technology

This Year in Technology

Apple

The iPhone 14 Pro came with something called Dynamic Island. Besides the new 48mp camera allowing for a slick 2x zoom via crop from the main sensor, there isn’t much of a difference from the previous generation. Nevertheless, it is a good buy, but due to our weak ringgit, the price of Apple products has gone up by 10-20%.

M2 Macbook Airs came out early this year. The highlight of the M2 chip is the amazing battery life. When running processor-intensive tasks, the “performance cores” churn out i7-slaying performance. When it gets a bit warm, the “efficiency cores” kick in to kick i5’s butt in terms of raw battery performance and processing power.

In short, M2 Macbook Airs are a good buy. At RM 5,500, they aren’t cheap, but they work when you need them to work. Imagine being out on the field or in a Starbucks with a PC notebook, and you’re struggling to find a power outlet. With more than 10 hours of battery life on the M2 Air, you can safely do work without a power outlet. Look out for Pro updates, possibly in December. 

My favourite source for Mac related news: macrumors.com

5G

5G is in Penang, Ipoh, and the Klang Valley. Unfortunately, the place where I live (Ara Kuda, Penanti) is outside of the coverage area. Not to worry – Unifi is here to save the day. After 12 long years of waiting, we have fiber internet, and for the first 6 months, I’m getting the 300mbps variant which is quite sweet.

Social Media

I ran a simple experiment to see which social media platform garners a fast response. I promised a coffee or RM20 cash to those who replied to me. The findings? People on Facebook reached out to me fastest, but I had one Twitter follower who was quickest of the lot asking me what was up. No one on LinkedIn was open to the contest, perhaps due to the fact that LinkedIn is a serious professional network, not one for everyday giveaway contests like those plaguing Facebook. Of six replies, one came from Instagram stories, so yes, replies can come from the Stories feature, but due to the post going by so quickly, few will respond to the call to action.

[edit: Few sites can last the test of time. Here are some of my old accounts on the interwebs]

My old internet accounts from 1999, 2002-2004

Credit Cards

Credit cards used overseas usually have hidden costs and fees. On my last trip to Indonesia, I paid for GoJek (e-hailing for motorcycles) and Grab (e-hailing like Uber) with no issues and had very favourable FOREX rates. This December, I’ll be making a short trip to Bangkok and Hat Yai, so it will be fun to see what my bank charges for CC usage. As for international roaming, Digi’s prepaid passes are worth the price of keeping connected. Prior to 2019-covid era, I tried roaming in Singapore, and I was treated like a 2nd class citizen. 3G speeds, spotty Singtel coverage, and the overall experience were poor, but in Indonesia, June 2022, all seemed fine.

New Desktop PC

I also bought a PC with 32 GB of memory and a swifty 1TB m.2 NVME SSD drive. It’s blazing fast, but I haven’t really pushed it that far. I only played an early 2010s shooting game called Left 4 Dead 2, and the performance at 4K (3840×2160) resolution was sweet.

Uploads

The thing about YouTube uploads is that mobile uploads (even on WiFi) are capped at 1080p (that’s a 10-year-old spec). To get the full 4K video from your source (in my case, my iPhone 13 Pro), you need to send it to your Macbook and upload it from there. Watch my 38 minute 4K video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgN_b-FANk4 

It churned out a huge 25 GB file which took 3 minutes to send to the Mac via AirDrop and roughly 1 hour on my 50mbps (6 MB/s upload) internet connection. I need a new Tripod to shoot my famous podcasts. If you haven’t seen them, google “Pip’s Podcast” and  you should see my YouTube channel.

Sound

Some of my friends have thousand-ringgit headphones and wireless earbuds. For reference, the Apple Airpod Max costs about RM2400. The one I have is an aging Audio Technica ATH-M50XBT which are studio monitoring headphones. The profile is flat so there’s less bass and more clarity on the instruments and vocals. On the other end of the spectrum, I have a RM140 Xiaomi Redmi Soundbar. It sounds great with the TV that my dad watches and my gaming PC. My other mediocre setup is my car stereo with upgraded tweeters and rear speakers. Without an amplifier, the sound is more suitable for treble and vocals. That is my preferred profile. Okay, I’m too broke to buy a subwoofer and amplifier, but with the music I listen to, and the way my ear works and perceives sound, I find it awesome.

VR, Cyptocurrency, and the Metaverse

In general, I kept my eyes and ears shut when it came to these topics. Didn’t find them amusing, as earlier VR that I tried made me puke from the nausea. For those Bitcoin millionaires, good for you. I’m slightly envious of your success, but I’m glad I didn’t get burned like the majority of greedy traders who dove deep into the trend without having any real knowledge.

Programming Language

I think I mentioned on my blog (blog: philipscurve.com) that Python is a good language to learn. Other tools for Data Science are also in demand, which takes me back to some good old memories from the early 2000s when my parents were advised to send me to Electronics & Electrical Engineering school. Yes, there was a bubble (a wave of enthusiasm) in that particular field. I guess the greatest gift I got is to be able to adapt to new technologies quickly. Ten years ago, this skill was very useful. Kids nowadays seem to be designed to be able to adapt to changes much better.

Conclusion

What’s in store for 2023? Nobody knows. There has not been a need for faster processors. Most video rendering tasks can be easily done with an i7 or a M1 / M2 Apple Silicon chip. If you have any ideas, contact me at pip@philipkhor.com or Instagram / Twitter me: @philipkhor