The Diary of an Android Virgin: Touched for the very first time

Android 2.3

I have to confess, I’ve never been with an Android before. I’ve heard so much about it, though. And everyone who’s had experience with an Android say that they had (and are still having) the time of their life.

The Google Nexus S was officially launched by Maxis in Malaysia on Friday, 18th March 2011 and the people at Maxis were nice enough to loan a unit to GreyReview for the purpose of this exclusive review.

So this will be my first time with an Android. I hope it will be gentle with me just as I will (try to) be gentle with it.

First Base: Undress… errr… Unboxing

For those not familiar with this amazing gadget, the Google Nexus S is a phone built and designed by the folks at Samsung. It is the second Android phone that Google has assisted with a manufacturer to produce, with the first device being the HTC Nexus One.

It is the first device to offer users a taste of Google Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread, it is also the first device to support NFC (Near Field Communication) in its hardware and software. Indeed, this smartphone is literally packed to the brim with features.

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Papa’s got a brand new bag…

google nexus s

Yep, a Maxis bag.

But it’s what’s inside it that’s got us giddy like schoolboys.

The Google Nexus S.

The successor of Nexus One, Nexus S is Google’s second exclusive phone that is developed by Samsung. In addition, it is the first mobile device that is running on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). It has a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen with 480 x 800 resolution and a contour display with curved glass screen. Other features of the Nexus S include a 1 GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, a 16GB internal storage, a 5-megapixel camera and supports Near Field Communication (NFC).

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Upin & Ipin: The zenith of Malaysian animation (so far)

upin & ipin

Mention Malaysian animation to me and the first thing that pops to my brain are those various animated public service announcements on TV in 80s, such as the anti-aedes and anti-dadah campaigns and the Sang Kancil animated stories and age-old parables inculcating various social values.

Fortunately, the state of Malaysian animation has come a long way since those shorts. 3D style animation is the way forward and a Malaysian animated show currently riding high is the much beloved Upin & Ipin, which features the adventures of 5 year old twin brothers in a fictional Malaysian kampung (village). Originally a side project for the blockbuster animated film Geng: The Adventure Begins (Malaysia’s first CGI-animated feature film which is one of the highest-grossing Malay-language films in history), Upin & Ipin was introduced on TV9 in 2007 as a six-episode Ramadhan month special, to instill significance of the Islamic holy month amongst children. To date, the series has reached its fourth season, including another Ramadan special season in 2008. Its third season which was more secularized and went under the new full title Upin & Ipin dan Kawan-Kawan and which premiered in early 2009, was picked up by Disney Channel Asia for the international market (airing in November 2009) with dubs in English (the official dub, as the credits and episode titles are in English as well), Mandarin and other languages.

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TRON: Legacy – A worthy successor [Movie Review]

olivia wilde tron legacy

In our retro review of TRON, we hailed it as a milestone in the computer animation industry and a hugely enjoyable piece of escapism which has stood the test of time. Since even before that review was published, we have been patiently anticipating the long awaited sequel to that ‘80s masterpiece, TRON: Legacy with bated breath. Now that the wait is over, was it worth it? Will TRON: Legacy be celebrated as a cinematic opus like its predecessor? We’ll get to that in a minute.

The movie starts in 1989, and we are reintroduced to the original main protagonist, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), who by that time had become the CEO of Encom and creator of the Grid, disappear after making a great and secret discovery. Cut to the present and we meet his son, Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund, who played Brad Pitt’s Achilles’ cousin, Patroclus, in Troy) who is sent by Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), to investigate a mysterious page originating from the long abandoned Flynn’s Arcade. There he is inadvertently digitized into the Grid where he participates in the games so familiar to Tron fans; disc throwing, light cycle races, the works. He is then rescued by Quorra (Olivia Wilde) and reunited with his father and the trio have eight hours to reach the portal and get back to the real world, while CLU 2, the elder Flynn’s grimly authoritarian avatar with his own designs on the real world, tries to prevent their escape.

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Telekom Malaysia (TM) suffers backlash from Streamyx subscribers over Fair Usage Policy

TM

Telekom Malaysia (TM) recently came under fire from frustrated Streamyx subscribers who alleged that the telecommunications giant had begun implementing a “hard cap” on their broadband accounts, specifically in relation to international traffic in order to curb P2P heavy bandwidth utilisation. This cap was allegedly applied by TM across the board, i.e. both low usage and high usage users are affected and irrespective of type of traffic (HTTP/HTTPS/FTP/P2P are all affected) so long as they are international.

A thread started by the owner of the popular VPN service, BolehVPN, in the Lowyat.net forum has grown to 109 pages, with subscriber after subscriber posting their bandwidth speed test results evidencing this cap.

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Apple iPad Makes Delayed Landing in Malaysia

apple logo color

Seven months after it was released in the US, the iPad finally (officially) arrives in Malaysia. Better late than never right? After all, we’re only getting it four months after it was officially launched in our neighbor Singapore.

The good news is that now Malaysians are finally able to buy an IPad that is covered by full official support and warranty, as opposed to those covered by shop warranty and support if you were to buy them from, say, Lowyat Plaza.

Below is a list of prices of the various iPads which will be made available through Mac stores and Apple shops in the Klang Valley and Penang:

iPad WiFi

  • 16GB: RM1,549
  • 32GB: RM1,849
  • 64GB: RM2,149

iPad 3G

  • 16GB: RM1,999
  • 32GB: RM2,299
  • 64GB: RM2,599
  • On the data plan front, there’s Maxis who is offering three plans:

    • Entry 3.5GB – RM70 per month (available for postpaid and prepaid)
    • Super 6.0GB – RM90 per month (available for postpaid only)
    • Premium 15.0GB – RM200 per month (available for postpaid only)
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    Tron (1982): A retro review [Movie Review]

    Tron 1982

    Let us look back to a time before the advent of photo-realistic CGI and its accomplishments, such as the shape shifting T-1000, the annoying Jar Jar Binks and the tragedy that is Gollum. Specifically, let us look back to the year 1982 and one of the first films to extensively use computer graphics; Tron.

    Tron tells the story of hacker/arcade owner Kevin Flynn (played by Jeff Bridges) who is desperate to prove that the hottest videogames from software corporation ENCOM were stolen from him by a former co-worker Ed Dillinger (David Warner), who is now a senior executive there. Flynn’s efforts, however, are made fruitless by ENCOM’s megalomaniacal Master Control Program (MCP). One night, the MCP catches Flynn in an attempted hack and pulls him into the virtual world. Flynn finds that the MCP is making life in the virtual world just as, if not more, miserable as in the real world. Flynn’s only hope is to find Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), a heroic independent system security program, and help him destroy the MCP to bring order to both worlds.

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    YTL Yes 4G broadband pricing leaked on Twitter

    yes-logo

    Looks like the rates for Yes, the new 4G broadband service, powered by YTL Communications have been leaked (intentionally?) on Twitter by @albnok. His tweet on Wednesday evening claiming “the cat is out of the bag” is accompanied by what appears to be an official bunting which would probably go public on Yes’ official launch, which is scheduled to be 6pm on Friday, 19th November 2010.

    More like a teaser, the picture reveals that for 9 sen, Yes offers 3mb of data, 1 minute usage and 1 sms on a pay-as-you-use basis, which is actually quite reasonable as it translates to only 3 sen per mb of data. By comparison, TuneTalk offers 5 sen per mb and that is on EDGE.

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    Want free online legal forms and guides? Have a Smokeball

    smokeball logo

    Ask any law student if the name Smokeball rings a bell and he or she will tell you about an old landmark English court case called Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, about misleading advertisements. Well, there’s nothing misleading about the online services provided by Smokeball Malaysia, which was launched in Malaysia in January 2010. An offspring of Smokeball Australia (which commenced operations in 2008), Smokeball Malaysia provides legal practitioners (aka lawyers) with practical, affordable and up-to-date legal practice guides and precedents, as well as free legal forms. According to them, these online guides are updated regularly and gives legal practitioners access to the most up-to-date precedents and guidance 24/7.

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    Bold 4G Marketing by YTL: Did Lucas say Yes too?

    Stormtropper by Joe Wight

    If you were walking along the Bukit Bintang (Kuala Lumpur) area last weekend, you may have bumped into a group of Stormtroopers (or Yes Troopers), the faceless grunts made popular by the Star Wars original trilogy, patrolling the said area giving out flyers promoting yes, the latest 4G broadband service in the Malaysia. These stormtroopers, with a big “yes” emblazoned on their armor, is part of a marketing campaign adopted by the 4G operator to generate a lot of interest for the brand and its upcoming mobile service that is slated to be launched on November 19, 2010. Yes.my’s flagship store will be located at Lot 10, which explains why the stormtroopers are concentrated in the Bukit Bintang area.

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    Facebook The Motion Picture [Movie Review]

    The Social Network

    Ah, Facebook… that online social network service where you can collect friends (most of whom you’ve never met or probably never will) like bottle caps and Poke and Super Poke them ad nauseum. Where you and your friends (those you actually know) can plan flash mob events and disrupt public places like malls and train stations and then tell everyone all about it via… . where else? Facebook.

    But have you ever wondered how Facebook came about?

    That is the focus of David Fincher’s latest film, The Social Network, written by Aaron Sorkin (of The West Wing fame, among others). It tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg, brilliantly played by Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland, Adventureland), a student in Harvard who after being dumped by his girlfriend (played by Rooney Mara) sets about to find a new project to get him over his break-up grief.

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