Techbadger Claw Marks

A view from the technical underground
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  • Twitter? Tumblr?

    Posted on March 1st, 2014 admin No comments

    I have been on both these services for years but really didn’t get into them till an online friend(thanks Chipmunk) made me more active on Twitter to keep in contact. It’s nice, nice people (for the most part) and seems ok. Though it is disturbing how many people say I am so nice I must be Canadian, well my favorite band (not Nickelback or Bieber (does he count as a band? Would a band support him?)) is so I guess it’s a compliment. I have to say though I have met enough on Twitter who want more than just a virtual penpal (everyone knows pens existed before Samsung notes, right? It’s gotten so bad, I have taken to reading a disclaimer before following (following they call it, sounds stalker or cultist, ) anyone on Twitter.

    Anyway a couple of adopted nieces (we only children tend not acquire friends as more take hostages) have informed me that the service of the the future and also makes people “not real” is Tumblr. I am game for not real.

    Digital beats analog, Virtual hurts less than reality.

    New realms to explore. Good news: Chaos!


  • Google Device Manager released

    Posted on December 11th, 2013 admin No comments

    Do you have your life on your phone?

    Do you dread the possibility of losing it?

    Well, worry no more! Google has released their Google Device Manager App for android. It allows you to locate on map, ring (to find), lock and/or erase a lost android phone from another Android device, your tablet for instance.
    You can also manage from the Android Management Site.

    The Google device manager doesn’t have the bells and whistles that my old favorite device finding app (where’s my droid) had: Location, erase, use camera, ring, lock. send message to lock screen. But it is a system level app so thieves won’t be able to kill it without getting into some root level utilities.

    Also the Google Device Manager uses your Android/Google play account to track and manage your devices so you don’t have to set up SMS command words or use SMS at all.

    The Android Device manager works on all Android devices version 2.3 (Gingerbread) and up, even WiFi Tablets!

    Doesn’t do everything but it is a good start and it’s free.

  • Unbricking a phone

    Posted on October 27th, 2013 admin No comments

    Nothing good ever comes out of Texas…

    The more news I stream, tweet, redditors (ya, that’s what a Reddit “tweet” is called.), it always presents so.

    I never seem to like the religion wackjob representatives that are always coming out of there. They insult the NY times without example, they apologize for our water getting in a foreign oil company’s way like the explosion was our fault. They stop the government to take healthcare away from all to make a few happy.
    They complain the U.S. takes too much of their taxes yet take more back when that pesky hurricane shows up the take their lunch money.

    …and they have Louis G, why did anyone vote for that mental door stop?

    Texas is also the cause of insane school textbooks: they removed Thomas Jefferson from the history books because he was a deist that removed supernaturalism from his own written bible. Where do they think the Declaration of Independence came from? Moses brought it along as an afterthought to the 10 commandments? Well, it’s Texas, so probably.

    Also Texas sourced chemistry books present the amazing fact that: Aspirin is a polymer, Birds fly by the Bernoulli effect and Aluminum is a liquid at room temperature (which planet is Texas on again?).

    …and of course their biology books doesn’t have that evolution cause it’s just a theory. So’s gravity but the theory of Velcro isn’t catching on.

    Heck, I even cheer the Steelers because they beat up the Cowboys once in the while.

    Ya, I have been pretty hard on our largest “lone-star” state but that might have to change.

    I root and ROM my phone as you know from this site. It makes my 2 years old phone run with the new dogs pretty well, I have all the latest features, none of the slowing bloatware and my phone even has build-in features that the current phones can’t even do!

    I bricked my phone; I was changing my recovery from CWM to TWRP and somehow, someway it corrupted the bootloader. Before I get a ton of comments that “That shouldn’t have happened” I know, it shouldn’t have effected the boot loader, I know it shouldn’t have but did. Dunno maybe the galactic center was in the wrong place, breakfast didn’t give me the right vibrations, Sunspots…whatever, it bricked my beloved constant companion.

    Being without your smartphone is like having an arm in a cast these days. It really lowered my quality of life and efficiency. I mean I hop in my truck to head down to a phone store and I didn’t even think to print a map. I mean I am so used to G maps that I didn’t even think of it!

    Also I am just keeping this note till the Note 3 Active comes out…maybe a month or two. So upgrading now isn’t an option.

    Well, it was bricked and none of the local shops had a JTAG to reprogram it.

    A JTAG is a device that will load the firmware bootloader directly to the motherboard of the phone, pretty much as the manufacturer does.

    I was surprised in a city of 3 and a quarter millions there isn’t one phone shop with a JTAG! I mean for what they are charging for a laptop with a usb cable and a copy of Odin is a joke!

    Well this a search on Google I found the only recovery services I found were in (you guessed it) Texas! Mobiletechvideos and unbrickmyphone.

    Josh at mobiletechvideos was the first to respond. Didn’t hide behind trade secrets to my questions on how he was going to unbrick my phone and said he’d get my phone back to me within a week, normal service.

    Now that I have my phone back, I can definitely endorse this company, great communication, regular updates, terrific useable websites and regular emails about status’. All for very reasonable pricing of someone who could upgrade, just doesn’t want to just yet and might want to pass his phone along.

    Josh even put on TWRP so I could just get loading out of the box!

    They understand that someone who is working with them is not the normal phone user but someone who is very attached do their device.

    My phone is indeed back within a week and I am back off my old Nokia E-71.

    Weird part: My Nokia is a better phone! Better talk quality, better, signal, better service, a battery that lasts over a week without charge. Best of all, a real hang-up button. I had forgotten how great it was. Not a better device that does more, just a better phone!

    So if you brick your phone, definitely contact Josh over at videos. BTW check out his Youtube vids on how he does it!

    Hmm, good BBQ, Austin, A&M(Alma-mater to some of my best peers and friends) a burgeoning community of skeptics, SXSW (though really becoming poser central) and now a really great phone recovery service, ya I might have to re-evaluate my opinion of that state!

    For those that want to go down the JTAG rabbithole themselves, they can check out a JTAG on eBay or check out this opensource project.

  • “Remember the 13th” facebook message, Phishing attack.

    Posted on October 4th, 2013 admin No comments

    Ya, don’t give it your email address. It will just open you up to further pestering.

  • VLC 2.1 is out!

    Posted on September 27th, 2013 admin No comments

    The best hands-down media player that will play anything including broken MP3s and AVIs now is out with new codecs and even 4k capability.

    Means it will play on those TVs that need hard drives to feed them.

    Also the best playback on ripped Bluerays and torrents!

    If you already have VLC it wont upgrade, you have to grab it from here.

    BTW, it is FREE, though worth a donation!

  • How to sign and encrypt email

    Posted on September 20th, 2013 admin No comments

    Posted this years ago, before all the NSA stuff started up.

    Thought I’d update:

    You could use PGP(I) for the opensource way of making sure groups (we wont mention the alphabet soup of agencies) aren’t looking at the contents. Problem is, it doesn’t integrate well into people’s existing email clients and can be hard to explain to non-technical friends and cohorts who have to use the same methodology for the encryption to work.

    Another way to get secure encryption if you use Thunderbird, Outlook, Android and probably iOS is to go to Comodo and grab a free email cert:

    How to integrate into Outlook, Thunderbird.

    If you want to be able to encrypt/decrypt from your Android phone, I have had terrific success with is DJIGZO S/MIME Email Encryption.

    Once you do start encrypting your correspondence, remember you have to get your friends to use it to and by default encrypt all email so the critical ones don’t stand out. Best place to hide an important tree is in a forest.

  • PFsense 2.1 is out!

    Posted on September 20th, 2013 admin No comments

    Great router/firewall OS based on FreeBSD. Been using it for years, always secure:

  • New MyPhoneExplorer

    Posted on September 20th, 2013 admin No comments

    I have been using this OpenSource phone app for about 5-6 years now. Backups up and synchronizes SMS, contacts, notes and pretty much the contents of your phone to your windows desktop. KInda a iTunes for Windows without the tunes…

    Check it out:

  • Moon Reader Plus Pro on half-off sale.

    Posted on August 5th, 2013 admin No comments

    My favorite recreational reader (the one that replaces paper books for me) is Moon Reader Plus Pro (ya, a mouthful). Great visual formatting., themes and customization to make reading fun and relaxing. it has more features than I can mention, check out the playstore link below for all the stuff think great reader can do!

    It supports epub, mobi, chm, cbr, cbz, umd, fb2, txt, html, rar, zip or OPDS. So most free and public libraries are supported.

    Forgot the best feature (well for me anyway) is multi-device syncing. Kind of like Kindle devices where if you have multiple reading devices it will sync up where you are in a book on all devices so you are on the same page on all your reading devices. Moon Reader uses Dropbox for the sync, Kindle/Amazon account not needed.

    It is on a Half-off sale for 2.50 to celebrate their 3rd anniversary! Really worth it!

  • Rooting revisited

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 admin 1 comment

    Hey all,
    Came across and even easier rooting app:

    Worth it just for the better backups, being able to move apps to your SD card (64 gigs are regularly about $40 for class 10 on Amazon!) and “debloating” the junkware that provider clog your phone/tablet with!

    You will have to enable being able to load apps from other sites in system/developer options area.