Archive for January 2012

Steer Clear of Bikes

Here’s a very good advertisement from the 80s.

The problem still exist now. Drivers still don’t give bikes enough room when overtaking them. When I was driving, I always tried to keep at least 1/2 lane distance away from cyclist when overtaking them.

Keep a lookout for cyclist. Share the road, be safe.

Hangout with David Beckham on Google Hangout

David Beckham will be doing an exclusive interview YouTube and a live hangout on Google Plus on 20 January 2012, 1am Singapore time. (That’s tonight)

You can watch the live streamed interview at YouTube.com/davidbeckham. After the interview, join the Google Plus hangout on David Beckham’s Google Plus page.

This is not the first time Google Plus have a special event with a celebrity. Last September, Google Plus hosted a hangout session with will.i.am.

Defend our freedom to share

OK, the one day protest against SOPA and PIPA in US is over. I know the protest created some inconvenience to some people. I never realized that I relied so much on Wikipedia until yesterday.

Some people criticized Wikipedia’s 24 hours blackout. But I think the Wikipedia blackout bring awareness to the issue to the general public. Most of the tech savvy and social media people know the damaging effect of SOPA/PIPA. But we are the minority. A lot of people don’t know about SOPA/PIPA until yesterday’s Wikipedia blackout. I have a few friends asking me about SOPA after they discovered that Wikipedia was blocked.

The SOPA/PIPA protest yesterday is, in my own opinion, quite successful. I understand that several SOPA supporters in US Congress have changed their stand after yesterday’s event. A lot more people are aware of the damages that SOPA/PIPA will do if implemented. But the battle is not over.

Some people asked why didn’t I take part in the SOPA/PIPA protest. There are a number of WordPress plugins readily available to blackout your page during the protest period. I thought of taking part but decided that it is useless.

Firstly, most of the people who read my blog already know that SOPA/PIPA are bad. There is no point for me to preach to those who are already enlightened. Also, as a Singapore citizen, the US Congress won’t give a damn about what I feel about SOPA/PIPA. So why bother?

But although this is a US bill, the effects of SOPA/PIPA will be worldwide if implemented. Cause if SOPA/PIPA are approved in US, chances are other countries will implement a similar law. Last weekend, our Singapore law minister said this at some Intellectual Property event.

“For example, in the US, they tried the voluntary regime. It’s not as effective as people wanted it to be, and so there’s legislation pending before Congress, to give powers to block sites. But that legislation is facing intense criticism, you can understand why – it raises wider concerns.

It’s something we’re all trying to work on, because we believe our next phase of development and growth in Singapore has got to support creativity. And in order for creativity to be supported, you need a legal framework where you protect creative work.”

I’m worried about the additional legal framework that will be implemented. What if they are just as bad as SOPA/PIPA? Do we, Singapore citizens, have the power to stop our parliament from implementing something like SOPA/PIPA? I doubt so. But if ever something like SOPA/PIPA is being mentioned in Singapore parliament, we have to speak up the same way everyone did yesterday.

Here’s an excellent TED video by Clay Shirky on why SOPA is a bad idea.

Get ready. Because more is coming.

Phoneboat Universal Phone Tripod Mount

Mobile phone’s camera are getting better nowadays and its no surprise that a lot of people want to mount their phone to a tripod to capture a stable image or group photo. Glif is a great tripod mount but it only works for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. But if you are other phones, you can’t use Glif to mount your phone to a tripod.

I found this interesting phone tripod mount call Phoneboat. It’s actually a universal tripod mount for almost all phones. And I suppose it will work for tablets too.

Looks pretty good. I like the fact that it fits most phone, with or without casing. Great if you keep upgrading your phone. But I think it would be kinda weird to use the Phoneboat as a hands free stand. It’s holding the phone too straight to do anything. Unlike the Glif which holds the phone at an angle.

If you have a iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, I would still recommend you get the Glif. But if you are using other phone, the Phoneboat is a great way to mount your phone to a tripod.

The Phoneboat retails at US$17.99 with free international shipping.

Microsoft withdraw from CES

Consumer Electronics Show 2012 was the 15th and last time Microsoft is participating in the mega trade show.

I guess CES 2013 will be weird without a Microsoft keynote. It’s just like Apple withdrawing from Macworld in 2009. But I guess this move is a reflection of how information is being transmitted. Mega trade show like CES seems a little redundant for major brands as they can still easily launch their new products and services on their own. They don’t really need trade show like CES to get international media attention.

And if you notice, the major brands didn’t really announce much ground breaking new products during the recent CES. They are just showcasing some trends to expect for the rest of the year. Perhaps they are saving their wares for their own product launches.

But trade show like CES aren’t redundant completely. It is still good for startup and smaller companies to showcase their products and services.

Here’s an interesting video mashup by Microsoft from the 15 CES Keynotes. Enjoy.