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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.

Read moreAugust 2016: A Most Eventful Month for Singapore

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.

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The Rise of the Pokemon GO Economy

A few weeks ago, someone wrote in to the Straits Times Forum, urging Singapore (or rather, the authorities?) to think twice before giving Pokemon Go the go-ahead. While she has a point–I’ve seen people standing beside dustbins looking silly just because it was a Pokestop (apparently dustbins with graffiti artwork on it qualify)–she has neglected the main reason why Pokemon GO will probably be given the go-ahead anyway.

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Hachi.tech – Here Comes a New e-Shopping Challenger

Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook

Hachi.tech (henceforth referred to only as Hachi) launched a few months ago, as Challenger’s new entrant to the increasingly crowded online shopping space. I did not pay much attention to it initially, because with a name like that, you would think that it’s selling geeky Japanese toys rather than real tech gadgets.

Read moreHachi.tech – Here Comes a New e-Shopping Challenger

Game of Thrones: The Winds of Winter — A Fitting Finale

What a finale. The Winds of Winter was by far, if not the best, one of the best episodes of Game of Thrones ever. Instead of leaving us with a cliffhanger (is Jon Snow dead or alive?), the episode deftly tied up most of the loose ends and for once, provided more answers than questions. …

Read moreGame of Thrones: The Winds of Winter — A Fitting Finale

Dr Chee’s Redemption Tour: Will He Make It?

Dr Chee Soon Juan has come a long way. Once known as a man who ousted his mentor from the party the latter founded, who raised his voice in front of the then-Prime Minister during a walkabout and shouted “Where is our money?”, who staged hunger strikes and protests, he has mellowed considerably.

Read moreDr Chee’s Redemption Tour: Will He Make It?

Walk-Cycle-Ride: We Can Only Daydream

Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) latest campaign banners near MRT stations, trying to bring across the message that walking, cycling and riding (the bus/ train) is a better option than taking a car. One particular banner that caught my attention depicts someone resting comfortably on a bus, with the tagline “someone else is driving, I can daydream”.

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Cycling On Footpaths (Finally) Almost Legal

Since my family doesn’t own a car, when it comes to personal transport, the next best thing I have is my bicycle. When I was younger, I used to cycle to nearby places to run errands, or just to see how far my legs could take me.

Read moreCycling On Footpaths (Finally) Almost Legal

Electronic Road Pricing 2.0: A More Equitable Solution?

And so distance-based Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) is finally happening–earlier this week, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) awarded a tender for the next-generation ERP system, one that is based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (of which GPS is a subset). The hot-button issue here is that when implemented by 2020, ERP will move towards a distance-based pricing model. No more stopping your cars at the side of the road one minute before the ERP light goes off, people.

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Galaxy S7: Goodbye, IR Blaster

The newly launched Galaxy S7 is what the Galaxy S6 should’ve been: a smartphone with class-leading camera performance, a beefy battery, a microSD card slot, and water-resistant, all while still being a decent looking phone. In many ways, it’s the true successor to the Galaxy S5. Only problem? It’s missing an IR blaster.

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Of IRC, ICQ and MSN — An Era Long Gone

What’s your primary tool of communication nowadays? For me, and I guess for many of you, that would be WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or one of the many other chat apps available on the your mobile phone. I think the mobile phone is the natural end-game for where such apps reside. After all, it was designed primarily to be a telecommunications device.

Read moreOf IRC, ICQ and MSN — An Era Long Gone