16 essential Android apps for IT pros

16 essential Android apps for IT pros


There are hundreds of thousands of Android apps, including many that are useful for IT professionals on the job. These apps can help connect to servers, monitor computers, access databases, analyze the airwaves, scan networks, and serve as a reference. Here are 16 of these apps, most of them free.

ConnectBot (Free)

If you work with Unix-based servers or other network components that support SSH/Telnet connections, you can use this open source client to remotely connect. No need to get on the desktop or boot up your laptop. You can perform admin, maintenance, or troubleshooting tasks via command-line. Additionally, it supports local connections, so you can access the command-line of your Android.

ConnectBot supports generating and importing SSH keys. You can pan between multiple simultaneous connections and copy/paste between them or other applications. It keeps a history of previous sessions so you don’t have to keep inputting the host address. Even better, you can create shortcuts to frequent hosts on your Android desktop.

AndFTP (Free or $5.59)

You can use this FTP/SFTP/FTPS client to download/upload files or perform administrative tasks from your Android. It features resume support and enables the basic admin tasks: renaming, deleting, updating permissions, and running custom commands. You can also send files via email, messaging, Bluetooth, and via other apps. The Pro version adds support for secure copy protocol (SCP) connections and enables remote/local folder synchronization.

Linux Monitor ($2.61)

If you work with Linux servers you can use this simple monitoring app to remotely keep an eye on the vitals: CPU load, RAM and disk usage, and network/port activity. View stats represented in numbers or via progress bars. Though you can monitor multiple Linux machines, you can’t monitor or view them simultaneously. You must manually change the monitoring address to switch between them.


The remote Linux machine(s) must be running the Apache web server with PHP, and you must upload a simple PHP script. You can download a sample version to get a feel for the app.

Server Monitor (Free)

This simple monitoring app can alert you if a server or a certain component/port of it goes down. This is great if you don’t already have a monitoring/alert system put into place or you’d like redundancy. It supports TCP connections as well as SSH tunnels. You add a server hostname or IP address and then you can optionally add specific components or ports to monitor, including SSH over SSH. You can define the polling frequency and toggle sound and/or vibrate alerts. You can set the service to start up automatically during boot or enable manual control.

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httpmon (Free)

This is another monitoring app, but designed specifically for HTTP servers. You can customize a request URL and check with simple pings or with customizable conditions: the response code or time and header or content contains using substrings, wildcards, or regular expressions. You can also set the desired User Agent used for all the requests, the connection timeout, and the read timeout. On failures, it can notify, flash, alert, and vibrate your phone and/or send SMS messages to others.

Cellica Database for Android ($39.99 after 10-day trial)

If you work with databases on a Windows server or PC, you can use this app to access and manage them from your Android. Once you install the required software on the server or PC, you’ll have encrypted access to edit fields, apply select queries, filters, sorting, or even create databases. Supported databases include: Microsoft Access, Access 2007, Microsoft Excel, Excel 2007, Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, FoxPro, dBase, R:BASE and any ODBC Compliant Database.

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Phoenix MySql Client (Free)

If you only desire a simple connection to MySQL databases, you can use this free app to directly connect. You can then view tables, views, and stored procedures. You can perform SQL queries and execute statements: select, create, insert, etc.

Wyse PocketCloud (Free or $14.99)

This remote desktop client supports Microsoft RDP, platform-independent VNC (virtual network computing), and virtual VMware View connections to Windows, Mac or Linux machines via Wi-Fi and cellular connections. It supports both Android smartphones and tablets. You might use it to provide remote tech support or access a PC for its programs or files.

If you download and install their companion software to the Windows or Mac computer, it can auto configure the connection via your Google account so you don’t have to mess with router settings or IP addresses. But you can always manually configure the connection as well.

The Pro version removes the advertisements and adds more features: multiple connections, encryption to secure the connections, sound support for RDP, and VMware View support to access virtual machines.

Android-VNC-Viewer (Free)

If you prefer VNC for remote desktop connections and don’t mind configuring the router and have static IPs or a dynamic DNS host name, you might consider using this simple open source VNC client. It supports VNC connections to most VNC servers on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X via Wi-Fi and Cellular connections.

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Unlike the Wyse PocketCloud client, this app doesn’t display advertisements and gives you pinch zooming for free. On the other hand, it can’t automatically secure your connections. You’d have to use a separate app, such as ConnectBot, to encrypt your connection to the computer/server you’re trying to remotely access.

Spiceworks Mobile (Free)

If your organization uses the Spiceworks IT management solution, you can use this client app to view your network and PC inventory, manage trouble tickets, and access and manage users with support of Active Directory. You can also communicate with other IT pros in the Spiceworks community to get feedback, help, or research.

ActiveDir Manager (Free or $1.99)

This is a must-have app if you work with the Active Directory in your organization. It lets you view and manage users, groups, and computers right from your Android. You can reset user passwords, disable or edit user accounts, adjust group memberships, and perform other basic admin tasks. It supports Windows Server 2000 and later with StartTLS, SSL, or no encryption. It can directly connect to the Active Directory server via Wi-Fi or VPN.

The only difference between the free and paid version is that the paid version enables saving of the LDAP connection settings and options.

Wi-Fi Analyzer (Free)

If you work with the Wi-Fi network at your organization you may want to use this Wi-Fi stumbler and analyzer app when setting up access points, checking channel usage, troubleshooting Wi-Fi issues, or doing Wi-Fi security auditing.
You can view and export the details of access points: SSID, MAC address, encryption, channel, and signal in negative dBm levels via a graphical bar and text readout. You can view channel graphs showing each access point’s channel and signal in real-time or a recent history. Then a channel rating page gives you recommendations on which channels to use. You can use the signal meter view to find the access points.

SharesFinder (Free)

This scans for Windows (SMB), FTP and HTTP shares/servers on the network you’re connected to via Wi-Fi. It’s useful if you’re trying to access files on the network or when doing security auditing. For each share/server you’ll see the IP and media access control address, SMB name, and vendor name.

This app also supports basic file transfers and management of the remote SMB files, such as creating and deleting files and folders. You can login as anonymous or input a username and password. For HTTP resources, it launches the web browser. For FTP resources, you can connect via a third-party FTP client, such as AndFTP.

Overlook Fing (Free)

If you do any networking work, this is a must-have app. It can do TCP port scanning, pinging, traceroute, and DNS lookups on a network via Wi-Fi. It also shows the network details (SSID, IP details, and speed) of your current Wi-Fi connection.

You can see and export the details (MAC address, IP and vendor) for each computer or device detected on the network, which are customizable with a name, icon or notes. You can also perform a port scan or ping a particular computer or device. It can also launch third-party client apps for SSH, Telnet, FTP, FTPS, SFTP, SCP, HTTP, secure-HTTP and SMB.
RouterPasswords (Free)

This is a must-have for anyone that works with networking gear. It’s a simple database of the default login methods and credentials for over a thousand routers, gateways, modems and other network components. Though you can find the same info online, this gives you quick off-line access. Just start typing the model or brand and it will begin list matching entries.

Linux Commands (Free)

If you use Linux but aren’t an expert at the command-line, this is a great app to have for reference. It lists more than 500 Linux commands that you can browse through. Select a command and you’ll see the syntax, description, and any command options. You can even star your favorite commands and have them shown at startup and/or manually access your list of favorites. Though you can find the same info online, this gives you quick off-line access.

Geier is the founder of NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses protect their Wi-Fi networks with a hosted RADIUS/802.1X service. He is also a freelance tech writer — become a Twitter follower or use the RSS Feed to keep up with his writings.



The Allure of ISIS for Young Recruits

The Allure of ISIS for Young Recruits

by Brian Michael Jenkins

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) runs a cutting-edge recruiting program, disseminating news of its highly publicized victories — and equally well-recorded atrocities — through social media and the Internet. ISIS makes a point of appealing to its potential recruits’ sense of religious duty, even though volunteers may not possess a profound knowledge of Islam. Like all true believers, they may be attracted by a simple black and white, us-versus-them belief system that historically has held sway among the young.

Young men may be equally seduced by visions of adventure or they may want to escape the frustrations of life in the West. ISIS recruitment increasingly takes in impressionable young women and teenage girls attracted to jihadist bad boys, boasting about their bloody deeds. One measure of the recruiting campaign’s success: As governments the world over try to prevent teens from becoming jihadist warriors, they are arresting them with startling regularity.

Days apart in March, a 19-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y. and two teenage brothers from Australia were arrested at their local airports, all suspected of trying to sign up for terrorist duty and fight for ISIS. Three teen girls who disappeared from London in late February left home to join the violent jihadists, radicalized without their family’s knowledge, according to media reports. Mystified family and friends said the same last fall when three teen girls from a Denver suburb, including two sisters, were intercepted on their way to Syria. Some of the girls were as young as 15.

Poverty and oppression may explain why people in some countries embrace violent extremism, but it does not account for the flow of Western volunteers or the dreamy allure of fighting for a faraway cause. Biographies of those who have reached out to participate in jihad suggest a variety of motives, including alienation, personal crises, dissatisfaction with empty spiritual lives — and adolescent rebellion.

According to intelligence estimates, 20,000 fighters from other countries have joined the fight in Syria and Iraq. Most are believed to be members of ISIS, making up a large portion of the group’s strength. They mainly come from other Arab countries, but an estimated 3,400 of these volunteers are from the West, especially Europe, and pose an additional threat because they may be eligible to enter the United States without a visa. The French prime minister recently said the total number of Europeans going to Syria and Iraq could rise to 10,000 by the end of the year.

ISIS distinguishes itself from other jihadist groups by publicizing its seemingly limitless violence. This attracts a self-selecting group of individuals who are not repelled by graphic images of mass executions, beheadings, crucifixions and burnings — and who may actually be attracted by the opportunity to participate in such atrocities.

The strategy is creating a dangerous population of fervent and ruthless recruits that cannot easily be pacified or reabsorbed into everyday life. A long-term terrorist threat that survives the destruction of ISIS could include these scenarios:

  • Individual volunteers drafted for suicide missions, perhaps taking a page from history and hiding a bomb in a shoe or underwear.
  • 7/7-style events, so named for the 2005 bombing of public transport in London, in which Westerners are trained and then dispatched to create mayhem in the West without further support.
  • Lower-level attacks like those in Paris and Ottawa, Canada, possibly carried out by returning fighters or homegrown terrorists.
  • Foreign volunteers on their way to Syria or Iraq could also be recruited to carry out a 9/11-like attack in the United States; but given today’s vigilant security environment, it seems unlikely that plans for such a major strike would go undetected.

While there is no present indication that ISIS has initiated a terrorist campaign aimed at directly attacking Western foes at home, the group has taunted and threatened the West in widely disseminated videos showing gruesome murders of Western nationals. It has called upon supporters abroad to carry out similar acts of terrorism and praised those who have done so.

If ISIS is brought down, where will its foreign fighters go? Some will migrate to other fronts in Afghanistan, where ISIS has already set up shop; to the still-restive Caucasus in Russia that many of its foreign fighters and a number of commanders call home; or to Libya, where ISIS has found new allies. Some Western volunteers, disillusioned by their experience and with nowhere else to go, will simply want to come home. Others will direct their wrath toward the West.

The defeat of ISIS could turn into a scenario of slaughter as victims of its cruel occupation and even its one-time Sunni allies turn against it. But its destruction could shatter the enterprise into a host of small, desperate groups on the run and bent upon revenge.

Foreign fighters from other countries seeking to enter the United States are more likely to have malevolent intentions than returning Americans. Only about 150 people from the United States have headed to jihadist fronts, according to a recent estimate. They still could be a threat, but given their still modest numbers, it is one that can be managed with existing law and resources.

The capability of ISIS fighters to put together large-scale terrorist operations in the United States may be limited, but their intentions are not. The prospect of engaging in violence is often a principal attraction of a terrorist group, and ISIS has set a new benchmark for brutality. Having crossed the line into nihilism, there may be no way back for many of the fighters. Even if ISIS is defeated in Iraq, the threat won’t end there. It may have only just begun.

Jenkins is senior adviser to the president at RAND, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution.

This commentary originally appeared on The Hill on March 20, 2015.


Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites For Fundraising

Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites For Fundraising

Unless you’ve been living in a remote island for the last few years, you’ve heard about crowdfunding or stories of people raising thousands or millions of dollars online.

In fact, there’s been so much chatter out there about crowdfunding that people love to throw out the line “yeah, I’ve heard there are something like 500 crowdfunding sites.” While hundreds of sites may be popping up, not all of them have real communities and funding successes under their belt.

Which begs the question… what crowdfunding site is best for you?

[Disclosure: I’m the CEO of Crowdfunder and have personal relationships with many of the founders and teams at the sites listed, though I stand behind my picks here as guidance of value for people looking for the right site.]

As a crowdfunding industry insider, I thought I’d give you an easy guide for which site to go to for your crowdfunding needs.

I’ll start with a tiny overview of the industry, a short primer on the different types of crowdfunding so you know what you’re looking for, and then I’ll get to specific recommendations for you.

The Crowdfunding Industry

Collaboration on the web is an area of exponential growth. Crowdfunding, or collaborative funding via the web, is one of the standouts for growth in this evolving collaborative economy.

The Crowdfunding Industry Report by Massolution put out data showing the overall crowdfunding industry has raised $2.7 billion in 2012, across more than 1 million individual campaigns globally. In 2013 the industry is projected to grow to $5.1 billion.

Some of the most interesting developments in crowdfunding, which are expected to grow in the months and years ahead, include: investment crowdfunding (becoming a shareholder in a company), localization (funding focused on participants in specific cities and neighborhoods), mobile solutions, and group-based approaches.

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    US Tech Now Leads The Way




    This fund seeks US startups that could reach a $1bn valuation.

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8 Tips for Raising Money Through Kickstarter

8 Tips for Raising Money Through Kickstarter

by Staff Writer

If you’ve got big dreams for a small business or creative project, Kickstarter is a valuable resource for raising money through crowdfunding. Set a monetary goal for your project, tell the world what it is you’re trying to do, and cross your fingers as your project opens for donations. While some people have raised much more than they set out to, not everyone can be a Kickstarter success story — and those who don’t meet their full goal don’t get any money. So whether you’re new to Kickstarter or just want a do-over for a project that’s already failed, these eight tips will give your campaign a fundraising boost.

  1. Set your goal lower than you think you need

    By your calculations, you need $25,000 to get your project up and running and keep you comfortable and fed as you devote every waking moment to it. But if you set your Kickstarter goal at $25k and fail to meet it, you don’t get any money, even if you raise $20,000, an amount that might have been enough for your project. When setting your goal, be realistic and keep it lower than what you really want. You can meet the goal, keep the funds, and potentially make double or triple what you really wanted since Kickstarter allows you to raise more than you asked for. Some people break their project up into smaller parts. If you’re making a movie, you could ask for $3,000 now to shoot it, and come back in a few months and ask for another $3,000 for marketing. Smaller goals will be easier to meet, and over the course of two or more campaigns, you’ll build up a fan base.

  2. Have a record of accomplishments

    Trying your hand at a Kickstarter project as a no-name start-up can definitely be a challenge. Many projects rely on friends and fans to help get them started, but most successfully funded projects already had a sterling reputation to back up what they were asking for. Double Fine and 2 Player Productions’ Kickstarter project to create a new point-and-click adventure game, raised eight times what it was asking for, more than $3 million total, because they had a reputation for good production values and fun games. Based on the company’s previous products, backers knew they were giving money to something good. You don’t have to be a veteran company to get money, but having some awards or previous projects to show potential backers will earn you more funds.

  3. Look at successful and unsuccessful campaigns

    Once you’ve got your brilliant idea and a monetary goal in mind, you probably want to just jump into fundraising. Resist the temptation. It’s going to benefit you greatly in the long run if you take some time to come up with a solid fundraising plan by looking through other Kickstarter projects, both successful and not. Use strategies you see in the most successful campaigns and learn tough lessons from those that didn’t meet their goals. Did the success seem to hinge on the uniqueness of the idea itself, the videos, the frequency of the updates? Use these observations to make a plan before you launch your project page. It’s also smart to check out Kickstarter School and the site’s blog for solid advice.

  4. Give good rewards

    At each donation level, you should offer backers a tangible reward for their contribution. This is the only thing those who donate get in return, besides the warm, fuzzy feeling of helping the little guy, so you want to make it enticing. Rewards should be related to the project, and if possible, things that the backer helped make possible. This could be copies of the movie or album you’re making with the money, insider information, or incorporating the backer into the project somehow. The rewards should be interesting and price appropriate — that means you should consider if your autograph is really worth a $500 investment.

  1. Make a short, well-produced video

    First things first: you have to make a video for your project. It’s given a prominent place on your project page and viewers will be looking for it immediately, so if you don’t make one, you’ll make no impact. The video is a way for backers to meet you and feel a personal connection — an important part of getting donations. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating your video: keep it short, make sure you explain the project and where the money will go, and be creative. A well-produced video will also help you look professional and capable of carrying out your project, so edit your video, even if it’s just using basic software.

  2. Offer updates

    Providing updates throughout the life of your project is essential for keeping investors interested. Updates while you’re still raising funds will show visitors to your page that you’re active and dedicated while giving them more information on your project; people who have already donated might give more money or encourage their friends to donate. Once your goal deadline has passed, backers will want to see how you’re using their money and when they can expect to see the finished product. Keeping them updated on all your successes and failures will make them feel like part of the project and will make them much more likely to donate to your next big idea.

  3. Thank contributors as they donate

    When you help someone out, you like to be acknowledged and thanked, right? Well, so do your backers. When a backer gives you money, sending them a personal email just to say thanks will make them feel appreciated and more personally connected to your cause. If you know their Twitter handle, a thank-you tweet can be even better, acting as a public acknowledgment and hopefully inspiring them to spread the word to their Twitter followers.

  4. Promote your project everywhere

    Setting up your project page and waiting for the money to roll in isn’t going to work. You’ve got to get the word out through any channels available to you. Add buttons and banners and links (oh my!) to your website. Contact your local newspaper to see if they’d be interested in profiling you. Reach out to organizations with goals in line with your project. Be creative and outgoing, targeting new people who might be interested; one Facebook status isn’t going to rake in thousands of dollars.

– See more at: http://www.businessinsurance.org/8-tips-for-raising-money-through-kickstarter/#sthash.sk9hoDV4.dpuf

Oil Prices: What’s Behind the Plunge? Simple Economics

Oil Prices: What’s Behind the Plunge? Simple Economics

new iPhone 6

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The new iPhone 6 is coming on 9 September! To help you know what to expect, here’s our regularly updated iPhone 6 UK release date, price, specs and new features rumour round-up. We’ve investigated the possible iPhone 6 release date, iPhone 6 price rumours, spec rumours and new iPhone 6 features. We’ve also got some iPhone 6 photos to show you, a ‘hands-on video’ of an iPhone 6 mockup and iPhone 6 cases. Read: iPhone Air release date, specs, new features

This is the place where we present to you some of the more (and less) plausible iPhone 6 release date and new feature rumours from around the web. Continue reading to find out more about the iPhone 6 release date and its new features. See also: How to watch iPhone 6 launch live

We’ve been lucky enough to have a trusted industry source describe the iPhone 6 to us. They’ve seen it in the flesh and held it ahead of the launch. Read about it: iPhone 6 described by someone who’s seen it in the flesh.

For more, visit our iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6 comparison preview

iPhone 6: Leaked photos and videos

Here are the latest leaked photos of the iPhone 6, via TMZ, Russian YouTuber Rozetked and Feld&Volk. They look pretty convincing.

iphone 6 leaked photo

iPhone 6 photo leak

iPhone 6 leak

iPhone 6 rear

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5

Russian YouTuber Rozetked has collected various leaked components together to bring us an extremely detailed look at what could be the 4.7in iPhone 6.

Exclusive: настоящий iPhone 6

iPhone 6: Bigger, Faster, Coming September 9

iPhone 6

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What We Expect

Apple’s new iPhone 6 will be introduced at a September 9 media event at the Flint Center, the same location where Apple debuted the original Mac 30 years ago. An overwhelming number of iPhone 6 rumors and part leaks have given us a near-complete look at the device ahead of its launch.

With the iPhone 5, Apple increased the screen size of the device from 3.5 inches to 4 inches, and with the iPhone 6, the phone’s display is going to grow even larger. Though Apple experimented with a range of screen sizes, the company settled on 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches for its two devices, which will bring the next iPhone in line with competing Android and Windows phones that have adopted larger displays.

Over the course of the last several years, consumer preference has shifted towards bigger screens, and Apple is now prepared to meet consumer demand for larger devices.

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Along with a larger screen, both models of the iPhone 6 are expected to adopt design elements from the iPad and the iPod touch. Alleged iPhone 6 schematics and part leaks have suggested the iPhone 6 will be considerably thinner than the current iPhone 5s, which is 7.6 mm. The final version of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is said to be 6.9 mm thick, 138 mm long, and 66 mm wide. The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is said to be 7.1 mm thick, 158 mm long, and 78 mm wide.

The phones will also include rounded iPad-style corners, pill-shaped volume buttons, thick antenna bands, a rounded True Tone dual-LED flash, an embedded Apple logo, and a power button located on the right side of the device.

Rumors have suggested at least some models of the iPhone 6 might feature a durable sapphire display and both the 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 are expected to see camera improvements. The larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 might incorporate Optical Image Stabilization as a differentiating feature from the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, and it is also possible that the larger iPhone 6 will be the only model with a 128GB storage capacity, which has been mentioned in rumors and seen in leaked schematics. As a result, the larger phone might have a higher price tag.

Images of a completed logic board have suggested the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will continue to offer 16GB of storage space at the low end, along with 1GB of RAM, support for NFC, and a Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE Modem that supports speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Specifications for the larger 5.5-inch iPhone remain unknown, but the device will likely include many of the same components.


Apple’s 2014 iPhone, debuting September 9


China’s Xiaomi Becomes World’s 5th Largest Smartphone Maker

7/31/2014 @ 1:33AM |22,167 views

China’s Xiaomi Becomes World’s 5th Largest Smartphone Maker

Global smartphone sales are still growing, but the market’s star performer in the last three months wasn’t Apple or even Samsung. It was China’s Xiaomi.

The young electronics firm run by billionaire Lei Jun captured a remarkable 5% global market share in the last three months, according to new figures from Strategy Analytics, shipping 15.1 million smartphones in the quarter.

It now has a 5.1% share of the market, up from 1.8% this time last year.

This is the first time Xiaomi has risen to 5th place in its share of global shipments, according to Strategy Analytics’ Woody Oh — which is extraordinary considering the company is just four years old.

“Xiaomi’s Android smartphone models are wildly popular in the Chinese market and it shifts millions of them every quarter through its extensive online and operator channels,” Oh said.

The company primarily sells its phones and tablet computers through so-called flash sales on its site, stimulating demand by touting that thousands of devices like its Mi3 smartphone have sold out within seconds of being offered to the public.

CEO Lei is known for emulating Steve Jobs’s presentation style and dress code, even concluding a recent public launch with the famous Apple slide saying, “one more thing.” The company’s Mi4 smartphone also bears a strong resemblance to the iPhone, and it’s website has many similarities to Apple’s. The copycat style has irked some, but it seems to be working.

Xiaomi’s next big step is to expand outside of China, targeting consumers in Asia and Europe. ”It will have to invest big money to familiarize western consumers with its unfamiliar brand name,” says Oh.

Last year Xiaomi poached Hugo Barra, former product head at Google’s Android division, to help lead its international expansion, though Barra has lately been busy defending his new employer against the copycat complaints.

Xiaomi can at least afford to continue focusing its efforts on China, where Apple is getting a more sure footing – Cupertino is betting that its recently inked partnership with leading carrier China Mobile will lead to greater sales. The global smartphone market also saw strong demand in Asia and Africa, and sluggish volumes in North America and Europe thanks to changes in the operator subsidy mix, Strategy Analytics says.

Samsung remains the global smartphone leader with a 25.2% share of the market in Q2 of this year, followed by Apple with 11.9%, China’s Huawei with 6.8% and Lenovo with 5.4%.

Lenovo’s market share didn’t grow much from last year, the researchers said, and it’s smartphone growth has more than halved in the past year. “It’s rapid expansion seen in recent quarters is coming to an end.”

Globally, smartphone shipments grew by 27% year-on-year to reach a record 295 million units in the second quarter, while Android captured a record 85% share of all new smartphones shipped in the last quarter.


Lumsing 11000mAh Li-on Battery Power Bank Test

Lumsing 11000mAh Li-on Battery Power Bank Test

Over the last two years I’ve acquired a set of portable USB power banks. These are great for powering the Pi and the larger ones can keep a Pi running for many hours. In previous posts I’ve tested standard AA batteries,  a generic Li-on Power Pack and a RAVPower 10400mAH Power Bank.


Now it’s the turn of the Lumsing 11000mAH power bank. This device is slightly unusal in that it has 5 USB outputs. Yes five. This gives you the chance to run 5 devices from it. In a future post I’ll see what I can run off it but for this test I’ll just be using a single 1A rated port.

Lumsing Power Bank (PB-AS008)

Lumsing 11000mAh Power BankThe package contained the following items :

  • Power Bank unit
  • 2 USB-to-MicroUSB cables
  • Carrying pouch
  • Instruction manual

and has the following features

  • 11000mAh capacity
  • 40.7Wh
  • 5 USB output ports (0.5,1,1,1.3,2.1A)
  • 1 MicroUSB input port for charging
  • 4 stage blue LED status bar
  • On/Off switch

The battery had some charge in it when I first switched it on but I charged it fully before I attempted to use it. As it charged the blue LEDs showed the progress.

Test Setup

Lumsing 11000mAh Power BankOnce it was charged I got ready for the test. The Pi was setup with the following equipment :

  • Raspberry Pi (Rev 2)
  • BerryClip addon board
  • SD card with Raspbian
    “Wheezy” (2013_02_09)
  • Lumsing 11000mAh Power Bank
  • USB to MicroUSB cable
    (as supplied with the Power Bank)
  • Python script as used in my AA battery shootout post

The Pi was networked and I used Putty to connect to it from PC. This terminal was used to set off the Python script with the following command :

sudo python battery_uptime_test.py

The current uptime was updated in the Putty window and I just left it running. When the power runs out the time left in the Putty windows gives me the total uptime.


Predicted Battery Stamina

Lumsing 11000mAh Power BankMy eBay 12000mAh Power Bank lasted 18 hours 40 minutes (1120 minutes).

The RAVPower 10400mAh Power Bank lasted 17 hours 55 minutes (1075).

So a good guess would be (11000/10400)*1075 = 1137 minutes compared to the RAVPower’s slightly lower stated capacity. That would give us 18 hours and 57 minutes.


The Lumsing pack lasted 19 hours 22 minutes (1162 minutes). This is almost 30 minutes longer than the prediction. The Pi isn’t doing much in this test but it showed the Lumsing was in the same league as the RAVPower.

The Lumsing 5-port 11000mAh External Backup Battery Pack is available from Amazon.com :

Young inventor creates world first CARDBOARD vacuum cleaner using recycled packaging

Thinking inside the box:

Young inventor creates world first CARDBOARD vacuum cleaner using recycled packaging


A British inventor has made the world’s first cardboard vacuum cleaner from the packaging of another model.

Jake Tyler’s innovative machine so impressed cleaning giant Vax that it intends to put the model into production.

The 22-year-old an industrial design student at Loughborough University said: ‘I have really high hopes for the product, especially in Asian markets such as Hong Kong and China. It is very cheap to manufacture.

Clean and green machine: Jake Tyler with vacuum cleaner made from recycled cardboard

Clean and green machine: Jake Tyler with vacuum cleaner made from recycled cardboard

‘I’ve been given a job at Vax as well so I can see the production through to the end.’

Mr Tyler developed the ‘ev’ model for his final-year degree project.

He was supported by the product design team at Vax’s headquarters in Worcestershire, where he worked for a year under the company’s student placement scheme.

He said: ‘I got the idea when we were looking at the manufacture of vacuum cleaners and thinking how to cut out as much waste as possible.

‘It is about being environmentally conscious by using cardboard and making it as recyclable as we possibly can.’

The Vax ev is made from corrugated cardboard panels, which come as part of the packaging.

They can be replaced if damaged and cost a 10th of the price of an equivalent plastic panel.

Jake said: ‘When people’s vacuum cleaners go wrong they just throw them away, but this can be repaired very easily.

‘The cardboard panels have a flame-retardant coating and are also water repellant.

‘People can personalise their vacuums by drawing pictures on the cardboard.’

What a card: The cleaner, shown close up, is to be produced by vacuum giant Vax

What a card: The cleaner, shown close up, is to be produced by vacuum giant Vax

Other components in the vacuum have been made from recyclable nylon plastic.

This means the Vax ev can be manufactured close to its markets, without the need for expensive production lines or long-distance distribution.

The cleaner has also earned Jake a place at the New Designers exhibition of the UK’s best graduate work.

It takes place at the Business Design Centre, in London, from tomorrow until Saturday.

Vax said it was considering a ‘limited production run’ of the vacuum cleaner to see whether customers liked it.

It was unable to say how many would be made or where they would go on sale.

Paul Bagwell, director of new product design at Vax, said: ‘With sustainability becoming an increasing concern for manufacturers, the Vax ev shows what can be achieved when young designers are encouraged to think creatively and push the boundaries of design.

‘It’s so important that manufacturers, such as ourselves, support young British designers like Jake, as they are the key to this country’s future success.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2011875/Thinking-inside-box-Young-inventor-creates-world-CARDBOARD-vacuum-cleaner-using-recycled-packaging.html#ixzz2yv8GVBBN
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