Thursday, May 29, 2014

Comics this week

Deadly Class #5- The acid trip continues as the issue starts right where #4 ends. This issue is strange in that after reading it, I can't help but think writer Rick Remender is spinning his wheels here. I have to admit a lot did happen. Marcus and Billy killed Billy's dad and Marcus and Maria finally gets hot and heavy; however the main problem is in the structure of the issue. It starts with Marcus in trouble and it ends with Marcus in trouble; both times with the law. The issue is both good and bad, both in equal portions.

Ms. Marvel #4- After 4 issues, I can safely say what kind of series writer G. Willow Wilson is trying to write here. She is doing a Year One series and doing it right! When Kamala shouts "Die, spooky robot thing!" while beating up a small robot, it was hilarious yet at the same time so right! She's brand new to her powers and has no mentor or father-figure to sound off on, only what she reads about them on the internet, so it make sense Kamala would say stupid things while fighting (she can blame Spiderman for that later). Even the small scale conflict she is having makes sense. She has no movement powers (no flight, no super-speed, no teleportation) so she's basically the neighborhood hero. Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona is putting together a winner here. Hope it last.

Red Lantern #31- I have to say I don't get writer Charles Soule's decision to have the new Red Lantern leaves with Guy Gardener instead of Atrocitus. Sheko mind-read Atrocitus and found him innocent; so why didn't she leave with him instead of the group she haven't read yet? That makes no sense. Which is too bad because the rest of the issue was great! Kara's inability to control her emotions became a huge problem for the Reds and it took both Bleez and Guy to cool her down. When these two have to tell you to cool it, it tells you the massive problem Kara has. Too bad about Sheko's decision though; this issue could have been great. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2 Coups; Same Results?

Anyone who read my blog knows that I think the current military coup in Thailand is an exercise in futility. Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha may be in power now but his rule will probably end in tears because in any general elections which is even remotely fair, the red shirts will crush the yellow shirts at the polls.

As I wrote last week, the only way for the yellow shirts to win is to NOT have free and fair elections. Even then, there’s no guarantee things will go smoothly for him. He can just ask former military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt.

Over a year after ousting Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, and the Muslim Brotherhood from power in a military coup, al-Sisi is now trying to gain some respectability by winning an election. It is an election that no one doubt he will be win because he is the only viable candidate.

It is also an election the Muslim Brotherhood is boycotting.

The call for a boycott is working as voter turnout in the election is so low al-Sisi and the military government has no choice but to extend voting into a third day. The Egyptian election is supposed to last only 2 days but with voter turnout rumored to be at 15% (at most), al-Sisi is desperate. If only 15% voted for him, this means 85% of the Egyptian people are against him because he is the only candidate! So voting is extended. Yes, that's how "fair" the Egyptian election is. 

So Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha and the Thai military better not be too comfortable in their position right now. It is always calm before the storm.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Defense Is Not Enough

One of the fallout of the ongoing defamation case between Singapore blogger Roy Ngerng and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is that the Singapore government has been forced to come out and defend the CPF scheme.

In a way, this shows the effect Mr. Ngerng’s complains has on Singaporeans and how most Singaporeans (silently) agree with his assessment. Let’s admit it; would the PM bothered to sue a no-name blogger if no one agreed with him?

Now it is good that the Singapore government has come out to defend (very strongly in some cases) the CPF scheme. In my view, a debate on the pros and cons of the CPF scheme is good for everyone. However, it is not enough. For the government’s logic and explanations to work on Singaporeans, they need to do one thing; get Singaporeans on board on the Minimum Sum!

In the past, Singaporeans can take out all their money in the CPF once they reached 55. Now they can’t because they must keep a certain amount in the CPF, the Minimum Sum. Of course, this is not even counting the Medisave which most Singaporeans can’t touch.

The Minimum Sum is the millstone here. This is especially so when about 55% of the CPF account holders are not able to meet the Minimum Sum. This means more than half of current account holders will not be able to take out “their” money when they reached 55. The government needs to convince Singaporeans (somehow) that the CPF is still their money even though some of them will never be able to touch it.

Yes, it’s a fool errand but they have no choice in the matter. Most Singaporeans, including me, do not think the CPF money in our account belongs to us. How could it be when there’s money inside we will never be able to use?

The Singapore government needs to do more than just give explanations and defend the CPF scheme; they need to convince.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Still Not Ready!

As everyone knows, the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be held in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014. The tournament was awarded to Brazil on March 2004 and thus far, about US$3.47 billion has been reportedly spent on stadium projects.

10 years, US$3.47 billion later…and 3 of the stadiums are still NOT ready! 

Now I can understand if Brazil still has teething problems with transportation or accommodations; that happens. Airports, train services, hotels; if they are new, chances are there are going to be some that won't be totally ready. I can understand that. 

But the stadiums themselves? Come on! Those you got to get right. How in the world can the Brazilians spend all those money, have all those time and still not be ready? Reports from FIFA themselves say some walkways and lightnings at the stadiums are not ready and will not be ready in time for the World Cup. Now for those of you who say only the "inside" of the stadium matters; well if that's the case, why don't we have the World Cup at Jalan Besar? 

It's insane that the Brazilians are still not ready. FIFA (and the Brazilian government) need to make sure heads get rolled for this mess. The world deserved better than this performance for the World Cup. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Expected Coup To Save "Face" Of The Thai Royal Family

Well, that didn't take long. Just 2 days after declaring martial law, Thailand's army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized control of the government in yet another coup.

Now this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone as the Thai military has been quietly but openly supporting the anti-government activists backed by the royalist establishment. Anti-government protesters have been struggling to oust the government for six months but they have been losing steam and something has to be done to save the face of the royal establishment. It was so obvious that acting Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan refused to attend a meeting with the anti-government forces brokered by the military and instead sending 4 of his ministers to the meeting. All 4 ministers has been detained by the military.

Now the Thai military may insist it was not seizing power, instead trying to prevent violence and restore stability in the deeply divided country, however good luck finding anyone who believe that crap. The sad thing about the whole episode? The anti-government, royal-backed yellow shirt have no chance in any free and fair election in Thailand! There are far more pro-government red shirts than there are yellow shirts. It's not even close. Even the yellow shirts admit that.

So the only way for the yellow shirts to win is to NOT have free and fair elections. It didn't escape notice that the general did not say anything about when new elections will be held.

The last military coup in 2006 threw the popularity of the Thai military into the toilet; this one is going to flush it down into an abyss. Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha better postpone his retirement plans; he's going to be in the hot seat for quite awhile.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Comics this week

Forever Evil #7- Weeks late, the finale of Forever Evil has finally arrived! So how did this issue fare when the rest of the the DC Universe has already moved on to other stories? Pretty dam well exactly. It's worth noting that writer Geoff Johns had said that he wrote Forever Evil as a standalone series and while he didn’t really succeed in that (Cyborg takedown of Grid can only be seen in JLA), on the whole he was mostly correct. You don't really need to read other series to know what is happening here. Forever Evil has mostly been a conflict between Luthor's gang and the Crime Syndicate and notwithstanding Batman, the rest of the Justice League are side-characters. #7 continue the trend and the series is better for it. Sinestro and Black Adam's buddy moments; Bizarro’s bond with Luthor; all were very well written with only one downside. The ending when Luthor decide to save Superman; that didn't work. Now I can buy Lex as a more conniving, sympathetic character than the pre-New 52 Lex Luthor but Luthor going out of his way to save Superman? That’s a bridge too far and not even Johns’ good plotting can save that switch. On the whole, this final issue stands out as being excellent and I thought the event on the whole was very enjoyable. Too bad about the ending and the late shipment. If they could have got that right, this event would have been great.

Justice League #30- This issue should be titled "Forever Evil: Epilogue". Set immediately after Forever Evil, writer Geoff Johns has fun with the fallout of Forever Evil. Lex Luthor had just saved the world and boy; is the Justice League pissed off about it or what! As an angry Justice League try to find Luthor (for no apparent reason other than he managed to stand them up), the rest of the world is lapping up their new world savior. Geoff wrote Lex beautifully here as a conniving egomaniac who want a seat at the table of the most powerful group in the world but instead of forcing his way in, he is slowly worming his way into the team. Advertisements for the coming issues has made it clear he will succeed but seeing how he manages to do it is part of the fun. Bring on the next issue quickly!

Original Sin #2- So the person who kill The Watcher is...a Z-list villain so obscure even I don't know him? I said in the review of #1 that Original Sin is different, and #2 do not change a thing about that. Writer Jason Aaron moves his murder mystery forward step by step and while there are a few high points in this issue (Nick Fury's flying car; Punisher and Dr.Strange buddy team), on the whole there are still far more questions than answers to this event. I can see why Marvel is confident about this event. The story is interesting, the art by Mike Deodato Jr. is solid, but...where is it all going? All the unusual hero match-up may be fun but you do get the feeling this issue is spinning its wheels. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Poor Little Rich Boy

Oh, the downside of having rich and famous parents! For people who think this is an oxymoron, you just need to read the case of Brooklyn Beckham.

The 15 year old son of Victoria and David Beckham is now in the news for getting a weekend job in a cafĂ©. For people who think there’s no downside to having rich and famous parents, he is a prime example that you are wrong.

Not only is the poor kid tag with a terrible name, he gets his face pasted on magazines and newspaper for deciding to have some experience working at a part-time job? Imagine being all of 15, at your first part-time job, and getting your picture on the papers for that. Come on people, being struck with a name like Brooklyn is bad enough, no need to make the boy’s life more miserable by putting his face in magazines!  

All joking aside, people need to leave the kid alone. He’s not a celebrity and is learning the value of money. This is a good thing. He don’t need this publicity.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review of Godzilla

Yes, this film is another Hollywood reboot of the famed Godzilla film franchise. However unlike the 1998 Roland Emmerich-directed monstrosity, where a giant lizard pretended to be The King of Monsters, this Hollywood remake is actually good.

We can all thank director Gareth Edwards for this. After gaining fame and critical acclaim for 2010 "Monsters", the British director had disappeared for a few years but Godzilla marks a great comeback for the director.

The film starts when Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) found the fossil of a giant animal in the Philippines. After some exploration, they found two egg-shaped pods, one of which had already hatched.

The action jumped to Japan where the Janjira Nuclear Plant near Tokyo suffered a meltdown. Plant supervisor Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) lost his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) due to the incident. The authorities quickly attributed the disaster to an earthquake and quarantined the Janjira area.

15 years later, Lieutenant Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) had to return to Japan to bail out his father, Joe, from prison. Joe believed that the government is covering up the incident of the meltdown and for the past few years, he has been trying to figure out exactly what happened that caused his wife’s death. He convinced his son to enter the quarantine area with him where they were quickly captured by Japanese security. 

While he and his son were prisoners of the government, a giant creature comes to life and began rampaging through ruins of the reactor. The creature flew off towards the U.S and Dr. Serizawa believes that it is flying there to meet another creature. While the two creatures, called MUTO, rushed to meet up with each other, another giant creature is rising from the deeps of the sea. What is this creature? Well, if I need to tell you that, you're watching the wrong movie.

What this film got right is that it stayed faithful to the source material. The movie retold the origins of Godzilla in contemporary times as a "terrifying force of nature" who is neither good or evil. It is just there and any damage it caused to humankind is more due to our mistakes than it's actions. You would think staying faithful to the source material is a given but we are talking about Hollywood here so...

The film also got amazing special effects and good monster fighting. The main battle at the end when Godzilla fought 2 on 1 against the two MUTO was the highlight of a series of excellent monster beat-down. I knows there had been some complains but I thought director Gareth Edwards did the smart thing by waiting before showing Godzilla in its full glory. He let the tension slowly build but when we finally saw Godzilla up close on the San Francisco bridge, it was a sight to behold. The same thing with its radioactive blast. When Godzilla finally use it, it was "Hell Yeah!".

The film is also, rather surprisingly for a monster flick, anchored by a couple of very good performance from its' actors. Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranston gave solid performances but I thought David Strathairn as Rear Admiral William Stenz was the standout. In his brief appearance, he managed to show a man who knows he is in over his head but determined to do everything he can to save as many lives as he could.

As good as the film was, there were some bad spots.

Chief among them was lead actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Now it is amazing to see the geeky guy from Kick-Ass turned into this beefcake, but I have to agree with all the critics regarding his performance. Tried as he might, Taylor-Johnson just isn't that good as an actor. Worse, at times he seem disinterested in this film.

I also have to question why the film always switch to the humans whenever the monster fight. A MUTO and Godzilla fights and halfway through, we see the humans viewing the fight...through a TV? Come on, I understand the (useless) need to have a human perspective but do we need to have that every time they fight?

Still, Godzilla is excellent. The film is exciting, well-directed and a visual spectacle. Sure the story isn't much to shout about but it is workable and honestly, if you are watching Godzilla for the story...well, you really need to see more movies. Bring on the sequel!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Joke Of A Punishment

Last month, I posted that I thought the European footballing body UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rule was a joke. I thought no one is taking it seriously and it’s not worth the paper it is written on.

I have been proven right.

9 teams have been found to have breached the FFP rules, of which English Premier League champions Manchester City and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain (PSG) are the biggest names on it. So what’s their punishment for not following the FFP rules?

Manchester City have been fined £49m, £32m of which is suspended, and can only name a 21-man Champions League squad next season. City can only spend £49m on players this summer, and their wage bill for 2014-15 must stay the same as this season. PSG have said that their punishment is similar to City.

Please forgive me while I laugh at this joke of a punishment. City was found guiltily of overspending and their punishment…is a fine of £17m? They posted losses of £149 million during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons and their fine is £17m? That is a joke almost as funny as the one that state they can “only” spend £49m on players.

It seems that the clubs that are ignoring FFP were right. With these jokes as punishment, the FFP rule is not worth the paper it is written on.

Friday, May 16, 2014

So They Are Bad Actors...So What?

Recently, Young PAP (or YP), the youth wing of the ruling People’s Action Party put out a video on YouTube which can only be called (charitably) amateurish. Brickbats has come quick and fast from Singaporeans but I have to say...what's the big deal?

Sure it's a terrible video. The YPAP video has been called boring, scripted, wooden, emotionless, uninspiring, etc etc. They are all true. The video is that bad.

So what?

Now you can say the video is a failure and that they should never posted it on Facebook, but what's the bloody big deal? A couple of non-actors tried to act in a video and met with predictable results. To me, that's nothing to get upset about. Certainly not to the extent Singaporeans have been so far. In fact, it's a good thing for Singapore that there is a bunch of motivated political activists who are willing to spend time and effort to promote politics. Yes, even if it's for the People's Action Party.

We need more young people like these. The fact that they are terrible, Razzie-winning actors is secondary. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Comics this week

Astro City #12-Thus far, almost all the stories in this series are uplifting tales of the lives of the men, heroes and villains of this great city. However beneath all the glamour, there is a dark side to Astro City and writer Kurt Busiek don’t let you forgot it. The story this issue is on a small-time bank robber and it’s a credit to Busiek’s writing ability that he managed to pull it off. On paper, the idea of a normal bank robber in a city packed with gods and superhumans seems ridiculous but Busiek managed to craft a tale showing the evolution (and devolution) of such a man. What’s more is that he managed to make him understandable! Kudos to the man for showing once again that superhero comics need not always be about superhumans and gods.

Green Lantern Corps #31- After the slightly weird start to the latest GL crossover “Uprising” last week, the crossover is showing signs of life in this sophomore issue. Part 2 of “Uprising” show a jailbreak by the captured GLs but not before some of them were snuffed by the Durlan alliance. Things do get a little confusing with the action skipping from one area to another but the energy and the return of an old favorite makes this one of the better GL Corps issue in a long time.

Superman/Wonder Woman #8- This issue is Part 3 of the Superman “Doomed” crossover. I am not collecting the crossover because I’m not missing much. When Superman and Doomsday fight, story tends to take a backseat to the action and this is the case again in this crossover. I didn’t collect the first 2 parts of “Doomed” and I could tell you how the story goes. Maybe this is to the credit of writer Charles Soule who managed to give an overview of the story without much problem but I think it’s more likely due to the fact there’s little to no story here.

Another Rise

Recently, the CPF raise the minimum sum (again) from S$148,000 to $155,000. Many Singaporeans are unhappy at this widely expected move and the blogsphere is filled with articles condemning the increase

I don’t understand why Singaporeans are so unhappy.

I don’t understand why because I can’t understand how any Singaporean can still think that we are ever going to get our CPF money. I have never thought of my CPF being “my money”. How can I say that when I can touch, move or take out the money? Getting the money when I retired? Forget about it! How many times has the Minimum Sum been increased already? I lost count years ago. 

So I see the latest increases in the minimum sum as a non-issue. The Singapore government want to raise the minimum sum, go ahead. I can't do anything about it and's not like I'm ever going to see the money anyway. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

98 Years From Armed Robbery?

Rene Lima-Marin left prison nearly six years ago after serving eight years for armed robbery. Since then he has not committed any crime but that's not stopping the United Stated government from trying to lock him up again.

According to the U.S government, a court clerk's error led to Lima-Marin's release in 2008...90 years too soon. Lima-Marin and another man were convicted in 2000 on multiple robbery, kidnapping and burglary charges in connection with two violent robberies of Aurora video stores when Lima-Marin was 20. Both men got a 98-year sentence.

Now, discounting the fact that Lima-Marin has been a model citizen for the past 6 years and that the government was the one who made the mistake to release him in the first place, one thing about this case caught my eye. This man was sentenced to 98 years in prison for armed robbery?

2 armed robberies of video stores net him 98 years? Now America has a reputation of being a country that like to lock its citizens up but 98 years for armed robbery? Do those video stores has nuclear radioactive materials in them or something because that's the only thing that make sense. I mean I'm saying this from Singapore, a country that no slouch in the excessive sentencing department. How the hell does a man get 98 years for 2 robberies of video stores? Is there any American readers of this blog who can enlighten me?

The government wrongly releasing Lima-Marin is one thing and I can understand why they want to lock him up again but that Lima-Marin sentence is obscene. Is there more to the case than what was reported in the news because murderers and people at Wall Street got far less than that.

Friday, May 9, 2014


The Dorchester Collection, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, is facing boycotts after the Sultan of Brunei passed a change to the penal code, calling for gays to be stoned to death. The Sultan passed a law that increased the penalty for committing a homosexual act in Brunei from a 10-year prison sentence to death by stoning.

The gay community in America somehow thinks that act by the Sultan of Brunei is wrong and is now boycotting the Dorchester Collection which has hotels in London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Geneva and Los Angeles. As Brunei is just next door to Singapore, I must say I find the American “gay boycott” of a Brunei-owned hotel chain to be absolutely and totally ridiculous.

Who the hell are Americans and Europeans to tell the Sultan of Brunei what laws he can and cannot put in place in Brunei? Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, is very popular in his country and this law is very welcomed by the people of Brunei. So how are gays and lesbians in America, most of who would have problem pointing out Brunei on a map before this, in any position to say anything about laws in Brunei?

Hell, I’m a Singaporean. I’m against stoning on principal. Singapore is almost next door to Brunei and I don’t say anything because I know I have no right to. I wasn’t born in Brunei, I wasn’t raised there, and I have never step foot there. Who the hell am I to say anything?

Likewise, who the hell are gays and lesbians in America to say anything? Have these people ever even been in Brunei? Then shut the hell up!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Comics this week

Original Sin #1- I must say for a Marvel event book, Original Sin is different. There's very little lead-up to the event as Marvel seem intend to let the event have an air of mystery. As writer Jason Aaron crafts his murder mystery, I can see why they did that. Backed by the dark and heavily-shadowed art of Mike Deodato Jr., the tone of the issue is vastly different from recent Marvel event books. And it works! The story and art match each other beautifully and the tone of the book makes you think this is a noir book. If Marvel was trying to go for something different here, they hit the jackpot. The only drawback I see in this book is the fact that Aaron is going to have 4 threads to the story. The unusual match-ups of Black Panther, Emma Frost and Ant-Man; Doctor Strange and Punisher; Gamora, Winter Soldier and Moon Knight; may be interesting but add them to the Captain America/ Nick Fury team and there's a danger Aaron may have bitten off more than he could chew. Still, this was a solid start with some good setup moments. I'll be here for #2.

Earth 2 #23- A Kryptonian more Superman than even Superman? I must say when I first saw Val all those issues ago, I did not envision that but in a way it does make sense. A man-child living in a cocoon all his life, it makes sense he would be unused to the danger and realities of life. Writer Tom Taylor also added a mystery in the return of Jonathan and Martha Kent which I assumed is a plot device for the World Army to beat Superman. I hope not because if I’m right, it’s just too bloody obvious. However the highlight of this issue is the return of Alan Scott. Artist Nicola Scott captured the moment perfectly and I dig his new costume. Now if only the Flash will return as well...

Magneto #3- I will say this; after a slow #1, writer Cullen Bunn has done a fine job on the series. The complexity of Magneto’s character is on full show in this issue as he finally tracked down the people building the Sentinels and we also get to see how the destruction of Genosha still haunt the mutant savior. I especially love the way Cullen refused to take the easy way out at the end. The reasoning of the Sentinel-makers were pretty much in line with Magneto's thinking when he ruled Genosha but much like how humankind refused to leave Genosho alone, Magneto refused to let any makers of Sentinels (whatever their reasons) off the hook. Superb!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Foreign-born Singaporeans, Not PRs

Foreigners in the Singapore Police Force? Hell no!

That seems to be the reaction of most Singaporeans when Singapore Police Operations director Lau Peet Meng seemed to float the idea at a recent Police Workplan Seminar. Media reports indicated that even the invited students who were at the seminar were against the idea.

I’m going to do something unusual for me; I’m going to agree with the police on this!

I’m doing it because they are making some sense. Like most Singaporeans, I am uneasy about the idea but I can see where the Singapore Police is coming from. Like it or not (and I don’t), considering our foreign population, it’s only normal and sensible to have foreigners as police officers.

Honestly, hiring foreigners for our police force is the smart thing to do. I say this because…well, there are so many foreigners in Singapore it is only sensible. Locals may not like it, and with good understandable reasons, but the idea make sense. Even before the influx of foreigners, Chinese police officers patrol Chinatown and Indian officers go to Little India.

Of course I’m not saying there should be an open season for the Singapore Police to hire foreigners. Considering the misgivings of Singaporeans, the Singapore Police should only hire Filipinos, Chinese from China etc., who are Singapore citizens.

I think Singaporeans will be more accepting of foreign-born Singaporeans as police officers if they hold the Singapore NRIC. Singapore PRs and work permit holders should not be allowed in the police force as that will just incur the wrath of Singaporeans.    

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Good Lawsuit

I’ll be honest; I have never donated a cent to anything on Kickstarter.

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter are now the “In” way to get funding for game developers. Upcoming games like “Star Citizen” and “Torment: Tides of Numenera” are getting millions of dollars from fans, but nothing from me. I just don't trust the concept of it.

To me, Kickstarter is dangerous because I don’t know who I’m giving money to and what’s really been done. Basically, what’s to stop the developers of these games to take the money and run? In the U.S, it seems the answer to that question is a lawsuit.

In America, the state of Washington has filed a lawsuit against Altius Management, a company who had a successful Kickstarter program for the game “Asylum Playing Cards”. In October 2012, Altius exceeded its initial goal of $15,000 by more than $10,000 but more than 18 months after the Kickstarter, nothing has come of the project. The lawsuit seeks restitution for backers who had donated money to the program.

I hope it will succeed.

Now I’m not saying the people behind Altius Management went out to cheat the general public, but they got the money they say they needed for the game and nothing came of it. If the game didn’t come out, then the money ought to be returned to the people who gave it to them. Kickstarter itself has in its Terms of Service a statement that the project creator is legally obligated to fulfill rewards when their project is successful or to offer refunds if they cannot deliver said rewards. Problem is, till now the refund is entirely voluntary.

So this lawsuit, if successful, might be the best thing for Kickstarter in the long run. It will give a clear message to the public that people seeking their money will return the money if the project failed for whatever reason.

To me, that’s reassuring. So much so, I might look into giving some of my money too. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Foolish Move

Already criticized for its handling of the disappearance and stop-start search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Malaysia is now being called "incompetent" again; this time in how they are conducting the investigation of how the plane disappeared.

Last week, the Malaysian Transport Ministry on Thursday released a 5-page preliminary report on the missing plane along with the audio recording. The fact that the report was only 5 pages long is shocking enough but now, analysts who listened to the recordings say the recording released has been edited!

Audio forensic experts say there are several irregularities in audio recordings from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, including four clear breaks in the audio that indicated edits. According to NBC News, experts said at least two different audio sources recorded the tapes, wherein one of those recordings may have been a digital recorder held up to a speaker.

Unfortunately, I have to say that I agree with the critics of the Malaysian government. They were foolish to release an edited version of the audio recording. Now I agree that editing the recording doesn’t mean that they are covering something up but that’s the impression it will give! 

They should either release the recording in its entirety or not at all. This edited version just gives people more questions instead of answers, which is what the investigation is for! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Comics this week

Deadly Class #4- Road trip time! Marcus and gang goes on a road trip to Las Vegas and much like the Wolfpack in the Hangover, it was an exciting, entertaining time for all. Writer Rick Remender used this issue to fresh out Marcus’ gang/allies and showed how shockingly normal they are. They may be killers and assassins in training but like all teenagers, what they really want is to have a good time. Artist Wes Craig was wonderful in this issue and colorist Lee Loughrigde was nothing short of excellent, especially the part when Marcus was on his acid trip, Again, Deadly Class proves why it is a winner.

Rai #1- You have to give Valiant this; they know how to give their titles a stunning debut! Rai is the latest Valiant series and boy, is it stunning or what! Writer Matt Kindt went totally sci-fi on our ass as he showed a utopia Japan floating above the Earth and its sole protector, Rai. More importantly, this comic is freaking gorgeous! Clayton Crain put together a stunning, breathtaking world with great visuals all over the place. Yes, I know I used the word “stunning” 3 times already but that’s just how good this issue is. Read this issue if you doubt me; and then eat crow.