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Showing posts from October, 2011

Google+ adds What's Hot, Ripples, Creative Kit, Google Apps

Google+ social networking site latest update push adds 4 key features.

What’s Hot on Google+: see what everyone’s talking about

Basically knowing what is the world excited about.

Google+ Ripples: watch how posts get shared

Shows how posts are shared in spider view style in a timeline period.

Google+ Creative Kit: have more fun with your photos

A fast and friendly way to make powerful edits to your photos. And since Halloween is here, there is even a template just for that to add some spook to your photos. Do share them publicly on Google+ with the hashtag #gplushalloween.

Google Apps customers can now use Google+

Google+ is now made available to all Google Apps customers worldwide.

» Google+: Popular posts, eye-catching analytics, photo fun and... | Official Google Blog

Samsung flexible phones - able to bend

Samsung AMOLED flexible phones showing coolness - ability to bend. Separately, Nokia also demonstrated their futuristic flexible mobile device that are able to be twisted and bend.

Related Readings
Futuristic flexible Nokia mobile device able to twist and bend

iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S2 drop test

The new iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S2 were put to a free fall drop test to test out if how durable they are. The experiment showed Samsung Galaxy S2 significantly more durable than the obviously fragile iPhone 4S.

Futuristic flexible Nokia mobile device able to twist and bend

Futuristic Nokia mobile device showing ability to twist and bend phone.

» Nokia Shows Off Flexible Mobile Device of the Future | Mashable

Related Readings
Samsung flexible phones - able to bend

Google Chrome 15 web store redesign and many new features

Latest Google Chrome 15 comes with a redesign of its Chrome Web Store, several bug fixes and other new features. It is now eaiser to manage (add, update and remove) your apps using the new Chrome Web Store.

» Making Chrome even more app-ealing | Official Google Blog

Google Buzz is going away, but your posts are yours to keep

Google Buzz service is going to be terminated, however, it is still possible to view and retrieve your posts.

Your existing content will remain accessible in two ways:

You can view it on your Google ProfileYou can download it using Google Takeout

The Windows 8 Task Manager

The new task manager that comes together with upcoming Microsoft Windows 8 is going to be quite different as compared to earlier versions. The new task manager comes with fewer details and with options to show more details.

Some of the key new features offered by the new task manager:
Closing applications from cleaner view with fewer detailsIdentifying resource issues with the HeatmapGrouping by applications, background processes, and Windows processesGrouping top-level windows by appDisplaying process friendly names
Quick demo on the new task manager for Windows 8:

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.
» The Windows 8 Task Manager | Building Windows 8

Google Docs Presentation Revamped

Google has added more than 60 new features to its Google Docs Presentation including several popular requested features:

Transitions to move between slides with simple fades or spicier 3D effects
Animations to add emphasis or to make your slides more playful
New themes to create beautiful presentations with distinct visual styles
Drawings to build new designs, layouts, and flowcharts within a presentation
Rich tables with merged cells and more options for adding style to your data

These new features are still slowly rolled out to all its millions of users. To see the new features before they are rolled out to you, click on the gear icon in your document list, and select Document settings. Then, from the Editing tab, check the box to "Create new presentations using the latest version of the presentation editor".

» A fresh start for Google presentations | Official Google Blog

Google defaults to encrypted SSL search for logged in users

Right now, a search on Google search engine has started redirecting logged in users to the secured SSL ( page, without having to use their encrypted search service (

The implications of this switch to encrypted search are many and SearchEngineLand has an article on the fury from SEOs. Read this article on the reactions from SEOs that come out loud, fast & often angry to Google’s switch to encrypted search.

» Making search more secure | Official Google Blog

New Gmail Design?

A leaked product demo reveals a few great changes Google has in store for Gmail, including a redone action bar, a new conversation display, an improved search interface and a screen-friendly layout that automatically adjusts depending on your window size.

According to the demo, the conversation view is getting an overhaul to better show the details, and profile pictures will start showing up in contacts to help you keep track of who's who. The entire window will also be resize better than it does currently. The video snuck out of the Googleplex a little early, as we're not seeing any changes yet.

» Gmail Getting an Interface Overhaul with Better Conversation Display, Search, Auto-Resizing, and More | LifeHacker

Official Google Blog: Unwrapping Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Nexus

Google and Samsung together launched the latest Samsung Galaxy Nexus that runs on Android 4.0 codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), bringing the many Honeycomb features to smartphones.

With a super slim profile, Galaxy Nexus features a 4.65” Contour Display with true high definition (720p) resolution and a lightning-fast dual core 1.2ghz processor combined with 4G LTE or HSPA+ technology. Galaxy Nexus also features the latest in software: Ice Cream Sandwich makes Android simple and beautiful, and takes the smartphone to beyond smart.
Starting in November, Galaxy Nexus will be available in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Check out the Nexus website for a product tour and more info.

Some of the key new features are:
Face UnlockAnroid BeamVoice TypingGoogle+ IntegrationSingle-Motion Panoramic CameraHD DisplaySlim and Curved DesignFast & 4G

» Unwrapping Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Nexus | Official Google Blog

Siri - Pretty good demonstration

Twitter API JSON - Returning wrong ID of tweets

Twitter recently updated its API to enable the new Status ID generator - 'Snowflake'. With that, the new unique Tweet IDs are now 64bit unsigned integers, which, instead of being sequential like the old IDs, are based on time. The full ID is composed of a timestamp, a worker number, and a sequence number.

The implications of this change is that some programming languages like Javascript cannot support numbers with >53bits. To allow javascript and JSON parsers to read the IDs, a string version of any ID is now included when responding in the JSON format. What this means is Status, User, Direct Message and Saved Search IDs in the Twitter API will now be returned as an integer and a string in JSON responses. This will apply to the main Twitter API, the Streaming API and the Search API.

For example, now returns you both "id" and "id_str". We should now be using "id_str" instead.

The foll…

Rename SQL user defined data type

Should we be using MsSQL user defined data types (UDDT)?

One advantage of using is that the same type can be standardized across similar fields across several tables. For example, we can have a UDDT defined for Email. However, the headache arrives when we need to alter the data type of the UDDT. There is no alter type yet to do the job.

What are the options to solving this problem? Do we really have to drop all objects (tables, stored procedures, etc) that use the UDDT, re-create the UDDT with the new type, and then re-create all tables, stored procedures, etc? That sounds quite a lot of work to do isn't it? What if we have existing records in tables and dropping tables sound way too risky.

Luckily, there is a workaround without dropping objects that use the UDDT (credit to a post on stackoverflow)

/* Create a new UDDT */ exec sp_addtype @typename='myUDT', @phystype='varchar(100)' go /* Create a table */ create table myTable (field1 myUdt) go /* Add a 'tempora…

Singapore : Credit Card – Movie Discount

A post made on SGsearchsite provides valuable information on the credit card promotions offered for movies in Singapore. An extract from the post as of now is as follows:

SG Credit Card

Movie Discount

Eng Wah
Golden Village
DBS Credit Cards

(Live Fresh DBS Visa pay/Wave Platinum Card)

S$8.50 on weekends (Fri, Sat, Sun, eve of P.H. & P.H.) and S$6.50 from Mon-Thu

(Valid till 31 Dec 2011 – More Details)
DBS/POSB Credit Cards


S$7 from Mon-Thu (excl. eve of P.H. & P.H.) and S$8.50 on Fri-Sun (incl. eve of P.H. & P.H.)

(Valid till 31 Dec 2013 – More Details)
HSBC Credit Cards


S$75/card with a stored credit value of 10 GV movie tickets redeemable on both weekdays & weekends

(More Details)
OCBC Credit Cards


S$8 on weekends (Fri, Sat, Sun, eve of P.H. & P.H., Sneaks & Openings) and S$7 from Mon-Thu. Min. 2 Tickets.

(Valid till 30 Apr 2012 – More Details)
S$8.50 on weekends (Fri, Sat, Sun, eve of P.H. & P.H.) and S$7 from Mon-Thu

(Valid till 30 Ap…

OccupyRafflesPlace no show blame others but not themselves

The "Occupy Raffles Place" a call for public protest, which seeked to replicate the "Occupy Wall Street" movement in Singapore on Oct 15 supposedly, was a no-show. This is the group that talked really loud, showing fury and managed to gathered 70+ potential protesters, at the same time slamming those who were not in support of such actions. And now, a no-show from them have blamed anything, everything, all things except themselves, apologising for inconveniences.

Hmm... In my opinion, one should never apologise for inconveniences if he/she wants to demonstrate.

#OccupyRafflesPlace commented that

just because we didn’t talk to the media doesn’t mean we weren’t there. We are obviously very disappointed with the lack of ground support, We take the blame for lack of logistics and planning, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Really want to Rolling On The Floor Laughing Out Loudest.

Google+ search goes real time and supports hashtags

Google+ search feature will now update its search result real time and supports hashtags.

For instance, a search on the keyword Android will simply return you search results and update it real time.

If "Most Recent" is selected, there will be an option to Pause the real time update and Play it back again.

Another feature introduced is the support of hashtags. I just made a post with #android as part of my post.

Clicking on the hashtag will perform a search on it.

Google Maps brings 3D view using WebGL

Tapping onto MapsGL technology, Google Maps now brings a much smoother 3D experience and let you swoop into street view without the need to install plugin. All you need is a modern browser that supports WebGL e.g. Chrome 14+ and Firefox 8+.

Visit Google Maps at and then click on "Want to try something new".

After you have enabled WebGL, zoom in to a location to switch to street view in 3D view.

Google Translate with Conversation Mode

Google Translate for Android now includes conversation mode feature, supporting more than 14 languages. Using conversation mode, you can now choose a pair of languages, speak into the mobile device and get them translated between the 2 languages.

This new feature is certainly going to be extremely helpful when you are trying to communicate with someone from a different country speaking their own language.

Download Google Translate for Android here.

» Start the conversation with Google Translate for Android | Official Google Blog

How to disable Blogger's lightbox effect?

Just last month, Blogger announced a lightbox (slideshow) effect for images without consulting bloggers, eventually causing an uproar. The uproar prompted Blogger to remove this feature almost immediately.

Now, this lightbox feature is back and enabled by default. However, it is now possible to disable it from Settings.

I have disabled it. Have you?

Skypes is now officially part of Microsoft

Microsoft Corp has officially completed its acquisition of Internet communications company Skype for $8.5 billion.

The Internet has changed video calling for millions of people. Explore some of the numbers and stats showing the scope and impact of how Skype is helping people stay connected.

Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Skype Division of Microsoft immediately, reporting directly to Ballmer.

A quote from Tony Bates:

By bringing together the best of Microsoft and the best of Skype, we are committed to empowering consumers and businesses around the globe to connect in new ways. Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype's goal to reach 1 billion users daily.

» Microsoft Officially Welcomes Skype | Microsoft News Center

Crowded Bishan MRT

This is how crowded a train station platform in Singapore can get.

Thousands stranded on Fri during peak hour after train broke down

Thousands were stranded on a Friday evening during peak hour after a train broke down. The cause was an SMRT train which had broken down on the East-West Line, resulting in a 20-minute delay that affected some 6,500 commuters in total. A hind train had to come in to "rescue" the faulty train, pushing it away. Though the delay was mentioned to be just 20 minutes, the backlog of passengers were so great that many were unable to board, including myself from Tiong Bahru towards Joo Koon direction at around 1830hr. To make matter worse, the entire train timings seemed to have messed up. Even at 2200hr, trains towards Joo Koon direction at Clementi station arrived at more than 7 minutes interval but trains at the reverse direction were regular at 2 minutes interval. Needless to say, many poor commuters were unable to board trains towards Joo Koon.

Poor quality service all at a recent 1% increase in transport fare days ago. Unacceptable!

Opera Mini web browser - Fast speed

Opera Mini Browser is a fast mobile browser that can save you money on data by compressing webpages using Opera's servers before serving to clients. According to Opera, it can result in as much as 90% data savings as compared to normal browsers.

Download Opera Mini web browser from Android Marketplace at

CircleMe - Social network owning and knowing your likes

What is CircleMe?

CircleMe is a platform that helps you keep track of and engage with all your true likes in one place. On CircleMe, you own your likes.

The service lets you import your favorites from other services, add or remove items from your library, and feature in a visually compelling way the things you love for the benefit of others.

Rather than catching dust, the likes you “shelve” on CircleMe help you connect with like-minded people, track related news and trade curated recommendations and future plans with your social circles.

It’s all about the cool and interesting things you like and the people who share your tastes. Give it a try and start enjoying your true interests!

CircleMe is still in private beta but if you are interested, Mashable readers can sign up to get early access to the service.

Everything You Need to Know About iOS 5 in Seven Minutes

All about Siri on Apple iPhone 4S

Siri, the intelligent personal assistant for latest release of iPhone 4S, is actually been around for the past eight years. Siri was only recently been acquired by Apple in Mar 2010 for an undisclosed sum.

History of Siri

2003: DARPA awards SRI with a five-year contract to create an “enduring personalized cognitive assistant.” It would go on to invest $150 million in the project.

SRI calls the project CALO, short for Cognitive Agent that Learns and Organizes. The stated goal: “To create cognitive software systems, that is, systems that can reason, learn from experience, be told what to do, explain what they are doing, reflect on their experience, and respond robustly to surprise.”

Jan. 2008: Siri, one of the consumer-branded products inspired by the CALO project, spun out of SRI as its own company.

Oct. 13, 2008: Siri announces it has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding in a round led by Menlo Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures.

Nov. 24, 2009: Siri announces it has raised $15.5 mil…

Hotmail declares war on graymail

Microsoft Hotmail characterizes an email as "graymail" when the same message that one person thinks is “spam” could be really important to another person. It’s not black and white, hence the name.

Despite the drastic decrease of true spam in the inbox, we found that most customers are still seeing newsletters, product offers, and other clutter. In fact, 75% of email identified as spam by our customers actually turns out to be unwanted graymail that they receive as a result of having signed up on a legitimate website. And because of inbox clutter, it’s easy to lose track of the really important messages in your inbox that you want to get back to.
Some features are:

1. New newsletter category

A new special category for newsletters. Using the same SmartScreen™ technology that helps Microsoft fight spam, email are categorized correctly as newsletters 95%. Every time you categorize an email manually the remaining 5% emails as a newsletter, the filtering just gets better.

2. One-clic…

Apple Steve Jobs - The Crazy Ones - Think Different

In memory of Steve Jobs and in his own voice for the 1997 Think Different ad campaign commercial.

Steve Jobs quotes on life and death

A quote from the visionary man who had turned Apple into the most valuable company in the world - co-founder Steve Jobs

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Stanford commencement speech 2005

Statement from President Obama on the passing of Steve Jobs

Statement from President Obama on the passing of Steve Jobs

President Obama on the Passing of Steve Jobs: "He changed the way each of us sees the world."

Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way e…

Statement from Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on passing of Steve Jobs

Statement from Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on passing of Steve Jobs

I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

Statement from Google CEO Larry Page on passing of Steve Jobs

Statement from Google CEO Larry Page on passing of Steve Jobs

I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google's are with his family and the whole Apple family.

Statement from Google co-founder Sergey Brin on passing of Steve Jobs

Statement from Google co-founder Sergey Brin on passing of Steve Jobs

From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino. Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the macbook I am writing this on right now). And I have witnessed it in person the few times we have met.

On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much. My condolences to family, friends, and colleagues at Apple.

Google homepage has link to Apple to remember Steve Jobs

A visit to now spot a link to to remember the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs: 1955-2011

A obituary photo on Steve Jobs now appear on

Steve Jobs has passed away - Statement by Apple's Board of Directors

Press release from Apple announced Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56.

This is a very sad news.

We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.


Katie Cotton, 408-974-7269
Steve Dowling, 408-974-1896

7 Best Practices for Improving Your Website’s Usability

Mashable published 7 best practices for improving your website's usability. However, this list is not exhaustive, and is meant merely to arm you with a few ideas that you can implement right away.

Keep Content as Concise as PossibleUse Headings to Break Up Long ArticlesHelp Readers Scan Your Webpages QuicklyUse Bulleted Lists and Text FormattingGive Text Blocks Sufficient SpacingMake Hyperlinked Text User-FriendlyUse Visuals Strategically
» 7 Best Practices for Improving Your Website’s Usability | Mashable

Delicious makeover introducing stacks

YouTube founders after having bought social bookmarking site Delicious from Yahoo in April 2011, have now injected some new life into Delicious. The makeover introduces a new still delicious flavour - the concept of Stacks - collections of links that you can share - they’re playlists for the web.

Here's how it works:

Select some related links, plug them into a stack and watch the magic happen. You can customize your stack by choosing images to feature, and by adding a title, description and comment for each link. Then publish the stack to share it with the world. If you come across another stack you like, follow it to easily find it again and catch any updates.
Introducing Stacks – “Playlists for the Web”

» A New Flavor…Still Delicious | AVOS - a new Internet company, led by the founders of YouTube search engine introduces Slash Tags to challenge Google

New search engine upstart has just received a $15 million in fresh funding from Russia's largest search engine Yandex. Blekko is building a search engine free of spam, content farms and malware.

Watch the below video on just how the concept of slash tags, introduced by Blekko, work.

Infographics - Windows 8 comments positive

The comments shared on Twitter thus far on metro-style Windows 8 are generally positive, better than iOS and Android. However, the comments gathered thus far were more from the tech-savvy crowd.

Watch Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire at $199

Amazon Kindle Fire Ad

Kindle Fire brings everything we’ve been working on at Amazon for 15 years together into a single, fully-integrated experience for customers – instant access to Amazon’s massive selection of digital content, a vibrant color IPS touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle, a 14.6 ounce design that’s easy to hold with one hand, a state-of-the-art dual core processor, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, and an ultra-fast mobile browser – Amazon Silk – available exclusively on Kindle Fire. -- Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO

Introducing Amazon Silk [more]

Amazon Kindle at $79

Amazon Kindle at $79

Read more here.

All about Google Analytics Premium

Google Analytics has released a paid premium version for Enterprises. Premium version is more for enterprises that require processing of higher volumes of page views and guaranteed support. The features as compared to the standard version are not much different.

» Introducing Google Analytics Premium | Google Analytics Blog

GTmetrix - Check your page speed

GTmetrix can help you develop a faster, more efficient, and all-around improved website experience for your users. GTmetrix uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow to grade your site's performance and provides actionable recommendations to fix these issues.

Some of the recommendations from GTmetrix can be found here.

The web should be fast -- Google Inc
Google has announced that they are using page speed in their ranking algorithm.

I think it is time to optimize my blog.

Chrome set to overtake Firefox in Dec 2011

According to web analytics firm StatCounter, the market share of Google Chrome is set to overtake Mozilla Firefox in Dec 2011 to become second behind Microsoft Internet Explorer.

The trend chart above is from the December 2008 public launch of Google Chrome browser. The rise of Chrome is at the expense of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox since the market share for the rest of the browsers like Opera, Safari, etc, are stable.

» Chrome Set to Overtake Firefox in Market Share [STATS] | Mashable

LinkedIn Survey: Singaporeans ranked second top office pet peeves

According to a survey conducted by professional social networking site LinkedIn, Singaporeans are ranked second in a survey of 16 countries tallying the number of pet peeves in the office pet peeves, after the Indians. Ranking high in such a study is not to be proud of.