One of the main reasons people love the SodaStream is that you save money by making your own sparkling water. Supposedly. Unfortunately, replacing those CO2 canisters is expensive. This clever hack will help you cut those costs by a huge margin.
The owner of Critical Paintball came up with SodaMod, which is a custom valve that turns the refillable CO2 canisters used to power paintball guns into the firepower in your countertop fizzy water fountain. As the video points out, SodaStream canisters use a proprietary one-way valve with non-standard threading so they’re impossible to refill without SodaStream’s help. Sending back two 14.5-ounce Carbinators for replacement costs $60. Outrageous! The cost adds up after a while and cuts into the money you’d otherwise be saving with your SodaStream.
By contrast, at your local sporting goods store a CO2 canister refill costs about three bucks. So it’s easy to see that cost of a $60 SodaMod plus a $15 CO2 tank pays for itself in no time. The SodaMod requires a some basic installation, but it’s certainly worth your effort. [SodaMod—Thanks, Edgar!]
Vint Cerf, one of the inventors of the Internet and now a Google evangelist, still thinks open standards will win in the end.
He just finished speaking on stage at Atmosphere, the company’s cloud computing event at its headquarters in Mountain View.
The host presented a hypothetical scenario in which a young genius discovers the replacement for the Internet. Does she publish the spec immediately or call a patent lawyer?
“Shoot the patent lawyer,” he replied.
“Bob [Kahn] and I knew we would not succeed if we tried to protect the Internet’s design.” The only way they could be sure it would get widespread adoption was by publishing the technical standards it was based on. “I still think that’s good advice.”
His point echoes Google’s stand on the patent wars happening in the mobile space, but Google plays the patent game as well for key inventions like its search algorithms.
Cerf also talked about the importance of Internet governance, moving to IPv6 as the original IPv4 addresses are used up, and explained that idea of Internet-connected devices like refrigerators and lightbulbs used to be a joke, but is now becoming real.
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I love my iPad. It’s the original model, bought on April 3, 2010. It’s been working perfectly since then but the battery life was really bad, lasting only a couple of hours lately. It was exhausted. I had to replace it.
In the process, I got a fresh iPad 64GB at the Apple Store for just $100. The good news, you can get one too.
After so many charging cycles, my original iPad’s battery was exhausted. It took forever to recharge and only a few hours to completely run out. I remember the days when I first got it. I could use it normally for a couple of days, watching at least two Netflix movies on it or browsing the web, running some apps and reading comic books.
I went to the Apple Store to ask for a battery replacement. But, as it turns out, you can’t replace an iPad’s battery. As the guy at the Apple Store’s Genius Bar told me: “See? They don’t have screws. We can’t replace the battery.”
Then he added: “If you want a new battery, we have to give you an entire new iPad.”
How? My iPad was out of warranty. I didn’t buy Apple Care. Furthermore, the iPad itself was broken on one side. One day I dropped it on the floor and the aluminum got quite chipped on one side.
He answered that this was no problem. I only have to pay $100 for the “battery.” In return, they would give you a reconditioned iPad with the same storage size as yours, with a fresh battery inside.
So I did exactly that. I paid the hundred bucks and got back home with a perfect battery life and an iPad with no blemishes whatsoever. If your battery life is sketchy—which is probably the case if you bought it back in April 2010—you should go to an Apple store, pay your hundred and get a fresh new iPad on your hands.
And your old iPad doesn’t go to waste. These get refurbished too. Any bad parts get replaced and go back into the cycle of Apple life.
Update: A former Genius shares his tips in the comments:
• You can do the same thing with any iPhone for $79, and most iPods for $69.
• Apple will replace an iPhone in almost any condition (the only exception being for devices that are literally broken into little pieces, or ones that are missing parts) for $199, even if it’s liquid damaged or cracked.
• Apple will replace any OOW damaged iPad for around half the price.
• On an iPhone 4, if the back glass is cracked, an Apple employee can replace it for $29 in only about 5 minutes, also not a bad idea if your camera lens is scratched beyond repair
• If you restore your device before bringing it in, there are no usage records saved and they have to take your word for it that the battery is defective.
That’s pretty good customer service indeed.
Behold, the power of a scary-sounding letter from a lawyer! Paul dropped his Kindle 2 and it broke. Amazon wanted $200 to replace it. Instead, they replaced it and gave him an additional $200. Damn, son!
Seriously, how badass is this letter he sent to Amazon?
August 12, 2009
1200 12th Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98144-2734
Dear Sir or Madam:
On June 21, 2009, I purchased an Kindle 2 e-book reader from the Amazon.com website. I purchased this device based, in substantial part, on the expectation that it would be reasonably durable. In particular, I expected that it would be approximately as durable as is ordinary in the consumer electronics market.
Amazon.com advertises the Kindle 2 on the basis of its durability. Notably, Amazon.com displays a “drop test” video on the web page for this product. That video displays the device being dropped twice from thirty inches onto what appears to be tile. That video displays a fall with sufficient force that the device visibly bounces, and deliberately creates the impression that the device will function after impacts similar to that sequence of drops.
Despite those representations, the Kindle 2 is far less durable. On July 26, 2009, I dropped a messenger bag containing the device onto the sidewalk, from approximately two feet above the ground. It was dropped only once, and the messenger bag absorbed enough of the shock that nothing else in the bag, including a Macbook laptop, suffered an! y damage whatsoever. (Unlike the drop displayed in Amazon.com’s video, for example, nothing actually bounced.) Moreover, there was no visible damage on the exterior of the Kindle 2. Nonetheless, the Kindle 2 became completely unusable, with over 50% of its screen no longer able to display any text.
I called Amazon.com support and was told that, because of the accidental drop, you would not be willing to supply a replacement device under warranty. You did, however, offer to sell a new device at a discount, for $200.00. I took advantage of that offer under protest, and explicitly reserved my rights to bring a claim against you based on the unreasonable fragility of the device and the misrepresentations in your advertising. It is that claim that forms the subject of this letter.
I am prepared to offer an immediate settlement of my claims against Amazon.com for a payment of $400.00. That sum represents the $200.00 replacement fee I paid plus $200.00 to compensate me for the diminution of utility and value of the device as well as of the e-books I have purchased for that device, in light of the fact that the replacement device, too, can be expected to be far more fragile than advertised and prone to destruction under the slightest stress. This offer expires thirty days from your receipt of this letter. If you do not accept this offer, I intend to bring suit either individually, or, if I decide it is warranted, as representative for a class of similarly situated plaintiffs. At that time, I will seek the amount noted above, plus punitive damages under the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civil Code §1750 et. seq., costs, fees, and such other monetary damages as provided for by law, including without limitation Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §17200 et. seq., the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and other relevant law.
Also, you have demanded the return of the broken device as a condition to the unreasonable discounted replacement offer which I accept! ed under protest. Your agent has informed me that you will charge my credit card for the full price if the broken device is not returned to you. I am considering seeking a protective order placing that device in the custody of the Court pending litigation. However, should I instead return the device, you are hereby notified that it is evidence in the anticipated litigation to which this letter refers. Should you modify, destroy, or resell the broken device, I will ask the Court to treat that as deliberate spoliation of evidence and make adverse inferences as appropriate.
Very truly yours,
And here’s Amazon’s response:
Pretty awesome. Just goes to show that if you put your somewhat-unreasonable request in an official-looking form and also threaten to sue, big companies will be happy to toss a token amount of money your way to make you go away. [Consumerist]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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