Thursday, January 31, 2008

Internet outages hit India, Middle East

Internet bandwidth slowdown is felt by India, Egypt, Bangladesh, and other parts of Middle East countries after two undersea cables were snapped. Such disruptions are rare but not unknown. East Asia including Singapore had our fair share of experience having suffered nearly two months of outages and slow service after an earthquake damaged undersea cables near Taiwan in December 2006.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8UGRIK00.htm

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Google is Always Experimenting

I have participate in all their experiements and I would say - Thumbs Up. They certainly make search easier.

http://www.google.com/experimental/index.html

Cathay to Increase Cost of Ticket

Prices for tickets at all Cathay cineplexes will go up on 31st January 2008, Thursday. It's going to be a boycott on Cathay for me. Wonder if the other players will follow an increase.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/325778/1/.html

Sync Your PC Clock to Internet Servers Using Command Prompt

Type below in Command Prompt and your PC clock will be synchronized to Internet Servers.

w32tm /resync

http://lifehacker.com/350074/sync-your-clock-to-internet-servers-from-the-command-prompt

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Help Needed - Convert all Data to Insert Statements

I have a MySQL DB on a server and am required to migrate them to another. These 2 DB servers are not from the same web hosting company and I have limited access rights to them. I am given a script and if run, it will generate create tables and insert default records onto the new database server. I will then do a delete all records from all tables. Now comes the interesting part - Import all records from original database server to new database server.

My instinct tell me to come out with a script and convert all existing records from tables into INSERT statements. Then use run these statements on the new database server. I have got more 30 over tables with no foreign keys (this makes things simpler). Anyone have got a generic script that will generate INSERT statements for all tables?

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Database/MySQL/Q_23116695.html

Monday, January 28, 2008

Budget Day on 15 February 2008

Budget Day is on Friday, 15 February 2008. Parliament will sit on Friday, 15 February 2008, at 1.30 pm.

http://app.sprinter.gov.sg/data/pr/20080128995.htm

Donation to the Charity

Wonder which charity organization to make your donation? A possible organization is - Community Chest of Singapore. They will disburse your donation to the needy charities.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Was Reading a Old Post - NUS Summary

I happen to come across my below post posted 2.5 years ago. Those were the days.

NUS Summary
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2005/05/nus-summary.html

U.S. Spy Satellite, Power Gone, May Hit Earth

A disabled American spy satellite is rapidly descending and is likely to plunge to Earth by late February or early March, posing a potential danger from its debris, officials said Saturday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/us/27spy.html

Mr Suharto Died (1921 - 2008)

Indonesia's second and longest-ruling president Suharto has died. Indonesian police officials said the former president passed away at about 27 January 2008 1.10pm (local time).

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/suharto

Saturday, January 26, 2008

PDFTextOnline : Hassle-free PDF to Text Converter

Looks cool and most importantly it's FREE! I will try it when free.

http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/pdftextonline-extract-text-pdf/

What is svchost.exe?

From Wiki, Svchost.exe is a generic host process name for services that run from dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) within modern versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

What is svchost.exe?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svchost.exe

What is svchost.exe And Why Is It Running?
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/what-is-svchostexe-and-why-is-it-running/

Friday, January 25, 2008

My Mobile Blog

I shall be adding a link to my mobile blog soon. For now, you can access directly from: http://hongjun.mofuse.mobi/

How to Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly?

Want to turn your blog friendly for Mobile users? Digital Inspiration has a couple of tips to help you out.

1. Google Reader - The Ten Second Solution

Just append your feed address to the following URL and your mobile blog is ready.
http://www.google.com/reader/m/view/feed/[feed_address]

2. Create a free account at mofuse.com

They’ll give a personal mobile website with a .mobi address

http://www.labnol.org/internet/design/how-to-create-mobile-phone-optimized-blog/2132/

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Got a Blog at SgDotNet

I have just got a blog space at SgDotNet. I am still deciding on a topic for the blog.

http://community.sgdotnet.org/blogs/hongjun/default.aspx

Disable PC Beep Sound

Annoyed by beep sound from your PC? Thinking of turning it off? You can do it in just 1 or 2 steps.

For all the below steps, you are required to issue the mentioned commands using the Command Prompt.

How to start Command Prompt from Windows?
  1. From Start Menu, click Run
  2. From the Open textbox, type cmd
  3. Click OK button
To disable PC speaker beep temporarily,
  1. Type net stop beep
  2. Hit ENTER
To stop BEEP service from starting when you next reboot your PC,
  1. Type sc config beep start= disabled
  2. Hit ENTER
Note that by disabling auto start of BEEP service, it may still be enabled if you have not stop it using the above first tip.

To ensure beep is stopped and will not be run again next time, perform above 2 tips at the together.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Pass Acid2 Test

After several versions of Internet Explorer, version 8.0 (still in development) passes Acid2 test. IE8 now renders the "Acid2 Face" correctly in IE8 standards mode. http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2007/12/19/internet-explorer-8-and-acid2-a-milestone.aspx

What is Acid2?
Acid2 is a test suite published and promoted by the Web Standards Project to identify web page rendering flaws in browsers and authoring tools. Acid2 was released on April 12, 2005. It has been developed in the spirit of the Acid1 test from 1997. The Acid tests test many features on a single page and report test results graphically.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid2

What does it mean to pass Acid2?

Showing the Acid2 page correctly is a good indication of being standards compliant. Acid2 is just one of the many standards around.

Stock Tumble Drives 43 Benchmarks Into Bear Market

More than half of the world's biggest stock indexes fell into a bear market as mounting concern about a U.S. recession dragged down banking and retail shares across Asia, Europe and Latin America.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aEt_ee8lyiGM

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Asian Markets Tumble Hard Once Again

Yesterday was already a red blood bath for Asian markets. Today is not any better. All markets ended negatively and I shall tabulate their performances below.

Index                         Last Trade  Change
All Ordinaries (Australia) 5,222.00 -408.90 (7.26%)
Shanghai Composite (China) 4,559.75 -354.68 (7.22%)
Hang Seng (Hong Kong) 21,757.63 -2,061.23 (8.65%)
BSE 30 (India) 16,729.94 -875.41 (4.97%)
Jakarta Composite (Indonesia) 2,294.52 -191.35 (7.70%)
KLSE Composite (Malaysia) 1,354.48 -54.12 (3.84%)
Nikkei 225 (Japan) 12,573.05 -752.89 (5.65%)
NZSE 50 (New Zealand) 3,607.13 -39.77 (1.09%)
Straits Times (Singapore) 2,866.55 -50.60 (1.73%)
Seoul Composite (Korea) 1,609.02 -74.54 (4.43%)
Taiwan Weighted (Taiwan) 7,581.96 -528.24 (6.51%)

ETF                   Change
IS MSCI INDIA 100US$ -5.4%
Lyxor Asia 10US$ -9.8%
Lyxor China H 10US$ -13.3%
Lyxor Cmdty 10US$ -2.9%
Lyxor HangSeng 10US$ -8.7%
Lyxor Japan 10US$ -5.8%
Lyxor Korea 10US$ -6.1%
Lyxor Taiwan 10US$ -10.1%
STI ETF -6.9%
US market will resume trade after yesterday's public holiday. Down trend should still be the trend. A further drop of about 4-5% in S&P index will end up joining the Asian markets Bear club. The bears are out running the bulls for sure.

From a long term investor's view point:

"We are now in a severe bear market. The stock market around the world has dropped more than 20% from its recent peak. The drop can be 5% a day. It can drop a few days in a row.

This is the work of hedge funds. When the market is weak, they sell in large volumes, causing weak holders to panic and sell their holdings. There are no buyers, so the drop is severe. Later, the hedge funds will bear back their short positions at the depressed prices and make a profit. It has happened on many occasions in past years, during bear markets.

Long term investors should not worry. This short term massive selling last a few days and will stabilise or recover. In fact, this is a good opportunity to buy stocks at extremely depressed prices.
".

Let's hope for a better tomorrow :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Asian Markets Tumbled Badly

All Asian Stock Markets tumbled today amid fears of a US recession and disappointments in President Bush stimulus package. Below is a summary of their indices performances. Some indices like STI has lost more 20% value. We are entering into a bear market.
Index                         Last Trade  Change
All Ordinaries (Australia) 5,630.90 -168.50 (2.91%)
Shanghai Composite (China) 4,914.44 -266.08 (5.14%)
Hang Seng (Hong Kong) 23,818.86 -1,383.01 (5.49%)
BSE 30 (India) 17,605.35 -1,408.35 (7.41%)
Jakarta Composite (Indonesia) 2,485.88 -125.25 (4.80%)
KLSE Composite (Malaysia) 1,439.49 -21.22 (1.45%)
Nikkei 225 (Japan) 13,325.94 -535.35 (3.86%)
NZSE 50 (New Zealand) 3,646.91 -17.45 (0.48%)
Straits Times (Singapore) 2,917.15 -187.10 (6.03%)
Seoul Composite (Korea) 1,683.56 -51.16 (2.95%)
Taiwan Weighted (Taiwan) 8,110.20 -74.45 (0.91%)

ETF                   Change
IS MSCI INDIA 100US$ -13.4%
Lyxor Asia 10US$ -2.4%
Lyxor China H 10US$ -5.3%
Lyxor Cmdty 10US$ -0.3%
Lyxor HangSeng 10US$ -4.6%
Lyxor Japan 10US$ -0.8%
Lyxor Korea 10US$ -0.6%
Lyxor Taiwan 10US$ +3.1%
STI ETF -1.5%

Sun to Acquire and Merge MySQL

With Sun Microsystems' US$1 billion acquisition of open source database vendor MySQL announced Wednesday, Sun gets ownership of a major player in the open-source software industry while MySQL gets the backing of a multibillion-dollar, established systems company.

This is an incredible force to be reckoned!

http://www.sun.com/aboutsun/media/presskits/2008-0116/index.jsp?intcmp=hp2008jan16_mysql_learn

Sunday, January 20, 2008

LTA $2m Gallery Is Opened

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has just opened a new S$2 million gallery showcasing the past, present and future.

Admission to the Gallery is free. The Gallery is opened to the general public as well as group tours for corporate visitors and grassroots organisations from 21 January 2008. Opening hours is from Mondays to Saturdays, from 9am to 5pm.

http://app.lta.gov.sg/corp_press_content.asp?start=1876

Standard Chartered's e$aver Accounts Interest Rates To Drop Once Again

Standard Chartered's e$aver Accounts interest rates is to drop again for the 4th time since its launch.

From 21st January 2008 onwards, e$aver Accounts with deposit less than $50K will be revised to 0.8% from 1.2%. e$aver Account has since revised their interest rate from 1.88% to 1.5%, 1.2% and then now to 0.8%. MayBank's iSavvy account is now offering 1.68%.

NOTE: Currently, e$aver website is still showing 1.2% interest rate at this point in time. They should update by 21st January 2008.

My previous post
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2007/10/standard-chartereds-eaver-accounts.html

Overhaul of Bus System for Singapore

Hopefully, the proposed change will be better for the future. 6.5 million population in a small island like Singapore certainly needs a better integrated transport system.

COMING VERY SOON

Faster buses
  • By June: More peak-hour and full-day bus lanes.
  • By year-end: Motorists must give way to buses leaving bus bays. Buses get priority to turn at junctions.
  • By 2009: Bus speeds raised to 20 to 25kmh, from 16 to 19kmh.
More info on the go

  • By May: Bus arrivals in real time at another 20 bus stops, raising total to 50.
  • By July: SMS for arrival times at some bus stops.
  • Journey planner, using Internet or phone, to find best electronic public transport map.
Cheaper transfers

  • By year-end: Season pass for travel on both bus and rail, regardless of operator.
  • By 2009: Fares completely distance-based. No boarding charge for transfers.
  • In the works: More air-conditioned transport hubs in Bedok, Jurong East, Serangoon, Joo Koon and Marina South.
WHAT'S AHEAD

Seamless connections, shorter journeys

  • Now: Bus companies plan bus routes.
  • By 2009: Government does centralised bus route planning.
More efficient and better service

  • Open up bus routes to best bidder, possibly as early as 2010.
  • More niche and premium services.
NEW TARGETS

Shorter wait

  • August 2009: Eight in 10 services to run every 10 minutes or less, down from today's 15 minutes.
Zippier travel

  • 2015: Eight in 10 commuters will complete their trip within one hour, up from seven in 10 today.
Catching up with the car
  • 2020: Trips on public transport to take no more than 1.5 times that by car, down from today's 1.7 times.

http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Story/STIStory_197684.html

Microsoft Support Sucks Big Time This Time

Few days ago, my Windows Live account is suspected of being hijacked. I emailed to Microsoft on the same day to report the problem. My experience with them a year ago was good. Back then, I reported a problem relating to my ISP Singnet and Microsoft went all the way coordinating with Singnet and then gave me a quick and accurate solution.

This time round, I am very disappointed with them. All in all, Microsoft and I have exchanged a total of 7 emails but then none answer my question.

My email is long but my primary questions are simple and short:

1. Can you confirm if I was online from 16-17th Jan 2008 9am to 6pm? Many have witnessed seeing me online.

2. If records did not show me online, then is this a Windows Live bug?

I shall quote one of their replies below. Obviously, they are not reading my emails carefully and they fail to understand my primary concern. I did not send an email to them on how to protect my system. All their replies were simply cut-and-paste from one of their many templates. Frustrated, irritated, annoyed and disappointed.

Hi Loh,

Thank you for contacting Windows Live Messenger Abuse Support. My name is Gene and I'll be glad to assist you with your concern.

Based on the emails you have sent, you do inquire if you were online from 9am - 6pm. I also understand that many of your contacts have seen you online but you did not reply to any of their messages. I know how odd this situation is. Rest assured that I will do my best to help you resolve this issue.

To further assist you in this issue, it is possible that you have a virus in your computer. Based on experience in troubleshooting these kinds of anomaly, a link will be sent to a contact and once you click on that link it will infect your system. Some program writers are now using IM to spread malicious programs such as viruses and worms. These viruses can spread when a person opens an infected file that is sent through IM by someone who appears to be a contact. A computer infected by a virus may continue to spread the infection by sending copies of the virus to everyone on the IM contact list.

If you think that your computer has been attacked, contact Microsoft Product Support Services. You can contact Product Support Services in North America for help with security update issues or viruses at no charge by calling the PC Safety line at 1-866-PCSAFETY. Customers outside North America can locate the number for no-charge virus support by visiting http://www.support.microsoft.com/security.

To help protect your computer from being attacked by a virus, and to make sure that you are not affected through Windows Live Messenger in the future, take the following precautions:

1. Microsoft now provides a tool that can remove the most common viruses. You can access the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool by visiting the following website:

http://www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.mspx.

2. If you have to repair your computer after a virus attack, visit the following website:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;129972

3. Enable virus scanning in Windows Live Messenger:

a. Start Windows Live Messenger.

b. On the Tools menu, click Options.

c. Click File Transfer, and then select the Scan files for viruses using check box.

d. Click Browse, and then select the executable file associated with your virus scanning program. If you need help in finding this file, see your antivirus vendor's Web site or manual.

Note: If you have Windows One Care, the associated virus scanner will be pre-selected, and this option will not be available.

4. Find useful tips about how to help protect your computer from being infected by malicious software by visiting the following website:

http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/viruses/imvirus.mspx.

5. Disable the links in Windows Live Messenger:

a. Start Windows Live Messenger.

b. On the Tools menu, click Options.

c. Click the Security tab.

d. Clear the Allow links in conversation window check box.

For security purposes, I suggest that you reset your password and then delete the Contact Cache folder.

1. Try to reset your password by using your secret question and answer. If you do not know your secret question and answer, go to step 2 to reset your password by using your alternate e-mail address.

a. Open a new Microsoft Internet Explorer window, and then visit the following Web site: http://account.live.com

b. Click Forgot your password.

c. Type the e-mail address of the Windows Live ID account for which you want to reset the password.

d. Type the characters that you see in the box in the picture or click the speaker icon and type the numbers that you hear.

e. Click Continue.

f. Click Use my question to verify my identity.

g. Enter the appropriate account information, answer your question, and then click Continue.

h. Type your new password two times, and then click Continue.

2. Try to reset your password by using your alternate e-mail address:

a. Open a new Microsoft Internet Explorer window, and then visit the following Web site: http://account.live.com

b. Click Forgot your password.

c. Type the e-mail address of the Windows Live ID account for which you want to reset the password.

d. Type the characters from the picture into the box or click the speaker icon and then type the numbers that you hear.

e. Click Continue.

f. Click Send password reset instruction to me in e-mail.

g. Click Alternate e-mail.

h. Click Continue, and then click OK.

i. When you receive the e-mail message from Microsoft Customer Support, follow the instructions to reset your password.

To delete the Contact Cache folder, follow these steps:

Windows XP

1. Sign out and exit Windows Live Messenger. Exit Windows Live Messenger by right-clicking the Messenger icon in the notification area at the far right of the Windows task bar where the time and date of your computer are located, and then click Exit.

2. Open a Command Prompt window.

a. Click Start, click Run, type cmd and then press ENTER.

b. Type the following commands. Press ENTER after each command:

del "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts"

del "%USERPROFILE%\Contacts"

exit

I hope these steps resolve the problem. Should there be any questions/clarifications, you may contact us at http://support.live.com. For additional information and self-help instructions, https://account.live.com/HelpCentral.aspx and choose Windows Live Messenger from the drop-down menu.

Polar Bear is Threatened to be Endangered

The polar bears could be the next species to be listed in the Endangered list.


http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1704808,00.html

Saturday, January 19, 2008

OpenID - Eliminates Need for Multiple Usernames Across Different Websites

What is OpenID?

OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites, simplifying your online experience.

You get to choose the OpenID Provider that best meets your needs and most importantly that you trust. At the same time, your OpenID can stay with you, no matter which Provider you move to. And best of all, the OpenID technology is not proprietary and is completely free.

OpenID can log you into thousands of websites like Yahoo! and Blogger using a single username and password. OpenID assigns a URL to registered users and with the URL, you use it to login. You prove you own a URL — not an email address, not a password, not your mother's maiden name, just a URL that must be confirmed by both the accepting site and OpenID host. No more filling out web site registration forms.

http://openid.net/what/

Register for OpenID
http://www.myopenid.com/

Pros and Cons of OpenID
http://lifehacker.com/software/technophilia/one-openid-to-rule-them-allor-not-302156.php

Yahoo! and Blogger Become OpenID Providers
http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2008-01-18-n79.html

List of sites that are OpenID enabled
https://www.myopenid.com/directory

Blogger In Draft with OpenID Commenting
http://bloggerindraft.blogspot.com/2007/11/new-feature-openid-commenting.html

Friday, January 18, 2008

Straits Times Index (STI) 14-18 Jan 2008

The week has ended. So how does Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) performed this week? MAJORITY DOWN!


STI 14-18 Jan 2008

Vulnerability in Microsoft Excel Could Allow Remote Code Execution

This is the latest security news from Microsoft.

Microsoft is investigating new public reports of a vulnerability in Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Service Pack 2, Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2002, Microsoft Office Excel 2000, and Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac. At this time, our initial investigation indicates that customers who are using Microsoft Office Excel 2007 or Microsoft Excel 2008 for Mac, or who have installed Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Service Pack 3 are not affected by this vulnerability.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/advisory/947563.mspx

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gmail Not Working On Internet Explorer 7.0 - Solution

For those who are using Gmail and Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0, you must have realized Gmail no longer works on IE 7.0. Below are some workarounds to access your Gmail mailbox once again.

1. Access old Gmail URL: https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=1

2. Use Mozilla Firefox browser instead: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

Kill A Stuck Pixel or Dead Pixel

I received a link from a friend few days ago on how to make a stuck pixel "work" again. I went on to find out how true the recommended method is going to work.

Kill Dead Pixel
http://www.killdeadpixel.com/

These are my findings

Stuck pixels and dead pixels are different. For a dead pixel, nothing can be done. As for stuck pixels, there is a possibility that they could be fixed by the above mentioned method. Of course if the equipment is in warranty and there isn't a get-out clause in the warranty, you can always send them for repair/replacement.

Why the method may work on stuck pixels? We need to know the fundamental basics before we can proceed. If a pixel is capable of displaying a certain color (one of the primaries), then the transistor works (a pixel is basically a transistor with an on/off state). Once the electrical characteristics of a transistor no longer function, it is dead. Nothing is going to bring it back. If the transistor is in a marginal state, this may seem to work, but it is really a case of random success. By cycling the pixel thousands of time (so for many hours) they may start working again. Telling dead from stuck is hard and so there is no harm trying it and give it a go.

This is another free tool out there in the market that will not only "un-stick" any stuck pixels, but makes it very easy to determine whether or not you have any dead pixels on your display. The name of the free tool is UDPixel. Before you download and install UDPixel, you will need to install Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.

Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=0856EACB-4362-4B0D-8EDD-AAB15C5E04F5&displaylang=en

UDPixel
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/UDPixel.html

Introducing MacBook Air - The World's Thinnest Notebook

The specification is quite powerful for a thin notebook.
http://www.macworld.com/article/131583/2008/01/macbookair.html

The New MacBook Air Envelope Ad


My Windows Live Account Intruded and Hijacked?

For the past 2 days, my friends have reported seeing my MSN online during daytime. I do not have Internet access at work and so is impossible to be seen online.

I have changed passwords for both my Windows Live and Google account yesterday but still I was seen online this morning and afternoon.

I will investigate and probably send an email to Microsoft for some clues. Is my Windows Live account being intruded and hijacked? Hopefully not.

Make Pointui Work on Windows Mobile 6

2 weeks ago, I made a post on Pointui. The current version of Pointui at this point in time is 1.01b.

Pointui 1.01b works seamlessly on Windows Mobile 5.0 but has got some problems with Windows Mobile 6.0. I am not sure if future version will make it work on WM 6.0 without applying a "hack". Assuming we still use version 1.01b and we wish to get it to work on WM 6, download and install Pointui 1.01b. Afterwhich, download 2 files and replace their equivalent files at \My Device\Program Files\PointUI\Home\1.01b\. The 2 files I am referring to can be downloaded from below

http://www.pointui.com/files/tests/nonphone/home.zip
http://www.pointui.com/files/tests/vga/Pointui.Home.cdl.vga.zip

Pointui certainly rocks!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Repair and Fix Your Registry

Registry CleanFix™ scans every inch of your file system and registry in under 3 minutes. The scan algorithm is fast, reliable and effective. All corrupt files, paths, and registry keys are analyzed and automatically repaired making your PC just work as when you first purchased it. Why spend countless hours searching the web for instructions on how to repair PC errors? Registry CleanFix™ does it for you in a few minutes!

Download Registry CleanFix: http://www.registrycleanfix.com/

What is the Windows Registry?

The Windows registry is a directory which stores settings and options for the operating system for Microsoft Windows 32-bit versions, 64-bit versions and Windows Mobile. It contains information and settings for all the hardware, operating system software, most non-operating system software, users, preferences of the PC, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_registry

Yahoo Finance Not Showing Live STI As Well

The newly revamped STI is a failure at least for now. Even Yahoo Finance [http://finance.yahoo.com/intlindices?e=asia] is not using the new FT STI feed. This site used to show LIVE quotes during trading hours. Their last updated date for STI was 9th Jan 2008 which was the day before the new STI was launched.

It's a shame of SGX STI not showing live on many brokerage firms and finance portal.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cloned Animals to Produce Milk, Meat for US

I am definitely uncomfortable with the notion of consuming from cloned animals.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/05/AR2005100502074.html

Ultimate List of Free Essential Software

http://moneytipcentral.com/ultimate-list-of-free-essential-software

New Revamped STI Causing Unhappiness Among Investors

Singapore Exchange (SGX) just launched the much anticipated new revamped STI last week on 10 Jan 2008. It has caused some unhappiness among investors. SGX needs to do better than that.

TodayOnline has an article on this unhappiness.

Read on below as extracted directly from TodayOnline:

The three organisations behind the revamped Straits Times Index (STI) are believed to be reviewing a decision on whether to impose additional charges for its use.

This comes after mounting unhappiness was expressed by brokerages, resulting in remisiers and investors trading without live STI values.

Today understands that the three organisations — London-based FTSE Group, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Singapore Press Holdings — will now evaluate whether or not to implement the charges after at least a year.

With brokerages unwilling to input the data feed for 19 new indices into their servers, traders could not access the index values on their screens. This situation continued on Friday, much to the frustration of the traders, who need real time STI values to position their trades.

"This is causing a lot of distress to remisiers, and I hope they can give us some leeway until the problem is sorted out," said a dealer at a local brokerage firm, who requested anonymity.

Retail investors have had to access other websites for STI values, needed for an indication of market sentiment, instead of seeing them directly from their trading platforms, said another remisier.

Small investors champion David Gerald said that the "current unhappy situation" over the additional charges for the data feed does not help Singapore's reputation as a financial centre.

"I hope an amicable resolution can be found as soon as possible," said Mr Gerald, who is president of Securities Investors Association of Singapore.

FTSE Asia-Pacific managing director Paul Hoff said the SGX is evaluating the situation with the brokerages.

Stock Market Weakest In 4 Months

The stock market is not doing well. From US, Europe to Asia, all stock indices have been moving in only 1 direction - SOUTH. For the past 2 weeks, finance industry could easily have dropped an easy 10%. For example 3 days ago, SGX started off at more than $12.00/share but today is at a low $10.00 (almost 20% fall). Even a DOW Jones rally of more than 100 points yesterday did not help STI perform a comeback. STI down more than 60 points (-2%) today.

Stock/Equities performance is now poorer as compared to Aug-Oct period when the sub-prime was unveiled. Stock performance could be moving in the same direction in anticipation of US major banks reporting their last quarter financial reports next week. Overall market sentiment is bearish and this is evidently shown in Qian Hu. Qian Hu dropped more than 8% despite a 90% surge in year 2007 earnings. SGX down more than 7% despite more than 60% gain in 1HY08 earnings. DBS, UOB and OCBC are all at its lowest in 4 months.

US Federal Reserve must better react more aggressively to save the market. Central banks leaders should stop deceiving themselves by making irresponsible remarks saying US slowdown wil not affect local markets. It's time to wake up and implement necessary actions to boost the economy.

Is the US heading to recession? Some analysts are saying US is already now in a recession!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Singapore Hosptial Means Testing

Recently, Singapore's Health Ministry announced a need for means testing.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/321367/1/.html

But what exactly is means testing? From Wikipedia, means test refers to an investigative process undertaken to determine whether or not an individual or family is eligible to receive certain types of benefits from the government. The "test" can consist of quantifying the party's income, or assets, or a combination of both.

Is there really a need for means testing? In my opinion, I think this system may not be useful since the rich ones will live in a higher class ward anyway. So why bother to perform means testing?

Convert Image File Format From One to the Other With ImageMagick

ImageMagick includes a number of command-line utilities for manipulating images.

With ImageMagick, we will be able to convert between image formats easily and at a speed never once experienced before since command line are used without the need to launch memory-intensive GUI programs.

For example,

1. Convert between image formats (from JPEG to PNG)

    convert rose.jpg rose.png

2. Resize an image

    mogrify -resize 50% rose.jpg

ImageMagick Command-Line Tools
http://www.imagemagick.org/script/command-line-tools.php

Orcas is Out!

Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2008 delivers on the Microsoft vision of smart client applications by enabling developers to rapidly create connected applications that deliver the highest quality, rich user experiences. With Visual Studio 2008, organizations will find it easier than ever before to capture and analyze information to help them make effective business decisions. Visual Studio 2008 enables organizations of every size to rapidly create more secure, manageable, and reliable applications that take advantage of Windows Vista™ and the 2007 Office system.

Visual Studio 2008 delivers key advances for developers in three primary pillars:

  • Rapid application development
  • Effective team collaboration
  • Break through user experiences
http://mssg.earth9.com/singapore/edm/2008/01/11/Orcas.html

Sunday, January 13, 2008

NUS President Head Hunted

Professor Shih Choon Fong has been chosen to lead a new research university in Saudi Arabia. He will leave NUS at the end of 2008.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/322304/1/.html

CNG Cheaper Alternative for Expensive Petrol

Soaring petrol prices have prompted drivers to look for cheaper fuel alternatives. One alternative is to go for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) cars.

At present, there is only one refuelling station on Jurong Island. Three more stations are due to open this year – one in Mandai by mid-February, another in Jalan Buroh in Jurong by end-February and the third in Serangoon North Avenue 5 by year's end.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/322335/1/.html

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Remarks by National Library Board Security Officer

I was in the main National Library 8th floor working on a project. At the entrance, I overheard the security officer stopped a group of people from going into the 8th floor reference section. Below were the exchange of conversation between them.
Security Officer: You have a bag. Do you have a laptop?


Visitor : No, I do not have one.

Security Officer: I cannot let you in because you do not have a laptop.
The last statement by the security officer sounds.. I shall leave it to you guys to comment.

Stock Market Moving in One Direction

SOUTH

Friday, January 11, 2008

Busy at Least for 1 More Month

I have been very busy for the past 2 months and it will be like this at least for the next 1 month.

Juggling with C# for system, ASP.NET C#, and PHP, all in a single day for 20 hours a day! It's so "exciting".

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Enquiry to SBS Transit On a Bus Incident

On 2nd January 2008, I filed an enquiry report to SBS Transit on a bus incident I witnessed.

My Case [2 Jan 08 2000 hr]

On 2nd January 2008 around 8pm, I was travelling on bus 74 in the direction towards Hougang. I was then near Shunfu Road when I witnessed another bus 74 sped past mine.
That bus had got its front and side bus number plates removed, leaving only the plate at the rear untouched. I was then seated on the upper deck front most seat and so was able to observe clearly what actually happened. I observed the bus only allowed passengers to alight but not to board. I am very curious by this "special" bus. Is this a new expss service offered to the public which I am unaware of?

Please advise and I hope to hear from you soon.

Their Reply [8 Jan 08]

Please refer to your feedback received on 2 January 2008.

2. Allow us to explain that the 'special bus' of Service 74 was behind schedule caused by heavy traffic and thus, the bus captain was instructed to perform alighting activities only. This is to ensure that the bus is able to arrive at the Hougang Interchange to keep to its schedule.

3. Thank you for allowing us to explain this matter to you

IMHO, I feel passengers should be informed of such change in plans.

From the above reply, drivers are told to do "shortcuts" to be on time later. I do not see this as a vivable solution. SBS Transit should ask themselves the below questions.

1. Is it fair to those who have waited for quite some time for a bus but end up unable to board it even though it is empty?

2. Have you (SBS Transit) thought of increasing the amount of buses during peak hours?

Singapore will never be a world class city if transport issues are not resolved. Instead of improving situation, human and traffic squeeze deteriorates.

I shall make a separate post on Singapore's infamous Electronic Road Pricing System in a few days time.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Free PDF to Word Doc Converter

Many have asked on how to convert Word document files to PDF format and there are certainly no shortage of such applications. However, what about the other way round?

Free PDF to Word Doc Converter v1.1 is a solution to it.

Download Free PDF to Word Doc Converter v1.1
http://www.hellopdf.com/download.php

Changi Airport Terminal 3 Opens Today

Singapore's Changi Airport new Terminal 3 opens today. If you have missed the open house last month, you can either take a trip down to Terminal 3 tomorrow or visit its official website for a virtual tour. The entire website is flash enabled and is very interactive.

Changi Airport Terminal 3 Official Website
http://www.changi.airport.com.sg/t3/

Long, Tiring, Busy Yet Eventful Day

It's an exciting day today. As usual, I woke up 5 minutes late and so end up having to run from my house to AMK MRT. To be able to catch the last shuttle from Buona Vista to my workplace, I must take the train that leaves at 7.16pm from AMK to Jurong East. FYI, this "special" train will travel from AMK to Pasir Ris directly via Jurong East without having to transit. With this "special" bound train, I'll be able to sleep without disruptions to Buona Vista. I made it.

Near BT Gombak, I received a call and was informed that something cropped up. I was required to take urgent leave. I alighted and boarded another train travelling in the opposite direction back home. AMK to AMK cost me 68 cents.

After having resolved the issue in the morning, I went down to Bugis for a lunch session with Regine before heading to Lavender St (opposite Eminent Plaza) for a short discussion on a project. The meeting ended at around 6pm.

After my discussion, I met up with Regine for dinner. Our dinner was settled at Tampines. After dinner, Regine met up with a client for a financial analysis session while I settled at Tampines Regional Library till it closed shop.

It's a long, tiring, busy but eventful day. The night is still young and I definitely will be staying up late again.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Yahoo to Launch Mobile Services

Yahoo has launched a Mobile version - Yahoo! Mobile to compete with Google Mobile.


Yahoo! Mobile
http://mobile.yahoo.com/

Yahoo mobile services to run on Google-based phones
http://www.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idUSL0853719420080108

Quotes From Google's Founders

"I worry about complexity. I admire Steve Jobs. He has been able to keep his products simple." (Sergey Brin)

"Microsoft is a bit of an unusual company. It doesn't seem to like any of us being successful in the technology space." (Sergey Brin)

"How many people do you think had embarrassing information about them disclosed yesterday because of some cookie? Zero. It never happens. Yet I'm sure thousands of people had their mail stolen yesterday, or identity theft." (Sergey Brin)

"There are almost three billion mobile phones worldwide, and Schmidt expects a billion more in the next four years. If the phones use Google software to sell advertising, Schmidt thinks that over time it is 'mathematically possible for Google to become a one-hundred-billion-dollar corporation.' Two vital markets are television, which is 'easily attainable,' and mobile phones, which are 'more personable' and more 'targetable' than most advertising. To achieve this goal, Google would need to claim ten per cent of all global advertising, which now amounts to just under a trillion dollars."

"What sets Google apart, Schmidt told me in another conversation, is that although people like him always assumed that 'Google would be an important company, the founders always assumed that Google would be a defining company.' He remembers a day in 2002 when he walked into Page's office and Page started to show off a book scanner he had built. 'What are you going to do with that, Larry?' Schmidt recalls asking. 'We're going to scan all the books in the world,' Page replied. Eventually, Google began to do just that."


Extracted from
http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/01/obligatory-quotes.html

Monday, January 07, 2008

Wireless@SG Coverage Search

I find this website helpful. With this Wireless@SG search portal, one can find out if an area of interest is within Wireless@SG coverage.

http://www.wireless.map.gov.sg/Wireless/HomePage.aspx

JobsDB Career Expo 2008

JobsDB Career Expo 2008 is here soon. Do mark your calendar should you want a career change or are looking for a job.

DATE : 18 – 20 January 2008
VENUE: Suntec Singapore, Halls 403 & 404, Level 4
TIME : 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Daily
http://sgce08.careerfair.jobsdb.com/career/default.asp?PID=10&AC=SGEXPO08&EC=000&GC=G1

Wikia Search Launched

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has launched a new search engine based on trusted feedback from a community of users. Wales believes that the new search engine adheres to the Four Organising Principles on which the future of internet search must be based. These are:
  1. Transparency
  2. Community
  3. Quality
  4. Privacy
http://www.itweek.co.uk/vnunet/news/2206614/wikipedia-founders-searches-google

In my opinion, Wikia is not up to the standard I expect of them yet. They need more effort and time to get out of Alpha before they can compete with Google and the rest.

Wikia Search Launches With Google in Its Sights
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3719906

Wikia Search Engine
http://alpha.search.wikia.com/

Saturday, January 05, 2008

POSB Coin Deposit Machines

Please read my earlier post.

DBS Coin Deposit Machines
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2008/01/dbs-coin-deposit-machines.html

DBS Coin Deposit Machines

DBS Bank has installed quite a few Coin Deposit machines at various locations e.g. Woodlands Civic Centre, Bedok, Towner Rd, South Bridge Rd, etc. These machines even accept 1 cent coins. However, the use of these machines do incur charges.

Read on
  • 100 pieces = 75 cents ($0.75) charge
  • If you deposit before 2pm on a working day, you will only see it in your bank account by 8pm on the same day
  • If you deposit after 2pm on a working day or on a non-working day, you will only see it in your bank account by 8pm on the next working day
  • Charges are waived for kids account Correction: Charges will still be debited from a kid's (less than 12 years old) account when doing coin deposit. To waive the charges, you are required to retain the receipts and bring them personally to a DBS/POSB counter for a refund. Yes, the Coin Deposit machines are not intelligent enough to determine if the designated account is a kid's account.

Currently, DBS website does not have information on this new Coin Deposit Machines.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Pointui Skins Windows Mobile

Pointui is an app that sits on top of Windows Mobile 5/6 in order to skin it into something actually usable. It makes Windows Mobile like iPhone. No need to fumble for a stylus anymore as Pointui Home is designed with generously sized controls.

Gizmodo's video tour - Preview of Pointui
http://gizmodo.com/339835/pointui-skins-windows-mobile-makes-it-usable-best-wm-skin-app-ever

Pointui
http://pointui.com/

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Got my Experts-Exchange 2 Million Solutions T-Shirt

It's my another T-Shirt from Experts-Exchange. This T-Shirt is given out to appreciate efforts in helping to make 2 million solutions possible. Yes, I am just one of them. This particular T-Shirt looks better than the ones I have earlier.

On top of this "special" T-Shirt, I have earned myself "Master Level", "Guru Level", "Wizard Level" and "Sage Level" T-Shirts. I hope to get more of such T-Shirts if given more time.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Carrefour Logo and Its Meaning

Carrefour is a French international hypermarket chain, with a global network of outlets. It is the second largest retail group in the world in terms of revenue after Wal-Mart.



Carrefour Logo

Ever wondered what's the meaning behind Carrefour's logo?

Carrefour logo with its blue, red and white colors has a very significant meaning behind it: it’s a continuous commitment to their customers. The logo was created in 1966, coming from C of Carrefour and an arrow on both sides, representing customers coming form all directions and meeting at Carrefour. Carrefour in Chinese (家乐富), with its meaning of “Every Happy family”, reflects the core values of Carrefour.

You may also be interested on other brands like Adidas, Ikea, etc.

My Top 10 Best Products (Jan 08)

Let's welcome the year 2008 with an updated list of my Top 10 Best Products.

All Products Listed by Ranking

  1. Experts-Exchange IT Solutions Collaboration Site (Prev ranked 1st)
  2. Windows Live Messenger Internet Messenging (Prev ranked 3rd)
  3. Google Reader Web-Based Aggregator (Prev ranked 6th)
  4. Google Gmail Web Mail (Prev ranked 2nd)
  5. QuickEE Experts-Exchange New Question Auto Notification (Prev ranked 4th)
  6. Inline Search for Internet Explorer (Newcomer)
  7. Google Search Engine (Prev ranked 7th)
  8. Google Calendar Online Calendar (Prev ranked 7th)
  9. Internet Explorer 7 Internet Browser (Prev ranked 8th)
  10. ChartNexus Technical Analysis Software (Newcomer)

Previous Rankings
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2007/07/my-top-10-best-products-jul-07.html (1 Jul '07)
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2006/08/my-top-10-best-products-aug-06.html (5 Aug '06)
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2006/03/my-top-10-best-products.html (2 Mar '06)
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2006/01/my-top-10-best-products-renewed.html
(6 Jan '06)
http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2005/12/my-top-10-best-products-of-2005.html
(19 Dec '05)

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