MWSF: Rumors for Next Week

Next Tuesday marks the kickoff of Macworld San Francisco 2003. MWSF is an annual gathering of Mac folk on a large scale (users, software and hardware developers). Last year’s show had something like 80,000 attendees. Major announcements are often made during Steve Jobs’ keynote speech. The rumormill is generally abuzz right now about the “next big thing”. This year, however, it seems like even they are having a tough time with the predictions. Apple’s been pretty silent; this is in stark contrast to their position last year, where they broke their own policy about not commenting on rumor sites and actively fanned the ‘mill.
For what it’s worth, RumorTracker, a website that tracks and rates Mac-rumor websites, has posted a few interesting possibilities for this year here:
http://www.rumortracker.com/framesets/macrumors/index.htm
What would you like to see from Apple this year?

…Take *that* to the bank

I was just thinking about how nice it is to be back in Victoria. Right now the sun is shining through my parent’s livingroom window and I’m postponing doing the admin tasks of my trip back home.
Two days ago I made an appointment for today to open an account with the Royal Bank. By doing this, I could make use of my Canadian credit rating.
I should probably point out that I can already use my Canadian credit rating by using my CIBC VISA. The problem with CIBC is that if I mailed them a US cheque it might take them a month or more to verify and deposit the funds into my account. CIBC’s not capable of doing (or it’s not possible to do?) an “international direct deposit” type thing, and I’d have to call or fax them just to get money transferred from one of their “US Funds” accounts onto one of their $35/yr US VISAs cards. No thank you! So nix those ideas too.
The Royal Bank has an affiliate bank in the US (“Centura”, I think?) that would help me keep my finances consolidated in Canada. The way it would work is that I’d mail my paycheque to a Centura branch in the middle-eastern US (they don’t have any branches in the southern US), and they’d deposit it for me into my Royal Bank bank account. Then I could use my Royal Bank VISA card to access my funds.
The main benefit of going with Royal Bank over CIBC would be the speed of the deposit approval. The problem with either bank is I could get dinged on the exchange rate twice: (1) when I deposit my cheque and (2) whenever I make a transaction.
I’m going to just stick with the “zero-credit” approach I’m using right now through the Bank of America. The centrepiece of this approach is my “check-card” — basically a debit card that works anywhere a VISA card works, including the internet. It’s reduced my big desire for a credit card.
So I went to cancel my appointment to open an account with the Royal Bank. I called the number they gave me on the front of the little appointment card that Aaron so helpfully scheduled for me. After wading through the voicemail system for 3 minutes and waiting on hold for a further five (I had to press “0” 3 times just to get in the “your call is important to us” queue) , I decided it just wasn’t worth it. For all I knew the local number on the card probably silently redirected me to their Canada-wide phone exchange and I’d have to explain how I wanted to be connected to this particular branch on Shelbourne Street. So I hung up. They can deal with me not showing.