YC

Thursday, September 01, 2005

WSJ: Blogger Faces Lawsuit Over Comments Posted by Readers

Blogger Faces Lawsuit Over Comments Posted by Readers
In a legal case being watched closely by bloggers, an Internet company has sued the owner of a Web log for comments posted to his site by readers.

Traffic-Power.com1 sued Aaron Wall, who maintains a blog on search engine optimization – tactics companies use to get themselves to appear higher in searches at Google, Yahoo and elsewhere – alleging defamation and publication of trade secrets. The suit, filed in a Nevada state court earlier this month, also listed as defendants several unnamed users of the blog.

At issue are statements posted in the comments section of Mr. Wall's blog, SEOBook.com2. Many blogs allow readers to post comments, often anonymously, and Mr. Wall's blog included several reader submissions that blasted tools sold by Traffic-Power.com...


Deja vu? Oh wait, this is America...

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Medishield and Me

Remember my stay in Alexandra Hospital? Check out my Medishield statement.



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Monday, July 25, 2005

Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France

Lance Armstrong has won his 7th Tour de France title. His achievement is nothing short of inspirational given his battle with testicular cancer in 1996, his recovery and his going on to win the Tour a record 7 consecutive times from 1999-2005, besting the greats of Miguel Indurain, Eddy Merckz and Greg LeMond. Of course, his LiveStrong wristbands has also given many cancer patients hope in overcoming the disease.

The sheer grit, determination, discipline and single-mindedness in winning the toughest cycling race boggles my mind to no end. Of course, our dearest sports cable channel just had to ruin this. I was hoping to catch the penultimate stage, the individual time trial, live on Saturday; the stage Armstrong which was determined to win, the stage which Jan Ullrich was bent on upstaging Armstrong and hoping to salvage a 3rd place overall from Rasmussen.

So what did SCV do? They decided to show the delayed telecast on Sunday at 4pm! And what were they showing? Some Evian golf tournament that wasn't even live, some soccer match in Thailand between some EPL team (no, not the top teams for sure), and a non-live Davis cup tennis match! What was the programming director thinking of? Come on! I was keeping myself updated through the Yahoo sports live webpage coverage. That was really pathetic!

Anyway, back to Armstrong. Sara was telling me that Lance's resting heart rate is an amazing 32 beats per minute and only gets up to an outrageously low 100 beats per minute when he goes on a 160rpm rampage! My resting heart rate is probably in the mid-60s. Time for me to shape up!

Congratulations again Lance Armstrong!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rambutans

It's rambutan season! How can I tell? Well, the scent of ripe rambutans in my favorite jogging haunt is very telling this time of the year, and the acrid smell of rotting rambutans worse! What do rotting rambutans smell like? Just imagine the distinct scent of rambutan minus the sweetness and throw in a really sour stench!

Rambutans from the flickr archives:



And no, rambutans really don't have eyeballs!
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Friday, July 15, 2005

Parenting in the 21st century cancelled

sistic

Found this on SISTIC.

Parenting in the 21st century cancelled because ...
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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sports Bloopers

Congratulations to London for winning the right to host the 2012 Olympics! All the hard work, cajoling and schmoozing with the IOC delegates has paid off! Paris must be kicking themselves silly for missing the bid again. I wonder how much of that had to do with Blair's extended presence compared with Chirac's short stay in Singapore?

Anyway, I watched the live telecast of Dr Jacques Rogge announcement towards the end when they were screening the videos by the various candidate cities. The masters of ceremony (MC) for the event, in my opinion, were nothing more than pretty faces. I wonder how well-versed they were with the Olympics and sports in general?

Oh speaking of pretty faces, Diana Ser was trying to interview a delegate, ok any IOC delegate, streaming out from the event. She obviously didn't know who's who and walked up to one of them and asked, "Sir, are you a delegate?" to which the guy wagged his finger at her and walked on. The look on her face was priceless! See what happens when you hire a pretty face who hasn't done her homework?

Speaking of priceless looks, the Singapore French commerce president (ok the title slips me right now) was also interviewed on Channel News Asia minutes after the declaration of the host city. I really pity her; she kept a straight and smiling face while being interviewed live! A penny for her thoughts!

Oh, and I'll close with the flip-flop of the day, week, month, season. Two words -- Steven Gerrard.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My New MP3 Player - Better than the iPod and Zen!

Bought the Vibes MP3 Player last week, gave it a test run while jogging yesterday, pleased as peach with its performance!

This is any sports nuts health-conscious individual's dream come true. The Vibes MP3 player has no dangling wires, no players to carry in your pouch or hand, does nothing to impede your exercise routine! I just love simple yet effective gadgets don't you?

[ Click Me ]

Its specifications:
Music Format - MP3
Port - USB 2.0
Play Time - 480 minutes
Battery - 3.7V Rechargeable Li-Ion (3 hours through USB connection)
Frequency Response - 20Hz to 20KHz
Capacity - Mine's 256MB but it comes in 128MB and 512MB (Pre-formatted in FAT32)
Headphone Impedance - 16 Ohms x 2




The bands are sweat resistant though the ear pieces do absorb a little sweat. So how do you transfer songs into the player? Just plug it in to your PC as you would any USB device, the player will show up as a portable hard disk, then drag and drop your MP3 songs into the drive. The manual is also loaded into the drive. And ... and you can use that as your back-up thumb drive! ;)

I pity the two sods who were struggling with their flipping wires while they were running yesterday.

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A month after my operation

Yesterday marks the first month after my operation. My recovery has been going really well and I finally decided that I was ready to give my body a semi-decent workout. The rest of my body has been screaming for some exercise but the right side of my abdomen has been telling them to give it a break.

So finally, I went for my first jog after a lay-off of more than a month. It was more of a lumber actually since I was doing it at such a slow pace. What I usually cover in 20 minutes, I took 35 to 40. My legs are aching some this morning so it was a good workout! The only unusual thing was this weird feeling of having a really small water balloon bouncing up and down on my right when I jogged; the scar tissue probably.

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Blogshares: My strategy

What I am going to write about is based purely on how I've approached the game. I've also added some additional advice on how I might have done things differently.


The Crawling Stage

Learning about the game. I can't emphasize enough that you should read the help files to familiarize yourself with the terms and lingos used in blogshares. Terms like karma, chips, shares, ideas, bonds, artefacts, P/E, and especially artefact terminologies like raid, public pressure, hype, public relations disaster (PRD), restructure and hostile takeover (HTO) will be used liberally in this entry.

The blogshares forums also contains a treasure trove of questions and answers. Just register for an account and post away. I ignored the forums when I first started blogshares thinking it was just another boring forum; I would have used it more liberally had I known how active it was and still is. Another quick way of getting help is to log in to the #blogshares IRC channel. For those with your own IRC client, the address is intrepid.wyldryde.org:6667. You'll find the who's who of blogshares in there, and don't let your newbie or n00b status intimidate you. The blogshares community is very generous with advice and with B$ / blogshare dollars!

One final thing for the crawling stage, there are RULES in blogshares. Read them and clarify on the forums if you're unsure. Don't get caught breaking them as the penalties can be pretty harsh e.g. suspension of account or considerable penalties on your blogshares assets. My rule of thumb is if you think it's wrong, it usually is; if you're not sure, clarify.


The Walking Stage

Trading in shares. Everyone starts off with B$500 and 1,000 shares in your own blog, if your blog is listed. If it's not listed, just add your blog then stake your claim. Your blog is valued based on the number and value of incoming links (the more and the higher the values of incoming links, the higher your valuation), versus the number and value of outgoing links (the more and the higher the value of outgoing links, the lower your valuation).

How did I find other blogs to invest in? Well, since I was familiar with some popular local blogs like Mr Brown, what I did was to look it up on blogshares and follow the incoming and outgoing links. I sold some shares from my own blog and I bought up shares in the blogs that still had publicly available shares. Another way of finding blogs is to search the industries.

A good place to search for cheap and potentially good stocks to invest in is the tips page.

When buying or selling shares, bear in mind the time restrictions for buys and sells as well as the number of transactions allowed for non-premium accounts. The basic strategy given in this help section while good, I found an alternative strategy that may be more effective:

1. Follow the buy advice as stated under "Basic Strategy".

2. After buying up the 4,000 shares and waiting for 6 hours, sell off the shares in blocks of 20 instead of 250. Selling will raise the P/E of the stock and hence the value of your remaining stock.

3. Instead of selling everything off when P/E hits 250, I suggest that you observe the share price history graph of the blog in question as you sell it off. When you see it tapering off, it is a good time to sell off all the shares. This will send the stock price and P/E crashing and you can buy it up again after a 6 hour refractory period. Why? Because different blog share prices perform differently. Some share prices taper and drop even before it reaches P/E 250 whereas others can go up to P/E of 300 before tapering and dropping.

Voting for karmas and chips. Another important strategy at this stage is to start voting new blogs into the appropriate categories, or industries as they are called in blogshares. This will earn you karmas and chips which will come in handy as you transit into the next stage. Chips are commodities that can be swapped in the blogshares market for B$. The current market rate for a single chip ranges from B$25M to B$35M. Hunt around the forums and you'll see the horse trading for chips. Note however, that just because voting gets you chips, doesn't mean you vote blogs blindly. Bad voting is frowned upon and a consistent trend of bad voting amounts to flouting the rules. Where do you find blogs to vote for? Try the stock tips page or the newly added blogs page.


The Running Stage

Artefacts. Ah, the magic of artefacts. Why are they so special? Well, they give you easy money if you're in it for the long term through raiding and also through enhancing your ability to trade in stocks. The importance of karma comes in here because with a karma of 750, you get to use your artefact twice in the span of 24 hours as opposed to once.

Raiding with artefacts. As Laila, the numero uno player of blogshares, aptly describes in her blogshares profile, "Raiding blogs using artefacts will give you mostly 500 ideas FREE (per day)". I'd like to add that with a karma of 750, you get to raid blogs twice a day which gives you mostly 1,000 ideas FREE! So with a good raidable industry and 750 karma, you get to earn your B$ back in 10 days and it's pure profits from the eleventh day onwards. Think about it approximately 200% profits in 30 days.

You find ideas from the ideas market. You can filter for ideas with artefacts here. Notice that there are certain industries with no ideas in the market. You may find ideas in the bond market but they would usually cost a little or a lot more than the market value.

So now you know where the karma comes in. How about the chips? Well, once you hit the magic 750 mark for karma, sell off your chips for lots of B$ and buy 10,000 ideas from an expensive (costs B$1M or more) and good raidable industry. How do you gauge if an industry has good raids? Well, check out the top blogs in the industry. They usually have a high valuation and large number of incoming links. I use 1,500 incoming links for the top blog as a rule of thumb to gauge if I will consistently get a 500 idea raid (or 1,000 for 750 karma) 9 times out of 10.

Raiding, however, may not last forever.

Stocks and artefacts. Aside from raiding with artefacts which is really sweet in my opinion, artefacts are also good for enhancing your stock trading. If you own stocks categorized under an industry, say Singapore, and that industry has an artefact (the Merlion in the case of Singapore), you can use your artefact to enhance the stock trade in many ways. Public pressure allows you to buy up publicly available shares lock, stock and barrel in one go without having to succumb to the "buy 1,250" syndrome that you may experience if you try to buy them off the market. This also prevents others from intercepting those stocks in the buying process. Hype allows you to increase the P/E ratio of your stock and hence the share price. A word of caution for hype, don't get it beyond the 300 mark unless you're prepared to sell very soon (in like minutes), and definitely don't get it beyond the 700 mark or you won't be able to sell it. So if you own multiple industry artefacts in a certain blog stock, imagine what a mean combination hyping and public pressure will do which I will call the hype-PP combination.

The other artefact usages that exist include industry buzz, restructure, HTO and PRD. Industry buzz is like hype as it raises the P/E of stocks; it does it for all stocks within the industry but with a less devastating effect than hype. Restructure allows you to buy up a certain percentage of shares that are currently owned by others (other than the owner of the blog) that are not in the public market at 3 times the current market price. If you own more than 20% of stocks in a certain blog, you can buy up the rest of the stocks by performing a HTO which will also cost you 3 times the market price. As a rule of thumb, I don't usually restructure or HTO stocks with a P/E of more than 130. Lastly, the PRD is a counter to they hype. It brings down the P/E of a blog. Some players use it in an attempt to bring down the price to a low level for restructuring and HTO but it is generally considered poor etiquette.


The Flying Stage

Seeding. There is a catch when building artefacts and raiding from the market. Sometimes, rich players buy up all available ideas from the market leaving you with nothing to raid. So how do you work around this without losing that hard earned money? After you raid, remember to keep either 500 or 1,000 ideas in your holdings at all times and sell off the remainder for B$. Should someone soak up all the ideas, all you need to do to earn money and keep your ideas is to sell off the 500 or 1,000 ideas and raid it, and you get your money's worth by selling the ideas, and your ideas back for free. Remember to buy back your ideas if your raid didn't yield back your original 500 or 1,000 ideas. Also, a word a caution. When you sell your ideas back to the market, it's fair game for all so your sell/raid action requires speed and coordination.

Jumping into the ideas and bonds market. So why do people buy up all the ideas? Basically, when there are existing ideas in the market, the value of the ideas depreciate. If there are no ideas in the market, the value of the ideas appreciate. So the strategy for most of the very rich players is to soak up ideas in certain industries and sit it out for the long term. This is especially useful for players who do not wish to day trade on blogshares. Another lucrative source of income is in the bonds market. Players (ok very rich ones anyway) tend to pay very high prices for very rare ideas (those with no artefacts), and also for industries with good raiding potential. The pre-condition is definitely one where there are no ideas in the open market. How bonds are priced, varies with the market conditions and especially with competing idea bonders. My deduction is that some of these ideas grow to be really rare and therefore even more expensive than the bond prices e.g. I may bond a very rare industry for B$100M an idea even though its current worth is say B$50K an idea. However, if you sit on it for a long enough time, it may mature to over B$100M an idea. Of course, there are those who aim to collect ideas in every single industry so they would also pay a premium if you have ideas in an industry that they don't currently have.


Other Useful Blogshares Strategies Links (more will be added along the way):
1. Laila's profile.
2. Post details: Quick-draw: Tips for Playing the BlogShares Idea's Market (found this link through FWS after I was nearly done with this entry)

PS to the Bloggers in Singapore:
If you see me at Bloggers.SG, feel free to approach me for help on Blogshares. James knows who I am. Alternatively, leave a comment with your contact or send me a message on blogshares if you need help.

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Blogshares: How I got started

I registered for an account about the same time I started this blog in February 2005. Why did I do that? It was a monkey see, monkey do thing. Mr Brown had one, so did Mr Miyagi, and many others and I thought I had to get one.

I have to admit the blogshares interface was a tad confusing when I first registered so I forgot all about it until early May. For some unknown reason, I absent-mindedly clicked on Hui Chieh's blogshares link and noticed that he had a Premium account. And he was also doing pretty well growing my double digit percentage points from what I could decipher from the statistics.

But I was thinking to myself, why would a perfectly sane chap like HC pay USD15 for a premium account? I mean great, you get unlimited transactions and what not. Big deal! That piqued my interest and so I started reading the blogshares help page and started trading on blogshares.

Non-premium players are only allowed 20 transactions i.e. buying or selling of shares of blogs a day. I lasted for about a week before I took the plunge for premium and the rest, as they say, is history.

Yes, HC, it's all your fault that I got addicted to blogshares! :-D

PS: To check if your blog is listed on blogshares, follow the instruction here.

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They have Wi-Fi in the Afterlife

Yes, you heard me right. They have Wi-Fi in the afterlife! Where do you think I have been all this while? The signal is very weak though. I'm actually running through an SSH tunnel through that fiery firewall that they have put up here... It's breaking up again ... Confounds! They've discovered my hack! Help!


L O N G P A U S E


Ok, I'm just kidding here! I'm not really in the nether-lands (not Holland - Netherlands). It's just a silly joke, I repeat, just a silly joke! Tim* was telling me that that would be what readers would expect if I left my last blog as was (i.e. the appendicetomy entries).

Anyway, just a quick update to my loyal readers, I've been busying myself with a few things recently and have neglected blogging and also neglected keeping up with the blogging scene.

What have I been up to? I've been busy getting ready for grad school making lists of what to buy, what to bring, hunting for apartments, getting paperwork done. Also the post-operation administrative stuff from my workplace that needed sorting out. Claims and such. Last but not least, I've also been caught up with my latest online obsession -- Blogshares!

I've been actively playing Blogshares since early May 2005. My current net worth is approximately $15.5 Trillion. That has me ranked 76th out of approximately 24,000 users.

So how did I get started, what's my strategy and why do I find blogshares to be so very addictive? Read my next entry!

* fellow Blogshares addict and #blogshares IRC-er.

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Monday, June 13, 2005

My Adventures with Appendicitis: Day 4 (Tues)

0200hrs

Dan Brown time. My temperature just won't come down. It has been hovering in the mid-37s. I'm cursing my luck. Hopefully when they take my reading in the morning it will be back to normal.

0730hrs

37.4! :-(


0840hrs

Doctor says he wants to observe me as my temperature is still high. I have prepared myself mentally that I would probably be in there till Wednesday or Thursday, the last thing I want to do is to be discharged and have complications from home. But it still puts a slight damper in my spirits especially when the nurses told me that there was a possibility of my discharging this afternoon.

What can I do? Try to do some reading and keep myself occupied and distracted I guess. Bless the invention of the handphones and SMSes!


1000hrs

Chatting with the nurse while she takes my temperature and blood pressure. She says maybe, just maybe if my temperature comes down by the time the doctor makes his next rounds at 4 pm, I might get discharged!

SMS parents to let them know.


1300hrs

Whoever told me that hospital food sucks needs to get his/her taste buds examined!


1400hrs

37.6. It's going up! :-(


1500hrs

The pharmacist delivers a big bag of medication -- panadols, fybogel, laxatives.

Me: What are these for?
Pharmacist: Aren't you discharging today?
Me: No, the doctor says he wants to observe me further. Says I still have a low grade fever. (gee, thanks for rubbing it in!)
Pharmacist: Oh, is that so? Let me check. (walks out)
Pharmacist: (Enter stage right) You're right. Anyway, just hang on to these medication. You'll need them when you go home.

I guess it's good to have something to look forward to.


1505hrs

Parents are here.

37.6. Bummer ...


1600hrs

Still 37.6. No sight of the doctor. Tap tap tap.


1700hrs

One of the nurses on the night shift offers me some ice cold water to help bring down my body temperature. That's real nice of her (I think she likes me :-P) and I thank her for the offer. Well, it does feel good to be able to drink cold water!


1730hrs

I ask my parents to head home for dinner. I'm still running a temperature and if the doc keeps his word, I'll still be warded for observations.


1740hrs

The nurses are taking orders for dinner. I ask for rice! With pork and vegetables. Mmmmm...


1800hrs

My doc (read one, no entourage) sticks his head into the ward, gives me a thumbs up and says that I can go.

Yes, that is all he did! He didn't even walk INTO the ward, just gives me the thumbs up from the corridor and says I'm good to go. What the?

I'm not complaining. I give my parents a quick call and have my dinner.

One of the grandfathers was saying that the doc was suay kuan and could have come earlier when my parents were around. I give him a "what to do?" shrug and chuckle.


1900hrs

I've finished dinner and have changed out of my hospital garbs. The nurse has also helped me with complete my paper work and relieved me of my "rolex watch", that's her lingo for the plastic tag containing my personal information that they put around my wrist. My next-bed-neighbor (the guy who's to be warded for another 12 days) jokingly asks her to remove his as well. Nice try!

The others are going to be discharged within the next one or two days so almost all is well.


1910hrs

Parents are here. I make the final payments for my hospital bill and go round wishing my ward mates well and speedy recovery.


Epilogue

I count myself lucky to have survived that scare with my leaky appendix. It could have been much worse had it ruptured but thankfully it didn't.

What made my stay in the hospital so pleasant was the very good attitude and responsiveness of the nurses and hospital staff. I can't say how thankful I am! So to the nurses and staff of AH, Ward 12, here's a BIG THANK YOU to you again!

Oh, and one last thing that I learned, when a doctor gives you a specific appointment time, give him or her a 2 hour buffer just to be safe! :-D


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Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Adventures with Appendicitis: Day 3 (Mon)

0700hrs

Oh boy, what do we have for breakfast today? M-I-L-O! Hurrah! I'm soooo easy to please!

0730hrs

One of the student nurses asks if I would like to go for my shower. Are you kidding? Of course I would! I've not had a shower in 2 days! But I don't think I'm ready to walk yet. No problemo, wheelchair to the rescue!

No, I am not showering in the wheel chair. I managed to get on my feet in the shower. Cold water and soap -- refreshing!

0800hrs

The doctor is supposed to be making his rounds. Tapping my fingers against the hospital bed railings.


0840hrs

The doctor says I'm making good progress. So when can I be discharged? After I move to solid foods? Great! When? I'm still on liquids right now doc. Continues tapping my fingers against the hospital bed.

Oh and Monday morning's doctor brought his entourage with him. I don't see the surgeon, my supposed attending doctor (you know, the guy with his name over my hospital bed) and the junior physician. But I do see Sunday morning's doctor. The Sunday doctor is apparently of a much lower seniority than this morning's doctor; Sunday doc seems to be taking notes as the Monday doc speaks. Talk about pecking order!


0900hrs

Since I'm in much less pain, since I've had my energy drink, and since I've had my shower, I feel so much better today. I'm also more observant. I'm currently sharing the ward with 5 other men -- 3 grandfathers in their 60s and 70s, a guy in his 40s and a guy who is in a very bad state i.e. his limbs are contorted. I think there's a medical name for his condition but I don't know what it is.

Well, 2 of the grandfathers are in here for diabetes treatment. They're pretty much able-bodied and mobile. Going through their paces of eating, strolling around (I'm envious!), resting, taking their medication, having the doctor visit.

The last grandfather apparently had gone through some surgery like me. He gets moody and puts up protests against eating or taking his medication.

It's a good thing he has a filial son who comes by often to help feed him. Lucky chap. Also, when his missus and female relatives visit, you'll always here them coaxing him in Teochew to eat and the implications of not eating! Everyone in the ward knows when they visit!

The guy in his 40s looked pretty ok to me. He is often active and up and about. In a later conversation with him, I found out that he had been in the hospital for close to 30 days! And they wanted to observe him for another 12 days! Horrors! How did he end up there in the first place? Apparently, he had gotten a greedy over the Chinese New Year period and downed 12 mandarin oranges and 2 slices of pineapples in one sitting rather than see it go to waste!

He felt very bloated and had difficulty breathing after his feast and had to be hospitalized. He was throwing up all kinds of funny stuff and they had to drain parts of his lungs and body cavity. The doctors never did figure out what caused it and explained that it was some kind of rare virus!

The last guy, well, he couldn't speak and no one visited. I never knew what he was in the hospital for.


1230hrs

Colleagues are here to visit me! Hurrah! Thanks for the gifts! It's a pity I can't eat the fruits or biscuits ... yet! Doctor's orders you know!

I'm actually standing up and walking around slowly. A female colleague asks me to sit down for fear that I may fall. I think after 2+ days of lying down and sitting, I ought to be standing and walking around to get my muscles pumping again.


1300hrs

Lunch and some more laxatives to help me with my process. Nasty!


1330hrs

Uh-oh, The laxative is kicking in! Gotta go!


1540hrs

And again!


1600hrs

Waiting for the doc. I've learnt to cope with the elasticity of time here.


1715hrs

The doc is here. Oh same chap! What luck! I can move on to solid food now! But they still want to monitor me as my low grade fever hasn't gone away yet.

Yes, I find out later from the great nurses at AH that because I had finally sat on the royal throne, I am allowed to eat solid food. Also, had I not gone through that, the doctor would not even consider letting me go home. Now all I have to do is to beat this low grade fever.


1800hrs

What? Soup only? The doc said I could have solid food?

Oh great, the nurses are getting me some ...... P O R R I D G E ! Yippee!


1810hrs

Porridge is good for health!


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Thursday, June 09, 2005

My Adventures with Appendicitis: Day 2 (Sun)

0200hrs

More readings! Dan Brown! Dan Brown! Well, the night shift nurses seem to have a meaner demeanour (the day nurses are pretty nice). She asked if I felt like ridding my body of its watery by-products.

Weird question. I've not eaten or drank anything for the past 18 hours, I have a big goodness knows how long an opening on my right, I'm bed-ridden, sedated, immobile; sorry, but I have the least inkling of doing that right now thank you very much!


0600hrs

Dan Brown time again and same funny question about my bodily urges. There's a new twist this time round. She tells me that they may be forced to use an aid to help me extract my watery bodily waste matter if I'm unable to do it on my own by the doctor's rounds at 8.

Fine, I'll give it a try. I don't know how that aid worked since I had no access to wikipedia then. I mean technology can't possibly be that bad right?

I huffed and puffed to get up from my bed. Tried ... no luck. Sorry nurse (sorry me as I was to find out later!).


0700hrs

Ah, here comes the good-looking junior physician from yesterday. Great! Oh no, are you giving me the same sermon as the night shift nurse? No doc! You don't look so good now!

Wait a minute. The aid is intrusive, causes a lot of discomfort and may cause infections if not done properly? Now why didn't the nurse say so? Thank you doc! I have the incentive to do something about this by 8!


0730hrs

The nurse helps me up again. No luck! Cursing myself.


0745hrs

Time is running out! I ask for help getting up again. I'm handed the portable human aqueous by-product container to try my luck again. I must be doing it wrong somehow.

Maybe it's because my feet are planted on the floor but my body's leaning against the bed. I need gravity to give me every single bit of help! Ok, let me try doing this standing up ... slowly (and yes, the curtains are drawn in case you're wondering).

Buy 4D!


0800hrs

Doc isn't here yet. Grrrrrrr


0830hrs

Oh, new doc. This isn't my attending physician. Same junior physician though.

Sunday Doc: Good morning.
Me: Good morning doc.
Sunday Doc: So any pain this morning?
Me: Only if I move.
Sunday Doc: Have you passed gas (human gaseous by-products from the nether ends for the politically correct)
Me: Er... no... (dammit what's up with these medical professionals and their morbid interest in my private matters?)
Me: Oh wait, I do have pain. I've been having some gastric pains from the lack of food and water. Any chance of eating a little or drinking something?
Sunday Doc: I'm afraid not. You're still running a temperature and will need to be on an IV drip. No food or water. But we'll give you an injection for the gastric pain.

That's plain evil doctor!


1030hrs

One of the staff assistants says I have to go for an X-ray.

I learn that nearly every single body movement requires the use of one's stomach muscles e.g. tossing in bed, wriggling in bed, sitting up in bed, attempting to stand up from the bed, attempting to sit in a wheelchair from a standing position.

I also learn that there are actually maneuvers to isolate the muscle contractions to one's LEFT stomach muscles, mostly anyway.


1035hrs

I learn that wheelchairs need suspension systems like cars, and they need proper tyres!

I felt every single bump on my way to the X-ray centre!

The radiologist also needs to lighten up.

Radiologist: Are you able to stand up?
Me: Not really.
Radiologist: No problem. We'll take an X-ray with you sitting in your wheel chair.

He makes me sit up a little and pushes the film down between my back and the wheelchair.

Radiologist: Smile ... (no, he didn't say that, just my silly humor).
Radiologist: Great! Now I need you to get onto that (very cold and very hard) bed (plank!). I need another shot.
Me: (protests meekly) (#$#@$&^%$#)


1200-1700hrs

I've been drifting in and out of sleep trying to ignore my hunger pains. The gastric jab is giving me some relief so that's good.

It's also a good thing I picked the B2 ward. With ceiling fan spinning at its max and causing my leg muscles to cramp up, who needs air-conditioning? And I definitely do not have the energy for TV or phone conversations!

Oh yes, and the great nurses at AH explained to me why the medical fraternity had this unusual interest in my bodily functions. General anaesthesia causes these tracts to shut down. If I'm unable to clear my body's by-products, it means my body isn't functioning normally yet and hence, I'm not allowed food or water. See, that was simple. Now why didn't the doc explain that to me?

So you can guess what I was hard at work at the rest of the day!

Relatives came over around lunch time so that was good for the spirit.

1800hrs

Yet another doctor. No sign of doc who has his name tagged over my hospital bed.

Evening Doc: So did you ...
Me: (trying to sound chirpy) Yes, I did doc.
Evening Doc: Great, we'll start you on clear fluids and move you up gradually

I did the silent fist pumps from my hospital bed. Finally!


1900hrs

Dinner time! Clear soup! Sweet! Must remember not to gulp it down too quickly. I don't want to start coughing!

Nurse gives me some panadol to control my fever. I find out later that it's pretty normal to run a slight temperature after an operation. She also hands me a clear liquid -- laxative.

I'm thinking to myself, I haven't had a bite to eat for 2 days. All I had for dinner was clear soup (and I only finished a third of the bowl) and I'm expected to clear my body's solid waste matter? Am I missing something here?


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My Adventures with Appendicitis: Day 1 (Sat) Part 2

1830hrs

All I remember was feeling really groggy and hearing voices around me. Now who on earth is telling me to move a little this-a-way and a little that-a-way. Oh right! The nurses in my ward!

Apparently, I had been in the operating theatre for close to 3 hours.

Someone is explaining (probably the surgeon, but I was too groggy to know for sure) that the procedure took longer than expected as there were complications. My appendix had apparently decided to spill some of its content prematurely and the docs were having a vacuuming practice or something inside of me.

What I did feel was the big bandaid they had around me. It covered my entire right abdomen! Beat that!


1900hrs

Everyone in the ward is having their dinner now. Oh the aroma (yes, even for hospital food)! I can feel the hunger pangs but I'm not supposed to eat! Or drink! Because I just came out of surgery! But I can have that tasty l'il 0.7% saline solution intravenous drip for dinner thank you very much!


2000hrs

Zzzzzz ... I am stirred from my slumber by the nurses. They want to take my readings. I wish I could muster some strength to tell them Dan Brown a while ago but all I could do was croak. Need food ... water... precious...


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My Adventures with Appendicitis: Day 1 (Sat) Part 1

0830hrs

I've been having this odd abodominal pain and mild bouts with fever recently. My family doctor tells me I overstrained my muscles but I said my overstrained stomach muscles never felt strained inside. Anyway, it is back again this morning and the pain has gone a little lower on my right side. It doesn't feel right; I'll head back to the doc after breakfast.


0930hrs

Family Doc: (Spot A) How does this feel?
Me: A little painful
Family Doc: (Spot P) And here?
Me: Owwww! Yes, definitely painful!
Family Doc: (Spot C) Here?
Me: Not there
Family Doc: (Back to Spot P) Here?
Me: Owww! Yes! (hey, didn't you feel that already?!?)
Family Doc: (scribbles something on a memo) You better head on over to the A&E ...

I peeked at the memo - "Possible acute appendicitis". Uh oh!

1000hrs

So here I am at the Alexandra Hospital (AH) A&E. The registration to see the A&E doc is pretty smooth. They actually have an administrative assistant walking around helping the nurses with people traffic direction and registration.

A&E Doc: (Spot A) How does this feel?
Me: A little painful
A&E Doc: (Spot P) And here?
Me: Owwww! Yes, definitely painful!
A&E Doc: (Spot C) Here?
Me: Nope
A&E Doc: (Back to Spot P) Here?
Me: Owww! Yes! (@!()@%(@& are you guys in cahoots or what?)
A&E Doc: Ok, I need to take some blood and run a few tests
Me: (First you prod me where it hurts BAD, now you want to "poke" me?) Ok doc.


1040hrs

The results are back. My white blood cell count is high and I'm to be warded immediately and have my appendicetomy done the very same day. The A&E doc pages for the surgeon and asks that I complete the administrative work to check myself into the hospital as soon as possible.

Oh, and I'm not to eat or drink anything before the surgery. Nothing, zip. Ok!


1045hrs

Decisions, decision, decisions. The staff at the payment counter explains to me the various wards that are available in AH i.e. A1, B1, B2, C (the policy maker must have been inspired by his/her GCE 'O' level results ... obviously someone wasn't very happy about getting A2s).

A1 - I'd hate to be in an isolated ward and the charges are crazy.
B1 - 4 to a ward, air-conditioned, personal TV, personal phone ... sounds good.
Wait, B2 - 6 to a ward and some euphemistic word for non-air-conditioned ward.
So if I had to stay a week, I'd fork out about S$1,000 for a B2 bed; I pay an additional S$2,000 more I get to enjoy air-conditioning, TV and phone! Joy!

B2.


1130hrs

The attending doctor (the doctor's name that they put over my hospitable bed), the junior physician (good looking too I must say) and the surgeon are by my bed. They put me through the same pain as their brethren before finally concluding that they have to operate on me later at between 2 to 2:30 pm. Again, I am told not to eat or drink anything. Roger that!

Joy, more paperwork. Some consent form that I've understood the implications yada-yada-yada.


1430hrs

Waiting. I've already changed into my operating gown.


1445hrs

Still waiting.

Note to self - I think doctors have a problem with punctuality.


1500hrs

Finally! I get wheeled off to the operating theatre.


1505hrs

So here I am, lying in the operating theatre, jokingly asking the (also good looking) anaesthetist what they will do with my appendix and if I could take a picture of it when they're done with it. She laughed and said that they'll grind it up and feed it to the dogs ... That was a joke! She said they'll send it to the lab for tests to find out the cause of the infection.


1510hrs

They start giving me injections and wiring me up to the thousands of probes. I feel like Cypher being re-inserted into the Matrix ...

Anaesthesist: Ok, we're going to administer GA (General Anaesthesia). When I put this mask over you, I want you to breathe in deep.
Me: Will do doc.
Anaesthesist: (fixes the breathing apparatus over me) Now breathe
Me: (takes in about 3 breaths) Huff puff huff puff huff puff
Anaesthesist: Are you breathing? Please breathe...
Me: (takes in another 4 breaths ... of course I am breathing! That's what you told me to do!)

I think she got a little "pissed" with my resistance to the "gas" and upped the ante! I could literally smell the "gas" after the initial 7 gulps and was out cold after the next 3! Yes, I counted!

(to be continued)

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Recovering from my Appendicectomy Operation

Appendicitis -- nasty stuff. I had an attack last Saturday, had the operation the same afternoon, and was hospitalised through Tuesday evening. Slowly recovering at home now. So many blogs to read, so many things to write about. Step by step! I feel like a 100 year old right now with my constrained post-op mobility!

Interesting stories about my experience to follow when I have the energy!

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Blogshares-let

If you play blogshares like I do, you will know how positively addictive it can get! I actually signed up for a Premium membership for goodness sake! Anyway, it got on my nerves a little when I had to manually cut and paste URLs into blogshares to find out if a certain blog was listed so I came up with a small javascript to automate the process.

Presenting, the Blogshares-let or B$-let.

Instruction:

1) Drag and drop the Blogshares-let or B$-let links onto your web browser bookmarks
2) Browse to the main page of the blog (in my case, yckoh.blogspot.com)
3) Click on the Blogshares-let or B$-let link that is in your bookmarks.
4) The B$-let automatically brings you to the blogshares page of the blog (if it is listed)!

Enjoy!

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Spot the "Gahmen" Contest @ Bloggers.SG

I was thinking a T-shirt with "I attended Bloggers.SG 2005" printed on the front and "All I got was this lousy T-shirt" on the back would make a great souvenir for the upcoming convention. But this little PR stunt by Steve in an effort to generate some attention on his blog gave me a new idea. Let's have a "Spot the Gahmen" contest!

This is a parody of the "Spot the Fed" contest at DEFCON (annual geek convention in Las Vegas for hacking) where you try to spot attendees from the federal government like the FBI or wherever.

The rules for the Spot the "Gahmen" contest will be as follows (adapted from "Spot the Fed"):

1. If you see some shady MIW (Men in White) earphone sunglass wearing type lurking about, point him/her out. Just get the attention of the organizers and claim out loud you think you have spotted a gahmen. The people around at the time will then (I bet) start to discuss the possibility of whether or not a real gahmen has been spotted. Once enough people have decided that a gahmen has been spotted, and the Identified Gahmen (I.G.) has had a say, and informal vote takes place, and if enough people think it's a true gahmen, or gahmen wanna-be, or other nefarious style character, you win a "I spotted the gahmen!" shirt, and the I.G. gets an "I am the gahmen!" shirt.

NOTE TO THE GAHMENS: This is all in good fun, and if you survive unmolested and undetected, but would still secretly like an "I am the gahmen!" shirt to wear around the office or when booting in doors, please contact me when no one is looking and the organizers will take your order(s). Just think of all the looks of awe you'll generate at work wearing this shirt while you file away all the paperwork you'll have to produce over this convention. I'm sure the organizers won't turn in any gahmens who contact them, they have to be spotted by others.

Of course, obvious gahmen folks like James, Daryl and people manning the Shine booth (if there's one) do not count. How about it organizers?

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Computers Can Make You Stupid

Buried among the comments in tomorrow.sg's blog on "Bloggers.SG 2005 - Date and Venue"
Wow, sponsorship for refreshments! Fantastic! But do we have to give our full name and IC number? :)

Posted by YC on 31 May, 2005 - 2:53pm
YC > only women need to give handphone number. Hahha. Joking hor.

Posted by cowboycaleb on 31 May, 2005 - 3:04pm
caleb > Be careful what you ask for, you may get some angry ex-boyfriend's number!

Posted by YC on 31 May, 2005 - 3:10pm

This little IC/handphone number repartee with Caleb reminds me of a recent experience I had while doing what all law-abiding Singapore IC (Identity Card) holders have to do when they hit the big three-O. No, it's not telling everyone that you're only 21, which reminds me of a George Carlin joke on aging, but I digress. When you turn 30 here, you need to re-register your IC with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority(ICA).

So what happened was, they sent me the notice 10 days before my birthday asking me to either complete the re-registration and payment online, or to post the completed form back. I chose the online method for reasons of convenience. Having filled in my log in information, I then proceeded to click on the option to re-register. It rejected me repeatedly, and I didn't know why.

I called ICA to ask if I had the log in information wrong somehow. While speaking with the customer service officer, it dawned upon me that maybe, just maybe, the clever system was designed to only accept my re-registration when I mathematically turn t-h-i-r-t-y and not a few miserable days before that! So I asked if that was the case. I swear I could hear his sheepish grin when he told me that yes, that was the case!

So, had I mailed in my forms, I could have collected my new IC before I turn three-oh. But because I chose the more convenient and efficient online method, I had to wait till I hit AVG(29,31) before I could!

Oh well, it sure beats the Duck and the Hippo!

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Israeli Computer Industrial Espionage

Bruce Schneier summarised the Haaretz article
Dozens of leading companies and top private investigators were named yesterday as suspects in a massive industrial espionage investigation that local police have been conducting for the past six months.

The companies suspected of commissioning the espionage, which was carried out by planting Trojan horse software in their competitors' computers, include the satellite television company Yes, which is suspected of spying on cable television company HOT; cell-phone companies Pelephone and Cellcom, suspected of spying on their mutual rival Partner; and Mayer, which imports Volvos and Hondas to Israel and is suspected of spying on Champion Motors, importer of Audis and Volkswagens. Spy programs were also located in the computers of major companies such as Strauss-Elite, Shekem Electric and the business daily Globes.

Link (via Bruce Schneier), also reported on Wired.

A case of an "insider" attack, an insider tricked into introducing the trojan into the infected computers, something that would even escape anti-virus programs because each trojan was programmed uniquely at a cost of NIS16,000 each or approximately USD3,600. Now that's peanuts judging by the company secrets it was stealing and the damage it was doing to its rivals. It'll make an interesting case study, and it's only the beginning.

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Monday, May 30, 2005

Too cold for you dear?

Simon World wrote
A study by a Hong Kong university has revealed what any person living here could tell you: Hong Kong's office buildings are the coldest in the world (Yahoo):

Most Hong Kong offices keep their temperature at between 21 (70 Fahrenheit) to 22 degrees Celsius (72 Fahrenheit) _ with the coldest office measuring 17.6 degrees (64 Fahrenheit) _ well below the recommended 25 degrees (77 Fahrenheit)...

... But if not for these Arctic conditions, how would the city's tai tais be able to parade their winter fashions?
Link

Heartless Hong Kong administrators! We have it good here in Singapore -- 24°C* (75F)! Beat that, 1°C (~2F)! But seriously, I did a search on recommended temperature settings and found an energy conservation checklist on Energy Market Authority (EMA) website.

Temperature and humidity settings

For human comfort the recommended temperature setting is between 22.5°C (72.5F) and 25.5°C (77.9F) while the relative humidity should not exceed 70%.

And the fashion phenomenon in Singapore is to parade one's windbreaker.


*From what I can recall, can't find it on any official gov.sg sites. Point me to a link!

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Surrender after 60 years: two soldiers ask to go home

Deborah Cameron of SMH wrote
As young conscripts they pledged never to to surrender. Yesterday as old men they emerged from their hiding place in the Philippines - two Japanese Imperial Army soldiers, asking to go home.

Discovered after a chance encounter with a Philippines businesswoman who had friends in Japan, the men reportedly have documents that show they were attached to the army's 30th Division. Until yesterday they had been listed among Japan's war dead.

Word of the exiles became public yesterday, but the efforts to trace their history date from December when a businesswoman from the Philippines rang a friend in Japan to ask for help in getting the men home.

The men are Yoshio Yamakawa 87, and Tsuzuki Nakauchi, 85.

Link

Just simply amazing. I recall reading something about this in the 1980s on Ripley's Believe It or Not books about a Japanese soldier surrendering decades after WWII but this takes the cake!

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Gerrard questioned ...

HA! Milan fans you think? ;)
(via Voxeros)

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Day of the Underdogs

What a night and morning! The Contender final, the UEFA Champions League final, the American Idol final. What more can one ask for in the span of 24 hours of television, especially for one who doesn't watch much TV these days?

And, to make things even more dramatic, all the underdogs won!

CONTENDER. Sergio Mora, aka the Latin Snake, while having an impressive 16W (3KO) 0L professional record, was the underdog. Peter Manfredo has a 24W (10KO) 2L and is 3rd in the world rankings. The finals was a let down -- too many commercial breaks and no oomph (meaning the lack of slow motion dramatization and music to go with it). Tells you how much of a boxing fan I am, ha! But, the underdog won. Sergio beat Peter easily with his superior speed and fitness.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. The champions league was another story altogether. Liverpool, the underdog, came back from the brink of defeat, a 3-0 deficit at half time to be exact, and won the trophy in the penalty shoot-out. How about that for a football Houdini trick! Reminds me of a soccer saying from a college friend, "The ball is round, anything can happen!". Indeed!

AMERICAN IDOL. Last, but not least, the American Idol, the series that I followed least closely. Rocker, Bo Bice, lost to the underdog country singer (Hey, Katong King said it, I didn't!), Carrie Underwood. I'm a little disappointed that the favorite didn't win. It would have been nice to have a rocker win that competition for a change! Well, I'm sure he'll still make it big, especially when he so impressed Clive Davis!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Pumpabikes!

New Scientist's's article - Human-powered hydrofoil seeks jumpy riders
The first human-powered commercial hydrofoil, resembling a bizarre cross between a pogo stick and a jet ski, has gone on sale.

Riders operate the "Pumpabike" by bouncing up and down on a small platform at the rear of the contraption, whilst holding onto a steering column at the front... (video clip)

Link (via Huffington Post)

Oh boy, I want one of these for Christmas! This is the way to travel on water, and eco-friendly too! Information is a little lacking on Pumpabike's website.

(Huffington Post)

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Naming Singapore's Inaugural Blog Convention

James's comment on why one of the candidates for naming Singapore's inaugural Bloggers' Convention could be Singapore Tea Party

Has anyone heard of Boston Tea Party?

Posted by jseng on 23 May, 2005 - 10:47pm
What? Copy from Boston? Lack of originality and character, I say. I mean, we need a name that gives it that Uniquely Singapore flavor yes? And in keeping up with the Tea spirit, how about ... *tongue in cheek* Singapore Bloggers' Tea Session?

There, I have all the buzzwords in. Guaranteed to fail Bullfighter (Singapore Edition).

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

Outrageous censorship in Spain

Jorge Cortell is forced to resign and censured after defending the legal use of P2P networks in Spain.
Lecturer censored in Spanish University (UPV) for defending P2P networks

I have been teaching "Intellectual Property" (although I dislike the term) among other subjects at a Masters Degree in the Polytechnic University of Valencia UPV (Spain) for over 5 years. Two weeks ago I was scheduled (invited by the ETSIA Student Union and Linux Users' Group for the celebration of "Culture Week") to give a conference in one of the university's buildings. During that conference I was to analyze the legal use and benefits of the P2P networks, even when dealing with copyrighted works (according to the Spanish Intellectual Property Law, Private Copy provision, and many research papers, books and court rulings). I was even going to use the network to "prove" that it was legal, since members of the Collecting Society "SGAE" had appeared on TV and newspapers saying that "P2P networks are ilegal" (sic) just like that, and to that extent I even contacted SGAE, National Police, and the Attorney General in advance to inform them about it....


Link (via Boing Boing)

Pressured by the Spanish Recording Industry Association, "Promusicae", his Dean denied his booking of the conference venue thrice, forcing Jorge to use the cafeteria instead. Thereafter, he was forced to resign by the Director of the Masters Degree Program, removed from their official sites, and his former Vice-Dean for Communications denied he was a teacher even though he had taught a good number of subjects for the past 5 years!

And I thought this only happened in politics, not the academia!

If you're outraged by this like I am, spread the word!

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Kensington Lock - Hacked by Toilet Roll

If anyone's using a Kensington Lock to secure your notebook, it's time to reconsider (via Micropersuasion)! A toilet roll can pick that lock (video here) ! Horrors! I think you can use a McDonald's straw as a replacement judging by the diameter of that modified roll?

(wwu.edu) (rampurple)

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Law and Justice in Malaysia

New Straits Times's Kalimullah Hassan wrote Law was upheld, but whither justice?
AHMAD Harizal Ahmad Fauzie and Mangal Bahadur Gurung will probably never meet each other or even know of each other's existence. One is from an impoverished broken family in Perlis, and the other a Nepalese who came to Malaysia to earn enough money for a better future for his family.

Harizal broke the law; Mangal did not.

Both their stories touched the hearts of Malaysians because they were both jailed, one because the law says so and the other because the system showed its flaws.

Harizal was a National Service defaulter because of economic hardship. He had stopped schooling after Form 2 to help his mother, who was making barely RM150, to support his family. When the courts sentenced him to to pay a RM600 fine or face two weeks jail, the public outpour to help him pay off the fine was nothing short of overwhelming. But he had to spend the night in the slammer anyway because he wasn't able to raise that money by the end of the day of the sentencing.

Mangal, the Nepalese, had to bear the brunt of a stroke of the ratan and 40 days jail time because he couldn't speak enough Bahasa Malaysia to tell the immigration authorities that his employer had not only kept 10 months of his wages, but also his original work permit and travel documents. The Malaysian Immigration Chief actually said it was Mangal's fault that he didn't tell his immigration folks the truth and that his people were only doing their job.

IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer) - since the judge had kindly given Harizal until the end of the day to settle the fine, would it be too much to ask for a 24 hour time limit from sentencing to settle the fine or face jail time? The generous people in Malaysia would have raised the money for him easily.

In Mangal's case, I still can't believe the Immigration Chief said what he said. Good way of passing the blame bucket around I guess. But I just wonder, in such cases of injustice, is there no compensation for the aggrieved aside from a simple apology? How do you compensate 40 days jail time and a stroke of the ratan?
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Monday, May 16, 2005

Down with the flu

I hate catching the flu bug. Fever, runny nose, sore throat, lethargy, temperature gymnastics. Sounds like a Nescafe brew: 5-in-1. Of course, the medication that the doctor prescribes is actually just that! Ok, no reading of newsfeeds. Just catching up with e-mail, comments and blogshares. :P
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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Amazon MP3 Round-up (May 14, 2005)

Good songs from Amazon's free MP3 download (full song of at least 128kbps):
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Seoul Motor Show 2005

Lost Nomad's rather disappointing pictures from the Seoul Motor Show 2005 (via Simon's World). The camera man forgot to tell the lovely ladies to stand aside when taking the pictures of the eye-candy! :)

Obligatory engineer joke

Two engineering students met on campus one day. The first engineer calls out to the other, "Nice Ferrari! Where did you get it?"

"Well," replies the other, "I was walking to class the other day when this pretty, young lady drives up to me in her F430 Spider. She jumps out of the car, strips off her body-hugging leather clothes, and screams 'Take ANYTHING you want!'"

"Good choice," says the first, "her clothes wouldn't have fit you anyway."

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

iDA's iN2005 Masterplan

James announces the iN2005:

in2015.jpgA few days ago, IDA announced the next phase after Connection Singapore plan called iN 2015 (Intelligent Nation 2015)1, a IT masterplan for the next 10 years for Singapore for work, life and leisure. Unlike previous masterplan where it is done internally, this time IDA is engaging the community to provide input to this masterplan.

So where do you want Singapore to be in 2015?

Decisions are made by those who show up so do participate!

1 Also see IDA Press Release

Link (jseng); Also spotted on Tomorrow (via Calm One).

Way to go iDA! I'm all for this!

Before I start with my positives, the realist in me asks (some questions answered later):
  • What happened to the previous masterplans (ICT21? IT2000?)? Are they dated?
  • Would 2015 be a little too far-fetched for an infocomms plan considering how fast and unpredictably infocomms technology (ICT) moves?
  • Hey, don't you hire people to do this planning for you? How come we're doing the work? Read "Terms and Conditions" rule j
j) ... their assigns may in their absolute discretion, use the entries or parts thereof for the said purposes without reference to or acknowledgement of the participants

Done. Why ANOTHER masterplan? Plans are, well, plans! They chart a certain direction for an organization or a group to follow, and you learn to use it as a beacon of sorts, adjusting your course to adapt to the variable wind directions, sometimes the light on the beacon dies out and you have to find another beacon. 2015 is a little over the horizon. I, for one, could not have imagined the current state of development ICT back in 1995!

So how about iDA planners? Can't they do the job? Sure, they can. But the publicity it's getting from engaging the rest of us also means more buy-in and greater ownership! Chances are, it will also provide some new ideas they haven't thought of or might have ruled out as being too trivial. Whoever thought of this is a genius. But seriously, if we, the blogosphere, want to have more say, this is a great opportunity.

Getting Organised

Well, it wasn't stated that the competition was open to individuals only so I'm assuming we can form groups. I'm doing this because I'm not the most eloquent writer, nor the most creative dreamer, nor the geekiest of geeks. :) But I'm interested! Oh wait, what is this? I need to fill in my IC number? :(

Note to James: Can we bend some of these rules e.g. eliminate rule (j) and allow group participation? Why? More ownership and engagement! Just two small suggestions.

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The Choice of Response for the Acidflask Saga

Mr Brown wrote Next time I dowan to speak to the press liao:
The deepest irony is that in their bid to defend the reputation of their organisation, their esteemed leader, and ahem, Singapore, A*Star's legal letter approach (which they were totally within their legal right to pursue) ended up making Singapore look a little silly and draconian to the rest of the world. Especially since the Gahmen has been telling the world and their own people, how open and tolerant Singapore is becoming here.

You can send out press releases all over the world to declare that you consider "the matter closed", but once the blogosphere gets hold of it, the matter will not close until the blogosphere says it is.

Link(mrbrown); Definitive guide (via Singapore Angle)

Thanks a lot. Now, besides the beaten-to-death topic of Singapore's ban on chewing gum*, I have to think of an appropriate response for the blogger lawsuit case when spreading the good name of Singapore to my international friends.

My thoughts on why this route was taken? Because (1) it's the fastest and most efficient way, (2) it's in the SOP (standard operating procedure), (3) the SOP has always worked so why bother exploring new methods? I can only imagine the board room protests made by the PR team when that response was proposed!

As Mr Brown has aptly put, the unintended consequences of using the tried and tested method is giving us a big PR headache. So much for risk-taking and being creative as far as responses are concerned. I wonder what alternatives were considered? Preetamrai's suggestion of fighting fire with fire sounded feasible. Someone blogs something inappropriate about you, you counter-blog (sounds like a new Streetfighter game blog-counter-blog, blog-counter-blog).

Why bother counter-blogging since it's going to take up more time? I mean time is of the essence (and all other time-memorable quotes) right? Because sometimes, the most efficient ways of doing things aren't the most effective ways. You don't win the hearts and minds of people by going the "I know better" way followed by "See, I'm right" declaration especially with a thinking society. It's a sure-fire way of disengaging the people you intend to work with, not to mention the perception it creates of one's image! So who gained here? My guess is ... er ... the lawyers?

But I am glad of one thing. I'm glad that this saga didn't drag out into a full-blown court case i.e. there was damage control. Time to move on in the Singapore blogosphere (translation: time for the MSM to play catch up).

*I know, it's banning of non-prescription chewing gum but try telling that to my friends!

Update:
May 14 - A good example of a counter-blog by SG Contrarian (via Singapore Angle).

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Intermec CK60 Mobile Computer

Meet the Intermec CK60 Mobile Computer (via Daily Wireless)
(Intermec)

Meet the CK60's mum and dad:
Mum Dad (Linksys)

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