Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Family Sharing and FaceTime

I have to admit that when I first heard about this “Family Sharing” feature (new to iOS 8), I had quickly dismissed it as nothing more than a gimmick. However, after giving it a chance, I had to agree that it’s indeed a good feature and one that deserves a mention.

Family Sharing consists of a few things which you could read about it here. The feature that I use most is the family photo album where we share photos of family moments and our new addition that I would refer to as The Mini (sorry, Apple, I am not referring to your Mac here). It’s way easier than Airdrop because we don’t always keep our wifi and bluetooth on and we’re not always next to each other. It’s a nice touch that we can “Like” a photo and put comments in them… just like that popular social media app that has billions of users but private enough for just the few of us.

The next portion of Family Sharing that I might be… most likely be using would be apps, songs and (eventually?) movies sharing. Unfortunately, these are dependent on the publishers if they enable their software and media for sharing (if they don’t I’d just say they are plain greedy, but I suppose there is this thing called business sense, too).

It’s also nice to have location sharing - not so much for spying on your family members but more to knowing they are safe, particularly if you have kids, I suppose.

Besides that, there's FaceTime which I had no use for until recently. Work wise I could only use it with people that have iOS devices so not very useful there because a lot are Android users. But for family use, it's invaluable when I'm out of town! It's the next best thing to being there. I've installed and removed Skype because not many people in my circle use it. I've installed Hangouts but I've never opened the app before...

There you go, Family Sharing and FaceTime are positive steps forward. Apple, please continue improving the experience factor!

Turtle Friendship

What a great way to start the day watching this video of a turtle (or tortoise?) helping out its friend to "make right what was wrong".

via Mashable.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

It's coming... The Red Star

Christmas is ever closer. Season's greetings to you just in case I don't get to wish you on the day.

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Shadow Blade Quicky Review

I can't believe that I can get hooked on an action platformer, especially on an iPhone. First of all, I mega-suck when it comes to action games. Secondly, playing on a touchscreen will quadruple my fail.

BUT Shadow Blade played flawlessly on the iPhone and the gesture controls are great! Combined together with decent but a little moody and dark oriental-styled graphics (maybe it will look even better on the retina iPad!), I think the game is just fine. I think I like it best because of its quick level designs. The action is fast-paced and there are less enemies to kill or else I would just keep getting killed and delete the game. There are secret areas that you will need to look for while at the same time complete the levels fast enough to earn three stars.

As I said, I suck so I've been only able to complete two stars 99% of the time because I'm just too slow. There are two types of controls, one with gestures and another with touchscreen controls (like a gamepad). I've never tried the latter because I fine the gestures to be intuitive enough for me.

So, there you go, a really quick review so that I can get back to the game! Oh, by the way, the game's free on the iOS AppStore now so go grab it!

Looking for some quick and fast-paced action? This is one of them! 4/5

Looking for something that looks really nice? This will pass. 3/5

If you want a platformer that has looooong levels, then this is not what you want. 1/5

If you are a busy person and just want a quick fix, this is one of the better ones! 4/5

Don't worry about the controls. They work fine on touchscreen! 4/5

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Pencil

This pencil had worked pretty hard during its (short?) lifetime. Its worn out look suggested it had been sharpened numerous times. Its length also suggested that it would most likely be disposed off soon.

Just my thoughts on a lazy Sunday and getting ready for bed for another week of work. Thankfully, jolly Christmas season is already here!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Sometimes, bananas do appear in the office

Fruit of the day was bananas. Very nutritious in the office. And made me think of Minions.

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

How long to stay in a job and when to move on?

That's something that most employees would ask and here's Mashable trying to answer that:
Six years (72 months) is the point at which it starts to hurt you if you're not getting promoted or receiving better projects. Four years with an on-boarding year and then a flat trend or lateral moves is fine; four years means you did your job, gave the company a thorough chance, didn't piss off too many people and moved on. Six or more years without an obvious record of promotion may suggest that you're unambitious and, while not necessarily expendable, thoroughly mediocre. If you keep getting promoted, however, there's no upper limit on how long you can stay at a job.
What do you think? Hmmm...

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

It's coming...

The awesome celebration at the end of the year is near...

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Have a great Christmas!

Friday, 28 November 2014

World of Scam - Fake Kidnapping

Over 7 years ago, I've described a fake kidnapping scam in The Con of Men that happened to a friend's family but the father's wisdom had managed to prevent it from going through. Today, I've just read from The Sun Daily of the same scam:
On Sept 19, Yau Sau Har from Pekan Razaki received a call from a Mr Wong who demanded RM60,000 for the release of her son Lai Yin Hoe, 32. 
"I could hear my son's voice in the background asking to be released," she said at a press conference arranged by the Perak Barisan Nasional Public Services and Complaints bureau here today. 
Yau told the man she had only had RM35,159 and he instructed her to deposit the money into a bank account under the name of a Mr Koh. 
Her son, however was not kidnapped but at work. The "kidnappers" had kept his phone busy to prevent his mother from contacting him. 
She realised she was duped when she finally managed to reach Lai, a crane operator after depositing the money. 
I immediately alerted the bank which froze the account of Mr Koh," she said. 
Yau and Lai each lodged a police report. 
The mother learnt that RM10,000 had already been withdrawn. 
The public should be wary of such scam and seek the assistance of the bureau if they come across such cases, said bureau head Mohd Rawi Abdullah. 
He said the tricksters chose to carry out their ruse on Friday afternoons so that the intended victims would not have enough time to alert the banks. 
Please be aware and stay safe.

via The Sun Daily.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

B&W Bun (Chinese: 包)

I would like to share with you this yummy lotus paste steamed bun that I had over the weekend. I especially like the lotus paste that really tasted like lotus paste and not just insanely sweet like some that you find out there! And it's not those that are more flour than paste. Yes, this one was a lucky find.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Letting Go Fuel Subsidies and Hoping for Better Aducation

Two things this evening:

No more fuel subsidies from 1 December 2014 - an eventuality which had long been in the making. RON95 and diesel pricing will be based on the same mechanism as RON97. I only hope that the subsidy money will be put to good use.
"...fuel prices would be determined on a monthly average price, which will be announced at the end of each month for the following month."
And, our prime minister has the ambition to take our aducation to the top of the class.
Najib said the government realised the country's educational system needed to be continually improved to produce knowledgeable individuals who were ethical and had a competitive edge.
via The Malaysian Insider.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Apple, Handoff My Sorrows

Recently, I've managed to test out Handoff with Pocket, the app that saves a copy of a webpage for offline reading. While reading on the Mac, I had wanted to move to a different spot in the house. Being a small house, this different spot is only less than 5 meters away but in a different room.

Even though mini, my Mac is still desktop class so what better time to test Handoff by bringing the iPhone along. To my pleasant surprise the Pocket icon appeared on the bottom left corner of the lock screen. I just needed to swipe that icon upwards (similar to swiping the bottom right camera icon to take a quick photo) and voila! Pocket launched and I resumed my reading.

However, I grieve because I didn't know that Handoff is not supported on my iPad generation 3 but works on the first iPad Mini! You know, I tried to put it behind me when Apple released the 4th generation iPad just six months after the 3rd generation with a much more powerful processor and a Lightning port. Oh the pain!

Handoff and Instant Hotspot

Handoff and Instant Hotspot are supported by the following Mac models, and require OS X Yosemite:
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later)
  • iMac (Late 2012 and later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 and later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)
Handoff is supported by the following iOS devices and requires iOS 8. Instant Hotspot requires one of these iPhone or iPad devices with cellular connectivity and iOS 8.1. Instant Hotspot also requires Personal Hotspot service through your carrier.
  • Phone 5 or later
  • iPhone 4s (sharing iPhone calls only)
  • iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini 3
  • iPod touch (5th generation)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Get ready for work!

In what felt like just a blink of the eye, it's once again the end of Sunday. Sigh. Work begins in just a few more hours. :(

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pixel Density Race

It had always been THE digital camera sensor megapixel race (mostly with megapixels so high that's not necessary but instead compromised low light photography) but recently it's pixel density. Sharp has got a 4.1" screen with 736ppi. And for the future...
Sharp is working to scale the size of the screen up and keep the high pixel density right now. The goal is to produce a 6-inch screen with 4K resolution and 736ppi in the future.
via Android Community.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Streaming Music - Impending Doom?

I was happily going about with my recent Spotify Premium account (RM10 per month with Maxis) only to read about its (and all the other streaming music services out there) impending doom as more and more artists back out remove their songs. Taylor Swift is one of the higher profile ones. Then, there's this other report that the highest streamed single only earned its authors $4,000 each.

Streaming music sounds too good to be true, especially to consumers, and as more artists come out to voice their opinions, it may indeed be true that the returns are way too little. With iTunes sales dropping, even Apple is rumoured to be on the verge of launching their own, what with the purchase of Beats.

These services don't seem to be losing out anytime soon, unless artists like Taylor Swift could convince others through their actions. It would be interesting to see how the streaming services react should the situation change for the worse. Well, there's still digital streaming radio to fall back on should things get too heated up...