Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I like iPhone independence from Cellular companies

Apple's iPhone was the first phone I'm aware of to completely disallow pre-installed cellular-company software.  You can choose to download the AT&T app, for example, but AT&T gets no software on an iPhone out of the box.

The recent CarrierIQ scandal highlights the benefits of this separation.  I cannot stress enough how much a keystroke logger built into the OS for carriers is very bad news.

I expect that carriers are not leaders in developing and maintaining software that helps create the best experience for users.  It is not their expertise.

I'm flabbergasted at this CarrierIQ news and I am glad to be using an iPhone!

UPDATE: Apple has a very limited form of CarrierIQ installed.  You can turn it off under Settings, General, About, Diagnostics & Usage, Don't Send.  You can also see what data is gathred under Diagnostics & Usage.

Apple has promised to not use any form of CarrierIQ in the future in any case.


I have seen reports that Carriers (or is it the OEMs?) are not following Google's recommendations regarding settings related to security.  It is at an NCSU website

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A couple months into using a Macbook Air and I love it

I switched to a macbook air a couple months ago.  I had some minor concerns:

  • Don't I need that DVD drive with me all the time?
  • I've been having a hard time with my machine being slow at times.  Won't that macbook air be slow too?

With the SSD storage in the macbook air, I have had no problems with performance.  In fact, performance has been simply great!  I'm especially happy with the performance of running my virtual desktops in my macbook air.  

I think there will be ultra power users who might really want the additional RAM and cores of a macbook pro, but I firmly believe that few really need that.  Few.

I have missed the DVD player at times, but when I need it, I can have it.  And the rest of the time, I don't have to carry it everywhere.  And that is a good thing.

I'm quite happy.  I'm not so easy to please.

I've got an encrypted hard drive, I have run simultaneous backups to time machine and a network-service-based backup, a virus scanner, and more, and have been able to work without hiccup.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why I like the Thunderbolt monitor for modern Apple laptops

#1 I don't have to buy a dual-link DVI video cable - saves about $100.
#2 I don't have to buy a second power supply to carry around.  My monitor is my power supply at my desk - saves $80.
#3 In the past it has been cheaper than other 27-30" monitors - saves $50.
$230 in savings is nothing to sneeze at…

#4 has a camera and speakers.  This does not save me money but is convenient.  It might save someone else money over buying a camera.  It's HD to boot.
#5 it lets me pass through the thunderbolt capability and add thunderbolt accessories if they ever become available
#6 1Gb ethernet port for my macbook air
#7 power savings - even being the power brick for my laptop it seems to give off no heat.  I t uses much less power than other LCD screens I've used in the past.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

iPhone brief updates

  1. I've been having some problems since upgrading my iPhone 4 to IOS5.  Apps hang.  Apps crash.  Frankly I'm surprised at how little this is interfering with my usage.  But it is real, and two co-workers have said they have had similar experiences.
  2. Garageband released for iPhone!  I'l post more about it after I use it, but this is pretty exciting to me.
  3. Lots of reports about iPhone 4S problems, mostly about power draining quickly, are out there.  There is talk of rebooting your phone to help.  There is talk of other cellular settings restartings... Comment if you have the real answer
  4. I have been having reminder sync problems.  My reminders kept vanishing!  That made them very not useful.  They were set to sync both with iCloud and with Zimbra (via an exchange connector) as well.  It seems Zimbra sucked them in and wiped them from my phone!  Now I'm set to just sync reminders just with iCloud and all is will with my reminders now!  
  5. I've been reading the Steve Jobs biography via ibooks on my iPhone!  If only I could also read the ibook on my macbook air...
  6. I'm loving the out-of-the-way alerts in IOS5!
  7. I'm loving the easy-access camera in IOS5!