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Showing posts from December, 2010

Stock Portfolio - Round Up

Summary of my stock portfolio:
C & O Pharmaceutical Technology holdings (E92.SI)Cambridge Industrial Trust (J91U.SI)CapitalMalls Asia Limited (JS8.SI)China Animal Healthcare Ltd (EP4.SI)China Minzhong Food Corp (K2N.SI)Global Logistics Properties Limited (MC0.SI)HG Metal Manufacturing (526.SI)Koh Brothers (K75.SI)Mapletree Industrial Trust (ME8U.SI)Neptune Orient Lines (N03.SI)Sabana Shari'ah Compliant REIT (M1GU.SI)Singapore Exchange (S68.SI)SMRT Corporation (S53.SI)ST Engineering Ltd (S63.SI)Sold off in 2010: ARA Asset Management (D1R.SI)Epure (now known as Sound Global) (E6E.SI)Mapletree Logistics Trust (M44U.SI)Neptune Orient Lines (N03.SI)Parkway Holdings (delisted)SMRT Corporation (S53.SI)ST Engineering (S63.SI)UMS Holdings (558.SI)

PM Lee New Year message revealed Singapore grew 14.7% in 2010

Prime Minister announced a 14.7% growth for 2010 in his New Year Message


1. The Singapore economy recovered strongly in 2010. It grew 12.5% year-on-year in the 4th quarter, and 14.7% for 2010 as a whole. This is a dramatic rebound from the negative growth last year. We should rejoice in this exceptional performance, but please remember that it is also the result of special circumstances, and so is unlikely to be repeated soon.

2. The outlook for the world economy is mixed. There are significant concerns: the US economy is still weak. Europe faces serious debt crises in Greece, Ireland and a few other countries. The European Union also needs structural reforms to make the single Euro currency work, with no straightforward solutions. But in Asia growth momentum is strong. China and India are forging ahead, and countries in Southeast Asia are growing steadily. Hopefully Asia will continue to do well despite the weakness in developed countries,…

China adds Skype onto its "Illegal" list

Skype may soon join Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube on China's Internet blacklist. This is after the Chinese regulator having declared Internet phone services other than those provided by China Telecom and China Unicom as illegal.

Such move was criticized as being used as a measure to protect the duopoly of state-owned telecom carriers.

VoIP decision means Skype now illegal [via]

Google New Year's Eve Doodle: GMMXIe (2011 = MMXI in Roman Numerals)

Google latest doodle for eve of New Year 2011 shows MMXI which in fact is 2011 in roman numerals.

2011 in Roman Numerals

M meaning 1000, X meaning 10, and I meaning 1.

Should software patents be abolished?

An article published on PCMagazine discussed if software patents should be abolished altogether. This is after Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen this week filed an amended patent suit against Apple, Google, Facebook, and others, charging that his patents cover technologies like recommendation engines, notification systems, and more.

What is a patent? According to The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a patent is defined as a property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.

An invention is eligible for a patent if it satisfies ALL the following three conditions:


An invention fulfills novelty requirement if there is no prior art available before the date of filing of the…

The POWER of Patents - Paul Allen Files Amended Patent Suit Against Apple, Google, Facebook, and Others

After taking a module on Intellectual Property (IP) Rights, I understand the power of patents. Patents, though may be intangible, can be an important asset to provide possible recurring revenue in the form of royalties should litigation outcome is favourable to the patent owner.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen this week filed an amended patent suit against Apple, Google, Facebook, and others, charging that his patents cover technologies like recommendation engines, notification systems, and more.
If one were to read on further on the article published on PCMagazine, he may laugh over it, asking questions like how can such "processes" be considered as a potential IP infringement. As long as the patent owner can prove his case and the defendant is unable to find a prior art for defence, then the litigation suit stands.

That's the game of Intellectual Property (IP) management.

Paul Allen Files Amended Patent Suit Against Apple, Google, Others [via]

China to slash export of raw earth minerals by 35 per cent

Doesn't sound good to me.

China has raised fresh international trade concerns after slashing export quotas on rare earths minerals, risking action from the United States at the World Trade Organization.

China, which produces about 97 percent of the global supply of rare earth minerals, cut its export quotas by 35 percent for the first half of 2011 versus a year ago, saying it wanted to preserve ample reserves, but warned against basing its total 2011 export quota on the first half figures.
China's rare earths export cut raises trade concerns [via]

A pretty chart of top apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry

My Top 10 Android Apps

The following are my top 10 must-use Android apps (Facebook, Google Maps, Twitter and Foursquare are excluded since they are just too popular anyway):

Advanced Task Killer (FREE)

Advanced Task Killer is also known as ATK. It is a tool to kill applications running.

ASTRO File Manager (FREE)

This new permanent version includes mobile ads. The ad free version, ASTRO Pro is available below (see 'View more applications)

Features: File Manager, Backup, Image and text viewers, Networking, SMB, Bluetooth, SFTP, Zip Tar, downloader, thumbnails, search files, application manager, task manager, attachments

ColorDict Dictionary (FREE)

Universal Dictionary Color Dict
Supports Wordnet, StarDict, Translate, Wikipedia

• Fast search offline & online dictionaries at once
• Words suggestion
• StarDict compatible dictionary
• Download free dictionary on market & internet
• English,thesaurus,bible,etc
• Wikipedia, Translate Add-On
• Best dictionary on the market
• Supports Quick Search Box
• Sup…

SMS Popup - Allows quick SMS replies on Android

SMS Popup gives you the best of both smartphone worlds — the immediacy of the iPhone's pop-up SMS notifications, but with the utility of being able to reply with preset messages, your voice, or text, all from a small window.

Download SMS Popup now here.

QR code to download page:

Free Kindle Books: A Guide

The following are among the free Kindle book providers: Project Gutenburg, Google E-Bookstore, Internet Archive, Open Library,, and LibriVox.

Project Gutenberg: 33,000 free e-books, including all of the classics, available in Kindle, HTML and simple text formats.

Google E-Bookstore: The free section is filled with thousands of free, scanned copies of books, available in Kindle-friendly PDF formats.

Internet Archive: Millions of primarily rare, out-of-print works in multiple languages and formats (including Kindle), especially useful for academic work.

Open Library: 20 million user-contributed items in multiple editions and formats (including Kindle). Nearly 30,000 titles, many of which have been pulled from Project Gutenberg. Has a good collection of little-known Creative Commons works.

LibriVox: Thousands of free audiobooks.
More Kindle resources can be found from this guide.

Experts-Exchange Presents: Tech the halls

Happy Holidays!

Tech the halls with lots of questions
(fa- la- la- la- la- la- la- la- la- la)

'Tis the season to get answers
(fa- la- la- la- la- la- la- la- la- la)

Gone be now your toughest problems
(fa- la- la- la- la- la- la- la- la- la)

Give the points to those who solved them
(fa- la- la- la- la- la- la- la- la- la)

A hidden Amazon Kindle leather cover

A surprise Xmas gift - Amazon Kindle black leather cover all the way from the U.S. My Kindle finally has a cover :)

Merry Xmas 圣诞节快乐 สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส !

X'mas gift exchange

The above is what I received. After a second look, my instinct says the package may contain an additional item other than the one on my wish list. The packaging was too nicely wrapped and unwrapping it can be a challenge.

Should I go back to work tomorrow to unwrap it? I guess I should not wait till next Tuesday.

MsSQL Delete Duplicate Records

This article shall discuss how to delete duplicate records from a Microsoft SQL Server database table. Duplicate record means that one or more fields in one record is identical to corresponding fields in a different record.

A simple solution but then often vexing problem for many.

For example, we have this database table

--Create my table create table MyTable ( ID int identity(1,1) not null primary key, Name varchar(20) not null, Email varchar(500) not null ) go --Populate some dummy records and duplicate records insert into MyTable (Name, Email) values ('Jack', '') insert into MyTable (Name, Email) values ('Jack', '') insert into MyTable (Name, Email) values ('Jill', '') go
To check if we have duplicate records, we can make use of COUNT() function and GROUP BY statement.

--We do have duplicated names select ID, Name, Email from MyTable order by Name select Name, COUNT(Name) from MyTable group…

Track location of Santa with NORAD and Google

Starting tomorrow, December 24 at 2:00am EST, visit to follow Santa as he journeys around the world delivering presents to children in more than 200 countries and territories. There are a few different ways to find the jolly old man in his unmistakable red suit over the course of the day, so feel free to track him using any of the following methods:

See Santa on a Google Map: On your home computer or laptop, visit and choose your preferred language. You’ll see a large Google Map on the page displaying Santa’s current location and his next stop. Click the video icons to watch “Santa Cam” videos, and click the gift icons to learn more about each city.

Watch Santa fly with the Google Earth Plug-in: From, click on the link Track Santa in Google Earth. You'll see Santa steering his sleigh right on the webpage. If you don't have the Google Earth plug-in, you can get ready by downloading it ahead of time.

Follow Santa on your phon…

Google adds 17 holiday-themed doodles to homepage

Google's Thursday homepage doodle includes a collection of holiday scenes created by the company's "chief doodler," Michael Lopez. The 17 scenes include an "Up on the Housetop" drawing of Santa approaching a snowy chimney as well as several other doodles representing holiday traditions around the world.

Mouse hover on any of the 17 scenes will bring you a closer view of them. Click on any of them to know more of the scenes.

NTFS file system has self healing capability

An infrastructure consultant working for Microsoft Consulting Services in Madrid wrote on his blog that Microsoft Windows with NTFS file system, like Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7.0, contain an often overlooked feature called NTFS Self-Healing. What is Self-Healing? In a nutshell, it is basically an improvement to the NTFS system whereby Windows will detect a file system error and automatically fix it on-the-fly - all in the background without the knowledge of users.

By default, the self-healing feature is turned on by default on Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7.0. You may run the following command on Command Prompt in Administrative mode for verification.
fsutil repair query c:
Self-healing NTFS [via]

Facebook vs Twitter: By The Numbers [Infographic]

95% of Twitter Accounts Created in the Last Two Years

My Twitter's account was created before more than two years ago and so belongs to the 5% category.

A more in-depth report at Twitter´s Growth 2010 compared with 2009 can be found here.

“You, Us”

English version of 《你们,我们》(Translation by Don Weinland)

“You, Us”

Blizzards you said happen once ever hundred years;
Earthquakes you said are natural disasters;
The Olympics you said added to the country’s prestige;
Tainted milk powder you said was an exceptional case;
High housing prices you said were the workings of the market;
Stock market collapse you said was the international climate;
A bad economy you said was due to restructuring;
Trouble finding work you said was historical inheritance!

You needn’t struggle to find work, nor live under high real estate prices,
You needn’t pay for your medical expenses, nor piteously rush about.
You eat at banquets, live in villas, drive nice cars, receive plush benefits, and travel abroad.

You spend our money and monopolize our dreams with power,
Daily you curse us uncultured, implacable commoners.
You have cannons and bayonets, but develop our waters with others,
And you use them [weapons] only against your own people who give birth to and ra…





大雪,你们说是百年不遇; 大地震,你们说是自然灾害; 办奥运,你们说是为国增光; 毒奶粉,你们说是个别事件; 房价高,你们说是市场选择; 股市崩,你们说是国际气候; 经济差,你们说是结构调整; 工作难,你们说是历史遗留!

你们不用去辛苦找工作,不用去住高价房, 不用看病自己花钱,不用为生活苦苦奔波。 你们吃宴会,住别墅,开好车,高福利,出国游。 你们花我们的钱,用权力垄断我们的希望, 天天骂着我们是素质低下的死老百姓。 你们有刺刀大炮,自己的领海却要与人共同开发, 只用它们来对付生你们养你们的百姓。 你们有高墙铁网,但为非作歹者逍遥法外, 仗义执言者身陷囹囵!

你们的办公楼奢甲一方, 你们的公车横冲直撞, 你们的老婆孩子多在西方, 你们的二奶小蜜也很嚣张。

你们的住房有国家保障, 你们的工资总讨论增长, 你们的吃喝有公款抵帐, 你们的娱乐有贿赂献上。

你们的上班也可以麻将, 你们的出行有警车做伥, 你们的权力每天都在膨胀, 你们的衙门永远都高高在上。

我们的供房得象奴隶一样, 我们的汽车得给你们避让, 我们的工作越来越忙, 我们的工资多年一样。 我们的医疗越来越贵, 我们的食物越来越脏, 我们的苛税收越来越增长, 我们的日子越过越紧张。 我们的冤屈已无处申张, 我们的权利已被人遗忘。

我们的民工被驱赶象牲口一样, 我们的矿工每天都在面对死亡, 我们的父母无情的下岗, 我们的孩子就业也很紧张。 我们知道你们虚伪的模样, 请不要把我们当傻子一样! 你们的言语都是酒后失当? 你们的行为都是一时荒唐? 你们的孩子都是精英栋梁? 你们的腐败都是个别现象?

华南虎完全是正龙不当? 矿*难都只是矿主无证上岗? 毒奶粉都是奶牛们产奶不当? 杨佳杀人完全是无厘头嚣张?

股票暴跌你们监管很得当? 银行巨亏你们都很冤枉? 你们的处分不过是换个官当, 你们的失误不过是我们买帐?

你们的政策不会考虑我们的主张, 你们的生活和我们不一样! 因为,你们的权力只来自组织上, 我们选举不过是橡皮图章。

我们没有过高的奢望, 我们一直也都很忍让, 你们说我们都已经小康, 到底还想要怎样? 我们说我们和动物不一样, 除了吃喝拉撒还有一点思想, 以及平等正义的希望, 这也曾是你们的主张。

你若要问我们还缺什么? 也许还缺陈胜吴广。


Google Maps 5 for Android - 3d Maps and Offline Caching

Google Maps 5 for Android comes with two features that make Google's mapping software a lot more useful. Google now uses vector graphics instead of map tiles and it caches some of your most frequently used maps so that they are available offline.

The use of vector graphics allows map to be dynamically drawn on your device as you use it, allowing you to interact with it in new ways:

Tilting: Drag down with two fingers to tilt the map. Tilt while zoomed in on one of the 100+ cities around the world with 3D buildings to see a skyline spring to life.Rotating: Twist with two fingers to rotate the map. After tilting to see 3D buildings, rotate around them to gain a new perspective from any direction.Smooth zooming: Slide two fingers together or apart, and see the map and labels continuously scale to any zoom level, stopping when your fingers stop.Compass mode: Center the map on your location, and then tap the compass button in the top right corner. The map will flip into 3D mode and star…

Blogger now has mobile templates

Given more are now surfing using smartphones, it is logical to add a mobile interface for Blogger and to create mobile versions for Blogger's templates. Mobile Templates is available as opt-in functionality on Blogger in Draft. Mobile templates will re-format your blogs for smartphones to enhance your readers’ viewing experience.

In order to activate mobile templates, navigate to Blogger in Draft, then go to Dashboard > Settings > Email & Mobile tab, enable the mobile template option and then save settings.

To test out how a blog will look like on mobile, just add ?m=1 to the URL of any Blogger blog, and you'll get a simplified version that works well on an iPhone, Android phone and probably other phones that use a browser based on WebKit. Here's an example:

A blog with the mobile template enabled will automatically be showing the mobile version on a mobile device.

New mobile templates for reading on the go [via]

Why people go nude?

105 nude cases reported in first 6 months so far - one every other day. Are we becoming a nudist colony?

According to American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR)
Self-esteem is enhanced in the nudist world, where body acceptance is the norm. Conversation seems to come easier. Many report the “time warp” phenomenon. A one day respite spent clothes-free seems to relax people more than an entire weekend elsewhere. Without clothes, stress seems to melt away.

More people going nude

It was reported that there were a total of 105 reports in first six months of this year on offenders going nude - one every other day. This figure does not include second half of 2010 and of course the 3 or more such cases in the month of December alone. Only last Sunday morning, an unidentified man in his 20s went to a 24 hour McDonald’s restaurant along Queensway to buy coffee in the nude. Last Wednesday, a woman paraded totally naked in public and even boarded a bus in broad daylight. And last Thursday, a heavily tattooed man in his 40s sat naked on the pavement in Ang Mo Kio for several hours before he was arrested.

Offenders were usually exhibitionists or attention seekers. It is the kind of behaviour that leaves me and surely many here disgusted. Are we becoming a nudist colony?

Republicans banning of phrases -

During a private commission meeting last week, all four Republicans voted in favor of banning the phrases "Wall Street" and "shadow banking" and the words "interconnection" and "deregulation" from the panel's final report, according to a person familiar with the matter and confirmed by Brooksley E. Born, one of the six commissioners who voted against the proposal.
Republicans removing key terms and trying to rewrite history?

Financial Crisis Panel In Turmoil As Republicans Defect; Plan To Blame Government For Crisis [via]

Another Chinese feat: 15-storey hotel built in just six days

The work crew erected the hotel — a soundproofed, thermal-insulated structure reportedly built to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake — with all prefabricated materials. In other words, a crew of off-site factory workers built the sections, and their on-site counterparts arranged them on the foundation for the Ark project.

Chinese workers build 15-storey hotel in just six days [via]

Microsoft Excel 2007 error - Trying to open a different format than specified by the file extension

On Microsoft Excel 2007, you may get the following error when you try to open an Excel document:

A quick and dirty but easiest way to solve this problem, is to insert the following registry key. This will simply suppress the notification:


The step-by-step instructions are as follows:

Click Start, click Run, type regedit.exe and press ENTER. This will open your Registry Editor.Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\OFFICE\12.0\EXCEL\SECURITYRight click in the right window and choose New → DWORDIn the Name field, type ExtensionHardening.Verify that the data has the value 0.

Droid 2 dropped, cracks hurt man's ear and not explosion

According to an investigation by Motorola, recent case that Motorola Droid 2 exploded in a man's ear earlier this month could be unfounded. The Droid 2 in question found to have dropped earlier and cracked. So when the man put it to his ear, he cut himself.

But one mysterious question came to my mind immediately was "you mean the man cannot tell what is an explosion"?

So, is it really an explosion?

Google Search using the AROUND operator for proximity search

Google Search's AROUND() operator is a handy search operator to facilitate searching for terms close to each other. Note that the word AROUND must be in big caps and the number as the parameter sets the max distance between the two terms.

For example, a search term warren buffet AROUND(5) bill gates will return results having terms warren buffet and bill gates that are separated by 5 or less words. Note also that if Google can't find anything within the limit, it will just do regular ranking of the terms without the AROUND coming into play.

SearchReSearch: AROUND has always been around [via]

Use Google Chrome Drag/Drop to Upload Files Easier

Use Google Chrome Drag/Drop to Upload Files Easier [via]

Google Cloud Print is now Available - Awesome

Google Cloud Print is now available in the latest Chrome Dev Channel build for Windows. To be able to use it, Chrome 9.0.597.10 or higher is required.

Connect your local printers with Google Cloud Print

Vector-Based, Offline Google Maps for Android

Google's Andy Rubin showed at the Dive Into Mobile conference an early prototype of a Motorola tablet running Android Honeycomb and demoed a new version of Google Maps for Android with vector-based maps and offline caching.

The biggest visual change is dynamic map drawing: vectors instead of flat images that scale without render hiccups and will show the buildings fleshed out for over 100 cities -- we gotta say, it looks great. Even more fun is that you can now use two fingers to tilt and rotate around the map (in addition to moving and pinch-to-zoom, of course). We've been told it's a much snappier experience, and the storage for these vectors is much smaller than the current images, which brings us to... offline caching. Maps will keep on file the locations that you go to (and search) most often, and it'll be able to reroute while offline in Navigation.

Google Maps for Mobile 5 unveiled, adds dynamic map drawing and offline mode [via]

Gingerbread - New Android 2.3

Google has just launched the new Android 2.3, codenamed Gingerbread. Nexus S will be the first phone that will run Android Gingerbread and it will soon be followed by Nexus One.

Gingerbread is the fastest version of Android yet, and it delivers a number of improvements, such as user interface refinements, NFC support, a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.

You may also be interested to follow LifeHacker's "Screenshot Tour of Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Its Best New Features" for a preview of Gingerbread's goodies.

Introducing Nexus S with Gingerbread [via]

Silverlight Firestarter 2010 Keynote with Scott Guthrie

Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's .NET Developer Platform, unveils Silverlight 5, further advancing capabilities in the areas of premium media experiences and business applications at the Silverlight Firestarter 2010 event in Redmond, WA on Dec 2nd 2010.

Google launches eBook store with 3 million eBooks

Google launches its new Google eBookstore with over 3 million eBooks. Despite of its huge collection, it seems to be missing the books in my mind. The reason could be because the store is launched only in the U.S. and many books are still unavailable here in Singapore.

Google eBook comes with reader compatible for Android, iOS, web, desktop, Nook and Sony.

Discover more than 3 million Google eBooks from your choice of booksellers and devices [via]