Thursday, November 25, 2010

Android 2.3 Gingerbread on Nexus S

Samsung’s Google Nexus S leaked again, shows off Android 2.3 Gingerbread

XDA Developers – the source of the new photos
– says the Nexus S might feature a Super AMOLED 2 display, dual-core processor, and 720p HD video recording. (More photos to be found there)

Google and Samsung has yet officially announce the Nexus S, new photos of the smartphone have appeared on the web, this time showing the Android version it’s based on.

As expected, the Nexus S runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread – which should be released in the next few weeks.

Here are some specs of the Nexus S:

* ArmV7 CPU – Could be Dual Core
* Open GL ES Supported
* 512 or 328MB Ram (Not 100% known)
* 1GB or 2GB Internal Memory (Not 100% known)
* 800×480 Screen Resolution
* 4″ Screen Size
* SuperAmoled2 – Possibly
* 720P HD Video

If you are planning to get a new phone season, you may need to wait a little longer, and get the phone with Gingerbread.

-- Robin Low

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Battle of the buses. Boston - New York

Fung Wah vs. Lucky Star vs. Megabus vs. Bolt
Boston: All buses leave and arrive at South Station.
The trip takes 4 hours - 5 hours and has a 10 min break in between.

Traveling between New York to Boston is simple and relatively cheap. Now there are multiple buses to get you there.

From Boston, you can get on any of these buses at the bus terminal at South Station. Depending on where you need to get to in New York will cost around $15 to $25 one way.

Bolt bus

New York
Number of Stops: 3
New York 33rd and 7th by Sbarro (To DC or Balt.)
33 St. & 7 Ave NY, NY 10018

Description: This is an outdoor stop at the northeast corner of the intersection. The bus will stop in the designated bus stop area on 33rd Street in front of a Sbarro’s Italian restaurant.
Connections: MTA subway lines A, C, E (8 Ave), 1,2,3 (7 Ave), B,D, F, V (6 Ave)
New York 34th and 8th by Tick Tock (Phil. or Bos.)
34 St. & 8 Ave NY, NY 10001

Description: This is an outdoor stop at the northwest corner of the intersection. The primary landmark is the New Yorker hotel and the Tick Tock Diner. Along 34th there are designated bus stops from the Tick Tock to the entrance of the Manhattan Center. This is where our bus will pickup.
Connections: MTA subway lines A, C, E (8 Ave), 1,2,3 (7 Ave)
New York 6th Between Grand & Watts (To DC or Phil)
Canal St. & 6 Av. NY, NY 10014

Description: This is an outdoor stop at the northeast corner of the intersection a little north on 6th.
Connections: MTA subway lines A, C, 2, 3

Price sort of varies between $15 - $23.00 or more, and though there are a lot of buses running, they tend to sell out. This is a good way to get to B&H in New York, but otherwise, its main cost is the Wifi and Plug in. If you don't need to plug in, why pay extra?

I don't feel the service any better than the others.

Pros: Wifi, Electric Plug In
Cons: Pricey

Fung Wah Bus

Your old school Chinatown - Chinatown bus.

Maps : Location

Fung Wah runs regularly with very solid schedule every hour. In fact Fung Wah Bus service is running every 15mins during the rush hour on Nov 24 and Nov 28.

It is always $15 (except the 2am bus) and it seemed fantastically fast!

There are lots of news about Fung Wah getting into accidents though, but heh, accidents do happen right...

Pros: $15 most of the time, every 30 mins during peak hours, can book at the boarding area. FAST!

Cons: May get into accident?


The Megabus offers Free Wifi,

Leaving New York, NW Corner of 9th Ave and 31st St.
Arriving New York, 7th Ave & 28th St.

I feel that this leaving and arriving does get confusing at times, and I've been on this bus twice back from New York, and as it always pass by Yankees Stadium, the traffic jam sometimes makes traveling time unbelievably long! (I was stuck at a location there for 1 hour before)

The Megabus is also pricey. Costing $13 - $25 online, it costs $25 at the bus stop.

This bus stop is great for leaving B&H as it is just across the road from it.

Pros: Free Wifi
Cons: Expensive and slowest. Confusing stop locations in New York.

Lucky Star

Lucky Star is yet another Chinatown - Chinatown bus.

Location: 55-59 Chrystie Street (Chinatown)

Strangely, this $15 bus also offer free wifi, and the wifi feels pretty fast compared to Bolt and Megabus. It just feels like Fung Wah, less fast (less dangerous?) and with free wifi.

Pros: $15 bus. Wifi
Cons: No plug in.

After trying out all the services, I feel that Lucky Star is the way to go if I want to get to Chinatown and move from there. It has a short rest stop in Connecticut for 10 mins, and the wifi seemed great.

I was on the Megabus and Bolt, and the NYC staff seemed uninterested and I feel that they do not really answer your question, and the locations to board are pretty "questionable" off the street.

Fung Wah and Lucky Star has a store in Chinatown where you buy tickets and board. And since they are very near each other, if a bus is full, you can always get on the next.

Compared to flying, this is a much cheaper way, and you don't need to be at the airport 2 hour in advance.

-- Robin Low

Friday, November 12, 2010

China Eastern Airlines (SIN - JFK)

Flight: MU 568 Singapore - Pudong (Shanghai)
Flight: MU 587 Pudong - New York (JFK)

At a glance, this is the cheapest flight form Singapore - New York. The cost is about US$1400 which is about $400 cheaper than the other flights. As I was saving up for a camera lens, I decided to fly this as I have enough miles on China Eastern to upgrade to business class on the latter flight.

Initially, I booked at several other webpages, and all of the bookings seemed to be cancelled. I wanted to book with Singapore webpages, Zuji and, however for the same (cheapest flight) the cost is S$150 more than the US sites. Hence, I decided to try the other sites, and eventually, with Orbitz, the order got through.

The flight was however far from satisfactory, but at $400 cheaper, I decided to try. Firstly there was a 14 hour stop over at Shanghai, this allowed me to meet a friend and go around the EXPO area again.

It was strange how many passengers on the airlines are just so eager to get on board, from the beginning, this flight to JFK (New York) seemed to be a nightmare. The flight attendants of China Eastern cannot seem to control the crowd. The boarding was very chaotic, and everyone seemed to be fighting to get on board. On the plane, the passengers do not seem to know where to sit. I had a person in my seat because there was someone in his seat, and someone else in his seat...

Nonetheless, the flight took off on time. On the flight, I requested for water after 30 minutes in the air, and the air stewardess was no where to be found. 30 minutes later, they started serving water, and for the initial few people in front, they seem to get beer and other beverages, however, when they came to me, there was no more beer and orange juice, just apple juice and coke.

Then dinner came, and again beef rice was out, and chicken noodles was what's left, and indeed, it is inedible. The fruits are soggy and food is simply nasty. They ran out of beverages, and they only have water and tea. I requested for playing cards, and they are out of that too. This is simply insane!

When I arrived in Shanghai, I met my friend for dinner and we travelled around the EXPO site and had dinner, later I checked into a motel. It was a decent motel for $60, but there is no internet access. I was quite glad to have this break in my flight for a nap, and it may prove to be very good. 2 showers amd a breakfast, it may seem all worthwhile.

The second leg of my flight is from Shanghai to New York. The plane is much bigger and the business class is much more spacious compared to economy. In business class, the food however is as miserable as before, and what I can simply call NASTY, hence I decided on my liquid meals, 6 beers, and they have only Bud light, but still, its better than crappy food. Surprisingly, in business class, the "China" people who fly seemed to be similar. As I was sitting near the toilet, I could say that 1 out of 2 people flush, and about 2 out of 3 knows how to lock the door. It was a very sad seat indeed when you hear people from the toilet trying to have a conversation with their friend outside.

I usually get a lot of sleep on flights, but this bunch of people are extremely noisy, the "real estate tycoon" beside me who boasts of 7 digit income per month and several mistresses around seemed very eager to share too much information, and show me his keys to the different cars he own, and one of them was a limited edition E63 AMG with Swarvoski Crystals embedded in the key. He also talked about his Cadalliac and his Audi R8 in Manhattan, I wonder where is there space to own a supercar?

The beers for each meal kept me going on, no food and simply light beer seemed to work so far. I'm really looking forward to meet my friends, and all the pain endured, and more pain to come (Metro, and probably bus from NYC to Boston) will be rewarded with good company.

Overall, the trip was indeed "Budget" and it feels like it, the meals are poor, and experience rather bad, but it felt safe and ok when you arrive. Do you think it is worth it?

-- Robin Low

Sunday, November 07, 2010

This is the first time I booked with

Its $1 cheaper than Orbitz and much cheaper than Travelocity and Kayak.

I've tried Orbitz before, and it was plenty of FAIL, and so because of price. (And saving up for that stupid lens) I've decided to try CHEAP, and fly this stupid airlines.

Initially, when I saw the above ad, I was pretty happy, but when there is no way of entering the "coupon" during checkout, I realized that it was a FAIL and a ploy again.

Then checking on and, the prices are $120 higher, and I decided that since it was the same flight, I'll trust the Kayak Price comparison, and go with CheapoAir.

By The Way, Singaporeans without a US Credit need not even try as they need a US / Canada Billing address. So go pay your $120 more with AsiaTravels.

I am going to earn some miles, and get lots of pain! (I've got China Air miles eligible for upgrade!)

I booked the tickets and got this reply. 
(For any changes to your itinerary, please call us at 866-636-9088 )
Booking Receipt
Please print and keep this receipt.
Please do not respond to this e-mail! This email is intended for notification purposes.

Customer Information
Traveler:Robin LowEmail:robinxxx@yahoo.comPhone:1-xxx-xxx-xxxx
Booking Number:XXXXXXBooked on:Mon, Nov 08, 2010

Trip Summary
Flight Summary
Singapore Changi, SG (SIN) 

New York Kennedy, US (JFK)
Thu, Nov 11, 2010
4:35 pm - 1:25 pm (+1 day) (1 Stop)

Wed, Jan 19, 2011
3:35 pm - 5:00 am (+2 day) (1 Stop)
 Traveler NameTicket NumberSeat RequestMeal PreferenceSpecial Request
 Low, Robin (Adult)-Any seatAny meal-

Disclaimer: All special requests, meal preferences, seat requests are not guaranteed. You must contact your airline to reconfirm that they have received this request and confirmed it.

Booking Number:5755755
Departing Flight - Thursday, Nov 11, 2010
China Eastern Airlines 
Flight 568 
Airbus 600 Series E Jet

Singapore Changi (SIN)
04:35pm -Nov 11, Thu
Shanghai Pu Dong (PVG)
10:00pm -Nov 11, Thu

China Eastern Airlines 
Flight 587 

Shanghai Pu Dong (PVG)
12:00pm -Nov 12, Fri
New York Kennedy (JFK)
01:25pm -Nov 12, Fri

Flight Duration: 19hr 50minLayover Time: 14hr 0minTotal Trip Time: 33hr 50min
Return Flight - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011
China Eastern Airlines 
Flight 588 

New York Kennedy (JFK)
03:35pm -Jan 19, Wed
Shanghai Pu Dong (PVG)
07:30pm -Jan 20, Thu

China Eastern Airlines 
Flight 543 
Airbus 600 Series E Jet

Shanghai Pu Dong (PVG)
11:55pm -Jan 20, Thu
Singapore Changi (SIN)
05:00am -Jan 21, Fri

Flight Duration: 20hr 00minLayover Time: 4hr 25minTotal Trip Time: 24hr 25min
Please note: As Airlines have frequent schedule changes, please call the Airline 24 hours before departure to reconfirm your flight details. Airline Phone Numbers 

Your ticket is NON-REFUNDABLE . For any changes to dates or routing, please call our Customer Service. These changes may have airline penalty and our fees. Some flights may be completely NON CHANGEABLE even with an airline penalty.

Price Details (USD)
Flight Price Details

 Traveler TypeTicket PriceTax & Fee Breakdown 
(incl. Traveler Assist)

 1 Adult/s$ 852.00$ 470.78$ 1,322.78
   Insurance Fee:$ 0
Charged on Credit Card - Visa - 4802**29Subtotal:$ 1,322.78

Total Cost:$ 1,322.78

Please Note: Your credit card may be billed in multiple charges totaling the above amount. 
Terms & Conditions
Flight Booking Terms & Conditions
IMPORTANT NOTE: All Tickets will be automatically issued and are non-refundable, if you do not receive an email with ticket # information, please contact us to get the Ticket #s or call the Airline to receive ticket # information, IN NO CASE WILL TICKETS BE REFUNDABLE , even if not utilized.

NOTE: If it is a third party credit card, you may receive a phone call and email from our customer service department asking to verify this transaction before the tickets can be issued. A Third party credit card is when the Traveler is not the Card Holder.
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  • Please add in your address book to ensure delivery of Special Travel Offers in your Inbox.
  • Effective November 3, 2008, travelers, who have purchased discounted fares such as student, military or senior citizen's fares are required to present a valid photo ID for verification purposes. A Government issued photo ID must be presented by all travelers for boarding any domestic and international flights.
  • Please re-confirm your seat and/or other special requests such as Frequent Flyer miles with the respective airlines directly: Airline Phone Numbers 
  • Please re confirm flight schedules and departure times with the respective airlines directly at least 72 hours before departure. It is recommended to check in 3 hours prior to departure for all international flights and to check in 2 hours prior to departure for all domestic flights.
  • If you have a last minute reservation, please re-confirm flight schedules and departure times with the respective airlines directly at least 24 hours before departure.
  • If an airline has a change to any of its flights and such changes are within a 4 hour period of your original flight times, we will notify you of such change by email.
  • We will attempt to contact you via phone; however, due to various reasons if we are unable to get in touch with you, our email will serve as a final notice.
  • For all such changes within a 4 hour period, tickets will remain non-refundable. Certain ticket types may be non-refundable even when the schedule change is over 4 hours.
  • Please check your travel documents such as Ticket, Passport, Visas and other applicable Entry Permits and make sure that they are valid for the duration of your entire tip. You are solely responsible for all Entry Permits and Visa requirements for the countries you are visiting. Prior to commencement of travel, please review your travel itinerary carefully and make sure you are fully aware of possible flight connection times and changes of Airports at your point of connection. Please ensure that you are in possession of valid documents that may be required and follow instructions pertaining to connections that involve a change of Airports (especially for international travel).
  • Please note that your flight itinerary may consist of flights that are operated by a code-share partner of the airline on which you are traveling in which event we advise you to make sure ahead of time that you check-in and board your flight at the corresponding Airlines' terminal. For example - The flight # on your ticket may indicate a "United Airlines Flight #" but in fact this flight may be operated by "Lufthansa" in which case you are required to check-in and board this flight at the departure terminal of "Lufthansa".
  • In extremely rare cases Airlines' rules or fares may change prior to the issuance of tickets, in which case we reserve the right to notify you of any rule or fare changes within three (3) business days. For any fare changes up to US$25 of the new fare, we will absorb the difference of fare. However, in the event that the fare differential is higher then $25 you may have the option not to purchase this ticket and your credit card will not be charged. If there is no change in fare then your ticket will be automatically issued and will be non-refundable.
  • Changes -All tickets are non refundable and non changeable. Some tickets where Changes may be permitted are subject to penalties and fare differential based on whether the change will be for dates and/or routing. In order to determine the total applicable fees, you must provide us with new dates and/or routing. There may be fare differential as well as Airlines' and our fees that apply in order to process changes to your itinerary. For assistance you may contact us at our 24/7 toll free call center - 1 866 636 9088. We do not guarantee final processing of any changes as they are subject to many factors beyond our control such as fare and seat availability and other factors. Most tickets have restrictions and may not be changeable even with a fee.
  • Paper Tickets - In the event that your ticket cannot be processed electronically, we will issue a paper ticket, which will be sent overnight to the billing address of your Credit Card. For the issuance and shipment of paper tickets an additional shipping fee will apply.
  • Travel Insurance - If you selected to add Trip Insurance to your flight ticket purchase, the payment of your insurance policy will be processed immediately upon the submission of your order thereof. Please click here to review the detailed description of your insurance coverage. For questions about your coverage, or to file a claim, or inquire about the status of an existing claim (only if you purchased insurance on or after January 16, 2009) contact Travel Guard at (800) 826-1300 and refer to Plan Code - 008483. This number is valid for insurance related questions only.
  • Some airlines may charge a baggage fee .
  • Tickets are non-transferable and name changes are not permitted.
  • Original service fee charged at the time of bookings is non-refundable.
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  • Click here to view valuable Travel Safety Tips and other Public Service Announcements courtesy of CheapOair, we recommend you print these tips.
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  • Print the 3-1-1 for Carry Ons by the TSA [Transportation Security Administration] - click here .
Charge Authorization, Your Electronic Signature Copy
I, ROBIN B LOW , have read the Terms and Conditions and I understand that this fare is non-refundable. I agree to pay a total amount of USD 1,322.78 (Credit Card :4802**29) for this purchase. This will serve as my Electronic Signature.


I have a feeling that this service may suck as well, and there may be verification calls to add on the pain. Nonetheless, I hope that returning to Boston to meet my friends for the holidays will make it all worth while!

-- Robin Low

Monday, November 01, 2010

Moist+ 2 Review.

Moist+ 2 Facial Masks.

Moist+™ 2 is a relaxing at-home facial treatment for vibrant, soft and silky-smooth skin. The soft Eco-cotton facial mask will give you the moisturizing and relaxing benefits of a spa-quality facial in your own home. Each mask is pre-cut and pre-moistened with a relaxing mix of rose hip extract, marine collagen, Hyaluronic acid, Mulberry Bark Extract and Matricaria extract, to moisturize your skin and boost its radiance.

From the packaging, it looks like a simple Facial mask, but after opening it up, I was pleasantly surprised.

The Unique Facial Mask has a very nice pattern, and the grey parts contain Eco-fabric which helps absorption of nutrients.

It looks very interesting and the mask, backed with a piece of plastic is easy to open and apply to the face.

The nutrients are also very thick, and pretty much odourless, with just a tinge of faint refreshing smell. The thick nutrients feel good when applied, and the mask fits rather well to my face.

Wash face thoroughly.
Open packet, take out pre-moistened mask and unfold.
Apply mask to face and press lightly with finger-tips to set in place.
Relax for 15 minutes and remove mask.
Discard mask after use.

After 15 minutes, I rinsed my face and my face does feel softer and refreshed. The short 15 minutes of relaxation also calms me down after a long day at work.

This is simply Genius!

Ingredients:Rose Hip Oil , Marine collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate, Extracts of Matricaria, Bamboo Charcoal, Mulberry bark, Sea Weed Extract, Perilla Extract, Carbopol, Butylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Distilled water.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

The masks feels top quality, and compared with the top brands like SK-II, it actually feels similar, but the masks looks more interesting.

Many people were afraid of Methylparaben, but I did some research, and found that top brands are using them, and though Paraben is banned in Japan, SK-II and Moist+ 2 are sold in Japan and according to many credible websites, MethylParaben seems completely safe.

Wikipedia Entry.

I would totally recommend this product.

-- Robin Low