Lovely Passport Designs

Countries with rich heritage should showcase it more often. What better way to let the world know than passport. It’s literally the window to the world, one in which if designed properly, subtly boosts its soft power.

I praised the design of Japan’s new passport ahead of Tokyo Olympic in 2020. Besides having one of the most powerful passports in the world, it also has one of the best passport designs anywhere in the world.

Adding to my list of favourite passport designs come in the form of Canadian and Norwegian. The former has pages containing national icons that reveals itself under UV light. Norway’s version has an understated cover with natural landscapes inside, with aurora appearing when UV light is shone.

How delightful it must be when immigration officers chanced upon them for the first time.

(via Ia Inc.)

The Poorly Designed Apple TV Remote

I’ve been living with a shuttered Apple TV remote for the past 12 months. It’s useable, but not ideal.

Rewind back a year and I was watching Netflix. I heard a thud sound and the Apple TV remote fell from the sofa, at no higher than 60cm. That was enough to shutter the glass. Cracked lines run across the sleek but fragile device.

My emotions turned from worry to frustration. Turned out I wasn’t the odd ones who faced similar problems with the poorly designed remote. Many discussions online surfaced the same problem – the remote breaks easily. Way too fragile. The glass coating looks fabulous and feels…decent. But it comes at the expense of useability and durability.

I called Apple up and while it’s under warranty, it doesn’t cover accidental damages. It cost $79 to get a new one. Even explaining to them how I’m an Apple fan that owns far too many i-devices couldn’t convince them to replace it. Nor could my question on why this poor design could ever made it to production grant me a free replacement. Feedback noted, they added. Oh well, all of this wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t roll out such a bad remote.

It’s not just the durability. Many have rightly criticised its interface and symmetrical design. Picking it up, you have no idea which way is the remote facing. It feels the same. And the touch surface is too prone to accidental swiping. I have experienced it way too many times when an accidental touch brought the show elsewhere. It was always challenging returning to where the scene was.

Apple has been plagued with quality issues in the past couple of years. From the well documented failure of Macbook keyboards to the AirPod which can’t hold even half of its original charge after just a year of usage. That’s disappointing. Apple ought to do better with its products.

This is damaging to its reputation and strong relationship Apple have with its customers. These niggling issues may have prompted even its most loyal customers to cast a glance elsewhere. Some have retort to saying if Steve Job was around, none of this nonsense would have happened. I kind of feel the same.

Writing Is Breathing

To breathe again, to have fresh air entering the lungs. Writing is as much as an output as a way of living. To rid of the excess and take in new things. Emptying what’s inside to make way for new inputs.

That’s what it feels like each time I’ve written. Most things I wrote have no lasting impact – they don’t age well, they are not timeless – but they serve a purpose at that point of time. Each and every thing I’ve written and published lives in my own domain. They made me feel like I’ve a standing in this black hole of never-ending web. However small it is, my presence is made known and archival.

The posts reflect my changing interest, the culture, the technological advancement, personal dilemmas, and many other random musing. I have never follow up consistently on my pact to write regularly here.

However far I’ve drifted, the euphoria of publishing(here) still gives me massive dose of joy.

Short Of Sleep

Being sleep deprived is not the best feeling in the world.

I’ve problems with insomnia. I’ve learn to cope with it, to live with the existence of this inconvenience that has been with me like almost forever. I’ve learned not to complain too much and just get on with it. Just get through the day and chill when I’m back home.

At work, my attention span shortens. The mind is a beat slower to process, the retention portion weakens. And there’s craving for junk food. For people who are severely lack of sleep, taking the easy way out is the default choice.

That being said, I made it to the end of the day. Grateful for that. Not entirely unproductive but I know if I had gotten a night of peaceful sleep, my mind and body would have been much better off.


I wonder who lives in the house. What are they doing there? What is the history of this place?

On the way to work, I’ll pass by this house. It’s not beautiful and if any, it’s a little rundown. But it draws my attention every morning. I find myself looking at its direction, for nothing in particular.

Hard to understand why, but I guess I’ll be glancing its way tomorrow as well.