Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jelly Bean

The latest sweet stuff from Google

A quick recap from GSMArena

One thing about Android that bugs me is the graphics, the scrolling and switching of home screens has that oh so subtle jerkiness. Now it has been proven by the incredible Red camera.

Question is why I can pick that out but can't "enjoy" the Retina display.

Take 2 tablets and call in the morning

Actually it is more like 3.

iPad, Surface and Nexus. Portraits by Endgadet

The first

The middle

The latest

The first two control the total package from software to hardware. The Nexus is a collaboration between Google and Asus, probably because the big G has not gone G+factory. Interestingly big G did not go with big S, maybe because big S is being Sued big time by big A. The world is for the big big boys.

The next video is kind of why Apple is the leader in presentation. The subtitles are hilarious and detracts from the Nexus. Hands down, Apple does the slickest Keynote.

In case the video gets corrected, here is a little slip up that is oh so Freudian.

Naughty Naughty.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Magic Window

Finally! The latest gift from the gods of Cupertino have arrived on the shores of our fair island.

When on the course of running errands, I get to pass the great halls of worship with their white walls, so I have been stalking the latest and greatest. Oh you know that great amazing magic window that allows you such great clarity of the world around you. No no, not around you, IN the screen you fool!

Ah yes, there it was, alone on the pristine white table. It's form long so famous before its appearance, I recognize it a mile, sorry, 5 meters away. The right side was no longer dominated by that long ugly scar, a wound that we would keep open by slicing it with an old fashion optical blade. No wonder we could not ascend into the iClouds.

I rushed to the front of the white altar, trembling with excitement at the thought of beholding that magical, AWESOME window.

I wanted to be amazed, shocked and awed into a warbling mass of jelly!

I wanted to have that tremendous feeling of flying in the air among the iClouds.

I was..

I was..

I was.. I just mentally screamed in my best Singlish.

"Lie DAT onee har?!"

(Translation: "That's it?" WTF optional depending on emotional status. Singlish is a compact yet many layered version of English)

Suddenly I was brought back to reality, feeling heretical among the faithful.

I glanced and then stared at the less magical version next to it. Yes I can see the difference, slowly. Less magic more fuzz, less color, smudgy black. Less $ also, all 500 of it.

The AI or perhaps SIRI even, sensed my unbelief and stopped my further probing. Safari stopped connecting to the internet and I could not view any thing else to support or change my conclusion. I tried iPhoto but was distracted by the 27 inch Apple Display stationed  in between.

Sure the colour is more intense, the black has more depth just like my N9 (sorry I cannot help myself since my phone is like the giant Panda, almost extinct!). It has less glare, that is evident, especially since the less magical are super reflective.

Yes it is also flatter, but hardly airy fairy like the Air, just enough for a bag to accommodate an iPad more comfortably.

So being "denied" the internet connection, (yes call me sensitive SIRI.) I decided to resume my errands. Leaving the white halls of the store, I came to the conclusion that the latest and the best Cupertino magic is for the young and rich. Worn out eyes and anorexic wallets are simply not worthy of the love that Sir Ives has lavished.

As I write this on my comfortably clear Full HD 24 inch Dell screen, I tell myself one thing:"I am not worthy".

And dream of a Retina 27 Apple Display.



  • a person who is obsessed with the knowledge and possession of the latest gadget, regardless of personal well being. Usually equipped with a Reality Distortion Field unit.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Trojan horse

All is not good in Espoo.

Windows is a Trojan horse brought in by Mr Elop. Now with the latest Microsoft announcement of Windows Phone 8, Nokia is blowing up inside out in painfully slow motion.

Read: Microsoft screws over Nokia and At the Salo end of Nokia's deep crisis

Microsoft announced at least 6 months ahead of Phone 8 supposed release means buyers holding back on new phones. No full update for current users makes lots of upset customers. Seems like Microsoft's plan to head off Apple by being more like Apple made them worse than Apple. Planned obsolescence over at Cupertino  was at least much less painful than Redmond's.

Poor Nokia is left with 6 months of poor or no sales before even introducing the new Phone 8 models.

A Greek tragedy unfolding in the far north.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mega Mini

Eyeballs rolled when Nokia announced their PureView 808's 41 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera. Most photographers have realised megapixels don't mean much alone, you need the whole package including eyeballs and that all essential lump behind them.

Has Nokia gone bonkers or simply desperate? Perhaps.

Before going into the camera function, let's talk phone first. To sum it up, Symbian Belle. It is the latest and perhaps last of an old phone OS. Being a Nokia user for a long time, I find it familiar and is actually quite sufficient for me. However that could be Nokia's Achilles Heel as most perceive it as old fashion, uncool.

Hardly the bait for non-Nokia lovers. Apparently development on the sensor started when Symbian was still their hope against Apple, so they stuck with it. Stephen Elop the ex-Microsoft man seems to be the orphan maker with N9 and now this. Is he the Man to save Nokia or serve Nokia to Microsoft?

What interested me is the camera function, which surprisingly exceeded expectation. Nokia developed this huge sensor, did the simple thing of "downsizing" the resulting image. Ok, it is not a direct downsizing, but with a bit of engineering magic, they also managed to capture a fair bit of details.

The camera function response is quick. From the lock screen you just press the dedicated shutter button and the camera comes alive to shoot. Touch focus on the screen and shoot with the same button or on screen button. It just might win in an OK Corral shoot down.

From Nokia Singapore Facebook page

The PureView 808 can "zoom" and keep quite good details.Try doing this on most camera phone and you get mush or impressionist art. It is not an optical zoom or even digital zoom, it is more a "crop" camera.

"What is so impressive about that picture?" you might ask.

Here is the full image capture.

Sure most tiny point and shoots can do the same but we are talking camera phones.

Video recording is Full HD with auto-focusing and zoom. Looks impressive. Watch the video as it pans to the setting sun.

What else impressed me is this test of camera phones plus an Olympus EPL-2 camera. It is not a true blind test scientifically speaking, but go on, try it out before the reveal on the last page.

The biggest problem with this camera phone? It is EXPENSIVE at around SGD $850, even more than the flagship Windows Phone Lumia 900. That and it is running on Symbian.

Do I want it? You betcha.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

WWDC 2012

So how was the recent Apple Harvest Festival?

For me it was strangely exciting and soporific at the same time. Now that I own quite a few pieces of fruity goodness, I know what works for me and what is rotten.

First of all, this truly Post-Jobs festival was on par with previous. I think the new High Priest, Mr Cook, did a good job. (No pun intended). He does not have the same arrogance/confidence as Jobs, but he clearly loves what he does, not just because he declares it almost tearfully at the end, the love was there at the start.

Apple's strength is the sheer confidence and belief in what they are doing and really crafting their best. The famous Reality Distortion Field is what holds them together and their fans clinging on. You want to succeed? Raise up your RDF! It works, not just at Apple. (Not all the time: See Americal Idol)

Ok back to the harvest.

Pick of the crop: The Mac Book Pro Retina Display

Read the review on Engadget for technical details, I am just giving my opinion here.

Obvious elephant in the room, hard to miss since it is in super high definition. The only selling point I think is the display. It is super high res, less shiny, deeper black. No cover glass, so as to reduce the air gap, just like my year old Nokia N9. Oh sorry, we are on Apple.

Cleverly, Apple did not go the Windows way of making a high res screen for you to squint at microscopic icons. They applied scaling so everything looks normal. Unfortunately older apps will look fuzzy.

The question is does the screen makes up for the difference in premium? I am sure it does for graphic/media industry persons. While I reserve my opinion until I see the real thing, based on my experience on the iPad it is not equivalent to the premium involved.
"Are you blind?!" you may ask, unfortunately the answer is YES!
I just started on my first pair of Progressive eyeglasses, so I cannot truly be stunned by the"glorious" screen. Boo Hoo.

Kudos to Apple for FINALLY adding USB 3 to their line up and not some silly dongle. Give it to them for simply giving a unified USB 3, instead of a split 2-3 ports as if USB 3 is not backward compatible. (Or is it?)
Also they introduced the MagSafe 2 power point. At first I thought it was some ploy to make users buy more accessories, but as stated in Engadget, it helps to keep a wandering USB plug from getting drawn in. Happened a plenty to me.

Interesting but over marketed point: Asymmetrical Fans.
It does show how much care they put into crafting the machine, but frankly I wonder if it makes a difference. They are already pretty quiet.

From iFixit website:
Doesn't it look like a Mayan pictograph/carving in 2012 style? Signs of times? 

Oh yes the teeth like battery pack does pack a bite (pun so intended), as experienced at iFixit. Apparently the tech got a shock removing the glued down packs.

What else bites? Well your wallet is certainly going to resemble their logo. It is almost SGD $3000 for the basic model. That puts it well above my comfort zone for notebooks. sorry Tim, my wallet is not worthy.

Silliness of the day: They quietly upgraded the Mac Pro a tinny weeny bit and then peeled off the "NEW" label in Apple Store after a few days. Yes, your followers know it is not new without at least an addition of Thunderbolt port.

Hello Kitty!

The rest of the festival was rather soporific. It was Apple playing catch up and leaping forward at the same time, they copied some features from their competitor, refined it and gave it that Apple touch.

Turn by turn navigation.
Finally it arrived for the iOS and it looks good. Been using one in my N9, but while I hardly need it, Apple's version does include traffic data and alternative routes. The test will be if it works in Singapore, just a nagging feeling it will be very US-centric.

Irony of the day: iOS 6 is going to use a lot of online data, what with Siri and Facebook integration, just when the Telcos here are throttling 3G bandwidth and cutting back on data pocket money.

Apple is "mobilising" their desktop OS, making it more like their mobile counterpart. Smartly they slipped it in a small portions so that they don't alienate the original OS users while making the iPhone/iPad users welcomed. Microsoft is going the wrong way with Windows 8. Currently I am using the release Preview on an older computer and the Metro UI is very jarring when it flips between views while launching Non-metro ready Apps. Microsoft has a lot to do, considering how many old Apps that can run on Windows 8.

Fragmentation or sales tactic

A summary of iOS  and iDevice compatibility via Engadget

I don't think it is quite the same fragmentation as in the Android with multiple versions and manufacturers. Here the hardware and software development is tightly controlled by a single company, we all know it is just Apple's way of hinting to their followers," Shut up and give me your money". Will it work with Tim Cook's smiling gentle demeanor? I think with the right recipe, Apple addicts are still a plenty, considering they refocused on 1.3 billion souls.

Last word, I just feel that SIRI is sounding a lot like S.A.R.A.H, did Steve Jobs do a Fargo? Or is he really inside?

Comment on Ricoh A16 24-85mm

There was a question posted last month which I missed. Well, who knew someone would read this?

To Clint

Yes it is possible to use the Dynamic Compensation with Interval Shooting. How effective it is I am not sure.
Guess you probably found that out by now :) Thanks for reading and commenting.
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