Who did not see thing one comming? Verified by…

Visa and others.  The first time the page came up “verified by Visa” you said “cool this is a very good thing Visa is making the web safer”.  If you thought that you can now go to the back of the class.  You should have been thinking what sort of phishing scam is this?  Where is the URL bar for this popup and why would I sign up for this service from this little dialog on some site?  Does Visa even have a website?  Does my bank know about this?

Now for those of you at the back of the class, the zbot botnet has been augmented to shoot phish in a barrel.  You are the phish, unfortunately.  Thank you, Visa for the swimming lessons (NOT).

Click to read more news on the zbot botnet and how it is mimicking the Verified by screens.


iPad now in my hands – loving it so far.

Working from the iPad today. Not bad. I can find a way to hold it that works well in most positions. Far better than a laptop in every couch position. For the types of tasks I imagine the iPad to do well with – it is great at home so far. Email and web – and the all important links in email to web – these tasks are very easy to manage on the iPad. Nice big screen the screen rotation lock is a great addition. Watching the last 12 hours of an eBay auction also easy to do. Migrating from an iPhone to this iPad is not going to be difficult.

Apple may have in fact sold a competing product to the iPhone. For those of us that find the size ok to have with us all the time why would an iPhone be required? A simple voice only phone will now probably suffice. I guess it all comes down to how do you want to balance your freedom. By freedom I mean, to which piper will you pay for voice and data plans. iPad is another choice. It’s 3G appears not to be locked to a provider offering even more choice. In fact fostering actual competition once the different vendors see the need to acquire these new customers with unlocked devices. Not free but a new unlocked freedom may bring a breath of fresh air to the Canadian wireless market if nothing else.

I’ll be looking for a pay as you go SIM on a USA plan when I next visit the states. To prove this device is 1) not locked and 2) I do indeed have this new freedom. In fact over the next few months I’ll try to have a month to month plan with Rogers, Telus and Bell and thus exercise my new freedom. At the very least I plan to watch how the plans settle in. Once they all become contracts for longer periods and start to look like current cell contracts, then I’ll give up my hope for freedom. Here’s to that never happening and a real competitive landscape forming instead.

I do like the iPad 3G in Canada. I have high hopes for it to make a difference in how people work and play. It will make a difference in mine, the month to month data plan already has.

One reason some will like the new iPad

I am a big fan of Cisco coming down to earth where we can all interact with the technology they produce.  One very powerful tool they have bought and extended is WebEx.  There are not too many in the remote desktop space with the breadth of WebEx.

I see that one of the new iPad applications is a WebEx client.  That’s a perfect personal format to watch a presentation.  On the iPhone the technology was only cool – as the screen was honestly too small.

iPad will rock this application.

McYork is inspired every time we come across one of these “fit to form” applications.

Questions your new phone should be smart enough to to answer

These are practical questions, right?

  • Where was I @ 3:00 PM yesterday?
    • And on Tuesday?
    • How far apart are those?

My calendar is not the source of this information, augmenting it perhaps but the answer really should be an historical GPS location log converted to an address – looked up in contacts and calendar for additional context at the minimum.  Additional follow on questions should be default behaviour, does your phone follow along with the context and answers of your prior questions. That’d be nice.

  • How many miles did I drive last week?
    • And the week before?

C’mon you know when I am in a car (accelerometer data), you gotta!  Was I the driver – perhaps a difficult question to answer.

  • Did I take the Bus in February?
    • What Bus?

Right.  Maybe I take the bus infrequently and only once I recall in February. It went 6 stops and only 2 busses take that route.  I had googled bus routes and found the #314.  Perhaps the #314 was the bus I took as it is one of the 2 busses that have those stops.

  • When I last rode my bike how far did I go?
    • How many stops did I make?
    • Did I stop for lunch?

Coffee Shop Login 1.7 now on-line

This version will now properly bypass the Bell iPhone prompt for your Bell phone number. We don’t have a Bell phone and suspect most of you also don’t (yet). We now detect this annoying page and move on to the normal login page. iTouch users will not have seen this issue because it looks like Bell is able to tell the difference between a phone and a touch.

If anyone with a Bell iPhone can tell us what happens (how the login proceeds and if it remembers you next time) we’d like to try an enhancement so you can use this app too (if/when you switch from Rogers).

Get the new version now in the app store by checking for updates.  Buy it now if you don’t have it http://go.mcyork.com/coffee (opens iTunes).

Apple Approves Coffee Shop Login v1.6 – 300 update in first day.

Over 300 people have the new v1.6 already.  Combined with the Apple 3.1 OS this is the best version yet.

Added to this version is password blanking on the data entry screens.  Now your Starbucks passwords are no longer in the clear for others to see (or if your device is used by others).  This user requested feature made a lot of sense once Starbucks linked the wifi login to a real account and not an arbitrary card# and pin.

Also in this version we’ve taken care of “please wait” dialog issues.  This popup now properly goes away.  The page you end up on – wait a few seconds – and it should refresh to the login statistics page (time remaining).

Please note again: We have not been able to overcome issues with the Apple 3.0 OS and users of 3.0 OS should move to 3.1 where changes by Apple at the OS level restore our programs functionality.  In other words use any current Apple iPhone/iTouch OS other than the 3.0.x versions and you will find your logins to be simple and swift again.


Apple ships iPhone 3.1 OS – Coffee Shop benefits

The new 3.1 release of the iPhone / iTouch operating system brings with it great news for the coffee shop crowd.

The good news here is that the 3.1 OS seems to (now) realize we are an application and the OS popup login goes away gracefully to let us load the portal and log you in without incident.

Our application had been tested to work on 3.0 however it did in fact end up failing when the Apple login screen popped up to help out.  The pop up screen was not the issue (3.1 it may still pop up).  The issue we seem to think is that if the Apple login screen went away – the wifi was cut off.  This made our program unable to see wifi.  A lot of people have been seeing “no wifi connection – check settings”.  Again 3.1 OS seems to have this fixed.

Please if you have 3.0 you should upgrade to 3.1.  Those functional on 2.x should jump to 3.1 when they are ready.