Daniel Eran Dilger
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Posts from — March 2008

Exploring Time Capsule: WiFi 802.11n and the 5GHz band


Earlier versions of the WiFi specification all used the 2.4GHz radio spectrum. The new 802.11n standard, supported in Time Capsule, the square AirPort Extreme, and recently shipping AirPort Express units, allows users to alternatively select the use of 5GHz channels. This segment, the third of six, compares the pros and cons of using this new section of frequencies, which can be both problematic and provide a major boost in speed.

Continues: Exploring Time Capsule: WiFi 802.11n and the 5GHz band

Previous articles related to Time Capsule and its AirPort Extreme cousin:

Exploring Time Capsule: theoretical speed vs practical throughput
Exploring Time Capsule: how it fits into Apple’s AirPort family
An in-depth review of Apple’s 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station
Apple Time Capsule unboxing and preview
A Look Inside Apple’s New Time Capsule
Answers to Time Capsule reader questions

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March 31, 2008   2 Comments

Engadget: iPhone Lookalike BlackBerry 9000 is “Sexy.” Umm, not so much.

Daniel Eran Dilger
Engadget profiled RIM’s new iPhone styled BlackBerry 9000 (above on the right, aping the iPhone’s chrome and black style but lacking its touchscreen), calling it sexy and praising its “beautiful user interface, which has been totally revamped from the ground up; gone is the cartoonish look and feel of the current lineup, replaced with a modern, warm theme with wireframe icons and slick animations.”

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March 31, 2008   26 Comments

Thom Holwerda of OSNews Calls “Mac Shot First” Misinformation and Slander. Oops!

Daniel Eran Dilger
Responding to the article “Mac Shot First: 10 Reasons Why CanSecWest Targets Apple,” Thom Holwerda of OSNews wrote a point by point essay titled “Countering Misinformation” that described my article as “an unrivaled wealth of misinformation, [with] some things even bordering on slander.” Of course, one can’t write slander (it’s called libel), but his serious accusations failed to refute any of the points I raised, and really betray his effort to smear me rather than correct any facts I presented. He’s wrong, here’s why.

Countering misinformation, OSNews
Mac Shot First: 10 Reasons Why CanSecWest Targets Apple

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March 31, 2008   22 Comments

Mac Shot First: 10 Reasons Why CanSecWest Targets Apple

Daniel Eran Dilger
The details emerging from the CanSecWest security contest fill out a story that is bigger than the simple “Mac Shot First” headlines convey. This was not a contest where three systems were placed in an equal foot race and the Mac simply lost due to being a slower runner. Here’s why.

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March 29, 2008   79 Comments

Exploring Time Capsule: theoretical speed vs practical throughput


Time Capsule, announced earlier this year, is a base station with an integrated hard drive and power supply. The previous segment of this series exploring Time Capsule in depth looked at the differences in members of the AirPort family. This segment, the second of six, compares the differences between the hypothetical maximum data transmission speed and typical real world performance of Time Capsule’s SATA, USB 2.0, Ethernet networking, and WiFi Wireless networking interfaces.
Continues: Exploring Time Capsule: theoretical speed vs practical throughput

March 28, 2008   1 Comment

CanSecWest and Swiss Federal Institute of Tech Deliver Attacks on the Reality of Mac Security

Daniel Eran Dilger
In back to back press releases with payloads of sensationalized misinformation, two apparently unrelated groups launched attacks on Mac OS X’s reputation for delivering better real world security for its users compared to Microsoft’s Windows. In the first, a contest held at the CanSecWest Applied Security Conference, sponsored in part by Microsoft, suggested that hacking a MacBook Air was faster than hacking a Sony or Fujitsu Windows PC laptop. Thousands of miles away, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology engaged in Vulnerability Numerology to declare that Apple’s operating system had fewer promptly patched software vulnerabilities compared to Windows. The premise behind both widely publicized stories are wrong, here’s why.

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March 28, 2008   99 Comments

Exploring Time Capsule: how it fits into Apple’s AirPort family


Time Capsule, announced at this years’ Macworld Expo, serves as a simple rebranding of the AirPort Extreme with an integrated hard drive and power supply. Apple sells the new Time Capsule next to last years AirPort Express and the compact AirPort Express. This segment, the first of six exploring Time Capsule in depth, highlights the differences between the members of Apple’s AirPort family.

Continues: Exploring Time Capsule: how it fits into Apple’s AirPort family

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March 27, 2008   2 Comments

Is Number Two Amazon Rivaling iTunes in Music Sales? Haha No

Amazon takes on iTunes
Daniel Eran Dilger
Jefferson Graham of USA Today reports that Amazon’s MP3 store “has quietly become No. 2 in digital sales since opening nearly six months ago,” behind Apple’s iTunes. That idea is being widely publicized by the big music labels, who hope to gain some leverage against Apple in order to push their own plans for the future of music sales. But is it accurate, is Amazon any threat to Apple’s iTunes, and what effect will the rumored plans for iPod-bundled music have on the online music industry? Here’s a look.

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March 27, 2008   39 Comments

iPhone Predicted 40 Years Ago Along With Flying Cars

40 years in the future
Daniel Eran Dilger
Blogs have been buzzing about an article in Mechanix Illustrated from 1969 that made a series of predictions for life in 2008: flying cars that whisked commuters to work on autopilot at the speed of bullet trains, supersonic rocket planes, homes automated by a central computer, a society fed seaweed that tastes like steak, intelligence pills, and other science fiction ideas. Nobody has pointed out that the main prediction that has become a reality is represented by the iPhone.

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March 26, 2008   18 Comments

Podcast: Flash and Java on iPhone

Tech Night Owl podcast

Gene Steinberg of the Tech Night Owl podcast invited me to join Bob LeVitus, Denis Motova, and Tim Goggin on his weekly show this week. I went off about Flash and Java on the iPhone and other iPhone SDK subjects, from the App Store and Apple’s mobile competitors to the mobile software market. You can hear for yourself and subscribe to the Tech Night Owl RSS feed at:

The Tech Night Owl LIVE with Gene Steinberg

March 20, 2008 episode:


Earlier episodes I’ve participated on:

Jan 31 08
Jan 3 08
Nov 8 07
Sep 20 07
Aug 9 07
Jun 14 07
Apr 26 07
Mar 1 07
Jan 11 07

More on the iPhone 2.0 SDK

iPhone 2.0 SDK: The No Multitasking Myth
iPhone 2.0 SDK: Java on the iPhone?
iPhone 2.0 SDK: How Signed Certificates Work
iPhone 2.0 SDK: Video Games to Rival Nintendo DS, Sony PSP

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March 23, 2008   4 Comments

iPhone 2.0 SDK: Readers Write on Certificate Signing


Responding to the articles iPhone 2.0 SDK: Java on the iPhone? and iPhone 2.0 SDK: How Signing Certificates Work, readers wrote in with additional notes on signed iPhone app revocation by Apple and a comparison of the issues faced by Sun’s Java ME developers in the area of signing code.

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March 21, 2008   4 Comments

iPhone 2.0 SDK: Video Games to Rival Nintendo DS, Sony PSP

Daniel Eran Dilger
When the iPhone was unveiled a year ago, it was obvious that it would outclass the status quo in mobile phones, particularly in the US where mobile operators have been holding back innovation. Far less obvious was the potential for the new phone to rival dedicated handheld gaming consoles. Here’s how well the iPhone stacks up against the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP in both hardware and as a business model.

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March 20, 2008   94 Comments

Roger Kay’s Wax Wings of Icarus vs the Flight of Apple

Daniel Eran Dilger
Roger Kay has resorted to religious fantasy in order to find something assailable about Apple’s rapid growth in consumer electronics and its mounting impact on the enterprise. Using more idioms than one could shake a gilded lily at, Kay strung together a series of weak complaints that ranged from misstatements to completely false assertions, bound together by a non sequitur (and non secular) mortar of inanity.

Auf Deutsch: Roger Kay – oder die Flügel des Ikarus im Vergleich zum Höhenflug von Apple
Übersetzung: digital express

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March 19, 2008   24 Comments

iPhone 2.0 SDK: How Signing Certificates Work

Daniel Eran Dilger and Jason Smith
Last May, I asked Steve Jobs for a public comment to clarify Apple’s plans for third party software for the iPhone. He assured me that Apple did indeed recognize a market for software outside of the web platform outlined for the iPhone, but was “wrestling” with how to balance openness with security. Jobs repeated similar comments that summer at All Things D.

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March 18, 2008   45 Comments

iPhone 2.0 SDK: Java on the iPhone?

Daniel Eran Dilger
Shortly after Apple announced the iPhone SDK, Sun announced the intention to bring its Java Micro Edition platform to the iPhone. Questions remain about whether Sun will be able to deliver, if Apple will allow it, and what purpose this would serve for iPhone users. Even more interesting is where Java came from, and where it’s subsequently going in the mobile arena.

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March 14, 2008   50 Comments