Journal #251 – Chilling rainy Sunday with life review

If I really have to list something useful that I did today, I can probably count them with one hand.

The first most useful thing was writing an blog entry about “Why I buy Apple products as a minimalist”, which I publish here and here.

The second most useful thing was me going for a quick 30 or so mins run at around 4.30pm and earlier in the day, I went and did twenty push-ups, split into two sets of ten.

The third most useful thing? For most people, I don’t think they will call it useful but for me, it’s probably is. I went to watch two more episodes of Dark on Netflix. I actually spent more effort to absorb in the scenes, looked at the expressions of the characters, their behaviors and actions, and start thinking about how I would create the show, scene or characters as a writer. It’s important to train yourself to think like a writer when you are consuming content produced by other people. To me, it is part and parcel of getting inspirations and understand how to get people to consume the content you create.

Other than that, I spent the other part of the day playing Sky Force: Reloaded on my iPhone and iPad Pro so that I can collect enough stars to upgrade my plane. That I definitely won’t call useful but it’s part of my desire to just chill.

I also went to get the Designed by Apple in California book out from the cabinet and start browsing through the pages. As I was browsing through, I spent some time understanding the designs and appreciating them all. It turns out I really found joy in going through the pictures and thinking about the story behind those designs. It’s so much easier to understand the context given that I have read Jony Ive’s biography and is still in the process of reading Steve Jobs’s biography. The process of going through the designs also got me feeling nostalgic as I started thinking about my days in secondary school when I was studying Design and Technology.

Thinking back, I do have some inclination for the design and technology subject in general. I understood the technical stuff rather easily but not so much of the society aspect or aesthetic. For my Singapore-Cambridge GCE Ordinary Level D&T project, the end product was average but I managed to score slightly above average compared to my peers because of my strength in the theory part and orthographic projection. One year earlier, I actually did very well for N-Level examination. If I remember correctly, I actually scored an ‘A’ due to the end product, theory and the drawings. It was actually a useful end product with a pretty good design.

So you see, when it comes to creating things, you will fumble and tumble from time to time. The only difference is how much effort you put and how much desire you have to achieve mastery and greatness.

Back then, I wasn’t sure if I could find a decent job if I went to do product design and I did find an inclination towards writing and interest in programming. So after my O-level examinations, I went with something that has practical uses given the economic situation and culture of Singapore. That was why I chose information technology for my Diploma and subsequently Computer Science for my degree.

Now if I were to do it all over again with what I know now, I will probably put in extra effort on my writing and have it run concurrently to my software development career so that I have more choices. But there is no point in regretting this because it’s a fact that I wasn’t mature or self-aware enough back then. So what I can do now is to forge a new path with the experiences and knowledge that I have gained. It’s never too late. I have already took the steps to improve my writing skills by applying and going for courses, keep writing, and learning from other writers.

So stop your bullshitting about being too old, feel tired or lazy studying, and complain about the fact that you are sick your current, meaningless job yet want to change career or do something more meaningful. Start creating the plan and taking the necessary actions or be quiet about your current life and apply gratitude.

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Why I use Apple products as a minimalist

As a minimalist, it’s all about living your life according to a certain set of values.

One of my values is quality. The things I output or consume has to have a certain quality. In most cases, I buy higher quality stuff, spending more money in the process, to replace the lower quality stuff that I have to get rid of.

Most of the metrics I use to define quality are subjective while some are qualitative. It is usually the subjective ones that make me happy, bring me joy or reduce stress whereas the qualitative ones primarily reduce stress.

This is why I am more than willing to spend the kind of money I do getting Apple products, becoming a fan in the process. Their products have really good build quality, provided convenience due to the tight integration across the products, and simplicity.

Majority of Apple products are well built and well designed. The attention to details given to each product by the Apple’s design and engineering teams is rarely found in other products from other company. The solid feel, simple and clean aesthetic of the exterior, and being highly functional combined bring me joy. With their products, I don’t feel like I’m carrying with me a cheap piece of item that I get from a discount store.

The highly functional aspect of their products bring about convenience for me.

You see, inconvenience is a major stressor for me. All I want to do is to solve more pressing problems with the tools I got and not wanting to deal with the hassles before I even get started on solving those problems. Going through multiple steps to enable an option in a piece of software, the need to install and update device drivers that has no guarantee that they will work 100% of the time, the software not doing what you expect it to do, or it takes a while for you to even understand how to use a piece of software or application are such inconveniences. They stress me out.

And I’m sure everyone knows what stress does to one’s creative process, how stress prevent one from doing their very best.

Unlike Microsoft products, Apple products mostly just works out of the box. I don’t really have to deal with all the hassles I described earlier. Their products are also intuitive and simple to use. With that, the tools get out of my way and I can focus on solving the more important problems. When tools get out of my way, my time is saved, allowing me to do more things within the same 24 hours everyone else has. Time saved is the qualitative metric that I use to judge the quality of something. How much inconvenienced I am is the subjective metric I use to judge the quality.

Other than quality, the other value that is equally important is security. I feel safe when my data is well-protected and private enough. If my data is not well-protected and private enough, it means criminals and the government can use my data against me if they do get their hands on it.

That strips away my security, which increases my stress and unhappiness, which is not what being a minimalist is about. At least in my view.

Now, before bashing me about the naivety of my subsequent statements, I will state up front that I recognize Apple may change their privacy and security model that completely expose the user and make them less safe and private, and get to keep a plaintext copy of whatever your store or send but that’s another topic for another day. When that day do come, then I will re-evaluate again.

At least for now, I do feel safe with storing personal data on Apple devices and their cloud storage and trust that my data is not readable by anyone. Their devices like Apple Watch and iPhones come with built-in encryption that protects your data, including your fingerprints and credit card information. The MacBooks and iMacs with latest Mac OS support encryption through APFS and/or FileVault. Their software services like iCloud uses end-to-end encryption with keys that only you own for the data you choose to store there, preventing unauthorized access or views.

So this is why buying stuff and using stuff from a company such as Apple as a minimalist isn’t wrong. It is not wrong either to be fan. If it helps you to live in accordance to your values, then you shouldn’t feel guilty about the whole thing. You just have to be very intentional about it.

Apple AirPods Review (2 Weeks Later)

I have been using the AirPods for 2 weeks now. I brought it out with me on runs, when I go to work, when I watch movies and tv series on my MacBook and Apple TV.

So far, I have enjoyed using it though there were several times when the AirPods didn’t automatically pair and connect with my devices. Before I noticed it, I had already played music out from those device and they were blasting away from the inbuilt speakers, be it whether it’s the iPad Pro or iPhone 7 Plus that I have. It can get both annoying and embarrassing.

Other than that, the battery life is great and I hadn’t really found the need to charge that often. It’s something that I don’t have with the ATH-Sport4. I like the convenience and is definitely a good thing.

In terms of sound quality, it’s acceptable for me with its bass and mid-range reproduction. The music that I listens to have more bass and mid-range, so all good for me.

The lack of wires of any sort is both a good and bad thing. The lack of wires is good because it’s more convenient and I don’t have to worry about them getting entangle with people around me or things that I carry. It is also bad because there is nothing guaranteeing it remain secure on person and not flying off when it comes off my ears due to some kind of accident.

The AirPods are also comfortable to wear and my ears don’t feel stuffed or cramped. But that also meant that there isn’t any decent noise-cancellation. I generally hate to have to listen to environment sounds like trains chugging along, people talking or other people’s music. But that’s the kind of trade-off you have to live with. I do hope Apple release a better version of this AirPod with active noise cancellation. I believe the technology is already here for that.

Lastly, there is an occasional issue where there are crackling noises as I was using it. I suspect it could be both software and physical. By physical, I mean there are interfering signal around me like someone else’s bluetooth or radio transmitting information. I don’t know whether it is technically feasible to mitigate that, especially if it is a physical limitation of wireless technology. We are technically surrounded by electromagnetic waves ranging from microwave to light and possibly x-ray. So that’s another thing to live with.

Overall, I truly believe in a wireless future as Apple touted when they introduced the AirPods. I finally have a good wireless earphones that I feel great about, is convenient for me to use, long battery life, and has good sounds. This accessory has shown that if a company actually cares about making the world best products, cares deeply about how a user will use a product, anything can be achieved.

10 Tech News Roundup #17

Here are 10 tech news that I found interesting.

Zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability allowed remote access to smart accessories including locks, fix rolling out – A HomeKit vulnerability in the current version of iOS 11.2 has been demonstrated to 9to5Mac that allows unauthorized control of accessories including smart locks and garage door openers. Our understanding is Apple has rolled out a server-side fix that now prevent unauthorized access from occurring while limiting some functionality, and an update to iOS 11.2 coming next week will restore that full functionality. 9to5Mac

Apple hires yet another veteran TV programming exec for its original content efforts – As part of its growing original content efforts, Apple has hired programming veteran Michelle Lee to join its worldwide video department, as reported by Variety. Lee has previously worked on popular shows for several major networks as a producing partner at Universal Television’s True Jack Productions… 9to5Mac

Nvidia’s $2,999 Titan V is a 110 teraflop GPU for AI processing – Nvidia cards are the de facto standard for running machine learning workloads and today, the company added yet another high-end compute-centric card to its line-up: the Titan V. This card, which is based on Nvidia’s Volta architecture, features 21.1 billion transistors on a 815 mm2 chip that can produce a full 110 teraflops of compute power. Techcrunch

Uber lands investment from Singapore’s largest taxi operator in blow to rival Grab – Uber has struck a major deal in Southeast Asia after ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator, announced [PDF] it has agreed to buy a majority share of the ride-hailing giant’s Singapore-based car rental business. Techcrunch

Uber reportedly paid a 20-year-old man to keep silent about security breach – A 20-year-old man was responsible for the massive data breach at Uber last year, and the company paid him to destroy the data through its bug bounty program, reports Reuters. In November, Uber revealed it suffered from a cyberattack in October 2016 that exposed the private data of 57 million drivers and customers, which it then covered up. Uber allegedly paid hackers a $100,000 ransom to delete the data and not disclose what had happened to the media and public. The company didn’t say how the hacker was paid, or who he was. The Verge

Bitcoin value tops $16,000 and shows no signs of slowing down – Bitcoin’s track record is a lot like a manic-depressive illness, defined by extremely high peaks and incredibly deep valleys. Judging by its latest rally, the popular cryptocurrency’s volatility isn’t going to normalize anytime soon. Techspot

Intel Nervana processor goes beyond terabit bandwidth with refined architecture – Earlier this year, Intel showed off its research and development efforts to build the Intel Nervana Neural Network Processor. The newly designed chip will far surpass any general-purpose processors for machine learning and artificial intelligence applications. Best yet, it is a product that actually is going to make it to market. Techspot

AirPods will be even more ubiquitous in 2018, says report – Get ready to see even more of those distinctive AirPod stems sticking out of ears everywhere you go next year. Mashable

Windows 7 users are officially dropping like flies – For the first time in a long time, Windows 7 is now being run by less than half of PC users. Only 43.12% still use the eight-year-old operating system, reports TechRadar. Mashable

Every 2018 iPhone model could get a battery boost thanks to this new tech – Hands up who wants more battery life from their smartphone? The good news is that noted mobile analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, of KGI Securities fame, reckons that all three of the 2018 iPhones are going to get a boost in capacity across the board, thanks partly to a new L-shaped battery design. Techradar

Journal #245 – Had a moderate panic attack over something silly

This journal is actually the second one for today. You can read the first one here.

I wanted to cover different things that happened to me today and try to be precise. Cramping everything together in one journal entry and try to give a generic title just don’t feel like quality.

So what is this about?

I had a moderate panic attack after lunch when I saw an email from the school where I have applied for the Technical Writing course.

Right after I publish the journal yesterday, I went to check my emails and saw that I actually got one from the school about needing me to submit payment details. So I happily went and submit the form only to be told today that the submission was wrong.

You see, I found myself with a fuzzy brain, not sure what to do. That tends to happen when I’m in some kind of panic mode. The trigger was I had to send a highly-sensitive document which include my credit card details for payment processing via email to the school, the deadline for the payment details was tomorrow, and knowing email is inherently insecure. But I also know that I had to zip up the document with password at minimum to protect the data. But making things difficult was that I only have iOS-based devices, which doesn’t support any form of zipping up PDF files with password or even recreating password protected PDFs.

I knew I could wait and go back home to redo the form using my MacBook but I wasn’t sure if the re-submission will be correct. If it was wrong and by the time I find out, it would be tomorrow. By then, it would be very difficult to redo the form again since I will be at work using my iOS devices.

In my heart, I want to go for the course no matter what. Thus it’s overwriting my rational mind.

It took me a while before I felt even remotely comfortable using iCloud as a storage place for that form. Once I put it there, I slowly filled in the information, still feeling unease.

Anyway, Apple is the only all-in-one company—it is to me because of the products they release and the online services they provide covering my use cases—that uses end-to-end encryption for their services and products. That means my data is at least encrypted at rest protected by encryption keys that only I own, which in this case are provided by my devices and 2FA.

But this trust in Apple is shaky at best. I have been burnt by data breaches so many times that I stop trusting any cloud storage providers 100% with my data. Most of my personal data are stored offline, protected by password and encrypted whenever possible.

After I’m done filling up the form, I intended to download the document locally to my email machine from iCloud to zip up the file with password before putting it back up there but due to the company’s IT security policy
I can’t even access iCloud.

The only other machine that is even authorized to access the web and can do password-protected zip is the development machine but there was only one WIFI adapter in office. So I had to borrow that and attempt to go online, download the file, zipping it up, and upload back again. As soon as I was done, I logged out and switched back to using my iPad to email the document. Once it’s all done and the email sent, I deleted all traces of it from my Gmail. I also don’t trust Google to protect my personal and highly-sensitive data due to their business model. Who knows Apple may also change in the future. Their future CEO may decide to sell out their actual customers. Thus, I also deleted any traces of that zip file from iCloud.

So all good but I still feel uneasy.

There’s good news too. I got a reply from NTU saying that they got the file and will process payment. My registration is also confirmed and I got the course details. That means I am going for the course and will have to apply for 2 days paid leave.

Journal #244 – Maybe mundane work but it starts from one

At first, I found myself procrastinating about writing this journal because I wasn’t sure what I want to talk about. There are a few things in mind causing me to doubt if I am able to squeeze them in and give a relevant title. Then as I wrote the subsequent paragraphs, it became obvious that I should cover different aspects of my day in separate journals. So after some editing and sorting, this journal is about work and how “one” is an important number.

I will just say that work was pretty mundane. It’s all about going through the drudgery, fixing bugs, testing the fixes, implementing new functionality to improve usability and tweaking certain areas of the application.

The latest update I got from my team leader was the customer wanted at least a few instance of the application running on their workstations before Christmas so that they can test it out over the last week until New Year. That means we don’t really have that much time to implement any brand new features.

So with the time we got now, our priority is getting the pagination capabilities working. Thus far, our application hasn’t been doing any pagination, server-side sorting and searching. That happened because we were so focus on delivering function that we didn’t put performance first. In hindsight, it’s probably because the application is a thick client and the workstations can do the heavy lifting. At least that’s what one of my colleague seems to lean towards.

As of mid last week, we were actually loading thousands of records over the network into local memory. An utter embarrassment. Right now, I feel disgusted with our current codebase. Yes, the code works and there are design patterns being applied. However, the way the patterns are applied look like they are hybrids. Even my own codes are ugly.

Bug fixes and User Interface tweaks were done in the morning. After lunch, I spent my afternoon doing that pagination stuff, at least getting the basic function right and removing the unnecessary multi-threaded operations. Honestly, it didn’t take me longer than an hour to get the basics working and tested, only to find that there were some performance issues. Tomorrow I will go and test more after my colleague tried to optimize the backend codes and have already deployed it into the development server.

I also had a discussion with my team leader on what I will do next to improve usability because I had some ideas. After explaining, my team lead asked, “Do we even need to implement that feature so well? We are not Apple. We are Android.”

It’s a known fact that I am a fan of Apple because of their well-built products which made my life convenient. Their products are very usable and intuitive. There’s quality everywhere, which is inline with what I am looking for. And I’m willing to pay for that.

With that comment, I went on to justify that if we don’t do what I suggested, then user will find themselves drowning in pop-up boxes and alerts, which are all distractions, pulling them away from what they want to achieve. It slows down their workflow.

From management perspective, it’s probably overkill for that given module that I’m working on. It’s only used by system administrators, which aren’t many. Therefore, it’s easy to see it is not cost effective to do that part so well.

But I don’t subscribe to that school of thought. I believe in committing to quality for one person, one software module, or one software function at a time to achieve extraordinary things.

It’s like my journals. I’m a nobody and I’m writing this journal for me because I want to document my own journey in life. I want to see how far I have come. But if I can’t even deploy that discipline, patience and desire for quality, I won’t even read my own journals, much less improve.

There is no doubt I will fumble and some of my journals are too boring but at the end of it, I will still feel proud of my own work because I tried to do it for one person, which is me. And if along the way, these journals even helps one person in any form or shape, it is the best thing in the world.

Don’t just take my word for it. Practice focusing on and committing to one thing at a time, deploy the patience and discipline and giving all your best. Gary Vaynerchuk also advised in his blog post about WHY 1 VIEW CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING. Or Yann Girard on The only way to succeed at anything

So work maybe mundane but if you can’t even do one mundane work with quality, you can forget about doing it for everything else.

Remember, everything starts from 1…

10 Tech News Roundup #16

Here are 10 tech news that I found interesting.

Wearable numbers get a bump, as consumers shift focus to smarter devices – The wearable space seems to still be figuring itself out — though in spite of some reports about the death of the category, overall growth remains one of the few constants. According to the latest numbers from IDC, the global bump was pretty modest for Q3 of this year, at about 7.3-percent, year over year. Techcrunch

Elon Musk’s giant battery is now delivering power to South Australia – The world’s largest lithium-ion battery is now live in South Australia after being delivered a few weeks ago, easily beating the promise Elon Musk made of “100 days or it’s free.” The South Australian Government notes that for the first time, clean wind energy can be siphoned to the grid 24/7 improving the system’s reliability, whether the wind is blowing or not. The 100MW battery farm has enough storage capacity to power more than 30,000 homes. The Verge

This new FDA-approved Apple Watch band measures the electricity in your heart – The Federal Drug Administration just cleared a new band for the Apple Watch that monitors the electrical rhythms in your heart. Mashable

Dell’s latest XPS 13 is fast, nimble, and kind of stale – When Dell first introduced its redesigned XPS 13 laptop nearly three years ago, it kicked off a renaissance in laptop design. Dell proved that you could have a full-size, 13-inch display in a computer that’s as compact and portable as an 11-inch model. Nearly every other laptop maker has followed down this path, and now there are a lot of laptop options with trim bezels and small footprints. The Verge

$3 billion in EA stock value wiped out in less than 30 days – Electronic Arts’ shareholders are biting their nails as they watch the company’s stock value plummet. For November, EA shares have dropped 8.5 percent. That equates to $3.1 billion in valuation wiped out in only one month. Industry analysts are blaming the plunging stock price on the debacle over Star Wars Battlefront II and its money-grubbing loot box / microtransaction system. Techspot

Top-secret US Army intelligence accidentally posted to public AWS bucket – Security is hard but you’d at least expect some level of protection to be made when dealing with top-secret military intelligence. Unfortunately, it appears that this wasn’t exactly the case for some data shared between the US Army and the NSA. Security firm UpGuard has discovered a publicly accessible AWS S3 bucket that contains classified information on the Distributed Common Ground System – Army as well as details of communications with federal IT environments. Techspot

Microsoft is adding tabs to apps in Windows 10 – Microsoft on Tuesday shared details on a new feature that’ll (eventually) make its way to Windows 10. It’s called “Sets” and, according to Microsoft’s Terry Myerson, it’s designed to help organize your workflow and mitigate time lost to interruptions.

Apple is reportedly looking into designing its own power management chips – A new report from Nikkei Asian Review says that Apple is planning to move design of power management chips – the ones responsible for battery life management and energy consumption – in-house. BusinessInsider

NASA and HPE Push the Envelope on HPC in Space – Technology is rapidly transforming the way we think and understand the universe. In the realm of space science, technological advancements have enabled man to study Earth, explore new worlds, and even walk on the moon. Today, high performance computing (HPC) is accelerating space research and scientific discovery like never before. Organizations like NASA are using the most cutting-edge HPC solutions to analyze troves of complex data, conduct experiments, advance the Mission to Mars, and much more. HPCWire

Automation threatens 800 million jobs, but technology could still save us, says report – A new report predicts that by 2030, as many as 800 million jobs could be lost worldwide to automation. The study, compiled by the McKinsey Global Institute, says that advances in AI and robotics will have a drastic effect on everyday working lives, comparable to the shift away from agricultural societies during the Industrial Revolution. In the US alone, between 39 and 73 million jobs stand to be automated — making up around a third of the total workforce. The Verge

Apple AirPods Review (Second Day) – Running

I took the AirPods out for a run today to see how well it works.

For once, I actually felt good going for a run with earphones because there are no wires of any sort lingering around my shoulders or neck. My previous ATH-Sport4 Earphones has pretty stiff cables that tend to get in the way when I turn or tilt my head. With the AirPods, it felt freer.

While running, I tend to change the tracks when the music being played isn’t matching my mood or tempo at the moment in time. Since I wear the Apple Watch series 2 out during my runs, I do try to switch tracks from it but the whole process isn’t smooth. To switch track via the watch, I need to bring it into view, switch app to the music player, change track before switching back to the running app so that I know how far and my pacing.

With the ATH-Sport4, there is a fast forward button that doubles as the change track button, so I will reach up and change track from there. But the buttons are behind my ears due to the way I wear it and there is a need to hold the button for roughly three-seconds before the track is changed. It’s not very ideal but it’s better.

The AirPods improved on the whole experience of track change process. Since it relies on accelerometer to detect double tapping, the primary way of interaction with the AirPods, it’s faster. Secondly, it doesn’t feel awkward.

As I go further on my run, the AirPods didn’t feel perfect enough. Due to the shape of my ears, combined with the shock and vibration that went through your body as you run, they got pretty lose. The situation was made worse by sweat. Every decameters or so, I had to shove the AirPods back into my ears to prevent them from flying out.

External noise cancellation is practically non-existent and I could hear the sound of vehicles around me, people talking, etc. But I suppose it’s not that big of an issue.

I suppose I will give it a try a few more times before deciding if I want to go back to using the ATH-Sport4 for my runs.

Apple AirPods Review (First Day)

Ever since the AirPods was announced by Apple back in 2016, I always wanted it but wasn’t sure if it would fit my use cases. I know people have qualms about the design but I don’t. I have been using earphones from Audio-technica because of their decent balance between bass, mid, treble, and price. The earphones that I owned also have decent noise cancellation and doesn’t fall out of my ears. Due to the shape of my ears, most earphones do fall out if I swing or shake my head hard enough.

So today, 25 November 2017, I decided to buy the AirPods and give it a try. I do have a wireless earphone from Audio-Technica and it’s the Ath-Sport4 model.

I bought that because I wanted a non-wired version that I can wear when I go for runs. I didn’t want the cables to dangle and interfere with my arm movements.

The Ath-Sport4 was a decent earphone for its price. The pain point that I have with it was the short battery life of three hours. I had to be very sure that I charged it full before I leave the house. I encountered a couple of times where my earphone ran out of battery while I was outside and couldn’t charge it. Not a very good experience for me.

The AirPods set me back by SG$238. Rather expensive but I suppose that’s the price that I pay for convenience. You see, I invest so much money into Apple because of their privacy stance, great products, the premium feel, and convenience. Due to the well optimize software and hardware and the tight integration, everything was as seamless as possible. It makes my life better. It reduces decision or mental fatigue.

Let me digress a bit.

Think about it. How often have your Windows PC and your myriad of devices gave you headaches because of difference in operating system, software support, connectivity, etc.?

Back to the review.

Let’s go with some pictures of the box and the actual device. I took this chance to practice taking photos of products.

Front of the box. The plastic wrapping is still on it.

Side of the box.

Back of the box.

Took off the plastic wrapping and unboxed it.

Removed the box containing the booklets and manuals reveal the actual device.

It look so much smaller than I thought and really does look like a dental floss box that I have. I love the minimalistic, white design.

I love how the top opens and snaps back. It felt so intuitive and remind me of those boxes carrying gums or sweets.

Taking it out of the box and opening the cap reveals two of the earphones. They do look kind of cute and fun, reminding me of some kind of sauropods emerging of their eggs.

Taking the earphones out, they look really weird but interesting. Fun in a way and the design is pretty minimalistic too. Love it.

So I took the earphones for a spin, pairing it with my iPhone 7 Plus and listening to some music.

I got to say, I actually like the bass and the mid-range. I don’t really listen to music with high treble and so I don’t think it will affect me that much. Generally, I like bass music.

I also paired it with my MacBook Pro and watched Netflix with it. It was decent but Netflix has this issue where the audio volume is actually softer when you are using the browser to watch shows.

The next few things I tried with the earphone was with iTunes and YouTube. So far I really love the sounds produced by the earphones.

There is another use case that I need to test and that’s running. I will update again once I test them out. For now, I don’t know whether they will fall out while I’m running. If they do, I may have to fall back to using the ATH-Sport4 when I go for runs and I won’t consider $238 that well-spent anymore.

10 Tech News Roundup #14

Here are 10 tech news that I found interesting.

Uber data breach includes UK users — but it’s still not clear how many – The UK’s digital minister has said the October 2016 data breach that Uber disclosed this week does affect UK users — though it’s still unclear how many are impacted at this stage. Techcrunch

In Israel, a blockchain and crypto hyper-cluster is just getting started – In recent times, it’s Eastern Europe and Russia which have become a hot-bed of crytpocurrency development. But on a recent trip to Tel Aviv, Israel, I took part in what might well turn out to be a historic lunch. Techcrunch

Microsoft confirms Surface Book 2’s power problem – Microsoft’s 15-inch Surface Book 2 laptop suffers from battery drain during heavy gaming or GPU usage, a problem The Verge first identified during our review of the device last week. While plugged into the supplied charger, the battery on the base of the device will drain during certain games if the power settings are set to max performance to fully utilize the power of the hardware. The Verge

Apple’s 2018 iPhones could have 62x faster internet speeds – Now that you’ve had plenty of time to come to grips with the iPhone X’s notch, let’s talk about next year’s iPhone. Yeah, seriously. Mashable

New paper from Apple research scientists dives deeper into work on autonomous systems – Tim Cook has publicly commented on Apple’s work in autonomous systems before, and a new research paper from two Apple research scientists dives deeper into the company’s efforts. The paper explains how Apple is using a combination of LiDAR with other technologies for 3D object detection that represents the future. 9to5mac

Millions of devices could be at risk from Intel Management Engine vulnerabilities – Intel has issued a security advisory over security flaws on its PC, server, and Internet-of-Things processors that make the platforms vulnerable to remote attacks. Mark Ermolov and Maxim Goryachy of Positive Technologies Research identified the issues, and will reveal full details of the Intel Management Engine flaws in a talk at the Black Hat Europe security conference on December 6. Techspot

Intel increases production of Coffee Lake while Ryzen gets cheaper – Following the release of a product change notification, Intel has revealed that it has retrofitted an assembly line for Coffee Lake. Until now, Intel has been producing Coffee Lake CPUs in Malaysia, but will soon be shipping 8th generation i5 and i7 processors from Chengdu, China. Techspot

iMac Pro may feature A10 Fusion coprocessor, always-on Siri voice control – Back at its annual WWDC event in June, Apple revealed that a new iMac Pro model would arrive this December. We were told that “the most powerful Mac” it’s ever built would come in 8-Core, 10-Core, and up to 18-Core Xeon CPU configurations, but it seems Apple left out another detail: the presence of an A10 Fusion coprocessor that may enable always-on Siri functionality. Techspot

Companies Turn Blind Eye to Open Source Security Risks – Many software developers and enterprise users have been lax or oblivious to the need to properly manage open source software, suggest survey results Flexera released Tuesday. Linux Insider

Apple’s HomePod speaker delayed until next year – If you were hoping to buy a HomePod for your honey this holiday season, you’ll have to come up with plan b. CNN