Use a smartphone and like your apps? You just lost your privacy

December 20th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Interesting read

The Journal‘s report lays bare much of what we already suspected, or outright knew but didn’t bother thinking about: iOS and Android apps are having a field day with your personal info. More than half of the 101 popular apps they tested sent your UDID to companies without your awareness or consent. Nearly as many sent your location, and a handful even sent along demographic info and other personal details to advertisers.

It’s a small sample size given the hundreds of thousands of apps out there, but it’s hard to imagine that the most prominent names just happen to be the most aberrant. And the list of worst offenders also reads like a roll-call of must haves: Pandora. Angry Birds. Netflix. Shazam. Et tu, Yelp?

Also something very interesting

iOS apps shared more data than Android apps, on the whole—somewhat surprising given the rigidity of the App Store approval process compared to Android’s looser environment. And there’s really nothing you can do to stop it.

So just because your App store is curated doesn’t mean squat. Companies get a free reign on your data anyway.

How come Gruber never links to articles like this, but loves linking to articles like this?

Gingerbread (Android 2.3) is out

December 6th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Now that Gingerbread is out, will it make my app obsolete? Only time will tell.

Exception #11 on Amazon MP3 Android App

October 5th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

If you see this error when using the Amazon MP3 Android app to download songs, don’t bother calling Amazon Customer Care (like I did). I was told that it was a problem with my ISP (Yeah, you heard me right). Any way you will see this error if you do not 1-Click ordering enabled on your Amazon account. Follow the instructions here to turn on -Click ordering, and you should be good to go.

How to bake a black forest cake

August 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Step 1: Ask your wife to bake you one 😉
Step 2: There is no Step 2.

black forest cake
Black Forest Cake

Dosa for lunch … Yum :)

July 28th, 2010 § 5 comments § permalink



Querying the Global Address List (GAL) via Exchange Web Services (EWS)

July 17th, 2010 § 14 comments § permalink

If you are looking for a way to search the Global Address List (GAL) for a particular contact via Exchange Web Services, read on. Please note that this only works for Exchange 2007 and above.

  1. Grab the WSDL and generate stubs. The normal location for the WSDL is

    Note that when you plug this URL into your browser, you might be directed to login. Once you login with your credentials, you will be redirected to your regular email page. Despair not. Enter the URL in your address bar again and you should have the WSDL.

  2. Use the code below to query for a user with a name “test”. The code below is in C#, but should translate quite easily to other languages. Also take note of the URL. In my case, I needed to use https. Also note that the username is not the email but just the prefix i.e. the is not required.
    static void Main(string[] args)
        ExchangeServiceBinding esb = new ExchangeServiceBinding();
        esb.Url = @"https://myserver/EWS/Exchange.asmx";
        esb.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(
        // Create the ResolveNamesType and set 
        // the unresolved entry.
        ResolveNamesType rnType = new ResolveNamesType();
        rnType.ReturnFullContactData = true;
        rnType.UnresolvedEntry = "test";
        // Resolve names.
        ResolveNamesResponseType resolveNamesResponse 
    		= esb.ResolveNames(rnType);
        ArrayOfResponseMessagesType responses 
    		= resolveNamesResponse.ResponseMessages;
        // Check the result.
        if (responses.Items.Length > 0 && 
    			!= ResponseClassType.Error)
            ResolveNamesResponseMessageType responseMessage = 
    			responses.Items[0] as 
            // Display the resolution information.
            ResolutionType[] resolutions = 
            foreach (ResolutionType resolution 
    			in resolutions)
    				"Name: " + 
    				"EmailAddress: " + 
                if (resolution.Contact.PhoneNumbers != null)
                    foreach (
    					PhoneNumberDictionaryEntryType phone 
    					in resolution.Contact.PhoneNumbers)
    						phone.Key.ToString() + 
    						" : " + 
    				"Office location:" + 

Gruber – the drama continues

July 13th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Gruber again on Comsumer Reports

Seems nutty to me to give it a “don’t buy” for this single annoyance alone.

But, but .. didn’t you say that you whole-heartedly agree with whatever Consumer Reports has to say?

Consumer Reports does an about turn

July 12th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

On July 2nd, Consumer Reports said that the “iPhone 4’s Supposed Signal Woes Aren’t Unique, and May Not Be Serious”. This led to Gruber‘s statement

Who am I supposed to believe, the sensationalist hacks at Consumer Reports, or the straight-shooters at Gizmodo?

However, today CR just did an about turn, and said that they can no longer recommend the iPhone 4. Gruber, looks like the sensationalist hacks at CR said the same thing as the straight-shooters at Gizmodo. Time to eat some crow ;).

Vista’s UAC – An exercise in frustation?

February 14th, 2007 § 3 comments § permalink

From Slashdot

I had probably the most frustrating ten minutes i have ever spent on a computer before.
Start, typed in regedit enter.
Vista:Are you sure you want to run this program?
Me: Yes. I went OUT of my way, hit start, run and typed in the pogram name I wanted. Thanks for checking though. (click) ….
Edit the registry, close it. That was easy. ….
double clicked on setup. Stupid shield on my icon, what does that mean?
Vista: are you sure you want to run this? it’s a program, you know.
Me: Oh that must be what the shield is for. Vista feels like it should protect me from software!
Vista: This is from AMD. Do you trust AMD?
Me: yes, they pay me. I trust them. (click) …..
Install……that was easy. ….
Oops, there’s a problem. Well, let’s grab the correct file from the build server and copy it over …
Open my computer, go to program files ….
Vista: Are you sure you want to go there?
Me:Yes (click) …
open up the application folder ….
drag a file from a network share to the application folder….
Vista: Are you sure you want to overwrite this file?
Me: Yes (click)
Vista:A program wants to write to the Program Files folder. Is this ok?
Me: Yes (click)
Vista:You are trying to copy from a network share to the program files folder. This isn’t allowed. Hit ok.
Me: (Pounds head) (click) ….
Drag to Desktop. ….
Drag from desktop to application folder. …
Are you sure you want to overwrite this file?
me: for the love of god yes
Vista:A program wants to write to the Program Files folder. Is this ok?
Me: Die.Die.Die.Die.

Want a free domain name?

April 25th, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

Are you on the lookout for a free domain name? If you are then head over to Office Live and sign up for the Live Basics Beta. This beta comes with a free domain name and easy-to-use design tools (at least that’s what Microsoft says). Anyway there are a couple of caveats:

  1. You will need to provide a valid credit card number. This is not charged, and Microsoft promises that the service will remain free. I provided a credit card number and cancelled the credit card soon after
  2. If you plan to customize the website to your liking, I don’t think you want to go this route. I do not think Microsoft allows you to point the domain to another location. So you are pretty much stuck with the tools they provide.
  3. Office Live is an IE only website (what else can we expect from Microsoft!)

All in all it looks like a good deal if you want a spare domain you can call home ;). I got