Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hot off the press....

Some details of DST's GO!Broadband......

1. Monthly Subscription Plan
Go! Basic: $38 per month, 2GB free data access, excess data charged at 20 cents per MB, bill capped at $88.
Go! Unlimited: $78 per month, unlimited data access
Modem: $300
Router: $600

2. Yearly Subscription with Modem or Router
Go! Basic: for 1 year contract period: $100 off; 2 year: $300 off
Go! Unlimited: for 1 year contract period: $300 off & free modem; 2 year: $600 off & free router.

3. Yearly Subscription with Laptop and Modem
Go! Basic: Similar to Plan No. 1, but for additional $10 per month and 48 months contract period, get free Acer Aspire laptop and modem.
Go! Unlimited: Subscribe for 30 months, get free Dell Inspiron laptop and modem.

But hang on, this is better....
Go! Unlimited: Similar to Plan No. 1, but for additional $10 per month and 30(?) months contract period, get free Dell XPS laptop or MacBook(!) and modem.

These are to be officially launched on Thursday, 1 May. Roadshow is to be held at Jerudong Park Amphitheatre from Friday, 2 May and runs for a few days.

Ps. I should have been more patient and wait for this; sasakku eh :(

A quick post: Manchester United in the Final!

A wonder strike from Paul Scholes just after 15 minutes of play was enough to send Manchester United into the final of the UEFA Champions League. Man Utd beat Barcelona with that solitary goal in last evening's semi-final encounter at Old Trafford. They will play another English side in Moscow on 21 May; the first time that the final features two English sides.

Paul Scholes missed the 1999 UEFA Champions League, which Man Utd eventually won, through suspension. Now Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Paul Scholes will definitely start in the final.

Glory Glory Man Utd!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

David Blaine?

I saw this video on Jester's blog and thought it was funny. So here it is, for those people who have not seen it on Jester's blog.

Thanks Jester for the video.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bye Bye!

I saw Cookie's post on this Mariah Carey's song and thought I might share her sentiment regarding this song.

She recently lost her father and I lost my mother more than a year ago. This song could not be more appropriate to both of us. Looking back, we both wished that we could do more to/with our respective parents. Now, we could not talk to them. We could not have holiday together. We could not celebrate the good times together. And saying bye bye was really the hardest thing to do.

The song:

The lyrics:

Mariah Carey Lyrics
Bye Bye Lyrics

By the way, check this out.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Child Prodigy?

Continuing on sport-themed post, Manchester United was reported to have signed a 9-year old wonderkid into its football academy. This is the same academy which produced many great footballing talents in the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, the Neville brothers, Mark Hughes, George Best, Bobby Charlton and many others.

See this video to see this wonderkid in action. New Ronaldo? New Wayne Rooney?

More info about this kid here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Barclays Premiership Latest

In a game influenced by match officials, rather than players, Manchester United lost 2-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. With two more games to go, Manchester United and Chelsea have the same number of points, but Manchester United has a much superior goal difference and retains the top position.

The game started quietly for Manchester United. Just before the half time whistle, Chelsea managed to sneak a goal to take a one-goal lead. Not long after the match resumed, Wayne Roone capitalised on a Chelsea error to score an equaliser. In the dying minutes of normal regulation time, Chelsea won a contentious penalty, as Michael Carrick was adjudged to have handled the ball on the edge of the penalty box. Contentious as the cross was not threatening and goal-bound, and the handball was not intentional.

The referee and his assistants made many dubious calls during the game. At least two penalty appeals from Manchester United were turned down.

There was an embarrasing moment when two Chelsea players fought over a free kick. It was clearly seen on tv when Drogba made his points clear to anyone who cared to listen to him. At one point he was complaining to the assistant manager, complete with finger pointing. I would have taken him off the field for unsporting conduct.

With two more games to go, the title race will definitely go down the wire. I know who I want to win and the team is definitely not Chelsea!

Remaining games:
Man Utd vs West Ham (Home) - potential banana skin
Man Utd vs Wigan (Away) - potential banana skin

Chelsea vs Newcastle (Away) - but Newcastle is in a good form now
Chelsea vs Bolton (Home) - potential banana skin

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Please vote for...

... Spiritual Garden.

After reading her post, entitled I will survive... , I have decided to start campaigning for this girl. I was really touched by this post. Many people take things for granted, but yet for some of us, life often throws little challenges at you. This girl is a strong girl; she seems to be able to pick herself up and gets on with life.

Lets help her to win those prizes. That cash, which would help her along with her study. That laptop, which she always wanted. That hotel stay and those spa treatments, which would help get rid of her worries. As of those other bloggers' merchandise, she could just throw them away!

So if you have not voted yet, please vote for this girl. Go here to vote!

Ps. I apologise for the quality of the last few posts; I was running out of ideas to blog about and you could tell that the posts were desperate posts! I hope normal service resumes soon!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why ah?

I have quite a lot of Chinese friends and lately, I have been learning some Chinese words.

Why is that when you learn new language, you are always taught rude words? I just discovered that the Chinese expressions that I was taught were rude, sexual expressions!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The debut

Oh, I made my first ever appearance on Ranoadidas here. I was with some friends, when he arrived with some mutual friends. Noticed that I was not looking his way? It was because someone else was taking our picture and he 'gatecrashed' that photo shoot.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bruneian Blog of the Year?

Simpur is now opening the vote for the Bruneian Blog of the Year. The nominees (they each won their own category in the bracket, except for one) are:

A. Spiritual Garden (Best Personal Blog)
B. Kurapak (Best Local Content Blog)
C. Anakbrunei (Best Photo Blog)
D. Brunei Fishing (Best Lifestyle Blog)
E. Arab Families (Best Specialty Blog)
F. Ranoadidas (Wild-Card Blog)

Of the six above, I'd probably vote for Spiritual Garden or Anak Brunei.

Spiritual Garden offers an insight to this girl's life; though I'd like to think that I am not snooping in her life or something. Anak Brunei's simple, and often amusing narratives, that accompany his pictures are the trademarks of this apparently friendly giant. Sometimes all you need to see on someone's blog are pictures and some few words (except for Jan Shim's blog; I do not mind reading a long post that always accompanies his well-taken and beautiful pictures).

I certainly do not get Kurapak or Arab Families; the times (let me re-phase the one/two times) I visited these blog, I got confused and could not understand what these guys were trying to say. Kurapak was not funny at all; even some of the jokes were direct translation from the English version and the humour was lost in translation. And don't even get me started with Arab Families. I am still traumatised by Arab Families' founder/author's You Pay! outburst! And I can't really call myself a fishing enthusiasts, so I can't really vote for Brunei Fishing.

And a wild card entry? You're joking, aren't you Simpur? Why? Why a wild card entry? And Ranoadidas?

The one and only blog that I would definitely vote for if he was nominated would be Jan Shim's Shim World. How on earth did he not win the Best Photo Blog? Shouldn't it be him as the wild card entry?

So guys, if you really want to vote, please use your vote wisely. Apparently you can only vote once. Vote for Spiritual Garden or Anak Brunei.

Go here to vote.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What the f**k?

Saw these dental products and was left bemused with the brand and the tagline.

So remember, you are supposed to put them into your mouth, ok?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I wished....

I was talking to a friend who is now studying in the United Kingdom and I asked him what he wanted to do during a semester break which is happening soon. He was planning to go to the United Sates of America, but that was just a plan.

I told him that one of the biggest regrets that I had while studying in the UK was not visiting the States. It would have been nearer and cheaper to go to the States from Europe, rather than flying half-way around the world from Brunei.

Well, there were some times when I was studying in the UK that I wished I could go and visit the States. However, I was student then and going travelling would have cost a fortune.

The only visit that I made to the States was almost two years ago when I attended a meeting in Texas. The meeting was held in a resort just outside Houston, so we did not have much chance to visit Houston. The only time that we left the resort was to visit the Johnson Space Centre, which was featured in the movie Apollo 13. I also made a quick stop in Los Angeles, where I had made the mistake of staying in Downtown, which was quite boring; it would have been much better if I had stayed nearer to Hollywood or Sunset Boulevard. In Los Angeles, I visited the Universal Studios.

So if you are somewhere near the Sates, go and grab the chance to visit the place while it is near and less expensive than flying from here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


It was in the news recently that a maths genius with a Malaysian mother has decided to be a call girl. Sufiah Yusof made headlines when she was accepted to study at St. Hilda's College of Oxford University at the age of 13.

Read about it here and here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bowling Tournament

The Work is organising a ten-pin bowling tournament, which is open to all departments from Work. More than 30 teams are taking part, so the tournament is held over two weekends. All the team names were movie-related, so our team captain chose 'The Empire Strikes Back', presumably because strike is a bowling lingo?!

Our team played on Saturday. The bowlers in our team can be described as from beginner to enthusiasts. In the first game, we were ranked 8th out of 12 teams, the second a surprise third, but I think we did quite badly in the third game. The third game was the moonlight game, where we played in the dark and the only light you would see was at the end of the lane where the pins were.

Personally, I was not too happy with my score. My first game score was 110, then 124 in the second and an embarrassing 85 in the last game.

Traffic Parade....

On Monday, I drove down from Bandar for work. I experienced first-hand the now-infamous traffic jam that takes place along the Tutong-Seria road every morning. It is every motorist's worst nightmare, getting stuck in a long line of cars and moving at a speed barely 60 kmph. Apparently the traffic jam would start at half past six in the morning.

Yesterday, it was worse than usual. The traffic jam started when the dual carriageway ended near Telisai. An accident had happened earlier and the cars had been moved to the side of the road. Drivers slowed down to see what was happening and this caused a traffic jam, which ended near the Telisai Mosque.

Going further down, another traffic jam started. It was even worse than the first one. This traffic jam would go all the way from Sungai Paku area (near the Golden Chick Hatchery) to the Sungai Liang Police Station, a distance of about 10 km. It was caused by the huge amount of car that tried to get out of the Labi road onto the main Tutong-Seria road.

Among one of the things that annoyed me was when some drivers were not patient enough and would try to overtake the long line of cars. They could not really move much; they probably went just a few cars ahead. One of the cars could not even get back into the line when the cars from the opposite direction were approaching. This irresponsible driver then caused another long line of cars on the other lane. Just pure stupidity! Why couldn't these drivers wait and stay in the line like the other drivers? There was even a point even you could see quite a few cars overtaking the line, probably seeing that one car did it and it caused some sort of domino effect.

I have only one advice to these people who can't seem to wait like the other drivers: leave home early.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Crossing Over Explained....

Ok, I must say that I got some of the info in this post wrong. For a start, there is no 4G commerically available yet. A quick check on Wikipedia mentioned about 4G, but it is still on the drawing board. I would be really surprised if DST manage to get it before anyone else in the world! And 0.5G difference is not really 512kbps. Yeah, I am a tech-bimbo, I did not know what I was talking about really. At the end of the post, I kinda mentioned that I would probably stick to DST when they have their own Mobile Broadband service.

Some of people in the Lunchgang were questioning my motive for getting Zoom! Broadband. I must admit that I have the tendency to get something when majority of people have gotten the item and I would not want to be left behind. Well, they thought that I got Zoom! Boadband so that I could be cool too. However I mentioned that the e-speed connection at home is now shared by 6 other computers, so you could imagine how congested the bandwidth get if all 7 computers try to go online at the same time.

Well, I am not going to apologise for getting Zoom! Broadband. No, Kicks, Kakarrot and Psychowow (aka Prez); I am not going to apologise for saying I would not get Zoom! Broadband but eventually got it. As I said, the temptation of the free laptop and the frustration with the wired broadband service might tempt me with the Zoom Broadband service. I also asked "So how?", which implied that I might get it at the end!

So there goes my retraction that never is!

A quick post: Man Utd 2 - Arsenal 1

Manchester United scored a vital win to restore its six-point advantage over Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premiership, although Chelsea has one game in hand and will play Wigan Athletics on Monday evening. The victory brings Manchester United closer to retaining the Barclays Premier League Trophy for 16th time, with now 4 games remaining, one of which is considered as the title decider against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 26 April.

Manchester United were trailing by one-nil, when they won a penalty just 4 minutes after Arsenal scored. Ronaldo (who else?) scored from the spot to take his goal tally to an incredible 27 league goals in 34 games. Owen Hargreaves scored a beauty from a free kick to win it for the Red Devils.

More news here and here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Crossing over!

What do you do if e-speed goes AWOL? Get Zoom! Broadband of course!

E-speed has not been working for the past 4 days and daily calls to its customer service helpline failed to give an indication when e-speed would be up and running. Also, the fact that I could not get online during the weekend and that my e-speed at home is now shared between 7 computers, I felt it would be sooner rather than later to follow the crowd and switch over to Zoom! Broadband.

So this is my first blog uploaded using Zoom! Broadband!

I am so far impressed with Zoom! Broadband. I had tried a friend's Zoom! Broadband a few nights ago in KB and I was not that impressed at that time. However using Zoom! Broadband in the middle of the capital is a breeze. This blog is loaded up faster than if I were to use e-speed. Even the signal strength seems to be better here in Bandar. And it does not seem to be affected by the problem that e-speed is facing at the moment.

I am really glad that I got this Zoom! Broadband! I like it; I like it a lot!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Donuts.... again

Remember that I said that the boxes for J-Co Donuts and Fun Donuts are similar? Just see the pictures below for proof.

Instructions on J-Co Donuts box

Instructions on Fun Donuts box

J-Co Donuts logo

Fun Donuts logo

Apart from the boxes, it looks like the logo are similar too. So who copied who?

By the way, e-speed went bonkers on midnight Wednesday. Apparently, the whole of KB has been going with internet since then. I also got some info from some friends in Bandar that their e-speed is also going wobbly. At times like this, I wished I had Zoom! Broadband!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sayang eh....

A series of videos are currently available which document the state of the now-abandoned Royal Residences. How did they get abandoned? Remember the Amedeo Saga? These Residences were apparently abandoned/left unfinished as the Amedeo Saga rumbled on.

It is really a pity to see these Residences in the states they are now. Regardless of what had happened, it is time for the relevant authority to do something about them. Do not let them to rot away.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


The 'other' mobile phone service provider here in Brunei has recently launched a new service, called Zoom! Broadband. With the service, subscribers are able to surf the internet at a speed of upto 3.5mbps which is considerably much, much faster than the current wired broadband service.

At the moment, subscribers would receive a free Dell laptop upon subscribing to the service. Is there a catch?, I heard you asked. Well, in order to get the free Dell laptop, the subscribers are 'tied' to a four-year contract at a rate of BND45 per month. And the subscribers have to pay the full 48-month package (BND45 x 48) in advance. The package comes free with a traffic volume of 2Gb; more than that, every 1Mb would cost BND0.50, upto a maximum of BND40. It is also worthwhile to note that even though the maximum extra charge is capped at BND40, there is no limit on the traffic volume. Meaning that for a cost of another BND40 per month, you can use as much as traffic volume as your heart desires. There is another package, where the contract runs for a 2-year period. Whichever package you choose, you would get a modem, which you connect to a USB port on your computer (or your free lappie). Wireless router can also be connected to the PC, enable you to share the connection with others. You also need to pay an annual license fee, but that amount is quite negligible! At the moment, you cannot make phone calls with the supplied SIM card; you are able to send SMS though.

Apparently some time next month, the original mobile phone service provider is going to introduce their own version mobile broadband, based on the 4G format (the other one is based on 3.5G). The 'extra' 0.5G apparently equates to 512kbps. There is no words on what is going to be offered. A free laptop would be nice, thanks very much!

I have been a loyal subscriber of the original mobile phone service provider, so I might wait until it introduces their mobile broadband service. But the temptation of the free laptop and the frustration with the wired broadband service might tempt me with the Zoom Broadband service.

So how?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

YY Eating Place

Apparently, while I was away in KL, there was a big story about the discovery of pork-derived enzyme being used in the making of pau (chinese dumplings) by one of the famous retaurant chains here. I was told that the name of the restaurant was mentioned in the radio's mid-day news. However, in subsequent news (by radio and television), the name of the restaurant was removed and not broadcasted.

Someone wrote to the Opinion page of the Weekend Edition of Borneo Bulletin (reproduced here).

Why wasn't the restaurant named?

I would like to congratulate the media for highlighting the issue of 'Halal Haram' and credits also go to the relevant authority involved in the issue.

What saddened me is that when the news was out, it went something like 'therefore all Muslims are forewarned not to buy the 'special pau' from the restaurant and its outlets' without mentioning the name of the establishment involved.

How would the public know which restaurant or shop that sells this 'special pau'?

I wonder as to what happened to the transparency of reporting such news as the issue is not something that can be neglected and it involves on ones faith and religion.

I would understand if an establishment is trying to promote their products and by mentioning the name of the establishment, it would be considered, as an advertisement and must be paid for.

But, in this issue, it is NOT about promoting products. It is a 'WARNING' to the public especially all Muslims, yet no names are mentioned.

So how would the public know?

Is it a policy of secrecy or is it to safeguard the identity of the establishment for whatever reason?

What about the transparency of the news for the general public? If this is the case, then anyone who has done crime can request for his or her name NOT to be mentioned in the news.

I would prefer transparent news especially in issues concerning faith and religion.

- Reader

I could not agree more with 'Reader' on this issue. It brings into question; whose interest is being protected here? Is it the interest of the eating establishment, that they would lose business? Is it the interest of other eating establishments, that the restaurant in question gains some free publicity? Is it in the interest of the public, who would probably not realised which restaurant it was and continue to patron the restaurant?

Continuing on the halal haram issue, there are many products which are deemed unsuitable for consumption for Muslims and being segregated away in a shop, while in another shop these products are sold together with other products which are ok for consumption by Muslims. Who is supposed to enforce this segregation, is it the shop, the licensing authority or the Islamic Religious authority?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

J-Co Donuts

While in Kuala Lumpur, I managed to get hold of some J-Co Donuts. J-Co Donuts are said to be the South-Asian version of Krispy Kreme. Whenever I wanted to get some, I would see a queue snaking towards the shop, so I thought that they must be good.

So the verdict? As I've already said, I am not a big donut fan, but these donuts are better than the ones by Fun Donuts. J-Co has a wider variety and more toppings and flavours to choose from. Even the names of the donuts are quite exotic; Miss T is a donut coated with green tea-flavoured cream on top. Apart from the donuts, the shop also sells freshly-brewed espresso-based coffee that comes in many varieties. One of the hot-selling drinks is the caramel-based coffee (sorry, I forgot the name!).

So do you think J-Co's logo looks like Starbucks Coffee's?

I noticed the re-heating instructions below. I have seen this before on the Fun Donuts boxes and if I am not mistaken, I saw them on Krispy Kreme boxes too. So who copied who?

Friday, April 4, 2008


A new craze is sweeping over many cities around the world. It is called freeze, where a group of people would freeze in the tracks suddenly and remain frozen for five minutes.

The video below shows a freeze at the Grand Central Station, New York City.

Wanna do this at the Mall, Gadong on one Saturday or Sunday??

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Things you wished you didn't know

I read this interesting article on the Brunei's Financial Crisis which started in the late 1990's with the fall of the Amedeo Coporation. I know this is one of the endless articles written about that crisis, but I thought this article summarises all the things that we wanted to know about the state of the affair. There are some glaring mistakes in the articles though.

I also found this article on the 'apparent' future of the now-exiled Prince. You might have read about this in local papers. The video below accompanies the article.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is still the same busy and could-be-cleaner city. The last time I was here was in March 2007, and how things have changed in a space of 12 months.

Many new building sprouted up, including some new ones near the hotel where I am currently staying at. One of the nicer jewel in the city is the Pavilion KL. It is one of the newest shopping complex, situated in Bukit Bintang. The shopping complex reminds me of the Siam Paragon in Bangkok and this shopping complex in Los Angeles (I forgot its name). Here you may find high-end fashion names, such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Aigner, Zegna, Gucci and Prada among them. Here you may also find J-Co Donut & Coffee; apparently a better version of our own Fun Donut. If I am not mistaken, J Co Donut was started by this Indonesian company; which may not come as a surprise as the shop's logo and the typeface for the shop's name look a bit like Starbucks Coffee's. Speaking of food, I love the food court here. It is run by Food Republic, a familiar name from Singapore.

KL is still a haven for shoppers. Be it electronic goods, internationally or locally branded items and computers; you are bound to find some good bargain along the way. KLCC Suria is the same crowded place and so is Bukit Bintang area. The taxis still charge from greed, rather than from the meter. I tried to catch a taxi from Bukit Bintang back to the hotel. 5 taxis stopped and each one of them wanted to charge RM10; I managed to catch a metered taxi which charged less than half that amount.

As of the conference that I am attending now, it was officially opened by the Regent of Perak, His Royal Hghness Raja Nazrin Shah. In his speech, he reminded everyone of the importance of water. Regardless of its abundance, especially in the tropics, we should not take it for granted. With the challenges ahead, such as global warming, we should be well-prepared to provide a continuous and reliable supply of clean water. He also reminded everyone that we all have a stake in the water cycle; we could be the producer or the user of water. In an exhibition that accompanies the conference, more than 200 exhibitors take part and showcase various products for use from the extraction of water upto its re-treatment. I was more interested with the many laboratory equipment; many of them are now simpler and friendlier to use. I have a few things in mind that I would like to see being used in the lab I'm working in.

Yesterday, I had a quick lunch from the KLCC Suria's Food Court. I have always had something from this place for something to eat. However, not long after that, I had a bad 'tummy activity'. I had food poisoning! I have been confined in the room since yesterday. I am feeling much better today, but I'll have to be more cautious of where I eat now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Humble Pi!

It has been reported that the value of Pi will be changed from 3.14 to 3.00. The spokesperson at the European Union's Committee on Science and Technology, Professor Polo Flair, said that the change will take effect on 1 June 2008. According to the report, the change was necessary as it would help to simplify many complicated and long-winded scientific calculations and equations. It was also designed to improve the examination results of many millions students all over the world. More than 30% of students believed that their poor performance in their mathematic and physics examinations was caused by the value of Pi. Professor Flair also said that the committee is looking at other constants, to see if their values should be simplified.

Meanwhile, Casio, one of the world's leading producers of scientific calculators has released a software which updates scientific calculators by disabling the Pi key. The spokeswoman at Casio said that the software can be used for other makers as well.