Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tale of 2 bands (and a third)

Quick post after watching 2 bands at the esplanade.

Quasimodo's playing was not tight, and were going off-tune at times. A limping lead singer only distracted even more. Final nail was the usage of cover songs.

You and Whose Army (which I previously like when they performed at BayBeats) was a totally different story. The playing was tight, the sound was and their songs put me in a trance. Pure bliss.

Hopefully Tiramisu will have a good performance. Waiting for 11pm to arrive...main act to follow.

p.s. I can't seem to see my photos on my SD card when it is inserted into my Eee PC. So this is temporarily a no picture post...

Update (2nd Jan 2009) Photo slideshow below

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

E71 - missing date on home screen

Only noticed this a few days ago

see screenshot below

normally, when i'm out, i'll set my phone on silent mode (i.e. vibrate only). but i recently noticed that the date disappeared

only this morning, i realised that it was the silent mode that "blocked" the date. wonder what the solution is...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Research on volunteering & philanthropy

National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC)
The guides on volunteering may come in useful...if I find the time to read them...

Distractions: Get Stuff Done by Becoming a Weekend Luddite

Have been trying to avoid surfing Lifehacker (as its interesting articles tend to take up quite a bit of time), but anyway, surfed by this afternoon and found this article about cutting down usage of the computer. Good idea, but I wonder if I can stick to it...

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

What a great anime movie! Just watched it on okto. Sure, some parts are mushy, but the plot is damn well written. Wikipedia's synopsis may not do it real justice, but I'm no wunder-writer too...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Picasa on Eee PC

Have not been trying out new stuff on my Eee PC for a while, so was gently surprised to find that installation of Picasa for Linux was easy and seamless. Typing this blog (and inserting the photo below) using the in-built BlogThis! function.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Mozilla Thunderbird
It looks like Mozilla wants to replicate the success of its Firefox browser. I use webmail (Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail) extensively, and so Thunderbird doesn't really appeal to me, except perhaps as an alternative to Outlook Express which is configured for me to use at work. My only worry is that the transition won't be seamless. Reading this page reassures me a bit...

Fujifilm Z5fd - First impressions

Some quick thoughts of this digital camera
  • size (it's really small)
  • ISO (it likes to shoot at high ISO, though ISO1600 is not used in the Auto ISO mode)
  • focusing speed (quite fast, and i've not yet had an occasion where it didn't get a lock)
I've posted some photos at Flickr.

I bought a 2GB xD card at S$33, and I now have 600-plus photos capability, as compared to the 7 or so on the internal memory. Not sure if the battery can shoot so many photos though, it's like a piece of bubblegum...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh no, I made an impulse purchase (Not)

I just bought a Fujifilm Z5fd digital camera today. It felt like an impulse buy, perhaps because I just bought an electronic gadget recently (2 weeks ago), a Nokia E71 handphone.

Why did I choose this model? I wanted a camera with the following features
  • pocketable
  • sliding cover, non-extending lens
Why did I want the above features? I wanted a camera that
  • I can bring everywhere (even when I not carrying a bag)
  • looks unobtrusive
Basically, the camera will complement my existing DSLR (Pentax K100D).

I was looking at the following models
  • Sony T2/T70
  • Fujifilm Z20fd
  • Olympus µ 1040
The Z5fd was an obsolete model (2 generations old) that wasn't on my radar, until I saw it on sale for S$169. A few quick internet searches confirmed its useful features [metal body (should be more durable while in a jeans pocket), Super CCD HR (low-light capability), less megapixels (less "noise", leading to better quality high ISO photos)].

Will follow up with sample shots and a user review:)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week 1 with Nokia E71

After 1 week of usage, I can safely say that it was a worthwhile purchase for me. I'm finding new features daily, and playing with new software too.

A few quick updates to previous postings
  • keypad is no longer rubbery (my typing speed is getting faster)
  • have enabled the built-in search to search documents too (this is not done by default, not sure why. but still no searching within a word document)
  • automatic syncing of office documents is possible (contrary to my earlier comments) via PC Suite using the Briefcase function
  • gmail app works offline too (well, at least the most recent emails, works even if you have not opened the email previously when you were online)
  • downloaded browsers work well (Opera Mini 4.2 beta, Skyfire 0.85 beta), but the built-in one serves works well for most purposes (RSS reader is rudimentary but is good enough), will try Teashark next
  • using the web-based Ovi sync quite regularly, very useful as it allows syncing without the need to install PC Suite or a data cable
  • have just installed Mobile Web Server, will be trying out its features soon
  • its very important to learn the many shortcut keys available, it makes usage much faster (will post the undocumented shortcut keys in another post)
  • a few things to resolve (playing M4V files, alarms ringing when in silent profile, memory card not accessible during sync using PC Suite, and after disconnection)

Monday, November 17, 2008

More thoughts on the Nokia E71

I have to admit that the Nokia E71 is not the perfect mobile device. But it is a very good compromise for my requirements.

You should consider the E71 is you want the following features
  • a usable QWERTY keypad
  • great free Symbian software (Gmail, Google Maps, Mobbler, MSN Messenger, Skyfire, Opera Mini)
  • every connectivity option covered (Wifi, 3.5G, GPS, bluetooth, infra-red)
  • beta apps from phone manufacturer (Ovi, Beta Labs, MOSH)
  • search tool (a bit like a desktop search on a PC)
You should look elsewhere if you are looking for the following
  • good camera
  • lightweight handphone
  • 3.5mm headphone jack (to plug in better headphones)
  • charging using normal USB-mini USB cable
  • touchscreen
  • scroll-wheel
  • easy sync of documents with PC (it can't sync office documents, one way is to transfer manually)
Personally, I find that some of the missing features are a result of market segmentation, rather than a technology limitation...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Installing more software on the E71

Quick blog on 2 new software that I installed on my E71.

Not another browser, you might say. But this one supports viewing of youtube videos (not the mobile version)

Look at the photo above (quick grab shot, so quality is bad) showing the full version of youtube.

Also, you can zoom in to view full-screen

I've been trying to listen to internet radio on a mobile device for the longest time, so Mobbler is a great software for me. Looks like I really have to watch my mobile broadband usage...

Transition period

Currently getting to grips with the E71.

Still find some functions (Calendar, To do, and alarms) quite different from my previous phone, the P800.

Above is a quick grab shot of my pocket devices, old and new. From left to right, HP RX4240 (Pocket PC), Sony-Ericsson P800 (Symbian UIQ phone), and new purchase, Nokia E71 (Symbian S60)

Taken with my old (and sometimes cranky) Canon A70, resized using Irfanview...

My Asus Eee PC (or at least a corner of it) can be since at the top left hand corner

E71 - first impressions

Some quick thoughts
- rubbery keypad a bit different from the demo sets I tried earlier (hopefully it will get slicker after time)
- menu system is a bit messy; clock (and alarm) is in the Office folder (I will be moving my frequently used functions to a separate folder)
- gmail app (downloaded from works great
- built-in youtube support in the browser is appreciated
- camera is quite bad (although I knew about this before the purchase)
- search function (which appears on home screen) is fantastic (note: search within text works for Active Notes, not a Word document)
- Opera Mini browser is a bit slower than the built-in browser (perhaps time used to reformat the pages), the syncing of bookmarks with the desktop Opera work well (I will be trying out Opera Mini 4.2 Beta to see if there are improvements)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

E71 - early christmas present

Bought the E71 today. Had been comparing between the E71 & the Treo Pro, and at the same time, trying to remind myself that it was a want & not a need. But couldn't resist after SingTel dropped the price by $100 for this weekend. (posted using the E71)

EDIT: a bit more info: promotion was S$238 (with line) for this weekend

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fitting in exercise around work

I need to clear my annual IPPT by the end of this year. That means I need to start exercising at least 3 times a week (if not more), if I'm going to have any chance of passing the fitness test. I'm now trying to figure out whether I should exercise before, or after work.

Frankly, I'm leaning towards exercising after work. That's what I've been doing during previous years.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

missed a bargain

was thinking long and hard about buying the samsung i780 at S$198 (and recontracting with singtel) for the past few weeks.

it had all the features i desired, and was selling at a low price (compared with other phones with the same features).
  • QWERTY keypad, candybar design
  • touch-screen
  • GPS
  • wi-fi
the situation wasn't made easier when the black version went out-of-stock, leaving the wine red version in stock.

i was looking at the singtelshop website yesterday, when i noticed that the offer was till 3rd Oct. it was past midnight (i.e. 4th oct) when i saw it, and the price was still $198.

this morning, the price became $298. :(

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Healthy Right Up to the Day You’re Not
A great article pointing out the contradictions of "being healthy". It's part of a series of articles under a "Decoding Your Health" special.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A motorcycle named desire

Yamaha YZF-R125
What a beauty

This is the view I want...

Btw, a quick search shows that this new model is yet to be on sale in Singapore.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

AIA's executive VP and GM, Mark O'Dell, resigns
While AIA is telling Singaporeans that the AIG meltdown will not affect AIA Singapore significantly, news that just broke that its big boss is jumping ship will not steady the ship. And to think I just read a full-page AIA ad in TODAY signed by Mark O'Dell. Anyway, would you believe the explanation below?
...AIA said that his decision to leave the company is not related to the recent developments at American International Group (AIG). It was a personal decision that he had been planning for some time.

New web tools

Courtesy of PC Answers magazine (August 2008), some new web tools to try out

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Declaring love boosts sex appeal

BBC NEWS | Health
Strange to see this kind of research being done...but fun still...
UPDATE: related news seen in TODAY article titled "Singaporean men – lonely and shy"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Do shark attacks increase with a rise in ice-cream sales?

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Just because?
A series of articles on how misleading facts and figures are sometimes presented...scroll down the article for earlier lessons.

UPDATE (18th September 2008) -  full list of "episodes" below
1. What the survey didn't say...
2. The myth of counting
3. Putting percentages in context
4. Just what is average?
5. Just because?
6. Storm in a toilet bowl?

Quick review of Google Chrome

A few thoughts after some usage this morning...

  1. Quick
  1. Zoom only works for text
  2. no built-in PDF viewing
  3. sparse on options, e.g. delete private data on exit
  4. no support for Google Toolbar
For now, I think Chrome may replace my usage of Opera, but not Firefox.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Tweaking for Absolute Beginners

[EeeUser Eee PC Wiki]

After the recent F9 reboot, I'm trying to tweak my Eee PC system again. Managed to install Opera browser (choose Debian Etch version). And I've just found a EeeUser page on tweaking for beginners. Perfect for newbie linux users like me. Will be installing VLC (as the existing Mplayer doesn't play MPEG4 files)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Baybeats 2008 - Day 1

A quick post of some of the photos taken, on Day 1 of Baybeats.

The Lilac Saints

Another Epic Story


The Shine & Shine & Shine & Shine


Force Vomit

The Otherside Orchestra


Vertical Rush

Highlights for me were
  • Another Epic Story
  • Force Vomit
  • Typecast

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Expand Your Brain with Evernote

The features of Evernote sound useful, wonder how it stacks up to other note-taking organisers...

Monday, August 25, 2008

My first F9 restore on the Eee PC

After a few months of usage (and plenty of experimentation) of my Eee PC, I finally had to resort to a F9 restore to bring it back to the original factory settings.

For some reason, I was starting to get error messages. (related to "dcopserver"), and the Eee PC was also getting sluggish.

A quick check via the EeeUser forums revealed a few possible solutions, but after trying them (with limited success), and a urgent project to complete, I bit the bullet and did what is commonly called a "F9 restore".

Now I'm back to plain old Firefox 2.

It seems the problem may return, but I will research more before doing anything silly.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pulling Power

ITV Local
Well, Top Gear just ended its latest run, and Fifth Gear just started its new season again. But I've just spotted a new motoring show on ITV, called Pulling Power. Another show worth watching is Drive It!, a programme on Deutsche Welle.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fahrenheit 451

Just finished watching Episode 6 of Library War, and saw in the comments that the book mentioned in that episode was probably Fahrenheit 451.

A quick Google search reveals the similarities...see the wiki page above.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

test post using Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta

I've not yet been able to post to a Blogger blog using a Pocket PC browser. Here's another attempt using a Beta version of Opera Mobile.

Update: Looks like its working. Cool!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


A bit disappointed with myself that I didn't highlight this anime earlier. It's really developed into a great story. Hints of its "specialness" emerged when the supposed hero of the show (Gerd) died so earlier on in the first few episodes, unlike normal anime shows. The religious and racism issues only make the show more multi-dimensional, and exciting to watch. Only minus is the way the XAT machines (the bikes and the robots) look. They look pretty ugly...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Practicing Simplified GTD

Have been slacking off on my Getting Things Done (GTD) to-do lists, hope the above Lifehacker article will refresh myself...

UPDATE: This article (saw it at Lifehacker too) should help too...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Eee PC diary 4

Just a quick post to highlight that the Eee PC has a more powerful image editing tool that is built-in already, but not seen in the "Easy mode". Press Ctrl-Alt-t to open a terminal, and then type 'kolourpaint' to access it. Makes me wonder how many more such 'hidden' software exists in the Eee PC... UPDATE: Bingo

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

They Say -by- Scars On Broadway

I walked the line, the line I choose
I see the people in front of me
I climbed the wall, the wall of news
I watched them show the tragedy

If you were me, could you defend
the given rights to all the men?
Let's fuck the world with all it's trend
They say it's all about to end...

They say it's all about to end...
They say, they say...

There's a prison that's gone, but the fear lives on
I watched you walking on the dotted line
Maybe you don't see what's in front of me
Maybe you won't stand the test of time
For we live in sin, for we will win
I watched the president kiss his family
For we live in sin, for we will win
I watched the president fuck society

If you were me, could you defend
the given rights to all the men?
Let's fuck the world with all it's trend
They say it's all about to end...

They say it's all about to end...
They say, they say...

I fall in love with the old times
I never mention my own mind
Let's fuck the world with all it's trend
Thank god, it's all about to end...

They say it's all about to end...
They say, they say...
They say, they say...
They say it's all about to end

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

陰陽座 and Versailles - 2 japanese bands

I've just come across 2 distinctive bands from Japan.

陰陽座 (Onmyo-Za in japanese) distinctive sound comes from its male and female vocals, which combined with a classic metal sound, results in lots of air-guitar playing while listening to it. Add to it their special sense of fashion (think period japanese costume ala Inuyasha) and you have a great sounding (and looking) band.

Versailles has a similar sound (but don't quote me, I'm not exactly a metal expert), but a very different look. As its name suggest, think Baroque-period fashion and you won't be far off. Add to that a Vampire theme, and you have a band that looks to be getting bigger and bigger (understand that they performed in the US recently).

Monday, July 07, 2008

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Hamilton conquers a wet British Grand Prix at Silverstone

I take back what I mentioned about Lewis Hamilton in the previous post. Today, he produced a masterful performance to win the race, which also means that he is now joint first in the championship standings, together with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.

The lightning start, and the overtaking move at the 1st corner were the highlights for me, with him jumping from 4th on the grid to 2nd behind Heikki Kovalainen. After he overtook his team-mate a few laps later, he basically disappeared into the horizon, finishing the race almost a minute in front of runner-up Nick Heidfeld.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Is pressure getting to Lewis Hamilton?

While watching the qualifying session for the Formula 1 British Grand Prix, I found myself asking the above question. This happened specifically when he slid off during his first hot lap in Q3, and again when I saw the in-car footage during his next lap. He was driving beyond his limit, and making constant corrections on the wheel to keep the car on the tarmac.

His pit crew had tried to calm him after the minor excursion earlier over the team radio, telling him that he was the fastest over the 1st few sectors (before he slid off), and told him not to overdrive.

Roll back to this BBC article I read earlier, together with the unfortunate pit lane incident, one begins to wonder if a pattern is developing. The parallel example of James Toseland is staring right at me at this point.

The scene at the weighing counter after qualifying seemed to confirm my worries. While the other drivers were congratulating each other, Lewis was sitting at the corner, and did not even offer a handshake to his team-mate, who had just taken pole with a blinding lap (half a second faster than the next driver, and at the very end of qualifying).

Friday, July 04, 2008

Eee PC diary 3

Firefox 3 is in my Eee PC. Finally, someone made it easier (relatively) to install it. Mind you, it still needed a bit of tweaking via the EeeUser forum. The key addition being
sudo dpkg -i --force-conflicts libgtk2.0-0_2.10.11-1_i386.deb
A sort of "force install", then a visit to synaptic (sudo synaptic) to resolve some problems (fix broken packages).

Monday, June 30, 2008

Science rules OK: Running societies the rational way

24 May 2008 - New Scientist An article from a magazine that I borrowed from the library. This feature piece calls for rigorous standards (used for testing medicine before they are allowed to be sold) to be applied on social policies proposed by governments. Great idea, I must say. The 'gold standard' for scientific tests usually requires independently conducted double-blind placebo-controlled trials published in peer-reviewed scientific or medical journals. For the full article, follow the steps below
  1. go to
  2. if you have not registered earlier, get a free Digital Library username and password
  3. log in
  4. go to eResources
  5. click on eNews
  6. scroll down and click on Newsbank
  7. find New Scientist on the list of publications and you can view the latest issue
  8. the article is in the archive, look for the 24th May issue, page 40

Monday, June 23, 2008

Welcome to the NHK

An intriguing (and definitely popular) storyline, this anime has. The synopsis from crunchyroll's page (incidentally, I get a "sorry, you can't watch this in your region =(" message there)
Sato’s life is going down the drain. He’s dropped out of college, only goes outside once a week and sleeps sixteen hours a day. Surviving on a steady diet of internet porn sites, he finds himself falling further into a pit of despair. Then he has a sudden epiphany. Sato decides that the sinister broadcast company known as “The NHK” is trying to transform their viewers into jobless, societal recluses, and they bombard them with images of cutesy anime girls. Unable to resist the charms of such addictive programming, innocent victims like Sato are soon too busy watching TV, reading erotic comics, and playing pornographic computer games to pursue a normal life. In Sato’s darkest hour, he has a chance encounter with a beautiful girl named Misaki, who claims that she can cure him of his perverse ways. Is this mysterious visitor an angel of mercy, or a devilish agent of the NHK? Will he get a job and counter the evil organization, or will he submit to his weakness and download porn all day? Swimming in a sea of corruption, Sato prepares for the battle of his life. Welcome to the NHK!
UPDATE: (12th July 2008) This is a better source to view episodes of Welcome to the NHK

Eee PC diary 2 - more software installed

Took the plunge and installed 4 new software
  1. qsopcast - allows one to watch sopcast TV channels
  2. VLC - the all-round video/audio player (plays .m4v files, which the built-in Mplayer couldn't)
  3. eeecontrol - controls fan speed and FSB, made the Eee PC froze when I tried to up the FSB by 10MHz, will read more before attempting any stunts
  4. Abiword - launches much quicker than Open Office

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Eee PC diary 1 - Firefox or Opera?

Currently, I'm using my Asus Eee PC mainly for web-surfing. The built-in Firefox 2 browser is great, but a few niggles remain.

  1. The zoom function zooms text instead of zoom entire page
  2. It's quite a memory hog, especially after a few tabs are opened

With the official launch of Firefox 3, I'm considering the upgrade, but the level of work required is a bit daunting to a Linux newbie like me.

So I tried out Opera instead, which incidentally also recently upgraded to version 9.50. The installation is simpler (compared to Firefox 3) but it didn't go smoothly for me at the first try.

Some issues faced while following the wiki entry

  1. The command to change directory didn't work (not sure why)
  2. So I installed it from my SDHC card instead
  3. Then, the command for installing didn't work
  4. typing in [sudo dpkg -i opera_9.50] didn't work
  5. After a quick google to find out how to use dpkg, I tried [sudo dpkg --install "full file name"] instead and it worked

So what's the verdict? With just 1 hour of testing, some quick plus and minus points


  1. Full page zoom (great for 1024 pixel width webpages)
  2. Smart address bar is similar to Firefox 3's Awesome bar, which is great
  3. It seems to be more efficient in memory usage (compared with Firefox 2)


  1. No support for Google Notebook (it does have its own Notes function)
  2. The "Fit to page width" function didn't work on all webpages

I will continue to try out Opera. Perhaps Opera can be used for casual surfing, and Firefox 2 used when I need to use the Google toolbar or Google Notebook functions (Haven't tried the Opera widgets yet, maybe there's an alternative toolbar available)


  1. This post was first done in Opera 9.50 on the Eee PC, and then finished in Firefox 3 on my main PC (my bookmarks on Eee PC tweaks were stored in Google Notebook)
  2. Shortcut key for opening Opera (Ctrl+Alt+N)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Things NOT to do on your new Eee PC running Xandros

EeeUser ASUS Eee PC Forum
After getting the Eee PC, I've been keen to try out a few tweaks here and there. But I have also been spooked by what damage I may do to a system (Linux) that I am totally alien to. Hope the above forum post will help. But I couldn't stop myself from buying a 1GB RAM memory (S$33.90, Active Foto) and 4GB SDHC card (S$28, Best Bargain) to upgrade the hardware side of things on Thursday.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Do you use Google Docs for easy collaboration?

How to sell Google Docs (the idea, not the product, since it's free) to people who are still using Microsoft Office and email attachments? This Youtube video may work...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To Fix a Mocking Peasant

A fantastic blog to read; the mix of satire, politics, and "cheem" theories is addictive...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Planet Mechanics

National Geographic Channel
A "green" documentary with 2 wacky English hosts, they face weekly challenges on how to use "green" solutions to solve problems. Shown on Sundays, 9pm and Monday, 1am.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Eee PC for S$398

Just came back from Suntec from the PC Show. Bought a Asus Eee PC 4G (the original version) for a bargain price of $398. :)

Monday, June 09, 2008

New AMD UMPC confirmed to be Raon Digital's new Everun

jkkmobile: New AMD UMPC confirmed to be Raon Digital's new Everun
After the scary news that Microsoft frowns on touchscreen laptops running XP, it's a relief to see touchscreen enabled UMPCs being launched.

Another model worth monitoring is the Gigabyte M912, which is a convertible tablet with a 8.9-inch screen.

Pit-lane collision in Canadian Grand Prix 2008

Lewis Hamilton rams into Kimi Raikkonen in the pit-lane while the red light was still on...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Don't despair!

Spotted this in the papers today...
Don't despair! You need to stick it out, even if all seems lost. The act of faith it takes to struggle against adversity is enough to get things moving in your favor -- if in some surprising ways!
The horoscope today for Capricorn...Quite apt for me, since I'm still trying to find a job...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tracking my speed

Ever since I stopped using my Garmin Forerunner 201 (I can't seem to find the cradle, which means I can't charge the device), I've had problems training for my 2.4km runs (one part of IPPT). I have difficulty in tracking exactly the distances that I'm running (I run around my neighbourhood, not at a running track), and also stopped doing interval training (no accurate way of measuring time and distance).

I was looking at the Polar RS200SD as a possible replacement, but at about S$400, it's quite a sum to pay. Then, Nike recently came out with the Nike+ Sportband, which at S$99 (if I'm not mistaken) is an easier pill to swollow. But it needs Nike+ shoes (sensor is placed inside the shoes), so that means extra cost...

After quite a bit of surfing and going through reviews, I decided to...not buy it, and go to the nearest track (with measured distances) to run. That would be Punggol Park...

I have about 6 months to clear my IPPT...Better start training.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

hide, X Japan, and Luna Sea

Well, one thing led to another. I was listening to the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show, which mentioned a X Japan reunion concert. A quick Google search, and I was watching it. A bit more probing revealed a even more recent concert especially for hide (hide memorial summit). Enjoy. Relive.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Information wants to be free - Library War

Another new anime that I just started watching. Library War has a strange (but innovative) storyline of a library organisation that takes up arms to defend itself against a sinister group that seeks to restrict information.

Very 21st century...

As usual, you can find it at crunchyroll.

Monday, April 28, 2008

BBC choice picks

A few BBC shows that I listen to regularly, some are available as podcasts, the others are streamed online.

anime on the radar

A few new anime titles that I've just come across
  • Macross Frontier
  • Crystal Blaze (a.k.a. Glass Maiden)
  • Real Drive
All 3 look good after the 1st few episodes, will be following them closely...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The photo story

This looks like a great issue of AP, with 2 to 3 "keeper" articles.

Looks like I have to stakeout the library again (just joking).

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why We're Powerless To Resist Grazing On Endless Web Data
Not that this is an excuse for my many hours online, but above is an article telling us perhaps why we are so addicted to finding new info on the Net.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

MotoGP: the best motor-racing series?

It's hard to argue against it.

Compared to Formula 1, where sometimes the only passing takes place in the pits, passing in MotoGP can take place anywhere, anytime.

Add to that the fact that there is no dominant force in the series, and your have a very open competition, which makes for great racing and great watching.

This variability is compounded by the great tyre war between Bridgestone and Michelin. What this means is that certain teams will do better than others because their tyres perform more consistently at certain circuits.

Take the first race for 2008 for example. The season starts at Qatar, and will be held at night, for the first time. Night racing means lower track temperatures, which affect the performace of tyres.

Qualifying results show the tyre factor at work. Most of the top qualifiers were on Michelin, with Casey Stoner (current world champion) the exception, qualifying 4th on his Bridgestone-shod Ducati.

It should be a great race to watch, with new riders arriving at MotoGP (Jorge Lorenzo qualified 1st, with fellow debutant James Toseland at 2nd) and also new bikes, which will hopefully show which manufacturer has stolen a march on the competition during the winter break.

Read more at the official website.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Asus Eee PC 900 hands-on video

The 2nd gen model is out.

Major new features
  1. new enlarged 8.9" screen
  2. larger touch pad
I'm still waiting for the touch screen function though...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

ASUS to unveil Eee PC Touch?

ClubEee - VR-Zone IT & Lifestyle Forum
Not sure how accurate this info is...especially after ASUS seemed to crush the rumours (see next post below). In any case, I shouldn't buy a Eee PC now, as its more a want than a need...

Friday, February 15, 2008

ASUS Cancels Eee PC Touch Screen Plans
Sad news...I would buy a Eee PC if it came with a touchscreen. Guess I have to look elsewhere...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Google Docs Valentine's Day theme

This is so cool...Google Docs in a Valentine's Day theme

(9th June 2008) Update: You can continue to enable it by going to

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Finding Time

After kidding myself by giving excuses (it's a tough watch, and so can go anywhere), I finally stopped wearing my trusty G-Shock watch together with workwear when the battery went flat. Not a moment too late, on hindsight.

The result? A couple months of nothing on my right wrist. (BTW, I have been wearing watches on my right hand even though I'm right-handed ever since I can remember wearing a watch)

Prospective choices have come and gone, and I've pretty much set my sights on a few "must-have" features for my workwear watch.
  1. black rubber strap - more durable than a leather strap, less common than a metal strap
  2. black watch face - white text on black background is so much classier
  3. silver metallic rim - you still need some contrast
Optional considerations include a multi-hand dial, and yellow or orange text.

My search? It goes on...

Monday, January 28, 2008

INTP Personal Growth

INTP Personal Growth
Quite a cool page on my personality type. Yep, i'm a INTP...This page is slightly different from the rest in that it gives you tips on how you can work on your weaknesses, and become more balanced.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Access to justice
otbp agrees with consumer nz. A similar situation is happening in Singapore also.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Costs of Finding Love

The Simple Dollar
I quite agree with the points made in this post, not that it makes me any more at ease whenever "such" thoughts fill my head...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Learning time management can help your uncluttering efforts

Great article linking uncluttering and time-management, but I also totally agree with the 1st comment, which I reproduce below...

Posted by Kirk Roberts - 11/07/2007

I totally agree that time management is important, and a vital skill to hone.

Personally, though, I discovered over time that looking at blogs (and investigating links from blogs) was one of the biggest time sucks in my day. The irony was how much time I wasted reading personal productivity tips.

To each their own, but if you’re interested in time management I would suggest checking a book out of the library rather than surfing (blog, rss, web, etc). “The Now Habit” is pretty great.

I've often found myself reading more about "how to GTD" than actually physically practising GTD...

Would you answer this question honestly?

Synovate In:fact June 2005
Interesting survey done on the honesty of survey respondents (and also indirectly, a test on how accurate surveys are)...


Do people respond to survey questions honestly? This is a critical question to anyone who commissions market research. After all, what use are surveys if a lot of the respondents are great big fibbers?

Synovate recently set out to test the honesty of 2,640 survey panellists in the US, Germany and Thailand.

Hook 'em up to the polygraph?

It's not much use to simply ask someone, "Are you telling the truth?"

Fortunately, market researchers have developed a range of devious ways to ferret out honest answers. The technique used in this case is called "projective questioning".

This involves asking subjects how they think other people will react to a particular situation. The answer actually reveals the subject's likely behaviour.

I cannot tell a lie

In general, Synovate found that US respondents are more likely to provide truthful answers than Germans and Thais.

We learned this by asking neutral projective questions. For example, "How likely is it that most panellists would share answers honestly about the number of research surveys they have taken part in over the previous three months?"

Of American respondents, 82% indicated we could expect honest answers to this question, versus 68% of Germans and 62% of Thais.

Benchmarking honesty

That ratio may be regarded as the standard cultural difference between the honesty of answers from Thais, Germans and Americans.

Of course, the survey topic under discussion has a big influence over the degree of honesty that can be expected. In general, our study identifies three types of issues: Safe Issues, Careful Issues and No-go Issues.

No Pinocchio nose grows

SAFE ISSUES are those that elicit an honest response from most respondents most of the time. Surveys about daily activities such as television viewing and shopping can be considered safe.

But regional differences often apply. While a person's average weekly amount of exercise is generally a safe survey issue everywhere, honest answers are significantly more likely from Thais (78%) than from Americans (54%) and Germans (51%). This also applies to questions about religious worship.

On the other hand, the Americans and Germans are more likely to be truthful about impulse shopping than the Thais. And Americans are especially honest about whether or not they hang out at discount stores.

Economical with the truth

CAREFUL ISSUES are topics that moderately elicit an honest response. For example, when it comes to personal finances (except for discussions about charitable contributions) an equal number of people would provide honest answers as not.

In surveys about the consumption of stimulants, alcohol and illegal drugs, the honesty of answers depends on the social acceptability of the substance under discussion. So 58% of Americans would be honest about cigarettes, 37% about alcohol and just 14% about illegal drugs. The Thais are more frank about alcohol and drugs, the Germans, less.

There's also much country-based diversification about ethical issues such as sex education, abortion and gun ownership. While 75% of Americans will offer honest opinions about sex education in schools, you'll get frankness on this subject from only 62% of Germans and 55% of Thais.

Liar, liar, questionnaire on fire

NO-GO ISSUES are the unmentionables of survey topics.

Synovate learned that at least 60% of all our respondents would lie about sexual relationships, especially when it comes to taboo subjects like marital infidelity and sexual dysfunction.

Issues such as sexual orientation and the quality of marriage may appear safe, but in fact would receive only 44% honest answers in the US and as little as 23% in Germany.

Lies, damned lies, and surveys

OK, some respondents don't tell the truth — does this mean that surveys are inaccurate? Thankfully no. Studies like this one allow the honesty of responses to be calibrated against topic and demographic.

You may ask, "But can that calibration be accurate if the respondents don't answer survey calibration questions honestly?"

Actually, the degree of inaccuracy is insignificant — marketers can rely on the results of a carefully designed and calibrated-for-honesty survey.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Getting Things Done

My 1st book purchase in a very long while...I finally gave up trying to borrow the book from the library, and returning it 3 weeks later without completing the book.

1st target: to finish reading the book
2nd target: to put the book's recommendations into actions while reading

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Another angle to the lack of parity...

Re: my post below this one...

Just remembered that I wrote about a similar issue after coming across a Guardian article a few months ago in my other blog,

First posted 27th September 2007 from
Too much to bare | Features | Guardian Unlimited Film
The issues mentioned in the article mirrors what is happening in the Chinese film market, with the most prominent (and recent) example being Ang Lee's movie, Lust, Caution.

Nicole Kidman is an award-winning actor. So too is Maggie Gyllenhaal. So why do they - and other talented female Hollywood stars - still have to expose their bodies in order to get into the public eye? Kira Cochrane despairs

Thursday September 6, 2007
The Guardian

Flicking through the newspapers yesterday I was stopped in my tracks by an image of the new Vanity Fair cover. This shows Nicole Kidman - two-time Oscar nominee, one-time winner - with a military cap on her head and an open-mouthed expression. Said expression is, I guess, supposed to be a Monroe-esque pout, but just makes her look (though it pains me to say it) completely bloody vacant. Beneath this vacuous visage, for no apparent reason, she is holding her shirt open to expose her white, bra-clad breasts. There is something strangely passionless and perfunctory about the pose - as though, off camera, a doctor has just shown up and told her it's time for an impromptu mammary examination. (Or, indeed, the magazine editor has just told her she is off the cover unless she gets on with it and gets 'em out.) "Nicole Kidman Bares All" screams the coverline.

And this image arrives just a few days after the release of photographs from the new Agent Provocateur advertising campaign, featuring another highly lauded actor mugging shamelessly in her scanties: indie favourite and two-time Golden Globe nominee, Maggie Gyllenhaal. The full series of pictures are due online this Friday as part of a book of "adventures" called, very cheesily, Lessons in Lingerie, in which Gyllenhaal stars as a character called Miss AP. Those released so far show Gyllenhaal, variously: reclining in a basic black push-up bra and pants; gazing coquettishly over her shoulder in lacy knickers and a pair of stockings; cavorting in a bubble bath in a striped one-piece (so heavily styled and made up that she resembles another young actor, Brittany Murphy, far more than herself); her breasts pushed up in a tight pink corset, looking as awkward and unhappy as Kidman; and, in the most provocative shot, trussed to a strange wooden chair, legs spread wide, in just her bra and knickers.

The general take on the Gyllenhaal pictures so far has been that they are fabulously sexy (indeed, the Sunday Times's Style magazine used them as a peg for a piece about "girl crushes"). So why did I find them - and the Kidman shot - so supremely depressing? It can't just be because they feature women as sex objects. After all, there's a constant parade of woman-flesh on the newsstands each day, and while I find the half-clad photos of Hollyoaks stars and Big Brother contestants depressing, too, they don't have the power to surprise these days.

But photographs of genuinely acclaimed actors in their underwear affront me every time, whether it's Angelina Jolie draped in a silk sheet for US Esquire, or her great rival, Jennifer Aniston, baring her breasts for US GQ. There seemed something sad to me about the controversial GQ cover of Kate Winslet a few years ago, not because of her legs being digitally lengthened, but because I couldn't understand why the youngest woman to receive five Oscar nominations had to be togged up in a basque. And as for the Vanity Fair cover of Teri Hatcher, in which the story of her childhood sexual abuse was illustrated with a just-out-of-bed shot of her in nothing but a white top and white knickers, well ... words fail me.

I think what I find so incredibly discomfiting about these pictures is their suggestion that, no matter how talented a woman is, how many plaudits she has received, how intelligent her reputation, how garlanded she has been for depicting one of the most talented writers of the last century while sporting a huge prosthetic conk on her noggin, at the end of the day, if she wants to stay in the public eye, if she wants the magazine covers and the leading roles, she has to be willing to reduce herself to tits and arse.

One of the most blatant demonstrations of this came last year, when Vanity Fair (them again) published their Hollywood issue. Put together by the fashion designer, Tom Ford, the cover featured Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley, two talented young actors, completely naked. Rather bizarrely, Knightley was being sniffed by a fully-clad Ford. Inside, it was explained that Ford's appearance had been a last-minute addition and that a "certain young actress" had been slated to appear as part of a "gorgeous female threesome", but hadn't understood the nudity requirement and "bowed out when the clothes started coming off". Said actor was Rachel McAdams, who, at that junction last spring seemed on the brink of stratospheric fame. She had appeared in three successful films in 2005 - Wedding Crashers, Red Eye, The Family Stone - and, some might have argued, was worthy of a fully clad Vanity Fair cover. Since declining to bare all, McAdams' career has gone strangely quiet (she has apparently turned down some offers of sidekick roles), while the fame of Knightley and Johansson has soared. Coincidence? Well, maybe.

That example suggests that it is a simple equation - get your clothes off, see your career rocket - but, of course, it is not. It is a hugely risky business to disrobe (the same people who laud your sexiness will think much less of your talent), and it is a risky business to leave them on (see McAdams, and, no doubt, many other aspiring, principled actors throughout the decades). Actors such as Kidman and Gyllenhaal must recognise this edge of risk, which brings me to another depressing spectre. For many women, it seems, no matter how successful they are, the need to be pleasing to men, to say, "However powerful and clever I might seem, I'm just a playful, bra-baring bunny underneath," trumps everything. Excuse me while I wipe the tears off my keyboard ...