May 2005 Posts

America’s Army 2.4 Out

Before today, I hadn’t played in like 2 weeks (wow). 2.4 was just released so I wanted to check it out. There are some new maps and some cool new features, such as random objectives, random extraction points, etc.

One of the neatest things (possibly the neatest) for me is the addition of objectives that you have to secure AND escape with alive. Rather than just reaching something. That’s pretty neat. I played a little SF Courtyard and was very busy getting my butt kicked.

For a list of all new features, check out ArmyOps-Tracker.

Final Thoughts on Canon Issue

This morning I approved the domain name transfer to mark an end to the “Canon issue.”

As I said in the comments for the last entry, this doesn’t really change my domain name selection process. I want to make one small addition to that statement – it does for shop only sites. I don’t think I’ll do it again for a domain that is strictly a shop. As far as communities, blogs, etc… it doesn’t change anything for me.

If this site had been a community (forums, blog, etc.) for Canon fans, I hold out hope that Canon would have acted differently. But, seeing as it was strictly a shop, which can only have so much personal feeling in it… I can more understand their course of action.

Anyway, done deal.

Edit: Oh, yeah. I decided that I would like to try to launch a camera shop in the near future for all brands (including Canon) and I picked up a domain. CameraBlast.com.

The Jim Tatum Memorial Fund for Lung Cancer Research

In April of last year, my friend Andrew (who owns/runs FinHeaven & Co) lost his father to lung cancer at the way, way too young age of 47. In September, we lost my grandfather to a combination of that and emphysema.

breathDEEP, according to their about page, “is quickly becoming one of the nation’s leading vehicles for taking action against lung disease.”

They sell logoed merchandise, such as wristbands, stickers, t-shirts, etc. They allow people to create their own breathDEEP merchandise sites with 70% of the purchase being donated to organizations working on lung cancer research and education.

I learned just recently (on a visit to FH) that Andrew had done so in honor of his father. I bought a band. It’s not much, but it’s something – better than nothing. I wanted to mention it in case anyone felt inclined to do the same.

The Jim Tatum Memorial Fund for Lung Cancer Research.

Building Online Communities with phpBB Out Soon

Building Online Communities with phpBB, a book by Packt Publishing should be out within the week.

It was written by my man Jeremy Rogers (Support Team member at phpBBHacks.com) (talking about it), Stoyan Stefanov (talking about it) and Mike Lothar (talking about it).

I wrote the foreword for the book and served as a Technical Reviewer. phpBBHacks.com is mentioned heavily throughout, as well. Having read the entire book in the reviewing stages, I can say that it will be a very useful book for anyone who runs a phpBB.

I’m excited about it and can’t wait to see it.

Canon Puts an End to Canon Camera Shop

After 2 months and 7 days of operation, Canon Camera Shop – an AWS site selling Canon cameras and accessories exclusively – has been taken down.

This comes after I received a certified letter from Canon U.S.A., Inc. yesterday afternoon. They feel that my use of the domain name canoncamerashop.com conveys a false impression that I am affiliated with or authorized by Canon. They said that my use of the domain name is intended to attract and divert consumers who are strictly searching for Canon’s own site.

They say that my use of the domain constitutes trademark infringement, false designation of origin and trademark dilution (I’m not too clear on what those last two are, to be honest). They say that I am creating the incorrect impression that people will be dealing with Canon when they contact me.

They demanded that I immediately change the name of the website and leave out the word Canon and any other Canon trademark, immediately cease any and all use of the canoncamerashop.com domain name, arrange to transfer the domain name to them and agree to not use in the future any designation containing the word Canon, as a domain name or otherwise in a manner that gives the impression that I am affiliated with Canon.

They wanted to be notified within 10 days of the letter (which was dated May 5). That notification was sent a few minutes ago via fax.

In order to give some idea of my feelings, here was my response:

May 12, 2005

Dear Ms. -Last Name Removed-,

I received your letter dated May 5, 2005 yesterday afternoon, May 11, 2005.

I will be happy to comply with your demands. I have taken the Canon Camera Shop website down and I have redirected the canoncamerashop.com domain name to http://www.canon.com. If you will initiate the domain name transfer, I will approve it.

I do want to say, however, that some of the assertions that you made in your letter are not accurate. My “use of the Canon name” is not “intended … to attract and divert consumers whose only interest is to search for Canon USA’s own internet site.” That was not my intention at all.

I am a fan of Canon products. I could have created a shop about anything. Yet, I choose Canon cameras and accessories. Not just cameras. Not just digital cameras. But Canon cameras. Why? Because I am a fan of Canon products. I recommend them and use them (I have a Canon Powershot A80). I’m a fan of the company. I keep tabs on Canon’s stock price waiting for a good opportunity to buy. All of that changes just a little bit today.

In the header of all of the pages on that website, you could see “The Unofficial Shop of Canon Fans”. Unofficial because it’s not affiliated with Canon. Fans because that’s what I am. In the footer on every page, you could see “We are in no way affiliated with Canon Inc. We’re just fans of their products.” Again, not affiliated and fans, which is 100% true and not at all misleading.

This was a fan shop for Canon products. I was considering creating a community for Canon fans in the future because I generally create websites about things I like or things that interest me. But, in line with your demands, I have now agreed not to buy a domain name with the word Canon in it ever again. And so, another thing changes. My admiration of the company changes, as well. You can consider me one Canon fan changed, for whatever it’s worth.

Even though I am disappointed in this development, I am still a fan of Canon and I would still like to promote your products. I would like to know what the rules are for doing so. Can I promote your products as long as the domain name is generic? Please let me know.

I will await the domain name transfer request e-mail. In addition, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at patrick@ifroggy.com.

Sincerely,

Patrick O’Keefe

I’m not going to fight because… well, what’s to fight? They are right about some things. I am using their trademark in a domain name. I understand that. If they want it, they can take it from me. I also understand (or have heard) that if they don’t defend their trademarks, they can lose them.

At the same time, I’m being dead honest: I’m a fan of them. All I was doing was promoting their products. I was not trying to… confuse people, steal their traffic and so on and so forth. Never even entered my mind. I wouldn’t do anything like that because I couldn’t in good conscience.

If I was them, I would want people to do what I was doing. I mean, I could understand it more if it was a valuable domain. Perhaps canon.com or canonusa.com or even canoncameras.com (which redirects to http://www.uniquephoto.com?) But, canoncamerashop.com? I didn’t even like the name very much when I bought it. But, I wanted to start a fan shop for Canon stuff because I liked them and it was the best I could find.

So, where to from here? I still have the design and it is entirely possible that I will open a generic camera shop – but, this one won’t just sell Canon stuff.

(Screenshots of the site as it was when taken down: TopBottom.)

Buy 1 Song, Get 5 Free at MSN Music

MSN Music has a buy 1 song (99 cents), get 5 free promotion going. Very good deal. I took advantage of it. There was one problem and that was that the songs would only play in Windows Media Player. It’s not that I don’t like Windows Media Player, it’s just that my playlist is in Winamp. So, I went to live chat with support and the lady confirmed that they would only play in WMP because of the way the license works, but that a workaround would be for me to burn the songs to a CD and then rip them from that CD in the format of my choice. I did that and it’s working great. Even with that little inconvenience, 6 songs for 99 cents is still a sweet deal. What 6 did I buy?

I tried to buy songs that I wanted to get from albums I wasn’t likely to buy.

Santa Baby by Run featuring P. Diddy, Mase, Salt & Pepa, Onyx and Keith Murray.
Step Into a World (Rappers Delight) (Bad Boy Remix) by KRS-One featuring P. Diddy.
Bigger Business by Swizz Beatz featuring Baby, Cassidy, Jadakiss, P. Diddy, Snoop Dogg and Ronald Isley.
Welcome to Atlanta (Remix) by Jermaine Dupri featuring Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, Murphy Lee, P.Diddy and Snoop Dogg.
Who is Benzino? by Benzino featuring P. Diddy.
Do What Playas Do by Mysonne, Mase and Eightball.

BlogShares…

I think I might be playing it wrong.

I own all of YanksBlog.com and 3,981 of 5,000 of this site.

Is that what I’m supposed to do…? Hmm… no idea.

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day to any Mom’s who happen to read my blog…

HAPPY FREAKIN’ MOTHERS DAY!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Teaser Trailer Out

Check it out.

Neat.

Via MuggleNet.com.

YanksBlog.com Launches!

A couple of days ago, on 05/05/05, YanksBlog.com became the latest iFroggy Network site. YanksBlog.com is an unofficial New York Yankees blog and the first blog in the iFroggy Network.

I will be doing most of my Yankees related blogging over there now, instead of here… but I imagine that some bits and pieces will still be posted around here. I have adjusted my links to reflect this.