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.


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!