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Applying a skin to my Tablet PC

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Aug-2006 15:28

A few months ago I got a skin to apply to one of my Pocket PCs, to review the Telecom New Zealand's Skinit service.

Since my review the lineup has been growing quite a bit - they now include some mobile phones from other networks (such as Vodafone), portable media devices and laptops.

During our weekly chat we gave away a voucher for one of these skins, and I decided to revisit the on-line store. To my surprise they now stock skins for my Tablet PC, the Toshiba M200/M205! I ordered one and two days later got it in the mail.

Here it is:




Note that it doesn't come with that Internet Explorer sticker - that's on top of my own "personal tablet PC". And for fellow Americans reading this blog, follow the link to your equivalent Skinit.

Ah, and I want to see users of slate Tablet PCs do it!








New Zealand Google Maps mashup

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Aug-2006 11:25

Interested in finding some cool New Zealand information based on Google Maps? The Google Maps Mania blog has posted a New Zealand Google Maps Mashup Roundup.

For example, did you know ther's a website where you can find all New Zealand wind farms? Check the start map:


More links on New Zealand Google Maps Mashup Roundup.




Connect to me...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Aug-2006 14:59

If you are on Linkedin, then check my Personal Linkedin Profile, and connect to me. If you want an e-mail for contact, try freitasm at this domain...







Detecting Internet Explorer Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Aug-2006 11:13

You have a nice Windows Mobile device, supporting 3G, HSDPA, CDMA EVDO, Wi-Fi, VGA resolution - but your bank's website say you can't access it because your browser is too old. Or your preferred airlines won't show you the fligh schedules because your browser is not up-to-date.

Even though the moderm mobile browsers do a lot, you can find this kind of problem. And it's not a problem on your ultra-geeky mobile device, but most of the times developers don't take this in consideration.

The Microsoft Windows Mobile is changing the way Internet Explorer Mobile reports the User-Agent string. This change will be effective from an upcoming Windows Mobile version, which should come after the current Windows Mobile 5.

The changes are:

For Windows Mobile 5.0, our "current" release, the User-Agent header that the browser sends across is one of the following two strings:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; PPC; 240x320)
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; Smartphone; 176x220)

Some of the really broken sites we've seen were looking for the resolution information, and using that to deliver a mobile page.  That's wrong, because that information may be absent on some devices from the User-Agent string (more about that in a minute...)


Others were using one of many badly written samples out there on the net, finding only, "MSIE 4.01," then kicking the browser out of the site, because they wanted IE 5.5 or IE 6.0 only.

Moving forward, here's the new IE Mobile User-Agent string:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile m.n)

If you want to detect the new browsers coming out, just look for the string "IEMobile" as part of the User-Agent header.  Since the capabilities of the Pocket PC and Smartphone versions of the browser are identical, and they're built from the identical code base, there's no reason to differentiate them any more. 

Additional headers we send are:

UA-pixels: {i.e. 240x320}
UA-color: {mono2 | mono4 | color8 | color16 | color24 | color32}
UA-OS: {Windows CE (POCKET PC) - Version 3.0}
UA-CPU = {i.e. ARM SA1110}
UA-Voice = {TRUE | FALSE}



More information on IEMobile Team Weblog. You can refer your bank's IT department to that page...








Update your Windows System now, or use Automatic Update

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Aug-2006 10:34

It is the second Tuesday of the month (Wednesday here in New Zealand) and Microsoft has released a load of patches for systems running Windows XP, Windows Server and Microsoft Office.

More details are available in the Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary August 2006.

In one of my servers (running Microsoft SQL 2000 and Microsoft Exchange 2003 SP2) the updates completed and did not require a reboot.

You should visit the Windows Update site now, or use Automatic Update.







Remote Code Execution on Windows Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Aug-2006 21:27

Hmmm. Wouldn't you know this? According to the Symantec Security Response Weblog Collin Mulliner demonstrated a remote code execution flaw via MMS on Windows CE during the last DefCon.
 
Details are available on a pdf entitled "Advanced Attacks Against Pocket PC Phones".

In summary, it seems to be possible to remotely execute code on a Windows Mobile device by seding a specially crafted MMS (multimedia message service) message to the target device.

A special word here: according to the documentation this is aimed at devices based on Windows CE 4.2 (corresponding to Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition). There's no demo of this on Windows Mobile 5.0 (Windows CE 5.0).

The devices used for testing were the HTC Blue Angel (i-mate PDA2k, Dopod 700, O2 XDA IIs, Orange SPV2000, Siemens SX66,  Vodafone VPA III) and HP h6315.

And while we are here, the Symantec Security Response Weblog is nice, but they don't have comments or trackbacks, so they don't know (easily) that we commented on their entry.



Getting to know Ferrit

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Aug-2006 13:07

Oh, yes... Some people will remember that Telecom New Zealand's Ferrit, their e-commerce attempt, had a funny start - once we found out www.ferrit.com was a "sex e-commerce" site, completely unrelated to the  local www.ferrit.co.nz.

Since then things have changed a bit, and Ferrit has bought the domain www.ferrit.com. Was it a stunt to attract even more people to the site?

From the start some people thought Ferrit would be a competitor to www.trademe.co.nz, the New Zealand on-line auction success. But the sites are completely different and from the start, Ferrit was only offering a "window" for products, and the shopper had to complete the purchases directly on the seller's site.

But all this is changing, and soon Ferrit will be launching a new version, with integrated retail features so consumers will be able to buy directly from that site.

I will be talking to Ralph Brayham, General Manager, next week. We might have Steve Plank (CIO) or Peter Wogan (Head of Marketing) with us, TBC.

If you want to ask Ferrit something, I am happy to relay questions. Please post you comment here, or contact me.






Registering an ISSN for your blog

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Aug-2006 13:14

I found that applying - and receiving - an ISSN for your blog is an impossibility here in New Zealand. A few months back I was reading a US-based blog which had an ISSN assigned to it.

I looked up the official ISSN website for registrars, and found that New Zealand publications should apply through the National Library of New Zealand. After a couple of days I received a polite, but negative reply:

ISSN (International Standard Serial Numbers) are currently only assigned in New Zealand to serials, that is, publications issued in successive discrete parts, with each part identified by a number and/or date, and intended to continue indefinitely. As your website is not a serial it does not qualify for an ISSN.


Seriously, I disagree. I found out today that the National Library of Australia do accept blogs in its ISSN registry!

For more information resources on ISSN for blog, check this site, and more importantly this page about compatibility of weblogs and ISSN.

Oh, yes... New Zealand is only worried about having broadband, not necessarily information.




What 3G was supposed to be (part II)?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Aug-2006 11:16

Ok, this is the second of a few videos I found in my media collection, about 3G. I didn't post this with yesterday's entry (see "What 3G was supposed to be?") because YouTube decided to be slow. Anyway, this is what BT thought 3G could be in a near future. Again, when? Not with UMTS/WCDMA. Not with the current crop of mobile devices. But hey...



What 3G was supposed to be?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Aug-2006 18:09

Looking through some of my old media files I found a few short movies, prepared for marketing purposes obviously, showing what 3G would be.

We all know it didn't happen like this. WCDMA (UMTS) is here and it can't penetrate buildings due to the 2100MHz band used, and maximun speed is only 384Kbps (albeit average speeds are lower than this).

CDMA EV-DO is a bit better in terms of speed and coverage, but alas it is only available in South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, and Americas (North, Central, South).

But don't worry. Everyone is now waiting for the next wave. HSDPA and CDMA EV-DO Rev. A promise even more speed. But will it be bright like these ads?

This is what Ericsson thought (and announced) 3G would be? Certainly not with the first UMTS release, and not with the devices we have around: See "What 3G was supposed to be (part II)?" for another movie



freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I work for Intergen and I'm also the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums.

Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

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