A few weeks ago, my trusted BT headphones broke. I had them for about a 1.5 years and I was very happy with them.
They were comfortable and quality was great and they were omni-present to the point where I forgot I was wearing them around my neck.
I charged them up once in the morning and when I returned from work they could still give me company until bedtime. Obviously not un-interrupted.
Then one day the left side speaker gave out. It was the cable. In my younger days I would have fixed it with my soldering iron but as you grow older you tend to value your time more and so I decided to get a pair of new bluetooth headsets.
Wireless headphones have shrunk down to the point where they have been renamed to earbuds. Well JAMFOX thought earbits may be more along the lines of their marketing strategy and indeed those speakers are tiny bits of Bluetooth technology.
You get two bluetooth devices which connect to your phone. You can also use them individually. For example, you could loan one to your friend and keep the other one connected to your phone.
A fun experiment is to connect them to different phones and listen to both at the same time. Absolutely the best solution for people with multiple personality disorder.
In my case I was more the normal user and wanted to listen to music most of the time, talk on my phone, and also have the ability to use only one side to have the second ear available for my colleagues at work while I am in the kitchen eating lunch.
Setup and usage.
In order to pair the set to your phone you have to only pair the JAMFOX-L and ignore JAMFOX-R. That is you do not need to pair the right side with your phone. The Left earbit will connect to the right earbit and thus allow you to listen to stereo.
The bits both come with built in microphones and allow you to do a normal phone call. They behave as you would expect, which means they will stop playing your music or video when a call is coming in.
Another great thing about those little gems are the touch sensors sitting on top of each earbit. They are used to pause / play, as well as increase and decrease the volume through double-tapping the left of the right bit.
I used them the first 4 weeks without any issues and eventually I gotten myself into the situation where I could only listen to the left earbit OR the right one but not to BOTH at the same time.
Searching online did only reveal a set of instructions which did not work for me but eventually I figured out how I could get stereo back:
I could fix it by
unpairing from my Android device ( Nexus 6 )
pairing it with another phone ( Remember to only pair JAMFOX-L, and ignore the right channel ). Stereo came right on.
I then unpaired it with the second phone and could
finally get stereo back on my Nexus after re-pairing JAMFOX-L
I hope this helps people with similar problems.
Those are great earbuds / earbits / headphones to have and they are well worth the investment. The battery pack will allow you to basically survive the whole day without the need to plug in.
The sound quality is the only thing which could be better however this is mostly due to the size of the speaker and I would not expect them to of the same quality as a full sized headset.
Please share your experience with them if you have the same set of earbits.
In other words, your brain can utilize the parallax from the information from both of your eyes to detect depth.
Another obvious effect is that objects closer to your eyes will move more than objects farther away. Having a multi layered image, where the background layer moves less than the foreground layer will trick us into seeing depth where there is none.
3D Parallax Background is using this effect and does so with great results. Once you have the mechanics in place, the most important thing to do is to create some stunningly beautiful collages to use.
You can choose between more than 250 different background themes in a selection menu which in itself is animated so that you can easily see the 3D effect before you actually download the whole theme and install it as your background.
Themes range from nature to movies to space to abstract and anime, to name but a few. I really like this app and use it currently as my background with changing themes.
I love beaches and beer which is great because there is a ready made background for me, as well as the cars and space and … well you get the drift.
The usability is also well thought through and you have many options available in the settings to tune the background to your liking. Actually the only thing I found missing was an editor to build your own theme and utilize it or publish it for every one else to use.
Overall, this app rocks, and I would recommend you take a closer look at it if you are in the market for a new background.
If you want to check it out, then hush over to the play store and install it from here.
Your Android phone is an incredible piece of technology. It has the ability to not only make phone calls but you can also take pictures and videos, play 3D accelerated games, find your location using the GPS satellite system, you have a gyroscope, compass, accelerator and much much more.
All of this hardware comes in nearly unlimited variations put together into a singular, unique device. The Samsung S5 and a Pixel XL smartphones for example both have the same types of hardware available but have vastly different hardware chips for those tasks.
If you want to know your phone, you have to know your phones innards and software versions. There are plenty of device info apps on the app store. However there is one app in particular which makes it fun and exciting to look up all of these pieces of information.
This app has a Virtual Reality inspired interface to view your device information. The interface can be adjust the color scheme and a few other details which makes this a great app to go together with your devices protective cover.
The dashboard graphics are stunningly beautiful and playful. Aside from the center control which acts as a menu you can also see the polar clock on the top left corner. The sound effects are very well done and play seamlessly with the animation.
CPU Information is under active development and new widgets will come on a constant basis. If you install it today you will be able to see the progress over time and take full advantage of all new widgets and features before you have to pay for them.
So to sum it all up, if there is one app you want to use to view your devices information, it is this app. CPU Information offers all the information plus one of the most unique interfaces on the app-store.
You can take a quick peek at the application in action in this short demo video below. But please note that the app may hav added new features by the time you view this video.
I have spent the past few weeks improving major parts of this app and I am finally at the point of releasing the new and shiny interface.
My ultimate goal for this app is to pull in all of the views into 3D and outshine other similar apps in beauty and create the best app for the job ( as usual ). This is a new beginning for the app and I will likely spend the next few months improving it.
I love iron Man like HUD interfaces. As such I am building a library with multiple interfaces for different visualization purposes. The interface above is a switch-board with a connected gyroscope and the Earth centered in it.
After the initial release I want to create a terminal emulation which I can scale at will in 3D space, followed by an audio interface which coverts input from the microphone into a nice 3D visual.
There are many more possibilities and I am having fun creating these playful widgets.
Another area which I want to invest some time in is to work with some custom shaders to bring out some glowing special effects and other goodies.
OpenGL ES 2.0 is a strange beast and not necessarily the easiest environment to learn but it offers some great flexibility in what you can accomplish. The ES, which stands for Embedded Systems, introduces a few changes as compared to the desktop OpenGL implementation.
I am currently going through the “OpenGL ES 2.0 programming guide”, which is a real good book to learn OpenGL. It will help me to realize the remaining widgets and animations to convert the complete app into the 3D realm.
Please give it a try and let me know what you think of it. Also I would love to hear if you have any ideas for a widget which I could implement.
If you have ever tried your hand on coding for Android you certainly have found google’s JAVA based API to be somewhat of a incoherent mess in certain areas, which over time has evolved into an even larger incoherent mess in even more areas.
One of those messy areas is that of the android secondary storage API. All phones have a primary storage area, where you can store images, videos, apps, and application data, and some phones come with a secondary storage option. The API to gain access to the primary storage has evolved over time but allows you to seamlessly integrate proper functionality into your app.
Now you may assume that the Android secondary storage would follow the same paradigm, and grant the same access as the primary storage to your app. However you would be wrong making this assumption. The reason you have apps like the “ES File Manager” handling this for you seamlessly is purely through tricky code in the background which circumvent googles protective scheme for secondary storage, Aka a hack.
Let’s start with a small bit of terminology. Since the dawn of Android, nearly every type of storage has been considered “external storage” even the non-removable flash memory that comes in every device. To distinguish, the non-removable flash memory is called “primary storage”<, while a removable micro SD card is called “secondary storage”. In the early Android versions, an app merely needed permission to WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE to be able to fully access both primary and secondary storage.
In March, 2011, a drastic change to Android was made which changed how secondary storage mediums (external SD cards) were mounted by the Android OS. Specifically, the commit read like this: “Mount secondary external storage writable by AID_MEDIA_RW rather than AID_SDCARD_RW.” This meant that the media would now have to belong to the “media_rw” group to modify the contents of the SD card. As a result, a new permission, called WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE, was added to the source code. Basically, WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE replaced the original WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE.
This change has a devastating effect on apps trying to utilize secondary storage because from now on forward only system apps could request the permission to read/write to the external storage ( I.e. sdcard ).
Android secondary storage
Since the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission could be used by any normal app and thus any app can write to the primary storage but not to the secondary storage (external micro SD cards). The WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE permission could write to the external micro SD card, but regular user apps could not request the permission. This change took place on Android 3.2 Honeycomb, but due to the logistics of hardware and storage mediums at that time, it was barely noticed.
Quote: “Starting around the time of Android 4.4 4 KitKat, and even a little earlier, the implementation of the userspace FUSE filesystem, in conjunction with changes to the open source code, resolved this problem. Yet, still to today, even with Android 8.x.x Oreo, third party apps must explicitly get the user’s permission for both primary and secondary storage before the app can alter either storage medium in any way. And of course, the newer concepts of adoptable storage have alleviated problems in this regard.” — end quote.
Thanks to google the way that most apps now handle android secondary storage heavily depends on the Android version being used. Unfortunately at this time most phones will have a hard time working with the secondary storage, but some phones do. I have updated the file browser integration into my apps and have fixed the issue of secondary storage on some Android versions and not on others.
This whole debacle has not only cost me weeks of effort and research, it has negatively affected all apps with file system access and is the main reason that almost all apps only storing their data on the primary storage, which in most cases is much smaller than the external storage. At this tmie you can get a cheap microSD card with up to 512 GB. However what good is this in your phone if most apps can only use the built-in 16GB ?
The Play Store Stats contain important metrics about your apps in the Google Play Store. Any app developer has noticed by now ( August 2018 ) that Google is changing the stats displayed in the developer console and in the app store.
One of the largest changes has been the removal of the “Total Installs” from the play store stats in the developer console. A move which is causing a lot of trouble to me because I relied on it for my growth goals. Google’s reasoning behind this is that it wants quality apps and as such the number of active installs is what Google wants developers to focus on.
I used to look at both numbers together and determine what the rate of adoption was ( E.g. 22% of people installing my app would retain it ). Now however I have to gobble these numbers together through a few more mouse clicks. By choosing “Number Of Installs” for the period “Lifetime” of the app.
Another unfortunate change that I have just noticed is the elimination of the displayed download tiers in the Play Store. I have a fairly new app n the app store which has just crossed the 5k download mark. The Play store used to honor this by displaying Installs 5000+. However, as of today, with a total install of 5,535 I do see this in the Play Store:
I also noticed that frequently the displayed metrics are distorted after Google changes ( Aka tweaks ) the formula behind the metric. For example the number of active devices would unexpectedly drop from one day to another by a few hundred. However at the same time, the play store stats showed a positive difference between installed and uninstalled apps.
The number of active devices is “Number of Android devices that have been active in the previous 30 days that your app is installed on.”. If that’s the case and Google’s number would be accurate it would mean a hell of a coincidence that a few hundred users of my app stopped using their phone at the same day.
I wonder how many more changes there will be in the future for app developer. After all if I can not rely on the metric displayed in the app store stats, what are the chances that the numbers in Google Ads are accurate ? I guess there is really no way to tell.
Below is the link to Reverse Video Magic. Can you see how many installs ?
After returning from vacation this year I wanted to edit and send some videos to my family which should highlight some of the more outstanding experiences in a funny but interesting way. The Revert Video Magic app for Android on the google play store was exactly what was needed for this job.
I was looking to take a piece of a video, and revert parts of it and then replace this part with a sequence of forward, backward, forward action all abound. Here is the resulting video to better explain the effect I was after.
The Main Screen is where you select the source video from, that is you can either browse through the media library of your phone or you open a File Browser which allows you to browse the file system of your phone. You can even use your video camera and shoot the video from within the app.
Once you have selected the source video you would like to use, you arrive at the settings page. The Revert Video Magic Settings page allows you to modify the resulting video resolution, the speed of the reverted part, as well as cutting the start and end points of the target video.
Once these settings are set, you will see the Post Processing screen of the revert Video Magic app. This page allows you to actually replace the selected part in-place of where the original video part was. None of the other revert video apps on the google play store do allow for this to happen.
Using the -SHARE- button on the top right corner of the Share screen will then allow you to finally send the video to your friends or share it on social media like YouTube, FaceBook etc.
This app is focused on doing one thing but doing it right. The built in video player, Camera functionality, File Browser, and Share functionality are all part of making reversing part of your video as much fun as the final video.
Feel free to download the app for free from the link below.
As a leader and manager of people you are at times confronted with tough choices and when the pressure rises and things start to get heated, I like to lean back and reflect at my younger years.
During my late teens and all the way into my thirties I have been a student of martial arts. I have spent countless hours in Dojos all around the globe and I have enjoyed it to the point of obsessing over it.
My base has been traditional Shotokan Karate but I loved straying off course and discovering other martial arts such as JuJitsu, Judo, Aikido, Aikibudo, Shinjitsu, Kempo, and more.
I could go on about my glory days and the benefits of practicing these arts and the physical strengths you will gain if you are practicing between four and seven times a week. However this article is not the about physical strength but about mental strength.
Karate requires practice, and it requires a lot of it. This is due to learning the proper coordination of movements to end in a single focused blow to your opponents body.
You start out to learn your basic moves. At first, they will look and feel odd. You have to use your mind to force your body to follow the moves. Then, as you move up in the ranks, you learn to internalize these moves and as they become more natural to your body, you start to learn how to apply those moves in combination with other moves.
Oi zuki, mae geri, gyaku zuki, or in tongue-in-cheek-English “Punch, kick, other-punch”, is a basic combination you learn early on. It will take about three to four training sessions to get used to this particular combination, and it will take you between five and ten years to master it. Really, I mean it, it will take that long to learn this basic combination to the point where you can apply it as a matter of reflex rather than -Think- about applying it.
Here is where this will help you with your leadership development.
As a leader you too have to learn basic moves in order to learn and grow in your field. You usually start at level one, which John Maxwell calls the positional leader. At this level you have become a manager of sorts over a team of people. At this point you will have to learn to Earn Trust.
At first this will feel odd. You have to Think about every decision and every meeting you have with your team. Then, as you grow your trust in your team, you learn to internalize these lessons and as they become more natural to your mind, you start to learn how to get to level 2, which is the permission level.
From Wikipedia: “Traditionally, kata are taught in stages. Kata is often described as a set sequence of karate moves organised into a pre-arranged fight against imaginary opponents. The kata consists of kicks, punches, sweeps, strikes and blocks. Body movement in various kata includes stepping, twisting, turning, dropping to the ground, and jumping.”
While this will seem strange at first you will eventually come to realize that performing a Kata with the right emphasis and the right mindset will help you improve your techniques, your strength, your form, and your timing.
Once you have a fair grip on the basics ( kihon ) as a leader, you need to learn to combine a whole range of different qualities and environments in order to achieve the best results with and for your team. You have to study different approaches to solve certain situations to be able to pull them out when you have to. You have to be able to set and monitor goals, give feedback, encourage, request, teach, be empathetic or strong. You have to add as many tools to your repertoire as you can, and as a leader you have to be willing and able to use those tools.
In most cases you will be able to select your management style. From tough love, to lending a shoulder to cry on. There have been plenty of studies which seem to show that there is no one-size-fits-all approaches to management. However in Leadership you have to have certain characteristics which will help you achieve level two with your team members. You have to have a mindset of servanthood. You grow yourself and your team. You are very good at observing and listening.
At level two, the permission level, people will follow you because they want to. Your team trusts your decisions and they trust that you have their back. It is where you build relationships with your team, they like you and you like them. In return, they do work hard to keep their commitments to you and your company.
Now at this level, results starting to appear.
One of my Sensei in Kata Bunkai – action
Kumite is the practical application of kihon and kata. It is, in essence, a formalized fight following stringent rules. These rules are in place to allow the student to learn and practice a combat situation without the fear of a broken nose or other bodily harm. Kumite is what most people think of as a martial arts competition and is as close to combat as traditional Karate will get you.
You will not only learn to apply your techniques but you will also learn to be relaxed, concentrated, anticipate when an attack will happen and improve your reflexes. One important lesson I have taken home from practicing kumite was to always move forward, never move back. The best benefit of kumite however is that of friendship.
If you as a leader are at level three, the production level, you will lead by example. You work hard and you start to help the bottom line of the company. You start to build positive, reinforcing momentum and that momentum will help you break through the largest obstacles.
If you can get yourself and your team to this level, you will soon learn to be relaxed in a stressful environment, concentrate and focus on finding the required solution for the business, and anticipate when an you will have to make a change to the team, the project, or the goals before they become a real issues.
At this point you will always move forward. The only time you can lose is when you give up on something. You cannot be defeated for as long as you learn and grow and try again. And that folks is true in all parts of life.
Karate, which stands for empty-hand, the karate-do, or the way of karate is given great emphasis. It is where the bushido, or the way of the warrior, makes its mark on Karate and lets us reflect on the roots of the art we are students of. This is in contrast to sports like UFC, or modern self defense styles which may or may not borrow from the traditional martial arts. In the self-defense sports, the goal is to enable the trainee to defend himself in certain situations.
My personal motivation to training martial arts has always been to seek control over mind and body, as well as staying in good shape. I was never under the illusion to defend with a single kick against a knife or a semi automatic. I have had the pleasure of training kids, and lower ranks in those days and it was one of the most rewarding activities I have ever experienced.
After all, in nature, we are bound to grow up, Learn from others, Apply the lessons learned, and then pass the information on to The next generation. Do as I do, not as I say has become one of my rules. In order to get there though I had to become the best I could be and I had to remain in that shape for as long as I wanted to teach.
Leaders as well should always strive to follow learn from others, apply those lessons, and then pass them on to your team.
“Leadership is a journey and not a destination”
The wise Sensei
For me, those days have long since passed and I know that the younger-me could pick me apart in an instance. However the ‘do’ ( the way ) has remained with me ever since. I am working hard, I am humble in working with and for my team. As a leader, I am forward looking and I have the back of every single individual in my team.
I try to lead by example and teach and grow my team. As a leader you should strive to be the Samurai and not the Ninja. Be committed to your team and your company, learn, read, study your whole life and most importantly practice what you preach.
Keeping track of your overall Crypto Portfolio is not as straight forward as it should be. Investing into crypto currencies can leave you with multiple wallets and online resources. Each one may contain different coins and tokens for different purposes.
It is highly recommended to store all ( or as much as possible ) offline, detached from the internet. This way hackers won’t be able to get their fingers on your hard earned Bitcoins, Ethereum, etc.
I have started to look into Crypto currencies in early 2018 and I see great potential in the basic ideas behind the technologies. While my timing was especially bad I wanted to know what the fuzz was all about. The best way to understand things though is to start playing with them. So I did spend some time and money learning a new technology.
Shut up and take my money
You need to sign up with and exchange when you want to buy some coins or tokens in order to convert your dollars into a crypto-currency. With Coinbase being one of one most popular which people would recommend for n00bs.
Coinbase allows you to convert to deposit funds using your credit card or your bank account information. Paypal is no longer supported. You can then exchange your fiat currency ( I.e. Dollars, Euros etc. ) into Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Etherium, or Litecoin. Any other crypto currency requires you to sign up with another exchange of which there are many to choose from.
Binance is one of those larger exchanges which has received good online reviews and has supposedly the lowest transaction fees.
Getting your hands on some crypto coins or tokens also requires you to safely store them somewhere. Here we have probably one of the weakest points in this area. Every crypto-currency has their own way of storing the tokens. You can keep them on your computer, in an online wallet, in offline wallets or as a paper wallet. You will quickly arrive at a point where you can lose track of your virtual wealth ( or as we have seen recently, the decline thereof ).
So I wrote a Crypto Portfolio app which will allow you to enter your token amount and then look at the market data for it. I will not store this information on the server but instead store it in your browsers’ cache so you don’t have to fear releasing any data to my servers.
One thing I quickly realized is that almost everything you do in crypto will cost you either a fee or a transaction cost.
So yeah Binance has a 0.1% trading fee however one thing which you will not see right away is that you will not be able to convert all of one crypto token into another crypto token.
Binance will always leave you with some leftover on their platform. These may vary but my worst case leftover position is worth about US$1.00.
On top of that Binance also requires a minimum transaction for certain coins. E.g. you require at least US$97.181- ( as of Feb 2 2018 ) in Etherium before you can transfer it out of Binance.
Then you have to pay for the actual transaction fees which for Etherium ar 0.01ETH, which is … well about $9.71 as of this date.
Since Binance does not display this information in a useful way I went ahead and added this into a table in my little app which you can sort to gather some more information on trading conditions of a certain coin. [ Menu -> Utils -> Binance Fees ]
So you add this all up and you end up spending a lot of money in the whole exchange process.
If you exchange E.g. $100,- by the time it leaves Coinbase you are down to about $97,- Then you exchange it for ETH on Binance and send it back to your private wallet, you end up with only about $85,- worth of ETH.
This of course does not take into account the huge market swings, which could increase or decrease your position a few percentage points in the time it takes to go through the whole operation.
To sum it all up
First though I have to remind you that; yes it is possible to lose money, which is why you should never put in more than you can afford to lose.
This app is in its early stages and I will certainly add more features as time permits. Please feel free to check it out here …
Please leave me some feedback for enhancements if you find it useful. Or follow the link below to the source code, make changes yourself, and then send them to me for integration 🙂