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Found 33 results

  1. DACH

    Google turns 20 on Thursday

    GOOGLE TURNS 20: HOW AN INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE RESHAPED THE WORLD The biggest moments, product launches, and acquisitions throughout Google’s two-decade historyhttps://www.theverge.com/2018/9/5/17823490/google-20th-birthday-anniversary-history-milestones No technology company is arguably more responsible for shaping the modern internet, and modern life, than Google. The company that started as a novel search engine now manages eight products with more than 1 billion users each. Many of those people use Google software to search the repository of human knowledge, communicate, perform work, consume media, and maneuver the endlessly vast internet in 2018. On Tuesday, September 4th, Google turned 20 years old, marking one of the most staggeringly influential runs for any corporation in history. As Alphabet, the holding company of which Google is now a subsidiary, steadily rises to join Apple and Amazon in the $1 trillion market valuation territory, we’re reflecting on all the moments in Google’s past that led to its position at the peak of industries as diverse as mapping, self-driving cars, and smartphone operating systems. This isn’t a comprehensive history of Google’s past 20 years. But it is an approximation of the company’s biggest product launches, legal quagmires, and instrumental acquisitions that have turned it into a Silicon Valley powerhouse that will likely last for many decades to come. AUGUST 1996: LARRY PAGE AND SERGEY BRIN LAUNCH GOOGLE ON STANFORD UNIVERSITY’S NETWORKInitially known as BackRub, Google began as a research project of Larry Page, who enrolled in Stanford’s computer science graduate program in 1995. There, he met fellow CS student Sergey Brin. The two stayed in touch as Page began looking into the behavior of linking on the World Wide Web. Page conceived a system that would crawl the internet to determine which pages were linking to other pages, positing that it could lead to the creation of a new kind of search engine. Together with Brin’s math expertise, the duo created the PageRank algorithm, named after Larry, to rank the search results based on linking behavior. The two technologies formed the foundation for the world’s most powerful search engine of its time, which launched on Stanford’s private network in August 1996. SEPTEMBER 4TH, 1998: GOOGLE INCORPORATES WITH $100,000 IN ANGEL FUNDINGInspired by the vast number of links between pages and how their search engine would only become more accurate and useful as the web continued to grow, Page and Brin renamed their company after the mathematical term googol (a one followed by 100 zeroes). The duo relocated to the garage of Susan Wojcicki, who would later become CEO of YouTube in Menlo Park, California. They incorporated the company as Google, with a $100,000 investment from Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim. AUGUST 2001: SCHMIDT MADE CHAIRMAN OF “ADULT SUPERVISION”In 2001, Page and Brin recruited Eric Schmidt to run Google. The company was only a few years old, but it was rapidly growing and it needed guidance — or, as Brin said in a Charlie Rose interview that year, “adult supervision.” Schmidt had a seasoned background in engineering and worked as the CTO of Sun and then the CEO of Novell before coming to Google. He joined the board of directors as chairman in March 2001 and then became the company’s CEO in August. Schmidt stayed in this position for 10 years, seeing the search giant through its 2004 IPO, the acquisition of YouTube, and the introduction of products like Google Docs and Gmail. In 2011, he moved on to the role of executive chairman, and Page became CEO. Schmidt announced the change in a cheeky tweet that said, “Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!” SUMMER 2002: YAHOO TRIES (AND FAILS) TO BUY GOOGLE FOR $3 BILLIONThe early 2000s would prove to be big and defining years for Google. Long before Google became a verb, Yahoo was the premier internet search engine. As Google began to gain popularity, it even became Yahoo’s search engine provider in 2000. By the summer of 2002,Yahoo tried to acquire Google for $3 billion, but Google reportedly turned down the deal as it felt it was worth at least $5 billion. Google went on to launch Google News later that year, a content aggregation service that would change how digital media was published and distributed on the web. Today, Google and its parent company Alphabet have a market cap of $840 billion. Yahoo, on the other hand, sold to Verizon in 2017 for — ironically — just under $5 billion. JULY 2003: GOOGLE MOVES INTO THE GOOGLEPLEXAfter outgrowing offices in Palo Alto and other nearby Silicon Valley locales, Google leased a complex of buildings at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, which was then known as the Amphitheatre Technology Center owned by Silicon Graphics in Mountain View, California. The move was designed to accommodate Google’s more than 1,000-person workforce at the time. It has since become known as the Googleplex, and it’s the company’s largest campus following multiple expansions and additional building acquisitions. APRIL 1ST, 2004: GMAIL LAUNCHES TO THE PUBLIC WITH 1GB OF STORAGEIn 2001, Google employee Paul Buchheit started work on an email product designed to address the company’s increasing internal communications and storage needs. Buchheit, having worked on early web-based email in the ‘90s, decided to build a faster, more responsive client using Ajax (then a nascent set of web development techniques that would allow the product to receive information from a server without having to reload the entire page). On April 1st, 2004, Gmail launched to the public with 1GB of storage and advanced search capabilities, dwarfing the limitations imposed by popular competing email products of the time, many of which offered just a few megabytes of storage. The release date led many in the media to speculate it was an April Fools’ prank. It was not. Following an initial investment of $100,000 from Bechtolsheim, Google subsided on a series of other angel investments, including one from Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. The angel investments precede a more formal $25 million funding round in 1999 from traditional Silicon Valley venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital. The company’s web advertising products made it hugely profitable, leading to an eventual initial public offering five years later. Google priced its stock at $85 a share, giving it a $27 billion valuation after raising close to $1.7 billion. Today, the company is now well on its way to becoming a trillion-dollar company. FEBRUARY 8TH, 2005: GOOGLE MAPS LAUNCHES”Maps can be useful and fun,” said Google when it first introduced Maps in 2005. The web-only renders provide step-by-step directions and zoomable maps with a smattering of businesses like hotels available to search. It wouldn’t be until 2009 when Google would roll out turn-by-turn GPS navigation for Maps on smartphones that things got really useful, but it wasn’t very much fun for incumbents like TomTom and Garmin. JANUARY 27TH, 2006: GOOGLE LAUNCHES ITS SEARCH ENGINE IN CHINAWhile Google had offered a Chinese language version of its website for users in China since September 2000, that service was based in California and was subject to blockades and firewall slowdowns. In 2006, Google launched a subsidiary based in China to more effectively compete with its local alternative, Baidu. Results were heavily censored with a disclaimer on top. OCTOBER 9TH, 2006: GOOGLE ACQUIRES YOUTUBEAfter outbidding companies like Microsoft, Viacom, and Yahoo, Google bought YouTube for a tidy $1.65 billion. The deal was mutually beneficial for both parties: Google won the war for online video traffic, and YouTube — barely a year old at the time — gained access to Google’s hefty resources. The two remained in separate offices, however; Google’s headquarters were located in Mountain View and YouTube stayed put in San Bruno. The acquisition has proven to be one of Google’s most instrumental as YouTube has ballooned into a cornerstone of modern culture and online life, creating entire industries and kickstarting the careers of countless creators. APRIL 14TH, 2007: GOOGLE ACQUIRES DOUBLECLICK AND CEMENTS ITS AD EMPIREGoogle established itself back in 2000 as a dominant force in web advertising with the launch of AdWords. That was the company’s proprietary and automated digital auction system that let advertisers instantaneously bid on top sponsored spots on its search results page every single time a user typed in a selection of keywords into the search bar. In 2007, having already launched its AdSense product that let website owners place contextualized and targeted ads, Google cemented its dominance in the ad industry with theacquisition of DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, which, at the time, was its most costly acquisition, second only to acquiring Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion four years later. With DoubleClick, which specialized in display ads and ran its own exchange, Google further expanded its pervasive ad empire across the internet. SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2008: GOOGLE LAUNCHES THE CHROME BROWSERGoogle hired several Mozilla Firefox developers, and together, they made Chrome for Windows, which later came to other operating systems. It was still a beta version, but it already had sandboxed tabs for faster and more stable browsing. Google made a 40-page comic explaining how Chrome worked to go along with the announcement. Over the course of four short years, Google’s browser had grown more popular than both Firefox and Internet Explorer. Ten years later, Chrome is now the world’s dominant web browser, witharound a 60 percent worldwide usage share, and it’s the largest driving force keeping Google Search more relevant today than it’s ever been. SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2008: ANDROID LAUNCHES ON THE T-MOBILE G1 / HTC DREAMAfter quietly buying Android for $50 million in 2005, what would become the most popular mobile OS in the world made its debut with the announcement of the T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream, the first Android phone. Launched on October 22nd for $179 (with a two-year contract), they would go on to set the groundwork for the future with features that are still the pillars of the OS today: open software, deep integration with Google services, and best-in-class notification features. JANUARY 5TH, 2010: NEXUS ONE LAUNCHESThe early days of Android were dominated by a lot of weird experiments. Companies like Motorola’s Droid line, Samsung’s early Galaxy phones, and HTC’s Evo devices all (in theory) ran the same Android software, but Google’s design was often buried under ugly and confusing skins and lackluster hardware. Enter the Nexus One. It was built by HTC but designed by Google to be the ultimate showcase for what an Android device could be. And while the Nexus design has since fizzled out, that spirit has lived on in today’s Pixel phones, which have seen Google assert itself into the mobile hardware space more than ever before. MARCH 22ND, 2010: GOOGLE GETS KICKED OUT OF CHINA AFTER ENDING CENSORSHIPAt the start of 2010, Google discovered a sophisticated phishing attack in China on its infrastructure aimed at extracting the email addresses and personal info of Chinese human rights activists. The attack prompted Google to switch gears on how it was operating in China, even while knowing what a risky move it would be. Google.cn now redirected to Google.com.hk, an uncensored search engine based in Hong Kong. Soon after, Beijing banned Google from China. AUGUST 13TH, 2010: ORACLE V. GOOGLE LAWSUIT FILEDOracle kicked off what would become an eight-plus-year and still unfinished lawsuit over Android that many fear could have disastrous implications for all software developers if Google were to lose. The case revolves around Java APIs and whether Google violated Oracle’s IP by reproducing them inside of Android. Without the ability to freely remake APIs, advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation are concerned that hardware and software development will be stifled. Google has won the case twice, only to have the ruling reversed in Oracle’s favor. Now, eight years later, Oracle currently stands as the victor while Google attempts to appeal to the Supreme Court. OCTOBER 2010: GOOGLE STARTS WORKING ON SELF-DRIVING CARSIn 2010, Google rolled out a far different kind of product: a fleet of seven Toyota Priuses. The hybrid cars had been outfitted with sensors and loaded up with artificial intelligence as part of the company’s first crack at creating cars that could drive themselves. That effort would morph and evolve over the coming years and eventually become a standalone business known as Waymo. JUNE 15TH, 2011: CHROME OS INITIAL LAUNCHAfter launching a browser, Google set its sights on developing a whole operating system. Chrome OS was an open-source system designed mainly for hosting web apps and running on netbooks, now known as Chromebooks. At first, Google released its source code and then gave demos of the new OS. By June 2011, the first Chromebooks made by Acer and Samsung became available in retail stores. Chromebooks have since become a major force in education, and Microsoft has even followed Google’s lead with its Windows S Mode laptops. JUNE 28TH, 2011: GOOGLE+ LAUNCHESAt the height of Facebook’s popularity, Google tried its hand at a social network with the launch of Google+, which replaced its Google Buzz microblogging tool. But unlike Facebook’s initial (and loosely enforced) policy of requiring collegiate email addresses to join, Google+ launched as an invitation-only network where you can share photos, links, and start Hangout chats with “circles” of friends. Keeping it invite-only for too long, however, was one of G+’s many downfalls. The network never really caught on, despite years of redesigns. The company was still tinkering with the layout and usability of Google+ as of 2017, but today, most user profiles sit as empty pages that come with your standard Google account for the company’s other services. AUGUST 15TH, 2011: GOOGLE ANNOUNCES IT’S BUYING MOTOROLA MOBILITYNo longer satisfied with leaving its “hardware” ambitions to partnerships with Android phone makers under the Nexus program, Google took a gamble when it acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2011. The deal, Google said at the time, would “supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing.” In reality, it accomplished neither of those things. Under Google’s stewardship, Motorola launched the Moto X in 2013. Assembled in the United States, the Moto X offered an unheard-of level of customization and personalization options and intuitive software. Though well-received, it never caught on, and the successful low-end Moto G wasn’t enough to salvage this tag team. By the time the second-gen Moto X was announced in 2014, Google had already agreed to offload Motorola to Lenovo for a price that was billions lower than it had originally paid. And we all still miss Moto Maker to this day. JUNE 2012: THE INTRODUCTION OF GOOGLE GLASS WITH A SKYDIVING DEMOAlongside smartphones and web services, Google also began working on experimental hardware under the Google X and ATAP divisions. The most famous product is Google Glass, a wearable computer that augmented information into your periphery and recorded videos and photos. To demonstrate the power of Project Glass, Sergey Brin showed off a live recording from a skydive at the company’s I/O developer conference in 2012. The device became available to developers and a limited group of waitlisted customers, but not before it was criticized as a potential privacy risk as several businesses began banning Glass-wearers from entering the premises. By 2017, Google Glass was rebranded as an enterprise product to narrow its focus, but the device did give way to other computer wearables such as Snap’s Spectacles and other AR glasses. ATAP would go on to build other notable projects including the Jacquard smart jacket and now-defunct Ara modular smartphone, while X span out as its own subsidiary that worked on moonshot projects. JULY 1ST, 2013: GOOGLE READER SHUTS DOWNRSS nerds all over the world cried out in horror when Google said it would shut down Reader in 2013. The company showed real courage, the type Apple would later apply to the beloved headphone jack. Now, people get their “news” from Twitter and Facebook, resulting in a Donald Trump presidency and Brexit. Thanks, Google. JULY 24TH, 2013: GOOGLE CHROMECAST ANNOUNCEDThe Chromecast started as a tiny, cheap, no-frills way of streaming video from a phone or computer to a TV. Five years later… literally none of that has changed, and Google has barely updated the product. But you know what? It’s still one of the cheapest and simplest ways to stream. JANUARY 24TH, 2014: GOOGLE ACQUIRES AI RESEARCH LAB DEEPMINDGoogle may have had a hard fight to buy London-based AI firm DeepMind, reportedlybeating out Facebook only by promising to create an independent ethics board to oversee the company’s technology. But whatever the price was, it was worth it. DeepMind’s successes — like its Go-conquering AlphaGo system — have been hailed as global scientific achievements and become emblematic of the current AI boom. (No doubt, they also provided incalculable value to Google for recruiting and marketing.) DeepMind may have stumbled in its initial forays in the UK’s health care system, but it has since regained its step while also beginning to feed its expertise directly into Google systems, improving its speech synthesis tech and retooling its data centers to run more efficiently. Google is widely seen as the world leader in AI. It wouldn’t be so without DeepMind. AUGUST 10TH, 2015: GOOGLE RESTRUCTURES AS ALPHABET INC.Google co-founder Larry Page decided to reorganize the giant conglomerate that Google became, thanks to its moonshots into a new company called Alphabet. The reorganization of Google — which, at this point, included the life-extending project Calico and the company’s investment arms — into distinct companies with their own CEOs and putting Sundar Pichai in charge of Google has worked extremely well for the company. Since the shift, new companies like Verily, Waymo, and Wing have launched under Alphabet with dedicated organizations that are solely focused on their success, something that likely wouldn’t have been possible under the single, very crowded, umbrella the Google had become. To commemorate the reorganization, Google unveiled a new logo one month later on September 1st, 2015. MAY 18TH, 2016: GOOGLE ASSISTANT LAUNCHESGoogle may have been the last to launch a virtual assistant, reaching the market two years after Amazon’s Alexa and nearly five years after Apple’s Siri, but it has nearly caught up with both of them. Google Assistant has rapidly grown to compete directly against Alexa for consumer-facing AI dominance, it powers Google’s Home speaker, and it became available on a number of speakers, TVs, and smart displays in less than two years on the market. If AI is the future, Google has positioned its Assistant as a legitimate challenger to Alexa’s consumer throne. OCTOBER 2016: GOOGLE SOLIDIFIES HARDWARE LAUNCH WITH PIXEL, GOOGLE HOMEFollowing its years of dabbling in consumer hardware with its Nexus program and other one-off devices, Google jumped into the deep end with the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones and Google Home smart speaker. The Pixel was the first proper Android smartphone designed entirely by Google. Although it was still manufactured by a Google partner (in this case, HTC), it marked a bold shift for Google toward a cohesive, Apple-style product ecosystem. The Home speaker has since joined the Chromecast as part of Google’s media and artificial intelligence platform for the home, while the Pixel line has arguably become the gold standard for flagship Android handsets. DECEMBER 13TH, 2016: GOOGLE SPINS OUT WAYMO AS AN ALPHABET ENTITYSix years after testing its first autonomous cars, Google decided to spin the project out into a standalone business. Called Waymo, the new company was led by former Hyundai CEO John Krafcik. Crucially, it also partnered with Fiat Chrysler and began using Pacifica minivans as its vehicle of choice — leaving behind (for now, at least) Google’s original plan to build a self-driving car from the ground up. Google’s years of testing and deep pockets put Waymo on the proverbial fast track when it comes to self-driving cars. The company is already testing out offering rides to real customers in Arizona, and it plans to fully launch a commercial service in 2018. Waymo remains one of the original Google X lab’s most successful ventures. JULY 18TH, 2018: GOOGLE FINED BY EU FOR MONOPOLISTIC PRACTICES IN ANDROIDGoogle’s reach and influence in today’s world is so categorically unparalleled in modern business that it’s understandable that the company has faced a number of legal challenges over the years related to privacy and anticompetitive practices. But none were quite as forceful as this past summer’s $5 billion fine from the European Union for alleged Android antitrust violations. The EU’s regulatory body, the European Commission, determined that Google was prioritizing its own shopping service in ads displayed in the Chrome browser, which is preloaded by default on most Android smartphones. Although largely seen as a slap on the wrist that comes too little too late, the fine is part of a larger realization from policymakers and the public that Google, and its fellow Silicon Valley giants Facebook and Amazon, may have long since entered into monopolistic territory. Just one month after the fine, US President Donald Trump accused Google of manipulating search results to censor conservative news outlets. Google likely has many more legal challenges ahead as it continues to grow far beyond the Stanford research project it started as 20 years ago. How Google looked like when it was first launch in 1998.
  2. In the past week, I've turned in a few times from Farrer Road to Empress Road, and witnessed the following, all caused by vehicles u-turning illegally at the T-junction where the road widens: 1) Happened to me personally, a car tried to u-turn while not properly checking its blind spot, causing me to swerve away dangerously. 2) Car turned in at high speed into the driveway of a private house to facilitate u-turn, forcing a pedestrian to jump away to avoid being hit 3) Illegal u-turn made at high speed while a car was (legally) turning from the T-junction into Empress Road, a near miss. What makes things worse is that there is an actual legal U-turn on Farrer Road just a few hundred meters further down, so these potential accidents were caused by drivers wanting to save some seconds or minutes. Looks like this is a prime area for TP enforcement...
  3. My Kia cerato is giving a humming sound whenever the steering wheel turns, sound like hmmmm. Changed power steering fluid but the noise persists, no leakage no CEL. The power steering is hydraulic, no problem with turning, and can hear the fluid flowing sounds too. What could be the issue?
  4. Last week I decided to sell all of my camera gear as I just couldn’t find the time to use it regularly. Here I had almost $3,500/- worth of camera and lenses that was just sitting in its dry cabinet. So I wrote a nice little description about the gear and posted to ebay, HWZ and gumtree. A couple of days later, I get a reply for the ad posted on gumtree. Buyer communicates via email asking for best price so that she can gift the camera to her brother in Malaysia. So I make her an offer, we negotiate and settle on a price. Now I buy a lot of new stuff online. But when I buy or sell second hand stuff, I prefer to deal with people here in SG as its easier to meet and you know who/what you’re dealing with. Now the girl says she’s on assignment outside of the country and that she will pay via paypal collect. Hmmm…. I have to raise a paypal invoice and money will be credited to my paypal account. Hmmm… I’m not happy about this but still, I only have to spend a couple of minutes creating a paypal invoice so what the heck! I did it and emailed her the invoice. Busy over the weekend so I read her reply only this morning. In it, she says that she has completed the payment and that I should send the tracking number so paypal can complete the transfer. [me: wait… what? I have to send my stuff and then paypal will transfer? uh uh] She also says she sent the funds to paypal account (prabhjot something@gmail) and that paypal’s service message might be in my inbox or spam folder [me: hmmm… who the fck is prabjot whatever? And why the fck should paypal messages be in my spam folder?] I check the spam folder and lo and behold, there’s a message with the email alias “service@paypal.com.sg” [me: wtf? I pay for stuff using paypal and I’ve always got the messages in my inbox. Now its in spam. Doesn’t smell right] And then I notice the actual email ID used in sending the message. “pp_service@accountaint.com” [me: haha. Now why the fck would paypal use accountant.com domain to send messages] Lol, they even have a small "how do you know this is not a fake email" disclaimer :D So I google the email ID pp_service and sure enough, plenty of hits about people being conned out of their stuff by peeps in MY. The MO and address is the same; 1) reply to personal ads (mostly camera’s) on ebay/gumtree (seems gumtree being abused more) 2) try some token negotiation to instil confidence 3) get seller to send paypal invoice and promise to pay to paypal account for both the item and the shipping cost 4) send a bogus email claiming funds will be credited once paypal verifies evidence of shipment 5) disappear So guys beware when peddling/buying stuff online. Just for laugh, I sent this reply to "Kim" this morning;
  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XACpPmawZk From the looks of it.... Using mobile phone?
  6. No more tearing of coupons and roving parking attendants - that is the idea behind a new "electronic parking system" being explored by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). The system would have drivers accessing parking information and paying electronically from their cars via an "on-board unit" similar to the in-vehicle unit (IU) used in the Electronic Road Pricing system. Parking offences would be detected and transmitted wirelessly to central computing systems or mobile enforcement vehicles. The latter could also capture image or video evidence of parking violations and recognise licence plates just by driving past the vehicles of alleged parking offenders. These solutions were detailed in URA's request for proposal (RFP) for a "technical trial of an electronic parking system" last month. In it, URA outlined that a key aim of the system is to allow it "to better manage its carpark inventory to avoid congestion". Interested contractors have till Dec 2 to submit proposals, and preparation for the trial will begin on Dec 30, with the trial set to end by Sept 30, next year. "This is an ongoing effort to explore the use of technology to find a replacement to the paper parking coupons and at the same time reduce the manpower needed for enforcement," said a URA spokesman in response to queries from The Straits Times. The authority is looking for proposals that will tap advancements in areas such as global navigation satellite systems, vehicular Wi-Fi and automated number plate recognition. But the spokesman said the project is "exploratory" and that the authority will not be making changes to the current system soon. "For now, the best alternative is to continue converting more URA carparks to the gantry parking system where we can." URA now manages more than 46,000 public parking spaces here, of which 17,000 are on-street kerbside parking spaces. Such kerbside parking uses the coupon system, with enforcement carried out by parking attendants. Another 29,000 are off-street parking spaces, and 15 of URA's off-street carparks are equipped with the gantry parking system. National University of Singapore civil engineering associate professor Lee Der Horng, who specialises in intelligent transportation systems, welcomes the move to explore a new electronic parking system. "The future of kerbside parking could be quite competitive and this system would help both driver and the authorities to monitor usage and shape parking policy," he said. It would ideally be integrated with the ERP system, but a more sophisticated IU is needed to realise URA's vision, added Dr Lee. How the new system would work 1. A car with an on-board unit, much like the in-vehicle unit now, will let the driver know if there are carpark spaces nearby and process electronic parking payments. Once parked, it can prompt the driver to extend parking time when the session is about to expire. 2. Some roadside parking areas will have roadside units at spaced intervals to provide information on parking availability, rates and payments in the absence of Global Positioning System availability. 3. If a parking violation has occurred, the on-board unit can send details of the offence to a central computing system or a mobile enforcement vehicle (MEV) driving past. The MEV can also take images and videos of parking violations and recognise licence-plate numbers of vehicles it passes. Source: http://ride.asiaone.com/news/general/story/ura-turns-tech-parking-issues
  7. A total of 71 offences were recorded in a joint enforcement blitz in the northern part of Singapore on Wednesday to crack down on errant vehicle-related issues like excessive smoke and noise emission, illegal modifications, and speeding. Visible smoke emission garnered the highest number of offences: 46 diesel vehicles were caught and fined up to $500 for smoke levels exceeding 50 Hartridge smoke units (HSU). The three-and-a-half-hour-long blitz, which began at 3 pm, was conducted by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Land Transport Authority (LTA), and the Traffic Police. Some 40 officers from the three agencies operated out of a heavy vehicle carpark at Marsiling Crescent, where stations to test for smoke emission levels and noise levels had been set up. Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/joint-enforcement-blitz-turns-71-traffic-offences-20131031
  8. If I were police, taser him! http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=600492099966036
  9. Porker

    Goldman Turns Tables on Obama

    WSJ Link The copy and paste sh1t doesn't work that well I guess
  10. Picnic06-Biante15

    Gangnam Styles Turns Into Gunmen Styles ....

    Yahoo reports: Gangnam Style' dance-off turns into shootout in Bangkok By News Desk in Seoul/The Korea Herald | Asia News Network
  11. Video taken from http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/eat-drin...pt-3885594.html
  12. Hi all, need your opinion on this. Should I report this to the authority? Who should I report it to? I
  13. Viceroymenthol

    Hyundai turns brand-conscious

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/archive/we...brand-conscious Published April 11, 2012 HYUNDAI Hyundai turns brand-conscious Korean carmaker sparing no expense to shed old image and move upmarket and create a luxury halo around its name Life in the fast lane: Hyundai wants its cars to be valued as something like Apple's iPhone, not Samsung's Galaxy. With its investment in design, the Korean carmarker believes new cars such as the next-generation Genesis premium sedan due to be unveiled late next year will have its rivals talking - REUTERS (SEOUL) OH Kwang-teak recently spent US$310 on a haircut and beauty care at a salon in Seoul's upscale Cheongdamdong district before splashing out US$1,100 at a five-star hotel, which, if asked, will fill your bath with chocolate milk. He also visited Hermes and Cartier stores, while his wife had an expensive massage. All in the name of research. Mr Oh sells Hyundai Motor cars and is part of a select group of the South Korean firm's dealers tasked with seeing first-hand what makes premium service brands tick - and applying that to Hyundai cars. His pampering shows how the Korean carmaker is trying to burnish a reputation for quality and banish the jibes of the past, when its Accent sub-compact as dubbed the 'Accident' and its boxy Trajet 7-seater the 'Tragic'. When it started producing cars four decades ago, Hyundai had to make do with borrowed designs, engines, suspension and transmission technology. Now the world's fifth-biggest carmaker, with affiliate Kia Motors, Hyundai is the envy of global rivals, outgrowing the market during a severe industry downturn by offering stylish models at affordable prices backed by savvy, if sometimes risky, promotions and helped by a cheaper currency. Hyundai has invested heavily to improve design and create a luxury halo around its brand, though customers are not yet queueing up to pay more because it's a Hyundai. Profit growth is not assured and the firm is taking a measured approach in capacity and new product launches. 'We want our cars to be valued as something like Apple's iPhone, not Samsung's Galaxy. They give different customer satisfaction,' Sean Kim, senior vice-president of Hyundai's domestic marketing group, told Reuters at his office. 'We want to shed the image that Hyundai makes cheap cars. Volkswagen is a volume car maker like us, but charges 10-20 per cent more, and we want to be viewed as such a premium car maker,' said Mr Kim. That's where Mr Oh's recent luxury splurge comes in. 'I've never been to these places before, but now I understand why consumers like to spend there. They (luxury brands) don't emphasise how expensive their products are. Instead, they try to explain why they're worth it. 'Now I do the same thing. I focus more on explaining a car's history, its value and its strengths, rather than just talking about price,' said Mr Oh, who on average sells 10 cars a month. The company, which won headlines and plaudits during the financial crisis when it said owners in the United States could return their cars for free if they lost their job within a year, is also chasing younger aspirational buyers to wrest market share from Volkswagen's Golf. The canny marketing coup made Hyundai the only major carmaker to gain US market share during the downturn. In the same vein, the Korean firm recently stocked its main local dealerships with premium foreign marques such as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes Benz E-class and Lexus ES350 so consumers could test drive and compare them directly with Hyundai's own models. This all fits with a track record of Hyundai making bold bets. Bob Martin, a former top Hyundai US executive and now a senior consultant at product development firm The Carlab, recalled how the firm's US launch in 1986, selling just the Excel, or Pony model, exceeded all expectations. 'It was incredible, but (by 1988) those of us tasked to look forward were raising red flags saying, 'We've got some serious long-term problems because these cars are not living up to expectations and the quality is sub-standard'.' 'Everyone's fat, dumb and happy, and then the slide started and it became a real challenging place to work, a lot of finger pointing,' Mr Martin told Reuters. 'Everyone had gotten drunk on the Kool-Aid and the big annual bonuses. But the cars were falling apart.' Describing himself as the chief protagonist behind the turnaround strategy in 1997, Martin recalled how Hyundai was caught in a 'classic death spiral' with all the symptoms of 'this is going nowhere'. 'We were leading the league in incentives and still not moving the metal,' he said. Finbarr O'Neill, who led Hyundai's US operations from 1998 to 2003, recalls how business, and the quality perception, were changed by a decision by autocratic top management to introduce a 10-year/100,000 mile (160,900 km) warranty in the United States. 'There was a lot of resistance to it, but Hyundai was looking over the precipice and couldn't sustain itself selling four models of around 90,000 units a year,' recalled Mr O'Neill, now head of influential JD Power and Associates. 'There was a willingness of management in Korea to take the risk. The financial types were quick to point the finger and say: 'You're going to bankrupt us.' With the eye-catching warranty programme and incremental improvements in style and quality, Hyundai revived its US sales. By last year, sales had grown seven-fold to 646,000 cars, giving Hyundai its best-ever share of the market at 5.1 per cent. Hyundai chairman Chung Mong-koo is credited for leading the quality transformation since he took over in 2000. 'He would have monthly meetings. They were brutal. He was demanding performance. It was not good to go in there and tell him we'd failed on a quality issue,' said Mr O'Neill. Mr Martin, too, recalls Mr Chung's obsession with quality. Product quality 'There was always a mandate for quality improvement, but this guy is a fanatic about it. When he came in, product quality went from a very important initiative to 'If you're not improving product quality, you're fired at lunch.' If I had to boil it down to what are the secrets of Hyundai: No 1, you're not going to outwork the Koreans. It's indisputable. No 2, middle management is thin. The decision-making process is quick when necessary. When the chairman says, 'We're going to do this,' it's just done. It's not like Toyota where you have consensus management. Hyundai moves at lightning speed. And No 3, the chairman. When the chairman says 'You will achieve this', that's the end of the discussion,' Mr Martin said. Mr Chung still chairs a quality meeting with top executives twice a month, according to quality chief Shin Myeong-ki. 'We do not need to build more plants. Producing eight million (vehicles a year) is sufficient,' Mr Chung recently told his senior managers, sources familiar with the matter said. 'We are already seeing signs of growing pains, and should now direct our focus on qualitative growth.' At its Seoul headquarters, Hyundai runs a round-the-clock 'quality situation room', collecting reports of problems from around the world and relaying them to the relevant departments. This allows Hyundai to respond with quick fixes - a failure that cost bigger Japanese rival Toyota Motor reputational damage when it was slow to react to a massive safety issue in the United States in 2009/10. Behind Hyundai's rapid growth also lies government support in keeping the Korean won relatively cheap and insulating the domestic car market from foreign imports. Four of every five cars sold in Korea are Hyundai or Kia, leaving foreign brands with just a 10 per cent share to fight over. But that share was less than one per cent in 2000 - a warning sign for Hyundai/Kia and Korea's other smaller carmakers. Overseas sales now account for 83 per cent of Hyundai's total, up from 54 per cent in 2000 - a period that has seen the Korean won weaken by just 3 per cent, while the yen has strengthened by nearly a third, hitting rivals Toyota, Nissan Motor and Honda Motor. Whenever Mr Chung, 74, travels abroad he is usually seen off at the airport by his son Chung Eui-sun, Hyundai Motor vice-chairman, in a Confucian show of respect to parents. At some stage it will be the younger Chung - Eui-sun is 41 - who will be tasked with ensuring Hyundai's renaissance is a longer-term success story - a tough ask at a time when Chinese carmakers are the 'new Hyundai' of old - replicating its success in being competitive through cheap labour, an undervalued currency and government support for local car manufacturers. 'The same thing could happen to them. It's a wave, a cycle. The Japanese had their successful run and, before that, the Americans,' said Nissan's chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura. Those working at Hyundai and former executives say the junior Chung is a details man, and will continue the mix of autocratic family ownership and professional management. 'He's a very patient listener, tenacious, and he has a real insight into the car business,' said one executive, who didn't want to be named. 'He points out things that executives, often with two decades in the industry, failed to notice.' Hyundai, which a decade ago resorted to filling its booths at international motor shows with its own staff to make it seem busy, had a 10.4 per cent operating margin last year, the highest among the global top-five carmakers and topped only by premium carmaker BMW, which had 11.7 per cent. Rivals are equally impressed and puzzled by its success. Checking out a Hyundai model at last September's Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was caught on film checking the steering wheel adjustment, and saying: 'Nothing rattles. Why can they do it? BMW can't. We can't.' The YouTube clip has had more than 1.7 million hits. In February, Hyundai's senior managers were summoned to something akin to a secret chamber in the headquarters complex - a spacious first-floor corner room that has no obvious door but which opens at the pull of a ring-shaped knob. Inside, they were asked to evaluate the design of the next-generation Genesis premium sedan due to be unveiled late next year. To help them gauge its merits, it was parked alongside competing BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi models, said one of those taking part. 'The style is so different from what we've seen so far. I've never seen BMW looking so shabby,' a Hyundai executive who saw the design said, asking not to be identified as he is not authorised to talk to the media. Hyundai's investment in design has its rivals talking. Focus on design '(Hyundai) gave a lot of power to the design chief and threw resources at it,' said Honda's creative director Toshinobu Minami. 'Everything was done for design. Hyundai and Kia steered the company with the view that the whole company needed to focus on design with a 10-year view. Until then, it was about cost.' Hyundai poached ex-BMW designer Christopher Chapman to head its US design centre, while Kia hired Peter Schreyer, a former Volkswagen/Audi designer. 'To be honest, I don't pay much attention to the Japanese any more. It's the Koreans, and nowadays also General Motors and Ford that we look at,' said Mr Nakamura, chief creative officer at Nissan, likely this year to be Japan's most profitable carmaker. One top executive at a rival carmaker, though, has dubbed Hyundai's costly design drive as 'maximum design, minimum investment'. A quick look at major carmakers' annual reports shows Hyundai spent 1.9 per cent of revenue on research and development last year, versus more than 5 per cent at both VW and BMW. Critics say Hyundai's aggressive design push has split customers and risks driving away as many as it attracts - not a recipe for big volume sales. 'If you look at the No 1 reason someone buys a Sonata, it's styling. If you look at the No 1 reason someone rejects a Sonata, it's styling,' said Toyota Motor Sales USA president Jim Lentz. 'It's very polarising, and polarising is good if you want to sell a certain volume of product.' The re-styling of the Sonata, critics say, will not bring the sales volumes of Toyota's Camry or Corolla, or Honda's Accord or Civic. Style-wise, the Camry is seen as safe, dull and plain-vanilla, yet it's America's best-seller. 'The Sonata and Elantra need to be the 300,000 unit plus vehicles that they can be. When they do that, they'll be within reach of the one million mark in the US,' said Mr O'Neill. Oh Suk-geun, head of Hyundai Design Centre, said the company needed a strong design message to stand apart from the pack. 'In the past (our designs) were so quiet that people weren't able to understand what we were trying to convey. Now they say our design is 'talkative' - we speak aloud and everyone recognises our design identity,' he told Reuters. But the push to premium hasn't won everyone over. One businessman in Seoul who drives a BMW 520D and gave only his surname, Suh, said Hyundai cars were expensive, and raising prices was just a way to make customers think they were making premium cars. 'There's a limit to the Hyundai brand.' 'Even if it's a premium car, it's still a Hyundai.' - Reuters
  14. Without_a_car

    PAP mood turns sour over pay cut

    Saturday January 7, 2012 PAP mood turns sour over pay cuts INSIGHT DOWN SOUTH BY SEAH CHIANG NEE PAP mood turns sour over pay cuts Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong intends to accept a government committee recommendation that his annual pay be cut by 36% to RM5.3mil. IN 1976, when I first visited China, its 86-year-old leader Mao Zedong was near death, and I ended a series of articles for Singaporeans by asking: Would Maoism survive Mao? If not what
  15. A NIGHT out to buy a cellphone at Lucky Plaza turned ugly for a Chinese national yesterday. The kindergarten teacher, who wanted to be known only as Ms Mei, said that the staff of DAB Electronics at the basement of the shopping centre had quoted her $900 for an iPhone 4 without a contract. However, a staff member rang up an amount of $1,900. When she asked what the extra $1,000 was for, the man said that $350 was for a repair service, and quoted fees for unlocking her SIM card and cutting her SIM card, a service he said was required in order to use the popular mobile phone. When she did not agree to the deal, she said the man refused to return the ATM card she had handed him for payment. Afraid, she called two friends to help her. But the staff did not allow them to leave the building. One of her friends then called the police. Shop employees denied holding onto the woman's card, and turned aggressive towards a photographer who was there, while the police were present. Police said they have advised both parties to settle the matter amicably, and they have complied.
  16. STOMPer S.S.Rajan saw a Silver Toyota Wish burning at Pasir Ris Drive 1 at around 9.45pm yesterday (Jun 1). The passengers had reportedly got out of the car before it turned into a ball of fire. The STOMPer reports: "This incident occurred between Block 747 and White Waters Condominium. "The occupants had abandoned the car without switching off the ignition. "The Fire Department came within 5 min to extinguish the burning inferno. "Nobody was injured in this incident." STOMPer Wong was also at the scene and the STOMPer snapped a picture of the inferno. http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sg..._pasir_ris.html
  17. 1st April @1040hrs I was at the gym with my wife at clementi branch and as usually after settling my wife down at the track mall section, went ahead to settle myself on a bench with a pair of dumbbells. Went to check on my wife progress and it was hardly ten mintues when I was back to my bench, it was occupied by some old semi muscle and fats guy . The best part was my towel which was previously laid nicely on the bench was removed and hang else where. I was like WTF ?????? Upon my countless visit to the gym , isn't it understood that the bench is occupied when you see towel laid nicely on it???? Yet that Ass have the cheek to remove and took the bench away for himself ???? Come on.... You think you the only one who need to do dumbbells ???? Others who came later were gentlemen enuff to do other stations waiting for availble bench . Totally spoil my day!!!!!
  18. Greatbirdlegend

    Car turns into a fireball at Jurong West

  19. Hi to all,juz sharing some incident happens to me this late afternn. At around 1820hr,I was driving along Kim Seng road to pick up my wife at Great World City Office Tower when suddenly a Toyota Vios just drove into my lane without even signal its attention. I manage to brake on time to avoid collision. I then gave two horn to show my frustration, and expect the driver show sign of apology by raising his hand (which usually most of us will do). But the driver reacted by slowing down his car really slow. He had halt the traffic behind and worst He lowered his window and show his middle finger up high to the air. Im so shocked and seriously make me really furious. I horn to him and signal to him to go to the side . The CHAMPION driver who appear to look like an Indian-Expat(juz a general description) continue to speed of.. I do not managed to get his car plate number and regret not turning on my car-camera. It really makes me wonder whether what Singapore roads goin to be with this kinda drivers. I do really hope that the said driver read this thread so that he understand,thats not the way to drive. And PM me if he wants to know what my fingers could do to him,if he dares.
  20. Osiris

    Top grad turns serial gambler

    My question. who in the right mind will invest to something call "Lobang Scheme" The name alone is a warning bell http://www.tnp.sg/news/story/0,4136,238398,00.html?
  21. Hi all, By when would the local W211/2 turns 10 years old? Why the used Benz tend to have such unbelievable low mileage when advertised? Company car or what? Thank you all. Regards,
  22. Picanto

    Minister Mentor Lee turns 86

    He is 86 yrs old. getting stronger and alert despite his age. MANY More good years for the citizens of singapore.
  23. CORRECTED-Engine fails on Singapore A380, flight turns back Reuters - 2 hours 45 minutes agoSend IM Story Print PARIS, Sept 27 - A Singapore Airlines <SIAL.SI> A380 was forced to turn round mid-flight and head back to Paris on Sunday after one of its four engines failed, the head of the airline's French operations said. The doubledecker A380 took off from Paris at 12.30 p.m. with 444 passengers aboard and headed for Singapore, but had to turn round after 2 hours 45 minutes because of the engine problem, airline director Jerry Seah said. The plane landed safely back in France at 5.45 p.m. (1545 GMT) and the passengers were sent to hotels as the airline tried to lay on an alternative flight for them. Seah told Reuters he believed it was the first time the plane had suffered such a problem since it had started operating the Singapore-Paris route earlier this year. The giant jet, built by Airbus <EAD.PA>, is designed to continue flying with only three engines, but came back to Paris as a safety precaution. The engines on the Singapore A380s are built by Britain's Rolls Royce Group <RR.L>. (Reporting by Jean Baptiste Vey, writing by Crispian Balmer; editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)
  24. http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=business2_feb7_2009
  25. Three turns at F1 circuit along Marina Bay set to be named By Ian De Cotta, TODAY | Posted: 05 February 2009 1020 hrs SINGAPORE: Ayrton Senna. Alberto Ascari. Jim Clark. All of them Formula 1 world champions, all speed demons immortalised at some of the world