Tuesday, July 31, 2007

floAt's Mobile Agent

FMA is a free1 powerful phone editing tool allowing users to easily manage all of the personal data stored in their phones, via a number of different connections methods. FMA allows easy management of Phonebook (both SIM and Phone memory), SMS, Profiles, and Files stored on the phone. FMA can also allow you to pickup and dial calls directly from your PC. FMA is fun and much more; whatever you want it to be, it is whatever a mobile phone should have.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

Foxit Reader to be in Google Pack

I am already using Foxit Reader and in fact, it is my default PDF viewer. It loads pretty quick and does not "hang" my browser when a PDF file attempts to load.

More info on Foxit Reader

Monday, July 23, 2007

Google AJAX Search for iPhone Available

Search Crystal (New Search Concept In Visualisation)

SearchCrystal is an interesting way in searching for information. It uses results from different search engines and formulate them to come out with a visual effect. Results common to more search engines are formed closer to the centre of the circle.

A simple search on keyword "Loh Hon Chun" gives me below.

Got A Letter From Google!

I received a letter from Google today :)
I always keep letters sent from overseas e.g. Experts-Exchange, Google, e.t.c.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

RecordExit Event Unavailable in Microsoft Access 2002

I answered this question recently.

"MS Access help talks about a form event called RecordExit, but I can't find it on the form property sheet."

"Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article."

3,110 Questions Answered (Short of 40 More)

Challenge for myself is set to be at 3,150 questions answered by end of July 2007.
At present, it is now 3,110 and am short of 40 more.


Are You Technologically Useful?

Not too good. Starting from the year 0, you might be able to advance civlization to the 10th century.

I got 4 correct answers out of 10.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Users Report Gaining Access to Random Google Accounts

Those who experienced this problem are students from Singapore's NUS and NTU. What could be the problem?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Make your laptop a hot spot

Rich DeMuro shows you how to share an Internet connection, using the Wi-Fi on your Windows XP, Vista, or Mac laptop.



Got My Salary Adjusted

I just got my salary reviewed and adjusted :)

I will be getting slightly higher annual income from my current company if I get 3 months bonus as compared to my previous company if I were to get 6 months from them. I guess I will be using this to make myself feel better because I know my previous company has the culture of giving generous bonuses to employees. However, I doubt 6 months is not likely this time round for my previous company.

Credit Card Even for Those Without Income

Citi Clear Card is the first credit card with no minimum income requirement. Whether you’re a tertiary student, serving your national service or if you’ve already started work, Citi Clear Card keeps up with your pace of life, offering you privileges around the clock. However, this card's credit limit is capped at $500.

From today's papers, OCBC and UOB will be launching their own version soon.

Is the goverment's decision in relaxing this rule wise? Will this end up encouraging students or those having annual income less than $30K using future money? Will this end up having more people defaulting credit card payments?

IMHO, this move is more towards a business/commercial one than one that considers social impact.

BAD MOVE! And it's EVIL!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

F1 Ticket Pricing In Singapore Estimated To Be...

Singapore 1st ever F1 race in year 2008 is priced from S$50 to S$7,000! It's so darn expensive.

How To Remove Recent Project List On Visual Studio 2005 Start Page

To clear the Recent project list from Visual Studio 2005, do the following

  1. Click Start Menu
  2. Click Run
  3. Type regedit
  4. Click OK button.
  5. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\ProjectMRUList
  6. Delete unnecessary list.

Finally Got My EE T-Shirt

After months waiting for my EE T-Shirt, it finally is here all the way from the US. The T-Shirt is for my Active Server Pages Sage Rank.

2 more awaits me for my Microsoft SQL Server and VB.NET Master Rank. I will need to wait another few months for these 2.

Monday, July 16, 2007

3,090 Questions Answered

To date, I have answered a total of 3,090 IT technical questions in Experts-Exchange. I hope to push myself further and make it to 3,150 by end of this month. I know it is going to be tough but I just want to give it a shot.

Implementing Waiting Pages in ASP.NET

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Vulnerabilities in .NET Framework Could Allow Remote Code Execution

This update resolves three privately reported vulnerabilities. Two of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution on client systems with .NET Framework installed, and one could allow information disclosure on Web servers running ASP.NET. In all remote code execution cases, users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

This security update addresses two vulnerabilities by modifying the way .NET Framework addresses buffer allocation.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Independent Financial Advisers Or Other FA

I am writing this post to show my perception of Independent Financial Advisers (IFA) and representives of tied Financial Advisers (FA).

Independent FAs are able to advise consumers on a wide range of investment products from various product providers. Only FAs who can clearly show that they do not have financial or commercial links with product providers that may influence their recommendations to consumers can use the term "independent". He should have no direct or indirect commercial arrangements with product providers that will create product bias and should operate freely from any form of product restriction. A IFA provides service like Cash Flow and Budgeting, Income Replacement Planning, Children’s Tertiary Education Planning, Home Loan and Debt Financing, Retirement Planning, Savings and Investment Planning, Tax Planning, Estate Analysis and Planning, and Corporate Risk Management. Financial consultants from exempt FAs such as banks and insurance companies are barred from using this term as they contravene at least one of these key considerations. Representatives of tied FAs, on the other hand, can only recommend products of selected product providers that the FAs are tied to.

Since there's no sales quota to meet set by product providers, IFA is possible to represent the interests of client's first instead of product provider's. Instead, they may have more bargaining power with product providers since they are not tied to them and can move to another product should they are less competitive. With the IFA in place to research and compare products from various product providers, product providers must constantly innovate to create better products. IFAs can pick the best combination of products from different companies to create best value for their clients, with different companies having different strengths in different areas.

So ask yourself this question - "Who has a wider range of products?". If you were to buy fried kway teow, would it be better to limit yourself to Ang Mo Kio area or would it have been better if you have the whole Singapore's eateries to choose from? I bet the answer is clear and obvious.

As IFA are independently owned, their marketing budget is smaller. In order to survive long term, they will need to provide quality service and advice. They grow through word-of-mouth effect. Part of the positive client experience is attributable to client education. Meaning to say, IFA actually educate clients on how what is financial planning. Follow-up services like periodic portfolio reviews (often 6 months interval), with rebalancing of investment portfolio and investment objectives, also goes a long way in building client's confidence.

IFAs renumeration structure comes in various models. There is the traditional transaction-based pure commission model where the IFA earns a cut from the upfront fee or sales charge from the products sold, or the fee-only model where all commissions from product providers are rebated to the client and the IFA only collects a fixed fee. There is also a mixture of fees and commission, or the "wrap account" model. The "wrap account" model is seen to align the interests of both the IFA and the clients by tying the IFA's renumeration to the client investment portfolio's performance. This wrap account method encompasses an annual recurring fee for managing the client's portfolio. The annual wrap fees are calculated as a percentage of the total value of the investment portfolio. Therefore, if the client's investment portfolio value increases, so will the IFA's remuneration. This model also provides "free switching" where client can switch funds without incurring any transaction cost. This helps to promote active rebalancing. For your information, there will be a switching fee incurred if you switch from one fund to the other through other FA. Thus, such a structure ensures that the client's long term interests are well taken care of by the IFA as the IFA will be rewarded for growing the client's investment portfolio value.

Needless to say, not all companies are strong in all areas and not all companies will offer all the services. For example, only 5 companies namely AIA, Prudential, Great Eastern (GE), Aviva, and NTUC Income provide Health Shield plans. Other companies like AsiaLife, HSBC Insurance, etc. do not provide Health Shield plans. Let's say if there's a product in AsiaLife or HSBC is good, would it be better if you buy from a AsiaLife or HSBC agent or a IFA? If you were to buy from a IFA, then the same IFA will be able to service you Health Shield plans since he is also qualified to sell them. In other words, you will only have 1 point of contact. There's no need to engage different agents to buy from different companies.

The trend of IFA in Singapore is obvious and is currently moving in the direction of UK and US. For your information, even a substantial portion of Prudential (UK-based company) plans sold in UK are actually by IFA. Who knows one day Singapore will be like UK and US.

I definitely want someone who will be able to do long term financial planning and not someone who come and leave after a deal is closed. IFA or other FA? You decide.

Disclaimer: I agree on the above statements and this does not mean you will have to agree with me.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The New Seven Wonders of the World

The original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

  1. Great Pyramid of Giza
    • Date of construction: 2650-2500 BC
    • Builder: Egyptians - Built as the tomb of Fourth dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu.
    • Date of destruction: Still standing
    • Cause of destruction: N.A.
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
    • Date of construction: 600 BC
    • Builder: Babylonians - Herodotus claimed the outer walls were 56 miles in length, 80 feet thick and 320 feet high (although some archaeological findings suggest otherwise).
    • Date of destruction: After 1st century BC
    • Cause of destruction: Earthquake
  3. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
    • Date of construction: 550 BC
    • Builder: Lydians, Persians, Greeks - Dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis, it took 120 years to build. Herostratus burned it down in an attempt to achieve lasting fame.
    • Date of destruction: 356 BC
    • Cause of destruction: Arson
  4. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
    • Date of construction: 435 BC
    • Builder: Greeks - Occupied the whole width of the aisle of the temple that was built to house it, and was 40 feet (12 meters) tall.
    • Date of destruction: 5th-6th centuries AD
    • Cause of destruction: Dismantled by Christian rulers to discourage paganism
  5. Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus
    • Date of construction: 351 BC
    • Builder: Persians, Greeks - Stood approximately 45 meters (135 feet) tall with each of the four sides adorned with sculptural reliefs. Origin of the word mausoleum.
    • Date of destruction: by AD 1494
    • Cause of destruction: Damaged by an earthquake and eventually disassembled by European Crusaders
  6. Colossus of Rhodes
    • Date of construction: 292-280 BC
    • Builder: Hellenistic Greece - A giant statue of the Greek god Helios roughly 3/4ths as large as today's Statue of Liberty in New York.
    • Date of destruction: 224 BC
    • Cause of destruction: Earthquake
  7. Lighthouse of Alexandria
    • Date of construction: 3rd century BC
    • Builder: Hellenistic Egypt - Between 115 and 135 meters (383 - 440 ft) tall it was among the tallest man-made structures on Earth for many centuries.
    • Date of destruction: AD 1303-1480
    • Cause of destruction: Earthquake
New 7 Wonders of the World
  1. The Pyramid at Chichén Itzá (before 800 A.D.) Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico [ Details ]
  2. Christ Redeemer (1931) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [ Details ]
  3. The Great Wall of China (220 B.C and 1368 - 1644 A.D.) China [ Details ]
  4. Machu Picchu (1460-1470), Peru [ Details ]
  5. Petra (9 B.C. - 40 A.D.), Jordan [ Details ]
  6. The Roman Colosseum (70 - 82 A.D.) Rome, Italy [ Details ]
  7. The Taj Mahal (1630 A.D.) Agra, India [ Details ]
Official Site for the New 7 Wonders of the World: http://www.new7wonders.com/

Saturday, July 07, 2007

55 Essential Articles Every Serious Blogger Should Read

Is It OK For Google To Own Us?

Do not be evil.

Zoho Vs Google

While Google is still in the midst of finishing their Word Processor, Spreadsheet and Slide Show, an Indian company already have them and in fact, they have more! Zoho is the one

Zoho Official Site

Zoho has an upperhand over Google with their MsAccess version - Zoho Creator. It is pretty cool. They even offer an option to embed forms on your own website / blog. For a demonstration, watch their 2 min video at http://static.zoho.com/creator/v2/collateral/gettingstarted/index.html

Linux Considering Moving From VI/EMACS to Eclipse

I thought this is a great decision. VI, VIM or EMACS have been the standard for decades when it comes to doing programming on Linux.

Shocking News On WWE Superstar Chris Benoit

Investigators have now reconstructed in detail how they believe the horror unfolded in the Benoits' once-peaceful dream house — resulting in the death of Chris' wife Nancy, 43, and son Daniel, 7.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Backup Your Blogger

It's possible now!

The Blogger Backup utility is intended to be a simple utility to backup to local disk your Blogger posts. This tool allows both full backup as well as incremental backup.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

iPhones Dissected in Minutes Out of Curiosity

Ifixit.com, an Apple parts and repair guide site, conducted one of the most sophisticated dismantlings, posting dozens of high-quality photos alongside technical commentary.

"They've done some things that are above and beyond. They did some very innovative things," site cofounder Kyle Wiens said of the iPhone's manufacture.

Their efforts yielded a few nuggets of information. The iPhone boasts a main processor and memory chips from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., an audio-processing chip from Britain's Wolfson Microelectronics Plc and a Wi-fi wireless chip from Marvell Technology Group Ltd.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

SAP Sued By Oracle And SAP Admits Wrongdoings

Long long story cut short:

The roots of the down-on-the-ground grappling between SAP, of Waldorff, Germany, and Oracle run deep. While steadfast partners on the database front—a majority of SAP's customers run their software on Oracle's database technology—the relationship soured when Oracle embarked on a hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft, the world's second largest business applications developer, in 2004. When Oracle succeeded and acquired PeopleSoft in late 2005 after a bitter battle, SAP acquired TomorrowNow, which provides support for Oracle's applications (not only PeopleSoft, but also JD Edwards and Siebel, which Oracle also acquired).

With the TomorrowNow acquisition, SAP started its "Safe Passage" program that provides third-party support for Oracle applications, at about 50 cents on the dollar.

As soon as SAP acquired TomorrowNow, the gloves between the two companies really came off. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison vowed to get even.

The legal wrangling officially started in March when Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., filed a complaint against SAP claiming "corporate theft on a grand scale." Oracle alleged that SAP, through its third-party support organization, TomorrowNow, hacked into Oracle's applications support systems and illegally downloaded secret product information. In June, Oracle added copyright infringement and breach of contract claims to the suit.

SAP Prepares Response to Oracle Lawsuit

SAP Admits Wrongdoing in Oracle Document Theft Case

New Authentication Method Using Windows Card Space

Windows CardSpace enables users to provide their digital identities in a familiar, secure and easy way. In the physical world we use business cards, credit cards and membership cards. Online with CardSpace we use a variety of virtual cards to identify ourselves, each retrieving data from an identity provider. Don't struggle with usernames and passwords, just choose an information card!

What is Windows Card Space

Secure Your ASP.NET Apps And WCF Services With Windows CardSpace

Individual Assessments: Microsoft Visual Studio

Thought this is quite interesting for those who wish to assess themselves and see where they stand.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Entertainment clubs try to cope with smoking restrictions

At the Ministry of Sound, one of Singapore's biggest clubs, patrons started streaming into one of the five special smoking rooms, which were constructed at a cost of almost a quarter million dollars, for their puffs at the stroke of midnight.

I cannot imagine the Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) level in the smoking rooms when all are in there puffing.


Incident in EE

Something happened in EE today.

I was helping an expert in solving a JSP problem and all in all, I provided direct answers to each and every question he has. However, he gave me a C grade and of course I requested an explanation to the low grade. I definitely deserved an A if not a B for my effort. His reply was "I love C". I then countered him by asking if he would prefer a C grade or an A for his exam paper. His reply again was "C".

I could not accept his explanation and thus posted a request to review the given grade and at the same time requesting a moderator to "teach" him how to behave in EE. Both of us managed to make peace an hour later before a moderator stepped in to interfere. However, my request was sent and there's no way for me to pull back.

Just a few minutes ago, a moderator interfered and got the grade upgraded to A and suspended the offender's account. I didn't know my words carry so much weight and caused a suspension on his account. I quickly made clear that the incident between us was cleared and would like the suspended account to be reinstated. For my words, the account is again reinstated but the moderator has suffered lots of insulting spams from the offender.

I hope for the matter to be dropped and all back to normal.

My Top 10 Best Products (Jul 07)

It has been almost a year since I last post my Top 10 Best Products. Some of the products in my new list are newcomers while some remain but their ranking either went up, down or unchanged. I also noticed many are from Google Inc!

All Products Listed by Ranking
  1. Experts-Exchange IT Solutions Collaboration Site (Prev ranked 1st)
  2. Google Gmail Web Mail (Prev ranked 3rd)
  3. Windows Live Messenger Internet Messenging (Prev ranked 6th)
  4. QuickEE Experts-Exchange New Question Auto Notification (Newcomer)
  5. Google Calendar Online Calendar (Prev ranked 4th)
  6. Google Reader Web-Based Aggregator (Newcomer)
  7. Google Search Engine (Prev ranked 8th)
  8. Internet Explorer 7 Internet Browser (Prev ranked 10th)
  9. Visual Studio 2005 .NET Development IDE (Newcomer)
  10. Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Virtualization Suite for OS (Newcomer)

Previous Rankings
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2006/08/my-top-10-best-products-aug-06.html (5 Aug '06)
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2006/03/my-top-10-best-products.html (2 Mar '06)
(6 Jan '06)
(19 Dec '05)

It's Monday Soon Again

Sigh.. Tomorrow is Monday again.

Stop Page Processing in JSP

In JSP, we use the return statement to stop all processing on the page. However, if we were to just use return; then we will encounter an error saying "Statement is not reachable". To counter this problem, we use the below
if (1==1) return;