Cutting cords

It took a while, but I finally did it. I took the plunge and purchased my very first pair of wireless headphones. They aren’t completely wireless, there are still cords that connect the earbuds to the Bluetooth receiver which hangs around my neck, but compared to the regular earbuds I was using before – it’s a world of difference.

Previously, I was put off by wireless headphones because I hadn’t used a pair before. After a few weeks of using these wireless headphones on a daily basis, I gotta say, they’re a pretty damn good step up from regular headphones. Makes me wish I shelled out more money for my initial purchase. Oh well, I’ll be using these a while longer, at least until they break or I lose them. Any bets on which one happens first?

Wireless headphones are the shit. Especially when you’re traveling a lot. You don’t have to fuss around with your cables when you need to stop listening to music. Just press the button to pause it and remove the earbuds and let them fall around your neck. Previously, I had to take out my earphones, roll them up and put them in my pocket. Making sure my headphones didn’t fall out accidentally while on a flight was no longer an issue (those wires liked to get caught on arm rests or in my jacket for some strange reason). And on the rare occasion they do fall off, they’re still hanging from the receiver.

Sound quality (on the set I purchased) is decent – I’m sure it’ll be much better on higher end models, but I didn’t want to splurge on something I didn’t know I would enjoy. Also, I’m no audiophile. As long as I can listen to music or podcasts clearly through the earbuds in my ears, I’m good to go. Bluetooth also works pretty damn well. I didn’t have any trouble pairing my headphones with any of my devices. However, it is unable to pair with multiple devices and switch between them quickly (I don’t even know if it’s a supported feature in higher-end Bluetooth devices). Battery life has been great (I get about 9 hours+ of use), it doesn’t take long to recharge, and it works with my exiting micro-USB cables.

I’m not ready to replace all my wired headphones yet (what’s the point of replacing the headphones I use at my desktop?). I still keep my regular one handy for the rare occasions I run out of juice or when I need to save battery on the wireless. But I’ll definitely pick up a pair of wireless headphones again in the future. Conclusion, I’m now a fan of wireless headphones and I wholly recommend for people to pick up a pair if they’ve been on the fence about it.

Key things to look out for: sound quality (do you like natural sound, extra bass or treble?), weight (I prefer them light), battery life (9 hours is a good place to start, more won’t hurt), type (in-ears are my preference, headphones don’t work well with thick frames) and appearance (haven’t seen any outrageous looking ones yet, but it boils down to personal taste).

MPEG-2 Audio Layer III stories

MPEG-1 and/or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III,[4] more commonly referred to as MP3, is an audio coding format for digital audio which uses a form of lossy data compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio streaming or storage, as well as a de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on most digital audio players and computing devices. [Wikipedia]

One of the best things about the internet is the amount of entertainment available for people to consume at any time. With a quick search and a click of a button, your favorite artists’s latest song can be playing in your ears in seconds. Compressed music is one of my favorite things about the internet. Without the internet, my music library would be a thousand times smaller than what it is right now. There’d be so many bands and singers I would have missed out on because they don’t get any airplay on radio over here.
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Why people should try online dating

Online dating – the social club of today. In case you were wondering, online dating is the practice of searching for a romantic or sexual partner on the internet, typically via a dedicated website. Most online dating services follow the same model: you setup a profile of yourself, browse for matches, send them messages, and hope for a reply.

The topic of online dating has come up every now and then, but only in recent years has it really been accepted as the norm. Heck, even I didn’t believe in it back then. I have a post on Facebook with a screenshot of me saying something along the lines of ‘online dating is for desperate people who can’t get anyone in real life’. It’s been years since I wrote that and my perception on the whole subject has changed.
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The problem with importing a tablet

So over the Chinese New Year break I decided that I would get a new tablet for myself (and give my trusty old iPad 2 to Max). After some research online, I decided that the NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1 would be the one for me. In terms of price, performance, size and features, it seemed like a great option – especially the price tag (RM955 including shipping). It fit my budget, and it was an Android tablet – something I hadn’t owned before. After 3+ years of using the iPad 2, I figured it’d be a good experience to try an Android tablet.

I found the tablet on Amazon, checked out, got the SMS from my bank about my credit card being used and smiled to myself. What could go wrong?
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Sex in tech

Apple does a lot of things I don’t agree with, but there’s one thing I think they’re brilliant at: not using sex to sell their products. As far as I can remember, Apple has never used any sexy ladies to market their products. Their ads, while sometimes ridiculous, are clean and wholesome. But what’s important is that they focus on their products. And when there’s a plethora of parodies available online, you know they’re doing something right.

At launch events, they don’t have sexy women parading around holding their devices. Instead, they have old men on stage talking about what’s good and new about their devices.

The lack of sexy women holding their devices allows consumers and the media to focus on what’s important – the products that they are selling. Not the scantily clad women holding them. Sure, you don’t see media writing about the women, but on social media and event photographs – they’re there. If they’re not the focus of the launch event, then why hire them in the first place?

Also, what are sexy women holding gadgets supposed to achieve? Today’s tech world is pretty different from what it was like many years ago. There’s no need to cater to basement-dwelling mouth-breathing neckbeards who dream of being in the company of such women – technology is now embraced by everybody.

Sure, sex sells. It’s been proven. Evocative imagery draws attention. But they’re irrelevant when it comes to technology. Sexy women for alcohol, fashion and beauty products makes sense, but tech? Unless they’re selling high-tech sex toys, I don’t see the connection.

I’m not against using sexy women to sell tech – people should be able to do whatever they want to. I’m just questioning the decision to do so. Never have I seen a device being used/held by a hot girl and thought to myself ‘oh shit, I need to own that product!’.

Farewell to Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10

For those of you not in the know – Microsoft recently announced that they will be ending support for older versions of Internet Explorer (8, 9, and 10). IE 11 will still be supported, as well as Edge which is actually pretty good, but I’m too much of a Google user to give up Chrome. Last year, I upgraded to Windows 10 and used Edge for the first time – to download Chrome. And I haven’t used it since. But my experience with Edge wasn’t bad – it didn’t stop me from downloading Chrome. That would’ve been funny/annoying.

Anyway, for most people, this won’t mean a thing – and to people who are still on those old versions of IE, it probably won’t mean a thing to them either since they haven’t bothered to upgrade till now. I doubt any modern businesses are still running on those browsers either, so it’s not as big of a deal as its been made out to be.

I haven’t used Internet Explorer in a long time. I remembered it used to be the go to browser way back when Netscape was still a thing. I was on Netscape Navigator 3 or 4, I can’t remember, when there was a talk in school and they handed us CDs with IE on them. I remember getting all excited and pumped, installing a brand new web browser on my home computer (via a CD-ROM!). I think it was on that day I signed up for my Hotmail account as well (which remains active till this day).

IE was faster than Netscape (believe it or not). It was my browser of choice for the longest time. I can’t remember when or what it was that made me switch back to Netscape. I think I used Opera for a while, and then Firefox for a few years until Chrome came along.

I remember reading the newspapers at the time – Microsoft was labelled unfair and was using its position as the no.1 operating system provider to spread Internet Explorer by bundling the browser with Windows. Microsoft had to face antitrust lawsuits and shit. While Windows is still popular, IE isn’t anymore (though it’s probably still one of the most used browsers worldwide) and Windows Phone is barely staying afloat (correct me if I’m wrong). Oh how times have changed.

Anyway, I think Microsoft will probably kill of Internet Explorer 11 once they’ve developed Edge enough. I don’t see any reason why they would want to continue working on two browsers unless they both have very different uses.

But for all the years of surfing IE has enabled me to partake in – thank you. Welcome to browser heaven.

The aftershave: my initial post-electric shaver experience

shaver

Exactly one week ago, I decided that I was going to buy myself an electric shaver. I picked it up on a Friday night and since then I’ve been a member of the electric shaver club. I picked myself up the Philips AT750 because – according to what I read online, a rotary shaver would be better for my needs (infrequent shaving, longer facial hair). I got the AT750 because it can be used wet or dry – since I had no idea if I would be using it wet or dry more.

Anyway, life with an electric shaver has been pretty good since then. Because it is so much faster than shaving with disposable razors, I’ve been able to shave more often. My face isn’t too sensitive, so I’ve also been able to do dry shaves.

I’ve only shaved wet with the AT750 once – my first shave, since I didn’t know how my face would handle it. I used the shaving cream which came free with the shaver and got rid of all my facial hair. It felt alright, except for my mustache which stung a little probably because it was quite long (in case you didn’t know, electric shavers pull the hairs on your face before cutting them off).

I haven’t had to charge the shaver yet since it has a 40 minute battery life and my shaves last only 1-2 minutes. It does take 8 hours to charge though – so I may or may not have issues with that in the future.

Regardless, after almost a week of using it, I don’t have any complaints and can wholly recommend it to anybody who feels that shaving takes too long to with analog shavers. Sure, it doesn’t cut as close as a regular blade but I feel that it does a good enough job. I’ll probably report back in a month or two if I have anything else to say but I doubt it’s going to be anything negative!


BTW this isn’t a sponsored post/advertorial. In case you guys were wondering if I turned into a shill of some sort. I’m just writing about my initial experiences with an electric shaver.

Automated Teller Machine Machine

You know how when you’re in a rush, there’s always someone in your way? Like when you have to be somewhere, you’ll be stuck behind a driver that’s not paying attention to the traffic light. Or you’ll be behind people who don’t know that the right lane on the escalator is for people to walk. Or there will be people taking their time to pay for their tickets at the ticket machine.

But one thing I’ve encountered more than any other situation is people taking their sweet, sweet time at the ATM. It doesn’t matter if I’m in a rush or not but for some reason, there’s always somebody there before me. And he or she will take their time admiring their account balance or constantly try transactions over and over again despite failing the past three times.

I don’t get it – if you’re using a public facility and someone is behind you, shouldn’t you do your best to finish your task as soon as possible?

And why do people take so long to do their tasks at ATMs anyway? There’s not a whole lot of things you can do, and if you’re not there to just withdraw cash, you’re doing it wrong like I used to. There have been times when I knew that I had a lot of transactions to do (this was before I discovered the wonders of online banking), and I would always let the people behind me use the machine before I hogged it for myself.

Now that almost everything else can be accomplished online, there’s really no reason to use an ATM unless you need the bills. Anyway, I can’t wait until we can go fully cashless in this country or stores start letting you withdraw money when you use your card. That would be rad.

In other news, Public Bank recently upgraded their ATM/debit cards – I can now use Paywave with my debit card. I guess it’ll make it easier to accidentally pay for stuff in the future (yes, it happened to me before, topkek mate).

Joining the rotary club

So, for some reason, today, I woke up with the thought of buying an electric shaver. Yes, that’s right. I decided to make the move to upgrade from disposable manual blades to its high-tech counterpart. I thought it would be a simple as walking into a store, selecting one, paying for it and walking out. Turns out I was wrong. First of all, I was shocked by the prices. The first electric shaver I saw was priced at about RM600, and they went up as high as over RM1k. I was shocked – what was I getting myself into? Should I spend money on an electric shaver that costs as much as a graphics card?

So I decided to ask the helpful saleswoman there for advice. She told me the differences between the models available at the store (some were wet shavers, some came with side burn trimmers, some took longer to charge, some lasted longer). But all this wasn’t enough for me, so I grabbed some catalogs and flipped through them. I did some googling on the spot and read reviews of the shavers. It was mind-boggling, there was much more to learn. So I thanked the lady, and left the store.

Browsed electric shavers at other stores and found out there were so many different kinds. So I decided to do some research. I found this incredibly helpful guide which told me what I needed to know. I’ve decided to get a rotary shaver since I don’t shave frequently and my facial hair can get longish. I haven’t selected a model yet, but it’ll probably be an entry-level Philips. Unless someone else recommends otherwise.

I think it will be an interesting experience upgrading from disposables. I shall post updates in the coming weeks.


Also, Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it or just want an excuse to party. Have fun! I’ll be playing a show at Barlai in about an hour.