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Showing posts from April, 2009

NEA Fails to Reply My Follow-Up Email After 4 Working Days

21 Apr 2009 23:01

My first email to the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Potential Contamination of Fresh Sugar Cane Juice was on 21 Apr 2009.

24 Apr 2009 20:30

My email was replied after 3 working days by a Public Relations Executive from the Environmental Health Department. The reply was unacceptable and failed to assure me.

26 Apr 2009 18:40

I replied the email from NEA to ask for more information on what was done within the 3 working days. My reply is as such,

Dear XX,

I appreciate you replying within short a short period of time - a mere 3 working days. I was in fact shocked that NEA took such a short period of time to investigate such a potential serious case as mine.

As a concerned Singapore citizen, I am more interested to know the process NEA conducted in the 3 days of investigation before giving me assurances and assuming this case to be closed. I am utterly disappointed with how NEA handled this case. With due respect to the government body, I should have lied to myself, tellin…

Gmail Claims to Run Faster On Google Chrome

If you were to access Google Gmail on browsers other than Google Chrome, you should see a label "Gmail runs faster in Google Chrome", something like the above.

Watch the below video by the Google Chrome team to advertise their web browser - Google Chrome.


Gmail runs faster in Google Chrome [via]

Uniqlo Singapore Opening Sale

Uniqlo Singapore [via]

NTUC Income CEO Tan Suee Chieh With 2 Bikini Girls in Australia

NTUC Income CEO Tan Suee Chieh was seen with 2 bikini girls in a photo shoot. NTUC Income was then at Surfers Paradise, Australia, for a retreat.

What is Swine Flu and All Else About it

What is swine flu?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people

Are there human infections with swine flu in the U.S.?
In late March and early April 2009, cases of human infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses were first reported in Southern California and near San Antonio, Texas. Other U.S. states have reported cases of swine flu infection in humans and cases have been reported internationally as well. An updated case count of confirmed swine flu infections in the United States is kept at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/investigation.htm CDC and local and state health agencies are working together to investigate this situation.

Is this swine flu virus contagious?
CDC…

Co-operative NTUC Income Advertising on Google Ads

Is co-operative NTUC Income getting more commercialized?

Land registry publishes warning on land bank investment schemes

On 15 Jan 2009, the Land Registry (U.K.) published a warning on land banking. So far, nothing serious is done in many countries including Singapore.

Land Registry has published a guide warning against so-called land banking investment schemes which are often advertised as offering big returns on investments in land.

The government department says many investors have handed over thousands of pounds for land that has little or no chance of being developed.

Plots of land are offered for sale, often online, and sometimes with the claim that there will be huge returns when planning permission is obtained for housing or other development. But the land is usually in areas protected from development by planning law.

Read my previous post on Land Banking - Read This First.

Land registry publishes warning on land bank investment schemes [via]

Confessions of a S-Chip CEO

Is this how the business world should operate? I myself am neither surprised by what I read. For your information, the below article may be a bit lengthy and so I suggest you print and read it while travelling. I did that myself.

Confessions of a S-Chip CEO [via]

Organizational Politics is a Reality

Politics is a reality. It is also a competence. One that CIOs need to learn if they are going to ensure IT occupies its rightful place at the top table. Do you agree or disagree? It depends.

Good Politics

The following techniques can be considered valid, legitimate parts of a political process:
EducationPersuasion Consensus building Fact-finding Intellectually honest discussions Identification of common interests Exposure of hidden or subtle facts Seeking compromise Reasoning together Neutral Politics

The following behaviors are in the gray zone. Some people admit them as part of a legitimate political process, while others abhor them. I make no value judgment here other than to put them in the "neutral" category:
CajolingRidiculing Lobbying Delaying Defocusing issues Positioning Not telling all the truth all the time You do this for me and I'll do that for you Bad Politics

Without belaboring the neutral zone too long, we pass to those aspects of the political process that mos…

NEA Reply is Political and Unacceptable to Me

On 21st April 2009, I sent an email to National Environment Agency (NEA) to report a case on potential contamination of fresh sugar cane juice. The case was forwarded to me via email by one of my friends and I thought I should bring this matter to NEA for investigation.

Today (after famous 3 working days), I received a reply from NEA. As expected, their reply was political and looked very much like a standard reply-template from any government body for a similar case like mine. I wonder if they really did take my case seriously.

I will think of a reply to them soon. Let's see what's their next reply-template.

Their reply is as below,

Dear Sir

We refer to your enquiry appended below.

Sugar-cane juice that is prepared in a hygienic manner is safe for consumption. The National Environment Agency (NEA) has a strict regime to ensure that vendors observe this responsibility. For example, vendors are required to obtain their supplies of cut sugar cane from approved sources.

Our officers als…

About Wireless@SG Registration

This post contains information about registration for Wireless@SG account.

Sign Up

You can sign up a total of 3 user accounts, one each from the 3 internet service providers. My recommendation is to sign up all 3 because I have experienced there are times you may not be able to login to a WiFi zone using one of the account. For convenience, you may wish to choose a common user id for all the user accounts.
Singtel
https://myad1.singnet.com.sg/wireless@sg_signup/onlineapplication.jsp?apptype=was

iCell
http://www.icellnetwork.com/reg2.php

QMax
http://wsg.qmax.com.sg/wreg.aspx?notify=emailLogin

Once you have successfully connected to a wireless network through Wireless@SG, simply go to any default homepage e.g. http://www.google.com. You will be redirected to a login page for authentication before you can continue surfing.

There will be a list of accounts to choose from. You may choose SingTel, iCell or QMax. Your user id will be in the format as below.
SingTel - @singnet

iCell - @icellwireless.net

Q…

83 km/h Winds Recorded in Singapore Yesterday

Strong winds up to 83km/h were recorded in Singapore yesterday. The unusual strong wind was the result of the development of storm over at Sumatra and the Straits of Malacca.

This strong wind had resulted in fallen trees and a broken construction crane.

Tropical storm behind strongest winds to hit S'pore in 9 yrs [via]

Earth Day 2009

Every 22 April marks Earth Day. Google celebrates today by unveiling their very earthly logo.

Potential Contamination of Fresh Sugar Cane Juice

I just sent an email to National Environment Agency (NEA) on a potential contamination of fresh sugar cane juice.

Dear Sir/Mdm,

I received an email circulated among my friends on potential contamination of fresh sugar cane juice and I wonder its authenticity. With the recent heightened concern over food hygiene, I hope the relevant authorities can address this matter and confirm if there's any potential contamination of fresh sugar cane juice.

Please read on the below.

*Avoid Drinking Fresh Sugar Cane Juice*

Please take 2 mins to read this.

This email was sent by a friend whose father is working with the Ministry of the Environment in S'pore.*

Health News - About Sugar Cane Drinks*

A friend whose father works for the government health inspection passed on his info. Their job is to inspect all hawkers, their cooked food, their store hygiene, etc. They found sugar cane juice hasthe highest content of bacteria among all food.. In fact, it has exceeded the set limit.

Hence, these guys had …

New Singapore Exchange Web Interface on BETA

Have you tried the new Singapore Exchange (SGX) web interface on BETA? The new interface is scheduled to go live on 8 May 2008.

For now, you will need to use http://www8.sgx.com to access the new interface.

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is hospitalized

The man who is arguably the world's most famous scientist, and who is widely known for trying to help everyday people understand questions like how was the universe formed, is hospitalized with a chest infection.

I read and heard a lot about him when I was in my secondary school days.

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is hospitalized [via]

POSB Internet Banking New Integrated Trading Services Sucks

POSB recently integrated DBS Vickers into their internet banking. I can only say the integration is not very well thought of since new banking/trading account is actually used.

So, instead of holding only onto your POSB savings account and DBS Vickers trading account, you will now have a third account called DBS Vickers-Cash Upfront account. I admit I am at fault too for not reading fine prints and almost got myself into some inconveniences. I made payment to shares I bought through DBS Vickers trading account by doing a fund transfer to my newly created third account. The fund was transferred to my third account instead of DBS Vickers trading account.

I do not see an integration between POSB and DBS Vickers here. Trade done using DBS Vickers platform cannot be settled using the new trading service.

Earth Hour 2009 - See Before and After

Started in Sydney, Australia in 2007, Earth Hour quickly grew into a global observance. More than 1,000 cities in over 80 countries observed Earth Hour 2009 on Saturday March 28th, as homes, office towers and landmarks turned off their lights for an hour starting at 8.30 pm local time to raise awareness about climate change and the threat from rising greenhouse gas emissions. Collected here are a series of before-and-after photographs - which (starting with the second one below) will fade between "on" and "off" when clicked. Let me state that again, since I know not everyone reads the whole intro here - starting with image #2 below, click on the image to see an animated fade between "on" and "off". This effect requires javascript to be enabled. (17 photos total)

Earth Hour 2009 [via]

Obama Weekly Address - 18 Apr 2009

Obama administration is going to have a team of Chief Performance Officer, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer to help improve the check and balance of the U.S. government. Obama is determined to cut cost by putting an end to unnecessary projects.

47 Year Old Susan Boyle Wowed "Britain's Got Talent" Audiences

This is a MUST watch plus listen performance! I am equally wowed.

The performance for "Britain's Got Talent" television show was put up by a 47-year-old Scottish charity volunteer by the name Susan Boyle. She had stunned the audiences, judges and definitely the public.

Singing Scottish spinster a global media sensation [via]

Singing Scottish spinster a global media sensation (MUST WATCH)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

A Selfish Project Team

A project team, from my today's lecture, whom had already presented for assignment 1 volunteered to present for the second assignment as well. They claimed to share their findings to the entire lecture group. I must admit their findings were indeed interesting and it must be because of it being interesting, the lecturer actually requested to have a copy of their presentation slides so they can be uploaded.

Few minutes ago, the lecturer made an announcement informing all students of the new document upload. The document is in PDF format instead of the original PPT format. The PDF document is security protected, having its Print capability removed.

Obviously, the project team had converted the original PPT presentation slides into PDF format not for its portability nature. They did it with a selfish mentality by disabling the print capability. However, they forgot to disable the Print Screen capability which allowed me to create my own document.

Anyone taking CS5259 - Information Techn…

SGX Seeing Increase in Volume

For the past few days, I observed the number of shares transacted had increased significantly as compared to months back. Just yesterday, more than 3,000 million shares were transacted.

Today before 12pm, the total number of shares transacted exceeded 2,000 million.

You've Requalified

Congratulations, hongjun - You've Requalified!

I have finally regained my FREE premium services with Experts-Exchange. I lost it for the first time few months back since I first joined EE in year 1999 due to my inactivity.

I better maintain it.

MTI Revises Forecasts for 2009 GDP Growth to -9.0 to -6.0 Per Cent

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced today that it expects Singapore's GDP to contract by 6.0 to 9.0 per cent in 2009, lower than the contraction of 2.0 to 5.0 per cent that it had forecast on 21 January 2009.

According to MTI, the below are the various economic indicators for Singapore:
GDP:
- 11.5 % in 1Q 2009
Total Trade:
- 22.1 % in Feb 2009
Industrial Production:
- 22.4 % in Feb 2009
CPI:
+ 1.9 % in Feb 2009MTI Revises Forecasts for 2009 GDP Growth to -9.0 to -6.0 Per Cent [via]

Thai Protests Aborted ASEAN Summit in Pattaya

It is noted ministers were told to leave by small boats if protesters remained in the building where ministers were in at the moment!

The Fokker 50 plane looks familiar to me because I worked on it before!

Aborted Summit in Pattaya [via]

Win 7: Looks to be Vista disaster, Take 2

Redmond (WA) - InformationWeek has been given a first-look at data collected by KACE from over 1100 sources regarding corporate uptake of Windows 7 after it's released later this year. According to their stats, 83% of businesses will not be upgrading to Windows 7 until at least 2011, making the Windows 7 launch quite possibly a Vista Take 2 under additional declines in OS market share.

Win 7: Looks to be Vista disaster, Take 2 [via]

As a Experts-Exchange Cleanup Volunteer

I have been a Cleanup Volunteer for Experts-Exchange for at least 3 years. However, due to work commitments and school, I have since suspended my community work. I hope to start again in a months' time after my exams.

Clean up volunteers are members of Experts Exchange who volunteer their time to clean up open questions. Clean up volunteers are selected by the Clean Up Administrator for their demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the topics in the zone they clean, and for their passion for helping the site. Every clean up volunteer goes through training, which helps them become part of the team and do their job right. Cleaning up includes:Make recommendations for closing out old questions so that the Moderators can finalize them.Improve the quality of the PAQ database by moving good, useful information into the PAQ and clearing out old questions that were not answered or have no value to future readers.Ensure that Experts receive the points they've earned.

Live Search Now Solves Algebra for You

Microsoft Live Search can now solve algebra for you. For example, if you were to enter 3x=18, Live Search will return x=6.

More impressively, Live Search can even give you more than 1 answer for a square root. E.g. if you enter x*x=9, you will get x=3, x=-3.

SMRT Shares Filled

I queued for SMRT shares at S$1.49 per share last weekend and I got it. S$1.49 is the closing price for today and so happen to be the lowest price.

This is going to be one of my long term stock in my portfolio. Hopefully the price I bought is low and can yield me good dividend.

Not sure if it will be on the uptrend for SMRT since MA (14d) and MA (25d) do not look perfect to me but there is a chance for them to come close. Think long term.

Please take more trains! Circle line is going to start soon!

Civil Service is Singapore's Biggest Employer

I read there are approximately 66,000 employees in the civil service alone (not counting statutory boards and the armed forces). The government’s total wage bill for the civil service for 2009 is estimated to be at over $5 billion (again, excluding the stat boards and SAF).

This is pretty huge! And the government is still recruiting.

Fiber Optic Cables Vandalized and Cut

Fiber optic cables were vandalized and cut in San Jose and San Carlos on 9 Apr 2009, leaving more than 50,000 residents without phone or Internet service. Could this be evolve and become a new plot for terrorism?

Fiber Optic Cable Vandalism A National Security Problem

SMRT Shares Shortlisted

I have shortlisted and picked SMRT shares as a possible buy for its resilence and share price within my tight budget. Hopefully I can buy it at a low price after Singapore MTI announcement on Singapore's Q1 2009 GDP on 14 April 2009.

SMRT shares closed at S$1.51 on 9 April 2009.

2009-04-06: CLSA
Notes shares trade at 12.9X FY10 earnings vs 10X average of the Singapore universe of stocks that yield over 5%.
Reiterates Outperform call with S$1.98 target price.

2009-03-18: Credit Suisse
Based on discounted cash-flow valuation, to assume lower bus ridership for FY10.
Keeps Neutral call, target price to S$1.70 from S$1.90.

2009-03-09: Phillip
Steady Does It More
Upgrade to BUY, raise fair value estimate to S$1.97.

2009-01-28: CIMB
Riding out the recession More
Maintain DCF-derived target price of S$2.08. Maintain Outperform.

2009-01-28: DBS
3Q09 results in line More
Maintain Buy, TP: S$1.82.

NOTE: I shall not be responsible for the above target price from the various brokerage houses. They are just for…

Funeral - MCYS Latest Viewers' Choice 2008

Funeral is a new TV commerical launched by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) which looks at relationships in a different light, through a woman at her husband's funeral. Ultimately, the TVC celebrates the beautiful imperfections that make a relationship perfect. This is fresh off MCYS latest Viewers' Choice 2008 win for last year's Family TVC which promotes the importance and value of family bonding.

In my opinion, the script of the video is very strangely written.

What Price Cool?

The below whitepaper compares Mac and PC. It seeks to reveal the extras one actually pays when purchasing a Mac.

What Price Cool? Users may know they pay more for Mac hardware, but much of the "Apple Tax" is hidden.

At the dawn of the personal computer age, two major operating systems or platforms emerged: Mac and PC. And although many of us have used and continue to use both over time, they really did end up diverging in profound and philosophical ways.

With respect to operating systems, the question of value has to be viewed in the context of a long and rich history, during which Microsoft and Apple took divergent approaches to building a
platform. Microsoft worked with partners to provide the widest range of choice possible. Apple kept control of the whole stack from top to bottom, providing a more integrated, but less flexible platform.

Outgrowths of these strategies have been Apple’s premium priced product positioning and Microsoft’s nurturing of a large competitive ecos…

What is Scareware?

According to Wikipedia,

"Scareware is several classes of software, often with limited or no benefit, that are sold to consumers by certain unethical marketing practices."

An example of Scareware is security software. It is sold to technically naive and gullible users to address supposed computer security threats.

Scareware on Wikipedia [via]

SGX to Revamp Website

It is really about time for Singapore Exchange (SGX) to revamp its website. The current interface has been around for many years!

The new site will come with a refreshed look loaded with many new features. According to SGX, the new site is set to go live on 8 May 2009. A preview of this enhanced website will be made available at www8.sgx.com to the public from 18 April 2009. However, the official site still remains at www.sgx.com.

SGX LAUNCHES ENHANCED WEBSITE TO BENEFIT INVESTORS [via]

Goldman Sachs CEO to the Council of Institutional Investors

Good morning. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today. For more than two decades, the Council of Institutional Investors has committed itself to the values of accountability, transparency and responsible ownership. I’m pleased to be able to speak to those principles in front of a group that has played such a powerful role in advancing them over the years.

To begin with an obvious point, much of the past year has been deeply humbling for my industry. We held ourselves up as the experts, and the loss of public confidence from failing to live up to the expectations that we created will take years to rebuild. Worse, decisions on compensation and other actions taken and not taken, particularly at banks that rapidly lost a lot of shareholder value, look self-serving and greedy in hindsight.

Financial institutions have an obligation to the broader financial system. We depend on a healthy, well-functioning system, but we collectively neglected to raise enough questions about whethe…

George Soros Says US Banks are Basically Insolvent

The U.S. economy is in for a "lasting slowdown" and could face a Japan-style period of relatively low growth coupled with high inflation, billionaire investor George Soros said on Monday.

Soros, speaking to Reuters Financial Television, also warned that rescuing U.S. banks could turn them into "zombies" that draw the lifeblood of the economy, prolonging the economic slowdown.

US Recovery Is Far Off, Banks Are 'Basically Insolvent': Soros [via]

A Joke - Bus operators fined $100

It is reported that the Public Transport Council (PTC) had fined both SBS Transit and SMRT the third time since PTC was authorised by the government in 2006 to hand down financial penalties to public transport operators.

SBS Transit and SMRT were fined $4,500 and $100 respectively after found some of their services were overcrowded. The question here is should they be fined more? $100 and $4,500 may be insignificant to these multi-million dollar transport operators.

I thought $100 was meant to be a April Fool joke.

Bus operators fined [via]

Fire or Not to Fire a Know-it-All Technical Bully?

I came across the below article and thought it left me thinking what should be the appropriate way to handle a know-it-All technical bully who does not want to share. In an organization like this, people without the know-how knowledge will be at mercy of the technical wizard.

In my opinion, the following must be doneThe technical bully should document his works (systems, applications, etc)Audit the Information Systems (IS)Create a knowledge-based systemsThere must have a manager in controlYeah, but he really knows his stuff... [via]

Dr Lee Wei Ling - Why I choose to remain single

Why I choose to remain single

Sun, Apr 05, 2009 - The Straits Times
My parents have a loving relationship, but I knew I could not live my life around a husband
By Lee Wei Ling

My father became prime minister in 1959, when I was just four years old. Inevitably, most people know me as Lee Kuan Yew's daughter.

My every move, every word, is scrutinised and sometimes subject to criticism. One friend said I lived in a glass house. After my father's recent comment on my lack of culinary skills, another observed: 'You live in a house without any walls.' Fortunately, I am not easily embarrassed.

As long as my conscience is clear, what other people say of me does not bother me. Indeed, I am open about my life since the more I try to conceal from the public, the wilder the speculation becomes.

My father said of my mother two weeks ago: 'My wife was...not a traditional wife. She was educated, a professional woman... We had Ah Mahs, reliable, professional, dependable. (My wife) came b…

G20 summit: Blacklisted tax havens face sanctions

Switzerland, Singapore, the Cayman Islands, Monaco, Luxembourg and Hong Kong are among 45 territories blacklisted on Thursday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and now threatened with punitive financial retaliation for their banking secrecy.

G20 summit: Blacklisted tax havens face sanctions [via]

Gmail Add Autocomplete Search

Google Gmail has added "Autocomplete Search". I just tried it few minutes ago and it worked great. However, I required to perform a signout and a re-login before I could see the lab feature.

One of the search I attempted to search for is jpg files. I only need to type jp and Gmail very cleverly suggested "has photos".

New in Labs: Gmail search made easier (and lazier) [via]

Warren Buffett Views on Gold Investing

"I have no views as to where it will be, but the one thing I can tell you is it won't do anything between now and then except look at you. Whereas, you know, Coca-Cola will be making money, and I think Wells Fargo will be making a lot of money and there will be a lot — and it's a lot — it's a lot better to have a goose that keeps laying eggs than a goose that just sits there and eats insurance and storage and a few things like that. The idea of digging something up out of the ground, you know, in South Africa or someplace and then transporting it to the United States and putting into the ground, you know, in the Federal Reserve of New York, does not strike me as a terrific asset." - Warren Buffett

The Trouble with Warren Buffett [via]