4G LTE in MT

4G device-having Bozeman residents awoke to a nice surprise today…Verizon flipped the LTE switch a few months earlier than anticipated.

LTE

blurry pic is blurry


They must be calibrating the network, as my speed tests are all over the board. I have one run that was 14M down / 4M up, but several that sit in the 3G range.

Either way, exciting stuff and incredible timing.

CIQ Revisited: Root Your Phones

If there hasn’t been enough reason to root your phone and flash a custom ROM in the past, this whole CarrierIQ mess ought to be the death blow to factory junk. It is a rootkit, and it is ridiculous.

carrierIQ

ciq


What does this thing do? All of this stuff from Verizon’s website:

Verizon Wireless will use the following categories of information:
Mobile Usage Information:

Addresses of websites you visit when using our wireless service. These data strings (or URLs) may include search terms you have used

Location of your device (“Location Information”)

App and device feature usage
Consumer Information:

Information about your use of Verizon products and services (such as data and calling features, device type, and amount
of use)

Demographic and interest categories provided to us by other companies, such as gender, age range, sports fan, frequent diner, or pet owner (“Demographics”)

How is this collected? CIQ logs it. In plain text, disregarding https, etc…read this article to be blown away by the degree of privacy infringement.

Moral of the story: root your phone. This garbage is unacceptable.

Upgrade to CyanogenMod

My relationship with Motorola’s firmware has ended. It was a good run…well, no. That is a lie. It was certainly better after rooting my Droid 2 and wiping out Verizon’s boatware, but the Moto* junk had to go too. I finally decided to gut everything and install Cyanogenmod yesterday.

It is plus one awesome.

Although the process of flashing Cyanogenmod’s firmare involves a little work, it is no more difficult than rooting the phone in the first place. Since I did that a while ago, I really wasn’t concerned with blowing up my warranty…I figured bricking the thing would either result in some sweet haxxing or a new phone. Win / win.

I would suggest an upgrade to anyone. My phone finally screams, as it should have from day one. My battery life is better | everything imaginable is configurable | my apps and Google accounts all work | and, wait for it, I don’t have to kill processes all day. In fact, I don’t have a stand-alone task killer going…that is pretty surreal still.

Well, as with any exercise of this nature, backing up is imperative. Astro File Manager is great…Titanium Backup is great. The other players are the same too…ClockworkMod Recovery makes snagging the MODs easy. I am actually running a daily build, since there is not an official stable build for the Droid 2 yet. No memory leaks though, and everything so far has been functional.

Anyhow, on to the actual firmware stuff. I downloaded the zip file, and booted into recovery mode…

cyanogenmod 7.1 install android

lousy picture is lousy


…during game one of the World Series. Not sure if that is Pujols or Furcal in the reflection. Either way.

Great picture, huh? This is the first time I have used my webcam since upgrading to Ubuntu 9.11. Whoops…screwed up the camera, fellas.

On the screen is a ClockworkMod selection for Google’s bits. I imagine that this was done for legal reasons. Anyhow, I had to go back and install this from recovery, as I missed it at first.

CG7.1 android installation droid 2

Katie's guest cameo


Hi Katie. ^

I also managed to get stuck in a boot loop of sorts during my first attempt. It turns out that I cleared the data but not the cache from the recovery menu. No good. A pulled battery and some troubleshooting and we were good to go.

cyanogenmod boot loop

post boot loop

I spun up the Android market, and did fresh installs of my apps. For the important stuff (the Angry Birds Trilogy, 9 Innings Pro Baseball, et. al.) I pulled the backup data back over top of things. No issues.

I had been wanting a landscaped workspace since I got my phone. .. now I know why…

landscape mode on cm7

at long last

It just makes sense. CM7 allows this to be configured. Like basically everything else. Want your menu on the bottom? Put it there. There are options all over the map…like the camera exposure, for instance.

camera function CM7.1

choice laden

Sweet. It is tough to beat the performance gains in general, but it is wholly possible. Check this out:

Cyanogen Warning Dragons Ahead

here be dragons

One stop overclocking. Disregard that popup and go nuts.

One part of me wishes that mobile carriers would take note of Cyanogenmod’s presence and push Android updates to customers. The other part of me likes to void warranties and do things that the clowns from Verizon frown upon. Either way, my phone is now awesome…that is all that matters.

Verizon Wifi Tether…Droid + Ubuntu

The internets have been abuzz with talk of further stifling of Android tethering. Regardless of what will come of this, I would recommend getting a setup in place. May as well…you paid for the device. Am I right?

My breaking point came with continued poor results from the wireless connection at work. Enough was enough. After trying several mean with which to tether, I think I have found one that is suitable for my needs.

droid 2 verizon tether

scrubbed MAC / IP

My hardware is simple…mid-line Dell Studio Notebook running Ubuntu 11.04…Droid 2, rooted, running Fro-Yo. Verizon with data plan…unlimited, if that is still the case. Connection…check

droid verizon tether

swantron = my connection

I played around with several apps, but have found that Barnacle Wifi Tether from the Android Market does the trick quite nicely. I have dumped several gigs through 3G, and it is decently fast. Haven’t had to reboot, or do anything wonky to this point. I have had two clients connected simultaneously, and it seems to be chugging along. You must configure the security settings, as this puppy lets it rip wide open out of the box.

Grab the app from the Market before Google folds to Verizon. If you need any help rooting your phone, holler at me as well.

HTC Incredible Pics

Q: Guess who is pretty dang pumped that he or she didn’t drop some loot on a Drod Eros last week?

A: This guy. This guy right here. This guy, married to Verizon. This guy, handcuffed to Verizon Wireless, and thus, pumped to see a sick-as-shit Android phone drop. This non-Motorola-liking guy, right here.

HTC Incedible, in the house.

Incredible-HTC

El HTC es Muy Incredible

Upon initial reviews, this sucker is making the other Android suckaz look like clunky piecez of shit. Things that make you go…hmm.

One month. Stay posted.

Storm 2 /vs/ Droid

I’ve been a BlackBerry fanboi for quite a while. With my Pearl nearing the end of it’s life…the question becomes Sexxy Storm…

storm

Or Dirty Droid
droid

I originally assumed it would be a no-brain victory for the Storm 2 and it’s improved function over Gen 1. Since I don’t use BB Messenger, I have lately been thinking the the $199 Droid might be the way to go. I have put my RIM phones through hell in the past, and definitely like that aspect over anything I have seen from Motorola. I basically just need something with a good enough OS to not lock up Pandora and Opera Mini…not sure that the Droid is what I totally need right now.

Vote: If I was making the move today…it would be for the Storm. Not a big fan of the Google team right now, and RIM has been very good to me.