CharlieV the Geek

The Don CharlieV Android Guide: #1: Starting to Explore

Disclaimer: These guides only reflect my personal choices and experience with Android. I am by no means an expert and do not wish that my guides be taken to heart, but only be used to enhance your own Android experience.

Feel free to share my guides or mention them wherever you wish and if you can give them a thumbs up on StumbleUpon. I also welcome any feedback and comments as it is my wish to make this a regular feature on my blog.

As mentioned in my previous post, I will start with those apps that are simple and easy to use. These apps have no setup required to get going. You simply download them and run them, for example, most games fall into this category.

No experience required.

Androsensor

 Androsensor
Category: Tools
Widget: No
Size: 500kb-1MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fivasim.androsensor
App Website: http://fivasim.pcriot.com/androsensor.html
This app displays all your phones sensor data on a single screen. Includes: location data, accelerometer, gyroscope, light readings, magnetic field, orientation,proximity, battery status& sound level. This may vary from phone to phone.

Angry Birds Seasons

 Angry Birds Seasons
Category: Games
Widget: No
Size: 20-25MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rovio.angrybirdsseasons
App Website: http://www.angrybirds.com/
The 3rd release of this popular game series. Updated from time to time, based on various world holidays and seasons…

Free and Paid versions available

Angry Birds Space

 Angry Birds Space
Category: Games
Widget: No
Size: 20-25MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rovio.angrybirdsspace.ads
App Website: http://www.angrybirds.com/
The latest, and possibly the greatest, of this series. The birds take to space in defence of their eggsteroids. The classic game with a new twist of gravity fields.Free and Paid versions available

Barcode Scanner

 Barcode Scanner
Category: Tools
Widget: No
Size: 500kb-1MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.zxing.client.android
App Website: http://code.google.com/p/zxing/
This app displays all your phones sensor data on a single screen. Includes: location data, accelerometer, gyroscope, light readings, magnetic field, orientation,proximity, battery status& sound level. This may vary from phone to phone.

Cut The Rope

 Cut The Rope
Category: Games
Widget: No
Size: 15-20MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zeptolab.ctr.paid
App Website: http://www.cuttherope.ie/
Feed your creature, Om Nom, by cutting the ropes holding the candy. Very addictive…

Free and Paid versions available

Tiny Flashlight + LED

 Tiny Flashlight
Category: Tools
Widget: Yes, flashlight on or off without opening the app
Size: 1-5MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.devuni.flashlight
App Website: http://devuni.com/cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi
I prefer this specific flashlight app because of it’s versatility. It also functions as a flashlight, flashes in morse code, acts as an emergency traffic beacon and more…

Fruit Ninja

 Fruit Ninja
Category: Games
Widget: No
Size: 15-20MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.halfbrick.fruitninja
App Website: http://www.fruitninja.com/
Slash fruit to bits using your finger as the sword. Addictive!

Free and Paid versions available

Google Sky Map

 Sky Map
Category: Reference
Widget: No
Size: 1-5MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.stardroid
App Website: http://groups.google.com/group/google-sky-map
Uses the GPS and other phone sensors to identify stars, star systems, planets, etc that youre pointing the phone at. It also guides you in the right direction of what you’re looking for.

Osmos

 Osmos
Category: Games
Widget: No
Size: 15-20MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hemispheregames.osmos
App Website: http://www.hemispheregames.com/osmos/
Really trippy and VERY hypnotising game. Simply the best way to unwind… Works especially well with headphones. Somehow the hours just float by…

Demo and Paid versions available…

Pricecheck

 PriceCheck
Category: Shopping
Widget: No
Size: 1-5MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobile.pricecheck
App Website: http://www.pricecheck.co.za/
An app for South African users (I’m sure there are also international versions of this). Scans a barcode & searches for the product on their website’s database (http://www.pricecheck.co.za/) It then allows you to compare prices.

Shazam

 Shazam
Category: Music
Widget: Yes, features live tag stream and instant access to tag song.
Size: 1-5MB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shazam.android
App Website: http://www.shazam.com/
“Listens” to whatever song is playing and searches for the Artist, Song title & more for you. Watch the YouTube video once tagged or download the MP3 from Amazon and more.

Swiss Army Knife

 Swiss Army Knife
Category: Tool
Widget: No
Size: 100-500KB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.digital_and_dreams.android.swiss_army_knife
App Website: http://www.digital-and-dreams.net/main/?page_id=38
This app includes a flashlight, ruler, timer, stop watch, compass, bubble level, calculator and magnifying glass, all lightweight and accessible on one screen.

Wikidroid

 Wikidroid
Category: Reference
Widget: No
Size: 100-500KB
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.isaacwaller.wikipedia
App Website: http://www.digital-and-dreams.net/main/?page_id=38
Not the only Wikipedia browser out there, but this one is quick & simple.

That’s it for this first part, 13 down, 37 to go, now just go play around with these for a while.


The Don CharlieV Android Guide: An Introduction

Android Robot. Français : le logo d'android 日本...

Disclaimer: These guides only reflect my personal choices and experience with Android. I am by no means an expert and do not wish that my guides be taken to heart, but only be used to enhance your own Android experience.

Feel free to share my guides or mention them wherever you wish and if you can give them a thumbs up on StumbleUpon. I also welcome any feedback and comments as it is my wish to make this a regular feature on my blog.

Android devices are pretty damn awesome, they can be as easy or as complicated as you’d like, and that is besides whatever reason you may have for liking yours. You can take them out of their box and they’ll work, but then you wouldn’t have enjoyed the full Android experience.

Once you start digging around in the Play Store (previously Market) you might be overwhelmed by what is available. Some apps work from the moment that they are downloaded, others need an account or some sort of setting up initially, others need some serious playing around with to really get the full enjoyment or out of them. You can go by with only looking at the free apps, most of my favourites are, but don’t ignore the paid apps, from $0.99 apps to the more expensive ones.

I have taken my Top 50 apps and have divided them into 3 groups which I will cover in 3 separate posts based on ease of use.

#1: Starting to Explore

Will cover the apps that just work from the moment you download them.

#2: Delving a Bit Deeper

These apps need either an account setup or require some input before they work.

#3: The point of No Return

Once you’ve reached this point, there is no going back, no other device will compare to your baby.

Beyond #3

From time to time, I’ll release an update on the newer apps I’ve found that deserve mention and update my list if I’ve found superior versions of the ones I’ve listed in my Top 50



Posts of Randomness #3: That’s How I Roll…

This morning while tidying my desk, I decided to power up all my PC’s and monitors that I have on my desk at work… It seemed the geeky thing to do, and while I was at it, took a photo and uploaded it on Facebook. I captioned it “This Is How I Roll”

This Is How I Roll...

This was followed up a few hours later by a colleague of mine captioned “And This Is How I Roll……”

And This Is How I Roll.....

Not long after this one, another colleague in the same branch, posted his follow up, captioned “And This Is How I Rollllll…..”

This setup included such wonders as wireless monitors, ability to solve Rubik’s cubes and special 3d monitors among other features.

And This Is How I Rolllll.....

I was just waiting for the next one, which came from another branch, but it was quite a funny turn, to my surprise

This is how I roll

Of course it didn’t end there and yet another colleague in another branch posted this one. This one seemed to end it all…

NO NO NO....this is how i roll. lol.


Which Smart-phone is King?

Article first published as Which Smart-phone is King? on Technorati.

Top Smartphones (WW)

Data Source: gartner.com

For months before I upgrade my mobile phone, I will sit and research all the current phones and phones due for release. Firstly, there is no doubt that it will be a smart-phone. According to Gartner, smart-phones accounted for 23.6% of all mobile phones sales in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 85.6% year-on-year. Then it comes down to which of the major smart-phone OSes you support: Android, iOS, Blackberry OS, Windows Mobile, Palm or Symbian?

In the last two years or so, a lot has changed in the world of smart-phones as can be seen by the data available from Comscore and Gartner. If you analyse worldwide smart-phone sales from 2009 to present, things are very interesting indeed. In the days before Cupcake (version 1.5) and Donut (version 1.6), when the only Android phone was the HTC Dream (G1), in the first quarter of 2009, Android only had 1.6% of the world smart-phone market. By quarter one, a year later, in 2010, they were close to 10%, and had climbed above Microsoft and all the other OSes. Symbian, iOS and RIM were still the dominant players though. At this stage, Android phones coming out were on the Eclair (version 2.1) release of their OS and Froyo (2.2) was expected by quarter two of 2010. The only significant jump for the iOS was in quarter three of 2009 shortly after version 3.x of it’s OS was released in June 2009. By quarter three of 2010 though, there were two major changes visible in the sales of mobile phones, as both Android and iOS jumping above RIM and Android showing them both the way of things to come by jumping to the second spot, a massive 15.9% climb over 6 months. By the first quarter of this year, Android would be on it’s latest versions of OS, Gingerbread (version 2.3) for mobile phones and Honeycomb (3.0) for tablet devices.

Top Smartphones (US)

Source: comscore.com

Things aren’t much different if we look at the US smart-phone OS market. For some reason Comscore, who supply the data, don’t seem to consider Symbian to a smart-phone, not that I completely disagree, especially since Nokia have started going to Microsoft for their OS and Sony-Ericcson have been using Android for a while now on their smart-phones, but it would have been interesting to see nonetheless. Shortly after the first Android phones hit the market in 2009, the Android OS only had a market share of 2.5%. RIM was smiling with a market share of over 40%. I’m pretty sure they had no idea how things would change. Fast forward to May 2010 and Android had overtaken (or almost) the previous number three, Microsoft, and number four, Palm, who were losing market share quite consistently. They weren’t the only ones affected either, while Apple were idling along at around the 25% mark, RIM were just starting to lose grip. The trend continued for Android until sometime around November last year, when they overtook Apple for second place. By January this year, Microsoft and Palm were choking on their competitor’s fumes at 8% and 3.2% respectively. More importantly though, in less than two years, Android had grown to the point where it was the number one smart-phone OS in the US. I’m not the biggest fan of Blackberry or Symbian phones admittedly, so it’s no big loss, but with Android and Apple controlling close to two thirds of the smart-phone market in the US and dominating smart-phone sales worldwide (close to 60%), it’s going to take something drastic to change the way things are currently going. Maybe Nokia’s move from their now-archaic Symbian OS to the Windows 7 phone OS could do that? But then what about the rumours of the new iPhone 5/4S or even talk of the iPhone 6. You also cant ignore the fact that all-unifying version 4 of Android’s OS due out by the end of the year.

Android Logo

Image courtesy of dannysullivan on Flickr

One of Androids flaws as an open OS, is fragmentation. Manufacturers and operators, even those in the Open Handset Alliance, have, to be honest here, not kept the various phones out there properly up to date. In the case of the iPhone, each time a new version of iOS is released, you can upgrade most of the older iPhones to a newer version. In the case of iOS 5, previewed for developers in June 2011, if you own a iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, 3rd or 4th gen iPod or an iPad 1 or 2, you will be able to upgrade to the new version and that is all there is to it; one standard version with standard features across most devices still in use. If you have a HTC Dream (G1) or Hero (especially the GSm version), chances are you have some sorted of custom ROM on a “rooted” phone instead of an official update, which aren’t happening anymore. This is partly because the only option to keep your version of Android properly up to date is to “root” your phone and install a custom ROM, a modified version of the Android OS, which are community developed to give the option to those of us whose manufacturers don’t or never did release updates, to be able to enjoy the features of the newer versions. Why would you do this and aren’t there risks doing this? Read this guide for a better idea about rooting.

This will all hopefully change with Ice Cream Sandwich, version 4 of the Android OS. This is the version of Android that will hopefully standardise Android a bit. It won’t just be for phones either, the new version will work for tablets and computers as well. They have basically adapted the framework and by adding APIs will help developers optimize it for all various devices. The two most significant changes for me though so far are the following:

  • Google has made it’s founding members of the Open Handset Alliance agree to keep their phones up to date for at least 18 months, which gets you pretty close to your next upgrade. How it will be enforced and whether it will work are separate questions, but it’s an important step anyway. There is always rooting, but this isn’t the solution.
  • More exciting though is the Android Open Accessory feature. It is a set of APIs that allow 3rd party accessories, such as a training bike, sync data both ways with your device and automatically communicate with the correct app or link you to the correct app in the Market.

Check this article or this one for more info on Ice Cream Sandwich.

Forecast - Top Smartphone Sales (Yearly)

Source: gartner.com

It is still too early to choose the king of the smart-phones, it is still an extremely volatile market and it would be cocky for me to say that while the Android is currently dominating that it will in a year’s time, one only needs to look at RIM, in the US, or Symbian on a more global level, a couple of years back to know the top spot is highly sought after and us consumers are hard to please when it comes to our “whole-lives-in-our-pocket” smart-phones. If we are to believe Gartner, by 2014, Android will be close to Symbian on not only smart-phone sales, which if you recall now make up 23.6% of smart-phone sales, but of all mobile devices. I’m not completely convinced, but a geek can dream.

Authors note: This was my first article published on another website excluding my own blog and I’m quiet proud of that. 


Free Shit: An Update

About a month back, I decided to stop ignoring all the online competitions I saw around the web and started entering them like a crazy man.

On 20 June, I published a blog post on how to enter free online competitions and where to go to, such as winstuff.co.za, who post all the online competitions that they find for us…

I also told you about sites like Groupon and the rest and how they help you to get some major discounts, especially for eating out. Since then I also discovered a nice aggregator for all these sites – www.alldeals.co.za – which aggregates, or lists, all the deals from the many deal sites out there in one place, including online deals. You can also sign up to their daily email deal notifications.

More importantly though, yesterday I won my first competition and I have winstuff.co.za to thank for this as well. Not directly mind you, but through another competition they had linked to on the same site.

I won something that if you knew me, couldn’t be a better prize. It is a Philips BodyGroom which is pretty cool. But anyway, that’s not the point. I have been doing this for less than one month and it’s paid off already.

Tip: Take the time to setup your browser’s auto-complete feature. It is worth the initial setup time purely because of the amount of time it saves you in the long run.


How To Survive The Internet #3

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you” Kurt Cobain 

The internet is not always friendly. Just as an example: PhishTank reported that in April 2011, over 18000 phishes were reported, of which close to 15000 were verified. A quick peak around Shadowserver Foundation‘s Statistic pages will also give you an idea of just how unfriendly it can be.

With that in mind, part 3 is focused on being a bit more ninja-like on the net.

1) Tor Project

By using the Tor software you connect to it’s open network which helps you defend against any type of network surveillance. However like any technology, there are also the darker elements such as the Silk Road Marketplace and others, which are only accessible while on the onion network (the protocol which Tor uses). This topic would take an entire post on it’s own, so maybe I will one day, but for now go have a look for yourself.

Read more here, and download it here. The simplest is the browser bundle download, but it is easy enough to setup if you download the other bundles.

TIP: Use at your own risk, some ISPs aren’t too fond of Tor.

2) BugMeNot

If you hate spam as much as I do, this will make you very happy. BugMeNot allows you to use or share logins for sites that require you to register, such as NY Times, IMDB and many others, just type in the url of the website and check if there is anything available.

Tip: Don’t fall for the “Click YES to show password”. These are just spam and make it harder to find legit accounts to use.

3) 10 Minute Mail

Sometimes you need a disposable email address to receive a confirmation or to register for some service, but don’t feel like the crap that follows. 10 Minute Mail creates one of the email addresses for you and after 10 minutes, if you don’t click the renew button, it deletes the address. Very simple and useful!

4) namechk

Wondering if your username is available on a specific website or across a whole range? namechk makes this easy. You type in the desired username and it will scan the 159 websites in  it’s database to check if it is available, or taken, and on which sites. This is also useful to check if there is someone with the same username that may be out there.

5) Fake Name Generator

This one is bordering on illegal, but it all depends how it is used. As they say in their FAQs:

We do not condone, support, or encourage illegal activity of any kind. We will cooperate with law enforcement organizations to assist in the prosecution of anyone that misuses the information we provide or that asks us to provide illegal materials, such as forged documents or genuine credit card numbers.

That being said, we really don’t see how it could be. If you make up a random name and address off the top of your head, do you really think its illegal?

Choose the gender, name set and country (there are also advanced options) and soon you’ll be Aaron Hope of Pont Crugnant, a training consultant weighing in at 206.4 pounds.  It’ll even give you an email address and “credit card number” (just don’t try use it).

This can be very useful when registering for certain sites on the web where you’d rather not share your own information on.


Free Shit!

I’m all for free stuff, even if it takes entering a whole shitload of competitions. If you know where to look, there are a hell of a lot of free online competitions.

Unfortunately, if you’re not from South Africa, some (or most) of these won’t be much use to you.

1) Winstuff.co.za

This website links to all sorts of competitions around the web, again this is mostly for South Africans. Some may require you to send an sms, some require registration of some kind but 90% of them are free to enter.

I have realised that they do miss out on one or two of the competitions on the same websites of other competitions that they do post. So when you are on the website of whatever competition you are entering, have a look around and see if there aren’t any others.

2) JustPlay

For answering a questionnaire from a sponsor, you get given an entry into a choice of various prizes. You get given a limited amount of entries, so choosing which prizes you want can be difficult. You can also earn or buy bonus entries which bypass the questionnaire. Each prize will stay on the site for a certain period (generally more than 200 days) and once that period is over a random name is drawn.

3) A Few Others

The following are very similar to winstuff.co.za and most of their prizes that they link to are exactly the same. There are occasionally one or two others that winstuff.co.za doesn’t list that show up here.

Although that they technically aren’t free or competitions, there are a growing number of group buying schemes that save you not less than 50% on eating out, holidays and whatever is on offer. The most well known of these is most likely Twangoo, who joined forces with international giant Groupon to bring us MyCityDeal

There are plenty others and the amount of sites are growing monthly. This article will give you an idea of the number of sites out there.


How To Survive The Internet #2

I know it’s a bit soon to be posting the next guide, since the first one only came out yesterday, but I thought I had better do this one while it’s still fresh in my mind.

Here are today’s five for you to look at.

1) Popurls

The web on one page.

That’s the only way I can think to describe it. It takes all the current most popular pages from Twitter, Reddit, Digg, Flickr, Youtube, NY Times, Huffington Post, Lifehacker, Google News, Wired, Slashdot, Metafilter and almost every other major website you can think of and allows you to view them – by either clicking the link, or just looking at the hovering preview of the page.

If you want to know what is happening in the world, this is the place you’d look. If it’s not here somewhere, it’s not important…

2) Quixey

Google is good for a lot of things. Finding specific software, however, is not one of it’s strong points.

That is where Quixey comes in, and it does a rather good job of it as well! It allows you to search for software on almost every major platform, and even shows you web-based apps and browser add-ons available. I say almost because I did notice that Linux software is absent from the site, but as it moves out of it’s beta state, I am sure that this will be included.

It allows you to choose filter between paid and free software, and rather convenient are the reviews snippets shown next to each app.

3) The Big Picture

Reading the news is good and all, but we all know the famous quote, “A picture is worth a a thousand words.”

With this website, that couldn’t be truer. Their “news stories in photographs” approach is awesome. Their latest story about the volcano erupting in Chile is breathtaking.

There is not much else that I can say except that you should go see for yourself.

4) Windows Live Skydrive & Badongo

These two are grouped together because they both have their place.

I’ll start with the Windows Live service’s Skydrive. You get given 25GB of storage to use pretty much however you like (but I wouldn’t go uploading dodgy things.) Chances are that you already have a Windows Live account, so you just need to activate this service. After that you will see you have your private and public folders but the one downside is that files are limited to 50MB each. There are other services you can use that are very similar such as DropBox, but I like that you don’t need to download software and also that you can save directly from Office to your Skydrive.

Next up, is a service I only started using quite recently, is Badongo. You have unlimited storage available and the file size limit is 1GB. I’m still getting used to this service, but go check it out and see what you think.

Alternatives to the above are DropBox, FilePigeon & countless others.

5) The CIA World Factbook 

Getting reliable up to date information about a specific country at any given time can be a bit of a mission. And then getting it all in one location is another mission altogether.

This site has any information about a country that you would like to know. For example did you know that South Africa has 147 airports with paved runways? Or that we have over 46 million cellphones and 4.42 million internet connections in the country being used?


Test Your Googling Skills

Google Logo officially released on May 2010

Image via Wikipedia

I think that I can easily say that most of the people I know use Google, as do most of the world. How are your googling skills?

On 7 April this year, Google started a puzzle challenge called “A Google a Day” which will put your googling skills to the test. I’ve been doing a few of them, as I get a chance, and it is very interesting to say the least.

You get given a clue and using that clue you need to find out what the answer is using Google. Once you think you have the answer, you input it and it’ll tell you if it is correct or not. Of course, you can admit defeat and ask for the answer. They will also explain what is possibly the easiest way you could have found the answer, whether you give up or get the answer.

Whether you do it to just put your skills to the test or use it to learn from fresh, you will eventually become a Google Master. You say, “But what’s the point, I can just google the answer. That is where Deja Google comes in. According to the website:

To keep the game interesting for everyone, we created Deja Google – A wormhole inspired time machine that searches the Internet as it existed before the game began. Because nobody wants someone’s recent blog post about finding an answer spoiling their fun.

Go check it out at agoogleaday.com


How To Survive The Internet #1

The internet can be a scary place. Over time you might find certain websites that you cannot live without. Now because I’m just awesome that way, I’ve decided to share some of the better ones out there, so you don’t have to sift through pages of Google results.

Of course if I had to start listing them by the hundreds as I easily could, you would give up before you even reached the halfway mark. So instead, once in a while, I’ll give you five of my favourites that stick out at that moment. Just click on the headings to go to each website. They aren’t in any particular order or in categories, they’re just there, because otherwise my CDO might kick in. *twitch*

1) Zamzar

Of all the websites I have ever come across, this one must be one of the most highly recommended. Have you ever received a file and not been able to open it? You can either mission trying to find the software to open it or try to convert it somehow…

That is why Zamzar is here. It has a pretty comprehensive list of supported file formats. With the free version of their service, you can upload files up to 100MB in size, going up to 1GB for paying customers. As a paying customer you also get online storage for a certain amount of time, can upload larger files, do concurrent conversions and much more

Its a pretty straightforward process as well:

  • Upload file
  • Choose output format
  • Enter email address
  • Go to download link (or storage inbox for paying customers) and download converted file.

I have tested the converter on all sorts of files (pdf to doc, xls to pdf, jpg to bmp, jpg to pdf and many more and have not been able to find a fault in any conversion.

As an extra bonus, the site also allows you to convert videos from most video sites, such as YouTube, into downloadable videos.

This is truly a life saver of a website.

2) Snopes

I don’t like spam, at all. So when people I know forward me e-mails that are clearly spam, I get really angry. I won’t even get onto the Facebook spam that I get on my  Facebook News Feed. If you don’t know what Snopes is, you are probably one of those people that forwards every e-mail that you receive and annoy the hell out of people like me.

Here’s how it works. If you receive a mail that you think may be a scam or spam, type the subject line or part of the message into Snopes’ search box and “voila!”

It’s not just email, it also lists various other types of scams running. Check the Hot 25 list for the most circulated scams at the moment

Hoax Slayer, Truth Or Fiction & Urban Legends are also decent alternatives and can also be used to double check your suspicions

3) Central Ops

This site is for the more advanced user and has some very useful online network tools. Get information on an IP address, get a domain’s information & records or even see what information your browser is displaying about you to the world (or more importantly to spammers or other undesirable people out there.)

To just verify an email address, use verify-email.org. This site is pretty simple. Got an e-mail that has bounced back and want to confirm if the address is valid? Just check it here.

4) Down for everyone or just me?

The idea here is simple. Picture the scene: You go to your favourite website, but it won’t open, so you start swearing (and possibly bashing your keyboard) because your email, and whatever else, is working.

This is where this site comes in… you simply enter the url into the box, click “or just me?” and within seconds you will know whether the entire site is down or if the problem is on your side.

5) How Secure Is My Password?

Want to know how secure your password is? Enter it here to find out how long it would take someone with an average desktop PC to crack your password. Simple

Just as an extra, here is a video I came across today that I thought I’d share…


Must-See Movies 2011 #2: Thor, Captain America and X-Men: First Class

Thor PosterI have to admit that these three movies have got me pretty excited and I don’t know which one I would pick if I had to choose only one… Right now, based on trailers alone, I’m leaning towards Thor, but that’s not really fair, especially since Captain America has only had the TV spot so far. But seriously, come now, it has Natalie Portman in it!

I’m not  gonna say much about them here, but if you do want all the info about them I would recommend heading here - http://avengersnews.com/ – since two of these movies are building up for the big one in 2012: The Avengers directed by Joss Whedon

For those of you who don’t know, the Hulk and Iron Man movies are also tied into the Avengers movie. At the end of 2008′s Incredible Hulk and the Iron Man Movies, you will catch the hints Thor, Captain America and The Avengers. So make sure you watch them as well if you haven’t already.

The X-Men movies are completely separate, but they rock anyway, that’s why First Class is thrown in here :)

Thor

Official site: http://thor.marvel.com/

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800369/

Trailer:

Captain America

Official site: http://captainamerica.marvel.com/

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1270798/

Trailer:

X-Men: First Class

Official site: http://www.x-menfirstclassmovie.com/

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1270798/

Trailer:


World War 3? The Cyberwar for Control of the Internet

Original Post (8 December 2010, 17:15 UTC)

As of this post, a silent war involving thousands and thousands is happening, but it isn’t the war you were expecting. It’s the war around WikiLeaks and Julian Assange (See my previous post, “WikiWhat?“, for more details on that story). Who knew how just how exciting this would turn out to be? It’s a geek’s dream come true!! *excited*

At 16:22 UTCAnonOps tweeted the following:

As of 16:45 UTC, bother mastercard.com and anonops.net were down:

Paypal has been attacked in the last day or so, as was PostFinance, WikiLeak’s previous bank, but were not bought down, as in Mastercard‘s case and lawyers on both sides of the Assange case have been attacked.

This is the war for the internet baby and you might as well sit back and enjoy it. Massive botnets are attacking each other and the websites mentioned. I ,for one, am getting the popcorn ready :)

Read the article that isnpired this post here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/avenging-wikileaks-anonymous-hackers-takes-mastercard-site/

Update 1 (9 December 2010 – 8:00 UTC)

Visa is the next company to feel the wrath of Operation Payback being run by AnonOps. This was at 7:40 UTC

However anonops.net is also experiencing issues of their own, their website is struggling and their Twitter account has been suspended.

Have a look at this YouTube video for MSNBC‘s report on Operation Payback & WikiLeaks:

These articles also shed some light on the matter in more detail:

This is getting more exciting, as there are rumours that twitter.com is next. Will miss it, but it’s so much fun :)

Update 2 (9 December 2010 – 15:00 UTC)

The latest buzz today with this was AnonOps releasing their Manifesto as below:

But the very lastest on the internet, is that at 16:00 UTC, Amazon will be targeted for the next DDoS attack and while it may not bring the giant down, it will cause some major bandwidth & financial issues.

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Posts of Randomness #1

Baby

There are times where you just need to vent and for me that happens when I game. I just loose myself in the universe that has been created for my enjoyment. There are very few games I absolutely love and one of those was Star Wars: Force Unleashed.

I am a huge Star Wars fan. Not Fanboy, but a fan… I have the original and prequel dvd boxsets, have played the a lot of the games. But The Force Unleashed just blew my mind. I have to admit here, I’ve always been drawn to the dark side so the Starkiller character was awesome for me. Okay granted, I followed the good path at the end but I had some fun with the dark side.

So when I heard about the sequel a few months back I literally came in my pants… okay not really but you get the point! And this morning on 5fm I heard an advertisement confirming it’s release tomorrow at all major retailers.

I won’t try explain it to you, but just have a look at these:

Then I came across this article earlier and the geek in me wanted to start jumping up and down and celebrating! Christopher Nolan has released the official title of the new Batman movie -

The Dark Knight Rises

Go read more by clicking above.

After reading that I came across this article on one of my favourite blogs: youarenotsosmart.com about procrastination which is pretty funny since I put off reading it to do some other things…

Anyways, that’s all from me for now… but before I go here are some random pictures for you to ponder.

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