Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will change how we use mobile devices?

This phone (phablet if you like) offers essentially the same features as the Galaxy Note 4, but distinguishes itself with an extra curved strip of touchscreen on the side.

With this 160 pixel of 'edge' screen, you can customise buttons to make it the notification centre when you are doing something else on the main 5.6-inch display. Samsung said the phone will change how users interact with mobile devices and applications. This, in my opinion, is left to be seen.

The phablet looks big in the hands of most of us. Image: Computerworld Malaysia

The new phone is retailed at RM2,999 which is a bit expensive for a transitional mobile device.

Would you grab one? Or, do you prefer your current Galaxy S5, Note 4, or iPhone6?

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. Your cup of tea?

Galaxy Note Edge: Specifications

  • 2.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB / 54GB storage + up to 64GB microSD
  • 5.6-inch display: Super AMOLED, 2560 x 1440 resolution (with additional display of 160 pixel)
  • 16MP rear camera (Auto focus, Optical Image Stabilization)
  • 3.7MP front camera (f1.9)
  • Supports WiFi 802.11ac, GPS, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, IR LED, 4G LTE Cat 4 + 4G LTE Cat 6
  • Dimension: 151.3 x 82.4 x 8.3mm
  • Weight: 174g
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 3000 mAh battery (adaptive fast charging)

Other features: Air Command, S Note, Snap Note, Direct Pen input, Multi Window, Ultra Power Saving Mode, Voice Recorder, Heart rate sensor, Finger print scanner, UV sensor

What you can do with it differently:

  • access apps with full, split or pop-up screens, 
  • change apps size and position with one easy swipe,
  • skip music, pause videos and control other apps using the Curved Edge display,
  • keep your notifications and alerts neatly organised on the curved side,
  • 'supposedly' incoming calls, texts and emails no longer get in the way,
  • design your own Edge Screen and express yourself by using your favourite images and phrases,
  • arrange your main app icons aligned to the side so you can leave the rest of your home screen clutter free.

Availability & Price

Available now in 'Charcoal Black' and 'Frost White' at all Samsung Experience Stores and Samsung authorised retailers.

Retail price: RM2,999 (US$825).

TheGreenMechanics: Doesn't look like a phone that fits my bills, but others may find this interesting and one that suits their need. Verdict: The price is too prohibitive.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Karambunai Lagoon Park - perfect for large group outing.

The Lagoon Park is located at Mengkabong river front, on the edge of Karambunai Peninsula and is just 5 minutes away from Karambunai Nexus Resort & Spa. It is owned and managed by the resort.

For Nexus resort guests, entrance is free. For non-guest, fees of RM10 (adult) and RM5 (child) are applicable which is fair and pretty affordable.

As mentioned in the title, the park occupies a large usable area and is suitable for family day, group outing ans seminar as is can accommodate 500 visitors easily.

Depending on weather condition, you can enjoy all of the recreational activities offered, such as:

Motorised -
  • parasailing
  • banana boat ride
  • wake boarding
  • water skiing
  • jet skiing
  • knee boarding
  • boat ride
  • fun fishing trip
  • sunset/firefly cruise

Non-motorised -
  • kayak
  • volley ball
  • pottery painting
  • batik painting
  • archery
  • etc.
Of course, you can bring your own props and tools once you get permission from the resort.

Open-type multi purpose hall.

Play chess with your friend, on a huge 'battleground'

Not bad a location for landscape photography session.

'Frame your shot...and, fire away'

Take the jet ski for that adrenaline-filled ride...

...or take a dip and play water polo (I'll call this wet volleyball)

Need some instructions while stretching? Not to worry, they have plenty.

On the other side of the lagoon you can see some excess gas burning (not part of the park).

The popular Kokol hill (your gateway to Kasih Sayang Resort) is on the background. Note the prominent tele-com antenna overlooking Menggatal and Kota Kinabalu.

More pictures of Karambunai Lagoon Park here.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Switch to LED lamps, save 90% of energy...

Ok, 90% may look a lot and you thought that 'it's too good to be true'.

While you can't be blamed for thinking it's a total bull*, there is truth to it. A 100W incandescent lamp can be replaced by a 20W compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) of an equal luminosity. Today's technology can offer a LED lamp equivalent of 10W to 12W power consumption.

So, comparing to incandescent lamps, switching to LED saves you about 88% to 90%.

However, most of us are no longer using 'traditional' incandescence lamps nowadays, hence, that 90% efficiency claim is not attractive to us anymore. The reference now for efficiency gain is the CFL, which is a big improvement from the energy guzzling filament lamps. Still, LED is the way forward.

In 2012 the Ministry of Green Technology and Water announced that to government is phasing out traditional light bulbs (incandescent bulbs), which would eventually lead to a complete ban in 2014.

I don't know if everyone has thrown theirs in favour of LED lamps yet but for me the announcement was a 'hasty' one.

Should we change to LED light bulbs now?

Ideally yes. But there is issue with this type of lighting, apart from the PF issue (though it may not be anymore), the manufacturing of LED lamps is highly unregulated unlike the conventional ones. The LED component itself may last 10 years, perhaps 15 or 20 years, but the driver unit's lifespan varies and is significantly shorter.

Due to the unregulated (not standard) construction of drivers, one that's fabricated by Osram for instance, would not fit one that's fabricated by Phillips.

What this means is that, you end up buying the whole set of lamp instead of just replacing the faulty parts - which is an expensive exercise. You will then be stuck with one brand, without having the flexibility of switching between Philips, GE, Panasonocs, Osram, etc. Moreover, LED lamps are still very expensive and you don't want to replace them after just 2 to 3 years due to faulty drivers.

Doesn't this remind you of the convenience - you currently enjoy - of replacing your 36W fluorescent tube with a brand of your choice?

The Green Mechanics: Prices of LED lamps are dropping but not appealing enough for me. I'm currently more inclined towards replacing mine with the CFLs. I use them a lot - 20W, 23W and 25W - equivalent to traditional bulbs of 100W, 125W and 150W respectively.