Let’s explore Borobudur temple on Google Street View!

Borobudur temple

Borobudur temple

Do you want to visit Borobudur temple complex in Magelang region of Central Java but still don’t have a chance? Don’t worry, be happy. The oldest Buddhist temples in the world and Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction is just a click away, thanks to Google Street View capabilities!

Google Asia Pacific blog wrote:

Earlier this year, our Street View operator strapped on the Trekker and set out to capture 360-degree imagery of all 2,500 square meters of this UNESCO World Heritage site. With Borobudur’s nine stacked platforms, 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues, there was plenty to explore.

Built between the 8th and 9th century, the Borobudur temple is 300 years older than Angkor Wat in Cambodia and 400 years older than the European Cathedrals. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument once a year.

In addition to Borobudur, Google also published Street View imagery of Lampung, Lombok, and Palembang on Google Maps.

Happy exploring!



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Selfie sticks banned at 1,195 stations in Japan!

selfie_sticks_courtesy_rocketnews24Selfie sticks banned by major Japanese train operator, finally. No wonder. To put this in perspective: So far in 2015, more people around the world have died as a result of selfie mishaps than have died from shark attacks.

Last incident: A 66-year-old Japanese tourist has died after falling down stairs while attempting to take a selfie at the Taj Mahal.

With Japanese society’s overlapping loves of photography, smartphones, and social media, it was only a matter of time until selfie sticks took the country by storm. They’re an especially common site at tourist destinations in the country, since no proper Japanese journey is complete without commemorative photos taken of the group posing with the most famous local attraction, shinkansen, and possibly whatever the local culinary delicacy is.

But as of this weekend, there are 1,195 places where you’ll see plenty of travelers but not a single selfie stick: the train stations of western Japan, which have prohibited their use.

So? Easy. Just ask your friend or a stranger to take your picture. Or robots will do this for us instead soon? ;)

Source: RocketNews24

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Republika Masuk Blacklist Saya

:: Sudah sejak berbulan-bulan yang lalu, Republika masuk blacklist saya. Berita berikut ini kembali mengingatkan saya, kenapa ini sampai terjadi : "Ditinggal Gobel, Kemendag Longgarkan Aturan Penjualan Bir" http://www.republika.co.id/berita/ekonomi/makro/15/09/13/num8ep328-ditinggal-gobel-kemendag-longgarkan-aturan-penjualan-bir

Dari judulnya saja, orang banyak akan langsung menarik kesimpulan – padahal, isinya ternyata berbeda total :) yaitu :

(1) Ternyata aturan tsb sudah ada sejak April 2015 : Gobel diganti Agustus 2015 :) jadi, bukan karena Menteri setelah Gobel.


(2) Ternyata Minimarket tetap dilarang jual miras :) 

Disebutkan di artikel itu sendiri, dikutip :

"Namun, Srie menegaskan, dengan adanya relaksasi tersebut bukan berarti minuman beralkohol golongan A bisa dijual kembali di minimarket"

(3) Inti aturan (yang disebut di artikel) tsb adalah mendelegasikan kepada Pemda, untuk mengatur detail teknis (juknis) dalam implementasi larangan miras ini. Misalnya; untuk daerah pariwisata, masih boleh miras dijual; dengan tetap memperhatikan poin 2 diatas.

Karena judul yang ngawur & tulisan yang penuh pelintiran, banyak pembaca tidak akan menyadari ini – dan langsung emosi saja, "gara-gara Jokowi !" 😉

Mari, kita mulai menjadi pembaca / konsumen berita, yang cerdas. 
Jangan mudah dihasut terus oleh media massa provokator seperti ini.

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Gaming as sport: The popularity of Esports as the digital wave rises

Esports or eSports

Esports or eSports [credit]

Today we live in a digital world, a fact backed up by the fact that mobile devices outnumber the amount of humans on earth. Almost everything we do in this day and age is moving towards digital, with entertainment being near the forefront.

Sports as a whole has found itself walking the digital path, and it is only growing from year to year. Goal-line technology has been introduced in football, while cricket, rugby and tennis all have their respective digital umpires. Perhaps a bigger threat to the traditional sporting enthusiasts is Esports (also known as eSports, e-sports, competitive gaming, electronic sports, or progaming in Korea), which removes the physical aspect of sports entirely.

For those unfamiliar with Esports, it pits two video game players in front of an audience and requires the gamers to play each other until there is a victor. This form of competition is now starting to generate massive audiences while the signs all point towards Esports becoming a major player in entertainment as the digital wave rises.

Video game competitions, however are nothing new. Nintendo held the World Championships for years in the early 90’s, but online gaming, and improved realistic feature in games, has really sent the Esports interest into the stratosphere.

Asia has been a major player bringing Esports into the spotlight. South Korea made coverage of various tournaments available to spectators using a streaming platform. The high internet speeds allowed viewers to watch uninterrupted while the images of these tournaments have led to higher demand in physical attendance, thus forcing promotors to use arena’s to host the competitions. World Cyber Games, one of the originals, started off with a bang in South Korea and China, and has since moved onto locations such as USA, Italy and Germany just to name a few. These tournaments are also used to promote new games, where the competition will revolve around gamers taking each other on over a newly released gaming product.

WCG 2006 Warcraft 3 Winners

WCG 2006 Warcraft 3 Winners [credit]

With increased popularity also comes attention from the previously uninterested traditional world. Twitch.tv took advantage by setting up a dedicated Esports streaming channel which has in turn made modest celebrities out of certain gamers.

Sponsorship has also jumped on the bandwagon. Energy drinks and computer hardware companies are among the biggest backers to sponsorship revenue. Online sports betting agencies are sitting up and taking attention, as Betway.com has set up its own Esports betting website. Betway isn’t the only online gaming site to take advantage of the gaming culture as MobileSlots.net has offered video game themed slots for over a decade in the shape of Hitman and Tomb Raider.

So Esports has managed to build itself as a highly sustainable business, but how seriously is it being taken by the traditional sporting fraternity? ESPN was asked whether it would ever consider broadcasting Esports, to which the president replied that he saw Esports as more of a ‘competition’ rather than a sport. Therefore it looks like it could take a significant amount of time before traditionalists are touting Esports as a potential Olympic addidtion, however the Esports industry has managed to accumulate a team of lawyers to ensure the legally secure future of the circus.

Awesome audiences [credit]

Awesome audiences [credit]

Audiences are so easily organised via the internet that the numbers just continue to grow, while feedback ensures that the events are always being updated and improved. The whole gaming landscape has been changed by Esports, as it has opened up another avenue for game sales which never existed.

Supporters of traditional sports are more likely to buy sporting equipment used by their heroes, while the same applies in the gaming world. Razer has released a special limited edition gaming controller used by competitors. Verizon, a large US telecommunications conglomerate, has announced that it will be shifting more focus towards Esports.

All the writing is on the wall that Esports is becoming a force to be reckoned with, and should viewer number surpass a certain figure, it will be hard for the traditional world to ignore it much longer.



*Diskon Palsu”

:: Suatu hari saya sedang mencari smartphone Redmi 2 di Lazada, wow diskonnya 65% lho ! :) eh tunggu sebentar…kok harga aslinya Redmi 2 sama dengan Redmi Note 4G ?? 😀 sama-sama Rp 5 juta rupiah, ha ha.

Bedanya kemudian Redmi 2 diskon 65%, dan Redmi Note 4G diskon 55% :) :)
Screenshot terlampir.

Ini adalah sebuah trik psikologis untuk mengecoh kita, pembeli :) agar kita tergugah untuk membeli, karena "diskonnya gede!" 😀

Padahal ternyata harganya dinaikkan sampai tidak normal dulu 😀 baru kemudian di diskon 😉
Apa mungkin Redmi 2 memang pernah dijual Rp 5 juta di Lazada ? :) :) kita cari di seluruh dunia pun rasanya tidak akan bisa menemukan toko yang menjual Redmi 2 seharga ini :)

Tipu-tipuan seperti ini sudah lama dilarang di negara-negara lainnya.

Di Inggris, konsumen dilindungi dari hal-hal seperti ini misalnya oleh CPR (Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations) tahun 2008 : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pricing-practices-a-guide-for-traders

Terkait soal diskon ini, peraturannya adalah sbb :

# Harga asli harus benar (pernah dijual dengan harga asli tsb)

# Produk tsb sudah pernah dijual dengan harga asli tsb minimal selama 28 hari, dan

# Memang benar ada stoknya : tidak boleh memajang harga saja namun sebetulnya tidak ada barangnya :)

Maka kemudian barulah produk tsb boleh di diskon, dengan mencantumkan harga asli tsb :)

Kalau aturan seperti ini diterapkan juga di Indonesia, entahlah berapa banyak penjual online & offline yang bakal kena 😀 mungkin banyak sekali ya?

Semoga di masa depan, para penjual di negara ini makin jujur dalam menjalankan bisnisnya, amin.

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Phone’s cracked screen, replaced.

I usually am quite careful when it comes to my phone: use phone case, apply the screen protector, things like that. But I suppose accident happens regardless. So, during the first week of August, I accidentally dropped a big screwdriver on the phone (don’t ask why) and heard a “crack” sound. Uugghh… my heart dropped when I saw the crack. Really bad.

Phone with cracked screen
The phone with the cracked screen. Looks scary.

Hoping the screen protector was strong enough to protect the touchscreen (after all, I used tempered glass screen protector), I turned it on and, bummer, the touch screen is completely borked. Fortunately, the hard drive was not affected so software worked fine. However, I could not interact with the apps, even when I tried to shutdown the phone. So, the only thing I could do was to let the phone run until it was running out of the battery and shutdown by default.

Phone's touch display looks really bad
The software works just fine, but since the touch display is damaged, I cannot interact with it at all.

I checked the company’s website and their user forum, and found out one could send the phone back to the company in China and get charged for $150 (apparently this kind of physical damage doesn’t get covered by the warranty) or spend about $50 for the screen/touch display and replace it oneself. Being a tinkerer I am and always want to see the guts of any electronic devices, I decided to risk it and do the screen replacement myself. The downside: opening up the phone means I will void the warranty. But, at this point, warranty means little to me if I have to spend big bucks anyway to have the phone fixed. Besides, I am going to learn something new here. Worst case scenario: I failed. But then I can always sell the phone as parts on eBay. So, nothing really to loose here. Besides, I still have my Moto X phone as a backup phone.

YouTube provides various instructions on DIY phone screen replacement. I found two videos that really helped me to understand the ins and outs of replacing the screen.

The first video below nicely showed how to remove the damaged screen and put the replacement back. He showed which areas we need to pay attention to so we won’t damage the component.

The second video was created by a professional technician, so his method is very structured. The tools he used helped me to figure out the tools I need.

I basically watched those two videos probably a dozen times or so to make sure I didn’t miss anything (and, yes, I donated to their Paypal account as my thanks.)

It took me a while to finally finished the screen replacement work. I removed the cracked screen first, and then had to wait for about 3 weeks to receive the screen replacement. I just used whatever online store they recommended to get the parts that I need.

Below is a set of thumbnails with captions explaining my work. Each thumbnail is clickable to its original image.


phone's cracked screen
Phone with its cracked screen. Ready to be worked on for screen replacement.

The back of the phone
The back of the phone. The SIM card is removed and the back cover is ready to be opened.

phone with back cover removed
The phone with back cover removed. The battery occupies most of the section. There’s a white dot sticker on the top right corner covering one of the screws. Removing that screw will void the warranty.

Back of the phone with top part that covers the hard disk removed
The top part of the phone that covers the hard disk, camera lens, and SIM car reader is removed. There’s a white, square sticker on the top left corner. It will turn pink if the phone is exposed to moisture (dropped into a puddle of water, etc.)

Back of the phone with top and bottom part removed
Bottom part of the phone is removed. It houses the USB port, the touch capacity, and the antenna.

phone with the battery removed
The battery is removed. It took me quite a while to work on this because the glue was so strong and I was so worried I might bend the battery too much and damage it.

The phone with components removed
All the components that would need to be removed had been removed. The hard disk, the main cable, the touch capacity/USB port/antenna part. Looking good.

cracked screen, guitar pick, and a blow dryer
The video instruction from ModzLink suggested to use a heat to loosen up the glue. Good thing I have a blow dryer with a nozzle that allows me to focus the hot air on certain section of the screen. The guitar pick was used to tease out the glass part once the surface is hot enough.

Heating the screen surface with blow dryer
It took me about 20 minutes to finally get the screen hot enough and the glue loosen up. By the way, I vacuumed the screen first to remove glass debris so the blow drier won’t blow them all over the place.

working on cleaning up the glue from the casing
I used the magnifying glass from my soldering station to make sure all glue and loose debris were gone.

screen replacement and the old screen
The screen replacement, on the left, finally arrived. Even though they said it’s an original screen, I’m not really sure, considering the original one has extra copper lines on the sides.

new screen with the casing, fine point tweezers, and adhesive
The casing is clean so all I need to do is inserting the screen replacement in it.

putting the adhesive on the casing
Carefully putting the adhesive strips on the sides of the casing.

new screen in place
New screen in place. I had to redo it because I forgot to put the speaker grill on the top at the first time.

back of the casing
Added new adhesive strips so the battery will stick on it. Put the rest of the components back.

turn on the phone
Added a new tempered glass screen protector, put the SIM card back in, and turned on the phone.


working phone
Success. I got my favorite phone back.

It was scary the first time I worked on the phone, mostly because I don’t want to break things. But I eventually felt comfortable dealing with the components and, should similar thing happened again (knocks on the wood it won’t), I at least know what to do now.