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Archive for July, 2015

Signs that the elections are coming

31/07/2015 Leave a comment

You know, politicians can be a funny lot. You almost never can see them anytime but when election time comes, they will try to sweet-talk you like crazy. Take this picture for instance. It was taken by my friend. She found this on her gate when she got home from work. I had something similar happen to me about four years ago, during the 2011 General Elections. My Member of Parliament, whom I had not seen for the longest times, actually took the time to visit apartment by apartment in the housing block I was staying in. This is no different. They are never around when you need them but when election time comes…

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Fly the Singapore Flag with pride

30/07/2015 Leave a comment

I got this image courtesy of Mothership.sg and the reason I am putting it up on my blog is because a couple of days back, I bought myself the Singapore flag and wanted to display it outside my apartment. The problem is that my apartment has got no hooks to fasten this flag to so I had to get a couple of them. Two minutes of drilling with my trusty Bosch rotary hammer gave me two holes on the wall outside my window to mount the hooks that my flag will be mounted on. It is getting close to National Day. This is my country so I will display my flag.

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Samsung 840 PRO 512Gb SSD hard drive

29/07/2015 Leave a comment

I currently have a Samsung 256Gb SSD in my old Lenovo ThinkPad x61 notebook. That notebook is old and the SSD drive just makes it go fast as anything and frankly, I am very, very pleased with it. I am thinking of getting a 512Gb SSD for my laptop computer because the hard drive is 3 years old and it should be starting to show signs of wear and tear. The only thing that is stopping me from buying this SSD is the price…it is still kinda expensive. I am waiting for Amazon Global to cut the price some more and whoosh…I will order it online and have it sent over. You can get these drives here in Singapore but honestly, you get better savings from Amazon Global. Trust me, if you can, go the SSD route. You will not be disappointed. Look at my 256Gb SSD in my old Lenovo…the thing just flies and there is heaps of space. So yeah…decisions to be made on this soon.

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Google Docs and Google Drive

28/07/2015 1 comment

I have been using Google Docs for quite some time now and to be honest, I do not know how I lived my computer life without it before. I mean, I used Google Drive purely for storage in the past but it was only about a year ago when I found out its true potential. Google has pulled its Docs, Sheets, and Slides services into Google Drive, allowing me to share and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations seamlessly from within Drive. What’s more, none of these documents will take up any of my 15Gb allowance. Gmail also allows me to quickly attach documents from Google Drive, while it’s also possible to set attachments to automatically save to the cloud. Google has also integrated its Google photo sharing facilities into Drive, which allows me to automatically upload photos taken with my phone to Google Drive. What’s more, if they’re less than 2048 x 2048 in size, my uploaded photos won’t count against my allowance. Pretty good eh?

All told, Google Drive offers a very comprehensive set of tools to use. If you’re familiar and comfortable with using Google services, it’s hard to argue against using it. And that is why I tell all my friends to get on it

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Singapore Excellence Award and Singapore Enrich Group in the news

27/07/2015 Leave a comment

Some time back, I wrote in this blog about The Singapore Excellence Award (pictured above) and about the Singapore Enrich Group (SEG) that gives out the awards. I wrote it because I came to know that a company that I know of had won such an award and I wanted to find out more about it. I did my digging then and found out about the “award” and I did not know that the alarm bells that were ringing to me then would hit the news only now.

In any case, it was reported in The Straits Times Business section on the 19th of July 2015 with the header  “Industry awards: Farce or Fortune?” Ever since then, I have noticed a lot of people have been reading this and the hits to my previous post on this has been sky-rocketing like crazy. A lot of other people have filled the comments section of the previous post, like this gentleman named Paul who also made a post in his blog about this SEG award. His blog post was titled: Beware of “Award” Scam in Singapore. It made for very interesting reading indeed because he speaks from experience:

Beware of this business scam using dubious Award to deceive you into believing that you have been nominated and won an Award. My recent encounter with a company named Singapore Enrich Group Pte Ltd has been an alarm to me that many SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) might possibility being the victim of this scam Awards. I would like to share this story and alert the business community, members of parliament, and entrepreneurs to beware and report to police accordingly.

Apparently, Paul was told that when he was notified about the award his small company was nominated for by the SEG, he was told that he had to pay a sum of money to get it. A-ha! That is the catch! As I said, it makes for very interesting reading and it even reached The Online Citizen, with their headline: “PAP MPs’ attendance at sham awards events raises questions

At least seven members of parliament (MP) have graced dinner events, with some presenting awards at such dinners, organised by the Singapore Enrich Group (SEG). SEG, which is headed by chief executive officer Alex Yeo, has been in the spotlight since the Sunday Times highlighted its business model – which is to charge companies a fee for being presented with an award and for publicity costs. And as for the awards themselves, they are created by SEG with titles such as: “Singapore’s Outstanding Enterprises” and “Industry Stars”. The nature of the awards themselves has led to criticisms that the awards are in fact sham awards, and which even some of the recipient companies do not know are issued by a private company. These awards are also neither backed or supported by industry associations nor officially endorsed by government bodies, according to the Sunday Times last week.

Looks like there has been something funny that has been going on here. And you know something? The owner of the SEG was interviewed and he said that the Straits Times article had “affected his business”. Not a bad business to have Mr Alex Yeo. And it seems, Alex Yeo’s SEG is not the ONLY one doing this “award” thingy. Other people are doing it as well, as the article found out!

My warning to all you SMEs is to do some due diligence, some reasearch if you will, on so-called companies like these. And all it took to trigger this investigation of mine was my friend’s company being “nominated” for the award. I do not know how much he had to pay for this “award” to be honest but going by what I read here…

The Creative Sound Blaster Play! 2

27/07/2015 Leave a comment

A few days back, at an event, one of the DJs was using this as an external soundcard on his Macbook Pro. What happened was that he was using the headphone out as a monitor and using this Sound Blaster Play 2 as the primary sound source as he was playing with VirtualDJ 7. It looked interesting so I had a check on what it was and from their website, this what I found out:

The Sound Blaster Play! 2 is a USB sound card gives users a true-to-life 3D audio soundstage, and noiseless recordings for podcasts and video conferencing. Compatible with all analog headsets and earbuds, the Sound Blaster Play! 2 delivers powerful audio via SBX Pro Studio technology, full audio settings customization via Sound Blaster Play! 2 Control Panel, and optimized profiles for select earphone brands.

Apparently, on the online shop. this little marvel only costs about $29. That is not too bad for a tiny little soundcard and I am sure that it is heaps better than some of those POS sound cards that I bought back in the day. In any case, my friend used it on his Mac and the sound was fuller than what his Mac’s soundcard could have provided. So if you ask if I liked it? I will have to say I did

Excavator wheel with attached winch drum

26/07/2015 Leave a comment

I have been a lover of all things electrical and mechanical since young. I do not know why but things like these catch my attention all the time, even from the time I was young. Just the other day for instance, I was at a friend’s place and I noticed that there were some road works happening in the area. There was this big old excavator parked on the grass verge. Then I noticed this winch-drum like protrusion bolted to the huge rear wheel. It looked to me like a winch, hence the assumption earlier. Now I do not know whether it is used for winching duties but it certainly seems that way. If anyone sees this and knows what it is for, please let me know. Curiosity is and has gotten the better of me!

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