At Tedboy Bakery in Bangsar South for a tall, iced, Americano. Not bad. It is slightly better than “o.k.”
Got some work done on the Fold 3. Having used it for over a year, I would like to see huge improvements, more so in the area of its software, hopefully; in the upcoming Fold 5, which will be launched in about 2 months. And the camera. And the battery life. The battery life was not that great to begin with. But now, it seems to drain faster than it should.
However, to me; the Samsung Fold is still the best in the market for the work I do. When I have a bit of free time (what is that in today’s day and age?), I fiddle around with what this larger than a phablet, folding tablet, can do; especially with Android apps.
The nutty cookie was well packed…so well packed that it was quite difficult to open the plastic packing. The nutty cookie was quite nice.
When I got home, I realised that the cashier did not give me a bill. Probably they practice giving a bill only when it is requested for.
Over all, I like the setting and ambience of this cafe / bakery. It is worth checking out if you are in Bangsar South.
NOTE: Bangsar South, a development on the former Kampung Kerinchi (Kerinchi Village) site, borders between Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya are cities in Malaysia.
I watched this movie on my flight, coming to the U.S. a few days ago. A bit slow in th beginning, but great movie all the same.
It begins in the mind. From a thought..
When artificial human Meredith gets assigned as a companion to grieving widower William, it’s designed to behave like his late wife. However, in the fight to end AI exploitation, an underground organization attempts to sabotage Meredith’s programming. It soon begins to question reality as memories of a past life begin to resurface in a world where nothing is as it seems.
A well produced and entertaining thriller with great performances that build a human/AI world where everything blurs between what is real and what isn’t.
NOTES: I am totally for technology advancement. I believe it can and will advance the standards of living for mankind.
On the flip side:
I am an advocator of strict regulation and control on the use and production of A.I. and its uses to prevent the complete destruction and extinction of mankind. You don’t need nuclear warfare to bring mankind to an end..
The invasion of nuts and bolts powered by Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has begun….we, knowingly, allowed it. The invasion has begun in our homes.
Attempts to control our minds, too; have started. For instance, one of the gadgets is dictating to us that the things we see, are in the colors it projects. Yet, when you put the picture against the actual object that you took the picture of, the colors are not as per what your eyes tell you. Yet, these artificial intelligence powered gadgets are insisting that they are, and that what your eyes actually see, aren’t.
The danger is that this technology under the disguise of making life easier for you; is removing whatever exercise you may have while doing your house chores for instance, thus making you weak and possibly prone to illnesses.
Are you,…yes, you reading this article; ready to regain control of your life?
Self- repairing, self-reproducing robots with Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) are set to conquer the world and control mankind in the not so distant future; if we do not get out out of pre-conditioned, set minds, that we are to retire upon reaching the age of 60, 62, 65, 67 years, or whatever age that we have been subjected to retire at.
We have to re-take our minds from the follies that have been set upon us.
The drive back home to Subang Jaya after dropping my wife, Jeannie; off to work this morning, was as usual, pleasant. I had BFM 89.9 – the business station, tuned in on radio – my usual catch up on what’s happening in and around the region. The traffic on the road was heavy but moving smoothly. Enjoyable drive, really.
The topic in the 15 minute slot just before the 8.00am news was about a new law passed in the US; prohibiting US chip and wafer semiconductor businesses from selling their products to China, well; at least those that seem or may seem to be a security threat to the U.S.. This law encompasses the transfer of knowledge as well. It now looks that U.S. and non-U.S. companies, together with Chinese companies are impacted with this ruling. The U.S. and non-U.S. companies will then probably re-locate out of China. Natural thing to do.
Many companies, most of which are smaller businesses that supply component parts and other products to these large companies, may have to close. These large companies are those that build on and around technologies which may seem a threat; All this is fine, but…
The tone or the underlying tone that seemed to be portrayed from the radio presenters was that the move is not fair to China. Really? When companies moved out of Malaysia 20 – 25 – 30 years ago and relocated to China due to cheaper cost offerings, were sentiments the same for companies in Malaysia that had to close due to the move?
The radio presenters went on to say that China will then find resolve to create and come up with their own. Who says that China has not already come up with their own by now? Let’s say that they have but they aren’t telling. They, become the one-stop mega center for this technology and the whole world would have to depend on them.
What happens if they get cranky, and cut off or starve supply? Do we want to be in a situation where they say, “Jump!”. We ask, “how high, master?”
China, is currently believed to be in a lockdown due to the Covid-19 “0” tolerance level policy in place. News, on BFM 89.9 ” the business station” radio a few days ago, stated that the LRT public transportation system in Kuala Lumpur was fast becoming unreliable due to constant train breakdowns. The operator was reported as saying that they are unable to get replacement parts and trains from the Chinese manufacturer.
During the 2020 – 2021 Covid-19 pandemic, the whole world, including Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (just kidding 😉), went into lockdown. All but China, which seemed to have found the answer – a cure or way of handling the situation; that left it nearly unscathed.
Is China now playing coy and masking themselves with a Covid-19 mask? (I want to use another rephrased question but I will skip it.) Many countries whose supply chains are dependent on raw, semi-produced or finished goods from China, are hugely affected.
Coming back to the statement made by the radio presenters: China will find resolve or create a “China + 1”, meaning Chinese companies will re-locate to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and others. Great for countries like Malaysia that will benefit from a move like this.
I think this is a short term move because the new U.S. law could extend to include prohibiting US chip and wafer businesses from selling their products to China or Chinese linked corporations in and outside of China.
The way forward for China is for them to come up with their own products systems. And, China is more than capable of doing so. They are a technological marvel in may fields.
The U.S. knows that China is more than capable of coming up with their own systems and products. The U.S. is a very competitive nation. They welcome competition and the challenge.
And we, the rest of the world; will benefit from the best of “both worlds”.
When I hear what seems to sound like a Cessna 502 fly overhead, I tend to look up and search for the plane in the sky and fix my gaze on it until it disappears from sight. It brings back memories of the fun flight I had travelling from Decatur to Chicago in Illinois. My first prop flight, first flight sitting next to the “ceiling fan” on the right. Well, yeah. Don’t the props look like ceiling fans. They are about the same size anyway (without the “s”😉).
Truth be told is I always look up when any plane flies overhead. I just need to hear the sound of the engines. I still remember the time when I was about 7 years old. I stayed with Uncle Al and Aunty Leen (Albert & Aileen Atkinson). The year – 1965. It was probably the school holidays at that time. Uncle Al was the headmaster of Kampung Pandan School in KL (Kuala Lumpur).
They had a big house on the school grounds. Draw open the hall sliding doors, leads you to the school field. Nearby, was the then Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The Malaysian Air Force used the airport for some of it’s transport aircraft as well.
Every morning, when I was there; I would eagerly wait by the opened sliding door for planes that would fly very low overhead, when they were about to land. I still remember a de Havilland Caribou flying overhead making its decent. It looked like it was going to land on the school field. Well, it did look like that; to a 7-year old boy.
The dinosaur, literally in terms of size; the Airbus A380 super whambo (combination of whale and jumbo elephant); is fast becoming extinct as airlines find it too expensive to maintain. More airlines are pulling it out of service as days go by. Malaysia Airlines was gung-ho about it in the early 2000s, having ordered 6 of them. This may have been one too many. From news reports; 2 of these planes did not have any routes assigned to it.
This also may have been “you got. you think you so great? I oso got” (local slang). Buy first. Plan routes later. It was also timing as the 747 fleet were beginning to age. So, there is good reason. But was MAS, like many other airlines that acquired these beauties; out of sync with the times?
These big birds could pack up to 800 passengers without bulging at the seams. Most airlines may have custom-fitted their A-380s to seat 600 passengers.
Now, to fill 600 seats per flight. That would have been a challenge, as these seats would have had to be filled quickly. Business Development, Marketing and Sales teams would have had their work cut out for them. They had to compete against other airlines offering A380 flights, pricing, optimum flight departure and arrival times, days and date; the list not being exhaustive. These teams had to be on their toes at all times as situations changed faster than a heartbeat.
The next big challenge and the one which eventually signed the retirement of the A-380 and other large 4-engined jets was that two-engined jets were getting the same job done, with two engines less than four, which translated to a huge cost reduction as the average base price of these jets just under-cut the prices of the 4-engined jets.
I think airlines must have seen the writing on the wall (another “on the wall” quote) when they purchased these super-whambos but chose to ignore it as keeping up with the Joneses (other airlines) blinded their long-term judgement.
I had a sense of pride that Malaysia Airlines had the A380s in their stable. To a greater extent, it showed that the airline was modern and forward thinking. From the latest news gathered, Malaysia Airlines had no takers to the 6 A380s from them. They returned them to Airbus in exchange for new long-range twin-engine jets.
The Cessna 502 I think, with its swaying from left to right or vice versa when making the approach to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport will remain a fond memory for me. I sat just behind the co-pilot, I had a good view of the instrument panel and its workings. Looking out of the plane, I had excellent all round visibility. Nice!
Looking forward to my next flights.
NOTES: 1. Bilqis Bahari, “No buyers, Malaysia Airlines to return six A380 to Airbus?”; New Straits Times, September 26, 2022
What’s all the big hella-be-lu about Artificial Intelligence? Why are the tech guys thumping their chests with great pride that they have the answer today for the future of tomorrow, with the world of Artificial Intelligence?
The politicians in government have displayed and are the artificial intelligence since the longest time. So, what is the big deal?
What really is artificial intelligence? According to Wikipedia, artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Most people will argue that this is completely wrong.
Another definition is artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer or a robot controlled by a computer to do tasks that are usually done by humans because they require human intelligence and discernment.
The correct answer is: artificial intelligence is the fact that politicians are able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. And the politicians still get it wrong. (1)
In the case of robots versus human beings, the question may not be, “Will it ever be a time when Artificial Intelligence will not refer to robots, but to men? The question is “when?”
The answer to that could be staring right at us today, but can we recognize it?
Or could the answer be: “Artificial Intelligence is the transferring of rights (for that moment) to something else, be it a person, computer or a robot; to make a decision or decisions for you.” In this instance, it could be momentarily or for a specific task.
I would like to think, believe and hope that Artificial Intelligence is the help to improving life for mankind. Let’s take current issues for example. Due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic and the current war in Europe; supply chains for all types of products from wheat, gas and semiconductor manufacturing among many others; were disrupted.
Let’s take wheat. Since supplies of wheat from Ukraine were disrupted; Artificial Intelligent computers should have swung into action to identify other wheat-growing countries around the world and tap into their resources with as little downtime as possible to make up for short supply from Ukraine.
The same goes for any other products. Animal feed is another affected area that is affected by a short supply of a byproduct for this feed.
Semiconductor manufacturing was disrupted by the pandemic. But here, in this case; demand outstrips supply. Almost everything or the other, from smartphones to electric cars to air-conditioners to computers to toys… the list goes on, has some form of chip included in its manufacturing process.
Didn’t the semiconductor manufacturers see this coming? Could they not have ramped up production to meet demand? Maybe, just maybe, raw materials for these semiconductors are short in supply. Will this short supply affect the industry of “Artificial Intelligence”?
Or is this a blessing in disguise to slow down and maybe prevent, the takeover of mankind by these intelligent “artificial beings”? These “beings” that can self repair, self charge or even self replicate? And these things will see mankind as of being artificial intelligent, inferior at the very most to their abilities?
When we look at the whole picture, we can’t help but feel that this “whole scene” is orchestrated. Artificially created…by artificial intelligence perhaps? Shortages mean price increase and larger profits for those that produce.
Naïve as it may seem, I would like to believe that people will come together, to help each other out to make the world a better place to live in.
NOTES: (1)Taking the mickey out on them. Haha. Having fun. There are many, many highly educated politicians.
Then again, maybe intelligence should not just be equated to the level of higher education. Common sense and intuition have to be included in the equation, too.
I was coming off the ramp near Jalan (1) Timur, Petaling Jaya, (2) onto the Federal Highway, heading towards Klang. When I was half off the ramp – half on the Federal Highway itself; I saw in my rear-view mirror, a mid-size van / lorry / truck about the 3-ton category, at a distance.
Within seconds, it was right up to my car’s rear bumper, with all 4 headlamps flashing at me. Probably trying to get me out of his way, by forcing me off the road and use the emergency lane. When I saw that vehicle so close that I could only see its headlights flashing; I was not about to drive on the emergency lane, and moved into the middle lane on my right.
The vehicle followed me to this middle lane, continued to tailgate me. Then, he overtook me on the right, came into the lane that I was in, braked and stopped right there, with his hazard lights blinking.
The next I knew was, the driver got out of his vehicle and came towards me, shouting. I, on the other hand; knew that it was a dangerous spot to be at with a heavy flow of traffic coming up from the rear, and had the presence of mind to want to get out of that spot. It was like being a sitting duck, waiting for an accident to happen. I saw through the rear view mirror, that cars were beginning to bunch up in the rear.
I managed to squeeze out of the tight situation on the left and continue on my journey as there was no real spot to stop and have a conversation / argument with this guy. I was thinking of the safety of other vehicles on the road, mine and his, too.
While I was driving off, I thought to myself. Would he have pulled off the same stunt if he was driving a smaller vehicle than mine? He was going at quite a speed as he was about 250 meters to 300 meters away behind when I got onto the Federal Highway. This means he was speeding on the far left lane. The driver was probably in his early to mid-30s, casually and decently dressed. His vehicle looked new.
The vehicle passed me by after sometime, moving at a respectable speed; with no fanfare. It looked like that the driver had a bad start to his day earlier on. Something else could have been on his mind at that time.
There might be a solution for all drivers. They should wear a smartwatch with a stress level function that would monitor their stress levels. If for instance, the moment the stress level reaches a “high” or “very high” level, a buzzer would vibrate on their watch indicating to them to take a few deep breaths, to bring down their stress levels to a more manageable level. At the same time, these high levels are recorded automatically on their smartphone health apps. If ever a legal dispute was to arise; the health app on their smartphones could be called up to prove that their stress levels at that point of time was at a healthy level.
Stay cool and have a KitKat. Or any other chocolate. And coffee, of course. And get that smartwatch.
NOTES 1. The Malay word, “jalan” in this context, means road. It also means “go”. 2. Petaling Jaya is a city in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.
We live amongst the most exciting times when high tech is virtually in our hands. The smartphone era has never been more smarter than it is now. Almost everything we want to do, say, think, connect to or stay connected with, is all within our fingertips, thanks to the smartphone. It has all but forced people to have one or be “disconnected from society and perhaps the world”. If it has not done so already, it is heading that way.
“Exciting times” for those techy people are during new tech product launches such as the event by Samsung on August 10th when they unveil their “new” Galaxy Z-Fold 4 and Z-Flip 4 smartphones; Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro; and Buds.
The Galaxy Z-Fold series commands not just premium prices, but top-of-the-scale premium prices. I met a friend during his work tea break yesterday who has a Z-Fold 3. He does not have a clue on how to wring the very best out of his smartphone. He bought it just to show off to people that he is in a different league from most other people who use “ordinary” smartphones.
2021 was right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, worldwide. Yet Samsung shipped over 10 million of their Z-Fold and Z-Flip models. (1) Premium priced models.
In the earlier part of this year, with the run-up to the launch of these new models; there was big (loud?) talk that prices of these new models were expected to come down further than when they launched the “3 series”. This talk has evaporated as latest leaks of news show that there will be a price increase, instead.
That seems to make perfect sense. News of chip shortages worldwide and supply chain disruption due to the Russia-Ukraine war and transport worker strikes are the main reason. This is masking the fact that since people are clamouring for these folderable smartphones and demand for them are at record highs, why reduce price? It only makes perfect sense to increase it, instead. A great reason to further increase profits.
I think the Z-Fold 3 is a great phone. Having used it for over 4 months, I would recommend a “buy” for the upcoming Z-Fold 4. What I would like to see is a ribbed edge next to the sim card slot for easier opening of the Fold. I find the Fold 3 as it is, a tad slippery on the spot next to the sim card slot, more so if your thumb has some moisture or naturally secreted oil on your thumb when it comes to a good grip to open the phone. Some of the apps like Facebook, Instagram and others are still disappointing. They need to configure these apps to run fullscreen on the open widescreen.
The Z-Fold 4 will come with an incremental improvement over the Z-Fold 3, not compelling enough for most existing Foldie owners to trade what they have now for the new model. Samsung’s two main prospecting grounds are owners from the Galaxy S line up and other brands of folderable phones. They will also have to work on their “suspect” market – educate smartphone owners to move to the realm of the folderables.
Should you cross over into this whole new (not so new since the first folderables were out in 2019) world of fold smartphones? Again, these are not cheap phones so you would have to think about it: 1. Will it meet your needs or will most functions on the phone be left dormant? 2. You have to consider that these folderable phones are susceptible to damage than the normal candybar type smartphones.
On the other hand, if you want to get it because that is the direction you want to take, you most probably will not be disappointed.
The Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro from the looks of it, are going to be incremental increments in specs, too. The rotating bezels on the Classic and earlier models have been dropped (figuratively speaking). The 45mm Watch 4 will be dubbed the Watch 5 Pro.
The Watch 5 should come with a write up on how exactly to read the Body composition results: What is the good? What is the bad? In reading the results and graphs. In fact, an explanation can be included with a software upgrade on the Watch 4 so that owners of the Watch 4 series, too; can understand the results that are displayed.
Existing Watch 4 Android OS and earlier Tizen OS model owners don’t really need to trade-in their existing watches they have as any changes, even physical changes; will be hardly noticeable.
Therefore, Samsung will have to actively canvass for new customers and entice them to become Samsung customers. This really is not a problem for them as they have a reputation for producing top-notch products.
To buy or not to buy, that is the question (?)
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NOTES 1. Saiful Ridzaimi, “Samsung continues to dominate the foldable market, Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G crowned 2021’s best-selling foldable”, Mar 22nd, 2022; http://www.technave.com/gadget/.
As I arrived at the bank, it was almost bursting at its seams through the doors, with customers. There were business people, various levels of office management people, people from partnership companies and sole proprietorships, the elderly uncles and aunties, housewives (many who tagged their young children along and students. This list of people is not exhaustive. It was sort of claustrophobic.
There were two wait-for-your-turn line-up systems. One was: you lined up in a line of people at each teller counter. Here, you had to gauge which was the faster moving line and queue up there. I have had experiences where this was not always the right choice as one or more people in front of me would strike up “friendly chats” with the teller that would take like(huh?! How did this word sneak in this sentence) forever.
The other system was having to line up in a single line. Once you reached the front of the line, you go to whichever teller in the row of tellers that was available, to have your transaction attended to.
So, once you scrambled to fill up the necessary forms and looked for what seemed like the fastest moving, line; go for it. I thought I nailed it by grabbing the necessary forms needed, rushed to the shortest queue and start filling up the forms while waiting to get to the teller. It was quite the task – holding the form in one hand in the air and the pen in the other, filling in that form or forms. They were definitely “works of art” instantly being created, each one uniquely differently from the other; as the writing would get into shapes of pictures. I rarely ever could managed to write on the printed lines. Not to mention that I could barely make out my handwriting even on a good day.
All this were common scenes back then, in the old days of 2010 and before; before internet banking, more commonly known as online bank; became the “in thing”.
Internet or online banking – 24 x 7, anywhere, in your pocket or bag (on your smartphone). How cool is that?
Most of the common banking transactions went “online” some years back. Think of it – no more having to go through traffic jams, parking, waiting in long lines as we used to do before internet banking. What more can we ask for? We should be happy, right? What else did internet banking take away? The biggest loss was that people would no longer be interacting in person with other people. People would only be interacting with their computers.
There were still some transactions that had to be done over the counter, which would require us to be at the banks, physically. Then, came the Covid-19 pandemic which saw a total disruption of performing physical transactions at the banks. After some months, the banks put in place some standard operating procedures to allow for physical transactions to recommence.
In April 2022, the pandemic became the endemic which allowed for procedures to go back to as per pre-Covid-19 pandemic days. One would think that was the case. Well, not so for some banks.
The one in particular that I bank with, has a procedure that we must make an online appointment, that one cannot just walk-in or show up unannounced, to perform transactions. Registering online for an appointment, means answering a litany of questions.
But get this: This may have been good during the pandemic period. Now, that the pandemic is over, why continue with this procedure? Upon checking with the bank; some of their officers stated that it was necessary to pre-register for an appointment for customers to perform transactions at the bank in person. The bank’s intention is to eliminate long waiting queues.
I thought that this appointment registration system was an absolute inconvenience and put customers at a security risk in letting people know when they were going to be at the bank and for what purpose.
I was punctual for my first online registered appointment. I was asked to fill up all the necessary forms, take a number and wait. Yes, WAIT. There were one or two other customers in front of me. No other people. The bank has 7 counters with about 30 staff present.
On my second visit, I was made to wait, even though I was half hour early. I had to wait nearly half an hour though the bank had only 1 customer ahead of me and none after me. The bank had its counters fully staffed. What crowds? If I brought this matter up to the bank staff, they would have said this is proof that the online registration for appointment was working.
Can you imagine the rest of the staff, stationed at their work stations and pretending to look busy? What morale would these employees have when they sit at their workstations each day, with rarely any work to do? This would be ideal for the very few who are aimless or clueless in life.
But for the majority of these employees, especially for those who were used to serving a high customer patronage, daily, before the Covid-19 pandemic; it would be tough for them to keep their spirits up. They would still have to stick to their jobs. They need their income to meet their financial commitments. I am sure they would like to see the crowds of customers back in the bank.
As for the customers, many of whom have built a wonderful relationship with the bank staff; they most probably would like to visit the banks once in a while to strike up chats with the staff (real people) instead of dealing with computers and websites and having to confirm and reconfirm that they are not robots.