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Archive for July, 2013

Credit cards will have to be activated for overseas use by 1st October 2013

31/07/2013 Leave a comment

Yes, you heard or rather, read that right. I got a shock of my life when I read this on TodayOnline. Apparently, “the move is in line with the Association of Banks in Singapore’s plan to phase out magnetic stripe technology”. I wonder what the Association Of Banks is thinking. Its like cutting off your head to cure a headache. Why can’t something like SMS notifications to people when they charge something to their credit cards? That would be a whole lot better right? Honestly…I hold bankers in the same regard as I do criminals. I can now add something else to that regard…idiots.

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Instant water heater valve

30/07/2013 Leave a comment

I am looking for a replacement valve like this for my instant water heater. No, mine has not spoilt but I thought that it would be good to have a spare one, given the fact that these things are made of plastic, they may not last forever. But so far, a search on the Internet has yielded no results so far. maybe I am not searching right or I do not know what these are called. Looks like I may have to go to a hardware store to find one.

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Publicis and Omnicom groups to consider a merge?

29/07/2013 Leave a comment

That is the news I got yesterday and to be truthful, it almost sent me reeling. The second-biggest and third-biggest advertising groups to merge? Now this is interesting. The biggest at the moment is the WPP Group but the merger of these two groups will create a 35 billion dollar juggernaut that will be bigger than the WPP Group by more than one-third the size. Now if this dos not send WPP Group’s CEO Sorrell sleepless nights, I wonder what will. In any case, according to the many reports on the Internet that I have been reading, the reason for doing so is because advertising revenue has been rather flat lately. Print and TV media have been losing ground to digital media.Apparently, the two parties say that it will give their customers up to $500 million in costs savings.

The combination has been approved by the boards of both companies, but remains subject to regulatory approval in both the U.S. and Europe, and to a vote by shareholders of both companies. There could be concerns because both these groups have conflicting clients like for example Pepsi and Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. This is interesting indeed. Lets see if it really does happen

The Landfill Harmonic Orchestra

28/07/2013 Leave a comment

When I saw this, I was humbled. Imagine. We take the costs of musical instruments for granted. here, kids would jettison their musical instruments like trash once they are done with it. Check out these kids in Paraguay. These kids would give ANYTHING to get even the lowest quality violin here in Singapore. The man in the video said that a violin costs more than a house on these ghettos built on landfill. So they make and recycle violins. I had a lump in my throat just watching this. I am pretty sure you will too.

Technics SL-700 turntable

27/07/2013 1 comment

I saw somethng this morning that literally floored me. As a matter of fact, I am still reeling from it. The thing that floored me/ Simple. The picture above. This, my friends, is the SL-700 turntable…a turntable made specifically, apparently by Technics, for 7″ singles. I got this from DJWORX.com and there is an interesting story on them. The following quote is from DJWORX’s website:

There’s a bit of a back story to this that started around 8 years ago. I was sent the above image from a reputable source purporting to be a 7″ Technics deck. It doesn’t take much CSI forensics to see that it’s a mock up, but apparently came via a Technics rep. A month or so later, I happened to find myself upon the Technics stand at Musikmesse, and figured it was the idea time to get some verification from the horse’s mouth as it were.

I found a guy who looked high up the corporate food chain, whipped out my laptop and asked him if this image was real. The look on his face was as if I’d pulled out the secret area 51 files, resulting in a very serious “where did you get this?”, which at the time made me think that there might be something in it. Seems there might have been after all.

That is interesting because a couple of years back, Technics / Panasonic stopped production of their SL-1200 MKII turntables, leading to a big groan from the DJ industry. There are hoarders everywhere now with new old stock Technics selling for up to $2000 a pop! But I digress. This is is a story that is absolutely fantastic. If Technics are making these (which I do not think is possible but I could be wrong) it shows that they still are clinging to their vinyl legacy. But…and if I mean but…if these are just a pair of one-ff decks, then I suppose all we can do is just drool at them. Hmmm…makes me wish that I had invested in more 7″ singles from the old days…

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Audio-Technica System 10 wireless microphone

27/07/2013 2 comments

Just the other day, after I bought my Line 6 wireless microphone, my vendor tells me that this microphone by Audio-Technica was pretty good. Its a digital microphone like my Line 6 XD-V35 but this one has 8 channels instead of 6. Also, the price cannot be beat and it has a diversity system too! Apparently, the Audio-Technica website has this write-up:

Audio-Technica’s System 10 is a digital high-fidelity wireless system designed to provide performing musicians and presenters with advanced 24-bit operation, easy setup and clear, natural sound quality. Operating in the 2.4 GHz range, far from TV and DTV interference, System 10 offers extremely easy operation and instantaneous channel selection. Up to eight channels may be used together without any frequency coordination problems or group selection issues. System 10 receivers and transmitters offer an easy-to-read digital ID display.

System 10 wireless ensures clear communications by providing three levels of diversity assurance: frequency, time, and space. Frequency Diversity sends the signal on two dynamically allocated frequencies for interference-free communication. Time Diversity sends the signal in multiple time slots to maximize immunity to multipath interference. Finally, Space Diversity uses two antennas on each transmitter and receiver to maximize signal integrity.

Featuring stackable, contemporary styling, System 10 is available in multiple system configurations, with handheld vocal microphone/transmitters and UniPak® body-pack transmitters designed for use with lavalier, headworn and instrument microphones as well as electric guitars. Each configuration includes the ATW-R1100 receiver and either a body-pack transmitter or handheld microphone/ transmitter. The ATW-R1100 is a digital receiver offering volume control along with AF Peak and Pair indicator lights.

The only thing that this wireless microphone system does not have that my Line 6 one has is the battery indicator gauge. That is a very useful addition because the gauge can tell you when your batteries are running out of juice. I suppose the two extra channels on this Audio-Technica unit make up for that! Features-wise, this is what this unit has to offer:

  • Digital 24-bit/48 kHz wireless operation for ultimate sound quality and dependable performance
  • 2.4 GHz range – completely free from TV interference
  • Three levels of diversity assurance: frequency, time, & space
  • Automatic frequency selection for seamless, interference-free operation
  • Extremely easy operation with instantaneous channel selection, sync, and set-up
  • State-of-the-art digital receiver for reliable performance
  • Balanced XLR and unbalanced 1/4” output jacks with level control

I am torn between getting this one or getting another Line 6

Sony NEX-6 camera

26/07/2013 Leave a comment

A friend of mine has this camera and he was showing it to me a week back, plus taking pictures with it. I must admit, this camera is a beauty. First of all, it’s a 16.1 megapixel camera. Egads. I actually saw some pictures that he took with it and I was amazed. But first of all, the basic specs right here:

  • 16.1MP “Exmor™” APS HD CMOS sensor
  • Fast Hybrid AF
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Intuitive two-dial operation (Control and Mode Dial)
  • XGA OLED Tru-Finder™
  • AVCHD Full HD Movie recording

The lenses that it uses, and can change, must be Sony E-Mount lenses. I am not a photography geek so I cannot tell you if you can fit other lenses to this camera with an adapter but I am pretty sure you can find an adapter. Image quality-wise, you can capture in RAW format and JPG. You can also record movies on this camera…although I suspect you, my dear readers, knew that already. Its got heaps more features that would confuse a non-camera geek like me so you would have to go to the website to check them out. Amazing camera but I still stand by my cute little Panasonic Lumix. Its still going great and I see no reason to change it anytime soon.

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