Posted by & filed under iPhone, Open-source, Web Development. 4,450 views

After much trial & error, I figured out how to do this on iOS 6, PhoneGap/Cordova 2.5.0 and jQuery 1.9.1

  • OpenAllWhitelistURLsInWebView doesn’t matter. Setting it to true, false or omitting it doesn’t seem to have any bearing on the result.
  • I set a target of _system on the href, like so:

    <a target="_system" href="">

  • I then call:

    $("a[target='_system']").click(function(event) {
    event.preventDefault();$(this).attr("href"), "_system");

And it just works! On iPad & iPhones.

Posted by & filed under Android, Gadget, iPhone, Personal, Product Review. 7,402 views

Best iPhone car mountLast year, I got a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. It was fun but limited in many ways. While controlling the helicopter via iPhone or iPad was fun at first, it just wasn’t as reliable and precise as one would want. The helicopter was a fun toy but limited in many ways, hard to repair (you’ll crash it) and quite fragile. So a few weeks ago, I purchased a DJI Phantom, a ready to fly, remote controlled quacopter. The Phantom is a completely different bird, and it should be at more than twice the price. Here is my product review.


Ready-to-Fly (no soldering), very little assembly required.

Most multi rotors – quadcopters are diy builds
It’s addictive!

Flying those is a lot of fun. It’s easy but not too much so, it’s still challenging especially as you start flying high and far, above and around obstacles and start taking videos
Integrated remote control unit designed for the phantom

much more precise and easy to use than a smartphone or tablet touch screen
Easy to fly, Stable, yet agile performance, GPS integration
Learning curve isn’t steep. Start in GPS mode and Home Lock, then take the training wheels off.
Failsafe mode
When the controller is turned off, loses connection or when triggered manually (an optional configuration on the controller), the Quadcopter will hover for a short while, rise (or lower) to 60ft (20m), come back to the take off location, hover a short while then land.

GPS, Attitude or Manual mode
GPS mode will maintain a hover stationary position when no input is given, Altitude will keep the quadcopter at a given attitude but the copter can drift. Manual mode is…manual.

Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) – Home Lock & Course Lock
Often, when you fly a quadcopter far away from you you cannot tell what direction the nose is pointing.

When in home lock mode forward and back control movements are relative to you the pilot. Left stick movement will make the phantom to fly in a radius around you. Think of it as telling to phantom to draw a circle like a compass since you are telling it to go left or right relative to you as the center point.

Pretty essential.


  • At $679, it is quite a bit more expensive than the AR.Drone 2.0 – but it’s a very serious piece of equipment
  • With no payload, you’ll be able to fly for 12 minutes or so (which is actually longer than it seems), with a GoPro 3, it’ll be reduced to 9-10 minutes so you might want to grab a couple of additional OEM DJI batteries or slightly longer lasting batteries for longer play time
  • The QuadCopter doesn’t include a video recording device and is designed to work well with the GoPro 3 (mount included). So you’ll need to buy a GoPro 3 (White, Silver or Black) if you want to record your flights (and you want to)

DJI Phantom mini-FAQ

I can’t find any manual in the box?
There is no manual in the DJI Phanthom box (there wasn’t in mine). One should refer to the Quick Start, Advanced, Naza-M, Battery & Charger manuals available on the DJI web site.
The battery has two connectors, should they both be connected to the charger?
The battery is a 3 cell, or “3s” 3.7 volts each for a total of 11.1 volts. The little adapter, is called the “balance lead”,
and is used when charging the battery, to make sure all cells have the same amount of charge. Yes, you do have to plug
it into the charger when charging the battery.
What’s essential to know for my first flight?
  • Charge your battery
  • Attach your blades (being careful of the rotation direction for each
  • Attach the landing pads, connecting the compass, using tape to secure compass & antenna
  • Insert 4 AA in the controller
  • Turn on the controller, make sure the throttle, left controller, is pulled all the way back, towards you
  • Put the battery into the Quadcopter to turn it on
  • Wait for GPS acquisition
  • Calibrate the compass
  • Start the motors by pulling the left & right joystick towards you then giving it a little throttle (left controller) by pulling it slowly away from you.
  • FLY your Quadcopter
  • After landing, remove the battery
  • Turn off the controller
GoPro 3 (Black) moves around a lot in the DJI mount, am I doing it wrong?
Strangely, the GoPro mount that’s included works best for older GoPros. Use a bit of foam to fit a GoPro Hero 3, use the waterproof casing or use the GoPro Frame Mount which is the lightest and most secure way to hold a Hero 3 for the Phantom.

First flight

This was my first flight with a camera, it shows how high and how far the Phantom can go

Posted by & filed under Android, Gadget, iPhone, Product Review. 28,916 views

Best iPhone car mountAfter buying a few duds, I finally found a good iPhone windshield/dashboard car mount.

When you insert your phone into the iOttie HLCRIO102 One Touch Windshield Dashboard Universal Car Mount Holder, a push button gets depressed which will cause small plastic jaws to secure the phone in place. It works well most phone cases. A couple of side buttons will release the phone. The mount rotates easily from portrait to landscape and the foot sticks very well thanks to a vacuum lever.

Beyond the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, it seems it’ll work with iPhone, Android & Blackberry phones:

  • iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4S
  • Samsung Galaxy S3/S2
  • HTC One/8X/8S
  • Nokia Lumia 925/928/920
  • Blackberry Q10 & Z10
  • LG Optimus G/Nexus 4
  • Motorola Droid RAZR/MAXX/HD

A larger version, the iOttie HLCRIO101 One-Touch XL will work with Phablets and large phones:

  • Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note2, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Mega5.8

Posted by & filed under Kindle, Mobile. 3,231 views

After making the Canada, Spain and Italy versions of the Kindle Deals of the Day Android apps, I thought I’d gives you guys some RSS feeds for the same:

RSS feed for Kindle Daily Deal (Canada)

RSS feed for Offerta Lampo Kindle (Italy)

RSS feed for Kindle Flash (Spain)

Posted by & filed under Android, Web Site. 3,742 views

After the US, UK, Italy, Spain & France versions, I created an Android Application to monitor the Kindle Deal of the Day / Kindle-Deal des Tages and a:

RSS feed for Kindle-Deal des Tages

Posted by & filed under Amazon Web Services, node.js, Open-source. 17,931 views

Another itch I needed to scratch. I needed the basic ability to export data from (an Amazon Web Services noSQL store:) DynamoDB to CSV. I first built a solution for my specific issue (which included some transformations) and then decided it’d be worth building something more generic for people. While you can do this using AWS Pipeline, EMR and S3, I found it immensely complicated for such a simple task.

You can find my solution, DynamoDBtoCSV on github


typically, to use you’d run:

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Posted by & filed under Amazon Web Services, Linux, Mac OS X, node.js, Open-source. 10,503 views

Like many, we gather a lot of our system information (business and technology) into Graphite. One thing we were missing was some of the AWS services metrics that you’d typically use Cloudwatch for. So I wrote a little utility in node.js that does exactly that. You’d typically run this in a cron and throw the output into Graphite every 10 minutes or whatever.

You’ll find the application here:

Here is the documentation as it stands:
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