Wednesday, December 29, 2010

PS3 is compatible with Sony TV

Updated 05 November 2011: PS3 cannot be switched on if the Sony TV is not switched on.

I just got my hands on a PlayStation 3 (PS3) and I was surprised that there was some integration with my Sony TV and the PS3.

Oh yes, ditch the cable that came with the PS3. Get a HDMI cable and connect it to your Sony TV. I believe that this integration with the Sony TV will only work with a HDMI cable. So what's the integration? I'm able to remotely power up my PS3 using the Sony TV remote. From the remote, I would be able to navigate the PS3 and thus, able to power off the PS3 too.

To remotely control your PS3 from your Sony TV remote, do the following:
  • On your Sony TV remote, you should be able to see a button called Sync Menu. Press it.
  • Select the HDMI Device Selection option.
  • Select your PlayStation 3 device

That's it. Your PS3 will auto power on. Oh yes, if you power off your Sony TV, it will also auto power off the PS3 and all the controllers.

I've also just realised that if your Sony TV is not switched on, there is no way that you can switch on your PS3.

Neat? I think so.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life is life, fight for it

I quote from Mother Teresa:

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Year in Review for 2010

Times passes by so quickly and 2010 is coming to an end. This year as predicted was a year of change. New job scope, change of maritial status and new flat. No wonder I feel so tired lately.

Job wise I've transited well into my new role. Of course like any other job, there's always the downside to it. However, the upside is quite good too and I learned a lot of what goes behind the scenes in an IT project. How to fight for the budget and when to choose to let go. It's quite tiring though. Coming 2011, the projects that I'm doing are quite complex and the funny thing is, I'm looking forward to it. I guess it's the interest.

Yes, I'm now traditionally and officially married. Any change? Well, it's more of the housework that we need to do. Otherwise, we didn't see much surprises. :p However, we need to work on the communication portion. With all the work that we need to do, sometimes we need to find some time to communicate.

The new flat of course was a lot of work. You really need to know good renovation contractors. Otherwise, you'll keep hearing tomorrow and guess what, tomorrow never comes. That is until you blow up.

For the new year, I guess that's where I will be more busy in my job. I will have a few projects that I have to do from initiation to support and some of the projects are quite complex. I need to try to manage my time better because sooner or later, I think I will have to give up some slots in my schedule. I just have too many things to do.

I really hope that I won't need to give up my guitar playing but I'll try my best.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Going for your dreams, but ...

I was listening to some Christmas accapellas when I came across this group called Straight No Chaser. The songs that they have mashed up is quite incredible and it's amazing that this group started out as a hobby. They have people flying in-between cities just doing something they love doing.

This reminds me of my ensemble guitar playing. However, I guess I'm too old for this kinda running around, not to mention that I have a family now. Sometimes, I do wonder if the compulsory national service is the cause of the dearth of innovation in Singapore. The age where we go into army is also the age where we are full of ideas bursting at its seams. At that age, you're afraid of no one. :)

Anyway, below is a video of the group Straight No Chaser combining 2 of my favorite songs, I'm Yours and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Inflation is up 3.8%

These are the Singapore inflation rates for 2010:
January: 0.2%
February: 1.0%
March: 1.6%
April: 3.2%
May: 3.2%
June: 2.7%
July: 3.1% 
August: 3.3%
September: 3.7%
October: 3.5%
November: 3.8% 

Transport and Housing are once again leading the pack, rising by 9.4% and 4% respectively year on year. The inflation is pretty broad based and all are in the positive territory for the first time this year. Communication has hit 0.5%% compared to -2.1% in October. Clothing & Footwear has also risen by a bit. As they do not constitute a large percentage of the overall CPI basket, the impact is minimal.

Inflation did not hit 4% as expected, which I believe is mainly due to the appreciation of the Singapore dollar that took off some pressure from the inflation rate. That would mean however that the inflation rate which I calculated at end September here may somehow be close to the actual figure.

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All China need to do is to ...

China does not need to raise their bank reserve ratio to drain the cash from the financial system. As of now, the bank reserve ratio is as high as 18.5% and the current interest rate is now 5.56%. In my opinion, the problem of China's liquidity is not with the interest rate and the bank reserve ratio.

The problem lies with the governance.Who is ensuring the banks are keeping to the reserve ratios? Who is ensuring that the funds that are lent out is in accordance to the set interest rate?

Personally to me, all China needs to do is to do a nationwide comprehensive audit, answerable to the President of China. The audit should ensure compliance to all the set regulations. Subsequently, quarterly audit should be done to ensure compliance. With this in place, they should get their intended result.

Will they do it?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Follow your heart

I quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage

Unless you're someone who takes impulsive actions, you would have think through in detail on the important things you wish to achieve in life and measured the pros and cons. If the outcome is important to you, you'll find a way to achieve it.

Do note though that there are several ways to reach a destination. Focus on your destination, and not on the route.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bus Fare Distance Refund for Ezlink card holders

The LTA and the public transport operators have discovered some discrepancies (which is actually quite minimal) in the bus fare calculations and you may be eligible for a refund if you have travelled along the affected bus stops between 3 July 2010 and 25 November 2010. All you need is your Ezlink card number.

For those who wish to check online if you are eligible for a bus fare refund or look for more information, you can take a look at the PublicTransport website here. Type in your CEPAS number (located at the back of your Ezlink card) on your top left hand corner panel.

For your information, unless you travel on the same bus route several times a day, your refund amount will be quite minimal. You may not even get to buy a cup of coffee with the refund. Any unclaimed amount after the refund exercise will be donated to the LTA Public Transport Fund, which will benefit needy families. Personally, I think you might as well donate it to the Public Transport Fund.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Does your company own your phone if they pay for it?

Personally, I'm always hesitant when companies offer to sponsor you a handphone with the bills fully paid by the company. Usually when this happens, this usually implies that you're important enough to warrant a handphone with you 24 hours by your side.

The problem is based on our employment contract, it usually never states that we're suppose to be on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Unless you're in a special line of work, your working hours are pretty standard. However, some companies take advantage of the fact that since they pay for your handphone and phone bills, the employee should be on-call all the time. This should not be the case. In fact, very often it's a reflection of bad management when projects go off-schedule. Having said that, there are exceptions especially in certain countries.

Anyway, the problem now is that due to the "productivity" drive, employers are increasingly trying to find ways and means to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of everyone. It's very different when your employer tells you to try the answer your phone when you can, and ordering you to answer your phone when it rings. The former means it's optional and the latter means its mandatory. And seriously, if I'm on call 24 hours, I better make sure that I'm paid for it. There are of course exceptions but it should never become a common occurrence.

Vice versa, I also dislike companies that request you to bring your own computer equipment to do office work. It seriously thins the line between personal and work life, and unless I own the company, I will never do that. In fact, if someone asks me to bring my own equipment in, I should be renting them to the company and getting paid for it. I personally never like to put any work into my personal equipment.

Anyway, back to the main topic. I always try not to contact people after office hours unless it is very critical. Why? Because I used to be on the receiving end and I know the feeling. It really spoils your whole day.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why must the Mediacorp TV guide use Silverlight???

I don't understand the rationale on why the Mediacorp TV guide requires Silverlight in order to view. Don't Mediacorp knows that by doing this, they are alienating an increasing number of people that uses Apple products? Silverlight only works on Windows.

Maybe they cut away all the IT staff and there's no one left to advice them otherwise. Once again. Silverlight ONLY runs on Windows machines. Grr.

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don't Ever Lose Faith in Yourself

I quote from Ashley Bell:

Never think that any part of you is lacking. Never doubt your abilities. Never question your judgment. Never let anyone or anything make you feel less than you are, because who you are is someone special.

Never feel that the next step is a step too far. If you're stumbling as you walk, hold your head high and know that no other person's words or actions can ever hurt you, because who you are is someone special.

Never lose faith in yourself. Just look around you-at the friends who surround you-because they love and care for you, support you, and believe in you..because you're someone special.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Who decides what is material to the investors?

Looks like GLP is in the news for all the wrong reasons. After posting an article about GLP here back in October, it seems that the GLP prospectus did not include some information which investors feel that is important.

The story? ProLogis could become a serious competitor to GLP’s China business after the expiry of the non-competition arrangement in February 2011. The problem? This was not highlighted in the prospectus. The debate? Investors say that this is material information while GLP says it is not.

What's the root problem? GLP uses legal terms to describe that there will be a risk of competitors targeting the same market, and at the same time, the Master Implementation Agreement (“MIA”) entered into with ProLogis in 2009 to effect the acquisitions of the various properties in China and Japan – the MIA was disclosed in the Prospectus as one of the material contracts which were available to the public for inspection. MIA was not included within the prospectus.

GLP says that the expiry of the agreement is not material enough to warrant a line in the prospectus, but yet the MIA is considered as a material contract. Sorry, I can't add it up. The MIA is a material contract but the contents within the contract is not material enough?

So who decides what is material to the investors? The company that is being listed?

Monday, December 13, 2010

What happens when you take things out of context

A scene in a typical family meal setting:

Person A: How is your day today?

Person B: It sucks. Customer 1 was in today and as usual, she has her eye on the details. This is usually not much of a problem but Customer 1's attention to details caused a confrontation with Customer 2 and they both started arguing over it. The worst part is after that argument, they blamed the problem all on me even though I have nothing to do with it. In the end, I had to clear all that sh**.

Person A: Really? Maybe that had a bad day or something. Just treat it as customer service so that they will come back and give you more business.

Person B: I guess maybe you're right.

Nosy C (overhead the conversation): Ah-hah.

Nosy C to Customer 1: Hey,do you know that Person B was badmouthing you in front of other people. She said that your attention to details caused a confrontation with Customer 2, and she was complaining that she has to take all that sh** from you two.

Customer 1: Really?? That ... ... ...


Morale of the story? Don't look at piecemeal news and do not look at things out of context. It never tells the whole picture.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Telcos wants Service Providers to pay for network infrastructure

France Telcos have voiced out against mobile and Web companies that have introduced data-heavy online contents such as videos, music and games. They are asking these service providers to help defray the "billions of dollars of investments" needed to build new network infrastructure to cope with today's bandwidth demands.

Personally, I think that's ridiculous.

Initially, all the telcos have been building those 3G towers which no one was using. Who was the one who helped fill those airways? The mobile and web companies. Before Apple and Google came into the picture, there was absolutely no reason for anyone to use the 3G towers that the telcos built. Content changed the game. The few hundred thousand apps in the smartphone world now drives the usage of the mobile data network.

Like it or not, Apple has made 3G / 4G useful through the iPhone. Before that, everyone was teaching people how to disable 3G since it's useless and it only drains your battery. What about now? Look at the number of people subscribing to data plans now compared to previously before the iPhone even appeared.

Heck, the telcos should pay the mobile and web companies for giving consumers the reason to subscribe to data plans.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift 2010

The Boys' Brigade has been bringing cheer to the less fortunate, reaching out to some 28,000 beneficiaries from the Public Assistance scheme, ComCare Transition scheme and more than 140 Voluntary Welfare Organisations.

Donate basic food and household items and drop them off at the designated collection areas. You can also donate online at

Operating period: 25 November to 20 December 2010, 11am to 8.45pm daily

The collection areas are:

Main Box Location
  • Orchard Road (Outside Takashimaya S.C)

Satellite Gift Box Locations

- NTUC FairPrice outlets :
  • Ang Mo Kio Hub (FairPrice Xtra)
  • Bedok North (BLK 212)
  • Bishan Junction 8
  • Bukit Panjang Plaza
  • Bukit Timah Plaza (FairPrice Finest)
  • East Point Mall
  • Hougang Point (FairPrice Xtra)
  • Jurong Point (FairPrice Xtra)
  • nex Mall ( FairPrice Xtra )
  • Rivervale Mall
  • Tampines Mall
  • Thomson Plaza (FairPrice Finest)
  • Toa Payoh HDB Hub
- Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre Lobby

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What can we learn from AEM-Evertech, SLA, M1 and Red Cross?

Recently, there have been quite a few corruption cases reported in a short span of time and other than looking at the amount that was lost, there are other points that we can gather from this episode.

First if you look across all the cases reported, you can see that whether corruption happens really depend on the person. CEO, Senior management, middle management, salesman and finance officers. You can see that this happens across all different types of job scopes.

Sure. Some people can say that there are not enough controls to "detect" this fraud. My question is that if the CEO is involved, are "controls" that effective?

Personally, the key point is that controls can only do so much. In the end, it's the people that matters. What's inside the heart, behind all those high grades, CCA, and profit-driven objectives. Previously when I interviewed people for a job, attitude to me is the most important other than the match in skills. The willingness to learn and collaborate. If I do not see this in a person and see it in action during probation, I will not recommend the job to this person. Having said that, do note though that I'm not HR trained. This is just my personal opinion.

Sad to say, my way of interviewing may not be the norm and bear in mind, there are always repercussions. Cause and effect always happens. It's just a matter of time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

User Interface: iPhone vs Android vs Windows Phone 7

Recently I had a chance to play with the Android and the Windows Phone 7 phones, and in my personal opinion, I have reached the conclusion that I prefer the iPhone user interface.

Samsung Galaxy S was the Android phone that I've managed to "test" initially. In fact, the reason why I got to touch it was because someone had problems using the phone and asked me for help. I'm not sure if it's the same for all Android phones, but I had serious problems in trying to help the person answer a phone call. I've totally no idea how to answer the call as it was not intuitive. Later on I had the chance to play with a HTC Android phone in a HTC store and I was kinda confused over the many screens. The home screen? Application screen? HTC screen? Needless to say, I didn't like it.

Since I was in the HTC store, I've also tried a HTC Windows Phone 7 phone. First thing was that I had problems identifying where are all the different apps as they are no fixed icons associated to the individual apps. In fact, I even had trouble finding the Photo App and I had to go to the "start menu" to find it. Even in the "start menu", I've also spent some time trying to find it as there are just too many apps installed on that demo phone. I guess I do not quite like the concept of using green tiles to represent an app. There is also no standard interface guideline for all the apps and I got pretty confused on where all the features are. Do I like it? No.

I guess I prefer the iPhone where the interface is pretty standard and it's easy to understand and use. Any new app you download you can be assured that you'll be able to use all of the basic features. I guess users requirements are sometimes just quite simple.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Life shaped by Attitude

I quote from Katherine Mansfield:

Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.

Our life is shaped by our attitude to it. Change it, and you'll change your life.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Same words, different meanings

One of the important things that I've learned is that the very same sentence that is spoken have different meanings to different people. Based on my own observations, it would seem that this is especially so between males and females (not sexist here).

I'm not sure if that's the origin of the terms "guy's talk" and "girl's talk" but it would seem to me that for certain types of conversation, most guys are more "in-tuned" to each other and thus able to understand each other better. Vice versa for the girls. This seems to be regardless of how long you've known each other.

However depending on the type of conversation, the same words may have different meanings to different people, and in my experience especially so between different sexes. What you may think is casual chit-chat in general may not be that casual after all once you look deeper into what was being said.

Mis-communication is one of the main sources of conflict be it among your family, friends or even in your workplace. I guess we have to try to be sensitive to what we're saying and clarify when you feel something is not right in that conversation to reduce conflicts and misunderstandings.

The feeling is also not good if you're being misunderstood.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why is unemployment The Feds Responsibility?

Just recently, I realised that the Feds are responsible for keeping the inflation rate and the unemployment rate under control. The first thought that came into mind. Why is unemployment The Feds responsibility?

For those who have not heard of The Feds, The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve, and informally as The Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. Its duties today, according to Wikipedia and official Federal Reserve documentation, are to conduct the nation's monetary policy, supervise and regulate banking institutions, maintain the stability of the financial system and provide financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions.

The problem is what has the nation's monetary policy or financial institutions for that matter have to do with unemployment? Why are the Feds given the responsibility of keeping unemployment low? The government rightly should be responsible for the unemployment because there is no direct linkage of monetary or financial policies on unemployment rate.

There are many ways to keep the unemployment rate low and financial means is just one of those means (e.g. loaning of money cheaply to businesses). By throwing the responsibility of unemployment to the Feds, you're severely limiting your options on how to reduce the unemployment rate. Can the Feds subsidise the salaries of citizens and provide training grants to all like the Singapore government? Furthermore, don't you find that controlling inflation rate and loaning of money cheaply to businesses a contradiction?

I still don't understand what the central banking system has to do with unemployment. Doesn't make any sense to me at all.
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