Google Galaxy Nexus With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

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Google Galaxy Nexus

The next generation of Google’s Android platform with their flagship phone model has been announced in Hong Kong on 18 Oct 2011. This is the fourth major version of the open mobile platform code-named Ice Cream Sandwich.

Here is my take on the new features and capabilities being shown now.

New look and feel – The new font is very pleasing to look with its slight curves at the ends of letters. I’ve always favoured the darker theme starting with 3.x and this version will do well to give that kind of sophistication to the device.

Face Unlock – Should be quite secure, knowing that face recognition technology can differentiate between a live human face and a photo. My concern is whether the front-facing camera is fast enough to be enabled and unlock the phone compared to existing methods. What about lighting conditions, cultural limitations, and when you are not in a comfortable position to use your face?

Android Beam – Now this is the future of sharing with friends physically near to you. It has always been a hassle to go through the vast data network just to go between devices a few feet away. Bluetooth transfers are not platform-agnostic and tends to be slow.

Voice typing – A useful feature we all know as dictation. Has to be real-time and not have to wait for it to “think” after finishing a sentence. Still, I’ve yet to see any such voice recognition technology being able to understand all variants of English. I remember IBM used to do this quite well with your own voice being trained first. Compared to Siri on the iPhone 4S, I think this lacks that extra ability to get your phone to do simple tasks without typing, such as create reminders and search for short answers.

Google+ – We already got that everywhere, Google.

Browser – Good to improve on the tab management. I find myself going to the menu too often to move between tabs. This is not difficult to implement, what took you so long?

Gmail – Offline capability is important, as much as people use this on their desktops. Bring it to Google Docs too!

Mobile Data Management – Eh, 3G Watchdog?

Single-Motion Panoramic Camera – Simple trick of recording your shot in video then stitching the best frames together to make that panorama effect. Nothing new or useful here (how often do you look or print a panorama?).

Vibrant high-definition display – 4.65″ sAMOLED with 720p screen? Sorry I don’t intend to carry a TV in my pocket and I don’t think I’ll grow bigger hands any time soon.

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Nokia 8110

Contour Display – Nokia 8110, no thanks.


I’m not greatly impressed by the feature list. While it is good to leave hardware buttons in the past, ICS lacks new ideas on the way we interact with the device. Why don’t we make more use of the sensors such as the gyroscope, compass, GPS and microphone?

Location-based services are very useful these days, if you can develop the smart apps for it. Videos and other data-intensive apps need the ability to download via wi-fi and in the background, managed by the Android system.

Use the display in new ways, such as a means to communicate or as a dashboard in the car. We need better graphic API with lower cost of C/GPU usage. I’m not interested in having a 2GHz chip in my pocket when the GUI staggers along!

What are your thoughts on this phone and Android 4.0?


Google Galaxy Nexus

Unwrapping Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Nexus

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Bersih 2.0 – Your Human Rights Do Not Exist in Malaysia

As Bersih is happening right now on 9 July 2011 in the Klang Valley, Malaysia, I applaud those who stand up to the injustice and wrong-doings of our country’s leadership. As long as you are persecuted yet still fight for your rights, you are doing the right thing.

I believe in human rights, in the human need to fight for your place in this world. At the same time, the Earth is full of evil people who will stop us and resort to violence and intimidation. I say we demonstrate our beliefs like how Mohandas Ghandi did:

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall – think of it, always.”

This is the list of confirmed road blocks around the city as of Friday 8 July 2011:

  • Istana Negara
    • Jalan Syed Putra
    • Jalan Istana
    • Jalan Bukit Petaling
    • Jalan Bellamy
    • … and areas surrounding the Istana Negara
  • National Mosque (Masjid Negara)
    • Jalan Sultan Hishammudin
    • Jalan Lembah Perdana
    • Jalan Chenderasari
    • .. and areas surrounding the National Mosque
  • Areas surrounding Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka)
    • Central Market
    • Majid Jamek
    • City Hall
    • Sogo
    • Maju Junction
    • Kampung Baru Mosque
    • Jalan Kinabalu
    • Jalan Kuching
    • Jalan Sultan Ismail
    • Jalan Raja Laut
    • Jalan Sri Amar
    • Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
    • Jalan Haji Taib
    • Jalan Raja Muda Musa
    • Jalan Raja Bot
    • Jalan Raja Abdullah
    • Jalan Dang Wangi
    • Jalan Munshi Abdullah
    • Jalan Gereja
    • Jalan Raja Chulan
    • Jalan Tun Perak
    • Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Loke
    • Jalan Sultan Mahmud
    • … and all areas within


Latest traffic news around KL - Kuala Lumpur Real-time Traffic Report (Past 24 hours)

Malaysiakini – KL blockade: mass arrests, leaders slip into city

Malaysiakini - Multiple marches in downtown KL, tear gas fired

Whether you are going to KL this afternoon, please stop reading tyrannic propaganda (i.e. The Star, The Sun, Berita Harian), spread the truth of our country and government, open your minds and exercise your power to vote. Vote for your right and your future.

As I have quoted before from Edmund Burke:

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

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Bersih Lady of Liberty

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Five Reasons Not To Stay At Avillion Admiral Cove

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Avillion Admiral Cove - Please Don't.

In the first week of August 2010, I decided to take an ad-hoc getaway to a beach scene. Thinking that the first time to this place wasn’t bad and that there was an “August & September Promo”, we booked for a RM350++ “Premium Room” for one night’s stay at the Avillion Admiral Cove in Port Dickson, Seremban.

I have never had a hotel experience as repugnant and overrated as Avillion Admiral Cove.

Let me give you five very good reasons why anyone should not stay at the Avillion Admiral Cove, in ascending order of impact in my personal experience.

1. Poor and almost non-existent reception service

I believe the hotel was actually a serviced-apartment that complimented the yacht club, which means the design, infrastructure, location and facilities were not meant for holiday-makers. At the driveway where we dropped off the kids and luggage, the so-called lobby is about 20×20 feet large with a little bar the staff uses as “reception”.

There is no signage, keydrop, carpet, or proper indication where reception is and where the different kinds of rooms are.

The path to the elevators require three turns along a 5-foot corridor, which cannot be accessed if you have had to park your car one level lower, since the ground level can only accommodate about 30 cars.

If I’m paying hundreds of ringgit a night to stay at this resort, I certainly do not feel I am at a resort, but more like an apartment building with guys hanging around not greeting me and happened to be pushing luggage around.

2. Poorly-maintained kids’ pool

After we checked in to our premium room and successfully figured out which one of the 5 video inputs to the LCD TV was for the cable channel, my boys headed to the shady pool by the clubhouse. It looks good until you start using it.

There were all kinds of foliage at your feet in the pool. The sea lion statues by the kids’ pool were not secured and could fall off and basically pin children under the water. One of my boys managed to let loose one of them and the water hose practically sprayed all the kids, leaving them crying.

Screws and sharp metal edges were all around the base of the sea lions, waiting to cut children’s feet when they walk over.

3. Rude staff, lack of supper options, and dangerous bar

After wondering if this was a hotel and kids terrified of sea lions for life, we dropped by the hotel bar for supper and a few drinks. Well, we got the drinks, but a lot more that we didn’t expect.

With a total staff strength of one, the bar had broken glass on the floor and no food other than salty peanuts. We couldn’t get any beer other than draft Tiger, which took repeated questions to get the attention of the bar crew. Of one lady, who looked like her cat died but the manager didn’t grant her grievous leave.

By the time we cleverly ensured that our next round of beers were secured, the lady staff had the cat balls to stare at her watch in front of us. Next thing we knew, she came over and told us, “Can you please finish up faster as we are closing the bar at 12?”

I think Avillion should really think about her cat.

4. Unresponsive breakfast staff

The next morning we had buffet breakfast at the clubhouse. Weather was pleasant, guests were gracious and comfortable, until we met the cook who minded the eggs.

We walked up to her, already quite satisfied with the breakfast quality, asking if there were any omelettes. The dark and blank stare that hit us was utterly shocking. It was as if we asked for a new object in the universe.

Even if it is something new or if she couldn’t respond adequately, a simple gesture would have sufficed as an answer. Wait, is she the same fella at the bar last night?

You call this customer service?!?

5. Dirty beds with mites causing weeks of itchy sores

The piece de resistance of this entire experience. The mites in our hotel beds which still has a lasting impact on my entire family until the writing of this post.

Both double beds and the day bed was infested with mites which we only realized soon after we checked out. This was when everyone felt supremely itchy on our backs and limbs. Soon, sores appeared. We kept itching and scratching. The effect becomes particularly more apparent after we bathe.

This is not the kind of impression that hotels want to leave on guests long after they are gone! What the hell is wrong with this establishment? Are they trying to get closed down? Did the cat say anything before it died?

Incidentally, my brother-in-law had the same kind of beds just two weeks before me at its sister establishment, the Avillion Port Dickson. Until today at the time of this blog post, he still has those sores all over his back and legs! This is what you get from “an award-winning beach resort”, ptui!

Please heed my warning and do not patronize at either the Avillion Admiral Cove or Avillion Port Dickson in Seremban, Malaysia. For me, it will be the last time I’ll ever spend my money there.

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