Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Small is bulky

The iPod Nano, as the name suggests, is very small and very thin, measuring just 3.5 x 1.6 x 0.27 inches. So thin that some people have reported cracked or scratched screens. Well, I don't want to speculate whether this is a quality problem, handling problem, or whatever. I am sure everybody will have his/her take on this.

What I do note is that protective cases/poaches/wallets/whatnots are available for the Nano, much like those for cellphones. There are many designs, include flip-open types and tag types (those that you can wear around your neck, or wherever you fancy). While giving the user / owner of the Nano peace of mind and a sophisticated look, its also ironic. Why? Because the size of the Nano with the protective coverings is no different from the iPod mini's original size, so what is the benefit of miniaturization?

Some years ago, I began using cellphones. Then, they had already shrunk in size to that of my palm. In order to protect my precious cell, I put a protective cover around it, something like a poach, which made the whole thing more bulky than the cellphone on its own. But I could still take it around in my pants pocket, although there tended to be, ahem, a bulge. This cellphone looked in mint condition when I changed it for a new one about 2 years later, but I wasn't going to get any more trade-in value because of this. Anyone who handed in a battered cellphone of the same model as mine would have gotten the same trade-in value as my mint condition cellphone. So all that protection and bulk really was a waste of effort and convenience.

I never put on protective covers for my cellphones again. Would I do it for the iPod Nano, assuming that I own one? I am still thinking, or dreaming ;-) about that...

See Tunewear's Tunetag

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Indonesia some other time?

It is a real disappointment - Bali being bombed, that is - for occasional travelers and tourists like myself. Believe it or not, I have never been to Bali or Medan, places so renown and accessible from where I stay - Singapore - that you would wonder why I've never been to these places. Well, there's more reason now for me to avoid these places. I know I shouldn't, but with a wife and kid in tow, you cannot but think about the 10,000th chance that something untoward might occur. People say that lightning doesn't strike twice in the same spot. Bali has proven this saying to be dangerously inaccurate.

On the other hand, it is right that our PM continues on with his plans to visit Bali today. I am sure there will be heavy security around this visit, but it is also symbolic. The visit says that terrorists might disrupt lives for a while, but their objectives, never ever very clear in the first place, will never be achieved.

Someone told me more than 10 years ago of the tranquility of Medan, that I should pay a visit some time. 10 years have passed and I haven't acted on that advice. Well, it looks like I will have to defer my plans for a while longer.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Forever Bali

When will they ever stop? What is driving these people to commit mass murder? What are their motives? Who are they? What are they?

Questions, questions, questions. But the answers, if they exist, will provide little respite or any solution to these acts of murder and violence. For it now seems that these acts are irrational, irresponsible, unthinking and indiscriminate - but when has it been otherwise? More Indonesians than any other nationalities are reportedly killed in this latest round of Bali bombing last night during dinner. Many of these Indonesians, I am sure, were just going about an honest day's hard work, earning a living and providing for their wife, children, brothers, sisters, mothers etc. Today, there will be more orphans and widows.

Blaming western powers is an albatross. Israel has just given the Gaza Plains (back?) to the Palestinians. Iraq has formed their own independent government. There has been progress on these fronts towards peace. Yet, these terrorists bombers are no nearer whatever objectives they have in mind, nor have they demonstrated any success in moving towards it, whatever it may be. 3 years on, they are repeating acts of destruction, with nothing to show for their effort. To me, they are just a band of gangsters roaming the country, killing and maiming whoever they fancy (or do not fancy). Its murder, pure and simple.

All countries, including Muslim countries, must condemn this latest action because it has NOTHING to do with Islam or religion. To imagine so is to delude yourself and fall into the very thought trap that these terrorists have set up. These terrorists must be eradicated. There must not be a single hole in which they can hide anywhere on planet Earth.

Let all countries of the world unite towards eradicating this scourge once and for all.


CNN - Bali terrorist blasts kill at least 36
Foxnews - Americans among dead
BBC - Bali bomb attacks claim 25 lives
Channel News Asia - Bali bombing toll rises to 32 dead...
Reuters - Coordinated bombings rock Indonesia's Bali, kill 25

Oriental Chewing Gum

On the subject of chewing gum, there is actually an alternative chewing gum that is neither banned nor sticky (the primary reason for the ban in the first place). I have been chewing these since I was very young. In fact, it was one of my favourite snacks. Over time, I have chewed less of them, probably because they don't appear on the supermarket shelves that often. That, or it has fallen off my radar screen of desirable snacks because they put a strain on my aging teeth.

Well, I just bought a packet, teeth notwithstanding. The amazing thing is, after 30 years, the packaging has remained exactly the same. I haven't opened it, so I don't know if it still tastes the same. On the subject of sameness, I also saw tins of Van Houten Coco, also packed exactly in the same tin and package design of 30 years ago.

Well, it nice to know that some things never change. Some people still crave the same things 30 years on.