Category: Tech

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.

Google’s Return to China: Seeking Clarity

Information is power, and information, to most people of the world is the internet. For most, this starts with a Google Search. In 2010 Google exited China, due to a massive hack by the Chinese government into Google servers. Now, beckoned by the call for making money, Google is again rethinking China. Can Google stand by its ethics of “Do no Harm” while working with the Chinese Government? There will be some compromizes required.

China Telecom uses US/Canada PoPs to Divert Internet Traffic through China

China is using its access to the North American internet system to route traffic to Beijing, rather than the shortest point of travel. Packets can then be stored, analyzed and changed before they are sent on to its destination. This exploits the openness of the West, to China’s advantage. Yuval Shavitt of Tel Aviv University and Chris Demchak of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., published a paper recently in Military Cyber Affairs, called China’s Maxim – Leave No Access Point Unexploited: The Hidden Story of China Telecom’s BGP Hijacking. It is a really good read.

Trump POTUS Smartphone Security Measures

I am sure that the US Secret Service has this covered, but to their consternation and chagrin Trump will not follow their orders. The problem with smartphone security is that it is onerous and difficult to follow. When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn

Problem: China and Russia are eavesdropping on Trumps’s private calls. China specifically wants to know who influences Trumps so they can influence the influencers. This is standard practice for many countries and not just China.

Playing with SOLID’s POD: Documentation

Solid's logo

Solid’s logo

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, is leading this privacy issue. He is trying to decentralize content so that users house the content separate from commercial apps. Links are provided to the owner’s content so the commercial app can be displayed. Content is controlled by the content owner, a marked change from today.

Today I signed up for a POD from inrupt. There is not much documentation on it, making it difficult to use. I thought that I would write what I have discovered through trial and error.