Android charging/data cables

You can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Bought a new Type-C cable for spare at “Five Below”, which use to mean $5 and less, but as soon as the opened one near me it became $5 and up, despite the name. These cables appear to be nice. Nice packaging. quality appearing braided cable. However I bought one from them before an noticed much longer charging times. Perhaps it was a fluke? How hard can it be to make a good cable? Apparently harder than it looks. Actually it’s probably more to do with the materials used than the actual construction. I plugged the new cable into my phone and no click, which is a nice audible assurance that it is inserted correctly. Since I didn’t hear that I decided to check settings.

Wow! Quite a difference. There’s 5+ dollars wasted. I’ve learned my lesson.

Firefox dark mode, dark pages?

I often start my day early, and there is nothing worse, at least it feels that way at the moment, than opening a web page, where most of the page is white. So I do a little research and learn about dark themes. But wait that only affects a small aspect of Firefox, such as tabs. The web pages themselves haven’t changed. Opening Google, for example is visual torture. It’s like being snow blind. I need my sunglasses (which I have actually done). Long story short Dark Reader https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/darkreader/

Carvana…continued

This is my experience…so far. YMMV. Well it started out good. I had to virtually sign some documents Saturday…which I did. I Received the following text on Saturday.

Today I go to Carvana website where I am shown the following. I’m excluding some purchase details, only showing the left side of screen. As you can see all green check marks except apparently a final, 2 minute “Review order” step.

Well the Review Order step wants me to select a delivery date with a selection beginning with Nov 3. WTH #1? I already picked Oct 31. Which was confirmed by the above text.

So I attempt to call and was given the option to hold or have someone else call me back. I don’t like to answer calls not in my contacts so I choose to hold. After 20 minutes I am sent to a voice mailbox! WTH #2! So I decided to try their online chat and their AI, determining the proper response…sucked. So I asked for a human. They wanted incident details, and said someone would get back to me. But first they sent a code for me to enter then wanted my email & zip. I never received a response. I made a second call and again had to hold again, after 20+ minutes I was disconnected! WTH #3! So I finally decided I try a call back, not long after I received a call and was once again put in a wait queue. WTH #4! I thought the purpose of the call back was someone would call when available! Anyway someone finally answered.

Bare in mind the only reason I called was to clear up the delivery problem. But this person, who was nice, seemed to imply that I hadn’t completed everything and tells me my delivery is delayed because of payment verification! WTH #5! I was already given green check marks for both Cash or Finance and Payment! If all the Carvana indicators are green and I’m sent a delivery appointment what can I say. Also I used this confirmation to let someone who was tired of driving me around know that they needn’t fret after Saturday! Now I have to say never mind. Part of the very first steps I was told a Carvana rep my call or text me about any issues. I received no such contact. If you can send a delivery confirmation text. Then why can’t you send a potential problem text?

Oh I almost forgot I was also shown a countdown timer. And if I didn’t look at app today would have expired. They previously contacted me by both text and email (not about any of this!) so they had that option.

So what started out as a positive experience has somewhat soured. If I ever get the car I maybe happy. But I don’t want to forget what initially happened, which you sometimes do if the end result turns out good. I was hoping for a better pre-sale experience and not having to deal with people.

Browser source code

Playing with Beautiful Soup and…when did this happen? Brought up some websites to scrape locally. Save HTML in Firefox and Google Chrome. The view was right but when I “save page” the source has been heavily modified, to barely resemble the original. I use to do this all the time…that’s how I originally learned HTML. The saved source from Opera was the only one that matched the original.

Screen scrapping

I was listening to a podcast on screen scrapping with Python. Specifically they were talking about Scrapy. Which resurrected thoughts of how I created my Birthday database. I never went into detail about how I started this project. Anywho this was in 2002, a few years before requests (version 1 started late 2012) Beautiful soup (Initial release:2004) or Scrapy (Initial release:June 26, 2008) came into existance. I wrote my own Python 2 web scraper using Python’s urllib. I think requests began life using urllib2. This returned HTML from a url which I had to parse myself. I scrapped a few different sites the merged the data. Someone on the podcast mentioned that it’s not illegal to scrape publicly available data.

At the time I figured no one could own basic celebrity information such as date of birth (DOB) or date of death (DOD). But my biggest remembrance is of how famous at least one of these websites is today. There was also a description of the celebrity which I did not use. All the descriptions were written by me, and are not complete. Through the years I’ve added some on occasion. I always add a description when someone dies. I would imagine it would be much more difficult to crawl through some of these sites today. Not to mention how much more data there probably is now. If I remember correctly these scrapers ran over dial-up modem. I used Name, DOB and DOD.

Another interest I had was older magazine covers (which will remain nameless) I wrote quite a few scrapers to get those for my private enjoyment. I think these images would be much harder to grab today than they were back then.

New phone

I read various complaints about this phone. However for someone like me that doesn’t buy a new phone every year or even every other year this phone, is 4 models greater than my old phone and a nice upgrade.

Pros

  • A huge plus was a way to turn off LGs KnockOn feature. I cannot express enough how much I absolutely hated that feature. LG hid the ability to turn it off on my old phone. I finally found a way by using an app to turn it off, the day before my phone screen cracked. I would put it in my pocket and walk to the store. I would constantly hear click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click as it would generate key presses because the knockOn feature would turn it on in my pocket. What made it even more aggravating were the many other times, I would tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap to wake it up and I would finally have to use the button to turn the peace of crap on. Hence, the ability to turn off LGs KnockOn feature will probably add a lot to the battery life.
  • It’s got 3GB as opposed to my old 2GB, a decent increase.

Cons

  • Non-removable battery.
  • No NFC. My old phone, same model had it, I never used it. However with the pandemic where it would be beneficial to minimize touching surfaces its not available.
  • Dedicated button to invoke Google Assistant. Is LG beholding to Google? I’d rather be able to invoke my own choice of app.
  • Facebook evidently is considered an essential app. You can’t even uninstall the big peace of personal info harvesting crap. WTH?
  • Can’t remove booking.com? Really? People need Apartment and hotel rentals at their fingertips? This is a task that I may occasionally but seldom need.
  • Possible con is the size. Especially when I prefer to do most of my computing on my desktop computer. It’s pretty big. May have to consider a smaller phone next time.

Phone model rant

When is a model number useless? When it comes to phones. A few years ago I bought a phone with NFC I never really used it. So I bought an updated version of the same phone and it doesn’t have NFC. With the pandemic I thought NFC might actually be a nice feature. I watched videos on this phone where the showed NFC was available. However, and I was aware of this fact, when you buy a phone from a particular company it may or may not have a particular feature.