Thursday, August 21, 2008

I hate it when my worlds collide, and the weekend of August 22, 2008 is one such time when my work and pleasure (of all things musical) are conflicting with one another. You see my buddy Chris Pirillo is hosting Gnomedex 08 in Seattle and I haven't been to one of his conferences in a long time. At this show, I'm going to talk about the open source software, our social media center. Oh and my buddy Jeremy Toeman is going to talk about the killer open source hardware, Bug Labs. But, on this very same weekend, there is a HUGE three-day concert, Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park. What's a guy or gal to do? Well, stream the one you are not going to, of course!

The Outside Lands Festival is getting their stream on through iStreamPlanet and you can find the feed within the AT&T Blue Room Fear not, Mac users, as you can still get in on the action too, if you head to this webpage and follow the instructions that Blue Room put together.

Chris will be using his favorite 24-hour selfcasting service, U-Stream and have the show live on the website (right now the video is on the lower right hand corner, and is showing their pre-party that I cannot attend, because I am blogging. Oh, and I'm not in Seattle yet.

So if you are stuck at home these weekend, and want to see what is going on in the West coast(s), take a look at these feeds on your PC!

Gnomedex 2008 - Live stream:
Outside Lands Festival 2008 - Live stream: Outside Lands Festival

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

iPhone vs Blackberry FREE HTML email


When I went to Europe this summer, two weeks before the new iPhone came out, I had to fight myself from buying the original iPhone before the new "3Jesus phone" was released upon my return. You see, as a Sprint cellular user, I am unable to use my 3G CDMA phone in Europe, because they do not support the network nor frequencies that we do in the US. For my mobile communications instead, I bought an iTouch and ran the iPhone 1.1.4 software on it, using WiFi hot-spots rather than the 2.5G EDGE cellular network. This mean that I had no roaming fees for data, which saved me buckets of money. The setup worked perfectly, although there were a few instances that I had to walk around more than I would have liked "dousing" for open WiFi. However, iPhone applications like eMail, Google Maps (with Skyhook WiFi location) and jailbroken applications like Twitteriffic all worked fine within open hotspots. The location finding via WiFi was spot-on and a real treat to have when I got lost in Amsterdam.

The thing that I really liked about my virtual iPhone, I mean iTouch, was that it was a wonderful media and information consumption device. "Flicking through" weather updates, web pages and even music (gasp!) was a deeee-light. But, trying to tap-tap away on a glass touch-screen for a twitter update, or worse yet an email, was a time-consuming and error ridden experience.

This European vacation with the iTouch convinced me that I was not going to buy an iPhone 3G (with what I also consider a terrible AT&T data and voice plan) upon my return to the States. But another phone had piqued my interest - the Blackberry 8330, another 3G device on Sprint and Verizon networks. As a long-standing member of Sprint's "All You can Eat" plan, now at $99/month, I was happy with the network, despite its lack of global coverage.

The Blackberry is no stranger to my pocket gadget arsenal, as I have had a couple in the past, but they were now down to 4 oz, and nearly half the thickness of my 3G Treo 755p. But one feature was really lacking on the Blackberry - its lack of HTML email support. I fell in love with the hardware however and made the leap, figuring that third party applications would provide the feature I missed, yet all fell short. Mail load times were longer, obtrusive messages popped up, and the font support didn't mimic the factory settings. You could tell this was an add-on, and if you installed it and can't figure out how to remove it, just look for SmartView within the Add/Remove Applications icon on the Blackberry Desktop software - and un-check it. Once I read about the 4.5 client software update, with the 2.5 Blackberry Internet Service upgrades that were coming to the carriers I hoped this could be my ideal solution.

As I am not one to wait for Sprint to release "blessed" firmware, I monitored the forums and checked others, who were less dependent on their mobile phones, that tested the "buried 4.5 firmware" on the Blackberry web site. A few catastrophes were debugged, and by deleting the vendor.xml file from the installation package which dropped it within the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research in Motion\AppLoader then by running the 4.5 Desktop Manager, all of the Curve (83XX) model phones could be upgraded to the latest and greatest, with built-in HTML email support. Find your model of Curve's firmware and instructions here:

After upgrading both an AT&T and Sprint Blackberry Curve without fail, I was still unable to get my HTML email from Gmail and my hosted domains. Turns out, the profiles (with their unique capabilities) are sent down from the Blackberry Internet Server (BIS) which must be accessed by going to ( in my case) then after logging in, delete all of your current email addresses, and finally re-instate them. After the "Congratulations" email (this feat, I hardly consider congratulatory) your addresses will default to receiving HTML email and automatically load images. These features can be turned back off by clicking on the Blackberry button while in the message list view, rolling down to options, clicking on Email Settings, then disabling HTML or Image auto-load for each of your configured accounts. You may want to stop loading images if you are on 2.5G networks, but the HTML color, font and other settings will be beneficial to you. Corporate users with Exchange servers will have other settings that I am not privy to in my installation.

Oh, and Gmail users who do not want to get a copy of their own email just sent from a Blackberry to hit them again when they press send, use this fix to create a from-address filter of your own address:  Removing duplicate or email echos from Gmail accounts.

So for the next year or so, or until Android, some other hot phone, or Apple fixes all of their iPhone bugs (like this tweet from my buddy Brian Solis - I have the perfect phone for "producing content." Something I like to do. Like this how-to story for you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Defcon 16 - 2008 Coverage

There is no worse place to be than the city of Las Vegas in the summer. Yet, for years my brother and I have made our trek there for his birthday weekend and the conference that makes you want to never turn on your laptop, Defcon. This year is the 16th annual security conference and we learned about cable modem vulnerabilities, lock picking (a show favorite) and how to instantly take over an Internet kiosk via multiple vulnerabilities.

A ran into my friends at G4 TV while I was there, and got them hooked up with my buddies Zoz and Joe Grand from the new Discovery Channel show Prototype This! Take a look at the segment here and watch when I talk about the Wall of Sheep.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Dave Mathews on DL.TV
Originally uploaded by gadgetgy
My buddy Robert Heron had me on his DL.TV show to talk about what it is like to be an inventor and to show my latest business endeavor, - a social media player. We got into what makes a good product, how to protect your invention with patents and an overview of how boxee can make your media better. It's a great episode! Take a look at show #244!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Lock down your Facebook or Myspace profile

The amount of "transparency" people have which means the amount of seemingly private information that people put on the Internet these days amazes me. Wether it is photos on sharing sites like Flickr, or too much information on MySpace and Facebook, this could come back to haunt you or otherwise make you need to explain your life to a higher power. I'm not talking about the pearly gates either.

I wrote a story for Young Money, a magazine that hits a couple dozen college campuses on how to lock down your profile within the most popular social networking sites, so you do not have to worry about accepting your boss as a "friend" once they find out about Facebook.

If you have not locked down your profile, go do it now. Oh, and good luck getting the data which Yahoo and Google indexed already out of those search engines. The Internet is a house of cards, just waiting to tumble.

P.S. The endearing photo is of my G4TV host buddy Olivia Munn. I'm sure it was just pre-show nerves or something.