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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Why did Apple ban this iPhone App?

Do you know what your apps are doing when you are not paying attention? How are they taking care of your personal data? An iOS app called Clueful from security company Bitdefender told users exactly what the apps on their iPhone were doing. That is a valuable service for consumers who may trust an app simply because it had the App Store stamp of approval, when not all apps are so trustworthy. Yet Apple has removed Clueful from the App Store for unspecified reasons.

According to Bitdefender, Clueful “identifies deviant apps on your iPhone. It looks at what applications are currently running in memory and it retrieves audit information from the Clueful Cloud. This audit info lets you know if the app is taking your address book, sharing your location, etc.”

Clueful would also let you know if an app integrated a mobile analytics platform so it could track a user’s behavior within the app. Mobile analytics is a powerful tool for developers, and the information is extremely useful to developers for marketing and designing updates. Clueful would tell you how an ad network was interacting with an app. It would tell if an app was accessing your Facebook or Twitter credentials or if it used telemetry data to ascertain your behavior across several apps. If an app was sending your data unencrypted, Clueful would let you know.

Apple has good reasons for not wanting consumers to have that information. Several companies have gotten into trouble in 2012 for improperly transmitting user data to servers, such as Path and LinkedIn.

Read the rest of the article here.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Why I fired my secretary on the spot.

Last week was my birthday and I didn't feel very well waking up that morning. I went downstairs for breakfast hoping my wife would be pleasant and say, "Happy birthday!", and possibly have a present for me.

As it turned out, she barely said good morning, let alone "Happy birthday".

I thought... well, that's marriage for you, but the kids will remember. My kids ate breakfast and didn't say a word.

So when I left for the office, I was feeling pretty low and somewhat despondent.

As I walked into my office, my secretary, Jane said, "Good morning boss, happy birthday!" It felt a little better that at least someone had remembered.

I worked until one o'clock and then Jane knocked on my door and said, "You know, it's such a beautiful day outside, and it's your birthday, let's go out to lunch, just you and me".

I said, "Thanks Jane, that's the greatest thing I've heard all day. Let's go!"

Monday, 9 July 2012

Useful information for bloggers, worth the read.

I stumbled upon this blog the other day and found this article of interest and hope it will be of interest to other bloggers. I shall definitely take some of this to heart. There's a link at the end to his site if you want to see the rest of the article. Ampers

How to get Me to Read Your Blog
Chances are I’m not reading your blog. That’s not because I don’t like you, most likely I don’t even know you exist, and that’s your fault.

Yes, you heard me. Your fault. It’s something you can remedy though.

There are a gazillion blogs out there, and most of them suck, to be honest. Yours might not, though, so I’m willing to have a look. But how am I to find it? And why should I stay along at all?

Are you commenting on my posts? That works, you know, don’t be shy – tooting your horn is something you need to learn. Sometimes reading other people’s blog is the best way to get lots of traffic in the long run, since it can award itself with links, trackbacks and the like.

Do you submit your posts to social tools, like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, and Splashpress’ own Blogosphere News? That’s a very natural way to reach your niche, and if I’m interested in it I might end up reading something on your blog.

Why education is of vital importance?

Here is probably the best illustration I have seen of how an educated person (in this case, Lord Christopher Monkton - UKIP politician, former newspaper editor and journalist) can devastate someone (in this case, a Greenpeace representative).

By educated, I am not just referring to a University degree as both participants in this ten minute confrontation are probably university educated, but I mean education combined with a logical incisive mind and the ability to quickly marshal facts for presentation, whilst in conversation.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Some humour from our man in Indiana

But the cartoon came from a friend in Africa...


Father O'Malley answers the phone. 'Hello, is this Father O'Malley?' 'It is!' 'This is the Internal Revenue Service . Can you help us?' 'I can!' 'Do you know a Ted Houlihan?' 'I do!' 'Is he a member of your congregation?' 'He is!' 'Did he donate $10,000 to the church?' 'He will.' 

How I would transform the armed forces.

It is becoming more and more important to save money everywhere we can in Britain, so that Clegg and Cameron can strut around on the world stage. So money to the armed forces is out, and money to the Indian poor (whilst their government spend billions on a space programme) is in, as with the Swiss Bank accounts of African and Asian countries leaders.

Our armed forces need to be professional and, as they are being reduced even more, they need to be even more professional.

I have an idea.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The definitive version of how Socialism works

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism". All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied 'hard' were upset and the students who studied 'little' were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied 'even less' and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied 'little'.

The second test average was a 'D'. No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

EU Alert: Don't go on holiday in August!

Nigel Farage, he just gets better and better, what a star he'd be in our UK Parliament.


Monday, 2 July 2012

Cathy's newsletter from Zimbabwe

Cathy Buckle is writing from Zimbabwe, her letter is below.

Dear Family and Friends,

Front page headlines midweek screamed the shocking news that President Mugabe’s trip to Brazil was costing the country seven million US dollars. The President had gone to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to attend a UN summit on Sustainable Development. He was accompanied by a delegation of ninety two people.

The next day I attended a meeting along with perhaps forty others at our local Municipality. Called an ‘All Stakeholders’ meeting the idea was for local council officials to tell us what they were doing with our money every month and to give residents of the town a chance to publicly air their views. This was a meeting that had been requested by residents months ago and was finally happening. Only about twenty chairs had been provided for members of the public and for the first hour and a quarter people shuffled in and out. 

Government Business, South African style

Three contractors, one from Soweto , another from Pretoria , and the third from Benoni, are bidding to fix a broken fence at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

They go with an ANC official to examine the fence...
The Pretoria contractor takes out a tape measure, does some measuring, and then works some figures with a pencil. 'Well,' he says, 'I figure the job will run about R900. R400 for materials, R400 for my crew, and R100 profit for me.'

The Benoni contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, 'I can do this job for R700: R300 for materials, R300 for my crew, and R100 profit for me.'

The Soweto contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the ANC official and whispers,'R2,700.00'.

The ANC official, incredulous, says, 'You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?'

The Soweto contractor whispers back, 'R1000 for me, R1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Benoni to fix the fence.'

'Done!' replies the ANC Government official.
And that, folks, is how it all works in South.Africa. these days! 

If you're not from South Africa, change the three areas to your own location and change the Government Official to a party near you.

Easy Malva Pudding recipe (South African)

Heavenly recipe for a traditional South African dessert - Malva Pudding. Serve with a great big spoon of ice cream.

250ml Castor Sugar
1 1/4 Cups (312ml) Cake Flour
2 XL Eggs (at room temperature)
Pinch of Salt
Finely grated zest of 1/2 an Orange or 1 whole Clementine
1/2 Cup (125ml) Milk
1 Tbs (15ml) Smooth Apricot Jam
2 Tbs (30ml) Butter
1 Tbs (15ml) Vinegar
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) Real Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 tsp (7ml) Bicarbonate of Soda

1 Cup (250ml) Evaporated Milk (or fresh cream if you prefer)
1/2 Cup (125g) Butter
1/2 Cup (125ml) Sugar
1/2 Cup (125ml) Orange Juice (or water if you prefer)
Knife point of Vanilla bean seeds
It also works well with 1/2 brandy and 1/2 orange juice for an adult version

Preheat oven to 180 Celcius
Grease a medium to large deep ovenproof dish and set aside
Beat the eggs and castor sugar until light and fluffy
Beat in the apricot jam and orange zest
Sift the dry ingredients together in a seperate bowl
Melt the butter and mix together with the milk and vinegar
Alternately fold some of the dry ingredients and liquid into the batter until all is folded in (I do about a third of each at a time) end with dry ingredients
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes
About 5 minutes before the end of baking time melt all the sauce ingredients together in a saucepan and boil gently for a few minutes - this can also be done in the mircrowave
As soon as the pudding comes out of the oven poke some holes into it with a fork or skewer then pour the hot sauce over and leave to be absorbed for about 15 minutes or so

(I like to keep about half the sauce aside and serve it warm with the pudding)

Serve this pudding warm with thick cream, custard, cremefraiche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream - my best way... I just love the mouth feel of hot and cold at the same time!

For a yummy extra South African twist I like to sometimes half whip some cream, add a tot of Amarula liqueur and 10ml Icing Sugar to it and then whip until stiff peaks form and serve this with the warm pudding... yummy!

Serves 8-9 or 3-4 if you are a pig like me!

The New Samsung Galaxy S3 - a different sort of review

My contract on my HTC Desire came to an end recently. I started looking at the market to see what was around. The HTC One X looked exciting, but it was running the Tegra 3 processor. I knew there was WiFi trouble with the first ASUS Prime tablet which also used the same Tegra 3 chip. In addition, it had no slot for an additional external SDCard, and the battery was built into the model. This, in my eyes, made the phone rather pointless.

Then the Samsung Galaxy S3 came out. It ticked all the right boxes, had a slot for the external SDCard and the battery could easily be replaced. Knowing my heavy usage, I immediately purchased a spare battery. I was amazed to find the manufacturer's battery was only a fiver from Amazon. However, when thinking about the 10,000,000 advanced orders Samsung had for the phone (even before they released the specification) it was obvious that they were buying batteries on a huge scale.

I looked at buying the phone from Amazon and taking a GiffGaff PAYG card. The cost from Amazon, divided by 24 (to help compare with a two year contract) was £20.50 a month. A GiffGaff card would be £10 a month for 250 minutes, and unlimited texts and Internet, bringing up the price to £30.50 a month.

Three Mobile were offering the lowest price contract for £34 a month. This includes 2,000 minutes, 5,000 three to three minutes, 5,000 texts (overkill) and truly unlimited Internet. I also believe that Three is the only provider who allows tethering (using your phone with your laptop to access the Internet on the computer). This deal seemed a no-brainer so I phoned them up on the day of the release, and it arrived the very next day.