Tag Archives: Article

9 things that you should know about Jelly Bean

Android Jelly Bean Logo
now that Google’s latest OS, Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean, has started rolling out, we thought we’d run down some of its features for the benefit of those who are still waiting for their over-the-air (OTA) update or folks who are still deliberating whether to update or not. all thanks to its version number of ‘4.1’, many users would expect nothing more than a minor update but this is not the case. in fact, Jelly Bean has some pretty wholesome ‘upgrades’ that should enhanced the user experience. we only hope that the fancy proprietary UI of each individual maker don’t mess it up. Continue reading 9 things that you should know about Jelly Bean

article: why am i not surprised when there’s no iPhone 5?

iPhone to iPhone 4S 900x600px
(image: Apple)

Before the sad news of Jobs’ passing came, there was a short but strong buzz on why there isn’t an iPhone 5. Frankly, I was doubtful if there was ever going to be an iPhone 5 this year. Why is that so, you may ask. Let’s take a look at iPhone launch history, starting from iPhone 3 proper. iPhone 3 was launched in July 11, 2008 and it seems like it is a second test bed after iPhone original was launched (that’s June 29, 2007 – in case you didn’t know). Then it happen again, this time it was the iPhone 3GS which was launched in June 19, 2009. All in all, the same aesthetic (or design, if you prefer) remained for two years before iPhone 4 came about in June 28, 2010. Hence, it led me to believe that it is unlikely that an all-new iPhone will be announced. It makes perfect business sense. Continue reading article: why am i not surprised when there’s no iPhone 5?

Microsoft wants you to do the sum before buying an Apple

Apple vs Windows machines 544x266px
(credit: screenshot from Microsoft web)

is Microsoft feeling exasperated by Apple‘s assault in the computer market or perhaps by Apple’s continuing increase in computer market share? i would think so. recently, Microsoft has launched a ‘campaign’ asking consumers to ‘do the math’. simply put, Microsoft wants you to know that you are overpaying for your MacBook. Continue reading Microsoft wants you to do the sum before buying an Apple

study shows Apple tops the world’s most valued brand

The Most Valuable Global Brands 2011 544x468px
(credit: graphic by mike; source: WPP/Millward Brown Optimor)

in a recent study commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor, Apple has increased its value by a staggering 859 percent since 2006. in this year’s study, Apple becomes the world’s most valued brand, toppling Google who had held the top spot for four years in a row. as it stands now, Apple is said to worth an estimated $153.3 billion. wow. Continue reading study shows Apple tops the world’s most valued brand

experimental Life Twitter automatically tweets your every move

Life Twitter 544px
(image credit: Damian Koh/CNET Asia)

we all know social network is here to stay and how it has changed the way we socialized and share information with our family and friends. oddly, we have the fetish to share our thoughts over social network by the means of Facebook and Twitter, for examples. what if you can share what you are doing without even logging in and tweet about it? that is what researchers Kan Taiwei and Teng Chinhung from the National Taiwan University and Yuan Ze University, respectively, have in mind.

the idea is to have variety of sensors embedded in your mug, pillow, light switches et cetera and these sensors, detects what you do and sends your action to your computer via XBee, a wireless communication device, which would in turn tweet the corresponding action on Twitter. then again, why would i want everyone to know my every movement? i have never thought of that. did you? imagine the whole world knows that you had just hit the sack or just off the lights. it feel kind of strange and i would certainly feel ‘exposed’. anyway, would anyone want to know such trivia matters to begin with? perhaps, if you happened to have a stalker – then he or she would be delighted to know your every move.

in anyway, that’s just an experimental idea being showcased at the recent computer graphics and animation conference Siggraph Asia in Seoul, South Korea. concepts are just dreams, which might not even come true. just imagine the logistic requires to embed those sensors, besides, they have got to be small enough and yet capable of sending signal over WiFi. letting everyone knows, even the most trivia matters, might expose ourselves to identity theft and encourage people to monitor your every move (aka stalking), thus knowing your habits and routine. i am not quite sure if i want that. do you?

below is a comic-relief on our take of the experimental Life Twitter topic… enjoy!

Life Twitter comic by Mike Chua 544px


Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg named TIME’s Person of the Year

Mark Zuckerberg 544px
(image credit: James Martin/CNET)

by now we should be all familiar with Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of the popular social network website, Facebook. Mark has recently been named the TIME’s Person of the Year. unlike other media, i thought it was of no surprise. judging from the limelight Mark Zuckerberg has been getting. especially, after the movie The Social Network was released.

i have been a ‘Facebooker’ for more than two years now and frankly, i don’t quite know who Mark Zuckerberg is. at least, i do not have a clear picture of whatever or however Facebook began. i must admit, the movie did gives me some fairly good idea of the story of FaceBook. though it may not be entirely factual, still it was a ‘good introduction’ to the world most popular social network site. Continue reading Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg named TIME’s Person of the Year

is WiFi killing our trees? or killing us?

CNET UK laptoptrees 544px
(photo credit: CNET UK)

according to an article on CNET UK, some tree-huggers over at Dutch city of Alpen aan den Rijn commissioned a study to investigate if this is indeed happening. this initiative was carried out after abnormalities was found on trees not relating to viral or bacterial infections. the study lasted for five years with result showing that all deciduous trees in the western world are affected by radiation from mobile phone networks and wireless LANS.

the aforementioned abnormalities include trees displaying signifiant variations in growth, bleeding and fissures in their bark. these symptoms was termed as Wi-FI sickness. apparently 70 percent of the trees in urban Netherlands are affected by this Wi-Fi sickness which signified a 60 percent increased compared to five years ago.

although there hasn’t been any conclusive proof as to whether Wi-Fi is harmful to humans or not, i have a hunch that there in lies a longer term health issue for us. personally, i thought this isn’t limited to just Wi-Fi, but to other forms of radio waves such as mobile phone signals and bluetooth transmission.

there are many factors around that could hamper a conclusive study for the effect of these signals on human beings. ever since the popularization of mobile phones, it was surrounded with controversies and speculations including mobile phone signals could potentially disrupts medical equipments and aircraft instruments. if these are conclusively proven to be true, then i see no reasons why human bodies will be exempted from this effect.

according to CNET UK’s article “Wi-Fi is killing trees, study finds“, “our exposure to radio signals from Wi-Fi is well below government safety levels, and much lower than from mobile phones” but does it mean we should feel safe? i am wary about these signals that can pass through walls, because if it passes through walls, it is passing through us at any given time – even right at this moment as i am composing this article.

it appears that “we have to live in a Wi-Fi hotspot for a year to absorb the same among of radio waves as you would from a twenty minute phone call”. how assuring that was. does this statement include periodical exposures? if yes, than i would have, at the very least, made 60 minutes of phone call to date. now, that’s not quite a good news, isn’t it?

the fact remains that the majority of us can’t live without the Internet and mobile phones. as we use the Net more, we demand more speed and more freedom of access. hence we go wireless, even in our homes. i bet most folks who has Wi-Fi at home don’t switch them off and as result we are exposing ourselves by our own accord. if Wi-Fi is harmful, then wouldn’t it be a situation where we’re intentionally setting up our own death trap? if there was a slightest hint of harm from Wi-Fi signals (to us, animals and trees included) or any other types of radio waves for that matter, would we stop using these technologies?

i don’t know. i can’t imagine life without any connectivity, let alone telecommunications via mobile phones. basically, i can’t live without the Internet and, to some extend, Wi-Fi as well. being a gadget person, i dread the day when we realize the truth that radio waves, regardless of its nature, hurts. meanwhile, i would just cross my fingers and hope that radio waves are just fine.

reference(s): CNET UK

thoughts: iPhone vs. the world

illustration - Apple vs. the World 544px
(graphic by: mikeshouts.com)

why iPhone vs. the world you may ask. the reason being, the smartphone segment can’t help but to compare themselves to an iPhone whenever a smartphone is being launched. never mind the fact that iPhone could be already been a year in the market (e.g. 3G & 3GS), they will still be making the comparison anyway – both critics and manufacturers alike. to the smartphone market, iPhone seems to be the benchmark. i know you critics would fervently deny this, but let’s face it – this is the fact. let’s talked about the anti-iPhone sentiment first. so why the hatred, so to speak, about Apple’s smartphone? ok, maybe ‘hatred’ is a bit of a strong word to use, but it certainly sounded that way. in fact, it is not just about iPhone, it is everything about Apple that some dislikes or even hate. maybe it is the green eye monster that is doing it’s bidding in them?

i read an article a couple weeks ago in a local technology news, entitled “Bad apples – but some will still bite them.” the author wrote about Apple’s ‘flawed’ (‘flawed’ as in his perspective) products, namely iPad and of course, the iPhone 4. i will touch on what was it about iPad that he didn’t fancy but first, on with the iPhone 4. every products almost certainly will have its flaws, let alone a smartphone. ever since the launch of iPhone 4, they has been reports of ‘defect’ with the phone, such as the blue tint effect, flawed retina display and most notably, the antenna issue. so it was not a surprise to note that the author brought the iPhone 4 antenna issue up. quoted from the article “There is no problem, as some iPhone fans have told me. Just buy a case, problem solved.” and he went on with “such forgiving rational and practical minds of Singaporean consumers which I have grown accustomed to.”

majority of users will have a case on their iPhone, which explains the huge variety for iPhone cases ever since iPhone 3G. never in history have we seen such a huge variety (brands and designs, materials included) of cases (& accessories) for a single product. before the days of iPhone, users hardly don up their mobile or smartphone with anything but the factory provided case. or maybe some cheap dust-magnet silicon skins. so am i an Apple fanboy trying to justify a flawed product? i hardly think so. i was well aware of the antenna issue. i weighed the (probable) issue(s) with other factors. factors (or specs) such as faster processor, high resolution IPS display et cetera and made an informed decision. i am a big fan of beautifully designed stuff, but the decision to move from 3GS to iPhone 4 is not solely on design, because i knew that i would probably have a case over the iPhone anyway. and mind you, it was not the case of ‘just get a case’.

back to the article that i talked about earlier. the author wrote about 3G version of the iPad being, in his own word “gimped”. as you would have guessed they were about (1) low-res YouTube clips on 3G but high-res clips on WIFI; (2) 3G can’t download apps larger than 20MB. i was baffled on why these were even brought up. first of all, consumers were given choices: 3G+WIFI or just WIFI enabled iPad. it was a decision made with understanding of probable limitations of wireless connectivity. secondly, 3G gives freedom to connectivity and the 20MB restriction is only a rule applied to ‘apps’. in the event you’re in need of connectivity, and there’s no WIFI, 3G connection is your only savior, even if gives you low-res. last check, email and websites doesn’t come in high-res. thirdly, both ‘issues’ 1 & 2 is to safe-guard users and to some extent, probably Apple themselves. without the restriction, some users may run the risk of overusing their data plan, which potentially could be hundreds of dollars in extra charges. remember that not all users are on unlimited plans. seriously, i never thought the above-mentioned 2 points were an issue. do you?

ok, maybe it’s more than just iPhone vs. the world – it’s probably Apple vs. the world. if a product hits the community beyond the current Apple’s domain (i.e. Mac users) and ‘intrudes’ into the ‘mass’ domain (i.e. more consumers) than it is sure get of attention and probably wakes up some green eye monsters in the process.

thoughts: will iphone continues to dominate the smartphone market?

in my opinion ‘yes’. i have been a user of smartphone since 2004, and i have my fair share of gripes about windows mobile and symbian OS. i have since given up on both OS. my last was samsung i780 before switching to iOS in 2008. for the last two and half years, i was an iPhone user – from 3G to 3GS – until 2 weeks ago i decided to give Android a shot and see for myself what’s the hype about.

i have been using the Google Nexus One running on manually updated Android 2.2 aka Froyo for the last 2 weeks. so how was it? here’s my verdict: i can’t wait to get my hands on iPhone 4 from my local telco. i have listed the pros and cons in my earlier posting, now i got more to add. Apple will likely to dominate the smartphone market. iPhone has changed everything. being both a hardware and software company certainly brings about advantages when designing and producing the smartphone, or any products for that matter. being both a hardware and software company means both hardware and software can have much better integration. it eliminates or at the very least, minimize the issues between hardware and OS. productivity-wise, the software (the OS) will be more efficient as they only need to ‘talk’ to a single hardware designing company. it is better for software developer to develop for a single product (iPhone) which enables them to concentrate in making it better, rather than having to split their resources to develop for different manufacturers and different models. end result for Apple is a more stable product.

Apple has garnered much talks by controlling the distribution of iphone (itouch and ipad) apps. some critics disapproved of such control which curbed their freedom to develop. well, after using Nexus One for 2 weeks, i am beginning to appreciate Apple’s apps store and it’s intentions. android market does not have as many apps and variety compared to Apple’s apps store. i think it will not be as big as the apps store in anytime soon. why? there are simply too many models of android-based smartphone with varying screen resolution and possibly, proprietry UI features. it’s not going to be easy for developer to iron out bugs for all models in the market. on top of that, newer OS version is not readily available to all models in existing market which makes apps update a daunting task. very often then not, you will see comments such as ‘this apps doesn’t work on xx model’ on the android market. rather than commenting on the actual quality or usefulness of the apps, like usually you will see in the apps store. developers will likely to shy away from developing for such market, especially if its for monetary purpose. on top of that, there are several ‘independent’ markets sprouting out for android and these ‘independent’ markets even spammed the comments section of some apps in official Android Market to draw people to their sites. to me that’s definitely very unprofessional and unorganized. nobody ensure quality in the android market.

any tom, dick and harry can submit an app. i’d be hesitatant in buying paid apps on the official Android Market because i am not sure of its reliability in terms of credit card information handling. don’t get me wrong, i am not out to thrash android. android is a great OS. but perhaps, Google should design and manufacture their own hardware, and maybe have some control over the apps. i do have fun with the Froyo. it is fun and rather intuitive but it also reminds me of windows mobile. all i need is a straight forward phone. i don’t want to navigate through pages and pages just to reach a basic setting. nowadays, we all have too many things to learn and to do, it will be nice to simplify things a little. Google are you listening? 🙂

posted via AndroBlog on Google Nexus One (Android 2.2)

thoughts: what’s wrong with Apple and Jobs?

last week, i came across a posting in an Android forum which mentioned something about Apple. the company, not the fruit. it was about how Apple wanted to patent or copyright the word ‘Pad’ for its iPad. frankly, i wasn’t aware of that pad-patenting-news. but what was interesting was the comment from one of the fellow ‘forumite’. it amazes me how extreme people can get. the particular forumite has so much hate for Jobs, which almost ‘sounded’ like he (Jobs) had done something really nasty him or his family.

to fair, i think Jobs & the team did ‘revolutionized’ many things. iPod alone has revolutionized portable music player. portable music player that plays MP3 format music was introduced in the late nineties (1998), where Apple only came into the portable music player market in 2001. never mind about who invented the player, but the key is who make it big and who made the name sticks. these days some people even refer portable music player as ‘iPod’, even though they simply means other brand of MP3 players. the name sticks. iPod became synonymous with portable music player. it was a marketeer’s dream. technology advancement has to go with design and the right marketing strategy to achieve what Apple has achieved with it’s various products today.

i am not a die-hard fan of Apple. i only ‘make-the-switch’ in 2008 and guess what makes me ‘make-the-switch’? two things: iPhone and Windows. the discovery of the goodness of iPhone OS, it’s simplicity and usability, coupled with the constant frustration with Windows’ security flaws and bugs made me decided that my life could be simpler. i want to use the machine that i have bought and not spending time doing diagnostic or speaking to the robot-like customer service people. i used to custom my own windows-based PC. i tired of missing drivers, security flaws et cetera. the last draw was with Windows VISTA which came with the Dell XPS 420. i am astounded by its (VISTA) endless bugs and driver incompatibility with many hardware. i was spending time calling DELL, making searches on the net for a solution. then came one day, i just walked into my local Harvey Norman and grab a unibody MacBook and the rest is history. since then, i have added an iMac, 2 generations of iPhone and an Apple Extreme Base Station to my Apple ‘collections’.

i just want to use computer and my mobile phone, and i am certainly not looking forward to patches or trouble shooting. i don’t hate windows. i welcome technology advancements, revolutions and competitions. but businesses shouldn’t let their books decided the fate of their products. i am using the Google Nexus One (Android 2.2 now) now. my conclusion? it’s a great phone and a superb OS. BUT, it definitely helps to be a hardware and software company. you make product with better integration between hard & software. period.