* Posts by Jeremy Chappell

162 publicly visible posts • joined 18 May 2007


Phone-raiding Trojan slips past Apple’s App Store censors

Jeremy Chappell

Re: It's not possible to "scan" for these apps

The parent comment is exactly right - this isn't a technical problem at all, it is pure deception.

Unfortunately the technical access that such an app would require to legitimately to do what this app was advertised to do is exactly the same as was needed to carry out the spamming. There is nothing Apple or Google could do to prevent it, unless they were to stop any application from reading the user's contact database - which would mean that many legitimate applications would be impossible.

Jeremy Chappell


They are complaining bitterly that their "protection" can't be extended to users of iOS. Never mind that it wouldn't have helped here, or in any circumstance I can think of under iOS.

Jeremy Chappell

Still malware.

It's the spamming part that's the problem. Path were uploading the data but not doing anything weird with it, so no deception - just a little incompetence. As soon as it was pointed out to them that this probably wasn't what most users expected they deleted the data and updated the app to stop it.

I'm not familiar with the Facebook app - no idea.

This, by sending spam, is different and (for me at least) pushes it into the category of "malware".

Jeremy Chappell

Err - yes it is.

It's malware when it does something you don't intend by either technical skulduggery or deception. This is the latter. Do I want my phone to spew spam to everyone in my contact list, and steal the data in my contact list? No, that isn't what I want. This is malware.

Door creaks and girl farts: computing in the real world

Jeremy Chappell

Taken away?!

Err, his is escaped your notice that Apple still make MacBook Pros that have an optical drive, ethernet port, Firewire 800, Audio In etc... ? Nobody is "taking it away". You can still buy that, IF you need it. You want the new "thin, light, Retina Display"? Fine, then you've got to lose something. Where will the optical drive go? How will the ports attach? (If you take a look inside the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display you'll see that most of the space it taken up by battery, and there just isn't room on the board for more ports)

You want to "have your cake, and eat it". There is no space to put the things you're asking for. So you have to have a bigger, heavier system and you don't want to add the Retina Display to that because it'll need a bigger battery to drive it and the thing will be really heavy and bulky.

So you have a choice, thin/light with Retina Display or larger/heavier with optical drive and legacy ports.

Now shut your potty-mouth, grow up and make a choice like an adult.

Gates: Novell are sore losers, Word trounced WordPerfect

Jeremy Chappell


No. It is the responsibility of the platform vendor to support application development on their platform, otherwise you could make it wilfully hard for anyone but your own developers to create anything (which is exactly what Novell are alleging here).

Would could provide private APIs the deny outside developers access to parts of the system, or you could release documentation (and even working code) very late in the process to advantage your own developers. This is clearly "antitrust".

Now you can develop a platform that is horribly difficult for developers (I'm looking at you Sony) this is fine as long as it is as difficult for your own developers, but why would you?

Chief Rabbi: I admire Jobs and Apple and use my iPad daily

Jeremy Chappell


I rather think that society's ill somewhat predate the iPad, iPhone, iPod or even iMac. Perhaps the Rabbi should look instead on the positive aspects of Steve Jobs work, baking in accessibility features at system level perhaps? (For those who don't know, the iOS devices are excellently adapted for blind users as an example - though this probably seems a paradox given they are touchscreen devices!)

Kindle Fire: An open letter to Jeff Bezos

Jeremy Chappell


The motivation is surely to create a "soup to nuts" experience, with no "bumps". How do you do that with an open market for apps? If the market is unregulated, uncontrolled and unmanaged then there will be "bad stuff". This is three kinds of "bad stuff":

1) Stuff that is just bad, not very well written, not of merchantable quality.

2) Stuff that for whatever reason doesn't work well with the Fire, maybe it need more horsepower than a $200 tablet can muster, maybe it clashes with the modifications Amazon have but in.

3) Stuff that's deliberately bad, steals your stuff, rips you off, infects the machine.

So assuming you don't want "bad stuff", then you have a curated store, products are selected and and tested.

But this means vendors have to submit the products, so if Google's apps aren't there - isn't that Google's fault?

Apple gets patent for ‘unlock gesture’

Jeremy Chappell


Do you not think you've just crossed the line here? Imagine someone using terms like the ones you just did about someone you were close to who'd just lost their battle with cancer at just 56.

Have a little think about what kind of human being you want to be.

You want to rag on Apple? Fine, but let's let Steve rest in peace.

ASA bitchslaps Motorola on 'most powerful' Atrix boast

Jeremy Chappell


Who is going to think of it that way? "Most powerful", and it isn't - seems pretty open and shut.

Just how will Apple restrict device-ID snooping in iOS 5?

Jeremy Chappell

Exactly what it sounds like.

This is exactly what it sounds like, "deprecated" means "going away". They can't just pull it, because then applications, that used it, wouldn't work. So essentially developers get told - we're going to pull this, make sure your applications aren't using it when we do.

So a developer can track a specific instance of their application, but nothing else. So you can track your applications on someone's phone (usage data for example) but you can't tell if (as an example) you have multiple applications installed by the user.

Google fights to hide incriminating emails

Jeremy Chappell

Don't be evil

Their "Don't be evil" doesn't count for much does it?

Many parents are only on Facebook to stalk their kids

Jeremy Chappell


This is really pathetic all round isn't it? Seriously, don't want to be FB Friends with Mom? Don't fix her computer then - problem solved.

Bloke ordered to remove offensive numberplate

Jeremy Chappell


If the number has been withdrawn then it isn't a valid plate... So it IS an offence to display it. Why is that hard for BO11 LUX brain to understand?

Acer slashes tablet forecast, banks on notebooks

Jeremy Chappell

Reality bites

Not quite ready to kill the iPad then?

iTunes Match is iPiracy, claims loopy Oz industry troll

Jeremy Chappell


It won't "push" to more than 10 devices... the music will play - but you'll have to do the sync with iTunes (either over USB or WiFi). No DRM here.

Jeremy Chappell

Retail Model

Yeah, why should the retailer make any money... I mean, the very idea that a shop should make any money from selling other people's products, it's almost capitalist!

Jeremy Chappell

No limit

Nope, they used this in their example (because others have limits). There is no actual limit as such.

Jeremy Chappell

Mobile devices?

Yeah, but you're probably going to use this new "matched" music on mobile devices right? So the files will be smaller (still DRM-free - why do some many here thing iTunes still uses DRM?!) and you'll probably be listening in places where either the acoustics will be "sub optimal" or there is ambient noise - so does it matter?

What is cool is you can get music to a device (assuming there is WiFi or 3G - hopefully WiFi) which couldn't store all your music normally.

Jeremy Chappell


You aren't buying the music again - you are getting some cloud services for the music you bought outside iTunes. I don't think this is "per year" as you put it, you can use the matching service "for a year" - if you "match" your music this year then why would you need to do it again next year?

You don't have to upload your collection (which would take ages) you get nice clean versions (if your old ones were done a while ago what's the bit-rate?). This music is DRM-free (Apple aren't restricting you here). Now you can download this stuff from the cloud, it is all backed up for you. So you're getting (by your estimate) 90Gb of backup for your music.

Now you don't have to do this, you can still use iTunes as your music locker, but I don't think this is the worse deal in the world. Assuming you have a large music collection that's not from iTunes.

MS now issuing security advisories about third-party Windows bugs

Jeremy Chappell
Gates Halo


While I'm normally first in line to point out Microsoft's failings, here I think you're being harsh. We're moving from a time when the flaws we all needed to worry about were in the OS to a time when the really big problems are in the applications (and plugins). Not doing this would give people a false impression of their security status.

So while I'm sure it will share the embarrassment and blame - I think Microsoft are right to do it.

(I can't believe I gave Bill a halo icon... wow I think Satan just put on a vest)

Coder Android tablet love on (a bit of a) wane

Jeremy Chappell

Hardly surprising

As Android users (according to the studies) don't actually buy apps very much (certainly compared to users of iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch). The number of units sold isn't what developers are interested in, they are interested in £'s spent - there Android lags.

I could characterise it thus: "People who buy Android devices are too 'frugal' to buy iOS devices". Hardly rich pickings for developers is it?

PlayBook won't play nice with BlackBerries on AT&T

Jeremy Chappell


They have the hopes and dreams of the entire company pinned to this thing. I'd not want to be holding RIM stock or working for RIM.

This thing is an utter disaster. What exactly is working? The Android stuff isn't (and that looks so "part baked" anyway it's an embarrassment). Who outside RIM thinks this is a good idea?

Calling all readers: Want some new icons?

Jeremy Chappell


Inverted Facebook "F" - for a fail on or about Facebook.

Ditto Twitter. (Fail Whale?)

A Stormtrooper (Nazi or Starwars, doesn't matter).

Replace Bill with "that sweaty, over excited bloke"?

Where the heck is RMS?

A "broken brain".

Buzz Lightyear (self dilution - "You are a Toy!").

Yoda ("impenetrable marketing speak this is, hmm, hmm?").

Plug lying next to socket (user error).



Slide rule (for "it was better in my day", or "isn't this browser just like a terminal?" - an "old fart's icon")

Game stocks shops with Tesco 3DS consoles

Jeremy Chappell


Scalpers! Oh that's amazingly low - I imagine someone at Nintendo will go absolutely ballistic with the representative of Game.

Nintendo 3DS contains £60 in bits

Jeremy Chappell


You just proved my point.

Jeremy Chappell

How dare they?

How dare they make a profit from selling their games console?! I mean the cheek of it, selling the thing above the cost of the parts - what are they thinking?

Wouldn't something be really wrong if they weren't making a profit?

George Lucas 'very happy' with 3D Phantom Menace

Jeremy Chappell

Oh no...

Jar Jar in 3D... Haven't we suffered enough?

Steve Jobs vindicated: Google Android is not open

Jeremy Chappell


So it is closed. They say they will open it up later (whenever later is - after Android 4.0 perhaps?)

But as of today, it is closed.

If you want to try and delude yourself, fine, but the story stands.

Case (and source) closed.

Apple: Yes, Safari outperforms embedded iOS web viewer

Jeremy Chappell
Jobs Halo

Not bookmarks

No, these run is separate processes, that's why they appear distinct from Safari in the multitasking UI. Users see these as 'Apps', and rightly so, this is exactly what they are.

This situation is not permanent.

One should also remember these haven't become "slower", they run as fast as they ever did. All that's happened is Safari Mobile has been speeded up...

Jeremy Chappell


Yeah. All that's happened is web apps didn't get the speed up - they use the same "tried and true" implementation.

There is work underway within the WebKit project that will mitigate this (providing security for web apps outside of Safari Mobile) and it gives developers more time to assure their web apps run as intended.

Jeremy Chappell

No, it's obvious

No, it\s obvious why; Apple are being conservative, they didn't want to unleash a new version of the optimisations on app unsuspecting app developers without letting them test their applications worked as planned (not least because when an app suddenly stops working people are pretty miffed and blame the OS update - reasonably so). But Apple wanted to get these optimisations in play for Safari as soon as possible (especially with faster dual core Android devices arriving now).

So, Safari has all the optimisations, and runs a slight risk that some stuff won't work as planned (but this is the web - we're all used to this) where applications don't get the speed ups, but will still work (many users won't understand the distinction when it comes to these web apps - so would be really annoyed if they stopped working).

I'm sure Apple will urge developers to test against their new technology and up date as needed, then we'll see these optimisations across the board.

Isn't that obvious?

Phantom Menace to be released in 3D next Feb

Jeremy Chappell

Oh no...

Oh dear God, Jar Jar in 3D and you still can't punch him...

From messiah to pariah: The death of open source on mobile

Jeremy Chappell

The bigger problem.

But the elephant in the room is "trust".

Open Source, if it is to be really successful (in ideology terms, rather than units shipped) will come from "the little guy", someone you've probably not heard of. The "bug guy" always has an agenda; he has to, he's answerable to shareholders and they want to see effort (investment) turned into profit.

The "little guy" often builds software because he needs it, his motivation is simple; "I need this, I can build it, if I share it then people will help me".

The problem is you don't know the little guy. There is always someone who wants to break this covenant for profit.

So "the bad guy" can take the little guy's effort, add something undesirable (malware), then make it available.

How does the end consumer tell? Is this written by "the little guy" or "the bad guy"?

I don't see a technical solution. Until this is properly addressed (if that's even possible) then paying "the big guy" seems preferable for consumers.

Which brings us into Apple's App Store. While some won't like it, it is probably the best thing consumers have. A store with a gatekeeper, checking products, rejecting products, distributing products. It isn't perfect, bad stuff can slip through, but Apple do seem to make this a rare event. Good for consumers, bad for open source. But now we've seen how much malware there is in Android Marketplace, and how damaging that can be, our choice is clear.

I for one, welcome our fruity overlords; the alternative is too dangerous.

LaCie cues up Thunderbolt hard drive

Jeremy Chappell


Of course, a single spinning disk isn't going to benefit (much) from Thunderbolt, however a RAID array could. But just before you dismiss this thing as "junk" don't forget that Thunderbolt can be daisy-chained, you can connect a few of these via that port and they could all be used together. It's also worth noting that it's 10Gbps in both directions with another 10Gbps in both directions for DisplayPort. On a laptop this is very significant as, due to physical space constraints, such connections are at quite a premium.

iPhone 'Death Grip' effect is real, plastic cases don't help

Jeremy Chappell


The conductivity of skin to stainless steel is so low it can be discounted. What is more likely is you're creating a capacitance, but any antenna reasonably close to a plastic case would have the same effect (and in fact this appears to be true as the issue isn't unique to the iPhone 4).

Where the iPhone 4 is different is the spot where this is most likely to happen has a line across it. So if you want to demonstrate is then it's quite easy (cover the line with a finger). Conversely if you want to avoid the issue then don't put your fingers over the line (hence the much quoted; "you're holding it wrong"). However such spots exist on other phones too, they just aren't as clearly marked ;-)

Jeremy Chappell


Why does the iPhone 4 get a signal in places where my old Motorola didn't (just a week or so before)?

The thing about the iPhone 4's antenna design is the "weak spot" is marked with other "traditional" designs there is a "weak spot" but it hasn't got a line showing you where it is!

Now the iPhone 4's design isn't perfect, the thing is a bit "slippery", especially with glass on both back and front, but I don't think raw "network coverage" is really an issue - mine seems to find a signal in places where both Nokia and Motorola handsets didn't. Yes, we're talking about the same network.

No I don't use a case with the iPhone 4, and it's just "stock" not modified or weird (or white!)

What is really impressive is the battery life (for a smartphone). Putting the antenna assembly in the phone's main structural element does make room for a bigger battery.

Flash versus HTML 5

Jeremy Chappell


Isn't security of Flash the elephant in the room here? Flash has a lousy reputation for security, something you completely fail to address, do we really want a big hole on the security model of our mobile devices?

I'm not at all sure it's "better to have Flash"... You've failed to convince me.

Microsoft hits autistic Xboxer with cheat evidence

Jeremy Chappell
Gates Halo


The punishment was not getting his achievements back. I imagine he considers this punishment. To be honest this is something Microsoft are quite good at - Xbox Live.

I'm sure his mother feels pretty foolish as well. I don't think giving him a fresh account (with no achievements) is much "reward". I think Microsoft have done the right thing here; removing all your achievements is an effective punishment.

Jeremy Chappell

Err do we know that?

Do we actually know she knew her son had cheated? I think you're jumping to conclusions here.

I do question why her son is playing games that are meant for people much older than him...

But she's not alone there. I'm sure she already feels pretty foolish.

Gov gone wild: Mad new pub glasses, bread freedom introduced

Jeremy Chappell


Err... Why?

When was the last time anyone thought "you know what this half pint needs is another third of a pint"? Honestly? Anyone?

Now I can remember the last time I thought "you what this pint needs is another one". Actually, no I'm not so sure I can...

Skype offers iPhone video calls over 3G

Jeremy Chappell


FaceTime is based on existing standards, and Apple have made the implementation open (not open source, BUT the spec is open - it should be relatively easy to create a "FaceTime compatible" system, especially as most of it is indeed based off existing standards.

Skype is not open.

Seems pretty simple really, I know the facts here don't agree with the general perception of Apple, but there it is.

Phosphor World Time Curved E Ink watch

Jeremy Chappell

Grandad knows best

The Omega is so much nicer it simply isn't even funny. I'm sure this new e-ink thingy won't last as long. Weird it looks dated, and naff while it's still new - the Omega still looks fine, more than fine in fact.

Tesco's iPhone app gets barcode reader

Jeremy Chappell


Does this ONLY work on the iPhone or can one of those new camera enabled iPod touch thingys work too? (assuming you have WiFi of course)

F1 2010

Jeremy Chappell

You're kidding right?

The press stuff is utter garbage - you're supposed to keep the team happy so what are you going to say?

a) The car was screwed together by crack-smoking monkeys

b) Meh

C) The team gave we the most fantastic car in the sport today - they rock!

(Hint: the answer involves rock and not drugged simians)

As for the gameplay - why when some utter moron drives into you as you enter the pits is it illegal blocking? Why does the action freeze quite often in the middle of driving the car - it's not like the performance of an XBox 360 is an unknown quantity - we're even talking about times when the track is empty...

Sure it looks great... but it doesn't play so well. It's not terrible - but not as good as the reviews have painted it. If you love F1 and simply have to play the current season, you'll quite like it. If you have fond memories of other F1 inspired titles - maybe next season will bring something better.

Apple's iPad is the hotcake of the 21st century

Jeremy Chappell


Quote: "And, of course, the last thing Apple would want is for every every Tom, Dick or Harry to be walking around clutching its fondle slabs."

Nonsense. Apple have always wanted to sell product, what they haven't wanted is to sell product that the buyer won't have a good experience with - because Apple want them to repeat this (that is buy another one). Where many vendors just want to sell you a widget, Apple want to sell you a succession of widget (this widget should be so good that no "non-Apple" widget will do in the future). There are plenty of examples of where Apple have tried to broaden the appeal of their product, the iPod Shuffle is one example, and you could argue the iPad itself is another. Apple would be very happy for every "Tom Dick or Harry" to have one, as long as they were intending to buy another (even if they didn't know that yet).

iPad spends 20% of time in bed

Jeremy Chappell
Jobs Halo

Mac demographic

One factor that might be significant is if the owner also has a Mac or not. The iPad (rather unsurprisingly) fits very well into a Mac ecosystem, with much of the users information (calendar, address book, email) being replicated. Additionally if the Mac owning user favours iWork over Office then versions of the iWork applications are available on the iPad. There are plenty of applications that have the same exclusivity from other venders (Cultured Code's "Things", which is excellent by the way, is one such example).

It's hardly surprising that Mac owners would respond so positively, even before you consider any "fanboi jingoism".

Fanboys flabbergasted by 'Apple TV runs iOS' revelation

Jeremy Chappell

Least Surprising,,,

Has to be said this is the least surprising "revelation" since someone discovered that eating pies might be related to obesity. It doesn't follow that Apple will do anything in particular with it though. Even if it hadn't been iOS they could have done apps, an AppStore whatever - Apple can write code for other platforms. It doesn't follow that they will.

Dell Streak causes user fury

Jeremy Chappell
Jobs Halo

Err Yes...

If the OEMs (in this case Dell) don't deliver - well yes, it is a problem for Android. If Android (the official one) was more prescriptive about hardware and allowable modifications then things would be simpler. I see where you're coming from - but where does the potential purchaser get that "seal of quality" it seems with Android the answer is nowhere. That might be OK, if the device isn't expensive and we're talking about a short life - well OK.

If the OEMs screw this up - then, no matter whom is at fault, then it's a problem for Android. Say what you like about Dell they are a huge and respected name - if they can't get it right... well it's not a good start. I can't see HP doing much with Android (as they have webOS) so who are you going to buy from? (Before you say Samsung - check out how much they want for the Galaxy Tab).

Maybe Apple's iOS suddenly looks a whole lot more inviting.

Apple sued over hot iPad shutdowns

Jeremy Chappell

Would you sit there?

So we're talking about strong sunlight - you'd wear a hat right? Or find some shade? The iPad needs similar consideration.

The amazing thing is nobody said the display was unreadable!

All electronic devices have conditions they cannot operate in, putting a system in direct sunlight and expecting it to continue to work seems - well foolish.