How Corporate America Invented Christian America

If this article title pisses you off, then you need to read it more than anybody.

How Corporate America Invented Christian America

I couldn’t have thought such a ridiculous article title could exist if it wasn’t real.

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Why does Google keep advertising products to me that I just bought?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve bought an item through Chrome, only to see repetitive advertisements for that product in Google ads all over sites I visit. How bad does Google’s tailored ad engine have to be? Clarification: Google’s “AdWords” engine shows you ads based on what you search for in Google, which you can actually disable, but I’d rather see ads based on what I search for rather than random ads. You can tell it’s a Google ad if there’s a gray right-pointing arrow at the top, and hovering over it says “Ad Choices”, which actually takes you to your ad choices.

Case in point: I bought a Nexus 7, then about every three websites that had ads on it, there’s the Nexus 7 in a Google ad, sometimes in multiple places. For weeks afterword, all these Nexus 7 ads, which are more annoying to me than random ads because – I’ve already bought the Nexus 7!

While I’ve seen other examples excessively, such as websites I just visited or signed into, the latest example is a Harry’s shaver, which I bought to try out and decided I didn’t like it as much as my Mach 3 razors. They actually subsided for a while, but since clicking a link in one of their emails to view a new product, I’m getting spammed with Harry’s ads again. Yes, I can tweak them, but that’s a pain if I have to keep doing it for new things. Especially now that I don’t want anything to do with Harry’s shavers, I can’t avoid the bad taste in my mouth every time I see one of them jumping out at me again from Google’s silver platter.

So thanks Google, but no thanks, your ad engine is excessive and knuckleheaded, and while it seems to spam me more if I’ve actually made a purchase (probably just because I clicked more sites to review the item), it needs a little bit better salting to get ads a little outside of the circle you draw me in when I click on things.

Google-ads-Harrys

The smartphone FM radio tuner app conspiracy

Ever wanted to tune FM radio on your smartphone but there’s no app for that?

Well, there’s a reason for it, and it’s not because carriers or manufacturers think there’s not enough demand, it’s because carriers want to charge you for data for streaming those local radio stations through the internet rather than just letting you tune them through an app, and they’ve been successful at hampering that with manufacturers (who don’t really care) and software providers like Google and Apple who provide their own streaming services.

Think targeting local radio stations is too small of a piece of pie for the carriers to go after? Think again, they’re worth millions per year.

http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/114916/the-price-of-fm-in-sprint-phones-15-million-worth-

You may not want to read or will understand the whole article, but that’s the reason why. And here I thought phones were about doing stuff.

I’m surprised there’s no laws in Europe against this, but I think the radio broadcasters would be fighting tooth-and-nail to get FM tuner apps on smartphones.

Also, your smartphone can technically tune TV stations… but there’s no apps for that either 🙂

Here’s a more in-depth post by an engineer like myself about it, who actually wrote an app that tunes FM radio, though most phones have to be hacked to make it work.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=37641690

Why your Android phone might be slowing down

After months of trying to figure out why my phone is slowing down, I just randomly discovered that deleting a bunch of data from the internal memory storage causes it to run fast no matter what apps I’ve got on the phone or what’s on the removable microSD card.

While I do have an old phone (for now), this may apply to current phones, and I do believe in keeping them alive as long as I can and I still utilize every device I’ve retired (jukeboxes, video/game players, backup phones, whatever), so hopefully this will be helpful to you or users like that.

I use a Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX and the Android Assistant app to back up the apps before I update any of them just in case the newest version sucks (more often than I’d expect). When I was running low on memory, I moved them to my laptop, and low and behold, the phone started running faster! I added other content along with continuing the backups over time, and my phone starts running slow again (this was also after several app installs, most of which go to the SD card). Because I had added different things, deleting those apps didn’t speed it up quite as much again, and since I wasn’t sure which was the problem, I just factory reset the phone and deleted all internal storage. It ran fast again of course so I experimented with installing apps.

After all the experimentation, the only thing that consistently keeps the phone running fast is keeping the internal storage usage low. The internal memory is not RAM (of which my phone has 1GB), and it is not the SD card, it is pre-installed non-removable flash memory where app data is saved. I only store music and camera stuff on the SD card, and the phone’s behavior did not change no matter what I had on there. It is still running fast even with multiple anti-malware scanners on it.

I really can’t explain how keeping the internal storage down causes the phone to run fast, but it may be because of the way the file system is scanned or its index (folder/file map) is stored in RAM and is being constantly inefficiently (maybe necessarily) scanned. There is a quirk in flash memory where deleting data can slow down access times, but I wasn’t constantly doing that. In Android 4.3, Google added an optimization called TRIM which frees up deleted data (that gets technical and I won’t explain it here), but that’s not available on my 4.1.2 phone (which is the final update for it).

If it’s not that, then Motorola just programmed the phone very inefficiently, and I have no way to test that, but I can say that I haven’t noticed speed decreases with more data usage on my Galaxy Tab and Droid 2, which also have their own internal storage, but I don’t use a high percentage of data on them (most of it goes to the SD card).

In case you are having this issue, check that you are running Android 4.3 or above, and if not, delete as much as you can from the internal storage (check the online guides for this and make sure you’re deleting extraneous data in the right memory location), and see how the performance is.

Awesome battery-saving tips for your Android phone

battery

Have an iPhone? Go somewhere else. Well, OK, these might apply to you, Mr. Restricted iPhone User.

Since I upgraded my phone to the Moto X from the Droid RAZR MAXX (which has the 2nd biggest battery in the business), I’ve been looking at tips for saving battery on my phone. What an astonishment to see how many useless things are running that nobody really needs (this might apply to you too, iPhone users).

The plucky user “ecky” of the Republic Wireless community put together a fabulous list of things to configure to save mammoth battery life, possibly causing your phone to last as long as a Droid MAXX (which has the biggest battery in the business):

https://community.republicwireless.com/message/206278#206278

Knock yourself out. I know I will be hitting this list frequently to test some things out. Cheers!