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Friday, June 10, 2011

Sony reveals VR 3D goggles

Sony showed off its concept design for personal goggles that will broadcast a virtual reality 3D environment to the user....

Very futuristic look and based on the technical previewers comments, the quality is very promising.
They're still early in development....I can't wait 'til these things hit the market.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Must-Visit website: TED "Ideas worth spreading"

The website describes itself as:

"Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world"

And that's exactly what it provides.
Watch some of the most prolific, experienced, or ingenious people talk about a broad range of topics such as:

  • How School Kills our creativity
  • 3 Things I learned while my Airplane was crashing
  • Visualizing our humanity through art
  • What do Hallucinations reveal about the human mind
  • The Myth of Violence
and so much more....

If you are the type who enjoys learning about new ideas or piquing your curiosity, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

Japanese Spiderman

....So in 1978 there was an officially licensed Spiderman TV series airing in Japan.....It looks like Spiderman, and acts like spiderman.......of course that's until he rides his bioman motorcycle, and summons a giant transforming robot...

It's too bad Japan has so much natural disasters recently, I hope they keep their spirits up and keep making good sh*t like this to entertain us:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Get your White iPhone 4's from Globe

Must have slipped my mind last week, but I just want to remind everyone in Manila that Globe Telecom is now issuing out the new WHITE iPhone 4.

If you are getting an iPhone 4 from a new line application or a loyalty reward, might as well get the latest one right...
You will need to be really specific though, because they would want to still issue out the older Black ones, and there isn't a huge supply of the White to go around either.
But since last week, we have already shipped out a lot of the new ones to lucky subscribers. One more reason to choose Globe telecom :)

iPhone 4 review.......How is it 9 months later with iOS4.3?

It’s been a while since the iPhone 4 was launched. I wanted to make a review while it was fresh, but there were tons of reviews already when it was new. What seems to be lacking are the reviews after people actually used the darn thing for a prolonged period under normal (or heavy) conditions.
Of course our shiny new gadget makes a good first impression, but how does it hold out?
So now I think I will give my impressions of the iPhone 4 after it was released 9 months ago.

Based on the press releases, it seems that the 4th generation has been the best selling iPhone for Apple. But I think there many people still on the fence about getting one or waiting for the next release from Apple.
With the recent news that the iPhone 4 was re-released in white (but basically the same thing), and the iPhone 5 will be delayed (and most likely it will be just a 4S), then hopefully this information will be useful for those who are still hesitant.

Let’s get Physical
Moving straight to the body of the matter, the iPhone body that is, let’s look at the sturdiness of the unit.
The latest release brought with it a total redesign in terms of form and material. Moving away from the metallic-plastic shell, the iPhone 4 now came with a glass body and aluminium border. I don’t think I need to convince anyone about the looks factor here, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And in my eyes, the iPhone 4 is the best looking phone now or ever. So much so, that I did not even cover it up when I first bought it.
Yup, that’s right I used my Glass-encased iPhone 4 without any protection other than a transparent front screen protector.
I’m sure the newly designed body gave many users reason to worry. “What? All encased in Glass?? That’s an accident waiting to happen!”.  I had the same apprehensions too. But the thing was just too good to look at (And I had connections with the local Apple for easy replacement), so I decided what the heck. My iPhone 4 was naked for 6 months, brought with me during my daily travels in the city, trekking to different provinces and several countries. It’s been hit, bumped, dropped, scratched more than a few times. Again no case whatsoever, only the front screen protector. And the bottom line, it is still in Great condition.

My iPhone pictured above only has a few minor hairline scratches that you probably need to stare at before you can notice them.
Sure, the iPhone 4 is encased in glass, but that is some Gorilla glass it has on!

But then again, I may have just been lucky. It's always recommended to use a case, lest you end up like this poor fellow

"Antenna gate"
The most infamous news on the iPhone 4 launch, which grabbed all tech headlines during its introduction, was the Antenna signal problem. Many users have reported that when they hold the iPhone with their left hand, it degraded the network signal. I myself never experienced this, neither did ANY of the many friends, relatives, and colleagues I know who also got the phone. But it I still fell sympathetic for those who did. Luckily for them, Apple provided good support response on the issue. Locally in Manila, if you get from the official carrier of the iPhone (Globe), then you have no worries either. If the antenna is not picking up the signal properly just return it and you will get a replacement without hassle. It’s the same story for Singapore and Hong Kong, and I guess everywhere in the world as long as you get it from Apple or their official carriers.
I think the biggest proof for me that “Antenna Gate” was addressed properly was the sales report. The iPhone 4 was the fastest selling iPhone from Apple. More people now are using an iPhone than ever before. Also Apple has recently become the number 1 revenue earner from mobile phones, surpassing even Nokia!
I guess the Antenna gate issue did not hurt them too badly.

Battery power
Battery life solid, definitely more than the previous iPhone and a LOT more than my previous android phones. however 6 months later with the latest firmware update here, battery life took a hit. because of the addition of personal WiFi hotspot broadcasting, the battery seems to drain much faster, even when that feature is deactivated. But the performance is still highly satisfactory, definitely more so than the Android phones I have also used, although not as long lasting as some of the Nokias. There are also several easy tips to optimize the iPhones battery life.

The Apple App store
Ok, so definitely one MAJOR factor why people choose iPhones over the competition is the sheer size of the App store. It's common knowledge that the Apple App store is the biggest and most popular virtual marketplace to get more use out of your smartphone.
How has the App store been doing since the iPhone 4 launch? Let's see below:

Available apps
Downloads to date
Pre-Launch of IP4

June 2010
September 2010
October  2010
Jan 2011
Feb 2011

Apple has not rested on it's laurels. Despite being number #1, they still pumped up the the content in the App store. How about quality over quantity? Well, the fact is Apple has actually been cutting out apps from their store! There was a little commotion a few months back about how Apple increased the strictness of their selection criteria, as well as lengthened the approval time and review period. This resulted to a lot of Apps being blocked, delayed, or just simply removed. A testament to the quality of the App store might be the fact that the number of downloads have doubled since the time of the iPhone 4 launch.

Meanwhile Android market has also grown, hitting the 200k apps boundary last month, A report in July 2010, a company named Distimo showed that the Android Market features the highest percentage of free apps, with over 57% being free to download, double the amount of Apple Inc.'s App Store, in which only 28% of apps are free. Other competitors, such as Nokia's OVI store and Blackberry's App World had 26% with Windows Marketplace only having 22% *

However paid apps are still a big issue with android market, as they have limited which countries can buy apps. Those not on the very selective list, are stuck with free apps only. This is what finally caused me to finally offload my androids (for now only) and stick to iOS hopefully this is addressed in the future. Sure it can be bypassed by certain "means", but I shouldn't have to hack my phone to buy some good paid apps on it. Apples app store, in contrast, has only very few apps that are restricted by country. Majority of apps, especially the popular ones, can be purchased worldwide. To my recollection I can't even remember when I wanted an app that was not in my app store list (I'm in Asia, so I’m not using the US app store)

Good support
Apple still leads the pack when it comes to customer support, just google "Apple support number 1" and see the accolades it is receiving. The same goes with the iPhone. I guess it is easier to manage the support of a device when you don't have too many product lines. While Nokia/Sony/Samsung have thousands of different phones, Apple only has the one iPhone. Speaking Locally in Asia, Apple also partners with TelCos such as Globe telecom and SingTel to ensure their service standard is met. For example in Manila, Apple sent foreign representatives to train Globe how to setup a troubleshooting center just for the iPhone, and if it cannot be solved, then Apple shoulders the return freight and provides a replacement stock immediately. My brothers iPhone 4 had sound issues, and it was replaced with a brand new one in less than 3 days without hassle. My colleague in Singapore also reports a similar setup with Apple in Singtel, and I can only assume this level of support is equal if not present in other areas of the world. The only catch is that one must resist the $100-200 saved by buying from the gray market and just get from official stores or carriers. Stellar service is what you expect when you pay $1000 for a phone, and Apple seems to realize this.
On the other hand when my Android Nexus had issues, there was nobody to approach or bring it to. The only official support was to browse through an online do-it-yourself troubleshooting page....

Apple also keeps it fresh by releasing new firmware updates, most of the time these are just "meh" upgrades, but sometimes they release the odd "mega" update that can totally revitalize the iPhone's appeal.  Android has had much meatier updates to their mobile software, for example the recent WiFi broadcasting in the iPhone was present in Android months ahead. But in my humble opinion, while Android has been "Flashier" with their features, the implementation of Apple has always been known to come with greater stability and function. Again in the case of the Mobile WiFi broadcasting, it used to burn the battery of my Android when active, while it is less painful on the iPhone.

The Verdict
I am fortunate enough to have access to many mobiles, and I have been able to use alot of the popular phones. From Android Nexus', Experias, to Motorola's to Nokia's to Samsungs, etc. But in the end, I just have to say the iPhone is the king of all.
Sounds fan-boyish? Yes, but it also sounds familiar. Apple has won over many critics with their product offerings.
As of this moment I have used the new Nexus, and am toying with the new Sony Experia....Both are good in their own rights, but cannot replace my iPhone's pocket space.

If you want to get the most experience with stability from your mobile choose the iPhone.
If you want to get an equally rich experience from your phone, and don't mind the risk that comes with experimentation and feeling like a "New Concept Tester", then choose Android. By now Android already covers ALL major phone manufacturers except Nokia. So it's very easy to also get immersed into the Android experience.
If you want a phone for calls and text message, then choose Nokia.

*From Wiki

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Apple launches new iMAC's today

Impressive upgrade. All iMac's now have quadcore processors, robust video cards, and Thunderbolt ports.

High-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colors.
1. 21.5-inch (viewable) LED-backlit glossy widescreen TFT display with support for millions of colors

Resolution: 1920 by 1080 pixels

2. 27-inch (viewable) LED-backlit glossy widescreen TFT display with support for millions of colors
Resolution: 2560 by 1440 pixels

Processor and Memory:
Intel Sandy Bridge Quadcore i5 2.5GHz up to 3.1 Ghz, depending on model

AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory from the lowest end model
AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory on the higher end model

Starting from $1,199 up to $1,999

Available in the Apple online store.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Apple surpasses Microsoft results (again)

Six months ago, Apple surpassed Microsoft in quarterly revenue for the first time in nearly 15 years, marking a milestone on Apple's tremendous performance in recent years. But despite being passed by Apple in the revenue metric, Microsoft continued to hold off Apple in quarterly profits due to the high profit margins achievable with its software business.

That finally changed this past quarter, with Microsoft today announcing net profit of $5.23 billion for the first calendar quarter (third fiscal quarter) of 2011. Apple last week reported profits of $5.99 billion over the same period, which corresponded to the company's second fiscal quarter of 2011.

Apple has passed its longtime rival Microsoft in a number of metrics over the past year, beginning with market capitalization back in late May 2010. Apple's market cap is now nearly $100 billion higher than Microsoft's.

*from Macrumors article

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

iPad 2 official Asian release forthcoming. Surprise Manila launch this Friday

The Asian launch of the iPad 2 is scheduled this April 29th in major Asian countries.
The good news for the Philippines is that we will now be a part of this official launch.
When the original iPad was released last year, we had to wait around 7 months (!) after the Asian release before Manila stores had official access to sell it. This time, I've learned from very reliable sources that we will be joining the ranks of Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore in the official iPad 2 launch by this weekend.
Although folks here have been able to get their hands on the unit already by unofficial means, such as airfreight from other Apple stores, or paying crazy prices on the gray market (*cough* Greenhills *cough*), it is a pleasant surprise that in a few days, those interested in an iPad 2 can buy it from legitimate and accessible channels at decent prices.

Speaking of prices, I hear that the iPad 2 will be selling for around these approximate ranges* at the official stores.
16GB: 24k WiFi  30k 3G
32GB: 28k WiFi  34k 3G
64GB: 34k WiFi 40k 3G
*remember these are all estimates, wait until Friday to see the real prices, depending on which store you end up in.

This is still officially a "rumor", but I can say that folks who want an iPad 2 in Manila might want to hang around PowerMac Center, iStudio or Digital Hub this Friday, and they will not be disappointed...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

White iPhone 4 coming..... iPhone 5 likely delayed

A new iPhone is set to be launched this May, but it won't be the next generation. 
Instead it is a redux of the current iPhone 4 just in a different color.

The White iPhone 4.

This model is expected to be the exact same phone, with only the physical  change in color. Actually the white iPhone 4 was supposed to arrive shortly after the initial launch last July. However, issues with the color dyes clashing with the glass design intervened. Fast forward 10 months after, and here it is.

Will the purely aesthetic revamp generate as much excitement as a new iPhone launch? Probably not. The iPhone 4 is Apple's best selling phone anyway, so it probably wasn't desperately in need of revitalizing.

What it might do is give incentive for those waiting for the release of an "iPhone 5", to just take the plunge and grab the iPhone 4. This is especially significant considering many experts and Apple watchers have confidently predicted that the next generation of the iPhone will NOT be released at the usual period of July. Traditionally, people have expected Apple to reveal the new iPhone's during or shortly after their annual WWDC event. This time however, Apple themselves have announced that this years Developer conference will focus on new software (most probably the new Mac OS). Additionally, sources with information from Apple's suppliers have reported that there have been no significant orders or planning for new parts, that might herald the arrival of a new iPhone. The safe bet is that the next "new iPhone" will be released this year, but late. Probably just to catch the Holiday sales.
My own forecast: There will be no iPhone 5 this year. With all this information, I do not picture a big jump in the Apple phones evolution, such as the last total redesign from iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4. Only an intermediate level introduction, aka iPhone 4S. Similar to the iPhone 3 > 3GS evolution. Just my hunch.... 
Regardless, one of my lines are up for renewal this year, so I'm excited to see any new free phones I can get from Apple :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

How to Fix iPhone 4 battery drain after updating to iOS 4.3

Need to Optimize your iPhone's battery life?

That's a question iPhone 4 users didn't usually need to ask anymore, since the latest iteration of the iPhone made great improvements over the previous generations in terms of Power optimization and battery life.


The recent release of iOS 4.3 brought great new features to the iPhone, and with it apparently some issues. Slowly user complaints have been surfacing that it also had an unfortunate side effect.... Faster drain of the battery.

I have been very happy with my iPhone 4 for months, and battery life has been one of its strong suits. However, like some other users, I did notice that after upgrading to iOS 4.3 the iPhone seemed to need charging more often. Whereas before i could easily get away with plugging it in after  2-3 days, now I had to charge practically daily (which is back to the old battery performance of the iPhone 3GS).
Granted I use it a bit more to broadcast the WiFi hotspot for my iPad to use, but perhaps not often enough to warrant that drain. Worst of all, the weaker battery life occurs even during days that I DON'T use the new WiFi hotspot feature!
A quick search in Google will net quite a few people who are also experiencing this, which leads me to believe it was an adverse effect from the iOS 4.3 upgrade.

After doing a lot of search and reading anecdotes from the people who had this issue, I was also able to gather a few tips on how to solve the problem. I performed all these steps, and in fact it did give me back some good battery performance in my iPhone 4*

(Steps can be performed in any order, and you can pick and choose which you want to try)
- Let your iPhone battery drain normally without charging it. Afterwards, plug it in and charge until full battery. Turn off the iPhone for a few minutes then put it on again.
- Go to Settings>General>Restrictions. Turn restrictions on. Disable "PING".
- Go to Settings>Mail, contacts, calendars. Delete all of your Mail accounts (including MobileMe). Turn of the phone, then power it back on after a few minutes. Re-enter all of your Mail accounts.
- Go to Settings>General>Reset. Reset your network settings. Power off the phone and turn it back on after a few minutes. Re-enter your network settings.
- Make sure your apps are all up to date, meaning there is no number displayed on your App store icon. Then go to Settings>Store. Sign out from your account (meaning the App Store). Turn of the phone, then power it back on after a few minutes. Sign back onto the App store.

Take note these suggestions are not official Apple fixes, the best fix is probably a future firmware update from them. However, these steps are also quite harmless, so there's nothing to lose in trying them. Maybe one or a combination of a few will get you back your cherished battery life. It did for me, and for many others. For those who aren't experiencing the drain, or don't use their iPhone enough to mind the charging frequency, these are still some solid tips that may optimize your battery life.

* Of course using the broadcast WiFi hotspot feature will drain your battery faster no matter how much you optimize. But in return you get a very cool feature, use it as you wish. the above steps will only solve those "unexplainable" battery drains.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review: iOS 4.3 for iPhone/ iPad/ iPod arrives

This week, Apple has released iOS 4.3, the updated software for their portable devices.
This latest update to the operating system will affect iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

Here is the short list of major features:
  • Personal Hotspot for iPhones
  • Nitro Javascript upgrade for Safari
  • iTunes Home sharing
  • Video streaming for Airplay

The quantity of udpates might be few, but they have the potential to be "essential" upgrades to many users, or simply a "Meh" upgrade to others, depending on their needs of course.

For me the biggest update is the Personal Hotspot on the iPhone. With this feature, your Apple phone can now broadcast its data signal to several WiFi devices. Meaning you can now browse the web using an iPad/Laptop/Netbook while mobile, just connected to your phone's 3G as the "WiFi" signal. Previously, we had to use WiFi dongles or MyFi devices to do this. Ironically, I was using the Google Nexus (Apple's competitor) to generate this signal for my iPad, since the iPhone was not capable of it. 
This short video clip shows how it works:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year: What's your Zodiac and Chinese horoscope for 2011?

Welcome to the new year!
Hope 2011 is good for everyone...

So based on the Chinese Calendar, 2011 will supposedly be Year of the Rabbit, a harbinger of peace,slow-pacing, and reconciliation. Quite the opposite from 2010's Year of the Tiger which was supposed to be (and actually was for many people) a tumultuous year of change and chaos.

Why not have a peek at what your horoscope predicts for 2011? Just for kicks...

Here is a link for the 2011 predictions based on the Western Zodiac:
Interesting read, I'm amused at how they go indepth and break down your horoscope by each month of 2011....

And here is a link to your Chinese horoscope. Just choose your animal sign from the drop down bar after the link:


If you don't know your Chinese animal sign, it depends on what year you were born. (note: January birth is counted to the previous year)
Here is a quick guide:

*"Sheep" is also sometimes referred to as "Goat" or "Ram" in other Chinese horoscopes, but they're the same.

Remember, these horoscopes are just a fun way to kill time, in the end we are the  master of our destiny!
Enjoy and Happy New Year!