Tagged: free

Discounted Network Solutions Renewal

I got an email from Network Solutions this morning stating that my website was up for renewal.  I decided to take care of it right away so that it didn’t get shut off, which I have run into before. It’s not a very nice feeling to get a bunch of emails telling you that your website is down.

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This website is a little bit different than some of the others that I run.  It’s mainly there for me to post things going on in my life and share cool things I find on the internet.  Not a big deal, but it does let me create funny email addresses that end in @charliedelong.com…

So back to the website renewal.  I clicked the link in the email and declined all of the extras that they wanted to sell me -> Domain privacy, Hosting, etc, etc, etc. I get to the payment screen and the total is $27.99. I knew the price was going to go up because I had purchased it for 99 cents a couple of years ago and remembered only paying $10 to renew it last year.  That was when I remembered this little “lifehack” to get a cheaper price… (Also, I am unsure as to where this sits between ethical and unethical, but it saved me a bunch of money…)

Figure 1

To get this started you simply have to go to the NetworkSolutions.com website and login to your account.  Once you are logged in look for a link, about halfway down the page that says “My Domain Names” (See Figure 1). Click right on the words “My Domain Names” and you will be brought to a lost of your domains, or (if you just have 1 domain) you will be taken to the settings for your individual domain name.

Now the excitement begins.  It is sort of like playing chicken with the company that has control over your domain name… This is where you scroll down and click on the link like ou are going to take your domain name and switch to another provider.  Which, if you were to do this, you would also get a cheaper price on your domain name. The downside to this is that you will experience some sort of downtime waiting for the DNS records to switch over… Nobody wants downtime… In this step we will simply click on the link at the bottom that is labeled, “Turn Off or Request Authorization Code”.

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This “Turn Off or Request Authorization Code” setting will give you the option to get a code that will allow you to move the domain to their competition, and they don’t want that… So at this step in this epic race of chicken (slight exaggeration) they will offer you a discount down to $10 for the renewal.

Captur3eDisclaimer:  This might not work for you.  All I am saying is that it worked for me 2 years in a row, and if I follow through these steps right now, it still gives me the option.  Hopefully it will work for you and you can save some money too!

 

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CyanogenMod 9 Music App

From Seeingpixels.org, via Andrew Neal, and, Cyanogenmod:

CyanogenMod 9 Music

Last October I started playing around with the old, stock Music app. I was making small UI changes and, like anything, they were far from amazing at first. I’ve been teaching myself Java for a little over a year and starting to seeing the Music app progress has been a nice reward for time spent learning and using Java. The more I started playing around, the more exciting it became to experiment with what I could do. Eventually, I reached a point where the app could go places, and today I’m happy to announce where that is. 

Introducing the new CyanogenMod Music app.

      
Fling up to control your music. Long press for Party Shuffle. Long press for queue.


The app comes with a degree of customization that you won’t find in any other Music app, or possibly, in any app. You can shop the Android Market for the currently playing song at the push of a button, share what track you’re listening to with all your social outlets, set your favorite song as ring tones, delete unwanted tracks, and search your music from anywhere in the app. 
Rich and custom notifications. Drag & Drop queue and playlist. Custom lockscreen.

The Music app is all about customization. Recently, I’ve been in the process of integrating a theme engine into the app. The theme engine is thoroughly customizable, allowing designers to touch every UI element in the app. Every drawable (images, backgrounds, etc), all text views, and each seek bars can be themed using the theme engine. I’ve had a lot fun using it and I’m excited to see what everyone will bring to the table. That being said, I’m also releasing the Music Theme Template for everyone to download today. You can use this to create the themes, and below is an example of what you can do with the theme engine.This is a “Google Music” theme, based on the latest version of the Google Music app. It also doubles as the theme template for the app.

The Music app also comes with native Shake and Flip actions. Quickly play and pause your music by flipping your phone face down, then back up again. You can customize the Shake Action to control you music in more detail. Both of these actions run in the background and can be used no matter where you are in your phone. There are also several other customizations and features that I’m sure you’ll find fun and useful. Here are a couple screen shots of the Music app on the new Galaxy Nexus and one of all the new widgets. 









Keep an eye out in the Music app in the Market over the next couple of weeks (I’m still looking for a name, suggestions are welcome), and watch for it in CyanogenMod 9. 

Music app – http://goo.gl/CckWp
Google Music Theme – http://goo.gl/DQC5u
Music Theme Template – http://goo.gl/eYx7F

(From OldAndroid – Looks very cool. giving it a whirl right now.  Click the links at the top and follow them on Google+!)
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Pinterest Android App

UPDATE: The Pinterest app has gone live on the SlideME app store:
http://slideme.org/application/pinterest-mobile

A comment was made that the new social site Pinterest didn’t have an android app, so we decided to throw together an app taking advantage of their (very well put together) mobile website.  It’s free to download, you just have to get invited to use their service (at this point).

Although I can’t take credit for the content, I will say that I spent a good 20 minutes trying to make the icon look pretty…



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The Changing Need for Antivirus Type Apps

There has been a great debate over the use of an Antivirus or scanner app of some type.  It has it’s ups and downs, but with all the recent news coverage out there showing that the number of “Malware” apps is on the rise. Some sites have even reported that the number of apps has hit the 50 mark.  

So what are the best ways to get your phone protected against these kinds of threats?  

You can always install an Antivirus app, or (for example) a multipurpose app like Lookout.  Lookout scans all installed apps against their database and will advise you if something has been reported as malicious. You may notice a slight decrease in performance as the application is running all the time, but may be well worth the loss,
ch_client = “charliedelong”; ch_width = 430; ch_height = 90; ch_type = “mpu”; ch_sid = “Chitika Default”; ch_backfill = 1; ch_color_site_link = “#F48D1D”; ch_color_title = “#F48D1D”; ch_color_border = “#FFFFFF”; ch_color_text = “#000000”; ch_color_bg = “#FFFFFF”;
Research the app before you download it. The comments are there for a reason.  Read through those, along with the app permissions (See Screenshot).  The app permissions will tell you what sort of access the app has to your data. If something seems fishy check the comments for an explanation to the reason for needing a certain permission.  Do keep in mind that certain things may seem funny, like an app having the ability to locate you, but if there is a feature in the app that uses the GPS it will need that permission.  A similar complete is when an app needs to see what state the phone is in.  A lot of times that is so the app can save data before the phone call comes in.

Also keep an eye on the source of the file. Be extra cautious when loading an app from a 3rd party, or a file sharing site. A lot of developers are using places like Mediafire.com or 4Shared.com to distribute apps that aren’t in the market because it is a free way to distribute their app, but it is best to download from one of the major App stores. (Android Market, Amazon Appstore, SlideME) because the apps are typically checked before they are distributed. (More so with Amazon and SlideME where a person actually hand tests all the apps.)

So be cautious out there, and always remember to backup your data. The good news with this situation is that Android Market is removing apps as they are reported bad and revoking the license of the app creators.

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Make Your Phone Look Like an iPhone or Windows Phone 7

Love the ability to change up the look of your phone?  Have a friend with an Apple iPhone or Microsoft Windows Phone 7 device that likes to brag about how incredible the interface is?  Well that’s one of the great things about Android.  You have the ability to change up your home menu to make it look like another type of phones.

Today I am going to show you a couple of great home replacement apps that will make your phone look like an iPhone or a Windows Phone 7 phone.  


Starting off with the iPhone we have an app called EspierLauncher.  It provides a nearly identical home screen to the iPhone. If you are familiar with the MUIU custom rom, it gives you the same sort of interface without having to reflash your whole phone. It gives you a bunch of iPhone features:

1. The ability to have the universal search as a screen to the left of the home screen.
2. Pressing and holding an app allows you to either put it into a folder, move them around, or uninstall them.
3. No app tray.
4. It auto loads all of your icons into the home screen pages.
5. Plus a bunch more iPhone looking coolness.

Next up is the Windows Phone 7 interface, which I will affectionately refer to as WP7. For that we will turn our attention over to an app appropriately called Launcher7.  Launcher7 gives you the start screen look of WP7 along with the ability to customize your tiles, and pin an app to the start screen.  it also allows you to swipe to the right screen and get a full list of all your apps. The colors are customizable and you can even create custom tiles using your own images.
So that is a couple of examples of ways you can change up your Android phone to make it look more like and iPhone or a Windows Phone 7 phone.  
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Cartoon Defense free today from Amazon

in the massive number of “defense” games out there for Android Cartoon Defense is up there near the top of the list. Gameplay is good and the artwork is amusing.  Worth a download at a dollar, and definitely worth a free download…

So download Cartoon Defense from the Amazon Appstore. Check it out at: http://amzn.to/kOTceQ

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Free Movies and TV (Without a Subscription) via Crackle

If you have seen the Netflix app and been a bit jealous of it, but still couldn’t bring yourself to pay the $8 a month for the service than Crackle is for you.

Crackle is an app that gives you access to a bunch of movies and TV shows right on your Android phone.  Movies like Pineapple Express, Big Daddy, So I Married an Axe Murder, and TV shows like Seinfeld, and Married With Children. 

All for free. A free app and a free service, so download it and enjoy!

Check out “Crackle – Movies & TV”

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Phone Troubleshooting

Quick Download: Phone TesterSD ToolsSMS Backup & Restore

If you are having a problem with your phone there are a few apps that can help you get to the bottom of it yourself, without having to take it in for repair (or to at least help the tech at the repair place).

From touchscreen issues to the memory card not working, try these apps to help figure out what went wrong.  Plus, as an added bonus, I have included an app to backup your text messages, since Google doesn’t save those for you automatically…

For starters download Phone Tester. Phone Tester is an app that tests all of the major components of your phone.  The first app I download if I think there is a problem with the phone.  It tests:
*Device’s sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, compass…
*Wifi: internal & external IP, gateway, DHCP server…
*GPS: latitude, longitude, speed…
*Battery: health, level of charge…
*Multitouch screen: how many fingers recognize your device?(not available in Android 1.6)
Also displays system information about hardware and software like RAM, kernel version, screen, …

 Next up is an app that is designed just to test your SD card.  Most Android devices have a memory card slot and sometimes there can be issues with reading or writing to the card.   With SD Tools you can scan your card to see all of the manufacturer info about the card (like making sure the great deal you bought on ebay or amazon wasn’t a counterfeit) plus the main feature of the app is that it tests the read and write speeds of your card. 

If you do detect a problem and decide to do a hard reset on your phone, or take it it for repair, you may want to do a backup of your text messages. If so you will want to download SMS Backup & Restore.  It will save your text messages to the memory card and then allow you to restore them back to the phone once the phone is reset.

So hopefully these apps will help you out if you are having issues with your phone.  Keep an eye out for additions as I find more great troubleshooting apps.

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Beautiful Widgets (For Free)

I just noticed that on the GetJar.com site they are offering one of the best selling Android apps of all time for FREE.  Beautiful Widgets is a widget collection that provides a fully customizable clock with weather along with a large list of toggle widgets that you can use to turn on and off things like wifi, 4g, brightness adjustments, etc.

From the Developer:
– Super Clock widget with weather, battery or just the clock 4×3 4×2 4×1 2×1
– Weather only widget 4×1 1×1
– Battery widget 1×1
– Date widget 2×1 1×1
– Text Clock simple widget 2×1
– Toggles widgets 1×1
– Home widgets with clock and weather and 300 skins 4×1 2×1

To download to your phone:

  1. 1) go to m.getjar.com on your phone
  2. 2) Select Quick Download at the bottom of the page
  3. 3) Enter 231883
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