A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for December, 2010

Strange Android SMS Bug

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Here’s an interesting short message service (SMS) Android bug that has been making some headlines today. I don’t believe I’ve ever head this happen on my phone but there apparently is a bug in Androids SMS’s application that can cause a text message to be sent to a random person on your contact list instead of the person it was intended to go to. You can imagine some embarrassment when a text message meant for your girlfriend ends up going to the phone of your mother or other such nonsense.

I find this bug interesting mainly because it seems like a rather difficult thing to screw up and honestly the consequences could be hilarious.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 31st, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Closing Out 2010

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It’s the final day of 2010, you know what that means right? Yes, lot’s of drunks will be out on the road tonight. Be smart and find a house party where you can crash if you want to get your drink on, honestly it’s safer.

Either way I have to say for the most part 2010 has been a pretty cool year and I’m looking forward to 2011 (because I like to take things to 11). Have a good New Year’s Eve and be safe (but hopefully not boring).

Written by Christopher Burg

December 31st, 2010 at 4:40 pm

iPhone Thoughts

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I’ve been running on my iPhone for roughly a month now so I figured I’d give a quick overview of my thoughts on the device.

Because I’m a cantankerous asshole I’ll start with the things I don’t like about it. Apple put some rather silly restrictions in place on the phone. There are obvious ones such as the fact you can only install applications that Apple has personally approved but there are also odd little ones that you look at and get a headache trying to wrap your brain around. One of these restrictions is the fact you can’t download anything through the iTunes or App Store applications over 3G if it’s larger than 10MB. I don’t get this at all. AT&T uses tiered data now meaning you get 2GB and then pay an additional $10 for ever gigabyte over that. How that data is used should be irrelevant. Hell since they’re charging for tiered data they should throw in tethering for free. It’s retarded. On the other hand third party applications aren’t restricted to this behavior which is a nice thing.

Another thing I don’t like about the iPhone 4 are the fact that signal does drop if you hold it in your left hand and the back is made out of glass. The antenna thing has been covered to death and frankly you all know what’s up with that. Likewise I’m sure you can determine why making the back out of glass is a bad idea on a device that is generally dropped at least once in it’s lifetime (I haven’t dropped a phone yet but my friends have dropped my phones, on the iPhone 4 that’s pretty much game over).

Of course there is AT&T. I’ve not had any major troubles with their network or customer service (which I haven’t had to contact) yet. Their coverage sucks and back in my hometown there is no signal to be had. Meanwhile my Sprint phone has no issue finding a signal almost anywhere except in some valleys back in my hometown area. AT&T’s data network also seems slower than Sprints (and I’m not even talking 4G here). And there is that whole tiered data thing that AT&T has going but it seems Verizon is looking to do exactly the same thing and T-Mobile already has something in place (when you go over 5GB of data on T-Mobile they throttle your speed down to below 3G). Sprint is the last network with unlimited data but I wonder how long that will last.

Do you like iTunes? If not you’re going to absolutely hate the fact that everything done on the iPhone has to go through iTunes. Loading music, pictures, apps, movies, anything is done via syncing with iTunes. Frankly this is complete shit compared to doing the same tasks on Android. On my Evo I just plug the phone into my computer via a standard USB cable, enable disk drive mode, and copy the files I want to put onto my phone over through the file browser on my computer. Simple, easy, and effective. I wish Apple would implement this but that would destroy their god-like powers over their device which I know won’t happen.

You know what sucks about my Evo? The battery life. You know what rules about my Evo? The fact that I can just carry a spare battery. The battery in the iPhone is fixed which is just fucking stupid. The device’s battery life is great but it would be even better if I could just drop in a different battery when the primary one dies. Just saying Apple it wouldn’t be hard to implemented an easily replaceable battery.

Now the things I like about the iPhone. The device itself just feels sturdy. There isn’t any plastic to be had on the outside casing meaning you don’t have any real “creak” factor when you try to flex the device. It’s not a big deal but it does make the phone feel well built.

I really like the fast app switching implemented on the iPhone. In order to switch between previously opened applications you double-click the home button and a bar appears with every applications currently residing in memory. It’s fast and extremely easy. The Android equivalent would be holding down the home button for a couple of seconds and having the list of the last eight applications you used appear. Although Android has a better multi-tasking system their interface for dealing with it needs a lot of work (they should really just up and copy WebOS here).

The entire phone interface feels polished and consistent. When you have complete control on what can and can’t be loaded onto your device you can enforce some measure of consistency. I would like to see such consistency come to Android in the future but I don’t think that it will happen anytime soon.

iOS actually syncs properly with my Exchange server at work. This is a huge plus in my book because my Evo has had endless troubles syncing with my calendar at work and when it can’t sync with the calendar it refuses to sync with e-mail as well. I can actually use my iPhone for work, it’s great.

Likewise unlike my Evo the iPhone doesn’t have any trouble using Pandora or Last.fm (Pandora problems have been mostly fixed on the Evo at this point but Last.fm is still unusable). Apple has a stable and well tested media layer that they seem to be content with leaving alone. I can’t say how much I appreciate this fact.

Apple also makes quite a few cool accessories for my iPhone. Although my Evo has an HDMI-out port on it it’s not really very useful. Apple has VGA, AV, and composite cable adapters for the iPhone (they also work on the iPad) that allow you to push any video you’re playing on the iPhone to a television or projector. The VGA adapter also allows you to use an iPad as a Keynote presentation tool.

Overall I’m rather happy with my iPhone so far. Although I like the freedom that Android gives my experience with my Evo has left me sour. I’m still pissed that Google lost all records of Market apps that I purchased for my phone. Between the iPhone and my Evo I’ll take the iPhone hands down even with all the stupid limitations Apple has put into place.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 29th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Technology

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Northern Sword

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Yeah I’m a metal head and I’m always looking for new stuff. I found a good band on YouTube called Northern Sword. Take a listen:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe0Y8qyiJ0w&feature=related]

They don’t even have a debut album out yet but I heard they’re working on one. Frankly I can’t wait.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 28th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Posted in Side Notes

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Technical Difficulties

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So there were no updates as there should have been. This can be attributed to the fact that I’m on a week vacation. Updates will be somewhat sporadic but I’ll try to get some stuff up.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 28th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Side Notes

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Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas everybody. If you’re offended by this phrase and would prefer “Happy Holidays” instead please feel free to raise the issue with the complaints department. They’re located down the hall in the Department of I Don’t Give a Fuck office.

Either way it’s Christmas weekend so this site is going to be dead over the holiday. Expect no posts tomorrow or the next two days following that.

Have a great holiday and try not to do anything too stupid OK?

Written by Christopher Burg

December 23rd, 2010 at 11:30 am

Posted in Side Notes

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More Rail Gun Goodness

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Rail guns are perhaps the most awesome advancement in the world of throwing projectiles at things. The Navy broke their own record a while ago by firing a rail gun that impacted its target with 33 megajoules of force. How can you make something that bad ass even more bad ass? How about if those projectiles happen to fire missiles? The Navy has successfully launched their first fighter jet using a rail gun.

Well technically it’s not really a rail gun but it runs off of the same principal. The electromagnetic launchers are being developed to replace the current steam catapults used on air craft carriers to fling fighter jets forward with enough velocity to attain flight on carriers’ short runways.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 23rd, 2010 at 11:00 am

Criticize the TSA, Lose Your Gun

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The Department of Child Molestation Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are assholes and everybody knows it. Not only do they molest you when you refuse to go through their DNA shredding scanners but they also offer no security.

Yet another pilot decided enough is enough and openly criticized the TSA and pointed out some honest issues with the department’s “security” measures. The pilot is one who actually increases security as he was permitted to carry a firearm in the cockpit of the plane. “Was” is the operative word through:

The 50-year-old pilot, who lives outside Sacramento, asked that neither he nor his airline be identified. He has worked for the airline for more than a decade and was deputized by the TSA to carry a gun in the cockpit.

He is also a helicopter test pilot in the Army Reserve and flew missions for the United Nations in Macedonia.

Three days after he posted a series of six video clips recorded with a cell phone camera at San Francisco International Airport, four federal air marshals and two sheriff’s deputies arrived at his house to confiscate his federally-issued firearm. The pilot recorded that event as well and provided all the video to News10.

And that’s not all. Not only was his federally issued firearm confiscated but so was his personal carry firearm and CCW license:

At the same time as the federal marshals took the pilot’s gun, a deputy sheriff asked him to surrender his state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon.

A follow-up letter from the sheriff’s department said the CCW permit would be reevaluated following the outcome of the federal investigation.

Did I mention this happened in Commiefornia? Nope? Well I’m sure you derived that when you read the sheriff put the pilot’s carry permit on hold and demanded the forfeiture of his personal carry weapon. Let that be a lesson to you, when you criticize the benevolence of the government they will take your shit.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 23rd, 2010 at 10:30 am

There’s and App For That, ATF Edition

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Every Day, No Days Off pointed out that everybody’s favorite agency to hate (because they deserve it) has an iPhone app. That’s right with a simple free (why not, you already paid for the app’s development with your tax money) download you to can bring the tyranny of the ATF onto your mobile phone.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 23rd, 2010 at 10:00 am

IDPA Explained

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Alan has a good link that humorously sums up IDPA. It’s worth your time to watch.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 22nd, 2010 at 11:00 am