Apparently someone up there, high up there, isn’t really too happy about car prices going down too much (you mean the prices actually went down?) the sudden surge in car ownership has driven the traffic on expressways to an all time slowness and there is now a need to increase the ERP charges. When the ERP gantry just outside Hume Avenue comes into effect, we will probably get a lot, a lot of unhappy people too. If there are 200 units and everyone goes out during the peak hour (7 to 8am?), there would be a confirmed revenue of at least $100 (assuming ERP charge was only $0.50 and every household owns a car) per day in addition to the revenue incurred as a result of the number of cars passing by that road.

Very soon, there will be an ERP gantry outside every carpark (no, I am not referring to the carpark one).

So, before you buy a car, here are some things that you should add to your monthly expenditure:

  1. Car loan interest – of course, this is what you will be paying every month in addition to your car cost
  2. Road tax – usually about 800 per year for a 1,500cc car (like a Swift!)
  3. Insurance – if you are a first time owner, prepare something like $1900 per year?
  4. Petrol – you pay for what you use, but if you don’t use it, then why bother getting a car?
  5. Parking – if you do not stay in a landed place, do prepare to set aside something between $65 to $130, depending on where you stay
  6. Car Maintenance – probably a yearly or 1/2 yearly thing; cost depends on what needs to be changed/maintained
  7. Miscellaneous – car wash, car grooming, mods, petty accident claims, etc.

Hey, so there’s suddenly more than one thing and I am not just paying $500+ for the car per month. Instead, it added up to almost $1300, at least. Gosh!

Woe to those who can’t wake up early enough – you pay more for ERP as well as petrol since petrol usage is higher for urban driving, yes, that includes slow traffic on highways. =P

CAR prices may be at their lowest in over a decade, but it is getting costly to drive. The Land Transport Authority on Monday announced that the Electronic Road-Pricing (ERP) rates will go up by 50 cents from Nov 5 – the third big-scale increase this year.

The latest adjustment brings the cost of entering the Central Expressway via the Pan-Island Expressway between 8.30am and 9am to a stiff $5. This route made news early this year when its ERP charge went up to $4. It was then raised to $4.50 in the middle of the year, before the latest record price.

Those who want to avoid paying $5 should wake up earlier. The charge for going through this gantry between 7.30am and 8am is $3.50 (also up 50 cents).

Central Expressway users once again bear the brunt of charges. Those passing the gantry north of Braddell Road between 7.30am and 8am will pay $2.50 from Nov 5; and those passing the gantry south of Braddell Road between 8.30am and 9am will pay $4 from that day. The $4 charge also applies to those joining the CTE from Serangoon and from Balestier.

Next, the Bendemeer Road rate will rise to $1.50, while the Thomson Road rate will go to $2 from Nov 5.

Motorists will have to contend with these higher usage charges on the back of higher fuel bills. Since June, there has been no fewer than six rounds of pump price increase, bringing the cost of two petrol grades past the $2 level.

Motorists who have been bracing themselves for the set of new gantries coming on on Nov 1 will now have temporary respite. The LTA has decided to postpone the starting day to Nov 5, to align with the new ERP rates.

The next ERP rate revision will be in November, when prices are expected to fall in line with lighter traffic because of the year-end school holidays.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 29th October 2007.

Blog outage

Blogosphere October 29th, 2007

My blog had an outage earlier at about 4pm. Wasn’t too sure what happened, but all the backups were in place and wala! the site was up again! … although it did take longer than usual because a few things were affected. The moral of the story?

Please save regularly :P

I still have no idea what happened nor why the blog was down; or for that matter, the whole site. Probably it’s just an ordinary outage… probably…

No idea. Are such outages common? Or should I just change my webhost? :P

Or maybe it’s just me who got it wrong from the start…

Got this letter from M1 yesterday and at first glance, I thought something didn’t sound quite right, or at least not what I thought it was. See if you can spot anything wrong here:

Dear Valued Customer,

In response to customer feedback, M1 will now increase the limit on month data usage to 50GB.

With effect from 1 November 2007, you will enjoy more freedom to download, email and surf with up to 50GB of data every month, for the same monthly subscription on your current Broadband plan. Any incremental usage beyond the free data bundle of 5GB will be charged at the usual rate of $4.28/GB, in blocks of 1GB, up to a maximum of 50GB.

We value your support and look forward to providing you with further service enhancements.

For more details, please visit our website at www.m1.com.sg/broadband

Click below to see what doesn’t sound right…

Read the rest of this entry »

Moving on…

General October 28th, 2007

Today marks a special day. Today marks the day that I accept the death of my kittens and the decision to move on. As I was washing up this morning, I smell the familiar scent – the first time over 2 weeks since I was back, of my kittens when I bathed them. The scent lingered on for quite a while before finally disappearing.

Coincidentally, my friend’s father smelled the familiar scent of my cats since yesterday and wondered where the scent come from. I hope my kittens are resting in peace.

It’s time to let go…

Miss my cats…

Rants October 26th, 2007

I miss my cats horribly. If Ryan has disappeared irresponsibly, I hope he is dead now. He can’t just disappear like this. He better be either seriously ill or be 1/2 dead for not letting us know where he is. I don’t care about him now. I just want my kittens back. =(

My 3 Little Darlings

My litte kittens are young, innocent and trusting. In fact, everyone says Mac (the on with patch) is the most affectionate of them all. Why must Ryan disappear with the cats? He doesn’t have enough cat food or cat litter to last them for 2 weeks! I think they are all dead now.

Why Ryan? Why must you do this to me and the cats? The cats are innocent. If you have to run away or disappear, why can’t you just give Alice or myself a call? You are a bastard, Ryan! You are a damn bastard! I hope you will get your just desserts!

Apparently, according to sources, Ryan owed some webhosting “a big outstanding payment”, which is probably relative, since “big” is very subjective. Quoting the source (Necroist, a forummer from SGWHT):

Ryan Lin is a customer of mine, and we’ve been trying to get hold of him for the past 3 weeks. He hasn’t been on MSN, his phone is on voicemail, his e-mails unchecked.

He has a big outstanding payment with us. From what I understand he is also part of TheDigitalMovement (thedigitalmovement.org). We’re unable to reach anybody from that group as well. If anybody have any information on his whereabouts, do inform me.

More details can be found at http://www.sgwebhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?p=87769#post87769. Frankly, I _don’t think_ Ryan will run away from paying webhosting costs and there’s no proof to say that he’s running away from it, since he supposedly earn $150/hr for his work, which I genuinely believe (does anyone know how much he is charging his clients? Sebestien? Yolk? … ok, Yolk doesn’t read here).

Erm, apparently, the informant is “not able to reach anybody from that group (TheDigitalMovement)”. Oh? I thought TDM has a catch-all address or at least someone is checking the email? But nevermind, that’s another matter.

However, I do find all the coincidences strange. Now I am trying to find out if Necroist is hosting Ryan’s website, which could explain why webzoomr.com is down. Hmm…

Selling a very cool O2 Zinc in grey and very good condition and nice keyboard. Yes, simplyjean is in need of money. =(

Condition: 9.5/10

Warranty: 1 Yr Parts and Labour

Dimensions
109(L) x 58(W) x 22.6(T) mm
Weight with battery: 175g  

Display
2.8″ TFT LCD display with touch panel
320 x 240 dots resolution
65K colour

Connectivity
Built-in Wireless LAN 802.11b+g
Bluetooth®
Mini-USB port
Audio jack (2.5mm Ø)
Infrared IrDA

Operating Time
Standby: 220 hours
Talk time up to 5 hours

Network
Tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900
GPRS
WCDMA2100

Processor
Intel XScale® PXA 270 Processor at 520MHz + Intel Hermon

Memory
128MB Flash ROM
64MB RAM
MiniSD expandable memory (not included; sorry lah, the original package didn’t have it)

Camera
2 Megapixels CMOS Fixed-focus camera
Preview mirror for self portrait
Secondary VGA camera for video calls
White LED strobe flash
Support still image and video capture

Audio
Speakerphone
Stereo speaker
Playback support: MIDI, MP3, WMA, WAV, AMR-NB, AAC
Ringtone support: 64-chord MIDI, MP3, WAV

More information can be found at http://www.seeo2.com/html/product/spec/XdaZinc_print_techspecs.htm

Start bid: $460
Bid increment: $20

Hope to close by weekend. Happy bidding. Seller reserves right not to sell if the price is low (but will usually sell =P)

Yes, the old madam here is getting poorer by the day and heavily laden with mountains and mountains of debts as she’s learning to cope to live on her own and her clients not paying her back money and going missing sometimes. So, here I have for you – a light and portable Fujitsu P7120 in black, like new! And here are the specs below:

Selling a 1 year 8 months lightweight, portable, damn cool Fujitsu P7120 in black.

Condition: 9/10

Warranty: 3 Years – 1 Yr International, 2 Yrs Local, Parts and Labour

Platform Intel ® Centrino® Mobile Technology
- Intel ® Pentium ® M Processor 753 (1.20GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 400MHz FSB)
- Intel ® PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection
- Intel ® 915GMS Express Chipset

Operating System Genuine Windows® XP Home (but now loaded with licenced XP Professional)

Display 10.6-inch SuperFine Wide XGA TFT, 1280 x 768 pixels

Modular Bay Device Dual Layer DVD Super Multi Writer (lightweight)

Memory 1GB DDR2 400MHz (Max. Memory Supported: 2GB DDR2 400MHz)

Hard Disk 60GB

Bluetooth™ Integrated v1.2

Battery Life Up to 7.8hrs (6-cell Li-Ion 7800mAh)

Weight Approx. 1.38kg [w/ 6-cell battery and Dual Layer DVD Super Multi Writer (lightweight)]

Standard USB/PCMCIA/Firewire/Audio/LAN/Modem/802.11abg

More information can be found at http://www.fujitsu.com/sg/services/computing/pc/products/notebook/p7120/specs.html

DISCLAIMER: The batter is DEAD. I can DHL an original new battery for $360 including shipment. This is on top of your offer price. Please consider this when bidding.

Start bid: $1200
Bid increment: $100

Hope to close by weekend. Happy bidding. Seller reserves right not to sell if the price is low (but will usually sell =P)

It’s been advertised on VR-Zone Forums and Hardwarezone Forums, but the poor madam doubts it would be sold by weekend. Money is badly needed. Loans appreciated to by kind souls, but the madam is a little afraid of raking in more debts.

And oh, please help the poor madam advertise this on your blogs if you may so kind be.

This had been a question that was ringing in the heads of my girlfriend and me my head since I knew about this section. If you take a good look at the section, it says:

Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years.

As stated explicitly, it says any male person, any not just any person. Someone I knew thinks that it’s probably because it originated from the army days (colonial army days?) and that it’s to prevent guys who have been put in close proximity for too long to try out alternatives of satisfying themselves through the use of objects of desires. Someone else even mentioned that it’s not fair that this law is targetted only against males and not females.

Well, let’s just be a little politically correct here. Guys have a tool to use that they are put anywhere… whereas girls, well, girls have nothing to poke with! Haha.. Okie, I am saying this cheek in tongue, but even m***h**g thinks that a girl-on-girl is a little kinky too!

Don’t bombard him yet! I’m sure a lot of guys think the same way too. =P

Apparently The Man aka PM Lee feels that Section 377A should remain, and this probably means it’s going to stay for a long, long time. I am not sure if the “prayer” went through, but from this article, it might seem that PM Lee’s words are the final words – Section 377A will stay.

There’s also a worry if gays will push for legal marriage, change in school syllabus about homosexuality and all the nitty-gritty things that you evil gay people will push for. Sometimes it’s a real worry, sometimes, it’s just paranoial. Oh well, seems like Singapore would rather err on the side of safety.

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday weighed in on the two-day parliamentary debate over Section 377A, which criminalises sex between men.

Stating his own position and the Govermment’s position, Mr Lee explained why the status quo must remain, despite the ‘legal untidiness and ambiguity’.

Quoting Stuart Koe from Fridae.com, an initiator of the Repeal 377A petition who called on the Government to either ‘put the gun down’ or ‘pull the trigger’, Mr Lee pointed out it will be ‘unwise’ to do so.

‘If we force the issue and settle the matter definitively one way or the other, we will never reach an agreement… Instead of forging a consensus, we will divide and polarise our society’, he explained.

Mr Lee pointed out that many who oppose homosexuality, do so in deeply held religious convictions, especially Christians and Muslims.

Abolition of Section 377A, he pointed out, will not give gay rights activists what they really want – more space and full acceptance by Singaporeans.

The more gay activists push their agenda, he said, the stronger will be the push back from conservative forces in society.

Mr Lee pointed to the current wave of support shown by those who want to keep Section 377A. ‘The result will be counterproductive, as it will lead to less space for homosexuals in Singapore,’ he said.

The Prime Minister also believes that if Section 377A was repealed, ‘gay activists will push for more’ – for example, changing what is taught in schools, advocating same-sex marriages and parenting.

Stressing yet again that Singapore is still a conservative society that values the conventional family unit, Mr Lee said what’s needed is to ’strike a balance’.

‘We will stay one step behind the frontline of change… Watch how things work out elsewhere, before making any any irrevocable moves.

‘We were right to uphold the family unit when Western countries went for experimental lifestyles in the 1960s. We are right to accomodate homosexuals in our society, but not to encourage activists to champion gay rights the way they do in the West.’

His bottomline: ‘Let us keep this balance and leave S377A alone.’

Source: Straitstimes Online, 23 October 2007