Month: September 2014

Mink – The 3D Makeup Printer

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I like makeup but I wouldn’t exactly spend a ton of money on it.

Mink - 3D Makeup PrinterA few months ago in May, one of the product innovations that was presented at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2014 conference was Mink. Mink is a 3D makeup printer invented by Grace Choi, 31, a Harvard Business School graduate. Basically, it involves using a regular home printer with FDA-approved ink to make eyeshadow, lipstick, or nail polish in any shade you can imagine, or copy from the internet. So, what this means is consumers will have a way to get inexpensive makeup!

With this idea, Mink could potentially disrupt the entire beauty market. Choi wants to make a beauty revolution first, and a business second. She wants to be able to teach the world how to make its own 3D makeup printers from home.

She’s definitely got a pretty cool idea and I wouldn’t mind trying this out myself.

Watch the videos about Mink below:

Print Your Own Makeup at Home with Mink – Disrupt 2014

Hack Your Own Mink – Happy Minking! 😉

 

Photo Credit: TechCrunch

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iPhone 6 vs Android

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Apple has just released the latest in their iPhone line, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, last Friday, September 19, 2014. I’m not an Apple fanatic but I do enjoy playing around with Apple products. I do have an iPad, an iPod Touch, and an iPod Nano, but that doesn’t make me Apple crazy. I use the Touch and the Nano for listening to music, and the iPad was a gift which I am using right now to write this blog post. I’ve never had and I don’t think I ever will buy the iPod Touch or iPod Nano as new; I usually buy these Apple toys in “excellent used condition” mainly for a better price deal. For a phone however, I rather use an Android and wouldn’t mind paying for it brand new. Why? I think Android phones have better specifications and features than iPhones.

When the Android community released an infographic comparing the iPhone 6 with the Android two weeks ago, I found that funny. It is amusing to point out that many of the features in the new iPhone have already long been available to Android users. See the infographic below.

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 4

The iOS community responded with also an infographic pointing out that some features that iPhones have had for some time are just going to be released in the Android L software version. See the infographic below.

image

Even though both sides have come out with features ahead of the other, I still think the features that were released first in Android were more significant than those which were released first in iOS. Like for example, Cloud photo backup is a definite useful feature and it’s awesome to know Android had it first, compared to the Phone rotation lock quick access feature available in the iOS first, which I think isn’t that big of a deal. But that’s just my opinion.

What do you think?

TIFF 2014

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TIFFSeptember 4 to 14, 2014 was the Toronto International Film Festival. Each year during this time, celebrities in attendance, especially the A-listers, are what attract people from all over to flock to this city dubbed as “Hollywood North”, of course in addition to the movies themselves. Every year since 2008, I have loved going to the theatres where the gala premieres take place, just to have a glimpse (and maybe a photo and/or autograph) of these famous personalities. I have to say it’s been getting crazier and crazier each year with more and more people becoming “celebrity seekers”. I’ve heard some people have even taken days off from work just so they can become paparazzis of their own.

This year, I watched the Toronto premiere of the horror-comedy movie The Voices directed by Marjane Satrapi, starring Ryan Reynolds and Anna Kendrick. I love horror movies and comedy movies, so having both genres in one film intrigued me. It was an enjoyable film, although how the movie ended could have been better. A big plus to going to the premiere was being able to see Ryan Reynolds and Anna Kendrick in person.

Anyhow, let me share below just a few pictures I took this year at TIFF 2014, and also from last year’s TIFF 2013.

TIFF 2014 - Robert Pattinson TIFF 2014 - Ryan Reynolds, Anna Kendrick TIFF 2013 - Chris Hemsworth

Tennis, Anyone?

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Today is the last day of the 2014 U.S. Open Tennis Championships. Congratulations to Serena Williams who won the Women’s Singles title, beating Caroline Wozniaki yesterday Sunday, September 7th. Congrats go out as well to the other title winners. Hopefully, one day, my fellow Canadians Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic will win as well.

Anna playing tennis, March 2014So, speaking of tennis, I started playing tennis only this year, thanks to my co-workers one Friday in January; and ever since that time, I’ve been hooked. My only experience in tennis before this time was a short “game” with my best friend back in high school, and also playing the Nintendo Family Computer tennis video game when I was a kid. Game is in quotes since it barely counted as a game because I remember we barely could even hit the ball properly nor get it to one another’s side of the court.

The racquet that I currently use is a 2011 Babolat AeroPro Drive racquet loaned to me by my co-worker. Even after several months of playing, I still have not gotten my own racquet since I haven’t found one that I liked at the price point I have in mind. Anyway, after much thought, I’ve decided that I should just probably get the newer version of the Babolat AeroPro Drive racquet since I have gotten used to it and I like how it feels when I play. Oh and apparently, this is the same racquet that Genie Bouchard uses, so hopefully one day I get to play as well as her — wishful thinking!

Babolat Play Pure DriveThere are some new technologies that have been developed to help tennis players in assessing and improving their game. One of these is the Babolat Play Pure Drive racquet. The racquet has integrated sensors inside the handle which collects your swing, motion, and other information and gives out an analysis of your game. The racquet would be nice to have, but I personally wouldn’t buy it due to a higher price of about $450 compared to regular racquets ranging from $100-$200 which are good enough for a beginner.

Sony Smart Tennis SensorAnother new gadget is the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor which is a small coin-sized device which you can attach to the base of a tennis racquet. Same as the integrated sensor in the Babolat Play Pure Drive, it gathers data on serves, ball speed, accuracy, and other information and will give you an analysis of your game. All these information can be displayed real-time on your smartphone via Bluetooth. This one, however, will not yet be available until January 2015 with a price of about $200.

The above are just a couple of the latest technologies that are available out there for tennis players. But really, if you’re not planning to be a tennis professional, I personally don’t think it’s really necessary to have these. I wouldn’t mind receiving any of these as a gift though!

By the way, here’s a picture of me with Roger Federer.

Anna with Roger Federer

I wish.

Let’s go do edX!

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It’s back-to-school time for most kids in North America today. School equals education. Education is something that should not stop once you graduate from high school or college/university. I’m not saying that everyone should do their Masters and PhD, because that doesn’t work for everyone financially-wise and/or career-wise. Constant education or learning can be obtained through various media such as workshops, trainings, conferences, or simply the web. For the web, this can include videos, podcasts, articles, and more.

edXWhile looking at some courses online recently, I found this online initiative called edX, which offers free online courses and classes from the world’s best universities that include MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley among others. Topics range from biology to business to computer science to finance to engineering to law to philosophy and more.

There are two ways to take the courses for free — 1. Simply audit the course, that is you will have access to all course content but do not need to submit any assignments or take any tests, or 2. Try to earn an honour code certificate, that is once you complete all the requirements satisfactorily while abiding by the edX honour code, you will receive a certificate showcasing your achievement. You will also have the option to get a verified certificate that includes signatures of the course instructor, etc. which you will have to pay for a nominal fee. Some courses may also give you the option to earn a credit, but of course you will have to shed a few thousand dollars for this. Some courses may not have all the options stated above, but generally those are your options.

There were a few courses I found that may be of interest as well to those who are into technology:

CS50x – Introduction to Computer Science (HarvardX)

LFS101x – Introduction to Linux (LinuxFoundationX)

CS184.1x – Foundations of Computer Graphics (UC BerkeleyX)

6.00.1x – Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python (MITx)

CS169.1x – Engineering Software as a Service (UC BerkeleyX)

CS169.2x – Engineering Software as a Service, Part 2 (UC BerkeleyX)

CS188.1x – Artificial Intelligence (UC BerkeleyX)

These are just a few of the courses that are currently available. I’m actually looking into doing the 6.00.1x course which just started last week on August 27th. Let’s see how it goes.

If you’re planning on taking any of these courses as well, good for you – keep on! Happy learning!