Archive for January 2013

BlackBerry App World rename as BlackBerry World

RIM is renaming the BlackBerry App World as BlackBerry World. The rebranding of its App Store is to reflects a shift in the type of things users can purchase from the store when RIM transition to BlackBerry 10 and beyond. This means that besides Apps, users can expect to buy movie and music in the BlackBerry World.

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The BlackBerry World storefront offers a sleek experience that lets users discover apps to personalize their BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook tablet, so they can kick back with some of the hottest entertainment and social networking apps around. When they’re in work mode, users can find great new ways to get access to the information they want and need, and boost their productivity. It all starts on the home screen, where the carousel shows off what’s new and exciting.

Apps and games have their own channels, and each one offers up a wide range of categories. BlackBerry users can scope out top lists, as well as new arrivals. They can also share cool new apps with their friends over BBM, Facebook and Twitter or simply tap their smartphones together and invite them to download it.

Review of Singapore’s first online rally by SDA part 2

So the Singapore Democratic Alliance released their second online rally video a few hours after the first. I guess I should review it too. I shall keep this entry short. Some of the things were mentioned in my previous blog entry so I’ll try my best not to repeat.

Do check out my blog entry regarding the first video.

0:00: Same intro as the first video. Good to be consistant here.

0:11: It would be good if there is an annotation to link to the first video. Likewise, it would be good to add an annotation at the end of the first video to link people to this video.

0:15: Wait. Where are the questions coming in from? This video is pre-recorded before the release of the first video right? Then how do you managed to get the questions?

0:52: Studio? What studio?

0:55: If this is a question and answer session, it would be good if the camera can zoom out and show both the interviewer and interviewee in the same room.

1:10: You say you are excited to address us but you don’t sound excited.

2:00: What’s up with all the weird hand gestures?

2:23: Is this still part of the answer to “Why go online”? If no, then perhaps it would be good to put it into another video. Or have the interviewer ask a new question so that you can transit into the new topic smoothly.

2:32: Seriously, the video editing is very distracting. What’s up with cutting just 1 second? If the person made a mistake in the recording, just re-record the entire interview. All these editing just shows poor planning and laziness during recording.

3:41: Why is there a voice in the background? This is a pre-recorded video. Surely you can re-record that portion again if someone is talking in the background.

4:32: The hand gesture and eye level gives audiences the impression that the interviewee is seated at the lower corner of the screen. Why is he seated lower than the interviewer? This is weird.

5:05: Audio leveling please! Some people are listening to this using in-ear headphones

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There is no point bragging that you are the first if that is a poor attempt.

Review of Singapore’s first online rally by SDA

The Singapore Democratic Alliance posted Singapore’s first online rally today evening. As a local tech blogger interested in Social Media and local current affairs, I think I need to blog about this. So here is my review of the online rally.

Note: I’m just going to talk about the technical aspect. I won’t be talking about the content because I can’t really be bothered. (Sorry!!!)

Before I start, let me just say that if you say you will post the video at 6pm, I would expect to see the video on your Facebook and Twitter around 6pm (plus minus 15 minutes). It is ok to delay a bit. But at least post a note on your Facebook and Twitter to inform everyone that there will be a delay. Alternatively, don’t promise a time. Just say the video will be posted in the evening.

And I don’t know how are they going to send the video to residents via Bluetooth. You can’t do file transfer on iPhone. Bluetooth file transfer using other smartphones are kinda tedious. Not everyone know how to do the pairing. Besides, if someone has a smartphone that is capable of receiving a video file via Bluetooth, the same phone will most likely be capable of accessing the video via YouTube. So why not just give out the YouTube link instead?

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0:00: Good intro music. Short and sweet. Would be good if there is some animation. But I guess there isn’t time for it.

0:08: The first speaker is energetic and start the video with a lively tone. Good. Unfortunately, they forgot to introduce him. Would be good if there is a text on the video that show his name and position in the party.

0:17: Not really useful to ask viewers to email feedback and questions on YouTube. Most viewers will just comment on the YouTube video or the social media platform where they saw the video.

0:26: OK, I know you are the first to do SMS question and online rally. But let’s get straight to the point. I don’t have access to the video stats but I’m sure a high percentage of viewers dropped off within the first 45 seconds.

Remember: Go straight to the point (unless you are entertaining). This is YouTube. People lose interest easily.

0:45: Oh wait. Why are we reciting the pledge? This is weird. What should I do? Should I put down everything that I’m doing, put my right hand over my chest and recite the pledge together? What if I’m viewing this on the train or at work?

As much as I love the Singapore pledge, please don’t put it on your future online rally. There is a time and place for everything.

1:05: After 1 minute and 5 seconds, he FINALLY start introducing the SDA candidate. I would prefer if he introduce the candidate earlier. And a 1 minute and 40 seconds introduction is too long for YouTube. You might want to consider reducing the length of the introduction and let the man do the talking himself.

2:45: We finally see the candidate, Desmond Lim, on screen. It would be good if they insert text on the video with his name and say that he is the SDA Candidate for Punggol East By Election.

2:49: What’s up with the transition? Did he made a mistake in his speech? If so, why not just re-record the whole intro since we are just 4 seconds into the video? This is just lazy recording.

2:54: OK, I know your tagline is “Dedicated Local, Determined Leader”. But there is no need to repeat that within less than 10 seconds. We are not that forgetful.

3:00: There is a huge change in the tone of the video. The first speaker is very energetic while Desmond Lim sounds calm. There is nothing wrong with both way of presentation. But putting them side by side make the video feels weird. Maybe they should tone down the first speaker or get Desmond Lim to be more energetic during his speech. The difference in the tone shouldn’t be so drastic.

3:30: OK, are we going to see this boring white background and the candidate for the entire online rally? Come on. This is a pre-recorded video. Surely you can insert some video footage of SDA during their walkabout while Desmond is talking. Make full use of the video. There is no need to show the candidate for the whole video. Even the National Day Rally also include video clips and charts.

4:00: The video editing is getting very distracting. They should just re-record the entire speech when there is a mistake. The entire speech is less than 3 minutes. Are you telling me that the candidate cannot make a 3 minutes speech without errors? If the first speaker can record everything within 1 take, I don’t see why the candidate running for election cannot do it.

5:17: The hand gesture is weird. Why is he gesturing to the left? Is Desmond Lim sitting on the left side of the screen?

5:32: Questions are coming in hot and fast? Wait a minute. This is a pre-recorded video pior to this, nobody knows about the email address. So how do you know the questions are coming in hot and fast?

5:40: It is good that the speaker mention the email address for feedback and question. But what’s up with the pause between the word “Singapore” and “Election”? Is there an underscore in the email address?

5:50: Where is the SDA Facebook page? Would be good if you can tell the viewers the URL of the Facebook page and put it on the video description.

6:15: Audio leveling please…. (Ouch, my ears)

6:20: See you in a while? Hmmm…. ok. Errr…. how long ah? I’ve waited for 30 minutes already.

And it will be good if they let everyone know their Facebook and Twitter ID at the end of the video so that viewers can continue to engage them after watching the video.

I’m not an expert in Social Media. All these are my personal opinion based on my experience in Social Media. Hope this blog entry is useful to SDA and all political parties who are interested in doing a online rally.

Update: Check out my review of the second video.

Google’s solution to the password problem: Yubico

We all know that password aren’t secure. People are bad at selecting secure password. We often use the same password for multiple sites. And sometimes, hackers can easily obtain your password through social engineering.

Well, Google believes that they have a solution to the problem. It is a very small USB authentication device called Yubico.

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Using a slightly modified version of Chrome, when a user slides the tiny Yubico card into a USB port, the PC will automatically log them into their Google Account. The protocol that Google is using on the small USB device is website independent and software free apart from requiring your browser to support the hardware login method. This could potentially remove the need for long and complex password.

But honestly, I’m not a fan of this. You’ll most likely end up losing the tiny Yubico USB authentication device. And there might be a chance that you leave it at home and forget to bring it out. And worst of all…. since it is so small, there is a high chance that people will just leave the Yubico in their USB port. And if they lose their laptop, it’s as good as give the finder full access to your Google account.

Password is really a big issue. I think we need to come up with better way to securely login to web service. But I don’t think this Yubico is the way to go. Sorry Google.

SKarf at Samsung Mobile PIN Singapore launch

Kpop group SKarf made a special appearance at the Samsung Mobile PIN Singapore launch event last Friday. SKarf is the Samsung Celebrity Ambassadors for the Samsung GALAXY Camera.

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