ExtraBITS for 26 July 2010
The black iPhone 4 will become available in 17 more countries this week, while the white iPhone 4 will now be delayed everywhere until later this year. In other iOS device news, the iPad will be tested for use in academia by quite a few colleges and universities, the joke Antenn-aid lets you solve your iPhone 4 antenna troubles with a custom Band-Aid, the “Don’t Hold It Wrong” blog points out holding instructions from other mobile phones, and if you want an iPhone 4 case for free, you can now order it via a free iPhone app. Finally, we recommend you read about how Safari can reveal your personal information via AutoFill, along with Jeffrey Rosen’s excellent article about the ramifications of data persistence on the Internet.
iPhone 4 Debuts in 17 Countries — Apple has announced that, on Friday, 30 July 2010, the iPhone 4 will arrive in 17 new countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Customers can purchase the iPhone 4 through Apple’s online or retail stores, or from any Apple Authorized Reseller.
Apple iPhone Case App Takes Free Case Orders — Apple is now taking orders for free iPhone 4 cases to reduce antenna problems. Orders can be placed only through the new iPhone 4 Case Program app, which requires your iTunes account password for verification. From there, you select a case (choices include Apple’s black bumper and several third-party options), enter your shipping information, submit your order, and wait 3 to 10 weeks (depending on the case) for it to arrive. You can place only one order, so once you’ve done so, you may as well delete the app.
Remembering How to Forget on the Internet — New York Times contributor Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, has written a thoughtful article on the ramifications of data persistence on the Web. Those who share personal information via social networking services are being forced to come to terms with the Internet’s extraordinary capability to preserve past actions, beliefs, and versions of oneself for posterity, causing problems as the lines between the real and virtual, and the past and the present, become ever fuzzier. Rosen provides an overview of the legal, technological, and social solutions we
might employ to overcome this new inability to forget.
The iPad Goes to College — Ars Technica reports on the growing number of universities experimenting with integrating the iPad into their academic missions. While a couple of campuses will run exploratory pilot programs (not dissimilar from Princeton’s Kindle experiment), others are offering iPads to all incoming freshmen, to select honors students, or to select graduate students. Also, at least one university, North Carolina State, has equipped its libraries with a collection of iPads for anyone to use (which is a little odd, given how personal these devices tend to be).
Safari Reveals Personal Info Via Auto-Fill — Jeremiah Grossman has discovered and explained a potentially significant security flaw in Safari 4 and 5. In essence, if you have the AutoFill option “Using info from my Address Book card” enabled, a malicious Web site can extract your name, company, city, state, country, and email address without your knowledge. For the moment, we recommend turning off that option in Safari’s AutoFill preference pane. Apple told the New York Times (though not Grossman, who reported the bug) that they are “aware of the issue and are working on a fix.”
Apple Delays White iPhone 4 Until “Later This Year” — Making iPhones is harder than it looks. After delaying shipment of the white iPhone 4 models until “late July,” Apple has now announced further delay. The statement reads, “White models of Apple’s new iPhone 4 have continued to be more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected, and as a result they will not be available until later this year. The availability of the more popular iPhone 4 black models is not affected.”
Antenn-aid For iPhone 4 Signal Woes — Apple hoped its recent press conference could heal the bruising the iPhone 4’s image has taken from the press. But for further repair there’s Antenn-aid, a vinyl Band-Aid sticker sized precisely to cover your iPhone 4’s antenna gap. It’s mainly a gag, but if you’re trying to avoid a bulky rubber bumper, you might give it a shot!
“Don’t Hold It Wrong” Spreads the Blame — Are you unconvinced by Apple’s videos showing other mobile phones being affected by the “death grip” reception problem? Check out further evidence presented by David Chartier at his new Don’t Hold It Wrong blog. He cites examples ranging from YouTube videos to user handbooks that show this is an industry-wide problem that’s far from secret. (PS: Don’t let small children read the blog’s About page.)