Google Keep to Ubuntu

I’ve not been posting as often as I’d like due to the Android WordPress app not connecting… that’s another post.

What I have been doing over the last couple of days is dropping any stories that I like to Google Keep. This has to be the one mobile app that I find the most useful; from shopping, book, movie, games, and to-do lists, to inspirations, notes, and shit I must blog otherwise I’ll never think of the topic again 🙂

Trials of a 21st century digital life eh?

Google Keep is choice, but how do I access it from Ubuntu, I don’t even use Chrome?

Here’s a well explained guide from the Ubuntu Handbook: Install Google Keep in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty

It does mean installing Google Chrome, not sure of any security risks, except the usual exposure to Google?

sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_*.deb && sudo apt-get -f install

and voilà!

Another Android update another exercise in rooting


4.4.3 arrived earlier this month for my Nexus 4, I’ve missed root access, but only just got around to implementing it today.
This time I didn’t want to go the windows way, so I used 3 great resources:

I’m linking this as a reference, as I’m going to have to repeat this exercise in the near future due to the imminent roll out of 4.4.4:
Android 4.4.4 is rolling out to devices; contains OpenSSL fix

Google 40th Anniversay of Rubik’s cube

Rubik's cube
I was so stoked today when I opened up Google, to search out a SQL solution, to find a small Rubik’s cube in the top corner of the screen.

After clicking on the cube I was even more blown away to find a fully scrambed digital cube to solve 🙂

I’ve now have my solve time for a real cube to just under a minute, although I didn’t have time at work to solve the virtual cube… it did take quite a bit of will power to resist!

I didn’t realise that the cube was 40 years old, I thought it was more like 30?

I still now feel old 🙂

Here’s a link to the Rubik’s Google Doodle, untilI find a way to embedit within this page.

google april fool 2014

google april fool 2014, Google Maps: Pokemon Challenge

The Google Maps App for iOS and Android now has a Poke Ball logo beneath its search bar. Clicking on it shows the locations of Pokemon on Google Maps. This is fully functional April Fools' Day prank in the Google Maps App, not just a video, but check out the video below, because it's pretty neat:

To access the Pokemon mode on your phone, tap the blue PokeBall logo under the search bar, where it says Press Start.ign

I can’t see how this is an April Fool, and not a promotion?

Found this cool article from The Guardian more of a traditional April Fool wind up 🙂

Scotland to switch to driving on the right if independence given green light

Current road signage system would also be scrapped under scheme nationalists say helps show country is ‘part of Europe’

Scottish nationalist leaders will attempt this week to give the trailing yes campaign a boost by revealing a series of measures aimed at showing what an independent country would look like.

Seeking to capitalise on the arguments this week about "bullying" England and keeping the pound, they will unveil an ambitious scheme to scrap the current – English inspired – road signage system. M for motorway will be replaced with a new S – for Scotland and the A trunk roads will become N roads – for Nationalist in honour of the new country. Blue will be the predominant backing colour.

The scale of the scheme is enormous: Scotland has 2,174 miles of road, including the 273-mile long A9 stretching from Edinburgh to John O'Groats – known as the "spine of Scotland".

It is estimated that 58,000 signs will have to be replaced – scrapping the famous road sign font known as "Transport" with a new Celtic-tinged typeface, Proclaimer. And it could be that they may take the opportunity to renumber all of Scotland's roads, beginning at one.

...To ease the transition, Scottish transport planners, under strict conditions of secrecy, have begun drawing up plans for a series of spiral interchanges at the major border transport nodes. These will transition drivers to the correct side of the road – whether travelling south–north or north-south – and avoid cross-border crashes – "a PR disaster worse than horsemeat in haggis", according to one planner.

Google Keep

Google Keep

I’ve been on a quest to find a decent note taking app for my Android phone for some time.

I’ve tried several, but for the past few months Google Keep (get it here on Play) as shone through.

Feature I like about Google Keep

… although not necesarily unique to the app

    • ease
      • it just works, although I’m not a fan of the widget, but then again Power Control is the only non icon on my home screen
    • alarms
      • and not only the easily set time alarm, with the cool google time picker, but the location alarm… you tell it to alert you when you arrive somewhere, and it has a cool delay of opting to alert you the next time (+1)  you go back
    • colours
      • tabs can be coloured in, I use an importance scale graded on the spectrum; red critical, to violet casual
    • list boxes
      • i enjoy the satisfaction of ticking off completed tasks… or more usually items to pick up from the supermarket
    • photos
      • whenever I lend out a book or game, I take a photo or the recipient and keep it as a note
    • voice
      • this is a grey area of benefit; notes can be kept as a sound track, I like to enter them via google’s speech recognition as text
    • multi-platform
      • I get to my computer at work I can add notes, all my Android devices can see them, and Ubuntu even has a Keep lens

Rating: ★★★★☆

To download from Play store scan here 🙂

QR Code generator

Android offline Google docs

google docs
We’re moving into the age of the paperless office at work, so I’m looking to start using my wi-fi Nexus 7 to take notes on.

I can tether it to my mobile if necessary, and who knows they may one day entice BYOD by allowing us to connect our own devices to the companies wi-fi.

But until then I’d like to use my Android device offline.

Keep is great for lists and notes, I love the alarm that can be created and the tick boxes.

Although as an analyst what I really looking for though is an easy on the eyes spreadsheet.

Google docs ticks all the boxes, but doesn’t seem yet to work offline out of the box on Android… although it does on chrome.

My search for a solution begins!

I’d love to use Google docs, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen just yet.

So I’ve found 2 options to play with:

AndrOpen Office

AndrOpen Office is the world’s first port of OpenOffice for Android.
You can view, edit, export office documents using full features of the OpenOffice.

AndrOpen Office has 6 components:

– Writer (a word processor)
– Calc (spreadsheet)
– Impress (presentation graphics)
– Draw (drawing)
– Math (equation editor)
– Base (database)

* AndrOpen Office is forked project from the Apache OpenOffice project.
AndrOpen Office is not affiliated with the Apache OpenOffice project.

Kingsoft Office

Kingsoft Office is the only mobile Office with full-features FREE. Support for running on Android 2.1 and above system. User-friendly & nice UI interface! Users from over 200 countries and regions around the world are using it. The Average Rating of Kingsoft Office is up to 4.6 stars! Whether in a small cell phone screen or on a large screen on the Tablet, Kingsoft Office has a superior performance!

– Rich editing features! All is FREE!
– Small Size, Stable Operation, and Special interface!
– Support 23 kinds of files, including DOC/DOCX/TXT/XLS/XLSX/PPT/PPTX/PDF
– Built-in file manager that can automatically organize your office document
– Tight integration with the mail application
– Support cloud storages such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and other services with WebDAV protocol
– A variety of gestures operations, which make your work more interesting
– Support different Read Mode which be closer to the users’ need

I’ll give them a test run and feedback if they’re suitable… any suggestions appreciated

StartPage Prism program exposed

Taken direct from Startpage – prism program exposed

If you haven’t already ditched google, and set startpage as your default search engine, you really should consider it.

I think this is the end of an era of the free web… or maybe 7 years ago was, according to below.
Those that choose to, will find new ways to surf anonymously. For others their surfing will be observed like their sky. I haven’t really hid anything to date… think now it’s time to begin

No PRISM. No Surveillance. No Government Back Doors. You Have our Word on it.

Giant US government Internet spying scandal revealed

The Washington Post and The Guardian have revealed a US government mass Internet surveillance program code-named “PRISM”. They report that the NSA and the FBI have been tapping directly into the servers of nine US service providers, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo, YouTube, AOL and Skype, and began this surveillance program at least seven years ago. (clarifying slides)

These revelations are shaking up an international debate.

StartPage has always been very outspoken when it comes to protecting people’s Privacy and civil liberties. So it won’t surprise you that we are a strong opponent of overreaching, unaccountable spy programs like PRISM. In the past, even government surveillance programs that were begun with good intentions have become tools for abuse, for example tracking civil rights and anti-war protesters.

Programs like PRISM undermine our Privacy, disrupt faith in governments, and are a danger to the free Internet.

StartPage and its sister search engine Ixquick have in their 14-year history never provided a single byte of user data to the US government, or any other government or agency. Not under PRISM, nor under any other program in the US, nor under any program anywhere in the world.

Here’s how we are different:

  • StartPage does not store any user data. We make this perfectly clear to everyone, including any governmental agencies. We do not record the IP addresses of our users and we don’t use tracking cookies, so there is literally no data about you on our servers to access. Since we don’t even know who our customers are, we can’t share anything with Big Brother. In fact, we’ve never gotten even a single request from a governmental authority to supply user data in the fourteen years we’ve been in business.
  • StartPage uses encryption (HTTPS) by default. Encryption prevents snooping. Your searches are encrypted, so others can’t “tap” the Internet connection to snoop what you’re searching for. This combination of not storing data together with using strong encryption for the connections is key in protecting your Privacy.
  • Our company is based in The Netherlands, Europe. US jurisdiction does not apply to us, at least not directly. Any request or demand from ANY government (including the US) to deliver user data, will be thoroughly checked by our lawyers, and we will not comply unless the law which actually applies to us would undeniably require it from us. And even in that hypothetical situation, we refer to our first point; we don’t even have any user data to give. We will never cooperate with voluntary spying programs like PRISM.
  • StartPage cannot be forced to start spying. Given the strong protection of the Right to Privacy in Europe, European governments cannot just start forcing service providers like us to implement a blanket spying program on their users. And if that ever changed, we would fight this to the end.

Privacy. It’s not just our policy, it’s our mission.


Robert E.G. Beens
CEO and

1st they came for google listen

Then I hear yeaterday that Google Reader is being pulled, today I can’t find ad blocking programs on Play!
I guess it makes sense, adverts are Googles income, but this is another push for me to change OS, ironically on my Google Nexus devices.

I’m thinking that the removal of Google Reader is associated with news papers being upset at RSS feeds stealing their content, maybe to do with Twitter changing their api?

More info here from TechCrunch

Google Pulls Ad-Blocking Apps From Play Store For Violating Developer Distribution Agreement

Another good article here

Here’s another location of Ad Away’s apk

New Zealand Lord of The Rings film location map

I’ve been a huge fan of Tolkien since my pre-teen years. I remember distinctly how my imagination was provoked the 1st time I read The Hobbit, blown away by the amazingly original Lord of the Rings movie (1978) [I’ll pick that ball up another time], & then enthralled by not just the novels of LoTR’s, but the Middle Earth role play source books which created an entire universe with graphic details of culture, languages and history.

& then 15 or so years later the remake of the films finally arrives. Old fans have their passions rekindled, but now Tolkiens legacy is introduced to millions more. Peter Jackson, with Weta studios, has created a digital vehicle for those not won over by JRT’s prose & verse… please don’t forget the songs & rhymes! (why no Tom Bombadil!)

So reading Reddit this morning, I found a thread asking:

LotR film locations, do I need a guide?

with the top reply:

[–]Im_a_cunt 8 points 1 day ago
Here is one I found:
Edit: to answer your question, you should be fine finding them yourself, that link has coordinates.

Taking a look at the supplied link, one finds said list of places to visit & co-ordinates.
Now due to the messing about I’ve been doing with google fusion & geocodes, as soon as the word co-ordinates appears on screen, my data radar starts beeping, & thus we have the map below; a list of locations to visit in New Zealand where scenes from the LotR trilogy & The Hobbit series of films were shot.

New Zealand Lord of The Rings film location map

Larger map
Click on the dots for location information regarding

  • where in Middle Earth
  • where in New Zealand
  • which movie scene
  • the map co-ordinates
  • how to gain access to the site
  • I’ll keep updating the map, especially once The Hobbit has been released.
    Please pass on any missing sites you’d like to share.

    Here’s great web site from 100% Pure campaign: Lord of the Rings
    & a cool graphical scroll list from

    How-to add Google Analytics tracking code to wordpress

    You may add the Google Analytics tracking code to you site either manually or with a plugin. There are many plugins that can help you do this, but I have selected a very simple one, that get the job done simple and sweet.

    Adding Google Analytics manually

    • Login wordpress admin panel
    • Goto Appearance > Editor (theme editor)
    • Select the footer.php or index.php
    • Find the html tag
    • Copy and page the Google Analytics code before the tag.
    • Don’t forget to click Update File to save changes.

    The only problem with the manual installation is that if you swap your wordpress themes you will loose your Google Analytics tracking. That is why it is better to handle the Google Analytics tracking code within a plugin. The selected plugin is a simple plugin with no-mumbo-jumbo.

    Shamefully taken from here for reference

    fusion tables UK Crop Circles and US debt

    I’ve been playing with Googles Fusion Tables, specifically the map function, & for a free service it’s quite impressive.

    Data can be uploaded in several ways, via traditional file types (txt, csv, xls), linked to from Google Docs, or simply pasted into a fusion table.

    Here’re a couple of examples that I’ve put together:

    a map of crop circles in the UK from 2009

    data courtesy of The Guardian, data & coordinates here

    heat map showing US debt by different nations

    thanks again to The Guardian

    Sad as it may sound I enjoyed putting these together, I’m to make it my mission to find & mash data 🙂

    xbox titles in a fusion fashion

    I have a confession to make, I like data!
    I have qualifications for understanding it, I’m paid to play with it, & dammit I mess with it for fun.

    So while searching through google faq’s today for more detail on 2 step verification, I came across Fusion Tables.

    Here’s a link to a table I’ve put together of all Xbox titles, sourced from the wiki page

    I’ve found a cool article on the Guardian of how to create a map with data behind… off to play.

    One more thing Guardian data, that is all

    the calling of the free(net) world

    I read this the other day & I’m shocked… well more disappointed.
    Google are apparently going to close accounts where users don’t use their real names.
    I don’t know how they can determine what name is real or not; until I closed my Facebook account I was known as Xain Zedong Jnr III 🙂

    Google claim this is so “freinds & family” can find us. If I wanted to speak with my parents online I’d skype them not invite them to my social circle.

    I fear this could be the first step on the path to the internet passport, but that’s only a “bad feeling abut this” hunch.
    Continue reading

    google says ciao to real-time

    Shock horror, more earth quakes in the shaky isles today.
    They are coming more frequent, & closer to home… but I was concerned this time, as my dearest, better looking, other is down at the recent epicenter, of this years quakes.
    She’s OK, Christchurch wasn’t affected by this last roll of the Earth’s crust… it was more centered on where I’m heading tomorrow 🙂

    So I refered to the same method I’ve used to track the natural disasters that’ve hit my adopted home this last year, Earthquakes, Tornadoes etc.
    I tried searching Google real-time #eqnz to find:

    404. That’s an error.
    The requested URL /realtime was not found on this server. That’s all we know.

    WTF no more Google real-time

    Continue reading