Office Hackery

Useful Hacks, Reviews, Tips and Tricks of anything under the moon and the sun.

Drink safe water anywhere you are with Grayl

Drink safe water anywhere you are with Grayl
One of my favorite activity to do to recharge from hectic and stressful work is to go hiking whenever possible. The fresh air, the touch of leaves, shades from trees and scenic view from the peak never failed to rejuvenate my soul plus the long trail-walk train my body to become more fit. To make the 3 to 5 hour hike more comfortable, I always make sure to bring enough trail food and water. Enough drinking water is a must for hiking in a tropical country like the Philippines but what is enough differs from person to person. It is more challenging for some hikers to bring enough water for the trail since more water means heavier load to carry. Thanks to technology, it is a lot easier now. With Grayl, you don't have to bring more than one bottle because now you can make a drinkable water along the way. Grayl is an ultralight purifier bottle that can make clean, purified water in less than 15 seconds from any fresh water source you can find. It works like a French press coffee maker:

First, you scoop up some water from any fresh water source and then, press down the tube into the container and viola, you have a safe to drink water.

How to purify water with Grayl Ultralight
Photo Credit:

The technology claims to remove particles, chemicals, and heavy metals found in untreated water and also viruses and bacteria.  The patented technology does not require batteries, UV bulbs, chemicals, pumping, sucking, squeezing or prolonged waiting. Grayl Ultralight can store water up to 16 oz, only weighs 10.9 oz and cost $59.50. In my personal experience, it live up to its promise. I choose to bring it over my hydration bladder as long as I'm hiking trails that have regular fresh water sources.

Grayl Ultralight

Five hacks to capture better photos

In the advent of smartphone, taking beautiful photos became easier to almost everyone has it. But this also make us forget that a great photo can't be great at all if everybody has exactly the same photo you have. To make your photo stand out, you have to do something different from just clicking the shutter. Here are five hacks from professional photographer Peter McKinnon to instantly upgrade your photo-shooting skills.

In summary, the video talks about angles, shoot thorough, thinking opposite, using proper lightning, and framing. Try these five tricks and let me know how they serve you.

Pixie: Find your important stuff with Augmented Reality

Photo Credit: Pixie
If you're a forgetful person and most often loses stuff around your house or office then you might have considered getting a tracking device like the popular Tile Mate Key Finder. But before you run to the store and buy one, take a quick look at Pixie first ~ a new upcoming tech designed for abstracted or just busy people. It is a similar solution but uses different technology to locate lost things. If you have played Pok√©mon Go then using Pixie would be easy for you. Here's how it works. Just open the iPhone app (yeah bummer, it only supports iOS for now). When you are within Pixie range of the misplaced stuff (150 feet outside and 30-50 feet indoors), Pixie app will ask you to take a panoramic scan of your surroundings to map out where your item is. If your misplaced stuff is beyond range, Pixie will give you at least the last known GPS location. Then once it find your lost item, a ‘Pixie Dust’ reveals the location and then show you a compass interface which points you to the right spot. If your within 5 feet of the item, you can switch over to metal detector like feature which notify you with series of beeps as you get nearer the item, similar to a metal detector.

Pixie will ship on January 25 for iPhone users and Android later in the year. You can order it now as low as $49.99 for two-pack and $99.99 for four-pack. Each comes with free Pixie iPhone case. Pixie is one of notable techs launched at CES 2017.

Kingston 2TB Flash Drive Is so far the biggest of them all

Kingston 2TB Flash Drive Is so far the biggest of them all
Photo Credit: Business Wire
Have you ever wish that your flash drive can carry the same or more files as your bulky external drive? Well your wish has been granted by Kingston Digital, Inc. The biggest so far in terms of capacity was introduced -- The DataTraveler® Ultimate Generation Terabyte (GT), the world’s highest capacity USB Flash drive. The drive offers up to 2TB of storage space and USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) performance.
“At Kingston, we push the limits of what’s possible,” said Jean Wong, Flash business manager. “With the DataTraveler Ultimate GT, we empower users to increase their data storage mobility in a highly manageable form factor. This is a terrific follow up to our 1TB drive released in 2013 and by doubling the capacity, users can store and carry even larger amounts of data easily.”

2TB for sure will give you plenty storage space for your 4K videos, photos and a lot more. The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate GT will ship sometime in February however price is still in question. Lets just hope it won't cost an arm or leg.

Girl Went Online Shopping Using Her Sleeping Mom's Thumbprint

What adults love to do during holidays? One is sleeping and second is shopping. That is the same thing (almost) this 6-year-old girl did but in reverse. She went online shopping while her mom is sleeping. While mom Bethany was sleeping on the couch, Ashlynd (the daughter) used her mother's thumb to unlock the Amazon app on her phone and then went to order $250 worth of Pokemon items for herself. Ofcourse the first impression of the parents when they got 13 confirmation notices about the purchases is that they'd been hacked which is partially true ofcourse. The girl proudly admitted the deed by explaining, "No, Mommy, I was shopping." The Howells were able to return only four of the items.

That is one of the downside of technology. Nowadays, pretty much everything is easier. From securing mobile phones to shopping (including not for kids stuff). So my advice? remember some old habit is still the best for you even in 2017. Technology keeps on advancing so as our Kids. So please use a password.

Home Automation Gone Naughty

Amazon Echo: Home Automation Gone Naughty
Photo Credit: Amazon
One of the latest trend in gadgets in 2016 is home automation devices and Amazon is arguably leading the race in terms of sales with their own Amazon Echo and its smaller version Echo Dot. These devices can follow your voice command easily. Echo can do a lot of stuff for you like streaming music, tune in to the radio, read you a book, set the timer, or even order a pizza. For as low as $49.99, you'll have an smart voice assistant at your home. Convenient? Almost. The downside of Amazon Echo is that it sometimes can't understand what exactly you mean like this young boy in the video trying to ask Alexa (the voice assistant's name inside Amazon Echo) to play him his song.

A word of advice. Don't let your kids play alone with Alexa because she (it) might misunderstood them and Santa won't be happy.

Happy New Year!

Huawei is taking the smartphone design to the next level

In my humble opinion, the best phone or phones of 2016 are not necessarily the best in design category. Yeah I'm talking about iPhone 7 which literally an untouched version of iPhone 6 and Google Pixel which safe to say an iPhone's look alike. Arguably both these phones, hands down, are the best phone your money can buy in terms of features and hardware but when it comes to external design, the award could have been given to Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Unfortunately, Note 7 exploded its way out from the competition which left us out with one-step less better S7 Edge and personally force me to switch from Note 7 to Sony Xperia Z. However the contest for the most prettiest smartphone isn't over yet because the Chinese manufacturer Huawei have something to say before the year ends. Behold, the Honor Magic smartphone.

Huawei is taking the smartphone design to the next level
Photo Credit: Huawei

Honor Magic is not just all about pretty face. Internally powered by a Kirin 950 which has 8 cores on board. The Honor Magic features a 5.09-inch 2K AMOLED curved screen. This phone is stylish and ergonomically designed with a 3D curved glass body.

“The Honor Magic encapsulates our commitment to cutting-edge innovation and technology,” said George Zhao, president of Honor. “Through this launch, we at Honor are telling our fans around the globe that we are genuinely committed to challenging ourselves and willing to disrupt the status quo to ultimately be able to bring the best mobile-internet experience to them.”

OK let the final contest begin. Until I got hold of this phone, I will reserve my final verdict for the prettiest among them all. For now, I just hope Apple, Samsung and Google can get their acts together and come back swinging with bigger improvements on their own smartphones.

Omnicharge: The only portable power bank you'll ever need

Most of power banks today are designed for charging usb ready devices like smartphones and camera. For months, I've been looking for portable extra power supply to charge my macbook pro whenever I'm on the go and unfortunately I haven't encountered one until I stumbled upon Indiegogo, a like portal.
Omnicharge: The only portable power bank you'll ever need
Photo Credit: Indiegogo/Omnicharge
On that site, I was able to discover a lot of cool startups including the one I was looking for: a portable power bank that can charge almost any electronic device. Omnicharge power bank can also charge my macbook pro or any laptop for that matter because aside from two (2) usb fast charging ports, it also has AC/DC Power Outlet. It will come in two version, the Omnicharge PRO which has a capacity of 20,400mAh and 100W output power, and the Omnicharge Standard which has a lower load of 13,600mAh and 65W output. And thats not it, forgot to bring your cable? as long as your device supports Qi wireless charging then you are good to go in the PRO version. You might be thinking how long it would take for this powerbank to reload itself. Well the power bank itself can reach full charge in only 2-3 hours with Omnicharge charger.

With Omnicharge you can charge multiple devices simultaneously without worrying about overcharging because it comes with smart power management system that adapts to optimal power levels for each device. Shipping of this product will start in January 2017. You may want to pre-order now like what I did. You are not just saving more than 30% of its price, you'll also be one of the first owner of this great product.