Tag Archives: android

What Type of Music Helps You be More Productive?

I am like many of you out there… I cannot work unless there is music playing in the background. My assistant Kat is the same way. If she’s at her computer (which is always!), there is music playing. She swears she cannot concentrate unless she has music pumping through her speakers or headphones. It apparently makes her more productive than if she has silence or a different type of noise in her immediate area. Thinking about it, I guess I’m the same way. I do my best writing when there is music to fit my mood at that moment playing.

That’s the key for me… my mood. I don’t listen to any one particular style of music all the time. I like a pretty wide variety of stuff. Some call me “eclectic” in my tastes, and that’s fine with me. I like what I like… and I don’t expect you to listen to it if you don’t. However, I do encourage you to always broaden your musical horizons by listening to something completely different than your normal playlist every once in awhile. Pandora is great for that!

What type of music are you addicted to? Do you work better when you are rocking out, or do you need complete quiet in order to concentrate?

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Go Shopping With Google

As if there weren’t already a ton of shopping Apps out there, Google has just released their own. Google Shopper, however, plans to be better than its competition.

The App scans barcodes and retrieves prices. It can also find product information using photos snapped with your phone’s camera. You can do voice searches, too. With the new Google Shopper application you can scan a barcode or snap a photo of a retail item and the app will return a list of search results for that product. It will give you prices, ratings, photos and even descriptions. The results come from Google Product Search. Put a star on your favorites so that you can go back to them later.

It’s hard telling at this point whether the App will become available for any platform other than Google’s own. If not, I’d say that’s a pretty heavy marketing point. If you want the best shopping App available… you’ll have to buy an Android phone!

iPhone to Verizon? Not Anytime Soon

I recently had an excellent conversation on Google Buzz with several people. I opened the convo, and the commentary was so thought-provoking, I wanted to share it here with you. You can also head over to read the post for yourself.

Ever since the iPhone came out, some AT&T customers have been complaining about their overwhelmed network. The network just hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand. However, AT&T says they are improving things. I believe they really are. Still there are many people with wireless contracts that have expired, and are waiting for iPhone to come to Verizon before signing a 2 year contract again.

Sorry folks! An iPhone move to Verizon is not gonna happen this year. Apple is committed to AT&T even though they may not be happy with the performance of the network. In a year, AT&T’s network will probably improve dramatically, leaving no reason for Apple to leave a deal that bring exclusivity to the iPhone and keeps prices for the device higher.

Christopher Barry Bellis – Good to hear your optimism Chris. How do you feel about Google’s Nexus One as an iPhone killer? Due to my poor service from AT&T on my 3G (not 3GS), I’m strongly considering the Nexus One when it becomes available for Verizon… Thoughts?

Bakari Cooper – Last week I thought of buying a 4G iphone for a $1,000(When it comes out). I wish the iPhone would leave AT&T. News like this discourages me.

Toby Satterthwaite – That’s sad to hear! I think that if the iPhone were to come to the Verizon network, Apple would really see a boost of sales. I’m sure that AT&T is keeping thousands away from the iPhone.

Bryan Crisler – Even Better yet, iPhone should be release to all carriers, and we can see who everyone will pick as their service provider.

Bakari Cooper – Good idea Bryan

Timothy Lyon – “I’m sure that AT&T is keeping thousands away from the iPhone.” I’d think it would be more in the millions range than the thousands.

Bryan Crisler – If the iPhone is a good thing, why only have rights to one service provider?

Michael Davis – It’s not as simple as “releasing to all carriers”. Verizon operates on a somewhat different tower type (CDMA) than the majority of carriers worldwide (who operate GSM). So, to provide for Verizon, they’d have to manufacture a special, CDMA only, version of the phone. Supporting CDMA wouldn’t grab them that may carriers (and therefore customers) versus the added manufacturing and support costs. Not to mention all of their current US promotions list AT&T all over them and they’ve been branded together since launch. So, as Chris says, it’s not likely.

Miikka Skaffari – Why not have it open and working in all networks? I understand the initial exclusivity in exchange for marketing effort, but I doubt it’s in Apples interest to have it exclusive to any network. I understand the GSM/CDMA difference, but with the margins Apple is pulling from iPhone they could easily afford to lisence CDMA chips/SW from Qualcomm.

Ahron Darnell – Consider Android

Brian Johnson – As a Droid owner and all around Android supporter, I personally find this as good news. I want to see Android adoption increase, and don’t think that would happen if the iPhone came to VZW.

Bryan Crisler – I think that if Google can do it, releasing it to CDMA and GSM Networks, what is stopping Apple? As far as I can tell Apple has brought a lot of customers to AT&T, but many of those customers are unhappy with the service that AT&T provides. Many would like to goto Verizon. Aside from Manufacturing costs, why not release it? Many people would buy it.

Andrew Rowland – I think the Google phone is similar to FireFox and what it did to IE. It won’t take over but will make Apple adapt.

Twitter Bans More Than 370 Passwords

Having a secure password for anything and everything is a no-brainer. Sadly, though, many people still aren’t very careful with what they use. When you choose a password, you really do have to be careful. If someone hacks your Twitter account, it’s true they won’t have access to your sensitive data (such as your social security number). However, they can wreak havoc on your reputation by posting some really awful things if they wanted to.

To help protect against this, Twitter has hard-coded 370 password no-noes into their registration page. This is a set of words that are definitely not secure, and Twitter won’t allow you to use them during sign up. If you want to see the list, simply view the source code of the registration page. Do a search for the words: twttr.BANNED_PASSWORDS, and you’ll see them all listed.

You really should make use of a secure password generator, such as the one that you can add to Firefox. Don’t take the chance that someone will inadvertently guess what you’ve used. Protect your reputation as much as you do your personal information.

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Android OS on an Archos Tablet


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You don’t necessarily have to lock yourself into a two-year contract to make use of the Android operating system. Thanks to the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, you can have video playback and web browsing – and use Android, as well. I ran into Charbax during the LeWeb conference in Paris last week. He asked me if I’d like to check one of these out, so that I can finally use Android (and an Archos!) myself. I’m more than grateful to them for providing this unit to me for review purposes.

I don’t have access to the App Store through the Archos as you might if you were using Android on an iPod. The firmware hasn’t been updated to that point yet. However, Charbax (who is an Archos enthusiast) assured me that one will be coming within the next couple of months.

Some things to note is that you’re able to play YouTube HD videos directly to an HD TV. The Archos is the world’s first pocketable product that can do this! The Archos weighs only about a half of a pound, so it’s lightweight and portable as heck.

It has a 4.8″ screen, with medium-density resolution. The screen has a very sharp display, though. You also have more screen real-estate than you do with most other devices which would run the Android operating system, and certainly more than what my iPhone has.

It comes loaded with a few default applications. It’s a media-managing device, absolutely. It has audio and video playback capabilities, which we already discussed a little bit. It’s a picture and PDF viewer. You can use it to record audio and video. You can use the Archos to check your email, since it is compatible with any email accounts which support POP3 and IMAP services. And, of course, you can use it to browse the Web.

The Droid runs a 600 MHz processor. The Archos, though, runs an 800 MHz processor. You can attach any number of standard computer USB accessories, such as a keyboard, mouse, memory card or camera.

The one I have is the 160 GB version. There are lesser capacities available, should you find yourself not needing as much storage space. However, I’ll need this much later on. Once the firmware update is available, I’ll be busy buying up tons of Apps to fill this sucker up. I have nearly 500 on my poor iPhone. I wonder how many thousands of Apps I’ll be able to get on here?!

Thanks again to my friend Charbax for hooking me up with my first-ever Archos device to review… and my first use of Android. I really am enjoying it, and haven’t found much that’s negative at all.

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Do You Want a Google Car?


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Yes, I was driving in my car at night. I had two hands on the wheel, and four eyes on the road. I do think and drive, though! Do you?

Google is everywhere. One place it is not is in a car. Yes, you could bring an Android device into the car with you to make use of the turn-by-turn voice-controlled navigation. I predict that within three years, we will see Google cars on the road. You may even consider not buying a new car unless it’s powered by Google at some point.

Let’s face it. If you go online and look for something – where do you go? You go to Google. You look for maps. You go shopping. You search for things. It just makes sense. Maybe it’s just something I personally want to see, given that every built-in navigation system that I’ve used are nothing more than a kluge. They’re a pain in the ass, they’re ugly and cumbersome. Google Android is more powerful, for sure. If I’d want something in my car, and could choose for myself… I’d want this.

They have everything wrapped up. It’s all coming together on the desktop – calendars, maps, search, navigation… everything you need. Now it needs to come together in your car! The great thing is that they’re just giving it away. Car manufacturers can decide if they want to spend thousands of dollars to purchase nav systems that don’t even work well… or get the Google stuff for free!

Would you be willing to put up with well-placed ads in your navigation system in exchange for something that works – and works very well?

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Don’t Believe Everything You Read

I had to chuckle a little while ago when someone in our live chat room stated that Google’s new operating system will be 100% invulnerable to malware attacks. That’s an awful hefty claim for Google to make, if they in fact did. The truth is that nothing is impossible in this day and age of malware. Criminals, hackers and malware writers will indeed figure out a way to get inside of whatever Google comes up with. Sadly, it’s par for the course. It’s rumors like these that make people who don’t know any better think that they don’t need any type of security software.

I hate rumors and speculation. I’m a hard facts type of guy. Show me proof, or don’t tell me at all. I know, not everyone is like that. And that’s ok, I suppose. However, it’s imperative that you do your research, and find out the truth of the matter in anything you want to believe. It’s ok to have “faith”, yes. It’s not ok to blindly ASSume something is right and correct and real. Sometimes, that can get you in to trouble.

One of the reasons I love our community so much is that as Geeks, we take the time to back up what we say with facts and resources. Have you taken the time to read what it is they are trying to say?

Over in our Downloads Center, you’ll find new software and apps every day that may be vital to your existence! For instance, today we are featuring a piece of freeware that allows you, the parent, to control what sites are allowed on your family’s computers. Safety and security – for free!

Have you Tried the Google Open Source Android Emulator?

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What operating system is running on your phone? At some point in the future, it may be Google’s operating system… dubbed Android. It’s open-source, and available for all operating systems. Those of you who don’t really know what an SDK is. In light terms, it’s a package of tools and examples given to software developers so that they can develop platforms.

I downloaded Android, and didn’t even really have to install anything. I simply clicked on it, and up pops this Android virtual device. Normally, this would be a touch-screen device for your phone, of course. On this emulator, it will show you what the dialer will look like. The interface is very clean thus far. Google maps is integrated into Android, as well! There’s a satellite mode, and a traffic mode.

Android will ship with a set of core applications including:

  • an email client
  • an SMS program
  • calendar
  • maps
  • browser
  • contacts

The Android platform is a software stack for mobile devices including an operating system, middleware and key applications. Developers can create applications for the platform using the Android SDK. Applications are written using the Java programming language and run on Dalvik, a custom virtual machine designed for embedded use which runs on top of a Linux kernel.

If you’re interested in developing something for Android, feel free to download the SDK. What operating systems and phones do you have? What do you prefer, and why?

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