Lifestyle

Petcube: The best Christmas gift you can give to Paw-rents

Featuring Juancho!

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Does it break your heart every time you leave your fur-baby at home? Ever wonder what they do when you’re not there to watch? Paw-renting guilt is real and Petcube Bites is the perfect way to deal with it on days when you just can’t bring your pet with you.

I was someone who didn’t want to be one of those pet owners who have a camera to stalk their pet. After my Pembroke Welsh Corgi Juancho came into my life, however, it all changed. A highly sociable dog, he loves the company of humans and hates being alone. On days when I had to leave him for a couple of hours to do the groceries or attend a formal event, he would howl in sadness. We proceeded to train him to be okay with being alone, giving treats before we leave and gradually increasing the time of separation.

However, it made me wonder how he was doing when he’s actually alone. Is he still howling? We needed a pet camera to check on him!

Enter Petcube’s latest version of their camera — Petcube Bites. Not only can you stalk and talk to your pet, you can even reward him for good behavior even when you’re not physically present by throwing treats at him.

Sleek and stylish

One thing I was worried about was how a pet camera would fit into our home. Most of the ones available in the market tend to look too cute-sy or even cheap because of the plastic elements used. The Petcube Bites, although quite big, can blend well with almost any type of room decor. It comes in four colors: Matte Silver, Rose Gold, Carbon Black, and Snow White. You can also put it on a flat surface or mount it on the wall.

Easy setup

Getting the camera up and running is a breeze. Download the app and sign up, plug your unit in, and follow the instructions on your screen. In a few minutes, our Petcube was up and running perfectly and I could see Juancho on the screen.

Security with notifications

You can’t spend all your time away from your pet with your eyes stuck on your mobile’s screen, watching him to make sure he’s okay. You can go about your business with ease as Petcube can detect movement and sound. It will also alert you through a push notification, prompting you to check on your pet.

Missed the moment? Don’t worry. The app saves videos of up to ten seconds from the past four hours into the cloud. You can check it later, download the video, and easily share it on social media. If you want longer videos and storage periods, you can always sign up for a membership to Petcube Care which starts at US$ 4.99.

It doubles as a great security camera for your home too. You’ll know if your pet had a busy day fighting off burglars. Your good boy definitely deserves a giant treat for driving them away!

Getting social

The Petcube app allows you to share photos and videos of your pet on an Instagram-like feed. You also have the choice to set your camera in public mode. This allows other app users to access your camera and interact with your pet. If you own the Play model, viewers can utilize the laser pointer and keep your pet busy. With Bites, you have the option to allow viewers to give treats to your pet, as well.

This is not for everybody, that’s for sure. Our Petcube is a locked camera but I must admit that I do enjoy playing with other people’s cats when Juancho’s asleep.

Capturing special moments with your fur-baby

The Petcube Bites streams 1080p HD video through a 138-degree wide-angle view. You can also zoom in the video up to three times. Night mode allows me to check on Juancho even when we’re already in bed and all the lights are off.

My favorite thing about it, though, is how it is able to record special moments between Juancho and I. Like the time I had to travel for work and he was left alone with his fur-daddy. I was gone for a couple of days and our Petcube Bites was able to capture our sweet reunion.

Acclimatise your pet

The only con I can say about the Petcube Bites is the sound it makes when you press for a treat to be thrown. This has startled Juancho one too many times and has given him some trust issues with it. This doesn’t come as a surprise since he’s still a puppy and is quite jumpy to begin with. He wouldn’t even go near the treats that came out of the device.

Another thing your pet should get used to is hearing your voice when you’re not around. Juancho freaked out the first time he heard my voice via the Petcube, telling him to get off the couch when I wasn’t even there. He jumped right off and it made me feel like God for a little bit but that added to the trust issues.

We’re currently in the process of reintroducing our unit to him. We’ve made some progress but we’re hoping he gets fully used to the sounds. He’s getting a lot bigger now and having more exposure to technology, anyways.

Verdict

So, is Petcube Bites the perfect gift for the paw-rent in your life? It makes sense to give someone the security of knowing their pet (and home) is safe while they’re away for a couple of hours. You can also prevent boredom which leads to destructive behavior. This, by either talking to them or distracting them with treats.

Peace of mind is always a good investment, as well as seeing your pet do something funny and having it on video to share with your friends and family.

What do you mean they’re fed up with my pet posts? Us paw-rents don’t really care.

Reviews

adidas UltraBoost 21 review: More boost, more fun

Casual and performance hybrid

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It’s a new year which means it’s time for a new UltraBoost and this one’s the best one yet. Today we’re checking out the adidas UltraBoost 21.

The UltraBoost 21 dropped globally this January 28th priced at US$ 180, with a full release of more colorways on February 4th.

Here in Malaysia, the UltraBoost 21 is now available in physical stores as well as our lockdown opens up slightly.

Brief Ultraboost history

Ever since they were announced in 2015, the Ultraboost has always been my go-to everyday sneaker because they’re just so comfortable to wear.

In the last two years adidas has been pumping out two different series of UltraBoost. On one side we have the older, UltraBoost 1.0 to 4.0 retro-ing and releasing in a few newer colorways under the “UltraBoost DNA” branding.

Initially, adidas just kept making small changes to the shoe every year from the UltraBoost 1.0 to the 4.0. They were mostly just changing the knit pattern of the upper which wasn’t really that big of a deal.

However, the DNA models are more for people like me who want the retro style of the OG UltraBoosts and want the comfort of the Boost midsole and Primeknit upper, but just as casual everyday wear sneakers.

But, on the other side we have the UltraBoost year models which are more performance oriented as running sneakers. This started in 2019 when adidas redesigned the Ultraboost to create the Ultraboost 19 which was a huge change in the line and created a lot of controversy with Ultraboost fans at that time.

A brand new change

This is because, initially, the Ultraboost was more of a casual lifestyle pair first, casual running sneaker second. But this changed with the UB19 when adidas decided to focus on making a more performance oriented running sneaker. It created a bit of drama amongt Ultraboost fans because the silhouette of the shoe really changed compared to previous UltraBoosts.

UltraBoost 20

So we saw the Ultraboost 19 in 2019, the UltraBoost 20 last year, and this year, 2021, it’s the UltraBoost 21.

And boy, has adidas really evolved the silhouette here, with even more Boost than ever before and a LOT of major tech improvements as well, including a new Torsion system, also making use of more sustainably sourced materials in the upper.

With all of that, you have to admit, the UltraBoost21 looks like an aggressive running sneaker through and through.

We got the launch colorway to check out which is Cloud White / Core Black / Solar Yellow. It’s a sweet colorway with these hits of neon yellow on the upper and pink on the sole.

PrimeBlue

Coming to the shoe itself and starting with the upper, adidas is using a brand new knit material called PrimeBlue —  a new version of adidas Primeknit which uses recycled materials like Parley Ocean Plastics in the yarn.

According to adidas, over 50 percent of the upper is made from textiles and over 75 percent of that textile is made up of the PrimeBlue yarn. adidas has also said that they didn’t use any new polyester materials on this shoe so this might just be the most sustainably made UltraBoost so far.

I love that adidas is focusing on using recycled materials more, we saw them work with Parley for years now but it was mostly for special limited edition sneakers or apparel. This is the first time we’re seeing adidas work with Parley on general release sneakers, so to see them stick to this sustainability philosophy for one of their most high-profile shoes, that’s awesome.

So every one of the UltraBoost 21s you buy will be using recycled plastics from the ocean. I love that adidas is doing this.

But of course, the next logical question would be — if the knit here is made out of plastics, how does it feel?

Honestly, it feels the same as standard primeknit. It’s just as soft and stretchy, and just as breathable. It  is a little bit thicker but I think that’s by design. It’s your usual sock-like fit UltraBoost upper.

Some design updates

Coming to the toe-box area, you’ll see the new knit pattern that is similar to previous UltraBoosts except that the knit pattern and the ventilation holes marked by the neon yellow here kind of extends along the upper towards the mid-foot of the shoe.

You’ll also see these heat-pressed details that outline the ventilation holes. I assume these are just aesthetic but they might also add some structure to the upper.

Coming to the midfoot area, you’ll see the semi-translucent TPU midfoot cage that looks similar to the one on the OG Ultraboost. It now has a more aggressive, updated design with these three individual opaque black stripes to make the adidas three stripes symbol.

Instead of being sown into the midsole, this time around the midfoot cage has been shown into the lower part of the upper instead. I’m not too sure why adidas decided to do this, but I do think it looks really cool, and hopefully we won’t see it affect the structure of the upper after a year or two of wearing these.

On-feet, it doesn’t really feel any different on the sides vs older UltraBoosts.

Lacing

Moving upwards, weaving through the midfoot cage are these flat white laces. What I thought was interesting is that out of the box, the laces come laced up through all but the top row of eyelets. I’m not sure why adidas did that, it does feel more comfortable laced that way, but my OCD made me lace them up all the way when I wore them.

I think the top row is for people who want a more snug fit. If you want a more comfortable fit, stick with the way it’s laced out of the box.

Underneath the laces, there’s the PrimeBlue upper. It’s a one-piece booty construction so there’s no separate tongue here. And at the top of the tongue area, is this white patch with the adidas Performance branding debossed in black.

Cups your feet nicely

Coming to the inside of the shoe, you’ll see the exposed knit edge of the collar of the shoe which is surprisingly comfortable and doesn’t rub against the back of your ankle, even with low no-show socks.

This is mostly thanks to that padded neoprene portion at the back of the shoe. This extra padding around the heel feels great against your foot but also makes your foot feel more secure in the sneaker as it pushes it forward.

Apart from that your foot is up against the raw primeknit of the upper in a sock-like fit, which is in this neon yellow color here. Using a thicker primeknit material here means the shoe contains your foot a lot better. You won’t have any moments where your foot slips over the midsole.

At the bottom is a neon yellow insole, which says PrimeBlue in a hot pink color.

Ankle-friendly

Moving along, coming to the back of the shoe, the upper extends upwards to act as a pull-tab, just like we’ve seen on UltraBoosts previously. And just like previous versions, this is really comfortable and doesn’t rub against or irritate your achilles which is super appreciated.

Coming to the heel counter, this has also changed dramatically vs the UltraBoost 19 and 20. Instead of being just an outline, it’s a solid TPU element like on OG UltraBoosts, but it is much smaller and doesn’t spill over onto the Boost midsole.

On the lateral side you’ll see the new UltraBoost branding embossed in all-caps. Except for the “r” which is lowercase technically, which is definitely triggering my OCD.

On the medial side there’s no branding but you’ll see this “Primeknit” branding debossed into the upper material. I dont think I’ve ever seen adidas actually put their primeknit branding anywhere so that’s interesting.

More. Boost.

The UltraBoost 21 features a full-length Boost midsole, with this kind of speed-line running along the side of it. But, what’s new here is that there is 6 percent more Boost used than the UltraBoost 20. That already had 20 percent more Boost than the Retro UltraBoosts, so that’s a lot more Boost.

But if it’s just 6 percent more than the UltraBoost 20 from last year, why does it look so much more?

This is kind of a bit of visual trickery by adidas. With the UltraBoost 21, you’ll see that the back of the midsole curves up a lot more dramatically, which makes these easier to run in.

But when you slide your feet into this shoe, it actually sits deeper in the midsole, so that the heel of your foot is kind of surrounded by the Boost all around it. The Boost is not just under your foot but more like cupping your foot.

This is for just the heel area, while the midfoot and fore-foot of will still have Boost primarily underneath it.

So what does this mean? While there is more Boost used here than any UltraBoost before, don’t expect it to be dramatically more comfortable.

It’s definitely the most comfortable UltraBoost ever, especially because of the improvements to the upper and the shape of the midsole. The extra Boost does make a difference, but all I’m saying is don’t expect something a HUGE difference with these.

Just saying that because I know a lot of people are going to see this chunky midsole and the way the Boost is sculpted here, and they’re going to expect a LOT. UltraBoost is already one of the most comfortable sneakers out there and this takes it forward a bit, but don’t expect something crazy.

Boost is a must try

In case you haven’t tried out a sneaker with Boost yet, I encourage you to go on over to an adidas store and try one out as soon as possible.

The big deal here is the cushioning and energy return. You can feel it absorb the impact as you run, and then spring back to return some of that energy to help you take off.

It’s this reason why Boost, and the Ultraboost series in particular is so popular amongst runners and gym goers. It’s not only one of the most comfortable shoes around but it also really helps with casual running or just every day walking around.

Moving downwards, you still have a continental rubber outsole but it’s an entirely new design. The rubber panels are in the usual black, along with this translucent white, and pink panels made up of continental rubber,  which add a bit of pop to the outsole.

Instead of the usual Torsion Bar, adidas is using a new Torsion System called adidas LEP. This new redesigned ‘Linear Energy Push’ torsion system has a stiffer, reinforced material in the midsole to provide runners with less flex in the forefoot and increased responsiveness. You’ll see it here in this wishbone shaped neon yellow element.

This basically means that this shoe should give you more of a spring to your step than before and propel you forward on your runs.

Apart from that, you can see the exposed Boost, with the Boost branding towards the heel area.

I gotta admit, adidas did something pretty drastic with changing up the outsole and I love what they did with it.

Sizing

Coming to sizing and fit, the UltraBoost 21 feels like it runs true to size. If you have regular narrow feet you can go true to size, but if you have wide feet like I do, you might want to go up half a size.

That being said, I’m a size UK 11 and adidas sent me a size UK11 and it fits great provided I dont lace up the top eyelets.

It’s always best to try the shoe on in a store first to make sure you get the best fit possible.

Performance 

Coming to performance, I still think the UltraBoost is a great neutral running shoe. And the UltraBoost 21 is by far the most comfortable and responsive one yet.

Now, this is not really meant for elite runners, but if you’re looking for a comfortable pair of shoes to run in, or do any sort of workout that requires the cushioning and the responsiveness of the Boost midsole, this is a great shoe

The thing is, visually, it’s a huge difference in terms of design and materials but when you compare it to last year’s UltraBoost 20 in terms of performance, it’s just a marginal improvement in terms of cushioning and responsiveness.

That’s understandable because the UltraBoost 20 itself was also already a super comfortable, great neutral running shoe. And I’m not really sure what else adidas could have done to improve among it apart from the visual updates that the Ultraboost 21 brings.

There’s only so much Boost they can add before things get too bouncy and it feels like you’re talking on a trampoline, so I think adidas kept the balance well here with the 6 percent increase.

Is this your SneakerMatch?

At the end of the day, the UltraBoost 21 is an iterative but meaningful improvement to the Ultraboost performance line in comparison to the UB19 and 20 before it.

Visually, it’s a huge dramatic change while still looking like an UltraBoost, but also looking way more aggressive at the same time.

It is even more performance oriented, and even more comfortable at the same time. Honestly just go into an adidas store and try them on — I’m pretty sure you’ll walk away impressed. Maybe you’ll walk away wearing these.

If you have an UltraBoost 20, or a pair of UltraBoost 19 you might not see a huge difference when you try these on. But, if you have a much older pair of UltraBoosts or never tried on a pair of Boost shoes before, you will definitely appreciate how comfortable a shoe this is.

When it comes to casual running, or general exercise where you need to move a lot, I still think UltraBoost is a must-have shoe.

But even if you just want a comfortable pair of casual wear lifestyle shoes, these are just so darn comfortable that they’re perfect as all-day shoes as well.

And that has always been the beauty of the UltraBoost. It’s a shoe that adidas pitches as performance shoes for casual running and they work great for that. But, it’s also a shoe that’s just so comfortable that it just became a shoe people wore casually as well.

And the UltraBoost 21, checks all those boxes. Definitely recommended.

adidas Malaysia Tips from their adidas Running KL Captain

In case you pick up a pair or just need advice on getting started, here’s a few running tips by Awan, Captain of adidas Runners Kuala Lumpur.

For new runners

  1. Educate yourself on proper warm up & cool down steps through certified individuals. Warm ups are important to prepare your body and gradually increase the heart rate to propel yourself into the rhythm. Often mislooked by most runners, cool downs are equally important as it relaxes your muscles and lowers heart rate to return to your normal breathing rhythm.
  2. Start small by doing easy runs to build endurance over time and slowly increase your weekly mileage.
  3. Strengthen muscles and joints to improve race time and reduce risk for injuries by conducting simple body weights.

For avid runners

  1. Set a milestone for your training sessions, i.e setting a half year or full year objective and tracking your progress by monitoring running pace via device tracking systems.
  2. Understand one’s own running ability to improve performance by diligently doing running drills and weight lifting.
  3. Last but not least, follow a structured training plan to ensure a wholesome workout targeting each aspect of your body i.e nutrition, strength, recovery.

In case you’re a bit nervous about heading outside now, you can tune into the adidas Runner’s  ARKL FB Page, where the adidas Runners Kuala Lumpur Core Team will be conducting Virtual Live Workouts to help improve your running journey.

Each month they have different workouts to cater to the demand of the ARKL members, so do keep an eye out on the announcement posting!

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Entertainment

Globe’s Virtual Hangouts: Music, campus, K-Pop, and esports

More coming this year

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Last year, Virtual Hangouts brought you music festivals, concerts, youth summits, K-fan meets, and esports tournaments with the #OLTogetherNow. Well, strap up because they’re back.

Globe launched their Virtual Hangouts return with a virtual 360-degree view launch event last February 18. They, of course, had to tease us with sneak peeks of GoJAM, GoCAMPUS, GoKOREAN, and GoESPORTS this year.

GoJAM

Jumping off of last year’s GoJAM, Virtual Hangouts partnered with Karpos Live to bring a concert series featuring local and international acts from Paradise Rising, a music collective born out of Globe and 88rising’s partnership. Talents such as Jason Dhakal, Claudia Baretto, Leanne and Naara, and more are in this year’s line-up.

In light of circumstances last year, GoJAM brought you virtual Wanderland Music Festival 2020 and the Double Happiness: Winter Wonder Festival. So, tune in and wait for any new updates on this year’s events. While on the wait, GoJAM is stepping up their virtual immersive experience with virtual 360 concerts and choose-your-own-adventure interviews in this year’s plans.

GoCAMPUS

GoCAMPUS is bringing in another virtual youth summit and Future Reinvented. Students will be challenged to put theory into practice through a 5G Hackathon where teams make real-life applications of 5G technology.

With these events, GoCAMPUS hopes to reinvent school and learning experiences for students. While, empowering them to eventually bring to life real-world applications of 5G technology in society, industries, and smart cities.

GoKOREAN

Globe and K-Pop sensation BLACKPINK’s partnership and the recently concluded THE SHOW virtual concert aside, GoKOREAN has even more in store.

With GoKOREAN, K-fans get to enjoy interactive activities, like the design-your-own cup sleeves event as a way of celebrating the birthdays of BLACKPINK members. Virtual Hangouts will be having the Kmmunity Fest where fans can have a safe space to mingle and share their love of all thing K-Culture. Kmmunity Fest will be new platforms such as SHOOR, Upstream, as well as Vlive and VLive+.

GoESPORTS

Globe’s ongoing efforts to improve the Philippine esports scene by developing and discovering new esports talents and athletes was loud and clear with their VH UltiCup last year. How? Well, they opened both professional and amateur gamers to the competitive scene and giving them the opportunity to represent the country at the SuperGameFest 2020.

With its recent partnership with Riot Games Southeast Asia, it is no surprise that Globe is paving way for new opportunities for local gamers and enthusiasts. GoESPORTS has a few tournaments on their line-up for this year so keep your eyes peeled for any announcements.

If you’re interested in music, campus learning, K-culture, and esports, you can be part of these upcoming events on Virtual Hangouts simply through the GlobeOne app. On the app, just click on the Virtual Hangouts tab to view the events and join.

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News

Globe debuts 5G roaming service in Thailand

In partnership with AIS

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Globe continues to improve its 5G service for all users, gradually rolling out to more areas nationwide. However, it’s not just the Philippines anymore where subscribers can take advantage of the telco’s 5G service. Globe is debuting its 5G roaming service in Thailand, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity on fast network speeds.

Thanks to its partnership with Thailand’s AIS, Globe subscribers can enjoy 5G in the country. AIS has a large 5G coverage in Thailand, extending up to 77 provinces.

“Although traveling may be challenging at the moment, we recognize that some Filipinos will find it necessary to leave the safety of their homes to fulfill important obligations abroad. As such, they are assured of instant and seamless connectivity wherever they are with Globe’s 5G roaming service,” said KD Dizon, Globe’s Head for Consumer Mobile Business.

Globe also offers roaming packages for travelers on the go. One such package is the Roam Surf 399, which offers all-day data for postpaid subscribers and 1GB data for prepaid subscribers. Other packages are available on Globe’s website for 5G roaming.

Aside from Thailand, the telco also has 5G roaming in South Korea. Globe is currently is improving its 5G roaming service across different countries in Europe, North America, and the Middle East so travelers can leverage the telco’s offerings wherever they go in the future.

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