Smart 3G network problem?

Last night, I was having trouble with my Smart postpaid line. I was on the bus when I took a peep at my Sony Ericsson P1i. At the status bar, an icon appeared. So I tapped on it, and a window appeared. It said that “Incoming calls not allowed” and a Settings button appeared. Tapping on the button led me to the Internet accounts settings page. I ignored it and went on with the trip home. BTW, I sent a text message, and at first the sending failed, but on the second attempt, the message was sent. It was 10 minutes before 6PM.

I got home by 7PM, and after dinner, I checked the phone again. The icon remained, and out of curiousity I made a call to our landline. So I keyed in the number and tapped Call. After two seconds the phone returned to standby mode. So I turned off the phone, took off the SIM, and inserted the SIM into a Nokia 3660. I made a call to the same number, and our landline phone made its usual ringing sound. So I inserted the SIM back into P1i, powered it on, and the icon was still there. Making the same call, and the same result – nada.

What I did was to set the phone so that it would connect to GSM network only. The setting before was 3G only. (To do this on P1i, go to Main Menu>Control Panel>Connections>Mobile Networks. On the Mobile Networks window, tap More and then tap on GSM/3G networks.) The phone disconnected and reconnected. The 3G icon was gone. I then made a call to our landline, and the landline sounded. At this point, I received a reply to the message that I had sent earlier; the message was time-stamped 6:10PM.

I set the mode back to 3G only, and after disconnection/reconnection, the suspect icon appeared again. So I set it back to GSM only, and then played Warcraft III: Frozen Throne for an hour. After playing, I set the mode back to 3G, and the suspect icon was gone. Content, I went to sleep.

End of story? Nope. Woke up at around 12 midnight and took a look at the phone. “Emergency calls only,” the phone display said. Set the mode to GSM only, and the operator name appeared. Went back to sleep.

So at 8AM, I set the mode back to 3G, and no problems so far. Must be a problem in Smart’s 3G network yesterday. Or my phone’s getting old.


Using Smart 3G: Port blocking is no more

Mobility Philippines reports that Smart has started unblocking ports for its 3G service. I had checked that out and here’s what I found:

* I can now access my site’s cPanel, which means port blocking on HTTP is lifted.
* I can now chat via Internet Relay Chat, which means common IRC ports (starting at port 6666) are now open.
* I can now download via torrents. Port forwarding is now allowed over Smart 3G.

Note that there is nothing spectacular about torrent speeds over Smart 3G (at least on my end).

Now if only Smart implements HSDPA (and that would mean getting an HSDPA phone).


iPhone sending user data to Apple?

Well, file this under who-tells-the-truth department.

9to5mac reports that Apple is tracking iPhone user data, as reported in a hackint0sh thread. The thread based the assumption on strings found in two apps, where there is a URL with an identifier named IMEI in the string.

But this assumption is immediately debunked by docpool, stating that it is the application ID that is being referenced by the string IMEI. It also linked to a German site, which claims that the application ID is being sent, not the IMEI.

Now, will security analysts stand up and clear this mess up?