Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Making a video out of your Facebook Timeline

A marketing agency Definition 6 collaborated with Facebook to produce a browser tool Timeline Movie Maker that transform your Facebook Timeline into a video.

Do try Timeline Movie Maker now.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal to win Australian Open

Victoria Azarenka beat Maria Sharapova to win Australian Open

Sunday, January 29, 2012

'Dr Doom' Nouriel Roubini predicts financial meltdown to last a decade

Economist Nouriel Roubini, nicknamed 'Dr Doom', who successfully predicted the sub prime crisis in 2008 is now predicting the current financial slowdown could last a decade unless Europe radically reforms itself and the United States gets serious about its own overwhelming debt deficit.

He painted a grim picture of the euro zone in recession and key emerging markets in China, India, Brazil and South Africa slowing down. The biggest uncertainty is the possibility of a conflict with Iran over its nuclear programme - which could lead oil prices to spike to US$150 per barrel, and lead to a global recession, he said.

Calling for a major change in policy priorities, Dr Roubini said: "We have to shift our investment from things that are less productive like the financial sector and housing and real estate to things that are more productive like our people, our human capital, our structure, our technology, our innovation."

Slow growth in advanced economies will likely lead to "a U-shaped recovery rather than a typical V", and could last up to 10 years if there is too much debt in the public and private sector, he said.

At a panel discussion yesterday, Dr Roubini also said Greece will probably leave Europe's single currency within 12 months and could soon be followed by Portugal.

» Fallout from financial meltdown could last a decade, says 'Dr Doom' | TODAY Online

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Northern Lights (Solar Storms) Auroras in Northern Norway

Northern Lights (Solar Storms) Auroras in Finland

Google prompting all to read new policy when log in

When you re-login to your Google account, Google is now prompting you to read its new unified privacy policy. Come Mar 1, 2012, Google will be unifying its current more than 70 privacy policies into one single privacy policy. Google urges us to take a few minutes to read its updated Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service now.

Infographic: Apple's billions

McDonald’s 1-for-1 Prosperity Burger

McDonald is now offering a time limited offer from 27 to 29 January 2012 for its 1-for-1 Prosperity Burger. To redeem, simply flash the coupon on your mobile device.

Twitter able to block tweets and accounts but tweets must still flow

Twitter announced on Thursday that it is now able to block tweets and accounts from appearing in specific countries to comply with governments' request to censor information. Before that, Twitter can only block globally.

As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.

From Twitter, it will not block tweets and will stay reactive. It will review and will withhold specific content when requested and necessary.

When an account is blocked in a specific country, users of that country will see that blocked profile as below:


And when a tweet is withheld instead, the tweet will be seen as below:


What If Twitter has misidentified your country? You will then have to update your country in the Account Settings.

For more information, read Twitter's policy.

» Tweets still must flow | Twitter Blog

Friday, January 27, 2012

More options for Google+ badge

Google+ announced more options for Google+ badges.

You can configure a badge with a width that fits your site design and choose a version that works better on darker sites. You'll also see that Google+ badges now include the unified +1 and circle count that we added to Pages last month.

Start creating your Google+ badge now.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bill Gates annual letter shows his philanthropy work

I always admired the current chairman of Microsoft and co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates. He is a man full of heart for the world. Yes, I believe many know this man - once richest man in the world but lost, or rather gave away, the title to a Mexican business man. If not for his giving away billions dollars for charitable effort so far, he would have retained his richest man title.

In his annual letter, he pledged to give more in 2013, investing in agriculture hoping to feed the still many poors in the world, without enough food to pass a day. In effort in polio was noted to be a success with only one such case reported in India in year 2011.

Apart from his annual letter, you may also wish to watch the video below on an exclusive interview by the ABC News.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Google unifying 70+ privacy policies into one

Come Mar 1, 2012, Google will be unifying its current more than 70 privacy policies into one single privacy policy.

We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.


For current privacy policies, click here (specific product policies at the right side. New coming unified privacy policy can be found here for preview.

» Updating our privacy policies and terms of service | Official Google Blog

Facebook, Twitter and MySpace launch "Don't be Evil" bookmarklet

Social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and MySpace together launched the "Don't be Evil" bookmarklet in response to Google including its Google+ pages in its search results. Google+ integration into search results has been criticised by competitors that it is not displaying the most relevant social network for an individual, and rather, it's simply promoting their (often less relevant) Google+ page.

The "Don't be Evil" bookmarklet attempts to put focus back to the user, looks at the three places where Google only shows Google+ results and then automatically googles Google to see if Google finds a result more relevant than Google+, and showing them instead.

There are two methods to trying out the "Dont' be Evil"

  1. As a bookmarklet

    Go to Focus on the User (www.focusontheuser.org), click on the "Try a More Relevant Google", and then drag the "Don't be Evil" bookmarklet to your browser's bookmark toolbar. Next time you perform a search that displays social results, click the bookmarklet for improved social results.

  2. As a Chrome extension

    Install this browser extension to automatically run our bookmarklet every time you go to google.com.

Watch walkthrough here.


» The Don’t Be Evil Bookmarklet Makes Google’s Social Results Useful Rather Than Simply Promotional | LifeHacker

Apple's unbelievable first quarter earnings

Some numbers from the Apple's first quarter earnings as summarised by Mashable.

  • Apple sold 37 million iPhones in the quarter, a 128% jump over the comparable quarter in 2010.
  • iPad sales hit 15.4 million, a rise of 111%.
  • Mac sales were 5.2 million, an increase of 26%.
  • Apple sold 15.4 million iPods, a number which is down 21% as the iPhone cannibalizes sales of more limited-function devices.
  • Apple now has $97.6 billion in cash on hand.
  • Revenues from iTunes hit $1.7 billion. More than 140 million apps and pieces of content were downloaded on Dec. 25.
  • There are 1.5 million iPads being used by educational institutions.
  • iCloud has 85 million users. There are now 550,000 apps available. Developers of such apps have earned more than $4 billion$700 million in Q1.
  • Apple Stores produced $6.1 billion in revenues for the quarter. The average revenue per store was $17.1 million vs. $12 million last year. There are about 22,000 visitors per store per week.
  • Apple’s revenues for the quarter were higher than the company’s revenues for its entire fiscal 2009.

» Apple’s First Quarter Earnings: The Unbelievable Numbers | Mashable

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

YouTube statistics - 4 billion daily views, 1 hour of video uploaded every second

Wonder just how much content YouTube is generating? According to the latest statistics, daily views is at 4 billion and in every second, an hour of video is uploaded.

To put all these numbers into perspective, YouTube has launched a new website - onehourpersecond.com. Here's a short sample:


» Holy Nyans! 60 hours per minute and 4 billion views a day on YouTube | YouTube Blog

IMAX Born to be Wild


Shown on the Omni-Theatre here. Just too bad that it is only 2D.

Screening PeriodShowtimesDurationFilm FormatOfficial Website
15 Aug 2011 to 29 Feb 2012Showtime ListingApprox. 40 MinsIMAX 2DWebsite

Monday, January 23, 2012

How to extract tar ball (tar.gz, tgz) using command line?

If you have a tgz or a tar.gz archive, you may use the following to extract its files using command line interface.

Extract to current directory.

tar -zxf yourtarball.tgz

Extract to a different target directory.

tar -C ~/owndirectory -zxf yourtarball.tgz

Starhub: 140 channels free-of-charge for 6 days

Starhub is offering over 140 channels of exciting entertainment from 20 January (12pm) to 26 January (12pm), all for FREE in conjunction with the Lunar New Year.


Do enjoy!

SingTel: Free mobile calls, SMS, MMS and mio TV during Lunar New Year

SingTel announced on its website 48 hours of free local mobile calls, SMS and MMS from 23 Jan 0000hrs to 24 Jan 2359hrs.

守岁的含义

中国民间在除夕夜有守岁的习惯。守岁,俗名“熬年”,是从吃年夜饭(团圆饭)开始,一夜不睡,以迎接新年的到来。

为什么称作“熬年”呢?民间世世代代流传着这么一个有趣的故事:相传,在远古的洪荒时代,有一种凶恶的怪兽,人们叫他"年"。每到大年三十晚上,年兽就要从海里爬出来伤害人畜,毁坏田园,降灾于辛苦了一年的人们。人们为了躲避年兽,腊月三十晚上,天不黑就早早关紧大门,不敢睡觉,坐等天亮,为消磨时光,也为壮胆,他们就喝酒。等年初一早晨年兽不再出来,才敢出门。人们见面互相拱手作揖,祝贺道喜,庆幸没被年兽吃掉,这样过了好多年,没出什么事情,人们对年兽放松了警惕。就在有一年三十晚上,年兽突然窜到江南的一个村子里,一村子人几乎被年兽吃光了,只有一家挂红布帘、穿红衣的新婚小两口平安无事。还有几个童稚,在院里点了一堆竹子在玩耍,火光通红,竹子燃烧后"啪啪"地爆响,年兽转到此处,看见火光吓得掉头逃窜。此后,人们知道年兽怕红、怕光、怕响声,每至年末岁首,家家户户就贴红纸、穿红袍、挂红灯、敲锣打鼓、燃放爆竹,这样年兽就不敢再来了。在《诗经·小雅.庭燎》篇中,就有"庭燎之光"的记载。所谓"庭燎"就是用竹竿之类制作的火炬,竹竿燃烧后,竹节里的空气膨胀,竹腔爆裂,发出噼噼啪啪的响声,这也即是"爆竹"的由来。可是有的地方,村民不知年兽怕红,常常被年兽吃掉。这事后来传到天上的紫微星那儿,他为了拯救人们,决心消灭年兽。有一年,他待年兽出来时,就用火球将它击倒,再用粗铁链将它锁在石柱上。从此,每到过年,人们总要烧香,请紫微星下界来保平安。

» 守岁 | 中国政府网

Double rainbow in Singapore just before Chinese New Year


Hope double rainbow just before Chinese New Year will bring better days for Singapore.

Brave ball girl catches bug at Australian Open

During the match between home favourite Lleyton Hewitt and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, an unwanted insect invader became the centre of attention as Stebe asked for the bug to be removed before continuing.


This ball girl picked up the bug quickly but dropped it while running away from the scene attempting to throw it away. Her brave action attracted much cheers from the crowd.

» Brave ball girl catches giant bug | Yahoo! Sports

Happy Lunar New Year (新年快乐)

Wishing all our readers a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year of the Dragon.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

According to the Wikipedia,

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.

The following articles by Experts-Exchange provide a quick but comprehensive guide on tips to SEO.

sudo apt-get commands

From the Ubuntu documentation,

The apt-get command is a powerful command-line tool used to work with Ubuntu's Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) performing such functions as installation of new software packages, upgrade of existing software packages, updating of the package list index, and even upgrading the entire Ubuntu system.


Update the Package Index - Run this command periodically to make sure your source list is up-to-date.

sudo apt-get update

Upgrade Packages - This command upgrades all installed packages.

sudo apt-get upgrade

Upgrade Packages with "smart upgrade" - The same as the above, except add the "smart upgrade" checkbox.

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Install a Package

sudo apt-get install <app name>

Remove a Package

sudo apt-get remove <app name>

来了新加坡才知道···

A poem titled 来了新加坡才知道···, composed by a mainlander PRC who visited Singapore recently.

来了新加坡才知道,8加3是要用计算机的
来了新加坡才知道,自杀不死不仅要罚款还要坐牢的

来了新加坡才知道,变态是每天都可以见到的
来了新加坡才知道,年薪20万RMB是算底层的

来了新加坡才知道,公交、地铁上是不准喝水和饮食的
来了新加坡才知道,70岁老婆婆工作是正常的

来了新加坡才知道,生孩子越多政府给的补贴是越多的
来了新加坡才知道,每一天都有跳楼的

来了新加坡才知道,小姐是要有营业执照要缴税的
来了新加坡才知道,没有准证的小姐犯法,但嫖客嫖谁都是不犯法的

来了新加坡才知道,新加坡90%的人手机是使用iPhone的
来了新加坡才知道,10岁以下小孩有用N97的

来了新加坡才知道,什么事情都是要投诉的
来了新加坡才知道,说话是很小声的,大声说话是要被投诉的

来了新加坡才知道,不小心碰到女人手,她可以告你非礼的
来了新加坡才知道,家里或路边有蛇都要报警的

来了新加坡才知道,新加坡很多东西是MADE IN CHINA的
来了新加坡才知道,叫叔叔阿姨是没人理你的,是要称安哥安绨的

来了新加坡才知道,这里的人最少是知道三种语言的
来了新加坡才知道,但是没有一种语音是说的好的
来了新加坡才知道,一句话没办法用一种语音讲完的

来了新加坡才知道,小印度的餐馆是没有筷子和勺子的(左手抓饭,右手擦大便)
来了新加坡才知道,夜不闭户是完全可能的

来了新加坡才知道,奔驰是做出租车的
来了新加坡才知道,宝马是家庭用车的

来了新加坡才知道,他们干什么事情都要说谢谢的
来了新加坡才知道,丢了钱包是不用着急的

来了新加坡才知道,新加坡的所有的地方都是开空调的
来了新加坡才知道,政府是支持人民借高利贷的

来了新加坡才知道,电费很贵但是晚上所有楼道是不关灯的
来了新加坡才知道,水是要在马来西亚进口的

来了新加坡才知道,70多岁的老头娶个20 多岁的越南姑娘是很多的
来了新加坡才知道,新加坡人都是井底之蛙,连活鸡都没有看见过的

来了新加坡才知道,父母亲戚之间是不走动的
来了新加坡才知道,35岁以上的老处女是到处都是的

来了新加坡才知道,17以下不是处女的也到处都是的
来了新加坡才知道,天天都要有在楼下烧香烧纸的

来了新加坡才知道,家家都有神像,天天都要拜拜的
来了新加坡才知道,小强、八哥、乌鸦、猴子、巨蜥、变色龙、蟒蛇、眼镜蛇是随处可见的

来了新加坡才知道,路边的椰子芒果是没有人敢摘的
来了新加坡才知道,厨房一年只会用几次的

来了新加坡才知道,这里的夜场很多好像中国乡下的个体破舞厅的
来了新加坡才知道,家庭琐事政府要管的,盐吃多少政府规定的

来了新加坡才知道,红包还有包4块的,拜年2个橘子还拿回2个的
来了新加坡才知道,新加坡人没有红绿灯是不会过马路的

来了新加坡才知道,这里基本上什么东西都是用“粒”来做为量词的
来了新加坡才知道,单身超多,要不半个孩子也不要,不然好几个的

到了新加坡才知道,麦当劳,星巴克是学习的地方,不是吃东西的地方
到了新加坡才知道,去野外,看见猴子和野猪是非常正常的

到了新加坡才知道,出门不用穿正装,裹胸,吊带,拖鞋,越休闲越好
到了新加坡才知道,什么是一流服务的机场

到了新加坡才知道,在商场吹空调非常有冬天的感觉
到了新加坡才知道,这里的树跟阿凡达里面的树好像

到了新加坡才知道,以上所写的只有身临其境才明白的。。。。。。。。

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Enterprise SEO Guide To Response Codes

An interesting article explaining the response codes 404, 301 and 302.

Facebook integrates 60 apps to timeline

Facebook announced the integration of 60 apps (more to come) to timeline. Read more here.

Peking University Professor labelled Hong Kong people as dogs

A professor, Kong Qing-Dong (孔庆东), from the Mainland China Peking University gave his commentary labelling Hongkongers as 'dogs' on the recent incident involving a quarrel between Hong Kong and mainland passengers on a MTR train in Hong Kong.


The quarrel on the train was sparked after angry Hongkongers tried to stop a mainland girl eating a snack on the train. The incident was captured in a 2-parts video and uploaded onto YouTube. The mainlanders apologised eventually only after the train staff was alerted.

2012-01-15 火車內罵戰 香港人大戰大陸人 Part 1 [1/2]


2012-01-15 火車內罵戰 香港人大戰大陸人 Part 2 [2/2]


So, did the mainlanders know eating is not permitted in trains in the first place? In the Part 2 video, the little girl was heard telling her mother they should be the one in the wrong but was quickly "ssshh" by her mother.

Watch Professor Kong commentary calling Hongkongers 'dogs' below:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Microsoft Excel 2007 Specifications and Limitations

As extracted from Microsoft Office Support,

Worksheet and workbook specifications and limits

Feature Maximum limit
Open workbooks Limited by available memory and system resources
Worksheet size 1,048,576 rows by 16,384 columns
Column width 255 characters
Row height 409 points
Page breaks 1,026 horizontal and vertical
Total number of characters that a cell can contain 32,767 characters
Characters in a header or footer 255
Sheets in a workbook Limited by available memory (default is 3 sheets)
Colors in a workbook 16 million colors (32 bit with full access to 24 bit color spectrum)
Named views in a workbook Limited by available memory
Unique cell formats/cell styles 64,000
Fill styles 256
Line weight and styles 256
Unique font types 1,024 global fonts available for use; 512 per workbook
Number formats in a workbook Between 200 and 250, depending on the language version of Excel that you have installed
Names in a workbook Limited by available memory
Windows in a workbook Limited by available memory
Panes in a window 4
Linked sheets Limited by available memory
Scenarios Limited by available memory; a summary report shows only the first 251 scenarios
Changing cells in a scenario 32
Adjustable cells in Solver 200
Custom functions Limited by available memory
Zoom range 10 percent to 400 percent
Reports Limited by available memory
Sort references 64 in a single sort; unlimited when using sequential sorts
Undo levels 100
Fields in a data form 32
Workbook parameters 255 parameters per workbook
Filter drop-down lists 10,000

Calculation specifications and limits

Feature Maximum limit
Number precision 15 digits
Smallest allowed negative number -2.2251E-308
Smallest allowed positive number 2.2251E-308
Largest allowed positive number 9.99999999999999E+307
Largest allowed negative number -9.99999999999999E+307
Largest allowed positive number via formula 1.7976931348623158e+308
Largest allowed negative number via formula -1.7976931348623158e+308
Length of formula contents 8,192 characters
Internal length of formula 16,384 bytes
Iterations 32,767
Worksheet arrays Limited by available memory
Selected ranges 2,048
Arguments in a function 255
Nested levels of functions 64
User defined function categories 255
Number of available worksheet functions 341
Size of the operand stack 1,024
Cross-worksheet dependency 64,000 worksheets that can refer to other sheets
Cross-worksheet array formula dependency Limited by available memory
Area dependency Limited by available memory
Area dependency per worksheet Limited by available memory
Dependency on a single cell 4 billion formulas that can depend on a single cell
Linked cell content length from closed workbooks 32,767
Earliest date allowed for calculation January 1, 1900 (January 1, 1904, if 1904 date system is used)
Latest date allowed for calculation December 31, 9999
Largest amount of time that can be entered 9999:59:59

Charting specifications and limits

Feature Maximum limit
Charts linked to a worksheet Limited by available memory
Worksheets referred to by a chart 255
Data series in one chart 255
Data points in a data series for 2-D charts 32,000
Data points in a data series for 3-D charts 4,000
Data points for all data series in one chart 256,000

PivotTable and PivotChart report specifications and limits

Feature Maximum limit
PivotTable reports on a sheet Limited by available memory
Unique items per field 1,048,576
Row or column fields in a PivotTable report Limited by available memory
Report filters in a PivotTable report 256 (may be limited by available memory)
Value fields in a PivotTable report 256
Calculated item formulas in a PivotTable report Limited by available memory
Report filters in a PivotChart report 256 (may be limited by available memory)
Value fields in a PivotChart report 256
Calculated item formulas in a PivotChart report Limited by available memory
Length of the MDX name for a PivotTable item 32,767
Length for a relational PivotTable string 32,767

Shared workbook specifications and limits

Feature Maximum limit
Users who can open and share a shared workbook at the same time 256
Personal views in a shared workbook Limited by available memory
Days that change history is maintained 32,767 (default is 30 days)
Workbooks that can be merged at one time Limited by available memory
Cells that can be highlighted in a shared workbook 32,767
Colors used to identify changes made by different users when change highlighting is turned on 32 (each user is identified by a separate color; changes made by the current user are highlighted with navy blue)
Excel tables in a shared workbook

0 (zero)

Note A workbook that contains one or more Excel tables cannot be shared.

Microsoft Excel 2003 Specifications and Limitations

As extracted from Microsoft Office Support,

Worksheet and workbook specifications

Feature Maximum limit
Open workbooks Limited by available memory and system resources
Worksheet size 65,536 rows by 256 columns
Column width 255 characters
Row height 409 points
Page breaks 1000 horizontal and vertical
Length of cell contents (text) 32,767 characters. Only 1,024 display in a cell; all 32,767 display in the formula bar.
Sheets in a workbook Limited by available memory (default is 3 sheets)
Colors in a workbook 56
Cell styles in a workbook 4,000
Named views in a workbook Limited by available memory
Custom number formats Between 200 and 250, depending on the language version of Excel you have installed.
Names in a workbook Limited by available memory
Windows in a workbook Limited by system resources
Panes in a window 4
Linked sheets Limited by available memory
Scenarios Limited by available memory; a summary report shows only the first 251 scenarios
Changing cells in a scenario 32
Adjustable cells in Solver 200
Custom functions Limited by available memory
Zoom range 10 percent to 400 percent
Reports Limited by available memory
Sort references 3 in a single sort; unlimited when using sequential sorts
Undo levels 16
Fields in a data form 32
Custom toolbars in a workbook Limited by available memory
Custom toolbar buttons Limited by available memory

Workgroup specifications

Feature Maximum limit
Users who can open and share a shared workbook at the same time 256
Personal views in a shared workbook Limited by available memory
Days that change history is maintained 32,767 (default is 30 days)
Workbooks that can be merged at one time Limited by available memory
Cells that can be highlighted in a shared workbook 32,767
Colors used to identify changes made by different users when change highlighting is turned on 32 (each user is identified by a separate color; changes made by the current user are highlighted with navy blue)

Calculation specifications

Feature Maximum limit
Number precision 15 digits
Largest number allowed to be typed into a cell 9.99999999999999E+307
Largest allowed positive number 1.79769313486231E+308
Smallest allowed negative number -2.2251E-308
Smallest allowed positive number 2.229E-308
Largest allowed negative number -1E-307
Length of formula contents 1,024 characters
Iterations 32,767
Worksheet arrays Limited by available memory. Also, arrays cannot refer to entire columns. For example, an array cannot refer to the entire column C:C or to the range C1:C65536. However, an array can refer to the range C1:D65535 because the range is one row short of the maximum worksheet size and does not include the entire C or D column.
Selected ranges 2,048
Arguments in a function 30
Nested levels of functions 7
Number of available worksheet functions 329
Earliest date allowed for calculation January 1, 1900 (January 1, 1904, if 1904 date system is used)
Latest date allowed for calculation December 31, 9999
Largest amount of time that can be entered 9999:59:59

PivotTable report specifications

Feature Maximum limit
PivotTable reports on a sheet Limited by available memory
Unique items per field 32,500
Row or column fields in a PivotTable report Limited by available memory
Page fields in a PivotTable report 256 (may be limited by available memory)
Data fields in a PivotTable report 256
Calculated item formulas in a PivotTable report Limited by available memory

Charting specifications

Feature Maximum limit
Charts linked to a worksheet Limited by available memory
Worksheets referred to by a chart 255
Data series in one chart 255
Data points in a data series for 2-D charts 32,000
Data points in a data series for 3-D charts 4,000
Data points for all data series in one chart 256,000
Line styles 8
Line weights 4
Area patterns (screen display) 18
Total area pattern and color combinations (color display) 56,448
Pattern and color combinations (color printer) 56,448 (the actual number depends on your printer and its software)
Page fields in a PivotChart report 256 (may be limited by available memory)
Data fields in a PivotChart report 256
Calculated item formulas in a PivotChart report Limited by available memory

Mark Zuckerberg says 'No' to SOPA and PIPA

In a Facebook post, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, commented as such:

The internet is the most powerful tool we have for creating a more open and connected world. We can't let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet's development. Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet.

The world today needs political leaders who are pro-internet. We have been working with many of these folks for months on better alternatives to these current proposals. I encourage you to learn more about these issues and tell your congressmen that you want them to be pro-internet.

You can read more about our views here: https://www.facebook.com/FacebookDC?sk=app_329139750453932.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

.NET Guideline Checklist

Some guidelines / best practices on .NET development [pdf].

Google opposes SOPA and PIPA, urges petition

Google main search engine page is now seeing an additional link urging the Congress not to censor the Internet to oppose against Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).


Google's stand is to end piracy and not liberty and Google wants us to sign a petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before the Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Click here to vote.

Wikipedia (English) black out globally to protest SOPA and PIPA

The English Wikipedia is now blacked out globally to protest Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.

To learn more on the SOPA and PIPA, click here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Microsoft social networking site 'So.cl' spare invites to give away

If you are interested to try out Microsoft's latest social networking site So.cl, simply like my Facebook page below and I will send you an invite. I have quite a few invites to spare.

Microsoft’s New Social Network - Socl

Microsoft entry to the social network industry is still in its development, with a brand new social network called So.cl, dropping the vowels, which pronounces the word as Social. So.cl is still under development and is open for a limited amount of users.

I am still waiting for an invite. Do drop me one if you have spare invite.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Introducing the Android Design site - Style Guide

Google on Thursday unveiled Android Design site, a guide on how to create the best Android apps and interfaces. It is a place to learn about principles, building blocks, and patterns for creating world-class Android user interfaces.

» Introducing the Android Design site | Android Developers Blog

URL Expanders for shortened urls

Ever wonder if a shortened url is harmless or malicious? The following are 5 url expanders capable of revealing the actual full url.

You may use http://goo.gl/Cb4La for your own testing.

Where Does This Link Go?
http://wheredoesthislinkgo.com/

LongURL
http://longurl.org/

URL X-ray
http://urlxray.com/

LinkPeelr
http://linkpeelr.appspot.com/

Sucuri
http://tools.sucuri.net/?page=tools&title=check-url

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Google Maps to launch Google+ games

Google will be releasing a Google maps oriented game for Google+ in February. Watch the preview features in the following video.


To know what exactly is and the services provided by Google Maps, click here for a quick walkthrough.

'Cut the Rope' is now on HTML 5

Popular game on iOS devices, 'Cut the Rope', is now on HTML 5, meaning, it is now possible to run it on a modern browser. The project is a collaboration between ZeptoLab and Microsoft.

Go to http://www.cuttherope.ie/ now to try it out.

Google top U.S. search engines ranking, Bing overtook Yahoo!

Latest comScore report shows Google still led the U.S. explicit core search market in December with 65.9 percent market share (up 0.5 percentage points), followed by Microsoft Sites with 15.1 percent (up 0.1 percentage points) and Yahoo! Sites with 14.5 percent. Ask Network accounted for 2.9 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.6 percent. Yes, Microsoft is now second, overtaking Yahoo! along the way.

comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report (December 2011 vs. November 2011)

Core Search EntityExplicit Core Search Share (%)
 Nov-11Dec-11Point Change
Total Explicit Core Search 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google Sites 65.4% 65.9% 0.5
Microsoft Sites 15.0% 15.1% 0.1
Yahoo! Sites 15.1% 14.5% -0.6
AOL Network 2.9% 2.9% 0.0
AOL, Inc. 1.6% 1.6% 0.0

Google Search and its "Search Plus Your World"

Google has been rolling out gradually and soon, search results will begin showing in its new "Search Plus Your World" format. In this new format, it finds both content that's been shared with you privately on Google+ along with matches from the public web, all mixed into a single set of listings.

From a Google blog post, three new features are introduced to make up the "Search Plus Your World"

  1. Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
  2. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
  3. People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.


» Search, plus Your World | Official Google Blog

Friday, January 13, 2012

SMRT former CEO Phaik Hwa Saw compensation

As listed Bloomberg Businessweek, SMRT former CEO Phaik Hwa Saw total calculated compensation amounted to $1,847,611 for having tendered her resignation amidst series of SMRT trains breakdowns incident in December 2011.

ANNUAL COMPENSATION*

Salary                            $666,303
Bonus                             $842,308
Total Annual Compensation         $1,508,611

STOCK OPTIONS*

All Other Compensation            $60,000

TOTAL COMPENSATION*

Total Annual Cash Compensation    $1,568,611
Total Short Term Compensation     $1,508,611
Other Long Term Compensation      $60,000
Total Calculated Compensation     $1,847,611

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Determine age given date of birth using SQL

The following Microsoft SQL function will help return an integer, determining one's age given date of birth. Hope it helps.

--function to compute age given date of birth
CREATE FUNCTION fnGetAge (@d datetime)
RETURNS INT
AS
BEGIN
    DECLARE @age INT
    SET @age = (
        CASE
            WHEN
                DATEADD(YEAR, DATEDIFF (YEAR, @d, CURRENT_TIMESTAMP), @d) > CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
                THEN DATEDIFF(YEAR, @d, CURRENT_TIMESTAMP) - 1
            ELSE
                DATEDIFF(YEAR, @d, CURRENT_TIMESTAMP)
        END)
    RETURN @age
END
GO

--create table for testing
CREATE TABLE #tem (birthdate DATETIME)
go

--insert some dummy values
INSERT INTO #tem VALUES ('1981-01-09')
INSERT INTO #tem VALUES ('1981-01-10')
INSERT INTO #tem VALUES ('1981-01-11')
INSERT INTO #tem VALUES ('2000-01-01')
INSERT INTO #tem VALUES ('2012-01-01')
GO

--test our function
SELECT birthdate, dbo.fnGetAge(birthdate) FROM #tem
GO

Friday, January 06, 2012

Ministerial Salary Review - Summary

Please refer to below for a summary of the report submitted by the Review Committee to Ministerial salaries. The full Review Committee's report can be found here.

President’s annual salary cut by 51% to $1,540,000

PM’s annual salary cut by 36% to $2,200,000
(by 36% including the removal of pension)

DPM’s annual salary cut by 23% to $$1,870,000
(by 31% including the removal of pension)

Minister’s annual salary cut by 26%-31% to $1,100,000 and $1,760,000 respectively
(by 33%-37% including the removal of pension)

Speaker’s annual salary cut by 53% to $550,000

Deputy Speaker’s annual allowance cut by 15% to $82,500

MPs’ annual allowance cut by 3% to $192,500

NCMPs’ and NMPs’ annual allowance cut by 4% to $28,900

Ministerial Salary Review - Press Conference, Jan 4 2012

Grace Fu comments on ministerial pay cut

Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday in response to the recent announcement by the Ministerial Salary Review Committee. The committee suggested on Wednesday cutting the prime minister's annual pay by 36 per cent to S$2.2 million, ministers' yearly wage by 37 per cent to S$1.1 million and the president's annual salary by 51 per cent to S$1.54 million.

Grace Fu wrote:

When I made the decision to join politics in 2006, pay was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my career was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one considering political office.

Her Facebook post has since gathered over a thousand comments so far, of which many were criticisms. In response to these criticisms, Grace Fu remarked the public has misunderstood her. She replied, but still holding onto her stand of further cuts may dissuade talented people into joining politics.

Thank you all for your candid views. I respect all of them. I realise my last posting could have been misunderstood. The committee has done a thorough job with a substantial recommendation over a fairly emotive topic. I accept and respect the recommendations.

I am honoured to be given the opportunity to serve the people. However, it may not be wise to call for the tradeoffs to be tilted further to an extent that it dissuades good people from coming forward in future. I read today's papers and some readers make the same point. Thanks for your views again.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Ektron URL alias giving "Page Not Found"

If you are getting "Page Not Found (404) Error" when you are trying to assess a Ektron URL alias page on IIS 7.x, you may be missing a module mapping.

In you web.config file, make sure you have the following key under the <modules> section.

<system.webServer>
...
    <modules>
...
      <add name="EkUrlAliasModule" type="UrlAliasingModule" preCondition="integratedMode" />
...
    </modules>
...
</system.webServer>

You may ensure that your web.config contains all of the handler mappings from the IIS 7 example configuration file (Usually found in C:\Program Files\Ektron\CMS400vXX\CommonFiles\IIS7Web.config).

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Hand grenade throwing went horribly wrong in China

A hand grenade throwing exercise went horribly wrong in China when a recruit's throw had his grenade hit a sandbag wall instead of over it. The live hand grenade bounced back and landed into the ditch beside the recruit and the instructor.

The quick-witted instructor nimbly dived into the other side of the ditch, dragging the recruit together with him, saving his life, before the grenade exploded in seconds. What puzzled me is the instructor actually rose up and began clearing the mess coolly and naturally to prepare for the next hand grenade thrower, as if such incident is common anyway. Hope not.

A short 48-seconds video clip showing the incident captured over 1.8 million viewers so far. Watch the video below.

Just how a typical Mr Android 2011 will look like

A new infographic from BlueStacks pulled data from Nielsen as well as poll responses from its 145,000 Facebook fans to create a picture of the average male Android user in 2011.

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