Friday, 15 August 2008

Is 'Human Rights' fundamentally flawed?

By no means that I am against human rights by raising this question. 

The 'Human Rights', in this argument means the practice of so called human rights, but mostly the 'western human right ideology'. Something that the western governments and NGOs often use to when it comes to criticizing none-pro-Western countries. 

What makes me think this way is because the way 'human rights' is been used in today's global politics. What is happening right now really looks like a 'duet' of those NGOs and their 'hosting' governments. Don't you think so? 


  • The Human Right Watch - USA Government 
  • Amnesty international - The United Kingdom

Just to name a few of the biggest and most active human right related NGOs. Check out their history and the current activities, you will know what I mean. 

WOW! What a huge topic. Got to admit, this is well out of my league. Enjoy the freedom of speech...

Thursday, 10 April 2008


This is my guess on the coming iTablet, or whatever it is called, if it ever comes. It looks like a giant iPhone with a 6.4 inch screen (B6), about the size of 3 iPhones together in a row, just about small enough to keep in your pocket. it is somewhere between the iPod touch and the ModBook. It would be the perfect replacement for our notepads. 
  1. Running a Full Featured OSX, but a GUI like iPhone, with all the apps icons at 'home', no docks. icons including the Finder, and other customized files. 
  2. Finder opens up in 3 column view, scroll and click like on the iPhone. a single click on the file opens the 'quick view'. 
  3. Every app opens up in a new 'Space', in the full screen view. Switching between the apps require going back to the 'home'. 
  4. Multi-touch and Stylist input. A WACOM style stylist, it will increase the productivity of such device significantly, from graphic design to simple notes. 
  5. One 'Home' button, one screen orientation button, and a multi-touch lock key. 
It might come with an additional model with 10 inch screen targeting the graphic design market, i.e. A5 sized, with larger SSD, better battery life, and of course higher price tag. 

Friday, 4 April 2008

PMP, MID, UMPC ... Blah Blah Blah

The IT industry is trying so hard to open up a post-PC age with their smaller form factor device. It was called UMPC in 2005, and then MID some time last year. And at some time in the past, another type of device had merged targeting the personal multimedia market, they call it PMP. The Industry may have heated up for products like these, but not yet the consumers. Why? The simple answer will be: they haven't find the sweet spot, i.e. the right products. 

Name doesn't matter here, whatever you are calling them, it's a rectangular device with a screen in the front, and a processor, memory, storage, network chips...etc and a battery at the back. What I see here is really how to align the right set of features with the right form factors (Size, i.e. Screen size). 

Category 1, iPhone/iPod Touch class Device. A multi media device with web and email functions. It is basically an entertainment tool. We have a few of these around already; some are doing better than few others in the block. 

Category 2, a 'constructive tool' device, a tablet, you may call it. I believe this is where the future is heading. Aside from most of the entertainment features the smaller device has, it should deliver a set of much richer functionalities, without loosing the simplicity. The most obvious difference will be the use of the stylist, the pen. In the essence of the design, this device should be the perfect replacement of a personal notepad in the digital world. 

So, why have we not got there? 

It is mainly the processing power required is much greater than what was available in that form factor. This is about to change with the introduction of the new line of microchips from Intel, Atom. With Atom, it is possible to built a 'computer' with a size of B5 notebook, but as powerful as the main stream laptops in 2005. 

The other obstacle is the software development, mostly the GUI design. To today, most of the sub-notebooks are running on full featured OSs. On a small screen, the user interface looks very uncomfortable. The EeePc is a good start, with its simple Linux GUI. It will be the direction of the OS development on such devices. But, don't forget the stylist, it will make a huge difference on the productivity of these tools. 

The idea of the ModBook is not bad as an example, only to be too big in size. Imagine a tablet with 7" screen (3 iPhones together in a row), GUI similar to that of the iphone, but full-featured OSX running at the background. It will be able to running any software that you would install on your laptop, only to open in a new 'Space', meaning, only one application on the screen at a time, but you can always go back to the home to go to other program spaces. It will be so easy to catch the flash of ideas of yours. 

These are just some wishful thinking, let's see what dishes they will bring to the table in June, when Atom is ready to be cooked. 

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Tibet, Tibet, Tibet ...

I feel so little we can do to help, but this is the least I can do. 

Last week, a violent turbulence that have not been seen for nearly 20 years have stormed Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. The western media starts to accuse Chinese "occupation" of Tibet. For that, many of us felt horrible. There is a very good clip on the YouTube stated 6 points that all of us should know about Tibet: 

The most important here, legitimacy, on for over a millennium, Tibet has been a part of China in one way or another. Tibetans among other 55 ethic groups make up the "Chinese". 

In China, roles of army is different from the west. The Chinese Army carry out more work inside the country, such as road construction, flood control, or even the cleaning up the snow earlier this year. 

Here, the western media played brutally on China, using many images that was not even in China to portrait the event, and misinterpret photographs to make the public believe the "story". 

This clip pointed that out pretty well, since music too. 

BUT, after all this happened, I can't help to think that our government would have handled the issue better. 

Media freedom is actually much urgently needed. While the media waiting to be informed that what can be shown and what cannot, the Media war was already lost, as it miss the window for the first move advantage. 

What if there is a live coverage on the event while it develops, that would shut the CNN/BBC up for guessing what is going on. This would take much courage and confidence, that, is something we may or may not have. 

So, please, don't let this happen again. And, please, let it go with the media !

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Once in the AIR, it's hard to go back.

Despite all the drawbacks in Air's Design, I finally could not resist not to buy a super light MAC notebook. I went for the higher spec model with the infamous SSD, since it was the only version available at the Apple Store. Fine, that's a good excuse! 

Have been with my MacBook Air for 3 days now. Feeling like home with it, I have missed so much having a Mac since my Powerbook retired. Not much to complain any more. Single USB port is some how tolerable. An external HHD pretty much solved the problem of 64GB internal storage issue too. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

The Dust Has Settled - MacBook Air

Yes, it is real, Apple has introduced a supper slim notebook, the MacBook Air. With the thickness of 1.94cm and weighed just over 1.3kg, Apple claims it "the world's thinnest notebook". However, just by the look of it, it reminds me of the SONY X505, a sub-notebook that introduced over a year ago. 

I'm quite sure that the X505 has the comparable thickness, and definitely lighter (Well below 1kg) and much more compact (with a 11" display) than the MacBook Air.

I don't understand why on earth Steve pick up the TZ series from SONY. At the same prize, you get much more compact laptop at roughly same weight, with a same CPU (TZ90), same RAM but more on videos, most importantly two storage options (SSD + HD or HD + Optical). What the SONY doesn't have is really the MAC OS X. 

Well, do I like the MacBook Air? Yes, I have been waiting for a slim MacBook for years. And yes, I have been hoping for SSD on MacBook. But not quite on this MacBook Air. So what is missing here, let us role out price factor for the moment. What could Apple have done to make it a better product. 

First the design: 

  • Thickness - Good enough, I don't care as long as it is below 2cm. 
  • Size - 32cm x 22cm (Not the thickness here), why the hell did they make it so big! You can almost fit a 15inch display in there. The design seems to be the main reason of this, the extra material to make the supper slim edge. 
  • Weight - Good. 

  • Display - 13.3" could be a good choice for such notebook, but with so much space around the display, I'm not so sure. 
  • CPU - seems to be the low power version of the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, should be powerful enough for most of the applications. 
  • Graphics - on board Intel X3100 chip set, pretty standard. But the 144Mb shared memory is disappointing. You get 256Mb on the SONY TZ. 
  • 2Gb Memory - Good, enough for most tasks. But no room for expansion, not so surprising on this type of notebooks. 
  • 1.8" HHD/SSD - Good choice. But with that price ... 
  • keyboard - Full size, floating design like that on the MacBook and the TZ. 
  • Trackpad - multi touch employed first time. Cannot comment on this for now. 
The most disappointing: I/Os 
  • Single USB port, can't you out one more there? 
  • No Firewire support, I think it is the first time in MAC history. 
  • External Ethernet port, need to buy a separate accessory. I can't imagine anyone can live without it for the next few years. 
  • No audio input, sometimes could be critical. 
To sum up, the MacBook Air is really a apple version of the X505. In my opinion, they had sacrificed too much for the slim-factor of the design. We have to wait and see whether it was worth it. 

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Size Matters! A Lesson from 色|戒

last weekend, I went to watch the movie Lust, Caution, 色|戒, by An Lee. I can't say that the movies was so great by An Lee's standard, but it was very artfully done. Telling a story of a girl who was trying to assassinate an enemy general by becoming his mistress. 

Wow, the sex scenes were hot! 

The ending was quite unexpected. While the everything was set-up to take the enemy down, a 6 carats PINK diamond ring saved his life, in a way. 

What a lesson to men, in the critical moments, a diamond, size matters! It will save your life. haha, of course, color is important too, if you can afford it.