"It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility." - Chris Knight

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Hackers Enable Over-The-Air Firmware Updates For iPhone

January 29th, 2008 by iDunzo

Once again, hackers are a step ahead of Apple and AT&T.

Users of unlocked iPhones that are running firmware 1.1.1 or 1.1.2 can upgrade to 1.1.3 over the air directly through the installer.app.

Maybe hacker ingenuity is why one-quarter of all iPhone users are unlocking their devices.

This latest hack is for previously jailbroken iPhones or iPod Touches.

Since iPhones and iPods that are already jailbroken have the installer.app on them, they can take advantage of this hack to update to a jailbroken version of 1.1.3.

A warning, though, as not all third-party apps are supported in 1.1.3 yet. Some may be rendered non-functional. You can read a complete how-to here.

The one negative about this update is that it requires Wi-Fi, and even then takes up to 45 minutes.

Apple and AT&T don’t offer over-the-air updates for the Apple iPhone.

You have to plug the iPhone into your PC, download the application from the Internet, install it via USB cable and then re-verify your device every time you upgrade the firmware.

One reason over-the-air updates are not offered from AT&T is likely because it doesn’t want users downloading 100-Megabyte-plus firmware software over its EDGE network.

I don’t blame them for that.

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Plastic Hamburger Phones Ahoy

January 27th, 2008 by iDunzo

What you see before you is a telephone. It is not a cellphone. It is not a VoIP phone. It does not have Skype or DECT or some other marketing-friendly electrical engineering designation. It is not even cordless.

Hamburger Phone

What it is, however, is a plastic hamburger. Why the sudden proliferation of cheap hamburgerphones? A movie, of course.

Source: Film Junk

tag Posted in Food + Technology + Toys & Gadgets | comment 1 Comment »

Smash Bros. Features Trial Versions Of Console Games

January 25th, 2008 by iDunzo

Will the Smash Bros. feature list ever stop growing? The latest in the saga of Nintendo’s oft-delayed all-star fighting game: Trial versions of classic Nintendo titles will be included in Brawl.

Specifically, Super Smash Bros. Brawl will contain, at least, time-limited demo versions of:

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Ice Climbers
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Star Fox 64
  • Kid Icarus
  • Super Metroid
  • Kirby’s Adventure

If you want the full versions of these games, they’ll be available as always on the Wii Shop channel.

The Japanese site lists Earthbound and one of the Super NES versions of Fire Emblem, as well.

The former is likely to show up in the U.S. game, the latter not so much, as it was never translated into English.

Source: Smash Bros. DOJO

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Trusted Web Site? Not So Fast

January 24th, 2008 by iDunzo

It’s not been a great year for Web security, so far. First we learn that Hackersafe isn’t so hacker safe, after all. Then we find out that hackers have found a way to automatically redirect most home routers to wherever they wish. And now it seems that so-called legitimate Web sites may not be so “legitimate” (or at least safe) after all.

It’s apparently so easy to infect existing Web sites that there’s decreasing need for criminals to set up shill sites. At least that’s the takeaway from a recent report published by security vendor Websense, which attempts to examine security trends for the second half of last year.

In fact, 51% of Web sites infected with malicious code are actually legitimate, but compromised, Web sites. This is actually a stark increase from the 30% or so of infected legitimate sites the company reported for the first half of 2007.

So this means that miscreants — because the Web site security and development practices of conventional businesses are negligent — don’t even have to go through the trouble of developing and hosting a Web site, or even the bother of deluging everyone with spam designed to lure folks to a Web site trap.

No, all they have to do is find a trusted site that’s already vulnerable and that, unfortunately, seems all too easy.

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36,000 T-Mobile Phones Pull A Houdini

January 23rd, 2008 by iDunzo

Over the weekend some less-than-legal entrepreneurs raided a warehouse where T-Mobile stores some of its mobile phones.

According to T-Mobile, the bandits made off with about $8.2 million worth of Sidekick messaging devices. T-Mobile is pursuing the thieves aggressively.

T-Mobile issued an internal memo to let employees in its sales channels know about the theft. This is what it says:

Wanted to let you all know that one of our warehouses was broken into over the weekend and some 36,000 phones were stolen (worth about 8.2 Million). The most significant phones stolen were the Sidekick phones. Please make sure you inform the dealers who like to purchase gray market handsets that we are aggressively working with law enforcement to prosecute anyone who has these handsets. We do know the IMEI’s of the stolen phones and once they end up on our network we will go to the dealer code that activated the phone. So if your dealers get a call about Sidekicks and the deal is too good to be true you will know why.

The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is essentially a code that is unique to each and every GSM-based handset.

As with other serial numbers, it is printed inside the phone, usually under the battery. It is used by the GSM network to identify valid devices.

Since T-Mobile has the IMEI’s of the stolen devices in hand, it can use the numbers to find out if the stolen phones are activated on its network.

Once they are, it can use the IMEI to ban the phones from accessing the network, making them paperweights.

Even if someone purchases the stolen handsets from an authorized dealer, they can be out of luck if the dealer sells gray market or stolen phones.

The Sidekick devices are popular phones, so it’s no surprise that they were targeted in the raid. Hopefully T-Mobile will be able to recover its stolen property and prosecute the criminals.

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Spam Filters Suck

January 22nd, 2008 by iDunzo

As any grizzled football coach will tell you, good defense beats a good offense but that wisdom doesn’t apply to the realm of spam, where porn peddlers and Nigerian hucksters regularly outwit the latest filtering software.

The most obvious problem is that it’s simply not possible to update filtering software frequently enough to catch all of the spammers’ assorted innovations.

Techniques like disguising unsolicited messages by replacing the “i” in Viagra with a “1” or using images in lieu of text, for example drive me crazy.

At the same time, an overly aggressive approach can be disastrous, trapping legitimate email as false positives which also sucks.

One possible route to improvement: Instead of focusing on suspicious content, consider the trustworthiness of the sources.

Oscar Boykin, a computer engineering professor at the University of Florida, suggests that filters would work better with more widespread use of authentication systems, which make it harder for spammers to forge source addresses.

Emerging standards like Sender ID and DomainKeys, for instance, verify that a message’s sender and domain are legit.

Improved computer security would also help, since many illicit messages are sent from computers infected with malware. Here’s some additional food for thought on the issue of spam.

There’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;

So what do you think? Could we do the egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam then?

Urgghh! What do you mean ‘Urgghh’? I don’t like spam!

tag Posted in Food + Technology + Web | comment 2 Comments »