Friday, July 23, 2010

Secure Connections to Facebook

For the past 2 days I was plagued with constant blank pages whenever trying to visit Facebook. I tried adding an "s" to and viola! It opened!

I was surprised because I did try that a few months back and it didn't work, which made me think: Why isn't Facebook advertising the fact that it supports SSL?! I certainly wouldn't want my corporate admins to be snooping on my status updates or picture uploads/views!

But since this is Facebook, there's yet another disappointment: They use full URLs rather than relative ones. This means that when you click a link to comment or a profile, you'll be sent using HTTP and not HTTPS (no security/encryption). That's retarded.

Thankfully, there's an addon for FireFox called Force-TLS which forces the use of HTTPS even when the link you're being redirected to is HTTP.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

iPhone4 Antenna: Father Steve is Blind

[updated: see bottom]

I'll skip the jokes and mockery; Apple had its share with the iPad.

A lot of buzz and fuss has been rumbling in regards to the iPhone4's antenna. Is it really a problem, or are users blowing things out of proportion?

I'd like to point out that the problem is being mixed and stirred with another problem, to dilute the first problem which is a major design flaw. The issues at stake here are:
  1. Improper antenna design
  2. Incorrect signal-display formula

When Apple was caught pants down with the antenna issue, it told the public that it discovered, just now, that the problem is their function to display the signal strength (bars): their formula to calculate the signal strength and represent it in terms of bars was wrong, and this problem has been there since 2007 (iPhone 3G).

Apple then had the nerve to take an extra step and publish a page comparing its iPhone4 to other phones to show that all other phones suffer from signal attenuation when held from a specific spot.

What's important to note here is that Apple failed to mention in that page is that their antenna design is flawed because of two things:
  1. Their antenna is actually exterior and touches the body of the phone
  2. Their antenna is located in an often-used spot to hold a phone

When holding the phone from that spot, the human body works as a short circuit to the antenna and drains the full signal. Apple is giving away free cases now to amend the problem, but the problem isn't really fixed, it's just polished.

If you look at the link above, you'll notice that the BlackBerry's antenna is located the bottom where no one holds a phone from, and HTC's Droid Eris's antenna is located the most top, where also no one holds a phone from.

Why did this happen now?
I believe that due to Apple's over-zealous secrecy and being up tight about all its products, the beta products (pre-releases) are tested by very very few people, and Steve Jobs assumed that these very few people's experience represented that of the whole consumer base.
Hey, it worked for so many years, so why stop now, aih? You were foiled by an ill-designed phone, which apparently none of the beta testers held from that dead spot.

It's even more hilarious that Steve's first reaction to the problem is asking people to not hold the phone from there!
It's like when your car is rattling when you reach 100 kmh and you complain to the dealer, and the dealer's response is: Don't drive over 80 kmh. It's safer anyway!

This whole charade reminds me of Vista. People rushed to Amazon and tagged the product: Defective by Design. And this is what iPhone4 is: Defective by design.

I'd like to share two links: