Sunday, July 19, 2009

Holy s**t

All the posts in this blog have been related to an Android application that I wrote so far, but I thought I would share an experience that freaked me out quite a bit.

I was in Jakarta, Indonesia, staying at the JW Marriott on a 20-day business trip. On last Friday, July 17th around 7:45AM, two suicide bombers struck in the Marriott and Ritz Carlton (about a 5 minute walk between the two). I was in my room at the time - was up at 7am but decided to sleep just a little longer.

The explosion woke me up... I'm a very heavy sleeper. In college I would sleep through fire alarms - so it gives an idea on how loud it was and the shockwave it produced. I jumped out of bed, ran to the window, saw the smoke coming up from the lobby and the people running in the street.

I wasn't sure what to do until I got a call from one of my colleagues to get outside the building and to take the stairs, so that's what I did. When I got outside, I met up with the rest of my team and they indicated that it was a bomb. They were actually in the restaurant eating breakfast when it happened, which we would normally all be doing around that time, or at least getting down there to meet up on any other day. Thankfully they were not injured and are all ok.

After we were all outside, we made the decision to get away from that area for as long as possible so we went to the office that we'd been working at. After staying there for a couple hours, we were directed to a hotel where they were holding the displaced Marriott and Ritz-Carlton guests and met up with our respective embassy representatives.

From the restaurant we had a clear view of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton - while we couldn't see the Marriott well, we could see the back of the Ritz-Carlon with all of the windows blown out at the lobby level.I took a few pictures of the Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton, which should show up on the page.

While we were sitting, waiting to figure out where they were going to take us, we were watching the coverage on CNN - an incredibly surreal experience... we were sitting, looking out at the two hotels from the window, and then turning to the TV and seeing the same thing.

I feel terrible for the people who were killed and injured and feel incredibly lucky that I wasn't in the lobby when it try not to think about things like that but it is a valid point - things could have turned out much differently.

The bombers were working out of room 1808 - 5 floors below me (I was on the 23rd floor). Indonesian police ended up finding an unexploded bomb that was armed in the room. Had these terrorists been more sophisticated, they could have set the bomb off in the lobby and then the one in the room... had that been the case, any of us that were close to the 18th floor would have been in trouble and unable to escape the building. Luckily, that's not what happened.

During all of this the Marriott staff were very helpful - they put us up in another hotel far away from Mega Kuningan (the location of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton) and worked diligently to help us get our belongings.

Just thought I would share my experience. It's not everyday that a hotel you're staying has someone blow themselves up in the lobby... cowards.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Time for an Android Sirius XM app!

If you're reading this, chances are you have an Android-powered phone, an interest in Sirius XM satellite radio, and want to see an app for this platform.

I had written a piece of one - it logs you in to the service, downloads the list of channels - but as far as being able to *play* the stream... well, that didn't work. Sirius XM has chosen to use Windows Media streaming ASF which is not easily converted to a format that Android's Media Player can handle. Plus, a developer would have to implement the streaming on their own - basically write it to a file, buffer, feed it to the Media Player, and repeat. That would probably put a serious drain on the battery too.

I don't know how the iPhone app plays it... perhaps iPhone's media player can handle Sirius XM's stream as-is and it just 'works'.

How about throwing us a bone here... either come out with an Android app or at least give us a stream that works with our Media Player so we can write a client! You know, maybe like an RTSP stream or something a bit more open than streaming ASF.

Of course, I don't think they're going to tell us how to do it - why lose out on $2.99 if you're hurting for revenue? :-)


Monday, July 6, 2009

Call Faker/Call Faker Now! Ringtone issue fixed

The default ringtone issue has been fixed and put out on the Market.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Play ringtones with Call Faker/Call Faker Now - workaround

If you're hearing a ringtone that's not the one you picked (i.e. the beeping ringtone), do the following:

0. Download the ringtone to your PC
1. Connect your phone to your computer
2. 'Mount' the SD card when prompted by your phone (USB notification)
3. When your computer prompts you, choose the Open in Explorer option
4. If the 'ringtones' folder does not exist, create it
5. Copy the ringtone you wish to set as the default to this folder
6. Go to Settings and set the ringtone to that which you just copied to your phone

Working on a fix for ringtones that you've downloaded to work with this app. Stay tuned. But for now, easiest way to get around the problem is to do the above. Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Call Faker Now! v1.0

This is an additional app for Call Faker - the Immediate Call did not let you change any of the settings.

This app lets you do just that. All you do is set it to whatever you want, and the settings are saved. So when you want a fake call, all you have to do is open the app, hit the button, and it will ring as you wish!

Available on the Android Market for $0.99. Wow, that's cheap!