Archive for February 2010

Did you google for “Facebook login”?

Just curious. Does anyone here google for “Facebook login” when they want to login their facebook account? Well, it seems like quite a number of people does that. And here’s the problem, sometime last week, a popular website call ReadWriteWeb wrote an article about Facebook and it become the number 1 results when you google for the phrase “Facebook login”. (The article is currently the 2nd result when you google for facebook login)

And what amuse me was the fact that people think that is the new facebook login page and started complaining about not being able to login. It doesn’t help when the comment section allow you to login with facebook to leave a comment. The situation was so bad that the editor have to update the article to inform users that the site they are seeing is not facebook’s login page.

Dear visitors from Google. This site is not Facebook. This is a website called ReadWriteWeb that reports on news about Facebook and other Internet services. You can however click here and become a Fan of ReadWriteWeb on Facebook, to receive our updates and learn more about the Internet. To access Facebook right now, click here. For future reference, type “facebook.com” into your browser address bar or enter “facebook” into Google and click on the first result. We recommend that you then save Facebook as a bookmark in your browser.

I must say that it’s a very well written notice. Can’t help laughing when I read it though. It’s like trying to imply that you are a moron in a nice way.

You might be wondering, how did this happen? Why did the article from ReadWriteWeb appear 1st when someone google for “Facebook Login”? Well, I guess it is good Search engine optimization (SEO). Maybe a bit too good.

This might be a big issue in the near future. What if one day everyone becomes SEO experts and hijack the search results, be it intentionally or unintentionally? Will it become more and more difficult for us to search in the future? Or will search engine become smarter than SEO?

Who is Tai Sui (太岁)?

Every Chinese New Year, you will hear people say that certain Zodiac animal will offend/conflict with the Tai Sui (太岁). It is said that if your Zodiac animal clash with the Tai Sui, you will be unlucky for the year. In order to have a peaceful year, you need to pay your respect to the Tai Sui.

They say that my zodiac animal, the monkey, is in conflict with the Tai Sui this year. Which makes me wonder, so who exactly is Tai Sui? So I went on a googling trip and gather quite a lot of info about Tai Sui. It’s quite interesting actually. Do you know that there are actually 60 Tai Sui?

Disclaimer: All the info below are from information that I gathering all over the internet. Some of the information are not consistent. Maybe it’s due to differences in translation or practice. I’m no expert in feng shui or Taoism. If there are any mistakes, feel free to correct me in the comment section.

Tai Sui is being referred to as Grand Duke Jupiter or Grand Commander of the Year. According to the Hsieh Chi Pien Fang Shu (協紀辨方書), Tai Sui is the deity taking charge of the well-being of the Mortal World. The Chinese years are classified according to 10 “Heavenly Stems” and 12 “Earthly Branches.” The succession of Stems and Branches produces a sixty year calendar cycle. There are 60 Tai Sui in total and each of them take charge of 1 year in the calendar cycle. (I guess that is why the Chinese are very particular about 60th birthday. That means you been thru one cycle.)

Yue Hai Qing Temple (粵海清廟) at Philip Street has the oldest set of 60 Tai Sui in Singapore. Most of the Tai Sui are real historical figures whom were highly respected by the people because of their good deeds. You can find more info about the 60 Tai Sui here and their stories. The Tai Sui for year 2010 (year of the tiger) is Great General Wu Huan (邬桓). He was born during the Yuan Dynasty at Xin Gang (新昌). He had a character of high morality and liked to be of help to others. As the district officer in the district of Li Yang (溧阳), he helped the weak and young, suppressed the tyranny, eliminate corruption and reduced manipulation by the authorities. All these enabled the country folks to maintain a less disturbed way of life. Upon his death while on duty, the country folks remembered him and his merits for a very long time.

People respect the Tai Sui highly, and fear to offend him because it would cause misfortunes and bad luck. Every year, some Zodiac animals are considered to be in conflict with the Tai Sui. I found quite a number of articles on how to find if your zodiac animal is in conflict with the Tai Sui. But some of them are not consistent and I don’t know which is the right method. But most articles agree that both the same zodiac year and opposite zodiac year are in conflict with Tai Sui.

Same zodiac year means those who are born in the year of the zodiac this year. A quick way to check is to divide your age by 12. If there is no remainder, then you are born in the same zodiac year. Those born in the same zodiac year is call “Same Zodiac Year Conflict” (年冲) or “Zhi Tai Sui” (值太岁).

Opposite zodiac year means those who are born in the year that is directly opposite of the zodiac this year. Imagine the 12 zodiac animals arranged in a circle, the animal directly opposite the circle is the opposite zodiac year. A quick way to check is to divide your age by 12. If the remainder is 6, then you are born in the opposite zodiac year. Those born in the opposite zodiac year is call “Opposing Zodiac Year Conflict” (对冲) or “Chong Tai Sui” (冲太岁).

There are also “Secondary Year Conflict” (偏冲) which is, from what I understand, lesser conflicting than the same zodiac year and opposite zodiac year. Some say that you can find the secondary year conflict by dividing your age by 12. If the remainder is either 3 or 9, then you are in the secondary year conflict.

Like I mentioned, different article I found online have different method of finding out which zodiac animal is in conflict with the Tai Sui. The safest method is to consult your elders, temple caretakers or feng shui masters. And usually, the list of zodiac animals that are conflicting with Tai Sui will be spread thru word of mouth.

First Look: Samsung Wave (Samsung’s first Bada phone)

I was given a sneak preview of the first Samsung Bada phone, the Samsung Wave (S8500), last week at Samsung Singapore office. Managed to spend 2 hours hands on the device. The device is still a prototype and not ready for market. Some of the things you see here might change before it is released sometime in Q2 this year.

One thing I notice immediately when I saw the Samsung Wave is the screen. We all know that Samsung is famous for their AMOLED screen. But the Samsung is not using any ordinary AMOLED. Samsung call it the Super AMOLED screen. I could see that it is much clearer than the AMOLED screen. You should try get your hands on one of this to see the difference yourself. The Samsung Wave has a 3.3 inch screen (WVGA 800 x 480). The Samsung Wave also has HD(720p) video playing & recording, 5.1ch Mobile Theater, MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV and DivX support.

The Samsung Wave is running on a 1 ghz Cortex A8 processor. 2GB storage (possible of 8GB version) and supports up to 32GB MicroSD card. One thing weird about the design of the phone is the position of the MicroSD card slot. The slot is placed behind the battery, making it impossible to chance MicroSD card without taking out the battery. I thought they stop doing this kind of design already. HSPA, A-GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0. There is a 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash. It uses a MicroUSB port for data transfer and charging.

The Samsung Wave uses TouchWiz 3.0 with 5 panels for widgets. From what I understand, the widgets on the older TouchWiz are not compatible on TouchWiz 3.0. The default browser is the Dolfin Browser 2.0 which is similar to the one you find on the Samsung Jet. To zoom in/out, just press and hold the screen and slide up/down. (I wish they could add multi-touch to the Dolfin Browser) The unit I tried didn’t have any GSM or WIFI enabled, so I wasn’t able to test the web browser. The Samsung Wave is able to multi-task (press and hold middle button to access Task Manager). It also supports Multi-touch. I managed to pinch and zoom without errors.

There is no virtual Qwerty keyboard in portray mode. You get the usual number pad which you can compose your message. The virtual keyboard on landscape mode needs some time to get used to. I keep pressing the letter above/below the intended button. Might be because the height of the letter is shorter than average. The spacebar seems like it just went on a diet. I wonder if the Bada API allows developers to create new keyboard for the phone. It would certainly be good to see better virtual keyboards.

Since the Samsung Wave is on the Bada platform, developers are able to create application for the phone using C++. Applications will be distributed on the app store. From what I understand, Samsung will be adopting the standard 70-30 profit sharing model. Consumers can purchase apps using their credit cards. It is still too early to judge the Bada platform and the apps available. But from the way things are going, it seems to be pretty good.

I didn’t get to try out the integrated messaging ‘Social Hub’. From what I understand, it’s a unified inbox and contacts from all of your social networks. We’ve seen this on several new phones already. But not all phones are able to do this right. We’ll see how Samsung tackle this issue when I get my hands on the final review unit.

Check out our first look video on Tech65.

Happy Chinese New Year

It’s Chinese New Year already. Strangely, after all the spring cleaning, reunion dinner, ang pow collecting and new year goodies, I’m still not feeling the CNY mood yet. Weird.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! 恭喜发财 心想事成. HUAT AHHHH!!!!!!!!

PS: Even President Obama is wishing everyone a happy lunar new year.

Why exchange Kum during Chinese New Year?

Something that always puzzled me during Chinese New Year is the tradition of exchanging mandarin oranges or Kum. According to tradition, the word Kum sounds like gold in Cantonese. That’s why it is considered auspicious to exchange kum during Chinese New Year. But have you ever wonder, why must it be Kum?

Pineapple also have a very auspicious name. Pineapple is called “Ong Lai” in Hokkien which mean something like “Luck come”. OK, it might be difficult to bring 2 pineapple around when doing house visiting. How about dumplings? Dumpling is called “Zhong” in mandarin which sounds like “win”. To make it sound even more auspicious, you can pair a dumpling together with a bun. Bun is call “Bao” in mandarin which means “Guarantee”. Giving a bun and a dumpling is like wishing someone sure win Toto/4D/Big Sweep. I’m sure everyone want to sure win when they place their bet. So why are we just exchanging Kum and not other auspicious items during Chinese New Year?

I suspect it might be a good marketing campaign by mandarin oranges farmers many years ago. How else could you make so many people buy mandarin oranges in large volume during Chinese New Year period? But I’m not complaining here. I’m just glad that the pineapple farmers didn’t engage the same marketing agency that the mandarin orange farmers hired. Imagine having to bring 2 pineapples around when you go house visiting.

Speaking of mandarin oranges, I think my family might be the largest purchaser of mandarin oranges each year. My dad usually buy around 70 to 80 mandarin oranges each year. Don’t ask me why he need to buy so many. It’s a complicated story.

And in case you are wondering, that is the free trolley that comes with every printer you buy during PC show. We kept it in the storeroom and use it once every year for this purpose.

OK, back to my last minute area cleaning aka Spring Cleaning. Wish everybody 新年快乐!!! 恭喜发财!!! HUAT AHHHHH!!!!!