Flappy Week

Two weeks without an update?! Yes, I've been busy with uni. Workloads are coming in. Crazy assignments with crazy deadlines.

*woohoo, new highscore!*

Yeah, it's been a flappy week. Ups and downs, ups and downs. But glad today it ended with a bang :) Did a video presentation and I think my lecturer and tutors liked it a lot. So, yay!

Now, back to studies. Taking Social Research Methods this semester really opened my eyes.. and made me realised that research is difficult. And I hate it.


Review: Motorola Moto G (KitKat 4.4.2) 16GB Malaysia (First Impressions)

Remember I mentioned that my Samsung Galaxy SII died (here)? It kinda revived after I left it for about a month. I started using again and it works like normal, minus the lousy battery life but it was all good..until last Monday the phone lag, stuck at boot and refused to boot anymore. >:( It completely died, I think the motherboard just burnt out.

So.. I got myself a Motorola Moto G.

Bought it at RM739 (retail price). With free screen protector and a Motorola Shell (random colour) and I got myself a lime green. Yay for me. But too bad I won't be using it. It gets dirty easily.

It's slightly smaller (in width) compared to my Samsung SII but it's good. I like the size. Initially I wanted to get a Lenovo P780 (a 5" smartphone) because of the amazing battery life. My friends using the Lenovo P780 boasted of having to only charge the phone every 2-3 days, which is awesome really, for a smartphone. Unfortunately or fortunately, the model is out of stock almost everywhere..so I decided to source for another phone which turns out to be the Motorola Moto G.

I will have to admit that I wanted to get a flagship phone and I was seriously considering a Samsung Galaxy S4, or maybe a HTC One, or perhaps a Sony Xperia Z1? Sorry Nokia Lumia is completely out of the picture cause I was only considering Android phones. I'm biased like that :P

Simple design. The speakers are at the back and at a pretty good position actually.

Motorola Moto G has only 3 physical buttons. The power button, the up and down volume button. I'm missing Samsung's home button.

So what's inside the Moto G box? Pretty simple.. the free case, the phone itself, a lame charger (output 0.5A only -_-), manuals and warranty, a note that you get free storage from Google Drive and an earphone. 

So how do I feel about this Motorola Moto G? Many people asked me, "Why you buy Motorola?!". The phone itself is not bad, really. But I find the charger really lame and it takes quite long to charge in my case. Moto G was quick to receive the Kitkat 4.4.2 update, which is really good. I've gotten used to Samsung's Touchwiz UI but now I'm getting a hang of the pure Android experience. 

Ideally, I will like to have a phone with removable battery and expandable storage - that's why I love Samsung, the only manufacturer that is still producing phones with both of this conditions. But for now, I don't want to spend a huge sum of money on phones as they are not built to last. So in the end, I don't know why I contradicted myself and gotten a Moto G that doesn't have removable battery nor expandable storage but I feel that it's worth it for the price I pay.

The camera's function good for the specs but I don't expect too much since I already have a good camera in my hands. 

This Moto G is complete with dual SIM, and I shall take full advantage of this feature soon and get myself a data plan (about time isn't it? :P).

To sum it up, I'm loving the new phone. The screen's good :D And it performs well enough for me so it's worth every penny. And now, I'm back to saving up >:(.

I'm on the Billboards (in Your Uni Campus!)

A few weeks ago, my friend from Mahsa Uni told me that she found my picture on a HP advert in her campus. I was surprised the picture was submitted for a photo contest which I failed to win. Grrr.

I knew that HP was going to use the photos in its advert but the previous batch of pictures that were used were all winners. This time around, more photos were used but only a few of them were winners..which got me thinking. Why would HP want to use our picture if they didn't even let us win. Cis!

But what to do..I'm sure that in the T&C clause, they will say I've given the rights and permission for them to use my picture once I've entered the contest. #cry 

But anyway...

.. I also found the advert in my campus and took a picture with it. LOL. A few days later, another friend tagged me on FB and said that he saw the advert in his uni as well. Oh well. Wished HP had let me win something from the contest T_T but they didn't. And now the (super unglam) picture of me is plastered in places that I don't even know.

BB1M 2014: Where Should You Use It?

*Last updated: 18th July 2014

Update (29/4/2014): Bad, bad news! According to an Education Ministry statement today, BB1M vouchers cannot be used on other items other than academic books, journals and magazines from 1st May 2014 (source: link). I will check and update if any of the vendors changed their promotion or rules! 

Update (4/5/2014): I know a lot of people are concerned whether their vouchers can be used to purchase non-academic books. Based on the information that I've gathered, the major bookstores replied my FB message saying that they will comply with the guidelines. HOWEVER, based on the feedback that I've gotten from various people, they mentioned that these bookstores do allow the purchase of fiction and non-fiction books, as long as they are books (not magazines though). Other non-book items such as stationery will no longer be allowed to be purchase with the BB1M voucher. 

Update (8/5/2014): Those of you who want to buy IT (harddisk/speakers/powerbanks/mouse) can use them at Pustaka Rakyat outlets (they do not follow the guideline). Do bring along your IC as they will photostat your IC, part of the deal to use the BB1M. Credits to Ubaied for this information!

I made a similar blogpost last year (here) and it looks like a lot of people found the post to be helpful so I'm going to do another post this year :D

IMPORTANT: As this post is getting longer, to make it less cluttered, I have hid the info into spoilers. For more information on the relevant bookstores/merchants, please click on the button to show more information. Thanks!

For those of you who wants to know where to purchase hard disk, please scroll down towards the end of this post. Thanks!

1. Popular Book Co: 

Source: (link)

Spend RM250 = Free RM50 gift voucher + Popular Card
Spend RM150 = Free RM10 gift voucher + Popular Card

Similar to last year, Popular is following MOE's guideline where the BB1M can be used to purchase academic books, journals and educational magazines. Only 20% of the ratio of total voucher can be used on notebooks and other stationery items.

There's not much difference with last year's promotion except that Popular is offering 200 prizes worth RM70,000 (which is RM10,000 more than last year). 

2. MPH Bookstores/MPH Click aka MPHOnline

Source: (link)

MPH has come up with a new promotion! Spend RM50 BB1M vouchers at any MPH bookstores or mphonline.com and receive this thing called "red books of offers" which contains vouchers. I reckon it's something like Worthy Book. Plus redemption of Uber Chic Totebag


4. Times Bookstores Malaysia

Source: (link)

Spend RM150 and receive 2 x RM10 gift voucher
Spend RM250 and receive 5 x RM10 gift voucher

Comment: Spend your voucher on a minimum of one book and then you can get anything else as you wish :)

5. BookXcess

Source: (link)

No promotion for BookXcess except the fact you get almost 25-75% discounts on all books. If I did not mistaken, I think if you spend RM200 worth of BB1M, you'll get the free BookXcess membership card. 

6. Putrajaya International Book Fair 2014  (ENDED)

Source: (link)

In conjunction of the Putrajaya International Book Fair 2014, you can use your BB1M vouchers there. Spend a minimum of RM150 and receive a free "red book of offers" since MPH is one of the partners that is organizing the event. So you can use the vouchers on-ground and take advantage of the promo at the event.

7. Borders Malaysia

Source: (link)

Spend RM150: Get earphone, 2-year BRC-BCard membership, BCard voucher pack worth RM1000
Spend RM250: Get pocket power bank, 2-year BRC BRC-BCard membership, Mini notebook, BCard voucher pack worth RM1000

Comment: Not sure how good are the earphone & pocket power bank but I will usually avoid this. I really dislike the Bcard voucher pack that is said to have worth of "RM1000" because it's really misleading. There are a lot of T&C that are attached to the vouchers -.-' 

IMPORTANT: Borders is no longer accepting BB1M for Radioshack items (thanks Wayne Lee for the information!)

8. PTS Media Group

Source: (link)

Spend RM150 BB1M vouchers with PTS and stand a chance to win an iPad Mini (monthly grand prize) or books worth RM50 (3 winners monthly). For more info and T&C refer here (link)

9. MYDIN (thanks Viven for the info!)

Source: (link)

Yes! OMG! You can use your BB1M at MYDIN, the hypermarket looool. You can use your BB1M to buy books, journal and stationeries. There's some terms and conditions though.

10. Champfactor

Get a 1-year subscription (worth RM5000) using RM150 of BB1M vouchers and get access to over 50 digital magazines, updated every month. Get the full list of magazines available (here)

There are also cash vouchers worth RM500 (complimentary for those who sign up). 

11. PC Image

Source: (link)


Places to purchase harddisk:
1. Monaliza Mastura @ KB Mall, Kota Bharu, Kelantan - (link)
2. The 1991 Shopz - (link) *I do not recommend this, OVERPRICED and no physical store whatsoever, everything is done online*


Frankly speaking, this year there seems to be lack of creativity in offering good promotions for students to spend on BB1M. I'm kind of disappointed. :(

Do leave a comment if you have any questions/if I missed out any promo and you would like to share with others - I'll add those info to the blogpost and credit to you =)

I'll update soon if I find out anymore promotions. Keep checking! :) 

Review: Criminal Minds Season 9 Episode 14 Landmark Episode - 200 #CM200

Criminal Minds hits the milestone telecast with its 200th episode yesterday :') This episode was a special one for fans and the Criminal Minds family. The previous episode ended in a cliffhanger, JJ got kidnapped! I certainly did not expect that.

I think the show writers wanted to bring out and back what fans love in the show - the characters that made the show so lovely to watch. Strauss died in Season 8 and Prentiss left in Season 7 but they made their way back in this episode. But truth to be told, Strauss' reappearance through flashback was not even significant. I love watching Prentiss' scenes with JJ, it showed a lot of depth to their on-screen friendship, so it was good. 

I also love the fact that the team was willing to put their career at risk just to find JJ. Reid and Garcia trespassing, and Hotch went all the way to Undersecretary. Wish those scenes were longer though because we only saw a glimpse of their loving relationships.

On the other hand, while there is no doubt that JJ is a very strong woman but the fact that she almost lose her life and was tortured hours ago didn't seem to leave an impact on her. I'd think a person would suffer much trauma and even PTSD but the ending of the episode didn't show that. Remember when Reid was abducted in Season 2 by Tobias Hankel? It left a season-long effect on him psychologically besides the fact that he started drug abuse of course. I guess the writers wanted the episode to end on a positive note.

Oh yes, turns out the landmark episode only lasted for one episode. I was hoping that it will be a 2-episode thing like Reid's case. That way, there can be more developments to the case and ya know, more thinking for us. The case itself was kind of weak cause it seems that it was kinda easy to crack down on the Unsub and figure things out although it was a top secret. What?

We're halfway through the season and now there's no more mystery :( I liked it during season 6 where little by little the mystery of Prentiss and Ian Doyle was revealed. Eventually the on-going case lasted the whole season and even made it to the first episode of season 7. That sequencing was great. Oh well.

Since the show follows a flow of logic, there seems to be many loopholes and flaws in 200. Also, the writer seems to like the idea of the "dead coming back to live", if you know what I mean :P Not much twist there. I guess the biggest problem about this episode is that the writers were busy stuffing too many things into one episode. It lacked human touch (emotional aspect) which made the show so believable especially since this show is about human behavior. Typically, everyone in the team will looked much more worried and intense but somehow I don't really feel it this time. Or maybe I was too concerned about JJ getting tortured, no, really. :P

Overall it was an OK episode. As a long-time Criminal Minds fan, I guess I will overlook and accept the loopholes and flaws in this episode because I know the writers just want to please the fans. It's also very meaningful for long-time fans who has been following Criminal Minds because Paget Brewster (who plays Prentiss) and A.J. Cook (who plays JJ) were forced to leave the show during Season 6 thus writing off JJ's character for the season; this episode followed that story and filled in the blanks of what happened when JJ was missing from the show.

The highlight for me in this episode is definitely Prentiss' one-episode comeback and JJ's story.. but hopefully, the season finale will be much better than this.

P.S: This fan's comment I saw on TVguide is rather interesting. Super long, but worth the read.

If this story was on “Alias”, a spy show that revealed in unreality (and a show I liked), I would be more willing to go along with this episode. But since this episode is found on a show about the psychological makeup of serial killers, and considering the back stories of the characters, I don’t forgive the utter ridiculousness of this story. Three of the show’s writers used to write for “Alias” (Erica, Breen, and Rick) and they seem to want to resurrect that show on “Criminal Minds” with their overuse of spy stories. They were forced to make some story changes based on the fact that AJ and Paget were both fired and rehired within a year. But they made a conscious choice to do it in the most ludicrous way possible, and they seem to think that what was a forced storytelling device to get rid of JJ and then bring her back, is really an organic basis for spy stories on a criminal thriller show.  
The basic ideas behind this episode are not even remotely grounded in reality. Let’s start with the fact that this entire operation was ostensibly run by the State Department. Uh, no, that is not what the State Department’s mission is. Their mission is one of diplomacy and building international relations. They run embassies, interface with the local governments and represent US interests overseas. What they do NOT do isinterrogate suspects or run paramilitary operations. That is the job of the CIA and military special operations. State Department would have nothing to do with that. So that is unreality number one, but it is a big one. The second bit of unreality, and frankly one that is even bigger in this episode, is that JJ would be pulled from the BAU for this mission in the first place. Just what in her background indicated she was in any way trained to be an interrogator? Strauss said she was a skilled mediator, but that is not the same thing. Interrogation is a highly trained skill. It’s not something someone does for a whirl. Pretty much remember what Hotch said to Emily about profiling, and the same applies to interrogation. Essentially JJ was the Ashley Seaver of interrogating, because she was put on a job she had no business doing, and in reality, would never have done that job. There is NO way any department would INSIST that JJ be a part of a secret mission with herbackground. If the FBI was to be involved (because yes, the FBI does have interrogators), they would send someone professionally trained in the task, and not a rank amateur. Are we to believe that the FBI has NO female interrogators? Hell, Jordan Todd would have been a better fit for this job, just because she spent years in counterterrorism. And just what the hell was Strauss doing in Afghanistan? She is a section chief that oversees the BAU, and probably other things. She has no field experience whatsoever. She doesn’t run field operations; she flies a freaking desk. Is this supposed to be a State Department op or an FBI op, because it certainly sounded like Strauss was partially running things? Her appearance struck me as a blatant bit of fanservice and no way grounded in reality.  
Some other things that don’t ring true. JJ was pregnant and in a combat zone. Uh, NOOOOO- pregnant females are not allowed in a combat zone. If you are pregnant, you will not be sent to a combat zone in the first place (and yes, they do pregnancy tests shortly before you deploy). If you discover you are pregnant and in a combat zone, you will promptly be sent home. Apparently JJ was more comfortable telling her boss, Cruz, that she was pregnant, rather than her own husband. But whatever. As her boss, he should have wished her well, and then promptly put her butt onto a plane home. The fact that he sent her out on a dangerous mission outside the wire is utterly ridiculous and not grounded in reality in the slightest. Or he is the world’s most ignorant boss. 
I also call shenanigans on the fact that JJ still has active security codes to a HIGHLY classified database three years after she left the job. In the real world, when someone leaves a highly sensitive job, lock combinations are changed, security access codes are changed, computer passwords are changed and accounts deleted. There is NO way JJ would still have anything approaching knowledge of what the current security access codes were. What was her need to know? And is Cruz supposed to be State Department or FBI? I mean, this was ostensibly a State Department mission. So if he was State Department, what the hell is he doing working for the FBI now? And if he is FBI, why are his security codes still valid? And if he was FBI, why was HE recruited for a State Department operation? And just who arranged for his transfer to section chief, and why? I mean, it couldn’t have been about getting close to JJ, because they were already close friends, as we saw at the beginning of “Final Shot”.  
In the grand scheme of things, these next few are more minor quibbles. I get that JJ and Emily had some sort of bonding moment over the fact that they both worked on secret missions. But why is JJ willing to violate Operational Security (and Emily willing to let her) to talk about her operation (even if she didn’t go into detail), but was completely unwilling to alleviate Reid’s guilt over Emily’s “death”? I mean, she clearly doesn’t value secrecy THAT much if she is talking about this operation with someone without the need to know.  
Plus, I didn’t particularly like the final scene. To me, it’s like the writers sacrificed emotional realism for a cloying “family” moment. JJ was abducted and tortured and she’s just all smiles at a bar just hours afterward? Oh hell no. Do you think Reid was ready to go dancing after Tobias Hankel, or Emily was ready to knock back some shots after getting beat to hell by Cyrus?  
That being said, there were some things I did like about this episode, though with some reservations. I always like the presence of Emily, though the reason for her appearance was very contrived and like Strauss, just fanservice to get Emily to appear. The person who said Emily would not be allowed to take part in any sort of tactical operation was dead on. The problem is, with the exit story given to Emily, there are very few organic ways of bringing Emily back to the show, as a guest star or otherwise. At least we had about two minutes of profiling when the team was reviewing AsKari’s history and behavior. It provided some insight into his thought process and his methods. I liked the ambiguity when it came to Cruz’s true loyalties. I mean, I liked him as a character when he was introduced, but I wouldn’t have been that dismayed to discover he was a turncoat. And as a huge fan of Battlestar Galactica’s Helo (played by Tahmoh Penikett), it was nice to see him on screen again, even if he was running the entire show as the uber baddie. No real time devoted to HIS psychological makeup and what drove him to turn traitor though. I mean, I presume he was American, and it is rather rare for an American to go that far to the dark side, so it would be have been nice to have some insight into his motivations, and just what the hell he was doing for the past three years, and why emerge now. Though the dual torture scene just highlighted the issues with cross-gender captivity. Michael didn’t have do anything but say some threatening words and put his hands on JJ, and Cruz is giving up the goods. No, I had no desire to see JJ sexually assaulted. I’m just pointing out that someone as highly trained as you think Cruz was should have been able to resistthat obvious tactic for information. I mean, national security issues are at stake here, and JJ was doing her best to hold strong. But since this episode seemed to make it clear that Cruz has a thing for JJ, I guess it would be unrealistic to think he might have held fast.  
Like I said, on a different show, this episode would have been OKAY (except for the obvious breaks from reality I pointed out earlier). But as an episode of Criminal Minds? Oh HELL NO. I dearly hope the writers got their secret operations and spy yayas out of their system, and we can return to what the entire point of this show is: profiling serial criminals.

CNY '14

How's Chinese New Year coming along? 

Got sore throat yet?
Got fatter yet?

Fifth day of Chinese New Year almost coming to an end now..So fast :( Was back in uni today. Super fast, only had 4 days holiday. Traffic was superb though. Record-breaking to take 15 minutes to reach uni on a weekday at 9am. Although there was no traffic, there are still lame drivers around. I saw this car that took up 2 parking bays (!!!) and I almost met with an accident because this uncle decided that he want edto switch lane suddenly. He then thought that him waving up his hand is enough to compensate for my shock but I think he forgot that he almost cause an accident. -_-

By the way, it's true that as you grow older you get lesser angpows. Man.. Anyhow, wishing everyone a blessed Chinese New Year, and have fun in the next 10 days up till Chap Goh Mei. Eat eat eat!