Apple Responds

Alas, the iPhone is not tracking you any more than you tell it to. Apple has posted a Q&A about the recently discovered coordinate data on your iPhones and iPads. Please read the whole thing, paying special attention to item #3, which has the exact reason for the data.

If you aren’t comfortable with having a fully-functional computer in your pocket that has the ability to triangulate its own position to provide you with all of those wonderful conveniences, you may want to look at something that’s a bit more difficult to track down. Like, for example, a pay phone and maybe an answering service.

And, as I mentioned before, each of us is our own biggest privacy threat.

Get Your Think On…

Over on another site, somebody posted this:

This year July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens once every 823 years. This is called money bags. So, copy this to your status and money will arrive within 4 days. Based on Ancient Chinese Secret!

Wow! Five full weekends in the month of July! At first glance, many people may see that phrase, “Ancient Chinese Secret” and accept this as a true statement. We’d better cherish this moment that happens but once every 27 generations! Aren’t ancient Chinese secrets wonderful?
Not, really.

Being one to not blindly accept whatever somebody says, I choose instead to think about things so I can understand them. In this case, I’ll invoke a bit of science and mathematics. After all, I’m relatively sure that somewhere in my memory I’ve seen this scenario before — something about getting an “extra”* payday in some July a few years ago.

So, here’s a little shell script — it won’t make much sense to non-Unix types:

while [ “$year” -le $limit ]
    cal 07 $year | grep -B 3 “1  2$” | grep -i “july” | awk ‘{print $2}’
    let “year+=1”
done | less
If we run this, we see that the first set of numbers returned are:
2011 — Okay, that’s this year for the sanity check
2016 — Wait, that’s only five years from now
2022 — Then six more…
2033 — Eleven more…
2039 — I’m starting to think there might be something peculiar about…
2044 — Yeah, these are all slightly less than 823. I think we’re done here.
The only conclusion that I can come to is that the Ancient Chinese Secret was that they didn’t use either the Julian nor Gregorian calendars (duh — different culture); didn’t have days named Friday, Saturday, nor Sunday (honestly, I’m currently in the dark about ancient timekeeping in China); or that somebody, somewhere, has been rather misled.

* We didn’t actually get an “extra” payday. Some people at work were all giddy with excitement because this year there was an extra paycheck in their bank accounts in July. I didn’t think they were thinking it through — literally, through August, September, etc… but that’s another post.

Update: Rick says this is on Snopes. Sure, Snopes explains it, but my way uses math and critical thinking.