Techno-geeking in Bali
I was in Bali last week together with some tech writers and bloggers for the Samsung Forum 2014, an annual event that showcases Samsung products to be released in the coming months.
The products range from TVs to cameras, washing machines, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, tablets, laptops, printers, and some specialized equipment for hospitals and hotels. It is usually quite an exciting event and this Bali event again did not disappointment.
I won’t talk about all the products. I just wish to write about the few products I can most relate to, and these are the TVs, the NX30 camera, and the printers.
Let’s start with the television. They had on display the world’s biggest Ultra High Definition Curved TV at 105-inches. It is truly impressive to watch really sharp, vibrant images on a screen as huge as this. I must admit that when I first heard about curved screens, I could not imagine a reason for it. But the idea of having a curved screen in many ways simulates a 3D experience without the glasses. It draws you deeper inside the picture. UHD is four times sharper than regular HD and is the state of the art of TV today.
Samsung also unveiled the 78, 65 and the 55-inch UHD screens.
Another class of televisions, the SD TVs, are equally engaging as well. The SD590 offers a wide viewing angle that delivers consistent natural color and contrast from any angle within 178 degrees. What is interesting is the SD590 also includes a game mode option with a D-sub and two HDMI inputs. Samsung is launching these models in anticipation of the World Cup this year. In fact, the SD TV has a ‘soccer mode’ which allows you to change the audio equalization when watching the game live. It captures more of the ambient sound and feeling of the event. It also has a screen capture where you can freeze the action while watching a live game. When you do, you can split the captured image into 9 parts and enlarge any one of them for better analysis.
And that’s not all. It can also do sound capture which you can save to USB in case your thing is watching music videos, for example. These are definitely big wow factors.
Samsung’s attempt to join the big boy’s camera club has been making inroads the last two years due to their innovativeness, quality and ease of use. I am talking of about their 4/3rd, mirorrless cameras. The NX30 is the latest camera to impress. The advanced 20.3MP APS-C CMOS Sensor means it can capture more high quality images with sharper detail, richer colors. Its AF system guarantees really fast focusing which means you won’t miss a shot. It has an exceptionally fast 1/8000 sec Shutter Speed and it can shoot nine frames per second (FPS).
But the big story here is about the viewfinder, which you can actually pull and move about. You can use it like an inverted periscope if you wish, just like the old box cameras, or use it like a regular viewfinder. It also has a moveable back screen that you can position on the left side of the camera. Lastly, it has Tag and Go feature which makes sharing photos between tablets, phones, etc. so much easier via NFC. All you do is put two NFC enabled devices together and voila! the picture is shared! I really like this feature. Sharing the photos online through LTE or Wi-Fi, or using smartphones as remote viewfinders are just as easy to do.
There are many more things to talk about regarding the NX30. The video is a high quality HD. It comes with a 16-50mm F2-2.8 S ED OIS lens. There are 11 other great lenses to choose from if you want to expand your gear.
Lastly, I want to say that Samsung’s latest Xpress series laser printers are quite impressive. Take for granted the sharpness. It delivers flawlessly. It can print 28 pages per minute on the Mono Xpress M2885, and 18 on the Color Xpress C1865 series. The big deal here is the ease in which you can print via NFC technology. For on-the-go printing through NFC and Wi-Fi Direct technologies, all you have to do is tap your Samsung phone, camera or tab on a part of the printer and you can print any image you wish.
If you are buying anything new this year, I suggest you take a look at these offerings from Samsung. You will not be disappointed.
Let’s go Shoot!!
OK. I got your emails and entries. Big huge thanks! I got so many responses I really wish I could bring all of you. But I can only bring 5. SIGH! The hardest thing to do is choose. But here goes:
1) ZJ de Castro
2) Catherine Mae Andaya
3) Princessa Dian Beth Chua
4) Rochelle Tubilla
5) Rachel Peralta
Congrats! There’s one more thing you have to do by TODAY!
a) You have to write me another email with your full name, contact number, birthday.
b) Please state the following in your email.
' I fully accept the terms and conditions as offered by Jim Paredes and AirAsiaPH as written in jimparedes.tumblr.com and will abide by all rules and cover all expenses outside of the round trip ticket provided by AirAsiaPH'
c) Please put ‘Trip to Davao’ on title of email.
d) Send email by today OR LOSE YOUR SLOT TO SOMEONE ELSE.
e) Please tweet that you won using #EdenEcoPark and @AirAsiaPH
OK? Hope to hear from you SOON! Congrats. Prepare your cameras and see you March 8 at the airport!
Come fly with me Davao!
Wanna fly FREE to Davao on a daytrip and take photos at Eden Eco Park? I am looking for 5 people to go with. AirAsia Zest can fly us free on March 8 Saturday.
We will take the 1st flight Z2390 0435AM and return flight Z2392 1900 since it’s a 1 day trip. We will have free lunch at Eden Eco Park where we will take pics and just enjoy the scenery and company. Note that flight will originate from Manila to Davao, and will return to Manila.
How to join.
1) Like AirAsiaPhilippines FB page: https://www.facebook.com/AirAsiaPhilippines and follow @AirAsiaPH in twitter.
2) Send me two of your best pics at firstname.lastname@example.org before Feb 17. Please put ‘Davao’ as title. Pls include your phone number for easy coordination.
3) Aside from sending pics, signify interest by tweeting me. Pls tag @AirAsiaPH
I will choose and announce via this site all winners by Feb 18.
If chosen, pls know that
a) You will pay for all airport taxes
b) You may have to share transport costs from airport to Eden and back.
Regarding meals, only lunch will be free.
c) I will expect friendliness and positivity from you
Is this OK?
Over the hill and picking up speed
"If you think you will be too old when you finish if you take up a new study or course or anything now, well, guess what? You will still get old even if you do not take up whatever it is… Just effing do it if it needs to be done. Time is slipping by. Maybe some of you needed to hear this.”
I posted this message on Facebook and got immediate positive responses. A lot of people related to it instantly. Many reposted it. Some who are in their 30s, 40s and 50s talked about being back in school or taking online classes, and looking forward to doing something new.
I notice as I get older that as much as I am thinking more and more about my age, I am also thinking less and less about it. While it is true that I take care of my health so that I can live strong, sane and trouble-free for as long as I can, I do not necessarily think of it as a factor when I am pursuing things I like to do. As the creator of Peanuts, Charles M. Schulz, said, “Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.”
That’s exactly how I feel.
Last week, I traveled to two places in five days —Lagen in El Nido and Naga City. I will be going to Bali in a few days. I really enjoy traveling with my camera on hand. I am always thrilled to be in a new place and on the lookout for that scenery and moment that is waiting to be captured digitally and experientially. I can sit with people I’ve just met and get a terrific conversation going. I am totally fascinated by the stories shared by strangers I encounter. I feel that my understanding of human nature and the human condition expands after meeting new people, and I am easily inspired.
There are young people who are of the mindset that if they don’t “make it” early in life, if they don’t get the trappings of success, the good job, the high position, the prestige, etc. before they reach 30, it will be too late to succeed in the greatest possible way. I find it sad that they are so hard on themselves.
I believe that while it is good, or even great, to have a job or a career, one must also have passion for what one is doing. You may have the most glamorous high paying job but if your heart is not really in it, you will not be able to sustain it or be truly productive.
Something will eventually have to give. If it is the job that has to go, it’s a small price to pay in the pursuit of happiness, and being free from something that does not sustain your entire being. But if you keep the job to keep the money coming, it is your soul that you could lose, and that would be a tragedy.
When I was growing up, my mother told me that it did not matter what I wanted to be. What mattered was that I would try to be the best in my field. Together with that advice was the suggestion that if I loved what I chose to do for a living, my passion for it would make me excel.
One of the benefits Australia offers to its people is the availability of education at any age. Aus Study, as it is called, allows anyone to pursue studies later in life. And since returning to school and studying may not be financially easy, they offer a stipend of about 700 Australian dollars (AUD) to help adult enrollees through.
But while that is available, sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a mad rush among Aussies to go back to school, which gives truth to the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t force it to drink.”
Age does not have to be a hindrance or an excuse to avoid pursuing new interests or learning new skills. There are opportunities for anyone who is interested. Everybody will get old physically, but not everyone has to have an old, inflexible mindset.
Sophia Loren once remarked that, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
Understanding and internalizing this is probably one of the best life skills everyone, young or old, ought to learn. There are young “old people,” and there are old “young people,” if you know what I mean. The point is to be ageless, and not let physical age matter too much.
What really matters is becoming alive to your own life, to live and be so interested and absorbed with life that you want more and more of it so that you feel more expanded and see enchantment in everyday living.
Grandma Moses, one of America’s painting icons, started her career as an artist when she was in her 70s. Picasso never stopped painting, and ever so playfully, until he died. Paul McCartney at 71 is still writing songs, cutting records and touring the world doing concerts.
The late radio and TV writer Andy Rooney pointed out, “It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.”
The world has had a wrong view of what aging is all about. But I personally feel I do not have to live my age in stereotypical fashion. To age does not mean to just slow down one’s intake of life, even if one does not have the health and the strength left to do it. Knowing that “the end” will eventually come makes it imperative that if there is still something you want to do, you must not wait too long to do it.
Time is precious. It is wiser to spend it doing something new than wasting away and not doing anything at all.
"In other traditions, good and evil are relative to the position in which you are standing. What is good for one is evil for the other. And you play your part, not withdrawing from the world when you realize how horrible it is, but seeing that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder: a ‘mysterium tremendum et fascinans.’
“‘All life is sorrowful’ is the first Buddhist saying, and so it is. It wouldn’t be life if there weren’t temporality involved, which is sorrow – loss, loss, loss. You’ve got to say yes to life and see it as magnificent this way; for this is surely the way God intended it …
"It is joyful just as it is. I don’t believe there was anybody who intended it, but this is the way it is. James Joyce has a memorable line: ‘History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.’ And the way to wake from it is not to be afraid, and to recognize that all of this, as it is, is a manifestation of the horrendous power that is of all creation. The ends of things are always painful. But pain is part of there being a world at all …
"I will participate in the game. It is a wonderful, wonderful opera – except that it hurts.”-—
Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
5 Qualities to Avoid
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
5 Qualities to Avoid
I realize the implied negativity of making an article about qualities to avoid rather than qualities to aspire to, but I think these are important to keep in the back of your mind.
"The unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates
Intelligence and profundity are historically linked for a reason. The more you know, the more ammo you have for fighting problems and intellectual obstacles and dealing with the world. Books and articles are great, but only make up half of the equation. Experiential ignorance is just as bad as intellectual ignorance.
Read plenty and expand your understanding of the world and its great thinkers, but get out and do things. Take long walks in the city at night, stay up late and wax philosophic with friends, take daring vacations, and act on harmless impulses like talking to strangers and singing loudly to music in your car. Learn about everything all the time, including how to act stupid every once in a while.
“The intelligent people are the ones so intelligent that they don’t even need or want to look ‘intelligent’ anymore.” ― Criss Jami
I just started reading the massive tome Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and simply as a result of the intensity of the reading experience I feel like sharing it with people. I quickly realized that talking about books in that way involves walking a fine line between curiosity and pretentiousness.
"Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, for wisdom is better than silver or gold." -Bob Marley
Some of the smartest kids I’ve met at college in NYC have turned out to be some of the most greedy I’ve ever met. Now, arguably, their lack of acknowledgement of the vapidness of materialism and working solely for a monetary reward could prove them not as intelligent as I think. But I’ve been surprised that some of the most talented and academically proficient analytical people I’ve met yet have been the ones who want to hop on the Wall Street bandwagon (or maybe pirate ship is the more appropriate term?).
It’s valuable to be passionate about a career and about personal progress, and I’m sure there are some investment bankers who absolutely love what they do beyond reproach— the key is to do what you love. If what you love happens to net you a fat wallet, then power to you. But money should not be a reward for greed; it should be a reward for having a creative, productive, fulfilling life. That kind of life is the only one that makes having money worth it, after all. There are plenty of unhappy billionaires.
"Only the madman is absolutely sure." -Robert Anton Wilson
Another habit my college counterparts and I often happen to fall into is being really damn sure of ourselves. It’s easy to read a few books and watch a couple of documentaries and have a couple of interesting chats with professors over coffee and think you’ve got the world all figured out. This is very rarely the case, and by very rarely I mean never.
Always be questioning. Never give it up. See the reverse side of every reverse side and the antithesis of every thesis. Certitude is comforting, but it’s limiting. More fulfillment will come from exploring curiosity and learning than from settling with one ideology and creating a narrow ‘reality tunnel’ for yourself, as Robert Anton Wilson would say.
"Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." -Buddhaghosa
We’re taught that what’s natural is good. All-natural granola bars and wheat bread are healthy and good for you. Nature is benevolent and positive. But anger is a natural human quality, and one of a few examples (among them, namely spiders, tsunamis and sleet) of nature being not-good. We’re hardwired to be angry every once in a while, which is healthy and natural, but it can easily become a habit that negatively impacts our relationships and mindfulness.
Acknowledge anger when it comes but don’t kindle it. Just let it pass. Acting on anger is a quick way to reverse any meaningful contributions you’ve made to a given situation. Mindfulness and self-control go hand in hand; as cliche as it is, control anger rather than letting it control you.
"My general formula for my students is ‘Follow your bliss.’ Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it … If the work you are doing is the work that you chose to do because you are enjoying it, that’s it. But if you think, ‘Oh no, I couldn’t do that!’ that’s the dragon locking you in. ‘No, no, I couldn’t be a writer,’ or ‘No, no, I couldn’t possibly be doing what So-and-so is doing.’
"Any world is a valid world if it’s alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself."— Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth