Wednesday, 29 May 2013

ROOTING FOR YOU! PART 3




SYNAPSE CIRCUIT IS ROOTING FOR YOU!
PART 3


Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! Did you like the review on HonesTech nScreen Deluxe? More reviews are coming... Standby...

In these financially adverse times we sure need to think about where we can make savings! And when push comes to shove it is usually the mobile phone contract / expenditure comes into question...

...MOBILE ADDICTS
I guess I can call myself a mobile phone addict... Android handsets are the most diverse and this diversity is very, very appealing indeed! I never intended to have so many handsets but like I have said the sale value of a handset is greatly diminished after a 2 year contract that it’s not worth the effort in trying to sell it.

What makes some of us mobile addicts? There are a number of factors...

1. Multiple Facebook accounts. The trouble with Facebook is that it is so paranoid about business people making money on the back of the social network that logging out of one account and into another one is seen as something suspicious. It has happened to friends of mine – as I have documented in my ‘Antisocial Networking’ blogs. They’ve had their accounts closed permanently after committing the act of logging out of an account into another via the mobile phone. It’s crazy, paranoid of Facebook and very, very annoying!
2. Every now and then we get tempted by special offers from mobile phone networks that offer good deals on some rather good handsets. The advantages of having different networks are that you are able to make free / greatly discounted same network to network calls; you can get good data usage and sometimes, as a business user, you can dedicate the monthly bill to the taxman. 

3. Sometimes we just want to get our mitts on a new handset. Yes, having one handset for the whole of 2 years is like a ball and chain... We want to feel as up-to-date with latest trends. Or on the other hand... Some great handsets can be greatly reduced in price that it is too good to miss!

Yes, it's a bit nuts! Lol! 


THE BACKLASH!
Indeed... The backlash to all of the above is the state of the economy! The economy is begrudgingly forcing some of us to say, “Yeah, so what?” when it comes to these state of the art super-phones! We really want them but the state of financial affairs says, “N.O. NO!”

So, what I suggest is to invest into second hand phones that can be picked up online through Amazon, eBay and through the bricks and mortar Computer Exchange shops!

It really makes you wonder at what some people discard... As you should know through reading my ‘Rooting For You’ blogs the HTC Desire is still a solid handset with a 5MP camera has an LED flash that takes decent shots. Video is a respectable 720p at 30 frames per second (fps). The 1 GHz Scorpion CPU really pushes heavy-ish apps like Facebook as though it’s nothing!

HTC Desire doesn’t tickle your fancy then how about other HTC models? Desire HD, Desire S and Z! Or the HTC Sensation range? XE and XL!

Expect to pay £60 for the Desire and up to £165 for the Sensation XL!

You can get other manufacturers too... How about the Samsung Galaxy S2? You’re looking at anything from £165 to £185 for the 16GB version!  

BUY SECONDHAND, ROOT AND GET A SIM ONLY DEAL

I think secondhand mobile phones are the way to go! Now you know how to root an Android handset there is no reason why you can’t be a winner in today’s financial uncertainty!

You have seen how to increase the storage capacity of these handsets with partitioning the microSD card and linking apps with the Link2SD app!

The CPU can also be pushed to make a sluggish handset improve some with the app, No-frills CPU Control. It’s a great app that does exactly what it says on the tin!

To improve the sluggishness some more you can use the Seeder app – it’s not free but it is a great investment for a mere £1.29! It works wonders!

Naturally, you don’t have to purchase a secondhand phone... You can purchase some good budget handsets... I think I would advise you to steer clear of the ZTE Blade 3... Don’t get me wrong... It’s a nice handset but the hardware isn’t up to much... When I initially started to use it things were fine, but when the official Facebook and its Messenger app got upgraded the Blade 3 couldn’t hack it – no pun intended! Lol! I think the makers of these apps ought to concentrate on making those apps light! The last time I looked Facebook is about over 18MB, Messenger 22MB! That’s crap! I will have to look into other Facebook apps in due course and let you know my findings...

I have managed to improve it somewhat with No-frills CPU and Seeder but the HTC Desire walks all over it! The Facebook app seems to really give it problems! I have to reboot once in a while to get it to work well... If I could go back in time I would have invested what I spent on the Blade 3 on a secondhand phone! I’d have gone for another Galaxy S2 in pink (yeah, I like the colour lol) or the HTC Sensation XE!

Of course, the apps mentioned above are for rooted handsets only!

SIM only deals...
Check out some really good SIM only rolling contracts...

Three Network
From £12.90 a month. Ultimate Internet SIM 200 1 month.
All-you-can-eat data, 200 minutes and 5000 texts.

GiffGaff Network

The giffgaff £12 goodybag gives you 250 UK minutes, unlimited UK texts and unlimited Internet for one month. Plus, you will still benefit from the free giffgaff to giffgaff calls and texts on top of that.
Not bad at all...

You can save a lot of money in the long run!

Happy Rooting!

Take good care!

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Thank you for watching and reading!

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Synapse Circuit Dot Com

Monday, 27 May 2013

HONESTECH nSCREEN DELUXE SYNAPSE CIRCUIT REVIEW





HONESTECH nSCREEN DELUXE 
£129.95

Do you feel ripped off by cable TV? Do you want to legally avoid paying for a TV license? How about nSCreen Deluxe from Honest Tech?

WHAT IS IT?
It’s a multimedia streaming box that can stream audio / visual files to a TV / monitor from a mobile, PC or tablet.

With the PC there is an option via the installation software to share what’s on the PC screen. Therefore you can be running BBC iPlayer, YouTube, 4OD and many other Internet video services. For example your laptop can act as a remote controller to the television set.

It would have been brilliant to have been able to mirror what’s on the mobile phone or tablet directly to a television! Never mind...



SETTING UP

Everything you need comes in the box:

AV cable (for antiquated TVs)
HDMI cable
Installation software for the PC

Setting the nScreen box couldn’t be easier... Connect the AV or HDMI cable to a TV or monitor, connect the mains adapter, install the software on your PC or MAC and away you go!

Ok, it’s not quite that simple! Ha ha ha!

You have to download a software update.
You will also need a wireless or Ethernet connection to your broadband router.
Once the installation program is updated and you run the program for the first time you will get Wireless Connection Wizard. If you have set-up everything correctly you should see nScreen WiFi signal that you select.

Now you are ready to transmit from your computer to the TV / monitor screen.

You will also need to download the nScreen app to your mobile to play audio / video files to the TV / monitor.

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT?
nScreen is manufacturer independent. In other words it’ll work with a PC, MAC, Android, iOS, Samsung, Sony, etc. Other manufacturers are very specific with their technology; Apple wants you to buy Apple related products... Cable companies want to tie you into a contract and to be honest the cable channels are 70% repeat showings!

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD? 
The quality of the picture isn’t as sharp as a dedicated cable box. But the picture is good enough! Again, it would be so useful to be able to mirror what’s on the mobile or tablet onto the TV / monitor.

ECONOMICS
On average you pay around £30 a month for a TIVO enabled cable box and most of the channels repeat more often than garlic bread! At the end of the year you have paid £360!

So, you are probably better off with the nScreen and a dual core computer that is capable of playing HD video and that ought to come in at around £299 and the nScreen Deluxe is £130. Giving a grand total of £429!

The nScreen solution will pay for itself within two years!

CONCLUSION
The price is right! The unit is so small that you can easily place it in a man-bag, handbag or even a jacket or coat pocket! Cool!

Recommended!

4 / 5


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Thank you for watching and reading!

Please check out the Synapse Circuit website for video, i-PDF and more! 

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Saturday, 25 May 2013

ROOTING FOR YOU! PART 2




SYNAPSE CIRCUIT IS ROOTING FOR YOU! PART 2

Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! Many of you have been asking me about how to root your Android handsets... Believe me; it’s not that difficult to do! The InterWeb is a great source of knowledge! Some of you have also been asking me what are the benefits of rooting... Ok, I’ll tell you...

...AT THE ROOT
Well, in a nutshell, rooting or jailbreaking (the term used for rooting the iPhone) an Android device means that you are able to get to the core of it. It’s rather like being able to get into your cable TV box, remove the crap channels and replace them with the channels of your choosing.

The trouble with a lot of handsets is that they come with a bunch of unwanted applications that take up a great deal of room on the often limited internal storage... Then there’s the skin that is placed on top of the Android operating system... Sometimes they are quite useful and there are times when they slow down the whole process... It can feel like you’re interfacing with treacle! Apps like Facebook can take minutes to launch instead of seconds. Being able to install a custom version of Android with no weighty skin is a delight! Did you know that that you can sometimes push the central processing unit (CPU) a little further? Yes, you can turn up the speed of the CPU which will do wonders to improve the overall speed of the handset or tablet. That’s what I did to the ZTE Blade 3 and it is so much more responsive!

When you root your device you’re able to use apps that are root specific such as the No-frills CPU Control that I have used to improve the speed of my rooted handsets.

Another good thing about rooting is that everything becomes so efficient that it uses less battery power! Yay!

CUSTOM MODS / CUSTOM ROM vs. STOCK ROM (MANUFACTURER)
Custom Android modifications... There are many custom versions of Android out there and the most popular one is Cyanogenmod. I personally have found that Cyanogenmod is the most reliable. But do experiment with other ROMs. I will link you to Cyanogenmod and others at the end of this blog.

What lead me to rooting was when I noticed that my Galaxy S and S2 were performing very sluggishly after official updates... I looked for solutions... I learned that the trouble with some official operating system updates is that it has to work with the manufacturers’ requirements and with the network provider... You can, as I did, force an official update through the manufacturer software such as Samsung’s Kies but when the network isn’t ready for such an update it causes problems and slows the handset down considerably or even stops it from working altogether!
The downside to rooting your handset and replacing the ROM is that you can lose all your data. So, the best thing is to backup your data. I use my Gmail account to sync my contacts and any data that is precious to me I burn to a DVD from using my handset like an external drive.

Another point to consider is that if you happen to like the user interface on top of Android then you will lose it through the installation of a custom ROM. The good news is that you can get back that experience through widgets. I have always said that the likes of Samsung should offer up their interface innovations as widgets. There again you can find a lot of what Samsung’s TouchWiz does in the form of apps / widgets that can be downloaded from Google Play Store. So, if you love your manufacturer skin you had better think hard!

However, the great thing about Android handsets is that they are so very customizable without having the need to root! You can download what is known as “launchers” that are very much a skin that you get to populate with app shortcuts and widgets! There are many great ones out there. On my HTC Desire I am using the latest free version of ADW Launcher that replaces HTC’s Sense skin. My HTC Desire works beautifully now! I was thinking of selling it or giving it away! But it’s a quality handset with a nice solid build, it’s so fulfilling that I have restored it! I’ve done the same for my first Android handset, HTC Hero. There’s quite an improvement but the Hero’s touchscreen is a load of crap and without the trackball it’d be useless! It’s a shame.

TRICKY
The trickiest aspect of rooting old handsets is finding the right apps that will work for that particular version of Android. It was murder to find the right apps to make the whole process work! But if you look hard enough you’ll find them! When I went to look for the files to help me root the HTC Hero all the links to the bits and pieces of software were no longer available so I had to Google them!

Oh, not forgetting the right version of the custom MOD! Let me clue you in to what you need generically...

SOFTWARE
First up you will need some software for your PC / Mac that allows you to perform the root by connecting your handset to the computer via USB port. You will find the rooting software is very easy to find for your particular handset. Rooting software comes in all kinds of different flavours: Odin, Super One Click, Revolutionary and a few others. In some cases you can download an app that does the rooting without the need for a computer!

RECOVERY MOD
After you have successfully rooted your handset you need a recovery MOD. What a recovery MOD does is to provide the means or a bridge to install the custom ROM. But don’t worry... When you follow how to root your particular handset you will find out what the recovery MOD does... You have to put your handset into a recovery mode to perform a factory reset that erases all the data on your handset – it does leave your photos and videos intact but I would back them up anyway!

On modern handsets once rooted you can download the Clockwork Recovery MOD directly from Google Play Store. Once installed you can launch it and “Flash” a recovery MOD. It’s easy!

CUSTOM MOD
The custom MOD comes as a ZIP file which you do not extract. I use Cyanogenmod and versions exist specific to handset manufacturers. As a result you can place Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 on your phone if there isn’t an upgrade for it.

Be aware that you may not be able to install the latest version of Android depending on your handset. The rule of thumb is the more powerful your handset is the likelihood of installing the latest version of Android is high.
You place the custom MOD ZIP on the SD card and that’s where you’ll install it from in recovery mode.

Oh, you should be aware that some custom ROMs may be in an experimental stage and not everything will work! But you will find out!
GAPPS
This is the Google Play Store installation and they are specific to each version of Cyanogenmod pertaining to the different version of Android i.e. Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean.
The GAPPS comes in a ZIP file and you place it on the SD card too!
That’s all there is to it!

EASY AS YOU WANT IT TO BE
Take it easy! Again, there are many, many tutorials up on YouTube and in written form online for you to follow!
I would like to think that I have given you more of an idea of what rooting is and the process that you should be able to follow the tutorials easily! Just take it step by step! You don’t have to understand programming in order to do it – although understanding what is principally happening helps you to pick up the process more readily and thus speeds up the process!

LINKS

CYANOGENMOD
At Cyanogenmod you will find various Android versions for a multitude of handsets and tablets.

http://www.cyanogenmod.org/

AOKP TEAM KANG

They are very similar to Cyanogenmod but they support fewer devices.

http://aokp.co/#

XDA DEVELOPERS

You might come across XDA Developers a lot when you are searching for specific custom ROMs, rooting apps, etc. They have a forum that can help you find the answers that you are looking for!  They are a great resource.

http://www.xda-developers.com/

GOOGLE SEARCH

Just be performing a search you may be able to find a custom ROM for your handset. For example, I looked on the Cyanogenmod site for a custom ROM for my ZTE Blade 3 and only found an Ice Cream Sandwich version 4.04 (Cyanogenmod 7) and when I did a search I found the latest Jelly Bean version – even though Bluetooth isn’t working yet.

Happy Rooting!

Take good care!

Next blog will feature a review! Stay tuned!

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Thank you for watching and reading!

Please check out the Synapse Circuit website for video, i-PDF and more! 

Synapse Circuit Dot Com

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT IS ROOTING FOR YOU!




SYNAPSE CIRCUIT IS ROOTING FOR YOU!

Good early evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! Yes, I am working on some reviews... I’ve had to take a short break but I am happy to let you know that more reviews are on the way! Yay! What I am going to do is to blog some reviews and video some! Stay tuned! But in the meantime...

...GOING BACK TO MY ROOTS
Yes, yes, yes!!!! Ha ha! I’ve finally done it at last! Yes, folks... ...I have managed to root my HTC Desire! If you read my interactive-PDF issue on rooting but I had trouble rooting my HTC Desire... I tried a bunch of techniques and was left dumbfounded... I guess in my frustration I overlooked one very, very obvious solution that could have solved my problem ages ago! It just goes to show you that I am just like you... I am not a bigwig Tech-Head-Know-It-All! I am just a person who loves technology and I try to make the most of it!

Rooting the HTC Desire has meant that I can make the most of this decent handset. Ok, I was a little shocked to learn that after a complete data wipe there was only 512MB of internal storage but the Cyanogenmod ROM that I am running leaves me with 150MB... Actually, I don’t know why I was shocked... I just thought I would be able to get a little bit more from removing all that HTC bloatware! Instead I have come to appreciate how HTC created some base social networking apps into their Sense UI! The official Facebook app today is about 17MB???? Are the Facebook app maker’s nuts???? So, I am looking for an alternative to the official Facebook app. Well, in fact I am thinking of leaving Facebook out all together in favour of G+... Facebook is rapidly going downhill... Anyway...

The good thing about rooting your handset is that you can apply some great apps that will extend the functionality of the handset a great deal. As old as the HTC Desire is it certainly gives many handsets a run for the money! Take the ZTE Blade 3 as an example of a handset that is supposed to perform better... ...it does not. The HTC Desire loads up applications a lot faster!

I will link you to information on how you can root the Desire very easily and what apps to use... I’d like to mention this app, Link2SD.
LINK2SD
This is a great app for extending the storage capacity of any rooted handset. Basically Link2SD allows you to use a portion (partition) of a microSD card to store applications thus bypassing the limited storage on a handset such as the HTC Desire.

Don’t worry if this seems daunting as I will link you to a step by step tutorial. You will not make the mistake of creating a partition beyond the microSD card capacity thus damaging it beyond repair like I did! Well, at least I haven’t been able to restore it... Lol! That’ll teach me to be silly not paying attention to logic! It’s a good thing that the microSD card is easily replaceable... ...a small price to pay for my carelessness.

LINKS

To root the HTC Desire here’s what you need...

UNREVOKED 3
http://unrevoked.com/rootwiki/doku.php/public/unrevoked3

Follow the instructions carefully and you will be just fine!

DESIRE FANATICS
http://youtu.be/kvg0i8in96M

This tutorial works with the HTC Desire too! You just make the actions you see in the video relevant to the Desire. You can't go wrong!

RECOMMENDATION

I recommend that you download and install the ADW Launcher. When you install the Cyanogenmod 7 custom ROM you’ll find that it comes with an earlier version. The new version will go a great distance to restore the HTC Sense user interface experience. Be aware that you have to download apps / widgets to incorporate into the ADW Launcher as you would any other Android skin to a get a specific look! Below is the Google Play Store link!

ADW.Launcher
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.adw.launcher&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwib3JnLmFkdy5sYXVuY2hlciJd

I also recommend the Link2SD app if you find yourself running out of space for your apps! Again, this app is mentioned in the guides on how to perform a root on your HTC Desire.

Link2SD
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.buak.Link2SD&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5idWFrLkxpbmsyU0QiXQ..
Well, that’s it!

Happy Rooting!

Take good care!

Please enjoy the video below! Feel free to leave some comments and subscribe!




Thank you for watching and reading!

Please check out the Synapse Circuit website for video, i-PDF and more! 

Synapse Circuit Dot Com

Monday, 20 May 2013

i / O 2013 SPECULATIONS AND WISHES









GOOGLE i / O 2013: SPECULATIONS & WISHES...
Good afternoon,Synapse Circuit Readers! Can you believe that the Google i / O 2013 still resonates with me... Something about the whole keynote on the first day that has me thinking... It has somewhat disturbed my sleep... Hmmmm...

THE SPECTRE OF IGNORANCE HAUNTS TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESSION
The speech that Google CEO Larry Page still echoes in my brain... It’s funny, I have tried watching the keynote again but the YouTube video won’t let me go that far... I guess I could seek out just the Larry Page section of i / O 2013 but it’s not quite the same experience...

Page outed the exploits of Microsoft and Oracle being difficult with regards to forging a good relationship that benefits everyone. I felt Page also was hinting at Apple too, but I don’t think he mentioned them... And there’s good reason... One of the things he said was that he’s not interested into the media fuelling disharmony in amongst the technological giants i.e. Google against Apple, Apple against Samsung and so on... Page let it be known that he finds this sort of thing “uninteresting” and “sad...” to paraphrase. But it does make for good reading! Lol! Still, many people hate the attitude that comes from certain technological houses.

I own several PCs and I can tell you that I hate that Microsoft is unable to write a decent operating system... There are so many flaws that turn around and bite you in the ass to make computing unpleasant.

As you know, I can’t stand Apple’s showboating, exaggeration and mainly their lawsuit campaigns. I HATE the Tech Wars! I have always said that the competition should cause Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google, etc to keep reaching for the impossible and not the phone to call a lawyer! Jeez!

As a consumer it drives me up the wall when the competing technological houses throw dirt on the other without first cleaning their own house! Microsoft owes me for the years I spent on music, graphics, etc! Lol! I won’t bore you with the story of what happened to me suffice to say that I had a valid copy of Windows XP on my main system that it said was invalid and in turn left me open to a virus! Nice one!

Technology is shaping the world and the last thing we need is for these old Dinosaurs of Tech taking every opportunity to slight others. Think about the greater good!

Isn’t it enough that people are murdered for their beliefs? Murdered for daring to speak the truth... Murdered for wanting to respect humanity and the planet... Sexual orientation... Skin colour... Isn’t it enough already? Technology is a leveller; either it works or it doesn’t work. What’s not working is people living in extreme poverty in other parts of the world. It also doesn’t work in the UK that there others living in abject poverty as part of a modern society. I think technology can fix all that.

SPECULATIONS
One of the things that I speculate about is the relationship between LG and Google... We all know the trouble Google had to satisfy the Nexus 4 demand which was a good thing in that it showed that the Nexus 4 was a hot commodity!

But I wonder if the relationship between LG and Google has turned sour... But, hey, I don’t want to stir up any trouble... I am just curious... I don’t relish these things... However, I did miss the launch of a new Nexus handset...

As you know from my last blog, I do think that Google are now launching hardware / software at a separate event. Lest we forget that Google had to cancel an event launch due to hurricane Sandy! I have no doubt that hardware is coming! Mmmmmm... I have no doubt that the next incarnation of Android is coming too!


DANGER, DANGER...
Y’know... I was also wondering why Android has only 900 million activations in a world population of 7 billion... I think I may have a possible answer...

...ABORT!
Do you remember or have you read my blog on the ‘False Economy of Budget Android Handsets’? You should read it! As a result I have a theory...

The average non-technical person (it could be a housewife / single mother or the older man who is out of touch with magic of modern technology) purchases a budget handset and while the handset may seem at first satisfying the frustration eventually kicks in when it comes to downloading and storing apps... What storage? When apps like Facebook slows down because there’s hardly any RAM and it doesn’t help that the UI (user interface) that sits on top of Android slows the process down even further!

One of the things that I wanted to hear at the Google i / O this year was a standardization of just what is a budget handset... Ideally it should be as follows:

Dual core CPU minimum 1.2 GHz
1GB RAM
8GB storage with an extra 2GB for additional widgets and apps
4.3” screen
And more importantly...

NO UI ON TOP OF ANDROID!!!!! Android Jelly Bean, 4.1 and 4.2 is a great operating system and there’s really no need to whack on another interface over it! It’s the equivalent of creating a tricycle for a child and put an elephant on it. STUPID!!!!

The problem is not Android why some people flock to other devices featuring other operating systems. No! Android is the easiest operating system to work with. The problem is that these budget handsets are quite frankly crap or are made crap with all this stuff you don’t need – the UI skin being one of them.
Just yesterday I rooted my ZTE Blade 3 which had seized up like an old arthritic karate master! I installed a Cyanogenmod Jelly Bean version of Android and it saved me from throwing the handset in the garbage!

I reckon that Google should enforce that standard as an agreement amongst its consortium of manufacturers. The manufacturers of these budget handsets are not doing Google Android any favours and / or the manufacturers themselves. Some people can become mentally scarred from poorly realized budget handset; it’s a reason why I don’t gravitate to HTC. And sadly, some people will associate a bad handset with Android! Not good, not good!

Well, that’s my take on why Android is just tapping the 7 billion potential!

ROOTS
Just in case you have a Galaxy Ace 2 or ZTE Blade 3 I am going to link you to sites that have a great tutorial in how you can “root” your handset and install a better potentially better version of Android!

ZTE Blade 3 owners be aware that Bluetooth isn’t functioning with the Jelly Bean version of Android. So, read the instructions carefully! You should be able to root your phone!

ROOTING THE GALAXY ACE 2
ROOTING THE GALAXY ACE 2 - ALTERNATIVE 

ROOTING THE ZTE BLADE 3

Please enjoy the video below! Feel free to leave some comments and subscribe!




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Synapse Circuit Dot Com

Friday, 17 May 2013

GOOGLE i / O 2013: THE HIDDEN MEANING




GOOGLE i / O 2013: THE HIDDEN MEANING...

Good evening / early morning, Synapse Circuit Readers! Yes, as predicted – sort of – this year’s i / O Google conference was focused squarely on the developers! There was no news of any Nexus hardware i.e. the next generation Nexus 7 tablet or phone... Nothing on the much rumoured Google Motorola X or XFON... Shock? Horror?

GOOGLE TREK
Boldly going where the competition is trying their hardest to hold them back!

For consumers the Google i / O 2013 must have come across as a bit of a disappointment – that is if you are looking for news of more Google gadgets! But what Google have done is to concentrate on strengthening its services: Play Store, Play Games Services, Maps, Play Music becomes Music All Access, Chrome is boosted with voice search and there are heaps of new stuff for developers (that I just about understand due to my interest in tech). I think many non-Tech-Geeks will fall asleep at the wheel listening to what Google have done to allow app developers to create better, more powerful apps in a shorter space of time... This can be encapsulated with the news of Android Studio; very, very basically Android Studio helps developers to compile their coding language in a more efficient way. In addition developers will be able to see how their apps will look on multiple screens (tablets, 4.3” – 6” + handsets, etc).

Android Studio makes me wanna become a developer! I wouldn’t know where to start! Lol! I don’t know if you were ever aware of Google App Inventor, no? Ok, App Inventor is a visual way to create simple applications by dragging and dropping components... Kinda like Lego building blocks... However, Google have since dropped App Inventor and an educational organization, MIT, has picked it up! So, the App Inventor is still there for you to make use of should you want to explore app development.

I think the reason why App Inventor failed to take off under Google is just down to the way they went about making the public aware of it. When I first discovered the App Inventor I was quite excited by the prospect of creating simple apps but the amount of hoops I had to jump through to get at it made me lose interest... That aside, Android Studio is very much the advanced version of the App Inventor where you have to know how to code to make the most of it! I don’t know when the Android Studio will be available to developers – I hope sooner than later! My wish is that – like WYSIWYG – web design programs us non-coders will have a version of Android Studio that allows for the creation of simple apps that can be used by a range of folk... I can see folks who wish to promote their businesses making use of a simplified Android Studio. At the moment we can create apps through third parties that often charge for the service; many say they are free but when you look into it it’s another story!

Play Games Services, I guess that this new feature will come as a delight to game players! I can’t say that I am enthusiastic about games because I am not! Lol! From what I have garnered there will be a cloud service that will enable players to store scores, pick up from where they left off in a game and facilitate multiple game players – even on different platforms: Apple iOS, Windows and BlackBerry! Wow! That’s one of the things I appreciate greatly about Google – they are inclusive!

Play Music All Access, this aspect looks interesting... If you love your music then Music All Access could be for you! It does look very similar to Spotify. The service will cost $9.99 per month and early subscribers get a discount so the price becomes $7.99 before June 30.

Personally, I prefer to purchase music that I know that I am going to listen to and I don’t think paying a monthly fee for music is for me... Maybe I am old fashioned... Lol! I ask myself, ‘Is it worth paying a subscription over £2 for music when I can either purchase albums on line or in a brick and mortar store?’ I guess listening to music isn’t a priority for me! It is a vaguely interesting proposition... Unlimited music... Hmmmm... The jury is still out on that one...

CHROME BETA VOICE SEARCH
Yes, I have downloaded and installed Google’s web browser, Chrome! Chrome facilitates searches through a mic input with your voice! Hmmm... It’s actually not bad at all! It works fairly well! This beta version that I am using right now seems quite stable... No crashes so far!

The only trouble with Chrome voice search is that I have to give permission each time that I want to use it... I haven’t been able to wake it up by saying, “Hey, Google...” I have also tried to change the privacy preferences to allow Chrome permanent permission to no avail. Well, it is in beta! Chrome search looks very, very interesting indeed.  

GOOGLE TALK: WANNA HANG OUT?
Google Talk has transformed into Hangouts and it is basically like using Viber or WhatsApp. It is quite good and I like it a lot! It’s a welcome change! You should have had an update by now!

Hangouts is cross platform so it is available for Apple iOS too! It’ll probably come to Windows and BlackBerry very soon!  

GOOGLE SAMSUNG GALAXY S4
Yes, that’s the only hardware to speak of... The Google Samsung Galaxy S4! Personally, I think it’s great that both Google and Samsung brought out a vanilla Galaxy S4 experience. As you know, I am a Samsung fan and the S4 and I are getting on very, very well! Despite the awesome competition the Galaxy S4 is sitting pretty on top of the Android handsets!

Once again, I am confident that the Google S4 will go down well – especially with developers and the likes of Cyanogenmod! As for the public... ...they’ll rent it on contract! $649 will be too steep for a lot of folk! I’d be tempted to rent a vanilla S4 when it comes out next month... No international dates have been revealed!

This brings me to...

THE HIDDEN MEANING (BEHIND THE LACK OF PRODUCT RELEASE i / O 2013)
What a teaser of a sentence... Don’t worry... I am not joining the ranks of crackpots who spout on about the hidden meaning in the media, etc. Uh-uh!

Here’s what I think Google is doing...

Google have taken onboard the way Apple and Samsung release their products i.e. separate events for product launches! Separate product launches is the way to go! It has worked for the iPhone and the Galaxy range of premium handsets! Don’t be surprised when Google announces that they will have a special Nexus product launch later! I envisage that Google will launch several Nexus products at once: Nexus 5, Nexus 7 II, 10 II and the smartwatch! It is likely that there will be some surprise announcements...

Surprise 1
There will be a budget handset with an Intel dual core chip inside that will feature good specs for under $250!
My reason for this idea is because CEO, Larry Page mentioned that the cost to manufacture smartphones comes in at a $1per phone. Wow! Really? In fact former CEO Eric Schmidt kept saying that one day everybody on the planet will have a smartphone during interviews and that we should expect to pay under $100 for a decent handset!

I wonder what that handset will be called... Omni? Also, I think if people could afford a decent handset outright they’d be more inclined to subscribe to Google Play services like Play Music All Access.

All these subscriptions and handset rental to add up!

Surprise 2
The announcements of retail outlets in USA and Europe. I think the plan is for Google to have their own LTE networks so that they can sell TV boxes as well as Glass, handsets and tablets. We’ll see!

ANDROID 5
I’m convinced that 4.3 will be released soon and Key Lime Pie will probably arrive in the fall. I think that with Android 5, Key Lime Pie there will be a major event for it and possibly a new radical handset to go with it!

Yes, I can speculate all day! Lol!

STRATEGY
Despite Page speaking of the sadness regarding money and not true innovation being at the heart of the Patent Wars – ok, he didn’t mention the Patent Wars but that what I think Page was hinting at... Google are still a competitive company and I think they are looking to see if they can capture more of the market share...

Although, Apple have proven that arrogance doesn’t create innovation they are still a force to be reckoned with! The iPhone still holds strong even though sales haven’t been great. I am inclined to think that it’s the Google apps on iOS i.e. Maps and Now that have helped to make the iPhone a better experience.

Google has to be one or two steps ahead... iOS 7 is due as is another iPhone, iPad and iPad mini. When Apple releases new tech the world is subdued... There again since the wheels fell off the Apple PR vehicle with a series of idiotic condescending ads and maps that lead to nowhere the audience has become wary of Apple-Talk = half truths and exaggeration. But should Apple get those wheels on again it could obscure Google and other competitor announcements. This is why Samsung has timed their product launches! Already we have a mutated Galaxy S4! That’s Samsung for you! Google has to play a similar game! Now will there be a Google Galaxy Note 3? In fact all Samsung’s recent handsets could always go vanilla Android!

I think it’s a good idea for manufacturers to go vanilla as I think it’ll make the devices faster! This ZTE Blade 3 that I have could do with going vanilla as it slows down the whole process! Vanilla is the way to go – certainly for budget handsets! I don’t know what manufacturers were thinking with 512 MB of RAM and a custom UI on top of Android!

Anyway... It’s just gone 3:30 in the morning... Time to switch off! We’ll see if I am right...

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Thursday, 16 May 2013

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT: PRODAD, PRODRENALIN!





SYNAPSE CIRCUIT: PRODAD, PRODRENALIN!

Good afternoon, Synapse Circuit Readers! If you are an adrenalin junkie making YouTube videos of your exploits then you need to read this blog! Well, if you are a video maker you should read this blog!

PRODRENALIN
ProDrenalin Removes Fisheye Distortion, Stabilizes, De-noises, Corrects Colour, and Adjusts Brightness/Contrast on Video Shot on GoPro and Other Action Cameras.
San Francisco, CA, May 15th, 2013.  proDAD, the highly acclaimed developer of digital video effects and image enhancement technologies for the video enthusiast and broadcast and professional market today announced ProDrenalin is now shipping.

ProDrenalin is a revolutionary all-in-one software application for GoPro and other action/sports camera users to significantly improve their videos by removing fisheye and perspective distortion, stabilizing, correcting rolling-shutter distortion, de-noising, colour correction, and adjusting the brightness and contrast of the video – all in a single effective, affordable application with batch processing and support for 4K and 2.7K video clips.  ProDrenalin can also load sequences of still images (including 4k resolution and higher) and convert them to video and optimize them; a fantastic workflow improvement for those wanting to create supersize resolution movies with higher frame rates.

GoPro and other action cameras are extremely versatile and they are becoming increasingly popular among sports enthusiasts and even video professionals. 
Whether shooting from an aerial platform, mounted on a helmet, bike, surfboard, watercraft, motorbike, off-road vehicle, etcetera, proDAD’s new ProDrenalin action camera enhancement software gives users the ability to quickly and easily optimize their videos prior to sharing them or bringing into a video editing application for additional editing.

ProDrenalin is now available in at £29.85.

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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

GOOGLE i / O 2013: DAY ONE


Android going stellar...



GOOGLE i / O 2013:
DAY ONE
Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! Yes, as predicted – sort of – the first day was dedicated to the Android and Chrome developers and I was quite impressed... Here’s a snapshot...

DEVELOPING
I have to say that it was a great eye opener to see that Google were busy developing their products: Search, Maps, Development Tools, Educational Apps and there was a wonderful key speech from CEO Larry Page...

900 MILLION AND COUNTING
There’s no denying that Android is the dominant mobile operating system on the planet; so far there are 900 million activations – I wonder how many of those activations are owned by one individual – I now own 8 Android handsets (primarily because after the 2 year contract has expired my handsets are worthless)!



GOOGLE NOW / SEARCH / MAPS / PLUS
Wow! Google Search will be available on the Chrome web browser... Just say the magic words, “Hey, Google...” and the search is activated like it is on the mobile. Search is based on “hot” words instead of key words! It’s more conversational very much like the Star Trek computer Google aspire to!

Google Maps looked stunning! The map is now the interface and the maps are personalized and it works with Google Plus! Also the maps go further as to explore a 3D representation of a shop or restaurant. I loved how you can zoom out to see the Earth in orbit in real time! Spectacular!

Google Plus has gotten an update that looks stunning!

Then there’s their automated photo enhancing feature that allows for the largest pixels that your camera is capable of. We are given 15GB of storage! Cool!





EXCITEMENT
It was great to see some new web media developments with WebP image format that allows for transparency and animation; it’s 30% more efficient than JPEG! WebP is a lossless format! Then there’s the promising new video format, WP9! Again, 30% more efficient than H.264! It means a lot to web and app designers. It also means that we’ll be using less mobile data! Awesome! 



SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 GOOGLE
Yes, Hugo Barra showed off a Samsung Galaxy S4 that runs stock Android! It’s what I expected to be honest... I have always said that Samsung ought to give users the option to remove TouchWiz and use their innovations as widgets! It’ll cost over $600! Oooh! Ouch! But I think it will sell simply because the S4 is a fantastic handset! The S4 is yet to be beaten!



INSPIRATIONAL: LARRY PAGE
Listening to Larry Page’s speech was inspirational! I so agree that if the major players in technology stopped being overly concerned with money then technology can move along even faster than the snail’s pace it is at right now. Page hinted that major development of Android has stalled because of problems with Oracle (owners of Java technology that Android depends upon)... But we’ll see if there’s news specifically on a new Android version, 4.3.

I will be covering tomorrow’s event too! See you then!  

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GOOGLE i / O PREVIEW 2013





GOOGLE i / O PREVIEW 2013

Good afternoon, Synapse Circuit Readers! Oooh, less than 3 hours to go before Google starts its annual developer conference! Hmmmm... This time around the conference appears to be aimed squarely at developers and there will be little by the way of new products for consumers to drool over...

...EXPECTATIONS
I think us consumers can expect the next generation Nexus 7 tablet, more news on Google Glass – release date schedule, the next Nexus phone, the mysterious Google Motorola X phone or XFON and I think there’ll be new of a Google version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 that runs stock Android...

Speaking of Android... It is said that Android 5, Key Lime Pie is not on the cards for this conference. I think we’ll be getting news of version 4.3 instead...

...DISAPPOINTMENT?
Hmmmm, as a technology lover I can’t say that this conference will come as a bit of a disappointment because if Google are concentrating on development it will benefit us Android fans in the not too long run! We need better apps to match that of Apple App Store. So, rejoice at the wonderful things to come!   

...SURPRISES?
There could be some surprises by the way of the much talked about and rumoured Google Watch and some Chromebook devices. The Nexus Q? I would love for the Nexus Q, the game / media console, to make a comeback but it is doubtful... Yet, at the same time I believe that a special game hub on Google Play will be announced... Just maybe the Nexus Q could play a part in that... There are those that say that the Nexus Q failed spectacularly however my opinion is that it just wasn’t ready – it was released too early! That’s Google for you! They had a go at trying to bring something new to the market without too much of a development process. It’s not a bad thing, but to call it an out and out failure is unappreciative.

I don’t think there’ll be much by the way of surprises this year...

...STRATEGICALLY
I think that the strategy is to wait until later in the year to see what Apple comes up with regarding iOS 7 and the iPhone 5S or 6.I get the feeling that Google are getting ready to drop some bombs to head off Apple’s next offensive!

...LESS THAN...
2 hours to go...   

I’ll be sure to let you know the good news from this year’s Google i / O conference.

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Saturday, 11 May 2013

A FOLLOW-UP ON THE IRON MAN 3 ANALYSIS


Sergey Brin is Android Man...



SYNAPSE CIRCUIT: A FOLLOW-UP ON THE IRON MAN 3 REVIEW / ANALYSIS...

Good late evening / early morning, Synapse Circuit Readers! Did you enjoy the Iron Man 3 movie? Did you enjoy the Synapse Circuit analysis / review? I sure hope you did!

It’s funny... After writing the review / analysis I find the picture above! Lol!

FLAWS
I am still finding flaws in the movie! Lol! One of the flaws is where Tony Stark is telling Pepper Potts how he wants to protect what he “can’t live without” but he openly invites a terrorist to come knocking on their door! Very smart! Ha ha ha!

Stark kills one of the main protagonists enhanced by the Extremis DNA reprogramming quite easily and yet it takes forever to take out Aldridge Killian at the end.

If Aldridge Killian and the gorgeous Maya Hansen needed help in perfecting the Extremis DNA re-engineering nano technology all they had to do was ask because Stark sure as heck knew how to make it work for him and Pepper!

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BUT RELATED...

PARANOID ANDROID
It makes me chuckle when I see people post YouTube videos with an anti-Google Glass message. They warn us that Google Glass is the start of Transhumanism! And how technology will turn humanity into robotic slaves!

The idea that humanity will be enslaved by microchip implanted directly in the brain is a funny one. Humanity is already enslaved by one thing or the other – mainly the media! To paraphrase from the Matrix movie, “Do you really believe that what you are watching and reading is real?”

Ironically, the people making and posting these warnings up on YouTube are using technology to impose their idea of reality! It doesn’t make sense to be worried about Google Glass as we have to purchase the technology! When the likes of Google Glass is made compulsory is when I start to worry!

PICK UP YOUR PAIR OF GLASSES OR FACE IMPRISONMENT!

It’s human nature to tamper with nature. Yes, there have been a load of mistakes but ultimately I think we have to make mistakes in order to learn. And yes, I think there are some mistakes that could have been prevented if we thought about stuff in more depth!

I am very certain that these anti-Transhumansit folk drive an automobile of some kind or ride on public transportation. I think it’s hypocritical. Such folk should be living an Amish-like life and not posting up anti-Technology prophecies! I bet you that if one of these luddites lost a limb in some unfortunate accident and was given a choice between an artificial limb and a bionic limb that can be controlled by the brain that he or she would take the bionic limb. Who would want to appear to be handicapped?

Can you imagine what would happen if these strange ‘Shadow People’ started to control people wearing Google Glasses? What would happen when the wearers take the glasses off? Would the control signal be lost or would the wearer receive a long lasting message through a technological hypnosis? Hmmmm...

“And the news just in... Google Glass goggle wearers have all died mysteriously...”

Yeah, right!

“Google Glass wearers just walked in front of a car, train and in some cases Glass wearers walked off a cliff...”

Yeah, right! Some prankster swapped out Google Maps for Apple Maps! Lol! But seriously...

All this blooming nonsense about “chipping” people... Honestly... Where on Earth will these ‘Shadow People’ find the finances to install a microchip in the world’s population? I know Microsoft wouldn’t be at the forefront of the ‘microchipping mankind’ technology because they can’t even get their operating system functioning 100% there’s always something or the other with Windows! Phooey!

Controlling people with microchip brain implants is just plain silly and very paranoid at the most!

“I got myself an Android phone and I turned into an Android...”

Wake up! Hahahaha!

Technology enhances – just ask the Anti-Tech Prophets who use a camcorder, computer and YouTube! Wink, wink... Hahahaha!

Don’t have nightmares! Catch you on the next blog! In the meantime take care!

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MAKING A CASE ON OUR BEHALF





SYNAPSE CIRCUIT SAYS: THROW US A BONE

Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! Aaaargh! My freakin’ ears! Yes, I am watching The Voice and the singing battle is hard on the ears! Y’know, I was thinking to myself...

...WHY CAN’T THE LIKES OF SAMSUNG THROW US A BONE?
Yes, that’s right! I am talking about these case accessories... You, me, we spend one heck of a lot on the latest smartphones – it doesn’t matter if you are a Samsung fan or HTC or whatever! A smartphone – well... ...superphone is something you want to protect once it’s in your appreciative hands!

When I opened my Galaxy S4 box I was genuinely shocked at how thin it was and that there wasn’t much left in the packaging which looked like recycled materials were used on it. Anyway, I was thinking wouldn’t it be something if Samsung (and other manufacturers) added a basic case? Yeah, why not? They are making billions and I think they ought to throw us a bone!

And while they are at it, why not add an extra battery too!  

HOW MUCH????
A simple flip cover case is £27!!!! What???? Are you sure???? The basic flip cover is not made from special materials that harden on impact... It’s hardly great protection due to the fact that the cover can flip open during a fall and cause damage to the screen and for what? £27???? Uh-uh!

Then there’s the flip cover with a space cut out for the display which comes in at £35! Wow! It’s hardly fair! Am I lying? I’m not, right Synapse Circuit readers?

CASE CLOSED!
Here’s what I think is reasonable if the likes of Samsung can’t afford to add a simple case to the packaging...

Upon receiving your brand new superphone you ought to be able to register the purchase and get a discount on some accessories!

I also think that if you are loyal to a network time and time again then you should reap some reward for it!

Customer loyalty should count for something these days!

INVESTMENT
In any case (pun intended) your, my, our handset is an investment worth protecting!

The Samsung Galaxy S4 flip cover case is quite good; it offers a bit of protection to the most vulnerable aspect – the screen! It’s easy to fit – just remove the back of the S4 and fit on the flip cover in its place! It fits tightly and there’s no danger of it falling off randomly!

What I like about it is that it adds more stability when taking photos and video. Without the case all it will take is a jolt from a passerby and your S4 is shattered on the sidewalk! Or it could be snatched out of your hands!

In any event, I wish you a brilliant life enhancing experience with your handset and that you’ll never damage it or have it stolen!
Take good care!

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