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The Best Android Apps and Utilities for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

It's Androids turn this time. Here's a list of must-have Android Apps for my Jelly Bean update:

1) It bugs the hell out of me that there isn't a decent and simple note taking app in Android. ColorNote makes up for it fine. ColorNote

2) The default Google Calendar also drives me nuts. I want a month view, with at least a few character preview for each item and a list below the month. Jorte is perfect for month and week views with gestures that make sense - although the data entry is a little ugly. Jorte Update: I actually tried Business Calendar before Jorte and for some reason my first attempt didn't stick. I've since tried it a few more times and I'm liking it a lot. Business Calendar.

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Problem Syncing iTunes 9.1 with Outlook 2007 Contacts and Calendar

I wouldn’t normally post a rant article on my blog – but iTunes – grrrrr. I really wish I wasn’t forced to use iTunes to sync my Outlook Contacts and Calendar with my iPhone 3GS. For the last few days I’ve been unable to sync my Outlook 2007 Contacts with my iPhone – and it was driving me nuts. I tried reinstalling iTunes 9.1, tried the Edit –> Preferences –> Devices – Reset Sync History option. I tried checking all my recurring dates in Outlook – since this was reported in the past as a problem. In the end – the answer was to roll back to iTunes 9.03 – by doing the following. As per http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1923 … Use the Control Panel to uninstall iTunes and related software components in the following order:

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Google Chrome Hidden Gems

For a while now I’ve been jumping between IE8, Firefox, and Google Chrome. The browser that’s pulling me in – is definitely Chrome. For starters it’s fast. I mean really fast – even after a solid couple of months of use with a large local cache.

Other sticky features include being able to just type my search terms into the address bar – and execute a search (not unique to Chrome of course IE8 and Firefox both do this). And then the little details – like the screen shot shown here. While visiting one of my regular podcasts with Chrome – just clicking on the MP3 file – from what I’m assuming is a progressive download – launched a very nice little audio player. I don’t know why it’s there – or what ‘auto-magical’ stuff happened under the hood – it just worked. I also like the dark theme I found for Chrome and just ‘clicked’ and it was in – nice and dark and less painful to the eye – just like my dev IDE.

There are bigger issues and tectonic industry shifts at work here. I couldn’t write about them all with enough zest or knowledge to be of interest in this short post (like the future of Firefox now that the Mozilla Foundation’s largest funding organisation – Google – has their own browser) – suffice to say that for me at least- Chrome is sticky – and I’m using it more and more.

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Google Custom Search Engine and Google Site Search In 30 Seconds

A project I’ve been working on recently required a search feature. After a quick look around I thought I’d give a hosted solution a try – using Google Site Search. After almost a full day of banging my head against the wall – here’s what I discovered… I) The only difference between Site Search and Google Custom Search – is that you pay for Site Search and you get on-demand indexing – so you’re guaranteed (in theory) to have all of the pages in your site indexed. II) Once you’ve paid for Site Search – the control panel is effectively the Custom Search Engine Search control panel – with the on-demand option present. III) There are three ‘levels’ of control you have over the results on your site. Here’s a quick tour of each – assuming you’ve read just enough of the docs

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MSc in Information Security

rhulisg_01

Whew – well after a tough few months I’ve finally completed the coursework towards my masters degree in Information Security - taught by the Information Security Group (ISG) at Royal Holloway,  (via the University of London External System). The online syllabus is available from the external system and the ISG also provides an overview of the programme here. In addition to the syllabus and ISG’s introduction - I thought that a personal summary might be useful for those considering the programme.

As per the syllabus – there are four compulsory modules, two optional modules and a final project. A module is really a course, composed of roughly ten units, and lasts the full academic year – from October to the final exam in May.  Here’s a description of the compulsory modules (accurate as of 2008/09 academic year) along with my two chosen optional modules.

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Three Steps Down

Update: 30th March More evidence that my previous hosting co., was in technical meltdown. Look at the Google bot stats below… and see if you can spot when Google and my old hosting co., hit an all time low – and how fast the new hosting company is now serving up pages (click for a larger version).

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