Friday, December 10, 2010

Brand Asset Valuator (Bav) - Carl's Junior

The Brand Asset Valuator (BAV) model states that there are four key pillars (components) of brand equity. Using the four pillars, evaluate the brand equity of Carl's Junior.


What sets Carl´s Jr.® apart from other fast food restaurants (brand equity) is its emphasis (product differentiation) that their burgers (bigger portioned) are charbroiled over an open flame (taste), the free flow of drinks, along with a condiment bar, 14 types of sauces and a range of salads; giving it competitive edge over competitor offerings by providing something different. Thus, contributing to its reputation for great tasting food, and the company has since evolved into one of the major players in the quick service industry. (Carl´s Jr.® Singapore 2006)

As a result, Carl´s Jr.® is able to command premium prices, unlike competitors such as Macdonald’s and Burger King: from $4.20 for its cheapest burger (Carl's Catch) and up to $8.50 for its expensive burger (Double Guacamole Bacon Cheeseburger) (Mak 2005). The steadily increasing number of outlets in Singapore (from 2 outlets in 2005 to its current 4 outlets), is an indicator of brand vitality (Carl´s Jr.® Singapore 2006).


Carl´s Jr.® has managed to establish itself as “the place to go for juicy, premium quality charbroiled burgers” (Carl´s Jr.® Singapore 2006). The appeal of bigger (portioned) hamburgers... Read more>>

Implementing an Integrated Marketing Communication Plan - Carl's Junior

Assume that Carl's Junior does not provide comprehensive brand advertising and promotion support to your franchise operation. Suggest ways in which you can implement an integrated marketing communication plan to build brand equity for your franchise. In your recommendations, you should also consider how much effort you would like to devote to push and pull strategy.

As Carl´s Jr.® is a contractual vertical marketing system (fast food franchise), push strategy (generating more sales) would be mostly implemented by the franchisor whose intermediaries are the franchisees (e.g. discounts when purchasing from suppliers, incentives when more sales are achieved etc...). Thus, effort should be concentrated on pull strategy to attract new customers and retain old customers.

Carl´s Jr.® appeals to consumers who have (growing) affluence, want a different burger experience, and are willing to spend a premium for that different experience. Although the brand equity (popularity) of Carl´s Jr.® has been increasing over the past 4 years, more can be done to reach out to a wider target audience who are yet unaware of Carl´s Jr.® brand of food; increasing brand equity (awareness) and sales (growth).

(Marketing) Public relations with a pull strategy would be the most appropriate method to promote of Carl´s Jr.® image and generate interest in its products. Thus, in order to generate interest and increase brand awareness (e.g. credibility) the following marketing communication tools would be used (Kotleretal. 2006):

1. Advertising

a. (Persuasive) TV Ads (one of the most powerful mediums)

i. Builds brand knowledge (awareness) by positioning Carl´s Jr.® points-of-parity (e.g. big servings of tasty charbroiled burgers)

ii. One example would be occasional product placement in movies and/or television, which would further expose the brand (through cameo appearances). Thus, integrating the Carl´s Jr.® brand into everyday life of consumers in an unconventional (innovative) way, as opposed to traditional TV advertisements.

b. (Informative and Persuasive) Internet Ads

This method will reach out to a portion of the potential target audience that is most unlikely to read newspapers, or be affected by TV ads...Read more>>

Choosing a Consumer Franchise - Carl's Junior

If you were to choose a consumer franchise to operate, what would it be? Why? Ensure that emphasis is placed on marketing related factors when providing the reasons for your choice.
According to Food & Beverage Franchising (2003), Singaporeans expenditure on food made up 21.3% of the total expenditure, and it was reflected that there was a preference for eating out over home-cooked food: expenditure on cooked food products accounted for 57% of the total food expenditure. In addition, Tay (2005) states that in an ACNielsen survey carried out in October 2004, “Singapore was ranked fourth in Asia Pacific for the percentage of population that eats at fast-food restaurants at least once a week”. Therefore, based on the sustainability of the food industry and popularity of fast food in Singapore, I would choose to operate a Carl´s Jr.® franchise.

Today, the steady franchise growth of Carl's Jr.® is evidenced with “1,101 Carl's Jr. restaurants operating in 12 US states and 5 foreign countries”. From a Singapore (local) perspective, given the fact (trend) that it has since tripled (from 2 outlets in 2005 to its current 6 outlets) in Singapore, makes it a lucrative (niche) business opportunity. Its ceaseless focus on quality, service, cleanliness, and product innovation, gives it a competitive edge over competitors; it has “long been known as the place to go for juicy, premium quality charbroiled burgers”. (Carl´s Jr.® Singapore 2006)

“Carl´s Jr.® is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, Inc., a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange” (, and has “been satisfying the tastes of hungry young eaters for decades, ever improving their products and services along the way” (Nation's Restaurant News 2007). The Carl´s Jr.® franchise is a contractual vertical marketing system “with an emphasis on franchisee support, innovative business systems and sheer dominance of the quick-service burger market” (Nation's Restaurant News 2007). Thus, by teaming with one of the largest and most experienced company around (Carl´s Jr.® Singapore 2006), it provides security and assurance to the franchisee as (staff) training and support (managerial advice) is available in starting the business... Read more>>

The Sims 3: Traits Guide

The Sims 3 traits enable your Sims to have personalities that are unique and diverse, which can be interesting as well as entertaining. Sims in the game can have a maximum of 5 traits, which are further divided into 4 categories: mental, physical, social and lifestyle. There are 7 stages in a Sims life: baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, adults and elder.

When your Sim is in a good mood while pregnant, you can select 1 trait for the baby when it is born, else it is selected randomly. As babies, toddlers, children and teens grow; they will be given traits based on their happiness (if they are happy enough you will be able to choose the trait for them, else the traits are most likely to be randomly assigned). However, when you are creating a young adult, adult or senior Sim in the create Sim mode, you have the opportunity to give them the traits you prefer before starting the game.

There is a wide range of traits that you can choose for your Sims: to be brave, cowards, heavy sleepers or slobs. Each of the traits will impact your Sims in regards to their lives, socialization, happiness, choices, skills and careers. There are metal traits like artistic, genius, green thumb and neurotic, or physical traits like heavy sleepers or slobs. Traits determine/affect how quickly your Sims skills develop, what they enjoy and how they relate to other Sims, greatly impacting their social interactions. There are also social traits like charismatic, dislikes children, good sense of humour and no sense of humour.

It would be good to note that a Sim cannot have opposing traits (e.g. great sense of humour and no sense of humour). Hence, choosing one trait could render its opposite obsolete. There are also traits that deal with lifestyle such as angler, frugal, kleptomaniac and vegetarian.

Each trait opens up different social interactions for your Sim and will affect the speed and success of learning a skill. For example, a Sim who is a workaholic will be very upset if they miss work, while a loner can last longer than Sims without any socialization. A flirtish Sim would be able to use different romantic interactions far sooner into a relationship than other Sims, and their flirting will usually be well-received. And an artistic Sim can paint and play the guitar much better than others.

Finally, the traits that a Sim’s has will help determine their lifetime wish. A Sim may want to grow the perfect garden if he/she has a green thumb, or raise a big family if family-orientated. In addition to selecting traits for you Sims, you are also able to select your Sim’s favourite food, colour and music. Voices of your Sims can also be adjusting via pitch to further enhance your Sim, making it a unique and interesting character.

Here is a list with descriptions of some personality traits:
  • Absent-Minded: Often get lost in their own thoughts and forget what they are doing or where they are going.
  • Ambitious: like that name suggests.
  • Angler: Enjoy fishing and will be more successful at getting more... Read more>>

Korean Drama Review: Mary Stayed Out All Night

Mary Stayed Out All Night is the manhwa-adapted Korean drama that gets the heroine tangled up in not one but TWO contract marriages. The female lead is Moon Geun-young, while the other two male leads are Jang Geun-seok and Jung-in Kim Jae-wook.

The story revolves around Moon Geun-young’s character named Wee Mae-Ri (or Mary), who the daughter of a failed businessman and falls into a love triangle with an indie-band singer Kang Mu-Gyul (Jang Geun-seok) and a perfect chaebol (Kim Jae-wook).

Mae-Ri’s father has been failing in all of his business ventures due to his gullible character. This time he has fallen prey to several scammers, landing him and Mae-Ri in a mountain of debt. The first episode starts off with the debt collectors arrive to demand repayment, Mary tries to fend them off with a lie, while Dad escapes through a window.

At 24 years old, Mae-Ri’s only a semester shy of university graduation, but she has had to take a leave of absence from school because she cannot afford the tuition due to her family situation. Furthermore, she’s been avoiding her friends because she can’t spend money on entertainment. Sso it is a rare occasion that’ll bring her out to meet them. However, she decides to drive her friends for some cash when they call her to meet up. The trio decide to hang out, since they haven’t seen her in ages, and they decide to try the clubs in Hongdae, which is where Mae-Ri meets Mu-Gyul, the lead vocalist of an indie band, when she accidentally hits him with the car. Not knowing who he is, and fearing that he would claim damages from her, she insists that he sign a contract to say confirm that he is not seriously injured. However, Mu-Gyul assumes that she is a persistent fan, when she starts to stalk him to get him to sign... Read more>>

Benefits of Anti-virus Software

More often than not, if you for not have any anti-software on your computer and do nto regularly scan your computer for viruses, your computer would be prone to virus infectionsThere are many options for scanning and curing viruses – free software, free online scans, downloadable trial versions of software, and software which you may purchase. (e.g. Norton Anti-virus, AVG, McAfee etc…)

Anit-virus software scan your computer for viruses in real-time, meaning that as your computer receives files, the software checks the files for viruses, or the current state of the computer (e.g. files already on your computer). Once installed, the software will constantly monitor the computer files to search for viruses and alert you if any should be found.

It is important that you update your anti-virus software on a regular basis, to enable the software can detect all of the newly found viruses.

Below what to look out for in an Anti-virus Software:
Platform (operation system) Relevance, most software packages are platform specific.

ICSA Certification
The International Computer Security Association has established accurate means for comparing anti-virus detection rates. Only purchase software bearing the ICSA certification seal... Read more>>

Dos and Don'ts to Minimize Viruses on Your Computer

Below is a list of Dos and Don’ts:

* Update your anti-virus software on a regular basis or frequently check your system with an online virus scanner.
* Disable preview screens when using Eudora or Microsoft Outlook.
* Scan disks and zip disks with your anti-virus software before using them.
* Backup important files regularly.
* Use personal firewall software to prevent unauthorized Internet access to and from your computer.
* Read the manual of your anti-virus software. Most anti-virus software are very complex, with dozens of settings. Reading the manual helps you get the most out of the anti-virus software.
* Run a virus scan on your entire computer when you computer starts to perform strangely
* Be careful about disks or external peripherals. Run a virus scan on it before you begin working on it as not everyone has anti-virus protection.

* Use disks from an untrustworthy source.
* Download files from a site or a person that you do not trust... Read more>>

What If You Suspect Your Computer is Infected

If your computer is accessible to someone other then yourself, it will be useful if they know the dos and don’ts of using a (shared) computer. Otherwise, you alone taking the necessary precautions would not help protect your computer from viruses.

For example, many E-mail viruses are spread by sending itself to everyone in someone’s address book. So if the E-mail text does not sound like the sender, or you were not expecting the attachment, it is best to delete the message immediately.

Also, if you suspect your computer is infected with a virus (you have opened a suspicious email attachment and your computer is suddenly crashing or running slowly, you receive error messages whenever you start up your computer or try to launch an application), immediately disconnect your computer from the internet... Read more>>

Saturday, December 04, 2010

External Analysis of AirAsia

Industry Analysis

An industry analysis was performed to assess the budget airline industry.

1. Bargaining Power of Supplier
Overall, power of supplier is high as there are limited (availability of) suppliers (only Boeing and Airbus), the switching cost is high (i.e. airplanes and their maintenance are costly), and there are few substitutes for airplanes (i.e. air travel covers longer distances in a shorter period of time).

2. Bargaining Power of Buyer
As there are almost no switching costs for customers switching from one budget airline to another, the bargaining power of buyer is moderate...Read more>>

Can AirAsia Sustain Its Success?

Based on the external analysis, demand for budget airlines is expected to grow rapidly, attracting more competition and increasing the degree of rivalry. The attractiveness and profitability will attract many full-service airlines to launch their own budget airlines.

Due the Southeast Asian region having the lowest rate of air travel per capita among the other regions indicates a strong potential for growth. As low prices alone cannot sustain AirAsia, it has to maximize its operational efficiency to maintain its competitive advantage (i.e. being the leader in budget airlines) in the advent of... Read more>>

Strategic Actions Adopted by AirAsia

With cost leadership, a set of actions are integrated to produce goods/services with features that are acceptable to customers at the lowest cost, relative to that of competitors. Although AirAsia’s business strategy is centered on cost leadership, it targets specific markets (i.e. price sensitive customers needing short-haul fights), selling its product/services below the average industry prices to gain market share. Hence, it can be categorized into focused cost leadership. AirAsia modified the low-cost airline model and adopted the following strategic actions to lower their costs rel...Read more>>>

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Strengths and Weaknesses of AirAsia

The following are strengths and weaknesses of AirAsia:

1. Low Cost Model: Low cost operations and fixed costs
Focusing on providing air travel without frills at substantially lower prices, AirAsia has managed to achieve lower prices to attain high passenger loads, market share, and profitability by eliminating provision of costly in-flight services, flying a standard fleet, selling tickets to passengers directly, and minimizing labor, facilities and overhead costs (i.e. passengers are not allocated seats, and do not receive meals, entertainment, amenities, or access to airport lounges).

Its successful negotiations for its low aircraft lease rates, low long-term maintenance contracts rates, and low airport fees, enabled AirAsia to provide the lowest fares. As a result, AirAsia was able to reduce its overheads and investments in equipments substantially in the absence of fringe services. Exhibit 4 shows that AirAsia has the lowest operating cost (29), compared with 29 other competitors (with Air France being the highest at 184).

Moreover, AirAsia’s aircraft maintenance contract costs were reported to be substantially lower than other airlines (i.e. contractual lease charge per aircraft decreased by more than 60% from 2001 to 2004), adding to AirAsia’s competitive advantage, which was further compounded by its young fleet...Read more>>

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Sims 3 Ambitions Review

‘Ambitions’, released June 2010, is the second expansion pack for The Sims 3. And for the first time since The Sims 3 came out a year ago, it finally adds some worthwhile content to the game. I found the base game incredibly boring, with very little for the sims to do and nowhere for them to go aside from a few parks, libraries, gyms and other such uninteresting locations – there were few hobby items, and most of the community lots were ‘rabbit holes’, ie fake buildings that your sim disappears into and you are simply left sitting there blankly watching a progress bar showing the progress of whatever it is that your sims are meant to be doing in there.

The first expansion pack, ‘World Adventures’, was a disappointment – basically all it delivered was the ability to send your sims on holiday, and while that added a small amount of interest, it soon became repetitive and the pack just didn’t add enough to the gameplay or the content to be very worthwhile. As I mentioned in my review of it here, it was worth getting just for at least SOMEthing more for your sims to do, but a far cry from what gamers wanted.

But now, with Ambitions, the developers have finally got back on track and given players some substantial content, both in gameplay and in new objects. I was not expecting much from this pack, as everything else released for The Sims 3 so far had been very disappointing, but was really pleasantly surprised when I installed this pack last weekend and for the first time since I bought The Sims 3, I’ve actually been playing the game and enjoying it! Prior to that, I mainly just created custom content (to upload on the Mod The Sims website) in order to try to alleviate my own boredom and that of other players by creating quirky content to try to make the game a bit more fun, but I didn’t play much. But, finally, now there are things for your sims to actually DO, and most of the time you can now watch them do them as well, rather than disappearing into rabbit holes.

This pack adds some good new content:


Your sim can now follow a ‘profession’ as opposed to just to having a job. There are some good ones to choose from – my self-sim is just starting out as an Inventor, and has to go to a new community site, the Junkyard, to rummage through piles of scrap to find useful raw materials. So far, she’s made a rather Steampunk-looking decorative object called a ‘Rotational... Read more>>

A beginners guide to The Sims 3 (PC)

New to the world of the Sims or stepping in for a second or third round of it? In either case, The Sims 3 presents much of the same action available in the first two games while simultaneously adding and stripping away a fair amount. This little guide will help you get started on a new family, if you so desire one, and ensure they flourish.

The first step is to make said family. When just starting out you should tinker with a pair of young adults, as they're capable of doing just about anything and can get full-time jobs to make plenty of money.Go into the sims creation screen when opening the town and design them as you please; once you get to traits, though, I'd advise picking favorable ones for your first run. Anything that compliments a career path is probably best until you get the hang of how your sims interact. Make sure you don't leave the creation screen until you've created all your sims, as you'll either have to start over or do some fancy wrangling to get your desired family, both of which are annoying.

Time to move in. You'll either want to buy a house or make your own, and while it is tempting to just pick something pre-made I recommend just making a house. It's good practice and you'll save money in the long run. You need the following things to make sure a house runs smoothly:

  • front door (it's surprisingly easy to forget this)
  • A couch in front of a TV
  • A bookshelf
  • One bed for each person in the house, with an accompanying alarm clock; depending on your budget these may or may not be in the same room
  • A kitchen with a fridge, trash bin, sink, oven, extra counter space and a fire alarm
  • A bathroom with a shower, a mirror and a toilet
  • A phone
  • Wallpaper and carpeting to keep them from getting depressed about their surroundings
  • Windows for light; try to get a cheap lamp or two if you have a bit of extra cash

Your sims need to eat, sleep and clean themselves, so the above should keep them occupied. The mirror can help you build their charisma for raises at work while the TV is good for working out. The bookshelf is handy for several different skills, though make sure your sims don't waste time learning skills that won't benefit them at work, or at least not at first. Keep in mind that walls are extremely expensive, so working the living room and kitchen into one area is advantageous. The only room that absolutely must be contained is the bathroom. Overall you want to end this process with a couple hundred bucks left over... Read more>>

How to play as a ghost in The Sims 3

One of the main reasons I bought The Sims 3 was because I discovered I could play as a ghost. That single fact made the whole thing worth buying. What I didn't know, however, is that it can be a rather annoying process to achieve - especially if your sim works in the morning.

To get a ghost in your household you either need to kill somebody off or bring in a grave. Killing an active sim is probably the easiest method of doing this, as you'll have a handy grave on your site and they'll start haunting your house almost immediately. Killing a sim depends on your own malicious preferences: you can drown them in a pool with no way out, electrocute them while tinkering with a stove or TV, starve them... there are quite a few possibilities, you just need to pick one. Your ghost will act differently depending on the route you've chosen, mind you.

If you don't want to go to all that trouble then you'll need to go to the local cemetery at night and befriend a ghost. Be sure not to pick a fraidy cat sim, as they'll likely pass out over and over (and possibly die of fright) from seeing ghosts. Take a sim into the cemetery each night after 10 pm, pick one of the roaming spirits and then keeping using friendly actions towards them until they become good friends with your sim. Once they are friends you can pick up their grave and take it home with you.

This can prove problematic to sims with a daytime schedule, so expect a few tricky nights before your sim's sleeping patterns adjust accordingly. Keep in mind, too, that the same ghosts don't always appear every night, so chances are good you'll have to go back several nights in a row to find the same ghost more than once. Try and befriend a few different ghosts and go with the first one you get to good friend... Read more>>

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Computer Virus Guide

A brief guide on what are computer viruses.

With the increasing usage of computers and their connectivity to the intranet, the risk of encountering computer viruses also increases. Lurking on the web, computer viruses are ‘mysterious’ and grab our attention by doing things that range from irritating (i.e. deleting data on your computer) to dangerous (e.g. stealing sensitive passwords or information, or taking control of the computer to do illegal things). Every time a new virus hits, it spreads like wildfire, affecting those computers which are not protected, or computer owners who are ignorant.

Although computers can never be 100% secure from viruses, there are many steps that can be taken to ensure or minimize the chance of your computer from being infected with viruses.

What are computer viruses?
Computer viruses are malicious computer codes that are programmed to either harm your computer (i.e. overwriting over reserved areas of the operating system or attaching itself to other programs in your computer); infecting computer files, programs, and write over parts of files. Viruses are also able to delete files from removable disk media (e.g. portable hard disks, or USB drives)...Read more>>

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Korean Drama Review: I Am Legend
The Korean drama, I am Legend, revolves around Jeon Soel-hee and her life in an all ‘aujumma’ band. Seol-hee is married to Cha Ji-wook), a cold, distant attorney who never makes any mistakes. His only mistake, he claims, was to marry her, and he finds every opportunity to remind her. They had gotten married when Seol-hee was a lowly clerk at his law firm. The rumor at that time was that she got pregnant and used that as an excuse to get married, landing herself a “bight catch”.

Due to the gossips, Seol-hee’s mother-in-law is embarrassed, and is always nervous when someone asks about Seol-hee’s past. Being extremely image-conscious, she orders Seol-hee’s to keep her mouth shut at events, least she loses ‘face’. As a result, Seol-hee may appear to be he elegant wife to a fancy lawyer and the eldest daughter-in-law to his highfalutin family, but in reality Seol-hee’s subjugated to her mother-in-law’s trademark frosty words and disdainful sneers. Henve, Seol-hee hee has learned to bow her head respectfully and say, “Yes, Mother” to every decree, even if it’s delivered with a direct insult.

Seol-hee family issues does not end there, she also has a rocky relationship with her younger sister Jae-hee. Jae-hee is angry with her sister for living an empty life. They had gottent into an argument because her sister’s words hurt Seol-hee, who did everything she could to raise her sister after their parents died, to put Jae-hee through medical school... Read more>>

Cute Knight Kingdom (Review)

Rating: 3/5

Cute Knight Kingdom is a somewhat static role-playing and time management combined into one. In the game, you get to decide who you want to be, hero, princess or villain? You could be anyone you want to be, with dozens of endings depending on the choices you make.

Cute Knight Kingdom is a sequel to Cute Knight, and would definitely appeal to those who like role-playing games where pretty magical princesses grow up to marry handsome princes; with multiple marriage options. You get to choose your own outfits, travel the kingdom, meet new friends, find treasure and even encounter monsters! You can take classes to improve skills which play an important part in your success.

The game’s story unfolds when your character (of mysterious origins) finds out on her eighteen birthday that a fairy entrusted her to her (adopted) parents, and learns that she has three years to discover her destiny. So in order to discoverer destiny, she leaves home on her eighteenth birthday, with you guiding her through the choices she makes and adventures she encounters. Opportunities abound with classes to take, or jobs to earn money in areas of magic, fighting, defense and much more… Read more>>

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Designer Fashion Rental Industry Marketing Intelligence

Explains what kind of marketing information should these companies seek while doing marketing intelligence.
BAG BORROW OR STEAL, SAC DE LUXE and FASHION HIRE are companies that aim to provide value to consumers who have plenty of options to choose from by engaging in customer orientated services (value-pricing). Hence, these companies should gather marketing information pertaining to environmental scanning: such as social, economic, technological, competitive, and regulatory forces, from primary and secondary sources of information – to identify and interpret potential trends; differentiating fads from trends. Unlike fads, trends are more predictable; providing more long-lasting opportunities For example, increased interest of consumers for luxury goods, and growing number of investors finding companies such as BAG BORROW OR STEAL attractive in the fast paced fashion industry, contribute to the industry’s growth; making the designer fashion rental industry a lucrative market. (Evers 2006)... Read more>>

Monday, October 18, 2010


Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world. It is a team sport which consists of two teams with five players each. The objective of the game is for each team to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through a basketball hoop while following a set of rules.

The team with more points at the end of the game wins. Additional time (overtime) may be issued when the game ends with a tie. The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it while walking or running (dribbling) or passing it to a teammate. A violation will occur when a player (travels) walks with the ball, carries it, or double dribbles (to hold the ball and then resume dribbling).

Basketball has many techniques for shooting, passing, and dribbling. There are even specialized player positions, offensive and defensive structures (player positioning), and techniques.

Inner Beauty vs.. Outer Beauty

What really matters….

Modern society would have us believe that having good looks is all that matters to get far in life; superficial beauty supersedes inner beauty. Being bombarded with images from the media that portray what society deems as beauty, it is hard not to get influenced and buy into this perceived notion that outer beauty such as our physique such as eyes, hair, facial structure etc.., is what matters.

However, such beauty being portrayed is only skin deep and fades away with time; it will one day disappear. How then can superficial be considered real beauty? Real beauty should be something that becomes more beautiful as time passes. It is something that should last, not fade away with time.

It is a fact that we have perceived notion upon seeing a new person within the first few seconds, we tend to conjure up what we think the person is like based on how the person looks. But such an impression will change overtime, when we spend more time with them. A (superficially) beautiful person may be nice to look at but can be difficult to get along with, especially if that person but has a horrible personality. Can you imagine living with someone who was beautiful on the outside only, but in reality was such a horrible person? >>Read more

American football

American football is known in America as football, and sometimes as gridiron outside the United States and Canada. It is a sport that consists of two teams of eleven, with the objective of to score points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone.

The ball can be advanced by running with it or throwing it to a teammate. Points are scored when the the ball is carried over the opponent's goal line, pass thrown over that goal line is caught, the ball is kicked through the opponent's goal posts, or an opposing ball carrier is tackled in his own end zone.

This sport is also played outside America. There are national and collegiate leagues in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Japan, Mexico, Israel, Spain, Austria, and several other European, American, Asian and Pacific Island nations. The International Federation of American Football acts as an international governing body for the sport on five continents, but has little standing in the United States.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


Tired of waiting in long queues just to purchase your favorite season tickets to your favorite football, hockey or even basketball team? One good place that would save you all that hassle, would be where you can get tickets easily, quickly, and even choose your own adapted seating! You can purchase the tickets from home, at a bistro or wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection.

Miami Hurricanes Football
Oklahoma Sooners Football
LSU Tigers Football

For more information on how to get your seasons tickets for any event go to today and order your tickets today. You can buy them at home, in the bistro or wherever you are. All you charge is an internet affiliation because you accept to buy tickets online.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How Different (Cultural) Environments Affect Orgaizations

Mentions how different types of cultural environments have an effect on organizations, and the way they do things.
Robbins, S et al. (2006) state that the degree of how much an organization is dependent upon its specific environments, as well as its awareness of what potential influences its general environment brings about, would affect the type of decisions that it makes.

Demographic change is an external (general) environment "that can potentially affect the organization's performance" (Robbins, S etal. 2006, p.83). As no two environments are similar, they are differentiated by their degree of environmental uncertainty. The greater the uncertainty, the more it is a threat to an organization's effectiveness. This is why managers try to minimize uncertainty. Thus, it can be said that demographics is a dynamic and somewhat complex environment.

There are different approaches and ways of doing things with each new generation: each generation thinks and does things fundamentally differently from others, with the differences emerging and developing as they go through every life stage. Hence, these different approaches determine and impact the direction in which an organization decides to take...Read more>>

Indian Culture in Singapore

There are many races that can be found in Singapore. Besides the Chinese and Malays, there are the Indian, who also make up the majority of Singaporeans. Indians are famous for their strong sense of family, remarkable (and delicious) curries and striking religious festivals.

Having arrived from India, the Indians of Singapore are a diverse group: coming from various places such as India, Pakistani, Sri Lanka, and even some parts of Africa. (Culture Shock! 193) The majority of Indians are Hindus, while the rest are Christians, Muslims and Buddhists.

Hindus celebrate Deepavali (also know as "Dewali" or festival of lights) as a sign of remembrance of the battle of light over darkness. During this time of celebration, most Hindus will decorate their houses with colored lights and also flower garlands. They wake up early in the morning and offer their prayers at the temples. Children pay ritual homage to their parents, and people pay visits to friends and family reaffirming their ties of solidarity. The festivities also include having 'open house' for friends and relatives alike... Read more>>

Malay Culture in Singapore

One of the main minorities in Singapore are the Malays. Malay influences can still be seen throughout the island today. In the past Malay culture centered around the kampong ( the Malay equivalent to a village), but today, like many Singaporeans, Malays living in housing estates in Singapore.

Like many Asian culture, the Malay culture emphasizes on family values and are a close-knitted community . As majority of the Malays are Muslims, the two main celebrations of the Malay community are Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji; both are public holiday which all Singaporeans enjoy. The smaller-scale festivals are: the first day of the Muslim calendar month of Muharram (a New Year celebration), and Maulud (Prophet Muhammad's birthday).

As majority of Malays in Singapore (and throughout the world) are Muslims, they do not eat pork. So when entertaining Muslim guests, make sure that no pork, lard or alcohol is used in the cooking, and that the meat is bought from a 'halal' food supplier. Also, when visiting a Muslim home never bring wine and always dress modestly...Read more>>

Chinese Culture in Singapore

Some of the festivals celebrated by Singaporean Chinese, as well as customs.
Singapore, like many other countries, has its own cultural "flavor": from the various ethnic groups which populate the island, which consists of a mixture of mainly Chinese, Malays, Indians, and other races. The Chinese are one of the majority on this "small little" island and here is a little more information about some of the festivals celebrated by Singaporean Chinese.


  • Chinese New Year

Being one of major festivals, that's celebrated island wide among the Chinese in Singapore. Similar to its western counterpart, Chinese New Year, it represents a fresh start of the year. It is celebrated based on the lunar calendar and is celebrated in the month of February. It is one of the major public holiday (usually 2 days) that all Singaporean enjoy...Read more>>

Singapore: How Culture Affects Racial & Religious Harmony

Discusses what is culture and how it can affect racial and religious harmony in a multi-racial country such as Singapore.

"Culture", a word that encompasses the way of life passed from one generation to another, is generally defined as the integrated pattern of human customs, taboos, beliefs, ideas, and other related components. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1989) It is one of the fundamental ingredients that can weave a country together towards racial and religious harmony. There are three forces that impact an individual's sense of culture. (

  • 1. Education by cultural standard-bearers who wish to mold the individual into a proper member of society.
  • 2. Environmental forces, such as climate, economic opportunity, and population density.
  • 3. Exposure to external models of behavior.

Culture enables a country to absorb talented individuals from different backgrounds and fit them into the community. If a country cannot accommodate the tensions, then the diversity as well as racial and religious harmony could be disrupted.

Singapore Culture
Singapore, like many other countries, has its own cultural "flavor": from the various ethnic groups which populate the island, which consists of a mixture of mainly Chinese, Malays, Indians, and other races... Read more>>

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Quirky Singapore Campaigns

This is a compilation of interesting campaigns that have been going on this little island of a city called Singapore. Campaigns have been in Singapore ever since 1980s or even earlier, and there have been quite a few memorable ones. There is almost a campaign for everything here in Singapore! Here we go:

1) The Courtesy Campaign & The Singapore Kindness Movement

This campaign began around 1979, it was to encourage Singaporeans to be more courteous, friendly and considerate towards others; and basically be more polite create a pleasant social environment. The duration of 10 years can be one of the longest ongoing campaigns here in Singapore. It even had its own mascot, Singa the Courtesy Lion. Banners and posters were hung in public places like bus stops, shopping center and open-air markets. Leaflets, handbooks and pamphlets were also handed out to further educate the people.

Essay competitions in all four national languages (English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil) were arranged in schools to reach out to children as well. This movement soon saw to an assortment of memorabilia consisting of mugs, plushies, key chains, notepads and vases that featured the mascot, Singa; along with courtesy songs, fables, and slogans...Read more>>

The Great Singapore Sale (Gss)

If you simply adore travelling and shopping, do drop by Singapore during the Great Singapore Sale! This annual shopping event is co-organized by the Singapore Tourism Board and various retail companies together with shopping malls and stores, all in a bid to promote tourism in Singapore. The participating malls and stores are mostly usually located along Orchard Road, dubbed the "town" area - the heartbeat of Singapore - all the way to Marina Bay. It is usually lasts for about 2 months and is held from late May to late July. This extravaganza started in 2005 and has since stayed on to be one of the tourism attractions of Singapore!

During this period, participating malls and stores will extend their shopping hours all the way till 12 midnight and beyond on selected weekends. In addition, tourists would be able to have access to special privileges specifically created for them during this period - enjoying a range of exclusive lifestyle promotions such as gourmet dining, wellness, nightlife, and entertainment options...Read more>>

Dog bashed to death

By Kimberly Spykerman

The dog was found in the void deck of an HDB block on Wednesday. Blood covered its muzzle and the inside of its ears.


THE bloodied body of a dog was found in the void deck of an HDB block in Sengkang on Wednesday evening.

The dog, which appeared to be a Pomeranian, is believed to have been bashed to death.

A preliminary examination by a vet called in by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) noted that the animal had head injuries consistent with trauma. Blood covered its muzzle and the inside of its ears.

Police said they had been alerted to the dog's body by a member of the public, who had spotted the dog lying motionless with its leash still attached. The floor around it was blood-spattered.

A spokesman for the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) told The Straits Times that a post-mortem is in progress, and that investigations into the identity of the owner are ongoing.

Although the dog had been microchipped, the owner had not followed up the microchipping by registering the animal with the AVA.

Read the full story in Friday's edition of The Straits Times.

It's things like this that leave me speechless and lesser faith in the human race. Why must we be so cruel? I hope the person gets caught and punished severely. Acts like that shouldn't be condoned, I wonder why no one called for help. Imagine if it were a human life.

This case just happens to be one that was discovered, I can't even begin to imagine for those that go unnoticed. It's just so... sad...

Humans are funny beings. We contradict ourselves most of the time, being selfish and sometimes actually thinking we're being caring and considerate. It seems that everything that we do has an motive behind it. When will we truly understand that it really isn't just all about us... Frustration is never an excuse to bully those that are smaller and have no defenses against you.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Image Optimization

A main aspect of any website is the image and graphics that is in it. A deciding factor of the popularity of your site is how it looks like and to create an interesting page you need to synchronize your text with appropriate images and videos sometimes. However adding more and more number of images not only increases the total money you will have to spend but also the total time it takes your site to load.

All users do not use fast broadband connections so if you make your sites too heavy adding more and more videos, you may not connect with these users. Image optimization is a necessary tool that you must employ to increase the rating of your site and take it to a prominent rank in the search engines.

Although it will be your website designer who will take care of the relevant content of your site you should also be knowledgeable about the image optimization tips...Read more>>

Domain Name Selection

You are known best by your name. If you have a longer name, your companions tend to change it to a shorter ‘nick’ name. The same is the case with the domain name of your site. It’s the phrase that you company will be referred to by, so you wouldn’t want a visitor to recollect your site as ‘www…something’!

While it a common belief that all the good domain names are taken there is no limit to what you can come out with your smart imagination. Domain names are very important factor in marketing of your business, so come up with a unique one.

With time domain names are getting longer and thus harder to read. One needs more than a glance to remember the actual phrases that names your site. Well…it’s a drawback on your part. The allowed character length previously for domain names was 22 but it has been drastically increased to 63. This did give companies to come up with more options to choose from but again the full utilization of the limit meant that they were losing on versatility. It has been seen sometimes that the domain name is the whole...Read more>>

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a business whereby an affiliate is rewarded for each customer he adds to the business through his efforts. This affiliate marketing strategy involves rewards like cash benefits, gifts, reward sites and various others. Due to the efforts of the affiliate the whole business as a whole increases and a commission as a result is well deserved.

Affiliate marketing is similar to the marketing strategy employed by the internet marketing strategies to some extent because advertising is a prime tool. The affiliate marketing strategies are less orthodox than the internet strategies however.

Internet marketing affiliate programs involve e-mail marketing, search engine optimization, various paid marketing method and display advertising. However the affiliates marketing involves publishing of various reviews of the products and services that are offered by the partner site. This leads to transfer of a proportion of traffic from one site to another. This is often overlooked and disregarded by the advertisers but the affiliates marketing strategies still hold a position in...Read more>>

Link Building

Link building is the very essence of World Wide Web. It is through the links that information is shared all over. It is an important form of internet marketing strategy. Third party websites that feature the link to your site increase traffic to your site and your potential readers are increased.

The hyperlinks that appear in the third party websites enhances the credibility of your site, generate the awareness about the existence of your site, promotes it in search engines such as Google and ultimately increases the traffic. Thus link baiting plays an important part in promoting and selling your product and service. Acquire the appropriate link building permits in the sites that the world refers and then the world itself becomes your marketplace.

The main aim of the link building strategy is to increase your popularity status and thus add value to your site. The search engines do have some criteria in displaying your site as the most popular result but more weigh...Read more>>

How to make a good home page

The first impression matters, just as clothes and dressing are to interviews, so are homepages to websites. The way information is structured and the positioning of the layout plays a critical part in keeping your potential visitor on to explore the rest of your website, basically its one of the main factors that makes them want to linger on longer on your website.

First things first, a homepage should not have too much information cluttered together; making it difficult to read and know what is happening. You would not want to "scare" away any potential visitor they moment they enter your homepage and are bombarded with tons and tons of information. The key is simplicity...Read more>>

Friday, August 27, 2010

Woman gets third tattoo at 101

SPRING HILL, Fla., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- It took a while to get going, but 101-year-old Mimi Rosenthal now has her third tattoo, courtesy of a Florida tattoo artist.

This one went on her left arm, and next time she might get one on her butt, she said in an interview in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.

The first tattoo came at 99; it was a dime-sized butterfly; at 100 she had a small flower tattooed on her other leg. This time she picked a sunflower, perhaps in recognition of Kansas, where she was born.

"Her skin is so fragile, it's like uncharted territory," said Spring Hill, Fla., tattoo artist Michelle Gallo-Kohlas, who is responsible for all of Rosenthal's inkings.

The work took longer than expected, but Rosenthal liked the results.

"It's pretty," she said in the interview. So, will there be a next time?

"Next time I'm getting it on my butt," Rosenthal joked.


Giant Baby Is Weight Of A Six-Year-Old

When he was born in China's southern Hunan province, Xiao Lei weighed in at around 3.5kg (7.7lbs), only just above the average weight of a newborn baby, according to Hunan television.

But a fierce appetite has seen him expand to 20kg (44lbs) - double the size of most babies of his age.

His mother, Cheng Qingyu, has said he is fed only with her breast milk.

"I've never had him take any milk powder or anything that contains hormones. Why would I need to worry?"

However, doctors at Hunan Children's Hospital have said unless Xiao Lei loses weight, it will cause future problems for his heart and blood pressure.


Woman ordered to pay damages to neighbor over noise from hitting futons

OSAKA -- The Osaka District Court on Aug. 24 ordered a 63-year-old woman to pay 1 million yen in damages to her 72-year-old male next-door neighbor after years of bothering him with noise by hitting futons.

The woman exceeded a court-ordered limit that had been agreed to in an earlier settlement, and the neighbor brought the woman to court, seeking 1.86 million yen in damages for infringing on his right to live peacefully.

In handing down his decision, Judge Akihiro Takemura said, "The futon hitting exceeded the limit that social norms dictate could reasonably be withstood, and infringed on the victim's rights. Additionally, the defendant did not take sincere efforts to respond (to the victim's complaints)."

According to the court ruling, the woman had been bothering her neighbor by frequently hitting futons ever since he moved next to the woman in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, in 2000. The two residences' outer walls are only a meter apart at their closest, and the problem could not be resolved even after the man brought the issue up with the neighborhood association.

In April of 2005, the man filed with the Osaka District Court for an injunction to stop the futon hitting. A settlement was reached on conditions including that the woman would not hit futons more than twice a day, would not hit for 10 minutes or longer at a time, and would not hit between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.

However, even after the settlement, the woman continued to hit futons more than the agreed upon number of times. When the man complained, she is said to have responded, "If you don't like it, go away," and hit the futons even more loudly.

The Mainichi Daily News

Mother and son charged in theft of video games

CONCORD, N.H. – Police in Salem, N.H., have charged a mother-and-son team with the theft of more than $1,600 worth of video games from a Best Buy store. Police said 64-year-old Luise LaQuerre and her 20-year-old son, Christopher Andrukaitis, both of Amesbury, Mass., were charged with felony theft after store security officers on Monday spotted the son stuffing video games into a cloth bag carried by his mother.

They were stopped when they left the store. Officers found in their car an additional trove of video games believed to have been stolen earlier in the day from the same store. Police put the value of the video games at $1,670.

Both suspects were released on bail. They could not immediately be reached for comment.


Japanese torches home after mum dumps toys

A Japanese man has admitted to burning down his family home after his mother threw away some of his favourite robot toys from the "Gundam" animation series.

Yoshifumi Takabe, aged 30 and living with his mother, said he had become suicidal after she dumped some of the robots, of which he had enough to fill 300 boxes stacked to the ceiling, the Sports Nippon said Wednesday.

The blaze on August 9 last year completely destroyed their two-storey wooden house in Kasai, Hyogo prefecture, but no one was injured.

"The Gundam figures are like the partners I spend my life with," he reportedly said after pleading guilty at western Kobe's District Court. "I wanted to die with them in a fire if they were to be thrown out."

The Mobile Suit Gundam series, based on an animation TV series which started in the late 1970s, is about space wars fought by gigantic robots.


Japan blind-school teacher in drag arrested for panty theft

A teacher at a school for the blind in Japan has been arrested for allegedly stealing a woman's underpants from a laundromat while dressed in a miniskirt and wearing a blonde wig, police said Wednesday.

Police later confiscated some 150 female garments, including more underwear and knee-high boots, from the home of Tsuyoshi Hirano, 43, a teacher at a prefectural school for the visually impaired, the Nikkan Sports daily reported.

The victim, a 22-year-old woman, realised her underpants were missing from a drying tumbler in a coin laundromat in Fukuoka, western Japan.

When she saw Hirano get into a car parked outside, she reported the licence plate number to police, Kyodo News reported.

"At first glance, I knew 'she' was a 'he,'" she reportedly told police. The man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of theft, Fukuoka police said.


Most US students think Beethoven is a dog

Most young Americans entering university this year can't write in cursive, think email is too slow, that Beethoven's a dog and Michelangelo a computer virus, according to an annual list compiled by two academics at a US college.

To students who will get their bachelor's degrees in 2014, Czechoslovakia has never existed, Fergie is a pop singer, not a duchess; Clint Eastwood is a sensitive movie director, not Dirty Harry; and John McEnroe stars in TV ads, not on the tennis court, Beloit College's "Mindset" list says.

The Mindset list was first compiled in 1998, for the class of 2002, by Beloit humanities professor Tom McBride and former public affairs director Ron Nief.

It was intended as a reminder to faculty at the university that references quickly become dated, but quickly evolved to become a hugely popular annual list that gives a snapshot of how things have changed, and chronicles key cultural and political events that have shaped a generation.

In the first Mindset list, McBride and Nief found that youngsters born in 1980 had ever known only one pope - Polish-born John Paul II, who was elected to the papacy in 1978 and died in 2008.

For the class of 2003 -- born in 1981 and featured on the 1999 Mindset list -- Yugoslavia never existed and they were puzzled why Solidarity was sometimes spelled with a capital S.

Solidarity with a capital S was the first and only independent trade union in the Soviet bloc. It was created in 1980 and went on to negotiate in 1989 a peaceful end to communism in Poland, making the country the first to escape Moscow's grip.

Nief and McBride take a year to put the list together, gathering outside contributions and poring over journals, literary works, and the popular media from the year of the incoming university students' birth.

"Then we present the ideas to every 18-year-old whose attention we can get and we wait for the 'mindset moment' -- the blank stare that comes back at you that makes you realize they have no idea what you're talking about," Nief told AFP.

Those moments make it onto the list, alongside interesting historical snippets like the fact that since the class of 2004 was born in 1982, all but one national election in the United States has had a candidate in it named George Bush.

The list also chronicles geopolitical changes, and sometimes depressingly highlights how little progress has been made on key issues, such as the fight against AIDS.

The class of 2004, for instance, "never referred to Russia and China as 'the Reds'", and in the year they were born, 1982, "AIDS was found to have killed 164 people and finding a cure for the new disease was designated a 'top priority' for government-sponsored research."

The class of 2005 -- born in 1983 -- thought of Sarajevo as a war zone, not an Olympic host, and had no idea what carbon paper was.

Apartheid never existed in South Africa for the class of 2006, and for the class of 2007, "Banana Republic has always been a store, not a puppet government in Latin America."

The list is a mirror of how rapidly perceptions can change: to the class of 2013, boxer Mike Tyson was "always a felon" but to students who graduated five years earlier, Tyson was "always a contender."

The list makes some people feel old, like those who remember what Michael Jackson looked like when he was singing in the Jackson Five or recall the days when there were only a handful of channels on television.

But they're not the only ones who get the blues over the list.

"There are 25- and 26-year-olds that tell us they feel old when they read the list," Nief said.

"Just two years ago, there were some students who learned to type on a typewriter," but others in the graduating class of 2012 didn't know that IBM had ever made typewriters, said Nief.

Few students in the class of 2009 knew how to tie a tie and most thought Iran and Iraq had never been at war with each other.

And for US students who got their bachelor's degrees this year, Germany was never divided, professional athletes have always competed in the Olympics, there have always been reality shows on television and smoking has never been allowed on US airlines.


Boy, 13, struck by lightning -- on Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th proved suitably unlucky for one 13 year-old boy who was struck by lightning before being taken to hospital -- at 13:13 on the dreaded date.

The boy, who has not been named, was treated for a minor burn after being hit along with two others at an air show in Suffolk, a spokeswoman said.

Staff at the St Johns Ambulance service said there had been heavy rain all day before they witnessed a big flash of lightning and a loud clap of thunder over the sea off the Suffolk coast.

"We got a call that someone had been struck by lightning so we immediately sent our paramedics to the scene, followed by an ambulance," said Rex Clarke, head of the team of St John Ambulance volunteers at the event.

"Lightning strikes can cause cardiac arrest, but when our volunteers arrived the boy was conscious and breathing."

Clarke added that two other people were treated for injuries from lightning burns in the space of twenty minutes, and that all three people were holding umbrellas at the time which "acts as a conductor for electricity."

Jason Gillingham, a County Ambulance Officer and on scene at the show, said: "This was a minor burn to the boy's shoulder, but he was taken to hospital and is recovering well."


Anglers mourn death of "marriage wrecking" giant fish

Anglers were mourning on Tuesday the death of a carp believed to be Britain's largest freshwater fish, who tipped the scales at almost five stone (32 kgs) and was nicknamed "the marriage wrecker."

Two Tone, a mirror carp who weighed 67lb 14oz, was found floating on the surface of Conningbrook Lake in Kent where it lived. It was believed to be about 45 years old and to have died from old age.

The fish, named from its skin colour, was only caught once or twice a year and no more than 50 times in its lifetime which made him a prize catch amongst anglers across the country.

"It's a unique creature. It's genetically unusual. There's no other fish ever grown to that size in this country," Conningbrook fisheries manager Chris Logsdon told Reuters Television.

"Obviously it was the pinnacle of carp angling. It was the fish that everybody wanted to catch."

It was the hours that some anglers spent trying to catch Two Tone that won the fish the nickname "the marriage wrecker."

Angler Lee Jackson wrote a book called "Just For The Record: My Quest For Two Tone" about his battle trying to snare Two Tone which he won in the end.

"It really became an obsession to catch that fish. It took me fishing it in the spring, summer and autumn most weeks, fishing it for about 50 hours per week, and it took me six years. It was a pretty difficult one to track down," said Lee Jackson.

Two Tone will be buried next to the lake next Sunday with anglers sending online tributes to the fish that got away.


Woman suffers from Bananaphobia

A 21-year-old woman with a fear of bananas has been diagnosed as suffering from Bananaphobia. Fran Dando is so scared of the fruit that even seeing one causes her to shake, sweat and sometimes vomit.

"It began when I was 7 and my brother put a banana in my bed as a joke," Metro quotes her as saying. "I felt his horrible, slimy thing underneath my body. I was frozen in panic and hyperventilating. Ever since then, if I see one the same feeling comes back."

The children's worker admitted that she is embarrassed by the fear. "I generally do not explain my fear unless a situation comes up," she said. "Then I will say, 'Sorry I am going to have to leave the room'. It is embarrassing - it is such a nonsensical fear."

However, Dando's 2-year-old son has not developed the phobia and loves bananas, which means she has to come into contact with them. "I have to use a blanket to pick them up and put them in the trolley and then when I am at home I have to wear rubber gloves and use a tea towel to open one and give it to him," she said.


China demands answers after 8 Hong Kong tourists killed in Philippine bus hijacking

MANILA, Philippines – MANILA, Philippines (AP) — China demanded answers Tuesday from the Philippines after a 12-hour hostage drama in the heart of Manila ended with eight Hong Kong tourists dead along with their Filipino hostage-taker after a day of botched negotiations.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said his government was "appalled" and telephoned his Philippine counterpart Alberto Romulo to voice concern, while Hong Kong residents expressed outrage and media outlets in the Chinese territory denounced Philippine police as incompetent.

Dismissed policeman Rolando Mendoza, 55, was armed with a M16 rifle and a pistol when he seized the busload of 21 Hong Kong tourists and four locals to demand his reinstatement on the force. The ordeal ended in bloodshed on live TV with police storming the bus and killing the gunman after he fired at the tourists, killing eight of them.

"The Chinese government demands the Philippine government launch a thorough investigation into the incident and inform the Chinese side of related details as soon as possible," Yang said, according to a statement posted on his ministry's website.

At the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong, a wealthy former British colony unaccustomed to violence, several dozen protesters chanted: "Strongly condemn the Philippine government for being careless about human life!"

Philippine police defended their action but promised to review all events leading to the deaths. "There will be an internal audit. We will look at whether what we did was right," national police spokesman Agrimero Cruz told The Associated Press.

"Of course what happened was far from ideal. Nevertheless, we are congratulating our personnel because despite the lack of equipment ... they risked life and limb," he said.

President Benigno Aquino III, faced with his first major crisis since taking office in June, said the incident showed the need for more police training and better equipment. "How can I be satisfied when there were people who died?" Aquino told reporters late Monday.

Some police commandos lacked helmets and appropriate communication equipment, and the team had no ladder vehicle to help climb aboard the seized bus while storming it — shortcomings that hampered a speedy response.

According to newspaper reports, Mendoza was among five officers who had been charged with robbery, extortion and grave threats after a Manila hotel chef filed a complaint alleging they falsely accused him of using drugs to extort money. Mendoza was fired last year but claimed he was innocent.

As negotiations got under way in Manila's downtown where the bus was parked, the outcome at first looked promising with Mendoza freeing nine hostages — six tourists, a Filipino photographer and his Filipino assistant. Fifteen tourists and the Filipino driver were left on board.

Then the situation unraveled. Mendoza demanded a signed promise from the city ombudsman that his case would be reviewed, but its delivery was delayed for hours, in part by Manila's notorious traffic, and when it finally arrived he rejected it as insufficient.

Mayor Alfredo Lim, a former Manila police chief, said the regional police commander Leocadio Santiago issued an order reinstating Mendoza "just to accommodate his request, just to peacefully resolve this hostage situation."

"But the problem was it wasn't delivered before the shooting started," he told DZMM radio on Tuesday.

Police made an initial attempt to board the bus after Mendoza grew agitated while talking to his brother and shot at a police sharpshooter, said Nelson Yabut, head of the assault team.

The Filipino bus driver later managed to escape and reported that Mendoza had fired at the tourists. Mendoza was then shot in the head, police lobbed tear gas into the bus and commandos stormed the vehicle by smashing windows and the back door with sledgehammers.

Police managed to rescue eight passengers during the ordeal, many of them wounded and one of whom later died in hospital. Mendoza and seven passengers were lying dead, one of them slumped on the bus steps.

"I hid under a seat (when the gunman started to fire)," Wang Zhuoyao, 15, told reporters from a hospital bed. "Then the police dispersed gas. People in the bus were struggling. I could hear that many people couldn't breathe."

A freed hostage who gave only her surname, Ng, told Hong Kong reporters that she saw her husband killed by Mendoza after he tried to subdue the gunman.

"He was very brave. He rushed forward from the back of the bus. He wanted to prevent the gunman from killing people. He sacrificed himself," she said.

She said that Mendoza at first "did not want to kill us, but since the negotiation failed, he shot to kill people."

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said the hostage crisis would likely damage the country's tourism industry. "We will have cancellations," he told The AP early Tuesday in a Manila hospital, where some of the former hostages were confined. "I'm hoping it will be forgotten soon enough."

Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang said he was "disappointed" at how the incident was handled. His government canceled planned tour groups to Philippines and asked Hong Kong tourists in the country to leave.

Tsang told reporters that one of the survivors was in serious condition with a head wound.

Chinese Embassy spokesman Ethan Sun Yi said a chartered plane was available to fly survivors home.

Many Hong Kong newspapers printed mastheads in black out of respect for the victims, and flags in the territory flew at half-staff.

"Filipino police incompetent," Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News said in a front-page headline.

"Clearly, if local police used more decisive and professional rescue methods, maybe the bloody tragedy could have been avoided," the Hong Kong Economic Journal said in an editorial on Tuesday.

The South China Morning Post called the killings "a wake-up call" for the Philippines to boost security and take gun-control measures.

Fox News

Manhwa: Honggane by Hwang Mi-ri

The story revolves around the characters of the Hong family. The protagonist is a girl by the name of Hong Nanhee, the middle child of a family which runs a tae kwon do dojang (equivalent of a karate dojo. She has an older brother, Nanpa, who is the jjang of a technical high school, Gong-goh, and younger brother, Nanmyoung. Nanhee has a second degree in taekwondo, attends a girls’ high school and has a tendency says what she wants to say without realizing the consequences.

When Nanhee’s younger brother was born, she was left in the care of her older brother, Nanpa, who took special care in raising her; he has a sister-complex. He tends to be overly-protective of her: he gets rid of any guys that hang around her by getting her underlings to tail her, making it almost impossible to have any male friends..Read more>>

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox / My Girlfriend is a Gumiho

This show revolves around a guy named, Cha Tae Woong, who accidentally releases a gumiho, a legendary fox with nine tails that eats the livers of humans. When he finds out that she is a gumiho, he ends up doing crazy things to prevent the girl from eating his liver... more info>>

Mi-ho, the gumiho, was imprisioned in a painting for 500 years, until ChaDae-woong. Being an orphan, Dae-woong was brought up by his grandfather and aunt, his grandfather happens to be very rich. As a result of being brought up in a luxurious environment and spoilt when younger, Dae-woong becomes conceited and lazy, always wanting the easy way of in life and believes that money can solve all his problems. Dae-woong has always wanted to be a famous actor and thinks that he can use (his grandfather's) money to buy his way to become one.

Dae-woong is in his early twenties and his immature way of thinking causes his grandfather to try to be stricter with him, to make him a more sensible person... by threatening him with his bank account. This often results in hilarious situations where Dae-woong gets into more>>

Episode Guide

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How to Protect Your Computer From Viruses: A Simple Guide

Computer viruses are mysterious and grab our attention. Every time a new virus hits, it makes the news as it spreads quickly. Viruses can do anything from annoying the user to deleting your entire computer. With more computers are being connected to the Internet, viruses are very easy to be spread. While computers will never be 100% secure, there are many steps that you can take to prevent your computer from being infected with viruses.

What is a Computer Virus?

A computer virus is basically a malicious computer code that either harms computer data by writing over reserved areas of the operating system or attaches itself to other programs...Read more>>

Simple Steps to Introduce Children to Computers (Simple Steps)

In this day and age where technology is so common and the internet so easily available, the sooner we learn about it the better it would be; it has become one of the necessities in life. And the easiest way to accomplish that is to start from an early age getting acquainted with computers - typing, getting information from the internet and the necessary hand-eye coordination required for using the mouse as well as accessing programs.

One of the easiest ways for children to get acquainted with the computer is through games. There are many games out there in the market that cater to this, allowing children to discover the joy of using the computer, and coordinating using the mouse along with coordinating their hand-eye coordination for the computer. There are even programs or games for children to cultivate typing skills, making it fun to learn and enhancing their efficiency with the computer. Children nowadays seem to have an innate ability to quickly assimilate using the computer with much more ease then if an adult were to start learning how to use the computer. Getting them familiar with common parts of the computer like the monitor, mouse and CPU are good ways to start - teaching them how to switch on and shut down a computer properly...Read more>>

Monday, August 09, 2010

Wireshark – Introduction

A simple introduction to the world’s foremost network protocol analyzer used by network administrators.

Wireshark is a open-source packets analyzer which is free, and used by network administrators. It used for network analysis, troubleshooting, software and communications protocol development, as well as for educational purposes. Wireshark runs on various operating systems (platforms) such as Linux, Mac OS X, BSD, and Solaris, and on Microsoft Windows; requiring GTK+, GLib, libpcap and some other libraries in order to run...Read more>>

Lan and Wan – Basic Concepts

A brief introduction about LAN and WAN.

LAN – Local Area Networks – is used to refer to networks that are limited to a particular/single site, building or location; connecting network devices over a relatively short distance (e.g. office building, school, or gome etc…). LANs are used when an organization remains within a single location, however when the organization expands beyond their own premises/location, a WAN is needed to geographically network the separate areas of the organization together. Sometimes one building will contain a few small LANs (e.g. one per room), with a LAN occasionally spanning a group of nearby buildings.

The network topology of LAN is peer-to-peer networking, where the resources are shared between terminals. In general, LAN networks are cheaper as they do no rely on leased lines and utilize less hardware.

In addition to operating in a limited space, LANs are also typically owned, controlled, and managed by a single person/organization. They tend to use certain connectivity technologies such as Ethernet and Token Ring (primarily)...Read more>>

How Important is That Degree?

As society advances and basic needs are most often being met, things that were not considered important in the past have taken priority. In the past, people could easily get a job and progress pretty well, as long as they were hard working; education was important but not as crucial as it is today.

Nowadays, just as clothes are to first impressions, so is that degree to an individuals’ first job or even a job with a good salary. Although it is inevitable in this world that we live in that experience is important to survive in any trade/profession, the first thing that companies look for is that piece of paper before looking at an individual’s experience.

A passport into the world of any profession, that is what having a degree means today, especially for professions that have need of certification and pay well, such as architects, doctors, engineers, lawyers, programmers, scientists, teachers etc…Read more>>

How to Protect Your Computer From Viruses: A Simple Guide

A simple guide for people to protect their computers against viruses and such with some basic information and steps.
Computer viruses are mysterious and grab our attention. Every time a new virus hits, it makes the news as it spreads quickly. Viruses can do anything from annoying the user to deleting your entire computer. With more computers are being connected to the Internet, viruses are very easy to be spread. While computers will never be 100% secure, there are many steps that you can take to prevent your computer from being infected with viruses...Read more>>

Manhwa: Bride of The Water God by by Yun Mi-Kyung

A village suffering tom a severe drought, tries to appease the water god, Habaek by sacrificing the most beautiful girl in the village as Habaek's bride. Soah, a girl from the village is chosen to be that sacrifice. But instead of dying, she is unexpectedly rescued by Habaek and brought to his water kingdom. Soah was prophesized to love two men in her life when she was younger. She soon finds herself attracted to Mui, who she believes is Habaek's (adult version) cousin, unaware that Habaek (the child version) and Mui are the same person.

The reason why Habaek's powers diminish in the day, causing him to revert into his child
form, was due to the curse that Nakbin put on him. Nakbin was Habaek's first wife who died after placing the curse on him, in the hope that the Emperor would lose interest in Habaek since he could no longer use his powers during the day in the battle against the Sun Gods; Habaek's affinity with water...Read more>>