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Nintendo's new Wii U set for 2012

Source: http://reviews.cnet.com/nintendo-wii-u/

The good: The Wii U offers a unique two-screen gaming experience on a tablet controller dubbed the GamePad. It's the first-ever HD Nintendo gaming system that offers gameplay for up to five people on select games. The Wii U is also fully backward compatible with old Wii games and controllers. Off-TV play on select games allows for placeshifting play without the need for a TV.

The bad: The Wii U's TVii functionality (and most streaming-video apps) has been delayed until December. Some OS loading times are too long, and the GamePad has a very short battery life. The built-in storage may not be enough for those who plan on downloading a lot of games. The Wii U graphics are only just about on par with current-generation games on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Playing some Wii U games can be awkward and requires a learning curve in general. Having to look away from the screen on some games can be uncomfortable or disorienting.

The bottom line: Despite some clever dual-screen gaming mechanics, the Wii U's lack of compelling exclusive software and an overall unpolished user experience make it tough to recommend in its current state.

 

iPad mini

 

By Sascha Segan

  • Pros Beautifully designed.Very good cameras. Largest library of tablet apps.
  • Cons Expensive. Wide. Slippery.
  • Bottom Line

    The iPad mini lets you run the best library of apps in the biz on a tablet you'll actually want to carry, but it's not the best small-screen tablet you can buy. Read More

 

 


Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE™

I bought one a couple weeks ago when one of the carriers having a promotion to give this away if you sign up with their data plan for 3 years having a monthly charge of $20 with 500M data downloads.

This unit itself can be sold for $499 or more depending on who carries it. I figured out I need an online tool so I can check emails, go to the Internet to check for information, help my team to learn how to use the back office for management at anytime and anywhere. We are at an information age without boundary. We can do many things without the need being there. We can monitor our business remotely, check the progress of our business online, buy and sell online almost anywhere having Internet presences.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE™ is very light, much lighter than the iPad. Its operation is easy to learn and is easy to carry. With LTE™, it runs faster than 4G. If your data plan is good or unlimited, you can even use it to download and watch Movies online at high resolution. With new TV sets that have blue tooth connection (wireless), you don't even need a cable to hook to the tablet. The tablet is a cell phone itself if you have an App. to be installed for Skype or MSN or QQ. I have not done so. I have concern of the cost if I use it to talk for long. My 500 M data will be gone over many times I am afraid.

I can't wait to see how the new Windows tablet works as I was a Microsoft user since day one. I'd rather use something I got used too. You can't teach old dog new tricks.

 


 

Why Get Mobile Website?

Mobile Websites

Are you missing out on clients? Are you keeping up with your competition? Are you keeping up current marketing trends?

Mobile Phones and other Mobile Devices are predicted to be one of the biggest growth segments in 2012 and beyond. Most business owners don't know where to start and how to be part of the growth.

The first question is "Why should I invest in a mobile website?" Statistics indicate consumers are more likely to buy through websites and are currently buying more and more through their Mobile phones.

Statistics indicate the end user prefers to work with mobile websites! Mobile Websites offer an alternative to the clutter and confusion when trying to access information on a smart phone.
How about you? Is your smart phone already full of clutter?

  • 81% of users prefer mobile sites to apps for researching prices - Adobe Mobile Marketing Experience Survey, 2011.
  • ZMags survey, "Just 4% of connected consumers like to use branded apps. 87% of consumers prefer to use website and mobiles sites."

So how can mobile Web marketing work for you? Please contact us for more information.



MY New iPad

Drop Box

VBNF bought an iPad for presentation. It is a very handy tool that is light weight and easy to carry. However, while we used to P.C. and Laptop, we will need some time to adjust. This also affects some of the program we used for so long. Just one thing with gmail, I have a hard time to figure how to forward an email to others or attach a file to others. If there is a way, it should be simple and easy to use or it should use the old PC way to do the job. Also it is not easy to download PowerPoint files to the iPad. We used Dropbox to transfer the files from PC to the iPad. Spending too much wasted time finding the proper Apps to open those files. Perhaps I have to find other program to make it work.

 


The new iPad is here!

iPad 3

The new iPad is here! The new iPad is here! So, okay, what's new about it?
From www.about.com

New Features on the New iPad
It's hard to pick which feature is going to end up most important to you, but the one that everyone will notice, even without using it, is the screen. With better color reproduction and resolution that's better than your big-screen TV, all your photos will become works of art (not a guarantee).
- First Impressions of the New iPad
- Apple's Name Game with the New iPad

See More About: ipad 3 ipad faq ipad help

iPad 2 vs. iPad 3: Which Is the Better Buy?
It's easy to make the argument to spend the extra $100 on the new iPad over the iPad2. It's just $100 for the better screen, better camera, etc., but if it turns out you are buying many for your company or school... well, that $100 can really add up quickly.
- Comparison Chart of All iPads
- Best Apps for All iPads

See More About: ipad 2 ipad 3 ipad hardware

How to Connect Your iPad to Your TV?
Duh--just plug it in, right? Well, yes, right, but there are a few different ways to do it and a few neat features that'll only work if you plug it in a certain way using--surprise--another Apple product.
- Netflix vs. Hulu Plus
- 12 Best Uses for the iPad

 



Low Income Housing

VBNF has been promoting the new CST (Composite Steel Technology) that would provide lower cost and easy to build earthquake, sound and water proof housing. I understand the government is working hard on the subject. I would be happy to see they can use this new technology to lower our housing costs by 35% or more.

 


The Death of Steve Jobs

I am sorry to see a great person like Steve jobs die before his time. Steve Jobs created the platform for mobile entertainment, business communications, applications and information. The iPhone surpasses other mobile appliances that may only excel on one or two things. His success is by no mean easy. He created the most user friendly apparatus that makes so easy to use and see. He went for an extra mile to get that done. Now, with the iPhone so popular, we will soon see all Cell phone without keyboard. It would be graphical symbols (GUI) that people can touch and access in a random logical manner. Too many keys are confusing to the old timers. Cell Phone is a must for everyone especially the elderly who should carry with them at anytime in case they need help when no one is around them.

I used to design electronics and work on user interface. Nortel was great with their sets but they are too much into the Telephony technologies. With the exposure of Internet and personalized interests in email, entertainment and games, it makes the Cell phone an apparatus for business and fun. I think Apple will continue to do well. Others need to figure how to chase and get theirs working well too. The number of Apps for the Cell Phone will determine how successful they are going to be. People need a multi-functional handset that can do everything. One thing the Cell phone maker needs is the one button to 911 with GPS in place. We should have both functions in place so it can save lives too. Yes, I know 911. I engineered and installed the E911 systems in BC in the '80s. This would require the government to get involved with the regulatory requirements.

 

Internet Fraud

Just saw the news about people putting their personal and account number and password information in response to emails about their bank account or you won a lottery.

While Internet gives us the ease to find things without being there, we cannot believe everything it says. According to our colleagues at C My Designs that developed many websites and beautiful graphics, you can duplicate a web page exactly the same as the real one and send out the email with the real company's email address. I said it before and I say it again. When in doubt, call the one who may have sent out the email to confirm before you do anything. Or call RCMP if you feel they can be helpful.

Other email fraud was that you will receive an email about winning a lottery that you have never heard of. Then they say you have to send them the tax money before they can forward the full payment to you. They may even call you to say the deal is real. The way to get rid of them is to record their saying, set up a meeting with them and tell the local police to pick them up. Don't want any trouble, just tell the callers to pay for the tax deposit for you and you split 50-50 with him or her. I am sure, they don't bother you anymore.

There is no free lunch here, bro. Why people give you money for nothing and they don't know you. Would you give your hard earned money to a stranger you have never seen. Of course, charity is different. But then, only do it if you know the organization well.

 


After f8, Facebook owns the Internet

September 22, 2011, by Dave Parrack

There was a lot of noise at Facebook's f8 conference today, but two big, key announcements during Mark Zuckerberg's keynote have changed things. Changed things to such an extent that I think it's game over. Facebook now effectively owns the Internet. Deal with it.

F8 Developer Conference 2011 / Part 1

Timeline

Your Facebook profile is changing, and in the most radical way since the now-ubiquitous social network entered the mainstream. This is no longer a snapshot of what you're doing right now, but an album of photographs, information, status updates, and status changes that have the capability of telling the story of your whole life. Literally from birth right through to death.

This sounds scary, and is in a way. But it's not as though you're doing anything different on Facebook, it's that Facebook is compiling and presenting the information in a different manner. A manner which sees your whole life and all your various successes and failures laid out bare for all to see. You can, of course, control what is shown and who it is shown to, but privacy will still be a concern.

Open Graph

Facebook's new Open Graph, which it has been working on for the best part of a year, is a game changer. Rather than notifying people manually about what you like or what you're doing, you can now just show them automatically. This is made possible by Facebook partnering with a host of websites and services so that everything you do is shared on Facebook.

For big-name services such as Spotify and Hulu, this means deep integration which will help both partners gain even more success than they have already achieved. By making these components of the Web nothing more than apps on its site, Facebook has effectively taken control of the Internet. Whether you Like it or not.

Where does this leave Google+ and Twitter (and all the other also-ran social networks)? They'll be fine, doing their own thing, forging their own path, but eventually they'll have to bow down to their new master Facebook. And they will. This is Mark Zuckerborg. Resistance is futile.

 

F8 Developer Conference 2011 / Part 2

 

 


Twitter rip-off Heello seems pointless

08/12/2011 07:00 AM

A newly launched social networking site is a blatant imitation on Twitter. So blatant, in fact, that there's suspicion it's not all that meets the eye. Heello is taking sign-ups for members but, like Twitter, can be viewed without creating an account. It's not just like Twitter: to all intents it is Twitter. Users post [...] Related posts:

1.Ricky Gervais brands Twitter "pointless"
2.Twitter made up of mostly pointless babble & conversation
3.Anti-Twitter "study" is itself pointless babble




Housing Solution for Earthquake

VBNF found a solution to lower the cost of housing and yet give people the protection they need.

See PDF for: Housing Solution for Earthquake .

More Business


Earthquake Proof Housing


Debris from Tsunami in Japan

Earthquake is Everywhere. Is your home safe from earthquake?

It is sad to hear all the bad news from New Zealand, China, Japan, Chile, Haiti, Pakistan, Indonesia, where they have massive earthquake that destructed many houses and buildings. Many people die from the disaster. The survivors left without a home and lost all their belongings. There is something wrong about the building industry. Why do they build something that can protect people's lives and properties especially in areas where there is high risk from natural disasters like earthquake and Tsunami?

I am not an expert on buildings or structural designs. However, with common sense, I can see problems with some of the traditional wooden, concrete or brick buildings when there are earthquakes or Tsunami. Surely earthquake can shake loose the wooden frame structure, joints of the bricks will fall apart, and light layer concrete can also be broken up as we can see from videos in the news. People get killed by the falling floors or flying objects from the earthquake.

Traditional buildings have many other draw backs from what I can think of:

a. With Concrete - if you do not put the proper coating on the surface, the water moisture can get through the wall. I remember the days when I was in Hong Kong. During the high humidity months, we can see water drops from the inside of the wall. Of course, now with air conditioning you can draw the moisture away. However, think for those who are poor and cannot afford or even have proper electricity. They will suffer from the high humidity. Only if they have the proper rebar inside the cement, they will not be able to stand earthquake.

Concrete is heavy. During earthquake, it may fall on and kill people.

b. With Bricks - similar to concrete, as brick joints will crack and fall apart during earthquake. It is solid and can kill people with its weight and hardness.

c. Wood frame - They will shake and fall apart if the joints of the frame are not reinforced for earthquake.

All these structure will need proper insulation to protect from the weather, water or moisture so this will require additional work and material for the insulation.

Well, I know a company just have the solution for the housing industry for earthquake and other disasters like: Hurricane, Typhoon, Flooding and bad weathers. At the same time, it is low cost and quick to build. Once a city has been destructed by earthquake, it would need to be rebuilt quickly. Murchtech modular homes are the perfect solution. Build a house that can stand virtually anything.

The cost of housing is too expensive. We need to cut down the costs so the poor can have a decent place to live. Only when people have a stable place to live, they can then concentrate on building their wealth to have a better life from themselves and their family.

After the earthquakes, we need to try to recover as quickly as possible. We need to provide a home for the homeless quickly. What is the best effective way to build a durable house within a few days that can stand the earthquake at a low cost?

There is a Chinese saying: You can only grow with a strong root. Home is our root. Without a home, how can we have the foundation to build up our family?

Murchtech has The Solution.

Murchtech designs modular homes for many good reasons:

1. Low cost - less than half of the wood frames houses.
2. No wood so we can save the trees
3. Quick to assemble - Yes, you can assemble the house together very easily. The only skill licensed workers are the electrician and the plumber.
4. R20 or higher insulation rated. Already insulated with high density foam and Plastic shell.
5. Earthquake proof - build with Steel Frames throughout the whole house.
6. Fire retardant to Fire proof - Plastic shell is sprayed with concrete layer.
7. Water resisted - All walls panels were filled with foam and sealed with no leakage from water or air.
8. 20 years warranty with a life expectancy of 100 years.
9. Ultra Violet Rays protected.
10. Virtually no maintenance in compare with wood frames housing.
11. Pest proof
12. Rot proof
13. Withstand winds of 200 mph
14. Can set up and livable same day
15. Light weight - Weighs about 50% less than wood structures. It can protect people from other falling objects as it does not tear apart into smaller pieces.
16. Can be Life saving - the panels are built in 4' x 8' or 4' x 12' with steel frame, foam and plastic shelf. It will float in water and protect people as shields.
17. Non Toxic
18. Re-Cyclable materials.
19. Patented in over 182 countries

If you want to learn more about the products, you can go to their website at: www.murchtech.com and www.vbnf.com and www.vbnf.com/blog to see the video and products.

At Murchtech, we are also looking for partners in your area. We can't do them all. We need to work with our partners so we can service your local customers better. Franchising opportunity is available. Please contact us for details. VBNF is the sole distributor for Murchtech.

Earthquake videos

Japan earthquake: eyewitness videos

Entire Japanese city on fire after earthquake

Large ships washed ashore by Japanese tsunami

Japanese tsunami creates whirlpool

Massive tsunami hits Japan after earthquake

Three places that had the most devastating earthquakes this year:

Christchurch, New Zealand

Yunnan, China

Sendai, Japan

This will cover all in general: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/121632/20110311/three-most-devastating-earthquakes-of-2011.htm#ixzz1GMTRv1Fu

DONATION:

* WORLD VISION CANADA
http://www.worldvision.ca/give-a-gift/Pages/Pacific-Tsunami.aspx?mc=4225801&gclid=CJaX1c2iyKcCFR9Ngwod7nrrBg

* How to Help Those Affected by Japan's Earthquake, Tsunami Disaster

http://moorpark.patch.com/articles/how-to-help-those-affected-by-japans-earthquake-tsunami-disaster-2

 



LEGO Outs The First Official Minifig Flash Drive
by Matt Burns on March 11, 2011

Believe it or not, this is the first official LEGO flash drive. Serious. The company has long sold random minifig keychains and flash lights, but never a flash drive. There's a bit of a premium as the 2GB drive costs $25 but you could always turn to Etsy where there's a gaggle of homemade options. [LEGO via OhGizmo]


You Can Order An iPad 2 Right Now. Are You Buying?
by Robin Wauters on Mar 11, 2011

Slightly ahead of the announced 1 AM PST launch time, Apple's iPad 2, which was introduced earlier this month, is now up for sale at the company's US online store.

Estimated shipping date for iPads are from March 18 to March 25th. That day, the iPad 2 will also be made available in 26 additional countries Apple says further international availability and pricing will be announced at a later date.

Online orders will ship within 3 to 5 days, and buyers are limited to two units per order.

Later today, at 5 PM local time to be exact, the iPad 2 will go on sale at all 236 Apple retail stores as well as at AT&T, Best Buy, Target, Verizon Wireless, Walmart and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

Other than that, not much to report.

Question is: are you buying? And if so, which model, and which color?

 


Modular Building Construction, Excerpt from www.broad.com

What is a Level 9 Earthquake Resistance Building

  • diagonal bracing structure, light weight,
  • steel construction,
  • passed level 9 earthquake resistance testing
  • 6x Less Material: even though the construction materials are much
    lighter (250kg/m2) than the traditional materials (over 1500kg/m2),
  • the floors and walls are solid with surefootedness, airtight and sound-proofing
  • 5x Energy Efficient: 150mm thermal insulation for walls and roofs,
  • Triple glazed plastic windows, external solar shading, heat insulation, fresh
    air heat recovery,
  • LED lighting, yearly HAVC A/C energy consumption equivalent to 7 liters oil.
  • 20x Purification: after 3 levels of purification, the purification efficiency
    for fresh air reaches 95%-99.9%;
  • air exchanged 1-2.5 times per hour, and
  • indoor air is 20x cleaner than out door air
  • 1% Construction Waste: all components are factory made, construction
    waste, mainly package materials, result from on site set-up only and
    amount to 1% of the total weight of the building.

 

This is the first building in human history which combines almost all environmental friendly, comfortable and secure elements. So, we call it: Sustainable Building

 


ECO Housing

VBNF has been busy working on finding new products for the Energy Saving technologies for buildings.

We found a few good ones that we signed up with them to help them market their products in Canada as well as internationally.
Here is the list:

  • Low cost modular house using metal plastic composite and high density foam technology to make wall panels for quick install on Steel framed building. These semi metallic panels are strong, waterproof with R-20 Insulation rating.

As these panels are made with plastic, metal and foam, and the weight of the panel is much less than the wood frames. The cost is also reduced and is much less than the wood you use. The advantages for this kind of panels are that you can make the panels onsite with the foam and they are easy to carry for installation. It is so strong that they can support a few thousand pounds without bending. Technical data will be provided to qualify buyers.

Since they are mounted on Steel frame, it is earthquake proof. The foam is fire retarded and sounds proof. A house that would use this building technique will save the cost of material and labour for any buildings. A typical house would cost about $100 - 120 per s.f. will now only cost about $45 per s.f. However, the time to build a house would be far less than 1/3 of the regular time with workers working onsite using wood frame and sidings. These panels carry a 20 years warranty.

This technology is great for: Portable housing, temporary housing, Daycare units, school portable, trailer home, kiosks, light weight housing, warehouse, box, chairs, cottages, housings, and even high rises.
They are working on a showroom which will be available for viewing within the next few days.

Want to get a piece of the action, contact us quick.

  • IRUV Cut Std Liquid Film for Energy saving on windows

In any building, window is one of the major energy consumption items for your house or building. Unless it is well insulated, you will feel the heat or coldness entering your house that may affect your energy bill.

With a special window coating material, you can apply to the windows to reduce its heat loss or gain form the outside of the building. Test results show that the separation on temperature can be up to 10 degree C. Imaging the exterior is extremely hot, with this coating on our window, you can reduce the heat entering your house so you can reduce the cost of air conditioning. Same thing for winter time, you do not want the coldness entering your house to increase your heating costs.

We are now looking for partners here in Canada or foreign countries to help distribute the product. This can be a great opportunities for the new immigrants who may have business or business contacts in their own country that may be of interest to bring it into the country they are from to create a job or business for themselves.

This material is also UV protected with over 5 year's warranty.

Again, want to be involved, contact us quick.

  • Super Hydrophilic Anti-Fouling Coating - material for external surfaces including: Windows, Metallic or stone or concrete buildings. Once applied with this material, you will see dust-free and water-free clinking on to the surfaces where they were applied.

Applications:

    • Solar Voltaic panels to reduce dirt blocking the energy source from the Sun. (extremely worthwhile)
    • High rise windows that needs cleanings routinely.
    • High rise walls that needs cleanings routinely.
    • For surfaces that need to be clean frequently
    • Cars or trucks, buses and other transportation matters. With the surface applied with the coating, the lifetime of the material will be increased.
    • Good for at least 5 years.
  • FIRST Air Conditioning system using Far Infra Red Coating method

This is a patented systems using water Radiator to generate the heat or coldness. This is a high efficiency radiator system that can use heat exchange system to run hot or cold water through the radiator system to radiate the heat or coldness through the use of Far Infrared coating to help force the heat energy to travel in the air and bounce the Far Infra ray back and fore to condition the temperature of the building inside.

Test results have shown that in a hot day or cold day, the energy saving was about 80% from the traditional forced air system. In addition, there is no need for helping a fan and air conditioning air dusts to collect dust and gems that may affect the human body. Also, the far infra red wave is also good for the human body according to some studies. The ray will excite our human cells to "exercise" so you don't have to move but your body will be exercising. Please call 604-422-8878 for more information.

  • Special paint for indoor coating - A new product from Japan that you can apply two coats of this special paint that will help insulating the walls better, thus reduce the heat loss or gain from the outside. Please call 604-422-8878 for more information.
  • Wood Panel Modular House - VBNF is proud to represent Chateau homes that engineer and produce wood frame modular house for quick installation. www.chateauhomes.ca achieved CSA approval for its high quality. This way of building can cut down the overall cost of both material and labour as they are made inside controlled environment without getting affected by bad weathers. All work is well planned and engineered to minimize unnecessary waste or material and time according to the plan. With new expansion plan, they are looking for investors or licensee to market their products in other locations. Please call 604-422-8878 for more information.

For all other available projects we carry, please go to:
http://www.vbnf.com/faxblast.html

We will provide detail information when you contact us.

 


Eco-Modular, Low Cost Home

I am very excited to learn of such a product right in Vancouver. Can you image that you can build a house of 1,200 s.f. within one to 2 days with 5 people. The only licensed workers are the electrician and the plumber.

This house is also:

  • Earthquake proof
  • Water proof
  • Fire Retarded
  • Light weight, less than 1/2 of the regular house using wood.
  • Environmental friendly
  • Sound proof
  • Strong, that can last over 20 years
  • Very low cost
  • Portable
  • Modular, add more sections or levels when you need it.
  • Design to your need

What more can you ask? Interested, please contact us.

 


Bio-Fuel

Another interesting thing I learned form my partner is that China is now collecting waste oil from the building. The way they did it is that at each high rise building, they will have a special pipe for people to drain the used oil to the collecting container at the basement of the building. This waste oil is being collected to produce biofuel.

If you are into this biofuel conversion technology and would like to enter the Chinese market, please let us know. We surely would like to work with you to clean up the world and lower our cost of energy consumption. Let us help you and help the world to be GREEN .

Please contact us if you are interest.

 


Problems with Gmail

Many of us use Gmail for our email system. There are a few good reasons for that:

  1. Free mass storage
  2. Easy to search emails
  3. Use Gmail to send email with different user name
  4. Large email file for attachments
  5. Signature
  6. Absent greeting, etc.

Well, put it simple, it is FREE.

Now the limit is about 7.5G of storage.

I do like all that.

Now what I don't like and I can't understand why Google did not fix. (I think they did try but did not complete and use the fixes).

  1. I did not like the fact that they keep the emails with the same subject in a continuous manner. This means there are emails in between can be junk as they were duplicated many times since Google keeps them in the same subject thread. They did try to make them individually by adding delete button for the individual email under the same subject. But then this discontinued that for now, I hope. This, if fixed, will cut down the unnecessary storage of junk mails between the first and the last ones. What I trying to say is: they should give people the choice of saving or delete any particular email.
  2. Google should also clear the trash basket sooner and not to record that as part of the stored items.
  3. They should increase the storage to unlimited like Yahoo mail. Just to be more competitive and help move their users to Gmail.
  4. Sometimes, it sends valid emails to the SPAM box. That I do not understand. It must be a bug somewhere.
  5. Gmail is also a little bit slow when the computer is having lesser bandwidth if you were doing some downloads. Well I say this because other websites do not have the same problem.

So much of my concerns. I hope to get a perfect Gmail and I think they are surely capable to fix them.


Text to Speech

Many a time I came across Chinese characters which I didn't have the faintest idea how to pronounce in either Mandarin or Cantonese, then the following links would come to my rescue:

http://zhongwen.com/zi.htm
Allows lookup of any Traditional character under its radical.

http://hk.dictionary.yahoo.com/
Provides Mandarin pronunciation to most characters and allows search in English.

http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/Canton/
Provides Cantonese pronunciation.

And if I wanted to find out the meaning of a Chinese word or phrase, I would look it up here :
http://dict.revised.moe.edu.tw/index.html

The other day while searching for the correct Japanese pronunciation of Boke or Bokeh, an Anglicized word for 暈け or ボケ referring to the out-of-focus blurry background in a picture taken with the aperture wide open, I chanced upon this text-to-speech website which offers pronunciation of 24 languages:
http://www.oddcast.com/home/demos/tts/tts_example.php

Simply copy and paste a single word (or character) or even paragraph to the Enter Text area (The buffer holds up to 178 Chinese characters), select the corresponding language from Language and a native speaker of that language will read it out. You can also have a choice of Voice (speaker), i.e. male or female, accents (e.g., US, UK, Australian or Scottish English) and dialects (Cantonese or Taiwanese. Note that Taiwanese actually refers to the style of Mandarin spoken in Taiwan.) The options in Effects also allow modification of the speaking speed, and duration, etc. The beauty is it accepts a whole paragraph instead of just characters or words. 

The following are some examples you can use to give it a try:

Chinese: 不值一哂, 鮪魚, 水獺, 掣肘, 涮羊肉

These really underscore the marked differences between Mandarin and Cantonese.  Now, let's put in a whole paragraph:

國民黨秘書長金溥聰昨天到台東縣黨部與基層黨工座談,會中不少黨員猛轟馬英九,表示馬英九剛愎自用,讓人愈來愈討厭,還喜歡講英文;金溥聰表示,每個人都有長處、短處,若以考試比喻,馬英九考八科總分可能是最高分,但總有幾科成績不佳,這就需要幕僚來協助。

Japanese: 暈け, ボケ
Genuine Japanese pronunciation.

English: Bokeh
You see, the Anglicization doesn't even come close.  Ever wonder why I always prefer to spell my last name out when asked!

French: Les Faux Bourgeois Cafe
A French bistro on Kingsway and Fraser in Vancouver where the food is good and the prices are very decent.

German: Tag Heuer
That's how my former Swiss coworker pronounces it.

Spanish: Pasar un buen rato
Found it on the net which means ‘Have a good time'.

Portuguese: Chorando se foi quem um dia so me fez chorar
From the popular song Lambada below:

http://vicky-jen.myweb.hinet.net/Lambada/63.htm

Another one of my latest discoveries is a Chinese map site where locations can be searched in Chinese.  Accordingly I am able to locate the village and house where I was born (恩平市大灣村) and see the satellite images by zooming in.  Or my former schools in Hong Kong (香港嶺南中學), or Taiwan (台北政大 or 台中成功嶺).  It also allows search in English so I can see my current residence as well.

http://www.toumai.cn/map/gd/jiangmen/enping.html

Before Christmas 2009, the display was in full-screen mode which was even better.  Well, it's free any way so can't complain.

Argh!  Ever wanted to find a particular eatery in Hong Kong?  You'll find this link very helpful, just don't blame me if you can't resist the temptation to fly over there immediately:

http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/index.htm


Green Technologies

Green Technologies

VBNF learned much about green technologies for housing applications as well as environmental improvement projects. One of the green tech development projects is the use of energy saving technologies to help save energy for households.

  1. Wind Turbine - They come in different sizes depending on the applications and industries. We now will talk about small wind turbines for housing. There are many in the market and their efficiency may not be the best as many of them won't start to rotate until the wind speed pick up at over 8 - 10 Km/hr. VBNF found a new one that can start at around 5Km/hour. We are now in negotiation with the company to bring them into Canada and other countries. Wind turbines are generally mounted on the top of the house where the wind is strong. When the wind turbine starts to turn, it will generate electricity that we can collect and use to generate the power inside our house. If we have it connected to the BC Hydro Grid, we may even sell the unused energy to BC Hydro for credit.
  2. Geothermal - The temperature between the surface of the earth and underground of 50 ft or so has a potential difference of a few degrees. This temperature differential can be used to produce electrical energy that can be used for the house. If it is connected to the Hydro, we can reduce to usage from Hydro. In general, the cost for a Geothermal system is quite expensive in compare with other technologies.
  3. Solar Panel - Solar Panel is a common used technology for collecting sunlight to convert it into electricity.  There are many products in the market. In order for them to work effectively, they need to have clean surface so the sunlight can go through and the media for the solar cells should be of high sensitivity so the conversion factor is higher.
  4. Hot water heating tubes - they can be installed side by side with the solar panel. Because of their heat collection characteristics, they can collect heat to boil the water for your hot water tank. This product, however, can not generate electricity.
  5. Energy Saving Coating material - New coating material are in liquid form that can be applied to the window surface to provide insulation for heat transfer through glasses and even metal frames. At high heat day, the temperature between the outside and inside of the window can have a max. of 9 Degree C difference. A very effective way to block the heat coming in and heat loss through the window.
  6. Window or surface Coating for cleaning and protection - This is a liquid form product that can be applied to any surfaces to give a protection of the surface of the material. Once applied, it will block water vapours or dust staying on the surface. This means less cleaning or maintenance required. It would be great thing for Solar Panels, Car windshield and high-rise buildings to cut down the cost of maintenance.
  7. Far Infra Red Radiation heating/cooling system - The use of Far Infra Red frequency for radiation is new to many of us but not in Japan. You can learn much about it from the links below.

http://www.earthtym.net/ref-far-infared.htm
http://www.healthymagnets.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/fir.htm?E+scstore
http://www.feelgoodproducts.com/SD_whatis.html
http://www.21stcip.com/pages/about.html
http://www.pranaproducts.com/fir_info.htm

In general, Far Infra Red Frequency is good for the human body and it help bring the energy from its source to others through its traveling waves.

The way it works is that we will have a designer radiator system large enough to cover the space needed to be heated or cooled. This radiator system is connected to the water pump, a heat exchange (got hot water or cold water) unit powered by electricity so it can generate heat for coolness through its plates. The Radiation is also coated with Far Infra red coating material so the energy can be transmitted through the use of the Far Infra Red Coating. In order to distribute the energy (Heat or Cold) evenly, the same Far Infra Red Coating will be mixed with regular paint to be applied to the whole interior of the house. This will then create a continuous radiation effect that the Far Infra Red rays will travel non-stop through out the house and distribute the energy to provide the heating or cooling needed for the building.

Far Infra Red Radiation method is one of the best ways for health as there is no Air ducts, no blowing air and huge temperature difference. There is no moving part from the regular air conditioning or dust collection or even virus collection in the ducts.

The best of all, it will reduce your heating or cooling bill by up to 80%. See it to believe it. Contact us for a demo.


iPhone Applications Report Authored by Jonathan Sue

OVERVIEW

It is undeniable that the iPhone is one of the most popular smartphones in the cellphone market today. But what makes it so popular? In my opinion, the iPhone's popularity stems largely from Apple's aggressive, “young person”-oriented marketing campaign. Their ads feature catchy songs and attractive people promoting the iPhone and other Apple products. Apple seems to want to make their device more “fun” than their competitors' products.

However, this also leads to many people not seeing the iPhone as a “serious” device like the BlackBerry. Many people feel as if the iPhone is mostly a gaming and entertainment device, and not as good for serious tasks. I do agree somewhat – I think the bigger screen, which is entirely touch-based, is designed for more of a visual experience such as viewing photos or watching videos or games. However, I also feel that the iPhone can be used as a business-oriented device also, if used properly.

Thus, I have compiled a list of applications which can help the average person interact with the business world.

APPLICATIONS

  1. EMAIL

The iPhone comes built in with an email application. Although most people take it for granted because it is built in, it is a well-designed application. You can add Microsoft Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, MobileMe, or AOL accounts with a click of a button, and it is also possible to add other email clients as well. You can view each of your accounts' email separately, or view all of your email inboxes at the same time. You can also easily add photos or videos from your iPhone's Media Library to your messages with ease. I think the email application on the iPhone is very underrated.

  1. GOOGLE APP

The Google App is a free application that can be downloaded from the App Store. It offers many of Google's best applications, such as the Calendar, Documents, Buzz, Reader, Tasks, Maps, and other Google functions in a nicely organized package. How much you use the Google App depends on how much you use their applications. However, since it is free, I think many people will find it to be an easy application to use.

  1. DOCUMENTS 2

There is a paid version, but the free version is pretty handy itself. For no charge, you can create basic text, spreadsheet, paint, and photo documents right in the palm of your hands. However, what is more impressive is that you can share these documents instantly from your device to another device via Wifi – so you can access your files on your iPhone on your computer. Also, you can also smoothly add files from your computer to your iPhone in the same way, so you don't have to go through messy transfer methods. You can also share over Google Documents. Although you could not create highly professional documents with this application (there are more expensive applications for elaborate document creation), but for basic document editing, this free application is pretty handy. The $12.99 QuickOffice Mobile Office Suite is the more expensive, but more powerful alternative to this free application. It depends what level of detail you require.

  1. CREDIT CARD TERMINAL

The application costs 99 cents, and then you have to create an account that costs $35 per month, but if you are an entrepreneur or small-business owner, this is an extremely handy application. It allows you to process and accept customer sales with your iPhone while you are out and about or at a trade show, etc. This application is somewhat pricey, but it is definitely handy if you need to process sales on the go. It can also instantly determine if a credit card was approved or declined.

  1. INSIGHT – BASECAMP ON IPHONE

This application costs $9.99. It uses the Basecamp interface, which is useful for various projects done at work. Multiple users can use this application in conjunction with one another. Each user can create to-do lists, gain project status reports, assign and view completed tasks, post messages, and time logs. It is a handy way to coordinate large project teams over a common interface in a organized and efficient manner.

  1. MBPOINTER

This $2.99 application turns your iPhone into a portable PowerPoint slideshow remote. You can link it to your laptop and control your slide show with ease while giving presentations. You can also move the cursor on your laptop and also add corrections to your slides with your iPhone.

  1. ANALYTICS APP

This app costs $6.99, but it allows you to view your Google Analytics to an impressive degree. You can view 55 different reports and track multiple websites to get detailed reports on your websites' traffic. You can also use it with a 3G or EDGE connection if you do not have WiFi available.

  1. CLOCKIN

ClockIn is an app that usually costs around $4-5. It is an app that allows those with multiple tasks to organize their day and work schedule. You press a button to “clock in” to a various job/task, and the application keeps track of how much time you put towards specific tasks. You can also customize the time period over which your tasks are to be completed within. This app allows you to manage your time when you have many different things to accomplish.

  1. EVERNOTE

For free, Evernote is a powerful application that allows you to create text, photo, or voice memos for later. This application separates itself from the pack because of these features. While there are many apps that allow you to create text notes, Evernote combines many different formats and collects them all for easy viewing in one application.

  1. FACEBOOK / TWITTER / LINKEDIN / YOUTUBE

The iPhone supports the official applications of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn and all of them are free. All of these are relatively easy to use and provide many of the essential features of all of the web-based versions of these applications. Twitter is the application with the most third-party alternatives. Tweetdeck, Twitbird, Hootsuite, Echofon, Twittelator, and many more applications exist. Although each has varying differences, all of them function essentially the same and allow you to use many of the basic functions of Twitter. Many of them also support multiple Twitter accounts on the same iPhone.

  1. BUMP

This free application is available on many smartphones. It allows you to easily share photos, contact information, calendar events, and other information easily as long as you have an Internet connection between two devices.

  1. APPBOX LITE

There is a paid version, but the free version has almost every good function that the paid one does. This is an application that features a currency converter, unit converter, holiday and date tracker, and a tip calculator amongst other features. It is handy in many social situations.

  1. TOODLEDO

There are many applications that create to-do lists, but Toodleto is my favorite, and it is also free. It allows you to create multiple tasks and sort them within certain groups. For example,if you have tasks to be accomplished for school, and also for work, you can sort them easily. You can also assign “priority” ratings for each task and program the application to give you reminder alerts.

  1. WINDOWS MESSENGER / YAHOO MESSENGER/ AIM / SKYPE

For those wanting to communicate over instant messaging, you can download AIM, Windows Messenger, or Yahoo Messenger. Those wishing to communicate over Skype on their iPhones can also do so. All these applications are free and offer many of the features that their native computer versions do. In addition to social networking, email, phone, and text messaging, these are further ways one can communicate on the iPhone with others.

  1. YELLOWPAGES

This is a free application that operates much like you would expect. You can search for businesses and people, and do “reverse lookups” (you can input a phone number and see who it belongs to). You can also click on businesses and people that you find and see their addresses on a map with a click of a button.

  1. STOCKS

This built-in application allows you to track the stock-market and gain real-time information on whatever stocks you want to keep your eye on. You can also track your stocks over a time period, such as over the past day, month, or year.

  1. CAMSCANNER

With CamScanner, which costs $4.99, your iPhone becomes a mobile scanner that can scan documents, receipts, notes, and whiteboard material. You can archive your scans. In addition, the application can automatically crop your images and fix color and brightness.

  1. PRINT MAGIC

With Print Magic, you can print from your iPhone to a wireless printer instantly. There is no need to sync your device with your computer. This application is good for saving time and for quick printing jobs that need to be completed.

  1. IFAX PRO

This application allows you to send unlimited faxes and receive them as well to and from anywhere in the world. It requires no further signup or account management. You can download and send a variety of formats, including PDF, JPG, DOC, XLS, and others.

  1. EWALLET

The eWallet application is a secure password manager that allows you to store banking, credit card, insurance, email, and other passwords, PINs, and account information in one convenient, safe package. They also offer in-house telephone customer support. You can also sync your information to your computer.



Instant business card recognition right on your phone!

You know we are in the business of networking and surely we will go out to meet with many people and collects many, many business cards. So how are we going to do with the business cards we collect and make good use of them, first, we need to sort them out by the industry groups and interest groups so we can contact them later for something related to their industry or business.

Well saying that is easy but we also need to put them in our database for quick search and for our mass emailing. As the mass emailing is done by our server with mass emailing program we wrote, we still need to transfer the information from the business cards into our database and the server. Instead of typing all day long, we need to use a business card scanner or reader that can take the picture of the business card and then pick up the information from the card to our database. The scanner or reader should come with a software to transform the data (Text) into readable words that can go right into your mailing system.

There are many business card reader available but we felt they are too expensive still. Recently, we found new software that works with your Cell phone that has a high definition camera. You need a high resolution camera because you need to be able to take a good image for processing later.  If you understand how scanners work, it is just like a camera taking a picture line by line instead of the whole thing all at once like a regular camera. Pretty confusing, right? True. A scanner has a set of eyes in a single line and it can only read one line at a time. After it read a line, it takes it to the memory and start reading another line when the paper goes through or when the scanning unit is moving depending on the design.  So after the whole paper is scanned, the data of the whole page is then stored in the memory. With new intelligence the scientist designed a method called image processing to match the images into characters or (alphanumeric characters) called OCR (Optical Character Recognition). Then put the characters into a readable text.

New digital cell phone that has the camera already. With good software, it can now work as a scanner. You can now take a picture or a business card and then set the cell phone to do the scanning part and build up the characters like an OCR.  I just discovered new software just doing that, and it only cost $5.95 for download to your iPhone or blackberry. Remember, we need to use good cell phone that has high quality camera for sharp image.

Business Card Reader software for iPhone
http://www.shapeservices.com/en/products/details.php?product=bcr


Wavetooth Waterproof Bluetooth Headset For Underwater Activities With iPhone from Digital Life

Your nature of work probably needs you to go underwater or around high water level area. Occasionally you might need to communicate or take instruction from somebody at the control center to get the work fixed. Carrying a waterproof phone probably might not be convenient enough especially when you need to free your hands to get the work done. The Wavetooth Bluetooth headset from Brando perhaps is a good aid designed to do exactly what you need.

Wavetooth Waterproof Bluetooth Headset For Underwater Activities With iPhone


The Wavetooth Bluetooth headset features waterproof capability up to 3 meters or 10 feet deep in water and has 13 hours extra long talk and music time or up to 250 hours standby time. This waterproof headset can be used together with various Bluetooth enabled telecommunication gadgets such as iPhone, Smartphone, etc. Users can clearly listen to instruction from someone on the other side or enjoy music while swimming, snorkeling, bathing, etc.


The Wavetooth Bluetooth headset comes with a waterproof case, waterproof earphone, stereo earphone for music, neck wire and USB cable. The waterproof bag case can hold a cell phone with a maximum size of 70 (W) x 120 (H) x 15 (D)mm. The design of the case is made of thin and strong clear material to allow users easy control their Smartphone or iPhone over the case surface. This interesting waterproof Wavetooth Bluetooth headset is priced at $57. A summary of the features includes:

  • IPx8 Certified to waterproof (3-metre/24-hours)
  • "Noise Rebound" technology makes clear talk
  • Touch Functionality through case surface
  • 13 hours extra long talk and music time
  • Easy to detach and rotatable clip
  • Light reflective
  • Battery - 360mAh Li-polymer
  • A2DP / AVRCP / HF
  • Standby 240-hours
  • Version 2.1 + EDR

Related Articles


Vancouver GreenTech Exchange, reported by Steven Vu, VBNF

Electric Bicycle

Ebikes have been around for a while, since the early 1900's.
Ebikes have gained momentum in Asia and is slowly growing in Europe and USA. The main reason why people purchase Ebikes in Asia is because it is better then a bicycle and less expensive than an automobile.
Ebikes have still not gained much traction here in Canada and there are still many government regulations against it. For example you can not ride an Ebike on the bike lanes here, can not be faster then 35km/hr, and can not be taken on the sky-train.

Tips for surviving an IP (Intellectual property)

Why protect your IP?

  • IP are scrutinized by public, investors and underwriters
  • Blocks competition
  • Protects your technology
  • Can become a major asset ( the speakers personal opinion is that for tech start up's the IP is your most important asset most likely )
  • Great for investors and well managed IP's can close deals

Tip #1: Your IP should be a part of your business plan, well written and easily understandable. He has done a lot of audits where the business plan is full of errors and does not mention the IP at all
IP audit steps:

  • Proprietary tech check
  • Patent portfolio inspection
  • Patent claim skills
  • Trade secret management
  • Employment contracts – whether the business gains ownership of employee inventions
  • Licensing agreements
  • Freedom to use – whether the tech is violating any other patents, freedom from 3rd party violations
  • Interviewing key personnel and management
  • Inspecting facility

Technology assessment

  • Is the proprietary Unique?
  • Does it have commercial value?
  • Evaluating the patent

Patent Portfolio assessment

  • Which patentable tech are protected
  • What geographical coverage does the patent have? ( how many countries )
  • Does the inventor have ownership or the company?

Tip#2: Very often Sr. Management does not understand the scope of their patent protection during interviews

Tip#3: The employee contract should state clearly who owns inventions. In cases of contract work, it should be clearly stated that the invention ownership is assign to the business because there have been cases where the contacted employee keeps ownership and wins in legal battles.

Tip#4: Patents are very expensive so sometimes it is better to keep it as a trade secret which is a less expensive alternative

Tip#5: Get professional patent counseling

Licensing blocking
By patenting the development up to the final product you are at times able to stop your competitions because they can not re-engineer your product and use it.

Tip#6: Just because you were able to gain a patent approval it DOES NOT mean that you are free from any violations yourself.

TIP#7: pct-Reserves your right to patent your technology in 40+ countries, it is not too expensive and can be done fairly quickly. You can use this as an instrument to gain approval from investors, if no one wants to invest with your product then you stand to lose a lot less money then if you went ahead an did the patent in all those countries.

IScleaner

Online resource for clean energy in the Canadian marketplace.
They are doing something called sub-domaining to try and make money.
I.e. Selling their sub-domain name to other businesses. I guess it is for PR
Microsoft.IScleaner.com
Ubisoft.IScleaner.com

$3500 Solar Hot Water Incentive

The City of Vancouver, Terasen, SolarBC and Offsetters are offering $3500 towards the purchase of a solar hot water system. The incentive is available for new homes in Vancouver.
Details here: http://vancouver.ca/sustainability/SolarHomes.htm or contact greenbuildingstrategy@vancouver.ca for more information.

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