All of the sudden Facebook for Android stopped working [U-Verse]

Starting this week, Facebook for Android stopped working while under my home network. At first I thought it was just an issue with my Access Points, and rebooted. It did not fix the problem, so I went ahead and rebooted my main router running DD-WRT. Still with the same issue, I decided to reboot the U-Verse gateway. Unfortunately nothing seemed to fix the problem.

I performed some research online and found out that by changing the MTU size of my main router, it might fix the problem. I went ahead and plugged in 1492 instead of the default 1500; done. It fixed the issue immediately.

I wonder why it started happening all of the sudden as it never gave me any problems with the MTU size of 1500 for at least a couple of years. My guess, AT&T made some changes.

Go to this link for instructions on how to get the best MTU size.

Ping Test

Latest release of Spotify for Android

Spotify has a preview release for Android downloadable from their website. I have been using it for a few days now and I am pretty happy with the enhancements.

Annoying bugs/issues that I experienced with the previous release, now fixed:

  • App Crashing every time a song was added to a playlist.
  • Gap between songs that made continuous mixes terrible to listen to.
  • No  “similar artists” feature.

Official List of enhancements:

  • Totally new app with full support for Android 4.0
  • Top-to-bottom redesign
  • All-new slide-out navigation
  • Even more social – check out friends’ profile pages and playlists on the go
  • Artist imagery in high resolution
  • Related artist view – available for the first time on mobile
  • ‘Extreme’ sound quality setting for 320kbps listening
  • So much faster

Features that will be added to the final release:

  • scrobblling
  • Folder support

You can download the preview version here.


Source: Spotify blog.


Your Smartphone. What if you lose it? [Security]

Ever thought of that scenario? Not yet? Better start thinking about it now. If you work for a large corporation you might already be backed up by an enterprise level security system, but if you are not, then it’s time to get something in place to protect your information.

Work/Personal email, text messaging, sensitive documents, Facebook, Twitter, personal banking applications; you name them. An stranger can get access to them very easily (with banking application might be trickier, but at least they can try).

I use two products to protect my Android based phone in the case it gets lost or stolen.

  1. Protector, an application that allows to setup a pin to access certain applications (fully configurable). This is very useful when you want to lend your smartphone to a friend for them to search but not allow them to open your email inbox for example.
  2. Lookoput (available for Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry). Protects your phone from viruses and backs up your information to their systems (calls, sms, etc). If you pay you get the premium options to locate, remote lock and remote wipe. These last 3 are the most important features for me.


There are several other products out there you can try yourself.

Good Luck!

Maintaining Passwords. What do I do?

It comes with no surprise to me that online database of passwords are being hacked. Last week Gawker Media got compromised and their password database stolen. Passwords were stored in an encrypted format but are still prone to dictionary attacks.

So how do I do it?

I use a different password for every account I create online. I combine uppercase, lowercase, numbers and non-alphabetical characters when possible.

How do I keep up with different passwords?

Well with so many passwords it is almost impossible for me to remember them. I use an excellent software: KeePass.

Do I create my own Passwords?

I do mostly. But lately I have let KeePass generate them for me.

How do I access my own password database from different places?

The easy way? Storing the password database on a USB thumb drive. Just make sure that the database has a strong password for accessing it.

The convenient way? Synchronizing to the cloud. I use DropBox for that matter. I can download from the website, or if feasible, install the DropBox and KeePass application on the local machine where I am working on.

KeePass Password Safe

KeePass Password Safe

What If I need to access the site using my SmartPhone?

No problem. I installed DropBox and KeePass for Android. Both Applications are available for pretty much all mobile platforms.

Is my smartphone saving passwords for websites?

Yes, for convenience, although it is a security concern.

What if my phone gets lost/stolen?

I installed Android Protector and the most sensitive applications require a PIN to access it. I have also installed Lookout for Android which allows me to backup sensitive data to the cloud, remote lock, remote locate and the best option, remote wipe.

Do I change my passwords?

Yes. Every 3 months at the most.

This is what I do for my passwords. How do you do it?

Figuring out Android internals

My first task was to change the ringtone to music I used to have in my Windows phone. A simple search let me to a guide with this information:

Music/ – Media scanner classifies all media found here as user music.
Podcasts/ – Media scanner classifies all media found here as a podcast.
Ringtones/ – Media scanner classifies all media found here as a ringtone.
Alarms/ – Media scanner classifies all media found here as an alarm sound.
Notifications/ – Media scanner classifies all media found here as a notification sound.
Pictures/ – All photos (excluding those taken with the camera).
Movies/ – All movies (excluding those taken with the camcorder).
Download/ – Miscellaneous downloads.

These are under the media folder located in the microSD card. As soon as the Android phone is plugged to a PC, a USB Mass Storage device is detected and drivers are installed.

My second task was to have the ability to browse the storage card within Android (kind of File Explorer on Windows Phone). I found Astro file manager and installed it.

My third task was to find applications I used often in other environments and install them into the device. TweetDeck, Foursquare, Skyfire, Retro Radio and Google Reader came to mind. Facebbok and Twitter apps came pre-installed.

Fourth task. Figure out why is my device losing signal in my house. This is ironic because I used to laugh at the iPhone 4 when all the articles of bad reception popped up a week after it was launched. Several sites started posting funny pics about it. Well it is just bad luck as my Windows Phone has better reception. I figured out spots where I can leave it and let it get some signal.

The situation prompt me to ask a question on Twitter. 2 mentions came back quickly pointing out about WiFi calling. This is why Twitter is so awesome!

So my fifth task was to research about Wifi Calling and try to make it work. Well this wasn’t as trivial, as I needed to follow these steps:

  1. Download the Android SDK and install
  2. Install USB drivers – but seems that this method did not work properly in my machine
  3. Download proper X64 USB drivers
  4. Download the T-Mobile Wifi-Calling App
  5. Plug in the G2 to my PC
  6. Enable usb debugging option in the device
  7. Open the Device Manager, find out the new device that has no drivers and update it with the ones you just downloaded
  8. Open the command prompt window and change the folder to “tools” under the android SDK folder
  9. Issue adb commands:
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

C:\Users\Oscar>cd C:\Users\Oscar\Downloads\android sdk\tools

C:\Users\Oscar\Downloads\android sdk\tools>adb devices
* daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
* daemon started successfully *
List of devices attached
HT09XR207992    device

C:\Users\Oscar\Downloads\android sdk\tools>adb devices
List of devices attached
HT09XR207992    device

C:\Users\Oscar\Downloads\android sdk\tools>adb install WiFiCalling.apk
2565 KB/s (3478662 bytes in 1.324s)
        pkg: /data/local/tmp/WiFiCalling.apk

C:\Users\Oscar\Downloads\android sdk\tools>

I installed the Wi-Fi application but seems that T-Mobile has not enabled it on their end. I will wait and post as soon as I get any success using it.

Enjoy your [soon to be] Android phone.