Archive for the Tech Category

2016 leap second

If you are living in the UK, your 2017 New Year countdown will have to add 1 more second. This is because the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service (IERS) has introduced a leap second at 23:59:60 (UTC) on December 31, 2016. The rest of the world will also be adding the extra 1 second at that same moment. For Singapore, we will be adding the extra 1 second on 1 Jan 2017, 07:59:60.

This will be the 27th time a leap second is added to the clock. The last leap second happened on 30 June 2015. The last time a leap second happen on New Year Eve was in 2008. The leap second is added to compensate for the slowing in the Earth rotation.

While adding an additional second to the clock might seem harmless, it might actually cause computer bugs. That’s because during the leap second, some computer clock shows 60 seconds instead of simply rolling over to the next minute. Others shows the 59th second twice. This causes some computer to register it as an error.

Google came up with an interesting solution to this problem. Instead of adding the leap second, the company add a couple of milliseconds to their server over a period of time. This slowly adds up to 1 second without causing any issue. They call this method the “leap smear“.

GoPro is killing itself

Firstly, I must say that I am a fan of GoPro and it hurts me to see the company killing itself. Nevermind the failed Karma drone. It is a major setback but at least the fans are still behind the company.

Recently, GoPro told GoScope (a small company who makes GoPro and camera accessories) to change their name and all their product molds (due to the embedded name brand) or they would be taken to court. GoScope is a small company and couldn’t afford to defend themselves in court. Neither can they afford to change all the molds with their branding.

I have no idea why is GoPro doing this. Everyone can tell the difference between GoPro and GoScope. GoPro doesn’t own the “Go” word just like Apple doesn’t own the “i” prefix.

And it is stupid for GoPro to go after these accessories makers. GoPro is a great product because of the eco system behind it. These 3rd party accessories makers are making products that extend the features of GoPro cameras. They help GoPro users get the shot they want. When GoPro released the GoPro Hero 5 Black, I bought it on day 1 knowing that there are lots of 3rd party accessories makers making accessory for the new action camera. That’s the reason why I use GoPro and not other action camera. Because of the huge ecosystem behind it.

And to make things worse, GoPro recently released firmware v01.55 for GoPro Hero 5 Black that disable the use of 3rd party batteries like Wasabi and Smatree. I know GoPro makes their own batteries but they are very expensive. The cost of a single original GoPro battery is around the same price as 2 3rd party batteries.

I know GoPro wants to make more money by making users buy their original battery. But this is just pissing off many users. In fact, many GoPro Hero 5 Black users are downgrading their firmware to v01.50 so that they can carry on using 3rd party batteries.

If GoPro continues to do these, it will just make more fans switch to other action cameras. And honestly, there’s no shortage of choices out there.

GoPro recalls the Karma drone

I was initially very excited when GoPro announced the Karma drone. It was compact and rather portable. Together with the new GoPro Hero 5 and gimbal, the entire Karma system sounds like a perfect solution for anyone interested in getting their first drone.

Then 1 week after the announcement, DJI announced the Mavic. A drone that is much more compact than the Karma. Not only that, it cost slightly cheaper and comes with more sensor.

And to make things worse, the GoPro issued a recall for all Karma drones just 16 days after launch. It appears that several Karma drones were falling from the sky during mid flight for no reason. Here’s one of the many Karma crashes footage found on YouTube.

Luckily for everyone, there’s no report of injuries yet. If you own a GoPro Karma, please stop flying your drone and return it to GoPro.

Food photography tips from Canon Imaging Academy

Singapore Restaurant Week is just around the corner. If you are planning to share all the good food on social media, here are some tips from Canon Imaging Academy to help you take the perfect photo.

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Galaxy Note7 ban from flights

In case you haven’t heard, there is a global recall for the Samsung Note7. The Department of Transportation has issued a ban on Galaxy Note7 devices in carry-on and checked baggage on flights. Many other airlines have issued similar ban.

Singapore Galaxy Note7 owners who are traveling by flight and require a courtesy device can obtain one from the Samsung Customer Service Centre at Westgate or the Samsung Experience Store at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 (departure/transit lounge).

Beginning 26 October 2016, Singapore Galaxy Note7 owners can visit www.samsung.com/sg/note7exchange to select their preference for exchange or refund, and provide their details for a free home delivery. The free home delivery is offered whether the Galaxy Note7 customer chooses an exchange or a refund.