Monday, September 30, 2013

My liveliood these days (as of the last day of 3Q 2013)

For some reasons, I'm able to find few minutes to blog. Don't have one central theme to blog about today, but just a bunch of thoughts long or short want to share....

Being a husband with a full time job and two young boys that require respective attention and effort is tough. These days, I don't think or plan for anything long term anymore which is not supposed to be right. Man should plan! right? But, I'm just too tired! So many tedious things that need my time and efforts. There isn't much personal time or space once I got home. Sometimes, my wife would scold me for spending like half hour on doing my own stuff on Internet at net. Instead, I should do this or that, blah blah blah! She has her point IF I look from her perspective, but I won't! So, I just still my minutes here and there to satisfy my needs to look at things that interests me on the website, could be on Facebook, or news/commentary sites, etc. Come on, I just think spending more than 15 minutes to watch a longer YouTube video is a luxury for me. I can't recall when this happened that a thing that I can commit my full attention to at home without any disturbance don't last for more than 15 minutes on most cases. Is it sad or just me?

It is becoming a thing that I don't want to talk about much to anybody this day. A zombie in, zombie out thing if you know what I mean. Yes, I know that's not right again! But, shit happens and it is happening. I will do something about it in next few months, but it is under cruise control these days.

Love life
I love my wife as always, except when she gets cranky and goes crazy. That happens every now and then for combination of reasons which only partially known to me. Even though she is 'nice' enough to give me some 'so-called warning', but I still don't like it! Human emotion is not a volcano, it can be controlled, but she won't. I'm not sure if it is a woman thing or human thing for some individuals. But I guess I live with it and have to sleep with it. Other than that I do love my wife very much and appreciate her for doing or paying attention to things that I don't like to be involved. Thank God to create differently and I do believe the 'key-and-lock' theory to make things work! I still find my wife beautiful though I don't tell her that often and I should!

My older son is smart and does have potential to be very good and do great things. Certainly, he has many shortcomings as well. The biggest problems for him is to make him share his thoughts on why he does or doesn't do certain things. As usual, the best way to help someone is to make him self-realizes why he needs to improve and motivate him to self-motivate to improve. The ways to improve effectively are numerous. The problem is all inside his head. His homework are getting tougher, he is still very dependent on housemaids to do things for him. We still have not gauged the right level of punishment, tolerance of failure, and encouragement to make things work. Anyway, he is a work-in-progress case.

My younger son has his own problem. He is a bit behind in learning in few aspects. Glad that there is some signs of improvement since he changed to a full-day school that cultivate his independency. Feel bad for him that he stuck in a hole that has to climb out before he can compete with most kids. I still have strong  belief that he will catch up within 2 years, though my wife would like that to be much shorter. I'm more practical and realistic than her, but it is really a tough thing for our family to deal with on logistics and financial sides. Well, our sacrifice and burden are supported by his frequent innocent smile and improvement. At the end of the day, he is still our son!

Other activities
The general statement is all the same to most things - Not much! Time is allocated to kids activities, learning, etc. They basically blocked out many possibilities. We have not travelled far away for years. Short local trips happens may be once or twice a year (besides those school trips). We rarely go to movies. Shopping are primary kids related. As I mentioned before, I rarely can do things that takes time. I don't have time to read books but oddly I still download ebooks when I have chance, as my virtual hobby. I don't watch much TV neither, lately not even news! Most of the time, TV is on for Disney shows for my younger son as a reward for eating or else. Actually, since learning that TV in general is not good for him, we rare turn it on. My wife would yell out to turn it off once he gets close to the 42" screen in 2 feet. So, no TV for me.

My biggest entertainment is actually my iPhone, strangely for a self-proclaim music fan. I rarely listen to music these days! I still download them like crazy as an addicted virtual hobby. With a library of 300-400G, they are big enough for the rest of my life for sure. Nonetheless, I still download them even if I don't have the time to listen to them. Actually, I listen to podcast the most with my iPhone, basically on my traffic time or when I'm having lunch by myself. I listen to all sorts of topics that interested me these days: politics, tech, conspiracy, news, finance, etc. Given my broad range of interest, no wonder I constantly have a backlog to clear, before I can squeeze time for music. As such, I've just put an order to get myself the new iPhone. It costs $$$, but I think it is worthy as self-motivation gift given the usage time that I spend on this gadget and the value that it offers me. More about that in future blog once I got it in house.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Thoughts on iphone 5s

Many people in the general press cried fowl on the latest release of iPhone 5s and 5c as if Apple is going down hill like many others. They cited what happened to Nokia as a prime example, comparing the 40% market share it had in feature phones few years and look at where it is now? They cited how wonderful the iPhone was when Steve Jobs was still alive, and bah bah bah... Yes, the stock price of AAPL dropped few % and all that. But, is iPhone 5s really spell the end of Apple? I don't think so!

I use Apple products, but I really don't count myself as an Apple fanboy. With so much info out there, it is very easy to pick and choose things to meet your stand regardless it is black or white. I don't really think Apple's iPhone 5s or 5c as a matter are really bad products. Too much have been read into the 5c, saying that it is a cheap plastic version that has no improvement. I think it is a matter of just giving ONE alternative choice to buyers and crave out 5s as a top-notch product for the year. 5s' fingerprint reading is not a gimmick, but it is really part of the big picture that Apple is painting that many news critic just missed or don't bother study. The most impressive part is the A7 chip with 64bit structure with M7. These are a bit technical that more general press don't bother neither. Actually, these are very important things that Samsung, Google and the rest are playing very close attention to internally.

Some general press like to do comparison table of specs and pointed out how 5s lacks behind Galaxy S4, etc. I think that's kinda silly. What matter is user experience. The only 'so-called' shortcoming of 5s is the screen size IF you are really into video viewing. Other than that, the user experience of 5s would no way below any competitors can offer. Yes, that's what I believe, cuz I've not get a hand on the phone yet, though it is gonna be my next purchase very soon. My belief is based on the hardware-software bonding that Apple has which is superior than all the rest. Yes, Android is improving very fast, but it is still catching up to what Apple is doing. A7 64bit is whole game changer that users will get a sense of it in 1 or 2 years when App developers full embrace it and release all apps that can exploit the capability of it. By then, the Apps are gonna be very impressive! Server capability on a phone running crazy Apps! The key thing is that this move by Apple first of all has caught surprise by its competitors. They won't be able to reach the same capability till sometimes next year. Secondly, Apple has full thought of the backward compatibility of older apps and would make programmers' life very easy in upgrading to 64bit. I've not heard similar claims from Android side. Thirdly, with M7's biometric capability, Apple is testing the water before iWatch release. Reportedly, this biometric thing has huge potential in fitness, health, etc areas that Samsung and others are still lacked behind. Furthermore, the A7+M7 thing will surely be on iPad in few months. It is a major ammo that others competitors have to deal with in all fronts. With this, I'm not surprise if Apple will release additional hardware for gamers with integrated power linking all the Apple gadgets sometimes next year.

So, saying Apple is going down hill is just silly.

See more thoughful articles here: 1, 2, 3, 4

Friday, September 6, 2013

Nokia RIP

Long time no blog!

Microsoft is acquisition of the services and hardware business of Nokia is a desperate attempt by the former in the smartphone and tablet market in these days and age. There are always a flip side of a coin, but I see this corn is not shinny on neither side.

MS is in a Catch22 situation in the phone market. It needs more apps to appeal customers and app developers need more phone sales to justify their effort in developing on the Window platform. MS's products (except the Xbox) are never been the 'apple' in most customers' eyes. It probably goes back the the bad-haired Bill Gates vs the smartass Steve Jobs back in the old days. The big mouth Steve Ballmer doesn't help neither. So, my guess is that Nokia's name will remain on the phone, cause MS phone just doesn't sound right! 

With a blip on the smartphone market of mere few percentage points, regardless how iOS and Android fight the heart of each other. People are just not gonna jump on the Window phone wagon regardless. Unless they can come up with some killer features or apps. As the smartphone market is maturing, it's gonna be really hard for MS/Nokia to come up with anything. Just see how the tablet market is gonna peak in 2 years and the rest of the markets are developing wearable gadgets, you see the picture?

Of course, MS/Nokia is not gonna go away for at least in the next 8-10 years. MS has a war chest of money. It makes lots of money from patents that Android phones are using. Actually, it would make more money from Android than its Window phones. So, MS would have enough cash to fund its platform. Also, the corporate side may be the inroad that they would go. With Blackberry on the death bed, corporate IT guys' smart understanding the Trojan horse of Android, iOS is the only game in town. But Apple is never a nice guy to corporates, so MS surely has the chance. Anyhow, the corporate market is still only so big!

Anyway, being an ex-Nokia user myself. I really feel bad for the Finnish giants. They make durable phones with LONG battery life. I'm sure Nokia phones will become collectibles as well as key tools for the underground given what Snowden have disclosed and gonna disclose. In an alternative universe, if Stephen 'Trojen' Elop has not grabbed the top chair in Nokia. Nokia would be on Android and it would probably fight neck to neck with Samsung these days. What a big fxxking 'What if'?!