How to extract web history information from an Android device.

Phone internet browser

History, URLs, Cookies, etc.

android browser iconUnauthorised use of my wife’s phone led me to wanting to see which sites had been accessed. So I thought it best to put what I’d learnt in to a quick blogpost on how to extract information from my Android phone (Samsung Galaxy Ace) about recent history of URLs visited and other browser stats and metadata.

You’ll need to have a rooted phone AFAICT. This is how I did it, there are of course other ways:

  1. Use a root enabled file manager to go to the folder /data/data/
  2. Copy the files over to your main computer (I placed the copied files on the non-root accessible sdcard and then mounted the phone as a USB drive).
  3. Use an SQLite browser to open the files.

What information is available

Read the rest of this entry »

New puzzle game

GameAboutSquares level 23; starting positionIf you like puzzles and enjoyed the recent “2048” craze as I did then you’ll probably like this – Game About Squares from Andrey Shevchuk. It’s been likened to Sokoban by some, that may or may not excite your neurons. Either way it’s a curious diversion that should last you at least one lunch break.


I’ve created a couple of walkthrough videos for levels 0-10 and 11-20 inclusive. More might follow … let’s see how I get on!


If you or anyone doubted the author’s geek credentials then you’d only need to look so far as the game’s statistics page to ascertain that this guy is the real deal!

Captchas are getting hard for humans

Some example recaptchas captchas I’ve had recently: Read the rest of this entry »

Using a cheap server for VPN?

Why VPN?

Well if you’re interested in general info then Wikipedia is probably the place to go. For me I was trying to solve a problem with my ISP. It’s a protracted way about it but running mtr (a ping-ing tool) I found that my gaming ping was mainly the result of one particular step in my connection. One step was adding 500-900ms of time to the round trip for packets whilst the other parts of the route only seem to be adding about 90ms combined. This is a recent change too.

So my solution was to try and send all my traffic instead via an alternate route. If I could get traffic to go a different route then maybe it would skip the data-centre with the massive delays and so give me a better ping and thus reduce gaming lag!? Worth a try. Read the rest of this entry »

If you’ve lost your star button used to make a bookmark in Firefox then here’s how to find it.

Edit: similar issue with Win XP.

Firefox bookmarks star is missing

Star to set a bookmark in Firefox

Where’s it gone!?

I’m in the process of uploading a video howto but for now … [see end of post]

Learn your hotkeys!

It really helps to know your keyboard shortcuts. F10 gets your menu bar back and you can pretty much work from there. Ctrl+D brings up the “bookmark this page” or “page bookmarked” [as it says now] dialogue … if you use that though you probably don’t need the rest of this blog post!

Less sarcasm, more help, please

So my bookmark star, that used to reside at the right-hand side of the addressbar, went missing when I upgraded to Firefox 29 (on KDE 4.3, Ubuntu 13.10). Read the rest of this entry »

Access controls mean my website runs as a user that can’t create a directory that is writable by the server; here’s how I fixed it with reference to Updraftplus plugin for WordPress. This fix should work generally.

Apache can’t do that

(“I’m sorry Dave!”)

When apache can’t write to your folders it can often be a permission problem. Usually that means setting the folder to be world-writable – which if you’re like me will make you justifiably nervous, as if you left your car unlocked and your wallet on the seat. In this case – setting up the Updraftplus plugin for WordPress I couldn’t create a directory that the plugin could create files for. See all controls I have direct access to make folders/dir that are owned by my username and group. Apache is running under the username apache in the apache group (pretty normal). Here’s how I worked around it fixing this issue … Read the rest of this entry »

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Flapjacktastic is just a random collection of musings, hints&tips, notes, information ... a collection of stuff really that's overflowed from the brain of this husband, father, potter, business-man, geek ...

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