Sunday, April 30, 2006

Antec NSK2400 Media PC Case
finally, a review of a PC case which offthebeatenpath thinks, is going to be a success story. Seems like SPCR had a hand in the design. Good news then, as the Antec P180 [their first collaboration] was a very good effort.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Ground Zero construction begins

BBC NEWS | Americas | Ground Zero construction begins: "Mr Silverstein signed a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center less than two months before the 11 September 2001 attacks." This was the sentence that stood out in the article. The conspiracy theorist in my basically kicked into high gear...more research needed.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fringe Schedule: 19th Singapore International Film Festival '06

Fringe Schedule: 19th Singapore International Film Festival '06
Friday, 7th April


Speaking Up

Since the end of the ‘80s, Hong Kong has been through tremendous changes - re-unification with China, economic downturn, political reform, etc, have all greatly affected the way of life. In the film, about 60 people are invited to talk about their views on several major socio-economic and political issues.
Director: Tammy Cheung
Country: Hong Kong
Duration: 60min
Year: 2005
Rating: PG
Quite good for the first 15 minutes, it then becomes a bore, as its non-stop talking heads. The people talking are placed in the middle of the frame, with a bare white background. I was interesting to see the different ordinary faces of Hongkongers [not like the movie stars we see], but the faces start repeating. I feel that it could have been shorter. but the fact that it made me consider repackaging what I always wanted to do, a human rights film, into one talking about transparency, is a good result.

Sound of Footsteps on the Pavement (PG)

About a bunch of guys trying to save the imminent takeover of their favorite coffee shop by an apparel company. A strange scenario to showcase non-violent action, but quite different.


Coffee and Milk (PG)

Milk is a 6th grader who takes pictures with a camera every day, training to someday be like ARAKI, the Japanese photographer. He is in love with a woman 12 years older than him named Coffee, who is deaf from birth. He tries to imagine what kind of world Coffee lives in, and at first, attempts to fill in what he thinks is lacking there, and fails. Next, the thinks about what his world and hers have in common. He grows by experiencing love, not because Coffee is older than he is, but because she mercilessly hurls her pain in Milk’s direction. Her seriousness is moving, and so when Milk tries to build a bridge again without giving up, his efforts are moving, too.
Director: Izuru Kumasaka
Country: Japan
Duration: 30min
Year: 2004
Rating: N.A
The usual heartwarming kid story. At first, it doesn't seem clear what the kid is photographing, a sleeping passenger, an old lady, plates being broken, aha. He's trying to photograph sound. The keyword here is trying. He also tries to experience what the lady feels, but putting on earplugs. When the lady gets all worked up because what he shows here makes her even more depressed, he sort of gets lost. Acting by the deaf lady could be better, but still a nice watch.

Lonely Planet (PG)

Traveling from one city to another, everyone is searching for something. Back and forth, we are only looking for a chance to start over again.
Director: Tsang Tsui Shan
Country: Hong Kong
Duration: 25min
Year: 2005
Rating: N.A
2 close friends, talking about what they should do with their lives. One of those "lets laze around and think about life" films...

She3 (PG)

The director continues her fascination with the relationships between females, this time in the form of a personal documentary of the everyday lives of her mother and grandmother, capturing the different views of life from women of three different ages.
Director: Tsang Tsui Shan
Country: Hong Kong
Duration: 25min
Year: 2005
Rating: N.A
Same director, better film. This documentary is natural, with the director filming her own mum & grandmum. You can see them going about their lives, zhi4 de2 qi2 le4. Nice look at rural Hong Kong.

Saturday, 8th April

Girni (PG)

10-year-old Samir lives in a chawl in a metropolis in India with his widowed mother and grandfather. An easily available means to earn money is a grinding machine which brings with it a horrible, incessant and oppressive sound that not only takes away the physical but the mental space of the whole family. Samir’s innocent mind is alert to this oppression and rebels against it.
Director: Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni
Country: India
Duration: 22min
Year: 2005
Rating: N.A
Rage against the machine, literally. Well shot, but the story is a bit, shall we say, "commercial".

Terlena (PG)

Documentary about a nation that still believes the propaganda created by one general and his army. This film gives voice to those silenced during the dictatorship of Soeharto, and takes an in-depth look both on a cultural and personal level.
Director: Andre Vltchek
Country: Indonesia
Duration: 89min
Year: 2004
Rating: N.A
A powerful documentary, about how true events can be manipulated through propaganda.


The Three Dots (PG)
Abortion, Corruption & Cops (PG)
Indonesian Shorts 1
• A Very Boring Conversation
• Mail
• We are the Children of Indonesia too (PG)
• Lukas' Moment (PG)
The Fish (PG)
One Shot
Replay Revenge
Sunday, 9th April
Indonesian Shorts 2
• Bomb'n
• 60 Years
• To Die For
• Live Under the Same Sun
• Part II: Hell (PG)
• R.I 1 (PG)
• A Moment In and Out of Time (PG)
• Already the Evening Sun (PG)
Putek (PG)
Haus of Sing
Migrant Workers are not Terrorists (PG)
Tehran Taxi (PG)
Undo (PG)
Monkey Dance
Prayers from Kawthoolei (PG)
Skein (PG)
Al-Anfal (PG)
Waking Up a Nation (PG)
Monday, 10th April
Short Films of Ma Chun Fu (M18)
Tears (PG)
House of Sleeping Beauty (R21)
Indian Shorts by Sainath Choudhury
• Village Football (PG)
• The Stranger (PG)
• Cataract (PG)
Electric Purgatory: The Fate of the Black Rocker
Tuesday, 11th April
Tale of Carpet Flower (G)
Puppy (NC16)
What I'm looking For
Wednesday, 12th April
Blank page (PG)
Contrast (PG)
Beijing Bubbles
Looking for the Lost Voice
Friday, 14th April
Saturday, 15th April
Singapore Short Films: Finalists
Singapore Short Films: Non-Finalists
Singapore Short Films: Finalists (Repeat Screening)
Singapore Short Films: Non-Finalists
Download Singapore Short Films screening schedule.
Sunday, 16th April
The Visit (PG)
On The North Diversion Road
Singapore Short Films: Non-Finalists
Saturday, 22nd April
Short & Sweet II - Short Films from Germany
Program I - YOU AND ME
• My Parents
• Transposed Bodies
• Annaottoanna
• Stay Like This
• Got to Go
Short & Sweet II - Short Films from Germany
• Finow
• Educational Film About State Security Files
• Inside Outside Mongolia
• Notes for the Head
• Howrah Howrah
• On a Wednesday Night in Tokyo
• Sky Film
• Free Choice
Sunday, 23rd April
Short & Sweet II - Short Films from Germany
• Gregor's Greatest Invention
• Fragile
• The Schoolboy
• The Tell-tale Heart
• Talks
• Dead, At the Moment
• Heavy Pregnant
Short & Sweet II - Short Films from Germany
• Bjorn - The Hurdles of Bureaucracy
• Small Change
• Great
• Escape!
• Rabbit in the Hole
• Business as Usual
• The Day Winston Ngakambe Came to Kiel


The speech by the new Chief Justice was very clear, and this article makes it even clearer. Things are going to be different now, as the new CJ is more concerned about providing a fair trial, then simply clearing the backlog of cases. This is a very good sign for the legal environment in Singapore. Lets hope that this will be seen on the ground.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

ThinkFree Office Online

ThinkFree Office Online
a new idea, to me at least. having an online office suite, i think google will be quite interested in what this company is doing...

Monday, April 17, 2006

can you see where I'M coming from, Mr Lee?

can you see where I'M coming from, Mr Lee?

I Say

Friday • April 14, 2006

Lee Ching Wern

WHEN I walked away from the recording of the television forum with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew on Monday night, I couldn't help thinking that a lot of what he said was true.

As we bombarded him non-stop with questions about an unfair political playing field, the lack of a strong Opposition and the issue of apolitical Singaporeans, he addressed our frustrations one by one with such clarity that you had to wonder for a minute whether your arguments held any water to begin with.

Young Singaporeans rant about a tilted political playing field, he said, but whoever said that politics was fair?

You lament the lack of a strong Opposition, but are you prepared to leave your comfort zone and join one?

Mr Lee's point was, because we are well taken care of, there is no motivation for most people to make such a sacrifice; those with the ability to step up to the political plate would rather make more money.

And should the party whites be tainted one day, the People's Action Party (PAP) will naturally be displaced, said Mr Lee. Because then, competent people will inevitably feel the impetus to come together and fight the PAP for the sake of better lives.

Above all, politics is not about elections or voting. Politics is about life, the Minister Mentor said.

I can see where Mr Lee is coming from.

But even as I try to look at things from his perspective, I wonder if he is doing the same to understand where we are coming from — that what young Singaporeans like me want, does not necessarily clash with what the PAP Government wants.

As a young Singaporean, I want an opposition — not to bring the PAP down, but to provide an alternative. A healthy dose of competition always benefits consumers.

I want checks and balances — not because the PAP is not doing a good job, but because I'd rather not get to the point-of-no-return before a group of people rise up against a rogue Government.

I want to talk about party politics freely without having to join a party — not because I want to slander the PAP, but because I yearn for a lively discourse that can lead to a greater political and social consciousness.

And surely our Government, which has the best candidates available in Singapore and an impeccable track record, can withstand a few biased comments?

I resent the restriction on podcasting — not because we are all avid fans of Dr Chee Soon Juan; most of us probably haven't even listened to his recordings offered on the Singapore Democratic Party website — but because I think we should not be deprived of the right to judge for ourselves what's gibberish or not.

I accept the fact that there is no such thing as a completely level playing field anywhere in the world, but surely there exists varying degrees of fairness?

Politics is about life and bread-and- butter issues, but surely having fewer unnecessary restrictions adds to this quality of life?

I do not think the pursuit of intangible wants such as more political breathing space necessarily has to be at the expense of tangible needs such as my job, my Medisave and my children's future.

Do a good job, and I will vote for you whether I watch Martyn See's Singapore Rebel or not.

What we need is for the PAP to have more confidence in its own merit and record, and to understand that what we young Singaporeans want, really, is not so sinister.

Otherwise, even if we go through another 10 candid forums, we will still be running along parallel lines that will never converge.

The writer is a journalist with Today. She was one of 10 Singaporeans under the age of 30 who participated in the forum, "Why my vote matters — A dialogue with the Minister Mentor", broadcast on Channel NewsAsia on Wednesday. The repeat telecast is at 6.30pm today on MediaCorp Channel 5.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Day 01 - SIFF Free Programme

Speaking Up
A documentary on the state of democracy in Hong Kong, its basically a simple formula of sitting people in front of a camera, and asking them questions. Cue the candid moments and the contrast between answers provided. Presentation could be improved, like changing the background, or changing the shot angle etc. But the basic premise is good, and Singaporean viewers could easily relate to what is happening in Singapore. Very similar to my 'UDHR' shot last year.

Sound of Footsteps on the Pavement
A documentary that tries to parallel revolutions in history (e.g. Tiananmen) with the things done by a group of students trying to prevent their favorite coffeshop from being closed down. The comparison does not really stick, but I like the scenes with ordinary people reading quotations off books, articles, etc. Much nicer than voiceovers...

Coffee and Milk
A boy who falls in love with a woman about 12 years his senior. She is deaf, and to impress her, he uses a camera to capture sounds, but makes her angry instead. Sound like a sypnosis that is plugged to producers? I think it sounds a bit too drama, but the idea could work for a drama serial, except that it could be censored due to its "jia-di lian" (big sister-little brother love relationship) theme.

Lonely Planet
A story about a woman returning to Hong Kong from Belgium, to visit her best friend. Think it is a film about deciding where to live, in the borderless world that we now live in.

A lady trains her video camera on her mother and grandmother, and capture them in their daily actitivites. Very heartwarming story, as one can feel the real emtotions appear at certain parts of the documentary. It feels very natural, which is a style which I like.

Pocket LOOX T Series - Fujitsu Siemens Computers

Pocket LOOX T Series - Fujitsu Siemens Computers

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Aprilia RS 125

Aprilia World Network
finally, after so many years, a new RS 125 emerges. however, it doesn't look as nice as its predecessor...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Antec NSK2400 - New Solution Series
while it may look quite dull, its clear that this htpc case has been well thought out. hot components are separated into zones, and the prescence of two 120mm fans should enable quiet cooling.