Parallels Toolbox for Mac

Parallels just launched version 1.5 of Parallels Toolbox for Mac designed to simplify essential everyday tasks.

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You can take a screenshot, secure files with a password, download video from YouTube or Facebook, record a screencast, or keep your Mac from sleeping with the push of a button using the Parallels Toolbox.

Parallels Toolbox 1.5 adds several refinements and enhancements to the stable of tools. For example, it is now faster and easier for users to get to any one of your favourite tools simply by dragging their icons to the Desktop, to the Dock, to the Mac menu bar, or to a new “Favorite Tools” area in the Toolbox menu.

Parallels has also added the option to capture system audio to the “Record Screen” tools.

Parallels Toolbox is a free update for existing Parallels Toolbox subscribers, and costs just US$9.99 per year for new customers.

LEGO Batman Movie Arkham Asylum (70912) in Singapore

The LEGO Batman Movie Arkham Asylum (70912) is coming to Singapore. This set is exclusive to Toys “R” Us worldwide. Usually that will mean that Singapore won’t be getting it. But surprise surprise. Singapore is getting it after all.

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The LEGO Batman Movie Arkham Asylum (70912) will be available on 14 January at 11am only at Toys “R” Us VivoCity.

First 100 customers receive a LEGO Limited Edition Rooster Set, The Joker Battle Training gift pack and a $10 voucher. Plus the first 50 customers receive a pair of LEGO Batman Movie Premiere Tickets.

There will be a launch party happening at Toys “R” Us VivoCity where you get to meet Batman, Robin, Batgirl and Geoffrey. There will also be popcorn, candyfloss, balloons and facepainting from 11am to 1pm.

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The LEGO Batman Movie Arkham Asylum (70912) retails at S$299.90.

Auld Lang Syne

Just a few more hours left in 2016. Feels so surreal. For a start, it certainly doesn’t feel like 31 December. Where did 2016 go? I still remember standing in the rain and taking photos of the 2016 New Year Day fireworks at MBS. Felt like just a couple of months ago.

And yes, I did said last year (and past few years) that I don’t want to take photos of the New Year fireworks again. But here I am, on New Year Eve, thinking if I should make the trip down. It’s really a love hate relationship.

2016 makes me realise that I’m no longer young. I turn 36 this year and its the 3rd time I see the year of the monkey. Seeing the nephews and niece grow up one by one. Time really flies. Someone told me that time seems to move faster as we get older because everything has become a routine. When there’s nothing new in life, time just seems to go faster. Maybe I should go out and do things that I usually won’t do in 2017 so that time won’t seem to move so fast.

If you want me to describe my feelings as I witness the time goes by, I think it will be regret. Regret that I didn’t do certain things in life. Regret that I didn’t grab hold of certain opportunity. Regret that I didn’t try that route. Regrets.

And perhaps that’s why no matter how much I hate going to take photos of the New Year fireworks, I still keep going every year. What if the fireworks turns out to be beautiful this year? What if I managed to take a beautiful shot this year? Will I regret not going?

Or maybe I’ll regret going. Lol.

Even though I regretted not doing certain things (or regretted doing certain things), life still goes on. Maybe that’s the beauty of life. There’s no save option in this life. No going back to a certain save point and restart if things goes wrong. You just deal with what comes along. And treasure everything you have while you still can.

Happy 2017 everyone. May you live this year without any regrets.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

DK’s Tech prediction for 2016 – Results

It’s the end of 2016. Almost forgot to take a look back at my 2016 tech prediction. Let’s see how badly I’ve done this time. Lol.

Drones… drones everywhere
Well, drones did get cheaper in the year 2016. And more portable too. DJI Mavic is a game changer. A lot more people are getting drones nowadays. But not as much as I expect. Looks like it will still need a few more years before drones really hit mainstream.

Drone accident
I’m glad this prediction didn’t come true. There was an unconfirmed report of a British Airways plane crashing with a drone in April. But investigation can’t confirm if it was really a drone. Besides that, there were several reports of near misses. Just glad that there wasn’t any drone accidents. But this is an issue that every government needs to look into. Hopefully together with the local UAV club to come up with a safety guideline to prevent accidents from happening.

Facebook launches virtual reality social networking
Facebook didn’t launch a virtual reality social network. But they did demo a social VR chat during the Facebook F8 conference in October. So I guess this prediction is close.

Touch gesture comes to Mac OS
Nope. No touchscreen for the Mac OS devices. They did however put a Touch Bar on the new 13 inch and 15 inch MacBook Pro.

Most smart phones will switch to USB Type C except iPhone
Surprisingly, this is moving slower than I expected. I must say that I was actually shocked when Samsung released the Samsung S7 still with Micro USB slot. Samsung Note 7 did come with USB Type C but that’s another story. But I’m right that iPhone won’t switch to USB Type C. At least we are seeing USB Type C on more laptops, especially the new MacBook Pro that has nothing but USB Type C port.

Canon or Nikon release a full frame mirrorless camera
Like I said, it is a wild guess. And nope, this didn’t happen.

WhatsApp loses its popularity
Didn’t happen. Although the WhatsApp sharing data with Facebook news in August did cause some people to stop using WhatsApp, the chat app is still very popular. (Besides, you can opt out of the data sharing.)

Netflix is going to be a big hit in Singapore
I’m not sure about this. I feel that the answer is no. It wasn’t a surprise that Netflix is now in Singapore. However it didn’t create a big bang like what I’m expecting. I guess mainly because the video library in Singapore is not as extensive as US. A lot of shows aren’t available in the Singapore version of Netflix. I tried the free trial but gave up after noticing that the last season of shows like House of Cards and Suits are not available here.

Singapore will regulate UberX
The Land Transport Authority introduced the Private Hire Car Driver Vocational Licencing (PDVL) framework in April this year. The framework is expected to take effect from the first half of 2017. Drivers will have to go through screening. They must also attend and pass a 10-hour PDVL course and go for a three-hour refresher course once every six years. I’m glad that the regulations are fair and there’s no over regulations to make it a “levelled playing field’ with the taxi companies.

Nobody cares about the Digital and Social Media Advertising Guidelines by ASAS
The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) issued the Guidelines on Interactive Marketing Communication & Social Media back in August. I’m sure most companies are following those guidelines. But don’t think the guidelines changes anything for most bloggers, youtubers and online influnecers.

OK, that’s all. Didn’t really do well for the prediction as expected. I wonder if I should do another 1 for 2017.

Disclaimer: These predictions are my own views and not representative of those of my employer.

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“.