Archive for the ‘Mobile Electronics’ Category

Avoiding the Copyright Alert System

Buy VPNThe “Copyright Alert System,” aka “six strikes,” is here. There is no changing that fact. The cable companies are watching everything you download and every site you browse. Our privacy on the internet is gone. The internet providers are watching torrent sites and bittorrent swarms. Trying to catch any illegal downloaders of mp3, music, movies or anything else they decide is wrong.  They are not just watching peer to peer programs, they are watching everything.

We need a way to protect ourselves on the internet. I have found a great service that takes care of everything. It is called Private Internet Access. This company supplies you with an anonymous VPN tunnel to protect your privacy. Private Internet Access does not keep VPN logs, so even if your internet provider requests customer information there is nothing for them to provide.
They provide:


You get all of this for $39.95 for the Whole Year!

Not only that, but they have servers around the world. So if you need to download anything you can route your connections though countries that have more relaxed copyright laws. You can also watch the BBC, or if your outside the united states, you can watch your favorite team at home. They provide access through:

  • Gigabit
  • US – East
  • US – Midwest
  • US – West
  • US – Texas
  • US – Denver
  • US – California
  • US – Seattle
  • US – Florida
  • Canada
  • Canada (Toronto)
  • UK (London)
  • UK (Southampton)
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • France
  • Germany
  • Romania

You can set up the VPN access on just about anything and they have great how tos on their site. Supported platforms include:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP/2k3
  • Windows NT/2k
  • Mac OS X 10.8
  • Mac OS X 10.7
  • Mac OS X 10.6
  • Mac OS X 10.5
  • Mac OS X 10.4
  • UNIX/Linux
  • iPad PPTP
  • iPad IPSEC/L2TP
  • iPhone/iTouch PPTP
  • iPhone/iTouch IPSEC/L2TP
  • Android PPTP (2.3.4)
  • Android IPSEC/L2TP
  • Android OpenVPN (root)
  • DD-WRT OpenVPN
  • Tomato OpenVPN
  • PfSense OpenVPN

This can also protect you when doing your banking or private business while on un-trusted networks. Do not trust your internet providers to protect you, this is something you must do for yourself.

The iPhone 5 has Arrived: Is It Worth It To Shift from 4S?

By Henry Conrad
So the iPhone 5 has made its touchdown. Avid fans of the Apple smartphone will be lining up to get a crack at this latest version. But for the current owners of the last iPhone upgrade in the 4S, is it worth it to shift to the iPhone 5?

The 4S felt like it just gave incremental changes and solved a few concerns that were encountered from the iPhone 4, which is why it is understandable that people are expectant of major upgrades to the iPhone 5.

So let us take a look at what changes we can expect from the iPhone’s latest variation:

So yeah this new iPhone definitely looks different. It looks bigger and smaller at the same time. It looks bigger because it is now slightly taller than any previous models and features a 4-inch screen. But it also looks smaller because this is probably the thinnest smartphone right now at just 7.6mm thick.
So it is thinner and taller, but what you will love the most is its aluminum finish that gives it a more sophisticated look compared to the glass finish of past iPhones.
In terms of the screen, it is definitely an upgrade at 1136 x 640resolution with a pixel density of 326ppi.

Apple also gave the camera a slight upgrade as it bumped up the capabilities of the rear camera, and made it smaller but enhanced by the new chip that will be discussed later. The front facing camera was also bumped to 720p. Overall, the camera is better but the changes are not exactly earth-shattering.

This is where you ask if the change is really worth it. The iPhone 5 boasts of their new A6 chip, which is significantly smaller than the A5 but packs more CPU and GPU for more power on your phone. And the effect is pretty obvious once you use the new iPhone 5.
The constant criticism about the iPhone 4, and to some extent the 4S, is that it feels like there is always a moment when it is lagging even with the simplest of tasks. That is not a problem with the new iPhone 5. Despite the lag, using the iPhone 4 and 4s has always been smooth. But with the iPhone 5, you have the smoothness with an added snap. It reacts faster, and much smoother compared to its previous incarnations.
The new iOS6 also integrates with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter better compared to the iOS5. Aside from that, the new OS has some nifty improvements especially on Maps, now that they ended their use of Google Maps and are now in partnership with Tom Tom. The 3D renders of its Map are a sight to behold.
Siri also got a much needed bit of an upgrade in the new iOS6. The personal assistant feature can now pick up voice commands better even with background noises. But that can also be because of the new mic of the phone. I’ve used it to make a call using the downloaded RingCentral app and the call quality was ridiculously clear.

Battery life
Have not fully tested its battery life but if what Apple say is true, then it can be the factor that sways customers to buy it instead of Samsung S3 or HTC One X. Their claim is that it can provide up to 8 hours 3G/LTE talk time or 10 hours of heavy browsing with WiFi.

So is it worth the trade from 4S? Probably not, but if you still using iPhone 4, then this phone might be for you. There are a lot of improvements but nothing that really stands out.

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Bypass Firewalls with Android SSH Tunneling



Why would you need a SSH Tunnel? You may want to get around a firewall or just encrypt your communications so prying eyes can not see what you are doing online.  On Linux/Unix system you can tunnel all of the traffic from your local box to a remote box that you have a shell account on. You can do the same with Android, and here is how:

First you will need to download some software from the Android Market. The following are FREE apps.

SSH Tunnel This will build the tunnel for your browser to use.


Firefox, a good browser with an easy tunneling add on.


Proxy Mobile Add On



Install all three.

Then you will need a SSH account somewhere. There are a lot of free SSH services out there. Send me an email at if you want to hear my favorite, or run a google search and I am sure you will find a couple. Make sure they support SSH Tunneling. Sign up and get a user name and password. You can also use your own SSH server if you have one.

Now open up your  SSH Tunnel program on your Android device. and put in your credentials. Hostname, Username, Passowrd, click on the Use SOCKS Proxy click box and make  note  of the port. It was 1984 for me. Activate the SSH Tunnel by clicking on the Tunnel Switch Check box  (tunnel has to be activated every time you use it).

Next open the Firefox browser and go to the Add Ons in options. Open the options for Proxy Mobile. Set Use Proxy, set SOCKS proxy to and SOCKS port to 1984 (or the port you used on SSH Tunnel).

Your Tunnel should now be working! Enjoy and use wisely.

How to Video:

Control your Server with Android

There are a couple of things you need to set up to control your servers with your Android phone. Here are the tools I use. First it helps to have a good broadband connection to you server. I prefer to use SSH to to communicate with my servers.

The fist tool I am going to talk about is Connect Bot. ConnectBot is a powerful open-source Secure Shell (SSH) client. It can manage simultaneous SSH sessions, create secure tunnels, and copy/paste between other applications. This client allows you to connect to Secure Shell servers that typically run on UNIX-based servers.

The next one is the Hackers Keyboard. A full 5-row keyboard including arrow and Esc/Ctrl keys, intended for tablets. Are you missing the key layout you’re used to from your computer? This keyboard has separate number keys, punctuation in the usual places, and arrow keys. It is based on the AOSP Gingerbread soft keyboard, so it supports multitouch for the modifier keys. This keyboard is especially useful if you use ConnectBot for SSH access. It provides working Tab/Ctrl/Esc keys, and the arrow keys are essential for devices such as the Xoom tablet or Nexus S that don’t have a trackball or D-Pad.



Last tool is BotSync.

BotSync periodically synchronizes files with a remote SSH SFTP server, over the wifi or cell network. As new files/directories are created, BotSync will recursively download them to the phone, or upload them to the server (like rsync). Use it to transfer new content securely, wirelessly, and automatically. Why pay for Dropbox (although there is a free option) when you can run your own private cloud? BotSync works with opensshd – no inefficient, expensive, or potentially-insecure server SW required. BotSync transfers about 4X faster than AndFTP SFTP.






These are the 3 tools I use the most. You will need to know the IP of your server and have the SSh port 22 forward from your router. You can use the Connect Bot to connect to the server and run your scripts and Control your server. The Hacker’s Keyboard allows you to easier type on your server during your session.

Bot Sync you use to keep all your files up to date and sync via SSH.

I would recommend setting up your servers security to only connect to your cell phone. I will cover SSH security in my next article.

Atari 2600 Games on the Blackjack

I am old school, I love the Atari 2600 games. I know that Stella is a good EMU for Linux, I was happy to find that they have a version for Windows Mobile.
Go to the Stella site and download the version for Windows Mobile. Then unzip it in your phone. and copy over your roms. If you don’t have any Atari 2600 games do a Bittorrent search and you will find some.

Then start the program and Enjoy.

Here is a little movie of my Blackjack.

Here is some more info on BlackJack II must have software.

BlackJack II must have software

I recently got myself a Samsung Blackjack II (AT&T). I love the phone, but noticed right away that it needed more. So I started finding all the software that worked well. I tested a lot of crappy programs, hope it saves you some time. I have a nice little list of software that makes this phone much nicer. Hope it helps.

  1. The Explorer that comes with Windows mobile 6 sucks. Get yourself the Skyfire Browser. the Skyfire browser is currently in Beta but seems to work great. With Skyfire you can watch any video (yes including, listen to any music, socialize on any network and browse whatever you want. It is the best browser I have found for the moble platform. Get it at
  2. Get yourself a big micro SD card. 2 gig or better. 4 gig is a nice price point. The phone allows you to use it as a USB drive also.
  3. Get a the Divx player for the mobile platform. This allows you to play all those divx movies you have at home on your computer. I don’t even bother making the files smaller, thats why I said go with the bigger card. It is a free download
  4. Dowload Google Maps, it might just keep you from getting lost.
  5. GPS, here is the fun part. Now AT&T would have you think that you can only use the GPS on the phone if you pay an extra $9.99 a month. Not true! Here is how you unlock your Samsung Blackjack II GPS.
  6. You also may want a better GPS app. Check out Noni GPS Plot.
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