It’s the CURSE!

I’ve been complaining about my cell phone on Twitter and elsewhere for many months and have been contemplating getting a new phone. My choices have been narrowed down to the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD.

Lily got the Note II because she likes the big screen and battery life. I was leaning towards the Maxx HD (32 hour battery life!) but the Note II’s 4 core CPU makes the phone really zippy and the battery life is not bad even after abusing it.

So I took her phone with me to drop off the kids at Chinese school Saturday morning. That was her idea so I can see if it’s too large for my pocket (it’s not) and if I like using it (I do).

While there I saw a flower and took out her phone to take a quick snap. The Note II phone was dead. Dead as in 100% no lights, not responding, removing the battery did nothing. Naturally I did what most grown up men in my situation would do.

It’s important to appeal to the general public in case, you know, something unfortunate happens to me.

After getting home and apologizing to Lily profusely we found that removing the battery and SIM card (it’s an LTE phone and does have a SIM card) did bring it back to life.

he-broke-it

This is not the first time electronics have lost their mind around me but I wish my curse would remain localized to things that belong to me.

Maybe my phone problem IS my own fault

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I like to play with all of my toys and of course I rooted my HTC Thunderbolt phone long ago. I’ve done the whole gamut and have installed different ROMs including CyanogenMod, the unofficial ICS ROM from Team BAMF, and many flavors of Gingerbread. I’ve used apps that require root privileges, I’ve tethered and played with different radio code to get it all working well.

I’ve also created an unsupportable pile of poo that has been driving me nuts.

The damn phone loses data connectivity all the time. I have to baby it just to be able to read my Twitter feed. The battery life is embarrassing and I feel like my charger has become my lifeline. The phone crashes all the time and has spontaneously caught fire on more than one occasion.

That last part may have been an exaggeration but not by much. As sometimes it happens to people suffering in a crisis someone in my life intervened. Lily spoke those words that made me considered a new path filled with enlightenment:

“This happens to you with every phone you have. Maybe you are doing something wrong?”

She’s a smart woman. I’m lucky to have married her.

She is currently using an unmodified Samsung Galaxy SIII phone and except for the battery life not being as long as she’d like she hasn’t had any problems.

The real reason I hacked my phone (aside from the geek coolness factor) was to be able to run a tethering app. But now with the phone plan I have tethering comes with it at no additional charge. Instead of running a third party tethering app I can now just use the built in one from Verizon.

So last night I undid everything I did to my phone. I un-rooted it, I put it all back to the way it was from the factory and I’m now running the latest Verizon provided ROM on my phone. That includes the radio code as well and anyone looking at my phone would never be able to tell that I did anything to it.

I’ll still beat it to death and see if I can my phone to misbehave. I’ll also still get a new phone when I can as I’m up for getting new one, but maybe I’ll learn not to poke or break the next phone.

Golden Gate Bridge from Alcatraz

This was taken with my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens with a circular polarizer from Alcatraz Island.

Nikon D300s, Sigma 30mm @ ISO 200 f/5.6 1/8000 second, Aperture Priority

Not too shabby. Except for cropping and straightening it out (I can’t quite get the horizon right holding the camera by hand) I hardly made any changes at all.

Using Photoshop Elements 9 and saving for the web got me some banding on top, but the original Nikon RAW file is good and that’s what I’ll upload to Flickr.

Now to finish going through the pile and post the ones I like.

Or center embedded tweets with just CSS

After my earlier post on “Centering embedded tweets in WordPress” I’d gotten a reply from Ipstenu and Otto on Twitter.

Customizing how tweets are displayed is not a new problem. ;)

This got me taking a second look at the CSS of an embedded tweet. With Firebug you can inspect just about any items properties and I found the rule quickly.

I’m still picking up CSS knowledge all the time and I always forget about !important.

That tag lets you override rules even when it the normal CSS should get precedence. Which is why when I tried this in CSS previously it didn’t work for me, the rule I added was missing that tag. Continue reading

Centering embedded tweets in WordPress

Update: While the below solution is fun and works, it’s a little heavy handed code-wise. It’s easier to modify the presentation of the tweet using CSS which I explain in the next post.

A better solution is probably documented somewhere, but this worked for me and more importantly I had fun.

I was reading a blog post and noticed that the embedded tweets there were centered neatly and were not the same width as my own embedded tweets. The ones that I had inserted were left justified and had a 550px width.

I’d never liked the styling of my tweets, but all I was doing was pasting the tweet URL into the editor. I wasn’t pasting in the code from Twitter, WordPress was retrieving it for me via oEmbed.

I looked at the source of that page and noticed that the other blog post had added an additional CSS class to the tweet called tw-align-center and the hard-coded width=”550″ was removed.

That’s not surprising because when you visit Twitter’s page on embedding tweets, you can see the options for alignment. But how to do it in WordPress?

Continue reading

3d-glasses

Madagascar 3 in 3D

Years after 3D has become mainstream in the movie theaters, I finally saw my first one with the family. It was Madagascar 3 in 3D and we all liked it.

The 3D wasn’t overdone and I think that’s what made it work. I put the Real D 3D glasses over mine and enjoyed the show. Once I stopped attempting to focus on the intentionally out of focus parts, the effect was mostly ignored.

Not ignored exactly. It just wasn’t obtrusive. That’s what I think will make this a long lasting fad.

There was a bit of humor afterwards. See the two glasses above? I hadn’t realized that they came in kids size and I wore the small set. My 8 year old girl wore the grown up version. The ones I wore sure were snug alright.