Virus of the Caribbean

Was going to make a post poking fun at the light-hearted “The Girl With The ANSI Tattoo” article over at the Oracle WTF blog but I’m feeling lazy tonight. Movies and TV shows have long thrown tech-accuracy out the window so I have mostly stopped paying attention.

Anyway, in my aborted-post, since I work in tech support, would have been about the virus from an episode of Archer was unrealistic. It’s common knowledge that animated ninjas are the ones that mess up computers, not pirates. Not to mention that he looks like a pirate captain which everyone knows are completely allergic to computers. on Samsung’s “Head Start”

Really enjoyed the article on about the Samsung Galaxy SIII getting a “head start” on the yet to be released iPhone 5. I don’t think I’ve seen that term used in regards to cell phone hardware before but I like it. It does beg the question: how will Samsung beat the iPhone 4S with its mighty 8 month head start?

I also liked the part about how launch day demand is as high for the SIII as it was for the 4S:

Also in Frankfurt some 100 people were in the queue this morning when the Deutsche Telekom shop on the city’s busiest shopping street The Zeil opened.

That’s about the same as when the latest iPhone went on sale,” said 21-year old Steven Barth, who was taking orders at the shop. “I think our publicity campaign also helps. We are giving away about a hundred Galaxys today, in this shop.”

I suggest for the Galaxy SIV launch that Samsung check how many people lined up for the eventual iPhone 5 and then give away twice as many phones. Boom, the SIV has 2x demand that the iPhone 5 does on launch!

My Condolences to Opera’s Handful of Users

Seeing the story on BGR about the possibility of Opera being acquired by Facebook reminded me of the quote from Star Wars. 

Original Obi-Wan Quote:

“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.” 

Updated for the Opera acquisition by Facebook:

“I felt a disturbance in the Internets, as if tens of voices suddenly cried out in terror and then continued to cry ad-nauseum. I fear something that wont affect very many people has happened.” 

Comparing Motorcycles to Short Buses

I feel something is missing from the latest T-Mobile commercial that compares the iPhone to some random Android phone that uses T-Mo’s version of “4G”. In the commercial it shows T-Mobile’s Liv Tyler-esque spokeswoman blasting past another motorcyclist that represents the iPhone on Verizon/AT&T.

All network speed comparisons aside, all I can think about is the announcement T-Mobile made a while back that there is over a million unlocked iPhones stuck using their Edge network.

This commercial can still be accurate, they just need to add one thing: both motorcycles blasting past a short bus representing all those Edge-bound T-Mobile iPhone users.

Habit List for iOS

Habit List is a great looking don’t-break-the-chain style todo app for iPhone. I was hoping to make an app similar to this at some point but I’m very happy about being beaten to the punch on this one, they did a great job.

Give Me Your Password

Ars Technica had an article today about insecure password practices at Best Buy. There is a  “PC Recommendation Worksheet” used by GeekSquad employees to setup a customer’s new PC and there is a space for the customer’s password. While I don’t particularly care for Best Buy or GeekSquad I don’t really have a problem with this, assuming they are stored in a safe place and destroyed after use(that’s a big assumption).

Now you might ask “You would trust a random Best Buy employee with your email password”? No, of course not, but this service isn’t for me, these services are used solely by people who are not tech-savvy. 
I think the alternatives to that are more insecure or to costly for Best Buy to support, here are some examples:

Don’t have a password on the admin account – ’nuff said.

Use a default password for everyone (w/ explicit instructions to make their own later) – Nearly as useless as no password at all, it does not work, people are lazy and will keep the default password nearly every time.

Randomly generate one – What if the customer forgets it? If Best Buy keeps a copy around that would be just as bad as if they had the customer’s email password written down. Customers would call Best Buy when they can’t remember their new, complicated password and need it reset. This either cost Best Buy money to support or makes customers pissed at lack of support.

When issues like this pop up that affect non-tech-literate people, I use getting my car repaired to draw a parallel to what they experience. I don’t go around giving my car keys to strangers all day but if my car needs fixed, I have to give my keys to a mechanic, who I don’t know that well. I guess you can call it professional trust, the mechanic trusts that I will pay and I trust that my car won’t be stolen.

If you don’t trust Best Buy, don’t get your computer worked on by them, same with any other service out there.

Setting Up Time Machine Using an AirPort Extreme w/ an External Drive is Stupid Easy

Thought this was going to be a bit more of a struggle to setup but the process was painless and took about six minutes. Here are the steps:
  • Formatted the external drive on my Mac using Disk Utility
  • Plugged it into the Airport Extreme
  • Use AirPort Utility to connect to the AirPort Extreme and enable sharing of the drive
  • The shared drive automatically appears in Finder’s sidebar
  • Enable Time Machine on my laptop and select a drive
  • Done, have a beverage and watch some Archer

The Time Machine and CrashPlan combo have me feeling pretty safe if an issue arrises. It’s the same feeling you get when you purchase renter’s or home owner’s insurance, I think. 

Ugliest Line of Objective-C I Have Seen So Far

Started working through the Apress book ‘Beginning iOS 5 Development‘ and have been happy with it so far but I do think I have found the *ugliest line of Objective-C I have seen:

switchViewFrame.origin.y += [UIApplication sharedApplication].statusBarFrame.size.height;

What does that do? It is setting the beginning of the y-axis(top left corner) of the view to just below the status bar, as to not be hidden by it.

*not ugly as in bad code, ugly as in not very pretty to look at.