Men love shopping online

BusinessWeek reports that men love their shopping as much as women but the departmental stores are women-focus. Men would pay for convenience in their shopping more.

Men who have had to live with department stores designed primarily for women are flocking to websites such as Bonobos and Thrillist that push convenience and a fast shopping experience.

“Men don’t hate fashion, they just hate shopping the way it’s designed for women,” said Ben Lerer, founder of Thrillist, which gives men tips for activities or products and then sells them. “The young generation of guys love to shop, they love to talk about the brands they like and they really care about how they look.”

While women’s share of the online clothing market is still more than double men’s, the men’s market is growing faster, at a 13 percent annual rate compared with 10 percent for women, according to NPD Group, a consumer tracking service.

The market for clothing and accessories is expected to grow 78 percent to $73 billion by 2016, according to EMarketer. That’s faster than categories like electronics or music.

In Singapore there is still a lack of men-focused online stores. A couple of names come up to my mind when it comes to online fashion — ASOS and Zalora. Both ships to Singapore and are popular among online shoppers. Is there any men-focused online stores I have missed? If you have plans to start one, do tell me about it. Hint: I’m a senior software engineer and web developer.

Data plans in Australia

Thinking of travelling to Australia and getting data connectivity? Here are some things to note:

Australia is very well connected in the cities. Typically 3G speeds are great. One of the better data plans to get is Optus’ 2 AUD per day prepaid card. I own an iPhone 5 and they already have nano SIM card options. I purchased one for 15 AUD to last me for 6 days, having unlimited data, local voice and local SMS.

Now for the down side — Optus doesn’t allow you to create Personal Hotspots using iPhone 5. Once you plug the newly purchased SIM card, Personal Hotspots disappear from the Settings menu. Optus only allow post-paid to have this option. If you cannot create Personal Hotspots you basically can’t use your iPhone as a data modem with your newly purchased SIM card. You might have better luck with Vodafone although I highly recommend you to enquire the mobile data plan provider.

If you’re thinking of relying on free WiFi connectivity you will be disappointed. Free Wi-Fi is a rarity and so far the 2 Starbucks I passed by, one at Elizabeth Street and another around Pitts Street, doesn’t offer WiFi. Free WiFi doesn’t seem to be available in the airport too. The hotel that I stay in, Metro Hotel Sydney Central offers WiFi at 5 AUD per hour or 15 AUD per day.

I highly recommend you to get mobile data plans if you are traveling without a guide or alone like in my case.

Sydney is easy to navigate in the The Rocks and the City Centre with helpful signs all around. It’s easy to get lost while walking through the Royal Botanical Gardens though. You can rely on the kindness of others to help you. Most Australians are friendly and wouldn’t mind directing the tourist to their destinations. If you’re just going to be there for a day, just remember the full address of your hotel, including the area where it is located, you can generally be safe without a data plan.

Leaving Singapore

I’m leaving Singapore for Sydney in 30 minutes. It feels a little weird traveling alone. I made some mistakes but none that cannot be resolved.

Here are passengers at the departure gate. I’m flying with Scoot Airlines this time.

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My mistake is not realizing you need a visa to travel to Australia. Not too much trouble though, the Changi Airport staff are friendly and one of them responded promptly to offer help with her iPad.

I do not display the Singapore flag

I do not hang the Singapore flag outside my window. It is not because I don’t like the country as much as others.

For some, having the Singapore flag displayed out is a pride thing. I feel proud of Singapore even without the flag and the flag just doesn’t represent the same thing as my compatriots which could represent a sense of duty, allegiance, sovereignty or whatever.

There’s a lot more to do than just displaying a flag. You could, for example, give up seats for others who needs it more than you. Just do little actions that can result in a more gracious society in your own little way. Be proud of Singapore being the better place you want to be in by making it a little better everyday. Have that represent Singapore and we do need flags.

Reading on Amazon Kindle

I can’t recommend Amazon Kindle enough if you’re an avid reader. I got mine delivered over from the US to Singapore through a proxy courier. I think I used comGateway.

Since then I bought numerous books from the US shop without trouble, it all get delivered to my Kindle. I haven’t encountered phone verification of any sort.

The question I get most from people is what is it that don’t work in Singapore. Well, the 3G internet on the Kindle can only access Wikipedia and Amazon websites unfortunately. Other than that everything works fine.

I have been using Kindle for Mac more often lately:

Kindle for Mac.

It’s a lot easier to search through the annotations in the desktop application.

WorldSkills Singapore 2012

Last week, I was at WorldSkills Singapore 2012 for the Web Design category as Deputy Chief Judge where I was joined with Addison Kang (Shanda Games) and Ivy Liong (Waka Waka):

Web Design category in WorldSkills Singapore 2012 competition

The competitors are from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic. The competition is held in ITE College West in Choa Chu Kang.

I saw other interesting competition. Here are the iron chefs:

Chefs at work, WorldSkills Singapore 2012 competition
Continue reading “WorldSkills Singapore 2012”

CHC member alleged defamation in report

City Harvest Church (CHC) member writes to MCYS to complain of Commissioner of Charities statements.

CHC member writes to MCYS alleging defamation

A City Harvest Church member, Christopher Pang, has written to Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth & Sports Chan Chun Sing alleging that the Commissioner of Charities’ statement on the misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the charity is defamatory.

Speaking up for the five leaders who were charged in court on Wednesday, Mr Pang claimed that the statement is defamatory, and asked for an apology from the Commissioner of Charities.

He asserted that as a society, the church does not owe members of the public any account of how its funds are used, yet audited accounts are posted on the church’s website for transparency and accountability.

He added that he was not supportive of the move by the Commissioner of Charities to suspend eight church leaders from their offices.

He is particular about the word usage and allegations among others:

There was even an attempt to conceal the existence of this Account by closing the joint bank account and dealing only in cash transactions, which was kept in a safe at the Charity.

Blah blah.

Really?

Of all that was in the report, subject is scrutinizing it over possible defamations? The point of the report is much more than that. Christians in general will not want to be prejudiced over an incident as tiny as City Harvest Church incident; subject should not pick on work processes done incorrectly as he alleged. His allegations act as a poor diversion to the bigger picture — a charitable organization has mismanaged a large sum of money. While he can continue to be upset of over possible defamations, no charity organization should let the mismanagement incident slide and work on improving their accountability among charities.