Did Virgin Mobile USA cut an anti-Android deal with Apple?

All right, so the big news is, Virgin Mobile USA will soon carry the Apple iPhone 4S. Which is to say, my pre-paid, Sprint-owned cellular telephone carrier may have cut a deal with Apple to make all their Android devices suddenly look unattractive. Why do I think that? Oh, no reason, just the plan prices. As my long-time Web contact Zoli Erdos asked of Virgin Mobile’s Twitter customer service account, and got an interesting (but not entirely clear) answer: Wait, “Auto top-up” just means letting them charge for monthly service automatically. I let them do that for my Motorola Triumph.…

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“No Evil”: My NET10 Wireless Experiences

Update (2012-02-26): Apparently NET10 now sells SIMs for use with AT&T, T-Mobile, and unlocked GSM phones, if you’re willing to pay for the $50/month Unlimited Talk/Text/Data plan. Thanks to Anna for her comment. Last summer I began using a prepaid cell phone (an LG 300G, the cheapest, most basic model available at my purchase location) from NET10 Wireless, supposedly the “high-usage division” of TracFone. NET10’s rates are flat: 10¢ per minute (even if it’s actually one second, like any other per-minute charge) and 5¢ per text message in or out. The phone’s been very handy for some important calls and…

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iPad? Of course I want one, but…

Image by toykyo via Flickr Technological progress can suck sometimes. I have wanted an iPod Touch for about a year and a half, to have the ability to play music and games while on the go as well as gain access to email, tasks, calendar, contacts, etc. while away from a computer (but near an open Wi-Fi network). I almost bought one last year, then I got wind of the upcoming third-generation models: more storage, etc. etc. So I waited. Then the Apple Tablet rumors really started in force, and I really don’t have that much spare change anyway, so…

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Google Voice App Rejections: Catalyst for Cellular Openness?

If you haven’t heard, Apple rejected Google’s official Google Voice application several weeks ago (article from this week). However, I (at least) didn’t hear the news until recently, when it became known that Apple also began pulling other Google Voice apps from its iPhone/iPod Touch App Store. TechCrunch’s sources say that AT&T was behind the bans, and I’ll believe it. Now, I’m not an Apple fanboy, but I’ve been considering getting an iPod Touch lately. One of my roommates here at Emerson’s summer program (yes I know I need to blog about that too; soon, I promise) has one, and…

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Q4 2007 Site Stats Review

As , I’m reviewing the browser and operating system statistics for this site again. All data is from the period 2007-10-04/2007-12-31. So, on to business. First up is the overall browser chart. Firefox leads with 57%, followed by Internet Explorer at 29% and Safari at 10%. I also got some negligible visits (less than 2%) from Mozilla, Opera, Camino, Netscape, and Konqueror, plus a very few hits from what appear to have been mobile browsers, such as HTC_TyTN_II Mozilla and Palm680. Drilling into per-browser version information, Firefox had a pretty good spread of versions, even getting about 80 hits from…

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Apple Discontinuing Boot Camp

If you use Apple Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) with or without Boot Camp, be warned. Apple will be discontinuing support, updates, and new downloads of the dual-boot software on December 31. The installation software will no longer function, though existing users will continue to be able to use their Windows partitions. Apple made the announcement yesterday, saying that they “hope you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to preview an exciting new feature of Mac OS X Leopard.” The announcement comes as an apparent marketing move to push users to the OS X 10.5 upgrade, which offers built-in Boot Camp. I call…

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Leopard Mail Another Security Risk

A Mail bug patched in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) has been rediscovered in Leopard’s Mail program. The bug allows malicious code to be executed when opening certain types of email attachments, and was thought to be fixed until now. The problem arises from improper handling of additional file-handling instructions included with file types such as JPEG. Malicious code can be inserted into the information slot, and will be executed when the file is opened. Fortunately, not all file types are affected, and the researchers at Heise Security had difficulties consistently reproducing the problem. Does this mean the end of…

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iPhones Generate iTypos

A study conducted by Chicago-based usability research firm User Centric reveals that iPhone users make over twice as many typos in SMS messages as users of full-keyboard and keypad phones. Their results also indicated that iPhone users do not get better at using the touch-screen keyboard with experience; users of other phone groups were given iPhones and asked to type a message, and they had the same error rate as veteran (a month or more) iPhone users. Kind of interesting that the latest user interface revolution has flaws over and above preexisting technologies. Perhaps users make errors because of the…

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Apple’s OS X Leopard Wi-Fi Problems

Some users who upgraded their Mac OS X Tiger to Leopard (including users of all three upgrade options [upgrade, archive and install, wipe and install]) are reporting that their Wi-Fi connections degrade through use. One example given details the following chain of events: the connection starts at speed 54, then it falls through 11, 3, 1, and finally it drops out. Other users have suggested things ranging from installing a post-Leopard update that fixes some unidentified issues relating to IEEE 802.11 networks, deleting a configuration file, and toggling IPv6 support. It is interesting that Apple’s latest operating system upgrade has…

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Leopard Has Other Problems, Too

Besides of disabling the firewall by default and not updating included software, Apple’s Leopard upgrade even has holes in its security measures — an ironic concept by any other name. For example, the “Library Randomization” feature (similar to Windows Vista’s Address Space Load Randomization) is supposed to keep code from predictably loading in the same memory spaces, making buffer overflow attacks much more difficult, but some parts of the operating system that should have been randomized are still in predictable locations, most notably the Dynamic Link Library. One of the security researchers putting Leopard through its paces notes that he’s…

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