Smartphone cameras have come a long way. The earliest examples appeared more as an afterthought in the 90’s on dinky feature phones with performance that was a good deal worse than what a compact camera of the time could deliver. Images were a smudgy mess and heaven forbid if you take anything in less than ideal light conditions as you inevitably ended up with an aesthetic train wreck that would probably give H.R Giger nightmares.
Fast forward to today and you have smartphone cameras that can give even a DSLR a decent run for their money. In this year’s current crop of contenders, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones -both phones mount the same camera – have been lauded by a host of pundits as one of the most powerful cameras ever crammed into a smartphone. While it has a lower megapixel count that last year’s Galaxy S6 at 12-MP, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge bring a host of cutting edge tech into the mix that let them take better images across a host of conditions and scenarios. One of them is a vastly brighter F/1.7 lens on both front and rear cameras that allows for superb shots under low light. Add in the beefed up image sensor with larger 1.4µm pixels and you have a highly capable compact snapper.
All the light in the world isn’t going to do jack if you can’t get the money shot in time though the S7 and S7 Edge are ably equipped on that front with tech culled from DSLR cameras. Dubbed Dual Pixel tech, the cameras are able to offer significantly swifter autofocus performance to capture fast moving objects like flames, running people and the like. While a hefty ensemble of imaging tech like this on the S7 and S7 Edge can elevate the shots of plebeians into something shareworthy, it’s when you put the phone in the hands of a master that you can see its full potential. Samsung invited renowned Malaysian photographer Yaman Ibrahim to take a series of shots that showed the beauty of Ramadhan in Malaysia and they’re a real stunner. All of them were taken with the Galaxy S7 Edge with crisp detail and luscious colours aplenty. Check out his collection below:
Well, there goes the neighbourhood. Independence Day: Resurgence has just opened in theatres locally nationwide with rather impressive queues. If you’re still in line waiting for your ticket or your movie, you can have a whirl with this rather interesting site that lets you blow up whichever part of the globe you’re on virtually by overlaying a Google Street map with epic vistas of alien derived carnage – rubble everywhere, pew pew lasers streaking the sky and huge alien spaceships haphazardly double parked all over the place in the finest Kuala Lumpur driver fashion. The effects are rather mixed and seem to work best in areas without pedestrians – we tried KL Sentral and ended up with an unintimidated female pedestrian striding bravely into the face of an alien capital ship like a High Noon showdown while another fellow was nonchalantly leaning on a railing even in the face of an impending apocalypse. Give it whirl yourself here at https://id2.jam3.net
Spending habits tell a lot about people and online shopping portal 11Street surveyed over 2,000 Malaysians and how they are aiming to spend their money for this coming Raya festival season.
According to the 11Street survey which they showcased at a press conference recently, 90% of the population surveyed believed that expenditures during the coming holiday season will increase and are looking to stretch their dollar as much as they can.
The most interesting factoid culled from the survey was that 95% of Malaysians were positive about online shopping and 60% saw the value of involving family members when buying stuff. This is generally indicative that Malaysians are now comfortable with e-commerce and purchasing products online as opposed to resorting to traditional brick-and-mortar outfits.
Other interesting factoids were: – On average, Malaysians spend approximately RM900 for Raya per person. The item that Malaysians spend the most on in terms of priority was clothing followed by biscuits and sweetmeats. Groceries, curtains and furniture didn’t rank as high in terms of importance. – 80% of people in Terengganu save for Raya, the highest ratio out of all the states in Malaysia while KL folks are 43% more likely not to save. – Men are 5 times more cost conscious than women and are likely to wear clothes out completely before getting a replacement – People living in Perlis have the highest tendency to buy luxury brands
11 street also highlighted during the conference a series of new promotions under the aegis of their ‘Manis Ramadan, Meriah Lebaran’ Raya‘ promotion campaign on the site that aim to cater to shopping needs of Malaysians for the coming Raya holidays. Some of the highlights of the campaign include up to 90% discounts on selected products and RM10,000,000 in terms of coupon giveaways for popular brands like Tupperware and Nestle.
For the month of Ramadhan from June 6 to July 5 2016, they’re having a Do Good Deal promotion page where you can buy products at a higher price with proceeds going to the Budimas Charitable Foundation to provide underprivileged children with a daily breakfast.
Another interesting promo that they have are free e-vouchers that can be redeemed at participating BHP gas stations with every RM100 spent in 11Street’s car and motorcycle category giving you a chance to get one. To find out more, swing by 11Street at www.11street.my
To those who roam the lofty worlds of design and layout, the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) world championships are the trade equivalent of the Olympics meets an Ironman triathlon. Held in Florida every year, the event is a gruelling, strenuous, almost Herculean series of design tasks that are made to recognise the finest in the field using Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, the veritable holy trinity of design apps that let you fix everything from a model’s waistline from zero to hero all the way to making sure every single letter on a page is perfectly aligned and ready for print.
Participants are culled through regional preliminaries so that only one – the best of the best, representing their country makes it to the grand finals to show their stuff. It’s kind of like the Highlander, except with a stylus and a mouse. This year, the final place of the ‘Gathering’ for the ACA grand final will be, quaintly enough, in Disneyland in Orlando, Florida in August this year.
To qualify for the competition, a prospective contestant must be a student between the ages of 13 – 22 and also be an accredited Adobe Certified Associate. Seeing as this is Malaysia’s first time partaking in the competition, the top ten finalists, culled from over thirty schools and over 400 prospective candidates nationwide, have been fast tracked through the ACA programme to gain their accreditation; it’s akin to a bootcamp crossed with a Rocky training montage to make it in time to qualify. Much like real life, participants had less than two weeks to create a poster using existing material after receiving a briefing on the subject. The subject? Oh no biggie, just creating a poster to signify “Ending Poverty Through Empowerment”. Lofty? Yes. Challenging? Definitely.
Judging the entries for Malaysia are a sextet of industry veterans, each with over 15 years of experience from the largest media agencies in Malaysia as well as internationally acclaimed creative art directors. The judgement pronounced on each entry is harsh and unrelenting, based on a host of criteria that include design, skill, visual aesthetics and more. “The grand finals in Florida will see the contestants given a briefing and theme on the spot. It’s a totally different ball game,” says Natalie Sit, the Founder and CEO of Acestar Sdn Bhd, a platinum reseller and partner of Adobe who is sponsoring and hosting the Malaysian leg of the ACA championships as well as sending the Malaysian finalist to Florida to take part in the grand finals.
So far, the entries submitted for the Malaysian leg have been extremely promising. “The judges did not expect that Malaysians can come up with this level of quality with their submissions,” said Natalie.
While many of the students joined at the behest of their lecturers or friends, it was clear that they took the competition seriously. Seemingly shy and withdrawn at first, several of the finalists who took part in a short media interview became animated and passionate as they spoke about their craft and their submitted entries. Nikki Yong, a student at Saito College said,”My lecturer persuaded me to join. It took about a week to come up with the concept but once I did it was a smooth journey from there.” Her entry saw her combining an abstract of a hand drawing a graduation cap on a child’s head.”It doesn’t take much resources to draw a picture and education is critical for children. My entry combined both these ideas to encourage free education for children.”
Wong Yeah Jun, a student at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College and one of the ten finalists had a different take on the competition with a bold, strongly themed entry. “I created a unique concept by showing a little girl on a rubbish strewn beach and cropped an image of a bucket on her head and created a strong message by showing that with good education, she could have a better standard of life.” This wasn’t her first try though. Two earlier submissions were rejected by her course lecturers and it took a radical rethink before she came up with the present concept.
Another finalist aimed to go one better as he shared his vision. Nicholas Ng, another finalist from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College said,”I wanted to try a new illustration style so I went for an isometric illustration and used the shape of an island to guide a conversation of the viewer of how education can lift people from poverty.
While it sounds like a mere qualification amongst many, the ACA performs another important task – it’s the equivalent of a Centurion black credit card in the trade, a recognition of a graduate’s skill and mastery of Adobe’s software suite that goes above and beyond their academic qualifications and ensuring that they’re eminently hireable by prospective employers. “While the reputation of a student’s alma mater is important, the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) programme is internationally recognised and held to global standards which will hold a graduate in good stead wherever they go in the industry,” said Natalie.
To find out more about the ACA championships and the Malaysian leg of the competition, swing by www.acachampionship.my To find out more about Acestar, the local partner of the Adobe for the championship, saunter on to www.acestar.my
While the lads here find a fetching timepiece or an exquisitely accoutered cellphone to be a classy addition to your wardrobe, they don’t exactly keep you warm and looking good in the bargain, which is where this fetching array of hand-woven scarves come into play.
Saujana Hotels & Resorts has partnered up with Ana by Karma, a non-profit organisation in Bhutan that helps Bhutanese families build better lives for themselves. Each scarf is individually handmade and costs RM180 with all proceeds going to charity. The scarves come in a score of different designs and , yes, they’re usable by the lads too to keep fashionably warm.
They’re available at the Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur and The Club Saujana Resort in Malaysia. For more details on scarves made by Ana by Karma you can swing by their website here. To purchase a scarf you can contact Ms. Indra Devi at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re an aficionado of all things related to Fallout, you’ll be aware that there was a mock-up of a Pipboy that came bundled with a limited edition version of Fallout 4. Sure, it looked great but it wasn’t particularly well made seeing as it was little more than an elaborate phone dock with a lot of knobs and buttons. It still looked great though.
Now, with E3 around the corner, ThinkGeek has announced a new, officially licensed take on the PipBoy that ditches the onerous phone docking mechanism of the original as it comes with a proper display up front that pairs up via Bluetooth to your phone or slate so you can make and take calls, texts and the like. Charging the PipBoy is simply a matter of docking it to the Robco Industries stand that also acts as a speaker dock when the PipBoy sits on it. The inside comes with foam padding for comfortable long-term wear and most of the dials on it, acccording to ThinkGeek, work in some fashion to navigate the interface; the PipBoy is still a prototype with some kinks to work out.
The whole package also ships with a USB drive, presumably with game specific content and everything is bundled in a fetching Vault 111 case. The price for this magnificent example of gaming geekdom? Oh, a mere US$349 and it’ll ship in November this year. Still undeterred? Swing by here to make your order now.
If you’ve ever wanted a closer connection to the Caped Crusader, you’re in luck as Malaysia will be getting a small production run of the limited edition Galaxy S7 Edge Injustice edition phone that prominently features Batman’s famous iconography all over it.
For the price of entry of RM4,099 inclusive of GST, you get a wonderfully done up black box that pops open to reveal the Galaxy S7 Edge itself done up with a custom Batman backplate and gold trim around the bezels and home button along with the associated wired charger, an OTG charging cable, headphones and the like, a Black Edition Gear VR, an embossed protective casing that snaps onto the S7 Edge done up in matte black with the Batman logo embossed on it, a faux Gold batarang to fling at evildoers and a sheaf of vouchers that gives you ingame credit for DC’s Injustice: Gods Among Us game to the tune of US$100 and a voucher for US$50 of free Oculus VR content too.
The specially themed Galaxy S7 Edge in the box will be the Duos variant with a hybrid SIM card tray, an Exynos processor and 32GB of onboard storage, making it on par with a mainstream stock Galaxy S7 Edge, albeit done up in a significantly rarer paint job.
There’s only 500 units allocated for Malaysia so if you want one you had best get your finger on the trigger as preorders will begin at 10AM on 17 June 2016. Fortunately, you don’t have to keep an eye on the skies for a bat signal for this one. To get in on the preorder, logon to www.samsung.com/my/gs7injustice. Once you’re in and you succeed, you’ll need to make an RM500 deposit via PayPal to secure your order as well as register your contact details and get your pick-up location and date. Once that’s sorted, you’ll be the proud owner of one of the rarest phones in the country.
According to a report by the US Department of Labour, 65% of students today are studying for jobs that don’t exist yet. In today’s cloud-based, social-media driven, Internet obsessed age, new occupations like social media managers, big data analysts, game developers and more are becoming are becoming lucrative alternatives to traditionally stable occupations like medicine, law and the like. Technology has also made some jobs completely obsolete – the switchboard operator, the typist and the telegraph operator – all of them have gone the way of the dodo and with the march of technology and time, may likely edge out more jobs once considered as unassailably essential.
To that end, educationists the world over have been racking their heads on integrating technology into education, both to make process of imparting knowledge more effective and improving the quality of it too which is what the upcoming BETT Asia Leadership Summit and Expo is about. Formerly known as the British Education Training and Technology show, BETT Asia is a show that’s focused on education technology. Essentially, it’s a summit about the tech and the techniques that help teachers and countries teach students in a better, more effective fashion.
Taking place on 15 and 16 November at the Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur, the conference is interesting, not just for educationists but for those on the sidelines as well as it sees policy and decision makers debate and discuss on the quality and state of education as well as ways to improve it. For 2016, the theme for BETT Asia will be ‘Educating for Global Citizenship’ and is expected to see some 1,400 attendees and 60 exhibitors covering the gamut of education systems in the region. This is the first time Bett has been held in Malaysia.
At a recent press conference, H.E. Vicki Treadell CMG MVO, British High Commissioner to Malaysia said “BETT Asia Leadership Summit in Malaysia augurs well with our Education is GREAT campaign which was launched in Malaysia earlier this year and will be rolled out to the wider ASEAN region. It is also timely as the Ninth ASEAN Education Ministers meeting, chaired by Malaysia this year, has agreed to adopt the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020. Education will continue to be a key theme for the UK’s engagement with Malaysia and ASEAN. The UK is pleased to be part of that and eager to be a partner of choice in the delivery of education across the region.”
A host of major concerns are supporting the initiative, including the British High Commission, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), Microsoft and more. To find out more about BETT, swing by asia.bettshow.com
In a recent press conference on their first birthday anniversary, they shared what iFlix will have in store in the future for subscribers. Coming in the following next few months are a cornucopia of shows including iFlix only exclusives like Season 2 of Mr. Robot, Season 1 of Hunters, season 1 of Bosch and more. The complete list is below:
Flash (Season 2)
Arrow (Season 4)
Mr Robot (Season 2 – EXCLUSIVE to iflix)
Hunters (Season 1 – EXCLUSIVE to iflix)
Bosch (Season 1 – EXCLUSIVE to iflix)
The Magicians (Season 1 – EXCLUSIVE to iflix)
Downton Abbey (Seasons 1-5)
The 100 (Seasons 1-2)
Pretty Little Liars (Seasons 1-6)
The Originals (Seasons 1-3)
The Last Ship (Seasons 1-2)
House (ALL Seasons)
Keeping Up with The Kardashians (Seasons 1-4)
30 Rock (ALL Seasons)
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
Gotham (Season 2)
X: Men – First Class
Night at the Museum
The Office (ALL Seasons)
Better yet, they’re celebrating their first year anniversary with a birthday bash in the grandest fashion – with a binge watching festival!
Fourteen lucky iFlix users will get an amazing prize pack. We’ll detail the swag you get later. For four users who have watched the most minutes on iFlix from May 26 – June 1, you’ll win an awesome prize pack. Four iFlix users who have watched the most minutes on iFlix since its launch a year ago will also win a special prize pack. Four iFlix users who are the most active on social media with iFlix also get a prize pack. One lucky fan of Malaysian star Maya Karin will also get a prize pack based on their interaction on Facebook and Instagram. Top actress Sazzy Falak will also be giving away one prize pack to one of her fans on Facebook or Instagram.
Now (drumroll please), each prize pack is worth a whopping RM7,500 and consists of the following awesome items that essentially kit out your whole home with a solid video watching setup:
1 x 48-inch Full HD Samsung flat H5003 series 5 TV
While the launch of any flagship smartphone these days is usually greeted with the sort of pomp and glitter that you’d expect on a fashion runway in Milan, it’s been repeated to the point that people are desensitised to the whole affair. There’s only so many waifishly slim models and shiny presentation decks to go through before the whole affair becomes more ceremonial than celebratory. Huawei took a different approach though with their recent global launch for their flagship phone.
At the worldwide launch of the Huawei P9 at Battersea Evolution, London they introduced their new phone along with a surprisingly new element added to the mix that’s completely from left field – Superman and the Black Widow.
While they weren’t in character for their titular roles, Henry Cavill appeared in a studly suit and Scarlett Johansson rocking denim and a sassy blond do’ are the new poster boy and girl of the flagship Huawei P9 phone, both appearing in a slickly shot commercial where they engaged in a photographic duel of sorts in Shanghai where both took advantage of the myriad features of the P9.
Nary do either one meet in the short commercial but both make full use of the features of the P9, in particular the rear camera that has a pair of Leica certified cameras on the back. It’s a slick, classy affair that nicely sums up just what the phone can do in under a minute and while getting Hollywood A-list talent isn’t a new play in the perpetual marketing ballgame, it’s a testament to Huawei’s global reach and appeal that it’s embarked on this impressive undertaking. Though seeing their success, it’s a given. According to IDC, they’re the third largest smartphone vendor in the world after Samsung and Apple.
If you’re itching to get your hands on Huawei’s wunderkind and, by extension, Superman and the Black Widow’s favourite handset, the P9 will arrive in Malaysia on 28 May and will come with a 5.2-inch 1080P display, 3GB RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, a Kirin 955 processor, a rear fingerprint scanner, a USB type-C port along with a 3,000mAh battery, all crammed into a metal casing that’s just 6.95mm thin. The rear dual 12-MP cameras are Leica-certified, with one camera capturing colour while the other captures images in mono, combining to take superior images across the range. It will hit stores at a price of RM2,099 in three different colours. It’s available on preorder now till the 27 May on Vmall and if you hustle, you can get some sweet bonuses too. The first ten who preorder and pay up will get a free Honor Z1 band smartwatch worth RM269 on the house. That’s quite a bargain any way you slice it.