Thinking of futuristic gadgets

Future, are we in the future right now? Yes we are.But how new futuristic products get innovated? I think it’s innovated by science fiction movies & television shows in the past that tried their best to solve tomorrow’s problems using gadgets.

From Star Trek tablets that can video conference and their medical scanning devices call Tricorder to current science fiction movies like Minority Report’s hand gesture to control a computer to predict future crimes.

However, I think everyone reading this can also innovate something by thinking out of the box to solve the problem with your own DIY.

If you can’t DIY, you may want to gather a group of people to think of solutions. Not many people want to crack their head to solve the most nagging problems that surrounds them and chose to live with the problems as if it’s NORMAL.

For me, if it’s a problem…it’s time to think of a solution.

Question is does current gadgets improvements really solve the problems of tomorrow? Hmmm

I will list out a couple of potential problems that will make someone super rich…if they find the right solutions.

  1. Global warming – if you cannot stop the world warming up, maybe a gadget to survive the increasing heat
  2. Rewarding creators of content as people pirate their contents – maybe an auto multi-level trickle down advertising revenue without telling those pirates who leech your video for youtube…and no need copyright take down.
  3. Auto driving that only helps on braking to avoid collision, maintain a fix distance between your vehicle & the one front vehicle regardless how hard you accelerate, auto parking (already have), Auto sense pedestrians & cyclist coming from any directions, screens at doors to see through it to show blindspots.
  4. Let’s transform Mars into habitable planet like right away by sending millions of automatic robots to push icy meteors into Mars to contribute more water to Mars.
  5. For communication between Mars, probably relay stations between Mars & Earth that maintained fixed position by going at a speed that allow to orbit the sun yet maintain it’s position. That way, communication can be faster.
  6. Brain sends electrical signal to muscles to move their body, why not decode those signals and put on a robot like the movie Avatar, put millions of sensors on the robots to send information to the human controller.
  7. There are mechanical bird now, why not human flying like a bird using brain to control the wings.
  8. New battery that have years of storage should be one of the best inventions ever.
  9. Long distance personal electric vehicle like electric unicycle will improve more in terms of comfort & range.

Do share what problems you face in life other then not earning enough money and let’s solve them!

Apple please add a feature to temporary turn off notifications from all apps

I believe I am not alone in this quest to have a simple short cut in the control center to turn off all notifications from appearing at least temporarily for a specific time or until I manually turn it back on.

As a youtuber trying to record the screen of the iPhone is troublesome as it become apparent that I need to turn off notification from each application one by one to prevent them from showing up on the screen.

Solutions found online that doesn’t work

  1. Do Not Disturb and Lock 

    Do Not Disturb also only has an effect when your phone screen is locked. When your phone is locked, its screen doesn’t react to your touch but it can still receive texts, calls and other notifications.

    Problem: I am trying to record the screen when the phone screen is unlocked.

  2. Disable notification via settings

    Problem: As my phone have hundreds of applications, to disable each one of them temporarily and then enable them after filming my video is just too tedious & time consuming. Sometimes I forget to turn back the notification and missed some important messages which is even more frustrating.

The problem is my iPhone is  unable to quickly disable the notification entirely for the purpose of making videos while the screen is on & unlocked and quickly enable back all the notification again.

I feel there could be a way to save the settings of which applications are “preferred” to have notification turned on or off when a short cut button in control center is toggled.

That way it will be a 3 second preparation to film the videos on screen compared to a 2 minute tweaking of the settings of the notifications that had been turned on…and turn them off one by one.

I know it’s a small request but I believe it will be a killer feature as many people do not want their privacy intruded when they let their friends use the phone for a short period of time and a private message pops up.

How Electric Unicycle changed my life

My name is Simon Tay, a self employed youtuber trying to make a living making game/gadget reviews and yet it’s not because of my job that I started exploring the possibility of riding an electric unicycle.

The question is actually how did I actually decided to try and eventually love this self balancing electric unicycle, the answers lies 2 years ago back in 2014.

Back in 2014, there was a series of H5N1 scare in Singapore and everyone were trying to prevent infection by wearing N95 mask.

I was then exploring ideas on how to prevent infection other than just wearing mask & washing hands regularly, I look at how many people are coughing & sneezing in overcrowded buses daily and it’s scary!

So I searched for a solution to travel short distances without taking buses, I turn on youtube and search for electric vehicles, scooters, and more.

I searched for days and come across a few interesting options, it’s either electric scooters or self balancing electric unicycle.

So I went to local electric scooter shop Falcon PEV and tried out their range of electric scooters and there were plenty of visitors roaming in their cramped office, managed to tried & test out a range of their scooters and found out that it’s kind of too fast & heavy…not to mention how expensive.

Usual electric scooters are $1299 and above and the weight can be over 20kg.

Then I came across a youtube video about a guy riding to work on a self balancing electric unicycle, with his hands in his pockets as if the future had just arrived. It intrigued me deeply and the desire to ride this was then very very strong!

I searched high & low for any local Singapore distributors for electric unicycle and came across AirwheelSG and visited their office near Yishun.

At first I tried out the Airwheel double wheel Q3 and Airwheel X5 with training wheels and find it easy to balance and paid for an Airwheel X5 on the spot without thinking.

Boy was I wrong about it being easy!! Hahahahahahaha!!

But I am very determined person and the videos of plenty of people riding this self balancing electric unicycle gave me plenty of motivation.

On day 4 or the first week of learning how to ride, I was fully wrapped with protective gears to prevent serious injuries and that did help me overcome the fear of learning but still only ride at near midnight to avoid embarrassing myself in front of many onlookers.

After day 4, it’s testing my fear again & again until I fear no more.

First was the fear of riding at narrow path as I cannot control the unicycle that well and turning accurately is kind of hard.

The very fine speed control by changing body weight distribution makes self balancing electric unicycle a game changer for me.

Falling multiple times were just how I learn what I can do & what I cannot do and learnt the following!

  1. You should slow down at small curb slope, bend your knees & overcome the small curb then straighten back the leg to avoid falling.
  2. Never ride fast at blind spot areas like corridors
  3. When in doubt ride slow
  4. Use lights to see where you are going at super dark areas
  5. Explore and enjoy! :D

Then I am hooked!

Gliding effortlessly around the neighbourhood like a super human IS STILL amazing, buying groceries in the middle of the night from 24hours supermarket IS way more convenient than walking.

From then on, I upgraded my electric unicycle multiple times & now use WindRider electric unicycle but I am always on the lookout for something better like with better battery and etc.

If you are like me, riding on an electric unicycle…welcome to the future!

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.

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.