"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Monday, February 13, 2006

"If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?" - Laurence J. Peter

***

Someone: I used to think all chinese girls had nice straight hair, after that only I realised that it was all rebonded

oh yes also used to think how come so many chinese girls, have fair, rosy cheeks
then i realised it was makeup
I always used to think it was natural

***

VoipBuster - The Free Calls Company

Using this program, I can make free calls to landlines in the Netherlands and Malaysia, but not Singapore. Gah. Though in any case their rate for Singapore is less than 60% of Skype's.

Some catches:
- They round up to the next minute
- They give you only one 1 minute-long free landline call; you need to deposit €10.00 to make free calls after that [Addendum: I just made another free 1 minute-long call, so I don't know what's going on.]
- "Credit in your account remains valid for 120 days after your last purchase." - So if I buy 10 Euros' worth, I will have to call Singapore for 4 hours a month, or the equivalent of such. OTOH, Skype credit expires 180 days after your last SkypeOut call. Jingyang suggested sharing credit with a friend - that's a great idea.

In any case, including the cost of making outgoing calls in Singapore (assuming an off-peak charge of 0.74 cents per minute), if there's no VAT, it's a bit cheaper to call Singapore from my computer using this than to use an international calling card from Singapore.

Surprisingly, they also accept eNETS - the first site outside Singapore I've seen that accepts it; hell, one of the first sites, period, that accept it. An experimental click churned out "Service temporarily unavailable. Please select another payment method." though.

[Addendum: I just called Andrew in Australia - the quality wasn't spectacular, but for a free call it was good. I wonder if the paid calls to places like Singapore have similar quality though :/

Another consideration is that the phone in my room won't work till early March, since they're changing the company to BudgetPhone. I checked the BudgetPhone website, and found that to call Singapore it will cost me at least 4 Euro cents a minute (I'm using the Translation Panel Firefox extension because the website is in Dutch, but I'm puzzling out whether they'll charge me for the fixed line rate or the "budgetphonekaart van bellen" rate). I could also try looking for calling cards in the shops, which should be cheaper.

This is giving me a headache - this is why people often go "heck it" and just go for the simplest and/or most visible option; satisficing behavior because of high transaction costs. I don't expect to be calling fixed lines very much anyway.

Jingyang: "when u dunno the language and there is asymmetric info, u almost always lose"]

***

A search for "non-rival" on Google yields 53,800 results whereas its competitor "non-rivalrious" yields 26,700. The linguistic torture for the former is still gnawing at me, 5 (6?) years after I first heard the word used by The Commander.

Eric Low optimistic 'chikus' in Hougang sure to ripen this time round - "Since then, Mr Low and his grassroots leaders have been working hard to improve the opposition-run ward. The chiku trees at the Hougang Constituency Club have grown with Mr Low in the last four years since the last general election. And since 2001, Mr Low has concentrated on youth programmes giving the youngsters a stake in how they want the club to be run. Hougang's PCF kindergartens are also a draw."
A win-win solution: everyone votes in Opposition candidates so they can get their chikus ripened while strengthening the quality of debate in Parliament!

Is Bush The Lifetime President? - "During a National Guard ceremony gala on Thursday night, Bush was presented with a life-size marble pedestal of his own head and shoulders. Look closely at the inscription on the statue reads 2001-BLANK, indicating that the date when Bush will leave office isn't yet known, despite the fact that the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution only allows incumbents to occupy the office of President for a maximum of two terms."
... and conspiracy theorists wonder why no one takes them seriously, Holocaust denial aside. It's just like how in RI they only put up the Head Boy's name after he graduates.

Asian Guys Get Less Chick - "White guys, they got hair on their arms, chest, back, even their butt. Girls really like that. That's something we don't have. They think it's rugged or something."
I find it curious how Asian is equated to East Asian here. Even the Indian guy makes a distinction betweeen Indians and Asians. I was afraid the politically correct ending would stay, but luckily there's a twist at the end. Heh.
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