Chris Hadfield’s cover of Space Oddity onboard ISS taken down from YouTube

One year ago, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield uploaded one of the most amazing cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” to Youtube. The music video is literally out of this world because it was recorded onboard the International Space Station.

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But unfortunately, the video has been taken down. According to Chris Hadfield, they only had permission to use the video for one year. It took NASA, Russia’s space agency ROSCOSMOS and the Canadian Space Agency several months to negotiate the one year deal with David Bowie’s representatives. In that one year, the video received more than 22 million hits.

Ironically, if Chris Hadfield had recorded the song and sold it on CD or MP3, there will be no need for him to get a license. Neither will David Bowie’s representatives be able to remove it as there is a compulsory license for cover songs.

It is unfortunate that this amazing music video has been taken down. The video gives us a rare glimpse into the ISS and life onboard. It pays homage to the original song by putting it in space. Perhaps the takedown of this video will eventually become the best example of the absurdity of Copyrights. Has the world become a better place now that the video has been taken down?

But thanks to the power of internet and Streisand Effect, the video can still be found if you search on YouTube. Or you can watch Chris Hadfield performing Space Oddity on earth or parody of the video. Interestingly, those version are not subjected to the same copyright rules that force Chris Hadfield to take down the ISS version.

DBS Marina Regatta 2014

Singapore’s biggest water sports festival, DBS Marina Regatta 2014 was held at The Promontory & Waterfront Promenade @ Marina Bay last weekend. It was an action packed weekend with Dragon Boat Race, Asian Drum Challenge, Asian Cosplay Meet, Asian Food Festival, DBS Movies by the Bay and many more.

The 200m Dragon Boat Race took place on 17 May. The 500m Dragon Boat Race was supposed to take place on 18 May but due to bad weather, all Corporate, Singapore Premier and Tertiary categories races had to be cancelled. The weather finally cleared up for International category finals in the late afternoon. This also means that there are no overall winners for the Corporate, Singapore Premier and Tertiary categories at DBS Marina Regatta 2014.

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Thailand claimed the overall championship titles, winning both the International Premier Open and International Premier Women, while Singapore came in third in both categories.
Continue reading → DBS Marina Regatta 2014

Tuition agency to be charged for breach of DNC Registry laws

Five months after the start of National Do-Not-Call Registry, a tuition agency will become the first company to be charged with breaching the Do Not Call Registry (DNC) requirements under the Personal Data Protection Act.

Star Zest Home Tuition and its director will be charged on 4 June 2014 after many complaints on unsolicited telemarketing messages sent by the tuition agency to local telephone numbers registered with the DNC Registry. The unsolicited messages offered the teaching services of various tutors signed up with the tuition agency.

The agency and its director will be facing up to 37 counts of contravening section 43(1) of the Personal Data Protection Act 2012. Under the act, any person or organisation found guilty of the offence of sending telemarketing messages to Singapore telephone numbers without checking the DNC Registry will be liable to a fine of up to S$10,000 per message sent.

The Personal Data Protection Commission said investigations have been made in response to 3,700 valid complaints from members of the public against 630 organisations since the DNC provisions took effect on 2 January 2014.

Pay for your Starbucks coffee using iPhone app

Starbucks Singapore just updated their iOS app recently to allow payment via the app.

To pay using the Starbucks app, you need to add your card to the app first. Then while queuing up to place the order, open the app and tap on Cards section. Choose the Card that you want to charge the payment and tap on Scan to pay. A QR code will appear. Simply flash that QR code against the scanner to pay. It’s that easy.

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Now you can keep your Starbucks card in your wallet or even at home. All you need is the Starbucks iOS app.

PS: Starbucks is having a promo now. From now till 24 May 2014, use the iPhone App to pay for your handcrafted beverage and get another one free.

Apply for your NDP 2014 tickets NOW!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is once again the time for you to ballot for the National Day Parade Tickets again!!!

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You may apply for your tickets from now till 25 May 2014 via SMS, SAM and AXS stations or the NDP website. As usual, you can ballot for 2, 4 or 6 tickets to either the NDP preview (2 Aug) or the actual parade (9 Aug). Those who apply for a lower the number of tickets have a higher chance of successfully obtaining them.

Only Singapore citizens and permanent residents can apply and each NRIC holder is limited to one application regardless of the mode used to apply. All successful applicants in the NDP 2013 ticket e-balloting exercise will not be eligible for the NDP 2014 ticketing e-balloting exercise.

Successful applicants will be notified via SMS between 5 June and 14 June 2014.

Good luck everyone!

Update 20 May 2014: DO NOT APPLY for your NDP tickets via the website. The NDP website is not encrypted. This means your information is submitted in plain text which makes it easy for hackers to steal your personal information. For more info, check out Zit Seng’s Superwall. So I say again, DO NOT apply for tickets via the NDP website. I’ll update this post once I got confirmation that they secured the website with SSL. If you can’t wait, use SMS or SAM/AXS station. Thanks @jennyteo for the heads up.

Update 21 May 2014: The NDP Executive Committee has acknowledged the security flaws and will be improving the site. So endure a bit longer if you want to apply for your NDP tickets via the website.

Update 22 May 2014: OK, the E-Balloting page is now SSL secured. Should be safe to use now.