Somewhere around a decade ago, when XDA was a little forum based in Netherlands, users gathered together to make some modifications to Windows phones. It was one of the few, if not only operating systems that allowed modding to such degree.

Many amazing developers started their careers hacking their Windows Phone devices, but when Android appeared, everything changed. Microsoft decided to tightly close all its systems making them similar to iOS. Windows Phone has almost died.

XDA was always about crossing boundaries and limitations. There is always an exploit waiting to be discovered and used to gain control over technology. One of the Windows Phone legends  – XDA Recognized Developer Heathcliff74 – did something utterly amazing and created a tool that makes Windows Phone enthusiasts cry tears of joy. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Windows Phone Internals. WPI allows users to unlock the bootloader on selected Lumia phones. After this process, devices can obtain similar rights to Superuser rights on Android. This means that we might finally see some custom ROMs landing on nearly forgotten Lumias.

Heathcliff74 announced that Windows Phone Internals support most versions of Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile. These two operating systems are shipped with most currently available Lumia phones. There is a great chance that your device might be supported and you can unlock your phone.

There are two detailed videos on which Heatcliff74 shows how to use his tool. While it looks simple, you should use this tool with caution. Messing around with bootloaders is always risky, so there is always a chance to hard brick your device.

On the first one you can learn some basics.

Second video teaches you how to create a custom ROM with root access.

You can find more details about this tool by visiting the forum thread and Heathcliff74‘s website on which the Windows Phone Internals are shared, or read the XDA thread. Thanks to XDA Senior Moderator timmymarsh for the tip!

Are you excited to see some new custom ROMs on Lumia phones? Are you ready to get a Windows Phone device? Share your thoughts in comments below!

The Town of Carbonear council has voted in favour of allowing electronic attendance, such as Skype, for meetings.

Carbonear logo

The Town of Carbonear council has voted in favour of allowing electronic attendance, such as Skype, for meetings.

With technology constantly evolving, some may consider electronic communication a natural progression for councils. And Carbonear’s councillors are no exception.

During the last council meeting Nov. 16, the four councillors in attendance – Mayor George Butt Jr., Deputy Mayor Frank Butt, Coun. Bill Bowman and Coun. David Kennedy – voted in favour of changing regulations for attending meetings.

The idea for Skype meetings was brought about from missed meetings, and not just for vacation. It is also in place for those who may be attending a meeting or event on behalf of council, among other reasons, to not be deemed absent.

Carbonear council will have strict guidelines to follow in order to participate electronically.

The motion put forward by Deputy Mayor Butt said a councillor couldn’t attend all meetings electronically. In fact, they are limited to four per year. The rest must be in person in order to be considered in attendance.

But attending a meeting electronically cannot be done at last minute. A councillor must notify the town clerk or another designate at least three days in advance of their plan for Skyping in. This will allow time to prepare and set up the technology for the meeting.

The final regulation for electronic attendance is the implementation of technology. If there are any issues setting up Skype or another electronic conferencing program, a five-minute recess will take place before the meeting begins to fix the issue.

Although it wasn’t specified at the meeting when the new policy will kick in, Carbonear should benefit from it.

Coun. Kennedy noted after the approval of the motion that other municipalities already do it, and he was glad to see Carbonear following suit.

Allowing Skype or other form of attendance to a meeting through technology is not a new concept. Bishop’s Falls has already approved the same policy. Many not-for-profit organizations, unions and professional groups across the province have also developed an electronic attendance system for meetings.

With the addition of electronic participation at meetings, and last year receiving iPads for all councillors, Carbonear is on track to being one of the more modern councils in the province.

This week's episode of Perfect Insider didn't do all that much to move the overt mystery forward. We learned more about what the lab was going to do now that it couldn't rely on Red Magic, and Souhei and Moe discussed the various clues as well, but there weren't any big revelations or new murders to tangle with. Instead, this episode focused on the show's other core priority - the strange and uneven relationship between Moe and Souhei. By tightening its focus on those two and letting slow, well-observed scenes reveal the emotional distance between them, this episode did more to clarify and enrich their connection than any other so far.

The episode opened right where the last left off, with Souhei confronting Moe and Shimada about Moe's vision in the dream chamber. The show's opening seemed to have a great deal more significance now that it seemed likely the two academics were chasing Magata into some digital world, but the first priority was getting Shimada out of the picture. Moments of Moe getting annoyed at Shimada flirting with Souhei weren't exactly fresh material, but Moe pushing Shimada out was still pretty funny, and her “I have no spare mental capacity to deal with you” line was great.

That light opening led into the episode's first major scene, where Moe lead Souhei up to the roof to take a second look at the helicopter landing area. Though Moe checked the roof's edge and muttered about the ease of sneaking off the building, her real motives here were clear because she was still in her bathing suit. Moe wanted Souhei to notice her as a woman, but as the sun rose in the distance, it was clear that their relationship was more familial than romantic. The slow rising dawn made for a lovely framing device as Moe recounted the strange ways Souhei tried to draw her out of her shell in the wake of her parents' death, making this one of the stronger scenes of the show so far. With both Moe and Souhei's personal context coming more into light, it's far easier now to connect with these self-conscious, standoffish characters on a human level.

After that, the pair learned that the lab would be switching from the faulty (and possibly Magata-harboring) Red Magic to a more reliable UNIX system. Catching some sleep in one of the lounge areas, Souhei awoke to find Moe still sleeping on the couch and allowed himself a rare smile before catching himself and establishing distance both in his spacing and expression. When Moe woke up, she accused him of being in a good mood and extrapolated from this that he'd figured out something relevant to the case. Even though Moe wants his affection, she can't really see his emotions as actually being reflective of a fondness for her - she has his concern, but more as a daughter that he feels uncomfortable getting any closer to. Souhei is enjoying time with Moe just as she's enjoying time with him, but the parameters of his relationship with her don't allow either him to say it. Both of them use the mystery of Magata as an emotional cushion, turning the conversation toward the safe and logical whenever things get uncomfortably personal.

That tiny but very charged moment was followed by more deducing between the two of them, including a nice bit where Souhei described the different ways the two of them think. While Souhei attempts to find the correct route to a solution and follow it at his own pace, Moe is a lateral thinker, who tosses out any number of seemingly unrelated insights and attempts to draw connections between them. But it was Souhei who pulled ahead this week, as the blackout prompted by the system switch set off a series of very weirdly depicted epiphanies. Even though we didn't actually learn what Souhei realized, the emotional consequences of this scene were made very explicit, as Moe ultimately said she'd rather catch up with Souhei's reasoning in her own way than hear his explanation. While Moe chases Souhei as a romantic partner, he continues to see her as a family member and student. It's very likely she's going to grow past this crush in spite of herself.

This was a strong episode in spite of not really adding to the overt mystery, riding successfully on the ever more sturdy relationship between Moe and Souhei. I've been worried throughout that we'd be asked to sympathize with Souhei without good reason, but these last two episodes have done a great job of filling out his character in a satisfying way. The Perfect Insider is looking very confident as it moves into its last few episodes.

Rating: A-

The Perfect Insider is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Nick writes about anime, storytelling, and the meaning of life at Wrong Every Time.