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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More An(Droid X) Suggestions

Previously I wrote about things I liked, didn't like and a few suggestions about my Droid X.  Here are some more suggestions - things that would make this pretty great phone that much better.
  • Enable copying phone numbers, email addresses, etc. directly from contact screen.  Currently I have to edit the contact to be able to copy any info from the contact.
  • Preserve position in contact list.  Can't remember exact circumstances right now but there are some times when if you scroll down to a contact, open it, then go back the list isn't at the point you were previously, rather it goes back to the top of the list.  UPDATE: I found at least one case where this happens: when in the contacts list from the phone app if you scroll down to a contact, open it, then close it takes you back to the top of the contact list.
  • Under recent calls give me the ability to clear just missed calls, or other.  Currently it's all or nothing.  Tonight I wanted to clear my recent calls (only) and was forced to clear the whole list, which didn't make me very happy.
  • In the Android Market give me the ability to flag an app, or add it to a "favorites" list.  Often I find apps which I may not want to install right at the moment, but have no easy way to flag, tag or otherwise remember.
  • Give me more control over the screen lock/unlock.  Namely I want to have maybe a 20-30 minute delay before the screen locks (requiring pattern, pin or password to unlock), but also the ability to manually lock the screen, say with a quick press of the power button.
  • Give me the ability to add third-party app shortcuts to the Messaging folder/app.
  • Front-facing camera.  I know it'll never happen on my phone, but. . . .

Monday, December 27, 2010

iPhone 4 vs. HTC Evo - Funny Video

This is so freaking funny!  I've seen this before, but had to post it here to have it close by.

This hits the nail on the head with the boneheads that drink the Apple Koolaid - that have to have an iPhone because they are so cool.



WARNING: contains "adult" language - a few well-placed f-word's.  It this offends you don't watch the video.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Is Gingerbread Here!?! Android version 2.3.340 for Droid X

On a whim I just checked for system updates for my Droid X and to my great surprise and pleasure 2.3.340 (is it Gingerbread?) is available.  I'm downloading it as I write.  Once it's installed and I have a chance to check it out I'll post more here. . .

Unfortunately it's not Gingerbread, but it should have some pretty good updates.

Hopefully it doesn't contain any more crapware!

Quest to Remove Droid Crapware

In my continued quest to remove Droid crapware from my Droid X this post is to provide some information about each (cr)app including contact info.
See How To Remove City ID (and other crapware like Blockbuster, Skype and VZ Navigator) From Droid X (and other Android phones) for detailed instructions.
Droid Crapware
These are the (cr)apps that are frustrating me because I cannot remove them.
Amazon Kindle
Developers web page: amazon.com/kindleapps
Email: kindleforandroid@amazon.com

Amazon MP3
Developers web page: amazonmp3.com
Email: digital-music-android-market@amazon.com

Backup Assistant

Developers web page: 
Email: 

Blockbuster
Developers web page: 
Phone: 866-692-2789

City ID
Developers web page: Cequint.com
Email: support@cequint.com
Phone: 206.264.1909

Madden NFL 11

Developers web page: 
Email: 

News and Weather
Developers web page: 
Email: 

VZ Navigator
Developers web page: 
Make A Difference
Tell the FCC that Verizon (or AT&T or Sprint or ...) is forcefully installing applications with no choice to remove them by filing a complaint with the FCC at esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm. You can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Center by e-mailing fccinfo@fcc.gov; calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; or faxing 1-866-418-0232.  I suppose if enough people complain Verizon will stop trying to force this crap down our throats!

Droid X Crapware

I've written before that I really like my Droid X Android phone, but there are a number of things I don't particularly like (see Things I Hate About My Droid X), especially the crapware that Motorola and Verizon force down my throat (see Blockbuster Android (cr)App).  While I don't have to run the (cr)apps (and I WILL NOT use any of them - see list below) I am furious that I cannot remove them.
See How To Remove City ID (and other crapware like Blockbuster, Skype and VZ Navigator) From Droid X (and other Android phones) for detailed instructions.
I purchased this phone with my money, my hard-earned money.  It's mine.  I should be able to use it any way I wish.  Namely I should be able to uninstall any (cr)app I don't want.  But for whatever reason Motorola and Verizon have decided I have to have them and cannot remove them without rooting my phone.

I hate purchasing or even working on "consumer" computers because they always have pre-installed applications that are, for the most part, junk.  But the great thing about this crap on computers is that I can either uninstall any or all of these (cr)applications or reinstall the OS, and guess what, they are gone.

But neither is possible on this and many other smart phones.  Why not?  If Microsoft were to bundle this kind of crap with Windows and make it so you couldn't remove it the FTC would have a tizzy and sue them immediately.  Why does our benevolent government allow companies like Motorola and Verizon to get away with it?

While I'm only one person and probably won't get very far on my own I'm hoping anyone with a Droid or other device will join in the fight.  I am on a mission to inform others along with fighting with and complaining about this issue.  I'm taking the fight to Motorola, Verizon and the companies whose (cr)apps I cannot remove (like Amazon, Blockbuster and Verizon themselves), and I am filing complaints with the FCC, FTC and any other appropriate governmental agency, and leaving negative feedback for each app in the Android Market.

Droid Crapware
These are the (cr)apps that are frustrating me because I cannot remove them.
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Amazon MP3
  • Backup Assistant
  • Blockbuster
  • City ID
  • Madden NFL 11 (installed compliments of Version.2.3.340)
  • News and Weather
  • Skype mobile
  • VZ Navigator
There are several other apps (3G Mobile Hotspot, My Verizon, YouTube, etc.) that cannot be removed, which for the most part I'm OK, either because I use them or they are benign.  But the list above has my blood boiling.  Mainly they are from other companies and most require subscription services or additional fees to use.  If I had to bet I'd say Motorola and Verizon are getting some kind of renumeration from all these services for purchases where the apps are force installed.

Bottom line: Motorola and Verizon let me uninstall these (cr)apps I don't want, don't need and will NEVER use.


Remove Android (cr)apps


Make A Difference
Tell the FCC that Verizon (or AT&T or Sprint or ...) is forcefully installing applications with no choice to remove them by filing a complaint with the FCC at esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm. You can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Center by e-mailing fccinfo@fcc.gov; calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; or faxing 1-866-418-0232.  I suppose if enough people complain Verizon will stop trying to force this crap down our throats!

See also Quest to Remove Droid Crapware for more info.

Blockbuster Android (cr)App

See How To Remove City ID (and other crapware like Blockbuster, Skype and VZ Navigator) From Droid X (and other Android phones) for detailed instructions.
Dear Blockbuster,
You and your partners in crime (Motorola and Verizon) can all kiss my ass! It upsets me when crapware is installed on any device, but when I can't remove it that really upsets me. Thanks to you installing your unremovable (cr)app I will NEVER again set foot in one of your stores, rent from one of your kiosks or use any of your services on any platform. Furthermore, I will use every opportunity to spread the word and make sure everyone knows of your unethical business practices.
This is a message I just sent Blockbuster to let them know I am not happy about their Android (cr)app that was conveniently installed on my nice new Droid X. As stated I will never again use any service by Blockbuster. Period.

It is appalling that I as the owner of my Android smart phone cannot uninstall this and several other apps!

I was sitting here this wintry Saturday afternoon watching a little TV and monkeying around with my Android. As I browsed through the list of apps I clicked on the pre-installed Blockbuster app. Right off I was told I'd have to update the app to even check it out. Undaunted I clicked OK and was taken to the Android Market. While reading about the app I noticed it was rated only 2 1/2 stars, so naturally I looked through several comments. Virtually every recent comment rated the app 1 star and complained about not being able to uninstall it.

After leaving my own 1 start rating and scathing comment I emailed the above message to Blockbuster (ondemandcustomercare@blockbuster.com) and tried to call them (866-692-2789). Their automated phone system kindly informed me that they were experiencing higher than normal call volume so I decided to call back later. And I will. I will let them know of my extreme displeasure of their app being forced upon me and my inability to remove it from my Android, and that I will never use any of their services (did I already say that? I may be a little upset right now. . .). I'm sure my complaints will fall on deaf ears but it should make me feel better to vent.

There are a slew of these uninstallable (cr)apps on my Android thanks to Motorola and Verizon. I did file a complaint with the FTC a couple months ago but who knows what'll happen with that.

Basically I just want full control of my Android. Kind of like I have with my computer. What a novel idea. . .

UPDATE
I recently ran across this great article, "Crapware on Android: Minor Annoyance or Major Problem?" over at tested.com (he ripped off most of this LA Times article, "'Junkware' comes standard on Verizon, T-Mobile smart phones," but did add some good stuff).  In it Ryan Whitwam hits the nail on the head with these points:
  • "If you make an amazing phone, it will be amazing and people will notice. Piling on more and more sponsored software hurts the experience."
  • "Many of these apps are also poorly coded, and meant mainly as a promotional vehicle. Don't be surprised to see them running in the background when there's no need for it."
  • "...these apps are just sitting there taking up space on the phone's internal storage. Depending on the handset, that could be a big chunk of usable ROM space. This is even more infuriating because the bundled apps often duplicate the functions of standard Android apps."
  • "...having all these "value-added" apps is going to slow your updates. We already know that running a skinned version of Android will result in a delay in moving to the newest version of Android, but the testing and porting of all this junk software isn't going to help."
Tell the FCC that Verizon (or AT&T or Sprint or ...) is forcefully installing applications with no choice to remove them by filing a complaint with the FCC at esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm. You can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Center by e-mailing fccinfo@fcc.gov; calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; or faxing 1-866-418-0232.  I suppose if enough people complain Verizon will stop trying to force this crap down our throats!

See also

Coyote rescued from slab of ice in Lake Michigan

Why?  Why the hell would firefighters in Michigan waste their time, more importantly precious resources to rescue a nuisance like a coyote?  How many thousands of dollars of tax money were wasted to save this animal?  Absolutely ridiculous!

Coyote's are a pest, often killed to keep them from molesting domestic animals like chickens, cows and family pets.

I'm sure the same bleeding hearts who say we interfere with nature too much are applauding this - saving this poor freezing varmint that would die without our interference.

Let the damn coyote die.  Save the money.  Don't spend my tax money on something like this ever again!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Funding cuts leave many without home heating assistance

This article from Macon, GA details the plight of poor souls who aren't able to get "assistance" to pay their utility bills to heat there houses.  Pictured below is Raymeica Kelly who explains how her mother, sister and herself were turned away from the Energy Assistance Program last Wednesday morning after standing in line for four hours.  Four hours!  Ms. Kelly is showing her Georgia Power bills in the one warm room of her home.


Raymeica, get off your fat ass, get a job, take care of yourself and quit mooching!  Instead of spending 4 hours waiting for a hand out go to work and earn your own money.

I have absolutely no sympathy for someone who can afford a 50+ inch flat screen TV, Play Station, and other modern electronics, and obviously isn't lacking in the calorie intake area either.  Sell your electronics and pay your own damn bills & leave my taxes alone!

Monet Parham Sues "Evil" McDonalds

McDonalds is so evil Monet Parham with the help of The Center for Science in the Public Interest is sueing them, trying to make them stop luring unsuspecting kids with crappy plastic toys or at least make their Happy Meals healthier.  Ms. Parham is so tired of actually parenting and fighting her young daughter to eat something without a sweet toy that she's trying to compel a judge to force McDonald's to stop their dirty advertising practices.

Monet, shut the hell up and crawl back in your hole.  Sack up and tell your daughter who is boss.  I have kids myself and while it may be a little annoying when all they want to eat is a crappy meal at McDonald's I have no problem telling them no.  If they don't like it, tough.

Another thing Monet, turn off the TV and quit using it as a babysitter for your kid, then she won't be exposed to the evil empire of McDonald's.

While I agree that fast food is usually crappy food and the lure of a POS toy can be compelling, and very effective for selling their products to young kids, we need to take care of our selves.  Shut off the TV to keep your kids from seeing the ads in the first place.  Tell your kids no.  Teach your kids that you are boss.  Be a damn parent.  Don't rely on the courts or government to do that job for you.