Tag Archives: Droid

In the #Navy…You Can Sail the Seven Sins

Ship Happens
In the navy / No, you can't put your mind at ease.

I beat (not disco, usually) the privacy drum a lot because many times, the invasion is subtle.  I experienced it again with my new Droid.  The way Google would like us to sync contacts is to – among other methods – use Google Sync, sending our private information to their cloud, then delivering it to the device.  EarthLink tried to get at my contacts in a similar manner – by claiming I had to upload my address book in order to enable their custom spam filter.

My answer to both was the same – "Ain't gonna happen".  My EarthLink issue is old news; as far as the Droid is concerned, with a little time and research, I was able to sync via USB directly from the database on my local PC.

It's all about control.

I'm quite well aware that some of you think I go overboard (no pun intended, based on today's headline), but read this story from the Washington Post about the increase in Navy commanding-officer firings – and how technology is literally destroying the ranks from the inside-out – then tell me I'm overreacting.  I'm not going to pontificate.  For those who don't read the article, I'll let the following two quotes do it for me:

From the reporter, describing part of his conversation with Admiral Gary Roughead (chief of naval operations):  "He attributed the rise in part to the revolution in communications and technology, which has made it easier for sailors and their families to snoop on one another and then instantly spread the word — even from once-isolated ships at sea." (italics/bold added)

And from Adm. Roughead, himself:  “The divide between our private and professional lives is essentially gone". (italics/bold added)

Maybe that's what they meant by "Learn science technology"…

Tips & Tricks: A Password-Protected PDA May Save your Bacon One Day

MP900405586 Remember this post from precisely three months ago?  Well, I'm here to tell you; lightning does strike twice – and I mean exactly!

I'm out of town – in the same place I was three months ago – and once again, my Blackberry was working fine this morning…then it wasn't.  It was virtually the identical problem to last time (frozen solid), except for two glaring differences; 1) I haven't made any modifications to the device in a while, so there wasn't any clue as to why this happened and, 2) (this is critical) I could get to my password screen and unlock the device.  I would also like to note that I have virus software and upon reboot, was able to run a sweep before the device froze again – no sign of any contamination.

So, I went over to the same retail outlet, where some of the same people tried to do the same thing (a software repair push).  Fail!  I basically told the techs (same as last time) "I don't care if you have to wipe it out, I have no problem restoring from backup." (Yes, I have a recent backup, just like last time).  I also told them, "Whether this works or not, I have to walk out of here with a working device."

But – just like last time – no love.  They couldn't wipe the device, either.  Now, here's where it gets ugly.  Last time they had a spare Tour in stock – this time, they didn't.  So, they offered to have a new one shipped to me via overnight courier.  Normally this would be completely reasonable.  Unfortunately this happened today, and on this particular day, this device must work.  I can't forward my cell number elsewhere because I'm out of town, on the go and I need to be reachable (is that even a word?)

This is where the password-protection comes in.  With a Blackberry (not familiar with how other PDAs handle this), when password-protection is enabled, a companion security setting automatically enables a 'doomsday' scenario – and you can't turn it off (unless you disable password-protection altogether).  That's right; it doesn't just fail to unlock the device – it allows you to select the number of incorrect passwords you'll allow (from 3-10), then if that threshold is reached, the device wipes itself out.  Even the techs at the store didn't know this.  So, as a last resort, I suggested, since the only thing that did work was the password screen, try repeatedly entering an incorrect password to trigger doomsday.  Even though the device was frozen otherwise, I hoped that enough of the O/S was running in the background that it might work.


Most of you know I tend to be vague about my devices, but most of you also have long since figured out my PDA is a Blackberry.  The reason I mention it this time is, I'm afraid I'm worn out with them.  Just like my clients, I cannot afford to have a primary device crashing for no reason.  I lost more than half a day resolving this in the short-term, but for the long-term, I'm switching to a Droid.