Monthly Archive for May, 2007

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In the Netherlands? Check out this Second Life Conference…

Second Life in the Netherlands Conference Brochure

Check out this Second Life conference held in the Netherlands. Now I can’t read Dutch to save my life, and that’s even though my earliest girlfriend was half-dutch. So I did the next best thing: Bablefish machine translation:

You hear everything concerning: ? Newest developments and results in the virtual world? The behaviour of your virtual consumer? Your marketing chances with 3D-internet? future expectation and consequences on your policy? Gouden tips, falcon owls and edge conditions for success PLUS: unique insights of dé preambles such as Essent – ING – municipality zoetermeer everyone whom wants know which (on)mogelijkheden 3D-internet to independent platform offer!

Gouden tips and falcon owls does sound pretty exciting, but really, from what I understand (which is quite little), the conference covers various applications about Second Life, from doing business to education. It also looks like several major corporations are involved. It’s interesting to see how “big” Second Life can be outside of the States.

Incidentally, I got wind of this through conference manager Annemarie. She had found some of my Second Life images on Flickr and asked if she could use them for her conference brochure. I of course said yesssss.

theorycast.21 :: How Do You Blog? (for ubergeeks only)

theorycast.21 :: How Do You Blog?
Show Guest: Siva (aka Otterman) • Location: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research

As you know from last week, I trailed Siva for a day while he did his rounds as a biodiversity researcher / national heritage geek. As a biology academic, Siva is well-known for his conservation efforts around Singapore, saving and preserving many species of endangered wildlife.

In the evening, we retired back to the Raffles Museum, where we dined on Canadian Pizzas (2 for 1!) and went into our Mac “god mode”. He wanted to me show him RapidWeaver as he needed to build museum web sites quickly. Before we got down to business though, I had him show me how he blogged as a way for me to suggest an efficient workflow. This video shows his ubergeek blogging style, which makes me wonder… How do the rest of you blog?

Popular Singapore photoblogger, Keropokman, shared his blogging technique. Here’s mine:
1a) If photograph, import to iPhoto, name/tag, batch upload to web using FlickrExport.
1b) If videograph, edit / compress with Quicktime, upload to Youtube / Google Video.
2) Size and embed photo/video to fit 500px width in blog.
3) Scratch head, then proceed to type out blog story.
4) Publish, Pray for the best, Sleep.
5) Wake up, rub eyes, check readership, revel in self-proclaimed popularity.

Wanna join in? Title your post as “Sharing my blogging kungfu” and trackback here for kicks.

Before you go…
Siva has the backstory on his blog…

SharedCopy: Share annotated web pages without fuss!

SharedCopy.com

I first heard about SharedCopy when I read WebSG’s “Interviews with Singapore’s Next Gen Hackers: Choonkeat“, written by Divya.

As some of you might know, Choon Keat came up with RSSfwd.com, an RSS to email service for the rest of us. This time with SharedCopy, he’s come up with something really innovative. As James Seng puts it, SharedCopy is like a hybrid of “del.icio.us + tinyurl + annotation + google cache”.

In detail, “[i]t is an web application that allows you to annotate & markup any website, made a permanent copy of that page and then share it with your friends. Above all, we do it without any external program or browser plugins, just pure AJAX”.

There are lots of things you can do with it, and I think this would go exceptionally well with academics and businesses alike. There are even tips on making it work with BaseCamp and Twitter!

It’s nice to see innovative Singaporean web developers…
Have SharedCopy?

theorycast.20 :: The Geek Terminal Tour

theorycast.20 :: The Geek Terminal Tour
Show Guest: Chris (the CEO) • Location: Geek Terminal

Woah, two videocasts in one day? I’ve got to clear my video inbox and besides… this just can’t wait!

Located just a stone’s throw away from Raffles Place MRT, Geek Terminal is a conceptual space which looks to be a typical Internet cafe catering to the working professionals around Singapore’s financial district. Given it’s high-tech facilities, it happens to be a place to preview new gadgets (they’ve tie-ups with sponsors), organize meetups / corporate events (plenty of space), double up as a business centre, or just to have really good coffee or a meal with wine.

In this video, you’ll see Chris (the CEO) introduce us to some of the folks who help run Geek Terminal. This part reminds me of Apple Store’s Genius Bar, except that there’s the tech geek, wine geek, coffee geek, and so on. We also got to meet some of the people who happened to be there, including Benjamin Koe (find him familiar?), Nicolas & Emily (of ProjectSenso), Michael Cheng (of Podcast Gear Guide), and of course, the Ping.sg community who seemed to be trying out Second Life. Perhaps we’ll see a ping.sg building in Lion City one day…

Chris also shows us some of the cutting-edge technology which makes Geek Terminal special, such as the on-demand positionable power sockets (anyone got the name?), the extra-rugged PVC chairs, the laptop-friendly tables, the sound-proof private rooms (that drilling is temporary), the server room (soon with load-balancer for massive bandwidth), the Ruckus wireless 802.11n wifi access points (Ben reviewed their MetroFlex model here), and finally the LED bar counter, programmable through Flash animation .swf files and remote control.

Wish to see lots of photos instead?
Then check out our photos from the Mac Meetup @ Geek Terminal. Since the Ping.sg community was there, you can also prepare to launch all your browser tabs for a multi-angled perspective of the place via blogs from the likes of Estee (coffee art video), DK, Keropokman (food pix), Hendri, Surfslayer, Tstar, Nicole, Michael Cheng, as well as Benjamin Koe.

Wish to head there yourself?
For those of you interested in visiting Geek Terminal, it’s located at 55 Market Street, #01-01, Singapore 048941. It’s a short walk from the Raffles Place MRT as seen on this map. They open daily from 7.30am to 10.00pm, and you can call them at +65 6344 4547 to book their high-tech rooms for events.

Before you leave…
The Rambling Librarian remixes ideas from Geek Terminal into our libraries. Oh, and there’s a sneak peek at something I’m working on at the end of the clip…

Today’s Links: Passively Multiplayer Online Game (really!)

pmog
I love this idea so much! Score experience point (XP) depending on how you use the web!

Weird Stuff I Like (WSIL)

Singapore

Academia

Hackery

Macintosh

Wants

theorycast.19 :: Using the Ruckus MetroFlex on Wireless@SG

theorycast.19 :: Using the Ruckus MetroFlex on Wireless@SG
Show Guest: Benjamin Koe • Location: Geek Terminal

According to Ben Koe, the Ruckus MetroFlex DZ is basically a super-powered WiFi receiving antenna that plugs directly into your computer’s Ethernet port. It’s so good, it’s rumored to be used at NASA (via Geek Terminal’s CEO, Chris).

This particular model of the Ruckus wireless series (MetroFlex DZ) is designed as a device to “extend” metropolitan WiFi signals and bring them into the house or office premise. In this review, Ben shows how it works on Wireless@SG, which would really be the first of such an attempt in Singapore.

Finally, as you’ll see in our video conversation, Ben has a neat blogger’s story about how he came to be the first to try this out…

Don’t share: 09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0


300 remixed by Action Datsun

On May 2nd (yesterday to some of you), someone posted the processing key to crack the copy protection on an HD-DVD on Digg.com, which got pulled soon after. As iJustine reported, “[o]nce the web community got wind of of the censorship, every-single article that ended up on the front page of Digg contained the string of numbers. Some in form of text, photos and even linking over to videos.”

So remember kids, don’t share what some Digg users have started calling the Awesome New Cheat Code: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

Woah, and double woah thanks to everyone quick with their “Command-Shift-3″s… just take a look at this Digg screenshot by Matthew Grill. Flickr’s awesome for finding how funny we can be about censorship.

So what do I think?
Totally reminds me of the time when DVDs got DeCSS-ed by Norwegian programmer Jon Lech Johansen. DeCSS is a computer program capable of decrypting content on a DVD video disc encrypted using the Content-Scrambling System (CSS). Heck, fans even started making T-shirts with the “secret” CSS algorithm, which came under legal fire.

To me, all forms of DRMs (Digital Rights Management) are like the door of a house. These doors only let people with the right key in. Problem is, unlike normal houses you and I live in, these digital houses are really really popular with everyone. So if someone wants to come in, it’s only a matter of time when someone will. Security is a state of mind and nothing else.

For some time already, I’ve seen Blu-Ray rips as well as HD-DVD rips appear on file sharing sites, mind you not some cheap analogue rip but crystal clear digital ones. Being HD resolution means sharper than DVD video content for all, including those of us who have no access to HD video playback devices (e.g. high-cost, region-encoding).

What’s the better solution to this?
If it’s to combat piracy, then here are my three quicksilver rules: 1. Be affordable, 2. Don’t be device-biased, 3. Be convenient (sell fast downloads). What do you think?

UPDATE 1: The Reddit community has an interesting discussion on how the processing key to circumvent HD-DVD was found…

UPDATE 2: Lucian of Web.sg shares his take on this and reminds us of how user-generated content isn’t free (i.e. the community can turn against you).

Singapore’s plan for International Museum Day 2007

International Museum Day @ MICA

Having mirrored Siva (aka Otterman) for the day, I’ve gone from lunching with our Mac friends at the National University of Singapore (NUS), doing my own work at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, to joining in the museum roundtable meeting at the Ministry of Information and the Arts (MICA).

I listened in to the roundtable discussion on Singapore’s plans for International Museum Day 2007 (aka IMD, which is actually week long), and I got a good sense of how all our museums coordinate their efforts for such national campaigns. This IMD festival will have an extensive programme, which is great for families and heritage buffs alike!

You should start to hear more about this in the media soon, and do join in as you would be able to literally explore all our local museums in just one week! For the complete event listing, stay tuned to this IMD’07 events page.

Even if you can’t go, there are two things you can look forward to:

If you’re a Twitter user, add the IMD team as a friend to receive official event updates and to keep in touch with other participants. If you’re not a Twitter user, you still can follow the conversations over here.

The IMD 2007 team will also be uploading photos of their finds from IMD on Flickr. To join in, simply upload your photos to Flickr and tag them “imd2007“.

[Thanks to Siva and Kenneth for reminding me that it’s IMD, not IDM. And to Benjamin and Walter for the social media activities surrounding the event.]

Video: Gala Finals of “Short & Sweet Singapore” (10min short plays)

Thanks to my dad, I got to watch the gala finals of Short & Sweet Singapore, held at the Recital Theatre of the Esplanade.

Having its roots in Australia, Short & Sweet is a clever festival where 10 minute plays are presented by budding artistes, writers and directors, then selected by judges and the audience (i.e. people’s choice). Having a successful run in Singapore for the past few weeks, nine plays eventually made it to the gala finals event tonight.

Before stepping into the theatre, I initially thought that this was going to be a rojak (messy) experience. Ten plays with 10mins each didn’t seem like much time to me… but it worked. While each play had completely different storylines, each was good enough to tug my heart in different directions. From witty humor to lovelorn sadness, ten minutes were all that was needed to give you a spectrum of life as conceived by writers and directors from all over (mostly Singaporeans in this case). Death, love, stereotypes, confusion, memories, were just some of the areas explored. Each was like an elevator pitch, but one where the currency was emotion.

My dad and I made some of our own picks after watching these short but poignant plays. As the results were announced, I think my sense of drama has improved since my selection of “Exchanges” won in several categories, including Best Actor Runner-Up, Best Actress (doesn’t Janice Koh looks like Tan Keng Wah?), and Best Overall Production.

Photos: Mac Meetup @ Geek Terminal

mac meetup @ geek terminal

Here are photos from the Mac meetup at the soon-to-officially-open Geek Terminal last night.

The place is really wired up with some nifty technology, so we had a good time talking about on-demand power sockets (there are power tracks on the floor), space-age 802.11n antennas, Siemens’ new VoIP wifi phones, UMPCs (arguably my Sony UX vs. Poseidon’s OQO model 2), filing patents in Singapore, their LED Flash-enabled bar counter (great for geeky ah-bengs!), and so on. As you’ve realized by now, I too barely remembered talking about Macs, so perhaps we all got carried away talking about our other geek interests.

I’ve captured a lot of videos from the event, including a demo of the soon to be released OQO model 2. I love the usability of it, especially the keyboard which beats the Sony UX keyboard hands down. Will need more time to share these videos… I need to find a better way to organize my media.

Anyway, besides my photos, check out Siva’s photos as well as Kenneth’s photos of the event.

For those of you interested in visiting Geek Terminal, it’s located at 55 Market Street, #01-01, Singapore 048941. It’s a short walk from the Raffles Place MRT as seen on this map. They open daily from 7.30am to 10.00pm, and you can call them at +65 6344 3547 to book their high-tech rooms for events. Velly nice!