Archive for April 2010

Foam

Another photo taken using a Canon G11. Too bad they didn’t do any latte art.

First Look: HP LaserJet Pro P1102

Since today is Earth Day, I guess maybe I should talk about some environment friendly gadgets.

When you think about Laser printer, you will most likely be thinking about high power consumption and high cost. Well, HP just recently announced the most energy-efficient laser printer in the world which is pretty friendly to the wallet.

The HP LaserJet Pro P1102 printer enables significant energy savings of up to 50 percent over competitive laser products, using Instant-on Technology. The printer will automatically power down after a period of inactivity and putting them into a mode that uses less than one watt of power. This is a pretty good feature for people like me because I always forgot to turn off my printer after use. (and sometimes forgot to turn on the printer when I want to use it!!!) It also comes with HP Smart Web Printing, which cuts paper wastage by printing only the content you want.

Printing speed is pretty alright for a Laser Printer. 19ppm for letter and 18ppm for A4 with first page out in as fast as 8.5 seconds. The HP LaserJet Pro P1102 is sleek and space-saving too (34.9 x 23.8 x 19.6cm). There is also a wireless version (HP LaserJet Pro P1102W) for those who needs wireless printing.

The HP LaserJet Pro P1100 Printer series will retail in Singapore from May 2010 at S$209- S$229. Hmmm…… I must be quite outdated with Laser printer’s pricing. Since when did Laser printer become this cheap?

RANT: Never ever over spam your readers

Warning: Rant ahead. Skip if you aren’t interested.

Several months ago, a company contacted me and express interest in advertising on my blog. I must say that the remuneration is pretty attractive. I would have taken up the advertisement if not for 1 stupid requirement. They wanted me to blog about their product twice a week for 2 months. Which means roughly 16 blog entries about that 1 single product on my blog over the span of 2 months. Obviously I turned down that offer. My reason to the company is simple. Even if I don’t get bored writing about your product, my readers will get bored reading it. (Actually, I’m quite picky when it comes to advertising on my blog. Which explains why up till now, I only got 1 advertisement on my blog)

Never ever over spam your readers/followers.

The thing about social media is that advertising (sometimes aka spamming) is relatively cheap and sometimes even free. I’m ok with occasional advertising. Sometimes these advertising are pretty informative. But there are people who tend to over do it and keep spamming about their product. Look, just because advertising is relatively cheap (or free) on social media doesn’t mean you should over do it. It cost nothing to send a facebook group message, send out an email, tweet or blog about a product. If you do it once or twice, people might still read it. But when you over do it, people get sick and tired of it. They will automatically ignore your message. Some will even unfollow/block you from their facebook, twitter or RSS feed.

Imagine the price of advertising on Newspaper suddenly becomes very cheap. So cheap that your company can afford to buy 50 full page advertisement everyday for a month. Would you want to buy 50 pages of advertisement for a month? I’m sure the company will get public backslash for that. People will even stop buying the Newspaper because there are too many advertisements and hardly any news article.

Or imagine you have enough budget to print millions of flyers. So you fill up all the mailbox in Singapore with your flyer to the brim. Does that make sense?

A company serious about working with bloggers will not over advertise on a single blog. They will end up damaging the blogger’s reputation or decreasing the blog readership. In the long run, nobody benefits at all. Company should not be selfish and think about the blogger too. Bloggers themselves should also never allow their blog to over advertise on a single product.

Why am I ranting about all these? Cause some company is running a blog contest and the contestants are blogging about the company’s product ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yes. Imagine 16 out of 20 of the latest blog entries is about that company. Would you be pissed off when reading that blog? Will you be sick of reading that blog?

I hope that blogger wins the contest. Because he just lost 1 follower because of this contest. And I hope that company’s campaign is successful. Because they just lost 1 customer too.

**End of Rant**

One Laptop Per Recruit

I was kinda surprised when I saw the news that BMTC is issuing each Recruit a laptop. Now, before you get envy, the laptop is just loan to them and they need to return the laptop after their POP (Passing Out Parade). According to the news article, the laptops are for Recruits to go online to learn how to assemble and handle their rifle, throw a grenade, carry out first aid and clear battle obstacles before going outfield to get hands-on experience.

I guess things has really changed since I left BMTC almost 10 years ago. (OMG. I feel so old now) I’m not exactly sure how they are using the laptop in Tekong but I seriously feel that using the laptop for online lesson is a waste of taxpayers money. You see, when we are in school, some lessons are put online for students to self study during their free time at home. But for BMT, you stay in camp for 5 days a week and hardly had any free time. So I would presume they allocate “Free time” for the Recruits to use the online lesson in their bunk. If they have questions, they can always IM their instructors, who is most likely in the office below their bunk. I doubt they will allow the Recruits to bring the laptop home. And if they do, I’m sure the Recruits will complain as the weekend is their only time with loved ones.

Which makes me wonder one thing. Why not stick to the traditional method of having an instructor teaching them the lesson then since all of them are going to be in camp anyway. Wouldn’t it be easier and better to do the demo infront of the Recruits and let them to ask question on the spot if they have any doubts? The idea of online self learning is for students to learn things at their own pace during their free time. I don’t know about BMT now. But back in my time, free time is hard to come by in BMT and I certainly don’t think we have the luxury of learning things at our own pace. In my opinion, online learning don’t seem suitable for BMTC.

Perhaps things had changed over the past 10 years. I don’t know man. I personally still prefer the traditional method of learning things. At least for NS. Maybe this scheme would work better for NSmen coming back for reservist. They could do the learning at home before coming back for their In Camp Training. Maybe they can cut short their ICT since some of the lessons are already learnt from online.

Another thing that worries me is the logistic. Are they able to keep the network up when the entire company are using their laptops for online lesson. And also maintenance of the laptops. You know lah, army guys usually don’t take good care of the equipments issued to them. I wonder how is the condition of the laptop after several batches.

And from what I understand, the laptops can only be used for the online lesson. Internet access to sites like facebook are blocked. Which is kinda sad actually. It would be good if they allow Recruits to have full access to the internet maybe during admin hours. Being a NSF for 2 1/2 years, I can totally relate to being disconnected from the social media when you are in camp. Back in my days, they don’t call it social media. But we do have Friendsters, IRC and Blogs and we can only access those sites when we book out. Since each Recruit have a laptop in camp now, why not let them connect with the outside world? And if the network speed allows, why not allow skype too so that Recruits can save on phone bills and still keep in contact with loved ones.

Well, I guess it is still early stage. It’s a good start.

Twitter for BlackBerry

RIM recently released their Official Twitter Application for Open Beta. RIM has been working closely with Twitter to develop this App. I’ve been trying it out for almost a month now when it is still under closed beta.

Basically, if you have used a Twitter Client before, the Twitter for BlackBerry app won’t be a stranger to you. Interface is pretty straight forward with all the options available on the top of the screen. You can see your own timeline, mention, DM and list. If there is a Twitpic on the Tweet, it will show you a small thumbnail of the picture before you click on it. You can also view the trend or search either for people or words. Pretty standard thing that you find on most Twitter apps.

What makes the Twitter for BlackBerry application different from others is the integration with BlackBerry services. For example, you can easily Twitpic a photo straight from your photo gallery. Or share a URL straight from your browser.

Mentions and DM will also appear on your BlackBerry Messages where you can reply to DM directly on the BlackBerry Messages without opening the Twitter Application. Cool.

It is worth noting that the Official Twitter Application for BlackBerry uses some private APIs on the RIM platform that third-party developers does not have access to. While this move is certainly good for the consumers, developers who have been making Twitter clients for BlackBerry like UberTwitter is most likely unhappy about it. Afterall, UberTwitter is perhaps the best Twitter application for BlackBerry before the official Twitter for BlackBerry came along.

If you are a BlackBerry and Twitter user, I highly recommend you try out the Twitter for BlackBerry application by RIM. BlackBerry users can download the Twitter for BlackBerry application through App World now.