Monday, April 30, 2012

Titanic 2

If you think the title of this post meant a sequel to the movie, you would be sorely mistaken. The title of this post is a new version of the Titanic that is being built in China!

At least that’s the plan cooked up by Clive Palmer, an Australia billionaire. Mr. Palmer unveiled plans to build a 21st century version of the doomed ship that will set sail in 2016. Titanic II will be built by a Chinese company, CSC Jinling Shipyard, and the ship will have the same dimensions as its predecessor.

Okay, maybe I’m being a little superstitious here but the omens for this ship are bad.

The original Titanic was sunk on its first voyage and now you want to build another Titanic? Not only that, you want to let a Chinese company build it? Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad, bad idea?

Man, when I read this, I thought this was a joke but it’s for real. Shows how much I know.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Transgender As Miss Singapore Universe?


That’s my answer to the question as the Miss Universe organisation confirmed that it will change the rule and now allow transgender women to vie for their respective countries’ crowns. The new rule will also be applied for the coming Miss Singapore Universe in August.

Frankly I think the question whether Singaporeans will accept a transgender as Miss Singapore Universe is a stupid question. Singaporeans don’t even accept gays and lesbians in public and you ask if they will a transgender as Miss Singapore Universe?

Call me a normal Singaporean but that’s not going to happen. Not this August or anytime in the near future. Singaporeans are not going to go for it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Comics this week

Star Wars: Blood Ties – Boba Fett Is Dead #1- Last year's "Blood Ties" was easily the most interesting of all the Star Wars mini-series, and it seems Dark Horse agrees with me. With this sequel, we get to see more adventures of Boba Fett and his "cousin" Conner Freeman. Of course, Boba Fett is in all of five panels in this book, and in every one he's lying dead. Now I get the feeling this will be the usual "bait-and-switch" story where they killed the wrong Boba Fett but I don't care. The story and art by Tom Taylor and Chris Scalf is so interesing that does not matter. Can't wait for the next issue.

Justice League Dark #8- With the "return" of Cain, the JL Dark members are in big trouble as various members of the team are all on their own mission. The tension is ramp up significantly as all the members...failed. Seriously, all the members fail in their missions one way or another. John Constantine and Deadman failed to get Andew Bennett back from the dead, Madam Xanuda only has a half success in changing the playing field, and Shade left the team. I must say Peter Milligan isn't afraid of changing the status quo with the series. It makes for an exciting read but I wonder what regular readers who did not buy the I, Vampire issues on the crossover will feel. Nothing good I think.

I, Vampire #8- The "Night of the Vampires" crossover conclude with the return of Andew Bennett (as everyone knows he would). However he return to take over as head of the vampires and our our ragtag team of vampire hunters are now well and truly disbanded.  Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov craft an interesting tale here on a man who is given great power and now has an impossible task of leading all vampires in the world. Needless to say, others wonder if any man take on such a job and remain sane? Artist Andrea Sorrentino is up to her usual great standard and the series has been taken for a spin in this issue. Neat to see where they go from here!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Unwinnable Argument

Yesterday we had another paper from the Singapore government to defend the massive number of foreigners working in Singapore. A paper from the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) said that Singapore need an inflow of 25,000 to keep our working population stable.

NPTD report that if Singapore maintain  the current fertility rate, there would be a population decline of almost 750,000 citizens by 2060. They also point out that Singaporean deaths are projected to outstrip Singaporean births by 2025, leading to a significant decline in our citizen population due to the current low fertility rates. Thus the need to maintain an inflow of foreign workers.

The problem for them...that was not what the Singapore government did! In 2008, there were 100,000 new foreign workers in Singapore. 4 times higher than the 25,000 stated in the NPTD report. There are more than 1 million non citizens working in Singapore currently. 25,000 per year is a drop in the bucket compare to 1,000,000.

Look, the simple fact of the matter is that the large foreign influx of the last 10 years is just too big to be "just" for replacing foreign workers. My message to the Singapore government; don't even bother using this argument to jusify the number of foreigners in Singapore. This is an argument the Singapore government is NOT going to win.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Amazing But True

Occasionally, there comes a story that's so amazing it just doesn't seem real. Sixteen-year-old Japanese teenager Misaki Murakami found himself in one of these stories this week when his football was found on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

Murakami lost his family home last year when the tsunami hit Japan and swept it away. In the house was his football. More than a year later, that same football was found on a remote Alaskan island. The ball was found by David Baxter on a beach in Middleton Island and his Japanese wife translated the writing on the ball, which included a school name and a "good luck" message. 

Thanks to the news, the discovery of the ball was spread and Murakami came forward as the owner. Debris from the Japanese tsunami has been found before but just look at the map on how far that football went?

Amazing that it could be returned to its rightfull owner after all this time. Truly, this is a case of a story just being too amazing to be true.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Where's The PR?

The biggest story currently in Singapore is a high-profile sex scandal that has send over 48 men to court. All the men are been charged for having sex with an underage prostitute.

However the main question asked by Singaporeans is not about the men but on the prostitute. The thing is that in Singapore, prostitution is legal if you are above 18. The girl is believed to be 17 when the alleged offences took place between September 2010 and February 2011.

The girl in question worked for a now defunct online prostitution website where she lied about her age. Many Singaporeans are openly wondering why these men are being charged in court when it was the girl (or her pimp) who lied. They feel it is unfair for the girl to get away with this.

Personally, I think it a little funny for people to blame the girl. Yes, she did lie about her age but that’s hardly a crime by law. The problem I think is not on the girl, but on the prosecution. To put it simply, the prosecution has not covered themselves in glory.

When the case first broke, it was reported that the men would be charge for having sex with an underage girl. Not an underage prostitute but an underage girl! I remember this clearly because that’s why the case got so much attention in the first place.

However when the first few men were charged, the charges read out in court were missing details like the girl’s name and her age. Needless to say, the defense consuls were up in arms. Next thing we know, the charges were “amended” and suddenly Singaporeans were told the men were been charged with having sex with an underage prostitute.

Seriously, what in the world was the prosecution thinking? That was such a silly mistake to make it was practically unbelievable. I mean do they truly believe the defense would not question them on the age of the girl? The prosecution should have come out in public to clear up the matter on the girl’s age the moment news reports has the girl being underage. How about a little PR here? There’s a lot of difference between having sex with an underage girl and having sex with an underage prostitute. The prosecution should have never allowed the confusion to take hold.

Now that the charges have been “amended”, the case against the 48 men suddenly sounds less terrible and I believe that’s why there is a public backlash against the young girl. This should have never happened and it wouldn’t happen if the prosecution has cleared up the whole issue quickly!

The 48 men would probably be found guilty, but because of the prosecution, suddenly these men find that the news is not on them but on the victim. For that, they need to say a big “thank you” to the prosecution.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

75 Year Old Taxi-Drivers

The LTA (Land Transport Authority) recently announced that the age limit for taxi drivers to be raised from the current 73 to 75 years. Coming into effect from 1 June 2012, taxi drivers will now be able to continue to drive their taxis until they are 75 years old. This has caused a minor flap in Singapore as some Singaporeans questioned how safe is it to allow older taxi drivers on the road.

Frankly I don’t see what the problem is. As long as the taxi drivers are still fit and healthy, there’s no reason to stop them from driving their taxis. In fact, it’s unfair to stop them if they wish to continue working.

The reason is that currently there are people driving on the roads who are above 75 years old. No one has any problem with that before so I don’t quite understand why there is an issue with 75 year old taxi-drivers?

After all, even old people need to feed their family right?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Subscription Numbers

Star Wars: The Old Republic is the newest big money multi-player online game on the market right now. As such, there are always some people who want it to fail.

These spoilsports always look for whatever nuggets of information there is to justify their claims that the game is “doomed”, “failed”, or whatever. The latest nugget these idiots have pointed at is a forecast for Star Wars: The Old Republic that subscriptions for the game had peaked at 1.7 million and is expected to drop to around 1.25 million.

Wow! 1.25 million people subscribe to the game and that’s a failure! Guess that means every MMORPG in the world outside World of Warcraft is a failure because that’s the only MMO with a higher subscription number.

People, Star Wars: The Old Republic is a success. Maybe it’s not an overwhelming success but it’s a success all the same. That’s just a fact. Get over it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Comics this week

Artifacts #16- When the world is created by Jackie Estacado, the bearer of the Darkness, you just know it is going to be screwed-up. Tom Judge finally got his hands on the Rapture, arguably the most powerful of the artifacts and I dare anyone to look at the last page of this issue and not be excited about the next issue. Artist Stjepan Sejic truly is a talent.

Justice League #8- The New 52 world is a world where superheroes have only bee known to the public for 5 years. Yes, they have been around since forever (read Demon Knights people!) but only with the forming of the Justice League did the world at large know about them. Since that time, no one outside the original members had joined the group. Writer Geoff Johns used this issue to tell you why. The issue has Green Arrow attempting to join up with the League and being soundly rejected. Never one to take no for an answer (even before the revamp), this young and highly annoying Oliver Queen try and try again before Colonel Steve Trevor put a stop to it. Luckily for us, Johns put in a few hints for future stories in this issue. The League and their unknown confrontation with the Martian Manhunter, Trevor’s links to Team 7, and the mysterious group Trevor got Green Arrow to join. It’s not great but it’s interesting, which is far more than I shall say for the Shazam back-up story. Johns reintroduced Billy Batson’s support cast this issue and…I’m not sure what to say about them. It’s wasn’t bad and it’s wasn’t good; it wasn’t memorable. Simple as that and that's not good!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hearing Of The Breakdowns

In the inquiry into the two major MRT breakdowns last year, the problems seem to be on the breakdown of equipment. Both the LTA and SMRT agreed that the cause of the disruptions was a power failure after damaged and missing current collector shoes were dislodged from the third rail power system.

Basically, simple wear-and-tear on the MRT system. The judge in the case even asked the government and transport operator SMRT to look into new ways to detect equipment problems.

Sorry but I just don't buy it.

Yes, I know the enquiry is still on-going but I just can't believe the problem is as simple as wear-and-tear. The reason for my disbelief is because if wear-and-tear is the reason, why the hell did breakdowns affect the North-South line (NSL) and the Circle Line (CCL)? Just today, trains on the CCL broke down for more than 2 hours. The CCL is only about a year old. The official reason is an electrical fault. Are you telling me there's an electrical fault due to wear-and-tear on a rail system that is only 1 year old?

Unlike some Singaporeans, I was more than willing to give the government and SMRT a chance to explain the faults but that is nonsensial. Hopefully the end result of the enquiry will be something other than "wear-and-tear" because no one in Singapore will buy it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Trial Of Anders Behring Breivik

A defiant Anders Behring Breivik had his day in court yesterday when he went on trial for killing 77 people in Norway last July. It was the world's deadliest solo shooting spree and, more importantly, it was what he always wanted.

Breivik had openly admitted that the trial in Oslo was what he wanted as he wanted an international platform to promote his ideology. The man posted a 1,500 page manifesto online shortly before the attacks, and Breivik even made a 12-minute anti-Islam film before that. At the trial, he sat stone-face for an hour while prosecutors read aloud a list of names of the dead and injured and only lost his composure when his movie was screened.

What does that tell you? It tells me the man has no remorse for what he did. This man truly believed in his cause and wants the trial to showcase his ideology. It is exactly what he had said before. So...why give it to him?

I mean there is no question he did this. There is no question that he is guilty. I'm amazed the Norwegian people refused to change their no death penalty law for this man but to give the man what he wants is just going too far. I know the court proceedings would be carefully managed by the Norwagian authorities but just showing Breivik in court with that Nazi salute will automatically make him a martyr to their cause. Why have a show-trial where he could become a martyr when there is no question about his guilt at all? Just kill him and be done with it.

I don’t feel good saying this but this man is the reason why countries should have the death penalty. Some people do things so hideous that they deserve to die. Anders Behring Breivik is that man. He killed 77 people in Norway last July. For him, I think Norway should make an exception. Forget the trial. Forget the no death penalty law. Just execute him and move on. Don’t give him what he wants!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Levy Revenue

I met a friend recently who expressed amazement at Singaporeans. You see, the man had recently went into the casino at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) for the first time and was shocked at how many Singaporeans were in there.

As many of you recall, when Singaporeans enter the 2 casinos at MBS and Resort World Sentosa (RWS), we need to pay a $100 entry fee. As I know they call it a “levy” but an entry fee is what it is. This was designed to lower the number of Singaporeans who enter the casino.

On that, it has been an abject failure. Singaporeans are entering the casino without a second thought to the entry fee. My friend was amazed the entry fee did not work. I’m not.

Similarly put; when you can a casino, chances are you are going to lose. Even the most positive of gamblers is mentally prepared to lose a few hundred to a few thousand dollars there. What’s a $100 compared to that? Hell, some people consider the levy the cost of doing business!

If you look at the levy that way, it’s no surprise it failed to defer Singaporeans from entering the casinos. Those guys at MBS and RWS know it too which is why they agreed to the levy in the first place. Why not? All the levy does is to create a new source of revenue for them.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Comics this week

Demon Knights #8- With the first story arc over, writer Paul Cornell changed tack and gives us a little background on the trinity that is Jason Blood, Madame Xanadu and Etrigan. The flashback shows the intriguing connection between the 3 and how they came to an agreement between themselves. The fun comes when the readers has to decide which version is the “right” one. The story as told by Xanadu and Etrigan are similar but also very different and the real truth was never given. Which is great! I also like the way Cornell handled the Arthur mythos. Various Camelots throughout history with kings who were named in various versions of “Arthur”? There is a goldmine of stories right there. This issue is a great jumping point if you are interested in one the New 52 best series.

Green Lantern #8- Since Geoff Johns introduced the concept of various corps within the emotional spectrum, the Indigo Tribe has been without question the most mysterious of the lot. In this issue, we begin to see why. Although the Tribe had been on the side of the angels thus far, we now begin to see a slightly different, more horrible side to them. I think this is great. Johns has been trying to show there are 2 sides to everything and there is good and bad in all the corps (the Black not included). Even the Green Lantern Corp hasn’t been spared on this so I think the Tribe should have the same treatment as well. The slightly creepy, horror feel to this issue is great and I hope Johns don’t drop the ball next issue by going all action on us. This tone seems perfect for the Indigo Tribe.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Courage And Resilience

Say what ant about the Japanese but you have to admire their courage and resilience. A year after the tsunami, they are already well on their way to rebuild their shattered community.

Just look at the first picture of the sea wall! I mean if I am there, there is no way you would find me anywhere near that sea wall but there are some Japanese who even parked their vehicles there.

In some ways, the courage and resilience of the Japanese people are even more surprising than the picture of the tsunami.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review of John Carter

“John Carter” is a sci-fi adventure movie based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ epic 11-volume “Barsoom” series of novels. The books were on John Carter, a heroic character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912.

Now you would think a character created 100 years ago would have a problem being translated to the modern era, right? If you did then you would be wrong!

“John Carter” is a kick-ass movie. Directed and written by Andrew Stanton, the movie is about John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a former Confederate soldier in the Civil War who accidentally found himself transported to Mars due to an alien medallion.

Once on Mars, called Barsoom by the natives, Carter discovered that he is able to jump amazingly high and has great strength due to the planet's low gravity. However his new-found powers doesn’t prevent him from getting captured by a race of giant, four-armed Green Martians called Tharks. Under the order of their Jeddak (King), Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe), Carter is brought back the Tharks village.

Elsewhere on Barsoom, another race of Martians, the Red Martians, are in a civil war. The cities of Helium and Zodanga have been at each other throats for a thousand years and one side, the city of Zodanga is on the verge of victory. Sab Than (Dominic West), the Jeddak of Zodanga, is in possession of a powerful weapon called the "Ninth Ray".

Given to him by the Therns, a mysterious race from another planet, Sab Than is about to destroy Helium when he is ordered by the Therns to propose a cease-fire and bring an end to the conflict. To seal the alliance, Sab Than will marry the Princess of Helium Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins).

The defiant Princess escapes the political marriage and is rescued by Carter. From there, Carter and the Tharks got suck into the civil war between the 2 cities and Carter found himself unwillingly involved in a battle among alien races.

Embarking on a quest to find a way back home, Carter discovered more about the Ninth Ray and the planet of Barsoom. After several battles, Carter, the Tharks and the city of Helium emerged victorious and Carter decides to stay on Barsoom, throwing away the medallion that first bought him to the planet.

It was a silly mistake as the Thern leader Matai Shang (Mark Strong) seized this opportunity to attack Carter and banishes him back to Earth.

Now it seems that bashing “John Carter,” made by Disney for US$250 million, is the “in-thing” in Hollywood. The movie has been classified as a flop because it made US$200 million so far since its opening.

Yes, you read that right! The movie made US$200 million and it is still a “flop”. I don’t quite understand that. Even though it was made for US$250 million, US$200 million is still a lot of money so this movie could be the most successful “flop” in history.

Not only that; “John Carter” is a very good movie! It’s a stunning movie with great visuals, a solid story and some (surprisingly) good performances from the actors. Taylor Kitsch makes a strong protagonist, and showcase why he is touted as the next “hot” actor in Hollywood. Willem Dafoe also somehow managed to infuse his CGI character, Tars Tarkas, with a sense of nobility that makes Tarkas the best, most complex character in the movie.

I especially like the fact the movie don’t try to run from the source material (cough, Green Lantern, cough). The Tharks are supposed to be “noble savages” and the movie wasn’t shy about showing how savage they are. Also, the Barsoom books are in the pulp action adventure/sci-fi genre and that’s not actually an easy thing to pull off. To Andrew Stanton’s credit, he tried to have the same feel for the movie and on the most part, I thought he succeeded.

Of course there were a few low spots. The romance between Carter and Dejah wasn’t well fleshed out and the start of the movie was a little slow.

However on the whole, “John Carter” is still a bloody solid movie. It’s a slightly old-fashioned movie that will successfully transport you to an alien world where countless action adventure awaits. Don’t let the bad press fool you; watch this movie now!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Taiwan vs Singapore

"Singapore risks becoming a 'Taiwan story' and will lose its competitive edge globally if it closes its doors to foreign talent.”

This statement was given by Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in defense of Singapore’s much criticized immigration policy. The DPM also say the nominal income of the average Taiwanese has flattened in recent years unlike Singapore.

Unfortunately for the DPM both statements have a small tinge of falsehood to them and he has been roundly criticized for them. Most Singaporeans noted that the nominal income of the average Singaporeans has not risen with our country’s open immigration policy.

Singapore’s average income has risen but the reason for that is because Singapore has been giving citizenships to rich individuals, no matter where they came from or how they got their hands on the money (cough, Indonesians, cough, corruption, cough). However the income of average Singaporeans has not moved in years.

However I find the DPM statement about Taiwan’s competitive edge to be stranger. Taiwan is easily the world leader in the electronics sector. Not only that, with their gradual opening to China, they are poised for more growth in the near future. In fact, some if not most global analysts are more bullish on Taiwan than they are on Singapore. Frankly you can say the statement that Taiwan has lost its competitive edge globally is wrong.

Now I can understand the Singapore’s government defense of their immigration policy (the DPM statement came less than a week after a similar one from PM Lee Hsian Leong) but Taiwan is NOT a country the Singapore government want to be compared to. Mainly because…well, they are poised to kick our ass.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Surrender

When trains on the North-East Line (NEL) broke down last month, I said that I suspected that the subway lines in Singapore are facing a systemic problem and that more breakdowns are coming in the future. It seems that unfortunately for all of us; I was right!

When the breakdowns first happened in Dec, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said that the breakdowns were “unacceptable”. Yesterday in Parliament, Mr. Lui said that the government is now working on minimizing disruptions as some disruptions on the MRT are “unavoidable”.

Man, talk about waving a white flag.

The timing of Mr. Lui’s speech in Parliament comes just after train operator SMRT handed in a 200-page report on the December breakdowns. Whatever the SMRT found, it was so serious that even Singapore’s famously stubborn government had to admit defeat.

You would think that with enough preventive measures and maintenance engineers in place, the government should be able to stop these breakdowns. However the fact that even the bullish Mr. Lui has admitted defeat in solving the problems of the train breakdown…well, that does not bode well for the health of our subway lines.

Monday, April 9, 2012

One Piece Insurance

I know manga is big business in Japan. I know One Piece is the biggest manga series currently out there in Japan. But it’s not till I heard that an insurance company is using a character from One Piece to sell insurance that I truly knows how big manga and One Piece is in Japan.

That's right. In Japan, Nippon Life Insurance Company is airing a 30-second television commercial that features Luffy, the lead character from One Piece. Now why would an insurance company want to feature a character like Luffy (who is so crazy even his friends think he is insane) in a commercial is a good question but you cannot argue with the fact that manga and One Piece is big in Japan after hearing this news.

I mean I have never heard of Superman or Batman selling insurance, did you?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Stupid But Not Illegal

FHM is known for its racy magazines but FHM Singapore recently got itself into a pickle when they tried to host a theme party called “The Escape Chapel Party”. According to the promo, waitresses will be dressed in racy nun outfits and they promised a night of senseless partying.

Naturally, Christians in Singapore were unhappy about it and the National Council of Churches Singapore (NCSS) came out publicly to slam FHM. A police report was made and FHM cancelled the party. The thing I don’t understand is why so many Singaporeans seem to agree that the police should “investigated” the matter.

Now I can understand why Christians in Singapore would be unhappy over the party (especially since it was to be hosted over Easter), but I fail to see what law was broken here. It was supposed to be a tongue-in-check theme party. Was it in bad taste? Yes. Should the organizers have known better? Yes also. Is it illegal? No.

Come on, it’s a theme party. Denounce it all you want but it’s hardly illegal. It might be morally wrong to organize it but legally wrong? I fail to see how that could be the case.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Comics this week

Green Lantern: The New Guardians #7- I said last issue that the new “villain” Invictus didn’t seem that interesting and writer Tony Bedard seem to understand this as well. Though the New Guardians are finally together, the meat of this issue is the history of Invictus. The powerful angel and his star-system/spaceship history with Agent Orange are explained and Bedard even managed to give Invictus some killer lines. Overall, this issue wasn’t great but it was enjoyable.

Justice League Dark #7- I was going to take a look at this series when the New 52 first came out, but #1 was sold out by the time I got to the comics shop so I never pick up the series. The crossover between Justice League Dark and I, Vampire gives me the perfect excuse to pick up an issue and see what it is about. Frankly, I always though the magic side of the DCU has been criminally ignored by the company. Between John Constantine and Tim Hunter, they have the 2 best magician characters in the world of comics but they never ran with it. Justice League Dark is a series in the right direction; now if only Tim Hunter join the team...

I, Vampire #7- Part 2 of the crossover with Justice League Dark have our ragtag team of vampire hunters knee deep in…well, vampires. Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Andrea Sorrentino gives the series an epic feel with the 'Rise of the Vampires' crossover but frankly it seem a little off to me. It’s well-written and well-drawn but the emergence of Cain due to the death of Bennett just seen too forced to me. It was never explained properly how no one, including it seems Bennett, knew about Cain. What saved the issue for me was seeing Mary kicking ass and taking heads (literally). Andrea Sorrentino truly did a great job there.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nuclear Energy

After the earthquake and tsunami last year, you would think this would be a non-issue especially in Japan. Evidentially not because news out of Japan is that their government is still thinking of restarting their nuclear reactors!

Worried about a power crunch in the coming summer, the Japanese government is thinking of restarting some of their nuclear reactors which were shut down last year. This despite the safety worries last year at Fukushima!

The Singapore government has also talk about opening a nuclear reactor in the past, something I’m dead set against and I can’t help but shake my head at this piece of news coming from Japan. It’s amazing to me how short people’s memories are. Nuclear energy is a fool’s choice. Yes, it is suppose to be safer and less polluting than oil or gas but as Fukushima showed, once things goes wrong, they really go wrong!

How can Japan, of all countries, even be thinking of restarting nuclear reactors? That’s ridiculous when Fukushima is still a nuclear zone! It’s going to take them 60+ years before they can make that place safe for people to live in and now barely a year after the crisis, the Japanese government is thinking of restarting reactors? Only the word insanity can describe that decision.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beginning Of The End?

With the newest gaming console coming out, rumors about the latest PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 have not been kind to gamers. Signs are that games played on the new systems would require gamers to be connected to the Internet, have an ownership ID, and cannot be using a used copy.

The official reason for these rules is to combat the piracy of games. I say that is total bullshit!

The real reason is that video game companies want gamers to buy new games and not play on used games. It’s very simple. It’s isn't about piracy, it’s about money.

The first steps have already been taken on the PC. Games from Ubisoft now required you to be online the whole time you are playing one of their games and most games nowadays require you to have an internet connection to activate the game.

Now I’m not totally against the need of video game companies to make money which is why I do not mind buying games requiring me to have an internet connection to activate it but I draw the line on needing to connect to the internet to play a game that’s not an online game. That’s the reason why I never bought or played any of the Assassin’s Creed II games even though I enjoyed the original Assassin’s Creed.

If Sony and Microsoft put those steps in their new consoles, I foresee a lot of people will ignore the new systems and either continue playing on PS3 and Xbox 360 or go back to PC gaming. Ironically, that’s good news for me as I’m a PC gamer but that’s beside the point.

Frankly when people buy a game, people want to own it. No one wants the manufacturer to have any way to prevent them from playing the game, which is what they are doing. I believe I’m not alone in this and if Sony and Microsoft put in those steps, it will be the beginning of the end for gaming consoles.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Victory For The Lady

After over 2 decades under house arrest, Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi’s struggle for her country has finally bear fruit. The pro-democracy icon has won a seat in parliament in a by-election over the weekend, sparking scenes of jubilation among her supporters.

It was a historic victory that seen impossible just a few years ago. In the grand scheme of things, the win probably won’t mean much as the military junta still control all levers of control within Myanmar but it is a step in the right direction. A small step but a step nevertheless.

Congratulations to Aung San Suu Kyi for her victory and may this victory be but the first step for democracy in Myanmar.