Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kia Forte

The replacement for the aging and typical Korean looking Cerato is nothing but praises from me.

Sharing the same platform as Hyundai Avante, it is no surprise that the external design bare similarities but sharpened up to make it sportier.

The interior has also shed all the looks of the old and replaced with a clean and flowing dash. Higher specs comes with steering audio control and climatic aircon. It also sports a push start button.

Its 1.6l petrol engine, common class here, produces 124bhp and consuming an average 14.1km/l of fuel (automatic transmission), a very good efficiency ratio.

What's not to like of the new Forte? Many commented that the Forte is a copycat of Honda Civic, BMW 3 series, Mitsubishi Lancer, Mazda 3 and many more but to me, what is wrong with that? All those cars mentioned copied from other cars before one way or another. What matters is that the end results look good and in this instance, it's a job well done.

Priced approximately around 43-47k, the Forte is already available for advance booking before its launch soon in February. With a price and looks like that, it is expected to be a hit.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


First of all, I am puzzled that this is considered breaking news?! No wonder ST got ranked 147th. Haiz...

Anyway, in this case, do you really believe this Ang knows nothing about the intention to resell the property? If he really know nothing, selling to the boss's wife is nothing but suspect. He really got no other client?

I wish the couple the best in their lawsuit.

Freedom of Information Act

Congratulations to President Obama for being the 44th president of the United States of America, and to the people for the choosing the path of change.

Although it remains to be seen as to how effective is his presidency, his vision and not false promises are the one that gives us hope that things can get better if we believe it will and work for it.

On his first day in office, he announced he would freeze the pay of about 100 senior staffers who now earn more than $100,000, and he pledged to comply with not only the letter but the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act, which allows access to public records and one of the most powerful instruments to hold government accountable.

Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of his presidency. "However long we are keepers of the public trust, we should never forget we are public servants," Obama said,

He cautioned staffs that they should not use their positions to seek favor for themselves, friends or corporate interests.

His orders will prevent staffers who were lobbyists from working on matters or with agencies related to that lobbying, and he said that any staffer who leaves would not be allowed to lobby the Obama administration.

I can only wish this is the case with here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lesser mortals

“Maybe it made lesser mortals envious and they thought maybe he was a little bit boastful,”
- MP Charles Chong

I, a lesser mortal, envy the residents of Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC for having a god-like being for their MP.

Like someone said, we should start burning joss sticks thanking him for reminding us that only when we reach god-like status can we then understand the writings of god-like beings. They're not boasting. They're just reminding us the difference between us and them.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Postfix - Send to unknown local user

virtual_transport=smtp:next hop

eg virtual_transport=smtp:

This option is useful is you have two mail servers, one local and one external with the same domain. Normally this is done to save bandwidth. The local mail server will only deliver mails to known users and will pass mails to unknown users within the same domain to the external server.

Say for example a local user sent two email to and to the local mail server. Mails for, who exists in the local mail server, will be sent to Bob's mailbox while mail for will be forwarded to the external mail server.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Naiks of Bukit Timah

I went on my weekly hike up Bukit Timah last Sunday, my third in a row, as part of my new year resolution not to skip anymore sessions.

Makcik's Sunday mornings are now occupied with classes so that means I'll be doing it alone from now on, unless of course David run out of excuses.

Since I will not be conversing with anyone during the hike, I brought my bluetooth headset along so that the I can listen to MP3s on my phone. It's also a great way to get myself pumped up ala Rocky movies.

It just so happened that I was listening to Knights of Cydonia by Muse in the car and I had to stop halfway because I did not want bottles to be thrown at me for sitting the in the car parked in a lot where it's scarcity is like finding a rich model for a wife.

So I turned on the same song as I began the hike. It did wonders as I did not feel that tired when I reached the peak. The beat of the songs was kind of similar to my footsteps so it kind of helped me maintain the rhythm. Plus of course the song itself is awesome with motivating lyrics such as "I must fight to survive"

Therefore this will be the official Naiks of Bukit Timah song for me until I found a new one.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Who are we actually bailing out?

First it was the financial institution. Then it was the automotive industry. Now its the porn industry. Yes, you read it right. Even they need help.

Bail outs can be a good thing. Many jobs can be saved. But bail outs can also be a bad thing because public funds are used so that the executives can continue to make poor judgments resulting in others lower down the corporate ladder suffer for it.

General Motors, one if not the largest in the industry should have been made to fold then allow the system to correct itself because bailing them out will not guarantee that the executives will be more responsible this time round.

True, letting the company crash will cause a lot people to lose their job but how different is that from giving the money directly to those people to tie them up till the economy recovers? In fact, it would cost much lesser since non of the funds are use to pay the executives their top dollar.

The funds can also instead be used to set up a new a company dealing with something profitable and have those out of jobs as employees.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Talk about percentage

Government announced enhancements to further help local SMEs with their cash flow and cost of credit in the current economic slowdown.

While I support our local SMEs, it would be interesting to know how many percent of their workforce comprises of locals?

No shame

Chee Lee Hong posed this question recently:

The problem with the Internet is reliability: To what extent can you trust what you read online? Whether due to ignorance, mischief or sheer absence of quality control, much of what is written online has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

I read the above in amusement because this came from someone who admitted that she never read blogs but labeled blogs as thrash. How would you trust someone who don't listen to both sides of the story to preside over a disagreement?

Whatever it is, I'll answer her accusation. I mean question.

She's right. The Internet is not reliable only if you do not know where to look.
But that is another point totally.

With all the unreliability, the choice is left to the readers to judge for themselves instead of having opinions shoved down our throat because compared to the Straits Times, the Internet gives each individual the chance to voice out his/her opinions. Straits Times reject huge amount of letters to its Forum column daily citing space constraints while unworthy letters were published. Leaving the sieving power to someone in the editing department simply means we put our sole trust in him/her.

So because of that, what if she is asked this instead:

The problem with the Straits Times is reliability: To what extent can you trust what you read on print? Whether due to ignorance, mischief or sheer absence of journalistic quality and integrity, much of what is written on it has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

There. That settles the case.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Creative being not so when it comes to marketing

Creative cut workforce by half.

Reading this news reminds me of an article by CNA titled Being 'cheap and good' can be bad last year about how companies producing cheap but of good quality may not be the best way to go. Part of the article touches on Creative losing to Apple because it's cheaper even though it is of good quality. I wrote in with my comments below

I agree, the words cheap and good are rarely able to be placed within the same sentence because the first thing that comes to our mind is that cheap products equal poor quality.

But in the case of Creative Zen MP3 players, its failure is definitely not due to it being cheap, hence thought to be of poor quality. Big chunk of its failure is due to how it was promoted.

The market for MP3 players, by large, are for younger generations, from teenagers to young adults. By knowing the target, Apple have made the right decision by coming out with advertisements promoting it as something hip, trendy and very attractive to this group. None of its adverts mentioned technical specs because they know, in this market, being technically good is not as important as looking good. They got big artists like Black Eyed Peas that appeal to music lovers for that. We all know how endorsements can translate to profits.

I belong the young adults group and I own an iPod, no surprise here. The iPod don't sound that amazing and its functionality deserves some scrutiny but since it is not pertinent that I do my 'the most bang for the buck' research for something inexpensive such as an MP3 player, I would go to the one attracts my attention even though I know there are other players that can match iPod but with a cheaper price tag.

Branding plays a big part in making a product successful. Apple came into the MP3 market with shock and awe and now the word MP3 is synonymous with iPod, even though they may not be the best out there. But who cares when you own something cool?

So in short being cheap and good will not necessarily be bad but what is more important is to grab the attention of the target market and then the price no longer matters. Sometimes it does not have to be reasonable at all and that is why Apple is actually on the high side, price wise.

Apple can totally kill its competitors by slashing the price of iPods because by then, who would want to buy anything else when something as 'good' as iPod is cheap? I may just buy an iPod for my mom when that happens. It will definitely make her look cool during her morning walk around the estate. I would proudly go 'Hey, that's my Mama!'. But why would they want to do that when sales are all time high?

So Creative's failure is not because Zen players are cheap and good. They just had bad marketing and probably and expensive one too.

Fell through the safety net

The case of Sebestian Yeo Wei Xiong, an autistic boy who fell to his death while being 'trailed', should be a lesson to be learned by the men in uniform that they should not get a monkey to do a man's job. If they do not have the special skills to handle such cases, get social services, if we have one in the first place.

And why was the boy out of school? From the way the neighbours described him, he seems to be a smart boy, else how would he had managed to survive and take care of his mentally unwell mother? While we give money to those who can more than afford to further their studies themselves in the name of scholarship, this poor boy was left out by the system.

And this happened in the supposedly best taken care of GRC. Dear PM, as an MP of the ward, if you come to know about this and found out that not much was done to help this boy when he was alive, please fire the RC committee members for not doing their job.

It's not something you can just snap out of

It can happen to anybody and it can happen at anytime. You might be healthy now but there can be no guarantee that you will remain as one in the future. What's important is the need to believe that it exists because only then you can begin to understand what is needed to overcome it.

If only Andrea Yates got the right support she needed instead of an insane preacher, her 5 lovely kids might still be alive now.