Friday, 4 September 2009

How to use Facebook via text from any mobile phone

A large number of mobile phone users have smart phones, some of them aren't even aware of it. Nearly every smart phone has a Facebook app, some of them are really good, like the one recently released for the iPhone. Sadly, the BlackBerry Facebook app still needs some work and is a bit slow, at least on a 8310 Curve.

But what do you do if you need to use Facebook from a non-smart phone (dumb phone)? Facebook has enabled a feature called Facebook Mobile, which name is a bit confusing. It allows you to receive updates via text message to your phone.

It's as simple as that - you just have to verify your phone number, choose what kind of updates you want to be notified about and you're ready to roll. You can also select timeslots in which texts will not be sent to your phone, so you aren't waken in the middle of the night just because someone likes your picture, and has to express it.

Oh, and the service is free, so why not give it a go. (inb4 burden of proof)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

How to fix a wrong unread message count on a BlackBerry

This is a quite common issue for BlackBerry users, sometimes the smart phone will fail to accurately display the unread message count. As a consequence it will show an envelope with an number at the top of you home screen (this also depends on the theme you are using).

Here are the steps to go through:

1. Check if you haven't got any unread messages that you might have saved.
2. Check if you haven't got any unread messages
3. Reconcile your inboxes
4. Delete entries in your call log
5. Battery pull (not simulated battery pull using QuickPull, it will not work)

If this doesn't help seek help on forums such as CrackBerry or just Google the issue, there are multiple things that can trigger this issue.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Twitter not releasing inactive usernames

I always wanted to have the @sav Twitter handle but it was taken. Using advice form Zee of I've contacted Twitter, that claims on their website that they release unused twitter user names.


I'm currently using @savocado as my twitter username and I would like yo
change it to @sav

The user that has @sav hasn't tweeted for over 2 years.

I have heard that in some cases you release a unused twitter names.
Please let me know if this could be done, and if there is any additional
info that you would require.


A minute later I got an automatic response.

Hi Sav,

You can change your user name at any time here:

Your messages, replies and content will not be affected, but we do recommend that that you let your followers know about the name change with a tweet.

Twitter is not currently releasing inactive user names. Unless your user name issue involves Terms of Service violations, you'll have to wait until all inactive user names are released. We're working on a better long term solution for this, and we should have more news soon.

* If your user name request concerns impersonation, trademark infringement, copyright, or another Terms of Service violation, please submit a request to the Terms of Service group via the web form. Be sure to pick the right item from the drop down box for expedited help. Keep in mind that if there is no content and no intent to mislead, there is most likely no infringement.

If you're unable to use our web form, please send your request to for help from our Terms of Service group.

Twitter Support

Sadly, I failed. I will be monitoring this issue, will be posting here if I find out more.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

BlackBerry Curve 8310 crashing/freezing behaviour

Recently I have had problems with my BlackBerry Curve 8310. It was crashing all the time, even a few minutes after a reboot. As I figured out later, there was an disk error on the memory card that caused the issue - everything is now fine after I have had formatted it.

An interesting thing happens when the device crashes - if you are playing an audio file it will continue playing, but if you unplug the headphones it will not switch to the speaker/speakerphone. The light sensor will still react to changes in lighting condition and will adjust the brightness of the screen and back light the keyboard and clitmouse, errr I mean trackball.

Surprisingly the [Shift] key will also work. Interesting.

Monday, 6 July 2009

BEIKS Keyboard Locker 1.0 for BlackBerry

Recently I've noticed that if I'm on the go, keys on my Curve 8310 get accidentally pressed. I don't use the lether-ish holster because I listen to music and podcasts all the time. The phone can be locked using an icon on the home screen or assigning the locking action to one of the convenience keys, but it's not very handy.

The problem has been solved on the Curve 8900, which has a dedicated keyboard lock key, just above the status led.

If you stuck with an older 83xxn The BEIKS keyboard Locker for BlackBerry is an app that you might consider. Upon installation the application adds a control panel in the Options/Settings application where all other global settings are.

It will automatically lock the keyboard after a period that you can define. The application is free and very straightforward - to give it a go, go to for an OTA installation.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

The Brain percives tools as temporary body parts

Researchers have confirmed that when we use a tool, even for just a few minutes, the tool becomes a part of what is known in psychology as our body schema, according to a report published in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

"Since the origin of the concept of body schema, the idea of its functional plasticity has always been taken for granted, even if no direct evidence has been provided until now," said Alessandro Farnè of INSERM and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon. "Our series of experiments provides the first, definitive demonstration that this century-old intuition is true."

In the new study the researches reasoned that if one incorporates a used tool into the body schema, his or her subsequent bodily movements should differ when compared to those performed before the tool was used.

Indeed, that is exactly what they observed. After using a mechanical grabber that extended their reach, people behaved as though their arm really was longer, they found.

It's a phenomenon each of us unconsciously experiences every day, the researchers said. The reason you were able to brush your teeth this morning without necessarily looking at your mouth or arm is because your toothbrush was integrated into your brain's representation of your arm.

The findings help to explain how it is that humans use tools so well.

"We believe this ability of our body representation to functionally adapt to incorporate tools is the fundamental basis of skillful tool use," Cardinali said. "Once the tool is incorporated in the body schema, it can be maneuvered and controlled as if it were a body part itself."

Read the full article on Science Blog.

Karen Hopkin of Scientific American reported on this on 60-Second Science, a daily podcast.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Elegant LaCie USB drives look like door keys

LaCie announced three new USB drives that look like a door key – LaCie itsaKey, iamaKey and PassKey USB key drives, designed by 5.5 Designers. The itsaKey and iamaKey store up to 8 gigabytes of flash memory.
Alternatively, the PassKey has a built-in microSD card reader, which allows you to use your memory cards but is much ticker and not as sexy. Good if you have phone or phones that use microSD cards. Just one question for RIM: Why the f is the SD card slot under the batter?

“Following the popularity and usefulness of flash memory today, LaCie merged the ubiquitous USB interface with a very mobile and convenient form factor, a key that you always carry with you,” said Luc Pierart, Business Unit Manager of Peripherals & Accessories. “The LaCie Key products bring ease-of-use to our customers making it easy to access, store, and share large amounts of content on-the-go. After all it’s a Key.”

The LaCie Keys are available now at LaCie Online Store and qualified LaCie Reseller+ and LaCie Corner, also on Amazon UK.

Monday, 13 April 2009

'Caprica' (pre-BSG TV series) pilot leaked today

After having not such a great bank holiday things changed after I found accidentally the leaked pilot episode of the new TV series called Caprica.

Caprica will (or rather 'is') a prequel to the Battlestar Galactica series set 50 years prior to the events of that show. I have just watched it, looks promising. Not so much action and shoot 'em up moment, looks like it will be focused more on terrestrial
problems such and moral issues.

Apparently the shooting script leaked in December last year, clearly confidentiality is not the crews biggest asset, if the source is right.

The series will premier on DVD and digital download on 21/04/09.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Spammers getting smarter and beating GMail

A while ago I used to get a lot of spam, more than 3500 messages per month. Now don’t even get half of that. I doesn’t really matter – Gmail’s spam filter is ace.

Recently I’ve received a number of very similar spam messages that look like this:

The link obviously leads to an advert for the usual stuff.

Most of them go straight to the spam folder, but a large amount hits the inbox. Looks like this might be a challenge for Google – the surely don’t want to blacklist links to their own service.

The problem is that the messages look like a legitimate link that a friend might send you. Spammers are getting more clever, let’s see how Google responds.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Using an iPod Shuffle without iTunes

A few weeks ago I got an 1GB iPod Shuffle form as a thank you gift. After I have had made my 'musical fashion statement' I decided that I actually might want to try to use it as a mp3 player.

Personally I'm not a big fan of Apple, I'm even less affectionate towards iTunes.

This is the moment when iSHUFFLE 1.0 - a tiny application written by Packard - comes in handy. All you have to do is:

1. Copy the iShuffle.exe file to your iPod
2. Copy your music to the /Music folder
4. Enjoy your music.

Every time you update your music files you need to repeat these steps so the index file can be rebuilt.

The application is freeware and can be downloaded from the iSHUFFLE offical website.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Twibble "tunnel timed out" error quick fix - O2 UK

I've had installed Twibble Mobile on my Blackberry Curve 8310 and received a "tunnel timed out" error message. I am on 02 UK and have found a quick fix for this problem.

All you have to do is go to Options > Advanced Options > TCP and type in the following settings.

Username for APN: mobileweb
Password for APN: password

For other carriers just check their TCP settings and all should be fine.

That's all. Haven't used the app much yet, but looks much better than Twitterberry.