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android vulnerability 2011-05-19 15:01 UTC
A friend let me know about this gizmodo article about a vulnerability of many versions of android that involves the potential of a bad guy sniffing the auth tokens from certain google apps, which are sent over clear text.

In response, I updated my G1 to use gingerbread - 2.3.4 ez. I sadly had to part ways with cyanogenmod, who has understandably abandoned the ancient G1 platform. I found a ROM on the xda-developers forum (sorry, don't have the URL) and had to completely wipe my existing image (including all my detail work around moving app data to the SD card) and start over, but it hasn't taken long to recover most of the way. Significantly, I downloaded a boot script to mount /sd-ext to a linux partition on the SD card at boot time - this script was there in my 6.1 cyanogenmod install, but for some reason didn't work. Now it works!! This makes life a *lot* easier, in that I can symlink to the /sd-ext partition once, instead of having to prep for each reboot and restore afterward - meaning that much of the script work I had to wipe out with the upgrade is no longer required.

I have yet to see how 2.3 will perform from day to day, but so far it doesn't look too bad.
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new life for my g1 2011-04-30 14:19 UTC
My phone, still a t-mobile G1, is pretty much an antique at this point - I believe it was the first android phone. I installed a corporate email app for work and ran out of space - wound up having to delete a bunch of apps and even then periodically reset the app as it filled up my phone's memory with email. The performance of the phone was dismal - I'd often find myself waiting for 10 seconds or more to see a response to a button push or screen tap.

I rooted the phone a while back, and this added a bunch of functionality, but didn't in itself solve the problem. I was aware of several scripts in distribution to make the phone store more of its internal data on a SD card (I've got a 16 gig SD card in mine), but the age of the G1 hurts here, too, as the maintainers of the scripts have moved on to newer and better phones.

Finally, I took matters into my own hands, and, at the prompting of Tim, created a couple of new partitions on the card - one linux file system type (at first formatted to ext4) and one linux swap. I started with really big partitions, but the phone wouldn't recognize the card - I wound up with a 512 meg linux partition (ultimately formatted to ext2) and a smaller swap.

Although the phone was already using the SD card for certain apps, I found that I could manually mount the ext2 partition and move additional stuff there using symlinks. I have been unable to mount the ext2 partition automatically at boot time (even though I see an init.d script that appears to be written to find and mount it automatically - not sure what's going on there), so I just wrote some scripts I run at runtime to set things up properly, and it's worky, but it's OK.

After freeing up about 15 megs of space this way, wow, the phone is really responsive and zippy again, and I'm even able to put back on some apps I had removed, like a gmail upgrade and DocumentsToGo.

Also, an app in the market showed up that lets me view my home security cameras from the phone - finally! The supports linux motion, which I'm using, which makes set-up a lot easier - otherwise, I think it would probably support all the cameras I have individually, but I'd have to punch each of those through reverse NAT, and I think security would suffer - most or all wouldn't provide SSL support.

Anyway, long live my G1!!!
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new way to get in trouble for lying 2011-04-20 18:15 UTC
This story concerns a tragic incident at Rutgers that I don't know much about, but the article uses the term "false tweets" - I'm definitely going to use that!
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more on daylight savings time 2011-03-04 15:43 UTC
As we approach the accursed "Spring Ahead" day in the US, my thoughts return to the absurdity that is daylight savings time. I'm still against it.

Slashdot posted a link to this nice post about the history of *the* *timezone* *database* that has been quietly making things work for us for some time now. As vexing as my own timezone and DST technology issues have been, this post describes worse, I'm sure.

But more importantly to me, a comment to that post provides a link to a translation (from French?) of Benjamin Franklin's original proposal for DST - turns out he was completely joking! This is pretty darn funny to read, by the way. But seriously, he was not being serious. Let's stop this madness already.
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developers take note 2011-02-03 18:16 UTC
"I say to you againe, doe not call up Any that you can not put downe; by the Which I meane, Any that can in Turne call up somewhat against you, whereby your Powerfullest Devices may not be of use."

H.P. Lovecraft - author and unsung software development methodology guru.
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