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Virgin Mobile Androids: Worth the Money?

Virgin Mobile Androids: Worth the Money?


Virgin mobile offers a wide array of cell phones for a cheap price. As most cheap products, some of them do not work properly and are a waste of money and time. At the same time, there are some phones that are very much worth what you pay. But how do you know which phones will last you a long time and which ones won’t?

The first android phone I will discuss is the Virgin Mobile Venture, currently sold for $34.99. This cell phone is powered by Android 2.3, a slightly older Android platform. This phone is bar-style, meaning the phone does not open or slide. It has a full QWERTY physical keyboard, as well. This phone is very sleek and overall, and it is fairly simple to use. This phone is somewhat bulky, which makes the phone much harder to break. My Virgin Mobile Venture went down flights of stairs, fell in water and was dropped countless times. The only damage that was done are some generally unnoticeable scratches. In addition to these positive features, there is one terrible feature: battery life. I had to charge this phone up to three times a day, even when I hardly used it. If you open and use an application for more than 5 minutes, the battery will drain and the phone will power down. Another major issue with this phone is call quality. Each call you make on this phone comes in with static and is very difficult to hear. Overall, the Virgin Mobile is a good phone, but is not a great phone.

The next android I will review is the Kyocera Rise. This phone is powered by the all-new Android 4.0. It features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a 3.5 inch touchscreen. The camera on this phone is a 3.2 Megapixel, which is a good quality for a cell phone camera. This phone is much more delicate than the Virgin Mobile Venture, meaning it is slightly easier to damage. In addition to these features, this cell phone has wonderful battery life. I used this phone quite frequently and I only had to charge it once a day, if that. Overall, the Kyocera Rise is worth the money you pay. This phone can be purchased for good prices, between $69.99 and $79.99.

You can browse Virgin Mobile cell phones here.…

Best Phone Recovery Tools for Android

Best Phone Recovery Tools for Android


When you lose your phone, it’s a nigthmare. Where did I live it? At home? In the car? Did it fell of the street? Was it stolen? You can get your Android back by using some recovery tools. There are all types of services that will allow you to track and find where your phone is and hopefully get it back.

Best Phone Recovery Tools for Android: SeekDroid

This is a nice and simple utility to help you find your android. And the bast part is almost free! It costs only $0.99. The application allows you find you device by tracking it on Google map. You will also be able to lock it remotely lock it. If you have set up SeekDroid you can also make sound an alarm and display a message to return the phone. Once you have realised you have lost your Android you manage everything from the SeekDroid Web site.

Best Phone Recovery Tools for Android: Where’s My Droid

If you really want a free phone recovery tool for your Android this it!. Where’s My Droid is a completely free utility that “finds” a lost Android phone very easily. It has two modes: one to search your phone in your home and another one to find it if you have lost it out of your home. In the first mode it allows you to make sound and alarm to locate your droid. In the second mode it allows to use the phone GPS capabilities to locate it on a map. You can send message to be displayed on your lost phone so a good Samaritan can return it to you..

Best Phone Recovery Tools for Android: Prey

This service will cost between $5 to 399 per month depending on number of phones you wish to protect. Is an anti theft application. Once you realize your phone is lost or if you get robbed you simply send a text message with an activation phrase. Prey will deactivate your phone automatically and send periodical updates on its location.

These are three of Best Phone Recovery Tools for Android. Now is your turn, leave a comment. What do you think should be included additionally in this post?…

How to Tether an Android Gingerbread Smartphone to a Laptop Via Bluetooth

How to Tether an Android Gingerbread Smartphone to a Laptop Via Bluetooth


As mobile carriers roll out more advanced mobile data networks, including the current 4G, which delivers wireless data Internet speeds comparable to cable broadband, many users are shirking their wired Internet connections and tethering their cell phones to their laptops instead. Tethering is the act of connecting a cell phone to a computer so that it functions as a modem. Once connected, you can then access the Internet on your laptop via your cell phone. While most tethering apps require the phone to be physically connected to the laptop via a USB cable, you can use a simple app to connect via Bluetooth instead, turning your Android smartphone into a Wi-Fi router.

Step 1: Turn on your Android smartphone and tap the “Google Play” icon, which is the new replacement for the previous “Marketplace” icon. This will open the Google Play (Marketplace) store. Tap the button with the picture of a magnifying glass located in the top right-side of the screen. Type “PDANet” into the search field, then tap the magnifying glass button again to find the app.

Step 2: Tap the “PDANet” listing when it appears in the search results. Once the app’s page opens, tap “Download.” PDANet is free for the first 14 days, at which point you must pay for the app. You’ll receive a notification at the top of your smartphone when the app has downloaded and been installed.

Step 3: Open the list of applications on your phone and select “PDANet.” The app will open. Tap “Turn on Bluetooth DUN.” If Bluetooth is currently disabled on your phone, the app will prompt you to enable it. Once Bluetooth is enabled, PDANet will attempt to connect with your Bluetooth-enabled laptop for 120 seconds.

Step 4: Click the “Wireless Networks” icon on the bottom right-side of the Windows taskbar on your computer. Select “Dial-Up” connection. You will have to set up the connection for the first time. Select your wireless carrier and enter your phone number into the appropriate text fields when prompted, then click “Connect.” The computer will dial into the phone as if it were a dial-up modem. Once dialed in, you will be connected to the Internet n your computer via your smartphone’s data connection and Bluetooth. 

How to Tether an Android Gingerbread Smartphone to a Laptop Via Bluetooth

As mobile carriers roll out more advanced mobile data networks, including the current 4G, which delivers wireless data Internet speeds comparable to cable broadband, many users are shirking their wired Internet connections and tethering their cell phones to their laptops instead. Tethering is the act of connecting a cell phone to a computer so that it functions as a modem. Once connected, you can then access the Internet on your laptop via your cell phone. While most tethering apps require the phone to be physically connected to the laptop via a USB cable, you can use a simple app …

How to Install Linux as a Virtual Machine Under Microsoft Windows

How to Install Linux as a Virtual Machine Under Microsoft Windows


Some people have taken the Linux ‘Text Drive’ using a Linux Live media. Now they want to go the next step further but are not comfortable with swapping out Windows completely yet. Well these people have the choose of keep using the Live media and or they can install Linux as a virtual machine under Microsoft Windows. That is to say, Linux will run as a Microsoft Windows’ application, an application that Windows gives complete control to. Linux, the Windows application, at install time, will create a file of a length set at install tie. This file will contain the Linux file system. A smaller file will be created to to be used as a swap file. With the Linux Windows application having complete control of the Windows system Linux runs effectively under Windows.

Some things should be note such as the Linux virtual machine runs a bit slower especially when accessing the hard disk drive. Note that this virtual machine then can run in the same partition as Windows.

For those who would like to install Linux as a virtual machine under Windows should follow the steps listed below.

1.Obtain a copy of the Linux Live media.

2.Burn that copy, usually in an ‘iso’ file onto the appropriate media (CD/DVD/USB Flashdrive).

3.On the Live media there will be a file that runs under Microsoft Windows. Execute this file while in Windows. This file will give you the option to install Linux under Windows. Choose that option.

4.Follow the prompts during the setup process.

5.Once the setup process has been completed and system has been restarted you will be present with a Boot Menu that allows you to choose the Windows or Linux.

At the time of this writing only the only Windows version tested was Microsoft Windows 7 and only Ubuntu and Linux Mint were the only Linux distribution tested.…

Movie Projectors for the Cell Phone

Movie Projectors for the Cell Phone


Isn’t it amazing the age we live in? We can download movies and television shows into our cell phones, and watch them no matter where we are! Of course, it’s all on a 2 inch screen! Portable Media Players may give us a few more inches, but still, you’re watching something designed for a big screen on a little one.

Well, there may be another outlet. At this year’s CTIA Wireless show, Texas Instruments (TI) demonstrated a Digital Light Processing (DLP) “pico” projector, a tiny movie projector that is able to fit inside the tip of a cell phone. This projector has three lasers, a DLP ship, and measures about 1.5 inches long. It is the same technology that is in projection TV sets, but miniaturized.

A company called Upstream Engineering in Finland is also attempting to create a projector in a cell phone. Only their projector uses a Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology, but still has the same problems. There are concerns whether the light will be bright enough, as projection technology requires quite a lot of lumens (units of brightness) to create a succinct image. The DLP, which uses lasers, could be the one that can produce quality images and still remain a small piece of hardware.

None of my sources say just how large an image the DLP can project. Apparently, the image will be “DVD quality”. Hopefully, they found a way to make it focus clearly, because the idea of holding it continuously in my hand for extended periods of time already makes my muscles sore. TI has not provided pictures of what the projected images look like, but then again, they probably are something that you would have to see in front of you in order to really appreciate.

TI has also not said when these cell phone/projectors will be available. Right now, the picture that I have is one that was released to the press about a week ago. The phone on it is fake, and I’m guessing that it will take a while before TI perfects how to integrate a cell and projector in the same little box. I also haven’t heard anything about sound quality, so I am assuming that any sound would be as good as what comes through the wearer’s headphones.

I’m not certain how this new technology will change mobile entertainment as we know it. Having a mini-movie projector probably won’t help if you want to watch it on a bus. Unless the bus happens to have a good section of white wall that it will let you use. That, or maybe the driver will let you lie down on the floor so you can project on the ceiling. That might work for mini-van passengers.

I also don’t know if this would work on an airplane, because don’t they ask you to turn your cell phones off? Still, assuming they let you use the projector, you could project your own in-flight movie on …

Sony Ericsson S500i Phone: Brings New Light and Color

Sony Ericsson S500i Phone: Brings New Light and Color


The phone is design to copy nature, a thin slider, that when opened revealing the colorful features an different theme displays. The user can chose to change the internal themes and light effects any time he wishes, once the seasons change, when a day passes, or when a weekend starts.

“The details make these phones different. Our designers have been inspired by nature and the northern light when creating priceless living phones. They address people with a strong personality, that think well before picking a phone.”, explains Steve Walker, Head of Product Marketing at Sony Ericsson.

The Mysterious Green and Spring Yellow colors offer the S500i a living design. The hidden lighting is added to attract attention about an important event, and the keyboard delivers energy when the thin slider opens.

The 2.0 Mega-pixel camera offers the possibility of taking high quality photos, that can be immediately posted on the Internet. The photos or the short movies can be sent to any other mobile phone or e-mail address.

S500i also contains a media player, and a Memory Stick slot. The device allows attaching a media device such as the Music Bluetooth Receiver MBR-100, also the music on the phone can be played using your home stereo. The phone contains 3D games and allows a comfortable Internet experience.

S500i has everything you need in order to connect to a Personal Computer of Laptop, this way your favorite music can be transfered from your computer directly to the mobile phone using the Sony Ericsson Disc2Phone software.

The images can be downloaded from the mobile phone to a computer with out the need of any software, the mobile phone shows up as a drive on your computer when connected.

Finally, the device has a Bluetooth 2.0 port, offering a fast connection to other Bluetooth devices, such as the T650.…

Personal Favorite Linux Applications

Personal Favorite Linux Applications


I decided that I should probably list some of my favorite Linux applications. I will try and include ones that you don’t by default, but some of them will be in many Linux distributions no matter what.

Internet

Web Browser – Firefox

I love Firefox. As soon as I found it I immediately switched from Internet Explorer, but those were back when I used Windows. I love how it has themes and many of the plug-ins are very useful. The newer Firefox Personas feature is very nice. It may not always be the fastest browser, but it renders things nicely and has many usable features. You can also find plenty of help for it when you need it. It is cross-platform and runs most operating systems.

IM Client – Pidgin

Pidgin is the client I switched to after using Trillian in Windows. It serves me well most of the time, though it can throw fits every now and again. Again it has plug-ins, which is nice though I don’t use them as much. It supports more IM services than I know to use. Some of them I have never heard of. If you have aspell installed then it will also let you correct your spelling. It is cross-platform and will run on most operating systems.

Multimedia

Music & Video – VLC

I love VLC, and I don’t plan to use anything else for a very long time. It plays tons of formats, it is light-weight, and doesn’t have much extra junk to hold you down. VLC also runs on most operating systems. Oh and apparently VLC is also skinnable, but I don’t bother with that.

Music Editing – Audacity

I don’t do a lot of music editing, but when I do it I love audacity. I still don’t have a handle on the whole thing but I know it well enough to cut and splice clips together. It is fairly simple and again, available for many operating systems, though I don’t think this one has themes or skins.

Images

Image Editing – GIMP

GIMP takes a little getting used to when you come from Photoshop or Painshop Pro, but once you get used to it you don’t mind so much. And I don’t suggest complaining that it isn’t like Photoshop to the people that make it. They know it isn’t and that is on purpose. To be honest it is nice to see something that isn’t a Photoshop clone. There are a few things that are done differently, but you can do just about anything you can in Photoshop with GIMP. GIMP will open just about any image type you find, so it is very useful for converting. And again, it runs on multiple operating systems.

Office Software

Office Suite – OpenOffice

OpenOffice is a very nice set of programs. It runs well, especially once you get to OpenOffice 3. It is basically a Microsoft Office clone, with enough changed to avoid copyright problems. Oh and …

How to Install Linux as a Virtual Machine Under Microsoft Windows

How to Install Linux as a Virtual Machine Under Microsoft Windows


Some people have taken the Linux ‘Text Drive’ using a Linux Live media. Now they want to go the next step further but are not comfortable with swapping out Windows completely yet. Well these people have the choose of keep using the Live media and or they can install Linux as a virtual machine under Microsoft Windows. That is to say, Linux will run as a Microsoft Windows’ application, an application that Windows gives complete control to. Linux, the Windows application, at install time, will create a file of a length set at install tie. This file will contain the Linux file system. A smaller file will be created to to be used as a swap file. With the Linux Windows application having complete control of the Windows system Linux runs effectively under Windows.

Some things should be note such as the Linux virtual machine runs a bit slower especially when accessing the hard disk drive. Note that this virtual machine then can run in the same partition as Windows.

For those who would like to install Linux as a virtual machine under Windows should follow the steps listed below.

1.Obtain a copy of the Linux Live media.

2.Burn that copy, usually in an ‘iso’ file onto the appropriate media (CD/DVD/USB Flashdrive).

3.On the Live media there will be a file that runs under Microsoft Windows. Execute this file while in Windows. This file will give you the option to install Linux under Windows. Choose that option.

4.Follow the prompts during the setup process.

5.Once the setup process has been completed and system has been restarted you will be present with a Boot Menu that allows you to choose the Windows or Linux.

At the time of this writing only the only Windows version tested was Microsoft Windows 7 and only Ubuntu and Linux Mint were the only Linux distribution tested.…

Extending Battery Life of Your Android Phone

Extending Battery Life of Your Android Phone


Power-hungry GPS, large and brighter screens, thinner designs, faster dual-core processors are just but a few of the modern Android phone`s designs that make its battery deplete so quickly. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can succeed in extending battery life of your Android phone.

1. Automatic brightness 
Setting the display brightness to adjust automatically will allow the operating system to dim in darker environment thus saving on energy.

2. Switch off extra features

Keep unnecessary hardware features off while not in use. Features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and more, consumes extra power that can be saved.

3. Disable widgets

Dump unnecessary live wallpapers and widgets. Some of these constantly pull updates from the background and keep consuming power.

4. Reduce applications that pull information regularly

Reduce applications that consistently pull information such as Facebook, email, twitter and the rest. You can change the settings to manual and always activate them when necessary or when there is a new message in the inbox.

5. Stay up to date

Keep applications updated. Up to date application use less power. Check to always confirm that all get automatic updating from the internet.

6. Disable flash

Adobe Flash is set to load flash content from the web and therefore keeps connecting to the internet which consumes power for no reason. You can adjust the settings from the Internet browser`s menu.

7. Adjust RSS feeds frequency

Default settings of some third-party application keeps checking for updates constantly in the background without indicating the cost on the battery life.

8. Check the signal strength 
Stationing in an area with low signal strength will over work the phone as it keeps trying to latch onto enough cellular signal which will cost extra power.

These are some of realistic ways of extending battery life of your Android phone rather than putting it off or charging it multiple times a day.…

The Wrong Phone in the Wrong Place

The Wrong Phone in the Wrong Place


An official of importance wished to make a contribution
When he went to visit someone in a mental institution.
While there he used the telephone to try to make a call,
But it seemed there was a problem, he could not connect at all.
The operator took the brunt of his exasperation,
He shouted at, and blamed her for all his aggravation.
“Do you know who I am?”, he asked, and gave the phone a jar,
“No”, she told him calmly, “But I do know WHERE you are!”…