Monday, March 31, 2008

The Real "No Frills" Airline

Would you had taken this airline?

Microsoft Vision on the future of Healthcare

Great concept but its still some way ahead. In many countries, many people have yet to even have access basic healthcare. Africa is a good example where basic healthcare is still largely unavailable. Some of the more developed countries like China still has a long way to improve their healthcare policy for the mass. Some of you who are living in China will understand what i mean. Healthcare is a luxury for many here as its simply too expensive for the average Chinese to see a doctor. A trip to the visit the doctor will easily cost $50 and above and if you compare that with the earning per capita, its way beyong the reach of many. Perhaps the billions of Bill Gates donated can be put to good use.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

MacAir Ad Parody

Instead of creating the world's slimmest notebook, why not create the world's biggest envelope.... haha

Friday, March 28, 2008

5 year old "Blind" Mozart Pianist

This has to be one of the heart warming video clip i had seen before thanks to my Dad, Robert Foo who had forwarded the Youtube link to me. Its a must see as it really warm my heart. A girl who was borned with no vision is a real musical genious. Nobody had taught her how to play on the piano and she had learned them purely by listening to the tune. I hope she gets good lessons and training as she may be the next Andrea Bocelli.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Diamond Studded iPhone

If you are crazy about iPhone and have $176,400 to spare, I m sure the diamond studded iPhone created by Austrian luxury designer and jeweller Peter Aloisson would fit nicely into your hands. If you think buying one is crazy, the first crazy customer is a Russian businessman who preordered it in October 2007. A lesser priced iPhone with only the brilliant cut diamonds can be purchased at a more modest price of USD66,150.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

366 million handsets shipped in Asia in 2007

Asian excluding Japan handset vendors shipped 366 million phones in 2007 and will sell more than 400 million in 2008 according to IDC.

India and China accounted for more than 60% of all sales in 2007, and expects India market to be growing even faster in 2008. India still has roughly half the mobile ownership level of China, with about 20% of Indians owning a mobile phone compared with 40% in the PRC.

Nokia has the largest market share in the region, leaping to more than 50%, up from 42% in the previous year. The biggest loser is Motorola as their market share value was halved allowing Samsung to take over its 2nd position. Sony Ericsson and LG kept their positions at fourth and fifth respectively.

Source - IDC

Monday, March 24, 2008

Nokia Mobile comes with EMI

EMI became the second major label to provide music to Nokia's unlimited subscription download service called "Comes With Music." Announced last December, Comes With Music would give owners of compatible Nokia handsets access to unlimited music downloads for one year.

Due to launch in the second half of 2008, Comes With Music will pay the labels a reported one-time fee of $80 per compatible handset in exchange for a one-year, unlimited music download subscription account. Nokia has not released details as to whether this fee will be rolled into the cost of a device or if it will seek iPhone-like revenue sharing from wireless carriers to pay the bills.

Its a great add on to the existing Universal catalog but i m not sure how the additional costs are going to be apportioned, i dont reckon Nokia will absorb the whole cost as $80 is a lot of cost to absorb even for Nokia.

Music is definitely a great add-on for Nokia's devices but will users pay for the additional price is still questionable. Lets not forget there are other alternatives to get cheaper or sometime free music downloaded or sideloaded to your phones. For the short term, its going to be challenging to get users to pay more for the price of the device. There isnt a proven business model for device manufacturer to give away free music at this point of time though they are hoping to work with Operators or perhaps advertising maybe a solution.

But Nokia isn't the only major gadget player eyeing device-based music subscription models. Apple is reportedly in talks with the labels for subscription plans of its own. Apple is offering only $20 per device, based on the statistic that the typical iPod owner only buys an average of 20 tracks from the store.

Isnt it great to be consumers!! With all the competition out there, things can only get better for us, better services and much improved mobile devices.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mobile Calls on Emirates

Dubai-based airline Emirates has become the first commercial airline to allow passengers to make mobile phone calls during flights. The aircraft, an Airbus A340, is fitted with a system which stops mobiles from interfering with a plane's electronics. Right now, the service is limited to regular cellphone calls and text messages, with BlackBerry and other data services (like iPhone) expected to be available later in the year.

The mobile service will only be activated when the aircraft is at cruising altitude and the cabin crew will be able to monitor and control the use of the system. Passengers will also be requested to keep their phones on "silent" mode, said the airline.

We certainly had came a long way for mobile services to be made available as I m sure many factors had to be taken into account including safety being the paramount. While its a great idea to have this service on board, i m concern about how the airline will monitor and control the system. Aircraft is probably the only safe haven from mobile phone calls and they really have to make sure that such services are not causing too much inconveniences to the other passengers.

I m in love with Shanghai

I have lived and travelled to Shanghai for more than 7 years and I m still pretty much in love with this city. The amount of growth and development is far greater than anywhere in the world. The skyline had changed so rapidly that even the skyline of Manhattan dwarfed that of Shanghai.

Skyline of Pudong at night

The tallest building in the picture is reputed to be the world tallest building for now. Next to the tallest building is the Grand Hyatt Hotel otherwise known as "JingMao."

The famous Bund at night

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Idol of the year

This has to be the all-time favorite idol that will floor you. Initially i didnt catch what it meant by "ken lee." You will discover it at the end of the clip. So make sure you watch and listen the bulgarian idol singing right to the end.

Monday, March 17, 2008

China has the Biggest Population of Internet Users in the World

China has surpassed the United States to become the world's largest internet market as measured by number of users as this was confirmed by consulting and research firm BDA

According to official estimates by government research group China Internet Network Information Center, which are released every six months, the number of Internet users grew at an average of 6.1 million users per month in 2007 and would total about 225 million now. In its own research, BDA China Ltd., a Beijing-based technology consulting concern, estimates that China has as many as 228.5 million Internet users, compared with 217.1 million in the U.S.

BDA Chairman Duncan Clark commented: “A buoyant economy, massive investments in broadband infrastructure and strong consumer demand for applications including online games, instant messaging and online-music and online-video sharing are fuelling China's rapid Internet growth.”

BDA estimates revenues from China's online games sector totaled RMB 13.3 billion (USD 1.88 billion) in 2007. China's online games revenues exceed the combined revenues from its online brand advertising (RMB 6.6 billion, or USD 930 million) and search (RMB 2.8 billion, or USD 395 million), according to BDA estimates.

The United States still far outstrips China in the value of internet content, advertising and e-commerce, but BDA expects e-commerce to become the next boom sector in China as businesses and retailers take advantage of the mass market of consumers already online.

BDA's Clark added: “With some 560 million subscriptions, China has been home to the world's largest mobile communications user base for several years. Now it adds internet users to its gold medal collection. While the volume of communications users will continue to boom, the focus now in China will increasingly shift to deriving greater value from these consumers.

So far, online advertising has yet to flourish in China, where even the largest Internet companies, including search company Inc., operator of the most-popular Web site in China, have said they struggle with convincing small- to medium-size advertisers of the efficacy of paid search.

E-commerce, which is expected to be a major driver for online advertising, also has been slow to pick up because many consumers are unaccustomed to shopping online and are reluctant to pay for products electronically.

For now, China has only about a 16% Internet penetration rate, compared with a global average of 19.1% and the U.S.'s 69.7%, according to China Internet Network Information Center.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Men vs Women

A cool commercial showcasing men and women battling out with men armed with soccer balls, remote control cars against women armed with handbags, pet dogs just spells total mayhem. Guess who won?

The UK's Mail on Sunday won...

Finally an affordable JetPlane by Honda-jet

Owning a personal jet has always been a far off dream for many, but that dream may have just become a little more attainable thanks to Honda with the introduction of HondaJet. This new product from automaker Honda, makes jet ownership ONLY $3.65 million!

First announced in 2005, the jet is finally entering production and Honda is taking orders. The HondaJet offers seating for up to 6 passengers and 2 crew members and is capable at going 1600 miles at over 450mph.

Care to set aside $3.65 million??? Time to get back to work and make your dream a reality and soon you will have your jet park outside your driveway.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

iPhone firmware 2.0 jailbroken

iPhone firmware 2.0 is coming in June and many are worried including myself thinking we won't be able to use our jailbroken iPhones any more. Luckily the great folks of iPhone Dev Team are there to help us all. They got ahold of the new firmware that ships with the SDK (1.2, which will be released to public as 2.0), has already decrypted the disk image and jailbroken the firmware. Or to put it in other words - iPhone firmware 2.0 is hacked, and even though Apple may additionally tweak it before releasing the official update in June, we've no doubts these guys we'll do their best to allow us to keep using the iPhone on any mobile operator. Great work guys.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

End of the Road for 2G Mobile Phones

With 3G being offered in most developed countries, 2G phones are reaching the end of the road in some of the more advanced market like Japan and Korea. In fact the 1st country to phase out 2G mobile phones is Korea and now for the 1st time in Japan, retail mobile phone stores are no longer taking any delivery of 2G handsets.

It comes as no surprise as Japan is one of the leading country in mobile technology where 3G adoption had already reached 85% with 60% of the handset shipments delivered in Jan 2008 are equipped with digital TV broadcast capabilities. Currently they are some 20 million japanese watching uninterrupted tv channels on their mobile which major networks are offering as a free service. Despite the success in Japan and South Korea, 3G has caught on more slowly in other countries including China, amid questions over whether customers will pay much steeper prices for features they could find on their home computer.

The US is far from this saying goodbye. Based on industry surveys, only 50% of American mobile users own 3G mobile phones. On the other hand, Western Europe is really far behind with only 10% owning third-generation cellphones.

Samsung U700 Mobile Transformers Ad

Great computer graphic animated advertisment that shows a UFO hovering and unloading its crew and finally transforms into the Samsung U700 mobile phone. Definitely one of the coolest mobile phone commercials.

Monday, March 10, 2008

How much more Google and Apple will continue to free fall

Image 1
Image 2
Image 3

How low can they keep on falling? Both had risen remarkably hitting an all time high late last year before making a massive free fall. Apple and Google had gone up to a high of about $200 and $750 respectively. Now they are both trading at $122.25 and $433.35 since the close of trading last friday.

Both had lost about 40% of market share since December. A huge market cap had been shaved off in less than 3 months. Thats crazy isnt it?

Even the Nasdaq and Dow didnt shave as much if you look at the comparison graph in image 3. How much more are they going drop off before it starts to rise? It certainly had not dropped to the point where they started. Apple was less than $10 some 5 years ago and look at where they are now with iPod and iPhone.

I must admit the recorrection is long over due as they had risen quite a lot as both the Dow and Nasdaq had dropped substantially for the past few months initiated by the sub-prime issues. Both companies including the market at large were certainly overvalued last year and the retreat was imminent but the free fall was way larger than the retreat on Dow and Nasdaq.

Will they continue to drop? I m not surprise if they will continue to fall further. The global market sentiment remain uncertain with the issues in the US. The US economy is already in recession and its only natural for stocks to be trading low. It will reach a point where many bargain hunters will return to snap up good deals from the market. Remember the success of companies aren't reflected by whats on the stock market, its all down to good fundamentals which shall include good products development, positive outlook and more importantly great leaders to drive the business. And both companies have most of the fundamentals. Lets not forget, they are so many happy and satisfied customers out there using Google services, iPods and iPhones everyday.

In short, whatever that comes down must go up. While there may be uncertainty in the short to mid term for both companies, but for the longer term, its great to be holding onto their stocks. What do you think? By the way, I m not a stock trading expert nor am I working for them....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Malaysian General Election Latest Results

Barisan National, the main coalition party had for the 1st time in history lost 5 States to the Opposition who may have also denied them of the 2/3 majority they needed in the Parliament. Its a cracking result for the Opposition and long over due. Most of the winning States majority had been reduced tremendously showing the frustration and dissatisfaction of our fellow Malaysians with the ruling government.

One point to note that in this election, the use of technology was at the highest with leaders from the Opposition engaging its voters with the use of social networks, blogs, text messaging, online video and emails. Even a prominent blogger, Jeff Ooi who was on an Opposition ticket had been elected to the Parliament. I wont say its the state of the technology that they are using had allowed them to win but I m sure it has contributed tremendously in the campaigning prior to election. Well done Jeff.

Below are the results so far :

Barisan Nasional (BN) - 306 seats
Opposition - 195 seats

Barisan Nasional (BN) - 136 seats
Opposition - 82 seats

Here are some latest news from local online media to note:

- Barisan Nasional will form a new Government with simple majority.
- The opposition won Penang, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng might be the next Penang Chief Minister.
- The opposition has so far won Penang, Kedah, Selangor, Perak and Kelantan.
- MIC president S Samy Vellu loses his Sungai Siput parliamentary seat which he has held for nine terms.
- [Unofficial] The opposition has denied Barisan Nasional’s 2/3 majority.

This is definitely the best result so far for the Opposition since Malaysia Independence 50 years ago. I m glad that the people's power and voices had prevailed and its really now back to work for the Opposition. I m sure many promises and commitments had been made to their electorates and its time to deliver them. Long live the Opposition!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Korea vs Japan in Breakdance

Its an annual event where the Japs invite the Koreans for a crazy breakdance competition staged on live tv. Both teams are equally good with 19 year old Aichi from Japan who broke the headspin world record. The winner was team Korea and check out the clip below. Really insane moves from both teams.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Apple launches iPhone SDK

Its finally out in Beta and applications will be sold via iTunes come June. Here are the keypoints following the recent announcement of the availability of iPhone SDK :

- Apple is seriously going after the enterprise market with full sync with Microsoft Exchange of e-mail, calendar and contacts. This is going to be an enterprise killer as many including myself had been waiting for the integration with Microsoft Exchange. iPhone is already killer device and with this feature, its certainly going to hit hard on BlackBerry. Not only is Apple serious about consumers market, they are equally serious in going after the enterprise market too.

- Enterprise improvements covering VPNs, certificates, authentication, WiFi authentication.

- Full SDK and development suite with remote debugging tools and device simulator. Games, business applications and an IM client were demoed with presenters stressing the graphical power of the platform and speed / ease of development.

- An application store icon will be added to phones to distribute applications (the only way, although they can be obtained albeit via both ‘over-the-air’ or iTunes sync). The store application will also notify user when applications they have installed are updated. Revenue split is 70/30 where Apple gets to keep 30%. Though a little high but existing mobile operators are taking a bigger slice so its really a boon for developers. Developers can choose to distribute free apps once approved by Apple. Apple are also working on an enterprise tool for distributing firms’ internal applications. To become part of the developer program, the developer has to pay $99.

- finally John Doerr, partner of world-famous VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, came up on stage, saying that they will commit $100 million to a fund exclusively for iPhone applications.

Whats going to be interesting is to see how the other device manufacturers responding to Apple strategy of building the developers ecosystem. Most had yet to even caught up with iPhone let alone building such initiatives. From my perspective, Apple is doing the right thing as they are the only device manufacturer who not only improves the user experience but at the same time developing an ecosystem for the developers to build the best products and services to its end users. This is monstrous task and a huge initiative by any standard and I hope that Apple will drive it successfully.

Apple certainly has the building blocks for making it successful as they have in place a successful and proven commercial platform that makes it possible for a developer to actually sell, distribute, and update their software with the flip of a switch. And don’t forget the customer experience revolution — buying and installation of iPhone software will be as easy as buying music from the iTunes store and this is something only Apple can deliver.

The road ahead for iPhone is going to be exciting and challenging as they are the only one driving it differently from the others with superior innovation and aggression. Guess this is the only way to beat their much bigger competitors.

Apple has just uploaded yesterday’s SDK event for your viewing pleasure. You can find it here.

Here are some of the clips from the SDK announcements. Cool developments work from Sega and EA.

iPhone sdk

Super Monkey Ball on the iPhone

Spore on the iPhone

Twitter in Plain English

Thanks to the Common Craft guys for explaining the power of Twitter in simple and plain English. If you still have no clue what is a Twitter, check out the clip above and sign up for an account for free at Twitter. I may not be an active user of Twitter but for those of you who are looking for a microblogging solution, Twitter may be what you are looking for.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Net Neutrality Explained

Do you know whats Net Neutrality? This clip will explain to you what is it and how you can play a role to spread the awareness of it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Vision Beijing

The Vision Beijing Project has invited five of the world's most famous film directors to shoot five-minute-long films about Beijing in the run up to the Beijing Olympic Games to promote ancient Beijing's image as a modern international metropolis. The final products of the project will serve as audio-video information highlighting the rich connotations of Beijing's “People's Olympics.” At the same time, this project will provide the world with some insights into Beijing's history and culture, and it will provide a platform for companies to communicate with the world in various ways.

All five short films debuted Feb. 28 on CCTV, as well as on and television stations throughout Italy, France and Iran with Iranian director Majid Majidi received the Bird’s Nest prize for his submission, “Colors Fly."

Here are the five films:

by Iranian director Majid Majidi

by director Daryl Goodrich of Britain

“Reunion”, by Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore

“Film Impressionistic,” by French director Patrice Leconte

“Color, Fragrance, Taste Beijing,” by Hong Kong director Andrew Lau Wai-Keung

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nokia churns out 14 phones a second in 2007

Nokia published their Q4 2007 and whole year 2007 results. I had summarised the results below.

- 133.5 million devices shipped in Q4, up 27% compared to this time last year
- 437.1 million devices were shipped in 2007 compared to 374.5 million in 2006, an increase of 25.8%
- North American sales fell 23.3% to only 19.4 million units sold in all of 2007
- 40% market share officially reached for the first time
- Average selling price per device increased by 1 euro compared to Q32007, it is now 83 euros
- Sales increased 34% compared to this time last year, bringing in 15.7 billion euros
- Mobile Phones increased sales 5% compared to this quarter last year
- Multimedia (Nseries) increased sales 48%
- Enterprise Solutions (Eseries) increased sales 102%
- Profit increased 64% compared to this time last year, total being 2.5 billion euros
- Mobile Phones increased their profits 48% to 1.8 billion euros compared to this quarter last year
- Multimedia increased their profits by 106% to 670 million euros
- Enterprise Solutions this quarter last year was loosing money, this quarter they made 118 million euros
- Over 11 million Nseries devices and over 2 million Eseries devices were sold in Q4
- 38 million Nseries devices and approximately 7 million Eseries devices during the whole of 2007
- 18.8 million converged devices (S60) shipped in Q4 compared to 11.1 this time last year
- Market share in North America dropped to 5.1% while every other region except China experienced double digit growth
- 37.2 million devices shipped in Europe; 28.3% more than last quarter
- 23.6 million devices shipped in the Middle East and Africa; 22.3% more than last quarter
- 20.2 million devices shipped in China; 6.9% more than last quarter
- 34 million devices shipped in the Asian Pacific region; 15.% more than last quarter
- 5.1 million devices shipped in North America; 5.6% less than last quarter
- 13.4 million devices shipped in Latin America; 39.6% more than last quarter

The 10 markets in which Nokia generated the greatest net sales in 2007 were, in descending order of magnitude, China, India, Germany, the UK, the US, Russia, Spain, Italy, Indonesia and Brazil, together representing approximately 50% of total net sales in 2007. In comparison, the 10 markets in which Nokia generated the greatest net sales in 2006 were China, the US, India, the UK, Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain, Indonesia and Brazil, together representing approximately 51% of total net sales in 2006.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Most Wicked Japanese TV Game Show on Earth

This has to be one of the wicked game show on earth and really hilarious too. Have a good laugh.