Thursday, December 17, 2015

Size Matters

Why are all unlocked Android phones that support Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T in a single unlocked model also huge?  A 6" screen is not a luxury, it's a burden.  4.7" is as big as a phone can be and still fit in a normal person's hand.  Beyond that, you need two hands for anything besides talking on the phone or you'll drop it.  Motorola, LG, and Samsung need to copy Apple harder.  At least when it comes to screen size and cellular frequency support.  The batteries will last longer with the lower resolution too.  Make an unlocked Sony Z5 Compact for the American market and take my money!

Update:  Sony actually put out a version of the Z5 Compact for the US market.  It's super duper expensive and lacks the fingerprint sensor.   So so close.

Friday, December 11, 2015


Fun fact: a verizon first generation Moto X works w/ a Ting SIM card on the T-Mobile network.  The only annoyance is that it uses a nanoSIM and switching between phones means you either need an adapter to turn it back into a microSIM or you need to save the extra plastic you pop off and tape it back together. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Moto G 2015

According to their forums, Motorola has chronic issues with customs.  This didn't happen when they shipped from Texas.  Thanks, Lenovo for buying them and thanks Google for shutting down the US customization factory.  I wish there was a compact version of a Nexus brand phone.

Update: I guess they've already resolved this with customs today.  What a weird standard operating procedure.  If my phone's packaging is marked "Gift - Under $20" though, I'm returning it on principle.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Wizard of Earthsea (Audio book)

Harlan Ellison is a very exciting narrator.  The story is a fairy tale, which is a refreshing change from fantasy books that tend to focus on personalities and politics with kaboom thrown in when there's no easy resolution to a disagreement.  It's not as fast paced as pulp fiction, but it's still hard to put down.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Liferay has a lot of Permissions

Liferay generally grants permissions to roles.  Roles can contain users, groups, or organizations,  There are permissions on the roles themselves dictating what other roles can see those roles.  There are a few hardcoded roles like Guest and User. 

You can set permissions on an entire site (group of pages).  You can set permissions on the individual pages.  You can set permissions on the portlets (content blocks) within those pages.  Depending on the portlet, you can set permission on the content within that portlet.  If you are a user creating content (for example, if you post a question to a forum), your content can only have permissions granted to roles which you can see.  So, you would need site, page, portlet, content, and role permission.  If these get mismanaged or out of sync, there is no quick way to apply a lot of permissions.  There will be clicking, waiting, and gnashing of teeth.  You are much better off just leaving everything set to the default permissions and only changing things on pages.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Deploying an Ext Plugin with New JSP Overrides

If you add a new jsp override to an old hook and it isn't updating like you expect you may have to stop tomcat, delete webapps\PORTAL\WEB-INF\ext-<myplugin>.xml, then restart.  That XML file contains a list of everything in your plugin and isn't refreshed automatically when you hot deploy so new override jsp's won't be picked up and copied to your portal's html folder unless you force the issue. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Amazon Freetime Quick Review

We have a Amazon Fire HD 7 tablet and have set up profiles for the kids and started a free trial month of the freetime book subscription for children.  It's cool, but the Kindle reader app is insanely sensitive.  They are twitchy little kids and keep randomly turning pages or failing to zoom the text.  They need to severely limit the possible inputs when a kid is reading.  Pages should only turn if you swipe, not if you tap.  Zooming the text should be much easier than the rapid double tap it requires now.  The orientation should lock automatically.  It should be harder to get out of the full screen and show the android buttons and the dropdown menu.  As it is, we're unlikely to continue the subscription, but if they address the problems so that the kids can actually read the books, I'd consider paying for it.  Also, it needs a voice reader function like the FBReader TTS+ or at least a word assistance function that helps kids sound words out phoenetically or just reads the whole word for very long words (I don't care if my 6 year old can sound out "disqualification" yet).

Monday, February 09, 2015

Lacrosse Weather Station Pairing Fun

We have two Lacrosse 8418 "atomic" clocks that also tell you your indoor and outdoor temperatures which were like a buck each because they were missing the outdoor weather station.  Without the outdoor sensor, they chewed through batteries in about a day trying to find it.  So I ordered a single replacement outdoor gauge and did the pairing procedure (pop the batteries for both things at the same time) for the sensor with both clocks at the same time.  It took two tries, but now the sensor has been talking to both clocks for two weeks.  I was pleasantly surprised since I don't think using pairing multiple devices is even mentioned on their support site.  Might not work for anybody else and it's definitely an unlikely use case since these things are usually sold in pairs anyways.