The T-List: Special Bad Stuff ‘Bout the iPhone Edition

By  |  Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 7:51 pm

“Tech news” and “iPhone news” are synonymous. Or at least it feels that way sometimes. And iPhone-related news seems to have a higher melodrama quotient than the tech news I’m used to covering…

Password Unprotection
Gizmodo is reporting what it calls a “huge security problem” with iPhones running the new 2.02 version of the system software: Even if you’ve password-protected your phone, someone who gets access to your phone can get access to much or all of the data on it by using the Emergency Call feature. On one hand, if I had anything highly confidential on my phone, I’d never, ever rely on a simple password feature to protect it–I’d want encryption of some sort. On the other, a password-protection feature that can be defeated in a completely obvious way with a few taps is worse then useless, since some iPhone owners will use it and think they’ve secured their data when they haven’t. It seems dead certain that Apple will have no choice but to release a fix pronto.
Read more at: Gizmodo, Digital Daily

No Unsupportable Claims, Please, We’re British
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has told Apple to stop running an ad that claims that “all the parts of the Internet” are available on the iPhone. (The phone supports neither Flash nor Java, two technologies in wide use on the Web.) I worried about some of the claims in iPhone ads, but not this one. Wonder how the ASA would feel about Apple’s “twice as fast” boast for the often-not-twice-as-fast iPhone 3G?
Read more at: The Guardian

More Apps Go Bye-Bye
Two iPhone apps made the news this week: one that had been accepted, then got the boot, and one that was rejected outright.. In the case of the former, a game known as Tris, the main thing that was puzzling was why it was approved in the first place: Its game play and name were both closely modeled on Tetris, and I don’t blame Tetris’s owner for being ticked. The latter was a violent digital comic book called Murderdrome, whose authors were told that it didn’t meet Apple’s community standards. Doesn’t Apple cheerfully sell movies and music that are rife with violent imagery?
Read more at: Apple 2.0, Kotaku, Macworld

The iPhone 3G Antenna: Blameless?
A Swedish firm has declared the iPhone 3G’s antenna innocent of contributing to the phone’s supposed problem with dropped calls, based on scientific testing of two phones. This doesn’t strike me as particularly useful new information: For one thing, I’m not clear on how testing two phones proves that no iPhone antenna is faulty. And Steve Jobs has supposedly already said there’s a problem which 2 percent of iPhone 3Gs which Apple plans to fix through software, which suggests it’s not an antenna problem. For what it’s worth, my iPhone 3G drops calls from time to time, but I’m still not sure if it does so more often than my old phone, an AT&T Tilt.
Read more at: AppleInsider

Okay, One Item Not ‘Bout the iPhone
Microsoft has released beta 2 of Internet Explorer 8. Compared to IE 7, it’s got a mess of changes, including ones to the address bar, tabs, and searching; it’s also got Web Slices, a proprietary but interesting technique for providing convenient snippets of information from the Web. On paper, at least, it’s the most significant update to IE since version 5 or thereabouts. I’ll give it a try and let you know what I think; until then, Ed Bott’s overview (below) is a good overview.

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  1. thehumanyawn Says:

    The “security hole” in #1 should be a feature that can optionally be turned on.