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Showing posts from November, 2013

Nexus 7, giant phones, and an experiment

I finally decided to take the plunge and attempt to replace my phone with something new. I've said before that I'm not just looking for a spec bump or performance increase in my new phone, I'm looking for something that gives me some better usability and fits my usage scenarios better. With that said, let me go over what I'm looking for again.
Currently I have a nexus 4 running CyanogenMod 10.2 and I'm running off the $30 plan from T-mobile that includes 5gb of data and 100 minutes of talk. I'm also using a Google Voice number (I don't even know my real phone number). This setup works fairly well for me now, but I realize that there are several aspects of my setup that can be refined to give me a better overall utilization of my devices. I rarely talk on my phone, instead utilizing Hangouts when I'm at home via the PC to make my phone calls and not taking any calls while I'm at work. I primarily use my phone as a Bluetooth access point for Glass an…

Custom URLs, #SecretSanta, and a new Explorer appears

A somewhat slow week, so this post will be a bit shorter than the rest.

So this week, yesterday in fact, Google deemed me worthy to receive a custom URL for my Google+ page (http://plus.google.com/+JoshWilson-sohjsolwin in case you're curious). I was not allowed to reserve a simple +JoshWilson like I would have preferred, simply due to it being too common of a name. I was instead forced to append some characters to the end to make it unique. I am not too happy with the result. Being able to select something like /+SohjSolwin would have been preferred to the naming scheme I had to abide by, but in the end, I still got my custom URL and it's still easier to remember and write out than the long number i was assigned before.

Now, on to the #SecretSanta. This year, I will be participating in the #GPlusSanta #SecretSanta gift exchange on Google Plus. It's this really awesome thing where you put together an Amazon Wishlist, send it in to the GPlusSanta, and someone may pick your …

Hackathons, Helpouts, and Angels(sensors)

So, I owe you two posts, and I'll deliver on those shortly. It's been a busy couple of weeks, so I'll break these up as they would have been had I wrote them on the original days they were scheduled for. Now, let us begin.

I attended a hackathon last weekend at the Microsoft Offices in Chevy Chase. Myself and a team of 5 others (mostly co-workers) set out to create something to help prevent fraud and catch bad actors. We had access to Dun and Bradstreet's enormous dataset on near anything you would ever want to know about a business, including its financial information, how many computers they have, competitors, branches, offices, suits, liens, anything. It was a pretty amazing dataset. We decided to work on creating a graph to help visibly see how many degrees of separation existed between a seemingly reputable company and a potentially fraudulent one. It was a fun two days, filled with caffeine, code, and cold pizza.

Our end product was, I thought, pretty good, but t…

Nexus 5, Golang, and Hackathons

Last week was host to the long awaited Nexus 5 (official) reveal. It was already leaked and all but confirmed in the weeks leading up to it's October 31st debut on the Google Play store, but now it's finally available for purchase. It looks to be a very nice phone, but I no longer feel compelled to upgrade. Starting a few months ago, about the time the Moto X became immensely hyped, I started taking a look at what I actually needed my phone for. There's making calls, sure, but aside from that, I really only used it for web browsing, email, and various other apps. I no longer have any games on my phone, I don't use it for streaming music or watching Netflix, there's the occasional Youtube video, and Google+. I realized that I am in no way taxing my phone's memory or processor, so what need is there for me to purchase a new device that is primarily a spec bump? If I'm going to purchase something new, it's going to be because it provides something that my …