Lil Wayne – Tha Carter V (Review)

One of my favourite lyricists and rappers is back with the long awaited ‘Tha Carter V’. Here is the review.

Let us be real about one thing: there is only one real ‘lil’ and that is Lil Wayne. And all you mumble rappers called A$AP can also do one. More importantly Tunechi is back, after 2015’s Free Weezy Album, the world was eagerly awaiting the return of Wayne with the Tha Carter V record, the pentalogy of the Tha Carter albums.

Unfortunately Tha Carter V was put on hold for almost four years due to a long-running contractual dispute between Wayne and his mentor Birdman. After suing the shit out of each other, the duo finally settled their dispute this summer. And after becoming the sole owner of Young Money Entertainment, Wayne was finally ready and actually able to bring out Tha Carter V.

To be honest I was hoping to find a few more bass-thumping-speaker-breaking tunes like ‘blunt blowing’, ‘a milli’, ‘6 foot 7 foot’ and ‘bill gates’. Unfortunately that is not the case on Tha Carter V, but what Tunechi does to make up for that is opening up to the world in a way that is unprecedented for Lil Wayne standards.
The New Orleans born rapper talks at great length about his difficult youth, his struggles with contemplating suicide, shooting himself as a kid and self-hatred. This really comes to life on the track ‘Open Letter’ which really brings the human out of him. This is like a breath of fresh air on a long 23 track record, which I have to admit is nice to see compared to most 10-15 track records nowadays.

Wayne really expresses his emotions, demons and feelings as portrayed on the track ‘Can’t Be Broken’ where Tunechi let’s loose on his haters and telling them to put it where the sun don’t shine. Re-emphasizing that he definitely was not broken and done for, as so many uttered publicly.

In between we find a few proper Wayne-esque type songs like ‘Used 2’ which is one major rapping onslaught full of beautifully construed lyrics that just flow. Real saucy. Combine that with a really catchy melodic tune I would consider this one of his most memorable tracks on Tha Carter V. Additionally the song ‘Dedicate’ assisted by a hook from 2Chainz follows this lyrical hyperflow. On the song ‘Let If Fly’ featuring Travis Scott, Wayne manages to fill a whole verse with the word ‘line’ and everything that rhymes with ‘line’, quite majestic if you can appreciate a lyricist at work.

On his previous album the song ‘I’m that nigga’ already featured the word n*gga so often that the KKK radar was glowing red on full alert. Tunechi goes down a similar road with the track ‘Open Safe’, where 90% consists of the same n-word. Personally I consider it a lack of creativity and intellect if a rapper has to fill his songs this way, so that is a bit disappointing in my opinion.

Quite to the contrary of most songs is the tune ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ featuring Nicki Minaj, which is actually a nicely sung tune about an apocalypse on earth and how Nicki and Wayne stay true to each other through the love for each other. To my positive surprise Nicki actually sings here, which makes me wonder why she doesn’t sing more in general, we know she has a big mouth as a rapper, but I still believe her true strength is her singing voice.

One slight downer on this album is the song ‘Start This Sh*t Right Off’ featuring Ashanti & Mack Maine. Yes sir you read correct, that is (Ja-Rule/Fat Joe groupie) Ashanti. The semi-failed actress features on this track with her epitomising incessant wailing that makes you wonder whether your speakers are out of tune or Cher’s autotune stopped working. Please go back to acting Ashanti.

To finish the album I can only suggest listening to the song ‘Mona Lisa’ featuring the legendary lyricist Kendrick Lamar. Tunechi shifts to overdrive and especially Kendrick goes absolutely bonkers near the end with about 5 voice changes, a rapping speed that would make the average Premier League footballer doing 150mph on the A1 look slow.

Lil Wayne covers women, riches and smoking but with the added flavour of emotions, self-reflection and some surprising humility makes Tha Carter V the typical Lil Wayne-esque record that proves all the haters that he is not yet broken or ready to retire.

Review: 7.4

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Face ID works better than you think

No more Touch ID, Face ID is the future and boy it works like a charm. Check out my experiences and explanation of the system.

We are now one year on since the introduction of the 2017 Apple iPhone X and its groundbreaking new security measure and iPhone unlocking system:Face ID. Earlier this month Apple released the successors to the X, with the Xs, Xs Max and Xr. And indeed all of those phones also ‘only’ have Face ID, Touch ID is no more. Let me take you on a journey that will open your eyes and possibly your iPhone, while we take a look at the technology (without the nerdy crap) behind Apple’s Face ID.
Is it really that safe? Does it work reliably? What is the catch? Is global warming a coax? Did we really land on the moon? Let me answer those questions for you. Well, maybe some.

iphone-x-face-id
courtesy of CNET.com

The functions
Over the past year there has been a lot of doubt and controversy surrounding Apple’s Face ID. I have been playing around with it and now have gotten my hands on the 2nd generation of Face ID built into the new iPhone Xs. So what does it do.
With a simple glance, Face ID securely unlocks your iPhone X or later.
Furthermore you can use it to authorise purchases from the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, and payments with Apple Pay. Additionally developers can now use it in their third party apps making Face ID useful when logging into Paypal or a password manager for example.

There is a lot of sophisticated and advanced technology at work here which I do not care too much for as long as it works. So on the front of the phone you have something Apple calls the TrueDepth camera which according to Apple: “captures accurate face data by projecting and analysing over 30,000 invisible dots to create a depth map of your face and also captures an infrared image of your face. A portion of the A11 and A12 Bionic chip’s neural engine — protected within the Secure Enclave — transforms the depth map and infrared image into a mathematical representation and compares that representation to the enrolled facial data.”

Bla bla bla, I get it if you got lost after the 30.000 invisible dots part there. What is more important and interesting to remember is the following.

Face ID automatically adapts to changes in your looks, such as looking like Marilyn Manson (i.e. wearing makeup) or going all hipster on society (growing facial hair). Now should you decide to undertake a more significant change in your appearance, like shaving off your full beard (because going down on your girl leaves way too much moisture in your beard), then Face ID actually confirms your identity by using your passcode before it updates your face data. Apple claims that: “Face ID is designed to work with hats, scarves, glasses, contact lenses, and many sunglasses. Furthermore, it’s designed to work indoors, outdoors, and even in total darkness.”

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 00.52.39
courtesy of Apple.com


Security
Before we get to the practical experience let us put some doubts and concerns to rest with regards to security. Apple told the world that: “the probability that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X or later and unlock it using Face ID is approximately1 in 1,000,000 (versus 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID).

As an additional layer of protection, Face ID allows just five unsuccessful match attempts before entering your passcode is necessary. So you are a twin? Or under the age of 13? Well for those situations Apple says: “the statistical probability is different for twins and siblings that look like you and among children under the age of 13, because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed.”

I have actually read about multiple cases where Face ID worked with twins, even identical twins. But almost a few that did not. Forbes writer Tony Bradley wrote the following on the twins testing topic: “Face ID is 99,997% secure. What we’ve learned from these tests is that it is, in fact, possible that some identical twins can fool Face ID and gain access to the iPhone X. What we know from the twins data, is that this is only an issue for 0.35 percent of the world—at most. The fact that the Mashable and Business Insider twin tests got different results suggests that only a certain subset of identical twins can bypass Face ID, which could significantly lower that number.”

It recognises if your eyes are open and looking towards your iPhone. So tough luck on your jealous and paranoid girlfriend trying to gain access to your iPhone while you are sleeping. Who are Mandy and Tina? She will never know….muhahahaha.

Adding an additional face
As of iOS12 (September 2018) you can now add a second Face ID profile. This can be your own face (this time with glasses on) or can even be your partner’s face so they can also unlock your phone with ease (and find out who Mandy and Tina are).
This was a major quirk and piece of criticism last year when Face ID was launched. Nicely done Apple, you listened for once!

Testing it out – What can go wrong?
Now I am sure many of you will (and rightly so) mention the situations of darkness, laying down, holding your phone upside down or wearing sunglasses. All valid points, which after receiving my new iPhone Xs last Friday I immediately put to the test. Something that really surprised me was that Face ID works like a charm in almost complete darkness. While in bed I was able to unlock my phone, without any additional delay, it worked just as fast as in daylight. Astonishing!

What then really made me jizz a little in my pants was the fact that I managed to successfully unlock the phone in one try while laying down on my side and holding the phone sidewards as well. Not just once, but every single time for a few nights now. Thanks to that amazing infrared camera!

Also sunglasses were not a problem at all, I even tried to fool Face ID by wearing my wife’s bigger, more stupendous diva glasses. But apparently even my Kim Kardashianess and sunglasses could not break Face ID.

In the case that you find yourself having difficulty unlocking Face ID with your face, maybe consider that Face ID does not like your face, you maybe look like Gollum or having your hair down like the girl from the movie The Ring is not helping.

But what about Touch ID?

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courtesy of youtube.com

I understand not all of you follow the tech news as I do (cough…nerd). So I can definitely feel your confusion towards Apple as to why Touch ID (the fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the older iPhone’s) was ever removed?!

The main reason is more display size.

The previous iPhone 8 has a display size of 4.7 inches and the 8 Plus has 5.5 inches. However the 8 plus is a bloody big phone which, unless you are Michael Jordan or E.T. is too big to handle for one handed use. Amazingly though with the 2017 iPhone X model, Apple managed to create a 5.8 inch screen at the size of an iPhone 8, albeit by removing Touch ID!! (if you want to read more about the size differences then check out my Apple Event update article HERE)

Now as far as I am concerned Touch ID has its flaws and definitely is not perfect. Especially wet, sticky, dirty, greasy fingers would block every attempt of unlocking with Touch ID. My wife for a very long time thought she has a faulty Touch ID button, but after she upgraded to the iPhone 7 from the iPhone 6 (also with Touch ID) she realised it was her almost naturally greasy fingers that were the culprit.

Touch ID nonetheless was and still is a great unlocking system which I still use with great pleasure on my iPad Pro. However the additional display size, dimension changes and design improvements on the iPhone X and the newer models have made me forget about Touch ID completely.

Apple, you really got me hooked on Face ID, thank you!

P.S. Beating Face ID
Some folks over at Wired.com decided to take a serious crack at Face ID and at cracking it. They failed, it is however a very interesting read should you still be uncertain about Face ID. Check it out HERE.

15 Tips for your iPhone’s battery life

These tips will guide you in becoming more energy efficient on your iPhone, getting the most out of your battery life.

It has been an emotional week full of Apple news, both good and bad. I had some conversations with friends about their possible phone upgrades and one topic kept coming up: porn and its effect on battery life.
Yep, porn was the biggest battery killer by far apparently. Crazy world.
‘Cumming’ ahead of PokemonGO and making selfies.
Okay, stop yanking my chain Marcel!
It is actually general battery life I wish to discuss here. Or in other words, the crap battery life on most iPhones. Let me try and help you with this rather neat list of tips and tricks to get the most out of your jiz..uhhm..juice!

Before we get down into the nitty gritty details as to why Stormy Daniels would ever shag that orange buffoon AND why your battery life is not up to scratch, let me please reiterate that this list ‘could’ help, but is not a definitive guarantee for each iPhone. It is important to remember that in some cases you can actually have a faulty battery and just need to replace it, changing settings will definitely not fix ‘that’ problem.

1. iOS update adjustment period
Every year there are a lot of people who complain that after updating to Apple’s latest iteration of iOS, their iPhone’s battery performance drops drastically. No Apple is not rigging your iPhone’s software to perform less. Not in this case. Anymore.
The reason for the drain is the fact that your phones files and apps are arranged in indexes, keeping all of your phone’s information organised – and, quickly accessible.

When a major iOS update comes along, a lot of the code and systems that make up your phone get changed significantly. This means your iPhone has to re-organise and re-index all your apps and data on your iPhone, to make it more searchable. This results in a large amount of work the processor has to do, which inevitably creates additional drain on your battery. You also often notice that people tend to spend more time on their phones trying out the new features and inadvertently do not notice the extra screen time they are thus creating.

Luckily this process only lasts for around 24 to 48 hours, so your battery life should be back to normal two days after you complete the iOS 12 update.

2. Bluetooth off
Image-1A lot of people probably do not even realise that iOS turns bluetooth on by default when your first install iOS. If you do not use bluetooth accessories like an Apple Watch then turn your bluetooth completely off for some added battery juice.
Go to the app Settings > Bluetooth > Flick the green switch to the left

3. Lowering brightness
Image-1 (1)One of the biggest battery drainers on any smartphone is the brightness. When you are dealing with high quality displays like Samsung’s Quad HD+ Super Amoled or Apple’s Super Retina OLED’s then cranking your brightness up to max will severely impact your daily battery performance. My own iPhone 7 Plus mostly is set to 30 or 40% brightness.
Go to the app Settings > Display & Brightness >Brightness > Move the slider higher or lower. There is also a quicker method by accessing your Control Center by sliding up from the bottom of your screen or if you own an iPhone X or newer, sliding down from the top right of your screen.

4. Running apps in the background
Image-1 (2)Just like brightness, battery app refresh can also be a major downer on your juice levels.
Hidden in some of the lower levels of iOS settings and menu, you will find a list of all your apps, either with green switch (see picture above) or a white one. Green for one, white for off. With this list you should consider do I need all my apps to run in the background. Some apps like Whatsapp, Facebook and Email it makes sense, but I do not need booking app or airbnb app to be running all the time trying to fetch me updates. Turning off all those apps you do not necessarily need info from all day long will seriously help your battery performance.
Go to the app Settings > General > Background App Refresh > Flick apps on or off.

5. Location services
Image-1 (3)If you had not noticed yet, you definitely will now, iPhones have a lot of background processes to give you what you need and you probably did not even know they existed. I mean why would you be such a geek and dig through all those countless menus and settings? Right Marcel? (#nerd)
Well as I did it for you here is another hidden battery drainer called ‘Location Services’.
Most apps can track your activity from a location perspective or need your location to function properly (think Google Maps). You can tailor these settings in three ways, set an app to ‘while using’ (only use location services when you have opened the app), ‘never’ making any location service use impossible by turning it off or lastly ‘always’ when you always want the service to be available to that specific app. Something I do for my weather app Carrot for example.
You can find it by going to the app Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

6. Push notifications apps
Image-1 (4)If You do not want to see any fake news coming from your CNN or FOX-NEWS app then you just simply turn it off. Added bonus is that you also drain your phone’s battery less and receive less fake news. Every installed app gives you the ability to customise its notification settings through banners, badges and sounds which all drain battery in some little way. A lot of apps you really do not need to receive notifications from so save yourself some battery and turn them off for those apps.
Go to the app Settings > Notifications.

7. Turn on low power mode
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Should you get down to 20% or even 10% battery level then do not despair, Apple built in a ‘Low Power Mode’ which by activating will make those last percentages of battery last that little bit longer. Making sure you can catch that late night Uber home after a terrible one night stand with someone who’s name you no longer remember. It manages to do this by turning off background app refresh, push notifications, Siri functions, automatic downloads and certain visual effects until you fully charge your phone.
There are two ways to do this. The long way is by going to the app Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode. The shorter route is by opening your Control Center again and tapping the above pictured symbol (2nd pic on right).

8. Charge your phone to 30% – 80%
I will not bore you about the behaviour of batteries, but after a lot of research and experience I can guarantee you that it does ‘not’ harm your phone by leaving it on charge all night. However studies have shown that the optimal charge levels of a smartphone lay between 30% and 80% charged. So if you find yourself waking up to barely 20% juice, quickly pop it in the charger and probably 15 minutes later you are already at 40-50% and good to get through your average day.

9. Turn Wi-Fi off
Image-1 (5)Probably one of the most common mistakes made still by myself included is leaving Wi-Fi on all day. Yes, also Wi-Fi drains battery. What doesn’t you could say! Ha! If you leave the house and know you will not be in a public place using Wi-Fi just turn it off. There are two simple ways of doing this shizzle.
Go to the app Settings > Wi-Fi > Flick the switch.
Or open your Control Center as explained in Nr. 3 and simply tap the Wi-Fi symbol at the top. Now Apple for some reason decided that doing the latter does not completely turn Wi-Fi off, but only disconnects until the next day. It still does the trick as your Wi-Fi will not keep searching for networks in the background. But I bet you did not know that. #patmyselfontheback

10. Turn off (Hey) Siri
Image-1 (6)Apple’s AI Siri loves to help us in our daily lives by giving us the weather forecasts, helping us with reminders and being undecided on whether I am handsome or not. B*tch! My mommie always told me I was such a handsome boy! #mommiesboy
If of course you do not use Siri and her abundance in solutions the just shut her up by turning her off.
Go to the app Settings > Siri & Search > Switch off all the above settings (see pic).

11. Turn off sounds
Image-1 (7)My wife almost always has her phone on vibrate, which I personally do not like as I love hearing my personalised ringtone go off when I get a call. But there are more sounds that can have an influence on battery life. Keyboard clicks (when you type) and Lock Sound (when you lock your phone) are pretty unnecessary sounds (personal opinion) so why not turn them. Unless you love hearing yourself type of course.
Go to the app Settings > Sounds & Haptics.

12. Turn off iCloud
Image-1 (8)iCloud brings many advantages nowadays, from backing up your device to all your photos, music, email and contacts. It is a tremendous cloud based solution which unfortunately also gives a user far too many settings to play with again.
You might want to check whether you really need to have all those apps using iCloud turned on or not.
Do this by going to the app Settings > Tap On Your Profile Picture (top of menu) > iCloud.

13. Do not close all your apps all the time
Image-1 (9)Some of my friends and family are going to have a go at me for this one as I have (for many years) always informed them that closing your apps actually saves background processes and battery. Well….how wrong was I all that time!!
I can now confirm that constantly closing your apps actually drains more battery as every time you re-open those apps, the app has to start all its processes from scratch which takes more energy. Most apps are so smart nowadays that they do not actually do anything in the background when they are opened, thus making the constant closing of apps redundant. However if there are certain apps you have used but generally barely use, then close them out.

14. Change email from push to fetch
Image-1 (10)Do we really need to get every bloody email as soon as it comes up? Maybe you’ve got another email account that is less important. You can actually change these settings from ‘Push’ to either ‘Fetch’ or ‘Manual’. With Fetch, you can set an interval, such as every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and so on, for your iPhone to check for new email. The longer you make the interval, the less battery you will be using. With ‘Manual’, it will only check for new email when you open the mail app.
Change your settings in the app Settings > Passwords & Accounts > Fetch New Data.

15. Edit search
Image-1 (11)The ‘Search’ function indexes and searches through every item on your iPhone. You can save a wee bit of battery, by filtering your searches, if you tell it to stop looking for irrelevant items.
Go to the app Settings > Siri & Search > Scroll down to your apps and turn off whatever you do not use.

I hope these tricks help you along a bit in making your smartphone as energy efficient as possible. Leave a comment if you have any additional tips that I might have missed.

P.S. No buffoons, baboons or Stormy Daniels were killed/hurt during the creation of this article.

*all pictures are courtesy of Marcel van der Wilden

Two things I missed at Apple’s Keynote event: drastic battery improvements and lower pricing

Come on Apple, did you forget about the battery improvements and lower pricing again? Here is what we missed at September’s Apple Event.

So on the back of the Apple Keynote Event from last Wednesday there were two things that kept bugging me. Did Apple’s Philip Schiller get fat and why did that clicker they used for the presentation look like something from the early 90’s!

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courtesy of twitter.com @davemark

No, of course I am kidding.

I wish to discuss the ongoing issue of battery capacity and also tap into the whole pricing dilemma. Buckle up!

Battery life, not again?
Now there are two things that really grind my gears, and have so for many years in my geeky tech ridden life. Firstly Apple’s poor battery life track record and secondly feminists, ahem, I mean pricing. I do tend to have a longer list of things that grind my gears but I did not see vegans, politicians, Greenpeace activists, flat earth believers and ISIS to be relevant here.

Spiderman-Strange
courtesy of bollywoodlife.com

The above are probably the faces of Tim Cook and his execs over at Apple when they read the first two sentences of the above paragraph. Rightly so! Sorry Dr. Strange and Spidey, you guys are cool, even with the silly cape, doc.

I can tell you that for years, and rightly so, a lot of people have complained about the fact that their iPhone manages a day of battery life or less and with the Plus version maybe a day and a half at most. I surprisingly manage to squeeze almost two days out of my iPhone 7 Plus, which I am content with to be fair.

The iPhone 6, 7, and 8’s however barely get through a day. This is bloody appalling considering that we have put a man on the moon in the freaking 60’s, can do face transplants, make nuclear weapons, change genders, build autonomous cars and have Trump as president in the USA.

But Marcel, if you do not like it why don’t you get one of those battery pack cases?

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courtesy of Apple.com/nl

Sure, let me just make my phone twice as thick, heavy and bulky! No, thanks. Smartphone manufacturers sometimes manage to create beautiful devices (not you Samsung), and the whole point is of course to not need a case, let alone a battery case around it. Thats like having my wife instead of a beautiful tight dress wear a Michelin man costume. Let us not do that, right dear?

So with Apple talking about 30 mins to 1,5 hours of additional battery life then basically I can play Candy Crush a little longer but over the course of a day that does f*ck all really!

How is it possible that the biggest and most profitable company in the world cannot ‘engineer’ a freakin’ bigger or better lasting iPhone battery?

ZTE, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Huawei all manage to cramp in 4000 mAh batteries into their smartphones and those f*ckers cost no more than 600 euro’s!!! Wait a second!! Those are all Chinese companies!! WTF! Well that must be why then. (hits himself over the head) Well then its simple Marcel, you should not buy an iPhone anymore! Said the dumbest donkey ever.

iPhones are more than just luxury products, they house all the technological solutions I require, from photos to music, games, social interaction and work. Apart from that I still believe that iOS is the most reliable, best updated, safest and best mobile operating system for years. I additionally consider the iPhones, especially the new Xs, to be the most beautifully designed phones out there. That is just my opinion.

Pricing
Most people when comparing any Apple product to a non-Apple product mention one thing: price.
And you know what, I tend to agree with those Apple haters up to a certain point.

Let me be honest by admitting that I strongly feel that Apple’s products and I mean all of them are overpriced and thus exclude a large potential customer base who cannot afford them.

Apple know how to market their products, appeal to the masses and basically have been getting away with murder for years. Yet we still keep buying Apple products!? Yes, most products I find innovative (AirPods / Apple Watch / iPhones), of high quality and user friendly. Therefore I am personally willing to pay that extra amount. I completely understand others who do not consider it to be worth it. Each to their own of course.

Over the past 9 months I have read a lot of rumours about Apple optimising their production processes and supply chain of the iPhone X. There were major indications that the new iPhones would come to market at least $100 cheaper than the 2017 iPhone X. Unfortunately all those rumours were wrong and called rumours for a reason.

The way I believe Apple saved their asses with this decision is by offering a cheaper $799 iPhone Xr with 6 different colours. And it would not surprise me if the Xr becomes the best selling iPhone ever made.

Still with the massive profit margins Apple makes it could have afforded to have gone down in price, even if $100 does not seem like a lot. Remember that in marketing perception is everything, and those hundred bucks would have made a big change in many potential customers.

Are you interested in understanding your smartphone’s battery better and how to optimise it? Stay tuned for the quick start guide on battery management for all smartphones, not just iPhones.

Aside from all the possible criticism I have today pre-ordered the new iPhones Xs. I will do my first unboxing as soon as I have received it and share it with you all!

The new iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr: a summary without the nerdy tech talk

The new iPhones are here. Read about why you should care about these three new models and why I will be buying the iPhone Xs.

Hey Apple fans and Apple haters, Android munchers and non-smartphone neanderthals. Today it was time for another Apple Keynote event, called ‘Gather Round’. And as Tim Cook always mentions just a few times (a lot), it was awesome and amazing and damn I just jizzed all over my screen awesome. (Slight exaggeration of course, where did I put the tissues?!) Without the severely technical nerdy details (sorry CNET, 9to5Mac, Verge, Engadget) let me give you a quick run down of what you really need to know about the three new iPhones: The Xs, Xs Max and Xr. And why I believe that the new iPhone Xr (the cheapest iPhone) is a very smart profitable move made by Apple.

iPhone XS and XS Max (big – biggest)
Yup, I remember the days where Apple was saying that their iPhones would never get bigger than 4 inches…ahum. You are forgiven, thank God you listened to the market.
As of September 14th you can pre order the latest and greatest iPhones from Apple.
Now I know that after reading the title you might have been wondering why you were reading about a new brand of Apple condoms. Come on Apple, the naming of these phones is becoming really ridiculous now. What is next iPhone going to be called? The iPhone Xs Max Ultra Avenger?! I am sorry Thor, I know how you feel.

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courtesy of geektyrant.com

So no more TouchID, we are now transitioning toFaceIDonly on all three iPhones and to be honest I still have mixed feelings about that. However when you look at the quality, beauty and design of the display and overall phone then I can very simply disregard TouchID ever existed. Apple has done a great job at optimising space and design. And honestly it does not take a lot of effort getting used to FaceID, it is fantastic technology.

iPhone XS
Let us start with the successor of the 2017 top ‘notch’(see what I did there) iPhone X, the now called iPhone Xs, which has nothing to do with being extra small. Somebody fire the marketing and branding teams at Apple, please! The iPhone Xs has the same design as last year’s iPhone X and that is not a bad thing at all. Against all odds and criticism last year’s iPhone X (despite the notch and its $999 price tag) became the Nr.1 selling smartphone in the world.
Apple knows you do not change a winning team or in this case phone design. Jose Mourinho might disagree about that winning team statement though. Anyway, now available in three colours, not last year’s two. Silver, SpaceGrey and a beautiful Gold colour addition.

iphonexscolours
courtesy of apple.com

FaceID according to Apple has become even faster and more reliable than last year’s version and knowing Apple’s track history of improvements I tend to trust them on that claim.

The camera has received even more technology upgrades that will make your eyes dazzle. Yes, the iPhone X already made the most beautiful pictures on any smartphone (bugger off Samsung), but now it will make even more more more beautiful beautifuller pictures, or as Tim Cook would say, awesome pictures. With Apple and I really mean this as a compliment, they always manage to go from 100% to 200% and beyond with improvements. The improved selfie camera now even allows selfie portrait shots. So cool, especially for all your Instagram friends who will now engulf Instagram with even more daily selfies.

Just when you think that certain speeds of processors, graphical performances are already pushing every limit, somehow Apple’s engineers (who should receive a lot more credit than they get) manage to squeeze even better, more, faster technology out of Apple devices. Astonishing. Awesome.

The battery apparently lasts 30 minutes longer than last year’s iPhone X, which is….uhm… (excuse my French) f*cking ridiculous Apple. Companies like ZTE, Xiaomi and OnePlus manage to fit 4000 mAh batteries in phones that are just as big and slim as yours. And those phones cost half as much as the iPhone Xs. Funnily enough Apple showed that their CPU and GPU (sorry I will not get more technical than that) actually use 30% and 50% less power that the previous versions. Sooooo, where is that power saving going then, Apple!? In your bank account next to those humongous profit margins?

Moving on to the display, well let us be totally honest here, the previous iPhone X already had the most detailed, beautiful OLED display on the market and Apple have just outdone themselves again (of course). I cannot wait to put Katy Perry as my wallpaper on this new iPhone, oh wait, sorry dear, I meant my wife.
P.S. Please grow your hair back Katy you look like a slutty lesbian.

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courtesy of thisisinsidercom

To my father’s delight the new iPhones will (finally) have dual sim functionality. This however brings the eSIM into play which means one physical sim card and a digital one, so not two physical sim cards. Except for China, because those commie bastards like to play hard ball with everything. Let me iterate that this is aimed at the government, not Chinese people in general, so no need to hack my iCloud account tomorrow, thanks. Should you wish to understand more about eSIM then please check out this article from my friends at Pocket Lint for a more in depth explanation.

And now something rather insignificant, but pretty cool nonetheless: AR measuring with your iPhone. Apple has added a measuring feature in iOS 12 that will allow you to measure any object with your phone through augmented reality.

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courtesy of appleinsider.com

As with men is often the case, we tend to think with our dicks rather than our brains. (mostly, unfortunately). Therefore I can already imagine a lot of teenagers, but also grown men trying this out to accurately test the size of their ding dong. So no need to use your fingers anymore as shown in the picture below. Now let me see and try this here…8 inches uhm no wait 9 inches…

race-and-penis-sizes
courtesy preen.inquirer.net

I actually just noticed the above picture is a little racist, so please disregard the colours and focus on the hand gestures. (cannot be too careful nowadays)

iPhone Xs Max (6.5 inches)
Now that is a big p…….hone, right!? Apple has never made a phone with a display size of 6.5 inches. Well as of September 14th you can now get the iPhone XS Max(ipad), sorry bad wordplay joke. Apart from the size of the phone and a larger battery everything is identical to its smaller sibling the Xs (5.5 inches). Apple claims to get 1.5 hours more battery life out of this compared to the previous smaller 5.5 inch iPhone X from 2017. Now again, as was evident by the awkward silence in the auditorium during the Keynote this is not a mind-boggling improvement. To deal with the larger screen size it will need this increase desperately.

You are probably now wondering how big these phones are to put things into perspective. See below a first comparison of the iPhone Xs Max (6.5 inches) on the left and the Xs (5.8 inches) on the right, with in the middle the current iPhone 8 (4.7 inches) (same size as iPhone 6 &7). And when talking inches I mean display size, not phone size.

iphonecomp8.jpeg
courtesy of Apple.com/nl

It becomes more interesting though when we do the same comparison with the previous iPhone 8 Plus which also has 5.5 inches of display. But, look at the size difference with the new Xs (5.8 inches) and Xs Max (6.5 inches).

iphonecomparison8plus.jpeg
courtesy of Apple.com/nl

The new Xs (5.8 inches) has even more display size then the bulky iPhone 8 Plus but is considerably smaller in size and weight. Put that next to the new Xs Max and you get another inch of display size for the same size of phone like the iPhone 8 Plus. That is astonishing. As you can tell this was achieved by removing the TouchID from the bottom of the phone.

In conclusion Apple have delivered the best iPhones ever made and to my knowledge and opinion the two best smartphones of 2018. Pricingstarts at $999 for the Xs and $1099 for the Xs Max in the USA and in most European countries at around €1159 and €1259 respectively. These are the 64gb standard models, let us not even go to the prices of the 512gb version. Damn you Apple.

iPhone Xr (the supposed budget iPhone game changer)
Hold on folks, we are not done yet, there is one more new iPhone to mention: the iPhone Xr (6.1 inches)Wait Xr? Xavier? 10Regular? Sort it out knuckleheads!
Now all mockery aside the iPhone Xr is a brilliant move by Apple and will probably become their all time best selling iPhone, outselling the Xs and Xs Max. Let me explain.

iphonexr
courtesy of Apple.com/nl

Firstly look at those (six) colours! I love the blue and red versions!

Secondly it has the same speed and processor capacity as its more expensive siblings the Xs and Xs Max. Nice one Apple.

Additionally it houses a single camera unit, but amazingly enough Apple have managed to add portrait mode to this single camera. You will get the same camera’s on the front providing you with FaceID.

Biggest differences are the display type and the price. This is an LCD screen, not OLED like Xs and Xs Max, which does make a difference in colour saturation and pixel density, or in other words does not look as phenomenal as the Xs and Xs Max.

However! We are now in a day and age where technology has advanced so far that we can barely see these differences with the naked eye. So let us not take the OLED vs LCD display comparison too seriously. Last but not least the price. In the USA we are talking $799 and in Europe (Netherlands) around €859 for the standard 64gb model.

Hold on, will some of you geeks say who have done their homework, that is the current price for an iPhone 8 Plus which is still a hell lot of money. And yes that is a correct assessment. However, considering the fact that Apple introduced a $1000 plus phone last year and everybody still went and bought it makes this a very interesting model. Apparently the price issue is not as big as a hurdle for most as they thought.
Add the processor capacity, camera performance, FaceID, a gorgeous large 6.1 inch screen, six bright colours to choose from and the price. That gives Apple a reach into a market of people that are considering upgrading from their iPhone 6/7/8 who can now tap into technology that until 2017 was too expensive for them.

My piece of consumer advice to anyone considering picking up the Xs, Xs Max or Xr, if you do not need the fancy camera’s and overly specced displays of the Xs and Xs Max, then do take the more affordable Xr.

Now Apple also announced the new Apple Watch Series 4, but I will keep that topic for another day. Weirdly enough there is still no word of the 2017 announced Airpower or Airpods 2. WTF Apple!

P.S. check out my next article also on the Apple Keynote Event with my opinion on what I believe is still missing from these iPhones. Stay tuned later this week. Thanks.

Eminem’s ‘Kamikaze’: is it time for the Rap God to retire?

Eminem is back with a surprise diss album bonanza. Strap in tight folks, Em is droppin’ the bomb on us with Kamikaze.

As a wee lad my best mate introduced me to this white boy rapper from Detroit with his rude, misogynistic, homophobic, angry yet lyrically astonishing catchy raps. Eminem or Slim Shady as he proclaimed his alter ego to be when things really needed to get dark, fiery and sometimes downright ludicrous is now back with a surprise album called ‘Kamikaze’.

Revival
On his last and 9th album called ‘Revival’ from late 2017 we heard the mumblings of a rapper who had lost his identity and mojo by filling his emptiness and frustration towards the hip hop scene with pop-minded jibber jabber and terribly copied hooks and tunes, making the album almost sound like a bad karaoke night. This is epitomised by the absolutely horrendous cover of The Cranberries classic ‘Zombie’ which he calls ‘In Your Head’. (#avoid) The guest vocals of world pop stars like Beyonce and Ed Sheeran did not help one bit. And that is not me slagging of Beyonce and Ed Sheeran. No. I mean ginger pubes actually made the song River good by adding his voice. To be fair Eminem needed to take a good hard look in the mirror. The critics killed his record, and maybe rightly so. This was Slim Shady unworthy. Using his own words: he needed to put a dick in his mouth.
And to be honest being a massive Eminem fan since a young age, this record made me want to puke and punch Hillary Clinton in the face. (Bill was too busy getting his shlong sucked)

Criticism
Eminem, let alone from album sales, but as an image and rapper will never be forgotten in the music world let alone be outclassed by the current dimwits that call themselves rappers. (ahem Lil Yachty, Migos, Machine Gun Kelly)
However one thing Marshall seriously needs to comprehend is being able to take criticism without killing his legacy. In the 2000’s there was nobody like Em, a true Rap God. And up to 2013’s album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 I would agree with view. Unlike most rappers he thankfully did not start wearing skinny jeans and change his name to Lil Em. Marshall Mathers a now almost 46 year old rap veteran still cannot let it go that times have changed and the rap scene has moved on and has now turned into an incestuous mumble auto tune load of shite that makes you wonder where it all has gone. Dam you Ja Rule!
Em seems to suffer from an everlasting urge to show the world he is still the best lyricist out there as if he were an emerging rapper from Detroit’s underground, oh wait…deja-vu! If anything Eminem can take a bow to the global audience and enjoy his record selling legacy. However..

Kamikaze
Marshall was not ready to throw the towel in the ring and instead of an accurate hook to the eye, chews the opponents ear off with his surprise comeback record Kamikaze. (sorry Tyson) Anger, frustration, fear, insecurity, misogyny and pure brilliance fuel an album where Em sets the record straight versus all of his critics.
This record exudes disses towards the biggest names in politics, rap, pop music, entertainment and maybe even you. No need for Beyonce and ginger pubes to appear on this record. This is Em going back to the angry white boy from Detroit’s underground battle scene, that made The Marshall Mather’s LP the epitome of rap, probably for all time. (that is my opinion, let’s not have all these Nas loving b*****s get their panties in a twist about his Illmatic album)

Dissing
The likes of Trump, Pence, Machine Gun Kelly, Drake, Joe Budden, Lil Pump, Migos and Diddy are just a few on a long list of casualties. I am sure Eminem has set a new record for most people insulted on a single album. And you know what if anybody can pull it off or deserves a go at these people its Em.

Em has gone back to Dre fuelled beats and hooks that fit perfectly with his lyrical brilliance. Good examples of this are the songs Not Alike (feat. Royce Da 5’9″) and Lucky You (feat. Joyner Lucas), which I personally think are the true sound of Kamikaze with lyrics that will make you wonder, how does one even come up with this shit! Damn! Marshall sometimes seems to just stop breathing to fit in so many words, but makes it look as easy as Kim Jong Un hiding his nuclear weapons arsenal. The tempo changes, and musical intervals are mind blowing, let alone sheer genius from my perspective.
I grew up with rap phenomenons like Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, DMX, 50 Cent, Wu Tang Clan and Dr. Dre. That is a stark contrast to the current rap scene full of skinny jeans wearing pussies. Word of advice, please do listen to these songs a few times to really grasp the lyrics and meaning of his disses.

Retirement?
Eminem has made me nostalgic with Kamikaze and yet again shows he might be getting older and is out of sync with the current music scene, but that is okay and acceptable, because this is Marshall Mathers we are talking about. Em please take this piece of advice from a critic and also lifelong fan: stop giving a f*ck about what people say, focus on Slim Shady and what made him the most disturbing, genius, record album selling, lyricist and MC of the past 20 years.”

I forgive you for ‘Revival’ but please don’t pull that shit again bro. Retirement? No way man. Keep firing away Slim!

Review: 8.0

 

 

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courtesy of last.fm

Metalheads: time to set things straight (grunt)

Grunt grunt grunt…aargghh…arrghhh…pain….death…etc… No, heavy metal is a lot more than that. Let me explain.

Not heads of metal, and not the material metal either. I am talking about the music scene of heavy metal and the members of this subculture called ‘metalheads’, which my wife and I happen to be part of as well. As my wife and I are about to go to the yearly Graspop Metal Meeting festival in Dessel, Belgium this week I felt it was time to set some common misconceptions about heavy metal music straight.  Now please keep reading especially if you are NOT a metalhead or actually hate this type of music. You are exactly the type of person I am trying to reach! Over the next few weeks I will be crowd surfing over topics associated to the metal scene so please stay tuned.

No we do not all wish to die, kill others or have chronic anger issues!
I have to say it is difficult to give opinion on something so subjective as music, but screw it here it goes anyway. See I grew up listening to good old Elvis Presley over dinner as my dad just could not get enough of him. And although I love me a bit of Elvis and Hip Hop like Eminem, DMX, Busta Rhymes and 50 Cent, nothing gets me as excited, adrenaline pumped, psyched and crazy like heavy metal!

Now If I were to ask a random person in the street what they think of when talking about metal music what would people say? Tattoos, anger, gothic dressed people, head-banging, depression, self mutilation, aggression, satanism, death-wishing and massive fighting in crowds at a concert. You probably agree with some or even all of them right? Well, please find enlightenment in the following paragraphs you bunch of blasphemers! (Haha)

Metalheads are mostly very passionate, caring, life enjoying, happy people.

Expression
In all fairness the thought of anger and aggression associated with metal music I can understand, but it requires some much needed perspective. And the following might sound silly or even unbelievable, but most metalheads are actually very passionate, caring, life enjoying, happy people. Now I do say ‘most’ because there are some, yet very few suicidal, angry, self mutilating idiots who ruin it for the rest of us. (I might be writing lightly about those people, but they seriously need help and are often too scared to reach out for it)

See the key thing to happiness for most people in life is being able to ‘vent’ some much needed energy, frustration, passion and love through some sort of medium, in this case music. Plenty of you will absolutely jizz in their pants by listening to a bit of Adele on a Sunday evening whilst picturing a much fitter woman instead of Adele. You dirty buggers!

We all vent in different ways through sports, hobbies like instruments, running, playing chess, listening to music and the occasional masturbating. (yeah you know who you are)
Metalheads are the same, although for most of us it goes further than just listening to music, it is a way of life. I grew up with the likes of Rammstein, Limp Bizkit, Godsmack, Metallica, Led Zeppelin and System Of A Down. It was not until I met my now wife that I got introduced to the various metal festivals and bands like Slipknot (yes those geezers with funky masks), Avenged Sevenfold, Volbeat and many others a lot rougher/darker than the above mentioned bands. This brings me to Slipknot and one of those many misconceptions: dress styles do not always tell the whole story, perception can be misconceiving.

The Slipknot Effect
Let me start with a good image of one of my favourite bands Slipknot, originally from Iowa (USA).

slipknot_1365
image via voir.ca

Hey, there is that dude with the mask from the cover image of this article! (guitarist Mick Thomson) What I love about Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor’s voice is his ability to sing in a very pure tone as well as grunt and interchange between the two as if it was the easiest and most normal thing in the world. You might recognise the name Corey Taylor as he is also the frontman of the slightly milder rock band Stone Sour.
See the thing with Slipknot is that most people look at their masks and think: ‘what is this horrendous look?’. And then they often do not even give them a chance. They are just masks. Think about Kiss and their looks that did not put you off either did it? It was the tongue that did it for you, wasn’t it?! Haha! Well the same happened to me all those years ago. It was not until my now wife made me listen to them and actually go to their concert and boy was I wrong!! This situation though seems to be an assumption about a lot of other metal bands as well, unfortunately.

And of course I know, even after you might have listened to them it might still not be your music scene, no worries.

Lyrics
So if you are already put off by the looks of some metal bands or the sound even then there are a lot of you who think that there is another disturbing factor: the lyrics. I know that a lot of non-metalheads (haters) consider the lyrics of most of these bands to be very angry, focused on suicidal thoughts, death, misery, depression, hurt, pain etc..

There are some bands who exert complete anger, even satanic views. Those are definitely not the mainstream, more popular metal bands. Do not forget that there is a multitude of genres within the metal scene. I will explain more about these genres in my next post.

When I look at Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch then you will find a wide range of lyrics that mention fighting for what your worth, survival through the struggles of life, truth, deceit, lies, friendship, love and heritage for example. Now most of these are very common in every day music, from pop to rock and country music. But a lot of people associate the heavy guitar riffs, drumming and vocal styles as permanently angry, negative and creepy.

I only have to look at my own family. As soon as I play 20 seconds of an average Slipknot song they look at me in disgust and start swearing that this aberration is not music!
Fair enough, I respect we all have our own opinions.

Mosh Pits and Walls of Death
The topic of most pits and walls of death are a common association to the metal scene at concerts and festivals. There is a story and explanation to this perceived madness that I will cover in one of my next posts. But in short I would like to point out that most pits are not done to hurt each other, intimidate or injure. They are a form of expression of passion and a feeling of togetherness that can mostly not be understood by non-metalheads. More on the psychology of these activities soon.

What I would like to finish with is the companionship between metalheads, even between the different genres of metal. There is a distinct togetherness that I never felt at a pop or rap concert. Someone falls, they get picked up by everyone around them. A girl has to puke, the others will hold her hair up. Everybody is accepted for who they are, no matter how ludicrous they might be dressed. It might seem ludicrous to you but to them it is a way of life that let’s them be themselves and more importantly be happy about themselves. That is something I believe we all can and should respect.

Graspop 2018
Tomorrow my wife and I will be leaving for Belgium for the 4 day metal fest called Graspop Metal Meeting and below you can find the full line-up should you be interested. Yes before you say anything, Ozzy Osbourne is still alive and performing. (bloody awesome right)

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image via graspop.be