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Back in September of 2004, Casey Neistat of New York City discovered that the battery in his first-generation 5 GB iPod could no longer hold a charge for more than an hour. So he called Apple. Unfortunately for him, Apple basically advised him to buy a new iPod (their prices at the time ranged from $300 to $500 apiece) because they didn’t have a battery replacement policy at the time.

Neistat was upset. And he decided that, since Apple wasn’t going to replace the battery for him, he’d do it himself. He bought an off-brand battery for $50, set down to open his iPod... and promptly broke it. Now, it didn’t matter what kind of battery he had, it would never work again.

Neistat was so infuriated that he started an internet site called which featured a video of him spray-painting the phrase: "iPod’s unreplaceable battery lasts only 18 months" all over lower Manhattan. This got Apple’s attention, and they began offering a replacement service for $99.

(Just as a disclaimer here: Apple is consistently ranked #1 in product quality and support by leading consumer groups, such as Consumer Reports).

Now I don’t blame Apple for the problem. They figured a battery’s only going to last so long anyway, so why get so upset? But despite the fact of life that a battery will eventually age and die, they soon discovered people still did get a little upset. People don’t react well to death--even if it’s the death of their iPod.

And people don’t react well to their own deaths either. One wit once said: "I am not afraid to die. It’s just that I can’t get up much enthusiasm for it."

But despite that humor, most people do fear death.

(From a sermon by Jeff Strite, "i-Live" 1/25/2009)

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