Today is International Women in Engineering Day: Meet some of the world’s brilliant engineers and inventors

James Dyson Award

While it isn’t a universal day of celebration and typically shared by those within the industry, today marks International Women In Engineering Day. On this day, the contributions of women in engineering across are recognised and celebrated.

For 2020, the theme for International Women in Engineering Day is #ShapeTheWorld which represents a celebration of how engineers have shaped and continue to shape the world as we know it and their help in making our planet a better, safer and more innovative and exciting place to be. Check out this short video and see just how these engineers have made the world a better place.

Building the future – Words from James Dyson Award 2019 National Winner for Malaysia


Last year, Sara Moi, Malaysia’s national winner 2019 impressed the judges with her innovative yet simple invention dubbed the Eat. Easy that enabled the differently-abled or those suffering from injuries and unable to use both hands to effectively eat food on a plate one-handed. She shared a few words with us just in time with the commencement of the James Dyson Award 2020 competition.

James Dyson Award

Tell us about yourself and your invention…

I am graduate major in Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) Product Design, Universiti Sains Malaysia. As part of my final year project, I conducted a study on “What amputees use to achieve their daily tasks”. Through the research, I was inspired to invent Eat.Easy – a plate defender that helps those facing difficulties eating with one hand. Eat.Easy is made from food grade silicon and easily washable with a single hand. Aside from amputees, Eat.Easy could also be used by stroke sufferers, or multitasking mothers who are concurrently carrying a baby while eating with a single hand.

What advice would you give to future entrants currently working on their applications?

Be creative and keep trying. Design and invention is not a one-step success, but comprises many stages of iterative design and development. Never ignore advice, or ideas that come to mind; they could very well be a solution to solving a real world problem.

What do you think the future holds for invention?

With the ongoing pandemic, health will increasingly be an area of focus for inventors. We’ll see inventions that help improve health and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The environment is really important as well – so I believe more inventors will design products using environmentally friendly materials and methods.


James Dyson Award 2020 – Open for Entries for Malaysians

If you want to make a difference and have the engineering knowhow or an innovative idea that needs to be shared with the world, you’re in luck as the James Dyson Award is open for entries in Malaysia. To participate, you can check out this video and link here for more details on how to participate.

Malaysia telcos to offer 1GB free data daily until 31 December as part of Economic Recovery Plan

According to an announcement today by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the government has extended the prior free data initiative all the way to the end of the year with participating telcos offering 1GB of free data daily as part of the ‘Pelan Jana Semula Ekonomi Negara’ or Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan worth RM35 billion with RM10 billion as a direct cash injection by the government.

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The free 1GB of data will be offered from 8AM to 6PM daily and will continue until 31 December 2020 to allow Malaysians access to education, productivity (video conference applications) and news by participating telco companies which include Maxis, TM, Celcom, Yes, Digi and U Mobile.

Also announced is free unlimited access to the Ministry of Health and other government related websites along with unlimited use of the government’s applications related to COVID-19 that include MySejahtera, MyTrace and Gerak Malaysia . For more details on the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan, swing by www.penjana.treasury.gov.my

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Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) extended till June 9 in Malaysia

In a televised address to the nation today, Malaysia Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the ongoing conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) will be extended by one month and will end on June 9th 2020.

Based on the prior modus operandi for the ongoing CMCO, which was first announced on May 1st, this means that there will be no interstate travel nor will there be trips out of the country. Most business activities will be allowed to resume operations under strict operating procedures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Conditional Movement Control Order

This means the enforcement of social distancing, the mandatory recording of temperatures and the personal details of visitors to the premises of a business establishment if there is a need for contact tracing, regular sanitisation of all critical areas and other security measures. Much like the earlier MCO that was announced earlier on in March, mass gatherings that include social gatherings, exhibitions, conferences and religious activities are still not allowed.

Conditional Movement Control Order
What this means for Malaysians is that the upcoming Hari Raya, Kaamatan and Gawai celebrations will be a more muted affair with the ban on interstate travel. Fortunately, the Prime Minister did add that close neighbours and relatives are allowed to visit each other within the state to a maximum of 20 people at a given time. Stay safe out there everyone!

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Realme 5 Pro sells like hotcakes on Malaysia debut

Smartphone purveyor realme has only been in the market since last year but they’ve certainly been making waves with a slew of value-packed phones. Their recent launch of the realme 5 Pro and the realme 5 phones, both of which were highly affordable phones in their respective price ranges made quite a stir especially with their asking price. 

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A couple of days ago, the realme 5 Pro was made available for general sale in Malaysia at realme stores and dealers nationwide on 12 October and the response was impressive to say the least with extensive queues for the phone. According to realme, their realme 5 Pro was sold out in 24 hours the moment it hit the market. 

Today, realme 5 Pro was sold out on its first sale day and we would like to extend our gratitude to fans who are now owners of the realme 5 Pro. Here at realme Malaysia, we will continuously bring in more leap forward technology and lifestyle products to our fans here in Malaysia as everyone deserves to enjoy realme’s leap-forward experience,” said Tiffany Teh, Brand Manager of realme Malaysia.

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To refresh your memory, the realme 5 Pro is a successor to last year’s realme 3 Pro and sports a rear 48-MP quad camera array, a 6.3-inch FHD+ display up front, a Snapdragon 712 SoC, 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage. The front comes with a 16-MP selfie camera and the whole affair is juiced by a 4,035mAh battery via a USB Type-C port with VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge. In Malaysia, the realme 5 Pro retails for RM1,099. 

 

Those looking for a more affordable option will likely veer towards the realme 5 which has prices starting from RM599 and has a more modest but nonetheless solid array of hardware. Check out our review of the realme 5 Pro here and the realme 5 here. For more on realme follow their page here. Stay tuned to Hitech Century for more news and reviews on realme!

11street spices things up with bigger line-up of Korean goodies for purchase online

If you are a devotee of Korean cuisine and you’re staying in Malaysia, you’ll likely notice a dearth of places where you can score authentic Korean groceries at affordable prices. Granted, there a few spots where you can acquire them in town though seeing exchange rates these days, they inevitably cost a bomb. Fortunately, 11street has resolved that complication in a suitably wonderful fashion.
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11street has expanded their partnership with food distributor K Market in order to widen the list of Korean groceries, snacks, condiments and more from the Land of the Morning Calm that you can purchase online. The good part is that these groceries are at competitive prices that can easily match rates in Korea and 11street has ensured that the most of the range is halal too.
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Starting from today, you can purchase a host of Korean groceries and specialty products ranging from soy bean paste, kimchi, topokki rice cakes, low sodium salt and more with discounts at up to 15%. If you love that quintessential cornerstone of Korean snacks – Pepero biscuit sticks, you’ll be able to purchase a selection of them at up to 30% at 11street too. To get started shopping, swing by www.11street.my/store/kmarket.

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Malaysia’s pioneer contestants for Adobe’s gruelling ACA World Championships are ready to rock and roll

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.

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Source: www.acachampionship.my

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.

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An example of a prior successful entry from previous contestants to the ACA world finals. At the time of print, the entries for the Malaysian candidates were still under embargo but will be unveiled at the Malaysian finals.

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.

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From left: , Nikki Yong (finalist) Natalie Sit, CEO and Founder of Acestar, Nicholas Ng (finalist), Wong Yeah Jun (finalist)

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

Samsung’s Raya deals let you win a car, tons of swag and more

Getting home for the holidays is going to get a wee bit easier this time around as Samsung is now serving up an interesting giveaway competition where purchases of selected Galaxy series devices – -both phones and tablets too – worth RM300 and higher will score you chances to be in the running for 30 Honda City sedans. You’ll have to buy your device from an authorised dealer and the complete list is available on their official website here for eligible outlets and devices. Throughout the competition period, they’ll announce winners with six total draws spread across eight weeks.

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If you’ve been eyeing that Galaxy S7, S7 Edge or Note 5, now is the time as buying any of these three devices gets you triple the chances to win as each phone gets you three entries. Any purchase of the aforementioned devices also gets you a free wireless charging stand worth RM 279 along with the chance to buy the Gear VR at 30% off at RM321  from the original price of RM459.

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The giveaways aren’t limited to just smartphones and slates. If you’re purchasing a Samsung TV, air conditioner, vacuum cleaner, fridge, microwave or washing machine from a selected range of models, you’ll be able to get discounts, rebates or purchase-with-purchase special deals. That’s not the end of it as Samsung has another giveaway competition for whitegoods – for every RM300 you spend, you get a chance to be in the running to win a travel voucher worth RM10,000. For more details, swing by their official site here. The competitions, promotions and giveaways run from now until 17 July 2016.

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Lenovo launches the plush Yoga 900S convertible, X1 series notebooks and more

Lenovo today launched a veritable slew of hardware for their ThinkPad, ideapad and Yoga series notebooks across a variety of form factors ranging from convertibles, tablets, all-in-ones and more.

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The most interesting piece of hardware on offer was their Yoga 900S notebook which made its debut at CES earlier this year. The Yoga 900S looks exceptionally bespoke up close with a polished metal external finish and unique watch-band style hinges that lets you flip the display all the way around to turn it into a slate or prop it up as a display for movie watching duties or even tent-style if so needed.

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The Yoga 900S is light enough to comfortably hold one-handed
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The banded watch-style hinges are sturdy and fetching, allowing you to flip it all the way around to turn the Yoga 900S into a tablet as needed

The mechanism itself and by extension the notebook itself is remarkably slim, allowing the chassis to be just 12.8mm thick, mking it the world’s thinnest convertibles on the planet. It’s also surprisingly light too at 999g.
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In terms of hardware, the Malaysian version of the Yoga 900s will come with a 6th gen Intel Core m7 processor running Windows 10 Home, Intel HD graphics, up to 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. The display on the Yoga 900s is a 12.5-inch QHD touchscreen with 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution with a front-facing 720p videocall camera up front. The battery is rated for 12 hours of 1080p video playback. In terms of ports, the Yoga 900s comes with one USB 3.0 port, a USB Type C port with video out and a DC-in along with the obligatory audio combo jack. The Yoga 900S is now available in the market with prices starting from RM5,999 depending on configuration.

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The slimness of the Yoga 900S makes it one of the best looking laptops in Lenovo’s inventory

At the same time, Lenovo also launched an array of X1 series hardware in the form of the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the ThinkPad X1 tablet, the ThinkPad Carbon, the ThinkCentre X1 All-in-One and the Thinkvision X1 Visual Monitor. The highest end and best specced out of the lot, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga notebook costs a rather impressive RM9,799 but what you get for your money is a nippy Intel Core i7 vPro processor, up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, a 512GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics and a 14-inch 1080P touchscreen crammed into a casing that’s just 1.2kg light and 16.8mm thin, making the ThinkPad X1 Yoga one of the thinnest 2-in-1 business laptops on the planet.

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The ThinkPad X1 Yoga sports the Yoga’s flexibility with a 360-degree hinge and the ThinkPad’s sturdiness in one form factor

It also sports a fingerprint reader and a trio of USB 3.0 ports along with a reversible double-hinge that lets you flip it all the way around and back to turn it into a slate or use it as a display. It also has an upgunned variant with a 14-inch WQHD 2,560 x 1,440 pixel OLED touchscreen for a slightly higher price tag though the availability of this variant wasn’t announced at launch.

Also at the launch was their MIIX 700 detachable which comes as a tablet with a detachable folio-style keyboard. The slate portion comes with a 14-inch, 2,160 x 1,440 pixel resolution touchscreen running a 6th gen Intel Core m7 processor paired with up to 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD and integrated graphics with a battery rated for nine hours of video playback time. Plunk on the folio keyboard case and you can get some serious paper crunching work done. The tablet itself weights 780g while the case itself weighs 330g, with a combined weight of just over a kilo or so combined. The whole affair, including the case retails for RM4,199 and hits stores sometime in June this year.

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The Lenovo MIIX 700 features a detachable keyboard that lets you use it as either a tablet or a notebook

While it wasn’t as heavily touted as the rest of the notebooks on display, Lenovo’s Pocket Projector nevertheless still drew in a crowd. The whole affair is the size and thickness of a chunky palm-sized deck of cards weighing 288g and lets you throw a 110-inch 480p resolution image on your wall from three metres away. A pair of built-in 1W speakers means you can get the party started with a portable movie watching experience and the integrated battery offers three hours of juice away from the mains; enough to watch your average feature movie. The Pocket Projector costs you a bit over a grand at RM1,099.

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PropertyGuru shares revamped mobile app and key local insights

According to real estate site PropertyGuru, despite an economy in the doldrums, Malaysians are still keen to invest in property. According to the burgeoning site, which now has 42% market share in Malaysia and a presence in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, some 83% of Malaysian buyers are in the market for new projects and out of the total, 36% specifically prefer new projects. Granted, it’s not exactly like the smell of fresh leather and wrap akin to getting a new car but the sentiment is similar.

Property Guru shared a few more figures about the Malaysian property market. According to them, the outlook for investing in a chunk of prime real estate these days is admittedly low but there’s still a strong consumer sentiment to buy with 56% of the public being interested in investing in a property within the next six months. While the market has been on a downward trend and been in the doldrums, it has bottomed out and there’s slow consistent growth in demand till the end of the year.

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Malaysian buyers prioritise location, price per square feet and future developments in the area over other considerations when looking at a property according to website PropertyGuru

In a media briefing, PropertyGuru also shared how they’ve made the hunt for a dream home easier for both realtors, buyers and sellers alike with their mobile app for Android and iOS devices as well as their revamped website. One of their key improvements is the inclusion of project reviews on the PropertyGuru website. These are commissioned by independent writers who do an on-the-ground, write-up from the perspective of a prospective investor so that aspiring home owners can get a more insightful view of a property rather than from a realtor or from the property developer. There are currently some 200 plus property reviews on the PropertyGuru website though they are expanding this rapidly to include all major developers and properties in the country.

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Their revamped app also allows prospective investors to check out all manner of properties for sale and rent in Malaysia via a range of criteria with the ability to easily contact realtors, search for real estate based on area, price, construction date and even crunch out how much your loan will likely cost you. To download the Property Guru app for the Google Play store, swing by here. For the Apple store, swing by here. To visit their website have a gander here.

PropertyGuru Malaysia Country Manager Sheldon Fernandez
PropertyGuru Malaysia Country Manager Sheldon Fernandez at a recent media briefing

 

 

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is now in Malaysia for RM2699

While Samsung initially announced that only the Galaxy S7 edge will be available in Malaysia several months ago, they’ve now decided to make its more affordable sibling the Galaxy S7 with a conventional 5.1-inch Quad HD Super Amoled display with a razor sharp 577ppi available in Malaysia with modest fanfare.S7 in black

Barring the display, the S7 has identical hardware to the S7 edge including the lauded rear 12-MP camera with an f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilisation and DSLR-grade Dual Pixel imaging tech, the Samsung Exynos 8890 processor, a huge 3,600mAh battery with fast charging tech, water and dust resistance and a dual hybrid SIM/microSD card tray.02

The S7 retails for RM2,699 inclusive of GST in a choice of Black Onyx, Gold Platinum and Silver Platinum at all Samsung Experience Stores and selected Maxis Stores nationwide as of 29 April. For more details swing by the official Samsung website here.

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