Category Archives: Vancouver

Dealing with @Centurylink and their shit … #win @comcast #android

Get home and Internet isn’t working…
Power cycled router still nothing; rechecked settings and tried to force connect, nothing.
Call Qwest/CenturyLink … get automated answering system
Go through the steps; press 1, press 2, etc…
Tells me Internet is down in the area and they’re working on it, then it hangs up. -.-
Call back, force AI to put me to a real person…
Real person has no answers except it may take 24 hours to be fixed…
I ask her why? She has no answer, … so I complain about how often service goes down and all they ever say is sorry….
Long silent pause…. then she apologies…
I ask why should I deal with such shitty quality service and help when Comcast is better (though they’re tools of the government and a bit more expensive).
She hangs up on me… bitch…
I enable my free Android WiFi hotspot and go looking at Comcast’s Website
win


The Best Android Apps for Tablets and Phones

So since a lot of people have come to me to ask about Android and apps, or something else android, I thought I’d put up a list of the apps I use most (free and paid). I use apps that I think are best at what they do, or simply because they’re the most fun to play lol. I will separate the apps into “Tablet”, “Phone”, and “Both” and will discuss the apps I find to be the best and what they do.

 ********My Tablet Contains About 250+ Apps – Hence the Long list ********

(These aren’t all the apps, they are the most used and favored apps I have on my devices & I recommend to others)
Also: Some of these apps have PC/Mac/Linux counter parts.
(Almost all the games do for sure)

Both:
 
Internet Browser: Chrome – my favorite browser onmy PC and my Android devices, works amazing!
Music: Google Play Music – Music stored in the cloud, no storage needed for my music anymore.
Navigation: Maps – Allows you to use GPS navigation, rate restaurant, check-in to venues, and share your location with friends and family.
  • Utility Apps:
    • -= Save my Attach =- – is a great app for saving attachments from those pesky e-mails that have unsupported file types within Android (which as new versions of Android come along is getting to be less)
    • App Cache Cleaner – a necessary tool on all android devices and should be ran a 2-3 times a week (or more if you have very little space on your phone or own a tablet (On my tablet I run this every 2 days or more, but my tablet is also my primary usage device, use it more than my computer even)
    • ES File Explorer – THE best file explore there is anywhere on the market. It can create it’s own FTP for remote access to phone or tablet, it can be a root explorer, as well as you can link to LAN computers, FTP servers, and even has built-in Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, Google Drive, and SkyDrive setups ready to go and allows multiple accounts of each. (It has it all, it is an invaluable tool)
    • DiskUsage – a great app to see how much space is on you SDCard or internal and what is taking up all the space.
    • 920 Text Editor – just your basic text editor, but does one hell of an amazing job
    • Adobe Flash Player 11.1 – if you want to see flash online you’ll need this app (for Jelly Bean you just have to side load the application (download the .apk and install it manually)
    • Irssi ConnectBot – My favorite app for TTS connecting to my home server, a great too that is similar to PuTTy, but for android
    • IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ & IVONA Amy UK English beta – I hate the default Pico TTS voice, it’s too robotic and sucks, so this app makes you like hearing your phone talk and is amazing!
    • MX Player – Best video player on the market
    • TeamViewer – Remote view/control your home PC from your phone or tablet
  • Everyday (Grocery Lists / ToDo etc):
    • Grocery iQ – Tablet // Grocery iQ – a way for my GF and I to share a grocery list and even have it separated by store and be able to not only have a list, but also scan items into the app. Also it allows you to enter in the price of the item too so you can price check when at other stores or see when a product has changed price
    • Any.DO – an awesome ToDo list app that syncs with your Google tasks as well as you can share your tasks with your spouse. It is super simple and sleek, simplistic but still perfect.
    • Key Ring – Remove all those rewards cards from you wallet and purse, go digital with this app and get rid of the clutter!
    • Mint.com – Keep an eye on all your finances (Bank accounts, Loans, and Credit Cards) with this app. Never go over budget and see where you spend your money most.
  • For School or Office:
    • Drive – Google Drive access on the go from anywhere in the world where you get service or WiFi to be able to upload or create documents/spreadsheets/presentations/etc
    • Dropbox – enough said
    • Evernote & Evernote Widget – Evernote is my favorite note taking app ever, the ability it has amazing, not to mention when paired with Skitch you can even draw diagrams to your notes.
    • StudyBlue –  the best app for studying anything there is, is a great companion to Evernote since you can sync the two together and make flashcards, review sheets, and quizzes from your notes easily.
    • myHomework – Keep track of all your homework for every class and get daily reminders (syncs to online for viewing from PC or other android/iOS device)
    • Merriam Webster – the best dictionary around
    • OfficeSuite – Open any office document and even edit right from your phone or tablet
  • Social Media Style Apps
    • Slices  – My favorite Twitter app (though from a default “share” menu you can’t send to slices
    • Falcon for Twitter – a desktop widget to get an instant view of twitter as well as “share” to Falcon
    • Foursquare – For checking in to my favorite venues
    • GetGlue –  To check into movies, tv shows, books, games, and more (you earn stickers that you can get in real life in the mail for free), it also allows you to mark the things you like, dislike, or favorite and you can write reviews for them.
    • Google+ – Enough said
    • HaxSync – Syncs my Facebook friends (all their info like Bday, Email, Phone, Picture, Etc) and calendar (events and birthdays) without having any problems and no need to install the crappy Facebook App
    • Yelp – Review restaurant you go to and share your love or hatred for a certain establishment with the world right from your phone
  • Ebook / Digital Reading:
    • Mantano Reader Premium – The Best ebook/PDF reader there is on the market (buy the year subscription for $10 and sync you library, reading position, highlights, bookmarks, and notes to multiple devices)
    • Manga Watcher Application – If your a fan of manga, then this app is for you. Get you weekly downloads right to your phone or tablet as well as add your collection you already have to the app.
  • Other Useful apps:
    • Translate –  Anyone traveling overseas or studying a new language or ran into a foreigner, this app is amazing.
    • Ancestry – is a great app for viewing and editing my family tree that is stored online in the cloud at their website
    • Craigslist Mobile – this app is for anyone who loves Craigslist (buying or selling), it is the best app available, though it’s got a slight learning curve but is the best available and fastest
    • Flixster – For checking showtimes on my tablet or phone, this app is amazing, even has the ability watch the trailers for each movie. As well as you can write and read reviews of films The only thing it is missing is a Fandago button for buying tickets.
    • Google Voice – to text and make calls from your Google voice number instead of wasting texts (unless you have unlimited) uses data instead to send texts and when paired with SipDroid you can even make calls with Data only saving on minutes.
    • Tip N Split – Great for those that want to leave a certain amount or % or even split up a bill….
    • TV Show Favs – Track your favorite TV Shows and know when the next episode is airing.
    • Unified Remote – Remote for computer a (great if you hook it up to your TV)
    • OvuView – Menstrual tracker for women (but men can use it to know when they should run and hide and be nice, or come home with random chocolates and flowers).
    • Voxer – It’s a Walkie-Talkie for android, save on minutes and texts; use data or WiFi to talk with friends with your real voice or send pics/files or texts all from the app.
Tablet:
  • Watching Movies and Videos:  (Don’t have them on my phone because it’s better to watch on my tablet, but all work on phones too)
    • Crackle – Free Movie and TV Watching
    • Crunchyroll – Free Anime watching
    • Hulu Plus – Paid service for TV, Movies, and Anime watching
    • Netflix – (We all know what this is)\
    • MX Player – Best video player on the market
    • Skifta – DLNA player/broadcaster
  • Other Useful apps:
    • AndChat – My favorite IRC client on android
    • Brilliant Quotes FREE – I like daily quotes from people that are smarter than I and some are very profound, others are freaking hilarious.
    • ComicRack Free – this is IMO the best digital comic reader on android, it even has a desktop companion for organizing your comics easily, the reading and response of this app is the best I could find and I love it (for a while I even had it on my phone too, it’s that lightweight).
    • Currents – This is one of my favorite tablet apps. What this app does it takes your favorite news, blog sites, or similar (Forbes, Huffington Post, CNET, TechCrunch, Slash Gear, and 100’s of thousands of others) and delivers them in a easily read (with pictures) to your tablet (or phone) for offline readings.
    • TabletSMS – Read and respond to phone SMS/MMS message from your tablet
Phone:
  • Utility Apps:
    • Barcode Scanner – scan barcodes (needed for other apps as well as you can lookup products via scanning)
    • DeskSMS – tablet companion to send SMS/MMS to tablet app
    • Goggles – An amazing app by Google. Scan items, barcodes, landmarks, and more; Google then will translate the writing, tell you what something is, Google search the product and more, it’s amazing!!
    • WiFi Tether – if you’re rooted you can share your phone’s data connection via a WiFi hotspot for free
    • RedLaser – Scan products at a store or manually enter them to create a wish list, birthday gift list for your kid, wedding registrar, and more, then share the list with who ever; it finds local deals and online deals and even tells you the distance and if the item is in stock.
  • For School or Office:
    • CamScanner – Scan documents, white boards, or whatever with your camera and turn them into great looking PDFs to upload/share anywhere
    • ClearRecord – Noise reduction recorder (perfect for recording lectures or meetings)
    • EasyBib – Need help creating that works cited page, just scan your book and your done.
  • Social Media Style Apps
    • Diode – My favorite reddit app.
  • Other Useful apps:
    • Codex – (The Bookworm CompanionCatalog your books and track who is borrowing them as well as how many times you’ve read them
    • Dijit – Universal remove for devices around your house (i.e. Roku, Griffin Beacon, and more; freaking huge ass list)
    • Field Trip – this handy app as you walk around can show you landmarks and more. Find places you didn’t know were historic, been fun using it
    • Sleep Talk Recorder –  self explained
    • Smart Tools – a set of tools that every phone should have (there are free versions of every tool by other developers, but this app they are all bundled and better, plus I got it for $0.25 on the play store during a sale.

Going Digital in the New Age of School

       We have moved to the age of the digital empire and beyond, technology has grown so much and so fast (even just in the past 10 years). I still remember my old 8.5 in floppy drive PC, and the floppy disks were actually floppy! Technology has grown so much and so fast and reached the hands of just about everyone that’s in school setting; student syllabi in middle schools now say “no cell phones in class or they will be confiscated.” This to me is so crazy, that’s it’s reached even to the youth of our nations, but how is that in colleges I still see 99% of the students reading from a real textbook (an expensive textbook at that). I see 80% of students at colleges with laptops, on tables while they read these books; 75% with some form of smart phone, using it to text as they walk to class; and more and more students with these new tablets (iPad/Android/Windows/etc…).

This is going to be a write up and tutorial or sorts, if you like you can just skip the next few paragraphs to get the information on programs.

So the question I had for myself when I was gearing up to go back to school was simple, how can I save money on books and be as paperless as possible? I Already had a smartphone, it was just  manner of finding out what’s & how’s of accomplishing this. So I sat down at my computer (yeah I don’t got a laptop lol) and started doing a bit of searching. I looked all over the interwebs to find the best of the best programs and setups to use; ideas that I wanted to make a reality.

So after all my research I went online and bought my own little tablet, (the newest and greatest out so far) the ASUS Transformer Prime. So I setup these programs, bought as many of my books for classes online (find a little more than half of them in digital format). I quickly stripped all the Amazon/B&N books of their DRM protection

they’re my books and by golly I’ll read them with any program I damn well please and the courts have upheld the ruling of; You bought, you own it, you can do what you want with it, just no reselling or giving giving it freely to others

You know I have been doing pretty great with being almost all digital! I Just need my keyboard dock for the tablet and I’ll be perfect… So, I have been doing just fine: recording class audio; taking notes (I’ve always taken notes and then rewrote them, it’s a study habit that works great); reading my books (this includes highlighting them, writing notes in them, and even having my computer/table/phone read them to me). I really have only run into 1 real snag with my setup and that’s the fact that the notes/highlights I put inside my digital text doesn’t sync with the rest (this is of course my fault/developers faults). The reason I say this is because I know I can buy an book/textbook through Amazon and have all notes and bookmarks sync to all Kindle devices, but that would limit me:

  1. I wouldn’t have a Text-to-speech eReader;
  2. If the book wasn’t on Amazon (or if you went the all B&N route) I would be S.O.L.;
  3. I don’t want to be stuck with just 1 company, I hate being limited and I am willing to deal with that one problem for the sake of the freedom.

So by this point either you’re still reading and thinking “This sounds like a good idea, I can save some money on school books and be better organized digitally.” OR you’re thinking “Damnit, just tell me what programs are best man!” …. if neither of these 2 cover your current thought, comment/e-mail me or you stopped reading already lol.

 

So now to the grit of the programs, what’s the best and how do I get it?

  1.     Free your books that you purchased, go and download Calibre on your computer (PC is best). Then follow this guide to free your books from the corporate chains.  **Note AZW4 files are just PDF locked inside an Amazon format and it’s easy to extract the PDF from it; if enough people comment asking how I’ll write a quick tutorial on how.
  2.    PC/Mac Reading: Nook Study on your PC or Mac (This is what I use to sort all my books by class, have TTS, a cool interface, and it just works; though the TTS is the blind TTS, meaning it reads even the menu to you) and just import all your books (PDF/ePUB/mobi) that you unlocked with Calibre. It is also important to point out a new guy called Blio that has a lot of the same features, and does some better, but only supports XPS format which is easy to convert to with a PC. Blio is cross platform as well, meaning you can have it on iOS, Android and PC (Sorry, no Mac version yet). The reason I mention Blio is the fact that it has a great TTS setup and interface, though can be a little laggy on older computers, and has all the features as the Nook Study, but works on more platforms; the downfall is it’s XPS only format, but that is easily overcome with an easy convert and the awesome books you can buy from them (they’re like animated talking story books!), they really should just allow standard ePUB format import and I hope they will.
    1. **Note: It is important to mention, that Nook Study has the ability to purchases a lot your books you may need as well from the B&N store, these are mostly just PDF files locked by B&N with different extensions and can be unlocked as well, but there is a different method.
  3.     Phone/Tablet Reading: to be honest this more up to the device and owner, but I’ll give my thoughts.
    1. Android: Moon+ Reader Pro
      1. UPDATE: I have recently stumbled across a better eReader for android called, Mantano and it is far superior to moon+ and supports PDF books/textbooks as well and will still read the PDF to you too. It has in my opinion a better interface and a lot better ebook support & TTS function, it doesn’t quite fully support ICS (android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich), but it does still work and it you don’t want the paid version, the free, ad supported, one still has all the same features as the paid.
    2. iAnything: Use iBooks (I’ve been told it’s amazing and has TTS built in like Moon+)
    3. BB/Palm/Windows Phones: You guys are kind of on your own here, I have no clue what the best one is anymore, I used to always use MobiPocket, but I heard it died.]  **For PDF’s incase you have any, the best on Android is Repligo Reader.
  4.     Phone/Tablet Note Taking: Evernote is the real king, all you have to do is take the notes (or recording OR do both at the same time) and it syncs to the web, PC, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BB, Palm. It has so many different uses beyond notes that it is just an all around great app to always have. As well if you pair it in with the study section, it makes an unbeatable pair.
  5.     Phone/Tablet Studying: Now this is a new field here, there hasn’t before been a real good place where students can have there notes digitally, as well as create flash cards, find classmates, or borrow notes & study materials from classmates All online. Now we have the answer, and that’s StudyBlue (With Tablet & Phone Apps too)! They are just awesome, I’ve been working with them (by sending a lot of feedback and talking with the employees) trying to make their platform the absolute best there is around and once it’s good enough (just a few minor bugs need fixing) I actually plan to talk to my campus about using it for their disabilities services area. Going with StudyBlue will be worth it, especially if you have classes with me in them lol.

**Note: StudyBlue will sync up with your Evernote account, making keeping organized and automatically syncing your Evernote notes straight to your study place

So there is a quick overview of the programs that I use daily. And I have all my information on every device I use (I can even print from all my devices at home as well if I want). This is the era of the digital empire, embrace the ease of use, and stop sweating. Get organized, go paperless, and work & study from anywhere without having to hold a big bulky expensive textbook.

 

So as a closing note, I’m not sure how many people out there are as OCD organized as I am, but if so there is an APP for you on Android, iOS, Web/Chrome; it’s called My Home Work. And it is awesome, for organizing. It doesn’t currently sync to Google Calendars yet, but I’m going to pester them about it till they do lol. With this little app ($1.99/year) you can organize your class times, and schedule of when everything is (including study, reading, quizzes, HW, papers, presentations, and more).

 

 

One last thing, I am thinking of doing a specialized in depth post on each subject category and show they work. Would anyone be interested in reading that? I was thinking of maybe not only doing picture tutorials/screen shots, but maybe even working in a video or something.

 

**If there is an App that you think is better out there, especially in the case of Windows/BB Phones, let me know I’ll be glad to look into them and maybe even break out my old windows phone.**


FILM THE POLICE – B. Dolan feat. Toki Wright, Jasiri X, Buddy Peace, Sage Francis


Where has everyone that stands for freedom gone?


Night Of A Thousand Masks -11.11.11 – Anonymous


Spiders in the PNW are getting bigger and more aggressive

I smoked 3 hours ago, and when I walked out the front door to smoke again a nickel sized spider had built a web from frame post to frame post, wtf!? So killed it and its web and found 4 more spiders (2 of which covered the neighbours door and weren’t small either)…. Steven King’s “Arachnophobia” is coming to life


WSU Vancouver App

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Creating an app for WSU Vancouver. Found a few spelling errors I need to fix and a couple bugs,  but coming along nicely.  Trying to figure out if it needs anything else… What Do you think?