Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Droid Tethering Is Here...And Violating Your TOS

User webacoustics on DroidForums.net has posted instructions for loading a modified version of Android 2.0.1 that allows you to use your Droid for Wi-Fi tethering.  Keep in mind it violates Verizon Terms of Service but read up and decide if this is for you...or if you want to wait until VZW lets you pay $30 a month for the privilege.  We'll see if anyone here wants to give it a shot.

http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-hacks/10219-tether-capability-android-wifi-tether-wireless-tether-root-users.html

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pick a Droid, any Droid...

Seems user kamek89 on Android Central had a close encounter with someone from Motorola who showed him some alternative/future Droids including different colors and a different keyboard layout more similar to the Cliq's keyboard.

Of course, this is all hearsay but we have no reason to believe him.  No pics but if anything else comes to light we will be all over it.

Check out the post on Android Central.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Top 10 Smartphone Advances Of 2009

Information Week has published the 'Top 10 Smartphone Advances Of 2009.'  Nothing earth-shatteringly surprising but a nice summary of this madness that so many have permanatly affixed to their hips, ears, hands and world.  Anything missing Mr President?  We didn't think so.

The short story?


10. Computer Makers Jump Into The Smartphone Space
9. Symbian Marches Toward Open Source
8. Google Voice Can't Get On The 
7. Palm Becomes Relevant Again, Kind Of
6. Microsoft Tries To Keep Pace
5. Mobile App Market Explodes
4. Android Army Gathers Soldiers
3. Apple Revamps The iPhone
2. BlackBerry Hits The Mainstream
1. Motorola Mounts A Comeback


via Information Week



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The 787 Dreamliner Is About To Take Flight For The First Time


After much delay it looks like in just moments the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be taking flight for the first time.
Catch the webcast if you're able to.  We aren't beleivers in omens and such but, well, the webcast keeps crashing.  Nice.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What has two thumbs and has a thread that got mentioned on Android Central's blog?

This guy! 

Alright, so anywhoo, people still want to know what makes this Android phone different from all Android phones.  (And a happy Hanukkah to others who quote the Pesach Haggadah.)

Check out the ongoing thread on Android Central.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Official Google Mobile Blog: An Android dogfood diet for the holidays

Official Google Mobile Blog: An Android dogfood diet for the holidays

Updated - The Google Phone Rumors: I No Longer 'Get It'

Android Central, phanroid and engadget are all (and others I type I am sure) are posting Tweets and other rumors about Google having a big what to do and giving employees the rumored 'Google Phone.'  It seems it is made by HTC, has a trackball and no physical keyboard.  Sounds a lot like the Passion everyone has been waiting on.  We wrote about this not long ago, the idea that Google may put out a phone that is VOIP only and the changes that could start making in the mobile and data worlds.

I am as excited as the next guy about this but I thought the 'big news' of all this was the possibility that Google would make the phone (they didn't, HTC did) and that it would be VOIP, not CDMA, GSM, etc.  If this device doesn't hit either of those specs then why is it any different than any other new Android device?  I'm not knocking it.  Cool, a new device, and a nice gift for employees (like when they gave MyTouch units away to developers a while back) but why is this the 'Google Phone?'  I'm not being crass or critical, I am wondering what I am missing.  The fact that the employees that tweeted about this device even called it such makes me think there is something that were don't know that sets this device apart?  What is it?

Lasers.  Please let it be lasers.

Update:  Here are the links I have found to this info so far, I'm gonna keep reading and look for the lasers.  I do realize btw that if Google sells it and markets it themselves as part of the Open Handset Alliance that this iss signifigant, but still only about as signifigant as far as capabilities as a rooted [inset Android hardware here].

Android Central - phanroid - engadget
Gizmodo - Android Central - Crunch Gear

Update2: Well, they ddin't give us much but Google has noted on their blog that they are brewing something up.  Official Google Mobile Blog

Friday, December 11, 2009

Useless Crap: Keychain Cameras

We've purchased our fair share of useless crap, but this one really sticks out.  Ten years ago a tiny digital camera would be a great idea, but now that even your grandmothers cellphone snaps 3MP shots and captures 640x480 video it seems silly to buy something else to carry around for the sake of taking poor quality pictures.  Maybe its for the Amish market...err, yeah. 

If this is for you though can rock this 1.5MP camera that takes 8 frames per second of video for only $65.  Hurry, the website seems to indicate its discontinued.  Shocking.

www.pokedigi.com via engadget

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Forget Buying Ink Cartridges - Buy Printers!


We've been saying this for years and believe me, it's caused some of my greener friends to look at me like a three-headed pumpkin, but I stand by it.  If you have a simple, no frills ink jet printer and you need an ink cartridge you're looking at $20-$40 for color and black.  That's between $40 and $80 for ink alone.  Now, check Best Buy, CompUSA, Wal-Mart, etc and I bet you can find a brand new printer in that same price range.  Keep the old one handy for a donation, backup, etc.

I know, a bunch of you savvy shoppers are scoffing at buying manufacturer brand cartridges for the prices I mentioned, and I agree.  Sometimes however th particular model you have doesn't have a generic available, or Wal-Greens wont fill it.  You can fill it yourself with a kit but trust me, ruin one counter top, bathroom rug, shirt and family cat and your significant other and/or parents will put a stop to that practice.  Besides, sometimes you just need it NOW!  Wal-Mart almost always has cheap printers...now.

Thanks to Consumerist for having the fortitude to come forward with this wisdom.

PS - Last bit of advise, make sure the printer you are buying has real cartridges.  Sometimes manufacturers (they are all guilty of this sometimes) will put in a 'demo' set of cartridges that might only be good for 20 pages or less.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Deal Alert: Free Eye-Fi Card w/Google Storage


Need extra space to share pictures, GMail attachments, document archives?  How about 200GB of it...and a free Eye-Fi?

INeed extra space to share pictures, GMail attachments, and document archives?  How about 200GB of it...and a free Eye-Fi?

If you’re not familiar with the Eye-Fi card it is an SD memory card for you digital camera that has a built in 802.11 radio so that you can have your pictures go straight to your online photo sharing account.  It's got a lot of great features, is customizable for different sites/servers and still functions as a regular memory card for when you just want to save the pictures locally.

These cards usually go for about $70 but right now, if you sign up for 200GB of storage from Google it can be yours for free.  Use the 200GB of 'cloud' storage to share your entire photo collection with Picasa, maintain offsite backup of important documents, anything you want.  The best part?  200GB of storage is only $50 a year, so getting the Eye-Fi card ($70) and the storage ($50) is a bargain.

Check out our overlord Google for more info.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Updated: Forced 2.0.1 Droid Update - My Findings

We're just about to enjoy some R&R for a bit but couldn't pass this up, we will let you know our results in a bit.

At your own risk...thank to Syntrix @ adnroidforums.com.

Update:
The install was easy as pie, then I rebooted and saw the new screen.  Cool.  Looks okay, hmm, error loading widget.  Well, I guess they updated the picture frame widget, I will just reset it.  Thats weird, says I have no media in the gallery.  Let me try straight from the gallery.  Application not loaded huh?  It's probably just the shortcut - drag up the full menu - select gallery, ah, there it is.  Oh, still no media.

(so by this time, I'm a tad concerned)

We'll just reboot it.  No Gallery shortcut but launches from the main menu.  Thats great news! Oh, I've been "please wait"ing for a few minutes now.  We'll see how this goes.  Oh, hit abck and we're good now.

All seems well.  What a rush!  Now to play with it.

The Motorola Droid Is Time's Gadget Of The Year



I guess it came out just in the nick of time, huh?  You can probably tell by now that we are  pretty big fans of the Droid.  Andoird is flexible, the Motorola hardware is (rather suprisingly) solid, and its on a great network.  All things that contributed to Time Magazine (they still print that?) naming it the Gadget Of The Year.  We're stoked, and pretty sure it's a better call than their 1938 Man Of The Year...

Time Top Gadget Of The Year

Just A Thought: If a radio antenna falls in an urban forrest and there is no one tuned in to hear it, does it make a noise?


It’s been a busy day for the staff but a slow day for the site today.  We did see one article that made us happy and then made us think (maybe too much), so, we’d like to hear your opinion.  An RBR.com article discusses the much anticipated NPR application for Android (Google) phones.  Awesome, we’ve been waiting.  As this utilization of everything with a screen and speaker for every bit of information we can possibly absorb continues however, where does it lead us?

With cable companies providing broadband and increasingly, mobile service as well, who are the radio stations of the future?  Time-Warner operates both cable television stations and cable television service, as well as providing broadband service, they are TV and radio without needing the TV or the radio.  Is the idea of listening to audio only programming other than podcasts going to slowly die out?  Broadcast TV and radio seem so integral to society and the efficient dissemination of information, but by who?  XM/Sirius Satellite Radio increasingly carry programs that they tailor themselves or that are purchased from cable TV networks.  You listen to podcasts from websites on your MP3 player/mobile device and watch your favorite shows made by traditional broadcast networks mobile devices, computers and your digital cable/satellite TV receivers.

This is great, I love options and capability, but what happens when we are all so disassociated (disconnected seems too literal in this case) from that magical TV or radio broadcast coming from thin air?  I think we can all agree that for emergencies and such nothing beats it (that idea alone didn’t help morse code though, like it or not), but will communications companies and broadcasters that own radio stations continue to invest time and money into broadcast systems as a ‘back up’ or will they axe the hardware and keep the talent going thru podcasts and other (both paid and free) subscription based services?

If all your radio and TV stations were easily available on your mobile device, computer and set-top box would you miss an old AM/FM or rabbit ears?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Phone Tech - (UPDATED) The Mot Droid Updates Have Begun...so have some other Google goodies while you wait

Update:  So thanks to an awesome multi-hour power outage we kinda killed updates on the roll out.  In case you haven't heard by now BGR is reporting that some of you will get lucky any second...others will be upset for a few days.


"Here’s what we’ve got: a clear explanation from a VZW connect that outlines how the OTA updates work for the Motorola DROID. At noon today, approximately 1,000 people received the notification to update their handset. At around midnight this evening, 9,000 more will receive it. After the initial 10,000, there is a 48-hour waiting period. No one after that receives anything until December 10th at 12AM, which will be 200,000 people. It will continue at 200,000 devices a day until everyone is updated."

The Spicy Biscuits night crew just gave the gerbil in the wheel some ritalin so hopefully the lights and updates will keep on chuggin.




A few days ahead of the December 11th date we expected the roll out of the Droid updates have begun.  Droid owners should start getting alerts letting them know it is available sometime int he next 48 hours according to many-a-forums. 

Improvements can be expected in a number of areas including stability, battery use, camera speed, and more.  Check out http://learning.verizonwireless.com/learning/Droid_Motorola_Software_Update.pdf for the full list...per VZW.  Check back here and follow the thread on Android Foums for the up to date skinny, but don't knock your head on the "mine still says no updates available!" posts. 

Not to be left in the shadows of this update, all Android users can download a new version of Google Maps with some nice labs features (such as terrain, a compass and more) but make sure you enable them, they are disabled by default.  And, last but certainly not least...

Google Goggles for Android launched today.  There have been some similar iPhone apps but this is 100% genuine Google and allows you to search by taking pictures of landmarks, signs, bar codes, and more.  A nifty augmented reality feature shows info for business that are all around you...we'll have to try that out during lunch.  Video demo after the break.

Phone Tech - Droid Eris is WILL be getting Android 2, Passion Delayed Until 2010? X10 going magenta?

Information Week has, well, information (go figure) that Verizon will release a significant update to the Droid Eris, bringing it to at least 2.0.  We also spoke with one of our tipsters who says that VZW hasn't yet sent out training/promo materials on the upgrade but that a weekly email has confirmed the validity of IW's source. This means that it won't be long until the Droid is not the only Android 2 kid on the block, great for app availability really. While you can put Google Maps w/ Navigation on even a G1 right now, we're thinking this upgrade will bring Nav and a number of other desirable features to users that might not otherwise go through the trouble of seeking them.  The big question is, with this information, do you regret not taking advantage of the BOGO deal at VZW this past weekend?

Also of not to some is that the Passion appears to have been delayed, multiple sources swear by it, and lets be real, there are only 2.5 weeks until X-Mas anyways.  If you had hopes of one in your stocking this X-Mas I'm sorry, but right now we're not even certain which carriers are going to be getting the Passion, or the XPERIA X10 for that matter.   AndroidGuys have what looks to be reasonable evidence that the X10 is spec'd for the 'TMO only' 1700MHz 3G spectrum.  On one hand this makes sense becuase TMO really took the plunge when they launched the G1 and has not since had a device with the impact the X10 seems sure to possess.  How TMO will subsidize a device this pricey to keep it within its normal market we're curious about.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Arts/Culture - Brazilian Voices Presents: From Brazil to the World




This Thursday, December 10th Brazilian Voices will once again be gracing the stage of The Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.  Brazilian Voices, a non-profit organization, is a women’s vocal ensemble that performs at cultural, community and philanthropic events, aspiring to incorporate the best of Brazilian culture throughout the world.

As of this post, tickets are still available for 'From Brazil to the World' but make sure you secure yours quickly, they will sell out.  This weeks performance is a theatrical musical journey featuring signing, dancing, acting and even capoeira.  An entertaining and educational experience, people of all ages and backgrounds will be delighted by the community oriented performance.

Get your tickets now!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bring Disney back to the classroom! - Disney's Man In Space Series



When was the last time you saw an educational video this neat?  It makes me want to learn.  A friend passed this along today and I find it a shame that Disney (nor anyone else for that matter) no longer makes educational videos that are entertaining.  A quick search reveals some good ones, a few that are still current too.  Follow the break from the rest of them.

PS - Take notice at the oddly proportioned posterior @ approx 3:57 in the first video.  Huh.

The "Plain Old" in Plain Old Telephone Service was only the first 'Plain Old' to die.

The commonality of the smart phone, the death of POTS (plain old telephone service), the portability of cable TV and the need for speed on the go.  Things are really changing in the information world, a fragmented world with too many restrictions associated with choices.  Not long ago you had your local phone service, cable service, a cellphone service and maybe a mobile broadband service. Then more people started getting their cable and phone service from the same company, and if that company had a mobile provider maybe you even had all three services combined.  You still couldn't watch TV on that mobile connection, or easily merge your home and mobile phone capabilities though.  It was just one bill.  Nothing more.

Nowadays at home you have you have one connection that gives you cable TV, broadband and VOIP phone service.  On the go however, you still have separate phone and mobile data services, until now.  Comcast and Time Warner had started bundling 3g mobile data service with their existing packages.  Still separate technologies, but again, one bill.  Why should your cellphone and mobile broadband have to be so different though?  You can surf the web on your phone and make a call on your laptop, so why so many different technologies?  Heard about the, "Google Phone" or some Google device that makes calls over VOIP?  That's the tip of the new information access iceberg...says us...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Charge your phone at any outlet...without an adapter. USB wall jacks.


I've seen a few write ups for making your own USB wall jack, but they pretty much involved sacraficing an iPod charger (or similar) and stuffing it in the wall (against code), dremeling a bit, etc.  For what we think is the bargain price of $9.95 FastMac is now offering up this beauty (pending UL approval of course).

They have an easy install video to make sure you are comfortable with, well, wire nuts and screws, but install only if you're comfortable with basic household wiring.  Seems pretty convenient having the power supply built in and all, especially for only a couple dollars more than a standard outlet. 

We do have to wonder, how many people might stumble across these in the future and spend 30 mins on the phone with their family geek designate wondering why the printer won't work?
(FastMac via CrunchGear)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Additional BOGO infor for the DROID - good for upgraders?

A few days ago if you held your ear to almost any dork you'd have heard whispers of a BOGO offer for the DROID and last night the blogosphere became abuzz with word of a buy one get one deal.  Since its been less than 30 days since launch, this incredible deal would mean that anyone that has bought a DROID at Verizon so far can get another.  We first heard credible news of this from BGR but we've managed to some Spicy Biscuits of detail that we think might make you twitch with anticipation.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Our first Spicy Biscuit., "The Southwood Project"...infusion never sounded so good.


We'd like to start out by telling you about a band with a sound you have spent far too long not hearing and now you get to hear about it from a real music expert...musician...guy who likes good music.  The Southwood Project is a group that we've seen in a number of venues big and small.  Their website described their sound as "Jazz/Reggae" but a description that terse wouldn't suffice even crafted by the most masterful of wordsmiths.  Playing all original music they are an infusion of jazz and reggae yes, but they are so much more, often featuring instruments you will be fetching your middle school band book just to identify.  The numerous origins of their sound is only trumped by the variety of combinations on the stage.

Thanks for visiting Spicy Biscuits!


It's only the begining but Spicy Biscuits will aim to be the place you turn for technology reviews, out take on major news events and things that well, we just think you should know about. We wanna be the friend you turn to for our take on the world around us.

         Specialties you can look forward to:
          Disney                      Technology
          Humor                     Webbed Feet!
          Politics                     Music
          Heterochromia!        Medicine
                Embarassing Pictures!