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I am an every day joe just like you. I have recently quit my job so that I can go back to school, and am leaning towards Web Development/Design or Software Engineering as my desired career.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bit Torrent knowledge.

I have met people that are interested in using bit torrent for file sharing purposes but find that people do not really understand it or how to use it. Even though once could probably google the topic and find many how tos I felt that I would try and write a simple blog on it.

Bittorrent is a file sharing system that allows people from all over the world to share and share alike. I am not going to get in to the techincal details of how it works, but I will try to make sure everyone gets the gist of it. First off let me note that using bittorrent or other file sharing services that involve the distribution of copyrighted materials can be illegal. There is also a good liklihood that if you are using bittorrent a good bit you will encounter malicious software such as trojans, viruses, adware, and spyware. Any use of these services upon reading this post is done at your own risk. However if one is careful and using the proper programs for protection, you should be relatively safe.

NEEDS: In order to use bittorrent you will need a bit torrent client (3rd party software.) there are many different choices. Azureus/Vuze, Bitcomet, Utorrent, and bittorrent are just a few that are available for windows based pcs. There are also programs for mac and linux such as transmission (I have heard of this one, I do not know how it stacks up against others.) Obviously you will need a computer and an active internet connection as well. If you did not know that before reading this sentence please leave this page now. You should not be using this service.

ABOUT: Torrent files are not the actual content you are seeking but rather a file that triggers the download of the what you are looking for. You will download these files and open them,or just open them. They are not neccessary to keep once the download has begun. When you are downloading a torrent file you should be able to find info about the file, some from the website and some from the program. The content that you are downloading may have multiple files in a directory, and you do not neccessarily want to download all of it, for example you may be downloading a Pink Floyd discography, but you already have the Dark Side of the Moon. You can deselect the DarkSide of the Moon and not download because you do not need it/already have it. You also want to keep in mind the strength of the torrent.

Torrents have 3 classifications of users, Seeders, Peers, and Leechers. Seeders are people that are uploading the content, Peers are people who are silmutaneously downloading the content and uploading the parts of the content they already have, Leechers are just downloading. Proper torrent ettiquette is to continue uploading while downloading and after completed so that all can enjoy. Some websites that you have to sign up for membership on have share ratios that you must maintain in order to use their services. As a beginner this is not as important to you, but remember the cardinal rule (or at least my cardinal rule to torrent beginners) upload twice as much as you downloaded. If your torrent program is capable of showing you the share ratio, shoot for a 2. If you reach a 2 that means you have uploaded everything you downloaded twice (it is great if you go higher.) Keep in mind when deciding which torrent you are going to download the seed, peer, and leech count. The higher the seed the faster the download. The higher the leech the slower.

HOW: Getting started you want yo go to a torrent website. There are a plethora of torrent sites out there but 2 of my favorites are isohunt and the pirate bay. Search for whatever you are looking for, be it music, video, ebooks, programs, or pictures, etc. Once you have found search results, choose the file that you want. When deciding look at the number of users. Also, if the website has a comment section take a look through them. You can save yourself some time and headaches by reading and finding out that that it is not working correctly or that it has malware attached. Just keep in mind that these could be lies. Download the content that you desire and open it in your torrent client. Now watch the process.

If this is a large file it may take a while. Do not be afraid to leave it running after you go to bed. this is what I usually do.

OTHER: You should be using firewalls and other security software. You can get in trouble using this illegally protect yourself. I am not condoning illegal use of torrents. You can also find torrent toolbars that will allow you to search from a toolbar in your browser, such as torrent finder's toolbar for firefox. I highly reccomend it.

I am not going to cover uploading a new torrent at this time or go in to more detail about share ratios, but it is importantthat everyone who partakes gives back for the health of the torrent community. I hope to write something in more detail at another time.

If anyone has any comments they would like to make about particular websites or clients in regards to torrents, I encourage you to post them here. This is far from comprehensive and was written to help beginners get started.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Treo 800w release date

I have not posted in a while, and am sorry but hope to get more of a groove going. I know there are different release dates for the Treo 800w on Sprint rolling around out there, and the general consensus is sometime in July. That being said I had a Sprint employee (and we are not talking store or general customer service) that the release date was July 13th.

I have no idea how accurate that is and am not willing to repost anything so take it for what it is worth.

If interested in specs go to this page.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sprint, Clearwire, and Cable Companies talking Wimax again.

Apparently The Wall Street Journal is camping in Sprint's office as of late. Over the weekend they reported that Deutsch Telekom was looking in to a buyout, Monday they reported Sprint was thinking about spinning off Nextel, and now today they are saying Wimax lives (so to speak.)

The report is saying that Sprint has worked up a deal with Clearwire, who if you recall has already talked with Sprint before and it fell through, as well as Comcast, Time Warner, Intel and Google. Also, keep in mind that a deal that included the Cable Companies was abandoned about 2 weeks ago.

This is great news for Sprint. We still do not know the mindset of the company amidst rumors of DT's interest, but one thing is for sure, if Sprint wants to stay afloat pushing forward with Wimax (while it could sink the company)and being the fastest data connection around would certainly help. With Sprint's credit rating just being downgraded it was getting hard to believe that the embattled carrier could pull through, especially due to the lack of funds.

I guess we will all have to keep our ears open and if you had Sprint stock on Friday, I am jealous. Keep in mind though based on the track record there is a good chance this will fall through before the end of May. You might want to sell before the end of the week.

HTC Touch Diamond Hands-on video!

For the record these are not mine. I am far away from London, but would love to have my hands on this right now. Keep an eye in. You can troll youtube for clips or check back here. Whenever I find a hands on video I will add it.

It looks pretty fluid with minimal lag (some is to be expected) and I like the use of directional pad (if you can call it that.)

Video 1 Slash Gear
Video 2 Cool Smart Phone News
Videos 3 and 4 Engadget

HTC Diamond Accessories

So, I was looking a bit closer at the Diamond pictures and this one is named accessories. Seeing earphones and a charger is no big deal, but has HTC even mad an official Attractive Dock for this phone. I want a video about the dock.

I am going to leave the computer in a moment, and read some later this evening. I am sure there will be more info out then.

It is official, HTC Touch Diamond, Video Included

This has a really good looking design (better than I imagined.)
The Diamond will come with a VGA Screen, Orientation sensor, GPS and apparently all of the specs that were leaked. Opera Mobile 9 will be built in to the rom and a built in Youtube App (that they say will be the best mobile youtube experience) are a few things that we have not heard yet. (They had Google's help developing the app.)

Battery life from the specs on their site:
Battery Rechargeable Lithium-ion or Lithium-ion polymer battery
Capacity: 900 mAh
Talk time:

Up to 270 minutes for WCDMA
Up to 330 minutes for GSM

Standby time:

Up to 396 hours for WCDMA
Up to 285 hours for GSM

Video call time: Up to 145 minutes for WCDMA
(The above are subject to network and phone usage.)
(They are planning a bigger battery for those who need it.)

No telling how it will differ for us on this side of the pond.

It is to be released starting in Europe in June.

The website that I reported last night is officially linking to Diamond Information on HTC's website.

Go here for high res pics. Also there are a few wallpapers on this site.
1680x1050! Score! A new desktop for me.

Embedded Video

Monday, May 5, 2008

HTC's new Diamond website (kind of)

May of you probably know that there is a press conference in London tomorrow for HTC. Rumours (since it is London I feel it is only appropriate to spell it this way)have been swirling about what it would be about. Many people thought that it would be about Dream, HTC's first device running Android, but now the consensus is that it will be about the new Handset that has leaked, the HTC Diamond. I was thinking about this a bit and decided to try something and went to www.htcdiamond.com. I was pleasantly surprised when something happened. I expected a website that was occupied by someone who bought the url when the information about this device started leaking. what I found was that this URL linked directly to HTC's website about the Touch Cruise.

Now this is nothing really big by any means, but I guess it is just something to help add anticipation to tomorrow's event. So, are you getting up early to watch it online?

Sprint fighting? or giving in? The Nextel spinoff...

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint is considering spinning off Nextel. This is hot off of the heels of reports from many places but also WSJ that Deutsch Telekom was considering purchasing Sprint. This is very interesting to say the least. The report is saying that the purchasers would be a group of investment bankers apparently lead by Nextel's founder, Morgan O'Brian. The company would be positioning to be a service for public safety agencies.

The twist to me personally is that the point of the sale is too get rid of an under performing asset and raise capital for reinvestment. This could have a couple of outcomes in mind (or at least in my business mind.) If Dan Hesse really wants to keep Sprint independent from DT, such a maneuver could be to keep them at bay. Hesse does not have the ability to simply turn them down. He answers to the share holders, and if a deal is offered that is too good to be passed up, his hands are tied. After losing a group of partners on the launch of Xohm (wimax), downgrading of their credit rating, and many other hurdles that just seem to keep popping up, one has to wonder will Sprint ever have a chance to get up off of the mat. I personally have felt that Qchat and Wimax were the 2 keys to Sprint's recooperation, but if they can't get the capital to get these going they are of no use. Selling Nextel and making plans on using the capital on moving forward could help to convince shareholders that the future for Sprint is not irreparable.

All that being said, the news about Nextel could also be a move to make Sprint look more lucrative to DT as a potential buyer. With the biggest weakness of the core business out of the way, the value of the company will expand.

I guess we all will have to wait and see because I do not expect information to come rolling quickly on this front.

Sprint: T Mobile and the Pile on

So, everyone is piling up on Sprint. I think that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is probably thinking right now, man can I get a break. A lot of people thought that Hesse could be the man to right the ship for Sprint but the problem may be that he is just too late. Gary Forsee while running this company apparently while doing war with the other cell carriers decide to turn the canon towards his own ship and blew a hole in the bottom. Now Hesse is the captain but there may not be enough buckets on deck to get the water out before the ship sinks.
1. Sprint vs. the FCC-The FCC is wanting Sprint to clear some airwaves for emergency systems. The agreement was to give Sprint some replacement spectrum, but the problem is that Sprint is expected to give up spectrum and wait on getting some back. This can be bad for Sprint's customers.
2.I could not find the article but Sprint is being sued (possibly reaching class action status) for some shady actions with stocks, the announcement last year of 30 billion dollar loss, and some board members. This is not a problem that you want to have.
3. They are being sued by Verizon for not paying up on some cash.

I am sure there are other things that I am not talking about but things just seem to get worse.

Enter T Mobile. Deutsch Telekom, the owners of T Mobile, are eying the possibility of buying Sprint. Many people are wondering why they would consider this. Most believe that this would be a bad idea. I however do not think so. I will tell you why.

Sprint is in trouble because they are being hit from every angle. They just had their credit rating dropped, and they are going to have a hard time pulling out. They are on the right track with the Simply Everything plan, Wimax, and Q Chat/Direct Connect. The problem is will they be able to last long enough to get these services out there at a high level. They are also having a hard time coming up with the money to put Wimax in place. They are seeking partners for Wimax but they keep hitting snags with deals with Clearwire as well as several US cable operators.

Let's look at T Mobile. Keep in mind that T Mobile is owned by Deutsch Telekom, and they are a very large company. T Mobile's biggest problems here in the US are lack of 3g and lack of coverage, however, their are much ballyhooed for their customer service.

Let's compare their strengths and weaknesses. Sprint has a huge 3g EVDO network, good CDMA coverage with roaming agreements with Verizon, Direct Connect (some may think the novelty of direct connect is going away, but if that is the case, why is Verizon launching a new DC service as well?)and they are trying to push out the first 4g network with Xohm (wimax technology.) They also have wretched customer service. T Mobile is way behind is way behind on 3g. Their voice network is not that great. They have excellent customer service and a lot of equity.

Deutsch telekom is a big enough company that it can afford to drop some dimes here and there. They have a past of good customer service and would probably have the means to fix this. They could continue to push EVDO and the transition over to Qchat in order to have Direct Connect. They would not have to have all of their members have dual CDMA and GSM phones, and let's face it they will not be doing away with CDMA or GSM overnight due to the number of subscribers they already have. They could maintain all 3 networks and focus on phasing out the Iden network while pushing EVDO and migrating iden customers over to qchat. They would keep Sprint and T Mobile as separate entities but utilize the T Mobile upper brass to tweak and fix the problems. The goal would to make Sprint viable again.

Also, with this time in the industry bing very important to 4g plans you could look for both companies to transition into 1 technology, whether they decided to keep Wimax on track and be the first out with 4g or dump it completely and go to LTE like everyone else seems to be doing. With this transition you could merge into 1 network and have ALL of the towers that both have. This would make the 1 company stronger because of the combined network coverage but under one technology. This would be the point that the 2 companies start to become one.

Keep in mind that this would also be tough to get passed by regulatory committees due to the fact that this would put the combined company as the largest US cell phone carrier, and it would be owned by a foreign company.

There are hurdle to overcome but this could be great for both companies. Keep in mind if you were to sign a contract with Sprint today, the chances are nothing will change before your contract is up. DT is just now eying Sprint and there are no offers on the table as of yet. Both companies would have to agree on terms, and then the government would have to approve everything. If all of that happens how long would it take to launch a new 4g network. I am guessing if this ever comes to fruition you are looking at 3years minimum before these to really start getting together. Although the benefits for Sprint customers could be almost immediate.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Blackberry Flip Phone

Boy Genius Report is reporting a new Blackberry Device that is a flip phone. It is sporting a suretype keyboard as seen on the Pearl, the Pearl trackball, an internal and external lcd screen. It is allegedly coming before the end of the year. The name is set to be kickstart.

This and the Blackberry 9000 before the end of the year as well as the development of a touch screen device will just make Blackberry continue to push in to the mainstream.