How to Fix iCloud Message Problems Between iPhone, iPad and iTouch (Dec. 2013)

The lifeless corpse of Steve Jobs has risen to resolve iCloud message synching problems between iPhones, iPads and iPods.
The lifeless corpse of Steve Jobs has risen to resolve iCloud message synching problems between iPhones, iPads and iPods.

For the past month, adults everywhere have found their text messages going to their children’s iPads. And the kids, if they’re old enough, are sending messages to their friends, which in turn go to the parents’ iPhones. So guys like me are at the office getting bombarded with texts from kids, and our own texts aren’t going through.

These are the symptoms of Apple’s changes to iCloud synching, and I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs is turning in his grave. The tech folks at Cupertino should be glad he’s dead, but still fear his wrath in the afterlife.

Here’s how to fix your iCloud problem:

  1. This is not caused by the fact that your kids are using your me.com or mac.com account to buy apps on their iPads. Giving them their own account for the iTunes and App stores will not solve your problem.
  2. The beginning of both the problem and solution lies in the settings > iCloud menu. Your iPad and iPod devices are probably logged on to the same iCloud account you use for your iPhone. That means all your text messages go to them. And vice versa. This is something that changed in mid November 2013.
  3. Once you’ve deleted your iCloud account from the iPod/iPad, you will need to set up another if they still plan to message other devices. This requires a credit card.
  4. Next you need to grab their iPad/iPod and go to settings > message. Turn that off iMessage off. Good, now turn it on again. And off.
  5. Theoretically you should be fine. But the bug makes iCloud link these devices even when you delete the account on them. The iPods, iPads and iPhones remember the iCloud account even after you delete them entirely… So you need to delete it. Turn it off. Turn it on.
  6. Do you see the insanity? There’s no pattern here. You just need to keep turning iCloud and iMessage off and on and eventually you will get lucky. It’s a bug. Eventually you’ll do things in the correct sequence and it will resolve.
  7. Once it seems to work, test it by sending a message from each device to a different phone. Then start shopping for a Samsung. This isn’t the beginning or end of Apple’s decline.
i hate apple
i hate apple

While you’re experiencing this, it’s best to scream like a maniac. Threaten never to buy another Apple device again. Tell your kids if they ever login to your iCloud account you’ll take away their pad. Belt out that you will not spend an entire Sunday being the damned tech support desk for the entire family. Tell your wife and kids that if they have another problem with their iPhone, iPad or iPod that they are forbidden from even TELLING you about the problem much less asking for your help.

And here’s the dirty little secret. Apple knows damned well that families share many Apple devices. And families were getting by quite fine without needing synchronized messaging between devices. Apple has allowed this bug to exist, primarily to irritate us into establishing separate iCloud accounts for each device. When we’ve set up separate accounts, we’re more likely to buy songs more than once. We’ll likely buy apps more than once. It’s a conspiracy, man. This is a deliberate attempt to squeeze out “lazy money” from loyal Apple customers, and I’m sure it’s working. This reminds me of when Apple decided to make it impossible for me to shop Audible from my phone. Really, you greedy dick?

I was on the fence about jumping to Android, and the past few weeks have knocked me right over. Apple has been “pulling a Blackberry” in the past few years — it’s been absolutely lazy about feature upgrades since iPhone 3 and 4. Siri? A fingerprint reader? Please. Meanwhile, the Samsung has overtaken iPhone in 2013… it’s awkwardly large, but that’s a sacrifice I’ll need to make.

Who’s up for an Apple exodus? Did the company ever make you feel like it gives a shit if you switch?

apple eats bloody apple

Are You Young or Old? Rich or Poor? Your Tech Reveals All…

Want to know if you’re rich or poor? Young or old? Here’s a way to tell that’s easier than profiling yourself on RealAge or auditing W2’s.

1. Do You Search Facebook or Google Plus?

Use Facebook to search? You’re more likely to earn less than $100K and be old. Use Google+ for search and you’re more likely to make more than $100K and be younger. Don’t shoot the messenger here (for he is older and poorer than you think). Shoot comScore instead, and recognize that this is perhaps more indicative of the “early adopters” of Google Plus, who are perhaps largely both young and rich (a lucrative target market). Haven’t heard of Google Plus? You may be dead.

2. iPhone or Android?

comScore’s San Francisco office exclusively uses iPhones, and its New York office is littered with Androids, but those searching on these devices are fairly similar in demographics. So this doesn’t really say as much about you as you’d like to believe. Still using a Blackberry? Save your upgrade cash for a funeral plot.

3. Use Bing? Yeah you’re old with kids

Sorry. You’re more likely to be old with kids. Sure this is 2-year-old data, but the only thing newer about Bing is that it’s better at travel searches. Now get back to work. 

4. Do you accept mobile coupons?

If so, you’re probably 18-34 years old. If not, you’re probably older. If the mobile coupon is for Depends, just keep moving like a horse, and piss wherever and whenever you like.

5. Read TechCrunch or CrabbyOldFart?

Yeah, I’ll let you guess on that one. If you’re still using your hotmail or aol account, I’d like to welcome you to your first “blog” and encourage you to upgrade your 56K modem.

Shit no I'm not surfing on this bitch.

Do We Need a Site/Tool for Mobile Video Sharing?

Sure we want to share online video directly from our iPhone without the torture of downloading, synching, editing, compressing and uploading. But can the online-video mobile market sustain a middle-man brand/app for this activity? Or will this ultimately resolve itself when mobile devices standardize on how they behave with existing video sites?

We had it rough...

I enjoy some of the unique and free tools that connect our mobile phone’s video with social media sites, but I don’t see many of these sustaining. It’s simply too hard to keep track of various apps, tools and websites… While these puppies solve an immediate need, it seems hard to imagine more than a couple players serving the void between mobile device operating systems and more popular video-sharing sites like, um, YouTube. It’s a redundant, confusing, crowded and poorly differentiated landscape… and most of the names/brands are forgettable or horrible.

That said, here are a few options with different strengths and weaknesses, and most rely on Twitter/Facebook for login, so perhaps they’re just hoping to get acquired by the highly profitable sites. 😉

online-video mobile sharing
SocialCam boasts as the "easiest place to share videos" and is iPhone and Android compatible.

Today I read about Socialcam, which is basically a social-media video sharing app that was spawned by Justin.tv and uses Facebook for login.

Viddy is the "Instagram" for 15-second-or-less video creators

Then there’s Viddy, which caps you at 15 seconds, gives you Instagram-like filters for retro/cool effects that will certainly age like fine French milk. It allows you to launch your video elsewhere, but has a bit of community too. It improved off of the now-RIP 12-Second TV, which in 2008 was an early entry, and died last November.

 

TwitVid is one of the earlier entrants with a name that is easy to remember.

TwitVid has been around for a few years. But now twitpic offers video uploads too, so one seems redundant.

Yfrog, which is a name I’ll forget in 10 minutes, offers a unique ability to play the shared video through less usual viewing formats, from wmv, .flv, .mpeg, .mkv, .mov, .3gp, .mp4 to the archaic but quaint .avi format. The even more forgettably named twitc (which I’ve already forgotten) offers some cool ways to organize your videos regardless of what website is hosting them… and allows you to organize them into various albums for sharing across other sites. That’s fairly differentiated, and difficult and unlikely for any video-sharing site to do solo.

But wait. There’s more (see review)… Twitlense, ZocialTV (the poorly named winner), Bubbletweet and Screener. And probably loads more.

Busted: “Hacking Times Square With iPhone” Is Deceptive Film Promotion

Take it from the author of “Beyond Viral,” dear reader. Viral video is like fire. It can create a toasty fire or get people burned. Today we learned out the Times Square billboard hack video was part of the campaign for the film, Limitless.

The deception was the brainchild of the viral-video maker “ThinkModo,” according to the New York Times, who “outed” the stunt.

“We’re pushing the engagement of an idea which leads you then to the product,” ThinkModo’s James Perceley told the New York Times in his defense. “It just is a whole new mind-set where you don’t have to wrap everything up in a bow and if you don’t, people are going to be a lot more interested in you and what you’re selling and what your message is.”

We think otherwise. Calling it “engagement pushing” is simply misdirection. It’s unethical marketing that is deceptively disguised. The lack of transparency (of the film’s financial support of what appears to be a user-generated video) is reminiscent of the 1950 subliminal advertising, which sends “buying signals” to our subconscious without our executive-brain’s consent. This despicable tactic shows the seedy, desperate nature of marketers who don’t mind duping journalists, technical blogs, audiences and potential ticket buyers… all in the name of “engaging” audiences in immoral promotion of a film.

Techcrunch’s Michael Arrington is calling the campaign “a sad, desperate state of sensational adverting,” and apologized Sunday to TechCrunch readers. Arrington reports:

“We believed the video’s creators had indeed hacked Times Square’s billboards, and that it was a newsworthy event that would interest technical enthusiasts. Had we known that we were being duped into free advertising by ‘covert agents’ of the film’s promoters, we would not have run the article so prominently. TechCrunch urges its readers to boycot Limitless, and promises to apply more rigor in our future journalism”

The campaign for the “Limitless” film, staring Robert DeNiro and Bradley Cooper, includes other a misleading and deceptive practices including a Web commercial for NZT, a drug featured in the film. Apparently the term “Limitless” refers to the film’s marketing practices, and the complete “lack of limits” in scruples of desperate marketers.

While I do many sponsored videos, I always disclaim the brand or company that supports my videos. Can’t we expect the same from others?

Still reading?… Is this blog post and its facts and opinions actually real? No. But suppose after feeling outraged by this post (either in support or defiance of my point) you later found out that this faux WillVideoForFood post was simply a paid promotion for a new book called “Business Ethics: Decision Making for Personal Integrity & Social Responsibility” by Laura Hartman and Joseph DeJardins. In this hypothetical experiment, I’m asking you to pretend you later learned that my faux written tirade was, in fact, a ruse that omitted transparency about my financial compensation from McGraw Hill. Suspend belief momentarily, and imagine I didn’t “come clean,” but was “outed” by another blogger who reported that my post was simply a compensated, masqueraded promo for the book. Would you trust my reporting if you learned this post was a promotional gimmick? (It’s not).

Would you feel duped, or would you say, “hey that Nalts is pushing the engagement idea to cool new limits.” I’m just curious.

My Best Video of 2010: Epic Kid Song Mix

I was excited to be in last week’s BarelyPolitical “Man Bat & Catwoman video” with Obama Girl, and post Mark’s obscenely-funny faux “behind the scenes.” It was great to be in Gay Leprechaun by Mediocrefilms. Fantastic to play the knife on Annoying Orange too.

But as far as my own videos go, this “Shnibl” remix video is the peak of my 2010. I can’t stop watching it. The backstory: My 6-year-old son, Charlie, grabbed an old camera yesterday, and did a little song and vlog called “Shnibl Show.” It made no sense, and that was its charm. After showing it to my wife and older kids last night (Katie and Patrick), we all roared with cathartic laughter we needed. Then I tweeted the following… and then there was this surprising response:

Last night's tweets led to this spontaneous collaboration of an ear worm.

So who is this masked man we call “songadaymann,” who sent me this lovely remix of Charlie’s song? He’s Jonathan Mann, also known for SongaTron and via his YouTube channel Rock Cookie Bottom. He’s been writing since he was 12 (just 6 years after my little Charlie), as he shares in his own fascinating bio video.

Most recently you may know Jonathan from his daily songs — the Paul Krugman tune as seen on TV, and the iPhone 4 Antenna Song played by Steve Jobs before his Antennagate press conference in July (2010) and wildly covered during the media hysteria that was iPhone4G’s launch.

Sure I knew about Jonathan, but I never imagined he new me — much less that he followed me on Twitter. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine he’d a) see my Tweet, b) turn Charlie’s little jingle into a killer remix in hours. And it’s friggin’ awesome. It’s like Beatles meets Partridge Family meets hip hop. I had considered writing MysteryGuitarMan (who wrote the Nalts theme song), but was pretty confident he’s too busy and high profile for such a silly thing. Plus I didn’t want to try to hard… I was kinda hoping one would just appear.

This just in- Katinatreesee does the shnibl choir!

What do ya think? While I have your attention, I’d value your feedback in comments (I’m back to reading ’em) on my new YouTube channel design. It may not lok like it, but I’ve been fussing with it for about 6 hours (solo).

Apple’s iTV: Using Evil Powers to Help The Little Guy?

My A-Team friends and I used to use our special ops training to build cabbage-tossing machines to protect the little guy. And after every car crash, you knew nobody got hurt.

What do Apple’s iTV, the A-Team, Leverage and Burn Notice have in common? Read on…

It’s been rumored that a $99 iTV may soon launched, and Bloomberg is reporting Apple “has a few content deals in the works that will allow iTunes users to rent TV shows for 99 cents” (via Technolog). Most Applephilaholics are fussing about the potential of a new iTouch that offers a camera and other features from the iPhone 4 (it’d be like an iPhone5 without the inconvenience of calls to drop). We at WillVideoForFood are not amused by incremental advancements on these products.

The prospects of iTV is wayyyyy more exciting. AppleTV, despite its strengths, is the red-headed step child of Apple. It’s still a bit expensive ($150 refurbished and $229 for 160GB), and is a conceptual leap for those in love with

  • high cable bills
  • road trips to Blockbusters
  • complicated DVRs
  • and the caveman-like posture from watching video on a laptop
My "Burn Notice" friends and I use our espionage and spy skills to help the little guy

Will a $99 price point change that? Yes if it’s fast and loaded with options. Hulu is cool, but I’ll pay $1.99 for 40-minutes of a cool TV-show to avoid slow streams, buffer problems, cheesy ads, and redirects to the network player. Of course most studios won’t want to piss off their primary revenue stream via cable providers — on the prospects of picking up some uncertain income from the 10’s of thousands of people that pick these up. However if adoption of the iTV doesn’t require a device and becomes pervasive as iTunes then we’ll see a radical improvement of the video space that will remind us of what Steve Jobs did to the music industry.

I’m not saying Jobs isn’t a black-shirt douche bag, and Apple does use its clout to pull a lot of dick moves (Flash-retardant). But iTV could help out the little guy, at the expense of Big Bad Cable.

Here’s what we like:

  1. This could make it increasingly mainstream to enjoy network ‘TV” shows on any device (television, laptop, smart phone/iPhone/iTouch) without the hassle of a damned app for every network.
  2. It will legitimize a pay-per-show model instead of ad-supported networks that are bundled with crap you don’t need. For example, I’ve become a USANetwork junkie (hanging out weekly with my friends on Burn Notice, where we use our skills of espionage to help the little people). I’m also watching a lot of TNT (hanging out weekly with my friends from Leverage, where we use our skills of con, grifting, cyberhacking to help the little people). And sometimes I want to catch up on classic episodes from vintage NBC (where I could revisit my old teenage friends from A-Team, where we use our special ops experience to help the little people). I buy an assload of television shows (despite having a minimalist cable bill), and my consumption would increase if I could rent for 99 cents instead of owning for $1.99 — I rarely watch the show again anyway… and if I miss it on the DVR/TiVO I buy it.

    My Leverage friends and I use our skills to help the little guy. The grifter, thief, hack, con artist... and me.
  3. You and I can pay for what we want. I’ve spent 100 times more on “TV” buying ala cart via AppleTV but I’m okay with that — because I don’t like monthly subscriptions that entitle me to crap I don’t need. My AppleTV is loaded with hundreds and hundreds of television shows… for instance, previous seasons of shows I now love. Force me to the “all you can eat buffet” cable bill and I’m just going to get sick while I eat sub-par food with 400-pound losers. It’s like receiving the stupid newspaper each day… it’s not the cost as much as the feeling of continual waste.
  4. By facilitating ala-cart options for viewers, studios will benefit from a new revenue stream independent of the abusively negotiated cable packages and suppressed ad income… and enjoy going direct to consumers, where they can upsell other shows and even develop sole sponsorships instead of cheap-ass GRP ads. I’ve never paid for HBO in my life, but there are shows I’d buy ala cart including Sopranos (a family who uses its mobster experience to torture the little guys).
  5. The biggest interim beneficiary will be “The New Establishment” (Next New Network, Revision3) who will gladly offer gratis its myriad of semi-pro content (Barely Political, Scam School, Film Riot) to gain vital new eyeballs and audiences. These players are aggressively marketing their content as “value adds” on Roku and TiVo. If we don’t see the Disneys and HBOs willing to adjust their cable-centric models, iTV would want to introduce this free and fresh content instead of old episodes of Alf (an alien who used his little-guy sarcasm for no apparent purpose).
Hi. It's Craig. Remember me? You used to pick on me in grade school. Now I work for a large cable company. So suck my Alf, baby. You'll use my shit-ass device, and buy what I tell you to buy.

iPhone4G Press Conference Parody

Oh hush. What it lacks in humor it makes up for in timeliness. Let’s see you put an iPhone4G in your butt for the Internet. Or drive into the backyard of some crazy person so you can get near a cell phone tower.

My favorite quote of Steve Jobs: .55 percent of iPhone4G users complained. Seriously? Common C’mon. I had prooblems (despite the video statement) but knew better than to sit on hold. Besides- I’m guessing the other 99% just dropped their call before Apple answered.

Well there are many things Apple does well, but damage control or issue management is not among them.

Yey free 2 cent bumper iPhone condoms and they’ll even honor that 30-day money back guarantee! Weeks later Jobs will be reporting that fewer than .55 percent of people felt like he didn’t do a perfect job handling this issue, so if you thought otherwise, you’d better log your complaint.

NewTeeVee Tackles YouTube

In a YouTube binge, NewTeeVee writer Liz Shannon Miller is rounding up some major online-video news:

Now what else can Liz cover for YouTube week? Hmmmm… how about a YouTuber getting pulled over by the NJ po-po for videotaping a Geek Squad van? And (in a moment of slight embellishment) got a black eye a week later.

Uploading Video to YouTube Via Phone: iPhone vs Palm Pre

Here’s my wife and I testing her iPhone (AT&T) against my Palm Pre (Verizon) to see which one could shoot and upload best to YouTube. Turns out my Palm Pre failed to post after an hour, so I had to do it manually. Her iPhone compressed the video, and had it live in minutes. Winner: iPhone.

Play them both at the same time for some interesting perspective…

Palm Pre (unclenalts). Slightly better quality, but never uploaded from phone… had to use laptop.

iPhone (wifeofnalts): Compressed and not as sharp, but it worked.

Mobile Phones To Be Banned from All Mobile Locations

I heard something noteworthy on the radio (a once-common method of listening to someone else’s MP3 collection while they spoke quite often and rang a bicycle bell when they thought they were funny). It seems there’s a government-sanctioned effort to tackle mobile drivers with the same vigilance as “Mothers Against Drunk Drivers” (MADD). I’m hoping the former finds a more aspirational acronym.

This morning I’m having a Keurig and I discover Uncle Jeff recounting the 5 first miles of his Atlanta commute; he says “It’s a wonder my brain stem didn’t catch fire, or something.”

Hey I’m with you on stopping idiot drivers even if I’m among them. If I turned into a zombie and couldn’t off myself, I’d hope you’d make me proud and put a Red Rider BB-Gun right to my head. Distracted people can be as bad as drunks on the roads. When I’m not home, I sometimes use those roads to transport my offspring. Besides the genetic desire I have to further my species and bloodline, I wouldn’t want a tombstone with a big iPhone decoration on the top.

Look at this bastard for proof:

Then again. What happens if I’m not listening to the radio (don’t ask because I’ve already explained it to you), an audio book, or someone nag me about how hard I am to get in touch with? I’ll tell you what happens…

If my corpus callasum isn’t a raging inferno, I’m reming.

It doesn’t start as a nap, really. It starts with a dreamy gaze into the converging horizon, accompanied by the sweet rhythmic repetition of the road-side bumps designed, ironically, to jar you into wakefulness. Then the eyelids drop for just a moment, which I allow for some necessary liquidation. How long has it been since I blinked? Better catch up on this one. Yes. Just a moment more.

Woahahhhhh. Drool wipe. Look right and left. Adrenaline high. I’m alive. No crash. How long was I out? Am I crazy? Did I fall asleep for a second or ten? Stay focused on the road… stare at that horizon. How long has it been since I blinked?

So we do need some personal freedom, and some stimulation on long drives. But we also need to impose laws on morons that are so intrigued with the latest text message they forgot one swift move of their fingers can bring about a few tons of impact. It’s a balancing act.

If, in the end, I need to stop mobile calls — even handsfree and brainfree ones — then I’ll do so reluctantly. But in return, I want to see a few things on the next episodes of “Mobil Cops”:


  • Guy with no shirt pulls over his 2010 luxury hybrid, and takes insane dash into adjacent yard. After some shaking-camera action, the suspect is later found by a wheezing officer… hiding under an upside-down plastic toddler pool.
  • Business woman wobbling while shouting at cop, swearing she was “saying the f’ing Rosary” in her car and that’s why her mouth was moving.
  • BMW being followed by squad cars as we see one, two, three cell phones get tossed from passenger window into roadside grass.