New arrivals: ASUS LolliFlash – LED flash for smartphone selfies

June 30th, 2015

The ASUS LolliFlash is an ultra-portable external LED flash for taking smartphone selfies in dim light. The LolliFlash comes with dual-LED light and multi-colour filters for a fun photography experience.

Available from today at S$17.90 at ASUS Online Store.

ASUS LolliFlash dual-LED light with three colour filters for taking smartphone selfies. Shown here with an ASUS ZenFone2 but compatible with any Android smartphone.

ASUS LolliFlash dual-LED light with three colour filters for taking smartphone selfies. Shown here with an ASUS ZenFone2 but compatible with any Android smartphone.

Many smartphones today ship with an LED flash for the main camera at the rear for taking photos in dim lighting.

The filter sleeve merge the light from the two LED light sources.

The filter sleeve merge the light from the two LED light sources.

Most smartphones, however, do not have a front-facing LED for taking selfies with the front camera.

The new LolliFlash from ASUS addresses this need for avid selfie photographers.

The LolliFlash is a compact dual-colour LED light that can be easily attached to any mobile phone to provide ample light in low light conditions, promising realistic skin tones in every photo.

Small and lightweight at only 8g, the wireless LolliFlash can be placed anywhere on the phone.

Read the rest of this entry »

New arrivals: Veil XT for iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus

June 29th, 2015

The Veil XT is an ultra thin, full coverage case for minimalists and retails at S$39 each.

Retailing at S$39 each, the cases will be available in several colours including classics like Frost and Wisp Black, as well as new colours, Aquamarine and Pink.

Retailing at S$39 each, the cases will be available in several colours including classics like Frost and Wisp Black, as well as new colours, Aquamarine and Pink.

Lamch & Co has introduced the Veil XT line of cases by Caudabe, a leading brand of premium, ultra thin mobile device accessories.

Veil XT for iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus.

Measuring a thin 0.35mm, The Veil XT is perfect for minimalists who prefer not to bury their sleek iPhones behind layers of bulky plastic.

The Veil XT provides a tight and precise fit around the iPhone while maintaining the iPhone’s thin form factor and providing protection from scratches and bumps.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus versions of The Veil XT also feature a 0.7mm ridge around the camera cutout, designed specifically to protect the iPhone’s protruding camera lens.

Read the rest of this entry »

POTD: Who designed & built Eiffel Tower in Paris, France?

June 28th, 2015

Photo of the Day: The Eiffel Tower is named after engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. His company designed and built the landmark in Paris in 1889.

View of the Trocadéro framed by the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

View of the Trocadéro framed by the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

According to Wikipedia, “the design of the Eiffel Tower was originated by Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers who worked for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel”.

This was the dude who brought the Eiffel Tower into this world - Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923). The bust was unveiled in 1929 and is now at the base of the Northern leg of the Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

This was the dude who brought the Eiffel Tower into this world – Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923). The bust was unveiled in 1929 and is now at the base of the Northern leg of the Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

The tower was to serve as a centrepiece for the Exposition Universelle to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution.

Incidentally, the first time I visited the Eiffel Tower was in 1989, smack in the middle of the bicentennial celebrations of the French Revolution.

Gustave Eiffel bought the rights to the patent for the design which the original designers had taken out and eventually saw the Tower to completion in time.

As with all things new, the design met with opposition and criticism right from design stage till after completion – but history has proven that the design is technically robust and aesthetically appealing.

Read the rest of this entry »

POTD: Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

June 27th, 2015

Photo of the Day: The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower designed and built by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel in 1889 – as the entrance arch to the World’s Fair in that year.

Eiffel Tower as seen from the Pont d'Iéna. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Sepia tint added using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015. Photo credit: John Tan.

Eiffel Tower as seen from the Pont d’Iéna. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Sepia tint added using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015. Photo credit: John Tan.

At 324m tall, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris, and was the tallest in the world for 41 years from 1889 to 1930.

It was surpassed in 1930 by the Chrysler Building in New York City.

Roughly 80 stories high, the base is square with 125m on each side.

There are three levels that visitors can visit.

I like the lace-like design in the metalwork of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

I like the lace-like design in the metalwork of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Read the rest of this entry »

New arrivals: Canon PowerShot G3 X prosumer compact camera

June 26th, 2015

The PowerShot G3 X offers high zoom shooting and promises superior image and video quality through the Dynamic Image Stabilisation (IS) system. Pricing & availability TBA.

The newly launched Canon PowerShot G3 X.

The newly launched Canon PowerShot G3 X.

The Canon PowerShot G3 X is a new premium high-zoom digital compact camera in the PowerShot G series.

The camera is powered by a large 1.0-inch CMOS sensor, enabling the camera to offer good image quality even in low light environments.

The camera features a 24-600mm 25x optical zoom lens and improved Zoom Framing Assist.

The camera’s improved Dynamic Image Stabilisation (IS) system enhances movie recording by stabilising moving images.

The EOS-like user interface also enhances intuitive operation of the camera, with a high resolution 1.62-megapixel 3.2-inch touch panel LCD monitor.

Below are more details from the press release.

Read the rest of this entry »

POTD: 3rd time lucky at Chambord Chateau in Loire Valley, France

June 14th, 2015

After having twice turned back from visiting Chateau Chambord when I’d already reached its gates, I decided to make my third and final attempt at visiting this biggest and most majestic of the numerous fabulous chateaus in the beautiful Loire Valley.

The frontal facade of the Chambord Chateau, with the moat in the foreground. The architecture is what one expects of a typical castle - an inner keep surrounded by corners and a moat. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

The frontal facade of the Chambord Chateau, with the moat in the foreground. The architecture is what one expects of a typical castle – an inner keep surrounded by corner towers and a moat. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Why two unsuccessful attempts?

Well, my first attempt at visiting Château de Chambord was during the summer holidays back in school when I cycled 16km from Blois only to suffer an accident right in front of the castle.

One of many beautiful chandeliers in Chambord Chateau. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

One of many beautiful chandeliers in Chambord Chateau. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

I had to satisfy myself with some quick snapshots of the front of the Chateau before bidding goodbye to the chateau.

Decades later, I brought my family with two kids on a self-drive vacation to the chateaus in the Loire Valley.

By the end of the week and more than half a dozen chateaus later, we arrived again at the gates of the Chambord Chateau in the mid afternoon.

By then, the kids were so tired out from our earlier exertions of that day that they were so totally knackered we couldn’t bear to wake them from their sleep in the car.

And to be honest, my wife and I were up to our ears in chateaus by that time.

So my wife and I snapped the obligatory snapshots of each other posing with the (equally majestic) rear facade of the chateau within a stone’s throw of where our car was parked.

Enjoy a horse carriage ride on the extensive grounds of the Chambord Chateau. Horse lovers can also watch twice daily equestrian shows at the chateau. Taken with an Olympus OMD-EM5 Mark II with M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Enjoy a horse carriage ride on the extensive grounds of the Chambord Chateau. Horse lovers can also watch twice daily equestrian shows at the chateau. Taken with an Olympus OMD-EM5 Mark II with M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: KoolKat.

Read the rest of this entry »

New arrivals: Huawei P8 flagship smartphone and wearables

June 2nd, 2015

Huawei launched its Android flagship smartphone – the P8 – during CommunicAsia2015 and showcased three wearable products – the Huawei TalkBand B2, TalkBand N1 and the Huawei Watch. Prices below.

The Huawei P8 measures 144.9 x 72.1 x 6.4mm and weighs 144g.

The Huawei P8 measures 144.9 x 72.1 x 6.4mm and weighs 144g.

Richard Yu, CEO of the Huawei Consumer Business Group introduced the Huawei P8 smartphone for the Southern Pacific Region at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

For Huawei, the Southern Pacific Region comprises Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines and Singapore.

The P8 was first launched globally in London in April this year and is part of the company’s transition from a B2B entity to a consumer centric brand.

The three wearable products – the Huawei TalkBand B2, TalkBand N1 and the Huawei Watch (currently under development) – were all launched at the Mobile World Congress 2015 in March 2015.

Huawei P8

The Huawei P8 has a 5.2-inch FHD screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels (424ppi, 16 million colours) and capable of playing 1080p video.

Read the rest of this entry »

Travel: Meeting Dato’ Chef Ismail at Restoran Rebung in KL

May 31st, 2015

Dato’ Chef Ismail is the food ambassador of the Malaysian Tourism Ministry and owner of Restoran Rebung in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

tech4tea.com was invited by Tourism Malaysia to check out the restaurant and meet with the affable owner-chef. Here are some pictures that Wee Wu Neo has sent back to Singapore. Text by John Tan.

Chef Ismail shares how he helped his grandmother in the kitchen since he was five, learning how to cook Malay heritage dishes over the years.

Chef Ismail shares how he helped his grandmother in the kitchen since he was five, learning how to cook Malay heritage dishes over the years.

Restoran Rebung is located at No. 4-2 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar (59000) in KL, near to the bustling nightlife in the capital’s Bangsar district.

Siput Sedut or Belitung cooked in curry. In case you’re wondering, it is a species of Sea Snail.

Siput Sedut or Belitung cooked in curry. In case you’re wondering, it is a species of Sea Snail.

The interior decor is very traditional and reminds one of the typical Malay home.

Get a taste of Negri Sembilan at Restoran Rebung.

Get a taste of Negri Sembilan at Restoran Rebung.

The 55-year-old celebrity Chef Ismail Ahmad grew up in a small village in the Malaysian state of Negri Sembilan and includes in his menu a huge list of local cuisine that diners can order a la carte or through a buffet.

Nasi Lemak - fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf - wrapped in banana leaf and old newspaper.

Nasi Lemak – fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf – wrapped in banana leaf and old newspaper.

Read the rest of this entry »

Opinion: Reuben Verghese on meeting demands of the Connected Consumer

May 30th, 2015

Reuben Verghese, Global Head of Multiscreen Solutions & Vice President of Asia at Accedo and BroadcastAsia2015 exhibitor and conference speaker shares his top technology predictions for the broadcasting industry. This guest blog was contributed by Verghese.

Reuben Verghese, Global Head of Multiscreen Solutions & Vice President of Asia at Accedo and BroadcastAsia2015 exhibitor and conference speaker.

Reuben Verghese, Global Head of Multiscreen Solutions & Vice President of Asia at Accedo and BroadcastAsia2015 exhibitor and conference speaker.

Asia Pacific has a unique broadcasting market dynamic that boasts a new generation of the Connected Consumer.

With fast growing economy and a lack of fixed infrastructure in the developing countries, mobility is crucial to many consumers and businesses in the region.

The broadcasting industry will impact enterprises as it adapts to the changing consumer preferences.

Below I share my views on four key trends set to transform the broadcasting industry in 2015.

1. Audience fragmentation

With the proliferation of smart connected display devices, there is a shift in the way consumers and enterprises consume and deliver video.

Read the rest of this entry »