Archive for July, 2008

They know where you live

July 26, 2008 in iPhone | Comments (0)

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It was odd… when I would hit the Maps icon on my iPhone from inside my house, the application would act like it was triangulating from cell towers (the blue circle would show up and waver, then zoom in), but it always homed in on my old address. We moved six or eight months ago. I had never actually had the iPhone in that house (we moved before I bought it). I thought maybe it was using the old address from my contact record, so I cleaned that out, but it didn’t make any difference (which makes sense… unless I had told the phone to use it, how would it know which one to use?).

So I went digging.

I finally ran across Skyhook. I’ll admit, I didn’t know that this thing was out there, but here’s what it is, in a nutshell:

Similar to Google Streetview, where they drive around with cameras installed on top of cars and take pictures of everything in site and tie them to map coordinates, Skyhook rolls around and collects information on wireless access points (using the MAC address) and hooks those to geographic coordinates. At some point in the past, the friendly Skyhook van rolled through my circle and geocoded my WAP. When my iPhone goes to see where I am, it sees that I’m connected to a wireless access point and uses the MAC address to ask Skyhook where I am. Last time they heard from it, that WAP was in another city, so it takes me to my old address.

So I used their form to submit an access point, which required my address, my MAC address, and an email address so that they can update their database. I have mixed feelings about how much they know about me now, but it’s all becoming so transparent today anyway… everyone knows a lot more about you than you would rather they did, or they can find out easily enough if the mood strikes them.

So, for good or for ill, Skyhook knows where my WAP is sitting now, and within a few days (hopefully) my iPhone will figure it out as well. Skyhook offers a plugin called Loki that will make your notebook computer able to locate itself based on the WAP it’s hitting as well, share that information with friends, etc. Attempting to install Loki didn’t work, though… Firefox 3 claims that the plugin does not provide secure updates, so it told me to take a walk.

iPhone Rollout Articles

July 14, 2008 in iPhone | Comments (0)


My iPhone was bricked most of Friday (like everyone else’s) after Apple’s botched iPhone 3G rollout. I was surprised at how few articles about it hit my feeds on Friday, but now they’re starting to show up.

I can’t say it any better than Seth Godin did in this post about Scarcity.

Steve Wozniak purportedly cut in line to get his 3G iPhone.

Here’s one more from Wired Magazine.

Things for iPhone

July 13, 2008 in GTD,Mac | Comments (0)

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Things is my favorite GTD tool for the Mac. It will be even better now with Things for iPhone. They got their iPhone version ready (sans a few features) in time for the iPhone 3G release, and even hit the top 25 apps list. I already paid the money for the app – I’ve been using Things on the Mac ever since it showed up in beta, so I was happy to throw them a few bucks in support. I’ll license it as soon as they’re ready to take my money.

The iPhone application looks pretty good, although it is pretty much a straight up iPhone list management tool. It will be better once they get tags implemented, and of course synchronization with the Mac version. I will wait patiently. Things is a fantastic tool.


July 11, 2008 in General | Comments (0)

So far, I’ve been a pretty poor blogger. I spend too much time worrying about what others will think about what I write, or that I don’t have enough to say. But as I read my daily pound of feeds, I notice that there are plenty of bloggers who are clearly unconcerned with what other people think (given the outrageousness of what they say), and others who are clearly unconcerned with the length of their missives.

One of my favorites in the second category is Seth Godin’s blog. You may recognize him as the author of The Dip. Seth doesn’t always blog a lot of text, but he always blogs.

So today I vote for brevity and just come here to say something. To say something brief, but to say it out loud.

Do you ever stop yourself from speaking because you think you don’t have enough to say?