Author Archives: s15274n

My Final Post… ?!?!?!


Like most of the times I write (this blog), I am going to sit down with beers and let my brain go. I have neglected this blog – a lot recently. I often write about the appreciation I have for developers and themers. They take time from their personal life and it allows people like you and me to benefit from their massive efforts.
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You do realize how lame Android would be without these people, right?
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Another common theme I have noticed that I like to write about is the “what is wrong with Android” hypothetical rants. I love these personally. I love to find flaws and conjure up grand ideas.
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Well, tonight I am going to be a bit more harsh. Lets discsuss the development community and combine it with my “what is wrong with Android” ranting philosophy. O yeah – I am going there. Cue the Mitt Romney Rant.
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You know what is wrong with the Android Community? It’s not the patent wars, it is not the stock UI every manufacturer crams down your throat, the lack of polish on apps by comparison to Apple or any of the other things I have rambled about in the past.
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The fact is, the thing that is wrong with Android is how fluid it is. It is constantly changing. There is some huge new issue (or benefit) around every corner. It is why many of us are addicted to it. This is as much a  good thing as a bad thing, I suppose.
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You know what is really bothering me right now in the Android Community?
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Developers.
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There, I said it. I meant it. Now let me explain.
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There are so VERY few that actually bring something to the table. Android is shared by millions of people. You would expect more. I know that I do. There are maybe a dozen developers that I have come across in 3+ years where I can actually say to myself, “wow, this person has really added something to the user experience.”
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Okay, that is all Callip – big whoop? Nope. The problem is there are a TON of people who now claim to be developers. I have had many phones and now have a Galaxy Tab 10.1. I am certain if you are reading this, you likely have had more than one Android device too. Think back on all your days at XDA and RootzWiki. How many developers ADDED features that required a lot of knowledge, skill, creativity. I hope a lot. I doubt it. I bet you can think of a lot of people who took another persons ROM (or a manufacturers leak) and added small tweaks to it… if you were even given that luxury. We have all seen the developers bickering… the you stole this… the you did not credit me… it is endless and annoying.
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Okay, so there are a lot of “developers” who post their work for download. Big whoop again Callip.

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I like having choices too, I get it. It is nice to have options. But Android has blown up. The volume of people posting on XDA has led to a whole new development forum for Android (try RootzWiki if you have not already).  There are countless blogs and “news” sites that promote developers work. Everybody and their mother wants attention – seriously, I get it.
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Hmm… suppose I rambled and did not say it directly enough.
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There are too many people getting credit for too little work. Worst of all…. they ask for donations, expect phones to be given to them, and they encourage donations by promising work that usually is not delivered. Even those who do not directly ask for money beat their chest like they have created something magical. Sorry, but you did not.
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Direct enough now? I could have been more harsh. I truly hate that part of the community. Mostly because it detracts from those who actually do bring something to the table. Those people typically are the ones too humble to advocate for themselves.
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Okay. So Callip?
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Do you know why I started this blog? It was a suggestion from Roman (@Romanbb). He acknowledged something and said I should run with it. A few hours later this blog was created. Not long after that I had one of my first blog entries – a Q&A with Roman. He was a new developer to many at the time… I tried his ROM on a whim. It was superior. It had features I had not seen before. I knew I needed to know more about this guy. To this day it is still the most viewed page on this blog. With good reason. I encourage you to read it: Q&A with Roman.
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Roman is the epitome of one of those developers who can take the source code and actually DO SOMETHING with it. There are countless tweaks he has brought to many phones. If you have ever owned a Vibrant, Nexus One, G2X, Galaxy S2, G1, Sensation, Galaxy Nexus… you have been influenced by his work. Hell, even if you did not have these phones his tweaks may have been ported over to other phones. Pro Tip: not everyone credits Roman like they should.
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Here is his HTC Sensation ROM. Take a gander at some of those tweaks.
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More impressive stuff? Yeap – gotcha covered. Take a look at his AOKP Project for the Galaxy Nexus.
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Honestly, I hope you looked. There are a ton of features he added in there. Other ROMs do not have that.

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Why?

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Do other developers not care enough about added features… maybe the lack of skill…. maybe just not creative enough to think of the ideas? Either way, the point remains… Roman brings more to the table than the average developer.
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The ironic thing to me, he rarely gets much credit for it. He has gotten upset at times (though never publicly shown), as anyone would… but he still keeps trucking on, creating, adding features and gaining recognition by other REAL developers.
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Why would I bash so many developers, then isolate one and put him on a pedestal?
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Well, I said things were fluid in Android. I also said that I hate when developers plea for money or pools of money are made and fall on empty promises.
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All that said….
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I want to get Roman a Galaxy Tab 10.1 AND his AOKP tweaks will be ported to it. This will be the best ROM the Galaxy Tab has ever seen and could set the stage for many other tablets development.

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I am starting a donate pool for him (which I have already donated to). He would never ask, so I am. There is nobody else who can bring the tweaks to tablets like he could. If others can get devices in this manner who are less deserving, well, here I am making it happen for someone qualified.

UPDATE: You can check the status of the donate pool HERE
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I test drove the CyanogenMod 9 Kang for the Tab. It is on a whole new level. The Tab is already an amazing device with a ton of life in it. I also know there is ONE person that can make it even better, that is Roman.
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If you know him…..
If you have owned a phone that benefited from his work….
if you like me or my blog….
If I or Roman have ever helped you on XDA/Rootzwiki….
If you simply appreciate the Android Community….
If you can appreciate a young guy working hard and learning…..
If you want to see his AOKP build on the best tablet for Android…..
If you have $5 to spare or you are willing to eat a PB&J at work this week…..
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You get the point.

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Everyone of you fit in one or many of these categories. lets get this guy a Tab. Lets see what he can do. Lets see what an android tablet can REALLY be like… lets see a ton of customization brought to an otherwise dead development community (tweaks to a leaked Samsung ROM do not cut it, sorry).
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If you are willing, PLEASE do me three favors.
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1 – Share this and ask for others help. This is not for just people with a Tab. It’s for people who respect development. Real development.
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2 – Donate what you can by FOLLOWING THIS LINK. << MOST IMPORTANT >>
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3 – Follow Roman (@Romanbb) and sent him a tweet saying you donated for ******* reason.
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On a sad note, I am entering a new chapter in my life. I am very close to starting a new career that may involve a relocation. This is something I will be taking very serious, and this addiction will hinder my work. I plan to try and step away from Android. I may post on here or visit XDA, I may not. I would prefer to break my Android habit and focus on other real life things.

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Roman got me started here, I felt it fitting that if I am going out, it goes out boasting him.
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The Android Community is something special. I am passionate about it and I love it.

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ACSyndicate is getting everything lined up so we should be having an Android East Coast BBQ here in Raleigh, NC on May 12-13th.
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It would mean the world to me if I could meet some of you guys. Please come. Please find me. Please drink beers with others like us. We already have West Coast people hopping on it and we have a lot of surprises and appearances lined up.
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You can follow the ACS guys (@ACSyndicate) and send them a tweet asking for details. I created the official twitter account for the BBQ, so give them a follow too (@Androids_EC_BBQ). We will periodically send out information about the event and what all is lined up.
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Thank you to everyone who has supported me. Now go support a real developer.

You will feel good about it, I promise.

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A Universal Device Fix…


We all love our phones and our tablets. Their amazing devices that can either allow us to be more productive or to escape from a busy work day. Most devices have their on unique issues, albeit hardware or software related. There is one common issue with almost every device though… Fingerprints.

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I am a very big Type A personality, in some respects. Fingerprints on my screen drive me absolutely crazy. I have a micro-fiber cloth at work, in my car and on my bedside table. For those who could care less, this article is not for you.

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Goal:

Reduce (can’t eliminate entirely) fingerprints… make the finger swiping silky smooth on the screen… make the screen LOOK great.

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How:

1 – Buy some Rain-X (other products MAY work, but I can’t say with certainty).

2 – Power down your device. Clean your tablet/phone’s screen with a micro-fiber cloth. To the point you can’t see any swirls/marks.

3 – Apply some Rain-X (not dripping wet) to the micro-fiber cloth. Be very careful to not have an excessive amount and to only apply on the glass. Do not touch the outer frame of your phone or tablet, it could remove the finish. In a swirling motion rub in the Rain-X like you wax your car. If it beads up on the screen, just keep rubbing it in. DO NOT dump Rain-X directly on the screen… only apply in small amounts using the micro-fiber to apply.

4 – Eventually you are going to have a hazy look. If you have rubbed it in entirely and there is no longer any moisture on the screen, grab a fresh micro-fiber and buff it out so it looks silky smooth.

5 – Go wash and dry your hands. Let the phone/tablet soak in its new shiny glory. Seriously… clean hands and letting the Rain-X sit for a bit help. Do it.

6 – Power up the device and begin using it. You should notice much less finger print smudges and the screen should feel great to the touch (as well as be a bit shinier).

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This is something that shocked me when I first read it on the web, but it appears to be working great. Just use caution…. do not use too much when applying, and never directly on the screen should it be poured. Seems like you may want to do it every month or so to keep it looking great.

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Hope this helps… let me know!

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Oh, in case you were going to say…. why not just get a screen protector? I absolutely hate the look and feel of those. I want to touch the glass and it feel sexy when doing so. Not a sheet of plastic. To each their own… I know some swear by them.

Maybe We Are All Wrong… REALLY?!?!


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I am going to preface this with a disclaimer. You won’t agree with me. Odd, I know.

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For over a year now I have struggled with the seemingly never ending question – when am I going to succumb to the marketing of tablets. If there was ever a device that the majority of people truly did not NEED, but WANTED, it would be a tablet.

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Any time there is a good sale or a new tablet is released, the “Fire” inside me comes back… could this be the time where I finally break down and get a tablet? No… I am going to wait for the latest greatest to go on sale… No… I am going to wait on the TouchPad to come back… No… I do not want a refurbished one. This pattern goes on and on. The only constant is me still staring at my small 4” screen.

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I am fed up. I am ready to have a tablet. I could buy a cheap Chromebook or any other assortment of cheap laptop now. Be honest, those options may do more than the tablet too. But here I am, still craving a tablet.

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The easiest argument to justify not buying a tablet is likely the same reason you use…. why in the world would I pay up to $600 for something my phone currently can do? Yeah…. why would you do that?

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Maybe…. just maybe… we are all looking at this wrong.

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Imagine the year 2004’ish. You all likely had a cell phone. This phone likely had just a few functions… it allowed you to store contacts, call people and maybe send text messages. O my, cell phones have changed. They are our MP3 player, camera, camcorder, GPS unit, hotspot, social network tool, and this list goes on and on. We can’t get by without this can we – not after being accustomed to it.

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Well, maybe we could all get by and be happier with an Android tablet and a cheap phone (yeah, like a basic voice/text phone). WOAH CALLIP. You have gone too far, what?!?!

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Like I said, you won’t agree….. but be patient.

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Imagine having a 10.1” screen to play your games on, to browse sites, to check twitter or Google +…. If you had a tablet, why in the world would you use your phone?

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Having a basic phone plan with voice minutes and text would save all of us money. Most of us could use a tablet over WiFi and avoid the $20 data fee… not to mention what you could cut back on your current cell phone bill.

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Perhaps the best part? No more cases, screen protectors, SD cards, other accessories…. heck, not even worrying about putting your phone in the same pocket as your keys. This may not apply to all… I take care of my phone (but I hate screen protectors and avoid those).

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So I suggest that perhaps we are looking at it all backwards. Maybe we should be more open to having a tablet. By selling your phone you are ½ way there to the price of the greatest tablets on the market likely. EVERYTHING on the phone would likely be more fun or better on the tablet anyway.

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All that said, am I going to be selling my phone anytime soon? A resounding Hell No. I adore my phone. I suppose I will be waiting till I finally can convince myself I need both devices. But after writing this, I am not certain I’ll ever be able to justify that. For those who have both… you justified that purchase? REALLY?!?!

Android’s East Coast BBQ…


ALL ROADS LEAD TO RALEIGH…

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If you have not heard the news, we are trying to create an event similar to the Austin, TX Android BBQ for those on the East Coast. This event will likely be called: Android’s East Coast BBQ

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Before I begin, this is in no way shape or form supposed to be anything other than a tribute to Austin and their success. They’ve done a great thing the past 2 years and will continue getting bigger and better. Their “awesomeness” is what inspired us to host an event (that we could afford) on the East Coast. I have reached out to them to seek their help and knowledge.

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Alright, so what should you expect from Android’s East Coast BBQ?

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Great question. I do not know either. I have a great itinerary in place but we are in the early stages. This is the fun time – everything is fresh and all ideas are on the table. After you read what I can release now, I’d love to hear feedback from you guys. Your thoughts… who do you want to attend… what companies do you want here? Can you help organize this?

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Note that this is preliminary and I am not releasing all details. There will be surprises.

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Saturday we will meet at a local restaurant and brewery in downtown Raleigh. They have a separate upstairs area with several rooms. We will have many companies, app developers, Android developers and themers all talking about what they are doing for Android and where they think we are heading. We will spend a lot of time drinking beer, socializing and learning (perhaps in that order). We will have some special events/contests at this time and hopefully some sponsors can throw out some freebies.

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Saturday evening we will either have a bar crawl on Glenwood South in downtown Raleigh. This area is littered with great bars and attractive people. We will flood it with Android geeks getting their drink on and take over every bar we enter. If the bar crawl does not happen, there has been talks of a themed party. There are tons of great locations for this type of event in Raleigh.

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Sunday we will be meeting for lunch in one of Downtown Raleigh’s greatest parks. It is beautiful here. We will serve NC BBQ (the best BBQ you’ve ever had – this is a very strong topic in these parts). We hope to have some form of music, likely NC bluegrass (acoustic) to stick with the NC theme. This time will be for socializing and talking about the previous day. All developer sessions will be on Saturday. There may be other plans in the works to add on here.

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I have reached out to local friends to help design the site for this event – their company will likely be a sponsor. I have reached out to a local organization for help with bluegrass music. I have reached out to a local BBQ restaurant to help us out. I’ve been reaching out to several local companies to assist us as well (Raleigh has MANY providers, manufacturers, app companies, etc here… incuding HTC, Swype, Verizon, etc). This is still a big work in progress as we are not even certain what our needs are… we just know an event for Android fans will be better when the major players are there to interact with us. We need to figure out how we are going to tackle this. I will say, in one day I was able to make huge strides with some big companies…. they want to meet you guys.

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The event will likely be around May so those who are in college will hopefully be done with classes. This time does not seem to interfere with other Android events. It is also an INCREDIBLE time to enjoy NC weather.

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I love my city. There are tons of incredible tech companies here. We are the Silicon Valley of the East Coast and we are loaded up with genuine and caring people (South baby!). I know you guys will leave here impressed by Raleigh. It is vibrant and beautiful with a great night life. All that is missing are all of my Android friends. Come join me.

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Now,  I have been VERY active planning this on the preliminary level. In the near future I will be handing over the planning to Android Syndicate (their site). You may want to start following them on Twitter too (@acsyndicate). These guys were the ones who had the initial idea to have an East Coast gathering – I just lobbied that Raleigh would be ideal and wanted to get the ball rolling to make it as easy as possible for them.

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We will be releasing a LOT more information when we can. For now… I need your suggestions. Feedback on pricing, ideas for events, contests, who should be here (companies and developers/themers)… ANYTHING IS OPEN TO CONSIDERATION.

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THIS IS YOUR EVENT…. MAKE IT BETTER!!!

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Let us know what YOU want.

Last Chance: TouchPad


Today there are several methods of obtaining the most popular dead tablet ever, the HP TouchPad. TigereDirect will have a bundled offering for $280 (link below). Best Buy also has a bundled option where you buy an HP/Compaq PC and then you have the option of buying the 32GB TouchPad at $150. This starts in the stores today (better call before you drive out there). May still be available online?

Neither of these options are good for me. It’s too expensive. The market realizes prices need to be lower. The Kindle Fire and Nook Color 2 are sounding more and more attractive to me. Then again, maybe I am just sore because I tried extremely hard to get the $99 TouchPad and failed on several occasions. I refuse to spend more on a bundle, or pay full retail. I feel dirty saying that, but so be it.

A twitter follower (@nrfitchett4) threw out a suggestion to me… and it was a great suggestion.

“What will Best Buy do if you buy a laptop, get the touchpad, then return the laptop?”

Well geez. Why did I not think of this first? I decided to find out. I called three local Best Buys. At each location I was told that if someone purchased the PC and tablet… then came back to return the PC, the computer system would show a balance due of the $450 difference (suggested retail of the TouchPad minus the $150 you already paid). I will not be testing this theory.

It seems crazy to me that someone would have to pay a $450+ as what COULD be a legitimate restocking fee. O’well….. not my battle and be honest, we all know why someone would try to return the HP/Compaq PC.

The Tigerdirect bundle for $280 includes the 32GB tablet, a Belkin case, Belkin tablet stand, Bluetooth speakers and a 16GB flash drive. You can find the deal USING THIS LINK. It starts around 2:30 EST… better go there EARLY. This is rumored to only last about 5 minutes.

If you try to buy one… good luck! Let me know how CyanogenMod 7 runs on it!

Gorilla Glass Explained…


The below article was submitted by Casey (@oka_xda on Twitter). If the name sounds familiar – he is the guy who sent me his phone overnight when I was without one. This guy rocks. He recalled that I have an open invite to readers – use this blog as your own. You have something to say, type it and email it to me. All I ask, be useful. Casey has gone above and beyond. Please let him know that you appreciate this information.

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You all have heard of Gorilla glass (been around since the early 1960’s) but what makes it different ? Basically Gorilla glass is a glass that is stronger and more flexible than normal glass. Normal glass is usually made with pure sand with added soda/lime as the stabilizer/fluxer/formers. Modifying this process allows Gorilla glass to be thinner more flexible and stronger.

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Basically, Gorilla has a harder surface than normal because of the Annealing process (heat and cooling process to relieve stress in the glass and make the surface a harder surface) and the chemical treatment during the annealing process.

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Gorilla glass starts by combining pure sand (silicon dioxide) and other types of chemicals (see below the fluxers, formers, and stabilizers) but the resulting glass is called aluminosilicate, which is stripped of impurities and melted down. The molten glass is then sent to molds it fills up and actually overflows on each side. During this (fusion draw) process, in a controlled fashion, the robotic arms pull down on the glass until it is a constant .59 millimeter-thick sheets of Aluminosilicate Glass.

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Once this is completed, you have very big sheets of clear, clean, pure glass, but it isn’t much stronger than regular glass. Gorilla glass gets its strength through the following interesting chemical process.

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Corning dips each sheet into a molten salt bath where a chemical exchange occurs. Potassium ions are infused into the glass. At the same time, sodium ions exit the glass. The potassium ions are larger than the sodium ions. This pressure creates what’s called “compressive stress.” That stress is actually a good thing and stops the glass from breaking on flaws.

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Because of the process it makes Gorilla Glass Ideal for cell phones and alike because:

  1. It is lighter because it can be thinner
  2. Its surface is harder than traditional glass so it is more resistant to scratches.
  3. If has a greater modulus (more elastic) so it can take more flexing without failure.

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Of the 3 above, weight is the major driving force for the Gorilla Glass use in a cell phone. Samsung and Apple use Gorilla glass on all their phones/tablets to make the products lighter.

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Below, for you techies types are the basic short explanations of the glass additives and quenching.

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Quenching: The act of taking something (steel, glass) from one temperature quickly to a lower temperature. It is a way to increase surface hardness, increase flexibility or both. Traditionally, this was done by heating something up and then dipping into a bath of oil or water. The act causes the molecules to become aligned  making the material have improved properties. Typically, they used Salt brine, oil, Air, or water. Nowadays, the modern systems uses a combination of 2 of the aforementioned and adds chemicals to better control the process.

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Formers: are the basic ingredients. Any chemical compound that can be melted and cooled into a glass is a former. Silica (sand) is the most common former.

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Fluxers: help formers to melt at lower, more practical to achieve temperatures (1300°C or 2370°F). Fluxes include Soda Ash, Potash, and Lithium Carbonate. However fluxes make the glass chemically unstable. Therefore;

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Stabilizers:  combine with formers and fluxes to keep the glass uniform and keep its special structure intact. Stabilizers include Limestone, Magnesia, Barium Carbonate, Stronium Carbonate, Zirconia, and more.

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Additional Oxides: are used to impart color, for example cobalt oxide turns a melt deep blue; iron or chromium oxide turns it green; gold changes it to a light red. Other oxides are used to decolorize, opacify, or control important characteristics such as expansion rates and optical properties. Coating can be added during this time to improve the color vibrancy of the LCD as well as to reduce the UV and glare of ambient light.

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Here is a video showing the strength of Gorilla Glass (note the Samsung name there):

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Thanks,
Casey!

Comparing Apples to Oranges…


I rarely get to write down my random thoughts, like I hope to. Tonight was a normal night. I worked hard, played with my kid, made certain that my daughter and wife knew they were loved, and then went out with my friends to play darts and recharge my batteries some.

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What was different tonight was that while driving home I could not stop thinking about Apple’s new iOS 5 (“Android update” as I call it) and the pending new iPhone. Not just the “competition” was on my mind though. I started thinking about the Android community. How blessed I’ve been. How much value it has brought into my life. Ultimately concluding my thoughts with the notion, this is just the beginning. The future is brighter.

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If you did not listen (or read) today, Larry Page (CEO of Google) during the 3Q earnings call for Google was throwing out some mind-numbing statistics on Android (and basically every avenue of Google). He noted the 600K+ activations per day. Near $3B in profit. He even went out and proclaimed the new Android OS (ICS) Ice Cream Sandwich was going to be “incredible” & “you won’t believe what we’ve managed to do.”

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Alright, breathe. I was excited before. Hearing the CEO say words that strong about Android’s growth and maturity, combated with the fact he said they were going to be defending Android passionately in court (patent issues – aka the competition who is scared / trying to make money off of Android too)…. well, this made me a whole new level of excited. I said many times over that Honeycomb was horrendous, but Ice Cream Sandwich would save Android. Larry made me feel even more confident in that assertion.

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I don’t know if it is all the good news for Android lately, the new super-phones, cheaper tablets, or the iOS 5 upgrade hiccups, but I have been extremely pleased to be a self-proclaimed Android Fanboy lately. I’ve said it in the past, and it was true…. I will always point out a flaw in Android or give credit to the competition, but for once, I am just so incredibly happy with Android as an OS AND the community. I’ve been blessed with kindness recently. There is no better community. The current and future seem extremely bright for Android. Google is defending Android legally, manufacturers are profitting and more importantly seem to be opening up to the development community, sites like XDA and Rootzwiki are blowing up, people are talking about modding their phones, people seem hip to app security…. all seems well in this Android community.

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These are the thoughts I had at a stop light driving home. I love this community. I love Android. Thank you to anyone who reads this and can understand.

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Oh, I thought “apples to oranges” was an appropriate title because I can’t imagine ever having this same feeling of respect and admiration if I were on the other side, Apple. They may have a clean UI and brilliant marketing, but they severely lack on innovation and a true community. They will never have that. Be sure you understand and respect that.

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Thank you!

Did The Google Wallet Just Open….


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If you follow me on twitter or have been watching the news, you are certainly aware of Bank of America’s (BOA) new money-making idea. In 2012 BOA will start charging $5, per month, that someone uses their debit card.

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Thought a new paragraph was needed. Did you have enough time to absorb how bad that is yet? O, don’t be “well, I use another bank” as an excuse. Trust me, the big bad bank has just opened the door for all the others (some of which have already been testing this fee in other markets – mainly on the West coast). It’s only a matter of time before this trickles down to community banks and maybe even credit unions. Likely in that order – I am partial to credit unions.

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There are MANY negative things I could say. I could go on a long rant about greedy corporate America, big banks, etc. Have you searched “#OccupyWallStreet” on twitter/google recently? If not, you should. For some reason, our media doesn’t seem to want to let you know that they are closing in on a 2 week movement – showing the wealthy 1% that the other 99% is fed up. Here is a good article if you want to learn what it’s about (LINK)

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Now, that was a bit of a tangent. Guess I was in shock that BOA would make an announcement with this much shock value when Wall St has been occupied for 2 weeks with a large group demonstrating that America has had enough of the greed. I suppose they do not care – maybe they did not see it in the media either.

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Now, here is another issue I have. You all have likely seen your bank/credit union interest rates plummet. You are lucky if you are getting 1-2% interest right now, very lucky. Do you know the reasons for the decline? There are many variables, but you can chalk it up to two things. One, banks/credit unions are not able to invest the money in government bonds that can make anything right now. Two, and this applies to the smaller community banks/credit unions mostly…. They have guidelines that they need to stick within. You need to be lending a high percentage of your deposits. When they lowered their deposit rates, it was a direct reaction to receiving too many deposits (other big banks fees, etc) and not being able to lend it out. So, you lower the rate to move those deposits somewhere else.

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With Bank of America announcing this fee, you better bet the people it would impact are going to throw up the middle finger and move to another bank. And THAT is going to hurt those small banks and credit unions  – because remember, too much on deposit can be a bad thing too.

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Now, why is that on my blog? Two reasons. One, I work in the financial industry and I consider myself a person that likes to see things done “the right way.” I do not consider this right, at all. Two, does this open the door for Google Wallet?

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Boom. I had this thought in the shower today (why do all good thoughts come in the bathroom?). Everyone noted concerns about Google Wallet – who is going to trust Google – who is going to trust NFC – who would let go of a debit card, blagh blagh blagh.

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Well, I know that I am more than willing to use my phone to pay for things now that I ever have been before. Especially if using Google Wallet allows me to keep $60 a year ($5/mth). Heck, I always have my phone with me – I can’t say that for my debit card.

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I am the first to admit I do not know much about Google Wallet. But I do know that I am more open to the idea now. I know I like the idea of tapping my phone to pay for something. I also like that Google does not charge anything to make payments this way (they do not take any cut from the transaction).

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So, I guess this was a long way of saying that maybe this opens the door for Google & NFC. Android certainly has a jump start on this new realm of payments – the Nexus S already has this ability. I saw a friend use it at McDonalds recently (it was pretty cool too).

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Do people leave “greedy banks” to the “Don’t be evil” company now?

How Do You Use Google….


I love Google. I love searching the Internet. I love streamlining processes.

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Okay, what do all of these have in common? I don’t think people realize all the cool things you can do within a search. I know I don’t know them all, but here are some of my favorites. Please let me know if you use other cool tricks like these.

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1 – “What time is it in Paris”

If you search with that format (any city – even small towns), your top result is going to be this:

3:14am Friday (CEST) – Time in Paris, France – and that is awesome.

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2 – “paste a tracking number here”

That is right, no longer do you need to go to UPS, FedEx, whatever…. If you need to know the location of a package (bad jokes), just paste it into the search bar and Google will return a link you can click on with the information you seek.

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3 – “50 Euros in dollars”

Not only does it convert it well, but it gives you a chart showing the changes and another input box if you wanted to look up another value. Conversions are not limited to currency – use a similar format for the ounces in a pint (16 for non beer drinkers).

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4 – “-Minus”

If you want to refine your results, try using a minus sign. I hate the sites that always seem to popup in my searches when I preface it “how to”…. Nothing a minus sign can’t handle. You can do this by simply putting “-site:fixya” at the end of your search.

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5 – “Delta flight 5..”

Want to know a flight status? Why go to their site? Just start typing it. Now you likely will start seeing the results before you even finish the flight number.

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6 – “filetype:doc”

Need a certain type of file for your result? Tell Google with this tag at the end of it. I use this a lot when I need to find powerpoints as examples (filetype:ppt).

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7 – “define:long word”

Everyone uses Google to find the meaning of words. Get a better result this way.

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8 – “location weather”

I search “Raleigh weather” almost every day. It’s the best/quickest way to find my local weather – both current and the forecast.

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9 – “sin(90) / cos (90)”

I did not know this one – well, I knew you could type basic bath questions… but you can search Trig problems too. Where was this in my old days?

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10 – I don’t have a number 10… I am hoping you do. Go.

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Hope this helps!

 

Will It Be The Same…


Bare with me, as I let out a stream of thought. Perhaps not even worthy of a blog post, but I would like feedback.

By now, everyone heard the news. There are some amazingly cheap Amazon goodies coming. They are going to flood the Market with their low-costs. I hear Amazon is actually losing $50 on each Fire sold. This of course will be more than made up for by the end-user eventually to Amazon.

This reminds me a lot of the TouchPad fiasco, which will ramp up again in October when they have wave 2 of their dumping of inventory. What all this teaches us, and the industry, is that people want a deal – they want that low-priced tech bundle of joy that can distract us and educate us and fill whatever void we have.

But… that is common sense. It’s normal to want a cheap price (insert a witty joke about Apple fans here). I am hopeful HP and Amazon lead the way for lower costs tablets. I hope their model has a earth-shattering eureka moment…  “oh, we can flood the market with a lower cost tablet, but generate buzz and profit for our company by other means (online sales), etc.”

That of course would only work for companies like Amazon – books, music, and whatever else your heart desires. Lucky them. I guess other companies are going to have a hard time competing with a massive online retailer who can pump out tablets at a loss and and make up the difference in their online sales. Ouch.

A synopsis of Amazon right now… The PR buzz of Apple, the “Cheap” buzz of the TouchPad, the power of the Kindle following, the Android rootable buzz, a new browser buzz… Jesus. I think Amazon just won.

I had an entire paragraph about Amazon having similar issues of the Google Nexus One launch, until I realized they are going to be sold in stores too. So.. with that no longer a concern, I repeat, Amazon won.

If there is ONE negative thing… people may outcry that the Silk browser, while extremely fast may be a privacy concern. It will cache every site, send it to Amazons server, blagh blagh… insert the concerns of many that a large company is tracking every site they go to. Bam. I knew there was SOMETHING bad about all of this, ha. If this is of interest (it should be), go read this article – they have it worded perfectly.

The question is… how does the industry respond? Will you rock an Amazon tablet?

And that folks is what happens when I do not create a draft and just type…