Sunday, February 19, 2017

A must do for Chinese apps

Yesterday I was in CostCo and my Nexus 6 ran quite warmly. It was the Moli TV doing something in the ground. I opened the Swiss knife - Tasker, added the following profile and task to kill it whenever it is in the background.

New profile, Application, 魔力视频,  link to it a new task:

Code, run shell, am force-stop com.molitv.android.v2, use root.

Now go back to the profile, add to it an exit task, link it to this new task as well and unlink the enter task.



From now on, I can still open this app and use it normally to watch TV, it just won't have a chance to run in the back ground.

I did the same for TV Plus. Those are pretty much the only two Chinese apps I use that have no reason to run in the background.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Use SHB9850NC for noise cancelling only

In case you want to use the SHB9850NC for noise cancelling only (no music), you can find a junk headphone or buy one from Dollar Tree, cut off the plug and plug it into the Philips. This will disable Bluetooth and keep the NC active. Use a 3-pole (not 4-pole) plug.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Make Philips SHB8750NC Comfortable

These Philips Bluetooth Noise Cancelling headphones are on clearance in Walmart stores for $10-30.  They sound good without exaggerated bass. There is only one issue though: too tight (too much clamping force). We can easily address this issue with nothing but some water.



You can find these headphones with this link (SKU 54383955).

If you want more NC and/or over-the-ear type, then consider the Philips SHB9850NC.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

FireFox and save passwords, always

First thing first is to install the addon of Saved Password Editor, then most of the web sites will allow you to save passwords, automatically or manually:


But some web developers figured out a trick to confuse FireFox by adding fake "user" and/or "password" input fields around the real one(s). Such fake input fields can be revealed by Inspect Element, like these four fake inputs below the real one:

These four fake input fields must be removed for password-save to work. We need to install Greasemonkey, then add the following user script:

// ==UserScript==
// @name        Enable Password Saving
// @include     https://the_web_site
// @grant       GM_getValue
// ==/UserScript==

var oldInput = document.querySelector ("input[value=no-ff-pwmgr-1]");
oldInput.parentNode.removeChild(oldInput);
oldInput = document.querySelector ("input[value=no-ff-pwmgr-2]");
oldInput.parentNode.removeChild(oldInput);
oldInput = document.querySelector ("input[value=no-ff-pwmgr-3]");
oldInput.parentNode.removeChild(oldInput);
oldInput = document.querySelector ("input[value=no-ff-pwmgr-4]");
oldInput.parentNode.removeChild(oldInput);


Now refresh the page, the four fake input fields are removed:


Log in again and FireFox will prompt us to save the password.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Amazon Fire TV low storage fix

Since last week or so, my 1st gen AFTV always pop up a message for low storage. Turned out it was the Amazon launcher cache that took up all the storage.

Here is a dirty and easy fix, root required:

adb connect 192.168.1.101 (change it to your IP)
adb shell
su
cd /data/data/com.amazon.tv.launcher/databases
rm mbcache.db*
touch mbcache.db
touch mbcache.db-shm
touch mbcache.db-wal
chmod 0 mbcache.db*

Now, ls -all and it should look like this:

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Tweaks of Philips SHB9850NC Headphones

After trying lots of noise cancelling (NC) headphones, Philips SHB9850NC stands out as the satisfactory pair - comfortable, effective and good sound for less than $200.



However, ever since I put them on, I felt too much bass. I took off the ear cups to see what I can do about that:



The first thing I noticed: the large oval foam rings are off their supposed tracks. I tear carefully them up and put them back on the tracks. This correction should give better seals which is important for noise isolation.



I then removed the two white round tapes to reveal the two small holes. These two holes release resonance and thus reduce booming bass. Now they sound like monitor type headphones without excessive bass. If you want a little more bass after fully opening the holes, then you may try to block partially the holes, or use a mask tape with a tiny hole. The larger the hole, the less bass and less efficiency of NC. I used a 1/32" - 3/64" drill bit.


Or insert a tiny piece of foam into the hole to reduce bass but without letting treble out to degrade NC and sound quality:


I like this foam tweak the most - very clean and sweet sound.

Also insert a little bit of foam into the two Mic holes to avoid wind noise while running or riding a bike etc.:


One more tweak you must do is to insert some foam into the ear cups. Not only far more comfortable, better sound stage too!


 
You can have lots of fun with these tiny holes and some foam!

The clapping force is still too much, not comfortable after an hour or two; so I bend the headband like this:


Don't worry, you cannot break it because the headband is made of steal (but grab and bend the top part only, or you may break the two plastic seats that connect the top and lower segments):


Now this Philips is perfect, except just one thing - the stupid touch panel. To let the touch to work is like to win the Lottery.

Some notes on NC headphones

I tried more than 10 pairs of NC headphones and earbuds. The top Audio-Technica (priced at $200) have four microphones like this Philips for effective NC, but the speakers in them are bad sounding. They sound very poor when NC is turned off; Bose is the same. The Sennheiser PXC 550 is the only perfect NC headphones, but they cost $400, insane. For only $82 during this Black Friday, this Philips is currently the only choice if you don't want to pay a leg or arm for a good pair of NC headphones.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

买补品之前必读

又快到春节了,不少人又要被各种补品所困扰。这几天稍微研究了一下补品(营养品、保健品),我想对大家都有参考价值。

首先,“补”是补充的意思,而不是中国人说的十全大补的那个意思,英文是“dietary supplements“。所以关于补品的第一点就是真的缺了才需要补,如果不缺,或者补的太多,反而会出问题甚至中毒、致癌的。简单说,这些东西是不能随便吃的。

第二个问题是,你怎么知道这些补品是名副其实、而不是面粉团子甚至有有害成分?在美国,美国食品和医药局(FDA)不管这些补品,谁都可以卖,也就是没有哪个部门来监管,所以这种担忧不是多余的。

事实的确如此。2013年,在美国的16个州至少有72个人因为补品中毒,其中3人必须做肝脏移植,一位妇人死亡。同年12月,一位医生给一个婴儿吃了一种流行的肠道益菌,结果死了,后来查出是因为含有酵母菌。

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/12/107141/?_r=0

在《纽约时报》做了关于补品大量作假的报道之后,纽约州总检察长在2015年2月展开了一个调查。调查了4家名店:GNC(美国最老的补品专卖店),Target(连锁百货店),Wlagreens(连锁药店)和Walmart(沃尔玛)。结果是:要么是根本没有标签上所说的成分,要么是大米粉末和大蒜粉末。检察总长对这些商店提出了指控,相关产品强迫下架。

没有有关部门来监管,这些本来就是挖空心思以赚大钱为唯一目的厂家,怎么可能不做假?它们要是真有必要的专业知识的话,就会去做药了;既然没有必须的专业知识,它们拿什么来确保不会有有害成分?

所以,这些补品是不能吃的!美国都这样乱七八糟的,中国的那些补品就可想而知了,绝对不能吃,无一例外!

实在还是想吃的话,美国现在到是有一家独立的检测机构了:

http://labdoor.com

几乎所有美国市面上有的补品他们都检测。所以你们以后还是想吃什么补品的话,可以自己到这个网站去查一下。当然,就算是经过这样的检查,还是不能保证会有效果或者是无害的。但是至少比以前那样完全盲目地给黑心厂家送钱好多了。

比如我昨天在CostCo买的两瓶东西,本来打算寄给我父母的:

 

labdoor去一查,都和标签上标明的含量不符;尤其是右边的Schiff,比标称含量少了99%,也就是主要成分几乎完全没有。这两瓶一起是30多美金,不便宜啊,30多刀买两瓶普通软糖,也它妈的太黑了吧!这还是美国,中国呢?!

总之,最好不吃,实在要吃,最起码要是经过上面这个网站检查过没有明显问题的。中国买的那些东西,就是号称是进口或代购的,都一律不要吃,因为你完全无法知道那些瓶子里到底装的是啥。

PS:  《消费者报告》(ConsumerReports)9月刊花了14页的大量篇幅全面指导补品的安全性,有兴趣的可以去你的图书馆找来读读。我还没见过这么长的CR文章,可见现在这个问题的严重程度。文中说: 仅仅是2008到2011,美国食品及药品管理局共收到6307起投诉,包括92例死亡,数百危机生命,严重受伤和患病的上千。由于很多都没有记录在案,实际数目要远高于这些。文章最后说: 健康无捷径可走,试试锻炼和食物。比如,如果你觉得自己缺维生素C,那么就吃一个橘子;如果缺维A,吃一个小小的胡萝卜就足够了。

美国人现在都知道中国人好这一口,赶在春节前补品全面减价。以前从来没有这样的全面过,每次顶多降一两样而已:

 

那个你们在里面吃过热狗的仓库式大超市(CostCo),从进门口一直到收银处,目前全都是一瓶又一瓶的补品,没有任何一样其它的东西,存货足足的,磊的高高的,我用手机只能照下这冰山之一角。这也是以前从来没有过的奇景,比如这会是一年中最冷的时候,这地方应该放的是保温杯和取暖器之类的东西: