Saturday, December 6 2014

Hacking Android/Cyanogen Email in KitKat and Lollipop
[17:51:38] matt []/Psi.cor Work switched from Zimbra to MicroSoft Exchange some time back, and I've stopped synchronizing my calendar with my Nexus 4 since then (instead using my Handspring Visor Edge). The reason was straight forward: the MicroSoft server wanted the ability to wipe my entire device.

This seemed like overreach, and after talking with people in IT, it wasn't intentional, it was just the default. The changes in the AOSP code are pretty straightforward to disable this. I've posted diffs for both KitKat and Lollipop:

The KitKat changes also include some clean-up of CM code I didn't find useful (CMUpdater, CMAccounts), these aren't in CM12 yet. If you'd rather cherry-pick the changes for CM11 or AOSP 4.4 there are two AOSP applications to patch:

It looks like a lot of refactoring went into the Exchange services in 5.0, the patchset is smaller, but there's a new issue as reported to horde:
I can confirm that this is an issue with Android 5.0—the effect is that the device appears to sync, but when it is about to complete it removes all data it received. I have not looked into fixing this yet but appears unrelated to Horde itself.

For now, full builds are at: (Nexus 4, Android 5.0/CM12/Lollipop) (Nexus 4, Android 4.4/CM11/KitKat) (Nexus S, Android 4.4/CM11/KitKat)

Saturday, October 25 2014

[14:08:14] matt []/Merch Apparently MicroSoft now wants either a phone number or another eMail address to allow me to play games locally on an Xbox 360.

Monday, November 26 2012

[17:22:02] matt []/Amabel Ford and MicroSoft teamed up with the Focus to create a simplified UI where you can lock and unlock your car using only one button. If your car is locked, the button will unlock the doors; if the car is unlocked, it will lock the doors; if your doors are in a mixed state, you must be a dirty hacker, voided your warranty, using a non-genuine Ford Focus, and the car will refuse to start.

Tuesday, April 13 2010

Fancy Small Computers
[19:49:41] matt []/kerberos I remember a time, not so long ago, that it was difficult to find a small computer that was portable and had a long battery. The OQO looked intriguing, but it would continue to be vaporware for several years. The only thing I could find was the Fujitsu Lifebook P-series, which at the time was using the exciting new Transmeta Crusoe chips designed for energy efficiency. Unfortunately, even compared to the computers of the day, that laptop was slow.

These days "netbooks", much to the shagrin of Psion, are bountiful--often running on Intel's x86-compatible Atom processor, although increasingly running on ARM Snapdragons (supported by Maemo, Android, and Ubuntu Linux distributions among countless other variants). Jamie just got an Assus EeePC that's running Ubuntu; my mother has an Acer Aspire One running some MicroSoft version. I borrowed the EeePC and didn't want to give it back, it's really well done given a single-use mentality (the Netbook Remix variation of Ubuntu is very Mac-like).

The question I find myself pondering is what do I really want? I recently picked-up the Nokia N900 which runs at a decent clip, the Maemo 5 (Fremantle) interface is pretty snappy, and I've really gotten used to the touch interface for anything non-productive ("consumptive") tasks. It's actually a very amazing machine that in practice is very much like that P-2110 but smaller.

In the end there's a lot of small options, and they each have a different niche to fill--but I'm not sure how much overlap they all have. It could be that one covers too much of another's niche, making two distinct devices redundant. I can carry the N900 instead of the E61; but it doesn't replace the Neo when I need a small pocketable phone. I could carry the EeePC on trips where it would take-up less space than the MacBook, and still have a phenominal-for-a-laptop keyboard to compose messages or configure machines, or even do work albeit on a small screen. But what does that really get me? A slightly bigger screen (2") and a bigger keyboard, at the cost of another device--and one that doesn't have a ubiquitous Internet access at that.

If more areas had converted to municipal WiFi, it might be a different situation.