Back to the iPhone

Okay so my history with iPhones and Android phones is mixed. My first real “smartphone” was some piece of crap sony that I bought in Japan, before Android or the iPhone was ever even thought of. See, I was looking for a phone that had apps, was flexible, could play my music … you know, do all the things that we just take for granted these days with modern smartphones.

Then, then iPhone was released, and by the time it got to me, I was in Australia. I bought the iPhone 3G. I loved it, it was like finally being in the future. A company that understood good user interface design had developed a phone. Finally. Yes, there were things with it I didn’t like, but for the most part it was a good phone, and the extra functionality it offered was exceptional. And once they released the App Store and the SDK, the iPhone just took off.

But I like being an informed hater. I have switched back and forth from Android to iOS for the past several years. I’ve owned an iPhone 4, and several Android phones – a Sony Experia Z3 Compact, an LG G4, several other devices that I just don’t care about – and I can say that now I have an iPhone 6S Plus, I’m probably not going to switch back.

Why?

  • Battery life is substantially better on my iPhone than it was on the LG G4. That thing would eat battery in about an hour just browsing the web. Thats with turning on ALL the tricks to try and save batter.
  • The screen is adequate, if not amazing. I honestly don’t get how people can quibble over these things. It’s a high DPI screen. It looks like it’s from the future.
  • It’s fast. I don’t feel like I’m waiting on the phone at all. I’m sure there are faster phones, but do they have the battery life? I don’t think so. Whats the point of having 8 cores if you can only use them for 15 minutes.
  • The app ecosystem is just better. Many android apps are shoddy clones of the iOS versions. They write the iOS version and then tell the android developer “go make it look like that”. Right or wrong, that’s lead to a dearth of really shitty apps on Android that don’t really take advantage of the phone.
  • OS X integration. I never thought I’d want it but now I’ve used it, I do. I never have to take my earphones off – I can just take the call through my computer. Like, woah, dude. And texting is better too when you have a keyboard.

A few niggles

  • Why is the fucking headphone jack at the bottom? This is stupid. Why why why why why. I guess it’s to force people to buy bluetooth headsets, but I don’t want to always have to charge those fucking things.
  • Apps don’t really background on iOS. This is a feature, I know, and it makes the battery life great, but I should be able to stay on a call on Viber without it dropping if I switch apps.
  • Siri is rubbish. They really need to work on expanding it constantly to make it understand more of what people ask it. And really, Siri, if it’s raining and if I ask you “is it raining here?” then you should probably say yes.

I don’t think I’ll ever switch to android unless Apple decide to do something really stupid, like remove the 3.5mm headphone jack. That would be just dumb.

Getting an A with SSLLabs

Last year when I was working at a startup, I spent a lot of time on tuning my SSL configuration. At the time, there were not many good articles that summarized the changes required to get an A with SSLLabs.

Recently I rebuilt my server for stupendous.net, and I needed to get SSL working again, so I searched around to see what other guides were out there.

Remy van Elst posted a really great guide for NGINX, and other HTTP servers, so it’s really quite redundant for me to replicate that excellent work.

I will summarize it though:

  • Generate your own dhparams.
  • Disable SSL3, only enable TLS 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2.
  • Enable OCSP.
  • Enable HSTS.
  • Enable SSL session caching.
  • Use a strong cipher suite.

Remy goes through everything you need to do for Apache, NGINX, etc, so I fully recommend you read his article.

Once upon a time …

I used to have a blog. Really. I registered this domain a very long time ago. I stopped blogging for various reasons.

  • Personal life changes. They were so big, I didn’t want to write about them. I didn’t want to write.
  • Professional changes. I wanted to focus on the new job.

I know some people might come here, looking for rpg-dungeon.com. Sorry, I don’t have the time or energy to get it back alive. I’m really sorry. I know you guys loved it, and it worked for you, but the hosting provider that hosted it, took the blade offline and I was never able to get the data out of them. I hope for the years it was up, it provided a useful service, and I’m sorry I can’t bring it back.

I’d like to blog again. Really, I have a lot of things to say. I just … don’t know what form it will take.

At least, this is here, now.

Nathan.