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Wednesday, July 25 12:00 AM ET

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


I feel sorry for all the Apple Store employees who had to field calls after our story, Apple Store to Begin Charging Entrance Fee, hit #1 on Digg. Several sites reported this as real news, so you can't blame me for all the calls. This first guy retained some doubt about the stories veracity, but he wanted proof...

From: Norm
Date: Jul 23, 2007 12:18 PM
Subject: Interesting but...

Can you show me any online evidence that the $5.00 charge is in effect?

This next guy needed no proof...

From: Bill
Date: Jul 23, 2007 5:40 PM
Subject: WTF?!?


I wasn't quite sure what he was talking about, so I asked...

From: Bill
Date: Jul 23, 2007 6:01 PM
Subject: Re: WTF?!?
To: Brian Briggs

Oh Sorry! Apple is NOT charging 5 bucks to enter the store! Why would you say such a thing. That is VERY bad press for Apple!

i called my local apple store and corporate! THAT IS BULLSHIT! Steve Jobs brags about how many people they have in the store during peak times every WWDC and at MacWorld each year. He wouldn't do anything to prevent people from getting in the store!

Of course, there were several BBelievers in the Digg thread. I suggest using the "show all" tool to read through the thread...

"...expect a positive response from customers."
expect a positive response..?!
ex. I don't want to buy the iPhone, Do I have to pay the "entrance fee"??!!! It's a store or a showroom?
forget my "positive response"

Several sites reported this as actual news. A few have taken down the articles, after doing some actual research, but not everybody...

From: ilan
Date: Jul 24, 2007 6:47 AM
Subject: BBelievers - iPhone story


From: Peter
Date: Jul 23, 2007 4:04 PM
Subject: You fooled another one


Apple to charge for staring at iPhone

$5 to gawp, discount if you buy

Rob Mead

23 Jul 2007 16:32

Such is the buzz surrounding the iPhone, that Apple may soon start charging a $5 (£2.43) entry fee at its stores across the United States.

"Part of the move was to limit crowds to keep the stores safe, but also we wanted to keep the right kind of people in the stores," says Vince Sciopiano, vice president for Apple's retail stores.

"By 'right kind of people' I mean true Apple customers with money, willing to pay just to look at our newest wares," he told BBSpot .

The possible roll-out follows a successful pilot scheme which took place at the Apple Store in Canoga Park, California.

To get into an Apple Store you buy a $5 badge, and have your whereabouts tracked by staff, presumably using some kind of RFID. The $5 entrance fee is then taken off any purchases you make in-store and security at the door it tight.

Apple: Elitist, moi?

Naturally the move has drawn scorn from some potential store visitors who presumably want to gawp and not buy. One Kyle Martin told BBSpot:

"Five dollars to just walk into the store? It's like they want to be elite snobs or something."

Apple's Sciopiano said: "That's exactly the case."


Absolutely brilliant! What a great idea… Steve Jobs and his team are just firing on all cylinders and they can do no wrong.

I also love how those sites lifted the entire article to post on their sites.

Of course discussion boards are always a good source of BBelievers...

How is a person supposed to get a feel for a product before buying it? It is the friggin company retail store! I'm not gonna pay $5 to walk in and be pressured to buy right this very minute to have my $5 returned. If I don't like the product, or want to do more research after trying it out, that should be my right.


As an Apple computer and ipod owner, I have to say this is a lame move by Apple. This is why Apple will eventually fail in my opinion, elitist marketing strategies that don't cater to the majority of people. There's better ways to keep gawkers out than charging EVERYONE $5 dollars.

The Complaint Department

One reader took exception to our Top 11 list about Harry Potter dying and surprise, it's from an AOLer...

Date: Jul 21, 2007 4:59 PM
Subject: "Funny ways Harry Potter dies."

To Mr. Briggs,

Although your take on the Harry Potter "mania" is humorous at first, the number 1 funniest reason listed is not funny at all. It is disgusting for your website to even say something so horrible. If you could even feel a tiny bit of the pain that comes along with that situation, I think you could understand that commenting on a serious situation like that wouldn't even be approachable. When something like paralysis happens, you obviously don't comprehend what's happened. To think that you thought of that as an ending... for a kid?

Do yourself a favor and take it off your site. Perhaps if you do it now, you can do it with dignity and do the right thing.

OK, so the other 20 ways we kill Harry Potter are fine, it's just one of them that he has a problem with? As you know BBspot is all about dignity and doing the right thing.

The Space Debate

I received many more emails about the "space debate" from the past two week's Mailbags, but this week I'm just giving the original emailer a chance to respond, then marking this topic as Godwinned...

From: Karsten
Date: Jul 18, 2007 7:43 AM
Subject: The Space Debate

I think it's amazing that so many people get involved in such a topic.

I'd like to respond to the mail by Joshua because he is so right. He wrote "I find it especially ironic that someone who fails to grasp the rudiments of English punctuation [...]". I suggest we continue the conversation in German which is my native language. This will ensure no further mistakes in my texts. "[...] to criticize an author he claims to enjoy." True as well. In fact I don't read BBspot every two days. I just search the internet for articles using two spaces and write mails to random authors. "[...]this guy is the sort of misguided, arrogant Eurotrash [...]". If you have read my statement attentively you already know that I'm German, so this is true as well. "All I'm saying is that European systems of education brought us the Nazi war machine. The American system and its inconsistent spacing after periods ended it." At this point I just want to thank the American inconsistent spacing system for ending WW2. Of course Joshua is right: as all Germans I'm a Nazi too and I'm even wearing Lederhosen right now.

To add some topic related information: I admit that it does look better if there is more space after a period, but two spaces are too much space. I suggest we blame the browsers that don’t compose(?) the text correctly instead of national educating systems. By the way, HTML has the capability: beside   there are     and   but no one of sound mind would consider using them.

Weekly Limerick

The winner of the 2003 and 2006 Geek Limerick contest has volunteered to write a weekly limerick for BBspot...

From: Seth

A routine colonoscopy said
There's no worry of Bush being dead.

But while searching his hind,
Doctors said they did find
Where he's clearly been keeping his head.


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