Monday, April 29, 2013

The Re-Imagining of Microsoft

Bing, Skype, and Xbox rebranding plans revealed in Microsoft design presentation.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Information on setting up two-step authentication for Outlook.com / Microsoft account

Read on for more information - Outlook.com gets two-step verification, sign-in by alias and new international domains.

ASP.NET fails to detect IE10 causing _doPostBack is undefined JavaScript error

Should you encounter _doPostBack is undefined JavaScript error on IE 10, it is because there is a bug in the browser definition files that shipped with .NET 2.0 and .NET 4.

Scott Hanselman published two ways to fix this: one is a machine-wide fix, the other is a way to fix individual sites. The replacement of the "fixed" ie.browser file will supposedly resolve the problem but it somehow didn't quite work for me. If that file didn't work for you, you may wish to use the below instead.

~\App_Browsers\ie.browser

<browsers>
    <!-- Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4325) -->
    <browser id="IE6Plus" parentID="IE">
        <identification>
            <capability name="majorversion" match="^[6-9]|\d{2,}$" />
        </identification>

        <capabilities>
            <capability name="ecmascriptversion"    value="3.0" />
            <capability name="jscriptversion"       value="5.6" />
            <capability name="javascript"           value="true" />
            <capability name="javascriptversion"    value="1.5" />
            <capability name="msdomversion"         value="${majorversion}.${minorversion}" />
            <capability name="w3cdomversion"        value="1.0" />
            <capability name="ExchangeOmaSupported" value="true" />
            <capability name="activexcontrols"      value="true" />
            <capability name="backgroundsounds"     value="true" />
            <capability name="cookies"              value="true" />
            <capability name="frames"               value="true" />
            <capability name="javaapplets"          value="true" />
            <capability name="supportsCallback"     value="true" />
            <capability name="supportsFileUpload"   value="true" />
            <capability name="supportsMultilineTextBoxDisplay" value="true" />
            <capability name="supportsMaintainScrollPositionOnPostback" value="true" />
            <capability name="supportsVCard"        value="true" />
            <capability name="supportsXmlHttp"      value="true" />
            <capability name="tables"               value="true" />
            <capability name="supportsAccessKeyAttribute"    value="true" />
            <capability name="tagwriter"            value="System.Web.UI.HtmlTextWriter" />
            <capability name="vbscript"             value="true" />
        </capabilities>
    </browser>

    <!-- Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0;) -->
    <browser id="IE6to9" parentID="IE6Plus">
      <identification>
        <capability name="majorversion" match="^[6-9]$" />
      </identification>
    </browser>

    <!-- Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0;) -->
    <browser id="IE7" parentID="IE6to9">
        <identification>
            <capability name="majorversion" match="^7$" />
        </identification>
        <capabilities>
            <capability name="jscriptversion" value="5.7" />
        </capabilities>
    </browser>

    <!-- Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729) -->
    <browser id="IE8" parentID="IE6to9">
        <identification>
            <capability name="majorversion" match="^8$" />
        </identification>
        <capabilities>
            <capability name="jscriptversion" value="6.0" />
        </capabilities>
    </browser>

  <!-- Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729) -->
  <browser id="IE9" parentID="IE6to9">
    <identification>
      <capability name="majorversion" match="^9$" />
    </identification>
    <capabilities>
      <capability name="jscriptversion" value="6.0" />
    </capabilities>
  </browser>

  <!-- Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/5.0) -->
  <browser id="IE10Plus" parentID="IE6Plus">
    <identification>
      <capability name="majorversion" match="\d{2,}" />
    </identification>
    <capabilities>
      <capability name="jscriptversion" value="6.0" />
    </capabilities>
  </browser>

  <gateway id="IEbeta" parentID="IE">
        <identification>
            <capability name="letters" match="^([bB]|ab)" />
        </identification>

        <capture>
        </capture>

        <capabilities>
            <capability name="beta"    value="true" />
        </capabilities>
    </gateway>
</browsers>

Extend Your Microsoft Office Trial for Five More Months

Microsoft offers free 30-day trials of Office 365 and Office 2013. After your free month is over, you won't be able to use some major features of these office suites. There is an article on LifeHacker extending Microsoft Office trial for five more months.

I didn't try it though. Let me know if it works.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Skype Facing Problems Signing In Using Microsoft Account

It's confirmed that signing into Skype using Microsoft Account is facing problem as indicated on Skype Heartbeat.

Skype Heartbeat Announcement

It seem to be affecting only Skype for Desktop.

Error message after attempting to login using Microsoft account

In case you do need to connect with your MSN friends urgently, you may explore the following options:

  1. Skype on mobile
  2. Third party IM e.g. imo.im or eBuddy.

[UPDATE Apr 25, 2013 18:15 GMT+8] The issue has been resolved - at least for myself.

Xiang Yun (向云) Euology On Huang Wenyong (黄文永)

Quoted from the Wikipedia,

Huang Wenyong (25 July 1952 – 20 April 2013) was a Malaysia-born Singaporean actor, musician, and former teacher of Chinese descent. He was an actor for MediaCorp from the early 1980s until his death. Appearing in more than 100 television programmes, he was among the first few batches of locally-trained actors to enter the local entertainment industry and considered to be one of the "pioneers in local Chinese drama". Huang died on 20 April 2013 of Lymphoma.

Soon after his death, several fans and fellow colleagues pour in their consolation and regret to have lost an invaluable asset to Singapore local film industry. Long-time working colleague of Huang Wenyong's (黄文永) - Xiang Yun (向云) penned an euology on the passing of her friend.

Xiang Yun (向云) penned an euology on Huang Wenyong (黄文永)

"永别了!我的挚友。你真的很风光!"
第一代阿姐,悼念第一代阿哥,一段情真意切的肺腑之言,感动千万心。
昨天午夜,“阿梅”向云在FB写了一篇长文《悼文永》,令数万名网友感动,不少人更说,读了情不自禁落泪。
今午,永远的“阿水”已经出殡,《联合晚报》谨此与面友分享这篇动人的悼文,向文永大哥致敬。

【悼文永】
文永,30多年的战友,要写他,点点滴滴,能记得多少?

我们从青年,壮年到黄金年代一路走来,面对着不同阶段的人生、事业和健康的挑战。

之财常形容我的“象一头牛那样会吃苦”,那文永就像牛和雄狮的结合。他不只很会吃苦,还很固执的坚守岗位。

许多农历新年的时段,大家忙着拿假回家庆祝,但是只要公司开口要求他留下开工,他从不拒绝。看他忙完这个戏,就接下个任务,马不停蹄,年复一年的苦干。

文永性格老实憨厚、正直,画画唱歌都是他的擅长。对于弱势者会特别的照顾。

在我眼中的他是一个孝子,好丈夫,好父亲。在与他共事这些年里,虽然他不提,但我也知道他在不同阶段曾为母亲离世前的病重担忧,承受失去母亲的悲痛,妻子患病时的忧虑,以及为孩子们成长的操心,我只能默默给他打气。

《雾锁南洋》是我和文永在演艺圈的一个转折点。文永很用心,很卖力的演,许多危险动作都自己来,病了也继续拍,很敬业。而我却是糊里糊涂的跟着演。

那部戏消耗了我们许多体力和连续开早晚班的睡眠时间,但是那时我们还年轻,有本钱。

之后他就一部接一部的拍下去。看到文永工作时一丝不苟,及与导演配合的专业态度,我从中学习了许多,尤其是他原本是教师的背景,对他是又敬又畏,后来一起工作久了熟悉了,从他天天说不完的笑话中感觉轻松多了,慢慢的无所不谈,但还是不敢在他面前放肆,到现在还是一样。所以他与我是亦师亦友。

到拍摄新年歌mtv时,听到同事说文永暴瘦10公斤的消息时,赶紧给他一个电话问候,他说不知原因,还在想要不要带家人去台湾度假?我鼓励他一定要去,一家人出游是最开心的事,别担心工作了。

在“戏剧情牵30年”那天总算看到他了,相信我那一愣认不出消瘦了的他的那个惊讶表情是伤了他,他紧握我的手,小声说:这次不太乐观!我马上阻止他胡思乱想。当晚我彻夜难眠,发了个信息给他,要他一定要去找出病因。

之后因不敢打扰他,久不久才发个短信慰问他,要他加油!他也回复我,要我好好照顾自己。但在新年后的简讯他就没回复了,我心里开始着急,后来得知他在医院的那段日子,我几次想探望他的要求都被拒绝了。

我了解,因为我也是艺人,希望大家都留下美好的印象,而不是被病魔摧残了的病容,我也知道他明白我的心意。

近年来我很健忘,许多记忆都常常需要文永来提我,他走了,记忆忘了就忘了,人生还是要往前走。

看看身边的同伴,不是每个都会与你同行到老,有些会先告别,也许有一天……这就是人生。

文永60年的岁月是精彩的,他照亮自己,也照亮大家,让每个认识他的人都快乐。

永别了!我的挚友。你真的很风光!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 (Corning Gorilla Glass) Scratch Test

Coming Samsung Galaxy S4, equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass, is put to scratches under knives, keys and coins, pass with flying colours.

See for yourself.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Yahoo! Mail New Re-thought iOS and Android App

Ever since Marissa Mayer came on board as the CEO of Yahoo, its mobile strategy seem to have taken quite a bit of a lift. Once slow and sometimes buggy Yahoo! Mail mobile app has now been revamped and re-thought.

Quote from Yahoo! corporate blog post Unbox Your Mail with Yahoo! Mail For Tablets,

Today, we’re excited to introduce the Yahoo! Mail Apps for iPad and Android tablets - a full-screen experience that gets rid of the noise. There are no folders, no buttons, no tabs - just you and your mail - and you can easily flip through it like a magazine. We've designed Yahoo! Mail to take full advantage of the tablet making reading your email faster, easier and just a little bit more fun.



Download Yahoo! Mail for iPad and Android tablets now.

Flat Design Language Makes It to Facebook Too

Facebook redesigned its icons moving from a more 3D-like icons to flat icons. The changed icons which also include its logo are as below:



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Get Facebook Home on Any Android Phone

Facebook Home is live but is available only on selected phones for now. Lifehacker has a tip on how to Get Facebook Home on Any Android Phone.

A first look on Facebook Home.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Constant "Check Disk" After Windows Update 2823324

You may be encountering constant prompt to perform "Check Disk" on boot-up after performing the recent Windows Update. Microsoft Security team has confirmed a problem with security update 2823324 and has since pulled it off from the pipe.

Should you have unfortunately installed it, please read this Microsoft release on the steps required to uninstall 2823324. I personally experienced the problem and resolved it using the just-mentioned instruction.

All the best.

Control Postback Only On Second Attempt After Validation Error

Recently, I encountered a problem whereby my DropDownList in UpdatePanel didn't AutoPostBack after a validator control return failure. The PostBack only happen after I tried to change the SelectedIndex the second time.

Reading from a blog, I learnt that resetting Page_BlockSubmit back to False in client side will resolve the problem.

What is Page_BlockSubmit?

When the user clicks on a button causing a full post back, after running Page_ClientValidate ASP.NET runs another built in function ValidatorCommonOnSubmit. Within Page_ClientValidate, Page_BlockSubmit is set based on the validation. The postback is then blocked in ValidatorCommonOnSubmit if Page_BlockSubmit is true. No matter what, at the end of the function Page_BlockSubmit is always reset back to false.

If a page does a partial postback without running any validation and Page_BlockSubmit has not been reset to false, the partial postback will be blocked. In essence the above function, RunValidation, acts similar to ValidatorCommonOnSubmit. It runs the validation and then returns false to block the postback if needed. Since the built in postback is never run, we need to reset Page_BlockSubmit manually before returning the validation result.

Video: Accident Near Bugis Involving Mercedes Driver

On 15 April 2013 before 8:30pm, an accident involving up to 7 vehicles occurred near Bugis at the junction of Victoria Street and Middle Road. This accident is said to be the result of a drunken or fainted Mercedes driver.

Investigation is still on-going. Thank goodness, passengers in the taxi are unharmed.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Facebook Home "Launch Day" Video Ad

What do you think of the Facebook Home "Launch Day" video ad? What message is Facebook trying to convey? Did you having a better understanding what Facebook Home is all about after watching this video? IMO, the video seems to suggest Facebook Home is a great potential for creating distractions.

Apollo 11 summarised in 100 seconds video

Presented here is the first manned mission to the Moon by the Americans, July 1969, in 100 one-second increments. Enjoy the voyage.

PSY - Gentleman

South Korean the Gangnam Style man has just released his new music video - Gentleman. Will this new Gentleman video break previous Gangnam Style record 1.5 billion YouTube views? Currently, the Gentleman video has recorded 6.9 million views so far.


What do you think of this new video? IMO, I find it rather clown and non-gentleman.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Tim Ho Wan (添好運) Opened in Plaza Singapura

Michelin Star dim sum (點心) restaurant from Hong Kong, Tim Ho Wan (添好運), is finally opened in Singapore, Plaza Singapura.


Address : Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Rd #01-29A
Tel. No.: 6251 2000

Boost Your Facebook Privacy

An interesting article from the LifeHacker How Facebook Uses Your Data to Target Ads, Even Offline will guide you how to boost your Facebook privacy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to Disable Chrome New Right Menu?

If you somehow or rather don't like the latest Chrome's right menu, there is a way to disable it.

  1. Look for the shortcut where you usually start Chrome e.g. on your Desktop.

  2. Right click on the shortcut and then Properties.

  3. Make sure the Shortcut tab is selected.

  4. In the Target field at the end of "C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" after space add "–-disable-new-menu-style" without quotes. (note we have got two hyphens before disable).

  5. Click OK to apply changes.

Done! The next time you click on this shortcut, the good usual familiar right menu will be used.

» Don't like Chrome’s New Menus? Here is how to Disable Them | TechDows

Article On Responsive Design


Articles from the Smashing Magazine featuring on responsive web design catering for both desktop and mobile. Interesting.

Difference Between LCD, LED, Plasma, and OLED TV

20 Best Wireframing Tools for Web Designers and Developers

Just for reference - a list of the 20 Best Wireframing Tools for Web Designers and Developers.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

My trust in Citibank has gone down the drain

Please do share if you do have a bad experience with Citibank or any other banks too.

Dear Sir/Mdm,

Reference to a request from @AskCiti (Twitter handler) to send an email to the above email address for elaboration as to why I have decided to terminate my credit card and my relationship with Citibank, I am here - now writing this email.

Twitter correspondence here: https://twitter.com/AskCiti/status/319451681580519424

So, what actually happened?

  1. On Feb 2013, I received a credit card bill from Citibank showing an annual fee of S$150 + S$10.50 charged onto my card.

  2. I called in to +65 6225 5225, spoke to a customer service officer (CSO) and requested for a waiver. The guy I spoke to promised and reassured me a total of S$160.50 would be waived on the spot. I proceeded to make bill payment without the waived amount.

  3. On Mar 2013, I received a credit card bill from Citibank. What shocked me was not only the S$160.50 wasn't been waived, a further S$21.85 was incurred due to an unexpected debit balance carried forward from Feb 2013.

  4. I called in to +65 6225 5225 last week, spoke to a customer service officer (CSO), explained what happened, and demanded for a waiver of S$150 + S$10.50 + S$21.85 = S$182.35. The CSO reassured me the amount would be waived in 3 working days. Not trusting Citibank this time round and wouldn't want this "debt" to be carried forward to yet another billing cycle, I insisted Citibank contact me on any update. I proceeded to make bill payment without the S$182.35.

  5. 3 working days have passed - nothing is done, no one from Citibank contacted me.

  6. I called +65 6225 5225 yesterday on 3 Apr 2013, spoke to a customer service officer (CSO), explained the whole story again, and was told my request for waiver was not in the system.

  7. The CSO helpfully made a waiver on the spot, reassured me the waiver done and completed.

  8. Losing trust completely in Citibank, I requested for a complete closure of my card. I was then redirected to the closure department.

  9. Citing my lost in trust in Citibank and lack of follow up from Citibank as the reason for closure, the last CSO I spoke to proceeded to close my account.

  10. Almost immediately after the tele-conversation, the last CSO phoned. It's this very last conversation that really made me laughed till I almost dropped. This CSO suggested I should stay with Citibank for 1 more year since all charges were waived. She then revealed the real 2 reasons for me to continue - 1) she forgot to verify my identity, 2) there was a system error encountered and my first conversation with her was not logged.

  11. Do you expect me to repeat everything again after the recording system is turned on?

  12. How can I convince myself to believe and trust Citibank again if simple procedure like verification of identity and making sure the recording system is running (if need be) are not ensured?

FYI, a copy of this email is published here.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

How to Determine Origin of Food From Bar Codes?

According to a Facebook post, it is possible to determine the origin of food bought from a supermarket by reading the barcodes on the package itself.

Disclaimer: I am not sure if it is 100% accurate.

HOW TO READ BAR CODES... (everyone must know)

ALWAYS READ THE LABELS ON THE FOODS YOU BUY--NO MATTER WHAT THE FRONT OF THE BOX OR PACKAGE SAYS, TURN IT OVER AND READ THE BACK CAREFULLY!


With all the food and pet products now coming from China, it is best to make sure you read label at the supermarket and especially when buying food products. Many products no longer show where they were made, only give where the distributor is located. The whole world is concerned about China-made "black-hearted goods".

Can you differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or China ? The world is also concerned about GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods; steroid fed animals (ex: 45 days old broiler chicken).

It is important to read the bar code to track its origin. How to read Bar Codes....interesting !

If the first 3 digits of the bar code are 690, 691 or 692, the product is MADE IN CHINA.
471 is Made in Taiwan .
If the first 3 digits of the bar code are 00-09 then it's made or sourced in USA.

This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public, therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves. Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products "MADE IN CHINA", so they don't show from which country it is made. However, you may now refer to the barcode -

Remember if the first 3 digits are:
890......MADE IN INDIA
690, 691, 692 ... then it is MADE IN CHINA
00 - 09 ... USA and CANADA
30 - 37 ... FRANCE
40 - 44 ... GERMANY
471 ........ Taiwan
45 or 49 ........JAPAN
489...........HONG KONG
50 .......... UK
57 .........DENMARK
64..........FINLAND
76.........SWITZERLAND and LIENCHTENSTIEN
471......... is Made in TAIWAN (see sample)
628.........SAUDI ARABIA
629.........UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
740..........745 - CENTRAL AMERICA

All 480 Codes are Made in the PHILIPPINES.

Do let me know how true is this!

More information can be found at GS1 Prefix List - How to Determine Origin of Food From Barcodes?.

MSSQL: Run Large SQL Script

Having problems when running large SQL scripts using the SQL Management Studio (SSMS)? I would suggest you use sqlcmd instead. Save your script in a flat file (e.g. .sql or .txt) and pass the file as an input parameter to sqlcmd like below.

sqlcmd -S SERVER\INSTANCE -i mysqlscript.sql

In case you are having problems logging in, you may wish to try either one of them.

sqlcmd -S SERVER\INSTANCE,PORT -i mysqlscript.sql

OR

sqlcmd -S np:\\127.0.0.1\pipe\MSSQL$INSTANCE\sql\query -i mysqlscript.sql

NOTE: Replace SERVER, INSTANCE, PORT accordingly to suit your server configuration.

Hope it helps.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Google New April Fools' Day Features

As part of Google's tradition, a series of new features or initiatives were announced in this year's April Fools' Day.

We have announcement from YouTube at which they announced they are now ready to announce the best ever uploaded video in 10 years' time. The selection process will be by several technicians based on strict guidelines. And YouTube will be shut down for good.


Next, we have announcement featuring whole new service in beta - Google Nose - a whole new different experience in search using a sense.


We also have got Google Maps launching treasure mode.


Joining in the fun, Gmail is launching Gmail Blue, obviously in mockery on Windows Blue - making everything blue.


Google Fiber is bringing fiber close to you, as long as you are connected to a "pole".


For webmasters and marketers, Google Analytics participated in this joke day by including hits from the International Space Stations.

Last but not least, a Google Easter Egg for you just by doing a search.