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Friday, November 24, 2017

Viral video showing couple pushing bicycles into drain

A video uploaded onto Facebook showing a couple pushing bicycles from bike sharing company oBike into drain, goes viral. The couple in the video were wearing workout attire and do not seem to be the ones who rented these "victimized" bicycles. The 2 bicycles were probably not parked probably and this could have sparked the couple behaving in this manner.

oBike has reported this mischief to the police.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Microservices vs. SOA

Have been reading up on the differences between Microservices and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) lately. The below are the definitions of these 2 terminologies lifted from Wikipedia.

A service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a style of software design where services are provided to the other components by application components, through a communication protocol over a network. The basic principles of service-oriented architecture are independent of vendors, products and technologies. A service is a discrete unit of functionality that can be accessed remotely and acted upon and updated independently, such as retrieving a credit card statement online.

Microservices is a variant of the service-oriented architecture (SOA) architectural style that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled services. In a microservices architecture, services should be fine-grained and the protocols should be lightweight.

My Internet browsing pattern got pick up by Google Now and was an article was proposed as a possible to-read article.

Maximizes application service reusabilityFocused on decoupling
A systematic change requires modifying the monolithA systematic change is to create a new service
DevOps and Continuous Delivery are becoming popular, but are not mainstreamStrong focus on DevOps and Continuous Delivery
Focused on business functionality reuseMore importance on the concept of “bounded context”
For communication it uses Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)For communication uses less elaborate and simple messaging systems
Supports multiple message protocolsUses lightweight protocols such as HTTP, REST or Thrift APIs
Use of a common platform for all services deployed to itApplication Servers are not really used, it’s common to use cloud platforms 
Use of containers (such as Docker) is less popularContainers work very well with microservices
SOA services share the data storageEach microservice can have an independent data storage
Common governance and standardsRelaxed governance, with greater focus on teams collaboration and freedom of choice

» Microservices vs. SOA – Is There Any Difference at All? | DZone

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How to activate 280 characters limit Tweet

Update: Twitter has blocked this. It was fun though.

Twitter is currently testing to extend the current 140 characters limit to 280 for a single tweet. This feature is said to be available to a small selected group of users only but there is a way to get this 280 characters extension activated.

Developer Juliette Pretot has published a method to activate the 280 character tweets. I have personally tested it and it is working as expected.

Friday, September 08, 2017

One America Appeal - Helping Hurricane Victims

What is the One America Appeal?

The One America Appeal is a joint appeal by all five living former American Presidents to encourage their fellow citizens to support recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey — which inundated the Texas Gulf Coast with unprecedented flooding. This special appeal will be expanded to include Hurricane Irma now approaching the mainland United States.

Will the One America Appeal also help Americans affected by Hurricane Irma?

Yes, preparations are in place to do so. What started as a specific appeal to address historic flood damage in Texas will be expanded to help victims from both storms. The nature of that assistance will be dictated in large measure by the storm’s track and impact

Why did the former Presidents decide to launch the One America Appeal?

The former Presidents were inspired to come together in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which unleashed devastating flooding — and spurred thousands of first responders and neighbors into action. More than one million people have been displaced by Harvey, which has caused up to $180 billion in damages to over 200,000 homes over a 300-mile path of destruction.

If I make a donation today, where does my money go?

All donations made today will go to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas through (1) the Houston Harvey Relief Fund focusing on the greater Houston region, and (2) the Rebuild Texas Fund assisting communities across the state.

Can I mail a check?

Yes. Checks to the One America Appeal may be mailed to:

GBPLF One America Appeal
Post Office Box 14141
College Station, Texas 77841-4141
*Checks should be payable to "GBPLF One America Appeal"

Is the One America Appeal a new fund?

No. All funds collected through the One America Appeal will go into a special account at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, to ensure 100 cents out of every dollar donated goes to hurricane victims. All monies collected will be distributed immediately to the designated recovery funds. All donations will also be tax-deductible.

Are public tax dollars involved in this project?

No. This is a private effort led by distinguished private citizens to raise private dollars that will supplement ongoing relief and recovery efforts underway at all levels of government.

Get to know more of the One America Appeal.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Group Internet Explorer Tabs Into One Icon In Taskbar

One annoying default "feature" of Internet Explorer is it displays each tab as separate taskbar icon. This is unlike other browsers like Chrome and Firefox. To get around this, try the following steps:
  1. Tools → Internet Options
  2. Under the General tab, click on Tabs button.
  3. Make sure 'Show previews for individual tabs in the taskbar' option is unchecked.
  4. Click OK to apply changes.
  5. Re-launch Internet Explorer.
IE tabs should now be grouped into one single icon in the taskbar.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Windows - Icon Not Showing Correctly Fix

If you find that icons of your applications are not showing correctly on your Windows 7, your Icon Cache may be corrupted. The Icon Cache or IconCache.db is a special database file that Windows uses to make drawing icons of applications faster without having to get from individual application each time.

To be able to get the icons displayed correctly again, IconCache.db has to be rebuilt.
  1. Launch Task Manager.
  2. Look for explorer.exe process and end it.
  3. Locate IconCache.db and delete it. In Windows 7/8, the IconCache.db file can be found at C:\Users\%Username%\AppData\Local\. (you may need to enable to show hidden files before you can locate IconCache.db).
  4. From Task Manager, click on File > New Task (Run).
  5. Type explorer.exe and then click on OK button.

Your icons should be back!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Restore Database Backup Over a Network Drive

How do you restore a Microsoft SQL database backup over a network drive without having to download to local? Since the database server is run as a service under an account that often without network access permission, it wouldn't be possible to be able to select the network drive/path when you are performing a restore. Nonetheless, we are not left without workaround.

To restore database backup over a network, you will need to run the following SQL statements using your SQL Management Studio.

--enable to show advanced options
EXEC sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1
--apply changes for show advanced options
--enable xp_cmdshell
EXEC sp_configure 'xp_cmdshell', 1
--apply changes for xp_cmdshell
--replace network path, username and password accordingly
EXEC xp_cmdshell 'NET USE Z: \\SERVER\Path password /USER:Domain\Username'

Once the above are executed, you should be able to choose Z:\ network drive to restore your database backup file. I hope it helps.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Installing Oracle Complaining Missing

When installing Oracle Database 12c Release 1, you may encounter an error complaining missing file. You will be stuck no matter how many times you hit on Retry button. It just won't proceed!

To resolve this issue, you will need to do this:

  1. Abort installation.
  2. Copy all folders and files in your \winx64_12102_SE2_database_2of2\database\stage\Components\ folder to \winx64_12102_SE2_database_1of2\database\stage\Components\.
  3. Initiate installation again.

Please do not ask me why the need for this silly step. It is just how Oracle package their installation files. I would recommend them doing a ISO file instead of doing 2 ZIP files!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SharePoint 2013 Site Template ID List for PowerShell

If you are creating a new SharePoint site collection using PowerShell, you can specify the template to be applied. To do that, PowerShell expects you to provide the Template ID. The following is a list of template ids which may come handy.

Template IDTitle
GLOBAL#0Global template
STS#0Team Site
STS#1Blank Site
STS#2Document Workspace
MPS#0Basic Meeting Workspace
MPS#1Blank Meeting Workspace
MPS#2Decision Meeting Workspace
MPS#3Social Meeting Workspace
MPS#4Multipage Meeting Workspace
CENTRALADMIN#0Central Admin Site
WIKI#0Wiki Site
SGS#0Group Work Site
TENANTADMIN#0Tenant Admin Site
APP#0App Template
APPCATALOG#0App Catalog Site
ACCSRV#0Access Services Site
ACCSRV#1Assets Web Database
ACCSRV#3Charitable Contributions Web Database
ACCSRV#4Contacts Web Database
ACCSRV#5Projects Web Database
ACCSRV#6Issues Web Database
ACCSVC#0Access Services Site Internal
ACCSVC#1Access Services Site
BDR#0Document Center
DEV#0Developer Site
EDISC#0eDiscovery Center
EDISC#1eDiscovery Case
OFFILE#0(obsolete) Records Center
OFFILE#1Records Center
OSRV#0Shared Services Administration Site
BICenterSite#0Business Intelligence Center
SPS#0SharePoint Portal Server Site
SPSPERS#0SharePoint Portal Server Personal Space
SPSPERS#2Storage And Social SharePoint Portal Server Personal Space
SPSPERS#3Storage Only SharePoint Portal Server Personal Space
SPSPERS#4Social Only SharePoint Portal Server Personal Space
SPSPERS#5Empty SharePoint Portal Server Personal Space
SPSMSITE#0Personalization Site
SPSTOC#0Contents area Template
SPSTOPIC#0Topic area template
SPSNEWS#0News Site
CMSPUBLISHING#0Publishing Site
BLANKINTERNET#0Publishing Site
BLANKINTERNET#1Press Releases Site
BLANKINTERNET#2Publishing Site with Workflow
SPSSITES#0Site Directory
SPSCOMMU#0Community area template
SPSPORTAL#0Collaboration Portal
SRCHCEN#0Enterprise Search Center
ENTERWIKI#0Enterprise Wiki
COMMUNITY#0Community Site
SRCHCENTERLITE#0Basic Search Center
SRCHCENTERLITE#1Basic Search Center
visprus#0Visio Process Repository

» SharePoint 2013 Site Template ID List for PowerShell | Absolute SharePoint Blog

Friday, May 12, 2017

8 ways to spot fake news

Fake news is nothing new and it has got worse recently. With social media, fake and bogus stories can reach more people more quickly than before in the past.

Here are 8 ways to spot fake news:
  1. Consider the source
  2. Read beyond the headline
  3. Check the author
  4. What's the support?
  5. Check the date
  6. Is this some kind of joke?
  7. Check your biases
  8. Consult the experts
» How to Spot Fake News | FactCheck.Org

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bernie Sanders message on whether Russia and Trump colluded

Did Russia act independently in support of Trump or did the Trump campaign actively collude with them in attempting to win the election?

James Comey's farewell letter - In full

James Comey was fired, by U.S. President Donald Trump, from his position as FBI director, because Trump felt Comey was not doing a good job. The firing received several criticisms for its timing and it raises all kinds of questions especially as the FBI is reportedly ramping up its investigation of Trump associates' connections to Russia.

James Comey's farewell letter - in full:

To all:

I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all. I'm not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed.

I hope you won't either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.

I have said to you before that, in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty, and independence.

What makes leaving the FBI hard is the nature and quality of its people, who together make it that rock for America.

It is very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing.

My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.

If you do that, you too will be sad when you leave, and the American people will be safer.

Working with you has been one of the great joys of my life.

Thank you for that gift.

Jim Comey

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Facebook is down

What can get more worse for some for not able to update their Facebook status to inform the world that Facebook is down? Yes, Facebook is down, at least for me in Singapore as of now May 9, 2017, 09:41 AM (GMT +8).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How Interest Rate Changes Affect REITs?

I chance upon an article on how interest rate changes affect Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and thought of sharing this article to my readers.

In this article, it wrote how REITs react to 2 main factors:- (1) Cost of borrowing changes; and (2) Attractiveness of REIT as an investment asset versus alternative investments. The writer concludes interest rate is a factor, but REIT returns are influenced more by the following instead:

  1. Economic growth, population growth, demand and supply dynamics, manufacturing production, jobs demand and supply
  2. Valuation of the REIT
  3. Manager's Competency

» How Interest Rate Changes Affect REITs | Investment Moats

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Rights of a passenger on-board a flight

After seeing how the 69 year old Asian man was rough handled for refusing to leave the overbooked United Airlines plane to make room for additional crew members and hearing most if not all airlines reserve every rights to denial passengers, I decided to read up if such conditions exist.

An excerpt lifted from the 'Conditions of Carriage' of one random airliner:

Notice of refusal to carry you

We will be entitled to refuse to carry you and your Baggage if we have notified you in writing that we will not carry you on our services. The notice will give details of the period for which it will apply and will ask you not to make a Booking or ask or allow anyone to do so for you. If you try to travel while the notice is in force, we will refuse to carry you.


If you are denied boarding due to overbooking of a scheduled flight for which you have a Booking, we will try to get you to your destination within a reasonable time of your original scheduled arrival time. If we do not, we will provide compensation and any care required by any law which may apply or in accordance with our policy if there is no applicable law. This clause 10.3 does not apply if you fail to meet the Check-in Deadline and boarding requirements in 8.1 or we exercise our right to refuse to carry you.

If we are unable to accommodate your Cabin Baggage, we may ask you if we can stow it in the aircraft hold as Checked Baggage. In these circumstances you will not be charged for the relevant Checked Baggage.

That is what we are in for when we tick 'I agree' when making plane tickets booking.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Passenger Dragged Out of United Airlines Plane

A passenger was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight, bound for Louisville from Chicago, by law enforcement security officers after refusing to give up his seat. The aircraft was said to have been overbooked and additional crew members were needed to be on-board to link up for another flight in Louisville. The airline first seek for volunteers to deplane by offering $800 as compensation. When no volunteers stood out, the airline began randomly selecting passengers to be deplaned and that's when things turned ugly.

Chicago Aviation Security Officers were called in to remove an Asian man after the man resisted and refused to cooperate. The following video showed just how the man was being handled.

WARNING: Footage may be disturbing:

Shortly after the above video went viral on the Internet, the United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, posted a letter to its employees and the letter clearly is short of an apology to the passenger:

Dear Team,

Like you, I was upset to see and hear about what happened last night aboard United Express Flight 3411 headed from Chicago to Louisville. While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I’ve included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees.

As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.

I do, however, believe there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and we are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident. Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.


Blood stain on armrest - Tweet claimed the security officers smashed his head / face into the other seat:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

How to Follow the Obama and Others

Donald J Trump is now the 45th President of the United States of America and has taken over the various social media accounts
  1. @POTUS (Twitter), POTUS (Facebook)
  2. @FLOTUS (Twitter), FLOTUS (Facebook)
  3. @WhiteHouse (Twitter), @WhiteHouse (Instagram), WhiteHouse (Facebook)
Given Trump's 20.8 million followers on his @realDonaldTrump Twitter account, he should still be tweeting from this account.

The tweets and posts from the Obama Administration are not lost and should you are still interested to follow and view them, here you are!
  1. @POTUS44 (Twitter), POTUS44 (Facebook)
  2. @FLOTUS44 (Twitter), FLOTUS44 (Facebook)
  3. @ObamaWhiteHouse (Twitter), @ObamaWhiteHouse (Instagram), ObamaWhiteHouse (Facebook)
Social media accounts from the Obama Administration are now archived and I would think no new posts may come from them anymore. If you want to follow what Team Obama is up to, you can follow them on Twitter at @BarackObama, @MichelleObama and @ObamaFoundation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

GrabCar Cancellation Policy Not Protecting Passengers

I quote the Terms Of Use for GrabCar below.

Judge for yourself. Cancellation Fee Policy of $2 does not protect passengers at all! I personally had to cancel a booking due to driver never turning up despite I having tried to contact the missing driver. There is just no way for passengers to provide a valid reason to justify the cancellation. Feeling annoyed by the driver's behaviour, I raised a ticket to GrabCar on Dec 20 and the only reply from them was an automatic reply 5 days later telling me they are overwhelmed with tickets and what I could do is either drop my ticket, contact via phone or reply the email, followed by a "guaranteed" resolution in yet another 5 days' time.

After having said so many, let's just hope the few black sheep can be more professional.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Li Chun (立春) - Best day and time to deposit money in Chinese New Year 2017

One of the first timetable detailing the ideal auspicious time for people to do a bank deposit on Li Chun (立春) is publihshed by a Fengshui expert.

What's yours?

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