Getting the Most out of your Cellular Signal for your Phone!

Droid Apps Cell Phone by Carissa Rogers

Droid Apps Cell Phone by Carissa Rogers

Cell signal Strength

It Seems to be a really good question for some. Recently, Some people have found my site with my one question about Straight Talk Signals and I thought it was time for a review of what I’ve found out the last few years about my experiences with getting a good signal for less than you can expect.  This article will deal with Verizon, AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Sprint, and Many other Cell Providers out there.  It isn’t the question that shouldn’t be left up to the carriers.   Most carriers have maps that will show you their coverage area (See Below) and thus you can make a pretty good guess as to which carrier will get you the best possible solutions for your location(s) or even Speed.  The more signal you have the better your speed will be in terms of streaming and using the web on your phone.   That being said we will talk about all the ways to get the most out of your cell phone.

The Cell Phone

Let us look at the Cell phone your using and have a few questions that must be answered before we can continue onto fixing your Cellular Signal Problem.   Is the a cheap Cell phone bought at a local store or did you buy the cell phone from T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon?  If you bought a cheap phone, you might want to consider buying a better one that might get a better signal for your place.   I have found some really good decent Cell phones that are under 100$ that might work for you.  Even if your aren’t using Straight Talk, these Cell phones can be used for other providers without limitations.   If you have bought your phone and you are on contract.   You can always Unlock it and take it to another provider without worries.   As long as you know that you will be voiding the contract with your current Provider.   You can do almost anything with the phone as you want.

Reception issues

Having been using my Unlocked Phone (Amazon Affiliate Link) for several years.   I’ve come to have a valuable resource helping me to find the best possible cellular Network to use in my area.   Not all networks are the same and as such.   The Website is called, and they have a massive amount of information about the Cellular Networks in your area.   They also have an App for Both Android and Apple Phones.  Although this site should help you with finding what will work for you.   Straight Talk has a Good Phone Activation with several different providers (Amazon Affiliate Link) that you can use with your unlocked.   They even have one for the 4G/LTE class of phones (Amazon Affiliate Link) and can really be used for almost any network.  If you are wanting to use Verizon Network with Straight Talk, they also have a CDMA Activation (Amazon Affiliate Link) for you to use.  On a side note, if you have a AT&T Phone and you want to use Straight Talk, just slide an AT&T Straight Talk SIM into the phone and it will work.   Just find the carrier that the phone is tied to and use the SIMS that is provided by Straight Talk for that Carrier and you will be all set to go.   I still say Go and Unlock your Phone (Affiliate Link) and use any carrier you want.

Well with this said, the idea that you can get a better signal with another cellular provider isn’t really a new idea but rather an old idea that sometimes people over look when they are looking for a cell phone for their personal use.   Just remember this is one area where you have to think carefully about the phone you are wanting to use and where it will be used at.

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Is your Cellphone updated? (The StageFright Hack)


The Ring Bearer by Matt Forbes

The Ring Bearer by Matt Forbes

StageFright and You!

So many blogs are talking about this vulnerability and since Defcon and BlackHat Conference is around the corner.   You should consider just updating your Android Phone.   There are several options available to you.  If the phone manufacturer has an update then you should update as soon as possible.   You can do that simply by visiting:

Settings > About Phone > Check for Update

Although this can be problematic at times. It can be the best possible solution to the problem at hand.   It just depends on when the manufacturer sends out the patch for this problem with their OTA (Over The AIR) update system.   It could be several months or sooner.   You can be patent with them or install a different ROM as you may have be able to fix this problem yourself.

Other Options

If your like me, you might feel the need to fix this yourself.  There can be some options of installing a different ROM. I won’t go into details about this but if you can do it, I would suggest you do it with the latest version possible.   It just depends on if there is a ROM Available for your Phone.

Places to Look for Some ROMS:

These are where I’d start to get the last possible ROMS that might not be effected by the StageFright Vulnerability.   We will only have to wait and for Phones, Tablets, and other such devices to get hit by this malware!

Blu Products and StageFright

I just got done talking with Blu Products over this issue and they have said since “No Reports” of any of their phones being affected by this Vulnerability, they do not have a patch ready for it.   So they are just hoping no one gets hit by this problem.   When it does, I will be saying.   I told yo so.   Come on Blu Products, you should be on top of this.    If I have more information, I will let you know.   It however looks not promising.

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BLU Life One 4G LTE (Unlocked) [Review]

Life One (2105) Black, White, and Gold

Life One (2105) Black, White, and Gold

*Disclaimer*  I had a chance to buy this phone for $99 SRP Price is $149.00 on Amazon a few weeks back and I this post will be talking about the phone.   Any links in this post will be to Amazon or others using affiliate links and will grant me the privilege to review even more phones.

The Phone

It comes with  a 5.0″ HD 720p Display; 13MP Sony IMX 135 Sensor Camera with LED Flash, 5MP Front Camera, and supports 4G LTE, (700,1700,2600),4G HSPA+ (850/1700/1900/2100). GSM Quad Band: US Compatibility Nationwide on all GSM Networks including AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS, Straight Talk and others.  The OS is Kit Kat (Version 4.4.4) and Blu Products has promised that an update to Lollipop is on its way soon.  The Processor is Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, 1.2GHz Quad-Core, 64-Bit architecture and Adreno 306 GPU and is really fast.   I was loving the speed of videos and camera photos that were easily being taken by the phone.

Comparison between the Life one (2015) and Life View (Blue)

When I first got this phone I was kind of disappointed by the size but I also know they have an XL size coming in the coming months that I might get to do a review on also.  Now since I had the Life View since last year.  I paid more money for that phone then I did with this but I must say.   For the money the LTE aspect of this phone has far exceeded my expectations of if I should have gotten this phone.   They’ve increased the speed of my web browsing and everything.   When I was using the Life View, it was slower and harder for me to get a good signal.   I just threw my old Straight Talk Sim (AT&T) into the phone and it worked flawlessly.   I didn’t have to deal with the configurations of the APN or anything of that nature, unlike the Life View.   Size is smaller than the Life View about 1/10th of the size maybe a little more than that.   It also doesn’t have any good cases that I can buy to protect the phone but I’m waiting for a good tough case for this phone to help protect it from drops and falls.   The Case that comes with the phone is at least better than no having one.  It is a Silcon based clear case and isn’t half bad.    The Life View came with a 12 MegaPixel Camera and both did a good job at taking pictures.   Although I’d say the new phone has more use than the old phone with the 13 MegaPixel camera on the LIfe One (2015).

Other Articles that you might want to  read about the Life View:


Finally the lower cost combined with the speed and less memory can make this phone a really good alternative to buying a contract phone.   The phone can be upgraded to 32 Gigabytes of space using a Micro SD card that can be put in on the other Sim card slot.   This will increase your phone capacity to up to 36 of Gigabytes of space.   Unlike the Life View, I couldn’t add more space to the phone.   I had only 16 Giabytes on the Life View.   So this phone can have more apps and more space for my photos.  This is a good phone for those who are looking for speed and who desire to keep it cheap.   You can do a lot with this phone and I’d recommend this for your Wireless MVNO carriers but I also know you can’t use this Verizon unless you can get the LTE Sim that will work with the phone.   Coverage and speed are a real good sign that Blu Products is making strides and I can’t wait to see what else they make in the future.

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Backing up you Windows 10 for Free!


Backing up is important!

If you were one of the many Windows Insiders who got the last version of the Preview and you would don’t want to go buy a Windows 7 Professional Key, or even a Windows 8.1 Key from Amazon.  This is then you will want to make an Image of the Windows Drive.  You have several options on how to do this.   Use the free partition manager that comes with Windows 10, 8.1, 8.0, and Windows 7 and create a partition that you can use to backup your Windows 10 partition onto.  You will need to have at least 50 or 60 Gigabytes of space to make an image of your Windows System.   You can use a Portable Hard Drives that can be bought from Amazon.   This is the  best solution for the process of keeping that backup

Making an Image

Once you have someplace to use with the free Application on windows.  You will need to type “Backup” in the Search the web and Windows section of Windows 10.  Which will bring you to the “File History” panel in Windows 10:


You then will want to click on the System Image Backup in the bottom left corner.


Now that you are on the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) panel.   You will want to click Create System Image and you should create a Windows 10 Restore DVD disk for those just in cases where you might need to restore your image from the boot up screen.   Both of those are suggested by me to prevent yourself from losing Windows 10 Preview or maybe you got the last version of Windows for free.   You should backup on three different media devices to prevent any major problems.   Once those two are done you are set up to recover your Windows 10 from those Just for when moments that might have been a problem for some.


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A Few signs that you’re talking to a scammer!

date @ simone's 2324 by korafotomorgana

date @ simone’s 2324 by korafotomorgana

Dating Online!

I’ve been trying to find that right person on and I’ve even talked some about scammers on the site. It seems that I’ve not had much success with keeping those scammers away my profile. It however hasn’t stopped me from looking at all the possibilities in my area! Even those lessons on what I’ve learned hasn’t quite sunk in to some, even me. I’ve still seem to draw those types of accounts my way because they know my age. I’ve not stopped searching on, it however doesn’t look promising now.  I am not going to stop looking but I’ve seen failures in the site and I wanted to throw out what I’ve learned while searching profiles and even talking to scammers on the site.

The WINK, Flirt, Or even Message!

It can be a new experience from people who receive Winks from someone at really late night about 2am or so.   If you are a night person and working the Graveyard shift, then it might not be so surprising to you but to me if you are going to receive an email from someone it should be your time zone.  So if you’re getting an email at 1 or 2 am it could very well be an 419 dating scammer.  That would 8am their time in Nigeria or even Russia and thus your the first people they contact in the morning.  It however isn’t definitely the case but it can help you start asking the right questions and make you just a little more willing to ask the hard questions.  I’ve even received email or even a becoming someones favorite at 2am.   So this is always my first sign something is fishy and you should be cautious.

The Profile

Reading the profile is the first step to seeing how real the person seems to you.   It can help you find subtle differences in how they speak to you.   It can also tell you a lot about how well they know the language.   For instance if they claim to be english only but you feel like they went through a translation matrix.   Then you know they don’t speak english or even know a lot of words for english.   However, you shouldn’t stop there.   You will also want to look at the pictures and ask some very good questions to yourself.   Some questions I always ask myself are:

  • Are these professional Pictures?  As if it was done by a really good photographer?
  • Does the person SEEM TO BE TO GOOD to be TRUE?  Using your past experiences can help you decide that.
  • Search for the photos using TinEye or even Google Image search.   Did you find duplicates?
  • Did they put their email address is their profile?  (caution some people just don’t know any better.   It however can be a good sign.)

If you answered more ‘Yes’ then ‘No’, then you just might be talking to scammer.   Here are a few other signs that you are talking to a scammer.

Chatting with the Person!

Actually just emailing the person and talking to them can also tell you about their behavior and just how reliable they are to be a true person of interest.   If the scammer has problems with words and doesn’t sound very knowledgeable about spelling that can show how well he/she doesn’t speak your language very fluently.   Some other signs are:

  • Does he/she mention that they are having a problem communicating and suggest moving off the site using email or even texting?
  • Does the communication seem to fast and furious and make you want to commit to not looking for anyone else?
  • Do they compliment you a lot in hopes to make you “Fall in LOVE” with them?

As you can see if you answered more Yes then ‘No’, you are on dangerous ground.  I won’t go into detail much more because that should be making you very cautious of the person and you have to decide just how far you are going to go with this person.   I’ve always said, don’t send money to people you have never met and definitely don’t fall for them saying they need this for pain or to help pay bills.   If they are truly going to be the one for you then they will understand it and accept it.   If they can’t then it might be time to go look somewhere else and know that you might have learned just one thing from the meeting and write it down so you never forget.

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How Deceptive Advertising is Like a School Bully


Phone is Infected?


Scan & Kill the VIRUS!

Deceptive Advertising is the Worse!

Clean Master and 360 Security – Antivirus Boost are at it again with a very bad deceptive advertising that claims that you have a virus and that they could kill that virus on my phone!  I reached out to both parties wanting to know if they knew this was happening and what they were planning on doing.   Naked Security also seems had this problem with Clean Master and they talked about it last year.

I’ve not heard back from both application developers yet but I am sure they will say the same thing and tell me that they aren’t responsible for the people who create the advertisements for the clicks!  I am sure I will hear something in the coming weeks.

Android TIPS!

  1. Don’t install 3rd party applications.   Stick with Google and Amazon stores.   This way you don’t install a virus or malware.
  2. If it scares you, then it isn’t always true.   Even if you feel you have a virus, don’t install from unknown sources.   Keep with the antivirus companies that we all know about.   (AVG, Sophos, Norton, and many more)
  3. Use Common Sense methods.   Don’t just download and install without at least reading the reviews from other people who have used the applications!
  4. Report Advertisers and Applications to Google.   This can help make a point to get those applications to change how they advertise and helps fight these types of deceptive advertising.
  5. Comment for reviewers about the false advertising and encourage others to go somewhere else.

As you can see these will help protect you to a point.   It however seems to keep from being understood.  I’ve also read about Cheetah Mobile Inc, which owns Clean Master and how they are trying to get people to install their browser and to remove all other browser, which to me seems suspicious and something you shouldn’t do.   You should always keep two or more browsers on your phone for those for when moments that you might need another browser for one reason or another.


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Windows 10 Preview and the Dreaded Error Code!


Couldn’t update to Windows 10 Error Code: “0xC1900101 x 0x20017”

The Dreaded error code!

This error code can be daunting to say the least! I’ve dealt with this error code for some time when I’ve been try to install Windows 10 Preview Version 10130 which is the current one available from Microsoft.  I’ve tried to figure out what is causing this problem with regards to getting Windows 10 to install the latest version for me to upgrade to.   I’ve not had much success with trying to get this resolved  by Microsoft.   I’ve asked for help for a few weeks and no one has said anything that will help me.   One person said to enable Memory Executable Security  preference in my Lenovo G530.  I’ve looked for this security option in my Bios but with no luck.

Internet Digging!

I’ve tried to figure out what is causing this error or the lack there of.   I’ve got a black or blank screen right after the boot screen when I try to upgrade from 10074 to 10130.  I’ve tried so many ways to get Windows 10 to work with my Lenovo.   I’ve look through the internet and I am guessing I’m not alone in the venture of my mine to try the preview and help make this Windows build even more successful than previous.  Most if not all are reporting a black or blank screen after updating to Windows Preview 10130 from earlier versions of Windows 10.   I’ve also tried to install this directly from a DVD, and a USB device and still it will not show anything other than a blank screen.  I’ve also found out more about the error code alone, it seems to be a problem with Windows 8 and 8.1.   It seems to be a driver or something that has to do with the operating system.  I’ve tried updating all drivers that were available through Lenovo but that seems to do no good.

Asking for Help

All I’m doing in this post is to see if someone has a way for me to get Windows 10 Preview 10130 to work with my Lenovo.   I’m sure this isn’t just me because I’ve seen this issue with others and I’m just one person in a sea of many who are having this same problem.   I’ve found threads after threads of people with the same error code from people using the Surface Pro 3 series to Acer Laptops Series.   It isn’t like it is an isolated problem and I’m hoping Microsoft steps up their game and help me and every other customer to upgrade to a stable version of the preview build!   If you know of a tip or trick to fix this just leave a comment and I’ll try it!  Thanks!

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3 Android Apps that I use constantly and you should too!

Android Tools by C_osett

Android Tools by C_osett

It isn’t like I have a favorite but I thought it was time for a quick post about some really good Applications that can be used with your Android Device to help secure your device or just to keep your information in multiple locations. I’m going to be a little biased with this post because I’m always using Google Services and I’m sure some paranoid people out in the world that is worried about Google Knowing too much. It however isn’t like we have too much choices out on Android, we either have the dreaded Microsoft Windows, Apple IOS, Linux and their many flavors, or Android Phones and Tablets. I’m going to have to say each Operating System has their flaws and at some point knows something about you that you didn’t know they knew. So it isn’t like we can protect our privacy that much from these guys.

Amazon MusicAmazon_Music1

Since I have Amazon Prime, I’m also entitled to stream any music from their vast variety of songs from their Amazon Prime servers.   You can create a large choice of songs or artists and not have any advertisements as you listen.   So this is a great big plus in my book but that doesn’t mean Amazon will change this next year.   it however let’s me have a way to listen to my music unlike Pandora.

Google Wallet


Constantly using this app to store my loyalty cards that I am often given to by any and all big chain stores.  they obviously want to keep track of your purchases and who you are but I don’t have to carry around those cards in my wallet anymore.   This also has NFC Capabilities if your phone has NFC (Near Field Communications) then you can pay and buy stuff with your phone without pulling out your wallet.   In a few months I’m going to find me an unlocked phone that has NFC Capable feature but that will be later on for me!  You can Visit Google wallet by going to

Google KeepGoogle_keep1

It isn’t like I have a Choice on this.   It has the functionality like Evernote or even Onenote.  So I can talk or write my thoughts or what is needed for me to post about and it can be seen on many different platforms from my windows machine in a browser to all my android devices.   This is a good way to help keep your on your track and helps be a very good productivity feature with Google.  Now if you’re not looking for Google track you, I suggest Evernote or even Onenote, you can do everything and even more with those paid applications but since this is free, I suggest this for all my friends and family.   You can visit Google keep by going to

As you can see this could go on for some time but I feel if I keep this up we may have a longer post that this.   I’ve got dozens of applications that I use for my business and home life but these are what I’m always turning to when I am on the Go and need something or write something down.   I’ll be talking about games in the future but this is a good start for those who need stuff that are free to use while your on your Android Device or Android Phone.   It just depends on what your willing to share with Google.

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Lastpass Security Notice Scares users!

We want to notify our community that on Friday, our team discovered and blocked suspicious activity on our network. In our investigation, we have found no evidence that encrypted user vault data was taken, nor that LastPass user accounts were accessed. The investigation has shown, however, that LastPass account email addresses, password reminders, server per user salts, and authentication hashes were compromised.

We are confident that our encryption measures are sufficient to protect the vast majority of users. LastPass strengthens the authentication hash with a random salt and 100,000 rounds of server-side PBKDF2-SHA256, in addition to the rounds performed client-side. This additional strengthening makes it difficult to attack the stolen hashes with any significant speed.

Understanding what Rounds are for the PBKDF2-SHA256

(hash (master password + username) * Random Salt) ^ iterations) = password hash [See this post for details]

(hash * Encryption Key) * addition rounds  = Authentication Hash  [See this Post for details]   [Hash = Master Password,  Encryption Key = Data]

Now that I’ve explained some of this so you can try to grasp the concept of how they  encrypt your passwords to help protect your passwords.   Now if you’re like me it might take a couple of minutes to understand those equations.   It took me several hours to find this and to understand the concept.   Some of this is more complicated  for the people who don’t program or do these things a lot but would like to see how Lastpass has explain this

Should you change your Master Password?

In honesty is doesn’t hurt you to change your master password.   I have seen conflicting reports from media and even Lastpass.   Lastpass recommends changing your master password.   If you’re having a problem coming up with a really strong password, I suggest using something that is so random that even hackers couldn’t guess.   You could always use the Perfect Paper Passwords to generate a very unique password!

What else can you do?

To help protect your Lastpass account there are several things you can do.   One of them is to regenerate the 2nd Factor Authentication token.  If you’re not using 2 factors of authentication for logging into Lastpass, then you should consider enabling it.   You could always use a Yubikey or some other ways to authenticate who you are.   This way hackers would not be able to log in even if they know your password.

Change the Password Iteration

If you are just keeping it the default that gives the hackers less work.   I would recommend changing it to a random 5 digit number and don’t use the digits “12345” “5432156789” “98765” “51627” or even “95847“.   You should use the random number generator to come up with a good password iterations for your account.

I’m sure there is even more you could do to help protect your passwords but these are at least a few things I’ve done with mine to make sure that I’m not going to make it that easy for hackers to get into my password vault.   As you can see you have many options available to you to help keep your account secure but it just depends on how you approach the problem.

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Windows 10 and You — What you should know about it!

Dave Dugdale - Trying out Windows 10

Dave Dugdale – Trying out Windows 10

Windows 10 Preview

I’ve been playing around with Windows 10 Preview (Use WintoUSB to use a USB Device)on my Lenovo Laptop G530-444638U and I must say, that it isn’t as ready as I would have thought. It however is a huge improvement from Windows 8.0 and 8.1. I’ve found it was much faster and works really well with the older systems.   There are some problems with the builds that I’ve played with that I’d like to share with you and hopefully see some improvements with it in the future.  I haven’t been playing with it exclusively because of the need to use certain programs that seem to not work so well with the preview builds.  It doesn’t mean they will not work when the last release of the build comes out on July 29, 2014 but it does mean that I’m going to wait and see when it finally does come out.

User Interface

After been using Windows 7 for some time I must say that the UI (user Interface) takes a little getting used to because they’ve used some of Windows 8 and 8.1 menu schemes with Windows 10.   I haven’t really used Windows 8 or 8.1 that much because well it isn’t like I thought it was a good.   I prefer the Windows Start Menu myself but that is just what I’m used to I guess.  I’d suggest that if you haven’t used Windows 8 or 8.1 then you will want to start with Windows 10 because they did some stuff right with how to make it easier to learn and use.

Buggy for some!

I’ve had no really problems with bugs other than when I first created a dual-boot with windows 7 and Windows 10 Preview.   It will automatically boot into Windows 10.   That really annoys me that if you’re not paying attention to the startup screen you will automatically send me to the newest OS when I might want to use the old OS much more!  Changing the default boot, made it that much easier for me to prevent it from booting the preview until I decide it is time to play around with it!

Legacy Devices

Well it probably will work with most if not all Legacy Devices but if you have a really old Printer or even an older system then this Windows build will probably be problematic to say the least.   I’m sure they will add support for printers and other such devices such as older cameras but it will take time before it will work with the last version of Windows 10.

Older Programs

Just like the Legacy devices, you will find that it will be problematic with the preview and maybe even with Windows 10 final version.   I am sure they will support the new programs that have been made in the last 7 years or so but I can’t say for sure if they will support programs that are much older but I’m sure if the program is used by a lot that someone will have a way for you to use it.   I am also sure they have a compatibility feature with Windows 10 but I’ve not really been trying them for the most part because I have been really busy with work the last few weeks.   People need their computers worked on, in the summer time.


As we get closer to the release of Windows 10 RTM and July 29, 2014.  I’ll be updating talking about it more so you can get ready for that big day when you have decided to upgrade your Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 System to Windows 10.  I’ll probably even have some updates on it in the coming future!


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