Monthly Archive for July, 2005

Pretty Fly for a Siew Mai

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My friend Kelvin was finishing up the last Siew Mai (delicious pork dumpling) from our Dim Sum lunch and in his boredom he decided to dissect his food before eating. To our “delight”, we found a little prize in every pack. Ain’t that pretty fly for a siew mai? :P

Today’s Links (Flipsides of Singapore’s Blogosphere)

The Flipsides of Singapore's Blogosphere

  • Tabloid Times RAWKS!
    A pretty awesome blog that covers the Singaporean blog-celebrities scene… mercilessly tells all, includes unconfirmed photos of infamous, anonymous bloggers. It’s The National Enquirer for SG Blogosphere… Keywords: blogs, media, singapore, social, trends
  • ????
    Sister FuRong JieJie blogs with a thick-skin… something about men finding her so "beauty" that they faint on sight and about Xiaxue being all "photoshop beauty" only. A definite must read!! Keywords: blogs, china, funny, singapore
  • "Whorshipping" Xiaxue (NSFW)
    The blog sez: Why are you “whorshipping” the ground she blogs on? It’s hate blog targeted at blog-celebrities with slanderous text and revealing photos to look at. Hated, but more racy than TabloidTimes. At the rate Singapore bloggers are getting attention from the media, this was bound to happen. Step right up! Time to pick your fight! Keywords: blogs, hate, singapore
  • Poser Nation
    A Singapore-based political blog run by three anonymous contributors covering the off-beaten tracks of easten and western politics Keywords: blogs, politics, singapore
  • SingaporeRebel’s Blog
    Martyn See defines the "OB Markers for Singapore Filmmakers" with his controversial film and now, his blog. Keywords: blogs, film, politics, singapore
  • Singabloodypore
    Godfather of Singapore Politics online, Steven Mcdermott’s infamous political blog from which he declared the Singapore blogosphere as "infantile". Almost every bloggers replied in kind, but showed that being funny was a serious matter. Keywords: blogs, politics, singapore

Name the Care Bear in this photo!

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No, my blog hasn’t been hacked. A thousand apologies if my close-up pictures cause a sudden loss of appetite. It’s just that my wonderful girlfriend (the one and only Penny) decided to go nuts while mowing my lawn cutting my hair… She made me look “punk”. We both laughed and agreed that it looked like a Care Bear we once saw in a movie… so here it is. Anyone know this Care Bear’s name?

Introducing: Old Grandma Hardcore…

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Hot in the heels of the 94 year old Mac switcher, George Rudinger, is OGHC (aka Old Grandma Hardcore). According to the blog’s owner, CtrlAltDelete, the household consists of Grandma, 69; Mom, 43; the writer, 22; Kenny, 14; and the twins, Barbie (named after Grandma) and Bobby, both 12. The writer is her 22yr old grandson who said he wouldn’t trade his grandma for the world. This is what he had to say…

My Grandma plays video games. Wait- no, that doesn’t do it justice: Grandma is fucking hardcore. She has a decent size TV in her room with surround sound, Digital Cable (through she never watches), GameCube, XBox, Playstation 2, SNES, and Genesis (with the 32X if you can believe that). It’s not just that she plays, anyone can go through the motions of a walkthrough of a console game if they plug at it enough, she’s good. She plays anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day for RPG (Final Fantasy Series, Xenosaga, Zelda Series, Ico, etc.,.); 10 to 12 hours if she’s on a sports fix (Outlaw Golf is particularly a favorite at the moment); and she gets kicks from destroying guests at the Multiplayer of your choice while serving them the indignity of simultaneously providing delicious cookies.

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. Her favorite game of all time was Final Fantasy VII, her current task is reaching 100% in tour mode of Outlaw Golf 2. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

I couldn’t believe it at first, until I saw videos of her swearing while she plays. Make sure to check out photos of her massive guide book library and her gaming room of course. I wonder if I’ll end up like this when I reach 70…

Hong Leong apparently reads my blog and shared this with me. If you see anything right up my alley, give me a shout at brainopera[at]gmail[dot]com

To be or not to be… an anonymous blogger?

As a blogger, you’ve probably had this on your mind at some time… to be or not to be, anonymous. Today you’ll see why it is getting rather pointless trying to be the latter.

Alex Halavais has written an excellent piece on how “blogs bite back” on this very birthday of everyone’s favorite popular culture theorist, Marshall McLuhan. Marshall was a well-recognized as a communications theorist, a founder of the study of media ecology and an honorary guru today among technophiles. If you still don’t know who he is, he’s the legendary writer who penned the words “The Medium is the Massage” (he obviously loved wordplay). We as bloggers owe him a big one for who’d known that blogs, as a medium, went beyond the publishing of our daily quibbles, but served the greater mission of shaping our everyday identities.

Speaking of identities, Alex has made reasonable claims that even though he had talked about it in the past, recent events of “blogs biting back” in terms of jobs and careers, brought him back to an idea that certain kinds of non-anonymous blogging tend to lead to the integration of identity, rather than multiple fractional identities. We see this in recent examples of blog-firings and related issues is a symptom of this new sort of integration of identity.

As such, Alex explains that there are two reasons why he doesn’t think that anonymous blogging is the answer for everyone:

First, I anonymous or pseudonymous blogging is never really possible. The patterns that you create lead to connections to your real world that, with enough time and detail, are difficult to ignore. Over time, it becomes difficult, I suspect, to maintain a blog that is not entirely fictional, and difficult even to maintain one that is entirely fictional.

Second, and more importantly, I think there are definite benefits that can accrue from blogging as a “real” person, tied to your real identity. The greatest is perhaps credibility. It’s never entirely clear whether someone is invested in their discourse if they can disappear without having lost very much. I do think that over time, you can come to trust a pseudonymous blog, but when it is tied to a real live person the words come with, I think, more consequences.

Adding to this, his earlier post entitled “Does Google make libel easier?” demonstrates how it is easy to discover related information that may connect to you. Remember: Anything you post the Internet mercilessly stays on the Internet, even if you forgot about it!

I agree with him that while one may still have multiple blogs, it’s a good idea to have a main identifying blog where family, friends, and colleagues might find each other through this personal network. One could possibly create greater opportunity for everyone by fusing their various networks together.

Today’s Links (Blogosphere Headliners)

blogosphere headliners

  • XiaXue’s Hacked
    In home news, Xiaxue’s blog got broken into yesterday after a hacker with the psuedo-name "Mr Tan Kok Wan" discovered her password and gained entry into her Gmail and Blogger.com accounts. Three years worth of blog entries and personal emails were deleted from Singapore’s infamous foul-mouthed blog-celebrity. She is now seeking legal assistance on the matter Keywords: blogs, crime, hacks, singapore
  • Three minor explosions in London
    BBC reports three new minor explosions in London, causing chaos on the Tube and buses. A few people were injured and some said one of the injured carried a backpack that exploded. Keywords: london, news
  • New Potter book pirated in China
    Still in the forefront of intellectual piracy, Harry Potter & the Half-blood Prince has been distributed online as an ebook and sold as physical copies by street vendors. Keywords: books, china, internet, piracy
  • ‘World of Warcraft’ tops 1.5M subscribers in China
    With massive multiplayer online role playing games so popular in China, the Chinese market could soon define the future of online gaming worldwide. Keywords: china, gaming, internet, social, trends
  • RockStar Confirms Sex Mod Not a Hack
    In the Hot Coffee mini-game of GTA: San Andreas, you basically have to get great sex as measured by an excite-o-meter. Thing is, you don’t see any genitalia due to the low-rez graphics. Big deal! Keywords: gaming, hacks, porn

The oldest Mac switcher I’ve ever helped…

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George Rudinger is 94 years old, and he a recent Mac switcher. As I helped him with dial-up issue on his new iBook, I asked him what the secret to his long life was… he said he doesn’t know. All his life, he’s travelled around the world, originating from Austria (I think), to working in Australia and finally settling in the United States to teach. He told me how he remembered how he only had $5 in his pocket when he went to Australia and had to make ends meet from there. If anything can be learnt from this, I think George really knows how to live life. I think going through stress can strengthen your soul. Even now, he’s still lucid and seemingly excited to try new things, including switching to a Mac.

Secrets of the Credit Card Industry

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I found an incredible episode of Frontline today about the credit card industry. New York Times did a related report as well as illustrated how to read the fine print (as seen in photo above).

Did you know that credit card companies have their own jargon for its customer categories?
“Revolvers” roll credit card balances over month to month, never paying in full.
“Deadbeats” pay their balances off in full every month.
“Rate Surfers” or “Gamers” shift usage between credit cards based upon interest rates.

Also, here are some of the facts about them:
Credit card companies can increase your interest rate if you miss a payment with any other creditor? In other words, don’t miss any credit payment on any of your credit cards or they might all go up in interest rates.

According to the Better Business Bureau, out of 1000 industries they track, the credit card industry is number one in consumer complaints in the nation.

Credit card companies make more money from fees than interest collected. Today late fees are 4-6 times more than they were 10 years ago. Last year CitiBank was more profitable than Microsoft or Walmart.

You can watch the documentary online in five chapters through Frontline’s site.

Today’s Links (Broadcatching anyone?)

The couple who surfs together, stays together

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Chris Barr sent this link to me where I discovered a “spur of the moment” photo of Penny and myself blogging at a Free.Cooperation conference on UB Center for the Arts about a year ago. He then said “The couple who surfs together, stays together.” You’re funnie Chris… go get a life!

The new media art conference (which reused this photo) was excellent as it covered a range of topics on social software, including blogging, wikis, folksonomy, podcasting, vlogging and so on. You can hear (and watch) most of the presentation abstracts on their blog. If anything, the conference proceedings would serve as a ideal template for the next Blogger.SG 2006.

My Quote of the Day:
Blogging isn’t about POPULARITY!