Friday, December 31, 2010

Arduino, the open source hardware

Arduino is an open source hardware micro-controller board. The open source idea is from open source software. I know of this Arduino board first introduced by a friend from open source group.

The Arduino (website arduino.cc) board came with a 8 bit RISC micro-controller chips with build in flash memory, an usb socket to transfer program and supply the power.

You will be surprised what you can do with Arduino. There is a youtube video here showing how to use a Wii Nunchuck to control a robot, or Arduino-based Segway.

The Arduino came with a free software kit available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X (Intel and PPC) platform. You can program the Arduino with C/C++ like language using this Arduino software kit.

The Arduino is popular because it is simple, cheap, open, and yet expandable. A pre-build Arduino board cost about 20-25 Euro (about RM100 to RM120, depends on exchange rate). You can program it easily with code similar with C/C++. There are some ready made expandable module available, which turn the Arduino into a robot controller, mini game console, LED display board and many other applications.

For the software part, to program the Arduino is easy, it has 2 functions:

1. setup()
2. loop()

The setup use to initialize setting, the loop function will repeat the job or action.

There is a good hardware and software introduction at youtube here.

An Arduino cheat sheet may be helpful, you can google for PDF version.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

HTC Desire HD and Nexus S


Went to Digi shop to check out the availability of HTC Desire HD mobile phone with a friend, is out of stock.

The top range of Android phone available on the market now will be Samsung Galaxy S, HTC Desire HD and may be Nexus S.

HTC Desire HD use Snapdragon CPU, but Galaxy S and Nexus S is using ARM Cortex A8. Nexus S is manufactured by Samsung, the specification is quite close to Samsung Galaxy S.

I just check the specification of these 3 phones. I will prefer to own Nexus S, which is no sign that it will be available here anytime soon.

Why Nexus S? Super AMOLED, latest Android OS version 2.3 (Gingerbread), it even has gyroscope. It has a 1 GHz CPU which similar with iPhone 4. Both are ARM Cortex A8 base, with PowerVR GPU.

I have not much experience with Android smartphone, so don't take my preference on Nexus S seriously. I heard is available at US and UK only.

I don't really think that the hardware specs does matter, especially for software developer.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Viber free voice call on iPhone

For the pass few weeks, a few of my friends asking me that did I installed Viber.

Viber is a free iPhone application, to make free call from Viber to Viber. It will works on iPod Touch with newer OS version (iOS 4), but it was not officially supported, stated in Viber FAQ.

Viber is just like Skype and FaceTime. You can call your friends for free, through Wifi or 3G connection. More precisely you can refer Viber as a voice version of Whatsapp. Viber is on the top list of iTunes app.

Whatsapp is a paid application on iPhone, it has an Android and BlackBerry version too. User need to purchase the application (cost USD0.99 on iPhone now), but once installed it can send SMS to another Whatsapp application for free.

Whatsapp will scan your contact list on your iPhone (or iPod Touch), notify you those who have installed Whatsapp which is on your contact list. Viber do the same thing, it scans your contact list (identified by phone numbers), and tell you who has Viber.

There are good and bad about grabbing the contact list. The good thing is easy setup. Is zero setup like FaceTime, user don't have to add in their friends one by one.

The bad thing is about privacy. The application might assume that all the contact on my list are my friends, which is not true. Some of them are business partners, some could be my competitors, some could be just a strangers that I meet yesterday night.

Without approval and blocking features, others could spam me (with Viber, Whatsapp or similar application), which might cause security issues as well.

Personally I prefer Skype. These days, less people using Skype for communication. When I launch Skype, only 2 contacts appear online out of my 20 Skype contacts.

People prefer Viber, may be it is a trend now. Zero configuration (or dead simple) is a most wanted feature for most users who doesn't know how to configure or lazy to do so.

Viber software is still new, the stability of the software need to be improved, more functions like SMS will be available soon. More platform like Android and BlackBerry will be supported in the future.

Why Viber (and Whatsapp)? It still be a big question mark with me.

I install the Viber simply because my friend need to call me through Viber and ask me to do so. If Skype don't improve themselves, they will be taken over by new comers.

Further reading:

1M Viber download in 3 days
Viber with iOS devices
TechCrunch thinks that it will be a hit
Daringfireball on Viber
Viber is on a roll

Foursquare iPhone app 2.2 update

Foursquare just update the latest iPhone application with version 2.2. I have updated 2 days ago.

What so specially about a Foursquare iPhone app update? For a location base services, most users will be using the service through mobile devices.

The new Foursquare application added photo update function which absent for a long time compare with Gowalla. The new application seems execute faster (or they upgrade the backend service as well?)



Foursquare make themselves comparable to Gowalla, as Gowalla makes themselves comparable to Foursquare (Gowalla add in flag venue function earlier).

For Foursquare and Gowalla, mobile platform is their battle field. I believe the battle field can fit in more than 2 players.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Meebo problem at end of year 2010

I am a meebo fan. Meebo is a web IM service which allow you to connect to other IM services eg. MSN, Yahoo!, Facebook through a centralize web service. I am using meebo since year 2006 (or may be much earlier).

They have done a good job, especially on the software development part. The service is quite stable, the interface is nice and easy to use. The always have development like meebo badge, to embed chat box within web page. They even roll out mobile web version (for iPhone) and iPhone app at the very early stage.

For the pass few days, I was having connection problem quite often, especially when I try to connect from the mobile to the service, using a limited mobile broadband connection.

May be meebo didn't notice that there are people connect to the Internet through limited bandwidth, and didn't optimize the service for that. Or may be there are too many users using meebo service and the system can not handle that.

When my friend suggest me to use pingchat to replace the meebo service, since is more reliable. I know I am not the only one who are having problems with meebo.

OpenJDK announcement Oracle and Apple

Apple is not going to provide Java in their future OS. Java development is not Apple interest anymore.

Is not an end of Java on OS X, still too early make any conclusion yet.



Oracle and Apple Announce OpenJDK Project for OSX

Oracle and Apple just announced to work on Open JDK project for OS X, Apple will contribute most of the key components.

Is not good to make Objective-C the only development language on Mac OS X platform, at least in my developer point of view.

How long will Oracle put an effort on Java development, yet to be observed.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Digi prepaid super long life 365


I am tired of toping up my Digi prepaid phone every 90 (or 120) days, even I am not using it.

Digi once offer to top up RM100 and validate for a year time, but now no more.


There is a super long life 365 which will validate your Digi prepaid numbers for 365 days (which is 1 year), but you have to spend RM30 from your prepaid balance. The RM30 is the subscription fees, it will not convert to talk time.

The short cut will be:
*128*4*3*1*1# call

If you are not comfortable with the short cut, you use *128# call. Follow the instruction and select super long life.

It will validate your prepaid for a year time, less worried to top up every 3 months time.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Arduino, the open source hardware

Arduino is an open source hardware micro-controller board. The open source idea is from open source software. I know of this Arduino board first introduced by a friend from open source group.

The Arduino (website arduino.cc) board came with a 8 bit RISC micro-controller chips with build in flash memory, an usb socket to transfer program and supply the power.


You will be surprised what you can do with Arduino. There is a youtube video here showing how to use a Wii Nunchuck to control a robot.

The Arduino came with a free software kit available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X platform. You can program the Arduino with C/C++ like language using this Arduino software kit.

The Arduino is popular because is simple, cheap, open, and yet expandable. A pre-build Arduino board cost about 20-25 Euro (about RM100 to RM150, depends on exchange rate). You can program it easily with code similar with C/C++. There are some ready made expandable module available, which turn the Arduino into a robot controller, mini game console, LED display board and many other applications.

For the software part, to program the Arduino is easy, it has 2 functions:

1. setup()
2. loop()

The setup use to initialize setting, the loop function will repeat the job or action.

There is a good hardware and software introduction at youtube here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

After The Social Network movie

In the movie "The Social Network", which of the following is not true about Facebook and Mark Zukerberg.



  • Erica Albringt is Mark Zukerberg's ex-girlfriend, or they have dated at least once. 
  • Mark Zukerberg co-founded Facebook with Eduardo Saverin. 
  • The idea of Facebook partly came from facemash and harvardconnect. 
  • After Mark Zukerberg agree to join harvardconnect as a developer, he started Facebook rather working on harvardconnect
  • Mark Zukerberg did not use any code from harvardconnect in Facebook. 
  • Mark Zukerberg has go through harvardconnect source code and feel that the coding is lame. 
  • Napster founder Sean Parker has consulted Facebook for a period of time, he was given 7 percent share of Facebook. 
  • Eduardo Saverin share in Facebook was once diluted from 30 percent to 0.03 percent. While Mark Zukerberg and Sean Parker share with Facebook remain unchanged. 

"You are not an asshole, you just trying so hard to be", Marylin Delpy say it to Mark.

If you want to read more about Mark Zukerberg and Facebook:

The face of Facebook, by The New Yorker.

Facebook, from wikipedia.

How Facebook was founded, Business Insider.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Google Chrome OS to be ready anytime soon

About 5 years ago, Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy and Oracle's Larry Ellison was on the stage together. Ellison comment on the Google PC rumors, "Let Google make the network computer now". Network computer, a vision that Sun and Oracle team up together, with Java and Internet technology to build an Internet thin PC client.

Now the rumors are almost to be true, but Google still not making any PC hardware but focus on the light weight Chrome OS. The CNet reported that Google shows new features on Chrome browser and Chrome OS may be ready at mid-next year.

Chrome OS which is a Linux-base operating system, but different from the Google Android (which is another Linux-base operating system too). Chrome OS is a light weight OS, which will be centralize on Chrome browser, using the browser connected to Internet cloud services.

You can take a quick tour of Chrome OS by PC Magazine. The Chrome browser will be integrated nicely into Chome OS, the browser will be the only application available and it runs fast on the OS. All application like email, messenger, office application, photo editing and management will be available as a web service.

I just name a few here, Google has build Gmail (email), Google Talk (messenger), Google Docs (office application), Picasaweb (photo management), Picnik (photo editing) as an replacement of the daily application that most users are using on the desktop.

Is too early to comment much about Chrome OS now. With Google services, Chrome OS and Chrome browser, Google make the network computer vision that Larry Ellison brought out 15 years ago becomes true.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Gowalla new iPhone application 2010

Gowalla just updated their iPhone application.

Gowalla is a location base community services like Foursquare. They made the location base service into a community game. Take a look at the zdnet post on the website gamification, Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges.

Gowalla is not that popular as Foursquare, but I always feel that Gowalla has a better look and feel user interface, be it the website, mobile site or iPhone version.

Gowalla is similar with Foursquare but differentiated by a few functionality, for example Gowalla has photo upload, but Foursquare does not. There are a few important functions in Foursquare but missing from Gowalla, and now it was updated with the new Gowalla iPhone application.

Flag venue. Is normal that a hot-spot was created with some mistake, for example a duplicate venue. Foursquare allows users to flag a duplicate venue. Other than duplication, users can flag for wrong venue information like name and address. Now Gowalla has a flag function for duplicate venue too.

Photo from library. Gowalla allows photos upload. On iPod Touch (before iPod Touch 4th generation), photos are selected from the photo gallery, since iPod Touch prior 4th generation doesn't came with camera. On iPhone, you can only upload photos by taking a new photos, upload from photo gallery is not allow with the earlier version of Gowalla. The new Gowalla application allows to upload from the photo gallery or new photos taken from the camera.

I just name the 2 small changes in Gowalla application, but A big improvement for Gowalla, and I expect Gowalla will continue to improve. Gowalla vs Foursquare is not to an end yet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Maxis iPad data plan 2010

Maxis iPad data plan is out, both pre-paid and post paid, check here.

The iPad device is not available yet, rumor says end of November.

YTL Communications 700Mhz spectrum woe

Read a news over the weekend, saying that YTL Communications was awarded with the 700Mhz spectrum. Other telco operators in Malaysia are not happy with the government decision and made some complains. This early news was refer back to the source from Singapore's The Straits Times.

There are other related post, here.

YTL claims that the 700Mhz spectrum will be used for digital broadcast only, a service which will be launched together with YTL latest WiMax service. Other telco worried that YTL may use the spectrum for broadband services.

The MCMC denial that YTL was assigned with the spectrum. MCMC also denial that the 700Mhz will be used for 4G.

What is this 700Mhz radio frequency spectrum?

The 700Mhz radio frequency is a Ultra High Frequency (UHF). If you have tuned a TV channel before, you should notice UHF. The spectrum was used by TV but now has obsolete as the switch to digital TV. The 700Mhz spectrum can be used for wireless internet technology especially the coming up 4G technology. (refer to Wikipedia for detail explanation)

Radio frequency spectrum is national resources like land. It belongs to the country, it should be allocated for the best benefit of public interest. US government has placed the 700Mhz spectrum for auction. Other than telecommunication companies, Internet giant Google is interested to place the bid as well.

ads:
The lower 700 MHz Club. (Perspective).(spectrum auctions for rural telecommunications firms)(Brief Article): An article from: Rural Telecommunications

Saturday, November 27, 2010

News Corp to deliver The Daily news on iPad

There are news and rumors saying that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp working closely with Apple engineers to deliver an online only "The Daily" news on iPad. News Corp will invest about 100 people in this new online only newspaper. (check here, here)

"The Daily" news can be subscribed with a small cost (for example 99 cents per week).The news will be "push" to the iPad automatically. The application and service may be available as soon as end of December or early next year.

Electronic books are available on tablet device, but electronic version of magazine and newspaper is not commonly available yet.

theStar newspaper from Malaysia is ahead of News Corp, they already have an iPad version and is free. Hopefully "The Daily" news from News Corp will deliver a new user experience which surprise us on iPad.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Something for Apple iTunes 2010 November

Apple change the main page yesterday.


It must be something big, that Apple change the main page for it.

90 seconds preview. Most likely not, is not great enough for Apple to change the main page for it.

Live stream. No more storing mp3 on hard disk, everything will be downloaded from Apple server. There are people saying that our Internet is still not ready for that.

Beatles on iTunes. This is more or less confirmed, you can refer to macrumors. The four clocks displayed on Apple main page may resemble 4 Beatles members on the album HELP!.

May it all will happened on the iTunes Is just another few hours to go...




Friday, November 12, 2010

Adobe may team up with Microsoft

According to a New York Times Bits blog report, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen meet up with Microsoft CEO Steve Ball. (Refer zdnet post here. )

They predicted that Adobe may team up with Microsoft to fight against Apple.

This make sense, Adobe has to find a way out. The iPhone doesn't support Adobe Flash. The new MacBook Air doesn't pre-install with Adobe Flash. All major browsers include Safari, Chrome, Firefox, IE9 will support html5. Website service like youtube is using html5 as an alternative video player to the Flash player.

More and more evidence showing that Flash is optional in Internet world, rather than a must. The Flash is not as important as before.

Microsoft has a Silverlight technology which similar as Flash, but Microsoft was in dilemma supporting Silverlight, html5 or both. For sure Silverlight will only available on Microsoft platform, and IE only. If Microsoft choose to support html5 (and Silverlight), html5 will become the de facto and Silverlight will diminish. This is not what Microsoft wanted.

May be Microsoft may team up with Adobe and there may be some spark when the two companies talk to each other.

For those who are using Silverlight, I wish you good luck.

New Maxis hotlink prepaid 2010


My friend just a new prepaid from Maxis Hotlink. The number started with 010, because the existing numbers are insufficient for mobile subscribers, the government release the reserved 010 prefix for mobile operators and broadband providers.


The new hotlink package was selling for RM8.80, pre-loaded with RM2 airtime. The lifetime validity catch my attention. This lifetime validity is misleading, because you need to top up a minimum of RM5 every 3 months.

Make it RM20 for a year, if you are not using the pre-paid, but still want to keep the numbers. Cheaper than the Hotlink 365, wich cost RM33 for a year validation.

I have checked the FAQ, it says:

LIFETIME VALIDITY
Just top-up or purchase Hot Ticket of minimum RM5 every 3 months to enjoy...

I have checked with the Maxis Hotlink reseller, they say top-up but not mention Hot Ticket. I can not confirmed it must be a Hot Ticket or included normal top-up as well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Microsoft Silverlight and html5 dual platform

Read a post on Cnet, Microsoft in favor of HTML 5 over Silverlight.

Silverlight is a rich application over Internet developed by Microsoft as a replacement or alternative of Adobe Flash.

Do you think Microsoft will in favor of its Silverlight platform or HTML5? As being the Microsoft I know, they will prefer Silverlight. Silverlight was first appear at year 2007, but Adobe Flash has been available on the market and accepted by other vendors and developers.

Some web service providers started to use HTML5 function to replace the Flash, for example youtube. You can enable the HTML5 in youtube by "Join the HTML5 Beta".

Since HTML5 is an open standard, it provide a new opportunity for Microsoft to enable web browser with rich Internet application. Microsoft will prefer Silverlight if they can, but the Internet development trend has left them no choice but go for HTML5.

How green we are with consumer electronics

Three years ago, I write a post title go green. Three years after, what we have done for our environment?

The following video tell us about consumer electronic waste.



I still don't know where I should recycle those old and broken consumer electronic stuff.

Even I criticize a lot for Sony electronics, but I remember once they have a recycle program at 1Utama shopping mall, which really impressed me. Sony should continue doing it and promote the recycle program.

We should have more event on recycle and protect the environment. Government should encourage other electronic companies to have recycle program as well.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Apple Xserve discontinue over poor sales

Steve Jobs: Xserve Axed Over Poor Sales, from MacRumors

Apple Xserve was introduced back in year 2002, after struggling for 8 years time, Apple decided to stop further development on the Xserve. Xserve is a rack size server, which will fit into the standard server rack that normall put inside the server room.

Apple machine was never goes into enterprise data center or server room, at most it sits on top of the desktop of some graphic design companies. 

Lacking of software solution is one of the major problem with enterprise server market. Hardware specification, price and performance is a consideration, without enterprise software solution, the hardware machine doesn't works at all, no matter how good the hardware specification. 

Apple already have the server operating system which is the unix-base Mac OS X server. One of the enterprise server application that Apple (and other server vendors eg. Sun Microsystem) should looks into is enterprise email server solution. 

Enterprise server hardware vendors should work close with software vendors, for example Zimbra. Zimbra is an open source email server, it was acquired by Yahoo and now with VMware. Zimbra works on Mac OS X, but is not a common solution. 

Recently I just talks to few IT managers that I meet in the seminar, they use Microsoft Outlook Server as their enterprise email solution. I believe the enterprise email solution market is big enough to fit in 1 or 2 more vendors.

May be Steve Jobs not interested to go into enterprise market. 

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Complain on Sony Products

Recently Sony announced end the product line for the cassette Walkman product. Sony Walkman is a remarkable and fashion portable music players back in 1980s.

Today Sony facing fierce competition with other electronic from other companies especially from Apple, the iPod mp3 players and iPhone smartphone. Sony did not pay much attention with their customer and products.

Compare current Sony product with 20 years ago, Sony like moving backwards. Here are some proof.


4 years old Sony Ericsson data cable, rubber peel off.

Take closer look.

Some may says that this is an occasional case. 4 years old cable, what do you expect?

The next picture is a 2 years old Sony bluetooth charger power cable.

The same old problem. Rubber peel off.

They use poor quality rubber. It could be a small matter for Sony, but their competitors are paying attention at every single detail at their product.

I still keep a 20 years old Sony earphone which came with the Walkman. The cable are still in good condition.


This is not the Sony that I know 20 years ago.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Foursquare to oust fake mayors

Recently I was looking into location base community, Foursquare is one of them. Foursquare started to look into oust the mayors with invalid check-in.

Foursquare is a location base community website, which allow Foursquare users to 'check-in' a hotspot and publish to their friend or to the public.

Foursquare (and other similar website) not just making the web services as a community, but as a games as well. As you check in more hotspot, you collect points. The most frequest user check in to a hotspot became the mayor of the hotspot. The mayor may get some discount for the hotspot.

Internet is an virtual world, there are a lot of fake id, rumors, predictions floating around. All these information can not be trusted unless it came from trusted site or can be verified. Is not surprise that Foursquare users can check in to a hotspot without actually going to the place.

Let's see how Foursquare will address the fake check in issues.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

DiGi Discover Day RM38 per month broadband

The DiGi Discover Day broadband package is back. It cost only RM38 per month, the limitation is normal speed (average 700kbps) during daytime from 7am-7pm. After 7pm they speed will be down to 128kbps only.



The pacakge was once provided as a promotion package during PC Fair time only.

This package is good for those who use it during office hour. The 700kbps (average) speed and 3Gb quota, is cheaper than the unlimited Internet 15.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rumors on Verizon iPhone coming soon

We all know that AT&T has the exclusive rights to distribute Apple iPhone. Many people complain on AT&T network performance, they expect better if iPhone on Verizon network, but AT&T have the exclusive rights.

There are news reported that Verizon was the first mobile operator that Apple talk to for iPhone distribution, but Verizon think that Apple want to much control (as usual) and too much profit share cut. That's how AT&T has came in later.

You can read the Techcrunch story AT&T is the company you sleep with, Verizon is the company you marry.

Friday, October 29, 2010

New MacBook Air came to Apple Store Malaysia


Yesterday just drop by an Apple Store, the new MacBook Air (2010) 11-inch and 13-inch model are available in Malaysia.

The iPhone came late, iPad is still not officially available yet, even AA rechargeable battery and Magic Trackpad is only available few months later after it has been announced.

MacBook Air came on time, not just in Malaysia, but in some other Asia country as well.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The good day of mobile broadband will gone

You may not agree with me, because you never feel that there is any good day for our mobile broadband in Malaysia here.

I have experienced line drop and bad Internet connection with DiGi mobile broadband for the pass few months. Not all but some area. I am still getting good connection with DiGi in some prime area, but just experience more line drop and slow Internet connection problem.
My friend posted a speed test with Hong Kong Three network.

4Mbps with Hong Kong 3 network.

We have 42 Mbps mobile network, and coming up a faster network up to 100 Mbps.



We all know that is not true and unreal. Our mobile Internet speed still counted as in Kbps not Mbps. (1M = 1024K)

We still have cheap mobile Internet, but with limited quota and poor connection.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ubuntu will split from Gnome

There is an interesting post from CNET, Has Ubuntu exceeded the Ben & Jerry's hippie threshold?, after Mark Shuttleworth announced that Ubuntu will use their Unity graphic user interface rather than the Gnome from the community.

Gnome is an open source desktop environment for the Linux (and unix) operating system, an alternative to KDE.

Ubuntu has been doing well since they was started, they have improved user experience with Linux operating system generally. From the installation procedure, online update system and now towards the graphic user interface.

I was impressed by Ubuntu 10.4 netbook edition, when I first installed it. It is light weight, boot up fast and has a nice interface. I believe Ubuntu is on the right track, and they know what users want. I write a step by step tutorial on how to install the ubuntu 10.4 netbook edition, but the latest version is Ubuntu 10.10.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bloomberg Businessweek: Being Steve Jobs' Boss

A very interesting article by Bloomberg Businessweek, Being Steve Jobs' Boss. Interview with John Sculley. If you like Apple story, you shouldn't miss it.

John Sculley was hired by Apple board as the CEO to assist Steve Jobs back in 1980s. Steve Jobs was ousted by Sculley in a power struggle in the company. Apple's revenue was increase from 800 million to 8 billion in 10 years time with Sculley. This could be the best 10 years of Apple (at that time) and the worst 10 years of Apple, because Apple can not compete with the strong Microsoft-Intel alliance, and go all the way down hills and almost close shop till they bring back Steve Jobs.

Is true that Apple almost close down at mid 1990s. That's the classic Michael Dell comment on Apple:

"I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."

Michael Dell is not wrong, if he is the CEO of Apple, that could be the best decision that he can do. Not for Steve Jobs, is just the right people, making the right decision at the right time. Steve Jobs was name the best CEO of the decade by Fortune (and not Michael Dell).

Sculley didn't bring back Jobs to Apple, Gil Amelio does. Gil Amelio was ousted by Apple board for the continuous low share price and performance, but Amelio did do one thing right, which bring back Jobs, choose NeXT system in favor of Be system as next operating system for Mac machines, "choose Plan A instead of Plan Be".

The rest of the story is what is happening now, Mac OS X and iOS (iPhone OS) was based on NeXT's technology.

Samsung Galaxy Tab with Maxis

I never want to talk about Samsung Galaxy Tab, because it doesn't sounds too interesting for me, not because Steve Jobs say so.

Samsung Galaxy Tab is a 7-inch table with Android 2.2, now it is officially with Maxis, I heard the 16G version retail price at RM2699, can get with RM1849 for 12 months contract with Maxis.

Apple iPad with 9.7 inch display price about RM1800, it was not officially available in Malaysia now, but you can get it easily from Low Yat or Singapore.

I just don't understand why people still saying that Apple products are expensive.

Monday, October 25, 2010

7-inch or 10-inch tablet

Steve Jobs criticize on 7-inch touch table is not usable, "... 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival". Read here, here and here.

Is doesn't matter what is the display size, is the software which does matter. Is all about user experience and total solution.

If 3.5 inch display works, the 7 inch display works as well. If without good and usable application, it doesn't work.

If Steve Jobs say 7-inch tablet is no good, then 7-inch tablet is no good. Just joking.

There is a description that strike me, Steve Jobs really knows the competitors well.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

iPad sales below analyst expectation

My friend from the anti-Apple fanboy club, read an iPod new and told me, "Yeah, iPod sales is below analyst expectation. "

I told him, yeah is true. Analyst expect 5 million iPod sold in 4th quarter, but only 4.19 million were sold. (refer here)

The analyst expect the main reason why less iPad sold because the manufacturer can not supply more.

Is true that Apple revenue and profit is affected, share price may be adjusted. How could you find a product that can sell faster than you can produce. Is just amazing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apple Back to the Mac and new MacBook Air

What Apple announced for Back to the Mac media event?

State of the Mac presented by Tim Cook. Apple product is number 1 in customer satisfaction report.

My comment: Other than price issue, majority of the Apple product users will satisfied with Apple product quality and service.

iLife 11 presented by Phil Schiller. Apple release new iLife software. iLife is a productivity suite which include iPhoto, iMovie, and music application Garage Band.

iPhoto added in location service and functionality, beter integration with community website, new slide show improvement.

iMovie improve audio editing.

FaceTime coming to Mac OS X, beta version is available for download.

A sneak peak at next Mac OS X, code name Lion. Apple integrated some iOS functions into Mac OS X, like multi-touch gesturse, App Store, iOS home interface and etc.

One more thing...

The new MacBook Air. Steve Jobs let some other executives to do the presentation and demo but leave the new MacBook Air introduction to himself. MacBook Air is slim (or slimmer?) as before, it is instant on (like iPad, iPhone) and has standby time for 30 days. It came with 13-inch and 11-inch model, and is cheaper now.

The first MacBook Air was price at USD 2000 (and above), now the cheapest MacBook Air start from USD 999.

Conclusion

Even there are rumors around, I am surprise that Apple came out with a 11-inch (11.6 inch) notebook with much cheaper price. I never expect Apple will release a notebook smaller than 13-inch. Apple will never sacrifice hardware performance, they normally use top range of the hardware specification including a bigger display.

As you know, faster CPU will consume more power and battery. Seems like the battery technology can not catch up with the CPU technology. Apple squeeze the electronic board, free up more spaces to fit in 4 piece of batteries (for the 13" model). Even with 4 batteries, 2.9 pounds (1.32kg) is lightweight for most people.

The new MacBook Air came with instant on technology, means you don't need to shutdown the system nor wait for the device to boot from startup. I don't really need instant on for notebook, but many of my friends do. They put their notebook into sleep or hibernate, when they are not using it, because wake up from sleep is faster than cool boot from startup.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rumors for Back to the Mac media event

Apple send out 'Back to the Mac' media event last week. A few more hours will to go for the event (10am Pacific time, 20th October).



There is a lot of rumors what Apple will announced.

Next version of Mac OS X. Apple will show some new features of the next version of Mac OS X, most likely the code name will be Lion. It reminds me of the ThunderCats animation, we have Cheetah, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger and now Lion. Will there be Lynx and Snarf too?

There are people expecting a new user interface. It might not be available this year, but it will be coming soon.

MacBook Air. A smaller (11"), lighter and cheaper MacBook Air, since it was not updated after the first released in year 2008. Check the rumors.

Samsung and Sony Ericsson to phase out Symbian

Both Samsung and Sony Ericsson to phase out Symbian. No surprise. Symbian was acquire by Nokia, if Symbian can not compete with iPhone (and iOS), then they should move to other mobile OS like Google Andriod or Windows Phone 7.

Is either these companies who are using Symbian, did not improve the OS and compete with iPhone, or they have just given up, focus on other mobile OS which is available, like Andriod or Linux base mobile OS.

They should have announced it long ago, especially for Sony Ericsson. They should announced it when Android is available or may be should announced it much earlier, before release M600i.

The Symbian OS development was disappointing. If you compare it with iOS and Android. SE M600i push it one step further, why? M600i use UIQ 3.0, is a touch screen interface build on top of Symbian, but UIQ 3.0 is not compatible with UIQ 2.0, the software support is poor, even few years after its first released.

Without good standardization, poor application support and difficult to upgrade, a smartphone is not so smart as it should be. With the largest Symbian supporter Nokia drop Symbian, follow by Samsung and Sony Erricson, how far can Symbian go?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

BlackBerry PlayBook use QNX

Majority of the touch tablet using Android (or Apple iOS, Windows 7) system. RIM BlackBerry just release a tablet name PlayBook which use QNX.

Most people have not heard of QNX, but QNX has been in the market for more than 10 years time, it focus on embedded system, especially in automobile industry.

I was once very impressed by QNX on PC. QNX has a demo disk image, the system was compress on a 1.44Mb disk. The system can boot from the disk, which includes kernel, operating system, GUI and a browser.

RIM (Research In Motion, the company makes BlackBerry) acquires QNX in April 2010, in less than 6 months time, RIM release a tablet powered by QNX in this September.

Is good to have RIM join in the market with a different operating system. You can watch the BlackBerry Playbook promotion video on youtube.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rolex GMT master II watch

My friend show me his latest Rolex GMT master II watch. One of the most wanted (and expensive) model from Rolex, can be identified easily.



The full name of the Rolex watch is Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date GMT Master II. The first version was introduced in 1954, it is a professional watch use by pilots and navigators. The watch provide a second time zone display, the Master II added the third timezone display.

It could be easy for electronic device. You can add a few timezone display on the World Clock application on the smartphone, but making different timezone working on mechanic is different, especially back in 1954.


if you can not afford a Rolex, just try a smartphone.

PS. A Lawyer joke here: Where is my Rolex?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

YTL Communication 4G Global Developer Challenge

YTL Communication is looking for innovation on 4G network, you can check the detail from the website here, you could be awarded with part of the USD 1 million prices.


You can check the YTLC CEO Wing K. Lee on the youtube announcement. They did make use of the latest communication channel for promotion.

YTL Communication is a subsidiary of YTL Group. It is one of the four WiMax providers in Malaysia, which suppose to provide WiMax services, but seems like they just going to start now.

They always want an innovative idea in Malaysia here, I doubted that most people will buy an innovative ideas here. If they have 1 million USD to spend, you can try your luck to submit your ideas and try your luck.

I don't think Malaysian is lack of ideas in IT sectors, we need a matured environment for IT development, including entrepreneur, developers, financial and government support.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tweet through Maxis and tweet2me

You can send and receive Twitter tweets through Maxis.

According to the FAQ, you can send and receive unlimited SMS tweets for just RM1/week.

Activated by sending "ON TW" to 28933 (2twee). Unsubscribe by sending "STOP TW" to 28933.

I am just wandering what take them so long to came out with the service in Malaysia. The service is provided by Maxis and nPlay.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Skype as in software point of view

Skype, in a software point of view.

Skype is a VoIP service community website, is like a voice call version of instant messenger. You need to register an account with Skype and download a Skype software (which act like a software phone) to make call to your friends on Skype network.

I appreciate what Skype has develop with their software, the sound quality over Internet is good and it is available on all major platform and operating system including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Windows Mobile, iPhone, Android and some of the Nokia phones. The missing platform is Palm (Palm OS and webOS).

I have tried Skype on HTC Touch Windows Mobile platform some time ago, the sound quality is smooth while running on a 400Mhz CPU, even though other running programs become not responsive while I talking through the Skype software.

A lot of software is not available on multi-platform, even there is a need. A good example will Nokia PC Suite. The Nokia OVI Suite is still not available on Mac OS X and Linux, after heard that is "coming soon" for years.

Skype is slowing down these few years. I used to have about 20 friends on Skype network but only left with 1 or 2 will be online. Not everyone need voice call all the time, most people will prefer texting.

In terms of software development, Skype still on the right track and doing well.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Skype hire Cisco executive as CEO

Just after I blog about Skype partner with Avaya, there are more news about Skype.

Skype has just hired Cisco top executive, Tony Bates, appointed as its new CEO. There are news reported that Cisco interested to buy Skype, but seems like Skype prefer to go for IPO than being acquired by Cisco.

If Skype steps into enterprise market, Skype could be a strong competitor of VoIP for Cisco.

Skype is a pioneer of VoIP service community website, the quality of voice over Internet through Skype software is very impressive. The Skype software is available on multi-platform from desktop to mobile devices, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Windows Mobile, iPhone and the others.

Skype has about 500 million register users, but Skype has been slowing down for years after it was acquired by eBay in year 2005. Skype has revive again.

Further reading:

Cisco sets Warrior on unit left empty by new Skype CEO, by The Register.
Skype appoints Cisco's Tony Bates as new CEO, by The Economic Times.
Bates becomes the CEO of Skype, by the Inquirer.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Malaysia release 011 prefix for network operators

As mobile numbers are insufficient to cater the growth of mobile users (especially the rapid growing prepaid), Malaysia MCMC release the 011 prefix to celco and broadband providers.

The 011 was formerly TM ATUR 450 network, later it was reserved as the network was outdated and inactive.

011 follow by 8 digit numbers (other mobile is 3 prefix follow by 7 digit numbers), eg 011 nn xxxx xxxx, the nn determine the network operator:

011 10, P1 WiMax, Redtone (another WiMax provider)
011 11, U-mobile currently using 018
011 12, Maxis currently using 012 and 017
011 13, XOX, Baraka Telecom
011 15, Tune Talk
011 16, DiGi currently using 016
011 17, YTL Communication (WiMax provider)
011 18, TM
011 19, Celcom

Malaysia mobile network operators once from 6 shrink down to 3 (Celcom, Maxis and DiGi), now expanded to more than 10 (including MNVO and VoIP). Rumors saying that Malaysia will release 7 (or more?) LTE 4G license is true.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

theStar online on iPad

Even though iPad is not officially available at Malaysia, the Star newspaper has a version on iPad. Why not? For people at Malaysia they can just get a copy of the printed Star newspaper. The electronic version are more for tech guys or people at overseas.

I don't have an iPad, so I doesn't know how the iPad version looks like.

The Star is one of the media who aggressively invest in technology. They are the one of the earliest to have online version and later a mobile version for mobile device browsing.

Good job, the Star!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Apple AA rechargeable battery

My Sony rechargeable battery is half dead, all 4 of them, 2500mAh capacity. Each fully charge will power up 50 to 60 percent of the original power, even after a full discharge and recharge is the same.

I bought the battery one and half years ago for photo shooting, just use it for about 5 times, now it was half dead. I don't use it often, may be that is the main cause of the power reduction problem.

The Sony battery, is not cheap. I get 4 of them with a little bit of discount price of RM110 (USD35.50), it came with a charger.

After waiting for almost 2 months time, the Apple AA rechargeable battery is available in Malaysia! (Together with Apple Magic Trackpad). A package of 6 AA battery and charger, selling for RM99 (USD29.00).

Apple claims that these rechargeable battery is most green among other similar product available on the market. It use least power after the battery fully charged, up to a 10-years lifespan (please refer to Apple website for reference).

It was not stated there but they say this Apple rechargeable battery is actually Sanyo rechargeable battery, 1900mAh capacity. Why it came with 6 pax? 2 for wireless keyboard, 2 for magic mouse and 2 for magic trackpad, just nice!

DiGi easy prepaid

DiGi has a new prepaid plan call DiGi easy prepaid. You have free calls and SMS to 3 Buddyz numbers. The internet daily is max cap at RM3 rather than RM5.

You can switch current prepaid plan to DiGi easy prepaid, except DiGi Prepaid (the RM1 package). This will be very confusing, most people may not know their package name. Ask DiGi or login to OCS (Online Customer Service), the name is listed at Account Status.

If I am having DiGi Prepaid, I might not switch to DiGi easy prepaid, because I don't voice call a lot. I can subscribe to RM15 unlimited for 7 days internet access, which will be cheaper than RM3 per day.

The good thing is you have even more choices from DiGi prepaid now!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why buying an iPhone

I met people asking why buying iPhone?

Not everyone want iPhone. iPhone is just not for everyone.

Different people buying iPhone for different reasons. Some people likes the big screen, some people like the touch screen, some people like the user interface, some people like iPhone application. Some people buy iPhone simple because it is an iPhone.

If you break it down one by one.

Easy to use interface? Why not Nokia?

Application? Why not Android, Palm or webOS?

Touch screen? How about HTC?

Big screen? Samsung Galaxy S with super AMOLED?

Now is the 4th generation of iPhone, if you still asking why buying an iPhone, then iPhone is just not for you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two mistakes on today's Sin Chew Cyberworld section

今日的星洲日報新媒體有兩個嚴重的小錯誤。

1. 封面標題錯誤。



这项 Maxis 的“创举”,把马来西亚摆上了“全世界第一个于凌晨零时零分发售 iPhone 4 ”的国家。当晚的首卖会,不但邀得数百位 IT 传媒及 IT 博客出席采访报道,还找来国内的某电台及某电视台现场直播。

iPhone 在第二代開始就已經有午夜首賣的例子。 iPhone 4 在亞洲,先是新加坡香港,接著台灣,都是在午夜首賣。在台灣電訊公司自掏腰包送 iPhone 4 保護套,這倒是創舉了。

2. DiGi 24 日發售 iPhone





... 因为 DiGi 授权是迟一天至 25 日才能正式发售 ...

DiGi 於 24 日在四十餘個分銷處開始銷售,只是沒有像 Maxis 般午夜首賣及造勢。

只是印刷版有問題,網上版的報導資訊正確。

相信是記者趕著截稿,所敷衍了事。要知道新媒體讀者,部份對科技相當熟悉,尤其是像 iPhone 4 這類的熱門新聞,讀者會特別注意。

星洲日報的新媒體版,越做越差。內容貧乏,還錯誤連連,應該要改進。

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What so good about FaceTime?

I don't think FaceTime (on iPhone 4) is going to work very well in Malaysia here, on a slow internet network. Not everyone need or like FaceTime, for those who need video call, you already using Skype.

So what so greet about FaceTime? Zero configuration. The FaceTime only work over WiFi now, to activate FaceTime, first you need to call through the mobile network. Once FaceTime has been activated through booth parties, you can direct call through FaceTime without initiate with the mobile network.

With FaceTime, Apple will have their own virtual mobile network, over WiFi (or WiMax, LTE). Imagine if LTE (4G network) was included in iPhone 5, and LTE is available near you, you can make calls to your friend without going through the local mobile network.

Check the youtube video, how FaceTime works.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Maxis iPhone 4 Mid Valley Gradens collection

I just received a call from a friend. Still waiting at Mid Valley to collect his iPhone 4 from Maxis since this afternoon. My friend has watched 2 movies and still not up to his turn yet. Maxis added another 50 counters to serve the crowd, still have to wait for another few hours. Expected to collect his iPhone around 9pm tonight.

I heard that last night, there is a long queue from one floor to another floor, waiting for their iPhone 4. These are register users, for those who has not register through the Maxis website, is not your turn yet. I heard there are people queue until 5am this morning to collect the iPhone.


Check flickr photos from here and here, youtube video.

Digi Unlimited Internet 15

The cheap and fast mobile internet time has gone.

There is no more Internet Unlimited 58 package, it was replace with Internet Unlimited 68 (pay RM68 per month). This is still cheap compare with other country, there is a 3G quota for fair internet usage policy. After using the Digi Internet 3G for more than 6 months time, the service quality has drop for the pass few months. I experience line drop and slow internet connection (for the same area) for recent few months.


For casual users, Digi has Internet Unlimited 15 for 7 days access, is very cheap but the 250MB weekly quota and 384Kbps is pathetic.

Look at Singapore Starhub mobile internet prepaid plan:

* Fair usage policy of 2.2GB per day applies for the usage of any MaxMobile Prepaid data plans. StarHub reserves the right to change such usage policy without prior notice to the customers.


3 days SGD10 for 2.0Mbps access, unlimited plan came with fair usage policy of 2.2GB per day.

Starhub plan is one of the cheapest for prepaid mobile broadband. It really outshines other mobile broadband providers.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

The iPhone 4 launch event at Malaysia

I would say that the iPhone 4 launch event is another successful marketing campaign from Apple. Is already 3rd year after the first iPhone released, the 4th version of iPhone launch still catching attention for most people. Not just in Malaysia, in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan which launch iPhone 4 earlier.

For iPhone lover, you might not want to miss the iPhone 4 launch event at Malaysia. Maxis has a mid-night iPhone 4 launching event on this Friday morning (Thursday night) at Mid Valley. I am not sure it is open to the public or not, you can register from the Maxis website, you can choose to join their day time event.

DiGi has a roadshow at 1Utama shopping mall started from today (23rd September) till Sunday (24th September). There is a DiGi iPhone 4 Carnival at Quill 9, Petaling Jaya, near Sin Chew Jit-Po HQ and PJ Section 14, on 25-26 September 10am-10pm.

Price and package. Maxis rate is here. Digi says as low as RM58 per month, detail pricing will be announced 6pm today. There is a leak iPhone 4 pricing from DiGi here.

This will gave you some ideas on how the 2 telcos going to charge you. The iPhone 4 16G version is RM2290, 32G RM2690 (RM400 more). DiGi has $200 rebate on the phone, and other rebate on the iPhone package, depends on the package you choose. Maxis rebate direct on the phone, so iPhone 4 from Maxis will be cheaper. The iPhone 4 prices from Maxis is depends on the package as well. You might need to compare the package content for Maxis and DiGi to make up your last decision, eg. the free call time and internet data quota.

There are some people saying that getting iPhone 4 from Singapore is much cheaper (SGD888 without contract). But I look at the price above, is worth getting the iPhone 4 and package in Malaysia.

Latest surprise could come at last minutes, just check their website for the latest announcement.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Foursquare and twitter

Normally I access Foursquare through iPhone application, but today I just access to the Foursquare web page.

Foursquare

It gives me the twitter feel. Foursquare is a location base community website, heavily depends on location. If you do not have GPS-like mobile devices, Foursquare is useless. Where twitter, you are writing micro-blog, nothing much to do with the location.

Twitter

The way they present it just similar. There are some similarities for both websites. I simply name one, the tips in Foursquare is just tweets.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Jobs says Please leave us alone

Read the post here.

A Long Island University students, Chelsea Kate Issacs has an assignment to write about her university to buy iPads for all incoming students. She write to Apple to get some feedbacks, but no responds from Apple.

Her friend suggested that may be she can drop an email to Steve Jobs. She did, and Steve Jobs did reply.

"Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade."

After exchange for a few emails, Jobs say:

"Please leave us alone."

I am nor sure why Apple PR not response in the first place, may the Apple PR should just reply, "Please leave us alone."

Issacs, they can't help you, just write there, "unable to get an official response from Apple." will do.

Malaysia Radio Station on iPhone

Browse through the iPhone App Store few days back and found 2 Malaysia radio broadcast station application.



For those who are in Malaysia, just turn on the radio will do. For those who working or staying outside of Malaysia by still miss the radio broadcast Malaysia, these 2 application are just nice.

MY FM application seems to have better connection quality and more radio station to choose.

Friday, September 17, 2010

iPhone 4 start selling at Taiwan on Friday

iPhone 4 start selling at Taiwan today, available on all 3 Taiwan mobile telco, may be I should say yesterday night.

Chunghwa Telecom has an midnight event for the launching of iPhone 4. You can take a look at the pictures here.

Pictures and news for Fareastone(遠傳), on youtube, other news here and here.

I heard that only first batch of 45 thousand iPhones allocated for Taiwan, but pre-orders are over 200k.

When is Malaysia's turn?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Malaysia Day is a holiday

Today is Malaysia Day, it is a holiday. In 1963 16th of September, Sabah, Sarawak (and Singapore) join Malaya and form Malaysia.

(Singapore separated from Malaysia since 1965)

There are people arguing, should National Day be the 31 August Merdeka Day or the 16 September when east and west Malaysia united together.

For me it doesn't matter, as long as everyone can access to the Internet happily, that's call united.

Monday, September 13, 2010

iOS 4.1 upgrade

Finally iOS 4.1 is out last week (9 September on Asia time) and I have upgraded. I have been waiting for this, hope it may have improved in performance on iPod Touch 2G.

iOS 4.1 need iTunes 10, and too bad that iTunes 10 says it only installed on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or above. That means it doesn't work on my iBook G3 (v2.2) which is running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. I have to do the upgrade on another machine.

iOS 4.1 try to solve a few problems and have some improvements like proximity problem, HDR (High Dynamic Range) photo... and security patches, my concert is the old iOS 4.0.x sluggish performance on iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G.

After tested for a few days on iPod Touch 2G, the sluggish problem still exist, may be not that often as before.

Another thing that I want to complain iTunes on Mac. iTunes came with few new features like iBooks, video playback... I can give up all those features, but I still need to update my iPod Touch (or iPhone) and iTunes is the only software to do it.

I expect to upgrade my iPod Touch using iTunes, be it iTunes version 9 or 10, as long as not limited to latest OS platform or latest hardware. May be iTunes should provide a lite version with limited features, since there are people complain on bloated iTunes, hope to have a slimming down iTunes.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

3GS users no rush for iPhone 4 yet

If you are having an iPhone 3GS, is no rush to get an iPhone 4 yet. The reasons are just simple, I bet you still have contract with the telco which came with 3GS.
The iPhone 4 A4 cpu is using the ARM cortex A8 core cpu, which is same with the iPhone 3GS. Sure iPhone 4 may improve performance in graphic display and power management.
The iPhone 4 is only available officially in 2 Asia countries (Hong Kong and Singapore), and coming soon and available in other Asian countries, but who know when? Some telco like Singtel already sold out its iPhone 4.
No rush to get an iPhone 4 if you are using 3GS now. If you need battery life improvement, get iPhone 4. If you are iPhone die hard fan, then you must get an iPhone 4.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

iPod nano came with touch interface

What do we have for this annual Apple fall event?

iTunes (10) get social network with Ping. iOS 4.1 coming soon, and iOS 4.2 in this November. iOS 4.2 will enable multi-tasking on iPad.

Let's look at iPod and Apple TV:


iPod Shuffle (4th generation) back with wheel control design. 2Gb iPod Shuffle selling at USD $49.

iPod nano 6th generation with touch interface, is compact and small like a iPod shuffle. For sure you can fit into the small pocket on jeans.

Movie playback is not mention, I suppose it was removed from this iPod nano. I don't really need a touch interface to control the menu with just a few selections, but the new iPod nano look nice with a plain touch screen and no hardware control button.

iPod Touch (4th generation) with camera. The new iPod Touch 4G came with cameras now, front and rear (back). Not surprise it has FaceTime, geo tag (through WiFi) and photo, you will have more fun with LBS application like Gowalla. The back camera is not the 5 megapixels camera on iPhone 4, lower in resolution and not sure about the picture quality.

iPod Touch came with retina and higher resolution display like the iPhone 4. It is using the A4 cpu, that means it will perform better.

Apple TV 3rd generation. I can not confirm this is 3rd or 2nd generation, because the earlier Apple TV was introduced as Apple TV take 2. Now they take two again.

It is a black color box, rather the earlier white or silver color. Smaller in size, but without internal storage for video, it playback through network streaming. I prefer it to be bigger, since it will just sit inside the living room and not for portable.

It stream Netflix (alternative choice to Google Youtube?), stream from desktop or even iPad, though wireless AirPlay (earlier call AirTunes) technology. Support up to 720p and not 1080p. Is cheaper, selling at USD $99. It is using A4 cpu too.

Conclusion

If I don't have an iPod Touch and I have no plan to buy iPhone 4, I may buy the new iPod Touch. A 8G version is good enough, if need more storage, just get an iPhone 4.

I don't really need video call, but FaceTime means you can call your friend (who have FiceTime enable device) for free (through Wifi). The new A4 cpu is a big deal, it will last a few years before Apple came out with new system.

A media (video/movie) player without internal storage is still not my choice. May be the 4th generation will be better.

Continue reading:
Apple TV: Still a hobby after all these years, by CNet.
Event picture gallery, from Mercury News
Apple announces iOS 4.1 Features, Previews 4.2 Update, by pcworld.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Facebook Places, Gowalla and Foursquare

What is the next big thing? Location base service and application is one of those, like Gowalla, or the newly announced Facebook Places.

Gowalla is a location base community website. When I first heard of Gowalla is when I meet DC about 2 months ago. DC show me the Gowalla iPhone application. What Gowalla do is, when you come to a new spot (or new places), you take a picture of it, put some comment, check in, the website will record that you have been here before.

This type of location base application is not new, there are dozens (or may be hundreds) or similar application available. But LBS application on iPhone is new, LBS on Facebook is new.

Foursquare is like Gowalla, you can check-in a place with foursquare, find your friends nearby. Foursquare came with something call tips, the idea is not new, but how they do it is good.

Tips gave you some ideas what you can do nearby. A good example is restaurant tips, gave you some ideas what to eat for meal. Tips are share by the community, you can drop your tips at check-in point.

Both Gowalla and Foursquare not just community, they make community into a game as well, a live game. You collect points and badge by check-in new place or spot. LBS technology has become more matured with online map service and more GPS mobile smart phones like iPhone. Gowalla and Foursquare are just the beginning, I am expecting more LBS application and games in the future.