Category: Tech

How to Add A New Emoji to QQ

Chocolate emoji: I could not find an appropriate chocolate emoji for QQ, so I shrunk a larger image down to 32x32 saved in png format, transparent background, and imported it into QQ. Original large image.

Chocolate emoji: I could not find an appropriate chocolate emoji for QQ, so I shrunk a larger image down to 32×32 saved in png format, transparent background, and imported it into QQ. Original large image.

I’m on QQ, Chinese social media and messenger, and wanted a different emoji that I could not find. Here’s how I added one.

You’ll need to edit your original graphic. The file format size is 32×32. Save your file in .png so you can have a transparent background. You can reduce the size of the image of your choice, but the simpler the better, as at 32 x 32 px almost all details will be lost. I have sized existing QQ emojis and they are 28x28px or smaller. This is a more appropriate size.

Motorola Droid Razr XT912: Death of Tech Device

The Motorola Droid Razr XT912 seems like a nice enough smartphone. Small, slim, with a carbon fiber back. Friend David bought it from, I think Canada Computers, refurbed. After using it for a while the battery life was reduced, then he used it as an MP3 player. In the end I received it and used it as a desk clock. Finally, it would no longer reboot, seemingly in a boot loop.

Grav: Putting white space around an Image with CSS

I’ve done it for a long time, so it was just a matter of time before I could figure it out with Grav. With its distinct combo of markdown and HTML I had to find the right combination.

The problem was that once I put up an image with text flowing around it, the text would be placed right beside the image, leaving no extra white space. This is unpleasant to the eye and makes the text more difficlt to read. A mere 10 pixels of white space make all the difference.

QQ International Version is dead: Learn Chinese or Use WeChat

If you are using QQ, the Chinese social media platform, on a PC and want multi-language capability, or at least a language other than Chinese, your days are numbered. The PC program was last updated in 2014 and has been slowly degrading in functionality. There is no foreseeable new version planned. The best you can do is to learn more Chinese and install the Chinese version, or use the Android international version on an Andriod smartphone.

Replacing the 4 Wire Phone Plug for a Smartphone Headset: Hints and Tips

Replacement 3.5mm 4 connector headphone jack, varnish, shrink wrap, new jack completed, Photo 05 by Don Tai.

Replacement 3.5mm 4 connector headphone jack, varnish, shrink wrap, new jack completed, Photo 05 by Don Tai.

After many years of careful use, the headset that came with a long gone Blackberry smartphone lost sound in the right ear. If I wiggled it “just so” the sound would reappear, but with any further movement the sound would again be gone. It was clear that the wire would need to be cut back and the 3.5mm phone plug would need to be replaced. Because I do like the feel and the quality of the headset and mic, this was worthwhile to repair.

Puquio System for Water Management, Peru

These puquio holes in the area famous for Nasca lines, Peru, are interesting. With no written text to explain, someone, Rosa Lasaponara of the Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis, in Italy, finally figured it out: They channel wind into underground tunnels, which brings ground water up to the surface for people to use. From a barren desert that can see no rain for years, to a livable habitat. This is brilliant.

The ancient Peruvian mystery solved from space Smart people.

The Puquios water system, Nasca region, Peru, used wind to push ground water to the surface, providing water for their people, and making a desert livable. Brilliant.

The Puquios water system, Nasca region, Peru, used wind to push ground water to the surface, providing water for their people, and making a desert livable. Brilliant.

qnreading from Chinese Social Media QQ: Unknown Protocol

I am a QQ user, which is part of Chinese social media. From Tencent 腾讯 in China, QQ is a simpler messaging and social media ecosystem than WeChat 微信. In the past couple of months I have been noticing more content is blocked to me here in Canada. More concerning is that China is beginning to use new protocols on the internet that are unique to China.

Geoblocking is regularly used by Chinese stores. I search for their products on Baidu, find images but cannot go to their web pages because they detect that I am not in China and block me. While this is annoying, at least I can understand the technical mechanism. They do not want Western eyes looking at their web pages, and that is their prorogative.

Foreground to Background Blur with Gimp

I had cut the background out of an image, with the person in the foreground, and wanted a background that mimicked the SLR view of a low f-stop, where the foreground is sharp but background is blurred.

To do this in Gimp is interesting. I found an image with a very sharp background.
Here are the steps:

Remove background from an image with Gimp and Masking

This skill is useful as you can take pics of your friends and place them in different places that they have never been! There are a couple of tricks to make your work easier and results look better. I’ve written some notes to accompany this video, but there’s also 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Import the image, add transparency
Once you import an image it will not have transparency. For this you will need to highlight the layer, colors-> transparency -> add alpha channel. You will notice that the layer name goes from bold to not bold. Duplicate the layer, just in case of a mistake.

Language Differences for Passwords: English vs Chinese

No doubt that Western and Chinese language and culture are very different, so it should not be surprising that passwords will also be very different. Here’s an interesting article about some of the language differences.

Password cracking hack software often uses a master password vocabulary file, but usually in a single language. If you know multiple languages and use them in your passwords it will be even harder for hackers to crack your sites.

I hope these researchers keep up the good work.