Friday, January 18, 2008

Sour Apple

I got an iPod touch for Christmas. It's very clever product, but I was baffled as to why Apple would ship the iPod touch without at least the same Mail application that comes standard on the iPhone. The Mail application works on both devices, and there are some brilliant hackers out there who have made it possible to break into the operating software and install the iPhone applications on the iPod touch, so that it will run Mail, Maps, Weather, Notes, and Stocks. Obviously, most customers would rather NOT jump through these hoops, but these applications are useful enough to entice hundreds (if not thousands) of iPod touch owners.

So why would Apple not ship the iPod touch with these applications?

As it turns out, it's because they decided to develop a marketing strategy called "Gouge the Christmas Customers."

Today, less than a month after Christmas, I received an email from Apple, advertising these five applications, which will now come standard with all new iPod touch devices.

However, existing owners will have to pay $20 to download these applications.

I'm very disappointed in Apple. This decision represents a shameless abuse of loyal customers, and Apple is generating far more ill-will among their customer base than they are generating revenue for the company. It's a colossally stupid move from a company that should know better.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Front of the Class

I got a new title this week: Adjunct Instructor.

On Tuesday night, I started teaching a Mechanical Engineering course at a branch of UC. It's a Dynamics class with 16-17 students, and it's offered specifically for Electrical Engineering Technology majors. I bet my husband that I would be the only woman in the room, and of course I won the bet. (EE is probably the MOST male-dominated of all engineering fields.)

Since I had general anesthesia for the procedure on Tuesday, my husband had to drive me to the class. I lectured for about 45 minutes, but I was still a bit loopy, so I figured it was OK to end the class early. I don't think they'll hold it against me!


It's taken more than two months now, but I have apparently completed every single test that my team of doctors could think of-- I've had approximately 20 vials of blood drawn, I went through a very unpleasant x-ray procedure, and we wrapped it all up with outpatient surgery on Tuesday this week-- and I'm finally DONE!!!

The final consensus seems to be that there's nothing seriously wrong with me, or at least nothing that can't be counteracted by appropriate medications, so that's a huge relief.

As it turns out, I have two different genetic issues that both relate to blood clotting. MTHFR mutations can cause clotting, and I also have another condition that prevents clots from breaking down. (My official diagnosis is that I am compound heterozygous for MTHFR and I am 4G/4G homozygous for PAI-1, which stands for Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor.) So now I'll be taking 8 pills/day, but eventually I should be able to drop down to just 4 pills/day, and that doesn't seem so bad.