Friday, July 22, 2011

Google - warning PC owners of malware

it's not quite the same as remotely removing malware from your android phones, but if Google detects some malware on your PC, they'll now warn you about it as well.

thanks, Google - i hope i never (need to) benefit from you watching over me!

Official Google Blog: Using data to protect people from malware

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nuance responds to flext9 bug reports/enhancement requests

i decided to contact flext9's technical support about some of the things i'd found from using their keyboard (see previous post). it wasn't quite the 48 hours suggested by their submit a ticket page, but they did eventually reply after about 2.5 weeks, and with some detail:


Sorry for the late response.

Our software engineers' investigation points to WhatsApp text buffer management as the culprit. Here's how they explained it:

For this particular app, this problem happens only if we're trying to recapture the only word in the text buffer. It works fine if there are more than one words in the text buffer. Seems there is bug in this application’s text buffer management.

Notice that when the problem occurs, the inline word does not have the underline. This is because to recapture a word, we first copy that word into our text buffer, delete that word, call core recapture function, build the word list, then display the word list and the inline word.

But for some reason, WhatsApp does not delete the word and did not render the inline word. And if we press the delete key again, it then displays the inline word after the word that should have been delete but it was not.  So we believe this is a bug in WhatsApp.

Moving forward, we suggest:

1) As a workaround, long-press on the delete key to delete the only word in this text buffer.
2) Report the problem to the WhatsApp development team.

About trace mode in URL entry box: The fact that you cannot use the FlexT9 Trace feature in the URL entry box is intentional by design since it was discovered that tablets maximize the input buffer when the URL is in focus. As a consequence, the entry box fills the entire viewable area of the screen -- you would no longer see any part of the webpage you were on.

Note that our engineering team is following closely this situation with tablets and will look into findind a workaround or improvement for it.

As for the case toggle and trace shortcuts, we have received similar suggestions and feedback from other users and we have forwarded them to our Product team.  These features will be considered in future releases.

Thanks for the feedback!

FlexT9 keyboard for Android

tapping away with thumbs/fingers at an on screen keyboard for data entry is not my favourite thing in the world, but it's pretty much what you have to put up with on smartphones without a hardware keyboard. whether you call it sliding, swiping/swyping, tracing or whatever, the concept of keeping your finger on the screen while you move over the relevant letters of a word is a much faster way of "typing". i had been using an old version of shapewriter (from here) which was working out pretty well given that it was no longer available on the android market, i didn't like slideIT that much, and i couldn't get swype.
and then multi-input flext9 came along. i first saw it via gizmodo, followed by ausdroid (and subsequently on ozbargain also). i've been using it for a few weeks now and have been finding it pretty good - at least as good as shapewriter (which should be expected, given that shapewriter was recently purchased by flext9's makers, nuance communications). my thoughts on flext9 so far:
  • PROs
    • Versatility: can trace, tap, draw or speak straight from the keyboard - the latter two cannot be done in Shapewriter (no draw option, and need to switch to another keyboard to be able to access microphone key)
    • Voice recognition seems to work better than Google's
  • CONs
    • Bug in whatsapp application: deleting (backspace) sometimes doesn't work properly
    • Can't trace in URL entry box in browser (tried with Dolphin and stock browser) - could be feature
    • Can't change case easily with entered words (cf. Shapewriter's case toggle key)
    • Can't trace shortcuts/commands (cf. Shapewriter's command strokes)
    • Can't add new/custom words to recognition dictionary
    • Voice recognition requires network (this is also the case with Google's voice recognition service), and uses own server side processing (not Google)
the australian english version is free until september 14, so try it out while you can do so at no cost.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

you know those manual settings on your digital camera?

this is what they do:

handy (for beginners) to know for when you step out of auto-land :)

from gizmodo