Archive: Jul 2007

Skype spam

This is a first… the African “multi-million dollars are coming to you” scheme has now reached Skype. How could it not?

Dear friend,

We want to transfer to overseas ($6,000.000.00 USD) six million United States Dollars) from a Bank in Africa. Iwant to ask you to quietly look for a reliable and honest person who will be capable and fit to provide either an existing bank account or to set up anew Bank a/c immediately to receive this money, even an empty a/c canserve,as long as you will remain honest to me till the end for this important business,trusting in you and believing in God that you will never let me down either now or in future.

Blah, blah, blah

For now, I just blocked that user. But if it starts to be a real issue, here’s what you can do –

  • Go to Preferences > Privacy
  • Set “Allow instant messages from” to “Only people whom I have authorized to start”.

Now this means a new friend can’t get in touch with you, but it is probably worth it if spammers start using Skype actively. I hope Skype also adds a “report this user” functionality before it gets out of hand.

Harry Potter and the ending

I get very involved with the characters in a book. I’ve laughed and cried, been elated or depressed based on what happens to the people in it. Maybe it is because I visualize as I read and the characters become much more real to me.

And… I can’t stand stress and waiting to find out what happens. Does she get the guy? Does Harry Potter live? Argh, I can’t bear it. I’ve been that way ever since I was a kid – much to my mother’s horror, I have flipped to the last page, heaved a happy sigh and then consumed the rest of my book.

And that is exactly what I will do with the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I will open the book to the last page, figure out what happens to Harry and then start at the beginning. I want to enjoy the whole book, see how the plot unfolds, who lives, who dies, who’s good, who’s bad. But I will do so much more calmly/resignedly knowing what happens to Harry.

Just in case you are curious, for all the Harry Potter books so far, the stakes have never been high enough, so I never jumped ahead!

Ah, it will feel good to know… 🙂

And yes, I could find out now from the leaked source. While the publishers will be livid at the leak, I don’t think it will affect sales in any way. Knowing the ending is not enough – people want to know how it unfolds. And for me at least, I can’t read a badly photographed online version of the book – I will be reading the published book, fresh, crisp and heavy in my hands. Can’t wait.

Unlocked iPhone

We knew it would happen and it has. A group of intrepid hackers are hard at work trying to unlock the iPhone.

The issues are probably complex since the iPhone is activated via iTunes connecting to verify your credit etc. So, they need to get around something that is more complex than most regular cellphones use.

The other difficult part they need to solve is that most of the phone functions need to continue to work after unlocking it. So say I use my T-Mobile number, I am fine if visual voicemail doesn’t work, but I won’t be happy if I can’t sync contacts or use Google Maps.

You can follow their progress on their wiki and on the MacNN forum.

Do I think they’ll crack it tomorrow? No. But I do think they will crack it. How well and with how little disruption to the software is yet to be seen. And how they deal with firmware updates from Apple will be another interesting thing.

But, for all these reasons, I am cheering for them to free the iPhone!