Sunday, 31 May 2009

Music chart out of the blue

I thought I should type another music chart, just because I feel like
doing so.

Music chart for the moment...

1. U2 - Magnificent
^2. Flo Rida feat. Wynter - Sugar
3. McFly - Falling In Love
4. Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream
5. Lily Allen - Not Fair
6. Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
7. P!nk - Please Don't Leave Me
*8. Alexander Rybak - Fairytale
9. Paramore - Decode
10. The Veronicas - Untouched

`11. Escala - Palladio

^great for DJ-ing, pubs, and dancing
*Rybak is the Norwegian representative in the Eurovision Song Contest
2009. Eurovision is like the "Asian Idol" of Europe.
`Escala was a finalist act from the 2008 Britain's Got Talent. They
didn't get into the top 3, but their new album is not bad.

My room.

I just realised that I have not really talked about the room which I'm in now...

So, I thought I would make a little photo walkthrough!

This is what my room looks like! Bright, nice, and cramped. Just the way I like my room...

Btw, if you're wondering where I keep my clothes, they're in drawers under my bed. smart, eh?

My study table, which I don't really use for studying. Quite uncomfortable, that's why.

My corner of cables and teddy bears. Yes, that's Thaddeus, the Hungarian Bear! And yes, I brought it back to its home continent, Europe. The grey+pink bear is from my nephews / bro + sis-in-law. That's my first Me-to-you Bear. But that won't be my last, because I've been looking at the gift shops here, and they have really cute limited-edition Me-to-you bears. They claim to produce some of the designs in quantities of only 5,000 or so, and yet the price is only £20. Not too bad for collectors' items, right? So I've been thinking of buying them...

My food + stationery rations corner. There's:
lined paper,
file pockets,
post-it notepads,
a hole-puncher,
my Apple Remote,
a notepad for when I feel artsy,
and the centrepiece: 2 bottles o Fanta.

Fanta is now officially my most favourite soft drink, surpassing F&N drinks and Sprite.
There's 2 flavours depicted: Orange, and Fruit Twist (that's the red one).
My ultimate favourite, though. is Fruit Twist, though.
It's like fruit punch, but more citrusy than those syrup drinks.

And btw, I forgot to mention that I bought a guitar. A Fender CD-60 (Sunburst). I'm planning to either keep using this guitar till it breaks, or if it doesn't, I'll either bring it back to Indonesia or sell it after I graduate from Uni. It's an awesome guitar. Great sound, £129 with free strings, digital tuner (with modes for electric guitar, chromatic, acoustic guitar, violin, and just plain-old-chromatic), picks, and strap. And the sound quality is just awesome.

On my guitar learning, I'm learning from weekly guitar lessons in my school, as well as those free GarageBand lessons. I wanted to learn songs using the artist lessons (Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly"), but I can't because for some reason, my computer keeps logging into the SG store rather than the UK store. I can't pay since I don't have a SG card... bummer. Oh well...

I'm trying to learn Barre Chords now. It's tough.

Well, that's all for this post... Keep watching this space!

Friday, 29 May 2009


Ben See, Ben See, Ben See...

Your tag is ridiculously long, so to comprehend it and to respond to it, I write to you a blog post.

Original tag (condensed)...

BenSee: I doubt snow leopard will be released anytime before September. I mean, Leopard is new enough already on it's own, and only stupid people like Microsoft go about releasing Vista then 7 at their pathetic bid at centering around a design aesthetic. So I predict Snow Leopard to be for next year. And, I also doubt they will integrate 720p support for HD. Too lazy, I say. I mean, look at the ipods. So many releases later then do you see the apparent technological gap. It doesn't make sense for apple to integrate HD support, unless apple TV somehow comes into the fray. D: 苹果!Oh, and bart beat me again, in position. D:

My response:
1. On Snow Leopard.
Ben, obviously, you didn't read the Snow Leopard official page (, and the Mac rumour blogs (Macrumours, AppleInsider, etc.). Indicators all point to a release of Snow Leopard this year, before the September iPod refresh.

What are the indicators?
a) At WWDC 2008 (June 2008), Apple said Snow Leopard was expected to ship in "about a year". Give or take, this should mean March 2009 - September 2009.
b) In the past, before the whole Intel transition, Apple released a new version of OS X every 11 months. Yes. 11. That's less than a year. (Citation: So, thinking Apple will hold back another year before releasing a new version is quite ridiculous. Furthermore, Leopard was released in October 2007. That means as of June 2009, it's been on the market for 20 months. That's uber long in the books of Apple.
c) On May 11, 2009, Apple freezed the APIs on Snow Leopard. Meaning? The code for developers' APIs (stuff for making apps) have been fixed. That's an important step before Snow Leopard can be considered close to finish. All that's left now is to convert the remaining bits of code to 64-bit Intel code, and iron out the kinks. Aside from that, I'm sure Snow Leopard will be out before Windows 7.

2. On Windows 7.
Ben, you'll learn why businesses do certain things that look stupid from a consumer's point of view in Economics. 
In layman terms, Microsoft is a publicly held company, and unless they earn revenue, they may collapse. 
NYSE only likes profit growth, not profit (although in these tough economic situations, that has changed a bit). For profit, you need revenue to keep flowing in.
Microsoft's way of making revenue is by EOL-ing (End-of-life-ing) their older software and selling a new version. You could say the new versions are actually just the old version with a with extra pieces of copper stuck onto it. 
And the marketing techniques? By looking at Vista as a case study, you'll realise the marketing methods vary (this isn't really Economics. Just the Psychology in Economics.). 
•new "bells and whistles" (Aero, in short) = the "adding salt to the wound of running old software" method 
•"improve security" = the fear tactic. Aren't you scared your Windows XP has holes for viruses to get in? Vista hasn't got those problems, you know?
•"improved aesthetics" = we spent more money recruiting designers, so Vista is a premium product compared to XP, so pony up the green backs if you want one. It's worth every penny.

3. On iPods.
I should have clarified. By 720p support, I meant output to the TV. It's insane having a 3.5" 720p display (mind you, on the current iPhone's screen size, 720p at that size = 360ppi. Current pixel density = 163ppi). The Zune HD doesn't have a 720p screen, but has the ability to output to a TV at 720p. 

Now, Ben has a point - what about Apple TV? Well, let's be honest. Which nut is buying an Apple TV? If you want to watch iTunes stuff on your TV, you'd either hook up your existing Mac (or if you choose to buy, a Mac Mini) to your TV, and Front Row IS Apple TV. If the Mac is expensive, iPhones and iPods with Video can output to your TV with the right cable, but nobody does it because the quality is crap. Now, imagine your iPod/iPhone playing video on your TV. Now, imagine PPT presentations being fed to your projector, from your iPod touch.

4. On technological gap.
Again, Economics. The technology may be there, but will adding a certain feature, say, HD output, increase the cost of production? Yes. But in IT, the cost of everything falls over time. When the price is right, Apple has the option to add in to their iPods. That's why the iPods' prices rarely change, even as they improve.

5. On Ben vs Bart
Congrats, Bart. Not that he reads this blog, anyway. Does he? And Ben, jia you...

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

WWDC 2009 Predictions!

In 12 days' time, Apple will be holding a Developer Conference, which
kicks off with a keynote address.

Last year, I posted my predictions for the 2008 WWDC.

The results? Not good.

It could be because I posted the predictions way too early. Or perhaps
I didn't have a good-enough pool of rumours. So, this year, I decided
to do the predictions 2 weeks before the event.

So, let's jump straight in, shall we?

Predictions of what will happen in the Keynote Address...

1) New iPhone(s).
This one's a no-brainer. But the tough part is "what's in the new
iPhone?" I think it should be:
i. Better camera (with auto-focus and 3.2MP),
ii. a digital compass,
iii. matte plastic case on the back,
iv. support for remotes on the newer earphones,
v. faster processor,
vi. higher 3G speed,
vii. 2x the memory (both RAM and NAND),
viii. HD 720p support,
ix. iPhone OS 3.0,
x. Release Date: July 17

2) Snow Leopard.
Another "duh". But Apple's been quite quiet about Snow Leopard. So,
this one's harder to predict, with the exception of what Apple has
posted on their website. Not much going on here, but I'll say:
i. Snow Leopard is coming before September.

3) iPhone OS 3.0 - More talk about this during the keynote.
i. Video capture & editing,
ii. GPS (turn-by-turn using the digital compass),
iii. Movies and TV shows download from the iPhone (over Wi-Fi only),
iv. Applications support for accessories and Push Notification Support
v. Release date - July 17.

4) What is/isn't going to happen...
i. Steve Jobs will not appear on stage
ii. Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall will.
iii. No new iPods released or announced.
iv. No new Macs released or announced.
v. No new tablet. Not yet. The time's not right for something that
Apple is still manufacturing (they just bought the 10" screens,
remember?). Nothing about the tablet, because the iPhone OS 3.0 and
Snow Leopard is more than enough for one event. A new tablet will
steal the limelight from the new iPhone.

Ok, there's my 4 predictions.

Now, here's how I'm going to "grade" myself this time round.

Each major prediction is worth 25%. 4 x 25% = 100%. Makes sense, right?

Each subpart (e.g.: i.) from every prediction has equal weightage
for Prediction (1), there are 10 subparts, so each lettered prediction
is worth 2.5%,
for Prediction (2), there is only 1 subpart, so that's worth 25% right
for prediction (3) and (4), there are 5 subparts each, so each subpart
is worth 5%.

My aim: 65%. Not very high, but in this tough economic times,
forecasts and expectations are low. So is mine. But 65% will be much
better than that 0% I got for one of my bouts of predictions...

June 8, 2009, I'm waiting...

Sunday, 24 May 2009

of screws and O2s

Since I have time,
I'll type in rhyme.

What I am sending
Is a simple warning:

If you own a MacBook
(or even the Pro book)
please take a look:
can your screws unhook?

then you're just in luck.
You can get service:
repaired by a novice.

Let's move away,
how's that for a segue?

I just saw my RSS
and lo and behold, there's news so fresh.
It's not just hay, (nor is it pee)
It's about the Pré. (don't call it "prē")
The little Palm smartphone,
like my great iPhone. 
It's coming, to who?
That's right, O2!

Yes in the UK,
I can soon pay
a handsome price
for a little prize:
a phone that's prone
to be anti-iPhone
perhaps a switch
is what they pitch.

so now my mind, 
is trying to find,
the perfect touchscreen
to replace what I've seen.

Should I BlackBerry?
the Storm 2, oh scary!
OR wait for Apple
to let me have a hurl?
OR maybe the Palm Pré?
They're all on the tray
that's being served up
for what's coming up!

On that note, I'll end off.
For I'm sure you'll say "Screw off,
For rhyme is like lime
or worse: it's like crime
don't ever repeat
for this is sh*t.
This rhyme isn't rhyme,
It's just a bad mime."

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Adobe, what on Earth, man?

This is allegedly an Adobe short film to advertise Adobe CS4 Production Premium.

You tell me what you think, but I think it's overly and excessively psychedelic...

Really weird, Adobe. No more!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Me wants to drive again

Geez, how long has it been since the last time I got on the steering
wheel? Must... Drive... Car...

But if there's one thing I noticed about the UK (Brighton and London,
to be more specific), it's this: it sucks to drive a car in the city,
but it's nicer to drive inter-city. Like in Brighton, the roads are
narrow, and Western Road, where lots of the prime retailers are, is
exclusively for taxis and buses - no cars allowed. And in London, you
have to pay something called Congestion Charges on weekdays when you
want to get into the city. It's '10 (S$22) a day. And there you are,
complaining that Singapore has millions of ERP gantries, including 20
on Pedra Branca alone.

But don't get me wrong. The buses aren't perfect either. For some
reason, my jacket always smells bad when I get off the bus. I've
checked and verified with 2 jackets that are aired daily. No
confounding variables. I even had to buy a body deodorant, not for my
body, but for my jackets.

Well, at least the bus fares here in Brighton are cheap. '67 for 3
months (SGD148, or SGD50 a month on unlimited number of rides. The
other nice thing is because the town is quite small, you have a high
chance of getting seats.)

Oh well, enough ranting. I'm getting motion sickness, and besides,
school is just 2 stops away.

Sent from my iPhone

P.s.: turns out I have things to complain about! What a surprise!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Run out of juicy ideas...

If you could give a pH indicator for my brain now, it would be pH7. Neutral, because no more reaction is occuring.

I'm out of ideas.

Yes, I might throw in the towel by the end of this post, because it appears that I can't blog anymore. I just can't because normally, I can think of something to post about just by going on Facebook or Twitter or Digg.

But not anymore.

No, it's not because I have no time to blog. That's nonsense. Utter nonsense, considering I have a 20-minute commute from home to school, 2-hour lunch breaks, and homework that can be done in less than 2 hours per week (that's 2x half of my ridiculously long lunch break)

It's just that life's getting boring.

Seriously, life is getting dull.

The weather is fine, my schedule is the same as that of a contract 9-5 office worker who doesn't need to do much except one month before that major event, I'm not very sick (I'm always sick. Sinus, perhaps?), and my hair is great (not). That's the problem. There's nothing to complain about, except for the fact that there's nothing to complain about.

If you're laughing while reading this, please tag.

If you still read my blog, tag.

If you're looking at this, tag.

If I get less than 10 responses, I will kill off not just this blog, but I'll bring down 4saints08 with my sinking blog as well.

This is post #1,015 (one thousand and fifteen).

Whether there'll be another 1,015 posts, depends on 10 of you.

For goodness sake, at least do something interesting on Facebook so I could blog about it!

Like Raymond hinting at tripolar.

Cheng, Raymond, and Ernest
 all adding middle names. 
Perry, Iven, and Ezra 
respectively. Though, to be honest, I was thinking in my head: 
Katy Perry, (Steve) Irwin, and Quakers
Yeah. no link...

And Ernest, I'm sorry. Not stop tagging me to a dog.

Ok, you know what? I turned bipolar. I won't kill my blog. I'm going to keep it alive.

Don't bother tagging.

I'll just watch Google Analytics.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Safari tip!

Just realised something interesting. 
If you're on Firefox or some other browser, sorry, this might not work. But if you're on Safari (especially the beta 4), you're in for a treat.

You know that bookmark bar below your address bar? 
assign the LINK (i.e.: exclude the bookmark folders) numerically in ascending order from left to right.


Now, let's say you want to hit the n-th link. On your keyboard, key in this combination:
where n is the number that you assigned to the link.

Now watch your browser load that link, without you having to move the mouse, or you typing a single 'w'.


Just watched a BBC programme called "10 Things You Need To Know About Sleep". Thought I should share some interesting information that I learnt from this show.

1) A drop in body temperature has been attributed to sleep. So, if you want to sleep, having a hot bath 1 hour before sleeping might help.

2) If you have severe insomnia, try this: limit yourself to 6 hours in the bedroom, regardless of whether you're sleeping or not. If you're not sleeping, stay awake and get out of the bedroom. After one month, you should be able to get reasonable amounts of sleep.

3) Nap: The best time to nap is 2-5pm. Anything earlier, your body just doesn't want to sleep. Anything later, it might eat into your sleep.

4)Snorer? Try over-the-counter solutions, or else see a doctor, especially if you're a heavy snorer, for it might signal a more serious condition (High blood pressure, stroke, etc)

5) Coffee and alcohol disturbs your sleep cycle. Coffee not only makes sleep harder, it inhibits deeper levels of sleep. Alcohol might make you get up several times in the second half of your sleep period. Avoid coffee and alcohol 4 hours before bedtime.

6) If you're a night-shift person (i.e.: you have to be awake before sunrise), you might want to know this: the body produces melatonin, a hormone that helps get you into deep sleep (REM sleep). If the light receptors in the retina detects light, melatonin is either suppressed, or its production stops. More specifically, it appears that blue light can lower melatonin levels. The point? If you have to be awake by 3am and working at 4am, try eating your breakfast near a blue, fluorescent light or something. You might feel more alert and awake by the time you work. At the same time, you might want to cover your windows to prevent light from entering and interrupting your sleep.

7) Thinking of food for lunch and dinner? Well, meals that are high in protein are probably a good idea for lunch as they seem to make people not-so-sleepy as compared to high-carb meals. But for dinner, high-carb meals is a good idea.

8) Jet-lag? There's a new scientific research that seems to say that not eating during your flight might curb jetlag. The idea? You don't eat anything during your flight (other than water), and only eat at the next appropriate meal time at your destination, on destination clock. Why? Because when you're eating at the destination, your body is in a sense syncing to your destination's eating-time clock, and this will overwrite your sleep-time clock. Not bad, eh?

9) Want to get to sleep? Tense up your muscles, then relax them, part by part, from your toes to your bums and to your face. For the choir people you guys should be familiar with this. Well, people sleep better when their body's more relaxed - not tense. by doing this exercise, it ensures all your muscles are relaxed, so you'll hopefully get to sleep better. But this isn't an excuse for sleeping during choir practice. Firstly, the choir room is brightly lit by fluorescent light (see point 6). Secondly, you're not lying flat on a bed.

10) Lavender and Valerian. They are herbs that have been related to relaxation and better sleep as a result.

Hope you learnt something useful! (See? My blog is not just nonsense!)

If you're able to access the iPlayer, check out this link:

Alternatively, see this:

adapted from: BBC One

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Book Recommendation

I have a confession.

I hate to read books.

I tried reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and I stopped at page 200+ out of 700+.

But recently, I picked up a book from the local library. And I love this book.

The book in question? Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.

Written by a New York Times Magazine Journalist (Stephen Dubner) and an Economist at the University of Chicago (Steven Levitt), Freakonomics looks at the world in general and answers some of the more obscure questions from an economist's point of view. Do Sumo Wrestlers and Chicago public school teachers have anything in common? What caused the drop in crime rate in the US in the 90's? Does a politician like Obama win an election, just because he has more money? Parenting - Who's right on the perfect way of parenting? And what about real estate agents?

This book dares to talk about controversial issues, such as the Ku Klux Klan, narcotics (Crack, specifically), common names of people from different races, and even abortion being a benefit for society. But this book really makes you think more openly. It widens your mind and how you see economics around you.

Just to give a little taste of what the book is about, here's a little quiz. Which of the following is a main cause of lowering crime rate in the1990s in the US?

a) Increased number of policemen
b) Roe v. Wade
c) Strong economy
d) Aging population
e) Increased reliance on prison

Well, the correct answers are a), b), and e)


In an over-simplified manner...
a) + Policeman = more authorative figures, some of whom police small things that weren't policed before, such as urinating on the street corner, etc. As such, people were more disciplined. 

b) In Roe v. Wade, The US Supreme Court legalised abortion in 1973. The result, single women, women unable to take care of a baby, low-income women, and teenaged girls are able to seek abortion. Some research pointed out that children born in above conditions have higher risks of being criminals (again, oversimplified. Not always the case). With most of these people out of population, by the time the cohort turned prime for crime (i.e.: late teens - early adulthood), they aren't alive to make trouble. Hence, we see lower crime rates.

c) Strong economy = more people in proper jobs. So less crime, right? Apparently, no. The 1960s was a period of growth, both economically and in terms of violent crime. So, it's easy to draw the correlation, but it's not conclusive.

d) Many researchers were looking at population data in the 80s and they predicted that as the kids of 1980s start growing till 1990s, crime will increase. Instead, crime decreased. They switched their theories to say aging population means more elderly folks, who are less likely to do crime. Ya right, as if a 16-year-old can suddenly become a 60-year-old in a matter of a decade. Nice try.

e) Increased reliance on prison - harsher punishments, to be exact - meant less incentive of doing crime. Previously, punishments were not as harsh - apparently most criminals were African-Americans and Hispanics, and the courts feared they would look racist. Result - slimmer chance of being convicted, or if convicted, short prison terms. It took much debate and after the 70s, more were landing in jail for longer terms, meaning less incentive to commit a crime.

I really enjoyed reading this book so far. It's amazing what you can learn from this book. You'll see Psychology, Mathematics, Economics, and Sociology mixed together into one book that is totally random.

Rating: 4.5/5. (not a 5, because the book jumps around between topics too much, and there's a bit of repetition at times.)

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Economics and music patterns

I'm going to swinging from topic to topic, just so you know.

I have to do a presentation for Key Skills Class (think of it as learning skills). The topic has to be related to what we are studying. So for me, it has to be relevant to either Maths, Accounting, Psychology, or Economics.

So let's narrow down that list...

Maths - What the hell am I going to present? That Fibonacci number pattern + Pigeonhole Principle thing? again? really? Wasn't the first time not very successful?

Accounting - Another big problem. What can I present that is going to be interesting and not difficult to put into words for me to speak (the powerpoint isn't a problem. but the 'speech that goes with the PPT, that's a problem)?

So it was down to Psychology and Economics. In the end, I took the easy route - I chose Econs.

I'm doing a presentation on how the tiered pricing model in the iTunes music store affects the demand and supply of digital music download, and how the competition (Amazon MP3) affects iTunes with its cheaper prices. Basically, I'm focusing on the demand & supply bit in microeconomics.

Interesting, yah?

I have to say, I love the Amazon store for its prices. You can get tracks for 29p - 79p (most that I want are 69p), much cheaper than iTunes' 59p - 99p pricing (and most that I want are either 79p or 99p). 

But of course, that doesn't mean I stop buying things from iTunes. I still get Heroes episodes from iTunes, and let's not forget movie rentals (I like to rent movies for the weekends) and Apps. I just bought Cooking Mama for my iPhone. Yes. That Wii / DS game is now on the iPhone. very fun. Made me smile while I was playing the game, for some strange unexplainable reason. It's an awesome game for the iPhone.

Back to music: I realised that my music taste has been changing over the years. It's like every year brings something new for me to like. Just look at the bolded words that describe the theme of the different years.

2001 till 2005 was largely The Corrs, mixed in with other stuff that I can no longer remember. But after I learnt to accept the fact that The Corrs is on a long-term hiatus, I moved on.

2006 gave me the more obscure stuff like Les Choristes, Imogen Heap, and more.

2007 was the year of the punk rock (ish) with Linkin Park and Avril Lavigne, and some extras with KT Tunstall, Radiohead and Timbaland's gang at the side. Also, the Umbrella became the word of the year, thanks to Rihanna.

2008 saw the rise of Coldplay, Jason Mraz, and Fall Out Boy. Emo-ish (if you listen to their songs / lyrics), towards both ends of the gentle-vs-rock spectrum.

This year, though, the theme appears to be Dance-ish.

Just look at the artistes / songs that I've been liking so far this year.

•Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You
Slightly techno + dance theme.

•AR Rahman and PCD - Jai Ho!
very upbeat, and just look at the movie - the original song was used in the closing dance credit in Slumdog Millionaire.

•Metro Station - Shake It
Shake it! sounds like a dance number to me...

•Noisettes - Don't Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go)
Reminds me of a dance instructor's song.

•Lady Gaga
The song "Just Dance" says it all. I think she might have started my addiction to dance beats...

So, perhaps this is the big theme of the year? Dance-ish music?

We'll see...

I'm a hippy, but this movie...

I love the environment and all,

but I have to say

The 11th Hour

is not a movie.

It's basically a 2-hour long video of interviews with different people
(some of which I really admire, no doubt), clipped together with
narrations by Leonardo DiCaprio and footages from Linkin Park's music
video "What I've Done".

That's it.

Don't even rent it. Don't even torrent it. Don't even waste your time.
Unless you're looking for quotes for a GP paper or something, no.
Don't buy or rent it. You'll bore yourself.

Sorry. had to let that out.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

App Store Pick: Lemonade Tycoon

Not sure if anyone out there has access to the iTunes App Store (my
blog's read by my friends, who're mostly under 21 and underaged for a
Visa credit card, for the uninformed visitors who was about to tag
"You idiot, 700million accounts w/ credit cards in the iTunes Store?!
that's 10% of the world's population!"), but if you're lucky enough to
have one, go get Lemonade Tycoon. It's a classic game, and EA has
brought it onto the iPhone and iPod touch. Last I saw, it's FREE, so
go get it quick!

From Aaron Chua's blog

Very often, Aaron uploads something fascinating and mind-widening on his blog,

Just recently, I saw one post on Oprah Winfrey on his blog. The post goes like this:


Do you know about Oprah Winfrey's concept on Jesus and God? If you are a fan of Oprah, you are in for a disturbing shock. She claims that Jesus is'nt the only way to God, and that we are our own God. Take time to view these videos and pray for the millions who are falling into her trap.

2 Corinthians 11:3 (New International Version)
3But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Yea, I heard about this a while ago. 

But personally, I would find it disappointing if Christians continues to condemn Oprah Winfrey, who is indeed promoting New Age belief. On another hand, Christians should rejoice because Oprah is a good person, she is helping the needy. We should not condemn her, not quick to judge her even though she is non-believer. We should be like Jesus, who never condemn non-believers but don't like the religious person, The Pharisees - who quick to condemn non-believers.

I've heard about "Pharisees-like Christians" telling non-believers and the unchurched that Oprah Winfrey shows are demonic. And they warn them to never watch them, or the non-believers and the unchurched would be demonized and burn in hell! Like this, how would non-believers convert? They would feel that Christians are quick to judge and condemn. I have a friend who refuses to come to Christ, the reason is simply because some "Pharisees-like Christians" visited his house and condemn his religious practices.

According to research in the US,
87% of the unchurched don't want to go to church because they find church people judgemental.

So, in order to make the unchurched come to church, we got to stop judging and condemning, especially non-believers.
Yes, Oprah is promoting New Age belief, but we need not necessarily broadcast our views. (:

Aaron gave his view on Oprah's actions as a prominent person in the media and her influence. But that's not what I wanted to talk about. You can go to his blog to read his p.o.v. (I'm not undermining it, just saving space so you have the attention span for mine. hehe.) I have mine, and it's this:

When I read this post, it reminded me of my former guardians. My 'aunt', especially. She was a Buddhist, and she's quite "against" Christians (not Catholics, though. Read on to find out why.) because she said this one thing that I found very difficult to swallow: "Some Christians are so quick to 'condemn' other people's faith, and even say that we'll burn in hell unless we join Christianity." She went on to say "You guys are good at grabbing people over from other religions by using this fear tactic. I'm not so gullible.".

To be honest, I think she's right. Only a portion of Christians are like that, but that also equates to "some", as she said. She said some, because she also sees some goodness in believers. She grew up educated in a Catholic primary school, where she said she saw care and compassion. But she doesn't think Christians (she views Catholics and non-Catholic Christians as separate) show care, especially when they condemn and criticize other people's actions. Person A in the email above is one such example.

True, Oprah is pretty much undermining one entire faith by her statement (that's my faith she's talking down.). She, being the literary royalty she is with her book club and prowess in the English language as a talk show host, should be able to come up with some better, less 'anti-religion' way of saying we can manage our lives. Fair enough. And she is influential, no doubt about that. So influential, a statement like that has caused SOME Christians to condemn her and her show.

Before I continue, let's draw a parallel. Remember the "Danish cartoon depicting muslims as terrorist" incident from several years ago? The reaction that it drew was quite chaotic, wasn't it?

My point is that you don't solve a spark (an insensetive statement from Oprah or that Danish cartoon) with oil (condemnation, death threats. whatever). You'll start a fire (backlash from both sides. Apparently, the Danish newspaper re-circulated the cartoon just to say they stand for freedom of speech, provoking Muslims worldwide and causing more violent retaliation.). You solve a spark with some patience (restraint) and fixing the error with tape (filling the need for love and care of the person in question).

Well, that's what I think. Aaron thinks a bit differently, and so do I. So you probably have a different thought, too. What's your view? This is not CNN iReport, but please post on my tagboard, or if your response is multi-paragraph, post on your blog and say on my tagboard! I want to know what you think, really, even though sometimes I don't show I do ('cause you can't see me, duh. I really read what you say.)

MBP battery status.

Just did a battery drain test on my MBP.

I spent half an hour on "Better Battery Life" mode (i.e.: the 9600M GT
Graphics card was off) and after which I switched to the better
graphics mode till the laptop was screaming for power.

During this test, Wifi was on and connected, and I was browsing for
Windows 7 RC1. During the first 45 minutes, I was also playing with
Microsoft Powerpoint for Mac. So, these are "real-life conditions",
not "I'm a mad mobile gamer" results.


30 min on 9400M GT
3 hours 13 mins on 9600M GT

Total: 3 hours 43 minutes of typical user's usage.

No peripherals connected (i.e.: no iPhone or iPod charging).

What do you think? Not bad, eh?

Vista 2.0 RC1?

In case you haven't heard...

Windows 7 RC1 is available for download now!

For everyone!

Not just Technet and MSDN subscribers.



Darn it, must I spell it out, or are you 80?


The Windows 7 Release Candidate is available. Download it here when you're ready.

I'm downloading it as I type this, and I'll get a DVD tomorrow. Wish me luck!

P.s.: I'm getting the 64-bit version, because apparently, MacBook Pros built after early 2008 support 64-bit Microsoft OSes. So, this will officially be the first 64-bit non-UNIX (read: anything not Mac.) OS I'll ever try. So, this will be interesting.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Tech tip: Apple In-Ear Earphones

For those people who landed on my blog while googling, welcome.

I just bought the Apple In-Ear Earphones (the new ones with the dual-
drivers, mic, and remote). And I thought I should write a review on it.

As a pre-review disclosure, I have previously owned the Sennheiser
CX300 and MM50 (which are the same, except that the MM50 are meant for
iPhones and come with a remote and mic. My CX300 spoilt, so I got the
MM50. It's not because I desperately needed the extra features, just
that the prices were the same).

The Apple In Ear Earphones with remote and mic, hereon referred to as
the cans, is a decent earpiece. These cans have a tweeter for the
treble and woofer for the bass, or so Apple says. They come in a nice
packaging with extra ear cups for small and large ears (more on that
later) and a nice case (not recommended for daily use, as it's quite
unpractical, the way it's designed).

The cans have a remote for play/pause/forward/previous track and a mic
that works with all latest-gen iPods and all iPhones, as well as the
latest MacBooks. In addition, the iPods and MacBooks support the
volume control. The iPhone 3G, unfortunately, still doesn't support
the volume control yet.

The most important thing about any can(s) is its ability to produce
beautiful sound and feel comfortable.

These cans have the best vocal production I've ever heard (very
realistic reproduction of vocals, I might add). Mid-range and treble
instruments (pianos, most guitars except the bass and some electric,
the ukulele, etc) sound awesome.

You notice I've not mentioned the bass. Well, it's, to put it in a
nice way, technically and accurately balanced. But, unfortunately,
this means it's weaker than other cans which tend to produce pumping
bass for the same price, + or -. Why did Apple choose to keep it
balanced? Maybe the audio engineers there are acoustic communists, but
whatever the reason, many people will feel it's lacking. I'm one of
them, having come from the MM50 which produces strong, sometimes
overpowered bass. Mind you, the Sennheisers are one-driver earphones
(as far as I know, that is).

But other than that, I do recommend trying the earphones for yourself
before buying them. I used the large and medium ear-cups. amazingly,
the large ear-cups resulted in much improved bass, possibly due to a
better fit, so do note these when you try or buy yours. Test the 3
sizes for sound quality, fitting, and comfort.

Also, Apple may have accidentally designed these phones such that
people with certain ear shapes will get better sound (specifically,
bass) than others. I'm lucky to be in the lucky category, as long as I
use the large ear cups.

Ok, I want to read what you guys think. Do post on my tagboard what
you think of earphones, especially in-ears!