Friday, January 27, 2012

Puss in Boots

I've not blog for a while cuz I've been busy with lots of stuff since my last blog. Works are getting hectic a bit and family as usual demands time. Anyway, I was still able to squeeze time to see this movie. Yes, it is a bit late, but it is worthy seeing.

Actually, I bought my wife and my 4 years old son to this movie and my son seems to enjoy this one much more than Happy Feet 2. However, my wife just thought this movie is so so. I asked her why, she said this movie is not as good as Toy Story! Oh, dear! how could she compares this one to the classic!? Anyway, going back to this movie....

Comparing to Shrek series, this movie is relatively straight forward. It doesn't have much sarcastic humor or plenty of references to other kiddy stories. Basically, the whole movies has 3 main characters: Puss, Kitty Softpaws, and Humpty Dumpty (the Egg). The human characters are kinda forgettable. It does have some funny moments here and there, and the actions are very good. However, the story is just a bit..... weak. It would be a much better movie if it can further strengthen the love between Puss and Imelda - his adopted mom, his days in the orphanage, and all that. Having said that, the relationship between Kitty and Puss, and the friendship/betrayal between Puss and the Egg are well written. To my surprise, I really don't have much to say about this movie. I just feel this movie is decent, worth-seeing, but not great....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bose MIE2i

Just got this pair of headphone via DHL over the weekend. Still trying to 'warm them up' by more usage. Comparing to my existing in-ear Ultimate Ear Mi 200vi, so far I found the Bose one is more comfortable wearing it. However, I'm not sure if I should try to larger or smaller plastic tip to give me better fitting, the downside is that I think the filtering is not that good versus the UE one. Thus, I need to turn up the volume a bit more on the go. Anyway, I hope this one is a good buy for the longer run, since the purchase is more an impulse rather than a calculated one. Cuz, I don't usually buy this kind of stuff unless the existing one is broken, and my UE is working fine so far. Anyway, my previous testing at Bose store was a good experience and sales on Apple Store doesn't come often, that just drive me to make this purchase out of the blue....

The catch for me is that I lately listen to podcast much more. However, this Bose purchase somehow drives me to listen to music more as a good headset should be used to listen to music of different genres. Anyway, I hope this piece of purhcase would give me more audio enjoyment for times to come.....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Real-time broadcast vs. On-demand

I’ve not been an active radio listener for many years, particularly after I discover podcast about 5 years ago when I first bought my iPod Classic. Many years ago, when TV first became popular, it was said that TV would kill radio. Of course, that didn’t happen.

For me, podcast basically replace what 95% what radio can offer. I know there are still many people listening to radio, old habit lives. However, I think that with the popularity of internet and smartphones, the traditional way of media consumption is being changed which actually applies to both radio and TV. The change is permanent and there is no turning back. That’s why I’m very susceptible of some announcements in the last few years about some rich folks investing in digital audio broadcast, additional TV channels, etc. Those are lateral development of traditional media. The quality of sound would be better and there would be more choices in terms of content. Those things are fine. However, I hope their media development plans would consider the factor that I wanna talk about here: ‘real-time broadcast’ vs. ‘on-demand’ content. If they don’t, they better going back to do some brain-storming and go back to their drawing board.

Traditional media dictates what is being broadcast at what time. I don’t care you watch the shows on old CRT TV or new OLED screen TV or on iPad/smartphones, the channels are different, but what you see is the ‘live’ stuff that the media company is broadcasting. That’s fine for important live events, such as breaking news, sport games, stock market programs, etc., i.e. anything that’s time critical. However, for the rest of stuff that’s not time critical, I don’t think the new generation of viewers and those, including me, riding on the tech enhancement train, would still be willing to abide the broadcasting companies’ fixed schedule to access those non-time critical programs. In other words, we all want ‘on-demand’ contents; we want to watch what we want when we want it. Such concept has actually been well-known for decades. Just think about LD, CD, DVD, video tapes, etc, all these are recorded media for our consumption at our convenience. Now, things are just being changed to digital form without any physical media. Namely, that would be files for download or via live streaming. That’s what podcast and video/audio archive can offer.

Since my data plan for my iPhone is not unlimited, and there are still spots in the city that connection may not be good, I still like to use Wi-Fi to download files that I wanna listen beforehand and enjoy them at the time that I want. Also, harddisk is not expensive; I still like keeping my personal archive of stuff that I really like for my future access. I would say that 95% of my time with my iPhone with earpiece on is for listening podcast. Actually, I’m quite surprise about that as I always consider myself a music lover. I do have tons of music stored at home as well as in my iPhone, but podcast becomes my favorite pastime currently over music.

My podcasts library includes a few different genres: news, news critics, tech news, paranormal stuffs, comedy, talk shows, etc. I usually listen to those time critical one, i.e. news-related podcast first, then move on to the rest. Also, I prefer to listen to them on my iPhone rather than using iTunes at home. Cuz, I find the X2 feature (i.e. playing content at double speed) surprisingly useful for podcast consumption. Some people would worry that it may sound funny or the words would be said too fast to be heard clearly. Indeed, that’s not true at all. X2 is not X4, the voice of speakers are totally listenable without any issue. The best part is that I can finish listening the podcast in half the time that I suppose to spend. For instance, for a program of 90 minutes long, after skipping about 10 minutes of commercials by sliding the program bar and using X2, I can finish the whole program in about 40 minutes. That’s very efficient. I still have a backlog of programs pending to be consumed on my iPhone, also, the continuous finding of new programs and new episodes of existing favor programs keep my backlog growing day by day, that’s why they eclipsed my music listening time in recent months.

Anyway, going back the on-demand nature of audio/video archive, I think what the traditional media companies have to do for sure in order to stay relevant in these days and future would be:

Making sure you have an archive of your old programs if you don’t have one. Better be in iTunes Store or else.

  1. Making sure you have an app in iTunes and Android Marketplace to access your programs. Cuz, I don’t think your content would be widely distributed if they can only be access via some specific standalone purpose device, e.g. TV, satellite radio, digital radio, etc. They are doomed to fail in terms of cost and hassle.
  2. Be interactive with your audiences by using Facebook, chatroom and forum.
  3. Designing your programs in a way that fit the new way of consumption. E.g. truncate them in tranches for easier digestion, more intact content on episode basis, etc.

As this new form of media content consumption trend is here to stay and it is very likely to replace the old format, I think media company better sit tight and prepare if they still wanna be in the game in coming years.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life Lesson

The following are by no mean all that I wanna say about this topic. I'm sure I will have reprise of that in future. But for now, here we go. Sons, I hope you can pick up something here that would benefit you somehow.

Don’t expect return when we are able to help someone.

Don’t forget the kindness that we receive from the one who helped us.

Just because we are able to do certain thing doesn’t mean we are defaulted and be responsible to do that thing.

We should keep an opened mind to learn whenever we can.

Knowledge is only one of few things that can’t be taken away from us.

The world doesn’t owe us anything. The world will still function with or without us. So, don’t exaggerate our importance to the rest.

Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean that we should do it.

Purely good or evil people are very rare in our society. Most of the people are no different from us. It is our tendency to be with people behaving nicely. So, be nice to people if we want to make friends.

We can’t please everybody, particularly if we know a lot of people. We should be true to ourselves, try not to do things that we will regret later. So, if we can do things that please ourselves as well as those close to us, most of the time would be good enough.

Lying is a difficult act. You need to have very good memory and logical sense. Sweet white lie once in a while is fine. But, being an honest person is more honorable and admirable than being a skillful liar. Rather than continuing telling new lies to cover your previous lies, it is better to try harder to get things right in the first place.

Once a person is found out to be a liar, it is extremely difficult for him/her to be trusted by others. One of the foundation of personal reputation is creditability, we don’t make friend with a person that we don’t trust.

The most admired persons throughout history are those that did great things to others, either through passing knowledge or inventions.

Don’t be fool by a person’s appearance. A person with beautiful attractive appearance could be result of plastic surgeries, makeup, or lucky combination of genes from his/her parents. There is no doubt that appearance would be helpful in social activities or opening to various opportunities. However, there is always other ways that would work as well. The most important thing is that most of those beautiful people in the world are control by someone who are not physically attractive at all. So, don’t lose hope for being less attractive.

Personality takes time to be constructed. It is easy to set goal to tell ourselves to be an XXX person, but it would take a time and effort to achieve that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sony NEX-5N and iPhone 4S

These are the two new ‘toys’ in my household in the past month. I got the camera after chatting with my colleague at work who has a NEX-5 himself. After just talking for about a day, I made the decision of getting that camera in the following 2 days. Originally, I didn’t have any intention to buy a new camera, cuz my Canon has been working fine for my household. However, being a very attentive dad myself, I’ve been playing with my younger son everyday and see him growing up in front of my eyes. As he gets older, he began to express himself more and looks really cute as he loves to smile. I didn’t wanna miss the good moments of his development. Also, thinking back in the days with my older son, the best pics of him were actually filmed by a friend of mine who used a DSLR. Thus, I wanna to improve the quality of bb pics and also to get a new toy myself. I hopped into a store and got the camera. I was a bit desuaded by the sales that the Sony camera was made in Thailand, in contrast to another popular one, the Panasonic GF3 which was made in Japan. However, I further spoke to my colleague and tried the GF3 myself. I finally settled with the Sony one. GF3 is nice, but it is a bit too ‘plastic’, no wonder I found out afterwards that that camera is actually marketed towards girls. Anyway, I’ve been taken my new camera with my sons few times. The quality of the pictures is indeed much better. I’m not that big a camera person myself, but I would still hope I can find time to play with this toy and able to really use more of its functions, so as not to waste the money that I spent on this purchase (US$900 or HK$6,990). The good thing is that it is a kit set with 2 lens, an extra battery, cleaning set, and a bag. So, all I did was getting a filter to protect the lens. That’s all. It is not cheap, but with the quality, function and all that being taken into consideration, it was a good buy.
iPhone 4S is actually belonged to my wife. I’m still fine with my 3GS. As my wife felt that her 3G is too slow and can’t view the viewcams at home clear and fast enough. We went to her telecom service provider to get a 16GB white 4S last week. There’s no surprise for this phone as I’ve known about what I need and interested in this phone for months. However, the really cool thing for me is to play Siri first hand. It is really a cool feature, as I’ve believed all along, we are only scratching the surface of this killer feature at this stage. I’m sure we will see much more with this feature with more languages being supported and SDK being released to developers in the coming years. The only shortcoming of Siri is the natural shortcoming of spoken words itself. Namely, it strives and dies with your language/spoken skills, and whether you want to say certain things out loud or not. I don’t know how others view it. Sometimes, we do wanna keep our words private. For example, when I’m in an elevator with strangers, I don’t wanna use Siri to call someone by yelling the person’s name. There are things that I just don’t wanna say out loud in public. Anyway, I still quite enjoy Siri and think this function is here to stay. It will not replace text input, but just as a nice complimentary function or option for us to interact with tech gadgets.

Well, that’s about it. Oh…just one more thing, I’ve order a pair of Bose earpiece on Apple Store. Can’t wait to get a hand on them, will review that in future for sure.

Monday, January 9, 2012

9 thoughts to my sons

I read the following article and like the content a lot. Just wanna share with anyone can read Chinese. If you can't, please feel free to Google translate it. Though it may not be 100% correct, I think you will get the points more or less.




1. 除了我和你媽媽,沒有人有義務要對你好,若有人對你不好,不要感到意外,你要靠自己克服

2. 除了我和你媽媽,沒有人有義務要對你好,那些對你好的人,除了珍惜,也請多防備,因為每個人做每件事,總有一個原因,對你好,未必一定是真心,不必太快將對方看作真朋友,你要靠自己搞清楚

3. 你可以要求自己守信,但不能要求別人守信,你可以要求自己對人好,但不能期待人家對你好。你怎樣對人,並不代表人家就會怎樣對你,看不透這一點,只會徒添不必要的煩惱。說到底,還是要靠你自己

4. 生命短暫,愈早珍惜,享受的日子也愈長。享受的意思,不是說任意妄為,而是找尋自己真正熱愛的事情,做自己真心喜歡的事情。那是什麼,要靠你自己找尋答案

5. 我不會要求你供養我下半輩子,同樣地我也不會供養你的下半輩子,當你長大到可以獨立的時候,我的責任已經完結。以後,你要坐巴士還是Benz,吃魚翅還是粉絲,都要你自己負責

6. 人要發達,還是要努力工作才可以,世上並無免費午餐,而保持努力工作的秘訣,是做一份你真心最喜歡的工作。同樣地,要靠你自己找答案

7. 沒有人是不可代替,沒有東西是必須擁有。只要,在爭取的過程中,盡全力去做便可以無悔。看透這一點,將來你身邊的人不再要你,或許失去了世間上最愛的一切時,也應該明白,這並不是甚麼大不了的事,因為你已對得住自己

8. 雖然,很多有成就的人士都沒有受過很多教育,但並不等如不用功讀書,就一定可以成功。你學到的知識,就是你擁有的武器。人,可以白手興家,但不可以手無寸鐵,那是真正屬於你自己的籌碼

9. 親人只有一次的緣份,無論這輩子我和你會相處多久,也請好好珍惜共聚的時光,下輩子,無論愛與不愛,都不會再見。