iPhone 3.0 upgrade – 2096 error at iStore – fix

iPhone3GAs soon as the brand new iPhone 3.0 upgrade came out, I had to try it on my first generation EDGE iPhone. I connected to my Mac computer, ran the iTunes upgrade and waited impatiently for the process to run its course… only to find that my lovely shiny phone had turned into a lovely shiny brick.

Instead of a brand new 3.0 operating system, all I could do was make emergency calls, and look at the following iStore error message:

“iTunes could not connect to the iTunes Store. An unknown error occurred (-2096).
Make sure your network connection is active and try again.”

Happily, I finally managed to fix the problem, but I found it difficult to find advice via the internet. So, I’ve compiled this quick post to explain how I got the upgrade to work (note: this advice is for OS X Mac’s only):

1.) Visit System Preferences, and select Network.
2.) In the drop down Location box, changed the location from ‘Automatic’ to my home wireless network.
3.) Breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Why this worked, I have no idea. But if you’re having the same problem with your iPhone 3.0 upgrade and you’re running OSX, give this solution a try.

Roseanne Barr teaches Larry King a lesson

Roseanne Barr (yes, she of Roseanne fame) attempts to convince a somewhat sceptical King of the benefits of the internet. Larry is not convinced:

By the way – did you know Roseanne has a blog? Here’s a sample of Roseanne’s thoughts on those pesky Jews:

The jewish organizations in germany helped to round up all the jews and deport and kill them. It could not have happened without jewish help. In this country right now, jewish leaders are selling the peace and the security of jewish citizens of America.

Note how “America” gets a capital letter, while “jewish” and “germany” are afforded no such respect.

Blue Screen of Death – redux

Old PC hands, like myself, remember the sickening lurch of the stomach that accompanied the appearance of the dreaded ‘Blue Screen of Death’, for it meant that whatever work I’d just been doing had met a horrific death.

So, just for fun, some sadist has re-created it – as a screensaver:

Blue Screen of Death

And can you guess who is so generously revisiting this horror upon us? 

Why, Microsoft, of course. 

Russia to enter GPS market?

Glonass satelliteRIA Novosti reports that Russia plans to lift restrictions on the use of GLONASS, its Global Positioning System satellites in 2007

Sergei Ivanov said: “By January 1, 2007, the General Staff will lift all restrictions on the precision of coordinates, so that the system can be used to develop the economy and transportation system.”

Current restrictions limit the accuracy for civilian users of Glonass to 30 meters.

A new entrant into the GPS market, competing with the US and EU systems can only be good for the consumer.  It looks like the unrestricted version will only be able to Russians initially – coverage of Russia is 100%, whereas coverage in the rest of Europe and the US isn’t quite at the level required for commercial use. 

This is partly because the full complement of satellites hasn’t yet been launched, and partly because the satellites that are already up there have been focussed on Chechnya to aid operations there.  The Russian military has plans to fill in the gaps in their network as soon as possible, though, with three new satellites planned for December. 

‘Politics like you’ve never seen it before’

Britain is to get a brand new internet tv station covering news and politics. 18 Doughty Street – which will broadcast for four hours each evening – promises to “break the mould” . Here’s the trailer:

Having just watched the trailer myself, I must admit, I found it difficult to muster much enthusiasm. Dull, but worthy, was my immediate reaction.

I would be happy to see a new non-mainstream tv news channel, though, so I am keen to see how it develops. And, yes, I’ll happily eat my words if I turn out to be yet another cynic with a blog.


The blogosphere boldly visits its newest frontier – blogging from space:

The launch was very smooth. The trip to the station felt long but it was worth it. I cannot keep my eyes off the windows. Earth is magnificent and peaceful from up here. You don’t see any of those awful things you hear on the news, from up here.

Written by Anousheh Ansari, the first female space tourist.  Admittedly, she had to blog via email – I don’t think WordPress works properly outside the earth’s atmosphere – but it’s still pretty cool.

Russian Churches, now and then

Via English-Russia, a series of fascinating pictures of Russian churches, the first taken in 1910, the second just a couple of years ago:

Nilov Hermitage 1906 Nilov Hermitage 21st century

The first picture was taken by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, photographer to the Russian Tsar, who developed a revolutionary technique for taking colour pictures.More of his amazing pictures, documenting life in late Tsarist Russia can be found at the Library of Congress website – The Empire that was Russia.

The war on splogs

One of my websites was recently stolen and turned into a splog – that’s a spam blog to you and me. 

So, naturally, I was interested to read this Wired article about the rise and rise of splogs, and their battle with search engines and blog hosting companies.

Mostly, it’s a pretty good article.  However, personal experience means that I can’t agree with Six Apart’s Anil Dash, who believes that charging people to set up blogs stops sploggers:

Ultimately, he thinks, “the solution is going to be accountability. You have to know that somebody is who they say they are.” Six Apart’s TypePad blogging service enforces accountability on its bloggers in one of the simplest ways possible: It charges them at least $4.95 a month to host their blogs. Not only is the token payment enough to discourage scammers who want to operate thousands of blogs at once, but it also establishes bloggers’ identities by tying them to a bank account.

My experience arose out of a blog about Russia that I used to write (some of you will remember it).  Being my first blog, I took the safe option of hosting it on Typepad.  But, about a year ago – by this time I was a bit more tech savvy, not to mention protective of my bank account – I moved the blog to WordPress.  Happy with WordPress, I closed the Typepad account pretty soon after, and promptly forgot all about it.

You can imagine my surprise when I checked statcounter last week, only to find that by long dead Typepad blog had risen, phoenix-like, from the ashes, and that it was referring people on to this site.

Visiting the old Typepad site, I found that my blog had been accurately reproduced – design and all.  Every single word I ever wrote on that site was displayed on screen, but with one tiny difference – and here’s the fun bit – mixed in with my profound prose were some very graphic keywords and links to a bunch of hardcore porn sites.  Not all of them involving human to human sex.


Fortunately, there is a happy ending to this tale – for me anyway.  I wrote a slightly alarmed email to the Typepad administrators, and they took the site down within a couple of days.  

I can’t fault the way Typepad responded once I alerted them to the problem.  They acted quickly and professionally at all times, and were a pleasure to deal with. 

But my experience doesn’t do a lot for Dash’s claim that charging people to set up blogs will prevent sploggers from abusing the system. 

For starters, someone managed to set up a splog on Typepad using a defunct account that they presumably had to pay for.  And, second, the only reason it was closed down was that I happened to notice its existence, and have the perseverance to find the right contact form on Typepad’s website and let them know about the problem.  

Update (7/9/06): Check out Anil Dash’s response in the comments. 

Update 2 (7/9/06): An email from ‘Brian’ dropped into my inbox this morning, offering me $100 if I would place a few advertising links on my blog.  Here’s a quote from the email:

I noticed that you are no longer updating the site. However, it still has some value for advertising for my company, which specializes in selling event tickets.

I’d like to pay you US$100 for the right to put about 10 links on the site for a year. They could be on the right-hand side, under your statistics area, and wouldn’t look like advertisements at all.

To be honest, if I wasn’t aware of splogs, this would seem like a pretty tempting offer.  After all, as Brian says, I don’t update the blog any more, so $100 would be money for old rope.  I would probably be a little puzzled, though, about why a blog about Russia would help someone sell event tickets.

Star Trek remastered

Star Trek Enterprise remasteredStar Trek is 40 this year. And what better way to celebrate than to remaster the original series and put Kirk, Spock, McCoy et al back on syndication across the USA?

So far, so good. But for the geeks at Paramount, remastering wasn’t enough. Oh no. They had to go and get all George Lucas on us, and update the special effects.


Star Trek was classic entertainment. By all means, clean up the picture so it looks a bit crisper – the original film stock is four decades old, afer all. But for God’s sake don’t replace all the cheesy 1960s effects with even naffer cgi graphics. They’re a part of tv history, a part of what made the show great. To replace them with effects that will look dated again in less than a decade is nothing short of sacrilege.

My dad will not be happy. And, frankly, neither am I.