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Chill out at the historical town of Melaka Day 3...

Chill out at the historical town of Melaka Day 3 Posted by on Oct 8, 2013

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My thoughts on private sharing apps in Singapore...

My thoughts on private sharing apps in Singapore Posted by on Oct 2, 2015

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How to be a UberX driver in Singapore?

How to be a UberX driver in Singapore? Posted by on May 21, 2015

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Essential android apps that I use

Dec 16, 13 Essential android apps that I use

Posted by in General

Smartphones are almost an essential part of our lives nowadays. Even to a point where some people don’t even use their desktop or laptops at home. One of the main reason is the versatility of a mobile phone. In such a tiny device (Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Samsung Note 3 aside), you can watch a movie, surf the net, access facebook, pay your bills, and even do contactless payment. That and a whole lot of other stuff. However, with that power comes a problem. There’s too many apps in the apps store! Be it Apple iTunes or Google Play, there’s probably clones and clones of apps doing the same thing. For me, I’m not much of a gamer, and I never liked filling my phone with tons of apps that I don’t use. However, there are some essential apps that I will always have, and these are some of them. Instagram Instagram is an app we almost can’t do without these days. From using a old school square photo format, to having standard filters that changes the mood of an image, instagram is now the go-to tool for photo sharing. For single images, I would use instagram to take the photo, apply a filter, type a caption and tag the location. Sometimes I would share to facebook, as the process is just hassle free. I do know of people who use hashtag as a way of sharing, but I’m not much of a fan of hash tagging.    WhatsApp WhatsApp is almost synonymous to instant messaging nowadays. It was one of the first contender to the mobile phone IM space, even though you could use msn, skype, etc on mobile phones for a long while. Perhaps it was just the simple feature set and low overheads. Nowadays there are many others such as LINE, Wechat, Kakao, etc.. Each has their own appeal, and honestly, I have all installed. But WhatsApp is still the one to use. I’m a little irritated by the annual subscription,...

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The barefoot craze. Vibram Five Fingers VS Actos Skin Shoes

Dec 01, 13 The barefoot craze. Vibram Five Fingers VS Actos Skin Shoes

Posted by in Reviews

I have always liked simple designs. Back from the old Nike Prestos (Late 1990s, early 200s), to the more recent Reebok zignano and Nike Free, simple, lightweight shoes seem to always capture my attention. Now, there’s this new age trend of barefoot running or minimalist shoes. Literally overnight, there’s an explosion of shoes being made with lesser materials, yet costing a good 2 to 3 times that of a normal sports shoe. It’s almost like selling bikinis or lingerie. The lesser the material, the more expensive it is. One of the main reasons for barefoot running or minimalist shoes is that when you wear a  heavily cushioned shoe, the small muscles in the legs loses it’s strength. On top of that, a thick shoe encourages heel strike. Barefoot running or minimalist shoes are suppose to help maintain a more natural gait. After all, the ancient people didn’t really wear shoes right? I jumped onto the bandwagon and got myself a Vibram Fivefingers classic then. However, my second toe is longer than my big toe, or scientifically speaking, it’s called Morton’s toe. Thus, I wasn’t really able to wear it longer than 3 hours. I did manage to clock 5km runs in it though, and my calves were screaming bloody murder for quite a while. While I wanted to use it for vacations because of it’s size and easy packing, I never really got round to it. Not being able to wear it longer than 3 hours was definitely a major deal breaker. I kept my eye out for something similar in the market, but I just couldn’t put my money down for a minimalist shoe that costs so much. Then I discovered Actos shoes! Essentially they are like aqua shoes, in that they have a slim outsole, and the top of the shoe is a lycra like material. The best thing however, was that it costs S$30! While they say it is made in Korea, who knows where they came from. Trying the shoes, it...

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What is a viable remuneration structure for taxi drivers – A salaried employee route

Oct 12, 13 What is a viable remuneration structure for taxi drivers – A salaried employee route

Posted by in Musings

Earlier on I was writing about the viability of salaried taxi drivers in Singapore, and it prompted quite a bit of discussion on my friend’s facebook. There were quite a number of comments, largely concerning whether taxi drivers will choose the salaried route vs the current, and that once you paid taxi drivers a fixed salary, they would become lazy. Ironically, when you think about it, both of these concerns are exactly the opposite. To me though, the devil is always in the details. Thus, I spent a bit of time thinking about it, and drafted a brief remuneration structure as follows below. The idea of course, is how do you pay a basic salary, yet with enough incentive for them to work hard. At the same time, we are trying to enhance the current taxi industry in Singapore, so certain aspects of that must be taken in consideration. To me, modelling a remuneration structure after similar systems in stock broking, banking sales, and other forms of salaried sales role might be an interesting starting point. You have a low basic salary, a quarterly performance bonus, and an annual quality bonus. Proportion There are many industries where there are salaried sales people, and self employed agents. Examples are stock broking (around 15% salaried, 85% self employed), insurance (probably closer to only 10% salaried) and property (also around 10-15% salaried). Thus, I would imagine the same can apply here. The existing remuneration system can be kept for those who chose the self employed route. Currently, they have to take a vocational license course, put a $1k security deposit, and pay a daily rental of around $70-120 for the taxi. They get to keep all earnings and they have access to cheaper fuel. As an employee, they would have to go through a typical interview and selection process. Whereas in the self employed model, almost anybody can become a taxi driver if they pay for their own license, course and deposit. Employees will also have the...

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Salaried taxi drivers in Singapore. Will it work?

Oct 10, 13 Salaried taxi drivers in Singapore. Will it work?

Posted by in Interesting articles, Musings

I was reading an article in the newspapers about “Raising surcharges won’t make cabbies drive longer” and it set my mind thinking. The crux of the article is that raising surcharge will not make taxi drivers drive longer, simply because they may not be incentivised primarily by money. Taxi drivers in Singapore are typically self employed. That is, they rent a vehicle from the taxi company for a fixed cost. Then it’s up to them how hard working they want to be. Most of the time though, taxi drivers in Singapore tend to take a flexible approach to their work. If family matters come first, they will prioritise that. Currently, there are already surcharges implemented through various means. Location based surcharge to encourage taxi drivers to go to a certain region/location. Time based surcharge to encourage drivers to be more active during peak hiring hours. Even then, these are implemented in various mechanisms such as peak hour surcharge, midnight surcharge, etc. Often, when a taxi driver hits his profit target for the day, they will tend to take it easy. Maybe enjoy a coffee with some friends, or run personal errands with the taxi. In a personal/individual basis, it might make sense. But on a system basis, it degrades the reliability and service quality of the public transport system. Let’s not forget taxi is a form of public transport. The Land Transport Authority has recently mandated that 70% of a taxi fleet must cover 250km in a day. Even so, it is not likely to solve anything, but it adds more frustration into the system. 250km is simply 83km/h for 3 hours. I would imagine a typical active driver would cover more than that. But what it does is make ‘self employed’ people feel restricted on principle. So what next? A mandate of 500km? 750km? In the article, the writer suggested having drivers with fixed salary and bonuses for good performances. Pondering about it, it actually sounds like a good idea! Of course, the idea...

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Chill out at the historical town of Melaka Day 3

Oct 08, 13 Chill out at the historical town of Melaka Day 3

Posted by in Travel

Day 3 is a fairly chill day, since we had to go to JB City Square by 5pm to settle some admin stuff, thus we had a quick lunch with some Melaka friends before making the journey back to Singapore. Day 3 itinerary: Lunch @ Hatten Hotel Travel from Melaka to Singapore Shop @ JB City Square Dinner @ JB Warakuya Lunch was at Hatten Hotel’s restaurant, Chatterz. This is the same place as where the buffet breakfast is at. Amazingly, they have buffet breakfast, semi-buffet lunch and steamboat buffet dinner. In between, they literally have to change the entire set up for the restaurant, due to the electrical appliances required for the various model. I’ll leave you with just the pictures. Overall, Hatten Hotel is a pretty nice place. I’m sure it’s quite pricey compared to most accomodations in Melaka. But as compared to city pricing such as KL, Singapore or JB, it’s fairly affordable. Views are fantastic all around, simply because Hatten Hotel is so big that it sticks out as compared to the low lying estates around in Melaka. Food is rather decent. Not exactly Melaka cuisine, but it suits the tastebuds of most people I would imagine. Melaka cuisine can be found all round though, together with other tourist memorabilia. Coming to Melaka would mostly be a family affair, given the lack of party or other sort of shopping stuff. Massages are decently cheap, and probably what most adults would go for here, after a long walk around town. After that, it was a long drive back to Singapore. We made a pitstop at JB City Square first, since we had to get some errands done. JB is still a Singaporean shopping paradise, simply because of the distance, and how prices are almost half priced compared to Singapore. I went for a Thai massage at Thai Odyssey, which is one of the more popular place in JB, and it costs RM169 (or S$70) for 2 hours. Comparatively, doing it in Singapore in...

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Why Gen Y yuppies are unhappy

Sep 16, 13 Why Gen Y yuppies are unhappy

Posted by in Interesting articles, Musings

I recently came across a pretty interesting article and it definitely resonates with me.. In short, it was about why we see so much unhappiness and social unrest in the last few years. In the beginning, he talks about happiness. Happiness = Reality – Expectation   That’s one of the most amazing way of describing happiness I’ve seen! Essentially, it just means if what you get in life, is more than what you expect, you are generally happy. He gave quite a bit of analogy and context after that, but the short story is, as above. Happiness = Reality – Expectation. He later goes on to talk about the 3 facts about the Gen Y GYPSY. That they are wildly ambitious, delusional, and constantly taunted. How true! In the current generation, our parents have worked hard and attained decent success. As such, a lot of parents tell their kids that they are special, and that they should pursue their passion, etc. This gives a false sense of idealism and that the world is all rosy. To top it off, social media has made it easy for people to share their ideal self. Every week, you would see someone partying, or someone flying off for a holiday, or someone buying a new car/house. People tend to present the best of themselves publicly, and we consume all these in envy. All these adds up to raise our own expectation. Do read the whole article here. To me, the last advice is the best. Ignore everyone else. Other people’s grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today’s image crafting world, other people’s grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you’ll never have any reason to envy...

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