Thursday, November 17, 2016

Why are Apple Computer devices so HARD to open?


For more go to my website.
proprietary apple screws
Apple products are like a gated community while Windows computers are so open they can be rambunctious and insecure. One is not better than the other they are just different.  Before the invention of the Apple Store Apple's hardware was designed to be easy to open.  But once they controlled their own repair facilities they began designing computers to deliberately look great but be hard to open.  This also stabbed long time mom and pop Apple authorized repair centers in the back.  Now you need to take it to the Apple store for service. Just check the bottom of one of their beautiful laptops.  It is great looking smooth aluminum.  No ugly screws to make it easy to open!  Apple invented something called a "pentalobe" screwdriver to make their products tamper resistant.  Yes, they invented their own screwing system to screw the consumer. For a year Apple had a monopoly on a screwdriver!

Pentalobe screws have been used by Apple since 2009, when they were first implemented in the 15-inch MacBook Pro. They have since been used on other MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iPhone models. Apple attracted criticism upon the introduction of the pentalobe screw; it was seen as an attempt to lock individuals out of their devices. If brought in to an Apple Store for repair, iPhone 4 models with #00 Phillips screws, if any, are replaced with 0.8 mm pentalobe screws. Third-party manufacturers rushed to produce screwdrivers that would remove 0.8 mm pentalobe screws after the iPhone 4's release in June 2010.  Trying to remove a pentalobe screw with the wrong screwdriver will strip the screw making it unremoveable. 

apple computer logoAnd when you take your laptop or phone in to be repaired at the Apple Store I guarantee there is some poor slob in back surrounded by crazy screws and lots of them. Apple deliberately uses glue instead of screws too often. Or their products have too many screws, tiny screws, weird non-standard screws, require special suction cups to open, or have customized internal organs that are Apple-only.  It makes it hard for me to repair them which is just what Apple wants.  All too often I have had to tell laptop owners "Just take it to the Mac store and pay though the nose."  This also makes their products hard to recycle.

RAM, the memory computers use for temporary storage, is often soldiered directly to the motherboard by Apple. This means you can't increase your laptop's memory once it leaves the factory.  And the laptop's display may be fused into a solid piece.  This means that if ANYTHING goes wrong with the screen the whole upper half of the laptop must be replaced as a unit.  Iphone and Ipad screens are similarly fused making their replacement complex.  This was done to make the phone slimmer and harder for outsiders to open.

removing iphone batteryEven worse, Apple goes out of its way to make SURE replacing their batteries is a hassle.  FACT: batteries wear out after a few years and MUST be removed and replaced.  Unlike my Android phone from Samsung, Apple phones cannot be opened by consumers. Apple wants to be the ones to swap out the battery.  Its an attempt to get you to just buy a whole new phone when the old one's battery dies.  And not only are Macbook laptops hard to open, once you get inside you may find that the battery you are trying to replace is glued to the system or soldered in place!

And taking that laptop to the Apple store for a new battery will set you back $400!  It turns out, in modern Mac laptops the battery isn’t just a battery. In a quest to make machines thinner, Apple made the batteries unserviceable by the user (as well as removed much of the protective covering). The battery is glued to the bottom of the keyboard which means they have to replace both at the same time (even if your keyboard works just fine).  It could also take three days to get the computer repaired.

Yes, three days to swap a battery. Three days to repair something on a Mac laptop that every Mac laptop is supposed to need done before the machine fails. The battery is rated to last less than the machine for most users. Nearly everyone who buys a Mac laptop should need to replace the battery (unless they are programmed to constantly upgrade). Why? Well it turns out that battery is not just attached to the keyboard, but also the logic board which controls a lot of the computer. A very difficult repair I'm told. So in Apple's insane quest to get laptops a few millimeters thinner, a standard repair like a battery swap takes 3 days. Now it turns out that it doesn’t actually take 3 days, its just the line is really long and it does apparently take several hours per machine.

Don't believe me? For more info read "Apple's Diabolical Plan to Screw Your Iphone."

pentalobe screws in cell phone

How Apple Computer punishes it's religiously loyal fans


For more go to: my website

bad apple logoThe Apple brand, like the Disney brand, or even Scientology, is not just a product.  These brands are regarded as a religion by their fans. In a previous blog post I commented on how Microsoft ignores it's own customers and tries to tell them what they will like.  Apple does something different.  It gives the customer what they want, as evidenced by all the excitement every time a new Iphone comes out.  But then it totally uses it's customers once they are inside Apple's "gated community."  If Microsoft's Windows platform might be too rambunctious and open then Apple products are the opposite. And, like an abused girlfriend, Apple customers keep on coming back for more.

mac computers cost too muchHIGH MARKUP ON MACS
Apple phones are a bit pricey but, thanks to mass production, they are still competitive.  Mac computers, however, are pointlessly expensive.  Just look at the comparison at right.  A Windows machine is $3,400 and the similar mac is a whopping $9,500!  And they have the same capabilities because there is no "must have" program that only runs on Macs.  Some of my clients have been burned because they bought Mac laptops when they had more money and the economy had not yet collapsed. Now eight years later the thing is breaking down and they can't afford the many thousands of dollars it would take to replace them.  I got a cheap Windows laptop for $400 once but Mac users have an investment in software and accessories that makes it hard for them to switch brands.

Apple has already been criticized even by fans as having inadequate warranties.  Decades ago they  boasted that their Apple ][ and Mac computers were well made yet they gave only a three month warranty.  Magazines at the time like MacWorld and MacUser railed for years over these bad warranties.  A magazine is a thing made of paper and you turn pages in it.  It's like a tablet that gives you paper cuts and ink stains.  In 2012 Apple had to stop selling Applecare in parts of Europe due to warranty problems.

And if you buy your Apple product at a non-Apple store the warranty is not activated by default.  If you buy the same thing at the Apple store the activate your warranty at the time of purchase.  Some also suspect that their phones are built only to last slightly beyond the warranty period.  After that something is likely to wear out or break.

Where I live in the Hollywood/Beverly Hills area there are several Apple stores and they are almost always vibrant, busy places where customers obviously enjoy going or the would not be seen there in such numbers.  Sony and Microsoft both tried retail stores like this and flopped terribly.  They just didn't get retail like Apple does.  Unfortunately some of the crowds waiting there are in line to pick up repaired equipment.  Often waits can be long at the "Genius Bar" or even to talk to an employee.  There are just so many people there asking questions or using computers for free.  And just because you have made an appointment does not mean they will be able to see you at the scheduled time.  Best thing to do is go early the first hour that the store opens.

Another reason for the crowds is that Apple makes it's computers in such a way that only the Apple Store can repair them properly.  See below "Why Apple products are hard to open."  Apple store workers are religiously devoted and put up with the difficulties because they adore the company.  Competition is great for jobs at the stores which means Apple does not have to pay them that much and there is very little opportunity for advancement. Some of my Apple clients enjoy going to the Apple store while others consider it a fate worse than death.

The Mac OS is known for constantly bombarding it's users with password requests. While that might be better security it is not very hard to bypass the passwords. They mostly keep the cleaning lady or the kids out of your computer.  But even if someone just wants to download an update to Mac OS (as is their legal right as a purchaser) they still have to log onto the Itunes Store, type in their name and password and make sure they have a credit card on file even if the software they want is free. It makes it difficult to spend money on their offerings and I've seen it leave my clients furious that they can't get something done because they don't remember passwords and logon names.

PRODUCTS A CLOSED SYSTEMIn conclusion there are both benefits and drawbacks to Apple's closed system.  Some people like to live in gated communities and some don't. There is no right answer, but remember that once you chose Apple you are under their control.  If you live in a rural area the nearest Apple store could be hours away by car.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Beware Best Buy Geek Squad


geek squad logo
At my PC repair website I warn my clients about Best Buy. Beware Best Buy's "Geek Squad." They fix your computer! They come to your house! They spy on you!  These folks are a division of Best Buy and they have been giving their corporate parent quite a legal workout.  I also find the name insulting.  Why do computer repair places have to refer to their employees as "geeks" "nerds" or worse!  Apparently anyone smart enough to fix a computer must be some kind of Autistic mess.  About all they are good for is dumping old equipment that needs recycling.

Think twice before you hand your computer over to them so that Senior Stickyfingers can check you out.  People put their entire lives on their computers now. When you let a stranger fix yours you are probably exposing passwords, financial information, personal data and more. 

So what are the Geek Squads crimes?


Geek Squad employees have allegedly engaged in peeping tom activities on female customers during in-house service visits. A 2007 case alleges that a Los Angeles Geek Squad employee used his cell phone to record a 22-year-old female customer while she showered without her knowledge or permission. The employee was arrested and Best Buy was sued over the incident. In another case, a Geek Squad employee allegedly stole nude photographs of a 27-year-old female customer from her computer while it was being serviced. The employee then allegedly shared the photos on the internet.


Geek Squad technicians have been caught on numerous occasions searching for and copying pornographic content stored on their customers' computers without permission. When asked about the incident at an unrelated conference, Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens refused to discuss the topic, instead focused on whether bloggers should be considered true journalists and whether bloggers follow the same ethical standards as journalists.  At least one former Geek Squad employee had come forward with allegations that the practice of surreptitiously searching for pornography on their customers' computers is not restricted to isolated employees, but is often shared with management at the location where the one employee worked. In 2013, Geek Squad was sued for invasion of privacy and several other civil infractions for allegedly releasing nude images found on a customer's computer. The suit is ongoing as of 2015.


In 2006 Geek Squad was sued for allegedly using pirated copies of Winternals' Emergency Repair Disk Commander. The lawsuit filed by Austin-based Winternals claims that employees of Geek Squad have continued using the pirated versions of the software after the commercial licensing agreement broke off. Best Buy and Geek Squad were accused of copyright infringement, circumvention of copyright infringement systems, and misappropriation of trade secrets. A settlement was eventually reached, and Winternals created a three-year agreement in place with Best Buy, allowing Geek Squad employees to lawfully use their licensed programs.


In 2002 during a spate of legal threats and challenges to competitors with "geek" in their names Geek Squad attempted to block the trademark registration of New England area competitor Geek Housecalls claiming that it violated their trademarks. When Geek Housecalls refused to budge, Geek Squad filed civil suit. After two years of wrangling, Geek Squad and Geek Housecalls arrived at an out-of-court settlement, the details of which cannot be disclosed according to the terms of the settlement except to state that Geek Housecalls retained its name.  In 2010, Best Buy issued a trademark infringement cease and desist letter against a priest in Wisconsin for painting "God Squad" on his car.

You can see more info like this at For more on Geek Squad just click here.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Biggest hack attacks of 2015

cia director hacked by studentAt I protect my clients from security threats. But I can't stand over them 24 hours a day and say "Don't click that link it is not really naked photos of tennis start Anna Kournikova!" If the FBI and the CIA can't keep their computers from being hacked what are the rest of us supposed to do?  Well, not trusting the government with our secrets is one good idea.  No wonder Hillary Clinton didn't want her emails on a government server.  Was she right? Time will tell.  Below are the biggest cases of cyber-theft of 2015 listed in least awful to most awful order.  2016 will almost certainly be worse.  Fortunately most individuals won't be breached this way unless they  are working on secrete the Chinese really want to steal. But everyone suffers as consumers when our data is stolen from huge companies and insurance companies are forced to pay for the mess.

The toymaker suffered a major breach in late November, with hackers taking 4.8 million records, as well as a database of first names, genders and birthdays of more than 200,000 kids. The attack on VTech, which reportedly used poor password security among other issues, ranks as one of the largest breaches of the year .

The big scandal when an anonymous hacker stole about 70 million phone calls from inmates in US prisons wasn't the hack itself, it was the suggestion that attorney-client privilege may have been violated on a regular basis. Millions of call logs and thousands of call recordings were taken in the breach. Securus provides landline phones and equipments to prisons, and generates high profits by charging the inmates themselves -- so much so, the FCC has taken action against the firm.

The same hackers who were able to get access to CIA director John Brennan's private email account also got access to a law enforcement portal used by police and federal agents to share intelligence, and book arrested suspects. It's not clear how many records were in the system -- the FBI declined to comment -- but hundreds of thousands of users are cleared to use the portal. Many of those names were also leaked in the hack. The attack was thought to be one of the widest external breaches of law enforcement this year.

A hack that targeted seven of Donald Trump's hotels, and lasted the whole year: even the presidential candidates aren't immune to hacks. Hackers snuck malware onto Trump systems, stealing credit card data (including security codes and card numbers) in the firm's hotels across the US. No final figure of how many people were affected was ever reported, but it's thought to be in the many thousands.

Crowdfunding service Patreon got the "Ashley Madison" treatment when it found its entire cache of data published online in a massive data breach in early October. Names, email addresses, and posts were leaked, though credit card data and Social Security was not compromised. The scope of the breach may take time to become fully clear, but at 15GB in size, and millions of accounts already found, the number of potential victims is only set to get larger.

T-Mobile may have taken over Sprint to become third place in US cellular rankings, but it's seventh place in our list of breaches, thanks to its misplaced trust in Experian. The credit agency suffered a breach in September, affecting as many as 15 million T-Mobile customers who underwent credit checks. Data, such as names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates, and even passport numbers, may have been taken. Encrypted Social Security numbers may also have been swiped, but the company warned that encryption may have been compromised.

The retail brokerage firm said it detected "illegal activity involving our network" two years prior. Hackers reportedly took millions of customer contact details, which cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs suggested it was to facilitate stock scams through spam campaigns. It was revealed in November after a case was unsealed that a total of four men had been charged with hacking into JPMorgan Chase and a number of other financial institutions, Scottrade included.

Around 37 million people were caught up in the Ashley Madison affair (for want of a better term). The site encourages its users to cheat on their partners. Aside from the many millions affected and the impact on relationships, should that information get into the hands of the enemy -- think, Russia or China -- it could lead to a considerable blackmail and espionage effort against US, UK, and allied countries.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield suffered a major hit on its networks that ended up leaking more than 10 million records. The attack happened two years earlier in late December 2013. Names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and mailing addresses -- some of the most personal data going -- was taken, including financial account and claims information. The source of the hack remains unknown.

The UK's biggest data breach of the year can go to Carphone Warehouse, a phone retail store. As many as 2.4 million customers (roughly 4 percent of the country's population) had their personal information taken in the breach. About 90,000 customers had their encrypted credit card data stolen. The UK data privacy watchdog is now investigating the breach.

Pharmacy chain CVS was forced to pull its popular online photo print ordering site offline as it investigated a suspected hack. Credit card data, email and postal addresses, phone numbers, and passwords were taken, but it's not clear how many millions were affected by the breach. No other linked data was taken in the breach, but Costco and Rite Aid, among others, were also hit.

Data breaches and hacks happen all the time. But poor security and a lack of encryption can put the blame entirely on the body that was charged with protecting it. UCLA Health was at least partially to blame when it was hit by a massive hack on 4.5 million records earlier this year, because its customer data -- including Social Security numbers, and even medical data, such as conditions, medications, procedures, and test results -- was not encrypted.

An unknown group of hackers brought Italian surveillance firm Hacking Team to its knees when its entire network was breached -- and subsequently published online. Who were the real victims? The ordinary public, after hackers took working Flash exploits from the cache of leaked files. It's not known how many internet users were hit by the subsequent attacks. There may be more to come.

The IRS data breach, reported in May, affected around 100,000 taxpayers. That may seem like a paltry number compared to the Anthem or UCLA breaches, but the impact on affected taxpayers could be staggering. A flaw in the IRS' system allowed hackers to access past filed tax returns, including sensitive financial information and Social Security data. It's said that the breach cost taxpayers $50 million in fraudulent claims.

The big finale is the OPM breach, which affected 22.1 million (and counting). It could be the single most damaging breach to US national security of all time. Those who have access to some of the most sensitive data in the world had their entire backgrounds checks -- conducted by the OPM -- stolen by an unknown assailant. Imagine if the enemy knew exactly which buttons to push in order to blackmail someone into turning over vast swathes of sensitive or classified data. We have yet to see the repercussions of the breach, but it could harm the US' domestic and foreign diplomatic and intelligence work.
You can find more good consumer advice for folks in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills at More on security issues just click right here.

Have you been exposed to hackers? Find out here!


new york times security survey article
According to the New York Times, "Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. I'm not surprised. I've cleaned plenty of viruses and spyware off of computers at my site In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people. "

This clever, quick questionnaire from the New York Times has you click on a few simple buttons such as "Have you opened an email account with any of these companies?"  Then, on the left side of the screen, the number of times hackers have been exposed to your information is shown. Info like employment history, credit cards and health data are then cross checked to see how vulnerable you are. You might be surprised!  To take the test just click here or on the graphic at left.

If you are concerned by the survey's findings the New York Times recommends "Review your account statements for any fraudulent purchases, as well as your credit report. Make sure you have different passwords for different accounts: in particular, don’t use the same password for your bank accounts, email and e-commerce accounts. If you were the victim of more than one breach, some security experts recommend freezing your credit. To do so, call Equifax, Experian or TransUnion and ask to have your account frozen. The credit agency will mail you a one-time PIN or password to unfreeze your account later. If you plan on applying for a new job, renting an apartment or buying insurance, you will have to thaw a freeze temporarily and pay a fee to refreeze the account. "


It’s pretty simple: You can’t. But you can take a few steps to make things harder for criminals. Turn on two-factor authentication, whenever possible. Most banking sites and ones like Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook offer two-factor authentication. Change your passwords frequently and do not use the same password across websites. Vigilantly monitor your bank accounts and credit report. Do not enter sensitive information into websites that do not encrypt your connection. Look for a lock symbol next to the web address whenever entering sensitive information and do not enter it if you cannot see the lock symbol.

You can find more good consumer advice for folks in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills at More on this issue right here.



onlline security mistakes

Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, my main areas of service at are pretty low-crime places.  Most all that happens are burglaries (unless Zsa Zsa Gabor slaps anothe cop).  But how many homes have computers with spyware on them that could be "burgling" their owners right now?  Plenty.  And our neighborhood contains some of the wealthiest people in the world making them prime targets for that lucky bit of spyware that finds itself in the right place at the right time.

By my unscientific estimate over the past ten years about 75% of all the computers I look at have some kind of virus or spyware in them. Many are mild enough the user doesn't notice anything wrong or they are so used to their computer getting slower and slower that they think nothing of it.  Symptoms include:

1. Changed home pages or search providers
2. Weird ads popping up in places and websites that did not have them before
3. Sudden crashes
4. Slow internet connections
5. Obvious takeovers of a locked computer

I've watched as infected computers did things like lock up, shoot out hundreds of spam emails a minute or destroy a client's files one by one in a matter of minutes.  Gone are the days when computer viruses written by jerk teeen-agers just wanted to trash your computer.  Now the game has changed and virus writers are far more professional and far more interested in stealing data or intellectual property.  Or extorting the computer's owner into sending them a credit card number just to go away.  Unfortunately all this does is ruin your credit card. The hackers rarely "go away." 

I myself accidentally got a virus earlier this year that encrypted some of my data files and broke my windows backup before I had a chance to stop it. In minutes my files (some of which I was working on at the time) got encrypted with a special code that is unbreakable. The hackers demanded I send them money or they would not "un-hack" my data.  Fortunately I removed the virus manually very easily but it's damage was done.  Luckily I back up everything religiously on multiple other devices and restored 99% of my stuff no problem. Not everyone is so lucky and, if you are a doctor or lawyer, you could be legally liable for loss of client/patient records.  To say nothing of the professional embarrassment of having to tell all your customers what happened and beg them for their bookkeeping records.

And how was I, the guy who is supposed to know better, get infected?  I didn't have a virus checker running because I rarely go to "the wrong side of the web" and almost never get viruses. Yes I would check for them sometimes but  didn't run a virus checker all the time because it slows my computer down.  Ooops.  I was infected probably by a "drive by infection" which you don't even know how you get.

By far the meanest malware is the "FBI Virus."  Variations of it look like this:

fbi virus examples

In 2014 people began calling me terrified that they had child pornography on their computers.  They had been infected with early versions of the FBI virus which totally locks up your computer and shows a screen similar to one of the ones above.  You are told to send money to this account in an untraceable way and they (the government) will unlock your computer.  Some variations even use a laptop's camera to take your photo and stick it on a wanted poster which, the virus claims, will be sent to the FBI.  It must have worked because, over the next few months, I watched the amount of money it demanded rise from $100 to $300 and then $400.  Plus the charges didn't stop at you having kiddie porn on your computer. Later versions claimed you were also a terrorist. Anything to fool people into thinking they should send money to somebody to "get the government off our backs."

This virus was so successful that other hackers re-wrote it for their countries. So in Russia you got the "KGB virus" and thought Vladmir Putin was going to kill you.  Although the virus was good at locking the computer, once I managed to get in it was easy to remove.  But not before scaring the computer's owner and forcing them to pay me to come get rid of it.

You can find more good consumer advice for folks in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills at More about viruses at Protecting Your Info.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A brief history of stupid Microsoft product names

windows operating system product names windows xp logoAt ninety five percent of my clients use Windows including myself. But that will not stop me from complaining about them! Nothing symbolizes Microsoft's tone-deaf approach to it's customers like the history of Windows names.  Now this is the company's main product.  It has earned them billions of dollars globally. You would think that somebody, ANYBODY, could come up with better names for this OS than the ones the company picked.  The worst was called "Windows CE" or "WINCE".  Doesn't that name just make you want to ... well ... wince!???

Here then are the stupid stages of Windows names.

What could be simplier than naming your product version 1 - 2 - 3?  Easy!

For some reason Windows 4 was not chosen as a name. Instead Microsoft began gluing two letters to the end of the product for no particular reason.  Let the confusion begin!

Not only did Microsoft pick an out of the blue sky oddball name for this release but they also botched the product.  An overly ambitious update, Vista had problems at launch which were finally fixed. But they gave the product a terrible reputation and sales were poor.

Suddenly Microsoft got common sense and started naming their products after numbers again. This is probably because 7 is considered a lucky number in English.   But don't expect too much sense making from Redmond.  They totally skipped Windows 9 and went straight to Windows 10.  What happened to 9?  Was it caught molesting children?

This doesn't even take into account that each version of Windows you just read about also comes in four or five flavors of it's own.  This leads to extra-stupid naming conventions like Windows Vista Home Premium Pro Mobile. Erf!  Lots of computer users barely know if they are using Mac or Windows, much less Windows 7 Professional Ultimate Home Mobile.
windows logo history

You can find more good consumer advice for folks in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills at More about THIS issue with Microsoft here at How Microsoft Ignores Own Customers.

How Microsoft ignores it's own customers


microsoft darth vader evilAt ninety five percent of my clients use Windows, including myself. Many versions of Windows are good products. Buuuut we've seen what monopolies do. A small company cares about its customers until it becomes a big company.  Then profits matter more than satisfied customers or employees.  Then the company becomes a monopoly and stops listening to its customers entirely.  This is what happened to Microsoft, a company always ready to use the marketing department to ruin almost any product.

Windows 7 was a very popular product but it did TOO much. You could buy and run all kinds of programs and Microsoft wouldn't make any money on them as it had no "Itunes Apple Store" type closed market.  So they wrote Windows 8 which totally confused everyone, had not much online help and forced people into an MS marketplace where they were supposed to buy "apps" for and love it.  Nobody did and the whole thing fell apart.  A shiny bit of lipstick on Windows 7, Windows 8 sales were so bad that the company had to give away copies of Windows 10 in order to maintain it's market share.  What about Windows 9?  Ugh, see below. Not only did the company not listen to it's customers it told them what they were going to like.

steve ballmer vanity fair magazineThe architect of this stupid nonsense was executive Steve Ballmer. He is rich. So rich he makes Beverly Hills 1 percenters seem broke by comparison.  In 2015 his net worth was about $22 BILLION dollars.  Hired in 1980 as Microsoft's 30th employee he pretty much kept putting more zeros on his paycheck every year. Now he is the 21st most wealthy person on Earth.

That kind of power, combined with being in the same work environment for years, makes it unlikely anybody is going to criticize you.  Although known for his high energy product demos he apparently forgot everything about sales and marketing.  His massive attempt to make Windows 8 work on everything was a huge flop and and he was eventually ousted from the company in 2013.  Oh, sorry, he "retired."  I would be forced out too if I had let the Apple Iphone become a huge hit, let my stock price stagnate, lost billions of my companies dollars in bad acquisitions and produced the poor selling Surface tablet.  In 2012 Forbes magazine called him "The worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company."

On news of his "retirement" Microsoft's stock price rebounded!  Ballmer was forced to slink away, fighting with MS founder Bill Gates and leaving bad blood at the company.  With nothing going for him other than billions upon billions of dollars, Ballmer spent $2 billion to buy basketball team the Los Angeles Clippers.  The previous own was hideous racist scumbag Donald Sterling who was forced to give up the team due to anti-Black and other comments.  Ballmer brought fresh energy to the team and the players and coaches love him.  He is doing a very good job and no doubt having a lot of fun in this new role.

Have a Ball, Ballmer, just stay away from Windows!

You can find more good consumer advice for folks in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills at For more on this issue see How Microsoft Ignores Own Customers.