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Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Past Decade for Samsung, LG, Huawei and ZTE

Samsung and LG, two Korean electronics manufacturers steeped into the mobile phone industry with a wide range of mobile phones at affordable prices. By taking advantage of the marking resources of their home appliances divisions, both companies have managed to gain a significant market share from Sony Ericsson and Motorola. On the other hand, Huawei and ZTE, two Chinese network equipment manufacturers have also made their moves into the mobile phone industry in recent years. 

All four took very aggressive approaches in creating acceptable quality products at the lowest possible prices. While it is every consumer's dream to have a wild range of mobile phones at affordable prices to choose from, the quality (use of materials, durability and overall quality) of these products are sometimes disappointing. However, manufacturers tend to roll out better quality products once they have gained enough market presence.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Past Decade for Apple, HTC and RIM

The past decade for Apple, HTC and RIM has been fruitful! While Nokia has moved the greatest volume of mobile phones; these three companies sold numerous ARPU generating Smartphones in the past decade. By participating in the advancement in technology, they have enjoyed significant profit growth (as the margins in Smartphones are generally better). Whether these companies can continue to achieve greatness depends on the abilities of their leaders to dream and create.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Outdoor Sculptures @ Sha Tin Park

These sculptures have been on permanent displays since 2008. The general public are free to access 24 hours a day. The easiest route is to take the MTR to the Sha Tin station and walk towards the Sha Tin Town Hall.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Past Decade for Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola

The Past Decade for Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola was full of ups and downs. By taking advantage of their early work in developing cellular network protocols, their knowledge in the technology and their relationships with wholesale and distribution channels; all three companies had their glory days. Tremendous growth lead to tremendous competitions. Their lack of ability in staying focused and staying ahead of the game caused all three mobile phones giants to fall, in one way or another.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Past Decade of Mobile Phones

It's October 2010. Yet, most of us can still remember the fresh taste when the new millennium has arrived. In the past decade, so many things has happened in the mobile phone industry.

Ten years ago, cellphones began to gain their popularity. We began to make wireless phone calls using these mobile devices. Over the years, we began to send short messages, send multi-media messages, make video calls, browse the web at turtle speed, at a reasonable speed, then finally at an acceptable speed. Nowadays, we spend more time touching and rolling on the screens of our smartphones than making phone calls. Even if we have had an intelligent phone conversation, we would still ask the other person to "send us an email to confirm" using mobile email. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Brief History of USB modems

USB modems have been around for about five years. The first company that pioneered in this invention is a Chinese manufacturer named Huawei Technologies. At that time, this was a brilliant product adopted by several global operators including Vodafone, T-mobile and 3 Hutchison. Since then the size, shape, function and download/upload speed have improved over the years.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Home Broadband: Integrated Gateway

Integrated Gateway, also known as 3G Wireless Router or Fixed Mobile Convergence device, is an enhanced version of Mobile Wireless Routers. In addition to its wireless router function, integrated gateway also has a standard telephone port. With one mobile connection (one SIM card subscription), user can enjoy both telephony and data broadband at home or office.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Home Broadband: Mobile Wireless Router

Mobile Wireless Routers provide fixed wireless broadband for your home and office. The device itself is a Wi-Fi / LAN router. It has a USB port for plugging in an USB modem to share the mobile broadband connection with other users. There are already several well known computer accessories manufacturers produce high quality mobile wireless routers. They are easy to set up and make life so simple.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Three must-have Android apps

The Android OS comes with a range of great built-in applications. The Google suite (Gmail, Maps, Market, Search, Youtube etc) is marvelous. Manufacturers also design their own built-in apps, making Android handsets even smarter.

There are already so many web sites that talks about the 10, 25 or 100 must-have Android apps. Let me take a slightly different approach. If I am allowed to download and install only three apps from Market, what would they be?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wireless Broadband Everywhere: USB modems

At a size slightly lager than a portable USB drive (USB dongle), USB modems enable mobile internet connection on your laptop or PC. This is perhaps one of the many inventions inspired by Jame Bond movies: imagine Bond sitting besides the pool side, insert an antenna lookalike device to his computer, and send electronic telegraphs to his boss in England. Fiction? Not anymore! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wireless Broadband Everywhere: 3G Wi-Fi routers

If you own an iPad, Android tablet or a netbook, isn't it nice to have a portable Wi-Fi router with you all the time? While it is doubtful whether this technology will survive with the introduction of Wi-Fi tethering on smartphones, let's take a look into these gadgets.

Portable 3G Wi-Fi routers have been around for almost 2 years. With a size smaller than a deck of playing cards, they have gained their popularity in Japan and parts of Europe. The idea is simply brilliant: insert a SIM card and share a mobile data internet connection with five other users via Wi-Fi. One single charge of the battery can last up to four hours of constant streaming.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pros and Cons of Wi-Fi tethering

One great feature of a modern smartphone is its Wi-Fi tethering fuction - its ability to share its mobile data connection with other devices via Wi-Fi. In a few simple clicks, your phone turns into a Wi-Fi hotspot. You can connect your iPads, iPod touchs, PSPs, netbooks, laptops to your cell phone via Wi-Fi to get online.

Windows Mobile/Phone and iPhone already support Wi-Fi tethering. With the official release of Froyo OS 2.2, Android phones can now become Wi-Fi routers. It is becoming a must-have feature of smartphones. Let's discuss the benefits and limitations/cautions of this wonderful function.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Choosing the Best Android Smartphone

Google's Android operating system has certainly gained its popularity since late 2009. At present, there is a wide range of models produced by a wild range of manufacturers to select from. How to decide which smartphone best suits your needs? How to determine which model will truly simplify your life? Having worked with Android phones since mid 2009, I can share a few tips with you. 

Which one suits you best?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Movie Review: Wanted

Wanted (2008)
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
Starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Thomas Kretschmann and Angelina Jolie


The Storyboard
An ordinary accountant was approached by a mysterious female assassin and offered to train him to be one of their own. He has unleashed his true potential with a burning desire to seek revenge for his father, only to discover that his father wanted him to live an ordinary life. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Movie Review: Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading (2008)
Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Starring George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton 

The Storyboard
A sacked low clearance level CIA agent lost a CD containing notes for his memoir. Two gym employees found the CD and were eager to sell this "top-secret". Both the Russian embassy and the CIA got involved, without really knowing why themselves.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Movie Review: Inception

Inception (2010)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe and Michael Caine
 
The Storyboard 
A team of dream thief executes a complex plan to plant a simple idea into their target's mind. In order to achieve that, they must dream within this person's dream; and dream even more. As expected, things never go according to plan...
About...
(I) The Script: A truly intelligent story and script. The "dream within a dream" concept is mind blowing and yet entertaining.  Perhaps this concept is similar to the popular Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) approach.

(II) Shooting and Editing: Very well planned and managed. The rules & terms were explained in the first third of the movie. The director then took the audience between the real world and four different levels of dreams with brilliant editing. There were also distinct differences between each level to avoid confusions. 

(III) Sound and Special Effects: A-class computer animated special effects. Good; but perhaps spent too much time on presenting how the rain-drops and broken glasses scattered. 

(IV) Must-see Scenes: The dream-architect scene featuring DiCaprio and Page. -- Lots of special effects with element of surprises.
The sequence that triggered every crew member to wake up from their different levels of dream. -- Very well handled by the director. 

(V) Ending and Bonus Features: The last scene suggests that DiCaprio may be still trapped inside his dreams without knowing.  However, audience who stay until the end of the closing credits would be able to tell that DiCaprio's totem has stopped spinning (ie. He's back in the real world.).
 
What if...?
Can the movie be more simple instead? I suspects only 20% of the audience understood 80% of the content. These are also the people who can spot the imperfect parts. (eg. Watanabe's decision to purchase the whole airline would likely to drive his target away, as this deal involves public interest and will be published on newspapers.) In reality, most audience did not go to the cinema to have their brains overloaded.
 
Overall...
One of the most popular and well made movie of the year!  If you like complicated and twisted plots in movies; you must see Inception. If you don't, well, this movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Caine.

DiCaprio's acting has improved so much since The Titanic and Catch Me If You Can! Christopher Nolan has proofed that he is a brilliant director whose movies will sell with or without Mr Batman.


Drew saw Inception at the cinema.




Friday, October 15, 2010

Movie Review: The Expendables

The Expendables (2010)
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin and Mickey Rourke


The Storyboard 
A bunch of beefy boys ("senior" mercenaries) volunteered to overthrow a dictator on a remote island in South America. The team blew up almost everything on the island and managed to survive with only minor scratch. A true Rambo style movie!