Griffin's Tech Blog

Peter Griffin on the tech universe

Valley e-diary (part 1)

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I'm in the valley where the sun almost always shines, the sky is almost always blue and all the guys wear chinos and checked shirts and cellphone holders on their belts.
No, I'm not in Silicon Valley, but close - Napa Valley, home to numerous sprawling vineyards some of which produce more in a season than New Zealand's entire annual Sauvignon Blanc output.
The New Zealand segway-riding Pole Blacks are gearing up for their clash with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak's segway polo team on the weekend by quaffing as much Californian wine as possible. So confident of success on the weekend is team member and Tomizone chief executive Steve Simms, that be bought two three litre bottles of champagne at the Taittinger estate to celebrate following Sunday's big game.
A gadget fiend, Simms was left the task of hiring the team transport and managed to find one that has a satellite and mobile phone built into it, an XM Satellite radio receiver, heated mirrors and a digital compass embedded into the rear view mirror. He also produced his Garmin Nuvi GPS system to keep us on the right track. Nice work Steve.
I'm travelling with four Apple iPhone owners, 50 per cent of whom seem to have successfully hacked their phones to work with SIM cards from mobile operators other than AT&T - the other two don't seem to have benefited from having their innards tampered with.
It was with great interest then, that the iPhone owners read the news this morning of of the availability of a free iPhone software hack that opens up the iPhone to any mobile carrier, say Vodafone New Zealand.

With no official release of the iPhone in New Zealand likely for some time, it's a solution fans of the new device will no doubt take great interest in.
What must Apple think of the hacking of its million-selling, flagship product? We've been talking about exactly this today. It seems highly likely that Apple anticipated exactly what would happen, that US users would hack the iPhone to work on T-Mobile and international buyers, their own GSM operator. Using the iPhone on an alternative network doesn't impact on the experience, except for the fact that the integration with the voicemail isn't as good. Coverage may even be better for T-Mobile users in some parts of the US.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see if Apple is motivated to, or indeed able to, make any moves to prevent the hacked phones from being used outside of the AT&T world. It seems highly unlikely it could prevent it at a network level even if it wanted to. The iPhone it seems is well and truly in the wild.

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