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 😏.

ASOS Price Checker

ASOS Price Checker: Save up to 50% when shopping on ASOS. Did you know that the same product has different prices on different ASOS country-dedicated websites? Find out how you can save up to 60% or find your size just by comparing the different stores. You can also get notification when the price drops!

  1. Chrome extension for ASOS Price Checker

  2. ASOS Price Checker and Price Drop Alert for Telegram

  3. Web versions of ASOS Price Checker

ASOS Price Checker: Save up to 50% when shopping on ASOS. Did you know that the same product has different prices on different ASOS country-dedicated websites? Find out how you can save up to 60% or find your size just by comparing the different stores. You can also get notification when the price drops!

I use to do several online shopping. They are one of the best online fashion shops. They have several stores in different parts of the world. Each store might have different price for the same product. Sometimes, you might find up to 50% price difference between different stores. If you, for example, always buy from ASOS UK, then you have to compare the price, for example, with ASOS Germany as you might save a lot.

asos price checker
Telegram bot showing prices of a product in different ASOS stores

You can do this buy opening the different store websites for the same product and compare the prices… sometimes you might need to convert the currency to your preferred one. To facilitate this process, I have created an ASOS Price Checker Telegram bot that can help you do these automatically. Check prices on all ASOS country sites of the same products. You simply copy the product’s link and paste it in the chat and the comparison is done automatically and a summary is provided. It is easy to use and has the following features:

  • ASOS Price comparison: compares the prices of a product in the different ASOS stores and tells you which store has which size and how much it costs followed by the link to the cheapest store
  • ASOS Price Tracker/Price Alert: if you want to wait until the price for a given product drops, you also have the possibility to get price alert for the product and get notification as soon as its price changes (drops/increases or the product goes out of stock/comes back to stock)
  • ASOS Size check: sometimes the product that you wanted to buy from your preferred store might no longer exist in the size you want. By using either the Telegram bot or the web version, you can see which other stores have your size.
  • ASOS back in stock alert/notifications: Get back in stock alerts for any item on ASOS. It will send you a notification when your favorite product comes back into stock on ASOS.

It is very easy to use. You just send a link to an ASOS product to this bot and the bot responds with content similar to the image above: the price and the available sizes in each store followed by a summary pointing out cheapest store.

If you are on mobile and have the ASOS app, you can just click on the “Share” button, then choose Telegram from the list and share the link to the bot. Before sharing the link to the bot, you should first “Start” using the ASOS Price Tracker bot. By following the link or by searching for @asos_price_tracker_bot on Telegram, you can START conversation with the bot.

If you’re using a web browser, just copy the link of the product and send it to the bot on Telegram web.

If you’re not using Telegram, you can use ASOS Price Checker on the web that does similar things without the price alert feature.

The ASOS Price Checker Chrome extension tells you the cheapest price while you are still on ASOS website. For example, below we see a product listed in the Italian ASOS website. The Chrome extension displays automatically the available cheapest price for this current product. As you can see, this product is available €100 cheaper in other ASOS stores.

ASOS price tracker shows an ASOS product sold for €300 in ASOS Italy found €100 cheaper in another store
ASOS product sold for €300 in ASOS Italy found €100 cheaper in another store

The other advantage of the Chrome extension is when you come across a product that is out of stock in your preferred store but is available in another store. Look at the following image.

asos price comparison tool helping discover out of stock product
ASOS product that is out of stock in ASOS UK but available in another ASOS store.

As you can see, the product that you gave up on because you thought it was out of stock could actually be available in another ASOS store.

This is a personal project that was intended to help me manage my shopping on ASOS. I benefited from it by getting price drop alerts as well as finding the cheapest store. As some friends found it interesting and are using it, I thought it might also be interesting to others.

Feedbacks are welcome!

ASOS Size Checker

If you always shop at a specific ASOS website, you might be missing out on the different advantages that you have from looking at other ASOS stores. Apart from the prices, different ASOS stores might stock different sizes of a given product. For example, say you wear size L T-shirt and you normally buy from ASOS DE. For a specific T-shirt, the ASOS DE does not have your L size. However, by just checking the ASOS IT or ASOS FR store, you might find your size. Ordering from any ASOS store is fine and therefore, by just checking the different stores, you can find your size.

The following website does this automatically for you along with the price.

As you can see on the image, it shows you the photo, the cheapest price, how much you save, the cheapest store and the prices at the different stores and the sizes in the different stores.

Screen Shot 2019-06-30 at 7.41.33 AM

With this, you save time, money and at the same time find your preferred size.


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 fucking 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.” For fucks sakes, Facebook.

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 fuck 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.