Saturday, August 27, 2011

China bans songs in culture crackdown

China has banned 100 songs from being featured on websites, barring artists ranging from Lady Gaga to the Backstreet Boys apparently for being out of tune with the country's cultural authorities.
The ministry of culture said it aimed to regulate the "order" of the Internet music market, adding songs that "harm the security of state culture must be cleaned up and regulated under the law". The notice, issued on August 19 and posted on the ministry's website, included American singer Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory", "Hair", "Marry the Night" and "Bloody Mary".

It did not explain why the songs were banned but China routinely censors anything it considers politically sensitive or offensive. Lady Gaga's "Bloody Mary" ends with the line "Oh, libertad, mi amor (Oh, freedom, my love)", while "Hair" includes the lyrics "This is my prayer/ That I'll die living just as free as my hair".

Teng Jimeng, a professor of American studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said that sex, politics or religion could put a song on the black list but even songs about "youthful independence" may run afoul of censors. "Sexuality should be avoided, and politics," he said. But he saw the move as part of a broader tightening of controls over culture given the revolts in the Arab world, which have worried Beijing. "It's part of a cyclical chill in terms of cultural control," he said.

Boy band The Backstreet Boys, American R&B singer Beyonce, Canada's Simple Plan and British pop group Take That all had songs on the list -- the third to be issued by China's government. Asian artists with songs banned included Taiwan's Chang Hui-mei, who previously drew Beijing's ire after singing the Taiwan anthem at the inauguration of former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian in 2000. China, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory, temporarily banned her from mainland performances and pulled her product advertisements.

Songs placed on previous blacklists include Avril Lavigne's "What the Hell" and the Rolling Stones' version of "It's All Over Now" which dates to the 1960s. Since 2010, China has required all songs posted on music websites to receive prior approval, in a move the government said was aimed at controlling content and rampant piracy.

Pirated music in China is said to account for as much as 99 percent of all downloads, according to industry estimates. Authorities have blocked some foreign bands from giving live performances in China, or at least scrutinised set lists in advance to nix songs considered offensive. The culture ministry reportedly axed the Rolling Stones' sex-and-drugs anthem "Brown Sugar" from the set list when they played Shanghai in 2006. The official squeamishness over headline foreign performances was heightened when Iceland's Bjork closed a 2008 Shanghai show by shouting "Tibet!" at the end of her song, "Declare Independence".

10 Products that defined Steve Jobs' career

NEW YORK (AP) — Steve Jobs had no formal schooling in engineering, yet he's listed as the inventor or co-inventor on more than 200 U.S. patents. These are some of the significant products that were created under his direction:

1. Apple I (1976) — Apple's first product was a computer for hobbyists and engineers, made in small numbers. Steve Wozniak designed it, while Jobs orchestrated the funding and handled the marketing.

2. Apple II (1977) — One of the first successful personal computers, the Apple II was designed as a
mass-market product rather than something for engineers or enthusiasts. It was still largely Wozniak's design. Several upgrades for the model followed, and the product line continued until 1993.

3. Lisa (1983) — Jobs' visit to Xerox Corp.'s research center in Palo Alto inspired him to start work on the first commercial computer with a graphical user interface, with icons, windows and a cursor controlled by a mouse. It was the foundation for today's computer interfaces, but the Lisa was too expensive to be a commercial success.

4. Macintosh (1984) — Like the Lisa, the Macintosh had a graphical user interface. It was also cheaper and faster and had the backing of a large advertising campaign behind it. People soon realized how useful the graphical interface was for design. That led "desktop publishing," accomplished with a Mac coupled to a laser printer, to soon become a sales driver.

5. NeXT computer (1989) — After being forced out of Apple, Jobs started a company that built a powerful workstation computer. The company was never able to sell large numbers, but the computer was influential: The world's first Web browser was created on one. Its software also lives on as the basis for today's Macintosh and iPhone operating system.

6. iMac (1998) — When Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, the company was foundering, with an ever shrinking share of the PC market. The radical iMac was the first step in reversing the slide. It was strikingly designed as a bubble of blue plastic that enclosed both the monitor and the computer. Easy to set up, it captured the imagination just as people across the world were having their eyes opened to the benefits of the Internet and considering getting their first home computer.

7. iPod (2001) — It wasn't the first digital music player with a hard drive, but it was the first successful one. Apple's expansion into portable electronics has had vast ramifications. The iPod's success prepared the way for the iTunes music store and the iPhone.

8. iTunes store (2003) — Before the iTunes store, buying digital music was a hassle, making piracy the more popular option. The store simplified the process and brought together tracks from all the major labels. The store became the largest music retailer in the U.S. in 2008.

9. iPhone (2007) — The iPhone did for the phone experience what the Macintosh did for personal computing — it made the power of a smartphone easy to harness. Apple is now the world's most profitable maker of phones, and the influence of the iPhone is evident in all smartphones.

10. iPad (2010) — Dozens of companies, including Apple, had created tablet computers before the iPad, but none caught on. The iPad finally cracked the code, creating a whole new category of computer practically by itself.

Health Consciousness Increase in Singapore

As Singaporeans become increasingly health conscious, this discusses the possibility that this trend could affect the future of businesses that sell food high in sugar and fat content and what they can do.

According to an online survey conducted by The Nielsen Company Singapore Survey (2009), it was discovered that one in two Singaporeans are trying to lose weight (Figure 1): 48% of Singaporeans considered themselves to be on the heavier side, while close to one in ten (8%) felt that they were hitting the lower end of the scale. The survey also found that majority of the 57 percent of respondents who want to lose weight would either change their diet (75%) or work out (66%) to achieve their goal.

Majority of Singaporeans who want to lose weight through dieting blamed sugars and fat as the biggest contributors to their weight gain, with over two-thirds of respondents resolving to cut down on these.

Furthermore, Barkar (2009) reported that many Singaporeans are going online to track weight loss: the Health Promotion Board website’s online diet tracker gets about a million visitors monthly, while its mobile diet tracker has attracted 7,650 registered users since its launch in 2007, which is increasing everyday...Read more>>

Three Limitations of Secondary Data

Firstly, secondary data (Hair et. al, 2009) may be designed in a biased manner towards the original study purpose. Hence, data will have to be carefully evaluated to determine if it suits the current research purpose: prior data manipulation may render the data unsuitable for present study purposes (i.e. if data had been manipulated to suit the previous research objectives, it renders the data less suitable for use in the current project).

Secondly, data relevancy affects the suitability of secondary data meeting the needs of the current problem. The time frame in which secondary data was collected will affect data relevancy and usability: secondary data not reported in the desired units of measurement could be misleading. Inconsistency in summarizing categories, different or undefined reporting periods, leads to incorrect inferences, as data conversion often is not an option... Read more>>

Exploratory Research Methodology Example

To understand Hong Kong consumers better, a Singaporean food company plans to do preliminary exploratory research through focus groups. This provides details for a proposal to describe how focus groups can be conducted for the company (e.g. selection criteria for respondents, number of sessions, participants’ profiles, location of study, etc).

The proposed methodology is to combine literature review and a focus group (in-depth) interview process. The purpose of the focus group would be to gather and explore perceptions, thoughts, opinions and preference (i.e. whether Hong Kong consumers would eat Singaporean food, their frequency of eating Singaporean food and its popularity). This would able the company to assess the Hong Kong food and beverage industry with minimum cost and time possible, providing in-depth knowledge about their potential customers and determine if there is a market (opportunity) for the company.

As it is difficult to predict the number of participants that will turn up for the group session, 12 people will be invited. The size of the focus group will consist of 8-12 people, 8 being the minimum and 12 the maximum (i.e. 12 people agree but only 8 people show up). This is to generate the right type of group dynamics/energy necessary for a beneficial group session.

The proposed number of focus group sessions is 4. However, the number of sessions may be continued until the different groups of participants offer no more new ideas, thoughts or feelings. Each session will comprise of 90 minutes, but may be extended to 2 hours. Hence, to encourage participants to attend the scheduled session on time and remind them that their commitment to participate is worth the effort, a $50 incentive will be given to participants... Read more>>

Monday, August 22, 2011

ICT 203 - Q1d (Foundations in Modern System Design)

Three classes should be coded, each with its instance variables (if applicable), constructor, and accessor methods. The question also guides that each subclass should have a computeFee() method, as coded below: Question

For OrdinaryMember class:

public double computeFee() {

double payment = 0;

if (getIsOverseas())

payment = getMembershipFee() * 0.5;


payment = getMembershipFee();

return payment;


For AssociateMember class:

public double computeFee() {

double payment = 0;

if (getIsOverseas())

payment = getMembershipFee() * 0.5;


payment = getMembershipFee();

payment = payment + magazineCharge;

return payment;


ICT 203 - Q1c

I would check the location of the associate member within the subscribeMagazine method in the Associate subclass to determine if the Associate Member is eligible to subscribe for the magazine. If the member is eligible to subscribe for the magazine, within the subscribeMagazine method, it will check to see if the member wants to subscribe for the magazine. If the member is eligible and wants to subscribe to the magazine, the value of the variable subscribeMagazine (true) is returned, else false will be returned. The value of the variable subscribeMagazine returned will be used in the computeFee method. If the value of variable subscribeMagazine is true, the additonalFee variable will be added in the calculation of the totalFee, else the additionalFee will not be added to the totalFee.


ICT 203 - Q1b ( Foundations in Modern System Design)


ICT 203 - Q1a ( Foundations in Modern System Design)

Classes involved would be the superclass called Membership, and the subclasses Ordinary and Associate. The superclass Membership would be an abstract class with its common (generic) attributes such as memberName, address and totalFee, and methods such as computeFee(), which would be inherited and reused by the Ordinary and Associate subclasses. Thus, the Ordinary and Associate subclasses have a “is a” relationship with its superclass Membership.


ICT203 - Foundations in Modern System Design Question 1

An employees’ union has two types of membership: ordinary and associate. Ordinary members pay $108 per year and receive a free monthly magazine. Associate members pay $72 per year, but they do not receive the magazine unless they pay an additional charge of $12 per year. Every  member gets a 50% discount off the membership fee, if he is stationed overseas; however, this discount is not applicable to the magazine charge for the associate member as the union does not send the magazine to associate members overseas.
(a) Identify the classes involved and explain the superclass-superclass relationship among  them. (answer)

(b) Draw a UML class diagram to depict the given information, showing the attributes for each  class, and the class hierarchy. (answer)

(c) Explain how you would record the fact that an associate member needs to pay for the  magazine. State also the class or classes concerned, and the attributes and/or methods added. (answer)

(d) Write Java code to define the classes and hierarchy you had identified above. In each class, include the attributes as instance variables of suitable data types, and appropriate  constructor(s) that initialize(s) the instance variables. Note that each subclass should have  its own implementation of the computeFee() method. (answer)

(e) (i) Explain how you might write the computeFee() method for the superclass.

(ii) What is the advantage of having this method in the superclass?

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Manhwa: Cutie Boy by Hwang Mi-ri

Cutie Boy is another of Hwang Mi-ri’s creations spanning 8 volumes. The story revolves around Lee Han-Ah, a girl who happens to be the leader of her high school gang and her mishaps at her attempts to look for a pretty boyfriend.

When Han-Ah was in grade school, she was bullied by a boy called Yoo-Min. Yoo-Min had made fun of her and commented that she had a “wide and flat” butt; it left a scar in her heart, not knowing that it was actually Yoo-Min’s method of expressing his affection. Now in high school, Han-Ah has become the leader of the gang at her school. Although she is not a talented fighter, she wins fights by using the ‘innocent’ girl act. Although she is not that enthusiastic about her new role, her friends push her to do so as she is seen as their only hope. As her school is an all-girls school, the girls were once bullied by the boys from a nearby boy’s school, until Han-Ah became the captain and started to win fights.

On day, Han-Ah meets Yoo-Min on the streets and starts dating him without knowing that he is the same Yoo-Min that had bullied her in grade school. She soon finds out that his true identity and becomes scared of him. However, after a series of encounters with Yoo Min, she begins to realize that he truly cares for her. During the exams terms Yoo-Min takes her to meet his family, and his grandmother tells him she won’t allow him to be with Han-Ah because her narrow hip is not suitable for bearing children (the root of all the tormenting). They start going out again but due to some misunderstanding, Han-Ah becomes Mi Yoo’s ‘girlfriend’, because he realizes she is his ideal type of woman...Read More>>