Monday, April 29, 2013

One of the More Fun Macau Trips

"This has been one of the more fun Macau trips." -- Manish Sansi

I fully agree. This Macau trip is somewhat unlike the other ones, in which it was actually enjoyable at a non-poker, non-party level. That's right, I didn't party over the 3 nights I spent this trip in Macau (by the way, normally I can't stand staying in Macau for 3 nights without going into a depression). I give partial credit to myself for stuffing the trip with awesome activities, partial credit to my awesome friends whom I hung out with (including my buddy Manish who flew in from Delhi), and partial credit to the fact that Macau has simply become more enjoyable. Here's a quick rundown of the trip (for my future memory-lost self), I won't go into the details of the poker since that probably deserves another blog post:

Day 1 - April 25, 2013

- got 1:25pm tickets to Iron Man 3. (Note that this took a 2-weeks prior booking.)
- took 10:30am ferry to Macau.
- met up with my buddy Kenny to see said movie. (Spoiler: Iron Man 3 is amazing. I totally loved the "house party scene". /endspoiler)
- after the movie we met up with Manish for Japanese food at like 4pm.
- got into my hotel room and napped, as preparation for poker that starts at 7pm.
- poker from 7pm till 4am.
- ate "dinner" at this chinese restaurant inside City of Dreams with Carlos and a poker buddy Terry. The food was surprisingly good . (Name of the place is Ji Xiang Yuan).

Day 2 - April 26, 2013

- woke up and made coffee. Yup I packed my Aeropress and coffee beans to Macau.
- went for a really good workout with Manish. Learned quite a few new things which usually comes with having a new workout partner.
- had Portuguese food with Kenny, Manish, and my other buddy Carlos. The food was awesome, the place was not crowded like a casino restaurant, and the price was *very* reasonable.
- back to the hotel room for a post-food nap.
- went to the Venetian with Kenny and Manish for Brazilian BBQ. Basically how this place works is the appetizers are all-you-can-eat, set out as a buffet style, and once that's out of the way, the servers start bringing the meat to the table. Beef, lamb, sausages, chicken, pork ribs, oh my god it was SO good.
- after dinner we had one beer at Hard Rock Cafe. The live band was quite decent.

Day 3 - April 27, 2013

- woke up at 8am for a workout and breakfast. Went back to sleep after.
- woke up again at 11am, made coffee and got ready for poker.
- had lunch with Carlos at the same Japanese place.
- poker from 2pm to 1am.
- met up with a poker buddy from way back, Vikram, for dim sum "dinner".
- went to Grand Waldo Spa to stay the night. Paid a woman to step on my back.

Day 4 - April 28, 2013
- woke up in the spa and had breakfast.
- went back to Sheraton for another workout and got ready for poker.
- poker didn't last long and I got busted out of the tournament 17th out of 891.

Note that I've controlled my food intake very rigorously and made sure I had no food 3 hours before poker and all the way during poker. Food makes brain dysfunction. Fasting puts brain on supercharge. #scientificfact

Final spoiler: Terry won the tournament for a cool HK$1.7m.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Snap Takeaways on Dell Going Private

- Deal priced at $13.65 and it was *gasp* accepted by the shareholders (at close to no premium). Der-ammmmmmnnnnn. That's pretty desperate. Somehow no one's very confident huh.

- Microsoft injecting $2bn: once again the technogiant is showing off its TMM syndrome. "Make fuckloads off Office and blow it away on stupid shit." -- Steve Ballmer

- MSFT investors need to sell, now.

- If anyone's hoping for any synergy after the injection, sorry. Buying $2bn of a $24bn company gets you 8.3%, or no influence.

- Dell already uses Microsoft products, btw!

- A private equity fund called Silver Lake threw in $1bn. Usually a private equity buys many startups with a lot of inertia for very little and hope one (or more) of them blossoms. They don't buy a dying ex-technogiant for a lot of money and hope it somehow magically turns around.

- Said private equity fund have probably never caught a falling knife.

 - AFAIK Dell is gonna worth a lot less in 5 years after PC market share in consumer space gets completely eaten up.

- AFAIK Michael Dell is smoking something very good.

- UNLESS he's planning to do a Steve Jobs.

- But maybe that's part of the effect of the smoking.

- Silver lining: now that Dell is private, they may do a lot of crazy shit that excite the niche market. Ubuntu tablet or sth. I don't know. I wouldn't know until I get what Michael Dell is smoking.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Apple Inc, Part 2

Back on November 6, 2012 I wrote about shorting Apple, which at the time was $587 and 13x PE. Today Apple took a post-earning dive to $460. Earnings was good, except there's no more growth. (By the way, the official "reason" for the selloff, ie the numbers having missed street guestimate, is lots of bullshit. Wall Street's guestimate is as clueless as the next guy's, and everyone's just managing everyone's expectation. So don't buy into that.)

Apple's problems:

Tim Cook sounding more and more like a muppet and Steve Ballmer;
The company showed no sign of moving forward. Tim Cook somehow mentioned the iphone 4 on the earnings conference call. for fuck's sake;
The company isn't recognizing the threat of canibalization. It's living in a delusion not unlike the Los Angeles Lakers;
Innovation is now as foreign a term as Follow Others' Lead was to Steve Jobs;
Tim Cook's profit mining style is not helping.

What I care about in Apple is long term growth. Right now, I don't see any. I see a company that's going down the Nokia, RIM, and Mackintosh-era Apple route.

Short Apple. If you already are shorting it, short more. To the ground this goes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Per App DPI: what it is and why it's so beautiful

Unless you're a serious tech geek and a veteran member of, you probably have never heard of per app DPI (dots per inch). I'm gonna explain what it is, and why it makes the whole Android experience so beautiful. But before I start, I would like to say that I didn't code any of these, and full credit should be given to the people who did (see the end of thread for links).

So what's per app DPI?

It all started with Android's now famed screen-size / resolution fragmentation. What this means is, there exist a bazillion different Android devices out there and each has a different screen size and resolution, ranging from a small 3.5" phone to a 10.1" full-sized tablet. This seemed like a serious problem at first (which is why all the ifanboys were talking about Android apps being behind as the developers have to take care of all the screen sizes etc etc bs), but eventually all the good apps supported all the different screen sizes. How? By something called MultiDPI. Basically an Android app is coded in a way that within the one app, different user interfaces are displayed depending on the device's screen size and resolution. Per app DPI takes advantage of this.

Basically, per app DPI cheats each app into believing the device it's on has a different resolution. As a result, on a single phone, one can have a phone app that looks exactly like a phone app, and another app that makes the phone look like a shrunk tablet.

Why is this useful?

Per app DPI is useful in many ways. What a user can do by reducing the DPI ranges from simply displaying more onto one screen to enabling a completely different UI. I'll let the pictures do the talking:

The straight forward stuff:

Gmail: here I simply reduced the DPI slightly, thereby displaying more emails on one screen

Google+: Here once again I reduced the DPI to create a larger view area for contents

Slightly more exciting stuff:

Google Calendar: Here, by reducing the DPI and forcing tablet mode, a different interface is obtained. All within the same app, no extra download required.

Youtube: Here, the DPI is once again reduced to force tablet mode. It's a bit hard to see just by the two pictures below, but what so nice is that in the first picture (where Youtube runs under the original phone mode), the full screen version of the video is shown as soon as the phone is rotated to landscape and there's no landscape UI to speak of. In the second picture (where tablet mode is forced), the UI is a lot nicer. (Obviously full screen mode is still available via the button on the lower right corner.)

Flipboard: Flipboard recently released its tablet version and I'm one of the people who really likes it. It's obviously cool to be able to access it on my phone.

The really cool stuff:

IMDb: Here when tablet mode is forced, well, we almost get a totally different IMDb app. And hell it's a much nicer UI. The phone version is a bit all over the place, while the tablet version is just so much nicer to look at and much easier to understand.

Google Maps: Google somehow favors tablet users in their Maps app. The tablet version just makes so much more sense to have the search bar right at the top and a one-click voice search button.

Google Local: This one is just a beauty. In the phone Local app the map completely disappears. In the tablet version, the search results sit on top of the map and the user can easily see where each search result is, tying Local and Maps together.

To wrap it up, per app DPI unleashes the full potential of Android and it's all because Google allows this kind of high level modification into their operating system (while iusers can continue to live in Apple's obsessively closed system).

If you're interested in trying out per app DPI, check out Paranoid Android if you're using a Nexus device here: If you have the Samsung SGS3 like I do, definitely get f0mey's null rom here: Both the Paranoid team and f0mey have done some amazing works and for null rom, there're a bunch of devs who deserve as much credits, they're listed on the OP of the null thread. By the way, both of these require root, obviously.