Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hacking my LG G3

A few months ago I bought a LG G3 and then a Zerolemon LG G3 9000mAh Extended Battery + Rugged Black Zero Shock Hybrid Protection Case (http://zerolemon.com/product/zerolemon-lg-g3-9000mah-extended-battery-rugged-black-zero-shock-hybrid-protection-case/) which gives me on average about three days of battery life without having to charge. There are some disadvantages to this great battery life first and the most obvious is the battery itself is twice as heavy as the phone and sticks out of the phone but the rugged case encloses all of this and does give good protection again at the cost of making this slim smartphone into a small brick. I can live with the weight and size because I am hard on my electronic devices always throwing it in my bike bag along with tools, spare tubes and a grease covered rag. The second disadvantage which I didn't realize till a few months later was the loss of NFC capabilities this one I was not happy about and went about finding a solution. The solution I found was a Qi Wireless Charger Charging Pad + Receiver Sticker Support NFC for LG G3 which offered an additional feature of wireless charging but had some complications in that it was designed to work with the original back plate which I was no longer using.
Pictured above on the left the original back plate and battery in the center the current Zerolemon battery and case and on the right the wireless charging & NFC reciever sticker and charging pad. Obvious goal is to get the sticker in the current setup enabling NFC and wireless charging. So breakdown the current setup:
As you can see the back plate on the far left of the picture has no place to put the receiver sticker because it has to allow the 9000mAh battery to stick through. Also another complication:
The original back plate is flat and sits right up against the inside of the phone where as the Zerolemon back plate is raised up, here are two images showing close-up of the original and then Zerolemon back plate:

I would need to put something in to keep the pressure on the contacts. My landlord/roommate saw me working on things and he had something in his shop that he thought would work well. He did a quick run down to the shop and came back with some black spongy material and after cutting four rectangles and sticking them together I got this:

And this is how they fit into the Zerolemon back plate:
The next problem with the sticker was I had to secure it to the back of the phone with the connectors and pins in line so my solution:
A very thin line of Krazy Glue as far away from the connectors did the trick. To make sure I got things right I put the Zerolemon frame on and then the original battery in:
Then I put it on the charging pad:
Success! The sticker receiver was connecting to the pad. I have seen this 'Charging slowly..." message before and I'm sure whoever connected the phone to a USB cable where the other end is going to a computer or USB hub has seen it too. Anyway it was time to put the 9000mAh battery in the real problem here wasn't the sticker receiver but it is a known issue of bent pins after first use with the Zerolemon battery (the issue is known and is documented on the Zerolemon support website). It really wasn't that tough and the sticker receiver had no problem bending around the larger battery:
I did two tests before I put the rubberized casing on, first was connecting via a USB cable and verifying that the battery was properly connected then verifying the sticker receiver on the charging pad. Once those cleared the rubberized casing went back on and the end results:
I had let the battery drain the night before because I wanted to test how fast and effective the wireless charging was. Sad to report that the wireless charging is not fast or smooth. I had to use the LG charger and even the USB cable, it seemed to lose connection and reestablish connection which caused this annoying little chime sound and finally it is not fast (yes I said it is not fast again). After testing wireless charging I then had to check NFC by using some work access cards I have and the NFC Taginfo app available on Google Play. The reading of my work access cards worked like a charm and a back to back touch of the LG G3 to my Nexus 7 also was successful. I would say the whole process took less then a half hour and gave me one feature I had lost back and added a new feature.

Update 7/2/2015: I ordered the LG Electronics WCP-300 Qi Wireless Charging Pad off of Amazon thinking that it would maybe speed up the charging but when I tried it the phone would not go into charging mode so I then tried the other pad I had and again no charging mode. I also tried a Aukey Wireless Charging pad that a coworker had and the light on the pad would change from green to red but the phone itself would never show that it was charging. NFC is still working which was the real goal so I guess it is not all bad news.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Three plus years in NYC

So with the passing of this summer I have lived in New York city for three years and a few months, actually moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn on July 4th 2011.  I thought now would be a good time to tally things up so far:
-have lived in two different apartments in Brooklyn. The first one was in Williamsburg with Scott who was a gay airline steward alcoholic. The second in DUMBO with a list of people to long to go through but suffice it to say Joe and Dan have been the two constant roommates.
-have worked three jobs. The first one was at Languagemate as a junior system admin later becoming the only IT guy. Then I went and joined Charles, who I worked with at Languagemate, at Ogilvy and Mather which turned out to be a bad move because I got laid off after six months. For the last year plus I have been working as a system administrator for the New York Genome Center.
-dated two girls; first one worked with Scott and when things went crazy with him shit went crazy with her too. She disappeared for a few months and then turned back up for about two weeks and then went bonkers (see my 'I don't understand women' post). The second one I met at The Vanderbilt in Park Slope and I really thought and hoped it was going to be a long term relationship but she dumped me after about two months.
-zero New York friends. So I've met people but have not been able to really connect with or find a group of people that I fit in with.
The last two points have been a real problem for me and I don't know what to do about them. I thought that with the diversity of people in New York City that there would be some individuals or groups that I would identify with and could form friendships with but sadly I haven't been able to make/find those connections.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day

So Tuesday November 4th and it is election day here in the United States of America. I have to look up why November 4th became election day, I personally think it is should be April 15th. Now I know your thinking but April 15th is when people have to pay their taxes they can't be thinking about elections then. I whole heartedly disagree and think that is the perfect time for people to be thinking about who is representing them in government. Just think about it like this, it is the time your actually seeing how much money you personally have given to the government and in some cases how much more they want from you. I also feel it would increase participation in the election process and it would be as simple as mailing in your ballot with your taxes. I know your now thinking well that would mean it wouldn't be a secret ballot and that people would know who I voted for. You know what the whole secret ballot thing is for another time and place. Secret ballots were done in times and places where one could be killed or kicked out of a community if they voted for the losing party and in today's America that is just not going to happen. Fine if you really care about a secret ballot then when you mail in your taxes the election form could be in a smaller sealed envelope marked only with the words BALLOT on the outside and the only thing the IRS and State Revenue offices do is collect them and pass them along to election boards. Oh and if your filling as a couple you get two ballot envelopes and the agencies just confirm that you are a couple before passing the envelopes on. See how simple that is. So instead of the low turnout we see for elections and the even lower turnout we see for midterm elections I see this as a way of increasing participation in the system and actually getting the people involved in the system at the very basic level.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Rough month October

The first few days of October were great because for the last two months I was seeing this amazing woman. I had met her on July 23rd at a bar/restaurant in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn called The Vanderbilt. I was checking bars off of the New York Good Beer Passport and had just come from Glorietta Baldy, my plan was on just having one at The Vanderbilt and then going back to my apartment. It was a quite Wednesday night and I had no trouble finding a spot at the bar. A quick look at the beer list and I decide on a new brewery from the Gowanus neighborhood Other Half Pale Ale, a friend had told me to keep an eye open for their stuff. As I settled in with my pint I noticed that there were four or five little origami dollar bills by the tap handles with one being really good and the others not so great. While I was playing with the origami a woman sat down to my right and she noticed the origami and a conversation started. Well after two or more drinks and some great conversation it was time for the woman to leave so she asked for the check and went to use the ladies room. I sat there thinking what I great time I just had and decide that when the woman came back I would ask for her number and give her mine. When she came back she settled her bill and as she was saying good night I asked her for her number and to my surprise she was applicable and we exchanged numbers. I settled up and rode back to my apartment very happy. I called her the very next day but got her voicemail so left her a message saying how much I enjoyed talking with her the other night and how I would like to see her again. The next day I got a text from her apologizing for missing my call it was due to a dead battery. I responded with a quick 'understand' then asked if it was good to talk at noon and she respond that she was free to talk then. I wanted to see her again as soon as possible so at noon I found a quite place in the office to talk and gave her a call. Told her again how nice it was to have met her and how much I enjoyed talking with her and she said the feeling was mutual. I suggested going to a music festival that was happening that weekend in Brooklyn called the Psychobilly Luau the only reason I wanted to go was because the Turbo A.C.'s were playing. She was interested but wasn't sure she was free and said she would get back to me. It turned out she wasn't free but we agreed to try to work something out for next week. I later saw that the upcoming Friday Mucca Pazza was playing at the Brooklyn Bowl and when we spoke later suggested it and that worked for her. We planned on talking again Thursday to workout times, where to meet, where to eat before the show and all that other stuff. I called her at lunch time on Thursday and we decide to meet at a new place by her apartment called Bar Chuko at eight on Friday. I got to the restaurant about forty minutes early and walked around the block twice before sitting down outside the restaurant for fifteen minutes. She showed up pretty much right on time and looked great. However one thing that became very apparent that was not noticed at The Vanderbilt was the height difference me being a tall and lanky 6'5" where she was a cute and petite 5'6" maybe. Once we sat down for dinner though it was not a problem because we were face-to-face and the great conversation just started. I told her about Mucca Pazza and she told me about a band that she was part of from time to time called Polyphonic Spree. My first thought was a woman who understands music, great! It was also discussed about how she was transitioning out of a job that she had been at for six years and that she was leaving because of management changes. Now having been through similar situations at VMware and then later Interwoven I could certainly relate my experiences to her. Still it made me a bit uneasy that she would be in a transition period. Anyway we had a great dinner and got over to the Brooklyn Bowl to catch about three or four songs of the opening act. During the intermission we decide we should make a restroom run. I was in and out of the restroom like is typical for guys and was waiting for her down the hallway. When she came out of the ladies room she called me down the hallway to point out a poster for a upcoming Polyphonic Spree show. She told me that they had contacted her about it but that she was going to be visiting with family in Colorado. The show was a typical Mucca Pazza experience which she enjoyed. After the show we decide to not fight for a cab and get a drink so I suggested the Gibson which was just up the street. We had one drink at the Gibson and then headed back to Park Slope. Since it was still early we decide to have one last stop at where we first met The Vanderbilt. After we walked backed to her apartment and as goodnights were being said she initiated the kiss to which I gladly responded. From that point until October 3rd I thought everything was great. Even though I was thinking about her pretty much all the time I wanted to take things slow so I was not calling, emailing or texting her all the time didn't want to become annoying. She did a trip to visit her grandmother who was celebrating a 98 birthday and then she was off to Colorado, she was gone for about ten days. She also did a trip to Burning Man for a few days and I went to Chicago. Neither of us were being clingy but we certainly were enjoying each others company when we were together. So when on Friday October 3rd my sister and husband were up for a visit I thought to introduce her to them so I suggested it to her and she said yes. I met her at her apartment a good hour before we planned on meeting my sister and her husband. We decide to stop at a small speakeasy sort of place around the corner to have a drink in the backyard. Once we had our drinks and found seats in the backyard that's when my month became shit. She was honest but could not explain other then whatever "chemistry" there was she no longer felt it. She talked about how great of a guy she thought I was and how she hoped we could be friends but I was just sort of numb and blindsided. I could tell it was rough on her so I just pretty much nodded and agreed still not believing that I had found such an amazing person and now she wasn't going to be in my life anymore. Needless to say she did not join me when I met my sister and her husband later instead I walked her back to her place and we said good-bye. I haven't been depressed but I've just been feeling a great sadness for the past month, it might not help that I'm listening to a lot of Johnny Cash. The thing that really sucks is for the previous months when I thought of her it would always brighten up my day but now those thoughts make me sad. I've been riding my bike and been repeating the same thing over and over in my head 'STOP THINKING ABOUT HER!STOP THINKING ABOUT HER!STOP THINKING ABOUT HER!STOP THINKING ABOUT HER!STOP THINKING ABOUT HER!.....' with the occasional 'SHE'S FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU!' and/or 'YOU WILL NEVER SEE HERE AGAIN!' so 'STOP THINKING ABOUT HER!STOP THINKING ABOUT HER!STOP THINKING ABOUT HER!STOP THINKING ABOUT HER!...' but it hasn't helped. I'm just pathetic. The thing is I don't understand why I can't find someone who can stay with me longer then six months. I like to think I'm a caring, compassionate and good person but there must be something else that the women in my life are seeing that makes them want to stop being with me after a few months. Anyway it has been a rough month.

Monday, October 20, 2014

U.S. medical system and the insurance system are a rip-off!

So in the last year I've had two occasions to visit medical professionals and even though they did practically nothing I was charged over a $1000 and my insurance didn't get any of it.
The first one was a dermatologist to look at a small lump/bump that was on my forearm. It started out small but grew in size to that of a pea and stayed that size for a few weeks. I asked my oldest sister about it, she is a emergency room nurse, and she said it most likely was a calcium deposit and there was nothing to really worry about but if I wanted I should contact a dermatologist and they could take care of it. I found a dermatologist in my neighborhood made an appointment and when I finally got there the calcium deposit had started to reduce in size. The doctor took a look at it, poked it and asked me a few questions about it then finally said it was further under the skin and that she wouldn't want to do anything about it but recommended another doctor the whole process took all of fifteen minutes. I never followed up with the other doctor because it just kept reducing in size and eventually went away. I received a bill a month and a half later for $365.
The second visit was due in part to the fact that I still don't have a primary care physician which is another headache I don't even want to get into in this post. Anyway, I was running a fever of 102 so I went to the Brooklyn Hospital Emergency Room. I waited more then two hours in the ER lobby before I was escorted into an examination area where I sat for about another fifteen minutes. When I finally spoke with a medical professional it was all of ten minutes and was told it was just a cold and I should go home and rest. Well I've had plenty of colds and sore throats in my life but rarely have I had a temperature of 102 along with the sore throat and all the other symptoms so I felt it was something much worse. Well with little else in the way of options I did go home and spent pretty much an entire week in bed before whatever I had ran its course. Now here is where the the zinger comes; a month after all this went down I received a bill from the hospital for something like $1200 and I ignore it because I figure it is the first one and that after they deal with my insurance company it will end up being something like $300. A month and a half later I receive the next bill but instead of being lower it is actually the same and there is a warning that it must be paid in full within the next thirty days. So I start looking over the bill and here is another twist the original charge the hospital made to the insurance company was under $1000 but I later learned that the insurance company has a deal with the Hospital to pay a standard flat fee of $1200 for ER visits. So my thinking is they have spoken to the insurance company so why are they talking to me. I then decide to contact my insurance company to see what the hospital has sent them. After calling a few numbers and not getting anywhere I decide to use the online chat that the insurance company has on their website. The chat basically worked out like this; yes the hospital did contact us with ~$1000 bill, yes we negotiated that price up to $1200, you didn't meet your deductible so we don't pay this one and by the way the bill stays at the negotiated cost of $1200 and does not go back down to the below $1000. Thanks insurance company for costing me more.
So here is what I would like to find 1. an insurance company that no matter what the medical treatment is picks up anywhere from 75% to 80% of the cost leaving me the 25% to 20%. When I say 'medical treatment' I mean everything from dentist visits, to eye examinations, to wart/tattoo removal, to open heart surgery and all the way up to full body cloning! 2. hospitals, doctor's offices, medical clinics etc to have standard fees for standard procedures not changing the cost depending on what insurance company the patient has and what deals your organization has worked out with them already. I mean it seems to me that the medical and insurance companies have a a lot of say over people's lives and the treatment they receive instead of the people having that control.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I don't understand women

So a girl I dated briefly when I first moved to New York City recently got back in touch with me. We reconnected last weekend and pretty much picked up where we had left off. This weekend I asked if she wanted to meet me at Mercury Lounge in Lower Manhattan for a punk rock show and the following disaster unfolded (be warned foul language follows):

Me: Mercury Lounge is at 217 E Houston St you would take the R to 34th then F to 2 Av and need to leave your place between 5:30-6 to make the show at 7 2:11 PM
+(carzy chic): Ok im in 2:17 PM
+(carzy chic): Ill be there by 630 2:18 PM
+(carzy chic): Just make sure u are lol 2:18 PM
Me: I'll be there at 6:30 for sure. Show will most likely be over by 10:30 at the latest. 2:24 PM
+(carzy chic): I haven't a curfew. .lol 2:34 PM
+(carzy chic): Do you want me to come? 2:47 PM
Me: Yes 2:48 PM
Me: And it is good to know you don't have a curfew 2:48 PM
+(carzy chic): Ok .. lol ill be there then 2:48 PM
+(carzy chic): Im taking a nap now 2:49 PM
Me: Have something to ho 5:21 PM
Me: ld you over till after the show because no food at Mercury lounge 5:22 PM
+(carzy chic): No I knew that. 5:23 PM
Me: Be careful walking 5:25 PM
+(carzy chic): Im getting in shower now. I will b e babe 5:28 PM
+(carzy chic): Im wearing what I wore ladt night since no one saw me. Is that ok for the show?? 6:00 PM
Me: You could go even more casual if you want but whatever u feel comfortable in 6:01 PM
Me: I'm wearing boots, jeans, long sleeve beer shirt, hoodie and vest 6:02 PM
Me: I'm leaving now, if I am not outside and it is after 7 I'll be inside 6:04 PM
+(carzy chic): Ok cool . Im leaving in 10 6:05 PM
Me: Dress for snow and wimd 6:14 PM
+(carzy chic): Yeah im dressing to look hot 6:17 PM
Me: No dress for snow. Seriously 6:18 PM
+(carzy chic): Ok 6:28 PM
Me: Thanks 6:31 PM
+(carzy chic): I still look hot though lol 6:32 PM
+(carzy chic): Holy shit scott its bad out 6:35 PM
Me: Kind of 6:36 PM
+(carzy chic): Kind of?? 6:36 PM
Me: Sort of? 6:37 PM
+(carzy chic): Its bad babbe 6:37 PM
+(carzy chic): Omg I just got a snow facial 6:38 PM
Me: Yeah best you stay in 6:38 PM
+(carzy chic): I agree but im all dressed 6:38 PM
+(carzy chic): Pick a bar after and ill cab it 6:39 PM
Me: Really! 6:39 PM
+(carzy chic): Yes really its bad out 6:40 PM
+(carzy chic): Im cabbing it 6:40 PM
+(carzy chic): Im a girl 6:46 PM
Me: The Library on 7th ave is the closest bar 6:48 PM
Me: But I'm questioning you coming out at all. 6:48 PM
Me: It is bad 6:49 PM
+(carzy chic): If you pay my cab ill come 6:50 PM
Me: I'll pay your cab but your not going to make the show 6:51 PM
+(carzy chic): Ok 6:52 PM
Me: Do you want me to text you when it is over and I will wait at the library for you or would you just want to meet me in DUMBO? 6:53 PM
+(carzy chic): Tell me 6:54 PM
Me: I still question even being in a cab 6:54 PM
+(carzy chic): Ill meet youin dumbo give me an address and time 6:55 PM
Me: I'll text you after the show with time address is either bridge and Plymouth streets or Jay St and something 6:56 PM
+(carzy chic): Ok cool give me an hour heads up so I can call a cab 6:59 PM
+(carzy chic): Ill be at your apt by 10 7:03 PM
Me: That might be to early, try for 10:30 or even 45 7:11 PM
+(carzy chic): Ok 7:12 PM
+(carzy chic): Im waiting on u 7:31 PM
+(carzy chic): Ill take a cab no prob 7:32 PM
+(carzy chic): Tell me when to leave 7:46 PM
+(carzy chic): Street address 7:47 PM
Me: Scandals, the band I really wanted to see, just finished but waiting for the Queers. 8:03 PM
Me: Queers up next 8:39 PM
Me: Am I paying for your cab to DUMBO? 8:39 PM
+(carzy chic): Yes in cab now 8:47 PM
+(carzy chic): Im coming to dumbo 8:49 PM
+(carzy chic): Babe pick b ip 9:01 PM
+(carzy chic): I cannot pay for this cab 9:01 PM
+(carzy chic): List4n douche bag im atvuour house 9:53 PM
+(carzy chic): You are such a douche bag 10:00 PM
+(carzy chic): Ifuckindespise v u 10:00 PM
Me: Show just finished 10:01 PM
+(carzy chic): Fuc k u dick 10:01 PM
+(carzy chic): Fuck u 10:01 PM
Me: So am I to take it that you don't want to see me 10:02 PM
+(carzy chic): Fuck u asshoke 10:02 PM
+(carzy chic): Fuck u 10:02 PM
Me: Not sure what brought this on 10:03 PM
Me: Leaving a rock show now 10:05 PM
+(carzy chic): Go fucking die 10:06 PM
+(carzy chic): I fuciking hate u 10:08 PM
+(carzy chic): Im sio pretty and you fucking blow 10:09 PM
Me: Really? What the fuck? I'm heading back to my place now 10:10 PM
+(carzy chic): Fjck u 10:12 PM
+(carzy chic): You blow 10:18 PM
+(carzy chic): You soo like to punish me... 10:33 PM
+(carzy chic): Go gu5ck off 10:33 PM
+(carzy chic): Fuck off 10:34 PM

I was clearly wrong; however, about what I can't really say? I clearly told her what time the show was starting and when I would be there and when she should leave to be there on time. Once she missed the 6:30 meet time we agreed to meet later that evening with me telling her after the show when and where even stating general ball park times as to when the show would be over and I would be ready to meet up. So when I came out of a enjoyable show feeling good and then to see the barrage of texts along with about ten missed calls (I was at a punk rock show so I wasn't going to hear the phone ring no matter how loud it can get) needless to say it made for a horrible way to end an evening.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Random act of beerness

So last night I was riding home from my new job at the New York Genome Center and as I was coming down the Manhattan Bridge into DUMBO I saw a very curious cardboard sign that simply read 'Free Beer'. It took my mind a second to process it but when it did I pulled over and sure enough there were a group of cyclists gathered on the grass around a cooler. I walked over and asked what was going on and was handed a cold can of beer. It turns out a guy (Trevor) who works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for a small sign making company decide he wanted to share a few beers with random people so he bought two cases of beer filled up two coolers with ice and pulled them over to the grass area at the base of the bridge with his Radio Flyer wagon. Even though the beer wasn't what I would normally drink I hung out and had a few just talking to random people. When I left I offered to kick in a few bucks but Trevor said no but maybe next time. Things have been kind of rough these past six months in New York for me after getting laid off from Ogilvy & Mather and not having much of a social group but with this new job and running across Trevor and his free beer are making me feel like things are turning around. So I just want to say thanks to Trevor and look forward to drinking with you and other random cyclist again.