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Showing posts with the label Opinion

Review - Dim Sum Streaming Service

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I obtained six months free subscription for this service from my membership with TheStar website.

Selection

Dim Sum only provide Asian contents - Shanghai, Korean, Thai. Selection include movies, series and documentaries. So far I have seen a few Thai movies. The movies are quite innovative.

Download

Download for offline viewing are available for both movies and series. Downloads expire after 14 days. We cannot specific the resolution of the download but will prompt for language selection if there is more than one available (usually Mandarin or Cantonese).

Mobile Data protection

This is one area lacking in the Dim Sum application. When I tried downloading two movies, it ended up consuming 3 GB of my quota. I later found that a setting to restrict the use of mobile data in the setting. It is strange that this is not the default option.

Tracking view progress

View progress is tracked across devices similar to iFlix and YouTube.

Price

The subscription is RM15 per month. I did not find any discount…

PDF to Kindle

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Files in Portable Document Format (or better known as PDF format) are great. The format is universally recognized and what you see in terms of layout is the same no matter which device is used to open the file. This become a problem when you try to read these documents on a small form factor device like your smart phone. The display is either too tiny or if you enlarge the fonts, you will be faced with the problem having to scroll just to read a line of text.
Luckily, there is a solution. Amazon provides us a way to convert these PDF files into kindle format. In that format, the text will automatically wrap around within the screen improving the reading experience. In order to do that, just send the file as an attachment with the word “convert” in the subject line to your kindle device email address. Each device with the kindle app installed will have a unique email address available under the settings tab within “Manage Your Content and Devices” section. There is an option to edit and…

Love for Reading

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Ever since I was in primary school, I loved reading books. This continued through secondary school, college and also when I started working. I read all the technical books on programming from cover to cover even though most of my colleagues just read selected chapters.
However, I stopped after I found that reading had caused my eye to get very tired. It became worse after I found that one of my eyes was affected by cataract. After the cataract operation, I was forced to use only one eye when reading since the eye that was operated on could only be used to see far. I could not enjoy the pleasure of reading anymore. I then switched to audio book and later to podcast. It seems like a good substitute to reading (or so I thought).
A few years back, I found that I needed reading glasses; previously, I only needed glasses to see far. It just happened suddenly, my sight was blurred and I could not see close objects clearly. The optometrist confirmed that I needed reading glasses to see objects…

Constructive Dissatisfaction

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I came across the phrase “constructive dissatisfaction” while listening to Knowledge@Wharton podcast. It was on the topic of the four behaviors that define successful leaders where one of the CEOs defined his job is not to please the three groups of stakeholders (shareholders, customers and employees) but instead to keep all of them constructively dissatisfied.
At first I find it strange that he should say that but later decided that it makes sense, only those who are constructively dissatisfied will seek change and find ways to improve. If we are already happy and contented with what we already have then we will stay within our comfort zone. Many organizations like Blockbuster and Kodak have failed because of their failure to adapt and change. They remained within their comfort zone for too long.
We can also create the feeling of constructive dissatisfaction so that we are motivated to make changes in our lives and look for opportunities to improve. Simple dissatisfaction does not work…

Frugality Needs to Be a Family Culture

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Saving money can only be achieved if it is part of the family culture. It all started with my parents, they instilled the sense of frugality to me and also my children. I am lucky that my wife shares similar values as my parents and myself.
Being frugal doesn't mean never ever splurging and rewarding ourselves, it is fine to spend extra occasionally. What is important is the frequency of doing that and what we do the rest of the time.
Developing a culture takes time; in my case a lifetime. I learned a lot from observing my parents:
When possible, repair instead of buying a replacement. Cook at home instead of eating out. When eating out look for places that are less expensive. They often keep leftovers for lunch or breakfast. Eat together during dinner in order to reduce leftovers. Buy only what is needed. Use recycled items whenever possible. My mother used to sew our clothes (not so much anymore since we can get some inexpensive clothes in the market).
When everyone in the family shares …

Stock Option Trading

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The first time I heard of stock option was when I opened an account with a discount broker, however, I kept away from it because of the high risk stated in the disclosure form more than ten years ago.
I decided to learn more about stock options within the last six months, reading articles, watching YouTube videos and also listening to podcast on the subject. I was surprised to see the amount of information and sources on this topic. The trading strategies such as Iron Condor, Iron Butterfly, Butterfly Spread seems too complicated for me.
After reading through all the material, I decided to focus on the following basics: Options can be bought and sold. Options have a strike price, premium and expiration. Selling a call option means we may have an obligation to sell shares at the strike price (even when the market price is higher that the strike price). Buying a call option will allow us to get the shares at the strike price if the price of the underlying share reaches or goes above the stri…

Multiple User Accounts on Android Phone

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The ability to create multiple user accounts (I shall refer as profile to avoid confusion of accounts for apps) on Android phone was introduced in Lollipop but I could not find it until I started using OnePlus One. This feature is disabled in brands like Samsung, Xiaomi and Asus. I think this option is enabled for Sony Xperia. Multiple user account option is enable if the Users option is available in the Android settings (see the picture above).
This is an excellent feature that allows me to separate my office information from my personal information; I do not have to worry about the enforcement of policies required by my company affecting my personal user profile. I tried Samsung Knox briefly but did not like it because the Google policy still had to be enforced on the main account and also Knox consumes a lot of memory (since it is running with Android on my main account) and makes the phone very slow. With the multiple user profile, I can decide which one to use (and less memory is …

Destruction of Our Way of Life

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It saddens me to see that our way of life is being destroyed. We had a culture of harmony and peace, nobody worried about what races and religion or offending each other; there was always mutual respect.
We are now under attack from within. When somebody tries to be helpful, we question their sincerity and look for ulterior motive. There are boogie-men everywhere. There is increasing distrust between brothers and sisters because of their race or their beliefs. Foreign cultures are adopted, replacing the beautiful cultures of love and beauty. Unfortunately, no one dares to voice out for fear or being attacked and chastised by so called religious police and non governmental groups.
Do we have so little regard for our culture and our way of life that we allow the few in power to destroy our culture all in the name of religious harmony. Can a simple sign or words cause people to change their beliefs and convert to a different religion? Do the way we dress turn normal citizens into sexual pr…

Quicken vs GnuCash vs KMyMoney

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“We get what we measure”, that is why I want to measure my cash flow to make sure that I am spending within my means. Quicken has been helped me do that for a long time, but I wondered whether that is any open source solution able to replace Quicken. GnuCash and KMyMoney are close enough to fulfilling my requirements but there are gaps.


Encryption and password
Files created with Quicken can be protected with password. I am able to do that by encrypting KMyMoney file using Gpg4Win but not for GnuCash. KMyMoney recognizes the encryption will prompt for the password when I open the file. No such feature is available in GnuCash.
Accounts and category
Quicken and KMyMoney support both accounts and categories. However, GnuCash supports only accounts. In Quicken and KMyMoney, when a new category is entered, the software will prompt with an option to create it. Categories can be organized as subcategories of other categories. For KMyMoney new account or sub-account have to be created before it ca…

Promotions Which Upsets Customers

Recently I heard on the radio an advertisement encouraging consumers to pay their Indah Water bill early with the promise that those who pay their bill in advance will be given a gift. For those who are unfamiliar with this company, it manages all the sewage in Malaysia. On the surface, this is very attractive, those who pay early will be awarded. However, when we checked with the company it seems that there are several conditions. First the gift is an umbrella but it will be given only on Mondays and only to the first seven paying customers. We think that the advertisement is extremely misleading.
We had a similar experience with a promotion by the Chicken Rice Shop several years ago. The company advertised that they were giving away free lunches between noon to 1 pm. My parents brought my children to one of the outlets. They arrived early - around 11:30 and was told to come back at noon. However, when they returned at noon, they were told that all the free mails were already given ou…