Android

Make Android Almost Un-hackable

Alex Apps, Computers, Cyber Security, General Nuggets, Mobiles 0 Comments

Some people just don’t understand how easy it is these days to hack into any electronic device that we own. Mobile phones have evolved from that electronic brick that sat in your pocket that made and received both phone calls and text messages, to a touch-screen portable computer that contains lots of information about you. This information about you is traceable and downloadable and could potentially be shared with the entire World Wide Web if you are not careful enough. Like it or not, ANDROID IS THE MOST HACKED MOBILE OPERATING SYSTEM, so how do we protect ourselves from this dangerous threat?

The Mentality Of Malicious Hackers

Regardless of reason, as long as electronic devices exist, there will always be hackers. While there are many speculations to warrant a reason to why people hack maliciously, most would agree that the reason is similar to the reason why people choose to build their own computers, because they can! What we have to remember however is that not all malicious hackers are bad. Some hackers for example might be corporate spies, whose job is to often obtain a particular piece of intellectual property or competitive information or hacktivist groups like anonymous, who fight for what they believe in.

Apps For Decreasing Vulnerability

There are many helpful apps that exist for Android users to help decrease the vulnerability of their device. These are by far the easiest way of securing your device without having to change any of your phone usage habits, which I will explain later.

Anti-Virus & Malware Removal Tools

Mobile phones are probably just as advanced (if not more) than the original windows 98 desktop computer that I owned for about 8 years of my life before my father chucked it out. That plucky white tower that was always thinking, incredibly noisy and never gave up. Most computer literate people would consider it to be madness to have a computer without an anti-virus software (or at least a firewall) because of the sheer number of threats, exploits and malicious attacks that happen every day online. If you bought an android phone with Everything Everywhere, then you probably already have an anti-virus software known as lookout. However you probably want to get Avast, which provides some of the best security features that I’ve seen for Android devices. Other notable security apps include CM security, AVG and McAffee all of which scored quite high for Android protection.

Using VPNs For Wi-Fi Hotspots

When using Wi-Fi hotspots, it’s important to remember that your data isn’t encrypted. That means that if you’re using POP3 connections for your email then a hacker can obtain the credentials for that account. This goes for anything that’s not done through a secure connection. It therefore doesn’t take a genius to figure out that hackers could setup their own “Wi-Fi traps”. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the VPN server, which means that any potential hackers can’t access any of the data being sent. There are plenty of VPN apps to look at, including free and paid service ones. I’d recommend looking at this article for VPN services, although I personally use cyberghost because it’s free and effective.

Wi-Fi Protector

Now here’s an awesome app that can be a bit fiddly to install. It’s called Wi-Fi protector and is designed to detect and prevent ARP spoofing attacks against your phone in Wi-Fi networks. If the system detects abnormal behaviour, then it will alert you about the attack. On rooted devices, it’s also possible to make your device immune to attacks. The official thread, which includes download links can be found here.

Habits

These actually require you the user to change how you use your phone. These methods make no modifications to the phone itself, but nevertheless are useful.

Don’t Install From Unknown Sources

Didn’t you father ever tell you not to download something from the internet willy nilly? That’s right, you’ve got to check where it’s come from. Of course you could install an amazing apk from a good website and equally you could have just signed the death certificate for your phone, is it really worth the risk?

Avoid Rooting Your Phone

Unless you really know what you’re doing and given everything a good hard long think that is. Not only could you completely brick your phone, but you’re letting malware walk straight into your phone especially if you don’t have anti-virus installed, oh and you will void your warranty as well! You’ll also want to protect your phone on the permission front which is fairly easy if you’ve got SuperSU

Read The Permissions

What does the app want to do, does it really want to make you a cup of tea or send 100,000,000 text messages each containing your biggest secret? Just take a quick look through the permissions and if anything seems dodgy, well obviously don’t install the app.

Use Mobile Banking Apps WITH EXTREME CAUTION

There’s already a million and one vulnerabilities and worries with online banking full stop let alone using a mobile app in the middle of music festival! There’s still a lot more security required for these apps before we can all safely use these wherever we are all the time. You should use these with extreme caution and don’t even  think about downloading one through email or text message!

Finally

THERE ARE ALWAYS VULNERABILITIES 

  • It doesn’t matter what device you have
  • It doesn’t matter what counter measures are in place
  • It doesn’t matter how careful you are

WE  CAN ALL BE HACKED it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will, just don’t rule it out. The advice I have given today will help you to avoid being hacked, it’s up to you now. I wouldn’t sweat too much though no one I’ve known has ever been hacked on Android, as long as you follow the advice above you’ll be fine.

Pencil Sharpening In Over 500 Words

Alex General Nuggets 0 Comments

About three months ago, a friend of mine decided to challenge me to write a blog post about absolutely nothing. The subject I was given was the riveting topic of ‘pencil sharpening’.

Pencil Sharpening is the most fundamental principle that we are taught in UK Primary schools. I’ve got no idea why, but for some reason I spent the first six years of my school life using pencils, which is really a waste when I could have been taught something far more useful like not to swing on my chair! It’s probably got something to do with the fact that my  handwriting was dreadful, but it would be a lie to say that it has not improved over the years, from a messy scrawl to a smaller more legible (but still sorta messy) scrawl.

So you can sharpen a pencil by using a tool known as a pencil sharpener or a knife. Knives can be dangerous and do not mix well with small children, hence unsurprisingly I didn’t have the privilege of using a knife until I joined the scouts, although you’re still a child at ten and a half, but I’ll ignore this and let it slide. By far the easiest method of sharpening a pencil is to use the pencil sharpener tool, which works because of a special type of blade the peels away some of the wood from the pencil and removes any blunt bits of the pencil during the sharpening process. Pencil sharpeners come in many different varieties, the most common variety consists of the standard sharpener itself without any catchment device. This means that you will have to sharpen over a bin to prevent littering the floor with sharpenings. The other type includes a catchment device which is very convenient, although is not recommended for exam use as the invigilators are always suspicious of it.

Most sharpeners are made from a mix of plastic and metal, but you can get sharpeners made of just metal if you really want. The sharpness of the pencil will depend on the sharpener, the pencil and your ability to sharpen pencils, as every pencil will have a state which we call ‘peak sharpness’. Peak sharpness is always different and while it may be easy to sharpen pencils to peak sharpness, there can be an issue when the lead breaks, which is typically common in cheap pencils and in some cases this can arise due to the fact that pencils have been dropped too much. While the price of a pencil ranges, I’ve always been happy to spend 89p on my pencils, in fact if you see me using any other pencil than a Staedtler Noris pencil, then there’s probably something seriously wrong with me.

These days, I still use pencil sharpeners, in fact I can’t remember the last time I used a knife to sharpen a pencil! I guess I’ve always found pencil sharpeners much more efficient because it takes far much more effort to sharpen to peak sharpness with a knife. I have also found that the best sharpeners are either metal or are the Staedtler brand ones are actually the best at sharpening and sharpening quickly. I mean c’mon who has half a life to sharpen pencils when you need the tip to be sharpened to less than a millimetre to accurately sketch your decay curve? That’s what I thought!

So there we have it challenge complete, I’ll let you do the counting, but there’s just over 500 words of pencil sharpening. I’d like to point out that no the introduction is not included in the count and the entire post length is in fact just over 600. So thank you Jamie for this challenge and I know it’s three months late! Next challenge please!

Summer Salutations

Alex General Nuggets, The Weird, Wired and Wacky World Of Alex Wornast 0 Comments

If you’re new here then welcome to Tetracious Frustration. Hi there, I’m Alex and I’ve been running my blog for over a year and a half now. I’ve taken a bit of a break recently due to exams and other engagements, I’ve also got about 21 posts in production that are half-finished, so they’ll be coming out too soon. You’ll probably want to read my about page if you’re new actually, that’ll probably answer a few questions. I thought I’d just make this post as a little quick updatey thing.

Germany

Tomorrow I’m off to Germany on a music trip for five days which will prove t10-reasons-to-drink-beer-3o be interesting if the last music trip back in 2012 is anything to go by. I think we’d be very unlucky if everyone got heat stroke again at the second performance venue like in Barcelona, of course there was no reason anyone should have got heat stroke because you could buy 9 litres of water for €1.20, but I guess it just goes to show how much common sense some people have these days. I’m definitely someone who’s got common sense, I know this because I managed to lacerate my left thumb tendon by 70% last year while making a two-pronged spear, but at least I didn’t get heat stroke in 38 degree heat! Anyway I’m waffling. This time it’s going to be different because I’ve got a lot better at playing and I’m also involved with the samba band again.

Of course hopefully I won’t get told off by the violins for playing too loudly or slapped by saxophonists for wrecking their ears. I’m trying to think what else could go terribly wrong, but I’d rather not think about that. I am actually really looking forward to the trip and no it’s not because of cheap beer, that’s just an added bonus!

Help Repositories

068d85adaee4952818617906e0d035e97404d6a572247ef8ad4b006b31baafc8In recent months I’ve met a few people who have wanted to know some basic information on computer related things, for example how to use and install Linux. I’m also in the process of creating one of these for the Age UK IT club that takes place on Tuesdays at 16:30 at swan Meade in East Grinstead. We’re looking for more tutors to provide a one-to-one tuition program, so if you’re a computer whiz kid who needs a bit more to put on their CV or personal statement, get in to contact with me and I’ll pass your details on.

If You’re A Fellow Blogger

lovelybylucy-blogging-710x473I’m always looking for other bloggers to promote and work with. Networking is a very important part of any project and the more connections you make, the better, well at least that’s the way I see it anyway. This site does support guest posting too, so feel free to fill out the form and if I like it, then I’ll be sure to let you know and publish it and ensure you are properly accredited for the post.

 

Final Words

I’ve got a good feeling about this summer and I’ll be aiming to continue to post new content throughout. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, like the tetracious frustration Facebook page and connect using the social buttons in the top left hand corner of the Desktop site. Until then enjoy your stay and please to come to visit again.

Smartwatches

Smartwatches – To Buy Or To Wait

Alex General Nuggets 0 Comments

Smartwatches have been around since 2001. The first was developed by IBM and named ‘watchpad’. It was an Internet enabled watch that ran on Linux, but never really caught on. Fourteen years on we’ve been introduced to new smartwatches from Sony Smartwatches, to the crowd-funded pebble. Google joined the watch game with Android wear and Apple issued their usual response with a piece of expensive technology that I briefly covered in a post I made last year. With fourteen years in development, Smartwatches are much more advanced than they used to be with most packing a range of sensors, but is it really worth buying one or is it still just a gimmicky gizmo that’s not worth the bother?

Android Wear

Android Wear, unlike Pebbles, can only work with Android devices 4.3 or higher. This is most likely to be the case due to the way that Google made the system. It’s currently relatively new and many companies including Samsung, Sony and LG are manufacturing these intricate pieces of kit.

Technical Specifications

SmartwatchesConsidering that most android wear comes with 512MB of RAM, a decent processor for a watch (1.4GHz- 1.6GHz) and it’s relatively new arrival to the market, it’s certainly a step in the right direction for Google. Of course they all have bluetooth. Brands like LG, Asus, Sony, Samsung and Motorola are all supporting the cause, meaning that there is a lot of variety in Android wear. You’ll probably want to have a look here if you want the full technical specifications, because each watch is different.

Design

From the sporty looking Sony SW3 to the round classy looking Motorola 360, there’s certainly a wide range of wear on offer. All of them appear to come with a standard 22mm watch strap, making it easy for you to switch straps, so if you don’t like your cheap rubbery band, you could always switch it out for a leather or stainless steel one. I personally really like the look of the Asus Zenwatch however myself because of its bezels.Smartwatches

Battery Life

Most you’ll probably need to charge daily which will probably be a bit of a shock to most watch users. If you plan on using them rather heavily, then they probably won’t last even a day! But then again it’s probably the same story with your phone.

Price

In my opinion most fancy watches are pretty overpriced, I’m not forking out £215 on a watch just because it looks nice, definitely not. My point is I’m much more likely to buy a casio protrek than a Rolex. The starting point for most Android wear Smartwatches is about £100, but if you want a “decent” one, you’ll probably want to spend about £200

Android Wear Verdict

Android wear certainly is a step in the right direction, but still has problems with battery and there’s still a lot of work to do with the overall system. In my personal opinion these are still a very much gimmicky gizmo that are for early adopters. Fitness freaks and sports enthusiasts might find a use for Sony’s latest smartwatch, but there’s really not much point to buying these watches seeing as other devices exist which are much better. Google can flog these as much as possible, I won’t be buying one in a hurry.

The Apple Watch

SmartwatchesMore popular than pebble, but still a massive flop. It was the most anticipated piece of technology and it’s uptake is certainly nothing to brag about. Apple will have to sell 100 million units in the short space of two years if they want to make a splash in the wearables department, which isn’t highly improbable if we take a look at the iPad.

Technical Specifications

So first things first, you’ll need an iPhone for this one so no surprises there. The watch itself has a size of either 38mm or 42mm which provides a resolution of 272 x 340 or 312 x 390 respectively. They all have an ambient light sensor, an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a heart rate monitor. There’s 18 hours of battery life, oh and it runs WatchOS apparently. Full specifications can be found here.

Design

It’s got quite a slim design and if you’re looking for a sleek watch, then you’ll probably prefer this to any which you might have seen in the android wear section above. Like anything Apple, it’s oversimplified and maybe that’s why critics aren’t giving it very good reviews. It’s certainly one of the most aesthetically appealing device I’ve seen so far and makes many of the Android wear devices look pretty bulky.

Battery Life

A lot of people seem to be making a fuss about the apple watch by saying that it’s awful and I’ll agree that 18 hours isn’t the most impressive battery life in the world making it far from ideal if you’re going camping. Typically though, we’re all going to take off our watch at night, meaning it really won’t be too difficult to connect the magnetic charger to the watch.

Price

A typical apple watch will cost you between £299 and £339 that all depends on which model you want.

Apple Watch Verdict

I quite like the design, that’s pretty good and it’s got lots of apps which is great, but in my opinion I’m not a fan of the operating system. For starters, the way they’ve laid out the app menu disgusts me, what are we children? The features aren’t really anything to boast about either, it’s effectively a stupidly priced Asus zenwatch with a proper heart-rate monitor and if you think I’m spending £150 for something.

Final Verdict For Smartwatches

I really wouldn’t waste your money on a smartwatch, but I would be wrong to say that the Asus Zenwatch doesn’t tempt me. I still think that they’re still very much a gimmicky gizmo for early adopters that really still need quite maturing until they can be deemed worthy enough to become my next wrist-worthy companion. Who knows what the next few years will bring for smartwatches, maybe our mobile devices will all be phased out with one watch to rule them all, I highly doubt it but I guess it could happen. You’ll also have to remember that I’ve only covered the most well-known smartwatches, for other notable mentions please see below. So what do you think, am I being harsh here about this gizmo or do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments below and if you liked this post, then feel free to check out other posts and share this one using the buttons below.

Other Notable Mentions

Vector: It has excellent battery-life (30 days) and looks great. It runs its own operating system and is expected to be priced around the same area as higher end Android wear, although it does remind me a bit of pebble.

Cookoo: Excellent features, shame about the Operating System that looks pretty clunky.

Arrow: Has a camera and is packed with features that all the other smartwatches boast about. It looks ultra-stylish and I’m pretty impressed with how the operating system looks at first glance.

Suunto: one for GPS explorers and athletes. Imagine Geocaching with this bad boy on your wrist.

Precognitive Dreams

What Are Precognitive Dreams?

Alex General Nuggets, Sleep Science 0 Comments

The power of prophecy is something that really doesn’t fit in with our modern-day way of life. No longer do we turn to oracles or seers to tell us our fate, we live in a world where we love cold hard facts, scientific evidence and when we find something that doesn’t make sense, we try to explain it using complicated theorems. Prophecy is one of those things we’re all probably very sceptical about, because we can’t predict the future can we?

What Is A Precognitive Dream?

A precognitive dream is simply when we observe an event in the dreamscape (where we dream) and then after a random amount of time, that event occurs in the objective world (reality). According to many articles that have been published on this subject, the time between the event happening in the dreamscape and objective world can happen in as shortly as a few days or as late as eight years if not longer. You might all think that this sounds a bit far-fetched, however it is widely believed that Abraham Lincoln dreamt that he saw his own funeral in a dream, in which he asked a soldier who was dead in the Whitehouse. The soldier replied “The President”. Two weeks later, he was assassinated. It’s one of the most famous precognitive dreams in history and it’s not the only one, in fact the British Society for Psychical Research (SPR) have documented 349 cases of precognition, over half of these being proven to be true and accurate after data verification.

How often can a precognitive dream occur?

There is no set frequency to the amount of precognitive dreams that a person can have, in fact every dream that we have has the potential to be precognitive. As for the number of times a single precognitive dream can occur, it has been suggested that many instances of that specific dream could have taken place before the event occurs in reality.

Prophetic dreams

Back in 350 B.C.E (before common era) the Greek philosopher Aristotle published a paper called On Prophesying by Dreams which is quite a pig to read actually, but if you want to have a little read then there’s English translated version here. In this paper, he goes on to question how precognitive dreams can indeed be probable before stating a logical argument that dreams are mere coincidence.

Different Types Of Precognition

There are two types of precognition that are lower and higher order. These concepts require a bit more explaining than you’d probably think, but the overall concept isn’t actually very complicated. If you experience a lower order precognitive dream, then event in the dreamscape will be slightly different to that of the objective world. For example you could experience it from a third person point of view, find that certain parts match the dream whereas other parts don’t or even have no memory of the dream at all, yet still experience Déjà Vu. Higher order precognitive dreams are when the dream is when you recognise the event from the dream.

And The Rest

At some point in our lives, we will all probably experience at least one precognitive dream. Precognitive dreams might seem like some weird unexplained  phenomenon and in truth, they are! That’s right, we’ve been observing them for hundreds of years and there’s still no simple explanation for either the cause. There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding this area at the moment and this will continue to be the case until we can truly analyse the nature of dreams. In the meantime, I also found this awesome YouTube video that uses a scientific model for precognitive dreams, so do indeed feel free to look at that.

tinder

Tinder Is Dreadful And Here’s Why!

Alex Apps, Extreme Scoffery, General Nuggets, Mobiles 0 Comments

We’ve all probably heard of the infamous swipe right or left app that over the past few years has developed a pretty large user base. Over the years, it’s changed its purpose multiple times and ultimately become utterly rubbish, homing only validation seekers and cock teasers. You’ll probably need therapy once you finally realise how much of a waste of time it is.

The Pictures Most People Use

Most people on tinder choose to show off unflattering selfies as opposed to pictures which are actually decent. No one wants to see a picture of you at a funny angle with a stupid looking filter, no one cares about the fact that you have an iPhone 6 and don’t even get me started on that pouty face you’re pulling! Do yourself a favour love stop caking yourself in fake tan and put some clothes on, because the truth is that your boobs aren’t that impressive. Maybe then you’ll attract some decent attention rather than the typical “fuck boy” who lurks in these parts.

People Don’t Understand What A Bio Is For

At least three-quarters of the people on tinder don’t seem to understand the concept of a bio. It’s meant to be full of interesting things to give me a reason to swipe right, so what do you think my reaction is when you write “Surrey ♥”? Unsurprisingly if you’ve written that or anything vaguely similar, then I’m not going to waste my time and maybe this is extremely judgemental of me, but the chances are if you’ve written something like that, then you’ve probably been loafing around in your bed all day and posting bull excrement all over your tumblr page.

No One Has Any Intention Of  Meeting Anybody

Doesn’t matter if you’re extremely proactive, witty, funny or remotely interesting on any level, most users will have no intention of meeting you. “Here for the bants” is a common phrase you’ll probably see and this pretty much applies to anyone on there now. This really defeats the object of the app really because it’s not a messenger app that you use to talk to strangers or at least that’s not what it was designed for, but hey when do we ever use an app for what it’s supposed to be used for? But then again who wants to meet up with an annoying attention seeker anyway?

“There’s No One New In Your Area”

This app has the power to actively discourage people to not approach new people. It will bend your mind so that you only see a small minority of the girls who actually live in your area. It’s actually a lot harder to pickup girls on tinder than it is in real life, because it’s a lot easier to impress someone through human interaction than it is being on the other side of a screen. In fact many girls will say that they don’t need an app like tinder, meaning that you really are better off not bothering with it.

Final Words Of Advice

Tinder is not at all where it starts like the motto suggests, in fact it’s where it ends! You’re highly unlikely to find anyone who you can tolerate for more than a day on the app. Just uninstall it, the world’s not going to end if you do which seems to be something that many people seem to think for some reason… You’ll be pleased once you’ve got rid of it and hopefully you got off it before you need therapy.

Further Reading

What Women Really Think Of Tinder from Your Tango – http://www.yourtango.com/2014226077/what-women-really-think-tinder

Everyone Is Still Talking About Tinder – http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/blogs/543941/tinder-the-online-dating-app-that-everyone-s-talking-about.html

The Guardian’s Overview – http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/24/tinder-dating-app-social-networks

 

A Mile Not Worth Mentioning.

Alex General Nuggets 0 Comments

For my eighteenth birthday last Friday (12th of June) my friend and I decided that it was a good idea to attempt what we described as the Golden Mile Of Grinstead. This consisted of ten pubs of which two we never made. We’d be planning this since April and it only really dawned on us about how stupid it was until we suffered the dreadful after effects.

First we headed to McDonald’s to fill up before proceeding to the closed La forola and Bridge bar. We were then joined by another one of my friends who decided to buy me a seven kilogram watermelon. It was extremely helpful when the bag was ridiculously close to breaking, but an excellent gift none the less. Well let me put it this way, I found it hilarious, hence it’s a good gift.

The first pint was in Tommy Flynn’s where on presenting my identification, the barman told me that I looked like a gangster. It’s true that I don’t look best pleased in my passport photo, but in truth I am anything but a gangster. By this point, we probably should’ve called this mile something else, because for starters I had Guinness, my friend had Fosters and the other had orange juice. In addition to this, it was technically slightly more than a mile and we had to improvise by having two pints in spoons.

After the first pint, I paid in the cheques that I’d received that day, while the others went to the 99p store because no one likes banks for some reason. We met in spoons where we proceeded with pints two & three, where I received an interesting card and a hilarious card with money from my friends who decided to meet us there at around 12.

We proceeded to the upstairs of the Atrium to the Crow’s Nest to play pool and sink the fourth pint. I managed to perform an amazing fluke shot somehow, despite still losing the game in the end due to my terrible aim. I was definitely starting to feel it at this point and my friend was also as well, so that’s most likely the reason why we lost at pool.

Pint five was at the Sussex arms, just next to the East Grinstead library, so we had a nice leisurely walk from the Atrium to there. At this stop, we ordered some pork scratchings with our pints and yes we still had this seven kilogram watermelon, so goodness knows what people thought. This was also the halfway point and we hadn’t really found it that hard to get that far.

Pint six was at the ship. This was my minimum reached expectation and it was here where I was taking slightly longer on my pint. My friend who had been having fosters from pub one decided to take a sip of my drink here. He wasn’t really a fan of Guinness for some reason and I’m definitely not a fan of fosters.

Pint seven was found through the high street at bar kuba, where some idiot decided it was a good idea to play pool again. I’d half a pint here because I managed to knock half it over. Thankfully I didn’t smash the glass, I was still livid all the same.

Pint eight was at CJs where we decided to have nachos as well. This would have probably been a better idea if I’d decided to eat and drink more slowly, because I definitely went too quickly. Needless to say I was ill and rather embarrassed. I’d apparently drunk dialed someone as well here, but I don’t really remember that…

The final two pubs we never got to. I was in no fit state to continue that was for certain, so we all went to my house and sat outside, which is where I chilled out for the rest of the evening. My friend didn’t look to good either and I seriously have no idea how that seven kilogram watermelon made it home. I guess it will just be one of those mysteries.

I didn’t feel much better five hours later either, but I was pretty much fine the morning after. So maybe we didn’t get to pub number ten, but in a way I’m glad really. The main thing was that we all got home safely and by some miracle I’d not lost anything or ended up in hospital.

You’re a textbook that’s just waiting to be rewritten!

Alex General Nuggets 0 Comments

In February, my subconscious was working in overdrive, which resulted in lots of strange vivid dreams. The main defining feature of each of these dreams was that for some reason, the East Grinstead council had forgotten to take the Christmas lights down. Just to avoid any confusion, I’d like to point out that our council had removed them at this time, I can assure you that. Now everything that we know can be re-written and our opinions are likely to change from what we call a “fact”.

Now to any psychologists who might be reading this, I did a week of your subject at As-level and got sick of it. That’s right, I didn’t care about the fact that Loftus & Palmer showed films of traffic accidents to test validity of eye-witness testimony. I’d gathered memory representation could be altered through the use of powerful verbs and that there will always be opinion bias. I gave the subject a go and I didn’t like it simply because I couldn’t find a single thing in the textbook that I didn’t find waffely. I struggled to find something in the subject that didn’t already remotely relate to what I like to refer as ‘common sense cold reading’ ! Ahem, terribly sorry, where was I? Ah yes, our minds can be re-written really quite easily.

Basically, imagine that your mind is a computer with an infinite amount of storage space. Okay I understand as much as the next guy that no one can physically comprehend infinity. Even if we cheat here and say that it’s the number eight on its side, not because the number eight on its side isn’t the symbol for infinity, but because that’s not really what infinity is! Something that is infinite can be described as being limitless or endless in space, extent, or size and is absolutely impossible to measure or calculate. If my seven-year old second cousin can understand that, then it’s a good enough explanation for me.

So let’s take a “fact” and we find that the “fact” is wrong because of whatever reason. We can no longer call it fact as it’s no longer truthful. This being the case, we have to call it something untrue, a lie, and adapt our opinion to rectify our mistake.

Still with me? What I’m basically trying to say is that everything you know could potentially be re-written in time. One thing doesn’t make sense though. If you have the ability to have unlimited knowledge, why is our knowledge limited? Is it a lack of resources? What if we can’t harness the complete power of our complex minds? This in my opinion is very plausible and forms the basic foundation of superconsciousness.

So what do you think? Excuse me for rushing this post, but I really didn’t want to delve into superconsciousness much. I will be saving that for another post. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed this post.

That’s British Airports For You

Alex General Nuggets 0 Comments

It’s been four years since I’ve been to the south terminal of Gatwick and I must say that it’s changed a lot since I’ve been there last.

So let’s start with something that hasn’t changed. Hand luggage needs to be 6kg or less when you travel with Thomas Cook. Of course me taking all my revision stuff (including my laptop) took me over that amount of mass, so we had to result to putting my maths textbooks in the hold luggage. That was something that never happened to even cross my mind actually, although really it should’ve really. The check-in man was a bit off with me as well, but then again it was 04:10 in the morning.

My father was as jittery as ever and decided that it was appropriate to go to Caffè Nero. This was over-ruled by the fact that there are coffee shops air-side and that we probably need to get through security. Now I usually get stopped by security due to the fact that I have so much technical gear on me, that they have to do tests on it. So I emptied my pockets, triple checked them, took the laptop out of the bag, put it in a separate tray, checked my pockets again, removed my belt and even my boots. Despite all this, I still set off the stupid machine.

I forgot that airport security do random checks all the time and I seem to have a super-human power of setting off alarms anyway. So I had to go through a full body scanner and I don’t think the airport staff have ever seen someone quite so eager, as they had to tell me not to step into the machine. Of course it came back clear, because there was nothing in my pockets! Needless to say, I was also unsurprised when the tray with my passport and bag were selected for a random security test. My laptop was fine apparently!

So after being put through what my father described as the third degree, we arrived at air-side. My reaction to what they’d done was not a good one. The whole thing was practically rearranged and I was forced to walk through a stupid smelling shop to reach the main area. It was ridiculous and of course busy. I’m personally fine with busy places, but it makes my family the most stressed out people in existence.

I don’t get what’s so stressful about hundreds of people walking around an airport. No one gets in your way or anything. The only thing that is annoying however is the fact that there’s often huge queues for places to eat and drink.

The toilets have also changed, someone decided that the sink and dryer should be an integrated unit. It’s a nice idea, just poorly executed really. I probably should’ve brought some rescue remedy because when I got out of the toilet, my father was having a coffee, which made him incredibly panicky for some unknown reason.

From this post, I’ve made it seem like British Airports are the most ridiculous place in existence, where we’re obsessed with security, shopping and the cleanliness of our lavatories. In actuality, British Airports are probably some of the best-managed airports, even if there are still some delays.

Minuum

Minuum – Minimalistic Keyboard

Alex Computers, General Nuggets, Technology 0 Comments

For those who don’t know, minuum is a minimalistic keyboard that is available for IOS and Android devices. Despite its glowing reviews on its download page on the Google play store, I personally think that the app is over-rated and vastly inferior to that of the Xperia international keyboard that my phone came installed with.

Features Of Minuum

Minuum has two sizes of keyboard. One size is a small size which looks quite nice, if not a bit difficult to use. It’s approximately half the size of the standard size of an android keyboard, allowing the user to have significantly more screen space. It’s also a very gesture controlled system, which can be turned off in the settings. Finally, there’s a button called “sloppy typing” which can end up being a right pain for adept phone typists, even though you’ll probably need it for using the smaller size of keyboard.

Merits Of The System

I’ve been playing with this keyboard for about a week now and from this I have come up with a list of good points for the given system.

  • The gesture controls are excellent – If an app has gestures, it often gets in my good books. Of course not everyone is a fan of gestures and there is an option in the settings to turn this off. That being said, it does provide a unique experience to use gesture controls for space, backspace and even for punctuation!
  • Lots of themes to choose from – Some keyboards can look a bit bland and have limited customisation options. With minuum, there are actually lots of themes to choose from and some themes are even dependent on the time of day.
  • Advanced and experimental options – Lots of cool options here like bonus panels
  • Makes efficient use of screen space – Most keyboards take up at least a third of the screen. With this keyboard,

Its Downfalls

While I was using this keyboard, I found that my overall typing speed was much slower compared to my standard keyboard. I also found that the system was a bit fiddly to use. I was extremely unimpressed by the sloppy typing function, which seemed to correct my words incorrectly and it was also difficult to add new words to the dictionary with this function on. In addition to this, it didn’t recognise my writing style, although did allow me to import words from my current dictionary. Finally, they have not built ‘swipey typing’ into their keyboard, which in my opinion is one of the best features for keyboard that Android ever came up with.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, minuum is a good idea that’s been poorly executed. There are loads of options for keyboards on Android and Minuum, despite its merits, is a keyboard that I would definitely not recommended to anyone! Okay you can make the keyboard full size, but that really defeats the reason that I wanted to use it for. The trial lasts thirty days, which really is how long you’ll probably need to get used to it. My advice in short is that it’s not worth 79 pence, let alone three pounds. A waste of time and money for a poorly executed idea!