Monday, March 31, 2014

Optus Prepaid $2 Days SIM Card Validity period

Source: Optus Web

Due to business purposes, I end up travelling in the region and Australia is one of the country I visit every alternate month. One of the challenge is to keep a local number so it's easy to reach local friends. I've been using Optus for $2 days and I love it. At a fraction of cost, or may be at the cost of 1Day Bridge data roam plan or 5 min roaming call, I can enjoy 5 days of unlimited voice, sms and 2.5GB data. By the way it's LTE ready too :)

So one of the interesting thing I found out is the SIM card validity vs. Amount validity. Optus says the validity of the card is based on the top-up (normally I do $10 for 5 days) and it lasts for 10 days to 100 days. However this is only for the "VALUE" and the SIM card is valid for longer periods with zero value in it.

For example, this is what I observed. I bought a SIM with $10 value on 1st Feb 2014. So the "validity" shown by Optus in SMS/internet is up to 11th Feb. But when you try to recharge the card or do a status check (with a SMS 1 to 9999) the return message shows that the SIM card is valid till 1st Sep 2014 which is great. I don't have to queue up at the airport or try to find a optus store. All I need to do is to top-up online right before I get on the flight :)

The number continues and I am using the same number for over an year, and yeah love the convenience and peace of mind it brings. It works great for voice, and atleast on Android it supports Hotspot. So no more roaming charges, or Boingo kind of WiFi charges, frantic "free ad based" wifi at airports.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Top paying jobs in Singapore - CIO/CTO Wages


The info might give a wrong info as this is almost 2-3 years old. The report was based on MOM Occupational Wages table. The MOM table was released in June 2013, but the data is based on info from 2012.

Anyway based on the "new info" the top dollar is obviously paid to Financial professionals, and Specialists (e.g. Surgeon, Lawyers etc). One thing caught my eye is the supposedly low compensation to CTO/CIO. The position is @ 19th rank with a third quartile pay of $10,648. By the way this is gross wage.

Either the number is skewed by too many "false" designations in small companies or the 'value' offered is too low compared to a Trader or Sales manager or Marketing manager.

If I compare the CTO pay with average/median worker pay in other countries,

* USA median salary is USD 195,450 (Source - Payscale)
* USA median salary is USD 310, 200 (Source - Glassdoor)
* Australia median salary is AUD 280,700 (Source - Glassdoor)
* HongKong median salary is HKD 1,500,000 (Soruce - Michalpage)

So I guess my assumption is correct and the 'designation hype' is causing the number to skew to lower ranges.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

MH 370 - Surprised to see such a huge confusion. Is it none of the nations monitoring their borders?

I am not sure what's going on with the MH-370 Flight. But I am really surprised with the state of FAILED security of all the nations.

If I're to take the call that the flight went missing around Vietnam, then I can understand the "failed" radar monitoring from Vietnam. They are still running soviet era, Vietnam war remnants infra.

Based on the second case, if the flight indeed crossed Malay peninsula then what exactly happening with the Malaysian Airforce or Army? Nobody working on monitoring their borders?

If I go to the final case (as of today) and take that the flight went near Andaman. This is a huge disappointment. India got a huge deployment in Andaman & Nicobar, and they are supposed to be on very high alert 24x7 under a "central command" covering Army, Navy & Airforce. Also the Bay Of Bengal is monitored (or atleast on paper) from Visakapatnam, a Coastal City in South-East India which is Indian Navy eastern command centre.  Aslo their Spy Satellite should be watching very closely on both Arabian Sea & Bay Of Bengal. In this case, the satellite missed? Or its busy broadcasting movies and cricket?

Total failure from them?

Or is it "intentionally" hiding the information from public?

I can only say there is only one Country who is sad & happy at this stage. Must be China, sad to see such a tragedy to its people; but happy to learn that the entire south & south-east asia forces are not watching their borders. Forget about Stealth, just a huge 777 can't be identified by them.

Only one word to close. DISAPPOINTED.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Opal card - Sydney's own EZ-Link card or Octopus card. But the deployment shows what Australia can learn from Singapore, HK


Ok, Finally I see some effort and actual implementation of a simple store value card in Sydney public transportation.

I know, public transportation in Sydney is not comparable to what Singaporeans enjoy but it is great to skip horrendous parking charges in the city or if you are trying to beat the traffic during peak hour. I love it especially to go to the north sydney or towards the Central areas.

But what really surprised me is the 'planning' and the way NSW choose to sell the cards. First of all you need to register online and top-up with a credit card so it can be mailed to you. Then you need to go online and 'activate' the card.

Compared to Opal, lets look at our own EZ-Link card. I know people may compare with HK and

MH 370 - No idea what's going on

Source: Strait Times

My prayers and hope some miracle unfolds.

But I am still puzzled by the lack of technical advancement finding place in airlines industry. I am a layman, and don't understand the complications of airlines but still puzzled to see why we can't have GPS tracking on different modules, blackbox or real time updates of FDR/CVR to near by control tower or even through satellites. Finding the information is so critical, I believe the investment can justify.

Hopefully there will be some changes soon.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

India - Going back to mediaeval period

What a sad state of politics in this great country. I won't blame the politicians but the PEOPLE who are quite educated, and have seen the world but who failed to understand a simple thing that "Strength is in Unity".

I've seen a comedy bit in a movie recently. Some folks asks a foreign tourist, "How is India, and indian hospitality". Seemingly american, he answers the question - India is good but I haven't seen Indians in India and neither experienced Indian hospitality. And elaborates,

- I've seen North India, South India, then
- I've seen Punjabi culture, Punjabi food, Tamil culture, Tamil food, Jain food, Bengali food, Gujarati Thali, Assamese dance, Rajasthani heritage.

But I am yet to see anything Indian.

----Sad but true----.

When the world is breaking boundaries and trying to remove barriers, we are creating new. For the whole benefit of some people selfish reasons. If we're to go by the 'political news', Indian political parties are supporting new small states. Based on Wiki, and other news the list seems to add atleast 50 more states. Which means 80 states in India.

One may say, this is the decentralization which India needs badly. But the problem is this is something like creating new boundaries administratively and increasing the cost unnecessarily. We are already wasting spending close to 17% on public administration(Reference - TOI/Link is dead but will update). If you've the reference which stated post budget 2014 with Salaries, Administrative spending/board, plz share).


So how much more burden is added on the middle class of India to support these new states, bureaucracy ? Why can't we simply keep the linguistic states as it is?