Archive for April, 2011

You Are Being Tracked!

By now practically everyone knows about the simple truth that some vendors (Apple, Google) have built in logging that records our every move in their smartphones. With Apple this appears to have started with the release of  iOS 4. This file is in CLEAR TEXT on your iPhone/iPad and looks like it’s getting “shipped” off to who knows where. The same is true w/Andriod devices.

There IS a difference between the two tracking setups – Apple’s is recording (it appears) forever… Andriod only has some recient data. They are recording and logging information that would normally require a court order by a judge by law officials. So why are they doing this? Various bloggers/respected writers have their opinions on this. One noted individual (John C. Dvorak) has his own ideas on the subject: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2383984,00.asp .. and I agree – It cannot be anything good….

I did see several posts on the net (besides Jon Dvorak’s) where a couple of Capitol Hill lawmakers (Senator Al Franken, D-Minnesota and Rep Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts) are asking a LOT of questions about this. It may well lead to a congressional investigation (I hope 😉 So far they have been “stone-walled” by Apple and Google.

UPDATE: Just picked this up off the net … posted by the WSJ: Even if you turn off location services – it is still tracking you! http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704123204576283580249161342.html

UPDATE: April 28,2011: Apple has (finally) responded to all the questions about “tracking”. You can see what they have to say and make up your own mind about it: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/04/27location_qa.html

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What is HTML5 about and why should I care?

Let’s get a little “techy” for a few moments. As many of us already know, web pages are basically “coded” in a “language” called “html”. HTML is short for for “Hyper Text Markup Language”. Over time there have been various updated to html to make web pages better and the overall web experience more pleasant.

All of this was fine but it did lead to various software vendors vendors adding their own “twist” to the implementation.. not to mention the ways the different browsers rendered the web pages. It reached a point where web developers were forced to figure out what browser you were running and to send different “code” (html) to your browser vis someone else’s. There were various “plugin’s” developed to render images, video, documents, etc. for each of the browsers as well. Toss in the explosion of mobile devices and it becomes quite a mess.

HTML5 (along with CSS3 – we’ll cover this another day) is an attempt to bring a common “language” and capabilities to all systems/browsers/mobile devices.

If you were to look at the “guts” (source) of a basic web page today it would break down to something like:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html>

<head>
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
  <title>New HTML page</title>
</head>

<body>
  <!--  Add your content here -->
</body>

</html>

An HTML5 equivalant would look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<head>
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <title>New HTML5 page</title>
</head>

<body>
  <!-- Add your content here-->
</body>

</html>

See the differences? First the “doctype”. Notice how simple the html5 definition is compared to the “old way”? Look at the meta statement for “utf-8”. Quite a difference. What is obvious is HTML5 is much cleaner/simpler. HTML5 also has a standard way to display video, etc. If you want to really dig into the differences, go here: http://dev.w3.org/html5/html4-differences

Some browsers already support HTML5 (ex: FireFox, Chrome, Android browser, iPad, iPhone, etc.. ) but some do not (ex: any IE pre 9.0).

Oh yes… the new Sage SalesLogix mobile web client is written in HTML5. Take a look here: http://www.rjlsystems.net/ – BUT remember to look w/an HTML5 browser 😉

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