Categories
General

the iPhone 10th anniversary & legacy..

On the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, people have been celebrating how revolutionary it was.. and yes, it does deserve all that praise. Steve Jobs was a brilliant marketing genius and visionary. Apple products haven’t been the same since he passed away. The Apple Watch (whats the use case?), the iPad Pro (stylus?), the new iPhones (no headphone jack?) and the new MacBook lineup (all USBC?) have all been criticized a lot since they came out and some design flaws like the camera bump in the new iPhones, no headphone jack, the elimination of magsafe and switch to all USBC etc have caused to people to wonder if Steve Jobs was alive if those things would have been approved.
Well, I’m not sure, but definitely I can say the presentations haven’t been as awe-inspiring with Tim Cook in charge. He’s more of a quiet delegator whereas Steve could light up the room and take charge with everything.

The iPhone brought *capacitative* touch computing to the massive. Previously, touch screens have been mostly resistive touch which made those devices very hard to use and required a stylus to use them. Back in the mid 2000s I did use some Palm devices, Pocket PCs and carried around a hefty Windows Convertible PC (yes they had those back then!) all which required styluses to use. It was a pain.
After the iPhone and iPad came out, every device got much easier to use, and just using the fingers was so simple and easy.

There are some things I miss about the pre-iphone phones though. I think people unfairly look at the old Blackberrys and Windows Mobile devices as crap compared to the iPhone but thats not exactly true. People forget that the original iPhone had no 3G, no copy+paste, you couldn’t attach images in emails, there was no selfie cam, there was no video capability or flash, no third party app store, etc. A lot of smartphones back then had all those features. No it wasn’t as easy to install a third party app onto a Pocket PC or Palm OS device as an iPhone’s App Store, but there definitely was a thriving marketplace for those old devices. It wasn’t as bad as people thought it was.

Moreover, I liked how every device looked so unique. You had flip phones, slider phones, swivel phones, dual slider phones, transforming phones, etc. These days everyone has the same phone.. iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy, etc the same black slabs everywhere. Back then there was very slim chances you and your friend had the exact same phone model. Here are some standouts (I own alot of these):

Nokia XpressMusic 5700
Nokia XpressMusic 5700
Blackberry Porsche P9981
Blackberry Porsche P9981
Samsung Alias 2
Samsung Alias 2
Pantech Matrix Pro
Pantech Matrix Pro
Nokia N95
Nokia N95
Nokia N93
Nokia N93
Nokia E90
Nokia E90
Nokia E70
Nokia E70
Motorola Aura
Motorola Aura
Motorola Flipout
Motorola Flipout

Yeah especially Nokia had a lot of really cool designs… we won’t be seeing these kind of designs anymore unfortunately.

And another thing is cellphone charms! remember those?

cellphone charm
cellphone charm

Young people might not even know that back then, phones had a hole where you could attach a charm to it.. that hole is not longer on modern smartphones so cellphone charms (the way people could customize their phones) have now been replaced by smartphone cases, which IMO isn’t quite as great. Yeah you can still customize your phone with a case, but its not the same as having a good old fashioned charm.

So yeah just pointing out some of the negative side effects of iPhone’s legacy..

In other news, I’m going to Korea next month and not a moment too soon.. been dying here of boredom having nothing to really do. my plan right now is to just save up money for next year. After the hassle of getting yet another work visa at the border, I don’t really plan on doing that again. I’m planning to leave in another year or so, and go back to either Korea or Canada. Yes, that means I’ll have to leave my current job, but unless I can work remotely it just won’t work out. I don’t get enough vacation time with my current job to get the freedom that I want.

Also, planning on selling my home too. There are a few reasons for this. Yes having a place in San Francisco is nice and all, but the housing market in SF is beginning to cool off, and for the price I could sell my apartment for, I could easily buy another place in the US (I’m thinking San Diego because of the weather and West coast location), AND have enough spare money to help me get another place in Vancouver Canada (with the help of a mortgage) as well. I’ll just rent out a storage locker while the unit is on sale and then just move things out when I get my new places. But yeah that’s my longer term plan. My best friend in San Francisco is in the same situation as me except he is 5 years older so its probably even more urgent for him, but he doesn’t want to stay here either. And besides him I have very few friends and very little reason to stay in SF. 90% of my friends are in Korea or Canada so it makes more sense to move to those places instead. I’m in the USA just for saving up money that’s it, but hopefully the US/CAD exchange rate remains the same next year else I’m losing a lot of money if I don’t exchange now…

Categories
Tech

June 2017 Gadget update

Every 6 months I do an update on the state of my gadgets and what I use

Computers

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga (2017) – replaced my 2015 ThinkPad Yoga 14

This is my main laptop now and replaces my Thinkpad X240, and Thinkpad Yoga 14. A light, convertible laptop, weighs only 2.8lbs (substantially lighter than the Yoga 14 which I previously had), docks with a one link dock connector and wireless dock, has that traditional Thinkpad robust build quality and great trackpoint keyboard, and is convertible which means I can watch movies in 4 different modes, and comes with a gorgeous 1440p OLED screen to boot. It loses the dedicated graphics (Nvidia 840M) of the Yoga 14 but improves on it everywhere else including ports, display and weight. Compared to the X240, it loses the VGA, full size SD and Ethernet ports but is much lighter, has a much better display, and is convertible.

Dell Latitude 7370 (2016) – replaced my 2016 Vaio S

This is my main portable laptop (yes the X1 Yoga is portable too but it has a lot of sensitive data that I would rather not take on travels). It replaces my Vaio S, and is basically the fanless, futureproof version of the Vaio. Compared to the Vaio, it has thinner bezels on the display, loses two USB3 ports, VGA, full size SD and Ethernet (legacy ports), but gains microSD and 2 USB-C (more futureproof ports).

Alienware 15 R3 (2016) – replaced my 2011 HP Envy Beats, 2015 Asus ROG G751

This is my main gaming and VR computer now, replacing my aging HP Envy Beats 14 and hefty Asus G751. I decided I wanted a 15 inch because of its lightness and portability, yet its still powerful enough to have a GTX 1070, power my Oculus Rift (VR ready), hooks up to my external monitor, plays all the latest games, and looks great at home on a laptop stand.

Macbook Pro 13 (2016)replaced my 2012 Mac Mini
My replacement for my Mac Mini as a programming/entertainment computer. It’s light (3lbs) and runs macOS making it great for development and the lack of ports is made up by my Dell USB-C Dock at home.

Tablets/Phones
iPad Air (2013)

The iPad Air is my go to tablet for surfing, gaming, music or reading. Has been since 2013.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtpXyh542L4

iPhone SE (2016) – replaced my 2013 iPhone 5S

The iPhone SE is my main video recorder, which I use on occasion to record videos, mainly because my model is a 64GB one that can store more videos. Plus love the small size which is what cameraphones should be! light and small. It replaces my aging iPhone 5S.

Google Pixel (2016) – replaced my 2014 Sony Xperia Z3C
The Google Pixel is my main phone now. It has a great camera as well, and is generally just a fast and capable phone all around. It replaces my Kyocera Duraforce Pro and Sony Xperia Z3C as my main Android device.

BlackBerry KeyOne (2017) – replaced my 2015 Blackberry Priv

The BlackBerry KeyOne replaces my Blackberry Priv as my secondary phone and video call device, has a way better keyboard and gets wayyyy better battery life to boot.

Sony Walkman A17 (2017) – replaced my 2015 Pioneer XDP

Sony Walkman A17 Sony Walkman A17

The Sony Walkman has replaced my Pioneer XDP, since its much lighter and more portable. It doesn’t sound *quite* as good as the Pioneer, but it’s 80% as good and still much better sounding than most smartphones (with the exception of a few like the HTC 10). The Pioneer is more like the old HDD players like the iPod Classic and Creative Zen Vision – stores more music and plays videos, but big and bulky. The Sony Walkman is a small flash based player like the iPod Nano and Zune HD. They both have their uses.

Huawei Watch (2016) – replaced my 2012 Seiko Kinetic, 2016 Orient Sun&Moon
Now with the Android Wear 2 update, Huawei watch is awesome and is definitely my main watch now. It replaces my Seiko Kinetic (quartz) and Orient Sun & Moon (mechanical) which I used before.

Music

Generally I prefer using speakers at home and headphones on the go. I rarely use headphones at home. The advantages of speakers – everyone can hear it, higher fidelity and larger drivers, but usually also more expensive and not as portable.

Razer Hammerhead BT (2017)

Razer Hammerhead BT Razer Hammerhead BT

These are very convenient bluetooth earphones for mostly working out where the wires getting in the way would be troublesome.

Fender FXA3 (2016) – replaces 2014 Master&Dynamic ME03

Fender FXA3 Fender FXA3

The Fender FXA3s are my main earphones for traveling and studying.

Denon Music Master MM400 (2016) – replaces 2014 Sennheiser Momentum

This is my main headphone that I use at work to listen to music and for conference calls.

Absolutely the best over ear headphones I’ve ever had, these now have replaced my Sennheiser Momentums which were falling apart as well. I use it with my Creative SoundBlaster E5s at work for the extra oomph!

Creative SoundBlasterX Katana (2017) – replaces 2015 Creative T4W

Now used as my computer speakers for my Alienware. It’s the first soundbar designed specifically for computer use. RGB lighting, bluetooth, 7.1 virtual surround and a bunch of other options – what’s not to love?

Klipsch Promedia 2.1 (2016) – replaces 2015 Klipsch R-4B Soundbar

Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 Klipsch Pro Media 2.1

Absolutely fantastic computer speakers. Now using it for my TV and gaming systems since I found it has better bass than my Klipsch R-4B. The bass and overall sound quality is fantastic. Replaces my non-functioning Creative T4Ws which shorted out :(, and the Samsung and Klipsch soundbars that I used before.

Klipsch the Three (2017)

This speaker is really cool and retro looking especially with the Ebony wood finish, and pairs well with my Google Home (using Chromecast audio) and my Fluance record player to play some nice vintage tunes!

Bose SoundLink Revolve (2017) – replaces 2015 Creative Soundblaster Roar 2

Bose SoundLink Revolve Bose SoundLink Revolve

This speaker replaces my Creative Soundblaster Roar 2 as a portable outdoor (splash proof!) speaker, also pairs very well with my Macbook.

Yamaha TSX-B72 (2017)

Yamaha TSX-B72 Yamaha TSX-B72

This is my alarm clock radio that I use by my bedside to wake me up each morning 🙂 and yes it has bluetooth and can charge my phone too. It replaces my Sony BSP60 bluetooth alarm speakers those ones are a little complicated to operate and I just wanted a simple vintage looking alarm clock radio.

Cameras

Nikon D5100 (2013)
My DSLR camera for serious video making. I usually pair it with my Samyang T1.5 24mm cinema prime lens.

Sony Action Camera AS300 (2016) – replaces 2014 GoPro Hero3+
Replaces my Sony Music Video recorder and GoPro Hero 3 as both my action camera and my wide angle camera that I can use for blogging, travel videos, action videos, etc and has optical image stabilization which no other action camera has! Also waterproof/dustproof as well and quite small, making it great for situations where my Osmo+ would be too heavy.

DJI OSMO+ (2016) – replaces 2015 DJI Osmo
My go to camera for taking cinematic walking shots, travel video, and completely replaces any camcorder. The Plus model now has optical zoom capabilities with it too.

DJI Phantom 4 Advanced (2017) – replaces 2015 DJI Phantom 3
Replaces my DJI Phantom 3, better sensors, obstacle avoiding, takes better night shots etc

Other
Other laptops: Asus G751 (secondary gaming laptop and workstation), HP Revolve 810 G2 (secondary Win7 laptop and secondary convertible), Thinkpad X240 (still only laptop I have with hot swappable battery and mobile broadband), GPD Pocket (mini netbook)
Video game systems: New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PSTV, Nvidia Shield Pro, GPD Win
Displays: Mobile Monitor 2 Go, Dell 24″ Gsync 1ms 144hz infinityedge monitor, Royole Moon, Avegant Glyph, DJI Goggles
Storage: 1 Synology DS412+, 2 Synology DS416j, 1 Synology 416slim (20TB all in RAID 1)

Laptop collection (one for each size)
11.6″ 1366×768 – HP Elitebook Revolve 810 – 4th gen Core i5, 8GB RAM, 180GB SSD, 3lbs, Win 7, 6 ports: 2 USB3, DP, Ethernet, microSD, headphone
12.5″ 1366×768 – Lenovo Thinkpad X240 – 4th gen Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 3.5lbs, Win 7, 7 ports: 2 USB3, miniDP, VGA, Ethernet, SD, headphone
13.3″ 3200×1800 – Dell Latitude 7370 – 6th gen Core m7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 2.5lbs, Win 10, 6 ports: 1 USB3, 2 USBC, microHDMI, microSD, headphone
13.3″ 2560×1600 – Apple Macbook Pro 13 – 6th gen Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 3lbs, macOS, 3 ports: 2 USBC, headphone
14.1″ 2560×1440 – Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga – 6th gen Core i7, 8GB RAM, 180GB SSD, 2.8lbs, Win 10, 7 ports: 3 USB3, miniDP, HDMI, microSD, headphone
15.6″ 1920×1080 – Alienware 15 – 6th gen Core i7 quad, Nvidia GTX 1070, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD, 7lbs, Win 10, 8 ports: 2 USB3, 2 USBC, HDMI, miniDP, Ethernet, headphone
17″ 1920×1080 – Asus G751 – 4th gen Core i7 quad, Nvidia GTX 970M, 16GB RAM, 2TB HDD, 9lbs, Win 10, 10 ports: 4 USB3, SD, VGA, miniDP, HDMI, Ethernet, headphone/mic

Categories
General

Back in SF, Hollywoods problem with Asians and issues with modern feminists

Ok so first off, I’m back in SF, so I finally got a chance to review some really cool gadgets (videos below). I finally got to sell alot of my excess gadgets (though not all of them). Including my beloved Honda PCX which I had to sell because I wasn’t staying in SF long term, and it was taking up money parking it and keeping it in storage. Just before I sold it though, I took a few nice videos with it.

My beloved Honda PCX
At Twin Peaks with my scooter

Now, onto some controversial topics I want to talk about. Ghost In the Shell, one of the most renowned Japanese Animes, has been adapted into a movie, and surprise surprise, Hollywood decides to cast a white actor. This is not the first time Hollywood has done this of course, they’ve done it with countless movies from Dragonball Evo to Avatar the Last Airbender to 21 to Aloha (with Emma stone playing an Asian), and now with Scarlett Johansson playing the character in a Japanese adapted film. Now, I realize people make excuses such as oh the character wasn’t written as an Asian person etc but why couldn’t they have cast an Asian still?

Hollywood seems to be getting more and more criticism for not casting women, blacks, etc why is Asian any different? It seems not casting Asians, or whitewashing Asian roles doesn’t seem to be criticized as much. Why? If Asian actors never get experience playing a lead, how can Asians ever get a lead role? It seems Hollywood just has something against Asians and lead roles, period. Its a vicious cycle.
Now, no one seems to care that Nick Fury is played by a black person in the movies, even though the original character was white in the comics. Imagine if an Asian person played Nick Fury in the movies. Shouldn’t make a difference since they both diverge from the comics, but I’m willing to bet people will have more issue with an Asian actor than a black actor playing the role.

For proof of this I’ve found this popular comment on Facebook that was a comment on John Cho’s article showing why Asians can definitely be romantic leads. This one got over 50 upvotes when I saw it:

Complaining about the lack of Asian lead characters in North American films is like going to India, China or Korea and complaining that they should be starring white people in their films.

This is the reason why Americans still can’t accept Asians in movies. They think we are perpetual foreigners. They think we can’t play romantic leads. They always make excuses to justify the discrimination whenever it happens like this comment. The reason why there’s no white characters in Korean dramas or Bollywood films is simple: how many white people are living in Korea or India compared to how many Asians are living in the US (hint its over 15 million).

Somewhat related to discrimination, another topic that I want to talk about (again) is feminism, in particular in the USA.
I’ve already talked about this alot, but I want to re-address this because it comes up more and more frequently these days.

I’d be following my news feed and my favorite channels IGN, Wired, Verge, TIME, Economist, etc and these feminist articles would be polluting my feed, like what the heck, what does TechCrunch or PC Gamer have to do with feminism? Well it all started 2 years ago in 2014 because of this controversy called Gamergate and along with the whole Reddit Ellen Pao fiasco that happened, “feminist” issues have suddenly started permeating everything from gaming articles to politics. So its everywhere now.

Why do I want to talk about this? Because I’m bothered and frustrated by it. Now, I am in full support of women’s rights, and I am not a misogynist, I don’t hate women or anything. Its just that I think the “modern day” feminists take issues with so many small trivial nonsensical things that have never really been an issue before and then complain about it to get recognition. What am I talking about here?
this article that TIME published and I commented on perfectly sums it up. The word feminist is becoming corrupted these days because it is used by women who aren’t really feminists, but rather just women who like to whine and complain about under-representation and other things and delight in hating on men and calling all guys sexists and misogynists (this is a good example). Emma Watson has become the poster child for going a bit too far, that under-representation of women and womens rights are two separate issues.
Don’t believe me? One such women called me out on Facebook with this message:

Quite equal? Really? How many members of the US government are female as opposed to male? How many times has there been actual legislature proposed by women to regulate what men do with their bodies? How many women CEOS are out there floating around in the world today as opposed to men and are you really trying to suggest that the ” glass ceiling” in that corporate world doesn’t exist? Equal…just like equal pay for equal work right?

Is that why young girls all over the world are murdered simply for going to school and are subject to arranged marriages? Spoken like a true chauvanist…things are ” quite equal,” simply because in I get to vote and can drive a car just like men folk do

This is exactly what I was talking about. And let me explain my reasoning here more in depth:

So called “feminists” these days like to complain that they are under-represented or over-sexualized or treated in a different manner in everything from movies to video games. These feminists like to think of themselves as exactly equal to men in every way, including wanting to serve in the military forces, even though being exactly the same as men would ruin the fabric of what makes men and women different.
Historically men and women have played different roles in society, and now that gap is closing, but to think that men and women must be exactly the same is nonsense. What makes men and women attracted to each other is the fact that they are biologically and behaviorally different. If they were the same, there would be less and less attraction between each gender.

So, I live in South Korea, where women are actually treated much differently than men are. They are told to put on makeup all the time, because its “manners”. They have the highest gender wage gap inequality in the OECD. They often have to be housewives, to cook and clean, and look pretty for the men on all occasions. They have to get plastic surgery to get a better chance of finding a job. This is a country where feminism is actually needed. There are not many feminists in Korea, due to it being a patriarchal society, but it is definitely more needed here than in the USA. Women in the USA are already equal to men, rights wise, in pretty much every way. In fact, I implore you to name a profession or position where women are not allowed to do.
This is a good example of something that would never happen in South Korea. Women don’t complain about wearing high heels all day, and even if they do the company would probably fire them. Thats a huge difference.

Women in the USA are empowered enough to do anything they want, from serving in the military (not possible in a lot of other countries like Korea), to playing football/hockey (again in other countries, not possible), to becoming the front runner to be President of the United States (Hillary Clinton obviously). The USA is an equal opportunity country and anyone can be anything they want.
The supposed “lack of representation” in certain industries which is what modern day feminists complain about, is because men are traditionally trained to do those fields, like being an engineer for example, or being a soldier, or movie director, etc. Traditionally men were trained in those fields. If more women were trained in those fields, if they have enough experience, of course they could do those things.
And this is also the reason why women are potentially underpaid in those fields is because of lack of experience. Since men are traditionally dominant in those fields, it makes sense that they are more experienced, and are thus paid more. Once more women go into those fields, get more experience, then they will be compensated as much. This is true even in Silicon Valley with female CEOs of Oracle, AMD, Yahoo just to name a few. They are paid more than other employees, as you would expect.

Women are overly sexualized? Well how about guys needing to look buff and muscular? Its the exact same thing. Cherry picking positions where men were traditionally dominant? How about I pick a position like nurse or customer service where traditionally women were preferred over men. Is that being sexist to men? The “wage gap” between men and women in America is because of the same reason – guys generally have more experience in those fields, and thus are paid accordingly. Again, if women (like Marissa Meyer for example) have experience in those fields then they are paid accordingly as well.

So my point is, modern day feminists who complain about these issues aren’t really “feminists”. Because under-representation in a field has nothing to do with women’s rights. If women weren’t allowed to work in those fields, then thats a women’s right issue. However, thats not the case. Its just a matter of breaking tradition and getting more women trained in those fields, thats it.

And I also like how that girl called me out as a “chauvinist” like a true modern day feminist who just assumes that every guy who doesn’t agree with their views must hate women. Indeed.

What’s really ironic about these men-hating feminists is that, men were originally the reason why women got rights in the first place. Indeed, I know about the suffragists and the women pioneers, and not to take anything away from them, but it was true that men were in charge of everything back in the day. For most of history, men have been in charge, so in order for a woman to petition for and receive rights, that woman must have, at some point, convinced some men in a position of power to give them those rights. Which means that, at some point, men must have sympathized with those women pioneers and helped them get those rights, the rights to vote, the right to have abortion, etc all those rights were achieved with the help of men. I mean, how could they have not? Women didn’t have any power back then like people said. So its ironic that us men are now being hated on and called misogynists so readily these days.

I would also like to add this additional comment by a feminist here

The reason why women are stuck with uncomfortable, inconvenient and dysfunctional wardrobe/makeup/hair elements is because in our patriarchal society women’s value is a lot closer tied to her looks rather than her intelligence. Girls and women spend millions of hours more in their lifetime on maintaining their appearance instead of developing their careers, inventing things or earning money. Trust me, if it was found acceptable by society every woman would love to wake up with short hair, skip makeup and heels, put comfortable flat shoes on and non-tight pants with functional pockets and still be considered attractive and/or professional.

This is really revealing of the personality of American feminists – they think they can speak for every girl in the world and they think their opinion is always the best and right one. First of all, Western countries are no longer “patriarchal” and I would love to see evidence that it still is. Secondly, perhaps girls and women like to care about their appearance and wear skirts and heels because it makes them feel more like a woman? And since when are they forced to wear those outfits anyways? This isn’t the 1950s anymore. In the US these days, women can wear whatever they want and they won’t be ostracized for it. Again, I feel like there’s a cultural difference here because in Korea, almost every girl is wearing skirts/heels/makeup, whether they really like to or not. But they’re not complaining.

I feel like this idea that every girl wants to dress like a guy, or be “comfortable” like men, and do things men can do like serve in the army etc is being shoved down our throats when really, its only a small (and vocal) part of the female population that actually wants that. Most women that I know, wants to feel like a woman, dress like a woman, and behave like a woman because you know… they’re a woman. They’re not being forced to, they’re not being oppressed, thats just the opinion of a small group of women who like to complain about pretty much everything.

Anyways I hope I’ve made my point. American feminists complaining about these issues really need to take a step back and do some research on whether their complaining is justified, at least in comparison to other countries in the world.

And now… for some videos