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

Archive for the ‘Wireless’ 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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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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Lotus Notes Coming To Apple iPhone

January 17th, 2008 by iDunzo

Enterprise users of IBM’s email program may have reason to cheer as early as next week.

According to the Associated Press, IBM will be releasing a version of Lotus Notes email for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Hooah! Can Apple take down RIM?

If you’re a mobile professional who’s held off on purchasing an iPhone because it won’t work with your corporate email system, there may be one less reason for you to keep holding out.

The AP is reporting that IBM is set to make Lotus Notes available to the iPhone at its Lotusphere conference in Orlando next week. Of course, some terms and conditions apply.

First, your enterprise has to have a Lotus Domino server to support the application.

Existing users of Lotus Notes Web-access system will be able to use the iPhone version for free with their current license. New users will have to pay $39 per year for the Lotus license. Not a bad deal at all.

IBM is also releasing its Symphony productivity suite for Apple computers. Symphony, similar to Google Apps, includes a word processor, presentation application and spreadsheet program.

If you think these new Apple-compatible applications are indicative of a new love-fest between Big Blue and the big Mac, you might want to remember that Apple used IBM’s PowerPC chips in its computers for a long time.

It appears that Apple’s move to Intel processors didn’t sour the relationship between the two. IBM spokesperson Mike Azzi said the two companies “have a lot in common. We’re going to cross-pollinate.”

I can only imagine that this is going to make a lot of enterprise users very happy, and create more headaches for IT admins as employees drag the iPhone in and demand it be supported for email.

However, this new set of software will likely not put a dent in RIM’s enterprise dominance any time in the near future.

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Macworld: The Stevenote By the Numbers

January 15th, 2008 by iDunzo

This morning’s Stevenote highlighted some impressive numbers for Apple. Here’s Steve Jobs’ keynote condensed down to the cold, hard figures.

Macworld Keynote facts:

  • Number of new hardware products announced: Two. The Time Capsule network backup device and the ultra-thin MacBook Air.
  • Number of product upgrades announced: Four. Apple TV, iPod Touch, iPhone, iTunes.
  • Number of failed product demos: One. Apple TV couldn’t load photos from Flickr’s servers.
  • Number of price drops: One. The AppleTV dropped from $300 to $230.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Custom Ringtone Voids iPhone Warranty?

January 10th, 2008 by iDunzo

Here’s one to scare all you iPhone fetishists: You don’t have to unlock, jailbreak or install unauthorized third-party software on your Magnifabrick to invalidate the warranty.

Doug Rodriquez was able to do so merely by setting up a custom ringtone using a well-documented iTunes workaround.

Rodriquez started getting SIM card error messages sometime thereafter and went looking for some customer support.

Apple basically told him to piss up a rope because they had “determined that (the iPhone) has been subjected to accidental damage or misuse, which is not covered by the warranty or an Apple service contract.”

According to Doug Rodriguez:

I’ve never dropped my iPhone, I’ve never exposed it to water. I’ve never put third-party apps on it or hacked it. It just stopped working and Apple apparently does not believe me…The only thing I’ve ever done is back in September putting one custom ringtone on my iPhone via the “manual transfer” method. Nothing Else.

No word yet on what kind of warranty love using the Apple-sanctioned GarageBand method for installing custom ringtones will get you.

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More BlackBerry 9000 Details Leaked

December 20th, 2007 by iDunzo

The Boy Genius Report has the scoop on the much-anticipated BlackBerry 9000 smartphone, yet again. Let’s take a look at what this touch-screen smartphone promises.

Last month BGR leaked details about the 9000-series, but now it seems they’ve got more solid information:

The BlackBerry 9000 device (not series) has been confirmed with screen size of 480 x 320, although the physical dimensions are unknown at this time. Think of this device as the elder sibling to the BlackBerry 8320. Like it’s small screen counterpart, it will operate with a quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE radio (850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz) and will feature 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi capabilities. This will be a full QWERTY device, as well.

The BlackBerry 9000 will feature the same general OS platform, although it will launch with version 4.3.2. Coincidentally, OS 4.3.2 will potentially be in the future roadmaps for all 8000 series devices, sans the 8700 family (although that may change).

It looks like the 9000 will, however, feature a QWERTY keyboard, even though it will also be touch-screen device. Unfortunately, the 9000 will not include HSDPA, which is a big disappointment:

To recap, Research In Motion will soon launch the BlackBerry 9000 handheld, which will feature a larger screen, a new OS update, most likely a new full QWERTY keyboard layout (which may or may not be a touch screen keyboard), but without HSDPA or UMTS capabilities.

The BlackBerry 9000 doesn’t look as impressive now as it did a few weeks ago, but this looks like a more realistic device.

I have to ask, just how revolutionary will this phone be without HSDPA? How long must we wait for a truly revolutionary touch-screen 3G smartphone? What do you think?

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