Sunday, 22 November 2015

Cyborg Plants

If you think the Terminator days are still far away or even just pure fiction, think again. It's all happening, just that not the way depicted in the movies...
first, the the researchers introduce a synthetic polymer called PEDOT-S into the rose through its stem. The plant sucks up the polymer using the same vascular system (xylem) that transports water. Once inside xylem channels, the polymer self-assembles into an “wire” that conducts electrical signals, while still allowing water and nutrients to move around. By connecting these wires with naturally-occurring electrolytes in the plant’s tissue, the researchers are able to create an electrochemical transistor, as well as a digital logic gate, a basic component of computer systems.
Every story has a beginning...

via Gizmodo.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Sausages on Paper

I was wondering if FiftyThree will ever add 3D Touch sensitivity to Paper's drawing tools and was I glad that they did! The pen, marker and water colour produce wider strokes on a deeper touch. A neat trick for the pencil - light touch gives light strokes while deeper touches produce darker ones. I did the sausages above with the marker: Thinner lines with a typical touch while the sausages were created with a deeper touch - all done without lifting my finger.

I was also glad that they did away with the restrictive two step zoom and replaced it with a continuous mechanism (this feature along with the next one was introduced prior to the recent 3D Touch update).

Paper's "Undo" had gone through a few iterations - from spinning two fingers anti-clockwise to just tapping the undo button to the current (which I think is its best yet!) tapping with two fingers. Continuous tapping will further undo more steps.

Paper is still by far my favourite sketching app (despite my poor skills). However, one big complain from me would be the sync capability between devices. At this current advanced stage of cloud storage I don't see why the Paper in my iPhone can't sync with the Paper in my iPad.

On my wish list would be giving non-Pencil (FiftyThree's own stylus is called Pencil - not to be confused with Apple's version) users blending capability and the ability to zoom in further won't hurt at all. Besides that how about the capability to choose canvas size?

Sunday, 15 November 2015

My 5 Seconds with the iPad Pro

My moment with the iPad Pro was really brief but it left quite an impression. It was huge but it was light, almost like a toy. The screen was like anything Apple - great. Unfortunately, the price also had Apple's DNA built-in: Premium.

Friday, 13 November 2015

A Glimpse of the Future

From awesome free and unlimited cloud storage to the presence of the internet of things in everything, to printing everything with 3D printers and the imminent rise of blockchain tech, to the return of the shrinking mobile phone as implants and more that I couldn't begin to comprehend, the future can be exciting... and scary.

Based on what I've seen on CSI: Cyber, it will also be easier for dark forces to rule the future.

via The Business Insider.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Travel Photography and the Reality We Don't Quite See

All those lovely photos of tourist locations we browse through everyday online (in the case of this article it's Instagram) have a not so pleasant side to them. Those with billions of views have something real cropped out or intentionally framed out. What we don't see are the long queues, the overcrowded landscapes, etc. A disappointing reality indeed.

via The Telegraph.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Two Towers

Last week's McDonald's nanoblocks featured McCafe and Cold Cup, both of which reminded me of ancient defense towers.

The Two Towers - A Cold Cafe Story

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Another Day, Another 4" iOS 9 Device Rumour

We've heard it before - a 4" version of the latest iPhone way back when the iPhone 6 was THE phone. Now, we're hearing it again - a 4" version of the 6s (without 3D Touch) and it will come as an upgraded iPhone 5s. Maybe this time it WILL happen because the prediction is coming from Ming-Chi Kuo, analyst with a high success rate of Apple predictions. Or maybe because of the appreciating US dollar which is turning even contracted iPhones in Malaysia to cost more than a Dell laptop.

I wonder if the smaller phone will go the way of the 5c because people are already used to the larger 4.7" but it's hard to say, especially when it comes in a cheaper package during these difficult economic times.

While we're at it, why not rumour about the 7, too? A10 processor with a bigger differentiating factor between the 7 and 7 Plus by RAM - 2GB and 3GB, respectively.

via MacRumors.

The Case of the Chromed Android

The talk of the Android world recently was all about Google working towards a unified OS by combining Chrome OS and Android. Sounds really like a good thing. And then, Google mentioned they will still be developing Chrome OS for awhile more. Confusing.

But what really made me cringe was all these reminded me of the fate of Google's many apps, particularly Google Reader. Nothing is permanent, that I know but will certainly leave a bad taste. I hope the integration will be done well, especially for the sake of Chrome OS users.

Monday, 2 November 2015

James Bond Snubs "Smartphones"

The James Bond gang had turned down smartphone product placement offers in the tens of millions because those phones were just not good enough for his latest outing. Pity, I'd love to see Bond use a lovely rose gold fruit branded phone but there was no mention that the fruit company approached him. :(

via Cult of Android.

Friday, 30 October 2015

A Halloween of Photo and Sketches

Happy Halloween, folks! I don't know what got into me. I'm not one to celebrate this scary night but I've got more than a treat for you. I've got a photo and two sketches! Have a great trick or treat but stay safe!

Happy Halloween!

Turquoise Smurf

When was the last time I shared something Smurf? I couldn't remember but can't help but to share this. Angry turquoise Smurf that I came across via flickr blog's "Catchy Colours: The Turquoise Selection":


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Ground Break

A discussion today that somehow led to a site ground break prompted this sketch ��:

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Starship in a Flurry

The McDonald's Nanoblock of Food Icons continue with a McFlurry:

A flurry of blocks.

And an Apple Pie:

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyagers of the starship AP1e. Its mission...

Looking at them close-up and at different angles, they could be anything, especially the apple pie which could have been a very blocky starship.

Previously, there were the French Fries and Big Mac.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

My 2 Minutes with the iPhones 6S and 6S Plus

What can one do when one craves for a iPhone 6S but holding back because of the high price courtesy of weakening Ringgit and introduction of GST? Well, one would visit a reseller and at least hold the phones for a few moments!

Besides holding and admiring the rose gold 6S and silver 6S Plus, the other thing I did was to test out 3D Touch. The expected Haptic feedback was really solid. A little of peek and pop here and there. The next thing I tried was to switch between apps using 3D Touch by pressing deeper on the left of the screen. First time didn't work but the second time it happened. Not 100% intuitive, then, but good enough to spawn rumours that the home button is on its way out.

I had to hit myself when I realised that I've forgotten to test out how deep pressing would turn the software keyboard into a trackpad (similar to touching the keyboard on the iPad with two fingers). Unfortunately, I was already miles away from the store. Another time, then.

Concluding: While I was all excited over how Apple introduced 3D Touch during the keynote, I left the store feeling both Apple and developers have yet to squeeze out the technology’s full potential. There are still some ways from "cool to have" to a "must have". But don’t get me wrong. If I have got the money, I’d get one and being masculine and all, I’d get the rose gold one. :P

Leaves of a Palm

A couple of days ago, while roaming around at a site, I came across some palms so I took a photo. Only just now I revisited it with Instagram and did some rotation, cropped and applied the Skyline filter. My first intention was to have a straight up vertical photo of the leaves but I did something like that in B&W with some other leaf recently so, yeah, I thought this would look nice, too.

Palm leaves.