Sunday, 19 June 2011


As I watched my brother co-ordinate an outing with some friends a few months ago it dawned on me how important a native messenger app really is.  I ask him why he went from his N92 over to a Blackberry and he tells me simple, “Because all my friends and co-workers have it.”  As that trend changed and more and more people are on iPhone and Android devices, multiplatform messenger devices sprung up, but none had the success and outreach as BBM.  Simple things such as knowing that the other party has read your message kept a Blackberry in the hands of many people in the corporate and cultural world.  In fact I know a few people who have a Blackberry and an iPhone and all they use their Blackberry for is BBM.
So how important does something like iMessage become to Apple?  Many are pointing to it as the Blackberry killer.  If people in your circle have already flocked to Apple and those left on your BBM list also begin to leave, why would you stay behind?  I have owned a Blackberry as recently as 6 months ago, to my dismay I was still unable to properly surf the web or even watch a YouTube video regularly (and yes this was due to the Blackberry).  I admit I liked the idea behind BBM and had added plenty of friends and was getting used to the BBM culture but my need for mobile distraction away from home was paramount over ‘instant messaging’.  Now Apple is giving me that missing link and I have to wonder, how long before we start talking about BBM as a fad from yesterday? Sadly, and I say this as a proud Canadian who believes in supporting Canadian Businesses, I think it will be sooner rather then later.

Saturday, 18 June 2011


(skip to 4th paragraph to start JB)

I was completely underwhelmed with my purchase of an Apple T.V 2.  Shortly after picking up my iPad 2, I thought that I would be able to use AirPlay on a bunch of apps and view them on my HDTV.  Aside from a few select apps this is not possible! In fact all you need to do is purchase the $45 HDMI adaptor for mirroring (everything you do is put up on the big screen) that they sell, it is wired and you don’t need the Apple T.V for that.  I realize that in future updates to the iOS they may enable it so that every app can use AirPlay but until then my Apple TV 2 is useless.  I have a PS3, Xbox 360, and a WDTV, at $119.99 Canadian and $99.99 U.S for the ATV2 it is not what I consider to be a good buy especially with those other media devices!  That is until I discovered something known as JailBreak. I have Jail Broken my original iPhone, and almost everyone with an iPhone has at least heard of something called Cydia, but for those who Jail Broke the first iPhone know that it was a much more involved process that was risky.  I’m not saying that Jail Breaking the ATV2 is risky, but it’s not risk free either.  I’m not a computer programmer, but do consider my self tech savvy and thought I could add my take on how to go about Jail Breaking the ATV2. I decided to do some research on it and here’s what I found on the ATV2 and JB.

     The ATV2 has an HDMI output only, granted this means only newer generation TV’s can support it, this shouldn’t be a huge factor as many people have this technology now, but something to know just in case. It supports 720P playback but trying to play that file wirelessly from your media server is next to impossible.  Playing YouTube videos and viewing your pictures is essentially all it does.   Here’s where JailBreaking comes in.  By JailBreaking you can begin installing third party apps that allow you to do many more things with your ATV2.  For my purposes I’m going to outline how to get from Jailbreak, to installing Nito, XBMC and then IceFilms.  After that you can search for some other cool third party apps to install, but at least with this you can have literally thousands of hours of T.V and movies to watch.

     You need to have a micro USB cable for this to work.  If you have either a BlackBerry, Nokia, or most Android phones then you already have this cable.  The USB power cord that comes with most models it is the wire you require, just take it apart.  You’ll know instantly if it is the correct one.  (The other ones don’t come apart, lol) There are different types of Jail Break’s available, but only one that is capable of JB the newest version of 4.2.1, its called “Seas0nPass.”

I was going to create my own video, but there are enough video’s out there that I just decided to use them along with some of my own.  I will try to help you to fill in the blanks as I believe there are some important instructions left out.

Do not plug in your ATV2 until instructed!


Download “SeasOnPass” here

AT Step 4 in the Youtube video below when it will ask you to put your ATV2 in DFU mode, without the power cord, plug the ATV2 to your PC with the Micro USB, now holding both PLAY/PAUSE buttons for approx. 7 seconds and then let go.  You should be in DFU mode.  I have JB a few ATV2’s, one time I was unable to get my ATV2 into DFU mode, searching the internet, a trick I learned was to plug in the power cord and power the unit with the micro USB plugged in to the PC and the ATV2, then unplug the power cord only and hold the Play/Pause buttons and it will enter DFU mode.  Remember this is only required if the standard method is not working for you.

AT Step 5 when iTunes opens you have to hold the Shift key and then click restore, then click on the file that was created by SeasonPass, it should be called something like this, "AppleTV2,1_SP_restore" or something similar.

Once completed your ATV2 is now JailBroken and you are now 1/4 of the way done.

Installing NitoTV

Connect your ATV2 to your T.V and turn it on now.

Download "Putty" here

To find your I.P address, connect your ATV2 to your T.V and turn it on, go to Settings, then General, and then About, your I.P address should be listed there.

Start Putty!

In case you are having trouble following here is the commands he is typing out for you, you can copy and paste them one by one, but say yes to any prompts that come up!

Important Information:  Login: Root / Password: alpine

echo "deb http: // ./"> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list
apt-get update
apt-get install com.nito.nitoTV
killall Lowtide

Congrats, you are 2/4 of the way done!

Installing XBMC

You have to wait until it is completed of course, I just skipped the final step because I already had it done!

Congrats, you are 3/4 of the way done!

Installing IceFilms

Now go here and complete Step 1, you have already done step 2 and most of Step 3.

Download WinSCP here.

Start WinSCP and put in your I.P address with the Username: root and Password: alpine

Click on Login and then Yes and a window like this will open. The left screen is your P.C and the right is the directory folder of your ATV2
You have to place the file you downloaded called repository.googlecode.anarchintosh-projects from your P.C (keep it zipped) into a folder called the " /private/var/mobile/Media"  on your ATV2.

Now, start XBMC, and follow my video,

     From there you should go to Add-ons, then click Get Add ON then click Anarchintosh Addons then click Video Add Ons then click Ice Films.  This should begin the install.  Once completed, go all the way out to where 'system' was and instead scroll up to go to Videos then click on Video Add-ons then click on IceFilms.
     You will have to download 'the pictures' folder (automatically prompts you) and you should be good to go, feel free to rate and if you need assistance comment and I'll try my best to help you!

Updated for corrections June 19th, 2011:  Sorry for some confusion, there were a few errors I made in the install process that I discovered while JB an APTV2 with a friend.  This new version is tested and proven.

Friday, 17 June 2011


Was there a need for Blackberry to make a Tablet?  Lets be honest here, the BlackBerry Playbook is a competent device, to avoid an argument from the ‘fanboi’s’ I’m going to say there are things the Playbook can do that the iPad 2 can’t and vice versa.  So let’s compare Apples to Apples and Oranges to Oranges.  Up against the Xoom and the Honeycomb O.S the Playbook doesn’t really have anything extra to offer.  I won’t even mention Apps, both the Xoom and the iPad 2 were out before the Playbook so it couldn’t even boast being first in the market which in turn would have boosted its sales.  What should we expect next, a Blackberry Mp3 player or a Blackberry T.V?  Research In Motion wants to believe their customers have bought into their culture the same way Apple users have but we know that simply isn’t the case. It takes more then just BBM to have a culture, just ask Google, they know the market is fickle and you’re only as good as the perception of your last product…

     Which is why RIM is announcing layoffs, of course when your CEO’s vision fails to meet even basic expectations, it’s the working man (and woman) who faces the consequences.  As of this writing RIM shares are taking a beating, ($28.13), it’s probably time for those who know how to trade to buy shares or to start making a move on their positions, but at what point does and how long can a company like Google or Apple stay away from buying out RIM not just for its mobile users but for its corporate enterprise software and for the highly touted QNX O.S that we keep hearing about?  I don’t want to say it is the beginning of the end for RIM because realistically iMessage was that beginning and this is the most likely the ‘middle of the end.’ 
     Not all of RIM’s issues are due to its tablet, in fact, its more likely due to the acceptance that they will not meet their revenues from the previous year and that going forward stiff competition from Google and Apple (Galaxy Tab 10.1, iPhone 5 etc.) will only further degrade revenue streams for RIM, whether or not layoffs and any potential restructuring will save shareholder value will be the concern going forward.  What RIM should have learned from Samsung is that it’s okay to copy and get sued, as ‘plagiarism is the sincerest form of imitation’ especially when the product you can copy is an outright success.  So why bother creating something that is untested and unproven in a smaller form factor when those before you have failed to obtain any significant market share (see other 7” tablets) and when the winning formula is there for you to copy.  Oh, I know many of you won’t like that argument, but I say welcome to the real world, where you can’t reinvent the wheel and when you try to innovate something that someone else created 3 months ago and it takes you a year to get it to market and then they release a better version of it before you, this happens.  Funny how real life works.

Friday, 10 June 2011


Gentleman, start your engines!  I’m sure we all know what that relates to, but in the future, it could have a new meaning if you have an Apple T.V 2.  A company called Firemint has developed the first game that you can play from your iPad 2 then using Airplay connect with your ATV2.  Oh, but it gets better, the content is not a mirror, what you see on T.V and what displays on your iPad 2 will be different.  In the case of this game, Real Racing 2 HD real-time racing telemetry is displayed on the iPad 2 and true 1080p content is displayed on your T.V.  Simply put, that’s awesome.
You can pick this game up right now and play it for $9.99 and it works with the T.V-out feature, but I would wait for a sale as iOS 5 isn’t slated to be out until later in the year.  I’ll have a post or two up about some of the other updates, additions, and changes of note in iOS 5, but realistically this is going to be a hard one to top.  I can’t wait for other App developers to get in on this, imagine playing Angry Birds via Airplay on  your big screen, all your friends will be jealous!

Friday, 3 June 2011


What happens when you put someone who is technically savvy but not media savvy at the helm of a company… This. 
Now if you listen to the Apple camp, it’s the death march for Flash.  I have a different take on it.  Apple has basically designed their devices so that everyone who accesses it through their devices has a great and easy to use experience.  They may isolate some parts of the internet, but to the average user they will never notice. Google and its fans want everyone to have access to everything.  This sometimes causes compatibility issues and crashes.  Now it is easy to sit back and argue that within the confines of the mobile apparatus that it would be more efficient to have a device that works on demand and loads pages quickly and uses battery power efficiently but, and I’ll highlight that ‘but’ for emphasis, the onus should be on battery makers to develop more slim and powerful batteries and website developers to develop great content that loads quickly and easily.  I’m not talking mobile versions of browsers either, that in my opinion was like putting duck tape on a bullet wound.  I think the public wants smart phones that live up to their moniker and will give them access to the internet in whole.
If you’ve read my other blogs, I think I don’t have to defend my position on Apple.  I love their products and so do the people in my household.  What will come as a surprise is that I will defend Google today too.  Mark it on your calendar, 03/06/11!
Steve Jobs talks about his position on html as an ascending technology while Flash (he implies) is a descending technology.  In reality it’s about control, anyone who has ever read an Email from Jobs or heard about his legendary arrogance will know what I am talking about.  Its served Apple and its shareholders well to this point, so how do you argue with a man that 99/100 of his ideas are fantastic and that he is wrong about that 1.  The answer is you can’t!
Here’s where I think he’s wrong, according to Apple, the future is in Apps.  What happens if someone creates live T.V on the internet and it uses flash?  It makes sense that if I have a device like an iPad that if live T.V were available and I was somewhere where I didn’t have access to a T.V that I should be able to watch in on my iPad.  That’s the true direction of live T.V and mobile devices.  Here’s where this came to me.  I was stuck, well that’s not fair, we’ll say attending a wedding last Monday.  I have been known to put a buck or two on sporting events.  Having my Google phone, I quickly searched, “Watch NBA live”, I clicked on the first link and bam I was watching the Mavericks and Thunder playing live instantly.  I had a few people around me and they were all amazed that I could do this.  Someone with an iPhone tried and failed, and at that instant, I had made an Apple user feel inadequate.  I hope I didn’t distort his perception of reality and that he will be fine, but I think the writing was on the wall for the poor guy. (Just kidding, I’m sure he will be fine, it was an open bar after all.)  I’m sure you have all heard the jokes out there, that if Apple made Cars…if not, then here you go…
I’ve heard the technical reasons why Apple doesn’t use Flash I’ve heard the practical reasons why Apple doesn’t use flash but while I was doing a Wiki search on Shantanu Narayen it lists him starting his career at Apple and then moving on to pioneer the concept of digital photography with Pictra Inc. until he becomes CEO at Adobe. I think him being an former employee of Apple has more to do with Flash not being on iDevices then anything else, if you catch my drift.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Another one bites the dust!  A thief (allegedly) stole some poor guys MacBook!  What the thief didn’t know is this guy installed a security software for Mac’s that allows him to see what someone is doing on his computer and take pictures via the webcam!  You can see/read the hilarity here.
I love that they apprehended the culprit and the feel good story of getting ones device back.  It is better then beating an innocent man up or the thief getting away.  What is interesting to note in every case such as this is that the police initially don’t seem to care.  I know they have other more serious crimes to solve but it seems like that doesn’t bother them when handing out a speeding, jaywalking, or loitering ticket. Having a picture and the company of where the suspect works isn’t good enough for them.  In fact they have to wait until something goes viral and millions of people get involved before they go out and arrest the thief.  Now I am sure this thief is not a criminal mastermind and in fact looks like a hard working cabbie (oxymoron?) but if that was your MacBook or property I am sure you would want it back.  The thief will most likely lose his job and be faced with a criminal record and I know there will be some bleeding hearts out there for him.  Truth is he stole the MacBook from the guy’s apartment and deserves everything he gets!
My only concern is that with so much publicity that the average thief will begin reformatting or restricting access to internet connections and removing the software.  But to those below average ones we have great stories like this to share with the rest of our friends and families and have a good laugh.  Because in the end, that’s what this was all about!  (and getting a MacBook back…)