Wednesday, December 29, 2010

AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 Final 2nd Leg Indonesia vs Malaysia

So glad that the much feared violence didn't occur. The winner tonight is football, even if the game was "beautiful" for only short periods.

The first goal in this game was really befitting of the occasion. A defence splitting pass, followed by a deadly finish.

Malaysia really deserved to win this year's tournament. A solid defence, confident midfield, and 2 deadly strikers up front. Very tactically astute too...

Fujitsu LifeBook T580 Convertible
Yeah, the first review of the recently launched T580 has been published...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Microsoft to Reveal New Version of Windows
A version of Windows that supports ARM chips natively will really be something leftfield from Richmond. If this comes to fruition, both iOS and Android will be threatened, especially if it comes with phone functions.

AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 Final 1st Leg Malaysia vs Indonesia

The standards of football in our region has really improved; sad to see Singapore going backwards instead.

Anyway, this match was really nice to watch, with great football skills, tension (game was stopped for a while due to laser pointers being pointed at the Indonesian keeper), and a fantastic atmosphere at the Bukit Jalil stadium.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Slow Going for Beginning Runners

Runner's World
Have been slacking since my last IPT session. Hope to start exercising again to build up my fitness. Some great tips from Runner's World, e.g. running without a watch, or that the 2nd week will be slower than the first.

But the rainy weather isn't helping...

A Year And A Half In The Life Of Metallica

Just finished an epic 2 DVDs-worth of how Metallica recorded their 'Black Album' and their antics on tour then.

Not sure how much is real, and how much is vamping it up for the camera, but it seems Jason Newsted was still a little bit outcasted by the group...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Your Questions Answered | FUJIFILM FinePix X100

Nice touch by Fujifilm to respond to various comments made after the X100 was announced.

The stresses of modern life

Was at Orchard Road on 2 occasions recently; it was super-crowded, and the experience wasn't something I would want to repeat.

The company was great (one occasions was with friends for a wedding, the other was with friends for a dinner gathering), but everything else was just a little too rushed.

What are the symptoms of the stresses of modern life? Well, some that I can think of...
  • insufficient sleep
  • too many distractions
  • multi-tasking
  • do more with less
  • too many people
  • everything wheezing by at lightspeed
I think many of us yearn to be able to slow down and smell the roses. Instead we are forced to speed up and squeeze into the train to smell someone's armpits. Argh...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top Gear special episode

The segment shot in New York was pure class. Brought back nice memories of my visit to the US about a year ago.

Top Gear - [15x07] - 2010.12.21

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

QWERTY smartphones - an endangered species?

I must have been daydreaming; How could I be considering the Dell Streak or HTC Desire HD?

The tactile quality of a hardware QWERTY keyboard cannot be replicated. But then, how come Singapore gets a raw deal regarding QWERTY smartphones?
  • the Samsung Epic 4G is CDMA (cannot be used in Singapore)
  • the Motorola Droid 2 is still stuck somewhere
  • the Motorola Charm is underpowered (600MHz CPU, Android 2.1)
  • the HTC Desire Z is strangely reduced in specs (800MHz CPU) and seems to have build quality issues.
Other non-Android QWERTY smartphones have yet to be released (e.g. Nokia N9, Dell Venue Pro, Palm Pre 2, HTC 7 Pro).

Strangely, what's left is the Blackberry Torch. Not many apps available on the Blackberry platform, but I like its Universal search function.

(EDIT) Oops, just found out that the Blackberry OS does not support Flash. Guess I have to continue looking...

Monday, December 20, 2010

So close, yet so far - Opera Mini

The Opera Mini is still the fastest browser out there, whether it be Symbian (my old E71) or Android (my current X10 Mini Pro).

But it's still missing some key features. The most recent update (version 5.1) has strangely removed keyboard shortcuts for page down and page up. The iteration in Opera Mini 4.2 worked the best, with the left and right arrow button serving as the page up and page down keys.

Version 5 changed the mapping to the numbers 2 and 8 respectively. On a QWERTY keypad, this meant having to toggle the persistent numeric key-entry mode first (normally 2 presses of the Function key), and then the number. Still, it was tolerable.

The page formatting isn't exactly fantastic too, but the speed (and speed is the most important factor for browsing) is blazing...

The real Christmas No. 1 - Biffy Clyro - Many of Horror

I first heard this song on BBC's Radio 1 Rock Show, where they also played a short clip of the cover version by Matt Cardle.

Watch and listen to how Biffy Clyro do it.

It's so sad that Matt Cardle's version went to Number 1. See his version below, and you can hear him struggling to hit some notes. The producers even had to add in accompanying vocals at certain portions.

How commercialised the music world is. I really hope Biffy Clyro get some justice.

Dell Streak Review

Dell Streak Review – ‘Ferrari red’ revisited with Android 2.2 (Froyo) | KitGuru
Finally the Dell Streak is available. Still thinking if it is suitable for me. Nice review with lots of video in the link above...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Metallica - Turn the page

Just watched a powerful and moving music video; will post up the link later.

Tears almost ran from my eyes after watching it.

One of the best Metallica music videos...

Update: link here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What we can learn from procrastination

The New Yorker
I first came across this article a few months ago while researching about procrastination. But I didn't manage to finish the whole article. :)

Finally read through the entire piece today, and learned some useful lessons, summarised below
- procrastination can be bargained with: working now will let you watch more television down the road
- rely on "the extended will" - external tools and techniques to help the parts of our selves that want to work; one software mentioned that cuts the Internet for up to 8 hours is Freedom
- dividing projects into smaller, more defined sections helps

Fujitsu T580 available in Indonesia

Using Google Alerts can be painful sometimes. Often, the alerts are just reposts of articles, or even worst, spam posts trying to capitalise on popular search terms. But once a while, some gems can be found using this method.

One of the alerts I received brought me to an Indonesian webpage highlighting a Kompass (a newspaper from Indonesia) ad below.

The advertised price of Rp10,980,000 translates to almost S$1,600. Note: this is the i3 version, and most likely does not come with the 3G modem...

Wonder when it will be available in Singapore.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Astrid gets tweaked again
Astrid, my to-do-list of choice on Android, has been updated again. Version 3.6.1 brings back the timer function, and introduces a new way to select the due date (this is explained in the link above).

It's still not perfect though. The app ignores the "Quiet Hours Start" setting; what that means is that I still get buzzed after 11pm, the time that I set for alerts to stop.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Jose Mourinho's tactical influence in AFF Suzuki Cup

I wonder if I'm reading too much into what I've seen from the performances of the Philippines and Indonesia in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

In both their second games (against Vietnam & Thailand respectively), they seemed to be employing Jose Mourinho's tactics of defending in numbers and waiting for counter-attacks.

I saw more than a few occasions where the strikers retreated to their own half, and defended from the front. This also meant ceding possession of the ball for sometimes long periods.

On the flip side, this was paired with quick counterattacks, but also meant few shooting chances. However, both teams were still able to score (& win), as the strikers did not waste their chances with deadly finishing.

The most famous example of this tactic till date is Inter Milan's win over Barcelona in the Champions League final under Jose Mourinho. Since then, several teams have used it in World Cup 2010, with varying success.

It can be a little negative at times (Vietnam's coach commented that the Philippines parked a bus in front of goal), but the counterattacks can be breath-taking at times...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Flash 10.2 Beta works well on the Eee PC

Lifehacker: How to Get the Flash 10.2 Beta Working in Google Chrome
My Asus Eee PC is getting a second lease of life after installing Windows XP on it. One niggling issue that remained was the playing of Flash videos. Videos above 360p were jerky, and made the whole system slow down.

Just installed Flash 10.2 Beta, and activated it on Google Chrome using the instructions in the Lifehacker link above. Seems to be working well, with 480p videos being playable on it.

Dell Streak inbound

Dell Singapore
The Dell Streak is coming to Singapore via Starhub. Price without plan is $938.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010