Spot the fake

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

I was thinking it would be smarter for me to buy an iPod off of eBay to save some money. I’m not so sure of that now considering there are so many counterfeits.

Apple only uses Myriad so what kinda junk is this?

Mikey :-/


HaleyFiege's picture

AT least it's spelt right...

microspective's picture

The apple proportions are all f'd up, too. (huge bite, weird bite alignment, funny leaf...)

Come to think of it, I think that's Adobe's Myriad, not Apple's custom Myriad.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

There's a presumably legit image here:

Images of the latest iPod Shuffle here, for comparison purposes:

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

The text for "iPod" isn't as bold as it should be, either.

dtw's picture

Nice doily though. LOL
Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

aluminum's picture

"I was thinking it would be smarter for me to buy an iPod off of eBay to save some money"

Smart people don't buy electronics off of eBay. ;0)

Joe Pemberton's picture

We got a Chinese knockoff iPhone last year (our Shanghai developers sent it). The best part was the Apple logo on the back had the leaf pointing the wrong direction. (And no, there was no Myriad in sight.)

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

It seems there is a culture of dishonesty in China—well, at least when it comes to intellectual property anyway. It steams from communism right?

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

There is dishonesty in capitalist countries too, Mikey, but that doesn't mean it comes from capitalism.

Let's face it, some people are dishonest. I've been burned buying CDs on eBay, and the CD was coming from someone in the U.S.!

James Arboghast's picture

Mikey, a culture of dishonesty surrounding I.P exists in America and England too, and Russia, Australia, etcetera. In China the communist thing may encourage it, or maybe not, but in the end I think dishonesty is a human trait, part of the human condition. Side note: Martina Navratilova emigrated from communist Poland (or whatever country it was) to the U.S, and when pro-communist westerners hassle her about it she says to them, "If you think communism is so great, why don't you go live in a communist country?" As you'd expect they never have an answer for that.

@Oh Ricky you're so fine: Let’s face it, some people are dishonest. I’ve been burned buying CDs on eBay, and the CD was coming from someone in the U.S.!

This is why. This is why I don't buy any kind of stuff from Ebay. I get a much better deal on music CDs from a chain of second-hand CD retail stores here in Melbourne, Dixons. They sell used CDs for about half the brand new retail price, and there never is any quality problem.

j a m e s

AGL's picture

I remember seeing a documentary on TV. It was about a asian country. I forgot most of what I saw in it, but, something called my attention: There was a radio atop of a table, sort of in a corner of the frame with a window in the background, showing the paisage after it, it had a "brand":

" T O X I "

Quincunx's picture

> This is why. This is why I don’t buy any kind of stuff from Ebay.

You just have to check who is selling the item on eBay. If the seller has alot of positive ratings, then usually it hould be pretty safe to buy from that person.
Two friends of mine have bought their iPhone off of eBay (importing it from the US to The Netherlands), without any problems whatsoever. They just looked for someone with very good ratings.

James Arboghast's picture

I find it easier and quicker to purchase goods of most kinds, especially electronics, locally from people I can look in the eye and quickly decide if they're trying to rip me off or not. More to the point, regarding Ebay, having to check out a seller's ratings, then making the purchase thru PayPal and only PayPal (no choice, it's a monopoly and PayPal must be paying Ebay a big stack of money for the monopoly), that's a hassle too, and a hegemony I refuse to participate in.

Regardless, I don't have a use for things like an iPhone. In my art of living lifestyle devices like that are impractical toys that break easily and require batteries and usually get in the way of communicating. For example, for business, in my day job, I use a mobile phone entirely at my agent's expense. My agent owns the phone and pays for it. If it breaks, not my problem, agent's problem. Outside of work hours I don't have a mobile phone because I don't want to be contactable at any time any place. That's because I'm a very private kind of guy. Nothing to do with being a so-called "ludite".

What else? What other stuff can you buy at Ebay? The kind of furniture I buy has to be inspected close-up to ascertain its authenticity. If I want a replica wingback chair made in the 19th century, it's typically a replica of a chair made in the 18th century. Buying a chair like that from Ebay is possible, but they're hard to find and I can think of dozens of reasons not to buy it from Ebay. I have to touch it and pick it up, inspect underneath, sit on it and go over every inch of wood and fabric before deciding to purchase. It isn't possible to feel the structural integrity of a piece of fine furniture online. I have to physically pick it and feel how much "give" is in the frame.

What else? Books. I buy a lot of books from second hand dealers who I've gotten to know over several decades. People I know I can trust, who I don't have to check out. They call me up and tell me when they've got stock they think I may be interested in, because they know me and my literary tastes, and I know them and their retailing philosophy.

What else? It's much more fun going outside, walking down the street and chatting with living souls, people I can touch and trade jokes with. Stop for a coffee on the way. I can trade jokes with people at Ebay too, but it's not satisfying the way it is in real time.

What else? I enjoy a simple, uncomplicated life, relatively free of clutter and noise, with as much technology as is useful and no more. It's about the art of living and the challenge of not giving in to the maelstrom of technology, newness for its' own sake, no thanks, not for me. If I can find ways to avoid visiting yet another website with a glarey interface and more visual pollution than you can shake a stick at, I find ways of avoiding them. Because that's the kind of person I am.

None of this is to say Ebay or the internet is bad, or buying stuff online is bad, or the lifestyle choices you guys are making lack merit. Nothing like that. It's about what makes sense. If the cheapest I can buy a DVD of Time Bandits from Amazon is $10 plus shipping for a second hand disc and I have to wait two weeks for it to get here; and I can get a new copy of Time Bandits on DVD for $10 from the HMV store in Melbourne city center, no shipping charge and no hassle, and I get it from a living person with a smile and a paper receipt, even take it home and watch it the same day (golly-gosh-me, wonders never cease ; ^ ) I'll take the excercise and wear out my Italian shoes a tiny bit more, because that, my dear typophiles, is part of the art of living.

j a m e s

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Give at year or two and some fancy machine will wear out your shoes, pour coffee and chemically produce the dirty ol' smell of books and second hand record store owners. It'll even project a glaring smile on your 300 dpi video googles.

Seriously though: I'll buy you a coffee if our ways ever cross.

William Berkson's picture

On the issue of dishonesty, yes there are plenty of dishonest business people in every country, quick to make money however they can.

The difference in China is that the Chinese government apparently has a policy of not enforcing intellectual property laws. When I was in China two years ago there there was pirated stuff everywhere.

However there is vigorous enforcement of the government's own property rights to the Olympic souvenir stuff. Apparently some people are getting around the government even on this, but the piracy is sway down, apparently down to levels something like in the West.

Also I think I heard that for some big foreign companies the government, under pressure, is starting to enforce intellectual property rights. Perhaps someone who knows more about this can tell us the current state of the violations.

This is a grave problem where the Chinese government has been derelict in its duties under international law, and a lot of people are pressing them to change. I'm not in favor of any boycott, but don't let them off the hook.

There are a lot of people here producing intellectual property, and I bet they aren't getting anything out of China, with the possible exception of the mega companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe. I gather that the FSU is also a huge problem.

elliot100's picture


PayPal must be paying Ebay a big stack of money for the monopoly

Paypal is owned by Ebay - bought for US$1.5bn back in 2002.

satya's picture

If you buy a lot of stuff online, watch this, :).

James Arboghast's picture

I realize how what I wrote there might look to some people—like a ranty rave from a determined old-skooler or neo luddite. What can I say to balance it? I use computers all day, I love DVDs and watch heaps of them, I'm mad keen on spacecraft and rocket technology, and for a decade I worked in music production and as a professional audio electronics engineer. In partnership with my personal assistant I've designed, engineered and manufactured electronic products with my own brain and my bare hands.

I know first-hand why electronic devices fail, and what happens at the retail level when it occurs. That taught me to avoid buying electronic goods second-hand wherever possbile. Mainly it's about having a new product warranty. You don't get a warranty with second-hand electronics, but they break as easily as new ones.

I do like technology. I'm fascinated by it, but skeptical of the value of much of it to the consumer and wary of having too much tech in my domestic life.

Ebay owning PayPal is even worse than the scenario I imagined. As the web evolves ownership of its major portals and services has become concentrated in a handful of companies. Ebay is one of the largest sellers of goods, and payments to it are processed by a company it owns. That's unsettlingly close to The Institute of Going a Bit Red in Hel Sinki.

@frode frank:Give at year or two and some fancy machine will wear out your shoes, pour coffee and chemically produce the dirty ol’ smell of books and second hand record store owners. It’ll even project a glaring smile on your 300 dpi video googles.

I'll be first to put an axe thru it. I'm kidding. I look forward to having that cuppee of cafe with you one day Frode :^)

And it's a reckless world,
That lets itself be guided by its tools
But what our eyes can't see we believe
The truth is not for fools
Is there nothing between us but plastic and wire?
Will some modern invention prove you a liar?
All the time you were saying, "This is it."
It was that,
And you didn't get that scratch from the cat

I'll be stripped to the skin
You'll be stripped to the bone
And we'll all say no
To the picture phone
-- words by Jeanette Therese Obstoj

j a m e s

fallenartist's picture

Dishonesty..? Do you mean companies using the cheapest labour available on this planet?


SuperUltraFabulous's picture

William Berkson has encapsulated exactly what I meant. Yes, I know people from all over the world can be bad or good. In the case of China, I think copying some else’s work is okay there. At the personal level all the way to the governmental. That is what I meant by “culture”.

Interestingly, stealing tangible goods is super bad over there, shameful even. Not so much here in the States. The word “jack” is in every 14 year olds vocabulary.

A question for myself?... If some one made a counterfeit hydrogen car that got very high miles would I still buy it?

Mikey :-)

James Arboghast's picture

@Mikey: William Berkson has encapsulated exactly what I meant. Yes, I know people from all over the world can be bad or good. In the case of China, I think copying some else’s work is okay there. At the personal level all the way to the governmental. That is what I meant by "culture".

You're saying "culture" now but earlier you said:

It steams from communism right?

Ricardo and I were mainly refuting that notion, that the dishonesty in China stems from communism.

j a m e s

William Berkson's picture

Well, I didn't want do get into this, but this form of corruption is molded by Communism, or post-Communism if you will, as the original ideology is pretty dead. Already in the 1950s Milovan Djilas pointed out that the result of the Leninist revolution was not a classless society, but a "New Class" of party bosses who had no check against them, and made themselves a wealthy and privileged upper class through corruption.

Currently even the Chinese central government recognizes that corruption is one of its central problems, along with the gap between the booming cities and the countryside of grinding poverty--which contains a majority of the population. The struggle over rule of law--and many Chinese recognize its importance and are trying to advance it--is now one of the key struggles in China. And dealing with the violation of intellectual property rights is one part of that struggle.

However, to claim that at a "personal level" people are much more prone to illegal copying that people in the West is quite unfair. Most people are trying to scratch out a living from the ground, and only a few in the cities are making a living from copying. And here in the West a generation of college students has been downloading pirated music, and has radically changed the music industry--for the worse, if you ask me. So there is really not the basis of comparison for who is more prone to copying.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

You make a lot of great points, William. I just want to add that over the years magazines like Wired have carried articles about just how huge the problem of pirated software and media is in mainland China. Also, I think that the problem of downloading pirated music in the West goes far beyond college students.

William Berkson's picture

Ricardo, that link is a bit old--2002--and I think there has been a slight improvement since then, but I don't know how much. I just looked at a Charlie Rose show I recorded earlier in the month, and he had on a guy who wrote "McMafia" about international organized crime.

This guy said that piracy is an enthusiastic policy of the Chinese government that extends even to building a new train, and that it is part of a desperate attempt to keep up high economic growth to solve China's problems.

Further, he noted that as our economy has become more service oriented, more and more of it is dependent on intellectual property rights. So there is a serious clash here that is going to play out over the next few years, at least.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Yes, that was an old news story I linked to, William -- I just wanted to show that the press has been covering this story for a while.

And thanks for the update on more recent events!

James Arboghast's picture

Right on William, and thanks, you are well-informed. Can it be said the post-communist thing (needs a name) in China at least gave rise to systemic corruption / dishonesty? Going by what I read the situation is similar in Russia.

j a m e s

William Berkson's picture

I don't know much about the situation in Russia. No doubt there are some similarities, but I know there are huge differences. The recent history is vastly different, with the Chinese doing a far better job of managing the transition to a market economy.

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