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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Links - 20th September 2018 (1)

The Art of the Australian Breakfast - The New York Times - "This cooking style features bright mashups of foods that are healthy, natural and luxurious all at once, and that even the most hardened bacon-egg-and-cheese lover may not be able to resist."

An Old Scam With a New Twist - The New York Times - "These sorts of online extortion schemes — which try to guilt people into paying off hackers claiming to have compromising information — are nothing new. But a new wave of messages that began popping up in mid-July has stepped up the ploy by showing passwords in the subject headers as attention-grabbing “proof” that someone has deeply burrowed into your computer and has your personal information"

The Affluent Asian Millennial, Fuelling Luxury Consumption in the Region - "many affluent Asian millennials take photos of the luxury goods they purchase and then post them on social media. This serves as an indirect touchpoint of influence for luxury brands to pay attention to, especially considering that a lot of these millennials have bought a luxury item recommended by a social media influencer. Chinese and Thai millennials are the most likely out of all Asian millennials to do this, whereas Koreans are the least, which is interesting to see considering Korean millennials are very well connected digitally. Perhaps, this might be attributed to the fact that it is frowned upon for Koreans to display their wealth openly?... 2 out of 5 affluent millennials in Hong Kong and Singapore travel 3-4 times a year. This consumer segment travels in style and pays attention to the quality of experience. 3 in 4 Chinese, Malaysians and Thais prefer to book their trip on business or first class"

Examining The Growth Of The Luxury Industry In Asia Through 'The Cult Of The Luxury Brand' - "Chadha and Husband's book examines the cultural and economic reasons for Western luxury brands's popularity in Asia. For example, they argue that the conspicuous wearing of luxury clothing has become a way for Asians to define their position in society. This trend, they say, has been influenced by the significant social changes in Asia in the past half-century. Examining The Growth Of The Luxury Industry In Asia Through 'The Cult Of The Luxury Brand' | Seeking Alpha - "Chadha and Husband's book examines the cultural and economic reasons for Western luxury brands's popularity in Asia. For example, they argue that the conspicuous wearing of luxury clothing has become a way for Asians to define their position in society. This trend, they say, has been influenced by the significant social changes in Asia in the past half-century... a region's per capita sales of personal luxury goods correspond directly to the region's stage on the "Spread of Luxury" model"

On Alex Liang, a Singaporean who gave up his Singapore citizenship - "I hate being sent warning letters each time I forget to notify MINDEF when I travel. I am not a criminal. My only crime was being born a Singaporean male. I hate being sent a “birthday wish” SMS from MINDEF to remind me to take my IPPT or risk getting charged. Thank you. You are always the first to wish me happy birthday without fail each year and spoil my mood for the day."

On National Service - "I do not have the perfect answer to how the system can be improved. It is the job of the full time staff in MINDEF and SAF to look into it. This does not mean I am not qualified to complain. If you are served a piece of rotten chicken at KFC, do you need to be able to show the kitchen staff how to cook the chicken before you can say anything? Please don’t give me crap about “constructive criticism”. It is my most hated two words which are ironically, oxymoron. They are convenient replies to cull off any meaning debates by forcing people to come up with solutions before they can even raise any problem...
At some stage, you have to fend for yourself, your family and your loved ones. Unless you are an extraordinary martyr of sort like Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela, which I am not. Even our Ministers justified their high salaries with the same self-serving logic. Why can’t I do the same as an ordinary Singaporean?...
For those who keep asking me to AWOL, migrate or get out of Singapore if I am unhappy with the system, I am very sorry your worldview is so narrow you cannot even accept difference in opinions."

Laugh track - Wikipedia - "'Who are these laughing people? Where did they come from?'" Gelbart persuaded CBS to test the show in private screenings with and without the laugh track. The results showed no measurable difference in the audience's enjoyment. "So you know what they said?" Gelbart said. "'Since there's no difference, let's leave it alone!' The people who defend laugh tracks have no sense of humor.""

Ogilvy’s Award-Winning Campaign Completes Bottom Half Of Famous Portraits - "Titled "Portraits Completed", the award-winning campaign completes the bottom half of famous paintings to reveal the subjects' shoes"

Mandate that businesses serve free water - "In England and Wales, all licensed premises - such as restaurants, bars, clubs and other establishments that are open to the public - are required by law to provide free potable water to customers upon request. In Singapore, however, the vast majority of restaurants, bars and clubsare legally able to refuse to serve customers tap water, let alone for free. In my experience, many premises will say that it is not their policy to serve tap water, or "we can't ensure it's hygienic, so we serve bottled water only". This is the case even as our Health Ministry starts a serious campaign to wean citizens off sweetened and aerated drinks, and towards drinking more water for better health outcomes, especially to combat diabetes. The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources has also spent huge sums of money to ensure that our tap water is safe, potable and always available. Furthermore, there is an active drive towards reducing the use of plastic"

Joyce TOO on Twitter - "Not one self-described Communist ever sees himself as a worker in the future socialist paradise. They all imagine themselves as some kind of party official, dictating doctrine while some other poor bastard hammers steel all day, stinking of cheap soup and filth"

Canada is using ancestry DNA websites to help it deport people - "In another example of the extraordinary lengths Canadian immigration officials go to deport migrants, the Canada Border Services Agency has been collecting their DNA and using ancestry websites to find and contact their distant relatives and establish their nationality."

Prof Bumps Female Students’ STEM Grades (Because They’re Women) - "University of Akron professor Liping Liu sent an email to his class sections saying certain categories of students—including women—may see their grades "raised one level or two." Liu claimed his approach was a part of a "national movement to encourage female students to go [in]to information sciences." Fortunately, the plan appears to have been vetoed... Liu isn't the first college instructor to toy with identity-based grading. In April, a teaching assistant at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Denisha Maddie, tweeted: "Grading papers for my mentors and I'm giving these white students a runnnnn for their grade honey!! The exam is on race." She added two purple devil emojis and one laughing face emoji."
This will instill confidence in people that women who do well in the sciences deserve their grades

Transgender model called Muslim airport worker "terrorist" in two-hour meltdown after she misheard 'ma'am' for 'man' - "Francesca Camicia, 23, shouted the comments during a two-hour meltdown at London's Heathrow Airport while travelling to Italy for a breast augmentation. Camicia also got in the face of one officer and shouted: "This guy hates transgenders and wishes me dead. You're the terrorist." Camicia, of Hammersmith, who is identified as female on both her British and Italian passports, told court: "When someone calls me 'man' I feel so desolated." She was convicted at Ealing Magistrates Court of using threatening behaviour towards Mustafa Abbas and supervisor Fahad Arshad on September 17 and was conditionally discharged for two years... "I've been a woman for 20 years. To call me 'Sir' is a crime. I've got a diplomatic passport, you can't do anything to me, I know my rights." Camicia, who has a PhD in law, was upset there was no Jewish Torah on which to swear an oath. She told the court: "It's okay. My rights are breached everyday. "Since I was born I felt like a woman and it has been a real struggle, it has been hell, but I've been so strong. "I am here today, but I shouldn't be. I'm proud to be a woman, proud to be a transexual woman." The court heard Camicia has undergone 15 gender reassignment surgical procedures and she claims to be insulted by Heathrow staff whenever she passes through."
Transphobia! Violence against transsexuals!

Man jailed, fined for filming women changing in flats, possession of obscene films - "the two men were having breakfast at a coffee shop when they began discussing how women dressed. They made a plan to roam around a block of flats in Queenstown to see if they could watch any woman changing... she shouted and Lo immediately withdrew his phone and ran away with Khoo. Later that same day, Lo used the Airplay function on his iPhone to send the two videos of the first sister to Khoo. Police identified the two men and arrested them at a lift lobby in Queenstown on Aug 1, 2016, while they were preparing to scout for women again. Forensic investigations on Lo's phone revealed three obscene photos of Lo and his wife in the nude. Further investigations showed that Lo had sent these photos to Khoo in 2015... Forensic investigations found 1,424 video files containing the same number of films without a valid certificate in Lo's possession. Lo also had 413 obscene films."

Jail, fine for nightclub bouncer who phished for Facebook credentials to trick ‘friends’ into sending nude photos - "Rostam logged in to his victims' Facebook accounts and interacted with friends of the victims to ask for photographs of their breasts. He pretended that he was representing a modelling agency, or was running a breast cancer screening campaign... Rostam asked for photos of her naked so that he could “know her sizes” and determine which bridal gowns would fit her properly. The woman sent them to him, believing that she was communicating with her female friend. He later managed to take control of the woman's aunt's Facebook account. Pretending to be her aunt, he told the same 20-year-old on that same day that “she” was suffering from breast cancer and wanted to spend more time with her. He then asked for photographs of her in her underwear and more pictures of her, explaining that these would be used to get her modelling contracts. The victim was not suspicious as she had previously told her aunt that she was interested in modelling, and sent those photos along with a video. While still pretending to be her aunt, Rostam also told the victim that he was going to die soon and that he wanted to see her touch her private parts. Again, she took a video of herself and sent it."

With DaaS Windows coming, say goodbye to your PC as you know it - "For over 30 years, we’ve thought of PCs primarily as Windows machines, which we owned and controlled. That’s about to change forever"

Services like UberPool are making traffic worse, study says - The Washington Post - "The explosive growth of Uber and Lyft has created a new traffic problem for major U.S. cities and ride-sharing options such as UberPool and Lyft Line are exacerbating the issue by appealing directly to customers who would otherwise have taken transit, walked, biked or avoided the trip... Jon Orcutt, a spokesman for the New York-based advocacy organization Transit Center, said the blame does not fall on individual users for finding ride-hailing services attractive, but that the burden is on local governments and transit agencies to respond to their growth with policies such as congestion pricing, the prioritization of buses through features such as dedicated lanes, and a general push toward frequent, reliable and affordable transit. It’s no coincidence, he says, that ride-hailing’s explosive growth has taken place amid transit system collapses in several major cities."
If public transit doesn't serve users well...

New Zealand to replace 'sexist' road signs after 7-year-old girl's plea - "New Zealand's transport authority said on Tuesday (Jul 31) it would adopt gender-neutral signs after a seven-year-old girl said it was "wrong and unfair" to suggest only men could work on roadside power lines. Zoe Carew spotted a "linemen" hazard sign - to warn drivers about workers repairing or installing electricity and telecommunications cables - when she was en route to her grandparents' house last month"
Time to banish all talk of females and women too

Manchester Arena bomber was rescued from Libya by Royal Navy - "The Manchester Arena suicide bomber was rescued by the Royal Navy from the civil war in Libya three years before he killed 22 people at a pop concert"

The best way to prevent terrorist attacks? Let’s welcome refugees. - "Western countries should be doing everything possible to enfranchise, empower and support the vast majority of Muslims arguing against the hate being spewed by the radicals in their midst. Helping Muslim refugees, both by offering aid to countries hosting them and by welcoming vulnerable and vetted refugees to our own shores, is not just right in itself; it also plays a part in the wider effort."
Of course Muslims are all of one mind. This is why Sweden being the most welcoming country in Europe to refugees per capita (in both numbers and the assistance afforded them - and the highest per capita receipient in the OECD) does not have thousands of violent Islamic extremists according to Swedish Security Service director Anders Thornberg, Gothenburg, in western Sweden was not one of the largest recruiting grounds for ISIS and Sweden is not one of the largest per capita exporter of jihadists and there was no Stockholm truck attack in 2017
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