Category Archives: singapore

Bluetooth push advert

At the bus stop opposite Ion, waiting for the bus to bring me home, I noticed an advertising billboard promoting a certain skin whitening product with a bluetooth icon at the top, with a message telling me to switch on my bluetooth to receive a special offer.

Out of curiosity, I switched on the bluetooth radio on my phone and within seconds received 2 messages from that billboard. A picture which I can show the cashier to get a free gift with my next purchase, and a video evangelising the benefits of the skin whitening product.

It is a busy bus stop, one of those selected to trial the new service that forecasts when the next bus would arrive. Thousands of passengers would have passed by this stop on the bus of on foot. When a bus stops at this stop to pick up passengers, if it had a few passengers who had their bluetooth switched on, would they be within range of the advertisement and find the messages pushed to them? They might not otherwise have noticed the advertisement at the bus stop if it had not found its way onto their phones. It’s an interesting way to increase the reach of the ad.

Now my bluetooth is usually switched off to conserve the battery life on my devices, but maybe I should start switching on my bluetooth for a few days to see if such push technologies are more widespread than I thought.

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Why do people dress up in capes

At a local store’s checkout counter, a plump little boy spent his time deforming bars of chocolates with his elbow while waiting for his parents paying for their purchase in the next aisle.

The couple in front of me glared at him, but in typical singaporean fashion, we tend to keep quiet instead of confronting such people. And so they continue to misbehave because they have no disincentive to stop them, and probably no incentive to change their ways and become better people. But i’m not that typical and i asked him what he was doing, is he going to pay for the damages he did. He tried to ignore me, continue flipping the chocolate bars in a less destructive manner, and later went off to hide behind the next aisle where his dad was still making payment.

I think i had been quite mild. After a long day at work, the frustration of seeing such uncivil behaviour was almost enough to make me shake him until he cried and begged for his parents but i didn’t. Maybe that would help him understand that such behaviour should not be continued and if shocked enough, he will remember for a long time. But i was not sure if i would end up scaring the other customers around me.

Sometimes i can almost understand why people would dress up in a cape, wear their underwear outside and play the role of a vigilante.

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When the police comes for your dad

I saw Chee Soon Juan at a food court during lunch time today, eating with what looks like his wife and children. After lunch, he turned around and joined the next table, seemingly holding a conference.

Some of my colleagues commented that he would have to depend on his wife to feed the family, especially during the times when he was behind bars for opposing the incumbent government. A different thought went through my mind then: what would his kids think, seeing their dad repeatedly getting into trouble with the law for the work he is doing? Will they see him as a hero, opposing the corrupt government that they will grow up to despise? Will they respect him for his high ideals and for sticking with his political battles for years despite the insurmountable difficulties? Will they think of him as an idiot for throwing away his life, and the possibility of a better life for his family because he chose to chase impractical dreams?

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The Commercial Press @ The Cathay

I’m currently at The Cathay waiting for Prince Caspian. As usual, I walked around looking for bookshops or DVD shops to browse and catch up with what is happening.

There is a new bookshop in the basement, seemingly a new chain. More than half of the merchandise are Chinese-related stuff, including a section on Hong Kong films! Quite unlike the western-oriented arrangement that you will find in most other major bookshops here.

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Waterproofing a Baby-G

You know G-Shock? Those armour-plated wrist watches by the Japanese company Casio? I love those metal watches. They have the aura of invincibility. They survived my NS training, living on my wrist 24/7 and I thought they would be immune to any abuse I put them through. Just what guys need.

Well I thought my Baby-G has drained off its battery a few weeks ago, which would be surprising in itself since my previous G-Shock’s battery lasted almost 10 years. I’m wearing a Baby-G instead of a G-Shock because I’m so skinny and I thought the only difference is that Baby-Gs have smaller faces. I didn’t expect Baby-Gs to be any less durable than their legendary siblings. Apparently I was mistaken. There was some water seepage that will cause the watch to go blank until I open it up, take out its battery and put it back in. This solves the problem until the next time it gets wet, and so is not acceptable.

Fortunately, Casio’s workshop is able to restore the waterproofing seal for just $5 and 15 minutes. That’s not something the garden variety watch retail stores are able to do. Here’s the address and operating hours in case you also need to get your watch fixed by the professionals.

Block 211 Henderson Industrial Park


Monday – Friday, 9AM – 5PM (with staff on rotation during lunch hours so it is still manned)

That’s the building at Bukit Merah Central, opposite the office block that used to house HDB and is now known as Surbana.

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Importance of being visible

Was having lunch with my Hokkien-spewing boss. One of the safer topics we would discuss over the meal would be the state of politics. Yes, far safer than our different views of how the company should be run. One of which was the complaint letter by Li Hongyi, son of the current Prime Minister. In brief, his email circulated and leaked to the outside world, telling all of Singapore about the quality of SAF officers, or the lack of quality.

The boss’s take on this issue is that this email attracted this much attention because of the person who wrote it has a very high profile. If it were some unknown officer, perhaps nobody would have paid it any attention. After all it is not a surprising thing that regulars protect their own, anybody who has served national service can tell you that. But you can still get charged for jumping the chain of command. And to have included so many people, entire departments of units who have nothing to do with the incident, is quite spectacular. Should have resulted in spectacular trouble.

My take is that he was supposed to be the third generation monarch of the lion city, but he has offended some very important people. Uncle Teo could have asked his boss, “Why is your son doing this, airing dirty laundry in public? He could have come to me and worked something out.” And now international presses have also reported on this lack of integrity in our army. Was it out of a sense of frustration that such an email was written and sent out? There are better ways to do things, and he of all NSF officers have other avenues to change things. There is a Chinese saying that an empire or a collection of wealth tends to be ruined by the third generation. The first generation builds it up and the second maintains it. The third is used to a good life and lacks the skills and drive to keep the empire from cumbling. I would worry more if this was done out of frustration, and not part of some sinister plot.

We both agreed that his high profile could have been some sort of protection. Unknowns can disappear overnight, but public people can hardly vanish or be destroyed without notice. There is even this guy in America who sends photos to his blog every few hours, telling people that if he stops blogging, it could be that the authorities have taken him away for some crime he did not commit. And it is also a good idea to raise your public profile before going against the big boys. See for example eastcoastlife. The media is a powerful shield to keep you alive, if you ever need protection from being made to disappear.

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Clicking game

I don’t believe this.

Someone has set up a server to accept clicks, and rank countries according to how many clicks they have submitted. This sparked off a war of clicks in which online communities in a few countries are organising themselves to submit more clicks than their competitors, thereby pushing themselves up the list. What? National pride in cyberspace?

SgSpartans, inspired by the movie 300, appeals for the tiny nation to be mobilised to hold the figurative hot gates and defend the nation’s standing on the list against the hordes from other countries. Only that we use technology (javscript) to do what brawn cannot. Do you find these phrases familiar?

their mouse-clicks can blot out the sun” [so we will click in the shade??]

“And you my CLICKER…what is your occupation?

>>guy with no life.

And YOU? (other clickers)” [a javascript programmer]

“Tonight we click in hell, for tomorrow we dine in click heaven..”

At least this is living proof of national pride.

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