Nexus 5, Chroma ROM and Blu_Spark Kernel

Justyn Smith | August 27, 2015
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As most of you know SlimLP used to be my go to ROM. However that changed when I found out about the amazing Chroma ROM made by William Ma aka zephiK. In his XDA thread, the description is exactly what it is: Chroma is a lightweight AOSP ROM focused on security exploits, battery, performance and stability.

Device: Google Nexus 5 (16GB Black)
ROM: Chroma Rom (5.1.1 LYZ28J – 24/08/15)
Kernel: Blu_Spark (r16)
Software: Kernel Adiutor (ROOT), Art – Layers Theme

The current build of Chroma is based off Android 5.1.1_r12 build LYZ28J. I coupled this with Blu_Spark kernel (formerly Code_Blue) by the amazing Rui Santos aka eng_stk. This kernel runs perfectly stock and most people won’t need to change any settings.

I thought I would share my current setup as I previously have with my other ROM/kernel/device configurations. I use Kernel Adiutor (ROOT) application for changing all the settings. I like a darker theme, and since Chroma supports layers, I use Art for my theme.

As for undervolting, my CPU is a “PVS-0”. Taken from this post you can check what PVS revision your CPU is. Just remember, with undervolting not all CPU’s are the same, so YMMV.

The Qualcomm (S4 Pro) SoC has 4 different variant. Slow, Nominal, Fast and Faster (0, 1, 2, 3). Faster variants can undervolt a lot lower than the rest, or it should already be pre-configured automatically at a lower voltage like the Nexus 4, so some Xperia Z will have less heat and perform better in battery life. For example, for nominal variants, they might only be able to undervolt around -100mV while faster variants can undervolt around 175mV – 250mV.

CPU Tab

  • CPU Maximum Frequency = 1728MHz
  • CPU Minimum Frequency = 300MHz
  • CPU Governor = blu_active
  • Multicore Power Saving = Aggressive

CPU Governor Tunables

  • above_hispeed_delay = 120000
  • bootpulse_duration = 0
  • go_hispeed_load = 95
  • hispeed_freq = 652800
  • input_boost_freq = 729600
  • io_is_busy = 1
  • low_load_down_threshold = 10
  • max_freq_hysteresis = 100000
  • min_sample_time = 20000
  • timer_rate = 40000
  • timer_slack = 80000

CPU Voltage

  • 300000 = 700000 (-100)
  • 422000 = 700000 (-100)
  • 652000 = 735000 (-75)
  • 729000 = 745000 (-75)
  • 883000 = 765000 (-75)
  • 960000 = 775000 (-75)
  • 1036000 = 785000 (-75)
  • 1190000 = 810000 (-75)
  • 1267000 = 820000 (-75)
  • 1497000 = 855000 (-75)
  • 1574000 = 870000 (-75)
  • 1728000 = 900000 (-75)
  • 1958000 = 945000 (-75)
  • 2265000 = 1000000 (-75)

CPU Hotplug

  • Minimum CPU Online = 1
  • Maximum CPU Online = 2
  • Max Cores Screen Off = 1
  • Up Threshold = 95%
  • Up Timer Control = 1
  • Down Timer Control = 3

GPU

  • GPU Maximum Frequency = 200MHz
  • CPU Governor = powersave

Screen

  • Gamma Profile = Aditya TRUERGB
  • Backlight Dimmer = On
  • Minimum Brightness = 1

Battery

  • USB Fast Charge = On

I/O Scheduler

  • Scheduler = noop
  • Read-ahead = 1024kB

A ‘pedofile’ social media experiment all parents must watch

Justyn Smith | August 14, 2015
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We often tell our kids how important it is and the dangers involved when being online, don’t we? I sure hope so! The prankster Coby Persin decided to put online safety to the test, and created an experiment to see how easy it is to lure girls whom that he met on Facebook to meet in person.

The video was uploaded 4 days ago and has over 21 million views. There are currently over 750,000 registered sex offenders in the United States alone, and Coby Persin shows how easy it is (with the parents permission) to meet the girls in person. He pretended to be a 15 year old boy, and chatted with three girls (aged 12 to 14) for a couple of days before suggesting to meet up.

Then he filmed the whole experiment, along with the shock and anger of the girls’ parents attitude over their daughters’ dangerous decisions. See, this is why social media is scary for not only parents, but also for the kids that frequent it.

Gain access to eBay 4.0 closed beta

Justyn Smith | August 12, 2015
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Usually to get access to beta tests with Android applications you can sign up via the Play Store. However the new version of eBay 4.0.0.33 is a closed beta, and you need to be authorised when opening the application. So simply just installing the APK wont gain you access.

However there is a simple form to fill out via Google Docs. All you need to do is input your email, preference (Android or iOS), and country. You should receive an email with a download link when there is a new test build.

eBay 4.0.0.33 Beta

ebay-drawer

ebay-bugreport

The new layout of eBay for Android is amazing, and is definitely a welcome upgrade!

DIY quick-turn throttle for my CBR600RR

Justyn Smith | August 6, 2015
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The stock throttle tube on the 2003-2011 CBR600RR is 1/4 turn or 33.8mm. Most people when looking at changing to a “quick turn” throttle use the Yamaha R6 throttle tube, which is 1/6 turn or 40.5mm.

Another option is theHRC throttle tube. If you’re after a 1/5 turn the Yamaha R1 throttle tube is also an option.I decided to usePVC coupling and once completed measured up at 40mm. I guess you could buy the R6/R1/HRC throttle tube, but it will be more expensive.

Part Numbers

33.8mm (1/4 turn) – CBR600RR Throttle Tube (2003-2011) – Part: 53140-MCF-000 (stock)
36.5mm (1/5 turn) – Yamaha R1 Throttle Tube (2007-2008) – Part: 4C8-26240-00-00
40.5mm (1/6 turn) – Yamaha R6 Throttle Tube (2006-2009) – Part: 2C0-26240-00-00
40.5mm (1/6 turn) – HRC Throttle Tube – Part: 53141-MT7-000

Tools you need

  • dremel or some sort of small cutting and sanding tool
  • socket set / screwdrivers
  • 25mm PVC coupling
  • epoxy
  • service manual

To obtain the needed slack on the throttle cables for the larger diameter cam you will have to create more at the throttle bodies, also wind in your throttle cable adjuster at the housing too which will allow you to create as much slack as possible. So with this in mind open up your service manual and get to work. You will need to remove the ram air duct covers, tank cover, prop tank up, remove the ECU, air box lid, velocity stacks and air box. The task seems daunting, but should be able to get to the throttle bodies in about 15 – 20 minutes.

This is what the stock throttle cam looks like.

stock-cam

1. I used my dremel to cut the end off of the fitting a little wider than the actual width of my throttle cam.

cut-pvc

2. I cut a section out of the PVC loop to fit over the throttle cam. I used the sanding wheel to “scuff” the inside of the PVC then cleaned it with some isopropyl and glued it onto the throttle cam. After the epoxy set, I used my grinding wheel to make the PVC the same width as the throttle cam and tapered the PVC to allow the cables to run smoothly.

quick-turn-throttle

3. I used the sanding wheel on my dremel to smooth the edges of the PVC are perfectly smooth so that way it wont bind to the housing, and cleaned with isopropyl alcohol.

4. I had to use my cutting wheel on my dremel to make the throttle housing bigger to fit the larger cam in. I’m not sure if the newer model 600rr needs this but I know the housing on my 2003 model needed it. I took a few millimeters off the inside of the top and bottom of the housing. Then I connected the throttle cables up to the cam, and tightened the nut at the throttle bodies.

Before reinstalling make sure you check for any binding, and confirm the nut at the throttle body is tight.Putting back together is the reverse of pulling it apart. Then readjust your throttle free play if you have any. I like to have virtually zero play.

So that is the “quick turn” throttle mod for my 2003 CBR600RR. If you’re attempting this mod, you do so at your own risk. I will not be held responsible for any mishaps that may happen by doing this mod.

Some quick tips for supporting someone with depression

Justyn Smith | July 10, 2015
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Depression is a terrible disorder which can sabotage relationships, friendships, family and friends. The person that suffers from depression can feel hopeless and worthless. Those around the person that suffers can feel helpless. Its effects impact everyone that are involved, and it sucks. Being on both sides of this illness I thought I may share some things that could help out.

1. Education
It is next to impossible to be supportive of someone with depression if you don’t understand it. You can do your own research by checking out places online like Beyond Blue or simply using Google to search for information about mental illness and depression.

2. Don’t judge or criticize
You can have a powerful impact on a person suffering from depression just by what you say to them. Saying things like “you should be more positive” or “I think it is all in your head” can have very negative impacts. Things like this can imply that the person suffering has a choice in how they feel and have chosen to be depressed.

3. Find the right moment
You may have great advice but if you say it at the wrong time, it won’t be heard. You may know the person well enough to pick up on their behavioural patterns. When they’re up, down or when to avoid them completely. If you have something you would like to convey, timing is key to when you mention it to them.

4. Avoid advice
We all want to help those we care about and it is only natural to try and offer advice to help them. However, sometimes it is more effective to ask them what they need. Doing this will allow the opportunity for the person to ask for help which will usually have a more positive outcome.

5. Have patience
Sometimes, suffering from depression can give a false sense of hope. If you show patience with someone that is suffering from depression this can shed the light on hope again. Supporting someone with depression can be hard and it may make you feel like you’re walking on egg shells around them. You have to remember that it is just as difficult for them, too. This is where patience can show them that they are important by showing them that you will be there for them regardless of how long they may need you.

I am by no means a psychologist and I am not claiming to be one. I’m not trying to provide medical advice or say that these tips will work however they may give you a way to help support someone or deal with this illness yourself. If you do need further assistance, there are organisations like Beyond Blue that can help.

A third of the world using social media, but 90% concerned about privacy (Infographic)

Justyn Smith | July 7, 2015
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If you’ve not heard of Minds it is essentially a new social network currently in Beta that focuses on security, privacy and transparency more than other social media giants like Facebook. Minds claims that it encrypts all messages so they cannot be read by governments, advertises or even Minds themselves.

Facebook has been in the media the past couple of years due to privacy concerns, changes to the user interface, and removal of features to name a few. You can read more about the criticism of Facebook over on Wikipedia.

Why? Various leaks from NSA whistleblowers like Edward Snowden have revealed to the public that social networks often hand over users’ private data to the government.

The guys behind Minds have created a post outlining all the issues around privacy along with the following infographic.

Problems-Social-Networks-v5_s

Tasmania is paying pregnant women to quit smoking

Justyn Smith | July 5, 2015
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Women know from an early age that they shouldn’t take drugs, smoke, or consume alcohol whilst being pregnant. Yet it seems that the women in Tasmania obviously don’t understand this. So instead, they’re being offered money (in the way of gift cards) to quit smoking. This is wrong.

It looks like Tasmania is the (pregnant) smoking capital of Australia, in which 22 percent of pregnant Tasmanian women were smoking. Comparing this to the national average of 12 percent, the numbers are phenomenal according to a study carried out between 2009 and 2012 by the National Health Authority. The numbers are even higher for pregnant women under 20, jumping to 35.7 percent!

The risks of smoking while pregnant are very well known. In case you’ve lived under a rock all your life some of the risks are asthma, weakened immune system, miscarriage, and a higher risk of SIDS and more likely to become smokers themselves later in life. In saying that, pregnant women aren’t just harming their unborn child they are also harming their own body in the process.

In an article on Vice, to help kick this habit Dr Mai Frandsen from the University of Tasmania is paying expecting mothers aged 16 and over to stop smoking. The women will have to report in each month and have their carbon monoxide levels measured. If they are successful then they receive a $50 gift card in which they can spend on items for their baby (and not groceries) to ensure that women are attending by choice and not necessity.

To put it in simpler terms, pregnant women in Tasmania will be financially rewarded for not harming their baby. I feel this is ridiculous. It is basically saying that having a healthy baby is not enough of an incentive already, since women continue to smoke whilst pregnant.

How smoking affects pregnancy

There is already a lot of things that pregnant women give up that they may enjoy like sushi, alcohol, soft cheese and they do this without payment, simply to help prevent any medical complications the substances can have on a fetus. I would assume that these women would like a voucher for giving up these things that could harm their unborn child.

It isn’t impossible to quit smoking, it may be difficult but not impossible. Most of the sacrifices that pregnant women make would be just as irritating as quitting smoking, yet think of the rewards regarding a healthier you, healthier unborn child, and a smoke-free environment for the tiny human growing inside.

Providing support for pregnant women to help become smoke-free via support groups, counselling or even subsidised aids to help quit smoking would be more of an incentive than simply handing out gift vouchers. Being more pro-active with education about the dangers of smoking whilst pregnant I can support.

How is being given a $50 voucher to spend going to change their attitude toward smoking. All I see it doing is making them think about being paid to quit smoking.

By smoking, you’re harming your unborn child. This should be a big enough incentive to quit smoking. If it isn’t, then what is?

Facebook experimenting on its users again with a rainbow flag?

Justyn Smith | July 1, 2015
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The past week your news feed on Facebook has probably been a lot more colourful.

The Supreme Court approved same-sex marriage last week in the United States, and in celebration Facebook is offering a tool to add a rainbow overlay to their profile picture dubbed Celebrate Pride. There was more than a million people who changed their profile picture within hours of the tool launching.

I personally didn’t change my profile picture at all, it doesn’t mean I don’t support same-sex marriage (I actually do), however I thought it was just another craze making its rounds on Facebook. It seems though people like Grace Jennings of Mammamia are calling those like myself who didn’t change their profile picture a douchebag. Others that were commenting on my Facebook post seem to be using the term Bigot, however I have since been unfriended by them.

As soon as I saw that everyone was changing their profile pictures to rainbows it rang alarm bells for me. I thought this is just going to be another psychological experiment on Facebook users. It’s not the first time Facebook has done this kind of experiment. Back in 2013 Facebook influenced over 3 million people to change their Facebook profile picture into a red equals sign, the logo of Human Rights Campaign, as a way to support marriage equality.

In 2012, Facebook altered just shy of 700,000 users news feeds by highlighting either positive or negative items dubbed “emotion contagion”. So it isn’t too absurd to believe that the latest rainbow filter for supporting the LGBT+ community is just another social experiment? I don’t think so, and it seems I’m not the only one.

According to Daily Mail, the Celebrate Pride tool was actually Facebook’s way of performing yet another psychological test on their users.

Cesar Hildago

“This is probably a Facebook experiment!’ said the MIT network scientist Cesar Hidalgo on Facebook yesterday.”

“The question is, how long will it take for people to change their profile pictures back to normal.”

Life ain’t always sunshine and rainbows

Justyn Smith | June 21, 2015
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The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you’re hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

This is the famous words of Rocky Balboa, it’s such a great quote and one that I’m sure a lot of people can relate to. Reading it is one thing, and yes he may be acting in the movie but the way that Sylvester Stallone delivers this speech to his son is nothing short of reassuring.

Life may seem complicated. It is meant to be. It is a challenge. It isn’t easy. It takes work, time, and dedication. You may feel that your world is falling apart. You’re probably taking anti-depressants or speaking with a psychologist. Australia is second in the world with anti-depressant prescriptions, Iceland being first. As of 2011, there is 89 Australians in every 1000 that are prescribed some form of anti-depressant according to a 2013 OECD report.

Just because you feel like you can’t cope doesn’t mean you wont cope. Just like the quote from Rocky Balboa, life is going to hit you hard. How you respond to that is entirely up to you. You can embrace it, and know that you can overcome it. There will always be difficult decisions in life. You may argue and fight with your partner, friends, parents or loved ones. You may fight with yourself. That doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. It means that you are human and have emotion.

There are a few people in my life right now that I love and care about, and currently have some form of conflict or doubt. They just have to remember that there are people there that will help them. If you know someone that has fallen down, put out your hand and offer to help them up. Be positive, kind and caring. In the end, we all need to accept help sometimes, whether we want to or not.

For those who know who you are, you know how to reach out if you need to. Just take care, look after yourself and stay positive.

Nexus 5 dbrand titanium skin review

Justyn Smith | June 9, 2015
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As most of you know I don’t use a case on my Nexus 5. So instead of getting a case, the guys over at MobileZap have hooked me up with the titanium dbrand skin for me Nexus 5! If you have a Nexus 5 and are looking for some kind of case for it, MobileZap has plenty of different Nexus 5 Cases are available and I’m sure you would be able to find one that will fit your needs.

So without any further ado, I will get onto the review of the titanium dbrand skin.

What’s included?

  • Back skin + camera lens cover
  • Front skin
  • Frame skin
  • 2 x Screen protectors

The skin itself is made from 3M vinyl, and is precision cut for a perfect fit. It aligns perfectly with the “nexus” cut out on the back of the phone. It was strange, the vinyl “feels” like anodised aluminium, but isn’t cold. It has a similar texture which I really like about it. For only $24.99 I will definitely be buying one of these again for my next device instead of a case.

Titanium Skin Back

Titanium Skin Back

The vinly itself seems thicker than what it actually is. The vinyl is only 1mm thick and doesn’t affect NFC charging what-so-ever, and being 3M vinyl they’re 100% guaranteed to not leave any sticky residue.

Titanium Skin Bottom

Titanium Skin Bottom

The skin and screen protector come in a nice plastic sleeve, and has a link printed with a how to video for installation, which is a nice touch. I’ve had the skin on my Nexus 5 for over a week now, and the corners, sides, front hasn’t peeled at all.

Titanium Skin Back

Titanium Skin Back

It is stuck on solid and is such a perfect cut out it looks like it was made like that from the factory.

Skin installation

Screen protector installation


This post has been sponsored by MobileZap.