Installation of a stainless steel back for my iPhone 4

I recently bought a stainless steel replacement back for my iPhone 4, and just got around to installing it today. There’s nothing wrong with my original glass back, I just like the look of the stainless steel. It was really simple actually, I bought a “000” Philip’s head screwdriver from my local hardware store and followed the instructions on iFixIt. My only complaint is that the anchors on the new back panel are plastic, unlike anchors on the glass back panel from Apple, which are metal. I think I may have overtightened one of the screws and stripped it a little (the plastic anchor, not the screw), but it seems fine.


IMG_20101124_110906 IMG_20101124_105252 IMG_20101124_110605 IMG_20101124_110632
Now I feel a little more comfortable using my iPhone without a case on it. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep the stainless steel back on the iPhone, but I’m liking it so far.

John Pistole just doesn’t get it

ABC News report on TSA civil fines for leaving security checkpoints. Later in the article, Susanna Kim quotes Isaac Yeffet, former head of security for the Israeli airline El Al, talking about why the TSA procedures are ineffective, especially compared to the system used in the Israeli airport:

If there is someone who is suspicious, search that person. The best technology in the world cannot replace a qualified and well trained human being.


Meanwhile, John Pistole is saying things like this:

This technology is not only safe, it’s vital to aviation security and a critical measure to thwart potential terrorist attacks.

But where’s the proof that the naked scanners are 1) safe, and 2) vital to security?

Don’t use a shitty browser

I love this paragraph from John Gruber’s Daring Fireball website:

If Daring Fireball looks goofy in your browser, you’re likely using a shitty browser that doesn’t support web standards. Internet Explorer, I’m looking in your direction. If you complain about this, I will laugh at you, because I do not care. If, however, you are using a modern, standards-compliant browser and have trouble viewing or reading Daring Fireball, please do let me know.

If you’re interested in anything Apple/Mac/iPhone, his site is great.

You’re doing it wrong

This is news to me, but did you know that airports are not required to use TSA screeners? One of my favorite parts of the article:

In a May 2010 letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Mica noted that the GAO “discovered that since the program’s inception, at least 17 known terrorists … have flown on 24 different occasions, passing through security at eight SPOT airports.” One of those known terrorists was Faisal Shahzad, who made it past SPOT monitors onto a Dubai-bound plane at New York’s JFK International Airport not long after trying to set off a car bomb in Times Square. Federal agents nabbed him just before departure.

SPOT stands for “Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques,” and is the TSA’s attempt at replicating the successful security observation technique used at some Israeli airports. The problem is—to quote Mr. Mom—you’re doing it wrong.

Why I opted-out of the back-scatter X-ray machine at the airport, and why you should, too

Having just opted-out of the new back-scatter x-ray “security feature” myself just a week ago, I’ve noticed several articles on the web talking about it. Here are some of my favorites:

Jeffrey Goldberg: TSA Meets Resistance

Marco Arment Comments and Summarizes:

So, to summarize: With no supporting evidence whatsoever that it will make anyone any safer, and in response to absolutely no credible threats, the TSA has decided to implement a policy, that nobody asked for, in which every passenger must allow TSA agents to either see or touch their genitals before boarding a plane.

Paul Kafasis Comments. Warning, there’s a graphic image at the bottom of the post showing how the image from a back-scatter machine (which is inverted, kind of like the negative of a film) can be reversed to produce an almost life-like result.

And if you need more proof of the invasive nature of these scanners, this article talks about a TSA security guard that assaulted another guard who teased him for having a small penis. What does that have to do with the scanners? Well, during training the guards themselves went through the scanners and Rolando Negrin, one of the guards, was teased by the other guards because of the size of his penis. He later assaulted one of the teasers in the parking lot, because the other guard would not apologize.

The “finger-scrolling thingy”

I came across this lawyer’s blog yesterday when it was linked to by iPhone JD for its iPhone 4 review. At first I wasn’t going to say anything, but man, it’s bad.

First, the posts are almost all links to other sites with music industry news. You have to wade through pages of these to get to any real content.

Second, the writing’s terrible. There’s this gem:

I have fallen victim to the allure driven by the site of all of my business associates who were sporting shiny black and white, Zen-like devices with colorful icons.  Yes, I bought an iPhone.

Never mind the wordiness, but I’m sure he meant “sight” in the first sentence. Later in the same post, while whining about features the iPhone lacks, he has this to say:

Since we’re on the subject, looking up contacts is probably a breeze for some MP3 stealing teenager with 25-50 contacts in their address book.  When they swipe their pimple-popping finger down the list I’m sure it flows beautifully for them. I, on the other hand, like many other business people, have close to 2000 contacts in my database: not the same  “weeeee” experience with the finger-scrolling thingy!

What a dick.

Am I too old for this?

These are my new Heelys:

Home Depot and Costco are perfect places for these things. I’m considering wearing them to the airport this Friday when we fly to Michigan.

“Other” category of my iPhone capacity has disappeared

A couple weeks ago, the “other” category of my iPhone Capacity meter in iTunes shot up to almost 5GB. From what I’ve read, it should normally be around 400-500MB, and after a restore from backup, mine went back to around 478MB. I’ve been unable to find out what the “other” category consists of, but yesterday I noticed that it has disappeared altogether.

iPhone capacity (there used to be an orange “Other” category at the end, between my Apps and the Free space.)

I’m not sure what this means, and it’s probably nothing, but it’s kind of strange nonetheless.

Flawed test?

Bob Egan writes a post about how the Consumer Reports iPhone 4 antenna study is flawed

Mr. Egan seems to have left out the part of the Consumer Reports test where they also tested the iPhone 3GS and a Palm Pre, both on the at&t network. In fact, he says:

And we don’t know how the observed effect is, or is not, similar to other devices.

Well, actually, we do. The iPhone 4 was the only phone to suffer from the antenna issue in their test. So no matter how “uncontrolled” and “unscientific” the tests were, I think Mr. Egan has a little more explaining to do before he can call the tests “flawed.”

Consumer Reports confirms the iPhone 4’s antenna problem

Consumer Reports has just confirmed what Engadget and the rest of the world already knew: the iPhone 4 has a serious design flaw. I hope Apple takes Consumer Reports’ advice and comes up with a free fix, but even if they don’t, I’ll still probably get an iPhone 4 when my local Apple store has them in stock. I always have a case on my iPhone anyway, so the reception issue shouldn’t be much of a problem.

It’s getting to the point where Apple is looking foolish for ignoring the design flaw and blaming it on the software. Now that just about everyone has confirmed and independently verified the issue, it would be nice if Apple acknowledged it too. I don’t think there’s any way in Hell they’re going to do something as drastic as recall millions of iPhone 4s, but they could at lease start handing out some free bumpers.