Archive for August 2009

Chunk Fest 2009

Chunk Fest is back! Woohoo!

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Date: 12 Sept 2009
Time: 2 to 10pm
Venue: Marina Barrage

Marina Barrage is an interesting venue. Jack & Rai, Elusion featuring Melissa, and 5 other local bands will also be there to entertain you. There will also be other contest like Giant Twisters, Guess What?, Spot-The-Difference and the Vermonster Challenge.

Vermonster Challenge will be interesting. Form a team of 2 and try to defeat the Vermonster, 20 scoops of Ice Cream plus toppings. Fastest team win $500 worth of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and merchandise & free Vermonsters at VivoCity Scoop Shop for a period of 1-year. Anyone want to take part with me? Wahahahahaha

For more info, check out the facebook page.

Lets hope it doesn’t rain this time. Last year’s chunk fest was kinda messy with rain and muddy field.

Tech news this week

Wow, lots of exciting tech news happening this week while I was away for reservist. Imagine my excitement when I was reading those news on a small Nokia E51 screen. Wahahaha.

Anyway, here is a short round up of some of the tech news that interests me.

Garmin nuvifone G60 is coming to Singapore soon. This phone by the GPS maker was announced 2 years ago and is finally making its way to the store. Hope they are not too late in the market. You might want to know that Singapore and Malaysia is getting this phone earlier than the US & Europe market.

Asus announced the UX30 and U20. Looks like the netbook battle is slowly shifting to the little area between netbook and notebook. We might need a new category for this kind of notebook.

Nokia announced the Booklet 3G netbook. This news comes as a surprised to some, but I was already kinda expecting this move after seeing how close Nokia is approaching the mobile computing market with their Internet tablets and N series phone. The things that excites me most is the built in 3G, A-GPS and 12 hour battery life. No news about the operating system yet but we are guessing its going to be Windows 7. More specs and availability date to be announced during Nokia World 09 on September 2.

HTC announced that it will be bundling Sygic Mobile Maps on HTC Magic. This means new HTC Magic users will get turn-by-turn voice instructions and route guidance, something that is clearly missing in a lot of Smartphones like *cough*iPhone*cough*. The Sygic Mobile Maps will include maps of Singapore and Malaysia. Now available on all new HTC Magic exclusively at SingTel, StarHub and M1 only. Will talk more about this when I got more info.

Busy week for Nokia as they announced the new Nokia N900 running on Maemo OS will be available in selected market from Oct 09 (Hope Singapore is one of them). Looks kinda like N97 with slide out keyboard and different operating system. OK, the processor should be much better too since its meant for multi-tasking. The new Nokia N900 will be on show during Nokia World 09. (Someone fly me to Stuttgart please)

Singtel introduces the most affordable Blackberry service plan in town with starting price of S$10.70 a month (1 GB bundled data). Its seems to be targeted at younger crowd like youths. I’m beginning to see more students using Blackberry phones. I still can’t figure out why they need Blackberry though.

Two Japanese scientists hackers have figured out a way to crack WPA encryption in sixty seconds and plans to reveal it to the world of hackers on Sept 25. Sources says that only Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) algorithm are affected. Time to change to Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm.

Augmented reality is coming to buUuk Sydney soon. I wonder if they will include Singapore too. Anyway, you will need iPhone 3GS for augmented reality to work since the older iPhones doesn’t have digital compass.

Twestival Singapore is coming. This time, they will be raising funds for Children’s Cancer Foundation. More details coming up soon. Make sure you are free on 12 Sept.

PS: I’m sure I missed out something.

Oh ya, Snow Leopard is now in Store. You can order it from Apple Online store at S$48. I’ve just ordered mine yesterday and should be here within 3 to 5 working days. Just in time for me when I out pro from reservist.

Do the Bartman

Do you know the song “Do the Bartman” in The Simpsons 1990 album is co-written by Michael Jackson? Michael was a fan of The Simpsons and he offered to write a song for Bart. The song was released on 20 November 1990. But Michael could not receive credit for it because he was under contract to another record label. It was only in 1998 when the creator of The Simpsons reveals that the song was written by Michael Jackson & Bryan Loren.

Although the song was never officially released as a single in the United States, it was very successful internationally, reaching the top of the singles chart in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom. It also reached the top ten in Sweden and the Netherlands.

Michael Jackson is indeed the greatest entertainer that ever lived. Do you know that today is his 51th birthday if he is still alive? Happy Birthday Michael, may you rest in peace.

Do the Bartman

Yo, hey what’s happening dude?
I’m a guy with a rep for bein’ rude
Terrorizin’ people wherever I go
It’s not intentional, just keepin’ the flow

Fixin’ test scores to get the best scores
Droppin’ banana peels all over the floor
I’m the kid that made delinquency an art
Last name, Simpson, first name, Bart

I’m here today to introduce the next phase
The next step in the big Bart craze
I got a dance, real easy to do
I learned it with no rhythm and so can you

So, move your body, if you got the notion
Front to back in a rock-like motion
Now that you got it, if you think you can
Do it to the music, that’s the Bartman

Everybody, if you can, do the Bartman
Shake you body, turn it out, if you can, man
Move you butt to the side, yes, you can, can
Everybody in the house, do the Bartman

Everybody, if you can, do the Bartman
Shake you body, turn it out, if you can, man
Move you butt to the side, yes, you can, can
Everybody in the house, do the Bartman

It wasn’t long ago, just a couple of weeks
I got in trouble, yeah, pretty deep
Homer was yellin’, mom was, too
Because I put mothballs in the beef stew

Punishment time, in the air lurks gloom
Sittin’ by myself, confined to my room
When all else fails, nothin’ else left to do
I turn on the music, so I can feel the groove

Move your body, if you got the notion
Front to back in a rock-like motion
Move your hips from side to side now
Don’t ya slip, let your feet glide now

If you’ve got the groove, you gotta use it
Rock rhythm in time with the music
You just might start a chain reaction
If you can do the Bart, you’re bad like Michael Jackson

Everybody, if you can, do the Bartman
Shake you body, turn it out, if you can, man
Move your butt to the side as you can, can
Everybody in the house, do the Bartman, do the Bartman

Do the Bartman, everybody, back and forth, from side to side
Do the Bartman, do the Bartman
Now, here’s a dance beat that you can’t deny
Turn it down will you stop that infernal racket?
Do the Bartman

Oh my ears, Lisa, put that saxophone away
You can’t touch this, I didn’t do it, nobody saw me do it
You can’t prove anything

Now, I’m in the house feelin’ good to be home
‘Til Lisa starts blowin’ her damn saxophone
And if it was mine, you know they’d take it away
But still I’m feelin’ good, so that’s okay

I’m up in my room, just a-singin’ a song
Listenin’ to the kicks while I’m kickin’ along
Yeah, Lisa likes jazz, she’s her number one fan
But I know I’m bad, ’cause I do the Bartman

Everybody, if you can do the Bartman
Shake your body, turn it out if you can, man
Move your butt to the side, as you can, can
Everybody in the house, do the Bartman, do the Bartman

Do the Bartman
Everybody, back and forth from side to side
Do the Bartman, do the Bartman
She can do it, he can do it, so can I

If you’ve got the groove, you gotta use it
Rock rhythm in time with the music
You just might start a chain reaction

I’m a Bartman, everybody, if you can, do the Bartman
Shake your body, turn it out, if you can, man
Move your butt to the side, as you can, can
Everybody in the house do the Bartman

Move you body, if you got the notion
Skake your body to the rock like motion
Move your hips from side to side now
Don’t ya slip, let your feet glide now

If you’ve got your groove, you gotta use it
Rock rhythm in time with the music
Eat your heart out, Michael
You just might start a chain reaction
Oh, wow, man

Review: Acer F900

I have the chance to review the new Acer F900 smartphone recently. If you remember, I blog about their launch event couple of months back.

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The Acer F900 is one of the 5 smartphone launched by Acer in April 09. The most distinctive feature of the F900 is the 3.8 inch WVGA touchscreen. There is no physical keyboard, therefore the phone is rather slim at 11.75 x 6.35 x 1.285 cm and weighs 150g. Comes with the usual HSPDA, WIFI, Bluetooth and GPS. 3.2 megapixel camera with auto focus. Total 256 MB Flash memory for OS/embedded apps and 128 MB SDRAM for user applications and storage. You can extend it by inserting a microSD card. 1 thing I don’t like about the Acer F900 hardware is that it is still using Mini-USB port for data transfer and charging when most phones are moving towards using Micro-USB instead.

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The Acer F900 is running on Window Mobile 6.1. Personally, I’m not a fan of the original Window Mobile interface. I’m sure I’m not alone because a lot of phone makers are creating their own user interface to run on top of Window Mobile. Acer is no exception. The Acer F900 comes with Acer Shell v2.0.

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At first look, the Acer Shell looks pretty impressive. There are 3 “panels” that allows you to slide left or right. On each panel, you can place widgets on the table. There are widgets like Photo Frame, Contacts, CD, Calendar etc etc. You can add, remove or move the widgets anywhere you like on the “table”. There is even a window where you can see the weather forecast. You can swipe downward to access application shortcuts.

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But after using the Acer Shell for some time, the novelty faded and I begin to ask myself if I really want a home screen that looks like a table with stationary on it. There aren’t a lot of widgets to choose from and I doubt Acer has open up the SDK for developers to create new ones yet. Daniel remarked that it reminds him of Microsoft Bob. I have to agree with him.

As a whole, the Acer F900 is a normal Window Mobile 6.1 with a large 3.8 inch scren. I’m personally not a huge fan of the Acer Shell. But that is just me. But if you don’t like the Acer Shell, you can always unload it and use the orginal Window Mobile interface.

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In Short:
A large screen Window Mobile Smartphone with Acer Shell

Likes:
Large 3.8 inch scren.

Dislike:
Acer Shell 2.0
Mini-USB port

Thanks to Andrew from ICON and Acer for sending me the review unit.

Did Singaporean Feel The Pain in This Global Recession?

Good day to all readers of dk.sg! As you know that DK is currently “on leave” to serve his country, he has “employed” me to blog on his behalf during his absence…for free of course.

My name is Neo and I blog at thenewdimension.com.My area of interest is in Technology and venture capital (alright, it sounds boring). More often, I write articles on latest gadgets in town and tech-related stuffs. I usually don’t blog about society and public issues as they are very much controversial in nature. By agreeing to write on blog.dk.sg is a challenge. As you might have known, DK had been nominated as “most insightful blog”. As a guest blog, I have to put up this disclaimer up front. If my blog entry is not as insightful as DK’s, at least I have set up some expectation here. :)

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I always have the impression that Singapore is suffering from the worst recession in the past 60 years. However, my sentiment changed until recently when I witnessed the super long queue outside the Showroom at Tanah Merah – Optima and it is not surprising that the property was completely sold out in 3 days! Optima is only one of the many examples. The question is “are we heading for recovery?’

If we are, how come our unemployment rate keeps rising Q-on-Q? I am sure you find the scene shown in the picture below very familiar. People are still looking for jobs! Ironic, isn’t it? On one hand, people are buying home (even to an extent of paying at a high price) and on the other, people are queuing for jobs (government jobs is in the radar of the young job seekers.).

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I can’t seem to make the comparison of both. As an economics graduate, such phenomenon can only mean that the rich in Singapore does not seem to be affected that much during this crisis.(otherwise, how are they able to push up the price of the property?)

I am not so worry about the low-income group. It is just a matter of the salary. As a low-income Singaporean, will you be willing to get the same low salary as the foreign workers?  I am glad that Singapore government is handling this crisis well (at least they are hiring to keep the unemployment rate low). If you are looking at the list of exhibitors in the Career and Learning Fair 2009, almost all of them are government bodies.

Good time is coming soon? If US, the largest consumer in the world, is undergoing a long period of recovery, what make you think that Singapore, a trade-dependant economy, is recovering any sooner? Stock and property market are doing well but only the rich benefit from there. Luckily, we have a very caring government who continue to spend on projects such as upgrading of HDB’s elevators to keep workers employed. Even residents who stay in Hougang and Potong Pasir which are run by opposition parties got lift upgrading too! Recently, I heard from a friend that she is busy attending training to be a helper in the next General Election.

By the way, I am a happy Singaporean. Hope you enjoy my blog post.