Archive for March 2010

Really good chocolate cake from Hunny Bunch N Co

First heard about this great chocolate cake from the Shareen and Joe Show few weeks back. So Justin decided to buy one to share among everyone at Hackerspace SG. And I must say, the Devil Chocolate Cake from Hunny Bunch N Co is fantastic. It is so good that we ordered another 2 the following week for BarCamp Singapore 5 after party at Hackerspace.

The Devil Chocolate Cake is ultra rich in chocolate. The layer of chocolate fudge on top is generous. Chocolate lovers like me will definitely love it. We had 2 shots of Rum added to the cake. In my opinion, 2 shot is just enough as it brings out the favors the Devil Chocolate Cake and add a very mild alcoholic taste. But if you are a rum lover, you might want to request for more shots (if that is possible).

And since they are home made, the cakes are freshly made after you order. You will need to place an order 24 hours before hand. They deliver to anywhere on Singapore main Island for free.

The Devil Chocolate Cake comes in 2 sizes. The 6″ (weighs about 0.9KG) Devil Chocolate Cake cost $32 and 8″ (weighs about 1.4KG) cost $48. Honestly, I know 2 other places where their chocolate cakes are just as good. But none of them come close to this price. So for great chocolate cake at affordable price, try Hunny Bunch N Co.

PS: One thing to note about the Devil Chocolate Cake is that it is very very chocolatey. You most likely won’t be able to eat a lot at one go. But not to worry, I’m sure you friends will gladly help out. Else you can always give me a call and I’ll come to your rescue.

Choose Team SPG for The Amazing Race Asia 4!

When Sumin and Felicia told me that they wanted to take part in The Amazing Race Asia 4, I can’t help but laugh. Seriously. Amazing Race Asia? You gotta be kidding.

I can imagine Sumin taking part in TARA4. I think she is those sporty type that can carry a backpack and run faster than most of the contestant. (maybe pushing them aside in the process) But Felicia? Hmmm…. I don’t know. I cannot imagine her racing across Asia with a backpack. I guess if given a choice, she would most likely use a pink hand luggage with wheels (and maybe with Hello Kitty pictures printed all over too). That would be an interesting sight. But I do think the 2 of them make a good team. Felicia can distract the other teams while Sumin tries to complete the task. Now, that’s a winning formula.

Some thing tells me it will be fun to see Sumin & Felicia in TARA4. They will make season 4 the best season ever. But all these will not happen unless the judges choose Team SPG (Stewwwpid Party Girl and Snarky Party Girl) to represent Singapore in The Amazing Race Asia 4.

I know the judges are now cracking their head to decide which team to represent Singapore. Actually, it isn’t that hard to decide. Just choose Team SPG. Besides the entertainment value the 2 of them can bring to the show, they can also bring lots of online publicity. Lots of local bloggers and tweeters knows both of them personally. We will be following their every step in the race. Imagine the online conversation they will generate. They already had huge fan base before the race start. Even aunties are supporting them.

If you need more reasons on why you should choose Team SPG, just check out their blog and Youtube videos.

So judges, look no further. Choose Team SPG to represent Singapore for The Amazing Race Asia 4. You will be a fool if you pick other team. Trust me.

What if I can’t write well?

I was reading the CNA article about PM Lee talking about Government’s approach in engaging S’poreans in new media. I can’t help but totally disagree with him on the issue of sending template email to our minister or REACH.

Citing the leadership tussle by Singapore women’s group AWARE, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted how easy it is to mount online campaigns.

He said he received many emails from opposing camps.

“Many of the emails were identical. Exactly the same letter, word for word. Obviously somebody cut and pasted from a template,” Mr Lee said.

“That’s not just my surmise. It’s a fact because some of them didn’t fully cut and paste so if you read till the bottom of the letter, you will see down there the rubric is still there. The rubric says please enter your name and IC number and send this to the PM.”

Hence, Mr Lee said that in this instance, it is not independent feedback, but an organised campaign to lobby and pressure the government to back one side against the other.

What if I can’t write well? Does that mean I cannot feedback to my Government? Does that mean I do not have a say?

Is sending template emails to our Minister/REACH wrong? Sending a template email doesn’t mean the feedback is not independent. I find it hard to believe that our government expect every citizen to be able to write emails in their own words to them. Not everyone is proficient in the English language to write a good email to their MP. They might not be able to convey their message to their MP well if they write the email themselves. Which is why they rely on email template by other like minded people who are more proficient in the English language. Why penalize those who aren’t able to write well? Why stop REACH-ing to those who are not good in words?

Copying a template email does not mean that it is Astroturfing. It is like a petition using email. Do you see people writing in their own words in petition? No. They put their name there because they support a certain clause. It’s a group of people with similar point of view coming together to send out one unified message to their Government. I do not see what is wrong with that. I do not see why the Government should ignore these people just because they are not confident of writing in their own words. End of the day, it’s the message carried in the email that is important.

Do not discriminate those who can’t write well. Every citizen’s feedback to the government, be it thru their own writing or template from a like minded person, is still a feedback from a Singapore citizen that should be taken seriously by the Government.

And by the way, when I vote, I put a cross on a printed sheet of paper. It’s also somewhat considered a template. Does that means my vote doesn’t count? Do I need to write a good essay on why I’m voting for a certain party before my vote is counted?

HSA issued recall on Po Chai Pills (保濟丸)

Having diarrhea? You might want to check the Po Chai Pills (保濟丸) that you are taking. Health Sciences Authority Singapore has issued a recall on Po Chai Pills (Capsule Form) . Yeap, traces of phenolphthalein and sibutramine has been found in the popular diarrhea medicine. Phenolphthalein is a cancer-causing drug while sibutramine is an anti-obesity drug.

Only the Capsule Form Po Chai Pills bearing batch number 21217 (expiry date 6-2012) is being recalled. Please check the batch number before taking Po Chai Pills.

For more information, read the HSA product recall page.

The Singapore recall has also prompted Hong Kong Authorities to recall Po Chai Pills in both capsule and bottle forms. According to a Hong Kong Government website, the contamination source was likely to be in one batch of powder-form raw materials used to fill the capsules. The company had purchased it from a new Mainland source in May 2008. Two batches of capsules had been produced using the suspicious set of raw materials. One batch (no. 21217) was exported to Singapore, while the other batch (no. 21133) was supplied to Hong Kong and Macau markets.

The manufacturer had discovered traces of the 2 drug through its own testing and initiated a recall in January. However, they did not inform the authorities. Hmmmmm…….

SingTel and Ericsson bringing LTE to Singapore

SingTel and Ericsson unveiled their Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology trial recently. SingTel is the first in the region to successfully power on air the 42Mbps mobile broadband network. Even though 42Mbps network will be available in the second half of the year, SingTel and Ericsson is already featuring even higher speed with LTE.

LTE is often marketed as 4G even though it does not fully comply with the IMT Advanced 4G requirements. Stockholm and Oslo are the first to provide publicly available LTE service on 14 December 2009. Major Telcos around the world are also getting their network to be LTE ready. American Telco, AT&T, announced its rollout of LTE service in 2011. Singapore is not far behind with SingTel rolling out LTE in phrase beginning second half of 2010.

We saw a demo of LTE at 42Mbps. It’s pretty impressive with HD video streaming, Live Cam, 3D map and voice call running at the same time without lag. But do note that the demo unit is most likely the only device connected to the LTE network. Like the current 3G network, the data transfer speed also depends on the number of users around your area. So we will still need to see how well SingTel and Ericsson implement it for commercial.

And like the 2.5G to 3G transition, all your current 3G/3.5G SIM Card, phones and USB dongle needs to be upgraded before you can enjoy LTE. Right not, there aren’t much LTE devices. They were using a Samsung USB dongle modem at the demo. But not to worry, I’m sure all the mobile phone makers are preparing to roll out their LTE ready devices. We can also expect to see more LTE Dongle soon.

One thing to note is that LTE is not meant to replace your home broadband, although I foresee people going to use it to replace their home broadband. (We already seen people replacing their home broadband with 3G Broadband on Mobile) As I mentioned previously, the speed of LTE will also depends on the number of concurrent users around your area. And although 42Mbps may sound fast now, we can expect more bandwidth intensive website and services soon. For home internet use, IDA is rolling out Fiber To The Home in phrases around the island. LTE is still more suitable for people on the move.

And if you have been following my blog, you will know that I use the internet on the move a lot. I can hardly wait for LTE to come. Although my current 7.2Mbps is pretty good for normal usage, it is still not good enough for doing live video streaming. This is something that the Tech65 crew been wanting to do for a long time. We tried a couple of times previously with 7.2Mbps Broadband on Mobile. It can be done, but the video quality is not so good. I think LTE will be a perfect solution.

SingTel’s mobile broadband network will be upgraded progressively over the next 12 to 24 months to be LTE ready. Commercial deployment is slated to take place in phases, subjected to the availability of frequency spectrum and commercial LTE mobile device. No announcement of the plans and pricing yet. All we know is that it will be made affordable to consumers.