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CeBIT Tech Fair Presents Gadgets Both Hot And Weird

11 Oct

HANOVER, Germany: If swimming goggles with an in-built underwater camera, a bamboo laptop or a pink crocodile PC case is your thing then Germany’s CeBIT IT fair is for you.

The technology fair, with 5,500 exhibitors the world’s biggest, opened its doors to the public in Hanover on Tuesday and runs to March 9, allowing thousands of visitors to check out the hottest and also the weirdest gadgets.

A chilly wind was blowing across the vast exhibition centre, but when summer comes Liquid Image thinks its yellow goggles with an in-built digital camera are just the accessory.

On the top of the range model, which sells for 129 euros, the 5.0 megapixel camera and 16 megabite memory allows you to take up to 29 photos or 53 seconds of video up to a depth of 30 metres (100 feet), the firm says.

Also on show for eyeware was a pair of sunglasses from Chinese firm Xonix not only with an in-built camera but also with an MP3 player, while another from Taiwan’s Inter Brands includes music and bluetooth so you can use it as a phone.

But forget the glasses – in the 21st century you can’t be seen toting your laptop around in anything other than a pink, fake crocodile skin case, or so French firm Sweetcover would have you believe.

Their cases, which also come in other more traditional colours and materials including real leather, retail for around 70 euros (105 dollars) in Paris boutiques and soon elsewhere, the firm’s founder and president Raphael Taieb told AFP.

Not only will you avoid getting hot knees, he says, but the cover’s high-tech design, which incorporates 70 different fabrics, ensures the computer will not overheat – something which other luxury goods makers have failed to achieve with their prototypes, Taieb claims.

The cases will protect your laptop and turn it into a “subtle and seductive” piece of hardware, the company says. It has straps to keep the computer in place, is open at the sides and has holes in the back for cables.

Other bling-bling novelties included a Giorgio Armani mobile phone from Samsung and a Lamborghini laptop complete with the Italian sportscar maker’s badge and partly made of leather – yours to take home for 2,999 euros (4,561 dollars) with an aerodynamic mouse with yellow go-faster stripes.

Its maker Asus was also showing off computers made partly out of bamboo – to give it an eco-friendly style, a salesman at the Taiwanese firm’s stand said. It has not yet decided whether to launch them on the market, however.

On the sillier side, Californian firm Ugobe presented a small, robotic dinosaur dubbed Pleo similar to Sony’s AIBO robotic dog that has to be looked after and nurtured like a Tamagotchi.

Pleo can be programmed via a USB cable connected to your computer or with a memory card slotted into its underbelly so it can learn new tricks like barking at intruders or performing a leaf tug-of-war with another Pleo or its owner.

The green and brown pet, which retails for around 300 euros in Europe, is babylike when young and coos and purrs with pleasure when tickled under the chin. But it also gets hungry and can have mood swings, just like humans.

It is based on the Camarasaurus, a late-Jurassic North American herbivore, 20 metres (66 feet) long in adulthood. Members of the online Pleo community can even create their own tricks to upload.

And if you want to keep an eye on your sleeping baby – or to make sure Pleo isn’t bothering the cat downstairs – China’s RDI was presenting a teddy bear with a hidden camera in its left eye.

– AFP/so

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Classic Joke 2

11 Oct

Why do men chase women they have no intention of marrying?
For the same reason dogs chase cars they have no intention of driving.

Japanese Tourist (07-28-00)

A Japanese tourist hail a taxi at Orchard Road and asked the taxi-driver to send him to Changi Airport. On the way, a car zoomed by, the Japanese tourist responded,”Ohhhhhhh !!!! TOYOTA !!!! Made in Japan !!!! Very fast !!!!!”.

Then another car zipped by, he said,”Ohhhhhhh !!!! NISSAN !!!!! Made in Japan !!! Very fast !!!!!”

And another speed by, he said,”Ohhhhhhhh !!!! Mitsubishi !!!! Made in Japan!!!! Very fast!!!!!”

At the meantime, the taxi-driver is getting very frustrated and sick of the Japanese tourist.

Upon reaching Changi Airport, he said ” please!” The Japanese tourist was shocked and argued,”Why so expensive? it’s only a short distance” in which the Taxi-driver replied,”Ohhhhhhhh !!!!! Taxi-meter !!!!! Made in Japan !!!!! Very fast!!!

What is a Cat (07-08-00)

1) Cats do what they want.

2) They rarely listen to you.

3) They’re totally unpredictable.

4) They whine when they are not happy.

5) When you want to play, they want to be alone.

6) When you want to be alone, they want to play.

7) They expect you to cater for their every whim.

They’re moody.

9) They leave hair everywhere.

10) They drive you nuts and cost an arm and a leg.

Conclusion: Cats are tiny little women in cheap fur coats.

Top 10 reasons why TV is better than WWW (07-06-00)

10. It doesn’t take minutes to build the picture when you change TV channels.

9. When was the last time you tuned in to “Melrose Place” and got a “Not Found 404” message?

8. There are fewer grating color schemes on TV — even on MTV.

7. The family never argues over which Web site to visit this evening.

6. A remote control has fewer buttons than a keyboard.

5. Even the worst TV shows never excuse themselves with an “Under Construction” sign.

4. Seinfeld never slows down when a lot of people tune in.

3. You just can’t find those cool Health Rider infomercials on the Web.

2. Set-top boxes don’t beep and whine when you hook up to HBO.

….and the number 1 reason TV is better than the Web:

You can’t surf the Web from a couch with a beer in one hand and Doritos in the other.

Men are like (07-14-00)

Men are like…..Coffee. The best ones are rich, warm, full-bodied, and can keep you up all night long.
Men are like…..Chocolate Bars. Sweet, smooth, and they usually head right for your hips.
Men are like…..Blenders. You need one, but you’re not quite sure why.
Men are like…..Coolers. Load them with beer and you can take them anywhere.
Men are like…..Copiers. You need them for reproduction, but that’s about it.
Men are like…..Curling irons. They’re always hot, and they’re always in your hair.
Men are like…..Government bonds. They take so long to mature.
Men are like…..High heels. They’re easy to walk on once you get the hang of it.
Men are like…..Horoscopes. They always tell you what to do and are usually wrong.
Men are like…..Lava lamps. Fun to look at, but not all that bright.
Men are like…..Laxatives. They irritate the poop out of you.
Men are like…..Mascara. They usually run at the first sign of emotion.
Men are like…..Mini skirts. If you’re not careful, they’ll creep up your legs.
Men are like…..Noodles. They’re always in hot water, they lack taste, and they need dough.
Men are like…..Plungers. They spend most of their lives in a hardware store or the bathroom.
Men are like…..Popcorn. They satisfy you, but only for a little while.
Men are like…..Place mats. They only show up when there’s food on the table.
Men are like…..Used Cars. Both are easy-to-get, cheap, and unreliable.
Men are like…..Weather. Nothing can be done to change either one of them.

Singapore’s A380 ‘Has No First Class’

11 Oct

TOULOUSE, France : “There is no first class on this plane, sir. This is Suite Class,” repeats the Singapore Airlines stewardess as she shows off the front of the plane to curious onlookers.

All of the guides repeated the same line on Monday as the carrier unveiled what it called a “new standard for luxury and comfort” in the Airbus A380, the world’s biggest passenger jet.

First class has been rejected by the Asian carrier as a label for the 12 seats on the plane that feature 58-centimetre (23-inch) flat-screen televisions, sheets by French designer Givenchy and a full-length bed with separate mattress.

For couples with the money, there is an option to join two suites together to make a double bed, forming a self-contained bubble for two with closed sides and complete privacy.

“The piece de resistance will be our new premier cabin which will introduce a travel experience beyond first class,” said Chew Choon Seng, chief executive of Singapore Airlines.

The business class area will have the biggest business seat of any airline, measuring 87 centimetres across, while economy passengers will benefit from extra legroom and a more spacious cabin area.

Singapore Airlines has fitted just 471 seats in the 600 square metres of floor space available in the double-decker plane, which can take a maximum of 853 passengers in an all-economy configuration.

A staircase at each end links the two levels and the business and first class areas have a self-service bar with food and drinks.

There are none of the more fanciful ideas discussed when development of the plane was launched in 2000, such as restaurants, gyms, showers, beauty salons or casinos.

Nevertheless, Singapore is banking on some travellers being prepared to pay more for space and comfort and has mounted artwork and designed space for flowers to brighten the interior of the aircraft.

The “suite class” seats on the Singapore-Sydney route, on which A380 flights will begin regularly from October 28, are to be 40-80 percent more expensive than first class on a Boeing 747, a spokesman told AFP.

The price of a suite is to be about 8,000 euros (US$11,400), roughly 1,000 euros per hour of flying according to an AFP calculation.

Other early buyers of the A380 such as Qantas of Australia or Dubai-based Emirates are also expected to limit seat numbers to about 500, but analysts believe in the future other carriers might use the plane’s capacity to the full.

Fitted out in mostly beige, brown and white, both levels in the plane feel spacious because of the almost vertical sides of the fuselage, which is far bigger than its nearest rival for size, the Boeing 747.

Singapore Airlines also claims passengers will notice the significantly reduced noise pollution, mainly because of the new technology used in the four Rolls-Royce engines that will power its planes.

The in-flight entertainment system, developed by Japanese electronics group Panasonic, includes more than 100 films, 180 television programmes and numerous computer games, available in all three classes.

In economy class, which has two aisles with either 10 or nine seats across depending on the floor, passengers will have a 27-centimetre television screen, a power point and computer functionality.

The inflight entertainment system includes word-processing and spreadsheet software and the handset has a keyboard. Documents can be downloaded on to a USB key.

Thomas Enders, the chief executive of Airbus, predicted that other airlines would look at what Singapore had done and would attempt to follow suit.

“The impact of Singapore Airlines’ cabin innovations will ripple out across the industry,” he forecast. – AFP/de

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Can’t repair? Don’t despair

11 Oct

Your PC has broken down and you are not about to buy a new one. Summon the technical wizards.
Steven Ng , Computer Times
11 Sept 2002

It does not matter whether you are a computer connoisseur or PC philistine. Sooner or later, your system is bound to experience problems that you cannot quite comprehend, let alone solve.

Don’t fret. Some shops at both Funan The IT Mall and Sim Lim Square are able to troubleshoot your machine and fix some problems. For a fee, of course. TKD Technology, for example, is one such shop located at Funan The IT Mall. Mr Tommy Koh, 42, a partner at TKD, said he typically gets about three requests for repairs a day.

The bulk of his customers are regulars. Most of them have problems with their computers’ motherboards or hard disks — the two components that break down most frequently, according to him.

Mr Koh, who has been in the business since 1978, adds that wear and tear (which happens over time) is the most common reason for computer glitches, although there are other possible reasons such as a short circuit or a wrong connection.

Wear and tear is the most common reason for computer breakdowns, says Mr Koh, a partner at TKD Technology.

His troubleshooting routine depends on the type of problems the user encounters.

If, for example, a computer shows no display after boot-up, he first checks the power supply.

Next will be the peripheral component interconnect (PCI) cards, followed by the accelerated graphics port (AGP) card, if the computer has one. The last items he checks are the motherboard and the random access memory (RAM) modules.

But why doesn’t he zero in on the motherboard right from the start, as according to him, many problems occur with the motherboard?

“I am a technician. I go through a step-by-step process, and don’t jump to conclusions by saying that the motherboard is faulty,” he said.

At TKD, the cost of fixing a motherboard could range between $145 and $220.

To repair a hard disk, you have to pay $50 for formatting it and re-installing the operating system.

To replace the hard disk, you will also need to fork out the market price for a new drive, which Mr Koh said is about $125 for a 40 GB capacity device with a three-year warranty.

He also said that it usually takes four or five hours to repair a motherboard and about 90 minutes to fix a hard disk.

If you would rather visit Sim Lim Square, one shop worth trying is Cybermind Computer House.

Mr Danie Ng, a Cybermind sales executive, said that on a weekend, the shop may have up to 30 customers with PC repair problems. The corresponding number on a weekday could be about 15.

He said that the problems faced by many people are not caused by faulty components. Rather, they arise because of minor headaches such as incompatible hardware, obsolete drivers or wrong connections, which can be easily addressed.

An in-house troubleshooting and problem-solving session, lasting between 10 and 30 minutes, will normally suffice.

However, if repairs are necessary, Mr Ng suggested that users check on the potential repair cost beforehand.

According to him, you can usually get a cost estimate after Cybermind examines your computer (and before components are sent for servicing).

However, do bear in mind that you will have to pay a fee — about $50 — for them to take a look at your system first.

Besides TKD and Cybermind, some other shops at Funan The IT Mall and Sim Lim Square also offer repair services.

These outlets are usually located at the upper floors of their respective complexes — check them out when your machine goes on the blink.


What is worth, or not worth, repairing? Several factors come into the picture.

If a faulty component can be replaced cheaply, then forget about repairing it — just buy a new unit. Some types of hardware, such as CD burners and floppy drives, fall into this category. For example, an internal CD-rewritable (CD-RW) drive rated at 40x/12x/40x costs less than $150.

Also, if the warranty for the component has expired, there is no point sending it to the manufacturer for servicing.

After all, you have to pay repair costs (since it is no longer under warranty) on top of transport charges, and it takes anywhere from two weeks to a few months before you get the item back. Buying a replacement unit makes more sense.

However, if the component is relatively expensive, then repairing it could be the better option. Such items include certain brands of motherboards, graphics cards and PCI cards.

Free MP3s

11 Oct

Some of the best “free” english mp3 websites:

The “free” malay mp3 websites:

The real free mp3 websites:

Free malay music video website:

Give Your Website A Chance

11 Oct

I often wonder how serious people are when it comes to their websites. I thought that most everyone knew that the phrase “Build it and they will come” no longer applies on the internet but I’m not sure how many people really believe it.

I look at sites everyday as part of my sales strategy and I can’t tell you how many of them violate the obvious elements of good website design and submission.

What even amazes me more is that they can’t figure out why they don’t get sales or visitors. Do yourself a favor and attempt to apply the following tactics to your site. They won’t cost you a thing except a little time and effort to apply them.

About Page

Always include an about page on your site.
Don’t be afraid to tell your story and let people know who you are and how you arrived where you are.

Opening yourself up and letting people know who you are adds an element of trust. It exposes your personality, capabilities and knowledge. All factors that let your readers know you are genuine.

Include all your contact information

Let your visitors know that you are available.
Encourage questions, email and phone calls. Include your name, address and phone number.
If you can, it’s also helpful to place a photo on your site. Familiarity is key and it can add one more link in the ladder of trust.


Create compelling headlines. Peak the interest of your readers. This is your chance to grab their attention and incite them to read on.

Don’t be flashy or obnoxious. Simply tell it like it is. Capture their attention with descriptive, informative words. Get your readers involved in your information. Ask questions. Make them think.

You might be surprised to learn that just one compelling headline can bring instant sales almost overnight.

Create your meta tags

This is the first place I look when people tell me they aren’t getting visitors. I often see sites that have no title or description tag or the tags don’t follow the suggested guidelines for proper setup.

Here’s an example of how the tags might look for a site that sells hummingbird feeders:

You will need to do this for each page of your site. Each page needs to have it’s own set of tags. I also recommend focusing on one keyword per page, two at the very most. Too many keywords can confuse what your page is about.

Always make sure that your keywords are scattered throughout your text as well, however don’t sacrifice
good content for nonsense. Your text should be easy to read and should not sound redundant. Make your pages at least 250 words.


Solicit feedback from buyers you’ve had. Ask them to write a small testimonial that you can place on your site. This goes a long way to help convince your visitor that your products and services are sound.


Reciprocal linking is a common and effective tactic for obtaining search engine status and page rank but it’s also the most time consuming. It requires making contacts, following up with contacts and updating your website.

While reciprocal linking is an excellent way of establishing page rank it’s not the only way. Page rank can also be established by submitting your site to directories, writing articles and setting up blogs.

Don’t underestimate the power of website links. Take the extra few hours a day and get your site noticed.

Review the page you are exchanging links with. Be sure it is a site that you find easy to navigate and informative. I also recommend that the site’s index page have a Google PR rating of at least one. This ensures that the site is not being penalized by Google. If it is a penalized site then you could be penalized as well for linking to it.
Include a ‘tell a friend’ and ‘bookmark’ script on your site. This gives viewers an easy way to bookmark you and most of all return to your site.

Include a Site Map

Site Maps let visitors know what information you have, how it’s organized, where it is located with respect to other information, and how to get to that information with the least amount of clicks possible.

Site maps also provide spider food for search engine robots. This can increase your chances of becoming indexed because a site map allows the search engines to easily visit every page of your site.

A site map works best if you include a link to your site map in the navigation of every page on your site.

Finally, don’t let your site become stale. I have found that my search engine rankings improve when I periodically add new pages to my site and keep the content new and fresh. Follow these tips and 2005 may be your year for traffic.


About the Author:
Elizabeth McGee has spent 20 years in the service and support industry.
She has moved her expertise to the world wide web helping businesses
find trusted tools, enhance customer service, build confidence and
increase sales. You can contact Elizabeth at: or visit her website at:

Article from

Get a MAC-over

11 Oct

No, it’s not the Apple Mac OS X. It’s the Windows interface that’s gone through a cosmetic overhaul.

Tired of the boring Windows interface on your PC? Make it snazzy like those on the Macintosh without spending a bomb, writes AARON TAN

Let’s face it, Windows does not sport the sleekest interface. Not convinced? Just take a hard look at your Windows desktop and compare it to a Mac OSX one. Be honest, now!

If you are one of those Windows users who swoons over the pretty designer icons, buttons and trans-parent panels of the Apple Mac OS X, good news! You can do something about it without having to buy a Macintosh.

That’s because you can bring the Mac OS X look to your Windows box through third-party software programs for the OS X Dock, Apple program icons, transparent windows and others.

But be warned that performance could take dip as you load these programs that work in the background to give your PC a cosmetic overhaul. So make sure you have as much memory – one gigabyte if possible – as your money can buy if you do not want your programs to run at snail’s pace.

Dress it like a Mac

First, download a visual style customisation program called WindowsBlinds ( products/windowblinds). An alternative is StyleXP ( prod_sxp.php) but it only supports Windows XP, so users of earlier versions of Windows will be left out.

On a Windows 2000 system, I installed WindowsBlinds and downloaded a skin called Mac OS X Brushed ( Other skins are available from a variety of websites like www. and http://www.devian

Usually, skins come in a zip file that the visual style program has to extract before you can select the theme. What gets transformed by the visual style skins will be Window buttons, textures and icons.

The Apple bar

To replicate the bar at the top of the Mac OS X desktop, you can download an object bar program from Use it to create custom Start bars, finders, pop-up menus and program launchers. Like visual styles you also need a Mac OS X skin for the object bar to achieve a uniform look. Look for it at, and www.

Dock it

The Mac OS X Dock is perhaps the most eye-catching element of an Apple computer, especially its magnification feature. ObjectDock ( can do the same thing on a PC. Once it’s installed, just drag any program shortcut to the dock. You can also change the look of the icons by downloading icon sets, and extracting them into the ObjectDock program folder.

Mac-like applications

Having a Mac look-alike dock and a Mac OS X interface already throws the Windows look out of the window. So why not do a complete overhaul with these Mac-like applications.

Trillian, the Windows iChat: Get this instant messaging (IM) all-in-one program that supports multiple IM networks such as ICQ and MSN, even if you weren’t intending to perform cosmetic surgery on your PC. While you can make do with the free version, the Professional version costs US$25 (S$41), and has the OS X Aqua skin. Visit http://www.trillian. com for more information.

Konfabulator: If you like widgets, or little programs, that do things like getting the latest quotes from the stock exchange, or running photo slideshows from your image collection, there’s a Windows version of the Konfabulator ( Previously, only the Mac version was available, and PC desktop modders had to turn to another program called Samurize. You can also download other widgets such as system utilities, news feeds and games. The Konfabulator is distributed as shareware, or US$24.95 will buy you a registered version.

iTunes: The Mac OS will never be complete without iTunes (, the Apple music player and management software. Previously, the brushed metallic texture of the PC version of iTunes seemed out of place with the rest of the Windows interface. But now, it should look blend beautifully after the makeover.

Safari for the PC: Yes, there is an Internet browser that looks exactly like the Safari browser for the Mac ( for the PC. However, the PC version is built on Microsoft Internet Explorer’s browser engine, rather than Apple’s Safari browser. Although it is still unpolished, like the lack of tabbed browsing and a couple of bugs, it’s a good way to fool your friends into believing that you have OS X installed in your PC.