Monday, November 30, 2009

China stock bubble seen bursting next year

China stock bubble seen bursting next year
Business Times - 30 Nov 2009

(SHANGHAI) China's ballooning stock market bubble, fuelled by excessive liquidity, is likely to burst in the first half of 2010, punctured by economic concerns arising from higher-than-expected inflation, Morgan Stanley Asia executive director Jerry Lou said on Thursday.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index may peak around 4,000 points, as banks continue to lend massively to infrastructure projects initiated this year under the government's US$586 billion stimulus package, Mr Lou told a media briefing in Shanghai.

On Friday, Chinese shares closed down 2.36 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index, which covers both A and B shares, was down 74.72 points at 3,096.27 on turnover of 172 billion yuan (S$34.9 billion). The key index shed 6.4 per cent for the week.

'An asset price bubble is forming in China, but that process hasn't finished yet,' Mr Lou said. 'There's little room to reduce lending next year. Too much money boosts gross demand, which would translate into inflation.'

China has boosted government spending on infrastructure and social welfare projects, engineered a lending boom and re-pegged its currency to the US dollar to support exports in response to the fallout of the global financial crisis. These measures have proved effective in the short term with China's economic growth likely to exceed 9 per cent in 2010, but on the other hand, they aggravated the imbalances which are at the heart of China's mode of development, said Mr Lou.

'We see higher investment and savings rate, and thus increasing imbalances,' Mr Lou said. 'I don't expect to see a so-called golden decade for China. If China cannot stop the bleeding, it needs a blood transfusion.'

Mr Lou suggested that investors buy energy and consumer-related stocks which would benefit from inflation next year, but avoid property, steel and banking stocks. China's property prices are too high, and the government should levy higher taxes to curb speculation and make homes affordable to ordinary Chinese, he said. Mr Lou also suggested that China should decisively deregulate its capital market and allow a one-off revaluation of the yuan, in a bid to restructure its economy quickly, even at the cost of tens of millions of lost jobs. -- Reuters

Friday, November 27, 2009

HSBC tumbles, banks retreat across Asia amid Dubai worry

A wave of contagion selling swept across Asian markets Friday, with banking giant HSBC Holdings among the hardest hit, as investors scrambled to piece together how much exposure regional lenders have to financial troubles in Dubai.

HSBC tumbles, banks retreat across Asia amid Dubai worry [via]

Is Chrome OS a Bad Evolution / Revolution?

Chrome OS , misleading people

MEOW - Looks interesting


“If you are not greedy, you are not Chinese. If you are not backstabbing, you are not Indian. If you are not lazy, ’sorry’, contented, you are not Malay. If you are not made of all these three, then you are not a Singaporean.”

MEOW!
Presented by Agni Kootthu (Theatre of Fire)
Written & directed by Elangovan
Performed by Dew M Chaiyanara, Faizal Abdullah & Hemang Yadav
Performance in English - Sat 28 & Sun 29 Nov 2009, 8pm The Substation Theatre $20
(Tickets available @ the door from 7 pm)
MDA Advisory: R18 (Coarse Language and Mature Themes)

Dubai World is in debt

Dubai has delivered investors a wake-up call. The Gulf State's shock decision to seek creditors a six-month standstill on debt of conglomerate Dubai World on interest payments tied to about $60 billion in debts has hit the confidence of global investors.

On Oct 16, I posted an entry titled “Dubai Support Fund Insufficient To Meet Debts”, describing Dubai's difficulty in servicing billions dollars of debts. Oil is currently trading many times below its last year's peak of around US$147 per barrel and is hitting Dubai's overly ambitious multi billion dollar projects. Even though global stock market has rebounded significantly since March 2009 and world economy showing signs of recovery, it is impossible to catch up fast enough given Dubai's huge debts.

Islamic bonds, called sukuk, from Dubai World real-estate subsidiary Nakheel dropped from around 110 cents to around 70 cents. The bonds are due to mature on December 14. European markets reacted negatively over the possibility of losses for European banks exposed to Dubai. At this point in time, Asian markets are all trading below last closing. It is lucky that some bourses are closed for the day due to Hari Raya.

The cost of insuring sovereign debt issued by Dubai has now increased by more than 50% on Thursday. Along with Dubai, debt insurance jumped among Gulf states such as Bahrain and Qatar. Debt insurance costs also rose in Turkey, Russia, Greece and Ireland.

Abu Dhabi Commercial is said to have most at stake in Dubai World.

I wonder how will Singapore Exchange react on Monday.

Final score for one of my module OUT!

On Nov 25, 1 day after my CS5261 paper, the Professor announced all answer scripts were marked. A day later, he tabulated all scores and uploaded them on the intranet.

If everything is true, I should get myself at least a minimum B+ grade since my total falls in the upper 75th percentile. Two areas I did pretty well are my class participation (10/10) and my term project (20/20) on the self-chosen topic on “Analysis of Nokia Ovi Business Model”.

Yes, I am beginning to love Economics!

B+ grade is the lowest grade I am asking for all my modules since an average of B- grade is required for graduation.

I wonder if it is against school policy to reveal final score that early.

Thanksgiving Google doodle

Proliferation of ulcers

OUCH! They are getting big, bigger and biggest! This means I am on the road to recovery.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

No more screening for movie “Capitalism”?

It looks like screening for movie “Capitalism” is over :(

3 Investment Myths

The Motley Fool published an article on the 3 investment myths and advises us never to fall into believing them.

The 3 investment myths are:

Myth No. 1: It's too early to plan for retirement

Myth No. 2: I can't beat Federer -- so I shouldn't play

Myth No. 3: Planning for retirement is hard

Don't Buy Into These 3 Investment Myths [via]

Weekly Address: President Obama Delivers Thanksgiving Greeting

Happy Thanksgiving!

Given the holiday, U.S. President Obama has released this week's weekly address early today. In this video, President Obama calls to our attention the men and women in uniform who are away from home sacrificing time with family to protect our safety and freedom. He also talks about the progress of health care reform, the Recovery Act, and job creation to ensure that next Thanksgiving will be a brighter day.

Thumbs up for ending estate agents dual role

Thumbs up for ending estate agents dual role
The Straits Times
26/11/2009


A PROPOSAL to ban property agents from representing both the seller and buyer in the same transaction has generated strong public interest - with many giving the idea the thumbs up.

This practice, widespread in the HDB resale market, leaves the agent with a clear conflict of interest.

But there is likely to be resistance from some agents who stand to lose commissions if it is implemented.

The proposed ban is one of a series of possible changes in a planned industry overhaul after years of complaints about questionable practices by some agents.

A public consultation exercise on a planned real estate regulatory framework drew more than 200 comments and suggestions, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) yesterday.
The proposal most commented upon was the ban on dual representation.

Many respondents also backed a plan to ensure agents have a minimum entry qualification - probably an entrance exam. They felt it was important for the exam to cover ethics, given that complaints often stem from unethical practices.

Most respondents were 'generally supportive' of the key proposals, MND said. These also include mandatory accreditation of agencies and agents, keeping a public central registry for accredited agents, setting up an independent tribunal to resolve real estate disputes, and introducing a demerit points system.

The views received during the exercise - conducted from Oct 13 to Nov 17 - were generally consistent with feedback gathered during industry consultations a month earlier, MND said. The respondents included property agents and clients who had been caught in unpleasant encounters with agents, said a spokesman.

The Government aims to better safeguard consumers' interests and raise the level of professionalism in the industry.

Some of the key proposals are long overdue, some industry players said.

Most would be welcomed by the industry, but some agents may not be happy if dual representation is disallowed.

An agent representing both sides in an HDB deal can get two commissions, even though there is clear conflict as sellers would want the highest price for their property while buyers want the lowest.
'This practice has been around since the first day HDB flats were traded. Obviously, there will be some resistance from property agents,' said C&H Realty managing director Albert Lu.

As HDB flat transactions can be complex, it is useful for buyers and sellers to have their own agents, to ensure that an unrepresented party does not delay or mess up the transaction, he said.

Some respondents suggested disallowing dual representation for rental deals.

There were suggestions to mandate co-broking, to stipulate that all buyers are to engage an agent and to require agents to inform sellers of all offers, regardless of the offer price or agent fees.

There were also calls for a standard commission guideline to curb undercutting among agents and to protect less educated consumers, for instance.

Respondents had also called for the licensing of individual agents. While the Government had called for industry-led accreditation, some respondents wanted the Government to handle this.

Some also wanted to see minimum educational qualifications. Mr Lu felt this was unnecessary.

Having paper qualifications does not guarantee an agent will act ethically, he said. Passing an entrance exam is enough, even though it does not ensure ethical behaviour. A Government accreditation board could suspend errant agents, he added.

Mr Lu felt that the entrance exam should also be conducted in Chinese, for the benefit of a group of older, experienced agents who are Chinese-educated.

PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail expects a central registry to come in to help control rogue agents, who are now able to switch agencies unchecked. Some respondents suggested posting the names of blacklisted agents online to warn the public.

Suggestions from the public include the use of standard forms and contracts as well as disallowing agencies and agents from buying new properties from developers with a view to selling them.
MND expects to announce key elements of the framework early next year.

Happy Thanksgving Day

Thanksgving is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.

Happy Thanksgving Day! Of course, happy shopping especially to the Americans and hope offers can be made in tomorrow's Black Friday shopping sale.

Give thanks.

Shall look into manufacturing sector when I am free

I am betting on the manufacturing sector to prosper as the cyclical economy gets out of recession. This particular sector shall be studied after my last paper.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

S&P 500 P/E Ratio as of 24 Nov 2009


According to multpl, the S&P 500 P/E rato as of 24 Nov 2009 is approximately at 20.

Day by day, the equity market is getting more and more expensive.

Completely shocked by how efficient my Professor is

Prof Hwang Ke-Wei left me in awe, shock and disbelief after receiving an announcement from him regarding yesterday's exam.
  1. All answer scripts were marked
  2. Sample answers uploaded
  3. Marks to be uploaded by tomorrow
  4. Disputes, if any, are welcome
I pity his TAs having to "fight" till the end with him. Keep it UP but I do hope this is a once in a lifetime kind of thing.

Attach Files in Offline Gmail

So far, I believe capability to attach files in Offline Gmail is the only feature lacking. However, Google recently announced this long-awaited feature is added!

Google ROCKS!

Attach Files in Offline Gmail [via]

Buying and selling behaviour of retail investors

Bull market peaks are characterised by naïve retail investors piling in to the markets, desperate to join in the profits headlined daily by the popular press. Similarly at market bottoms, the retail investor usually pulls funds out of the markets just before they turn. This unfortunate human trait has led to retail investors' funds being labelled 'dumb money'.

The 'Dumb Money' Points To A Market Fall [via]

Embed MP3 onto your website

You may have a MP3 file uploaded somewhere in the Internet and would like to share it with visitors of your website or blog.

<embed src= "http://www.odeo.com/flash/audio_player_standard_gray.swf" quality="high" width="300" height="52" allowScriptAccess="always" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" flashvars= "valid_sample_rate=true&external_url=[MP3 URL]" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"></embed>

You just have to replace [MP3 URL] with the actual address.

NOTE: Another method to embed mp3, which I find it more reliable, can be found here. It makes use of Google Reader's player. http://hongjun.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-to-embed-mp3-onto-your-website-blog.html.

Interesting podcast on Value Investing

The Motley Fool has an interesting 27 minutes podcast on Value Investing.


Full transcript of the podcast can be found here.

If you wish to listen to the podcast offline, you may download the mp3 version.

The podcast ended with the below quote from American author, Mark Twain.

"I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one" -- Mark Twain

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Google Chrome OS

Last week, Google launched its long-awaited Chrome OS. What is Chrome OS? It is an operating system that boots up in seconds keeping in mind that the web browser is the most important program on your computer. In short, the web browser is in fact your operating system!

What is Google Chrome OS?

Using Google Chrome OS, one can access commonly used applications like Google Chrome web browser, Gmail, Google Docs, and so on.

Google Chrome OS UI Concept Video


Chromium OS Fast Boot (Fast forward to 3:00 not to bore you too much)


With Google Chrome OS, NOTHING is stored on your hard disk, but rather, they are stored on the Internet. What does this means? Google needs to put in double effort to make sure security and privacy issues are well taken care of. Personally, I am not comfortable with this arrangement.

Chromium OS Security

Google Navigation is a Total GPS Replacement—As Long As You're Connected

Read it yourself! Am I slowly moving from Microsoft camp to Google camp?

Google Navigation is a Total GPS Replacement—As Long As You're Connected [via]

Introduction to Google Maps Singapore with Traffic & Transit


Google Maps Singapore can be accessed via http://maps.google.com.sg/transport

LTA partners Google to provide traffic & transit information

LTA partners Google to provide traffic & transit information
By Cheryl Lim, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 19 November 2009 1633 hrs

A new collaboration between Google and Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) will give commuters land transport options at their fingertips.

The result is a service that will allow commuters to plan their journeys based on current traffic status.

The partnership also marks the first time a country is working with Google to provide transport options as part of its global online map platform - Google Maps.

The LTA currently provides traffic and transit information to various other vendors for similar applications, and it hopes this service will encourage more people to take public transport.

"Our aim is to make sure that commuters have all the choices and they can choose between the different modes of transport - on the bus, on the train - and to travel in different ways to reach their destination as smoothly as possible," said Yam Ah Mee, chief executive of Land Transport Authority.

The application is available at the following website - http://maps.google.com.sg/transport.

It is sad that Google Maps does not work on my Windows Mobile 6.0 powered PDA.

The Complete Guide to Google Wave Preview PDF

The preview edition of Gina and Adam's new book, The Complete Guide to Google Wave, is now available in PDF form for your offline, ebook-reading pleasure.

The Complete Guide to Google Wave Preview PDF [via]

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mouth ulcers yet again

The three 0.3cm to 0.5cm mouth ulcers along my lower lips are killing me softly. But they are no big deal really.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

范瑋琪 --- 一個像夏天一個像秋天

Fishbowl brings Facebook to your desktop

Microsoft has launched a desktop application Fishbowl to bring popular social networking site Facebook to your desktop.

Fishbowl is a trial application and a sample demonstrating a unique user experience with Facebook content, optimized for Windows 7. It is available for download by technology enthusiasts and Facebook power users.

Fishbowl
http://www.fishbowlclient.com/

楊千嬅 -- 明日再會

Michael Jackson - The face of change

During his brilliant career, Michael Jackson changed not only music, but also his appearance. See how his looks evolved over the course of his fame.

Michael Jackson - The face of change [via]

Michael Jackson glove sells for $350,000


Michael Jackson glove sells for $350,000 [via]

Are we going to see Year-End Stock Rally?

As we get closer to Black Friday, we should see a rush of shoppers patronizing retails stores for great deals. Will this rush ignite another rally in stocks?

"Nineteen years of history favors a November/December year-end rally," Citigroup said in a note adding that best performing years were usually those associated with periods when the economy was coming out of recession.

The Top 500 Worst Passwords of All Time

If your password is in the list listed below, it means that you are prone to dictionary attack. None of my passwords are in the list.

The Top 500 Worst Passwords of All Time [via]

An Inside Look at Google

Friday, November 20, 2009

Google "Wonder Wheel" search feature


Google "Wonder Wheel" search feature is rather interesting. A search on “da vinci” gives me a visualised search result.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why give top students priority in networking event?

GOOD university grades can put you ahead of the campus queue to meet choice employers. You need a projected second-class (upper division) honours degree or better. That seemed to be the message at a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) networking event for graduating students and potential bosses.

I view this as discrimination against undergraduates with poorer grades.

Why give top students priority in networking event? [via]

陳小春 --- 我不是偉人

Ex-political prisoner, Dr Lim Hock Siew, speaks out in Singapore

Singapore MTI declared recession is over

Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry on Thursday declared that recession is finally over after data showed its economy grew for the second straight quarter in the three months from July to September. Preliminary estimates show that the Singapore economy grew by 0.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the third quarter of 2009.

MTI Forecasts Growth of 3.0 to 5.0 per cent in 2010 [via]

Microsoft Releases Office 2010 for Windows Mobile

I hope Microsoft can release more innovative and integrated products to gain my confidence before I get myself a Android Phone (without camera if any) one day.

Microsoft Releases Office 2010 for Windows Mobile [via]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

I re-post the below video by Sir Ken Robinson on how schools kill creativity. I thought it is interesting and so re-post it the second time.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Patience proves to be the right strategy

On 18 Sep 09, I bought ST Engineering shares at the price of S$2.69 per share. Today, the share price closed higher at S$3.12 per share. Over 2 months, ST Eng share price ended higher by approximately 16%. What does this show?

Fundamentally, ST Engineering stock is a value stock with over 10 billion dollars order recorded. However, technical analysis does not look very positive. RSI is currently showing signs of overbought. However, I will definitely hold onto this blue chip and am confident its resilience is real.

BTW, other than personal stock holdings under the care of CDP, I do have quite a fair bit of employee shares under SSOS as well.

Disclaimer: Please do your own background research before trading. Fully vested.

Can someone confirm December's flight trials dates?

Flight trials for December are supposed to be on 15th, 16th and 17th but then it looks like the various stakeholders are in discussion again. I really do not understand why these people just cannot make up their mind and keep changing schedules as and when they like.

If these dates are not confirmed by end of this week, I shall tell them my hard dates for clearing my annual leaves.

The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes on issue of environment

This girl touched my heart.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Insurance Companies Will Profit If Status Quo Continues

For several weeks the insurance industry lobby has been releasing alarmist reports about draconian the health care premium increases that could result from health reform. Despite being roundly and thoroughly debunked, the insurance lobby continues to release these studies and push their bogus conclusion about cost increases.

Wonder why? Because insurance companies can profit from blocking down reform. A newly identified report from Goldman Sachs looked at the impact of health reform on major health insurance companies and put it in stark terms – insurance company earnings could be cut by 50% over the next decade if the Senate Finance Committee version of health reform passes. The best thing for insurance companies? Maintain the status quo of skyrocketing premiums, soaring profits and a health system that threatens our economy. But according to the Goldman Sachs analysis, insurance companies will also profit if the bills in the House and Senate are watered down and stripped of the key provisions designed to protect consumers and help drive down long-term costs.

It may be good for insurance company profits to push alarmist conclusions in an attempt to water down reform, but these provisions are vital to achieving the President’s commitment to bringing down long-term health care costs:
  • A recent Business Roundtable report confirms that Congress is moving in the right direction on both fiscal responsibility and cost containment. The BRT-Hewitt report finds that many of the delivery system reform policies that are currently in health reform legislation will make important contributions to cost reduction, when implemented effectively. As the report explains, "[a] number of the proposed reforms offer real promise, not only to save federal dollars, but also to reduce the rate of increase in private sector spending if adopted and implemented appropriately."
  • From the beginning of this process, President Obama has been clear that health insurance reform must not only provide security and stability for Americans with insurance and affordable options for uninsured Americans, but also slow the unsustainable cost growth that is burdening families, threatening businesses' viability, and exploding our national deficit.
  • Fortunately, the House and Senate versions of reform share a variety of measures that will reduce the rapid growth in health care costs while also providing Americans with higher quality care including:
    • Changing the way we handle hospitalizations, to prevent mistakes and to prevent unnecessary readmissions.
    • Creating incentives in the payment system to reward quality of care rather than just the quantity of procedures.
    • Giving physicians incentives to collaborate in the coordination of patient care.
    • Investing in research into what works and what doesn't in health care.
    • Reducing hospital-acquired infections and other avoidable health-center acquired conditions through rigorous reporting and transparency.
    • Putting prevention first, rewarding care that focuses on wellness and treating the whole patient in an integrated and coordinated delivery system.
    • Tackling the insurance bureaucracy, streamlining the payment system to save time and money that is now spent processing claims and navigating through the byzantine insurance system.
    • Establishing a health insurance exchange with a public insurance option, where individuals and small businesses can buy lower-cost insurance that will spur competition and put downward pressure on costs.
  • These measures build upon the significant down payment we already made in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to begin switching from paper records to computerized records; to strengthen preventive care; to invest in patient-centered health research; and to build up the workforce of primary care providers.
  • And there are also ideas that will further control cost growth that have been proposed and are being looked at as the legislative process continues, such as:
    • A fee on insurance companies offering high-premium plans — which would create a strong incentive for more efficient plans that would help reduce the growth of premiums.
    • Establishing a Medicare commission — which would develop and submit proposals to Congress aimed at extending the solvency of Medicare, slowing Medicare cost growth, and improving the quality of care delivered to Medicare beneficiaries.
Nancy-Ann DeParle is the Director of the Office of Health Reform

The White House Blog: Insurance Companies Will Profit If Status Quo Continues [via]

Craving for the below

Eng Seng Restaurant - Pepper Crabs

Mellben Seafood - Crab Bee Hoon


Sun with Moon - Tofu Cheesecake

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Folding Plug H 264

Cannot ping - How to refresh network settings?

Ever wondered why PC A can ping PC B but not the other way round? One possible reason could be due to firewall or you just need a network settings refresh.

How to refresh network settings?
  1. From Start Menu, Click Run.
  2. Type cmd.
  3. Type netsh and hit Enter.
  4. Type int and hit Enter.
  5. Type ip and hit Enter.
  6. Type reset and hit Enter.
  7. Type winsock and hit Enter.
  8. Type reset and hit Enter.
  9. Type firewall and hit Enter.
  10. Type reset and hit Enter.
  11. Type bye and hit Enter.
  12. Type exit and hit Enter.
  13. Restart your computer.

Enid Blyton as a barking-mad adulterous bully?

One of Britain's greatest writer, Enid Blyton, creator of Noddy, the Famous Five, the Secret Seven and Malory Towers was in truth a cold-hearted mother and a vindictive adultress who set out to destroy her former husband. Her private life story will be broadcasted on BBC4.

Do read on the article below on Enid's private life and you will be astonished.

Naked tennis, a lesbian affair with the nanny: New TV drama reveals Enid Blyton as a barking-mad adulterous bully [via]

Microsoft Adding Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm to Xbox Live

Users will be able to update their Facebook status or send and read Twitter tweets directly from the Xbox Live interface, the company said. Last.fm stations will also be available, complete with gamer-specific stations, Microosft said.

Microsoft Adding Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm to Xbox Live [via]

Barcodes - Japan Style

Creative barcodes.




Barcodes - Japan Style [via]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Comments meant for spamming or marketing will be rejected

I have been receiving several comments that are meant for spamming or marketing for the past few days. Such irrelevant and unhelpful comments will be rejected.

So, please do not waste time doing spamming or/and marketing in this blog.

Google Go: An Open-Source Programming Language

Tech giant, Google, has announced its own open-source, object-oriented programming language, called Go.

According to a blog post, Go combines the development speed of working in a dynamic language like Python with the performance and safety of a compiled language like C or C++. Typical builds feel instantaneous; even large binaries compile in just a few seconds. And the compiled code runs close to the speed of C. Go lets you move fast.

Go comes with support for multi-processing, and is a fresh and lightweight take on object-oriented design. It also comes with some cool features like true closures and reflection.

The Go Programming Language
http://golang.org/

Google Go: An Open-Source Programming Language [via]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Koh Brothers record 1172% higher profit if 3Q08 exceptional items were excluded

Koh Brothers Group Limited [K75] recorded 11-fold or 1172% higher net profit for 3Q09 attributable to shareholders as compared to 3Q08 if exceptional items for 2008 were excluded.

Let's see if Koh Brothers stock will surge after this Nov 11 06:06PM announcement. I have my due respect for the management team in Koh Brothers.

Got 10/10 for class participation

I got myself 10/10 for "CS5261 - Telecoms and International Network" for participating actively in IVLE forum and asking too many questions during lecture breaks. YEAH!

Google's 'Caffeine' Super Search Is Almost Here


Google says Caffeine, the next version of its search engine, will soon be available to a wider audience, offering technology designed to deliver faster and more accurate results.

Google hints at impending Caffeine launch [via]

Why MapletreeLog fell almost 3% today?

Mapletree Logistics Trust [M44U] requested to halt its trading on Singapore Exchange on Nov 09 1353hr in anticipation of an upcoming significant announcement.

MapletreeLog announced they will launch a private placement to raise between $79 million and $82 million for acquisitions. A total of 115 million new units will be issued. The new units will be priced at between 69 cents and 71 cents each, representing a discount of 3.9 per cent to 6.6 per cent as compared to the last trading price of last Friday's. About $78 million from the private placement will go towards two yield accretive acquisitions in Singapore. The private placement is likely to reduce the stake held by MapletreeLog sponsor, Mapletree Investments, from 46.9 per cent to 44.3 per cent.

Is today's 3 per cent fall, after the trading halt was lifted, a cause for concern? According to MapletreeLog, the yield accretive acquisition will add, on a proforma basis, 0.04 cents or 0.7 per cent to the annualised distribution per unit (DPU) for the period from Jan to Sept. Accretive usually means an acquisition which is expected to increase earnings per share (EPS). MapletreeLog expects the acquisitions total returns will exceed 10 per cent. The trust's annualised distribution yield as at Nov 9 was around 8.1 per cent so far, in my opinion is a good investment.

My personal opinion is that there isn't really a need to press the panic button and sell the stock away. It is important to look beyond and have a longer investment horizon. MapletreeLog has a history of giving out high dividend yields and have performed reasonably well in financial terms. Keep cool.

In a Nov 10 press release from MapletreeLog, it says,

"In connection with the Private Placement, the Manager has announced on 9 November 2009 that, in respect of the Existing Units, a distribution of the distributable income for the period from 1 October 2009 to the day immediately prior to the date on which the New Units are issued pursuant to the Private Placement (the “Advanced Distribution”) will be made on or around 24 December 2009, to those unitholders whose securities account with The Central Depository (Pte) Limited are credited with MapletreeLog Units as at 5:00 pm on 17 November 2009."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Panda Cloud Antivirus Available for Download

Panda Cloud Antivirus is a lightweight, always updated virus killer because Panda does most of its computing, file-checking, and threat updating on its own servers. Anti-virus definition is updated almost real time on cloud without users having to update it himself.

Panda Cloud is finally out of beta for public download for FREE.

Panda Cloud Antivirus - The first free cloud antivirus [via]

Monday, November 09, 2009

Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal Forward Leaning Trick

The video below shows what will happen if the forward leaning anti gravity trick does not go smoothly. Forward leaning anti gravity dance trick is Michael Jackson's creation and is patented.

Michael Jackson's 45 degree angle lean explained


So how does this anti gravity trick works? According to gizmodo,

Trying to lean beyond one's center of gravity normally leads to a giant, awkward step forward to retain balance, so to achieve the 45-degree angle he wanted, Michael and his dancers used special shoes as well as a trick in the stage floor. When the time came for the move, a peg-like aperture would protrude from the dance floor. The heel of the dancers' shoes featured a triangular cut out that could be hitched onto the peg, anchoring the dancers to lean much farther forward, and thus blowing the world's collective mind.

TRIBUTE TO THE LATE MICHAEL JACKSON.

Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion (MJ Patent) [via]
The Secret of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" Forward Leaning Move [via]

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Parkway Holdings


Ever since I bought Parkway Holdings [P27], the trend is only in one direction - UP. Is the upward trend going to be reversed?

If we were to just study the technical aspects, the upward trend may soon be reversed. However, it is to note that the stock is still not overbought may be close to overbought soon.

What about the fundamentals? Parkway Holdings is the leading private healthcare provider in Asia, offering bespoke healthcare. Its ability to sell the Novena medical suites in 1Q10 may lead to many brokerage houses' re-rating of the stock. Do note that Parkway Life Reits declared a higher DPU this quarter.

I believe Parkway Holdings still hold sound fundamentals for mid and long term investors.

Historic healthcare overhaul passes House: Vote 220-215

The House of Representatives on Saturday approved the most sweeping healthcare legislation since the creation of Medicare 44 years ago, giving a boost to President Obama's campaign to guarantee health coverage to almost all Americans.

Historic healthcare overhaul passes House [via]

Understanding Null, Empty, Blank, #N/A, ZLS, Nothing, Missing

An article published on Experts-Exchange discussed on the differences among the many terms we often faced in programming - Null, Empty, Blank, #N/A, ZLS, Nothing, Missing.

The author, Markus G Fischer, explains the concepts technically well and sometimes funny in places to make the lengthy article not so boring. If you have problems viewing the article due to some membership access restriction, I am most willing to send it to you.

Understanding Null, Empty, Blank, #N/A, ZLS, Nothing, Missing [via]

Huge library of programming cartoons


Piled Higher and Deeper
http://www.phdcomics.com/

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Five political risks to watch in Singapore

Forbes.com presents five key Singapore risks to watch:
  1. Security
  2. Political change
  3. Corruption and lack of transparency
  4. Relations with neighbours
  5. Demographics and race relations
Five political risks to watch in Singapore [via]

Photoshop is now available on Google Android Phones!

Photo editor, Photoshop, is now available on Google Android phones! Guess this is going to be a pull factor for new smart phones users.

Photoshop.com Mobile Android
http://mobile.photoshop.com/android/

Michael Jackson's songs with Planet Earth and Civil Liberties as their theme

What About Us (Earth song)


We are the World


Heal the World


They don't care about us (with Olodum)

Google Dashboard - Manage privacy settings easily

Google Dashboard summarizes data for each product that you use (when signed in to your account) and provides you direct links to control your personal settings. Today, the Dashboard covers more than 20 products and services, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Web History, Orkut, YouTube, Picasa, Talk, Reader, Alerts, Latitude and many more.


Transparency, choice and control — now complete with a Dashboard! [via]

Michael Jackson -- Billie Jean

Investing in water and wastewater treatment companies in China

One of the reason as to why I invested in EPure International Ltd is because I know China is investing in water and wastewater projects.

On 6 Nov, Epure won a landmark contract to run 8 wastewater treatment plants in Hainan. According to a press release by EPure,
  • Deal is first of its kind in China to offer “bundled” operating contracts for multiple municipal plants to private bidders
  • Provides strong affirmation of Group’s operating capabilities and technical expertise
  • China’s growing wastewater treatment needs and government plans to raise capacity continue to fuel growth



China’s leading water solutions provider, Epure International Ltd. (Epure, the Group or 伊普国际), has clinched a high-profile deal to manage and operate eight municipal wastewater treatment plants in Hainan province.

In accordance with China’s 11th Five-Year Plan, state-owned Hainan Provincial Water Conservancy & Power Group Co., Ltd. has built 16 new water treatment plants to revamp the province’s wastewater disposal system. The provincial government has “packaged” them under two large operating contracts for bidding by private companies, with each contract covering eight plants. This model is the first of its kind in China, and other provincial governments are expected to follow suit.

Epure’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Li Li (李力), said: “We are proud to announce that we have won a landmark contract to operate and manage eight municipal wastewater treatment plants in Hainan. This contract, highly anticipated within China’s wastewater treatment industry, has been keenly sought after by more than 20 reputable players. Winning this contract demonstrates that Epure’s technical expertise and operating capabilities are recognised across the sector, and affirms the Group’s leading position in this industry.”

“This contract will further reinforce our strategy to grow our recurrent earnings stream, with the key advantage being that no capital expenditure is required. It will also enable us to quickly scale up our operations to create a more robust earnings model. We will seek out more of such opportunities as we continue to build up our portfolio of build, operate and transfer (BOT) projects.”

Under the five-year contract, Epure will manage and operate eight wastewater treatment plants with a total maximum treatment capacity of up to 142,000 tonnes a day. The contract is worth approximately RMB124 million, based on tonnage of wastewater treated, and is expected to contribute to the Group’s earnings from 2010.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the country still has more than 200 cities without sewage treatment capabilities at present. With China’s wastewater emissions increasing, the Chinese government has set aside a budget of RMB330 billion in its 11th Five-Year Plan to increase its wastewater treatment capacity, of which 35% will be invested in building wastewater treatment plants.

Discussing the prospects opened up by this investment, Mr Li commented: “With this strong support from the Chinese government to grow the wastewater treatment industry, we see immense opportunities for Epure to secure more engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and BOT projects, as well as contracts to manage wastewater treatment plants. In this regard, our outstanding track record and expertise as a full-fledged water solutions provider will place us well ahead of the competition.”

Just last month, Epure added two more BOT projects in Anyang city and Jiangyan city, bringing the overall number of such projects under its belt to nine.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

張韶涵 -- 白白的

白白的 -- 歌词

空白白的 白得天又混濁變黑
我算是誰 醒了還在原地
喔白白的 靈魂的石灰很容易碎
落入眼裡 想哭卻沒有眼淚

好想把一切都砸個粉碎
只有你才能給我一絲欣慰
你是無形的傷口
你平白的咬一口
再多的愛也不夠
都不夠 不夠 超完美傷口

空白白的 白天又混濁變黑
怕遇到誰 那無用的安慰
喔白白的 赤裸的心灰很容易碎
落入眼裡 想哭卻沒有眼淚

好想把自己也砸個粉碎
都摧毀才能給我一絲欣慰

你是無形的傷口
你平白的咬一口
再多的愛也不夠
都不夠 不夠 超完美傷口
都不夠 卻還有
都不夠 卻還有

空白白的 我的心灰一碰就碎
只有你才能給我一絲欣慰
你是無形的傷口
你平白的咬一口
再多的愛也不夠
都不夠 不夠 超完美傷口

你是無形的傷口
你平白的咬一口
再多的愛也不夠
都不夠 不夠 超完美傷口

Fed up with my project schedule

First, my 2 to 6 Nov training did not happen due to incapability of my HR.

Second, my 9 to 13 Nov training was cancelled due to a scheduled Ground Acceptance Test on that week. Now, I was told the Ground Acceptance Test is to be delayed for a week but my training was already cancelled! Looks like I have little choice but to live with this very indeterministic and disruptive nature of my projects at work.

Sigh...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

We will see Chinese domain names like 开心.sg soon in Singapore

Businesses and consumers can look forward to using Chinese characters in their website address to better reach their customers or friends who prefer Chinese web addresses. The Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC), the national registry for domain names, will be accepting initial registrations for Chinese Domain Names from 23 November 2009.

SGNIC to Launch Chinese Domain Names in Singapore [via]

Did something terribly wrong yesterday

I will not do it again.

Warren Buffet acquistion of rail operator, economic bottoming out?

Is Warren Buffett purchase of rail operators implying we are at bottom? Is economic recovery really in sight? Warren Buffett is spending loads of money on America.

Is Warren Buffett calling a bottom? [via]

Hackers Exploit Google Wave's Popularity

Hackers are exploiting web users that were too late in signing up for Google Wave, says Symantec. Google Wave is currently open for invitations only, which means you will only be eligible as a member upon receiving an invitation from Google itself.

Hackers Exploit Google Wave's Popularity [via]

The Learning Pyramid


The Learning Pyramid says that learners retain approximately:
  • 90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
  • 75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
  • 50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
  • 30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
  • 20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
  • 10% of what they learn when they've learned from reading.
  • 5% of what they learn when they've learned from lecture.
I agree with the above.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Google testing on new Search Page and it SUCKS


Google has been testing a new version of its homepage that hides the navigation links found at the top, showing the search page, and the search buttons to appear later until you move your cursor away from the navigation links. I thought the use of such fading effects sucks!

I hope Google not to proceed with such new very poor idea.

'This Is It' tops charts with US$101m worldwide

'This Is It' tops charts with US$101m worldwide
Business Times - 03 Nov 2009

(LOS ANGELES) The film, Michael Jackson's This Is It, pulled in US$101 million worldwide in its first five days, and distributor Sony is extending the farewell performance film beyond its planned two-week run.

The film was the No. 1 Halloween thriller domestically with a US$21.3 million opening weekend, according to studio estimates ON Sunday.

The previous weekend's No. 1 movie, Paramount's low-budget horror sensation Paranormal Activity, slipped to No. 2 with US$16.5 million, lifting its total to US$84.8 million.

This Is It raised its domestic total to US$32.5 million. The movie pulled in US$68.5 million overseas, including US$10.4 million in Japan, US$6.3 million in Germany, US$5.8 million in France and US$3.2 million in China.

'He's just loved everywhere on the planet,' said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. 'It doesn't matter if it's Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, South America. Every continent in the world loved him and his music.'

In Great Britain, where Jackson had planned a marathon series of 50 London concerts starting last July, the movie earned US$7.6 million.

This Is It captures Jackson in behind-the-scenes performances in the weeks before his death last June, as he rehearsed his biggest hits for the London shows.

This Is It originally was scheduled for a theatrical run of only two weeks. The studio has extended it a few more weeks domestically, leaving it in theaters through Thanksgiving weekend, one of the year's busiest moviegoing times.

Sony plans to extend the run of This Is It overseas on a country-by-country basis, with most territories probably getting one to three weeks of extra playing time, MR Bruer said.

The studio paid US$60 million for film rights to Jackson's rehearsal footage, an investment the movie recouped in days.

'They bet US$60 million on this and got US$101 million in just five days,' said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. 'It was a gamble and a bet that paid off.'

The movie fell far short of last year's US$31.1 million opening weekend domestically for Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert. But Mr Bruer said This Is It has a shot at surpassing the US$65.3 million domestic total during the entire run of Cyrus's movie, which tops the all-time charts for music documentaries.

Worldwide, This Is It already has shot past Cyrus's concert film. Cyrus mainly appeals to American teens, and her movie got only a limited release overseas, where it took in about US$5 million to give the film a global total of just over US$70 million.

This Is It played in 3,481 theatre domestically, about five times the number for Cyrus's movie. But Best of Both Worlds ran in 3-D, for which theatres typically charge a few dollars more\. \-- AP

Next steps in cyber security awareness

Google published an article on the Google Public Policy blog on cyber security awareness. It talks on the below topics.
  • What are the most important things we all need to do to protect our computers and mobile devices?
  • What are the most common misconceptions about cyber security?
  • How do I know if my computer or network has been compromised?
Next steps in cyber security awareness [via]

Correction in the stock market?

Trading volume for November thus far has been thin and most of the days closed lower. Are we seeing a correction? It seems like investors are taking money off the table as they wait for economic fundamentals to catch up with valuations.

Is recession really over?

Investing in innovation at Google

Eric said during our third quarter earnings call that "innovation is the technological pre-condition for growth." He was talking about the kind of innovation that's only possible when you can attract and retain the world's finest minds. Some come to Google through acquisition, like the people who created Google Earth (formerly Keyhole), or the folks at Android Inc. — but most innovation coming out of Google is homegrown.

A good example is Google Chrome, which in only a year, has more than 30 million active users. Larry and Sergey recently gave the Chrome team a Founders Award, a multimillion-dollar stock bonus shared by the Googlers who worked across functions and regions to create and launch that product. As its name suggests, this award is presented by our founders to celebrate the kind of large-scale, game-changing achievements that Google stands for. The Chrome team joined a long list of teams — including Gmail, AdSense for Content, Google Maps and parts of our sales and marketing units — who have won this award (and could win again!).

We want to continue to create products that rethink industry standards, challenge the status quo and make people's lives easier — and we know that there are great minds out there with the same goal. Recently, we announced that we're starting to ramp up hiring for positions across the company, continuing our investment in the future as we imagine it. That future is shaped by small teams of creative people who want to make a difference. We're on the hunt for these kind of people — let us know if you think you're one of them.

Posted by Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President, Engineering & Research

Update on Capitaland Proposed Listing of CapitaMalls Asia

Capitaland announced yesterday that it had lodged the preliminary prospectus for the proposed listing of its integrated shopping mall business, CapitaMalls Asia.

More details of the announcement is available here:
http://info.sgx.com/webcoranncatth.nsf/VwAttachments/Att_9FAF9BCE3C51B137482576620006F8D3/$file/CL.Lodgement.PrelimProspectus.2Nov2009.pdf?openelement

According to a Channel NewsAsia reporting, the listing price is expected to be between S$1.98 and S$2.39 a share. With issue manager being DBS, will there be a private placement for DBS Vickers customers?

Cash payment for problematic charging of Motorola handsets

If you have purchased certain Motorola mobile phones in the past eight and half years and had difficulty charging your phone, you may be entitled to a cash payment. A lawsuit settlement was reached against Motorola entitling the purchasers of a number of phones to secure a cash payment from the company.

The list of covered handsets is available here. The Motorola Claims Administrator site offers forms for consumers to take advantage of the settlement.

Motorola Claims Administrator site
http://www.motorolaclaimsadministrator.com/

List of covered handsets
http://www.motorolaclaimsadministrator.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=ww6r8p9Rgfc%3d&tabid=117

At least 5 6 tying the knot in 3 months' time

In 3 months' time, I counted there are at least 5 6 couple tying the knot. I am very happy for them.

Speech by Lee Hsien Loong at Party Convention 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009

10 tips on how to gain financial muscle step by step

Below are 10 tips shared by a writer for IM$avvy on how to gain financial muscle step by step.
  • Learn how to be independent and not lazy.
  • Learn how to cook.
  • Learn to be contented.
  • Buy a saving plan.
  • Invest regularly.
  • Save on clubbing expenses.
  • Take public transport.
  • Get a hobby!
  • Buy an insurance policy.
  • Reward yourself.
Want to Gain Financial Muscle? Try these Tips! [via]

Blog Archive

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...