Singlish or no Singlish?

Well, this is a really old argument. But the minister pointed out something quite true.

Minister Balakrishnan cautions against promoting use of Singlish

SINGAPORE: Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has cautioned against promoting the use of Singlish.

Speaking at the Pre-University Seminar 2008 on Tuesday, Dr Balakrishnan said the move to promote the lingo is a “pet project” by “linguistic elites” that can cause more harm than good.

He said those championing the local lingo are mostly highly educated individuals who are able to effortlessly switch from Singlish to proper English.

“But very few of us, to be honest with you, really have the ability. For most of us, we can only speak one way. So I’ve often felt there’s a bit of intellectual snobbery on the part of people who push Singlish,” Dr Balakrishnan said. (Source: ChannelNewsAsia)

That actually is pretty true now to think of it. But if you think of it from a different point of view, could this be also something to do with the fact that only the people who speak well dare to voice out in public?

And if that is the case, wouldn’t that be a good reason to encourage people to speak in better english?

Internet speed and my productivity

I’m really happy today and I keep posting new entries. And why is this so? Because my internet seemed a lot faster and Media Temple seem to be behaving pretty well. Is it the end of their storage and whatever problems?

We’ll see. But so far so good. I’m pleased. I mean, at least these stuff actually is loading.

On a side note, having internet has always decrease my productivity a little. So much things to read, so much things to catch up. Often, I hear people saying they aren’t productive and attribute it to the internet. I work and breathe the internet, and I thereby admit that I grew unproductive due to it. I guess that’s a reasonable tradeoff considering the wealth of information available in the internet.

Internet speed and my productivity

Even with search, newsreaders, social networks and blahblahs, I never really achieve much productivity boosts. These tools merely introduce new distractions, new things to try on. Things that require your time, your energy. Things that break time and again and have this huge beta label on it.

I live by them now.

List of Ubuntu derivatives

Was at Wikipedia checking out more information about Linux distributions when I chance upon an article on Ubuntu distributions.

  • gNewSense is designed for users who wish to use only free software. It is officially supported and recommended by the Free Software Foundation. The project has also produced a set of scripts that allow anyone to create a free distribution.
  • Goobuntu is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that Google uses internally. It is not released outside Google.
  • gOS early versions used the Enlightenment window manager, featuring Google Apps and other web-based applications.
  • Linux Mint‘s purpose is to produce an elegant, up to date and comfortable Linux desktop based on Ubuntu.

There’s so much distributions. They are all unofficial distributions by the way. And some are religion-related:

  • Ubuntu Christian Edition (also referred to as Ubuntu CE) is a distribution designed for Christians. The first version of Ubuntu Christian Edition was announced on 24 July 2006.[4] Ubuntu Christian Edition features fully integrated web content parental controls powered by DansGuardian, as well as a graphical tool to adjust the parental control settings specifically developed for Ubuntu Christian Edition, and includes several popular Bible Study Programs such as GnomeSword.
  • Ubuntu Muslim Edition (also referred to as Ubuntu ME) is a distribution designed for Muslims. Ubuntu Muslim Edition is a free, open source operating system based on Ubuntu. Its main feature is the inclusion of Islamic software, such as prayer times, a Qur’an study tool and a web content filtering utility.
  • Ubuntu Satanic Edition (also referred to as Ubuntu SE) is a series of dark themes for Ubuntu, and a parody of Ubuntu Christian Edition. It’s not a derivative distro, the themes can be installed on any Gnome or KDE based distro.

 I laughed when I saw Ubuntu Christian Edition which is now, by the way, suspended: Continue reading “List of Ubuntu derivatives”

How to eavesdrop on Bluetooth conversations

A demo on how to attack and capture audio on a Bluetooth headset using a handheld Nokia.

How To Eavesdrop on Bluetooth Conversations

I don’t know what’s going on half the time, but it made me avoid Bluetooth headsets. I don’t really get what’s the cool factor of having one of those Bluetooth sets that hangs on the ear. It looks odd, doesn’t look cool and you can probably see some people in their late thirties flaunting them as if they’re the latest gadget or something. I feel like crying each time I see it and not in the Robert Scoble way for sure.

Some thoughts on Christianity

I just realized I haven’t been going to the church for the past one month. It’s always sleeping late that is the main cause. And when it’s morning time, I’m too tired to go to church. Going to church seems to be more of a chore these days unfortunately.

Christian cross

Many times I tell myself if this thing happens my way I’ll go to church coming Sunday. I’m just lying. I didn’t get up week after week. My mom is mad at me but I can’t be bothered with her anger. And that’s because I want to be able to choose. I am still that kind of person that would like to choose different paths. Even for religion, sometimes I thought about trying other religions. Or perhaps not having one and see how its like.

A few stronger Christians talked to me about this. But I think they don’t really get my point. Their point is Christianity is the true religion kinda thing and you cannot sin and worship other Gods. But my point is what if it isn’t. Quoting the bible which is not really the best form of argument.

I heard the God is great, God is good. But I can’t help but to think what if we’re wrong. What if the God is this being that is destructive, hateful and is simply around to mess up over lives. And this God, with him being evil and all, is the being that we should worship. I have many what-ifs.

Unfortunately, I don’t get good answers. I get answers like, “No, God is all good.” They get very defensive but sometimes I just want an open discussion. Be open, explore and think a little. Why can’t they be a bit more open to discussing this.

One-fifth of U.S. shows no love to email

I’m surprised that so many people actually use email. If it’s 18% that didn’t use email, it’s about 82% using email. Are that many people using email? No, but they used email before.

It would be interesting if the number of emails sent per day can be tracked somehow. I think the number of emails sent per day, per person, would be declining.

20% of U.S. Has Never Sent E-mail

A recent phone survey of U.S. households by Parks found 20 million households are without Internet access, approximately 18 percent of all U.S. households.

“Nearly one out of three household heads has never used a computer to create a document,” said John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates, in a statement. “These data underscore the significant digital divide between the connected majority and the homes in the unconnected minority that rarely, if ever, use a computer.”

Age and education are factors in this divide, Park found. One-half of those who have never used e-mail are over 65, and 56 percent had no schooling beyond high school. (Source: PC World)

Why I don’t like email

My email is full of spam and even with the Gmail mail spam filters, some spam still get through. Email is too vulnerable to spam. There’s this saying that the internet is created by a bunch of good people and they haven’t thoroughly thought about how their protocols can be possibly abused – it’s true.

Especially today when developers are so eager in pushing out new products just to be the first, sometimes they missed out tiny little details and made the product exploitable by people with ill intentions.

SIM made compulsory an invitation

I was trying to login to SIM (Singapore Institute of Management) student portal and was greeted with the following:

SIM Electronic Course Evaluation feedback

Electronic Course Evaluation (eCE) system

Dear SIM student,

As a student of the SIM, you are invited to give your feedback and evaluate the SIM in the areas of academic and Programme management. Your inputs are very important in helping us assess the overall success of the programme and improve our level of service to you.

Thank you.
Pamela Tan
Divisional Director
Student Care and Academic Services

The course evaluation system is compulsory. This pisses me off. I hate to fill in forms. If I don’t fill the bloody form I can’t access the student portal. And no, logging in and out didn’t work. I’m just stuck at this ‘invitation’ all over again. I have 2 options:

  1. Call the admin to retract the invitation
  2. Do the invitation


You know which one I’ll pick – I guess the latter… I hate to call offices too.

Fatty frog crying

The document continues to elaborate:

The eCE will replace the traditional pen and paper medium and it has the following benefits:

  • will not take up your class time
  • allow you to give us candid feedback at your convenience
  • you have more time to reflect on your comments

Somehow I rather they take my class time… This is not a benefit. It’s waste my time at home. If I will most certainly give candid feedback on the feedback system. Honestly, I totally lost faith in these feedback forms. I don’t see a point doing something I don’t believe in. Continue reading “SIM made compulsory an invitation”

The disadvantages of Media Temple as your host

I’m losing patience with Media Temple. I pay around 20USD per month for Media Temple’s Grid-Service and I’m starting to wonder if it’s just some sort of a marketing thing. They made it sound so reliable and blah blah but in reality it’s feels kinda slow. Media Temple serves huge files pretty quickly. Unfortunately, when it comes to responding to requests, they seem slowly than other web hosts.

Anyway I filed a support ticket complaining that their database seemed problematic.

My support ticket on 2008/03/31 11:28

I get this Error establishing a database connection.

And I can’t access phpmyadmin, it says too many connections. What’s happening?

The database seem to be problematic…

By the way, Firefox’s dictionary suggested ‘phpmyadmin’ to be corrected to ‘badminton’. And this is the reply I get from them. Basically, they’re trying to get me to pay more money again.

Support response on 2008/04/01 20:39

Sorry for any inconvenience that you may have experienced by this. We also apologize for any lack of information provided to you. I’ll try to explain the best that I can.

Essentially you are in a shared server environment. The (gs) Grid runs off of a cluster of servers and provides resources to multiple users at once. In that, you also share database servers and the resources provided. When a “Bad Neighbor” performs some sort of unauthorized action, such as running scripts or queries that are configured to run for long periods of time and consume large amounts of resources.

When you are receiving the “too many connections” error, this means your are experiencing the “Bad Neighbor Affect”. Meaning that someone else has caused the server to reach a high load. When this happens, the database is isolated and that particular “Bad Neighbor” is bumped off of the database server and notified of their actions. During this time is when you are receiving the error. Once everything is resolved the database is restored and accessible again. Continue reading “The disadvantages of Media Temple as your host”

How much time I spent on reorganizing my computer

Okay, as I was saying, my computer’s getting kinda cluttered and things are just getting harder and harder to find. I use Windows Vista Business, I have multiple copies of Apache, MySQL, Ruby, PHP and other this sort of programs in my computer. If you don’t know what they are, you probably wouldn’t like my blog, maybe you’d be better off at BoingBoing or watching some inspiring videos at TED.

The problem with having multiple copies is that you don’t know when to launch what. Every time I want to – say – launch MySQL, I start thinking really hard which folder should I go into. And when my mind is kinda switching off I often find my mouse pointer moving towards Safari browser icon and visiting Counter-productivity at the very best or worst – you decide.

I always tell myself, okay, next time when I re-setup my computer I’ll do this and that and so on… Each time I re-setup my computer, I always find a flaw with my existing setup. I will restructure my folders again, partition things differently this time. And I always have this optimistic thought that this time I’m really getting it right.

I rarely do. Two months later I would look back at my system thinking of new ways to refine my setup for the future.

Maybe the problem isn’t with me. Maybe the problem is with just the way computers are. All these labyrinth-like hierarchy of folders, it’s more messy than my family tree. Some day, we should kill the ideas of folders, they’re a good way of organizing things but today with people storing more and more files, the concept of folders is hardly a good idea.