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Back from the Future: A Look Back at 2008

Many times, people conveniently look to the 1990s and 1980s as a basis of comparison when looking back to the past. Perhaps for those born before the turn of the century, the year 2000 was a sub-conscious cut-off between the past and present. But 2000 was eighteen years ago. There are now an entire generation of school going kids who never witnessed 9/11 unfolding before their eyes on television.

So let's do something a little different here and look back to 2008 instead, which, to me, doesn't feel that long ago.

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The Growing Pains of Bike Sharing in Singapore

From the moment cycling on footpaths became legal in Singapore (finally), bike sharing operators wasted no time in flooding the island with bicycles. Today, barely a year in, there are at least five bike sharing operators (Ofo, oBike, Mobike, SGBikes, GBikes and potentially Baicycle, just in case you lost count) in Singapore, owning a fleet of about 100,000 bicycles. And with exponential growth comes the inevitable pain points.

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Orchard Central: From Dying to Thriving

When it rains, it pours. In 2009, three shopping malls opened along Orchard Road in succession–Orchard Central, ION Orchard and 313@Somerset. Prior to this, there had been no new mall openings along Singapore's prime shopping belt in over a decade.

Both ION Orchard and 313@Somerset found their footing and thrived rather quickly, in part because they were located right next to the MRT, and in part due to their selection of tenants. Meanwhile, Orchard Central struggled.

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Windows Mobile: A Tale of Many Missteps

Microsoft's Lumia 950, its last flagship Windows phone.

Source: Microsoft

Windows Mobile, as we know it, is dead. The writing had been on the wall for many months now, but now we can properly bid the mobile platform goodbye, with Microsoft's Joe Belfiore all but confirming Windows Mobile's diminished role in the scheme of things moving forward.s

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Thoughts on the Reserved Elected Presidency (and the Walkover)

The year-long debate on whether presidential elections should even be “reserved” for a particular race, as to whether Wee Kim Wee should be deemed an elected President to determine if this election should be reserved,  and to the Malay-ness of the three prospective candidates, has finally come to a close. No matter what your view on the matter, Singapore will have its first female President come end of September, elected by means of a walkover.

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Quad core processors are finally coming to Ultrabooks

And why you should hold off your laptop purchase for now.

Source: Intel

If you’re looking to buy a new laptop any time soon, such as the ongoing COMEX show, you may want to hold your horses instead.

That’s because, after five long years, Intel is finally doubling the number of cores in its Core i5 and i7 U-series CPUs, commonly used in many Ultrabooks.

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Welcome to the Logistical Revolution

During my marketing module in university some four years back, I remember my fellow peers coming up with ideas like making healthy lunchboxes and delivering them within the CBD, and hassle-free renting of bicycles around campus. I thought, at that time, whether such concepts would seem a little too far-fetched. Six months later, during my environment sustainability elective, we were tasked to come up with a  car-sharing scheme similar to ZipCar in Singapore and promote it via video. We eventually settled on allowing users to drop off and return cars at select locations across Singapore, using a membership card that would serve as a car key. To solve the potential problem of having too many cars one at location, we proposed a roving crew that would chauffeur ‘stranded’ cars back to their rightful homes. While we were forced to sell our proposal, deep down, I wasn’t convinced that this would work out in the real world.

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Nine Months On — Where have the Funan shops moved to?

It’s been nearly nine months since Funan shut its doors, and perhaps now’s a good time to take stock–where have all the shops in Funan moved to?

Challenger

The Funan outlet on its second last day.

While other shops have come and gone over the years, Challenger was a mainstay at Funan. The Funan outlet was Challenger’s oldest and biggest one, spanning an entire floor divided into themed sections. It had a far wider selection compared to your neighbourhood Challenger store. There were sections dedicated to gaming, networking equipment, laptops, smartphones, cameras, and even office furniture.

While Challenger initially said that it had no plans to set up a new flagship store, it eventually signed a lease to takeover the basement floor at Bugis Junction which was formerly occupied by Virtualand. The new flagship store is slated to open in Q2 2017. Here’s hoping that it will feature a similarly eclectic mix of products as with the Funan store.

Read moreNine Months On — Where have the Funan shops moved to?

It’s Time for a Freesheet Format Change

I was at Ang Mo Kio station on a Saturday morning and a lady was giving out copies of the weekend edition of TODAY, a local freesheet. I was low on data and it would be a long ride to Beauty World, so I grabbed a copy. I went about on my merry way, reading …

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August 2016: A Most Eventful Month for Singapore

A Chun Cui He bottle that I managed to get by some stroke of luck
A Chun Cui He bottle that I managed to get by some stroke of luck

What were we doing at the start of August this year? Well, obsessing over 纯粹。喝 (Chun Cui He) milk tea bottles. Because we Singaporeans are savvy hoarders and flippers (just look at the number of opportunists on Carousell), 7-Eleven had to limit each person to just six bottles.

I managed to get my hands on it only after the craze died down somewhat–and the milk tea tasted almost exactly like Mineshine as I remember it. Nothing too special, and certainly not up to the standards of Gong Cha or Koi. The latte was slightly better, but nothing worth queueing for.

Of course, within the same month itself, the AVA discovered that the milk tea version contained a food additive that was banned in Singapore. The latte version is still being sold sporadically, though the demand has mostly subsided.

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Courage… or Foolishness?

Something the iPhone 7 can't do.

Some nine years back, I purchased my first ever Walkman phone, the W850i. It didn’t come with a 3.5mm headphone jack–instead you had to connect a dongle to the phone’s proprietary FastPort, from which you could then attach your own headphones. It wasn’t much of a big deal back then, since I also owned an iPod, and the dongle also served double duty as a microphone. Or perhaps because I didn’t need to charge my phone multiple times per day back then. Even so, the W850i charger had a pass-through port allowing you to charge and listen to your tunes at the same time.

Read moreCourage… or Foolishness?