Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Wordpress : Embed YouTube movies

You've probably noticed that using YouTube or some other embedded video with a Wordpress blog doesn't work.

Even in HTML mode Wordpress messes up the code, here is a way to work around this.

How to fix the Wordpress YouTube embedded video problem
  1. Login to the Wordpress Admin Menu

  2. Click Users

  3. Click Your Profile in the sub-menu

  4. Uncheck "Use the visual editor when writing"

  5. Click "Update Profile" to save your settings.

You are now ready to make a Wordpress post using embedded videos like YouTube.

Blogger : Flag a Blog

So you've found a blog you want to flag but alas, it has no Blogger toolbar or the Blogger flag button is missing.

There is an easy fix for this.

The command that flags the blog is this : javascript:toggleFlag();

If you copy -> paste that into the address bar and press enter once it will flag the blog. If you press it twice it will unflag the blog, three times reflags the blog and so on.

Make your own Blogger Flag Button

You can add a favorite to your browser tool bar
that can act as a flag button for any blog.

Remember only click the button once
if you click it twice it will un-flag the blog

Blogger Flag Button In Firefox
  1. Right click next to the word Help at the top of the browser window, make sure Bookmark Toolbar has a check next to it.

  2. Right click on the bar below the address bar, in the drop down menu the second option should be New Bookmark, click it

  3. Type Flag for the name and put javascript:toggleFlag(); for the location.

You now have your own Blogger Flag button :)

Blogger Flag Button In Internet Explorer
  1. Right click next to the word Help at the top of the browser window, make sure Links has a check next to it.

  2. Click Favorites at the top, chose Add to Favorites.

  3. Erase the current name and type Flag, click Create In and chose Links, press ok. You should now see a new button called Flag on the toolbar.

  4. Right click the Flag button and chose Properties.

  5. Change the location to javascript:toggleFlag(); and press ok. If it gives you an error message chose Yes.

You now have your own Blogger Flag button :)

Motorola V180 Hacking

With a little help from a USB data cable and P2kman you can easily add new pictures and ringtones to your Motorola V180.

You need the following things :

1. Motorola V180

Motorola V180

2. Mini USB data cable - a lot of MP3 players and Digital cameras use these cables too

Mini USB Data Cables

3. Drivers so the Motorola V180 can talk to Windows [ you must register - it's free ]

4. P2kman
is the program you use to add and remove files from your V180 [ you must register - it's free ]


Adding Pictures

Note : You can not upload regular size pictures. The pictures must be small or the phone won't show them correctly.

You can use the web site like PXN8, Resize Pic or these others to resize your images easily online.

The size I use is something like this or smaller :

The image should be about 160x255 pixels

At this point you must have :

a) the drivers

b) p2kman installed

c) be able to see your phone and its files in p2kman ( try clicking Update List if your phone is listed )

  1. Click pictures on the left side.

  2. Click the button PC >>> Phone

  3. Find the picture you want to add, click on them [ hold the CTRL key while you click to chose multiple pictures ] and click Open. P2kman may freeze for a few seconds when you add files, this is ok.

  4. In the bottom of p2kman you will see a status message like :

File upload... /a/mobile/pictures/picture.jpg ok

Now in your My Media section you should see the new picture. The picture can now be used as the wallpaper for the main screen, a picture to for one of your contacts and whatever else.

Adding Ringtones

Use p2kman to add the small audio files (wav, midi, mp3, polyphonic) to the audio directory.

At this point you must have :

a) the drivers

b) p2kman installed

c) be able to see your phone and it's files in p2kman (try hitting update list if your phone is listed)
  1. Click audio on the left side.

  2. Click the button PC >>> Phone

  3. Find the audio files you want to add, click on them [ hold the CTRL key while you click to chose multiple files ] and click Open. P2kman may freeze for a bit when you add files, this is ok.

  4. In the bottom of p2kman you will see a status message like :
File upload... /a/mobile/audio/IheartYou.mp3 ok

It is very important that you do the following

If you do not do this your ring tones will not show up

  1. Click the file TempToneDB.db - click the button Delete File(s)

  2. Click the file MyToneDB.db - click the button Delete File(s)

  3. Turn off your phone - then turn it back on.

Now your ring tones will show up in your phone. If the audio files was named , "Ringtone5.mp3" then the ring tone will show up as "Ringtone5" in your phone.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Secure Your PC aka Make Windows Suck Less

Updated : 3/25/2007
Popups ? Spyware ? Adware ? Viruses ?

If this is you then life probably sucks. But wait, there's good news !

There are a whole range of free software programs to help you rid Windows of these annoying things.

My personal favorites go like this :

Keep the bad guys out & restrict internet access to bad programs

ZoneAlarm [ free version ]

Nuke most known viruses with no problems + free updates + email scanning

AVG Antivirus

SpyWare / AdWare removal
Detects and removes most known spyware / adware

AdAware [ free version ]

AVG Anti-Spyware [ free version ]

Web Browser
Helps keeps evil web pages from messing with your PC

Firefox - more secure than Internet Explorer

CustomizeGoogle - nice extension for Firefox with a lot of extra Google options !

Opera - an excellent web browser which has been around for a long time

Popup Blocker
Keeps most popups away

Yahoo Toolbar

Proxy Network
Your internet data is bounced anonymously around the world keeping your ID private (hopefully)


Media Player
Less is more.

VLC Media player

Secure WebMail
Web based email that's "totally secure".


Secure Operating Systems
Windows really isn't that secure :-(

Puppy Linux Live CD
Does not need to be installed - runs from a CD.
Comes with lots of programs.
Very fast.
Ubuntu Linux
More secure than Windows and totally free.
Often called the most secure OS also totally free.
Note : There are hundreds of other free versions of Linux and BSD. Including a lot of other live cds which don't need to be installed and run from a CD.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Cingular Sucks

The situation with Cingular is getting out of control. Their service is so bad I want to throw the phone through a window.

This isn't my first rant about Cingular and I'm sure it wont be my last. You may be thinking, "just change services". You better believe the moment I can afford to get a new cell phone service I'm switching.

I've come to realize something about advertising - if a company claims one thing then you can be fairly sure the opposite is true.

Case in point : Cingular Wireless - "More bars in more places" , "fewest dropped calls".

Oh my god how I wish this were true !

I currently use two phones with Cingular (both on the same number - I just swap the SIM card) a Motorola V180 and a Siemens C56. The V180 is about a $100 - $200 dollar phone depending on where you get it and the C56 is a little bit older but still goes for about $50 or so. Both phones are of decent quality and in the past have done a good job.

I used both of them with AT&T Wireless before they became "partners" with Cingular and life was just grand then. I had about 75% less problems with my service when it was just AT&T Wireless. Since then Cingular has "upgraded" my service to full blown sucking.

I live in the fourth largest city in America.

You'd think if there were anywhere in America you could get awesome cell phone coverage and reception it'd be in a major market like this. Surely a huge cell phone company would be dying to dump truck loads of money into their network to make sure their customers got quality coverage.

So what is my cell phone coverage like ?

  • About 35% or more of my calls drop.
  • About 95% of my calls break up and I miss a few words occasionally.
  • About 65% of my calls break up so bad that occasionally I only hear every other syllable.

This of course includes calls made to land lines - so we know the problem isn't with the other persons cell phone or cell phone service.

I use to think the problem was my Motorola V180. But since then I've started using my Siemens C56 a lot more and it gets the exact same problem so we know the problem is not the phone.

Personally I hope the entire Cingular Wireless company goes bankrupt. I'm so sick of their service it is beyond belief. I literally feel like I'm talking over a can-and-string network or that I'm hiding in a hole somewhere in Iraq trying to make a call as F-16 fighter jets fly over head.

At least that would make sense.

If I lived in a 2nd or 3rd world country I'd totally expect my cell phone coverage to suck and I'd be OK with that. But to have the absolute worst cell phone coverage of my entire life while living in the fourth largest city in America ?

That makes no sense at all.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Windows Live Spaces

Watch out MySpace - here comes Microsoft and it looks like they aren't playing around.

Microsoft launched Windows Live Spaces recently and I must say I am impressed. And I'm not one of those die hard Microsoft fans, in fact for the most part I dislike them. However I give credit where it's due and Microsoft has earned it.

Microsoft has chosen to enter the "social networking site" game and they picked a great time. MySpace has really been dropping the ball as of late - most recently with their much complained about site failure due to a power outage.

So tonight I browsed on over to the Windows Live Spaces page and decided to make my own page since I already have a Hotmail account. It took me all of about 5 minutes to get my page exactly how I wanted it.

The process was quick, painless and included some nice features. Unlike MySpace where you are required to enter code on your own to change how your page looks Windows Live Spaces uses a drag and drop feature, simple theme switcher, easy list maker and a "smart" book list and a lot of other features. No geek knowledge required boys and girls , big thumbs up to Microsoft.

What do I mean by "smart" book list ? Well it goes like this :

You enter the book name, author name, ISBN and the Amazon link then Windows Live Spaces goes and fetches a thumbnail of the book to place in your page.

The drag and drop profile editor is especially nice. I can easily drag around content boxes to get the look I want - this is very hard to do on MySpace.

On to the themes - there are 11 theme categories to chose from which contain well over 50 themes you can easily select from.

Windows Live Spaces also includes a neat little gadget called "Updated Space". The updated spaces box shows a world map with little dots indicating where users are who are updating their Windows Space page. A simple click on the icon and you're instantly transported over to their Windows Spaces page to view their profile - very nice indeed.

If there was ever a time for MySpace to get serious this is it - no more playing around. Microsoft is a big hitter, they have the money, network, affiliates and know how to get the job done right. And given that social networking is the new sliced bread I bet Microsoft is going to take their Windows Live Spaces project very seriously.

Wake up MySpace - play time is over !

Personally I'd love to see Google enter the social networking site game. I think they could give Microsoft and MySpace a good run for their money which in the end leaves us with better, faster, cooler social networking sites to waste our time on.

Keep in mind this new Windows Live Spaces service offers a lot more features than I've listed here, this is just the general overview per my experience tonight.

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