Great, So It's Settled, Then (9/13/01)
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What better proof that life goes on than to find that, even in the midst of a tragedy of epic proportions, the surreal and the absurd still exist? Faithful viewer Dave Flanagan pointed out that Apple has apparently proposed a settlement for its DVD class action lawsuit. "What DVD class action lawsuit," you ask? Good question. Somehow we totally missed this one ourselves, and we pride ourselves on keeping so abreast of Apple-related minutiae that we even know what Steve Jobs had for breakfast last Thursday. (The man's really big on toaster waffles and melon. Who knew?)

As far as we can make out, at some point shortly after the first iMac DVs and Power Mac G4s first surfaced, somebody decided that the problematic DVD playback quality (which we seem to recall consisted of occasional stutters, occasional freezes, and a lack of sound synchronization) wasn't merely annoying, but actually constituted such a heinous product flaw that it warranted taking Apple to court. Now, granted, if a company sells a product and that product doesn't work as advertised, said company obviously has a responsibility to fix the problem-- but we're having a tough time getting into the head of anyone who got upset enough to file a lawsuit because he couldn't watch Booty Call on an iMac DV without the drifting sound synchronization distracting him from the subtle nuances of the film's dialogue. Better still, he filed a class action lawsuit, so all those similarly Booty Call nuance-deprived iMac owners across the nation could share in the delivery of justice.

Anyway, presumably this suit was filed before Apple fixed the problem via several firmware and system software updates, which eventually had DVD playback working pretty much as it should. So the proposed settlement is that affected customers may request to have those firmware and system software updates shipped to them on a CD-ROM; of course, most of them who actually noticed the problem probably already downloaded and applied those updates over a year ago, but hey, free drink coaster. Affected customers also get 90 days of free technical support regarding installing those software updates, as well as (and here's the payoff, people) fabulous discounts on certain Apple products. Well, okay, some of those discounts are more fabulous than others; scoring a Pro Mouse for $44 or a download copy of iMovie 2 for $19 would be pretty sweet, but anyone who chooses the 64 MB of RAM for $80 really needs to stop watching those DVDs long enough to pick up a current RAM price list from someone other than Apple.

So there it is; if you bought an iMac DV or DV Special Edition (or a Power Mac G4 running Mac OS 9.0.3 or earlier and DVD Player 2.1 or earlier) before May of last year, go exercise those legal rights. But whatever you decide to do, get your DVD playback working properly-- rumors are flying of a secret Booty Call director's cut disc shipping any week now, complete with the deleted scene of Jamie Foxx's haunting performance of "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" and the fabled lost ending in which Darth Vader turns out to be Luke's father. Don't miss it!


 
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


 

The above scene was taken from the 9/13/01 episode:

September 13, 2001: One of Apple's retail stores lends a helping hand to travelers stranded in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, several companies announce their intent to donate some or all of their proceeds to the Red Cross and the families of the crash victims, while litigation marches ever onward-- Apple proposes a settlement in a DVD class action lawsuit that we somehow missed entirely...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3297: Not Just About The Sales (9/13/01)   If you're enough of a Mac fan to be tuning into a 'net-based soap opera about Apple Computer, it's not unlikely that you're familiar with the company's recent foray into the wild and woolly world of retail sales...

  • 3298: Buy Something, Help Others (9/13/01)   Speaking of spontaneous outpourings of help, the one thing that kept many of us from completely losing our faith in humanity during this ordeal was seeing the throngs of people who lined up, unasked, to give blood in the streets of Manhattan...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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