Archive for the Current affairs Category

2016 leap second

If you are living in the UK, your 2017 New Year countdown will have to add 1 more second. This is because the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service (IERS) has introduced a leap second at 23:59:60 (UTC) on December 31, 2016. The rest of the world will also be adding the extra 1 second at that same moment. For Singapore, we will be adding the extra 1 second on 1 Jan 2017, 07:59:60.

This will be the 27th time a leap second is added to the clock. The last leap second happened on 30 June 2015. The last time a leap second happen on New Year Eve was in 2008. The leap second is added to compensate for the slowing in the Earth rotation.

While adding an additional second to the clock might seem harmless, it might actually cause computer bugs. That’s because during the leap second, some computer clock shows 60 seconds instead of simply rolling over to the next minute. Others shows the 59th second twice. This causes some computer to register it as an error.

Google came up with an interesting solution to this problem. Instead of adding the leap second, the company add a couple of milliseconds to their server over a period of time. This slowly adds up to 1 second without causing any issue. They call this method the “leap smear“.

IMDA censored the middle finger scene in Top Gun

Channel 5 was showing Top Gun yesterday evening. I seldom watch TV nowadays but I can’t give this 30 year old classic a miss.

But something seems different. They censored the iconic scene where Tom Cruise was flying inverted and “communicating” with the enemy plane. (AKA showing the middle finger)

top_gun_flips_the_bird

Ok, I know the movie was showing at 7pm and there are kids watching. But censoring away a scene because it contains the middle finger seems a bit extreme. What is wrong with the censorship board? Are they telling us that the middle finger is not suitable for a movie rated PG?

So it is ok to show premarital sex, topless man in locker room and war scene where a couple of fighter jets get shot down. But it is not ok to show someone showing the middle finger? Seriously? No wonder people are watching less TV nowadays. Why bother watching a badly censored movie? Go get the DVD or stream on Netflix instead.

Well, thank you IMDA for ruining a classic movie like Top Gun. This image is for you.

giving_the_bird

PS: They censored this scene too.

Pokemon Go now in Singapore

**Sorry, was a little bit late on this blog entry. Busy catching ’em all**

After almost a month of waiting, Pokemon Go is finally in Singapore. Besides Singapore, Pokemon Go also went live in 14 other countries across across Asia and Oceania. These countries are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.

As expected, the whole Singapore was in Pokemon Go craze yesterday. You’ll most likely see someone playing it if you step out of your house. In fact, I even see some players walking around my neighbourhood after 1am.

The Singapore Police Force has issued an advisory on Pokemon Go. You might want to check it out before playing.

So have fun, stay safe and catch ’em all!

No Olympics live telecast in Singapore is actually something good

I guess by now most people know that there will be no Olympics live telecast in Singapore. Instead, Mediacorp will be showing delayed telecast of the Olympics from 5 – 21 August. According to news report, Mediacorp inked a deal with the Olympics broadcast rights holder Dentsu to air an event only after the entire session has concluded although certain events featuring Team Singapore athletes may be aired minutes after they end.

Now of course there will be lots of complains on social media. This is the first time we are not getting live telecast since 1984. And its natural for a lot of people to start blaming Mediacorp and the Government. But let me just say that they are barking at the wrong tree.

The main issue here is that the rights to broadcast sporting events has been going up. To a stage that it is just too expensive. Instead of blaming Mediacorp, why isn’t anyone blaming Dentsu, the broadcast rights holder in this region. Why are we paying so much to get the rights to watch these sporting events live?

According to some reports, the asking price for the 2016 Olympics live telecast rights is around US$6 million. Mediacorp paid US$2.5 million in 2012 for the London Olympics. The cost has more than doubled in just 4 years. Has anyone questioned why?

It is time we stop being held hostage by all these content rights holder. If they want to charge ridiculous price, then we should walk away and let them gain nothing. If we were to pay US$6 million this year, what makes you think they won’t ask for US$12 million for the next Olympics? When is this going to stop?

I’m glad that Mediacorp didn’t give in to Dentsu. I’m glad that the Government did not step in to foot the bill. We can do without live telecast if it is going to cost an arm and a leg. Let all the sports content rights holder know that if they want to charge sky high price, then Singaporeans will just not watch it. Enough is enough.

Disclaimer: These are my own views and not representative of those of my employer.

The Singapore government agencies, ministries and statutory boards became a laughing stock today after Straits Times reported a memo regarding the blocking of Internet access on work computer. According to the memo, all work computers of public officers will have no access to the Internet from May 2017.

This move is aimed at tightening security and preventing any potential leaks. In response to media queries, an IDA spokesperson said:

“We have started to separate Internet access from the work stations of a selected group of public service officers, and will do so for the rest of the public service officers progressively over a one-year period. There are alternatives for Internet access and the work that officers need to do, does not change,”

Well, at least they can still access internet via their personal devices. Public officers who needs internet access for their work will be given separate devices for official government work and Internet access.

This is going to be quite troublesome for those public officers who job scope requires internet access. Personally I feel that there should be a balance between security and efficiency. While there is a need for strict security policies, it should not affect efficiency or hinder performance. So much for a Smart Nation.