How To Use Your Nexus One as a Wireless Router | Portable Hotspot

Here is a simple little guide on how to get going with your Nexus One’s Portable Hotspot feature.

First of all – make sure you have the latest release of the android OS (2.2 at this point.) 2.2 (or Froyo) has been the first version so far to offer the wireless hotpot feature – we sincerely hope it’s not the last.. Our testing has been done on the AT&T version of the devices using the Rogers Wireless (Canada) and At&T (US) networks – but we’re quite confident it would work just the same on any cellular network – provided you have a data plan with that company

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Wireless and Networks
  3. Select Tethering and Portable Hotspot
  4. Check the box next to Portable Wi-Fi hotpot (the network is now enable)
  5. Not go to Portable Wi-Fi hotspot settings
  6. Configure Wi-Fi Hotspot
  7. Set the name of your network
  8. Set the security to WPA2PSK
  9. Set a password for your hotspot and click Save
  10. Now simple go to you computer, scan for wireless networks and connect to your portable hotspot using the password you just created

Pretty simple – but we though it might be helpful to a few people.

The Best Canadian Points Credit Cards as of July 2010

The Canadian credit card scene has changed slightly in the past few months with the introduction of travel rewards cards from Scotia Bank and BMO. These 2 Canadian banks did not offer competitive rewards cards in the past, but that seems to have changed. So are these cards better than some of the others we have already? Well it depends what you are looking for.

The big three cards of the past have been the TD Infinite Visa, the RBC Avion Infinite Visa and the CIBC Aero Gold Infinite Visa. The New are the ScotiaGold Passport Visa and the BMO World Elite MasterCard.

Scotia card comes with 20,000 initial bonus points, plus 10,000 more at the end of the first year. The 30,000 points are estimated to be worth $300 in real money (mind you this will come after paying $209 in annual fees – $99 for the first year and 110 for the second.)

The BMO card carries a fee of $150 per year – this is the highest of any of the major Canadian Travel Rewards cards. The card comes with a signup bonus of $15,000 points, or about $285.

Of the pre-existing cards the real competition has seemed to be between TD and CIBC. If you put a lot of value on being able to choose your travel and then use points to pay for it, go with TD. If, on the other hand, you simply want to be able to trade your points for their maximum cash value and you don’t really mind picking your flight/vacation from a list provided by the bank – go with the CIBC Aero Gold.

In terms of sign-up bonus RBC and CIBC are closely tied – RBC however seems to put a maximum value on flights to be purchased with points (we have not seen this to be the case with CIBC, although this is just based on our personal research.) When it comes to trading TD points for real dollars, the exchange rate is poor, but as we stated above, you do get the luxury of buying your travel from just about anywhere.

The Final Verdict: Although it is exciting that Scotia and BMO are getting into the travel reward cards market, we feel the best deal to the consumer is to go with one of the older cards. As far as we can tell, the best way to get the most free money out of a Canadian Travel Rewards card is to go with the CIBC AeroGold Infinite Visa. This card comes with an exceptional initial bonus ($15,000 points – worth somewhere in the area of $300,) an annual fee of $120, and a point rate of 1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent or 1.5 if spent on gas or groceries. We’ve estimated each Aeroplan point to be worth about 1.8 cents. So you are getting approximately 1.8% back on every purchase you make. If you are buying gas or groceries, you are getting about 2.7% back.

Long MP3s like Audio Books Not Working in Android

Although Android 2.2 has brought us a ton of incredible new features (including the portable wifi hotspot which I am using right now) it appears to also have introduced a few new bugs. One of these bugs results in longer audio files (such as audio books) not playing correctly in the native music player. It appears to set the length of all these longer files (1 hour plus) to 3 to 4 minutes. It then procedes to play beyond the end of the progress bar in order to finish the file. So you are able to listen to the entire file, but you are not able to jump to portions outside of the first 3 or 4 minutes – pretty frustrating…

Does anybody know if there is some kind of work around for this? Is there a better audio player for android that doesn’t include this annoying new bug?

BlackBerry to iPhone Instant Messaging | Kik Chat

The new way to chat between iPhone and Blackberry is Kik Chat. iPhone and Blackberry Messenger users can finally find some common ground with Kik Chat. Kik lets you chat blackberry to blackberry, iPhone to iPhone (basically iPhone BBM) and most importantly, Blackberry to iPhone all over your phone’s data plan. Flawless instant messaging complete with Read reports (you get to see when the other person has read the message you sent – a feature all BBM users can’t do without) Anyone used to using BBM should check out the Unavailable feature in Kik. You can read all your messages without the sender seeing that you have read them, BUT in order to send a message, you will have to return to available mode.

Unlimited Free SMS on BlackBerry

Kik chat settings

Right now you can get unlimited free SMS on BlackBerry though Kik chat!

Just open up Kik,
Go to settings
Click “SMS Credits (xxx left)”

You will instantly be topped back up to 150 SMS credits. Next time you are running low, just click the button again – unlimited SMS on blackberry! We’re not sure how long this deal is going to last, but you might as well make the most of it for now.


Kik Chat Details:

INSTANT: Just start texting any mobile phone number in your phone’s address book and we automatically get it through. You can forget about requesting or following your friends, or trying to figure out who is and isn’t on Kik. Woohoo!
UNLIMITED FREE KIK-TO-KIK: Get unlimited, free texting to all Kik users! So send your friends a free Kik message telling them to join.

TWO WAY KIK-TO-NON-KIK: Stay connected to non-Kik users with 50 free outgoing SMS messages a month (unlimited free incoming). Additional outgoing messages are less than a cent. But hey, why not save the $0.009 by getting your friends to download Kik?
REAL NUMBERS = REAL RELIABILITY: Thanks to special arrangements with US and Canadian carriers, we send your Kik-to-Non-Kik messages through real mobile phone numbers. That guarantees fast delivery of every Kik-to-Non-Kik text. Nice! Most other services still rely on email to SMS gateways, which means your texts can take up to 8 hours to deliver. Sooo 2009.

BLACKBERRY AND IPHONE PEACEMAKER: We took the time to develop an awesome app for both BlackBerry AND iPhone. Now you can easily and reliably text your iPhone and BlackBerry friends for free.
NO LONG DISTANCE SMS CHARGES: Your friends who haven’t yet joined Kik can reply without paying long distance SMS charges. How so? We automatically assign you a local texting phone number in each country we support (currently US and Canada).
FUNCTIONAL STATUS: Have time to read a message, but not respond? Don’t worry, we won’t rat you out. BBM users know why you’ll love this feature. 🙂

Try our new KIK online application.
You can access KIK from the web here

Beyond Chat
Kik Chat is cool, yes. But there’s much more to come. Kik is all about sharing and connecting – starting today with your thoughts, and soon music, pictures and video. Chat is the foundation for the unfolding Kik community.
Speaking of music… we’re on target for a Q2 launch of our mobile streaming service in the US and Canada. As we speak, we’re fine-tuning the service and finalizing licensing. This will be a truly unique on-demand model that takes music sharing to a paid service. Exactly as promised.
We’re also well underway with design and planning for video and picture sharing. And, of course, we’ve started building out the website, starting with chat (www.kik.com).

Download Latest BlackBerry 8900 OS 5.0.0.509

As of March 16, the latest OS to be released for the BlackBerry Curve 8900 is 5.0.0.509.

This is not a leaked version, this is an official 5.0 release. Currently the only carrier making it available for download (from the blackberry.com site) is Wind Hellas.

To Download the new OS (note, people have reported this sometimes fails in chrome and Firefox:

  1. Go to the blackberry download site: http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/downloads/#tab_tab_desktop
  2. Click “Access your service provider download site”
  3. Under Europe, Select Wind Hellas
  4. Select BlackBerry Curve 8900 and download the software
  5. Alternatively, you could try this rapidshare link: http://rs659.rapidshare.com/files/358651130/8900M_PBr5.0.0_rel860_PL5.2.0.47_A5.0.0.509_Wind_Hellas.exe
  6. You can check out our guide on how to load a blackberry beta os if you need some help installing an os that’s not from your carrier

How to Buy a Laptop

This article explains the best way to go about purchasing a new laptop.

Netbook or Notebook?

First of all, I’m sure the possibility of buying a netbook has crossed your mind. We strongly recommend against it. There was a time that netbooks were so much cheaper than larger laptops that it was worth putting up with all their issues. This no longer applies – full sized laptops are now priced at a level that makes them a better solution than a netback no matter what your budget is. I’m sure a quick google search of “why netbooks suck” will be enough to talk you out of this useless laptop alternative.

Size

You are buying a laptop because it is a portable computer. If you really only see yourself using it at a desk, then buy a desktop. You pay a huge premium for the portability of a laptop. On average, if you were to spend the same amount of money on a desktop, the computer you could afford would be 3 times as fast (or 3 times better) than a similarly priced laptop.

Maybe you think that you want a portable computer, but you will still be using it at a desk quite often. If this is the case, you might be tempted to get a laptop with a very large screen (in the range of 15″ to 17″.) People who buy 17″ laptops are invariably disappointed. A bigger screen almost always means a heavier, noisier, hotter computer. A 15.4″ screen is as large a laptop as you would ever want. We recommend smaller: Either 13.3″, 14″ or 12″. These are the three best sizes of laptop. If you end up using your laptop at a desk most of the time, you should go buy an external monitor.

NOTE: In most cases a larger screen DOES NOT mean you can see more – how much you can see on your screen is limited by the screen’s pixels or resolution and most manufacturers use the same resolution in all of their screen sizes (typically 1280×800.) A larger screen offers fewer benefits than you might expect.

Price

There are basically 2 schools of thought on how much you should pay for a laptop. You can either buy a cheap one and replace it in exactly 2 years, or buy an expensive one and keep it for 4 years. When the laptop performance was shooting up every month, it was a better idea to stick to cheap ones and replace them often. Today however (and for the past year or so) laptop performance as been comparatively stagnant. Most of the time, the big factor in replacing your laptop is the release of a new version of Windows that would run too slowly on your old computer. For the first time in Microsoft history they released a version of windows that was less physically demanding on your computer than their last release. Windows 7 runs better on almost all computers than Windows Vista. This demonstrates that it is no longer that important to constantly upgrade the performance (RAM, CPU, Videocard) or your laptop. We recommend purchasing more expensive laptop and keeping it for a longer period of time. That said, if you do not need a top of the line machine, go with a cheaper one – there is no rule that says you HAVE to replace it in 2 years.

Options

If you want an expensive laptop go with one of the following: Macbook Pro, Lenovo Thinkpad T400, Lenovo Thinkpad X200, Dell Studio XPS, Dell Latitude.

If you want a cheaper laptop, go with one of these: HP Pavilion, Acer Aspire, Dell Inspiron, Gateway.

Hope that helps! Feel free to post comments or questions about your laptop purchasing experience.