Category Archives: SmartPhone

Why Hacking is NOT Illegal

I love hacking.
That statement has consistently rung alarm bells amongst my non-techy pals whenever I make that statement. Typical responses include:

“You’re a hacker??”
“Don’t say that too loud.”
“I’ll visit you in prison.”




Instagram @futuristmindset

Imagine, the reactions when I go further to mention that I’ve been to some Hackathons in my time!?

tldr; There are two definitions given in Dictionary.com for the word “hack”:

Computers.

  1. to modify (a computer program or electronic device) or write (a program) in a skilful or clever way: Developers have hacked the app.
    I hacked my tablet to do some very cool things.
  2. to circumvent security and break into (a network, computer, file, etc.), usually with malicious intent: Criminals hacked the bank’s servers yesterday.
    Our team systematically hacks our network to find vulnerabilities.

Now, I do understand the confusion. I get why everyone always jumps to the negative connotation first. The answer is simple. Media.

Hacking is simply creatively and relentlessly solving a technical problem.


Instagram @futuristmindset

Unfortunately, the only time you hear the term “hacking” in the media is when some media company like Sony or a bank has been broken into. Or organised groups ¬†attempting to derail a website. Not the more positive connotation like hacking to build new wearable technology, or even charitable hacking. Because… news.

Social media has spread this misunderstanding. When someone posts a silly status on someone else’s account, somehow “hacking” is a word that gets bandied about.

It’s a bit like the term downloading. You only hear the word when associated with illegally downloading movies or music. But it’s simply the act of retrieving files from a remote location – online or on another device – and saving it onto another.

Now I’m no conspiracy theorist, but the media does tend to warp meanings and opinions effortlessly.

I realise of course that I have inadvertently included myself in that last statement, and I am ok with that. And I’m not ok with that.

Hackathons themselves are amazing. There are so many challenges organised within and between different companies, where individuals or groups are challenged to create something innovative within 24 hours, 72 hours, or any other time period. It’s a great excuse to consume pizza and block out life for a small period of time, but the results are astounding, and the competition is healthy.


AT&T Mobile App Hackathon

Imagine if something like that existed for your chosen profession or hobby?

So you can sleep soundly knowing that there are literally millions of us hacking each and every day. Comforting right…?

</post>

iPhones suck. (Take the bait. Click Me…)

Before half the internet reacts in outrage and much troll-age, I have come to make technical peace between Google and Apple – not war. This blog title is called click-bait. Designed to communicate with the inner troll in you, or the inner fanboy. It all depends on your point of view.

What I am actually going to address are a couple of common misconceptions
– that I hate Apple.
– that only iPhones play best with other Apple products.

To start with, I’d like to think I’m fairly tech-agnostic. I like using tech that plays well with other tech. Yes, I am a Google fan. But I judge by product, not by company. I mean, my first smartwatch was the Martian Smartwatch. One of the reasons I chose it because it simply works using Bluetooth – connecting with Android, iOS and BlackBerry phones.

Now I’m going to address the first misconception easily.

I own a Mac Mini. I love it.

Now that’s out of the way. You see, Apple make great products. I owned my first MacBook back in 2007 after using Windows/Ubuntu for years, and I never looked back. (Although I did replace my MacBook Pro a couple of years ago with my Chromebook, but that’s one for another blog post…)

Point is, I’ve had a Mac in one form or another for 8 years now. You can run open source (free) software on it, I can use it for programming, and for more creative exploits – music, art, movie-making. Usually, people think that if you have a Mac, you ought to have an iPhone. That is simply not the case.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to connect to a music player to synchronise my phone with my computer. Yes, I am talking about the beast that is iTunes – feature creep incarnate.

I own a Nexus 6 currently, which is a pure Android phone. Recently, I’ve stuck with the Nexus over the past few years due to its reliability. I plug my Android using a standard micro USB cable into my Mac and can simply access my files on my phone as if it my phone was a USB memory stick. All my contacts, photos et al are all available on the cloud anyway. I can access everything through my browser.

It’s gets better though. There is a great app called AirDroid, which allows you to access your phone wirelessly. It essentially gives you a web portal into your phone. You can download and upload files into your phone.

It’s very simple. Google and Apple products can work just fine together. Android plays nice with multiple operating systems – Windows, Mac, Linux. Whichever floats your boat. iPhone doesn’t have the same kind of interoperability, it’s more of a (deliberate) closed cage. That is not the case with a Mac however. Which is why I own a Mac, but do not own an iPhone.

If you were expecting an all out Android vs iPhone war, please by my guest and comment. Help yourselves to the ammunition available and begin the flame war.

</post>