Tweet What do you do if the power is out, but you need to charge your cell phone to make an emergency phone call? In this episode of DIY Hacks & How To’s, I show you how to tap the power flowing from your phone line. There is a small amount of electricity that is [...]
Archive for July, 2009
The outcry over the Google Voice ban on the App Store is still going strong, with hundreds of news stories, developer posts, and complaints putting the story in and out of Twitter’s top trends for nearly three days running. Much of the blame has been directed at AT&T, over beliefs that the carrier forced Apple’s hand in its decision to ban the applications. Now it looks like AT&T believes it’s been wrongly accused, and it’s beginning to take a stand for itself.
Last time we reached out to AT&T to comment on the story, the company gave TechCrunch writer MG Siegler a very blunt and brief statement:
‘Nope – Apple is the one who can talk about their App Store.’
But today, the company has begun sending out more detailed messages to some of the frustrated customers who have been voicing their complaints. The message below was written by Glenn Lurie, AT&T’s President of Emerging Devices and Resale.
Your letter concerning Apple’s decision on the Google Voice iPhone app was forwarded to me since I work closely with Apple.
While we’re very proud to offer the iPhone 3GS along with the thousands of apps available through the App Store, AT&T does not manage the App Store – and we are not involved in the approval process for apps in the App Store. I recommend in this particular case that you express your concerns to Apple.
I’m glad you’re enjoying your iPhone and hope that you continue to be an AT&T customer. We appreciate and value your business.
AT&T’s stance is no longer that it can’t talk about the App Store — it’s that it doesn’t manage the App Store, and that any concerns about this case should be directed at Apple. Of course, the note leaves plenty of wiggle room for AT&T. The company may not be necessarily ‘managing’ the approval process, but it could easily be the whispering in the ears of the people who do. And to say that AT&T isn’t involved at all seems highly unlikely as well — why would Apple cripple apps like Sling were it not over bandwidth concerns voiced by AT&T? Still, there must be some reason why AT&T is beginning to change its tune. AT&T would be foolish to paint a bulls-eye on Apple as it tries to extend its incredibly valuable exclusive iPhone contract, but it’s doing what it can to deflect a few of the blows coming from its frustrated customers.
We followed up on the letter above by getting in touch with AT&T, at which point an AT&T spokesman said that the company stood by what Lurie had written and that we should contact Apple for any further information. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling refused to comment on the matter. Our brief conversation, which consisted largely of ‘we haven’t made any comment on that’ responses, included this gem:
JK: Are you planning to comment?
SD: We haven’t made any comment on that.
So where does the blame truly lie? It’s unlikely we’ll ever get a straight answer. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has cited a reliable source in saying that it was ‘AT&T that objected to Google Voice apps for the iPhone. It’s that simple.’ And I myself suspect that the blame lies largely with AT&T. But others, like Om Malik, believe that Apple should be bearing the brunt of the blame.
But in the end, users don’t really care who is to blame, provided the issue gets resolved quickly. If that doesn’t happen, developers will continue to lose faith in the App Store’s walled garden approach. Apple will lose its glossy luster, and some will seek lusher platforms where they’re sure they can actually release the applications they’ve spent months building. The iPhone may be dominating this space now, but we’re really only about two years into this new era of smart phones — it’s a bit early for Apple to be embittering developers with such regularity.
These are just two of the gazillion new made-in-China cases for the new iPod touch and iPod nano. And as all of them show, both devices will have cameras. The iPod touch’s camera is at its center, on the top.
According to Leander, the Chinese factories are already sending samples to distributors. Head to the Cult of Mac to see every single one of these cases. It’s hard to believe than anyone would have spend so much money in making all these unless they already had the specs. [Cult of Mac]
If this is your first time with this word then let us explain that War Driving is not about hostilities (though it’s possible!). It is the activity of driving around in a vehicle equipped with wireless gear looking for unsecured wireless networks. Hackers do it to hack and access protected Wi-Fi networks but there are amateurs too who scan the RF environment just for the fun of it.
This how-to video breaks War Driving into six basic steps –
- Get a laptop (or notebook) with onboard Wi-Fi or use a USB Wi-Fi adapter that supports an external antenna.
- Connect the external antenna to a GPS receiver for mapping the locations.
- Install free Wi-Fi sniffers like NetStumbler (for Windows) or Kismet.
- Place the antenna on the roof of the car, make the connections and plug-in the PC to the power adapter.
- Get someone to drive you around.
- Fire up the software and start scanning for unprotected Wi-Fi signals while you drive around.
WarDriving can be a blast but be mindful of the ethics of tapping into someone else’s network.
Don’t forget to look into our previous posts on Wi-Fi hacks.
Hid.im is a new web-based service that allows users to hide .torrent files inside PNG images. This means that users can easily upload hidden torrent files to their favorite image hosting service and forums, or use it as an avatar on social networking sites without being censored.
(Via TorrentFreak )
When used with the upcoming Planet Waves® Rig Remote™ application for Apple® iPhone™ and iPod® touch, the MIDI Mobilizer™ gives guitarists the freedom to control Line 6 Variax® digital modeling guitar
Have you ever wanted a handy, always-there weather forecast, ready for viewing at the launch of an app (be that app on your iPhone or your Mac)? Thanks to Weather Underground, and Mac OS X Hints tipster allanBook, you can now easily add an automatically-updating weather forecast to iCal.
Load the Weather Underground site in your browser of choice, enter a city name or zip code in the Search box, then click Go. For instance, if you entered Savannah, Georgia, you’d get this page of weather info. Near the top right of the page you’ll see an “Add to My Favorites” link, along with icons labeled ICAL and RSS.
You can simply click on the ICAL link to add this particular weather forecast to iCal. However, if you do it this way, the calendar won’t automatically update as time goes by. Instead, Control-click on the ICAL icon and select Copy Link (if you’re using Safari; in Firefox, this is labeled Copy Link Location) from the pop-up menu.
Switch to iCal and select Calendar -> Subscribe, then press Command-V to paste the link you just copied and click Subscribe. A new dialog will appear onscreen, as seen at left. Edit the Name field—Savannah, perhaps—and a Description if you wish. Click the Auto-refresh button and set the pop-up menu to Every Week, then click OK. (Feel free to use a shorter interval if you think the forecast will change more often.)
Congratulations, you now have an auto-updating weather forecast for Savannah, Georgia (or whatever location you chose) in iCal. For more info on any day’s forecast, just double-click the entry. In the Info window, you’ll see a URL for the full forecast (for US locations, at least), along with a more-complete description of the selected day’s weather.
Every week, this calendar will update with the next weekly forecast. If you want the weather forecast to appear on your iPhone, you can (as of iPhone OS 3.0) do that, too. You can’t sync subscribed calendars via MobileMe, but you can do so in iTunes. Connect your iPhone, select it in the sidebar, and click on the Info tab. In the Calendars section, click on the newly-created subscription to sync the calendar to your iPhone.
While a one-line-view of the weather in iCal probably won’t completely meet your needs for weather info, it does give a nice “at a glance” view at the upcoming weather.