More than half of toys tested unsafe

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) tested a basket of 50 toys sold in Singapore, and more than half were found to be unsafe. Naomi and I are not surprised.

But what I’d like to know is, what kind of crap toy is this?

The pictorial list of toys is here, and I kinda agree with the toy gun / cuff set being unsafe. A friend of mine handcuffed himself to the fence when he was five years old, and was only released by his laughing parents when they got home several hours later.

A few days later, he shot himself in both nostrils with the dart gun. Actually, he was the sort of kid who’d manage to injure himself even if you put him in a straitjacket in a padded room.

In defence of Sim Lim Square

Sim Lim Square back to old habits?
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Geek Central isn’t so bad, at least not when I was there last week to get some stuff for my brother in law in China (because it’s worse over there – you can hardly get any non-pirated stuff for a reasonable retail price, apparently).

At several shops on the fourth and fifth floors, I found sales staff to be polite and helpful to the point where, when they saw me to be on the verge of overspending on a particular product, asked what my (or my brother-in-law’s) purpose for the product was, and then recommended a cheaper alternative because what we intended to get was, in their opinion, a bit of an overkill.

Of course, customers unaccustomed to Sim Lim Square Salesspeak might find the way they help you rude or intrusive, because the conversation went something like:

Salesman: So you want to buy the Seagate Barracuda 1TB?

Me: Yes. And an external combo casing – with firewire and USB.

Salesman: Firewire and USB, can. Wait. You want to take this HD (brandishes HD) and put it in an external case?

Me: Um.. yah.

Salesman: Har? What for?

Me: To use as external drive lah.

Salesman: Har? But this HD is server grade one leh.

Me: Yah, I know.

Salesman: Also can lah, up to you lah, but if me hor, I won’t use so high end HD.

Me: Then what would you use?

Salesman: Cheaper drive lah. Also will last quite long. How many people in your house? 2, 3? Good enough lah.

Me: OK, if you say so.

Salesman: Yah. I get for you the lower end one. Eh? Wait wait wait. You want to use for external drive is it?

Me: Yah.

Salesman: Haiyah, then get the all-in-one lah. Maxtor or Seagate also have. Good enough for your use. Cheaper also.

Me: Issit?

Salesman: Yah. But up to you lah.

Me: You say what is what lor. OK, Maxtor one how much?

I dunno. I didn’t find it pushy. Plus, I got further discounts when I paid by NETS at several shops.

Has Sim Lim Square gone to shits again?

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I’d be lost without the mobile ingterneck

The GPS says the King has left the building

When members of my family visit from far flung places, they understandably want to sample foods from far flung places within Singapore – like the best Hokkien Mee I know of.

So I went and drove to Beach Road, to the last place I bought Hokkien Mee from, and to my shock and horror after battling traffic for half an hour, found that they had converted the place to a steamboat dinner restaurant because every other shop along the street was a steamboat dinner restaurant.

It’s known as Bubble Tea Fever, and for the proprietors of the new steamboat dinner restaurant, may you pack up and regret a month after this, because that’s the dumbest move you’ve ever made.

Anyway, undeterred, I looked up the ingterneck on my N78’s search interface, which is very neatly positioned under all the other standby apps (good job, Nokia), and found that Kim’s Famous Fried Hokkien Mee still had their HQ over at Eunos. I noted the address and bookmarked it in Nokia Maps, and set a course at Impulse Speed to the corner of Jalan Eunos and Jalan Kechot.

While looking up the address for Kim’s, I stumbled upon ieatishootipost’s post about Kim’s, and how the famously clad in office attire Hokkien Mee Man was rumoured to have several wives, and how he disappeared for a while in the 80s before reappearing all over the island.

Kim's Famous Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee

There is history in this Hokkien Mee. And when I got to the stall at Eunos (announced smugly by the female voice on the N78 – “turn left and after 100 metres, you have reached your destination, and remember, you couldn’t have done it without me”), I continued reading and chuckling over the debunking of the many myths surrounding Mr Tan Kue Kim (the Hokkien Mee Man).

Then, a middle-aged man in long sleeved office attire appeared and shouted a few things to the staff at the stall before putting a Good Morning Towel around his neck, picking up a spatula to clang away at the wok. The Man was frying my noodles. How cool was that?

Biometric phone

Biometric Phone

No lah, it isn’t really. It’s just that the N78‘s shiny black surface collects a lot of smudges and fingerprints, and that if there were a bunch of N78’s lying around with their displays turned off, I’d still be able to pick mine out by the shape and size of my finger smudges.

As with every new device I get (this time, on loan from the kind people at Nokia), I spend a lot of time setting it up. People say I disconnect from the rest of the world just to stay connected. Pfffft.

I can now take geo-tagged pictures, which is what I’ve always wanted to do, except I had to upload them first before geo-tagging them. Now I can do it on the fly on the N78, as long as there’s a strong satellite signal for the GPS receiver, which means indoor shots are hardly ever going to be automagically geo-tagged.

Just wait till I get outdoors.

The Krups is back

The Krups is back

As if in deference to my birthday this week, the Krups was fixed and collected this week without much fanfare. It’s much quieter than before, and we’ve since had two espressos each without the thing breaking down.

Hooray.

Completely useless Christmas gifts: Taser C2

 Www.Engadget.Com Media 2007 01 Taser-C2 01

OK, this is so not “completely useless”, I hear you say. Especially since the UN has defined the Taser as a weapon of torture.

It is, however, dangerous, because it’s such a nice looking gadget (“available in four designer colors”), and one that is likely to be mistaken for a new fangled electric shaver. The basic C2 model starts from US$350, has a range of up to 15 feet, so your would be assailants can turn into once were would be assailants at the touch of a button.

Light up your Christmas with one now!

Via engadget

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Completely useless Christmas gifts: The Back Up

When I was in the Army, someone gave me a gift which was supposed to be the China Army version of the Swiss Army knife. We know the latter to be chock full of useful tools which you might need, like a foldaway magnifying glass to look for the tiny screw which you’ve struggled to place in an equally tiny hole with your tiny screwdriver from the same tool.

But the China Army knife came one (or two) better – there was a foldaway fork and a foldaway spoon, so that you could eat your foldaway meals without using your fingers. Problem was, you could only use one of them at a time, even though the spoon and fork folded out at opposite ends of the tool.

Here’s a gift idea that’s just as useless, and which we saw featured on Fox News, it’s called “The Back Up“, and it’s a cradle that attaches to your bed for to cradle your shotgun where you can reach it while you sleep. “Keep Your Gun By Your Side!”, says the website, “Put your shotgun where you an reach it, instead of some out of the way place where it does you no good!”

As you can imagine, it’s not the gift for everyone. Or as one of the commenters on the YouTube page quips, “This is only for fools who don’t wear their shoulder holster to bed”.

“I told you a thousand times before, put your gun in The Back Up, that’s what I bought it for!”

“But darling, that’s not my gun. It’s loaded though”.

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iPhoney Christmas

Christmas is nigh, and if you’re wondering what to get your loved ones for Christmas, keep thinking. There are too many things to buy, and very little money to go around. The iPhone’s been launched in Europe, but because the rest of Asia’s the backwater of the world, it’s not here yet.

It’s the very latest 2G mobile phone technology, but heck, I admit to thinking of getting one, even if it’s from a Lucky Plaza shop that sells mobile phones, vibrators (no sir, this vibrator doesn’t come with the phone but you can buy one if you like) and all other manner of electronic peripherals that you only use a few weeks following Christmas.

But if you really must, here’s a run down on what the iPhone is really good for. It’s an SNL spoof of an iPhone commercial that never aired. The spoof never aired. Not the commercial. The commercial aired until the cows came home and set up their own facebook account.

Anyway: Here tis