1732787905_4f4b242d08_z

Name: GO SMS Pro

Platform(s): Android

Price: Free

Mission: Make texting fun for Android

To be blunt, the stock SMS app for Android is boring and short on features. It sends your texts and that’s about it. Compared to iMessage, the stock SMS app looks a plain No. 2 pencil.

Android users deserve more.

They deserve a powerful app packed full of extra functionality. They deserve pop-up quick reply boxes and the ability to put a password on their SMS app to keep their nosy friends out of their business! They deserve themes to keep things festive and, perhaps most importantly, EMOJI because they deserve to have some fun too.

read more »


2012-09-17 18.20.19

We at the Clog, like most, were ecstatic to leave the disaster that is CalMail behind for bMail. However, now that most Cal students have been moved over to bMail, many are finding that their @berkeley.edu email no longer syncs to their smartphones. If you are one of those students, or want to set up sync for the first time, then we have some steps to get your bMail properly synced to your phone.

1. Migrate to bMail
If you haven’t actually migrated to bMail yet, do it! You’ll be moved over to the gorgeous Gmail environment which is faster, cleaner and easier to use. All your past email will be moved over to your new account, and your CalMail will stop receiving new mail.

2. Create a Google key for your bConnected account
With the new system, you’re going to need to create a Google Key to sync any of your bConnected apps. You will use this as your password instead of your CalNet password when you set up bMail to sync on your phone. To set up your Google Key, you’ll need to go to the “Manage my keys page.” Log in with your CalNet ID and then select “bApps (Google).” Select the “Set Key” button. At this point you will see a randomly generated password. You can accept this password by selecting “Set Key” again, or you can choose the “Define your own tab” and set your own key.

3. Sync bMail with your iPhone or Android (Skip to step four for other third-party clients)
We’re almost there. If you’re using the Gmail app on iPhone or Android then all you have to do is sign in with your full @berkeley.edu email address and enter your Google Key as the password. It’s also just as simple if you want to use the iPhone’s mail app. Go to setting and select mail. Add a new account and choose Gmail, and then log in as if you were using the Gmail app. Gmail should sync, and you now have bMail on your phone!

4. How to log in with a third-party client
All third-party clients are a little different, but here’s the information you’ll need. When asked to log in, be sure to use your Google Key, not your CalNet ID password. When you are asked to chose a retrieval Protocal choose IMAP, not pop3 (IMAP allows you to view your emails on multiple devices much easier than read more »


Name: Pocket
Platform(s): iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox
Price: Free
Mission: Save online articles (and other media) to read later

College students are busy, probably more so than most people. We don’t have much free time between trying not to fall behind in our studies and perhaps working a bit to help relieve our crushing debt. A lot of us like to read but often don’t have the time. But if you happen to find some free time in your day (perhaps on the toliet), Pocket can have the online articles you’ve been meaning to read lined up and ready to go.

What makes Pocket a breeze to use is the browser extension for Firefox or Chrome. The app makes it effortless to save online content to read when ever you have a spare moment. When you see an article you would like to read later, just hit the Pocket button on your browser, and the article will be sent to the Pocket app your phone. It reformats your articles to show only the article itself using a simple black font that is easy on the eyes. And if you prefer reading in this clutter-free environment, you can do it on your computer as well with Pocket’s Web app.

The app also makes it extremely easy to organize your articles. You can make tags of your choosing to put your articles into categories. You can also simply search for certain keywords or websites. And once you’ve read an article, you can mark it “read,” and it will be archived so it’s not causing clutter (but you can pull it up again later if you need it).

This alone is more than enough features. But if you’re the power-user type, Pocket is integrated with more than 323 apps. Some of the big names the app is integrated with include Twitter, Evernote and Flipboard.
Pocket makes catching up on your reading easy and elegant. It’s free and is waiting for you whenever you have a moment.

Image source: NS Newsflash under Creative Commons


“Science rules” (name that reference!), and for a day, it’s free at the California Academy of Sciences!

The local science center, located just a quick Bart or bus ride away in Golden Gate Park, is offering free admission on Sunday, December 9th (normally $29.95 for adults) as as a part of a quarterly effort to appeal to a wider demographic of people looking for some free science-y fun but couldn’t attend their previous Wednesday free days.

The center is an expansive bed of science and imagination perfect for anyone with at least a spark of science interest, housing an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, rain forest, live animals, and so much more. Plus … it’s all under a living roof!  What to know what that could possibly be? You’ll have to visit to find out Wink-wink.

Here is a sampling of some of the cool sites CAS has to offer:
California academy of sciences


California Academy of Sciences


California Academy of Sciences read more »


For us hardcore science fiction fans at the Clog, we have often wondered what it would be like to live among cyborgs. Due in part to excessively watching the movie “Blade Runner,” we think it would actually be pretty cool to be around someone who is part human and part machine. Yet that fantasy is thrown out the window once we realize that we’re college students and not some character destined to be acquainted with a cybernetic being in a sci-fi novel.

However, our dream is sort of becoming a reality in the form of Nigel Ackland, a man who lost his right forearm in a work accident three years ago, and has been fitted with a bionic prosthetic created by a company known as BeBionic.  Now of course we don’t refer to Ackland as a literal cyborg but he is very well close to being one in our science fiction addicted eyes. Like really, just look at that hand!

The bionic prosthetic that Ackland sports receives signals from muscle twitches in his upper arm which allows it to display different preset hand gestures as well as move his fingers into specific positions. Thanks to the arm, Ackland has been given back the ability to do normal day to day activities such as writing, typing and even cracking eggs for breakfast. Now if only he could hack a computer mainframe with that thing . . .

Speaking more seriously now, we have to admit that the technology behind BeBionic’s prosthetic hand for Ackland is definitely impressive. It really represents a step forward in the overall effort to help amputees or even those disabled by other means through the use of bionics. Surprisingly, Berkeley has also seen its own share of similar innovations through Ekso Bionics with their creation of eLEGS, a set of artificial legs used to help paraplegics walk.

Contributions like this really show how bionic technology can be used for the benefit of people. Admittedly, it’s hard for the sci-fi nerd in us not to get excited. After all, at this rate, the use of bionics just may allow our science fiction dream of walking among people similar to cyborgs to be a practical and realistic one in the coming years.


Picture this:

Can more invasive social contact by others indicate shrinking boundaries around privacy?

Can more invasive social contact by others indicate shrinking boundaries around our privacy?

It’s nearly 10 p.m., and you’re at home, brushing your teeth. Your iPhone starts screaming. You snap to attention, no thanks to that inherent anxiety that accompanies living as a young single woman in an urban environment. You grudgingly answer the phone, hoping to be greeted by an automated pharmacy reminder’s monotone, and not a friend needing a ride at this time of night. Instead, it’s some dude asking if you’ve heard about Prop Something for the third time and if you have a few minutes to talk. You grit your teeth and try muster up some manners.

Sound like last night? Join the club.
As you all know elections are today, November 6th. While we’re excited to be casting our ballots, we believe we can speak for nearly all in lamenting over the amount of recent “encouragement” we’ve received to cast those votes. Just this week alone, we’ve received half a dozen calls from local campaigns encouraging either a vote for a particular candidate, or a yea or nay on a particular measure (We’re looking at you, “Yes on Prop 32″-ers.) It’s a given that building support through direct contact methods like telephone calls is far from new, but we’d like to make a case for some boundaries around the use of those methods. Call us old-fashioned, but we fondly regard that old (and apparently outdated) custom of refraining from calling a lady after dark.

4033087459_6d13ce035e_z

Somebody please hold us, it has finally happened. Our dreams have come true! Someone has made a history class that fuses the academic study of history with the playing of video games. That’s right; a professor by the name of Joseph November of the University of South Carolina has crafted a history class that features video games as the main way students engage with course material.

According to a handout of the course description posted on reddit, the major focus of the class is to examine each game’s portrayal of its respective time period as well as consider how video games as a medium can help provide new perspectives on history. The playing list for the class features a variety of video games based in historical settings such as Assassins’ Creed II, Railroad Tycoon, Age of Empires III, Fallout 3 and many more.

With the announcement of this class, read more »


Lately, we haven’t been sleeping too well. We know many of you probably haven’t either, since the midterm season brings more than just exam stress. It brings an entire mid-semester slump! (Maybe it’s partly due to some bad sleeping habits?)

Here’s a few tips to getting better sleep, tailored to a sleep-deprived student body:

If you need rest, keep reading.

If you need rest, keep reading.

1. Organize your thoughts in a new, systematic way.

We’ve found that writing down a “to improve” list can be helpful. Why? In general, students deal with a large number of smaller stresses — exams, disagreements with roommates, buying textbooks — versus something larger. It can often feel overwhelming to try to constantly sort priorities, compartmentalize and keep focused with so many things to remember. As a result, we feel overwhelmed and plagued by worry! Keeping your priorities accessible and clear can eliminate an urge to mentally “search” and therefore lead to less struggle in falling asleep. (Read more about sleep and organization here.)

2. Take a closer look at read more »


We have all seen the notorious yet ubiquitous “Sent from my iPhone” signature, and perhaps it is not worth analyzing something so trivial. But we love analyzing everything, and therefore we’re going to analyze the meaning, usage and existence of the “Sent from my iPhone” signature. Android and BlackBerry users (if there are any still out there), worry not. You guys are included in this discussion as well.

Before we got smartphones, we used to look at these default smartphone signatures with a little bit of envy. “Oh look at so-and-so, s/he has a smartphone and can send emails.” We wished we were that cool. Then we got smartphones. We kept that signature in as a way to brag. “LOOK AT US PEOPLE, WE HAVE SMARTPHONES, HA!”

Signature then

Signature then

Apparently though, some people have legitimate reasons for keeping in the default email signatures: read more »


Sometimes trying to keep organized at Berkeley makes us feel the way we do when we’re holding our Tully’s and sense a sneeze coming on – helpless! Hopefully these useful apps for the iPhone – all of which are free – will help put a lid on that life of yours. (To download, open iTunes and click on the iTunes Store tab, then search by app name.)

NextBus – Tells you the next arriving buses according to your location using GPS technology and includes all AC Transit buses, but also the Lawrence Lab and other loop buses too.

ASUC – An assortment of great campus-related tools for students from the ASUC. We especially love the real-time monitors that display how full places like RSF and the campus libraries are.

UCBearWALK – Request a Bearwalk escort from your phone, or track North/South Night Safety Shuttles in real time.

UC Berkeley Mobile – Created by the university itself, this app features helpful, general course information and library tools for current students. It’s also especially handy for incoming students (or even visiting family) with features like interactive maps, tour information and upcoming events.

Now that you’re stocked up on Berkeley-grade productivity tools read more »


Older »