You do what Stefanie Gordon did yesterday on her Delta flight from New York City (LGA) to West Palm Beach (PBI) and takes several photos of the Space Shuttle Endeavor's last lift off from Kennedy Space Center (KSC). That single action did not gain Stefanie her celebrity status but what she did when she got to West Palm Beach did. After getting onto the Delta flight in LaGuardia (LGA) she sent her last tweet and turned off her iPhone 3GS, because she decided not to pay for in-flight WiFi, and then proceed to sleep through most of it. Until the plane began its decent to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) and the pilot came on announcing the Space Shuttle Endeavor has just lifted off KSC.

When Stefanie landed and got to a WiFi hotspot she sent the following tweet. This tweet and the photos she took were picked up by local and national media within minutes, resulting in numerous telephone interviews. The media even interviewed her father before she made it to her parents' home from the airport. Stefanie's Twitter account gain over 2500+ followers within one day. This surely demonstrates the power of social media.

You can see some of the photos fellow Flickr community members; including Stefanie's (brand new Flickr account), took of the historic flight.

Poster

My Rating: 4Stars

This evening I saw the movie Fast & Furious 5 at AMC Cinemas, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

Normally I do not watch action or other movie sequels with more than 3 editions. The only exceptions being: Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Fast & Furious and Harry Potter. In 2014 I will add Beverly Hills Cop to this list of exceptions.

When watching sequels with more than three editions my expectations are usually way down, since it is difficult to keep the original plot, capture the audiences or offer surprise twists. Given the people behind this fifth edition of the Fast & Furious franchise didn't bother to come up with an original title for the movie, I was going in with just the goals of enjoying the stunts and amazing driving.

Almost the entire original Fast & Furious cast are present in this movie even Michelle Rodriguez's character "Letty", and they bring back some of the main characters from previous editions of Fast & Furious. To add fresh faces they brought in Dwayne Johnson (aka "The Rock") and Elsa Pataky who serve as great antagonists to Diesel and Walker's characters.

The movie starts off very exciting as this franchise normally does, as it sets the pace for the rest of the movie and never let up. The stunts are amazing but at times not so believable. They are able to retain the humor and excitement of original Fast Furious and threw in elements of Ocean's Eleven to make it a very enjoyable movie.

After watching this movie you come out of the theatre satisfied and wanting more, which brings me to Michelle Rodriguez's character "Letty". The play writes imply that there will be be a 6 edition of this franchise.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

I was trying to work while at the Starbucks but this "kid" next to my table is telling his female friend about his forth and final break up with his CX flight attendant girlfriend. On one hand he say she is totally crazy and not suitable for him but on the other hand he keeps saying that if the girl goes to London, where he will be next week for four months, things will be different.

This guy really has a problem. He tells his friend how the girl does not understand him and she is way too demanding. He also says that he loves her and she is good for him.

He does not understand that some times CX crew are not able to control their roster, and if she has a flight to London it does not mean that she wants to get back together with him. He is way too innocent to think so.

He tells his friend about his other friends thinking he wil get back together with the girl in a few days. Even the female friends is making snide remarks of his situtation.

This guy is in his early 20's but he thinks he is too old for this. Although I do not know the whole story I think it is very likely is the fault of this guy that things did not work out for them.

Posted
AuthorVinko
Categoriesopinion

Poster

My Rating: 4Stars

This evening I saw the movie Just Go With It at AMC Cinemas, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

It is a romantic comedy starting Adam Sandler as Danny and Jennifer Aniston as Katherine where Nicole Kidman has a supporting role as the evil Devlin Adams. Danny is someone who lost fate with marriage and decides to use marriage to get into the hearts of women.

Every characters in the movie help make it a 4 penguins for me. Sandler draw his role from Click, a person who is good deep down but portrays himself as a different person to others. Kidman does not play her glamours self but instead draw from her experience in The Golden Compass to play Aniston's antagonist. Before this movie Aniston has quite a few flops: The Switch, The Bounty Hunter and Love Happens. This movie takes advantage of her usual cute underdog character and match it perfectly with the other characters, making her character believable to the audience.

The other supporting characters are very good too. Nick Swardson who supported Sandler in Click. Aniston's children in the movie, Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck are very good, where Gluck potentially becoming an actor to watch for the future. Dave Matthews plays a person pretending to be Jonathan Ive. The only exception being Brooklyn Decker whose character confuses us, as to whether to treat her as a dumb-blonde character or an innocent country girl, because she flips back and forth between these stereotypes.

This is a very enjoyable movie giving any audience; not only fans of Sandler, a great night out of laughter. This is definitely a good first choice at the box office.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

Poster

My Rating: 3Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie Source Code at AMC Cinemas, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

It stars Jake Gyllenhaal (as Captain Colter Stevens) and Michelle Monaghan (as Christina). Without giving away the plot, it is about a military pilot (Captain Stevens) who wakes up inside someone else's body and had to figure out what happened.

The movie decides not to spend the time to explain the backgrounds or develop the characters, but instead chose to jump right into the story, like the main character's predicament. This is brave of the play writes to do so, you will understand why after you watch the movie. This decision cause the movie to be a bit disorienting for the audiences.

This method would otherwise work well with a different cast of actors, but this cast left us non-engaged and at moments bored. During the first several cycles (do not want to get into this, in fear of revealing too much of the plot) Captain Stevens tried to both figure out the status of his own life and to follow orders to investigate the events that transpired.

Through out the movie the characters insist that they are not achieving time travel but in the end the audiences realize the characters have actually achieved travels among parallel realities.

This movie reminds me of Groundhog Day by Bill Murray, but it is not a comedy so it is not as entertaining.

I gave this movie 3 penguins and will only recommend it if there are no other choices at the cinemas.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

Imagine this scenario, you're listening to your favorite music track on your Mac and had to leave the house, don't you wish your iPhone or iPod touch can seamlessly carry on playing the track from where you were at in iTunes on your Mac? Or if you were deeply engaged in a podcast just before you had to head out, so you have to wait for the iPhone or iPod touch to synch using iTunes before you leave. This happens to me often especially the latter. Fortunately, Five Details, the 2008 Apple Design Awards winners and maker of Flow, has a solution and it is called Seamless.

This little utility comes in an iOS/OS X duo, a free OS X app and a USD0.99 iPhone app components. The OS X app is a background app that only appears as a menu item on your Mac when running.

Before anything is to work you will first have to pair the iOS app with the OS X app. This is done easily:

  1. Have both the Mac and the iOS device on the same WiFi network.
  2. The OS X app needs to be running.
  3. Starts the iOS app then;
  4. Clicks on the "Add A Mac" option in the iOS app.

The Mac will immediately recognizes its iOS component, and presents a dialog to confirm your action.

Seamless - Add iOS Device

Acknowledge the iOS device by clicking on the Allow button. Now the Mac will become one of the Near By Macs in the list within the iOS app. There does not appear to be any limits to the number of Macs the iOS app can be paired with or vice versa.

Seamless - Track To PlayWhile the OS X app runs in the background it monitors the currently playing track in iTunes. When you have to get away from your Mac all you have to do is start the Seamless iOS app on your iPhone of iPod touch. The iOS app will immediately picks up the current playing track from iTunes on your Mac and presents you with a large button to "Transition music from Mac".

Clicking on the "Transition Music from Mac" button will immediately plays the track in the iPod app within your iOS device. Of course the said track will need to be already on your iOS device. Seamless will not magically transfer tracks that are not already on the iOS device or the Mac.

Seamless - Track Not Found Seamless - Transition To MacIf the track is not found the iOS app will show a screen telling you to synchronize your music between the Mac and the iOS device.

Note: currently Seamless can only recognize tracks within a Playlist synchronized between the Mac and the iOS device, but this bug should be fixed in the next version.

Going from the iOS device to the Mac is just as seamless. An added bonus is that the iOS app will quietly fades away the track on the iOS device while it transition the track to the Mac.

Overall this is a well polished 1.0 app for from this award winning developer. For the inexpensive price of USD0.99 it is well worth it to have this function that Apple should have built into both OSs.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/20154325[/vimeo] Seamless from Five Details on Vimeo.

Posted
AuthorVinko
Categoriesiphone

It has been over 6 months since Apple HK sold officially carrier-unlocked iPhone 4 through Apple Store online. Unlike when Apple HK begin to sell iPhone 4 back on July 31, 2010, this time there are no limits on the number a customers can purchase. This is a bit strange since the speculation on why Apple discontinue selling iPhone 4 through their online store and authorized resellers, was because of the overwhelming number of people purchasing and selling them to mainland Chinese gray-market resellers.

With rumors of Apple may be missing the annual iPhone June launch this year, this may explains the reasons why iPhone 4s are back on sale in the Apple Store HK online. The current estimate ship date is "3 - 5 business days", which is 2nd level in the possible estimate ship dates for Apple products sold through the Apple Store online.

This also refutes the speculations that the triple disasters in Japan was going to effect Apple's production lines at Foxconn.

Posted
AuthorVinko
Categoriesiphone

There are more and more knock-offs (Shanzhai 山寨 in Chinese) coming out of China, the authenticity of these products are getting better and better. Of course I'm only referring to the esthetic appearance and not the quality or workmanship. The latter is the reason why counterfeit goods are worth while business for those involved. In most cases counterfeit sellers are trying to scam people looking to buy the real thing. In the past clothing was the most popular counterfeited products, but as more and more authentic clothing brands begin to manufacture their products in China, counterfeiters no longer have the advantage of cheaply made goods. These factories begin to produce extra pieces to sell in the gray-market or they start to sell rejected items as factory-outlet items.

The counterfeiters in the late 1980's began going into imitating brand name handbags. Selling counterfeit versions in mainland China shops at 10% of the authentic brand's retail price. For the keen eyed buyers they can tell the difference between the real and counterfeit items. Some of these counterfeit models don't even exist with the authentic brands; in most cases the pattern, colour or their combinations are the difference.

In recent years these differences between counterfeit and authentic handbags draw smaller and smaller. In many mainland China handbag shops selling counterfeit versions, will display real retail catalogues from the brands for customers to choose. This serves to demonstrate to the customers that the model/colour/pattern and combinations do indeed exist from the respective authentic brands, it also help them avoid carrying too many counterfeit items at the store premises.

So far these counterfeit consumer items from mainland China have not hurt anyone other than the original brand/copyright holders. But ever since Hong Kong's SARS outbreak, mainland Chinese counterfeiters have started to produce fake food products. These items actually hurt people who consume these fake food; in many cases causing deaths.

In 2008 the biggest scandal was the contaminated powder milk, as a result creating a gray-market for authentic powder milk from Japan sold in Hong Kong. Many stores in Hong Kong, who never sold powder milk began to sell imported Japan manufactured powder milk. With the events on March 11th, it causes all Japanese manufactured powder milk to be sold out in Hong Kong mostly due to the mass purchasing by mainland Chinese gray-marketers.

In the past several years counterfeit products in another industries have also matured. Mainland Chinese counterfeiters begin making fake Apple products and other hot selling electronic items from various manufactures. These fake products are so real from their appearances that it is often hard to tell the difference until one begins to use them.

Using the fake Apple iPad 1, fake Apple iPhone 4, fake Apple MacBook Air or fake Apple Smart Cover, you will immediately realize they are counterfeits. Of course their retail prices will often give them away. These fake Apple products are usually sold at 50% of the authentic items' retail prices; except in the case of the Apple Smart Covers.

So how can the brands fight back? Is lawsuit the answer? Can foreign government treaties stop the counterfeiting? Not likely.

The tactic most brands take is to open their own stores in mainland China, making their respective products easier to acquire by Chinese consumers. This is an effect stop gap for counterfeit products, because in most cases Chinese consumers do want to purchase authentic items. But by the time these items are imported into China and local retailers add their markups, the retail prices are just too high.

Recently Abercrombie & Fitch lost a lawsuit against a mainland China retailer, in which A&F claims the retailer of selling counterfeit A&F products. You would think since there are no authorized resellers for A&F products in Asia, A&F's claims should be easy to proof and win. That was not the case, because during the hearing the A&F expert could not tell the difference between the counterfeit and the authentic A&F products.

Did this failed lawsuit deterred A&F? No, A&F will open their first Asia retail store in Hong Kong 2012, taking over the space previously occupied by Shanghai Tang at one of Hong Kong's most historic building, Pedder Building, and paying HKD7 million per month in rent for the privilege. Gap will also do the same; although not Asia's first, and opens around the corner in the vicinity at the heart of Hong Kong's business and high end retail district. I hope A&F will take this opportunity to bring their other sister brands: Gilly Hicks Sydney and Hollister California to Hong Kong.

The 12,700 square foot Pedder Building retail space will be smaller than the 15,000 square foot space soon to be occupy by Apple for their first Apple Store at IFC Mall Q4 2011 and their second Apple Store of 20,000 square foot at Hysan Place for 2012.

Will these actions by the major brands finally stop the counterfeiting? Only time will tell.

Poster

My Rating: 3Stars

This evening I saw the movie Limitless at UA Cinemas, Times Square, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

This movie has an original story. It is about a down and out writer who receives a custom drug from his ex-brother in-law, which helped pick himself out of his slump. He later finds out the drug is not as described by his dead in-law, and comes to the realization of its deadly effects.

Its lead is one of Hollywood's lesser known stars, Bradley Cooper. He always has a supporting role or shares the lead among other more famous actors, like in: The Hangover, Valentine's Day and The A-Team. This time he shares the limelight with the repeated Oscar winning actor, Robert De Niro. De Niro was delivered his usual great performance, but Cooper just didn't capture the audience with his version of the character.

In the end, this is a good movie to occupy your time or if you cannot find anything else to watch at the theatre.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

Apple released a press release confirming the dates of the phase 2 launch of the iPad 2 in 25 more countries.

In doing so, Apple finally offer a release date; kind of (at least the month), for Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore.

...iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK on March 25 for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) the 64GB model. iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 will be available in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and additional countries in April, and in many more countries around the world in the coming months. Further international availability and pricing will be announced at a later date.