Tuesday, July 28, 2009

iPhone SMS Hijack To Come Thursday

Here's a quote from a Forbes article about an iPhone SMS hijacking hack coming sometime after Thursday afternoon:

"If you receive a text message on your iPhone any time after Thursday afternoon containing only a single square character, Charlie Miller would suggest you turn the device off. Quickly.

That small cipher will likely be your only warning that someone has taken advantage of a bug that Miller and his fellow cybersecurity researcher Collin Mulliner plan to publicize Thursday at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas."

Evidently, the hack allows the hacker to control all aspects of your iPhone. Not good.

This group finds flaws in cell phone operating systems and tells the company about it. Since Apple has not released a patch, the group says it is releasing the SMS hack. Although it doesn't seem that anything malicious is expected to happen, you don't want to leave yourself in a vulnerable position.

Spread the word.
UPDATE: Apple released iPhone OS 3.0.1 on 7/31/2009 which fixes the security flaw. Thank goodness I never received the hacking SMS.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Free iPhone Apps Of The Week

Tunewiki [iTunes link] - This is a great app that shows you the song lyrics for the songs on your iPhone. As you play the song, each lyric line moves up as it is being sung. Good for those impromptu karaoke sessions. One of the best parts of the app is seeing which songs are being played where you live. That's really cool.

Whiteboard Free [iTunes link] - Another interesting use of the Bluetooth peer-to-peer function. You connect with another iPhone/iPod Touch and both devices will be able to draw on the same whiteboard. The $.99 version gives you different color markers.

Snore Patrol [iTunes link] - For those women whose husbands snore loudly but flatly deny that they do. This free app records your husband's snoring for later playback. You have to be awake to record - it does not record automatically. There's a really funny audio meter with a woman's face that changes as the snoring gets louder.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Champions Online: Gunning For Closed Beta

Now, the iPhone is not my only tech interest. I wouldn't say I'm a "gamer" but I certainly have played my fair share of games. And, although I have less time now to play, I sneak a few hours here and there.

The next game I'm getting is "Champions Online." I'm a "City Of Heroes," "City Of Villains," "Star Wars Galaxies," and "World Of Warcraft" veteran. I actually maxed out in CoV and WoW.

One of the best things I liked about CoH/CoV, and to some degree WoW, is creating your own character. I'm jazzed that Champions Online will give you a wide range of power possibilities. I'm pretty sure there will not be too many similar characters, power-wise or looks-wise.

I just signed up for a closed beta key that I should be getting sometime betweeen Aug. 1 through the 5th. That's PERFECT because that's the week I took off for vacation.

In the meantime, I'm getting my fill of The Sims 3. I might blog about that sometime. Right now, the 3rd generation of my family are teenagers and my original character is back as a ghost that I can control!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Champions Online in August.

UPDATE: I got an e-mail confirmation saying I'm getting my beta code on August 4th! I'm glad I took my vacation that week!

A fierce warrior up for any challenge, you will never back down from a fight. You are an honorable combatant, but that does not mean you are above deriving pleasure from the defeat of your adversaries.

Take the quiz!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mid-July Wrap Of Free iPhone Apps

Signals [iTunes link] - This lets you mark your iPhone signal strength at a certain place on the map. Certainly helpful for people who want to know if they're going into a dead spot or not. Obviously, the success of this app depends on how many people actually log their signal strength. I'll do my best to post my signal strength whereever I am. It's free for a limited time.

MobileNavigator North America LITE [iTunes link] - This is possibly the first lite version of a voice-navigated turn-by-turn app. It's a huge download at 1.3 gigabytes. I actually had more than that amount of memory free on my iPhone but the App
Store kept saying it didn't have enough space. So, I deleted "The Matrix" off my phone. The maps are within the app itself (unlike other apps which get their maps through an internet connection) so that's why the size of the app is huge. Those who have a 32GB iPhone will definitely benefit from the extra space. Now, this app doesn't ACTUALLY work. It's only a demonstration. You can type in an address and it will simulate how it will guide you from the last location it left off from. You can choose a 3D or 2D map. You also have the option to show street names and there's a night mode so it's easier to see the screen at night. From what I can tell, it's a good app but I won't definitely know until I can try the real app. It's not out yet but its European counterpart is selling for $139.99. And that's cheap compared with actually getting a real GPS system.

Free Football Quarterback Throw [iTunes link] - This the latest in a long line of apps which I think will get someone's iPhone damaged. Now, you have to treat your iPhone like a football. Wait for the hike, or you get penalized, and then make a throwing motion, as if you're throwing a football. It will tell you if you scored a touchdown. Now, there seems to be a bug with the penalty. You hear the penalty but the screen says otherwise. Other than that, it's way too easy to score a touchdown. And I bet someday someone will actually THROW their iPhone.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

One Year With The iPhone... And Counting

Today marks the one-year anniversary since I got my iPhone 3G. What a day that was! I went to 3 different AT&T stores in Kalihi, Kapolei and Mililani before finally getting it at the Kahala Mall Apple Store. My trek started at 9:00 a.m. and ended at 3:30 p.m. For all of the trouble I went through, it was all worth it. I can't even begin to say how the iPhone has changed what I do and how I do things.

I definitely exercise more. Check out the MapMyFitness.com workout stats on the left-hand side of the screen. You have to go a little down to see it. I've been tracking most of my street hiking over the past year, thanks to the iPhone's GPS. I've burned more than 18,000 calories during those walks! I plan to go again today. My iPump Total Body app now uploads my weight training to MapMyFitness as well. So, I'm excited to get that started too.

I have 777 photos on my iPhone. The vast majority of those are photos I took with the iPhone. From Day 1, I've been uploading to Flickr. Since then, I've familiarized myself with Facebook, Twitter, Brightkite and Mobypicture. I can make beautiful panoramas with the Pano app. I think I've really taken the iPhone 3G camera to the limits of what it can do with no autofocus, flash, or zoom. Check out 200 of my iPhone photos on Flickr.

Since I haven't been paying out more than $100 a month on my AT&T Family Plan, I'm not eligible for the new iPhone 3G S at the moment. The next time I'm available for an upgrade is next March. By then, I'll wait for the next iPhone announcement probably coming in June. So, I should have another year with my beloved 3G.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Smartphones On The Horizon

It seems like many people feel that the only smartphone that can compete with the iPhone right now is the Palm Pre. Now, I haven't tried out the Pre (Best Buy in Hawaii doesn't sell any Sprint phones) so I'll just take it at face value that it's good and that multitasking is worth any other downside for the device. I'll also give the T-Mobile G1 an honorable mention; it's a Google Android phone and I bought into the Android hype way before it came out.

Next month, the T-Mobile myTouch 3G is coming out. I'm not so sure this is an upgrade from the G1. Check out this video from Engadget:

Is it just me, or is the myTouch 3G small or are the hands in the video really large? I know they compare it in length with the iPhone and the myTouch is shorter. But, I also think the screen width is thinner too, which makes for a more cramped portrait keyboard than the iPhone. If you like small smartphones, however, this might be one for you.

Also, saw the videos on the HTC Hero and I really wasn't all that impressed. It looks like mobile Flash isn't quite there yet.

Now it seems that Sony Ericsson will have a contender in the ranks.

Video of a new smartphone, codenamed "Rachael," has surfaced on YouTube:

To me, it looks really good. Reminds me of the HTC Fuze interface. I hope this type of interface becomes commonplace on cell phones. I really hate cell phone software that FEELS like you're on a cell phone. Hopefully, Sony Ericsson won't skimp on the device's hardware. I bet we won't see this one until next year.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jamble: The Monster MASH!

Jamble Music Mashups [iTunes link] is a fun music iPhone app that lets you be a DJ and mix and mash snippets of popular songs. Being a musician and into this type of mixing, I had to get it. At $5.99 it's not the cheapest app, but it might be one of the more impressive iPhone apps in a while. Definitely impressed a few people at work. The app works exactly as this video shows (minus the smiley face on your finger):

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mobi iNet: All-In-One Mobile Surfing

I found this cool little iPhone app called Mobi iNet [iTunes link]. It allows you browse a multitude of mobile websites all in one app.

If you have a lot of bookmarks in Safari or have a lot of web app bookmarks on your home screen, this will help to make everything a little easier to get to.

There are many websites that still do not have a native application. Although I do prefer a native app, going to their mobile site is better than nothing. And this app helps to organize them.

It's FREE for a limited time so get it while it's a freebie.