Nov 17 2015

Ripping DVDs

Category: Android,Digital Imaging,SoftwareTeknovis @ 9:15 pm

I have a small (or perhaps average) collection of DVDs. Some are old, some are new, and there are many that I have not yet watched. There are also some that I have seen several times. They are a mix of films and series.

The way that people consume media has changed dramatically over recent years, and I am no exception to this phenomenon! So it has been a while since I last looked at a DVD. There are probably two significant reasons for this:

  • I no longer have a laptop with a DVD player
  • I use my phone for accessing online content

However, I would like to watch some of my DVDs. So I decided that it was time I learned how to rip them!

Unfortunately the process turned-out to be slightly more cumbersome to get started than I expected. I was told by colleagues to use HandBrake. It is a neat application, and it is easy to get it running. However, the videos that it produced were stuttering and pixelated. I spent a while playing with settings, and browsing the web site to no avail :(

I then came across this very useful and up-to-date article: How to Rip a DVD to Your Computer. It transpired that my problems were being caused by not having libdvdcss installed! So I installed the latest 64bit version (rather than the version linked to in the article), and everything worked smoothly!

The “normal” preset plays back perfectly on both my computer (using VLC media player) and my mobile phone!

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Jul 01 2013

Mobile Device Type Maps

Category: Android,iPhone,Mobile ComputingTeknovis @ 9:38 pm

I came across this fascinating map showing mobile phone types today – Mobile Devices + Twitter Use.

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Dec 27 2012

The Rise of Android

Category: Android,Infographic,PatentsTeknovis @ 4:44 pm

I hope everybody is having a merry Christmas! I know I am :)

Anyway, here is a nice infographic by MBA Online charting the rise of Android (click image to see larger version):

Android (Copyright MBA Online)

Android (Copyright MBA Online)

I have heard it before, but it still fascinates me that Microsoft makes more money from Android than from Windows Mobile due to patent royalties!

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Jul 16 2012

Jelly Beans and Nexus 7

Category: AndroidTeknovis @ 8:43 pm

At the end of last month Google announced a new version of Android (called Jelly Bean) and a new tablet (called Nexus 7).

There were the most useful links that I found for Jelly Bean information:

There were the most useful links that I found for Nexus 7:

I am really just posting these for my own future reference :o

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Jun 28 2012

on{X}

Category: Android,Software DevelopmentTeknovis @ 9:29 pm

Somebody recently told me about on{X} (part of Microsoft), and its service that enables you to program your Android mobile device without any programming skills. Interesting idea!

For more details see on{X}: The Coolest Thing to Happen to Android. Courtesy of… Microsoft Israel?.

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Jun 17 2012

Tablet User Demographic

Category: Android,Infographic,iPadTeknovis @ 6:20 pm

I came across an interesting tablet user demographic during the week in Tablet users are older, richer and more likely to watch video – study. The article title contains all the key points, but I will include the figure here regardless.

Tablet User Demographic (Copyright ComScore)

Tablet User Demographic (Copyright ComScore)

Have a good weekend!


May 01 2012

Vodafone Smart Tab 10

Category: Android,HardwareTeknovis @ 11:30 am

I have just noticed that Vodafone Ireland are offering a new tablet called the Vodafone Smart Tab 10.

I think that for an unbranded tablet it is overpriced!

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Jan 29 2012

Pulse Improvements

Category: Android,ReviewsTeknovis @ 9:31 am

I use Pulse on my Motorola Xoom. I love it, and it is possibly the most used application on my tablet. The combination of Pulse and the tablet has definitely enabled me to become more knowledgeable in everything from current affairs to hobbies!

Unfortunately, there are one or two limitation of the application that really annoy me :( I commented about this last week on Twitter, and the good people who develop Pulse read my comment and asked me to suggest how the application could be improved. So this is why I am writing this :) (I also love that Twitter enables interactions like this to occur between the application developers and the users.)

Catagories

Imagine that I am interested in following feeds that fall into seven categories, for example, Economics, Politics, Sport, Travel, Lifestyle, Technology, and Property. Currently, Pulse allows me to have a maximum of five categories! So inevitably this limitation forces me to mix completely unrelated feeds together :( This looks wrong, and it makes it difficult to find the feeds that I want when they are bunched in with unrelated feeds.

The fix to this is very simple – allow an unlimited number of categories! There is plenty of space across the top for more categories! If this space become full, then let the user swipe to move from category to category (just like moving from port to post within a feed)!

While I am writing about categories, I remember that it used be possible to click on the category title to hide the row of categories. This was great, because it freed up some extra screen space. Unfortunately this feature has been removed :(

Feeds

Imagine that I am interested in following more than ten feeds within a single category. Actually, for three of the five categories that I have on Pulse there are more than ten feeds that I would like to follow! Currently, Pulse allows me to have a maximum of ten feeds per category :( Since I am limited to five categories, I cannot divide my categories any further to overcome this limitation :( This is particularly annoying when I follow several feeds that are updated infrequently :|

To fix this simply allow an unlimited number of feeds per category!

Screenshot

The diagram below (that I took from APP OF THE DAY: Pulse review (Android Honeycomb)) shows how both of these improvements could easily be incorporated! (Click image to see larger version!)

Pulse Improvements

Pulse Improvements

I do not see any technical reason why these limitations exist. My guess is that somebody hard-coded a number into an array somewhere!

It is probably worth remembering that these comments are coming from somebody who uses Pulse on an Android tablet with plenty of processor and memory resources, and a really fast WiFi Internet connection.

Hopefully this is useful!

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Jan 10 2012

Google Buys More Patents

Category: Android,PatentsTeknovis @ 6:10 pm

Google has been buying more patents to strengthen its IP portfolio. This time it bought over a thousand patents from IBM, according to Google buys another round of IBM patents as its Oracle trial nears.

I have heard that buying patents from IBM is like buying sweets in a sweet shop :) IBM is very willing to sell patents (albeit at a high price), and there are plenty for sale, but the difficulty is actually finding one that is useful!

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Dec 30 2011

Skype on Motorola Xoom

Category: Android,ReviewsTeknovis @ 5:18 pm

When I wrote Motorola Xoom – First Impressions I noted that I was disappointed that Skype did not support video calling. During the Christmas holidays I installed the latest version, and I am delighted to report that it works perfectly!

I am delighted with this, and I have already used it for several hours during the holidays! I now have one less reason for turning on a computer :)

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