March 23rd, 2009 No Comments »

Friendly Neighborhood Cop
I was going to create an iPhone app that required a pass code to stop recording incase my iphone was taken from me by Police. People have reported that they have had the cops take their recorder and press the stop button.

Well apparently I don’t need to create it, with a free app and some settings changes this is possible.

Step 1: Download QuickVoice for free.
and sync the app to your iPhone

Step 2: On the phone go to Settings/General/Passcode Lock. Set a passcode, and require the passcode to activate “Immediately”.

Step 3: If you don’t want an incoming call to kill the app, then put the phone in “Airplane Mode”. It’s going to suck not being able to receive call but better that than not have a LEO encounter recored. Think of this as a back-up for when your batteries die in your recorder or you get somewhere and realize you forgot your voice recorder. 🙂

Last step: Launch QuickVoice on your phone and then lock the screen by tapping the power button once. It will continue to record and cant be stopped unless the code is entered or the phone is turned off. Lets hope the officer doesn’t think to turn of your phone. He’s not likely to because from the passcode screen there is no indicator that a recording is being taken.

Getting online with EVDO and OS X

August 18th, 2007 No Comments »
Chocolate
My VX8500 “LG Chocolate”

The next time you find yourself in B.F.E. without internet access here’s what you do. Call up your cell carrier and tell them that you’re interested in the “internet on the phone thingy” for your phone (playing dumb helps). Express that you’re not sure you’ll like it so you’d like to try it for a month free, they’ll oblige. If you have a Bluethooth enabled phone this trick will impress, if you don’t have BT then you’ll need the “usb-to-whatever cell phone you have” cable. The Motorola Razr uses a plain mini-usb cable which is cool. You won’t need any account info or passwords from the representative on the phone. They’ll tell you to download special software to make this happen, you won’t, but just play along.

Next you’ll turn bluetooth on from the menu bar. Then sync your phone with the Mac. I had to change the name of my phone to “XXCHOCOLATE” to get my “Verizon locked down phone” to work. Open “Internet Connect” and select the Bluetooth tab.
Internet Connect

Use: #777 as your number to dial
Use: YourCellNumber@vsw3g.com for Account Name.
Use: “vzw” as password

Click Connect. You’ll see the screen of your cellphone show RX and TX activity. Try and set the handset in spot with good reception. I was able to get some pretty good downlaod/upload speeds using speedtest.net
speed test

Not bad for being in the middle of nowhere with no cable or dsl to speak of. I can’t say it’s worth the $49.99 a month they wanted, maybe $19.99.

Note: Later I tested the Verizon “VZ Access Manager” and had a good experience with it. Advantage of using Verizons manager is a nifty graph of your current speeds and it will reconnect automatically if the signal is lost.

How to make a Gantt Chart in Excel

June 21st, 2007 No Comments »

I was doing Gantt charts for a technical writing class and found this video on YouTube. It’s a 6 min tutorial on how to make a Gantt chart using Microsoft Excel.

Reuters report: Cinemas use night goggles to nab pirates

May 29th, 2007 No Comments »

night vision goggles

Malaysian cinemas have found a powerful new weapon in their fight against movie pirates — military-style night-vision goggles.

The ushers are using Night Vision goggles to look in to the audience during the movie. Because the nightvision goggle have an image intensifier the low light conditions would be no problem for an employee with goggles. Though this seems extreme, Malaysia is a hot bed for piracy. Malaysia is often the source of pirated material that circles the globe. I’ll call this countermeasure exsesive if it’s practiced in the U.S., lets hope not.

Read Report < ------

How to make Twitter Vision your desktop wallpaper (win)

April 4th, 2007 No Comments »

I was checking out TwitterVision.com and thought this would make a cool background for those totally obsessed with Twitter. Then I remembered a rarely use feature of windows XP, making your desktop your “home page”. It worked great and it looks really cool to see all those tweets flying by.
So here’s how to do it.
1. Right click on the desktop, select properties, then click the “Desktop” tab.
twitter1

2.Under the desktop tab click “Customize Desktop”
twitter2

3.You’ll get a second window, click the “Web” tab, then click “New…”
twitter3

4.You’ll get a screen to add an address, put twittervision.com in the location field, click “OK”
twitter4

5. Click “OK” or “Apply”. You’ll see your “Homepage” minimized on the screen somewhere with two options to maximize it. On leaves you a bit of space on the left of you desktop for icons, the other goes full screen.
twitter6

Once you’re done you’ll be able to drag and drop, select and move icons and folders like normal. Or you do like I did and de-select “view desktop icon” for a clean look.

8 Things Intelligent People, Geeks and Nerds Need To Work Happy

March 12th, 2007 No Comments »

There are many reasons to let geeks work the way they want to work. Today they work in every industry. They are the knowledge base, blood and sweat equity of many businesses. They work harder than most. They work longer than most. Their job isn’t a separate “thing they do” while they look forward to going home and relaxing. Geeks *live* what they do. They eat, sleep and breathe it. They are your systems administrators, your IT team, your programmers, your web developers, your designers… and sometimes even your customer service and sales people. Anyone who understands how to leverage todays technology to increase intelligence, productivity and efficiency; anyone who stays up nights working to get better at what they do; anyone whose job is their life – is a geek. These are the most important asset your company has. For this reason, its important to give geeks what they want. Best part is, if you do, they most likely will not leave your company to work for someone who will.

#1. Let them work when they want
Geeks work almost every moment they are awake. They are online before they go to the office. They are home working after the office closes. They work weekends. They are even sometimes working in their dreams. Employers should understand this and more importantly appreciate it. Don’t force geeks to work 8 – 5 if there is no real need other than “company morale.” Meetings are one thing (, so is socializing with coworkers, but a relaxed office schedule will do wonders for the contentment levels of your employed geeks.

#4. Let them wear headphones
Geeks are experts in the arts of “focus.” Focusing takes removing all unnecessary distractions from your environment and creating a state where nothing else is going on but what they are working on. The harder the problem they are trying to solve or the more creative they have to be, the more they need to focus. Headphones, or simply a lack of ringing phones and talking sales people allow geeks to focus much easier.

Read the other 6 @ Nomad is Here .com

You’ve gotta love the internet

March 4th, 2007 No Comments »


I just watched this CNN Crossfire interview with Frank Zappa (FROM THE 80’s!) about censorship in America and a rating system. I loved watching it. Having easy access to this video can only happen in the free flowing information world we live in. The two suits (Jeff Ling, and “from the right” Peter Gimma) pushing the rating system and censorship are using the fear of AIDS as the catalyst to get there agenda approved by the public. Frank Zappa’s common sense responses are great in this interview! I’d like to think Frank’s view’s would be considered extremely conservative and small government now. Check it out! Also make note of the lack of commercial breaks… things sure have changed.

Blue Tooth Hat

August 13th, 2006 No Comments »


I’ve had issues with my blue tooth headset. If I turned quickly or tilted my head just right the headset would just slip off, maybe it’s the shape of my ear. Either way it’s an expensive device and I’d like to get more use out of it. So I stripped it down to just the PCB and installed it in a hat I wear often. Check out the Mod !

D.I.Y. iPod AV cable $1.57

July 29th, 2006 No Comments »

After seeing that apple’s AV cable was just a headphone jack and some RCA’s I figured I’d have a cable like that just lying around. I did but it only had audio left and right. For some applications the right audio would act as the video and you’d just get mono audio out. Not in the case of the iPod, it has four conductors on the 3.5mm head phone jack.
4cond
These are the connectors Mouser offers.

Here is a good pinout of the different types of 4 cond av cables.

So because I don’t think I’ll use this cable enough to justify the 20 bucks apple wants for their “proprietary” cable and I think its fun to D.I.Y. , I built my own.
Continue reading »

The Screen Savers

July 6th, 2006 No Comments »

I really miss this show. After TechTV “merged” with G4TV everything went down hill. Well thanks to people like ZDTVfan and YouTube we can relive those moments. I trust that future Tech shows will model themselves after the successful format that was The Screen Savers.
I’ll keep these episodes up as long as YouTube will allow. This episode kicks off Robot Week on The Screen Savers

Also check out the rest of this weeks shows.
TSS 4-1-2004 and TSS 4-2-2004