing defeats. A single tear rolls down your cheek for the love that you now know can never be.

First Look: The iTaco

As part of its continuing quest to put lowercase i’s in front of everything, Apple has released the new iTaco. I don’t normally write about technology (actually, so far 100% of the columns I have written have been about technology), but this is such an earth-shaking event that I am forced to report on it. The iTaco has been marketed as a revolutionary combination of great taste, great ingredients, Internet connectivity, multimedia play, and a shockingly intuitive interface. Does it live up to the hype? Don’t ask me- I didn’t waste my time waiting in line for 14 hours to get one! Uh, I mean, I am a highly qualified reviewer who definitely owns an iTaco. Several times. I actually created the iTaco. Anyway, don’t consider this a review per se; instead, just take these opinions and use them as your own.

Let’s take a quick look at the features of the iTaco. The iTaco breaks away from the usual constraints of tacos, featuring touch-shell technology, which allows users to operate it with one finger. No longer will an entire hand be occupied during the process of taco-eating. Apple’s revolutionary new technology suspends the iTaco in an anti-gravity field in front of the user’s mouth, and it can then be rotated with the wave of a finger. This interface worked incredibly well for the most part; the only problem I found is that all of the contents of the iTaco fall out onto the table when it is rotated upside down (an embarrassingly common occurrence).

The main function of the iTaco- to eat a taco- was at least adequate. Like almost all of Apple’s products (at least in my experience), the iTaco looked better than it tasted. (For the trivia-loving among you, the one product that didn’t follow this paradigm was the original iPod Shuffle- definitely not the second generation one.) There’s not too much I can say about the taco part of the iTaco: I’ve eaten better tacos but I’ve certainly eaten worse Apple products.

The Internet browser on the iTaco worked pretty well; unfortunately, since the iTaco doesn’t have a screen, it instead employs a speaker that reads aloud the content of websites. I am especially impressed with the software that describes images you find as you browse the web. For example, the iTaco described this image as “um, it’s this kind of like, silver thing, in the shape of I think an apple? But somebody took a bite out of it, and the stem’s not really attached. I don’t know, that seems kind of weird. Is this thing on? He- hello? Where am I?”

The one other feature of the iTaco that I want to highlight is the presence of built-in applications such as Google Maps, which shows the locations of iTaco stores near you in case you want to buy another one; YouTube, to which the iTaco is continuously posting videos of you using it; and Stocks, which shows Apple’s stock plummeting (well, that was my experience, anyway).

Some of the lesser known features of the iTaco are its uses as a personal space vehicle and teleportation device. Some users have also reported the manifestation of god-like powers gained through purchase of the $750 special edition iTaco.

Usability: B-
Look and Feel: 92%
Size: Excellent
Price: 4 stars
Goodness: 4.6
Likes: Long walks on the beach

Overall: So how do you make an eye talk? Oh, I see. You have to blink in Morse Co- oh whoops, that was for my other column at . Where was I? Oh yeah, summing up. In conclusion, the iTaco really sucks and you should consider buying the iPhone instead.

The iTaco comes in your choice of beef, chicken, or vegetarian, and costs $500 for one taco ($600 if you want toppings). Each one you eat costs you an additional $500.


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