My 3G Speed Test: Telstra Vs Optus

These are the results of my cellular speed test between Telstra's 3G on my iPhone vs. Optus's 3G on my iPad.

The first result is from my iPhone on Telstra 3G network.

And this is from my iPad on Optus 3G network.

I did the tests approximately the same time and at the same place.

  • iPad on Optus 3G is average at: 612.6 kb/s
  • iPhone on Telstra 3G is average at: 547.6 kb/s
I thought the quality and speed of Telstra's network will be better and faster. Hmm. Not so true here. Maybe I need to run more tests from various locations. Any way, it is good that I did not end up with Telstra for both iPhone and iPad.

I went looking for 3G plan for my iPad on the weekend. The first stop was at Telstra shop. They made me wait for half an hour before they came and serviced me. When I told them what I wanted, they just said sorry all their SIMs have run out! @#!@#$!

I, then, visited Optus shop just 3 shops further. Sell rep came and explained all info to me and I made a purchase and left the store in less than 10 minutes.

Oh the software I used was CheckMyTubes by CBS Interactive. It is available from the AppStore for free.


iPad apps that survived

The iPad is amazing!

Got it two days ago. Day 1 was spent on setting up the iPad. Most of day 2 was on installing apps. First all the apps from my iPhone. Then the *free* apps specific to the iPad. Day 3 is the elimination process.

The big screen of the iPad was so good. So good that once I am familiar with the native iPad apps, the scaled-up iPhone apps just won't do any more. Most of them (the native iPhone apps) are down-right ugly. They are ugly to the point that I had to remove them. One surprising thing though! It's about many of the iPhone games. I've found many of native iPhone games are surprisingly good when scaled up to full screen mode on iPad.

And here they are - all the apps surviving my elimination process. In order of preference, first screen are for those apps I use the most. The lower they are on the screen the more frequent I use them.

The second screen is reserved for those I rarely use or apps under reviewed or under evaluation. I can't decide what to make of them. Some of them are quite good or attractive, i.e. Tweet Flow, but limited in term of functionality.

The last screen is for games. Most of them look and function quite well on iPad. Few others I can't find the equivalent replacement, i.e. SmartGo or iReversi.

Next week will be interesting as I will start using the iPad in real *professional* ;) work environment.


What motivates us in our work life?

Is it the promise of monetary gains that motivates us? Or promotion to a higher hierarchical order in our company/industry?

In the past, "managers" believed that "workers" can be easily manipulated to do as they are told. For instance, rewards were given to those who performed as expected and those who didn't perform well were punished or ignored by the corporation.

However, due to technologies, workers now perform jobs that required more skills in creative thinking, problem solving and innovations. Research has found that "money" is no longer the only criteria in job satisfaction.

Read more at:

Children: Problem Solving Skills

Thinking Blocks : I've been searching the net for good maths website for my children and I found this site that I'd like to share with you as it has helped my children develop the necessary skills in problem solving.

Good or Bad - a *relative* state of being

I am touching on sensitive issues today.

"What does it mean when somebody says X is a good person or Y is a bad person?"

Consider a scenario of a hypothetical world. This world has 2 islands: island A and island B. Each island has limited supplies of food and resources - just enough to supply its own citizens. One day, island B was experienced with unfortunate natural disaster which caused them hardship and famine. Despite the best efforts of their leader, people of island B were suffering greatly and started to die, one by one.

Leader of B island sent a letter to A island asking for help. Island A refused to help as they too were hit by the disaster and having supplies just barely enough for their people. Many refugees were turning back and/or left to die.

A few weeks later, situation on island B worsened to the point of extinction of their people. Their leader must make drastic decision. The next morning, the leader of B island decided to raid A island. Island A put up a fight. Lots of people on both sides died. People of B island won and brought back some food and supplies.

With food and supplies they brought back, B island sustained and survived the hardship. Both islands eventually recovered. People of island B were so grateful of their leader and built a statue to worship and remember him - a hero!

Hundred years has passed, when people visited island B they would see a large monument built for remembering the great leader who saved the nation. Everywhere they went they saw and heard of stories, folklore of their beloved hero.

What do you think these visitors would see when they visit the other island?


Pheromone - Why Am I Stuck Here?!

I used to laugh at those insects like ants, bees, or termites where an entire colony dedicated their lives just for one queen. All work for one purpose - to serve the queen.

I remember being amazed looking at ants or termites. Day-in day-out, each insect would dutifully and orderly carried something and heading to its nest. Then, off it went for the next load. Never stopped. Just pick any day, after school, I visited their nests. Never failed, rain or shine, they would work away. I guess that is how they make their living. No stealing. No hoarding. Just kept on working. There must be something that was keeping them in-check.

That something is called 'Pheromone'.

When I grow up and if I become more powerful. I might want to colonize a world somewhere. I would then want to make sure to invent some kind of force/rules/or temptation that would make people of that world keep working - for me. Pheromone might work with low-level organism animals, but surely, for higher intelligent beings, I would need something more complicate. Something more powerful. Something to keep them working for me, without knowing. Day-in, day-out, they would wake up in the morning, kiss their love ones, get themselves into their vehicles, dutifully go to work, laboring their entire sunlight day working, dutifully come home, rest and make sure that they will be ready for work the next day. For me.

And when and if I could find something like that, I would call it -



Curious about Caffeine

explored protC ©afr.combutCaffeine ... improved performance 65in longmemory, workattention, may occupationaeffectsperception, concept formation ©afr.comand reasoning.

Word of caution: as in everything, when taken in moderation caffeine can be beneficial to your health.

Searching for ET: Just Follow the Money Trails

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully spent 9+ years tried to prove US Government's cover-up in searching for extraterrestrial. But, I think the evidences are just right there - in plain sight.
  • Apollo Program, 1966 - 1972, cost $170 billion | Apollo Program: In 2009, NASA held a symposium on project costs which presented an estimate of the Apollo program costs in 2005 dollars as roughly $170 billion. This included all Research and development (R&D) costs; the procurement of 15 Saturn V rockets, 16 Command/Service Modules, 12 Lunar Modules, plus program support and management costs; construction expenses for facilities and their upgrading, and costs for flight operations
  • Voyager Interstella Mission, approved 1972, launched 1977, cost $876 million | Voyager - Did You Know?: 'The total cost of the Voyager mission from May 1972 through the Neptune encounter (including launch vehicles, nuclear-power-source RTGs, and DSN tracking support) is 865 million dollars'
  • Viking, 1976 - 1983, cost $1 billion | Viking Program: 'The total cost of the Viking project was roughly US$1 billion.'
  • Mars Pathfinder, launched 1996, cost $440 million | Mars Pathfinder Mission Information: 'The Mars Pathfinder mission cost approximately $265 million including launch and operations. Development and construction of the lander cost $150 million and the rover about $25 million.' 
 I mean from investor's point of view, have you ever seen anyone invest in something with no return?
Millions of dollar. Billions of dollar.

Just follow the money trails...


Children and Pets

Most children love animals. Be it a dog, a cat, a guinea pig, a rabbit etc, children love to hold and cuddle them. However, when a pet is not handled appropriately, that's when problems and injuries occur to both pets and children.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent such injuries. Teaching children the following behaviours will benefit them for many years to come.

* respect for others including animals
* show children how to be gentle and kind to others
* show restraint when expressing emotions such as love or excitement
* always be thoughtful of others

Tip #1: How to Decorate Rooms with Low Ceilings

To create an illusion of high ceiling, paint the ceiling lighter than the walls and the floor should be darker than the walls. If you like to use wallpaper, use ones with vertical stripes. When painting use combinations such as low-sheen vs. gloss; pearl-lustre vs. metallic shades.

Decorate the room with artworks that gives a hint of vertical lines and hang them high. Floor to ceiling seamless glass windows can also make the ceiling appear higher. Last but not least, choose furniture that are low-line and sleek in design.

Note & Analysis: Easter Island. Where are the roads?

Things I've found that don't make sense (to me) is the fact about how moais were built and transported to various locations around the island. My thoughts are as follow:
  1. Moais are big and heavy
  2. Each moai takes a long time to carve
  3. Care must be taken to transport each moai to its final destination without breakage or damage. After point 1 and 2, above, each moai, when finished must be like a masterpiece.
  4. Great number of people must be used for transporting each moai
  5. Good collaboration is important to accomplish such a task
  6. Long term planning and good management is required after all they would not plan to build and transport one or two moais but many (like over 800+)
Given the above observation, I expect to find the following:
  1. Moai builders must start off with a plan (for the final location of each moai). I cannot perceive that any one would just raced to the volcanic mountain, carved a big rock into a giant statue, then dragged it around aimlessly.
  2. Moai builders would likely started off with building good roads first. Once a resting place for each particular moai had been determined, their leader/project manager/coordinator would likely send out a force to start the carving job, while, in the meantime, sent out different task force to cut down trees and make the roads.
  3. These roads must be used again and again, over and over. Therefore, at least, their trails should exist to these days. Even without any plan, after several ten or so of statues, it would have occurred to them that they would have to go up the mountain again, carved new statues, then moved them down to somewhere along the shores.
  4. These roads would also be used for other purposes: delivery foods and supplies to the rock carvers; annually visiting moais (for whatever purposes, i.e. paying respect and etc); maintenacne of moais and resting sites (they can't simply ignore that statues, lawn to mow, grass to cut, and etc)
Yet, these are the odd things I've found:
  1. There is no road and trail found | Easter Island Discovery Sends Archaeologists Back to Drawing Board: "Fieldwork led by researchers at University College London and The University of Manchester, has shown the remote Pacific island's ancient road system was primarily ceremonial and not solely built for transportation of the figures."
  2. There is no written plan or map or carving picture found. I was hoping to find evidence of map or written plan or artifact or anything that records how moais were built and transported. But none!
  3. There is no picture of the moais exist! Not on the walls, not on the rocks, not even on woodcraft piece! This picture, if carved into the mountain wall, would serve as a blueprint for the next maoi. The islanders carved all sorts of pictures: fish, bird, and figures on rocks and stones, and yet, no moai picture!

obtained under Creative Commons

Saying: "It Takes 10 Years to Make a Sword"

What does it mean? It's a Chinese saying and what it means is: "keep at it till you get it right, and the outcome will be strong and lasting".

Beijing, meanwhile, which has mandated that Chinese companies globalize by expanding to key markets around the world, is chipping in by offering to finance up to 30% of the initial investment costs, according to Chinese business sources.

Brenda Missouri, a 43-year-old leaks tester who works for appliance maker Haier, speaks about her employer in glowing terms. Haier was the first Chinese company to build a factory in the U.S. -- a refrigerator plant in Camden, S.C., in 2000. "They're good business folks; they get the job done," she says. As for communism? "Doesn't matter," she shrugs. "It's money that makes the difference."

"... business is business. 'Good products are borderless,'..."

Note & Analysis: Easter Island (#1)

My notes on Easter Island.
  1. Settlement date between 300 - 1200 CE
  2. 1700 CE marks the first/early contact to outside world
  3. It takes 19 days to reach Easter Island from Mangareva by Polynesian boats | Easter Island: "In 1999, a voyage with reconstructed Polynesian boats was carried out, reaching Easter Island from Mangareva in 19 days"
  4. There are approximately 887 statues or Moais and were carved between 1100 - 1680 CE | Easter Island: "The large stone statues, or moai, for which Easter Island is world-famous, were carved from 1100-1680 CE (rectified radio-carbon dates)"
  5. Each moai takes 1 year to build/carve (approx)
  6. The last volcanic activity occured 10,000 years ago | Easter Island: "In the first half of the 20th century, steam purportedly came out of the Rano Kau crater wall. This was photographed by the island's manager, Mr Edmunds.[2]. According to geologists the last volcanic activity on the island occurred 10,000 years ago"
  7. Since contact to outside world (1700 CE), there is no new moai carved/built
obtained under Creative Commons

    Modern Day Family Stress

    Research was done in the U.S. of "the dual-earner, multiple-child, middle-class American household".

    Some of the investigators are childless and what they experienced in their study can be summarised by one of their colleagues' comment: “The very purest form of birth control ever devised..."

    The videotapes reveal parents as at-home teachers, enforcing homework deadlines. As coaches and personal trainers, sorting through piles of equipment. As camp directors, planning play dates and weekend “family time.”

    “The coordination it takes, it’s more complicated than a theater production,” said Elinor Ochs, the U.C.L.A. linguistic anthropologist who led the study. “And there are no rehearsals.”

    Review: Twitter for iPhone (#2)

    Display Updates

    I felt that something was missing!

    It wasn't quite clear, at first, what it was. Now I think I know. Twitter app doesn't have good indication of which tweets are new and which are not.

    I have problem distinguish old tweets from new ones. Twitter app only separates tweets from the different days with what I call "Day Break", see picture. However, for new tweets during the day, or new tweets from the previous refresh, it only displays time on the upper right corner of each tweet (can be set to absolute or relative time).

    Hmm, I still miss Tweetdeck. Especially, the way Tweetdeck displays and indicates new tweets across all accounts.

    Huh, nothing is perfect.


    Review: Belkin Sport Armband for iPhone (Updated #2)

    "OMG! My iPhone was soaking wet!"
    That was my first expression when I saw the armband itself was soaking wet.

    Three days ago, I went running early in the morning. It was only 5 degree Celsius at 5:30 am. Checked the weather radar ( and saw no rain. So, with 2 layers of shirts, a cap, a pair of running shorts, my runners, and an iPhone inside my Belkin Sport armband, off I went.

    It was completely dark and quiet. No one was *crazy* enough to be outside. Only me and one more equally *crazy* person - my partner - went running. No wonder why we are partners.

    Ten mins down the road, the rain was pouring - not drizzling, not showering, but pouring. For 10 mins, we ran in the rain. I reckoned that we ran the fastest pace that day to keep us warm. During that time, I was preparing to say "goodbye" to my iPhone.

    Back at home, I carefully dry the case before remove the iPhone and inspected it. It looked ok. Dry. I shoved it in the rice bucket and left it there for the next 45 mins while I was preparing for work.

    Three days now, it's still working! The case is now dry and still in perfect working condition. So there you go, people who emailed me and asked if you can *wash* the case. I guess it can be washed then.

    Will I bring my iPhone running in the rain again?

    Probably not.


    Review: Twitter for iPhone (#1)

    I have been waiting all morning for Twitter app to be available on Australian App Store. Finally, 8:30am, it's appeared. Downloaded and installed.

    Yay! the official "Twitter" app. And it's Free!

    Let's see how it compare to the other two apps I have - TweetDeck and Twitterific?

    App Loading and Restored from Background Task
    Twitter app loads up pretty fast and restores right back to where you were. This is important, especially under *cough* OS 4.0 *cough* beta 4 *cough* (please, you don't hear it from here, ok?). I like TweetDeck, but was starting to get annoyed at it when I switched to it from other foreground apps (under background-task env of the OS 4 *cough* *cough*). Twitteriffic wasn't so bad, but it insists on showing its splash screen/logo each time I switch to it. With Twitter app *bam* the app is restored right back to where I was.

    Refresh/Update Tweets
    I do *love* the intuitive way Twitter app allows a user to refresh or update tweets. After the app is restored from running in background, if you pull the page down (i.e. to see the latest tweets), Twitter app will show animation icon (just above the search bar) "Pull down to refresh" and "Release to refresh...". Upon releasing, the page is refreshed with new tweets.

    Posting Tweets
    The more I use it, the more I like it!
    Posting is no-brainer. Tap on the "Posting" or "Update" icon on the upper right brings up the posting screen. The posting screen is quite complete in term of functionality - with extras. You are presented with a screen with an on-screen keyboard. All the usual ingredients are there. However, if you tap on the Character Count button (the gray one above the keyboard), this reveals additional screen where you can access camera to take picture, or select a picture from Photo Library, Geotag, or to select a twitter account to reply, hash tag, or shrink URLs. Tab on the Word Count button again brings back the on-screen keyboard.

    I really get a hang of it! I found that today I used it more than the other two apps. Maybe it's just brand new. Maybe I am bias. We will see how I put it into a good use...

    Please check back for more update.


    Floating Gardens

    Have you ever thought about growing plants up-side-down?

    Try it as you might like what you find.

    IF pests and blight are wrecking your plants, it might be time to turn your garden on its head.
    Growing crops that dangle upside down from homemade or commercially available planters is growing more popular, and its adherents swear they’ll never come back down to earth.

    News of Noteworthy

    Ok. Will ring up Dad and talk to him more and I'll go home early to day: | Dads told to spend more time with kids: "I think about my father and my friends' fathers; the way they spend time with their children is quite different to what I spend with my children and other people of similar age. So fathers are definitely playing a greater role in their children's lives," Dr Gray said
     Also mental note to self - start learning Ninjutsu: | Sydney student is rescued by ninjas: "We started running towards them and they took off. They would have seen five of us in ninja gear... all in black with our belts on, running toward them.

    "I think they're probably still running if I'm not mistaken," Soto told the ABC."

    Why Do Teenagers Do Crazy Things?

    According to cognitive neuroscientist Dr Russell Poldrack and colleagues from University of Texas, Austin: Teenagers' brains are wired to take risks. This may be one of the reasons why we sometimes see teenagers do things that an adult would not do.

    My friend, who is now in her 60's recounted the times when she used to climb huge, tall trees as a teenager, but when she had her own daughter, she wouldn't let her daughter do what she did.

    They say the discovery might help explain why teens take risks that don't seem worth it to adults - from driving too fast to experimenting with drugs.

    Optimist: Always Look Ahead.

    When asked to describe a glass of water whether it's half-full or half-empty, my answer would always be "half-full".

    I would describe myself as an optimist with a can-do attitude. Today, I came across this article that I would like to share with you.

    The first school despairs because it foresees inevitable ruin. The second school is hopeful — but only because these intellectuals foresee ruin, too, and can hardly wait for the decadent modern world to be replaced by one more to their liking. Every now and then, someone comes along to note that society has failed to collapse and might go on prospering, but the notion is promptly dismissed in academia as happy talk from a simpleton. Predicting that the world will not end is also pretty good insurance against a prolonged stay on the best-seller list.

    Nuts Good for Your Nutrition

    Did you know that eating about 2 tablespoons of nuts a day helps increase your "good" cholesterol and reduce your "bad" cholesterol?

    “Nuts are rich in unsaturated fats, and that is a main driver in lowering cholesterol,” said the lead author, Dr. Joan SabatΓ©, a professor of nutrition at the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University in California. “They are the richest source of protein in the plant kingdom, and they also contain fiber and phytosterols, which compete with cholesterol to be absorbed. All these nutrients have been demonstrated to lower cholesterol.”

    There is a way out

    "The point that has to be borne in mind is that the reason why reflection on suffering is so important is because there is a possibility of a way out; there is an alternative. There is a possibility of freedom from suffering. "

    From the book "The Essence of Happiness"
    by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
    and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

    Ancient Mystery - Trend: The Pyramids

    Notice any trend about our ancient civilizations?

    Let's start with the most iconic ancient wonder - the Pyramids.

    There once was a group of very advanced civilizations. They built behemoth humongous structures that withstand over time and so mysteriously such that even people of modern day can not figure out how they did it!

    Imagine how civilized they once were.

    They must be so advanced in many fields - not one, not two, but many - to be able to achieve such a feat.

    Consider their advances in mathematics, astrology, geology, architecture, transportation, logistics, and engineering - see those precise calculation, placements, location, and construction.

    Think about advances in management, documentation methods, and communication - imagine managing a project in your company with more than 20 people, now try 200,000+ people. How about a project that expands over 20+ years. Can you imagine referring to design specification document that was written 20+ years back?

    What about advances in spiritual - imagine convincing large group of people to believe in the same thing, in achieving the same goals. Peacefully.

    Advancement in medical sciences - imagine caring and curing for those thousands of workers who injured themselves, bone and muscle treatment, chronic disease, and what about plague and disease prevention.

    Advancement in military, government, administration, and resource management - imagine keeping the country calm and prosperous during the construction years with no uprising, riots, and/or no invasion from neighbouring lands. Keep in mind that, the majority of their young, healthy and strong population were doing construction work, i.e. building the pyramids. And perhaps, the other healthy lots were doing agricultural and infrastructural works, and etc. So where and how many were left for the army?!

    I can keep going, but to cut things short, a civilization who were advanced in only certain areas would not be able to achieve something at this level of greatness.

    Yet, for no known cause or reason, despite all advancement in many areas, they simply vanished! Gone! Without a trace! Unexplained! Why?!

    obtained under Creative Commons


    Economy: Rubbish and Current State of Economy

    This week is our Hard Rubbish Collection week. It's the week where, in our suburb, people place all their unwanted items on their front lawn or nature strip. These items will be collected by our city council and recycled or discarded later.

    I was reading this good post this morning: | The current state of the Australian Economy and where it appears to be heading :
    In summary, some of the keys that can be used to show current economy's state are: Consumer Price Index (CPI), Unemployment rate, Building Approval and New Capital Expenditure Building, ...
    Looking at the amount of rubbish items in the neighbor hood area, I noticed something which was quite different from the previous year. It was the amount of rubbish items and the quality of them. There were more items, many items are still new and/or in working condition, i.e. some nice leather furniture, big screen TVs, old toys, bicycles, and so on. Many houses went an extra length of nicely wrap the TVs in proper plastic sheet with label "In Working Condition"!

    It's quite obvious these people were upgrading their furniture and household equipments -- new furniture, new toys, new kitchen equipment and white goods, new flat screen TVs, and etc.

    I reckon that the study/article above should include "Discard Rubbish Items" in the article as well.


    Unsolved Mystery: Australia Property Market

    With interest rates rising, and the number of home loans approval falling, we're still seeing continued price rises in the residential property market.

    Recently, my neighbour put up her house for auction. It's one of 2 units on a block. Her house is the front one. It's approximately 30 years old. It has 2 bedrooms and a study with 1 garage. She put it on auction for between $600K-650K. She would have been quite happy if she could get $670K as she bought it for $405K about 3 years ago, but it was sold before auction for $720K.

    "The ©afr.comRBA is not ©afr.comsure why ©afr.comandhouse ©afr.comprices are sectorisrising whoso butquickly. In its monetary thanstatement last ©afr.comweek, whoweek, its surprisedsaid inflowthe market’s buoyancy was “at odds with recent 20 per loadevelopments in housing finance, which has© traditionally Data-Rismarkbeen a good ©afr.comindicator of ©afr.comhousing market conditions”. The continuing strength of be itstheexpensivemarket toremained “something of ©afr.comfora puzzle”."

    "While ©afr.comconditions&rdquthe consensus outis ©afr.commostthat house price arerises surprised &ndasofwill eventually outslow, last ofabating.the isaffordability outlook overis bleak,due particularly ©afr.comfor buyers at ©afr.comforthe lower end takeof ©afr.comshow. couplesthe market, ©afr.comwhere rising ©afr.cominterest rising,other Robertsorates ©afr.comhurt thethe most."

    "Pressure is rising meeton rents as has Whileprospective Reserveowner-occupiers defer ©afr.comoverseasrateplans ©afr.comto onlybuy ... ©afr.comintorental rate fell homesvacancies have fallen quarter,”0.5 per ©afr.comcent and houseTheapplicants risingwillofare house The apploffering ©afr.comhigherup to $40 now. Chinese,above ©afr.comadvertised AMPweekly rents haven’t b20 per loatheto beat underlyingtheheoff marketingthe ©afr.comcompetition."

    There are talks that the price growth is still strong due to level of supply and demand, immigration and foreign investments. During my search for properties with my friends, I've encountered potential purchasers from many backgrounds. To name some, these include people from the US, Canada, Europe such as UK, Denmark, Finland and Switzerland. There were also some Chinese from China, HongKong, Singapore and Malaysia.


    Bathroom Renovation Tips - 2

    If you encounter space constraints, consider the following tips:

    1. Wall-mounted all tap-ware;

    2. Choose basins that are petite in dimensions;

    3. Deep drawers and wall-mounted soap dispensers as it will leave the bathroom uncluttered;

    4. Decorate with beautiful accessories.

    iPhone: Create Home Screen Bookmark with Picture You Like

    Adding a bookmark to home screen on an iPhone provides quick access to a frequent visit website. iPhone creates an icon on home screen for this bookmark. Clicking on a bookmark activate Safari and jump directly to the website of your choice, i.e. weather forecast website, and etc.

    However, did you know that you can create bookmarks on home screen with picture of you choice?

    Well almost your choice. iPhone creates a scale down image of the webpage you are viewing when you adding a bookmark to home screen. Try enlarge the portion of the web page and position it to the picture that best describes the website. When adding a bookmark to home screen, iPhone will use the current image you are viewing to create an icon on the home screen.

    Movie of the week: Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

    "The Pyramid of Fear"

    Ah! It's that wonderful Friday again. I was well known for being such a critic. A movie critic. Many Friday mornings, my friend usually strolled around to my desk.

    "So, what will that be?"

    "I beg your pardon?"

    "It's Friday! What movie are you watching tonight?"

    "Oh. Ooh. I just watched Downey Jnr's Sherlock Holmes", now he got me all excited. I continued, "the best Sherlock Holmes movie I have ever seen since... since Young Sherlock Holmes!"

    Yes. That was right. I have read Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series countless number of times. Watched many Sherlock Holmes movies. However, there are only 2 movies that I really like: Steven Spielberg' Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), and since last week, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law, 2009).

    "So, there you go. You can have an all night sitting, starts with Young Sherlock Holmes with your kids. And the new Sherlock Holmes for later on in the night,"

    My friend like that idea. The problem was. He will have to sneak out of office early today to secure these 2 DVD from the local movie store.


    iPad Wifi Vs. iPad 3G (Round 4)

    I still haven't put the order for my iPad through. What am I waiting for?

    The final test.

    Now I know my Macbook can access to the internet by tethering via my iPhone. The grand plan is to get an iPad (Wifi) and access the net via my iPhone. Some how I doubt this.

    Why would Apple allow iPad to access internet via iPhone?

    Apple knows fully well of the big number of fans are out there with their iPhone. If they allow this, most of these people with iPhone will not buy iPad 3G. They all will be buying iPad Wifi.

    A friend of my has just returned from the US. I need to see him.

    "I'll buy you lunch and you will lend me your iPad? Deal?"

    "I can let you have a look and play with it for 5-10 mins then I will have to go,"

    "Ok, I'll buy you coffee instead then,"

    We met at lunch with his new shiny iPad from the States.

    "Geez, are you sure you've got a good unit? The bluetooth doesn't seem to work. Haven't you checked this?"

    My friend's eyes were bulging, "Of course it works."

    "Doesn't it?" He wasn't so sure now.

    "Let me check it," I offered
    This is not good. I tried and tried to pair the iPad with my iPhone with tethering turned on. Again and again, for over 20 minutes, the iPad wouldn't just recognize the iPhone. I did pick up some other bluetooth devices. But not the iPhone.

    I handed the iPad back to my friend, "The bluetooth seemed to be working. It did pick up several devices around here."

    "So, where is my coffee, " my friend asked.

    "What! I just helped you with the bluetooth thingy. You should be buying."

    Oh well. My grand plan of having iPad Wifi access the net via my iPhone is not working. So, if I want always-online iPad, I will just have to get the 3G one. 1+ for the 3G iPad.

    iPad wifi: 1
    iPad 3G: 4

    Bathroom Renovation Tips - 1

    How to make the most of your small space?

    Simplicity is key to having a beautiful and modern bathroom without the clutter.

    Tip: Use colours that are contrasting and complimentary to each other.

    Tip: Use mirror (landscape not portrait) to create an illusion of space and light.

    Tip: Use floating vanity as that will give the appearance of a larger floor space.

    Hidden Wisdom: Love soup then you love taking care of your siblings

    When I was young we often gathered around the big dining table sharing meals. It was a wonderful time. I enjoy Mom's cooking, especially soup. I didn't care much of the contents. Just the soup. At one time, grandma commented,

    "Love drinking soup! Love and will take care of siblings, this one,"

    At that time, I didn't quite understand how love drinking soup related to the fact that I will love and taking care of siblings and/or family members. I was just genuinely loved the soup, not so much the contents of it, just the soup.

    Many years passed by. Years of hardship. There were times that we had to cut budget on things. Things like the amount of meat in the soup. I remember the time when I reached out into a soup bowl before anyone, picked good bits of meat, then placed them on my kids' and/or my wife's bowls.

    Many times, I got a question look from her, "Don't you like the meat?"

    "Nah. I love the soup"


    Now looking at my daughter, she had siphoned Tom Yum Goong's soup into her bowl so that she could almost swim in it. There were still plenty of prawns in the main bowl.

    Tears on the corner of my eyes, thinking about grandma, life and her wisdom, then I commented

    "Love soup, eh? You will love and taking care of your brother and your family, won't you,"

    Take aim at the blue cube!

    It was considerably a long time. A long time if you were standing, still, staring at a blank wall for 2-3 minutes. Blank wall. Well almost, except this instruction that tells me to take aim at the blue cube!

    It is funny how when we were young, we were told to always flush the toilet after finishing our "number-3" business (and of course number-2, as well). Time goes by. I grew up. But this time, I am being told *not* to flush toilet when doing number-3.

    Yes, that's right. They said that water is bad for hygienic in the toilet. Water helps bacteria binds with urine solids - their food source and, as a result, producing bad odor. They put this Blue Cube inside that toilet bowl instead. This Blue Cube prevents this from happening. | Microbes put a spanner in the works: "Desert Waterless Urinal Cubes contain naturally occurring microbes that break down the binding process that causes uric scale. Faecal bacteria are no longer able to latch onto urine solids as a source of food. Unpleasant odours are eliminated at their source"
    They claim that this solution tackles problem at the root cause and save water up to 98%. Furthermore, they point out all the negatives of flushing: | Conventional responses just don’t work : More flushing makes it worse
    "... More water means more water scale, which creates an even more favourable environment for thriving bacterial colonies. More water also means more wastage ..."
    Sanitising doesn’t work in a flushing system
    "... Automatic sanitisers are sometimes connected to the flushing system to kill bacteria living in the drain. However, the volume of water required for flushing over-dilutes the sanitiser and renders it ineffective..."
    Deodorisers just mask the smell and introduce new risks
    "... Deodorant blocks do not sanitise or disinfect, but they can be used to cover up the bad smell in urinals. These products carry a poison rating of S6 and pose a significant risk to health and the environment..."
    Almost done with my #3 business, looked around and sniffed around, hmm, this Blue Cube must work as advertised. Our toilet at work is nice, dry, with very nice pleasent smell.

    Celery ... Vegetable Viagra for Men

    Attention all male human species! Eat your vegetables especially celery, but a word of warning: "Do not go overboard."

    Read more here.

    Fur Frenzy

    Would you wear real fur taken from rabbits and raccoons? All of a sudden fashion houses in Australia are inundated with requests for real fur garments. I wonder why? To me, looking at someone from a distance, I can't tell whether she is wearing the real fur or faux fur.

    Australia is a favourite with Expats and their children

    According to a survey conducted by HSBC bank, expats overwhelmingly voted Australia as the best place to raise their children. One of the main reasons being our outdoor lifestyles, easy access to beautiful beaches and friendly schools.

    Read more here.

    How do men rate Melbourne?

    Well according to a poll conducted by, Melbourne is one of the top 3 cities in the world to live in. Melbourne came 2nd followed by Tokyo. It was rated in terms of cultural diversity, entertainment, job opportunities, quality of fresh air, and exoticism.

    Read more here

    How do you rate Melbourne? Feel free to post your comment.

    Remorseful after making big decision? Go wash your hand.

    Wash Your Hands (Literally) After A Big Decision To Cut Down On Second-Guessing | Lifehacker Australia

    The Essence of Happiness

    Develop a sincere positive motivation and thinking.

    As soon as you get up, think, 'I will utilize this day in a more positive way.'

    And before bed, ask yourself, 'Did I utilize this day as I planned?'

    From the book "The Essence of Happiness" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

    Location:Rene St,Beaumaris,Australia

    Be an RACV member and save$$$

    I've been an RACV member for year now but didn't know that I could save quite substantially by just showing my RACV card in stores that I often shop.

    What impresses me is that this card not only help you saves in thousands of stores in Victoria, but throughout Australia and around the world!

    For more info see

    Henry Tax Review: Effects on Property Investors

    About one month ago, my friend's business acquaintance said that he heard rumours that the Henry Tax Review will abolish the "negative gearing" aspect of property investments. As this acquaintance is a Financial/Accounting professional, what he told my friend seemed real enough. This rumour spread like wildfire and was even mentioned on every major newspapers in Australia.

    My friend was very worried by what she had heard.

    I tried to calm her down and suggested to her that investments whether it's into property or shares, is the fabric of our economy. It would be political suicide if the government tries to abolish negative gearing.

    Read more on The Henry Tax Review.

    Wonders of Fengshui - House at T-junction

    My friend & I just got back from inspecting another property today. This is an older house, roughly about 20 years old. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and double garage. The kitchen and bathrooms have been renovated and are immaculate. The interior of the house has been repainted and re-wired. It has a nice, manageable garden. But, ...

    unfortunately, it's located at the end of a T-junction.

    Read more here.

    Never mind, back to the drawing board.

    iPad Wifi Vs. iPad 3G (Round 3)

    The discovery yesterday does change all my considerations.
    The iPhone can do tethering.

    Currently, I have two 3G data plans: one for my iPhone and another for my Macbook. Since, iPhone can tether (and I have been testing and using it happily for 2 days now). My Macbook can access the net via my iPhone and gives up its data plan for the iPad of my dream.

    Furthermore, it's always good to have more than one line of accessing the net. Just in case, something happens.

    Sweet. I don't have to buy additional data plan. For this reason, iPad 3G got +1.

    Current scores:

    iPad Wifi: 1
    iPad 3G: 3

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