Monday, 24 February 2014

Google Student Ambassador Summit.

Wow Google.
Just wow.

It's incredibly surreal to meet your favourite technology company in the flesh, which I had the incredible pleasure to do these past few days. It's been so jam packed that I haven't even had the time to sit back and appreciate this.

There were about 60 Google Student Ambassadors (GSA's) from universities all over New Zealand and Australia. We were flown over to Sydney to their Australian offices. It was my first time in Sydney and soon after I arrived I had decided that I'd come back in the near future.

I was sick the entire time, but I tried to socialise as much as possible without spluttering my bad joo joo over them. Although the majority of the cohort was dominated by engineering and tech students, there was a lot of diversity in the bunch. They were all super awesome.

The Google officers were totally surreal. It was split up equally into playground and office areas. All workers are within 30 meters of a cafeteria. All food is free.


Sleep pod.

The view from Cafe Etsy, their restaurant.

Ceiling cat.

Our pirate ship.

Cheap HDR filter.

The whole summit was cross between a subtle Google indoctrination ceremony and a Oprah's My Favourite Google Things show.

I understand that Google is pretty cautious with handing out Google swag so I was pretty astounded. It was no holds barred for giving us stuff. They were trying to get us excited about the Google brand and products. It definitely worked.
  • Gmail bag
  • Beach towel
  • GSA Android Collectible
  • Nexus 5 (Black, 32GB, most likely refurbished)
  • Acer Chromebook C720 w/ 100GB Google Drive storage for 2 years
  • Textbook
  • GSA shirt
  • Google document slip
  • Bit of cash for transport and food
  • Lanyard

GSA Android now lives on top of my moniter reminding me to code and plan Google events.

The biggest thing that I took back from my trip was the fact that getting a job at Google is completely tangible. It has always been some sort of crazy fantasy that I would joke about with friends.

It's given me a lot of hope for my future career. It's also set the standard higher - how will I go back to a bank that insists I not only IE6 as my main browser, but develop for it!??!

Google really makes a difference for -all- technology. They're a critical component of our furthering our technology and it would be amazing to work there - hell just being a Google Student Ambassador is a dream come true. The culture at Google is so infectious and righteous, I guess that's a luxury you can afford when you're one of the biggest tech companies.

Also while I was away... what the hell happened to the Youtube layout!??!

Sunday, 23 February 2014


Mei's would-die-without list of Android Apps

I need the latest and greatest version of Android - and because my Galaxy Note 2 isn't supported by Google, I need experimental versions made by community developers such as Cyanogen.

Anyway, I often update and poof, all my user content is gone. It's basically as if I never owned my phone. But you know what? With the cloud, this has never been an issue.

Over the past few years, I have compiled list of apps that I find myself constantly returning to.

If I lost any of these initial apps, it would be like losing my leg.

The obligatory Google apps:

  • Gmail
  • Calendar
  • Gallery/Camera
  • Photos
  • Google Now
  • Keep
  • Maps
  • G+/Hangouts
  • Blogger (duh)
  • Drive

Chrome Beta

Type: Browser
Cost: Free
Cross browser sync. That is all.
And beta because why not?

Habit RPG (Try the web version first)

Type: Task checklist
Cost: Free w/ Ad free version at $3
I have a tough time shifting my butt to do anything. HabitRPG allows me to gamify my life. You to make your own quests, and when you complete it, you get EXP and obtain traditional RPG items such as armour, weapons and pets. This is also in perpetual beta and is totally open for anyone to contribute code, graphics and ideas.There are very interesting things happening in the 'task community' which is super interesting to be apart of.

There is an bug with the official HabitRPG Android App that prevents me from actually logging in. So I'm using another one.

Messenger (Facebook)

Type: Talk to your friends, enemies, whomever as long as they're in Facebook
Cost: Free
Chat bubbles. No matter what app you're in - you can talk to your friends. It was a pretty legendary idea at the time. This was the first thing that Facebook did that made me really, really want to work for them. And love Android more because they couldn't do it on iOS.


Type: Music player
Cost: $5
It can play FLAC and has a great equaliser. I usually use it with the PureWhite theme, as traditionally, it's super ugly (imo). It's really, really pretty with PureWhite.

MX Video Player

Type: Video player
Cost: Free
Best video player. I particularly like the option to lock the screen so accidental touches won't interfere with your viewing.


Type: Weight loss manager
Cost: Free or Premium $10/month
Track food and exercise using Noom using gamification. I've lost quite a bit of weight using it, but it can only go so far.


Type: Sleep tracker
Cost: Free
Track your sleepy times

Study Checker

Type: Study tracker
Cost: Free
Track how long you take on your activities. I've been able to find out definitively find out what subjects I have spent way too much on, and subjects that are a complete bludge. And whether I even put in effort at all. Also the adverts are in Korean, and it reminds me of my goal of conforming to the stereotype of an Asian workaholic.


Barcode Scanner

Type: QR code scanner
Cost: Free
These are surprisingly handy. Especially while playing video games.


Type: Drawing app
Cost: Free
I use this to draw. I like drawing.

Pocket Cal/Kj

Type: Convert calories to kilojules or vica versa
Cost: Free

Google Keyboard

Type: Keyboard
Cost: Free
Google knows best.

Texdroider DPI (Root only)

Type: DPI changer
Cost: Free
Fit more things onto your screen.
I personally stick at a healthy 

Power Toggles

Type: Toggles for basic phone functions
Cost: Free

TeslaLED Flashlight

Type: Flashlight
Cost: Free
The -best- flashlight app. It does strobe light, morse code, timed modes. It conforms to holo design standards which most other flashlight apps don't.


Type: Adblocker
Cost: Free
When I couldn't afford the ~$2 to purchase apps, I would use this to block ads. It works really well but as it violates Google Play agreements, it needs to be downloaded and installed using F-Droid.


Hungry Jacks

I've never not gotten a free frozen coke. I have a feeling it's because it knows I don't enjoy frozen coke.

The Verge

My favourite hipster tech news source.

XDA Developers

My favourite forum.


My least favourite public transport service. This is probably obsolete now that Maps has public transport information integration.


For online friends :)

Robot Unicorn Attack 2

Portal Unicorn.

Paperland Live Wallpaper


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Goog nails 2.0 n_n

Got ma nails did.

I used my recently purchased Migi nail art pens which amazingly come in the appropriate Google primary colours :3

Getting psyched for my trip to Google~

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Do you have a USB for my jacket?

It's no secret that many tech companies are racing to make the next break-through device, the last one being the smart phone but this time it will be much more intimate, perhaps even wearable. Now let's extrapolate - the next step after wearing tech? We're so close to cyborg status! But that's a topic for another time. I believe that products like the Oculus Rift and Google Glass have the potential to completely revolutionise the way we use technology. I just have absolutely no idea how. That's what makes is so exciting.

Any-who I will be attempting to jump on the metaphorical bandwagon. c;

I made this today.


It's a stuffed bow hair piece which includes 2 red LEDs powered by a coin battery - there is a pouch for the battery at the back of the hair piece. I didn't do a terribly great job on the construction work (wot is solder), one of my LEDs wire kept on snapping while in construction, hence why the material is burnt since I didn't want redo my sewing work.

I think it's pretty adorable. When I get my hands on some battery holders, I might re-do this to a more professional standard and actually use it from day to day. Perhaps make it look more like a bow and less elephant-ile.

Magically, LEDs work well with CR3032 batteries. I might have to have to restrain myself from adding LEDs everywhere in my life.

In all seriousness, I'm having trouble identifying a place where I can wear this. I wonder what people will think of it... yay or nay?

Thursday, 13 February 2014

"I was too lazy to calculate, so I invented the computer."
Konrad Zuse

This guy, I can relate to.

Sunday, 9 February 2014


Recently I attended a group interview. I briefly heard one of the other candidates proudly state that he worked for Apple. The Apple fan-girl within fought against my better judgement, and I occupied the seat next to him.

We had to do a group activity in which we had to meet someone we hadn't known previously and do a little speech.

Despite my trying to engage him, this ex-Apple employee and two others, fought for a good 15 seconds to not to be put with me because apparently, it wasn't fair.

Am I really that off-putting? I was so completely baffled that I forgot to feel insulted.

Anyway, now my impression of high performing QUT students and Apple employees has been properly tarnished.

This is how negative stereotypes are created.

And I never got to find out the top secret working conditions of Apple. ;c

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

I managed to catch a screening, perhaps in my bedroom, but The Wolf of Wall Street glorifies illicit activity ... well sort of. It's about the protagonist (Jordan Belfort) who exploits the poor and desperate illegally by persuading them to invest into unsound companies as a stockbroker with exorbitant commissions, making him incredibly rich.

Actually the movie is about what he does with his riches.

Let's just state that Belfort's illegal business dealings is used as a vehicle throughout the movie which allowed Scorsese/Dicaprio to show Belfort's life like a sort of rich sociopath porn. There wasn't much about the intricacies of his business but I really didn't expect that sort of thing from a Hollywood movie. It made for some queasy watching (thankfully I didn't watch with my family, like originally planned) whether it was misogyny or drug addled self mutilation. I can imagine that for a country like Malaysia, who not so subtlety cuts out all somewhat sexually explicit scenes, they would have compressed down this 3 hour movie to a half hour confusing mess.

I think Wolf of Walls Street achieves something that many other main stream movies fail to do, sympathy for the bad guy. It is said that it's much simpler to label a criminal as guilty rather than to understand them. Coming out of this movie, it's not difficult to empathise with Belfort despite him being a sex crazed, drug addled sociopath responsible for losing clients over 200 million USD. He is very much the scum of the Earth with little regard for anyone apart from himself, yet somehow, the audience can't help but feel for him.

Also is really, really pretty.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I felt the entire journey was incredible. 10/10 would recommend.