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?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Considerate Company?

I think most of us are familiar with out-of-office e-mail messages so that the senders would know who else to redirect their e-mails to during the recipient's absence. Awesome German automaker Daimler goes one step further - the company deletes the senders' messages outright so that the intended recipient can really settle down for their holidays. Guess what, productivity is expected to increase!

You got that, all you evil, inconsiderate bosses?

via Engadget.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Photo Bomb of the Century

Not quite so dramatic but you have got to agree with me that this is one of the "better photo bombs" around.

via Flickr Blog but that post seemed to have been removed. Hope I didn't break any rules here! Let me know if I did and I'll remove this!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Wireless Charging at its Best?

Wireless charging - not a stranger. Wireless charging through ambient sound? Sounds like an ingenious idea. If this news were to appear on 1 April I'd definitely pass it as an April Fools joke.
The prototype device was built by a team of scientists at the Queen Mary University of London, and it’s about the size of a Nokia Lumia 925, reports. It can generate five volts of electricity using ambient sound, which is enough to keep your device topped up throughout the day and could possibly even eliminate the charger altogether.
via Cult of Android.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Is it true? Will it happen? Local government elections?

Amidst all the terrible bickering in the Selangor menteri besar issue, it's nice to keep the mind fresh knowing some people out there are keeping to their promise for transparency - local government elections.

The Sun Daily:
GEORGE TOWN: The Federal Court is set to deliver a landmark decision on Aug 14 relating to local government elections in Penang, that have not been held in almost 50 years. 
State local government committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the decision will be a watershed moment in efforts to bring back the third vote, last held in 1965. 
Penang is seeking to declare invalid Section 15 of the Local Government Act (LGA) 1976 and thus render it inoperative in Penang. 
The state is also seeking to declare the Local Government Elections (Penang Island and Province Wellesley) Enactment 2012 as valid and to then compel the Election Commission (EC) to conduct such elections. 
The state takes the position that such elections are a state matter under the Ninth Schedule and Article 113(4) of the Federal Constitution and had filed the petition in April last year. 
Local government elections were suspended in 1965 and abolished in 1976 after the LGA was passed.
Update: Guess not.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Dial-Up Lives On

Dial-up internet access still has a lifeline. AOL still has 2.3 million users. I wonder how's the situation here in Malaysia.

via Technology Tell.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

It's the End for Ultima's Forever

Ultima Forever will cease to exist come 29 August 2014. It's one of those free-to-play with in-app purchases so those who've invested in the game will not be pleased. Maybe it's about time developers realise IAP might not be the ONLY way to earn money.

via Touch Arcade.