Undangan Untuk Para Alien Di Luar Sana.

Dear alien,

Kalau kalian membaca ini, besar pengharapan kami agar kalian datang ke bumi dan menyatakan perang terhadap kami, rakyat Indonesia.

Agar kalian tidak bingung , akan saya ceritakan sedikit latar belakang permintaan saya. Sejauh sejarah manusia berada, kami selalu menemukan masalah besar yang secara tidak langsung mengakibatkan kami bersatu, mengabaikan perbedaan ras, agama, gender maupun suku bangsa. Baik itu perang dunia, maupun perang kemerdekaan Indonesia, semua dimenangkan dengan persatuan menentang kekuatan oposisi kuat, dan membuahkan kemenangan bagi pihak yang bersatu.

Masalahnya, Indonesia saat ini mulai kehabisan musuh. Pihak Belanda maupun Jepang sudah tidak menjajah, PKI sudah tidak relevan, dan Soeharto sudah tidak menjadi Presiden lagi. Alhasil, kita defisit musuh untuk dijadikan alasan bahu membahu untuk mencapai suatu impian bersama, dan sekarang kita bermusuhan satu sama lainnya untuk semata-mata memperebutkan jabatan politis, uang, atau ego agama siapa yang paling benar dan suci. Yang tadinya satu, bersaudara, bercanda bersama sambil minum kopi dan pisang goreng, sekarang menganggap yang lainnya musuh hanya karena beda keyakinan dan pilihan pribadi.

Karena itu, tolonglah datang. Bawa teman-teman monster kalian seperti Godzilla, Muto, atau mungkin angin Tornado pembawa hujan ikan Hiu. Apapun yang bisa membuat rakyat Indonesia ini bersatu lagi seperti dahulu. Hancurkan semua simbol pemerintahan kami, tempat beribadah kami, dan segala pusat perbelanjaan kami. Ratakan segala hal tidak penting yang memberikan label, membeda-bedakan kami dan cara pandang kami. Sadarkanlah kami, bahwa kami ini lebih dari sekedar penganut agama tertentu. Lebih dari sekedar pendukung calon politisi di pemilihan mendatang, dan lebih dari sekedar bermata sipit atau berkulit sawo matang. Sadarkanlah kami, bahwa kami adalah sesama rakyat Indonesia yang satu, rakyat Indonesia yang sama dengan pendahulu kami, yang mampu mengesampingkan segala perbedaan demi satu tujuan bersama, Indonesia kami.

P.S: Saya juga melampirkan surat ini ke salah satu agen kalian, Melly Goeslaw, agar lebih cepat sampai ke meja korespondensi kalian.

Tertanda,

Salah satu rakyat Indonesia yang prihatin.

In Defense Of 2016

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As I’m sitting at home, planning what mischievous activity shall I do to welcome 2017, it left me with a deep thought about 2016. It’s not a secret that for many, 2016 wasn’t a kind year.

Idols were lost. Faith were disrupted, unity was tested, common sense was distorted, and Toyota Sienta was launched. It’s a year where we realized that the world we’re living in and the people who we thought we know, isn’t a perfect one after all. A villainy year that crushes dreams and kill everything happy in its path.

Regardless, I would like to step in and offer a perspective that 2016 is a necessary year for all of us.

Here’s the thing. I believe that changes won’t come without a painful tension. Growing pains. And 2016 played a really great role in being the necessary evil that acts as our wake up call to change.

Here are several points that 2016 teaches us, albeit harshly.

  1. Make the most of your life.

I know it sounds cheesier than a Richeese Factory, but hear me out. 2016 left us with so many great & talented people taken away from us. Even without mentioning the likes of Bowie, Rickman or Fisher, 2016 took someone close to me. A best friend since high school who designed & built the house that i’m currently leaving in.

It hits me hard, but it also teaches me that life is short, and you have to make the most of it. Many of those who left us this year are the people who contributed greatly for the world. But they left us while making a victory pose since they’ve done their part in making this world a better & greater place. They gave us Major Tom, the best bathroom song ever, & Princess Leia. They left a heritage that forever changed the world (and where I literally live in).

It made me envious of their achievement, and left me with a wish to live a more meaningful life, that actually creates a tangible positive impact to this world, and to live my life everyday like it’s my last one. It left me with a promise to not live a life that I will regret someday.

2. If you don’t stand for what you believe in, someone else will.

One thing that also shocks the world was the Trumping victory (I’m sorry, I have to) of Donald Trump. And one of the causes of his victory was due to the high number of potential voters who decided not to go to the election post & casts their vote. They chose to not act, and now they have Donald Trump as their president. Regardless how America is a 20 hours flight away, what happened there reflects the same with what can happen in Indonesia.

The magic of internet allows like-minded people to find each other and voice a unified message. Unfortunately, it also applies for those who are dissatisfied with this better Indonesia. What makes matters worse, their numbers seems greater than the ones who does believe in good governance & unity.

I do have faith that those who believe in greater good still has the highest number, but it just doesn’t show. Too many of us, sensible middle class, are busy with our work, doing business, making ends meet or just planning for the next Coldplay concert. We need to get off our Herman Miller chair and start making things happen. Go to the streets, join a positive cause, or simply flag hoax news that you’ve found in Facebook. The time calls for the good guys to act before it’s too late.

3. Hope is all but lost.

Despite how grim this year is, even for Apple, good news with a promising potential are always there. I’ve seen people who are having difficulties conceiving finally  experiencing their childbirth, people around me who decided to not give up during hardship despite the enormous pressure, and even a turning point for a tech company who’s known to be humdrum. Hope is not lost, and it’s given to those who refuses to stop trying, and continue to fight.

Change has never been a comfortable thing, and 2016 plays a great role as a distressing agent-of-change that made me realize these lessons. Thank you for being that bitter coffee that made us fully awaken.

Hopefully we’re gradually ready for 2017 (who I think holds more surprises than its predecessor) and no matter what, I wish us a great year ahead, because we will make it a great one with our own hand. Peace.

The Oppo F1s Raisa Edition Is Here, And It’s More Than What It Seems.

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In some ways, being a gadget reviewer is not a hard job. We review gadgets objectively, based on the features, specification and performance. If the device performs well according to its spec and price, it earns our praise and recommendations, and when a device under-deliver what it promises to be, we feel the need to lift our forks and casts the first stones.

That’s why when Oppo launched their F1s Raisa Black (or was it Black Raisa?) Edition, I cringed. Not only was it basically a pitch-black version of their popular F1s, which let’s face it, doesn’t have that salivate-inducing sexy spec nor brand for us enthusiasts, it also bears the signature of a newcomer artist who in my not-so-humble opinion, haven’t really deserve to have her signature etched in limited edition gadgets. It’s too easy to scoff at this venture.

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From Raisa With Love
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Inside, it’s the familiar F1s with Oppo’s custom operating system which surprisingly is very user friendly.

But then I heard the presentation from the lovely Miss Alinna Wenxin and also see Raisa’s live performance, which made me realized three surprising (at least for me) insights:

  1. The Oppo F1s is proven to be a great mid-range device. Couple of points that supports that statement: First, it has a satisfaction rate of 98.7% – according to SWA Magazine – and second, Oppo is the second highest selling manufacturer in Indonesia, right below Samsung. This is not an easy feat, knowing the number of smartphone players available in Indonesia. Great hardware holds no guarantee. Just ask OnePlus.

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    98.7% satisfaction rate. I’m pessimistic anyone will receive this excellent rate even from their spouses.
  2. Oppo knows their stuff. By positioning the F1s as the ‘Ultimate Selfie Expert’, it has successfully position itself as the king of selfie phones. Again, as a gadget enthusiast who subjectively prefer to shoot anything other than my unphotogenic face, this is something to belittle about. However, as it turns out, i’m a minority. More and more people adopts the habit of taking selfies, and realize just how Oppo can improve their lives by providing a great 16 megapixel front camera with great beautification enhancements software. Oppo sees that and strike a home run with the F1s. Its market share is a concrete evidence of their successful creation.

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    If one has a penchant for selfies, can he/she be called as a selfiesh person?
  3. Raisa & Oppo is a great match, since they’re both a very hard-working brand. Having heard Raisa singing, I knew that she’s talented. But as I see her performing in front of me, and taking her precious time to engage with her loyal fans, it came to my realization that polishing those talent and convert it to stardom requires an undeniable hard effort, which most people (including me) tend to overlook. Talent or inherent trait will get you noticed, but dedication and hard work will get you places and sustain you there. Raisa shares the same story with Oppo. They’re a newcomer in a heavily saturated market who’s able to fight their way to the top, using hard work and dedication.

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    Raisa’s squad of loyal fanbase.

It’s very easy to judge a product or anyone based on the surface, but take some time to understand them and read between the lines. You’ll find a deeper lesson that goes beyond spec sheets or album covers. Congrats for the launch, Oppo & Raisa. Stay exemplary!

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Thank you Oppo for inviting me, and providing me an awesome tumbler which I’m currently having my coffee with.

Pelajaran Mengenai Indonesia Dari Jalanan Jakarta

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Sebagai seseorang yang tinggal di Jakarta, sudah tersurat bahwa sebagian besar hidup saya akan dihabiskan di jalanannya yang macet. Agar waktu tersebut tidak terbuang dengan sia-sia, saya sering menggunakan waktu tersebut untuk mengamati. Mengamati jalanan tersebut baik dari penggunanya, bentuknya, pelaksananya, dan segala hal yang terjadi diatasnya.

Lucunya, semakin saya mengamati, semakin saya menyadari bahwa apa yang terjadi di jalanan kita ini dapat menggambarkan bagaimana negara kita dijalankan oleh pemerintah, dan bagaimana sifat dasar dari bangsanya sendiri. Kesimpulan ini saya rangkum menjadi lima buah hal dibawah ini:

1.Pemerintah hanya mempedulikan mereka yang punya uang.

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Hal ini paling jelas terlihat dari trotoar Jakarta, atau kurangnya trotoar tersebut. Banyak jalan yang sama sekali tidak mengindahkan nasib pejalan kaki. Yang paling besar peruntukannya: kendaraan bermotor. Kenapa? Karena itu berarti pajak ekstra bagi pemerintah, baik dari pajak kendaraan bermotor maupun pajak kontribusi dan nilai investasi dari para pabrikan kendaraan. Memang ada beberapa daerah seperti Kuningan atau SCBD yang memiliki trotoar bagus, tapi itu rata-rata karena ada campur tangan pemilik daerah atau gedung sekitar yang ingin daerah mereka terlihat manusiawi dan layak diposting di Instagram. Hal ini sebenarnya juga terlihat dari kualitas angkutan umum yang buruk dan prehistoris, yang memicu bertambahnya kepemilikan kendaraan bermotor, dan membuahkan kemacetan. Ya iya lah. Kalau punya uang kenapa harus menggunakan Metro Mini lalu kecopetan? (Jadi tidak selamanya kemacetan itu salah Foke)

2. Kita dipimpin oleh politisi, bukan negarawan.

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Banyak keputusan pemerintah yang diambil itu hanya jangka pendek. Contoh paling konkret – memecahkan kemacetan dengan pelebaran jalan, bukannya membangun akses dan transportasi publik. Kenapa hal ini dilakukan? Karena mereka tidak ingin masa jabatan mereka dikenang dengan membuat kota ini tambah kacau dan macet dengan pembangunan fasilitas umum yang lebih baik. Kalau masa jabatan mereka tidak dinodai dengan ini, kesempatan mereka dipilih kembali saat Pilkada berikutnya lebih besar. Pola pikir seorang politisi. Seorang negarawan tidak perduli dengan image atau popularitas mereka, karena mereka lebih mementingkan impact dari perbuatan mereka yang dilakukan untuk sesuatu yang lebih besar dari mereka, yaitu negara mereka. Orang seperti ini semakin jarang ditemui. Begitu ada, dicap kafir lah, atau dimusuhi ras nya lah. Nasib jadi orang yang peduli sama negaranya itu ya begini.

3. Selama kita terlihat santun dan beragama, kita bisa lolos melakukan apa saja. (Need i say more?)

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Yang penting religius. (Photo credit to ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)
4. Kebersamaan dan gotong royong kita tidak mengenal konteks.

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Bersatu kita bisa! (melawan aturan)
Sifat dasar orang Indonesia itu adalah kolektif. Mangan ora mangan kumpul, katanya. Beda dengan orang bule yang mangan sendirian juga oke, seng penting mangan. “Ngga kompak”  adalah dosa yang menempati posisi tinggi di kebudayaan kita. Sayangnya, sering kali hal ini tidak memandang konteks. Melanggar peraturan? Ngga papa, kan ramai-ramai. Bakar maling? Ngga papa, kan kita semua udah sepakat dia harus dihajar atas kejahatannya. Korupsi? Ah, yang lain juga gitu kok. Untuk sebuah bangsa yang bangga akan kekuatan kebersamaannya, kita itu sebenarnya sangat egois.

5. Ketidak tahuan dan ketidak pedulian adalah akar dari segala masalah.

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Orang yang biasanya melanggar lalu lintas itu melakukannya karena mereka tidak tahu apa tujuan mematuhi peraturan, apa dampak bagi orang yang hak atau jalurnya ia ambil. Kalau di lalu lintas hal ini terjadi karena SIM bisa nembak, sehingga mereka tidak menyadari faktor “kenapa” mereka harus mematuhi aturan tersebut. 

Pada level yang lebih tinggi, hal ini bisa dihubungkan kepada hobi orang kita yang getol untuk korupsi. Seringkali karena ketidak tahuan mereka akan korupsi itu sendiri lah yang mengakibatkan mereka tidak perduli, dan membuat korupsi tersebut terjadi (selain dari “pelumrahan” – saking umumnya terjadi, sehingga dianggap biasa). Itu mengapa saya senang sekali dengan inovasi terbaru dari KPK, portal untuk pembelajaran segala bentuk korupsi, mulai dari jenisnya apa saja, lalu apa yang bisa dikategorikan sebagai korupsi, dan dikemas dalam bentuk yang menarik dan interaktif. Akan lebih baik apabila semakin banyak orang dapat mengetahui apa saja yang dapat dikategorikan sebagai korupsi dan mencegahnya, dengan mempelajari situs ini. (oh, dan situs ini mobile-friendly. Silakan dibuka dari smartphone Anda)

ACLC KPK

Masalah bangsa ini memang tidak sedikit. Wajar, karena menurut saya kita baru merdeka dalam arti sesungguhnya tahun 98 kemarin. Belum sampai 20 tahun. Masih banyak PR yang harus dilakukan untuk membenahinya. Hal paling sederhana yang bisa saya lakukan saat ini adalah dengan mulai berlalu lintas lebih tertib, karena dari situlah kelihatan bagaimana mentalitas saya sebenarnya. Apa hal kecil yang bisa kamu lakukan untuk membuat negara ini jadi lebih baik?

The OnePlus X is finally here! – First Impression

Among the sea of Android handset manufacturers, for me personally, there are 3 manufacturers that stand out most at the moment:

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Xiaomi – for producing great phones with exemplary build quality at an incredible pace that has one of the best android skin out there and great price.
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Samsung – for knowing that their past plasticky designs are crap and having the balls to really turn things around with their Galaxy A & S series, which makes them truly going toe-to-toe with Apple (finally!), and then there’s the OnePlus.
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I won’t fault you if you haven’t heard about this peculiar Chinese brand, it’s because of 1) they’re new, and 2) they are not available broadly due to the unique way they market & distribute the product (read: ridiculous).
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But they have created devices that has flagship specifications with half the price of a Galaxy S6, which gained them great reputation from their users and blows the online reviews out of the water.
It suits their motto – Never settle – where it supposedly reflects their desire to always push the boundaries of what a flagship phone should be. (it’s a great motto, but you might not want to implement it to your love life)
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Now, they’re officially entering the market through official sales channel locally with OnePlus X, their lower range device compared to their flagship, the OnePlus 2 . It has the older Snapdragon 801 processor (which is definitely no slouch), 3 gigs of RAM, and 16 gigs of internal memory with expendable storage capability.
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photo courtesy of Gizmodo
What’s so special about this device? Well, for starters, it uses glass & metal constructions – the premium materials that most flagship phones uses – but here’s where it truly shines: the price. It costs US$250, or around 2,8 – 3,3 million, depends on where you’re getting them.
Right now it’s sold through BliBli, but you can always find some agan-agan reseller in KasKus peddling them as well. For the price, it’s hard to find other phones that can compete with the specifications while wrapped in such exceptional choice of material.
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That clean & solid packaging that looks like Apple’s.
Let’s start with the packaging. In short, it’s Apple-esque in terms of the material & craftsmanship that they used. Thick & smooth carton laminated in doff finishing, that gives you that slow drop when you’re opening the device.
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It opens with that slow-drop dramatic that most people are familiar with Apple packaging.
Opening it, you’re presented with the device neatly on top of the first box layer. Lift it out, and you’ll see the cool tangle-free OnePlus USB cable that makes other USB cables look thoughtless in comparison.
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Providing unique cables compared to the other manufacturers. Showing that you sweat about the small stuff.
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The charger is fast charging one with thick plastic. Nice.
There’s also your regular stuff, SIM tool (that you can replace with paperclip), papers & warranty, but no headphones included. This is basically to reduce the cost, and since i already have several headphones, i won’t be losing sleep over this.
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What’s in the box
What surprises me are the inclusion of screen protector (installed) and a silicon case. Something that no other brand haven’t done before. I guess the reason why they do this is because of the phone’s design itself. Just look at it.
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Black silky slab of glass & metal
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The rear side is also glass.
Silky smooth black glass sandwich the solid metal frame, with ridged texture on the sides and button. It’s truly a beauty to behold. Some people are comparing this with the iPhone 4 which in my opinion, remains Apple’s phone with the best choice of material by far. The cold & silky feeling and the heft does a good job of assuring you that this is a premium device. A jewel perhaps.
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The detailed ridges texture of the frame with the metal textured buttons. Class.
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Memory card & Nano SIM card slot.
The size (5 inch) also makes it the perfect size for me. Some people take comfort in smaller screens or bigger ones, but my sweet spot is 4.7-5.1 inch, and this phone suits it nicely. This phone supports either dual SIM card (for that other person you want to hush about? – hey, I won’t judge) or Micro SD card on its tray. I do prefer separate slots, but this will do just fine since I only use one phone number.
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Can’t wait to put this device to its pace.
I’ll be using this phone as my main device for the upcoming days, to see where it performs in processor performance, battery life, camera, sound quality, and overall durability – since my phones are usually drenched in sweat whenever I took them for running, and just the overall day-to-day perks of using them.
Feel free to shoot any questions and i’ll try my best to answer them. Cheers!

Shot with the Leica M240

Had the opportunity to try my dream camera, the Leica M240, for awhile. 
Despite the minor adjustments, rangefinder turns out provides a wonderful shooting experience that once accustomed to it, it’s a downhill ride afterwards. The solid build quality, that compact yet magnificent lens, and the way the shutter button feels when you press it. 

One thing that’s hard for me to get accustomed to is the speed, which definitely is lacking compared to modern day DSLRs. You need to be patient and take your time while it processes the image, which I find it hard to do. But if you do, the end results are simply breathtaking, especially in terms of details and color tone, making this camera in my bucket list of wonderful (and extravagant) things to own if I ever have the money to do it. 

Thank you Ernanda Putra for letting me play with it!

   
    
    
 

Spectre – A Bond for the die hard.

SPOILER ALERT. You’ve been warned.

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I’m going to start this quick opinion of the latest Bond series by stating that i’m not a fan of the classic Bond series. I love Craig’s interpretation from Casino Royale and beyond. If you’re a fan of the classic ones, I’m sure you’ll disagree with me.

Spectre is a 148 minutes movie, and for people like me, or just a fan of deeper character exploration or story telling like the ones found in Casino Royale and Skyfall (Quantum Of Solace is a bit forgettable for me), it can be quiet repulsive. There are worse way to spend those hours though(*). You could be stuck on a Cipulir traffic jam, in a Toyota Agya, with its absurd new car smell, while needing to pee badly, or stuck watching the Kardashian’s on marathon with some girl that you’re trying hard to appeal to (**).

The character and plot exploration is as deep as an Aston Martin’s wading depth. Since I don’t believe that such lazy exercise of story telling is accidental, I assume that this Bond is truly designed for the real Bond fan in mind. Those who love seeing sensual women being seduced flamboyantly, high speed car chase action that involves flame thrower or machine guns, and expensive watches that can blow up, will be thrilled to see Spectre.

Even the enemy, Bloveld, is exactly the typical classic take on the Bond villain aside from his loafers. Predictable, having the most awkward reason out there to rule the world, and living inside some kind of crater. He doesn’t have the charisma as Raoul Silva, or Le Chiffre’s slither. I won’t blame Christopher Waltz cause I’m sure he’s an excellent actor, but more on the script that tells him to do so.

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An unpretentious classic Bond
This is the classic Bond that die hard fans had been missing ever since Craig had taken the helm. Hence there are some discrepancies. Craig feels out of place in pulling this version of Bond. He’s simply not a flamboyant figure. Spectre is a fit for a Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan, but not Craig. I can see why he’s glad to be out of it, and so am I.
I almost feel bad for Monica Bellucci. Her role was minor and only act as a sexy side dish. In my opinion, she deserves more. But then again, this is one of those Bond movie, and she knows what she was getting into. Don’t get me started on Sam Smith. Just don’t.

Overall, it’s still better than watching any Transformer franchise or Adam Sandler’s movie though. 5 out of 10.

(*) My highlight was actually the event itself. It’s sponsored by Heineken, and trust me, you don’t want it to be sponsored by anything else. Free flow of beer, great music by Dipha Barus & some Bond scene reenactment.

(**) No girl is worth going through a Kardashian marathon.

MIUI 7 for the Xiaomi Mi4i is here!

While the Xiaomi Mi4i remains one of my favourite Android phone to use on a daily basis, it feels that it should have a smoother performance after days without restarting. The Redmi 2 Prime that I use feels smoother on a day to day usage even though the screen feels smaller and less sharper. I’m glad that i’m not alone that shares that sentiment since Xiaomi finally published an update for its OS, the MIUI 7!

The MIUI 7

I’ve been using them for several days. On an interface degree, minor changes has changed. You have more themes and subtle changes on more wallpapers, the drop down notifications or toggle information (you can see the full changes that MIUI 7 brings in here).

Beyond that, the changes that I welcome most is the performance part. It simply feels smoother. You don’t sense those minor lags during scrolling between home screens, and it definitely feels smoother in switching between apps or scrolling within them. On battery life, I personally don’t experience any difference compared to MIUI 6’s, which is a highly acceptable one.

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The new toggle look. Way clearer.
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The new built-in themes available. Personally i’d stick to the default only.

If you have the Mi4i, head on to your updater app to check for updates and download them. I used a more candid method though by downloading them directly in here and porting it manually (instructions in here). Do update it as soon as possible, cause it’s worth the performance upgrade alone.

The new Apple TV won’t be a gaming console killer, but it’ll definitely sell.

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One of the most important item from last night’s Apple product announcement for me isn’t the iPhone 6s or the iPad Pro, (even though that pencil feature is tempting for my illustration hobby) it’s the Apple TV.

As an Apple TV user myself, I find the device to be restricting. The interface is clunky and the remote has limitations despite how elegant it is. But you know what I use it mostly? To have my iOS game projected to my TV screen.

You see, I’m a casual gamer. I don’t have consoles like the PS4 or Xbox since I don’t think it’ll be worthy of the investment. For one, I have limited time to play games, hence making it not worthwhile to spend on, and second, most of my favorite types of games (racing, fighting, and puzzles) are available on my phone or tablet. Why would I need one?

And despite the number of gamers out there who actually invested both of their money & time in console games, I bet the numbers of casual gamers like me is greater, hence making the Apple TV a more relevant gaming platform for them.

Oh, and of course, by having Netflix as an app that’s available on the TV, who needs cable?

A Thought On The 2015’s Ford Everest.

I live in a metropolitan & jam packed city like Jakarta, and if there’s one thing I never get, is why do people are consistently using big SUVs like the Fortuner, Pajero Sport or Everest in a city like this. Sure it contains more people than its smaller counterparts (X-Trail, CRV, etc) but knowing on a daily basis usually it carries no more than 4 people, why? Not to mention the road space in Jakarta is very limited. The sheer sizes of those SUVs occupies more space compared to other types of cars, and moving that gargantuan body requires more fuel as well. It’s illogical.

That uber-manly look of the new Everest
The new Ford Everest.

Hence, when the good people of Ford Indonesia asked me to have a go at their latest Everest, I said ‘yes’ boldly. Not only because i want to know how a modern truck-based SUV feels like to drive (FYI, I used to drive a Diesel Chevrolet Trooper, and it feels very agricultural. Not something you’d like to drive in urban areas) but also i’m curious about what makes the city slickers around me keen on using them as their daily driver.

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This place is a twin sister of somewhere in Jawa Barat.

The test drive event itself was done in Chang Rai, a city located on the northern side of Thailand. The city is filled with lushes green trees, hills, rain & a huge river. It’s basically somewhere in Jawa Barat, but cleaner (and they drive more neatly compared to Indonesian drivers). To reach the city, it’s another hour of flight from Suvarnabhumi which makes it a full day spent travelling from Jakarta.

I was accompanied by a group of automotive journalists, people who have more capabilities to talk about cars than me, and my buddy, Raya Fahreza, that also shares his opinion of the car in here (in Indonesian). We’re probably the only one in the crowd who thinks that Camshaft is a byword for schlong.

Raya & I. Two of the most clueless & luckiest people on the event.

So, let’s talk about the car. My first impression was that it’s big, bulky and looking like something that Chuck Norris would drive. It wouldn’t be misplaced with a wooden log cabin, deers & a lake in the background. It’s reeks of masculinity in every inch, i actually grow more beard & chest hairs just by standing next to it.

The new Ford Everest
That manly snout that look like it can take a punch or two without flinching.
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It doesn’t look out of place at all in the wilderness.

Climbing (yes, climbing. It’s bloody tall) into the interior, it’s actually another story. It’s very well laid out, some say that it looks a bit too spartan, but then you ran your hands across the stitched leather dashboard, the thick leather-padded steering wheel and the seats and realise that they’re serious about luxury.

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Clear visibility, very well laid out and the stitched leather dashboard is a very appreciated plus.
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The rear cabin is quite spacious. Not a bad car to be chauffeured about.

And of course, it’s not a modern car without its array of toys. Dual zone electronic climate control, electric adjusted seats for the driver, front passenger and the rear seats. The visibility is really nice & bright, especially with the huge sunroof up top, and A pillars that are quite thin compared to other modern cars. Listening to music was a pleasant experience as this car doesn’t cut short in fidelity systems. It has 5 speakers, 4 tweeters and 1 subwoofer to entertain, while the head unit also function from playing music, syncing with your phone over bluetooth, rear monitor and even adjusting the colour of the ambient lighting inside the car. I won’t be surprised if anyone told me that it can do a Powerpoint deck. In short, as manly as it looks from the outside, the inside is not a gym, it’s a high-tech gentleman’s club.

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Dual zone climate control for times when your mother in law is complaining that the AC in the back doesn’t feel cold.

Driving it also has a different feel compared to your standard big-sized SUVs. For starters, the steering is feather-light yet greatly accurate on parking lot speed, making city driving a breeze. But it as you speed, it gets heavier and meatier, building a great sense of confidence as you carve through corners. I’ve driven Fords like the Focus & Fiesta to know that the brand stands for cars that are fun to drive, and this car is no exception. Its suspension soaks up bumps like how cars with European-designed suspension does, yet it still tolerates corners well, even though eventually the tall & heavy body still contributes to body rolls when you pushed it to its limit. It’s light-years from the previous Everest, which feels truck like and handles like a 90s Toyota. The Everest magically makes you feel like you’re driving something much smaller and agile than it actually is, and as one who enjoy driving especially in the twisty road across Java, this car got me from the first drive. If previously Pajero Sport has the best balance of being sporty & comfortable, this car redefines it. It’s more comfortable yet sportier than any of its competitor.

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This car handles corners just fine, as long as you remember that it weighs greatly.
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A half-cut Everest flexing to show the suspension & chassis’ technology. Nope, it’s not for sale half price.

The engine was no slouch either. I’ve driven 2 types of engines, the 2.2 turbodiesel with 158 horses & 385Nm of torque, also the 3.2 5 cylinder turbodiesel with 198 horses and 470Nm of torque. Both mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission with manual mode and offers great power on acceleration. Top tip: If your day to day is city driving with the occasional Bandung travel on the weekend, the 2.2 is more than enough, as it also has better acceleration from the get go. But if your daily route consists of challenging interstate driving, hills or empty highways, the 3.2 is a beast. My only complaint lies on the manual shifter. Instead of shifting up to upshift, it actually downshifts, making it feels unnatural even though the shifting process itself is responsive.

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Up is down and down is up. Ok, got it. Sorry, what’s that again?

Also as how a Ford should be, the driving technology doesn’t disappoint (even though i think most of them won’t ever get used when you’re in a city like Jakarta). Smart lane sensors that can sense whether your car is going off the lane & warn you, or if there’s any other vehicle cut you off and brakes automatically (which will practically makes it stuck in Jakarta), or Cruise Control that can adjust the speed automatically if the car in front of you is slowing down. One of the best feature would be the park assist control though, since it can automatically adjust the steering when you’re parking (even parallel ones!) and all you have to do is adjust the braking. It’s a dream come true for ibu-ibu Pondok Indah Mall!

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I’ve reached to the point where i gave up trying to know what tech features this car has.

Last but not least, the off-road capability. Ford wanted to show us this car’s capability so bad, they took us to visit the Akha hill tribe (that obviously lives in hills) where on our way there, the car will go through muddy hills, tight turns, rivers and slippery slopes. The car was equipped with all sorts of 4 wheel drive technology wizardry that not only makes the car more than capable to penetrate those muddy hills, it does that without breaking any sweat.

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All road conditions with just a flick of a switch. This used to be Range Rover’s territory.
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People of the remote tribe has meet their match.

The system itself can simply be adjusted to four kind of road conditions – normal, snow/mud/grass, rock & sand, where it will deliver the best power & traction for each conditions just by turning a switch. Then there’s the low range and the differential lock, plus the hill descent control where it’s basically a cruise control for going down on steep hills. All you need to do is let your foot off the pedal, steer the wheels & it’ll go down on itself. You can adjust the speed you want to go down those hills by simply tapping the buttons on the steering wheels. I was a bit disappointed though when we were going through the river, since the river’s depth is only around 30 cm-ish. The wading depth capability of the new Everest can go more than double that, or 80cm to be precise. Making it the perfect candidate to be the official car of Tarakanita high school. There are no obstacles that actually made me worry whether the car will make it through or not. It just will.

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“Seriously? Is this the deepest water you can throw at me?”
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Muddy hills? What muddy hills?
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I wonder why we don’t have off-road parks around Jakarta. This activity is actually very fun.

At the end of the test drive session, i get it now why these type of cars has high demand. It simply makes you feel special. It sits you high in a tall commanding position with great manoeuvrability and power, it drives nicely (very car-like, unlike yesteryears’ SUVs), it’s refined, well built, supposedly has great durability & very comfortable. To my surprise, the engine is also quite efficient for such burly car. The 2.2 ranges from 9-13km/lt during while the 3.2 is almost similar, at 8-12km/lt. But that’s not all though.

I know that the 4WD version probably wouldn’t be the most popular variant because of the price and it’ll mostly be used for city driving anyway, but there is a massive loss if you’re buying the 2WD version – adventures. I, for one never thought that 4WD is something that you need in a car, but having tried the its capability, it’s actually a shame not to explore those undrivable roads on the remote areas of Java to experience something that’s beyond Bandung or Taman Safari. If you have the money to buy it, do go for the 4WD version and go explore further. It’s simply a first-class ticket to adventure.

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This car looks at best on tracks like these.
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You know you want to go out & about exploring the land. I know i do.

My concern for this car would be the pricing scheme. This car is overly designed for its class, making the top spec 3.2 with all the bells & whistles would command the price to be stratospheric, especially with the unique tax system our government has. And knowing most Indonesians who have money rather buy something with more brand statement to show just how successful they are, they will go for an “entry level Louis Vuitton” instead of the “most expensive Marks & Spencer”. Ford Indonesia needs to be smart on the trim variants, which i think will make them sacrifice the 3.2 4WD version’s availability, and go for a top-spec 2WD 2.2lt version to sell in our local market. It’ll be disappointing if it ever will be heading that direction, but at least I can proudly say that I’ve experienced the real deal on a track where it should be.

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Thank you, Ford Indonesia!

(Thanks to the awesome guys at Ford Indonesia & its PR team for the amazing experience)