Toyota Motor Corp's crippling sales shutdown of eight models due to a US safety recall will continue until at least mid-February. This is due a recall of floor mats that could trap gas accelerator pedals and pose potential hazards. Toyota said it would recall as many as 1.8 million vehicles in Europe. This increases the global recalls of Toyota cars and trucks to about 7.5 million vehicles, almost as many as it sold worldwide in 2009. With Toyota potentially unable to sell some of its most popular models including the Camry for a month or more, rivals readied new plans to poach sales from the world's largest automaker and the top-selling brand in the United States. Ford Motor Co, Hyundai Motor Co and Chrysler Group LLC said they were rolling out incentives targeting Toyota customers. The companies are following the lead of General Motors Co, which on Wednesday began offering Toyota customers payouts of up to US$1,000 or zero-per cent financing for up to five years if they trade i…
Google is giving away reward from $500 to $1337 (clever) for every security hole found in their browser Chrome. This move is to boost the confidence in their Chrome. I thought the monetary amount of the reward is pretty small.
I am impressed with the way how the Obama Administration communicates with the people. That is true democratic leadership.
You may wish to fast forward to 10:00 minute and see how Obama is introduced by VP Biden. He is such a superstar! At times, you can even hear Obama using "Check it out".
20:00 minute Change never comes without a fight. That's true then, it's true now. Change never comes without a fight. I won't stop fighting.
Watch 40:00 minute onwards to see how Obama took on questions from the audience. It is really close interaction. Mind you, questions thrown to him were all tough and against him but he took on coolly and openly. It is obvious that none of these questions were pre setup and staged unlike what's happening in SXXGXXXXE. That's democracy!
1:16:44 hour for closure. He talked on his understanding that everyone is different but we should respect one another. The interest of Americans must be put as top priority.
An American legal firm, specializing in class action suits, is holding a seminar in Singapore in March to explain their service in assisting investors to seek compensation under US securities laws for their investment losses due to wrong doing by the financial institutions. More details about this service is shown in this video. This firm will only collect a fee based on successful outcome of the legal action. If there is no recovery, no fee is payable. More details of the seminar will be announced later, when details are finalized. Please provide your particulars in this form, if you are keen to attend the seminar.
I applaud the effort of the American firm for taking the lead. Class action suit is particularly "powerful" if you know how it works. A company can end up in bankruptcy and having to pay many times more as compensation. Because of the nature of class action suits, it can lead to abuse.
Too short? I think so. In a dilemma yet again. Singapore → Shenzhen → Hong Kong → Tokyo → Hong Kong → Shenzhen → SingaporeSingapore → Hong Kong → Tokyo → Hong Kong → Singapore Singapore → Tokyo → Singapore (4D3N)
Unexpectedly, a friend of mine suddenly MSN me if I can teach statistics for free in May/June period. Before I can even make a decision and reply, that person went offline.
ACCA-level statistics? Though I have taken a module on statistics during my Uni days and am reasonably okay with the subject, statistics has never been my cup of tea. To teach, one has to be quick with his thoughts and must always be many steps ahead of the tutee. I guess I better turn down this tuition assignment and not give myself unnecessary sleepless nights.
I would like to first thank my friend's sister, who is a librarian working in Temasek Polytechnic, even though she did not end up borrowing the 2 books for me because her own borrowing quota has exceeded its limit.
Another person I would like to thank is my Singapore Polytechnic's lecturer.
Hi Hon Chun
The books are available in the SP Main Library. I've arranged for the books to be sent over to our Hilltop library which is the same building as my office. It will take about 3 day working days to process. Will let you know once the books are here. Likely will be next week. Let me know how do you wish to pick it up.
Yeah! Shall be meeting my lecturer for lunch in Singapore Polytechnic next week :)
I am utterly disgusted by the "bazaar malam" financial advisers stationed at Compass Point.
Erm.. I shall write a comment on my impression on the overall financial advisory industry in Singapore when I have the time. It will include the banks, insurance companies and independent financial advisories.
Apple finally unveiled the much anticipate iPad tablet. This new gadget is described as revolutionary by Apple's CEO Steve Jobs. iPad tablet, bigger than iPhone, comes with WiFi connectivity, is a viable alternative to a netbook.
The iPad features a 9.7-inch, full capacitive multi-touch IPS display, weighs 1.5 pounds and measures 0.5 inches thick — thinner and lighter than any netbook, may look attractive. However, the iPad tablet is missing several key features.
The one big downside to the browser was that it does not support Adobe Flash, which means that video on many sites like Hulu will not work. Apple representatives said the Flash-capability is not a need since the Web is moving to HTML 5.0, but that's a slow transition, if it happens.
Another regrettable missing feature is iPad tablet's incapability to support multitasking. Without multitasking, no two or more applications are allowed to run concurrently. That is dinosaur era isn't it?
I manage to secure shares of UMS Holdings to further diversify my current stock portfolio. This is my second time buying UMS Holdings after having sold off once months ago.
The main reason as to why I decided to buy the stock is in view of a possible economic recovery and definitely more reassuring electronics and semiconductor industry. UMS Holdings reported its first profit after several months of consecutive losses. In a recent released Monthly Manufacturing Performance December 2009, the electronics cluster output saw robust growth of 57.3% in December year-on-year. This was due to higher demand, coupled with the low base last year. For a segment that adds over a quarter of total manufacturing output, the rise was especially pronounced in three categories: semiconductors (90.8 per cent), data storage (42.6 per cent) and other electronic modules and components (23.5 per cent).
On a separate report, I remember Gartner mentioning the semiconductor is predicted to grow by double digit f…
We at the Church of Google believe the search engine Google is the closest humankind has ever come to directly experiencing an actual God (as typically defined). We believe there is much more evidence in favour of Google's divinity than there is for the divinity of other more traditional gods.
We reject supernatural gods on the notion they are not scientifically provable. Thus, Googlists believe Google should rightfully be given the title of "God", as She exhibits a great many of the characteristics traditionally associated with such Deities in a scientifically provable manner.
We have compiled a list of nine proofs which definitively prove Google is the closest thing to a "god" human beings have ever directly experienced.
Most major Asian markets except the Kiwis ended below waters after China's plan to restrict landing and South Korea's not-so-good growth forecast. This downtrend may still persist in the days to come. We certainly need some confidence booster from the world leaders like the United States or China to give us a helping hand.
Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) ended negatively down approximately 65 points or 2.32% with both blue chips and smaller caps stocks all ended in dismal note. Once small-time stock darling, Epure International, plunged more than 15% on a single day to end at $0.810 per share, that's a lot shy of its record $1.000 per share days ago. I have to count myself fortunate to have sold off Epure International before this current wave of correction swarmed in.
This current wave of correct has also hit my very own stock portfolio. Most are still in the black but definitely not the one I bought days ago. Almost a week ago, I secured Neptune Orient Lines (NOL…
An Italian anthropologist, Giorgio Gruppione, is seeking permission to dig up the body of Da Vinci, the Renaissance artist-cum-inventor, on claims that his proposed study could throw new light in solving the mystery of Mona Lisa's true identity.
Dig out Da Vinci's grave? Erm...
Mona Lisa could be Da Vinci in drag: scientists [via]
Market correction is an opportunity! Each time there is a market correction, there will sure to be a bounce back.
Each time there is a market correction, the weak ones to be forced out, selling in panicky, and in come stronger new ones.
In the near term, indices are bound to end lower.
Warren Buffet says this:
“You know, I always say you should get greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy. But that's too much to expect. Of course, you shouldn't get greedy when others get greedy and fearful when others get fearful. At a minimum, try to stay away from that.” Volatility and Politics Are Feeding Fears of a Market Correction [via]
"Another confounding factor is that social studies is not examinable at the primary level. In theory, this leaves teachers free to approach social studies teaching in more creative ways. However, in addition to the limited time availability, there is a tendency not to teach what’s not assessed. That is, the PSLE exam is critically important, to the students and to each school. By not including social studies on this exam, there is an implicit message that social studies really isn’t very important. Indeed, teachers explain that as they increase there focus on preparation for the exam, they are likely to “borrow” time from social studies to work on maths and English. As one prim…
I finally secured a place to attend next week's “Object Oriented Analysis & Design (OOAD)" at Institute of Systems Science (ISS), National University of Singapore (NUS), from 25 to 29 January 2010.
Why finally? I was supposed to attend that course last November if not for a mistake by my company's HR. Over the 5 days, I will be clocking a total of 35 hours of training plus 3 days of gruelling 2-hours lectures in the evening. All in all, a total of 41 hours of sit-in lectures will be clocked!
2 more trainings (10-11 May, 3-4 June) by Adam Khoo coming up.
“To engage kids, you need to try to make it so fun that they don't even know they're actually studying” -- Thomas Chong, director of the Early Childhood Institute (ECI) at the PAP Community Foundation.
After several days of extreme high volume and volatility, a decision was made to offload Epure from my stock portfolio. It became nonsensical to hold onto Epure further after the stock rose more than 50 per cent in just 3 months and more than 10 per cent in 3 days.
Today, Epure fell from $0.920 and then fell steeply all the way to $0.895 before lunch, before slowly rising to 0.955 by 1630hr. An exciting comeback rally was staged in the final 30 minutes of trading to hit all-time high of $1.000 before plunging and closed at $0.950 at the end of the day. The range Epure "ventured" into is indeed not for the weak-hearted.
I am thankful to have sold off Epure at a reasonably high price, just enough for this semester's school fee.
The Straits Times Index (STI) plunged the minute market opened at 0900hr. Selling became setting the trend all the way until lunch break before picking up again and cancelling partial lost ground to end lower by 31.27 points (-1.10%) at 2,819.71.
The Disadvantages of an Elite Education Posted By William Deresiewicz On June 1, 2008 @ 7:00 am
It didn’t dawn on me that there might be a few holes in my education until I was about 35. I’d just bought a house, the pipes needed fixing, and the plumber was standing in my kitchen. There he was, a short, beefy guy with a goatee and a Red Sox cap and a thick Boston accent, and I suddenly learned that I didn’t have the slightest idea what to say to someone like him. So alien was his experience to me, so unguessable his values, so mysterious his very language, that I couldn’t succeed in engaging him in a few minutes of small talk before he got down to work. Fourteen years of higher education and a handful of Ivy League degrees, and there I was, stiff and stupid, struck dumb by my own dumbness. “Ivy retardation,” a friend of mine calls this. I could carry on conversations with people from other countries, in other languages, but I couldn’t talk to the man who was standing in my own house.
I have a bumpy date with cumulonimbus clouds and occasionally altocumulus clouds. High up the sky at an altitude of 20,000 feet, we were told there were bolts of lightnings and were advised not to enter the cumulonimbus clouds clusters. These seemingly hostile cumulonimbus clouds clusters were clouds of vertical development from 5,000 feet to 50,000 feet. This would mean it would be impossible to get out of the cumulonimbus clouds zone unless we flew higher than 50,000 feet.
Altocumulus clouds located at a lower altitude range accompanied the cumulonimbus clouds.
Pilot: Prepare for bumps
I sort of quite like bumps :p
Bumps and more bumps as we glided through thick altocumulus clouds.
Pilot: Cabin, landing station
As we prepared for landing, sounds of ice cracking along the sides of the plane could be heard. Though this was not my first time hearing them, this time round was just way too loud and disturbing.
This approximately 5 hours full of turbulence flight ha…
On 28 Aug 2009, I added Mapletree Logistics Trust, onto my stock portfolio, with my main motivation for the stock largely for its high dividend yield.
Announcement by Mapletree Logistics Trust on 21 Jan 2010:
"Distribution of 0.84 cents per unit for the period from 18 November 2009 to 31 December 2009 comprising a taxable income component of 0.57 cents per unit, a tax-exempt income component of 0.16 cents per unit and a capital component of 0.11 cents per unit.
Date payable: 26-02-2010"
In just slightly more than a month, Mapletree Logistics Trust is already giving away 0.84 cents per unit. In 4Q09 alone, its distribution per unit (DPU) was 1.59 cents, which is 7% higher than 3Q 2009’s DPU of 1.48 cents. Comparing distributable income for 4Q 2009 of $32 million and that of 4Q 2008's, that is an increase of 12% year-on-year.
If I were to calculate the total dividends received from 28 Aug 2009 to 26 Feb 2010 (6 months) against amount invested as a percentage, that figure would …
At Changi Village yesterday, I started to notice something interesting at least for myself. An observation was made.
I observed all hatchback cars and vans have wipers installed at the back but sedan cars do not have the back wipers. The only reason I could think of as to why sedan cars do not have them could be due to the design of sedan cars that limits the wiring. Since the cost of installation of back wipers could be small and it is good-to-have, this could explain why hatchback cars and vans have them.
I find it pretty useful especially when Chinese input is not installed on your computer. You can input hanyu pinyin with the correct tone number and the tool will return you the a list of Chinese characters that match your input.
Can't sleep for an unknown or perhaps known reason. My mind keeps thinking of something and always evaluating effects of some unknown causes. I know all these thinking would not bring me any outcome since the root of I tossing around on bed is an unknown.
Did something bad happen recently? It must be and it has to be, for the experience I had now is not new to me.
I better be sleeping, otherwise, 3 days at air base, inclusive of Thursday and Friday flight trials will be a misery. Not forgetting 1 more possible flight trial early next week.
The combination of bad stars will create obstacles for you at work though there are the presence of some good stars. Luckily, most roosters are positive looking and hence they would be able to clear whatever hurdles. Work hard this year and the year will pass, smoothly. There is a possibility of a hidden enemy at work.
Your health is average and you may catch a flu early in the year and can be quite bad. Take care of your bones and lungs. Go jogging or do deep breathing exercises each morning to circulate the qi in your body.
Money & Work:
There is money luck for you but they tend to fluctuate, sometimes have windfall sometimes nothing. This is not a good year for you to change job.
The Singapore government is proud to announce donation of US$50,000 for Haiti earthquake victims.
Mr Brown is quick to highlight an article on the Straits Times on the donation. He pointed out the very thin red line in relative to the obviously longer ones, that represented the Singapore Government's donation to the earthquake victims of Haiti. I wonder if this is Straits Times' subtle way of criticising the government. LOL!
Singapore Government donates whopping US$50,000 for Haiti relief efforts [via]
I am still so so happy :) But the certificate will only reach me 8 weeks later.
Dear Hon Chun Loh,
Congratulations on obtaining the PMP credential.
You will receive your certificate package within eight weeks. At your earliest convenience, please verify that your preferred mailing address is correct by visiting our website at PMI.org
Your examination score report is available at https://www.pmi.org/certapp/. Until you receive your certificate package, you may use this score report to validate your credential status. You may also access the policies and procedures necessary to maintain your credential in the credential handbook.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have questions or concerns.
PMI Customer Care
The next step will be how do I maintain my credentials and make sure it is renewable every year. Erm..
Made a decision to unsubscribed several RSS feeds to reduce the number of articles to read everyday. That's the first thing I did early in the morning. I admit my curiosity and information hungry nature are making me really tired. 3 out of 7 from Information Technology category 5 out of 5 from Information System category1 out of 6 from Investment category 4 out of 8 from Misc category2 out of 3 from News (Business) category0 out of 3 from News (General) category0 out of 2 from Personal category1 out of 1 from Sports category3 out of 10 from Blogs I'm following categoryI am now left with only 26 RSS feeds :)
Fast food giant, McDonalds, has omitted Chinese zodiac pig character from their new Doraemon set to avoid offending Muslims but ended up upsetting Chinese customers who are keen in collecting the full 12 zodiac characters. In place of the pig character, a cupid is used instead.
In reply to this incident, Mr Brown posted a podcast on it.
Japan Airlines (JAL) is said to undergo some form of court-led restructuring similar to a Chapter 11 filing in the US. JAL is seeking government support to keep it flying amidst debts. It is also reported that the Japanese government will issue a statement to countries where JAL has operations to guarantee public support for its national carrier.
Will JAL offer knock-down prices on air tickets to boost volume of passengers?
I just hate doing server installation especially when I know the chances of getting the system software working normally on a never-tried-before operating system like Windows Vista or 7.0 is low. It just irks me more when the reason for using Windows 7 is purely for its superior aesthetic improvements. A day was wasted last Friday.
Armed with a possible workaround, I hope all system software will run smoothly on Windows this coming Monday and my effort will not go in vain again.
Sigh.. Server installation isn't in my job scope leh..
I particularly like the idea of new challenger Yamato Transport going into shopping delivery services, online shopping delivery and maintenance supply services. Potential partners engaged in the new delivery services are Takashimaya, Meiji and Isetan and Cold Storage.
SpeedPost has a challenger Business Times - 09 Jan 2010
Yamato launches Ta-Q-Bin service; eyes 50% market share in 10 years
By VINCENT WEE
YAMATO Transport is taking SingPost head on in the local parcel delivery segment, launching its Ta-Q-Bin service yesterday as an alternative to the latter's SpeedPost service.
Muscling in on SingPost's dominance of the 10 million annual deliveries market, Yamato plans to capture 4 per cent of the pie within the first year and 50 per cent within the next 10 years.
Kaoru Seto, president of parent company Yamato Holdings, said: 'Yamato aims to achieve annual delivery volume of 400,000 parcels in the first year of Ta-Q-Bin's operation in Singapore and hopes to increase the number…
Fast food giant, McDonalds, has omitted Chinese zodiac pig character from their new Doraemon set to avoid offending Muslims but ended up upsetting Chinese customers who are keen in collecting the full 12 zodiac characters. In replace of the pig character, a cupid is used instead.
I wonder why must the Muslims be accommodated. Since many Buddhists do not take beef, then should the ox be excluded too? I believe McDonalds has overreacted and should not have focused on trivial things and letting go of more important things in life.
United Overseas Bank (UOB) having sold off its non-core life assurance arm to UK's insurer, Prudential, UOB is set to yield a one-time gain of $85 million. Looking at UOB's current share price of over $19.92 and many brokerage houses targeting it to be around $23, is there really room for growth? To fork out almost $20,000 for UOB is a huge sum of money for me and so, better not.
The deal between UOB and Prudential is a sound one. Instead of succumbing to competitive pressures from larger life insurers, the group's alliance with Prudential in Asia offers new growth opportunities for its bancassurance business. UOB’s life insurance business was "sub-scale", making small losses in accounting terms, and needed to be either sold off or have more investment ploughed in to make it work. It is reported that the deal between UOB and Prudential is a 12-year one, allowing the former to distribute latter’s products in three Southeast Asian markets for initial 12 years.
In Year of the Tiger, look out for black swans Business Times - 08 Jan 2010 By WILLIAM PESEK JR
IF many of us could have turned around the moment we entered 2010 and made obscene gestures at 2009, we would have.
After the wreckage of the past 12 months, 2010 has to be a good year, right? Good for governments staving off financial chaos, good for households struggling to stay afloat, good for investors wondering which rules of economics and markets still apply.
It really is hard to see this year outdoing the last one in the doom-and-gloom department. Yet the Year of the Tiger might live up to its name and be a fierce one. Here are five reasons why it may come with its share of sharp teeth and 'Black Swans'.
1) The bill for 2009 is coming due
Look no further than Japan, which has little to show for the hundreds of billions of dollars it's throwing at the economy. Deflation is intensifying, unemployment is worsening, the ranks of the working poor are growing and Prime Min…
Difficulty levels shown above are purely based on my subjective judgement and feedback from my seniors. The only reason as to why I am taking one 5.0/5.0 level is there aren't many choices available. Many "manageable" modules happen to fall on Monday.
I couldn't believe hearing CEO of Singapore YOG Organising Committee, Goh Kee Nguan, saying SingPost intent of vandalism is right. He also hope all of us to let this matter slide.
What message is he and SingPost trying to convey to the youths in Singapore? This is distasteful!
Goh Kee Nguan, CEO, Singapore YOG Organising Committee, said: "The intent is right. They wanted to engage youths and wanted to link youths and sports and more importantly (provide) a platform for youths to express themselves."
SingPost apologises for "acts of vandalism" on mailboxes [via]