It is amazing to me that the police brought things under control without firing a single shot, lethal or non-lethal. That's remarkable restraint.
Thank you, HOME team and the Gurkhas, for standing in the line of fire to keep us all safe.
And to the ten police officers and four SCDF officers who were injured dealing with the Little India Riot: Get well soon!
Come now, the Little India Riot is a scary incident but let's stay calm and keep the politics and xenophobia out of this.
I hope nobody is seriously hurt, especially our police officers and ambulance guys responding to this.
[screencap from chewkkf's YouTube video]
According to TODAY: "Police say about 400 people were involved and they damaged 5 police vehicles and 1 ambulance. Several private vehicles were also damaged and 10 officers were injured.
Police activated resources from Special Operations Command and Gurkha Contingent to the scene and the situation is under control."
According to @ChannelNewsAsia: "Our reporter confirms 2 foreign workers dead." (Update: One foreign worker dead, who was knocked down by the bus.)
TODAY: "In total, there were 18 casualties including 10 police officers, four Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) personnel, as well as the coach driver - whom the police said is Singaporean - and his assistant. Six remained at Tan Tock Seng hospital overnight but their conditions were “not serious”, the authorities said."
This Amazon listing for a 85-inch LED TV costing US$39,997.99 (down from US$44,999.99!), had hilarious comments:
"At first I hesitated to make the purchase, but then I saw the two AA batteries were free with the remote, and I was all in! Having this really fills in that empty space we called a bathroom!"
"I am coming back from the future to write this review, and to let everyone know you can buy this TV for $699 in 2015. It still looks great though."
"I was going to send my two kids to college but I knew I had to do what was best for my family so I got this beast instead. I'm fairly positive my wife will end up coming back, I'm sure she'll realize how unreasonable she was being. Marriage for 20 years or a tv thats 85 inches? Last time I checked, 85 is bigger than 20."
"When I found out that Samsung accepted human kidneys as a form of payment I was overjoyed. The price was one and a half kidneys so I told em to keep the change and just take both of them. I'm just out of surgery and the set looks great in the ICU...well from the bed I can see half of it in the nurse's station. Funny...I didn't think you could survive without any kidn"
"When comparing TVs here, I saw Amazon also sells an 84" Toshiba model for just $13K. But I got this one instead, and haven't regretted the purchase, because as a rather insecure male, it's well worth the extra $27K to have that extra inch."
"I was planning to go to college but then I thought to myself, "What would be a better investment?" Let's just say the Samsung UN85S9 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV looks a lot better on the wall than any college diploma could."
My favorite one was this by "James Thach":
"My wife and I bought this after selling our daughter Amanda into white slavery. We actually got a refurbished. It's missing the remote, but oh well-- for $10K off, I can afford a universal, right? The picture is amazing. I've never seen the world with such clarity.
Amanda, if you're reading this, hang in there, honey! We'll see you in a year.
I just wanted to add an addendum to my review. Since posting it, we have received a flood of responses. People have said some pretty hurtful things--even questioning our values. Let me assure you, this was not an easy decision to make, and we made it as a family. Obviously, it's very personal. But in light of all the second-guessing, I wanted to explain our thinking.
First and foremost, screen size. I really think you can't go too big. 85" may seem huge, but you get used to it fast. Second, resolution. Is 4K overkill? Please, that's what they said about 1080P! More dots = better. Period. And as far as this being a $40,000 "dumb" TV, people need to re-read my initial post: WE BOUGHT IT REFURBISHED. It was only $30,000.
Some of you may think I'm avoiding the "elephant in the room"-the real reason why this was such a heart-wrenching choice. So let's just get it out there. Yes, the 120 Hz refresh rate is a disappointment, especially on a 4K. But life is full of compromises. And frankly, we hardly notice. All in all, no regrets.
P.S., as for our daughter, NO ONE has the right to question our parenting. Totally out of bounds. Amanda was going into 7th grade, so it was going to be a transitional year anyway. Now she gets to see the world. How many kids her age get to go to Bahrain? I sure as heck didn't, but you don't hear me screaming "child abuse." Bottom line: MYOB! Seriously.
Has it been a year already? Wow! I guess that's what 8 hours a day of immersive TV will do for you! Many of you have expressed your eagerness for an update. Well, here goes.
Generally, the Samsung has held up beautifully. We have noticed a little bit of lag, mostly in multi-player gaming--but not enough to cost us any firefights. There have been some issues up-imaging low rez content, but that's to be expected when you early-adopt--we're still "waiting on the world to change," as John Mayer would say (gosh he's talented.) On the plus side, we feel like we are now officially part of the cast of GOT. The other night Peg almost had to open a window to let Daenerys' dragons fly out!
And you'll all be happy to know our darling Amanda is back with us, safe and sound. She has changed a little. She's less talkative than before (though she had some choice words for me when I asked her to clean her room). And she's started wearing eye make-up, which has Peg a bit concerned. But welcome to thirteen, I guess. We're just glad to have her home. And she loves the TV. That's the main thing. In fact, she spends so much time in front of it lately, you'd swear she owns it.
A Christmas song for you. Singapore style, from the mrbrown show gang.
Download or listen to the song via the Soundcloud player above or the mrbrown server below:
I made this with the Endless Possibilities… Malaysia campaign website! The website lets you choose photo and add your text to the question, "What’s your wish for Malaysia?".
It looks like the website is also very advanced! Can upload own photos too. And it looks like Teh Internets has taken over.
Go and make your own Malaysia ad! So much fun!
It's probably a spoof site but darn it, it's still a hoot: http://www.endlesspossibilitiesmy.com/
One of my first music devices was a Sharp double-cassette player. As a teen, my boombox was my life, giving me hours of pleasure from radio and tapes (and recording from radio and tape-to-tape).
Later on, it was CD. These days, most of my music is non-physical, existing either as mp3, AAC or FLAC, and more recently, as streaming services. As the need to have physical media diminished, the need for large pieces of gear and speakers diminished too. What I wanted was a speaker system that was wireless and easy to set up, so that I could stream stuff from my iPhone, iPad and iTunes Radio.
I toyed with a few wireless speakers, like bluetooth ones, but they had range issues and sometimes needed dongles. So when I had the chance to try the SONOS system at an IT show, I was impressed and SONOS offered me a full system to try at my own home.
The SONOS system uses its own proprietary wifi network. Each speaker is both able to send and receive wifi signals, meaning the coverage is very thorough. I only needed to ensure that just one of the speakers is connected to my home network via the Ethernet port of my router or a nearby switch. If that was not convenient, I could use the SONOS Bridge to connect to my router, then the rest of the speakers could be placed freely in the home.
I played with all the speakers, the smallest Play:1, the medium-sized Play:3, big brother Play:5, the Sub and the Playbar. The Playbar and Sub and two Play:3 speakers made up the home theatre in my living room. The Play:5 was in my master bedroom, the Play:1 was the roving speaker. I added speaker after speaker painlessly with just the app, and labeled the rooms they were in.
Once set up, I proceeded to try playing music from my iPhone. I found the sound quality excellent and lag-free. With their app, I could play one kind of music in the living room, while playing another album in the master bedroom, while streaming some Pandora in the study. All from one device in my hand. I felt like the Master of My Music Universe.
My iPad showed no signs of choking on doing so much, and the music all played in their respective rooms with ease.
Then one day, when the kids and wife were all out, I grouped all the speakers together and played my favorite album in ALL the rooms, in the whole house. That worked wonderfully too.
If you are a Spotify or Pandora user, you will love the integration of these services in the app.
Just to prove how easy it was to use the system, I taught my wife how to play her music with the app within minutes.
The other thing I appreciated was how easy it was to move SONOS stuff around. Sometimes, I would move the Play:3 speakers to the master bedroom if I wanted more speakers there. I could pair two Play:3s or Play:1s to make a stereo pair.
The Play:1, in particular, was awesome in size and sound. For something this small, the entry level SONOS speaker packs a punch and is easy to set up on a bookshelf, or kitchen, or even near the toilet (it has humidity-resistance!).
You can feel the heft of the Play:1 with its double-speaker array inside and the self-powered amp within. This didn't feel like some cheapo speaker you get out there. It looks classy and plays great. At $399, it is a great starter SONOS speaker.
Next week, I will share with you guys the experience of using the SONOS as a home theatre system. Stay tuned.
If you visit Tat Chuan Acoustic's SONOS webstore (https://store.tcacoustic.com.sg/sonos-list.aspx), you can get 5% off all SONOS stuff at the store with my Promo Code: mrbrown5.
Comes with free delivery.
I have been wearing glasses for as long as I remember, probably five years old. I know this because I remember being the only one in my kindergarten wearing spectacles. And in Primary One, I was one of three kids who had glasses on in the primary school class photo. In those days, myopia was less prevalent among children than today.
So you can say I have lived with shortsightedness for a long time and I know glasses and contact lenses very well. Well, these days, I also have to contend with age-related longsightedness, or Old Flower Eyes, and I have been wearing progressive glasses for some years too.
When Essilor, the makers of Crizal lenses asked if we would like new glasses for the whole family, I said sure thing, because both the younger two kids finally needed glasses and the wife also finally admitted to needing reading glasses too. Faith, my oldest, has perfect eyesight at the moment (phew!).
As a family, we visit our family optician at Crystal Optics nearby so that's where we went. I don't optician-hop because it's important to work with folks who know your needs beyond your prescription.
Max, who works there, knows us very well now and takes really good care of us.
I am not new to Crizal lenses. I have used them for my most recent progressive glasses and they are awesome. Scratch-, dust-, water- and smudge-resistant, and significantly reduced glare… what is not to like? I also found out they had UV protection, something I have been concerned with as I ride my bicycle to work in the sun often, and I don't wear sunglasses.
It seems that dark tinted sunglasses do not necessarily block out ultraviolet (UV) rays better than light tinted lenses, and that our eyes are still susceptible to harmful UV rays indoors.
As with most parents, I had used cheaper glasses for my kids because we think A) they always lose or spoil them and B) their prescription changes often. But this time, we were going to try better lenses with better coatings, especially for UV, for them.
We have never done glasses for the whole gang at one go before so it was quite an adventure. Usually, it's just one of us who came to make glasses. So it took a while longer than usual as we picked out frames that suit our faces and that we liked. Each of us also had a full eye test, particularly important for me because I was making progressive lenses that can help me see both far and near.
Nothing makes a man feel more uncle than having to make progressive lenses but hey, at least they don't have lines anymore.
I am told my Crizal progressive lenses are the latest generation, with better optics for near field vision. On a daily basis, I look at all kinds of stuff, from the computer (that's one distance), to an iPad (another distance), to an iPhone (the smallest of the lot and the nearest I read). So a pair of glasses had better be designed to help me shuttle between these reading distances.
I also wear the same glasses to ride outdoors, sometimes in the rain. Again, water running off the lenses help with the vision, and at night, reduced glare is my best friend.
So you can understand how much I appreciate a good pair of glasses and why I am always willing to pay a little more for quality. I have another pair of glasses being made for home/office use too. This other pair of Nikon progressives are designed for medium to near field use, like from iPhone to computer. Maybe I will share that with you when they are done.
I think the family is pleased with the new glasses. Now my mission is to ensure the kids know how to take care of their eyes better, and their new glasses too.
Essilor has launched a campaign to support UNICEF’s work in detecting and addressing the needs of children with disabilities, including vision impairments, and will donate $1 for every Essilor Crizal UV lens sold by all optical shops in Singapore participating in the "Essilor supports UNICEF operation".
A few days ago, my iPhone did something most annoying: the Messages app icon kept showing showing "1" when I had really read all my SMSes and iMessages.
I just couldn't find that "unread" message. It was driving me bananas.
You can imagine what this does to someone who has even the mildest of bit of OCD.
In the end, the way I solved the un-findable unread message on my iPhone was to get Siri to read my unread messages, and then I located and deleted that buggy message.
Boom, the "1" was gone. At least Siri is good for something.
We're back from a great time in Bali. The kids spent most of their time swimming in the villa pool or playing at the black sand beach. And when they were not, they were watching lots of TV and playing iPad games (holiday period, so we parents closed one eye).
The adults got to play some cards, drink some nice wine, and generally talk about the past, the present and the future. Shopping and sightseeing was kept to a minimum. It was a fine way to have a holiday.
I was apprehensive at first, about taking along just the iPad mini Retina (no laptop) but I wanted to see if I could lighten my travel gear load and keep my tech choices simple. It worked.
The iPad mini Retina did all the photo editing and uploading I needed with the Lightning-to-SD-Card reader (Pro Tip: it doesn't work with SD cards above 32GB), allowed me to blog/tweet/Facebook fairly well, and provided video/gaming entertainment on the plane as well as in the room via a simple Lightning-to-HDMI adapter to the big LCD TV.
I only used a Fuji x100s camera (no zoom, no changing of lens, just fixed lens simplicity) because I didn't want to carry and fiddle about with lenses and other stuff, and also because I knew I'd be busy with the kids. As you can see from the photos, I think it worked out pretty well.
Who says traveling with three families has to be hard? All you need is some planning and friends who are good travel mates. We are so doing this again. Where shall we go next, I wonder?
During a vacation, one finds time to reacquaint oneself with old iPhone games, like Disney's Where's My Water. And also to pass on gaming wisdom to your kids.
Me, watching son playing Where's My Water: "You didn't get all the ducks."
Son: "What's important is that Swampy gets his bath. The ducks don't matter."
The whole family is away on vacation, with two other families, our dearest and closest friends, so if the blog is updated somewhat sporadically, it's because we are having a whale of a time (and maybe the internet is spotty in our corner of Bali).
We've planned this for months and our party of 13 are quite excited to be here finally.
I am here without my MacBook Air or my interchangeable lens cameras. Just an iPad mini Retina and my trusty fixed lens Fuji x100s. Yes, it is considered minimalist travel for me. I think I will survive.
Faith had a short moment of fear as we took off, and screamed a bit. But her autistic sensory sensitivity calmed down after we let her put on a pair of noise-canceling headphones and mommy let her sit on her lap while giving her compression hugs. Playing One Direction for her ears seemed to help too.
Here's to a few days of doing nothing but spending time with the kids and good friends.
Migrating from an iPhone 4S to an iPhone 5s is so overwhelming because I can now have ONE extra row of icons.
What will I DO with all that real estate? It's like IMAX in my palm now!
In other news, I am impressed by the iPhone 5s Touch ID. It even recognizes my fingerprint upside down.
I wonder if it will work if I used my nipple…
Youtube link: http://mrbrwn.co/I2G77a
Kim Huat wades into his military memories to share his best army songs. HIS versions.
I have been playing with the addictive new website "What Would I Say?", that digs through your old Facebook activity and uses the info to create future status updates based on what you talk about and the way you say things.
Some of the stuff that it throws out there is bizarre, and sometimes downright poetic and uncannily like me.
Here are some of the status updates created by my KinMunbot:
1. "Eldershield Hipster A naughty girl for all of us today."
2. "Looking at the hype and now, the Vulcans will come for us."
3. "Wah, this is probably Tuesday or pangsai here. It's like regressing to be releasing the whole sad that it will be my temptation is beyond trash."
4. "Trimming will happy."
5. "I am very blessed to resist the Morning."
6. "Dear Facebook, please pour all you want to interact with, dammit."
7. "N95 masks today, to be an Olympic sport."
8. "Android fanboys taunt and troll. Rinse and repeat."
9. "I've forgotten how sucky it is a new Old Nokia SU8W Bluetooth folding keyboard with my iPad mini instead of the aliens. Me *clickclickclick*"
10. "Gahmen says we would need two sweaters Sorry mommy! I tried to rhyme but a moderate 74 Baluku hailstorm."
11. "Many randy old angmoh couple at TAMPINES!"
12. When the PSI hits 200, SELL!"
13. "WAH LAU eh, the bottle!"
14. "Just saw the dingding icecream BEFORE the Rest of the simple pleasures of being wet."
15. "Making the SCDF emergency sound."
16. "Aircon room next door Welcome to America."
17. "Emo is fine."
18. "Emo is carrying a paraphrase of the pain."
19. "Goh Chok Tong the pink tshirt with extra Masaleh, right? My brother and Matt Damon never ceases to update."
20. "*Low Battery Warning*"
21. "Gwee not for posting YouTube videos."