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An Introduction Of Sorts…

• Introduction • Comments Off started originally in December 2007 as an outlet for my ranting and to showcase my occasional artistic endeavours. Over the course of time, it has evolved into something of an infrequent Tech-Blog with a dash of Pop Culture reference for good measure.
My interest in aspects of technology has led me to read A LOT about the subject and given me a unique viewpoint to throw my own two cents into the equation.

I must stress that the opinions expressed in this Blog are mine and mine alone.

I will occasionally re-post articles which I find of interest, and these will be cited as such.

Here is my contribution to the Web will continue as my Tech and General Interest blog. will continue to showcase my original artwork and Photography.

Please feel free to drop by every now and then and check out what I’ve been doing and thinking.

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Nokia N1

Nov 18th, 2014 • News • No Comments »

Nokia has unveiled its first hardware offering since it sold its devices and services business to Microsoft, and it marks a shift away from any loyalty to Windows Phone: The $250 N1 is an Android tablet that looks unabashedly like the iPad Mini, and appears to be destined for Chinese users.

Nokia doesn’t want to scrap with Apple in markets where iPads already reign and where Nokia would likely lose. The N1 tablet is instead hitting shelves first in China, where Apple is under pressure from Xiaomi, a local manufacturer that makes low-cost smartphones phones, tablets and TV streaming gadgets that controversially ape Apple’s product offerings.

Though it seems like an ignoble way of doing business, the strategy has helped make Xiaomi wildly successful in China. It recently became the third-biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world, behind Samsung and Apple.

The N1 will probably provoke as much eye-rolling in Cupertino as Xiaomi already does: it features the same 7.9-inch screen size as the iPad Mini and a body built from a single piece of anodized aluminum, volume buttons and an uncannily-positioned rear camera that are all reminiscent of Apple’s tablet (though there is of course no home button).

Nokia says the N1 was designed around its Z Launcher, an Android launcher built on top of stock Android 5.0 Lollipop, and which Nokia released onto Google Play last June.

“The idea of the [N1] tablet came about when the teams at Nokia unanimously agreed that Z Launcher deserved its own device – and that a natural fit would be a tablet”

Nokia calls the UI layer “a re-imagined way to use your Android,” and promises to “[launch] anything in one second.”

A core feature of the Z Launcher may well appeal to Chinese users frustrated with English-language user-interface designs on Western devices, particularly keyboards that don’t cater to the wealth of Chinese characters. With the Z Launcher, users can scrawl out the first letter of the app, contact or file they’re looking for in the middle of the home screen with their finger, to quickly search through files on the tablet or do a Google search.

“The tablet will initially be sold in Chinese markets and will offer Pinyin support for Scribble”

Nokia partnered with Foxconn to build the tablet, according to The Verge, licensing the industrial design, Nokia brand and Z Launcher software to the Taiwanese manufacturer. In that sense the tablet appears to be as much an offering of Foxconn, as it is of Nokia. (Nokia didn’t mention Foxconn in its press release; only an original equipment manufacturer, or OEM.)

Here’s Nokia’s reveal video for the N1:

Here are the complete specs of the device:

  • 7.9-inch, 2048×1536 (4:3) IPS LCD with Gorilla Glass 3 and fully laminated zero air gap display
  • 64-bit 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor, PowerVR G6430 GPU with 2GB RAM
  • 32GB built-in memory (non-expandable)
  • 8 megapixel rear camera, 5 megapixel front camera
  • Dual channel 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Micro-USB 2.0 with a Type-C reversible connector
  • Stereo speakers
  • 5300mAh battery
  • Unibody aluminum design; available in Natural Aluminum or Lava Gray colours

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iPhone 6 In Early September, Launch Late September

Jul 3rd, 2014 • News • No Comments »

Rumors and past release date info have thus far pointed towards a September launch date for the iPhone 6, which has now been confirmed by a reliable source that spoke to MacRumors.

Mass shipments of the iPhone 6 from China to the United States are expected to occur during the last two weeks of August and it is likely that Apple will announce the iPhone 6 during the first or second weeks of September. The first deliveries of the device will come later in the month on a corresponding Friday, roughly a week and a half after the event.

iPhone 6 render by Tomas Moyano and Nicolas Aichino

An early September event is in line with previous rumors and with the event dates of the last two iPhone generations. The iPhone 5 was announced on Wednesday, September 12 with availability occurring on September 21 and the iPhone 5s/5c was announced on Tuesday, September 10 with availability starting on September 20.

It remains unknown if the September iPhone 6 event will include just the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variations. Early rumors pointed towards production issues that might delay the launch of the larger phone, but those problems appear to be solved and a recent rumor from Bloomberg has suggested both devices could launch at the same time.

A report from earlier today pointed towards a September 25 launch date for the iPhone 6, but Apple typically releases the iPhone on a Friday, making this prediction unlikely. September 12, 19, and 26 are all probable launch dates for the iPhone 6, based on production speed and available inventory.

Apple’s iPhone 6 is expected to include a larger display size along with a thinner iPod-touch style design, an A8 processor, and camera improvements. The 5.5-inch iPhone has thus far been positioned as the premium version and may include upgrades like optical image stabilization and a larger storage capacity, with a $100 price premium.

Source: [Macrumors]

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‘MASK: The Movie’ Should Happen!

Jun 17th, 2014 • Cartoon • No Comments »

No, I don’t mean the one with Jim Carrey. M.A.S.K was a toyline that ran from 1985 through 1988, along with an 1985 animated TV show that lasted one season – although 75 episodes were broadcast.

The concept centered around the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, a group of anti-terrorist specialists locked in a battle against terrorist organization VENOM (which stood for Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem). They had two special weapons: helmets that gave them super-powers, and everyday vehicles that transformed into other vehicles that could be used to fight terrorism.

It’s actually surprising that no one has tried to reboot MASK already, because it feels perfectly primed for today’s audiences. Anti-terrorist operatives with technology that suggest spectacular CGI set-pieces – isn’t that exactly what audiences want these days? Just tone down the colorful original costumes, add some tragic backstory, and deliver to Michael Bay to produce. Profit awaits. I would be a happy boy!

Source: [Wired]

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May 8th, 2014 • News • No Comments »

ITV Encore, a brand new subscription channel dedicated to the very best of great British drama, is launching in 2014.

The channel will be available on Sky’s platforms and will be ITV’s first new channel launch in eight years.

ITV Encore will give viewers another chance to see, or a fresh opportunity to discover, some of the best ITV drama of recent times.

ITV Encore will launch on Sky Channel 123 on Monday 9th June.

The new subscription channel will be exclusive to Sky customers and will boast a fantastic selection of ITV’s best drama.

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Hubble Telescope Takes A Bad Picture

Mar 27th, 2014 • Photography • No Comments »

A piece of art? A time-lapse photo? A flickering light show? At first glance, this image looks nothing like the images that we are used to seeing from Hubble. The distinctive splashes of colour must surely be a piece of modern art, or an example of the photographic technique of “light painting”. Or, could they be the trademark tracks of electrically charged particles in a bubble chamber? On a space theme, how about a time-lapse of the paths of orbiting satellites?

Continue reading here »

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iPhone Almost Never Happened

Mar 26th, 2014 • News • No Comments »

Apple senior software engineer Greg Christie has revealed a number of details about the birth of the iPhone to the Wall Street Journal.

Christie and his team were struggling with the original iPhone’s software when Apple co-founder and then-CEO Steve Jobs told the group it had two weeks to figure it out, or it would lose the project to another team.

Continue reading here »

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Metro Stations Planned To Be Creative Oases

Feb 23rd, 2014 • Arty • No Comments »

A really clever use of abandoned space is being planned in Paris. What were abandoned, dirty, hot, claustophobic Metro stations are now planned to become clean, open and tranquil spaces.

Continue reading here »

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Centuries-Old Instrument Sounds Like Mario

Feb 23rd, 2014 • Music • No Comments »

Listen to this young girl playing her sheng, a Chinese instrument invented thousands of years ago. The woodwind may be ancient, but the sound is pure 1980s nostalgia—it’s the Super Mario Brothers theme, right down to the sounds of Mario collecting coins and mushrooms. Amazing!

Music was a big part of the old school Nintendo experience, and it’s eerie how the notes coming out of an instrument you probably never heard of sound so shockingly familiar. This young musician has certainly put in a ton of practice—clearly, all those hours playing Super Mario have paid off.

Source: [YouTube via TastefullyOffensive]

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WhatsApp + Facebook = ?

Feb 20th, 2014 • App • No Comments »

I suppose it was inevitable that an App as successful as WhatsApp would eventually attract some attention from one of the big boys. Mark Zuckerburg last night announced that Facebook would be purchasing WhatsApp for a cool $9.5 Billion. Not bad for two developers who left Yahoo to follow their own direction. To be fair to them they left it a long time to sell out; only recently adding a subs charge once a user had trialled WhatsApp for 12 months – pretty reasonable really.

The big question now is what exactly Facebook plan on doing with WhatsApp. Do they continue the current business model, or do they incorporate it into the Facebook App and leach off the juicy info that gets passed through the WhatsApp servers every day from the 400 million+ active users – for marketing purposes of course.

I’m sure we’ll find out eventually, but in the mean time I hope Jim and Brian enjoy the fruits of their success.

Source: [WhatsApp Blog]

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Catch Up TV Services Propose Joint TV App

Feb 12th, 2014 • Technology • No Comments »

BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD are banding together into one smart TV app to rule them all: Freeview Connect. And the new smart TV standard could cut YouView out of the loop.

Continue reading here »