Monday, December 15, 2014

Smappee: Just got it delivered to Singapore

Just got the smappe and managed to plug in to my HDB. It's not very easy as the fusebox is of old model and the wires are cramped like lan cables in a dc rack. Anyway finally managed to do and I don't have huge expectations on it to recognize items individually.

I am planning to "teach" it probably over weekend or holiday period. Looks quite exciting :)

Singapore Gov using IPv6? Atleast ICA seems to be...

Since yesterday/the day before upgrade I couldn't open ICA website. I tried to ping the FQDN name and then realized they are using IPv6.

Here is the screen shots and good job guys. By the way, it would be great if you could 'make it work' :)

Still appreciate their effort and moving in to the next phase.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ICA: Status verification

Though I love the efficiency and practical approach of Singapore government service, I must say I started to hate the high handedness of some agencies. I liked ICA when I requested VISA, or used their services on-line but I started to feel a big annoyed when I hear the answers "we'll let you know" or "it's work in progress". This is regarding a friends son residency application and the status is 'pending' for just over an year. What is the point of having an online verification system, or call centre when the result is the same. For this reason I hated middle eastern countries, as the rules are known to them and not public by any means. So our friends are moving in to that direction it seems.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to do surveys - always in your favour :)

Today I got an invite/pop-up from a local TELCO. As I am always keen to provide feedback to improve the situation, I tried to spend couple of min to give my honest feedback.

But when I saw this page (screen shot below) I end up leaving the page. They knew that the "survey organizer" which in this case the website admin or outsourced company (i guess) need to get good marks.

Good & may be Hard way - listen to the customers, users and update.
Easy & simple way - Skew the survey results in their favour and claim that they are doing a great job.

So the survey asks questions but gives options to choose -
Poor - Average - Above Average - Good - Excellent
(-1)        (0)                    (+1)              (+2)       (+3)

We normally see,
Poor - Below Average-Average-Above Average - Excellent/Good
(-2)        (1-)                    (0)              (+1)       (+2)

So you see how it end up.. They remove the far negative and the end score would be way better than the reality. No wonder these days social scientists, data scientist jobs are in demand. :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sports - India: Russel peters may be correct

There is a show where Russel Peters joked about Indians - sports.

If we see the performance in CWG 2014, or any sport shows that's not far from truth. I just tried to put the CWG medal tally and the top countries list across...  Here is the map where we stood much below than countries like NZ, AU, EN..

By the way anyone dare to draw a graph for Olympics ?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

OCBC Internet banking: Slowness or "just dead"

I've been trying to use OCBC Internet banking since last night but couldn't login. At first I thought it was my internet connection issue or laptop issue. Then got the same issue on my mobile.

While trying again, I saw the 'small print'. I am ok if the service can't be offered 24x7 and I do accept that "failures happen".

But why try to "hide"? I am sure OCBC IT team (Who did a great job with the website) are pretty aware that the website is dead. So why the confusing, beating around the bush kind of attitude?

This is irritating OCBC. Just say that there is/are problem(s) and will solve by noon or some time.

Update#01: Now it's 2:30 PM, still the same status..

Now I am curious on what exactly is their "network" problem and if this is caused by the network provider or internal. When I asked the contact centre the answer is a confusing 'it's not a problem but intermittent issue (as expected).

Anyway, it seems OCBC is hosted with StarHub (I may be wrong) and when I try to do a HTTP request the packets are going pretty normal to the host. It seems there is some other problems within the IT systems of OCBC. Let's see what is their official reply.
inetnum: -
netname:        OCBC-SG
country:        SG
descr:          Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd
admin-c:        NS110-AP
tech-c:         NS110-AP
changed: 20060221
mnt-by:         MAINT-AS4657-AP
source:         APNIC

Sunday, June 22, 2014

MLAIS Note Pro - Octa core Android Phablet

I've just purchased this Phablet MLAIS Note Pro to replace my two years old Samsung Galaxy Y Duos. It's working fine but I wanted to get a bigger screen so the same phone can be used as a 'mini tablet' during travel. Without much 'talk' will jump in to the experience.

  1. Screen: It comes with 5.5" screen, 720P display, and 320ppi. Screen looks pretty neat and sensitive too. Compared to iPhone, the screen is more bright, and colours are more saturated. No qualms and I am quite happy with it. Positive marks here
  2. Performance: No complaints, memory is 2GB and processor is octa core mediatek clocked at 1.7Ghz. For my usage, this is more than sufficient. Positive marks here
  3. Call Quality/microphone: Yes, this is a drawback. Often the other party hear my voice coming from a well. It improves a bit with headset but overall this area can be improved. So I'll go with Neutral
  4. Battery: When I use the phone for zero calls, zero texts but as a hotspot, the battery gives me a full day. i.e. approx 8 hours. This is great but the moment I start making some calls or reading something on the screen, the battery goes like the taxi meter in Sydney. It drains almost a pointer every minute. The phone comes with 3200mah but must be some thing wrong with the software or processes. I've dimmed the display to bare minimum but still I can run the phone only for 4 hours of reading or watching video. This is a big negative to me
  5. Connectivity: No LTE. But UMTS(3G) is good enough for me with download speeds of ~ 3 Mbps. In Sydney I managed to get 11Mbps on Optus network, while in Singapore the throughput dropped to 3Mbps in City area. Upload is not bad either. There are other features like NFC, which I am still trying to find how that is useful to me or what purpose they achieve. Acceptable
  6. Camera: Not a great fan/doesn't really take too many snaps. I've tried to take few snaps using the front camera, and I am surprised with the quality. They are a bit grainy, but good quality pic. Acceptable
  7. Others: Looks are great and the phone build quality is great. It doesn't feel like a budget phone at all. The phone came with a screen protector on top of a gorilla glass, a sub-par eatpiece, cables etc. Good thing is I purchased a cover/case together from China, so I am not going to spend a fortune on accessories. There are some minor issues (bloat ware, software update etc) but as the name says, they are minor. Acceptable
Overall, I am happy with the phone and considering the US 200 price I paid for phone+case with NFC+addl battery, I must say this is a great value for money. 

Some tips/comments:

  • Get a good headset/ear piece. 
  • 1st SIM slot is Micro SIM and supports 3G. 2nd SIM is regular SIM. So keep a SIM adapter can be handy to change the slots when you travel. 
  • Custom ROM is not available at XDA and drivers are not available from MLais site. Note that the website is in Chinese. Limited support options
The folks at XDA are quite keen to get hold of this phone and overall there is a tremendous interest in the phone. So I am sure, we can see custom ROMs cooked very soon. Hopefully that can solve the battery issues.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Indian city trying to offer WiFi - A city where pollution is 10x of China, Potable water guarantees diarrhoea & building collapse and kill people.

Source: NDTV

Good money making opportunity for the new government & IT firms. A city where one can't find potable water, or good sanitation or 'safe air to breathe', the government wants to give WiFi to public.

Shame on the leaders, and media for even publishing it. First focus on basic needs/rights. Indian is in such dire state due to this 'wrong priorities'.

Not even a single city offering WiFi realized that the invested money is worth the tax payers money. Be it SFO or Singapore or any other place on the planet. There is/are no tangible benefits demonstrated in any manner. So why the Gov is trying? No one knows.

But I can say, shame on you leaders. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Security - You can't take it for granted. Over 1,500 SingPass accounts potentially accessed

Source: CNA

It is really amusing that the Singpass is not using 2FA. OneKey, which is a Gov backed initiative is active and I believe many people received the Key. Even without onekey, Mobile phone can be a good 2FA device, and if SMS costs are huge (which is not the case but still), Googla 2FA or other software based 2FA can be used pretty safely.

Remember, SingPass let's the user access almost all kind of personal, confidential and private information. So I am disappointed with the SingPass provider. Wish there is some change soon and we can start to use 2FA. Atleast optionally.

Shipping with SingPost - Real "shipping" and not via air

Source: SingPost

Not quite sure if this is a good choice for 'shopping' as the price seems to be quite high. Also the T&C need to be checked on the 'bundling discount'. I am going to get some solar panels /kit if it's allowed :)

There is a base charge of $39.90 for every single item you ship and a per kg charge of $3.90, depending on whether chargeable or actual weight is higher. There’s no bundling discount for this option and the same customs rule applies that is if your total CIF is above SGD 400, a 7% customs tax will be charged and collected. This service is available only for packages with a chargeable weight of 10 kg and above.