June 28 2010

Jun - 14 2010 | By

Editor's comments delimited by < >

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at: twitter.com/ddhart

They're tagged with #Zentech

Paul has an iPhone 3G there's an update to version 4 of the firmware coming out. He doesn't know if it's been hacked yet and recommends holding off on the update for now if you need it to be hacked <I think he means jailbroken>.

Glenn thinks you can pull the SIM card out of your previous iPhone and plug it into the new iPhone 4.

Paul gave a brief rundown of some acronyms…
– 2G networks run at the so-called EDGE speed — about 9600bps.
– 3G networks can approach DSL speeds (1.52Mbps) if the cell towers are providing the service and it's not over subscribed — the more people using the network, the lower the bandwidth.
– With 4G the sky's the limit but the infrastructure hasn't been rolled out yet.

The iPad with 3G has what's known as a micro-SIM card. An actual SIM card is about the size of a credit card. In Europe, the SIM is embedded in the plastic of a credit card and it's that mini-SIM (about 3/4" by 1/2" in size) that's used in cell phones. The micro-SIM has the same electronics and the mini-SIM can be trimmed down, with an exacto knife, to be used in its place. There are devices sold in Hong Kong for about $10 that can clone SIM cards.

Mikail called with more info about the new iPhone 4.
– He said you CAN'T take the SIM card out of the old iPhone and put it in the new one because the iPhone 4 uses the micro-SIM card.
– There is no jailbreak for the iPhone 4 yet.
– The iPhone has a reception problem supposedly due to the operating system and update 4.1 is expected to fix that.
– The camera resolution is so good that it's comparable to actual dedicated cameras.
– It does 720p HD video.

You can now get a Google Voice account without being invited. It's free.
– Go to google.com/voice.
– Choose the google voice number carefully, typically one that's local to your area so people calling it won't incur extra charges.
– Calling abroad using a Google Voice number is only $.02/min. You still pay for the airtime on the cell phone but international calling is cheap.
– AT&T is blocking the app for using Google Voice, but there is a web interface to get around that.

Then there is also Skype for low budget & free phone/video calling. Keep checking for updates to Skype as improvements are made often.

Mikail called again to say he has a Google Voice number and thinks it's great. There's a free app for jailbroken phones and one called Google Voice Plus for $2 with more features.

Paul mentioned that Google Voice can transcribe a voice mail into text and does a reasonably good job.

Google also has a pretty good language translation service at translate.google.com

Glenn also mentioned the Babelfish translation service.

Joshua called to say his iPod is not being recognized by his Mac Book Pro. It says something like "file missing".
– Download iTunes and install it again. It should be version 9.2. Go to itunes.com or apple.com/itunes.
– You might also try updating the Mac from the Apple logo.
– Try resetting the iPod. Glenn found this suggestion at support.apple.com and knowledge base article ts1410.
– Try running "file check" on the Mac.

Matt called and said that a security update for his Windows Vista machine keeps being sent to him and has been installed numerous times.
– Get the knowledge base number (beginning with the letters "kb") and use that to research a solution. Search for the kb number and the word fix or undo or backout.
– Generally, the solution involves going to the command prompt using the F8 key and deleting something.

Paul said the solution to a tech problem is out there, you just need to ask the right question. When doing a search, think of a combination of words that uniquely apply to the problem. The fewer, more specific or unusual the words, the better.

The Flee Market show now has podcasts at kvmr.org/fleemarket. There is also a PDF file there.

Michael called and said that when he plays slower music in iTunes the music stutters.
– Paul ventured a guess that because slower music, which doesn't change much, actually gets compressed more, and the CPU has to work harder to decompress it. So, unburden the CPU by closing other running programs and see if there's an improvement.
– In the utility folder (Mac) there is a program called something like "CPU Usage". It tracks how hard the CPU is working. If CPU usage goes up to 100% while playing the slower music, that's the problem.
– Check if there's a common source of the problematic music. The music files themselves may be faulty.

Jim called wondering what jailbreak means.
Unlocking the iPhone allows it to work on any network. <Subject to the type of network (GSM or CDMA), I guess>
– Jailbreaking allows you to install software not approved by Apple.

Glenn wondered why Skype is allowed by AT&T when Google Voice is not.
– Paul said it works on wi-fi but not a 3G (cell phone) network, although there is an hack for that on a jailbroken iPhone. That it doesn't work with 3G means it doesn't directly compete with AT&T's cell service.
– Paul also mentioned that 1/5 of iPhones have been unlocked.

The disclaimer: views & opinions are those of the show's hosts only. Do the jailbreaking & unlocking at your own risk

Paul said he's found better travel deals thru means other than the web. Don't assume web searches are always your best option.

Listeners were invited to write to zen at kvmr dot org and browse the website at zen.kvmr.org.

Bill called. He's been looking for some old schematics and has been trying to educate himself in the use of advanced search syntax.
– You can just use the form provided on the advanced search page at Google. You don't have to learn anything complicated. When you complete the search, you'll see how Google constructed the query.
– On the advanced search page, there's a link to tips explaining how to use special syntax.
Gmail also has powerful search capabilities.

Ben called to ask why one of his computers will not stream the Zentech show. It just downloads a file called kvmr.m3u.
– It's not set up to know how to deal with an .m3u playlist file.
– Right-click on the .m3u file, left-click on "open with", select "choose application", select the program you want to use for listening to the stream (like iTunes), and select the check box that says "always open with this application" to make your choice permanent.

John called with a suggestion for Bill. Russia and Czechoslovakia are good places to find old schematics. Search by using a version of Google specific to the country like google.cz (Czech) or google.ru (Russia). The US version of Google may not be able to give the same results.

Glenn offered links he's recently found for good deals. Restaurant.com and groupon.com.

Last updated: 7:50 PM 6/28/2010