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Entries tagged "technology"

Found 4 entries tagged with "technology".

Android Nexus S: fixing broken power button without root

I have an unrooted Nexus S and recently the power button stopped working - the only way to turn my screen on was to plug in a USB cable, the only way to turn it off to wait for the timeout to kick-in.

Apparently this is a common problem with the Nexus S range of mobiles - some people even going so far as to say it is deliberate sabotage (though it's more likeky just about cost cutting and companies caring about making products that last past their warranty period), but despite being such a frequent problem finding a solution was far more difficult than it should have been, so I'm writing this in the hope it helps other avoid wasting the time I did.

Searching for how to solve this by remapping another button to act as the on/off button, everywhere was talking about root access - or simply assuming it that it was done - and providing solutions that depend on it. I already have enough things to worry about without adding rooting my mobile device to that list.

The good news is, you do not need to root your device to get around this problem.

I found two applications that together allow me to turn the screen on and off (without plugging in the cable).

The first is Wake All, a 20k app that allows any physical button to wake up the device - for the Nexus S that means using the volume buttons to turn on the screen.

The second is Screen Off and Lock, a 492k app that has various sound/animation options I don't care about, but those can all be left alone and it can be added as a shortcut to press and turn the screen off.

These both work on Android 4.1.2 without needing a rooted device, though there is one oddity that I have noticed: after turning the device on, the slide to unlock screen works as usual, but after this the screen is unresponsive - I need to press the home button to fully wake up the device. I don't know if this is a bug with either application or with Android, but - now that I've figured this out - it's not a big deal.

Hopefully this is helpful for others in a similar situation.

Good article on technology patents

Christian Cantrell originally shared a post highlighting this NYTimes article on patents:

In the smartphone industry alone ... as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years � an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions. Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases exceeded spending on research and development of new products, according to public filings.

Article: In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword

Stop touching and actually use your hands!

Anyone who knows me should already be familiar with how I feel about touch screens, especially in regards to typing.

Well, Michael Miller has shared an article explaining it far better than I ever have, written by Bret Victor, a professional interface designer.

Here's Michael's post discussing Bret's rant:

Anyone who has tried to type on a touch screen "keyboard" knows this is true.

Touch devices are wonderful but they are only part way there, the device certainly "feels" your touch but what do you feel in return? A sheet of glass. Featureless, numb.

You can't use this device without looking at it carefully to make sure that your fingers are keeping up with the visual metaphor being presented. Eyes and hand must work together carefully and while touch might be less mediated and indirect than, say, using a mouse, it still requires far more cognitive and sensual effort than using a physical device. A physical keyboard for example can be used, in fact it requires that it be used, without you looking at what your fingers are doing.

"Are we really going to accept an Interface Of The Future that is less expressive than a sandwich?"

Touch interfaces are not the destination but a way-station. In the future touch devices will become tactile devices.

Article: A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design

T-Mobile G1 - Google's Android mobile phone

On Thursday, the G1 mobile phone was finally released in the UK, and - ignoring the sensible policy of not getting first-generation devices - I ordered mine as soon as the website was available.

I now have my G1 and have written up my first impressions.

1-Nov-2008 15:30 added photos
16-Nov-2008 22:35 added more details
Last Updated: 25-Oct-2021 added disclaimer