Image by Mike Licht; NotionsCapital.com
I am surprised to be writing a blog post about the issue of same sex marriage. I’m surprised this debate even exists, especially today. This blog post probably won’t change anything. Even if my website was as famous as YouTube or Facebook, I don’t think anyone against same sex marriage would take this blog post seriously. However, if nothing else, I will be able to share my thoughts.
I don’t understand the homosexual mind. Although I don’t care about what others do behind closed doors, I can see why so many religions are against it. However, some people simply prefer a different way of doing things. Nobody has to like homosexuality or even have homosexual friends. Homosexuality doesn’t affect anyone in a negative way, and people against it need to do nothing but ignore it.
One argument against homosexuality is that it isn’t natural. However, hundreds of animals have been known to engage in homosexual activity. The only thing stopping people from engaging in homosexual activity is the discrimination against it. Besides, I don’t think it is correct to judge the morality of something based on whether it is natural.
Another argument against homosexuality is that every child deserves a mother and a father. Like the last argument, this one is also invalid. Many children are raised by single parents, or by an orphanage. This has nothing to do with homosexual marriage. Besides, if I was an orphan during early childhood, I think I would be quite happy with two fathers.
I’m sure there are plenty more arguments against homosexuality and same-sex marriage. However, the truth is that if same-sex marriage is legalised, nothing bad will happen. Nothing at all. If I am wrong, let me know in the comments.
Posted on Wednesday 17th April 2013 - Post the first comment!
As you may know, my first Android phone was an LG Optimus GT540. Less than 6 months after I got that phone, I bought an HTC Desire S, which I used for around 18 months. Last December, I bought a Google Nexus 4, and it is an excellent phone. However, for quite a while I’ve been wanting to go back to the LG GT540 for a few weeks, just to give it a try.
My Nexus 4 was dropped recently, and the glass on the front was cracked, making the touchscreen unresponsive. I was shocked to see that the screen had cracked, as the phone was in an ArmourDillo Hybrid Protective Case. If you are going to buy this case, buy a screen protector as well. Anyway, my mum’s boyfriend is currently using the HTC Desire S, and I had an excuse to give the LG GT540 another try.
The LG Optimus GT540 is a lower end Android phone from 2010, costing £100 at the time. It originally ran on Android 1.6 and was later officially upgraded to Android 2.1. This phone has a 600 MHz CPU, 256 MB RAM and 512 MB of internal storage, with 130 MB for apps. A 2GB micro SD card is also provided in the box. To complete the experience, this phone has a 3.0-inch resistive HVGA touchscreen.
At first, I thought I was going to enjoy going back to the early days of Android. However, I quickly realised how wrong I was. In fact, when I was buying a SIM card for the phone, I was very tempted to buy an HTC Wildfire S as a temporary replacement. The Wildfire S is similar to the LG GT540, but it was released in 2011. It has a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen and a newer version of Android, for around £75.
The first complaint I had about the LG GT540 was with the screen. The screen is far too small to type on at a decent speed, and it is resistive. I found that a pencil makes it much easier to use this phone. However, I ended up using a stylus from a Nintendo DS. This puts me under a lot of shame as a computer geek, and I haven’t been able to laugh at anyone using an iPhone or even an old BlackBerry.
The second complaint I had with the LG GT540 was with the software. It is not well optimised for the hardware, and quite honestly, going back to this phone feels like using an alpha build of Windows Vista. LG’s pathetic excuse for an on screen keyboard had to be replaced with TouchPal, and LG’s custom launcher was quickly replaced with GO Launcher.
The third complaint I had about the LG GT540 was the pathetic amount of internal storage. I bought a 32GB micro SD card, so I have plenty of space for my music and photos. However, apps have to be installed on the internal storage, and 130 MB just isn’t enough. I can install apps I need, such as GO Launcher and Twitter. However, that leaves no space for Facebook or a theme for GO Launcher.
The forth and final complaint was that I couldn’t find a way to install a custom ROM on this phone to save my life. I couldn’t find a way to reboot this phone into the bootloader screen, even using ADB with USB debugging enabled. If LG aren’t going to make a decent software experience on that phone, the least they could do is to allow the developer community to have a go at it.
Although I couldn’t find a way to install a custom ROM on the LG GT540, I was able to root it using an application called z4root. This app uses a security exploit in Android to, well, get root access. Because of that, I can delete bloatware from the phone and underclock the CPU to save battery. However, I am not able to overclock the CPU, or tether my mobile internet connection to other devices.
If there is one positive thing to say about this phone, it is probably with app support. Although LG stopped pushing software updates to this phone a long time ago, many of the popular smartphone apps will work fine on Android 2.1, including the official Facebook and Twitter apps. However, Instagram requires a newer version of Android, and third party Twitter clients have a compatibility issue with my phone.
Although the LG Optimus GT540 is a horrible phone to use, I can still use it as my main phone. Since this phone is made entirely out of plastic on the outside, I don’t have to worry about the screen cracking when I throw it across the room. However, the Google Nexus 4 doesn’t need to be thrown across the room, and because of that, when my Nexus 4 gets a new screen, I’ll be very glad to start using it again.
Posted on Sunday 10th March 2013 - 1 comment
The Cover-Mate Desktop Charging Dock is made for LG and Samsung Smartphones. It should work with any phone with the Micro USB port on the bottom, and the wide end of the Micro USB plug facing the back of the phone.
As the name suggests, it is also able to work around a case. It will even work with thick cases like the ArmourDillo Hybrid Protective Case on the Nexus 4. When you place your phone on the charging dock, its weight will make small adjustments to the angle and height of where it sits.
This charging dock has a feeling of good build quality to it, for its price. It is made mostly from glossy plastic and, where the phone sits, matte plastic. There are two rubber feet on the bottom to stop it from sliding around.
This charging dock also comes with an extra Micro USB cable, in case you are using the cable you already have for something else. At around 1m in length, this cable will be far too short for some people to use. However, I think it is a nice touch.
There is one problem with this charging dock that can’t be easily avoided. When you are putting your phone on it, you have to hold the dock still and carefully place your phone on top of the Micro USB connector. This problem can be solved with wireless charging, and it does seem like something that will be used a lot more in the future. However, wireless chargers currently cost around £40, which is a bit steep. Besides that, most smartphones still don’t support wireless charging.
If you decide to buy this charging dock, I would recommend using it with care. Avoid using it on the edge of a table, or anywhere where the phone could get knocked to the ground. When the phone is on the charging dock, it is standing up and can be knocked down a lot more easily. I am mentioning this because even if your phone has a case on it, the screen of your smartphone can fall on top of the charging dock and get cracked.
This charging dock costs £19.95. I think it would be better priced at around £15. However, if you choose your next smartphone carefully, it should work with that dock. Because of that, the charging dock has good value for money overall. It can be bought from MobileFun.co.uk and MobileFun.com under Galaxy Note 2 accessories.
Posted on Tuesday 19th February 2013 - Post the first comment!
The idea of using a stylus with a smartphone seems a little bit old fashioned today. Steve Jobs never liked them, and they were originally meant to make it easier to use old resistive touchscreens. As smartphones evolved to catch up with Apple’s iPhone, the stylus mostly died out. However, Samsung started their Galaxy Note series, with the S-Pen advertised as the main selling point. The Galaxy Note II is currently one of the most popular smartphones among the Android crowd, and it easily matches Google’s Nexus 4 with popularity. Clearly, the stylus hasn’t completely died out, and there are still several uses for one.
Using a good quality stylus is one of the best ways to prevent fingerprints on the screen of your smartphone. A stylus can also be used to draw quick pictures on your smartphone or tablet, to save paper. One of the best uses for a stylus is for when you are wearing gloves. Finally, a stylus might be used by someone who wants to use a smartphone, but isn’t used to touchscreens. Although most mobile software today uses buttons big enough for users to tap with their thumb, some people still find a stylus to be a more accurate pointing device.
The first problem I found with this stylus is its length. The stylus is too short to be used like a pen or a pencil, and it is awkwardly shaped, meaning there is only one way to hold it comfortably. It is possible to get used to the length of this stylus, and it is meant to be small. However, if this stylus was around half the length of a pen, it would still fit into nearly any pocket, and it would be a lot more comfortable to use.
Another problem with this stylus is that it leaves prints on a smartphone screen. If you are looking for a stylus specifically to avoid fingerprints, you will find stylus prints instead, and they are just as bad. This isn’t a big problem, as the marks can simply be wiped off. However, it is something to keep in mind.
The biggest problem with this stylus is how it is made. The part used to touch the screen is covered in a thin layer of smooth plastic, to make it easier to use the stylus for swipe gestures. That layer of plastic started to peel off in about a day of regular use and some time in my pocket. Because of that, with too much swiping, the rubber tip at the end falls off. This problem can be solved by covering the end of the stylus with a thin strip of paper or sticky tape, but that way of fixing the problem makes the stylus look a bit cheap.
The other end of this stylus has a built in USB flash drive. This flash drive has 16GB to store your data, and it operates at a reasonably fast speed, only taking a few minutes to transfer around 1GB of data. It has always been impossible to have too many USB flash drives, and that is especially true today. Because of that, the USB flash drive adds a lot of value to this stylus.
I would recommend this stylus for someone who just wants an accurate pointing device for their smartphone, or for someone who wears gloves a lot. I would not recommend this stylus for someone who won’t use the USB flash drive. Overall, this stylus is a good idea, and with the £15 price tag, it has good value for money. However, it could certainly be improved. This stylus can be bought from MobileFun.co.uk, under Galaxy Note 2 accessories.
Posted on Tuesday 12th February 2013 - 3 comments
I chose the Nexus 4 over another smartphone for quite a few reasons. I chose it over an iPhone 5 because of how open it is to developers, and I chose it over an HTC One S for the attention it will get from the developer community. The on screen buttons are also pretty cool.
Unlocking the bootloader is really easy with a Nexus device. With the Android SDK installed on your computer, the bootloader of this phone can be unlocked with a simple Fastboot command:
fastboot oem unlock
And unlike many other Android devices, when a Nexus device is unlocked, all partitions are fully unlocked, meaning there is no need to use Fastboot to flash boot images to the phone with new ROMs.
The Nexus 4 is a developer’s phone. This means that, with the exception of Google Apps, all the software preinstalled on this phone is open source. Because of that, this phone will get plenty of attention from the developer community for years, and custom ROMs like CyanogenMod will become stable daily drivers almost immediately.
CyanogenMod was the first of the most well known custom ROMs to come to the Nexus 4, which means it has had the most time to mature and become stable. It gives you root access, as well as allowing you to make customisations to stock Android. It also comes with little goodies, such as Trebuchet Launcher and the Chronus clock widget.
AOKP development started after Google released Android 4.0 and the Galaxy Nexus in 2011. Like CyanogenMod, AOKP allows you to make changes to stock Android. It has more customisation features than CyanogenMod, which is why many people really like it. However, it doesn’t come with Trebuchet Launcher or the Chronus clock widget.
ParanoidAndroid is great for those who want something different on their phone. Basically, ParanoidAndroid allows you to use your phone like a tablet by moving the notifications to the bottom of the screen and scaling the graphics down. It allows you to specify which apps you want to run in tablet mode and which apps you want to use normally. Anyone with an unlocked Nexus 4 should give it a try, although I wouldn’t recommend it for someone with fat fingers.
In coming months, you can expect many other ROMs to come to the Nexus 4. I am currently waiting to see a version of MIUI for the Nexus 4, as I really like the look and feel. I also hope to see PAC-Man ROM, which basically combines the best features of the ROMs I mentioned above.
Posted on Wednesday 30th January 2013 - Post the first comment!
The ArmourDillo Hybrid Protective Case for the Nexus 4 is, as the name suggests, a rugged case that is made to protect the Nexus 4 from drops and bumps. This case comes in two parts; a flexible part that wraps around the back and edges of the phone, and a hard outer shell that covers the back and clings around the corners and two sides of your device. This case comes in red, blue and black.
The back of this case is not made for looks. However, although it doesn’t look as good as the glass back of the Nexus 4, it isn’t ugly either. The design of the back is made to provide good grip when holding the phone, and to ruggedise it. With this case, it doesn’t feel like I’m going to drop my phone, and I was also impressed to find that the case has a pleasant soft touch to it.
On the back of the case, there is a kickstand. The kickstand has to be opened with a finger nail. It also feels a bit cheap, and I think it could be broken off quite easily with a bit of abuse. However, it is a nice addition to the case, and if it is closed properly when it isn’t being used, it should last well.
One thing I didn’t like about the case is how the side buttons are covered. This is to provide maximum protection, and to keep the phone in good condition. However, the power button has to be pressed harder to wake the phone up and, although this isn’t a big problem, it takes some getting used to.
Another thing I didn’t like about this case is how the edges of it, at the front of the phone, go above the touchscreen. This makes it harder to swipe onto the screen from the left or right edge, a commonly used gesture in mobile apps. Of course, this is required to some extent with any case in order to protect the screen from drops. However, the edge only needs to be raised a little bit to protect the screen from drops on flat surfaces.
One thing to think about with any case is the amount of thickness it adds to the phone. This case nearly doubles the phone’s thickness. However, while this may be a problem to some people, it isn’t a problem to me. The Nexus 4 is quite a thin phone, and with the case on, it doesn’t feel that much thicker in the hand.
Overall, the ArourDillo Hybrid Protective Case is one of the better cases in its price range. I would recommend this case for anyone. Particularly, someone who wants to protect their phone, and who doesn’t mind imperfections like the added thickness. I would also recommend this case for someone who watches a lot of videos on their phone, because of the kickstand. This case can be bought from MobileFun.co.uk, under Nexus 4 accessories.
Posted on Friday 18th January 2013 - 3 comments
I chose to buy a Nexus 4 over another phone for quite a few reasons. I chose it over the iPhone 5 because I like having home screen widgets and moving wallpapers. I chose it over any other Android phone because I wanted quicker Android updates than what I could get on my HTC Desire S.
The Nexus 4 feels great to hold. It has glass on the front and the back, and soft touch rubber around the edges of the phone. The screen looks great, and the pixels are almost not there. The back of the phone has a really nice looking sparkle effect to it.
This phone has excellent software. I have full control over what is on my home screen, and I can even install a new home screen. I can launch Google Now from anywhere by swiping up from he home button, and I can even access some of my apps from the lock screen.
There are too many features in the software on this phone for me to pick a favourite, or even a set of favourites. I really like the convenience of having quick settings in the notification panel. I also love the PhotoSphere feature in the camera app.
Although I love this phone, it has its share of problems in both hardware and software. The biggest hardware problem with this phone is the glass back. It looks and feels great, but everyone drops their phone. With the Nexus 4, there is double the chance of having a crack on your phone whenever you drop it.
The built in speaker on this phone doesn’t sound terrible. However, it is certainly nothing special. It is not the loudest speaker on a phone, and because of its size, sound coming from it can be muffled very easily.
Although the Quick Settings panel in Android is really convenient, there is no way to change the toggles in that panel. This could be a real problem for someone who uses the portable hotspot feature on their phone a lot, or even an annoyance for someone who has automatic brightness enabled.
This phone costs £239 with 8GB of internal storage and £279 with 16GB. I would recommend paying extra for the 16GB model, as this phone doesn’t have a microSD card slot. Overall, the Nexus 4 is an excellent phone. It is one of the best phones of 2012, and with the hardware of this phone, the price point only makes it a more attractive choice.
While the Nexus 4 is an excellent phone for the average user, it is even better for hackers and developers. It is really easy to unlock this phone’s bootloader, and since it is a flagship phone from Google, it will get loads of attention from the developer community. For those who understand what that means, I am working on a Hacker Edition of this review.
Posted on Tuesday 15th January 2013 - Post the first comment!
The Leather Style Wallet/Stand Case for the Nexus 4 is quite a unique case. It is, you guessed it, a case, a stand and a wallet. This case covers both the front and back of the phone. It has a leather look to it, and the outer surface is quite hard with little flex to it. It sounds like a good idea. You can have your phone, credit card, driving licence and a bit of spare cash, all in one place. Besides that, with this case, you can watch a video on your phone without having to hold it.
The wallet part of this case has three slots for your standard sized cards. The first slot has a transparent window in it, to keep proof of ID. The second slot can keep a whole card hidden. That might be used for a card you don’t use very frequently but still want access to it. The third slot is slightly shorter than a credit card, and a small bit of the card in that slot sticks out for quick access. Behind the card slots, there is a larger area for a bit of cash, keys, or anything else that will fit in that area.
To use the case as a stand, you flip it open and rest the side of the phone on top of the card slots. There is a fold on the back of the case, to allow the phone to tilt for different viewing angles. The angle of the phone can be adjusted from being nearly perpendicular to the desk, to being at an angle of around 30˚. To use the homescreen in landscape mode, a 3rd party launcher, such as Apex Launcher or Nova Launcher, can be installed on the phone. Both those launchers are free and have an option for enabling automatic rotation in the settings.
This case is excellent for using the Nexus 4 in landscape mode on a desk, or on the arm of a sofa. However, using the phone in portrait mode is a bit awkward. The only way to use the phone in portrait mode in one hand is to flip the front cover behind the phone. This adds a lot of thickness to the phone, making it awkward to hold. Although getting used to it is pretty quick, using the phone without a case simply feels better. Besides that, flipping the front cover to the back of the phone blocks the camera.
I would recommend this case for people who mostly use their phone for watching videos. It is also good for people who keep their phone and their keys in the same pocket, as this case will prevent the screen from being scratched. The Leather Style Wallet/Stand Case is available in black or blue, and it can be purchased from MobileFun.co.uk, under Nexus 4 cases.
Posted on Wednesday 9th January 2013 - Post the first comment!