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Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities – what to do?

Meltdown and Spectre are two vulnerabilities present in hardware making it potentially possible for programs to steal information, like passwords etc.

Meltdown affects only Intel processors while Spectre, which is more complex, also partly affects AMD and ARM based processors.

It is not yet known if these vulnerabilities has been exploited by anone. It can affect personal computers, servers, tablets and mobile phones, i.e. more or less any device containing a processor.

More information on: https://spectreattack.com/

What can you do?

  • Check your operating system for updates the upcoming weeks (this is normal good security practice, but make sure you do it frequently)
  • Install and update your virus protection. Even if the antivirus program can’t protect you from the attack it might be able to inform you that your device has got malicious code onboard

You can find security bulletins, security advisorys, faq:s etc for your operating system here: https://meltdownattack.com/#faq-advisory

Smooth scrolling not working for my website on IOS devices like iphone and ipad

On iPhone and iPad, i.e. IOS devices, in some cases the smooth, accelerated scrolling is not working. Instead the web page feels “lagging”, slow or stuttering and won’t continue to scroll in the smooth accelerated way you are used to.

To solve this, make sure to use overflow-y: scroll; (not auto) and apply  -webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch; to body and possibly other elements. If it is not enough to apply it to the body you might need to also apply it to your div:s, like the wrapper div and so on.

body {
overflow-y: scroll;
-webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch;
}

Switching from iPhone to another brand – don’t forget to turn off iMessage first!

A girlfriend to one of my friends recently decided to leave the dark side and replace her iPhone with an Android (good decision!). However when she was using the iPhone she also had enabled the iMessage texting.

After switching to her new Android phone her friends, that still was using iPhones, tried to text her. Because her iMessage account was still enabled the texts ended up in the Apple void and didn’t reach her. To disable it the SIM-card had to be put into an old iPhone 3 in order to turn the iMessage off. The iPhone she replaced was using micro-SIM but the Android had normal SIM:s so she had a new larger SIM that wouldn’t fit in her old iPhone. The iPhone 3 works with normal SIM cards so that is why a iPhone 3 had to be used to disable it. 

So, if you decide to convert from iPhone to another brand, remember to turn iMessage off in the iPhone first!

 

A nerd’s survival kit – extra power for your smartphone

PowerPackThe arrival of the smartphone (iPhone, Android) etc is a blessing for the true nerd who now can be constantly online and up to date with important things (aka the Internet). On a professional level it is a way of giving good service to your customers be being able to quick reply to emails etc.

The problem with the smartphones are battery capacity. With a couple of apps running and checking things now and then you can easily be drained in 2-3 hours. For an upcoming trip abroad I started to investigate solutions. I looked at solar cell chargers which turned out to be quite big in order to supply sufficient current. They also have built in batteries. Since I will not be hiking in the himalayas I figured the thing I really needed was extra battery capacity. I will after all stay in hotels where there is possibility to recharge over night.

PowerPackMy choice fell on a 5 Ah PowerPack from Kjell.com. One thing to investigate thoroughly before choosing the pack is that it can deliver enough current to charge the smartphone. It will require at least 1 A and there are power packs on the market with lower current ratings supposed to be used only with MP3 players and similar. If you want to do this stunt with an iPad you need even more current (2 A).

First I tried to use up my phones battery and then hook it up to the powerpack to recharge it. This wasn’t a good idea since a dried out smartphone will consume too much current which the powerpack can’t deliver. So instead, already in the morning when leaving my hotel, I hooked the smartphone up to the powerpack and run it on both the internal battery and the powerpack. This way my power lasted for the entire day.

When abroad I don’t have data roaming (otherwise the charges would be sky high). There is a little smart Android app called WeFi. It runs in the background and scans for open hotspots and connects to any it finds, no matter if it has an SSID that is not already known by your device. Once hooked up it verifies if it has Internet connection and plays a little sound. Then your phone pulls down new emails etc. Just walking by for example a McDonalds and you’re all up-to-date again 🙂