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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 was a "sex e-commerce" site, completely unrelated to the  local

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

From the start some people thought Ferrit would be a competitor to, 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

Why you should not believe everything you read on Wikipedia

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Aug-2006 11:37

Here's a good take on why we should not believe everything we find on Wikipedia. This is from one of the The Colbert Report (Wikipedia: Wikiality, The Colbert Report) episodes: Reality is, we shouldn't.

Massey University's Marine Design

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Aug-2006 10:53

That's pretty slick: the Massey University College of Creative Arts will offer a glimpse on their marine craft design for visitors to the Boat and Fishing Show at Mystery Creek 11 – 13 August 2006.

Four personal water craft from the fourth annual Yamaha Design Challenge will be a part of the show. The aim of each craft is the same, to carry a single passenger through a series of straight line and circuit races at speed, but the boats look completely different from each other an anything else on the market.

Overall winner Spypedo (below) is a wave-piercing displacement catamaran that takes a minimalist approach at just 69kg including the 8hp Yamaha outboard. 

Other boars, like the Xplora and CSX also offer a multihull design, while Chopper should be popular with visitors with a design based on a waterbourne chopper-style motorcycle.

Very nice and geeky!

Update your laptops if you have USB 2.0 devices

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Aug-2006 10:05

This is just in! Microsoft has released a patch for laptops running Windows XP Service Pack 2 to fix a problem with short battery life when a USB 2.0 device is used.

I am applying this now. May not be the case, but I am a bit sick of the 2.5 hours battery life on my Toshiba M205 Tablet PC.

The patch is available here.

Good luck.

New Zealand is actually a good place to do business

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Aug-2006 22:24

I am just reading one of Guy Kawasaki's blog posts ("Doing business in 2006"):

Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs is the third in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. New quantitative indicators on business regulations and their enforcement can be compared across 155 countries—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time...The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms have worked, where, and why.

These are the top thirty economies based on the ease of doing business:

1 New Zealand
2 Singapore
3 United States
4 Canada
5 Norway
6 Australia
7 Hong Kong, China
8 Denmark
9 United Kingdom
10 Japan

Great stuff. I just hope people realise not everything in the world is "cheaper, faster broadband", but less bureaucracy helps too. At least we are doing well here.

New Zealand in the map: Windows Live Local

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Aug-2006 16:00

There are quite a few map sites for New Zealand, if you are interested... A few here (probably not a complete list):


While not New Zealand only, Google Maps also lists Godzone's addresses and maps. And I don't know if I should count smaps and zoomin as separate things, since both come from the same roots, at

Of those, I like Zoomin better because I can use it to insert a map snippet into a blog post (see our entry with venue directions for Geekzone 2006).

There is even a PDA-friendly New Zealand map, available on This is so far the only PDA-friendly site here. Wises used to work on Pocket PCs, but they've changed something there and it's now broken.

But the big news is that Microsoft's Windows Live Local has been updated, and now the service includes New Zealand. But not only this, it also provide driving directions. While not the first one to offer this service (Wises does it as well), it's the first one to use AJAX technologies to do so, and also throwing satellite images for a kick (although not yet at street level).

Below is a screen capture of driving directions and sample map:

And below is a map:

UPDATE: Oh, I found a problem: where the instructions say (3) turn right (South), you can't actually do it, because the ramp is only going North and there's no way to turn right. No access at all. Hmmm. Bugger that. If we turn left instead it will be another 2.5 Km before a return is possible. More work to do here, Microsoft Live team. Better get an updated set of map data.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

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

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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 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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