Posts

Showing posts from 2013

This is why everyone should use Google+

Google "let's go caroling" and enjoy. #christmas

There is always one solution that always works

https://plus.google.com/104872135529411360480/posts/jV8jkdmsqM5

 
Oh for the day when Roy will be a companion...and Moss

In 10 years time I can see us living with robots

YouTube 2013

How to stop worrying

This is definitely me when code refactoring

Currency Converter Version 1.1.3 - Android App

Today I have released a new version of my Android Application Currency Converter. You will be able to find it by going to the below link and downloading it off Google Play.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tckr.currencyconverter

This update fixed an issue with the converter failing to work due to iGoogle support. Google dropped support which basically broke my app :)

Also added the ability for backing up if you are using any third parties tools like Titanium Backup or Helium.

The latest code base has also been pushed to GitHub so you can have a look if you want to know how it is built or just interested to learn Android programming.

https://github.com/richardtan/CurrencyConverter

What if Mario and Pacman were in the same game

What if Mario and Pacman were in the same game

Awesome gif

If it is now $0.10 for 1GB of storage, why don't we have extremely cheap cloud storage solution?

Doctor Who prequel

Hate the new YouTube comments system? Watch this

How does Quantum Computing works

Might be time for a new phone, Nexus 5

Will the Nexus 5 be unveiled tomorrow?

So who has just got their Google+ vanity URL?

Is it me or does the ear bud look kinda stupid

I want my vanity URL now, Google!

What happens when Phonebloks and Motorola comes together

First Trailer for the Doctor 50th

Hangouts for iOS can make and receive calls, Google Voice integration imminent?

Breaking News, Android 4.4 Nexus 5 hands on and drop test

Clash of Clans now available on Android

Phone 5S owner should see this video

Deserves a Reshare: Google Glass

This could change gaming

What does the fox say?

Why can't all adverts be like this

Indoor GPS to lead to seemless retail transactions?

And why I disagree with Mike Elgan on the death of NFC.

I have thought about this for the past fews years where if it was possible to know where you are in the store you could potentially buy things without the need to actually walk up to the cashier and pay for the goods. Mike Elgan has written a brilliant article with Apple's iBeacon technology on how it can be used for indoor GPS and also payments. The only thing I disagree on is that it could kill NFC.

The only problem with bluetooth authorisation is if you have a lot of people in the store how do you know which person is which. You could have a token on your device that says you are customer no. XXX and you can show this to someone before you buy but it seems a bit of a hassle. What NFC allows is that when you do a physical tap to a receiving device at that particular time you know the two devices in question has talked to each other.

Just imagine you walked into a supermarket and each product on the shelves had an NFC tag. You can just tap on the tag on the things you want to buy and put it into your trolley. At the same time the supermarket stores will be able to see what you are buying through the bluetooth network that when you decide to leave the store, you could have someone at the entrance to review the goods in your trolley and that person will have a NFC device that will just authorise the payment after review.

All I am saying is that there is still life in the old NFC and under certain use cases it is much better to use than Bluetooth. Just look at the transport ticketing system around the world and how they have used NFC for getting people through the train ticket barriers. I am not sure how Bluetooth would allow for that...

And I don't think Apple are totally against the use of NFC as well: http://www.nfcworld.com/2013/09/09/325790/apple-patent-reignites-iphone-nfc-hopes/


Mike Elgan

Why Apple's 'indoor GPS' plan is brilliant.

Apple's iBeacons system will enable purchases, contextual marketing, automated check-ins and much more: http://goo.gl/18ALZI

Nearly a year and a half ago, I predicted that Apple was hatching a "secret plan to kill the cash register." Well, iBeacons is that plan.

iBeacons is a Bluetooth-based micro-locations system (think very accurate GPS that can be used indoors). But instead of being used by people to determine their own locations, it's used by retailers, museums and businesses of all kinds to find out exactly where people are, so they can automatically serve up highly relevant interactions to customers' phones.

I think Apple's approach will not only kill cash registers, but NFC, too.

Here's what iBeacons is all about and why it's a stroke of genius on Apple's part:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9242393/Why_Apple_s_indoor_GPS_plan_is_brilliant

#ibeacons   #iphone   #apple   #bluetooth  

This... Steve Jobs we miss you!

Darn, now anyone will know my pin

 
Numbers that are hard to forget

A New Breed of Chrome Apps

Has Google found a way to make software run everywhere???

I have said in the past that Chrome OS can be powerful platform and because Chrome is also a browser means that if you have Chrome you basically have Chrome OS which can be installed in most Operating Systems. But the only problem with Chrome OS is that the only thing you can do is run websites and not native applications. Well that is all about to change (well technically not really as this could have been done now in the past with some quirks) with the announcement of the "New Breed of Chrome Apps".


Taken from Chrome Blog, http://chrome.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/a-new-breed-of-chrome-apps.html they have announced a full native experience for chrome apps that works offline, store data in the cloud or on local storage and take advantage of hardware of the computer like the graphics card and webcams. That sounds cool and new, but it isn't really that new. What is new is the native experience.

The native experience from what I gather is removing the address bar and all the things that goes along with a web browser, just like a normal application. It also has a start icon in the OS launcher, just like a normal application. But the difference here is that it feels like a native application that belongs with windows or OSX but actually it is actually a chrome application.

But what does this all mean? Well it means that developers can now build rich and complex application using web technologies and Native Client (C++) once and work EVERYWHERE. It means a developers may not need to decide to build on Windows, OSX or Linux and just build for Chrome as Chrome can be deployed anywhere and is always updated to the latest and greatest version. What this in effect becomes is a sneaky little OS which can run on top of any other OS.

This in my opinion is huge as Google has found a way for developers to make rich and interesting application available for everyone... It is why the Web is so successful and this is another evolutionary step for the Web today.

This is what you do to stop the Walkie Talkie from melting cars and buildings

So, walking pass the spot where the Jaguar car was melted in London this week and this is what I saw :)



Android 4.4 KitKat, confectionary perfection

 
Amazing.

(via +Rajesh Handa)


Got to check this out tomorrow on my way to work

Does Man City need to spend more money???

According to http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/

Man City squad value: £390 Million
Cardiff City squad value: $43.5 Million

Result 3 - 2 Cardiff.

I think Man City needs to spend more money...

Image from the bbc

Feature request for Google Keep

There is one thing missing from the new update to Google Keep Android app and that is when you set a reminder in Google Now, I wish that the note was also applied to Google Keep.

 

Android UX: Should the "Up" button die???

Anyone who has the new YouTube app would know that it is an awesome update. The design is very nice with a multi-tasking ability to watch and search at the same time. However I want to talk about something else they have included and something that seems to be disappearing. This is the new Hamburger slide out menu and the "Up" button navigation.


As you can see from the picture above, the top left hand corner has three lines next to the new YouTube icon (Hamburger) and once pressed or swiped from the left reveals the navigation drawer. This is great as it feels right to have this icon and is now consistency with other Google's Android apps. But when you use the YouTube app you will notice that there isn't much references to the "Up" button at all within the application and even the "Up" button is missing when watching the videos. Is Google slowly moving away from it?



The "Up" button I have always thought was misleading as the arrow is pointing to the left, which for an average user means back as we are educated at a young age that things that point to the left goes back. In my opinion this button should just die and this is why.

You can't have the slide out menu and the "Up" button together

This is most evident on the Google Plus app. Try the following, open the Google Plus application, click on the hamburger icon or swipe left and hit communities. Go into any communities you have. Once in the communities notice the "Up" button is present. But what if you want to go to your profile? What you have to do is hit the "Up" button or "Back" button to get back to the communities, swipe to left and hit your picture. The fact you cannot have the slide out navigation is annoying and in this case the "Up" and "Back" button serves the same functionality.

Some people may argue that the "Up" button should go back to parent Activity, in this case the communities front screen, but then wait, if I am in the communities front screen should I not have an "Up" button to get to the main Google Plus Stream as technically that is the parent Activity as that is the MainActivity on launch? Again you might argue that this is part of the top level view, however there can only be one Start page and therefore you should have the ability to go up to the parent.

Consistency of the "Up" Button

The "Up" button should be consistent as it should always point to its parent in the hierarchy, or it should do in my opinion. Lets take an example when you have an notification of an application update in the Google Play Store, and once received the user clicks on the notification to go inside.


Now let's look at the same screen but this time navigated through the Google Play Store app instead of from the navigation draw.



Now I have not edited the photo, you can try it yourself but notice that the first screenshot has no "Up" button but the second one does? Why is that? Surely if I go to the Play Store app via the notification shade I should also have the ability to go through the app via the "Up" button... In this case the "Up" button and the "Back" button serves the same purpose and the "Up" button is redundant.

Conclusion

The "Back" button is not perfect in any sense as there are inconsistency in that as well, most notably when you launch an application via another application, but having both the "Up" and "Back" button confuses in my opinion the end user. I wonder how much the up button is used. I hardly use it. I think the "Up" button is killed and that a more defined definition of the "Back" button is created.

Man this is great motivation when running :-)

 
Running > The Couch

This is what Google Glass was designed for

http://youtu.be/yyRJG2rrw0E



If the Moon were replaced with some of our planets

LOL, loving what Saturn will look like if it replaced the moon.


Let's get off to a winning start, Liverpool!!!

Can't wait for the start of the new Season, less than 3 hours to kick off and it is the perfect opportunity to get off to a winning start and top the league! Come on Liverpool!!!

Image Source: Getty Images

How to care for an introvert.

 
How should you deal with introverts? Here are 12 quick tips to better care for them.

Check out the full post of "22 Quick Tips To Better Care for Introverts and Extroverts"

>> http://buff.ly/14iPMue

Moto X review from MKBHD

Marques is probably the best reviewer of tech at the moment and this is worth the watch to see how good or how bad the Moto X is.

As noted by Marques, the camera is not great. But looking at samples it definitely looks like it is software doing it. Don't understand why Google don't use some Nik Software aka Google+ auto awesome to help with the image processing... Maybe they forgot to include chip dedicated for taking photos which I am sure they can include in later versions.
 
New MKBHD Video is live! I worked for a quite a while on this one - hope you enjoy it!

Motorola Moto X Review!

Feel free to +1/Share if you enjoy!


Brilliant YouTube easter egg for #geekweek

When you are watching a video, just type 1980 (not in the search bar, just type it on your keyboard) and you get to play a game. How cool is that :)


You have heard about the first lab grown meat... Hear from Sergey Brin on why he invested $330k on it.


One year ago (ok maybe 9 hours out but who's counting) this happened!!!

Around Washington, DC tomorrow & want to celebrate #1YearOnMars w/ NASA? Visit NASA HQ noon-1:30p ET for the Mars Curiosity Rover event:http://go.nasa.gov/194IAd0


This made me laugh

Pretty geeky but it is funny, took me some time to work out what 7 represent :-)

Brilliant Read :-)

Brilliant little piece from Jeff Jarvis on the Chromecast

Google just demoted your television set into a second screen, a slave to your phone or tablet or laptop. With the $35 Chromecast you can with one click move anything you find on your internet-connected device — YouTube video, Netflix, a web page as well as music and pictures and soon, I’d imagine, games — onto your big TV screen, bypassing your cable box and all its ridiculous and expensive limitations.

Unlike Apple TV and Airplay, this does not stream from your laptop to the TV; this streams directly to your TV — it’s plugged into an HDMI port — over wi-fi via the cloud … er, via Google, that is. Oh, and it works with Apple iOS devices, too.

I’m just beginning to get a grasp on all the implications. Here are some I see.

* Simply put, I’ll end up watching more internet content because it’s so easy now. According to today’s demonstration, as soon as I tell Chrome to move something to my TV, the Chromecast device will sense the command and take over the TV. Nevermind smart TVs and cable boxes; the net is now in charge. There’s no more awkward searching using the world’s slowest typing via my cable box or a web-connected TV. There’s no more switching manually from one box to another. If it’s as advertised, I’ll just click on my browser and up it comes on my TV. Voila.

* Because Google issued an API, every company with web video — my beloved TWiT, for example — is motivated to add a Chromecast button to its content.

* Thus Google knows more about what you’re watching, which will allow it to make recommendations to you. Google becomes a more effective search engine for entertainment: TV Guide reborn at last.

* Google gets more opportunities to sell higher-priced video advertising on its content, which is will surely promote.

* Google gets more opportunities to sell you shows and movies from its Play Store, competing with both Apple and Amazon.

* YouTube gets a big boost in creating channels and building a new revenue stream: subscriptions. This is a paywall that will work simply because entertainment is a unique product, unlike news, which is — sorry to break the news to you — a commodity. I also wonder whether Google is getting a reward for all the Netflix subscriptions it will sell.

* TV is no longer device-dependant but viewer-dependant. I can start watching a show in one room then watch it another and then take it with me and watch on my tablet from where I left off.

* I can throw out the device with the worst user interface on earth: the cable remote. Now I can control video via my phone and probably do much more with it (again, I’m imagining new game interfaces).

* I can take a Chromecast with me on the road and use it in hotel rooms or in conference rooms to give presentations.

Those are implications for me as a user or viewer or whatever the hell I am now. That’s why I quickly bought three Chromecasts: one for the family room, one for my office, one for the briefcase and the road. What the hell, they’re cheap.

Harder to fully catalog are the implications for the industry — make that industries — affected. Too often, TV and the oligopolies that control it have been declared dead yet they keep going. One of these days, one of the bullets shot at them will hit the heart. Is this it?

* Cable is hearing a loud, growing snipping sound on the horizon. This makes it yet easier for us all to cut the cord. This unravels their bundling of channels. I’ll never count these sharks out. But it looks like it could be Sharknado for them. I also anticipate them trying to screw up our internet bandwidth every way they can: limiting speeds and downloading or charging us through the nose for decent service if we use Chromecast — from their greedy perspective — “too much.”

* Networks should also start feeling sweaty, for there is even less need for their bundling when we can find the shows and stars we want without them. The broadcast networks will descend even deeper into the slough of crappy reality TV. Cable networks will find their subsidies via cable operators’ bundles threatened. TV — like music and news — may finally come unbundled. But then again, TV networks are the first to run for the lifeboats and steal the oars. I remember well the day when ABC decided to stream Desperate Housewives on the net the morning after it aired on broadcast, screwing its broadcast affiliates. They’d love to do the same to cable MSOs. Will this give them their excuse?

* Content creators have yet another huge opportunity to cut out two layers of middlemen and have direct relationships with fans, selling them their content or serving them more targeted and valuable ads. Creators can be discovered directly. But we know how difficult it is to be discovered. Who can help? Oh, yeah, Google.

* Apple? As someone said on Twitter: Apple should have made this.

Yes, Apple could throw out its Apple TV and shift to this model. But it’s disadvantaged against Google because it doesn’t offer the same gateway to the entire wonderful world of web video; it offers things it makes deals for, things it wants to sell us.

* Amazon? Hmmm. On the one hand, if I can more easily shift things I buy at Amazon onto my TV screen — just as I read Kindle books on my Google Nexus 7 table, not on an Amazon Kindle. But Amazon is as much a control freak as Apple and I can’t imagine Jeff Bezos is laughing that laugh of his right now.

* Advertisers will see the opportunity to directly subsidize content and learn more about consumers through direct relationships, no longer mediated by both channels and cable companies. (That presumes that advertisers and their agencies are smart enough to build audiences rather than just buying mass; so far, too many of them haven’t been.) Though there will be more entertainment behind pay walls, I think, there’ll still be plenty of free entertainment to piggyback on.

* Kids in garages with cameras will find path to the big screen is now direct if anybody wants to watch their stuff.

What other implications do you see?

Chromecast is the way Smart TV should have been designed from the start

Before Google I/O I wanted a couple of things to be announced and one of which is a new Nexus Q. I also hoped that the way it should work is more of a streaming device and connects everything you own. I can't be bothered to rewrite what I said but man they basically did everything I wanted them to do with the chromecast, and for $35 USD man it is so cheap.

If you are interested on what I wrote, check out the link below to my post and read point 4.

#chromecast

Cups!

if you haven't seen it yet, check out our "Cups" cover ft. Kurt Hugo Schneider, Sam Tsui, Alex G and myself!

Cups - Anna Kendrick Cover (Pitch Perfect) ft. Kina Grannis, Kurt Schneider, Alex G & Sam Tsui



Congrats to Will and Kate for their new baby boy... Sure thought it was gonna be a girl though :-)

It’s a Prince - sign the card & send your congratulations.

On behalf of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, +Clarence House  has announced the birth of their son, who was born today at 4.24pm BST in London.

Join us in marking this historic occasion - simply +1 this post from Google UK to add your profile picture and name to our special online card, which you can see at g.co/royalbaby

To write a message to appear on the card, reshare this post and put your message in the text of your reshare. A printed version of the card will be presented to Kensington Palace.

We’ll be closing the card to new entries on 6th August, for more details visit http://goo.gl/vWjyy

Is this the new Moto X?

Дима Прокопенко originally shared to Android Authority (Phones):
Motorola’s upcoming ‘Moto X’ (Rogers Exclusive)

https://plus.google.com/104872135529411360480/posts/Zp9rDDr5PRq

21.49 5.6k run for #jpmorgancc run

And I came 3rd overall for RBS team. I am pretty happy with that :-)

Getting ready for my 5.6km #jpmorgancc run

Just did a 6KM run in 23 minutes and 16 seconds in preparation for the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in London on the 10th July. Aiming to beat 25 minutes 34 seconds I achieved last year. Hopefully this year I can get pass people in all that traffic :-)

The picture below is my running number and on the bottom right is a QR code which you guys can scan and see what time I really achieve.


How British and Americans accents sound like to each other...


 
Happy 4th. 

Nice example of auto awesomeness from Mike Elgan

Amira's paella!

This is why Google invented Auto-Awesome!

(Made by +Amira Elgan.)

Google Reader is no more!!!

Oh well today is the last day to export your feeds, so if you haven't done so go do it now. I am expecting an update to Google Currents now as Reader is dead, wonder if we see something soon....

I am definitely an introvert :-)


If you blend what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what would it taste like? +Chad Johnson finds out :-)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBWZr0TD6Aw


How the #NSA could be using #prism - Must Watch!!!


Watch from around 57 minutes in for around 30 minutes

http://youtu.be/fX8CSMPiTs4

+Steve Gibson from Security Now on the +TWiT Network came up with a brilliant theory how the NSA is using PRISM. I was very sceptical about this when it came out. Technically from what I learnt and know it is very difficult for the NSA to have direct access to servers e.t.c. That’s why I always thought that no way that NSA had direct access to companies servers and what was leak could not be right...

Steve Gibson came out that the NSA are tapping the routing of the connection between the user (us) and companies like Google.

When you use the Internet and say you are doing a Google Search, your request must some how get to Google. So it needs to piggy back on other Servers to get there. It is how routing works. What Steve has suggested is the NSA are tapping the traffic that has been hopping across the network to get to Google.

Now, not all data can be seen. If your connection contains “https” then you cannot see anything (technically it can be cracked overtime so you want as high bits encryption as possible). However email (SMTP is unencrypted) and addresses location and senders are public. NSA could use both or at least see trends in where data is coming from and to who...

Watch the video, it will explain it better than me.

But after watching the video, I think the NSA could go beyond what was on the video.

The NSA could be hosting routing servers either near companies that they want to target or near tier 1 ISP’s. This means more than likely that traffic would have to cross into the NSA routing servers and the NSA could take a copy of it. This means the NSA do not need to go to ISP like AT&T or Verizon to demand them to send there data to them. Other Routing servers could just be sending it to the NSA without them knowing...