Mildly Hurtful Sarcasm

Meaningless ranting, just like everybody else.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sell me something now

It's a bathroom sink and they are trying to sell me McDonald's?

(Picture taken at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas).


Monday, September 01, 2014

My first pride parade

I had some business to tend to at Oakland yesterday and I took Bart (the subway) there. To my surprise I emerged from the station to the annual Oakland guy pride parade festivities. I have lived in the bay area for many years but interestingly this is my first. Too bad I was in a hurry to tend my other errand so I only had time to snatch a few pics.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Locke (2013)

I just finished on DVD Locke (2013) and I got to tell you, this is definitely the most amazing movie I have seen in my life.

Not amazing in a good way...


... it's amazing as in, I allowed myself to spend Saturday night watching a movie that is played by one actor talking on the phone in a car. Literally, one guy, driving in a beemer, talking one the phone.



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Estadio do Maracana

FIFA fever has come to an end for 2014. Germany played a great game, Messi did not (if only he had learned to shoot...) I don't watch sports but I did catch the final, and it brought back so much memories, not least of which, my visit to the venue and Rio back many years ago.

I took the pictures with a good old point and shoot film camera (that was before digitals were popular) and stitched 2 together to get a panorama. As you can see it still had the 2 level seating configuration (that has since been torn down and rebuilt for the World Cup 2014). Each visitor was given a little access card and there was a little hall of fame and pictures of old teams graced the wall. It was a fun visit.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Chromecast - Roku HDMI stick face off

There are plenty of Chromecast vs Roku stick reviews on the net; but having used the 2 for a while I realized there are still some finer points nobody had mentioned, let me lay it out here. But if this is too long didn't read, yeah, I agree with the rest of the guys, the Roku stick won, hands down. It is indeed worth the extra $15-$20.

The Chromecast is attractive to the price conscious bunch - at $35, dropped to $30 after the Roku stick was released, it is somewhat competitive, but only somewhat. You want to see your media like pictures and videos on the big screen I get that, but chances are, if your TV has an HDMI port, you can already do the same through the USB port. Of course you want to do it wirelessly and you want the convenience, but I got to say, all those clicking on your iPad/iPod/tablets ain't that easy either, its a lot of finger hassle.

And if you want to watch Netflix/Hulu? Forget it. Tables/phones make lousy remotes; those tiny scroll bars can never replace the rewind buttons for fine searching and if you think wifi means you don't need to point you phone/tablet towards the TV to operate, you better remember, that's the least of your worry, cause there are no buttons, just a flat piece of glass, meaning every button click requires you to take your eyes off the TV, it really sucks.
The Chromecast does has its upside: it does boot up a whole lot faster than the Roku stick, if you choose to power it with the TV's USB instead of leaving it on always. It also comes with an HDMI connector which can be marginally useful if you want to press your TV really close against the wall, but don't expect much, well, the connector cable is tough and doesn't bend easily.

The Roku stick comes with a Roku remote, which works a million times better than using a phone/tablet, but I just think the Roku remote on its own simply has a usability design issue. First of all, the OK button is not in the middle of the arrow keys - who does that! Notwithstanding, there is another back button and another rewind and fast forward button and play/pause button. Why can't they make it like the Amazon Fire or AppleTV or just about every other remotes in the world, I like to watch TV, which means I am lazy and don't like to lift my finger too much!

Another thing few people noticed about the Roku is that, unlike what Amazon will have you believe, you can do voice search, so long as you use the iPhone/Android apps. You can either use their voice button or just use the voice recognition part of your device keyboard.

Overall, the Roku HDMI stick may be just a bit slower than its Roku 3 cousin or the Amazon FireTV, but it is economical and it does not take up another wall socket or any cabinet space. It is a fine lovable product.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

You will get used to it

I just got a new Microsoft Surface, and it is really a piece of shit. It is very restrictive, it doesn't allow you to do many things, even though you own the device. The keyboard is really not intuitive. All in all it looks pretty but it is a very impractical piece of junk. But then again what do you expect from Microsoft, eh?

No, I did not just get a Microsoft Surface, but more on that in a bit.

I have just been wrestling with an iPad, with iOS 7. Look at how a side by side screen shot of the Surface's keyboard, with and without the Shift key pressed, looks like

What so special about it? Nothing. But do check out the same side by side from and iPad:

Pop quiz: which side shows the Shift key pressed? Is it the one with the white arrow because white looks like it has lit up? But the black one looks like it is "selected"? But then all the other keys have black labels too...

Don't look at me, I can't tell either.

The truth is, Apple's success is built upon its products being pretty. There isn't anything wrong for being pretty or selling pretty. What upsets me the most is its blind, brain-washed following, who would say anything to defend it.

No, I did not just get a Microsoft Surface, I just started using a MacBook at work, and it's only until I actually started using one when I realized I could dislike Apple products more than I already had. It's prettier than other laptops, it has a nicer screen, everything in the vanity department, I give you that; but the touchpad that has no buttons so you never know whether you are clicking left or right? The keyboard that is missing the Home/End/Ins/Del/PgUp/PgDn keys? In the age of Snowden revelation, no TPM (trusted platform module) no hardware buttons to turn off wifi and bluetooth? That's just lame beyond reason.

I asked my neighbor "On a Mac, how do you delete the text between where the cursor is and the beginning of the line", "Just hit delete (backspace) repeatedly". I showed my upset face and his response was "You'll get used to it". For us sane, we know that on any other platforms, a Shift-Home Del combo would have done the job, but that's beyond the point. While the Mac does have pseudo Home key as I've later discovered (though utterly unusable because they fn and left arrow keys are too far apart to be pressed with one hand) it highlights how forgiving Apple fans are when it comes to the Mac's many flaws; how people are willing to overlook the lack of substance in Apples' products so long as they are pretty.

That, I will never get used to.

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Pont de l'Archeveche

So it was our first day, after getting some sleep, in Paris. We saw the Pompidu and the Notre Dame and its time for lunch, but not before we head over to the other side of the Seine and get a picture of the famous Cathedral from across the river. That's we stumbled upon the love padlock bridge.

I thought it was Pont des Artes that had all the padlocks. It was, the city cleared out. But I didn't know that at the time. When we arrived at Pont de l'Archeveche and saw all the locks there, I just thought I read the map wrong!

We brought a lock from home just for this. It was a light small one. Beats paying 6 euro for one there. With the Notre Dame as backdrop, that was a perfect spot.