Monday, July 29, 2013

Apple Dev Sites Down

Both the Apple Developer Forums (Fora?), which is used by developers to chat and support each other, and the Developer Center (a web portal used by developers to download developer content from Apple, manage security certificates and device provisioning profiles, and more) have been down since Thursday July 19.  Many have speculated that this has delayed the delivery of iOS 7 Beta 4 build because Beta 1, 2, and 3 were 2 weeks apart each, although Apple never promised any schedule for Beta builds.

It came out that security researcher Ibrahim Balic has claimed responsibility, who says he has made Apple aware of the security holes in an attempt to help them improve security on their site.

Meanwhile, my take on it is that Apple must have a huge team of software engineers working around the clock to fix the security holes, and testing to ensure the sites work, because they are still down 5 days after the hack.  The fact that within a couple hours of getting their bug report filed by Balic, they shut down the web sites means they take the privacy and security concerns very seriously.  They know that hundreds of millions of people globally depend on their devices for many important things, and I know that they know there is also huge liability.  So I bet this was a quick executive decision to shut down the web sites, and not turn them back on until the issues have been corrected.  I can understand, but I don't have to like!

Finally, iOS 7 Beta 4 is out!  I can only imagine the kind of hell the Apple team has gone through in the past 2 weeks, but thank you for great products, great support, and your commitment to keeping the integrity and security of your systems.

Monday, July 22, 2013

iPad For Beginners???

The other day I was walking through Costco and noticed a stand of tech books, one of which was iPad For Beginners. That started me thinking, who the heck would buy such a book?  Really?

My son was 2 when he started using the iPad, and he had no issues. Heck, my mom is an early adopter but always feels she is missing how to really operate new gadgets, and even she has no trouble using an iPad. 

You can always drop by an Apple store any time for free classes, or if there aren't any going on there will most assuredly be a blue shirted employee or floating shopper who will show you some ins and outs.

So to spend money on a book that teaches you how to use an iPad is about as enlightening as listening to the flight attendant show you how to fasten your seatbelt. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Using Rollover Minutes?

Let's get the ball rolling on this - hit Like, or retweet, if you think this is a good idea.

This picture is reminiscent of my first cell phone, circa 1987.  I was selling computers, and Cellular One was a big customer of our store (ComputerLand).  Back then, as a C1 vendor, we got a *great* deal - $7.95 a month for cellular plan, plus $0.65/minute local calls, plus long distance, plus roaming.  Some calls were $1.50 a minute - $15 for a 10 minute call.  Pretty steep for a guy making about $15,000 a year.  However, when I went off the freeway in the winter on I-96 in between Lansing and Farmington Hills, and a tow truck was there in 30 minutes, I vowed never to go without a cell phone again.  26 years later I have not broken that vow.

However, I frequently had $150 a month (or more) bills - just for my phone.  Now, $135 covers my iPhone (unlimited texting and data), much more sophisticated.  However, I have a new problem.

Our family plan has 1,400 minutes a month among 4 phones (under $250 for 4 phones all said and done), and any unused minutes roll over, expiring after 12 months.  That was great at first - many years ago, I actually dipped into my rollover minutes one month.  Once.  However now, mobile to mobile calling is free in US and Canada, and our A-List 10 numbers don't count, neither do evenings and weekends.  So basically calls during the day to non-A list and non-mobile (heck, everyone is mobile nowadays).  So I have been trying for a couple of months now to diligently use my cell phone for work calls, and use up those minutes.  Cause, you know, everyone texts, e-mails, or IM's nowadays instead of calling, so the rest of the family doesn't use very many minutes.

I am now 2/3 through this month's billing cycle, with less than 50% minutes consumed using my cell for conference calls, customer calls, and more.  It is really hard to dip into those minutes.

Great, except what I would really like to do is donate those minutes, like you can airline miles, to charity.  It would be great if I could go on AT&T's web site, and donate say 10,000 rollover minutes to Make A Wish Foundation, and AT&T would convert it to a cash value.  I don't even care if I can't write it off, just would like that to be able to do some good.

Does anyone know anyone at AT&T who might be in a position to make that happen?

Monday, July 8, 2013

All programmers are kids...

From a forum, got this memorable Geek quote:

All programers are kids :P we never grew up out of our sandbox.

-- Michael Wagner, Oro Valley, AZ