Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Take a fresh look at what makes a nutritious breakfast and what foods are good to eat at the most important meal of your day.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. This is especially true for dieters who will find it easier to manage their weight and stay on track with a start to the morning that’s high in nutrition. The trick, however, is making smart choices.

Healthy Breakfasts

“A healthy breakfast should be a variety of foods like whole grains, low-fat protein or dairy sources, and fruit,” says Andrea Gorman, MS, RD, manager of clinical nutrition at Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. “All these food groups provide complex carbohydrates, protein, and a small amount of fat. This combination of nutrients can delay hunger symptoms and keep you feeling full throughout the day.”



Here are some ideas to get your day started right:
  1. Build on a healthy cereal. Top a high-fiber cereal with a sprinkle of granola, bananas, and low-fat milk or plain yogurt. This combination provides good fiber and protein intake, plus calcium and potassium.
  2. Get off to a berry good start. Another possibility for breakfast is berries and low-fat Greek-style yogurt with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds. These foods are high in protein and volume, which can help you feel full longer.
  3. Take your nutrition to go. Smoothies are another smart choice when made with Greek-style low-fat yogurt, berries, and a touch of sugar. It’s a meal that’s high in protein, dairy, and volume, and it’s very portable if you’re in a hurry.
  4. Get a good “warm-up.” Susan B. Roberts, PhD, author of The Instinct Diet and professor of nutrition at the USDA Nutrition Center at Tufts University in Boston, recommends hot cereal: Microwave 1/4 cup each of instant oatmeal and coarse wheat bran with a cup of 1 percent milk. Served with berries and a little maple syrup, it’s the perfect start to the day with plenty of fiber and volume.
  5. Don’t skip the eggs. Hot breakfasts extend the range of possibilities. Scrambled eggs — one whole egg and one egg white — along with a piece of whole-wheat toast, lightly buttered, and some fruit on the side are high in protein and volume and make a great combination.
  6. Wrap up some burritos. Breakfast burritos can spice up your morning meal. Use the same scrambled egg recipe as in No. 5 as the filling for a low-carb, whole- wheat (for extra fiber) wrap along with some salsa, low-fat sour cream, and a sprinkle of cheese.
  7. Call on cottage cheese. Cottage cheese along with fruit or nuts can be a good breakfast choice that’s high in protein plus some calcium. Look for cottage cheese brands that offer extra fiber.
  8. Ham it up. Even ham and eggs can be healthy when using one whole egg and one egg white in the scramble and two slices of lean Canadian bacon. Add half a grapefruit on the side and it’s a meal full of protein, fiber, and vitamin C.
  9. Don’t rule out a.m. vegetables. You can enjoy veggies with breakfast if you add them to some eggs. Dr. Roberts suggests cooking one and a half cups of sliced button mushrooms or one cup of lightly steamed vegetables (like broccoli or spinach), two beaten eggs, salt, and freshly ground pepper in a non-stick pan with one-half teaspoon of tub margarine. Add a dollop of ketchup, if desired.
  10. Think whole grain. Whole-grain English muffins with peanut butter or another nut butter and sliced fruit like apples or pears, along with a glass of milk, can be filling while providing protein and calcium.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Six green-minded iPad accessories

Written by John Platt

Whether you already own a first-generation Apple iPad or are looking to buy an iPad 2 when they come out later this month, there are a variety of accessories on the market to help keep your tablet safe, secure — even powered.

Here are six of our green favorites:

1. The Vers Shellcase: Available in eco-friendly, hand-crafted bamboo, the Vers Shellcase (pictured) has a metal foot so you can rest the iPad on a tabletop and use it at a natural incline. If you choose not to go with bamboo, there are hardwood options available, and Vers will plant 100 trees for every tree it uses in producing its products. ($79.99)

2. The Audrey iPad Purse: Fashionistas should check out this great and stylish bag. It’s made from recycled “suede and satin” (both of which are made from recycled plastic bottles), “vegan leather” (in other words, leather substitute) and recycled zippers. The bag is fully padded to keep your iPad safe and offers several pockets so you can pack away any necessary cords. ($108)

3. Eco-Vue iPad Case: This Marware’s iPad case comes with a flap that folds over the screen when it’s not in use and a hand strap for easy carrying. The flap can also be used as a stand when you want your iPad to be vertical on a tabletop. The case is made from RoHS-certified eco-leather, which is produced with fewer toxic chemicals than typical leather tanning processes. ($54.99)

4. A Solio solar charger: Solio has several solar chargers on the market, like the popular Solio Classic. Most solar chargers on the market can’t charge an iPad, which requires more juice than these small devices can provide, but a fully powered Solio charger can be used like an external battery to run your iPad. This video shows how. ($99.95)

5. Zagora iPad Sleeve: This snug sleeve protects your iPad from dents and scratches. It’s made from canvas made of hemp, which is grown in China with no pesticides. ($35)

6. DIY Wooden Stand. For the do-it-yourself crowd, here’s a great, inexpensive option. You can create your own iPad stand with a block of reclaimed wood, a saw, a 19mm drill bit, and sandpaper. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it works, and you can make it yourself with whatever wood you can find lying around. The website has complete plans on how to do it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SensoGlove


About SensoGlove

Introducing SensoGlove, a high-quality cabretta leather golf glove with a unique difference: it’s the first and only golf glove with a built-in computer that constantly reads your grip pressure. Using small, highly responsive sensors, the SensoGlove provides audio and visual feedback about your exact grip pressure on the club.

Every golfer wants to hit the ball far and the natural instinct is to swing harder and faster. But trying to swing with more power causes a death grip, creating tension in the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. The result is a less than smooth swing and, even worse, tightened muscles. Tight muscles result in slower – not faster – club head speed.

You can use SensoGlove anywhere… backyard practice, on the driving range or during a practice round. With SensoGlove, you get an immediate readout of your exact grip pressure, on a scale of 1 to 12. Grip too tight, and a gentle audio cue warns you.

SensoGlove isn’t just for your driver either. Lighter grip pressure improves precision, too. Use it for chipping and putting to dramatically improve your short game!

How it works

The SensoGlove computer is a small, lightweight, sweat-proof monitor that analyzes pressure settings from four tiny sensors sewn right into the glove. Other than the computer plug in socket, the SensoGlove works just like any other glove, so you can use it during a practice round on the course.

The SensoGlove computer is incredibly easy to use. Simply dial in your pressure on a scale of
1-to-18 and swing with any club. The SensoGlove reads and displays your pressure and warns you if you exceed your target level. The SensoGlove even shows you what finger is gripping too tight, so you can adjust your grip accordingly.

Best of all, the SensoGlove reads your grip pressure during your address AND swing. Many golfers start out with a light pressure only to grip tighter at take-away and through the backswing and downswing. Using the built-in audio warning, golfers will know if they are gripping too tight exactly when it happens during their swing.

Take the SensoGlove to the driving range to test various pressure settings until you find the setting that gives you a perfect swing. You can store that setting in memory and the SensoGlove will constantly monitor your grip pressure throughout your swing.

Using SensoGlove will improve every part of your game, from the tee-box to the green. A lighter grip delivers distance and power with your driver, accuracy from the fairway and the soft touch needed to sink the hardest putts!


Proper grip pressure has long been a difficult technique to master. Every magazine article and golf instructor explains how important it is to maintain a light grip. Some teaching pros have said to hold the club the way you would hold a tube of toothpaste so that nothing will squeeze out. One quote that’s been around for a while comes from Sam Snead: “Grip the club as if you were holding a baby bird.” Even still, most golfers grip the club too tight, afraid that they’re going to fling the club off into the woods.


It is a well known fact among golf instructors that a relaxed grip is key to a powerful, consistent and natural golf swing. Yet it is hard to transfer this principle into the golf swing. Even though a golfer might think to hold the club lightly, during an actual swing their relaxed grip is gone, they tense up and then swing poorly.

The SensoGlove provides a solution to this universal problem by providing real-time feedback of the correct grip pressure at every point of the swing, from address through take-away, backswing, downswing, impact and follow-through. This teaches how lightly a golfer can hold the club without giving up control or power.

It’s often said that a lightly gripped club acts like a pendulum. A pendulum naturally swings with a consistent, smooth rhythm. Practicing with the SensoGlove and learning the right amount of pressure leads to a natural, effortless swing that a golfer can repeat every time - for more power, lower scores and a more enjoyable round of golf!

For more details, click here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc hands-on



Also known as Sony Ericsson Anzu, Sony Ericsson X12

General 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
  HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 / 800
Announced 2011, January
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2011, March  
Size Dimensions 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm
Weight 117 g
Display Type LED-backlit LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 854 pixels, 4.2 inches
 - Scratch-resistant surface
- Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
- Multi-touch input method
- Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine
- Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
- Timescape UI
Sound Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
Memory Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records Practically unlimited
Internal 320 MB storage, 512 MB RAM
Card slot microSD, up to 32GB, 8 GB included
Data GPRS Up to 86 kbps
EDGE Up to 237 kbps
3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP
Infrared port No
USB Yes, v2.0 microUSB
Camera Primary 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
Features Touch focus, image stabilization, geo-tagging, face and smile detection
Video Yes, 720p@30fps
Secondary No
Features OS Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
CPU 1GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push email, IM
Browser HTML
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
Games Yes + downloadable, motion gaming
Colors Midnight Blue, Misty Silver
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java Yes, via third-party application
 - Digital compass
- HDMI port
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
- MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV player
- TrackID music recognition
- NeoReader barcode scanner
- Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk
- Facebook and Twitter integration
- Document viewer
- Adobe Flash 10.1
- Voice memo/dial/commands
- Predictive text input
Battery   Standard battery, Li-Po 1500 mAh
Stand-by Up to 430 h (2G) / Up to 400 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 7 h (2G) / Up to 7 h (3G)
Music play Up to 31 h

Friday, March 25, 2011

Anti-dandruff Shampoo with Chinese Herbal Essence Shampoo Series

Anti-dandruff and Itch Relief Formula.
This product is formulated and manufactured by BA WANG International Scientific Research Center, China’s foremost center for Trichology Research. The BAWANG Anti-dandruff Shampoo combines Ancient Chinese wisdom with modern pharmacology and biotechnology to bring optimum haircare results the user. It is enriched with various Chinese Herbal Extracts, including Chinese Honey Locust, Peppermint, Arborvitae Twig and Leaf (carbonized). BAWANG Anti-dandruff shampoo cleans and protects your hair, conditioning it from roots to ends. Upon each application, this shampoo acts deeply within and on the surface of your hair to help reduce extra sebum & prevent dandruff, effectively relieving itch. This results in healthier and dandruff-free hair with a cooler scalp.

This BAWANG Anti-dandruff shampoo is mild and suitable for all hair types.

The official website is here

This is another one that I'm thinking of using too.  Wondering if I stop my dandruff problem, my hair thinning problem would go away.  Or do I need to use both?
If you have any experience in using this, please post a comment below.  Thanks.

BAWANG Anti-hair Fall and Renewal Shampoo


Effectively reduces hair fall and help hair grow.

Seborrheic alopecia is an ordinary hair loss problem (more than 95% hair-loss people suffer from seborrheic alopecia), mainly manifesting as hair greasiness resulting from excess sebum, thinning & whitening hair, dry and itchy scalp etc. 
This product is manufactured by BAWANG International Scientific center originated from “Renowned Family of Traditional Chinese herbs” based on the causes of seborrheic alopecia, combining Chinese herbs secret formula and internationally-advanced biotechnology. It contains precious Chinese herbs extracts such as Gastraodia Tuber, Radix Rehmanniae, Sophora Flavescens, Polygonum, Cuscuta chinensis, Szechuan Lovage Rhizome, Arborvitae Leaf.  It can help restrain and balance sebum, nourish hair follicles, strengthen hair root to make hair stronger and prevent hair loss.

The official website is here

Am thinking of trying this out....
Have anyone tried this, and would like to share the results?  Please post in the comments below.  

The higher you are the less shit you get!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chess History in Claymation





We take you back to the famous Roesch – Schlage chess match played in 1910. Normally, when we replay matches in our minds, it looks something like this. Or like this:
Game: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. Qe2 b5 6. Bb3 Be7 7. c3 O-O 8. O-O d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nf4 11. Qe4 Nxe5 12. Qxa8 Qd3 13. Bd1 Bh3 14. Qxa6 Bxg2 15. Re1 Qf3 16. Bxf3 Nxf3#
But, you have got to admit, it looks infinitely better when presented in claymation like this. H/T to Metafilter

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and new Galaxy Tab 10.1 hands-on

By Joanna Stern posted Mar 22nd 2011 11:01AM


You know who took the iPad 2 launch pretty seriously? Samsung, that's who. Just as we had heard, the company's executives were impressed by Apple's ability to slim down its tablet and, well, it turns out that it took it as a challenge to come up with some thinner tablets of its own. That's right, in addition to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 that we have seen repeatedly teased over the last few weeks the company's announcing a totally revamped Galaxy Tab 10.1, and both slates are incredibly thin yet very well spec'd. On top of that, both will be the first Honeycomb tablets to stray from the pure Android 3.0 experience and add what Samsung's taken to calling its TouchWiz UX or TouchWiz 4.0. We've got all the details and some hands-on impressions waiting below, so hit the break!

Updated: Samsung came clean with the pricing at its press conference this morning. The WiFi 10.1 will hit on June 8th -- the 16GB version will cost you $499 and the 32GB $599. The 8.9 is $469 and $569 for 16GB and 32GB, respectively.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

RIM's Playbook to go on sale April 19 in North America


The new Blackberry PlayBook, a seven-inch tablet, at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. -- PHOTO: REUTERS


TORONTO - RESEARCH In Motion's long-awaited tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, will go on sale in the United States and Canada on April 19 at a base price of US$499 (S$633).

RIM said on Tuesday it plans to sell the PlayBook through retailers and wireless carriers including Best Buy, AT&T, Verizon, Radioshack, Sears Canada and Wal-Mart.

The company's news release did not set a date for the launch but Best Buy in its own statement said it has already begun accepting pre-orders for the device and would begin selling it on April 19.

The Wi-Fi-enabled PlayBook, which will compete against Apple's iPad, will come in 16 gigabyte, 32 gigabyte and 64 gigabyte versions priced at US$499, US$599 and US$699 respectively.

RIM announced plans to launch the long-awaited device, with a seven-inch screen, in 2010. The tablet will be able to stream a high-definition video to a television screen via a HDMI cable, while allowing users to run other applications at the same time. -- REUTERS

NightWave Sleep Assistant

Another gadget that helps you fall asleep easily and eliminates all that tossing and turning created by restless mental activity.

Check it out here:
http://les-revues.blogspot.com/2011/03/nightwave-sleep-assistant.html

NightWave Sleep Assistant

 


The NightWave relaxation machine helps you fall asleep easily and eliminates all that tossing and turning created by restless mental activity. NightWave is essentially a pre-sleep relaxation session that prepares you for your night’s rest.

The relaxation sleep machine does this by projecting a soft blue light into your darkened bedroom. The luminance of the light slowly rises and falls, as you lay there, you synchronize your breathing with the light. The variations become slower and slower, and so does your breathing.

After a short time, NightWave shuts off and you drift off to sleep.
Check price and availability at First Street.

“Its compact size is great for traveling, and research shows that blue light in this wavelength helps reset the body’s biological clock (circadian rhythm) after changing time zones.”

Polyply concept is a great dock for Apple lovers




There are times where I look at the surface in front of me and about have a meltdown from how cluttered it is. There’s an iPhone, iPad, and laptop stand sitting on my desk. The stylus for the iPad gets tossed here and there or thrown in a cup so I don’t lose it. Trying to keep track of what’s where and rearranging it all can be a nightmare.

My dreams of OCD perfection-like bliss came tumbling upon my eyes when I saw the Polyply stand. It has a white acrylic front with a birch-plywood backing. It can hold an iPad, iPhone, iPod, stylus, and even has a space under the iPad for docking. This will likely be extremely inefficient as soon as you upgraded to different versions of the devices, but for now it’s freaking awesome. It sort of makes you wish this was something you could actually purchase, but for now it remains a concept only.

LED Shoelaces – light up your life

Ledshoelaces2

If you’re going to boogie, do it in style with these LED Shoelaces which come in a variety of pop-tastic colors. They’re waterproof, have an 80 hour lifespan and flash on demand. $14.50 a pair.
Oh look, here’s an alternate set which run on watch batteries and cost $5.99 a pair including shipping.

Ledshoelaces
Awesome and Eyes-catching! Great for parties, night jogging, safety and all kinds activity in the night time!It also can be used as Necklaces, Bracelets as well. Also, can be worn on your pets or anywhere you like.Perfect for male and female!

Very nice, I'm sure my kids would love them.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The heat is on with the FLIR Scout thermal imaging camera

By Naomi Mackay on March 20, 2011 9:00 AM
I’ve just found the perfect gadget to recreate my very own Most Haunted experience – the FLIR Scout handheld thermal imaging camera.

More than just a night vision gadget, the camera, as you will suspect from its moniker, makes use of thermal imaging to give the user a crisp image however dark the surroundings – whether there is mist, fog, dust, smoke or even foliage in the way.


Thermal-Cam

Most night vision cameras can’t ‘see’ through foliage, or total darkness, or pick up anything at a great distance, all of which, say the makers, the FLIR Scout can do.

You may have seen thermal imaging used in the aforementioned Most Haunted (if you’re a bit sad like me) or on programmes such as Police, Camera, Action, where helicopter police use them to track suspects running away and hiding among trees or bushes.

The camera can be used day and night – it might be of interest to nature lovers keen to observe wildlife, and will also be useful in rescue situations. In the average home it may be used to detect heat leaks and water damage.

The camera has been designed to be rugged, and with its green casing it looks like the sort of camouflaged piece of kit that the armed forces would use. Its shock resistant, waterproof and lightweight and can operate at temperatures from -20C to 60C.

It is controlled by five buttons on the top of the unit and produces images of either 240×180 or 320×240 pixels.

An eyeshield above the eye pieces stops light escaping and alarming animals or alerting others to your presence.

Okay, and now for the hard part. The FLIR Scout comes in at an eye-watering £5,000 so it’s unlikely that many of us will be picking one up just to have a go at spotting a deer in the dark, or in the hope of picking up on any paranormal activity. But for anyone involved in serious wildlife management, rescue or security work, it could be worthy of serious consideration.

For more details head to: www.jjvickers.com

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Samsung Shows Off 14 Inch Transparent LCD Notebook

We have seen a couple of these transparent displays from Samsung before here at Geeky Gadgets, previously we saw a 14 inch laptop fitted with a transparent OLED display, and now Samsung has shown off a new 14 inch transparent LCD display.

This new transparent notebook was shown of at FPD China 2011, and it features a 14 inch LCD display with a resolution of 1680 x 1080 pixels, and there is a white LED unit installed in each of the four corners of the display.

Samsung Transparent 14 inch LCD NotebookSamsung Transparent 14 inch LCD Notebook
Samsung has said that they are planning to use these new displays later this year, which could mean than we will see some Samsung Laptop’s featuring transparent displays in the stores by the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.

A Handy Radiation Dose Chart From XKCD

Saturday, March 19, 2011

10 Steps to Simplify Your Worklife

by Lori Deschene

“Life is actually really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius 


The first step in simplifying anything starts with how we think about it.
Of course there’s a lot more to simplifying work than that (which I realize is ironic given that the subject matter is simplification.)


If you’re also looking to reduce stress and simplify your work life, I recommend:

1. Make decisions in accordance with your values.
Idegy President Perry Maughmer suggests it’s a lot easier to make difficult decisions if you know your core values—particularly shared values within your team—and then weigh your options against them. This allows you to feel a sense of confidence when dealing with challenges, which ultimately saves time and reduces stress.

For example, one of my core values is respect, and I respect my readers’ attention. This means that I always know when I need to say no to a potential partnership—when I don’t feel personally moved to bring it to my readers’ attention.

2. Get proactive with complaints or let them go.
Occasionally we need to vent to express our feelings about things that trouble us, and sometimes it’s a proactive way to find solutions. Other times, it’s an energy drainer that brings other people down and saps both productivity and creativity.

Save your energy by focusing on creating change. If there is no fix, focus on doing what you do well. That way, you’re more likely to work your way to a viable solution instead of complaining your way further away from one.

3. Learn to prioritize.
Now that I work for myself, I start each morning with an idea of my top three priorities, and then I accomplish those first. This way, I give my full energy and attention to the things that matter to me most, saving less important tasks for the end of the day with full awareness some may not get done.
When I worked for someone else, I regularly asked my boss, “What are the top priorities?” Then I let him know that I would commit myself to doing them to the best of my ability, and that might mean that other things would need to wait or be reassigned. Since I was good at my job, this worked.

4. Limit your time and then strive to work efficiently within it.
Parkinson’s Law states the work expands to fill the time available for its completion. If you allow yourself to work all night, you’ll probably find you always have a ton to do.

I’ve noticed that if I think I am going to work late, I will take more breaks during the day to read blogs and use social networking sites because I know I have the time. If I commit to doing something social at a specific time in the evening, I work more effectively before then.

5. Say no when you have the option.
It’s great to be helpful to coworkers, but no one else can regulate your schedule but you. This might not be easy if you’re like me and feel a compulsion to say yes to everyone. But the only way to create balance in life is to make your own needs and priorities.

That means I can’t always say yes when someone wants my opinion on their blog but can’t afford consulting. One thing I’ve been doing recently is offering a still-helpful alternative—no, I can’t talk on the phone tomorrow, but yes, I can answer a question or two by email within a week.

6. Stay in your own business.
In her recent post about learning to let go of control, Dr. Amy Johnson notes that your business is the realm of things you can directly influence, whereas the things you can’t control are generally other people’s business.

Your co-worker running late for a meeting or your boss signing a client who rubs you the wrong way—these things are other people’s business, so stressing about them is a waste of your energy. Focus on the things you can influence, and then be proactive in addressing them.

7. Organize your workspace.
Studies show that your work environment has a profound effect on both your state of mind and productivity. If you don’t use it regularly and it doesn’t help you do your job more effectively, put it away. Keep a few personal items to feel comfortable, but think Zen and uncluttered!

I think of my desk as my laptop’s sleep space. I would never sleep surrounded by 50 different items I may need in the night—but I keep a box of tissues, hand lotion, a glass of water of my nightstand, a Buddha statue, and a picture frame on my nightstand.

8. Reduce tech distractions.
It seems we’re all trained to respond quickly, sometimes even instantaneously, to all forms of incoming communications. From emails to @replies to text messages, we often feel we need to respond to everything right now, as if it’s all incredibly urgent.

An alternative is to set email alerts only for the people who you need to respond to right away—your boss or an important client—and then let the rest wait. We work better when we allow ourselves to achieve a state of flow, and ultimately that’s why we do what we do: because we love it and want to get lost in it.

9. Simplify email.
Integrate email accounts, respond to all (or most) emails in five sentences or less, and check emails at set times (as opposed to responding constantly to the stream).

Also, unsubscribe to blogs or newsletters that don’t provide you with information that you regularly apply to your life. If you’re reading it but it’s not inspiring you enough to translate into action, it’s not worth consuming.

10. Single-task.
I recently read an analogy that living effectively is like driving at night with your headlights on: You can only see what’s right in front of you, but most of the time, that’s all you really need.

As long as we have to-do lists, we’re going to feel tempted to try to cross things off more quickly. But this is a deceitfully complex practice. The more things you do at once, the less of your attention you give to each task, which oftentimes means you do it poorly and end up having to do it again.

It’s not always easy to carry full awareness through the work day, particularly when your mind feels even more cluttered than your desk and calendar. If we start from within and then slowly transform without, everything will become a lot simpler.


http://tinybuddha.com/blog/10-steps-to-simplify-your-work-life/

Friday, March 18, 2011

Google Nexus S will be released in Singapore tomorrow

The latest Google Nexus S will be finally released in Singapore tomorrow, 19 Mar 2011 at retail price of $828. It will be available at Singtel, Starhub and M1.

Will you be getting one?

11 Natural Tips to Prevent a Cold

There are no known cures for colds and flu, so cold and flu prevention should be your goal. A proactive approach to warding off colds and flu is apt to make your whole life healthier. The most effective way for preventing the flu is to get the flu shot. It may not be natural, but it works better than anything else. But there are other strategies you can employ as well. WebMD went to Charles B. Inlander, president of The People's Medical Society, for suggestions you may want to try:

#1 Wash Your Hands
Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who has the flu sneezes onto their hand, and then touches the telephone, the keyboard, a kitchen glass. The germs can live for hours -- in some cases weeks -- only to be picked up by the next person who touches the same object. So wash your hands often. If no sink is available, rub your hands together very hard for a minute or so. That also helps break up most of the cold germs. Or rub an alcohol-based hand sanitizer onto your hands.

#2 Don't Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs With Your Hands
Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and sneezes with your hands results in passing along your germs to others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, then throw it away immediately. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.

#3 Don't Touch Your Face
Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Touching their faces is the major way children catch colds, and a key way they pass colds on to their parents.

#4 Drink Plenty of Fluids
Water flushes your system, washing out the poisons as it rehydrates you. A typical, healthy adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day. How can you tell if you're getting enough liquid? If the color of your urine runs close to clear, you're getting enough. If it's deep yellow, you need more fluids.

#5 Take a Sauna
Researchers aren't clear about the exact role saunas play in prevention, but one 1989 German study found that people who steamed twice a week got half as many colds as those who didn't. One theory: When you take a sauna you inhale air hotter than 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.

#6 Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly
Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood; makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood; and makes you sweat once your body heats up. These exercises help increase the body's natural virus-killing cells.

#7 Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals
"Phyto" means plants, and the natural chemicals in plants give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. So put away the vitamin pill, and eat dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.

#8 Eat Yogurt
Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25%. Researchers think the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of immune system substances that fight disease.

#9 Don't Smoke
Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe colds and more frequent ones.
Even being around smoke profoundly zaps the immune system. Smoke dries out your nasal passages and paralyzes cilia. These are the delicate hairs that line the mucous membranes in your nose and lungs, and with their wavy movements, sweep cold and flu viruses out of the nasal passages. Experts contend that one cigarette can paralyze cilia for as long as 30 to 40 minutes.

#10 Cut Alcohol Consumption
Heavy alcohol use suppresses the immune system in a variety of ways. Heavier drinkers are more prone to initial infections as well as secondary complications. Alcohol also dehydrates the body -- it actually causes more fluid loss from your system than it puts in.

#11 Relax
If you can teach yourself to relax, you can activate your immune system on demand. There's evidence that when you put your relaxation skills into action, your interleukins -- leaders in the immune system response against cold and flu viruses -- increase in the bloodstream. Train yourself to picture an image you find pleasant or calming. Do this 30 minutes a day for several months. Keep in mind, relaxation is a learnable skill, but it is not doing nothing. People who try to relax, but are in fact bored, show no changes in blood chemicals.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Explainer: What Caused The Incident At Fukushima-Daiichi



This article was written for Forbes by Kirk Sorensen, a nuclear technologist who operates the site energyfromthorium.com, where he has posted some insightful explanations of what happened at Fukushima-Daiichi and thoughts on the future of nuclear power.


A cut-away of G.E.'s Mark 1 containment structure used in the Fukushima reactors
In the mid-afternoon on Friday, March 11, 2010, the seismic sensors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in the Fukushima Prefecture of Japan registered the earliest indications of the largest earthquake in modern Japanese history.  They executed a preprogrammed response and began to drive all of the long control rods into the three reactors that were currently operating at the site.  The control rods caused each generation of fission to produce fewer neutrons and fewer fission reactions.  In three minutes the reactors were making 10% of their rated power from fission; in six minutes they were making 1%, and within by ten minutes nuclear fission as a source of heat had ended in the first three units at Fukushima Daiichi.  It would never begin again.

Each fission reaction splits the nucleus of an atom of uranium-235 or plutonium-239 into two smaller atoms and releases a great deal of energy.  The energy release from nuclear fission is roughly a million times greater per unit weight than fossil fuels, which is why nuclear fission is such a compelling long term energy source.  The two “fission products” that result are highly radioactive but decay towards stability very quickly.  There are about 80 different sequences of decay that fission products can follow, and roughly a quarter reach a completely non-radioactive state within a day.  Within a month, about three-quarters are stable, and within a year about 80%.  But in the first few hours after a nuclear reactor shuts down these fission products are producing significant amounts of heat and unlike fission, this heat generation can’t be turned off.  It has to run its course to completion.  Therefore, managing what is called “decay heat” is one of the most important aspects of operating a nuclear reactor safely.  To remove the heat, today’s reactors have an abundance of safety systems, all of which have the same mission—keep removing decay heat from the nuclear fuel.  As the reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi cooled down, the tsunami hit.

The tsunami destroyed the diesel generators that provide power to drive the pumps that circulate the water coolant through the reactor that removes decay heat.  Without an active removal of decay heat, the reactor was adding heat to the water faster than it was taking it out, and the temperature was rising.  Because this was a reactor that operated on water that was already at its boiling point, this also meant that the pressure inside the reactor was rising as well.

The reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi are called boiling-water reactors (BWRs) and were manufactured by General Electric.  They have a primary and a secondary containment structure, both made from thick reinforced concrete, to protect against the release of radioactive materials. Inside the primary containment are two vessels called a “drywell” and a “wetwell”.  The drywell is a large steel pressure vessel that looks like a giant upside-down pear and holds the reactor and primary pumps, and the wetwell is a large toroidal vessel that looks like a donut.  The wetwell is connected to the drywell by a number of wide pipes.  Both the drywell and the wetwell are surrounded by a secondary containment vessel (or shield building) also built from reinforced concrete about a meter thick.  This rectangular secondary containment building is the structure that most people have seen in pictures of the reactor.  At the top of the secondary containment building is a steel frame structure with “blowout” panels that holds the crane used to remove solid nuclear fuel during fueling and refueling.

The designers of the reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi had anticipated situations where pressure was rising in the core.  So long as power was available, pumps would circulate hot fluid from the reactor to the wetwell where it would be condensed.  Heat removal could continue indefinitely in this way.  But it all relied on a power source, and power had been lost due to the tsunami’s destruction of the diesel generators.

The water in the reactor is susceptible to damage from radiation, causing it to split into its components, hydrogen and oxygen.  Normally, circulation would channel the hydrogen and oxygen to a recombiner where they would be restored back to water, but in the hours after the reactors were shut down, hydrogen was accumulating and separating in the wetwell and reached a point where it was vented into the sparse steel-frame structure at the top of the reactor building.  It was only a matter of time before the hydrogen reached a level where it would detonate, and one after another, the first unit, then the third unit, and finally the second unit, suffered hydrogen explosions that blew off the steel panels and left the top of the reactor building exposed.  The reactor vessels remained intact as did the reinforced concrete containment buildings, but each reactor building lost its hat due to the hydrogen explosions.
Initially there was hope of saving the reactors to generate power again after the crisis had passed.  But as that hope faded and the need to remove the steadily-decreasing decay heat remained, operators at Fukushima-Daiichi took measures that would cool the reactors but would ruin them for future operation, such as the decision to try to cool the reactors with seawater.  It will be necessary for some time to actively cool the reactors while the decay heat continues to decrease, but within a few months it will be possible to depressurize the reactors and assess their internal states.  There may have been some melting and damage to the fuel—it is not known at this time.

What is known is that this is a situation very different than Chernobyl or Three Mile Island.  There was no operator error involved at Fukushima-Daiichi, and each reactor was successfully shut down within moments of detecting the quake.  The situation has evolved slowly but in a manner that was not anticipated by designers who had not assumed that electrical power to run emergency pumps would be unavailable for days after the shutdown.  They built an impressive array of redundant pumps and power generating equipment to preclude against this problem.  Unfortunately, the tsunami destroyed it.
There are some characteristics of a nuclear fission reactor that will be common to every nuclear fission reactor.  They will always have to contend with decay heat.  They will always have to produce heat at high temperatures to generate electricity.  But they do not have to use coolant fluids like water that must operate at high pressures in order to achieve high temperatures.

Other fluids like fluoride salts can operate at high temperatures but at safer, lower pressures.  Fluoride salts, unlike water, are impervious to radiation damage and don’t evolve hydrogen gas which can lead to an explosion.  Solid nuclear fuel like that used at Fukushima-Daiichi can melt and release radioactive materials if not cooled consistently during shutdown.  Fluoride salts can carry fuel in chemically-stable forms that can be passively cooled without pumps driven by emergency power generation.  A reactor based on this technology would avoid the extreme situation that was encountered at Fukushima-Daiichi. It may be in our best interest to pursue them in building the next generation of nuclear power plants.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

D+7 day after the Herbal Scalp and Hair Therapy

Today marks the 7th day after the therapy, and I am seeing a little bit of dandruff.  Seems like the effects of my last therapy had reached it's limit for keeping my dandruff away.  Though I had been diligently washing my hair everyday, to try to maintain it's effect, it could not last me more than a week.

Oh dear.  I better think of something else, and fast!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Microsoft Disaster Response: Community Involvement

Support from Microsoft:

Microsoft is putting in place a range of services and resources to support relief efforts in Japan including:

  • Reaching out to customers, local government, inter-government and nonprofit agencies to support relief efforts.
  • Working with customers and partners to conduct impact assessments.
  • Providing free incident support to help customers and partners impacted by the earthquake get their operations back up and running.
  • Offering free temporary software licenses to all impacted customers and partners as well as lead governments, nonprofit partners and institutions involved in disaster response efforts.
  • Making a cloud-based disaster response communications portal, based on Windows Azure, available to governments and nonprofits to enable them to communicate between agencies and directly with citizens.

Ways to Help:

Several organizations are offering support to help victims of the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • The American Red Cross is accepting donations for Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief. Individuals can also text 'REDCROSS' to 90999 to donate $10 from their mobile phone.
  • Save the Children is responding to the needs of children and families affected by the earthquake and its aftermath. Donations can be made to Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund.
  • International Medical Corps is responding to the health needs of the disaster's victims.
  • World Vision has announced mobilization in response to the earthquake and tsunami.
  • NetHope, a collaboration of the world’s leading humanitarian response organizations is mobilizing efforts to support aid agencies responding in the region.
  • Mercy Corps is working with its partner Charity Peace Winds Japan to accept donations.
  • AidMatrix is working with its partners to connect resources and material for various response efforts. Needs for In-Kind and Transportation donations are being assessed and will be posted to the AidMatrix network as they become available. 
To read more, please visit the Microsoft Website, here.

Please let us do everything we can to help the earthquake/tsunami victims...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

D+5 day after the Herbal Scalp and Hair Therapy

My hair and scalp is still free of dandruff so far after 5 days, but still feeling the itch occasionally.  I must say that the therapy was effective, and so far so good.  Let's keep it that way.  Haha.

Tsunami Warnings/Advisories - 気象庁 Japan Meteorological Agency

 To check for Tsunami Warnings and Advisories, you can check out the following website.

http://www.jma.go.jp/en/tsunami/

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

D+2 day after the Herbal Scalp and Hair Therapy

My hair and scalp is still free of dandruff so far, but I'm beginning to feel the itch coming back.  Wonder if the effects of the Herbal Scalp and Hair Therapy can last a few more days.  Let's just hope so.  So much about today.

Floor Plans for IT Show 2011

It's going to start tomorrow, and here's the floor plans for the IT Show, and their exhibitors.





ChiRunning Simplified!, Efficient and Injury Free Natural Running Form Video

ChiRunning is a method of running instruction, developed by Danny Dreyer, an American Ultramarathon runner and Tai Chi practitioner. Its primary focus is to teach runners to move in a more efficient, natural way. The instruction is disseminated in several ways, including instructor led courses, books, and videos.  Check out one of the videos on youtube.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

D+1 day after the Herbal Scalp and Hair Therapy

I must say that the therapy does helps me in clearing my dandruff.  There are still no signs of them returning yet.  I had been diligently washing my hair with 'Clear' Anti-dandruff shampoo, hoping that it stays that way.  lol.

I am able to wear my black jacket today confidently without checking out my shoulders to see if there were many dandruff.  It feels great too.  *cross my fingers*  Hopes it stays clean and clear.

New Covers for iPhone and iPad

Digital Covers_490color.jpgMoleskine introduces two new hybrid tools designed for making it easier the simultaneous use of paper, phone and internet utilities: a Smartphone Cover compatible with iPhone 3G and 3GS, and a Tablet Cover, iPad compatible. Both Covers are combined with blank notebook pages. They are conceived as analog-digital ultra-portable workstations for the contemporary nomads.

The features and style of both Covers are those of a classic Moleskine notebook: sleek rounded corners, strong elastic band, and the legendary smooth black cover. Inside, a lighter suede lining protects the electronic device against impact and scratches, alongside a Volant notebook with plain pages. The Smartphone Cover is mainly conceived to be used with Bluetooth, headphones or loud speaker. Smartphone and Tablet Covers add to the first piece in the Folio Digital collection, the e-Reader Cover for Kindle.

Digital Covers_235_02.jpgDigital Covers_235_01.jpg

Pre-orders on Amazon.

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila

We finally did our purchase.  Read more about it by following the link below:


http://les-revues.blogspot.com/2011/03/vibram-fivefingers-bikila.html

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila

Me and my wife had finally purchased our very first pair of Vibram FiveFingers Bikila.
I've got this one.


And she's got this one.
We're so happy and excited.  I've purchased mine at Takashimaya, and her's at CocoClub at Holland V.  We went to a few outlet before getting hers.  In fact, she wanted the Magenta coloured ones.  But it seems like this blue one is the last pair you could find in our small island of Singapore, of a size 40.  Everyone told us that this is really popular with the ladies.  This blue one looks equally cool too.
It's $209 a pair.  I hope this is enough motivation for us to go for night walks or slow jog.  Cheers!

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Visit to Oriental Hair Solutions

This morning I went to the Oriental Hair Solutions at the Ngee Ann City for the 5 in 1 Herbal Scalp and Hair Therapy.  I am happy with the therapy and treatment, the effects looks promising.  However, I can't say that I'm impressed by the consultant.

The trial starts with a health questionnaire that I had to fill in.  Then I had the consultant to tell me things that I already knew, and some I had provided the answers in the questionnaire.  She then proceed to show me the pictures of my scalp and there were plenty of dandruff and how oily and sensitive my scalp was.  After that, it was pretty much sales talk and how their treatment can help me.  Showing more pictures of other customer with their before and after treatment effects.  When I asked about whether my hair were thinning or is my hair line receding.  She asked me if I think my hair is thinning or dropping.  Huh?  I thought it would be good if she of check on me or do something more professional, instead of asking for my observations.  I'm asking because I wanted your professional views.  Not my observations.

The entire treatment lasted about 80 mins.  Starting with some high frequency machines breaking down all my dandruff.  Not sure if it is useful but the consultant recommended that I should do that before the treatment.  So this is something outside of the trial, and it costs an additional $40.  It lasted less than 5 minutes though.  I'm wondering if it's all worthwhile.

Then another lady took over the consultant to continue my treatment.  The consultant took flight as if she was busy.  But I happened to be the only customer there.  First, I had the Scalp peeling mask, followed by wrapping my head up and connect it with some machine again.  This time round, it was supposed to be providing my scalp with more oxygen.  Man, this thing is really hot!  It's steaming my hair.  After 20 minutes, I went for a herbal wash to remove the mask.  That felt really good.  Finally, it ended with applying some hair tonic with a good scalp massage.

The consultant again took some pictures of my scalp after the treatment to show me the effects.  I am pleased, but not enough to entice me to sign on a package.  She continued to tell me that I would need at least another 10 session to get my scalp to be cleaned.  When I asked her if that would be all that's required, she told me that I had to 'do maintenance' and to keep on coming back.

Huh? It's not that cheap, and I don't think I would want to sign the package now.  Anyway, I paid $62+ for what is supposed to be a $18 trial.  Thanks for the trial, and I'm glad that I took leave to give it a try.  I would recommend others to give the $18 first trial a try, without the promotion, I thought it was just expensive.

Here is the link to the Herbal Scalp and Hair Therapy

Here are some of my thoughts on the therapy. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Insomnia cures and treatments: Harnessing your body’s relaxation response

If you feel wound up much of the time and unable to let go of stress at the end of the day, you may benefit from relaxation techniques that take advantage of the body’s natural relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the stress response. Not only do relaxation techniques help you quiet your mind and relieve tension in the body, but they also help you fall asleep faster and get back to sleep more quickly if you awaken in the middle of the night. And all without the side effects of sleep medication!

A variety of relaxation techniques help you achieve the relaxation response, including:
  • deep breathing
  • progressive muscle relaxation
  • meditation
  • visualization
  • yoga
  • tai chi

It takes regular practice to learn these techniques and harness their stress-relieving power. But the benefits can be huge. You can do them as part of your bedtime routine, when you are lying down preparing for sleep, and if you wake up in the middle of the night.

Relaxation techniques that can help you sleep

  • A relaxing bedtime routine. As a start to your relaxation practice, develop a calming bedtime routine. Focus on quiet, soothing activities, such as reading, knitting, or listening to soft music. Keep the lights low. The following relaxation and stress management techniques can help you enter a more relaxed state. 
  • Abdominal breathing. Most of us don’t breathe as deeply as we should. When we breathe deeply and fully, involving not only the chest, but also the belly, lower back, and ribcage, it can actually help our parasympathetic nervous system, which controls relaxation. Close your eyes, and try taking deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. You can try making each exhale a little longer than each inhale.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation is easier than it sounds. Lie down or make yourself comfortable. Starting with your feet, tense the muscles as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10, then relax. Continue to do this for every muscle group in your body, working your way up from your feet to the top of your head.

A step-by-step guide to developing a daily relaxation practice  


A step-by-step guide to developing a daily relaxation practice

Learn more about relaxation techniques that can help you sleep, including how to start a meditation practice, master progressive muscle relaxation, take advantage of yoga and tai chi, and use deep breathing to unwind.
Read: Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief



Read more here.

Google Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S

We compare the Google Nexus S and the Samsung Galaxy S to see what the big differences are between the two devices

Google has unveiled its latest own-branded device - the Google Nexus S.

Not only is the Nexus S the first Android 2.3 device to see the light of day but it also represents a new relationship between Google and Samsung – the company that manufactured the device.

A lot of people have been chirping on about how the new Nexus S is basically the same handset as the Samsung Galaxy S, just with a contour screen, slightly different looks and, of course, an Android 2.3 operating system.

Either way, the basic question on everybody’s lips is this: should you buy the new Android 2.3-powered Nexus S or just get the Samsung Galaxy S and wait for the Android 2.3 update?

Dimensions
Samsung Galaxy S - 122 x 64 x 9.9mm (118g)
Google Nexus S – 123.9 x 63 x 10.9mm (129g)
Although Samsung manufactured and designed both the devices in question they aren’t actually as similar looking as you’d first expect them to be. For starters, the new Nexus S has a significantly softer profile than the more angular iPhone-like Samsung Galaxy S.
The marked difference is that the Nexus S is longer, wider and heavier (about 11g) than the Galaxy S. That said it is thinner, albeit by a mere 1mm, which certainly works in its favour.
Nonetheless, this aspect will almost certainly come down to personal preference every time – some users just prefer lighter devices. Personally, though, we prefer the look of the Nexus S, despite the fact that it is heavier.
Winner – Nexus S

Storage
Samsung Galaxy S – 8/16GB, microSD expandable
Google Nexus S – 16GB, no microSD support
Storage in the age of apps, games and mobile media players is as important as ever and if there’s one rule that usually rings true it is this: the more there is the better it is.
So why Google decided to release the Nexus S without microSD card support (confirmed by Google spokesperson) on board is quite beyond us. Sure, it’s got 16GB built into it, but is that going to be enough for the seriously hardcore users out there? We think not.
The Galaxy S, on the other hand, while coming in two flavours – 8 or 16Gb – also has expandable storage, up to 32GB, which is a potential 48GB of storage in total.
Granted, having 16GB on board is great and, indeed, means more room for apps and media out of the box. There’s also the small fact that a lot of apps on the Android Market cannot be saved to SD cards. So in this respect, someone could argue that having 16GB of onboard is better. But, in all honesty, we’re not convinced and we still like our SD cards – it’s the best of both worlds.
Winner – Samsung Galaxy S

Displays
Samsung Galaxy S – 4-inch, 800 x 480, Super AMOLED
Google Nexus S – 4-inch, 800 x 480, Super AMOLED
This one is pretty damn close. Both the Nexus S and Galaxy S have, on the surface, exactly the same display specs. Both use 4-inch, 800 x 480, Super AMOLED screens, which is to be expected as both devices are produced by the Super AMOLED-loving Samsung.
That said, there are subtle differences between the two handset’s displays. For instance the Nexus S uses what Google calls a “Contour Display” (curved glass) and while this is nothing more than a mere gimmick, or something to counter against Apple’s “retina display” battle cries, at least it is something different – and consumers like this type of thing.
However, the thing that separates the two devices and puts the Nexus well and truly on top in this round is the ppi count. The Google Nexus S has a higher ppi count than the Galaxy S at 235ppi versus the Galaxy S’s 233ppi. Granted there isn’t much in it and you’d probably never even notice but that’s not really the point, now, is it?
Winner – Nexus S

Processors

Samsung Galaxy S – 1GHz Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) processor + 512MB
Google Nexus S – 1GHz Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) processor + 512MB
One thing Google has taken a lot of flack for with the Nexus S is its choice to opt for a 1GHz processor. The reason why is that it’s nothing new. 1GHz processors, as we’ve seen in the Galaxy S, are perfectly adequate, they’re also certainly powerful enough, but unfortunately many people now view them as simply passé. Why? Simple: everyone is waiting for the inevitable arrival of dual-core 1.2GHz processors in Q1 of 2011.
Winner – Draw

Imaging
Samsung Galaxy S – 5-megapixel, front facing, 720p video capture
Google Nexus S – 5-megapixel, flash, front facing, 720p video capture
Again, in the imaging department it’s a pretty close race with both devices’ featuring a 5-megapixel shooter round the back, a front-facing one and the ability to capture video in 720p quality.
When we tested the Galaxy S we were very impressed, it’s a great phone. But what we weren’t impressed with was Samsung’s choice to omit a flash for the camera. The reason we were so perturbed by this is because it means taking a decent shot in low-lit conditions is nigh on impossible.
Thankfully, Google has opted to include a flash on the Nexus S and while very little else separates the two device’s imaging capabilities, this is enough to make it the victor in our eyes.
Winner – Nexus S

Operating System
Samsung Galaxy S – Android 2.3
Google Nexus S – Android 2.2 (soon to be updated to 2.3)
Obviously, the USP, initially, of the Nexus S is that it’s the first Android 2.3-powered device to hit the market. The other USP, for some at least, is that the device uses a pure Google UI that can be upgraded as soon as a new version of Android is out – ie: there’s no hanging around waiting for networks to fudge it up.
Another big benefit of Android 2.3 is its core features, which include: Near Field Communication (NFC), a new and improved keyboard with multi-touch support, internet calling support, a better UI, improved power management and speed and a whole host more besides.
The Galaxy S will, presumably, get Android 2.3 and all of the above benefits relatively soon. But the question, as always, is when exactly? We don’t know and the networks are remaining predictably quiet about the whole affair. Plus, there’s also the fact that some networks take much longer to tweak and roll out newer versions of Android than others.
In short, the Nexus S (at present) has a significantly improved version of Android onboard it. Obviously, this makes the device superior to the Galaxy S. And when you couple this with just how quickly updates can be pushed out to the Nexus S and you’d be hard pressed to say the Galaxy S is in anyway superior on this front.
Winner – Nexus S

Price
Samsung Galaxy S – £370 approx SIM-free or free on £35 a month tariffs
Google Nexus S – £549.99 SIM-free or free on £35 a month tariffs (Vodafone)
If you’re the type of user that doesn’t like contracts the Galaxy S is the more sensible option as it’s approximately £179.99 cheaper SIM-free than the newer Google Nexus S. Both devices can be obtained for free on £35 a month contracts from selected networks.
This one is quite difficult to call, especially as both devices are evenly priced on the contract front. That said, we were blown away when we heard just how expensive the Nexus S actually is and for this reason, we’re being sensible and going with the Samsung Galaxy S on the price front.
Samsung Galaxy S Google Nexus S
Size and Weight
122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9 mm, 119 g 123.9 x 63 x 10.9 mm , 129 g
Connectivity
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100 HSDPA 1700 / 2100 /900
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
Display
Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
480X800 pixels, 4 inches 480X800 pixels, 4 inches
Processor
ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor
Memory
8 GB/16GB internal, 512 MB RAM 16GB internal, 512 MB RAM
Upto 32 GB External No External Memory
Camera
5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus 5 MP, 2560 x 1920 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Video 720p@30fps Video 720p@30fps
Operating System
Android OS, v2.1 (Eclair), upgradable to v2.2 Android OS, v2.3 Gingerbread
Battery
Standard battery, Li-Ion 1500 mAh Standard battery, Li-Ion 1500 mAh
Standby Backup: Up to 750 h (2G) / Up to 576 h (3G) Standby Backup: Up to 713 h (2G) / Up to 428 h (3G)
Talk-time: Up to 13 h 30 min (2G) / Up to 6 h 30 min (3G) Talk-time: Up to 14 h(2G) / Up to 7 h (3G)

Google Nexus S could ship in Singapore in March

23 February 2011 By Alfred Siew 

Google’s Nexus S smartphone could be officially arriving in Singapore stores as soon as next month, likely marking the first Android 2.3 device to come to these shores, Techgoondu has learnt.


Featuring a “pure” Google experience that promises zippy performance, the geek’s favourite is set to be sold by one of the three telecom operators here, according to an industry source who is not authorised to speak on this.
Parallel imports of the Samsung-made phone, costing close to S$1,000, started hitting the shelves here late last year, shortly after it shipped in Europe and the United States.

However, these sets did not come with any local support or warranty, unlike the original Nexus One, which was sold directly by Google to Singapore users and was supported by HTC Singapore.

What’s the big deal about the Nexus S? Geeks will love its lack of “overlays” like HTC’s Sense or Samsung’s TouchWiz, which they believe would slow down performance. Plus, there is Samsung’s AMOLED display, one of the brightest and sharpest on a small screen.


Compared to current Android phones, Google’s Android 2.3, or Gingerbread, has more under-the-hood refinements than UI changes. But one cool feature, gleaned from a quick hands-on with the device today, is this nice “shut down” animation reminiscent of a tube TV, whenever you press the power button to put the Nexus S to standby.
We understand that the phone would hit these shores before the recently-unveiled Samsung flagship – the Galaxy SII – goes on sale in Singapore at a tentative “some time in Q2″. We’d update on the prices once they are confirmed.

The biggest problem for the Nexus S could be with competition from this year’s new wave of Android devices. Sporting not just Android 2.3 but also dual-core processors and, in the Galaxy SII, an even brighter Super AMOLED Plus screen, these will be the phones to look out for in 2011.

Can this be true?  It's March.  Is it really coming to Singapore?  Will need to wait and see.  In the mean time, there is the Samsung Galaxy S (about the same price) and Galaxy Ace (which is $0 with a 2 years contract).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Is this how the Escher Waterfall works?




David Goldman thinks he knows how it was done, and sent this diagram along.
(Thanks, David!)

Watch the video here:

http://les-revues.blogspot.com/2011/03/eschers-waterfall.html

Escher's Waterfall



Is this how it works?  See the link below.
http://les-revues.blogspot.com/2011/03/is-this-how-escher-waterfall-works.html

If anyone knows how it works, please do share it.  I'm really keen to know.  :P
Leave a comment or post a link.  Thanks.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Motorola Xoom Shadowed By iPad2 - Gadget Review

So, do you think the guys over at Motorola are kicking themselves for launching their Xoom tablet just less than a week before Apple unveiled the iPad 2?

xoom.jpg
I think they have to be.

Any merits that the Xoom has over the iPad have been immediately eclipsed by Apple's mighty marketing juggernaut.

Of course, it would help if the Xoom actually had any real features that distinguished itself from the iPad as a must-have device.

About the only thing that the Xoom had going for it when it was released is that it had cameras on the front and back. But, guess what? Now the iPad has that, too.

I don't mean to get all negative about this newest competitor in the tablet wars, but it's hard not to. It just doesn't offer anything that can't be found in that other product that starts with a little "i" but has a big presence.

As far as what's positive about the Xoom are many features that are more than adequate. It is the first device to use Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system. I am a big fan of Android. And despite competition from Apple, I doubt Android is going anywhere.

It has a 10.1-inch screen and the front camera has a 2-megapixel resolution, while the back-facing camera is 5-megapixels which also can capture 720p video.

The Xoom boasts 14 hours of battery life, which is impressive considering the new iPad supposedly can go only 10 without a recharge. I also like that the keyboard has the Swype feature, which deciphers the words you want as you slide your finger across the virtual keyboard. Pretty cool. Oh, and the Xoom's screen is a whopping 0.4 inches larger than the iPad, but that's hardly a deal maker.

Two things that were interesting: A few colleagues who are rabid iPad users immediately noted that the Xoom felt much heavier and that it took a long time to boot up once turned on.

Despite whatever the Xoom has over the iPad (which isn't much), the bottom line is exactly that: the price. The Xoom starts at $600, and that's with a two-year contract with Verizon. Without the contract, the Xoom will eat an $800 hole in your bank account. And if you get the 3G Wi-Fi, it'll run you an additional $20 a month for 1 gigabyte of data.

With a price that practically mirrors that of the iPad, the choice between which to get becomes a no-brainer.

Why should I buy a Xoom when I can get an iPad that costs about the same? Answer is: I wouldn't. And I doubt you should either.

Finally called the Oriental Hair Solutions

I finally got the time to call the Oriental Hair Solutions to make an appointment for the $18 first trial of the Herbal Scalp and Hair Therapy.  I took leave on the coming Monday, 7 Mar 2011, and will be going to the Ngee Ann City branch.

The lady whom picked up my call told me that it's going to be a 2 hours session.  I hope it's all worth it.  Follow my blog.  I will write more about the therapy again.

Here is the link to the Herbal Scalp and Hair Therapy

Here are some of my thoughts on the therapy.