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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Nokia Connecting People?

Back in the  late 1990s, there were 3 major mobile phone brands and there are Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia. Nokia was leading in term of consumer preference. Back then a mobile phone is good for SMS and phone call.

My first Mobile phone was a Nokia and it was handed down from my brother. It was a deluxe model 8810 a pretty old model by then in the early 2000.


I was so pleased with Nokia that I got my own mobile phone Nokia 6210 while returning the 8810 back to my brother. It was still in good working condition after close to 2 years of usage from my end. There wasn't much progression as affordable internet infrastructure was not really set up and the only way to assess internet you need to use WEP for simple text and small size 1 bit graphic.


My business with Nokia was rather short lived as less than a year later, the blooming of color screen and camera function from SonyEricsson kick in.Yes Sony has pair up with Ericsson and for the next few years, they were the leaders in mobile phone. With Sony experience in walkman (dawning of MP3 not to mention Napster) and technology of digital camera, it really create lot of love for people to start taking photos and listen to music.


Although Nokia was still a reliable brand, there was nothing really to shout about to me. All their design was similar with their iconic look and although they started to have color screen, the effect and camera function just cannot pair with SonyEricsson.

A couple of years later it was the dawning of smart phone which connect to internet and coming to age of social media. It was the time to go Android or iPhone. Sony started to move to Android and today they have their own Android phone and later as of now, Motorola having to release their own Android phone too.

It seems Nokia do not like Android and moved on with Windows 8 exclusively to them hoping Microsoft will pick up. We all know what happen in the market share.

I am not surprised Nokia sold itself to Microsoft as it was the only choice they have now. I do not forsee Microsoft will do more with that brand. In fact we may not be seeing the name Nokia in a year or two. But at least Nokia get some some money back and if the whole thing doesn't pick up, it is really on the hands on others and not them.

To me Nokia and blackberry are very similar. They do not like to try new things or at least follow the thread. If they would make earlier move to go to Android, maybe it would not be that bad.

The demand of mobile phone has change into ta lifestyle and personal product and now they are one intimate gadget. Now mobile phone is not only limit to business function but more on a personal usage to check email, communicate in messages, playing games, watching videos and searching for information.

It's funny I look at the tagline of Nokia at his Connecting People. To me, they have stop connecting people to what people wanted with their lifestyle demand. Maybe Nokia do not feel that way but I am certainly many of the consumer does and when consumer feel that way, you have a hard time to get them back to understand what you have in mind.

PS: Above articles are just purely from a consumer stand point.
 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Annual wage supplement

In Singapore we get pay by monthly and often depending on jobs, you will have this AWS.

What is AWS? It stands for Annual Wage Supplements but some may call it as 13th Month bonus.

But is this really a Bonus as it out of good will from the company? We will get to that in a while.

In some countries, workers are paid by weekly.

Assuming we have a same job which get the same pay, but one is paid by weekly and one is paid by monthly. You may observed that those who paid by weekly will get more pay. Now let's do some math.


1 Year = 52 weeks
1 Month in general there should be 4 whole weeks

so 4 x 12 Months ( 1 year ideally)  = 48 Weeks

However we all know in a full calender year there are 52 weeks!

So we get 52 - 48 = 4 weeks seems to be missing?!

4 Weeks = 1 Month

By now you may know those who paid by weekly would have get much more. That is where this AWS comes in. As the 13th month.

Thus this AWS should not be a bonus but an entitlement in a way as generally a worker work more number of days like around 20 days a month.

That being said, depend on your country and law, this calculation may vary as end of the day when you accept a job, you agree with the amount of pay you are getting but I hope when it comes to this AWS, you would have a better understanding where it came from.

The last thing to remember, this is not suppose to be call a BONUS.



Monday, November 18, 2013

My Sony Walkman

Here is my trustful Walkman which accompany me when I was a teen and it is one of the gadget I kept for sentimental reason even till today.

This is my first Sony Walkman which not only can Auto Reverse but having FM/AM radio with Analog adjustment.


Now you maybe wondering what is Auto Reverse and what is that for? Well back then music are play no on CD but cassette tape.Back then if you want to listen to Music, you can either turn on the radio or play an album which is in cassette form.

A cassette has both side which we called Side A or Side B. If you do not have the Auto Reserves feature, when the cassette play finish side A, you have to open the cassette compartment and switch manually the cassette tape to the other side.So having Auto reverse is a super feature.



This walkman only need one AA battery to operate and it will play a decent hours at least 4 hours of music.

As for the AM/FM radio, you need to manually adjust the nob to get the frequency of the radio wave.  Digital search and adjustment only comes later in the CD player era.

If you are just listening to radio, one AA battery can last you a very long time like a day non stop.

Some of the basic button on the Walkman are Open which also know as Eject button, Play button to start playing the cassette, Stop  and forward and reverse winding. 


As the cassette are run on analogue, in order for you to listen to the next song before the next, you have to use the fast forward features. Such forward or rewind are done by estimation unless your walkman comes with a counter. Then you just need to forward or rewind till the reading of the next song and it should be alright.

The volume is controlled by the turning of a rolling disc and this version of Sony comes with Mega Bass which offer you three mode between Normal, Mid and Max. Depending on songs, I will switch the bass from one to another.
 

You have to flip a switch to choose between Cassette Tape mode or Radio.

This walkman offer a record button provided your cassette are set to write to record voices or songs.



There are few basic manual maintance one have to do with Cassette player beside changing battery. That is to have regular cleaning of the magnetic head. Often the magnetic head are hard to reach even with a swap as the area have little allowance. This Sony Walkman however ofter a wide open area that you can easily reached to apply some strength to clean the magnetic head.

There was also a special cassette tape which demagnetize the magnetic head to ensure better sound quality.

Today this Walkman retire in my collection as this was a reward by my late father after my examination. I have fond memories of the songs that I listen with this Walkman. :)


Friday, November 15, 2013

More Baggage space, More GST Payment

On Friday 14th of November the news of SIA increasing free baggage allowance by 10kg on all classes.

Economy class passengers has increase from 20Kg to 30kg, Business class from 30kg to 40Kg and the first class passengers from 40kg to 50kg. It was a good news for Singaporeans which mean can buy more stuff back. All we need to worry is how to buy a bigger luggage and how to squeeze those stuff in.

Just a day later on 15th of November, another news from Singapore authorities for those returning to Singapore after their overseas trips to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) on their overseas purchases. Which mean now if you go overseas, you have to declare. If you only away from Singapore for less than 48 hours, you have rebate of SGD $150 and if you stay away for more than 48 hours, you have a rebate of SGD$600. So far all this apply to goods that you are bring back to Singapore.



I know many ladies would be greatly sadden as they have to think twice to buy back their luxury handbags or other products. I feel your pain as even most stuff selling overseas at some countries like HongKong, Japan and even US are cheaper than getting in local. To think Singapore is a free port yet we are paying premium for many things.

I am not sure if Singapore is the only country that implement this rule for return home citizens for their own luggage goods from oversea.

For this two news that happen one followed by the other sound like a coincidence?

What do you think?

Bank Promotion SMS went Bad

Just this afternoon at my lunch hour, I received an unrequested SMS on my phone.It was one of those number that I have not subscribe from 76060.

Guess what it was a local bank promotion whom wanted their customer to update their email address via iBanking. It was said the first 300 will get a SGD$50 cash. Good deal? Sound like it but the promotion end at 30 September. Strange...I got this on 15th November?


I had a good laugh that some marketing made such mistake. It was bad that such unrequested SMS sent to me but what worst it further confirm as SPAM as sending outdated messages.

Hours later they noticed their mistake and now bracing their embarrassment to send yet another unrequested message to me.


This time it was 31 December where the promotion end.

You only have one chance to make the first impression dude. Remember that!





Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PS4 Singapore release announced

The news of PS4 release for Singapore finally announced today. The big day would be 19th December 2013.

Earlier Sony confirms US and Euro release would be at the price of USD$399/€399/£349 price point. In Singapore however it would be SGD$639. Why the price so different for Singapore regardless our release date was earlier than Japan?


Some pointed out the price point was cheaper when PS3 announced years ago in Singapore that some was paying SGD$700++

Regardless about all these noises of complaints about the listed price, many will still pay that price point just to be the early adopter.

As for me, I will wait out as I do not really feel the differences between PS3 and PS4 regardless better graphic.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Interesting Candies at SOPHiSCA Singapore

I changed a upon an interesting shop in Singapore called SOPHiSCA.



Apparently the outlet at Jurong Point Singapore has something interesting concept that if you did not pay attention may pass out to be some other product that is not Candies. Here are some of them.

Need a first aid tape to bind your small cuts? Don't be deceived, this is a candy.



Need some Chinese Medication? This is a candy too.



Need some cream to comfort you by rubbing it on your chest? Wait! This is a candy too.


Need to buy some pad? These are candies too that has the Pad design...


Different packaging as different favor... I have mixed feeling for anyone trying to take this...



This may look like breast enhancer medication but it is just candy too.


From a distance this look like a box of Condom but this is too a Candy in Chocolate favor.  

There are Strawberry too just like condom...



Even the candy itself are in condom design and packaging. 


I think these shop product are interesting for Adults but for sure these candies are not for children.

Do you like these creative products?



Saturday, November 9, 2013

Mos Burger NETS Thumbdrive Review

From 4th November to 17th November if you pay more than SGD$15 using NETS, you will get a free Mos Burger Limited Edition Thumb Drive.


Like you I didn't actually know about the promotion till I pop by Mos Burger for lunch. There I saw the poster and I am sold to get one to try.
Since it is a limited edition, NETS and Mos Burger actually package it presentable with a metal can with see through panel on the top cover.


They even put in sponge form to hold the thumb drive or some called it Jump drive in place. Mos Burger logo was on top of the burger.


Out of the box, the burger look cute with the layering of the ingredients of Mos Burger.


At the bottom of the Burger. there was another printing of NETS a better way to pay.


Although on photo this Burger Thumbdrive look squeezable, there is no such feature as the drive is a complete solid mold.

Regardless of the design of the burger look cute, the design limit the user usage when inserting area of the PC or laptop. The height of the thumbdrive put many off.


The question I had in mind when I was getting this thumb drive was the total capacity of this limited edition thumb drive.

I test it out and the total space is 1.85GB. I was expecting more like 4GB.

If you want to get the same thumb drive, visit Mos Burgers and spend more than SGD$15 from now till 17th November 2013.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wii Mini, Nintendo Strike Back.

Many may laughed at Nintendo for not being innovative but personally I think they are simply brilliant in their marketing to sell their existing technology to another group of lower budget consumer.


Like the Mini Wii which will be selling only in US market regardless they just announced to discontinue the old Wii in Japan and Europe especially before Christmas. Even the set of the MiniWii is in Red which is so Christmas theme.

Now Wii has some good titles such as Wii Fit, Mario Kart and other great party fun titles. Regardless of the graphic, it is family friend and simple gaming.

The Mini Wii will not be able to connect to Internet due to the fact they remove the WiFi. It has a USB port but there isn't anymore SD drive. Mini Wii also remove HDMI and component cable but back to the old AV and Audio connection (Red, Yellow and White) and support only 480P but not an issue since the graphic is pretty basic.


Now with all that in mind, the killer price is at USD$99.00 bundle with Mario Kart game in it releasing in December! Instant buy and play!

Remember if the new set is sold, it mean the old games will be still selling in numbers too! With all that in mind, this certainly is a great pull factor for those who want fun game console to play.

Yes Microsoft and Sony can push their new Technic console with high cost but Nintendo just sell the same old technology at a minimum cost while still earning and giving the old console the second life.

That being said, Nintendo would need to be innovative for new product to come. The WiiU isn't that great awesome though...

Monday, November 4, 2013

My unpleasant experience of Odakyu Limited Express "Romancecar"

Holiday should be fun and the last thing you ever want to experience was being accuse cheating of ticket by train officers at station where you in fact pay the full amount and more.

My story begin with My wife and my son age of 3 and I travel from Shinjuku to Hakone on Romance car express.


On our trip from Shinjuku, my wife bought 3 tickets although children under 3 is not require to pay. My wife wanted my son to have a comfortable seat for his own. upon exit, all 3 tickets was collected by the machine at the station. Remember this fact here as it is important for my story later.

From there we have round trip tickets of 2 from cable car to ship at Hakone which was a package. My son is 3 thus need not have to pay the tickets.

Now when returning from Romance car from Hakone to Shinjuku station. My wife purchase 3 tickets which are 2 adults and 1 kid. Now when we exit the station of Shinjuku, we were stop by the station officer claiming that we did not pay for ticket of my child for going from Shinjuku to Hakone. We explained we did but the train ticket was collected at Hakone.

The officer claimed we only pay 2 tickets for the cable car and ship thus assume we did not pay for the ticket going there which incorrect as we did paid.

We try to explain for 15 minutes against such accusation in as simple English as we can as we did not speak Japanese. They still insist that we cheated and have to pay 500 Yen for the child ticket from Shinjuku to Hakone.

We are not the only one who have been stop as other foreigners with kids and even without kids were stopped to ask to pay more. It is really ridiculous. To stop wasting time as it is late, my wife just pay the 500 Yen in cash to them. The officer return the changes but they did not offer any official receipt.

I guess we are not the only one having this experience from the trip and by sharing my experience here will hopefully provide some knowledge of what to expect so traveller are more prepared from such incident.

If you have similar experience from the train station staff, do comment here.