Archive for January 2010

Bicycle stolen in broad daylight in Orchard Road

I was reading the news in disbelief. Greg Browning, a British cyclist on a road trip from England to Australia, had his bicycle stolen in Singapore, Orchard Road. And it was in broad daylight at 3pm on Wednesday.

How could that happen? This guy has been to places where the chances of him being rob is much higher. Yet his bicycle was stolen in Singapore where we are supposed to have low crime rate. And that’s Orchard road on a weekday afternoon. Is there something wrong here? Has our crime rate gone up lately?

It’s a disgrace to Singapore who pride ourselves as a country with low crime rate. I hope Greg Browning could find a replacement bike soon. Sorry that this sort of thing happen in my country. Hope the police find the thief soon.

Drinking Fats – NYC Health Anti-Soda Ad

Here is an Anti-Soda advertisement by NYC Health. Pretty gross. Try not to watch this before your meal.

By the way, have I mentioned before that shows like Supersize Me doesn’t have effects on me? As in, I’ve tried eating McDonalds while watching Supersize Me on TV.

Local telco should waive the telco charges for Charity Shows

I was reading news about how people in the States use twitter to broadcast the SMS number to donate money to Haiti when I came across this article. Apparently, all four major telcos in US are waiving the charges for those who HAITI to 90999 to donate $10. (Don’t try in Singapore hor, only works in America)

I think that is good for these telco to waive the charges. After all, the money is going to charity. Why should you be making money out of Charity. Besides, the infrastructure is already there. It doesn’t take much operating cost to help collect donations from SMS. Telcos take it as a form of corporate social responsibility.

Which makes me wonder, should the local telco waive charges for the Charity Show 1900 hotline? We know that Ren Ci Hospital just had a Charity show recently on Channel U. I can’t help but notice that the Singtel is charging $0.20 admin fee for every 1900 call you make. $0.20 is a small amount. But think about it. Ren Ci raised $4.2m from public donation during the charity show. Assuming everyone use the $15 hotline, that would be 280000 calls or $56000 worth of admin charges collected.

$56000 can do a lot for the patients at Ren Ci.

Maybe it is too late for me to raise this topic. But I really hope that the local Telco will take a leaf from US telco’s book and waive the charges for charity hotlines in the future. I know Singtel has this Touching Lives Fund every year where they raise funds for local charity. Perhaps they could do a little more outside the Touching Lives Fund period. Charity organization can thank the Telco for waiving the admin charges during the charity show. Win win for everyone.

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Speaking of extra charges on charity hotline. I notice that there is a GST component too. Why is there GST for Charity hotline too? According to IRAS website:

Charity TV show with donations made by telephone or SMS message to the donation helpline
If the charity TV show does not give away prizes or rewards to donors, GST is not payable on the public donations received. GST is payable on the public donations only when the charity TV show has lucky draws, giving the donors a chance to win prizes and rewards. Accounting of GST is based on 7/107 on the gross donations received less cash payouts to the winners.

For each call or SMS message to a specific hotline to make donations, the service provider (separate from the charity) may impose an administrative charge for the service rendered. If the service provider is a GST-registered person, the administrative charge is subject to GST, similar to other local telephone call charges.

The Ren Ci Charity show doesn’t have luckily draw. So why is there GST? Or is the GST just for the $0.20 admin fee? Anyone got any idea?

3G Micro SIM

I guess the biggest question in everyone’s mind when they woke up this morning is “What the heck is a 3G Micro SIM?” I was going “huh?!?!” when Steve Jobs announces that their new Tablet, the iPad, will have a 3G option which uses 3G Micro SIM. Something tells me that my Singtel BroadBand on Mobile SIM card and the phone SIM card will not be compatible with the new iPad.

The 3G Micro SIM is different from the SIM card we are using now. It’s 1.2 x 1.5 cm and about 52% smaller. The Micro SIM is also called the 3rd Form Factor (3FF) SIM card. The first form factor was the credit size SIM card. (I still remember my dad’s first handphone was using that) The 2nd form factor is the standard SIM card that we are using currently.

The biggest question in my mind now is why would Apple choose to use the Micro SIM instead of the normal 2FF SIM which everyone has? The only advantage that I can see on the Micro SIM is the size. But the iPad is so big, it doesn’t need to save on that few centimeters. I would understand if Apple choose to adopt this new standard on their iPhone. But why on the iPad? You will most likely have upgraded to the next generation iPad before the Micro SIM becomes an industry standard. (That is, IF it becomes a standard to begin with) The only sense I see in adopting Micro SIM is so that people will subscribe another data line from the Telcos. Other than that, I see no benefits in using the 3G Micro SIM for iPad.

So who carries the 3G Micro SIM in Singapore? Currently, it seems like none of the 3 local telcos have it yet. But don’t worry. You can be sure that they will stock up on 3G Micro SIM within 90 days to be ready for the iPad’s arrival.

PS: I was reading back at my yesterday’s post on the Apple Tablet. Wow, I’m so off the mark. And seriously? It’s going to be called the iPad? Really? Apple iPad? Then what is going to happen to HP iPaq?

Come see Apple’s latest creation tonight

Everyone in the tech scene is waiting patiently for the 27 Jan 2010 Apple Keynote. (28 Jan, 2am Singapore time) Tons and tons of rumors has been flying around for the past few months. Everyone is quoting “reliable sources” from some “neighbour’s boyfriend’s sister’s classmate’s cousin who is working in Apple” or something like that. Some of them can be really ridiculous.

Everyone is expecting Apple to release a Tablet. And I guess Apple have to release a Tablet tonight or rotten tomatoes will be thrown at them. (Kidding kidding) I think the last time an Apple keynote had so much rumors and excitement was when Apple announced the iPhone. We all know that is huge. And so most of us expect tonight’s keynote to be huge too.

I had this wild guess that Apple will release a colour E-Ink touchscreen tablet which is able to play video. But like I said, it’s a wild guess. E-Ink, as far as we know, aren’t able to produce fast refresh rate for video playback. Unless Apple had a breakthrough in E-Ink technology, I doubt we will see that tonight.

But what we should be expecting to see tonight is a tablet of roughly 10 inch. Definitely touchscreen. There should be some new services that comes together with the tablet. Something like magazine or newspaper subscription. A E-book reader is also highly possible. It might have a 3G SIM card slot for internet connection or be like the kindle where it comes with internet access out of the box. The tablet will most likely be running the next version of iPhone OS and might be able to run existing iPhone apps. We might see a few new gestures on how to interact with the tablet. I think we might see a new way to type on touchscreen. I doubt it would be a standard virtual keyboard you see on a iPhone. Unless Steve Jobs doesn’t want you to type while holding the device in your hands. Perhaps the virtual keyboard will be split into half and placed at the 2 corners so that your thumb can reach them.

There have been several rumors about the name of this tablet that Apple will be launching tonight. Some say it would be called the iPad. I highly doubt that this is possible. If you remember, Compaq (which now belongs to HP) has a PDA line call iPaq. Do you think Apple will launch a device that sound so similar to a PDA? After all, the tablet can be considered an oversized PDA. HP should be able to stop Apple from using iPad as it sound very similar to their product line. I guess the most likely name for the tablet is iSlate.

Having said all these, I still feel that tablet will not be a big hit. It just doesn’t fit into any category. There will be people who buy tablet, but it won’t be as popular as iPod or iPhone. But then, we never know. This is Apple we are talking about. They say that Steve Jobs is able to create things that you didn’t know you need.

So what will the announcement be tonight? We could only wait and see. If you are staying up tonight, join the Tech65 crew as we watch the Keynote together. 28 Jan 2010, 2am Singapore time. Bring your own pom poms.

PS: Everything I said here is based on my speculations. I don’t have any neighbour’s boyfriend’s sister’s classmate’s cousin working in Apple.

Update: Looks like Jason Calacanis‘ NDA is over and he is releasing some info about the Tablet that we will see tonight. Check out his tweets.

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Interesting. 2 camera, one in front and one in back. Thumbpads on each side for mouse guestures, reads fingerprint for security. OLED. WAIT! Did he say solar pad for recharging?!?!?! Expected to sell at $599, $699 and $799 depending on size and memory

Update: Jason is pulling our legs