Sunday, 21 September 2014

World of Scam - Automated Call from "RHB"

In less than 7 days, I've received twice the same automated voice message telling me that I've got a pending transaction with the amount of RM3,972 with RHB and that I should press 1 to authorise or 5 to don't know what (sorry can't remember). The first time went to my voice mail during the week day and the second time was just a few moments ago. For that first time, I deleted the voice mail and for the second time, I hung up and went on with life.

I don't deny that these calls did make me feel worried and unsure if it was really RHB but, well, I don't have any dealings with the bank so, it's got to be a scam. A search online showed that I was not alone. Someone else blogged about it here. The difference was that the number that called me was +60 3 9206 8118.

Beware and take care!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Four Thirds in a Compact

While many companies get into the 1" sensor fixed lens cameras business, it's refreshing to learn that Panasonic is going one up by putting a Four Thirds sensor into their rather established LX series of prosumer compacts. This one's called DMC-LX100.

It has an effective 4112 x 3088 pixels sensor with a Leica lens going at 24 - 75mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.7 - 2.8. It even has NFC and 4K video recording built-in. The price? US$899. Not too bad at all!

Update: And there's one with a Leica badge on it.

via DPReview.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Apple's MSG

There has to be something about Apple. It felt as if I've been given a dose of monosodium glutamate!

After watching this, I'm so into iPhone 6/6 Plus despite my opinions in the previous post. But I must persevere to stay with my iPhone 5! I must! But wait, if I could get a 6 Plus I could forget about my iPad gen 3 and thinking of a new iPad Mini... 

Gee... What if Apple include the Mickey Mouse watch face into iOS 8 clock app for iPhones or better still as a dynamic wallpaper? Wishful thinking I know.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Apple's Special 9 Sept. 2014 Event - The Aftermath

As with my exam question predictions, I'm wrong as usual at all counts. So the Apple announcement went on like the usual style, no live manipulations of surrounding devices to illustrate HomeKit and no Mac Mini-Apple TV-iPod hybrid. How did I feel? I did stay up to watch the event live and it was 1-3am here. Spent the rest of the day being somewhat a zombie.

While checking out the news I came across a few surveys that basically ask if I would be getting the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus or Apple Watch. My answer, none of the above. I don't think the new iPhones evolved enough for a change from my 2-year old iPhone 5 and I suspect the fabulous Apple Pay won't be coming to Malaysia anytime soon. Maybe I'll just wait for the 6s.

Apple Watch? Like my bud, I too can't find a good reason for a smart watch. Perhaps next round. I was mesmerised by a couple of things, though. The Mickey Mouse watch face (this is even better than the normal watches! Mickey shakes his bum in this digital version!) and the interactive emoji. The emoji is not only animated but the live demo showed that you can pinch the smiley and it will become a wink. I believe more can be done!

However, being Apple these are expensive stuff (by my standards) so since I don't print money, I'll just skip this round.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

My last 2 sen about Apple's announcement in a few hours...

Gosh! The much anticipated Apple announcement is just hours away and I'm super anxious about their best product pipeline in Eddy Cue's 25 years at Apple. I'm really hoping for surprises rather than the usual product announcements.

The fact that Apple built a separate, windowless building at the announcement venue made things ever more mysterious... filled with excitement and... hopeful. I am hoping that this announcement will have cool live demos about integrated systems based on HomeKit so that's why there's the need to build a whole building and probably HealthKit is embedded in Tim Cook and reading out his vitals. Yeah, I have faith in Apple's presentation style - something that I hope to emulate into my presentations but alas I've little success. I know this time the presentation will be different!

So Apple, do your fans proud (two years earlier I wouldn't even have the slightest thought about anything Apple but after owning an iPad followed by an iPhone, I now hope to own a Mac...)!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Happy Mid-Autumn!

It's the Mid-Autumn Festival today and I didn't make it home on time to have dinner with all of my family but alas, I'm still home now with them! To those who didn't manage to get together, do not give up! It's not necessary to be a festive season. Make it an everyday thing instead! Have a great day or what's left of it!

This photo came about when a colleague brought this box of mooncakes into the meeting room and the rest of us acted faster than usual and chewed through over half of them before my senses came to that I should have taken a photo!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

"Bumble Prime"

For those familiar with the first generation of the animated Transformers series, you would know that The Matrix could turn an Autobot into a Prime (leader of the Autobots). So what would yellow Bumblebee look like if he ever becomes a Prime? A yellow truck like the one in the photo? ;P

I was actually trying to photograph the barren land at the background, destruction left by land clearing but somehow this truck came along and I thought it would be a good idea for me to rant about this "what if" scenario about Bumblebee being a Prime. How I miss the original Transformers after watching Michael Bay slowly destroying my childhood memories one movie at a time. :(

Monday, 1 September 2014

AnandTech Founder Joins Apple

The founder of one of the industry's leading tech website, AnandTech, Anand Lal Shimpi is to leave behind his tech journalism days and join Apple. This is BIG news - Apple is sure to gain much in many ways but the tech industry is going to loose one of the better and more objective reviewers/journalist around.

via Cult of Mac.

3rd gen iPad on its way out

I'm one of those that were slightly unfortunate to own the first retina iPad only to have it replaced with a more powerful one some half year or so later and now I see evidence that this 3rd generation device is on its way to total obsolescence. I've encountered two apps in two days that either won't run or won't perform very well in it - Photoshop Mix and the newly released Bioshock game. Sigh.

What am I to do when my iPad becomes truly obsolete? Do I get a new one or get a Mac instead? Either option involves heavy investment by my standards. :(

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Did you know? 75% of IKEA's images are CG!

It never crossed my mind, not even once, that all those images of room furnishings in IKEA's catalogues were 3D renders... until now! The first product done this way was in 2006 while the first super realistic "fully furnished room" was in 2010.
With traditional photography, you need to have prototype furniture being built in different parts of the world shipped over so it can be photographed. Everything needs to be there on time and it can be logistically difficult, expensive and not that environmental. Then if there are changes everything needs to be re-shot. With CG re-creations of pieces, it removes a lot of this difficulty.
via CGSociety thru BlenderNation.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Photoshop Mix Not for the Weak

Or rather, not recommended for anything earlier than iPad generation 4. That was what the app informed upon launching it the first time on this 3rd generation iPad. :(

Since it required an Adobe ID and since it has such hardware requirements, I didn't go further and  proceeded to delete the app. It's a shame because it does look rather cool on video. Perhaps one day when I have the chance to own a more powerful iPad then. Till then, I will stick to iPhoto (which Apple will be superseding soon), Snapseed and other photo editing apps.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Larger iPad?

A 12.9" iPad? Looks more believable now that giant news provider Reuters joins the rumour mill. But I'm still puzzled. Why would anyone want a larger iPad? Isn't it supposed to be like a tablet that one would hold with the hands and read or surf off it? I'm totally stumped, I tell you. However, if this is true, I'm sure Apple's got some superior thinkers in the system.

If I were any younger I would imagine it would be so huge like this:

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Transparent Solar Panels

Solar tech is getting more popular than ever and there are rumours that battery hungry smartphones will have solar cells built-in. This looks possible with transparent solar panels that are as clear as glass. Researchers from MSU's College of Engineering found organic materials that could be tuned:
"We can tune these materials to pick up just the ultraviolet and the near infrared wavelengths that then ‘glow’ at another wavelength in the infrared. Because the materials do not absorb or emit light in the invisible spectrum, they look exceptionally transparent to the human eye." 
Once absorbed, the light waves get trapped and guided to the edges of the plastic solar concentrator where photovoltaic cells turn them into electricity.
However, with anything new, it would take time for improvement. This particular type of solar panel currently only has 1% efficiency compared to the conventional 25%.

via Inhabitat.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

My very own 2014 iPod, Apple TV and Mac Mini speculation

While the world speculate the next iPhone and imminent iWatch, I would like to contribute my share of crap awesomeness - the next iPod Touch, Apple TV and Mac Mini.

I think it makes great logic sense in the current situation that Apple will do something to revive the declining iPod and Apple TV sales... by ingeniously combining both devices' functionality into one single device! Today's technology should be able to shrink the Apple TV into size (think how small Google's device is). The new iPod-TV combo would just need to be thick enough to accommodate the HDMI port or Apple might just use an existing Lightning to HDMI adaptor. This way consumers would own a music device on-the-go and a streaming media player at home - more value!

Or maybe Apple will combine the Mac Mini and the Apple TV since the Mini is often used as a media device anyway. That would be awesome.

Ok, before I typed this post, it all seemed so brilliant but now that I'm done, errr... guess maybe not. :(

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Orange Tone

Thought these pendant lights would look good with their orangy tone so here you go. Do you feel warm? Kinda? Just a wee bit? Teeny weeny bit?