Archive for December, 2006

Singapore Riverside before New Year’s Day


Singapore Riverside at NYE

Originally uploaded by Liangcai.

What are the balls for, you ask? Probably some light show that’s gonna happen on the stroke of New Year’s Day, judging from the various spotlights trained at the area where the floating balls are. During the course of the night more balls were added. Probably something nice to see from above in one of the hotels around.

Look carefully and you may spot the merlion in the background.

Hello? hello?

Singapore has perhaps one of the highest uptake of mobile phones and plans in the region that is South East Asia.

However, with such a high penetration, we still have problems with our telcos as well as their plans. Of course, I’m writing this from a personal standpoint so don’t take my word for it.

Still, its interesting to note that the 3 telcos avaliable here to consumers, Singtel, StarHub and M1 all have their little quirks. Chief of which is common amongst them is still perhaps the lack of expansion into the area of mobile data plans.

Singtel is well known for their excellent call quality. Having the most number of base stations around the island helps. But of course, you are charged a premium for such quality. Their mobile plans are generally more expensive of the lot with a medium to high pricing on mobile phones.

In my opinion, M1 has always been struggling. But recently, with their introduction of their HSPDA (High Speed Packet Downlink Access), namely 3.5G plans, they might just have found the sweet spot to put their foot print down firmly in the market. They usually charge very little for their mobile phones, but their mobile voice plans would probably kill you.

StarHub is the latest contender in this realm of mobile services. They have cheap phones and cheap plans. And of course, quality is not something near M1 or even Singtel. They are perhaps the only network that only uses the 900Mhz band for their mobile services. M1 and Singtel are effectively dual band.

Sad to say, 3G adoption here has been lacklastre. This comes as no surprise by just looking at the cost of unlimited data plans here. Still, here’s hoping with M1’s entry into the 3.5G market would push the other 2 telcos to actually buck up.

True number portability might come next year. Lets hope the telcos see some light in making the consumers wants first.

Dis.Connected

Somehow or another, I don’t know if I’m the only one experiencing this, but the internet seems to have gone more wonky then expected these couple of days. One would have thought that once everything with regards to the Taiwan quake has been resolved, the internet would return to normal, but strangely enough, I had access yesterday to almost all the pages I went to, and right now, I’m experiencing difficulties entering Blogger. Perhaps I’m just the isolated incident, but I sure am feeling the effects of being cut off from the world to some extent.

The corner


The corner

Originally uploaded by jeremyfoo.

Starbucks at The Cathay Picturehouse is awesome!

There’s actually a small corner that’s out of the way of the other patrons that has two sets of couches and coffee tables that has a power point for all your laptop needs as well.

Totally awesome. I’ve finally found my offline coding haven!

So we were isolated for a while…

ChannelNewsAsia: Scramble to repair Asia’s quake-damaged telecom lines.

For a better part of yesterday, the whole of Singapore experienced an isolation. It was pretty much evident that once again, the submarine cables that brought us the world through the internet has been affected again, this time by an earth quake that rocked Taiwan.

It has really brought to light how much dependent on technology we have become. And also the lack of good local content and a unified news and status for technology and communications related information.

Anyways, all is fine now and we will resume reporting the news.

Cheers!

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Except that they are not really raindrops but buckets of rain. Seesh. Seriously it’s been raining non-stop for almost 24 hours now. Some of the roads are starting to flood, and that’s quite something in Singapore where we have pretty decent drainage systems.

Direct conversion

I was just wondering to myself, with all the rain that we have here, what would happen if it all turned to snow?

Taking photos.


Train station on a busy evening

Originally uploaded by Liangcai.

As much as we want to say we are a forward society, Singapore still retains much conservatism due to its asian roots. And one of the things that is unique to such our culture is our ability to be shy about things and thus comes a “I don’t want to do anything out of the ordinary” stigmata.

I find that I’m affected by that as well. One example is the hesistation to take out my camera whenever I see something interesting and quickly snap a picture. The act of doing something like that seems so out of the ordinary that people might gwak.

And it is not helping that the terrorists have made it more difficult to take pictures. The photo taken by liangcai would’ve raised many a eyebrow. But yet when you look at the tourists in Singapore, they literally videotape their every move, with their cameras held in front of them while they walk.

As small as country as we are, I think it would actually be nice to see pictures beyond the standard building and architecture, funny inccidents that we usually see. Photos taken by most locals here lack some amount of soul, some amount of connection.

Maybe we should just walk with cameras attached to your heads.

That’s not nice.


That’s not nice.

Originally uploaded by jeremyfoo.

Spotted this at a 7-Eleven in town.

Not everyone is playing nice by obeying the packaging. I will presume the missing bottle was also stolen.

Any shopping experiences such as these?

Reliving my childhood


Roadshow

Originally uploaded by Liangcai.

Was at Choa Chu Kang this afternoon and I saw a roadshow going on. This one happened to be for the Power Rangers, a highly popular children’s series shown on television. It was fun watching all the kids have a good time, lost in their own little worlds where overpowered superheroes and evil villians enslave all that are beneath them, screaming out their favourite power ranger’s name when he/she displayed his moves on the stage.

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