Weighing In

Written by admin on July 30, 2010 – 7:11 pm -

How many times have you wondered how much your check-in luggage weighs especially when your overseas with no weighing scale to be found? I’ve been in caught in that situation so many times and just had to get myself one of those portable luggage scales which I actually wrote about a few years back.

Nothing much to write about this gizmo which does nothing but weigh your luggage and give you that peace of mind that you won’t be paying those hefty overage fees that airlines charge.

Powered by two AA batteries this scale is a no brainer to operate, strap one end to your luggage handle, press the power button and select if you want the read out in pounds or kilos then lift the device until you hear a beep indicating that your luggage has been weighed.

Available at R.O.X. for PHP 1400. There were cheaper ones albeit the actual scale being smaller which I figured would be a tad difficult to lift and might break easily, I went for the beefier model.

Posted in Shopping, Travel | 1 Comment »

What’s new in the iPhone 4?

Written by admin on June 13, 2010 – 10:58 pm -

So we all want one. Ok maybe not all of us. Besides wanting the latest and greatest iPhone what do we know about it compared to its predecessor the iPhone 3GS? Heres a quick rundown on what new with Apple’s latest creation and my thoughts.

First lets go through the superficial stuff, the design of the new iPhone is boxier. Two glossy panels of aluminosilicate glass, the kind used in helicopter windshields and high speed trains sandwich a custom alloy stainless steel band which provides the structural rigidity for the internal components. Apple claims that the glass panels are 20 times stiffer than plastic making it more durable and scratch resistant as the previous iPhone. Let’s see if these claims are true as I’m sure as soon as its officially out a few individuals out there on YouTube will provide us some drop tests for our viewing pleasure.

On the hardware side, the iPhone 4 now sports an Apple A4 processor, same as the iPad, meaning we can expect it perform faster than the 3GS. Why are phones suddenly becoming reminiscent of computers where we are looking at CPU speed and memory capacity? Well maybe because these little gizmos are now in fact small handheld computers.

The screen is a major upgrade. It has what Apple calls Retina Display, which boasts a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. Apple claims that the pixels are so small the the human eye cannot distinguish individual pixels. For us mortals that means a sharper text and graphics.

The iPhone 4 now has a gyro. The 3GS had a accelerometer so what does a gyro do for the iPhone 4. An accelerometer senses rotation making it possible for the previous iPhones to sense the orientation of the screen. A gyro would be able to detect full 3D attitude, velocity and acceleration rates. Enough geek talk! What can we expect with this new hardware? New apps such as motion recorders, better interaction with games and other ingenious applications that app developers can surprise as with.

Apple has also upgraded the iPhones camera from 3MP to 5MP. A front facing vga camera for video calls which Apple calls Facetime. I’m looking forward to a future Skype app that will use this front facing camera. The rear camera can also take High Definition video at 720p, I’m just not sure how memory will stack up especially if you choose the 16GB model, especially since the iPhone does not have any external memory slots like most smart phones. Theres also a LED light for low light conditions when taking still photos and videos. Nothing new there, most phones have had this for the past five years.

Lastly the iPhone 4 sports an additional microphone on top near the headphone jack to effectively cancel out external noise making for much clearer conversations. We’ll have to wait to see how effective this is as I’ve tried a dozen bluetooth headsets with so called noise or wind cancellation with less than remarkable results.

In a nutshell we get a faster processor, higher resolution display, higher resolution camera, front facing camera, noise cancellation and a gyro.

So am I getting one when they release it in the U.S. on June 24th? Nah, I’ll wait till it is released in Singapore, although the prices are steeper, Singapore mobile phones are all unlocked (open line) as it is required by law, which means I don’t have to wait to software unlocks or hacks to upgrade to newer firmware versions as they come out.

Posted in Shopping, Tech | No Comments »

Places to grab some grub in Bandra – Mia Cucina

Written by admin on June 13, 2010 – 10:17 pm -

Another great Italian place in Bandra. Having lunch on a Sunday… try the Scallopine de Maiale Alla Romana (Pan fried pork with mozzarella, proscuitto and roasted peppers). And yes they do have pork in Mumbai. To wash things down order some Black Soda, fancy name for aerated grape juice with a few bits of berries.

Mia Cucina is located along Pali Naka Road in Bandra West. They deliver within Bandra as well if you’re too lazy to go out. Tel. 022 6710-4000.

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Posted in India, Mumbai | No Comments »

Places to grab some grub in Bandra – Basilico

Written by admin on May 23, 2010 – 8:33 pm -

When I first arrived in Mumbai after being gone for 3 years I dreaded the thought of being on pizza and subway sandwiches for at least the next six months of my contract here. Until I stumbled upon Basilico Restaurant which is on Pali Naka Road in Bandra West. I was surprised to find out that they menu offering had steaks, fish, and beef burgers. Don’t forget to try the Chef Mezze Platter which consists of yoghurt and feta garlic, tahina basil hummus, falafel stick served with home made lavoche, grissini and grilled focaccia. Also try the Teriyaki Beef Steak, don’t forget to tell the waiter not to put chili or else you might be in for a surprise if you’re expecting the usual sweet teriyaki sauce. Finally I would recommend the Croissant Beef Steak sandwich and the Philadelphia Cheesecake for dessert.

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My impression of Joby’s Gorillapod

Written by admin on May 18, 2010 – 4:06 pm -

I eventually went for Panasonic’s Lumix LX3 as a replacement for my point and shoot. I was thinking of writing about it but decided not to since there are a million reviews out there on it already. What I needed was a tripod to allow me to take self portraits then I remembered seeing a small jointed tripod which I didn’t pay too much attention too 3 years ago.

What I’m referring to is Joby’s Gorillapod which frankly speaking I thought of as a really ugly looking tripod when I first saw it. I learned that a colleague of mine actually had one so I borrowed it just to try it out for a couple of days. I immediately fell in love with it because I could actually take photos from angles that would have been impossible to take with a traditional tripod. A big plus is its size, lets face it how many of us actually have a tripod handy when you need it?

Well the Gorillapod is light enough to keep in your backpack for those times when you need it. Also has a quick release head which is really handy so you don’t have to screw your camera on every time.

UPDATE : The Gorillapod now comes with a magnetic feet model.

Posted in Seoul | No Comments »