Greg's bite: iPad Folder Bug, NetFlix, iPhone, Web Opt Out, Stuxnet News
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Greg's bite: iPad Folder Bug, NetFlix, iPhone, Web Opt Out, Stuxnet News

By Greg Mills

iOS 4.2.1 folder bugApple is working on recreating the iOS 4.2.1 disappearing folder bug. The bug has been reported to me by six readers, so far.  

The steps that may or may not result in the folders disappearing are.  

° Load the new iPad iOS 4.2.1 on to your iPad.

° Sort apps into folders  

° Download app updates to some apps in folders over Wi-Fi before syncing iPad with iTunes.  

° All Folders disappear and apps are spread out randomly.  

I was contacted yesterday by Apple and can thus confirm they are now aware of the problem and hopefully will fix it with the iPad iOS release scheduled for mid-December. Apple does a great job of fixing issues like this that aren't dangerous but a nuisance. 

NetFlix has grown to the point it consumes 15% to 20% of the Internet bandwidth in many locations in the US. Those of us with unlimited data plans may find caps put on data to pay for the increased usage due to downloading HD movies, which are bandwidth hogs, to be sure ...

Spats are breaking out between various providers of the Internet service we take for granted. To understand the limitations of bandwidth there is an experiment one can try.  Breath through a straw while at rest and then get up and run around the house. Suddenly the straw isn't big enough to supply all the air that is needed. The Internet has been likened to tubes that run everywhere to interconnect computers with each other and servers that switch the connections. NetFlix is running around the house and suddenly there isn't enough tube capacity to go around. They can't charge NetFlix so they are going to charge us ...

Apple's iPhone usage numbers are now equal with RIM. As Apple increases RIM decreases in customer base numbers as have Nokia and other fringe players like Microsoft.  Apple's only serious competition is with Google's Android OS. It takes a while for patent issues to play out and while the glacier moves very slowly down the mountain, it grinds away everything in its path. Apple's touch screen user interface is that technological glacier, and Google is directly in the path of Apple patent lawsuits that are sure to come.  

Steve Jobs has declared that they have patented everything they can on the iPhone technology and will defend their patent rights vigorously. Normally, when a patent holder sues and wins an infringement case there are two options the parties can come to. The patent holder may elect to license the infringer for some agree to amount of money or refuse to license the infringer at all and force them to stop using the patented technology.  

The second option will be a disaster for Google should Apple get the upper hand. Android's touch screen user interface is clearly headed for court. This may be in the form of one cell phone manufacturer at a time or Google facing infringement scrutiny from a Federal court over many aspects of the Android OS that infringe on who knows how many Apple patents. Remember Apple was working on iPhone long before Google got to work on Android.

A web browser tracking opt out option may be in the works soon. The FCC has been discussing offering web users the same privacy as telephone users have, who may "opt out" of having telephone solicitors call them. I submitted all our phone numbers to the FCC "no call list" and the telephone solicitation problem mostly went away. You know you are being tracked, when you Google a business to hook up to the right web site for them and then for weeks, you see banner ads on almost every web site you visit for them.  

To me, having as many as five identical ads  served to me by Google on a single web page I visit,  for a company I already found by Googling them, is advertising fraud. It is sort of like the click fraud thing that came up a few years back where advertisers were being defrauded by companies that placed web ads in numerous web sites, like Google, and then generated a lot of phony clicks that were charged as a page view by a web browsing person. Advertisers are charged per view, and they have no way to protect themselves from fraud.

The upside of a universal web browsing tracking opt out mandate is privacy. The down side is revenue for web ads would crash and a lot of content paid for by such advertising would vanish. The economics of most web sites is tenuous already. It is hard to get Internet users to pay for content, and web sites have to raise money somehow. It is likely a mandated "opt out of web browser tracking" rule by the FCC will have unanticipated downside consequences for all of us.

The Stuxnet news is out that, finally, Iran is admitting what everyone already knew: the Microsoft Windows worm called Stuxnet has done serious damage to its "peaceful" development of nuclear energy. The leak of diplomatic messages in the news recently confirm that everyone in the Middle East is actually pushing the US and Israel to bomb the heck out of them.  

If Stuxnet fails to stop Iran they will have no alternatives left short of war -- and war is sure to be swift and harsh. The consequences for oil prices spiking for a while are obvious, and Iran will strike back. The risk is that someone will go nuclear, and that is not going to be pretty.  The Stuxnet worm may have bought the world some time but won't stop them.  

Now the French have fresh intelligence they are releasing that the North Koreans may have stirred things up locally to mask shipping nuclear bomb parts to Iran to help them out. Once Iran actually tests a nuclear bomb, the cat is out of the bag and bombing them with anything short of nuclear weapons will be fruitless and dangerous as a counter strike by Iran is likely and may be hard to stop despite our best missile counter measures. No one but Iran wants war, but they may get their wish.  Israel and the US may disagree on what to do, but Iran continues to ratchet up the risk of war.

That's Greg's bite for today.

(Greg Mills, is a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup, www.CottageIndustrySolar.com using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's art web site at www.gregmills.info ; his email is gregmills@mac.com )

 
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