iPods and pacemakers don’t mix

iPods and pacemakers don’t mix

The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute at Michigan State University presented a paper at an annual meeting in Denver that says iPods can and do interfere with pacemaker operation – up to and including causing the pacemaker to stop functioning altogether when held anywhere from 2-18 inches from the device.

Now, iPods are all the rage, but I for one have just never been sold on them. They are slick and I like the wheel interface; but they are overpriced and don’t do what I need. I bought a 2gig iRiver that also has a FM RADIO, is about 1/3 the size of an iPod so I can run with it, RECORDS mp3’s off any source – including recording a radio program (which I do all the time), and runs on a single AA battery for weeks – all for $69. For this price, you could barely get a refurb shuffle with none of those features.

But what I marvel over is how amazing Apple is at its marketing and image control. They have a CEO that is in dutch for some stock backdating, MacBooks with exploding batteries (well, everyone had that for a while), have the industries most vicious reputation for suing and prosecuting bloggers that out info about upcoming products, people with bending and warping laptop cases because of heat and corroding connectors, is notorious for denying problems then later quietly offering replacements, were just labeled by Greenpeace as the most eco UN-friendly computer company (after IBM and Dell for heavens sake) when even Al Gore is on their board of directors(!).  They’ve also been catching flack from the security community because they don’t announce known security holes and ETA’s for the fixes (you did know they have security holes and have been quietly patching them right?), and now iPods that might actually kill you. Yet they are still seen as the most forward-thinking, user-friendly company for the creative class out there.

The fun part is that I doubt this even makes the slightest dent in their image.

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