Archive for August 2009

Windows Mobile Race to Market Challenge

Windows Mobile is getting ready to launch it’s own Apps Store and we should be seeing it on the soon to be released Window Mobile 6.5. The Windows Marketplace for Mobile is now open to submissions from developers in 29 countries. Singapore is one of the countries.

To encourage more developers to join the bandwagon, Microsoft is having a Race to Market Challenge for developers. There are 4 category to this challenge.

Most downloaded freeware
Most moneymaking app
The most useful product
The most playful.

The winner for the last 2 categories are decided by Microsoft.

And here is the best part. The prize for the challenge is a Microsoft Surface! Yes, that ultra cool table that every geeks wants to have in their living room. I think its a brilliant prize. Putting a Microsoft Surface in the hands of a developer will encourage them to develop some applications for the surface. End of the day, Microsoft still win.

If you are a developer, check out the Race to Market Challenge website. Contest ends on 31 Dec 2009.

Are LTA and Taxi companies serious about saving the Taxi Industry?

The two biggest taxi companies here are going all out to encourage ridership during these troubling economic times. According to a recent Straits Times article, the average number of daily taxi trips fell to lowest it has been in five years. To help reverse the downward trend, ComfortDelGro is launching a four-month campaign to give away $280,000 in taxi vouchers.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel any sudden urge to take Taxi because of this new promotion. (Do leave me a comment here if you suddenly felt interested in taking taxi more frequently because of this promotion.) Please, good people from taxi companies and LTA, USE YOUR FREAKING BRAIN! Do you think people will be interested in taking taxi more frequently just to win more taxi vouchers? Wake up!!!

This initiative is part of the $1m that LTA set aside to help the taxi industry. I’ve blog about it previously and said how that $1m is not able to save the taxi industry. No amount of marketing, promotion or advertising is going to save the taxi industry. You are barking at the wrong tree. The problem is with the taxi fare, especially the ridiculous surcharges.

A major revamp on the taxi fares will work far better than this stupid promotion. Do away with the ridiculous 35% peak hour surcharge. Remove the ERP charges. Lower the taxi booking charges. People will start taking taxi again when it is cheaper, not when there is a chance to win some stupid taxi vouchers.

But how are the taxi drivers going to survive when their income is lowered by the cheaper taxi fares? Well, to begin with, they won’t survive if the fare remains the same. Reducing the taxi fares means increase in ridership, which might increase their earnings.

If taxi companies and LTA are serious about saving the taxi industry, they should help by reducing the taxi rental fee, taxi licensing fee and waiving the ERP charges for taxi. Else they can continue to dump our tax payers money into the sea with all these nonsense promotion that is not going to help at the end of the day.

Review: Samsung Jet (S8003)

I was one of the 10 lucky winner who won the Samsung Jet (or Samsung S8003) during the launch event. Some PR folks were saying that the Tech65 namecard is thicker than most namecard, that why I keep winning at lucky draw. Well, that is exactly the reason why we use TommyPrint for our namecard. Haha. Kidding kidding. Honestly, I’m plain lucky lately.

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The Samsung Jet is small and handy. It has a beautiful 3.1 inch AMOLED touchscreen. I tried playing video on it and it looks beautiful. 5.0 megapixel camera with dual LED flash. HSDPA, WIFI, Bluetooth 2.0 and GPS. Charging and data transfer is thru a Micro-USB port that is covered with a flap when not in use. 3.5mm jack for your normal earphone. Comes with 2GB internal memory which you can extend with a MicroSD card.

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Perhaps one of the reason why Samsung call this phone the Samsung Jet is because of the fast processor. The Samsung Jet comes with a 800Mhz processor which makes loading and ending application a breeze. I guess the proprietary Operating System also plays an important part in making the phone as fast as a jet. Oh, and the operating system allows you to multi-task, thus making full use of the fast processor. (PS: Press and hold the middle button to access task manager) I quite like the task manager. It makes switching between applications a breeze.

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The slogan for the Samsung Jet is “Smarter than Smartphone”. Initially, I thought that the Samsung is a smartphone. But in actual fact, it isn’t. You can’t install additional applications on the Samsung Jet. But it does has a lot of features that makes it feel like its a smartphone. For a start, the Samsung Jet comes with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. Some smartphone don’t have Exchange support! But strangely, the Jet doesn’t have any applications that support opening of MS Office files. Weird omission I would say.

PS: Some sources tell me that Samsung will release a App Store on Samsung Jet for users to install application. Until then, we will classify Samsung Jet as a non-smart phone.

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Samsung did a pretty good job with the proprietary Operating System. It is fast and responsive. Interface is simple and works great when paired with TouchWiz 2.0. There are 3 panels for you to put TouchWiz Widgets which is good since you only have to 3.1 inch real estate. The Dolfin is pretty good too. It can play flash if you want to. But playing flash on phone is still not very stable at this moment and Samsung Jet is no exception. Samsung came up with a new method for zooming in/out a web page/picture. Long press and drag up to zoom in and drag down to zoom out. Pretty good solution.

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Samsung also did a pretty good job with the input option. On portrait mode, you can use the normal virtual keypad or handwriting. Handwriting is really not recommended, unless you need to push your blood pressure level a little higher. But virtual keypad works pretty fine. Rotating the screen to landscape mode will give you a full Qwerty virtual keyboard. Although the Qwerty keyboard is small (due to the 3.1 inch screen), input is still pretty alright. My only complain is the small SPACEBAR.

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As a whole, the Samsung Jet is suitable for those who doesn’t need the all the functionality of a full fledged smartphone. If you are looking for a small and handy phone, Samsung Jet is a good option.

In Short:
A small and fast, almost smartphone.

Likes:
Fast processor
Beautiful AMOLED screen

Dislike:
Small 3.1 inch screen
Non-Smartphone

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Apple patches SMS vulnerability on iPhone

Apple just released firmware 3.0.1 to patch the SMS vulnerability which was revealed at Black Hat Conference 2 days ago. Please update your firmware via iTunes asap.

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From the look of it, Apple had already been working on the fix since they were informed about the vulnerability. I suspect that Apple intended to release the patch together with firmware 3.1. But they are forced to roll out the patch via 3.0.1 now because the vulnerability was unveiled.

KFC Singapore website hacked

KFC Singapore website has been hacked.

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Not sure when was the site being hacked. Most likely a couple of hours ago.
Last checked at 2:30AM, the site hasn’t been restored yet.

Looks like someone need to give the sysadmin a morning call. By the way, Happy Belated System Administrator Day.

Update 5:30AM: Website still not restored yet.