It rained and stormed over Saturday (and hence hindering my Halloween plans), but it didn’t stop the INQ event from going on…

… well, because it was held indoors 😛 Seriously, I thought it would be held outside, under the huge tent where it’s really hot and humid in the day. As it turns out, there was an event there about breasts. Breast cancer to be exact.

Anyway, I was down at Plaza Singapura and caught the event there. They invited people from the crowd to participate in games and most of them (if not all) walked away with great prizes! And it was just a simple memory game where they had to piece a picture together – very much like a jigsaw puzzle with a twist.

However, I didn’t get to catch the stars who were supposed to be there in the evening. Sigh.

So, did you manage to go down and catch the event? Yeah, the contest games were open for everyone and even though they were distributing pamphlets, it was nothing like the one that was given out here last week.

And if you missed it, but still want to get one, have no worries! Because…

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Click on it to print out the full-size voucher

Tada! The promotions have been extended. Now, you do not even have to go down to the event location because this can be redeemed at all Hello! Singtel shops!

So yeah, don’t miss the fantastic opportunity to get your hands on one of the most connected (and in my opinion, value for money) phones; especially if you are a techie like me.

But you have to hurry soon though, cos the promotion ends 30 November 2009 🙂 And oh, do send me a tweet/plurk when you get yours!

Yes! Do you remember this contest? We have a winner here!!!

Congratulations to …

Read the rest of this entry »

I tend to travel with a fixed amount of cash whenever I am out of Singapore, and use, where possible, a debit or credit card for my payments. I used to think that the banks do not offer really good exchange rates, but with the uncertain economy and foreign exchange nowadays, this seems to be quite negligible. In fact, there were also a couple of times when the exchange rates given by the banks are a whole lot better than what I would have gotten from a money changer.

Of course, there are times when I have to withdraw from my bank accounts in Singapore, and that’s when the great hunt for the Cirrus and Plus signs come. Even then, with some luck, the Auto Teller Machine (ATM) will display the remaining balance in my account after i make a withdraw. Most of the time, I don’t have such luck.

This is probably one of the reason why I carry a small netbook with me whenever I am overseas; and of course, not forgetting to purchase the country’s prepaid card (having said that, if you are travelling to Taipei, please remember to get your prepaid card from the airport because you will not be able to get it anywhere out of the airport without a local ID).

Having said that, I learnt about Citi Alerts over the radio because Citibank had been running their ad campaign prominently. I thought this was rather cool because an SMS is sent to me every time I make a transaction on my cards. For those of us who enjoy pubbing (“cheonging”) on Friday and Saturday nights, this is a great plus because there could be times when we don’t really know what our cards get swiped for. A friend of mine got his card swiped a few times a visit and he didn’t know about it even when the bill came. It was only when the staff was caught that he knew about it.

Tsk. Tsk.

However, when Citi Alerts came out, I was hoping for something better – such as having mobile banking facilities. After all, I had opened a new account with Citibank, which does not charge for sending you a replacement ATM card, nor levy a charge/fine for not maintaining a certain minimum balance in your account. Indeed, I think they have came a long way.

CitiMobile by CitiBank

CitiMobile by CitiBank

It was almost like a prophecy fulfilled, but Citibank recently launched their Citi Mobile – a service which allows me to carry functions as if I was logged into my Citibank Online Banking! It allows me to:

  1. Check my account balance (a big must if you like to keep tabs on your spending)
  2. Search for discounts (particular when some shops like to hide their Citi Privileges)
  3. Funds transfer (to allow me to pay back dinner money; or for me to pay for bills)
  4. Locate the nearest ATM and branches (to withdraw money for shops that do not accept credit or debit cards)

But best of all, Citi Mobile does not require me to sign up again if I have already signed up for Citibank’s Online Banking facilities; nor does it require me to download cumbersome applets or applications! This is a great plus for me because I keep losing track of my PINs whenever they are sent to me. With this auto-inclusion, I can just log into Citi Mobile (I’d like to personalise this and call this MyCiti… haha…) and have all the online functions as if I was logged into my netbook.

In fact, I found out about Citi Mobile by accident because I was trying to locate the nearest ATM; but the website that was loaded on my mobile phone kept asking me to log in. It was only after logging in that I realised that I had full-fledge facilities via my mobile phone, right at the tip of my fingers, indeed!

The CitiMobile Widget on the iPhone

The CitiMobile Widget on the iPhone

Now, I can really just leave my netbook in the hotel when I am overseas. The only thing I am hoping for is to get my hands on an iPhone because I think Citi Mobile looks really cool on the iPhone 3G[S].

Hmmph!

Editor: You know how we always talk about fine prints? Well, here, we rather talk about bold prints! Look out for the bold prints below to stand a chance to win for yourself $200 cash + vouchers! 🙂

I have had a long history of changing phones every other year – not because I am a phone fashionista, but really some times the phone that i have seem to fail just a day after their warranty. Of course, I have to admit that it’s not always through – and that’s because I secretly want to have the coolest gadget in town (but a broken phone is nonetheless a better excuse) 😛

INQ Mobile Phone series

INQ Mobile Phone series

It was brought to my attention that a new phone may soon be visiting the shores of Singapore. Apparently, a phone that’s been released by INQ Mobile is going to be the new kid on the block – if it does land here. Unlike other phones that comes with the standard applications (including those that we do not normally use), this series of phones are marketed as – if I may call it, a 2.0 phone.

You see, it comes packed with applications that can connect you to the different social networking sites – Facebook, MSN (now Windows Live Messenger) and Skype and collates everything into a nice interface from which you can access your accounts from. At the same time, it also allows emails to be pushed to you while you are on the go. I have not used a Blackberry before, but that sounds pretty close to one.

Now, some might wonder what’s so great about that, and probably think that these applications are readily available on the Internet for download. Well, the truth is, I am still running Fringo for Skype on my mobile and it just doesn’t quite feel like the real thing. I have not used the INQ Mobile phone series, but the interface does look yummy! 🙂

Of course, that’s not all. The series of INQ Mobile phones do come with all the bells and whistles – GPS, a 3.2MP camera and of course expanded memory. The built-in 3G/HSDPA modem will also allow the user to surf the Net not only on the phone, but on his laptop as well. While not specifics have been give, I am thinking that it’s probably going to be a modem connection over Bluetooth; although I am not discounting the possibility of a modem connection over USB. However, what seriously shocked me was the standby time.

A whooping 329 hours standby time, and 324 minutes talk time.

This is almost equivalent to 16 days of standby and over 5 hours of talktime! Now, that’s something I know that my current phone can’t beat. I really can’t wait to get my hands on one to see what it’s really made of.

Bold prints!!!

So, here’s what I am going to do. I am going to get INQ Mobile to know that we know what they had been doing behind our backs and we want them to bring the phone in to Singapore (at a really low price, I hope). So, if you could also join me to tell them what you like about their phones, I’d also give you a chance to win *$100 CASH and $100 shopping vouchers*.

It’s really simple. All you have to do is to leave comments after this post on what you like about the phones. From here, I will get them to take note that there’s really a demand for them to bring their phones in. Well, at least enough to go around 😛 And to make sure that you really get a really good chance of getting heard (and winning that $200 cash and vouchers), you may want to twitter/plurk/facebook/MSN the following phrase:

I have discovered a new phone on @simplyjean! Go check it out and you may win $200 cash + voucher! Details at http://pea.to/inqsj #inqmobile

Well, having a phrase like this makes it easier for me to track that it’s from you (else any other phrase may not be easily searched); and don’t forget to include your Twitter ID, Plurk ID and Facebook URL so that I will also be able to keep an update of where you helped to spread the message.

Also, please leave a valid email address so that I can contact you when you win the $200 cash + vouchers. And no worries, no one else will know about it. This reminds me of a contest that I ran some years back. The winner didn’t leave his email address in the comment box and I had a hard time trying to look for him. It’s a pity that I couldn’t contact him in the end.

And because time is really tight and I don’t want to leave you hanging for too long, I will close this contest at 11:59pm on the 14th September; which means you will know if you are a winner by the 15th! That’s cool, isn’t it?

Speaking of which, I might just have another surprise for you… Heh heh…

So hurry, there’s only 1 week left! Go forth and spread the phrase! 🙂

And oh, here’s the fine, fine print… this contest is only open to Singapore Citizens and PR. No discrimination here, but it makes it all easier for the prizes to be awarded 🙂

Exams took a good part of my time in the last 2 months – when I had to cram through 2 weeks of mugging in a cubicle and hoping that what went into my head doesn’t come out immediately. My classmates and I began to conjure up stories of how instead of just burning the books and drinking them, we should mix glucose with the burnt concoction before drinking it so that the burnt materials will undergo glycolysis together with the glucose and how it can then travel to the brain.

Yes, I know. Bio geeks.

But speaking of which, I gained a hefty X kg to the extend that my jeans almost no longer fit (think ‘deep breath’ and ‘tuck in’) and it was amazing what a twice daily meal of McDonald’s can do to me; especially when all I did was just eat, study, drink (water and upsized large ice lemon tea) and sleep. Soon, I had a tummy big enough that I’d get seats when I take the bus or MRT.

It’s that bad.

Anyway, the exams came and went, but the extra “’blob’ didn’t. In the past (in the hay days of my secondary school life), this wasn’t usually a problem since I used to run. However, this isn’t the case after I went into University… some of my classmates blame it on the lack of time, but for myself, I think it’s probably just sheer laziness.

Nonetheless, I took a break after the exams to the highlands, hoping that I’ll come back fitter after all the walking, vegetable leaves and cleansing teas. While it was a refreshing trip, it didn’t seem to help with the extra pounds. When I came back, I got an email regarding some capsules that I could take to help with reducing appetite and cholesterol, improving sugar balance and lowering risk of heart diseases and diabetes, in addition to the superfibre product that it claimed to have.

You know? Being the skeptical life science student that I am, I thought that this is one of those get-slim-quick gimmick that has been around since years. Still I decided to go ahead with some samples and got them in a week.

Looking through the content, one of the active ingredients is konjac, which is commonly used as a vegetarian substitute for gelatin. The other active ingredient is medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which is probably how energy levels are sustained throughout the day – even thought it had been thought that MCT aid in the process of excess calorie burning.

Moving on, I started a 2 capsules, twice a day regime of capsule swallowing (my labmate says I swallow like a bird) before meals and while it didn’t seem to have any effects on me on the first couple of days, I realised that my appetite is gradually reduced. I seem to get full faster which, I joke with my other authors here that it’s because the capsule is so heavy, taking 2 alone will just give the sensation of having eaten something heavy. Literally.

Of course, no sane self-proclaimed scientist will take any form of supplements without reading all the notices and contraindications. There was this part that said: ‘You may experience a temporary change in your bowel movements as your body adjusts to the addition of PGX, usually in 3 to 7 days’. Gasp!!!

Well, today is the 7th day and I have not experienced the kind of ‘plat plat plat plat plat booosh puuuuuuut’ bowel movement, so I guess I am fairly safe from getting such symptoms for a while; and the reason why I actually know that such symptoms are possible is because I tried different types of slimming tea and product and they usually result in enormous diarrhoeas which just made me more lethargic and dehydrated. In fact, after taking this capsule, I seem to adjust, pretty naturally, to a more balanced and regular diet.

So, what was this that I have taken?

DSC_0338

It’s the PGX Daily Ultra Matrix Softgels. (Oh yes, I took the product shot myself; please tell me it looks professional 😛 )

According to the product information that I have gotten, PGX® Daily Ultra Matrix Softgels can help to moderate high cholesterol levels, better manage blood glucose levels, lower insulin resistance, achieve healthy weight loss, cut food cravings and reduce my intake of calories, while reducing my risk of developing diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.

Really, I first thought that it might be too good to be true, but after seeing what it did in just 1 week, I am looking forward to the results the next week and towards the end of the month.

Do stay tune for my quest to reduce my weight! 🙂


From January 15 – April 15 2009, buy any book from www.mspress.sg and stand a chance to win 3 Xbox 360 and 15 Microsoft Office 2007 Standard Edition worth S$600 each!

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vWhen a global financial crisis happens, life doesn’t end there. Yes, we may have completely devastated people jumping off buildings because they may be unable to cope with the unbearable thought of losing everything, but that doesn’t mean you should too! In a previous post, I mentioned about Singapore going into recession and how a seemingly harmless “technical recession” can potentially bring about job less and a downward spiral for the economy in Singapore.

However, a down trend in economy does not mean that you have to go with the flow. In fact, it may be such times that opportunities arise and with properly planning, you may be able to ride through and succeed through the crisis. I am not going to talk about positive thinking and all the hocus pocus stuffs, I am going to talk about how you, or for that matter, I, can ride through the recession comfortably.

To survive the recession, you can either pray that you will not lose your job, or you can start looking around you and understanding the dynamics of this challenging duration and how you can learn to ride on it. If you are thinking of establishing a business and feel that you might be affected by the current economic turmoil, you may wish to take a look at the Challenging Times and Managing Challenges organized by Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE). If you are holding on to a job and looking to establish yourself, there can’t be a better time. After all, in the unforeseen event that you decide to stick to a salaried job, you are at least, still holding on to one.

Some people would wonder if they are too young to start a business – to this, they should just scrap this misnomer out of their minds. There’s no right age, or right situation. If there’s a business idea, the person should start assessing it and work towards getting it started. One of the more popular computer forums (creating various, ahem, zones of hardware) probably started off as a simply idea, but look at where it’s at now? If you think you are too young to start a business, you should seriously consider attending the MoneyTree Entrepreneurship Workshop. However, it’s limited to the first 30 registrants and it’s particularly hot as many of the younger generation are already toying with the idea of starting their own business. Here, you will not only learn about starting a business, but also understand why most businesses fail within the first few years.

If you have already established a business, you may also wish to consider attending the workshop on Recognizing the Challenge of the Times. This workshop will help you to not only recognise the hot soup that you are potentially walking into, but also to cover various aspects that you may not have considered previously. After all, no business is too small to be ignored and this workshop will help you reassess whatever that you have now to move on and brace through the trying times.

Lastly, if you are still exploring prospective areas to start on, why not explore the women consumer market? Renowned cosmetics company Shiseido will be talking on the latest topics and trends in the cosmetic industry, as well as challenges that they face. They may not be able to give you a piece of their market, but they may be able to share with you ideas that you can perhaps pick up through the workshop.

Of course, these events are happening during the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2008 which is held from the 17th to the 23rd of November 2008. The entire calendar of events can be found here and locations may various between workshops. So, go on and find out which of the many events catch your fancy. Remember, if opportunities do not seem to come to you, then you should just go out, reach out and grab them!

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2008

17th to the 23rd of November 2008

Lawry's The Prime Ribs

Be amazed with the superior service provided by the staff. Lawry’s signature dish, Roasted Prime Ribs of Beef, is craved and served specially from Lawry’s silver carts. These carts are wheeled to diner’s tables, giving them the opportunity to choose their preferred cuts, from rare to as well done as they’d like. Absolute freedom. Waiters’ uniforms are designed such that diners feel like they are in a ritzy club.

Lawry’s The Prime Rib Singapore Pte Ltd
#02-42/44 Paragon, 290 Orchard Road.
Singapore 238859

http://lawrys.com.sg/

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Petrol prices are rising and falling and no one knows how long this yo-yo will last. ERP gantries are springing up as if there were ERP-trees that could sprout seedlings. Congestions are getting from bad to worse even with these gantries erected because traffic jams are simply directed from one road to another – and it won’t be for long before ERP-seeds are being planted there.

For car owners, this might be a good time to sell their cars and for aspiring car owners, this might be a good chance for them to lay their hands on a good deal. Either way, there’s always the difficulty of getting onto a common portal for them to buy and sell their cars. Would they have considered getting onto ST701?

News of ST701 first came to me when they decided to have beauty queen Miss Singapore World 2006 Colleen Francisca live in a 50 square-meters glass-walled house to show that a person can survive solely on the ads found on the ST701 classified ads site. I found it a little hard to believe because… how can anyone actually survive just on online services?! But she did! Not only that, but a lucky fellow actually got to spend some time with her and still walk away with a $1000! That’s probably one of the biggest scope for any guy out there.

So anyway, I decided to take a peep at ST701 because I had always been eyeing at the Suzuki Swift 1.5L

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Picture: Home page of ST701

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Picture: The Cars section at the main page

The home page is simple to navigate and I thought it’s nice and simple. Of course, I am saying this after I got a cultural shock at Straits Times’ new layout, which I think I’ll take some time to get used to. Clicking onto the Hatchback section, it returned a shortlist of all the hatchbacks that are available for sale now. I keyed in "Suzuki" at the search box on top, and it returned 4 pages of Suzuki Swifts! It does seem like there are a lot of people who are placing ads here!

image

Picture: Search results

With so much results, I was hoping that I’d be able to keep a few on my watch list. This was easily done by clicking on the heart-shaped icon that’s just next to the picture of the car. Moreover, if I wanted to do a comparison, I could just click on the graph icon that’s just next to the heart-shaped icon. Everything’s very easy and intuitive. If you are really lost on what the icons mean, you can just do a mouse-over on the icons and a tab will display what the icons mean.

image

While doing my comparison, I was asked to create a comparison table, which I think does make sense since I may be comparing other non-related things as well. There’s also a "Back to previous page" option which prevented me from getting lost on my searches. One of the things I hate most is to lost my search results, but I thought it’s quite well thought here. Adding new car sales for comparison is as easy as clicking on the correct comparison tables. Moreover, the pictures of the cars are actually visible in the table, so I’d know what cars I put in.

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Picture: The comparison table

When I am done with putting cars into the table, I clicked on the table name and a nice comparison table is displayed. From here, I was able to compare the price, engine types, power, top speed and additional information amongst other things. Overall, I thought it was quite a pleasant experience as everything was very straight-forward and informative. The only peeve I had was on the part where I had to register… where in the midst of registration, I wasn’t able to go back to my search results after registration. However, I did manage to use the back button, so it’s not that bad.

ST701 gets my thumbs up as a comprehensive classified ads website which is as good as the print counterpart. Speaking of which, I wonder if I am able to find this car in ST701.

16082008(002)

Heh.

How many times have we came across a "Eureka!" idea but realised that we didn’t have the resource to do it? How many times have we thought of some silly ideas but waved it off just to discover that someone else did it later on? How often have we "talked cock sing song" with friends over the coffee table only to discover that all the sing-song could have spun off into a product?

If any of these have hit you at least once, then you will want to consider penning it down and sending it ACE (Action Community for Entrepreneurship) for a chance to see their ideas come to life. ACE (http://www.ace.sg) is currently encouraging every man on the street to blast their ideas to them. If you think that your idea is silly, have you considered how many uses can be made out of a paper clip? If you are going to say that it can be used as a fish hook, or a book mark… then you are not letting your creative juices run! How about using it as a cutter to open your packet of Twisties, or as a pimple squeezer?

Silly? Hey, you might just be hitting on a pot of gold! Imagine if you were the patent holder to the invention of the simple paper clip, you’d be sitting back and enjoying royalties paid to you every year. Still, nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing your own name appearing on the US Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO).

While the ACE website may quote more "high tech" innovations such as the Online Business Licensing Service (OBLS) (for which I was personally involved too!), the concept of Duck Tours and the F1 night racing, simpler ideas that can improve the daily lives of many others are never too small to be suggested. After all, it didn’t take too much of a genius to figure that since "Drive-Thrus" worked for McDonald’s, it may just work for banking! (Guess where in Singapore you can get drive-through banking, although the one I knew is already defunct now).

ZoCard_3 (front)

So why not hurry up and get your creative juices running! After all, typing is free and submission is just a click away at http://www.ace.sg/acewhynot/webpages/whynotform.aspx. More importantly, you should do so by the 17th July 2008 and that’s when you can stand to win prizes of up to S$1000. If ideas are free, why not cash in on yours today? =)

  1. Creative Technology Limited collected US$100 million from Apple for a grant to use a Creative patent on hierarchical user interface on the latter’s products that was originally used in Creative Zen’s players. Source: CNet, http://news.cnet.com/Apple-settles-with-Creative-for-100-million/2100-1047_3-6108901.html
  2. This post is made possible by Blog2U @ http://blog2u.sg, who, amongst others, figured that if advertising works for papers, magazines and bus stops – then why not blogs?