Measuring distance, space using Google Maps for live storytelling

measure4I suddenly got the idea of re-coating a garage roof while at Yorktowne Roofing & Siding Inc., but I hadn’t taken any measurements for square footage of coverage so I used this free handy Android app called Maps Measure.

Maps Measure is a free measuring tool using Google Maps API that measures distance and square footage.

It also runs well in the most recent versions of Android in that it will display the full screen floating transparently beneath all the app and system buttons to give you maximum working space. If you are familiar with Google Maps, Maps Measure is a simple, added value layer.

Pinch to zoom or use the +/- keys to zoom and just push the map around where you want it. Like with Google Maps you can zoom right down into your house and switch between satellite and maps view.

The trash can doubles as a back history button. Tap it to remove your previous plots.

For journalists, it’s a handy measure of distance and square footage while working on a live story.

Answer questions like:

  • How far from the building did that accident happen?
  • How large is that quarry?
  • How many miles is it around that pond?
  • What is the mileage between two Interstate exits?
  • How far is it across the Susquehanna River from Where I am standing.


Posted in 2013-12 Android 4.x - Ice Cream Sandwich | Leave a comment

Succcess: Glyde to find the cheapest iOS for Tout maintenance to satisfy an Android user


As an Android user, trying to use a mobile video platform that doesn’t support Android very well, I wanted to find the cheapest iOS solution possible to fill in some of the maintenance necessities of using Tout, namely selecting a thumbnail for a video.

I have never owned an Apple product in my life and didn’t want to put alot of money down for one app, but also didn’t want to get stuck with a piece of junk.

The minimum operating system Tout can run is iOS 5 and the 4th gen iPod (stuck at 6) that can’t be upgraded to iOS 7 was the perfect candidate.  Now the iPod doesn’t have a camera, but I didn’t want to use a camera because I primarily use Tout (see videos here) with a Moto X.

I figured people would want to dump their 4th gen iPods and it was old enough not to be anywhere near the new shiny… so not worth much. A slightly damaged one that still worked would be a bonus!

I found an “acceptable” 4th gen iPod for $61+$6 shipping on Glyde. As it turns out, what is “acceptable” to most people is in pretty darn good shape by my standards. No dents, no cracks, just some surface scuffing on the slippery, chrome back that was probably scratched in the first 10 minutes. Battery still good. Even came with a new charger.

Glyde gave the sender the shipping container and I had the option to refuse the device within 48 hours if it wasn’t acceptable, thus not releasing payment to the sender, taking the mystery out of the purchase.

Whole process took 1 week, with shipping in one day from Florida via USPS

All it needs is a chunk of rubber around it so it doesn’t slip out of my hands the first day I use it and get smashed.

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Easy way to compress, assemble video clips, Tout Android

While waiting for Tout to push an update for their Android app that allows trimming and splicing, here is a robust way to quickly trim and assemble video clips on your Android device with an option to do much more.

  • I prefer to shoot video directly with my Android handset, it’s quicker and more stable than opening an app
  • Keep shooting your clip and trim out the meat of it later, not limited by the total allowed length and missing a moment. Shoot one after another rapidly.
  • Not worry about keeping the Tout app open between shooting clips and loosing earlier clips if app closes
  • Screenshot_2014-02-23-11-42-23Not worry about crashes, loss when you need to multitask between shooting clips in an open Tout project
  • Clips previously shot at an event are available by default to compile later with new clips giving your new video edit more options
  • Save time and space by keeping all the shooting/editing/processing/uploading in the handset

I am using a Moto X. It’s a quick shooter. Twist your wrist, start rolling/saving video, swipe up to zoom, built in steady cam.

The Moto X is pretty close to stock Android 4.4, the gallery of your device may vary. My video clips collect at the top of my gallery in the order shot or processed by default.


I like to trim my clips using the built-in trim tool, at left, (a link off any video) before importing the clip into the video editor. That speeds the import of each clip into the video editor.


The trimmed clips are saved above the originals in the gallery.

AndroVid Video Editor in Google Play is a robust video editing program for your Android phone and tablet that is simple to handle. I bought AndroVid Pro through an in app purchase.

For Tout, all we need to do is join clips and render the usually large video files into a smaller file for upload into Tout.

If your phone doesn’t have a built trim function, you can also trim in AndroVid, as well as add text, filters, add a sound track over video and stills and make a slide show (video) from stills.

Screenshot_2014-02-24-16-11-52I import my trimmed clips into AndroidVid’s merge function. Here I can change the order or delete.

I save the combined clips into a new video. It appears at the top of my gallery.

Continue reading “Easy way to compress, assemble video clips, Tout Android” »

Posted in Tout - Video | Leave a comment

Huawei’s E5786 MiFi 300Mbps 4G plus a battery booster

Announced at Mobile World Congress, Huawei’s E5786 Mifi offers 4G LTE download speeds of up to 300 Mbs. Up until now 150 Mbs was the maximum. Of course, this is all dependent on what is available at your cell tower by the carrier.

The unit, that says it will last for 10 hours, also doubles as a battery booster. More speed means more battery needed to transmit the data between the cell tower and your device, but Huawei adds the ability to use the unit’s large battery as a charging source for other devices.

Faster video streaming and a battery backup is a double win for journalists.

Posted in 4G CAT 6 300 Mbs | Leave a comment

More about the Elio Motors engine

  • Uses a timing chain (not a belt common in small overhead cam engines)
  • 5w 20 engine oil
  • sequential port fuel injection
  • common off the shelf air filter “keeping in concert with the overall strategy of using existing parts where we can”
  • From the picture I see one serpentine belt running coolant pump, A/C compressor and alternator
  • From the picture, I see a coil for each cylinder

Elio: A new truly green car following a new U.S. demographic

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Updated: Odd stuff I hear on the police scanner – 911 calls

The sometimes sad, often odd and mostly amusing bits and pieces of life in York County, Pennsylvania tweeted while listening to York County Department of Emergency Services, 911 Communications from April 2010 to present while covering news for the York Daily Record/Sunday News.

The 700 tweets almost never made the paper or a web update, but are still a micro slice of life.

Originally posted to twitter @paulkuehnel

Feb 10
#911call: Caller advised bf’s dogs fighting she needs to come home working for Liberty Tax Police: discription? 911: We assume green costume
Feb 9
#911call: For a female who took all the papers at the bus transfer station and is now trying to sell them in the waiting room.
Feb 4
#911call: Caller found a paper attached to a tree with something about him that isn’t true. (see!, this happened before facebook)
Feb 3
#911call: For “a suspicious snow shoveler”
Feb 2
#911call: For a controlled burn of tires on a deck
Jan 27
#911call: The caller, who is 44 years old, advises that his mother tried to run him over with the car
Jan 26
#911call: Caller advises that he saw a hitchhiker but didn’t stop because the man had a hook in his hand (shepherd pole? mmmm)
#911call: For a butcher knife propped up against a front door and the caller said that mumbling was heard at the door earlier
Jan 22
#911call: caller concerned, a dog in a car windows up Police: “not in distress” 911: “I’m not surprised” (my car says 12, very sunny) #pawx
Jan 19
#911call: For a man walking a woman on a leash along Emig Mill Road
#911call: Caller advises that the interior lights are on in his Lincoln and he doesn’t know how to turn them off and can’t drive with on.
Jan 14
#911call: For a hospice that had it’s coffee brewing system stolen overnight.
Jan 13
#911call: For a man at the Fulton Bank jumping across the counter and throwing things at the teller.
#911call: The caller describes the vehicle as “a car”, no further description.
Jan 5
#911call: The caller says her bf stole her car and locked her out of the house, then caller started laughing and hung up…
Jan 1 2014
#911call: for an individual who just woke up from NYE celebration (4:30pm) didn’t remember how she got leg cuts, turns out from toilet
Continue reading “Updated: Odd stuff I hear on the police scanner – 911 calls” »

Posted in A collection of tweets: Odd stuff I hear on the police scanner, All posts from the start | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Pushbullet ties notifications, files, info between devices, desktop browser

I have two smartphones (personal and work), both a Moto X (review), on two different mobile networks and a Nexus 7 tablet. It works well for me to mirror all the devices with all the same apps.

I leave the mobile data shut off on the personal phone and only pay for what I use with This gives me the redundancy of two handsets, two batteries and two different networks (Verizon and Sprint) on a mirrored device so my work flow (and personal flow) remain the same while minimizing cost.

push 5

Pushbullet is my new favorite free journalism tool that ties together all my devices, alerts, and information with my browser.

Pushbullet is an Android app working with extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

Once tied together you can mirror all the notifications from your phone (or multiple phones, tablet) as pop-up messages in your browser.

You can customize Pushbullet to mirror only notifications from services that you want to show from specific devices.

In my configuration, I have two phones and a tablet with the same apps, all getting the same notifications with one device live all the time on the Verizon network. I only want to see one notification for each type of my mirrored apps all running on different devices.

You can also customize the length that the pop-up notifications stay on screen of your desktop browser. It’s easy to sift though the notifications and customize your stream exactly to suit your device configuration though the desktop notification pop-ups or in the Android app.


Now you know what your phone(s) are doing (notifications and calls, weather apps anything with a notification) while at your Chrome browser without looking at any of the devices.

Today I was in a restaurant working on my laptop processing photos and left my personal phone in the car. The phone in the car received a call and a notification popped up in my Chrome desktop browser on my laptop.

This is a time saver while working in a browser because you don’t have to waste time looking at your devices. I even turn my sound/vibration off when glued to a desktop screen. It’s less distracting.


The second part of Pushbullet is an instant file and information transfer system between your mobile devices and your desktop.
Continue reading “Pushbullet ties notifications, files, info between devices, desktop browser” »

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Elio Motors debuts 4th prototype hints at distribution, service

Elio Motors debuts fourth prototype today and updated website.

  • Hints at a nationwide service system using an already large installed base.
  • Salaried no haggle sales people
  • Closest store to York, Pa. will be Towson, MD
  • Option to purchase from the factory in Louisiana and get a tour of the factory

Highlights: A Vehicle that costs $6,800, 84 mpg highway, American built with mostly U.S. suppliers, anticipated 5 star crash rating.

Elio Motors.clipular
Elio Motors

Also see: Future of the car, trends in transportation, a 3-wheeled American invention

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Combination microUSB, full-size USB flash drive

72E2ED97-192F-4780-87CF-4B7AFF033DD7Featuring a microUSB connector and a full-size USB 3.0 connector, a USB 3.0 flash drive for file sharing between Android phones and tablets, Macs and PCs, which will be available at RadioShack stores January 19.

Bridge 3.0 will be available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities.


Posted in A Smartphones | Leave a comment

Disabling Verizon NFL Mobile on your handset

Screenshot_2014-01-04-14-13-02I get annoyed at mandatory apps pushed to smartphones by carriers.

I understand the revenue stream thing, I work for a media company. But when you pay a pile of money every month to use the handset, you should be able to control the internal memory and annoyance factor without rooting the phone.

I have no interest in Verizon’s NFL Mobile app, but by default it comes pre-loaded and running in the background of every one of their Android phones.


On my Verizon Moto X, I was able to disable it by backing up to the factory installed app without doing crazy rooting things.

Go to your apps> find NFL Mobile> click on uninstall.

You will get an option to restore to factory app. Sometimes with these apps you can only restore to the original app and then it will continue to nag you for the updates, but not this time.

Clear data, clear cache, shut off notifications, hit force stop. Click on “restore to factory” that takes the place of the “Enable” button in the photo at left. Once you have restored to factory hit “Disable” that is in the place of the “Enable” button in the photo at left.

After power cycling the phone, the app remained disabled. There is still 8 MB in my memory, but it appears dead to the world and that makes me happy.

Good Bye NFL mobile, hopefully, you will be sleeping eternally in the memory of my phone.

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