25 Sep 2014

My essential driving gear

After moving back to Malaysia, I joined the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus in Semenyih, Selangor. Without traffic, it is only about 45 minutes from my house in Petaling Jaya. However, it normally takes between an hour to sometimes even more than two hours on a bad day. There are several routes I can take but as I am still not familiar with the roads here and I have to depend on a satnav. Unfortunately, I cannot use my TomTom One satnav here in Malaysia. I heard that they are in the process of mapping the roads but till then I have to use an alternative. My favourite is the free Waze app. It is amazing in finding alternative routes when I get stuck in traffic jams.

However, problems with sat reception and undependable mobile battery life was making my life difficult until my father passed me his new Papago Z1 satnav. Apparently this is one of the most popular satnavs in Malaysia.



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Initially I really hated it as it was not user friendly, the pronunciations of names were really bad and I often had a hard time finding addresses. However, now that I am more familiar with the device and its user interface, it has become a really useful tool in finding alternative routes.

Another pet peeve of mine are the various tolls on the highways. I needed to make sure I had some small cash in my pocket always and the queuing up is really frustrating. I used to be envious of people who used to zoom off on the automated lanes with the SMART TAG system and got one of my friends to get one for me. I really wonder why all drivers do not get one as well but then it might not be a good idea as queues start forming on the SMART TAG lanes as well.





Drive safely everyone.

22 Sep 2014

Nokia N900 Cracked

I have been looking forward to upgrading my mobile phone for a while but have been putting it off for the simple reason that my old Nokia N900 was still doing a great job. It has survived several falls and tumbles and even an dip in the bath. However, soon after we moved back to Malaysia, it slipped off my hands and fell flat on it's face. The result:


This is my second phone with a cracked screen. I still have a Samsung Galaxy Note with a cracked screen. This proves that these phones with super tough screens will still break (Check out the various new iPhone 6 drop tests on YouTube) when they fall face down and phone cover designers need to somehow keep this in mind. They should somehow incorporate designs which prevent the phones from falling flat on their screens. Ayyway, I have learnt my lesson and will invest on thick covers with screen protectors next time though it will be a pain to answer and make calls every time.

Fortunately, in the meantime I still have my old trusty Samsung Galaxy S2. It still works perfectly but I need to get a new micro SD card so I can load up all the apps I use regularly.

16 Aug 2014

Skype not supported on Windows Phone 7 devices

Recently I had problems connecting to Skype on my old Lumia 900 and had a vague suspicion. This was confirmed when I read an email from Skype today telling me that "Skype apps for Windows Phone 7 are permanently retiring".

In other words, if you want to use Skype and you have a mobile phone running Windows 7 - too bad! You can now only run the Skype app on a Windows Phone 8 or 8.1 device. Or you can switch to a Android phone or opt for the Apple iPhone.

Annoying.

15 Jul 2014

Shopping Safely and Discount Codes

When we think of online shopping, we think of ease, shipping convenience, simpler mode of payments and numerous discounts. But at the same time, we are also thinking about online frauds, hacking, phishing, order cancellations without refunds, privacy policies, etc.

How does one ensure safety and security of information sharing that occurs between the two entities – consumer and the shopping website? 

With the boom of e-shopping portals, differentiating one from the other is a mammoth task and at times many of us end up losing money in the process. Thus it is vital for us to understand the authenticity of the website before we transact through it. There are numerous reviews and recommendations available online only for these merchants so it is advisable to search for them first on complaint forums and discussions. If the website you are looking at appears in complaints then you know that it’s best to leave that page at once.

Also important is to understand the privacy, shipping, funds transfer, exchange policies of all the portals. Usage of micro fonts to undermine the importance of some essential rules is a part of this game for a long while now. Ensure that you go through all the terms and conditions before you check on the I Agree and Proceed.

Every transaction made online generates a digital receipt once the same is completed. Make sure you save that receipt or reference number with you for future references. If printing is not feasible, take a screenshot of the page and save it on your device. This is essential in cases where there is a problem with the merchandise or the merchant says that funds have not been received (in cases of transactions through net banking or credit card online transactions).

Always check whether the website you are transacting on is an encrypted website. Look for things like usage of passwords before the transaction is authorized. Stay away from the phishing mails which ask you to give out your credit card information or net banking details. Refrain from sharing birth date details or address information and read thoroughly before you click on some unknown link.

Remember you are looking for an ultimate shopping experience and not unnecessary stress. If you can stay away from a particular link or you want to click it but your instincts tell you otherwise, listen to them. There are several websites which boast of some fabulous discounts but be sure of clicking on the right ones like the VoucherBin site here. Read the consumer reviews and posts, understand the kind of business they do and then take your decision. After all, your money is hard-earned. Take care of it!

2 Jul 2014

Official Moto 360 demo

I posted about the Motorola Moto 360 smart watch sometime back. Here is their official video at Google I/O.

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