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Showing posts from May, 2010

Changi Airport Millionaire Dance (Flash Mob)

More than 400 participants kicked off Changi Airport's 'Be a Changi shopping millionaire' promotion with a massive dance in the transit area. We had dancers from all over Singapore, most of whom were performing in public for the first time. Some were as young as 10 years, others as old as 75. We hope they had a great time, and left feeling like a million bucks!

'Machine Debug Manager' error when installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1 on Windows 7 machine

When installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1 on a Windows 7 machine, you may encounter a message prompt asking to close the 'Machine Debug Manager' process. This can be really irritating and end up the installation to run indefinitely.

To overcome this problem, try killing the mdm.exe process from the Task Manager. Hope this simple workaround works for you.

Parkway Holdings shares sky-rocketed; Fortis could launch counter-bid against Khazanah

Following last week's Khazanah offer to buy up to 51.5% of Parkway Holdings shares, Parkway Holdings shares [P27.SI] soared 22.85% to end at $3.71 from $3.02.

Today, India’s Fortis Healthcare snapped up additional shares in the hospital operator to increase its holdings from 25.37% from 25.34%, setting the stage for a possible battle with the Malaysian state investor Khazanah. A counter-bid by Fortis is likely to up Khazanah's $3.78 offer.

Indonesian 2-year old baby on 40 cigarettes a day

This is the Indonesian 2-year old baby who smokes 40 cigarettes a day. He is completely addicted!



Visit here to view more of the toddler's photo showing him smoking.

Getting started with Google Reader

Google Reader lets you subscribe to your favorite websites so new content comes to you when it's posted.

Reader keeps track of which things you've read so that you only see unread items when you come back. If there's a dark blue border around an item, Reader is marking that item as read.

CAP fell after a disappointing semester

After a disappointing semester taking 3 tough Computer Science modules, of which 2 were research-based, competing with research-oriented PhD students, my CAP score unsurprisingly fell to 4.14/5.0.

Lesson learnt is overloading myself with 3 modules for a part-time course is madness, especially when all are Computer Science modules. For the coming semester, I shall make sure I choose my major Information Systems related modules.

Yes, I will still be taking 3 modules next semester since that's what I have left anyway.

Investors demanding returns from Profitable Group for their Land Banking Investments

A commotion was formed last Monday at Profitable Group Singapore office in Shenton Way by a group of investors trying to get back their deserved returns. However, such behaviour was described as "thuggish" and "criminal". Mr John Nordmann, group operations director of the Singapore-based investment firm, even warned that he will not hesitate to call in the police should there be a repeat.

Mr Nordmann highlighted that the investment payouts for their land investments depended on certain events, such as planning permission being granted for the land, of which this is yet to happen. On a separate report by the United Kingdom's Daily Telegraph newspaper two months ago, the sites Profitable Group had bought in Britain was "a green belt" land, where housing development has been banned. Since the land is marked as "a green belt", the likelihood of future development is remote.

More relevant links:

Profitable Group slams irate investors
http://www.tod…

RSA Animate - The Secret Powers of Time

Professor Philip Zimbardo conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships and how we act in the world.

Fortis weighs counter to Khazanah already premium bid for Parkway

India’s Fortis Healthcare is considering launching a counter-offer for Singapore-based hospital chain Parkway Holdings and is discussing financing options with Singapore state investment firm GIC.

Last Thursday, Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah offered $3.78 a share in cash for 313 million shares of Parkway, which would expand its stake to 51.5% from 23%, in a bid for control of Parkway, potentially pitting it against Fortis in a battle for Singapore’s largest private healthcare provider. The offer of $3.78 is 25% more than earlier closing price of $3.02 for Parkway, which is currently still halted from trading.

Shares of Parkway, listed on the Singapore stock exchange since 1975, have climbed 3.4% this year. The stock more than doubled in 2009. I am still and will still hold onto Parkway shares at least for now.

Parkway Race: Fortis, GIC look to counter Malaysian Co Khazanah [via]

Cherish the ones who loves you and constantly remind them you care

Cherish the ones who loves you and constantly remind them you care. In the endless pursuit of material things in life, we often forget the finer things in life. The ones who love you when times are tough will love you still when times are good. Life will forever be a kaleidoscope of distractions, but like a lighthouse in the storm they'll forever be your one guiding light.

Mindef admitted too late to report training incident in Thailand

Singapore Ministry of Defence (Mindef) admitted they should have issued a public statement immediately after two SAF personnels, training in Thailand, were accidentally shot by local Thai villagers.

In the first report published on Straits Times on May 25, a Thai farmer had fired his shotgun at 1SG Woo Teng Hai while out on a night exercise in Thailand, resulting in the latter's right eye blinded. A day later, the paper reported that in fact a second serviceman had also been shot - a full-time national serviceman, PTE J. Pritheery Raj. If not for a relative of PTE Raj calling the paper after reading the first report, this second case would not have surfaced. Both incidents happened on March 13.

Why did the Mindef not keep the public informed on the incidents? Were there more such similar cases gone unreported?

Reply from Mindef:

The Singapore Armed Forces' immediate priority following any incident is to attend to the needs of the affected servicemen and to keep their families i…

Oil spill could make BP vulnerable

A report from the New York Times mentioned that the current massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico could make British energy giant BP vulnerable to a takeover. Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil are almost certainly running the numbers.

Since the April's incident, investors have wiped as much as $46 billion off the company’s market value. At $141 billion on Thursday, BP’s market capitalization is half of Exxon’s and less than the $165 billion value of Shell, which has traditionally traded at a discount to BP. A separate report from the Channel News Asia pointed out that BP's response costs linked to the huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill have risen to about US$930 million. This figure is expected to increase further.

Cost of cleanup, investors offloading BP's shares and antitrust implications to come is certainly going to take a big hit on BP financial status.

Good luck to BP.

SQL Server: "Error '15023' User or role already exists in the current database" when you perform restore database from backup

When you are restoring a Microsoft SQL Server database (.bak) from backup, you may run into "Error '15023' User or role already exists in the current database" when you use the "User Mapping" SQL Management Studio functionality to allow necessary user permissions to the new database. This is puzzling enough since a database backup should bring us back to the original state. This is caused by Security Identification numbers (SID) that are mismatched or 'orphaned' in the sysusers table.

To resolve this problem, we need to make use of the SQL Server stored procedure sp_change_users_login.
--Run it with a single parameter 'Report' to get a listing of abandoned user names and corresponding SIDs exec sp_change_users_login Report --'Update_One' as 1st parameter will reconnect a single login exec sp_change_users_login Update_One, 'MyLogin', 'MyLogin'

Muslim version of Facebook named 'Millatfacebook' launched

Pakistanis outraged with Facebook over 'blasphemous' caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed have created a spin-off networking site that they dream can connect the world's 1.6 billion Muslims. The new social networking site is a project spearheaded by a group of six young IT professionals from Lahore. These young lads must have seen this as a great opportunity to earn recognition and big bucks.


The new 'Facebook' really-lookalike muslim version is named 'Millatfacebook'. When I say really-lookalike, I am very serious about it.

What is Singapore Government Metadata Standard (SGMS)?

As quoted from Info-communications Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore website, the Singapore Government Metadata Standard (SGMS) is
The SGMS serves to enhance the accuracy of search results obtained for searches on government-wide information and services on the Internet. Searches done through an SGMS-based search engine and user interface will provide for an integrated approach for the public to reach government e-services conveniently and effectively. The search engine known as the "Singapore Government Online Search" is available on http://www.gov.sg.

7 Personality Types of Developers Today

Developers have peculiar traits and habits of their own. The following article looks at 7 types of developers today and their defining characteristics.
The Self-Help ConstructorThe Experienced Old ManThe Hardcore GeekThe Scholarly Know-It-AllThe NinjaThe Clever AmbassadorThe Half-Cup Speedster
Who are you? I think I am a mixture of The Self-Help Constructor, The Hardcore Geek and The Ninja.

7 Personality Types of Developers Today [via]

Nitro PDF Reader Provides Advanced PDF Tools for Free

Nitro Reader offers features and functionality far beyond typical free PDF readers, and makes working with PDF easier than ever before. Some of the exciting free features include creating PDF files from plain documents, annotating and filling in existing PDFs, extracting images, and leaving notes. All these come free!

Nitro PDF Reader: The PDF reader, reimagined.

Nitro Reader
http://www.nitroreader.com/

Android 2.2 'Froyo' Coming to Droid, EVO 4G

So far, Android 2.2 is released only to the new Nexus One handsets. However, a spokesman from Motorola commented that the new OS will be available to Droid by Motorola as a software upgrade in the coming months. Likewise for HTC, all HTC phones, which includes Desire and Droid Incredible, launched this year will most likely at some point receive the Android 2.2 update.

Android 2.2 'Froyo' Coming to Droid, EVO 4G [via]

Android 2.2 Froyo Favourite Features

Some of the cool new Android 2.2 (codenamed Froyo) features are as follows:

Portable Hotspot and USB TetheringSelect Text on Web Pages, in EmailFlash AdvanceGmail Auto-AdvanceTwitter IntegrationDrop-out MenusImproved Application ManagerBetter Camera ControlsJavaScript-Heavy Webapps Work Well
Android 2.2 Screenshots: Our Favorite Features in Froyo [via]

Introducing Adobe Reader for Android

After releasing Flash Player for Android, Adobe launches a PDF reader for Android. The applications is available in the Android Market and it can be installed only if your phone runs Android 2.1 or later and it has at least 256 MB of RAM and a 550 MHz processor.

Adobe Reader for Android offers multi-touch gestures, like pinch-and-zoom, as well as double-tap-zoom, flick-scrolling and panning. We've also added a "reflow" mode, which will take text-heavy documents with wide margins, and automatically wrap the content for easy viewing on smaller screens.
According to Adobe, supported devices include Motorola Droid, Motorola Milestone & Google Nexus One. However, the list is not limited to only those Android devices since the other devices are not yet tested.

Introducing Adobe Reader for Android [via]

Google Secure Search

It is now possible to search using Google securely over SSL. To do that, you will need to go to https://www.google.com/ (with the https).

PAC-MAN on Google rules forever!

In celebration of Pac-Man's 30th anniversary, Google on Friday converted its doodle to a playable version of the arcade classic. This feature is set to be a permanent one after overwhelming popularity.

To access the Google PAC-Man page, go to http://www.google.com/Pacman. To play in single player mode, click "Insert Coin" once. For two-player mode, click it twice instead.

PAC-MAN rules! [via]

IETester: Browser Compatibility Check for Internet Explorer Versions from 5.5 to 9

This particular post is especially useful for web developers facing the need to ensure websites look presentable across multiple browsers. IETester is a free WebBrowser that does just that. It allows you to have the rendering and javascript engines of IE9 preview, IE8, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Windows 7, Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same process.

Wait no more and try IETester now!

Windows 7 Activation Error (0x8007232B)

If you get the error 0x8007232B when you try to activate Windows 7, do not panic and try the below commands using Command Prompt (remember to run in Administrator mode):

slmgr.vbs -ipk [your product key] slmgr.vbs -ato

Create a Self-Signed Server Certificate in IIS 7

The following article by Microsoft Technet details the steps as to how to create a self-signed server certificate (SSL) in IIS 7. A self-signed certificate is an identity certificate that is signed by its own creator, which means, the person that created the certificate also signed off on its legitimacy.

Create a Self-Signed Server Certificate in IIS 7 [via]

More Than Just an Oil Spill

The New York Times
May 21, 2010

The warm, soft winds coming in off the gulf have lost their power to soothe. Anxiety is king now — all along the coast.

“You can’t sleep no more; that’s how bad it is,” said John Blanchard, an oyster fisherman whose life has been upended by the monstrous oil spill fouling an enormous swath of the Gulf of Mexico. He shook his head. “My wife and I have got two kids, 2 and 7. We could lose everything we’ve been working all of our lives for.”

I was standing on a gently rocking oyster boat with Mr. Blanchard and several other veteran fishermen who still seemed stunned by the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. Instead of harvesting oysters, they were out on the water distributing oil retention booms and doing whatever else they could to bolster the coastline’s meager defenses against the oil making its way ominously and relentlessly, like an invading army, toward the area’s delicate and heartbreakingly vulnerable wetlands.

A fisherman named Donny Campo tried to hi…

Google celebrates PAC-MAN’s 30th birthday with an innovative animated Doodle

Google celebrates PAC-MAN's 30th birthday with an innovative animated doodle (Google Search Logo). Seeing an animated doodle is rare.


The above shows all the icons used to make the animation possible.

Celebrating PAC-MAN’s 30th birthday [via]

Sold off 1,000 out of X number of my ST Engineering shares

Amidst the current market frenzy due to market speculation of a likely Great Depression 2, overall market sentiment is on the downside risk. The European Union's (EU) effort to cough out $1 trillion to save Greece's huge debt created questionable doubts as to how such huge amount can be raised. $1 trillion rescue aid may be able to buy time and this economic measure must be constantly reviewed. Will there be more European countries like Greece? Is deflation coming?

Needless to say, all these negative news resulted in global financial markets to plunge free fall. I managed to sell off 1,000 out of my X number of ST Engineering shares yesterday to lock in some decent profit.

Microsoft reworked Hotmail to challenge Google Gmail

It now seems that Google has a lot to work on to catch up with Microsoft Hotmail.

The New Hotmail Challenges Gmail [via]

Worldwide Mobile Market Share

According to Gartner, worldwide mobile market share is as follows.
Symbian (44.3% down from 48.8%)BlackBerry (19.4% down slightly from 20.6%)iPhone (15.4% up from 10.5%)Android (9.6% up from just 1.6%)Windows Mobile (6.8% down from 10.2%)

我香港與臺北的行程

12 May (香港)
荃灣的中原商場以及鄰里的街坊
12 May (臺北)
士林夜市
13 May (新竹市)
六福村主題樂園
13 May (臺北)
五分埔蘭州公園 (臨時安排的) - 好多青蛙与螢火蟲
14 May (臺北)
南門市場中正紀念堂西門町西盛的新树教会 (公车坐错了方向把我們帶到了終點站的西盛)國立國父紀念館 (只看到大門因為當時已經11點晚上了)
15 May (基市)
基隆市廟口
15 May (瑞芳鎮)
九份
15 May (臺北)
淡水的情人橋與 漁人碼頭士林夜市 (包括附近的街)
16 May (臺北)
機場
16 May (香港)
機場

Bangkok in Darkness

A night of curfew in Bangkok while the Thai government carried out their crackdown operation against 'Red Shirts' has seen streets of Bangkok in an unfamiliar darkness.

Back from a good rest

I am just back from a good reasonably long rest from 9 to 16 May 2010. 9 to 11 May was spent in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and 12 to 16 May was in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Luggage weight: 8.9kg → 19.1kg → 23.9kg

Google To Add Tethering, Wifi Hotspot To Android 2.2 Froyo

"Froyo", the next version of the Android 2.2 smartphone operating system expected to be released next week, will pack in more than just big compiling speed improvements, fragmentation fixes and full Flash support. It could also include built-in USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot sharing, allowing everyone around you to share your mobile data connection with your laptop, something no one in the market has yet to offer.

Well done to Google.

Google To Add Tethering, Wifi Hotspot To Android 2.2 Froyo [via]

Google Goggles can now translate text

Google Goggles, launched last year, is one of the new wave of augmented-reality apps that combine a smartphone camera with a layer of data, giving you more information about what you're seeing. Snap a photo and then feed it to Google Googles to get to it recognized and return search results on it, or get it translated.


Translate the real world with Google Goggles [via]

Dolphin Browser HD - A must-have app for Android

Dolphin Browser HD is a brand new version of Dolphin Browser, the most popular browser on Android market. This browser is only applicable on Android 2.0+ platform.

Some of its features are:
Versatile Add-onsMulti-touch Pinch ZoomThumbnails Flick MenuTabbed BrowsingYouTube DownloaderGesture URL CommanderBookmarks Sorting

Android Now Outselling iPhone

Image by LifeHacker
In the first quarter of 2010, Android handsets accounted for 28% of smartphone sales, beating out iPhone OS and its 21% share.

Android Now Outselling iPhone [via]

Dow Jones plunged almost 1,000 points or 10% on intraday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) plunged almost 1,000 points or 10% on intraday on Thursday before making a quick recovery shortly after to end at 10,520.32 points, or lower of 347.80 points (3.20%).

What could have really happened in the short 20 minutes 2:40 and 3:00 p.m, sparking off major sell-off on almost all counters? About US$700 billion of U.S. stock-market value was erased in less than 10 minutes, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Reports coming out is saying it was due to a stock market trading error. Citigroup is investigating a rumour that one of its traders entered a trade that helped precipitate a drop of almost 1,000 points.

This is pretty scary.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs post on why a 'NO' to Adobe Flash

Reading through the letter by Apple's Steve Jobs on his refusal to include Adobe Flash on iPhone, iPad and iPod really makes me feel the closed Apple's architecture a "hypocrite".

Apple claimed that Flash is closed and proprietary and thus has several technical drawbacks. I thought Apple is equally closed? Developers are not allowed to use third party toolkits; users have to go through iTunes to purchase or download applications; Apple's Quicktime is closed and proprietary; and many more.

I applaud Google's openness and their support for Adobe Flash. Credit has to be given to Microsoft new Windows Phone too for their soon-to-come support for Flash. We should embrace openness to instill creativity and innovation.

Thoughts on Flash [via]

Google Chrome released fastest beta to date for Windows, Mac and Linux

Today’s new beta Google Chrome release incorporates one of its most significant speed and performance increases to date.

Their speed tests were filmed at actual web page rendering times, watching web pages load at 2700 frames per second.

Making the Google Chrome Speed Tests

Indeed a creative method to measure loading speed.

Pedal to the Chrome metal: Our fastest beta to date for Windows, Mac and Linux [via]

Docs.com allow you to create and share Microsoft Office docs via Facebook

Now you can discover, create, and share Microsoft Office documents with your Facebook friends. Built using Microsoft Office 2010 – Docs for Facebook lets you work from just about anywhere with the familiar Office experience.

I thought this looks pretty cool except my worry on privacy issues (if any).

Microsoft, Facebook launch Docs.com [via]

See What Facebook Publicly Publishes About You

With Facebook's new Open Graph API causing a privacy issue debate, many people are questioning what Facebook is publishing to the public. With the new API, one can do a simple data mining to mine private information.

Developer Ka-Ping Yee has created a simple tool that shows you what everyone else can see.


To check your profile for public information released to the open, all you need to do is type in your Facebook ID using the tool. Your ID is either in the form of string or some running numbers. Alternatively, you can search for your name or email address. Click on any of the metadata connection links to view any information you could have leaked unintentionally. To hide such information, go to Privacy Settings page on Facebook and set a tighter privacy setting.

What does Facebook publish about you and your friends? [via]

Pdfcrowd: Converts websites and HTML into PDF documents online

Online PDF converter, Pdfcrowd, converts any websites or an uploaded HTML file into PDF document format easily with a variety of options. The options include the ability to set margins, encrypt files using username and password pair, or disable copying and printing.
Pdfcrowd
http://pdfcrowd.com/

SMRT disposes remaining stake in Transit Link

SMRT announced that it has completed the disposal of its remaining interest in Transit Link.
SMRT announced that it has completed the disposal of its 50% shareholding interest in the issued and paid-up share capital of Transit Link Pte Ltd ("Transit Link") to the Land Transport Authority ("LTA") for a cash consideration based on 50% of the audited net asset value of Transit Link as at 31 March 2010.

Transit Link is a Transit Acquirer for the public transport fare collection system. As the LTA has been assigned to take on the role of Transit Acquirer by the Minister for Transport, it has been mutually agreed that the sale of Transit Link to the LTA would serve the interests of all parties involved.
SMRT disposes remaining stake in Transit Link [via]

Google bought BumpTop, 3D Desktop

Google bought BumpTop, an interesting software that replaces your computer's desktop with an intuitive 3D environment where you can quickly organize your files. With this acquisition, Google is expected to add onto this 3D Desktop capability to its Android or Chrome OS. This looks like it could be a great way to make the very valuable screen real estate more manageable.

Google's Android and Chrome OS can only go better!

BumpTop 3D Desktop Prototype (MUST SEE)

CPF contribution to be raised by 1% point this year

The employer's contribution to the CPF, a national pension fund, will go up by one per cent to 15.5 percent. This will bring the overall contribution rate to 35.5 per cent. The restoration will be done in two steps. 0.5 per cent from September, paid into the Medisave Account and another 0.5 per cent from March next year, paid into the Special Account. There is no top ups to the Ordinary Account as it's deemed enough to meet housing needs.

Changes to CPF Contribution Rates [via]

Like this Universal Studios Singapore photo

Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew named top 100 most influential thinker by Time Magazine

Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew was named top 100 most influential thinker by Time Magazine.

View the complete list here.

Red shirts raid on Chulalongkorn Hospital is a bit too much

I personally feel the Thais' red shirts raid on Chulalongkorn Hospital is a bit too much. They suspected soldiers using the hospital as their base. The raid had resulted in several inconveniences to patients and may cause unimaginable life threatening consequences on patients in need of surgery.

An article titled "Let's just hope the reds don't ever fall sick" talks on how a Thai editor feels about the raid.