Apple locks out iPhone hackers?

Get this; iH8Snow and Sherif Hashim, two infamous (and highly talented) iPhone Hackers/Jailbreakers have recently been “banned” from the AppStore. Here, take a look.

WTF

This is what happens when they try to open the AppStore.

THIS IS MADNESS.

Sorry. But in all seriousness, what the heck, Apple. I’ll give Apple the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps this is all accidental (which is what Gizmodo seems to think right now). There is that chance that they both found an exploit that ended up causing their iPhones to behave maliciously, but its almost a little too incidental. While Gizmodo seems to think that this message (similar to those in OS X applications) might be incidental, I wouldn’t put it past Apple to do something about their frustration with jailbreakers. I mean, come on. The company hires actors to browse their merchandise in Apple stores in places like NYC.  I mean, honestly, this is too incidental. According to the hackers’ twitter pages, their emails were easy to pair up with their names (Sherif’s is just his name @ yahoo, and ih8snow’s email is just ih8sn0wday at googlemail).

Regardless, this is all a bit scary. Apple, if you’re behind this, go away. I’m pretty sure these guys paid for their phones and their plans. Let ’em do what they want. As for ih8sn0w and Sherif Hashim, I hope they figure this out, and that they keep up the good work. I’m still proudly running jailbroken 3.1.3 firmware.

Un-timing the Windows 7 RC

Alright, here’s the first of the two posts I promised. There are loads of people running the Windows 7 Release Candidate (the virtually-flawless beta released of Windows 7 released a while ago by Microsoft) as their primary operating system, right now. Microsoft pushed a message to all users of the Release Candidate saying the following;

Shutdown Schedule for Windows 7 Beta and Windows 7 RC
To avoid interruption, it is recommended that you and your customers rebuild test machines by using a valid Windows operating system before Windows 7 Beta and Windows 7 RC expire. Windows will automatically notify you that the expiration process is about to begin. Two weeks later, your PC will shut down every two hours. For Windows 7 Beta, the bihourly shutdowns will begin July 1, 2009. The software will expire August 1, 2009. For Windows 7 RC, the bihourly shutdowns will begin March 1, 2010. The software will expire June 1, 2010

Timer

Well, in no time at all, a “patch” was released, “fixing” this issue. The patch is known as “TimerNuke” was developed by “pembros,” the notorious hacker behind similar exploits and patches for Vistas. Here’s a quick how-to to get your computer un-timered, if you need a little more time before you upgrade to Windows 7 full (like I have).

  1. Download TimerNuke here, or here.
  2. Make sure it isn’t flagged as a virus.
  3. Restart your computer in safe mode (shut it down, hold down F8 when it is turning on).
  4. Run the program. It will execute a few scripts in a command line window. Let it run. It will tell you when it has finished.
  5. Restart your computer.
  6. Ta dah! If you want proof to see if it has worked, hit start, right-click my computer, hit properties, and take a look at the “Windows Activation” section. You’ll notice the “Status” and “Product ID” will read “Not Available.”

Watermark

The only thing I noticed was that the watermark in the lower-right hand corner of the screen, saying “Windows 7 Evaluation Copy. Build 7100” is still there. To remove it, I found a nice little all-in-one script that works rather nicely. It is called “RemoveWatermark” and it… uh, removes the watermark. It works with Windows 7, Windows Vistas (if you still need that) and Windows Server 2008. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Download RemoveWatermark v. 0.8 here, or here.
  2. Run RemoveWatermark as an administrator (Right click it and select “Run as administrator.”)
  3. Hit “Y” to run the program. It patches “user32.dll.mui,” which is a language file.
  4. The program will then rebuild the MUI Cache. This might take a bit.
  5. Reboot your computer.
  6. If the watermark is STILL there, run RemoveWatermark again and hit “R” instead of “Y.”
  7. That should be it.

Again, you should only use these “shortcuts” if you plan to purchase Windows 7 Full sometime in the future. It really is a lot better than Vistas, and is worth the $100 or so.

I’m too crammed to post an actual article…

but I’m trying to post every day. So, in the near future, expect posts on: How to save yourself from the Windows 7 Release Candidate’s 2 hour crash, and How to use Installous (The ‘cracked’ app store) successfully on your iPod or iPhone. Both articles are a bit sketchy, but hey, so is the internet, so at the very least, maybe you folk will come back and read more often.

Aardvark: Google’s new baby.

For a while, I went rampaging around the internet looking for exclusive betas I could sign myself up for. One such site was “www.vark.com,” which was something like Yahoo Answers, but operated through your IM client. I signed up for the beta, and never heard another word.

Sure enough…

Two or three months later, I found out that the site had been bought by Google, and that registration was now open to the public. Hmm. So, I gave it a shot. Aardvark is a self-defined social search engine, helping you find people rather than web pages. The site is really, really simple. There are two tabs; one for “Ask” and one for “Answer.” To ask a question, simply type it in the big huge “Ask” box, and wait a little for an answer. For most questions, answers come in a few minutes. For some more obscure ones, answers come in a day or two. I’ve honestly yet to have a question successfully answered.

The other tab, the “Answers” tab, allows you to answer other people’s questions quickly and easily. I thought, “Why would I want to do that?” But, sure enough, answering is so quick and easy, I found myself answering more questions than I asked, in no time at all (Heh, just checking now, I’ve answered 62 questions and have asked 5). You are sent specific questions that fits a self-selected list of interests, although you can still view random questions, in sets of 15, just to see what people are asking.

If you can’t answer a question, but know someone who can, you can refer the question to a friend via email, or via Facebook, if you choose to connect your Vark account with your Facebook account (which is as easy as a click). They really make it easy.

Now, what’s this about IM?

Oh yeah, I totally forgot. Aardvark is different in that it can also operate through your IM client. Remember those totally useless AIM chat bots for when you were bored or had no friends (sob)?Well, Aardvark is a lot like those, except actually useful. When there’s a question that you might be able to answer, it sends you an IM asking you if you are interested. You can answer it directly via IM, send follow-up messages, add topics, or even browse through questions you might be able to answer, all while within chat. I’d be willing to say that the IM interface has almost all the functionality of vark.com in some way, shape, or form.

In conclusion?

Check it out. It’s been really helpful to me, and I’m sure you’ll agree. Besides, Google bought it, so it can’t be that bad, right?

Heh, this certainly made me laugh.

I got a comment from someone recently, and its the third or fourth such comment since the site started. Take a look:

you’re site sucks d**k. you need to learn how to do s**t before doing it. and you are so f****d up. your about me is g*y and the way you right is like a f*g.

How quaint. Let me see… First off, “You’re” means “You are,” which doesn’t make sense. I believe he meant to say “Your,” or at least thats what I’d hope. Second off, he certainly doesn’t have a shift key, or he’d capitalize the beginnings of his sentences. And I need to learn to… do s**t before doing it? That really makes sense. Oh, and I apparently “right” strangely. Hey, at least I know my grammar fairly well.

Now then…

Now, to scare whoever wrote this a bit. I know that you’re local. I know you use Comcast. I know your IP. You are not anonymous just because you say your email is “[email protected]”. If I get another comment like this, I might just file a harassment complaint, or block you, or a combination of the two. If you don’t like my site, tell me how to fix it, or get out. I don’t have time to publicly humiliate you every time you make a fool of yourself. So, do us all a favor and knock it off.

Everyone else, sorry for this post, but I really get tired of this kinda stuff. It gets on my nerves.

Google Buzz: Twitter and Wave had a baby, clearly.

When I saw a Google Buzz icon on my iPod when checking my email, My first thoughts were “what IS this?” I then fell asleep. When I woke up today and checked my email on my computer, I remembered the whole icon thing from the night before, and thought to investigate. A bit of poking around took me to buzz.google.com, where I opted into the beta, only to find it is twitter, but slightly better. Allow me to rant for a bit.

Hey look, everyone. We've invented Twitter!

<rant>

First off, you follow people. Sounds like either an RSS feed or, um, Twitter. It also tries to take cues from Google Wave and Google Reader by flagging off everything you haven’t read with a nice colored banner off to one side, with no way to get rid of it without refreshing the page. On top of this, they added the ability to comment and like posts (Facebook, anyone), and then email you every single time someone decides to do either of these things, which makes absolutely no sense seeing as there’s a new section of your Gmail inbox that shows how many unread messages you have. That was a long sentence. Google seems to feel bad that it messed up with Wave’s launch (by not giving everyone access all at once) and decided to re-use some of its code in Buzz; for one, I noticed that they added the live-updating from Google Wave to Buzz conversations.

But wait, there’s more! Just like Orkut, Google’s failed social networking service, or Google Videos, the Youtube competitor, Buzz has a fatal flaw; there is already something out there, probably inferior in design, with more users and popularity due to a longer time on the market. Whether Google likes it or not, Twitter will always have a slight upper hand in the market, simply because they have a “microblogging” monopoly. Google could always do what they did with their Google Video issue and just BUY the competition (Yes, in case you had been living under a rock for the last year or so, Google did buy Youtube). To quote a friend of mine, Google is trying to see how loyal its Gmail users are.

</rant>

Ain't it pretty?

Ok, now some good stuff I suppose. It does have support for integration from practically every social site of any sort (with the exception of full-fledged social networks, which is odd). Tweets, Reader updates, Youtube ratings, and Picassa photos, to name a few, can automatically post to Buzz. There is no Facebook integration (apparently with good reason) yet, but I hope to see it soon. Its also actually rather convenient, when its not nagging me. Its integration with Gmail is rather nice, apart from the whole email thing, and even then, the emails have customized response boxes. Granted, it is kinda comfusing, but its pretty much like Facebook, minus the pages, apps, and spam. It certainly has more promise than Google Wave. *sigh* Oh, and you can post in over 140 characters. Zounds!

If you want to get in early, PC World has dug up a few ways.

Get Buzzing. Click here!