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Showing posts from September, 2008

Another NSMan Collapsed During Training

Private (PTE) Joe Foo Wei Rong, a 20-year-old National Serviceman, died during training on Tuesday morning 6.05am while doing chin-ups at Lim Chu Kang Camp. Private Foo was a full-time National Serviceman from the 4th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment.

I used to be from the 4th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (4 SIR) myself during my NS days.

Full-time NSman collapsed and died after training activity
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/379403/1/.html

Singapore Raise Electricity Tariff While Hong Kong Lowers Theirs

Singapore's Energy Market Authority (EMA) announced electricity tariff to go up by 21% from Oct 2008 onwards while Hong Kong CLP Power announced 3% reduction.

What does this show?

Singapore - Electricity Bill to Go Up by 21%
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2008/09/electricity-bill-to-go-up-by-21.html

Hong Kong - CLP Cuts Electricity Tariff
https://www.clpgroup.com/Media/CurRel/news/Pages/20080923_02.aspx

Electricity Bill to Go Up by 21%

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) announced average household electricity tariffs from October to December is to go up by 21% in the last quarter of 2008 due to higher fuel oil prices. The below article from ChannelNewsAsia says the government rebates of $310 to $330 will more than cover the increases for these households. I remember the government once said the Growth Dividends distributed is to help offset inflation but that was many months ago. I wonder if the upcoming planned increase will result in nothing left for households.

Why give away money but then take it back?

Households to see average rise of about 21% in electricity bills from Oct
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/379056/1/.html

Goh Chok Tong Comments on Recent Minibonds, High Notes Investments

Singapore Senior Minister (SM) and current Chairman of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Mr Goh Chok Tong, recently commented on the now hot Minibonds and High Notes failed investments.

He commented:

"I know (individual) Singaporeans have been hurt; they have invested in Lehman Brothers mini-bonds, in High Notes ... and more have been hurt investing in equities, but that’s life — if you want to have a good rewards, you’ve got to take risk.

“Otherwise, leave your money in your CPF ... Four per cent is a fabulous return without risk. Singaporeans complained it was too low, (but) now they know the meaning of a capitalistic existence."

In my personal opinion, I thought Mr Goh could have commented in a way whereby the many ordinary retail investors' concerns over their jeopardized huge savings are addressed especially in the current possible mis-selling by the banks. I am disappointed.

Download Notepad 2008 in Office 2007 Ribbon UI

If you are fascinated by the Ribbon UI offered by Microsoft Office 2007, it is now possible to get it even on Notepad. A freeware, Notepad 2008, is now available for public download.

For your information, Microsoft has announced the use of ribbons in its new Notepad packaged in Windows 7.0.


Download Notepad 2008 (.NET Framework Required)
http://www.deviantart.com/download/98269664/Notepad_2008_by_Solo_Dev.zip

Mozilla Firefox 3.0.3 Release

Just 3 days after Mozilla released Firefox 3.0.2, version Firefox 3.0.3 is now released.

Firefox 3.0.3 contains the following updates:Fixed a problem where users were unable to retrieve saved passwords or save new passwordsTo upgrade to version 3.0.3, select Help from Menu and choose Check for Updates.

Firefox 3.0.3 Release Notes
http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/firefox/3.0.3/releasenotes/

Failed to Obtain Latest CAR of Insurance Companies from MAS

The Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of insurance companies posted on the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) website shows record for the year 2007. They are outdated.

Recently, I sent an email to the MAS to request for a more up-to-date CARs values of insurance companies operating in Singapore, to reflect more genuine liquidity amid the trying year 2008 economic conditions. We have already seen 9 months passed for year 2008 and I feel we as consumers should not be deprived of first-hand key economic ratios.

The reply by MAS was disappointing. MAS replied with an assurance that they are glad that insurance companies including AIA reported healthy CARs. I reinforced and highlighted my request for CARs values in my follow-up email. I made clear what I was expecting to obtain from them. MAS replied promptly but was again a total disappointment. Other than assurance, it's just another similar assurance. They never did address my question. Knowing the unwillingness of MAS in disseminating…

AIG to Borrow $20 Billion From Its Own Subsidiaries

New York's governor said his state will allow AIG, the nation's largest insurer, to use $20 billion from its own insurance subsidiaries to ease a financial crunch. From which subsidiaries is the $20 billion going to be raised? Do not forget AIA Singapore is one of AIG's wholly owned subsidiary.

N.Y. Will Let AIG Borrow $20 Billion From Its Own Subsidiaries
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/15/AR2008091501213.html

AIG on Wikipedia (list of its subsidiaries included)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_International_Group

AIA Singapore
http://www.aia.com.sg/

Washington Mutual - 13th U.S. Bank to Fail this Year

Washington Mutual (WaMu) became the largest casualty and is the 13th U.S. bank to fail this year and the ninth to fail since July. Its customers withdrew a massive US$16.7 billion in cash in the past nine days and this has resulted the largest bank failure in U.S. history. At this point in time, WaMu shares is trading at 15 cents and has dropped more than 93% just today. Last year, its share price was over US$30.

JP Morgan has confirmed to have acquired WaMu's assets. JPMorgan became the biggest U.S. bank by deposits with the deal, acquiring WaMu's branch network for $1.9 billion.

All eyes are now on Wachovia.

Washington Mutual Homepage (Already having a link to JP Morgan)
https://www.wamu.com/personal/default.asp

Welcome Statement by JP Morgan
http://www.chase.com/welcomewamu/

Bank Acquisition Announcement by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/wamu.html

Convert DOCX to DOC and Other Types Online

The new Microsoft Office 2007 saves your Document and Spreadsheet in docx and xslx extensions respectively instead of the more popular earlier doc and xls extensions. To open the new formats, we can either use Office 2007 software itself, office viewer, or convert them.

Zamzar offers an online file conversion option for FREE. Not only documents formats are provided, other file formats like images, music, videos and compressed formats are supported.

Zamzar - Free online file conversion
http://www.zamzar.com/

Conversion Types
http://www.zamzar.com/conversionTypes.php

Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2008: Malware Evolution January - June 2008

Russian security giant Kaspersky Lab recently released a Security Bulletin on Malware Evolution for first half of 2008. It reports on the current trends in malware. It is noticeable that viruses that attack mobile phones is on the uptrend.

The first six months of 2008 confirmed the predictions Kaspersky Lab made at the end of last year about the evolution of malicious programs, namely:the continuing evolution of so-called Malware 2.0 technologiesthe evolution of rootkitsthe return f file virusesattacks on social networking sitesthreats for mobile devicesKaspersky Security Bulletin 2008: Malware Evolution January - June 2008
http://www.viruslist.com/analysis?pubid=204792034

Check if Your Username is Registered

usernamecheck.com offers an online service to check if your preferred username has been taken. I have checked mine "hongjun" and found the findings as below:

Where is Your Username registered
http://usernamecheck.com/

Singapore's Y-O-Y August CPI Rose 6.4%

Singapore's August 2008 Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2% over July 2008. Compared with August 2007, CPI rose 6.4% in August 2008. The consumer price index for the first eight months so far for the year 2008 was 6.9%. It seems like inflation is not easing as much as what many have wished for.

Consumer Price Index for August 2008
http://app.sprinter.gov.sg/data/pr/20080923995.pdf

What is FPGA?

I have been hearing FPGA at work several times and I come into a decision to make it a point to study exactly what is FPGA.

According to Wikipedia, FPGA is

"A field-programmable gate array is a semiconductor device containing programmable logic components called "logic blocks", and programmable interconnects. Logic blocks can be programmed to perform the function of basic logic gates such as AND, and XOR, or more complex combinational functions such as decoders or mathematical functions. In most FPGAs, the logic blocks also include memory elements, which may be simple flip-flops or more complete blocks of memory."

Field-programmable gate array (FPGA)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-programmable_gate_array

My Opinions On Recent Credit Linked Securities Losses

The recent collapsed of investment bank Lehman Brothers and several money losing banks like Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, etc have resulted many losing huge savings invested on so-called "safe" structured investment products promoted by banks' Relationship Managers (RM). These credit linked securities e.g. Minibond, Pinnacle Notes and High Notes are highly sophisticated. One of the most high profile ones is DBS High Notes 5 which is at risk of a zero payout after Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

I personally prefer investing in those that are more transparent and simple like Stocks and Shares, Unit Trusts and ETFs. I believe these are better managed and simpler. I do not believe in structured investment products whereby there is said to be "guaranteed". I believe nothing is guaranteed when it comes to investment. Stocks and shares with strong fundamentals like the blue chips, well-diversified Unit Trusts portfolio spread, and ETFs are safer and …

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Abandon Investment Status

The Wall Street that shaped the financial world for two decades ended last night, when Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley concluded there is no future in remaining investment banks now that investors have determined the model is broken. The last two largest investment banks have decided to remove their investment status to receive Federal Reserve approval to become bank holding companies. They will now be able to be protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) deposit insurance.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs abandon investment bank status
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2008/09/22/daily1.html

WTS Sony DSC-S730 Digital Camera

Camera is SOLD.

I am selling Sony DSC-S730 Digital Camera at a S$190.
It is BRAND NEW with plastic still sealed!

Features7.2 Mega Pixels with Super HAD CCDEasy to use featuresUser-friendly function guidanceLarge 2.4" LCD ScreenISO 1250 performance and High Sensitivity mode for clear and sharp imageMulti-point Auto FocusScene Selection ModesWorry-free Stamina up to 440 pictures with optional batteryDirect Playback ButtonInterested party can call me directly at 9691-1584 or leave a message at one of the below threads.

HardwareZone Thread
http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showthread.php?p=32511259

KeepTouch Thread
http://forums.keeptouch.net/showthread.php?p=2030746

Apple to replace iPhone 3G power adapters due to shock risk

Apple said it will replace power adapters sold with its popular iPhone 3G mobile telephones because of a risk prongs will snap and cause people to be jolted by electricity. Countries affected are US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and several Latin American countries like Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica and Panama.

Singapore is not affected.

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20080919/ttc-us-it-internet-telecom-company-apple-0de2eff.html

Apple Ultracompact USB Power Adapter Exchange Program
http://www.apple.com/support/usbadapter/exchangeprogram/

Credit Default Swaps - The Next Crisis?

What is Credit Default Swaps?

A credit default swap (CDS) is a credit derivative contract between two counterparties, whereby the "buyer" or "fixed rate payer" pays periodic payments to the "seller" or "floating rate payer" in exchange for the right to a payoff if there is a default or "credit event" in respect of a third party or "reference entity".

If a credit event occurs, the typical contract either settles by delivery by the buyer to the seller of a (usually defaulted) debt obligation of the reference entity against a payment by the seller of the par value ("physical settlement") or the seller pays the buyer the difference between the par value and the market price of a specified debt obligation, typically determined in an auction ("cash settlement").

A credit default swap resembles an insurance policy, as it can be used by a debt holder to hedge, or insure against a default under the debt instrument. Ho…

SEC Halts Short Selling of Financial Stocks to Protect Investors and Markets

Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2008 — The Securities and Exchange Commission, acting in concert with the U.K. Financial Services Authority, took temporary emergency action to prohibit short selling in financial companies to protect the integrity and quality of the securities market and strengthen investor confidence. The U.K. FSA took similar action yesterday.

SEC Halts Short Selling of Financial Stocks to Protect Investors and Markets
http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-211.htm

List of 799 Companies Protected
http://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2008/34-58592.pdf

Google Increases Web Search Market Share Again

Google Inc extended an already wide lead in the U.S. Web search to 63.0 percent share of the market in August, its biggest monthly gain in five months, a report said on Thursday.

Yahoo Inc, the No. 2 player in the U.S. Web search market saw its share of the business drop 0.9 percent to 19.6 from July while Microsoft, the No. 3 U.S. player, slipped 0.6 percent to 8.3 percent, according to comScore Inc.

Google Closes In on Two-Thirds of Search Market
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2330749,00.asp

Drivers VS Stubs

Drivers and stubs are both white-box testing techniques but functions essentially opposite of each other.

Drivers are tools used to control and operate the software being tested. Stubs receive or respond to data that the software sends.

Capital Adequacy Ratio of Insurance Companies Operating in Singapore

Below is a list of Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of some of the more well-known (at least those I know of) insurance companies operating in Singapore. The values are based on year 2007 data provided by the respective insurance companies to Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).Monetary Authority of Singapore Recommendation 120.00 %

ACE INSURANCE LTD 430.11 %
ALLIANZ INSURANCE COMPANY OF SINGAPORE PTE LTD 181.22 %
AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE CO 201.12 %
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL ASSURANCE CO LTD 254.18 %
AVIVA LTD 368.08 %
AXA INSURANCE SINGAPORE PTE LTD 198.54 %
AXA LIFE INSURANCE SINGAPORE PRIVATE LIMITED 196.20 %
HSBC INSURANCE (SINGAPORE) PTE. LIMITED 332.66 %
MANULIFE (SINGAPORE) PTE LTD 555.94 %
MAYBAN GENERAL ASSURANCE BERHAD 215.63 %
MITSUI SUMITOMO INSURANCE (SINGAPORE) PTE LTD 338.92 %
MSIG INSURANCE…

DBS High Notes investors at risk

Bank warns they may lose entire stake in Lehman-linked product
By Francis Chan

SOME local investors of a product linked to bankrupt investment giant Lehman Brothers have received late-night phone calls from DBS Bank warning them that their entire stake may be wiped out. The investors have their cash in a product called DBS High Notes 5 that the bank offered wealthier clients last year. It came with a promised annual return of about 5 per cent.

But Lehman's collapse on Monday means the product will be unwound and investors may only get a portion of their investment back - or none at all.

One 52-year-old customer told The Straits Times: 'I received a call from my relationship manager late Tuesday night. He told me that...my investment may amount to zero.' The man had invested $50,000 - savings he had earmarked for retirement.

A customer in her late 40s said: 'My relationship manager called and told me to be prepared to receive a letter from the bank...[it] would say something…

AIA to Be Sold?

AIA's US parent AIG Inc was extended a lifeline by the Federal Reserve, a loan of US$85 billion for a 24-month term. In return, the Fed will own 79.9 per cent of the ailing insurance giant. But it is clear that AIG must sell assets to repay the very high interest loan. AIG has the best Asian insurance franchise in life and general insurance of any Western company. Companies named as possible buyers of AIG assets include Prudential, Munich Re and Allianz SE. So, are we really seeing the fall of AIA?

Straits Times Index (STI) Fluctuates

On 18 Sep 2008, the Straits Times Index (STI) ended at 2,419.21 points, down 0.08 points after more than 4% fall when market first opened. After lunch fight-back route to recovery was remarkable and almost unbelievable.

Market jitters shake more Wall Street giants

Even Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, the two last titans left standing on Wall Street, are no longer immune.

Morgan Stanley, whose stock fell almost 25 percent, was considering a merger with Wachovia or another bank to help shore up its finances. Goldman Sachs' stock fell almost 14 percent, and the firm had to rebuff rumors that it was seeking a capital infusion.

Just where is the bottom? Nobody knows.

Market jitters shake more Wall Street giants
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/biz/6008186.html

What is Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR)?

Capital adequacy ratio (CAR), also called Capital to Risk (Weighted) Assets Ratio (CRAR), is a ratio of a bank's capital to its risk. National regulators track a bank's CAR to ensure that it can absorb a reasonable amount of loss.

CAR set by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) set on insurance companies operating in Singapore is at 120%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_adequacy_ratio

Why AIG Just Cannot Fail?

Why the U.S. Fed agreed to bail out American International Group (AIG) by lending them US$85 billion? This loan is to be repaid by the sale of the company's assets and in a condition whereby the Fed is to take an unprecedented 79.9% equity stake in AIG. The Fed is also empowered to influence dividend payouts. Remember the U.S. Fed chose not to bail out Lehman Brothers few days ago to prevent the investment bank from bankruptcy citing concerns of having to use taxpayers' money. Why this time round the U.S. Fed intervenes and help AIG starves off a bankruptcy? The answer to this is AIG is just far too big to fail. The reasons are many as below:Over 103,000 employeesMore than US$1 trillion assetsCollapse will mean huge cascading impact around the world in many sectorsCustomer base is far too huge and wide and is going to impact the whole worldConsumer confidence will plunge drastically since it is to affect both the rich and poor

AIG Ratings Downgraded

American International Group Inc.'s ratings cut drove the cost of default protection on Wall Street banks to a record on speculation the insurer needs more cash to back $441 billion of credit derivatives.

If AIG spirals in the same way as Lehman, the ramifications will be much more substantial.

Bond Risk at Record on AIG's $441 Billion Counterparty Concern
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a_Cds_O.VT1w

Temasek Holdings to Gain 1.5 Billion from Merrill Lynch Sale

Yesterday, Merrill Lynch agreed to selling itself to Bank of America at US$50 billion. This is around US$29 per share. Should Singapore's Temasek Holdings were to sell off all its 13% to 14% shares on Merrill Lynch to Bank of America, Temasek is set to benefit around 1.5 billion. Temasek's average share price on Merrill Lynch is around US$23 to US$24.

Merrill takeover may be a boon for Temasek
http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=4613430&fSectionId=552&fSetId=662

AIG Financial Difficulties Impact on AIA Policies

American International Group Inc (AIG) recent shares sell-off has sparked AIG to launch a survival plan to avoid credit ratings downgrade. AIG, whose shares dipped double figures for the past 2 days, is pulling together a survival plan that includes selling off some of its most valuable assets, raising more capital and going to the Federal Reserve for help, people familiar with the situation said.

AIG owns several companies and one of them being American International Assurance (AIA). It is an insurance company based in Hong Kong and has offices in the Asia-Pacific region. One big question among several policyholders is if your monies safe with AIA. Some advices offered by an insurance veteran for Singaporeans policyholders is as below:AIA has a separate policyholder's fund covering its liability to its policyholders in Singapore.To my knowledge, this fund is solvent and is not affected by the problem faced by AIGThere is no need to panic and surrender the AIA policies at this time…

Lehman Bros, Merrill Lynch, then AIG Down?

I wonder what Temasek Holdings has to say for a possible sell off of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America? Will this affect Temasek's ownership on Merrill Lynch? The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently down 287.49 points (-2.52%).

Stocks set to plunge after fall of Lehman Bros.
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gHs5OM3gFG_DytQQZFbWfgPT08MAD9375L880

Lehman Files Biggest Bankruptcy Case as Suitors Balk
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=awh5hRyXkvs4

Merrill Lynch agrees to $50 billion bid from Bank of America
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/merrill-lynch-bought-b-50/story.aspx?guid={CF19C66B-BEBF-4A50-AA1C-88BDE2D21FAE}&dist=msr_6

Sell Contra Today

I managed to do a sell-contra on a stock and was really lucky to be able to do that! The 10 lots I transacted were the only shares exchanged until 3pm before more queued for buy and sell. My selling price was the highest price for today and very likely only 10 lots were transacted at that price.

I usually don't do contra trading but was made to do so after seeing an opportunity to recover some losses incurred for shares I hold for the same stock. It is manageable now.

Human Factor: How Long is Too Long to Users?

Traditional human-factor guidelines indicate that 0.1 second is about the limit for users to feel that the system is reacting instantaneously. One second is about the limit for a user's flow of thought to stay uninterrupted. Ten seconds is the maximum response time before a user loses interest.

However, nowadays users are "trained" to endure longer waiting time by the extensive use of modern AJAX methods to fetch and reload parts of a page in a as-need basis without the need to refresh the entire page. It is important to bear in mind that we should design website to aim for shorter response time.

Golden Agri-Resources and Jardine Matheson Holdings to join STI in first index review

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Singapore Exchange (SGX) and FTSE Group (FTSE) announced today the results of the first review of the Straits Times Index (STI) and FTSE ST Index Series.

In the STI, Golden Agri-Resources and Jardine Matheson Holdings will be included in place of Thai Beverage PCL and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings.

Announcement by FTSE [ DOC ]

Rule No. 1 for Doing Freelancing

1. NO to academic projects!

I deemed taking up academic projects to "help" students to be UNETHICAL. I received an SMS from an ex-colleague whether I am interested to take up a freelance project. I was told the project is for a student. I replied a firm NO without much hesitation.

Why the bear is alive and well

Based on the price-to-earnings ratio, stocks have actually become more expensive even as share prices have come tumbling down. In fact, the P/E ratio for the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, based on earnings over the previous four quarters, has risen to just over 24 from around 19, according to S.& P.

This is BAD news!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/business/yourmoney/07fund.html

Semiconductor Chartered Stock Battered

I have been seeing dismal reports on the semi-conductor industry and so decided to pick a renowned company from that industry for a small little analysis. I picked Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd for its global recognition and standing. By the way, they have announced to release 3Q 2008 Mid-Quarter update press release on Sep 10, 2008, Singapore time.

Chartered is publicly listed on both NASDAQ and SGX (Nasdaq: CHRT, SGX-ST: CHARTERED). Chartered closed at S$0.395 on SGX on 9 Sep 2008, down 1.3% from previous trading day. Currently, Chartered is still trading on Nasdaq and is now at US$2.68, down 2.55%.

Technical analysis chart for Chartered is as below.

Notice the Moving Average is moving in only 1 direction - DOWN. MA 14 and MA 25 are used in this illustration and it seems there won't be any rebound at least for short-term. The RSI tells it all - capitalization on this stock is on its way down.

Won Myself a Talking Pedometer

I have won myself a talking pedometer in a contest, held on Facebook, for predicting 5th Sep 2008 closing value of the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average index. My guess was the closest and thus landed me the prize. My prediction was made before Tuesday, 4 days before market closed for the week.

I posted the most bearish guess citing pending jobless claims and employment situation to be reported towards end of the week to support my prediction. No technical charting whatsoever methods were used.

Google Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are some of Google Chrome keyboard shortcuts.Ctrl+B toggles the bookmarks bar on and off.Shift+Escape opens Google Chrome's Task Manager.Ctrl+L or Atl+D to move your cursor to the address bar.Ctrl+K or Ctrl+E moves your cursor to the address bar to enter a Google search.Ctrl+T opens a new tab.Ctrl+N opens a new window.Ctrl+Shift+T opens the last closed tab.Ctrl+Shift+N opens a new windows in "Incognito Mode."Ctrl+Tab cycles through open tabs; Ctrl+Shift+Tab reverse cycles through open tabs.Ctrl+J opens the Downloads tab.Ctrl+W or Ctrl+F4 closes the current tab.Ctrl+R,Ctrl+F5 or F5 refreshes the current page.Ctrl+H opens the History tab.Alt+Home loads your homepage.Ctrl+1 through 9 switches to a particular open tab position.Ctrl++, Ctrl--, Ctrl+0 Enlarges, reduces, and restores default text sizes, respectively.Ctrl+D bookmarks current page.

How to Block Ads In Google Chrome

Currently, there is no extensions or plug-ins available for Google Chrome to block ads. A post on GeekZone forum reveals a method to do just that - block ads! It goes like this
Download and install PrivoxyClick on the Wrench icon in Chrome found in the upper right cornerChoose Options > Under The Hood > Change proxy settingsFrom the Internet Properties dialog's Connections tab, click on LAN settings buttonUncheck "Proxy settings" and in the address setting add 127.0.0.1 and in the port 8118.If you have the option, you can also check off "Bypass proxy for local settings"Click "Ok", close chrome and restart it.Adblock for Chrome
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=50&topicid=25916

Apart from using Privoxy, there is another method which is to mess with the hosts file.

Block ad by modifying hosts file
http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/zero/

Listed Companies Should Connect to Shareholders

I recently sent an email to a just-listed company on the Singapore Exchange, Hai Leck Holdings Limited, to let them know the importance of connecting to shareholders. Unlike other companies, Hai Leck website does not have an Investor Relations section. Investor Relations page typically includes information like the management, organization structure, announcements, and so on.

Other than suggesting to them to add a Investor Relations section, I also reported a bug. In their Contacts page, the link to Email address was erroneous. The erroneous link was corrected 1 day after my email.

I am yet to see them adding the Investor Relations page. I hope the Singapore Exchange will enforce all listed companies to be more transparent and connect "better" with shareholders by having a Investor Relations page on their corporate website.

Hai Leck Holdings Limited
http://www.haileck.com/

Next Week Pending Economic Data

The past week saw global stock market taken aback by heavy sell-off amid weak unemployment rates and poor global economy growth. Next week will be equally tough with many upcoming economic data to be released.2008-09-08 The United States Consumer Credit
2008-09-09 The United States Wholesale Trade
2008-09-09 The United States Pending Home Sales
2008-09-11 The United States Jobless Claims
2008-09-12 The United States Consumer Sentiment
2008-09-12 The United States Business Inventories
2008-09-12 The United States PPI
2008-09-12 The United States Retail Sales

Google Chrome about: Pages

I have compiled a list of about: pages for Google Chrome. If you know of more, do let me know.

about:blank
Navigates to a blank page.

about:cache
This page lists all visited webpages that are cached by Google Chrome. Google Chrome comes with a capability whereby you can browse webpages in Incognito mode. Nothing is cached (kept) and all traces are removed in Incognito mode.

about:crash
It shows how a page will look like if crashed.

about:dns
This shows a list of 10 most frequently visited websites (hostnames). Google Chrome prefetches DNS records to improve page load performance.

about:hang
Simulates hang.

about:histograms
It shows some text-drawn histograms showing Google Chrome's internal metrics. This can get too technical for many.

about:internets
This is an Easter egg. It embeds the famous 3D pipes screen saver from Windows. If you do not have the 3D pipes screen saver, you won't see it.

about:memory
This page displays a summary of memory consumed by Google Chrome and other known browser…

How to Increase Google Chrome Omnibox Popup Suggestion Count?

By default, the number of popup suggestion count on Google Chrome's Omnibox is only 5. However, we can tweak it to either increase or decrease this count by adding a switch when Google Chrome is run.

Increase Google Chrome's Omnibox Popup Suggestion Count With an Undocumented Switch
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/the-geek-blog/increase-google-chromes-omnibox-popup-suggestion-count-with-an-undocumented-switch/

Google Chrome Rocks

Google Chrome performs quite well consuming fewer memory resources as compared to Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. It is quite light-weight.

I like its simplicity, incognito window concept, low memory consumption, individual tabs on separate processes (allow "killing" of tabs without terminating browser), code snippet styling for View Source, Task Manager, etc. Google Chrome is an integration of some of the features from Internet Explorer (including 8.0 Beta), Firefox and Opera.

It's cool!

Google Chrome
http://www.google.com/chrome

Google Building Browser - Google Chrome

Google announces that a Windows version of the browser will be launched tomorrow. "We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build. (...) By keeping each tab in an isolated sandbox, we were able to prevent one tab from crashing another and provide improved protection from rogue sites. We improved speed and responsiveness across the board. We also built a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren't even possible in today's browsers."

I will be more than eager to try out Google Chrome once it is launched.

Google OS Is Actually a Browser: Google Chrome
http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/09/google-os-is-actually-browser-google.html

Google Chrome Description in Comic Strip…

ST Engineering's Electronics Arm to Build Half Height Platform Screen Doors for MRT Stations

Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) today announced that its electronics arm, Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited (ST Electronics), has won a S$112m contract from the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) for the supply of Half Height Platform Screen Doors (HHPSD) and its associated works for all existing elevated Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations. Work will commence in September this year and is expected to be completed in 2012.

The HHPSD is meant to protect commuters from falling onto the tracks and thus causing lost of lives and disruption in traffic. They will be installed first at the Jurong East, Pasir Ris and Yishun stations in 2009, before they are introduced and completed at all other stations by 2012.

ST Engineering's Electronics Arm Wins S$112m Contract From Land Transport Authority
http://www.stengg.com/pressroom/press_releases_read.aspx?paid=1286

Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Rapid_Transit_(Singapore)