links for 2010-07-31

  • "Verizon and AT&T are rushing to get it integrated with their existing networks, but the new network is LightSquared will function as “a disruptive force” … “by democratizing wireless broadband services,” the firm’s new Chair and CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said on Tuesday. It is targeted to Best Buy, Walmart and kin and opens the door for TracPhone-like prepaid services an sell interchangeable LTE mobile phones/computers that you can “top up” with any of the branded vendors renting spectrum from LightSquared.

    "In addition to pressure on Verizon and AT&T, both cable and satellite TV systems could become collateral damage. LTE has the capacity to deliver both fast Internet and full HD video to computer, mobile or set-top device — almost anywhere in the country."

  • "LightSquared will offer broadband coverage on a wholesale basis to a range of businesses and entities, including device makers, wireless and wireline network operators, retailers, content providers and more. LightSquared claims to own a national footprint of 59MHz of spectrum in an "advantageous frequency position." LightSquared didn't specify what bands it owns. The company says its network will cover 92% of Americans by the year 2015 and create 100,000 jobs along the way."
  • "Android, despite being open source, still did not give a user complete control over the device. This laid basis for many potential abilities remaining dormant, and subsequently Android devices began to get ‘rooted’. Now this begets the question, why root? With so many Android-based handsets out there now, this question has become even more important.

    "Rooting essentially means gaining root-level access to your device. Those who have used Linux OS will easily understand, but for users like me who have been loyal to Microsoft’s operating system all their lives, this means that by rooting your device you get complete control over what should remain in the device and what not. Rooting means you are the master and in control, not to mention the fun of it.

    "Hence, here’s a list of my top 10 reasons (in no particular order) that I consider worthy of rooting your device for…"

  • Privacy apps for Android phone calls and text messages. Imaging what the could have done with this on "The Wire"
  • "To create anonymous access to Google, Marlinspike created an add-on for the Firefox web browser with a custom proxy server, which redirects you when you are using a Google application. If Marlinspike’s software detects a request for a Google service that does not require a login, it sends the request to the Google Sharing proxy server. That server anonymizes your identity and assigns a cookie to you that will work with the Google service. The link from you to the proxy server is encrypted using SSL technology. You can then use the Google service without being tracked"
  • "It is always amazing how few BlackBerry users have heard of App World, given the usability of App World that my not be a bad thing. Regardless RIM has moved on the 2.0 of App World and it is now available in beta. App World 2.0 has many enhancements including payment options carrier billing and credit card in addition to PayPal. One annoying limitation of App World is the lack of top apps (free or paid) by category, which is something available on competing app stores. Another great option Android users are enjoying are QR barcodes so you don’t have to search you can scan a barcode and off to the app page."
  • "If you have a Droid X and you are interested in rooting your device, check this out. It will allow you to install programs to collect screenshots, among other things, and to remove programs from your device that were installed by the vendor or the carrier, that you don’t want to use. Please keep in mind that you still CANNOT load alternate ROM’s on the Droid X. While the device has been rooted, the ‘bootloader’ is still locked with eFuse and so that is not yet possible. Also, please note that this program is Windows only and requires dotNet Framework 3.5 (already loaded on Windows 7)."
  • Not sure whether these patents are just for iPhone apps or more general — but either way, this kinda stuff will probably alienate the developer community
  • "He speculates this difference is because Android users tend to be more hard-core data users, whereas the iPhone may be used more by casual users who like the phone because it's cool.
    "The iPhone makes much more of a lifestyle and social statement than an Android phone makes," Finegold said. "People interested in an Android are looking for horsepower."

links for 2010-07-30

  • apparently I'm not the only iPhone 3G owner who found the phone unusable after the IOS4 upgrade. this strategy might work if I was still on ATT, but I've ditched the iPhone & ATT in favor of s Verizon Droid Incredible.

    so I'm still looking for a way to revert my old iPhone to OS3, so I could sell or give it away with a clean conscience.

  • "Are we fooling ourselves in thinking $139 is cheap? Maybe not. It's widely held in consumer electronics circles that $100 is the holy grail of all price points, that "magic" spot, as Wired's Gadget Lab put it, where people start to make purchases out of impulse rather than careful calculation.

    "E-readers are inching toward that point. Forrester analyst James McQuivey writes on his blog that some e-readers may hit the $99 mark by the holiday season this year. In five years, he says, only the very-high-end models will cost that much, with lower-end e-book readers going on shelves for just $49. (By comparison, Apple's iPad, which some use as an e-reader, currently starts at $499.)"

  • More zombie cookies!!! Nomnomnomnom
  • "A legal challenge has been launched in the US against a number of websites amid claims that they were engaged in "covert surveillance" of users.

    "The lawsuit alleges that a number of firms, including Hulu, MTV, and Myspace, used a Quantcast Flash application to restore deleted cookies.

    "The lawsuit says that the application was creating so-called "zombie cookies" from deleted files."

links for 2010-07-29

  • "The ways of reaching an audience are now limitless. And there is a premium for “sticky” experiences that engage consumers, over the old-fashioned billboards and banner ads which consumers are more likely to overlook. And building these experiences can be risky, and costly.

    "Still, companies are taking the gamble, buying up companies with no clear revenue model, and investing in experimental outreach strategies for which “success” has only a few solid metrics.

    "To navigate the muddy waters of digital outreach you need a guide. Sarah Szalavitz is one of the more informed and experienced folks in the social media world. Founder and CEO of 7-Robot"

  • why the hierarchy crap? "At a press conference on Monday, Assange said that, along with The Guardian, “we had Der Spiegel and New York Times and us in a collaborative basement, if you like, working on this material.” The WikiLeaks website speaks of the three outlets as its “media partners.”
    “I’ve seen Julian Assange in the last couple of days kind of flouncing around talking about this collaboration like the four of us were working all this together,” says Schmitt. ”But we were not in any kind of partnership or collaboration with him. This was a source relationship. He’s making it sound like this was some sort of journalistic enterprise between WikiLeaks, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel, and that’s not what it was.”"
  • "Early users of the service are offering long, thoughtful answers. That will change in time, but answers that aren't helpful will not be voted up. Will obnoxious partisan answers be voted to the top in a tyranny of the majority? Even if such an answer were to be at the top, the next one below it would likely be more informative, empathetic and useful. Facebook engineer Beau Hartshorne has also said on the site that users will be demoted if they ask questions that are really assertions. There will be individual Questions that get nothing but terrible answers – but in aggregate, due to the scale of the humanity doing the voting, I think the Questions experience will be on balance strong."
  • "There's something about their language, their methods, and their networks that resonate in this world, and I think that's a big part of their appeal to people who might be thinking about disclosing data. There's a certain technical language of encryption and surveillance that Wikileaks speakers have used when talking about journalism that I haven't heard inside many traditional media organizations. There's this notion of being "shadowy," being "everywhere," and being there "all at once" that I've noticed coming out of Wikileaks as well. I haven't seen Wikileaks invited to many future of journalism conferences — but they were the keynote speakers at last week's Hackers on Planet Earth conference in New York City."
  • Excellent exploration of the past and future evolution of a blog network.

    "The next big step is to translate those papers and discussions into something that can be understood by people outside of the narrow discipline – the lay audience. That lay audience is also stratified. A scientist in one field is lay audience for another field, but is highly educated and tends to think like a scientist. Then there are generally well educated people who are interested in science. And then there are people who don’t even know if they would be interested in science. Thus, there need to be several different levels of presenting science to the lay audience. And there need to be both “pull” (for interested audience) and “push” (for not yet interested audience) strategies for disseminating scientific information."

  • How to tether your laptop w/ your droid incredible (if you pay for the service)

links for 2010-07-28

links for 2010-07-27

  • "The U.S. Copyright Office, a division of the Library of Congress, has authorized several new exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), one of which will allow mobile phone users to "jailbreak" — or hack into — their devices to use apps not authorized by the phone's manufacturer. The new rules will be published on Tuesday in the Federal Register.

    "Jailbreaking iPhones in order to download apps that are unavailable in Apple's App Store had been a legal gray area: Apple technically had the right to request a $2,500 government fine for damages every time a user violated the law that bans "circumvention of technological measures" controlling access to copyrighted works — in this case, the iPhone's iOS software."

  • "the signal strength bars are almost meaningless and should not be relied on.

    Incidentally, this also explains what’s going on when you have a strong signal, attempt to make a call, and can’t connect. The bars only indicate how well your phone can listen to the cell tower. They don’t tell you anything about how well the tower can receive your phone, but that’s a pretty important part of making a call. Similarly, the phone doesn’t know anything about what’s going on in the cell provider’s network past the tower; if you’re on a really busy cell it might not have any spare outgoing circuits to direct your call to, so even if the radio is working fine, you might still not be able to get through. If you’re on AT&T it’s probably all of the above at the same time of course."

  • "Another evolving area of computing concerns programs running on mobile devices linked in "ad hoc" wireless networks. AmbientTalk, an experimental language presented by Tom Van Cutsem from Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, explores a new paradigm called "ambient-oriented programming," which departs from traditional distributed computing in two main ways. First, it does not rely on central infrastructure. Second, it assumes that network connections are volatile and unpredictable (as is usually the case with mobile devices passing in and out of range with each other). According to Van Cutsem, "AmbientTalk is smart enough to buffer messages so that when the connection drops, they're not lost, and when the connection is restored, it sends the messages through as if nothing happened."

links for 2010-07-26

links for 2010-07-24

links for 2010-07-22

  • I'm working my way through this. It's a good android for newbies who have a Droid Incredible. Rambles a bit, but a useful starting point.
  • "Goodbye iPhone, because Android, the new kid on the block, can completely sync with Mac also. Android can sync with Mac's iCal, Adress Book, and even iTunes. So you can get all your pictures, songs, album art, calendar dates, address book, podcasts, and more.

    "This makes the need for MobileME obsolete. Because now, whatever you add to your iCal can automatically be synced with your Android cell phone, and vice versa. This also means that contacts can be changed either on Android or Mac and the other will automatically be synced. Pretty cool huh? Let's get started!"

links for 2010-07-19

  • I remember friends who are HAMs telling me about this…

    "In the shadowy corners of the shortwave radio spectrum, you can often find mysterious mechanical voices counting off endless strings of numbers — in English, Czech, Russian and German … even Morse code. But who's listening?

    "The voices are coming from what are known as "numbers stations," and they've long been thought to be part of international espionage operations. In fact, the Russian spies recently captured here in the U.S. may have been getting orders from Moscow via a shortwave numbers station."