Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

I-751 (Petition to Remove Greencard Conditions) Tips

Posted in Government, Law, USA by Elliott Back on May 14th, 2013.

I recently went through the successful application to remove conditions on residence (I-751) with my wife, and found there were a few things I could have done better with my initial submission.

We unfortunately received (and responded to) an RFE (Request for Evidence) due to insufficient documentation for the petition. I had included standard items, like the last joint bank statements, marriage certificate, etc, but it wasn’t enough to prove a “bona fide” marriage.

Some tips I’d suggest for anyone looking to file this on their own:

  • Consult a lawyer when preparing your filings. Yes, it will cost you $300-$600, but it can help you prevent mistakes at the onset.
  • Draft up a cover letter detailing each piece of evidence, the time span it covers, across various categories
  • Include any beneficiary information you have
  • Your evidence should span the entire period of marriage–in my RFE I submitted information from just before our marriage date, quarterly, to the present
  • Highlighting the petitioner’s name, spouse’s name, and dates on evidence will help your examiner work the case faster
  • Include a couple affidavits; it’s easy to ask your friends/colleagues to draft one, and helpful.

Note: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice, just my own personal experience.

Apple Pulling iPhone Apps from the App Store

Posted in Apple, Errors, Hacking, iPhone by Elliott Back on September 1st, 2008.

Apple has become notorious for removing applications from the iPhone app store, generating huge amounts of controversy as each application is removed. This post aims to aggregate the controversy into a single page, for reference.


The infamous I am Rich application sold 8 copies of the above glowing jewel for $999 a pop. The author, Armin Heinrich, said “I am sure a lot more people would like to buy it, but currently can’t do so,” Heinrich said. “The App is a work of Art and included a secret mantra; that’s all.” The application was pulled from the iTunes store on August 7th after reviews like

“I saw this app with a few friends and we jokingly clicked ‘buy’ thinking it was a joke, to see what would happen. … THIS IS NO JOKE…DO NOT BUY THIS APP AND APPLE PLEASE REMOVE THIS FROM THE APP STORE”

began to appear for the application. There is still no official comment from Apple as to why they removed the expensive, artsy application. According to the L.A. Times, Heinrich is also baffled: “I have no idea why they did it and am not aware of any violation of the rules to sell software on the App Store.”


Slasher, an iPhone app which “displays a common kitchen knife on the screen and plays a horror sound when you make a stabbing motion” was pulled from the App Store for violating section 3.3.12 of the iPhone SDK agreement covering objectionable content:

3.3.12 Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.

The Author is still trying to get clarification about what this means and get his application back into the App store. However, it sets an unfortunate precedent that any application (think about Religious apps, bound to offend other Religions…) can be pulled simply because someone, somewhere claims to be offended.


Carling Brewery’s iPint application was removed from the Apple store after a mistake in classification caused the enormously popular application to be listed internationally, instead of in the local UK market. iPint is still available for UK iTunes users.


Erica Sadun’s light-making application apparently made the iPhone’s LCD brighter than the default brightness. Somehow this was a violation of Apple SDK, and the App has vanished from the App Store. If you know more about “Light”, please leave a comment. I can find little on it.


PhoneSaber was an iPhone application to emulate swinging a Star Wars lightsaber around. As you swing your phone, it would emit various sound effects. According to this post, Mac Box took down the app voluntarily after a THQ rep communicated that they violated Lucasfilm’s mobile licensing.


As you all know, Netshare, the innovative app that let you use your edge or 3G cellular as a local wifi router, essentially tethering for the iPhone, was pulled by Apple after AT&T leaned on them. Nullriver notes that “we’ve received no communication from Apple thus far. NetShare did not violate any of the Developer or AppStore agreements.”

Microsoft’s Mistake: Vista Editions

Posted in Microsoft, Optimization by Elliott Back on March 2nd, 2008.

One of the reasons that Microsoft’s Vista operating system isn’t as successful as Windows XP (see Was Windows XP Microsoft’s last good OS?) is that it suffers from a version explosion. Where Windows XP offered a Home and Professional version which differed from each other in a simple list of features, Windows Vista comes in five versions:

Note that visual studio actually has 8 versions…

This is in comparison to OSX, which comes in one version, and linux which comes in hundreds of versions but is at least free. Perhaps their next os, vienna, will come in a single edition at a single global price, but that’s probably too much to hope for.

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