Look but don’t touch

Google has been tightening its grip on Android:

While Android is open, it’s more of a “look but don’t touch” kind of open. You’re allowed to contribute to Android and allowed to use it for little hobbies, but in nearly every area, the deck is stacked against anyone trying to use Android without Google’s blessing. The second you try to take Android and do something that Google doesn’t approve of, it will bring the world crashing down upon you.

04. November 2013 by Han Sheng
Categories: tech | Leave a comment

New server

I finally got around to migrating my site from shared hosting to a VPS on DigitalOcean. It took a lot more trouble to set up but I learned a lot in the process. I can now set up my own server in my sleep! (Ok not really…but it’ll be faster next time around.)

01. November 2013 by Han Sheng
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Making the Mac Pro

The ‘how it’s made’ video of the new Mac Pro is just fascinating to watch. What others think of as drab and uninteresting, Apple has turned into an art form. For those interested in the manufacturing process, Greg Koenig provides a detailed rundown of all the steps shown in the video.

What the Mac Pro video puts on display is Apple’s unique talent for bringing together disparate manufacturing technologies to produce incredible precision at extremely high volumes.

25. October 2013 by Han Sheng
Categories: apple, tech | Leave a comment

3d printing revolution

3D printing infographic
Looks like there’s still some ways to go…

17. March 2013 by Han Sheng
Categories: infographic, tech | Leave a comment

7 million

This video is worth watching after the release of the Population White Paper by the government projecting almost 7 million people in Singapore by 2030.

Singapore likes to be a world leader in many fields but I believe the one area they can and should be a world leader in is technology for high-density living. It is time (and perhaps somewhat overdue) for our government to rethink it’s approach to solving the overcrowding problem besides just promising to build more public housing and transit lines in their White Paper.

When was the last time HDB did something truly innovative after they revolutionised public housing in the 1960s? LTA, in recent years, seems to be reduced to an agency for adjusting ERP rates and investigating MRT breakdowns.

The ideas presented in the video are refreshing in their approach to this age-old problem. Our government needs to move faster in developing and adopting such new technologies into the design of our city to keep pace with the population. If done right, 7 million people could live comfortably in our precious 710 square kilometres of space.

Cities around the world have been plagued by overcrowding since the industrial revolution. It is not an easy problem to solve. Let’s be the first to solve it.

30. January 2013 by Han Sheng
Categories: singapore, tech, video | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the iPhone 5

iPhone 5
Looking at the reactions to the iPhone 5, I think the biggest success of Android is in reversing, in a few short years, the trend of miniaturisation in the mobile phone industry.

Marketing by Android manufacturers have convinced many people that each new phone should have a bigger screen and a radical overhaul in hardware design and software interface to be considered a worthy upgrade.

Personally, I think of Dieter Rams’ ten principles of good design, one of which is that good design should be long-lasting: “It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.”

Whether the iPhone’s design lives up to this, only time will tell. At least Apple believes in their design enough to go out of their way to keep the design unchanged for the next year or two.

14. September 2012 by Han Sheng
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It’s one small step for man…

Thank you, Mr. Armstrong, for inspiring me in my pursuit of engineering.

27. August 2012 by Han Sheng
Categories: space | Leave a comment

The HP-35

The story of Bill Hewlett’s iconic computer in a pocket:

In perhaps the most famous design brief in electronics history Bill Hewlett challenged his engineers to shrink the 9100A into something he could fit in his pocket. Eventually Dave Cochran, the original HP-35 product manager, determined that it would be feasible using newly-developed integrated circuits and LEDs. A market research study, however, warned that the device would be too expensive and there was simply no market. That didn’t matter to Hewlett. He decided he wanted one and said ‘We’re going to go ahead anyway.’

And a revolutionary leap in technology was born. It would be hard to imagine what the scientific and electronics world would look like today had Hewlett listened to market research…

03. August 2012 by Han Sheng
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60th anniversary

Was back in Taiwan this past week to celebrate my maternal grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. I did a simple slideshow that was played at the event to celebrate their time together. Digging through some of their old photos was truly like going back in time!

31. July 2012 by Han Sheng
Categories: general | Leave a comment

The Audition

If you thought your job interview was tough, this is probably worse…a fascinating look at the process of getting into (and staying in) a world-class orchestra:

Each applicant has 10 minutes at most to play in a way so memorable that he stands out among a lineup of other world-class musicians. Tetreault has prestigious degrees from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and he’s studied under the world-renowned performer Christopher Lamb, but at his audition, the only thing that will matter is how he performs in the most pressure-packed few minutes of his life. If he squeezes his glockenspiel mallet too hard, choking the sound, or if he overthinks the dotted rhythm or fails to adjust to the BSO’s oddly scaled xylophone bars and misses a few notes, the whole thing will be over. Mark Volpe, managing director of the Boston Symphony, sums up the audition process this way: “I want someone to be so brilliant that there’s no question.”

08. July 2012 by Han Sheng
Categories: music | Leave a comment

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