geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

It’s basically this, by the way.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Trying something different today. I recorded a video of me using my mechanical keyboard and the resulting text is below. I have fixed the post for spelling but that is about it. Enjoy!

Still not convinced you should get a mechanical keyboard? In case you are wondering, the video you are watching is a CM Quickfire Pro video. This keyboard has blue keys and as you can tell, is very clicky. Please do not mind the slow typing speed. I find it a little hard to type when I am thinking fast on my feet about this review.

Usually if I am talking to my friends I can type much faster. If you are wondering why I am so slow, you try typing with a camera between your hands. It is not easy. The setup isn’t the best but this is pretty much what you sill see and get with this keyboard.

I hope you have enjoyed this two minute video. Have a good day! Naoko signing out.

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geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

I’m not a shopaholic.

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Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Cross-faction image taken from Yik’s screencap, wasn’t taking a lot of photos that day

Wheee! Agent Sionna reporting in!

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New phone!

Friday, March 21st, 2014 11:37 pm
geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

The new Xperia Z1 Compact, ordered from Storekini.
The new Xperia Z1 Compact, ordered from Storekini.

Initial review of Xperia Z1 Compact: She’s fast and light. Larger than Joel but very light, which kinda worries me. Plus point: BABY HAS A SLOT FOR DECO! I now need to find casing.

Temporary name is Kitsune. I might call her something else. In fact I want to, but no name suggests. She’s protesting against me calling her Tsun, because she argues the micro-sim idiocy was my doing, not hers (I was trying to insert it upside down).

The name Freiderike aka Idike will fit her JUST fine. :D

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geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

To disable touchpad, download the Synpatics driver from the Dell website for your model.

To enable editing images in Chrome for Google+, ensure hardware acceleration is turned on.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

This is a sponsored post, commissioned by The Tech Kaiju. I acknowledge that I have received some form of compensation for this post. However, I further admit that this compensation has NOT affected my opinion nor judgement of the units that were lent to me.

A party phone and a business phone. Which would you choose?

And

This pretty much sums up the last of my phone reviews. I’m returning them tomorrow as per agreement, but I will miss them after one week of use. So here’s a summary of what I think everyone should know before purchasing one or the other:

U9X1:
Get this if your criteria is one of the following:

  • You don’t need a large phone
  • You need something quick and responsive
  • You have a budget, but want something fast. Brand name does not matter
  • Did I mention reliable?
  • Inbuilt security is important to you. The U9X1 comes with the M-Warranty and NQ Mobile Security apps. The former lets you register your warranty without having to send in the physical card from your phone. The latter is an anti-virus suite.
  • You want a vanilla Google experience but can’t spring the cash for the Nexus series.

I highly recommend the U9X1 mainly to middle-end users like me who will tinker and root their phone. By default, the almost-vanilla experience is great for those already familiar with the Android user experience and are seeking for something a little bit more. The U9X1 is a great jumping point. Just… watch out for the back cover. It’s kinda slippery and can be a bit hard to open.

Optimus G Pro:
Get this if your criteria is one of the following:

  • You want a really big phone for readability issues.
  • Your phone stays in your bag more often than your pocket.
  • You want a camera that’s good at deciphering lighting and has a beauty mode.
  • You’re new to the Android/smartphone scene, and you want something more user-friendly.
  • Themes are important to you. The LG Optimus had a really cute pink theme that was very childish yet cheerful. They also had a few other “corporate” kind of themes.

As you can tell, the LG Optimus is pretty much a premium phone, and it’s very user-friendly. The LG Optimus skin is pretty much geared towards allowing you to customise your phone the way you want to, and if you’re never going to go beyond installing/removing apps, I’d say the Optimus would be for you. Oh, and unlike the U9X1, the back cover comes out easily.

TL;DR: Get U9X1 if you’re a mid-range user. LG Optimus if you’re not.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

This is a sponsored post, commissioned by The Tech Kaiju. I acknowledge that I have received some form of compensation for this post. However, I further admit that this compensation has NOT affected my opinion nor judgement of the units that were lent to me.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me start by saying that I managed to get my hands on review units of the Ninetology U9X1 and the LG Optimus G Pro for one week. I picked them up last week and will be reviewing them as I go along. Right now they’ve been in my hand for slightly over 24 hours, and active for perhaps a little under that. So what can you expect?

For the spec sheet, here’s the Ninetology U9X1 and the LG Optimus G Pro, provided by CNet Asia. As you can tell, I’m not big on specs. What I’m big on is how well the phone performs and how well it fits into my lifestyle.

So how’s the initial impressions so far?

For both phones:

  • OMG THEY ARE SO LIGHT!
    In comparison to my Sony Xperia Pro, both the U9X1 AND the LG Optimus feel much lighter. In fact, they feel almost weightless. Which leads me to my second point:
  • Terrified of dropping them
    Anyone who knows me knows I’m pretty much butterfingers, which is why durability is a very big thing for me. So far I’ve not dropped the phones, and I hope that never changes.
  • They are both black
    I’m sorry, but I’m the kind of person who wants my phone to be COLOURFUL. I don’t really like black or white phones, at least not for myself.
  • FAST
    Joel is showing his age, so these two phones which are still quite new, are very fast in comparison.

For the LG Optimus:

  • It is HUGE!
    The LG Optimus dwarfs the U9X1, which means it cannot go into my pocket. It also means that the power button makes more sense on the side than it does on the top. Thanks to its size, I’ve resorted to carrying it around in a tiny bag instead of throwing it into my pocket.
  • It’s fairly heavily-skinned and missing quite a few “must have apps”
    I’m surprised that it didn’t come with Facebook and Twitter preinstalled, but on another note, I’m glad it didn’t.
  • The swiping keyboard is pretty functional
    It isn’t going to blow Swype or Swiftkey out of the water, but it does its job well.
  • Camera is decent
    The photos I took looked a little blurry till I realised I forgot to switch on the “Intelligent Auto” setting

For the U9X1

  • Easy in the hand
    Though it’s just as light. It fits better in my pocket though, and it took to my Pebble and bluetooth headset quite easily.
  • WHY ARE THE BUTTONS ON THE SIDE?
    Let’s just saw that I switched on the phone by accident when trying to open the back cover. This happened almost every single time.
  • Camera does horribly at macro shots
    While the camera’s quite decent, it fails completely at taking close up shots when the flash is turned off. I don’t know why. The camera does pretty well if I focus it, switch off the flash and then take the shot, but if I switch off the flash, touch to focus and then attempt to take the photo, it becomes blurry.

Need to sleep, so will write more tomorrow. :)

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

On 13 April, 2013, Joel and Kuro welcomed a sister into their lives. I finally got myself a tablet; the Asus Transformer TF300T in a lovely shade of blue. Here, have an image:

When I brought her home on Saturday, I had a bit of a panic when she wouldn’t charge. Took her back to the Fair on Sunday (that’s why I love going to PC fair on Saturdays; you have an extra day to return if you have to), and as it turns out, it was definitely a PEBKAC issue. The charger comes in two parts which can be disassembled for easy storage. I didn’t assemble them properly, and the salesguy helped me both assemble the charger AND charged my tablet.

I brought Tabitha home, a happy camper. :D

So how was life been since she came into my life?

Well, as it turns out, Tabitha was much better for Ingress than my poor Kuro is (the boy is starting to show his age, the poor thing). She’s also great for me posting stuff on the go, particularly for Facebook (I’ve removed Facebook on the phone as it was taking up space and was far too distracting).

Because Tabitha came with a keyboard dock that doubled up as a battery, I’ve not had any real worries and issues about battery life. I use her mainly when I am out and about, either to take notes during meetings or to write when the ideas strike me. Springpad and Google Keep on her ensure that I can write notes quickly and efficiently. I use Springpad mainly to write longer ideas in a specific notebook that I don’t want to keep on Google Docs, and I use Keep when time is of the essence.

I also made the mistake of downloading this addictive card game from the Play Store called Valkyrie Crusade. There’s something about this game that has me playing it before and after work. I suspect it could be the “harvest your gold and randomly grind” aspect.

Right now she travels with me mainly to work and back. I don’t usually bring her out unless I’m testing something, or if I’m going to be in a meeting where I know I may need Internet access. Joel (my phone) is great at sharing his Internet connection with Tabitha even though he’s slow in booting up the same application, so I have switched most of the tasks I usually do to Tabitha instead.

The only exception is Waze, Foursquare and Keep. I use Keep when I want to write in the gym very quickly (usually these are my machine workout counts for Fitocracy) while Waze and Foursquare are rather obvious.

I do have a few complaints about Tabitha. However, I’m not sure whether this is an Android issue or if it’s a hardware issue (I’ve noticed similar behaviour on Joel, hence why I’m unsure).

Tabitha’s keyboard tends to take a few seconds to load. If I’m on the dock, I can’t quite type as fast as I do on the PC because there’s a very slight delay. On the tablet itself, I can use the swiping option to type, though it’s not as good as the Swype Beta I had on my phone a few months ago.

The keyboard dock also lags. A long time ago, someone once tried to teach me to use the Shift key to caps things; I instead always defaulted to the Capslock instead. Well, with the lagginess that Tabitha’s keyboard exhibits, I’ve finally decided to learn how to type with the Shift key instead. It got to a point that my fingers were actually confused when I went back to typing on the PC. I actually hesitated with my fingers over both the Capslock and the Shift key. Suddenly I was typing like THis because I’d hit both Capslock and the Shift key right after that.

That said, I really like having a tablet. It’s been quite an interesting experience. However, I’ve taken out my tablet in only very specific cases; I don’t dare walk around with my tablet in hand because I’m too afraid of getting robbed. ><

For those who are considering getting the Asus Transformer TF300T, here are some things to note.

- If you plan to connect to a lot of cloud services, make sure you get the version with 3G. This is usually called the TFT300TG (the G kinda stands for 3G, I think). Basically this means you just insert a SIM card and switch on the data.
- If you have either an unlimited mobile plan that allows tethering, or you’re going to be using the Internet only sparingly, then the Wifi model may be for you.
- If you’re not planning to use the Internet at all… why are you considering an Android tablet again?

With that, sleep!

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Miles Edgeworth walking away (Walking away)

If you’re in Malaysia, on Unifi, and find that you can’t use clients like X-chat, mIRC, or even Chatzilla, give this solution a try:

/server irc.nameofserver.domain [number]

Which would look something like

/server irc.beyondirc.net 5531

If it works, then it would be safe to say that port 6667 has been blocked. I say this because I know that I’m not the only person who has found that port to be blocked when trying to connect to an IRC network. Interestingly, accessing IRC via web browser works, just not the standalone clients, which led me to believe that the IRC port was blocked (6667 is the most popular port, after all).

Please let me know in the comments if this works for you.

Note to self:
Unifi’s tech support hotline is 1-300-88-1221
The frontliners do not know what IRC is. I feel old.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Right now in the tech industry, there are several giants; Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Apple. These are the household names, the ones that most non-tech-savvy users know.

Of these five, only Apple, as far as I know, has resisted creating a Social Media site, mainly because they feel they don’t need it. Facebook and Twitter are what I consider the most popular social networks today, and Google added a Plus to their stable of products to bring a social dimension to their search.

Yes, you read it right. Microsoft has also gotten into the social game. Specifically, their social initiative is “an experiment in open search. That means your searches on So.cl are viewable by other So.cl users and will also be available to third parties.”

This is certainly interesting, as it’s a ratchet up from what happened last week.

You see, on May 15, 2012, Bing rolled out Social Search, adding a social component to its usual search engines. According to PC World via Forbes, Bing now lets users ask their Facebook friends from within a search results page questions, so you’d get advice from friends to supplement whatever the search engine spit out. If you’ve used Google Search Plus Your World, it certainly looked like Microsoft had lifted the concept, though not the execution, from Google.

The next day, on May 16, 2012, Google announced that it was rolling out Google Knowledge Graph, adding a side bar that presents bite-sized information about your search items. It works for books (try A Series of Unfortunate events), places (see: Taj Mahal) and even people (e.g. Gina Trapani and Tom Merritt). Note though, that they are still in the process of rolling it out, and some computers may not see the Graph (I can see it on my home computer but not the office. Weird).

And it just gets better. Today, May 22, 2012, about a week after launching Bing Social Search, Microsoft has opened so.cl to public sign-ups. If you log in via your Windows Live account you’ll get in immediately. If you log in via Facebook, you’ll need to wait a bit (this was tested by a friend who used the Facebook login and got the notice that he was on the waiting list whereas I signed in on Windows Live about 2 hours and got in immediately).

So what does So.cl look like?

Spammy.

I’m not following anyone yet, but I’m seeing, in general, everyone’s search results. I also did a search for geminianeyes, and I got far more than I expected. Assuming that So.cl searches are powered by Bing, I’ve realised that it doesn’t just search for keywords; it looks for links as well, so among the things that were turning up in my search reults were places where I had commented and left my http://geminianeyes.com as the website in the comment field.

Um. No. If this is what other people will see when they search for me on Bing, I want no part in it. I would prefer my comments to appear to me, and not to any third party.

So.cl also has a feature called “Video Parties”, where you can watch “videos” with your friends. This seems to be a direct lift from Google Plus’ Hangouts feature, which lets you watch videos from YouTube. Hilariously, the first thing I see in the Video Parties is Youtube. However, there doesn’t seem to be any voice/video camera chat, only text chat, so it’s more reminiscent of those SMS chat while watching TV schemes you see on Astro and local Malaysian TV,

The only thing Bing is doing differently is that it’s showing off your search results to everyone logged into the network. Once you’ve done your search, you can click on stuff to add it to your post, which then gets posted to the stream. You can switch this feature off by clicking the Globe in your search bar to switch it to private.

What you search in Bing and other search engines are still private, but So.cl basically works on the basis that you want everyone to know what you’re searching for.

Um. No.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Ready, set, write! (Ready set write!)

So for the past few months I’ve been sweltering in the heat of my room. It’s been unbearably warm, and at first I thought it was because my room had poor ventilation AND the hot weather. Only after I realised that my computer itself was very warm that it hit me.

The cause of the heat could be my NVIDIA graphics card. A download and launch of SpeedFan reported that my graphics card was running at 61°C consistently, which would explain the heat. No wonder I was sweating like mad! The side of my computer’s case is open for better ventilation, so the heat came out from the computer and into the room, more or less steaming me alive.

So yesterday when I came home, I took out the graphics card and proceeded to give it a gentle “scrub” with some cotton buds. The amount of dust that came out was staggering. There was still quite a bit of dust when I was done, but I would need to get a pressurised air can to deal with those.

I plugged the card back in and checked the temperature; 51°C. And it more or less stayed that way. When I woke up in the morning, I was NOT, in a long time, sweaty.

I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

Spending at least 30 minutes a day learning something new. Usually this is Japanese with Byki (flashcard software) but I am discovering Skritter, Anki and Surviving Japanese are better.

Today was CSS day, and damn, now I know why people are into CSS. Sexy!

Sleepytime!

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

So Facebook has dropped about USD1 billion for Instagram.

Facebook is, arguably, the number one social media network in the world today. Instagram is one of the top photo sharing and editing apps on mobiles today. If you have an iPhone, chances are you have Instagram (and most likely you’d have it on your phone too if you’re an Android user).

The interesting bit about Facebook buying Instagram is that they plan to keep the services separate for now (one may assume that Zuckerberg has learnt from the Spotify fiasco that not everyone wants their Facebook friends to know what they are listening to all the time). The New York Times has speculated that FB wants Instagram because of the latter’s strong presence in mobile.

I would agree but the NYT stops short of pointing out that Instagram doesn’t just give FB the leverage it needs to compete in mobile.

It misses the point that Instagram’s filters means it’s one-upped Google in posting photos; Google’s Picasa and Google+ Creative Kits lets users add effects to their photos, something that you could not do from within the browser for Facebook photos. I think this integration will be a big one, when it hits. Buying Instagram doesn’t just give Facebook the expert advice it needs to succeed in the iPhone app store (Instagram’s Android version leaves MUCH to be desired), but it’ll also give Facebook an advantage when competing against Google+.

And no, I’m not even counting Pinterest in this article. It’s not quite there yet.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Cute sisters from PW as kids (Default)

I was reading a tech article today about Apple and the writer commented that Steve Jobs had taken Apple from a tech boutique to what is essentially the biggest gadget company today.

It took me several hours later to realise that on the surface, Apple is basically the Louis Vuitton of the tech industry. They’re expensive, a status symbol and horrendously, to all perceptions, exclusive. Yet they are also very well-made and have the distinction of being different enough to be a household brand name.

After all, you can always tell a LV bag from a distance, and until the Samsung Galaxy series, an iPhone too. A luxury brand indeed.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

The geniuses at the MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Committee) has decided that the Malaysian Tech Industry needs to be regulated. In fact, they’ve decided to draft a Computing Professionals Bill that requires a computing professional to not just register with them, but that registration will depend heavily on the Board’s whims. (Did I mention that you had to pay to be registered?)

The Bill also has a clause that states you cannot offer skills in which you have not declared for. In other words, if you have registered and declared yourself competent in C++, you cannot then turn around and offer PHP/Java skills, even if you were self taught. You’d have to go back to the Board and re-declare. Thereby more monies!

Erna has a more succinct reading of the Bill here.

To oppose it, Meling Mudin has posted details of the first review of this inane draft. If you can make it, please do. If you cannot make it, poke and prod your MP/ADUN and tell them you are opposed to this Bill.

Thanks to Bytebot for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

PS: Dear Pakatan MPs, DO NOT WALK OUT ON THIS BILL. Even if it’s going to be passed anyway, I would like to ask that you register your vote, so that at least there’s a record on Hansaard that you have opposed this Bill!

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geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

MINECRAFT FOR ANDROID IS JUST 10 US CENTS (about 50 cents Malaysian!). WOOHOO!

Paypal. I knew Paypal was an ass (trying to enforce censorship on Dreamwidth and removing the option to send payment without paying an interest without warning), Paypal decided to tell someone that you can use the Paypal Donate button to donate to a sick cat… but not a poor person. Paypal has since apologised, but their excuse rings hollow.

Also, because one of the trademarks of being a geek is by how much you shorten the time to do things, I listen to Tech News Today to catch up on news I might have missed (unlike Google News, a lot of their news are NOT about Apple!). :D

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

A few days ago, I was listening to This Week In Google. One of the topics they covered was data liberation, or how Google allows you to bring your data with you if you choose to leave their services. Of course, the data is missing one very important function:

It presents your data in the rawest format possible. For the average user, the kind that doesn’t know how to code, or possibly doesn’t care about it, this is counter productive, because often they can’t access their data in a format that’s easily understandable.

However, as pointed out by some people on the panel, those who are geeks or who really want to display that data are likely to either be more than capable to write the software on their own to make sense of the data or possibly hire someone to do that for them. It didn’t hit me until today that there is a name for such a system:

CMS, or Content Management System.

The thing about data is that when you export it, it’s in its rawest form. In other words, when you export your masterpiece of Google data, it comes to you as a mess of uncooked vegetables, meat and eggs. What a person who exports their data from Google is possibly looking for something that is half-cooked at the very least. In other words I’m looking at that needs only a proper container to be displayed, or for me to finish the last stage of cooking before serving.

I’d be thinking that possibly what would be the MOST ideal scenario is that when I export my data from Google, the food is already cooked. What I would need to do is transfer and make the food fit into a container. Google doesn’t have to do that with my data, that’s my responsibility, but damn wouldn’t I prefer my food to be served to me already cooked, I just need to decide how to present it.

This is where a CMS comes in. I was thinking that perhaps the data could be formatted into several common fields:

Photos
Status Updates
Links
Documents
etc etc

And all you would need is possibly some kind of CMS that would understand that basic structure and then allow you to drag and drop your data/stuff into folders that would be easy for you to understand. Hmm…

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

On Twitter, I made this comment:

Angry Birds is to the mobile gaming industry as Twilight is to books and MW3 Call of Duty is to PC gaming (corrected because I mentioned the wrong game earlier).

The basis of that particular thought was a conversation I had with Kamigoroshi over this article. It is basically about pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Call of Duty, Twilight and Angry Birds all have the same characteristic, in that they pander to the lowest common denominator. Call of Duty does that for PC gaming, Twilight does it for books, and Angry Birds does it for mobile gaming.

THAT IS THE ONLY THING THEY HAVE IN COMMON, PEOPLE.

I’m not going to talk about their content, nor their popularity and such. Only that they pander to the lowest common denominator.

Also I do apologise for holding them as up epitomes, as I mentioned previously in another tweet. I was rushing and did not look at the words carefully.

The next section is dedicated to the very same guy who called me out… and then proceed to act in what I consider as a hissy fit. Skip the cut if you just want to comment on the above.

Read the rest of this entry »

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geminianeyes: Fran X Miles Double Team  (Fran X Miles Double Team)

From my feed:

Oh that is interesting. New Share function in G+! When in any Google page and if you are logged in, there’s a box called Share in the upper right between your G+ profile pic and your G+ notifs. Clicking on it opens the normal Google share/status update box. This is intreresting.

I think this was one of the backend visual improvements Joseph Smarr was talking about the other day. Will update more when I get the time.

Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.

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