Categotry Archives: Android


Amazon Square Trade, Cell Phone Repair, and Fraud Charges



My Samsung Galaxy S5 had a usb charging port problem after 18 months. I had gotten a SquareTrade policy when I bought the phone, since they are half the price of At&t’s protection plan.

I did NOT have enough battery power to do a factory reset, so I sent the phone in minus the SD Card. HUGE Mistake. A mere week had gone by after I sent the phone in for repair, and oh! What’s this? A charge from Microsoft Xbox on my account? I have never owned an Xbox, let alone opened an account. I called Microsoft Xbox at (800) 469-8269 and said, “Umm, I never bought an Xbox, what’s going on? They had opened an account using my gmail spam email, that day. Sure enough, my credit card was linked to this account. They removed the credit card, but could NOT say what the charge was for….hmmm.

I called my bank, and cancelled the my credit card. Oh but wait. There were more surprises in store.


They tried to change my Facebook password. Twice. But since I have dual layer authentication (something you have, plus something you know. Like an atm card and a pin.)

And I permanently lost about 6 weeks of emails from my regular gmail account.

But the fun was not over yet. When they returned the phone, it had been factory reset.

Then, I started getting a Sim Card Error. We traipsed lazily into the At&t store, and got a new Sim card. Nope. I still had no service. So we put a friend’s Sim Card in my phone. Nope, not going to happen. We put my Sim card into their phone and it worked as advertised. So the phone has a bad Sim Card Reader. Nice.

Round 2 of dealing with SquareTrade. I spoke to their “offshore” tech support person, and he said that someone would be calling me in 20 minutes (on another line.) Sure enough about 1/2 hour later, the phone rang, and this time it was good old American based tech support.

I explained the issue (again). Since the failure occurred less than 30 days after repair, this was covered. So my phone went to Los Angeles (via Memphis) a second time. I am still waiting.

Lesson learned. If you are going to send your cell phone in for repair, doesn’t matter if it’s SquareTrade, or someplace else. Save yourself some grief, do screen shots of your screens, save them to the micro sd card (or email them to yourself), and nuke that phone (factory reset) before it leaves your hands for repair, if at all possible. I could have gone to Batteries Plus and gotten a 2nd battery and done the wipe before shipping. But hey, I now have 2 batteries.

Enjoy my technological impairment!



At&t 4G problems in Tucson


The symptoms: Dropped calls. Missing text messages. Text messages that wouldn’t send. Voice mail messages delayed…..

I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 with At&t. The cell tower is located at Cardinal and Los Reales (South of Valencia. Closest intersection is Cardinal/Valencia) (Drexel Heights area in Tucson.) I live about 1/2 mile WEST of the cell tower, and I get this blazing speed on 4G.


I was at the shopping centre today, and was about 500 feet EAST of the same cell tower. Line-of-sight The speeds are considerably different.


I was informed by At&t that the cell tower was undergoing repair and to please be patient. The issues are due to an internal interference generated by At&T equipment. The tower has now been repaired. Really? Before this fiasco, I was getting 10-12 meg download on 4G lte at home. Other places in town, I get very good speeds. At home I get neinte. I no longer have 4G lte. I don’t even have 3G.

The At&t case number is: CM 20141022_95759252

At&t said they have escalated the issue to the next level, and that I should be getting a call RSN (real soon now.) Four calls, and over 3 hours on the phone with At&t tech support…..At&t said they would have the issue resolved by November 9, 2014 when I last spoke to At&t rep Kyle Moesch (At&t id: KM904C.)

As of 2:30 pm, Tuesday November 11, 2014, the problems still persist. Substandard data rates (under 1 meg down), delayed test/voice mail messages, unable to send some text messages.

I spoke with an AT&T rep today, and the new fix date is 7 pm, Friday, November 14, 2014.

The only consistent information I can get from At&t is they keep pushing out the completion date. First it was October 25.

Everything worked fine first week of October, 2014.

“A” for effort. “F-” for resolving the issue. Why does it work great 200 feet EAST of the tower, but 1/2 mile WEST, it sucks toenails?


How to setup Kindle on an android based device


I am a n00b when it comes to the Kindle world. When The Narrow Road came out with their e-book version, I was eager to read. As I discovered, there are no posts on how to set up an Android based device for Kindle.

The following assumes you have an account with

1. Download and install the Kindle application from the Android Play Store. Sign into the Kindle application.

2. We need to get some information from the Kindle Application. To access the settings, you will see 3 horizontal lines (see picture below) in the top LEFT of the screen (it is depicted on the top right here, but the 3 horizontal lines are what you are looking for in the top LEFT.). Press that, and it will open up the menu.


3. We want to access the settings, so again press the settings button (see screen above).

4. The information we are after is Send to Kindle Email Address (highlighted in Red Below.) Write that down, we will use that later.


5. Now we want to login to our amazon account. Go to the dropdown menu under your account (see below), and LEFT click on Manage Your Kindle.


6. Click on Personal Document Settings on the left (see red highlight.) We want to add Add A New Approved Email Address.


7. Add the email address you will be emailing the document from.

Otherwise, you will get an email saying,

Dear Customer,

The following document, sent to you by could not be delivered to your Kindle because the sender is not in your Kindle approved e-mail list.

(Been there, done that)

8. And now…..remember that email address we wrote down in step 4? Now we compose an email with the attachment. (Note for Kindle books we want to email the book as a mobi attachment to the address obtained in step 4.)


9. Et voilĂ :



Dear Mark: Thanks for Ubuntu 10.04 lts


Dear Mark Shuttleworth:

Thank you for Ubuntu 10.04 lts. It was perhaps the best Linux OS I have used. As it hits end-of-life at the end of the month, I have gone in another direction. Debian/Wheezy. I am not at all happy with the direction that Canonical has taken, in regard to desktop environment. I realise with Unity, you are trying to give the same desktop look/feel to all modes of communication: desktop, laptop, cell phones.

While my cell phone runs a Linux variant, it is customised to the device. One design does NOT fit all. Imagine trying to use a cell phone os, on a desktop. Oh wait. I think that’s windows 8.



Why wifi may NOT work on an Android


Okay so I am new to the Android platform (as of this week). But for the life of me could NOT figure out why my wifi connection to my home network wouldn’t work.

I checked all the usual things. Signal strength, another network (thanks Jason whoever you are, for having an open unsecured network I could connect too), etc.

My friend Matt suggested this Android Application:

Wife Analyzer

Which is pretty handy for finding those other networks, channels, etc.

What I discovered however, was that I was 1 character off in my password. That’s why it would authenticate, connect, and then drop!

So having a password like: K00lJerkBe1b3r is different from:

(It’s a song I don’t like, plus an artist I don’t like – make great passwords — please don’t use this one, even if you don’t like Justim Beiber too!

But anyway, that turned out to be my issue.

After getting the password fixed, I was then able to complete a 3.5 minute Skype call to my bud Tony in Pahonics

Thanks Matt, Tony, and Loni!