Geek & Sundry coming soon…


Splash logoThere some new video content for all you Cord Cutters out there. Woohoo!

Felicia Day, of Buffy, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog, EurekaThe Guild, and on and on, is launching a YouTube channel called “Geek & Sundry“!

There will be a bunch of shows airing on this channel starting April 2nd. The line-up is something like this:

Monday: The Flog
Tuesday: The Guild (Season 5 starts April 10th)
Wed: Dark Horse Motion Comics/Written by a Kid (July 16th)
Thursday: Guild extras (New Bonus Content!)
Friday: Tabletop/Sword and Laser (With alternating bonus material!)

Check out Felicia’s trailer for the channel:

This is going to be EPIC!

Solved iPad freezing issue


Problem solved

UPDATE (5/8/2012): Apple has finally fixed this bug in the latest version of iOS (5.1.1). If you are seeing any of these symptoms, you may want to either follow the steps below or do a restore before installing the latest iOS update. Just to make sure that your device is clean.

Earlier I reported that I was having some serious issues with my iPad as well as my iPhone freezing for a short period of time after being woken up (power button or pressing Home button).

It appears that a solution has been found. Or at least a “fix”.

Doing a search for “Unable to Purchase” in Google, I was able to find a thread in Apple’s support forums that talked about this issue. Actually, the thread never mentioned any freezing issues, but it did mention grey icons as well as this “Unable to Purchase” dialog box popping up.

The full symptoms to this problem are:

  • Device freezes soon after being awoken
  • Some app icons would grey (with space for progress bar and title changed to “Waiting”), then the icon image would appear followed by the icons being fully restored one by one in quick succession (screen shot #1)
  • After installing a Universal app from a different device or iTunes, I would be prompted for my AppleID password (screen shot #2)
Screen shot #1

Screen shot #1

Screen Shot #2

Screen Shot #2

These symptoms started up around January of 2012.

The solution or fix seems to be to remove a file “downloads.28.sqlitedb” from a folder on the device. There is an app called iExplorer (formally iPhone Explorer) that allows you to see your devices folder structure without having to Jailbreak the device.

Locate the folder “Media”, open it and locate the folder “Downloads” and open it. Inside the folder “Downloads” you will see several folders with what appears to be random numbers (I had well over 50) as well as a file called “downloads.28.sqlitedb”.

If you Jailbroke your device like I have for my iPhone. I found a package called iFile ($4.00) that allowed me to dig into my iPhone’s folders.

iFile package found in Cydia (Jailbreaking)

iFile package found in Cydia (Jailbreaking)

The above screen shot from “iFile” shows the “…/Media/Downloads” folder after deleting the many “numbered” folders as well as the downloads.28.sqlitedb” file. The sqlitedb file was recreated and is now much smaller than the nearly 780KB file it was.

I deleted all the folders in the “Downloads” folder along with the “downloads.28.sqlitedb” file. I turned off my device, then restarted it.

It’s been over 12 hours now since I deleted the sqlitedb file and I haven’t seen any freezing when waking my iPhone or iPad. I also have not seen any icons greying out.

I installed a couple of Universal apps and was not asked for my AppleID password and the apps appears on both devices.

So it appears that this sqlitedb file must have been corrupted. Folks in the forum feel that this corruption occurred when attempting to install an app and something happens to stop the download from successfully downloading. At that point, they feel that they started seeing the “Unable to Purchase” dialog.

Unable to Purchase pop up

Unable to Purchase pop up

I don’t know what caused this corruption, but I have had times when an App Store purchase started downloading but didn’t finish or I had to reboot the device due to the download freezing. (or at least appearing to freeze)

If you are having any of the above symptoms, check out the forum and see if your symptoms match what they were seeing. Then try the iExplorer solution/fix. I think you will find that it works for you too.

Why do Tech Pundits want an Apple Television?


Apple televisionWhat is this fascination with Tech Pundits over an Apple Television? Why do they want one so much?

More importantly, what could Apple bring to the Television market that it hasn’t already brought to the Television Set-top box market?

Do these tech pundits really think that normal consumers, not the pundits themselves, but normal average Joe’s, are going to run out and purchase a $2,000 46″ Apple Television just because it has the guts of an AppleTV built-in?

Some pundits think that this new television is going to cost $599. Really? $599 for a full size television that sits in a persons family room?

OK, the average lifespan of a good LCD Television is about 10 years. (60,000-100,000 hours) Apple loves to release new versions of it’s products every year. Is Apple expecting consumers to purchase new televisions every year? More importantly, are these pundits thinking this?

It’s way more likely that the average consumer would upgrade their AppleTV Set-top box when Apple updates it. It’s just $99 and gives them all the power a $2,000 or even $599 full blown television would.

So why would Apple attempt to get into the television business when it is doing so well in the cell phone/tablet/personal media player/computer/music sales business?

Please, can anyone offer a reasonable explanation why Apple would benefit from getting into the television business?

iPad freezing after waking


Edit 10842I’m calling out to the folks that read this blog or find it by searching for these problems.

Recently, Apple updated iOS (5.0) to allow users who purchase a song, book or app to have those items downloaded to all their devices (that have the option set). This is great because it saves me having to manually sync and updated my devices if I want those things on them.

This worked great for a while. However, another update (iOS 5.01) and something strange started happening. At first I didn’t know what was going on, but I was forced to enter my AppleID password when I woke up either my iPhone or my iPad. Later I realized that the password was to allow those new apps to be installed. OK, fine. No problem.

However, I also noticed (not at the same time) that when I woke up my iPhone or iPad, that the device would freeze up for about 10-15 seconds about 5 seconds after being woke up. It also happens when I unplug the device from a charger.

If I watch the icons on the home screens, I notice that they go from normal, to what appears to be updating (even though the device is not updating) back to normal during the time window that the device freezes. Here is a screenshot of that freeze time:

IPad TM

The boxed icons are not being updated or installed (at least not via normal means), but something is happening when woken up or unplugged.

If I happen to be running an app when this happens, usually after unplugging from a charger, the app will crash after freezing for a short period of time.

I have a 32GB iPad (1st gen) with 8.5GB’s free. I have 409 apps installed currently.

IPad Resources TM

This happens after a cold boot, after it’s been running for weeks, with no apps running in background (multitasking bar is empty) or has apps in the multitasking bar. I’ve free’d up memory using an app that I still have that allows me to “free” up memory in the way that Apple insists we should not have the ability to do.

To be fair, I haven’t looked at Apple’s forums for this answer because I expect to find many people asking the question and few reasonable answers. If I do find a reasonable answer, I’ll post it here.

Please, if anyone has an idea of what is going on, please post a comment!

Thanks.

Hollywood, it’s time to get with the times!


Feature smart phoneAm I the only one watching scripted television shows that show actors answering their iPhones or Android phones with the home screens showing? Or with the iPhone screen glowing in the actor’s ear? Not to mention the phone “beeping” when they answer it or hang up?

Smart phones don’t “beep” when you answer them! I suppose you could modify the sounds a jailbroken iPhone makes when answering the phone to beep, but who would want to?

It’s like watching those older action shows where the car’s tires are squealing on “wet” pavement or worse sandy, gravel or dirt roads!

Why are these mistakes still being made and why do the bug the crap out of me?!

“The new iPad”


Ipad logoFirst off, I am not going to over detail by detail about The new iPad. Every other Apple blog on the planet has done so ad nauseam. I don’t need to add to that noise.

I really just wanted to address a couple of things about the new things Apple announced today.

#1: The name. “The new iPad”? Really? So the product line is:

  • iPad                  (First gen)
  • iPad 2               (Second gen)
  • The new iPad  (Third gen)

The new ipad

#2: Resolutionary. Again, really? Marketers… So sad.

#3: We can finally delete photos in the Photo Stream! What was Apple thinking when they released Photo Stream and didn’t allow users to delete photos in the stream. Now if they would allow us to configure our device not to send screen shots to the Photo Stream…

OK, what ever guys. Almost all the new software for the iPad will not work on my first gen iPad. iPhoto for iPad should work on my iPad. I have pictures on my iPad, I want to be able to edit photos with my iPad. Why can’t I use iPhoto for iPad on my first gen?! I don’t care in the least that I can’t take pictures with my iPad!

Adobe has a new Photoshop app for the iPad that I can’t install on my iPad for the same stupid reason. I don’t have a camera on my device! I don’t freaking care!

Sure, I know, Apple wants me to update my iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, AppleTV and Mac’s every year. There are plenty of Apple fanboys that will indeed update their toys every year. However, there are plenty of us users that consider a two year old computer to still be current! My Mac Pro is over 5 years old now and still runs just fine, can play pretty much all the games that are released for the computer.

I use that analogy, yet the new Mountain Lion OS coming out this summer will not work on my Mac Pro.

A lot of tech journalists say that Google’s Android platform is fragmented. I posit that Apple’s iOS devices are pretty fragmented. I have 3 iPhones here in the house. A first gen that is nothing more than a first gen iPod touch. An iPhone 3G that can’t even use the MLB.com At Bat ’12! It only works on iOS 5.01 or greater.

I wonder what the numbers are for iPhones and iPads that are still working in the wild. I have to assume that there are many folks that still have first gen iPad’s like myself. The difference between the original iPad and the iPad 2 was just not that much difference.

Sheesh, alright, that’s enough.

Terra Nova Cancelled!


TnovaI just learned that Terra Nova has been cancelled! I’m really disappointed in this news. I was really starting to enjoy the show.

At first I was a bit confused by all the different challenges the Shannon family had to deal with. The “6’ers”, the environment and being a family with two teenage kids and a much younger child (which they were not supposed to have.

I was very impressed with the talent they pulled for this show. I mean there was lets see, Steven Spielberg, Stephen Lang of Avatar fame, Jason O’Mara of Life on Mars (American version) … OK, I’m probably the only one who liked that series, and Christine Adams of Batman Begins, TRON: Legacy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Heroes, Pushing Daisies, Doctor Who, Stargate SG-1 and even EastEnders! (OK, that last one was only because I used to watch EastEnders when our local PBS channel put it on a long time ago. BBCA had it on for a little while, but I guess British soap opera’s just don’t have the charm that American ones do.)

I have to assume that Falling Skies has also bit the dust, but I haven’t heard anything about it yet. The site I use to keep up on shows that are cancelled is showing Falling Skies as returning Summer 2012. I guess we shall see. IMDB.com has a listing for episode 1 and episode 4 of season two.

To be fair, Falling Skies did have a grittier feel to it than Terra Nova. Maybe folks were expecting Jurassic Park. :shrug:

Android Measuring Stick: the iOS Stick


Apple iOS LogoNine days ago, I posted some info I found on how Android was fairing over each of it’s versions.

Today, pxldot posted a second article showing graphs of how iOS fairs over time and compares the two.

The graph that fascinated me the most  was one showing Version share by weeks after release. As Android barely gets to 70%, iOS gets to over 90%. More importantly, iOS 5 is at 75% now and Ice Cream Sandwich is nowhere to be seen. In fact, Honeycomb and ICS are both not even shown on the graph.

Version 20Share 20by 20Weeks 20After 20Launch 20with 20Android

In fact, Chris Sauve posts:

Even more astounding is that 15 weeks after launch iOS 4 was at 70% and iOS 5 was at 60% while Ice Cream Sandwich got to just 1% share at the same age.

So ICS is not forgotten in that graph.

NBC Nightly News reports asteroid to make close pass!


Wpid US astronomer Phil Plait has said we have nothing to fear from 2012 DA14 for nowOh My!

So I’m watching NBC’s Nightly News via a podcast last night when Brian Williams starts telling us about an upcoming asteroid near miss. He very briefly mentions “We’ll be hearing a lot about this in the next 11 months…”.

To be fair, the asteroid will pass pretty close. 16,800 miles at it’s closest pass and that is an estimate based on what little data astronomers have acquired since Feb. 23 when it was discovered. Some info on 2012 DA14 can be found here.

The end of the sound byte stats: “The experts all say there is nothing wrong with making sure your affairs are in order.” Wow! Talk about news sensationalism! What a load of crap. (Sorry about the stupid ad pre-roll. It’s MSNBC’s fault.)

Here is a link to the video. (Sorry couldn’t embed it, thanks WordPress.com!)

I have learned to take what the talking heads on TV say with a huge grain of salt. This because when they discuss topics I actually do know something about, they typically get the facts completely wrong or way over hyped. Case in point, Google’s new privacy policy.

I usually head over to Phil Plait’s website, the creator of Bad Astronomy, to see what a true expert has to say. It’s clear that everyone who is any one in Astronomy is saying that it will miss us next year.

Even if it did hit us, from what Wikipedia says, it would produce an event the size of Tunguska impact. If that happened over a populated city, there would be huge devastation. However, if it hit unpopulated land or water, the event might go unnoticed.

So, to offset MSNBC’s scary graph behind Brian, I’ll copy this image stolen from Phil’s website:

Impact no