J. Angelo Racoma(444 posts)

J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise platforms, and is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team that offers digital content and marketing services.

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This Xposed module adds blur effects to your expanded notifications

by: J. Angelo RacomaJuly 21, 2014

The Xposed Framework has been a must-have set of tweaks for those who want to make the most out of their Android devices. For some, running Xposed tweaks on otherwise stock (but rooted) ROMs has become a good alternative to installing custom ROMs like Cyanogenmod, AOKP, Paranoid Android, Carbon and others, simply because many of the customizations that come with these can be done through Xposed.

Many of the tweaks involve the user interface, which enhance usability and accessibility, while some are more of style and preference tweaks. One of these is the Blurred System Module UI, a new tweak that gives users the ability to customize how the background is blurred after [...]

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Swich wireless charger: Great design, or too expensive?

by: J. Angelo RacomaJuly 14, 2014

Great technology is best with great design. This does not involve only aesthetics, but also usability, accessibility and functionality. When wireless charging technology came into fashion, for example, the intent was to enable untethered powering-up. However, design limitations resulted in some difficulty creating chargers that are both easy to use and well-designed.

Case in point: While wireless charging gives you the convenience of just placing your device on a desk, mat or a car dashboard, you won’t be able to use it as easily as if the device were simply plugged in via wires.

A Kickstarter project called Swich tries to address this limitation, with the [...]

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Next on Samsung’s security feature list: retina scans

by: J. Angelo RacomaJuly 13, 2014

Mobile devices are increasingly becoming personal and ubiquitous — which means you’re probably carrying more personal information on your smartphone than your wallet. This comes with a host of security issues, of course. If you lose your smartphone or tablet, then whoever picks it up might be able to glean a lot of information about you, to the extent that your device can be a potential threat to the security of your identity.

You lock your phone anyway, you say? But a Consumer Reports survey done earlier this year indicates that only a third of Americans bother to lock their devices with at least a four-digit PIN. Most don’t even bother with a [...]

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MindRDR is mind-control for your Google Glass

by: J. Angelo RacomaJuly 11, 2014
Wouldn't it be cool to control Google Glass or other wearable devices just by thinking of a command in your mind? An open-source app called MindRDR might just be the solution.
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Normal’s 3D-printed custom headphones ensure a perfect fit

by: J. Angelo RacomaJuly 8, 2014

Music is a very personal thing — from your choice of genres, artists and even equipment. Cost permitting, one would usually want the best audio equipment possible. Not everyone is an audiophile, however, and some would settle for just the stock earphones or headphones that come with their music player or smartphone. But for those who are more discerning, a good quality pair of earphones is necessary for quality listening while on the go.

Most earphones and headphones are mass-produced, however. Some would come with a variety of rubber plugs or foams, which can come in different sizes to at least approximate a good fit. But a new product by a startup called Normal [...]

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Curious about Sailfish? Check out the Jolla Phone launcher port for Android 4.2 and up

by: J. Angelo RacomaJuly 4, 2014

Customization is one of the stronger points of Android as a platform. However, for some, running a new launcher, installing SMS and calling app replacements, and rooting one’s device is not enough. Android’s open source underpinnings has actually been forked by manufacturers and developers so that they can deliver their own user experience and run their own platform. Take Amazon’s Fire OS, for example, or Nokia’s “X” platform.

In the recent years, another notable mobile OS is Jolla’s Sailfish OS. Jolla is a company formed by former Nokia employees, which was taken by observers as an indication that these folks are likely to be [...]

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Chromecast to use ultrasonic tones for authentication: A new trend in wireless communication?

by: J. Angelo RacomaJune 27, 2014

Google announced several new things at Google I/O 2014, and one of these is that its HDMI plug-in device Chromecast will be able to provide casting functionality even when an Android device and the Chromecast are not connected to the same WiFi network. Previously, this was confirmed to be done through geo-location data, whereby Chromecast will authenticate with the device by confirming they are within the same vicinity. It turns out that Chromecast will also be using another technology altogether: ultrasonic tones.

Through this authentication method, Chromecast will emit ultrasonic tones from the TV’s speakers, which will then be “heard” by the [...]

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Qeexo FingerSense: When taps and swipes are not enough

by: J. Angelo RacomaJune 15, 2014
Is this the future of touchscreen computing? Qeexo's FingerSense technology can differentiate fingers, knuckles, styluses and more.
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Pi Locker brings gesture controls to your lockscreen

by: J. Angelo RacomaJune 13, 2014

You may not be spending too much time with your Android device’s lockscreen, but it’s certainly the first thing you see when you bring out your phone from your pocket or purse. Given this, you might want your lockscreen to offer more interactivity than the default shortcuts or unlock method offered by your UI. Depending on manufacturer or ROM, you might have a combination of slider shortcuts, shortcut buttons or lockscreen widgets. And of course, you can interact with notifications on-screen.

Those who have played around with custom ROMs might remember the lockscreen gesture features offered by CyanogenMod until version 7. Lockscreen gestures let you access [...]

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‘SSL added and removed here’ – Google mocks NSA in crypto code easter egg

by: J. Angelo RacomaJune 7, 2014


It’s an open secret that the NSA is keeping tabs on Internet users through various means. Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations suggest that the agency does not even have to take an active role in eavesdropping, as it’s the Internet and tech companies that do this for them. Case in point: Vodafone recently published a transparency report, indicating the means and methods through which governments are spying through telecom networks.

Google is actually one of the companies that have been used by spy agencies in their data mining efforts. In particular, the movement of information between datacenters can be the chink in the armor [...]

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