We are using robots in the wrong way

Recently there has been a video circulating around that shows a robotic arm failing while brewing coffee.

People are quick to say that robots cannot replace humans yet. But is this robotic really meant to replace humans? Personally, I felt that this setup is more for an exhibition rather than making coffee. Don’t get me wrong, it still makes coffee but there are better and more efficient ways to make coffee. The robotic arm that you see in the video has too many points of failure. They can install multiple sensors and cameras to prevent such incidents from happening again. But why do you want to have so many possible points of failure to begin with?

If they really want to make a machine to brew coffee, it wouldn’t have so many moving parts. It will most likely be just 1 boring looking machine where coffee powder enters from 1 end and coffee output from another end. Just like the fully automated espresso machines you see at Starbucks. I don’t think it is difficult to make such a machine for traditional kopi. (or maybe there are already machines doing it now)

Let’s be honest. The robotic arm we see is just for show. It’s an attraction. It’s not meant to make coffee efficiently. And I think we need to stop using robots in the wrong way. A robotic arm is useful in many situations but not for brewing coffee.

This reminds me of an old news regarding a restaurant using drones to deliver food from the kitchen to the diner’s table. Sounds impressive. Got lots of news coverage when they demonstrated it to the media. But it just doesn’t make sense to deliver food in a small restaurant using drones. The drone can’t carry heavy stuff. There are many people walking around in a restaurant and accidents might happen. And let’s not forget that drones are rather noisy.

No prize for guessing if that restaurant is still using drones.

Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry

Did you receive an SMS labelled as “Likely-SCAM”? That’s because the company/organisation that is sending you the SMS did not register with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR).

Starting from 31 January 2023, all companies/organisations intending to use alphanumeric Sender IDs in their SMS messages to Singapore mobile users must first register the Sender IDs. Those who did not register will have their SMS message labelled as “Likely-SCAM” during the transition period from 31 January to 31 July 2023. After the transition period, SMS from non-registered companies/organisations will not be delivered.

If you are a company/organisation using alphanumeric Sender IDs in your SMS, you can register your Sender ID at the SMS Sender ID Registry. Do register now as your SMS are now labelled as “Likely-SCAM” and will not be delivered after 31 July.

COMEX is back

After 2 years hiatus due to Covid 19, the tech shows are back! COMEX 2022 will be held this weekend (1 – 4 September) at Suntec Convention Centre level 4.

Stand a chance to win up to $100,000 worth of prizes and vouchers at the sure win instant lucky dip. Top prize include the Google Pixel 6a, Nobledesk Baron Series 2021, OSIM uDiva 3 Massage Sofa and more. Spend more than $500 on the same day to redeem a Creative Metallix Plus Bluetooth Speaker worth $69, while stock last. 

Visit the COMEX 2022 website to find out more.

Fall Guys finally coming to the Nintendo Switch

Fall Guys is finally coming to the Nintendo Switch. And it’s free to play.

Fall Guys was originally announced to be coming to the Nintendo Switch in Summer 2021 during a Nintendo Direct. It’s one year late but it’s going to be free to play and cross platform play. This means you can play Fall Guys with those on PlayStation, XBox, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Fall Guys will be coming to Nintendo Switch and XBox on 21 June 2022. You can pre-register now to get milestone awards.

Creative giving away 100 pairs of Zen Hybrid ANC Headphones

Don’t say bo jio. Creative is giving away 100 pairs of Zen Hybrid ANC Headphones (worth S$149) to mark it’s launch.

Creative Zen Hybrid ANC Headphones

Simply go to Creative website before 7 June 2022 to take part in the giveaway.

The Zen Hybrid ANC Headphones are not on sale yet. There isn’t much details on the headphone except for the product page. All we know so far is that the Zen Hybrid ANC Headphones are SXFI Ready, cancel up to 95% noice with hybrid active noise cancelling and 27 hours battery life. I guess we will have more info when the headphone is launched on 8 June. So stay tuned.

Goodbye G Suite

Early this year, Google announced that it is ending the legacy free tier for G Suite. I’ve been on the free edition of G Suite since 2011. While it’s a good product, there are some issues with it like not being able to use certain Google products. Not complaining since it allows me to use my personal domain name for email.

Honestly, I don’t mind paying for the service. But the cheapest Google Workspace Business Starter cost S$8 per month. That’s S$96 per year. That’s too expensive for personal use.

It’s a wasted opportunity for Google. There are many people using the free G Suite for personal use. If they provided a cheaper alternative for personal use, I think many people don’t mind paying a few dollars a month for the service. Now they are just losing all these customers.

So goodbye G Suite. I’m moving to Apple iCloud+ which costs only S$1.28 per month for the basic 50GB plan. iCloud+ allows me to use my custom domain for email. And since I’m so deep inside the Apple ecosystem, why not jump further inside. I get 50GB storage now which means I can finally back up my 14GB WhatsApp chat log.

Setting up the custom email domain for iCloud+ was pretty straightforward. (Although it messed up my CloudFlare settings causing this blog to be down for a while.) The web-based email client for iCloud doesn’t look as good as Gmail but I guess I’m ok with that. I heard that iCloud’s spam filter isn’t as good as Gmail. Not surprised there but I think I’m fine with that (for now).

The only thing that I’ll miss is all my other data with Google. My Google Calendar, Google Doc/Sheet, YouTube channel subscription. I think I’m going to create another Gmail account and move the important stuff over. Sigh. Why do all good things come to an end?

Update on 17 May: Google backtracks to allow non-commercial users to continue using G Suite for free. I guess they are seeing too many people leaving the Google ecosystem. But this announcement came a little too late. I’ve already moved my email to iCloud+. I’m not moving them back.

This is not the Nintendo Switch Pro you are waiting for

Nintendo just announced a new Nintendo Switch Pro…… oh wait. That’s not the long rumoured Nintendo Switch Pro. Oops.

Instead, Nintendo just announced the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) which as the name suggest comes with a OLED screen. From the specs available online, it has a 7 inch OLED screen, a slight upgrade from the 6.2 inch LCD screen on the original Switch. Comes with 64GB internal, better speakers and a improved kickstand. The Nintendo Switch OLED comes with a new Dock with build in wired LAN port.

Despite all the changes, the new Nintendo Switch OLED is just 0.25 cm wider and 22 grams heavier. It is compatible with the existing Joy-Con and dock. And given that it is just 0.25cm wider, there is a chance that most of your existing accessories will work with the new Switch.

However, there is no 1080p display on handheld and 4K TV output. Resolution is still the same despite all the rumours. This will no doubt disappoint many fans.

The new Nintendo Switch OLED Model will be available from 8 October 2021 at US$349.99. Comes in white and neon red/neon blue colour.

GENKI ShadowCast: Connect your Nintendo Switch to a laptop

If you own a Nintendo Switch, you might want to check out the GENKI ShadowCast currently on Kickstarter. The ShadowCast is an easy way for you to use your Laptop screen to play your Nintendo Switch (Or PS5).

Simply connect GENKI ShadowCast to the HDMI out port of your console, connect the USB Type C cable to your laptop, launch the Genki Arcade app and you are good to go.

And the best part is that you can record your gameplay and even stream online. While it may not be at the same level as a professional grade capture card, it’s more than capable for most gameplay capturing needs while being much more flexible and easy to use across multiple platforms.

You can back the GENKI ShadowCast at Kickstarter now and receive it as a reward if you pledge $39. That’s a lot cheaper than most video capture card in the market.

Do note that this is a Kickstarter campaign. You should know the usual risks involving Kickstarter campaigns before you back the project. If you are not comfortable with the risks involved, then wait for the product to hit the market.