The real flick keyboard 

Saturday, April 02, 2016 4:37:00 AM Categories: Arduino Gadgets Japan

As an April Fool's Google Japan made a Flick physical keyboard.

Designed for those who, accustomed to a flick keyboard on Android / iOS, is no longer able to use one for traditional computers. The website introduces it very well, even though he exaggerates with the functionality, with a laser tracking system that would look unrealistic even in science fiction movies.

What's really interesting thing is that they made available the source code: one could actually make this keyboard at home with Arduino, although it lacks a fundamental thing: the files for the 3D printer. Yes, I can recreate it at home, but the little box and cute keys? You have to design them yourself.

With the "recipe" that have published, what comes out is something like this:

Which it is quite different than the cool prototype shown in the video.

However, it works. With 12 analog nubs from a PS2 pad, they convert the 24 analog inputs to digital using three MCP3208 ICs, using only 5 digital inputs on the arduino nano, while the nub click is directly connected to the remaining 12 digital/analog inputs. After that, the program communicates via serial port with a card, and is seen as a bluetooth keyboard.

Despite the cool looking prototype, in my opinion it's actually awkward to use. If each key is using a PS2 analog stick, the click is much harder than one key on a standard keyboard, ok, maybe you can write a sentence, but a longer text? Best wishes!

I got a Kobo GLO HD 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 6:37:00 AM Categories: Books Gadgets

I wanted to buy an ebook reader, from a long time, for two simple reasons:

  1. The battery lasts for weeks and weeks
  2. You can read the screen very well in the sunlight

When I saw that the basic Kindle was in promotion at 59 euro (now it sells for $79) I almost ordered one, but then I didn't, for the following reasons:

  1. It shows ads, unless you pay an extra $20. I tried it in a store, and those ads on the home and the screensaver were really annoying
  2. I have to convert every single ebook in the Amazon proprietary format
  3. I have to convert every single manga in the Amazon proprietary format
  4. You can't install apps
  5. The screen is unreadable in the dark

My ideal reader would be based on Android, so I could install Dropbox, Pocket, an epub reader (ebook) and a CBR reader (manga).

You can find them on the market, but they all suck, with exorbitant prices (the e-ink screens are very expensive at wholesale) and have poor performance.I saw that it was possible to hack the Nook Simple Touch Glowlight and install Android 2.1.But I didn't really like this idea. First of all I would have paid $90 for a reader that was discontinued three years ago, and would have a low screen resolution, then surely customs would give me another 50 Euros of tax / duty / taxes "gift", and then it the end all I got would be an obsolete "hybrid" tablet with Android 2.1, and all the apps would be discontinued also: how long could I continue to use Dropbox, Pocket and other apps before a change of API would kill them?

I eventually found the KOBO GLO HD, which in Italy is sold directly on Amazon for 10 euro less than the official price (119 euro).

You can install apps on it? No, but its operating system based on Linux is very nicely done and I don't need to hack it.

  1. It can read CBR and CBZ comics, without conversion, just copy the files via USB
  2. It can read EPUB and PDF ebooks without the need for conversion or special sync programs
  3. It natively integrates with Pocket and syncs everything for automatic offline reading.Instead of reading a webpage on the PC, I click on the Pocket icon in my browser, and boom, I get them on the Kobo.Awesome!
  4. The screen is very bright
  5. The screen resolution is incredibly high

It would have been much more perfect if it had physical buttons instead of being 100% touch, but you can't have everything in life.

How to add an OneNote button to Firefox 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Sunday, July 05, 2015 10:26:00 AM Categories: Internet

OneNote it's a great Evernote alternative, but has two big problems for me:

  1. The Android app doesn't run very smoothly when it's emulated on BB10
  2. There isn't a "save on OneNote" button for Firefox

I solved the first problem with Do Note, for the second here's the solution:

First of all, install Custom Buttons, the go on the addons setup page: you'll find a new entry named "Custom Buttons". Create a new button, and under "startup code" insert this

var link = "javascript:(function(){if(typeof%20OneNoteBookmarklet==='undefined'){window.clipperId='ON-648444d0-04cf-4206-bf78-bb656ad9cfed';var%20jsCode=document.createElement('script');jsCode.setAttribute('src','');jsCode.setAttribute('id','oneNoteCaptureRootScript');jsCode.setAttribute('type','text/javascript');document.body.appendChild(jsCode);}})()"
this.leftclick = function(evt){
this.setAttribute( 'onclick', 'gQuot( event, this )' );

As icon, save this , then click on "Convert to Base64", so you can delete it from your drive.

How to use WhatsApp web on Firefox 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 5:44:00 AM Categories: Android BlackBerry Cellphones

Update: They changed something, right now Firefox works natively, no need to spoof the user agent anymore

Old article left for reference

As you might know, WhatsApp Web works only on Google Chrome... or that what they want us to believe! I don't know if they put such a limitation after some "money incentive" from Google, or just because they don't have enough funds to do testing on Firefox (I can understand this, they were valued just 20 billion dollars).

The truth is that on Firefox it will work very well, this is how to enable it:

First of all, download UAControl.

Install it and restart Firefox. Then search "chrome user agent" on Google and click on the first result. Copy the user agent (which is a browser identifying string). Then go to UAControl and add Chrome user agent for the address ""

Voilà! Magically, now WhatsApp Web works also on Firefox!

After pairing:

Notifications are working also:

What's weird is that if I go to see on my BlackBerry Z10, WhatsApp says that's connected to Firefox!!!

Codeanywhere - the review 

Saturday, February 21, 2015 2:06:00 PM Categories: Coding Internet

I clicked on "free account", I wrote an email and password and boom, already registred!

Once logged in it asked me which preinstalled "stack" I want to use, from: 

  • PHP
  • Node.js
  • Ruby
  • Python
  • C++
  • HTML5

Or, I can just connect to my own VM via SSH.

For example, PHP says:

PHP Development Box on Ubuntu 14.04 with Apache, PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin and Composer preinstalled. 

Starting up is very quick, the virtual machine is created in a few seconds, and Apache is already listening on port 80.

In less than a minute I can publish online a php file. 

It's well integrated with GIT. 

The only drawback is that everything is organized like "every project gets its own virtual machine", with GIT and Apache set to work in the main directory.

Of course, since it's a virtual machine, I can live without native integration, I configure Apache and git in my way via command line, but that's not as comfortable as doing with a few clicks.

It can automatically save files, but it's disabled by default, because the free version doesn't keep the edit history: if you pay you can get the history, and that's a nice feature for who doesn't want to use GIT and prefers to save on Dropbox

Another great thing is that the SSH public key of the virtual machine can be generated and copied with just one click on the username, so it's very fit for git. About git, when I have a commit, I can't select a single file, but it's "all or nothing". I think this is still because of the logic "every project gets its own virtual machine", and this makes sense: why should I sign up to the Freelance edition and pay $7 monthly if the free version can easily allow me to manage an unlimited amount of projects? If I don't pay I have to set and use apache/git/other tool from the command line. If I was to use this webapp everyday for work, the Freelance subscription would be a no-brainer. It's so handy to have a perfectly "clean" virtual machine with the right tools and always available for every project?

If you register to Codeanywhere using my link:
you will receive $15 in free credit if you sign up for a paid subscription.

List of online developing environments 

Monday, February 16, 2015 3:33:00 AM Categories: Coding

Now that there's the "cloud mania", there are dozens of websites that allow to code online without install any program on the local computer. That's perfect for who, like me, uses 2 computers at work, 2 computers at home, and often uses someone else's computer: the problem is that my free time is limited, but if I don't have all the tools set up as I need, I can't develop or continue a project.

In this way I could write something during lunch time break at work, continue it in my train commute, finishing at home.

The most promising online developing environments (cloud IDE) that I found are:

For me, the most important feature is native GIT support. It looks like that all those seven webapps have this feature.

First of all, I will try codeanywhere, because it looks like it's the only one with an Android app, so, maybe, I can use it from my BlackBerry Z10.

Another "feature" is the price, because almost all my project aren't generating profits, so I can't pay big subscription fees. This is the reason I won't even try Codio, because, if you don't pay, after 30 days the workspaces become public.

Soon I will publish a review for Codeanywhere

How to use a BitTorrent Sync code 

Sunday, January 25, 2015 4:41:00 PM Categories: Internet

BitTorrent Sync it's a very good alternative to Dropbox or OneDrive, by allowing to share an unlimited amount of files, with any size.

It's perfect for sharing photos of an event, because it allows you to choose a "read only mode", so, there's no risk that someone could delete public files or other.

How does it work? Who starts sharing sends a code like F1C85025ED5843DEA2B428B54A5B9992, which must be imported by who wants to gets the files.

I made a video to show where to insert the code:

More Arduino, more! 

Monday, January 12, 2015 12:57:00 PM Categories: Arduino

Ok, I'm getting addicted to this, after making interactive Xmas gifts with a Nokia 3310 LCD screen instead of the usual, boring greeting card (I'll publish the video... one day), I searched the web for lots and lots of fun projects to make.

First, I found a better store than Dealextreme: Banggood.

Not only they have more stuff, it's also cheaper!

I ordered:

BlackBerry closes its store for "maintenance"! 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014 6:50:00 PM Categories: BlackBerry


A few hours after my post, the store opened again, and the method to get the apps outside the "walled garden" is still working.

So it looks like it was a coincidence - real planned maintenance a few hours after a security issue.


On the CrackBerry forums xsacha opened uo the floodgates by releasing a way to download any app from the BlackBerry store on a PC, for "backup" or other less legit reasons.

A few hours laters, every BlackBerry in the world can't access anymore to the store, for planned maintenance.

Yeah... "planned"

Only in Japan: color-shifting bras 

Thursday, November 13, 2014 7:13:00 PM Categories: Japan

E-ink screens are on the market from many years. They use less energy, and are quite flexible, so Triumph used them to make an innnovative bra that can change its color from white to black. Just activate the switch and BOOM, color change!

Enough with words, the video shows the action much better.

This is the "sisters" kit (姉妹 - Shimai) inspired from Frozen - where the elder one gets the 姉 (Ane, elder sister) and the younger gets the 妹 (Imouto, younger sister). When they're nearby, BAM, the bra can change color.

This other video shows more:

Anyways, it looks like the screen is not flexible enough for the shape, they separated it in two halves and it still looks too hard. (Maybe that's why they chose skinny models?)

Fonte: Kyodo News

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