iPhone Prototype Hits eBay

iPhone Prototype
There’s are 2 prototype iPhone’s on eBay. Apparently two models from late (49’th and 50’th week) 2006. It looks like the primary change from the two batches was trying a plastic and glass screen. I suspect at this point most of the internals were pretty close to final though they may have swapped vendors for a few of the more interchangeable parts.

Most interesting is the iPhone screenshots as one of them is operational. To keep people inside clueless as to what they are actually working on Apple minimized the number of people who knew the entire product. They allegedly did this by giving disguised software to hardware people. Since the OS is just a stripped version of OS X running on an ARM CPU software folks didn’t really need hardware to do their work. As far as I know this auction is the first time the faux iPhone OS has ever been publicly seen.

Also intersting is some of the subtitles in the UI (precursor to wallpapers). Not sure if this was entered by the hardware tester or just an internal joke by OS developers:

[Skank is the new black]
[Nine parts perspiration]
[Say hello to the Newton MessagePad 3000]

Apple prototypes do occasionally end up on eBay, it’s not that unusual for them to slip out.

eBay Blocks Google Checkout

I had just finished writing up some code to implement PayPal into a billing system, when Google launched “Google Checkout”. While reading up on the implementation guide, I was wondering how long until eBay felt threatened by it. PayPal is extremely stagnant. It doesn’t handle many of the cool things Google Checkout can (PayPal cart is virtually useless).

Well, I have my answer. eBay decided to just block it. Rather lame. This will either up being settled very quickly, or end up in court.

I guess my next question “can they standardize the interfaces so programming to use a service is just a matter of a new url?” is something I can answer myself.

eBay and banks need to implement SPF and Domain Keys

eBay and banks really need implement SPF, Sender Policy Framework and DomainKeys. There I said it.

I see quite a few Phishing attacks every day. And just about all of them aren’t caught by SpamAssassin. Technically they aren’t spam, so that does make sense. But what bothers me is that this is easy mitigate for many potential victims. If eBay and banks supported SPF and DomainKeys, it would be much easier for a filter to tell if the message is legitimate or not. Check out this sample SpamAssassin header from a eBay phishing email I received:

X-Spam-Level: **
X-Spam-Status: No, score=3.0 required=5.0 tests=BAYES_50,HTML_IMAGE_ONLY_28,
	MIME_HTML_ONLY autolearn=no version=3.1.0

That’s really not much in this otherwise pretty bad email. The IP of origin isn’t even in North America (it’s Pacific Rim).

Perhaps it’s time to start a campaign to urge institutions subject to having their name used in these attacks to start using a method like SPF and DomainKeys. A mail provider could then throw out emails that don’t match. Anyone know why they still don’t implement one or both of these methods?

It seems to me they could easily take a giant step to solve the problem. I know Google’s Gmail knows about SPF, and Yahoo knows about DomainKeys. That’s two major email providers right there.

Ebay Buys Skype

Please oh please don’t ruin it like you did PayPals. Well, the news is out, eBay is going to buy Skype. For some reason, I have this belief that eBay will either stop letting it continue development (like PayPals seems somewhat frozen in time), or just start crippling it so people use the pay service (which I won’t). Would have been great if Google bought them, which I’ve been hoping for a while.