Sony recently launched the A9G 4K HDR OLED TV, it’s latest addition to its MASTER Series TV lineup. First announced during CES 2019, the A9G is also the Japanese brand’s latest and most premium TV model, sporting the latest specifications the company has to offer.
Underneath the hood, the A9G is the Picture Processor X1 Ultimate, combined with a Pixel Contrast Booster that adds more colour and contrast to whatever is being screened on the TV. As its name suggest, the TV’s display is a BRAVIA 4K HDR OLED panel. Naturally, it also comes with Sony’s TRILUMINOS Display technology, enabling it to provide a wider colour spectrum for viewing, while also retaining the original colours of subjects in display.
Like all TVs in the MASTER Series, the A9G emits sound via Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology. Giving viewers a more immersive sound experience from the entire screen, rather than dedicated speakers built-in on either its sides or at its base. The A9G is also slim and near bezel-less, with a thickness between 40mm and 49mm, depending on size. On that note, the A9G is available in three sizes: 55-inch, 65-inch, and 77-inch.
Sony - BRAVIA - A9G/AG9 Series - MASTER Series 4K HDR OLED - YouTube
The A9G is also an Android TV, which means the TV comes with the usual fare of Android-based features integrated into it. Including Google Play, YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Video to name a few. More importantly, it’s also a smart TV, and comes with Google Assistant built-in as well. On the subject of digital assistants, Sony says that the A9G is also compatible with Apple’s AirPlay 2 and Homekit.
The Sony A9G will be available for purchase at all official Sony stores and authorised resellers from end of July onwards. Pricing for the TVs starts from RM11949 for the 55-inch, RM18399 for the 65-inch, and RM49999 for the 77-inch.
Vivo Malaysia began teasing the launch of a new S series a fortnight ago. The first thing that came to mind was the Chinese Vivo S1 series, which was identical to the V15. It looks like that’s not the case after all, now that Vivo Malaysia has sent out media invitations to its launch event.
Alongside the invitation, Vivo Malaysia also revealed a little about the phone that’s about to be launched. It is indeed the Vivo S1, but it’s not the one mentioned earlier. There are a few important differences between what we’re familiar with and the one that Vivo Malaysia is unveiling.
The upcoming phone will have a 4500mAh battery, and a 32MP front-facing camera that sits in a waterdrop notch. This is quite unlike the Vivo S1 in China. Instead, it’s a lot like the Vivo S1 that was recently launched in Indonesia. That one came instead with a MediaTek Helio P65 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage.
Considering the little we know about the Vivo S1 that we’re getting, it’s likely that the device that’s launching in Malaysia is the same device that launched in Indonesia. Either way, we’ll know for sure once the official announcement is made.
Call me crazy, but I’m more hyped for Matt Reeves’ The Batman than I was for Avengers: Endgame. The film is still in its pre-production stages and is about two years away from actually hitting theatres, but from what we’ve read and heard so far from Reeves, it sounds like it’s gonna be the actualisation every Batman fan’s wet dream. A neo-noir detective Batman movie? Take all my money. But it’s not just what the movie promises to be, but who’s sitting behind the camera. Matt Reeves is the man who brought us, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War For the Planet of the Apes, both of which are masterful showcases of poetic storytelling.
And it certainly does seem like the movie is shaping up rather well, according to Matt Reeves’ frequent collaborator Michael Giacchino at least. Giacchino who previously composed the music for Reeves’ Planet of the Apes movies mentioned at San Diego Comic-Con (via CinemaBlend) that he’s seen a little bit of Reeves’ caped crusader project and that it’s awesome.
“Matt [Reeves] and I worked on Planet of the Apes together, we made Cloverfield. Matt is really big, Matt’s amazing. So, Matt wanted me to tell you that he’s working very hard to make a good movie… I’ve actually been able to see a few things that he’s showed me that he’s working on and it’s pretty darn awesome. It looks really, really amazing.”
At the same panel, Giacchino (The Incredibles, Rogue One) was also asked if he’s once again gonna be working with Matt Reeves and compose the music for The Batman. The acclaimed music composer replied:
“I don’t know. We’ll see. I just know that my friend is working really hard right now. Anyway, I’ll say that.”
The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as Gotham’s Dark Knight and is set to hit cinemas in 2021.
When news first broke that Quentin Tarantino is going to be making a Star Trek film, fans were both excited and confused. On the one hand, it’s freaking Tarantino dabbing his hands into an established franchise with a rich lore. It’s always exciting when an auteur or a filmmaker with a strong voice decides to tackle something absolutely geeky. Imagine David Fincher making a detective Batman movie! But on the other hand, we also wondered if Tarantino would be allowed to express his ideas and unique artistic vision when it comes to a major franchise like Star Trek. After all, Tarantino’s films are generally filled with foul language and over the top violence.
“I will say one thing about Star Trek that I’ve been waiting for someone to bring up. I don’t know if I’ll do it or not. I’ve got to figure it out, but Mark wrote a really cool script. I like it a lot. There’s some things I need to work on but I really, really liked it. I get annoyed at Simon Pegg.
He doesn’t know anything about what’s going on and he keeps making all these comments as if he knows about stuff. One of the comments he said, he’s like ‘Well, look, it’s not going to be Pulp Fiction in space.’ Yes, it is! [laughs hard]. If I do it, that’s exactly what it’ll be. It’ll be Pulp Fiction in space. That Pulp Fiction-y aspect, when I read the script, I felt, I have never read a science fiction movie that has this shit in it, ever. There’s no science fiction movie that has this in it. And they said, I know, that’s why we want to make it. It’s, at the very least, unique in that regard.”
And if you’re wondering why Quentin Tarantino is throwing jabs at Simon Pegg it’s because Pegg (who plays Scotty in the current JJ Abrams iteration of Star Trek) previously mentioned:
“Everyone sort of assumes it’s gonna be like Pulp Fiction in space, but I think his devotion to Trek and his understanding of it… It won’t be ordinary, it’ll have him all over it, but it won’t be anything a Star Trek fan will have to worry about. He has an acute understanding of the story and he’d never do anything to tear it down. I haven’t read the treatment yet, but I might be able to in the next couple of weeks, so I’m excited about that.”
Moving parts generally fail faster and more frequently and parts that don’t move. But if the moving part fails in a matter of months, then we have a problem. Such is the issue faced with a fair number of Nintendo Switch owners and their left Joy-Con.
These Switch owners experience what’s been called the Joy-Con drift. It’s named after the phenomenon where player characters move without any input from the player themselves. And as mentioned, it happens more frequently with the left Joy-Con.
These are caused by wear and tear, but the issue is that it is reportedly happening too soon. A Reddit user has reported that their left Joy-Con started drifting after four months. A breakdown by another Reddit user shows that the contact pads in the Joy-Con’s circuit board are made of a softer material than the metal prongs of the analog stick.
For those who remember, this was also an issue for the first generation DualShock 4 controllers for the PS4. Sony fixed this with the newer controllers – the ones that have a strip on the touchpad allowing the LED to shine through. Nintendo, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be doing anything about the Joy-Con drift at the moment. This will be especially worrying for those who plan on getting the Nintendo Switch Lite, as it doesn’t come with detachable Joy-Cons.
The HONOR 20 and HONOR 20 Pro has been on the market for a couple of months now, with the non-Pro variant having its local launch almost immediately after its global unveiling in London. Now it seems that the HONOR 20 Pro will soon be making its way to Malaysia, if the official teaser by HONOR Malaysia is anything to go by.
To bring you up to speed, HONOR Malaysia recently posted a teaser poster on its official Facebook page. The poster itself doesn’t outright specify the phone. Rather, it simply states the number 111; if you don’t know what this number represents, that’s the DxOMark Mobile score for the HONOR 20 Pro’s camera.
The only thing missing from the teaser image is the exact launch date, which is simply accommodated with a “Coming Soon” statement at the bottom. We did reach out to HONOR Malaysia for more information, but we were told not even they have any exact dates.
However, given the HONOR’s announcement pattern over its last two flagships this year, there’s a high possibility that the HONOR 20 Pro will be getting its local launch sometime within the next month or so. Naturally, this is all just speculation, so until HONOR releases an actual launch date, we do advise you to retain a healthy level of scepticism.
Recently, the internet has been blowing up since it’s caught wind of the possibility that Captain Marvel’s Lashana Lynch might just replace Daniel Craig’s James Bond as the new 007. Needless to say, people have been divided on this decision. Some (like our very own Dashran) have taken to the news rather well, believing that the studio has made an excellent decision. Others, however, have met this rumour with the typical reactionary fury that has become a fixture of the internet. They’ve even gone so far to brand the casting choice as a “political stunt” or an act of blatant pandering. Personally, I don’t really have a stake in this.
If anyone ever asked, I’ve always believed the Bourne trilogy to be the superior spy-thriller franchise. That being said, I have found myself indulging in a Bond film or two over the years and I get why people love them. Everything from the fanciful gadgets to each actor bringing their own brand of sex appeal to the role right down to the exciting world-ending plots.
I can definitely see why some diehard fans would find this news distressing, change is never easy. Frankly, I reacted to this news as yet another pathetic attempt by Hollywood to “change it up” but the more I thought about it, the more the idea seemed less absurd. So while I may have a few reservations, do allow me to explain why we think Lashana Lynch just might make for a great Agent 007!
The Right Direction, A Smooth Transition
Now if Universal Pictures was looking to just reboot the entire franchise and have some random person become 007, then yes, that would really suck. Thankfully, that isn’t the case here. The latest film set to come out, that has yet to be given an official name, currently known as Bond 25 will apparently see James Bond leave the life of an MI6 agent behind to pursue his own personal matters. He and an old friend from the CIA, Felix Leiter will go on a mission to find an abducted scientist before a catastrophic event occurs.
The film is set to be directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the director behind the brilliant first season of True Detective and Netflix’s war film masterpiece Beast of No Nation. Before I heard the news of Lynch potentially taking up the role of 007, I was honestly pumped to see how Fukunaga would tackle a Bond film. The man is a visionary storyteller who has been killing it recently in both the film and TV industry.
The man is capable of weaving rich, character-heavy narratives and the way he incorporates brilliant aesthetic choices from colour to framing into his work puts him up there with contemporaries like Denis Villeneuve and Darren Aronofsky. And while I don’t expect there to be any psychotropic dream sequences or insanely vibrant mixtures of colours on screen, there is a certain amount of expectation for Fukunaga to absolutely nail characterization.
The man has yet to show any sign of weakness in his directorial skills, so I’m fairly sure the Fukunaga will do something great with Bond 25. If the rumours are true that Lynch’s character of Nomi will be replacing James Bond as the new 007, I will nonetheless hold to my faith in Fukunaga’s artistic vision. It’s a lot like the current situation with Robert Pattinson being cast in Matt Reeves’ The Batman . We were sceptical at first when they heard that Pattinson was going to be cast as the new Bruce Wayne/Batman but when we sat down and truly thought about it, we realized that there was great potential there!
As of now, Lashana Lynch has yet to really show any real acting chops, seeing that she’s mostly played supporting roles in films like Captain Marvel and Fast Girls. Perhaps, Fukunaga could bring out the best in Lynch’s performance given the right direction. In the past, people said that Heath Ledger’s Joker would never be great and now look at him. You wouldn’t believe the amazing performances people can give with the proper script and direction. It’s possible that Fukunaga has found a way to have the 007 buck passed over to Nomi in a way that feels organic and natural.
Breaking From Bond
Let’s make one thing clear here: James Bond is not being changed. Regardless of whether or not Lynch will be confirmed, Bond will always be the deadly, smooth-operating, womanizing secret agent we all have come to know and love. And yes, James Bond should absolutely forever be a man, not some tacked on, disingenuous reimagining who goes by the name of Jane Bond. That would be pretty stupid. So relax, James Bond is still James Bond.
The title of 007 however, has room for original interpretations. Since his first appearance in 1954’s made-for-TV adaptation of Casino Royale, we’ve only ever really known Bond as a grizzled, handsome English gentleman. Is it really so far fetched that we see Daniel Craig’s James Bond retire? No, it isn’t. But if he is leaving, it begs the question: What does 007 mean without the man? A question that is actually quite exciting! For me, the role of 007 has been defined by four things.
The first being expertise in the field of espionage, that means whoever inhabits the part must be capable of diplomacy, interrogation, seduction, extraction and charisma. The second would be a proficient and intelligent combatant. Somebody who is adept at hand-to-hand combat, firearms and is resourceful enough to find unorthodox ways of taking down a foe. I want to see a 007 who can turn everything from a pen (because pencils are Wick’s territory) to a towel into a deadly weapon.
The third element that marks Agent 007, whether man or woman, would be the gadgets! The agent should be armed to the teeth with laser watches, concealable explosives, rocket packs and of course drive a decked out, weaponized Rolce Royce. If all else fails, a reliable Walther PPK should do the trick. As for the final element, the agent has to be a loyal British citizen. Contrary to what some small minds may think, the United Kingdom (UK) is a nation of many cultures and many peoples. So while there technically is a “ye-olde-English” culture, it is not a qualifier for what makes one a true son or daughter of the soil. At the end of the day, it is loyalty to Queen and Country.
Over the decades, the UK has learned to embrace its cultural pluralism and has even made it a part of its own national identity. Fun fact: the national dish of the UK is Chicken Tikka Masala! So if the nation can have a freaking Indian staple as its national dish, why the hell can’t it have a black, female 007? Lashana Lynch is indeed a British actress so I really don’t see the problem here. If she does take up the role of 007, she isn’t violating the spirit of the franchise’s cultural setting, she’s giving us a different aspect of it.
Look, we’re not asking you to go nuts or hype up the idea of Lashana Lynch becoming the new 007. Neither are we asking you to turn your back on James Bond. All we’re doing is imploring you to give Lynch a fair chance if she does become the new 007. If it really does suck and feels inauthentic or pandering, we won’t pull any punches. For now, we’re keeping an open mind about it. We want it to succeed because if it does, that means more good films and who doesn’t want more of that?
Amazon Prime Day is an auspicious day for many online shoppers in the US; it’s an annual event where the online retailer sells participating brands’ products at a some really good prices. For many photographers, it surely must’ve felt like Christmas as they bought up high-end DSLR cameras and equipment worth more than US$2000 (~RM8225) for less than US$100 (~RM411) each.
Thanks to a pricing error over on Amazon’s side, many of DSLR camera bodies worth upwards of US$5500 (~RM22618) were discovered to have been heavily discounted and were listed at US$94.50 (~RM388) per item. Specifically, the floodgates to the mass purchasing opened when someone had noticed a Sony’s A6000 and 16-50mm lens bundle going for that price.
Upon sharing the discovery, other Amazon Prime members began saying that they were seeing the same discounts too. Just to be clear, the cameras being sold on the site weren’t from 3rd party sellers; these were all products being sold and shipped by Amazon itself.
As mentioned at the start of the article, and as befitting human nature, several avid photographers began scooping up as many of these camera bodies and lenses as they could. One Amazon Prime member admitted to purchasing approximately US$10000 (~RM41100) worth of camera gear for a mere fraction of the price at US$900 (~RM3750).
Another Amazon Prime member who saw the deal also jumped in on the action; he purchased a Sony A6500, a Sony A7III body, and a Sony A9 and 24-70mm f/2.8GM bundle. By this time, though, Amazon seemed to have wizened up to its penny-deal mistake and locked him out of his account. Unfortunately, the damage was already done, and the buyer still got the Sony A7III and 10-18mm f/4.0 lens out of the other three orders.
For orders still stuck in Amazon’s backorder and not delivered, it’s likely that they’ll be cancelled and refunded to each corresponding Prime member. For products already passed on to its shipping partners, Amazon has no choice but to honour the purchases.
Of course, there were Amazon Prime members who missed out on this real once-in-a-lifetime sale. In fact, one member made an account on the Slickdeals particularly considering the incident. Jokingly commenting that he was depressed about missing the deal.
Indonesia’s national airline Garuda reportedly banned passengers and in-flight crew from taking photos and videos in-flight. This decision was reversed earlier in the week, following public backlash. This came after a video blogger posted an image of a handwritten menu he was given while in business class.
Travel v-logger Rius Vernandes was flying from Sydney to Denpasar when he took the photo he posted. It came with the caption “The menu is still being printed sir”. The photo went viral, and the airline was mocked as a result. Garuda though said that it was meant to be a notice to flight attendants, and was never meant for passengers.
Following this was the reported ban on in-flight photos and videos. Garuda said that it was an internal directive that was “not yet finalised, and should not have been shared to the public”. It has since been revised, clarifying pictures can still be taken, as long as they don’t disturb other passengers.
Unfortunately for Vernandes, he and his fiance has since been reported to the Indonesian police for alleged defamation. The report was made several airline employees who felt that the blogger was “causing a negative perception…towards the country’s national flag carrier” by posting the photo.
Honestbee, the online grocery and food delivery provider, has temporarily suspended its operations in Malaysia starting 22 July, which is next Monday. According to a report by Channel News Asia, the decision to suspend by the brand’s HQ in Singapore, who is looking to reform and restructure the company’s business.
News of the Malaysian suspension came first became known when someone posted an official letter from the delivery service to Jibril – one of its partner restaurants – on the Lowyat forums. The letter informed the partner eatery about the brand’s suspension; it says that Honestbee was not financially capable of paying back its partners.
Before the suspension, Jibril said that Honestbee still owed its several thousands of ringgits over several months. To make matters worse, Honestbee had ceased all communications with the restaurant before receiving the letter.
Honestbee’s troubles had reportedly started back months before. Back in May, the company’s co-founder, Joel Sng, announced that he was stepping down as CEO. Weeks later, the company suspended it food delivery and laundry service in Singapore.
Honestbee did not provide a timeline as to when it will resume operations. For those of you who use Honestbee’s service, you still have until Friday to ensure that your groceries are delivered by this weekend.