My Take On Why I Don’t Need iPad 3 Yet Or If Ever!

Shoppers brandishing their newly purchased iPa...

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Although Apple simply names the newest iPad yet as the new iPad, I prefer to refer to the new iPad as iPad 3!  Why?  It’s simply making more sense to call the third version of the iPad as iPad 3 than calling iPad 3 as the new iPad.  This is my personal take anyway!

Should I buy iPad 3 even though I already have iPad 2?  This question must be running through any iPad 2 owner’s mind lately.  Of course, the answer to this question cannot be generalized since everyone is different in regarding to how one wishes to use iPad 2 or 3.  Personally, I think I stick with my iPad 2 for the obvious reasons.

  1. My iPad 2 looks shiny and new as the day I first unboxed it!
  2. Although my iPad 2 is 3G capable, I don’t use it with 3G but with WiFi only — so iPad 3’s 4G LTE will not be useful to me!
  3. iPad 2 has a camera which I rarely use, and so iPad 3’s better camera might be just as useless.  A camera on iPad might be only useful for FaceTime, but taking photos with it would be rather cumbersome since it’s not easily to be handled as a smartphone or a real camera.
  4. It turns out the speed of iPad 3’s processor is not much improved over iPad 2’s processor (i.e., hardly noticing).  This website has a post on the comparison of the speeds of the processors of the iPad 2 and 3.
  5. It’s well known iPad 3’s graphic is hugely improved over iPad 2, but come to think of iPad 2 graphic, it’s not bad.  Plus, if I really want to see something gorgeous digitally, I would use my big flat screen TV anyway.  Also, my Windows Desktop has a very nice 25″ monitor which works beautifully in term of displaying gorgeous images.  I think iPad 2 is perfectly OK as displaying things on the go as it is.  Perhaps, iPad 6 or 7 comes out, then I’ll upgrade just for the heck of it to have a how many more times gorgeous display on the go (i.e., how many more times better graphic than iPad 3).
  6. iPad 3 has more RAM than iPad 2.  Even though iPad 2 has half of the RAM of iPad 3, I don’t see myself doing anything that is so RAM expensive on a tablet that I have to go for iPad 3.  Come to think of it, iPad 3’s 1 GB of RAM isn’t so much more than iPad 2’s 512 MB RAM, because anything RAM heavy in traditional sense might have to be 2 GB of RAM or more.  Well, that’s my take anyway on RAM spec for iPads.
  7. iPad 2 is thinner and lighter and has the similar battery lifespan as iPad 3, I think I’ll stick with iPad 2 for now!
  8. iPad 3’s design isn’t so different or better than iPad 2, therefore I don’t see iPad 2 is out of fashion in term of trend.
  9. Perhaps, when I buy iPad 9, I can brag I still have iPad 2 all along — and it looks shiny as the day I first bought it!

The reasons above are my take on why I should not buy an iPad 3!  Of course, the people who never have had an iPad ever, they should not follow my reasoning on why I should not buy an iPad 3, because they don’t even have an iPad yet!  Plus, I think the first generation iPad owners should consider an upgrade to iPad 3, because the specs for iPad 3 are vastly improved over their first generation iPad.  It’s just that I think iPad 2 owners might need to think twice before they decide to upgrade their iPad 2 to iPad 3, because it’s just too expensive and too early to do so (i.e., the improvements of iPad 3 over iPad 2 aren’t vast).  To end this post, I have to say the day I see myself upgrading from iPad 2 to whatever iPad newest version yet is the day that I have to use an app that is too powerful for iPad 2 to handle!

With The Release Of Reaver, Now Anyone Can Exploit Wi-Fi Protected Setup Flaw Freely; Reaver Releases As Open Source Software

English: Internet wireless router

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Just recently, I had touched on how easy it’s for hackers to exploit and acquire PINs from routers that have Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature enabled (Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN Method Has Flaw, Allowing Hackers To Deploy Brute Force Attack For Valid PIN Number In Lesser Time Than Before), because there has always been a flaw which associates with this particular feature, consequently allowing hackers to deploy brute force attacks and correctly guess PINs in less time than ever before.  It’s not a surprised for us to see someone has already had a tool which could hack a router for Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN.  In fact, someone is releasing such a tool to the public already.  So, in a way, we can say once the exploits are known, smart hackers who write their own codes usually can come up with new tools to penetrate the flaws of most computer systems.  In this case, it’s no different, because the folks at Tactical Network Solutions has had such a tool known as Reaver which they probably use to do their own penetration tests on their own networks and clients, as a way to stay ahead of the curve so they can prevent their own networks and clients from being hacked.

Since the Wi-Fi Protected Setup exploit has been discussed publicly, the folks at Tactical Network Solutions are now releasing Reaver to the open source community, and this means anyone can download it and start using it.  Of course, like any tool, bad people can use it to break into other people’s networks, or good people can use it to do penetration tests on their own networks so they will know how resilient their networks would be against certain hack attacks.  The folks at Tactical Network Solutions also release Reaver as a commercial version which they claim it would be even more feature rich than the open source version.

Basically, once Reaver allows the hackers to attain the correct Wi-Fi Protected Setup PINs, the hackers can further more use Reaver to recover WPA/WPA2 passphrase in 4 to 10 hours range.  As long the owners of the routers/networks aren’t yet disabling Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature, no matter if the owners change their WPA/WPA2 passphrase to anything, the hackers will always be able to recover WPA/WPA2 passphrase using Reaver.  This is quite serious, because Reaver is just a tool where anyone can download and use freely.  So, if the manufacturers of most routers aren’t going to patch the flaw, then it’s really up to the users of such routers to disable the Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature.

It seems to me that the folks at Tactical Network Solutions suggest that once hackers guess the Wi-Fi Protected Setup PINs correctly, hackers can take control of the routers.  Worse, I think hackers can also insert themselves into the middle of the compromised networks to listen and sniffing and recording, consequently reading the network traffics for plain text data.  Of course, they can also read the encrypted data in encrypted form only, but hackers who have the will to decrypt the encrypted data might also have tools that allow them to decrypt encrypted data in time.

In summary, if your router hasn’t yet had Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature disabled, it’s currently an easy target for just about anyone who has the will to download Reaver and use it for hacking your router.  Usually, if someone hacks your router, they might have an even more insidious intention than just stealing your bandwidth.  Perhaps, they might use your bandwidth to do some serious hacking against some big corporations, and you would be the one to take the blame.  After all, once the hackers done with what they had to do, they could always clean up their trails and leave almost no trace of theirs behind.  The authorities would have a hard time to believe your story as in “It wasn’t me,” kind of thing.  So, I recommend you to turn off Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature at all cost and wait till the manufacturer who produces your router to come up with a patch that can address this particular exploit.

Sources:  https://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/attack-tool-released-wps-pin-vulnerability-122911,
http://www.tacnetsol.com/news/2011/12/28/cracking-wifi-protected-setup-with-reaver.html,
http://code.google.com/p/reaver-wps/

Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN Method Has Flaw, Allowing Hackers To Deploy Brute Force Attack For Valid PIN Number In Lesser Time Than Before

According to threatpost’s article “WiFi Protected Setup Flaw Can Lead to Compromise of Router PINs,” your router with Wi-Fi Protected Setup enabled can allow hackers to take less time to figure out the PIN number and have access to your wireless network.  The article suggests that Wi-Fi Protected Setup reveals too much information when it tries to authenticate a device, consequently allowing hackers to take less time in acquiring the valid Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN number through brute force hacking method.

I’ve always disabled my Wi-Fi Protected Setup, because it seems to me as if it’s just another door for hackers to break into.  When reading the piece from threatpost, I’m glad that I’d been careful all along.  Most modern routers provide Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature so users don’t have to actually enter long WPA2 passphrase for connecting to a wireless network, because Wi-Fi Protected Setup requires a PIN number (e.g., 1234567…).

I’m no expert on Wi-Fi Protected Setup, because I had avoided using it from the very beginning.  It seems to me Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature has several methods which it’s associated with.  One involves in pushing the Wi-Fi Protected Setup button on the router and then on the client in a short time frame (i.e., less than 2 minutes or so).  After the user pushes the Wi-Fi Protected Setup buttons, user can just stand idle by and wait for the client and the router to automatically communicate with each other, allowing the client to connect to the router, thus the client would be able to surf the Internet using the wireless network which the router provides.  The second method requires PIN number registration, but this very method has two sub methods of its own.  The first sub method requires less work for users, because the users can just hand their devices’ Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN numbers (i.e., printed on the back of their devices or generated by their devices’ software) to the administrators.  The administrators then have to enter users’ Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN numbers into a router or access point‘s administration control panel (e.g., https://192.168.1.1) to register users’ Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN numbers with the access point, consequently allowing users’ devices to connect to the particular wireless network.  The second sub method requires the users to enter the Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN number of the router or access point onto their devices’ software, consequently allowing the client devices and the router or access point to communicate with each other (i.e., granting wireless network access).  The piece from threatpost emphasizes the weakness in the second sub method of the Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN number method, because the hackers only need the Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN number and not having to be within certain distance of the access point or the router.  The third method of Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature involves with Near Field Communication method.  Wikipedia‘s article “Near field communication” explains rather well on how Near Field Communication method works.

threatpost suggests that most modern routers tend to enable Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature by default.  If you are aware about the flaw of Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN number method, then you might want to disable Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature so the hackers won’t be able to use brute force attack to acquire the Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN number of the specific access point or router.  threatpost suggests many well known brands are all being affected by Wi-Fi Protected Setup flaw; as long any router has Wi-Fi Protected Setup feature with PIN method enabled, then the hackers who aware of the Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN number flaw can brute force attack the router for the Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN number in less time than ever before.

Sources:  https://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/wifi-protected-setup-flaw-can-lead-compromise-router-pins-122711
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Protected_Setup
http://www.wi-fi.org/knowledge_center_overview.php?docid=4614

Too Good To Be True? Republic Wireless $19 Unlimited Wireless Plan Is Now Truly Unlimited.

Back in the early November, I had mentioned of Republic Wireless which offered $19 unlimited wireless plan per month, but I also pointed out how Republic Wireless $19 unlimited wireless plan could only truly be unlimited if users hogged their Wi-Fi networks so users would not have to be throttled when limited minutes, texts, and data are running out.  Well, Republic Wireless has just turn up the heat by offering truly unlimited, $19 unlimited wireless plan per month.  I feel I’m in love again.

According to Gizmodo‘s article “That Unbelievable $19 Unlimited Data/Voice/Text Plan Is Truly Unlimited,” Republic Wireless is now allowing customers to use the minutes, texts, and data as they see fit without having to worry about getting throttles, and the plan is still only $19 per month.  I do somewhat worry what if Sprint decides it doesn’t like this idea some months down the road?  After all, Republic Wireless is piggybacking Sprint’s wireless network.

Oh, never mind, don’t you worry too much, because if you are worrying about Sprint, then you never know how good it might feel when having unlimited minutes, texts, and data for your smart phones.  Did I use smartphone as in its plural form (i.e., smartphones)?  See, even if you get two or three smartphones with Republic Wireless, it seems you are saving so much money still that you might just have to give them customers of AT&T-Verizon-other-big-wireless-carriers your arrogant smirks, because you can do so.  So, don’t hold back you smirky, you.

Update:  I forgot to tell you that you don’t have to sign a contract to use Republic Wireless $19 unlimited wireless plan!  Give me five!

Source:  http://gizmodo.com/5870753/that-unbelievable-19-unlimited-datavoicetext-plan-is-truly-unlimited

What About Airplane Mode For Smartphones?

Bell-Augusta BA-609 in airplane mode (Paris Ai...

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Mobile users who travel the world know Airplane Mode could potentially save their bank accounts from depleting.  Mobile users who aren’t travel the world probably never have had to activate Airplane Mode before, and these folks might not know what is Airplane Mode.  These are the folks who might see their bank accounts deplete without knowing why when they travel abroad.

It’s all about the roaming charges.  What Airplane Mode does is to prevent Cellular Data from working even though Cellular Data setting is still on.  Without a working Cellular Data, users who use Airplane Mode can turn on Wi-Fi to access the web without worrying about roaming charges.  Wi-Fi is local or I should say it’s local to the party that allows the usage of Wi-Fi connection.

Mobile users who travel less can still turn on Airplane Mode so they don’t have to use up their data plan.  When these folks are out of Wi-Fi range, they can turn off Airplane Mode and their Cellular Data will resume the responsibility.  You can correct me if I’m wrong, I think I’d heard somewhere that certain smartphones can drain battery fast if 3G connection is on.  I’m not sure by turning on Airplane Mode will actually save battery, but it is worth a try.

In summary, before you get on the airplane to travel the world, you should turn on Airplane Mode.  With Airplane Mode, you don’t have to worry about accidental roaming charges.  With Airplane Mode on, you can still turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.  Wi-Fi is local, therefore roaming charges aren’t possible.  It might be possible that Airplane Mode could allow battery to be charged less.  So go Airplane Mode when you travel the world, OK?

Republic Wireless Offers $19 Unlimited Wireless Plan Per Month

A wireless icon

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I can’t help myself for feeling giddy.  Republic Wireless has the best wireless deal in town?  I’ve never heard of Republic Wireless till today, because I’ve never read or heard anybody talks about them before.  I would have care less about Republic Wireless if they haven’t announced that they’re offering unlimited wireless plan for $19 per month.  Wait, what are the catches?

It seems that Republic Wireless relies on the probability of not everyone will hog the wireless network, therefore it would be OK for them to allow a Hybrid Calling technology where smartphones will hog WiFi network whenever WiFi is available.  This is one of the catches of Republic Wireless’s $19/month unlimited wireless plan.  This catch goes on dictating how users cannot abuse the wireless network.  Repeated abusers will be booted out of the wireless network or the service altogether.

So, how much bandwidth can one use on Republic Wireless’s wireless network?  Republic Wireless at now allows 400 minutes of talk, 600 MB of data, and 200 texts for each month.  In my opinion, WiFi does make a big different!  To tell the truth, 400 minutes of talk, 600 MB of data, and 200 texts for each month on wireless network seems to be very stingy.  It’s more of like for emergency usage.  With that being said, I don’t mind to piggyback ride my WiFi network for calling someone or surfing the web or send text messages at all.

Republic Wireless hints that they might roll out an application that will allow different types of smartphones to use their Hybrid Calling technology.  For now, it’s only possible for certain specific modified Android smartphones to tap into their Hybrid Calling technology.  It’s unclear to me what Android smartphones would that be!

Source:  http://www.pcworld.com/article/243389/republic_wireless_rolls_out_19_
unlimited_voice_data_text_service.html#tk.rss_news