My new Toshiba Pro Theatre Full HD Smart TV powered by Android

4KTV unboxing

I have been using a review unit of the Toshiba Pro Theatre L54 series with a 40” screen for more than a week!

4KTV setup

It’s very easy to set-up using the provided remote (which has a trackball in the middle).

typing 4ktv

Typing is easily done by an on-screen keyboard too (you can also purchase an external keyboard) – this is me setting up the Android system, signing into my Google account and most importantly, linking it to my high speed TIME Home Fibre 30 Mbps connection to view YouTube videos in Full HD resolution!

4KTV WiFi

The set-up process for the Toshiba Pro Theatre 40L54 is so easy it can be done in less than 5 minutes – all you really need is a WiFi connection.

Smart TV Apps

Smart TVs are getting more and more prevalent in the market. No longer can the television set be accurately called an “idiot box” – it’s a lot smarter than humans nowadays!

Toshiba Smart TV

Toshiba is leading the charge with its range of high end large screen Smart TVs powered by Android. The high range Pro Theatre L9450 Series ranges in size from a whopping 84” to 64” and 50” – it’s a UltraHD 4K Immersive Unlimited with more natural color and texture, richer contrast and higher brightness enhanced by Toshiba’s High-brightness panel, wide color gamut panel, revolutionary UltraHD 4K technology and CEVO 4K image processing engine.

UHD Android TV

The narrow bezel makes it perfect for maximum screen real estate – you can really get an immersive viewing experience. It also fits into a relatively thin space – whether it’s your living room or bedroom. There’s Audio Source Filtering, Intelligent Scene Optimizer and Intelligent Auto View to get the most out of anything you’re watching.

4KTV USB

The USB Movie supports 28 different video formats too!

4KTV football

Plus, there’s a Football Mode for fans of the beautiful game out there. The FIFA World Cup 2014 was broadcast in 4K for the first time and I highly regret not having a UltraHD 4K LED TV to watch it for the best experience.

Alchemy 4K

There are people who’re still wary about the availability of 4K content. I’ll tell you right now that there’s a wealth of 4K content out there right now – you just have to know where to look. Netflix is broadcasting in 4K for some of their series like Breaking Bad and you can easily get access to that (they accept Malaysian credit cards) if you use a VPN.

4KTV viewing

I have a 30 Mbps fibre connection at home with no ridiculous restrictions, and with that kind of broadband you can comfortably watch streaming content (it just needs half the speed) on Netflix or Hulu Plus. Just hook up a Xbox One, do a little bit of configuring on your router and you’re good to go. I actually have Netflix at home right now and I’m paying less than what I’ll pay for a local satellite TV provider *and* I get Full HD content to boot!

tv google play

You can do everything you want on the Toshiba Full HD TVs powered by Android too – even run Microsoft Office documents with the popular Android app OfficeSuite 7 and do your Excel spreadsheets! Facebook, Picassa, Twitter, and all Android apps from the Google Play store are available. That means you can play games on your large screen Full HD TV too!

4k apps

Imagine playing the latest Android games like Monument Valley, The Walking Dead, Final Fantasy VI, and Angry Birds: Epic on your large screen Full HD TV! I’m an avid gamer and man, the games look *awesome* – especially Unreal Engine powered titles which can scale up.

4k gaming

Look at the awesome quality! I can’t wait to play Forza Motorsport 5 and Watch Dogs on this high resolution TV!

4k games

Besides playing games, you can also view photos which you take on your camera in the full resolution that it’s meant to be viewed. Do you have a camera that’s above 8.3 megapixels?

4KTV pictures

8.3 MP cameras shoots in 3840 x 2160 and if you’re viewing that using a Full HD 1080p TV, you won’t be able to see the photo as it’s meant to be seen.

4k google

The best part about having a smart TV is that you can multi-task and surf the net using your Android powered TV!

4k sixthseal

I also used my Toshiba Pro Theatre 40L54 to reply comments on my blog. :)

4k cnn

There’s really something for everyone, I found it useful to browse CNN while watching CNN! There’s often updated content on the website that didn’t make it to the broadcast and this is the future of “smart TVs” powered by Android.

4k bookmarks

There’s even the usual suspects provided in the Bookmarks centre – everything from Picasa photos to Twitter.

8MP Photo

You already have the tools necessary to shoot 4K resolution photos. The high end Toshiba Pro Theatre L54 Series Full HD with Android LED TV can support your current camera/smartphone (which is likely higher than 8.3 MP) and show your photos on the large screen in its native resolution.

4KTV YouTube

It’s an exciting time in the Smart TV market and UltraHD 4K resolution is coming – with Toshiba’s UltraHD 4K Android powered TV, you can also watch YouTube in 4K which a lot of content creators are already streaming in. It’s 4 times sharper than FullHD and with the third-generation CEVO 4K Engine you can retain stunning picture quality, regardless of screen size!

4k video

Look, now I can watch all my Youtube videos in Full HD! I wish I can keep this, it’s so amazing you have to see it to believe it!

My visit to Acacia Park Phase 1 Launch

clown

I was at the official launch of the Acacia Park Phase 1 in Bandar Tasik Puteri on the 8-9th November. It was a grand event with food and fun for the entire family – there was even a place to drop off your kids! The kids were entertained by a clown…

cotton candy

…and there was unlimited cotton candy on offer.

Acacia Park Launch

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in the morning and features (from left) Mr Wee Beng Sang (Director – Group Property Development/Management Services), Mr Lee Kok Wah (Director – Area Property Development & Technical Services), Tuan Mohd Azizi Bin Mohd Zain (Yang Dipertua (YDP) Majlis Perbandaran Selayang (MPS), Mr Low Gee Teong (Group Managing Director of Low Yat Group).

nicole hb cavy

I also met Nicole (right) and Mr. Jason Hoh from Low Yat Group when I went for the property talk in the afternoon. I managed to take a photo with Nicole and Cavy at the photo wall.

acacia park flowers

There were congratulatory floral arrangements when I stepped into the Bandar Tasik Puteri Sales Office and the place was bustling with people. It seems like a lot of them has come to attend the property talk.

ishmael ho

The property talk took place in the newly refurbished Bandar Tasik Puteri Sales Gallery, presented by Mr. Ishmael Ho from Ho Chin Soon Research and I actually took a short video of him explaining about how to invest in property.

It was quite enlightening!

acacia park showroom

There were plenty of food and drinks for all the guests and by the end of the day Acacia Park Phase 1 had completely sold out!

acacia park show units

Acacia Park Phase 1 is a double storey terrace home that’s open for registration now. The homes are built with the four pillars of Accessibility, Peace of Mind, Spaciousness and Neighbourhood in mind. Each unit is 18′ by 80′ and I know that sounds small but it’s actually not.

acacia park visit

I had an image of the units in mind but they were surpassed when I actually visited the Bandar Tasik Puteri Township. It’s HUGE for a unit of that size! You don’t feel like it’s 18′ by 80′ at all due to the way it’s designed.

acacia park corner lot

There’s enough room in front for two cars and the entire Acacia Park Phase 1 area will be fenced with security gates. I’ve actually written about the Bandar Tasik Puteri township in a previous post and this one will be more geared towards Acacia Park Phase 1 & 2.

acacia park kitchen

Acacia Park Phase 1 has 224 units and is priced from RM 415,803.00 with a total built up area from 1,660 sq ft! The modern and contemporary design offers four (4) bedrooms and three (3) bathrooms which is perfect for those seeking an affordable first home.

acacia park master

I was amazed at the utilization of space when I walked into the show rooms. The second floor in particular is designed in a way that affords you with an ultra high ceiling! I had to ask Denise and Li Vian to take a photo of me as a point of reference so you can see just how high the ceilings are on the second floor.

acacia park yard

There’s also a back yard that’s very spacious – the flower hedge is where the property ends so you have an idea of how much space you have to work with if you want to extend to the back. This will be perfect for extending the kitchen so you have a large area for cooking or for BBQ gatherings.

acacia park guest room

Unfortunately, all 224 units of Acacia Park Phase 1 are fully sold out.

acacia park room

That shows how high the demand is for this new development from Low Yat Group out there.

acacia park living

Fret not though, Acacia Park Phase 2 is currently open for registration and these are 18′ x 75′ double storey terrace homes. They have a model home with all eight (8) types of units and I’m happy to announce that there are still some of the much sought after corner lots available when I was there.

Acacia Park Phase 2

Acacia Park Phase 2 has Intermediate units A1 and B1 with a total built up area of 1,766 sq ft and 1,778 sq ft. The End units A2 and B2 comes in 1,969 sq ft and 1,959 sq ft.

Acacia Park Phase 2 A2

Corner units A3 and B3 are sized 2,462 sq ft and 2,357 sq ft and Special Corner units A4 and B4 measures 2,817 sq ft and 2,813 sq ft.

Acacia Park Phase 2 models

The Corner (Type A3 & B3) and Special Corner (Type A4 & B4) is much larger than the 18′ of the Intermediate and End units. Corner units have a building width of 22′ and Special Corner measures a positively roomy 24′!

Low Yat Girls

It’s a very interesting development both for living in and as an investment. Acacia Park Phase 2 will have 215 units. There are plenty of discounts and other incentives like free SPA and loan legal fees so if you’re interested in Acacia Park Phase 2, don’t hesitate to call 03-60935188 or surf over to the Bandar Tasik Puteri website.

My visit to Bandar Tasik Puteri in Rawang

Bandar Tasik Puteri

Bandar Tasik Puteri is a beautiful township in Rawang with a 27-hole golf course designed by Australian Golf Management located just 18 minutes from Kuala Lumpur. I just went to check out the area during the weekend with Namee Roslan, Denise, Li Vian, and Nicole from Low Yat Group and I was very impressed!

BTP Development

It’s becoming the largest and most active development north of Kuala Lumpur. Bandar Tasik Puteri is described as the “dawn of a perfect township” and I couldn’t agree more.

Bandar Tasik Puteri Country Club

Enveloped by lush terrain, greenery and sparkling lakes, Bandar Tasik Puteri is the ultimate suburban sanctuary. You can feel the difference just by driving down the main road lined with palm trees!

Bandar Tasik Puteri Map

This sprawling 2,670 acre Bandar Tasik Puteri township is surrounded by Kuang, Kundang, Batu Arang and Rawang Town (collectively known as part of North Klang Valley).

Bandar Tasik Puteri Legend

Bandar Tasik Puteri is located in a steadily increasing development area with major access to highways – it’s just 400 meters away from the BTP Interchange of the LATAR Highway which will be completed in 2016.

BTP LATAR

The BTP Interchange will make travelling to KL just a short 18 minutes!

Bandar Tasik Puteri me

We met with Mr. Lee Kok Wah (Project Director of Bandar Tasik Puteri) and Mr. Jason Hoh (Manager of Sales & Marketing) and they were kind enough to take us on a tour around the whole Bandar Tasik Puteri area. The township is developed by Low Yat Group and there’s currently:

  • 2 primary schools
  • 1 secondary school
  • 1 Islamic school
  • 3 polyclinics and 2 specialists
  • 8 mini markets
  • 1 mosque

in addition to the weekly night and wet markets, automobile service centres, furniture retailers, parks, restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and petrol stations!

Bandar Tasik Puteri Golf Club

The Tasik Puteri Golf & Country Club also has 27-holes for anyone interested in golfing and best of all, there’s no membership dues. This is one of the few golf courses open to the public – you just have to pay a green fee to play on the breathtaking course!

Bandar Tasik Puteri Swimming Pool

There are also swimming pools at the rustic country club and a new development called BTP Recreation & Sport Club offering modern gyms and sports facilities.

Bandar Tasik Puteri Construction

You can see the developments currently underway for the residential projects in Bandar Tasik Puteri. There are presently four (4) developments for the public:

  • Garden Heights, Phase 5 (2-Storey Terrace House, 2,214 sq ft, 20′ x 75′)
  • SEIRING East (Semi-Detached House, 3,173 sq ft, 40′ x 80′)
  • Acacia Park, Phase 1 (2-Storey Terrace House, 1,660 sq ft, 18′ x 80′)
  • Medan Puteri 2 (3-Storey Shop Office, 4,280 – 8,714 sq ft, 20′ x 75′)

JKR

Here’s where the Bandar Tasik Puteri – LATAR Highway Interchange is being built. The entire Bandar Tasik Puteri area will be connected with a ring road after construction – providing yet another bypass and more commercial opportunities to the area.

Bandar Tasik Puteri houses

There were also models of houses that is currently under construction in the Bandar Tasik Puteri area.

Bandar Tasik Puteri Golf

You’ll love the place – it’s secure, modern and located in the fastest growing township north of Kuala Lumpur! Bandar Tasik Puteri is a great place for investment – in addition to the housing developments, there are office buildings and commercial centres being built to make this a modern and vibrant new township.

BTP Golf Club

I can foresee that the Bandar Tasik Puteri area under development by Low Yat Group will be very popular, especially with the developments that’s already there plus the ones they are implementing for the future, together with infrastructure like petrol stations and highways to fuel the growth!

Bandar Tasik Puteri Sales

The thing I like the most about the place is that the area beside it is a no-build area so you’ll be sure of having greenery when you look out! There will be a launch of the new housing development Acacia Park Phase 1 at Bandar Tasik Puteri. Details of the event as below:

Date: 8-9 November 2014 (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 11 am to 7 pm
Venue: Bandar Tasik Puteri New Sales Gallery
GPS: 3.296563, 101.485187

The event would an informational one as Ishmael Ho from Ho Chin Soon Research will be giving a property talk at the event on 8th November, 3pm. Parents, please do not hesitate to bring your family along as there will be games and activities for kids and free buffet!

If you are interested, think no further and check the event this coming weekend yourself!

Toshiba’s Smart Technology, Smart Future UltraHD 4K TV with Android convention in Genting

Toshiba Model

I was excited to attend Toshiba’s Smart Technology, Smart Future convention in Genting. It was a 1 hour bus trip to the highlands but I’ve always loved events there due to the cool weather. Their high end Pro Theatre L9540 Series UltraHD 4K with Android LED TV is something I’ve been looking forward to see with my own eyes.

Toshiba Convention Genting

Thus, I was rather impressed by the way they transformed GICC (Genting International Convention Center) into a HUGE stage featuring their best *and* an enormous side hall reserved for Toshiba’s newest products – everything from washing machines to the latest multi-door refrigerators!

Toshiba girls

The best thing about the gigantic hall with Toshiba’s new series was that it’s interactive – we could not just watch the presentations of the various electric appliances, we could actually touch and (in some cases) eat the final product. It was the best tour I’ve ever had!

toshiba smart technology smart future

The event started off with Mr. Hitoshi Katayama, the Managing Director of Toshiba Sales & Services Sdn Bhd officially launching the Toshiba Pro Theatre L9540 Series UltraHD 4K with Android LED TV.

We were seated at different tables and I got to ask a couple of questions when the Q&A session came up.

me questions

My question was about the Toshiba’s new UHD 4K TV which is also powered by Android…

Toshiba panel

…and it was answered superbly by the panel.

Mel headset

Our table was outfitted with a radio and led into the convention hall. The radios are necessary for the best experience – we could hear the presenters through the headphones while the entire hall remained silent.

Mandy

Mandy was leading our group through the various stations and I’ll show you some of the more interesting ones.

latest washing machine

This is the new Magic Drum S-DD Inverter 16 kg washing machine by Toshiba. I actually went up and wrote my name and “sixthseal.com” on the drum.

me magic drum

It shows the Magic Drum technology used by Toshiba and what regular washing machines use.

magic drum

It really makes a huge difference – the coating on the Magic Drum allows dirt and other stuff that tends to be stuck to the side of your washing machine drum to be washed off easily.

dual tornado

I was quite impressed with the new Torneo vacuum cleaner with Dual Tornado System as well!

Toshiba first vacuum cleaner

It has such a high suction power and the Futon Brush is so amazing that it can deal with hard-to-vacuum things like lentils, beans and cotton pieces with ease. It can also suck up bed bugs and mites, which causes a lot of sinus problems for a lot of people. Best of all, it only weighs 2.7 kg!

glass fridge

Toshiba also had a new and stylish premium fridge out which really impressed me. I wanted it so badly! I have no idea how much it costs – the price hasn’t been released, but I aim to save up for it!

fridge compartments

It’s their premium Multi-Door G-Series INVERTER Refrigerator – the front of the fridge is glass and it’s operated by touch!

touch fridge

The inside of the fridge is divided into several compartments, where the temperature is optimal for storing vegetables, fruits, meat, drinks etc. The G-Series Twin Cooling System and PICOION technology makes your food last longer too.

ice maker

There’s also an automatic ice-maker!

latest fridge

The freezer compartment is at the very bottom. This is definitely a fridge to lust for – I couldn’t stop imagining it in my condo. The technology is great and it looks beautiful too.

Toshiba L Series

However, the best of the show went to the Toshiba Pro Theatre L9450 Series UltraHD 4K TVs powered by Android. 4K resolution is the next step in TV evolution – the Toshiba UltraHD 4K TVs are also Android powered, which means it’s not just a TV, it’s a “smart TV”.

Android TV

In fact, there’s no difference between the Android powered Toshiba UltraHD 4K TVs and a powerful Android powered netbook/smartphone/tablet device, except that the screen is HUGE when compared to other Android devices.

Android games running on TV

You can do everything you want on the Toshiba UltraHD 4K TVs powered by Android too – Facebook, Picassa, Twitter, and all Android apps from the Google Play store are available. That means you can play games on your large screen 4K TV too!

me 4KTV

Also, if you can’t wait for future content to come out in 4K (a lot of current movies and TV shows are already filmed in 4K – it just needs to be remastered to come out in 4K native format) there’s always YouTube! YouTube has 4K videos already uploaded in the site – using Toshiba’s UltraHD 4K TV is the only way you can view it the way it’s meant to be viewed.

4KTV image quality

…and you can always make YOUR own content by taking photos or making videos by shooting in 4K resolution. :)

smart technology smart future

It’s an exciting new world indeed and I’ve been wanting a 4K TV since the standard was announced. I was so impressed by Toshiba’s UltraHD 4K TV powered by Android that I can’t wait to try it out. I do hope I get a chance to test out the TVs – I’m one of the lucky ones to have TIME Home Fibre and I have a stable and super fast 30 Mbps connection.

4ktv with android

Toshiba’s UltraHD 4K TV powered by Android is something you need to see to believe. The pixel density and colors are so amazing that you’ll never look at a Full HD (1080p) TV in the same way again. You’ll want a 4K TV for the crisp image, bright vivid colors, true blacks and ultra high definition – you can’t even spot individual pixels!

4KTV

I’ll be back with a review of Toshiba’s UltraHD 4K TVs powered by Android, but in the meantime, go and check out their offerings at your nearest store! It has to be seen to be believed and it’s really a smart TV for the entire family – you can use a keyboard to Facebook with someone studying in another country, upload your own 4K videos to YouTube and watch the best 4K movies and TV series in Netflix!

Your body is your amusement park temple

dialysis

I have treated my body (and mind) as more of a amusement park instead of a temple. I have done that for almost half my life, searching for the next hedonistic experience and by the time I realized that you can’t just do that and expect to live forever, it was too late.

kidney damage

You see, I used to have nothing to live for (or thought I didn’t). In my short sightedness, I have taken various interesting pharmacological agents to excess, damaging my kidneys in the process. I even needed an emergency dialysis and nearly didn’t make it – the doctor fully expected me to die and I was obstinate enough to recover.

home funeral

I have so much to live for now. My mom has passed but my dad is still around and I want to take care of him. I also have the best partner ever, which I’m very lucky to have. My better half is the best thing that has happened to me and she really set my life on the straight and narrow. I have two kids that I love to bits and I like to be there for them too!

jacuzzi

I am starting to live a very healthy lifestyle now and part of that includes exercise. You really can’t have a healthy lifestyle without exercise. I run, swim and play badminton with the kids (and sometimes my better half, who is, naturally, better than me).

family dinner

We Malaysians like to eat (a lot) and most of the time, the food that we eat is superbly unhealthy. That’s all fine and good but it needs to be balanced out by having an active lifestyle.

mooncake family 2013

The 1 thing that matters to me is being healthy enough to take care of all my dependants and to give them a happy life.

happy us

#matterstomeMY

kids

I can’t very well do that if I die of obesity related complications like heart disease or diabetes and I don’t want to give up eating well so I have to exercise a lot. It’s the best way to have a healthy lifestyle.

morib goldcoast us

I swim…

riding bicycles

I cycle…

run

I run…

bicycles

It doesn’t really matter what kind of exercise you do as long as you do it – but if you run, you might want to download the Allianz Pacer app from Google Play or iTunes.

setting sun

Allianz’s priority is to help Malaysians to start taking care of what matters to them most, with a special focus on your health. They’ve set up Allianz Pacer – which is a social running community. It’s really quite interesting.

swimming with kids

Go and Like the Allianz Malaysia Facebook and participate in the sharing now!

family trip morib

#matters2meMY

Julie’s x LINE Limited Edition Cookies Media Launch

julies girls

You remember the Julie’s biscuits that we all grew up with? I fondly remember eating lots of these when I was a kid, it was one of the staples of growing up. I absolutely *loved* their Cheese Sandwich back then, I couldn’t have enough when it came out. It was revolutionary at the time. Absolutely fabulous!

julies cheese sandwich

This is what it looked like! This is the box with 18 convenient individually wrapped packs which wasn’t available back in the early 90’s, but I would have happily eaten the entire box when I was a still growing boy! :) There was a media launch event for the unveiling of a new product dubbed Julie’s x LINE on the 4th of July and true to the name, it’s a collaboration between Julie’s and LINE (the app).

juliesxline art

I was quite surprised coz this isn’t a usual collaboration – there’s not much in common between a confectionery manufacturer and the developer of a communications app for smartphones – at least that’s what I thought at first.

juliesxline mascot

It turns out that the popular characters from LINE – Brown and Cony – is a collaboration between Julie’s and LINE for this season’s Oat 25 cookies range.

cony brown cookies

The first collaboration came out with Brown, the popular character from LINE and this second launch is to add one new character – Cony!

juliesxline registration

Interestingly, we received instructions to either dress in brown or pink. I didn’t quite get it at first until I realized that they were the colors of the popular LINE characters!

juliesxline me

Brown is the color of the the LINE character Brown (the bear) and Cony the rabbit/bunny is the pink bit! I have a pink shirt, which I don’t wear a lot (but I hear looks good on me), so I thought I’ll go with that to the launch of Julie’s x LINE.

juliesxline cookies

The Julie’s x LINE OAT 25 Cookies are limited edition. It’s available in these cute little metal boxes which has Julie’s oat biscuits inside and either Brown or Cony from LINE on the cover.

juliesxline

The Cony and Brown variations aren’t purely superficial though – the chocolate and strawberry flavors in Julie’s x LINE Limited Edition cookies are specifically chosen to match Brown’s peculiar characteristics and Cony’s sweet attributes. On top of that, Brown is known for his love for chocolate cookies while Cony looks adorable in pink.

juliesxline cony brown

I thought it was a stroke of pure genius, at least when the Julie’s mascot came out with both LINE’s popular Cony and Brown! You can get the limited edition Julie’s x LINE Oat 25 Cookies in any AEON, The Store, selected Popular outlets and many more hyper/supermarkets nationwide!

juliesxline media launch

There’s also a Snap, Tag & Win photo contest going on with the hashtag #JuliesLINEcookies, so if you’re a fan of both LINE’s cute characters and Julie’s biscuits, head on over to the Julie’s Facebook page for more information about this Facebook and Instagram contest! :)

juliesxline event

InvestSmart by Securities Commission Malaysia, Taylor’s Lakeside Campus

investsmart games

No, read on, this isn’t as boring and dry as it sounds, trust me! smirk I was at the very informative InvestSmart event at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus the other day. InvestSmart is an initiative by the official Securities Commission Malaysia (Suruhanjaya Sekuriti) which has a goal of making you an informed and confident investor.

investsmart prizes

The way they approach this is with a good dose of fun and education embedded in the aforementioned fun bits. The InvestSmart initiative aims to:

  1. Encourage you to take control of your finances
  2. Enable you to exercise judgement and discretion in making investment decisions
  3. Raise awareness on the role of the SC and their agendas

khairy jamaluddin

…and to that end, they appointed a lot of interesting speakers to talk about investment and how to manage your finances. There was a speech by the Guest of Honour, YB Khairy Jamaluddin who came to the stage wearing a very dapper outfit, with matching pink shoelaces and socks. I don’t think I can rock pink as well as he can!

investsmart app

He was also there to launch the InvestSmart app which you can find on Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

investsmart speakers

There was also a panel discussion themed “Take Control of your Life and Finances: Anything and Everything is Possible” where the attendees can talk and get feedback from the speakers, who come from a diverse field with one thing in common – they’re all successful young Malaysian entrepreneurs.

The four (4) speakers are:

  1. Hidayah Hassan, Creative Director and Founder of Cipela
  2. Hugh Koh, Co-founder and Creative Director of Pestle and Mortar
  3. Shanker Joyrama, Founder & CEO of Orion Social Media
  4. Adrian Yap, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Freeform, Founder of Urbanscapes Arts Festival

investsmart panel

I thought that would make for an interesting morning so I went bright and early at 7 am to catch the panel speakers in action. Not only was the auditorium (it was a lecture hall in Taylor’s University) packed, there was a lot of interaction between the crowd and the speakers too.

discount code

Also, the speakers came with gifts in the form of discount codes for their stores, where relevant! :)

investsmart booths

There was also an interactive games and exhibition area where you can win:

  1. ASUS Transformer Book T100
  2. GoPro Hero 3
  3. Crumpler Sling Bag
  4. RM 1,000 PRS vouchers

soccer me

You just need to get four (4) stamps from the 4 interactive games booths and drop your completed slip into the box for a lucky draw win. I decided to give it a go and did all the booths.

Interactive Games Booth #1 – Soccer

soccer booth

Each game booth comes with a question booth so you need to get both correct in order to get the two stamps e.g. complete the task and answer all the questions about investing correctly. The first booth aims to educate you about goals (pun intended) and has a soccer setup on one end and the Q&A on the other.

You need to complete both to get the two stamps required to participate in the contest.

Interactive Games Booth #2 – Ping Pong

ping pong

This is a booth where you match the ping pong balls (which has answers to them) to the correct box. There are about 10 ping pong balls so you really need to know your stuff to get them all right, and yes, you need to sort every single one of the small bouncy balls to get a stamp.

I did everything right the first time, but then again I’m slightly older and have a couple of investments under my belt so I know all the answers already. Plus, I read the entire handbook while waiting for the program to start since I arrived 45 minutes early. ;)

Interactive Games Booth #3 – Basketball

basketball

I thought this was the most interesting booth, maybe coz I didn’t think my hand eye coordination was that great. I managed to score every single ball that I threw, despite the balls being of different sizes.

There are answers written on the basketballs and questions on the hoops. You need to search for the correct answer on the basketball and throw it into the hoops in sequence.

The game itself is about InvestSmart which I thought was great! This makes learning about investing and finances entertaining instead of just being a games booth.

Interactive Games Booth #4 – Red Light Scam Alert

scam booth

This is also an interesting interactive games booth where you are asked questions about potential scams. Answer it right, and you get a green light. Get it wrong, and the red light comes on and you have to start all over again!

The red light comes with a satisfying buzz too! I heard it go off several times, which was what attracted me to the booth in the first place.

basketball booth

I didn’t win the prizes but everyone who completes the four (4) tasks will get a complimentary USB drive, which was great since I collect these things.

usb drive

I thought the InvestSmart event was a fun and educational way to get people to be aware of their finances and learn more about investment opportunities at a young age so Taylor’s University is the perfect place to hold it. I didn’t know you could start investing in stocks at 18 years of age until that day!

lucky draw

Learn more about investing and finance management at InvestSmart. It has a lot of tools and tips for everyone, and you can always check for suspected scams here.

The Best Free Meal or Drink!

7eleven clerk

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil matches are going on right now, with up to four (4) matches each night, usually at 12 am, 3 am and 6 am. This sudden change in sleep routines can make a person very hungry, and it’s hard to get something to eat at this hour, especially if all you want is a snack and a drink.

free items umobile

I’m here to tell you that there’s a solution to that problem…and there is such a thing as a free lunch, or a free meal anyway. Umobile is offering a free Revive Isotonic Original 500 ml drink with every RM 30 top up and one Mamee Express Cup Curry Flavour + Revive Isotonic Original 500 ml with a RM 50 top up!

umobile redeem free

I had an RM 50 top up that I just got and I drove to the local 7-Eleven during half time to grab a quick snack and drink. This is a fairly new promo so the night shift there wasn’t really sure about how to go about the redemption.

umobile 7eleven

Here’s how the redemption works:

  1. Get the items and bring it to the counter.
  2. Scan the items
  3. Pass your Umobile top up card over to the cashier
  4. They will scan it and it will offset the charges, making the items FREE

umobile 50

That’s all there is to it! :)

7eleven umobile

It’s a good thing my local 7-Eleven has complimentary hot water so you can cook the Mamee Express Cup on the premises and eat at the provided tables.

hot water

However, I was watching the Japan – Columbia match at home so I decided to quickly grab the instant noodles and isotonic drink and head on home.

7eleven tables

It’s soooo good to eat Mamee Express Cup instant noodles (which has a plastic fork included) and chase that down with a Revive isotonic drink in the middle of the night. All you need to do is to get a RM 30 or RM 50 Umobile top up and you can redeem the items at any 7-Eleven nationwide!

thebestfree

You can also top up your phone so you can chat about the matches with your friends – just keep the Umobile top up card so the barcode can be scanned to provide you with #TheBestFree snacks! It’s so convenient to redeem too, since there’s a 7-Eleven around every corner! This promo lasts till 31st August 2014 – surf over to the Umobile site for more information.

redeem mamee

I’m sitting here happily eating my Mamee Express Cup Curry Flavour noodles while watching Japan get trashed by Columbia, all thanks to the good people at Umobile. I can have a free snack *while* I get a top up which I need anyway.

mamee noodles

The only bad thing in this equation (for Japan fans anyway) is what the friendly neighborhood 7-Eleven guy put best: “Alamak, Colombia masuk satu goal lagi!

Sony Xperia Z1™ waterproof review

sony xperia z1 waterproof

You might have heard about this new wonder device. It’s not just a phone, but a high quality digital camera! It has everything except the kitchen sink…which leads us to the next point. Xperia™ Z1 is not just water resistant, it’s waterproof! To illustrate that point, I have submerged it in 6 inches of running water in my (you guessed it) kitchen sink.

xperia z1 waterproof

It still works perfectly and I have sent a joke text to my better half asking her where my phone is. Haha! It’s actually waterproof up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. This is achieved by flaps covering the microSIM, microUSB port, microSD card slot. In a smart move by Sony, the headphones jack in the Z1 doesn’t have a flap you need to keep closed. It’s rated at IP 55 and IP58 which means it’s not just waterproof, it’s also dust resistant!

sony xperia z1

Yup, this beautiful smartphone has been called “an almost perfect balance of form and function” by Forbes Magazine. The Xperia Z1 has it all:

20.7 MP camera with BIONZ™ for mobile

xperia z1 camera

The Xperia Z1 is powered by a large 1/2.3” 20.7 MP Exmor RS™ mobile image sensor, Sony’s award winning G Lens (the same kind you’ll find in their conventional compact digicams) and their tried-and-true BIONZ™ for mobile image processing engine.

I bought the Sony Xperia S when it first came out and one of the things I noticed is that the night mode takes a huge toll on the processor, which causes the screen to lag. This doesn’t happen anymore – the Xperia Z1 has its own dedicated processor!

The Xperia Z1 takes awesome photos, and handles the tricky light-and-dark situations well with the HDR mode. It also has four major Social Camera Applications to deliver new experiences and there’s a widget which allows you to put that right on the screen by default.

info eye

Info-Eye™
This is a “visual search” feature that provides related information on landmarks and other items such as books, wine or even groceries simply by capturing them with the camera. It’s like Google and Wikipedia combined, except you don’t type in your search string but take a photo instead!

info eye search results
Info Eye search results using bar code…

info eye search
…and the Image results! It works perfectly!

Social Live
This broadcasts the shots that you take to Facebook and the best thing about it is that you’ll get your friend’s comments right on your camera screen! This is the best in-house app I’ve had the pleasure of using and I’ll write about this in more detail soon – you need to be at an awesome event like a concert or while traveling to get the full impact of what this can do and what it means! :)

Timeshift Burst
My favorite feature by far – the Xperia Z1 takes 61 images in 2 seconds – a second before and after pressing the shutter – so you can scroll back and forth to find the perfect image. This is for all those times you “missed a shot” coz you took out your smartphone too late, it’ll never happen again.

AR Effect
There’s also a range of overlays that automatically detects faces and people and creates pictures using augmented reality app. I’ll dedicate a post to the camera and video features of the device – there’s just too many awesome features to describe in a general review.

ar effect

The Xperia Z1 also can shoot full 1080p HD video with stereo sound!

(and you can take a still image while the video is recording too)

5” Full HD screen

The Xperia Z1 has the latest Sony BRAVIA™ technology optimized for mobile. The beautiful and rich 5” screen uses a Full HD TRILUMINOS™ display which results in vibrant and incredible viewing experience. It’s the best screen I’ve ever seen on a smartphone!

sony xperia z1 screen

You can try it out at any Sony Center and be blown away at the crisp text and wide palate of natural colors. The Z1 also includes X-Reality™ for mobile and ClearAudio+™ for optimized video viewing. These are technologies usually found in their high range LCD TVs!

Software and performance

The Xperia Z1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2.2 Ghz quad-core CPU and 4G LTE. It’s the first consumer smartphone to come up with this latest and super fast quad-core processor. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 features a GPU and dual ISP for incredible graphics and 3D performance – you’ll notice this if you play Unreal Engine based games on Android.

xperia z1 screen

Sony has also made changes to the stock version of Android and there’s four toggles in the notifications drop down that’s set to sound, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, brightness and settings by default. Swiping to the right in the app drawer brings up a menu that allows you to sort apps and also uninstall apps – you no longer have to go to the exact page in Google Play to do that anymore.

The Xperia Z1 also has 4 shortcuts at the main phone screen to reflect Sony’s concept for this phone- WALKMAN™, Album, Movies and PlayStation® Mobile. Yup, it’s an MP3 player, camera, video recorder and gaming device all rolled into one portable smartphone!

It does all those tasks very well too – there is no lag or slowdown of any kind even with intensive widgets on the screen that pulls Facebook and other social media feeds, multiple tabs open on the default browser (Chrome) and it tackles the most graphically intense Unreal Engine games with ease.

The 3000mAh battery performs well too – I can easily use the Xperia Z1 for a full day without having to recharge. That’s largely due to the highly effective Battery STAMINA Mode which uses a lot of useful tricks to preserve battery life. It shuts off certain apps when you’re not actively using them (you can customize this so that your favorite apps will run all the time) and turns off functions you don’t need until you wake up your screen again.

Design and other features

The entire phone has a premium feel to it from the single piece of aluminium (which also acts as an antenna) surrounding the front and back tempered sheet glass. The Sony Xperia Z1 is a long rectangle shape with an impressive build quality.

xperia z1

The On/Off button is now located on the right hand side in the middle instead of top right. All the buttons are placed right and the headphone jack is the lone item on the top which is perfectly situated to prevent snagging or accidental pressing of buttons while listening to an audio book in MP3 (which is what I do more than listen to music).

The speakers produces surprisingly well-defined sound too.

The Xperia Z1 weighs 170 grams which might seem a tad on the heavy side for people not used to it but I’m loving mine – it’s a high quality digital camera, gaming device, and smartphone in a sleek package that gets double takes. It not only looks good, it feels good too – and the fact that it’s also waterproof and shock and dust resistant is just icing on the cake.

xperia z1 unboxing

The Sony Xperia Z1 retails for RM 2,399 and if you purchase it now, you’ll get three months of free unlimited music streaming from Akazoo, a preloaded social media music app. This is valid from October till December 2013. You can also download six (6) movies (offer valid till 31st December) via Xperia Privilege app, which is also preloaded into the device.

There’s a lot more to talk about but this is already way over 1,000 words so I’ll write more on the awesome 20.7 MP digital camera, 1080p Full HD video recording, nifty apps like Social Live and other apps. I’ll also do a special on underwater photography and my annual Chinese New Year fireworks and firecrackers roundup. I also have the SmartWatch 2, which is a NFC/Bluetooth watch that can sync via NFC to get Facebook updates and allows you to control your phone remotely from your wrist.

smartwatch2

I love my new toy(s)! :D

Check out the Sony Xperia Z1 experience!

Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge @ Sunway Pyramid

slide out

I literally *slid* out feet first, like a baseball player sliding into the home plate. I wanted to get out of the obstacle house within 5 seconds so that I could win an instant RM 50 note and an adult ticket to Sunway Lagoon. I was at the Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge at Sunway Pyramid and I really wanted to win!

rm50

I had analyzed how the previous people who attempted the challenge did on the LCD video screen outside. There’s a camera attached to the helmet of every person who went into the wet adventure tent and live footage was beamed to the TV.

drumstick extreme challenge

The rules are simple – get out within 5 seconds or less.

gearing up

I geared out in safety knee and elbow pads, donned a helmet with a small camera attached and got ready to dash into the tent. I had only seen one guy who managed to get out within the allocated 5 seconds…all the others took slightly longer.

safety gear

It was really dark inside – I had to take a second to orient myself but I knew the countdown wouldn’t start until I actually picked up the Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC.

I saw the “treasure chest” (which is actually an ice cream freezer) in front of me and rummaged around for the single drumstick inside. I looked back at the exit to plan a speedy exfil.

helmet

That was my mistake. The countdown started and I frantically swiped around, got the Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC and ran hellbent for leather.

run in

5 seconds….

I had planned to just muscle through all the obstacles – after all, I had enough safety gear on to push through the padded obstructions.

4 seconds…

That plan went south however, since I tripped on a wet patch. I had been warned that I’ll need a change of clothes since the theme of the challenge will involve water.

3 seconds…

I tried to get up quickly and was slimed with starch and powdered with several handfuls of flour.

2 seconds…

I managed to get up on one knee, with a slightly mashed Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC clutched tightly in my hand – the exit was in sight!

1 second…

…and flew through the exit feet first!

slimed

It turned out that I had clocked 6 seconds so I didn’t qualify for the RM 50 note. However, everyone who attempted the Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge got an adult ticket to Sunway Lagoon and the new Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC – that’s a great consolation prize. :)

win

This challenge was held on a Sunday at Sunway Pyramid and there are still heaps of prizes to be won! There’s mini tablets and Sunway Lagoon Entrance Passes up for grabs each week in addition to the RM 30,000 cash grand prize with RM 10,000 and RM 3,000 for the first and second runner ups and RM 300 consolation prizes for 97 people! You just need to text:

DRUMSTICK ADVENTURE CODE POP CODE MyKad

contest

to 36300 the first time to register yourself. After that just send:

DRUMSTICK ADVENTURE CODE for the Grand Prize and
DRUMSTICK POP CODE for the Weekly Prizes.

rules

The Adventure Code is the alphanumeric code that can be found on Nestle Drumstick Ice Cream Freezer in various stores. The POP Code is the code you find under the top cover of your Nestle Drumstick. The campaign period for the contest ends at 10 November 2013 so submit your entries now! I have eaten quite a lot and submitted all the entries.

extrem choc drumstick

The new Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC is sinfully delicious too! There’s lots of chocolatey goodness inside that ice cream plus you’ll get a chance to win those nifty prizes while you enjoy the latest offering from Nestle Drumstick! Get more details at the Nestle Drumstick Facebook and the Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge Website.

This is a paid advertorial by Nestle.

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