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The Secret Life of SIM Cards - DEFCON 21 - simhacks

Aug 16, 1:07

A DEFCON talk “The Secret Life of SIM Cards” that covers running apps on your SIM card. Surprisingly they run a subset of Java and execute semi-independent of the Phone’s OS.

PermalinkCommentstechnical phone sim-card security java

From Inside Edward Snowden’s Life as a Robot: Wizner had...

Jun 23, 7:04


From Inside Edward Snowden’s Life as a Robot:

Wizner had to jump on a phone call during a meeting with his whistleblower client. When he got off the phone, he found that Snowden had rolled the bot into civil liberties lawyer Jameel Jaffer’s office and was discussing the 702 provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. “It was kind of cool,” Wizner says.

It is neat but they’re marketing video is at times strangely terrifying. Put different music on when the Susan-bot comes up behind the unknowing Mark and this could be a horror movie trailer.

PermalinkCommentsedward-snowden beam robot telepresence

U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records to Keep Them From the ACLU | Threat Level | WIRED

Jun 4, 6:08

"A routine request in Florida for records detailing the use of a surveillance tool known as stingray turned extraordinary Tuesday when the U.S. Marshals Service seized the documents before local police could release them."

Also what about the part where the PD reveals that its been using the stingray a bunch without telling any court and blames that on the manufacturer’s NDA.

PermalinkCommentstechnical law security phone

Debugging anecdote - the color transparent black breaks accessibility

May 22, 10:36

Some time back while I was working on getting the Javascript Windows Store app platform running on Windows Phone (now available on the last Windows Phone release!) I had an interesting bug that in retrospect is amusing.

I had just finished a work item to get accessibility working for JS WinPhone apps when I got a new bug: With some set of JS apps, accessibility appeared to be totally broken. At that time in development the only mechanism we had to test accessibility was a test tool that runs on the PC, connects to the phone, and dumps out the accessibility tree of whatever app is running on the phone. In this bug, the tool would spin for a while and then timeout with an error and no accessibility information.

My first thought was this was an issue in my new accessibility code. However, debugging with breakpoints on my code I could see none of my code was run nor the code that should call it. The code that called that code was a more generic messaging system that hit my breakpoints constantly.

Rather than trying to work backward from the failure point, I decided to try and narrow down the repro and work forwards from there. One thing all the apps with the bug had in common was their usage of WinJS, but not all WinJS apps demonstrated the issue. Using a binary search approach on one such app I removed unrelated app code until all that was left was the app's usage of the WinJS AppBar and the bug still occurred. I replaced the WinJS AppBar usage with direct usage of the underlying AppBar WinRT APIs and continued.

Only some calls to the AppBar WinRT object produced the issue:

        var appBar = Windows.UI.WebUI.Core.WebUICommandBar.getForCurrentView(); 
// appBar.opacity = 1;
// appBar.closeDisplayMode = Windows.UI.WebUI.Core.WebUICommandBarClosedDisplayMode.default;
appBar.backgroundColor = Windows.UI.Colors.white; // Bug!
Just setting the background color appeared to cause the issue and I didn't even have to display the AppBar. Through additional trial and error I was blown away to discover that some colors I would set caused the issue and other colors did not. Black wouldn't cause the issue but transparent black would. So would aqua but not white.

I eventually realized that predefined WinRT color values like Windows.UI.Colors.aqua would cause the issue while JS literal based colors didn't cause the issue (Windows.UI.Color is a WinRT struct which projects in JS as a JS literal object with the struct members as JS object properties so its easy to write something like {r: 0, g: 0, b: 0, a: 0} to make a color) and I had been mixing both in my tests without realizing there would be a difference. I debugged into the backgroundColor property setter that consumed the WinRT color struct to see what was different between Windows.UI.Colors.black and {a: 1, r: 0, g: 0, b: 0} and found the two structs to be byte wise exactly the same.

On a hunch I tried my test app with only a reference to the color and otherwise no interaction with the AppBar and not doing anything with the actual reference to the color: Windows.UI.Colors.black;. This too caused the issue. I knew that the implementation for these WinRT const values live in a DLL and guessed that something in the code to create these predefined colors was causing the issue. I debugged in and no luck. Now I also have experienced crusty code that would do exciting things in its DllMain, the function that's called when a DLL is loaded into the process so I tried modifying my C++ code to simply LoadLibrary the DLL containing the WinRT color definition, windows.ui.xaml.dll and found the bug still occurred! A short lived moment of relief as the world seemed to make sense again.

Debugging into DllMain nothing interesting happened. There were interesting calls in there to be sure, but all of them behind conditions that were false. I was again stumped. On another hunch I tried renaming the DLL and only LoadLibrary'ing it and the bug went away. I took a different DLL renamed it windows.ui.xaml.dll and tried LoadLibrary'ing that and the bug came back. Just the name of the DLL was causing the issue.

I searched for the DLL name in our source code index and found hits in the accessibility tool. Grinning I opened the source to find that the accessibility tool's phone side service was trying to determine if a process belonged to a XAML app or not because XAML apps had a different accessibility contract. It did this by checking to see if windows.ui.xaml.dll was loaded in the target process.

At this point I got to fix my main issue and open several new bugs for the variety of problems I had just run into. This is a how to on writing software that is difficult to debug.

PermalinkCommentsbug debug javascript JS technical windows winrt

The decline of the mobile web...

Apr 8, 6:49


The decline of the mobile web http://cdixon.org/2014/04/07/the-decline-of-the-mobile-web/

PermalinkCommentstechnical web browser mobile phone

Phone Buttons - Numberphile (by numberphile)

2013 Aug 30, 5:47


Phone Buttons - Numberphile (by numberphile)

PermalinkCommentsHistory numbers phone

Windows Store on Windows 8 Fun For Independent Developers

2013 Jun 24, 1:00
Having worked on Windows 8 I'm not in a neutral position to review aspects of it, however I'll say from a high level I love taking the following various positives from smart phone apps and app stores and applying it to the desktop:
  • Independent developers can easily publish apps.
  • One trusted place for a user to find apps.
  • User can trust apps are limited to a declared set of capabilities.
  • One common and easy way for users to buy and try apps.
  • Easy mechanism for independent developers to collect revenue.
Relieving the independent developer of software development overhead, in this case Windows taking care of distribution and sales infrastructure is wonderful for me with my third party developer hat on. This combined with my new found fun of developing in JavaScript and the new Windows Runtime APIs means I've been implementing and finishing various ideas I've had - some for fun and some for productivity on my Surface. Development notes to follow.
PermalinkCommentsstore technical windows windows-store

laughingsquid: The Truth About Phones on Airplanes

2013 Jan 7, 11:57


laughingsquid:

The Truth About Phones on Airplanes

PermalinkComments

laughingsquid: hi-Call, A Bluetooth Handset Glove

2012 Sep 26, 6:24


laughingsquid:

hi-Call, A Bluetooth Handset Glove

PermalinkCommentshumor phone cell-phone blue-tooth video

laughingsquid: Goldfish Phone Booth Aquariums Installed in...

2012 Sep 14, 4:27


laughingsquid:

Goldfish Phone Booth Aquariums Installed in Japan by ‘Goldfish Club’

PermalinkCommentshumor fish gold-fish japan phone-booth

Windows NT coming to phones with Windows Phone 8

2012 Jun 20, 6:39PermalinkCommentstechnical windows-phone cell-phone wp8

wired: [via motherjones]: theweekmagazine: Sticking to an...

2012 Jun 7, 3:29


wired:

[via motherjones]:

theweekmagazine:

Sticking to an exercise routine takes dedication, and many fitness junkies swear that a running companion can be a huge help. That’s why researchers have developed “Joggobot,” a quad-rotor helicopter drone designed to motivate joggers by flying in front of them. 

The aerial robot uses its camera to spot a colorful pattern on a T-shirt worn by the jogger, and flies at a safe distance ahead. The runner can control Joggobot using a smartphone: In “companion mode,” the drone simply maintains the jogger’s pace; in “coach mode,” it pushes its human trainee a little faster.

Don’t worry, there’s a video

Science!

Maybe it should chase you instead?

PermalinkCommentshumor exercise robot future video

Changing Windows Live IDs

2012 Jun 6, 2:54

Use of my old Hotmail account has really snuck up on me as I end up caring more and more about all of the services with which it is associated. The last straw is Windows 8 login, but previous straws include Xbox, Zune, SkyDrive, and my Windows 7 Phone. I like the features and sync'ing associated with the Windows Live ID, but I don't like my old, spam filled, hotmail email address on the Live ID account.

A coworker told me about creating a Live ID from a custom domain, which sounded like just the ticket for me. Following the instructions above I was able to create a new deletethis.net Live ID but the next step of actually using this new Live ID was much more difficult. My first hope was there would be some way to link my new and old Live IDs so as to make them interchangeable. As it turns out there is a way to link Live IDs but all that does is make it easy to switch between accounts on Live Mail, SkyDrive and some other webpages.

Instead one must change over each service or start over depending on the service:

Xbox
In the Xbox 360 system menu you can change the Live ID associated with your gamertag. This worked fine for me and I got an email telling me about the transfer of my Microsoft Points.
Zune
There's no way to do this for the Zune specifically, however changing over your Xbox account also transfers over all your Zune purchased content. I don't have a Zune Pass so I can't confirm that, but all of my previously purchased television shows transferred over successfully.
Windows 7 Phone
To change the main Live ID associated with your phone, reset your phone to factory default and start over. All purchased applications are lost. Had I purchased any applications I would have been pissed, but instead I was just irritated that I had to reset my phone.
Mail
I don't use my Hotmail account for anything and it only sits and collects spam. Accordingly I didn't attempt switching this over.
SkyDrive
I didn't have much in my SkyDrive account. I downloaded all files as a zip and then manually uploaded them to the new account.
PermalinkCommentshotmail domain win8 skydrive technical windows live-id

Video

2012 May 23, 3:53


PermalinkCommentshumor parking app android phone

The Metro Developer Show

2012 Apr 20, 9:15

The Metro Developer Show is the first podcast exclusively for Metro developers and enthusiasts.

Each week Ryan and Travis Lowdermilk traverse the exciting world of Metro (phone, tablet, desktop and Xbox); covering the latest news and exploring what it means for the developer community and everyday users.

PermalinkCommentsaudio technical podcast metro windows programming win8

 lol-tastic surprise ending! (via Frog plays Ant Smasher)

2011 Dec 23, 1:22


 lol-tastic surprise ending! (via Frog plays Ant Smasher)

PermalinkCommentshumor video phone cellphone frog

Google+ Now Lets You Conference People Into Hangouts With Free Voice Calls | TechCrunch

2011 Dec 4, 2:55

“To activate the feature, simply start a Hangout, click the Invite button at the top, select “Phone”, and enter a phone number. If the recipient picks up, they’ll be instantly connected. The free offer is supposed to last through 2012.”

PermalinkCommentstechnical google google+ phone

With WP7 Mango available for all, Microsoft pushes ahead with new updates

2011 Dec 1, 3:22

“including driver updates to enable Internet sharing on some models such as the HTC HD7” Just upgraded and saw this. Very cool.

PermalinkCommentstechnical cell-phone wifi router wp7

Sprint loaded spyware on its Android phones

2011 Nov 30, 4:22

“TechCrunch and others are reporting that a program called “Carrier IQ” that comes pre-installed on Sprint phones has some pretty amazing spyware capabilities, right down to keylogging everything you do on the phone.”

PermalinkCommentstechnical cell-phone privacy security

(via Eve’s Wireless, Silent Film About The World’s First Mobile...

2011 Nov 17, 3:48


(via Eve’s Wireless, Silent Film About The World’s First Mobile Phone (1922))

PermalinkCommentshistory technology phone cell-phone video
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