Fast Charging Ad popup on Galaxy S7

I was a bit shocked to see an advertisement pop up recently when I plugged my Galaxy S7 Edge into the supplied Samsung Fast Charger. The popup asked me if I wanted a Accelerated Charging Boost for 1 minute – and had some ads at the bottom.


It turns out that this is a feature of ES FileExplorer, the excellent, free, but now slightly creepy file manager for Android.

To turn this feature off, either unistall ES File Explorer, or go to the settings in ES FE and turn off the “Charging Boost” feature.

[update]: seems that we have been heard – ES File Explorer Update Removes The Adware Charging Screen

Fast Charging Ad popup on Galaxy S7

A tale of 2 panoramic renderings

Recently I wanted to take a panorama of a room to show off the StarWars bits contained therein. At my disposal was a Galaxy S4 and the might of a Canon 50D, EF-S 18-55mm f/2.8 IS + Lightroom 5.x and Photoshop v5.1.

Which of these 2 systems was able to create a more pleasing pano ? Well you might be surprised.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Panorama


(click for web view embiggened)

Firstly the S4 was a breeze, like many smart phones – just turn on the pano feature and slowly move the phone across the scene, keeping the little square in the slot and avoiding “slow down” warnings along the way. The Galaxy S4’s camera is fixed at f/2.2.

Final pixel size: 7,145 x 2,239

Canon EOS 50D with Lightroom + Photoshop


Next I took 12 overlapping fixed focus, fixed aperture, fixed exposure shots at ISO 1250, f/3.5, zoom 17mm and exposure 1/160sec. I colour balanced, pulled detail back into blown out highlights, increased clarity, vibrance and saturation, noise reduction and a bit of sharpening – all this in Lightroom and all applied equally to all 12 photos. Next I selected them all and Opened as Panorama in Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop automatically layered them, matched them and rendered a wobbly edged pano which I cropped as the best rectangle I could. Then I saved as a JPG. Phew that was a lot of effort compared to using my mobile.

Final Pixel Size: 7,439 x 2,150

So you would expect the might of all of that software paired with a modern-ish dSLR would massively outperform a several years old mobile right? Well I don’t think it did.

I wonder if say a Galaxy S7 versus a Canon 5D mkIII 24-70mm f/2.8 would be just as close ?

The S7’s camera is a huge improvement over the S4, and the 5DIII is a couple of orders of magnitude better than a 50D, and Lightroom CC can do panoramas natively now. Would be interesting to know if they are still neck and neck.

A tale of 2 panoramic renderings

Free Secure WordPress with LetsEncrypt’s Green Padlock

Screenshot 2016-04-26 13.10.19
Below are some links for the WordPress Perth talk this week.

Free Secure WordPress sites for everyone. Get your green padlock here! [USERS]

Now that free SSL certificates are available from the LetsEncrypt Certificate Authority, your WordPress site should be running as a secure web site.

Find out why your site should be using a SSL certificate, what is LetsEncrypt and how you can install a certificate and update your site to start showing a nice warm feeling via a green padlock to all your web site visitors.

1. PDF of the Slides




2. YouTube Video of me talking over the slides


In case you missed the presentation and want some words to go with the slides.



3. Someone else discovering SiteGround’s cPanel widget


A site called WPShout with a YouTube video of how they used SiteGround’s cPanel widget like I mentioned

SiteGround are here – and here are some hints on what the cPanel LetsEncrypt widget looks like.


4. More on redirecting


Another page mentioning how to reconfigure your .htaccess file to always redirect from http to https

Some more comments when I redirect my main site from http to https


5. More on Mixed Content Problems


It might take some digging to find all of your mixed content errors.


6. LetsEncrypt Links



7. LetsEncrypt on Amazon EC2/Bitnami

Because this is the internet, and you can never have too many links right ?

Here I talk about how from start to finish install a LetsEncrypt certificate on a UNIX LAMP Stack based on Bitnami.

and some notes on when I ran the LetsEncrypt renew script after a couple of months of using the certificate.

Free Secure WordPress with LetsEncrypt’s Green Padlock

iTunes suxor: song won’t appear in album

So I could rant against iTunes a whole heap.

I have learned to tickle and carefully tip toe around iTunes but someones I just give up and scream.

Why, or why won’t iTunes put that last damn track into the album stack with the rest of the damn album. It is in the same folder based on album name, but it just won’t appear in the same album.

I just can’t see any difference that iTunes should/could/ought to care about.


That one last track just won’t jump into the album proper !

Sometimes I need to change something in both album’s meta data to force all of the tracks to be re-written, and it might, sometimes, if you are lucky – work 😦

iTunes suxor: song won’t appear in album

LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate Renewal Command

The LetsEncrypt certificates expire every 90 days. You will get a reminder email from the LetsEncrypt CA a couple of weeks before expiry.

Here is the email that I received

From: <>
Subject: Let's Encrypt certificate expiration notice
Message-Id: <>
To: <>


Your certificate (or certificates) for the names listed below will expire in 19 days (on 11 Apr 16 06:10 +0000). Please make sure to renew your certificate before then, or visitors to your website will encounter errors.

For any questions or support, please visit Unfortunately, we can't provide support by email.

If you are receiving this email in error, unsubscribe at LINK (HTTP link, we know. We're working on it!)

The Let's Encrypt Team

To renew your LetsEncrypt certificate, go to the place where you installed the LetsEncrypt client ;

command: ./letsencrypt-auto renew

bitnami@ses:~/le/letsencrypt$ ./letsencrypt-auto renew
 Updating letsencrypt and virtual environment dependencies......
 Requesting root privileges to run with virtualenv: sudo /home/bitnami/.local/share/letsencrypt/bin/letsencrypt renew
 Processing /etc/letsencrypt/renewal/
 new certificate deployed without reload, fullchain is /etc/letsencrypt/live/
Congratulations, all renewals succeeded. The following certs have been renewed:
 /etc/letsencrypt/live/ (success)

Then restart your web server and you should see the renewed certificate being served to your site visitors.

LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate Renewal Command

Google Play Music rescues iTune’s fail fail fail


For the last several months I have been more and more frustrated with iTunes and its complete failure to be able to sync my MP3 library to our children’s iPods. The ever growing library of audio books seems to have kept even the creeping iOS releases completely unable to put media files on their devices.

First, I have to admit there are a lot of media files in my iTunes library.


I have spent hours and hours syncing, resetting both devices, replugging, waiting, watching to try to get a sync operation to complete my reques to delete some files and add some more. Sync operations would never complete, even after several hours, or complete and do nothing towards actually updating the device.

iTunes you are broken broken broken.

This is no surprise to many, but I have to write about it to get it out of my system. FAIL Apple FAIL.

Now a few months on I am happy to say that Google Play Music has come to the rescue with a cloud-based-solution that actually seems to work and can handle a large media library.

Now I use iTunes to rip the audio books and add artwork and create playlists and then the Chrome extension for Google Play Music copies the media to the cloud and then via the iOS Google Play Music app we can play the library over the internet no problegoogm.

The Chrome extension runs in the background and over several months it has never failed to be able to upload and sync all my media and playlists. It can take a few hours to work its way through a recently updated iTunes library, but it does get there.

Here you can see Chrome has been able to upload more than 19,000 items into my Google Play Music account.


I can upload up to 50,000 tracks – yay! some room to grow.

Here is what it looks like on the iPod app.


I have the bonus that our Android phones can also stream audio books as well, and can use the offline toggle to take a local copy of books I want to play in the car too.

Thankyou Google for a solution that actually works.


Google Play Music rescues iTune’s fail fail fail