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The Crux of the Apple iTunes Problem with Multiple Devices in One Household

This sums it up nicely:

Prior to iOS 5, sharing an Apple ID wasn’t really a problem because its main purpose was for purchasing content on iTunes, using it for support purposes and purchasing items on the online Apple Store – all tasks that worked fine when sharing an ID.

[Source, macstories, iOS 5 & iCloud Tips: Sharing an Apple ID With Your Family]

That sums up our approach pretty much to date. But here is the problem:

Now that Apple ID is tied to a bunch of services, a lot of which involve personal and private data that you don’t necessarily want to share with others – even family members.

[Source, macstories, iOS 5 & iCloud Tips: Sharing an Apple ID With Your Family]

And because paranoid society is paranoid, children under 13 cannot have an Apple ID.


The other issue is that iCloud involves a lot of data synchronization and this doesn’t work well with multiple people as it results in data conflicts and devices syncing data (such as calendar events) that are meant for another person in the family.

*emphasis added [Source, macstories, iOS 5 & iCloud Tips: Sharing an Apple ID With Your Family]

Naturally, each owner of an iDevice wants to be able to use services specific to that user. As parents, we want to control when the children purchase, how much they spend, and we want to simplify the syncing of their devices without having to put a Mac in each room of the house. There are six services that use an Apple ID:

  1. iCloud
  2. FaceTime
  3. iMessage
  4. iTunes Home Sharing
  5. iTunes (includes App Store and iBookstore)
  6. Game Center

Read section 3 from this great article

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My wife has left me for Steve Jobs

At least today she’s Gone Gone Gone. See, while the US military and universities struggle to invent the invisibility cloak (getting closer), Steve Jobs and AT&T achieved invisibility years ago. Pay close attention the next time you are in public. Our social rules keep us from even making eye contact with a person on the phone. We don’t want to breach their privacy so we turn off our ears and physically turn away from them. Trying to recall the details of a person talking on the phone in public is more difficult than recalling the details of a person not speaking on the phone. I have no scientific study to back up that statement. It is just my own assertion but try it. Take a friend to the mall. Make mental notes about various people then stop and ask your friend to describe them 45 seconds later. The people talking on their phones are invisible! Even Girl Scouts selling cookies choose to skip their sales pitch to people speaking on the phone.

Now, setting is important. The person discussing private business dealings at the topic of their lungs in a quiet restaurant draws attention to themselves and is far from invisible. The loud talking, me, me, me, attention gather is trying to draw eyes to themselves and is the opposite of invisible.

iPods, MP3 players of all types, and anything that requires we plug wires into our ears also make us invisible. Our body language says, "Don’t talk to me!" Speaking to a person with earphone plugged into their ears might be a waste of time. They may not hear you and the frustration of raising your voice, getting their attention, and repeating yourself multiple times just isn’t worth it. To simply avoid talking to them is less physically exerting and less stressful. So we avoid interrupting people listening to their music or podcasts and they too become invisible. Today my wife joins the invisible people as she listens to loud music and gets things done around the house.

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What is a podcast?

For the longest time I have wanted to get into podcasting. I have good excuses like my computer equipment is pathetically out of date, my hard drives are too small (size does matter!) and filling up, and time is a commodity (video and audio take time!). But really, the geek in me has held me back the most. I understand the definition of podcasting:

A podcast is a collection of digital media files which is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. [Wikipedia]

That was not satisfying enough for me. I did not want to "podcast" until I could be certain that I was using the word correctly! Did quality of video matter? Length? What if my RSS stream occasionally had text only posts? Does Seesmic count? What about Youtube? Or Utterz?

Tonight I posed the question on Seesmic and had the pleasure of having the CTO and creator of give the definitively best answer to the question. I really appreciated Kosso‘s answer! It nailed it for me.

(Someone should put that video in Wikipedia under podcast)

Update: David Jacobs of The Connected World gave a great answer from a coffee shop! Watch David Jacobs reply on Seesmic!

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Its all about contests now!

So, what happens when a blogger wins a prize? He becomes addicted and let’s his posts become links to other people’s Personal Blogs in hopes he can win a iPod Video Nano. Browie was inspired by Darren Rowse’s Problogger giveaway. Apparently he won a cash prize and much like contestblogger, he is passing the good fortune onto us. This is not a paid post but does gain me an additional 2 entries into his contest. Cathy sure could use an iPod!

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Problogger’s iPod giveaway is up!

If you are following Darren Rowse’s $54,000 giveaway, then you may be interested in knowing that the iPods will be given away in the next 24 hours. To enter, write a poem (read the post for the specifics! Follow the rules!) before noon Oct 5. They are accepting entries based on doing not literary quality so even if you do not fancy yourself a poet, you should do it. Good luck!

Full list of prizes