Default surfing

Know of the time when your mind’s spacing out and your fingers start typing things in your address bar and pressing Enter?

It used to be Yahoo.com that I go to when I have nothing in mind. I don’t know why but it seems like my mind’s portal of choice. Uh, it’s not mine, it’s my mind’s. Anyway, it has since changed to Facebook.com and I am concerned.

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.com, that it is that I love to hate it. Facebook.com has my photographs and life trapped in it and just the other day I was using Facebook to date a particular moment of my life. I am so reliant on a channel that it almost is part of me. My friends are there, okay, my friends’ profiles are there. Facebook manages to make me feel I’ve done my social homework everyday and it fulfills my need to be close to people somewhat sufficiently.

But, there are times when I typed Facebook.com on my browser windows only to close it in defiance. This is the rebel facility in my mind acting up. I call it a bunch of names:

  • Unsocial
  • Fake social
  • Toilet status machine
  • Rant Reader 2.0

At one point of time I blocked myself from Facebook.com by, very smartly, adding Facebook.com to my /etc/hosts file. I remained proud of myself till the day I had to do some work on Facebook. I now have it unblocked and Chrome is picking it up as one of my most frequented sites.

So let’s look at my most frequented sites:

  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • Hacker News
  • Google Reader
  • YouTube
  • Gmail
  • Cafyn
  • CNN

Okay I can’t continue my topic from here, let’s go back to the topic on Facebook.

My point is Facebook has become some sort of a validation tool. Nothing happened unless it’s on Facebook. Went to Australia? No you didn’t, because it ain’t on Facebook. Which is why it took me so long to put up my Sydney and Melbourne photographs (I still have yet to). I felt a part of me is putting it up to confirmed my presence in Australia and that disturbed me.

And think of the time you do something good and write on Facebook.com. What happens? Your friends flock to Like your comment. You feel pleased and your act of kindness is validated by their likes. For the lazy, Facebook is the new moral compass. “I’m not sure what I am doing is right or not. I’ll put it on Facebook.”

Then the rants. Facebook is the most unhappy website for me because I read far too many complaints I feel unhappy too. There’s just too many rants on Facebook until I feel a little less reading lightens my mood.

Now look at your news feed and look at what people are sharing on Facebook. I’m not sure about your news feed but mine is filled with music videos. “Charles shared this with me the –” I stopped and thought for a while. Well he did share it to Facebook but it wasn’t specifically to me. Suddenly sharing the way I understand is evolving. I don’t feel the exclusivity anymore and they’re sharing everything they found interesting. I missed the times when shares are with more intent, now things are just so random. Furthermore I don’t feel my friend really shared things with me. My friend just delegated the sharing to Facebook. My friend is Facebook.

I am back to blocking Facebook. I’m staying away from it for a while. It’s getting depressing.

Disconnecting myself

I’m getting increasing tired of the notifications that I have in my life. The top offenders for me are Facebook, LINE, Google Talk, whatsapp and email.

I feel obliged to clear the notification icons on my desktop and phone. There are just too many ways of reaching me. And I like to experiment with new technologies that I install and sign up so many applications to connect myself even more.

I’m opting to disconnect for a while, maybe three months. No more Facebook. I have a major fatigue over notifications. I get increasingly annoyed with these distractions. The only one I cannot unplug from is email, my major chore of the day.

Skype 5 for Windows

I just upgraded to Skype 5.0 for Windows. It’s really good at first glance. No longer are there annoying floating ads to get me to make phone calls. Overall the interface looks more polished than before. The integration with Facebook is a nice touch although I can’t find a reason to use Facebook through Skype. Now I will hope they get the Mac OS X one released soon too. Great job there.

Going against Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games

Not everyone is merry over Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Even as the YOG comes to a closing today, I still hear the resentment. I am largely indifferent over the matter and I don’t know enough of it to contribute an opinion.

Singaporean arrested after Facebook attack on govt

In a statement, police said they had arrested a “man in his late 20s” on Tuesday “in connection with investigations into offences related to incitement of violence”.

…Abdul Malik Ghazali, 27, who posted a series of comments on the social networking site critical of how Singapore is hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

The August 14-26 event, held for competitors aged from 14 to 18, has generated limited public interest, with many events blighted by empty seats and the host country’s athletes faring badly.

Vivian Balakrishnan, the minister for community development, youth and sports, has come under particular fire from online critics over the games.

Abdul Malik’s postings on his own Facebook page and on a separate group account called “I hate the Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee” are also critical of Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

He said it was time to “burn” the sports minister and the PAP. “Rally together and vote them out!!!” he wrote.

“I did not intend for it to be taken literally. I did not mean for someone to actually burn,” he said. –AFP (Source: Asiaone)

Here’s what the group has to say and what they describe themselves to be:

We are Singaporeans who are disappointed and angry with the YOG organising Committee (SYOGOC).

The SYOGOC ballooned its initial budget of S$105 million for the YOG to S$387 million. In contrast, this government allocated only $92 million to the ComCare and Social Support Programme for needy Singaporeans in 2010.

The SYOGOC chose to fake its ticket sales results by having MOE to purchase the bulk of the tickets. This has led to the strange phenomenon of the half-filled stadiums and competition halls, despite tickets being fully “sold out”!

Students were coerced by their schools to support the torch relays and to attend YOG events. The volunteers were badly treated with substandard and even unsafe food!

It is an event organised by the politicians for the politicians to look good in front of foreigners, and the government is splurging on taxpayers’ money like nobody’s business.

We hate the YOG Organising Committee!

The group has 2,796 members currently.

Okay time for Merly:

Merly Youth Olympics Singapore 2010

(Merly Youth Olympics Singapore 2010.)

Friendster to be acquired in December

Friendster next target for an acquisition, sources close to Reuters reveal. I would think this is the end of the Friendster.

Friendster to be sold by month’s end -source

SHANGHAI, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Friendster, one of the world’s earliest social networking sites, will be sold to an Asian buyer by the end of December for at least $100 million, a source familiar with the matter said.

Friendster, which predates Facebook and MySpace in the social networking space was founded in 2002. But it quickly lost ground to other social networking sites in the United States. Friendster is now mostly used in Asia where more than half of its registered 100 million users are from.

Friendster will be sold to an Asian listed firm for more than $100 million in a deal set to be announced by the end of the month, said a source who declined to be identified as the information was not yet public.

Headquartered in California, Friendster had turned down a $30 million buyout offer from Google Inc (GOOG.O) six years ago, according to newspaper reports.

Tencent Holdings (0700.HK), China’s largest Internet firm by market value at $35 billion, was among the short-listed bidders, while Facebook also showed interest but was turned down due to competition and intellectual property issues, the source said. (Source: Reuters)

Thanks for pioneering the idea of how social network should be but you will not be missed.

INQ Mini 3G roadshow

Interested in the INQ mobile phones?

INQ mobile
INQ mobile

For two days, from tomorrow (Oct 31 to Nov 01 2009), SingTel will be hosting the INQ Mini 3G Roadshow in Plaza Singapura (Singapore) where you stand a chance of meeting MediaCorp artistes Dai Yang Tian (Oct 31 @ 8 pm) and Elvin Ng (Nov 01 @ 8 pm).

SingTel has a good offer for INQ Mini 3G this round if you print out the following coupon:

INQ roadshow coupon

You get the following with the coupon printed out (print it here):

  • Free pack of 3 INQ Mini 3G battery covers (worth SGD34.95)
  • Waiver or registration fee and SIM card charges (worth SGD42.80)

If you do get an INQ Mini 3G on the roadshow, you’re eligible for a lucky draw with prizes redemption of a 12-month SingTel mobile subscription. One winner will be picked on each day.

So head down to Plaza Singapura (Singapore) between 11 am to 10 pm on days Oct 31, Nov 01 for the INQ Mini 3G roadshow!