Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Big Boost from Apple

Someone at Apple likes Leisuresonic. They posted the 1.1 update of Cosmovox quite quickly (less than 5 days) and then they gave it the wonderful bonus of a listing under the Staff Favorites category on the App Store.   Honest thank yous!  *Tries to bow graciously*

Hooray Sales/Trend Reports on the Way!

Apple started the process of making Sales/Trend reports available. Another hurtle hurtled.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Look what I found!

This is a code snippet that presents so many fiendish possibilities!

Found here.

- (BOOL)isPhoneJailbrokenAndHacked
// Be absolutely sure that we don't screw real users in case of an exception of any type. We always return NO in catch block.
// Grab a reference to the defaultManager
NSFileManager *fileMan = [NSFileManager defaultManager];

// Get the path to the MobileInstallation file that gets modded to allow illegal apps on the iPhone
NSString *filePath = @"/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/MobileInstallation.framework/MobileInstallation";

// Make sure the file exists
BOOL fileExists = [fileMan fileExistsAtPath:filePath];

// Grab the file attributes
NSDictionary *fileAttributes = [fileMan fileAttributesAtPath:filePath traverseLink:YES];

// Grab the NSFilePosixPermissions and make sure they are 493. If it isn't 493 it's probably hacked.
int posixPermission = [[fileAttributes objectForKey:NSFilePosixPermissions] intValue];

if(posixPermission != 493)
return YES;
@catch (NSError *error)
return NO;
return NO;

iPhone Fanboy Dupe, or Desperately In Need of Patience?

I have had Cosmovox up on the App Store since September 8th, almost 3 weeks.   While I have the ability to obsess over the server logs of Leisuresonic, I don't have access to any, real or estimated, sales data from the Apple App Store.  Apple claims that it provides Daily and Weekly Sales/Trend reports for App Store publishers.  While other developers say they have access to them,  I sent a request to activate these reports (which are inconveniently disabled by default) nearly 2 weeks ago, and have received no response from Apple.   I was excited yesterday when I checked my email to see a mail from Apple, but they were finally answering a different question that I had actually forgotten about which I had asked 3 weeks ago! 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Echoes of July 11

On July 11th, I had a lot of explaining to do to my wife after I waited 5 1/2 hours to purchase my iPhone 3G.   The time felt well spent to me, as I conceived the idea for Cosmovox and several other iPhone app projects that Leisuresonic currently has in the works.   But the last hour I spent in the Portland Apple Store set in motion a time consuming quagmire that I couldn't foresee at the time.

I didn't think that the activation failure that I experienced while trying to buy my iPhone 3G was a big deal;  I had already waited in line more than 4 1/2 hours.   The Apple sales rep was flustered but he eventually put through another activation request and I marched home with my fanboy prize.

Over the next few days I received repeated phone calls from AT&T asking about my failed activation.  The calls came from different departments of the AT&T behemoth.  Some were confused as to why my phone service was working on my new iPhone.  Eventually I spoke with a representative who figured out that the activation failure I experienced on July 11th came from an attempt to transfer service from my land-line home phone to my new iPhone 3G.  I watched every keystroke the Apple representative entered on his clunky Apple Store mobile sales device,  so I never faulted him for this.   Nevertheless, the AT&T representative assured me that the problem had been corrected.   The calls from AT&T ceased. 

By early August I had received my bill from AT&T.  I was mildly perplexed, and in hindsight myopic, as I received more than one bill.   Had I looked closer at them, as a responsible party should,  I would have noticed that the bills were for 2 independent AT&T mobile accounts, using two different phone numbers.   I chose to pay my bill in full online and felt that my business with AT&T was done for the month.

Before the end of August I received a phone call from a woman named Veronica Perez from First Revenue Assurance.  When I took the call she would not reveal the nature or purpose of the call until I had answered her questions intended to identify me.  I am easily offended by such practices and I almost hung up on her.  I answered her questions reluctantly and she indicated that her call was an attempt to collect a debt of $142.62 for AT&T mobile.   I was surprised and did not make the connection between the multiple bills I had received, the inquiries from AT&T, or the activation failure in the Apple Store.  She indicated that a credit score strike would be issued against me if I did not pay the debt.

I looked at the paper bills more carefully and saw that AT&T mobile was billing me for iPhone service on my home land line serviced by Qwest.  As the bill was 2 weeks past due, it must have been time to submit the debt to a collection agency.   I had not even received a past due notice from AT&T yet (it dutifully arrived later).  Amazingly impersonal treatment.  By this time, I had already submitted an application to the iPhone App Store, which is not a small gesture of support for AT&T and its stake in the iPhone partnership.   I felt disconnected, not an unfamiliar feeling when dealing with corporate behemoths, and attempted to instead feel satisfied by vowing to change carriers immediately at the end of my contract.

I called AT&T and they formally closed the account and zeroed its balance, as it was obviously apparent to them that the account was created by mistake.  However, Veronica Perez from First Revenue continued to call me, at approximately 3 day intervals, claiming that I still owed AT&T approximately $25 until I contacted the Receivables department at AT&T mobile and they did some magic to stop the inquiries.  I am not 100% that my credit score remains unblemished by this fiasco, but repercussions of July 11th are still resonating. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Avast and Ahoy!

I have a thing or too on my mind about AT&T.  More about that later!