Mattel Apptivity, the funnest way to break your iPad

Are you one of those that, having got a new iPad, are eager to see the screen with heavy scratches, scuffs or even get it broken?

Thanks to the new Mattel Apptivity toys, your dream can become true! (video in the link)

Those toys have contact points on the back, to interact with some games, so by placing an Hot Wheels car on the screen it will be posible to drive it, or slice fruits in Fruit Ninja, or eat om-nom candies in Cut the Rope; or crush your opponents in a Wrestling match by hitting the screen with the bundled figure.

Letting play a kid with a toy car on a 600 bucks screen looks like an AWESOME idea, I wonder why nobody ever thought about it 

How to have a free 7.50 GB account with Dropbox

The new Dropbox beta for Android and for Win/Mac/Linux automatically imports photos and videos in an online "Camera Import" folder, for backup. It's so neat to get wirelessly on your computer the pictures just shot on your mobile device.

Moreover, for who tries the beta, the available space will be increased up to 5 GB, gradually uploading this amount of pictures. We could make the account grow slowly, or we can just use this trickò:

  1. Register to Dropbox using this link. (You'll start with a 2.25 GB account instead of a 2 GB one)
  2. Download the latest Dropbox beta, you'll get 500MB extra bonus
  3. Install the beta on Windows (I did not try on other OS)
  4. Find 5GB of videos on your computer
  5. Copy the videos on the DCIM/Camera folder of your mobile or SD card
  6. Connect the mobile phone or the sd card via usb
  7. From the autorun menu in Windows choose: Import with dropbox
  8. Wait until the import is finished
  9. When is finished, right click on the tray icon (the blue box) and select "pause syncing"
  10. Delete the videos from Dropbox/Camera Uploads
  11. Right click on the tray icon and select "resume syncing"
  12. Done!

How to show the new softkeys in the Ice Cream Sandwich emulator

For some reason, the Ice Cream Sandwich emulator does not show the new softkeys that will replace the home back and menu hard keys on new Android handsets. How to enable it?

Just go to the AVD Manager (the program that manages the emulator virtual images), select the Android 4 image, then add the property "Hardware Back/Home keys" and set it to "no"


And this is the final result:

Earthquakes in Japan in the year 2011

I just found this video made about one month ago from a japanese guy that analyzes every seismic activity with magnitudo greater than 3 in Japan for the year 2011.

Here it is:

It looks unbelievable to see that last year, only in Japan there were almost a thousand of seismic events with magnitudo greater than 5 and almost twenty thousand for the ones over 3.

Concrete5 does not work with mod_pagespeed

I have a website using the concrete5 CMS, and I discovered that it does not work with Google's mod_pagespeed for Apache.

After installing it, it's not possible to add new pages, you'll get an error 404.

To disable it only for concrete5 websites, just write this in the .htaccess file:

<IfModule pagespeed_module>
ModPagespeed off

In my opinion, the problem it's in the trim_urls filter, so you could just try to disable that.

The Android tutorials doesn't work?

Have you ever tried to follow the Android programming tutorials at

The writer gives too much for granted, many examples do not work as written if you copy them with a simple copy&paste. To permit a simplified view of the code, the header is omitted and the overall vision of how methods and classes are placed is not very clear.

You might end up with errors as:

array cannot be resolved or is not a field


The method setOnItemClickListener(AdapterView.OnItemClickListener) in the type AdapterView<ListAdapter> is not applicable for the arguments (new OnItemClickListener(){})


So, I created a public Bitbucket repository where beginners can go and compare the code.

Migrating to Springpad

After the Google Notebook shutdown, I was forced to find an alternative that would work well on my phone.

I found Catch Notes (which was previously known as Snaptic and before that as 3Banana) but has the annoying habit of disconnecting the session each time it is used on another computer: bad, I need to access it from 3 computers, and therefore is very irritating to type the password every now and then.

So I tried Evernote, but has two intolerable flaws:

  • You need to pay $45 a year if you want to access the notes without being connected to the Internet
  • The application for Android is huge, not optimized, and although it supports App2SD, uses a lot of space: I do not have enough of it to install it

During a conference, I noticed that the relator used Springpad to take notes. When I came back home, I was curious about it, so I joined the service.

At first I did not like it at all, everything seemed so counter-intuitive... then I installed the application on my phone, I started to get the hang of, and I must say I was extremely pleased!

Ok, how to transfer years of Google Notebook notes to Springpad? Doing it manually is extremely boring ...

By using the converter! (Evernote Version)

In a few minutes will migrate all the notes, although the Japanese characters will be replaced by question marks... it's a pity, so I had to review all the imported notes...

It looks like the BlackBerry PlayBook doesn't sell like hot cakes...

Maybe due to the Kindle Fire at $ 199, and rumors of poor sales, at the beginning ot the month, RIM lowered the price of the BlackBerry PlayBook: pick any model at $ 299

It would seem a good opportunity to have a discount of 400 dollars on the 64 gig PlayBook, but almost three weeks are passed and it's still in stock, even the 64 gig model... (for the same price, what will you choose: 16, 32 or 64 gig?)

About the recent Megaupload closure

This TorrentFreak article explains how Megaupload knew that it was mostly used for illegal purposes.

And this PDF instead tells the ups and downs of the founder of Megaupload. Bankruptcy, insider trading, fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, trafficking in stolen credit cards, mistaken identity, corruption, hacking NASA and Pentagon systems and much more.

In light of these facts, even if it sometimes was an "useful" website, in the end they deserved this ending...


it seems that a site called Megaupload is still accessible at, but I do not have the absolute certainty that it is real; I think it's just a fake trying to make money with adverts

Using my rDNS tool you can see that this address belongs to a WorldStream customer, based in the Netherlands

Doraemon in HTML5

While I was searching some tips about web design, I found this japanese designer.

He shows how you can let your browser draw Doraemon using SVG and HTML5

Here it is:

And this is the code behind:

<svg height="300px" width="400px">
<circle cx="200" cy="150" r="100" fill="#000000"></circle>
<circle cx="200" cy="150" r="98" fill="#5ccff0"></circle>
<circle cx="200" cy="168" r="80" fill="#ffffff"></circle>
<circle cx="180" cy="90" r="20" fill="#000000"></circle>
<circle cx="220" cy="90" r="20" fill="#000000"></circle>
<circle cx="180" cy="90" r="19" fill="#FFFFFF"></circle>
<circle cx="220" cy="90" r="19" fill="#FFFFFF"></circle>
<circle cx="190" cy="92" r="5" fill="#000000"></circle>
<circle cx="210" cy="92" r="5" fill="#000000"></circle>
<circle cx="200" cy="110" r="14" fill="#000000"></circle>
<circle cx="200" cy="110" r="13" fill="#ff0000"></circle>
<circle cx="200" cy="182" r="58" fill="#ff0000"></circle>
<rect x="140" y="124" width="120" height="58" fill="#ffffff"></rect>
<rect x="199" y="124" width="1" height="58" fill="#000000"></rect>
<rect x="210" y="130" width="40" height="1" fill="#000000"></rect>
<rect x="152" y="130" width="40" height="1" fill="#000000"></rect>
<rect x="210" y="150" width="50" height="1" fill="#000000"></rect>
<rect x="142" y="150" width="50" height="1" fill="#000000"></rect>
<rect x="210" y="170" width="60" height="1" fill="#000000"></rect>
<rect x="132" y="170" width="60" height="1" fill="#000000"></rect>

The explanation: first he creates a new layer (<div> ...</ div>), then puts in a tag that tells the browser to interprete the following instructions as an svg design (<svg> ...</ svg> ). Inside the svg tag he has specified the height and width of the drawing, and then there are the instructions for drawing circles and rectangles to make the face, eyes, whiskers, etc., and here it seems pretty obvious: rect is for rectangles, circle is for cirles, xy the relative position, width, height, is width and height (want to draw a linge? Set the height to 1 pixel) and fill designates a color to fill, in 8bit RGB hexadecimal.

The main advantages of using this technique instead of placing an image are two:

  1. takes up much less space and so is faster to load
  2. you can enlarge the image indefinitely without losing quality or making it look pixelated
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