兩週一聚﹕冬甩

前言﹕這是一個叫「兩周一聚」的活動。是網友米雪兒發起。每月十五日﹑三十日﹐一班住在世界不同角落的香港人都會一起寫同一個題目。今天是第二十四次相聚,由maggiejoella 出題﹐主題定為「冬甩」。

香港人對冬甩(Donut)一般不太熟識﹐城中唯一的冬甩店Crispy Cream也做不住。不過對於曾經或現正在北美生活的香港人﹐冬甩的我們的集體回憶和生活文化。雖然人老了害怕膽固醇﹐不敢多吃油膩的冬甩﹐偶然吃一個依然很滋味。

已經不記得何時第一次吃冬甩﹐是小時候隨家人來加拿大旅行﹐還是移民過來讀書的事。當年在小鎮讀寄宿學校﹐夜上沒有什麼地方可以去﹐唯獨冬甩店二十四小時開門。半夜幾個同學偷走出去吃冬甩﹐在冬甩店喝咖啡聊天﹐是為貪玩多於為醫肚。天寒地凍兼逢肚餓﹐在房中煮公仔麵其實比較舒服。

大學有一段時間我天天吃冬甩當早餐﹐校園冬甩店剛好在我早上第一課的課室旁。一件冬甩一杯齋啡經濟便宜﹐邊上堂邊抄筆記邊吃﹐連吃早餐的時間也省掉。後來蹺課蹺得厲害﹐晚上通宵玩電腦或做實驗﹐早上不願起床索性蹺掉全部早課﹐起床已是吃午飯的時間。不吃冬甩當早餐便改行吃冬甩當宵夜﹐晚上與同學在實驗室奮鬥到凌晨兩三點肚餓﹐派人出去冬甩店賣外賣﹐補充能量打醒精神

出來做事後﹐除了駕長途車停服務站外﹐很少自己買冬甩吃。當科網泡沫還未爆破時﹐當公司還是加拿大第三最大股票資產的企業時﹐每個星期早上的例會﹐公司供應免費冬甩﹐大伙兒邊開會邊吃過不亦樂乎。很來高科技行業經濟轉壞﹐在後來的大幅裁員前﹐最把這項員工福利裁掉了。不過吃冬甩的傳統還保留著﹐每當高層要舉行重要的特別會議﹐還是會帶盒冬甩進來勞軍。

冬甩有很多味道﹐以前我喜歡吃Vanallia Gaze或Double Chocolate﹐不過現在我的最愛是Honey Cruller。有些同事非Boston Cream不吃﹐不過我則認為這個太甜。至於其他古靈精怪的生果草苺味﹐我更是寧可吃純味也不吃﹐冬甩始終要傳統的味道才好吃。

齊吃冬甩者包括:
MaggiejoellaHaricotKempton, Nankin, Vince, hevangle, Sam, 浪子m, 五點, 老子, 木棉, 周游, 凡鳥雛 , Mugen C, …

若果想參加兩周一聚的朋友﹐可以參看這個網頁

Biofuels Aren’t Really Green

We should not worry too much about environmental problems. At the end of the day, it all about energy. According to estimate, we only to cover 6% of land on Earth with solar panels to give enough energy to let everyone a life like the Americans. The world has 14% of land is desert, so we just need to cover all the desert of Earth with solar panels to solve our environmental problems. Those desert land are useless anyways.

Continue reading Biofuels Aren’t Really Green

4 reasons for 3-D TV, 7 more for why it’s a long shot

Why they keep calling it 3D TV? It is really just 2.5D that give you an illusion of 3D but not a true 3D. You can tilt you head and a different image from the other side. I don’t think 3D TV will fly nor 3D movies. It’s just a fad that comes and go. The real breakthrough would be holographic TV that gives a true 3D view.

Continue reading 4 reasons for 3-D TV, 7 more for why it’s a long shot

Being John Malkovich 玩謝麥高域治

being_john_malkovich_poster

看明報石琪的影評﹐久不久便會出現「玩謝麥高域治」這套電影的名字﹐彷彿這部戲成為怪雞電影的代表作﹐任何同類新作品﹐總要會和它比較一番。久聞這套電影的大名可惜無綠一看﹐﹐竟然往多倫多的旅途中﹐給我在飛機的娛樂系統發現這陳年舊戲。的而且確這是一部很特別的電影﹐劇情完全不按理出牌﹐故事徘徊似通非通之間。我不知道應如何介紹電影的故事﹐因為劇本完全不合常理﹐寫出來讀者只會摸不著頭腦。同樣地看這套電影的預告片﹐也不知道電影想說什麼。

電影的主角是個失意的人偶師﹐給開寵物店的妻子迫去找工作。他在開設在七樓半一間古怪的公司找了一份文職。那兒他遇上了一見鐘情的美艷女主角﹐亦無意間發現通往明星麥高域治腦袋的一扇門。在門內會短暫上身麥高域治﹐感受他身體的一切經歷﹐十五分鐘後從紐約市郊的污水渠排出來。起初男女主角只是借這扇門來賺錢﹐用好奇八掛的人售買明星生活的體驗。當男主角的老婆和麥高域治也發現這扇門的秘密﹐情劇開始大暴走﹐發展出超級複雜的四角戀關係﹐不知誰的身體配對誰的意識﹐亦引出那扇門帶來無限轉生的秘密。

在現實生活中我們的身體與意識不可能分開﹐只有哲學家才對身體和意識的區別感興趣。能夠進入別人的身體﹐短暫體驗他人的感覺和經驗﹐讓自己代入另外一個人的生活﹐倒是很有趣的事情﹐怪不得要大排長龍購票進入那扇怪門。當兩個意識同時在一個身體之中﹐到底是那個意識在主導身體呢﹖兩個人談戀愛﹐到底是愛對方的身體﹐還愛對方的意識呢。如果是愛意識而非身體的話﹐而意識又可以隨時轉換身體﹐同性戀還是不是同性戀呢﹖那一扇能夠進入麥高域治腦袋的門﹐其實是拿哲學中身體與意識二難題來開玩笑。電影無意解答哲學問題﹐只是利用二難題帶來的身份混亂﹐借題發揮瘋狂地玩黑色幽默。

故事的最大敗筆﹐是男主角對女主角一見鐘情﹐因為他實在沒有理由要為她犧牲賺回來的名利。起初只是借故親近她﹐與她分享門的秘密。很來為得到她的芳心﹐索性長居麥高域治體內操控他的身體。諷刺的是麥高域治本來只是半紅不黑的演員﹐男主角上身後轉型為人偶師﹐卻名成利就走到世界舞台。男主角的人偶操控技術﹐在街邊賣藝時無人問津﹐借助了麥高域治的名氣﹐便搖身一變成為一代藝術大師。最後男主角為救愛人﹐自願離開麥高域治的身體﹐卻發現女主角和妻子私奔﹗其實麥高域治重燃人偶劇的潮流﹐男主角不用靠麥高域治的身體﹐也可以憑天份和技術﹐以自己的身份重返舞台。他急忙再次進入那扇門﹐卻進入了另一個新的身體。這次他不能操控身體亦不能離開﹐只能永遠以旁觀者的角度﹐去經驗那個身體的一生。這是個比死亡更可怕的懲罰﹐只能看不能做任何事情﹐大慨會讓意識發瘋。不過電影沒有交待﹐那些老人趕走男主角﹐進佔麥高域治的身體後﹐百多人擠在同一個身體﹐的情況。那些老人的意識融合為一個新的意識﹐還是一個人負責操控身體﹐其他人在後座觀看呢。

電影的另一個驚喜﹐是演男主角妻子的Carmen Diaz。平時見慣她演金髮金女﹐很難想像她在未紅時﹐演蓬頭垢面的神經質妻子。看這套電影喜歡它的人會把它捧上天﹐不喜歡它的人會認為它不知所謂。我認為這套戲有點譽過其實﹐不過劇中主要橋段的存在悖論倒有點心思。既然這電影這般出名﹐好歹也應該要找來看看﹐好在日後寫影評時﹐也引用它的大名。

Learning how to ride a unicycle – day 2

Today I was practicing unicycle at tennis court close to home. An empty tennis court is better than parking lot, especially on a sunny afternoon. I am getting better than last time. I feel more comfortable sitting on the unicycle. I am slowly getting the sense of balance. I can peddle forward a few steps before falling off the unicycle. Of course, one of my hand still hold on to the fence all the time.

Riding unicycle is very different than riding a bicycle. When riding a bicycle, you usually use your whole body weight to help you peddle. However, when riding a unicycle, the body weight always stay on top of the seat. You will lose balance if you transfer too much weight on to the peddle. You have to unlearn the body motion of riding a bicycle.

Learning unicycle inspire me a few lessons of life that I can apply them to my daily life. It seems counter-intuitive at first, but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. When you are sitting on a wobbling unicycle, it is human nature to grab something to feel secure. There is a natural tendency to grab on the seat handle. It is a bad idea, you should spread out your arms to help you balance instead. The first lesson is hang on something does not mean you are secured, if the thing you try to hang on needs you to keep it balance.

Many beginners like to look down at the wheel which supports you and which you suppose to keep it up right. However looking down will throw you off balance. Stop paying attention to where you are, focus on your destination and you will be there. The second lesson is don’t let your mind blogged down by everyday details, think about the big picture and the small things will sort themselves out.

Since I am still a learner, I hold on to the fence all the time. Sometimes when I am peddling forward, I am too scare to let go of my hand off the fence. As a result the wheel rotation forward while my hand is stilling holding to the same position of the fence, my body is twisted and I am off balance. The third lesson is if you want to move forward, you have to stop holding the same spot.

Google vs Microsoft vs Apple

Who will dominate the computer industry and the up-coming cloud computing in the future? I want Google to win, but I think Microsoft is very likely to come out on top again, just like it did many times before. Apple could be a dark horse, but the question is can it survive on its own without Steven Jobs.

Oct 15th 2009 – The Economist
The launch of Windows 7 marks the end of an era in computing—and the beginning of an epic battle between Microsoft, Google, Apple and others

DO YOU have plans for next weekend? If not, don’t worry: perhaps a friend will be throwing a party to celebrate the launch of Windows 7, Microsoft’s new operating system, on October 22nd. You’ll get help installing the program and be shown how to use the new features. To maximise the fun, your friend will get tips from the “HostingYourParty” video on YouTube or go to the dedicated website, complete with downloadable party favours and a trivia quiz (sample question: “The Microsoft Pretzel Hunt is an annual pretzel hunt held at the Redmond campus. True or false?”).

This is not satire. It is a toe-curling attempt by Microsoft to create some buzz for its new software. Fortunately for the firm, it will hardly matter, because Microsoft dominates the market for operating systems. After the let-down that was its predecessor, Windows Vista, Windows 7 is certain to be a success. There is plenty of pent-up demand, because Vista’s aged predecessor, XP, is still widely used. Reviews of Windows 7 have been positive, some even glowing, although the software is sometimes hard to install.

Windows 7 is not just a sizeable step for Microsoft. It is also likely to mark the end of one era in information technology and the start of another. Much of computing will no longer be done on personal computers in homes and offices, but in the “cloud”: huge data centres housing vast storage systems and hundreds of thousands of servers, the powerful machines that dish up data over the internet. Web-based e-mail, social networking and online games are all examples of what are increasingly called cloud services, and are accessible through browsers, smart-phones or other “client” devices. Because so many services can be downloaded or are available online, Windows 7 is Microsoft’s first operating system to come with fewer features.

The launch of Windows 7 coincides with the closing of the book, after more than a decade, on Microsoft’s antitrust woes. The company got into hot water in America and Europe mainly for abusing its dominance of PC operating systems to promote its web browser. On October 7th the European Commission said it had all but reached a settlement with Microsoft. The firm has agreed to give Windows users in Europe a “ballot screen” that allows them to choose a rival browser in place of its own Internet Explorer.

Windows is not going to disappear soon, but cloud computing means it is no longer so important. Other products, some being launched this autumn with less fanfare than Windows 7, represent Microsoft’s future. Last month the company opened two data centres that between them will contain more than half a million servers. This month it released a new version of Windows for smart-phones. And next month it will launch Azure, a platform for developers on which they can write and run cloud services.

The rise of cloud computing is not just shifting Microsoft’s centre of gravity. It is changing the nature of competition within the computer industry. Technological developments have hitherto pushed computing power away from central hubs: first from mainframes to minicomputers, and then to PCs. Now a combination of ever cheaper and more powerful processors, and ever faster and more ubiquitous networks, is pushing power back to the centre in some respects, and even further away in others. The cloud’s data centres are, in effect, outsize public mainframes. At the same time, the PC is being pushed aside by a host of smaller, often wireless devices, such as smart-phones, netbooks (small laptops) and, perhaps soon, tablets (touch-screen computers the size of books).

Although Windows still runs 90% of PCs, the fading importance of the PC means that Microsoft is no longer an all-powerful monopolist. Others are also building big clouds, including Google, a giant of the internet, and Apple, renowned as a maker of hardware, with a market capitalisation that now exceeds those of both Google and IBM, its original arch-rival (see chart above).

Granted, there are hundreds if not thousands of firms offering cloud services—web-based applications living in data centres, such as music sites or social networks. But Microsoft, Google and Apple play in a different league. Each has its own global network of data centres. They intend to offer not just one or two services, but whole suites of them, with services including e-mail, address books, storage, collaboration tools and business applications. They are also vying to dominate the periphery, either by developing software for smart-phones and other small devices or by making such devices themselves.

These three giants (for their vital statistics, see table) are already preparing for battle. In July Google mounted a direct attack on Windows by promising to launch a free PC operating system, Chrome OS. Rumour has it that a basic version may hit the market on the same day as Windows 7, or soon after. Microsoft’s new operating system for smart-phones represents its latest effort to catch up with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s operating system for handsets, called Android. On October 12th Apple and Google severed a tie when Arthur Levinson, a member of both boards, resigned from Google’s. In August Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, had quit Apple’s board because “Google is entering more of Apple’s core businesses,” in the words of Steve Jobs, the gadget-maker’s boss.
A taxonomy of giants

Despite the growing similarities among the three, each is a unique beast, says Michael Cusumano, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. They can be classified according to how they approach the cloud, how they make money and how openly they approach the development of intellectual property.

Google, you might say, has been a cloud company since its birth in 1998. It is best known for its search service, but now offers all sorts of other products and services, too. It has built a global network of three dozen data centres with 2m servers, say some estimates. Among other things, it offers a suite of web-based applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets. Lately it has branched out, releasing Android for phones, and its Chrome web-browser and operating system for PCs.

It took Google a while to come up with a way of making money, but it found one in advertising, its main source of revenue. It handles more than 75% of search-related ads in America. Worldwide its share is even higher. Google is also trying to make money from selling services to companies. On October 12th it said that Rentokil Initial, a pest-control-to-parcel-delivery group, would roll out Google’s online applications to its 35,000 employees, making it the biggest company to do so.

Google’s reliance on advertising explains its open approach to intellectual property. Giving Android and Chrome OS away as open-source software not only makes life difficult for rivals’ paid-for products but also increases demand for Google’s services and the reach of its ads. Its openness has limits: Google says little about the architecture of its data centres and search algorithms, because they give the company its competitive edge. The way it organises R&D internally is open and decentralised: self-organising teams come up with ideas for most new services.

If Google was born in the sky, Microsoft started on the ground. Office, its bestselling suite of PC programs, is almost as ubiquitous as Windows. But the company is less a stranger to cloud computing than it may seem. It has built a network of data centres, and is starting to gain traction after losing billions developing online services. Its Xbox games console has powerful online features. Bing, its new search engine, has gained a shade in market share (though it is still miles behind Google). It is even preparing a stripped-down web-based version of Office, and it now offers much of its business software as online services.

However, most of Microsoft’s revenue and all of its profit still come from conventional shrink-wrapped software. But the company cannot leave online advertising to Google, because consumers expect cloud services to be free, financed by ads. Hence Microsoft’s efforts to convince Yahoo!, another online giant, to merge its search and part of its advertising business with Microsoft’s. The deal, sealed in July, means that Microsoft will handle 10% of searches, against Google’s 83%, says Net Applications, a market-research firm.

Given Microsoft’s history, it is hardly surprising that its treatment of intellectual property differs from Google’s. It gives other software firms the technical information they need to write programs that run on, say, Windows. Otherwise, it guards the underlying recipes of its software jealously. That said, the firm now supports many open standards and has even started using bits of open-source software. Internally, its R&D is somewhat more centralised than Google, at least in its online division: teams are bigger, work with more co-ordination and get more guidance from above.

Apple, too, came from outside the cloud. Online services have always been a bit of an afterthought to what the company excels at: pricey but highly innovative bundles of hardware and software, of which the iPhone is only the latest example. Its online offerings—the iTunes store for music and video, the App Store for mobile applications, and MobileMe, a suite of online services—were all originally meant to drive demand for Apple’s hardware, but the firm’s interest in the cloud has grown. It is building a $1 billion data centre, possibly the world’s largest, in North Carolina.

Still, Apple’s financial health thus far has depended mainly on selling hardware. Gadgets generate most of the firm’s revenue and profit. The firm does not reveal its revenue from services separately, but it is not to be sneezed at. Apple accounts for 69% of online music sales in America and 35% of all sales, more than Wal-Mart, reckons NPD Group, a market-research firm. Apple has so far forgone advertising revenue: its services are ad-free, but most of them require payment. Apple’s services are aimed at consumers, not businesses.
Illustration by Ian Whadcock

Apple is also the odd one out when it comes to openness. The word does not appear in its vocabulary. It does not allow any other hardware-maker to build machines using its operating system. It blocks iPhone applications it does not approve of from appearing in the App Store. Apple is also secretive about the way it conducts its internal R&D. Mr Jobs clearly calls most of the shots. But insiders say that there is a system of teams that pitch projects to him.

How will this three-way contest play out? The last similar war was in the 1980s and early 1990s, when Apple, IBM and Microsoft fought for mastery of the PC. After much fire and smoke, Microsoft was victorious. Thanks to what economists call strong network effects, which allow winners to take almost all, Windows relegated its rival operating systems to mere sideshows, securing fat profits for its owner.

Such a lopsided result is unlikely this time. One reason is that the economics of the cloud may be different from those of the PC. Network effects are unlikely to be as strong. Much of the cloud is based on open standards, which should make it easier to switch providers. To underline this point and to counter arguments that it is trying to lock users in, Google has set up the Data Liberation Front, a team of engineers whose job is to devise ways of allowing people to transfer their data.

Unfortunately for Google, it is equally unclear whether the most open player will win, as Microsoft did last time. Many of Google’s new services have failed to take off. Having control over the software on the PC, smart-phones and other client devices, Microsoft can more easily create what it calls “seamless experiences”, for example by keeping a user’s address book and other personal information in step. Consumers may also prefer Apple’s tightly integrated, easy-to-use devices and services, despite the restrictions they impose. Lots of people buy iPods and download music from iTunes even though it is difficult to play the songs on other devices.

Second, all three giants have reliable sources of cash to sustain them. Windows may be under attack, not least because of the boom in cheap netbooks, which has forced Microsoft to reduce prices, says Matt Rosoff of Directions on Microsoft, a newsletter. Even so, the operating system will keep on giving for some time. Microsoft has other strong divisions too, including business and server software. Google may lose some market share in search (and some advertising) to the combination of Bing and Yahoo!, but it is unlikely to be dethroned. Apple is still able to command premium prices, although others make hardware just as slick.
Full war chests

This means that all three will have ample resources to spend in the main areas of the fight: data centres, cloud services and the periphery. In data centres, Google is ahead, but Microsoft is catching up in size and sophistication. Apple has most to learn, but this, too, seems only a question of time and money. Just as much of hardware has become a commodity, knowing how to build huge data centres may not be a big competitive advantage for long. And data centres can get only so big before scale ceases to be an advantage.

In services too, Google is ahead. But in Bing Microsoft may at last have created a worthy rival. The “decision engine”, to use the company’s term, does a good job of helping people choose a new camera or book a holiday. The big question is whether Apple can catch up. Its iTunes and App stores are successes, to be sure, but for now they are highly specialised. Its broader suite of cloud services, MobileMe, is nothing to write home about.

At the cloud’s periphery, however, Apple has a strong position, thanks to the success of the iPhone. More than 30m have been sold so far, 5.2m in the quarter ending in June. Its share of the American market is pushing 14%. The App Store now boasts 85,000 applications and a total of more than 2 billion downloads. But recently Google’s Android has gained momentum. Several handset-makers have released smart-phones based on it, or will do so in the next few months. In early October it received the backing of Verizon, America’s biggest mobile operator. At the end of 2012, predicts Gartner, a market-research firm, Android phones will have a bigger share of the market than iPhones.

Microsoft’s mobile strategy, though, is in disarray. This could prove to be a serious weakness, as people increasingly use mobile devices to reach online services. Plans to build smart-phones of its own seem to be going nowhere. Its music player, Zune, will remain just that, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s boss, said recently. Pink, a project to develop phones based on technology from Danger, a start-up acquired by Microsoft in 2008, is said to face death by cancellation—even more likely after Danger lost personal data belonging to tens of thousands of its customers earlier this month. And the latest version of Windows Mobile is no match for the iPhone and Android. Some handset-makers, including Motorola, have ditched the software.

However, as with Bing, Microsoft has only recently been getting serious. It has put Windows Mobile under new management. Another version is expected by the end of 2010. Some analysts fancy Microsoft’s chances. According to iSuppli, a market-research firm, “Reports of Windows Mobile’s death are greatly exaggerated.”

What could disrupt the three-sided struggle? The antitrust authorities, possibly. Now that Microsoft has made peace, the other two are likelier targets. Most observers imagine Google would be first, pointing to the hullabaloo caused by a settlement with book publishers that allows Google to create a vast digital library. But Apple may beat Google to the dock. The firm’s tight control over its technology is no problem in markets where its share is small (in PCs, it is a mere 7.2%). But in mobile applications and digital music distribution Apple is by far the market leader. America’s Federal Communications Commission is looking into its refusal to carry Google Voice, a telephony and messaging application for the iPhone. Its bar on rivals’ devices connecting to iTunes may cause trouble too. Tellingly, Apple recently hired a lawyer with antitrust experience: Bruce Sewell, the former general counsel of Intel, the world’s biggest chipmaker, which the European Commission wants to pay a fine of more than €1 billion ($1.5 billion) for abusing its dominance.

Then there are market forces. One of the three may come up with something “insanely great”, an expression used at Apple in times past to describe the original Macintosh computer. Apple itself may do so with a tablet computer, rumoured to be ready for release as early as January. Others have built such a dream device, but none has yet overcome the problem of input: typing on a screen is difficult and handwriting recognition has never really worked. If Apple has cracked it, it could upend the PC industry, as the iPhone did the handset market. If the tablet is also a good substitute for paper, the publishing and newspaper industries could be in for more upheaval. The blogosphere is abuzz with rumours that Apple is talking to publishers about offering their content on its device.

The final possibility is for another contender to emerge. The obvious candidates are Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, and Facebook, the leading social network. Amazon already has a cloud of sorts. It offers cloud computing services to other online firms and has developed the Kindle, an electronic reader, which is due to be available worldwide from October 19th. Facebook runs what is arguably the most successful cloud service, with more than 300m registered users. It provides a platform for people to communicate, share information and collaborate online—all things that businesses want to do, too.

Only one thing seems sure about the future of the digital skies: the company or companies that dominate it will be American. European or Asian firms have yet to make much of an appearance in cloud computing. Nokia, the world’s biggest handset-maker, is trying to form a cloud with its set of online services called Ovi, but its efforts are still in their infancy. Governments outside America may harbour ambitious plans for state-funded clouds. They would do better simply to let their citizens make the most of the competition among the American colossi.

iRobot Looj 120 Gutter Cleaning Robot

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I love my iRobot vacuum cleaner. It saves me lots of work cleaning the house. I just have to press a button and it will get the job done. It’s fall season, leaves is falling and rain starts to pour. It is time to clean the gutter. I see iRobot also makes a gutter cleaning robot, base on my good experience with their vacuum cleaner, I decided to give it a try.

I did not get the latest model, Looj 125, which is in yellow color. I spot a previous generation Looj 120, which is in green color selling cheap on Craigslist. The only difference is the newer model and the older model is an internal antenna instead of an external one the motor, the brush and everything else is the same. The Looj works amazingly in youtube, but unfortunate it does not work on my gutter at all. My gutter is not standard size, it is too wide for Looj. Instead of throwing the dirt out of the gutter onto the ground, it just flipping the dirt from the left half of the gutter to the right half and vice versa.

I have a few minor complains about the Looj. It uses Ni-Cd battery instead of Li-ion battery, so I have drain the battery completely before recharging to avoid memory effect and make sure I do not overcharge the battery. The external antenna is inconvenient. Once awhile, the Looj will flip up side down. I have to reverse the brush rotation to flip it back otherwise the antenna is on the way. Without the antenna, the Looj can move on either side. Other than that, the brush motor is pretty powerful, dirt and leaves is flying high. It should work well if mine is a standard 4″-5″ gutter instead 8″.

Since the Looj does not fit my gutter, anyone interests in buying it from me?