Monday, October 31, 2005

Dedicated to The Obsessive Starbucks Freak

The person above mentioned to me not too long ago that she 'likes Starbucks because she liked the colour green'.

Here's an interesting piece I found on coffee. This dude went around drinking like, nine cups of coffee just to see what it'd do to him. Click here.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ning's 21st @ Sketch, Conduit St

Tea Time Buddies

KTJ Reps

I don't know what Zach's doing but everyone else looks good here.

The Singaporean Dragon, The Paki and The Cambridge Boy

A Walk in The Park

It was warm on Thursday. We walked in the park.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Harriet Mired

mired: to be entangled or hindered

Charles Krauthammer suggests a way out for the Harriet Miers dilemma:

Sen. Lindsey Graham has been a staunch and public supporter of this nominee. Yet on Wednesday he joined Brownback in demanding privileged documents from Miers's White House tenure.

Finally, a way out: irreconcilable differences over documents.

For a nominee who, unlike John Roberts, has practically no record on constitutional issues, such documentation is essential for the Senate to judge her thinking and legal acumen. But there is no way that any president would release this kind of information -- "policy documents" and "legal analysis" -- from such a close confidante. It would forever undermine the ability of any president to get unguarded advice.

That creates a classic conflict, not of personality, not of competence, not of ideology, but of simple constitutional prerogatives: The Senate cannot confirm her unless it has this information. And the White House cannot allow release of this information lest it jeopardize executive privilege.

Hence the perfectly honorable way to solve the conundrum: Miers withdraws out of respect for both the Senate and the executive's prerogatives, the Senate expresses appreciation for this gracious acknowledgment of its needs and responsibilities, and the White House accepts her decision with the deepest regret and with gratitude for Miers's putting preservation of executive prerogative above personal ambition.

Faces saved. And we start again.

Read the full article from The Washington Post here.

I suppose it's up to Miers to decide if she wants to publicly disclose her confidential White House documents. I disagree with Krauthammer's statement about 'forever (undermining) the ability of any president to get unguarded advice'.

The purpose of this right to privacy would be to protect any advisor to the President such that he or she would be able to come forth boldly and speak his or her views. Confidentiality would ensure the advisor of protection against potential threats which would stem from public criticism and backlash.

If Miers has no fears about making her past opinions and suggestions fully-known, then the White House should go ahead and allow this disclosure. If the President wants her on the Supreme Court that badly, why should he hesitate to do so.

Miers has to choose. Does she want to maintain her executive priviledge? How badly does she want the Associate Justice post?

Perhaps Miers has something to hide. Is there a possibility that some of her views were so highly controversial that if disclosed, would cause public outcry? If that is the case, then maybe she's not the right person to be charged with the responsibility anyway.

Someone with overly radical or conservative (probably the latter in this case) views may not be the US’s ideal candidate to sit on the Supreme Court as her judgement on cases will have colossal and permanent effects on the entire country and inevitably the rest of the world.

Friday, October 21, 2005


I guess my blog's not going to win this year's Most Creative Blog Name award.

Check out this site because:

1. I'm writing stuff for them.
2. You want to look for tuition teachers.
3. You want to teach tuition.
4. Their mascot is a really cute hamster thing.

To read something I wrote about the Sony Walkman and the iPod, check out their website.

If you've got any comments or rebuttals, submit them below. I welcome critics.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Be Nice to Everyone

"Beautiful and famous people get everyone else to look at them. They create positive associations for whatever you're selling. But our idols seldom act out of selfless motives. Whereas product endorsements pay cash, actors and musicians gain heft and respectability by supporting fashionable crusades."

Jason Weisberg of writes about politicians and celebs. Read more here.

Weisberg charges a whole bunch of public figures for not being entirely pure of heart. Cynic. There may still exist some true saints who really do want to 'Heal The World' with their political clout or celebrity status.

Sometimes I feel that many people do good things for their own benefit. Sure, I gave some poor dude money but it made me feel good about myself after I did so. I don't think I really cared about the poor guy, I may have just gave him some cash so I'd feel like I'd done my part to be a good person today. It made me feel less guilty for something bad I did earlier on.

And so what if our motives aren't entirely pure? Better that than no one making any effort whatsoever to be nice. Better to be fake than have everyone at each others throats.

The PR people probably thought that getting the three most talked about women in the US at the moment would boost the credibility of their cause. Maybe some research into their respective views on the issue should have been carried out beforehand.

Maybe things would have turned out better if the women everyone was talking about didn't talk at all -just shut up and smile for the camera.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


David Carr of The New York Times writes an interesting piece on how technology will soon put conventional print media out of business.

I think that the way conventional print media is embracing technology is something to be proud of. Blogs are evolving from their humble beginnings as personal diaries and mediocre rants to more informative and credible ones. Almost every major newspaper in the world now has most of its content available online for free. Podcasts?, a purely online magazine to start with, has become one of the forerunners in this area.

Zubair Salim of Picsel Technologies gave me a demonstration yesterday, on how his firm's application would be used in phones such as the Samsung D600 and Nokia 7610. Accessing Marie Claire's magazine content on the tiny Samsung was just one of the things he demonstrated.

But I like newspapers and magazines. They feel more personal and tangible -I'm sure you'll agree that a personally handwritten letter gives you more utility compared to an email.

I won't always read my news from a physical newspaper nowadays. Why pay 60p for The Guardian when I can just log on for news on MSNBC?

When I do feel like indulging however, I'll pick up a copy of The Sunday Times (Sunday papers have excellent pull-outs), Vanity Fair or yes, Glamour.

I may not read most of their content; but I will lovingly flip through their pages, browse through the collection of stories and random bits of information, savour beautiful photos and great layouts, admire the editors who have carefully planned and moulded the form and nature of content featured, and tear out a picture of Gwen Stefani and stick it on my wall.
The Adventures of Tok Kok

Two things I don't like: Rants and SODA (the club).

"All 22 of us will never be the same again. Malaysia will never be the same again. I was once a fun loving jovial person. Food no longer taste good, the sky seems perpetually cloudy, everybody I meet looks different. My girlfriend asked me if this will change me. I said maybe... And she cried."

Check this out:

I don't agree with most of the things that Tok Kok says, but at least he's provided an interesting and informative tale on his experience.
My mentor once told me that to write good columns you not only need to know how to criticize but also to provide suggestions on how to improve on a particular issue. Otherwise your piece won't have substance.

I think a similar principle applies here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Best Friends

Sorry for the corny post title but here's a picture of me and Angelene on the escalator at Bangsar LRT. Yes, we're cam-whores.

And here's a picture of my dad and his best friend. My dad's the one in the checked shirt. Aren't they cute?!

Stuff I did before leaving KL

Had 'Pink Panther' and 'Mango Special' at Murni's

Went for a pedicure (my nail polish tone is called 'Lincoln Park After Dark'....looks black to me)

Had a dog match-making party

Malaysia sends aid

The Star Malaysia reported that Malaysia has sent US$1 billion in aid to the government of Pakistan. The government also sent a 50-strong team, comprising men from the National Security Division, Kuala Lumpur Hospital and the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, among others.

What a Gentleman

The Guardian reported that Social Democrat (SPD) leader, Gerhard Schroeder would step aside as Germany's chancellor. Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Democrats (CDU) is set to be the country's first woman chancellor.

In terms of government structure, the SPD will get eight of the more important ministries; these include foreign, finance, work, health, environment and transport.

The CDU will only get industry, education, family and three others. Johannes Kahrs of the SPD told The Guardian that giving the industry ministry to the CDU but the labour ministry to the SPD was a "recipe for total blockade".

According to a Reuters news report, Schroeder has hinted that he may not be part of the next government.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sony Ericsson P990

I'm going to The Smartphone Show in ExCel London tomorrow. Going to meet up with a representative from Sony Ericsson for a preview about their new smartphone, the Sony Ericsson P990.

The P990 has a full keyboard right below the display, on the phone itself -unlike its predecessor the P910 which had its keyboard on the flip.

According to Sony Ericsson, the average revenue per user (ARPU) of customers who own smartphones are four to five times that of traditional handphone users.

It's the first phone with UIQ 3.0 interface. UIQ is basically the software which allows you to use programs on your phone by tapping the touch screen with your finger or the stylus provided. The latest version of UIQ apparently boasts better support for one-handed usage (as opposed to holding your phone with one hand and tapping its screen with another) along with the conventional pen-based one.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Death Toll Climbs

Here's a scene from Balakot, Pakistan. The death toll is now officially 30,800. I got this photo of the CNN website, if you want to check out more.

The Nobel Prize in Economics this year went to Thomas Schelling and Robert Aumann for their work on game theory which among others, included strategies to avoid war. According to The Star, Schelling has tried to explain how a taboo around nuclear weapons after the Hiroshima incident became a factor in deterring their use after WWII. I was trying to read my Game Theory notes this morning and I can't seem to figure them out. Damn those Nims.

Prince William is joining HSBC for work experience early next month and will be working primarily in the charity section of Britain's biggest bank. I googled his name and found that The Star was the only news publication which had reported this. Talk about anglophilia. You can read more about it here.

Fans of Little Britain will be happy to know that wheelchair bound Andy and his friend Lou will soon make their debut in London's Madame Tussauds. The picture above isn't Lou OR Andy, it's Vicky Pollard; she's your stereotype British teenager. She's my favourite. If you've got iTunes, check out Little Britain's podcast which is currently on the site's Top 10 podcasts.

Free Movie Tickets

The Times bfi London Film Festival will run from October 19th to November 3rd. They're giving out 2000 free tickets for a selection of shows. If you're into non-mainstream films which involve deep thought and reflection (unlike me), check this out.

Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO highlighted the increase in online advertising and cable TV compared to advertising in conventional print media. He described the current growth in ads for newspapers and magazines to be stagnant. He was speaking at the Association of National Advertisers annual conference in Phoenix. Read more on what he said here.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


I'm trying to add a 'newsblog' element to this blog, like the one The Guardian has. We'll see how long I can keep this up.

An earthquake in South Asia has caused severe damage in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. Racking up a 7.6 on the Richter scale, the death toll has reached 18,000 people so far.

A complete ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants is set to take place in England. Currently, smoking is only banned in places where food is served. Some pubs have stopped serving food altogether to get around this law. Read more about it here.

For slightly less recent news, try this: Two Aussie dudes have been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for their work in 'peptic ulcer disease'. Basically, people used to think that stomach ulcer problems were caused by stress which in turn led to an over-excretion of stomach acids. Well, Robin Warren and Barry Marshall discovered that a certain species of bacteria was in fact the actual cause of the problem. It's quite interesting because I suffer from gastric problems sometimes and worry about getting ulcers later on in life. But now after I've heard about this, I'm a little more relieved.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Housing Problems

No, not mine. I've found a place in halls so it's cool. I've got a really nice Cypriot room mate who is REALLY flexible. (Constantina, that's a compliment, if you're reading this!)

Anyway, a friend of mine was having some housing problems before I left for London. I think it was a case of the developer running off before he had even completed the project. A recent survey on graft reported that corruption in Malaysia is highest in the construction sector. Anyway, I read this article by P Gunasegaram who gives suggestions on how to avoid problems like this.
Mobile World

Vivien, my friend from uni has been asking me to send her the articles I write for Mobile World. They've published two pieces I've written so far, one on Pixels and one on Mobile Viruses.

I think I look like The Rock in the Pixels article. So glad they changed my picture for the other one. Thanks Selena!

I got an email from a friend, one of those forwarded things. I'm sure everyone's received some sort of forwarded mail with a cutesy looking picture which you have to forward to everyone else on your mailing list or else you die, this sort of thing:

Well check out the angel on this one.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fiona Apple

Scratches and Cracks

I've been hearing quite a bit about the iPod nano. Apparently they scratch easily. Worse still, some of the screens crack:

One fifteen-year old, who had saved up to buy his Nano, found the machine suffered a cracked screen within three hours of buying it.
"I pulled my iPod out and my heart dropped. The LCD was half destroyed, but there is no visible scratch or mark on the outside of the iPod."

(BBC News Website)

So kesian. Poor lil' adolescent.

As far as I know, the nano's screen is made from the same material as the iPod mini, which I own. I don't really have problems with scratches and I haven't heard of many people who have. As long as you stick by the general rule of not putting your iPod in your pocket along with your housekeys, you'll be fine I think.

And if you're worried about cracks, official reports state that less that 0.1% of the devices shipped are actually affected.

To read more on this, check out this dude's column and this article on BBC News.

On another note, I just found out that Apple will launch yet another new product next week. No one knows what it is yet, but there is speculation that it may be a Video iPod.