Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 Sounds Muffled

People were telling me that I sounded muffled when they would call, so I started playing around with the call settings.

Here’s a diagram of the call screen:

2013-07-17 10.32.53

Potential Problems and Possible Fixes:

  • You sound muffled: Turn off noise reduction.  I’ve highlighted the icon with a green circle (right above the Add Call button.  The side effect of this is that you might echo a little bit.
  • They can’t hear you very well: Speak into the correct microphone.  It seems like the microphone on the top of the phone is used on speakerphone calls, while the microphone on the bottom is used for regular calls.
  • You’re echoing: You might want to try out the noise reduction option.

Please share your tips and tricks that have helped other people hear you better on your Samsung Galaxy S4!

Cellphone Battery Saving Techniques – Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4

After an unfortunate accident with a sidewalk, my trusted old Incredible 2 is no longer in service.  So, I’ve upgraded to a new Samsung Galaxy S4. I could get 2-3 hours of on screen time out of the box and at least 12 hours of battery life overall, which was kind of disappointing, since I could squeeze about 2 hours of screen time from my old phone.   I’ve fiddled with some of the settings, and I’ve gotten the screen time to last 3-4 hours and total battery life to around a full 24 hours.

Here are the settings that I’ve used to get there, and a couple potential watch outs:

  1. Standard Options: Turn off all the fancy hand waving and eye tracking functions (Smart Stay, Driving Mode, S Beam, Air View, Smart Scroll, Smart Pause), and make sure Bluetooth and GPS are off as well (unless you need them), and turn on Power Saving mode.  Power saving mode basically dims your phone screen slightly compared to the default auto-adjusting screen setting.2013-07-27 18.13.55
  2. Get JuiceDefender Plus or a similar app that will only allow background syncing to occur at certain times of the day or on Wifi only.
  3. Check for battery leeches!  Sometimes the GPS doesn’t turn off! Even though the GPS setting on my menu screen says that GPS is off, my battery meter shows it as active.  Thankfully the GPS on the Galaxy S4 isn’t as much of a battery hog as my old phone, but checking for this could easily save you a couple hours of battery idle time.  The only way that I’ve figured out to clear out the GPS is to restart the phone.
    2013-07-17 10.36.26 2013-07-17 10.36.12

Rooting & Install Custom ROM on HTC Droid Incredible 2

There’s a lot of different guides out there and they’re all kind of confusing. Make sure all your stuff is saved somewhere else, because this will wipe all your app data.

I followed this guide to root. Make sure you installed the ClockWorkMod Recovery:

I had a couple problems with an endless rebooting loop once it was rooted. I had to put it in recovery mode by:

  1. Turning off the phone
  2. Pressing the On button and Volume down button at the same time

Then I went into Recovery (use the volume up down to navigate, the power button is enter).

This opens the ClockworkMod Recovery, which you can use to install a custom ROM from your phone’s SD card.

Basically, you’re going to want to pull the SD card out of your phone and drop the zip files for the ROM and GApps file that you can download from here : (This is for CM9, which is the Cyanogen Ice Cream Sandwich release)

Put the SD card back into your phone, and then have the Recovery software install from Zip.

Wipe Data, Cache, and system from the Recovery program.

Now install the ROM from the zip file, and then install the GApps file.


Rooted Incredible 2 running CM9 will not update or download from Google Play

After waiting what seems like a year for Android ICS to get an official roll out  I decided to jump the gun and install Cyanogen 9 on my phone. For some reason, my Google Play store stopped working. I could search for apps, but when I tried to download or update I would get an endless downloading status bar.

Well, I found this tip a couple places on the internet and this did the trick.

Open up the terminal app– mine was called Terminal Emulator, and follow these steps.

  1. Type: su
  2. Hit Enter, and a prompt will pop up asking for you to allow super user permissions for the terminal app. Make sure you say yes.
  3. Type: killall drmserver
  4. Hit Enter, and now your Play store might work.


I still have no idea what was actually wrong, but at least my apps are updating.

No Root Screenshot It: On the Incredible 2

HTC Android screenshot of home screen

UPDATE:  The newest update from Verizon allows you to take screenshots by pressing the Power and Home buttons at the same time.

There is now an easy way to take screenshots on your HTC Droid Incredible 2 android phone, without having to root it.  It’s kind of an oversight that there isn’t an easy way to take screenshots. But, thanks to No Root Screenshot It there’s a kind of easy way to get your droid to take screenshots.

So basically, go over to the Android Market and buy No Root Screenshot It by Edward Kim. There’s a couple versions out there, but for an Incredible 2 that is not rooted you need to get the No Root version that sells for $5.

The instructions for installing the are great and walk you through the general steps, but I just wanted to share a couple tips that apply to the Incredible 2.

The instructions tell you go download the USB drivers for your phone at this URL:

It redirects you to HTC’s website, and then you need to find your phone, the link to the Incredible 2′s diver is here:

Download HTC SYNC for the Incredible 2, and the USB driver will be installed with it.

And then here’s the link to the Desktop installer for Screenshot It, which enables your phone to take screenshots:

The app’s not perfect. It seems like when I try to use the shake feature, it fails the first time. But, I really can’t complain until Android builds something into the software.


Gayest States in America

Based on data from the 2010 US census, the states with the highest percentage of partnered same-sex households are:

  1. Massachusetts: 1.92%
  2. Vermont: 1.89%
  3. New Mexico: 1.84%
  4. New York: 1.77%
  5. California: 1.76%

With an honorable mention to the District of Columbia with a fabulous 6.5%.

And the lowest:

  1. North Dakota: 0.72%
  2. South Dakota: 0.76%
  3. Wyoming: 0.87%
  4. Idaho: 0.91%
  5. Nebraska: 0.91%

I think the moral of this story is that gay people do settle down, just not in the frozen plains.

Note: These numbers are of a percentage of partnered households (same-sex and opposite-sex, regardless of marriage status), so single households and other types of households are excluded.

Here’s a little map to help you see trends. The darker the purple, the more same-sex couples there are as a percentage of the number of partnered households.

Find your state:

CategorySame Sex HouseholdsOpposite Sex Households
District of Columbia6.50%93.50%
New Hampshire1.48%98.52%
New Jersey1.31%98.69%
New Mexico1.84%98.16%
New York1.77%98.23%
North Carolina1.34%98.66%
North Dakota0.72%99.28%
Puerto Rico0.93%99.07%
Rhode Island1.70%98.30%
South Carolina1.20%98.80%
South Dakota0.76%99.24%
West Virginia1.22%98.78%

In the interest of transparency, here’s the original data table from the US 2010 Census with the numbers of how many same-sex, opposite-sex, and single households there were in the USA in 2010: DEC_10_SF1_PCT15
If you’d like to pull it directly from the Census website search for table PCT15.

Top 50 US Metro Areas by Gross Metropolitan Production (Economic Output)

  • An interesting thing to note is that the when you sort by the highest per capita GDP the top 9 metro areas are coastal regions.  And while, there is a lot of East Coast vs West Coast, some of the cities aren’t exactly the ones that you would think would appear.
  • Detroit Metro area seems to be doing better than all the stories would make you think. Sure it’s towards the bottom, but it’s no where near the post apocalyptic vision that people make it out to be.

Note: the data is from the Census Bureau’s 2010 results and the US Treasury

Metro areaGross metropolitan product (2010)PopulationPer Capital GMP
Salt Lake City, UT$66,456,000,000 1,124,197.00 $59,114.19
Birmingham-Hoover, AL$53,834,000,000 1,128,047.00 $47,723.19
Raleigh-Cary, NC$57,278,000,000 1,130,490.00 $50,666.53
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA$71,476,000,000 1,167,764.00 $61,207.57
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT$87,963,000,000 1,212,381.00 $72,553.92
Oklahoma City, OK$58,339,000,000 1,252,987.00 $46,559.94
Richmond, VA$64,321,000,000 1,258,251.00 $51,119.37
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN$58,572,000,000 1,307,647.00 $44,791.90
Memphis, TN-MS-AR$65,025,000,000 1,316,100.00 $49,407.34
Jacksonville, FL$60,303,000,000 1,345,596.00 $44,815.09
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI$84,574,000,000 1,555,908.00 $54,356.68
Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN$80,898,000,000 1,589,934.00 $50,881.36
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA$66,334,000,000 1,600,852.00 $41,436.68
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC$80,518,000,000 1,671,683.00 $48,165.83
Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX$86,029,000,000 1,716,289.00 $50,125.01
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN$105,163,000,000 1,756,241.00 $59,879.60
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC$113,568,000,000 1,758,038.00 $64,599.29
Columbus, OH$93,353,000,000 1,836,536.00 $50,831.02
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$168,517,000,000 1,836,911.00 $91,739.34
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV$89,799,000,000 1,951,269.00 $46,020.82
Kansas City, MO-KS$105,968,000,000 2,035,334.00 $52,064.18
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH$105,625,000,000 2,077,240.00 $50,848.72
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN$100,594,000,000 2,130,151.00 $47,223.88
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL$104,107,000,000 2,134,411.00 $48,775.52
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX$82,036,000,000 2,142,508.00 $38,289.71
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA$92,873,000,000 2,149,127.00 $43,214.29
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA$124,683,000,000 2,226,009.00 $56,011.90
Pittsburgh, PA$115,752,000,000 2,356,285.00 $49,124.79
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO$157,567,000,000 2,543,482.00 $61,949.33
Baltimore-Towson, MD$144,789,000,000 2,710,489.00 $53,418.04
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL$113,702,000,000 2,783,243.00 $40,852.34
St. Louis, MO-IL$129,734,000,000 2,812,896.00 $46,121.15
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA$171,568,000,000 3,095,313.00 $55,428.32
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI$199,596,000,000 3,279,833.00 $60,855.54
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA$231,221,000,000 3,439,809.00 $67,219.14
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ$190,601,000,000 4,192,887.00 $45,458.18
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$109,818,000,000 4,224,851.00 $25,993.34
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI$197,773,000,000 4,296,250.00 $46,033.87
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA$325,927,000,000 4,335,391.00 $75,178.22
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH$313,690,000,000 4,552,402.00 $68,906.48
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA$272,362,000,000 5,268,860.00 $51,692.78
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL$257,560,000,000 5,564,635.00 $46,285.16
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV$425,167,000,000 5,582,170.00 $76,165.18
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX$384,603,000,000 5,946,800.00 $64,673.94
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD$346,932,000,000 5,965,343.00 $58,157.93
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$374,081,000,000 6,371,773.00 $58,709.09
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI$532,331,000,000 9,461,105.00 $56,265.20
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA$735,743,000,000 12,828,837.00 $57,350.72
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA$1,280,517,000,000 18,897,109.00 $67,762.59
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT$84,882,000,000 916,829.00 $92,582.15

[TV] Characters from ABC’s Revenge compared to the Count of Monte Cristo

It’s no secret that ABC’s new drama Revenge is influenced by Alexander Dumas’ the Count of Monte Cristo, so I thought of trying to match the characters that we’ve seen so far in Revenge to an analogous character in the Count of Monte Cristo.  There’s only been one episode so far, so this list will probably change… a lot.

It’s definitely not a straight 1:1 comparison, because I think that Amanda Clarke and her father kind of both embody parts of Edmond Dantes/the Count of Monte Cristo

Protagonists: The Clarke = Dantes

Amanda Clarke : Edmond Dantes  | This linkup is pretty straight forward. We have 2 main characters who were formerly innocents, who got caught up in the wrong crowd.

Emily Thorne : the Count of Monte Cristo |The vengeful aliases of the formerly innocent

David Clarke : Louis Dantes | the dead shamed father.

David Clarke : Edmond Dantes | David had a thing with Victoria Grayson, which hints that she might be influenced by Mercedes and his character by Edmond.

David Clarke : Abbe Faria | Abbe Faria leaves Edmond a crap load of money plus old timely journals, and David Clarke leaves Amanda (Emily) the same

Allies: Porter = Morrel

Nolan Ross : Signor Bertuccio | He’s an ally of the Clarke’s despite being closely linked to the Graysons. This is similar to how Bertuccio has history with the Villeforts and Danglars, but becomes one of Dantes’ allies.

Nolan Ross : Abbe Faria | Abbe Faria is the source of Dantes’ wealth, and Nolan is the source of the Clarke’s.

Jack Porter : Monsieur Morrel | They’re both bankrupt and good hearted.

Jack Porter : Mercedes | Amanda had a thing for him when they were little, and he’s still in love with her.


Declan Porter : Maximilian Morrel | The son of the Morrels who dates a Villefort. In this case, the Villefort is a Grayson (Charlotte).

Daniel Grayson : Albert de Morcerf | Proud and noble, he kind of complicates things.  Love perhaps?

Charlotte Grayson : Valentine Villefort | From a wealth family dating a poor boy, aka Declan.

Enemies: Grayson  = Villefort & Danglars

Lydia Davis : Fernando Mondego | First one knocked off. A rival for Victoria’s affection, though in a different way.  Lydia takes over the Clarke’s house, which is kind of similar.

Victoria Grayson : Madame d’Villefort | Strong willed wives that will do anything to ensure their children’s success, such as paying off the family of the girl that Daniel killed.

Victoria Grayson : Mercedes | “David until forever – Victoria” from the locket at the end of episode 1

Conrad Grayson : Gérard de Villefort | Very powerful opponents, who screwed over the Dantes to save their own asses.

Conrad Grayson : Baron Danglars | Potential, we need to find out more about this crime.

Conrad Grayson : Madame Danglars | Probable, because Madame Danglars had a thing with having illegitimate relationships, just like Conrad and Lydia.

And who will be Benedetto? The illegitimate child of Madame Villefort and Baron Danglars? Could it be Amanda?

[Layoffs] How many jobs equals $1.5 billion in quarterly savings?

Apparently that number is around 40,000 jobs, per the WSJ’s article on Bank of America.

What does that work out to on a per job basis by quarter?

$1,500,000,000 savings = [Quarterly Cost per Job] * 40,000 people losing their jobs

$37,500 = [Quarterly Cost per Job]

4 quarters in a year * $37,500 = 4 quarters in a year * [Quarterly Cost per Job]

$150,000 = [Annual Cost per Job]

$150,000?!?! That seems a bit high, but they’re probably building in a lot of money to account for tighter budgets (no more company picnics), buildings they’re going to be closing, and contracted support staff who will also be laid off.