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Showing posts from January, 2009

25 Random Facts About Me

The below facts about me are numbered but are not in any specific significance.
I have a wonderful partner.I am left-handed.I have perfect eyesight despite staring in front of a computer more than 10 hours a day.I have a military class 3 driving license.I once managed to stay awake and alert working on a project continuously for up to 5 days.I prefer web development to application development but I am currently in the latter.I have flown on both Apache UH-1H and Chinook.I have hydrophobia.I am helpless when it comes to designing and drawing.I eat almost anything.I keep track very closely on my daily expenditure.I keep myself abreast with financial, sports and technology news.I am still using Windows XP and have not moved on to Vista.I sleep on average 5 hours daily.I can eavesdrop and engage in a separate conversation all at the same time.I can never understand why people go for luxurious items despite themselves knowing they are living beyond their means.I sleep without a blanket.I se…

Base Location for Gears Running in Firefox

Windows XP

%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\%FIREFOXPROFILE%\Google Gears for Firefox\

Windows Vista

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\%FIREFOXPROFILE%\Google Gears for Firefox\

Ubuntu Linux

~/.mozilla/firefox/%FIREFOXPROFILE%/Google Gears for Firefox/

The cleanest way to delete offline files would be through the Gears settings dialog, which in Firefox is at Tools -> Gears Settings.

Common Interview Questions on ADO.NET

The below are some common interview questions on ADO.NET. Answers are provided in the link shown near the end of this post. What are the two fundamental objects in ADO.NET?What is the namespace in which .NET has the data functionality class?What are the various objects in Dataset?Can you give an overview of ADO.NET architecture? What is the use of data adapter?How can we force the connection object to close after my data reader is closed?SQL Interview Questions - ADO.NET [via]

First Official Description of GDrive

Last year, I made a post on the possibility of Google coming out with GDrive. Now, the likelihood of this dream come true is nearer.

Read on the below link to find out.

GDrive provides reliable storage for all of your files, including photos, music and documents. GDrive allows you to access your files from anywhere, anytime, and from any device - be it from your desktop, web browser or cellular phone.

First Official Description of GDrive [via]

Google Chrome Spoof to be Safari to Get Past Hotmail

Google Chrome spoof itself as Safari to get past Microsoft's online email service, Hotmail. The reason for doing this is because Hotmail barred the competitor’s browser from entering by checking the user agent. The latest update offered by Google Chrome resolved this issue by a workaround - changing its user agent to Safari.

In my opinion, Microsoft's slowness in recognizing Google Chrome browser is unfair. I think Microsoft will react soon after Google has now stepped in with a workaround. This matter is now blown big and is known to many.

Google Chrome Spoofing User Agent at Hotmail [via]

How Offline Gmail Gets Synchronized?

From Google Groups,

We try to download your most recent conversations along with any conversations that seem to be important (regardless of their age). We also try not to dowload uninteresting conversations. This process is done heuristically and as with any heuristic can and will miss things. We'll continue to tune things up, but more importantly, we'll eventually provide a UI that will allow you to change the settings. Here's a sketch of how these messages are selected:Synchronization is based on the date of conversations. The system estimates a period of time to cover (at least 1 week in length) that results in approximately 10,000 messages being downloaded. For an average user, this means Gmail will end up downloading several years of mail.Additionally, we'll download any conversation marked with a label that contains less than 200 conversations, has at least one conversation that has been received in the last 30 days and also has at least one conversation that'…

Google Gmail Goes Offline

As announced on Google Gmail Official blog,

Today we're starting to roll out an experimental feature in Gmail Labs that should help fill in those gaps: offline Gmail. So even if you're offline, you can open your web browser, go to gmail.com, and get to your mail just like you're used to.

New in Labs: Offline Gmail [via]

Unjustified Jump in Food Prices during Chinese New Year Season

I was completely stumped on Chinese New Year's Eve when I paid for my lunch. I bought economical rice from a stall I hardly visit because the food aren't as nice as tne one I usually frequent. Many stalls were closed for business that day.

I understand and expect food vendors to raise food prices during the Chinese New Year period, however, the economical rice stall decision to increase by $1 is just ridiculous. A $2.60 pack of rice would cost $3.60. I asked them to justify for the more than expected increase and the answer I got was "Chinese New Year".

Chinese New Year is suppose to be an occasion whereby many celebrate. Now, food vendors simply take advantage of this joyous occasion and increase prices to increase profit margin.

If the reason for an increase is boss having to pay extras to workers to work during this period, I understand. But, any increases should be moderated. An increase of 38% for a plate of economical rice is certainly too much.

To add on, I feel a…

Market's outlook? Element-ary, say feng shui masters

Business Times - 26 Jan 2009

Market's outlook? Element-ary, say feng shui masters

Geomancy consultants foresee Singapore stock market recovering in third quarter

By CHEW XIANG

CHUCK out the ratios and balance sheets. Unlike traditional stock market analysts - who got 2008 all wrong, anyway - the methods of the masters are more mysterious.

'I can't really explain it to you, but I can show it to you. It's based on calculating and psychology,' says geomancer Jason Chng.

Geomancy masters such as Mr Chng believe in the Chinese art of feng shui - that the universe is made of five elements, and that fortunes can be predicted by manipulating the environment with certain techniques.

The pleasing thing, for stock market punters, is that feng shui is able to offer far more specific calls than research houses can with their complex mathematical models. 'Feb 4, there will be some climbing back. It's a fire month, fire will support the shares,' says Mr Chng.

Sean Lui, senior…

Public Transport Operators Mull Possible Fares Reduction

At least for the first time in my memory, I am hearing local public transport operators are considering a possible fares reduction. Details will be made known by end of February. This unexpected positive news came after the Singapore government unveiled an unprecedented $20.5 billion budget.

The government announced in its Budget Statement it is giving a 30 per cent road tax rebate and a special tax waiver for taxis that are not hired out. In my personal opinion, the move by transport operators to reduce fares has to come if not many will be questioning the commitment of SBS Transit and SMRT towards providing national service to public.

I have an article published on Channel News Asia with subject "Public Transport Council to reduce bus and train fares". I find the title of the article incorrect and misleading. I recall an article with the Chairman of the Public Transport Council (PTC) saying it's not within our power to force operators to give concessions and that's u…

Directory Listing Web Application in VBScript

I just came out with a quick and "dirty" method to perform simple Directory Listing. I mention "dirty" because it is in VBScript and thus will work only on Microsoft Internet Explorer.

<html> <head> <title>Directory Listing: Copyright © Loh Hon Chun</title> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- window.defaultStatus = 'Directory Listing: Copyright © Loh Hon Chun'; //--> </script> <style> a { color:#707070; text-decoration:none; } a:hover { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } body { font-size: 9pt; color: #2F4F4F; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; margin-top: 20px; margin-left: 50px; } h1 { font-weight: bold; font-size: 18pt; font-family: Verdana; color: #BC8F8F; } .header { font-weight: bold; font-size:10pt; font-family: Verdana; } .displayMsg { font-weight: bold; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana; } .errorMsg { color: #FF0000; …

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Memo to Employees On 5,000 Employees Job Cut

Below is the text of sent to all Microsoft's employees by Chief Executive Steve Ballmer email to employees on Thursday. It is to explain the rationale behind a need to layoff 5,000 employees.

From: Steve Ballmer
To: All Microsoft FTE
Subject: Realigning Resources and Reducing Costs

In response to the realities of a deteriorating economy, we're taking important steps to realign Microsoft's business. I want to tell you about what we're doing and why.

Today we announced second quarter revenue of $16.6 billion. This number is an increase of just 2 percent compared with the second quarter of last year and it is approximately $900 million below our earlier expectations.

The fact that we are growing at all during the worst recession in two generations reflects our strong business fundamentals and is a testament to your hard work. Our products provide great value to our customers. Our financial position is solid. We have made long-term investments that continue to pay off.

But it is …

Singapore Budget 2009

Minister for Finance, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, delivered the Budget Speech for the Financial Year 2009 in Parliament on Thursday, 22 January 2009.

More information on the budget can be found here.

Singapore Budget 2009 Website [via]

Comments on Finance Minister Tharman Speech Delivery for Budget 2009

This year's budget was delivered by Finance Minister Tharman. For the past few years, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was also the Finance Minister, was responsible in delivering the budget. I would like to make some comments on Tharman's speech delivery by comparing the two speakers.

Though this year budget is unprecedented and massive, with a total of $20.5 billions allocated for and of which $4.9 billions are tapped from the sacred reserves, Tharman's speech was rather monotonous and boring at least in my opinion. Throughout the an hour and a half speech, it was more like a read aloud story telling for Tharman. My opinion of him was concurred by two of my colleagues.

In comparison, PM Lee usually can connect well with his audience. He sometimes cracks a joke or two to lighten the already serious setting. Listening to him for an hour and a half was never a problem.

The above is purely based on my own personal assessment.

How to Disable Windows AutoRun Feature

The National Cyber Alert System of US-CERT (part of the Department of Homeland Security) recommends the following registry setting:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\Autorun.inf to "@SYS:DoesNotExist"

AutoRun is the feature through which the attachment of new drives to the system can run programs on those drives automatically as long as file autorun.inf is found. This file is usually hidden and can pose security problems if automatically run program is malicious.

CERT Weighs in on Windows AutoRun Flaw [via]
Microsoft Windows Does Not Disable AutoRun Properly [via]

Modules to Take This Semester (Finalized)

After 2 weeks of school, I have decided to drop one module and concentrate on just two. Two is the orm for part-time students into their first semester.

The module I have decided to drop is "Knowledge-Based Systems". The reason to drop this module is largely due to time factor. The two modules I am sticking with are "Integration of IS and Business" and "Information Technology Outsourcing".

Life still goes on after all.

AIG to NOT Renew Sponsorship With Manchester United

US insurance giant AIG have announced that they will not be renewing their sponsorship of Manchester United when their current deal expires in 2010. Reports also suggest the company are trying to negotiate an early end to the deal.

This news is much anticipated since AIG had lost billions of dollars in this economic crisis. They were close to bankruptcy if not for massive cash injection by the government. With an end to the sponsorship, GBP19 million dollars can be saved annually.

Already, Manchester United is looking for fresh sponsors to replace AIG. Will there be more such cases?

S R Nathan Congratulated 44th U.S. President Obama in the Middle of the Night

Moments after Barack Obama was sworn in as the United States 44th President, Channel News Asia reported Singapore President, S R Nathan, wished to congratulate Mr Obama for being the new President. In Singapore time, it was already after 1 am. I must say I am impressed by the quickness exhibited by Singapore. That's very efficient isn't it?

HSBC Rating Downgraded by Societe Generale

As the United States swore in its 44th president, the market plummeted under the weight of the continuing financial crisis. Europe-based banks led the decline after Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) warned of a massive annual loss, and HSBC Holdings (HBC) was initiated with a "sell" rating at Societe Generale.

I knew it is coming.

MTI Revises Forecasts for 2009 GDP Growth to -5.0 to -2.0 % and CPI Inflation to -1.0 to 0 %

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced today that Singapore’s GDP growth is likely to be -5.0 to -2.0 per cent in 2009, lower than the -2.0 to +1.0 per cent growth range it had forecast on 2 January 2009. The forecast for inflation in 2009 is also revised downwards to -1.0 to 0 per cent.

MTI Revises Forecasts for 2009 GDP Growth to -5.0 to -2.0 Per Cent and CPI Inflation to -1.0 to 0 Per Cent [via]

Inauguration of 44th U.S. President Obama Reminds Me of Martin Luther King "I have a dream"

The inauguration of 44th U.S. President Barack Obama Reminds me of great Martin Luther King "I have a dream" speech. I myself have read and studied of his legendary speech from my U.S. History elective lecture during my University school days.

Martin Luther King "I have a dream" speech in text extracted from American Rhetoric.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of dis…

Government Sector to See Pay Cut

Political appointment holders and civil servants to see drop in total annual salaries this year by 20% instead of the earlier announced 19%. This cut should consider removing bonuses and not reduction on the monthly salary to minimize impact. Civil service sector is Singapore's single largest employer.

The Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service Teo Chee Hean said the MR4 salary for 2009 will now be S$1.54 million, a drop of 20 per cent compared to 2008. Salaries at SR9 will now be S$351,000, a drop of 12 per cent compared to 2008. This is in line with the Trade and Industry Ministry's latest gross domestic product growth estimate of 1.5 per cent for year 2008.

Salaries of political appointment holders and civil servants are linked to economic performance. The above mentioned numbers may be adjusted again depending on how year 2009 performs.

Current economic situation is indeed very gloomy. I hope those affected will be able to cope with the cut. It is still uncertain if governme…

Hopeful for U.S. President-Elect Obama

All eyes are on the incoming U.S. new President, Barack Obama. Much is expected of him from not only the United States, but also from the rest of the world, for him to deliver the necessary changes to address on two fronts - the battered economy and the Middle East situation.

Mr Obama has many times emphasized that change is coming, however, he also stressed the effects will not be quick and the road to recovery will take years. The road ahead is bright but definitely is not going to be short.

Being over hopeful and anxious for results to happen overnight can be disappointing. We need to be patient too see fruits.

What Does Democracy Means?

With U.S. President-elect, Barack Obama, Tuesday's inauguration ceremony, the world leader is set for change. Mr Obama is U.S. first ever blacks to be elected into the Presidency office. It has been over 400 good long years since the emancipation of slavery by the great Lincoln.

The below is an interesting article on the topic of "Democracy". Just what does that term mean?

During the home-run to the U.S. Presidency 2008, I read with amusement various quarters online talking about waiting for a 'Singaporean Obama' to come to the rescue of Singapore.

The fact is that if the situation in Singapore were that dreadful, we most certainly would not sit back and wait for the 'messiah' to come to our rescue. Rather, while waiting for the 'Singaporean Obama' to appear we would have got down to start paving the way for his messianic appearance in all its glory, and so begin right now to set the Democratic process going, hadn't we?

The point I'm driving h…

Gmail Labs New Feature: Send & Archive

As part of Google's plan to improve Gmail, Gmail Labs added a new experimental feature. They call it Send & Archive. This feature adds a button to the compose form that lets you send a reply message and archive the email conversation in a single action.

Like before, you will need to Enable them before you can use it.

New in Labs: Send & Archive [via]

Project Management Explained

Freight rates sink to zero as trade dives

Zero freight rates explains why shipping lines are in difficult times.

Business Times - 16 Jan 2009

Freight rates sink to zero as trade dives

Analysts say it's a desperate measure by shippers trying to recoup some costs

By VINCENT WEE

(SINGAPORE) For the first time since records began, container freight rates from Asia to Europe have hit flat zero. Apart from signalling just how dramatically trade has collapsed, the move smacks of sheer desperation as the lines try to recoup whatever revenue they can, industry players say.

Lloyd's List had earlier quoted shipping executives as saying that many lines are now charging shippers a freight rate of US$0 plus the bunker adjustment factor or the cost of bunker.

'They (the rates) have already hit zero,' Charles de Trenck, a broker at Transport Trackers in Hong Kong, was quoted as saying. 'We've seen trade activity fall off a cliff. Asia-Europe is an unmitigated disaster.'

'The report is quite accurate and it shows that …

Plane Crash Hudson River But All Safe After 5 Minutes

A US Airways Airbus A320 made an extraordinary emergency landing in the Hudson River on Thursday after suspected of being hit by a flock of birds. The accident happened just 3 minutes after take-off. ALL 155 passengers including crew members were rescued. None was injured except one with two broken legs.

I learnt of this extraordinary news from TV early this morning. What I saw was incredible! How could an aircraft stay afloat on water for few minutes? Seeing passengers standing on its two wings, waiting for rescue is an unbelievable sight. According to an article from the Los Angeles Times, all were rescued after 5 minutes of crash landing.

Just look at the incredible rescue effort!

The as calm as a cucumber hero is Pilot Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger.

All on US Airways plane are safe -- within 5 minutes of crash landing [via]
Experts credit safe landing to airliner's pilot, crew [via]

More photos here [via]

Modules Likely to Ballot For

My part time Master programme in National University of Singapore, School of Computing (SOC), has begun. In proper, the programme I am enrolled into is "Master of Computing", in IT Project Management (ITPM) discipline.

I plan to take a total of 3 modules this semester - 2 from ITPM and 1 from Computer Science as an elective.

ITPM Modules

CS5251 - Integration of IS and Business
CS5259 - Information Technology Outsourcing

Computer Science Modules

CS4244 - Knowledge-Based Systems

My first week in (SOC) as a Master student is excellent. The credentials and industry experience exhibited by the lecturers are simply just too impressive. 2 of the 3 lectures are taught by CIO of Starhub and CIO of NTUC, and the third one is by an experienced professor.

I hope to learn from the lecturers and from the many working professionals in lectures. I do hope time management can be better improved on my side.

Apple Steve Jobs to Step Down Until End of June

Early this month, the chief executive of Apple, Steven P. Jobs, announced that he was being treated for a “hormone imbalance” that had caused him to lose weight, but that he would still be staying on as head of the company.

On Wednesday, Steve Jobs announced to Apple employees he will step aside until the end of June due to medical reasons. Tim Cook, the chief operating officer at Apple, will take care of Apple's day-to-day operation. Is Tim Cook set to be Jobs' successor?

Apple's Jobs to Step Down for Health Reasons [via]

Vulnerabilities in SMB Could Allow Remote Code Execution

Three vulnerabilities in Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) networking protocol were patched in a single update today by Microsoft. Two of the three are classified as critical and the third as moderate.

Microsoft recommends all users to apply this security patch immediately.

Vulnerabilities in SMB Could Allow Remote Code Execution (958687) [via]

Wish List for Budget 2009

Coming 22 Jan 2009, the Singapore government is set to deliver Budget for year 2009. This date is a month earlier than usual in view of current difficult economic conditions.

Budget 2009 is expected to help SMEs and companies to ride through the storm to save jobs. Some analysts predict tax discounts for corporates so employers can send employees for training. Cash handouts, if distributed, should help lower income families most. However, the Singapore government has cautioned Singaporeans not to be over reliant on cash handouts.

I do have my own wish list for this Budget 2009.

I wish individual income tax can enjoy the same 20% discount just like last year.

I wish cash handouts to be distributed, with most consideration on lower income families, and at the same time not neglecting middle income families.

I wish public transport fares to be lowered or at least freeze for the next 2 years.

I wish full time tertiary students to pay the same rates as JCs students.

I wish CPF contribution by emp…

New EZLink Card Marketing Gimmicks

EZ-Link started issuing the new ez-link cards on 29th December 2008. These new ez-link cards adheres to the new Singapore Standard for Contactless ePurse Applications (CEPAS) that can be used for LTA’s new e-payment system for public transport.

EZLink markets this new card asNo Deposit Required as compared to the original EZLink card1 for 1 exchange for the new card with the old one at NO COSTIn my opinion, the marketing strategy used is a gimmick.

Old Card

Deposit Value: $3 (refundable)
Card Value: $5 (non-refundable)

New Card

Minimum Balance: $3 (refundable)
Card Value: $5 (non-refundable)

Minimum Balance of S$3 is required for MRT travel. This minimum balance requirement is not required for bus travel but balance should be enough to cover the trip fare from the point a commuter board the bus to the END of the bus route (even if one wishes to alight earlier). If minimum balance is not enough, no payment will be registered and cash payment has to be made for the travel.

Since a minimum balanc…

Windows 7 Beta Download Extended to 24 Jan

The Windows 7 team has decided to extend the download of Windows 7 beta to 24 Jan. The 2.5 million download limit is also removed.

I know many of you have had issues with the Windows 7 Beta site over the last 24 hours. As you may have noticed the download site has been up and running smoothly since this morning. That said, we apologize for the inconvenience that it caused some of you.

Due to an enormous surge in demand, the download experience was not ideal so we listened and took the necessary steps to ensure a good experience. We have clearly heard that many of you want to check out the Windows 7 Beta and, as a result, we have decided remove the initial 2.5 million limit on the public beta for the next two weeks (thru January 24th). During that time you will have access to the beta even if the download number exceeds the 2.5 million unit limit.

Thank you for your enthusiasm, interest and willingness to beta test. It has been great to see the positive early reviews and feedback. As yo…

Finally Got My Windows 7 Beta Product Key

After a day of delay in making Windows 7 Beta public by the Microsoft, Windows 7 beta download is back live again and I got the product key finally.

Originally, Microsoft only allowed TechNet subscribers to download via this link. Now, they just setup a second link for all to download.

If you use the TechNet link, you should see the below.

Follow through the instructions as listed on the page and hopefully you get your Product Key. You will need a Windows Live ID.

Very likely, you will see a "Page Not Found" error when you try to get your Product Key. I recommend you use the below 2 links to get your Product Key. You may need to refresh several times just to get the right page you want like below.

32-Bit key
https://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/scripts/gcs.aspx?Product=tn-win7-32-ww&LCID=1033

64-bit key:
https://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/scripts/gcs.aspx?Product=tn-win7-64-ww&LCID=1033

After you got the Product Key, you may proceed downloading the over 2GB Windows …

Windows 7 Beta Still Unavailable for Download

Still, download of Windows 7 Beta from TechNet is still unavailable. This is the place where you can get license from. A visit to the TechNet page still give me the same result, which says Microsoft is still trying to resolve the overwhelming demand. Microsoft did not offer a new schedule for delivering the beta of Windows 7.

For anxious Windows 7 Beta fans, direct download link for Windows 7 Beta is still available.

Microsoft postpones Windows 7 public beta [via]

Spam Comments Will Not Be Published

Dear readers,

It is to my observation that I have been receiving spam comments in response to my postings. These spam comments are mainly for advertising and marketing purposes.

I will NOT publish such spam comments and so, there is no point making such irrelevant comments on this blog.

The Dumbest Gadget of CES 2009

PC Magazine reported the dumbest gadget of CES 2009. I agreed with both hands up!

Cell-Mate is the gadget mentioned. It is a piece of metal and Velcro that actually clips your cell phone to your head. It is designed to allow you to answer phone calls (hands-free) without using bluetooth.

From their website, they promote the device as below. I thought it is lame enough and worthy for a post.

Never settle for sub-par reception. Never worry about charging your Bluetooth headset. Never risk your safety trying to sync your headset with your phone while driving. All you have to do is answer your cell phone and place the Cell-Mate on your head.

Enough of this good-not-to-have gadget, these guys even use a free GoDaddy website hosting provider to host their website. including the embedded GoDaddy ads at the top of the page. Web page fail, product fail, lifestyle fail. It is not that expensive nowadays to get a website up "decently". Be professional!

New EZLink Card No Deposit Not True

The new EZLink card in circulation now says there will not a deposit. However, there need to have a minimum balance of S$3 for MRT transport. As for bus transport, this S$3 minimum balance is not required but do take note it is the responsibility of commuters to have adequate balance for the bus ride they are taking to avoid unnecessary hassle and embarrassment of paying balance in cash. Isn't this minimum balance requirement equivalent to having a deposit? I thought the original idea was at least better than this one - No balance on screen means top up.

It is understood a total of 8 million EZLink cards are currently in circulation. A minimum balance of S$3 means a total of S$24 million in custody. That is a huge sum of money! I wonder how EZLink or the Singapore government uses our money.

How Stupid Do You Think I Am? No, Seriously... [via]

Google Changes Favicon Again

Just last year, Google changed its favicon. Now, Google takes that tradition to year 2009 and changes its favicon.

In my opinion, the new icon looks ugly to me. I still prefer Google's very first original favicon. The icon has gone from bad to worse each time they change.

Google’s New Favicon (Again) [via]

Direct Download Link for Windows 7 Beta

Though Microsoft has pulled off Windows 7 beta download and temporarily stop giving out the promised 2.5 million licenses, it is still possible to download Windows 7 beta.

Download and get the respective variants of Windows 7 beta as a disk image below. They are the same beta (build 7000) and will run just fine for 30 days without the license key. Do note that the Windows 7 Beta will be only available in one edition, which is roughly equivalent the Ultimate edition of Windows Vista. Also, another important thing to keep in mind is that the Windows 7 Beta will expire on 1st August 2009.

Download the Windows 7 Beta 32-bit version
Download the Windows 7 Beta 64-bit version

If you are still keen on getting a license from Microsoft, continue trying out this download page from TechNet until they resolve the overwhelming demand problem.

Windows 7 Beta Download Pulled Off Due to Overwhelming Demand

Microsoft has just pulled off Windows 7 Beta download due to overwhelming demand. I am still trying to download the official Windows 7 Beta release.

To download, follow here.

Thanks for your interest in the Windows 7 Beta. The volume has been phenomenal -- we’re in the process of adding more servers to handle the demand. We’re sorry for the delay and we’ll re-post the Beta as soon as we can ensure a quality download experience.

Unable to Download Windows 7 Beta

Download link for Windows 7 Beta is out. However, there is just no way to download Windows 7 Beta with my PDA. It's just too bad my laptop is not with me.

Will I still stand a chance when I finally get hold of my laptop which is in more than 8 hours time? My guess is chances are slim and 2.5 million downloads could all have already been taken.

NUS School of Computing Welcome Tea

I just attended this evening's NUS School of Computing welcome tea for Master of Computing students.

From next week onwards and at least for the next 2 years, I will be much busier, coping with a full-time day job, freelance and this part-time Master degree.

Back to the welcome tea, I counted a total of approximately 14 students in my specialization - IT Project Management, and approximately 30 for the other 2 specialization - Computer Science and Information Security. Students come from very diversified background. I managed to find students from countries like Iran, Morocco, India, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Vietnam, China and Indonesia. So far, I see only one fellow Singaporean. I guess many Singaporeans are not as keen as foreign students in such event.

I wish myself all the best.

In Support of National Library Board Latest Policies

The National Library Board (NLB) has just announced 2 new policies. They will come into effect from 1st April 2009 onwards.

First, borrowers with outstanding fines will not be able to borrow any items unless they pay up. The NLB estimates a total of $7.5 million fines remain unaccounted for. On February, the NLB will send out mailers reminding borrowers with outstanding fines to pay up. I strongly urge such irresponsible borrowers to pay up.

Second, the current 50 cents fee charged for every item renewal will be removed. However, policy of each item can only be renewed once still remains. This is implemented in view of readers' feedback that they need more time to finish reading books they borrowed.

I am supportive of the new policies. They should promote responsible borrowing behaviour.

Google Chrome 2.0 Pre-Beta Out

Very quickly, Google has announced Chrome 2.0 Pre-Beta with several new features are added. Since this is a pre-beta, there is seriously no need to install unless you are geeky enough to try new things. As expected from a beta version, there are bound to be some bugs.

Google Chrome 2.0 Pre-Beta [via]

How to Get Your Windows 7 Beta 1 on Friday

As said yesterday, Microsoft will make Windows 7 Beta available for public download and it's FREE! However, it is understood it is not completely free after all.

Windows 7 Beta 1 will be made available for a limited time during the day on 9 January 9 2009. The download link will be available on the Windows 7 page. As demand for the free beta is expected to be overwhelming, it will only be made available to the first 2.5 million people. Before downloading, registration is required to get hold of a product key.

How to Get Your Windows 7 Beta 1 on Friday [via]

Times Are Bad and Even US Porn Industry Are Asking for Bailout

In this current tough economic conditions, many industries are not doing as well as compared to previous years. This also applies to the porn industry. The US porn industry has requested for a multi-dollar bailout to garner some energy into the adult entertainment industry. One argument the US porn chiefs used is in difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment (adult) for relief.

Hard times for US porn industry [via]

Microsoft to Release Windows 7 Beta for FREE Download on 9 Jan 2009

At the current CES 2009, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, announced Windows 7.0 Beta will be available for public download on 9 January 2009. Microsoft promises that the Windows 7 will have faster startup and shutdown times, fewer security alerts, and will provide better power management leading to improved battery life on laptops as compared to the disappointing Windows Vista.

Microsoft Releases Windows 7 Beta as a Free Download [via]

Singaporeans to Work and Work Until 65 Years Old

It seems like the Singapore government is to increase official retirement age and lock CPF monies withdrawal soon. Even if one manage to enjoy self-declared early retirement, he is unable to withdraw his own money locked in his CPF account. Where is the logic?

I pity Singaporeans (including myself).

S'poreans urged to adjust to longer lifespan by working longer [via]

The Crunchies 2008 Awards Open for Voting

The 2008 Crunchies is an annual competition and award ceremony to recognize and celebrate the most compelling startups, internet and technology innovations of the year.

The winners will be announced live at the Crunchies award ceremony on January 9 in San Francisco.

The Crunchies 2008 Awards [via]

Singapore Economy for Year 2008 Revised Downwards

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced today that it expects the Singapore economy to grow between -2.0 per cent and 1.0 per cent in 2009, lower than the -1.0 per cent to 2.0 per cent range it had forecast in November 2008. This revision is made after a poorer than estimated fourth quarter (Q4) GDP. Q4 2008 GDP contracted 2.6% as compared to the same quarter in year 2007.

Looks like Singapore economy is getting from bad to worse.

MTI Revises 2009 Growth to -2.0 to 1.0 Per Cent [via]

Two Years of Financial Mayhem

Below is a series of events that had happened over the past 2 years that lead us to the current global financial crisis. These events are compiled and extracted from The Business Times - Two years of financial mayhem, published on 2 Jan 2009.

Business Times - 02 Jan 2009

CRISIS TIMELINE
Two years of financial mayhem

Since the start of 2007, the world's biggest banks, insurers and mortgage finance companies have collectively reported US$1.01 trillion of asset writedowns and credit losses and slashed 240,000 jobs - more than half of them in the US. Below is a timeline of the key events as the financial crisis unfolded. Compiled by CONRAD TAN

February 2007: In an early sign of the trouble ahead, London-based banking giant HSBC warns on Feb 8 that provisions for losses on its US sub-prime mortgages could exceed analysts' estimates by 20 per cent, reaching almost US$11 billion.

July 2007: Two hedge funds run by US investment bank Bear Stearns collapse on July 17 under the weight of losse…