Microsoft is offering an interesting deal: If you have an iPad 2 or greater, you can turn it in for a gift card of at least $200. It’s part of Microsoft’s Trade-in for a Surface program.
It showed up on Surface’s Facebook page Friday. The post says its for a Surface RT, but when you go to the official page, it states this is a $200 (or more) credit for the Microsoft store. You can get a Surface RT ($329) or a Surface Pro ($799).
The Catch to the Trade-In Program
You cannot trade-in online. You must visit a Microsoft store to do this – which includes any Microsoft Specialty store (a.k.a. kiosk store). You need to bring the power cord, too, or else its no trade. The iPad cannot be password protected – although its best to wipe your device completely before you try to trade it in.
Of course, the trade-in value also depends on the condition, version and memory size of the iPad. A 16 GB iPad2 will fetch only the minimum $200 whereas a generation 4 32 GB iPad might net you a few more $$.
Once a pon a time a number of years ago I went through a period of several years where I spent a fair amount of money on compact discs. Those days are long gone and have been for some time.
It’s probably just my age showing more than anything, but in recent years I lost interest in finding new music. I stopped listening to the radio the better part of ten years ago. When I did listen to music, it was to the old stuff.
To my surprise, I’ve become more interested in listening again. There’s a genre of music I paid scant attention to in the past called “electronic” that has caught my ear in the past couple of months. Mind you, not enough to start shelling out money for CD’s or even MP3’s, but these days that isn’t necessary. The “electronic” category of music is not for everyone. It is created with synthesizers and some of the sounds are very aggressive; some people would consider them noise. To my surprise, I’m really enjoying listening to this stuff — not enough to buy the music outright, but enough to pay to have access.
Google Music is currently offering a 30 day free trial. The price after the free trial is $7.99 per month if you lock it in by subscribing before the June 30 expiration date. The regular subscription price is $10 dollars per month.
I subscribed to the free offer, and so far I like it. I searched for the names of some of the electronic artists such as Hardwell and Armin van Buuren. I was easily able to figure out how to start the “radio” feature, which is initiated from a particular song. Once tracks started playing, I gave many of them a “thumbs up” if I really liked them and a few tracks a “thumbs down” if I didn’t like them. Google Music seems to do a great job of figuring out what I like over time.
Google Music claims to offer access to millions of tracks. A few experimental searches seems to indicate that they do offer a broad selection of both new and back catalog tracks.
You can download any track to your device by adding it to your library. I didn’t read the terms of service, but I’m sure once you cancel any downloaded music will go away once you stop paying the rent.
Renting access to music is actually a great idea if you want to casually listen, but don’t want to spend a fortune doing it.
Unless every American does his part – They’ll steal our Cheetos, Birkenstocks and Wal-Marts
And it won’t be very long – ‘Till the pirate version of this song
Tops the radio charts in Mainland China
In the last 48 hours, a blogger (called “BirdAbroad”) broke news of a new store in Kunming, China that was claiming to be an Apple store. It brought up this dilemma that anyone can make a fake store in China and how this is starting to become a major issue. But reality is, this is not the first time a fake store has been fabricated (and I don’t think it’s going to be the last, either). So what can we do to keep our purchases safe?
The Store that calls itself “Apple”
An American woman living in the Kunming China area – Blogging under the name BirdAbroad – discovered this store that claimed to be an “Apple Store”. They went home to verify on Apple’s website, but according to their searches, there were 2 stores in China and this was not one of them.
So they did what any other american would do – post this information on the internet.
Of course, this caused a major disturbance in the Apple force. Since the term “Apple” is a trending topic, People sprung on this story like a Apple fanboy to the Lion OS.
Reuters has been reporting from the stores on how upset customers have been swarming for refunds. They even noted some store employees didn’t know they were part of a big facade. I suppose if they could read english, they might have noticed the big faux-pas in the window that said “Apple Stoer”.
What Apple is Doing about the Fake Store
Nothing that we know of yet. They have been tight-lipped about the whole ordeal. Maybe they’re waiting to see what the outcome is. Maybe they’ll see this area as an important expansion and buy it?
OK, probably not.
There are two types of Apple stores – Apple (which is not called Apple Store) and an authorized Apple retailer. In town here, we have 2 AAR’s. Their store names are not related to any Apple trademark, for they would violate terms of service. But they do say “Authorized Apple Retailer” somewhere on the store.
Of course, this store is neither. Interestingly enough, you would figure (after all the press) this store would be closed up by now. Yet, the employees still come to work and more product gets sold.
Not the First Time
The reality: this is not the first time a fake store has opened up. It’s just the first time an Apple store has been opened.
We’ve heard about the underground knock-off world in the news many time. I can show you a few DVD’s I collected from friends that have been to China (horrible quality, so it’s just for show). I even remember a friend coming back with a fake Rolex watch – showing it off like it was the real thing.
There are some vendors on the streets who also sell the real thing. They get the product through black market or smuggle from other areas. Purses from Coach, dresses from Macy’s and iPhones from Apple.
This isn’t even the first time that has happened in the United States. In years past, people would open storefronts trying to fool customers that they were a brand it wasn’t. Most of the time, they also sold knock-off products. In 2008, police raided China-town and closed 32 vendors.
Be Aware of Fakes
Whether these people bought real iPhones or fake, Apple doesn’t have to honor the devices. That means if you spend $2,000 for a Macbook Pro and it dies within 30 days, you might have a nice paperweight.
Some people buy fakes for the novelty – like my friend I mentioned earlier. He knows that once the watch dies, he throws it away. Then again, it might just live his lifetime…
Even in the US, you cannot always trust a store. If you feel it’s a fake, then don’t buy from it. Do a little research and make sure they are who they say to be.
In the meantime, more fake Apple Stores have popped up in China. We’ll have to wait and see what Apple does to resolve this issue.
Bloomworlds is an online Android app store for parents to find apps that are appropriate for their children. The site is still being developed and they are looking for both developers and parents to help. The parents will review each application and then write testimonial on the app. Along with having actual parents do reviews they will also be checking apps for virus and malware. They are also going to make sure that application are not giving permission to third parties. Bloomworlds would rather have a small inventory of high quality, then a lot of random apps of various quality. Bloomworlds will offer several revenue options, one which will be a split similar to what Apple offers its developers, another for the application to be an exclusive app, or a star application. They have hand-picked developer, who they want to launch with. Right now the app store is going to be web base only, although they hope to have an application in the Android store if Google permits it. If you are a parent willing to test apps for children, then Bloomworlds is looking for you.