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CES 2016

I went to CES 2016 in Las Vegas. This is my second time visiting CES, last year I made this post (CES 2015) about it too.

This year is a little underwhelming than last year, perhaps its because last year was my first time, and this year is my second time. There are many things that simply remained unchanged, or just slightly improved. Here’s a list of what I found interesting: (continue reading)

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Trip to China

I went on a short trip to China, seeing some family and some sightseeing.

No trip is complete without seeing some Chinglish


Some wiring near WuXi (please ignore the camera flash being reflected in the glass window, I was on a moving bus, I didn’t have time to disable my flash)

Some BBQ Pupa

Booooo CSR

I inquired a company (not CSR, but their product uses chips from CSR) about some WiFi Direct modules, this was their reply:

Please note that we just stop any new WiFi CSR solution. Based on previous experience with CSR, we could not get driver source code from CSR and CSR couldn’t support themselves. So we give up CSR WiFi

If you didn’t know, CSR makes a lot of Bluetooth and WiFi chips, but they absolutely do not ever EVER give you access to any documentation or any software. Usually to get access, you have to pay them big $$$. In this case, even if you pay them, apparently “CSR couldn’t support themselves”, how embarrassing. This was from a friend who have used CSR before:

It took 3 months to get access to the BC4 firmware and that has been deprecated for years.

CSR is on my list of companies to avoid.

Pebble, More Impressions, Scratch Repair (Hiding)

I wore the Pebble every day. The display is still amazing, battery life has never been a problem. There’s been firmware updates and the UI has some great improvements.

Usually when I hit my wall (my desk is in the corner beside a wall, right by my left hand, where I wear my Pebble), the Pebble handles it just fine without any scratches. But this time I hit a stone pillar outside, and it got some deep scratches.

The scratches were too deep for any conventional polishing techniques. I could try sanding it and then running it under a buffing wheel, but I do not have access to one. So I was pretty sad, especially because I already ordered some screen protectors for it.

The first lesson here is that, if you want a Pebble, you want a screen protector as soon as possible.

With that said, I’m not the kind of person who just gives up. When the screen protector arrived, I did an experiment.

Petroleum jelly, aka Vaseline, has a similar refractive index to most plastics. I know this because I know that you can repair scratched LCD monitors by spearing Vaseline over it. The Vaseline will fill the scratch, and since the refractive index is matched, the light travels through it without bending or reflections, this makes the scratch invisible. I smeared some Vaseline over my Pebble, and the scratches disappeared. Great!

The next problem is that the Vaseline will rub off and wash off eventually, unless you cover it up somehow. So the next part of the trick is to install a screen protector to cover up the Vaseline. So clean the screen with soapy water to get rid of any oil, dry it off, smear some Vaseline on it, apply the screen protector, and squeeze out any bubbles. Then let it sit still for an entire day or two. Make sure your hands are clean and no dust ever lands on it while doing this.

I highly recommend using Gadget Wraps for this, because their “wraps” is two parts, one part is a sticky decorative part (the brushed metal one looks amazing on a black Pebble) and a second part which is a clear screen protector. The sticker has a rectangular cutout in the center, where the screen protector sits in, in the end, everything is perfectly smooth. This makes my method of hiding scratches much easier because the sticker traps the screen protector, making it easier to squish out the bubbles.

Some pictures: and