Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Activated Google Adsense Filters

I did not much bat an eyelid over the advertising that Google Adsense or the associated networks over many years since it did not earn much for me, but of late, due to the Monetary Regulations and Advertising Laws in Singapore, Malaysia, Europe and US, I am quite displeased with the type of advertising I am getting from them, just the variety of things.

So I wanted to filter out some low earning adverts and those I classed as Haram or Syubaha which is in the Grey Area, like Kosher to the Jewish community. What I wanted to filter out are those Forex Adverts, Gold Schemes and MLM Related, specific to the certain regions, as they also do not pay as much as I feel is right  to me.

So what I did is activate the Ad Blocking Feature in Adsense.

I am getting rid of the Keywords FOREX, iForex, Gold Trading, Silver Trading, Futures, Insurance Mutual and Gaming related. Due to the fact that I am a Professional Financial Adviser, I can't sell them or promote them without a need of a license. Even to the layman, it's not allowed in ASEAN regions now.

Just that I am cleaning my act here... so bear with me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Broadband Woes in Singapore

Some have been asking me what is the big fuss of the internet market in Singapore namely with SingTel, M1, Starhub, MyRepublic , Open Net and ViewQuest. They all provide the same service but what is so big of a fuss here??

First off, let us start with the incumbent Singapore Telecom, SINGTEL which call their service SINGNET, MAGIX and among other names. They offer 2WIRE MIO Service , via the Copper Telephone Cable and now Fiber Internet. As with copper, it's called in many countries as ADSL which has a maximum speed of 32Mbps download and 2 Mb upload speed depending on the duplexing. Together with their IPTV Service MiO Home HD TV, the TV Service requires very high bandwidth, usually at least 10Mbps to stream at an acceptable level, not withstanding the HD Service. In recent times where they were penalised due to the MiO failure to show the Premier League matches, it's just the same technology where you download and watch movies online via YouTube or any other service. If the Duplex Feeder (MDF) can pump up good internet connection, they will supply typically 15Mbps (Mega BITS per Second) to the user and saying or claiming speeds of up to 15mbps service, but in actual fact, they are stealing the customer's bandwidth from the Internet to the TV Service. The 2Wire modem has a VPN Connection to the net for the TV, Internet and Telephony at the same time, thus also causing you not able to tunnel into your home network using dynamic IP Address / Hostname due to this reason. Many complained the modem always hang.

Their typical packages for ADSL start from $26.95 / $44.90 / $47.90 for MiO + another $36.90 for 6Mbps / 10Mbps / 15Mbps (MAX) connection (Usually you get typical speeds of about 2Mbps / 5Mbps / 7Mbps or so). Their fiber service costs $49.90 on it's own for 150Mbps connection giving you about 20Mbps international and up to 130Mbps locally  and due to RJ45 CAT5e, you will get only at best 80Mbps or so and about 44Mbps over 2-Channel WiFi.

Pacific Internet now only offer Fiber Internet to Corporate Customers and do not offer any cable (SCV) Connection or so to End Users. This is accurate at time of writing.

M1 offers Fiber Services for the pricing of $39/$49/$59/$79/$99/$399 for their 15/50/100/150/200/1000Mbps services.  M1 do offer CABLE Broadband (Over SCV Connection) for $40.90 for a 10Mbps connection. This is a shared bandwidth which I will explain below.

As for Starhub, they are the incumbent CABLE OPERATOR using DOCSIS Connection and previously known as SCV or Singapore Cable Vision. Using a Motorola Surfer Modem, they pump up speeds of up to 100Mbps on their cable tv point using speed boosts or what ever they call it now. Usual speeds will be at best 30Mbps and this is SHARED ACROSS THE WHOLE BUILDING. So if someone in the block of 400 residents is downloading heavily, then the speed will drop to as low as 1Mbps. Think of it as you paying road tax for a 5000cc car but a motorbiker of 1000cc is hogging your highway, which I find it quite disgusting.

Prices for Starhub SCV Internet (Cable Internet) are $56.20 and $80.60 for Premium 50/100Mbps and basic services of $25/$35/$45 (round off figure) of services up to speeds ranging from 3-6-16Mbps. You also have to pay for your own modem costing about $80 or more. Silly right?

Their Starhub Fiber Services cost around $68, $82, $102, $395 for 100Mbps, 150Mbps 200Mbps and Gigabit Internet. Typical International speeds are about 22% of the promised speeds. This was published by IDA recently and due to the nature of the content and classification, I can't put it up. Their assured international traffic is only 15Mbps and 100Mbps for Gigabit MaxInfinity Supreme.

This is quoted from their fine print:

^^Assured typical international speed of 15Mbps 95% of the time during peak hours. + Typical local download speed: MaxOnline Premium (30Mbps – 50Mbps), MaxOnline Ultimate (60Mbps – 95.2Mbps), MaxInfinity Ultimate (60Mbps – 96.3Mbps), MaxInfinity Elite (90Mbps – 144. 5Mbps), MaxInfinity Platinum (120Mbps – 185.2Mbps) & MaxInfinity Supreme (566Mbps – 755.5Mbps). Typical international speed: MaxOnline Premium (15.4Mbps – 17Mbps), MaxOnline Ultimate (19.3Mbps – 30Mbps), MaxInfinity Ultimate (15Mbps), MaxInfinity Elite (15Mbps), MaxInfinity Platinum (25Mbps) & MaxInfinity Supreme (42.6Mbps – 100Mbps).

What about MyRepublic? I am an authorised partner and I do check on the services once too often. Testing from their 100Mbps no frills service (100Mbps Download, 50Mbps upload), their typical speeds are about 80Mbps and this is even lower for the WiFi connection since the regulatory protocols cap it to around 41Mbps. I tested on their own office (busy office) with me downloading the whole pack of MSDN Windows 8 Enterprise file (Akamai) and NTL AS4700 Network, the network is stable and similar tests have been down across a few customers around Singapore and the promised rate is within acceptable tolerances like the router on 2nd Floor and I'm at the car park with 2-3 Bars of WiFi, getting almost similar results. Their cost? $59.90 a month or $69.90 a month for Gamer packages.Add-on of  $40 a month if you want static IP!

Lest not forget Ethernet Protocols of 8-N-1 so there is about 5-17% loss due to the overheads and bit CRC Checks.

ViewQuest is more of a Hosting company. Their sales are not aggressive as any of the competitors, and they claim to provide IPTV, and basic packages cost  $59.95 with speeds varying from 30Mbps to 97Mbps. Servers and Services are provided by Hurricane Internet via Equinix.

So what is Open Net, Nucleus Connect and NGN? Open Net is a consortium of ISP , Companies to provide the Fiber Internet Infrastructure to your home or office, and connected to the backbone of the Singapore Internet Exchange, and your service is diverted to your respective ISP namely SingTel,M1,Starhub,MyRepublic,ViewQuest. Their infrastructure ends at the white box called the OpenNet Fiber TP Point and from there, the fiber connects to a device similar to a modem provided by Nucleus Connect, a Starhub Company (WTF right??) and they act as a router and WAN Connector to your ISP just like their SCV Modem. From there, it's connected to your own router provided by yourself or ISP. Think of them as a Tunnel Provider.

So who will you choose?? If possible, Fiber but then not all homes are connected. Those just completed in 2011 and later are not part of the 95% Open Net Promise for connectivity, so in retrospect, many in Teban Gardens, majority of Punggol and Sengkang are not connected or the infrastructure not available yet.

Their excuse?? Not enough Banglas to fix it up.. no joke... they are only promising 3000 homes to be fibered up each week and 2900 to be activated / switched on per week.

So much for progress.

You decide.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Updated my Punch tab rewards

For those who are loyal customers, readers and hated me...stalking me all about, I am happy that you drop by and a comment by someone saying they needed the points make me wonder and apologise for not blogging as often as before.

Right now, I am upping the ante for Malaysian based readers.I am giving away RM5 Prepaid Top-up for the first 10 Bloggers who can reach 2000 points. You get 100 points for just registering or coming in here... and you get points for commenting and much more if you share on your facebook.

I have no idea (forgotten about it more likely) of the current points system, so do test out....

As such, one lucky person will get RM5 topup here by dropping a comment, sharing and re-posting on your social media network. If you are in Singapore or somewhere else, I may just pay you in Paypal.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fake Notes in and about

This is written without any legal representation or binding, but of late, sources do indicate that there is a scam involving fake currency in the city area. What I was been told was that the bank note scam modus operandi is using real $10 notes, but cut into two and taped up with a fake half.

As we all know, the new plastic series of $10 is tested to be so durable unlike the Malaysian RM5 which is very brittle. It is known to withstand heavy use and tested to rigorous destructive testing such as abuse inside the cash deposit machine. Usually we hear fake $50 note scams, but $10... is really taking the piss.

Knowing this, anyone in possession of a fake currency can be jailed at least 3 years and caning, and as such we must not pass it on, except to call the police and hand it over.

If you happen to get one of those... if you are just plain lazy... you may get away with it by destroying it. But then I am not a lawyer as I don't want to be hustled into filling out paperwork and going down the Police Station to answer silly questions.

My POV is , if you feel the money is not right, don't take it. If it's torn or the serial number is tampered, don't take it, and FYI, there is a 9A Series but the color is a little bit purplish, commonly known as the Replacement Note (Previously known as the Z-Series) or the Cop Sting Money (used to catch crooks with dirty money).

I just hate to be out of pocket, but the time saved is more than the hassle of dealing and getting caught in possession of a fake note.
For your info, the BRUNEI Bank Note is LEGAL TENDER in Singapore but then we tend to take only up to $100, as we don't commonly see the $500, $1000 or even the $10,000 Titan notes about what more of the Brunei.

The last time I saw these notes was in Temburong during NS and Reservist days and in East Malaysia.

These bank notes have a common reverse side, s there is no TWENTY DOLLARS Dua Puluh Ringgit on the back. It's a commemorative $20 series.

Oh ya... last I saw a $20 was 1985 which had the Concorde on it!

Quoted from MAS Website about torn notes:

Under Section 19(1) of the Currency Act, no person is entitled to recover from MAS the value of any mutilated note and coin. MAS is empowered to award value at its absolute discretion as an act of grace under Section 19(2). Under Section 19(3), notes and coins that have been illegally dealt with shall be repossessed by any officer of MAS when tendered for assessment.
Notes and coins are considered illegally dealt with if they are impaired, diminished or affected otherwise than by fair wear and tear. Notes that have been defaced by writing or impressing with any mark, word, letter or figure or by perforation, cutting, splitting or in any other manner, are also deemed as illegally dealt with and command no value.

So don't say I do not warn ye!

PS: Did you know we only have $26.5 billion dollars worth of currency in circulated of which $11 Billion are the titans ($1000 & $10,000) ...surprise eh???

Monday, October 15, 2012


Oh F***, we said it again. Oh This and Oh That. We see it every day and if we commoners say it... it's all right ain't it Guv? But for someone of stature , holding top post, it's a big no-no.

The American FCC fines a broadcaster up to $325,000 for every vulgarity said on the air during prime time, with kids about and you get suspended from work if you boss is the BBC, but if you are Homer Simpson, it's really all right.

Here in Singapore, we spend over 2 years of our lives saying vulgarities, in more than one language. I remember my days in the army, during those nasty BMT days, where we do it at the old Yishun Camp (Transit Road Camp for many of you guys) and the good morning for everyone is KNN B CCB U F***ing Maggots, get up and go mandi....well, that is way we get it from the CSM or RSM before reveille and you are sure gonna get that if your platoon is not up by 5am! Then you get the 5BX and all the XXX.

Having said that, it's darn all right to verbally say it but you do not cuss and swear over the Internet. What you say can and will be used against you and under the ITU / CCITT Regulations read under the 1984 regulations, is that we shall not use the Network for Public Harm or cause any discomfort to others.

What the heck right???

Point it, don't cuss online. Period. You get sacked for that.

Unless you are worst blogger of all time!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Singaporean in Malaysia

There are more than 200,000 Singaporeans in Malaysia. Many more if you count the day trippers crossing over the Causeway and Tuas Second Link amounting to over 100,000 a day, more during the weekends or long holiday periods.

But did you know, there are many things we as Singaporeans do not know.

1) Our motor insurance only cover mostly 3rd party coverage if we get into an accident, irregardless of who is at fault. If you loose your vehicle, especially motorbikes, they cover only 50% if within the 50KM of Johor Baru.

2) Goods vehicle may be driven into Malaysia. These G-Plates can be driven if you have business in Malaysia for Combi Vans, SUV. You DO NOT NEED to get a Malaysian GDL or Malaysian Driving Permit.

3) Singaporean can apply to drive in Malaysia. Especially good if you want to save money and if your kid is under age of 21.

4) Cheaper to pay by Debit Card than just to change money at the money changers. Don't use a credit card, because if you kena scammed, you cannot claw back. Debit card maximum withdrawal is usually $1000 or $5000 max even if you have 100k in the account. Carrying huge amount of cash can cause you to get ROBBED!

5) Cheaper to have a prepaid Sim Card (Hotlink best coverage) to avoid roaming costs. Using a dual sim phone, you can see who call you, and call them back on local network.

6) Contrary to what you hear, their WiMax 4G Network (YES) is faster than anyone else. Pay-as-you-go or Prepaid is cheap considering the RM68 Valuepack which gives you phone calls too. Get the huddle for maximum use. You can also get Post Pay services. Just ask me. I can get it done. No ID needed.

7) Don't worry about kena saman. They do chase you....but you get discount for being FOREIGNER. Just don't give kopi money. CPIB (SPRM lah stupid) may be there. Not worth the hassle. Just pay if you kena clamp!

8) Your Weekend Car (OPC) is not legal to be in Malaysia during restricted hours. Some state JPJ can detain and seize your car.

9) Most machines can be used to draw money in Malaysia except Bank Islam, Koop Bank and the Government Banks. Maybank, CIMB, BSN are good banks.

10) Keep a spare phone. Just in case if you kena sabo. Keep your wallet safe somewhere else, carry one credit/debit card and some cash only, so if you kena pick pocket... only a little bit kena.. no need to pay so much for replace IC , License etc.

More?? There is more.. check out our Business Talk websites.

Monday, October 8, 2012

NTUC & Amy Cheong Saga

I am a Singapore Citizen and as a Citizen, I am the country's ambassador where ever I will be, be it in Singapore locally or in London or freezing myself in the highlands of Scotland. Where ever it may be, I am proud to be a Singapore citizen, and despite we Singaporeans are just like noisy small cat, it sure can irritate the hell of the world with our potence.

However, having said that, I am truly appalled by the actions of one silly individual within our society. Being a small fry and posting such racist comments can cause you serious harm along side with the family, what more of an Assistant Director and the damage is really like pouring petrol onto the employer and releasing a Nuke on the whole society.

As a professional,be it anyone, we are bound by what we say. With vulgarities posted on Facebook is a big no-no, what more of you trying to tell another whole race of their way of life, to get a do a proper wedding so there is less divorce etc. What about herself? Does she reflect that the Chinese is ignorant immigrants? Or that the government is so shallow to allow facebook into the workplace?

In all, IDA , MDA and Govt agencies must step in to curb this cyber nuisance. Whatever you do will reflect on the employer too. In fact, with my work policy, you understand as a public corporation, there are so many things you can NOT do... and in this case, the damage is done. Repairing it is another bugger.

You have caused hurt to me as a Malay, and telling me and the whole world that WE MALAYS HAVE NO MONEY TO HOLD WEDDINGS?? We are here, telling the world to follow GOOD ASIAN VALUES, Thrift and Shy ourselves from any sin, especially ADULTERY. We do not go outside and have sex with anybody we like, we do it with our spouse celebrate our Union with a Modest Celebration, and not having to beg, borrow or cause our families to sell their house to fund the lavish wedding like the Chinese do...which cost at least $100,000 !!!!

Please have some sense....

But in all, I am quite hurt by this. I as a Unionised Member feel hurt as we are their employers, we pay their wages. The ministers are responsible to rectify this.

Remember all, think before you post.