Monday, June 30, 2014

One good example of protecting workers' rights

Recently Britain has ban contracts from preventing workers from finding other jobs when the job provided does not provide a fixed income or work duration. This is exactly what all workers need because this is well, common sense.

If you do not provide a weekly income and a fixed duration of work to people, what right do you have to restrict the person from finding other work so that they could pay their bills?

Although it seems like common sense, well, some seem to have a lack of it and you need specific laws such as this to ensure that all falls in line. That's a pity but this is how the world works.

Now... Does Singapore have this law?

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

Friday, June 27, 2014

Reduce your problem to the simplest form

I quote from J. P. Morgan:
No problem can be solved until it is reduced to some simple form. The changing of a vague difficulty into a specific, concrete form is a very essential element in thinking. 

The problem can be resolved more easily if it is reduced to its simplest form.

Kranji Countryside Farmers' Market

Come and visit the Kranji Countryside Farmers' Market this coming weekend, 28 - 29 Jun 2014 4pm to 10pm, at 10 Neo Tiew Lane 2, D'Kranji Farm Resort. It's the first farmers' market held in Singapore and local produce, farm products and food & crafts will be sold there. I'll be hanging around there too.

Visit the website here to find out more about the stalls that will be setup there.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Inflation is up 2.7%

These are the Singapore inflation rates for 2014:
January: 1.4%
February: 0.4%
March: 1.2%
April: 2.5%
May: 2.7%

Transport is now once again leading the pack again, rising by an amazing 6.9% followed by Healthcare, rising by 3.2% respectively year on year. Transport inflation went up drastically mostly due to the low base last year as transport inflation actually went down month on month. Food inflation has also went up year on year and month on month, while housing inflation has returned positive.

Other than the increase of housing inflation, inflation has largely remained stable. However, if the Iraq situation continues, inflation may rise higher than what I estimated last month.

Hope that the Iraq situation will defuse soon. War is never good for anyone.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cashless top-up? Fix the ATM card issue

Recently there was news that EZLink wish to promote using cashless means to update the EZLink card. However, the company must be living in another land because if they use the ezlink top-up machine (not the purple machines) regularly, they will know that it's quite often that the top-up machine does not accept your ATM card.

Some of the EZlink machines have big issues reading your ATM card. It's not the ATM card issue because if you try other top-up machines, if you're lucky enough, it works. That is why I suspect that some are still using cash because they are irritated by the unreliability of the machine.

Resolve the EZLink top-up machines in handling ATM card top-up and then you can start talking about going cashless.

4G call? Even 3G call is not reliable.

Recently there is news of a Single Radio Voice Call Continuity capability, which automatically switches ongoing 4G calls without interruption to the 3G network if users lose connection to the 4G network. This is to allow calls to be made using 4G.

However, whoever who started this is missing one big issue. 4G is not available everywhere. If it is not available where most people are at most of the time, that is indoors, what's the use of this service? Instead of getting this service available throughout Singapore, it is looking into this kind of technology where few people can take advantage of.

In addition, even the 3G service is not reliable indoors, which by the way, is where most of us are at more than 80% of our time. Why are we then talking about 4G? Will the service be reliable? It better be because I'm sure it will not be a free service.

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

Friday, June 20, 2014

Delight yourself first

I quote from S.A.R.K.:
Remember to delight yourself first, then others can be truly delighted.
This was my mantra when I published my first book in 1990, and still holds true. When we focus on the song of our soul and heart, then others will be touched similarly. Sometimes people wonder or worry whether people will like or approve of their creative expression. It's none of your business. It's your business to stay present and focused for the work of your deepest dreams. It might look crooked or strange, or be very odd-but if it delights you, then it is yours, and will find it's way into other hearts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ask the correct person to get your answer. Living far apart is a big thing.

I find it puzzling that why some interviewed couples who have not yet married, their thoughts if they live far from their parents. You will not get a reliable answer from them because of a very simple reason. They are not in the situation so they will not be able to give you a valid answer.

Living an hour away from your parents is a big thing and I tell you why.

Let's say you visit your parents once a week. You visit them after work, have dinner, with them, talk to them until about 10pm. What time do you reach home? 11+pm at night. Don't forget you have 2 sets of parents so you have to do it twice a week. By the time you wash up, it's almost midnight.

Living an hour away is not a big thing? It is a big thing when you have worked the entire day and still need to take an hour to reach home to rest so that you can go to work the next day. This is in addition to most families who live quite far away from their office area, which is also sometimes an hour away.

Yes, it does mean a lot.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Powering Off without using the Power Button

Recently my friend taught me an interesting way to power the iPhone, without touching your power button. Seems like for the iPhone, it is possible to work the whole phone without hitting the home or power button if you wish.

Why do you need to do that? Well, your power button can actually stop working. :)

Anyway, to do that, you need to enable the AssistiveTouch in your iPhone. To do that, just do the following:
  1. Tap on Settings > General > Accessibility
  2. Tap on AssistiveTouch
  3. Tap on AssistiveTouch to turn it on

Now you should see a round little icon hovering around your screen. To power off your phone without the power button, just do the following:
  1. Tap on the round little icon AssistiveTouch
  2. Tap on Device
  3. Hold on to the Lock Screen until the screen changes

That's it. You should see the slide to power off option.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Have courage and listen

I quote from Winston Churchill:
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. 

Listening is also an art.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shouldn't the focus be on availabiity of 4G than ...

Recently the telcos have been trying to get consumers pay more for 4G, or incorporate new technology where you can finally make phone calls using the 4G network, which will seamlessly fall back on 3G not available. However, they seem to not realise the fundamental issue. 4G is not available everywhere.

Reason is very simple. For example, I travel to work using the trains everyday. When I'm in the train, there's no 4G. Within my office building, I also do not have 4G. At home, I have 4G at certain areas of my house.

So if I do not have 4G coverage almost everywhere I go, why do I want to pay more for this service which does not come by very often? Sometimes I do not even get 3G signals in those areas, especially the trains. Don't let the phone fool you into thinking you have 3G/4G connection. Try refreshing Facebook and you'll realised the phone does not tell you the "full story" about your data connection strength.

Stop concentrating on getting consumers pay more and start fixing all the issues so people can take advantage of the 4G everywhere in Singapore.

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

Monday, June 9, 2014

Car with no steering wheel?

Something hit me when I read about an automated car that is being researched where there is no steering wheel or pedals. What happens if something goes wrong?

It might be due to my nature of work but I'm trained to always look ahead to see what are the risks while keeping an eye on the present. When I read about this automated car, the first thing that came into my mind is, "What happens when something goes wrong?".

It's very simple. Anything will breakdown over time, regardless if it is electronic or analog. Things just cannot last forever. If the car doesn't have a steering wheel or a pedal, what happens when the car breaks down?

Even in the movie I-Robot, the movie creators knew better and allow the car driver to manually override the car and they have actually "injected" such examples into the movie when certain things breakdown and you require manual override.

For me at least, I'll never drive a car that does not allow me to manually override it. It just doesn't make sense.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Earn your respect

I quote from Charlotte Bront√ę:
I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.

You have to earn your respect. Period.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Time lost may not be measurable

Recently there was an article talking about the money you saved if you live further away from the city centre because the cost of housing further away from the city centre is much cheaper. However, I have an issue with this article. How do you measure the cost of time?

The issue is that most workplaces are in the city centre and traveling to the city centre for work is something that all of us are familiar with. If you're living further away, you'll naturally take a longer time to get to work.

How do you measure the cost of time lost? The time lost because of lesser sleep? The time lost as there is lesser time for family bonding?

Not everything can be monetised and seriously, family time and family bonding is irreplaceable.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Another way to exit the NewsStand App

One thing I realised in the latest iOS 7 release is that there is now a way to exit the NewsStand app and get back to the main screen without pressing the home button or equivalent.

To do that, just tap on the App Store and close the App Store and you will get back to the main screen. They have previously removed this feature for some weird reason but it has come back in the latest iOS 7 version.

iOS 8 will be coming soon and I wonder what are the new changes that are upcoming. Will keep a lookout for it.
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