Which camps allow Camera Phones?

From Saturday, active servicemen and NSmen can bring their camera-enabled smartphones into 14 army camps. The list of camps are primarily training institutes so if you are a NSmen in one of these area, rejoice! The list would be reviewed in about 6 to 9 months time and would hopefully expand by then. Interestingly, there are only army camps for now, none of the navy or airforce institutes make the list. Well, if you have to visit camps not on the list, how about the Huawei Honor or iNo-One?

14 camps and their Green zones:

– Bedok Camp (Bedok Fitness Conditioning Centre (FCC) )
– Maju Camp (Maju FCC )
– Khatib Camp (Khatib FCC & Artillery Institute)
– Kranji Camp II (Kranji FCC & Motorised Infantry Training Institute )
– Kranji Camp III (Army Logistic Training Institute & Human Resource Institute)
– Jurong Camp II (Infantry Training Institute)
– Clementi Camp (Infantry Combat Training Centre III)
– Seletar Camp (Engineer Training Centres)
– Pasir Ris Camp (Commando Training Institute)
– Sungei Gedong Camp (Armour Training Institute)
– SAFTI Military Institute (Goh Keng Swee Command & Staff College, SAF Advanced School, Officer Cadet School)
– Pasir Laba Camp (Specialist & Warrant Officers’ Institute, SAF Military Intelligence Institute)
– Pulau Tekong Camp (Basic Military Training Centre)
– Depot Road Camp (Central Manpower Base)

Unlimited Photo Storage with PicasaWeb

Picasa Web Albums offers 1 GB of free storage for photos and videos. However, files under certain size limits don’t count towards this free storage limit. This is crucial. Photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won’t count towards your free storage and uploads to Picasa Web would be automatically resized to the dimensions. You would need a Google+ account on the same ID to activate this. The free storage sizes are good for sharing photos on the web and for archival, and allows for up to 4R prints. All photos uploaded from the Picasa software or in Picasa Web Albums over the free size limit will count towards your 1 GB of free storage.

It comes in handy in events when your hard drive crashes and there goes all your photo collection. I do not have a habit of backing up my data to a external HDD. Anyway, the chances of the backup failing is actually not that low too. I prefer to trust my backup with one of the biggest technology leader today, Google. I used to use Skydrive for my backup purposes as it offers a whopping 25gb, but I have since started to migrate over to Picasa Web to combine all my data under the Google cloud. As I was going through my collection, I encountered a “Error: Longterm bandwidth exceeded”. This was approximately after 2000 to 3000 photos that had been uploaded and Google has a cap on the monthly bandwidth per account. The exact limit is still unknown but I had to wait for a month before I stopped receiving the error message.

Other handy things about Picasa Web and Google+ is well, photo tagging. This very Facebook-like feature lets anyone in your extended network in Google+ tag people in your public photos. The person tagged is given the option to view the album and share it. If you’ve been tagged by someone in your Circles, the tag is automatically approved. You can remove tags on the photos homepage in Google+ or the Photos tab on your Google Profile. And if you would rather have more control, you can adjust this setting to enable manual approval of tags. If you were already using tagging in Picasa previously, all existing name tags in Picasa remain when you join Google+.

In Summary:

Google Picasa Webs

  • Photo Resolution: Max 2048 x 2048
  • Photo Qty: Unlimited
  • Qty per album: 1000
  • Video: 15 min
  • Privacy: Controlled (Linked to Google+, can be fully private)
  • Face Tagging: Yes

Other options are:

Facebook

  • Photo Resolution: Max 2048 x 2048
  • Photo Qty: Unlimited
  • Qty per album: 200
  • Video: 20 min
  • Privacy: (Linked to Facebook, can be fully private)
  • Face Tagging: Yes

Flickr

  • Photo Resolution: Unlimited
  • Photo Qty: 300mb per month
  • Qty per album: Unlimited
  • Video: 2 videos per month
  • Privacy: Controlled
  • Face Tagging: No

Microsoft Skydrive

  • Photo Resolution: Unlimited
  • Photo Qty: Capped at 25gb
  • Qty per album: Unlimited
  • Video: Capped at 2gb
  • Privacy: Controlled
  • Face Tagging: No

 

Access iPhone Apps, Music, Movies without iTunes

All iPhone users have an iTunes account and the iTunes application to manage the applications, music, movies and other media on your iPhone. However, what about times when you are not at your computer? Or what about the times when you format your computer and without the data on it, your computer would wipe your iOS device and start from scratch. I have been using this application from time to time and it has been a life-saver.

http://www.i-funbox.com/

Its an App/File Manager For iPhone, iPod, and the iPad.

The New iPad is now recognized and file transfer is also optimized for the new device. App inspection is a new feature introduced in this version, which allows you to easily inspect the installed apps for their security permissions as well. App file sharing support is also added. You can now easily access the document folder of Apps that supports “File Sharing”.  Its Free. And, also, no jailbreak needed!

Iit allows users to manage files on your iPhone or iPad in a way just like Windows File Explorer without the need for iTunes. Easily transmit files and folders to your computer with the optimized file transfer and browsing. iOS 5.1 is fully supported. Likewise, for music and media, they can be added and removed with ease.

  • Add & remove music and videos from your iPod
  • Add, remove and edit playlists
  • Add & remove album art
  • View and backup photos
  • Copy music, videos and playlists from your iPod to PC
  • Import music/videos into your iTunes library, including playlists and ratings

So if you are not a big fan of iTunes and only have it installed for your iPhone, do try out this application. More importantly, its free!

Nexus 7: Enable Play Magazines / Books / Movies & TV Shows + Free $25 Credit in Singapore or just not in United States


The Nexus 7 has some free great content for those who buy it now: get $25 credit to spend on Google Play, as well as some great free content, including your own copy of Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Sadly, this is only available in the United States. Also, access to Google Books, Magazines, Movies and TV are also restricted. If you wish to use Google Play Music, read more on our related post.


Ok, now to the important bit …

It is recommended that you wipe your Nexus 7 data and start from scratch.  However, I deleted my Google Account on my Nexus and started at Step 5 and it worked. So try my method first if you already have your N7 set up.

  1. Perform a factory reset.
  2. When you get to the screen to enter Google account skip it.
  3. Uncheck all the check-boxes in next screens.
  4. Now when you got to the home screen, go to settings. Set up your wireless. Under Wireless and Networks click more.
  5. Click on VPN, Add VPN. Now the Nexus 7 will ask you to define security (Pattern,Password,PIN), Define whatever you want.
  6. Click Add VPN again, and enter this definitions: Name: SuperFreeVPN, Server address: superfreevpn.com and click save.
  7. Start the VPN. For login details, refer to superfreevpn.com
  8. Click Connect. If connected successfully you will see a key icon in the notifications.
  9. (If you skip Step 1 to 3, now is the time to delete your current Google account). Go to Settings, under Accounts click Add Account and choose Google. Enter your username and password, if everything is OK you will get to screen that will ask you to enter credit card to Google wallet to receive $25 credit. You can use a non-US credit card. I did mine with a local credit card but YOU must enter a US address. I suggest using your VPOST address?
  10. With VPN avtivated, you can download Google Books, Google Magazines, Google Movies and TV. To activate them, go to add widget and choose “Play – My Library” Widget and click  on it to activate the app. VPN needs to be connected.
  11. You can download the books, magazines and even Transformers and preload them offline. Only Google Movies and TV require a constant VPN connection.

Do note that your credit card details and google account details will be transferred across the VPN. So far, superfreevpn has been considered safe, but if you wish to add a layer of security, you can change your google password first and use a debit card with limited funds.

P.S. Also, if you are going to root your Nexus 7, please do it first as it will wipe the device. Please refer to the Root Nexus 7 post on GadgetReactor.

With root and Titanium Backup, you can defrost all the Google Play Apps and Google Wallet. Why Google Wallet? Because that gives you a prepaid US$10 Mastercard Paypass card. Update: It does work in Singapore at the Paypass Terminal. Verified locations are at Cold Storage and at Burger King and as Tedfox has rightly pointed out, just delete and re-activate your Google Account over VPN. However, the $10 credit offer is over since 17 September 2012.

  1. Repeat steps above for VPN
  2. delete and re-add Google Account.
  3. Use Titanium Backup to defrost wallet. See if its installed else then install the Wallet from /system/app
  4. Start the app and attempt to add the Google Credits, it needs excellent network connection, so if your VPN isn’t fast enough or you’re trying to activate it thru 3G, don’t even bother (it’s actually connecting to the money network)
  5. Its not very consistent so try and let me know if it works for you.

Buy the Android Mini PC MK802 in Singapore

The MK802 II is a tiny computer that fits in the palm of your hands. It looks like a slightly bulky USB flash drive, but it actually has a processor, RAM, storage, and I/O ports, which make it a Mini PC. Running Android 4.0, the MK802 II Mini PC is designed for versatility and convenience. The tiny 200 gram PC can plug directly into any HDMI output for an on the go media player, internet browser, game machine or for general use. It lets you makes your dumb tv smart or your smart tv smarter. Best of all, its only US$69.20!

There’s also a microSD card slot for extra storage, a HDMI plug for connecting an external display, a full-sized USB port for a keyboard, mouse, or other accessory. The device also has a mini USB port which you can use to power the MK802, connect it to a computer, or plug in peripherals.

Specifications

OS Android 4.0.4
Chipset Allwinner A10
Processor Frequency 1.5GHZ
RAM 1GB
Internal Memory 4GB
Memory Card Type TF card up to 32GB
Expansion Slot USB 2.0
External Storage Support USB HDD, up to 1 TB

What is it good for?

Bring your media over to a friend’s house without needing your phone, or never worry about using public PCs again. All of these niche uses give the MK802, and its kind, lots of potential.

Set up was easy enough, just plug it  into an HDMI port and a USB slot for juice (you can use the one on the TV) and that’s all. It takes a few moments to boot up, but once it does, you’re into good old Android. For control, you can plug in a wireless USB keyboard/mouse dongle or through droidmote. It’s an easy way to load up streaming movies or applications such as qvod or ppstream. Or to stream your own media, you can use PLEX.

All media tasks (HD video, YouTube etc,) were handled pretty well. Sometimes there is a bit of a lag on the UI — especially with things like Google Maps, or busy webpages — but in general it keeps up nicely.

Back in the real world, it’s fair to say that it didn’t take long before we got right into the whole Android-on-a-TV thing, and started to wonder about all the apps that might be well suited to this configuration. YouTube is an obvious example, and it worked much better on the MK802 than some native Smart TV apps we’ve seen. Of course, it’s even better when it brings apps to your TV that otherwise might not be available. The more time you spend with this, discovering suitable apps, the better it gets, and we could see some really unique uses for it going forward.



Right now, though, this is a neat little solution that will really appeal to tinkerers and Android fans.  As mentioned above, media playing works a charm, which is makes it a good light solution for dumb TVs, or those with poor app options. For 69.20 USD, it’s a steal, and it’s available through dealextreme.com, click here to buy it now. They do free shipping to Singapore.

Review of the Nexus 7 in Singapore

When Google decided to join the tablet party, it did it in style. The Nexus 7, designed by Google and manufactured by Asus is pretty much number 1 currently in terms of hardware specifications and is priced very competitively at the US launch prices of US$199 and US$249 for the 8gb and 16gb model respectively. I already had a 7 inch tablet, the Nook Color which was a single core ebook reader that was hacked with custom ROMs. The Nook Color had worked well for the last 1+ year but the opportunity came up for me to buy the Nexus 7 from the US and it was too good an opportunity to pass up on. I traded up and now am a proud owner of the Nexus 7.

What’s Hot

+ Speed + 

Comes with a quad-core CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, with Tegra 3 graphics processor. Alongside the 1gb of RAM and the Jelly Bean 4.1 “butter” OS, there is no slowdown while operating the device and it is a joy to use with everything being extremely responsive.

+ The overall Build Quality +

The Nexus design is simple and understated. It is one of the lightest 7″ inch tablet at 340g. The front panel is covered with glass and there are no hardware buttons to detract from it. There are only 3 buttons: Power, Vol + and Vol -. The back edge is bare except for the speaker at the bottom and the tastefully engraved ASUS logo just above it, and Nexus logo at the top. The back itself is a dimpled, soft-touch plastic, but feels like leather, allowing it to be both grippy and fingerprint-phobic.
The ports and buttons are made in such a way that you can’t see them when looking at the Nexus 7 from the front and, more importantly, are out of the way, meaning that you won’t be pressing anything at an inopportune time.

+ Screen +

Also, the high-res 1,280 x 800 screen really excels.While the iPad has the retina screen, the nexus 7 screen is still gorgeous. Try browsing one of the free magazines. The sharpness shows in the fine lines in text as well as the images where there are intricate details.

+ Price +

The quality is not something you’d expect from a US$199 tablet. We are expecting the launch price for the Nexus 7 in Singapore to be around S$329, and the launch date to be in late September. If you can’t wait, you can always use a shipping concierge service to get it back from the United States. Asus offers international service support for the Nexus 7.

What’s Not

– No Display Output functionality –

Sadly, the Nexus 7 does not come with any display output functionality like a mini HDMI slot or HDMI over the micro USB. I wanted this function as it would allow me to stream movies or connect the Nexus to a monitor when required if I wanted to operate it as a laptop replacement or to conduct presentation. Well for now, I am getting by with the resolution of the Nexus 7 is high and using it as a monitor while typing away on my bluetooth keyboard is working great for me now.

– No memory card expansion –

This is another bummer. Perhaps Google was trying to push people to the Cloud or to create further differentiation between the 8gb and 16gb Nexus 7 models, but the 8gb model is indeed a tad small. I loaded a couple of games and alongside the free transformer movie, I only had 1.5gb of space left on my tablet! It would really be pushed to the limit if I wanted to bring it overseas where I might be stuck without wifi. Luckily, there’s root and stickmount to expand the storage capacity of your Nexus 7.

– Play Store limitations – 

the Nexus 7 has content restrictions and in Singapore, a large chunk of the features, almost all in fact, are not available to us, the books, the magazines, the musics, and the videos. There are workarounds to activate the market and features in Singapore or anywhere out of the United States, but its not easy and slow. It does subtract away the overall experience that Google wanted to create. Read our article on how to enable the rest of the features and to get a free $25 play store credit even though you are in Singapore or anywhere out of the United States.

– No back facing camera –

I wouldn’t really define the lack of a back camera as a flaw. We really should stop using tablets to take photos, thats what phones are for and it looks funny when someone goes snapping away with an iPad or a 7″ tablet. The Nexus 7 does come equipped with a forward facing camera so video chatting through Google Hangouts or Skype would still work and that is quite useful.

Conclusion

Previous Android tablets were good, but somehow could never dethrone the Apple’s iPad. Could this be the start of something? Google has found a nice niche in the market for the low priced lightweight tablets. The Nexus 7 is a brilliant little device at a wonderful price.

If you already have one and well, accessories are a must. Casing / Screen protector etc and if you are in search of a Nexus 7 casing, I thought this looks great!

Financial Expense Tracker


Want an easy way to track your expenses? This tip allows you to add data to a spreadsheet in Google Docs from a form. The spreadsheet is already setup so that it will sort out the expenses on a monthly basis on the following categories. It has some other features such as the tracking credit card expenditure as well. Open up the spreadsheet and try out using the sample form to see how it works. If you like it, make a copy to your Google Drive to try it out. Appreciate a comment if you find it useful! Thanks.

Since 2007, I have tracked my assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses a.k.a a financial balance sheet. Clearly the balance sheet system works for it to be adopted by companies and thus shouldn’t we treat our own lives and finances with the same amount of rigour? After compiling the data, its time to review the data and look at the things that you are spending on. Perhaps you are spending quite a bit on electronics products? I’m guilty of that. Or how about the amount that you spend in restaurants? This system helps you be aware of where your money is spent and moderate your expenses if necessary.

The addition of tracking assets and liabilities beyond the monthly income/expense allows me to analyse my networth growth, monthly profit/loss, and investment distribution ratio. This helps me track across a longer period the effectiveness of certain investments and allows me to determine if I’m anywhere nearer my financial goals.

I have revolutionized my tracking system. It has grown from a simple spreadsheet to a Google spreadsheet so that it exists in the cloud. But thanks to Google Docs, I have improved the data system so that there are much lesser tweaking or data entry involved and have automated much of the process. So back to the spreadsheet, Google docs or drive allow you to use a web-form submission so you can access it anywhere on your mobile phone or on any device with a web browser to update your expenses without the need to access the spreadsheet. The web form is shown above and all you need to do is to enter the entry type and amount so that the data would then appear in the spreadsheet below. It makes it very easy on the go and functions like an app on your phone. I recommend to use a URL shorterner and to save it as a bookmark.

From here on, the data is collected into the spreadsheet and you do not need to access this particular sheet. You can use this to add any records that you may have missed. The backend pulls the data into the next page which is the balance sheet and it would categorise your expenditure with category and monthly spending / earning records.  Likewise, the PIE chart to show the percentage breakdown of spending is shown as well.

Here’s an example of the form: goo.gl/3TjGo

Google Drive Spreadsheet: http://goo.gl/MkPLQ

Hope you find it useful! Let me know in the comments section if you have tips on how to improve it further, thanks!