Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tim Cook on All Things D

I almost forgot that it is the of the year again. If you are interested in Apple, check this out! It is a good way to learn how to answer questions carefully and discretely, telling what you want and turn down answering things that you don't wanna talk about politely. Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs, but I like what he said so far. I think the company is in good hands for now. My other thoughts after reading the manuscript of the interview as well as other few other news stories about the company are: 
  • Apple is making Apple TV with screen for real and I think we will see that in 2013. The key issue for Apple is not the hardware, but trying to secure as much contents as possible from providers at launch time. Incremental increases in future years are expected, but they would either have a bang at launch, or just not launch it at all. TV WILL be the fifth leg of the stool. It is a category that they don't wanna screw up, particularly the first one under Tim's regime, though many of the background works and ideas are from Steve. 
  • Apple will continue to make strategic acquisition to secure the technologies that produce crucial parts of the their products. 
  • Apple is not happy with Samsung and Google. The battle will continue. 
  • Would like to know how Tim works with Scott and Jonny, both of them are tentpoles of Apple, I would say. 
  • Apple's relationship with Facebook will go either way, depending on Facebook's next move, i.e. a Facebook phone. 
  • Next iPhone will be called 'iPhone'. 
  • Ping will die in 2 yrs or less.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Leap's New Motion Sensor

I can the possibility of this new piece of technology is endless! If I'm Apple, I will buy this company today.

Monday, May 21, 2012

How to read in leisure

Reading has always been one of my hobbies. I love to read good quality stuffs, length of the material was usually not really a critical issue to me. Not that I would read War and Peace every time, but I could and did read book series if I love the author and the materials enough. However, time files and my life moves on. A lot of things, reading included, have to change along. Back in the old days, I could stay up to read till my eyes couldn’t open, and continued after I got up. I considered reading is one of the better ways to kill time.

Now, looking at my life as it is, reading has become a luxury to me. I can still manage to read articles daily. However, for book wise, it has become very difficult. Also, the limited space I’ve if I choose to buy books and the hassle of borrowing and returning to library are both problems for book lovers like me. Thanks for the technology advancements, ebooks become a god-send solution to me. Cuz, I finally can keep the books I want and don’t  need to worry much about the physical space that they will take up. That’s why I became an ebook collector not so long ago and now my collection has grown to 30GB+ already! Further more, ammunitions without firearm would be worthless, so I bought the new iPad not so long ago in spite of fact that I’m still not happy with the weight of the device. Then, it looks like things are finally getting ready, so I gotta think about what’s next….

First of all, I was recommended by a colleague of mine to download the GoodReader app which has solved my problem of reading my PDF ebooks. It is definitely a very good app. Then, secondly, I’m still in process of searching an app that help me to read a series of jpg files as a lot of comics that I’ve are in jpg files in folders. Anyway, at least my PDF files are now ready to be read at my leisure. That supposes to be sweet right? Well, yes and no is the reality. Let me tell you why….

Even it looks like most of the logistic and technical issues have found not the best but at least workable solutions, I still have a very fundamental question about what reading to me is all about.

Well, I read for leisure. First, put aside the fictions which are logically without negotiable solution that they have to be read them from cover to back in order for the reader to know what the story is all about. In other words, I would be pointless for me to skim through it given that I don’t consider myself that much of a speed reader. My issue is that I’ve a lot of non-fiction books, but I don’t have a lot of free time, and I still want to read. So, what should I do?

On the one hand, I believe that there is a reason behind why certain materials are put together to become a book. Yes, I know that many non-fictions books have chapters, I can pick and choose them like magazine articles. But, it is different. Many good authors divide their materials in chapters with their own theme, but the themes are often joined or support each together to convey a message that is central to the book. I learn that from reading Malcohm Gradwell and those freakinomics. I enjoy the chapters as well as the sum of them. However, not all books are as good as those, and I can’t really afford to read all my books from beginning to half way or more and find it out to be a waste of time to continue. I would imagine that would be a defeat, a waste, or even a failure to spend time reading something that is more or less worthless. I wonder if there is anyway to avoid that. Word of mouth is good suggestion, but everybody has different taste. Also, not all books in my collection are popular, I can’t rely on those few no/five stars comments on Amazon as guidelines. Similar to movies, I love sharing my thought on certain books with others. However, I can’t do that until I’ve finished reading the book. The reading experience itself is a very much personal thing that nobody can do that on my behalf.

So, my problem is how to read my collections effectively. If I read one after another, it will take me a decade or two! Yes, good books last, and some of them age like wine! Some books would give us different thoughts if we read that at different age. Also, some books worth repeat reading as well! But, for me, I’ve not got to those situations yet since I’m still trying to read it once. So, what should I do?

Come to think of it, given the limited resources I’ve, I don’t think I can read books the way that goes by what the author thinks. Instead, I think I just have to treat it like a dinner buffet. Namely, just pick what I want, not what the chef wants. Another way to see it, it is similar to my approach to my vast music collections. I.e. instead of listening to the whole CD, I just listen to one track or two, or even do that randomly. So, I can pick an ebook at random and just read a page or two during those breaks in my busy hectic life. Yes, it can be considered as an insult to the author in a way, but I’ve my right as a reader to read the way that I want, as long as I’m happy and enjoy what I read. So, beat it!?

It’s easier to say than do, reading randomly in pieces is not enjoyable as reading in a more systematic/organized manner. The bottom line is that the overall experience is just not that enjoyable in comparison. Reading is supposed to be pleasurable, why make it the opposite? Do I have to read so many things in a rush? Quantity beats quality? If not, it means that I’ve to find a way to filter my ebook collections to pick some of the books as keepers, or to filter which chapters in which books are worth reading. It sounds an awfully difficult task! Should I put myself into it? Why make my leisure reading experience so hard? I still don’t have the answers to many of the above….

Local politicial sentiment these days

Monday, May 14, 2012

Panasonic TH-L42E3H

Out of expectation, my old LCD TV of 7+ years old died 2 weeks ago. In fact, it didn’t really die, it works perfectly fine if I only wanna use it for watching cable channels or DVD. However, the receiver had problem and we were not able to receive the regular broadcast TV for few days. After just a few days of mumbling by my wife and my mother-in-law, I did some research and bought a 42” Panasonic LED-LCD TV and got that delivered at home last week.

Well, what are the upsides? Ok, it is bigger and thinner than my previous 32”. Well, 7+ years of technology advancement can’t be discarded. It is iDTV, didn’t need any set top box. The image is crisp and sharp. It has HDMI and USB connections. I tested it to read video files on a USB drive, it works, certainly depends on the quality of the file.

The only 2 shortcomings that I have so far is that, it needs to hook up to internet cable to really connect to web. As I don’t have a cable in the living room or nearby, so I can’t use it to surf the web or use it for facebook, etc. I was thinking I could use the wireless USB modem to hook up to my Wifi network at home, but it didn’t work. Cuz, if I could hook that up to the net, I suppose can use my ipad to control surfing. However, it wouldn’t be too much fun to use the app from Panasonic to surf web I guess. So, I don’t bother to try harder. The second thing that I’m not sure if there is something wrong or not is that. I bought a HDMI to iPad cable to try to hook my iPad to the TV. If it works, I suppose to able to use the TV to watch youtube clips and other things. I briefly tested it, my iPad could detect that it was hooked up to a TV, but I can’t find the iPad on my TV under those AV channels. So, I gave it up for now, but I will try that latter when I’ve time.

Anyway, I’m quite happy with this purchase. Yes, it costs a bit more than my iPad, but I think this upgrade is fine. Finally, I regain my interest to watch TV…at least I know that it is gonna be brief, but I’ve enjoyed it so far.