Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Interview: Joan Hu – Overseas Southeast Asia Director, Roborock

Monday, November 30th, 2020

Joan Hu, Overseas Southeast Asia Director at Roborock, shares her insights into Roborock’s success and decision to expand into Southeast Asia.

Joan Hu is the Overseas Southeast Asia Director at Roborock.

Joan Hu is the Overseas Southeast Asia Director at Roborock.

To get an idea of Roborock’s journey thus far and its plans for the future, I asked Joan Hu six questions.

Q1. Roborock recorded a strong growth in China since its introduction. What do you think contributed to this?

In the robot vacuum market back in 2014, most available products only focused on the basic needs that came with a vacuum – cleaning.

We saw an opportunity to fulfill needs and wants that consumers didn’t know they had yet.

Hence, we grew our R&D department with a team of engineers, scientists, manufacturing experts and designers – all vital to create products that truly fit our users’ lifestyle.

Q2. Any new vacuum launches this year?

We have just launched the Roborock S6 MaxV in early 2020.

This is an upgrade of our popular Roborock S6, with increased suction power of up to 2,500 Pa (compared to the previous 2000 Pa) to clean even the most stubborn of dusts, especially those on carpets.

It also comes with an electronic water tank instead of a mop attachment for increased convenience and weighs lighter at just 7 lbs.

The latest S6 MaxV that Roborock launched in early 2020.

The latest S6 MaxV that Roborock launched in early 2020.

Q3. 2020 isn’t the most economically stable year. What factors contributed to Roborock’s decision to expand its influence to SouthEast Asia?

While we admit it has been a challenging year across all markets, we see this as a great opportunity to introduce our high tech products to our Southeast Asian consumers.

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Review: Trek iSSD 4-in-1 Portable Wireless Storage Server cum Power Bank

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Once in a while, you come across a device that does it all – and does it well. When it comes to a mobile storage companion, Trek iSSD ticks the check boxes of all the functionalities that I’ve always wanted in a single device.

In the box: Trek iSSD, USB Type-C data cable, user manual, microSD card adaptor, pouch.

In the box: Trek iSSD, USB Type-C data cable, user manual, microSD card adaptor, pouch.

Three of biggest problems holding back a mobile worker on the move are: storage space, battery power and the ability to share.

With the limited storage space on notebooks, tablets and mobile phones, workers on the move quickly run out of storage space on their mobile devices, especially if their work require huge media files that they have to present at meetings and discuss with their clients.

 

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The Trek iSSD measures 120 x 75 x 15mm and weighs 230g. It has an aluminum alloy frame with glass cover.

At home, the easy solution is to buy a desktop hard disk drive (HDD) with a huge capacity eg. 6-12TB – but it is not something you can bring on the road.

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Joe Biden Triumphs Over Donald Trump to become President-Elect

Sunday, November 8th, 2020

After 4 days of vote counting, and amidst quiet confidence by Joe Biden and tantrum-throwing by incumbent Donald Trump, the news networks have called the US presidential election for the former Vice President, following the flipping of Pennsylvania.

Major US TV networks calling the US Elections 2020 for Joe Biden. Image source: BBC video screen grab.

Major US TV networks calling the US Elections 2020 for Joe Biden. Image source: BBC video screen grab.

tech4tea does not usually cover politics, but the election of the President of the United States (POTUS) is an exception – given that it is such a poignant event that affects all industries and all aspects of life in all countries around the world.

So it’s apt to mark the tentative projection of presidential challenger 77-year-old Joe Biden as President-Elect of the United States, four days after Election Day on 3 November 2020.

With the projection of Biden winning Pennsylvania with its 20 electoral votes, the former Vice President has passed the 270 majority threshold to secure 284 electoral votes to Trump’s 214.

This was followed closely by Nevada which brought Biden’s tally to 290, enroute to Biden’s earlier prediction of eventually surpassing 300 electoral votes.

Mind you, all is not confirmed yet, since incumbent President Donald Trump has reiterated that he will challenge all “Biden-claimed states” – which he has already begun – alleging election fraud without furnishing any evidence.

Usually, what happens next is that the loser graciously concedes, and come 20 January 2020, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris get officially inaugurated as the 46th President and Vice-President of the United States.

But with 74-year-old Trump throwing a sissy fit over how the votes hadn’t been selectively counted to his liking, there’s no knowing whether – in addition to callously throwing legal suits without basis – he will not barricade himself within the Oval office and incite violence among the populace and sow civil strife that has the potential to foment discord for generations to come.

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New Arrival: Livinguard Masks Against COVID-19 SARS-COV-2 Virus

Saturday, November 7th, 2020

Livinguard has brought its reusable face masks in Singapore. Three versions for different levels of protection (and breathability) are available online at Shopee, Lazada and ORO. Prices below.

 

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Here are the Street (2 layers) and Pro (3 layers) of the Livinguard masks.

I tried out the Street and Pro versions and liked them.

It feels light, fitting and doesn’t clog up the nostrils when you breathe.

There are three versions for different levels of protection and breathability, in 4 colours and 3 sizes.

Each mask can be rinsed once a week for up to 30 times – so that works out to 210 days of usage.

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Review: Suunto 7 Stunningly Beautiful Sporty Smartwatch

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

If you want to make a fashionable statement about your sporty lifestyle, the Suunto 7 offers you a Google Wear OS smartwatch along with sporty DNA from the Finnish watchmaker.

I have the all black version - Suunto also offers the Black Lime, Graphite Copper, Sandstone Rosegold and White Burgundy colours. Here you can see the watches displaying various modes and screens.

I have the All Black version – Suunto also offers the Black Lime, Graphite Copper, Sandstone Rosegold and White Burgundy colours. Here you can see the watches displaying various modes and screens.

Suunto is a Finnish adventure instrument maker known for its design and innovation in sports watches, compasses and dive computers since 1936.

The 84-year-old brand makes the rugged, adventure-proof Suunto 3, Suunto 5, Suunto 7 and Suunto 9 for casual, enthusiast and professional sportsmen and women.

 

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Really love the beautiful heatmap watchface of the Suunto 7 sports smartwatch. Been using it since its debut in Singapore back in September.

These watches are design tested in Finland to be shock-proof, water-proof, and dirt-proof.

Its Suunto 3, 5 and 9 emphasizes autonomy and sports features that do not require connection to the Internet.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon WEar 3100 platform, the Suunto 7 offers connectivity to the Web via Google Wear OS to enable lifestyle smartwatch features that its brethren do not enjoy – namely Music, payments and an app platform.

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Review: ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD 32-inch WQHD IPS Monitor

Monday, October 19th, 2020

The ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD is a great monitor for increasing the screen real estate of your computer, in this time of #WorkFromHome because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I use it to extend the display on my notebook computer to enlarge the total screen workspace in order to increase the efficiency and productivity of my daily work.

 

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The latest addition to my #WorkFromHome setup (laptop not included): the ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD 32-inch WQHD IPS Monitor. Notice the frameless design. If your desktop has the space, I find the 32-inch monitor the optimal size to increase productivity without being too huge to become a strain on the neck when viewing the top of the monitor.

A large monitor is a “productivity-multiplier” and one of the best investments you can make to increase the efficiency of your work on a computer.

Connecting the monitor to a desktop or notebook computer, the monitor serves as a second monitor to extend the screen real estate of a small laptop screen or the first desktop monitor.

A large external monitor is a “productivity-multiplier” and one of the best investments you can make to increase the efficiency of your work on a computer. This is the ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD 32” WQHD IPS monitor.

A large external monitor is a “productivity-multiplier” and one of the best investments you can make to increase the efficiency of your work on a computer. This is the ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD 32” WQHD IPS monitor.

The ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD IPS monitor has a viewable area of 31.5 inches with a WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution.

WQHD (wide quad high definition) is also called QHD and is commonly known as “2K”.

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Review: Hydragun Percussive Therapy Massage Gun

Sunday, October 4th, 2020

The Hydragun is a percussive massage therapy device designed for sports recovery – to provide speedy and effective muscle pain relief for high-performance athletes and people working from home.

 

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The Hydragun comes in a case for carrying it around to the gym or office.

Massage guns have become very popular lately with athletes engaging in sports and fitness activities; as well as people working from home, using home furniture not suited for extended hours of work – resulting in poor postures, back & shoulder aches and carpal tunnel syndrome in the hands.

So a good massage gun has become a must-have for working adults.

The Hydragun is a Singapore-designed, China-manufactured massage gun targeting sports enthusiasts from all walks of life.

Starting from the packaging and the design and build, you can tell the company is serious about making a tool that provides effective healing and recovery for sports injuries or work sores and aches – unlike many no-brand OEM products on the bandwagon that was hastily thrown into a box with minimal documentation and sold for a song.

 

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The S$399 Hydragun alongside a S$50 OEM massage gun from a friend who bought it online. The latter was heavy and unbalanced, had no return policy or warranty and stopped working after two months even though it was hardly used. The Hydragun comes with a 30-day “No Questions Asked” Return Policy and an 18 month-warranty.

In the box, the Hydragun comprises the main vibrating therapy massager (the big gun), six head attachments (four regular, two with stainless steel heads), one charger, one manual, and a robust zippered case to easily carry it all to the gym.

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Review: Montblanc MB 01 Smart Foldable Travel ANC Headphones

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

The Montblanc MB 01 is the best pair of noise-cancelling headphones that I’ve heard in a long time, and the physical design is nothing less than what you’d expect from the luxury maison.

 

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The Montblanc MB 01 combines elegant Montblanc design, long-lasting comfort and good sound quality for a great travel companion.

When Montblanc first launched the MB 01 over-ear headphones in Singapore, I was curious on whether they would be able to produce the sound quality to compete with the market leaders.

I love their stationary, but audio wise, this was their first foray.

So when Montblanc asked if I would like to try out the MB 01, I decided to give it a spin.

The leather headband and ear pads, aluminum parts and silicone ear cups give the Montblanc MB 01 a luxurious and stylish design.

The leather headband and ear pads, aluminum parts and silicone ear cups give the Montblanc MB 01 a luxurious and stylish design.

The MB 01 made a great first impression when I first scooped it out of the box – the luxurious leather ear cushions and headband and shiny metallic parts give you the same feeling of luxury as when you behold one of the company’s fountain pens.

Then I put it to charge – it takes two hours for a complete charge via the USB-C port.

So my son comes along and, with my permission, tries out the headphones.

When I was ready to try out the MB 01, I’d barely picked up my smartphone when the Android notification told me that the MB 01 was ready to pair, and in no time I was listening to the headphones (after my son disconnected).

This must be the easiest I’ve connected to a new pair of headphones!

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Cybersecurity: How to Protect Your Children From Online Threats

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the school’s curriculum has been migrated to online learning from home. With the threats out there in the World Wide Web, how can concerned parents better safeguard their children from online predators? Here are some tips.

How to protect our children during #HomeBasedLearning. Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash.

How to protect our children during #HomeBasedLearning. Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash.

My kids have never used the computer and the Internet so much before the pandemic set in at the beginning of the year.

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It started with a bang when school was closed to students during the nationwide lockdown, and students had to do ALL their lessons online, using online video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google Meet.

Parents had to scramble to help their children be ready for #HomeBasedLearning – the new buzzword for families with school-going kids.

From buying laptops, to setting them up, to teaching the kids how to use the video conferencing software.

There was hardly any time and energy left to figure out how to secure the laptop and online learning sessions from Internet predators.

So parents – below are some areas to watch out for when preparing your child for #HomeBasedLearning.

  1. Dubious websites and content
  2. Dubious “Friends” in chat rooms and social media
  3. Cyberbullying
  4. Scams

Dubious websites and content

The World Wide Web is full of interesting stuff, much of it inappropriate for children e.g. pornography, racism, hate and violence.

So keep a close eye on what your kids are surfing – check their search/browser histories and designate an open location in the home for the kids to use the computer, so that everybody can help keep an eye out.

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Cybersecurity Tips: Avoiding Phishing, Crypto-Mining & Ransomware

Sunday, September 20th, 2020

With employees working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, how can SMBs better protect against cybercriminals?

Stephan Neumeier, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky shared security tips during a webinar on “The Cyberthreat Landscape for SMBs in Singapore”.

Stephan Neumeier, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky shared security tips during a webinar on “The Cyberthreat Landscape for SMBs in Singapore”.

Kaspersky experts suggest the following tips for SMBs to avoid being lured by cybercriminals through phishing, crypto-mining and ransomware.

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