The struggle to connect a dumb TV to a Bluetooth speaker

So the TV is far from where I usually sit and watch. For example, when watching a movie, as it probably happened also to you, the volume during dialogs is very low and then it becomes very loud during commercials, dramatic or action scenes. There are several solutions on the Internet but non solved the problem for me.

The solution that I wanted to have is a small bluetooth speaker very close to me that I can take around with me wherever I want to sit and watch. Imagine the setting blow. You are in a big room where the TV is a bit far away. The goal is to have a small bluetooth speaker next to you.

So I designed the “plan” on a piece of paper and identified the accessories that I’d need. On the TV, there are two HDMIs and one USB ports. Note that, a Chromecast receiver is connected to one of the HDMIs and it is powered directly from a wall outlet and an external hard disk is connected to the USB port. A subwoofer is connected to the 3.5 mm audio aux. Below are the accessories I initially thought I needed.

  • A bluetooth speaker
  • A bluetooth transmitter (as the TV doesn’t have one)
  • Headphone splitter (so that I can also use the subwoofer when I want)
  • A USB divider (to use the only USB port to power the bluetooth transmitter, the hard disk and the Chromecast)

So I got the accessories that I needed and started setting up as planned. Connected the headphone splitter to the TV and then connected the subwoofer and the bluetooth transmitter (3.5 mm aux) to the other side of the splitter. Paired the bluetooth transmitter and the bluetooth speaker. Connected the USB divider to the TV and then connected the external hard disk and the bluetooth transmitter to the divider. The USB divider had additional free port so I thought why not connect the Chromecast to it as well so that I minimize the clutter? 🤷‍♂️ The only thing left was to try if the setup is working. Turned on the TV and cranked up the volume. Annnnnd voilà! It works! 😍 But wait, the hard disk has some light but isn’t being detected by the TV anymore 🤔 Since I couldn’t find any information on how much current the TV was outputting through the USB port, the next day, I borrowed a USB Tester (similar to the image blow) from a colleague to see if the hard disk was getting enough power. So basically, I connected the USB Tester to the TV and the USB hub (without the hard disk, the Chromecast and the bluetooth transmitter) to the Tester. The Tester read that the TV is providing 1.5mA. Connected the Chromecast and the bluetooth transmitter and learnt that they draw more than half of the current and therefore the external hard disk wasn’t getting enough power to drive the motor.

So I ended up attaching the external hard disk directly to the TV and the hub to a wall outlet and I got everything working until I noticed that there is a interference noise coming out of the bluetooth speaker🤦‍♂️ . I couldn’t understand what the cause was but thought it was related to the quality of the bluetooth transmitter. After a bit of search, I read someone suggesting increasing the volume on the TV to the maximum and control the volume from the bluetooth speaker🤦‍♂️. A very annoying workaround but it kind of worked. The next day, I was rearranging the cables to avoid cluttering and decided to use a USB charger head to connect the bluetooth transmitter (instead of connecting it to the hub and the wall outlet that is also serving the TV and the subwoofer). All of the a sudden the noise disappeared 😳. That is when I understood the interference was coming from the divider that I was using on the wall outlet. Perfect! Problem solved. All this time I was testing with music videos and I didn’t pay attention to the contents. Once I was done with everything, it was time to enjoy the setup and theeeeeen I discovered that the audio and the video were out of sync — the audio has a delay!! 😤. The TV has a setting to adjust the delay to some extent but it wasn’t enough. That is when I said fuck it and started training my brain to sync the audio and the video.

I realized that when a bluetooth sound device is connected, mobile and computer operating systems can delay the video so that the audio and the video are in sync. The dumb TV doesn’t know that I am connected to a bluetooth speaker so it can’t delay the video (even if there was a built-in feature). Moreover, the further I go away from the TV, the delay become more noticeable. This happened a couple of years ago. Now I am used to it and I don’t even notice the delay. But when friend visit, they like to point out that there is a problem with the audio 😏.

The Secret Method to Getting Large Facebook Link Thumbnail For YouTube Videos

This was the trick people used to bypass Facebook’s algorithm and have full thumbnail on Facebook for YouTube links.

Sometime ago Facebook used to allow embedding a YouTube video so that people can watch a YouTube video while still on Facebook. Then Facebook started their own video section and wanted people instead to watch Facebook’s video only so they stopped the option to embed YouTube videos. In an attempt to drive less traffic to YouTube, Facebook even decided to show tiny ugly thumbnails whenever a YouTube link is shared on Facebook.

Using YouTube Gaming to have bigger Facebook thumbnail

A lot of YouTube to Facebook publishing websites emerged to fix this problem but this services suffer from low New Feed distribution as they are probably used by a lot of people for sharing YouTube video and considered spammy.

So, I was looking for the best way to publish a YouTube video to Facebook with it’s full thumbnail and maintaining the YouTube authority. So, if Facebook intentionally did this, it means that they have a check somewhere that looks like:

if ($domain === “” || $domain === “”)  {

// then fuck up the thumb


So, I started digging for other subdomain or TLDs owned by YouTube that do not redirect to… with the hope that Facebook did not include those in the ‘blacklist’.

So after trying several of them, fortunately, I came across, the YouTube Gaming App companion site. The good thing about this was any normal YouTube video would work by just changing the to and Facebook would show the full thumbnail and you have full post reach since the YouTube domain is trusted. Additional traction comes from the full thumbnail.

Like what they say, all good things come to an end, on May 30th, YouTube shutdown this service and this subdomain now redirects you to which brings us to the original problem of shitty YouTube thumbnails on Facebook.

This was kept secret for obvious reasons but I am sure there were a lot of people using it.

Why are Facebook engineers confused about App Review?

So Facebook recently changed the policy about their API. Yes, Cambridge Analytica ruined it for everybody. Facebook has limited API access and included also app review for most of the permissions an app requires. Though there are still some loopholes but recently they almost closed everything saying your app has to pass through review.

Image result for facebook engineers

So they basically want to see how you use their API. But this is with the assumption that you are dealing with user data. For example, having a Facebook login for OAuth on your website and when a user uses the plugin to login to your website, you request permissions from the user (e.g., permission to post the user’s behalf). The permissions could be for user profile or the privilege to manage the users pages.

The problem comes here. What if you want to access your own data? Do you have to pass through the review? As long as you’re only accessing your own data, it should NOT be a problem. So, basically, I create my access_token via Graph Explorer and use the API to access my data.

When Facebook required app review, I submitted the app along with a screencast (as they requested). I got a response saying they don’t see the login plugin in the video. But I don’t use the login plugin because I am not asking people to login using Facebook. Basically, I don’t use the app to interact with Facebook users.

I explained in details what I want to do and the fact that my app is not related to users. Their response was “we can’t find the login plugin on our website.”

During all this time, the API was working on and off without review for a reason that I do not know.  And the people I have been in contact with were developers not just tech support (at least said Facebook). Why they were not able to understand the use-case is beyond me. This is the point where I said to hell with their API. I will find a way, though it will be painful, because Facebook API has become useless.

The fix should be very easy though for Facebook. If an app is not reviewed, just limit the access to the app developer’s data/page/group… just like when the app is in development mode except being able to publish on your profile/page/group.

Facebook now lets your friends see that you are watching the same live stream


It looks like Facebook rolled out this update letting you know that your friends are also watching/listening to the same live stream. Which means your friends can also see that you are watching the same streaming. I believe this is privacy sensitive information and it shouldn’t be turned on by default.

iswatchingThough this is supposed to be private unless you interact with the streaming (for example react or share), just opening the streaming link informs your friends that you’re on the same thing.

The other problem is that I don’t seem to find the setting to turn off this ‘feature’. And I don’t understand why Facebook turns this kind of privacy sensitive options on  by default.

Let me know if you find the location to turn off this stupid feature.


Problems with the Moto X Style/Moto X Pure Edition (Mostly the Battery)

from: neurogadget

The Moto X Style is one of the Motorola’s flagship phones released in September 2015. It comes with Android 5.1.1 and upgradeable to Android 7 (Nougat). But the upgrade is so slow that in September 2017, they still haven’t covered many countries. Some of the specifications of the phone are as follows;

Network: GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE


  •  microSD, expandable up to 256GB
  • Internal 16/32/64 GB, 3GB RAM

Camera: 21MP back camera, 5MP font camera with flash


  • Hexa-core (4×1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & 2×1.8 GHz Cortex-A57)
  • Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808
  • GPU Adreno 418

As it can be seen, the phone has a very good specification. One of the feature that I like about this phone is the fact that it has two stereo FRONT speakers! Yes! I pretty much enjoy watching episodes on Netflix right from my phone.

The other feature that I like is the fact that when the phone is on a desk, the screen illuminates by just passing my hand over the screen to see if there are any notifications. However, other phones have a dedicated LED light showing notification (which also exists on the Moto X Style, however needs rooting and programming the phone to use the LED for notification. The only time I have seen this LED turning on is when the battery is completely dead and the phone is attached to the charger.)

Another interesting feature about this phone is the way to turn on the camera. Yes, you just shake the phone and you have the camera open. I almost never found error in the sensors and always picks up the camera whenever I shake the phone.

All these and other interesting features are useless if the phone has a bad battery. Yes, the phone comes with a very bad battery. It’s less than 2 years since I had this phone and it is already messed up. For an expensive phone like this one (500 euros in October 2015), it’s unacceptable to have a very poor quality battery. Some of the weird characteristics of the phone in relation to the battery are as follows:

  • Phone shuts down even if the battery is above 25% and won’t start unless it’s attached to the charger
  • The moment the charger is attached, the battery shows 25% (or above)
  • The phone shuts down even if the battery is above 60% when the camera (or an app using the camera) is opened
  • If you let the phone off for a while, it finally will open (as if it wants to cool down)

Since it was a weird characteristics, I didn’t think it was a battery problem. I assumed it was software issue (either some apps or the platform itself). I reset the phone and didn’t see any improvement. That’s when I decided to change the battery. I bought a kit with several screwdrivers and a non-OEM battery. I removed the back cover, unscrewed 19 of the 20 screws and had a stripped-screw on the last one. Tried for a couple of hours to unscrew this damn screw to no avail. So finally screwed back the 19 screws and attached the back cover again. Probably will try again soon when I have time.

Conclusion, the phone is very good. It has good spec, good usable features. Camera is good, screen is big and has good resolution. But, the battery sucks. It’s also impossible to get the OEM replacement battery. Therefore, unless you’re fine with carrying a power-bank all the time, I would not recommend buying this phone.