Archive for August 2013

How many people are using Hashtag on Facebook?

It’s been more than 2 months since Facebook launched hashtag. So I was wondering how many people are using Hashtag on Facebook.

It was National Day Rally last Sunday evening. Twitter is filled with people using the hashtag #ndrsg. My Twitter feed was moving so fast that I can hardly catch up. So I decided to check on Facebook to see the buzz there. Not really that fantastic. In fact, things hardly moved during Sunday night.

I forgot to take a screenshot that evening. But I took a screenshot the next day. Still not as good as what I’m seeing on Twitter.

FBHashtag

There are definitely people using Hashtags on Facebook. But there’s just not enough to make an impact. If someone followed Facebook’s #ndrsg on Sunday evening, he will most likely not get the timely update on what was being announced at National Day Rally. To be fair, there might be a lot of people using Hashtag on Facebook but their privacy settings set to display the status to Friends only.

But it still goes to show that Facebook is still not a good platform for breaking news. Twitter is definitely the king when it comes to breaking news. Even though Facebook launched Hashtag more than 2 months ago, I still don’t see how they going to win Twitter when it comes to breaking news. And to be honest, I would prefer things remain this way. Facebook and Twitter are two different platform that serves different needs. I really don’t understand why Facebook decided to launch hashtag. There isn’t much benefits here.

Oh well, at least we aren’t seeing people misusing Hashtag on Facebook…. yet.

HTC One Named “Best European Advanced Smartphone 2013-2014”

This is actually no surprise. The HTC One was awarded the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) award for “Best European Advanced Smartphone 2013-2014”.

HTC One_B&W

Distinguished for its robust aluminium body, Full HD 4.7-inch Super LCD screen and advanced imaging performance, the HTC One is one of the best smartphone in the market now even though it has been launched 6 months ago.

Praised as the “smartphone that everyone else will aim to beat in the future”, the EISA Award judges recognised the HTC One for its Sense experience which “offers a unique user experience, including ‘BlinkFeed’ which fills the home screen with a personalized stream of news feeds, updates from social networks, photos and videos.” The EISA jury was also impressed by the quality of the HTC One camera features commenting, “The main 4-megapixel camera offers an image sensor called UltraPixel with vastly improved light sensitivity. Optical Image Stabilization, Macro and HDR support; a vast number of photo apps is also pre-installed, like Zoe that records up to 20 photos plus a 3-second video in one go, creating live galleries of your favourite moments. The front firing stereo speakers are treated by nothing less than Dr. Dre’s ‘Beats Audio’ providing an unparalleled listening experience. This HTC smartphone is truly One of a kind!”

The HTC One has been the recipient of several industry awards since its launch in February 2013, including the GSMA’s “Best Mobile Handset, Device, or Tablet” at MWC 2013, Computex Taipei’s Gold Medal award for Design & Innovation, as well as receiving a host of five star reviews and editorial awards around the world. This award also comes off the back of the HTC One S winning last year’s EISA award for the best social media phone.

By the way, did I mention that besides Glacier Silver and Stealth Black, the HTC One is also available in Glamour Red now?

M7_prdt range

Indiegogo campaign to build a Steve Jobs statue

A group of young entrepreneurs living in San Francisco have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise fund to build a Steve Jobs statue.

IndiegogoSteveJobs

And they are not asking for a lot of money. Just $50,000 for a a life-sized statue of Steve Jobs. The group claims that they have identified world-class sculptors to build the statue and they quoted this price. The size of the statue will be directly proportional (positive correlation) to the amount raised. The group said that they aim for statue as big as Statue of Liberty and Colossus of Rhodes. Well, that’s a difficult target to reach.

I’m not sure whether we should be building a statue of Steve Jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Steve and I’m writing this blog entry on a product made by the company that he founded. But something makes me feel that there are far more important people out there that deserved a statue. And besides, who are these young entrepreneurs? Why didn’t they reveal their name? How are they related to Steve Jobs?

And most importantly, did they talk to Steve Jobs’ family before starting this crowdsource funding campaign?

If you are interested, visit the Indiegogo campaign page to pledge your support. The campaign ends on 14 October 2013. Strange, why didn’t they end it on his 2nd death anniversary on 6 October?

Malware sweep causes massive Facebook app outage

I didn’t notice that Facebook had a massive app outage on 13 August but some of my friends were affected. A large number of Facebook developer accounts and apps were being disabled without warning by Facebook. According to Facebook, this was caused by a malware sweep.

The Facebook Platform and users are constantly under attack from malicious apps and Facebook have many automated systems to protect the platform and users. When Facebook identify a malicious pattern, they find all apps that match that pattern and disable them. On 13 August, Facebook identified a malicious pattern that correct matched many thousands of malicious app. But that pattern also matches a lot of legit Facebook app. This causes a lot of Facebook developer accounts and apps to be disabled. When Facebook discovered the error, they tried to stop the process and restore the apps and accounts. But it took longer than expected due to the large number of apps affected and bugs related to the restoration of app metadata.

It is understandable that mistakes like this can happen to a massive platform like Facebook. Perhaps one thing that Facebook can improve on is to provide a way for developers to communicate with Facebook. This way, developers can know who to seek help when such thing happen.

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II

Whenever someone ask me to recommend a good compact camera, I always recommend them the Sony Cyber-shot RX100. It is, in my opinion, one of the best compact camera that money can buy. It has a small form factor and a 1 inch CMOS sensor. This allows the RX100 to produce beautiful image.

P1110130

Which is why I was pretty excited when I heard that Sony is releasing a successor to this great camera, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II. Basically, the RX100 II fixed all the shortcomings of the RX100 and added a few cool features. The biggest complaint that I had for the RX100 is that there is no hot shoe mount. Well, I’m glad that the RX100 II comes with a Multi Interface Shoe and Multi Terminal. This allows you to attach additional accessories like external flash, electronic viewfinder or even a stereo microphone.

The RX100 II comes with a new 20.2 megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R 1.0-type COMOS sensor. The 1 inch sensor together with the high quality f1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens produce excellent pictures even in low light conditions. We took the RX100 II out for a walk at night and I fell in love with it. Check out this low light picture.

DSC04679

The RX100 II also produced some lovely Bokeh for those who loves Bokehlicious photos.

DSC00004

The RX100 II also come with some interesting new feature. The camera comes with WIFI which allows you to transfer photos wirelessly to your smartphones or tablets easily. You can also use the WIFI to see what the camera is seeing on your smartphone and remotely trigger the shutter release. The RX100 II also comes with NFC which makes pairing and transferring photos to another NFC smartphone or tablet a breeze.

P1110120

Another feature that some users will love is the new 3 inch White Magic LCD that can tilt up and down. Great for shooting thing above a crowd or getting down low to capture photos from another perspective.

In short, the RX100 II is a worthy successor to the fantastic RX100. It is great for those who wants a compact camera that can produce high quality images and DSLR owners who needs a secondary camera. It may cost almost around the price of an entry level DSLR, but you most likely won’t find another camera that can produce such good images at this compact size.

P1110148

The new Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II will retail for S$999 in Singapore. Sony also announced that the price for the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 has been reduced from S$999 to S$849.