Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Antennagate passed, Glassgate has just started. What's up next, Apple?

The antennagate madness seems to be finished now (everybody knows now that Apple's faulty design is causing signal lose, or even call drops), and the next problem, generically named glassgate, has just started. It was believed that it was just the creation of the competitors, but it seems to be quite real now because Apple has taken measures against this problem.

It is not clear how resistant the glass from the back of the device is, as there were reports which said that after the device has been repeatedly taken out and inserted back from and in some cases, scratches occurred on that glass. It seems that dust particles can get stuck when the cases are inserted (between the case and the glass), causing serious scratches on the glass. In fact, these scratches will, eventually, create cracks on the whole glass surface from the back of the iPhone 4.

It seems that Apple is aware of this issue, because they pulled from the Apple Stores from all around the world all cases of this type (at least until this problem is clarified). So, if you don't have a case, you'll get call drops because of the way Apple designed iPhone's antenna. But if you get one (anything else except the bumper), you risk to have the glass from the back of the device even cracked.

I already see Apple telling everybody that their products doesn't have any issues, and users are the only ones responsible for that scratches/cracks (just as they did with Antennagate).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

No Limera1n or GreenPois0n icon on iPhone/iPod/iPad's SpringBoard after Jailbreak? You're just doing it wrong.

For those who didn't know, SpringBoard is the home screen of the iOS, the screen where all of your apps are located. I won't tell very much about Limera1n or GreenPois0n, they are just jailbreaking applications (Limera1n works on Windows and Mac, while GreenPois0n has a version for Linux also). Basically, they are quite the same thing (they're using the same exploit), and they work with any iDevice running 4.0, 4.0.2 or 4.2 firmware.

They are both very easy to use, you just have to download, run, and click "Make it ra1n!", and you'll be told how to put your device in DFU mode in order to start jailbreaking your device. A problem experienced by some of the people who tried jailbreaking their iDevices was that there was no Limera1n/GreenPois0n icon on the SpringBoard after jailbreaking (even though the applications said that jailbreaking succeeded).

The idea is that iTunes (it doesn't matter what version it is, it just needs to recognize your device) must be kept running while jailbreaking. Don't ask me why, I also had that problem, and when I left iTunes running while I used Limera1n, my jailbreak succeeded (when you see that drop rain on your iDevice, it means that jailbreaking succeeded). Probably, there's something in iTunes which allows the device to receive data while in DFU mode.

Who would have thought that there's such an easy fix for this problem?

If you're on Android, just don't use NetTraffic Monitor (from PopSoft) to monitor your traffic. It causes only issues.

NetTraffic Monitor is an app from Android Market which claims to be capable of monitoring your data traffic. It seemed quite weird to me even from the first run, because it requested me super user access (I'm running on a rooted device), even though its only work was to view and count my traffic, and nothing more.

After I installed it, I observed that the internet over 3G/2G networks was no longer working (the device was sending data, but it wasn't able to receive back anything). Actually, I didn't realize that the problems started after I installed NetTraffic Monitor, it took me about 2 days to realize that (during that time, I spoke with my carrier, thinking that they had problems with the network).

The app indicated only about 30 kb during that two days on mobile data networks, and absolutely no traffic on WiFi, even though I probably had about 50 MB on it. So I decided to uninstall it because it was useless (I also realized then that the problems started after its installation), and after the uninstall, guess what? The internet started working normally, and I haven't got any problems since then.

The app is the first one if you search for "Traffic Monitor" in the Market, so just be careful what you install and what you don't.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Angry Birds, the popular iOS game, now available for free in the Android Market.

Angry Birds is one of the most popular games for iOS, and it was bought by over 6.5 million people running Apple's devices (without counting those who downloaded it via Installous).  A few days ago it has also been launched for Android, in the Android Market, and is now available for download, yes, for free. Of course that it includes ads, but they appear only when you are restarting a "mission" and only for a few seconds (2-3 maximum).

Just as I was expecting, it is a very addicting game, and I started liking it as soon as opened it. On my Nexus One (1GHz processor with 512 MB of RAM) the game runs smoothly, without any lag. I've first seen this game on someone's iPod Touch (3rd gen) and it really had lag. The high graphics the developers included in this game make it a must have one for any Android device.

As someone said, "Once played can't stop". Maybe only when your battery discharges completely. It has already over 250 000 downloads, and about 10 500 ratings. A paid, ad-free version is expected to become available later this year.

To download it, just search for "Angry Birds" in the Market, it should be available on Android Markets from all over the world. If you can't find it there, just request me a download link for it and you'll be able to download it directly on you Android device.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Limera1n/Greenpois0n and iPad on 3.2.2? Better...not.

If you've got an iPad and you want jailbreak on it, my recommendation is to avoid the update to 3.2.2 (if you haven't done it already). My iPad was bricked today by a an app (it was stuck at boot logo), and I decided that because there was no way of recovering the data I had on it, the best option was to update it to the latest firmware, 3.2.2. But it turned out that it was a bad idea....

Everything went fine, iTunes 10 successfully updated it to 3.2.2, but the problems started when I tried to jailbreak it. Even though it seemed that the jailbreak succeeded, I couldn't find on the home screen the icon/shortcut/logo/app/whatever of the jailbreak tool I tried. I tried both limera1n and greenpois0n, on three different computers. One was running Windows XP, one was on Windows 7, and the other was on Mac OS X. However, on none of the them I got the icon of the jailbreak solution I tried. So, I couldn't get Cydia, so the jailbreak was completely useless.

I really don't know where's the problem, some people reported that both solutions worked fine from the first try on their 3.2.2 iPad, others reported that they tried of few times and than they succeeded, and others reported that they got in the same situation as me. I think that I tried about 25 times to jailbreak that iPad. I really got tired of these iDevices. Unjailbroken, the iPad it is just a bigger iPod, even a much cheaper Android-powered device being able to do much more that an iPad can. But if you jailbreak it (it's legal in case you didn't know, read more here), you'll get a big headache with all the bugs and problems jailbreaking brings.

I ended up by restoring the iPad to 3.2.1 (I had SHSH on file for 3.2.1, so it was quite simple), and I did the jailbreak using jailbreakme.com. If you're still on 3.2.1 (or 3.2) and you want jailbreak, make sure you do it before updating the iPad to 3.2.2, because at that time you can save your iPad's SHSH blobs without any problem.Having SHSH saved on 3.2.1/3.2 (or even on 3.2.2 if you get there with a jailbroken iPad) means that you can anytime downgrade/restore to the version you have that SHSH saved.

Use them on your own responsibility:

Jailbreak by limera1n (Windows, Mac OS X): http://www.limera1n.com/
Jailbreak by greenpois0n (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux): http://www.greenpois0n.com/

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ubuntu 10.10 is live, there aren't any huge changes.

Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution, got today to a new version, 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. This new version brings some changes, but they are small so the experience is pretty close to Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. The themes (Radiance and Ambiances) were slightly polished, making Ubuntu a quite good-looking alternative for Windows or Mac.

One of the most notable difference is represented by the fonts. They look now much prettier than before. Below is an example:

The Ubuntu Software Center has also been changed, bringing you new features, such as "What's new", "Where is it", the ability of handling .deb files or paid applications. Actually, there's only one paid application now, but it is just for testing purposes, more are expected to come with Ubuntu 11.04. 

The installation process has been completely redesigned. Andrew (from webupd8) shot a video of it:

Ouch, I was about to forget about it. There's also a new wallpaper into Ubuntu 10.10 by default. The old one, which has been a little redesigned compared to the one present in 10.04, created a real scandal and was changed after some users reported even a bug into it. So, it now looks something like this:

Other changes are represented only by under the hood improvements and updates to most applications, changes that are seen rarely or aren't at all for the end user. 

Ubuntu is available for download from here.

Limera1n is available, jailbreaks iOS 4.0-4.1.

Limera1n has been released yesterday evening, and after geohot got angry and pulled the download link (I don't know exactly why), it seems that Limera1n is now available for download again on the official website. This new jailbreak tool promises to jailbreak almost any device running iOS 4.0 or 4.1.

The supported products are iPhone 3Gs/4, iPad, and iPod Touch 3G/4G. For the unmentioned products: iPod Touch 2G support is coming soon, while for the iPhone 3G you must use redsn0w. For the moment, limera1n is available only for Windows, the compatibility for Mac is coming soon.

Theoretically, limera1n does hacktivate your device (allowing you to use it with any carrier), but many people reported problems after hacktivating their iPhones with limera1n, so I don't recommend you doing this yet (limera1n is currently in beta 4).

Hope I don't have to tell you that you're using it on your own responsibility, it is an unstable release so don't expect from it to be bug-free. You might have to restore your device or you may even get a bricked one as a result of using limera1n!

Download from here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

We'll probably have an alternative to iOS for the iPad soon, and that's the Chrome OS.

OK, I'm starting by telling that I have no idea about how popular "Hexxeh" is, but I never heard of him until now. And it seems that he isn't very popular on YouTube, as he has only a few thousands of views. But he did something really interesting, he succeeded to run the Chrome OS on the iPad. Yes, I'm sure you know, that OS created for netbooks by Google, running on the so popular iPad. So here's a video of what he did.

This seems to be quite real, because of two reasons: the first one is the pointer, which you can see that really moves when he clicks on something, and the second one is the speed of the OS, which shows that the Chrome OS might have been emulated on that iPad. Of course that there is a lot of job to do for Hexxeh, and one of the first things he needs to do is to improve the speed of Chrome OS (if he wants to release a official version of his work, of course).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In case you have issues with Market on your Android device, here is what you can try.

As you probably know, there are somewhere around 100 000 apps currently available in the Android Market, growing faster and coming forcefully behind Apple's App Store (which has around 200 000 apps). Is isn't currently any problem for Apple, but there's a matter of time until there will be a real challenge for Apple to keep up with the incredible grown of the Android Market.

However, the Market (the place from where apps for Android are officially installed) isn't a perfect app. Actually, it's quite buggy, maybe too buggy in some situations. Nexus One, a device on which the Market worked perfectly and which is considered "the Google Phone", got some problems since it was updated to 2.2. There weren't big problems until about a month ago, and, from then, my phone fails most of the times to install some updates (when more updates are available in the same time).

This is a common problem on many Android devices, and here is what you can try in order to get Android Market working properly. First, disconnect your device from wifi. Then go into Settings | Applications | Manage Applications | All (if these steps doesn't correspond to your device, just find in the settings the list with all apps).

From there, scroll down to "Market", tap on it, and then tap "Clear data", "Clear cache", and "Force stop". This will practically clear everything Market had saved about your apps. Then, connect again to wifi, and start Market. You'll be asked to Accept the "Terms of Use", and then it will list all your installed apps and the available updates on "Downloads" (just like it was before).

Now, just don't force it to update everything. Update every app from the update button (inside the app page), and make sure you don't update two or more apps in the same time. Otherwise, it will continue failing to update some of the apps.

Keep in mind that this is just a temporary solution, and doesn't work at all times. Additionally, make sure you have enough free internal storage memory on your device, as this could be the problem in some situations.

Apple just released iTunes 10.0.1, fixes lots of bugs.

Apple has just released a new version of iTunes, 10.0.1, which brings improvements to Ping (more exactly, it adds a new sidebar for it), and fixes lots of bugs. Here's the changelog of this update:

iTunes 10.0.1 makes it easier to share your favorite music with your friends on Ping. You can now Like or Post about music right from your iTunes library. You can also easily see the recent activity of a selected artist in your library, or of all artists and friends you follow on Ping using the new Ping Sidebar.
This release also provides a number of important bug fixes, including:

• Addresses an issue where the picture quality of a video changes depending on whether the on-screen controls are visible. 
• Resolves an issue where iTunes may unexpectedly quit while interacting with album artwork viewed in a separate window. 
• Fixes a problem that affects the performance of some third-party visualizers. 
• Addresses an issue where the iTunes Library and playlists appear empty. 
• Resolves an issue that created an incompatibility with some third-party shared libraries.

iTunes 10 comes with many new features and improvements, including:

• Introducing Ping. Use Ping to follow your favorite artists and friends or connect with the world’s most passionate music fans. Discover the music everyone is talking about, listening to, and downloading. 
• Rent HD TV episodes for just 99¢ each. Watch them on your Mac or PC, on-the-go with iPhone or iPod touch, or in your living room with the all new Apple TV. 
• Play your favorites on the all new iPod Touch, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, and Apple TV. 
• Play music wirelessly with AirPlay on AirPlay-enabled speakers, home theater receivers, and iPod accessories. 
• Explore many look-and-feel improvements throughout iTunes. 
• Enjoy performance improvements which make iTunes faster and more responsive. 
• Additional voice support with VoiceOver Kit for iPod.

It is not clear if this causes any problems with jailbroken devices, so if you have jailbreak on you iDevice, just stay away from it for now.

You can either get this new version via the Apple Software Update utility (on Mac), or you can manually download it for here (Windows & Mac users).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Twitter under attack, stop using Twitter.com until the problem is fixed.

If you're an user of Twitter, you probably observed today that many of the persons you follow are tweeting strange things. The idea is that there's an exploit in Twitter.com responsible for that. More exactly, the website fails to disallow the "onMouseOver" JavaScript command, which means that if you move the mouse over the offending tweet, you'll automatically retweet that tweet or you will be redirected to another website.

This is how a message like that looks like (DO NOT click on that links!!):
http://a.no/@"onmouseover=";$('textarea:first').val(this.innerHTML);$('.status-update-form').submit()" style="color:#000;background:#000;/
or another one:
http://t.co/@"onmouseover="document.getElementById('status').value='RT Unlevin ';$('.status-update-form').submit();"class="modal-overlay"/
It seems that most third party clients aren't affected by the exploit. Stop using Twitter's official website for now, as the strange messages are still coming in. Anyway, DO NOT click on the websites that tweets are linking to, they can possibly try to insert malicious code in your computer.

Twitter didn't announce anything about this until now, but they'll surely notify users when Twitter.com is safe, so follow status.twitter.com for latest news.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Facebook's policy becomes more and more abusive, tries to stop you from connecting to anybody.

Facebook takes more and more aggressive (and of course, abusive) security measures, turing some users against it. The first time I realized that Facebook exaggerates was when I was on a holiday and I tried to login from my phone. It simply told me that my password wasn't correct, even though I tried logging in for about 10 times (that was on the "Touch" version of Facebook).

OK, so I tried then logging in from the desktop version (again, from my phone), and surprise, it logged me in but I had to confirm that I was... me. That was, in fact, the reason for why I wasn't allowed to login from the "Touch" version of Facebook (how difficult can it be for the guys from Facebook to make it possible for that verification to be done from the "Touch" version?).

Recently, when I was again on a holiday, it happened the same thing, but this time I was requested to do a stupidity. It showed me 8 randomly pictures (if I remember correctly), from all of my friends albums, and I was asked to choose who that photos belonged to from a list of six friends (six different friends for every photo). I have a lot of friends with hundreds of photos, how do I recognize somebody if I only see a photo from a party where that person was, photo is which there are 20 persons dancing?!

This evening when I wanted to add somebody as a friend, Facebook told me that invitations from strangers (yes, they were referring at me) are temporary blocked, and that the person that I invited was going to receive that invitation later (OK, it didn't sound exactly like this, I'm not getting that anymore, but it was something like that). But how the hell do Facebook know that I'm a stranger to that person?!

For the same person (yes, I didn't give up), now it says this:
This Request Can't Be Sent
Do you know this user personally? To prevent misuse of Facebook, this request can't be sent. To learn more, please visit the Help Center. If you believe you're seeing this message in error, you can report the problem.

And this is not the first time I'm getting this. Somebody told me that I get this because the person I'm trying to add as a friend blocked me before, but if I keep trying, it will work, in the end.

I don't know where they are planning to get with these policies, but, unfortunately, the only thing they are doing is to turn the people against Facebook.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Beautiful "Day of Ubuntu" Live wallpaper changes the look of your phone depending on the outside time.

"Day of Ubuntu" Live wallpaper is definitely one of the best live wallpapers available for the Android-powered devices. This is its secret. It changes by itself, depending on the time the device has. For example, the below photo was taken at 10:30 P.M., and the time which was represented on the wallpaper corresponds to the time which was outside at that time.

This type of live wallpaper isn't something new, there are few more wallpapers like this one on the Market, but I think that this is the best of them. It takes only 800 kb, it doesn't create any kind of lag on a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, it looks great on Nexus One's high-resolution screen (480 x 800 pixels), and it seems that the battery drainage is extremely reduced. Your device must support Live Wallpapers, otherwise it won't work. 

Search it in the Android Market: "Day of Ubuntu". 

P.S.: I'm not using the native Launcher, that's why my dock looks like that. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

How to install Frash (Flash) on your Jailbroken iPad (the easy way).

One of the biggest disadvantages of browsing the web via the iPad is its total lack of Flash, which makes it not that web-friendly. Apple claims that Flash sucks, that it uses enormous resources, that it is slow, it drains battery fast and many others. That's why they probably won't ever accept Flash on the iPad.

Actually, Apple is that one which sucks here, because Android shows that Flash can run decently on smartphones. OK, without counting on what's on YouTube, I can tell you that Nexus One is compatible with 99% percent on what's out there (yes, on the internet), and on over 90% of all websites containing Flash content, Nexus One is capable of playing that content smoothly.

Returning to iPad and Flash, there's a way of installing something like a Flash, named Frash, on it. But firstly, you need to know that you must have a jailbroken iPad. And you can jailbreak it only if you're on iOS 3.2.1 or below (sorry if you're on 3.2.2). For the right firmwares, just use http://jailbreakme.com/ (I hope I don't need to tell you that you're doing it on your own responsibility).

Then, after you finished jailbreaking your iPad, you must start Cydia, go to Manage | Sources, and there add http://repo.benm.at . After you've done that, just search for "Frash" on Cydia. Install it, and, bingo, you have....Flash, on your iPad. You just need to type on what's Flash content on websites in order to display it, but, unfortunately, it isn't as compatible as it should be.

I mean, stuff like ads work perfectly, but where we are talking about games or videos, you'll be disappointed. Mainly, they won't work at all. So, even with this trick, iPad's style of browsing is still far away from where's Android's browser.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

If you haven't got the new Twitter interface (yet), you don't have to worry, you will be getting it soon.

You probably heard about the Twitter's new interface which has been released on Tuesday night (September 14th). I didn't write anything about it because I didn't have time for almost anything on the last few days. So, this is one of the most important changes Twitter did to its official website until now.

However, there are some users who don't see the change even two days after the change has been released (I also don't have it). The change is rolling out progressively, so there might be a few more days to wait for some users to get it. As it writes on its official blog, the update started rolling out on that night for a very small number of accounts, and it's probably still rolling out for some accounts.

What's changed, as I've told you, is the interface which has been redesigned, maintaining its simplicity. Twitter also got more user friendly. It's now possible to view embedded photos and videos from DailyBooth, deviantART, Flickr, Justin.TV, TwitPic, USTREAM, yfrog, YouTube and others. You can now see related content, meaning you can see replies to a tweet, other tweets by a user, the location from where a tweet has been sent, and more. Moreover, you now have "mini profiles", which allows you to view quick information about someones account, without having to leave the page you're on.

Over the following few weeks, both versions of Twitter will be available. The possibility of changing between interfaces allows you to accommodate easier with the new one. We'll see how the users will reaction when the old one won't be available anymore (because there are people who don't like the progress and the change).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Antennas Android app allows you to see where the GSM towers used by your phone are located.

Antennas is a very simple but useful Android app, which is designed for those who wish know where the GSM towers to which their phones communicate with the network are located. The app also gives details about GSM/CDMA cellular status (and the RF strength). It works the best with 2G, as the 3G/CDMA support is limited by Android. Because of this, users are reporting a reduced accuracy on 3G/CDMA.  However, on 2G it should be working just fine.

The app takes only a little over 35kb, and it works just perfect for me (I'm running on a 2.2 Nexus One on 2G). The towers seem to be located really accurate. It is possible to view their location in two ways, on a normal (Google) map or on a satellite map (Google Satellite).

You can download it from the Market by searching "Antennas" (first result, app created by mploy).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Microsoft tries desperately to attract the attention of Windows Phone 7, organizes weird parade.

Microsoft organized something like a parade with the occasion of launching the RTM version of Windows Phone 7, which isn't the version that is going to be the present on the devices that will be shipped with Windows Phone 7 on board (what I'm trying to say is that the RTM version, or Release to Manufacturing, isn't the final product, it's the version which has been sent to manufacturers in order to allow them to prepare themselves and their devices for the final launch of Windows Phone 7).

Returning to the parade, what Microsoft did was to dress its employees in all kind of zombies, clowns and women in pink, celebrating, along with the launch of Windows Phone 7 RTM version, the death of iPhone of BlackBerry. They actually carried on the streets a dead giant iPhone and BlackBerry, trying to show everybody that the Windows Phone 7 is just near the corner.

One thing is clear, there's a total desperation in what Microsoft did, and what they probably wanted to say is "Death to iPhone and BlackBerry, the Windows Phone 7 domination starts". Windows Phone 7 looks good from what I've seen on YouTube (the interface is completely changed and the OS has been highly optimized). However, I doubt they have any chance on a highly competitive market, such as the US, where the market is shared by Android (with HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc), iPhone and BlackBerry.

Anyway, why they didn't say anything about Google's Android?

More on Gizmodo and Engadget.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Veetle - Broadcast live streaming video in HD, or how to watch the newest films for free.

Veetle is an internet-based service which allows users to share video content with the others, in a free and comfortable way. Anybody can share anything, obviously, as long as the content isn't illegally shared by the person who shares it. The idea is that as long as you're watching them you won't have any problems, but you might have problems if you're the one who shares them and you are not allowed to (you didn't pay for that content).

It has some disadvantages, however. Everything is shared by users, on users' computers, so if the user looses the connection or doesn't have enough bandwidth for sharing with everybody, the channel will become unavailable or it will play badly (with frequent stops). But, mainly, the idea is good. Right this moment, there is Iron Man 2 broadcasting on a channel and the quality is somewhere around 7-8 on a scale from 1 to 10. If the user continues broadcasting, the following film will be "Robing Hood" (users have the possibility of creating a schedule of their channels).

It is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, and all that you have to do is to go here and download it. You'll automatically receive the version of Veetle according to your OS. There's no stand-alone app, practically spoken. That's just a script that's going to allow to watch you directly from your browser (just go to Channels on Veetle.com).

Please note that it isn't compatible with all browsers (it runs just fine on Google Chrome on any OS).

VLC for iPad sent to Apple for approval.

VideoLan sent their free media player, VLC, to the approval process at Apple. If everything goes well (it shouldn't be any problems as the app doesn't break any rule, but we know Apple's style of denying apps for absolutely no real reason....), users will be able to play all kind of multimedia content on their iPads.

You won't be obliged to convert all of your videos to H.264 in order to get them working on your iPad, you will be able to put videos in any kind of format on your iPad, because VLC has plenty of codecs for almost anything (passing the limits QuickTime has).

This is a video demonstrating how VLC works on the iPad.

You can read more on Gizmodo.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Samsung S2 are quite good external HDDs. Unless you're going to use them with Multimedia Players (Popcorn Hour/WD HD TV).

Samsung S2 external HDDs are quite attractive products. Mostly because of the variety of capacities, and because of the available colors. So, they look good, they are perfect for backups, and they work well (I get somewhere around 25-30 MBs reading/writing rates on my computers). But if you're planning to use them with multimedia players, such as Popcorn Hour or Western Digital HD TV Media Player, they are going to give you an enormous headache.

I also got one, a blue one, with 640 GB, and I have some issues with it. As long as it is on FAT32 file system or HFS+ (Apple native), it works like a charm, both on my Popcorn Hour and on my WD HD TV. But when I'm converting it to NTFS, it is completely unreadable by my both multimedia players.

WD HD TV used to say that it didn't recognize it, but after I was told that an unofficial firmware might make it work with my HDD, now it doesn't react at all when I'm connecting my HDD to it. On Popcorn Hour, it simply says that "USB failed". I tried connecting it through an external USB hub (which was externally powered), in order to exclude the possibility of failing because of not getting enough power, but the S2, formatted on NTFS, won't work at all.

I found on some forums users complaining of this (reproducing exactly the same situation, the S2 work on these multimedia players as long as it isn't formatted as NTFS), but there's no fix for this (only some suggestions that were tried by everybody having these issues, suggestions that don't help).

If you're stuck here, you can format the external HDD as HFS+ (FAT isn't an option, as it has  limitations), and then install MacDrive on your Windows computer (unfortunately, you have to buy it), which will give you the possibility of both reading and writing to HFS+ partitions from Windows. I don't know if MacDrive can format the HDD as HFS+, because I did it from my MacBook.

Anyway, the idea is that if you want to buy an external HDD and you're planning to use it with a multimedia player, you should avoid Samsung's S2 external HDD.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

iOS 4.1 expected today. Jailbreakers must stay away!

Dev Team announced today that all those who need jailbreak and unlock must stay away from iOS 4.1, which is expected to be available today through iTunes. Especially those who need unlock, they should not update in any situation as the update will also update the baseband from the device and there's no way to downgrade or to unlock it.

If you have SHSH saved for any iOS version before 4.1, you will be able to downgrade the iOS, but the baseband will be still blocked. Saving SHSH is highly recommended, because if you got any issues with your current jailbroken iOS and you have to restore when the iOS 4.1 will be available, it will automatically restore your device to iOS 4.1, situation in which you'll be stuck with an firmware which can't be jailbroken (and the saved SHSH allows you to downgrade the firmware).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Don't buy a Transcend RDP7 USB card reader + USB hub if you're on Windows 7. They aren't compatible.

Transcend has a very interesting product, named RDP7. It supports almost all kinds of cards, and, in the same time, it's also a USB hub. As it's written on the official website, external hard drives shouldn't be plugged in the USB hub (probably because the hub does not get any external power so it isn't able to handle external hard drives), and this should be the main disadvantage on this product.

The extremely short cable might also be a problem, because if you don't have the computer on the desk, you won't be able to use the hub very easy.

You can also consider connecting this product into another (externally powered) USB hub, which should allow you to use the RDP7 in a comfortable way. That's what I did, on my Windows 7 based computer, and....surprise, try to shut down the computer, if you can.

When connected through the other USB hub, my computer gives, in most cases, blue screen during shut down and it restarts by itself. When connected directly to computer, it doesn't give blue screen, but, however, Windows fails to shut down and restarts by itself. The problem isn't, most probably, caused by the product, but by the excellent poor drivers included in Windows 7. I came to this conclusion after seeing that Windows XP shuts down just fine, on the same computer, with the RDP7 connected.

So, if you consider buying this product, or a similar one, make sure you check if it's compatible with your OS (don't read only on official website, there was written that the RDP7 is compatible with Windows 7), and, in any case, ask at the store if it's possible to return the product within a few days (this will help you in case you're not satisfied with your product).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Android sales increased by 886% in Q2 2010, overtaking Apple's iOS in the US.

Android sales simply exploded in the Q2 2010 by 886% worldwide (or 851% in the US), Canalys reports. It seems that Android has overtaken iOS in the US, having 34 percent of the market share. Android is followed by RIM, with 32% of market share, and, on the third position, by Apple, with only 21,7% of market share.

However, reporting to the worldwide market share, Nokia is the leader, with about 38% of the market. And this comes mostly because of the second largest smartphone market, China, where Nokia has an astonishing percent of 77%.

You can find more details on SlashGear.

Motorola tries to sell its Droid 2 by making fun of iPhone's lack of Flash.

You probably remember Apple's campaign with the apps from the App Store, yes, that one with "That's an App for that". Motorola, taking the example of Apple, makes fun of its obstinacy for denying flash on its iDevices, starting its own campaign, named "Flash Websites? There's a phone for that". The phone which is advantaged by the campaign is, of course, Motorola's Droid 2, which has recently been launched.

This is nothing more than a hit in Apple's face, which has been aggressively attacked from all directions with the Antennagate madness, which, paradoxically, has drastically increased the request for the iPhone 4. The original Droid was sold quite good, so, considering this, I'm expecting for the Droid 2 to be a successful device. And this will, definitely, increase the market-share of Android, which, according to some recent studies, has overpassed Apple's iOS market share in the US.

Google Chrome 7 dev version is available for download.

Google launched their seventh dev version of Chrome, the browser which attracts many people by combining the minimal design with sophisticated technology, making it one of the fastest and one of the most advanced browsers available. I'm using it on both my Linux and Mac OS computers and, as expected, you won't see any important changes compared to the previous version.

Of course that there are many changes, but almost all of them are in the background, and they are not observable for the end-user. If you're on Mac, you'll feel that the loading time of the webpages was reduced, making it impossible for any other browser to keep up with it (Safari, Opera, or the so acclaimed Firefox). Most of the webpages load, literally, instantly, and if there are any delays, they are caused by the DNS or by the latency of the network.

Regarding the update, if you're on Linux and you used dev versions before and updated the system regularly, you already got Chrome 7 dev.

If you are a Mac OS X or Windows user (or a Linux user who needs the dev version), here is the official link where Chrome 7 dev is available for download: Google Chrome 7 Dev (it should automatically give you the version of Chrome according to your OS).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Testing Toshiba Camileo S20 HD camcorder.

Toshiba Camileo S20 is an low-level camcorder (it's somewhere around $150 in Romania), but it really impresses me. I was expecting to be just a camcorder with which you can just play a little, and nothing more (considering that I had before a P10 which I changed with the S20), but it definitely exceeded my expectations.

It's very thin (only 17mm), extremely light (I was searching the battery on the pack because I wasn't thinking that a camcorder can be that light with the battery inserted), and the design Toshiba gave to it makes it look really good (much better than the P10). It can record at both 1080p and 720p resolutions (the 4X zoom is available only for 720p and below), and some of the features it has are "Macro" mode, Slow Motion, Pre-recording, Motion Detect and many others (the P10 didn't have them, P20 might have them but as the specifications from Romanian websites selling these camcorders are very poor, I can't be sure it has).

It also has image stabilization, and the camera can shoot photos at 16 MP. The resolution is very good for a camera of this type, but, however, I wasn't able to take clear photos from a very short distance, even with Macro mode activated. Anyway, the photos I took outside look absolutely brilliant. The 3" LCD screen is quite poor, and even if the photos/videos don't look pretty good on it, when you put them on your computer, they are perfect.

Camera startup time is more than acceptable (it turns on and off automatically, but you also have a button to turn it on and off manually), and I think that the pre-recording and slow motion options are the features which make this camcorder to worth buying. You just push the pre-recording button, and when you see something interesting, you just push the recording button. This way, you can recording the lightnings very easy. Practically, when you push the record button with pre-recording on, the previous 3 seconds prior to pushing the record button are also added to the recording.

If you consider buying a camera like this, here is what you also need to know: in the pack, you're going to find the power cable, USB cable, a TV cable and a tripod (it's very useful), and of course, the quick start guide. And, if you buy one, don't forget to remove the insulator from the battery, otherwise it won't charge. Both photos and videos are accessible directly via USB, without the need of any additional software (like Sony does). What is also important is the container of movies, which, in this case, is AVI (QuickTime won't play it if you're on a Mac, but VLC does it smoothly, and it should be doing it on any platform).

Here is a video I recorded today in Hungary. My opinion is that the image is just perfect.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Solving AccuWeather's app force close problem (Android).

If you're an Android user, you probably know that after the latest update, AccuWeather app stopped working and everybody complains about this (any device, any Android version). It simply force closes after the launch. It seems that AccuWeather is never going to update that app, so I found a way of getting AccuWeather data on your device, under the same interface.

There are more AccuWeather apps in the Market, if you search for them. However, I've found one which really works, so if you search for "ACCU WEATHER Quick" (yes, ACCU WEATHER with capital letters), you'll get an AccuWeather app which really works. It seems to be released by Accuweather.com (nobody knows exactly), and it has a few bugs, but at least it works. Some users reported problems with the widget, problems that I don't confirm. There were also reported some problems with the accuracy of displayed information, but as I've just downloaded it, I think that the information is quite accurate.

So, go to the Market and download "ACCU WEATHER Quick" app to see if that one works for you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

iPhoDroid, the simplest way of installing Android on you iPhone, is available for download (Windows).

iPhoDroid is probably a really waited application for lots of iPhone users. It allows now the installation of Android on your iPhone, under Windows operating systems. However, it is not clear if it is compatible with any Windows or with any iPhone, but it should work over XP and Vista (both 32 and 64-bit platforms), and for the 3G iPhone (from what I've seen on YouTube).

I don't know if it works with Windows 7 or not, or for the other models of iPhone, but as long as you haven't found anyway a confirmation that it works with your OS and with your iPhone, I don't recommend you trying this. Moreover, you're doing everything on your own responsibility, so if something goes wrong, you might have to restore your device.

Direct download for official site (please notify me if the link becomes unavailable): iPhoDroid download.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Breaking: Apple announces new iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and iPod Touch models.

Apple has just announced a new iPod shuffle, a new iPod nano, and a new iPod Touch.

This is the new iPod shuffle:

The new iPod nano is here (what's the most important feature, is, of course, the touchscreen):

And the new iPod touch is also here (with its new Retina Display and front and rear camera):

All photos are from Engadget, and the prices for these products are:

  • $49 iPod shuffle
  • $148 8GB, $179 16GB iPod nano
  • $229 8GB, $299 32GB and $399 64GB iPod touch

Apple's Keynote Live on any OS!!

Here is where you can watch Apple's Keynote live, from any OS.

There are lots of users currently watching this (Apple's own stream isn't currently working), so if it loads slow just be patient (or try refreshing it).

Watch live streaming video from gizmodo at livestream.com

Twitter API changed (again), most third-party clients are failing to authenticate.

Twitter announced on its official blog that starting from August 31st, its API is going to be changed. All third-party clients/applications are now logging on via OAuth, a new method of authentication that doesn't require them to store your username and your password anymore (this has the purpose of increasing users' security). This new change requires some changes in all third-party clients/applications, changes that the guys from Twitter say that they have been done.

They say that most clients, such as Echofon, TweetDeck, Twitterific, Seesmic, and Twitter for Android, iOS and BlackBerry are already authenticating through OAuth, which is not true. TweetDeck, Seesmic and Twitter (all on Android), are all refusing to sign in. I've last checked a few minutes ago, and there is no update into the Market (for any of the specified apps) to fix this problem. Bad, very bad, Twitter!

If it's necessary, I can make a video for Twitter (or for any other company providing third-party clients for Twitter), proving that the mentioned clients cannot connect at all.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is Facebook down at this moment? Some users report so.

There are some users currently (1:50 PM GMT time) reporting that Facebook is down, via Twitter. It is not clear, however, what's happening, because there are other users reporting that Facebook works just fine for them. I have to mention that Facebook works for me quite well. Downrightnow.com, which is the website that monitors lots of services and reports if a service or another is working or not, is currently displaying Facebook as "Likely Service Disruption".

This state comes from users that reporting both on Twitter and on downrightnow that Facebook is down, while the Facebook officials didn't confirm (yet) that their service has any kind of problems.

If you want to see the progress of Facebook, just follow downrightnow.com. If you are an user of Facebook, please leave a comment telling us either if you have problems in accessing Facebook, or if works fine for you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

AMD officially killed the ATI brand.

AMD decided to kill the ATI brand after they made some studies which showed that people don't care too much about it. In case you didn't know, ATI has been bought a few years ago by AMD, because it wanted to enter on the market of graphic cards (and AMD considered that buying ATI and starting a fight directly against NVIDIA was the best option).

Starting from now, every new card which will be released by ATI AMD is no longer going to be called ATI. This is a bad news for some people who really liked the ATI brand, as they might now consider of turning to NVIDIA. Or....not. But, anyways, I don't see this as a quite intelligent move made by AMD. First graphic cards to be named AMD are going to be launched later this year.

OK, this is going to be really weird. How can you say AMD Radeon 5870? 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Samsung sells over 1 million Galaxy S devices in the US.

Samsung announced that it sold over 1 millions Galaxy S phones in the US, fonarena reports. Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile, says that the availability of Galaxy S to a large number of carriers, has given to millions of customers the chance to getting one.

Galaxy S is currently sold in the US under the following names:

  • Samsung Captivate (AT&T)
  • Samsung Epic 4G (Sprint)
  • Samsung Vibrant (T-Mobile)
  • Samsung Fascinate (Verizon)
Moreover, it is soon going to be available at U.S. Cellular and Cellular South.

It is the time for Apple and RIM to wake up and see the reality. Selling 1 million devices on a highly competitive market isn't really easy. Samsung has became an important competitor on the market, and surely this hits directly Apple and the market-share of its iOS.

Read more on fonearena.

Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha changes its look, I hope you like orange....

Ubuntu 10.10 gets, while still in Alpha 3, a quite big change at its interface. The default wallpaper has been updated a little (this isn't that big change), but there were new, much cooler wallpapers added from which to choose. Its theme has also been updated, and even if the older one was changing with every update, it has been removed and newer Ambiance and Radiance themes were added.

Ambiance looks really good, nice finished, not like the older one, which seemed so unfinished. Regarding to the new Radiance, it looks so...white. It isn't currently very pleasant for the eyes (it's 9:30 P.M. right now and it's completely dark outside, maybe because of that), and, most probably, changing the brightness of the monitor to a (much) lower value would make it pleasant (or trying it while there's sunny outside).

Anyway, you will feel with these new themes like you are returning a little bit in the past. They are bringing back some of that orange I liked very much at Ubuntu, but now it is much more vibrant than before. Window buttons, which are still on the left side (and I hope they'll remain there), look quite strange now. They are a little bigger than before, but they are interesting.

I can't take screenshots (I don't know why, Ubuntu simply doesn't want to take them), and that's why I am sending you to my friend from WebUpd8, which has made a few screenshots of everything which is new in Ubuntu 10.10 Beta.

I want to remember you that on September 2nd the Beta version of Ubuntu 10.10 is going to be released, the Release Candidate comes on September 30th (it represents around 95% of the final product), and the Final Release is expected on October 10th.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fennec (Mozilla Firefox) for Android, or how to run out of storage on your device.

The first Alpha version of Fennec (a.k.a Firefox Mobile) has been released yesterday. The advantage which Mozilla wants to use against other browsers is the possibility of adding add-ons in the browser, in order to increase its functionality. Mozilla says that their new mobile browser tries to bring the desktop experience (which is not something extraordinary, however), on the mobile devices.

Everything looks good, at least in theory. In practice, the program itself takes around 30 MB just to install, and this is way too much for some Android devices (eg. Nexus One, which has only <200 MB internal storage). I've successfully installed it and I remained with only around 100 KB free storage on the internal memory. But there's a problem. When I launch it, the screen stays blank and then it returns to launcher. The application has the possibility to move to SD card, and I've done that, but the situation remains the same (the application doesn't launch).

You can read more about Fennec and download it from the official Mozilla blog, here. If you want to install it, make sure you have at least 30 MB of free internal storage, otherwise the device will warn you that you're completely running out of internal storage.

Friday, August 27, 2010

TweetDeck announces new Beta version for Android, includes few new features.

TweetDeck announced today their new Beta version for Android, v0.9.5. This new version brings some updates and features, such as:

  • Full compatibility with all Android 1.6 devices and above.
  • Added option to remove Facebook, Buzz and ForeSquare accounts, but also to delete tweets sent by you.
  • Added multi-Twitter account compose.
  • New More button for Twitter profiles and updates, allowing users to: Reply All, Sharing, Translation, Copy update text, Copy update URL.
  • Tapping on top of a column automatically updates that column. 
I really used to be a fan of TweetDeck when I was a user of iOS, but now my favorite Twitter client is HootSuite (both on my Android device and on my computers). TweetDeck seems so unfinished on Android (it's normal, however, as it is still a Beta version), and I think that just the possibility of using other social networks from the same client (such as Facebook or Buzz), isn't a good enough reason just to choose TweetDeck.

The complete changelog of this new Beta version of TweetDeck is available here.

TweetDeck v0.9.5 is available for download from here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Exclusive: Install Google Earth 1.1 on your Android 2.2 device (without Market) !!

You probably heard that today Google launched "Google Earth", version 1.1 for Android 2.2 devices. It should be normally available for download via the Market (as everywhere writes that) or via a scan of its QR code, but, unfortunately, it isn't. Or at least, I can't find it in the Android Market, and there are many users complaining about this. If you are one of these users, I have a good news for you. I found a way of installing Google Earth on Android, without the use of Market.

We are going to use another application in order to install Google Earth, and app that has similar functionality to the Market. So, open the Android Market, and search, download, and install "AppBrain App Market". In the meanwhile, go to AppBrain.com from your desktop (most recommended) and create an account using your Google account.

When you finished creating your account, open AppBrain App Market, and sign in with your Google account (you should see in the upper right corner "Sign in"). When you have successfully signed in on your account in AppBrain App Market, go again in the Android Market, and download "Fast Web Installer". It will ask after launch for the permission to your Google account, so give it, and then the app will quit by itself.

The following step is to go on your browser from your Android device to AppBrain.com (you should be automatically logged on; if not, login with your Google account), search for "Google Earth", click on the first result, and then click "Install" (not "Download directly from the Android market!). The download will start automatically, and you'll have Google Earth on your device installed in a few moments.

So, enjoy Google Earth and if this really helped you, please share this page with your friends! :-)

HootSuite say Twitter API is currently experiencing a critical issue that affects some third-party clients.

HootSuite announced on their official blog that Twitter's API is currently experiencing a critical issue, and that is the reason of which some third-party clients (including HootSuite), have some problems. They said that "Home" and "Mention" streams are currently not updating correctly, and this also affects the users of iOS and Android. Additionally, some users may also experience crashes when they try to view certain streams.

They also said that the guys from Twitter are aware of the problem, and they are working in order to fix this.

You can view the current status of Twitter's API here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seesmic force close problem was fixed a few minutes ago via an update !!

Seesmic announced a few minutes ago on their official twitter account the availability of an update in the Market, which promises to fix the problem with the Twitter API users from all over the world had today (which was causing Seesmic to force close). However, it seems that the problem has been fixed for the previous version also (maybe Twitter changed something at their APIs in the same time?).

The new version is 1.4.3, and yes, I confirm that it fixes the problem.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Setting up WDS between Asus WL 520GU and 520GC + WPA encryption gets the whole network into a conflict.

I've decided a few days ago that in order to improve the security of my wireless network, I should change the encryption of the network from WEP (which can be decrypted in under 60 seconds, that's proved), to WPA (which can resist even a year to a decryption attack, experts say).  The reasons was that I had some doubts about the devices operating on my network, but everything is clear now (I have over 10 devices usually connected on the network).

I have two Asus routers, a WL 520GU one (with print server), and a WL 520GC one. I've written some time ago an article on how to set up WDS (or Wireless Distribution System) between them (a method of improving signal into your house for example, by setting them to operate in the same way, under the same name), which is available here (it should be applicable to almost any other models of Asus routers).

So, let's return to the problem from the title. I've changed their both encryption method to WPA, and I've let them continue working. Everything worked smooth for a few tens of minutes, than my devices were disconnected.They reconnected very fast (a few seconds), and continued working, again, for a few tens of minutes.

Then, suddenly, the entire network crashed, all devices were disconnected, and all tries to reconnect failed, as the main router (from which comes the internet connection) was refusing to give addresses to the devices requesting them. I said that it refused to give addresses, because it is practically the one doing the whole job, with the second one only repeating what it "says" to the network. As I wasn't able to receive the addresses, there was no possibility of getting into the routers in order to check the reports to see what could possibly fail like this. A restart of the routers (disconnecting their power cables) made the network start working again (this happened somewhere around 1:30 A.M. in the morning).

And they continued working until the following afternoon, when the network crashed again, creating exactly the same situation. I've searched for an update for the firmware of the routers, but there wasn't any. I've also searched to see if somebody else was having the same problem, and I found a few users reproducing quite the same situation, but the provided fixes were not helping at all.

I changed the encryption back to WEP in that afternoon, and everything has been working perfectly since then (very stable). I can't imagine what could be the problem that caused that crashes, probably that there's an incompatibility between these routers when they're operating in WDS while encrypted with WPA.

So, I repeat. If your Asus WDS crashes while secured with WPA, try changing that with WEP. Hope this helps you.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Apple about to patent a technology that allows them to detect if your iPhone was stolen or jailbroken.

Apple has made something like a....passion from patents. The last thing they want to do is to implement a technology which can detect if your phone has been stolen. This technology should help you in case if your device was stolen by notifying you about this situation and allowing you to remotely find it. However, the situation can stay a little bit different in practice, because Apple might be able to audiovisual spy you, by detecting if somebody with a different voice or face is using the device, and shutting down the device remotely.

But what's really worse, the technology should allow Apple to identify if the device has been jailbroken and unlocked, so they might have the possibility to kill the device remotely. A line in the patent also mentions that cellular carriers could shut down or cripple the device, if it is detected as jailbroken.

That's a good news for the retail, but for the customers, it is definitely something unacceptable.

You can read more on Engadget.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, declares really interesting things.

Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, claims that the young users of the internet will have, most probably, to change their names in the future because of data explosion and the lack of privacy which, in his opinion, is going to be a real problem. He warns that those users who share a lot of data on the internet, for example, their location in real-time with the help of FourSquare, are at an enormous danger. By regularly following somebody's location, there is a possibility to predict that that somebody is going to be in a certain location, at a certain time.

What's worse, Facebook is the social network which is going to create the biggest problems for the young users of the internet. Eric says that by a simple search, pretending that you're a teenager now, any employer will able to find out anything about you. Practically, all what's there is only user generated content. The employer will see what you've done on Facebook, you're profile data, what you've shared with others, you're comments, and even your photos, so the employer can immediately make an idea of who you are.

And the problem is that this data can be stored even for many years, so even if you've changed a lot and you're a really serious person now, because you had a lot of fun 10 years ago and you seemed like a crazy person, for example, an employer might refuse you.

He even says that CIA doesn't need to work very much to profile you. You already profiled yourself. They just need to browse a little bit, and they'll find what they need. They recently bought web software capable of predicting the future, and this is something which says a lot.

Only the time can prove that what Google's CEO predicts now is true. And if it is, I don't see a bright future for many of us (nowadays teenagers).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04.1 released, if you used Update Manager regularly, you already got it.

Ubuntu 10.04.1 has been released, WebUpd8 announced yesterday. Like usually, this version puts together all the updates that Ubuntu 10.04 had until now. So, if you used the update manager regularly, you already have it. It has been released just for those two want to make a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 (because this version has all the updates until now and they don't have to wait to download and install them).

This is what is called a maintenance update, and it's available for both desktop and server versions, and for both i386 and amd64 architectures.

It's available for download at the known, official download page, here.

AccuWeather Android app gets an update which breaks it.

AccuWeather.com is probably one of the most known weather websites in the world (together with weather.com), and it has, of course, a dedicated app in the Android Market. It has been recently updated (I don't know exactly when because I just came from Greece and I couldn't see there any updates because of the weak connection I had), so I updated it today.

It has a much cooler interface than before, but, unfortunately, it crashes every time I try to open it. It can be used for about one second, then, it stops working and has to be force closed. I'm running Android 2.2 on a Nexus One, but it seems that this doesn't matter, as everybody reports the same problem after update. I've already reported the problem, and the guys from AccuWeather have to move fast, because even if the app currently has 3 stars and a half, I'm sure that its rating is going to fall soon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Availability of iPhone 4 for 17 more countries has been announced yesterday by Apple.

Yesterday, Apple announced that the iPhone 4 comes to another 17 countries via its Retail and Online Stores, and also via its Authorized Resellers. These countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Honk Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. This is going to happen this Friday, on July 30.

If you hope to get an iPhone 4 in one of the mentioned countries, you should pre-order (if it's available) it at an Apple Retail or Online Store, or at an Authorized Apple Reseller (the best is at the carrier which has an exclusive contract with Apple) as soon as possible, because there are expected important problems with stocks (and big delays, as Apple can't currently keep up with the request only from the US).

If you want the full article, view Apple's press release here.

Hi5 email finder, or how has been the privacy of hi5 users completely violated over the last few years.

When hi5 was launched, it had a reduced number of members. Over the years, it became more and more popular, so there were many people interested in finding out email addresses of the people which were having profiles on hi5. When you sign up, you have to give hi5 an email address which has to be verified after, address with which you're going to login every time you use hi5. So here started everything.

When you register hi5, you have to agree with some terms of use (which nobody reads). And there, you agree that, even if hi5  will not make your mail address public without your permission, it has no responsibility for any failure of their systems. Somehow, it has been discovered that it is not quite complicated to gain access to the addresses from which users are logging on.

So, if you know someone's hi5 profile, you can paste the link of his/her profile into a website, which will return you the email address of the person whose email you want to find. And this happens without his/her permission. First websites of this type were created long time ago, and they are still working pretty well.

Hi5, which is "the authority" which should have done something in this situation long time ago, didn't move a finder to change something until now. It simply let the privacy of the users to be violated. Over the time, it has been shown that hi5 very vulnerable against many attacks/exploits, so, what's worse, an email address of somebody can be found even if that person has his/her profile private!

An example of a website which can do what I told you is yahoo-invisible.us (this one can find only profiles which were registered with Yahoo! emails). Personally, I don't support this type of websites, but I just wanted to show you how easy is to violate the privacy of millions of users.

Will you be still using hi5 from now? Do you agree to have your privacy violated this easy?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Android 3.0 test build already done?

Yesterday, Kevin Krause, an editor from Phandroid presented a photo on the website with a device which seems to be running the Android 3.0. From the photo, we can see that it's a Nexus One (this is what's written in "About"), but it is not known why the upper part of the device has been covered with a sheet of paper.

As some users said, it is a high probability for this photo to be a fake one, as it's easy to modify what's written in "About". However, I think that there's a change for the Android 3.0 to be already released for a small group of Android engineers, for testing/developing purposes.

Anyway, I have to warn you. If you see on the following period a build which claims to be the Android 3.0, don't install it until a confirmation from reliable website in the domain is received. Just be patient, and don't make something you'll regret later. I don't think you want a bricked phone...

More on Phandroid.

What do you think about this photo?

BREAKING: Jailbreak & Unlock for the iPhone, now officially legal in the US.

The US Government announced today big changes for all iPhone/iPod/iPad users. Starting from today, Jailbreaking and Unlocking of these devices, along with rooting of Android devices and ripping of DVSs (for educational purposes only) are completely LEGAL into the United States, unless they are violating copyright law.

This is a major hit Apple's face, who, because of its strict policy, didn't let users install unauthorized apps. This decision is a big news for users who were afraid that jailbreaking could bring them into illegality, so, starting from now, they can jailbreak and unlock their iDevices without any fear. However, it is not clear if Apple's policy is still applicable, as they might still refuse to offer support if the device was jailbroken (I'm not sure if this decision puts them into illegality if they continue doing that, we'll  most probably get a clarification of this on following period).

You can read more on this subject on Redmond Pie (they've also included the new DMCA legislation).

Review of "VirtualBox 3.1 - Beginner's Guide" book.

“VirtualBox 3.1 - Beginner’s Guide -- is a book released by Packt, a publishing company which produces books and eBooks for administrators, developers, but also for newbies. This book is organized in 8 chapters, each chapters being organized in more parts, making it easier to learn and understand what the book contains. A free chapter (like a demo for you) is available for download here.”

This is a book designed for the beginners, as the title say, but I would definitely recommend it to anybody (even to the experts) who would like to use the virtualization. It starts by telling you the minimum resources your computer should be having. Whether your on Windows on Linux, you don’t have to worry, because the whole process, from starting the download to finishing the installation is explained clearly in words, and with the help of images at every step. Whether you had never “touched” VirtualBox ever before or not, it is practically no way to get stuck.

I have to tell you that the Guide is designed for VirtualBox 3.1, the newest version of VirtualBox being 3.2.6 now. However, 99% of what is presented in this book is still correct. VirtualBox has been created by Sun, which has been recently bought by Oracle, who, of course, got everything Sun had (including VirtualBox), in their “property”. Even if after that significant improvements were done to the VirtualBox ( guest operating systems run mainly better now), many people say that Oracle killed the VirtualBox, because there are currently several problems present. However, as I’ve already told, 99% of what is in this book is still applicable, because, theoretically, everything remained the same.

I told that I recommend this book even to the experts, because, even if it explains things like configuring (in a basical way) VirtualBox and downloading an image of an operating system, installing it and running that OS, the author also explains things that I couldn’t pass using my own knowledge. It explains anything, from 3D hardware acceleration for the guest OS, to the best configuration of the HDD, and from the optimal network configuration, to the remote control of the operating system (these are advanced things). Of course that it also explains you what you can do with a virtual operating system (this is useful if you come from Windows for example, and you have never used Linux before).

The reason for which the author chose VirtualBox is simple in my opinion. It offers anything a newbie or an expert would wish to do via virtualization, and more than this, it is free. If you are a beginner in virtualization and you buy this book, I recommend you reading it all (there is a common English used, so even if you’re not a native English speaker, like me, you’ll surely understand anything), or, even if you know how to use VirtualBox, there is a possibility to get stuck somewhere, so having this book on your desktop would be a real help in this situation.

At the start of each chapter, there are some lines which tell you exactly what you’re going to learn. After you finish each chapter, it will give you advice on what to do (eg: to continue practising what you’ve learned), and it will also summarize all that the chapter has covered. At the end of the book, there are more quizzes which will help you to verify the knowledge you accumulated. This is something that I like and I think that they are really useful for everybody.

To conclude, I think that “VirtualBox 3.1 - Beginner’s Guide” is a book that is worth buying, because it addresses to absolutely anybody who uses or intends to use the virualization on his/her computer.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Samsung presents a very resistant, flexible, AMOLED screen.

I know that this is not something new, but I saw it yesterday and I think that this is something that will drastically change the way we use and "communicate" with our phones in the future. I'm talking about a new screen from Samsung, which produces screens for many of available smartphones on the market. As we all know, AMOLED (or Active-Matrix organic light-emitting diode) and Super AMOLED (both from Samsung) are the best screens for smartphones, used by several manufacturers, competing directly with LG's Retina Display, which is used by Apple on the iPhone 4.

I think that with this new type of screen, Samsung continues to show its supremacy on the market, placing LG and its so congratulated (by Apple) Retina Display under it. In the video below, you'll see Samsung's new screen in action. Even if this flexible screen is folded in half, it continues to display the image without any problem, and to demonstrate its resistance, it was hit many times by a hammer, without getting broken at all.

An exact date of launch has not been specified, but it is expected to hit the market within the following two years.

Fixing "SD card damaged. You may have to reformat it" issues on HTC Nexus One/Desire.

I've got today this issue after I transfered a file from my computer (Ubuntu) to my Nexus One (which runs the stock Android 2.2). After I clicked "Safe Remove Hardware" in Ubuntu, I got the following error on my Nexus One: "SD card damaged. You may have to reformat it". I've searched for more hours on many forums, and it seems that this is more a regular problem for HTC Desire, rather than for the Nexus One (only a few Nexus One users reported this problem).

To be more exactly, this problems seems to be caused by a poor quality of the microSD with which these devices come. I've tried fixing this by rebooting the phone with/without the microSD card inserted, or with apps from the Market, but neither of them worked. I was not at home and I didn't have a (external) card reader with me, so I got stuck there for the moment.

After I got home, it took me some tens of minutes after I got this fixed, so here is what I recommend you doing. Insert the microSD into a card reader, because in this case you have access to what's inside it. Copy all the files on your computer (for backup), and then, using a utility application which can deal with storage drives and partitions, try to completely format the microSD using FAT file system. 

I've done it using "Disk Utility",  a program which comes preinstalled with Ubuntu. I'm not sure, but the default Windows partitioner should be able to do do the same. I've also tried formatting the microSD directly from the phone but it didn't work.

After you finish formatting the microSD, copy back all your data to it (do not delete your data from the computer yet! keep that for backup), insert it in your phone, power it up, and wait. If everything is fine, the device will start, slowly, to display all data you copied back to the microSD. Music and pictures are going, for example, to be displayed gradually (it may take a few minutes to display all music and pictures). If this happens, you may now delete the data kept for backup in your computer. The only problem is that I don't have anymore all apps I had installed on the microSD. Excepting this, everything is back and working.

If you still have problems or you need help with formatting your microSD, don't hesitate to request help via a comment.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

TouchWiz from Samsung working on the Nexus One without root.

Somebody from xda-developers claimed that he ported Samsung's TouchWiz to Android 2.2 for the Nexus One. Even if some users said that this is something great, what I think is that Android's 2.2 default interface looks 10 times better than Samsung's TouchWiz, but this doesn't matter. What is important is that that person worked to do this, so that's why we have to appreciate his work.

He said that it works on the FRF83, so if you're FRF91, I can't guarantee you that it will work. I wasn't able to install it, as the user said that it needs to be installed with adb. It fails to install normally ("There is a problem parsing the package"), and, from what I know, adb means Android Debug Bridge. If I'm right, there's a quite complicated process which needs to be done, but you can try (use Google, it will help you) if you want to.

Via Engadget.
Original Source and download on xda-developers.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Samsung sends free Galaxy S devices to unsatisfied iPhone 4 users (UK users only).

It seems that Samsung offered free Galaxy S devices to users who declared themselves unsatisfied by Apple's iPhone 4. The only thing that these users from the UK to which Samsung sent these devices did, was to complain on Twitter about the iPhone 4, so that Samsung contacted them offering free Galaxy S devices.

It seems that this is a tactical move made by Samsung, which tries to make a little advertising to its devices in order to increase its market-share. Of course that these devices were sent to people who are really influential, so if you are a normal Twitter user, don't even mind trying to receive a free Galaxy S. You can try if you really want, but there is almost no chance of getting one. And don't forget, devices are being sent only to important people from the UK.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2G users have to save SHSH Blobs from now!

If you're having a 3G iPhone or a second generation iPod, you didn't have (until today) to care too much about saving SHSH Blobs. We are talking about those who have jailbroken iDevices, of course. So, these applied, until today, for the 3GS iPhone/3G iPod and later iDevices.

Starting from now, SHSH Blobs must be saved by iPhone 3G/iPod Touch 2G users, because Apple stopped signing digitally for older firmwares for these devices. If you have one of theses devices, changing firmwares was easy, you just had to select an firmware and click update or restore and then to do jailbreak, depending on the situation.

If you update today, for example, your jailbroken iPhone 3G from 3.1.3 to iOS 4.0, and you didn't save the SHSH Blobs for your device, there's no way of turning back. You'll be stuck on iOS 4.0, with iTunes giving you an error when trying to downgrade (restore to older firmware). And this happens because, as I've already told you, Apple stopped signing older firmwares for iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 3G.

So, you really have to save them (just for any case). On your jailbroken iPhone/iPod Touch, open Cydia,  and tap on "Make my live easier, thanks!". This is all, it's really simple.

If you're asking what this does exactly, here it is: when iTunes will try to downgrade your iDevice, instead of asking Apple's servers for approval, it will call Cydia, which will, if you have saved your SHSH Blobs, give iTunes "OK for downgrading".

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Update: Another virus hits Yahoo! Messenger.

A virus which is not new to Yahoo!'s network seems to be hitting it again. A Romanian website for security warns users of Yahoo! Messenger about its existence and offers help in fixing it. This virus sends various links, most of them referring to Facebook (so this creates confusion between users). Some of them are pasted here:

  • http://ow.ly/2D4zB?=www.facebook.com/photo.php
  • is this you on pic?  http://ow.ly/2cWs2?=www.facebook.com/photo.php
  • foto :D http://ow.ly/2d3aB?=www.facebook.com/photo.php
  • foto :D http://ow.ly/2cTes?=www.facebook.com/photo.php
  • foto :D http://ow.ly/2bmMb?=www.facebook.com/photo.php
  • foto :D http : //ow.ly/2b7Xp?=www.facebook.com/photo.php
  • foto :D http://ow.ly/2aG6r?=www.facebook.com
  • foto :D http://ow.ly/2arJj?=www.facebook.com
  • foto :D http://ow.ly/2aHoc?=www.facebook.com

The virus asks user to download a file, which is, of course, the virus. Here are some examples of files containing the virus:

  • 012457566896789-JPG-www.facebook.com.exe
  • PIC348u6234-www.facebook.com.JPG.exe
  • n719753102_09.JPG-www.facebook.exe
  • n11975310_09.JPG-www.facebook.exe
  • n11975310_09.JPG-www.facebosok.exe
  • n777719102_09.JPG-www.facebook.exe
  • 102_09.JPG-www.facebook.exe 
  • 9.JPG-www.facebook

Normally, an antivirus program should detect the malware and remove it, but if it doesn't (or you don't have one), you may download Palevo Removal v2 from here. This program should automatically close the virus and remove it. All you need to do then is to reboot. 

Note: Windows 7 and Vista users must click "This program works correctly" when prompted. 

Thanks to the Romanian website called IT Security which made everything possible. (Google translated webpage here).

Update: The admin from IT Security warned me that the virus is downloading more and more files with strange names (it's quite impossible to keep up with it). He also told me that using Malwarebytes should help much (download here). Make sure to update after installation and then perform a full scan.