Friday, September 18, 2009

Opera Mini 5 beta

Opera Mini
The new version of Opera Mini is here. I have only tested it for 3 hours, but my initial thoughts are not 100% favourable.

Some problems below which didn't appear in Opera Mini 4.2 (hope to resolve them soon)
  1. Entering passwords. The new version does not show the character briefly before showing an asterisk when you press a key. It just shows asterisks. This is problematic, as you have to "guess" if you've pressed the right key.
  2. The shortcut keys have changed. Normally, pressing '#' then '2' brings up the bookmarks, but here it opens the search field.
  3. The menu is not easily accessible. I need to press at least 3 keys to get to it.
  4. Where is the Page Down? One of the most valuable feature of Opera Mini is the ability to page down using the right D-pad key. This is great in mobile view where everything is on 1 column, and there is no need to scroll left or right. Mobile view on the new version does not allow for this.
New features
  1. Search within page is good. The new find function is great, and is "search as you type".
  2. Tabbed browsing. Works quite well, with screens changing quickly when you toggle tabs.
  3. Copy and paste (and search). Press and hold the main center button for a few seconds and it will show up a dialog, "Select Text". Then move the cursor to your start point and press the left soft key. Move using the D-pad to select the text. Then press the left soft key again. Pop up dialog will have 3 options, Copy, Search, and Search With.
I suspect part of the problem is caused by a GUI slanted more towards touchscreen phones... Now to find the feedback forums...

CASE to organise event with timeshare-related company

CASE is organising a talk on timeshare with RCI, a timeshare exchange company. Personally, I don't think it sounds right for CASE to organise an event where one particular company will be recommended (even if indirectly) over others. The CASETRUST scheme already offers whitelisting, but is normally done on an industry level, and consciously involve several companies, and not one particular firm.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Virtual World / The Natural World

Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters
From the blog entry introducing issue 86
Attention all jammers, activists and cultural creatives,

A specter is haunting the mind of the industrialized world – the specter of the virtual. — Metaverse Manifesto

How’s your online life? Are you happily learning, creating, interconnecting … or is your digital existence growing flatter, duller and ever more predictable?

As physical reality crumbles, the bluish glow of the virtual realm beckons and humanity is presented with a Faustian temptation: to abandon our evolutionary home (it’s too damn hot, messy and boring anyway) and become psychic hives of activity in cyberspace. This is the existential choice we explore in Adbusters #86.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Getting Things Done (GTD) using Remember The Milk (RTM)

Remember The Milk - Blog
Currently using Gmail Tasks to manage my to-do list, but RTM could be more apt for implementing GTD comprehensively...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Touchscreen and physical QWERTY keypad - best of both worlds?

Just when I was lamenting the lack of touchscreen handphones with QWERTY keypads in a candybar form-factor, Palm drops the Pixi onto US shores. While we're not likely to see it on sale here (unless it gets a GSM radio), it's still nice to see that this form-factor works.

Back to my original story. One of the rare examples of the above form-factor is the Samsung i780, which strangely has not been replaced yet. This while Samsung launches model after model of touchscreen handphones without keypads.

After trying it out in person at the Samsung flagship store in Vivocity (this was before I got my Nokia E71), the only thing that stopped me was the optical mouse D-pad. Instead of a normal D-pad, Samsung saw fit to use a thumbnail-sized touchpad.

Interestingly, the other current handphone with this form-factor is the Palm Treo Pro, which I excluded then because of its high price...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Evernote to the Rescue

I have been trying (for the umpteenth time) to simplify my life, especially the ton of documents that I have all over the place (PC, netbook, handphone, online, thumbdrive, etc). I tried out Evernote a while ago, but didn't really utilised it that often. Nice video below, maybe I'll give it another try.

Friday, September 04, 2009

How can I gently explain to non-techie friends they are the victim of a hoax

Super User
I do this all the time (expose hoax emails, that is), but I still find it hard to break the news gently to a friend, who most likely forwarded it as a kind gesture.