town&countrybiker


Smart Phones are Becoming More Interesting To Hackers
December 21, 2009, 2:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This NY Times article makes the point that with smart phones becoming more predominant, hackers are starting to turn their attention towards them.

In my six days with an iPhone 3GS, I can see the attraction. My prior smartphones — the latest a Samsung Blackjack2, I can say that the iPhone really turned the corner as since it is not Windows Mobile, I actually find it pleasurable to surf on the device. I have increased my mobile surfing exponentially.

With market maturation, increased market penetration of smart phones, and more surfing and other online tasks moving from the PC to the mobile platform, increased hacking makes perfect sense.

I had not heard of this RickRolling iPhone incident, but the implications are pretty clear.

“Last month, an Australian student created an experimental worm that hopscotched across “jailbroken” iPhones, which are phones altered to run software Apple has not authorized. The mischievous worm did not cause any damage; it just installed a photo of the ’80s pop star Rick Astley. But to security experts, it suggested that pernicious attacks on iPhones are possible.”

Lookout a mobile security startup funded by Khosla Ventures says the following:

““It feels a lot like it did in 1999 in desktop security,” said John Hering, Lookout’s 26-year-old chief executive, who for years has done research demonstrating security vulnerabilities in phones. “People are using the mobile Web and downloading applications more than ever before, and there are threats that come with that.””

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The Best Tool That I Bought This Year
December 11, 2009, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

velo orange bike work stand

I do a fair amount of my own wrenching on my bikes. One of the main issues that complicates matters for me is my lack of a bike stand. Since the project is never properly secured, it seems that I am doing more work, just trying to keep the bike from becoming unbalanced and flopping on the ground.

I came across the Velo Orange Two-legged Stand. From the pic and description, it sounded like this tool would meet my requirements perfectly. I plunked down the debit card, and I got a package yesterday.

This little implement works very nicely- you just loop the hook over the down tube and then cradle the rest of the device under the bottom bracket shell. Very simple and effective. I had a spare block for front wheel road bike rollers, and I found that the block helps to make your project bike even more stable.

I did some maintenance and cleaning on two bikes last night- the wife’s mixte and my Raleigh 20. The stand performed great.  It was much easier to make adjustments and some clean up with a more stable base than just the kick stand.

I concur with the VO description that this stand ($19.50) is probably all many of us need to do maintenance. I really like that when I am done, I can just put the stand on a shelf, or use it to hold up one of my kickstand-less bikes.



Snow Bike!
December 7, 2009, 7:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

snow bike off the rafters!

We had our first measurable snow fall this am. We got less than an inch, but I felt that it was time to get the snow bike off the rafters and shake some of the dust off of it.

The Snow Bike is a GT Team Avalanche. As such it is one of the old Gary Turner bikes that was created before the company was sold. the paint is some custom job that says “grunge” just about better than anything. It is a dark purplish shade with random metallic skull type shapes in contrasting metallic shades.

As such, it is a hardtail mountain bike that was outfitted with the best of kit (Shimano, Campy rims, etc.) in its’ day. For snow bike conversion, I purchased some Innova studded tires from biketiresdirect.com last year. I think that I paid around US$100 for the tires and some new tubes.

I need to address the seating position, as it feels way too “forward’ for me at this point, I think that I can make this a bit better by raising the bars.

Riding the Snow Bike on some errands today was fun, as the bike will not slide on ice. It reminds me of my old 4X4 Toyota. That was good on the slick as well.