Pioneer Brings Apple CarPlay to Singapore

Pioneer today announced that it is the first aftermarket car entertainment brand to bring Apple CarPlay to Singapore.

Two models of the Pioneer’s in-dash car multimedia receivers with Apple CarPlay are available, the AVH-X8650BT and the AVH-X8750BT.

The AVH-X8650BT retails for S$1,049. It is a 2-DIN Multimedia DVD Receiver with 7″ WVGA Touchscreen Display which features Apple CarPlay, MIXTRAX, Built-in MirrorLink, Dual USB, and a SD Card Slot.

AVH-X8650BT with Apple CarPlay
AVH-X8650BT with Apple CarPlay

The AVH-X8750BT retails for S$1,099. It is also a 2-DIN Flagship Multimedia DVD Receiver with 7″ WVGA Clear Type Resistive Touchscreen Display which features Apple CarPlay, MIXTRAX, Built-in MirrorLink, Dual USB, and a SD Card Slot.

AVH-X8750BT with Apple CarPlay
AVH-X8750BT with Apple CarPlay

Personalized Coca-Cola (Coke) Can #ShareaCokeSG

· · · Food & Drink

Got my Personalized Coke Can from Coca-Cola (Singapore)’s Share a Coke (#ShareaCokeSG) campaign.

The world-famous ‘Share a Coke’ campaign has arrived on The Little Red Dot and for the first time in Singapore, Coca-Cola cans and bottles will feature nicknames and phrases in place of the iconic Coca-Cola logo, to inspire people to share a Coke with those around them.

In celebration of Singapore’s 50th anniversary, from now until the end of August, Coke, Coke zero and Coke light cans and bottles will feature commonly-used Singaporean terms such as “Auntie”, “Uncle”, “Ah Boy” and “Chiongster”; colloquial nicknames such as “BFF”, “Bestie”, “Babe” and “Bro”; classic expressions such as “I Love You” and “You’re the Best” , and favourite Singlish phrases such as “Gam Siah”, “Relak Lah” and “Chiong Ah”.

For every S$10 spent on Coca-Cola trademark products (including regular Coke, Coke light and Coke zero), you can receive your own personalize can of Coca-Cola. Just present your proof of purchase at a ‘Share a Coke’ roadshow as stated below to get your own personalize can of Coke. Be prepared to queue for at least 30 minutes (according to my dad).

  • 1st May 2015 to 3rd May 2015: Giant Tampines (12pm-9pm), FairPrice Xtra Jurong Point (12pm-9pm)
  • 4th May 2015: FairPrice Warehouse Club (11am-7pm)
  • 8th May 2015 to 10th May 2015: FairPrice Xtra Hougang Point (12pm-9pm), Giant Suntec (12pm-9pm), FairPrice Xtra Ang Mo Kio Hub (12pm-9pm)

Any names, monikers, or messages within the maximum limit of 12 characters (including spaces and hyphens) are allowed, so long as it does not carry any suggestive or offensive content. Only English characters are available for printing. Special characters and trademarked terms are not allowed.

Personalized Coke Can - lesterchan
Personalized Coke Can – lesterchan

Personalized Coke Can - lesterchan
Personalized Coke Can – lesterchan

Personalized Coke Can - lesterchan
Personalized Coke Can – lesterchan

Watching Netflix In Singapore With Unblock-Us SmartDNS

· · · Movie & TV Show

I did a post before on Watching Netflix In Singapore With UnoTelly SmartDNS and today, I will be featuring an alternative to UnoTelly which is Unblock-Us.

Unblock-Us was started in 2010 in Toronto, Canada. They are the first company in the world to offer a DNS-based solution (SmartDNS) to give people access to content not available in their location. They strongly believe in anonymity and privacy and hence they moved their operations to Barbados in response to the proposed Canadian legislation which would have required them to keep logs on their customer activities for 6 months.

Unblock-Us
Unblock-Us

Unblock-Us supports about 150 services ranging from video on Demand like Netflix and Hulu/Hulu Plus, online TV watching like BBC and ABC, kids content like The Disney Channel and Disney Junior, sports content like MLB and NBA and music streaming like Pandora and Rdio.

Setup
Unblock-Us behaves the same as UnoTelly and you configure it by either setting up a VPN or changing the DNS on your router. I prefer changing my router DNS because that means that any device that is connected to the router will be able to access the overseas content.

Unblock-Us has three DNS and just have to enter it in your router’s DNS page.

  • 208.122.23.23
  • 208.122.23.22
  • 184.106.242.193

I am using Linksys EA9200 Wireless AC3200 Tri Band Smart Wi-Fi Router and here is what the DNS page will look like.

Unblock-Us DNS
Unblock-Us DNS

Chromecast
Because Chromecast doesn’t use your router DNS, instead it uses the hardcoded Google DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) inside it, you will have to block the two IP on your router end. For Linksys EA9200, I am using the Static Route feature in the router to do it.

If you look at the gateway IP address, it is a non-valid local IP as my DHCP only starts from 100.

I blocked Open DNS (208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220) as well just in case.

Unblock-Us Static Routes
Unblock-Us Static Routes

Prices
In terms of pricing, there is only one plan for Unblock-Us and two payment period (monthly and yearly), this makes it less confusing than UnoTelly.

It cost US$4.99/month (S$6.70/month) if you choose to pay monthly or US$49.90/year (S$67/year) if you choose to pay annually.

VPN
The VPN provided by Unblock-Us is not actually a true VPN unlike UnoTelly because instead of sending all your traffic through a VPN, they only send traffic for the site they support through it. That means that you can’t use the VPN to get a US IP address to buy things from Newegg, Apple.com or Google Play. Perhaps Unblock-US can consider supporting those sites for their SmartVPN!

Microsoft Surface 3 Available in Singapore from 5th May 2015

· · · Tablet

Microsoft Surface 3 will be retailing in Singapore from 5th May 2015 in two configurations: S$748 for 2GB RAM/64GB Storage and S$898 for 4GB RAM/128GB Storage.

The Surface 3 is the younger brother of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and hence it is less powerful and smaller. It is powered by Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor and has a 10.8″ full HD screen.

Surface 3
Surface 3

One thing I like about the Surface 3 is the use of Micro USB port for charging and hence you can use a portable battery to charge the Surface 3.

Surface 3 can be upgraded to Windows 10 for free when available, and will come with a one-year subscription of Microsoft Office 365.

Surface 3 - Back View With Type Cover
Surface 3 – Back View With Type Cover

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lesterchan.net on HHVM

· · · Site

After the move to nginx/php-fpm, the next natural course of action is to move to HHVM and php-fpm as a fallback.

What is HHVM?

HHVM is an open-source virtual machine designed for executing programs written in Hack and PHP. HHVM uses a just-in-time (JIT) compilation approach to achieve superior performance while maintaining the development flexibility that PHP provides. HHVM is developed by Facebook.

As a result my response time drop by another 400ms to about 1,500ms from 1,900ms as shown in the screenshot below.

lesterchan.net Response Times (HHVM)
lesterchan.net Response Times (HHVM)

Installing HHVM

$ apt-get install software-properties-common
$ apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 0x5a16e7281be7a449
$ add-apt-repository 'deb http://dl.hhvm.com/ubuntu trusty main'
$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install hhvm

nginx’s HHVM config (hhvm.conf)

HHVM config (server.ini)
I am running HHVM through a file socket.

hhvm.server.type = fastcgi
hhvm.server.file_socket=/var/run/hhvm/server.sock

Previously, I can’t install HHVM because my VM is on the 32bit version of Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr). HHVM only supports 64bit machines.