iPhone blogging

Good things come in good packages. The maxim is definitely true when one thinks of products from Apple. Take an iMac for instance. It’s big but flat, smooth and all aluminium-ish. And it comes with a keyboard that is thinner than Michael Jackson’s nose.

Take also the iPod, for example. It is getting sexier and slenderer with every successive generation, a consistency that would make Oprah envious with jealousy.

But deep down, an iMac is nothing but a normal Intel computer. And an iPod is nothing more than an MP3 player. In the wrong company, these 2 products could go terribly wrong. Case in point: Any Windows PC and Microsoft Zune. In fact, everything that Microsoft does these days go terribly wrong.

Which brings me to the subject of my review: the iPhone.

I’ve been using an iPhone for a month now and I’m sad to say that I just wished that it has more phone in it. As ever, Apple has got the packaging right but for this product, they’ve got the phone part wrong. I can’t forward an SMS to another person, perform mass SMSing, MMS a picture or sound, send or receive vCards. Heck, I can’t even archive my SMSes! It is like living in a beautiful apartment with rooms that have windows that open up to brick walls, toilets that have non-standard sized toilet paper dispensers and a kitchen that is completely sealed shut from the dinning room.

But this is not to say that it is a bad phone. It really isn’t. The iPhone is absolutely one of the sexiest phones out there in the market. It’s sleek, slender and smooth. The interface is fast and responsive. I really like the flicking and pinching thingamagik where you can flick and pinch on the touch screen and things either go up and down or big and small. And oh, yes, it turns heads, especially if you are hanging out in the local Mac store because it isn’t officially sold here yet.

Making an iPhone work here was quite easy.

After ripping out the wrapper, I tried cracking the phone in the office. Apple’s exclusive (money grabbing) tie-ups with selected telcos (currently at&t in the US and O2 in the UK) means that these phones are SIM-locked and they won’t work with SIMs from other operators. Which means that technically, the iPhone, in its original form, is illegal here as per the regulations set by MCMC, our telecommunications industry government watchdog.

Seeing that this is the case, I’ve decided to set things in order. I’m gonna unlock my iPhone because I’m a patriot….right….

Unlocking the phone is easy. The site i used is hacktheiphone.com and instructions are very well laid out there. In fact I count myself lucky that i got the 1.1.1 version that came with a tiff bug in Safari (Hah! Cupertino, you missed one!). The latest iPhones version 1.1.2 is a little more harder to crack but it’s not impossible.

Even with all the imperfections, the iPhone is still a spectacular phone. Nokia definitely has a lot of catching up to do. Functionally, Nokia phones work beautifully. Packaging wise, the N-series is now beginning to look more and more like Microsoft Windows 1.0 as compared to the original Macintosh OS. And while like Microsoft, Nokia can take comfort in the fact that they will still sell more phones than Apple, we all know which phones the good guys will be using in the future seasons of the TV series 24.

Cleaned up the site

After adding on gunk for the past months, I’ve cleaned up the sidebar and the layout of this blog.

Gone are the GoogleAds, Bloggers Unite & Richard Dawkins Foundation buttons. New stuff include a page on Photography and also a new one page about me, myself and I.

I’m thinking of changing the theme for this site so it will look better.

James Cameron presents…”The Cruci-fiction”!

Hahaha! Just when one thought that the Atheism debate is being waged by intellectuals like Richard Dawkins and philosophers like Sam Harris, Hollywood is also stepping up to the fray via Oscar winning director James Cameron and Simcha Jacobvici’s latest documentary about the cruci-fiction of Christ!

It all started with a December 2005 press release, which innocently framed the documentary as:-

“Drawing upon archaeology and forensics, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Jacobovici reveal facts that point toward a potential discovery of historic significance concerning the New Testament”

But latest information reveals something that will have Bible waving folks shouting bloody jihad because the documentary will show Jesus’s grave (and no it’s not empty). The resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith with Paul saying, “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Head to the show’s website for more information.

The God Delusion

I’ve just finished reading Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation.

If you haven’t read these books, I suggest you go to Kino and buy them before they are banned by the authorities. It happened to Karen Armstrong’s History of God. Her book was banned after the authorities realized that it was “blasphemous”.

Read these books and let us “pray” that more and more people will read them so that our world doesn’t end being ruined by the flames of an imagined, and totally man made apocalypse.

Click on the graphics above to buy from Amazon. Read the first chapter of the God Delusion here.

Nigerian Scam with a Sino-Anglo Twist?

I’ve received an interesting e-mail today about a lawyer who had come across a sum of money and how my trustworthiness would entitle me a cut of these said monies. Normally, I would delete the mail but the thing that caught my attention was that instead of being an African despot’s (or the Baath Party of Iraq’s) treasure loot, it was an inherintance from a chinaman called Jimmy Wong.

The full letter reads:-


>From – Barrister Russel Wansfell
12 Campshill Road,
London United Kingdom.
Email – russel_wansfell001@yahoo.com

Dear Friend,

Please permit me to introduce myself to you, I am
Barrister Russel wansfell an american citizen and a
Legal Practitioner in London, United Kingdom. I got
your contact from the UK Chambers of Commerce and Trade,
and I have decided to contact you so that we can carry out this mutually beneficial business transaction.

My late Client Mr Jimmy Wong a chinese citizen,until
his death deposited a total of US$6.5M three years ago with Bank Of America( Rhodes Island)He was a Director with Shell Petroleum Development Company in Gabon,Western Africa.

Since I am the personal attorney of Mr.Jimmy Wong,he gave me the
custody of the deposit documents,and as such entrusted me with the Legal Rights to transfer and execute this deposit to any
Next of Kin after his demise. I have since tried to locate any of his relative to no avail.

hence I decided to contact you so that you can rightfully stand as the next of kin to inherit the deposited sum of US$6.5M

This is a staggering sum,and I need a reliable person to help me with necessary arrangements to transfer the deposited sum from ank Of America( Rhodes Island).By virtue of my position as an Attorney,I will arrange the documents in your name so that you can rightly apply as a Next of Kin to Late Jimmy Wong in a capacity of a Family Friend.

You will be entitled to 40% of the total sum if you will be willing to assist me in this business transaction, and I will get the remaining 60%. I will prepare a formal agreement to guide us in this transaction for accountability purpose.

Please contact me as soon as possible so that we can start processing the documents.for security reasons,contact me through
(russel_wansfell001@yahoo.com )

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,

Russel wansfell (Legal Practitioner)
12 Campshill Road,
London United Kingdom.

Now, we all know that this is a scam from the tell-tale template misspelled strings like “Bank of America ( Rhode Island)” and “Russel wansfell” appears twice in the body text.

I did a Google and found that before Mr. (sic) Russel (sic) wansfell changed his name from Mr. Charles Lambert, he was serving another client who was also a Director of the said company in Africa:-


Dear sir,

Please permit me to introduce myself to you, I am
Barrister Charles Lambert, a Legal Practitioner in
London, United Kingdom. I got your contact from the UK
Chambers of Commerce and Trade, and I have decided to
contact you so that we can carry out this mutually
beneficial business transaction.

My late Client Mr Harold Wilson an American, until his
death deposited a total of US$5.5M three years ago
with Barclays Bank London, United Kingdom. He was a
Director with Shell Petroleum Development Company in
Gabon, Western Africa.

Since I am the personal attorney of Mr. Harold Wilson,
he gave me the custody of the deposit documents, and
as such entrusted me with the Legal Rights to transfer
and execute this deposit to any Next of Kin after his
demise. I have since tried to locate any Next of Kin
to Harold Wilson without success, hence I decided to
contact you so that you can rightfully stand as the
next of kin to inherit the deposited sum.

This is a staggering sum, and I need a reliable person
to help me with necessary arrangements to transfer the
deposited sum out of the United Kingdom. By virtue of
my position as an Attorney, I will arrange the
documents in your name so that you can rightly apply
as a Next of Kin to Late Harold Wilson in a capacity
of a Family Friend.

You will be entitled to 40% of the total sum should
you be willing to assist me in this business
transaction, and I will get the remaining 60%. I will
prepare a formal agreement to guide us in this
transaction for accountability purpose.

Please contact me as soon as possible so that we can
start processing the documents.
[charles_lambert@linuxmail.org]

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,

CHARLES LAMBERT (Legal Practitioners)
12 Campshill Road,
London United Kingdom

Just for kicks, I’ll reply this and see how far the scamming goes 😉

Chapter 1: Goldhalbinsel

A long time ago there was a village called Goldhalbinsel. In this village, there lived a few big families. These families were not small like the families of yours and mine. Indeed these were very large families. In fact, they were so large that cousins would bump into each other in the streets and they wouldn’t even know that they had the same great-grandmother.

As in all tales, this one is no different as I will start the story from the very beginning, or atleast, at a beginning that is important to the story. So I shall start with how the village came to be.

Of all the families there, the largest of them was the Bodensohns. They were the family that fled from a nearby town to found Goldhalbinsel. When they first arrived, the town was filled with useless trees and plainly equipped with neither commerce nor activities. They decided among themselves that they liked the place. Therefore, they drew lines in the soil and started to settle down there. They befriended the local lumberjacks working in the forest nearby and started a small trading shop, attracting people from nearby town and villages.

After that, tumultuous times befell the village. Foreign families came and plundered Goldhalbinsel. Of these marauding families, none stayed as long as the Steife-Lippes. They stole trees, crops and other natural resources for the giant scary beast that they worshipped back home called Industrialisierung. And while Steife-Lippe were in Goldhalbinsel, they destroyed the idyllic lifestyle of the village and smudged the landscape with roads, schools, railroads, modern buildings, water piping and introduced electricity, and bureaucracy. To help them retain their grip on the village, the Steife-Lippes became advisers to elders of the Bodensohn family.

The Steife-Lippes also encouraged the arrival of the second family of our tale. They were the Dracheabstammungs. They left their own village, a mighly and a big one called Mittleres Königreich, to go in search of better opportunities elsewhere.

Following closely was another family, the Schwarzes. They arrived seeking a better life for themselves. They came from one of the oldest village in the world but now, the village was getting too crowded and it was difficult to make ends meet.

As they had skills that no one in the village had back then, the Steife-Lippes welcomed them. The Dracheabstammungs were particularly adept in alchemy, seemingly able to turn anything into gold. The Schwarzes, on the other hand, were intelligent and seemed to be very proficient when equipped with quills and parchments. Soon these 2 families slowly made Goldhalbinsel into their own home too.

All this while, the family elders of the Bodensohns had had an understanding with the Steife-Lippes. By appeasing the Bodensohn family elders with corrupt mechanisms like outright bribery, concessions and preferential treatments, the Steife-Lippes ensured their continuing presence in the village.

However, this practise can only go so far as the Bodensohns in general grew resentful of the plundering Steife-Lippes. Soon they made calls to get rid of Steife-Lippes from Goldhalbinsel. The Dracheabstammungs and the Schwarzes also came to realize that a secured future meant being independent from the Steife-Lippes. As a result, the 3 families of Bodensohn, Dracheabstammung and Schwarze got together and decided that they shall rule Goldhalbinsel together. They relied on each other’s strengths while overcoming each other’s weaknesses.

With combined efforts, they ran the Steife-Lippes out of their village. Or so they would like to believe. The truth is, the Steife-Lippes would have left the village anyway because the family fortunes were running dry.

But back in Goldhalbinsel, the families celebrated their new found freedom. They’ve installed the Bodensohns elders as figurative leaders but everybody knew that the real power rest in the hands of ordinary Goldhalbinselians. In fact, they liked that idea so much that they started thinking of themselves not as Bodensohn, Dracheabstammung or Schwarze but as Goldhalbinselians.

The 3 families had all the recipes of being able to live happily ever after but our tale does not end here, as troubling times laid ahead for Goldhalbinsel.

More of this tale in days to come….