Apples newest innovation: The Macbook Wheel! Just kidding.

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Apple has been the scapegoat lately for a lot of rage among the technology community. In reality, they were probably asking for it. Come on Apple, we’re not holding the phone wrong, you messed up. Also, when am I going to get Flash on my Iphone? Seriously guys, get it together! Maybe this new laptop will change the public’s mind about Apple and its recent shortcomings. Or maybe not.


Well, what do you think? Fantastic? World changing? Personally, I am most excited for 19 whole minutes of battery life! I can almost write half of an email on my new wheel keyboard in that time.

While it is clear that the Macbook Wheel is a joke, is it hitting a little too close to home for Apple? The Onion strikes the nail straight on the head with this video, and even Mac fans can chuckle over some points it makes. Apple has garnered a reputation for being high-handed and arrogant. This fake product may seem ridiculous, but it is likely someone would indeed purchase it and hail its wonderful wheel as the next step in computer technology.  The truth is, some people will really buy anything shiny and made by Apple. Apple seems to make people react one of two ways: it is most likely love or hate. Opinions are everywhere about the Ipad, the Ipod, Iphone, and everything else bearing that Apple logo. So are we falling too far into Mac-mania? What will be the next inovation in simplicity, and will it run Flash? Questions are abound!

We're still unemployed and our country is broke. And other stuff the media skipped this week.

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If you were an alien, the outer space kind, not the illegal kind, and you watched any of the major news networks, you’d have no idea that we have a $13,310,379,000,000.00 debt, or that we lost another 500,000 jobs last week. What you would have learned is that a majority of Americans think Obama is a Muslim and that there’s a mosque/community center being contested in lower Manhattan. That’s pretty much it. Kind of scary huh?

The problem is, Obama’s religion isn’t relevant to my quest to find gainful employment. As more and more Americans become unemployed, give up on finding new employment and struggle to put food on the table and keep the lights on, we all should be focusing on our future, not our president’s past. I realize it really matters to some, but at this point in time it doesn’t really increase my likelihood of finding a job. The most frustrating aspect of it is, I can’t really blame the media; no one has a good solution, not even Congress! But that doesn’t mean that we should be sweeping it all under the rug and ignoring the number one problem in this country: JOBS!

Aside from the lack of jobs in this country, we have a growing national debt. $13 trillion dollars is nothing to sneeze at. Again, very minimal coverage. But what will get covered: Lindsay Lohan’s jail stay. Are you kidding me??? Who cares about a failure of an actress serving time at the LA County Country Club for a few weeks? I certainly don’t. Now, I’d care if she was going to get all her Hollywood friends to donate their salaries to pay down some of our debt, but they’re not, so I don’t. I realize that we need a break from all of the bad news we’re being inundated with on a daily basis, but we can’t forget about the stuff that truly matters and that are truly a threat to our security, well being and growth.

Instead of listening to real debate about how Obama’s mortgage aid program has been an utter failure and complete waste of money, we learned about a former Illinois governor’s hair, weird Elvis obsession and trial verdict. Yes! Precisely what I wanted to know about. (Ok, I had a slight interest in the trial, simply because it’s been a hot mess since it started. Sue me! I love the occasional train wreck!) The thing here is, The Blago Trial is big-ish news, and corrupt politicians are a serious national concern, but it’s turned into nothing but a damn circus and very reminiscent of the O.J. trial; which, at it’s conclusion was nothing but a big huge joke. The troublesome issue here is that many Americans were really behind the president’s $75 billion housing program. Many people felt the money would be helpful to fix the problem, and now we’re learning that it not only failed, but 50% of the people who participated in the program have failed too! It has done nothing to slow the increase of foreclosures and the decrease of property values.

I’m sure there are a hundred stories I’m missing here, but I can’t write forever. The thing is, there is so much happening, I’m starting to think Americans are suffering from “bad news fatigue”. I know I get burned out sometimes and have to take a break. But I fear that now it seems to be getting to the media too, or maybe they just don’t know what to report on anymore, it’s all crazy and insane out there. That said, it is easier to discuss Lohan-gate than to tackle the pesky and often headache-inducing topic of unemployment. Hell, I think I’m fatigued and I just barely scratched the surface on the subjects.

Is A Media Bailout Next?

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Big news this week has been Newsweek being sold for $1 to Sidney Harman, a stereo mogul. With such news in the lime light I think it’s a relevant time to bring up the idea being tossed around Washington and among some media elites: bailouts for the media.

First, lets talk about this business of bailouts. I’ve been hard pressed to find many people, right or left, who think the bank bailouts have been a good thing. (Ok, I know there will be several people ready to prove me wrong there. I know there are leftists that believe bailing out GM was a good thing and I’m pretty sure those people are standing in line waiting to get their hands on a $41,000 Chevy Volt, right?!) The problem is TARP is not to9 big to fail. It can and it will. The amount of money that has gone into these bailouts has been outrageous and the numbers are so high that no one even bats an eye when they hear amounts like “$200 billion”, that’s congressional pocket change compared to our $13 trillion dollar debt.

But therein lies the problem. A $35 billion dollar “media bailout” is nothing compared to the nearly $800 billion dollar TARP bailout and many people tend to think, “well, it’s ONLY $35 billion, it’s not $800…it could be worse.” But the money isn’t my greatest concern.

The biggest worry I have with any sort of media bailout is that, as we found with the Journolist story, there are many journalists who wouldn’t even think twice about their journalistic integrity if they were given the power to influence public opinion. That scares me the most. I understand that journalists have a lot of power. Most of it is derived from the fact that for a number of years the only news we heard about was the news journalists and editors thought would sell papers, get ratings, and make their advertisers happy. They controlled the extent of our knowledge of our world around us. When your options are limited, your world view tends to be as well.

Then the internet came and killed it all. Ok, I’m only half joking. But within the past 15 years, citizen journalism has been making a great push. Every day citizens of the world are attempting to get the truth out while bypassing traditional mainstream media outlets. To be honest, I get more of my news from the blogosphere. No, I don’t take every blog I read as gospel, but I do click the links and check the sources, and I generally get the gist of it and move on. I have a feeling there are a lot of people who gather their daily news in a similar fashion. Whether it’s a blog feed reader, twitter, facebook or something else, I can assure you, there aren’t many people who wake up every morning and get excited to read their local newspaper, when the news they’re reading is at least 4-6 hours old at that point.

Do I think we need to save traditional media outlets? From what? Themselves? I mean, let’s be honest, they’re not failing because some evil corporation has a monopoly on the newspaper industry and is slowly taking over talk radio too. This failure is a prime example of how free markets work. The traditional media outlets are, pardon the pun, old news. The news that’s on my local newspaper’s website is more accurate and up to date than what’s in the daily paper, and that costs a quarter, I don’t have to pay for the website. Free is definitely cheaper than $0.25 last time I checked. Now newspaper companies are trying to find a way to be “internet relevant”. They’re selling more online advertising space than they are in their newspapers; they’re charging people to comment on their stories and some are making it work. But reality is, Americans aren’t going to pay for something when they can get it for free. So, this is where you come to a crossroads: do you ask Uncle Sam to give you a few more minutes to gasp for air, or do you go out with dignity and realize that the power is no longer in your hands?

We, the people, have a say here and we say, “It was nice to know you MSM, but we’re moving on to bigger, faster and slightly-less-government-controlled things. Adios!”