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Month: September 2013

Happy Programmers’ Day

Happy Programmers’ Day

So. Apparently today is Programmers’ Day. And my non-programmer friend, Jolyn from work highlighted it to me. According to Wikipedia, it is celebrated as a professional holiday in Russia (what?!), and in some firms and technologies worldwide. It is always held on the 256th day of the calendar year.

And so my non-programmer friend shared a few cocktail recipes that has some semblance to some programming languages. Not surprisingly, it is available on Github, published by MIT and titled Cocktails for Programmers.

Excuse me while I try to snake my way out for this one holiday and secure the ingredients. I think I will take an Epic Fail, looking at the progress I am building a Gruntfile.js from scratch.

Happy Programmers’ Day! Cheers!

Update: Epic fail indeed.

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 4.37.20 PM

Suntec City’s New Look and Refreshed Concepts

Suntec City’s New Look and Refreshed Concepts

For a period of time, Suntec City has been closed off in stages to the public for its renewal plans. Yesterday marks the first milestone with the Opening of Phase 1 and Suntec Singapore. The opening ceremony was marked with much fanfare and lighting up of the new Fountain of Wealth. The Fountain has 136 water jets and will feature new water and lighting effects. 

Since opening its doors in June 2013, Suntec Singapore has hosted 96 events and welcomed 650,000 visitors, reaffirming it as the preferred Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) destination. Several significant new features of Suntec Singapore include complimentary wifi services that can accommodate up to 6,000 devices at any one moment, digital signages and an impressive three-storey high definition digital wall along the external façade.

I had tried the wifi services during SMU Convocation 2013 last month and the speed they offer is remarkable for a free service. Additionally, I noticed that the wifi services are split into different wifi VLANs with varying levels of restrictions, giving its customers some flexibility in offering premium wifi services to their VIPs and guests.

The high definition digital wall is a collaboration between LG Electronics and Suntec Singapore, and is affectionately called the Big Picture. It combines 664 full HD LED screens, boasting 84 times the resolution of Full HD, or 21 times of Ultra High Definition resolution. “The technologies and innovative features of our Full HD LED display deliver exceptional picture quality, clarity, color and contrast to bring about an immersive viewing experience,” said Mr. Scott Jung, Managing Director of LG Electronics Singapore.

The completed Phase 1 of Suntec City houses approximately 100 retail outlets and 50 F&B restaurants. Key fashion tenants include UNIQLO, H&M and Cotton On. Previous tenants like GAP, Guess, La Senza, Dockers, Levis and TM Lewin have returned as well. New F&B offerings include Oushin Steakhouse, L’Entrecôte, Pack’d Peperoni Pizzeria, NamNam Noodle Bar, LÈ Restaurant and Asian Tapas Bar. Diners will enjoy an enhanced dining experience with an unobstructed view of the Fountain’s display.

Phase 2 of the renewal was started in March 2013 and is expected to be completed in Q4 of 2013.

Below is a gallery of images given to the media and LG Electronics (first 8) and the rest are shots of the event.

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LG G2 Launching Soon In Singapore

LG G2 Launching Soon In Singapore

SINGAPORE, 06 September 2013 — The way we use our mobile phones is set to change with LG Electronics Singapore (LG) latest smartphone, the LG G2. This flagship model pushes boundaries and sets a new standard in the smartphone industry.

“In our pursuit of innovation and perfection, we have always observed, listened to and learned from consumers. LG has embarked on a study of consumer lifestyles and behaviors and that led to the creation of LG G2, the most exciting and ambitious phone in our company’s history yet,” said Mr. Scott Jung, Managing Director, LG Electronics Singapore.

Introduced under LG’s new “G” Series for premium devices, the G2 exemplifies LG’s aim to bring forth more customer-centric innovations, offering a variety of real-life benefits such as an ergonomic design, practical functions and an intuitive user experience.

Intuitive and Refined Rear Key

The LG G2 has revolutionized smartphone designs by placing all the buttons at the rear of the device, making it the first smartphone to be completely devoid of buttons at the sides of the phone. The Rear Key concept was derived when studies found that it was increasingly challenging to properly access the side buttons of a phone as smartphones got bigger. The rear keys give users more control as it is placed where the index fingers will naturally be located when using the phone.

Magnificent, Edge-to-Edge Display

Equipped with a 5.2-inch Full HD display, the LG G2 boasts the largest display designed for one-handed operations in today’s popular 2.7-inch width smartphone category. In addition to the expansive viewing experience, LG’s innovative Dual Routing technology reduces the phone’s bezel to a mere 2.65mm on the side edge, making the phone remarkably light and slim. LG’s proven in-plane switching (IPS) technology also gives the LGG2 superior graphics, accurate colors and clearer images without any distortion.  

Best-In-Class Power Capacity

The LG G2 also employs Graphic RAM (GRAM) for greater efficiency in energy usage. GRAM reduces the display’s energy use by up to 26 percent on a still frame and increases overall usage time on the device by approximately 10 percent. This is coupled with a generous 3,000mAh step-designed battery that takes maximum advantage of the phone’s interior space.

Running on the industry’s most advanced mobile chipset, Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 Processor, the LG G2 enhances the user experience through stunning performance, rich graphics and outstanding battery efficiency. Through a long-term partnership with Qualcomm, LG is able to deploy the chipset that integrated perfectly with the hardware to offer a powerful and yet stable performance.

OIS and High Resolution Camera for Great Pictures

The LG G2’s in-built camera offers 13 megapixels and Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) technology in a slim design without a protruding lens. The OIS technology prevents blurring, allowing for clearer, brighter and sharper images even when in motion or shooting in dim environment. Other notable features include Super Resolution and Multi-point AF, keeping images in focus, comparable with a standalone point-and-shoot digital camera. 

Superior Hi-Fi Audio Sound

As consumers rely more on their smartphones for music enjoyment, superior sound in smartphones is the feature that is lacking in most smartphones in the market. The LG G2 is the first smartphone in the market today to feature 24 bit/192kHz Hi-Fi playback that reproduces studio quality hi-fi sound. Consumers can now hear a level of realism and clarity in sound from a smartphone. Preloaded music from the world famous Vienna Boys’ Choir is also available on all LG G2 smartphones, allowing users to enjoy the incredible sound quality.

Practical, User Centric UX Features

The LG G2 also comes with a number of practical user experience (UX) features that provide the most practical value by focusing on a smartphone’s most popular tasks:

  • Guest Mode — Protects the owner’s privacy by displaying only pre-selected apps when guests access the phone with a secondary unlock pattern
  • Audio Zoom — Enables users to zoom in the sound, as they zoom in the images while video-recording. Not only is the image enlarged, the sound associated with the area is also amplified
  • KnockON — Turns the device on and off by tapping the display twice
  • Answer Me — Automatically answers the call after lowering the ringtone when the phone is raised to one’s ear
  • Plug & Pop — Recommends options or related features to choose from when the earphone or USB cable is detected
  • Slide Aside — Enables easier multitasking by simply “sliding” open apps off to the side using a three-finger swipe
  • QuickRemote — Not only can the LG G2 be used as a remote control for popular LG home entertainment devices, it can also learn from conventional remote controls and can be customized to operate multiple devices with flexible layouts and keys

 Available accessories for the LG G2 include QuickWindowTM, a line of premium cases that allows users to glance at various information displays without having to open the cover flap and Quadbeat earphones. The LG G2 will be available in stores soon.

Key Specifications:

Processor: 2.26GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 featuring quad Krait CPU

Display: 5.2-inch Full HD IPS (1080 x 1920 pixels / 423 ppi)

Memory: 32GB

RAM: 2GB LPDDR3 800MHz

Camera: Rear 13.0MP with OIS / Front 2.1MP

Battery: 3,000mAh

Operating System: Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2

Size: 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9mm

l  Colors: Black / White

Availability In Singapore

LG G2 is priced at SGD 898 and will be made available at all telcos and retailers from 21st September 2013 onwards.

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Pre-register your interest for iPhone 5s and 5c

Pre-register your interest for iPhone 5s and 5c

Just hours after iPhone 5s and 5c were announced to the world, the telcos in Singapore worked fast to bring up their pre-register pages on their respective websites. The iPhones will be sold from 20th September onwards.

M1: https://www.m1.com.sg/iphonereg/
SingTel: http://info.singtel.com/personal/phones-plans/mobile/ios/iphone5s
Starhub: http://www.starhub.com/iphone

The recommended selling prices for the phones are tabulated as below. Do note that the prices may change.

Model 16GB 32GB 64GB
iPhone 5s SGD 988 SGD 1,148 SGD 1,288
iPhone 5c SGD 848 SGD 988  

For more information on the specifications and colours of the iPhone models, head to Techielobang.com, which had done an excellent writeup on the phones.

Creating CSS Sprites using SASS

Creating CSS Sprites using SASS

It is my third day using SASS, which is pretty much a crash course for me since I am simultaneously looking at using AngularJS as well. For today, I am tackling icons. The design of the website I was given uses icons, but of varying colors. I cannot just simply use background-color since it gives me a colored square chunk.

1 Colour 12 Sprites
1 Colour 12 Sprites

Opening up the sprite files that I was given, I realised that it is incomplete, it consist of only one color and 12 sprites in one file and scattering fews others in each of their own files, whereas I would need 8 colours and 26 sprites combined into one file. That is easily solved by using photoshop to duplicate and overlay the necessary colours.

8 Colours 26 Sprites
8 Colours 26 Sprites

Now onto the CSS codes. In the past, if I want to use sprites, I have to do either of the following way: code manually, or search online for an automated tool. Either methods won’t be pretty. Just the following 43 lines of codes are already needed for just one colour and 12 sprites:

.icomoon-thumbs-up,.icomoon-locked,.icomoon-volume,.icomoon-broadcast,.icomoon-screen,.icomoon-mobile,.icomoon-thumbs-up2,.icomoon-smiley,.icomoon-heart,.icomoon-monitor,.icomoon-mobile2,.icomoon-lock-fill {
display: inline-block;
width: 64px;
height: 64px;
background-image: url(#{$domain}#{$fldrTest}#{$dirAssets}img/sprites.png);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
}

.icomoon-thumbs-up {
background-position: 0 0;
}
.icomoon-locked {
background-position: -128px 0;
}
.icomoon-volume {
background-position: -256px 0;
}
.icomoon-broadcast {
background-position: -384px 0;
}
.icomoon-screen {
background-position: -512px 0;
}
.icomoon-mobile {
background-position: -640px 0;
}
.icomoon-thumbs-up2 {
background-position: -768px 0;
}
.icomoon-smiley {
background-position: -896px 0;
}
.icomoon-heart {
background-position: -1024px 0;
}
.icomoon-monitor {
background-position: -1152px 0;
}
.icomoon-mobile2 {
background-position: -1280px 0;
}
.icomoon-lock-fill {
background-position: -1408px 0;
}

8 colours and at least twice the number of sprites, it will be much more. Hence, a brainwave: “Wait. SASS has variables… So like any other languages, it should have array-like implementation as well!” I didn’t get past the basic video tutorial on Youtube, you see. To cut the long story short, I searched the documentation and condensed the codes to just 20 lines or so in SASS. Being in a rush, I am not considering if it can be condensed further. If anyone does have an idea, do give me a shoutout. The resultant CSS codes generated is 629 lines long!

$icomoonNames: thumbs-up locked volume broadcast screen mobile thumbs-up2 smiley heart monitor mobile2 lock-fill cancel-circle envelope download upload arrow-right arrow-left back front paypal search share mail facebook twitter;
$icomoonLeftPositions: 12 -116 -244 -372 -500 -628 -756 -884 -1012 -1140 -1268 -1388 -1513 -1631 -1742 -1870 -1996 -2128 -2255 -2385 -2499 -2605 -2702 -2828 -2956 -3084;
$icomoonColors: lightblue blue orange lightorange white grayAlt grayAltLighter gray;
$icomoonTopPositions: 0 -64 -128 -192 -256 -320 -384 -448;

.icomoon {
display: inline-block;
width: 64px;
height: 64px;
background-image: url(#{$domain}#{$fldrTest}#{$dirAssets}img/sprites.png);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
}

@for $a from 1 through length($icomoonNames) {
@for $b from 1 through length($icomoonColors) {
.icomoon-#{nth($icomoonNames, $a)}-#{nth($icomoonColors, $b)}{
@extend .icomoon;
background-position: nth($icomoonLeftPositions, $a)+px nth($icomoonTopPositions, $b)+px;
}
}
}

Icons taken from IcoMoon (at least this is what I can infer from the sprite files given to me).