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Showing posts from June, 2006

Microsoft is fighting piracy

My computer is bugged by Windows Update twice this week for Windows XP Genuine efforts. It shows in Windows Update history as below. The story behind must be very interesting. Looks like MS released a patch, some hackers hacked it, MS found out and released another patched patch. Windows XP Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474) Friday, June 30, 2006 Automatic Updates Windows XP Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474) Wednesday, June 28, 2006 Automatic Updates

SDC - Singapore Discovery Center

SDC is under renovation at least since 2005. It is a good example of project overrun. We went there several times. Everytime the targeted re-open date is postponed on the electrical board. "by the end of 2005", "by the new year of 2006", "by April", "by May". Until June, it is finally soft launched. "Soft" means not fully completed, but almost completed. The ticket is SGD 10 for adult, 6 for child. SDC has 3D movie theatre, puppet show room, a huge hemisphere simulation hall (not open), lots of simulation stands, especially a robot. This robot is so smart. He can interact with visitors in real time , in both English and Chinese, amazing! Photo and videotaping is not allowed inside. SDC functions very similar to Singapore Science Center, I think these two can be combined into one center.

补牙

周日的下午就开始牙疼, 开始还隐隐约约的, 后来就疼的钻心, 只好吃了两粒Advil才能睡觉. 今天早上去看牙, 原来又有一颗牙被蛀掉了一快. 为什么说又呢? 因为刚来新加坡不久, 有一次吃完海南鸡饭, 以为是一个鸡骨头卡在牙缝里, 就使劲抠啊抠, 结果是牙掉了一块. 觉得亚洲的饮食还是对牙齿不利的, 因为酸甜苦辣的味道都很重, 而且面食偏多. 在加上公司里免费的苏打饮料. 舌头肚子享福了, 牙齿却遭罪了. 也奇怪, 我的一口从小就没打好基础的牙齿, 在美国待了5,6年, 牙从来没疼过. 为什么说从小就没打好基础呢? 当初好象在中国大家也不重视什么口腔卫生, 牙齿健康之类的. 据说我们那的水含氟比较多, 小时候还用过四环素, 后来都证明对牙齿很不好.人啊什么的看来还是进化的不好啊, 那么重要的牙齿,偏偏会被蛀, 要被抽神经, 填洞, 甚至拔掉.

Young Parents Fiesta@Marina Square

There is actually another family related event at East Coast Park. Unfortunately it is raining. The whole show ground is just a big muddy place. So we switch to Suntec area. There is another noisy expo at Marina Square. Lots of people are there because of the rain.

Crocs sandals

Suddenly one special looking sandals get popular. The brand is Crocs. It even opens a brand store at Marina Square. The design idea is from Dutch wooden shoes, I guess. A pair of Crocs sandals is sold at around SGD 50. The price is justified for what it is made of - Croslite. Based on Crocs website, "Croslite™, a proprietary Closed Cell Resin (PCCR) which is NOT plastic NOR rubber. Croslite™ is closed-cell in nature and anti-microbial, which virtually eliminates odor. it is an extraordinary impact absorbing resin material developed for maximum cushioning. its closed cell properties resist odor, inhibits bacterial and fungal growth and are non toxic. this versatile material can be worn next to skin and be cleaned with just soap and water." However, it really looks like made of plastic or rubber, and the design is unique. Replica comes. they are sold at SGD 20, SGD 10, SGD 5 depending on quality.

A special designed DUNHILL box

I bought this at a local 7-11 store. The box is special design to promote its new charcoal filtration feature from 2006. 7 pieces on one side, 13 pieces on another side. Most likely DUNHILL don't want put this ads on the box, mixed with those disgusting figures required by Singapore government.

The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - Hall of Shame

Based on PC World, the following products are honored with the worst of worst. Some are mentioned in book In Search of Stupidity , some are in the dust, some are never heard of. Most of them popped with dotcom doom. 1. America Online (1989-2006) 2. RealNetworks RealPlayer (1999) 3. Syncronys SoftRAM (1995) 4. Microsoft Windows Millennium (2000) 5. Sony BMG Music CDs (2005) 6. Disney The Lion King CD-ROM (1994) 7. Microsoft Bob (1995) 8. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (2001) 9. Pressplay and MusicNet (2002) 10. Ashton-Tate dBASE IV (1988) 11. Priceline Groceries and Gas (2000) 12. PointCast Network (1996) 13. IBM PCjr. (1984) 14. Gateway 2000 10th Anniversary PC (1995) 15. Iomega Zip Drive (1998) 16. Comet Systems Comet Cursor (1997) 17. Apple Macintosh Portable (1989) 18. IBM Deskstar 75GXP (2000) 19. OQO Model 1 (2004) 20. DigitalConvergence CueCat (2000) 21. Eyetop Wearable DVD Player (2004) 22. Apple Pippin @World (1996) 23. Free PCs (1999) 24. DigiScents iSmell (2001) 25. Sharp RD3

Visit ICA to acknowledge SPR Approval

After received the approval letter, we went through the medical check (only required for 15 years old and up). It has simple body check, HIV blood test and X-ray. I also need my current employer to sign another form to show I am still employed by the same company as I applied based on. With all these prepared, today we went to ICA building. It is on the 5th floor. We arrived at 10:30AM. Take the photo, 4 pieces for $5. Get a queue number and wait. And wait. When it is all done, it is 3:00PM. Whew, what a long day! The waiting hall is crowded. The air inside is cool but doesn't feel very clean. We paid SGD 470 in total, which includes 2 entry permits, $100 each, 3 re-entry permits, $50 each, 2 IC, $50 each, and $20 for some fee.

Everyone goes Subway

The branding practice of many USA fast food chains is really amazing. Sooner or later, you know those names somewhere in this global village. In Jurong Point, a new Subway is open recently. Now along that side, KFC, MacDonald, Subway, PizzaHut, and some other brands from France, Japan. The subway tastes good and healthy, but just not so many variety, and the seasoning is too complex. I remembered the first PizzaHut opened in ZhongGuanChun, Beijing years ago. There was a huge UCLA poster on the wall shamelessly. What UCLA to do with PizzaHut anyway? Generally speaking, PizzaHut's pizza tastes much better in Asia than in USA.

读南方周末的<当年事>

这是一本汇集南方周末上发表的有关50-70年代中国发生的政治运动的回忆的书. 读着当事人对当年历史的回忆, 不能不叫人惊心动魄. (一) 刘少奇请教式的问道:"对党内走资本主义道路的当权派,我总是理解不了.走资本主义道路的人有, 但是资产阶级都要消亡了, 怎么可能有什么派? 一讲到派, 人就太多了,不是到处都有敌我矛盾.煤炭部, 冶金部, 哪个是走资本主义道路的当权派?" 毛泽东脱口而出:"张霖之就是!" (1967年1月22日,张被早反派批斗殴打至死, 是文革中最早被殴打至死的正部级官员). 当然, 发生在作为国家主席的刘少奇身上的事情大家也都知道了. (二) 北京大红罗厂南巷20号, 是黄家外婆李秀蓉于1952年话一万余元购置的. 文革前, 将其中两间租给了海军某部的姜某一家. 因为一件很不起眼的小事,黄家的儿媳汪克宽准备从家里拿一些东西去破四旧, 被姜某的父亲挡住, 认为她在转移财产. 然后就汇报给当地派出所. 之后红卫兵就来到了他们家. 在柜自里搜查出弹壳. 弹壳是以前解放战争时期捡的. 当然现在被当成了逃亡地主要变天的武器. 经过一番毒打, 家里5人死于棍棒之下. 其中一个是北京医学院毕业, 一个是清华大学毕业. (三) 那样的年代, 就算坐在家里, 都有可能惹祸上身. 更不要说有人敢站出来对文革甚至伟大的毛主席提出批评了. 彭德怀尚是国防部长, 元帅,都未可幸免, 就更不用说一个小老百姓了. 张志新被杀之前, 被关在只能坐不能躺的小号里, 几天下来, 张已经用馒头沾自己的月经血吃.被执行死刑之前,被割断了喉管.在那样的年代里,作为反革命被枪毙, 张的丈夫, 女儿, 儿子还要被逼公开表态,划清界限. "坚决镇压, 把她处死刑, 为人民除害. 我们连尸体也不要. 政府愿意怎么处理就怎么处理, 我们都拥护."何等的人间惨事!

Daily Stress

Yesterday, I stopped at the red light. The long vehicle right in front of me apparently wanted to make a U-turn. However, the vehicle was just too long to turn such a small angle. It begun to back off. All I could do was back too and honk as well. I felt I was almost pushed back by this vehicle. Luckily the car behind me was also able to leave some space for me to back my car. I yelled at the driver F**K words. Now during the morning rush, there was a plenty of time, I was in the good mood for the day. However, my daughter woke up and couldn't find a tiny toy. She was then in soon-to-cry mode. I was trying to look for it, but couldn't. Minutes by minutes, I lost my good mood too. And it was 20 minutes passed!

Annoying Tropical Birds

The wild birds in Singapore are beautiful, with bright yellow, red and blue feathers, but the chirping of some species are really annoying. Don't they sleep during the night? Last night I was keeping woken up by some bird's noise - very loud and unpleasant sounds. All I was thinking is how I can kill that bird.

Bus Uncle Video

This is a handphone video clip about a stressed old man scolds a poor young man on the Hong Kong bus. It gets phenomenal late on the internet video share, wiki and local media. Famous quotes such as You got your pressure, I got mine too! 3 strikes of Not Settled http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2158402221665434053&q=bus+uncle

Coffee, a dose of magic supplement

More and more coffee research conclusions come out. The results are so promising. Drinking coffee is good to your heart, blood, brain, liver, skin, mental health, and whatever left in your body. Coffee makers are happy. Coffee addicts are happy. Everyone is on the good track. But it sounds to me just another big conspiracy.

Pixar Cars Poster

Too few money, too many bills

Just paid over SGD 1000 for car insurance, another bill comes. It is vehicle licence fee. SGD 475.00 for 6 months, or SGD 950.00 for a year. Ain't they too greedy? 1K for insurance, 1K for licence, plus 3K for parking and ERP, and 3K for gas. It varies vehicle by vehicle, but pretty much in that range - 7 to 8 grands a year for driving a car in Singapore. Oh, yes, don't forget the car's value is decreasing year by year.

看《车》

美国人在享受连锁店带来的方便的同时,一直在担心象StarBucks, PizzaHut这样的店子会挤跨那些社区小咖啡店, 老爸老妈经营的pizza店。使得原来很亲近友善, 大家都相互熟识关心的社区关系随之而消失。很多人向大都会涌去寻找梦想的同时,也失去了心灵的宁静而迷失的自己。这一题材的电影Hollywood也拍了不少,一个成功的NYC Sales, 或者LA Broker因为种种机缘被丢在了一个几乎时间停止流动的小镇上所发生的故事。一般他都会找到心灵的反省和一份真爱。《车》也是这样的一个故事, 不过都换成车了。如同PIXAR以前的CG动画制作一样,用昆虫,鱼,玩具来展开故事。 但是电影不愧是一种创作的艺术。同样简单的故事,加上精彩细致的电脑制作,富有创意的笑料, 大人小朋友就都看得高兴了。电影里的展现的66号公路周围景色,真的是让人看了赏心悦目啊。有些小细节,很生动。从LV开往LA的高速上,真的有一段从黑漆漆的荒野,突然峰回路转, 看见远处LA Metro的灯火辉煌。还有那个厌倦了LA生活的美女法拉力。车牌上的Tatoo, 被赞美后羞答答的表情,太搞笑了。如果是人, 不就是后面G-String部位常见的那种Tatoo吗?当然也有让小朋友看了哈哈笑的镜头。里头的车的风格和动感也很棒。 Pixar现在被Disney买了下来, 希望不要毁了那个一跳一跳的小灯。Disney最近出的两部CG动画真的是很烂。

LV Clone

Can you buy fake cheap brand replicas in Singapore. Yes, sure you can. The most interesting and popular T-shirt in Singapore is Hark Rock Cafe related. Most of them are cheap clone. My mother-in-law bought this LV alike child dress at some local markets for SGD 5. The background is LV. The deco image is Barbie. The trade mark brand is 90210. Nothing is real, and all pieces are ugly put together in one piece. This can only be used as a wipe cloth.

ERP rate changed at AYE

Recently when I pass through ERP gate at AYE Alexandra, my cashcard doesn't get deducted. That's good news. At least save me a buck. On LTA website, I find out the new rate is effective from 29 May 2006 to 24 June 2006. Don't know what the rate after 24 June. The rate adjustment could be related to the school holiday. Now Singapore schools are in holiday. The traffic is obviously lighter. So kids do effect traffic, and the government is sure in agility.

Leading Luxury Brands

Wealthy American customers (minimal $200K annual gross income and $750K net worth) who were surveyed rated 21 leading luxury fashion brands based on their perceptions of critical brand reputation metrics. Brands rated included: Armani, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Christian Dior, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Façonnable, Fendi, Ferragamo, Gucci, Hermès, Hugo Boss, Izod, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Versace and Yves St. Laurent

Jargons from Java Island

Sun gave birth to Java in 1995. Sun has worked so hard on Java ever since but failed in the sense of commercial purpose. Sun loves Java so much that Sun creates tons of acronyms for it. When we talk about J2EE, words come up - J2SE, JDBC, RMI-JRMP (Remote Message Protocol), RMI-IIOP, EJB, Servlets, JSP, JMS, JNDI, JTA (Transaction API), JavaMail, JAF (JavaBeans Activation Framework). Only JavaMail sounds good to me, others are all very bad trends leading to confusion and dizziness.

06/06/06

Some think it is good. In Chinese, so many 6, everything goes very smooth. Some take it as a bad date, because they believe Satan is reborn on every 06/06/06.

她用生命照亮了人类历史 - 读张纯如的《南京大屠杀》

生活在和平年代的人, 恐怕是很难想像那段惨绝人寰的历史的。张纯如的《南京大屠杀》活生生, 血淋淋的讲述了这段六周30万人被屠杀的历史。敌人一直在试图忘记, 掩饰过去的罪恶。我们却不能过忘记1937年,发生在南京, 当时的中国国民政府首都的一幕人间炼狱。

又感冒了, MD

来了新加坡, 感冒真得是多了。原来在国内就比较爱感冒, 不过多是空气比较差的季节,比如暖冬的时候,而且一感冒, 打针吃药的,还都挺重,国内的细菌病毒还是进化的比较厉害。到美国的前两年, 实在是空气太干净了, 从来不感冒。后来慢慢身体也适应了美国的感冒细菌,不过美国细菌很弱啊, 大概吃两粒感冒药, 睡一觉就好了,而且也是一年感冒不了一两次。来了新加坡,感冒真的是比在美国的时候多了。也难怪,不是在又热又闷的环境下, 就是在空调的环境下,而且很多地方人密度也大的很,估计这回感冒就是去Suntec逛书展捡的。看来不得不考虑锻炼身体了。

SPR Approved

I received the approval letter from ICA today. The SPR application was approved on May 29th. Submission date is March 23rd . Supplemental CV was requested on April 25th . The whole process takes Just about 2 months.I am really impressed by the efficiency of Singapore government.