Category Archives: tech

2015: Android Tablet Remote Erase and How to get Amazon Instant Video to play on Android

Recently had a close call with a tablet being lost (misplaced!) and learned that it is pretty important to have enabled the feature allowing you to remotely contact the tablet to either LOCK (with a msg on how to contact you) or ERASE it via https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager?u=0.

The corollary is that if you FIND a lost tablet, with no identification info either taped to it or in the contacts app, then if it is unlocked, do the owner a favor and connect to a local wifi network so that the magic of the REMOTE LOCK feature can work, allowing the owner to contact you via the LOCK MESSAGE. (this isn’t as much of a problem with a lost phone due to wireless broadband. But in either case, charge it up if needed of course. Very cool.

==================

OK, since I didn’t find a good guide to this in 2015, here’s the quick steps for Amazon Video circa 2015. I assume at some point Amazon will realize they are losing business by making this complicated. People don’t buy Kindle Fire tablets to avoid this issue do they? Is that what they are hoping? I’m not sure they could be since they DO allow it on iPads and iPhones. Maybe it is akin to the early days of Netflix when it was not available widely on Android. Who knows.

(BTW, my advice on a great tablet to buy in Jan 2015 is the slightly old Samsung Tab 3 8.0 for around $150 or Tab 4 8.0 for a little more. Plenty fast. Perfect size (ipad mini size). 7-inch tablets are too small in my opinion (my eyes!).

1. Install normal latest dolphin browser via google play store. (dolphin will allow you to use flash… some other browsers might not)
2a. Make sure flash is turned ON or ON DEMAND in dolphin menu… settings… advanced
2b. Make sure user agent is set to “desktop” in dolphin settings.
3. Install flash 11 in dolphin.
4. In dolphin login to amazon.com and go to amazon website settings… under Digital Content… Amazon Instant Video Settings… set the default to FLASH instead of SILVERLIGHT (since silverlight is not installable on android)
5. Reload a page for a video. It should work now.

If flash isn’t installed yet, I think a popup will happen asking to install flash. It might also first ask you to modify a setting in android security settings to allow you to install things that don’t come from the google play store. It will let you do it for “just this one installation”. reload the amazon page and it will work.

Leave a comment

Filed under reviews, tablets, tech

The Wolf

From https://medium.com/p/9bc38b3e8a2e

wolves

If you build software for a living (or otherwise), go read these three posts.

  1. @rands: The Wolf
  2. @kellan: “Wolf” narrative considered harmful (also biologically unlikely)
  3. @codinghorror (from 2004): Commandos, Infantry and Police

Leave a comment

Filed under art, computers, contrarian, programming, software, tech, work

3 somewhat related posts…

“As a software engineer, I’ll deal with all the technical headaches, but I won’t tolerate it as a consumer. Technology seems to be failing us faster than it’s helping us.”

http://blog.joemoreno.com/2014/09/apple-rant-failure-of-technology.html

Blogging (rather than writing at silos) is making a comeback.

http://blog.henrikcarlsson.se/im-taking-back-my-content/

and

http://mustapha.me/2014/08/blogs-are-cool-again/

“The best you can do is stop feeding the flames and stop paying attention.
If you’re having a rough day on social media, try taking a break. A big break. Delete the Twitter app or bury it in an obscure folder. Don’t check it for 24 hours. Go longer if you can. The difference is bigger than you might assume. It’s eye-opening.”

http://www.marco.org/2014/08/29/wirecutter-resolved

Leave a comment

Filed under contrarian, social media, tech, thinking

robots

ALQUIST: It was a crime to make robots.
HARRY DOMIN: No, Alquist, I don’t regret that even today.
ALQUIST: Not even today?
HARRY DOMIN: Not even today – the last day of civilization. Was it a crime to shatter the servitude of labor, the dreadful and humiliating labor that man had to undergo? Work was too hard. Life was too hard. And to overcome that –
ALQUIST: Was not what the two Rossums had in mind?
HARRY DOMIN: It’s what I had in mind.
ALQUIST: How well you succeeded! How well we all succeeded. For profit, for progress, we have destroyed mankind.

FROM RUR — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.U.R.

As heard here:

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/on-the-media-2014-04-18/

Transcript here:

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/our-universal-robots/transcript/

Leave a comment

Filed under future, tech, work

In the news…. some related links

The following are some related links. Computers are simultaneously making amazing things possible and helping make some people very rich, but also making it more difficult to make a living for many (see the income inequality video).
It’s touching everything for good or bad. Media, education, news, jobs, food, financial markets, politics. Some win (and we all hear about those people) and most lose (and news tries to not depress or mobilize us too much about that). “The limitation of the personal view” Jerry Mander calls it.

======================================

– The Rise of the Blockbuster (blockbusters are actually on the increase. the “long tail” is still there, but aren’t the real winners %-wise)

http://wgbhnews.org/post/rise-blockbuster

======================================

– Misconceptions about wealth Inequality in America

======================================

– “Q: If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today?”
“A: I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers.”

(original at: http://as.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/15yaap/if_someone_from_the_1950s_suddenly_appeared_today/?sort=top)

======================================

– University megastar professors

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2012/08/07/the-coming-age-of-the-teaching-megastar/

======================================

– Welcome, Robot Overlords. Please Don’t Fire Us?
Smart machines probably won’t kill us all—but they’ll definitely take our jobs, and sooner than you think.

https://ehaugsjaa.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/2040-our-robot-paradise/

======================================

– BAY WATCHED: How San Francisco’s new entrepreneurial culture is changing the country.
BY NATHAN HELLER
OCTOBER 14, 2013

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/10/14/131014fa_fact_heller?currentPage=all

Naval Ravikant “… the cost to build and launch a product went from five million … to one million … to five hundred thousand … and it’s now to fifty thousand.”

======================================

– The Nacho Dorito
“I visited Steven A. Witherly, a food scientist who wrote an insider’s guide, “Why Humans Like Junk Food,” and we raided his lab to taste and experiment our way through the psychobiology of what makes Nacho Cheese Doritos so alluring.”

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/10/01/dining/nacho-graphic.html?_r=0

======================================

– TOO COMPLICATED TO FAIL

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22too+complicated+to+fail%22

Leave a comment

Filed under computers, contrarian, person: Jerry Mander, tech, thinking

Led by technology, humans abandon instincts?

FROM RANPRIER.com 2007

http://www.ranprieur.com/archives/015.html

===============

November 16. Creepy news: Led by Robots, Roaches Abandon Instincts. From the abstract of the scientific paper:

“Even when in the minority, robots can modulate the collective decision-making process and produce a global pattern not observed in their absence. These results demonstrate the possibility of using intelligent autonomous devices to study and control self-organized behavioral patterns in group-living animals.”

I was about to say, in a few years they’ll be doing it with humans… but they’re already doing it with humans, and I don’t mean television — they’re doing exactly the same thing with human children, integrating mechanical robots into groups to study and control their behavior. Patricia sends this article from a week ago, Could robots become your toddler’s new best friend?

The scariest thing is that cockroaches, over tens of millions of years, have evolved an egalitarian cooperative society, and yet they can still be controlled by shadowy powers without their knowledge. Even if humans, say in a million years, catch up to cockroaches and learn deep resistance to hierarchy, we still have to learn resistance to subtle manipulation of collective decision-making. But Patricia is is oddly optimistic:

“As cool as cockroaches are, they are not very high on the individual consciousness scale. I think many humans are quite capable of out-evolving this type of control. If we were not, we’d all be sending large checks to anonymous Nigerian bankers, right? In short, cockroaches lack the ability to assume the worst, to withhold their trust or belief. They are innocents, pre-Fall, in the Edenic eternal now — until they get squished.”

Leave a comment

Filed under predictions, tech

ageism and creativity in programming

“I am 57 and I am a programmer, the same way Martin Scorcese is 70 and is a movie director. Or Ron Howard is 59, and Rob Reiner is 66. And that’s just film.”
— Dave Winer

GREAT POST!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under art, creativity, programming, tech