I Have Things To Do Today

I have a cell phone that I don’t like. This is not to imply that I might like any cell phone. There is no chance of that. The thing tries too hard without actually being helpful and is to too damn complicated.

I dabble in computer security enough to remain permanently scared. I dislike my phone because of my belief that it is horribly insecure and I can’t fix it.

Today I learned of a new advertising exploit. One loads a Web page with an advertisement. The advertisement then induces one’s computer to emit coded ultrasound. Your phone, which you thought was quietly sleeping, hears the commands in the ultrasound waves and notifies some server that you have seen the advertisement.

WTF! This is not a new wrestling federation; it is a cry of outrage. I try to do business with people who have my interests at heart. When it comes to electronics, that means I get to control what the device does—not some advertiser.

I’ve long suspected that the Android operating system, written by Google, has back doors. I try to mitigate the risks.

Don’t send me email and expect that I’ll read it in anything less than twenty-four hours. It’s not on my phone and it is none of Google’s business. I read my email in my office, on my desktop, like a grownup. [A grownup is a person who is old enough to need reading glasses and a big screen. —KD]

I don’t use the default calendar application that ships with Android. I found a sort of PDA that runs on both my desktop and my phone. I hope Google hasn’t figured out what it is.

Google can have my contact list. If it does something horrible with it and my contacts complain, I’ll find something for that too.

I have things to do today. We’re celebrating Christmas tomorrow (don’t ask) and I really don’t feel like scouring the Web to foil some new exploit. I can’t return to our landline and pay phones. More’s the pity.

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