a question i’m almost never asked is ‘how do i secure my android device?’. most people i know probably don’t care or they’ve strayed to the dark side (you know who you are). there are a few simple steps that add a couple of extra layers of security and will keep your data in a safer state. there are obvious things like always using https when browsing and connecting to your mail servers using ssl. think of what your phone contains…probably email, most certainly contact details of your friends and business associates (i don’t have many of the latter), photographs, documents…other gubbins. here we’ll look at general phone security, restricting data use and encrypting text messages (SMS). note that i’m using a rooted device…your mileage may vary. 1. the easiest, and quickest, step by far. add an unlock PIN. head into settings/security and the top option should be ‘screen lock’.you can choose a few options in here…the most secure is ‘password’ but i’m using the PIN as i don’t have the time (or patience) to enter a long string of digits every time i want to unlock my device. you’ll have to enter a 4 digit PIN twice. your phone will now prompt you for it each you unlock it. 2. while you’re in the ‘security’ section there’s an option to ‘encrypt phone’. this encrypts ALL the data and storage on your device (though not any add-on SD card storage you might have). your device will prompt you for a PIN (or a long password if you so desire) on boot and if you don’t enter it there’s no way you can access any of the data on it. it won’t boot in fact. the […]
hadn’t visited such an establishment in a few years. lo-fi laundrette. in fact this attempt was nearly thwarted as i stumbled round to it, slightly hungover, and it was closed. had forgotten that most, normal, people don’t get up at a stupidly early time of the morning. so i went back…after 9 am…and set about the process of wrangling with tokens, coins, machines and other people. it’s all in the timing. buy a strangely shaped token for £4.50 and we’re off on the wash and spin cycle (34 minutes…that’s enough time for me to pop back home and back)…then it’s over to the dryer. this time there’s no token…it’s a £1 coin for 23 minutes…that wasn’t going to be quite enough so it’s another 20p piece for an extra 4 minutes. whilst this was tumbling i shot off to the post office to finally send a package to someone that i’d bought a camera from on ebay. what? you didn’t mean to include that flash in the sale? it’s meant to be with another camera that you’re selling. great. so there’s a wee glimpse into the start of one of my saturdays. riveting, i’m sure you’ll agree. the fruit of my labours? one bag of clean (but still slightly damp…should have bought another 4 minutes) clothes and this picture of some dryers.
i run a pyd.io (formerly ajaxplorer) install and it’s useful for many things (the new name, however, does not please me). had never tried the android client before for some reason. so now i have. and here are some of the things it does. you can browse your directories… then have a prowl about inside those directories… you can create new directories and upload shiny things to them (that’s how i exported these uninteresting screen shots)… you can share files with others straight from the app (and it’ll use your URL shortner if you have set one up) setting password or download restrictions… and there are a few settings to tweak. database, cache, etc it works very well. kudos to the project devs. still a terrible name for a thing though…
phrases i’d like to ban from common use. the english language is a complex beast and words can be woven together in such lovely ways. sometimes, though, they’re stuck together in a rather annoying fashion and then are jumped upon by the masses. i’m sure there are other phrases that could maybe do with being eradicated as they intimidate or insult or are inflammatory but this particular list consists of those that just annoy me. a list that no doubt will be added to. feel free to suggest your own…‘good good‘ (sometimes extended to good good good or even good good good good in extreme cases) ‘obviously‘ (when used at the start of a sentence) ‘pinged him/her an email‘ (emails don’t ping) ‘at the end of the day‘ ‘for sure‘ (when used at the start of a sentence) ‘it’s terrible thing to say but…‘ (well don’t say it then) ‘thingmy‘ (used often by some people…sometimes taking up at least 50% of a sentence making the conversation completely incomprehensible)
this is how to install android 4.4 (kitkat) on a nexus 4 using linux. this WILL WIPE YOUR DEVICE. so be warned. i did this because for various reasons the OTA update wouldn’t work for me (mainly to do with fasterGPS altering my /etc/gps.conf and not restoring it properly). backup any important data that you might have. back it up. and note that i am in no way responsible if this bricks your phone. this worked for me. i wouldn’t post it otherwise. firstly (i’m using mint 16) get fastboot on your machine (you can also get it via the android sdk here) as root… apt-get install android-tools-fastboot then grab the kitkat image from google’s servers…here and extract it so that you have the contents in a directory…they look a bit like this. boot your nexus into recovery mode (both volume keys and the power button), connect your it via USB to your computer. cd into the directory where you extracted the files above using a terminal. as root issue the following… ./fastboot erase userdata ./fastboot erase cache ./fastboot reboot ./fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-mako-makoz20i.img ./fastboot flash radio radio-mako-m9615a-cefwmazm-2.0.1700.84.img ./fastboot -w update image-occam-krt16s.zip as i said this worked for me. 4.4 is alright…nothing to get too excited about to be honest. the native mail app is much improved…i like the fact that you can dismiss upcoming alarms without turning them off…the UI is slightly polished… you’ll have to re-root after this process as you’re returning to stock.
the canon canonet film camera (or one of the range at least) has been added to my collection. what a lovely thing. think this is the first one of the line…from the very early 60s. considering that it’s a good 10 years older than me it’s in rather splendid condition. in a much better condition than i am truth be told. came complete with a leather case that’s in similar, pristine, nick. angular but stylish… with a selenium light meter and 45mm f/1.9 lens… most of the controls are on the underside… leaving the top plate with only the shutter release and flash mount… meter is metering. shutter is shuttering. aperture is, er, aperturing. all that’s left is to choose the film it’ll be devouring. a wee asa200 i think…maybe of the slide variety. i have put together a slightly rough pdf manual which you can grab here. it was jumbled together with images kindly provided from this site.
there must be better ways to do it than this but here’s how to reflow pdf text on a mobile device. an android mobile device. i had a text-heavy pdf (one of the dummies series) that i wanted to be able to view on the move (on my nexus 4). tt’s in pdf format and all the pdf readers i tried either gave you it at 100%…like this…(this is quickoffice but i tested pdf viewer too) or it zoomed in so that the text was legible but had to be scrolled so that you could read the end of a line…and then scrolled back to the start of the next line…like this… doesn’t work for me. i thought about converting the pdf to another format and settled on mobi (mainly because i could use it on my kindle too). the conversion tool? calibre. it can convert to many other formats too so you might find something that’s more suited to your needs. i used the portable version. drag the pdf onto the main window. right-click it and choose ‘convert books/convert individually’. it’ll present you with a screen similar to this… after you check your settings and click ok it’ll take a while to convert to your new format (could be a couple of minutes depending on the size of the pdf). when that’s complete you can, again, right-click the file in calibre and this time save it to disk (or send […]