Monday, November 23, 2015

GrabTaxi deactivated my account due to suspicious(!) activity

I have started to use GrabTaxi approximately 1 year ago and initially I liked an alternative way to call a taxi (in Sengkang, it is difficult to find a taxi, even if you call the lines). But since then, I have not used it frequently for several reasons such as Uber, the rude behaviour of taxi drivers (when booked from GrabTaxi) and so on. Last time I remember was months ago.

Then last week, I suddenly got this message from GrabTaxi :

"We found suspicious activity after an analysis of the validity of your booking history. As this is against the code of conduct, we have to deactivate your access to the GrabTaxi app. You can appeal via this form: ...."

Suspicious activity? What? I don't remember anything. But then i googled for the message and found out a few people who had the same message after they did not take the car they booked. So I remember the last one.

I wanted to go from Compass Point to city and booked a taxi by GrabTaxi while I was in thw queue. Then the queue moved fast and I found a taxi and took it (it was very urgent). I opened GrabTaxi app but could not cancel the booking (the button simply did not work!). I tried many times and after that I called the taxi driver and apologized. He did not seem to bother a lot (queue for taxi behind me was long anyway). Maybe he was cheerful in the call but complained about me.

The only other problem I had was with a driver months ago which I did not bother to complain (instead I stopped using GrabTaxi as the first option to get a taxi). My daughter was sick with 39 degrees C fever and she was vomiting so we decided to go to KKH. I used GrabTaxi to call this guy. He came late, he stopped behind the apartment and insisted us to walk to him instead of him driving to lobby (later he drove to the lobby). He was rude and then when we wanted to put a bag on the front seat and he refused, we decided to pay him and left the car after going only 50 meters. Maybe it was not enough for him and after leaving a sick kid with 39 degrees fever, he also wanted to complain about me.

I realized the taxi drivers care much less about the service quality when they are called from GrabTaxi. So I started to use it as a last resort. But still it would be nice to have it.

Anyway, I filled in the form but in internet I can see that they do not bother to reply you. If the "suspicious activity" is only the last transaction where I could not cancel a booking because of their app (I will assume this is the case until they reply my message), then I prefer to not use them. Anyway, I loved Uber and I started to use it instead of GrabTaxi long time ago. Hopefuly their customer service is not as bad as GrabTaxi's. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

iPhone 6S in Singapore : Prices, Release Date, Contract Plans and specs

iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will be released in Singapore on September 25th 2015.The new iPhone 6S prices are also released. iPhone 6S and 6S Plus models will be approximately $60 more expensive than iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S Plus.

SingTel, M1 and StarHub all released their price plans for this newest iPhone from Apple.

SingTel iPhone 6S price plans are not surprising and mainly follows the previous years. The cheapest monthly contract plan Combo 1 offers iPhone 6S 64 GB for $858 and iPhone 6S Plus 64 GB at $1,008 while the monthly payments are $27.90. The most expensive SingTel iPhone 6S contract is named Combo 12 and it offers all iPhone 6S and 6S plus types freely while montly payments are $239.9. SingTel iPhone price plans can be found here : SingTel iPhone 6S Price Plan.

M1 iPhone 6S price plans are also released and you can access them here : M1 iPhone Plans & Prices. M1 prices are $1 per month more pricier compared to last year.

For StarHub iPhone 6S price plans you can check StarHub iPhone 6S / 6S Plus Price Plan.StarHub’s 4G 3 plan would be the cheapest amongst all Singapore telcos.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kids party planner Singapore

Birthday parties are an important way to celebrate your children. E MAGICAL MOMENT – a kids party planner in Singapore offers some of the most memorable and fun-filled party experiences in Singapore. We have something to indulge the passions and dreams of almost every kid, and those who are kids at heart. Let our experienced entertainers bring magic and creativity to your next birthday party.

We will amaze both kids and parents with our magic show. Magic brings a sense of wonder and can transport you to worlds full of imagination. This interactive, entertaining show is a real crowd-pleaser, and vibrant music adds to the energy. Plus, the birthday boy or girl will get to play a special role assisting the magician, and is sure to remember that experience for years to come.

We love to play and are ready to entertain even the youngest kids. Our birthday party packages activities are fun and energetic, and we do all the work! Enjoy Singapore's best balloon artists as they make balloon sculpture for each party guest, and then show their skill with some truly impressive designs that will keep everyone wide-eyed with wonder. Our magic show also include a comedy-filled magic show perfect for little ones. The magician will take part in the birthday cake-cutting ceremony as well, making this special tradition even more memorable.

Our birthday party packages are a great choice, and you can choose one that best suits your party needs, budget and time frame. Packages can include games, magic and games, and variety options. Choose from face painting, glitter tattoo or caricature as part of the variety package. We can also customize a birthday party that is perfect for your kid, and look forward to working with you to create your dream party.

Kids Party Planner Singapore

Find out more here at Singapore Kids Party Planner.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 release in Singapore

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smart phone will be released in Singapore on saturday 15th August 2015 and the basic model price will be $1,088. This is different from the previous releases since Samsung was announcing new Galaxy Note models in Septembers and shipping them in Octobers (Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was announced in Berlin in September 2014).

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 features a 64 bit quad core CPU, 5.7 Inch QHD Super Amoled display, Android 5.1.1. Lollipop and comes in 32 GB / 64 GB memory and 4 GB RAM. Unlike the previous Galaxy Note models, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will not have removable batteries and will not feature microSD cards. And like Samsung Galaxy S6, this Note 6 model has glass and metal chassis.

Samsung has created this phablet market (large screen phones) but is losing ground to Apple's IPhone 6 Plus and some cheaper Android phablet producers.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Samsung Galaxy Note 5  

Thai women charged for insuting sexy dance in front of a temple

Two Thai women performing a sexy dance in front of a historical Thai temple,  Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, charged for performing 'insulting' sexy dance. The five-minute video clip, which is posted on YouTube, shows Ms Thannicha Nampanya (27) and Ms Nitikarn Chotthanapongsathit (30) dancing in front of the Unesco World Cultural Heritage site. The women turned themselves in after the video went viral and charged with violating a section of the Ancient Monuments, Antiquities and National Museums Act.

The video shows both women wearing short red dresses and according to Rawat Prasong, the assistant governor of Ayutthaya, both their dance and attire were inappropriate.

Thai Police escorting the women to the temple for re-enacment. Photo Bangkok Post

mh370 latest news

The seemingly routine redeye flight of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370/MAS370) from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8th 2014 has turned into a tragedy and one of the greatest mysteries of aviation history. MH370 has diverted from its route, crossed Malaysia and flew south into the wast South Indian Ocean. Since then only one sign of the flight appeared : a Boeing 777 flaperon found on Reunion Island has been confirmed, according to Malaysian authorities, from flight MH370.

August 13th 2015 - Zaaim Redha Abdul Rahman, a satellite communication expert, told Malaysia News Agency Bernama that he believes MH370 is largely intact and lying somewhere beneath the southern Indian Ocean. He believes the Boeing 777 sank into the ocean in one piece after probably floating for a while.
Speaking to Bernama in an interview recently, Zaaim Redha said his theory that the plane probably "glided down" was supported by evidence in the form of the integrity of the two-metre-long flaperon, which was discovered on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean and confirmed to be part of the missing MH370 plane. 
"It (the flaperon) was only slightly damaged and was just encrusted with barnacles. Its appearance indicates that it was not violently torn off from the aircraft's main does seem that it got detached pretty nicely at its edges," he explained.
Source : MH370 Plane Sank In Indian Ocean In Almost One Piece, Claims Satcom Expert
 If this was what happened, it would probably mean that someone has glided MH370 down to the ocean surface since a fuel deprives aircraft without pilot or auto-pilot would spiral down and nose dive into the ocean. A pilot should be in control because even with the presence of an experience pilot, the ocean surface landing of a large aircraft would be a devastating as seen in Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 crash video. The plane was hijacked and forced to divert to Australia. Although the pilot tried to explain the hijackers that the plane do not have enough fuel to fly to Australia from Africa, the hijackers forced the route. When the plane was out of fuel, the pilot tried to land it to the beach. The following sea surface landing was devastating because the plane did not have power to deploy flaps to reduce the landing speed. Of 163 people on board, 50 still survived the crash.

MH370 flaperon debris found on Reunion Island
9M - MRO, the missing Boeing 777 of flight MH370 seen above. Recovered flaperon is circled.
August 13th 2015 - Australian Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) has confirmed that Boeing 777 flaperon found on Reunion Island is from flight MH370. The wing part was discovered on July 29th. On August 6th, Malaysia Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak confirmed that part of the flaperon found on the island was part of the aircraft.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

How to get to Singapore Zoo?

Singapore Zoo is probabley one of the best tourist attraction Singapore offers to its visitors. Nested on 26 hectare wild park which is set in a larger rainforest reservation area on a peninsular in a large water reservoir, Singapore Zoo hosts many wild animals and attractions.

The easiest and most convenient way to get to the Singapore Zoo is Safari Gate. For $7 per adult and $5 per child you can get from city center to Mandai (where the Zoo is) and for $5 per adult or child from Mandai to the city. It passes through some popular and central Singapore hotels like Orchard Hotel, Marriott Hotel, Mandarin Hotel, SVC@Orchard, Orchard Plaza, Rendezvous Hotel, SAM/Carlton Hotel and Raffles City/Swissotel.

For Singapore Zoo bus time table and details of Safari Gate, you can visit Safari Gate web page.

Singapore Attractions Express (SAEx®) Service is another convenient and  popular way to access Singapore Zoo. 2-way trip between city and Singapore Zoo costs $10 per adult and $5 per child and you can also only purchase one way trip. SAEx buses passes through Orchard Hotel, DFS Galeria, Sheraton Towers, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Mandarin Orchard, Concorde Hotel, Hotel Rendezvous, Little India Arcade, Gemini Travel, Farrer Park MRT Station, Quality Hotel and Ibis Singapore Novena.

For Singapore Zoo bus time table and details, you can visit SAEx Service web page.

Singapore Zoo is deep inside Singapore island but it can be relatively easily reached by public transport network. If you are planning to go to Singapore Zoo, you need to get at minimum an MRT ride and then change to a bus to reach to the Zoo.

The nearest MRT stations to the zoo are Ang Mo Kio MRT Station (NS16) or  Choa Chu Kang MRT/LRT Station (NS4/BP1) on North South Line (or the Red Line as popularly known in Singapore). If you are coming from the city, the best is Ang Moi Kio MRT Station. This station is adjacent to a bus interchange from where you need to take Bus 927. The bus you need to take from Choa Chu Kang is 138.

On Sundays and public holidays, bus 926 also buses from Marsiling MRT Station (NS8) and Woodlands MRT Station (NS9) which are also closed to the Singapore Zoo.

Another way to access Singapore Zoo is to mix public transportation and SAEx (see above) and go to Farrer Park MRT Station and then get a SAEx bus.

If you are heading Singapore Zoo by taxi, you can calculate the cost by taxi fare calculator. Currently, taxi fare calculator shows a 24 minutes taxi trip which costs 15.28 Singapore Dollars from Orchard Hotel (a central hotel) to Singapore Zoo at normal flag down fare (no peak hour).

A sample taxi fare calculation for Singapore Zoo

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Violin animation : 80 years of Singapore history in 17 minutes

Have you seen The Violin by Ervin Han? The animation shows the journey of a violin through 80 years of Singapore history starting from 1939, a few years before the horros of Japanese occupation :
"Circa late 1930s, Boat Quay, Singapore. A young boy receives an old violin as a gift out of kindness from a foreign trader. From then on, it becomes a treasured possession as he teaches himself to play the instrument over several years, until it was lost during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. After the war, the violin was found by a man working for the British Military Administration and given to his young daughter. The girl learns to play it and becomes a renowned violinist over the decades. She eventually passes the instrument on to her grandson, an accomplished violinist himself, who restores it and performs in a concert by the Singapore River, where the violin started its unexpected journey nearly 80 years ago.
Throughout the film, the violin graces different stages of Singapore - both figuratively and literally – as we see a young nation’s landscape evolve from a bustling 1930s to the dark days of the Japanese Occupation, followed by the sweeping political changes that lead to its independence and finally, present day."
It is a very nice animation and it is especially meaningful to watch it in this SG50 weekend.
You can watch this 17 minutes animation below. Make it full screen.

Below is a scene from the animation. It shows 1930s Boat Quay Area.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Qlikview business intelligence for SAP

QlikView is one of the most popular business intelligence platform today. Its popularity is not an accident. With its super fast and user-friendly data discovery interface, rapid development cycle, fast response time, it provides a very capable platform to extract the hidden value in the enterprise data.

SAP is on the other hand one of the most popular ERP solutions in the market today. Although it also provides BI capabilities, many customers choose QlikView as their BI platform to extract data from SAP. With QlikView, you can consolidate information from SAP BI, SAP R/3 or any other data source easily and then search and analyze this data with Google-like ease and speed. QlikView also provides a QlikView Connector for SAP Netweaver which enables SAP customers to get easy and quick access to all the data hidden in different SAP systems in QlikView.

KMS, an authorized QlikView partner in Singapore is having a free event named "QlikView for SAP: How to unlock the value of your data hidden in SAP" on 13th August 2015, 9:30am - 11am, Singapore Management University. In this event several aspects and benefits of using QlikView as data analysis and business intelligence platform on top of SAP installation.

QlikView for SAP event in Singapore will present the benefits of QlikView BI platform for SAP users.

You can follow the link or image below for details and registration :

QlikView for SAP Event

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

MH370 debris found on Reunion Island

Note : The part of the Boeing 777 wing found in Reunion Island is from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370), confirmed the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts has conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris [...] is indeed MH370," Mr Najib told reporters.
"We now have physical evidence that [...] flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean," he added.[6]

Despite the certainity of Najib's announcements, French authorities did not yet confirm that the flaperon is from MH370. They have just said the are very strong indications that it is from MH370.

Unfortunately, the confirmation does not mean that the crash site or the reasons behind the crash will be find any time soon. It will also not explain why a plane flying from KL to Beijing diverted all the way down to Indian Ocean.

Update : Debris found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion is "very likely" to be from the missing flight MH370, a top Australian official has told the BBC.[5] There have been only 5 hull-loss accidents of Boeing 777 during its history : one crash in 2008 in London, one in Cairo in 2011, one in San Francisco in 2013, MH370 and MH17 in Ukraine in 2014. MH370 is the only missing Boeing 777 jet and is the only one which had hull loss accident in Indian Ocean.

Update : "It is almost certain that the flaperon is from a Boeing 777 aircraft. Our chief investigator here told me this" said Malaysia Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi. Since there is no other missing Boeing 777, the debris may be from the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight.

Debris found in Reunion Island in Western Indian Ocean near Madagaskar may be from the missing MH370. The debris looks like a part from the wing of a large aircraft like Boeing 777, the type of the aircraft disappeared in March 2014.

Officials are cautiously optimistic and working on the part which washed off the shores of the island The debris was found off the coast of St. Andre, a community on the Reunion Island.[1]

The aircraft part shows sign of tearing off the wing and appears to be an inside flap from Boeing 777 wind. But it is painted white which is not consistent with silver color of such part in Boeing 777.

Malaysia meanwhile announced that they have sent a team to see if Reunion Island debris is from MH370 flight. "I have sent a team to verify the wreckage ... we hope that it can identify (the wreckage) as soon as possible," said Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai during a visit to the United Nations (UN) in New York. [2]

An US official told the Associated Press news agency that, based on the photos, investigators had a "high degree of confidence" that the part was a flaperon unique to a Boeing 777 wing.[3]

Given the fact that there is no other Boeing 777 is missing, the part is most probably from MH370 if the debris is from a Boeing 777.[4]

The part may also be from another tragedy. Yemenia Flight 626 has crashed near the north coast of Grande Comore, Comoros on 30 June 2009, killing the 152 other people on board.

Where is the suspected MH370 debris found?
Reunion Island is off the coast of Madagaskar Island which is off the shores of Africa. It is in the same ocean where there is an ongoing search for MH370 but thousands of miles away from the search site.

[1] - Debris looks like Boeing 777, could be MH370, says source
[2] - Malaysia sends team to see if Reunion Island debris is from MH370 flight
[3] - MH370 search: Experts investigate Indian Ocean wreckage
[4] - US official: Plane debris in Indian Ocean same type as MH370
[5] - MH370 search: Reunion debris 'very likely' part of plane
[6] - MH370: Reunion debris is from missing Malaysia flight