Archive for October 2010

Starbucks Card

Starbucks Singapore just launched a new card. The Starbucks Card is a stored value card. The minimum activation is at $10 and can be topped up in $10 denominations.

But it’s not just a stored value card. You get rewards for using it:

– Buy 12 handcrafted beverage and get 1 free
– Buy a 250g wholebean coffee and get a tall brewed coffee
– Buy ten 250g wholebean coffee and get a free 250g wholebean coffee

Not only that. If you register the card online at, you will also get:

– A complimentary tall-sized handcrafted beverage
– A complimentary slice of cake with any handcrafted beverage purchased during your birthday month (valid two weeks before and after your birthday)

If you are buying the Starbucks Card, I advise you to register the card online. Not only will you get a complimentary drink, you can also track your transaction. And if you lose your Starbucks Card, you can simply log in and deactivate your card and transfer the remaining balance to a new card. Cool!

From the website, it looks like they will be implementing online top up in the near future. Cool.

Actually, there is 1 feature lacking in the Starbucks Card. It would be good if they allow you to input your favorite drink into the system. When you want to order our favorite drink, just pass your card to the barista and the system will tell him/her what’s your favorite drink and how you want it to be done. This will speed up the ordering if you just want to order your favorite drink (especially if your favorite drink is super complicated)

So what are you waiting for? Go buy the new Starbucks Card now.

PS: I quite like the card design.

Review: iPhone app

We heard rumors that the guys at is doing a iPhone app since last year. Wait, it’s not even considered rumors. The co-founder themselves said that they are working on a iPhone app. After waiting for almost a year, the iPhone app is finally here. (What took them so long?)

It’s hard to justify the need to have another iPhone app for mapping when there is already Google Map built in for all iPhone. Furthermore, the iPhone app cost US$2.99. A lot of people were asking why should they pay for the iPhone app when the Google map is working well for them.

But to be fair, we can’t compare with Google map. The map is highly customized for Singapore. It has a lot of features that are specially tailored for local usage which cannot be found on the Google map.

Since this is the iPhone app, a lot of features are similar to the ones you find on the desktop version. You can view map, get driving and public transport direction. For driving, it will tell you the estimated travel time and ERP charges if any. You can choose to avoid ERP or Expressway if you want. For taxi, it will tell you the estimated cost of the trip plus surcharges if any. The estimate is usually quite accurate (plus/minus a bit depending on traffic condition).

My favorite feature is the ability to check the next SBS bus arrival timing. I know there are a couple of iPhone apps that does this already. But all these apps requires you to key in the bus stop number. What if I’m walking towards the bus stop and don’t know the bus stop number yet? Well, for iPhone app, just click on the bus stop on the map and you will see a pop up with the bus servicing that bus stop and their next arrival timing. Cool huh?

This feature is not available for SMRT buses because SMRT didn’t publish their next bus arrival timing online. SMRT, if you are reading this, please publish your next bus arrival timing online.

And if you click on a carpark, it will show you the parking charges for that carpark. Speaking of carpark, do you know that will give you direction all the way to the carpark entrance of the building you are going? Most mapping services out there only give you direction to the building and you will need to hunt down the carpark entrance. And if you don’t want to park at the building that you are going (maybe cause parking charges too high), also give you a few alternative carparks nearby. When you select it, the route automatically updates to that carpark you select. Great feature.

Another feature that I find it useful is the business listing. You can find out what shop is at the building easily on iPhone app. The business listing contain the shop’s address and contact number. For restaurant, there is also links to HungryGoWhere and Sparklette. Good for checking the reviews before making a reservation.

But the business listing seems incomplete. Can’t seem to find some shops in the listing. But to be fair, it’s going to be hard to list all the shops in Singapore. I guess it will take more time.

The is a great map application on iPhone customized for local needs. Totally worth the US$2.99 price tag. If you travel a lot in Singapore, the is a must have.

In short:
A great iPhone map application customized for local drivers and non-drivers.

Directions for driving, taxi and public transport
Next bus arrival timing
Parking charges
Carpark entrance
Food review from HungryGoWhere and Sparklette

Business listing not complete

53A Debut Album – Settle The Kettle

53A’s Debut Album, Settle The Kettle, is now available at all Starbucks. I know this blog entry is kinda late. I’ve been listening to the album for more than a month already but I keep forgetting to post this. And yes, this is the 2nd time I’m buying CD from Starbucks.

53A is doing their Settle The Kettle World Tour Starbucks Tour now. Check out their facebook page for the schedules. And remember to buy their CD. Support local talents!

Here’s a beautiful song from the Album. It’s my 2nd favorite song in the album. Enjoy!

53A – We Should Be Together

I don’t ever want to let you go
I don’t ever want you hurt
I don’t ever want another guy
Baby don’t even try

Maybe if I stay
Why would you wanna leave
Will we ever agree?
Will we ever agree.
But if everyone says

Hold on we should be together
If that’s wrong I don’t wanna be right
If you love me then stay on
Just tell me to be strong
Cause no one else
Will understand

Why I have a smile when you’re around
Y’know it’s hard to see that
Lately I have been in a daze
Baby everything stays

Maybe if I stay
Why would you wanna leave
Will we ever agree?
Will we ever agree.
But if everyone says

Hold on we should be together
If that’s wrong I don’t wanna be right
If you love me then stay on
Just tell me to be strong
Cause no one else
Will understand

That we’re in love
That we’re in love.

There’s a trademark for that

Guess what? Apple has been granted trademark for the phrase “There’s an App for That”. Yeap, they applied the for the trademark back in December 2009 and now they finally got it.

The trademark covers:

Retail store services featuring computer software provided via the Internet and other computer and electronic communication networks; retail store services featuring computer software for use on handheld mobile digital electronic devices and other consumer electronics

Well, we can still make lame “There’s an App for That” jokes. It’s just that other companies can’t use this phase. Cause there’s a trademark for that. :)

Malaysians have the most friends on Social Media Sites

According to a recent survey by research group TNS, Malaysians has the most friends on Social Media Sites.

TNS found that Malaysian Internet users have an average of 233 friends in their network. No wonder they buy Friendster. Followed closely behind is Brazil with an average of 231 friends. Surprisingly, the Japanese are at the bottom of the chat with an average of 29 friends. Even more surprisingly is the Chinese that has an average of 68 friends on Social Media Sites. That’s strange. I thought they are very into Social Media. The survey did say that this might indicate a culture that embraces fewer but closer friendships.

Singapore is doing ok with an average of 183 friends. Check out the website for more details.