Selasa, 31 Agustus 2010

0 Google Buys SocialDeck

Google acquired yet another social gaming company: SocialDeck. The start-up had an interesting idea: creating a platform for playing games on any device. "SocialDeck was founded in 2008 with the vision of enabling 'anywhere, anytime, anyone' gaming. The company has launched several titles for the iPhone, Facebook, and BlackBerry using its social gaming platform technology, which enables simultaneous game play across multiple mobile devices and social networks," explains SocialDeck's site.

It should be obvious that Google doesn't buy companies like SocialDeck to develop games. Most likely, Google wants to create a platform for social gaming that will enable users to play the same game on an Android device, on an iPhone, on a computer, on a Chrome OS tablet, in Google Me or any other social network that uses Google's platform.

Here's an overview of SocialDeck's gaming platform:

{ via Inside Social Games }

0 Are You a Socially Responsible Consumer?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you’ll have noticed how the global recession forced companies to try harder than ever to win your attention and your hard earned cash.

While tough economic times make us all very cautious of how we spend our money, it also offers the perfect ground for the bargain hunters amongst us.

But is a good deal the only deciding factor when you go shopping? Do you know what lies behind that 5 buck t-shirt? Should you care?

Everything we buy has a social, economic or environmental impact, positive or negative. You could be inadvertently encouraging unnecessary animal testing by choosing a specific brand of cosmetics, for example. On the other hand, the cup of fair trade coffee you had this morning might be helping the development of sustainable business communities in Costa Rica.

Why do these choices matter? Because by considering the ethical value of your shopping, you will ultimately make the world a better place for yourself.

Not convinced? I’ll give you a cynical example:

Increase the value of your property: by abandoning your local, independent shops in favor of giant supermarkets, you may be killing local trade, diminishing the character of what may have been a bustling shopping street, eventually making the whole area less attractive in real estate terms.

Sure, supermarkets are convenient and cheaper. But, remain loyal to smaller, non-chain shops and not only will you get more personal, knowledgeable service, find higher quality and more exclusive products, but it will also do no harm to the market value of your neighborhood.

Read on for 5 everyday choices you can make as an ethical consumer:
  1. Food
    • Look for fair trade brands. You’ll be surprised at how affordable prices are. The Fairtrade certification ensures sustainable livelihoods for producers and workers in developing countries, by negotiating better trading conditions.

    • When buying fresh ingredients, try sticking to seasonal ones. This ensures your food has been produced within reasonable distance and offers the best possible nutritional value. Is it really worth eating half ripe mangoes that had to fly thousand of carbon-emitting miles to reach your shopping basket?

    • Try having one meat-free day a week. According to a recent UN survey, meat production is responsible for one fifth of the world’s green gas emissions. Personally, I love my bacon too much to become a full-fledged vegetarian, but one out of seven days sounds like a happy compromise to me.

    • Consider composting: if you have even a small garden or backyard, start composting your food waste. It’s the ultimate saving tip: every single bit of food is used … and then re-used! If you don’t want to face the task yourself, check if there are local groups that will collect your food waste for composting.
  2. Clothes
    • If you’re shopping at big chains, check their website for a corporate responsibility page. This is becoming increasingly visible on companies’ websites and it will reassure you about the conditions under which their clothes were manufactured and traded.

    • Re-use: visit thrift shops and yard sales. Vintage really is the new black. What better way to create a unique style, save serious money and give the landfill a welcome break? Attend local Swishing parties and swap your unwanted clothes – they really are great fun.
  3. The boring stuff
    It pays to do some research on ethical utilities providers. Check for the ones using renewable sources of energy. Some are investing in wind farms or using part of their revenue on carbon offset programs. This isn’t done for purely selfless reasons. Companies investing in renewable energy show they have serious, long term growing plans and are worth sticking to.
  4. Good money
    Your financial adviser should know of available ethical investments. This could go from pension funds that avoid industries such as tobacco, pornography or gambling, to investment plans working strictly with companies associated with good labor standards, for example.
  5. Before you buy
    Consider how you are disposing of your old possessions. There are a number of recycling options available. Try Freecycle for passing on anything in good working order. Organize yard sales. Dispose of electronics responsibly: TVs, laptops, mobile phones, as well as batteries, CDs and DVDs contain hazardous material and must be disposed of accordingly. A lot of retailers offer drop-off points for phones and other small items. Next time you replace your washing machine, remember that some shops will collect your old one for free. Look for charities that are willing to take on and repair electronics, to sell it on.
You don’t need to take to the streets or make big loud statements to make a positive difference to the world. Lots of small steps add up to big changes. Who’d have thought 10 years ago that Starbucks and McDonald's would have fair trade coffee on their menus – and at decent prices? It was a move dictated by the power and choice of consumers.

Act with your wallet. Buy responsibly; recycle and re-use; buy second hand; save money.

I’d love to hear your tips on being an ethical shopper.

Written on 8/31/2010 by Renata Allamandi. Renata is the co-author of the Ethically Challenged blog that's following a year in the life of two novice ethical consumers. We’re still learning, so drop by and share your views on living sustainably.Photo Credit: brian glanz

Senin, 30 Agustus 2010

0 Gmail Priority Inbox

Last year, I posted about a new Gmail feature that will prioritize important messages. This feature will be available soon and it's called Priority Inbox.

"Priority Inbox is a new view of your inbox that automatically helps you focus on your most important messages. Gmail has always kept spam messages out of your inbox, and now we've improved Gmail's filter to help you see the emails that matter faster without requiring you to set up complex rules. Priority Inbox splits your inbox into three sections: Important and unread, Starred, and Everything else. Messages are automatically categorized as they arrive in your inbox. Gmail uses a variety of signals to predict which messages are important, including the people you email most and which messages you open and reply to (these are likely more important than the ones you skip over)."

Gmail also adds two buttons that let you classify messages as important or unimportant, just like the "Mark as spam" and "Not spam" buttons. Unlike spam filtering, finding important messages is more difficult because you can't use information from other accounts to classify messages.

Google has to build a personalized classifier for each Gmail user and it needs a lot of messages. "Email importance ranking works best for people who receive a lot of email," explains Google. Google takes into account implicit signals like: the messages from people you frequently email are important, if a message includes words frequently used in other messages you usually read then it's probably important, the messages you star are probably more important than the messages you archive without opening. There are also explicit signals: click on the important/unimportant buttons, create filters to mark messages as important.

Priority Inbox will be available in Gmail and Google Apps over the next week, but you'll only see it in Google Apps if the administrator has enabled "pre-release features".

Tidbit: Gmail uses the "important" label to classify messages, so that's the reason why you can't create a label named "important".

{ Thanks, Niranjan, Tillmann and Nikola. }

0 Shopping Heaven


Was invited to take a shopping trip to Kuala Lumpur!! Since my virgin trip in 2005, which I didn't much like, I've been to KL many times afterwards and have always enjoyed myself thoroughly!!

I guess the reason why I didn't enjoy myself that much the first time round was coz:

1) Having been to only JB in Malaysia, I expected KL to be like the former. It's totally not like JB and it's a lot more cosmopolitan, and correspondingly, of course, more expensive than JB!

2) I was a poor student and didn't bring much money to spend having not expected to spend that much.

3) I didn't know where to shop or where to go!!

Thanks to Nuffnang Malaysia and the close relationship it has with Nuffnang Singapore, I sometimes get the chance to go over to KL for blog-related stuff. After a few more visits I got to know the place better, and also I really like the KL and the KL nuffnang bloggers! :D (And feel slightly ashamed of my old KL blog entry coz it DOES sound ignorant. Fine, I admit it)

Why is KL awesome as a tourist destination?

(And I am not just saying this coz this is an advert)

- The food is... I dunno... RIDICULOUSLY YUMMY!! Their hawker food beats Singaporean hawker fare hands down!! Every meal I had there is super duper nice!! Even KFC is nicer there! The most unassuming food store will serve you a delicious meal!

- If you know where to shop, everything is a steal!!

- The culture and people there are so similar to Singapore/Singaporeans... I find that endearing. At least no communication problems!

- KL is a lot more relaxed about their rules and regulations in comparison to go ol' Singapore. So can chew gum, bargain prices etc, no problem!

Enough yakking... Photos!

Flew Air Asia! And there to pick us up:

Jason and Darren - From KL!

They are part of the team who organized to bring me over. Thank you!!

And also they are the best tour guides EVER!!

First thing they asked was "Are you guys hungry?" and that's my favourite question to be asked. Besides "Would you like me to give you a million dollars?" but nobody has asked me that so far.

So the answer was YES!!! and we were on our way from the airport to DIM SUM!!

It was a gorgeous day

Must camwhore in car

Love my ring!

Done with the camwhoring. And we reach our destination!!

Mike and I ordered this ridiculously yummy drink. It's called 3 layered tea or something and it's TEA/MILK/GULA MELAKA...

The gula thing at the bottom is DA BOMB!! It tastes like gooey melted brown sugar, but also like caramel or butterscotch and it has a hint of coconut! Love it.

The tea is mad nice. MAD NICE!

Our first round of dim sum. Brought by enthusiastic waiters in a huge tray for our selection!! Pick whatever you want and it's yours!

Looks so unassuming but THAT IS THE BEST CARROT CAKE I'VE EVER HAD. Hands down. Crispy on the outside, super soft and melty on the inside.


Restoran Loong Seng
No. 50, Jalan SS2/66
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03 78762349

Resembling blimps, we return to the hotel for a short while before meeting for lunch...

Our hotel is the super luxurious Gardens Hotel! :D (Actually we stayed on 25th but went to the top to register)

We just anyhowly picked a cafe near the hotel for lunch: Alexis bistro and wine bar.

I ordered Duck Confit salad coz I was still super full...

And that... Is also one of the best duck confit I ever had. -_-

The skin is super crispy and hot and sinful! Love it :D

How come anyhow choose one restaurant also turn out so nice one!!

Mike stuffing his face with caesar salad.

Alexis Gardens

Lot F209, First Floor
The Garden Midvalley City
Tel: 03-2287-2281

Here's the exterior of Gardens Hotel! So grand

Touristy photo

After this we proceed to PAVILION KL! (How to get there)

This is a megamall in the heart of KL city with all sorts of luxurious brands, so if you are into designer brands you can go there!!

I remember frantically looking for the newly opened Pavilion a few years ago when I was in KL, because...


Juicy is my favourite brand and the experience needs to be completed together with all the shamelessly pink furniture in the shop! And I don't need to go to USA to do this anymore, it is available in KL!

Didn't find anything I really wanted though...

(Yes I know there is a Juicy store in Singapore but it's really tiny and doesn't sell most of the season's items.)

After this we sat down to enjoy a fashion show...

Because it is the...


Not only are lots of the brand names on sale, fashion shows are going on every weekend in many of the malls!! Too many to list, so if you are planning to go to KL for a shopping trip, check out the events HERE.


Look at the crowd!! (and lol at the guy glaring at me)

Camwhoring in between models

*clap clap* Show over!!

And Cheesie came to join me... :D

She promised to bring me shopping at her favourite mall in KL, so off we went to Sungei Wang Plaza!

Again and again I've heard the comparison that Sungei Wang is like Far East Plaza... But I think like not really leh... Maybe it's just coz I'm used to Far East but I think Sungei Wang has a lot more character!!

The reason why I say it has more character is because of the people inside!! There are youngsters dressed really jappy and they really really doll up!! Even the guys!! Super interesting to watch.

However most of the mall is still filled with normal looking people lah, mostly young adults.

The exterior of the building is totally old-looking (like far east! lol) but once you walk inside it's all super trendy!

Ok I'm a bad blogger and I get easily distracted so this is the only photo I managed to take of the mall.


There are super a lot of shops selling all sorts of clothes, shoes, accessories, bags etc - and there are hundreds of signs everywhere exclaiming "RM 25 - 29" and true to their word, nothing in the shop costs more than 29 RINGGIT = SGD $12.40.


Here's Cheesie and I eating at Delifrance after shopping... Spot the things behind me?



Floral sundress, I think RM25 - $10 SGD... How they earn money sia?

Usamimi headband - 2 for RM10

Usamimi headband no. 2


Super snug fitting and comfy denim jumpsuit for RM 80 (SGD $35).
Comes with a free tee shirt (not pictured)

Somemore my boobs look so big in this picture hahaha

Cutest bubble shorts RM 28 (SGD $12)

Fake suede skirt RM25 (SGD $10)

Sungei Wang had loads of stores selling jackets like this...
Cute prints with a furry band around the hood!!

Material super comfy and nice!!!


And this is a super soft furry pink dress!! RM 28 (SGD $12) I think. Although it's not thick it's not something Sgreans usually wear so I'm gonna wear it when I go overseas!! :D


Too bad Cheesie had to go for a dinner meeting otherwise I'd have stayed at Sungei Wang till it closes and still won't go lor!! Far east my a**!! Far east where got so cheap?!?!?!


After this, seafood dinner with Jason and Darren:

Picking one of the restaurants along Jalan Alor.

Jason recommended this one!

(If you are hungry you better continue reading this post later)

Freaking yummilicious BABY BAMBOO CLAMS...

Bamboo clams are one of my favourite seafood choices but they are not easily available in Singapore!! The only place I know that sells it is Jumbo seafood and they only sell the adult version - one freaking clam for $8 or something, not including tax!!

This plate of bamboo clams is not expensive as I recall, and the baby version taste exactly like the adult ones lor... AND GOT SO MUCH MORE!!


Sambal kangkong, cooked to perfection

Venison and cereal prawns

Sorry to do this to you - the freshest, juiciest stingray. So soft it melts in your mouth... And wet with lemon juice + sambal. MY GOD I WANT SOME NOW

Yes all these are available in Singapore too, but the bill is much cheaper in KL! :D

Done for the day!!! Went back to the hotel:


Day 2

Woke up at 11am to a FANTASTIC view:

Got ready to meet Tim, Audrey and Cheesie for lunch!! It was dim sum again. Tim's suggestion and he didn't know we had dim sum for breakfast yesterday but I LOVE DIM SUM so I didn't tell him hehehehe

One camwhoring shot before we go

Tim + Mike

Aforementioned dim sum coming in trays like these... BEST LAH DON'T NEED TO WAIT MORE THAN 2 SECONDS FOR YOUR FOOD.

Cheesie and Audrey!! WHY ARE KL GIRLS SO SKINNY AND CUTE?? Is it the air??

This puff thing with omgsauce inside... I call it omgsauce coz I don't know what it's made of but it involves salted egg yolk and it's all warm and oozy and sweet and custardy and totally delish.

Glutinous rice + pork ribs

Two perfectly smooth, yellow egg tarts


The restaurant's name is called Jing Xuan but I don't know the address!!

After this we went to Tim's place to chill for a bit (ie roll around in my newformed fats)

Tim is showing off to Mike this PS3 game called Heavy Rain.

It's about this guy who is saving his son and you make decisions to make the game go on... Quite cool.


We girls are camwhoring!! LOL

Lousy blurry photo a distracted Tim took for us... He so enthu about the game even though he played it a million times!

Less blurry

Last of my camwhore shots I swear!!

After this, Jason and Darren brought Mike and I to 1 Utama, which had the thing I most wanted to buy back to Singapore...

Hint: It's in a pet shop!!!

It's not a sleeping, cuddled up prairie dog. AND YES THEY SELL PRAIRIE DOGS.

It's not this super cute Persian squash-faced kitten.


It's not this soft bunny...

(And photography totally allowed btw, just without flash. See what I mean by they are way more lax about rules??)



It's a sugar glider!!!


Yes it's a camera lol

Look at this puff!! After it went back inside its cage, it peered out at us for 2 straight minutes just looking curiously - with one paw and one fluffy tail hanging out!!

It is too bad Sugar gliders are not allowed in Singapore... However, the shop we went to, Petsmore, was more than friendly and allowed their customers to interactive with their pets!!

I think KL is worth a visit just to play with the gliders omg. SO CUTE!!

Woah!! Can't believe I had so much fun in 1.5 days in KL!!


Dying to make a trip to KL but need more shopping money??

Join the MEGA SALE & MEGA WIN contest now!!!


Grand prize - RM10,000 (!!!) + hotel stay + shopping vouchers

2nd to 10th place runner-ups get digicams, video cams and all sorts of other prizes sponsors!

To win, participants must create a video representing "I Love To Shop In Malaysia."

It's up to you to decide what kind of video you want to present so long as it's fun and enjoyable to watch! All you have to do is to upload your video to Youtube and submit it on the form posted on SHOPMALAYSIA.MY! To get more details, click the link!

Quick, coz submission ends 30th September!

Remember you have to join Shop Malaysia's facebook fan page to qualify so click HERE!!

And follow @shop_malaysia on Twitter for more updates. :D

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