Cell Phone Viruses

I was visiting Ryan at Second on Second (the bar he tends, located at, let’s see if you can figure it out… yup, 2nd street and 2nd Ave) when I got an alert on my cell phone:

Nokia 7610 wants to send you a message. Accept?

I gladly accepted, being surprised and a bit excited that someone had a Series 60 phone (series 60 is the interface of Nokia’s smartphones, like my Nokia 6620), and had the wherewithal to send a Bluetooth message.

Almost immediately the same alert popped up again, and again and again as I pressed no, I would not accept.

I looked in my inbox and found the file that was being sent to me — CABIR.SIS — a Symbian installation file (Symbian is the actual operating system that Series60 and other ‘smartphones’ run on) had been delivered several times.

I knew well enough not to open it. First of all, I had heard of the Cabir virus spreading around Europe, one of a handful that infect symbian phones, but even if I hadn’t, I don’t think I would have opened a random installation file someone had sent me. Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know. It’s like a mantra, and it’s just as true with cellphones as PCs.

This particular virus is relatively harmless — once installed, it attempts to transmit itself to any nearby Bluetooth device; once that device is infected, the same thing happens. Pretty soon, everyone is infected. The biggest downside is a drain on battery life and performance as your phone gets overloaded trying to send messages and files via the Bluetooth radio.

I turned my phone off and rebooted in offline mode (hit the power switch, then UP on the d-pad 3 times to select offline mode), which disables bluetooth. This prevented me from getting any further unsolicited messages. Next, I went to the Notes application and wrote a short memo:

 Your phone is infected with a virus.  Believe it or not!

but sadly, by the time I tried to send it back out the the phantom Nokia 7610, it was no longer in range (or it’s battery had just died, which is not unlikely).

I love my smartphone. I love being able to install custom applications, the modularity and expandability make my mobile computing life much more satisfying. But if viruses are already this commonplace — especially among non-savvy users, i.e., people NOT like me –, we’re in for a long haul when it comes to acceptance and growth of the mobile phone as the everyman’s computing platform.

Tsunami Help Campaign

This is a call to all my friends, family, and anyone else to make a donation to the Red Cross, or whatever other relief organization you prefer, to offer aid and support to those suffering the horrifying effects of the tsunami.

Amazon Associate

Just for fun I’ve signed up to be an Amazon associate; if you click this link, I’ll get a small percentage of anything you buy. As I continue writing stuff here, I’ll also be putting more links to products I get and make it easy for you to buy ‘me through me, if you’re interested.


Girly Man for Arnold

My buddy Ryan Junnell is doing this documentary film installation on the RNC and managed to find his way not only into the convention center but also onto the news:

Girly man poster

He’s selling it on eBay to hopefully help fund the project and get his producer out of jail.

Go bid on it!

The Bird is the Word


I should have posted this sooner: the latest addition to our family is a peach-faced lovebird we’ve named Oliver.

A couple of weeks ago, client of mine in midtown found him on their 42nd floor balcony (!) and took him in; unfortunately as much as they loved him they found he was too loud to keep at their financial services firm. Being somewhat comfortable with birds having baby-sat for Michael’s parrot, Harry, and given Tania’s recent obsession with all things Aves, we decided to give him a home.

He’s about 6 inches tall, very curious and sweet. We’ve had him for a week, and he’s adjusting to his new home pretty well I think. He’s even winnning Mylo over.

See more of him here.

Moooovin’ on…

So it looks like Tania and I are moving! Through our friend Tami we learned of a vacant one bedroom apartment on South 1st and Berry, with a back yard and everything!

Well, calling it a back yard is generous — a back patio is more like it, but it’s still awesome. We’re going to sign the lease tomorrow (it’s actually going to be in Tania’s name because my credit stinks, but hey, no worries).

It’s kind of weird, as I’ve lived in this apartment for nearly 5 years — I’m not sentimentally attached to it, but it’s like an old habit that will be weird to let go of.

That said, I’m looking forward to having a place that’s just for me and Tania (and Mylo!). Most importantly, it’s in the same neighborhood, which makes it much more appealing than this place Will post more details soon…

PS, if anyone needs an apartment, our current roommate Eric is probably taking over the lease if he can find someone, so let me know!