Archive for December, 2007

5 Things to Make Me Send My iPhone Back to Jail

December 21, 2007 Leave a comment

I am currently running version 1.1.1 on my iPhone and it is jailbroken. Oddly enough I didn’t do it for the slew of applications even though I added a number of them. There were certain things I wanted my iPhone to do that Apple wasn’t quite willing to give me. However, if Apple were to include 5 things in an update, I would happily seal off my iPhone again. This comes in light of the recent news that you can again add custom ringtones to the iPhone using Garage Band but you must be using firmware 1.1.2
1. Include MMS messaging. Why the hell can’t I send or receive pictures on my iPhone? My old Sony Ericsson even allowed me to do that and AT&T supports it through data plans.
2. Make horizontal orientation available for all iPhone programs especially for email and texting. they QWERTY keyboard works so much better when it horizontal view and with texting and mail using the keyboard the most often, it would save me tons of time.
3. Give me the ability to change the layout of my icons. The iPhone serves a different purpose for everyone. For me it is a phone first so I want most of my phone controls in the bottom bar. Others may want all their iPod features at the bottom. This also includes the ability to hide icons that I will never use such as the iTunes music store. Screw that thing and so help me god if a Starbucks icon ever pops up on that phone.
4. iChat for the iPhone. I’m gonna assume this was a decision by AT&T to disallow iChat on the iPhone but AIM comes with just about every other AT&T phone as it is, right? Sure people can use that instead of texting, but each program is for reaching different people at different times. Trying to find someone online when you need them is a gamble. It’s more of a way to pass time than anything else whereas a text is when you can talk to anyone at any given time when it’s convenient for them or you. Apollo IM also isn’t the most stable client in the world and if Apple released an iPhone flavor of iChat, then I think we’d be better off.
5. Stop automatically taking me to pages formatted for the iPhone. Sometimes it is nice like with Digg but most of the time I want the full functionality of the site. I have a full blown browser in my hand, I want to use it.

Some other features would be nice too like in SMS, I wish it would take me to the SMS home screen instead of the last previous conversation. I can’t tell you how many times I have been talking to someone thinking it was someone completely different. A digital zoom for the camera would be nice too. The volume button would work perfectly. A hardware update that I would like to see is the ability to go backwards when listening to the iPod using the provided headphones. I sometimes like to hear a song more than once. Maybe all of this will come along eventually. It will be interesting to see what programs Apple allows 3rd parties to create come next year after the SDK is released.

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Scroll to the top of a Safari Page on the iPhone

December 19, 2007 1 comment

Tired of scrolling back to the top of the page in Safari for your iPhone? While playing with mine today I accidentally stumbled upon a neat way to immediately go back to the top of the page. Simply tap anywhere in your iPhone status bar when in the browser and it will immediately take you to the top of the page. Simple as that. I tried tapping to the left of the back arrow to see if it would go to the bottom of the page with no such luck. Maybe it might work for you.

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Pandora Now on Sprint and AT&T Phones

December 14, 2007 Leave a comment

I just received an email saying I can get my Kalmah channel from Pandora on my AT&T phone. Holy freeholies…death metal on my iPhone all day long. Have I been blessed? No I’ve been cursed. Of course this is only available on certain phones. Once again, Apple’s total lack of app support has shafted us iPhone users again, but this is still really good news.

For anyone familiar with Pandora already, you know how awesome it is. For anyone else, Pandora is a streaming music service where you pick the genre by artist or song. Pandora then searches the music genome project to find similar artists and styles. You just sit back, listen, and rate the music. With each rating, thumbs up or thumbs down, you build your list of the music you will enjoy and discover many artists along the way. It’s a wonderfully amazing service and it just keeps getting better.

So if you have a Pandora account and one of the above AT&T or Sprint phones, check out the site for a free trial. At this time, I’m not sure of the future costs.

P.S. This would rock the iPhone with the unlimited data plan. Come on Apple!

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CD Stuck in Your Slot Loading Apple Computer?

December 12, 2007 1 comment

There is a way to get it back. When I bought my Powerbook and had my first experience with a slot loading CD/DVD drive, I was forced to face the harsh reality of having to trust the computer to give it back. Should it not give it back to you once you hit eject, here is the solution.

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top left of the menu bar
  2. Click Restart
  3. Once you click restart, click and hold the mouse button. (For notebooks, make sure to click the mouse button instead of holding your finger on the track pad if you have clicking enabled through the track pad).
  4. Continue to hold the mouse button down through the restart process. You might find the computer hangs a little on the gray screen but that’s ok, keep holding.
  5. Before the computer loads the home screen, it will eject the disc, and there ya go.

Make sure to inspect the disc for scratches or dust before putting it back in.

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Vouchers for Digital Converter Boxes

December 12, 2007 1 comment

For those of you, probably a very few number, who receive their television strictly over the air or anyone who has a TV connected to rabbit ears, pay attention. Beginning January 1, 2008 people will be able to apply for vouchers from the government to assist in paying for digital to analog converter boxes for their television. Unless you have a relatively new television, your set won’t have a digital tuner and will need this box to acquire the new digital signals being broadcast now and mandated for the analog shut-off on February 17, 2009.

There are some key facts to know:

  1. Each household can apply for up to 2 $40 vouchers. The prices of the boxes will range from $40-$90 give or take a few so you should be fairly well covered.
  2. From January to march, ANYONE can apply for one of these boxes. After March, only those who get their television strictly over the air may apply. This means if you have an antennae for local channels and satellite for everything else, you must apply before March 2008.
  3. These vouchers will ONLY cover the basic tuner box.
    1. Antennae input and coax output. You won’t be able to use the vouchers on models that also have a DVD player or DVR (Digital Video Recorder) built in.
    2. There will also be NO outputs for high definition video or audio on these boxes. If you want any of these features, you will have to fork over the money yourself.

As of right now, there is only a little over a year left until the analog shutoff. Now is the time to start planning for the event.


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700MHz Spectrum and The Digital Transition

December 3, 2007 Leave a comment

I’ve written a few posts about the conversion to digital television in 2009. Analog will shut off and digital broadcasting will inherit the Earth…well America at least with other countries soon following. So what is going to happen to the space analog TV occupies now and…wait, why is this happening again?

As we might recall, Bill Clinton proposed a balanced budget during his administration. The deficit was wiped out and life was to continue better than ever. This was more of a projected budget and a premature assumption at that. This was the big kicker for the transition to digital broadcasting, although it has been delayed a handful of times. While it does offer better picture quality and more channels, it stands to make the government billions and BILLIONS of dollars…hundreds of billions even. Now we’re back in a deficit with the projected income already included.

The airwaves will be returned to the public, and by public I mean you buy stock in companies such as Google or Verizon who will then purchase a very tiny sliver of the spectrum for their own purposes or you can do it if you happen to have a few billion dollars floating around in your couch cushions: starting bid $4.6 billion.

There is no telling what will actually come out of the spectrum after it’s purchased by these companies but it would be ridiculous to expect anything in the first few years. Companies and people are going to research its uses, develop their own product and then offer you a new service or just horde it for themselves. Rumor has it wireless carriers will get first crack at it and then others after that. Some will remain in the hands of the government for the public safety network. Expect to see an improved Amber Alert System.

The truth is, you as a consumer aren’t going to see much right away, and when you do see something, you probably won’t realize or even remember where it’s coming from. But the devices and products should be pretty amazing especially if people companies like Google have anything to say about it.

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Enable Discreet Audio Through HDMI in Playstation 3

December 1, 2007 4 comments

This is a retraction to a story I wrote yesterday about the PlayStation 3 not supporting discreet 5.1 surround sound through HDMI. I have since deleted the story. After browsing more articles on the issue, I finally found one comment where someone offered a solution to the problem and if you’re having the same issue, here is the solution. Within the Playstation3, there are two audio settings: One is “audio settings” under settings which, in order to use HDMI, you must select “HDMI” as your output and then “auto” on the next screen. Then save your options. Once that is done, you want to go to BR/DVD Setting and find the audio options for this heading. You want to make sure the audio for HDMI is set to “Bitstream” and not “Linear.” Save your settings and you will be good to go.

Sorry again about the previous story and accusing Sony of the issue.

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