Friday, March 29, 2013

Do not take things for granted

I quote from Edward de Bono:
One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity. 

It's usually the things that people take for granted that will make the most difference if it is tweaked in a way that brings attention to it.

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

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Strategy or Implementation important?

Recently, the talk about the reduction of foreign workforce is the rage and many are saying that they are unable to hire the correct people to work for them. One morning, it suddenly occurred to me if people did try to stop and take a step back. Think about the problem. Is the problem really about the difficulty of hiring people to do the work, or that the work that needs to be done needs to be re-designed.

If you look at it in the broader perspective. It's not true that people do not wish to work in jobs that require hard work. Drawing an analogy. Why people like to live in district 8,9, 10, 11? Is the house there any different from the houses in other district? No. In fact in many cases they are smaller. So why are people willing to stay there?
 Let's link my above analogy back to jobs. Why do people shun certain types of jobs? Let's take the example of a boss of a garbage disposal company. Will you do the job of the garbage disposal man? Well, as a boss, you might do it because you have a stake in the company. Now, how about doing the job of the garbage disposal man with the actual wage that they are being paid? Will you do it now?

All the great leaders of the world always walk the talk. They are willing to go down to the ground and do the work that makes the organisation tick. If you yourself are not willing to work at that wage, doing that kind of work, what makes you think others will do it?

In Singapore, it seems that many organisations believe that they must pay top money to people who can strategise. Is strategising really that important? What's the use of strategy if the strategy cannot be implemented? Do a lot of organisations pay top money to people who can implement well? In actual fact, whether its the strategist or the implementer, both should be paid as well. They are both important. However, this is not what's happening in organisations here.

If people are not working in the jobs that do the implementation, why are people not blaming the people at the top that designed the jobs that no one wants to work in? Food for thought.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Security is still not important in organisations

I was reading an article on how social networking should be adopted by organisations. In particular, some remarked that IT departments can keep employees updated on the status of internal servers and inform them about upgrades and other pertinent information through social platforms such as Facebook. This remark really astonished me... in a bad way. That's when I realised that people in organisations do not really know the importance of security.

Just imagine. Putting important corporate information like the status of your internal servers in Facebook. What were they thinking? Facebook is a public server where the default setting is to share your status with everyone in the whole wide world. Would you want to share your corporate information with everyone in the world, even though it may be an accident?

Think of it another way. Would you put your deepest, most important family matters on Facebook? If you do, then I guess you better start reading about security in social networking. After understanding it, you might think twice before doing such things again.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Learn from the dogs

Unknown quote:
Learn a lesson from your dog. No matter what life brings you, kick some grass over that shit and move on.

No use thinking over what has happened. Look forward and move forward.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Elitism is quite real in Singapore

I was listening to Voice Today one day when I realised that the elitism thought in this country is worst than I thought. I really cannot imagine that people can call in and imply that many singles earn 5k a month and couples earning 10k combine income is normal.

The only reason that I can think of is that elitism in this country is worst than I thought. People think that earning 5k a month is a norm, ignoring that there are people out there that earn much much less, and these people need a leg up to get up the ladder.

There is limited government resources and it should be put to use to encourage the ones at the lower ladder to get up, and not to give those who are already quite high in the ladder to go higher.

Seriously, if you earn that much, you'll find a way. Just lower your expectations and not compare to those people who earn more than you.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Review of Kenko Extension Tubes for Canon EFS/EF

Recently I've purchased the Kenko Extension Tubes set for my Canon 60D as I wanted to do a little macro photography without bringing out another lens, and adding on to my already heavy load. This post is to correct some misconceptions of what the extension tubes can do, something which I couldn't really find in the Internet.

First thing first, the extension tubes do not increase the range of your lens. Translated, if you have a 17 - 55mm lens and you add a 12mm extension tube, your lens will not become a 29 - 67mm lens, and let you take pictures of objects/people further away.

So what do the extension tubes do? First, photos of the extension tubes.

The kenko extension tubes come in a set, the 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm. As you can see, there are no lenses but there are metal connectors so that the auto-focus will work, sometimes. I will explain it later.

The extension tubes will help reduce the minimum distance that you need to focus on an object, which in-turn makes the object bigger. Not only that, it also reduces the maximum distance that you have to focus on an object. Yes, what that means is that your maximum focusing distance will be reduced with the extension tubes.

I was quite surprised though that the maximum focusing distance was reduced. Something you may need to take note because if you're used to focusing at a certain distance, this distance will be reduced when you're using the extension tubes.

Oh yes, the extension tubes only work on your maximum focal length. That means if your maximum range is 55mm, the extension tube will add on to it. It doesn't work any other way.

Auto-focusing works fine until you use the 36mm extension tube where the auto-focus does not work that often. However, if you stack all the extension tubes, your auto-focus will never work, so manual mode is the way to go.

Do note that the extension tubes work best on long range lenses. For my 17-55mm EFS lens, only the 12mm extension tube works. Below is the picture I took using that lens at the minimum focus distance.

Now look at the picture below which I took with the 12mm extension tube fixed on, auto-focus.

I believe you saw some kind of shadow on the doll. The reason is because my lens was practically touching the doll. That's how close I could go with the 12mm extension tube.

Below is a normal picture I took with my 75 - 300mm lens at the minimum focus distance.

Below is the picture taken with the 12mm extension tube. Slightly closer.

And with the 20mm extension tube, the picture is even closer, as shown below.

Now with the 36mm extension tube, the picture is closer still, as shown below.

Finally with all the extension tubes stack up, and on manual focus, the picture is as shown below.

As you can see, the focus is not that great and this is one thing you need to take note when using the extension tubes. They will reduce the amount of light going in so unless you're using the 12mm extension tube, a tripod is a must because I feel it tends to exaggerate any camera shake.

Does this beat a dedicated macro lens? Of course not. But I rather save the space in my luggage for something else.

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

Friday, March 15, 2013

Think of this before you judge someone

I quote from Victor Frankl:
No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.

Something that we need to remind ourselves every time we jump in to judge someone.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Strength in property due to low returns from deposits

I think Singapore will do well to look at what's happening to China now. For years Chinese business owners, faced with limited investment options and low returns from deposits in state-run banks, have used property as a store of value, pushing prices up even higher in the good times but creating the risk of a crash in the bad.

This I feel is exactly what's happening in Singapore. The deposits returns from our state-run banks are even more pathetic than China. No matter how they look at it, putting the cash in property seems to them a no-brainer than to leave it in the bank at an interest rate of 0.25% p.a.

Well, like China, what happens if there is a property crash? Not only did you lose your yield, you may lose some of the capital.  What happens when you lose your capital? If you're still paying your mortgage, you may need to pay back certain capital because the valuation of your property went down. Interest rates my spike up, and guess what, when the property crash, usually it means the economy is in trouble, which means that your job might be at stake.

A lot of things are in play, and you should do your sums before putting your life savings in property.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Why funds are allowed to speculate on oil?

I've all along suspected that the fluctuations of the oil prices have to do with speculators who are not in the least interested in using the oil for business purposes. Recently I read an article that confirms my suspicion.  A managing partner at IAF Advisers, said sudden shifts in prices sometimes surface when the front-month futures contract expires, as was the case with the expiration of the March WTI oil futures contract."At expiration, funds need to get out."

My question is why are funds allowed to speculate on commodities that are the lifeline of the economy. Just imagine. If someone is to speculate on the price of the MRT/bus fares, driving it up and down depending on their own likes/dislikes, how would you feel?

Certain boundaries should not be crossed, no matter the price.

Friday, March 8, 2013

How you present yourself

Unknown quote:
It's not what you wear, it's how you present yourself that determines what your first impression will be.

If you're unable to present yourself well, in your manners, in your attitude, in your behaviour, it will not matter if you decked yourself up with branded goods.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Enough sleep will give you a healthy life

Read an article recently where scientist have found that a week of sleeping six hours or less a night affects the expression of some 711 genes -- including those involved in inflammation, immunity, and stress responses.

What does that mean? It just means that you will be most vulnerable to sickness if you do not have enough sleep as your body is not able to rest and recover itself from the activities when you were awake.

Recent survey also shows that 64% of Singaporeans work 50 hours a week. Assuming you're working 5 days a week, that will mean that they work 10 hours in a day. Assuming the following:
  1. 2 hours: Transport
  2. 1 hour: breakfast
  3. 1 hour: lunch
  4. 2 hours: dinner (including waiting, and journey)
  5. 1 hour: Hygiene time.

That would only leave 7 hours for sleep, personal time, and housework. No prizes for guessing which one will be sacrificed.

Our general health going down? We all know why.

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

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

WebOS is now with LG

Years after WebOS was purchased by HP, it is now sold to LG. At that time, I've written a post here how HP may incorporate WebOS into their devices. It didn't happen, although HP did introduced ePrint which was similar to some of the functionality I described in the post.

Now that LG has purchased WebOS, the obvious device that WebOS will be incorporated into will be the TV. It makes sense and WebOS currently is not bloated with too many un-necessary functionality. In fact, if it is possible to merge WebOS to the TV functionality, you may see the true SMART TV in action, where the TV and related information retrieved from the Internet merged seamlessly.

Why stop at the TV? Why not put it into the washing machine, where the washing machine informs the TV that your washing cycle has been completed, showing the message on your TV or any other smart devices connected to the washing machine. Of course not all household appliances are suitable to be connected to the Internet but the possibility is there.

Let's see what LG will do to WebOS.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Earth Hour: 23 March 2013, 830pm

Earth Hour 2013 will take place at 8.30pm on Saturday, March 23, when Singaporeans are encouraged to switch off their lights for an hour.

For one hour, the community, businesses, celebrities and government agencies will be encouraged to switch off lights for Earth Hour and show that Singapore is committed to the planet with the rest of the world. This year, you can look forward to an evening of celebration filled with exciting live performances, eco-carnival and witness the lights-off from 4pm on the Singapore Float @Marina Bay!

You do not need to wait for Earth Hour in order to do your part. Reducing energy wastage is good for the environment and your wallet. For more tips on how to conserve energy, you can refer to their website here. Start now.

Friday, March 1, 2013

In control of our own happiness

I quote from Stephen Richards:
The discontent and frustration that you feel is entirely your own creation

We're in control of our own happiness. If we choose to feel discontent and frustration, it's because you let it happen. No one will be able to give you happiness if you yourself do not make an effort to push away the discontent and frustration. There is always a positive side to all situations.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...