The RFC Editor just published my new RFC on the right MIME type to be used for SQL. See RFC 6922 here.
About 10 months ago, I created a small Android app for the Amazon Kindle Fire that allows people to switch the keyboard to other languages. When the new Kindle Fire 2nd generation and its sibling Fire HD tablets came out with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), the app still worked. However, following a late October 2012 update, only 6 languages are available and not the full list available in Android.
The reason why my app worked originally is because it simply accessed the existing language control panel that shipped with the Kindle’s OS. Being that it was built from the stock Android code, it included all the languages by default.
HOWEVER, in the latest Kindle Fire 2nd gen update, Amazon repackaged the Latin keyboard shipped with Android to only include 6 languages and enabled the keyboard control panel (for the insanely curious, the file is called LatinIME.apk and it is located in /system/app – inside the file there is a /resources/xml folder which contains a file called subtypes.xml defining which languages are available).
What is interesting is that along with exposing the control panel for enabling languages, Amazon also enabled the panel for adding additional keyboards, known as IMEs or Input Methods in Android. This would allow a user to install a repackaged APK file containing the stock Android keyboard, switch keyboards and get acccess to languages. HOWEVER, if seems that it is hard coded to only allow Amazon’s keyboard and no other keyboard can be enabled.
I also tried manually enabled the keyboard by writing to the secure settings, but the application must be a system app in order for that to happen. The funny thing is that changing the locale for the user interface does not need special system permissions while adding and enabling IMEs is. The reasoning behind it is that IMes are full fledged programs that can steal data if they are malicious, while locale settings are just settings.
As of now, there is no non-root way to either enable other languages or keyboards. I did find two ways to enabled keyboards and other languages on a rooted Kindle, but this is not something I would recommend. If you already have a rooted device, instructions can be found here.
In closing, if anyone wants to experiment with this further, I will be happy to share all of my findings. You can contact me via this link.
All of my personal and business sites will be undergoing major changes over the next few months. If you are unable to find something, please let me know.
As per Baltimore Sun, the Baltimore City government is replacing street lamps throughout the city for more efficient LED lamps, which should shave off about 1.9 million / year in electric costs and almost $300,000 in maintenance costs. Not withstanding various issues mentioned in the article like reduced visibility, and issues not mentioned such as the cost of the lights, it still looks like a good thing.
Kudos to the Mayor!
Baltimore City’s Board of Estimates is a curious institution. It is a five member board that prepares the city’s budget but it’s most important function is approving all city payments over $25,000 which includes salaries, promotions, contracts, settlements, etc. The State of Maryland has a similar institution called the Board of Public Works with a similar function. However, while the Maryland’s board consists of three elected officials (Governor, Comptroller and Treasurer), Baltimore’s Board has three elected officials (Mayor, President of the City Council and Comptroller), it also has another two appointed by the Mayor (City Solicitor and Director of Public Works). This essentially gives the majority to the Mayor. While this has been mainly an open secret, recently the city’s solicitor testified to that effect in open court:
“The director of public works and the city solicitor … always vote with the mayor,” Nilson testified. “They are sometimes referred to as the mayor’s votes.”
If this is true, there is no point in having this board and it is time to reform it to either reduce it to elected officials only, or get rid of it all together. Below is my letter to the City Council members to that effect:
Dear Council Members,
It was with disgust that I read the comments of the city solicitor, George Nilson, that were recently published in the Baltimore Sun (“City panel plans to vote down settlement for teen whom police left shoeless in Howard Co.”, August 7th, 2012) regarding the rejection of a police misconduct settlement. The city’s highest law officer stated in open court something that many of us knew all along – that the Board of Estimates is simply a rubber stamp for the Mayor of Baltimore because majority of this Board (3 out of 5 members) are the Mayor and his or her appointees.
In the words of Mr. Nilson: “The director of public works and the city solicitor … always vote with the mayor,” Nilson testified. “They are sometimes referred to as the mayor’s votes.”
If so why do we need this Board other than another waste of taxpayer’s dollars? In light of these comments, and the recent lawsuit against the city’s process of procurement that takes place through the same Board (Baltimore Sun: “Minority group claims discrimination in city contract process”, August 1st, 2012), it is high time for reform. I would like to respectfully ask the the City Council to reform the Board of Estimates and either get rid of the Mayoral appointees or abolish the Board all together.
UPDATE: Baltimore Sun also published a somewhat similar letter to the editor that I sent in:
City solicitor admits it: Board of Estimates is a sham
8:00 a.m. EDT, August 16, 2012It was with disgust that I read the comments of the city solicitor,George Nilson, that you published in on August 7 (“City panel plans to vote down settlement for teen whom police left shoeless in Howard Co.”) regarding the rejection of a police misconduct settlement. The city’s highest law officer stated in open court something that many of us knew all along — that the Board of Estimates is simply a rubber stamp for the mayor of Baltimore because majority of this Board (three out of five members) are the mayor and his or her appointees. In the words of Mr. Nilson: “The director of public works and the city solicitor … always vote with the mayor. They are sometimes referred to as the mayor’s votes.”
If so, why do we need this board, other than as another waste of taxpayers’ dollars? In light of these comments and the recent lawsuit against the city’s procurement process that takes place through the same board (“Minority group claims discrimination in city contract process,” Aug. 1), it is high time for reform. We should ask our elected representatives in the City Council to reform the Board of Estimates and either get rid of the mayoral appointees or abolish the board all together. Let them do their job and present a charter amendment to the voters this November, when we can do our job and approve it.
Yakov Shafranovich, Baltimore