Friday, December 31, 2010

Thunderbolt Might Blow Your Pants Off [GOS]

For those of you who don't know, the Thunderbolt is the new HTC phone for Verizon Wireless, their first LTE 4G phone. It's not supposed to be released until the Consumer Electronics Show next month, but this article has a link to a German website with supposed specs on the phone. If these specs are for real, this is my next phone, keyboard or not (I love my Droid2 keyboard!). However, the GOS acronym stands for grain of salt. Now we'll wait until CES to find out what the REAL specs are.

Nothing left to do but wait.

Thunderbolt Might Blow Your Pants Off [GOS]: "

This image has no alt text

This is from the so-crazy-it-just-might-be-awesome department. I received an email from a tipster who told me to “eat this” and prompted me to a German website playing host to what is allegedly the specifications to the upcoming HTC Thunderbolt.

You can click to embiggen.

The specs are beyond whack crazy, but even if some of them are true then forget the Optimus 2X. All specs listed in the picture are subject to change if mein Deutsch sucks.

  • 4.3″ screen
  • Dual-Core 1.2GHz processor
  • Gingerbeard
  • 8MP Camera w/2 LED flash
  • 5MP front camera
  • 16GB internal storage
  • 1800 mAh battery

Is it January sixth yet?

[via | Thanks, Robert! It tastes delicious.]

Yeah, I don’t believe a damn word of this. But weirder things have happened.

From here on out, GOS means Grain of Salt.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Dozen Thunderbolt 4G Pictures Leak Out

Well, I've had my Droid2 for a while now, and I'm liking it just fine, but I was at the Verizon Wireless store getting my better half a Christmas present (media dock so she can try to remember to charge it every night) and they told me I still had an upgrade option on MY phone. I thought for a second. My phone? I just upgr-. . . Oh, that's right. I used a different upgrade option to do my phone, and then gave my old Droid to my better half! Hand-me-down phone, but still a good phone. So, I'm thinking about 4G LTE. Since I live in the "DC Metro Area", we have 4G LTE here, but my house is about 1/4 mile outside the coverage map that Verizon Wireless has on their website. But I've been told that if you're in 4G mode, you can talk on the phone AND use data at the same time, a big breakthrough for Verizon. Now, don't quote me on that, because I haven't heard it from the Verizon guys yet. We'll see what happens.

Anyway, here's some pics of Verizon's first 4G LTE phone.

A Dozen Thunderbolt 4G Pictures Leak Out: "

Well, it was only a matter of time. With just about one week to go before Verizon officially unveils their big 4G handset, the odds of a leaked picture were just about certain. The guys at Droid Life have happened upon one dozen images of HTC's third 4G 'first' and it's a beauty. It's also pretty much everything we'd been expecting over the last five months.

Take a look at the mini gallery below and you'll see more than passing resemblances to the EVO 4G. That's just fine with us, though, as it's one of our favorite phones from this past year. The Thunderbolt 4G looks like a slightly evolved version of the Sprint device, with a sexed up, smoother design.

htc-thunderbolt_01 src="" width=200>
htc-thunderbolt_02 src="" width=200>
htc-thunderbolt_03 src="" width=200>
htc-thunderbolt_04 src="" width=200>
htc-thunderbolt_05 src="" width=200>

It's worth pointing out that the kickstand is considerably thicker this time around, working in both portrait or landscape mode. We can clearly see what appears to be some type of speaker on the back, below said kickstand. Oh, and that 'With Google' makes us feel real warm and fuzzy. Should be nary a hint of Bing on the Thunderbolt 4G. That is, unless you want to download it yourself.

We'll be in Las Vegas next week when Verizon drops this one on us and fills in the spec details. Anyone expecting a surprise out of this one still?

Be sure to head to Droid Life to see the other pictures!

A Dozen Thunderbolt 4G Pictures Leak Out originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

What to do when your BlackBerry gets wet?

Have you ever accidently dunked you BlackBerry? Did you wonder what you should do next? Can you save it?

Take a peek.

What to do when your BlackBerry gets wet?: "

Have you ever (or a friend) dropped their BlackBerry in the toilet or water before and don’t know what to do? (Most of the time people drop their phone in the toilet) And then the first thing you do is try to turn it back on to see if it is still work. But its NOT! So what do you do? Maybe it’s time to switch to an iPhone? But you only got your BlackBerry a few months ago…

Well first of all, you do not need to go get yourself an iPhone. Second of all, you can probably retreive your phone if you follow the suggestions in this article.

It probably won’t be a good idea to try to turn your phone back on when it is soaking wet, cause you’ll probably end up blowing something up. So the best thing to do is dry the phone first and then draw out all the moisture in the device. There are several ways you can do, put the phone in:

  • a ziplock bag of uncooked rice and let it sit for a few hours

  • a bag with some silica packets

  • an oven with just the oven light on for a few days

  • a bag of clay-based absorbent

  • the sun

or you can blow dry it for a couple hours, while panting and worrying about your phone and hope it’ll be fine.

But if your phone happens to fall in salt water, you will need to rinse the phone out with distilled/deionized water first in order to remove the salt. You shouldn’t rinse with tap water because the minerals/ions are conductive and will remain there after the water dries, which may cause a short circuit later on.

So no need to take out another few hundred bucks to get another BlackBerry and definitely don’t need to switch to an iPhone, follow these steps and your phone will be running as new!

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    Monday, November 15, 2010

    It is finally proven: Apple users are more intelligent than PC users

    Well, I knew there was a reason I was thinking about getting a MacBook Pro, and now I know why.

    It is finally proven: Apple users are more intelligent than PC users: "Intelligent Elite Blog: 'The results were quiet astonishing: Test takers using an Apple computer score more than 6 IQ points higher than users of a PC!'"

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Public Protests as TSA Torpedoes Constitution

    I have to say, this is getting ridiculous. Just because you buy an airline ticket doesn't mean that you give up all your constitutional rights.

    I got a comment to the last article I reposted on this topic saying "I don't have a problem with it because I don't have anything to hide". Well, I don't have anything to hide, but that doesn't mean I want anyone taking pictures of my nothing to hide, or grabbing onto it. I gave up being an exhibitionist a long time ago.

    I'm liking the "Opt-out day" on November 24th. That could bring air travel to a screeching halt. Maybe the TSA will begin to understand that there need to be limits.

    Like some others, I may not have any other option than to be assaulted rather than the metal detector or the new toy that's being deployed to so many different airports around the US. Of the options below, I get door #2, or a modified door #3, don't travel by air. The train is looking to be a good option, as is driving for multiple days vs being subjected to the humiliation and degradation of this treatment. At this point, it's almost "any expense to avoid being mistreated" is where we're at.

    I encourage, no I implore you all to think about the liberties you are loosing, almost on a daily basis. But don't just think about it; do something about it. If you're silent, you are giving your approval. Don't travel by air on November 24th 2010, or chose to "opt-out" of the abuse. And if you can, record what happens on your cellphone, voice only if that's all you can do, but video would be more useful. If this needs to be taken to the courts, visual evidence is the best thing you can have.

    Our liberties are being tread upon. We need to remind those doing the treading about the Constitution. As a citizen of the United States, you and I have rights. Even Paul knew his rights as a citizen in Acts 22:
    As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

    When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”

    The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”

    “Yes, I am,” he answered.

    Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.”

    “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.

    Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.

    Take back your liberties, before it's too late. And, by the way, read your Constitution. If you don't know, you lose.

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~ Benjamin Franklin


    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s Let’s Make a Deal approach to keeping America’s airports secure isn’t generating too many fans. Perhaps it’s because the choices given are so insulting to the rights enjoyed by a free people:

    Door #1: Have nude pictures of yourself beamed to some video monitor to be viewed by a total stranger where it may or may not be stored; or,

    Door #2: Allow yourself to be groped, poked, patted down, felt up, frisked, and squeezed at the hands of some police academy reject in a Smurf-blue uniform [Photo: Kim Kardashian at LAX]; or…

    Door #3: Don’t travel.

    Worse is the fact that, if you have children, you have the same choices to make on their behalf:

    • Have nude images of your kids viewed (and stored?) by strangers,

    • Subject your kids to physical molestation, or

    • Cancel your trip.

    I’ve got to admit that, as a frequent flyer, I’ve sort of gotten used to being frisked. Perhaps airport security screeners confuse old bikers in Harley shirts with Al Quaeda, but the pat downs have been an almost regular occurrence since 9/11. While most of the pat downs over the years have been of the generic sort, a few after 9/11 seemed to be going a little too far as well—the fingers inside the waistline by an officer of the opposite sex was one such memorable occasion.

    It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago, however, while traveling through an airport in the Midwest that I received the double treatment—the body imaging device and the pat down (no open palms on the genitals though) that the Smurfs began to get annoying. At the same time, the pilots’ and flight attendants’ unions began to grumble that their members were being traumatized by the TSA’s new security measures.

    Since then, the controversy has grown considerably and Janet Napolitano is faced with trying to appease a variety of constituencies while remaining seemingly resolved to infringe on Americans’ constitutional right to be “secure in their persons…against unreasonable searches.”

    One individual has started a website called, which suggests that people opt out of the body imaging on November 24, the day before Thanksgiving (when the volume of air travel is particularly high). According to the website’s founder, Brian Sodergren, the goal is to get people to experience the rigorous pat-down so they can discuss it around the Thanksgiving table:

    “Getting a plane ticket doesn’t mean you’re consenting to someone being able to look under your clothes or feel your genitals,” said Sodergren during a phone interview with ABC15.

    Sodergren wants passengers, pilots and flight attendants to “opt-out” of the X-ray body scanners and go through the pat down procedure.

    “It’s too much, I don’t want my wife or my child going through the pat-downs and have their genitals touched, people need to understand what’s going on,” said Sodergren.

    Ironically, Muslim Americans are being forbidden from having their bodies imaged and the Council on American-Islamic Relations is recommending the following to Muslim women who wear jihabs:

    • If you are selected for secondary screening after you go through the metal detector and it does not go off, and “sss” is not written on your boarding pass, ask the TSA officer if the reason you are being selected is because of your head scarf.

    • In this situation, you may be asked to submit to a pat-down or to go through a full body scanner. If you are selected for the scanner, you may ask to go through a pat-down instead.

    • Before you are patted down, you should remind the TSA officer that they are only supposed to pat down the area in question, in this scenario, your head and neck. They SHOULD NOT subject you to a full-body or partial-body pat-down.

    • You may ask to be taken to a private room for the pat-down procedure.

    • Instead of the pat-down, you can always request to pat down your own scarf, including head and neck area, and have the officers perform a chemical swipe of your hands.

    How perfectly Orwellian that, while non-Muslim Americans are having their Fourth Amendment rights being groped, grabbed and trampled by Napolitano & her gang, Muslims are being urged to use the First Amendment’s Freedom of Religion provision to all-but-ignore the TSA screening measures.

    Meanwhile, for those of us who are stuck traveling for a living, until this gets sorted out, we’ll just suck it up and suck it in, as the Smurfs continue to get up close and really, really personal.


    “I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776


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    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Sweet Ride!

    This is really cool. Evidently, if you start this awesome ride with the wrong key you'll be using LOTS of gas and getting tickets left and right. It is an option, but no, not optional. After all, why would you have this ability and not take the option to use it? I wonder how hackable this is?

    Ford adds race-ready TracKey to Mustang Boss 302, leaves no doubt about who's in charge: "

    The use of a second key to unlock extra potential in a vehicle isn't exactly new: Bugatti's mind-blowing Veyron has a special tumbler-tickler that will let it hit 253mph; the Segway PT offers different fobs for different speeds. But such high-tech foppery on a Mustang? Yes, Ford continues to impress as the domestic marque with the techiest toys, announcing that buyers of next year's Boss 302 can purchase an optional TracKey package, shown after the break. Take the standard black key and you'll have a rip-roaring, 444hp monster. Take the red key, though, and you'll see how fast that pony can run down the rabbit hole. The car detects a different RFID chip in the fob and loads a secondary, track-specific engine tune, tweaking 200 ECM parameters to boost everything from throttle response to engine braking. It'll turn a semi-civilized muscle car into a completely track-ready beast, including launch control. When it's time for a more leisurely cruise users can just switch back to the black key, return to daily driver status, and leave Wonderland -- for a little while, at least.

    Continue reading Ford adds race-ready TracKey to Mustang Boss 302, leaves no doubt about who's in charge

    Ford adds race-ready TracKey to Mustang Boss 302, leaves no doubt about who's in charge originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 12 Nov 2010 10:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

    Permalink Autoblog | | Email this | Comments"

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Kinect Hacked, Open Source Drivers Now Working

    This is cool. The ultimate in hacking, with a bounty!

    If you have looked at the Kinect and wondered how it worked, you can see some of it here. Watch the video; it's really interesting. But anyway, it's an awesome demonstration of what you can do as a Linux programmer who understands how hardware talks to other hardware and how to poke around inside the hardware electronically.

    I wish I had these skills. Mine have gotten so rusty that they've crumbled.

    Kinect Hacked, Open Source Drivers Now Working: "

    It is finished. Hector Martin just posted full driver for the Kinect that can support RGB input as well as depth sensing. The audio features still don’t work.

    From the readme:


    9 – TONS of cleanup. I mean LOTS.

    10 – Proper buildsystem (CMake probably)

    11 – Determine exactly what the inits do

    12 – Bayer to RGB conversion that doesn’t suck

    13 – Integrate support for the servo and accelerometer (which have already been

    14 reverse engineered)


    16 BIG TODO: audio. The audio chip (the Marvell) requires firmware and more init

    17 and does a TON of stuff including the crypto authentication to prove that it is

    18 an original Kinect and not a clone. Who knows what this thing does to the

    19 incoming audio. This should be interesting to look at.

    Looks like the $3,000 bounty is close to a claimant.


    Monday, November 08, 2010

    TSA Full-Body Scanner Backlash Begins In Earnest

    Let me start out by saying I'm not a conspiracy theorist; I am not one of the Lone Gunmen from X-Files; but (and in my case, it's a big but, pun intended) there are limits to my ability to think that it's just the new rules. I'm thinking that too many people are trying to avoid being accused of "profiling" in a bad way, racially or otherwise, so they do what one of my first bosses in the Air Force always said: "I'm not prejudice, I hate everyone the same."

    I wonder what the new rules will be for me when I fly next time, now that I have my "Back Pacemaker". I have the cute little plastic card that says I have this metal device medically inserted surgically implanted in my back and butt, with wires in between. And no, it won't blow up, unless you push me through that nice little magnetometer (well, not really, and I better not say that at the airport security checkpoint, right?). It's just that the magnetometer could damage or turn off the device, and I don't think I'd like that very much. Who knows what the full-body-scanners would do (now I have images from the movie "Scanners" running through my head, but it's people's entire bodies blowing up, making a really bad mess in the airport!).

    There needs to be some level of common sense used here, and unfortunately I know that common sense is NOT common. Maybe it's the TSA that are the conspiracy theorists, and they are just acting out their biggest fears on all the poor, unsuspecting passengers.


    TSA Full-Body Scanner Backlash Begins In Earnest: "

    Hmm, are people beginning to rebel against those full-body scanners? There was a story in the New York Times a few days ago about what happens to people who choose to “opt-out” of subjecting themselves to the full-body scanners. High alert, we’ve got an opt-out! You’re then subjected to a pat-down search that would make the Combine blush. Nice.

    A few days later, we have reports saying how the TSA has itself a good ol’ time patting down a woman at the security gate. Male officers, mind you. If nothing else it’s degrading to the human spirit.

    Granted, reading the comments of that second link would suggest that the site errs on the conspiratorial , but it’s a whole different matter when the New York Times writes about what’s going on.

    But at least we’re safe, right?


    Wednesday, November 03, 2010

    Facebook for Android and iPhone updated with support for Groups and Places

    Well, if you're a Facebook junkie and you just need to get your mobile fix, and tell everyone where you are all the time, (I'm sitting on the deck . . .) here's your opportunity. Facebook had a big deal live presentation via live flash video (zzzzzzzzzzzzz, not very exciting, and my netbook locked up about 5 minutes in) about the newest updates to the Facebook mobile apps for Android and for iOS (well, only for the iPhone, really, because "The iPad isn't mobile, it's a computer." I kid you not, Mark Zuckerberg really said that). Anyway, read this.

    Facebook for Android and iPhone updated with support for Groups and Places: "

    Hey Android fans! Tired of your handset’s Facebook app feelin’ all old and busted compared to its iPhone counterpart? Good news! For once, you’re getting an update at the same time! (..Sort of.)

    You see, Facebook just pushed version 1.4 of their Android client live to the Android Market, complete with support for their new Places and Groups features. Just minutes later, Facebook also pushed version 3.3.1 of the iPhone client to the App Store, complete with Groups support, improved support for Places (as the iPhone app already offered it), and support for Facebook’s just-announced location based Deals offerings. In other words, Facebook’s Android offering is still lagging behind a bit.. but hey, progress is progress right?


    Add Baking Soda to Make Acidic Coffee Stomach Friendly [Coffee]

    OK. One thing I love is coffee. But sometimes, the coffee at work is just, well, painful. And I've become a bit of a coffee snob when it comes to the roast of my beans. Yeah, everyone likes a dark roast, but not me. I like a nice medium city roast. It's a little more acidic, but you can actually taste the flavor of the beans, and not have an oily cup of coffee.

    Lately, we've been drinking a low acid coffee from Folgers. It's not bad, but it's bland. It's just coffee. But maybe with this trick I can go back to trying different beans and flavors. Here's hoping.

    Add Baking Soda to Make Acidic Coffee Stomach Friendly [Coffee]

    Click here to read Add Baking Soda to Make Acidic Coffee Stomach Friendly

    If your office hasn't switched to a
    darker and less acidic roast or you just bought overly acidic coffee, Lifehacker reader Parallel Johnny has a solution. Add a scoop of baking soda to tame a stomach wrenching pot. More »