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...