Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Droid X ad mocks Apple's Antenna Woes

Motorola ran a full-page advertisement in the New York Times for the Droid X. It touted the X's double antenna that allows the user to hold the phone "anyway you like" without compromising clarity.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Twitter Follower Bot Redemption

Most people want followers when they first sign-up for Twitter. One way to do this is by using a service that promises "thousands of followers". Unfortunately people don't always read the fine print, so they don't realize they've entered into a "devil's bargain" .

They get more followers, but they've also agreed to allow the "service" to send spam tweets to their followers in their name. In some cases these spam tweets are sent once an hour and they go on forever.

You can look for an opt-out option on their website (the URL is included in the spam tweets) but the opt-out doesn't always work. In addition, sometimes their url "shortener" (e.g. figures out they are spamming and drops the target URL. In that case you may not be able to figure out what the actual URL is for the "service".

One sure-fire way to stop spamming your followers is to change your twitter password. Then the "service" can no longer access your account to send tweets.

Monday, June 21, 2010


My followers on twitter may wonder why I have so many tweets that start with "A:" and why I seem to be answering random questions and sending the answers to random people.

The reason is that I'm using a site called Replyz. Replyz searches through twitter looking for tweets that contain questions and then stores and displays them. So you can see questions being asked by people who you aren't following on twitter and post answers if you wish. The answers will show up in twitter as Replies.

If you wish, you can filter the questions if you only want to see questions in a particular category. I haven't used the filtering function which is why my answers may seem a bit random to my followers.

The "A:" at the beginning of my reply is just my own convention to hint that this is in answer to a question. Lately I've been trying to incorporate a simplified version of the question in my answer in case a follower might actually be interested in the question.

If you want to check it out go to and request an invitation.

Update: You no longer need an invitation to use

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How to solve VMware black screen

I run VMware fusion on my Mac to develop and test Windows applications. I've noticed when running XP as the guest OS it will sometimes hang with a black screen when I resume it (I think it happens when an automatic update for XP has occurred).

Anyway, I couldn't get it to respond and attempting to close it didn't work. I could suspend it, but it just saves the bad state. Finally I found the answer at VMware Communities:


In 2002 a company called Digium was incorporated. It made PBX software based on the open source PBX software called Asterisk which the company founder, Mark Spencer created.

In late 2007, Digium bought a small company called Switchvox which had taken the Asterisk software, simplified PBX management and user operations so that non-tech companies could operate it, and wrapped it up as a turn-key PBX system (This is a great simplification, but you get the idea).

Recently Switchvox announced the Switchvox Extend API and Switchvox Developer Central which is a portal for Switchvox integration developers. One of the coolest features of this site is the API Test Suite which allows you to make any Extend API call to your Switchvox system. It displays both the request and response data.

If you want to check-out the Switchvox Extend API but don't own a Switchvox PBX, you can get a free account on the demo server and use the Test Suite with that.

Just one disclaimer - I'm a former employee of Switchvox.