Monday, September 29, 2008

Singapore Formula 1 Night Race – II

The first ever night race in Formula 1 history was a success. Well done, Lion City.

Before the race, everybody was saying that overtaking was impossible in street circuit. Amazingly, Fernando Alonso, who started from 15th spot, eventually emerged the winner. Admittedly, safety car intervention helped him, but I did see a few occasions of overtaking.

One advantage of a street race was that TV audience could see the night view of the city. Singapore has scored another marketing point here.

A suggestion to Singapore: Erect a sign which reads “Kimi Raikonnen crashed here” at the spot where the defending world champion ended his race. Tourists would like to take photos there.

中国黑心食品 (II)

[Part I]





或许这就是中国人“家丑不外扬”的心态吧。如果家丑外扬了,会有什么后果呢?还记不记得几年前 SARS 在亚洲爆发?当时中国官员也隐瞒病情,向外界揭露真相的医生反而受对付。有前车之鉴,官员都明哲保身,谁都不敢当吹笛人 (whistleblower)


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Singapore Formula 1 Night Race

Singapore is holding the first ever Formula 1 night race…

But why hold the event at night? I think there are marketing factors at play here.

First, F1 cars racing down the street at night is unique, and uniqueness draws attention. By the way, Singapore tourism’s tagline is Uniquely Singapore.

Second, 8pm at Singapore is 1pm at London, and 2pm at Paris, Berlin and Rome. More Europeans will be able to watch live TV broadcast. If the race starts at 2pm in Singapore, it would clash with church hours.

Now let’s hope that Singapore’s first F1 race will be a successful one…

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My First Studio Attempt

I have taken lenglui photos (pictures of pretty women) in various car expos a couple of times. Last June, I decided to join a “paid” outdoor portrait shooting event. (Read the post here.) On Sep 21, 2008, I had my first opportunity to shoot in a studio. Here are some photos…

The lovely model is Maria.

Angel or devil???

More photos on my Flickr page...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008





日本最近也发生白米受污染事件,农业部长已引咎辞职。美国前总统杜鲁门 (Truman),在他的办公桌上放了一个牌示,上面写着一句很有名的话:

The bucks stop here!


China’s Food Poisoning Scandal

China is again hit by food poisoning scandal. This time, the food that has been contaminated is the dairy products. Four babies have died from consuming contaminated infant formula, and another 6,000 have fallen sick.

As usual, Chinese blame the ‘local governments’ for the incident. Their general reaction is: This is the fault of the local governments. It has nothing to do with Grandpa Hu and Grandpa Wen.

What puzzles me is, China is a totalitarian country. All officers at local government levels have been appointed by the Communist Party. Why do Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao have so little control over them? During the Beijing Olympic 2008, Chinese government ruled that only half of the vehicles in the city could go on road on any day, thereby successfully solved the air pollution problem. Why, then, can’t the central government handle the food contamination issues that repeatedly pop up?

Japan was also hit by rice contamination scandal recently. Agriculture Minister Seiichi Ota has already resigned. Late U.S. President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk with an inscription that read:

The bucks stop here!

Apparently, Chinese still fail to appreciate the meaning of this phrase.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Why Film?

As digital photography increasingly gains popularity, and digital cameras become more affordable everyday, we inevitably ask, “Does film still serve any purpose?”

A Hong Kong photographer asked this question in an Internet forum. The response he got from the forum members may surprise you. Many photographers still shoot film. (Read the thread here.) They believe that film remains superior to digital photography in some areas, one of which is dynamic range.

What is dynamic range? For the average “gearheads” who know little beyond megapixel, dynamic range can be a new concept. Imagine this: you shoot a landscape picture with a digital camera. If the trees are as green in the picture as in reality, but the blue sky is rendered white, we say that the digital camera has limited dynamic range. Film is said to have wider dynamic range and can handle this condition better.

Film is also useful in taking long exposure shots, such as the star trails image shown below.

In taking a star trails image, the film has to be “exposed” for an hour or longer. You can’t do this with a digital camera, yet.

Furthermore, if you love black-and-white photos, film remains the better choice.

Technical superiorities aside, some photographers simply love the experience associated with film photography. For example, a member of the forum just mentioned say:

好似等個 BB 出來, 睇下仔定女

[Developing film] is like waiting for a baby to be born, and wanting to know whether it is a boy or a girl.

With a digital camera, you can review the images just taken on the tiny LCR. Alternatively, you can upload the images to a computer and view them on the monitor. This is very convenient. Unfortunately, you also lose the excitement of waiting, anticipating and suspense that you have with film photography!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Kota Kinabalu Waterfront

Kota Kinabalu, located in East Malaysia, is the state capital of Sabah. Originally known as Api-api, it was renamed Jesselton during the British era. After Sabah gained independence and joined Malaysia, the city was renamed Kota Kinabalu, or KK for short.

I am not particularly happy with the renaming, as my hometown is another KK Kuala Kangsar. Kota Kinabalu essentially hijacked the name KK from my hometown! Furthermore, Kinabalu itself derives from Mt. Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Malaysia and literally means ‘Chinese widow’ – not exactly a great name. Some foreigners have even mistaken the city to be on top of the mountain!

Anyway, Kota Kinabalu is by the sea, not some 3000m above sea level. It has a beautiful waterfront. Here are some photos taken on September 15, 2008 the eve of Malaysia Day.

It is worth noting that Chinese Sabahans continue to refer to this city as Api 亚庇.

Tourists at the waterfront. There are lots of Westerners and Koreans...

The flags of Sabah, Malaysia, and... not sure about the last one

A ship, a boat, a sampan and the sunset...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Business Case for Google Chrome

Much has been written about Google Chrome in the blogosphere. Most bloggers write about the new browser from the perspective of user. I, as an MBA student, will instead study the Chrome’s business case.

When Chrome was announced, the first thought which came into my mind was, “Why on earth does Google want to compete in the Web browser business?” After all, the Web giant had always been a staunch supporter of Firefox. Blogger, for example, worked better on Firefox – until version 3.0.1. (Read my gripes on Firefox 3.0.1 here.)

After some study, however, I started to feel that Google’s move might be a good one. I have been using Firefox since for quite some time now, but still find something lacking in it. For example, some sites load faster on Internet Explorer (IE). I don’t see how Firefox can unseat IE as the dominant Web browser. According to estimates by research firm Net Applications, IE is used by 74% of the surfers worldwide compared with 18% for Firefox.

Google’s ultimate motive is not to win the browser war, but to lure computer users to what we call cloud computing. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, explained, “… people started building powerful applications on top of browsers and the browsers that were out there, in particular [IE], were not up to the task of running complex applications.” Google creates many of those “online applications”.

So even if you are a fan of IE or Firefox, you may still need to resort to Chrome when you want to tap the power of cloud computing. Eventually, Microsoft and Mozilla will be forced to make their browsers better handle online applications. In whichever case, Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be laughing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Warehouse Sales

Malaysians love warehouse sales.

On a Saturday, there was a warehouse sale near my university. Shoppers parked their cars illegally along the road outside the warehouse, causing traffic jam.

I was inching along the two-lane road, which then narrowed down to one lane. A car suddenly cut in the line, nearly hitting mine. The car eventually stopped outside the warehouse. Apparently the driver would rather be caught in an accident than missing the sale.

Out of curiosity, I went to the warehouse for a look. What were being sold?

Dolls, baking powder, baby powder, toothpaste/toothbrush, canned food, plastic containers, A&W rootbeer, shoes, gas stoves, Casio digital cameras, condoms…

In the end, I walked out of the warehouse empty-handed.

If you are a shareholder of premium shopping complexes, such as 1 Utama, KLCC and Pavilion, I suggest that you quickly sell your shares off. Warehouse sales are more profitable!


I learned about Just-in-time (JIT) production in my MBA study. Many Japanese manufacturers, including auto giant Toyota, operate on the concept of JIT. One key idea of JIT is: Do not keep stocks unnecessarily!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tom Yam Coup

Thailand’s Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej has been ousted in a red hot tom yam coup.

A Thai court ruled on September 9, 2008 that Samak violated the constitutional for accepting payment for hosting TV cooking shows. Samak received payments of up to 2,000 baht (US$58) for each taping, which he told the court he used to buy ingredients for his recipes and pay his driver for petrol.

Samak’s transgression was a relatively minor one, and purely technical in nature. It was not related to mismanagement or the leader’s integrity. I personally think that a monetary penalty of say 50,000 baht would suffice.

I am sure this tom yam coup will go down the history as a world-famous joke.

Related post:


Thursday, September 11, 2008


Note: This post was drafted before Thai Court ordered Samak to step down as the Prime Minister of Thailand.


泰国前任首相塔信 (Thaksin) 和沙玛 (Samak),均是华人。他们的死对头 Sondhi,也是华人,中文名叫林明达。林明达的排挡 Chamlong 将军,又是另一个华人,中文名是卢金河。




The PAD at Government House

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Firefox 3.0.1 sucks!

I have been using Firefox for quite a while. works better on Firefox… until recently.

The latest version of Firefox sucks!

Not-so-smart Location Bar

One of the new features of Firefox 3.0.1 is Smart Location Bar, but it turns out to be not-so-smart. In the older version of this web browser, when I typed a ‘2’ in the location bar, it showed the URLs of two sites – my own blog and that of 宝茹 ( With latest version, the location bar lists a lot more sites. It actually makes navigation slower as I either have to type additional character or scroll down the list.

Problem with Blogger

Since my PC is not always online, I often draft my post in MS Word, then copy and paste to Blogger. Word also checks grammatical error, albeit not always accurate. Unfortunately, Firefox 3.0.1 copies Word’s additional HTML codes, which are in conflict with Blogger’s template. Now I have to manually remove the HTML codes before I can publish the post

Monday, September 08, 2008



许氏曾任职空务员,也就是所谓的空中小姐,达十一年之久。她没在书中说明她所任职的航空公司,但我猜想是马来西亚航空 (MAS)此书记录了她十一年空姐生涯中所经历的千奇百怪的事。




P/S 我相信马航的空姐在受训时都会学习化妆。从《飞同凡想》中的照片看来,作者许彩平在机舱外比在机舱内漂亮多了。马航似乎应当炒掉它的化妆指导师。

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Modern Swiss Knives

When we were young, we had radio cum cassette player. As cassette was being phased out, electronic firms rolled out CD players with radio function. Today, we have mobile phones that can take photos and play MP3 music. Our compact digital cameras can shoot video and our camcorders can also take photos. The latest multi-functional gadget:

Nikon D90 digital SLR with video mode

Just a few years ago, DSLR were seen as tools for serious photographers who did not bother to shoot video. As their price drop, however, more and more gearheads own one. DSLR that shoots video suddenly makes sense.

What is next? Here are some possibilities:

  • DSLR with MP3 players and e-mail function
  • Mobile phone that doubles as a wallet (already available in Japan)
  • Laptop computer which also prints, scans and faxes
  • USB thumbdrive with compass and flash light
  • Kettle and coffee maker 2-in-1

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Marketing Sports

In my earlier post, I wrote that badminton matches need more commercial breaks in order to attract sponsorship. International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has a more radical idea to promote the sport. The secret:

Sex sells!

ITTF vice-president Claude Bergerewas reporting as saying, “We are trying to push the (female) players to use skirts and also nicer shirts, not the shirts that are made for men, but ones with more curves.”

It may seem derogatory to ask women table tennis players to wear skirts and sexy shirts. But think again, female track-and-field athletes are already wearing bikini-typed suits. Of course, there should be no coercion. As a libertarian, I find it acceptable that table tennis players wear sexy attires. On the other hand, if some women from conservative countries wish to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, it is also perfectly fine. No veils, though.

I expect many feminists to rebuff ITTF’s proposal, calling it a discrimination against the fairer sex. But wait a minute. Before you object, ask yourself this question, “Why is David Beckham so popular among ladies?”

Shown below are Russian pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva in bikini-typed tracksuit and some stylish table tennis attires.

Related post:

Badminton - why no commercial breaks?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Angry Koreans

Korean dramas have been a hit in East Asia in the past few years. The good-looking actors and actresses, the beautiful sceneries and the ‘pure love’ storyline have all captured the hearts of the drama fans.

Not every thing is good though. The Land of the Morning Calm has its own dark side. Koreans are the angriest people in the world. According to The Exciting World of South Korean Protests, the country has a “national average of 11,000 protests a year”. The ways the Korean protesters vent their anger are also interesting. Here are some examples:

Flag Eating

Flag burning is outlawed in South Korea, but this guy has a bright idea. To protest the visit of Japan’s Prime Minister Koizumi to the infamous Yasukuni Shrine in 2005, he decided to eat the Japanese flag.

Shit Throwing

For some inexplicable reasons, South Koreans have protested against import of U.S. beef. This guy threw feces in a supermarket which sold U.S. beef.

Ripping Apart Pigs

This is the most inhumane one. These demonstrators ripped apart a two-month-old piglet. Hong Kong author 陶傑, citing this incident, said that the Koreans were as barbarian as ever despite successfully holding the 1988 Olympics. (Click to enlarge the image.)

Just as Koreans who flock to undergo cosmetic surgery, it turns out that Korean drama is but a packaging which hides the ugly side of the people.

For more stories, click the link below:

The Exciting World of South Korean Protests