Saturday, December 31, 2011

Install Google Wallet On Your Galaxy Nexus

So as a lot of you know, Google Wallet has not been officially released to the Galaxy Nexus devices. A lot of you probably want to install it because Google is giving you a free $10 debit card when you sign up right now. Lucky for you guys, some hackers managed to compile the application into and APK which you can easily install on your phone. I just installed it on mine and it seems to work fine, I had no issues yet! I haven't tried to make a payment yet, but shouldn't be a problem. If it does, well, I'll look like a complete idiot in public. XD

So first of all, make sure your Galaxy Nexus phone (GSM/CDMA) is on ICS 4.0.2 and make sure you are in the US. Just go to Settings >> About Phone to check the firmware version. Also make sure you haven't installed any previous version of the Google Wallet app. If you did, go see the tutorial on the XDA forums, I can't help you. If you are not on ICS 4.0.2, update it. If you need help, check out my tutorial here.

Now go ahead and get the APK from the XDA forums here. You will need to enable non-market apps in your settings (Settings >> Security >> Unknown sources). Copy the APK into your phone, and use Installer or something else to install the APK onto your phone. Install it like you would with any other APK.

Finish the registration process and it should work fine, you should get a free $10 debit card from Google. I didn't get to test out paying with the app yet, so... Tell me how it goes! I will try it out the next chance I get.

If you are wondering how to update to the official release of Google Wallet when it comes out after you install this, please read my theory in this article here.

Update 12-01-2012: Google pays for my dinner. More info here.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Host a Siri Proxy

As you know, Siri has been legally ported to older iOS devices, but requires you to use a Siri proxy. (If you don't know about it, read about it here.) This is because using Siri on an older iOS device still required proper iPhone 4S authorization tokens which is only available on an iPhone 4S. Some people have already started hosting Siri proxies, and you might be considering on doing the same thing. Right now, I will tell you why you should not.

You might think you are helping out the jailbreak community, but you should know this. If you make people donate to you, you might make some money for a little while, but remember that most of these proxies are shut down with in an hour by Apple. It is very easy for Apple to detect heavy traffic from a certain device and for them to shut you down is very easy too. After that, you will loose the ability to use Siri yourself too, and I doubt complaining to Apple will do anything. So really, you are just harming yourself. Also, not to mention how much data you would be using trying to host a server... I wouldn't recommend you to host it unless you have a way to manage how many users are using your proxy. If you were thinking about hosting, you should think again. That is all I have to say.

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How to Manually Update your GSM Galaxy Nexus to 4.0.2

Google have already released ICS 4.0.2 for GSM Galaxy Nexus devices, but haven't pushed the update onto most of the devices. The updates comes with some bug fixes including fixes for the volume issues. Most of you guys, like me, are probably too impatient to wait for the update. There is a method of manually updating your GSM device to ICS 4.0.2 and today I will teach you how.

Disclaimer: You follow the instructions I have provided here at your own risk. The author of this article can not be held responsible for any damages or problems you get into. The event of something going wrong is highly unlikely but possible.

Other Dangers: This tutorial is written for the GSM Galaxy Nexus only. If you own the CDMA version, you might be able to use this tutorial with slight modifications, but is not recommended. It is also recommended you back up your data before you update. Even though the update will not erase anything, if something goes wrong, you may loose your data. 

This tutorial is recommended for people who are familiar with command line and fastboot commands. If you are not, it's not a big deal, but you will be doing some commands to get your phone updated.

The process requires the Android SDK, if you don't have it, get it now here.

First step is to make sure your bootloader is unlocked. If it is not, unlock it. The update will not erase anything on your phone, but unlocking your bootloader will perform a complete factory reset on your phone. If you have an unlocked bootloader, skip down, if not follow these instructions.
  1. Back up all your data. Your contacts, apps, and everything else will all be erased during the unlocking process. Why? Go as Google, they did it.
  2. Turn off your phone.
  3. Boot into bootloader mode (Volume Up + Volume Down + Power).
  4. Open Command Prompt as Admin.
  5. Navigate to the folder of your fastboot command. 
    • If you installed the SDK in the default directory, type this.
    • cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools
    • If you did not install it in the default directory, I think this is still very self explanatory.
  6. Now type in fastboot oem unlock
  7. Finish the process on your phone and wait for it to reboot.
  8. Copy back in your data and you are done. Your bootloader is unlocked now.

Now on to the instructions on how to manually update. First of all, if you have root access, use your File Explorer on your phone and navigate to /system. Now open up build.prop as text. Check and make sure the value for ro.product.name is yakju and ro.product.device is maguro. (If you have CDMA, these values are different, you are on your own.) Make sure those values are that! Not a variation! Now go here to get the correct Factory Image for your phone.

Now extract the files and copy them to the folder where your fastboot command is. Here are the 4 files you should get:
  • bootloader-maguro-primekk15.img
  • flash-all.sh
  • image-yakju-icl53f.zip
  • radio-maguro-i9250xxkk6.img
Now make sure USB debugging is enabled in your phone. Go to Settings >> Applications >> Development >> USB debugging to check or enable. Disable any antivirus you got.

Now turn off your phone and boot it into bootloader mode (like above in the unlocking instuctions). Open up command prompt as Admin and navigate to fastboot folder (like in the unlocking instructions above). Type fastboot devices and make sure your computer detects the device. (If you have rooted your device before, there should be no problem) Now run the following commands (copy paste one by one or type in yourself):
fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-maguro-primekk15.img
fastboot reboot-bootloader
(Wait till the Boot loader is Rebooted)
fastboot flash radio radio-maguro-i9250xxkk6.img
fastboot reboot-bootloader
Wait till the Boot loader is Rebooted)
fastboot update image-yakju-icl53f.zip
After you have done that, your Command Prompt window should look similar to the one below (click for full resolution).


Now to to Settings >> About Phone and it should say 4.0.2! If it does, you are done! Good job. I already did this myself. Did not meet any problems, so you shouldn't either. If you get any issues, leave me a comment below and I will try to help you.

After you update, you will loose root. If you used the "Manual Method" provided here, boot your device up with the insecured boot image (fastboot boot boot.img). DO NOT FLASH IT! Just boot using it. At this point, it will look like your phone is bricked. It is not. It will be stuck on the Google screen with an unlock symbol. This is perfectly normal. Check if adb can see your device (adb devices).

If adb sees your device, type the following:
  1. adb root
  2. adb remount
  3. adb push su /system/bin
  4. adb shell chmod 06755 /system/bin/su
  5. adb reboot
After your phone reboots, it should be rooted. Remember, DO NOT FLASH THE BOOT IMAGE! If you do, you are screwed.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Siri Legally Ported to Older iOS Devices

The well known and respected developer chpwn has legally ported and released Siri to older iOS devices like the iPod touch 4th gen, 3rd gen, the iPhone 4/3G, and the 1st generation iPad. This hack is available to anyone with a jailbroken iOS 5 device. You don't need to add any new repositories because the hack, Spire, is available for download from the BigBoss repository.

When getting the app, make sure you are connected to Wifi as it will legally retrieve about 100mb of data from Apple's servers. Also, after installation, you will have to configure a Siri proxy server to "host" for your device as using Siri requires you to have correct iPhone 4S authorization tokens.

Most of you probably where you can find a Siri proxy server. No problem as many people have already started publicly sharing Siri proxy servers online (like this one here). Not sure how long this will last as a lot of these proxy servers are getting terminated in under an hour because obviously Apple can detect the heavy traffic from one device. It is a good idea to just go for a free proxy, not the paid ones that ask for a donation as a lot of these turn out to be scams! Like I said, most of them gets terminated in less than an hour. Don't waste your money. The paying method is a good idea if it's expensive, because if the internet traffic is evenly distributed on a lot of devices, Apple will not be able to do much.

Anyways, installing this app will require a reboot, so make sure you have a computer handy if you are on a tethered jailbreak. Also, this app is incompatible with the Semi-tether hack. I myself have not played with this yet, as I do not really use my iPod these days. I've been playing with my new GSM Galaxy Nexus. :)

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Got My Replacement Nano! Update on iPod Nano Recall.

The phone in the background is a GSM Galaxy Nexus. :)

The blog post everyone has been waiting for. I'm sorry for the delay, I actually missed the Fedex man on the first delivery attempt because I was out at Lake Tahoe. Well anyways, I did get my replacement nano and this is why I'm doing a blog post. As you know on my last blog post, after checking my new serial number with Apple's data base, it says it's a 6th generation iPod nano. Well not technically true... See the following 2 photos. (Click on them for full resolution.)


As you can see, it is clearly a refurbished silver 6th generation iPod nano.  Now on some forums, I've seen people say they would rather have kept their old iPod nano because well the new touch screen ones also got battery problems. The touch screen uses too much power, so the battery doesn't last as long... But considering how your 1st generation is like 5 years old, this battery probably will do better. XD



Anyways, I have some complaints... The new nano came with no instructions at all. What am I suppose to do? Charge it first? Connect it to a computer? Turn on the power? What? I have no clue. They gave no instructions at all... All the text they gave us is below (in the screenshot).


Well I guess Apple will be keeping the nanos we sent in for parts... I thought so, they wouldn't have such a big stock of 1st generations on hand. :P Oh well, I would have preferred maybe a red one or a blue one, but silver is nice too. There is also a built FM radio, but they don't give you headphones for it. If you have an iPod touch or iPhone, the headphones for that will work with your new nano.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Untethered 5.0.1 Jailbreak for non-A5 Devices Released


The jailbreak everyone has been waiting for is finally out. Pod2G has finished the jailbreak and handed it off to the iPhone devteam and the Chronic devteam. For all of you who are new to jailbreaking, an untethered jailbreak is what people want because it doesn't require you to "rejailbreak" every time you reboot your device. Up till now, we only had tethered jailbreaks which was a pain when you ran out of power or just needed to reboot, there was a semi-tether hack, but it wasn't as good as the real thing.

This new jailbreak is only for the following devices on iOS 5.0.1. The owners of the new A5 devices have to wait.
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4-CDMA
  • iPad 1
  • iPod touch 3G
  • iPod touch 4G
If you are still on iOS 5.0, you can safely update to 5.0.1. The SHSH window is still open for 5.0.1 If you unlock via ultrasn0w or gevey, make sure you only get to 5.0.1 via a custom IPSW! Use the latest redsn0w to jailbreak your device after you have upgraded to 5.0.1. If you are already on a tethered jailbreak for 5.0.1, you have to choices.
  • Run redsn0w 0.9.10 over your current jailbreak (deselect “Install Cydia” if you do that).
  • Install the Cydia package prepared by the chronic devteam. 
The patches are the same regardless of which you choose.

Some of you are probably using a hybrid 5.0/5.0.1 configuration. If you do, do not install this untether over that setup! You will probably get into a reboot cycle. Do a sync and restore to 5.0.1 then jailbreak using redsn0w.

Download Links:

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Replacement Nano Shipped! Update on the iPod Nano Recall.


After the weeks of wait, Apple has started shipping back the refurbished iPod nanos, and a lot of owners of the recalled iPod nano are receiving emails informing them of the tracking number. I still haven't received mine back yet, but after searching the serial number on Apple's support website, it says it is a 6th generation iPod nano with a picture of the new touch screen nano. Possible that Mashable was wrong? Maybe, but according to the information we have right now, it is possible Apple is actually giving us one of the new models. So, all it is now is a waiting game...


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Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Got a Galaxy Nexus

 Click the photos to view full resolution.

Anyways, just here to tell you guys I got the new Galaxy Nexus phone. I haven't used it yet because I want to find maybe a screen protector or maybe a protective case for it so I don't scratch the surface of the screen or camera. So yeah!

The device is capable of supporting Google Wallet, also has a built in 5 MP camera and lot's of other stuff. :) It also has a 1.2 GHz dual processor which means more gaming and multitasking. Sadly, the device does not have a built-in microSD slot, but does have a huge internal storage of 16GB or 32GB. Mine is the 16GB version. Also the phone has the capability to shoot full 1080p video.

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Search "Let It Snow" on Google


Have you tried to Google "Let It Snow" yet? Google, the company that loves to surprise their users with holiday based designs, has done it again! If you Google "Let It Snow", you will still get your normal search results, but also it will really snow! 


To add to the fun, you can also draw on the frost with your mouse just like you can with real frost on the window. Go give it a try! :) They have also added a surprise for you when you Google "Hanukkah".


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Friday, December 9, 2011

SDXC Cards in your EOS 7D


Hello guys, do you hate the costly prices of CF cards? Do you want to get a lot more storage and speed with the new SDXC cards? Worry no more! Today's post is a camera hack, I will help you use your SDXC card on your Canon EOS 7D, 5D, 1D, or other similar cameras!

Disclaimer: You follow these tips and instructions at your own risk! The author of the blog is not responsible for any damages that may result from these instructions. These tips and instructions are provided for educational and informative purposes only.   

First of all here are the three things you will need:
  1. A Canon EOS 7D, 5D, 1D, or other similar camera.
  2. A CF to SD adapter. (I recommend this one, it is also the one I'm showing in the image above.)
  3. A SDXC Card. (The one in the picture above is the Lexar Professional 64GB SDXC.)
Alright now, first of all, insert the SDXC card into your adapter then put it into your camera. Right now, it will tell you the card needs to be reformatted in order to be used. I know the SD card website tells you not to do it, but do it anyways. This will format your SDXC card into FAT32 file system. The original file system is exFAT. So you might be wondering if this is safe right? See the following reasons:
  1. Your write and read speed is untouched.
  2. Same amount of storage (as for me 64GB).
  3. Only difference now is you will be limited to 4GB per file (This is a filesystem limit, can't be fixed.). Photos you take will never be that big, don't worry.
  4. You can always format it back into exFAT on a computer if you ever need to store something over 4GB on it.
There you go, after you format the card, your camera should read it. You have a very large storage on your camera now! Hope you enjoy it. Also some reviews for the products I've shown above.

The adapter I'm using, I think is the best, but this is the first one I've bought. I would recommend it. Unlike other adapters I saw online, this one has no speed issues, and is compatible with SDXC cards. Which is great. On my EOS 7D, I had no problems with shooting videos or taking RAWs with this one. It works as if I had a real CF card in there. Only one complaint as with all adapters like this, you have to take the adapter out of your camera first, before you can take out the SD card. Doesn't affect the quality though. The other thing I noticed after using it a bit (I tried to do some high speed photography), after 10 shots, I took out the adapter and it felt warm to the touch, but no speed problem. So I'm guessing there could be a small chance with over heating, but  I would still recommend it if you plan on having a back up flash memory.

Now for the Lexar Professional 64GB SDXC, I have already tested this thing out on my camera. I can take over 1000 RAW + JPEG (High Quality) photos on my camera! No problem. Also the write and read speed is amazing. If you always shoot in RAW, I would totally recommend this.

Of course I do not use this adapter as my main storage. I also have an 8GB CF card, but with my RAW photo shooting, it will exhaust that memory card quick! So if you are like me who take a lot of photos, or do RAW, get these! It works great as a backup memory card and SD cards cost like 2/3 the price of CF cards and they work a lot faster.

Love photography and tips like these? Check out my photography blog here!

Tips on Winter Photography

Photo taken near Reno/Lake Tahoe in Nevada.

It is winter again, and you know what that means! Lot's of gift giving, shopping, and an extremely jolly time of the year. In some parts of the world there will be snow and lot's of it! It is the time of year where people go skiing, snowboarding, playing in the snow, and for photographers, snow photography! One issue a lot of photographers get into while taking pictures of snow is the "Greying Effect". See the photo below if you don't know what it is. The "Greying Effect" ruins a lot of photos, even for people who are not photographers! So now your question is probably how do I get my photos to look like the one above instead of the one below? In today's post I will offer you some tips on how to prevent the "Greying Effect" and some other tips on how to protect your camera equipment while you are out in such a cold environment.

The left show the "Greying Effect", the right shows how snow should look like.
Big difference right?

So why does the "Greying Effect" happen? To effectively teach you how to get rid of this problem, I will need to educate you on why it happens. So usually when you take a photo, your camera weighs in the different colors and light of the scene you try to take. When you try to do snow photography, most of the light coming into the camera will be white. So the problem actually happens here, when this much white light enters the camera, the camera will think you are trying to take a picture of an extremely over-exposed 18% grey object. So the camera tries to compensate it by lowering the exposure, hence making the snow grey! There are several ways to fix this problem.

Disclaimer: You follow these tips at your own risk! The author of the blog is not responsible for any damages that may result from these instructions. These tips are provided for educational and informative purposes only.  


Exposure Compensation
This might not be available to some of the more low end cameras, but is the most effective in preventing the greying effect. So first of all, you will need to put your camera into a mode where you are allowed to adjust the exposure compensation number. Then you will need to locate the option on your camera, usually marked with an icon that shows a black and white square with a + and - sign in it. Now increase the exposure compensation and take a shot, do this until the image looks satisfactory and the "Greying Effect" has disappeared. Generally you will have to increase the exposure compensation by +1 or +2 to compensate for the camera's under-exposure.

Beginner explanation on why this works: Since the "Greying Effect" is caused by your camera underexposing your image, by putting your exposure compensation at +1, this tells your camera, what ever exposure the sensor tells you to use, add 1 on top of it.

Custom White Balance
This method most accurately fixes the "Greying Effect" problem but will be a bit of a hassle to configure and will require you to buy an 18% Grey Card. Configuring the custom white balance will vary from camera to camera, so consult your camera's instruction manual for more information. Again, this method will most likely not be available for low end cameras (especially point-and-shoots). For the Canon EOS 7D you will first need to take a photo of your 18% Grey Card, then go into menu (2nd menu) and they go to Custom White Balance, select the photo you took, then configure your camera to use the new white balance. As I said, this method is probably not the most efficient method, but corrects the problem more accurately.

Beginner explanation on why this works: By taking a photo of an 18% Grey Card and then telling your camera to use that as the white balance, pretty much tells it what grey looks like. So now when it sees the white snow, it will know it's white instead of an overexposed grey object.

Open the Aperture
Another method, although I would not highly recommend it as this method will definitely put some blur on your image, is to use aperture priority (Av or A) or manual (M) and open up the aperture by 1-2 f-stops to compensate for the underexposure by letting in more light. This feature might not be available on some low end cameras.

Use a Snow Scene Mode
For a change, this feature may not be available on some of the high-end cameras (LOL). This method is very amateur-ish and not needed by professionals. Also, this method I do not highly recommend as it may overexpose some of your photos. You can do this by setting your camera to a "scene" mode specifically designed for snow. This may fix the "Greying Effect", but may also overexpose your photo, I recommend my first 2 methods.

Fixing Your Old Photos in Photoshop
Those are the methods for preventing the "Greying Effect". So now you are probably wondering, what do I do now with my old ruined photos? Throw them away? No need to fear, Photoshop will come to your rescue. Remember, use this method only as a last resort. To do this do the following:
  1. Open up the ruined photo in Photoshop.
  2. Now go to Layers >> New Adjustment Layer >> Levels...
  3. Press Okay on the pop up dialog.
  4. Click on the White Dropper (Same in image to select white point).
  5. Click around in your picture of where you think should be white. Experiment with this until the image looks satisfactory. 
  6. Now save it as a copy, I usually don't like to save over the original. 
    Protecting Your Camera and Equipment In Cold Climates
    Those are the tips for preventing the problem, now let's move onto how to protect your camera equipment in cold weather. Don't think this is easy, because it is not! One mistake can ruin your camera and lens! These tips are more targeted towards DSLR owners, not so much for you guys with a small point-and-shoot.
    1. First rule, I know it is easy to forget, but don't put your camera under your jacket in a cold climate. When moving your camera from a cold place to a warm place, or vice versa, condensation may gather on your lens (including the inside), and it may damage your equipment! When going from a cold place back to a warm place (like hotel), before you go back, make sure you take out your battery and memory card, then put your camera back in the bag. After you arrived at the hotel, leave your camera in your bag for at least 2 to 3 hours before you open it up. If you don't have a camera bag, use a Zip-lock bag. Make sure you take out your battery and memory card before you go back so you don't get tempted to open up your camera bag before the camera is allowed adequate time to warm up. The 2 to 3 hour rule usually works for people who are going to Alaska or place with similar climate. If you are going to Reno like me, 1 hour tops because it isn't as cold and your camera will warm up or cool down faster. 
    2. Warm up your battery. A warmer battery will work longer than a cold battery due to the chemical reactions (I think). So for professionals, some people will keep and extra battery in their pocket to warm it up, and then they will keep switching the batteries to get more life out of it. Make sure you don't keep change in the same pocket though, I seen a comment on another blog of a guy accidentally shorting out the battery and burning a hole in his pants...
    3. And as for tip number one, try not to use the heater in your car, just wear more clothes. I think I explained it pretty clearly in tip 1 why, so not going to do it again. Another way, put your camera in a cooler, so it stays the same temperature as when you put it in, then when you need to take a photo, you can just take it out of there. 
    4. If you are going to Alaska or a place of similar climate, try not to exhale onto your camera, your breath will instantly become a thin layer of frost!
    Well that's all the tips! I hope you have enjoyed the tips on winter photography. Please don't forget to share this article with your friends and leave a comment! Also please don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook. You can also do that with the box on the top of the right sidebar. Have fun with snow photography! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Love photography? Check out my blog here!

    Untethered Jailbreak for iOS 5 and 5.0.1


    Although not released yet, it is very reassuring to know an untethered jailbreak will be released soon for iOS 5.0 and 5.0.1 devices. According to the makers of Greenp0ison, the Chronic Dev Team member pod2g has released a teaser video of the new untethered jailbreak! They have also claimed that this jailbreak will also work with 5.0.1 devices and they are yet to try it on the newer A5 devices. Cross your fingers guys, and hopefully it works!

    An untethered jailbreak will be a lot more convenient for all of us because it doesn't require you to hook up your iOS device to a computer to reboot, and will have all the functionality unlike a semi-tethered boot.

    Additionally, if you plan on downgrading to a custom iOS 5 version, it is good to know there is a way to do that too. You will need to back up APtickets and SHSH blobs with iFaith. This will allow you to downgrade later on just in case.

    Ad: Do you love photography? Photos of nature? Come and check out Eric's Photography Blog for beautiful pictures!

    Monday, December 5, 2011

    Ac1dsn0w Beta 2 Jailbreak Released!

    Ac1dsn0w is a jailbreak made by Pwned Dev Team. Some of you may know, Beta 1 was taken down due to copyright issues with Apple. The Beta 1 version used a lot of Apple software and coding as Apple threatened to sue. Beta 2 is now released and Pwned Dev Team claims the new version does not use Apple coding and includes major improvements from Beta 1. The new version isn't much different from the current tethered jailbreaks like redsn0w and sn0wbreeze and you will be required to hook up your iOS device to a computer to reboot! It currently supports iOS 5 and iOS 5.0.1. The tethered jailbreak will work with all iOS devices other than iPhone 4S.

    The most noticeable difference for the new jailbreak is probably the size (Only 15% of the size of Beta 1, probably due the the lack of Apple coding.), and the fact that it's got a show console feature which should be more accurate on what the jailbreak is doing.

    The Ac1dsn0w jailbreak is available for download here. The jailbreak is for Macs only.

    The reason I posted up a download link here is because the makers of the software claimed the pirated Apple coding has been removed. The owner of this blog does not support piracy. Please do not pirate Apple coding.

    Ad: Would you like to see beautiful photos of nature? Come check out my photography blog here!

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    AndroidLand, The First Official Android Store


    First the Apple Store, then comes the Microsoft Store, now the Android Store?! Yes, that is true! The lucky residents of Melbourne, Australia are lucky enough to get their own Android Store. This is the first Android Store in the world! The Australian network operator Telstra has been working closely with Google to get something like this opened. The newly opened Android Store is named AndroidLand.

    Inside Androidland, you will find a wide selection of phones (just like the Microsoft Stores) to play with, a huge Google Earth setup, and Angry Birds galore. Although the store looks a bit weird with all the Android-bots in there, it would definitely attract a lot of attention if one opened in the US. 

    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Mega Low Tide at Half Moon Bay

    Photo is copyrighted work of Sunny Wu.
    The photo may not be redistributed, printed, or used with our permission from Eric (Sunny) Wu.



    So on November 26th, Half Moon Bay had one of its low tide days. This only happens several times a year. During the mega low tide, the ocean retreats exposing miles of land that is usually under 5-10 feet of water. You can take a look at some of the photos I took here! I will be posting more photos in the days to come on that blog! Make sure you check back! I started off with a little preview.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    $200 Discount on DSLR Lenses


    So anyways, I've been looking around because I am looking forward to upgrading my current DSLR. Obviously as you know, I am an amateur photographer myself. Anyways as I was looking on Amazon, right now they are having a deal. If you bundle select DSLR lens with a Canon EOS 7D DSLR camera, you will get a $200 discount on select lens. If you get a select Canon EOS T2i or T3i DSLR, you will get a $100 discount on select lenses. So this offer lasts until November 23, 2011. Anyways I couldn't get my referral link for the discount page, but you can find the offer on the Canon 7D DSLR page on Amazon. I think there are more discounts if you bundle it with a printer. I'm not sure, but great time for deals! I mean it's Black Friday, then there is Christmas. A lot of stores are holding great deals! Did you know Amazon already started their Black Friday deals? You can check them out here! Enjoy your holiday shopping! :)

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Internet Censorship in the US!


    On November 16th, congress holds first hearings on the American Internet Censorship system. If this bill passes, internet and free speech will never be the same again. Please sign the petition here and help protect your right of free speech!

    You know, as an immigrant I moved here from China because of freedom, the land of opportunity, the land of free speech, the land with NO INTERNET CENSORSHIP! Now congress want's to censor our internet! Is this America we are living in or is this China? Think about it. I thought Americans hated Communists? So why are you doing the same thing the Communists are doing? SAY NO TO INTERNET CENSORSHIP! Make it clear to congress! WE DO NOT WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE THE POWER TO CENSOR OUR INTERNET!


    If you would like to know how this works you can get more details here. It is called DNS blocking and is the same system used in China, Iran, and Syria. Our founding fathers gave us the right of free speech. Free speech is our right and is #1 on the Bill of Rights. The same Bill America was founded on! Does congress have the right to take away the right? No of course not! This is the reason why a lot of people want to immigrant to the US. They want the right of free speech, the right to choose their religion, the land of opportunities! How is the US any different from these 3rd word countries if laws like this are passed? Tell congress NO IS NO! A law like this will further corrupt our economy. I think we have enough people jobless and homeless here. So please sign the petition here and help protect your right of free speech!

    Amazon Starts Black Friday Sales Today


    Amazon has already started Black Friday sales early! Lot's of great deals already before Black Friday. You can go see the great deals Amazon has here. You have to hurry before the deals are gone! :) To save you some time, here are a few of the items they are having/or had a sale on!

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Kindle Fire Goes on Sale in the US


    The Kindle Fire goes on sale in the US today in swipe at the Apple iPad. For half the price and half the size of an iPad, the Kindle Fire has gained popularity quickly from potential tablet buyers. The Kindle Fire is currently on sale on Amazon for $199 compared to the Apple iPad which costs $499 for the cheapest model.

    The Kindle Fire comes with 8GB of internal storage (only 6GB is available for user data) and Amazon content can be stored for free "in the cloud" (no limit on that). The Kindle Fire currently runs on a slightly modified Android operating system. The device is capable of playing back music, movies, has a built in Amazon Silk Browser for viewing websites at a faster speed, and pretty much anything else an Android device can do. The Kindle Fire does not come along with free 3G unlike some of their other E-ink readers, but can connect to the internet using Wifi.

    Due to the high popularity, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says Amazon is making "millions more" then they have predicted. Lot's of fans have already pre-ordered the device.

    Technical Details:
    Display: 7" multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment.
    Resolution: 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
    Device Size: 7.5" x 4.7" x 0.45" (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).
    Weight: 14.6 ounces (413 grams).
    Built-in Storage: 8GB (about 6GB can be used for user content)
    Built-in Storage (approximate): Around 80 apps, plus 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.
    Cloud Storage: Infinite storage for all Amazon content.
    Battery Life (Wireless off): 8 hours of continuous reading, or 7.5 hours of video play back.
    Battery Life (Wireless on): Battery life will vary based on network usage.
    Charge Time: 4 hours using the included US power adapter.
    Wifi: Supports all 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n Wifi access points using WEP, WPA and WPA2 security or no security. Does not support ad-hoc (peer-to-peer) Wifi connections.
    USB: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)
    Audio: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.
    Content Formats: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
    Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty
    What's in the box: Kindle Fire device, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.

    Again the Amazon Kindle Fire can be bought for $199 on Amazon

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Update on the iPod Nano Recall

    So today I have received my return box from Apple and will be answering some of your questions. So here is a picture of the box.


    Today, I was originally gonna do a rant about how Apple sucks, but I might put that off later. To my surprise the box actually came with everything, and I literally mean everything you need to ship it back to Apple and it was shipped with overnight shipping. There were instructions, tape, a plastic bag, and packing foam. I was expecting foam, but tape? Yeah, I bet you didn't expect it either.


    Well the packing instructions are fairly simple. There are three pieces of foam inside. The bottom there is a piece of thick foam, in the middle there is a foam punch out model of the iPod nano, and the thick foam top piece. So your device is pretty much very very protected inside the box. LOL Here is a picture of my iPod Nano in the box. I didn't put in the top piece in.

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    AD: Did you know you can get free Paypal cash, Amazon Gift Cards, iTunes Gift Cards, and many more just for watching short videos about apps in the App Store? You can do it directly from your iOS device! Get App Trailers now and use the code "sunny098" for extra points!

    Need some accessories for your iOS device?

    Well that's pretty much it. I know a lot of you probably still have questions about the wording from the emails you got from Apple. Here is the image to confirm this will be 100% free. The tag they gave me was a long piece of paper, so I edited it a little bit to save space on the blog post. It's still the original.


    And here are pictures of the instructions that was packed inside the box. You can click on it to see the full sized images.


    So I hope this clears up any questions you have. If you are wondering what the replacement is going to be, according to Mashable it will be a refurbished iPod Nano 1st gen with a replaced battery. You can read about that here. And if you guessed right, I was going to do a rant on how Apple is only replacing the battery, but maybe tomorrow because they kind of surprised me with what they put in the box. HAHA Who ever puts tape inside the return box?!

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Update on the Recalled iPod Nanos


    I have not gotten my replacement yet, but according to Mashable, they have talked to an Apple representative over the phone. It is confirmed that you will be getting a refurbished iPod Nano 1st Generation with a replaced battery.

    I am quite surprised at how Apple kept such a big stock of 1st generations. I guess this is it. Sorry to let all of you down. I thought they'd be sending us one of those latest models. :(

    Source: Mashable

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    HTML 5, the new Adobe Flash on Mobile Devices


    Adobe has backed out and will no longer make improvements on Flash for mobile devices. Reason? HTML5 replaces Flash! So now, Apple has won, and Adobe, well... no longer making Flash for mobile devices. From the beginning Apple has said they will not be incorporating Flash into iOS devices because HTML5 can easily replace it and will handle memory and CPU problems better. Flash has can have a significant impact on the RAM of a mobile device and will probably put a huge load on the CPU performance. Although these things are quite small for a PC, this will definitely drain the battery of a mobile device fast!

    Adobe promises to continue patching critical security issues and bugs but will no longer make improvements to Flash for mobile devices as a movement to push website designers and developers towards the use HTML5 for new things.

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    The Newly Opened Microsoft Store

    So today, I headed over to Westfield Valleyfair in San Jose, CA. So the new Microsoft Store opened up across from the Apple Store... ROFL (Directly across from the Apple Store, I mean it...) Well anyways, to my surprise, they were passing out free Microsoft T-shirts and Joe Jonas (Jonas Brothers) was giving the first 200 people autographs. I missed that... :( But, here are some pictures of the new Microsoft Store!


    What was in the store... A lot of stuff was on demo and sale in the store! I guess what I liked the best about today is I got to try out the Windows Phone. It didn't suck as much as I thought it was. It was really easy to use and I love the design.


    Other stuff in the store included the Amazon Kindle, Xbox Kinect demos, some tablet PCs, and a lot of other stuff! The store was crowded today! Today was probably the opening day or something. So many people was in the store checking out stuff.


    So anyways they were giving out free Microsoft t-shirts today too! It says "I'm a PC" and there is a Windows logo on the sleeve. You can see a picture of it at the end of this blog post. LOL Keep going down.



    Yeah, you would be surprised at how fast the t-shirts went. Everyone was taking a handful. For me, I got like 7 t-shirts for me and my friends who wasn't there. HAHA Seriously 100 t-shirts went away in like 5 minutes... But they had more coming. Which was great... 


    Anyways, the Microsoft Store was not the only thing I did today. I went to the Apple Store across from it to ask about the 1st Gen iPod Nano recalls... You can read more about that here. Let me summarize what went down when I asked them the question. 
    Me: Excuse me, I have a few questions about the iPod nano recall.
    Sales Associate: What recall? We don't know anything about a recall.
    I am serious... In my head I was like WTF? ARE YOU GUYS SERIOUS? LOL Well anyways here is a picture of the t-shirt they were passing out.


    Hope you enjoyed this blog post! :)

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Apple Recalling 1st Generation iPod Nanos

    Today, if you are subscribed to newsletters from Apple, you probably received an email saying Apple is recalling 1st generation iPod Nanos.

    Email

    Apparently Apple has found a battery problem with the 1st generation devices. In rare cases the iPod Nano may over-heat and pose a safety risk. The battery may explode or leak. This is not the first recall Apple did on this device, there has already been a recall in Korea, Japan, and some other countries, but it is the first recall in the US. The 1st generation devices have a silver back and a white or black front. To check if you iPod Nano qualifies for the replacement program and to initiate the replace process if you are qualified please visit Apple's website here. The replacement is free.

    If you have a personalized iPod, you will get a non-personalized replacement. It is recommended you back out your data before sending it in for replacement.

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    As of right now, Apple didn't release much details on what the replacement is going to be. All they said was it will take 6 weeks after they receive your original device, and if you have a personalized device, you will receive a non-personalized replacement.

    For me, I am the few with one of these iPod Nanos and have already initiated the replacement request. Apple says they will be shipping me a box with replacement instructions. I am hoping the replacement will be the newest model iPod nano. LOL There are more updates under the ads.

    AD: Did you know you can get free Paypal cash, Amazon Gift Cards, iTunes Gift Cards, and many more just for watching short videos about apps in the App Store? You can do it directly from your iOS device! Get App Trailers now and use the code "sunny098" for extra points!

    Need some accessories for your iOS device?


    Update (11-12-2011): So I went to a local Apple store to ask some questions about the recall... Well here is what went down...
    Me: Excuse me.
    Sales Associate: Yes
    Me: I got some questions about the iPod nano recall.
    Sales Associate: There is a recall on the iPod nano? I don't know anything about a recall. Let me go get another sales associate.
    New Sales Associate: What can I help you with?
    Me: I got questions about the iPod nano recall.
    New Sales Associate: I don't know about any recall. What model is it on?
    Me: The 1st generation. (Shows her my iPod nano)
    New Sales Associate: That isn't a 1st generation.
    Me: Um. I got my serial confirmed on Apple's website and they said they will ship me a box with return instructions.
    New Sales Associate: Well, if that is what they told you, you should probably follow the instructions they gave you.
    Me: You guys seriously don't know anything about this recall?
    New Sales Associate: No, sorry, we don't know anything.
    Me: Thank you.
    In my head: ARE YOU F*CKING SERIOUS?! THE NEWSLETTER TOLD ME TO GO TO AN APPLE STORE IF I GOT QUESTIONS!

    I am not lying. That is pretty much how it went down... XD Apple failed... You are probably better off following the instructions they give you online and in the box they send you instead of going to the Apple Store. I've seen a comment on another website saying, the store employee (from another Apple Store) told him they don't have a replacement stock on hand so he is better off ordering the replacement online. No word on what the replacement is going to be, but once I get mine, I will be doing a new blog post on this blog. So stay tuned! Anyways, I also called Apple Care to see if they knew anything... See the update after the ads.


    Update (11-13-2011): Okay, so today I called Apple Care. It didn't sound like the guy had too much knowledge about this though... Well here is pretty much what happened:
    Me: Hello, I have a few questions about the 1st generation iPod nano recall.
    Customer Support: There should be a website with recall information. Did you see that?
    Me: Yes I did, and I already requested for a replacement. I want to confirm that this process is free.
    Customer Support: Did the website say it's free?
    Me: Yes it did.
    Customer Support: Then it should be free, let me check, what's your serial.
    Me: My serial number is...
    Customer Support: Yes, I see you have requested it and it is free.
    Me: Do you know what kind of replacement I will be getting?
    Customer Support: The equivalent of a 1st generation iPod nano.
    Me: Thank you that is all the questions I have.

    He did give me the answers I was looking for but as you can tell he didn't sound sure at all. :/ Just like the Apple Store employees... So yeah, pretty much better off ordering online... Not much else you can do at this point.

    Update (11-13-2011): According to Mashable, Apple will be replacing your original 1st generation iPod nano unit with a refurbished 1st generation iPod nano with a new battery. Read more about it here.

    Update (11-14-2011): I just got my box from Apple. It will help answer some of your questions about the whole process. You can read about that here.

    Update (12-19-2011): My replacement iPod nano has been shipped. See more info here.

    Update (12-28-2011): I received my replacement. See it here.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    iOS 5.0.1 Released and Untethered Jailbreak for iOS 5

    If you plugged your iOS device into your computer, iTunes probably notified you that there is a firmware update available.


    That's right! Apple released 5.0.1 today to bug fix the battery problems and to add multi-tasking gestures to the original iPad. So apparently there was battery problems on iOS 5, and I actually noticed that myself. On my iPod touch 3G, I noticed how fast the battery was draining. I guess that is the bug. Well anyways what the update brings:
    • Fixes the battery problems
    • Gives the original iPad multi-tasking gestures
    • Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
    • Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation
    Currently, iOS 5.0.1 can be jailbroken with redsn0w (Google for a download of the latest one), but it will be tethered. This jailbreak won't work with iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s. Tethered jailbreak means if you reboot your iOS device, you will need to run the jailbreak again or it will just tell you to connect to iTunes. Currently there is a semi-untether for the firmware. You need to add the repo "http://thebigboss.org/semitether" to Cydia, search for SemiTether, then install it. This will allow you to boot your iOS device up with limited functionality. During the semi-tether boot jailbroken apps/features, Safari, and Mail would not work. You can install the Gmail app to view your email and with Safari, there are some other browsers in the App Store that you can use as a replacement. To get those back, simply turn it off and "Just boot tethered" with redsn0w.

    Need some accessories for your iOS device?

    Alright let's move on to the untethered jailbreak for iOS 5. A Twitter update comes from pod2g an iOS hacker, a discoverer of exploits, and a member of the Chronic Dev Team. He stated he has found a bug in iOS 5 that will allow for an untethered jailbreak.


    Well anyways, there is no word on what the bug is, pod2g did promise to work hard on it. Hopefully it will be out soon. Currently as I said above there is only a semi-tethered jailbreak method for iOS 5 and it doesn't work with the iPad 2 or the iPhone 4s.

    Anyways, as a safety precaution, please do not upgrade to iOS 5.0.1 if you want the untethered jailbreak. Apple may have patched the bugs.

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    App Trailer Review

    Update 12-28-2012: The company recently ended their referral program. I take it as a sign that the company is going down hill possibly going bankrupt. They are still paying, but you should take this into consideration. Using my code will no longer get you or me points.

    Videos available
    Okay guys, today I came to tell you about a great app called App Trailers. I recently just got the app and I'm loving it.

    Well before I say anything, if you are getting this app, there will be an option to type in a code. Use the code "sunny098", this will get you 25 extra points. Just putting it out there. You will see people in the iTunes store saying this code will give you 500 or this will give you 1000, those are all lies. All codes will give you 25 points as of the time of writing.

    So what is App Trailers? App Trailers is an app for iOS devices that lets you watch short videos about apps in the app store and they will pay you for it. You can redeem Paypal, Amazon Gift Cards, iTunes Gift Cards, Crate&Barrel Gift Cards, Fandango Gift Cards and a lot of other gift cards!

    What I love about App Trailers is that it is a great app for discovery and learning about new and interesting apps in the app store. I agree that it's good to get recommendations from friends and to read reviews, but watching videos about apps is another great way to see if you like an app for not.

    Prizes Page
    Okay, I'm gonna say this, please don't make rude comments about the thing I say next. Another reason I love this app is it doesn't really take time away from what you have to do everyday. If you are like me, you probably bring your iOS device into the bathroom when you go do your "business". (Please no rude comments. LOL) What a great time to watch some app videos and earn your self some cents?! :P You have to go do "business" every day anyways right? Why not make some money while your at it. LOL

    Okay, this I am really not joking. I really do bring my iPod touch with me into the bathroom and I'm pretty sure a lot of you probably do the same thing. HAHA What better time to check those e-mails and to IM with your friends. :P Let's see updating your Facebook status, Twitter... the only place where your boss won't see you doing something other than work... ROFL Well anyways...

    So go get yourself the app and start making some money! What you got to loose? :) And don't forget, please use the code "sunny098". It will get you 25 free extra points. Trust me, you'll regret it later if you don't use a code.

    You don't need to download the app to get paid.
    Just watch the video.
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