Posts From May, 2013

How to wake up and have a good mood for the whole morning

I found an awesome alarm clock for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry 10!

From the creators of UNIQLO Calendar, here there is UNIQLO WAKE UP! (UNIQLO it's a very popular clothing company in Japan)

Before playing the song, it checks the weather on the Internet, and plays a music that fits. And that music is written by Cornelius (Keigo Oyamada) and Yoko Kanno, a composer that made many awesome sountracks for anime!!!

An artificial voice, but melodic like Hatsune Miku, will say "Good morning, it's ♫ eeeeight aaaam ♪, on tuesday, and it's ♫ part-lyyyyi ♪ cloud-yyyyyyyyy ♫"

I love it, today it rains but it's the whole morning that I am humming "dan dandan din dandin, good morning, it's part-lyyyyy cloud-yyyyyyy"

Unfortunately, it's not perfect:

  • That voice is only in English or Chinese. No Japanese??? I am surprised, as is targeted to Japan! The app description says "アラームミュージックのボーカルは、英語、マンダリン語の2つから選択することができます。" (=Alarm can be set in English or Chinese)
  • It's slow and takes a long time to load, even if the main screen is a simple colored background with weather and time.
  • When you exit and reopen it, even if you do it immediately, for a programming glitch, it loads it everything again, from zero....
  • It ignores the alarm volume, and uses the multimedia volume, so, there is the risk that sometimes it won't play because it's muted - they should set the volume high before playing the alarm.

Download it for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry 10 (note: for installing on BB10, follow this guide. Also, it looks like that the app can open by itself even if the active frame is closed: this should not be supported, if you want to be 100% sure that it works, it's better to leave it running in an active frame)

Converse with heels??

The famous Converse All Star shoes have become popular again nowadays, but, having a flat sole, aren't a good choice for who is short and wants to look a bit taller.

Watching this Japanese TV Commercials compilation, I was that in that market they introduced the perfect hybrid! (the CM is here) Inside there is a wedge heel!


Unfortunately, as for every marvelous items, it looks like it's on sale only in Japan...

How to get your phone stolen online

(and meanwhile get your PayPal account wiped)

Last week I got another BlackBerry Z10 as a gift. Since I already own one, I put it on sale on a craigslist equivalent for my country.

Just after seven minutes I got an email! With much excitement I open it:

It comes from "g.....a.g.....n.....e...r....[email protected]" (uhm... what's this address? On gmail dots are ignored, it has been edited this way to avoid searching on Google, the real address is [email protected]) and it says "I am interested to that phone, it's still on sale?"

I answer from my disposable email account: "Of course it's still on sale, I posted it less than 10 minutes ago"

I get immediately a response (from a different email, [email protected]) he says he is an Italian but for work reasons he is temporarily located in Abidjan, and he needs my Z10 so badly to happily pay 100 euro more than my asking price, if I can send it immediately via ITALIAN POSTAL SERVICE.

This is the proof that the guy isn't an Italian, otherwise he would have NEVER asked to rely on the ITALIAN POSTAL SERVICE to deliver such an expensive and fragile item! wink

However, I answer "sure, send money to this email, and I will send the phone immediately"

Just a few seconds later I get a phishing email from [email protected] (I guess PayPal is cutting on budget, can't afford professional email, must use the free yahoo mail) written in bad Italian: money is arrived, if I click and insert my PayPal password, I will receive the money. wink

Super cool! In this way the scammer gets my phone for free and at the same time he steals my PayPal password, for having a free shopping spree!

So, I click the fake link in the fake email, and I get a fake site where, inserting my fake email with a fake password like "omgimdumb", I see that the fake payment has been credited on my fake account, cool!

I answer "Whoa, that's a fast payment! I send it quickly via italian postal service, it will arrive very fast, I'm sure about it."

Not understanding my irony, he answers me "Thank you! Send it to:

ZIP code:12 BP 2479
Country: Ivory Coast
TEL: +225 66751492

I answer him: Wait for it impatiently, will arrive very soon

Google is the core of your digital life

The other day I installed Collusion, a Firefox extension. It simply tracks your browsing, then make a nice graph to show website correlation. This is what I got after a few hours:

Maybe isn't that clear in my image, but the core of my digital life is Google. And what about your?

Alice and Kev

Cleaning my bookmarks, I found this old blog from year 2009: Alice and Kev. Old story, you might say, but I find it interesting.

The author created an homeless family in The Sims 3, removed all the money and let them live in a garden, leaving them live according their digital personalities, writing a diaries of their autonomous adventures.

Alice is a kind-hearted girl, but also is shy and with a low self-esteem, while her father, Kev, is an antisocial mad guy that hates kids.

The story has already reached a conclusion, but it's still interesting to read its evolution.

How to batch convert videos keeping original creation date

Actually, this post should be titled how to edit files in a folder keeping the edit date unchanged, but in most cases it's about videos.

In fact, nowadays we record HUGE HD videos, my phone takes 200 MB / minute, if I record a short fireworks show, I get an huge 2 GB file, the same size of a full DVD movie: it's a total waste of memory, as it's shaky, it's underlighted and has awful audio.

In this cases it's possible to recompress videos with Handbrake without a visible loss of quality.

The main problem is that, when we recompress it, we lose the original date of creation/edit, and in some cases this is a big problem, especially if we want to keep them sorted chronologically, for example as a trip memory.

We can manually change the creation/edit date with utilities like this, but it's a tedious work.

What to do? I asked for help on SuperUser and John Siu wrote a PowerShell script that does exactly what I wanted!

First of all, we have to install PowerShell on our PC.

Them insert the file to be converted in a folder, and run the script SaveTime.ps1: it will save on a file the creation dates of our videos.

Now, we can convert them in batch, for example by using Handbrake batch encoder.

Once we converted them all, we can restore the original date by running OldTime.ps1, paying attention that the new files have the same name of the old ones.

If after converting, the file extension is different (for example: m4v becomes mp4), we have to change by using one of those ways:

  1. By editing the file that contains all the dates, OldTime-record.ps1 with a "find and replace" to change file extensions
  2. By renaming all the files with the DOS command *.mp4 *.m4v"

Springpad for BlackBerry 10

If you follow my blog, you might know that I am a Springpad fan.

Unfortunately, for now there is no Springpad app for BlackBerry 10, so I am left without my hundreds of useful notes.

Yes, BlackBerry 10 integrates natively with Evernote, automatically syncing with Evernote text notes, memos and voice notes, but I don't like Evernote.

Luckily, how I wrote in my previous post, you can manually install most Android apps.

This is how Springpad is working on BlackBerry 10:

Unfortunately, it has two limitations:

  1. For now "shares" are confined inside the Android subsystem. You can share pages and news to and from other Android apps, like Taptu, but you can't share to and from "native" apps. This limitation should be removed with BlackBerry 10.2, coming in a few months.
  2. Push notifications aren't supported:

Well... I can live without those functions, if I want to "share" I can manually do it with copy/paste, and I don't use notifications.

If you want to try it, download pre-converted Springpad below and load it on your device by following this guide:

Springpad 4.0.3

Springpad 4.0.4

Springpad 4.0.5 (it's erroneously recognized as a widget and it's not converted correctly)

How to install Android apps on BlackBerry 10

demoIf you have a BlackBerry 10 smartphone, as the Z10 or the Q10, sometimes you will miss some app: the platform is very new, so, except for super popular apps like Twitter, Facebook, or similar, there is some deficiency.

In the long run the problem will be "fixed", since on BB10 apps can be programmed using almost any programming language, giving "easy life" to app developers, but in the short run we can feel something missing, what to do?

Luckily, inside the operating system there is an Android 2.3 simulator (it will be updated to "Jelly Bean" in a few months)

Can we install an app we like on it?

Of course!

There are some limitations, there are some kinds of apps that wont work, as for example:

  • Apps that access to Google account without asking a password (e.g: Gmail, Google+, apps that check your Google Play account for anti-piracy purposes)
  • Apps that manage phonebook and/or SMS
  • Launchers (you can install them, but, if you do that, you will lose the wonderful BB10 multitasking on Android apps)
  • Widget and live wallpapers (because without a launcher are useless)
  • Apps that manage network and APNs
  • Apps that contain more thans one app (for example the latest versions of Google Maps, contain 4 apps)
  • Apps that embeds a Google Maps view (unless you install Google Maps)
  • Apps that install or uninstall other apps
  • Apps that use the direct audio access (Skype, Shazam, Videogames)

An average app will work, for games the compatibility is low, but you can try, it's free wink

First: find the APK of the Android app

If you have a phone/tablet with Android you can use ES File Explorer to get it. Or you can use BlueStacks, there are dozens of ways, we can discuss them on the forum.

Second: convert the Android APK in a BlackBerry 10 BAR

For converting your app you can follow the long path, register as a developer, install a boatload of commandline programs and swear for a whole weekend, or you can just use the automatic service offered by

Yes, just upload your APK on and in a few minutes you will have a BAR, ready to be installed laugh

Third: enable developing mode

Open settings and select "Security and privacy"

Now, select "Development Mode"

Enable "Use Developing Mode"

Now you will be forced to set a password for your deice: in fact, when the developing mode is enabled, you can add, launch, terminate, "spy" the app, the browser, and, in some cases, change their behaviour: if it would be possible to enable it without a password, it would be dangerous.

Fourth: install your BAR

Once you enabled the development mode, you can install all the apps you want.

Install this Chrome extension, write the IP address of your device in the options (if you don't know it, follow this guide) then access it by browsing to the address https://ip.address/  (remember to write the S after http)

Write your password, now you can install all the BARs you want!

If I wasn't clear enough, let's discuss it on the forum.