Sep
25
2016

Updating to MacOS Sierra triggered a disaster & blessing in disguise

On the 24 September 2016 started off as an uneventful Saturday, I was lazing around after a great outing catching Pokemon & filming near Nicoll Highway MRT station.

While browsing the deep recess of the internet via Facebook and twitter…I had come across the news that MacOS Sierra is now available free in the mac AppStore!

Without researching anything on preparation, I clicked on the download and proceeded to install it.

Then came the error message!

The installation stalled & it will repeat again after I restart my mac.

At first, I was kind of annoyed and slightly panicking but I decided to take this as a challenge!

First, I check what can I do differently other then restarting normally and get the same error. Yes, googling does help on my iPhone :D

To start up from OS X Recovery, hold down Command (⌘)-R immediately after turning on or restarting your Mac. …ok. done.

First I tried to restore from time machine backup, but realised I don’t have a back up because of my stupid ideas that such things don’t normally happen. Yes stupid me.

Then I tried to use Disk Utility to apply first aid to my boot disk but still having the some weird error that “file system exit code is 8” and cannot proceed anymore.

Normal people will probably stop at this step and call for help or send to Apple service to diagnose the problem and often at a fee.

However, at 3am…I’m not about to give up!

There’s one more step I can do that’s to re-install Mac OS X (which is then Mac OS X El Capitan) on my main drive and try again, again…same error message and cannot proceed.

Next, I tried to install on an external hard drive which I have plenty of but have to choose carefully which drive to wipe as most have some data that are pretty important to me like my raw videos for my youtube.

After erasing the external drive & re-installing Mac OS X El Capitan, it boot up normally without any old softwares and I tried to use disk utility again on my main drive…no luck there…yes same error message.

At this point I was able to OPEN up my main drive and see what is inside & copy the data out…so I proceed to copy some applications out of the Application folder…but I realised later this step is not really useful as it’s better to reinstall those applications from scratch instead.

I watched some television while the copying is transferring the files until like 4am, I told myself that I am like half way through the ordeal now.

Then error, some files cannot be copied for some weird reasons.

OK, I almost gave up on that…and simply fired up my disk utility and ERASE my main SATA 500 GB drive to Mac OS Journaled Extended and guess what? IT WORKED!

Then I was filled with brand new hope of a fully functional mac mini without booting from external hard disk which is dangerous as USB 3 can be flaky at best and probably not long lasting.

Doing the press & hold Command (⌘)-R while restarting and go back to recovery mode as I reinstall Mac OS X El Capitan yet again on my main hard disk…at approximately 4.30am in the morning.

After installing and recalibrating my screen resolutions of both my monitors, I decided to give MacOS Sierra another try…it was already 5am however the coffee was still pretty effective on my brain but yes my body was falling asleep.

Fired up the Mac AppStore and the button showed it’s downloaded but cannot click again to download again, my brain is almost kaput at that point…

Googling for a copy of MacOS Sierra turn up lot’s of old websites that didn’t give any idea on how to download a copy outside of the Mac Appstore.

Then comes a epiphany, I had copied my main drive data to another hard disk before formatting…but not everything!

With hairs standing on my ends…I fired up the Spotlight search Command (⌘)- Spacebar and type in Sierra and low & behold…it’s still there!

But I hesitated for a few minutes thinking the files may be corrupted as not all the files are copied, if I repeat the process again and get the same error…does it mean my 7 hours worth of effort were wasted?

With my heart beating, I gingerly double clicked on it and the installation began.

Then comes the agonising wait.

Every second was like an hour and my mind probably went blank tried awhile before I had to find something to do, and I opened up my iPhone and started to update the iOS 10.0.2 !? (yes zombie mind, can’t think straight)

The process of updating the iOS is longer than expected and in that half and hour of waiting time without internet makes got me thinking of many things…including that comfortable bed.

Then….FINALLY MacOS Sierra is installed!

Tired and hungry, I went downstairs to have my “breakfast” before coming back up to collapse to my comfortable bed…and hibernated until this afternoon 2pm.

The blessing in disguise was that my computer seemed to work way faster now and I didn’t lose much important data as I always keep my important stuff on external hard drive.

The only downside is I have to waste more time to reinstall all the important applications and bring back my productivity back to normal which is probably going to take another half day.

So, if you are planning to install the new MacOS Sierra…make sure you do the following.

1. Back up your mac via time machine on an external drive (VERY IMPORTANT)
2. Make sure you have a spare external hard drive that have nothing important inside as emergency boot drive.
3. Have a separate device like iPhone, iPad or another computer that can access internet for help
4. Google search what to do before installing a new MacOS.

Jun
11
2016

Copyright mess in youtube & Apple iTunes Store.

By the time you read this, the band “Crazy Kids” may already disappear from most google search. This post is to remind you in the future that we cannot let history repeat itself.

A history lesson for all including youtubers, Google, Youtube, Apple and musicians.

I am a youtuber for games & gadgets and often use non-copyright sounds music for background sounds so that my videos won’t be that boring.

One of the most popular channel NoCopyrightSounds is one of the many youtube channel that offer music for youtubers to make videos for free without licensing but must put attribution like title, artist & source link back to owner in NCS channel.

One of the music by Alan Walker – Spectre is one of the awesome free music released on 6 Jan 2015 and it’s out as a single in iTunes Store as well on the same date.

Youtubers worldwide enjoy the freedom to use this music as their background music until 10 June 2016 I got an email from youtube that someone from “Crazy Kids” claim copyright on my video on that specific music!!

Upon investigation on Apple iTunes Store, Crazy Kids released an album call MELODY on 10 June 2016 with the music “In the sky” which is STOLEN from Alan Walker – Spectre that’s released on 6 Jan 2015.

Searching the company “Believe Music” with Youtube copyright trolls and you can find information [1][2] that shows that this copyright troll had been claiming copyright of music under Creative Commons or Non-Copyright sounds with Attribution with newly released album by unknown bands/musicians.

The scammer can simply get/pay some kids to create an unknown band to release an album with stolen music that ARE under creative commons or no-copyright release that ARE being used by THOUSANDS or MILLIONS of youtubers & publishers worldwide.

Then after the album is released, Believe Music will immediately claim copyright on ALL the youtube videos as infringing the copyright of their new album which allow the scammer get the advertising revenue of THOUSANDS of videos on YOUTUBE overnight without creating any video by themselves.

This is outright criminal, a crime to steal from content creators & publishers!

There are few loopholes that the scammer exploited

  1. YOUTUBE content ID match didn’t match music that’s NON-COPYRIGHTED Release or CREATIVE COMMON music to STOP scammers from even begin to claim copyright in the first place.
  2. Apple iTunes Store didn’t match existing albums before releasing new music into the iTunes Store as brand new single or album creating double copy of the same music.
  3. It seemed that there are not enough Youtube man power to filter criminal from creating content ID match illegally
  4. Most youtuber do NOT have the financially capability to go to court to sue the scammer.

“Believe Music” and “Crazy Kids” are common words that google search cannot seems to find specific links to these people like where are they from and how to dispute with them directly.

If this problem continue to exist, youtubers will eventually have no more creative commons or no copyright music to use to create videos on youtube or elsewhere creating a serious migration to other video sharing platform like twitch and etc.

Google will not allow this to happen and will finically fight on behalf of the content producer but it should also be coded specifically to NOT allow ANYONE to copyright claim an existing music on youtube as their own.

Copyright claim should be vetted first as valid & legal before allowing such headache to happen in the first place.

Update: 12 June 2016 – My Channel live stream using NCS Release song by Alan Walker – Spectre had been successfully disputed! But The fake album by Crazy kids are still listed in Apple iTunes Store which is unfortunate! My suggestions is for content owners like Alan Walker and others to go to this link to make claim of Copyright Infringement via apple website.

May
25
2016

Is Google Adsense via Western Union delayed? May 2016

As publishers & content creators who used Google Adsense as one of their content advertising revenue source knows Google is usually on time when paying their publishers.

The payment date usually between 21st and 26th of the month but usually paid on the 21st for people who opt to use western union to collect their revenue.

According to the community in “Adsense help forum”, there are a number of publishers from multiple countries such as Philippine, London, China, USA, Nepal, Cambodia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Singapore who haven’t got paid since 21st till 25 May 2016 and are getting a little anxious as some are desperate to pay bills and feed their family.

In the forum, I had learnt about investigators raiding Google Paris HQ for tax evasion inquiry, hopefully this is not the reason for affecting the payment to publishers.

There is something else that I had learnt from the forum is the possibility of getting multiple sources or income instead of depending on just Adsense.

For example, publishers can use patreon.com for content subscriptions while on adsense if you have regular contents like live video streaming.

You can also get direct sponsors from multiple companies to showcase or review their products.

I received an unusual email from Google Payments <payments-noreply@google.com> on Wed, May 25, 2016 at 7:22 AM

View post on imgur.com

The email stated “if you haven’t received your payment within 5 business days from the date of this email, please contact your bank for more details”.

This seemed to be wrong as my adsense payment is paid via western union instead of wire transfer to bank, so I believe it’s an automatic batch email sent using a single email template which is probably a mistake.

Usually western union update adsense.com with MTCN number rather quickly after gotten this email but this time it’s a different story.

View post on imgur.com

There is no link to the MTCN number at the “your payment” page and that is rather unusual.

I feel Google PR departments need some additional help to calm the nerves of the publishers & content creators like the youtubers as you know they will definitely let the world know something is up when such things happens.

Knowing it may not be Google’s fault that the payments are late, there may be multiple problems that are causing the delay.

There may be publishers with adsense accounts that are in the pending audit for fraud clicks that may delay payments or even termination of their adsense account.

There maybe US holiday that coincides with the transfer of money from Google to relevant western union branches causing the delay.

But regardless of the possibilities, Google should have an automatic system to update the publishers & content creators via “notification” on the situation of the payment in an event of a delay.

But I had checked…no notification.

View post on imgur.com

The deafening silence from Google can be a PR nightmare as they may not have enough manpower to reply to every concerns of each publisher facing payment problems however there should be an automatic detection of delay in payment and proper notification should be pushed to adsense publishers to calm their nerves and show to their debt collectors.

My suggestions are the following for Google.

  1. Pin a post by google representative to notify publishers the e.t.a. of payment in event of a delay to multiple countries in the Adsense help forum
  2. Push a notification at the Adsense.com to read the pinned post in event of delay in payment.
  3. Put the link in the Adsense FAQ page

Suggestions for publishers

  1. Go to Adsense help forum to find the reasons of the delay.
  2. Find out other ways to earn money via youtube like Patreon.com, twitch and other advertising for publishers.
  3. Wait patiently for payment which may come before the month end.
  4. Set any bills & debt repayment to be at the beginning of the month instead of exactly on the 21st of the month.

However fear not, I trust Google will never intentionally want to delay payment to publishers and will pay eventually so do be patient and give Google 24 to 48 hours for the payment to get through to us via western union.

UPDATE 6.30pm (+8GMT) 25 May 2016 : MTCN number issued for western union payments reflected in adsense.com!

May
25
2016

What is your EDC? (Everyday carry)

We need some essential things in our daily life that may help you along throughout the whole day, we need to carry them in our EDC bag or Everyday carry bag or day bag.

So the question is, what is your EDC bag?

Different situations, environments, occupation or even sex can have different needs.

For me, I have the followings in my EDC bag or on my pocket along with my bag.

Essential

  1. iPhone 6 – essential communication & entertainment device
  2. iLuv Bluetooth speaker – simple pedestrian warning device while riding electric unicycle
  3. Wallet – obviously
  4. Small umbrella – Singapore is pretty rainy almost all the time or super hot & sunny
  5. Home keys – obviously
  6. Medical kit – Alcohol swipes, waterproof plasters, antiseptic spray – for light injuries if fall from unicycle

Optional

  1. iPhone USB cable – for charging iPhone
  2. Xiaomi Power bank – For a full day battery charging of my iPhone & lights
  3. Water bottle – to drink plain water instead of expensive sugary soda
May
6
2015

My experience in learning how to reverse on electric unicycle!

I had been riding self balancing electric unicycle for almost 8 to 9 months now and I had always convince myself that going backwards is not necessary.

However, whenever I sees anyone going reverse in real life or on online video makes me envious of them!

There are some benefits of learning how to ride in reverse.

  • You can use this skill to learn how to spin 180 which going reverse is the prerequisite
  • You can reverse 3-point turn at a narrow path instead of stopping, step down, turn, step up.
  • It’s a crowd pleaser, it may even impress normal riders

Below are my learning experiences and bottom is the findings of my experiences!


Let’s talk about learning how to reverse, any experts can also offer their experiences & tips!

1. I realised if I reverse using a hunch back, it will be so fast & uncontrollable hence I recommend the usual straight body but use your leg to lean instead of your upper body.

2. When trying to keep straight, it’s like back to the basic of going forward. As long your body is straight, you can go straight. But when you reverse after going forward, you need to quickly adjust to be straight again. That’s the tricky part that need to practice a lot to learn

3. I heard people advice that twisting the body can let me reverse the unicycle for longer period of time, it does but only if you do it at the right timing and correct strength. Twisting too hard makes you turn to a different direction instead of straight.

4. I have yet to learn how to turn in reverse hence may need some more practice to get the skills of reversing & turning to the direction I want without falling off.

Serious safety tips:
– Wear a helmet and wrist guard. I had fallen like many times on my back with my hand blocking the fall and back of head touched the ground.

Majority of the falls are of low speed types, hence it’s not that serious and much of the impact is on my buttocks and I do get a little stiff neck as I tighten my muscle too much when I fall.

– if you have Airwheel pull bar on your electric unicycle, unscrew it and remove the pull bar so that it won’t affect your legs when reversing.

– Practice makes perfect, find out the correct method and practice it just like how you learn going forward. :D