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.

How to sync Keepass with BlackBerry 10 using Dropbox

Do you use KeePass and have a BlackBerry 10 smartphone?

Do you know that you can automatically sync the passwords database with your computer via Dropbox?

How to do that?

You need:

  1. KPD, it's a slightly edited version of KeePassDroid (GPL source here)
  2. OI File Manager, it's a file manager that integrates with many Android apps like KPD/KeePassDroid
  3. A BlackBerry 10 smartphone

And then it's a piece of cake!

  1. Put your KeePass database in a Dropbox folder
  2. Open KPD and tap the "open folder" icon
  3. OI File Manager will open
  4. Now, click on the top, on the "home" icon, on the left of the SD card icon
  5. Browse to ACCOUNTS, then 1000, and then SHARED
  6. Inside there is our Dropbox folder: the system-level integration will download the file when needed, uploading edits, if needed.
  7. If you want to have offline access to the database, you just have to open the BlackBerry file manager, select the database in the Dropbox folder, long-press it, and "star" it: in this way it will be automatically synced in the background, over Wi-Fi and also via 3G, if you enabled it in the settings.

Which is the best shaver?

A friend of mine wants to give a shaver to her dad as a gift, but, as a girl, she has no idea about which one is good and which one isn't. When I was living in Japan my German shaver broke, and I did a long comparison in the stores, trying them and searching the one that has the best cost/performance ratio.

I wrote a long email to her, then I realized that I can share my findings with everyone, if someone else needs it.

Basically, the best brands are just three: Philips, Panasonic and Braun. Other brands are cheaper but it's way more difficult to find replacement blades after 2-3 years.

And there are two kinds of blades: circular or linear.

What is important to have in a shaver is:

  1. Waterproof - in this way it's MUCH easier to clean: just place under the tap and rinse it.
  2. Battery powered - shaving tethered to a wire is not that comfortable: my old shaver was one of those. Anyway, almost all of them have a battery nowadays. Just make sure it has a lithium battery, as it will last a longer time and won't discharge when unused.
  3. A trimmer or blades to cut long beard - if you don't shave everyday, the facial hairs will be too long to be cut by the shaver blades.

The one that I bought in Japan is similar to this:

It's not exactly a Panasonic ES-RT51-S, as in Japan they have different product numbers and brands (on certain products, like this, Panasonic products are labelled "National", in Japan)

Why I chose it:

  1. It has an extra blade between the side blades to cut long facial hairs - perfect for who doesn't shave everyday
  2. It has a trimmer
  3. It has a battery charge indicator
  4. Waterproof
  5. Has a lithium battery
  6. Has a pivoting head to follov the shape of the face (it does not make a great difference, though)

If you want to save some money, you can settle for the ES-RW30-S, it does not have the extra blade for long hairs, so you need to trim them with the included trimmer before you shave. If you shave everyday, it can be ok.

If you like circular blades, this is the best:

It has a trimmer, waterproof, lithium battery but has two missing options compared to the Panasonic: no battery charge indicator (it just says when it's low battery), and it does not shave well if your beard is long if you didn't shave everyday.

But, the circular blade has a more comfortable shaving, in my opinion. If you shave everyday, this is good. If you often "forget" to shave, and shave 3 times a week, this isn't very good.

If you want to save $10 you can get the PT720 model, but it does not have the trimmer.

For Braun shavers, the best ones are expensive in my opinion, so I don't have a model to recommend.

Do you use an antivirus?

According to a Microsoft study, a Windows computer out of four DOES NOT have any antivirus, making the chances to get infected within a month very high (I would say that it's almost guaranteed).

And you? Do you use an antivirus, or you like the thrill to reinstall Windows every week?

Moreover, they made a test: can you recognize a "fake" antivirus that will scare you of a fake virus just to steal you money for a fake cleaning?

Can you pass it?

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