Apple Bumper a rip-off – Best Cheap iPhone bumper/case

Apple Bumper is expensive rip-offLike most new iPhone 4 buyers, I knew that I had to purchase a bumper to insure no antenna issues, and I wanted something to protect my fancy new purchase, especially since I have a tendency to drop small expensive items.  So, I told the sales guy to ring up a black bumper and I would be on my way. Imagine my surprise when I got home and realized I paid $29 for a shockingly small amount of rubber stretched around my iPhone!

At least I was happy with my new phone, and the bumper did perform as advertised, it kept my phone safe, provided a grippy handle, and masked any antenna problems.  However, after six months it finally started to fall apart.

Being cheap, I just found it very difficult to accept that I would need to budget $30 every six months to the gods at Cupertino.  So, while placing an order for live crickets or some such on Amazon, I decided to buy a couple different cases and try and figure out which I liked better.  And, as a bonus I would have the opportunity to share my findings  with the two other folks who read this blog.

The first up was the Apple iPhone 4 Semi-Hard Polymer Crystal Case – Smokey for a cool $3.49.  This one was a bit of surprise, as I was expecting a softer (semi-hard?) feel.  In fact, this was the sturdiest of the three I tested.  While I am confident that it would do a good job protecting the phone, and it feels solid when gripping, it was a bit too industrial for my tastes.  But, I would use this as a back-up in a pinch if needed, no doubt.

The Yellow and Black Premium Bumper Case for the Apple iPhone 4 for AT&T was a tasty $2.99.  Really, how could you go wrong at this price?  The bumper slipped on with no problems, all teh buttons worked perfectly.  But, it had a fatal flaw for me.  The iPhone connecter in my car would not fit through the opening in the bottom.  The newer iPhone cable fitted fine.  I am tempted to do some minor surgery to fix this over-sight.  When completed, I will post an update.  If you only use the standard iPhone cable, this bumper will do the job for you, and it is an order of magnitude cheaper than the Apple original.

The last case I tried as the most expensive (if you can call it that), and the one going into the test that I expected to win.  That case is the Incipio NGP for iPhone 4/4S in Matte Black at a still very affordable $12.55.  This case is solid all the way around.  It is actually a case rather then just a bumper, it features an enclosed back.  The unit is made out of a very tough plastic that still has a bit of a rubber feel.  I am really enjoying this case, and again, the price is right.

As always, I am a huge fan of Amazon Prime.  The fact that I can buy a quality bumper for under $3 and have it shipped to my door in two days is really a pretty amazing thing.  Each of these cases/bumpers is a good value, I think most folks would be happy with any one of them, and at the rock bottom prices, but one of each like I did and pick your favorite.  You can then use the other two as backups, or switch it up every now and then to give your phone a new feel.

Wrap your iPhone in a rubber bumper

Mystery Missile Solved! Obviously AWE808 from Hawaii

Once again the news agencies prove incapable of actually doing some basic research to identify the “Mystery Missile”.  Ten minutes of Google searching will give you access to many sites that have very similar pictures as those seen with the Mystery Missile.   Once you actually see these contrails from multiple locations, it is clear that the “Mystery Missile” was simply a plane contrail that you can see everyday if you look closely enough.  No conspiracy, no military hoax, not connected to cruise ships breaking down in the ocean.  Just a simple plane traveling from Hawaii to Phoenix, which it does everyday.

The picture above shows the exact same “Missile Launch” 24 hours later.

For more information, check out this great web site.

Think about it, you have two choices :

Option 1 – An airliner with a contrail, made to look thicker than usual because it is flying towards the camera, and appearing to “come out of the sea” because it came from over the horizon. Data for this includes several known simiar examples, a known flight in the area doing the right path at the right time, and lack of anything unusual on FAA ATC tapes.


Option 2 – An unknown SLBM launch undetected by anyone, evidence for which is “I seen some rocket launches and they look like this – honest”.

Using a Windows XServer to access the Gnome desktop on a Linux Server


I wanted to throw a shout-out to a software package called Xming X Server.  I have been using this nifty piece of software to access the Gnome desktop of our corporate Linux servers from the comfort of my Windows based laptop.  Xmind does this my running a XServer under Windows, and using a customized version of Putty to forward all the X packets across a SSH connection.  Even on Internet connection, the performance is very acceptable, and when on a local LAN, it approaches native speed.

A limited version of Xming has been released into the public domain, but throw Mr Colin Harrison £10 and he will send you an unencumbered version.  I am interested to hear from other folks who are using a Windows XServer to connect to a Linux or Mac.



I spend a lot of time in my car commuting, some days approaching 4 hours.  To help pass the time, I, like millions of others, listen to talk radio.  I listen to the usual syndicated national shows, and XM has offered up a few more alternatives.  Hell, I even listen to NPR on occasion.  But, the shows I like best are the local shows that focus on issues that affect a region or city.  These seem to have the most interesting and thought provoking content.

Well sadly, one show has bit the dust.  Chris Core who was formally with WMAL 630 in Washington DC was fired on Feb 29th.  This move was made by the folks at Citadel Broadcasting, who have shown that they know how to buy radio stations, they just are still working at how to run them effectively.  Firing Chris Core seems to show that they have a ways to go in that department.

After 33 years on the job, entertaining thousands of fans, Chris is no longer with WMAL 630.  While I am sure he will soon be back on the air, hopefully in DC, I will take this opportunity to thank him.

Thanks Chris!

More details

Mags on the Net – Scam Alert

Not car related, but I wanted folks to beware of a company on the web that is purposely defrauding customers.  Mags on the Net.  Please be aware that almost no legitimate magazines allow third parties to solicit subscriptions via the Internet.  Don’t get burned like I did, buy direct of the magazine publisher.

I placed an order in July 2007 and received nothing.  In addition, the company refuses to return any customer service calls or emails.  Many people have also fallen victim, a quick Google will reveal this.  In hindsight, I should have taken a few minutes to research this company before placing an order.

Other tales:

Blog Postings
Complaints Board

Info on the owners who are defrauding customers:
The CEO is Cindy Schulman
52 Lawrence Ave.
Lawrence NY, 11559

Phone #: 516-239-6857

Review can be found here, at The Better Business Bureau of New York’s Website.

P.O. Box 79
Lawrence, NY 11559

View Location Map

Original Business Start Date: 1/1/2002
Principal: Cindy Schulman, President
Phone Number: (516) 239-2579
Additional Phone Numbers:
(800) 665-6690 (516) 239-0418
Fax Number: (509) 695-3922
Email Address: [email protected]
Website: www.magsonthenet.com