Saturday, 30 May 2015

The Cons of In-App Purchase... in Self-Driving Cars

I hate the in-app purchase concept and Volvo took it too far. While the car can self-park and all, the feature that detects pedestrians is a separate purchase. Glad to know there were no serious injuries in the incident featured below.

via Inhabitat.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Ant: Hi, it's me again

This photo was taken a few minutes after this but I don't suppose it's the same ant even though they all seem to look alike... by the way, it's interesting to note that the lines on the backlit leaf became more defined when I tried Instagram's "Structure" function. The lines that I would otherwise never know existed became visible as I move the slider to the right but trying not to over do it, I left it at 25.

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Monday, 25 May 2015

Ant: Hi!

Things that you do while waiting... this is one of the shots that I did while waiting for another fellow for a meeting today. I intended to just take a close up of the roots coming out of this plant and an ant decided to stop by and say "Hi!".

What would life be during these boring sessions without a smartphone and a camera?!

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Rumour: Light at the end of the tunnel for the 3rd generation iPad with iOS 9

While I sulk over the imminent demise of my third generation iPad (the first with Retina display running on A5x), MacRumors bring hope:
Apple is also said to be optimizing iOS 9 to better support older hardware, with the report claiming that even legacy A5-based devices including the iPhone 4s and original iPad mini will be compatible with the upcoming software update. The three-year-old iPad 2 and fifth-generation iPod touch, released in March 2012 and October 2012 respectively, are also powered by Apple A5 chips.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Kaya Puff In B&W Again!

Just when you thought I'm done with black and white photography, here it is again! In Chinese, a kaya puff literally translates to corners of kaya so I suppose this photo has its literal meaning. :P

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Red Palm and Some Quick Thoughts About Instagram

A random shot of the day while out for lunch - the trunk of a red palm. Instagram had matured greatly, offering more complex controls such as sharpness, highlights and shadows. The latest additions included colour changes and some new filters but still maintaining the square format.

If you're not keen to go too deep into fine tuning your photos, there are always just the filters so Instagram caters for both types of photographers, I guess. And I'm quite sure its offer of simplicity with options of complexity helped maintain it as one of the most popular photo sharing sites in the world

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Saturday, 16 May 2015

B&W Boiled Peanuts

I used to avoid boiled peanuts but the current iteration of the stuff as a starter in restaurants are kind of acceptable. Here's a black and white photo of those:

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Imperfect leaves or is life's like that - there will always be spots here and there?

Everyday I pass by these plants I wonder what's with the spots on the leaves. Cellulose? Maybe not. I don't know. I've forgotten and swept my science lessons under the bed a long time ago. Any help?

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

加央角 (Kaya Puff) in Black and White

I know this is weird but I can't help it. I'm obsessed with black and white photography and the weirdest past is I'm into taking B&W photos of food. Here's a kaya puff taken with Lenka:

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Yeah, long way to go, I know. Well, life's a journey. ;P

Monday, 11 May 2015

What's to be of Spotify?

I'm a little worried the past few days reading about Spotify's losses over the years and (possibly evil) Apple's move to convince labels to leave Spotify's free streaming service as Beats relaunches. To make matters worse, numerous artists are complaining of insufficient compensation and are starting to leave the streaming service. But according to Time, not everyone can pull a Taylor Swift. So there is still hope.

Spotify had almost been my only source of music for over a year save for the occasional songs that I purchase from iTunes. There's been no regrets ever since I signed up for Maxis' discounted Premium Spotify service. I've been able to listen to most (remember that not every artist/label participates, unfortunately) of my preferred songs offline and best of all, choose which songs to play, on the go. Hence, there is some truth to Torrent Freak's claim that Spotify does convert listeners (not necessarily pirates!!!) of its free version to premium subscribers. Sadly, the conversion rate is still far from profitability.

I sure hope Spotify's situation will improve despite all the challenges it faces. Perhaps its imminent video streaming music could help.

Update 16 May 2015: No need to worry. Spotify is not going to remove its free tier. According to The Next Web, a Spotify spokesperson said the tier IS working!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

A Touching Mother's Day Video by Kit Kat

Every now and then, there will be at least one touching video for every festivity and I don't think there will be any shortage on Mother's Day. Here's one from Kit Kat:

It's (Sort Of) Windows 10 Forever

Now that I'm a full fledge personal Apple user (at work, I'm still a Windows 7 notebook user) - phone, tablet and home desktop - I don't really follow Microsoft's Windows timeline anymore, save for the bits of news now and then. I had not known about the Windows 10 technical preview had it not for my Apple news RSS feeds.

Hence, you can forgive me for being surprised to only just read about Windows 10 being the "last Windows release".
Switching to the Windows-as-a-service model is a significant change to Microsoft's business model, even more so because Windows 10 will be a free upgrade to anyone running Windows 7 or later. Traditionally, Microsoft has charged a nominal upgrade fee for existing Windows users, but now the model appears to be, "You buy once, you're in forever."
That is, as long as your hardware (or whatever Microsoft want you to believe) still supports the latest update, much like Mac OS X, iOS and Android.

via Mashable.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

A Hibiscus and its Reproductive Organs

Here you go, a macro shot of the hibiscus' reproductive organ where both male and female parts are. It's not easy to focus this close with the iPhone. Took me lots of attempts. Wonder if the iPhone 6 (Plus) are any better.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Literally Going Nuts with Tadpole Tap and Mr Jump

Oh my goodness! Can you developers out there stop coming out with such crazy games like Tadpole Tap and Mr Jump!? I can't take it anymore! I just can't! I can't stop tapping on the screen! There's nothing else but tapping the screen! I suck in these games and yet I want to beat them!

That's it! I'm deleting them both right after I post this.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

It won't be "Apple forever", just like how IBM never was.

Interesting read from The New York Times - a reminder that no company thrives infinitely and, in the business world, enemies don't stay as enemies forever - putting the world's largest company in the spotlight and comparing it with its once behemoth of a nemesis, IBM.

With hindsight, it’s clear that IBM’s Olympian status was part of its problem. In the 1980s, at the height of its powers, it continued to come up with scientific breakthroughs and ultrafast computers, but its focus on its own product lines and customer service flagged. IBM “naïvely” handed over crucial parts of the computer business to companies like Microsoft and Intel, while its own profit margins began to erode, D. Quinn Mills, a professor at the Harvard Business School, has written.  
For decades now, IBM has engaged in a sometimes painful transition, and as it revealed in its quarterly earnings report last week, it is still hurting: Its revenues have declined and it has endured wrenching business shifts. My colleague Steve Lohr wrote last week that IBM has been getting out of slow-growing old businesses, like personal computers, disk drives, low-end server computers and chip manufacturing — but its new initiatives in fields like data analytics, cloud computing and mobile apps for corporate customers haven’t entirely succeeded yet. 
In a turnabout, IBM’s mobile app strategy relies on a partnership with the current giant, its old nemesis Apple. IBM is leveraging its prowess with supercomputers and artificial intelligence with a new initiative, Watson Health, that includes Apple. That alliance could help both companies grow — in Apple’s case, by ensuring that its products work more seamlessly in corporate environments where IBM is deeply entrenched. 
Rapid growth, after all, isn’t a sure thing, especially when you’re already the biggest company in the world. IBM has proved that. Sooner or later, Apple investors will have to take that lesson to heart.