Last week, States Times Review (STR) posted an article titled “Lee Hsien Loong Becomes 1MDB’s Key Investigation Target”. I didn’t read the article but knowing that it is from STR, I knew the chances of that article being fake is rather high. But of cos, an article like this wouldn’t sit well with the Government. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) ordered STR to take down the article by Friday (9 Nov) 5pm or it will direct Internet Service Providers to restrict access to the site.
At the same time, a request was sent to Facebook for them to remove the article from STR’s Facebook page. According to a statement from the Law Ministry, Facebook declined to take down a post. The statement used this to justify the need for legislation to protect Singapore from deliberate online falsehoods.
Firstly, there’s no need for more legislation to protect Singapore from deliberate online falsehoods. We already have the capabilities and framework to combat online falsehood. Just take this case for example. After STR posted the article, the Singapore Government and High Commission in Malaysia issued a clarification to say the post was false and libellous. This was widely reported in many reputable news sites and most people already know that STR is not a trustworthy site. And when STR refuse to take down the article by the deadline, the website was blocked by all Singapore ISP. Right now, if you try visiting STR in Singapore, you’ll be greeted with this message.

I’m not a fan of Government censoring the internet but unfortunately they have the power to order local ISP to restrict access to certain website. And it works perfectly for them. So what other legislation does the Law Ministry need to combat deliberate online falsehoods?
There is no need for additional legislation to fight deliberate online falsehoods. Transparency and education are the best way to combat fake news. It is better to educate everyone on how to spot fake news. The Media Literacy Council is doing a good job in educating everyone on how to deal with fake news.
So why is the Law Ministry pushing for more legislation when existing legislation are more than enough?
We need to be careful before making new laws to regulate the internet. While the original intention is good, they might be abused by others in the future. The current legislations are more than enough. In fact, in my opinion, it already give the Government too much power.

The Force is strong with Gardens By The Bay this weekend with the Star Wars Day: May the 4th be with you Festival happening. Expect fan-led themed activities, Meet and Greets with STAR WARS characters, and a multi-sensory music and lights extravaganza for fans of all ages.

The Marina Bay skyline will be illuminated by South East Asia’s largest lightsaber installation as the Garden’s Supertree transforms into giant lightsabers that cast light beams up to 200m high.
Remember to check out Garden Rhapsody: STAR WARS Edition from now till 2 June at 7.45pm and 8.45pm every night (additional 9.45pm shows on 4 to 6 May). Set against an epic STAR WARS soundtrack, expect lighting composition inspired from scenes such as Luke’s landing in Dagobah, leading to his first meeting with Yoda; the first appearance of Darth Vader with his light saber and even the fight between Anakin and Obi Wan on Mustafar.

Catch Chewbacca and Kylo Ren making their first appearance in South East Asia. And don’t miss the special appearance by 501st Legion Singapore Garrison, Rebel Legion and FightSaber. Get up close and personal the iconic AT-ST (All-Terrain Scout Transport) at the Supertree Grove.

The fun doesn’t stop this weekend. The Star Wars Day: May the 4th be with you Festival kicks off a three-year collaboration between Singapore Tourism Board and The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia. Star Wars fans can expect more unique STAR WARS experiences held in Singapore in the second half of 2017.

From August 31st to September 10th, look forward to even more galactic excitement at Orchard Road with STAR WARS Force Friday II, a global fan event celebrating the launch of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The celebration continues with a STAR WARS activation at the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) from September 9th – 10th. More details will be announced in the coming months.

The 3 telcos in Singapore will be shutting down the 2G network starting from today. No, this is not an April Fool’s joke. It’s real.
This mean that beginning today your old 2G phones cannot be used anymore. Phones like your Nokia 3310, Ericsson T10, Motorola StarTAC etc.
But most people won’t be affected. However, there might be some senior citizens who are still holding on to old 2G phones and didn’t know about this 2G network shutdown. So if you know anyone, do help them switch to a 3G or 4G phone.
Oh ya, and those going for reservist can no longer use their good old Nokia or Ericsson phone now. Goodbye my Nokia 8250. (Not that I still need to go back reservist anymore)
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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“.

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)
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.
PS: They censored this scene too.

**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!