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DIY replaceable headphone cord mod to use Sony MDR-7506 with a straight coord (yes… “like beats” but still better)

23 Feb

I love music and am almost always listening to music if I have the choice. I also usually listen to headphones while working (depending on the job). I always just used whatever crappy earbuds came with my current phone and they, for the most part, got the job done. However, recently I had the (very delayed) realization that as a music lover, audiophile, and someone that is the developer of an android and kindle app that depends on extremely high audio quality I should probably have some nice headphones.

I searched through all of the consumer reviews and the only thing I learned is that I DON’T want to get a pair of “Beats by Dre” regardless of how trendy they are they are certainly not the highest quality headphones and I just want them to sound great the rest is extra. So I contacted my audio engineer friend and asked him what I should get and his response to my half page wall of text was very simple: “Sony MDR-7506.”

This isn’t meant to be a product review, but I will say that the Sony MDR-7506 headphones are AWESOME and for under $100 I don’t think you can beat them. They are insanely comfortable, light-weight, very adjustable, durable, and they fold up nicely for transport. The audio quality is amazing and after a little research I realized they are pretty much used in every studio ever so there is a good chance that the song you’re listening to was, at least in part, mixed using them.

 Now on to the bad news……

horrid curly Sony MDR-7506 coord replace it

horrid curly Sony MDR-7506 coord replace it

 

The Sony MDR-7506 is only available with the phone-cord-style coiled cable. Truthfully it makes sense, they are meant for use in a studio and the average consumer was not considered. However, I want to throw these in my backpack daily and detangling the headphone cable everyday would almost certainly be the bane of my existence. Luckily, the headphones are extremely well documented and replacing the cable with a straight cable or an 1/8” jack was incredibly simple.

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Instagram is draining my battery on my android phone (and probably spying on me)

14 Jul

2014-07-12 02.57.19I wasn't sure if it was a new "upgrade" to Instagram or an issue with Android KitKat 4.4 but on my Samsung Galxy S5 running Android 4.4 the battery life was amazing. I was honestly shocked at how great it was. That is until I made the mistake of installing Instagram.

I installed a bunch of stuff because it was a new phone and I wasn't sure what was really doing the damage, but luckily android provides this nice battery burn-down chart complete with individual app battery consumption.

On this particular day I just so happened to NEVER load Instagram. I didn't even open the app, but some how it managed to use 37% of my battery and my phone was extremely hot. Additionally my phone used a very curious amount of data that day despite the fact that it spent most of the day in my pocket. It's an understatement to say something seems a bit fishy.

Then I remembered a while back when facebook asked me for some additional permissions that really freaked me out and I decided rather than agree I'd just delete the app. I didn't even look at the permissions for Instagram when I installed it and it turns out it asked for the same permissions which included the ability to record audio without my permission, access my address book, and prevent the phone from sleeping. In summary it can be used to listen in on what I'm doing and apparently that's what it was doing (and destroying my battery life in the process).

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How to control individual permissions of android app with App Ops

14 Jul

Recently Facebook issued an update to their Android app which added some permissions including the ability to record audio without the users permission and the ability to wake the device from sleep. Never have I seen such a seemingly nefarious combination of permissions. Is it the NSA monitoring us or just Zuckerberg?

Facebook permissionsLater word got out that Facebook was "just" monitoring audio to determine what kinds of music and shows their users enjoy so they can better cater advertising. I'll set aside my moral obligations to companies spying on me for a second and just  focus on the fact that they are stealing my battery life and I'd like them to stop. The best option is probably to just stop using the offending apps, but if you still want to use facebook (or instagram) you're in luck because there is an alternative. A hidden feature called App Ops allows you to have granular control of app permissions.

 

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Hacking furniture – Turning a bookshelf in to a kitchen counter

07 Nov

They say that when life hands you lemons you should make lemonade. Well life handed me 4 bookshelves so I made a kitchen island. In our attempt to furnish our apartment as cheaply as possible we found a set of 4 tall, narrow bookshelves on craigslist for free with the caveat "Must take all 4." What we wanted was 2 bookshelves and an island counter, but we've had no luck finding a counter in the right dimensions. So we went and strapped the 4 bookshelves to the top of our Hyundai and brought them home. We figured we'd either find something to do with the other 2 or give them away to someone else. They are made of a material that is similar to a butcher block counter top so I decided to see if I could convert a bookshelf in to a counter. (spoiler: it worked).

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We built a bench (DIY upholstered bench)

06 Nov

Finding a large bench on a small budget is pretty hard. Seattle is great for having an abundance of free furniture on craigslist. In fact, we were able to almost entirely furnish our apartment for free. However, we couldn't find a bench that suited our needs. We wanted something that ran the full length of the window. It also needed to be open underneath because of the baseboard heater below the window.

 

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Glass and water in 3D using Blender

08 Oct

I recently dove back in to the world of 3D. More accurately you could say I dipped my toe back in the pool. I'm really hoping to do a lot more in the future and get more in to Blender in the near future. To get started I followed a tutorial from Blender Guru and created these images.

 
 

The Oatmeal is Awesome Funny Junk sucks

12 Jun

So, a while ago one of my favorite web comics The Oatmeal wrote a comic about how funny junk steals peoples hard work and surrounds it in ads to make a quick profit. When I read that I thought they were ass holes.

To make matters worse funny junk now had the audacity to send Matt Inman (author of The Oatmeal) a letter demanding $20,000 because his comic supposedly damaged their business. His response was to raise $20,000 for charity and send funny junk a picture of the money before he donates it. Classic. Response to funny junk.

Part of the complaint was that The Oatmeal is stealing rankings from funny junk. Well I think they are assholes so I vote anyone with a blog, tumblr, web site, whatever… posts a link to one (or many) of the oatmeal comics about funny junk with the link text "Funny Junk" in the link text to make sure when people look for funny junk they find The Oatmeal first.

 
 

Comic Sans EVERYWHERE for chrome released

08 Feb

Today I contributed my greatest addition to the advancement of the web and technology in general. It's called Comic Sans EVERYWHERE. It is an extension for chrome that allows you to see all of your favorite sites in your favorite font, Comic Sans. This is my contribution to the world. I hope you all enjoy it. Download it now

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Singing Weighted Companion Cube Duct Tape Wallet

12 May

Still scarred from having to burn my best friend alive I set out to create this weighted companion cube wallet completely out of duct tape. As an added bonus I included a voice chip so it plays the song from portal when opened.

Companion Cube Wallet

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Install nano text editor on Netgear Stora

18 Nov

Nano is (in my opinion) the best text editor that exists for linux and an essential tool that you need before you can hope to accomplish anything else with your stora. This simple guide will show you how to install nano on your netgear stora. Truly the hard part of setting this up are the 2 prerequistes listed above. Once you get past that anyone who knows how to use a repository should be able to easily install nano, but I figured I'd include a quick guide for those who don't.

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