Archive for September 2012

Google blocks “Innocence of Muslims” video in Singapore

Google has blocked YouTube users in Singapore from viewing the anti-Islamic video, “Innocence of Muslims”, after the request from Media Development Authority. MDA made the request to Google as a pre-emptive measure after the video sparked violent protests in several countries. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the video contains material that is contrary to the public interest and incites “religious hatred, strife or intolerance” and is therefore in breach of Singapore’s laws.

Accessing the YouTube video from a Singapore IP address will return a message from YouTube saying the video is blocked due to a legal complaint from the Government.

Google has also blocked the video in several countries including Malaysia and Indonesia.

I think this is a good move by MDA, MHA and Google. I’ve seen that video before it was taken down and I felt offended too even though I’m not a Muslim. It is good to block the video in Singapore although I’m sure it won’t cause any violent protests here.

However I’m surprised that YouTube has not taken down the video worldwide. I understand that as a US company, Google encourage free speech on its platform. But the video is clearly against their YouTube Community Guidelines.

We encourage free speech and defend everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view. But we don’t permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity).

I really hope Google and YouTube will reconsider their stand and remove the video completely worldwide.

It is unfortunate that some people misuse their freedom of speech. It is also unfortunate that some people uses this opportunity to incite violence.

Miniature Starbucks coffee cup flash drive

Here’s a nice looking 8GB flash drive from Starbucks.

Simply spend S$80 to reload or activate your Starbucks Cards to receive this limited edition miniature Starbucks coffee cup flash drive free, while stocks last.

Speaking of Starbucks Cards, Starbucks Singapore just launched two new Starbucks Card designs inspired by the local landscape. The two new designs capture iconic Singapore landmarks brought to life by celebrated local illustrator Michael Ng aka Mindflyer.

The two cards feature juxtaposed landscapes – one depicts a modern metropolis with prominent architectural works that dot the Singapore skyline including the Marina Bay Sands, The Sail and the Singapore Flyer, while the other portrays the ‘old city’ featuring historical landmarks such as the St Andrew’s Cathedral, shophouses in Chinatown and the Majestic Theatre.

If you visit Starbucks frequently like me, then you should get the Starbucks Card. The Starbucks Card is a reloadable stored-value loyalty card that rewards customers. One of the benefits of the card is that you get one complimentary handcrafted beverage of your choice (any size) with purchase of any 12 handcrafted beverages (any size).

For more information about Starbucks Card benefits, visit http://www.starbucks.com.sg/card.html

Shell V-Power at the price of Shell FuelSave 98 this weekend

Good news to all drivers! Shell is celebrating the F1 Grand Prix weekend in Singapore once again with a special promotion for Shell V-Power at the price of Shell FuelSave 98. This promotion is available from 21 to 23 September 2012 at all Shell stations except for Shell Woodlands Mandai and Shell Sin Ming

Shell V-Power is tested on the track with Ferrari to give every drivers improved engine performance with more power and acceleration, no matter what you drive. In fact, Fernando Alonso tested the road fuel formulation of Shell V-Power. Check out the video.

But even though you are using high performance fuel, remember to drive responsibly.

iOS 6 is now available for download

Hey guys, iOS 6 is now available for download. Go get it if you are iPhone or iPad, you might want to upgrade your iOS via iTunes. The download speed is pretty fast. The file is 912.8mb although some people said they getting 760mb. Strange.

This update contains over 200 new features. Stuff like Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams and Passbook. There are also improvements over Siri, FaceTime, Mail, Safari, Game Centre, App Store and iTunes Store. The YouTube app is no longer a default app. But don’t worry, Google has released a YouTube app in the iOS app store.

But perhaps the most noticeable change is the new Map. Apple will no longer be using Google Maps from iOS 6 onwards. Instead, it is using Maps from TomTom. Turn-by-turn navigation feature is added but we lose Street View feature. The new maps also does not provide Traffic info for Singapore. Which is strange since the Traffic information is provided by LTA. Not sure why it is not included on iOS 6 for Singapore.

So if you rely heavily on the Traffic Info, you might want to wait for Apple to add Traffic info to Singapore before upgrading (And provided that they do add the feature to Singapore). Or pray that Google will release a Google Map for iOS and Apple approves it.

Goodbye Google Maps on iOS. We’ll miss you.

New Office 365 subscriptions for consumers and small businesses

Two months ago, Microsoft first unveiled the new Office, showing how the cloud service works with touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard on new Windows devices. The company recently announced two ways that people can get the new office, a subscription and a one time purchase.

The subscription model is ideal for consumer and small businesses. Subscriptions to Office 365 include all the Office applications, additional services product upgrades as soon as they’re available, and access to Office on up to five PCs or Macs, as well as streamed access to full-featured Office applications on any PC.

The annual subscription to Office 365 cost S$139. You also get a number of added benefits like additional SkyDrive storage, Office on Demand and Skype world minutes.

Oh, and by the way, starting 19 October 2012, any purchase of Office 2010 or Office for Mac 2011 is eligible for a free upgrade to the new Office at the time of availability. So if you are planning to buy Office, you might want to hold your purchase till after 19 October.