Thursday, March 31, 2011 simple but uber useful

Up until a few days ago, I used a Firefox addon called Fast Dial. It worked well, but when I'd go to school or on my phone, it wasn't available. Then, thanks to Gabriel of DuckDuckGo, I learned about! is a very, very simple idea implemented very, very well. You basically choose whatever sites you want to appear on your custom page from a very well populated list or created your list....and that's it! Every time you open, it will bring up your page in a fraction of a second, and wha-la, all your favorite sites are right at your disposal.

My favorite part about is definitely its looks. I mean, the default settings look great as it is; every icon is very high quality. But on top of that, you can choose between a fudge rippling number of options: custom background, shadow effects, matte or gloss, and even the color and icon for custom sites. It totally blows me away every time I open a new tab. You can choose how you want your icons displayed (row or a grid), and even have a search bar that will give you quick access to a search engine. (Hopefully, DDG will come to find its way on that list soon.)

Again, it's such a simple idea, but has taken it and ran with it leaps and bounds. Other than a few nitpicky things (I'm not extremely fond of the favicon), there is only one thing I would change about mobile. It's just not really well designed for mobile yet. I know my phone (LG Optimus V) really isn't top of the line so that definitely might contribute, but I still think it needs work. The icons spread out wider than the screen (which is fine for a mouse, not so much for touch), it generally loads slower, and trying to scroll around usually results in dragging an icon. Overall it's just....not really ready.

Anyway, I definitely recommend giving a try. You will not regret it.

Personas suck

Don't get me wrong, I love Firefox and the new innovations that they've brought to web browsing. I love themes, addons, even the Awesome Bar, but something makes me think that somebody wasn't quite right when they thought up Personas. The thing about Personas is that you really can't compare theme to Themes. Themes can change everything about the look of the browser: the buttons, the font, the icons -everything. Personas change the background and font colors. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it just means they serve a different purpose than a Theme.

It's not so much I don't like the idea of Personas. A skin I can change with literally one click, not causing me to restart my browser? Awesome! The real trouble is the implementation. If you have the tab bar, navigation bar, and bookmark toolbar, there is only ~100 pixels to show your Persona's image. (For me, it's 110.) Without the bookmark toolbar, it's 32px less, and even if you have addons that let you have multi-row tabs or bookmarks, it still doesn't add up to much.

For some Personas, this is fine. My favorite right now is called "Aurora Australis" and because it's basically just a gradient (albeit a very beautiful one), it looks good no matter how much of it is showing.  But when it comes to other Personas that focus more on an image, like maybe this one or this one, you don't even get what the preview is; you just get the very top of the image. And then in addition to that, you've got things like the address bar, search bar, tabs and bookmarks all covering it up.

My opinion is really that Personas are good for gradient-type backgrounds and not for specific images. Either that or the Persona maker needs to hike the image up as high as he can so we can actually see it, or better yet, go simple. Otherwise, I'd say that a Persona is completely useless, because I want to see Link, not Link's hat, covered up by icons.

You may have a different opinion than me, and that's fine. I really haven't thought heavily about it or browsed through a ton of the Personas, so I'm always willing to change my mind about it. But it really makes me feel as though I'm right when I see Yahoo!'s own Persona, you'll notice that it (a) is very simple, and (b) has a small image, placed very high up. Also, scrolling through the "Popular" section, I see that a ton of them are abstract, meaning that you can basically cut it off wherever you want and it will still look good.

I'm the farthest thing from a graphic designer, but as someone who does look at graphics, I would propose 3 choices to anyone wanting to make a Persona:
  1. Do a gradient (something that has no beginning or end)
  2. Do something abstract/fractal/what have you
  3. If you choose an image, keep it small and simple
My thoughts on the matter. Hope I don't offend any Persona persons out there.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Switch to Linux....maybe

I really can't talk long about it, but I'm considering finally switching to Linux. One of the main things that was holding me back was my tethering to iTunes and since that is now finally cut free, I'm free to move. (Of course, Steam is another tether, but honestly, dual booting would not be the end of the world for just games.)

I'm really not sure at this point but the reasons I would want to switch are plentiful. I get more familiar with a *nix environment is a biggie, and the other biggie is that I can escape Windows. Don't get me wrong, for some psychological reason I still can't explain, I still love Windows. But I've been running into quite a few stupid bugs lately. Like at this moment, I can't open Explorer. Every time I try, it gives me some dumb error about permissions. I've had it once before and I tried for hours to fix it and eventually just ended up having to reboot to fix. But that's retarded and annoying. But really I want to switch to Linux mostly because it's new territory. Call me naive, but I feel like I've already got Windows. I feel like switching to Linux would challenge me a little. (The trick is to keep me challenged, but not frustrated.)

Of course, there are the reasons I don't want to switch. The main is Steam, but that really isn't a deal breaker. Another is Autohotkey, specifically FreewareWire programs, but I've come to realize that I need to stop writing AHK programs and focus on "big boy" programming, at least in Python (or XUL, which I'm finding is cool but complicated). AHK is not aimed to create complicated programs and I've really kind of capped out of AHK's usage. (Not to say I've learned everything there is to know about AHK....some of the guys on the forum *coughpolyethenePhiLhoSKANSeanetccough* are crazy good, but I think that as a beginner programmer, it would be more beneficial to me to learn that stuff in C++ or other languages and then come back to AHK.)
ANYWAY, in addition to that, the other reasons I don't want to switch are...well, unclear. First off, there's something I just don't like about Linux, visually. I know that's vague, but I just haven't been able to put my finger on it; I mentioned that my family's computer now runs Ubuntu and every time I use it I don't like something about it. Maybe it's the skin, maybe it's GNOME entirely, but something is just off. (For some reason, it feels really squeezed. I removed the bottom menubar and that seemed to help, but it seems like everything takes up more space on the screen.)
GETTING SIDETRACKED, the other reason I am uneasy in switching is the question of which distro. If you have read any posts other than this one, you'll probably notice that I've been mentally walking through "What is a distro?" and to an extent, I haven't found an answer. I haven't found a desktop distro I want to sink my teeth into yet, mostly because they all seem the same to me.

In any case, I've looked around and the only real things that I still use that are Windows specific are MusicBee (which I will miss...until I see some Banshee!) and ModelSim, which I need for a class this semester. Other than that, all the apps I use are cross-platform or have Linux alternatives I am familiar with. So it really doesn't seem like a big why is it so hard?

Anyway, rambling...I have like 3 tests this week so I really need to wrap this up. Later!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm banned in Turkey?

I don't get alot of e-mails in FreewareWire, but it seems like the ones I get are pretty out there. Here's one I got a few weeks ago:
did you know that you're banned in Turkey? I'd wear that as a badge of pride... Sign of street cred... Kudos, etc.
 What? What in god's name could my blog possibly have that is offensive in Turkey?

Well, I come to find out that internet censorship in Turkey has been a trouble for years now. And it was not just my blog, but all of Blogger was banned on March 2nd of this year. I'm not going to pretend to know what's going on over there just from reading one Wiki article, but I think I can safely say that blocking all of Blogger is not the answer. Blogger blogs can be about anything: personal blogs, corporate blogs, political blogs, food blogs, exercise blogs, tech blogs, or even freeware blogs. True, there might be some bad blogs thrown in there (in this case, apparently some that were hosting a television company's material), but banning Blogger because there are a handful of bad blogs is like nuking an entire city because there's a cockroach under the refrigerator.

An analogy always seems like the perfect place to end a thought.

PS - The gentleman emailing me came upon my blog wondering if there was an Ubuntu version of Q*bert. I've never played Q*bert, but I think it's available for MAME and possibly NES, so I would recommend downloading a ROM and then snagging a MAME or NES emulator, for any who are wondering.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A comparison of music apps for Android

The stock music player app is...well....not quite on the level to the iPhone when it comes to playing. So I set out to try to find a good alternative. Here are a few quick notes before I begin:
  • I only looked at apps supported on my device (LG Optimus V).
  • I only looked at apps that were free or had a trial. I'm all for supporting the developer. But you gotta throw me a bone, even if it's just a 7 day trial.
  • I skipped some apps that looked absolutely terrible or for a specific purpose. Examples are 2Player, Mixzing, 3, KISS, nk, TuneWiki, and SimplyMusic.
  • This only goes for apps ATTOTP. If there are new apps or an app listed gains a feature, then obviously it will change the listing.
  • There are six basic areas that I looked at when it comes to apps.
    • Info: The App's size, filetype support, cost, etc.
    • Widget: What controls does the Widget have? Does it offer complete control? How many different types/sizes does the app have?
    • Library Interface: How is the Library laid out? Is it easy to navigate? Does it look good?
    • Lock Screen: Does it have a lockscreen? If so, does it allow complete control? Is it brought up fast? Can it replace the other system lock (when playing)?
    • Now Playing Screen: How is the Now Playing screen laid out? Does it show a good amount of information? Is it easy to get to? Is it response?
    • Extra Features: Mostly features like wireless sync, compatibility with a desktop app, etc.

And with that out of the way, here we go.
+ is good = 2
• is meh = 1
- is bad = 0
X is way bad = -2

The number if parenthesis is the sum

8. Music [stock] (-1)

  1.    INFO: Version 2.2.1; Free; 12KB(?); AAC, MP3, OGG
  2. - WIDGET: The widget is really disappointing; all it has is Next, Pause, and the Track Title and Artist. That may be enough for some people, but not for me. Plus, there's only one type: 4x1.
  3. LIBRARY: The library interface is alright. I don't think it really utilizes the space that well, since RockIt has the same info but uses less space. It also does not allow for browsing via Folders. I do like, however, that when browsing Albums, it has a darkened cover of the album as the background.
  4. X LOCK SCREEN: From what I can tell, there is no way to get a lock screen for the stock music app. So that sucks.
  5. - NOW PLAYING: The thing I dislike most about the Now Playing screen is the fact that they put the artist on top in bold instead of the song. Also, it -again- really doesn't make the best use of the screen space. Overall, it's just not very pleasant to look at. It shows everything and works well, just not in a pretty manner.
  6.    EXTRA: The most appealing thing about this app is that it is most likely to be compatible with other tweaks and features from other apps. Other than that, it doesn't have alot to offer.
SUMMARY: Alright as a fallback, but I think there could be better.

    7. Meridian (-1)

    1.    INFO: Version 1.5.0; Free/$2.99; 2.48MB; AAC, MP3, OGG
    2. - WIDGET: The widget for Meridian is just as disappointing as the stock. The 2x4 widget isn't too bad, as you get full controls, but it does look pretty ugly, in addition to wasting a ton of unnecessary space.
    3. - LIBRARY: Meridian's library interface is awful. Browsing through albums actually isn't half bad; there's actually a tiny album art beside each entry. Artists is this empty looking, centered list that is just difficult to read. (Left aligning would help alot.) Songs is the opposite: crammed with info. (Taking the Album out would probably help.) But the worst part by far is the home screen. You've got these disgusting, huge icons and this weird blue box that has your now playing logo....ugh. Some people might actually like this, but not me.
    4. X LOCK SCREEN: As far as I can tell, there is no lockscreen option for Meridian.
    5. NOW PLAYING: The now playing is definitely not my taste. You can change the look of the buttons, but the only alternative to the default is absolutely hideous. The buttons are alright, I just don't really care for the colored glows they have. I guess I just don't like all the color in this app. But in addition to that, the font for the title, artist, and album is too small for my taste, the ratings is tucked away almost out of sight, and the blinking time when you pause is hella annoying. ALSO, the biggest deal I have: when you set it to shuffle and then pick a song, it won't display "1/1628", it will display "199/1628," for some weird reason. That's really annoying.
      Overall, the Now Playing screen is functional, but hideous.
    6.    EXTRA: It can play videos, has ratings, gesture control, and the pro version has more widgets, audibook support, and can sync with MediaMonkey.
    SUMMARY: I've heard alot of people praise Meridian, but it's just not my taste. Alot of the features are there, but the UI is just unappealing.

      6. MusicMod (+3)
      MusicMod is basically a few modifications to the stock music app so almost all of its downsides are inherent from that.

      1.    INFO: Version 1.8; Free; 1.36MB; AAC, MP3, OGG
      2. + WIDGET: The widget is actually a big step up from stock. It adds on album art and a Previous button. It does seem a little cramped when trying to press the Play button, and long song titles (more than 12 characters) get cut off and don't scroll, but it still gives you more control and a nice album picture.
      3. LIBRARY: The exact same as Music.
      4. X LOCK SCREEN: As far as I can tell, there is no lockscreen option for MusicMod.
      5. + NOW PLAYING: MusicMod's play screen is probably one of my favorites. It's very simple, but still elegant. My favorite part is that the album art is put inside a CD case. The only two things I have to say I would change are shrinking and moving the title down near the album and artist (so it would have more space), and stopping the blinking time when a track is paused. Other than that, it's great, especially since it lets you see your beautiful little background!
      6.    EXTRA: Gesture control, more widgets, #NowPlaying support, and other tiny tweaks that aren't available in Music.
      SUMMARY: It's definitely a few steps in the right direction, but I still think there might be better candidates. With all the benefits MusicMod offers, thought, I can see no reason anyone running Froyo would stick with the stock app.

      5. Songbird (+4)

      1.    INFO: Version 1.0; Free; 1.65MB; AAC, MP3, OGG
      2. + WIDGET: The widget is very awesome; controls, track info, and album art. Plus, it looks good. Purple, but good. It sucks that they don't have more sizes though.
      3. + LIBRARY: It's very good! Very easy to navigate and very well laid out. The only thing I would change is the ability to choose what buttons you want on top. Also, it seems to be a little slower than other apps, but I assume that will improve.
      4. X LOCK SCREEN: Unfortunately, Songbird doesn't seem to have a lockscreen just yet.
      5. + NOW PLAYING: Songbird is different in that instead of a "screen", it's just got a vertical tab that you can pull up at any time. This makes it very nice since you never have to leave your now playing to browse your library, and you can always get back to it in half a second. Songbird's tab has enough info, options like Shuffle and Repeat, and even some extras like Flikr and Facebook. The only thing that I don't like is that you can't disable the said Flikr and Facebook icons, so they are always there, and the Facebook is there even when the tab is down. Social integration is great, but don't stick it too far in the open!
      6.    EXTRA: Scrobbling is about it. I would really, really like to see a good sync capability with desktop Songbird, like with playlists, ratings and playcounts, but POTI don't seem to think alike.
      SUMMARY: Probably my favorite of all in terms of appearance (which is weird because I never really liked the purple on the desktop app). It's disappointing that it lacks features like a Lockscreen, more widgets, and tight support with its mother desktop app, all of which are covered by apps I'll discuss shortly. If it had those, it would definitely hold its own, but until it gets those, it really tends to fall in the background when it comes to being feature filled. Nonetheless, it is a good music player app.

        4. Winamp (+6)

        1.    INFO: Version 1.0.2; Free; 2.48MB; AAC, MP3, OGG
        2. WIDGET: The widget is for Winamp is alot like Songbird's, except it drops album art for Shuffle and Repeat. The only real thing I don't like much about it is that they put "Winamp" where they should have put the track title. Instead, it's pushed off to one side and shrunken, more like an afterthought than anything else. But in terms of control, it does not disappoint. (Besides, Nullsoft, isn't the iconic lightning bolt enough? Songbird doesn't mind putting "Songbird" there until a track is playing and then taking it away.)
        3. + LIBRARY: The library interface is very good. The main screen is similar to Meridians except it's black and white...which is a good thing. Not much more to say than that: at no point do I think info is missing or unnecessary, and everything loads fast. It's awesome.
        4. + LOCK SCREEN: The lockscreen provides a good amount of control and looks very decent as well. The only real complaint I have against it is the lag. It takes a second or so for it to pop up, which is just a little bit too long for me.
          Another thing is that music has to be playing, which is kind of annoying, but I'm not quite sure if that is something that goes for all music players or just Winamp.
        5. NOW PLAYING: Winamp shares the Now Playing "tab" instead of a screen, which is great for all the reasons I listed above. The only gripe I have is that the song info is "tucked away" in the bar that you pull up and you only see the album it's on when you change to it initially. I guess the folks at Winamp just have different priorities when it comes to importance of the music info.
        6.    EXTRA: Wireless sync with desktop Winamp (over Wifi), ratings, Shoutcast, Scrobbling, Gesture support, included in Android Search, and ability to get additional artist info from other apps and web services.
        SUMMARY: Definitely awesome! It's most certainly got every feature I could want, and more. The only things I find "bad" about it are nitpicky little things, but considering the extra bonuses you get, like sync and wireless at that, I'd say it's definitely one of my favs.

        3. doubleTwist (+6)

        1.    INFO: Version 1.3.4; Free (w/ $4.99 addon); 8.43MB; AAC, MP3, OGG
        2. WIDGET: Really good, except missing a Previous button. The album art seems a little fuzzier than other widgets side by side for the same track.
        3. + LIBRARY: Very very simplistic. The main screen is much like Winamp's except the buttons are way big, taking up the entire screen.. The library browsing itself is simple and elegant, very reminiscent of an iPod. It and Winamp are very comparable, but it does take it's own spin on things, again, on the side of the iPod/iPhone. But overall, they both are extremely similar and it will probably just end out coming down to preference in terms of which one you like.
        4. + LOCK SCREEN: The lockscreen is extremely simplistic: Artist, scrolling Title, Previous, Next, Play, and a "Press to Unlock" button. It's this simplicity that is nice since many times I'm using the lock screen is in my car, where the big buttons will come in handy.
          Also, I've noticed it pop up rather quickly.
        5. NOW PLAYING: Basically the same thing as the lockscreen: very simple. It almost makes you think it's too simple, but it does get the job done very well and is -surprise surprise- very much like the iPhone. The only thing that's missing is the album....seriously? Why is that not on there?
        6.    EXTRA: Videos, radio, podcasts, ratings, playcounts, Scrobbling, sync with desktop doubleTwist, and wireless sync w/ purchase of AirSync for $4.99.
         SUMMARY: I was very skeptical of doubleTwist when I heard of it, but I am impressed. The only thing is that doubleTwist really shines when you use the desktop application, and I'd like to move away from iTunes, not toward it. But as a standalone app, it's very good.The only reason I would put it above apps like Winamp is because it tends to be a bit snappier. But other than that, they are extremely comparible.

        2. PowerAMP (+7)

        1.    INFO: Version 1.1-build-326; $4.99; 4.66MB; AAC, MP3, OGG, WMA, WAV, APE, FLAC
        2. + WIDGET: Awesome! Everything you could want in a widget. Well, me anyway.
        3. LIBRARY: The library layout is a tad confusing, but once you get the gist of it, it's very useful. It allows you to not only browse, but simultaneous Enqueue, Add to a Playlist, look at song Info, and Delete all, it's definitely a power user's app.
          The main thing I don't like about PowerAMP is that you have to click the Menu button to go back to your library from the Now Playing screen. That, and it's a tad slower, as it often takes a second or two to open the artist or album you pressed.
        4. + LOCK SCREEN: The lockscreen is a little unorthodox; it's pretty much a widget. It's good because it allows for your clock to still be there, but it's bad because it means the controls and everything will be smaller, even on the 4x4+ option. Nonetheless, it's very fast in coming up, has all the song info and controls, and can replace the system lock (when playing), so I have to give it a thumbs up.
        5. + NOW PLAYING: The Now Playing screen really has all you could ask for. The only real query I have with it is small Previous and Next buttons. It looks like it moves forward a folder or artist or album...I guess it makes more sense if you use Folders, whereas I prefer Library. In any case, it's perfect....except for the @#$! blinking text when the track is paused!
        6.    EXTRA: Sleep timer, themes, Scrobbling, Equalizer, Gesture support, fullscreen, downloads missing artwork, etc.
         SUMMARY: Many sites call PowerAMP the best music app, and I can see why. It is not short on features, and although comes at a little hefty of a price tag, certainly delivers on all accounts. The only real reason I don't put it at the top of this list is because of the lack of a "Library" button on the Now Playing screen and because the library is a tad slow. Otherwise, it is perfection.

        1. RockIt (+8)

        1.    INFO: Version 1.3.3; $2.05; 1.70MB; AAC, MP3, OGG
        2. + WIDGET: Wicked! The same as PowerAMP!
        3. + LIBRARY: Browsing the library is much like the stock app, only with improvements. Artists fold out into albums but they take up less vertical space. Albums, however, are completely different in that they are displayed as the album cover, which is very interesting. (Part of me wishes this could be an option you could toggle. You can browse folders, which is awesome, and everything is decently fast, especially after clicking on a tab once.
          The only thing I would change (and might actually be a dealbreaker for me) is that -like the stock app- you can't view all tracks of an artist; when you click on an artist, it just folds out to that artist's albums. You can shuffle through all songs by an artist by pressing and holding on an artist, but you can't view all the songs by an artist and then pick one to start out with. I don't see the reasoning behind it and many of the other apps have that functionality.
        4. + LOCK SCREEN: The lockscreen is awesome: it's essentially a miniarized version  of the Now Playing screen. (why it's miniaturized, I dunno). So you have all the controls and an "Unlock" button. Furthermore, it can be set to replace the system's unlock, and it can be set to appear when music is paused as well. Awesome.
        5. + NOW PLAYING: The Now Playing is probably my favorite, maybe just because I like black. But I honestly just cannot think of a better layout
          UNFORTUNATELY, RockIt seems to be very slow when it comes to Playing, Pausing, Next, and Previous. I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt and say that there's something wrong with my phone currently, but I really hope a great app is not ruined over something so trivial.
        6.    EXTRA: Scrobbling, Twitter, Facebook, fullscreen, ratings, downloads missing artwork, split screen (for tablets).
         SUMMARY: It's very close to PowerAMP; RockIt is more simplistic and PowerAMP is more for the power user who uses Folders. I lean toward Rockit, mostly because it has an easy way to switch back and forth between the library and the Now Playing screen. But in the end, either one rocks.

        The thing that surprised me most about all of these apps is that almost all of them had one thing in common: when a track was paused and you tab Next, it goes to next track and starts playing. I hate that! Seriously! Why would anyone want that? For those of us that are sometimes in a picky music mood, it goes alot faster if the song stays paused (at least on the iPhone), and uses less battery (I believe). In addition, it's stupid. The only app listed above that doesn't include this dumb feature is PowerAMP, though I wrote the maker of RockIt and hope to see that feature added.

        In summary:
        If you want one that is very basic, choose
        MusicMod or the stock app, if you are a masochist or just like depriving yourself of good features

        If you want one with the pull-up style Now Playing, choose
        Songbird or Winamp.

        If you want one with a good desktop app, choose
        Winamp or doubleTwist.

        If you want one that is just a solid, standalone app, choose
        PowerAMP or RockIt.

        If you just want one that is free,

        Stop. Developers need to eat.
        If you're going to use this app every day, toss a few bucks to the developer who spent his time and effort making the app, even if they are offering it for free. Find a way to donate.

        Hope this helps someone in some way. It took about 2 weeks or so of using the apps on and off to get this kind of understanding of each one. I apologize to any app developers reading this that might think I judged their app unfairly; if you do, please see me as a human with faults and kindly e-mail me with what you think I said that was wrong. I am not too proud to edit this post and admit my mistakes.

        I myself still have not settled down on one yet.


        PS -  I just went through and found a ton more I should at least try out; the ones I've already done were mostly the most popular ones that are mentioned everywhere on forums.
        More I need to check out: Music PlayerPro Trial, jukefox, Coco, Vanilla, Astro, MP3 Player, Astro Player Nova, Awesome Media Player.

        The Ultimate Firefox Movie-Watching Profile

        I figured out a long time ago that it's a good idea to make a separate Firefox Profile for my movie watching since my normal profile has all the custom addons and the bookmark bar and what have you. Ever since then, I've tried to work on building the best profile for that purpose. Here's what I have so far:

        Get Firefox 4.
        It has some nice new features, in addition to being faster. Some of the addons below require it, also.

        Cinema Mode
        A persona specifically for watching movies. It dulls down everything so it's less distracting when watching the movie.

        Movable Firefox Button or App Button Clear
        That orange button is really distracting! If you choose Movable Firefox Button, you can move the button anywhere, even the tab bar. Or if you like it where it is, the App Button Clear just makes it less noticeable by making it transparent.

        Move everything onto the tab bar.
        Right click on the Firefox button and click "Organize." Move everything you want onto the tab bar and everything you don't want, delete. This will give you even less distractions. I myself moved up the Firefox Button, the fullscreen button, back and forward, the tab bar (obviously), and the address bar. I can still move around within a site, but I don't have more than I need.

        AutoHide Tabbar*
        This one lets you hide the tab bar while you're watching the movie. That means that you'll only have one tiny black bar that's required for the minimize/maximize/close buttons! (Hmm...I wonder what will happen if you do all this in GNOME 3...) It's up to you to use either the autohide (which can be annoying if you're trying to browse for a little while) or a quick key press.


        Custom Tab Width
        If you want to control how big your tabs are, this one will do it, since there's no easy way to resize the address bar.

        Smart Bookmarks Bar*
        If you still want a few bookmarks on your uber-compact tab bar, this will allow you to make them only favicons. (Don't forget to move the "Bookmark Toolbar" onto the tab bar.)

        Make your movie sites a web app....
        If you want to, you can open your sites like Netflix, right click on the tab, and click "Pin as App Tab". That way, they're there every time you open Firefox and they barely take up any room.

        ...or open your movie sites in the sidebar.
        Actually pretty handy, you can set your bookmarks to open in the sidebar, so you can continue watching your movie while you browse through the Netflix/Amazon/what-have-you selection.

        *(Some of these apps don't technically support Firefox 4, but they still work. In order to make them installable, You have to open up the XPI file with a program like 7-zip, open "install.rdf", change the appropriate line to 4.1, then put it back inside the XPI. Drag the XPI onto Firefox, and it should install!)

        That's it! Not alot of changes, but enough to make it worth a post. If anyone else has any suggestions, let me know. Like for example, I thought it would be cool if there was an addon that made the Bookmark Toolbar icons desaturated until you hovered the mouse over them (a feature I saw in bbLean) so they'd be more subtle, but I couldn't find anything like it.

        Anyway, feel free to use this as a starting point or leave any suggestions in the comments. Here's what mine looks like both browsing and watching:


        Wednesday, March 23, 2011

        Firefox 4! Heck yes!

        I've been waiting for this! Yes, the RC has been out and I've actually used the portable version at school, but for my home machine, I decided to wait until it was stable to switch. And it is awesome!
        So far, everything is uber fast and good looking (even though my favorite of favorite themes, Whitehart, looks crappy with the new layout and probably won't be updated. *sads*)

        Of course the most notable change is that the tabs are now on top and they've now done away with the menu bar in favor of the Firefox button. I'm totally in favor of both of these changes.

        I think the new layout definitely helps Personas. I've never really liked Personas (mostly because of Whitehart..., but also) because they never really made a big enough  change, in my opinion. They were always covered up by the Address bar and whatnot. (You know what needs to exist? A "Transparent Address Bar" addon. That would be BA.)

        The new layout and such is alot more compact, which is definitely a good thing. For the most part, I never really delv into all my menus and thus keeping them a few more clicks away is not really that big a deal.

        One of the features I'm unsure of is the Panorama. It's interesting, for sure, but I'm still undecided as to if I think I will use it. (Of course the nice part about Firefox is that I'm not forced to use it. Yay, freedom of choice!) Basically you can group your tabs into, and then switch through them. This lets you have many tabs open, but only have to focus on several ones at a time. It gets its name from a button that lets you zoom out, much like some of the Compiz effects or

        App Tabs are something I'm very excited about. The concept is that if you want to have a tab open all the time, you can shrink it down to just the favicon, so it will take up barely any space and not have a close button. Plus, App Tabs will glow when something changes in them, so it's uber useful for tweets in Twitter or mail in Gmail. Lastly, App Tabs basically become a part of your home page, more or less, because they always appear when you start Firefox.

        Firefox Sync really isn't a new feature, just because it was an Addon for 3.6.*. It is a nice feature for sure, just nothing new for me. (Speaking of sync, I do have exciting news I just discovered...)

        Integrating the "Addons" page into a tab is definitely welcomed....even if it was taken from Chrome. Although they promise that you won't have to restart, I've already had to several times, but I suppose it is for "old" addons. 

        I'm not really one for benchmarks and tests, but this Firefox is significantly faster than 3.6 or 3.5, and according to Wiki, it scored 97/100 on the Acid3.

        The last "feature" is the "Do not track" setting. If you want to read more about it, click here, but the basic gist of it is that Firefox will send a DNT header with each page request. The website you're going to then has a choice: it can comply to that header, or it can track you anyway (i.e., place a personalized ad). In essence, it's a way to give websites the chance to do the right thing on their own. But this is money we're talking about, and I'm not so sure it's going to work out so well. I do give Mozilla their props for at least making an effort, and I believe their heart is in the right place, since they've also said:
        [Do not track] will require collaboration across the entire ecosystem...and once defined, we will ship that solution as part of Firefox.
        I really don't see it as a big deal either way since I'm pretty sure there are other ways to prevent tracking such as NoScript and I use DuckDuckGo which doesn't allow sites to track me. But I do hope this whole Do Not Track feature will gain traction. The fact that IE9 decided to pick it up too will hopefully help...or hurt, deciding on how stupid Microsoft decides to be with it.

        In any case, I'm very excited for this new version of Firefox. Maybe it was just the release of Chrome, but 3.6 seemed a tad outdated...usable, but outdated. Firefox 4 really seems like a breathe of fresh air, and hopefully that's not just the initial impression.

        Go. Get it. Now.

        PS - I can barely believe it, but I've already seen the Chrome fanboy in the comments section on an article about Firefox 4 and it's features. I know that fanboys exist everywhere....but seriously, this is ridiculous. The Internet Explorer team sent the Mozilla team a cake for the release of Firefox 3. If the developers of web browsers are friendly to one another, why should the users be hostile?

        The thing that gets me is that Chrome users act like discussing Firefox 4's new features is insulting to Chrome. It's not. It's like "Hey, here's Firefox 4." Nobody's saying that everyone should use Firefox 4. Nobody's even saying it's better than Chrome. Just let us pat Mozilla on the back, use whatever browser we want, and we can all live in harmony. (Too much to ask?) Overally, grow up.

        Saturday, March 19, 2011

        Update to DoaAN Labels

        I just got done with updating how I do labels for this site. The main problem before was some confusion between things like "Linux" and "Operating Systems," and using "Random" waaaaay too much. (Everything is random, in some sense.) So I tried to organize it as much as possible, though I'm not sure how well it will work.

        Blogger really needs a form of categories. And so many people say "Labels are categories!", but they're wrong. A label is what the post is about. A category is what type of post it is. (At least, in my mind.) So a "Rant" might be a category because that is the basis of the post, but if it's a rant about iTunes, then it would have a label for iTunes. Similarly, most posts should only have one category, but can have many different labels.

        Basically, Blogger needs to just at least add the ability to create another set of "Labels" with a different name. Instead, they just get mixed in with the labels and they are entirely different attributes to the post. Here are the categories I might currently have:
        • Rants
        • Musings
        • Random Thoughts
        • Weird Bugs / Errors
        • Video Vednesday
        • Good Reads / Videos
        Another alternative would be at least the ability to create sub-tags, or tag children. The main few I see are:
        • Google ____
        • Operating Systems
        • Webcomics

        Anyway, those are my brief thoughts on the matter. Hopefully the new tags will be a tad more relevant, but I'm not sure how to organize the sidebar, since the tag cloud is getting a tad messy, though I really like how it displays what I post about most. (If anyone could find a way to make it one tag per line but still retain the resizing-according-to-frequency, that would be great.)


        Monday, March 14, 2011

        Bry is now powered by Android!

        I don't think I've mentioned it here much, but I've been increasingly displeased with the features (or lack thereof) of iOS, and increasingly impressed with the features of Android. (Plus, I uh....didn't have a data plan and Virgin Mobile is dirt cheap...) But anyway, I'm Android powered now! I have the LG Optimus V, and am LOVING IT. I'll post more about it, you can be sure of that.

        On a quick note, I've noticed that if I place my iPhone too close to my alarm clock, it picks up interference, but not with my new Android phone. I guess it's probably the difference between CDMA and GSM.

        Anyway, TTFN!

        Thursday, March 10, 2011

        Video Vednesday Omnitrois

        I guess it's Wednesday, isn't it...

        Anyway, got not one, not two, but three videos that have struck my fancy recently. There's one that is an interesting experiment, one that is nerdilly musical, and another that is OMG-I-want-it-coolest-thing-ever. In my incredibly biased opinion, I don't think you'll be disappointed by any of them.

        The Experiment.

        The video is called "Chain of Fools : Upgrading through every version of windows." Do I really need to explain what this is about? In any case, it is interesting to see that (1) this actually can be done, and (2) Microsoft's stance toward what "upgrade" means (in terms of user preferences) along the years.

        The Nerdy Musical.
        While I'm a little lost on the general specifics (How does one express 9 in terms of a 8 tone scale?), it still is interesting, and not only that, also very catchy. Plus, this guy has and plays an incredible amount of instruments

        OMG WANT.
        This guy -in his incredible genius- made a self-contained functional Nintendo 64 system fit inside a carrying case for a Gameboy Advance. The sheer awesomeness of this is....well, hard to describe.

        I can't believe Pi Day is coming up! I almost forgot!

        [UPDATE 3-19-11]
         If you're wondering about the title, check out the same-named episode of Ask A Ninja.

        Wednesday, March 9, 2011

        Movie Recommendation: "King of Kong"

        I'm not one for documentaries, but "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" is really a different type of documentary. It gives a good overview of really the birth of competitive video gaming. No, not with Halo or Call of Poopy, with the originals: Pacman, Q*bert, and of course, Donkey Kong. The movie basically follows two guys -Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiobe- and both of their individual struggles for the world high score of Donkey Kong.

        I realize that this might not be the most, uh, impressive plotline. I mean, who really cares about the world record of a decades-old video game except for the people gunning for it? That's what I thought anyway. I don't play the old video games because that's really beyond my generation (well, I personally only started playing video games on the N64). But the good part about King of Kong is that it doesn't really focus on the video game: the strategies and techniques and whatnot (although it does reveal a bit of Wiobe's strategies briefly, which actually is very interesting). Instead, it focuses more on the characters.

        First you're introduced to Billy Mitchell, who was basically there and apart of the beginning of competitive gaming, from the very beginning. You get to learn his philosophies, not only about gaming but also about life, and get to basically see how he sees himself. Then you're introduced to Steve Wiobe, who -in my opinion- is the real star of the movie. Wiobe wasn't there for the beginning of gaming, he just starting aiming for the Donkey Kong world record very recently, in 2003. What follows is essentially a power struggle for whether or not a record is legit, and who the rightful record holder is.

        Again, while it does provide some fun facts about just how competitive gaming started out and insights into the life of an old-school competitive gamer that you might not have ever seen before, it mostly focuses on that single record, and more specifically, on Wiobe. While I do realize that every documentary has to have some bias in order to make it entertaining, based on the footage that at least they showed, I personally began to root for Wiobe, and I'll let you watch it and decide for yourself whom you support.

        I found myself extremely enjoying The King of Kong and honestly, it's better than 97% of the crap that gets made nowadays. So rent it (or Netflix it), give it a watch, and let me know what you think.


        PS - If you want to see how the record is going, check out Twin Galaxies.

        PPS - Like I said, there was definitely bias involved. Here's an article that may clear things up. Nevertheless, it's still a very good movie.

        Wednesday, March 2, 2011

        Long live the Hotz!

        I will be upfront about it: I am a late contender to the jailbreaking community. I wasn't there for the first jailbreak, and I really joined in the iCrowd just before iOS 3.1 was released. So I don't understand why geohot gets all of the hate that he does. He's done so much for the jailbreaking community, and in a way, he's created it. Sure, he may have been snarky and even published a fake photo, but still: his accomplishments and contributions to hackers and non-hackers alike is nothing short of epic.

        So when I heard that he was getting sued for messing with the PS3, even I, an uninformed newbie, was alarmed.

        Don't we have those one things, what are they called again...'rights'?
        Sony somehow believes that they somehow should be allowed control of products that you bought and paid for, even if it's within the boundaries of the law. Like Hotz says of Apple:
        I believe Apple has every right to lock down their iPhone in the factory as much as they want, but once it's paid for and mine, I have the right to unlock it, smash it, jailbreak it, look at it, and hack on it. [1]
        And again about Sony:
        Who are they to authorize what I do with my taxed and paid for property? [1]
        An article from the EFF talking about the stupidity of Sony's offense sums it up nicely:
        The basic gist of Sony's argument is that the researchers accessed their own PlayStation 3 consoles in a way that violated the agreement that Sony imposes on users of its network (and supposedly enabled others to do the same). But the researchers don't seem to have used Sony's network in their research — they just used the consoles they bought with their own money.[2]
        To simplify, Sony is wrong in saying that the hackers violated a network user's agreement because the hackers never used the network. Therefore (from the same article):
        Simply put, Sony claims that it's illegal for users to access their own computers in a way that Sony doesn't like. Moreover, because the CFAA has criminal as well as civil penalties, Sony is actually saying that it's a crime for users to access their own computers in a way that Sony doesn't like.[2]
        So thankfully, the EFF seems to be in 100% agreement with Hotz:
        That means Sony is sending another dangerous message: that it has rights in the computer it sells you even after you buy it, and therefore can decide whether your tinkering with that computer is legal or not. We disagree. Once you buy a computer, it's yours.[1]
         This lawsuit is not about geohot. It's not about the PS3. It's not even about Sony. It's, as Hotz puts it, "That consumers have rights, and we aren't afraid to stand up for them." [1]

        Scapegoats: When you really don't want to solve the actual issue

        Like Hotz says, Sony "[doesn't] really care about piracy, they care about control." [1] He makes a blog post called "Three Facts" that sum up very easily what he has never done (and Sony has yet to challenge any of them, as far as I know).
        * I have never pirated a PS3 game in my life, nor helped or encouraged people to do so
        * I have never played PlayStation online, never mind cheated, nor helped or encouraged people to do so
        * I have never hacked anything that I did not own or without consent of the owner[3]
        Hotz even makes futher claims about his own philosophy:
        I am an advocate against mass piracy, do not distribute anyone's copyrighted work but my own, do not take crap lying down, and am even pro DRM in a sense.[1]
        But Sony really doesn't even care about piracy, at least when it comes to Hotz.
        Sony does not even try to allege piracy or copyright infringement in this case, they allege I did things like play "super mario world, an unauthorized game" on MY PS3.[1]
        Perhaps the most idiotic part of the lawsuit is that they are not only suing someone for no reasons, they are suing "the wrong guy", in the words of Hotz.[1]

        If you have a problem with pirates, sue them, don't sue people who point out your shortcomings.[1]
        WHAAAT? Yeah, that's right. Hotz's exploit didn't even allow pirated games. In fact, Hotz specifically disabled the ability to use pirated games or backups in his custom firmware. It was people that built off his exploits that introduced piracy at all; all Hotz did was allow you to homebrew your PS3. And when it comes to Hotz's personal opinion of the piracy that has started:
        I had no idea this would happen, and am in full support of the cheaters being permabanned from PSN. [1]
        Sidetrack: "Isn't Hotz guilty by association?"
        On his blog, I read alot of people saying that Hotz is guilty because he provided the means with which to pirate games. Some people say that this implicates him as guilty because without his contributions, piracy would not have been able to take place. There are three reasons I disagree with this.
        1. Piracy existed before Hotz and company released the key. No, I'm not talking generally, I'm talking about specifically on the PS3, piracy existed. (If you want proof, check PSJailbreak or read an article about it dated August 19th, or even just google duck for 'ps3 dongle piracy'.)
        2. To say that someone should be held accountable for something that somebody else did with their work is retarded. Just because we can look back and say "This lead to piracy!" does not mean that it is piracy or guilty of bringing piracy. I'll try to give a few examples to illustrate my point:
          • Jaibreaking: Through jailbreaking and Installous, you can add pirated apps. Does that mean that Hotz and the Chronic Dev Team and others are guilty because they allowed a way for piracy to get in? Does that mean saurik is guilty because people can use Cydia to add pirate repos? In some weird, twisted logic, I guess you could claim that yeah, they all ended out playing a part in it, but (a) that was not their intent, and (b) they didn't contribute any to the piracy aspect. Yeah, they opened doors for piracy to get in more easily than if iOS was not jailbroken, but saying that opening doors to make it more possible for piracy is like saying that Bjarne Stroustrup is one of the people that is guilty of creating viruses because he made C++. Technically, yeah, he did contribute a necessary component, but there is a gap in between him and the 'naughty' thing. The size of the gap is the determining factor.
          • A post from the mirado of the GiantBomb forum:
              • "Do you consider Leó Szilárd to be a murderer? He conceived the idea of the nuclear chain reaction. His tests proved that a chain reaction was possible, and (along with Enrico Fermi) patented the idea of the nuclear reactor. He even wrote the letter to Roosevelt (which Einstein signed) which led to the creation of the Manhattan Project. But do you consider him to be a murderer? He didn't drop the bombs. He didn't even make the decision to drop the bombs. He wasn't a part of the project himself (at least the part which built the casings/bombs or conducted the Trinity test), in fact he voiced his dismay over losing control of the research to the military. But, though his research, he enabled thousands of people to be killed and led to the nuclear weapon stockpliles the world has today. But is he a murderer?"
          • The Internet: For Christ's sake, how about the people who invented the internet? After all, internet piracy wouldn't be a problem if the internet wasn't around. Or how about the creators of the MP3 and OGG and WAV and all the others because piracy wouldn't be so much of a problem if we just had tapes and CDs! (See what I'm getting at?) You can always go back one level of abstraction and cast blame on someone who contributed to the problem because that's what technology is: building on one another's ideas.
            You may think that I'm getting offtrack, so let me clarify: there is a delicate level of abstraction that separates each contributor to a crime and the question for Hotz's lawsuit is not "Did what he do enable piracy?", but instead, "Is he close enough to the level of piracy that he should also be blamed?" This is the delicate ground and where most of the discussion takes place, I find. To plead my case one more time, a quote from the same thread as mentioned above:
              • "The argument turns really dumb when we start saying 'but he enabled someone else to modify his system to then distribute a new system to then allow people to hack their ps3 and then pirate software' so maybe let's avoid the infinite chain of causation argument?"
        3. As biased as it sounds, I'd say Sony deserves it. I know that technically it wasn't illegal because Sony has the right to remove functionality, but there's got to be some limits on that. What if Sony released an update where every PS3 game stopped working except "Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust." No doubt people would get mad and yell but Sony could just shrug and say "EULA! LOL I TROLL U!"
          Maybe I'm exaggerating, but the point is, there's a difference between removing functionality and removing a key feature. Maybe a more accurate example would be them taking away online play. In any case, I'd say that this is a digital age spin on the classic "false advertising," because when you bought the PS3 (after the update, if you want to get technical), it was promised that you would get this feature, and some people might have even gotten the PS3 based on this feature. So for Sony to just drop it is not illegal, but sure is a douche move, all for BS reasons.
          Call it karma, call it action-and-equal-opposite-reaction, but Sony pulled a dick move. Hotz himself questions Sony's so called security reasons [4], and if they had not removed it in the first place, the exploit would never have needed to exist. (That's my personal theory anyway.) Some people blame geohot for the OtherOS removal because he talked about the exploit of the PS3 back in June of last year, but I would argue that Sony freaking out about his words and pulling the plug on a feature that people like Hotz want is not the answer to the problem. Yes, it is an answer, but it's not the answer; another answer is releasing a firmware to cause every PS3 to self-destruct: it solves the problem....but not really.
          So again, I say: Sony is reaping what it sowed.

          REGARDLESS of if you agree or disagree or want to kill me over the points I mentioned above, the point of whether or not Hotz is guilty or not is not the necessary question; the true question is "Why on god's green earth is Sony suing this guy instead of fixing the problem?" So hopefully, even if you think that Hotz is guilty and should be sued, you can agree that this lawsuit is not fixing the problem.
          End sidetrack
        People all over the place are saying "Why the fuck is Sony suing this guy instead of hiring him to fix the problems?" Even just paying him for this one fix would help. Hotz himself said the following:
        Even worse, you sued the guy who actually can write that patch, that'll sure teach him.[5]
        (Though I'm guessing many people would question if he'd follow through on it,) Hotz has also said that
        I'm also willing to accept a trade, a legit path to homebrew for knowledge of how to stop new firmwares from being decrypted. [1]
        What is Sony smoking? Here's a guy saying "Look, I will help you fix this problem while simultaneously making sure it never happens again, and it will cost no money to you." But no, apparently this "issue" is more important than the actual problem or fixing it. So, instead, they decide to sue. Hotz talks about a few of the past cases -cases actually about piracy- and that instead of actually ridding the world of pirated music or DVD decryption, just "put money into some lawyers pockets."[5] The difference was only made when "some companies innovated instead of litigated."[5] Hotz makes a very, very good analogy from piracy to drugs:
        I see a lot of parallels with the "War on Drugs". Most people, me included, admit drugs are a problem, but this whole idea of tackling it with the legal system has never worked and will never work. When you shut down a drug ring...another pops up, and the street price remains the same. When you shut down a piracy ring...another pops up, and content remains just as free. Sometimes a drug user is made an example of. Does everyone put down the crack pipe? Of course not. Sometimes a college student who downloaded 30 songs is made an example of. Does everyone run to the nearest Tower Records? Of course not.[5]
        And lastly concludes with the statement:
        The pirates and the drug smugglers will always be one step ahead, the only way to beat them is to think outside the box. And the legal system is as inside the box as you can think.[5]
        So wait, what exactly is the problem, Sony? Piracy isn't because Hotz didn't promote that. The problems that Hotz and company found aren't either, because you're suing them instead of asking them for help (and people you're suing rarely want to help you). While I'm not sure we'll ever understand what's behind Sony's clusterfucked reasoning, here's a final word by Hotz in one of his posts:
        If you haven't realized yet, the PS3 security isn't irreparably broken at all. But your reputation just might be. [5]
        Pissing everyone off: very rarely the solution This is the dumbest fucking move in the planet, Sony. They obviously aren't trying to get money out of Hotz, so what's the motivation? To scare him. To scare everyone. This doesn't solve the problem, Sony; all it does is piss people off. To quote Hotz himself:
        A question, how many people do you think knew or cared on January 10 about all this? Maybe a couple hundred thousand? Under a percent of your market share. And these are geeks, who frankly aren't going to change their content purchasing habits based on the news. These are the kind of people who really are hacking their PS3 just for the sake of doing it, just cause it's cool. The kind of people who are telling you the truth when they say they really did just hack their PS3 to run Linux. Or they are diehard pirates who never would have bought the games anyway, you know the type. Now fast forward to February 25. Consistently, the top Sony related news article is about the PS3 being hacked. And the causal gamer comes along and sees, oh cool, the PS3 has been hacked, now I don't have to buy games. [5]
        To put it another way: most people didn't give a shit about it beforehand. The only people that did give a shit are now pissed-the-fuck off at you. This lawsuit did not fix the security problem, it did not fix the "hacker problem", all it did was piss your customers off, while simultaneously getting the word out about the very thing you're 'trying' to stop.

        When will companies learn that trying to control their customers through fear will never do any good? Honestly, I'd say that controlling them at all is stupid. Users don't want to be controlled, they want to use the piece of equipment they bought, whether it be a cell phone, computer, or gaming system. Now things like online (official-server) gaming is different because you need order for it to even exist. But if you want to play offline (or on your own server), you should be able to do whatever the hell you want. Steam does a great job on this; you can pop open the console and change whatever you want about the game -as long as it's offline or on your server. They don't feel the need to constrict their users because their users don't need constricting.

        This whole struggle for power is honestly something I would expect from Apple. No matter how many times exploits are found and jailbreaks are created, Apple continues to fight them as much as possible, even making false threats about watermarks and things to scare users away from what they tell users is "bad". They put so much effort into it instead of finding an "outside the box" solution. Sure they steal a few ideas from jailbroken apps and incorporate it into their closed system, but they still never offer a compromise, since users don't want the features: they want freedom.

        Now Apple's struggle, I at least understand: they control everything, and it's for money. They keep the apps to the App Store so they can make all the money; they manufacture their own computers so they can make the money; it's all about the money. With Sony, I just don't see their angle: how is what Hotz and company did costing them any money? No, don't say "piracy," we already covered that Hotz wasn't responsible for it. (And even if you claim that he was partly responsible, why aren't they going after the people that are entirely responsible -the people who released custom firmware that DID allow pirated games? Why go for the small fries like Hotz?) So how else is home brewing costing them money? It's not. They want power for power's sake. (Or maybe they have something else up their sleeve and homebrewing interferes. Only time will tell.)

        The point is, the damage is done. The information is out and nothing can be done to get it back. If anything, the lawsuit is a kind of punishment, not trying to fight piracy (since they never accuse Hotz of piracy) and not trying to undo the data leakage (since their own Twitter account retweeted the code[7]). So when Sony files a restraining order[6] that prevents Hotz from distributing his already-distributed the information AND turn over all of his computers (because obviously it was the computers that did all the work. Not Hotz.), that's really just a like a giant temper tantrum, trying to mess with Hotz as much as they can.

        In summary: Sony is retarded
        So again, after the outcome of this hackers still messing with their products, geohot will probably win the court date and continue hacking, their security problems will still be there, and ex-Sony fans will not easily forget this. Nice move, Sony. Here's my letter that I would (and might) send to them:
        Dear Sony,
             I just thought that I would let you know, from this consumer's mouth, that I will not be purchasing any or your products in the foreseeable future. The reason behind this is your recent lawsuit with George Hotz. It has clearly been shown that you do not respect your consumers and users, so I no longer respect you.
             And for the record, I am not a hacker. I am not a geohot follower. I do not even own a PS3. Were it not for your asinine lawsuit, the PS3 exploit would have easily gone unnoticed by me. But instead, I was shown not a company that focuses on the real problem -such as the existence of security issues or functionality that users desire that you have foolishly taken away- but instead focuses on blaming scapegoats and instilling fear in the hacker and even user community. Users should not be afraid of companies, companies should be afraid of their users.
            With that, I bid farewell to all music players, game systems, computers, and any other products that bear the new four letter word for "Tyranny." I assure you that you have lost business from this consumer as I have greatly considered purchasing both a VAIO and a PS3/4 as my next computer and gaming system, but will now instead turn to alternatives. But more important than my business is my loyalty. Consumers are all about loyalty. You get rid of the loyalty, you get rid of the consumers. It's as simple as that. And until you can see that, I will not see Sony anywhere in my house.