Maybe it’s just daylight savings time that has me a bit grumpy this morning. I prefer to wake up when it’s still dark, or at least gray.

Or maybe I’m grumpy because my iPhone – an allegedly smart phone – failed me this morning.

I knew, or at least suspected, that it was going to happen. Both Angelica and I have iPhones, and reset our alarms last night, but just in case, I set the regular old alarm clock too. This morning, I was awakened by the beeping of that dinosaur, not either of our iPhones.

Look, I get that software is extremely complex. Mistakes are made, and missed in QA. Fine. I’m not a developer, so I’m not even going to bother theorizing about the nuts and bolts of why my alarm clock didn’t go off today. (Even though I’d have thought there’d be some best practices in place by now for automatic handling of alarm clocks and Daylight Savings Time. It’s not like this is bleeding edge stuff.)

Apple has beenĀ aware of the issue for at least a month, and even created a support article about it. But in typical Apple fashion, they were pretty quiet about it. In fact, if I hadn’t heard about it from Angelica, I wouldn’t have known about it at all. I’m a busy guy – I don’t pay attention to all the iPhone/Apple chatter. I shouldn’t have to – this thing is supposed to just work, right? Judging by the noise on Twitter this morning, I’m not the only one who didn’t notice until too late.

Just to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, I connected my iPhone to my MacBook Pro and fired up iTunes. Nope – no software update, no warning, no messaging at all. I did have to agree to YET ANOTHER iTunes Store Terms and Conditions update – maybe there’s a new clause that explains that the alarm clock doesn’t actually work.

This is a missed opportunity. Apple should have sent an email campaign with the workaround instructions, rather than relying on the blogosphere and the media, maybe even done some PPC marketing on keyword phrases like “iPhone alarm clock fix” with the support article as the landing page.

Hell, even AT&T could have done it, by email or text message. It’s not like they don’t need every bit of goodwill they can get from iPhone users.

Instead, we get a support article that doesn’t even make the iPhone Hot News page. Instead, we get people waking up late for work. Instead, we get people pissed off at Apple and maybe looking at one of those slick new Android phones instead of following the default next-gen iPhone upgrade path.

Listen up Apple. I love your products. I’ve sent a lot of cash your way. But dumb errors like this (and even dumber handling of them) makes me want to drink someone else’s Koolaid.

Photo of shadow of riders on motorcycle.Angelica and I went for a ride today – a leisurely, almost touristy, two-up, chatting in the headsets kind of Saturday afternoon ride. We headed out of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate into the Marin Headlands and on. It was a positively magnificent day for motorbiking.

Angelica snapped this photo from the back of the bike near the end of the day. Super cool.

Macworld email marketing subject line experiment screenshot.

Macworld getting a little crazy with the subject line.

I subscribe to a LOT of email – I like to see what other email marketers are doing. Because of this, I get so much emailĀ that I’m in constant email overload mode (sounds familiar, I bet) and it takes something pretty spectacular – or really lame – to get my attention.

Taking a peek at my subscriptions inbox this morning, I saw an email from Macworld with a three character subject line: –>. That’s not me pointing at something, that’s the subject line. An arrow.

Ever the jaded online marketer, my first thought as I glanced through my emails was “Oops, someone screwed up personalization again.” Then I thought maybe some really crappy spam had snuck into my inbox somehow, until I saw the from: Macworld Gems.

I think overly gimmicky subject lines can be a bit of a risk, and tricks like this are usually one-shot deals. But, as we always say, “test, test, and test s’more!” So what were the email marketers at Macworld thinking on this one? Maybe in a vertical preview pane, the “look over here” arrow mechanism works. Maybe they just thought it’d be eye-catching.

For me, it just looked weird, like a mistake. But… I noticed it. What would a “normal person” (non-email marketer) think of this?

My taste in motorbikes often runs towards the hooligan side of the street – such as my ’07 Speed Triple SE – but I also have a long-running love affair with comparatively “sensible” Boxer-engined Beemers, ever since I rode a buddy’s yellow R90S cafe racer many years ago. Lately, I’ve had my eye on a black and green Rockster around the corner at MotoJava – seems like it’d be a perfect 2-up city bike.

2011 BMW R1200R Classic

2011 BMW R1200R Classic

I wasn’t too excited when I heard there were mild updates to the R1200R for 2011, until I got a load of the R1200R Classic over on Hell For Leather. That’s right – chrome spoked wheels and black paint with white accents gets me every time. And the bike has had decent real world horsepower (110 hp and 88 ft.lb of torque) for a couple years or so now, although I have heard some significant complaints about the reliability of the 1200 engine. Very un-BMW!

I disagree, though, with Hell For Leather’s characterization of the BMW roadster rider as a slipper-wearing, pipe-smoking traditionalist, complete with monocle. Granted, this isn’t the bike for popping block-long wheelies and screaming from stoplight to stoplight with the back tire in flames, but I think it’d make a perfect San Francisco urban assault vehicle. Throw some heated grips and a top box on there, and you’re good to go. Tractable power and a reasonably slim albeit not-so-girlish figure make for an awesome lane splitter, and it should handle well enough to make weekend jaunts down the coast plenty of fun. Yes, please.

© 2013 Surj's House of Awesome

Surj's House of Awesome

Surj Gish – eCommerce & Online Marketing Expert / Gearhead / Musician