The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

AT&T and Apple Truth or DARE


I broke this ugly story over Apple and AT&T last year:

exposing the AT&T and Apple DATA leakage scam or, ATT And Apple Battle Over Data Leakage

Life and business are a cautionary tale in terms of what you don’t know is what can kill you.

How many of you on the AT&T network find yourselves holding both an iPhone and the proverbial bag each month with your billing statement data usage fees?

Read on. The first article below discusses data usage and the cost. The author evidently wants to blame Apple and it’s iPhones. He is partially correct, to be fair. If you complain to AT&T they point the finger. Then if you call Apple they point out that the problem is known but Verizon somehow resolved it. Maybe the issue is with CDMA as opposed to GSM devices.

Or, perhaps AT&T simply likes gouging it’s customers relentlessly with excessive data usage fees that expose a critical lack of customer care.

I hope this post helps readers make an informed decision. Read between the lines. Investigate. See the truth. Beware. Don’t tolerate being cheated. Hold everyone accountable as you hold yourself. That’s being responsible.

I dare you. : The author and article missed a HUGE opportunity. The real story with all of this is “data leakage”. The problem might be unique to iPhones. Interestingly, Verizon may have fixed the problem that Apple would not, and AT&T does not want to because of the obnoxious fees it generates for the company. You can read more about that here:

extiPhone 5s Owners Are the Most Data-Hungry Smartphone Users, Study Says –

“It looks like iPhone 5s users are the most data-hungry smartphone owners out there. According to a new study, iPhone 5s users consume more data than those operating on the iPhones biggest competitor– the Galaxy S4– and…”

For perspective, read the related post from my personal blog below from last year:

exposing the AT&T and Apple DATA leakage scam –

“or… ATT And Apple Battle Over Data Leakage Brian Patrick Cork heads-up… I was one of those people with a family plan of Apple iPhones on the AT&T network that was getting hammered with the …”

Let’s be part of the Solution.

brian patrick cork


DATA is the new OIL


REALLY smart people are going to be the refinery.

…remember I said that over the next thirty-six months.

pay A LOT of attention to this. do it!

“By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful.”  – David McCandless

“Over the next year, I’m hoping to get a better grip on some of the questions raised by the data revolution: In what situations should we rely on intuitive pattern recognition and in which situations should we ignore intuition and follow the data? What kinds of events are predictable using statistical analysis and what sorts of events are not?” – Victor Lamm

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork


free never comes Cheap


did you know that Apple, Inc. is now worth, or at least valued, more than Poland (as in the country)? this is a financial fact. read more on that, here.

but, I’ll wager there is not one parent in Poland that would value the health or well-being of their children less than Apple, the company.

so… what do we value? and, how do we assess value? what do things cost us, all, or at all?

I learned a long time ago in Bosnia that freedom, and things that can be taken for granted, don’t come by cheap.

everything has a cost. every…  …thing.

by the way… Bosnia is only five hundred and forty five (545) miles from Warsaw Poland.

for the moment lines of battle are being drawn-up with mandates being handed-down from board rooms around the globe relative to such things as data and texting – a medium many of us certainly do take for granted; possibly can’t live without – but, fail to comprehend what happens behind the scenes, and at the bottom-line.

dramatic, you say? consider this provocative notion… I feel that data is going to be like electricity or water. none of these resources completely free. however, few worry about giving someone a glass of water at home, or letting them plug-in to charge an Apple iPhone or MacBook (or, Android device [hint…see recent activity on my Linkedin profile. but, I’ll BLOG about it soon]).


“Text messaging is free, and calling is going to be free,” said Joe Stipher, CEO of Pinger said while attending the 2012 Mobile World Congress (“MWC”) that ended yesterday.

that free-thinking is becoming a reality. but, what you eventually don’t pay for is going to cost companies and shareholders a great deal.

that’s okay, I say. but, we need to, at the very least, understand.

it would be needless to say that mobile companies are not happy at the flood of free messaging services like, Pinger, piggy-backing their networks. there are a good many such services cropping-up. just Google “free texting” to start your own investigation. the change and evolution is inevitable – it always is. wanting the change is easy. but, defining the winner is never simple.

telecom Italia SpA chief executive Franco Bernabe also spoke-out at MWC stating that, “free messaging services are undercutting the ability of phone companies to invest in their networks”. to be sure, paid texting, or SMS, has been a cash-cow for phone companies that uses minimal network capacity.

“…the new players have based their innovation in the mobile domain, without a deep understanding of the complex technical environment of our industry. This is increasingly creating significant problems to the overall service offered to the end user and driving additional investments for mobile operators,” Bernabe said.

okay then… apparently after years of study, the big telecommunications operators announced this very week that they will try to fight back by introducing software this year embedded in new cellphones that will allow users to do the same sort of Internet-based messaging and voice calls that consumers want without paying separate fees.

cool. that reads (or, sounded) something like, “if you can’t beat them. join them”. but, I doubt it. the cost of that update is based on a heavy responsibility of Board of Directors whose reality are shareholders that, ironically, want the freedom, if you will, for themselves, but not the consumers of the products of companies they’ve invested in.

this is like “whack-a-mole” at Chucke-E.-Cheese’s. the cost will pop-up elsewhere, either in hidden fees or more expensive devices or contracts.

Me? I buy stocks of companies that find ways to innovate, change the world, and create wealth. So, those dividends make paying a bit more for products people need, want – and, can’t live without, like Apple’s make watching everyone else keen into the night, or stumble like zombies through the night somewhat more bearable.

no one  said the Laws of Natural Selection were designed to be fair.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork


good vs evil vs intent


loosely from macintouch:

looking at what is currently happening with Apple’s iCloud, I suppose you could always posit,

“there is something disturbing about my calendar, GPS location, address book, and my information in the address books of others being stored on an apple server.”

regarding the upload of contacts and related information to Apple’s iCloud may not have anything to do with social data mining. people need to know that Android’s own “Siri-like” voice recognition works via a Google server on the internet. the audio of what you say is sent to the server, and a list of possible meanings is sent back for processing by the handset.

and, I’m sure we can all rest easy believing that Google is not interested in personal data mining and private data retention…

sarcasm, me?

…of course, Google getting busted multiple times hacking private networks tends to show intent /1.

yet, any other attempts at theorizing, otherwise, in this age of privacy abdication and private data retention, is amazingly naive.

well look… Apple has been storing user calendars, address books, email, bookmarks, photos and more on their servers since the days of iTools, later known as .Mac, Mobile Me – and, now iCloud. that’s more than a decade of effort with no known issues that compromise anyone.

NOTE: I don’t recall hearing about any major privacy breaches, yet. we can wish the same could be said for banks, credit card companies, ISPs, mobile phone companies like RIM and even gaming companies like Sony.

maybe it’s funny how that track record has been a non-story.

on the other hand, any time Google stock is over $305 or $475 I’m a fan when we consider the reality that their insidious search capability gives them all manner of advantage when it comes to research and accumulated data.

go look up the word, scienter. I wonder how serious Google is about doing no evil? but then, who interprets what is good, and for whom, what is evil, and for whom, and how someone might define intent? the truth of the day changes with circumstances.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork


1/ 3rd Party Qualification of Statement. Please do your own research before any judgment is passed.

Check out the investigations by the German regional data protection authorities (which triggered the revelation of the program, after missing WiFi trawling hard disks were queried), the Canadian privacy commissioner (whose rulings triggered Google to introduce an internal privacy by design program), and regulators and advocates around the world.

For 6 years Google secretly used WiFi scanning tools unannounced on Streetview camera cars. They did everything short of encryption busting to take advantage of generally poor standards of technical security knowledge by home wifi access point operators (most of whom would have been unaware of the risk from an apparently responsible global corporation, and so could not have been assumed to have authorised this surveillance as they were never asked).

The result was to hoover up access point info (even where SSIDs where hidden, as I understand it, since they used techniques closer to sigint than ‘casual stumbling’ to ID the AP), and data stream fragments, apparently including snippets of private email messages, the odd login or password, and various online transactions.

That this was inadvertent beggars belief. If Google can ‘inadvertently’ install such a system on a global basis and operate it for 6 years, collating data for a key commercial purpose (Android etc. geolocation), especially when it’s hidden in an already controversial photographic tool pushing the boundaries of surveillance of ‘public’ spaces, then its management is either deceptive, deliberately blind, or seriously incompetent in the governance department.

None of these options is a basis for future trust.

It was ultimately confirmed as a deliberate, sustained global program, routinely capturing wifi traffic and location data, for routine use in collation of a cross reference database for GPS and phone tower geolocation augmentation (and whatever else they chose).

It represented an abuse of the ‘ask forgiveness, not permission’ idea behind software prototyping, because that cute philosophy does not apply to breaching personal information security and privacy, where data loss is often irrevocable. Hacking into real personal data is not consistent with the rapid prototyping method that works so well for disposable code versions. This was more along the lines of ‘see if we can get away with it’, which is the motto of the irresponsible teenager or junior crim.

It breached the trust of the global population (some of whom were legitimately concerned with the transfer of risk to unwitting people by the Streetview camera program) by not being also revealed when the details of Streetview were reluctantly revealed after being introduced without privacy impact analysis or any sort of permission. It breached privacy expectations, and in many cases privacy laws, around the world, though only some regulators were willing to address it robustly. It also potentially breached cybercrime laws in relation to unauthorised access to or possession of data, computers or communications networks.

Since Google had not disclosed what they were doing, and it had not been done or known before, no one could be implied to have given permission or authorisation. Excuses, or attempts to ‘blame the victim’, don’t change this.

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"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell

photos by John Campbell


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