Archive for July 2009

Lookout for Google Street View Van before you commit your crime

This is one of those amazing tech news. A 14 year old boy was being robbed of $230 and his cell phone after two men dragged him off his bicycle in Groningen, Netherlands. The crime was solved 6 months later with the help of Google Street View.

Apparently, a Google Street View Van just passed by the area moments before the crime took place. The boy saw it on Street View and went back to the police again. But since Google blurred out all faces on Street View, the Netherlands police have to sent a formal request to Google for the original photo. Google complied, and a robbery squad detective immediately recognized one of the twins.

Unbelievable right? So for all criminals out there, lookout for the Google Street View Van before you commit your crime.

Speaking of Street View, I wonder what is happening to Singapore’s Street View. It’s been more than 8 months since the Google Street View Van was spotted in Singapore.

Sony Ericsson Entertainment Unlimited: Satio, Aino and Yari

Sony Ericsson recently announced its Asia Pacific strategy for Entertainment Unlimited, the next phrase of its Communication Entertainment strategy. Entertainment Unlimited will offer consumer a broad range of content from latest movies, music and games. This is made possible with the partnership of Sony Pictures and Sony Music. No news about the charging model yet, but every phone in the Entertainment Unlimited series will allow you to download a few movie and music video for free. (Depending on the phone model)

The first 3 Sony Ericsson phone under Entertainment Unlimited are Satio (formerly known as Idou), Aino and Yari.

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Satio is one of those phone which makes you wonder if its a phone or camera. It comes with a 12.1 megapixel camera, Xenon flash and filled with lots of digital camera features like face detection, smile detection, image stablizer, touch focus etc etc. We were shown the photo printout and the quality is amazing. The Satio has a 3.5 inch touchscreen and runs on Symbian. It is able to play nHD games like Asphalt Road and Prince of Persia (which will come together with the phone). The Satio only comes with 128mb built in memory, but you can expand with a MicroSD card. Yes, you heard me right, MicroSD on a Sony Ericsson phone.

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The Satio comes in Black, Silver and Bordeaux.

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Aino is a 3 inch touchscreen phone with a slide out keypad. The strange thing about Aino is that the touchscreen is deactivated when the keypad is being slide out. But note that the phone I saw is still a prototype. Hope they allow touchscreen to be use together with keypad in the final version. The most interesting feature about the Aino is that it can access the media content on your Playstation 3 using Remote Play. This allows you to connect to your Playstation from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access. Aino comes with a 8.1 megapixel camera and 55mb of built in memory which you can expand with a MicroSD card. The Aino come bundled with a bluetooth headphone and a charging stand. I love the charging stand a lot. There are 2 slot on the charging stand, 1 for powerpoint another for data cable to connect to your PC. Cool.

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The Aino comes in Obsidian Black and Luminous White.

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Yari is positioned as a mobile gaming phone. It has a slide out keypad and 2.4 inch screen, no touchscreen. Comes with a 5.0 megapixel camera, 60 mb built in memory and MicroSD expansion. Interesting, Sony Ericsson seems to be moving away from the Memory Stick M2 and switching over to MicroSD. Good move since MicroSD is getting more and more popular and cheap. Yari comes preloaded with some gesture and motion game. With the help of the secondary camera, you can use gesture to play tennis game. Seems weird and hard to control, but you’ll never know if it will becomes a hit someday.

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The Yari comes in Achromatic Black and Cranberry White.

The Satio, Aino and Yari will be available in Asia Pacific from early Q4 2009.

Sony Ericsson also announced that it will be sponsoring an AXN production featuring famous Japanese illusionist Cyril. Expect to see Sony Ericsson phones magically appearing and disappearing on AXN this coming November.

Thanks to Matthew and Selena from Burson-Marsteller and Sony Ericsson for the invite.

SAF’s first Malay General

We have come a long way for this day. After 44 years of independence, we finally have a Malay General in the Army. Colonel Ishak bin Ismail has become the first Malay to attain the rank of brigadier-general in SAF. Even though I’m not a Malay, I felt happy when I read the news last week.

It was revealed in 1987 that the SAF was cautious about putting Malay officers in key posts. PM Lee Hsien Loong (Second Minister for defence at that time), made the following comment when asked why weren’t there any Malay pilots in the SAF.

If there is a conflict, if the SAF is called upon to defend the homeland, we don’t want to put any of our soldiers in a difficult position where his emotions for the nation may come in conflict with his emotion for his religion, because these are two very strong fundamentals, and if they are not compatible, then they will be two very strong destructive forces in opposite directions

I personally don’t agree with his statement. Yes, we are surrounded by Muslim countries and if there is any armed conflict in Singapore, it would most likely be with our neighbours. But would someone betray his country because of religion? Or would our enemy be able to use religion to make one of us deflect? I seriously doubt so. It doesn’t matter if the person is a Chinese, Malay or Indian. We are still Singaporeans. Born and grew up here. This is what matter most.

Lets hope that we will no longer discriminate someone based on his/her race or religion. Today is a milestone for Singapore, a day where we move closer to achieving our pledge of “Regardless of Race, Language or Religion”.