Archive for September, 2007

iPhone Firmware 1.1.1 Released

September 27th, 2007 No comments

Firmware 1.1.1 was released today. Features include:• iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store
• Louder speakerphone and receiver volume
• Home Button double-click shortcut to phone favorites or music controls
• Space bar double-tap shortcut to intelligently insert period and space
• Mail attachments are viewable in portrait and landscape
• Stocks and cities in Stocks and Weather can be re-ordered
• Apple Bluetooth Headset battery status in the Status Bar
• Support for TV Out
• Preference to turn off EDGE/GPRS when roaming internationally
• New Passcode lock time intervals
• Adjustable alert volume

If you are the owner of an unlocked iPhone, DO NOT UPDATE until we have a viable solution for either relocking and then unlocking after the update, or doing the update without bricking your iPhone. Updating an unlocked iPhone currently WILL BRICK your iPhone.


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Blackberry Curve 8320 on T-Mobile

September 24th, 2007 No comments

Blackberry Curve 8320One of my team members just got a new Blackberry Curve 8320. It hasn’t even been announced on T-Mobile’s website or the Blacberry website for that matter.

It has Wi-Fi, and UMA, which lets you make calls over a wireless network (your home or any open hotspot). Based on unidentified sources, it’s available in a T-Mobile store on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.

Setting up emails have been a breeze on the Blackberry, but getting on a WI-Fi network is easy, too. And it’s the same old reliable Blackberry that doesn’t crash, unlike the otherwise lovely Nokia devices.

I wish it had GPS and 3G, but if someone had a device that had everything in it that we want (fast Internet, media player, navigation), everyone else would go out of business. Then who’d be bashing?

Read more on Engadget…

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Pangea Day

September 23rd, 2007 No comments

I am always moved when I see people trying to make a difference in the world. Jehane Noujaim is one of those people who moved me with her project “Pangea Day”.

Pangea Day will take place May 10, 2008. A live videoconference will take place in New York City, Rio, London, Dharamsala, Cairo, Jerusalem, and Kigali. The show will take place over 4-hour broadcasting though internet, Television and Mobile phones. It will feature films, speakers, and music. People are asked to submit videos to the Pangea day website to be involved in the festival. Pangea Day was created by Jehane Noujaim after she won the TED Prize. Pangea is the name of the original super-continent which contained all the world’s land mass before the continents started splitting apart 250 million years ago. – wikipedia

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September 23rd, 2007 2 comments

Netvibes is a not very well known online personalized start page, just like iGoogle, but apparently they did it before Google did, and they have a lot more functions. Now, they have netvibes mobile, and it works. You can access all of your RSS feeds, weather and other widgets right at your fingertips.

Here’s an example of what it would look like on your cell phone.

Netvibes mobile

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September 22nd, 2007 No comments

I know, I said I wouldn’t get the iPhone. But who wouldn’t want to walk around with one device instead of two or three. One of the reasons I was against getting an iPhone was because there was no support for office email. I deployed Zimbra for our office collaboration (email, calendar, documents) because I manage a Mac network and I refuse to do anything on Windows, if I can avoid it. I’m very happy with the product (which must be good if it was bought by Yahoo this week) and also my host: Contegix. Currently I can sync all my emails, calendar events and contacts wirelessly through Mail for Exchange. That is a wonderful thing.

However, now there is iZimbra. It handles 3 out of Zimbra’s 4 components (and Documents is still in beta in Zimbra webmail anyway): email, calendar and address book. You can even dial contacts and look up addresses through Google Maps. I can’t wait to see it in action.

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Big Brother Is Watching

September 22nd, 2007 No comments

Google is storing our searches. That is not a secret. You can also save your bookmarks in Google online. You can analyze search patterns and get a lot of information about an individual. AOL last year accidentally exposed its stored searches and someone was even identified based on the information.

A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749
Published: The New York Times, August 9, 2006

Buried in a list of 20 million Web search queries collected by AOL and recently released on the Internet is user No. 4417749. The number was assigned by the company to protect the searcher’s anonymity, but it was not much of a shield.

I trust Google to protect my privacy. I don’t trust the Government, though to not get their hands on things, if they want to. Today’s article in The Washington Post proves me right.

Collecting of Details on Travelers Documented
The Washington Post, Saturday, September 22, 2007

The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

Big Brother indeed is watching and it’s just a matter of time that they will have a large nationally connected database where everything will be stored. I wrote about China some time ago, that they are implementing cards that people have to carry with them that contains personal information about them. I also noted that there was an American company behind the technology. The time when Americans will no longer be free might not be that far away in the future.

Here’s another article on spy satellites:

Eye on the Homeland
The Washington Post, Saturday, August 25, 2007

POWERFUL intelligence satellites have been used domestically for years on an ad hoc basis — for example, to assess damage after a natural disaster, to help with security at major events or for scientific studies. The FBI called in spy satellite help when tracking the Washington area snipers. Now, the Bush administration is forming a unit within the Department of Homeland Security to enable more routine domestic use of satellite imagery — for purposes such as protecting the borders and helping local law enforcement.

If I say that the US Government already knows more about us than they should, some might say I’m paranoid.

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iPod Touch

September 16th, 2007 No comments

I was one of the first iPod owners this world had. I worked for Apple back then, so we got a good discount. The iPod is one of the best inventions in technology out there. It does everything a portable music player should with a flare.

When the iPhone was a rumor, I kept telling myself, well, every new product needs to have its glitches ironed out, but should I be part of that or should I wait for the next release. Then I made a call on an iPhone in a Cingular store, and quickly bought the Nokia E61i (confirmed by several iPhone owners, that the iPhone is best used with a headset).

But I do envy the large screen, the Safari browser on the device (which I don’t use that often on my Mac, because I use Firefox), the easy access to music, videos, YouTube videos, the touch screen and the myriad of applications to come. The device is brilliant in certain aspects, but if I can’t hear the party I’m calling it’s useless to me as a phone.

iPod Touch

That’s why I learned it with great pleasure, that they stripped out the phone and released iPod Touch. Now I can get my new iPod, keep my phone and don’t have to re-sign my contract with pretentious Cingular – The New ATT (mind you, all the other wireless providers are leeches in NY, too) for 2 more years.

The only problem is the drive space: there are two models: 8 GB and 16 GB. However, it may not be bad, if we just adjust the way we look at these devices. With the growing hard drives in machines, we learned to rely on them. We put more and more music on our computer and iPods. My current iPod has a 30 GB hard drive. But if that hard drive fails you can loose all your data, especially if you got a lot of your music from friends, instead of your own CDs. So, it might be better to just look at an iPod as a player where you refresh your content fairly often, as opposed to a storage device. That way you always have things backed up, and even if you lose the device or it breaks, you only lose the hardware, not the content.

The iPod Touch also will allow you to download music at select Starbucks and I believe browse the net for free (not confirmed).

The official shipping date is September 28, however, someone already got their hands on at a friend’s company (wonder how).

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Mac, Windows and MS Office

September 16th, 2007 No comments

I am a Mac user. I am not afraid to say it. I loved the Mac since I laid my hands on the first one in Canada, where I was a nanny from Hungary back in 1991. The woman I worked for told me not to touch it. Well, that’s all I needed. I quickly learned how to use it: typed up my poems, saved them on a floppy and played games. After leaving Canada, I didn’t have a Mac experience for awhile. Back in Hungary people couldn’t afford one. Then in 2003 I got a job at HBO (Home Box Office), and we were New York’s Salvation Army: they dumped the old Macs on us and I was happy to take them. The IT department, on the other hand wasn’t all that happy. Since they didn’t want to support the Macs, I started supporting them. Learned how to fix the network issues, modify FileMaker databases, install software, etc. But  at home, I only had my first computer in 2006: my younger brother’s hand-me-down PC. Then in 2007 I bought my own. My first Mac came in 2001, (if I remember correctly), after trying to do graphic design on a Windows machine, and crying over how slow it was to move an image an inch on the screen. In 2004I built myself a PC from scratch, because my Mac was too old and, again I couldn’t afford a new Mac. Building the PC cost me about 1000, the equivalent Mac would’ve been 2000 or so.

But I NEVER once said: the PC is better. Because it isn’t. The Mac was more expensive. A lot of times people compare the Mac’s to BMW’s market share. I like that idea. You can drive any car, that you can afford, but if you want a better one, you have to pay more. Now I am not going to elaborate on why the Mac’s are better. I’ll do that in another post. The reason I started writing this today was because I saw two articles, that made me think:

  1. A Window of Opportunity For Macs, Soon To Close
  2. Microsoft Office For Mac Finally Embraces Platform Standards

Article number 1 appeared in the New York Times, and made me very angry. Here’s a person who probably uses Windows and knows nothing about Macs and writes about how Apple computer have very little market share and how Vista is going to pick up. Even if this was completely true, this is a misrepresentation of the computers. Smart people do not buy computers based on such articles, but the mass does. Also, getting the statistics on market share from a company that monitors website usage is simply outrageous. I was looking for a way to post my comments after the article, when I realized you can’t do that at the NYT website. I am not a die hard Apple fan. I never line up at store openings (that’s not completely true: I did line up inside the store with my coworkers to greet the first customers before we opened it when I worked in an Apple store in 2002), I don’t have to buy every piece of equipment they produce. But if I can, I avoid working on Windows. I spent enough years working on it and supporting it, that I can say with confidence: I don’t like it. I am not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings; some people like Milk, I don’t. Some people say Milk is not good for you. I will say the PC will make your life difficult. I tell every person who asks me what computer they should get, that the Mac has a lot of advantages, but hey, if you want a PC, go get it. Just don’t run back to me and tell me it crashes all the time, because I am not supporting it anymore. I have converted more people from Windows to mac since I left the Apple store out of one belief: the Mac is better for everyday use. And now you can even run Windows programs on it, too if you really must.

Article number 2 is good news: MS Office 2008 will comply withs Apple standards: the installer will come in a package format, so Administrators like me can install it faster and remotely without issues.

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Icons anyone?

September 3rd, 2007 No comments

Whether you are a designer or just a student creating a report or a geek collecting them, icons always come handy.

I came across iconbuffet, where you can get a new set every month if you sign up for free. You can also pay a monthly fee of about $6 to get some more; then you can send them or request them from others.

Some of their icons are really sophisticated, others are purely for fun, they are graded by either bronze, silver or gold downloads.

We have already downloaded Shanghai Smilies and they come in a lot of different file formats to suit your everyday needs.

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