Monday, November 30, 2009

My Ten Most Useful Android Apps (and one Outlook Plugin)

The Samsung Moment is a good Sprint smartphone that runs on the 1.5 version of the new Android OS. One great function is that it offers direct syncing with the user’s Google accounts. However, for some reason, Sprint didn’t include enough applications on the Moment. It is fully functional off-the-shelf, but it just seems to be missing stuff that experienced smartphone users would want. Fortunately, the Android Market has more than enough apps to quickly add most (if not all) functionality that one might expect from an advanced smartphone.

This is my Ten Most Useful Android Apps for Samsung Moment (and really any other Android smartphones) in no particular order:

  • Android Backup Tool by Marigold backs-up a multitude of data from the smartphone to the SD Card, including Contacts, SMS, browser links, settings, etc.
  • Star Contact by StarObject provides advanced Contacts search functionally that is missing from almost all smartphones (even Palm).
  • Easy Dialer Premium by UIP ($) does cost a small nominal fee, but it is worth the chump change! It provides a well designed speed dial interface that really should be the standard for any Android smartphone. There is a free version with small and unintrusive ads called Easy Dialer. Another free alternative is Speed Dial by CRinUS. There is no interface to speak of in Speed Dial. It simple allows the user to put speed dials directly on the home page as links.
  • Where by where is highly rated and updated frequently. It provides up-to-date information and reviews about restaurants, movies, local news, weather, friends, etc.
  • Dolphin Browser by MGeek is a great Android internet browser that has powerful and time saving capabilities.
  • OI File Manager by OpenIntents is a good and simple file management utility for the SD Card. It allows for the renaming and copying of files.
  • Wikidroid for Wikipedia by Sirius Applications Ltd is a rapid and simple alternative to just loading the Wikipedia website directly. It loads articles very quickly without all the extras that weight down Wikipedia in an internet browser.
  • ASTRO File Manager by Metago is another powerful file manager. It has different functionality than OI File Manager, so I really recommend installing both until one app starts including the functions of the other.
  • AirPlaneSwitch by C-LIS Crazy Lab. is a simple application that allows the user to switch their phone over to Airplane mode without having to navigate into the smartphone’s settings.
  • TwitterTweet Twitter Client by MEDIAFILL LLC is an underrated app that allows the user to efficiently and simply sync their Twitter account and feeds to their phone.

Sync Android with Outlook

Right now, a PC application that syncs the Moment with Windows Outlook is not included. There is a fairly good Outlook plugin which will sync your contacts, calendar and notes with your Google account. The plugin works great as it allows your smartphone to be updated without ever attaching it to a computer! The plugin is called gSyncit for Microsoft Outlook by David Levinson. It is available at It costs $14.99 and does have unusually strict licensing for installations, so I will be keeping an eye out for free or more customer friendly licensing. For now, this plugin provides a much needed service, so I do recommend the investment if you have any Android smartphone.

Trace case UFO evidence

Trace case is a classification of studied encounters were a UFO or other anomalous phenomena has generated some sort of physical effect, called trace evidence. Study of the trace evidence may involve photographs, measurements, actual samples of residue that is subjected to laboratory analysis. The trace evidence is said to be UFO fingerprints, which may reveal information as to the type of object that generated the effect. Some cases include police reports and sketches, such as the Cato Landing. Though any type of UFO may leave trace evidence, common cases involve particular types of objects or devices.

White Globe

Many trace cases are often of evidence left by very small objects that are less than one meter in size, such as reports of white globes. Incidents involving white globes are often at very close range. Such devices have been involved in a wide variety of encounters. One such incident resulted in residue being left by a rotating orb that scraped by a car while it was being driven down a road. Upon being studied, the residue was found to be a mixture of unidentified metallic substance and organic matter.

Flying Saucer

Landing locations of flying saucers often leave evidence of three landing legs. When witnessed, these objects are seen to make ground contact. Sometimes humanoids are witnessed at landing locations.

Egg-shaped, Cylinder, Oval

Observations have been made of ojects that are often described as egg-shaped, cylindrical, or oval. These are reported to have a metallic appearance, being 5 to 6 meters in length. When these objects make ground contact, they often leave evidence of 4 landing legs. Dimunitive humanoids are often reported nearby the landing site.

Domed Device

Domed devices are objects that are often estimated to be about 2 meters to 4 meters in diameter. They rarely make ground contact; instead the hover a few feet above the ground. Evidence left by these objects is often swirl formations found in vegatation under where the device hovered.

Some info sourced from: Center for Physical Trace Research (now a dead link; try this similar site:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Milky Way Bigger than first thought

According to new information, the Milky Way Galaxy is about 15% wide and 50% more massive that previously thought. This means that our Milky Way is actually similar in size to the Andromeda Galaxy. These findings suggest that our own galaxy and Andromeda will collide much sooner (within the next 3 billion years) than previous estimated. The recent article from AP discusses these latest findings.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Back from Wyoming

Sunday was long. I spent much of it waiting at the airport for a flight that kept getting delayed. Not delayed by 30 minutes, but by hours and hours. Why was I in Wyoming waiting for a flight? Allie and I visited my folks. It was great seeing my parents for the first time in awhile.

As for Wyoming, I'm sure its citizens enjoy that state. I, on the other hand, will be very selective as to when I visit it in the future.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Version 2

I do not feel my soulmate calling out to me anymore
I miss you.
I am over you
I will love you my entire life
I am alone
You are near, but not here
I am in the wrong place
I am not alone
What once seemed wrong, now seems idyllic
I am released
I love you
I have learned to not yearn
I regret this and take proud in it too
I once felt like the desert without you
I am now a wandering sailor on wild seas
This prose is about me
I became
I am becoming again
That is was I am suppose to do
I fear new love
I want to experience it
I want to be selfish
I am generous
Love is generous and selfish
I am love
I fear myself
Nervous at life’s mundane moments
Confident when sublime engulfs me
You engulf me
I feel you
Love becomes without finale
This prose is my search for you
I am contradiction
I became because you are in my life
I become again because you are not now here
You are near, guiding
She has not come yet
I am waiting to become with her
Yours always

(circa 2001)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Predictions of Evolution of Alien Life

Evolution of life on other worlds is seeming more likely as human knowledge of the Universe expands. David Zeigler has recently proposed eleven Evolution Predictions of what abilities or traits will evolve on other worlds, conditions allowing. The predictions are that some lifeforms will be the following:
  • Water dependent and carbon based.
  • Chemosynthetic (chemical based energy synthesis) or photosynthetic (light energy synthesis).
  • Heterotrophic and predators of heterotrophs (food chain of lifeforms).
  • Passively or actively mobile to seek out optimum conditions. As such, body plans will evolve something similar to what we would identify as a head, with arrays of sensory organs.
  • Sessile (non-mobile or anchored in place).
  • Powered flight (birds, some insects, bats, pterosaurs), or at least directed gliding (flying squirrel, flying fish).
  • Parasites, which on Earth account for over 65% of the total number of species.
  • Genes will be selfish, and natural selection will spawn adaption to the environment.
  • Will have senses, especially sight, sound, touch, heat detection, etc.
  • Motile, organisms will have natural attraction and repulsion to stimuli.
  • Large bodies of water will foster a wide variety of lifeforms, which may independently evolution similar adaptions.
The list seems a little incomplete and maybe not well organized. It is a good starting point in the discussion of what we can expect to find on other worlds. It can help us in knowing where to look, as well. Perhaps this list is formed from human prejudice. However, with only Earth as our example, this (at least for the time being) seems to be a fair set of predictions.

Source: Skeptic Vol. 14 No. 2, 2008 - Predicting Evolution

Related articles

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Two: SolidWorks World edition

Tuesday 2 header

There's been many inventions and innovations that have been profiled at the various SolidWorks World conferences. This week's Tuesday Two covers to wind power winners that are getting notice.

Tuesday Two

Mageen airborne Wind PowerMagenn has an innovative balloon wind power generator which goes by the name Mageen Air Rotor System (MARS). It floats far above the ground to take advantage of wind that is more reliable than ground based turbines. Here's an ancillary article in Design World on material used to make MARS.

Microwind TechnologiesJeff Ray gives us an update on MicroWind Technologies which makes relatively small rooftop wind turbines called MicroWind Residential Turbine which will be able to produce 3 kW. They also have the MicroWind 300W which can be lamp post mounted.


The Smart car that just isn't all that smart. It is not much bigger than a go cart, while only netting 41 MPG highway (which is worse than many real cars already on the market). Too much is sacrificed in both functionality and safety for no real gain; and don't get me started about the price for the "well equipped" version! For that, it recently ranked as the worse car of the 2000's by, not to mention it wins this week's Epoch-Fail award!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Largest building ever built *discovered* in Egypt

If ancient descriptions are correct, and if the recent discovery is what some think it to be, the lost Labyrinth of Egypt may be at Hawara. This was a massive temple that was described by many ancient authors, such as Herodotus, to house 3000 rooms. The walls of each room were filled will paintings and hieroglyphs. Some have presumed this labyrinth housed the lost Hall of Records, dispite other theories that place it under the Great Sphinx of Giza. I'm not going to go on about this. Just check the links.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Blue Dark Ocean Depths
Strange Living Treasures Hidden
Where The Monsters Dwell

Thursday, November 05, 2009

13 and 13 coworker complaints and such

ThomasNet has had a blog. Apparently, it's been running in some fashion or other since 2000. Of course, back then maybe they didn't label it as a blog, but that's really what it was. There's a couple of articles that caught my attention recently.  (Original links no longer function, so please use the backup links.)
In these articles, David R. Butcher explores the best and worst traits in our coworkers (and ourselves) at work. His likes and dislikes may seem a bit arbitrary. He complains about the suck-ups in the first article, but lauds the jokers in his second. He makes the obvious observations regarding the positive coworker; yet in a sense of irony, he complains about the complainers. It's a fairly entertaining read.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Yet another Earth-world Found!

As technology and techniques in the hunt for terrestrial planets improves, we are finding that terrestrial planets seem to exist in a wide variety of star system types. In a presentation to the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis, MI on June 2, a team of astronomers stated that they used the Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics II telescope (New Zealand) to find a planet around a brown dwarf star. The planet is estimated as being about three times the mass of Earth.

The particular world discovered by the scientific team orbits a start about 300 light-years from our Solar System. It's orbit is likely as large as that of Venus around our Sun. According to current estimates, it most likely is made up ice and rock.

As more worlds are found, it seems to me that human understanding must accept that there is a very high likelihood that life exists beyond of Earth. There may come a day in our life times when such existence of life becomes completely undeniable.

Source: Astronomy Sept 2008 - Another super-Earth discovered