Browsed by
Month: June 2010

“I can read Wikipedia”

“I can read Wikipedia”

image

I was alert to @litford’s tweet on a search term that was catching on. Curiously, I tried the search term “I can read Wikipedia” out (on both Google.com and Google.com.sg). I did not click I’m Feeling Lucky. I’m Feeling Lucky loads the first link of the search. Instead, I run the search. Guess what I found:

image

Google just got bombed. For more information, visit this forum topic.

To think that in my class, we have just covered racism, stereotypes, prejudice and mindsets. Geex.

Delivery screw up by vPost

Delivery screw up by vPost

Today, I received the Loop Pointer I have bought from USA. There was a screw-up in the delivery method, in my opinion, though. My family was not at home to receive the parcel. And when my dad came home at 2.30pm, he found the parcel on the floor, beside the house gate. Yes, thank you so much vPost.

Now, let’s say you are the delivery company, what would you do? There is no one at the delivery address. Do you leave the goods on the outside, giving people a chance of to help themselves before the rightful owner comes back? Or do you, being a responsible company, bring the goods back and call to double check when is the better time to deliver the goods again? Better yet, call the consignee to confirm a good time to deliver the goods before you even send the goods out for delivery!

Like any security conscious citizen, my dad initially thought that the unattended parcel was a bomb! Curiosity got better of him, unfortunately, or fortunate, whichever way you decide to put it. It would be highly amusing to see the bomb squad in my neighbourhood just for this false alarm. Now, if this was to happen, who is to be blame? Surely it is not the consignee or a representative of him!

Right now, my consignment note remains unsigned, to acknowledge the delivery. My contact number is clearly printed on the note, and the delivery man could have just call me on the spot! And whatever signature that is probably scribbled across the copy of the note is highly probable to be a forgery, or a misrepresentation!

To be fair to vPost, I have sent a feedback to highlight this issue. And no, 3 days is too long to provide me with a satisfactory answer. Am I being fair on posting this up on my blog. Certainly not. Neither did they being fair in ensuring my parcel is safe.

My item was delivered on Monday, 28 June 2010, sometime before 2.30pm.

The ambiguity of the time was due to the fact that my dad picked the parcel up that was placed at the gate when he returned home. There was no one home in the morning.

I would like to ask the following questions pertaining to the delivery procedure:

  1. Is the delivery man supposed to leave the parcel outside of the residence or at the door of the address indicated when there is no one answering the doorbell?
  2. On my consignment note, I noticed that a recipient is required to sign and acknowledge the delivery. It has not being signed at all. Is it required to be signed? If not, then why is it on the consignment note?
  3. I would like to know who will be responsible in an event that the parcel being switched with one of a dubious origin during the time the parcel is left unattended. To be honest, my dad had a slight suspicion of the parcel to be an explosive device.
  4. Are there any alternate methods of picking up the parcel in the event of non-delivery? I cannot find any options on the website.Photo-0111 - Copy(1)
    Photo-0112 - Copy(1)
    Photo-0113 - Copy(1)

Update 1 (29 June 2010, 9:43am)

Daphemaia had kindly post a link to share about others who had a bad experience with vPost. Compared to theirs’, mine seemed mild. Still it is an atrocity. I decided to check Speedpost’s tracking service with my parcel number: VS001053075US. And the status came out to be: With Delivery Courier. The date stamped on the site was: 28/06/2010 10:08.

CaptureNow, how can the parcel be with the delivery courier when the parcel is with me? And does vPost/Speedpost/Singpost have not any controls that checks on non-deliveries when parcels are “with the delivery courier” for close to 24 hours? Come on, this is Singapore. How big can the island nation get? No parcel should be with the delivery courier for more than 24 hours. In fact, 12 hours allowance is more than sufficient.

Update 2 (29 June 2010, 10:38am)

Capture1This is indeed not funny. As I was typing Update 1 (above), the delivery status was updated to Delivered. Curiously, the date and time (9:27) of the delivery is before the time I accessed the Track & Trace function (9:40). I suspect that the update is done by someone behind the computer just simply update the date and time delivered to suit their needs. This should not be the case. And no, I have yet to receive any SMS or calls or emails from Speedpost or the delivery man.

Trip to Bandung – Day One

Trip to Bandung – Day One

End May, I went to Bandung, Indonesia on a choir trip with SMU Chamber Choir. It was an eye opener.

Singapore

30 May 2010 – The time was 9.30am. I arrived at Changi Airport 30 minutes late. I was not the only one, but still it was bad to be late. Everyone was gathering and feeling nervous. By being late, I was just adding oil to the fire.

In the departure hall, we had our last moments of fun before flying off. Candee and some others came to see us off.

D47 was the gate which we departed Singapore from. Coincidentally, D47 was the gate which we arrived at on the last day too.

There was some delays at the gate, so those will cameras decided to whip out their weapons. (Left: the unwilling one. Right: the willing one)

We took AirAsia to Bandung. It was a quiet ride. I was actually studying my scores and music since I was not really familiar with the songs. Others were simply having fun.

Indonesia

After the short flight, we landed in Indonesia. In fact, the first impulse was to get a local pre-paid SIM card for my phone. It was cheaper to do so. I do not want to see an expensive phone bill.

We had to take a bus ride to the final destination. Along the way, there was many interesting sights such as the old railway line that the Dutch built when Bandung was still under their rule. We also saw many stuff that we have learnt throughout our education such as the slash and burn method. The method was used to rid the land of the leftovers of previous harvest or foliage in preparation of the next season.

As we had a tight schedule, we went straight to the church for the combined rehearsal with our partnering choir. We were busy till the point that we had our first dinner in a takeaway!

After the exhuasting rehearsal, we went back to our hotel. Beds! G’Night!

Photo credits: Me, Gladys and Jonathan.

Day 2 will be up soon!

Awkward Silence and NS

Awkward Silence and NS

Yesterday, we had a beneficiary visit to a certain primary school. It was not the first time we went there. Anyway, that is not the point of this post. It was the conversation during the car ride to Ang Mo Kio for a LAN gaming session.

Girl A, asking all 4 guys in the car, “Do you have girlfriend?”

A chorus of “No.” came.

Next question was directed at Samantha, “Do you have boyfriend?”

“Yes.”

One of us then said, “Wow, now there is an awkward silence.”

OK, there was a silence, but it was not that awkward. But I do wonder why it is the case of girls broaching the subject and yet there will not be much of a pregnant pause, but it is in the case of the opposite gender?

Read More Read More

CommunicAsia 2010 – The Skype Experience & Giveaway!

CommunicAsia 2010 – The Skype Experience & Giveaway!

Once again, I have to thank Daphne from XPR for the chance to interact with Peter Parkes (as seen explaining the features of Skype on TV) at the Skype booth at CommunicAsia 2010. Just in case you do not know who is Peter Parkes, he leads the social media function at Skype as part of the global communications team. He flew down to Singapore all the way from London.


Skype was there to showcase their latest developments so far. From the tour itself, we can see that Skype has done a fabulous job at creating wonderful video calling experience. First, it has tied up with hardware manufacturers to bring Skype into the living room and embed Skype into phones. Second, it is offering a fuss free option for businesses to manage Skype usage within the company.


Skype has teamed up with Panasonic to offer its services on the television. Panasonic VIERRA HDTV has integrated with the Skype software. There are four microphones within the highly designed web camera which enables clear pickup of voices in a huge living room. I am sure most people won’t want to stare at the television 30cm up-close. This opens up new market for Skype: families. There are many families whose members are overseas for some reason or another. My cousin is currently in Australia studying. When my entire extended family gathers, we have to stare at the small laptop screen which one of us will be carrying about, and the microphone pickup is not that good.

While developing Skype on TV, Skype has not neglected its tradition market of the mobile and personal computer users. They have updated the software on the PC to allow a better audio-visual experience via implementing features such as a codec which attempts to reconstruct audio when packets of data are being dropped. Skype has also extended its reach into Symbian OS. This means phones like Sony Ericsson Symbian handsets (Satio, Vivaz, Vivaz pro, etc.) are able to be used to call using Skype. Skype is also being built into Nokia N900. This means that the Skype experience is being integrated into the handset itself. There will be lower occurrence of whatever failures that an app can bring about when bring installed.


The latest version of Skype for iPhone has been updated to allow calling via 3G connection. In the past, Skype could only be used via WiFi. A concern that I raised was that the danger of having the Skype app being pulled from the shelves by Apple for duplication of services. Apple has released FaceTime with iPhone 4G and has the intention to make it into an industry standard. Peter just replies that they are happy to work with Apple to bring about a great video calling experience on the iPhone 4G. It seems that there is no way of predicting what the Apple’s next move. Currently, there is a beta version for Mac computers being tested in-house. Let’s hope that the testing will be done fast and more people are able to use Skype.


Skype has been analysing the usage of the service and found an interesting fact. 37% of Skype users use Skype for business purposes. It is interesting as Skype is all along a consumer product and it is not customised for business usage. What can be said here is that Skype is essential in business operations as it brings down communication costs between firms and clients, especially so when the parties involved are residing in different countries. In recognition of this fact, Skype has launched a customised tool for businesses. The tool allows the administrator to control the credits distribution for various accounts.


Photo with courtesy from Daphne

Touring the booth is not only for the information overload. We had fun too. Skype has wrote a program to detect Skype logos and launch an augmented reality feature. Sylvia can be seen having fun with this feature above. She has also written a post on the event! Unfortunately, it is only for the booth and not for general use. 🙁 We also have Slurpie (as you see in photos with me sucking up the drink unglamorously) and iPhone covers with Skype logos on it.


Alright, now it is time for giveaway! This is my first giveaway. Be nice! 🙂 The prizes are 2 Skype iPhone covers! They are of the same design, just that the colours are either black and white.

Methods:

  1. Post a comment on what is Skype to you and what do you use it for with your name and a valid email. Please include your Twitter handle (if you have) in your comment.
  2. Complete the following sentence and tweet it out. Be creative! Be wacky!
    Skype to me is <insert your creative results> http://wp.me/ppLAF-fj @robertsky_


Terms and Conditions:

  1. This giveaway will open till 2nd July 2010, 2359 hrs. The giveaway has been extened by another week, till 9th July 2010. Winners will be contacted via their email or their Twitter handle.
  2. This giveaway is opened only to any Singapore residents. I define Singapore residents as persons(citizens and foreigners) with a valid Singapore address. I will be mailing the Skype iPhone cover via snail mail. Postage is absorbed by me.

There are other ways of getting the covers too. My fellow friend and blogger, Ingrid Mak is giving them away on her blog. Visit now!

More pictures can be viewed below, with thanks to Cooliris for the plugin. I went to the broadcasting side after a hearty Texas Chicken meal (it taste better than KFC) with Daphne, Ridzuan, Sylvia, Joe Augustin and his wife, Adele. I was quite excited about the Mediacorp portable broadcasting truck on display there.

I will end this post with a group photo taken on the end of the tour. 🙂

Update: This post has been sitting in the draft section for quite sometime. To celebrate the World Cup, Skype has rolled out a month worth of free phone calls to lines in the qualifying countries. Check out The Big Blog for this exciting offer!

Spoof: North Korea vs Portugal (North Korean Broadcast) 2010

Spoof: North Korea vs Portugal (North Korean Broadcast) 2010

Recently, a spoof video has surfaced on Youtube on a purported North Korean propaganda of the 7-0 loss in the last North Korea against Portugal match. It is dumb that people are believing it to be real, judging by the comments on the site. Well, it is not. Anyone can come out with their own subtitles, just like what people do with Hitler videos. Anyway, just for laughs, here is the video.

After you peeps have your share of laughter, watch the highlights of the 2 countries battling out in the 1966 World Cup match. It was in the quarter-finals round and they lost 4-3 to Portugal.