Archive for April 2011

Singapore Parliament has been dissolved. Bo Zheng Hu lor!

President S R Nathan has dissolved Singapore’s 11th Parliament. Nomination Day is set on 27 Apr 2011.

Polling day is 7 May 2011 (Saturday). That’s 9 days for campaigning and one day for ‘cooling off’. This is the minimum required by Singapore law. I personally would wish that the campaigning period would be longer (perhaps 15 days) so that Singaporeans can make a better decision.

Anyway, this means Bo Zheng Hu lor! No Government already! 没政府 lor!

I was at a blogger event last night and everyone agrees that the next few weeks will be the most interesting week for local social media scene. I think we will see the best and the worst of local social media.

Although it is technically 没政府, we still need to obey the laws. I hope everyone will play fair during this period and don’t get into trouble.

PS: I feel like asking my evil twin brother to help me “guest blog” during the election period. Those who have been reading my blog long enough should remember him. :)

Battlefield 3

Check out the trailer for the upcoming game, Battlefield 3.

The graphics is amazing. Looks pretty cool. I’ve played Battlefield Bad Company 2 before. Quite like the game. I think Battlefield 3 will be even better.

Battlefield 3 will be launch on 2 November 2011. I’m so going to take a month’s leave to play it. Oh wait…. I don’t have a month’s leave. Damn….

If you have 12 minutes to spare, check out the gameplay video too.

A piece of the ceiling fell down

A piece of concrete slab fell off from my home ceiling last night. Right infront of my very eyes. I was playing some games on my iPhone when I saw a piece of concrete slab fell off, hit the sofa and fell on the ground. I was lucky. That is my favorite sofa. I usually sit there when I’m at home. Luckily I didn’t. Else I’ll most likely get a cut or bump on my head.

This isn’t the first time it happened. But it hasn’t happened for a few years already. Living on the top floor means that we get this more often than others. But if you try searching online, you will notice that a lot of HDB flats are having this issue too.

PS: The iPhone 4 did not fall from the ceiling (Although I wish it!) I put it there for you to estimate the size of the concrete slab that fell off.

The proper term for this is call spalling concrete. Spalling concrete is usually the result of a combination of poor installation and environmental factors which stress the concrete, causing it to become damaged.

Need to get a contractor to repair the ceiling soon. Sigh. There is another piece of concrete slab that looks like its going to fall off anytime. I wonder if I should use a stick to help speed up the process.

Another viral marketing campaign gone horribly wrong

I think local ads agencies have problem coming up with a decent viral marketing campaign. I’ve lost count of the number of failed viral marketing campaign. In fact, I don’t even recall a successful viral marketing campaign in Singapore. If you remember any, please let me know. I might have forgotten or missed it.

The latest viral marketing campaign that gone wrong is from an insurance company. It started out as a couple seeking encouragement and blessing from everyone on Facebook. The guy, Mark, is 23 years old and the gal, Audrey, is 47. They created a Facebook page and words of encouragements started pouring in.

“Live web streaming” was setup on the wedding day itself and the guy “met a road accident”. It was then revealed that this is just a viral marketing campaign. The Facebook profile photo was replaced by a message: “Unexpected Things Happen In Life. Be insured to have your loved ones assured”.

Firstly, well done to the agency for fooling everyone. Perhaps it is because we are too trusting on the social media space. Perhaps because we think true love can really happen between a 23 year old guy and a 47 year old gal. We should have done some checking before supporting. But then, how do we do such checks?

The reason why I’m so annoyed with this viral marketing is because it uses social media to mislead people into their marketing campaign. This will only create distrust on social media. What if there is really another couple out there that need encouragements? Will people still believe them? Or will everyone think it’s yet another stupid viral marketing campaign?

And what is the ads agency trying to achieve? When they are planning this viral campaign, did they think what will people react when it is revealed that the whole thing is a trick? Do they think people would happily sit there and laugh when they discovered that they wasted their time and prayers for a stupid marketing campaign?

Clearly the people behind this whole campaign didn’t know viral marketing.

It is frustrating to see marketers misuse social media. This is not the first time and this will not be the last time. Such campaign will only ruin the reputation of social media. We only got 1 social media. Don’t destroy the reputation of this platform.

I have no idea why ads agencies in Singapore think that viral campaign has to con/trick people into believing something. There’s many ways to make something viral. Try doing something amazing. Or start something trendy.

Up till now, we still don’t know the insurance company behind this campaign. Maybe they are afraid to reveal themselves because of the backslash. I don’t know which smart alex in the company approved the viral marketing campaign. He/she/they seem to forget that trust is the most important thing in the insurance industry. Will people still trust a insurance company that tried to con the entire Singapore into believing their viral marketing?

I don’t know which ads agency and insurance company is behind this stupid campaign. Perhaps they are clever enough not to let anyone know who is behind it. Cause I swear that I will boycott that insurance company forever. And I’ll persuade everyone around me to stop using the ad agency.

Jeopardy: Human vs Machine

I’m not a fan of Jeopardy. But a (not so) recent exhibition match caught my attention. It’s a match between IBM’s super computer Watson and 2 of the best Jeopardy human contestants ever, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

Imagine IBM’s Deep Blue vs chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. Except this time, the game is Jeopardy.

Watson is a question answering (QA) computing system. IBM describes it as an application of advanced Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, and Machine Learning technologies to the field of open domain question answering which is built on IBM’s DeepQA technology for hypothesis generation, massive evidence gathering, analysis, and scoring.

Watson is made up of a cluster of 90 IBM Power 750 servers (plus additional I/O, network and cluster controller nodes in 10 racks) with a total of 2880 POWER7 processor cores and 16 Terabytes of RAM. Each Power 750 server uses a 3.5 GHz POWER7 eight core processor, with four threads per core.

Wow…. A geek’s wet dream.

Watson had access to 200 million pages of structured and unstructured content worth 4 TB of disk storage, including everything in Wikipedia. Watson was not connected to the Internet during the game. It would be useless for Watson to be connected to the Internet during the games too. Watson needs to compute the answer fast and the Internet is just not fast enough. Everything needs to be stored locally for Watson to compete with humans.

Warning: If you don’t want any spoilers, please stop reading now.
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