Archive for March 2012

Sun Xu punished for derogatory remarks

For those who aren’t following the case, Sun Xu (孙旭) is a NUS student from China on Ministry of Education scholarship. He posted a derogatory remark about Singaporeans on his Ren Ren site in February which caused a public outcry.

NUS Board of Discipline has taken action against Sun Xu. He is fined S$3,000 and has to fulfil three months of community service before he is allowed to graduate. He must take an additional semester and will now graduate in February next year instead of June this year. On top of that, his undergraduate scholarship benefits for the final semester have also been terminated and he has to pay back S$8,200 for his current semester’s scholarship benefits which had been disbursed.

I think the punishment is fair and justified. I know some Singaporeans feel that he was being let off too lightly. But think about it. He posted 1 derogatory remark and got a $3,000 fine, final semester scholarship benefits terminated and 3 months of community service. As much as I also wish to see him have his entire scholarship terminated and forced to repay the entire scholarship money, I think we need to draw a line somewhere and not let emotions cloud our judgement. A punishment must fits the “crime” and I think this is a fair punishment.

For those who still think this punishment is too light, may I ask where do we stop? How about we tie his hands with a rope and make him wear a big signboard over his neck that have descriptions about his crime. Then we parade him along Orchard Road and allow those who are still unhappy to throw rotten fruits and feces at him.

Come on. We are not that kind of society. And Sun Xu should count himself lucky that he is in Singapore. I’m pretty sure some part of the world still does that to people who make derogatory remarks about their people.

Having said all these, I think now is a good time for us to re-look at our foreign scholarship scheme. Why are we giving out so much scholarship to foreigners? Wouldn’t those money be better spend on local students? And how many local students are deprived of a tertiary education because of all these foreigners in our university?

It’s time to put Singaporeans first.

Angry Birds Space coming to Windows Phone 7

When Rovio launched Angry Birds Space few days ago, I was kinda surprised that it wasn’t available on Windows Phone 7. After all, Nokia is one of the major Windows Phone 7 makers and it seems weird for the Rovio to not support it’s fellow Finnish company.

But don’t worry Windows Phone 7 users. Angry Birds Space will eventually come to Windows Phone 7. Rovio CEO said that the company is working towards getting Angry Birds Space to Windows Phone 7. However, there is no launch date yet.

Well, at least we know it will be coming soon. But don’t hold your breath on this one. It seems like the port over will involve a total rewrite on the codes. Might take a while.

PS: I heard that Nokia shares were 0.6 percent higher after news that Angry Birds Space is coming to Windows Phone 7. Haha. That’s the power of Angry Birds.

Companies asking job seekers for Facebook password

There is a growing trend in the US where job interviewer ask the job seekers to give them their Facebook login id and password. I don’t know if any company in Singapore is doing this. But it is pretty disturbing.

OK, we know that some companies does background checks before employing someone. That’s fine. But asking for Facebook login is a bit too much. It’s like asking for email password. (and hey, I heard some companies does that too) Or searching the person’s house. This is too invasive. And it’s not just invasive to the job seeker. Having the Facebook login id and password means that the job interviewer can view information about the job seeker’s friend which are set private to others.

Nobody should be forced to give their Facebook login id and password during job interview.

Luckily for us, Facebook has issued a statement regarding this issue. Let’s hope Facebook work with policy makers around the world to stop this practice.

Singapore’s next Social Travel Star

AsiaRooms is on the hunt for Singapore’s next Social Travel Star. The leading online accommodation site is starting a new YouTube channel on hotel reviews and they want you to be the new host.

To take part, just find a friend and submit a 3 minutes video of your very own room review. The video needs to demonstrate your passion for travelling and eye for details that make a holiday and hotel room stay fun and memorable. You need to be confident in front of the camera and have a desire to spread the words using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Oh, and you need to be at least 18 years old and possess a passport for travel with minimum 6 months validity to take part.

Deadline for the video submission is on 11 April 2012. The top 5 submission will be shortlisted after the first round for public voting on Facebook. Winners will be announced on 24 April 2012. For more information, check out AsiaRooms Facebook page.

The winner will walk away with $10,000 worth of cash and prizes. That’s not the best part. The best part is you get to travel to 4 countries to review 12 unique hotels. That’s like one of the best job in the world.

What are you waiting for? Grab a friend, record a 3 minutes video and submit your entries now!

Galileo: iOS controlled robotic iPhone platform

The Galileo is a iOS controlled robotic iPhone platform with infinite spherical rotation capability. It allows you to pan and tilt your iPhone remotely using another iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch).

Galileo has a 1000mAh rechargeable Lithium polymer battery which give it a 2 to 8 hours battery life. It is able to charge the iPhone when plugged in. Which means you can keep the Galileo and iPhone running for a long time if you plugged it to a powerpoint.

There are many use case for Galileo. You can use it for video chat, video monitoring to time lapse photography. The SDK will be made available so that developers can write apps for Galileo to extend its functionality.

Galileo is currently on Kickstarter. Pledge $85 to receive the Galileo as a reward if the funding is successful.