Burmese Government blocking Aid to Suffering Citizens

The Burmese government has been found to be blocking aid to its citizens, with the suffering they have endured and the pain they’re undergoing. Evidently this is an attempt to control the situation, a situation that evidently they have had no control over. The United Nations should, in the words of the French foreign minister, fully exercise its “responsibility to protect” the suffering citizens of Myanmar/Burma. The world fears for the people of Burma, and its suffering cannot continue unabated.

On a separate note, the sham referendum held presently is stunning in its plain blatantness and sheer audacity.

On a personal note, I’ve donated USD10 to the UNICEF, and USD5 to the International Burmese Monks Organization through Avaaz. Please support the amazing work these organisations are doing.

Original Article found here


Marie Digby Concert

I attended the Marie Digby showcase, which was sponsored by GAP. But I got my tickets courtesy of one of my dear friends from Tania. She provided me those tickets courtesy of her friend @ Soundbuzz so MAD MAD props to all these fantastic people who give me free stuff;)

First off, let me be clear and say I am a HUGE fan of Marie Digby, she’s one of those brave souls who’ve ridden the wave of social networking and so on to become good and famous. With such singers as Sara Bareilles and Colbie Calliat as well, they all rose to semi fame through various online means and have only just managed to break into the mainstream. Its been amazing listening to them as they start off having incredible alt. cred, but on top of that they all write songs and sound really great as is, without too much pretention.

However, I found that the event was much too crowded which lent the whole venue a kinda grungy feel. And it really didn’t help that everyone was snapping photographs WILDLY. I know, I know I did it too, but still, it certainly didn’t help the atmosphere. The set was kinda short as well… Sigh. I know I know, I’m being Singaporean, complaining about something I GOT FREE!!! So hey, you know what the atmosphere was BRILLIANT, the people were all really high on getting to see one of the hottest singers out there at the moment, and I got a good time all night.

Check out the pictures, also had a brilliant meal which tasted way too good for me to have just IOU’d like 16 dollars (to Ridz) for, afterwards at an Egyptian restaurant. Shout out to DK, Ridz, Xing, Joanna and Ms Kim (what should I call you??? Jean?) (from Simply Jean)!

Pictures here

I disconnected myself unintentionally.

As most of you already know, I was in Seoul between the 1st and the 4th of May. And during that *almost* entire period of time, I was disconnected from the wider world. It was just another day ultimately. I was so caught up with being a TOURIST, I forgot all about checking my Twitter, my facebook, my email etc. I think it was an experience that will hardly be repeated, because I didn’t have anything else to distract me. Though I think if I went camping in some far off place with no internet or cell connection, and with like elephant riding, specially reinforced canoes and custom made scuba diving suits, I may actually be able to do this again.

Missing You, Singapore, and …

http://ridz.sg/blog/1774/the-weekend-i-disconnected-technology/ was the TITLE of a blogpost that inspired me to write this post. Cheers Ridz.

GTA IV Special Edition: A Preview

Just bought GTAIV (Second last set from Guerilla Games @ Serene Centre). It is really a beautiful piece of kit, with some really sweet swag. Top among them, a selection of songs from the GTAIV game. Next up, a WORKING safe deposit box, KEY and all, and a Duffel bag with the Rockstar Logo emblazoned upon it. An Art book rounds off this list of swag along with the game itself.

I am busy slapping my head right now as this afternoon, after seeing some news reports on the various games blogs on GTA’s release, I immediately picked up the phone and called to place a pick-up on the game. Cut to 9ish and I was the proud owner, courtesy of the Mom Sponsorship, of GTAIV.

When I popped back home, what should happen but I check my email and receive notice that someone was offering me a copy of GTAIV for review! *not that I wasn’t going to anyway, and my first impressions will be noted below* But hot DANG! I felt like I missed a train. But I am also an honest man. So. Yeah. Hem. Gimme something else instead? *COUGH Rock COUGH B… COUGH*

Upon inserting this video game into your console, you’re greeted with a typically Rockstar style montage of pictures and immediately after, you are thrown into the game. There is no “select new game, options etc’ screen at the start (though that could be because I button mashed alittle) and you’re thrown into an opening scene on a boat, and are introduced to Niko Ballic, an Eastern European fellow on his way to Liberty City to chase the big dream and eat sweet sweet American Pie. I must state at this point the credits are shown and you’re made to look at it like this is a movie’s Cold Open or something to that effect. It is stylistically quite marvelous and though done before, still hasn’t gotten old for me.

The visual style can be charecterised as slightly cartoonish, but with the gritty, almost painfully detailed style that has been the signature GTA look. And the graphics are simply stunning. A true LEAP from GTA’s previous iteration of San Andreas. Though one can tell that the Xbox 360 has certain slowdown issues even at the very beginning because I could see some stuttering frames as the camera panned across the beautiful vista of Liberty City’s skyline and waterfront. I am not sure the PS3 will have similar issues.

I played about 15 minutes of the game and I was hooked. The two charecters you meet are real pieces of work, with Nico and his cousin bantering and swearing at each other. You learn some basic moves and are immediately made to drive the cousin back to his home. The vehicle mechanics are still very GTA-y and are given to that floaty, physics- optional style that one either loves to mess around with or hates when he ends up in the water yet again. And the only problem I had at this very early stage with trying to get Nico to fight. I was taken out 10 minutes into the game, and well, that’s just me trying to jack some hudlums’ car. I didn’t fight back coz I hadn’t been taught yet how to defend myself. And sorta had to play by ear to figure it out. Which I did, much to the chagrin and eventual death of some poor little Russian lady sitting at the hospital.

All in all, a GREAT 15 minutes and this is going to be my last post before I fly off to Seoul. I cannot wait. Pics of Special Edition and swag included.

P.S. Those of you looking to pick up GTAIV yourselves but don’t have an Xbox are in for a treat. Microsoft is lowering the RRP of their Xbox 360 consoles. Elite will go for S$699, Pro for S$499 and Arcade for S$399. (Disclaimer: I was sent the press release for this price drop from MSFT.)

The Open Room

Two of Tech65’s best friends, Brian and Tania held their launch of The Open Room and my GOODNESS, it was as fun as it was going to get. Many companies were represented at the event, Nokia, Canon and Sony spring to mind. Though I have to be honest, and my lateness did not help but I found myself gravitating towards the bloggers and the peeps I knew more than the people who brought in the stuff. Don’t get me wrong there were the great guys, Nokia and Intel reps jump to mind, who were like just out there and PIMPING their stuff and talking to us and seeming to be REALLY interested in the stuff that we were doing, and there were certain other companies who didn’t really seem to care whether we looked at them at all. I just think that if you’re going to come for such an event, the least you could do is talk to some of us… Though I do have to say that I was quite late, so maybe they were tired but you know what? That does not make me any less of a diva-blogger! And that will not make me bitch any less about it. I didn’t take any pictures personally but all the other attendees did so… shameless plug for other people’s blog I guess.

Shout out to Nadnut; great to meet ya!

Tech65’s Condundrum

Lately it has come to our attention that certain users of Tech65’s blog have not been able to access our blog. And it appears that these users are by and large users of Singtel’s broadband service or of Wireless@SG’s broadband service. I am presently a user of Starhub for all of my communications services save for my cellphone service. As anyone can imagine it has been terrifyingly disappointing. I post my dear friend Farinelli’s (RenHao’s) post here for all to puruse (with some edits of my own):

For about two weeks, starting on the Saturday when we recorded our live show for the 65th episode of 65bits, Tech65.org has been inaccessible through Singnet broadband and wireless@sg. The only way we are aware of so far to get through this problem is to create a proxy at proxy.singnet.com.sg, port 8080.

I think we’re pretty sure it isn’t a block by Singnet, because 5% of the time it is accessible – a block wouldn’t let that happen. It is clearly some sort of connection problem, something that unfortunately after many many attempted solutions, have not lead to improved connections, and our confidence in the services provided by Singtel has completely failed at this juncture. Particularly because of the lack of support from Singtel themselves, something that has infuriated us very much.

This problem has affected our listenership very negatively, especially in recent episodes, even though many of our listeners subscribe to our show through iTunes and our RSS feeds, everything still has to go through our site, and not being able to connect to Tech65 has impeded our ability to continue providing service as many of our editors are on Singtel.

My dear readers and listeners, please blog about this as well on your respective spaces. Let the blogosphere know in your own way about this bizarre problem, and be sure to let us know if you are encountering the same problem with your site. We hope to resolve this soon and get our shows back on the smooth track.

Thank you for your support!

*Thanks to Fari for most of this text*