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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Durian seller fired his assistant for bad durian

It had been a long time since I last patronised my usual durian seller, so I decided to pay him a visit today. It just so happened that, when I arrived at his stall, he was yelling loudly at one of his assistants.

As his assistant left the stall, dejectedly with his head down, I plucked up the courage to approach the still-fuming durian seller. He saw me walking towards him and quickly cooled off. With a wide smile, he welcomed me into his shop.

"What happened?" I asked him.

That simple question started a long tirade from him. Apparently, the assistant had given away a bad durian. When the customer ate it, naturally, he became sick. With customers being what they are here, he demanded compensation and further demanded that the durian seller stop selling durians.

Of course, the durian seller wouldn't do that. Not because of his loss, but the loss to his other customers. If he stopped selling, where would they buy their durians from? Who else sold top quality, XO grade durians that were guaranteed to be soft, sweet and fleshy? Also, no other seller could match his high standard of service (for an additional fee, of course), which was what customers demanded routinely.

Besides, it wasn't his fault that the bad durian got away, so why should he be fired? The correct person to take the fall was the assistant. And that's why he was shouting at the latter when I had arrived: he had just fired him.

I listened intently and supportively. It sounded like my durian seller had done what he thought was right. Though the bad durian was out there, he had taken the necessary steps to ensure that such a mistake would not occur again.

And all of that without needing to fork over any compensation.

Accepting his explanation of the incident completely, I bought two durians, instead of my usual one, to partake with much satisfaction and enjoyment.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Recap of Vinton Cerf's presentation at Suntec City

Vinton Cerf
I went to the presentation by Vinton Cerf today. It was quite a geeky moment to hear from such an influential person. It wasn't at the same scale as when I heard Bill Gates nearly 10 years ago, due to the size of the crowd (big auditorium then vs. small room now). But then, the small size made for a more intimate presentation. And Mr Cerf can be amusing too.

Since I'd done a "live tweeting" during his presentation, I'll just copy my tweets here, instead of rewriting the entry from scratch.

BTW my first tweet, which says "about 5 hours ago", was sent at around 7pm.
  • Waiting for the Vinton Cerf talk. He's apparently stuck in traffic. about 5 hours ago
  • Mr Cerf is here. The programme begins. about 4 hours ago
  • Intros by The Digital Movement and Google. about 4 hours ago
  • James Seng is introducing Vinton Cerf now. about 4 hours ago
  • "Internet in 2035". But he admits he's no prophet. about 4 hours ago
  • About 10 devices per person by 2035. It's already 3-4 now. about 4 hours ago
  • 10 billion hosts! I can't even imagine 10 million. about 4 hours ago
  • Pervasive, dynamically configuring wireless infrastructure. about 4 hours ago
  • Need for standardisation of applications, services, protocols... about 4 hours ago
  • He's extolling the virtues of cloud computing and virtual environments interacting with real devices. about 4 hours ago
  • No more URLs. Permanent names will be used to identify processes and services that run for years. about 4 hours ago
  • Predict trends based on historical Google searches. Example: knowing when an epidemic starts. about 4 hours ago
  • Internet = mass media + social groupings + barrier removal for information sharing about 4 hours ago
  • Internet += avatar interacting in the real world + tremendously reduced costs about 4 hours ago
  • Bandwidth will continue to increase. File transfers will be the norm, not streaming, and at high speeds. about 4 hours ago
  • An advertisement is a thing that interrupts our enjoyment of media. Information is its opposite. about 4 hours ago
  • 10 billion mobile devices by 2035, working as remote control and information delivery. about 4 hours ago
  • Multi-touch and gestures, and haptics to replace typing and mousing. about 4 hours ago
  • Information will be real-time, geographically indexed, and always available. about 3 hours ago
  • Internet devices of 2035 will include clothes, wine corks... and they're all programmable with standard languages. about 3 hours ago
  • Q&A session now. about 3 hours ago
  • Mergers aren't a problem. Inhibition of creativity and access are the bigger headaches. about 3 hours ago
  • Vinton would want to expand TCP/IP from 32 bits and strengthen authentication / trust. about 3 hours ago
  • We need protocols for broadcast interaction, not point-to-point. about 3 hours ago
  • Large quantities of computing power may not result in intelligence. Eg. Helen Keller understood language through experience. about 3 hours ago
  • Interaction with human sensory systems are already a reality today. Future devices could enhance the human body dramatically. about 3 hours ago
  • And it's over. Applause. about 3 hours ago
  • Vinton Cerf's talk: thought-provoking and entertaining, but cautious, not as visionary as expected. about 2 hours ago


Thursday, May 22, 2008

This woman gets on the lift...

I was in the elevator going up to the 20th floor. Another lady was in the lift and pressed the button for the 12th floor. We went up, then stopped at the 9th floor. A lady, who was busy thumbing on her phone, stepped in and pressed the 16th floor button.

And up we went to the 12th floor. The first lady got off. The second lady, without looking up from her phone...

...also got off!

I expected her to realise that she was in unfamiliar surroundings and hurry back into the lift. But as the doors closed, I watched her walk further and further away, still jabbing on her phone.

Moral of the story: Typing an SMS can be hazardous to the proper use of an elevator.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Announcing: Social Events calendar

I've started a public calendar, Social Events, to list all social media-related events in Singapore. It's free to use, hosted on Google Calendar, publicly accessible and "subscribable". Check it out! Better yet, subscribe to it with your iCal-compatible calendar.

Here's a sample:

Social Events is not actually my idea. That distinction belongs to... err... oh rats, I forgot his name! (At least I do know that he's the webmaster of SYINC... right?) Anyway, at the first Social Media Breakfast, he mentioned about how there were all of these really fun and interesting social media-related events in Singapore. The problem was that they tended to clash at the same day and/or time!

That made me think about my personal experience. My exposure to such events is limited to Facebook invitations and the occasional email. There is, to my knowledge, no central public repository of social events.

So I thought: why not build a calendar? Which I did... initially. Then I remembered that there's already the Google Calendar platform. Why rebuild the wheel? Besides, I could add like-minded people to manage the calendar too, and thus build it into the repository it should be.

And lo, a local social media calendar was born! Now, all it needs is more events! Right now, it's skewed heavily to geeky, technology-oriented events, like the monthly PHP meetings. Hey, I only know of what I'm exposed to!

As such, I really, really, really could use some help in beefing it up. I'll be adding a few people to get things going, but if you want to join, please don't wait for an invitation. Leave a comment with your email address!

After all, a social media calendar should have user-generated content, right? *wink*

And in case you missed it earlier, that's Social Events.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Yuhui, the go-to guy for sex... huh??

Two amusing events happened in late April that prompted me to wonder if my online persona had taken on a life of its own.

About two weeks ago, I received an email from some guy called "Macho dude" asking if I had news of any upcoming sex orgies. Apparently, he wanted to attend one quite eagerly. He had approached me after reading my entry about the orgy notice on Sammyboy. He thought that I organised such parties!

I would like to state categorically that I DO NOT ORGANISE ORGIES. However, some other people do, like this guy who posted an invitation on Sammyboy for girls to join his "intimate companions" gathering. The message thread has probably been removed by now.

I didn't think much about Macho dude's email till I received another unsolicited one a week later. This time, it was from "Janice Lee" asking if I had the nude pictures of Adeline, the FHM girl. She too had come to me because I had written about someone stealing the private nude pictures from a photographer's online gallery and posting them in publicly accessible forums. I didn't understand why Janice wanted the pictures, till she said that she was lesbian and wanted to get off on looking at Adeline's body.

I would like to state categorically that I DO NOT DISTRIBUTE NUDE IMAGES. Oh, and Janice (and other readers), if you thought that I'm a girl, please read my about page.

Having said all that, if you still believe that I am the sex-and-porn authority that you believe me to be, please continue to send me your unsolicited emails. I always enjoy a good laugh.