Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Singapore CEO Compensation

This post has been pending for quite some time as I've not enough time to go through the annual reports. I wanted to do this to see how our top management getting compensated.

Here goes the table showing the SGX-30 listed companies CEO's compensation. I've provided the page numbers in annual reports as references. An important point to note is almost all the companies are giving stock options and the award criteria is quite complex, so I've decided to exclude the stock options. If including the stock option price the total compensation can be quite a lot. For example Singapore Airlines CEO could receive up to 1 million stocks which makes his total package increase by another 15 millions. Same goes for the banks, and the commodities firms. So the CEO Salary looks low in absolute cash terms but the overall package may be few times more than the cash portion and it's certainly not low :)

By the way, the usual disclaimer. This is my best effort data but I cannot guarantee that this is 100% accurate as there may be errors when I copy or type. So caveat emptor and use at your own risk.

CNY 2011 - Holiday

Chinese New Year falls on 3rd & 4th Feb. I am taking an early holiday this year (btw I am not Chinese, and just using the holiday period to save my annual leave) and going back tomorrow.

A happy & prosperous new year to my Chinese friends and happy holiday for the rest :)

Outlook 2010 mail index - Google Desktop not working..

We've upgraded our Office to 2010 and overall it's pretty good experience except one minor issue which is with Outlook 2010. I've been using Google Desktop Search (GDS) for years and by far I can say this is the best tool to search e-mail and its content.

But with Outlook my GDS couldn't find any e-mails. Windows Desktop Search or Live search &  lookeen ( works fine with Outlook 2010 so I am more inclined to guess that the problem is at Google domain.

In Google support forums, the support folks seems not interested to answer the question. Is it the end of Google Desktop?? May be with new OS like Windows 7, the OS vendors did a better job on search functionality but GDS still has it's own place for the great performance and familiar interface. Hope there will be a new release from Google.

India plans to reserve airwaves for developing new mobile technology.

Source: Economictimes 

I have not seen any official announcement in DOT or TRAI, but if sources to be believed this is a very good news for the industry in India. Simply this is what Chinese did with TD-SCDMA. Chinese government granted few millions of dollars to the academia and gave clear target to come up with own standard. This really helped the Chinese universities as in order to develop spec, they need to work close with the industry. When the academia works close with industry the theory is put in practicality and I strongly believe this can benefit the society a lot.

Now with their own technology, Chinese doesn't have to pay any royalty or IP rights to western counterparts. They can save billions of dollars during the coming years.

The irony is most of the software component and system development part is done in India for the Chinese telecom vendors. However thanks to our Government policies and lack of foresight from the regulator we still paying millions and millions to western companies. Though the call rates are the cheapest in the world, still the poor "aam admi" transferring his hard earned money to western nations.

We should look at developing not only the standard but the entire eco-system. Perhaps our own Ericsson, Nokia & Apple..It may not be possible in one year or two years but by 2020 we should be able to do that given the great universities and resources we've.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Prank on Mobistar, Belgium - Revenge on the TELCO

This is really hilarious.. I just wish the TELCO's (or for that matter any service provider) learns how frustrating their service is...

Kudo's to the team who performed this and hope next time they target the management team of Mobistar rather than the poor mobistar..

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lenovo X201 webcam quality

I've been using Lenovo for years, and recently I've changed to X201 model. It's pretty decent and better than the previous X61 I've used. There are lot of +ve things but one -ve thing is the Webcam. The spec says it's a 2Mega pixel webcam but in reality the performance of it sucks and worse than $10 bucks webcam. At first thought the plastic sticker causing the issue and removed it but it still the same. :|

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why Samsung Galaxy S is not getting Froyo (Android 2.2) update..(US)

Source: XDA-Developers 

In summary Samsung wants to charge US carriers for the 2.2 update which Operators not willing to pay. I doubt the authenticity & accuracy of the news as Samsung sold few million pieces of Galaxy S worldwide and updates are available.
Officially Samsung didn't announced the availability but when you connect to Kies it prompts to upgrade to 2.2. Also I heard that Samsung service center does the upgrade if Kies is not working or can't use due to whatever reason.

I see only one good reason to update which is Skype. Skype only runs on 2.2 on Galaxy and I need skype so I've updated myself in late November 2010. So far so good with some minor hickups but overall don't see any big improvement or change.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

DropBox DropQuest.. Just finished

Dropbox started Dropquest (here) last Saturday and just managed to finish it. Not really for the additional GB but for the fun of it.

Go ahead and have fun..


By the way the answers to dropquest are posted online. No wonder some people managed to finish it within 8 min time. :P

Stealing SIM Cards from Traffic Lights

Source: South Africa News

This shows what'd happen when you miss the simple things. Police installed SIM cards in the traffic lights in SA and criminals saw it as an opportunity for free phone calls.. Next, 400 traffic lights went off and criminals started to enjoy unlimited calls.

The high-tech traffic lights scattered across the city use a sim card, modem and GPS system to send and receive information. The components were ripped out by the criminals from the traffic lights and used to make unlimited calls that have cost JRA a lot of money.

First and foremost, they could have soldered the simcard or hard-configure so removing SIM is not an option. Second, disabling the voice & data would help to discourage the motive. Imagine, if the central traffic servers are as secured as this SIM card, criminals could just take one SIM card and access the backend with relative ease. Hope the TELCO guys and JRA would learn from this and ensure proper config next time. If you think again the consequences can be disastrous.

In Singapore, I know some government organizations are using and seriously looking in to massive deployment of M2M. IMO, the setup would be quite similar to my suggestion above.i.e. a Private APN with secured backend DMZ server. Even the SIM cards can be custom made if the volume is huge.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Singapore authorities have halved the number of permanent residence passes

Source: ChannelNewsAsia 

Singapore authorities have halved the number of permanent residence passes granted in 2010, compared to the year before. If you look in to the stats the diff is a lot.

2010 --> 29,265
2009 --> 59,460
2008 --> 79,000
2007 --> 57,310 note

IMHO, this is good but at the same time existing PR's & wannabes better to asses the long term/mid term plans and join the bandwagon accordingly. I hope the authorities keep the policy intact as this small place is pretty crowded and need to focus on quality rather than quantity.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Singapore is India's second largest investor after Mauritius

Source: ChannelNewsAsia

I am not surprised given the 'free' nature of Singapore banking system and ease of access from India. The posh residential districts 9 & 10 are occupied by Indonesians and some Indians which speaks a lot.

SK Telecom drops WiMAX in favor of LTE

Source: Light Reading

Surprising to hear this news as SK is one of the early adopters and pushing very hard for WiBro. Now it seems SK too joining the LTE crowd. Personally I'd still think WiMAX is better for Fixed Wireless instead of running cables to the home and using a Wi-Fi router. The problem is WiMAX chip is not as ubiquitous as Wi-Fi.

More property cooling measures - Singapore

Source: Channel News Asia

Within 16 months time Gov announced tightened the policy four times.

1. Sep 2009
2. Feb 2010
3. Aug 2010
4. Jan 2011

So now, if you've an existing home loan you can only get up to 60% of the valuation for 2nd home/investment. Before the measures it's up to 90%.

Sellers stamp duty raised and within first year it's 16%, within 2 years 12%, 3 years-8%, 4 years - 4%. In my opinion this is some sort of capital gains tax and this should be much more effective than the previous measurements. Sellers stamp duty was introduced only in Feb 2010 but the rate was only ~2-3%.

However I don't foresee the property values nose diving. Gov doesn't want property to fall and it'll try it's best to keep the prices up. So for me no hopes to see a flat near city/eastcoast for less than $1000/Sq.Ft :|

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Alternate softwares

I've been using DU Meter for tracking the download/upload speed as well as just to satisfy the stats master in me. Lately it's giving me problems and decided to try alternative softwares. I've googled and came across a website which is and boy, this is really cool.. This site even shows similar softwares for android :)

Kudos to the team..

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Transporting foreign workers

Source: ChannelNewsAsia

Finally there is some action and hope I don't have to see the practice of transporting humans worse than animals in Singapore.
Also hope that the so called first world citizens learn to be more humane and treat workers as fellow human beings :|

Just google for the situation. Now I can see some improvement but still there is room for improvement.
Some articles.

Safer Transport
Back of lorry
Standing in

Monday, January 10, 2011

UV Index & Singapore

I was thinking why I felt so hot yesterday PM even though the temperature shown as 28C. Then I was told by my friend that the "feel" is cumulative of lot of issues such as humidity, UV, wind etc. We went to accuweather and realized that they have a good parameter "ReelFeel" to show how hot we feel. The temp even now is 28C but the ReelFeel is 35C.

There I found the UV index and started googling for this. I realized that UV index is 'supposed' to be important and I tried to find more important. To my surprise I coudlnt find any info from Singapore but most of the stuff from US & UN.

From wikipedia:

The UV index is an international standard measurement of how weak the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is at a particular place on a particular day. It is a scale primarily used in daily forecasts aimed at the general public.
8-10 : Very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure/Wear SPF 15+ sunscreen, a shirt, sunglasses, and a hat. Do not stay out in the sun for too long.
11+ : Extreme risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure/Take all precautions, including: wear sunglasses and use SPF 15+ sunscreen, cover the body with a long-sleeve shirt and trousers, wear a very broad hat, and avoid the sun from two hours before to three hours after solar noon.

Here is a table showing the summary of UV index across the world.

Source: WHO

Based on this, Singapore gets lots of UV and most of the time it's in the "red zone" in UV index.

Then I tried to see from Gov websites but I cant find detailed information either in NEA website or in The latter has a paragraph explaining about what is UV index but not in great details.

AsiaOne published a great article in the past which can be found here

I know lots of sun is not good and UV is dangerous to kids and some adults. But I see many kids in the sub for longer durations and I really wish that NEA can do educate people to be careful and take necessary precautions.

SMC IP CAM (SMCWIPCAM-PZ) - Using Android Phone to watch remotely

I've a SMC IP CAM at home just for the sake of monitoring our home during my extended trips out of home. At first I've tried the Android market for any suitable apps but couldnt find a good app. I wish soon the phone browsers can support full browser spec so we don't have to worry about the apps.

I've found "ip cam viewer lite" in the market but the supported manufacturer list doesnt have SMC Networks. So I've tried "no brand" and with multiple combinations but end up with "Camera couldn't be connected". The solution is to select "Trendnet". As SMC & Trendnet both OEM from the same manufacture the spec and functionality is almost the same. So

* Select Trendnet for the manufacturer
* Select TV-IP422W for the model.

It works :)

Update for iPhone

For iPhone, the free option is "iPuxCam". Though not as good as Android app, it works :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Srikrishna Committee report on Andhra Pradesh state

Just finished reading the Srikrishna committee summary & the sixth options. These files can be downloaded from Eenadu. In summary they've proposed six options and below are the options

  1. Maintain Status-Quo
  2. Bifurcate in to Seemandhra & Telengana - Hyderabad as union territory, two states to have their own capitals in the future
  3. Bifurcate in to Rayala Telengana & Andhra - Hyderabad within Rayala Telangana
  4. Bifurcate in to Seemandhra & Telengana - Hyderabad as union territory & Common Capital
  5. Bifurcate in to Seemandhra & Telengana - Hyderabad within Telangana & Seemandhra to have a new Capital
  6. Keep the state united - Offer package to Telangana

Now the committee itself felt that first three options are not practical. What's interesting is the Committee mentioned clearly that the Option-6 is the best approach & Option-5 is the second best (Pg. 458, line3). So indirectly the committee recommends to continue status-quo but to pacify the agitation grant some package to Telangana. On the other hand the Committee itself mentioned in the previous pages that after Independence the growth is at it's best in Telangana region followed by coastal region and it's worse in Seema. So ideally speaking the package or the benefits should go to seema rather than telangana.

Anyway in my opinion this is more political rather than sentimental or any other issue. By the way I've heard that there are some demonstrations in US by pro-telangana. If it's true then the US citizens have every right to kick them out from the nation.

A tech company should be run by Engineers

Source: Business Insider

Have a look at the businessinsider slides. These are from an Engineer who worked at perhaps the greatest technical company of current time Apple.

I tend to agree with the point no.1, which is a technical company should be run by engineers rather than managers. I've experienced this many times and we even have a complete archive of Dilbert to find some solace. I used to see Engineers as CEO's & Mgmt folks in Singapore previously but recently the trend seems it's the Finance guys running the show. Sadly our three TELCO's are headed by finance folks :|

BCG Publishes Top performers from Technology, Media & Telecom

Source: BCG

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published a white paper "Swimming Against the Tide" which summarizes how well companies performed in the past few years and how organizations can proposer in the new economic environment. They focussed on Technology, media & Telecom sector.

Good to find,

* Infosys(3), TCS(6) & Wipro(10) are the three Indian companies out of top ten Technology organizations. Apple is the no.1 followed by mediatek.

* No Indian company in Media business. Tencent is the no.1 and Google ranked as no.4

* Bharti (3) is the only Telecom company. American Movil and China Mobile are the no 1 & 2.

They've shared the five strategic options for TELCO players in the report too. Personally I didn't liked the summary as it's in the same league of 'dumb networks' kind of stuff. What I believe is Telecom Networks or ISP's are just like logistic providers in the e-world. They need to ensure proper delivery and they may try to add some value added services but not like trying to open the parcel and meddle with the content or generate income by meddling with the B-party.
Anyway it's a good read for strategy students & industry folks.

WebEx yet to add support for Office 2010

A bit strange to realize that WebEx doesn't support Office 2010 document sharing.
Below is the text from WebEx support. Though there is alternative (Desktop sharing) still I prefer the document sharing as this can be extended and I can continue taking notes or modifying upcoming tasks :)

Microsoft Office 2010 32-bit support for Productivity tools is available for customers on WBS 27.17.  Productivity Tools support for Office 2010 64-bit & presentation/document sharing for Office 2010 32-bit and 64-bit versions is still in development.  Early estimates place this support in January 2011.

Until full support for Office 2010 is deployed, application or desktop sharing is a viable workaround.

If you are stuck with Office 2010 & have to use webex, then the alternatives are below.

1. To share the desktop
2. To share the application

But note that this is not exactly the same as sharing the presentation. In Desktop sharing mode it shares the active screen, & in application it shares the specific application so you've to keep the presentation active.


WebEx now officially supports Office 2010. However animations & transitions are not fully supported. So it seems still they've to do some work to make it fully supported. I've tried just now and for mycase I can run animations in Office 2010 ..

Look here for more info.

LePad - Lenovo's hybrid Laptop + Tablet

Yesterday Lenovo introduced their tablet product "LePad" which is a hybrid between laptop & tablet. Basically the laptop runs on Windows 7 and when you
are mobile, just take the screen portion and it becomes the 'tablet' which runs on Android.
Good idea and if lenovo does it right, they may change the landscape atleast in Asia.
Source: Yahoo

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 - Sumptuous beginning

I think first time we've started the year with 4 back to back get together/birthday parties. Yesterday & today we're having our lunch, dinner outside and I guess I need to exercise to shed these extra calories. All places food is great and I particularly liked the "Indian Times" @ East Coast Road. Food is great and more importantly the place is pretty spacious. They may have removed some tables as the crowd is ~30+ but I enjoyed the scene where kids can run freely and elders cramped with poking occasionally with their elbows.
Will have to start the year with two major works personally and about four major tasks in the office. From tomorrow onwards I'll be busy with these tasks.