Stupid!

The stupid-est invention other than Clippy…
http://bit.ly/t1dmqM

 

Perfect Sync please

Google, please….

Google Calendar Sync works great. All we need now will be have it incorporate Contacts too and have it work across iPhones, Windows Mobiles, Blackberries and others!

I need to have it work across laptops and desktops I have, allowing me to sync on way (laptop to Google) or 2 ways, (laptop to google and google to laptops whichever enteries is newer) and across platforms on Outlook for my desktops. The day will come. It takes time I guess, like many other things…

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Google Sync now syncs Contacts!

i have 3 PCs and 2 laptops and of course the Xpheria X1. i want my calendar and contacts sync-ed among them all and are up to date.

1. Install Google Calendar Sync on all PCs and Laptops (http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=89955)

2. Set phone to sync with Google (http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?answer=138636&topic=14299)

3. One of the laptop is what i bring to work, it is set to GCalendar sync 2 ways. Changes to laptop and uploaded to Google Calendar.

One main work PC at home is sync 2 ways too.

A windows 7 PC is only for viewing when i do not want to switch back and forth between machines. For viewing only, GCalendar is sync one way (GCalendar to Outlook only).

X1 syncs 2 ways. Just know which machines you have set to sync 2 ways and do your changes there. If not, like in my case, if I do changes or updates to my Windows 7 machine’s outlook calendar, they will not be reflected across all machines. It will be useful for things i wish to keep out of my work calendar.

Google’s sync that they mention works on Exchange protocol syncs IMMEDIATELY. It is very fast so no meetings will be missed even if you set it 5 mins in advance.

Initial syncs caused some problems for me, multiple entries for yearly events like Birthday or weekly events. Manually exported them out from the work PC and as a PST with contacts and calendar choosing NOT to export duplicate, created new Outlook profile, reimported everything, same, DO NOT IMPORT duplicates option, let it sync once more and all’s fine.

Stop wasting time

This is to the m/billions of Facebook, Friendster users around the world. Stop wasting your time. I do understand the complexity and at times usefulness of these apps but seriously, they are your “friends”?

2 recent studies by the University of Georgia (UOG) and The State University of Michigan(SUM).

Extract from the SUM report “Facebook usage was found to interact with measures of psychological well-being, suggesting that it might provide greater benefits for users experiencing low self-esteem and low life satisfaction.”

Low self esteem and low life satisfaction. Very true but of course, I already hear arguments about non facebook users having low self esteem but that’s not the point. Narcissism, classic mythology will tell you was about a youth who fell in love with his own image. I long wonder when such a study will evolved and here they are.

People are always looking for the next thing, peer pressures don’t help either. “Are you on Facebook”? Add me leh…heard oo often…

If you’re that good like Julia Allison reported in Wired not too long ago. That could really have and may reap you the returns you think you might have. What happened to the age old – never place your photos on the Internet? it’s everywhere, faceshots and of course, easily accessible Youtube videos of hot girls (to not so hot to the downright…hideous!) wearing next to nothing doing some really intimidating dance moves.

I know good friends not through all these sites but through face to face interaction from hobbist sites then we decided to meetup then to work related meetings. Found something in common and really clicked. Not too much different? It’s hell a lot different. There is not a need to maintain a linkage of sorts within online apps like Facebook, write on their wall, update your profiles, update your twitter…poke them even??? Just to what? Let them know what you are doing? The last time I checked, real friends do not care actually what you are doing, who you are with, a ring and they meet up in times of needs or to catch up. But oh, there’s Facebooks groups too…

Straitstimes Review – When Facebook Destroys Lives by Joanne Lee 1 Nov 2008, given all that can go wrong with these troublesome Facebook one-liners, why do we still insist on updating them? simply put, it’s to tell the world (those on our friends list anyway) what’s happening in our lives and elicit a reaction from them” Well, it has cost lives before and it might just wil again as reminded by ST’s Joanne Lee about how people killed over jealousy, a new kind of jealousy when a spouse updated their facebook caused so much anger that the other killed her. I’ve seen my fair share of “wars” breaking out on tech forums, AMD vs Intel, nVidia vs ATI, my PC is faster than yours, mine can overclock more, mine run on water…that’s so yesterday, mine runs on nitrogen dude….but seeing someone killed over such social networking sites, that’s new…

So what the hell does poking in Facebook helped in within ones life? I had to find out, I clicked on my forgot password link, got myself relogged into Facebook again, took a look at an event I shot panos of commercially again, joined it but got logged off for dunno what reason(s). Got my “significant other” to copy and paste the event to me via email. I just guess more will actually see the site if it’s on a normal webpage? Targetted audience of choice maybe but I can’t imagine older folks who will travel at that age range be using Facebook in the first place.

I logged in again a few days later, curious like many others before me, oooh…I had long pending friends request! I actually have them?! Saw some collegues, old and some existing ones, clicked a lot more ignore than Confirm then Ignore ALL notification about some pokes, some gives, some I do not know what and it really dawned on me about why people can be addicted on it. No HTML to learn and hell a lot different from Blogging. An actual webpage for the Narcissist in all of us! How time wasting. I do however appreciate the developers in the apps that are available but maybe it’ll do more good if you actually do something useful like Google’s Android? hell! Even updating and contributing to any Wikipedia? or for the irony of it…updating the Facebook information page on Wikipedia? hahahaa

As with all things else, smoking kills, we still smoke. What else is harmful, we do it too, Facebook wastes time, people do it too, by the millions of people, everyday….and if they do not? Till the nextsocial networking site comes along like the many before Facebook we’ve seen, Myspace, Friendster, such sites will still continue to grow to a certain extend but like Frienster whose regular users could be older now with the younger netizens going after Facebook, it could just not be as sustainable.

Resources:

University of Georgia- Facebook profiles can be used to detect narcissism | Link 2

The State University of Michigan- The Benefits of Facebook “Friends:” Social Capital and College Students’ Use of Online Social Network Sites | Link 2

Innovations that you can see/ help and not waste time…

http://www.ninesigma.com/

http://www.ixc.com.au/home.html

http://www.eurekamed.com/

http://www.yourencore.com/

http://www.innovationrelay.net/

A Facebook Song…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b-fJxzpK7s

5 Minutes

Yep, that’s how long or rather a short amount of time you will need for approval of a POSB loan.

Interbank transfer takes 3 days?!

Technology? what technology?

Hello Firefox 2

I’m back to firefox 2. Well, yes Firefox 3 “seemed” faster and all but some stuffs just do not work and one sort of big thing to me is embedding of Flash in forums I frequent and it irritates the hell out of me and it seems some others too. Flash videos embedded in forums systems like vBulletin or even phpBB do not work in Firefox 3 and it is a well known problem with no much help anywhere. I even read about the problem may lies with IP version 6. oh comon! So who uses Flash videos so you can embed them in forums? Youtube and Vimeo of course!

On top of that, some Internet Banking services in Singapore like DBS, it works for DBS but repeated “please wait for applet to load” is irritating. Then Citibank and OCBC just do not work and I do not think it should be them who should be finding a solution but more to Mozilla/ Firefox’s developers.

So for the time being, it’s back to Fire 2.0.17 for me. It’s easy to do using Firefox’s Profile Manager. Read about it here. It allows me to run both 2 and 3 at the same time if needed to test stuffs out like the 360 pano I created.

Another plus will be some “Add-ons” I was using can now come back I guess. Other add on are of no problem like FireFTP and Adblock. Who needs to install another FTP client when you can do it in Firefox itself?! 🙂

Another classic case of new things may not be good things…

Download older Firefox(es) here.

Do not trust your kids.

This article has been in my draft for quite a while and was meant for PAGi as a tip (Which has since been merged with some other Government agency which I do not remember what…MDA?). Releasing it is a double edged sword as it can be use the other way round for kids to monitor what their parents are doing, what your spouse, what your employees is doing and all but I am looking at this from a parent to their kids needs other than any other use. I’ve used such software and have a staff fired many years ago when I was a IT staff of a certain organisation by providing enough evidence to have him removed.

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“yes darling, daddy and mummy trust you. Of course we do!”

Those are words and simply words only I hope when you say them to your kids. Their online activities are less than trustable and even having your PC or PCs around a common area at home as so many articles will tell you, WILL NOT HELP. They do multi task a lot better if you ask me. Alt Tabbing is like breathing to them at times. Don’t imagine too far about computer whiz you see in movies doing hacking stuffs.

So what do you do to keep track of them? and what do you do with all those data?

Installing a keylogging application.

Keyloggers. They were considered hackers tools and still are but using it as a tool to keep track of your child’s computer usage is a god sent.

i tried quite a lot bfore getting this http://www.gearboxcomputers.com/products/spyboss/

Good thing i like about spyboss is, you install, you configure it, you can forget about it. It can email you the logs once everytime the logs reach 5000 lines for example. you can be in your office and the logs are sent to you so you know what your kid are doing at home. everything is time stamped. What you need to do is then scroll through these .txt files and understanding their habits. More of this later…

It does use much resources as other keylogger. It runs in the background, use a combo of key stroke to activate it, a password promot will appear. Deleting all the shortcuts when you install this app will make it almost invisible. For kids, they will never know.

So what do you do with all this data?

One thing is for certain, do not expose them. It’s like a cat and mouse game at times. If you expose them too much, they’ll stop using the computer and you loose the ability to actually keep track of them should they choose to stay in school doing the same things and wasting time on Facebook or Friendster. It doesn’t harm to also keep track of their passwords, oh yes, you’ll get those too with keyloggers. Logging into their email accounts or Facebook, check out their friends, who are they, their age is a good idea too.

Check on them, know their habits and let me tell you now first that it can be quite a daunting task but sites they frequent generally falls into a pattern and a habit. Do not deter them from visiting education sites and once a while games sites may just be good for them too. Porn well, is up to you and depending on age is a no no I guess but it’s hard I guess teaching them directly at times and you rather they find out things on their own or at home in front of a PC? Well, there’s Sex Education now at some Polytechnics in Singapore anyway…

A lof of these information is really up to you as a parent to dechiper, understand and use it with or against your child.

Privacy is crap if you ask me as I have spoken a lot about this issue. You want privacy, you get a PC or laptop with no wireless connection or no LAN connection. It’s not possible for a child who wants to learn. Use these information to your advantage. Websites sprung up so quickly that it’s impossible to keep track of them all. Sites they visit are word of mouth very often, through friend’s recommendations via word of mouth, email, instant messenging or from their social networking pages like Facebook.

Understanding that these information will backfire so use with caution and remember you are in control.

Online tools

In the past, I had to run my own CMS, forums, download whatever section such as this one and you’ll know that I’ve ran Geeklog for many years till recently this year when I switched over to VMWare a lot and to WordPress.

That made me wonder about the killer app that has elude the media for so many years. Email as they put it, was the killer app. The one app that everyone use and cannot live without. So has the new killer app arrived? I believe so. So what is it?

It is a multiple combination of apps I would say. From file sharing sites, MASHUP sites, photos sites, social networking, free forums systems, blog/ CMS systems, what the word now know as Web Two Point Zero.

So what is Web 2.0? It’s what you and your kids may have already been using. Programming languages like AJAX or sites like YouTube all uses these. It’s computing, on the Internet. Lesser and lesser processing could well be needed by your desktop computers in the years to come, yet, our computers are becoming more and more powerfulto the average home users leaving them with a lot of processing power and nothing much to process.

4Hr 10mins

Singaporean aged 15 – 24 years of age spends on online instant messaging services daily. The survey also says an average of 1 hour 34 mins on email, 1.5 hours in online communitie (forums I presume?) and 3 hours 43 mins on other Internet activities…facebook/ Myspace maybe? – Source Synovate.

What a waste of time!!! What the hell are this group of people thinking? Heck, I have friends who basically live in Facebook. Work suffers…get a real life!

SMS Backup stupid!

It’s plain dumb why some people still think Telcos can actually save SMS for them on their servers when the solution is right in front of them and at times free of charge? Read this first…
Deleted an SMS? Don’t hope to retrieve it
Post your comments online at straitstimes.com
IF YOU have deleted an important text message, don’t expect your cellphone company to have a magical backup server that will bail you out.

One Singapore man recently found that out the hard way when he tried to recover messages that he had trashed nine months ago.

Mr Huang Yongliang wrote to The Straits Times Forum this week asking about the possibility of retrieving the long-since-deleted texts.

“I got curious about the policies on retrieving SMSes when I accidentally deleted mine,” said Mr Huang.

The 27-year-old said he wanted the texts for “personal reasons”, but declined to elaborate.

Telecom companies, though, said customers can practically kiss the messages goodbye once they hit the delete button. The companies handle billions of messages annually and deleted SMSes are expunged from servers almost immediately, they say.

SingTel, for example, said it processes 20 million text messages a day. That adds up to around seven billion a year.

“It is therefore not economically or physically viable to store SMSes in our system for retrieval purposes,” said its corporate communications manager Cheam Tze Hui in a statement.

There are a few exceptions. Logs that record the phone number, date and time of an SMS are captured and stored. StarHub and M1 keep these records for seven years and one year respectively. It is understood that these logs serve as verification when customers dispute SMS charges on their bills.

Meanwhile, telecom companies say they also face privacy concerns when it comes to releasing text messages. Even if they are still on a backup server, SingTel said it will not release them – not even to someone who wants to retrieve his own message.

Telecom companies will, however, release the information to the police and the courts. The former have the right to such information when they are investigating a crime.

In 2001, police probing fake bomb threats sent via SMS traced the texts to a 20-year-old national serviceman. They tracked him using help from the telcos, which would not specifically reveal the method. But the telcos suggested that it involved SMS logs.

In civil lawsuits, a judge can order companies to release messages if they are relevant to the case, according to Mr P. Padman, a partner in law firm Tito Isaac & Co. He has encountered this in defamation and divorce cases in the past. However, telcos are obliged to give the courts only information which they still possess.

The only way to be certain of retaining the SMSes for one’s own use is to keep them in phones, according to service providers.

Two telcos – M1 and StarHub – said SMSes are purged from their systems as soon as they are delivered. SingTel would only say that while this is not done daily, it is fairly regular.

There’s tons of application including free bundled ones ranging from Sony Erricson, Nokia to of course Windows Mobile phones. I personally uses Windows Mobile phone exclusively since my O2 Mini days and since then, from O2 Mini to Dopod 838 to O2 Zinc to my current Samsung Blackjack, I’ve used Jeyo’s offerings from my early days and they have served me well. I was using the integrated SMS support from Jeyo, Jeyo Mobile Extender, that integrate into Outlook. A perfect, easy to use and anyone using Windows Mobile phones will have already acquainted themselves with Outlook a long time ago, scheduling their days, managing contacts and tasks and all. Now I uses a smaller and nimble application from Jeyo for my Samsung i600 aka the Blackjack, Jeyo Mobile Companion. Mobile Extender does not really work as well with my Samsung for god knows reasons but well, Companion works perfectly. I can send and receive sms to and from my phone via the PC whenever the phone is plugged in. The best part is of course the backing up which is what I am still wondering why when and if an SMS is so important, people are actually depending on Telcos to retrieve for them?!

SMS backup with Companion is done with a few clicks and is in the all roundly accepted XML format! How cool is that? File size are darn small at 98kb for a backup I have of 2033 SMSes.

Do yourself a favour today. NOW. Install whatever CD/ DVD bundled software that has come with your phone and find out of SMS backup is bundled. Windows Mobile users, visit Jeyo… unless you love the hassle of going through Telcos like how Mr Huang from the article may just love doing or with too much free time i his hands with his “personal reasons” SMS that he wish to retrieve aka mushy lovey SMS from some ex maybe?

die vista die!

I couldn’t take it any longer. Even so when it wasn’t my personal laptop, I’m using a free macbook now, that came with my ISP. It’s rather common in Singapore to have ISP tie up such deals with the fruit company, HP even Lenovo. My gal’s laptop a LG Z1 Pro, looks good on the outside but inside who knows, well, it’s quite a standard 1Gb Ram, 120Gb SATA, ATI graphics and all but well, we weren’t together when she got it, i’ll strongly object! ha! It’s running Vista Home Premium and it just makes my blood boil running things i need to on it. It’s darn slow and on a laptop that has a gigabyte of ram, it shouldn’t and i was not comparing it with my 4Gb ram-ed macbook. It simply cannot be under performing that much and I was cork sure it was Vista!

I ran whatever i can think of, Spybot Search and Destroy, Ad-aware, installed Firefox, Picasa to try out, the performance just does not match a machine with 1Gb of ram…so I went Google-ing and found this. Pefect! Install XP after Vista has been installed. It’s simple,

partition the existing 120Gb (i used Acronis Disk Director Suite 10),

install XP on it,

install .Net 2.0 Framwork,

install easyBCD, following that link’s instruction and all done. Now, it’s just installing MS Office, Firefox, Nero etc all back and of course to let her know, yes, I have installed XP but your painfully slow Vista is still around, if you want, I’ll fully migrate everything. I bet she’ll be amazed she actually spend good money on a laptop that was actually fast, not blazing but it’s faster running XP than Vista!

One less Vista user, that’s for sure…and I wont recommend a LG laptop to anyone. You try searching for Z1 Pro Drivers on www.lge.com/notebook. It’s confusing and it takes a lot of steps to just go back to the same page should you close your browser. The pages’s iFrame do not align properly either, at least not on some laptops, I was using my VAIO m505 then my home Dell 2405FPW. With the 24 incher Dell, i can see mostly and download links are visible but not on the m505. Support LG, we need a better support page that’s more friendly. Take a leaf from MSI or Asus‘s support pages. It’s clearn, I type in any model, it’ll show up.

Lastly, the downloaded ATI drivers for graphics do not work. I rebooted into Vista to double check, it’s shown as 945GM chipset family of drivers, no problem then since I believe Intel will provide some alternative and yep, they do. Here or from here.