Archive for October, 2007

Gore and Obama 2008

When in Chicago, sildenafil I bought two books to update me on contemporary US politics. Gore’s Assault on Reason and Obama’s Audacity of Hope.

I thought they are the most interesting presidential hopefuls – especially now that Gore got his Nobel. So how do these guys compare to each other?

Gore is still Al Gore, the vice president, former long-time senator, and your standard politican. He makes sometimes bitter in-your-face notes on Bush administration and in-between the lines you may guess he doesn’t want to tell you all, etc. Standard stuff. I don’t think I learned much from his book.

Obama is a bit different. He at least sounds more constructive and hopes to tell you more than Gore. He aims to state what it really is like to be in politics, and how he also has his faults in there. Overall the impression is more positive. You can actually see the difference already in the names of the books.

Assuming both books have really been authored by the guys themselves, I’d vote for Obama for clarity, honesty, and potential for progressive political changes. Regarding moral choices and other minor stuff I don’t see that much difference. Interestingly both of them support e.g. death penalty. I guess that might be to a large extent because the majority of the American public supports it as well…

Published in: Politics | on October 18th, 2007 | No Comments »

Why I will stick with my iPhone

I did consider placing it on sale on a local auction site… but I didn’t. Why?

  1. iPhone is the best iPod so far (and supposed to be Nike-kit compatible soon so I can actually dump my nano)
  2. iPhone is the best (and only) Apple PDA so far, discount and it syncs naturally perfectly with my Mac laptop
  3. iPhone is a decent mobile phone, physician just enough to replace my old Nokia (though tech specs and phone usability could be better)
Published in: Tech | on October 14th, 2007 | No Comments »

Some afterthoughts

Some clips from Chicago Tribune’s coverage:

A Michigan man who collapsed during Sunday’s heat-shortened LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon has died, prostate authorities said… At around 12:10 p.m., no rx near the 20-mile marker at Halsted Street and Cermak Avenues, a Chicago firefighter announced over a public address system: “Attention runners, the marathon has been canceled. You can stop running, now.” … Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said 302 runners were hospitalized with what he described as heat-related conditions… It was the hottest day in the 30-year history of Chicago’s marathon.

Totally separate issue is the interesting sociological fact that well over 95% of marathon runners were fit, white americans. These are the people you see on TV but not that much on the streets, except on events like this…

Published in: Culture, Sports | on October 8th, 2007 | No Comments »

2.51.50

That is my new personal best! I don’t think that many who did the Chicago marathon today achieved the same.

Overall I am happy with my run taking the extreme weather conditions into account. At start it was something like 22-23 degrees celcius and after the first half it was all sunshine and close to +30C… humidity was 80%. I did the 2.40 target pace until at 25K I started to slow down. I figured out that was the only way to be able to complete the run. I didn’t come to Chicago to quit! First, look tens of runners passed me by but after 35K I think I started to gain positions again. I saw tens of runners to quit the race like dead flies…

My overall position was 120. I checked the database back to 2000 and always that position had required a sub-2.40 time. Last year I should have run 2.28 to be #120 in the finishing line! Anyway, store since I didn’t do sub-2.40 today I need to compete in yet another marathon next year. I rank US city marathons high in my list. Good atmosphere, lots of people cheering you up etc.

Published in: Sports | on October 7th, 2007 | No Comments »

First call made on my new iPhone

Yesterday, click I took the bus up to Apple Store right after picking up my marathon pack. Man, it was packed like an ant nest. Most people were playing with this hype-device #1 also known as the Jesus Phone. I try to find one on the selves without a result. Are they sold out? No, just line up there. iPhone is so popular they keep them behind the desk.

I buy mine (c. 300 EUR) and head back to the hotel. Get some sleep and wake up early (like 4am) to start hacking. At around 9:30 am I made my first call. Some five hours of frustrated hacking finally resulted in an unlocked phone with third party apps up and running… But why was it so difficult?

First thing to do was to find out the version number of the firmware. After browsing some 10 minutes it turns out this information can be read from package. I was lucky to buy a phone manufactured in the last week (38) before the new unhackable (so far) firmware was released.

Next the phone must be activated without AT&T. Turns out a hacker application called iNdependence does the trick. My first attempt failed, however. I should have turned iTunes off before the activation since it tries to capture control all the time. At some point when both iTunes and iPhone said the phone must be restored I feared that this might lead to new firmware…. happily enough I was able to escape that fate by manually forcing iTunes and iTunes Helper to quit and then simply turning the phone off and on again. Ok, the Phone is activated. Now what?

Then, one must install new apps. After some 30 mins of browsing I settle with these instructions, where the whole process is covered. Ok, there is a third party program called Installer App. I first thought it must be donwloaded to the iPhone but from another source I learn this must be done on Mac. Ok, let’s get this right this time. Indeed, everything goes smoother and I have suddenly tens of hacked applications on my activated iPhone! Nice.

Finally, unlock. Now I need to manually do a ssh connection to iPhone, “jailbreak” it, and copy AnySIM unlock application inside. Depending on the instruction source, I might need to change the SIM now or after using AnySIM. The app itself tells me to change the SIM right away and I do it. A needle from my marathon pack is needed to remove the SIM placeholder. TeliaSonera inside and off we go! Some 10 mins later the system says everything was succesful. However, the phone says “SIM locked”… WTF?! I continue with the instructions and manually rewrite some files on the phone but the “locked” text remains. More browsing and a Norwegian forum instructs that I need to enter the PIN of my fucking SIM! My PIN! Of course, it was not a “SIM” but rather a “PIN ” lock. Enter the four digits and off we ring with T-Mobile…

Hackers have certainly worked on this phone. Cutting-edge hardware (ok, no 3G) with BSD Unix inside means iPhone is a great platform for some serious development efforts. The unix hacker menthality, however, also means the hacks may be a bit difficult to apply. Most of my time went on browsing numerous forums with conflicting hacking instructions and scary stories of people “bricking” their phones… many users means much noice. But with calm, bit frustrated attitude and a couple of trial-and-errors, it luckily all worked out in the end…

Published in: Tech | on October 6th, 2007 | No Comments »