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Showing posts from January, 2010

Toyota just fumbled the ball in the red zone

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…

工作真头痛

工作上压力大但没人能分担。这是因为工作太专门太秘密保密的后果。手上的两个工程都一样,没人能帮我。我一但不在它们就真的停工了。

刚过去的星期一至五,我上了一项5天的全天课程。人虽不在公司但不断的收到工作有关的简讯。昨天的周末,我一人到了工作岗位,花了6个钟头,只能把下个星期他们要的百分之25做好。每逢星期一至三,因晚上有课,我是不可能待在公司太迟的。真纳闷。

Impressed by Obama's warm interaction with the Americans

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.

Although the video below is…

Take part in Class Action Suit against wrong-doings of American financial institutions to recoup losses

From Class action in America:

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.

4D3N Tokyo

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)

Shall turn down tuition on Statistics

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.

It's time to say No.

5 days on course = 5 days no work

5 days on course
= 5 days no work
= 7 work-related SMSes
= 1 Saturday burnt tomorrow
= 1 Sunday burnt? (NO WAY)

I shall make a trip down to my lab to try to clear as much stuff as possible. 2 projects so happen to be back in full horsepower yet again.

So, unlucky!

Current stock portfolio

Cambridge Industrial Trust [J91U]Koh Brothers Group Limited [K75]Mapletree Logistics Trust [M44U]Neptune Orient Lines Limited [N03]Parkway Holdings Limited [P27]Singapore Exchange Limited [S68]Singapore Technologies Engineering Limited [S63]SMRT Corporation Limited [S53]UMS Holdings Limited [558]RED means currently at paper loss.

Market correction looks to be over very soon.

Added Cambridge Industrial Trust to my stock portfolio

Did my second buy transaction for the week and all during my course! HAHA..

The latest addition to my stock portfolio, Cambridge Industrial Trust, is in line to my long term high dividend yield strategy. The current yield for Cambridge is at 11.876%.

BTW, they are distributing dividends of S$0.01377 per unit, which is approximately 3% for only one quarter.

Alright.. Need a break for new cash injection.

Thanks for borrowing 2 books for me

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 :)

开始变老的时候。。。

当你发现开始喜欢孩子的时候,也就是你开始变老的时候。
我已老了。

Add on:

以上不代表我一路来都不喜欢小孩。
我只是想说现在我可能更对小孩之间的对话更有兴趣了。

What are Sundries Account?

An account in a sales ledger or purchase ledger for recording things bought or sold from companies who are not regular customers or suppliers and who therefore do not need their own separate accounts.

Source: Financial Times Lexicon

Erm.. I think I gave the wrong definition two weeks ago, during a Principles of Accounts tuition session.

Disgusted by the "bazaar malam" financial advisers

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.

Warren and Bill Discuss the Economic Crisis

Watch my two idols (偶像), Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, discussing on some of the effects that the economic crisis is having on poor countries, international aid, and the value of money.

This video reminds me watching a separate interview, involving Warren Buffett and Bill Gates on CNN, in Somerset Lake Point Bangkok last month.

NOTE: You will require Microsoft Silverlight plugin to be able to watch the below video.

Warren and Bill Discuss the Economic Crisis
http://www.thegatesnotes.com/Conversations/specialfeature.aspx?id=83

My product review on Apple new iPad tablet

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?

Given tablet tagged together w…

Bought UMS Holdings

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…

Why is Google the God?

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.

The Church of Google [via]

Asian markets mostly ended lower

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…

Proposed study claims to confirm Mona Lisa's true identity

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

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]

Algorithmic mode ON!

Brain needs to be fully functional and stretched to its limit. It has to be when I am not seeing daylight MOST of the weekdays on my way home.

Algorithmic mode ON!

Social Studies to be made compulsory

It is currently being discussed that Social Studies subject may be made compulsory and is to be examinable in primary school level.

I thought a conference paper titled Social Studies in Singapore: Contradiction and Control, presented in 2005, is rather interesting.

I quote two paragraphs from the paper below:

"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…

容祖兒 -- 這就是愛嗎

容祖兒 -- 這就是愛嗎

詞:王雅君+林秋離 曲:林俊傑

你確定這就是愛嗎
真的愛我嗎
手牽著手漫步斜陽 就當作浪漫

兩個人眺望遠方
以爲愛的晴朗
當我回頭望 卻 已淚濕了眼眶

當夕陽變成星光 當愛情換了方向
你一如過往 對愛太緊張
但未來又會怎樣
未知的明天總讓我徬徨
誰給我力量

我不怕你 愛不愛我
只害怕你 以為愛我
抓緊我 不算擁有 你總學不會放手
我不怕你 不懂愛我
只怕你 把習慣 當作愛
你猜不透 我要什麼

喔 你猜不透 我要什麼

Impending opportunity?

Looking for an impending opportunity after the stock market corrected for more than 5 per cent in a week.

A market is said to have corrected if indices fall by 10 per cent.

Max/Min error Mathematics problem

Question

Given an equation R = PQ, whereby P and Q has a max error of 2% and 5% respectively, what is the maximum positive and maximum negative error of R?

Answer

Max:

R = 1.02P * 1.05Q = 1.071PQ
Max % = (1.071 - 1) * 100 = 7.1%

Min:

R = 0.98P * 0.95Q = 0.931PQ
Min % = (0.931 - 1) * 100 = -6.9%

Finally secured training on OOAD

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.

FORMER Malaysian premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad said 9/11 WTC collapse was staged

A tragedy made into a sensitive issue when Dr Mahathir remarked the 9/11 WTC collapse was staged as an excuse to launch an attach against the Muslim world.

I should not comment further and thought the voices or actions of the Malaysians in the days to come will reinforce what I expected.

World peace seems to get further and further each day.

WTC collapse too clean: Dr M [via]

Statement to all new graduates of NIE

Statement to all new graduates of NIE:

“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.

Sold off Epure for good

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) extreme volatile trading

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

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.

It’s…

A bumpy date with cumulonimbus clouds

Pilot: Cabin, take-off station

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…

Investment on Mapletree Logistics Trust for the long term is justifiable

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 …

An observation made on wipers on cars

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.

Just my guess.

Flight trial 9th & 10th

Flight trial 9th and 10th are scheduled to take off at 1330hr and 0930hr respectively. After going through so many flight trials, I must say they are getting really boring! HAHA..

Erm.. But I still hope to spot something interesting or experience something different for my 9th one when I made my first evening time landing with them.

Very tempted to sell Epure International

In just a ONE day, Epure International share price rose 9.77 per cent to close at $0.955 from $0.875. A week ago, its share price was hovering at $0.800.

This means, my gain on Epure International has breached 50 per cent to be my best performer. I am really very tempted to cash out the profit.

High level of brain activity equal insomnia

It's almost 3am but ...

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.

Can someone put me to sleep, a long one?

多寻欢乐少寻烦之寺

As created by a friend.

人生在世本不易
世上愁事有万千
开心的事常回忆
痛苦的事早忘记
人生短短几十年
多寻欢乐少寻烦
别跟自己过不去

Erm.. I will need weeks or months to write a short one myself.

Fengshui forecast for the Rooster in the year 2010

The ROOSTER - Good year

Intro: There are 2 lucky stars and 4 bad ones.

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.

Health:

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.

Singapore government donates US$50,000 for Haiti

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]

信心回来了!

我终于找回自己的信心了吧。

2010年的第一天,我告诉自己再也不能像这几个月懒懒散散,失去人生目标的我了。以前富有自信上进心的宏俊在哪了?

虽然给自己的第一个任务考PMP文凭实现了成绩不是说很理想,但这已能给失去方向的我一个很好的开始。成绩平平就满足了吗?不!

人生如果没有起有落就不是人生了吧。每个人都会有低潮的时候。世界一直都在变不是吗?回想看看这世界有更多千千万万的人过得比我辛苦的,我真的算很信服了。例如,海地(Haiti)的大地震而留下万人无家可归,失去亲人悲惨的命运,我算什么嘛。有什么比生死更大?

如果要过一条河,因该想办法如何过还是去逃避呢?与其绕个大圈走冤枉路再倒退建桥过河,不如现在就做好决定面对吧。

前几天,我托一位朋友帮我查在柔佛新山哪里有可靠的租车公司,我真的想一人在没有忙忙碌碌城市生活的空间好好的反省。我那位朋友说了一句 “let me be your passenger” 感动了我。回想那时的我真的很冲动很可笑。是我吗?

这句《自己的路是自己走的》老套的话大家都知道,可是真的去应用它不是件容易的事。我一向来都相信一人若是有决心,有目标并能胜任。以前的我是这样,将来的我也一定做得到。

我已铺好我该走的路了。除了刚快把书念完,我也想考几张门课,为我很有可能转行当理工学院讲师或中小学老师的心愿前进。当然理工学院讲师还是首选的选择吧。

放马过来吧!

You are a PMP in good standing

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 customercare@pmi.org if you have questions or concerns.

Thank you,

PMI Customer Care

The next step will be how do I maintain my credentials and make sure it is renewable every year. Erm..

One-time lucky today

I have to admit it was sheer luck to pass today's exam paper. Without luck, I wouldn't have passed two papers in as many weeks.

All in all, I spent only less than 24 hours preparing for today's 4 hours 200 MCQs paper. My preparation hours were clocked on trains while travelling and a full night before the lucky day.

The paper is categorised into six domain areas and out of the six, I scored "Moderately proficient" (average) for five and "Below proficient" (below average) for one of them.

Phew!

Short getaway?

Any budget place to visit during the Chinese New Year short break? Erm.. Thinking of planning one from 13 to 16 Feb 2010 if there is a place somewhere that is affordable.

Short ones: Bali, Ho Chi Minh, Siem Reap, Hanoi, Bangkok, or ...? Hmm... But all look ex.

Unsubscribed 19 out of 45 subscribed RSS feeds

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 :)

Cleaned.

The magic Six-ers

1. Today's date

20100111
= 2 + 0 + 1 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 1
= 6

2. Module code for today's lecture

5258
= Abs(5 + 2 - 5 - 8)
= 6

OR

5258
= Abs(52 - 58)
= 6

Mr Brown reply to McDonalds omitting of zodiac pig character incident

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.

JAL likely to undergo some form of court-led restructuring

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?

Twitter is over capacity again

BTW, follow me on twitter @ http://twitter.com/hongjun

Hate doing server installation

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..

SpeedPost has a challenger

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…

McDonalds omit zodiac pig character from their new toy set

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.

McDonalds pulls pig toy [via]

UOB selling life assurance unit to focus on core banking business

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.

Pruden…

In Year of the Tiger, look out for black swans

Insightful.

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…

Modules selection for coming semester

It is very likely that I may take the below 3 modules for the coming semester provided I manage to ballot for them next week.

CS5258 - Information Security Policies (Mon) - 3.5/5.0 difficulty
CS5322 - Databases Security (Tue) - 5.0/5.0 difficulty
CS4236 - Principles of Computer Security (Wed) - 3.5/5.0 difficulty

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 will survive.

CEO of YOG says SingPost's intent of "acts of vandalism" on mailboxes is right!

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]

陈绮贞 -- 送别

陈绮贞演唱经典歌曲《送别》。台湾限量发行。

送別

作詞:李叔同/可樂王 作曲:約翰奧德威

長亭外 古道邊 芳草碧連天
晚風拂柳笛聲殘 夕陽山外山

天之涯 地之角 知交半零落
一觚濁酒盡餘歡 今宵別夢寒

美麗的 燕子啊 哭泣泥娃娃
蜻蜓飛過夾竹桃 神仙不見了

小斑馬 薔薇花 牧羊的原野
群鳥翱翔的天際 歲月靜流逝

韶光逝 留無計 今日卻分袂
驪歌一曲送別離 相顧卻依依

聚雖好 別雖悲 世事堪玩味
來日後會相予期 去去莫遲疑