Dribs and Drabs

Tales from an interesting week

Just some dribs and drabs from a busy week. I'm waiting on an updated iPhone Configuration Utility, (just checked, still on version 2.2) before I can really talk about the management changes on the iPhone, along with updated documentation. I did update my 3GS to iOS4, and some of the things I noticed:

  • Multiple EAS accounts are indeed nice, although Google's implementation is, much like their...interesting...take on IMAP, kind of ugly. I did have to recreate my 'main' EAS account, after it stopped updating. Recreated, rebooted the phone, and working find now.
  • I had to recreate one IMAP account as well, but not the other 3-4
  • As of yet, I'm as unimpressed with unfied Inboxes on the iPhone as I am anywhere else, but then, I don't tend to leave much in my Inbox. Important mail goes into IMAP folders, so the 'advantages' of a unified Inbox are somewhat lost on me.
  • I do however, really love the improved SMS preview in iOS 4. That has been quite handy, along with the character count.
  • Unfortunately, if you aren't using Mac OS X Server's iCal Server, the assumptions Calendar makes about how you're doing CalDAV are still there, and still wrong. Pro Tip Apple: if your assumptions don't work, then leave the server URL and port blank, it would save a lot of time.
  • As near as I can tell, using the iPhone Configuration Utility (iPCU) 2.2 with iOS 4 gives mixed results. Be careful
  • If you are using a third party CalDAV server, be careful about upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6.4. There are some iCal changes that may bite you in the butt. I know it does for people using versions of Kerio's groupware server prior to 7.0.2

Oh, and one more thing. Recently, Google removed two Android Apps from their Android Market. That's no big deal, well, okay, there's a bit of "but don't you bag on Apple for that...", but whatever. Here's the info on the Apps from Google:

Recently, we became aware of two free applications built by a security researcher for research purposes. These applications intentionally misrepresented their purpose in order to encourage user downloads, but they were not designed to be used maliciously, and did not have permission to access private data — or system resources beyond permission.INTERNET. As the applications were practically useless, most users uninstalled the applications shortly after downloading them.

Again, that's not a big deal, Apple does this all the time. Of course, when Apple does it, the world loses its bloody mind. When Google does it, they get cheered. See? There's an advantage in marketing yourself as a hippie commune instead of a multinational $BIGCORP. However, the next few paragraphs are the really interesting part:

After the researcher voluntarily removed these applications from Android Market, we decided, per the Android Market Terms of Service, to exercise our remote application removal feature on the remaining installed copies to complete the cleanup. The remote application removal feature is one of many security controls Android possesses to help protect users from malicious applications. In case of an emergency, a dangerous application could be removed from active circulation in a rapid and scalable manner to prevent further exposure to users. While we hope to not have to use it, we know that we have the capability to take swift action on behalf of users’ safety when needed. This remote removal functionality — along with Android’s unique Application Sandbox and Permissions model, Over-The-Air update system, centralized Market, developer registrations, user-submitted ratings, and application flagging — provides a powerful security advantage to help protect Android users in our open environment.

So let's be clear here. Google, after the dev yanked the applications from the Android Market, reached out to every Android, and if the applications in question were on the phone, deleted them. According to Google, the applications were not behaving maliciously, only deceptively, yet they unceremoniously removed them from user devices. What's the reaction? Oh, it's Google, the reaction is mostly "Oh THANK YOU GOOGLE, for protecting us from the eeeeevil people out there." No, I'm completely serious, here, from the post on Droid Life:

Just so you know, Google has the power to remotely access your phone whenever they need to. Don’t freak out. It’s a good thing. They were recently made aware of a couple of applications released onto the market that were being using for security testing purposes and to protect all of the users who had downloaded these apps, Google stepped up and manually removed them…

"Google stepped up and removed them..." Yeah. Closing sentence:

Like they said, it’s nice to know they have the capability should they ever need to use it. Thoughts?

Read the comments, it's mostly cheering for Google and attacks on any who question this action, or its implications.

Now, what would the reaction from the Google Droid community, heck, the world, if Apple did the same thing for the same reason?


Yeah. People would bust blood vessels in their eyes, they'd be so enraged. But, since Google is still in that "Kumbaya" stage with the world, very few people are going to think about what this means. Including the people that went all DiMartino on Amazon when they did the 'remote content yank' on the Kindle not too long ago.

mmm...hypocrisy...tastes good on ice cream!

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon