Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Lantern Has Moons

An electric (it'd be a miracle to see candle lit lanterns these days, eh?) lantern and its two orbiting moons. A sure sign that Chinese New Year is just round the corner.

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Amazing Apple Earnings

Normally, I don't care about a company's earnings... mainly because it's really depressing to see the amount they earn compared to my meagre salary as an employee but this... this Apple's earnings announcement was something else:
The company sold 74.5 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 27, while many analysts had expected fewer than 70 million. Revenue rose to $74.6 billion from $57.6 billion a year earlier. 
Profit of $18 billion was the biggest ever reported by a public company, worldwide, according to S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt. Apple's cash pile is now $178 billion, enough to buy IBM or the equivalent to $556 for every American.
Did you get that part where Apple earned a profit of $18 billion dollars and broke the world record? Wow.
There is no doubt that as we approach the end of this quarter, all sorts of negative news will start appearing again saying that Apple profits will drop compared to the quarter reported and share prices will fall followed by doomsday prediction for Apple. If anything, these critics and remarks are the ones that we can predict.
via Reuters.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Crossy Road Quicky Review

New discovery. I suck in Crossy Road. I guess this means I automatically suck in ancient Frogger, too. My fingers are just too trigger happy. Once I start swiping and tapping I can't stop and will quickly bump or get flattened by a vehicle or just fall into the river or get squashed by a high speed train.

My problems aside, Crossy Road is a rather simple game where you tap and swipe your way to cross endless roads, rivers or railway tracks. Maybe there are more surprises later but my skills are so limited that I couldn't get very far. Don't think you can stay on safe ground for long because what appears to be a eagle will swoop down and carry you away. I love the simple blocky graphics that are not the very common pixelated ones but closer to LEGO blocks.

So... if you have a busy schedule and would like a quicky, perhaps Crossy Road can be your companion... unless you have great motor skills which you could just go on and on and on... 4/5

Simple game, simple graphics but done nicely. 4/5

It's got in-app purchases but it won't be a problem if you're just happy with a few characters. 1/5

Game play couldn't be simpler. 2/5

Lanterns show the way to the light

More evidence that Chinese New Year is near. These lanterns also show you the way to the divine bright side...

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A terribly and digitally zoomed in photo to tell you that Chinese New Year is really near

Continuing from my messy and noisy photo a couple of posts ago, here is an image that's digitally zoomed in with clear indication that noise reduction had been used. All these because I just want to show you that there are many boxes of mandarin oranges that signal the lunar new year is fast approaching.

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Sid Meier's Starships Announcement

While I'm still wasting my time away with Civilization V, Sid Meier and Firaxis came out with Civilization: Beyond Earth. While I try to save up money and wait for Steam's next mega sale, Engadget just told the world that Sid Meier and Firaxis are going to be releasing Starships in Spring 2015. Looks like it's about conquering the universe this round!

Hence, I would like to be waiting in anticipation together with you for this new game. After all, anything Sid Meier is supposed to be awesome, right? Right? And guess what? It appears that besides PC and Mac versions, the AppStore logo made an appearance at the end of the trailer, too!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A Messy Image

Have you seen a messy and noisy image before? I think my Instagram post for today falls comfortably in those two categories. Perhaps I shall endeavour to snap even noisier photos in the future.

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Friday, 16 January 2015

Bosses, have a lemon... a slice, at least.

It's been a tiring five working days for me. I truly appreciate a five-day work week. Truly am. I can't really understand how productivity can increase for 5 and a half working days a week. I really can't. Bosses, have a lemon... and mint... and tea.

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

Could this be better than the first Avengers movie (the one with lots of superheroes, not the one with a couple of super sleuths) from almost 3 years ago? From the trailer, it looks like there will be another big battle scene (is there any doubt about that even before the first trailer was released???). Black Widow looks set to be injected with something. There's also a very angry, red-eyed Hulk fighting with a heavy duty Iron-Man.

And for me, this is the first time I see Ultron... from a broken robot with plenty of dangling cables to an ultra cool looking one. For those who are like me who never followed the Avengers other than the 2012 movie, check out Wikipedia's rather comprehensive write-up about Ultron (by the time you are done reading that, you're going to have a headache with the amount of iterations that this Ultron character had gone through!).

Oh yeah, here's the trailer:

Sunday, 11 January 2015


A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Rain, and ultimately water. Can't do without but can't do with too much. At the beginning of 2014, we had both a drought crisis and at the end of the year leading to 2015, we face Malaysia's worse floods in decades.

In the midst of the floods, one thing is for certain. Contrary to what the leaders in the political playing field would profess, Malaysians do not have a racial problem. Just look at how united everyone is in giving aid to flood victims. If only the leaders would channel all those energy that they use in playing the racial card to instead think how the country could progress further. I truly believe if they do take their selfishness out of the equation, Malaysia would have been leaps and bounds ahead of many countries that in reality she is lagging behind now.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

SimCity BuildIt for iOS Review

I've been avoiding freemium games but somehow let myself get stuck with one or two every now and then. The last time was with Godus, hoping it will be an amazing mobile version of the legendary Populous but was truly disappointed by the bugs and timers. This time around, SimCity BuildIt got my attention.

Even though it's SimCity, fans of the desktop version would be displeased with all the irritating freemium timers while those looking for complexity and micro-management may not find the game up to the task. BuildIt is, at the core, what most freemium games are best at - build things and wait for timers to pass to proceed further OR just pay your way through with real cash. 

The game progressed quite swiftly for the first few level ups until the in-app purchases rear its ugly head when you start to run short of money and when newer materials need longer time to be manufactured. I’m also puzzled at how far you need to progress before it is possible to unlock disasters, which obviously is one way to get you to make in-app purchases (IAP) if you can’t wait.

Besides that, I don't get the part where you need to go through the whole tutorial again before being able to sign in to Game Center to sync the game with an existing iOS device.

Well, the game isn't all bad because it's got nice graphics with realistic traffic on the road, reflection off buildings and shadows depending on the time of the day. Besides that, I like the way daylight will give way to night with building and street lights coming on. I also like that it is possible to easily rotate and tilt the city around so that certain buildings or structures do not get lost behind bigger and taller ones.

Playability could be worse but there are more rotten freemium games out there than this. 2/5

It's got crazy timers that get crazier as you progress. Developer also employs strategy to test your patience in the hope that you will eventually crumble and fall and opt for IAP instead. 0/5

User interface is rather well done. 4/5

Graphics are definitely a plus point here though I wonder why there are no special festive decors during Christmas. 4/5

In the end, for those that played through all the real SimCity games, there is a high chance that this is not your cup of tea but may provide some eye candy to help sweeten your mobile life. 2/5

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

A little bit late by Malaysian time but still early in other parts of the world to the west, so... Merry Christmas, may your wishes come true!

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Friday, 19 December 2014

The Gingerbread Man

Christmas is coming and this year, I received the Gingerbread Man. I can barely remember the fairy tale of this guy but a quick check with Wikipedia did refresh my memory a bit. A naughty Gingerbread Man would run away from some evil pursuer but will eventually get eaten by a fox as he leaps...

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.