When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, August 07, 2010

NUS: Flavours of Asia

"MA4257: Financial Mathematics II

Dr. Xia Jianming

The Median Isn't the Message: Interpreting Statistics

"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." - Mae West


The Median Isn't the Message
Stephen Jay Gould

"Many people make an unfortunate and invalid separation between heart and mind, or feeling and intellect. In some contemporary traditions, abetted by attitudes stereotypically centered on Southern California, feelings are exalted as more "real" and the only proper basis for action - if it feels good, do it - while intellect gets short shrift as a hang-up of outmoded elitism. Statistics, in this absurd dichotomy, often become the symbol of the enemy. As Hilaire Belloc wrote, "Statistics are the triumph of the quantitative method, and the quantitative method is the victory of sterility and death"...

Trying to keep an intellectual away from literature works about as well as recommending chastity to Homo sapiens, the sexiest primate of all...

I asked Sir Peter Medawar, my personal scientific guru and a Nobelist in immunology, what the best prescription for success against cancer might be. "A sanguine personality," he replied...

Hence the dilemma for humane doctors: since attitude matters so critically, should such a sombre conclusion be advertised, especially since few people have sufficient understanding of statistics to evaluate what the statements really mean?... Knowledge is indeed power, in Bacon's proverb...

We still carry the historical baggage of a Platonic heritage that seeks sharp essences and definite boundaries. (Thus we hope to find an unambiguous "beginning of life" or "definition of death," although nature often comes to us as irreducible continua.) This Platonic heritage, with its emphasis in clear distinctions and separated immutable entities, leads us to view statistical measures of central tendency wrongly, indeed opposite to the appropriate interpretation in our actual world of variation, shadings, and continua. In short, we view means and medians as the hard "realities"...

Variation itself is nature's only irreducible essence. Variation is the hard reality, not a set of imperfect measures for a central tendency"

Creationism and Religion

"The creationist is a sham religious person who, curiously, has no true sense of religion. In the language of religion, it is the facts we observe in the world around us that must be seen to constitute the words of God. Documents, whether the Bible, Qur'an or those writings that held such force for Velikovsky, are only the words of men. To prefer the words of men to those of God is what one can mean by blasphemy. This, we think, is the instinctive point of view of most scientists who, curiously again, have a deeper understanding of the real nature of religion than have the many who delude themselves into a frenzied belief in the words, often the meaningless words, of men. Indeed, the lesser the meaning, the greater the frenzy, in something like inverse proportion."

--- Our Place in the Cosmos / Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe

Friday, August 06, 2010


"Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts.

Others come into our lives and make us wanna leave footprints on their face."


Thursday, August 05, 2010

They needs a good copywriter

"Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat." - Sir Julian Huxley



"Sparkfury Creative Consultants Pte Ltd is a wart-winning creative agency. We handle humerous regional blue-cheap accounts including Sony Asia Pacific, BiC and UOB. We have been a full member of the 4As (Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore) since 2003. Despite our fast going list of awards and accolades, our gold remains the same. We want to ignite our clients' brains and build a fun-filled working environment. We seek light-minded individuals to be a part of us.



  • Minimum 3 years experience in capywriting
  • Maticulous with versatile writing skills skills
  • Responsible with a strong scent of timeline 
  • Abler to perform under pleasure in a fast place
  • Able to think s tragically and perform as a team
  • Persuasive comunicator of well-conceived ideas

If you've zero tolerance for bad copywriting and think you've what it takes to elevate our creative standards, we want to hear from you. Email detailed resume to recruit@sparkfury.com"

Cai Png 101

"You know what's interesting about Washington? It's the kind of place where second-guessing has become second nature." - George W. Bush


The Art of Ordering Mixed Vege Rice

"Visit the stall near the end of lunch/dinner time.

Sure, some of the dishes may be sold out, but there will also be plenty of other dishes still available. Since the stall owner can't keep the dishes until the next lunch/dinner time, it is in his interest to give away larger portions so that he won't need to deal with leftovers later.

Get your guy colleague to order for you.

This only applies to girls. Stall owners tend to give a smaller portion to girls compared to guys. However, they charge the same price for both. So it is more value for money for a guy to place the order on behalf of the girl so as to receive a larger portion.

Ask for 'more rice' instead of 'add rice'.

Most stall owners will interpret 'more rice' as a larger scoop of rice which will result in more rice. This is generally free. However, 'add rice' entails adding a second scoop of rice to the first, and this generally cost additional money.

Make sure the stall owner has space to serve.

In many mixed vege stalls, there are usually two or more people serving dishes as the same time. When you are ordering, make sure to order dishes that are near the person serving you so that he won't have to stretch over his co-worker to reach your dish. If he is stretching to reach your dish, he probably won't give you more than usual serving since it is that much of a hassle.

Order the meat first.

This is to create a good impression with the stall owner. By ordering the meat first, your are signaling to the stall owner that you will not be ordering the cheapest items on the menu. This puts the owner in a better mood, so he may give you a larger serving.

Order 1 dish at a time and wait until he finished serving.

Point to your first dish, then wait until the stall owner finish serving it before pointing to the next dish. Do not rush him. Often, the stall owner needs time to gauge the portion of food to serve. If you give him sufficient time, it is likely that he will give you a larger than standard portion. Hurrying him results in less than standard portions.

Pause in between ordering dishes.

Pretend to ponder in between dishes. This gives more time for the stall owner to serve your previous dish which likely will result in a larger portion. When he is finished and noticed that you are still pondering overyour next order, he may feel bored and add a few more slices of your previous dish while waiting for you to make your next choice.

Order the same dish twice.

Use this technique very sparingly. After order a dish, pretend to look distracted and point to the same dish again. The stall owner will likely tell you that he has already served that dish. However, occasionally, he may instinctively go through the motion of serving the dish again and make your portion slightly larger, all for the same price.

Order dishes that are about to run out.

It takes practice to estimate, but it is worth picking dishes that are left with about 1.5 to 2 portions. Chances are, that if there is only about 1.5 to 2 portions of the dish left, the stall owner will think 'what-the-heck' and just give you everything. The good is that you get extra servings, the bad is that sauces right at the bottom of the tray are very salty.

Order vege dishes that contain meat sauces.

Some vege dishes have some meat in it to bring out the additional flavour. But it is sold at the price of vege becos the meat is usually in small amounts and only present in the sauce. Tofu dishes are an example of such. By ordering such dishes, you are getting some serving of meat for the price of vege. Nice.

Do not order meat dishes that contain vegetables.

These dishes count as meat but is usual half served with vegetables. It is very not worthwhile, do not order it. An example is the stir fried venison with leek. Go for fully meat dishes instead.

Ask for curry sauce.

Many a time, when you ask for curry sauce, some other ingredients in the curry sauce will find its way onto your rice, such as small pieces of chicken or potato. Cabbage curry sauce will probably bring you some cabbages and longbeans. And it's free.

Ask for meat sauces.

As mentioned earlier, some sauces are cooked with minced meat. It is near impossible to separate the mince meat from the sauce. So if you ask for meat sauces, you will definitely receive some serving of meat with it. And it's free.

Become a regular customer.

Talk to the stall owner on occasions. With good rapport, the stall owner will recognize you as a regular customer and will naturally give you extra servings the next time you visit."

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Links - 4th August 2010

"The author of the Iliad is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name." - Aldous Huxley


Schneier on Security: Pork-Filled Counter-Islamic Bomb Device

The ups and downs of being a freelancer - "No set routine... Creative and intellectual fulfillment... Being able to work wherever you like... Crowd avoidance...
Idleness... Social isolation... The need to sell yourself... No employee benefits... The financial rollercoaster... Taxes"

Why travel solo when you can trip pool? - "Mr Liow and his male friend, for example, waited four hours to take a shower during their Taiwan trip, as they did not realise that the five women travelling with them would take that long to bathe."

Does Language Influence Culture? - "Russian speakers, who make an extra distinction between light and dark blues in their language, are better able to visually discriminate shades of blue. The Piraha, a tribe in the Amazon in Brazil, whose language eschews number words in favor of terms like few and many, are not able to keep track of exact quantities. And Shakespeare, it turns out, was wrong about roses: Roses by many other names (as told to blindfolded subjects) do not smell as sweet."

Male road accidents soar in summer due to women's short skirts

Legal actions against international media - The File Cabinet - "A list of cases of the international media being punished by the Singapore government and/or judicial system... The list is still in progress, so do not take it as a comprehensive listing. If you have more cases to contribute, feel free to email me with the details."

Car Thieves Picky About Color - "The least popular colors in North America are yellow/gold at 2% and beige/brown at 5%. These and other bright colors deter car thieves. Not only do these vehicles have a lower resale value, but they are also like a flashing neon sign"

Britain has no need to make an apology to India for Empire... - "Indians require no apology for Empire and seek none, and nor do Britons need to feel especially guilty for it... All that is best about India - its tolerance, freedom and engagement with the world - has flourished due to the structures and ideas it inherited from British rule"

Hot Chicks with Stormtroopers

delanceyplace: the oil curse - "If you're an oil state, it's far more efficient to ask oil buyers for more money than to collect taxes from your population... When a state develops the ability to collect taxes, the bureaucracy and mechanisms it creates are expensive. They perpetuate their existence by diligently collecting as much money as possible and encouraging the growth of a private economy to collect taxes from. A strong private economy, so the thinking goes, creates a strong civil society... Taxes aren't democracy, but they seem to connect taxpayers and government in a way that has democratizing effects... oil, and mineral-exporting countries have a 23 percent likelihood of civil war within five years, compared to less than 1 percent for nondependent countries"

Second Passport and Second Citizenship for any kind of purpose - "EU Passport $9,900, Guyana $18,700, Suriname $17,400, Nicaragua $16,000"
Interestingly, one field is "Military Duty?"

Old Spice Sales Double With YouTube Campaign

8 Websites You Need to Stop Building - The Oatmeal - "Digg and Reddit Clones: 'I've got it! I'll create a social news website by picking a word, dropping a word from it, and then letting users vote on what's popular! It's genius, I tell you!'"

Work experience at the FO? Not if you¿re a middle class white male - "Under the tightly-drawn rules, only women, people from ethnic ­minorities and the ­disabled are ­entitled to apply for a chance to work at one of the great offices of state"
"Jewish Privilege" was why they introduced the Aryan Paragraphs [Addendum: or the Nuremberg Laws, and was a contributor factor to the Holocaust]

YouTube - Un perro muy jugueton - "An old lady getting humped by a horney dog, dont know if thats the funniest or most disgusting thing I have ever seen LOL"

Justin Bieber's Failed Segway Getaway - "Justin Bieber's physical well-being was endangered this week when his Segway failed to outrun a gawping throng of twelve year old girls. I've never been more thankful for the existence of video cameras."

Federal judge says you can break DRM if you're not doing so to infringe copyright - "This is a complete reversal of earlier rulings across the country (and completely opposite to the approach that the US Trade Representative has demanded from America's trading partners)"

The Longest Photographic Exposures in History

The power of speech - "The idea that we can be enlightened or destroyed by living with exotic people has transfixed western societies since before Joseph Conrad's rogue trader Kurtz was corrupted in the Congo. Yet Everett's life could be a more dramatic example of enlightenment and destruction than any fictional encounter with a drastically different culture. Thirty years living with the Pirah? destroyed his evangelical faith in God, wrecked his marriage and estranged him from two of his three children. It also dismantled his intellectual framework... he is continuing his fight with Noam Chomsky in a debate that could transform our understanding of human language... "What should the empirical evidence for religion be? It should produce peaceful, strong, secure people who are right with God and right with the world. I don't see that evidence very often. So then I find myself with the Pirah?. They have all these qualities that I am trying to tell them they could have. They are the ones who are living life the way I'm saying it ought to be lived, they just don't fear heaven and hell"... "One of the saddest things I've seen in Amazonian cultures is people who were self-sufficient and happy that now think of themselves as poor and become dissatisfied with their lives""

Are Too Many Students Going to College? - "All high-school students should receive a cost-benefit analysis of the various options suitable to their situations: four-year college, two-year degree program, short-term career-prep program, apprenticeship program, on-the-job training, self-employment, the military. Students with weak academic records should be informed that, of freshmen at "four year" colleges who graduated in the bottom 40 percent of their high-school class, two-thirds won't graduate even if given eight and a half years. And that even if such students defy the odds, they will likely graduate with a low GPA and a major in low demand by employers. A college should not admit a student it believes would more wisely attend another institution or pursue a noncollege postsecondary option. Students' lives are at stake, not just enrollment targets."

Aussie horse butcher 'faces death threats'
Now for whale, dog and cat meat

Woman 'wakes up' with foreign accent - " Fewer than 100 people in the world have been officially documented as suffering from the syndrome, which leaves them speaking with an alien accent. In the case of Mrs Fox, it is a mixture of Welsh, Scottish and North London accents"

Terror arrest threat for rail passenger who took photos on train to prove overcrowding
Of course, he got an apology

A liturgical occurrence - "The priest was at the altar with the doors open when suddenly a small boy, not more than four or five years old, broke loose from his parents and ran up towards the altar and… charged right through the doors and started tugging on the priests vestments"

Nasi KangKang - "Nasi KangKang, literally means Squatting Rice. It's some sort of love potion made for men. It was believed that after eating the rice, the man was bound to abide entirely by the woman's wishes. His mind will be reset and zombified. Any of the woman's wishes such as, "buy me a diamond" would be fulfilled immediately"

YouTube - Dai Mahou Touge - Vegetable Suicide
Damn Japs

Je suis mariée et je me masturbe - "Arrêtez de nier la réalité et de dire que la taille n'a aucune importance, c'est pire que de l'hypocrisie de dire cela, Au risque d'être vulgaire : enfoncez vous un cure-dent ou un coton-tige dans le vagin et si vous jouissez prévenez moi ? Car un penis petit et fin fait à peu de choses le même effet...."

Beware the office feeder: They tempt with sweets and treats, but never tuck in themselves - what are they up to? - "They like to see others eating, because it reinforces their own sense of mastery and self-will, and they feel good about avoiding calories when someone else is consuming them in front of their eyes"

Shoppers on a ‘Diet’ Tame the Urge to Buy - "The premise was to go an entire month wearing only six items already found in your closet (not counting shoes, underwear or accessories)... women, on average, own seven pairs of jeans but wear only four regularly"

On genocide, and why George W Bush is not culpable of it

"And remember, no matter where you go, there you are." - Earl Mac Rauch


The worst genocides of the 20th Century:

"The crimes committed by right-wing dictators have always been easier to track down than the crimes against humanity committed by communist leaders...

The most frequently asked questions are always about current unpopular USA presidents: Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II... The moment the USA elects a new president, i start receiving emails asking to add him to the list of "genociders". The moment the president leaves office the same people forget about him and jump on the next one. Can we consider President Bush a genocider due to all of the civilians killed in Iraq under his watch? I don't think so, because the vast majority of civilians killed in Iraq were NOT killed by USA troops. It is genocide, but the "genociders" are others, and the situation is still too murky to decide who exactly killed those 100,000 civilians. (If Bush is indirectly guilty of it, then certainly Islam is too). The USA bears some clear responsibilities for the chaos, but ineptitude, miscalculation, ignorance, etc do not qualify as genocide. Otheriwse the United Nations and France would be responsible for the genocide in Rwanda (900,000 people). Putin would be a better candidate for "genocider", since the vast majority of Chechen civilians killed under his watch were killed by Russian troops. However, i have never received a single email nominating Putin...

I often get asked if Hiroshima/Nagasaki qualify as a genocide. I disagree... Winston Churchill and Harry Truman did not start that war: they ended it. It is even debatable if these bombings killed or saved lives... more Japanese died in two weeks of battles with the Soviet Union in Manchuria than in the two nuclear bombings...

I've been asked why i blame the USA only for part of the civilian deaths in Vietnam while i blame the Soviet Union for all of the civilian casualties in Afghanistan. The USA "invasion" of Vietnam is not as clearcut as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan:

1. Even today many in Vietnam think that the aggressor was North Vietnam, not the USA, at least at the beginning"

Women's self-objectification

"A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth." - George Bernard Shaw


Whose Slut? - The F-Word

"Despite attempts to sell pornographic images of men to women as a great equalizer, women still prefer their magazines populated with sexy women. This makes sense to me; since the beginning of time, the female body has been associated with sex...

The traditional feminist response to the fact that straight women clearly demand and enjoy images of sexy women has been that we have internalised the patriarchal values which oppress us and lost sight of our own sexuality along the way...

Self-objectification is an integral part of female heterosexuality. Whether it be shopping for underwear or dancing at a club, most of us get a thrill at the thought of being desired by men. Taking it a step further, how many of us have fantasised about being strippers or whores?...

The notion that a sexualised woman is degrading to women derives from the assumption that she is being sexualised by men, for men...

In recent years, women have begun to reclaim their sexualisation. From women making their own porn films to the growing number of feminist strippers who freely admit they get a kick out of displaying their bodies, we are slowly beginning to show that sexualisation can be just as fun and empowering for the ones being watched as for the ones watching. We are even beginning to reclaim sexist insults... Anti-porn advocates'... cries of ‘degrading to women’ are merely adding to the common assumption that any woman who enjoys the male gaze must be either a victim or a slut...

Some feminists believe we can go back and change our history so women will no longer have to bear this association [with being male sex objects]. I believe that any attempt to do so will further alienate the majority of women from the cause and ultimately be met with overwhelming resistence, if not from the powers that be then from our own sexuality."

I was reading this after the outcry about Hugh Hefner saying that 'Women Are Sex Objects'.

While this is a refreshing change from much of feminism (for example, questioning that objectification is always a bad thing), the logic here seems to be that it is okay for women to objectify other women, or for women to objectify themselves, but not for men to do so (or to act on the implications of such objectification).

Besides the problem with restricting objectification of women to other women, if a department store has an attractive and novel display, you surely cannot fault people for ogling at it, telling their friends or even taking pictures of it. What you CAN fault them for is vandalising it or stealing parts of it (touching it falls into a grey category - probably the most you can do is expel someone who keeps touching your exhibit from your store). And to insist that only some people can ogle at it, tell their friends or take pictures of it seems capricious (perhaps even discriminatory).

To look at it another way, if "most [women] get a thrill at the thought of being desired by men", men are doing them a favour by desiring (and objectifying them).

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Come to think of it, I've never read a feminist bashing Disney for giving girls unrealistic expectations of men

"Porn movies and Disney are responsible for the most frustrated human beings I know"
"where the hell is my prince charming ?"
"where the hell is my insatiable whore ?"

Why Men should not take pictures of Women in Singapore

"If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate." - Elbert Hubbard


After my oppression by the heavy arm of the State last year, I finally got around to going to a police station (with REAL police) to enquire about the legality of taking pictures of people in public. Despite the platitudes of "it depends", I did get some answers.

(Summary of linked post: I took a picture of 6 female teenagers sitting in a playground explicitly marked out as being for preschool children, and was threatened with having the police brought down on me. Despite my photo being as far from possible from an upskirt or a downblouse [while still having females in it], the airport police sided with the girls, and I was forced to delete the pictures in the end.)

The officer I spoke to said that if you took pictures of a woman, there were 2 offences they could charge you under: insulting the modesty of a woman, and intruding into the modesty of a woman. Unfortunately I could not find the latter offence in the Singapore Statutes OnLine.

So the relevant law is my 2nd-favourite section of the Penal Code (my favourite is even better):

"Section 509: Word or gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman

Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both."

Given that the modesty of a woman is an extremely broad term (and the privacy of a woman only, perhaps, slightly less so), you can see how it is very easy to use this law against men (while the law is gender-neutral in wording, in reality we know that it is very unlikely to be used against women, due to Female Privilege).

On the other hand, the officer continued, if you took pictures of a man, only intentional harassment would get you in trouble, and furthermore it would be a civil case, not a police case.

I brought up the example of STOMP, which had lots of pictures of people, and he said it was better to ask the subjects of photographs for permission. I said street photography was about spontaneity, but he didn't respond to that

So, as far as I can tell, essentially you can't take pictures of women in Singapore without being at risk of being harassed by the police but men are fair game (as long as you don't "harass" them, so one-off shots should be fine).

This sort of case would seem to be ridiculous and not worth the time of those who ensure that Singapore has Low Crime. However, from other sources I know that the police tend to take the side of whoever calls them first - of whoever makes the complaint. And they also tend to investigate all cases - even ridiculous-sounding ones. And of course there's the bias against the man whenever a woman accuses him of having done something sexual to her.

So in this case, if girls are upset that you have taken pictures of them and call the police, you may get your camera (or phone) confiscated as 'evidence', and you may not get it back for weeks or months while you are being 'investigated'.

In the end, you will probably get a 'stern warning' instead of the case being dropped. While this is not as bad as being prosecuted in court (a possibility that cannot be totally discounted), this will count against you in future cases of a similar nature, which is great news if another female tries to use the law against you with an allegation of a sexual crime, since "If you commit any offence in future, the same leniency may not be shown towards you", and your camera/phone may not even be returned to you in the end (since a 'stern warning' is taken to mean that you did something wrong, they just chose not to prosecute you - in comparison note the phrasing when they drop the case entirely) and then be ordered destroyed by the Courts.

What might await you if you, as a man, take a picture of women in Singapore in public

I note that even in the unlikely case of the case being dropped, at the very least a few hours of your time will have been wasted, your camera (or phone) might be confiscated as "evidence" and you will be traumatised at being oppressed by the heavy arm of the State.

All in all, this is entirely consistent with what we know about the law and sex crimes committed by men against women in Singapore, and with other police advice that I have heard (that it is better for the man to settle, because the cards are stacked against him). Essentially, the man is screwed.

Monday, August 02, 2010

New blog picture - 2nd August 2010

"I vowed never to shoot another film using a dog."

Conversations - 2nd August 2010

"Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation." - Howard Scott


Someone: *** related a story about why you can't kayak near the merlion

a bunch of trainers organised a trip to marina bay
they were playing at the merlion sprout
then this security guard comes over and tells them to "go away! go away! merlion only for tourists!"

Me: wonderful
2nd class citizens

Someone else: i HATE how guys turn so much colder when they find out im attached
maybe i should purport to be single just to make use of them
maybe it is a type of feminism too

Me: yeah you've said that before
how do you want to make use of them

Someone else: for whatever lah
carry my bags
give me tips
things that men do just to get pussy

Me: ...
dont you feel that is exploiting them
and that you are equally reprehensible

Someone else: they do that for me anyway, BEFORE they find out im attached
all im doing is taking my time to let them know i am

Me: ...

Someone else: it's like going for free drinks on ladies night lah

Someone: from an old post: "I talked to someone who'd studied in Japan for 9 months, and he said when you first meet Jap girls they talk in a high voice, but later when you know them better and you're at the bar they will talk in their natural voice." this is so true!

actually, it's high and sort of breathless
someone i know does this.. totally irritates me
esp when she suddenly switches to her natural voice

Someone else: studying in an all-girls' school taught me a few things

1) when girls talk among themselves they talk dirtier than guys do
2) some girls are not shy about teaching one another how to use tampons

Me: was it CHIJ
if so it's a biased sample

Someone else: no no no
no i came from ***

i believe such observations can be made in any girls' school lah

Someone: wah i din noe u r into law as well

Me: I'm a man of many talents and interests

Someone else on sending me a file on YouSendIt: i'm gg to encrypt it with a password

Me: ... why're you so paranoid
at the most they will delete it tomorrow

Someone else: sorry i'm in the bizness

Me: this is called paranoia

since you're in the business are you scared of DNS poisoning
I can destroy your modem for you

do you check keyboards for hardware keyloggers
do you know that people can detect your password by the sound of your typing?
or there're keyloggers that can detect onscreen keyboards also
rootkits that you will never detect
so you should never use an unsecured computer

do you use bitlocker on your laptop

Someone else: i noe all of this

Me: yes
so do you do all those things

Someone else: i'm pretty lax already
u shld see my friend

Me: they have better things to do than trace the IPs of people who upload vaguely naughty videos
and report them to their ISPs for copyright infringement
when the copyright holder is someone chinese company they have never even heard of

Someone else: he runs all his programs in a vm
and resets e image everyday

Me: this reminds me of audiophiles

Someone else: sorry lar
u cant blame us
we've in this line

so we noe

Me: you know all the possible things that can go wrong
you don't know a reasonable way to calibrate what you do

remember to physically destroy hard disks after you use them
otherwise people can read the data
even if you write the bits 255 times
or cut up the platters

Someone else: yes physical destruction is e only way to be absolutely safe

Me: doesn't mean everyone should do that

Someone else: most pple dun

Me: most people shouldn't
it's not worth the bother

so what do you think will happen if you don't encrypt the file with a password

the only reason people normally do that is so the file isn't detected as illegal and deleted
e.g. when you're sharing warez

however in this case it's a one-time send to me
and I won't download it again

Someone else: its a public server
after all

i dun want the admins to probe it

Me: so what if they probe it

Someone else: nah i'm just not comfortable with it

anyway it isnt very troublesome
to just encrypt it with a password

no computer is totally secure
but trying to minimize e potential areas of attack

my browser is encapsulated inside a sandbox
so there's no way web exploits can jump out of e sandbox

Me: using google chrome?

Someone else: firefox

Me: what if no browser has that function
would you set up a VM just to browse?

Someone else: YES

Me: can you cut and paste to/from VMs?
the clipboard should be secured to prevent clipboard exploits right

Someone else: not saying using a VM is 100% safe
but if e attacker is able to jump out of e VM, he's probably so highly skilled
tt its a targeted attack
and dun bother to defend it in tt case then

Me: see
this is where you are using some form of discretion
I bet there're ways to make it even more secure than a VM

Someone else: but it shld keep 99% of e attacks out

Me: do you bother to use other terminals
since you can't be sure if there're keyloggers on them

when you go overseas do you check your email

Someone else: we always change our passwords
when we go overseas
for msn, emails

and then change back
when we get back

and no, we dun use public terminals to check mail

Me: yes you can change your password
but they can hack in before you return home
and your account will be gone

Someone else: NEVER
if i have to check mail

Me: so you always bring your laptop overseas

Someone else: yes

Me: right

so if you have no laptop
or it spoils
will you check your mail

Someone else: u will nv find me logging in a public terminal to check my email
i wun

Me: ok

Someone else: ok lar i noe this sounds a bit extreme to u
trust me
u haven seen e really extreme ones in my office

Me: no
not checking email on public pcs is not that extreme

if people cut off their arms it doesn't mean cutting off your hand is ok

Someone else: another way
is to relay forward all ur email
to a temporary email account
while overseas
and check from tt account
and delete e mails after viewing

if u for some reason decides to join IT security one day
perhaps u'll understand better why IT security r so paranoid

Me: it's because they are not able to calibrate the cost-benefit matrix

Someone else: not true

*** configures some hot keys
to disable his network adapter
whenever he's not at his pc physically
THAT extreme

Me: so do you think companies are justified in blocking MSN, gchat, gmail, twitter, facebook etc

Someone else: tt's from a biz perspective

its rather to restrain colleagues from wasting time on these
rather than for security

Me: it's also called paranoia
the official justification is to prevent the leaking of business secrets also

Someone else: rubbish lar
do u see me being blocked from ms, etc

Me: that's because they're not being dumb about it

how about the SAF
are they justified in banning CD-Rs for 'security'?

Someone else: e company is just lazy to do a proper audit
if it blocks all e msn etc



Me: I said CD-R

Someone else: i think they no longer ban cd-r

Me: they do

Someone else: but yah its SAF
they r well known for being a f**ked up org

Me: so if someone from the SAF talked to you about "security"
and justified all those measures
what would you say

Someone else: we as the solution providers provide recommendations
the clients , whether they want to follow
is their own business

Lim Swee Say's Stormtroopers

"Men live in a fantasy world. I know this because I am one, and I actually receive my mail there." - Scott Adams


Among the many, many problems: Zorro does NOT wear a business shirt and business trousers, the stormtroopers are carrying miniature AR-15s, the helmets are inconsistent and ill-fitting and the guy on the left has a Phase I Clone Trooper helmet.

From what little we can see from the ST's photos, the Flash and Batman look more credible (what should be Jack Sparrow is another joke).

What Zorro is SUPPOSED to look like

10th Jan - 501st Legion Singapore Garrisn @ Temasek Poly
REAL Stormtroopers

ascelineleong: "This is only the prequel, LKY should really dress up and assume the character of the emperor in star wars and the best part is no makeup is required.

Lee hsien loong should be darth vadar and mah boh tan or wo ng k an s eng might want to be luke skywalker with darth vadar telling them 'wa si nin nao peh'.

The rest of the ministers should all become the other characters like the bounty hunters and stormtroopers perhaps."

Sunday, August 01, 2010

To boldly go where no Opposition Party has gone before



"Singapore: The final frontier
These are the travails of the Party, Singapore Democratic
Its 30 year mission
To induce the passage of strange new laws
To seek out new jail terms and fines
To boldly go where no Opposition Party has gone before"

Le COD de "on"

"Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit." - W. Somerset Maugham


Moi: Je sais qu'il n'y a pas de COD pour "on". Malheureusement, certaines phrases deviennent moins élégant.

Par exemple :

"On aime ceux qui nous abîment"

Le sujet "on" est devenu le COD "nous".

On peut dire, aussi :

"Nous aimons ceux qui nous abîment"

C'est plus consistent, mais j'aime bien le mot "on".

Savez-vous comment on peut construire une phrase plus élégante en utilisant le sujet "on" ?

A: Je n'y avais jamais pense. On pour "one" est elegant, mais on pour "nous" est familier. Je ne pense pas que l'on puisse construire une phrase plus "elegante" avec on, a moins d'utiliser le l' comme je viens de le faire. Un autre pronom que vous pouvez utiliser avec on est soi ; on n'aime que soi (même) au lieu de nous...

B: C'est interessant; certains auteurs ont utilisé "vous" avec "on".

Des jets d'eau vous inondaient, quand on se posait sur le sopha.  (Flaubert)

On ne refuse pas le bonheur quand il frappe à votre porte.  (Chamson)

(Cités dans Le Bon Usage.)
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