Recently in Perspectives Category

An Apple a day

Just like many others, i was shocked and upset the day Steve Jobs passed away. When i see an Apple, i don't see a computer -- i see a statement. This is how computers should be like: to work as intended. There is no greater compliment to be paid to a piece of technology.

Apple dawn

Working on Christmas

Took a drive out for supper last night, and was surprised that so many shops were open late into Christmas night. Of course, all the normal suspects were open, the Starbucks, the PapaRiches, the 24-hour-never-closed-like-ever-mamak-shops. But even the smaller ones as well, the fast food equivalents of simple Malaysian cuisine. Toiling, sweating and churning out the dishes for what seemed like an unending crowd, they are the gastronomic heroes of the night.


Merry Christmas, world

Picked up this photo in Mid Valley. The place was packed on Christmas Eve. I suppose it's the same the world over, last minute shopping. 'Tis the season for giving, after all. Read between the lines and this also means it's the season for buying as well. 


If you bring yourself down to their level

What does that make you?

Background: Malaysiakini today released a news item about a leaked US embassy cable claiming that the ex-Election Commission chief had confessed in confidence to have issued 60,000 ICs to foreign nationals.

I'm no lawyer but that's hearsay, many times over. Man confesses in private to another man who reports it to another man who reports it to another man, then intercepted by Wikileaks then reproduced as news.

Not surprisingly, some people see this news as confirmation of BN corruption affecting the electoral polls, confirming what they have heard elsewhere, perhaps confirming what they personally believe. BN is evil therefore they must be capable of evil things, including the creation of false voters through illegal immigrants. They will do whatever it takes to win, therefore, they must have done this (because they can't win the elections any other way). Sound familiar? I've heard and read it often enough to know this type of thinking is very common amongst those who dislike BN.

But I think, as much as the Opposition has a right to fight the Good Fight, if it encourages things like this - believing in hearsay, coming to premeditated judgements, selective verification of truths (don't these things sound oddly familiar? *cough* Sodomy II trial *cough*) - then it loses the high moral ground completely. What I would have liked to seen is a PR politician coming forward and saying that as a law-abiding society, we should not bring ourselves down to the level of those who would cheat us of our rights.

PR doesn't want you to believe it when Anwar's room mates in MCKK tell their friends in confidence today that Anwar had a liking to boys. Fitnah, they say, lies, they say, Hearsay. But when the shoe is on the other foot, they gladly embrace it. Well, to that, I say, hypocrisy.

- Posted from my iPad

Greed was to blame for the Petknode hell

I've tried my best to stay away from news about Petknode. Not because i don't care, but because i get very emotional about cats and pets. I lost my lovely Jess a few years ago now, and i still feel very sad about that. So the less i know about Petknode, the better it is for my emotional health.

Today, i gave it some thought after reading about how the owners of Petknode, self-professed animal lovers, apologized for the horror show their pet boarding home had become.

It made me wonder. Who is to blame for what had happened? Of course, apologies and good intentions do not absolve Petknode for what they did; their greed and short-sightedness led to the whole mess.

But how about the greed and short-sightedness of the cat owners who sent their pets to Petknode? All trying to take advantage of the ridiculously cheap RM3.95 per night per cat "Hari Raya offer". Even at first glance, that's such a load of crap. How can an owner expect good care for their beloved pets at such a cheap rate? Pay peanuts and expect monkeys, my father used to tell me. How true.

Here's a few more: if it's too good to be true, then it probably isn't. Caveat emptor, buyer beware.

Of course, i have the advantage of hindsight, but i would never entrust my pets under such an offer because (a) being a pet owner, i know that looking after a pet well costs more than RM4 and (b) at such cheap prices, Petknode would attract many customers, thus making it even more difficult for my pet to receive quality care.

Business run on margins or volume, almost impossible to have both at the same time. If something that normally costs RM15-RM40 per night is brought down to RM4, that means that business is being run on volume. Pet care, because it involves living beings, is a business that simply CANNOT be run on volume. Volume businesses run cheaply because they cut corners, usually quality corners. Do you cut quality when you're paying for a service for a loved one (your pet)? 

Why couldn't the pet-owners see this? It's so obvious. Unless they were blinded by the cheap RM3.95, taken in by their greed for a good deal. We're all looking for a good deal, that's why sites like Groupon are doing so well. But when dealing with life and our loved ones, a "good deal" is often not good enough.

My favorite iPad apps

Before I bought the iPad, it struck me as a great device. Chalk that up to Apple's marketing engine. Now that I actually have it, I know it is a great device. In some ways better than great. Amazing.

What makes it great? it does what it's supposed to do, minimal fuss, maximum delivery. For a piece of technology, any piece of technology, that's the practical Holy Grail: working as intended.

So what does the iPad do so well? It's a media consumption device. I've consumed gigabytes of data since I got it, and I'm still hungry for more, partially because the experience is so enjoyable.

Think of it this way. We all have to eat. But when you eat at a slummy restaurant you probably just eat enough to get full. When you eat at a posh restaurant, you eat for the pleasure of it. Same thing with the iPad.

One of the great things about the iPad are the apps that support it. If the iPad is the posh restaurant, apps are the furnishings, cutlery and tableware. The following are my personal favorites:

Photo Apps - Luminance, Pixlromatic and Photoshop Express. Each of these photo apps are cool on their own, but I've found that using them in concert works best.

Evernote - media store room. I don't leave home without it. Have it on my PC and iPhone as well. It's that good.

Hootsuite - a very good social networks aggregator. Facebook and Twitter all in one place, covering multiple accounts. Bliss.

Air Playit HD - love this. Allows me to transform my desktop and notebooks into video streaming servers for my iPad. Download movies on my desktop, watch them conveniently without have to mess without conversion or file transfer on the iPad. Uber.

Photo Transfer App - transfer photos take on my iPhone to my iPad! That's as good as it sounds. Especially considering the iPad camera is just crap.

Readings - BBC News, The Economist, iBooks. Reading a book on iBooks is easier on the eyes than I thought it would be.

TuneIn Radio Pro - I've always enjoyed listening to the radio. Doesn't get better than this, the radio world is practically in the palm of my hand.

TED - I'm a fan of the website, the app allows for much more convenient navigation on the iPad and the creation of "inspire me" playlists that I really appreciate.

In a way I'm surprised at the amount of media I've been able to consume in a day. Maybe that, more than anything else, is testimony at how technologically defining the iPad has become.

- Posted using from my iPad

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Perspectives category.

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