This Site & Me
I'm a technologist, mobile specialist, experienced software developer, author, public speaker & an SAP employee. My thoughts, ideas, rants, comments & most of the code you'll find here are my own. Feel free to use any of this, but be sure to identify the source.
Topics You'll Find Here
This site contains content on a bunch of different topics including Mobile, Mobile Development, IBM Lotus Domino and other topics that strike my fancy. I've written a couple of mobile development books, so mobile and mobile development tend to dominate.
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- Category: BlackBerry
- Published on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 08:34
I’ve been carrying a BlackBerry Z30 for a while now and one of the cool things with this latest version of the OS is what happens when you pair the phone with an automobile. During the paring process, the software asks you if this is your car or not. If you say yes, the pairing is labeled ‘my car’ or something like that. Another interesting thing that happens is that the Bluetooth software knows what kind of vehicle its attached to and shows the car logo on the lock screen as shown below. Not rocket science, but cool none the less.
- Category: Mobile Development
- Published on Monday, 04 November 2013 08:37
If you’ve done a bit of Cordova development, one of the things that you probably noticed is that in many cases, when Cordova (PhoneGap) fails, it fails silently. This causes a lot of problems for developers because it’s not easy to tell what’s happened.
Let me give you an example.
I’ve started using this in all of my applications as I build them and once I’ve gotten the application working, I remove it before sending it out to real users.
- Category: Miscellaneous
- Published on Sunday, 03 November 2013 19:39
Got another spam email about my PayPal account. The text (and format of the email looked like it was exactly like the one I'd already written about, even the incorrect formatting of the link text at the bottom of the message. As I started looking at this one, I was able to tell immediately that it didn't come from PayPal. Take a look at this screen shot:
Take a look at the source of the email mesage below:
Notice once again that the click URL starts with paypal.com, but the site actually points to what looks like a restaurant web site. You can see the full URL below with the actual server name highlighted.
So, once again, just a few seconds of analysis and you can quickly tell that this email certainly did not come from PayPal.
- Category: Mobile Development
- Published on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 09:26
I’ve been having weird problems with the cordova prepare command and finally figured out the problem, so I thought I’d write about it here so others who are having the same problem can hopefully (although hope is not a strategy) find a resolution.
I’m product manager for an SAP product which is essentially a set of SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) plugins for Apache Cordova. You can read about the product at http://scn.sap.com/blogs/johnwargo/2013/09/22/sap-mobile-platform-and-apache-cordova) and http://scn.sap.com/blogs/johnwargo/2013/10/21/an-introduction-to-smp-kapsel.
Anyways, I’m working on a Kitchen Sink application which shows developers how to use all of the Kapsel plugins and I noticed that some of the plugins simply weren’t working. Looking into the problem, it became clear to me that the plugin JavaScipt source code wasn’t being copied over to the Android project during the cordova prepare process.
I’d written this huge (for me) app and had the jQuery and jQuery Mobile libraries, so I thought I was having some timing problems, but the more I looked at it, the more I realized that prepare was simply failing. I turned on debug mode using the following:
cordova –d prepare
Prepare executed as expected and no error messages were returned to the console.
I scratched my head for a bit then switched over to my development Macintosh and fired up a new Windows VM. I installed all the Cordova and Android parts (having just written a book on the topic, it was quick work) and set about trying to reproduce the problem. No luck. The development environment on the Windows VM worked great, the same environment (I thought) on my corporate Windows laptop didn’t.
Yesterday I upgraded node on my system then used npm –g update to update all of my node modules and…the problem went away. Prepare is actually preparing my project as expected. Problem solved.
So, when you have Cordova CLI problems and you’re not getting information from debug mode, make sure you have the latest and greatest of everything on the node side.
- Category: Miscellaneous
- Published on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 08:21
I finished writing Apache Cordova 3 Programming back in September and now I'm in the production phase with the book. The different sections of the book have been reviewed by several of my colleagues plus several members of the Cordova development team. Right now I'm about halfway through with the copyediting process and hope to have it finished by Monday.
The book is not yet available for pre-order on Amazon.com and Informit.com, but the 'paperwork' is in place, so it should be up there any day now. I will post here with links to the ordering pages as soon as something happens.
- Category: Miscellaneous
- Published on Monday, 28 October 2013 08:47
I’ve always been fascinated by spam messages. I had a personal email account back in the very early 90’s, back in the dial-up ISP days, so I’ve seen spam from its infancy.
Notice I’m calling it spam and not SPAM or Spam. In an email context, spam is not an acronym, so I’m truly not sure why people capitalize all of the letters in the word. Spam on the other hand is a tasty breakfast meat (although it can be eaten at any time during the day or night) that I used to have all the time while camping as a boy scout.
Anyways, spammers have been trying all sorts of tricks to get past filters, and it’s always interesting to see how it works inside. This morning I received the following email message.
My email client recognized the from address, so it let the graphics display (the PayPal logo), but I knew immediately that it couldn’t have been from PayPal mostly because I’m pretty sure they’ll never email me to tell me that my account has been limited. They might email me to tell me that my account has been disabled, and probably tell me why, but what the heck does “your account has been limited” even mean?
Looking at the email, you can see that the email content is in a san serif font and the click here link is in a serif font. Clearly the person who crafted this email isn’t very good with HTML. Also, in reading the email, you can see it was written by someone who doesn’t speak English as a primary language. For example, the phrase “The account will continue to be frozen until it is approved And Validate Your Account Information” is a dead giveaway as it’s not really English.
Anyway, I always look at the email message source to make sure and when I looked at the source for this message, I found the following:
The way to tell that this email did not come from PayPal is through the links to resources embedded within the email as well as links to outside entities. For example, as you can see from Figure 2, the logo image comes from a site called jewelleryminx dot com. Hmmm, that doesn’t sound like a paypal server to me.
Notice too the link to ‘validate my account info’ – this one is the tricky part. If you look at this, you should notice immediately that it looks like it is pointing you to PayPal because the link points to paypal.com, right? Wrong. The link URL begins with paypal.com, but in reality, the URL is a very long and complicated subdomain of givarperu dot org. Anyone who thinks they know what they’re doing, including spam filters I think, will see that the URL begins with https://paypal.com and assume it’s pointing to PayPal when it is actually pointing to a server registered in Lima Peru, see the domain registration below.
So, these are a few simple things you can do to tell whether an email is spam or not.