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Toby Kurien
Works at Freelancer
Attended University of Natal, Durban
Lives in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
1,856 followers|294,263 views
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Toby Kurien

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Fin24 also ran an article about my solar setup!
Load shedding doesn’t stop a Johannesburg programmer and engineer from carrying on with his coding work, as he has assembled his own solar kit.
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Nice!
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Toby Kurien

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I'd love to play with one of these and do a Firefox OS vs Ubuntu Touch comparison.
 
Ubuntu phone review 9BQ AQUARIS E4.5 UBUNTU EDITION): great os, average hardware

After years of development, the first Ubuntu phone is finally here (Europe only) and while the hardware is average at best, the OS is a breath of fresh air, bringing innovations like scopes and "magic edges", designed not just to be different, but in many ways, better than the current trends.

http://www.webupd8.org/2015/02/ubuntu-phone-review-bq-aquaris-e45.html
After years of development, the first Ubuntu phone is finally here (Europe only) and while the hard...
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Interesting read, and quite cool that you gave the feedback and they are incorporating some changes into the builds! You rock!
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Toby Kurien

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Firefox OS as an Internet of Things platform

Here's an interesting article on stripping down a $20 Firefox OS phone and using it as an embedded platform for IoT. It can be programmed using JavaScript or Android NDK. Only downside is the lack of GPIO, although most of the reasons for having GPIO are already on the board.
When developing Gonzo, our wireless camera, one of the big questions that pops up is: ‘Why does it run Firefox OS?’. At first it indeed seems like a weird fi...
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Very cool hardware hackathon this weekend.
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Flying donkey sounds very cool and interesting.
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Check out the cool projects happening at BinarySpace in Vanderbijlpark.
 
Great meetup last night at Binaryspace. Nano Quadcopter experiments, filament width sensors and more, get the writeup/photos and videos on the blog: http://www.binaryspace.co.za/?p=345
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Want to build your own weather station?  Check out our Intermediate Arduino Course at House4Hack!
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You guys are doing some very interesting stuff :)
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Toby Kurien

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Mozilla meetup is happening this Saturday at +House4hack !
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Mozilla South Africa Meetup - House4HackJoin us for a day of fun, sharing and learning. Learn how to get involved with the Mozilla South Africa community, get involved with the Firefox OS Launch Team, what the web has to offer to developers and developing apps for Firefox OS. The event will be held at House4Hack in Centurion [http://bit.ly/1zhUtUA]. The event will be on the 21st of February and run from 10AM until ~ 4PM.
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Article about how I use cheap solar panels & batteries to keep my network and laptop running through loadshedding or thunderstorms.
How to hack your home and take your essential tech off the grid.
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Yes it has merit, I do that too (with a standard 7Ah alarm battery). You should try to get a multi-stage charger to ensure your battery is well maintained. I highly recommend (and use) this one: http://www.communica.co.za/Catalog/Details/P3255187008 It works also for car batteries, even while they are still in the car and connected (this is what I mostly use it for).
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Toby Kurien

Tools and Libraries  - 
 
Xtendroid v0.11.0 released

Xtendroid is an Android library for productive Android development using Xtend.

Version 0.11.0 has just been released to Maven Central, and features an active annotation that allows you to create a View Holder in one line! Before this, a View Holder just seemed like too much effort, but now it's actually easier than not using a View Holder!


#androiddev #xtend  
Xtendroid - Android library for productive Android development using Xtend
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Toby Kurien

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Firefox OS Geeksphone Keon

I haven't reviewed a phone in a long time, basically because any phone made since 2013 is Pretty Damn Awesome, so there's no point really - just buy whichever phone you fancy. That said, this weekend I acquired a Geeksphone Keon, with Firefox OS on it! I won't do my usual bullet-review, because I ran into some show-stopper problems.

The Geeksphone Keon is super easy to flash and you get root right away. All images (including nightly) are provided by Geeksphone. Within an hour I tried Firefox OS 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 2.0, and 2.1!  Only small (and a few not-so-small) incremental changes between them despite the large version number differences. The released version is actually Firefox OS v1.3, but I spent the most time with v1.1 as it was very stable. Versions 1.4 and up are very unstable, often resulting in blank screens, loss of orientation change capability, and a hot, unresponsive phone when trying ti wake it from sleep.

I was planning on using it as my daily phone, but ran into 2 show-stopper problems:

- Self-signed certificates are not supported, meaning I cannot connect to my self-hosted IMAP and SMTP servers, meaning I can't access my e-mail. I tried a hack published in a blog on the internet, and it worked for accessing my web server, but it still bombed out on e-mail.
- The software keyboard is by far the worst keyboard I've ever used. Apart from the word "I", I pretty much cannot type any other word without making a typo. Super frustrating.

Other than that, the phone is actually pretty nice (although decidedly low-end). Apps are super-tiny (average 50kb) and don't require any permissions most of the time - a welcome relief from Android apps. They aren't all bookmarks - you get file managers, music players, Flappy Bird clones, and even XBMC remotes. Overall, the OS is simple but functional.

My interest in the phone is mainly for privacy, so I was happy to see that, like my Android app WebApps (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tobykurien.webapps), Firefox OS sandboxes installed apps from the main browser. Even more pleasantly suprising is that when you add a bookmark to the homescreen, then login to the "app", you can clear your cookies in your browser and still be logged into the "app". I would've liked to see an option to always clear cookies in the browser on exit.

Ultimately, this is a phone I could live with on a daily basis, as I could access most of what I need, and have peace of mind regarding app permissions and privacy. It's a pity about that nasty keyboard and the inability access my e-mail. Nevertheless, it is a developer preview phone, and as such, a great way for me to explore the Firefox OS SDK.
Firefox OS smartphones give you great adaptive features and apps that let you live every moment to its fullest and build a brighter future for the Web.
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Haven't had an issue up until now. Also don't want to have to pay annually for a cert. It's also nice to verify my cert fingerprint when connecting for the first time from a new device.
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Toby Kurien

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Xtend is coming to Android Studio!
 
I have blogged about our plans to support other IDE platforms in future version of Xtext and Xtend.
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woah, much better :)
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Toby Kurien

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Read Adam's excellent article covering the African School of Excellence and  H4H's collaboration with this very special school
A school who's mission is nothing less than the complete redefinition of low cost education in Africa.
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Work
Occupation
Android freelancer and consultant
Employment
  • Freelancer
    Android developer, present
  • Columbus Stainless
  • VWV Interactive
  • Investec
  • Cambrient
  • Marketech
  • Online Liquidity
  • UEC
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Previously
East London, South Africa
Links
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Story
Tagline
Engineer, entrepreneur, heavy metal-loving geek
Introduction
Electronics engineer, Java / Rails / Python / Android developer, Gadgets, Linux, Power Metal, Astronomy, GTD, Sim Racer, Indian
Education
  • University of Natal, Durban
    BSc Eng (Electronic)
  • All Saints College
  • East London High School
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Toby Kurien's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Music Folder Player Full
market.android.com

Music Folder Player is an alternative music player.This is the donate version without advertisement. Please try the free version before you

Perfect Viewer
market.android.com

Perfect Viewer is a very fast image/comic viewer. *Turn black/white image into 4 colorize image(Only available for donated users. Need insta

CustomNotifierExtension
market.android.com

Sorry. I'm not good at English.* The application for the Sony SmartWatch MN2. * About ICS : You Try Accessibility Resetting. * I'm writing c

Encdroid Multi Cloud
market.android.com

Encryption software provided to protect files from: - local folder - dropbox - webdav or webdavs (compatible with all certificats including

Boxcryptor Classic
market.android.com

Add an additional security layer to your cloud storage and encrypt your files with BoxCryptor. BoxCryptor allows you to use all popular clou

NASA App
market.android.com

Come explore with NASA and discover the latest images, videos, mission information, news, feature stories, tweets, NASA TV and featured cont

Appy Geek
market.android.com

“As an official media partner for Mobile World Congress 2013, Appy Geek gives you the chance to follow all the latest news and developments

Feedly - Google Reader | RSS
market.android.com

Feedly - The Google Reader Magazine.Feedly is a fast and stylish way to read and share the content of your favorite sites. It brings a fresh

TuneIn Radio
market.android.com

TuneIn lets you listen to the world’s radio with music, sports, news, talk, and comedy streaming from every continent. Enjoy 70,000 live rad

Beats Audio: Explained!
www.youtube.com

Beats Audio: High tech or hoax? Beats Pro vs ATH-M50: http://youtu.be/et_PWifUd1w Beats Audio ad: http://youtu.be/Y7y6azvuNis More info on e

Opera Mini web browser
market.android.com

Try the world's fastest Android browser!- FAST: Opera’s speed and efficient controls put it ahead of all other browsers. - EASY: Surf the we

Google Drive
market.android.com

* With Google Drive, you can store all your files in one place, so you can access them from anywhere and share them with others * Use the Go

Trevor Noah on David Letterman - May 17, 2013
www.youtube.com

Trevor Noah on David Letterman - May 17, 2013

Kindle
market.android.com

The Kindle app puts over a million books at your fingertips. It’s the app for every reader, whether you’re a book reader, magazine reader, o

SwiftKey Keyboard
market.android.com

SwiftKey – the best-selling keyboard on Android#1 selling app in 38 countries, over 100,000 ✮✮✮✮✮ reviews Winner of Webby Award & Global Mob

William Ackman: Everything You Need to Know About Finance and Investing ...
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William Ackman: Everything You Need to Know About Finance and Investing in Under an Hour. WILLIAM ACKMAN, Activist Investor and Hedge-Fund M

A Boy And His Atom: The World's Smallest Movie
www.youtube.com

You're about to see the movie that holds the Guinness World Records™ record for the World's Smallest Stop-Motion Film (see how it was made a

Samsung Galaxy S4 Review!
www.youtube.com

Samsung's 2013 Flagship is here! Thumbs up! Samsung Galaxy S4 Features Explained: http://youtu.be/PGXhG82HRX0 Full resolution GS4 panorama:

Google+
market.android.com

Real-life sharing rethought for mobile. Google+ (Google Plus) is still in active development and not yet available to everyone. You need an

ChatON - Apps on Android Market
market.android.com

Chat Your Way, ChatON ! Chat your way, with ChatON! ChatON is a global mobile communication service that enables you to have better relation