LG’s next flagship phone debut on April 28th

With the slurry of flagship phones like HTC M9 and Samsung S6 Edge, LG will be unveiling its own flagship. The LG G4 will be revealed by the end of april as sources from Korean publication mentioned. Some of those publications also claimed that the phone will have a 5-inch curved Quad HD display, but there’s probably no use speculating if that’s true or not when we’re this near to seeing the real thing. The South Korean company will hold an event in New York and other locations around the globe (New York, London, Seoul, Singapore and Istanbul), and we’ll be there to cover it, so stay tuned!

urning to the rumor mill, while some rumors suggest LG will go with a premium metallic build, at least one rumor suggests LG will stick with plastic, saving metal for its rumored LG “G4 Note”. It’s still unclear if the “more upscale” flagship will debut next month alongside the G4, though LG has hinted that such a device is really in the works. Another possibility is that LG’s tagline could be referencing a switch to a curved design (as rumored by Korea Times), which would certainly make it feel and look differently than the G4’s predecessor.

Advertisements

ViewQwest: Which home theatre setup should you use? (Part 2)

Having ViewQwest TV & Freedom VPN opens an opportunity to try all out all US services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus. So which service is right for you?
Compare TvVStreaming Services

Why Netflix is a clear winner?

After listing out the comparison table above, Netflix is the most preferred option. It is the most easy to use and has the best quality shows and movies in the market. I have listed out the pros and con of Netflix as a summary below. Watch the video for a comparison between Hulu Plus and Netflix.

Pros for Netflix:

– No advertisements unlike other streaming services
– Provide a few UHD Content
– TV Shows or movies NOT linked to other sites
– No logins to pay TV subscriptions
– Layout easy to find shows of your choice. (Sometime finding a show to watch takes me almost half an hour in bad app/web layout!)

Cons for Netflix

– late upload of new latest content (normally 1 season late)
– DVD function is a separate feature and payment but redundant for people living outside US. So no issue here
– 2 windows cant be open at 1 time in web version (perhaps to support bandwidth)
View Qwest TV
Hulu Plus used to be my ultimate favorite, however the copyright issues limit the extensive new content provided by Hulu Plus. Old seasons for TV shows start disappearing and the need to login to other pay site are getting on my nerves. Hulu limits some of their content on apps. You’ll get messages explaining that the content can only be viewed on a web browser, and unless you connect your laptop to your television there’s no way around it. The commercials are getting more and it affects the stream of the actual TV shows.

So as of March 2015, Netflix has taken the place of Hulu Plus for me.

ViewQwest: Which home theatre setup should you use? (Part 1)

DSCF2491

Main Hardware (Output)

There are many options for home theatre setup in the market nowadays. How do you choose one that suits your need? Do you need a full computer setup, Home Theatre Personal Computer (HTPC), Media Player/Streamer or Media Dongle?

Majority of users prefer an “out-of-the-box” media player like Apple TV or ViewQwest TV. No setup is required. Full PC and HTPC require a lot of tinkering and software tweaks to make it compatible for use in the living room as a media device. Typically, home users prefers plug and play and do not wish to use a bulky keyboard and a mouse when they are lying on their couch. Tiny icons, difficult controls and typing need to be minimized to fit the living room remote control.

Below is a breakdown of criteria to choose your home theatre box according to the price, ease of use and functionality.
Media PC comparison

HTPC like ViewQwest TV might be the obvious winner nowadays. Main hardware setup is very simple, as you only have to plug in the HDMI cable to the TV and power it up. Those advanced users can use optical cable to connect to more advanced hardware like a home theatre system (amplifier with 5.1/7.1 surround speakers)

Peripherals (Input)

HTPC PeripheralsUsers can also choose a myriad of peripherals for controls

1) Integrated remote and keyboard (with trackpad or gyro)
– Bluetooth
– IR
– Wireless
2) Track pad/Mouse and wireless full keyboard
3) Mouse with on-screen Keyboard
4) Universal Remote
I would advise to get a backlit device with wireless capabilities for the living room. More advance users might want gyro enabled remote or voice activation on the remote.

Software Setup for PC or HTPC

Basically you need to customize the software setup to your liking. Setting up an organized library of TV Shows, Movie and Music is important. I categorize my Movies folder to different language first. The sub categories are further divided into genres. If you have software like Plex and XBMC it will help to auto divide your movies into all the relative categories.
Media Players

Software Setup for Media Players like ViewQwest

No setup at all. Plug it in and stream all the content you need from the Internet or network attached storage within the house.
Of course, the next step is to show off your HTPC setup to your friends and family. They will be impressed! Stay tuned for a tour of my home theatre system setup! Part 2 here

How to secure the vulnerabilities of Zhone Router?

In a blogpost on Tuesday (Feb 24), Vantage Point’s Senior Security Consultant Lyon Yang highlighted “critical vulnerabilities” in three brands of routers – Zhone, Aztech and Asus. These vulnerabilities “allow an attacker to become at least a network administrator, and in most cases also gain a remote root shell, with relatively low effort”, he said.

table

So far the the given residential software and hardware used by many households are safe from vulnerabilities. No reported cases have be issued yet. Nonetheless safety is the utmost importance when surfing the net.

Protecting home routers against attacks

For all Singapore users, it is advisable to:

  • Change the default user/admin passwords;
  • Disable all network services (especially remote access) on the router.

Securing ZHONE GPON

Through the internet, access to your router via HTTP and telnet is turned on by default.

1. Access your Zhone router web administrative console (http://192.168.1.1)

2. Click on Configuration -> Firewall -> Mgmt Access:

Description of Network Interfaces:

brvlan7 – ViewQwest Internal Access
brvlan923 – Internal Network
eth0.v923 – Public Network (Internet)
brvlan899 – One Voice

The network interface eth0.v923 should be turned off for all services as this is exposed to the internet.
Screen-Shot-2015-02-13-at-2.27.29-pm

3. Click Apply/Save

4. Get your Public IP Address via http://www.whatismyip.com/

Access your public IP directly via your web browser to confirm that it has been turned off successfully.Stay Safe!

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: Removing of 3 key features is an advantage

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge has totally break their tradition of plastic phones, or they say polycarbonate. The latest S6 is made up of premium glass and metal. It looks good but feels much better.

Samsung_Galaxy_S6_Edge_3_800

The new galaxy s6 is lined with aluminium frame with glass front and back. You will be holding onto the metal rims most of the time as the glass surfaces tends to set in slightly. Since the edges are curved, the metal frame only covers half the thickness of the phone. Hence, making it feel as if its the thinnest phone in the planet. Im not kidding when say that is is one of the best built quality mobile out there. As a former Iphone and currently a HTC One M8 user, I’m extremely particular on built quality of phones. Built quality is the most obvious difference a phone can feature as most flagship phones performance are fairly similar. Average users can hardly tell the difference in real life performance nowadays.

bgr-samsung-galaxy-s6-11

This means that Samsung has made a smart move to finally ditch the plastic and invest on built quality. The hardware improvement has its drawbacks and many people are outraged for the removal of the key features.

  1. Goodbye Removable battery
  • The battery for this iteration of S6 is non removable. Users shouldn’t have to worry since mobile battery charges are so cheap. They come as free door gifts nowadays.

You might be worried about the battery being damaged over many cycles. Well, you are going to recontract your phone within the next 2 years anyway. The non removable battery is of a better built and last longer. So the pros overweigh the cons for non removable battery.
comprebatttery-s5

  • 2. Ditch that external SD Card
  • Samsung fans are furious with the omission of the SD card storage in the S6. The 32GB model might be at a disadvantage after 10GB of space is used for Touchwhiz. Nontheless this new internal UFS 2.0 storage  proved to be more efficient and faster. The internal storage speed is somewhat like the speed of SDD. It also outperforms the fastest eMMC 5.0 memory found in other devices (about 3.25x faster performance).
    Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 11.08.57 AM
  • Why bother using that SD card? Free cloud storage is abundant these days. Store all your songs with KKbox /Spotify and stream your TV shows and movies with Plex. Store photos in tumblr or facebook. Serious work can be stored in Google docs or dropbox. Who needs an SD card right?
  • If you still live in the stone age, Samsung still offer their phones in 32GB, 64GB and 128GD internal storage.

     3. “WaterPOOFing”: Do you really need waterproofing 24 hours a day?

  • Water and dust-proof(IP67) removed. For average users we never bring our phones into the water. If required to bring outdoors, there is always the trusty zip lock bags or those waterproof casing. These waterproofing bags and cases never fails when I’m outfield in the army.
  • Cases like the ones provided by Samsung are somewhat dustproof to a certian extent. I got the opportunity to try out some of the cases with S6 and S6 Edge in the video below.

In short, the removal of key features in Galaxy S6 is too minute to consider as a disadvantage. The advantages outweigh the setbacks. Many awesome flagship phones remain strong without all these features like external battery, external SD card and waterproof. I belive Samsung S6 edge is a clear winner as Samsung bounce back from the slow sales of S5. If you wish to virtually hold onto the S6 visit https://sketchfab.com/models/eb3c67c3991a4a429b3c9b4e7dbe0288

ViewQwest: Ding Ding Ding! WiFi Router challenge between ASUS RT-AC87U vs D-Link DIR868L

header 

Setup

Thanks to ViewQwest, I manage to test Asus RT-AC87U. Dlink DIR868L is my current router. Both routers mentioned above are new and tested with their default configuration out of the box. Note that I am only testing for the signal strength rather than the download speeds.I didn’t even tweak the wifi channels although there are congestion in wifi traffic in my area. This is not a professional comparison but a test nonetheless.

The current layout of my home wifi setup is shown in the diagram below. In this test, I am using a Macbook pro (late 2010 edition) in built wifi. I mainly use 2 programs called Netspot and Wifi Explorer to test the signal strengths of each router.

Below are the 4 types of wifi signals that are put into the test! Who will emerge the winner? Ding Ding!!

Router Model GHz SSID Modem
1 ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4GHz (b/g/n) ASUS 2.4G Zhone GPON2301
2 ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz (a/n/ac) ASUS 5G Zhone GPON2301
3 Dlink DIR868L 2.4GHz (n) DLink-2.4G Huawei EchoLife HG8240
4 Dlink DIR868L 5GHz ((a/n/ac) DLink-5G EchoLife HG8240

viewqwest and sh setup


ROUND 1: Signal Strength for distance (data direct from Netspot)
Area wifi summary

The warm orange areas(-15dBm) have the best signals while the cool blue(-82dBm) receives lowest signal strength. Notice that the blue blindspots on the bottom left(Kitchen) might be the furthest areas. The blue areas on the bottom right(Room 2) are due to the numerous amounts of wireless and electronic devices emitted from my room.

From this first test, best overall signals wrt to distance are shown below:

  1. ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4 GHz
  2. D-Link DIR868L 2.4GHz
  3. ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz
  4. D-Link DIR868L 5GHz

ROUND 2A: Signal Strength in 30min (data direct from Netspot at 5.5m away)

Signal and noise 30m

Notice ASUS 5GHz improves over time
Although ASUS has noise spikes, the signal remains constantly strong getting about 10dBm more than D-LinkTYPE OF WIFI SIGNAL


ROUND 2B: Signal Strength in 60min (data direct from Netspot at 5.5m away)
Signal and noise small 60min
Asus 5GHz has the most constant signal
Asus 2,4GHz has the most erratic signals spiking up and down. Nontheless it remains the top overall.

Notice that ASUS 5GHz improves over time, especially at the 45th min onwards. After 60mins the average signal ranking are as follows:

  1. ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4GHz
  2. ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz
  3. D-Link DIR868L 2.4GhZ
  4. D-Link DIR868L 5GHz

WINNER!
The tests done are in a location where the environment is quite constant although there might be a lot of interference from neighboring wifi and wireless signals. Keeping these constant. The result shows that ASUS RT-AC87U is the definite winner as:
– ASUS manage to throw the signals farther away with higher signal strength rather than DLink
– ASUS immediate signals is much stronger without obstruction. Unfortunately the signals tend to normalize with other routers whenever there is obstruction or further away.
– ASUS signal improves over time especially with the ASUS 5Ghz signal.

I need to look into Asus 2.4GHz signals as it constantly spike up and down. This is due to the interference around as there are too many 2.4Ghz signals around. Stay tuned to the next post where I will give tips to improve on wifi signal strength in your homes.