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January 31, 2012

Best Android Phone of 2012

Hey guys!

I found an interesting article today about the upcoming Android phones of 2012.
It talks about the newly announced Tegra 3 SoC's and TI's OMAP equivalent. These new superphones will probably feature quad-core processors. The content below are snippets from the article I found. If you want to read more about these awesome new phones, hit the link at the end of the post!


HTC
HTC might be launching the first quad-core smartphone in the market among the smartphone manufacturers. Dubbed HTC Edge, it will run on NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 having four cores (and a fifth, companion core for less demanding tasks) clocked at 1.5GHz allowing the processor to simultaneously run multiple sets of program instructions. Along with this, the battery life will increase two fold. With 1GB of RAM will be at your disposal, along with 32GB of built-in memory, this mammoth device will offer a 4.7″ screen with 720p HD resolution; big-screen junkies should be happy.

MOTOROLA
Now, for Moto, if we are to believe the rumors, is gearing up with its Tegra 3 based devices lined up for the launch in the Q2 2012 and might be unveiled during MWC 2012. After the Motorola DROID RAZR and the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX, the phones have been codenamed as Motorola Bullet and Motorola Jet. Supposedly the Bullet will be a straight-up slate, while the Jet will be a QWERTY slider. Remember though, very little in the way of rumors has surfaced over the past few months, so this is likely to be the least credible among the bunch. Still worth considering.

SONY
The Arc was one of Sony Ericsson’s (soon to be just Sony) best smartphones last year. While it lacked dual core goodness, it was slim, as it was supposed to be, since most of their competition had phones like that already, and it was stylish. Design is still one of Sony’s strong suit, but it doesn’t go well with thick phones, which is how most of their phones still are. But they will be pushing other slim phones in 2012.

SAMSUNG
The giant Korean company, maker of the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S2, is poised to be a leader in this particular superphone death-match. Samsung’s phones and tablets have used ARM, Snapdragon and Tegra chipsets, but the manufacturer’s semiconductor division is working hard on the next generation of its own Exynos line of systems-on-a-chip. They are testing possible processors like the Exynos 5250, which isn’t quad-core, but rather a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor. Samsung seems to be confident that the Exynos 5250 can produce benchmarks and performance competitive with a quad-core processor. Or it may even go with the 32 nm quad core Exynos 4412 (based on Cortex A9) having the same clock speed of 1.5 GHz.

LG
LG has received a lot of flack for slow updates, and for software that doesn’t perform at its best, all the time. That being said, they still are considered one of the top five, in terms of market share, at least. So it should come as no surprise that LG does not want to stand idly by. Rumors have it that they will be debuting a very powerful quad core device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In terms of specs, it seems to match a lot of these other top tier phones that we are looking at, and includes the extremely powerful chipset, Tegra 3, and will feature a high resolution, 4.7 inch display with a resolution of 1280 × 720. We’ve also had its dimensions confirmed by reliable sources that have told us it will be very thin – most likely under 9 mm.

Hit the source link below for the full article.

Anime Review: K-On!

K-On! is one of the best slice of life music and comedy anime ever produced. It features catchy songs, memorable characters and an engaging storyline to keep viewers wanting more. This review takes the sequel, K-On!! into account.

K-On!Synopsis:
Hirasawa Yui, a young, carefree girl entering high school. Seeking an extra-curricular club activity, her attention is immediately drawn to a poster advertising the ‘Light Music Club’. Being the carefree girl that she is, she quickly signs up. However, Yui has a problem, she is unable to play an instrument.

When Yui goes to the clubroom to explain, she's greeted by the other members: Ritsu, Mio and Tsumugi. Although disheartened at Yui’s lack of musical know-how, they still try to convince her to stay to prevent the club’s disbandment. After playing Yui a short piece which re-ignites her imagination, they succeed in keeping their new member and guitarist.

Along with the tasks of school and homework, Yui begins to learn the guitar with the help of the other band members, experiencing many mishaps along the way. However, with the school-festival drawing near and Yui getting stuck with her practice, will the Light Music Club be ready in time for their debut?

Review:
K-On! is one of the best (if not the only) successful anime to incorporate comedy, music and school girls into one package. From the very first episode, you are introduced to the various characters and their backgrounds. This leads to a formation of friendship between the girls which decides to save the light music club from going defunct. Simple as it seems, the story really captivated me to continue watching. Not once was I bored from watching the anime. Each episodes chronologically link from start to end. There are no plot holes or missing information that would ultimately confuse the audience or create a contradiction in the anime. There are a few climaxes throughout the series that will keep you engaged for a while, making you want to keep watching and watching.

The art is really well drawn out. The design of the characters and the glossy finish of the band's instruments really stood out. Characters were easily recognized and there were no two similar looking characters, which was nice (some anime have similar looking characters which tends to confuse me).

Sound was not an issue here. All the songs by the band was extremely catchy and memorable. Never has an anime had that much impact on me though the use of appropriate soundtracks that convey the feeling and mood of the situation. The opening and ending themes really stood out. I must admit that the Houkago Tea Time band is probably one of my favourite bands so far. They totally rock!

Speaking of Houkago Tea Time, the band members are one of the cutest bunch ever. I loved every single character throughout the anime. From the hilarious Mio to the ever cutest Azusa(Azu-nyan!! <3),   the audience will simply be captivated by their sense of style, personality and interaction with other members. Whether you are a guy or girl, you will definitely find your favourite character here.

This has been one exciting anime. I cannot get enough of it. Honestly, I think the creators should make a Season 3 featuring Azusa and her continuation of the HTT Band along with Ui and  Jun. Although Season 2 ended with the original cast's graduation, I think it would be appropriate to focus more on Azusa's band than the original cast (which are now in college). Overall, I really enjoyed this anime. Definitely recommended as a must-watch anime.

STORY: 9
The story totally captivated me throughout the whole series. Not once did I get bored or skip and scenes due to plot holes or side stories. A definite chronological sequence from beginning to end.

ART: 8
Well drawn and well presented. Characters are instantly recognized on screen. Shadows and textures were also well imprinted and vivid backgrounds and places were plenty.

SOUND: 10
Best anime for use of a girl band, catchy theme songs and voice acting. Voices of characters were distinct from each other and the theme songs and albums was also actually done by the same voice characters of the anime.

CHARACTER: 9
Loved every single character. They all had their own unique personality and traits. You will definitely love each and every character in this anime.

ENJOYMENT: 9
Really enjoyed this series. I only wished that it was much longer because I just can't get enough.

OVERALL: 9
One awesome anime. Cannot stop loving and listening to the songs. For those who love girl bands and music, this is a must-watch anime for you. You will get plenty of laughs and sad moments in this anime. You will definitely not forget this anime for a long time.

January 30, 2012

Vocaloid Music: Hatsune Miku - Tell Your World

This may be old news, but I would like to share a very nice song for everyone to listen. It is by livetune featuring Hatsune Miku in 'Tell Your World'. If you guys have seen the Google Chrome ad featuring Miku you will instantly recognize this song. If not, I have posted the Chrome ad below.

Anyhow, the 'Tell Your World' single album consists of only one song by livetune. It was released on iTunes on 25 January. I can't wait for the 'Tell Your World EP' album with will feature more songs by livetune. That said, I have been listening to this song at least once everyday. Yes, it is that catchy.

If you haven't heard Vocaloid before or you haven't had a chance to experience some Vocaloid, here's your chance for a quick 1 minute video of Google Chrome and one one livetune's latest song. Enjoy! ^^

Microsoft Productivity Vision

I found an interesting video I would like to share with everyone. It is Microsoft's Productivity Vision of the future. It looks pretty far-fetched but believe me, most of these technologies exist already. From memory, touch screen devices, bendable screens, sensor awareness, smart windows and voice recognition/control technologies already exist. What really is holding back is battery power and the use of automated battery charging. I won't go into much detail here. Just watch the video and imagine the possibilities of such technology existing in the future!

Anime Review: Azumanga Daioh

Azumanga Daioh brings fun and lightweight entertainment to those who enjoy slice of life comedy style anime. It features many hilarious moments and nostalgic events from references to other anime.

Azumanga DaiohSynopsis:
Azumanga Daioh is about high school life through the eyes of six girls with unusual personalities: Chiyo (the 10-year-old genius), Osaka (the resident airhead), Sakaki (the shy one prone to cat bites), Tomo (the loose cannon), Yomi (the short-tempered one) and Kagura (the resident jock).

Review:
Azumanga Daioh has been one of the few slice of anime that really captivated a wide range of audience with its lively story, interesting artwork, soundtracks, character design and overall enjoyment. To begin with, there is really little continuous story throughout the anime. It is a pure slice of life comedy and that is all you get, a group of girls and their life. Basically like that. However, each episode has several mini-scenarios attached that makes this anime even that more fragmented. I think the anime was targeted towards more of the casual anime watcher in mind. The anime progresses chronologically, however each episode is independent from one another. Although that may be case, there are plenty of laughs and memorable moments throughout the anime.

The art is not bad either. Although not as top notch as some AAA titles, the message(jokes) get across quite well. The chibi facial emotions also adds to the enjoyment of the anime. In a sense, this was anime is pretty well suited for a younger teen audience. From memory, the background visual styles were not bad at all. Every character had their own personality drawn pretty well from the ever cute Chiyo to the cool looking Sakaki, not to mention the ever creepy Kamura-sensei. That said, this was one well drawn out anime.

Next is sound. I didn't remember any notable soundtracks worth noting here, however I dare say the opening theme song is pretty catchy. Otherwise, I didn't really notice much background music throughout the anime. I guess this is acceptable because the anime was meant to focus on the character's lives.

Character development and background story building was one very major aspect this anime was focused onto. I must say that each character throughout the anime was never similar to each other. Every single character had their own unique personality and attitude which made this anime that much more funny to watch. The award for most cutest definitely had to go to Chiyo. You just can't get enough of those side ponytails! Also the most annoying character would definitely have to go Yukari-sensei. You will be face palming a lot during her scenes. I should really hush now, don't want to spoil the anime to those who haven't watched it!

In the end, it comes down to your personal tastes. If you like slice of life comedies, then look no further. This anime will satisfy your every need for hilarious and stupid moments. You will be left with good fond memories of unexpected moments and hilarious pitfalls. I would definitely recommend this anime as a sole time-waster for several days!

STORY: 7
There isn't really a story. Just a bunch scenes glued together into several episodes. This doesn't make it a bad anime, just makes it a bit harder to watch in continuation for long periods of time.


ART: 8
Scenes were well drawn out and character features really showed. This is important for a slice of life anime to accurately portray each different character as closely as possible to their personality.


SOUND: 5
Not much soundtracks used throughout the anime. Even if they did, it wasn't really memorable. The opening theme song was catchy though.


CHARACTER: 9
I loved each and every character and their own unique personality. The creators really did do a good job in portraying each individual character as a unique person and not like another.


ENJOYMENT: 7
There are plenty of laughs and memorable moments. Just some scenes are a bit of a drag. This anime has little story so its not recommend for a one-sitting watch through.


OVERALL: 7
You will get plenty of laughs and funny moments. If you are into slice of life comedy anime then this is one anime you must watch. Although I must repeat what I said before, this is not a one-sitting anime so you might want to watch it during a break or only a few episodes a day.

January 29, 2012

My Favourite Game

So, this is my first post on the topic of "Games". To start of I would like to tell everyone my favourite game to date. Surprisingly, my favourite game is...Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit! Yes, you heard that correctly. Why Hot Pursuit!? Well...I'm totally into racing games. I've played Need for Speed: Carbon, Need for Speed: Undercover, Need for Speed: Shift 2, GRID and Blur. I've got to admit, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is still the best NFS game to date!!

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit features full-on racer or cop action with the main objective of trying to eliminate your opponents in any way possible. For cop, you are equipped with the Helicopter, EMP, Roadblock and Spike strip. As racer you are equipped with the Turbo, EMP, Jammer and Spike strip. Each race gives you different amounts of weapon usage so each race is genuinely different. This makes this game so much more challenging and fun. Repetition here is not an issue.

Online multiplayer is where all the action happens. You can have up to 2 teams of 4 as either cop or racer. Each map and team is randomly selected, so you never know who you will be teamed up with 'till the very last second. The racing is split up into different categories; car tier or race type. There is no lag at all when playing against other people from around the world. Also, ping rate is relatively low, so rarely are people kicked out during an online race.

Lastly, the graphics are simple stunning. The physics and particle effects of crashing cars is simply amazing. You will need a decent graphics card to fully enjoy this ultimate driving experience. The in-game music also never gets boring no matter how many times you listen to them. From the crashing sound effects as well as the sound of the EMP locking on, to every "whoosh" sound in every movement of the menu simply makes this game that much more exciting.

Overall, I would recommend this game to any hardcore racing game fan or even the casual racing gamer. It is just simply one of the best racing games out there. Nothing beats it yet and perhaps none will for some time. Unless of course Criterion Games decides to release a sequel. Better stay tuned!

Quick Score: 9/10 (Simply amazing.)

Visit to Gold Coast

Waha!

I'm finally back from Gold Coast! For those who don't live in Australia, you may of heard of the popular tourist attraction in a place called Gold Coast...specifically Surfer's Paradise. I've been there so many times before, but this time I was with my relatives.

Surfer's Paradise - most popular tourist attraction
Big waves crashing onto shore

Front of the beach
Showers
Flags at the beach
From city to shore
Life Guard hut
So...this ends my day at the beach. Even though I didn't get to swim, I still had lots of fun! I recommend you guys visit Gold Coast, Australia sometime!

J.Hu Photography



Hey guys!

For those who love photography or just simply love admiring wonderful photos, my friend Jack Hu has recently updated his photography website once again. Hit the link below to launch his gallery!


I've also made a short preview video of just some of his earlier works for everyone to take a look at. If you liked the video remember to hit the thumbs up button and also drop a quick comment! I will probably make more preview videos in the future, so just wait and see!

If you liked his gallery and wish to continue to support him, remember to hit the 'Like!' button on his website!

Link: J.Hu Photography

January 28, 2012

I Support Ubuntu

Ubuntu logo
Firstly, for those who do not know what Ubuntu is I will briefly explain it to you in the shortest way possible.

Ubuntu is a type of operating system like Windows and Mac OS. It is based on the Linux architecture. It is probably the most popular Linux distribution currently and Linux Mint is not far behind. So what makes Ubuntu so great?

Ubuntu 11.10 Final.png1. Cost
Ubuntu is completely free and it will remain free. It is also open source so anyone can download and modify the source code.

2. Security
Ubuntu is safe and is free from viruses. There is no need for antivirus software on Ubuntu at all.

3. Speed and Compatibility
Ubuntu is built to be compatible with almost any desktop or laptop device. It can run on low amounts of RAM which in turn enhances the usability experience of the operating system. There is very little slow down when multitasking between resource intensive applications.

4. Software
You can do almost anything on Ubuntu that you can on Windows. Applications such as Google Chrome, Skype and DropBox can be easily downloaded onto Ubuntu. For other applcations that are only Windows exclusive, Linux provides great alternatives such as GIMP, Transmission and LibreOffice just to name a few.

5. Updates
Updates can be easily downloaded and installed from one location without manually going through each software.

6. Customization
Like the Android platform, Ubuntu can be easily configured to suit your every need. From custom themes to advanced system tweaking, Ubuntu can satisfy anyone's needs.

Conclusion
Ubuntu is a great operating system for Linux beginners to start with. The only major downside to using a Linux operating system is the lack of games and game compatibility. I do not recommend that you replace Windows with Ubuntu if you still want to play games, although you can still either dual-boot or run Ubuntu in a virtual machine. For more information visit http://www.ubuntu.com.

Anime Review: Angel Beats!

This is my first anime review, so I'll try my best in unbiased critical writing. So here I go! Basically, Angel Beats! is a action-packed slice of life anime with a interesting background and plotline.

Angel Beats!Synopsis:
Otonashi awakens only to learn he is dead. A rifle-toting girl named Yuri explains that they are in the afterlife, and Otonashi realizes the only thing he can remember about himself is his name. Yuri tells him that she leads the Shinda Sekai Sensen (Afterlife Battlefront) and wages war against a girl named Tenshi. Unable to believe Yuri's claims that Tenshi is evil, Otonashi attempts to speak with her, but the encounter doesn't go as he intended.

Otonashi decides to join the SSS and battle Tenshi, but he finds himself oddly drawn to her. While trying to regain his memories and understand Tenshi, he gradually unravels the mysteries of the afterlife.

Review:

At first glance it may seem to be just another mild action-based slice of life anime, but after watching the first episode, I concluded that this one one well made anime. Right from the start the beautiful artwork and  story development captivated me to watch more. The scenes well well thought out and the mysterious circumstances the characters were established was a really good starting point for the anime.

As expected in most anime, the background story of the characters are gradually reviewed piece by piece and the whole setting gradually unfolds its truth after a few episodes. I think this is a good way to make the audience keep on watching and discovering new truths about the characters and intentions. A good action anime needs a good back plot. That said, Angel Beats! definitely has this kind of style.

The story has features some distinct comedic lines in it but rarely frequent. This anime was meant to be serious and it still is. However, some humorous events were placed throughout the anime which was appropriate in some cases. I really welcomed the idea of a light-action anime series with well thought out comedic scenes. On top of that, some transition between such scenes could have been better.

In addition, the placement of music was really well done. The choice of music genre and having a girl band that rocks out hard really gave this anime a good boost of the ratings. I enjoyed every piece of the soundtrack and the background music in some scenes were so well done, I could feel the emotion surging through my body.

Overall, I liked this anime a lot. I really hoped that the length of the anime was longer (13 episodes total). Here's a breakdown.

STORY: 8
The story was well told from beginning to end. Although some episodes tell you about a sole character whilst others tell about the world in general, this anime really did successfully tell a grand story overall.

ART: 9
The scenes and background was just stunning. The lighting effects was really bright and the shadows cast from objects were realistic. The change of color tone from outdoors to underground caverns really showed out.

SOUND: 10
The music and background music were superb. I loved the band and their songs! Also, the character voices were not annoying (unless of course it was intentional).

CHARACTER: 8
The characters were well thought out, The different variety of characters of different persona really made this anime interesting. Although some characters' background didn't get explained properly I still loved them all.

ENJOYMENT: 10
I totally loved the anime! It was really entertaining. I loved the band and their songs so much, I've rewatched the episodes just with them in it.

OVERALL: 9

If you love high school, slice of life, comedy, action, girls and guns then this is the perfect anime for you. I have not found another anime that contains so much different genres mashed into one. Definitely a must watch!

Introducing Vocaloid

Ohayou~! Good morning!

Today, I would like to introduce to you my other interest besides Androids and that is: Vocaloid!!

Miku hatsune cover.jpg
For those who don't know what Vocaloid is...well...in a nutshell Vocaloid is basically a singing synthesizer software designed to help create singing music with the use of pre-recorded voice sounds combined together to form words. As of now there are two Vocaloid versions, Vocaloid 1 and Vocaloid 2. I am into Vocaloid 2. There is a Vocaloid 3 in the mix that will add more languages! (Right now there is only English and Japanese!)


Back to Vocaloid 2, my favourite software/character is definitely Hatsune Miku. You guys may have heard about her somewhere before. 

She is definitely the best Vocaloid so far in my opinion. Other favourites are Kagamine Rin and Len as well as Megurine Luka. Although I don't listen much to the latter's music, I tend to be more focussed on the music of Hatsune Miku.


What makes Vocaloid so great? Well, I thought it was unique in a way to produce music. Using software synthesizer to create human voice sounds and words as accurately as possible. It is genius for such software to exist! I must admit though, one cannot get into Vocaloids straight away from listening only once. It may tend to take some time to get used to the electronic-like voice of all Vocaloids. But in the end, the music is still good, the voices are clearly heard and wide range of genres is quite a collection. I would recommend anyone to start with Hatsune Miku's Melt or Love is War, then slowly progressing through the other Vocaloid songs.


So, tell me what do you think? Is Vocaloid music for you? Which Vocaloid is your favourite and why? Comments below please! =D

Link: Wikipedia

January 27, 2012

What I Like About Android



To be honest. I am not much of an Apple fanboy. Ever since the Android platform came out, I was totally marvelled by its design and features. Also the amount of many different devices that contain this sweet platform never ceases to amaze me. I've nearly had my Motorola Milestone 2 for a year now. I am still loving this little brick!

And so...I will list my favourite thing about Android for everyone to enjoy!

1. Apps

Obviously this would be the most obvious first choice that comes to my mind. The Android platform contains many apps that can be easily downloaded from the Android Market! Here you can find tons of cool apps and games to play around with. If you are an app freak this is the perfect place for you. Compared to Apple's AppStore, the Android Market may have some lagging popular titles, but many popular games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja can be found on the Android platform as well! Whats best is that they are totally free (unlike the AppStore)!


2. Customization
One thing that a felt disappointed about Apple's iOS platform is the strict limitation of what you can change and what you can't. From my experience, iPhones can only change their background wallpaper right? I have never owned an iPhone before so I do not know any other customization that can be done on iPhones without the use of jailbreaking. One thing the Android phones excel at is the wide range of customization options available. Such as custom themes, launchers, ROMs, tweaks and hacks. The possibilities are endless! That is what makes the Android platform so great!

3. Speed, Stability and Service

Sure enough both iPhones and Android have top marks in this category. However, I must say that Android totally outclasses the iPhone is some aspects. Let us consider the high-end phones that run Android to the iPhone. Recently, the Samsung Galaxy SII came out. That was a major hit! Outranking the iPhone in specs and market share, Samsung has delivered its best to the Android community and to the world in general. The Samsung Galaxy SII with its 4.3" screen and dual-core 1.2GHz processor, this thing really overpowers the iPhone 4S. I must admit though that the iPhone 4S has a larger screen resolution but that does not the point here. Android will always continue to improve regardless of how well iPhone will continue to be released each year.


So this ends my rambling about my live for Android! Haha! It sounds like I'm a total nerd! But seriously, I do recommend anyone getting a new smartphone to consider choosing Android as their next phone. Oh by the way, I heard that there will be quad-core phones coming out this year! I cannot wait to get one! Samsung Galaxy SIII!!

January 26, 2012

Hello World

First things first. Say hi!

So anyhow...this is my new blog. And yes, it's empty...right now, but I will fill it with all sorts of interesting stuff about anything and everything...but mostly just Android, Vocaloid, anime, music and life in general. Mm...so for this first post I will just introduce myself and maybe talk a bit more about why I made this blog. Of course you can check out the 'About Me' page but that doesn't give much information. Hehe =D

So...onwards!

Well I'm a guy. Simple as that. No questions. Why I started a blog? Because I was pretty bored and I had nothing else to do...games were getting boring (my PSP is collecting dust) and I had already spent a few hours watching anime non-stop. Which to me is pretty hardcore. I was also surfing the net pretty blandly, watching a bit of YouTube, then going on reddit, then xda-developers and so forth. So I said to myself...I need a blog. And ta-da! Here it is.

You may ask why I'm doing this. It's because I feel like it. Basically, the things that interest me the most make me want to shout out to the world! And that is why I'm gonna post stuff related to Android, Vocaloid, anime, music and other stuff which I can't think of right now here.

Oh! And feel free to post your comments below on any of my posts. Make sure you're friendly~! I don't want to have to delete your comment! =O That would be terrible.

So anyhow, this ends my first extremely long post for today(?). I still have to fix up the blog a bit. Create my own background wallpaper (cos I don't like using pre-made ones). So...I'll leave you to it. Have fun and feel free to share my blog to your friends! =D