Archives for July 2013

Annual Bluegrass Festival In My Backyard

The 13th annual bluegrass festival is literally in our backyard and to celebrate the finest banjo players of all times in this region, I heard that this year they even have  banjo pickup  for everyone in the festival.  My father-in-law was the one who got me into this Bluegrass festival, so every year we look forward to doing this as a family. They also have music lessons for kids who wants to learn how to play an instrument for the next 10 weeks, pretty awesome I have to say.  I’ve always enjoyed the annual bluegrass festival and to have it so near home is a bonus and one cannot make any excuses not to go.


iPhone Explosions

Yes! not the first report that I’ve heard of late that iPhones around the world were exploding and getting burnt up by itself due to a faulty part in the iPhones.  These are not knock off items in China but genuine iPhones.  In another report an flight attendant was electrocuted by her iPhone when she was answering a call while charging – and it’s an iPhone 5 too!

So since the spouse has an iPhone 5, I am a wee bit worried too.  No official statement from Apple as of yet  – or I haven’t found it either.  But the Samsung had its own problems too in recent years  – so what should one do with their cellphones?  to prevent getting hurt and kill?

Cafe With Wifi and Music

Who would have thought that one not only find Wifi in our local cafe but also live music as well.   You know us geeks, we have to go to places that has free wifi else we wouldn’t enjoy our meal or coffee as much.  So we were pleasantly surprised that they provide live music as well on certain days and certain hours during the summer. It’s really relaxing even to someone who loves to be on the internet all the time, whether it is for browsing on Facebook or answering to an email or a message.  Plus,   I know that the singer uses the classic english horn at WWBW  but I didn’t know that she uses other instruments as well.   I had a good cup of espresso, used their wif-fi for a good one hour and got to listen to fabulous music at the cafe.  I think I might be coming here often from now on.

Free Music Online

Folks asked me all the time how does one get free music online without breaking the law.  And I fully understand what they are saying because I too do not encouraged piracy at all being in the movie and game business myself, I know how it can hurt everyone if everyone was downloading illegally.

But there are places where you can get free music online and legal too, like when Google Play announced its free downloads on Google play last month.  Lord Google someone decided that they are giving away free tunes to users out there without having them to pay a cent but of course there must be a catch right?  hahahah! after all it is Google we are talking about – surely, there must be advertisements that one has to listen to and many intermission?  I haven’t checked it out for myself but if you are in USA, check it out and let me know.

Of course, there are already many free streaming music online even before Lord Google so generously announced it’s contribution to society.  Places like Spotify and Deezer does ask user to pay a monthly fee but there is a free version where you have to endure numerous ads of course too.  Spotify is the one I use because of the many Cantonese artistes and songs that I can get from them.  And of course for those on the road or on the move, you can check into the internet radio as well.  Tunein is a popular one – if you don’t want to pay for internet radio, therefore, places like Sirius are not doing that well I would think – since you need to pay for monthly subscription which in my opinion, you don’t have to.   So yes, have the free music but no piracy please – I strongly opposed to it.

Google Wireless Network

So I heard Google is financing the networking from some parts of Africa to South East Asia.   And why is Google doing that you wonder?  spending so much money?  well – the chinese saying goes – if you don’t spend a little money – you can get the big bucks.  What google is doing is investing in its future, with more ppl accessing the web – in the future, it means more money for them eh.

Kindle Fire In Canada

I only found out that the Kindle Fire is available in Canada about a month ago, when I wanted to get another iPad for myself.  You see I’m so fond of the mini-ipad that my kid has, that I was considering getting another one.  Then the spouse told me that the Kindle Fire was available then.  Strange I didn’t hear anything about it till when the spouse told me – so no big rush I supposed for the Canadians to get the Kindle Fire.

But with so many choices, do I really want to spend so much on a Kindle Fire ?  Reading some of the online review, I think I’m going to think about it again, before buying the Kindle Fire now.  Not only is the Kindle Fire heavy, it is said to not have as much features as the mini-iPad.  The Canadian Business quoted that the Kindle Fire was a huge disappointment too, so I’m not really convinced.

Real Review : Ouya

Pronounced as Woo Ya – we received this in the mail a few weeks ago and had been trying it out as soon as we had gotten it.  The spouse was really amused with it because it will play our tv shows on our tv in any format that we download.  Unlike our xbox system, it would only play certain format, making it more work to have to download tv shows because you’ve gotta find the right format.  The packaging was nice and would make a great gift for any kids who love to play games on the tv, especially those who wants to try different games free.  This must be heaven sent for parents – you would think.

Programming it onto the tv took no time, it wasn’t really difficult , I didn’t hear the spouse swear the whole time while setting it up, now that’s a very good sign right?  But mannn! the controller is ugly eh?  and awkward to be honest to use.  After so many weeks of using it, I still can’t get used to it.

The little box you see on the right is the console, it’s very small and very light – very easy to bring around with you even if you are traveling.  Not even half the size of a gamecube – that’s how small it is.

Ouya is brought to you by independent backers, some 63,000 backers to be exact and more than  $8.5 million raised, with the promises of the game system as soon as it’s out in the market and various things one can expect if you are a backer.  From reserving your username to engraving of your user name onto the system and a founder emblem of course.

While other consoles maker will sue you for hacking their system, Ouya welcomes hackers to modify and personalized the console for their greater use.  Interesting for sure but don’t worry about not being a backer because you can buy them online for only $99 or pre-order them like we did.  You can’t go wrong with $90 as far as we are concerned.

We are getting a hang of it after a few weeks, and do like it except for when we are trying to figure out how to place certain files, it’s a working progress for us and Ouya has room for improvement for the console itself, we see a lot of updates when we turn Ouya on and off at various time of the day.