Adapted from David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, the Wachowskis (The Matrix Trilogy) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) have brought six inter-connected tales spanning across a fictional history of Mankind into the big screen. Even the story behind how the directors convinced Mitchell to take the book to screen has been a long and enduring journey.
Written by Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson, the central theme of the book “Why Nations Fail” is to explain the huge differences in incomes and standards of living that split the rich countries of the world from the poor, and put forward a perspective based on how institutions created from politics can evolve the way towards progress or fail depending on their nature of being inclusive and extractive. The book also sought to debunk known theories such as the geography hypothesis advocated by the ecologist and evolutionary biologist, Jared Diamond, the culture hypothesis and finally the ignorance hypothesis proposed by the economists. There are interesting insights extracted from this book that any interested reader of politics and economics will enjoy and how they can be applied in context on Singapore in the present day. [Read more...]
It is probably the most anticipated biography that I have pre-ordered during March 2011. When the book was brought forward from March 2012 to Nov 2011, subsequently to today, there was a gut feeling in me that I know that something is about to change. The death of an icon entrepreneur and innovator, Steve Jobs was an unfortunate catalyst which brought this biography early to the bookshelves. Walter Issacson has written a fair and beautiful biography about Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple and brought out the legacy that the man has left behind. Here’s some of my thoughts about the book which I highly urge those who loved innovation and technology to read. [Read more...]
Yesterday, I managed to catch one of the most anticipated films in the tech sector, “The Social Network“. It was a sneak preview and the movie is officially out next week in Singapore. With a script written by one of my favourite writers, Aaron Sorkin (with claims to fame from “The West Wing”, “A Few Good Men” & “Studio 60 on a Sunset Strip fame”), I know that I am not going to be disappointed by “The Social Network”. The movie is set on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich which described the controversial beginning of the company, Facebook and her founders, Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin (with little emphasis on the other two founders Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz. Here are some thoughts which I have gathered after watching the movie. [Read more...]
A couple of months ago, I read Daemon by Daniel Suarez, recommended by many tech pundits from the US. Similarly, I have also recommended to many people I know within the Singapore tech community. They all loved the premise behind Daemon because it is technologically feasible to see the concept behind Daemon actually brought to real life. Daemon ended with the protagonist, the detective Peter Sebeck was locked in a series of intrigue set up by the deceased game designer, Matthew Sobol, who created the daemon that unleashed upon human civilization. [Read more...]
“The End of the Free Market” written by Ian Bremmer, is the 2nd book I have purchased via the iTunes Store on my iPad. It is the second book which I have finished after my first e-book “Game Change” by J. Heilemann & M. Halperin. Bremmer’s book take a hard look at the free market and properly set the stage for state capitalism for the 21st century, with clear examples from China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and southeast Asia moving across the book. It ended with some scenarios to how state capitalism will evolve in the next 50 years. [Read more...]
Recently, I have unboxed the Apple iPad (Wifi + 16 GB) @ Hackerspace SG. Thanks to Meng Weng Wong for helping me to purchase the iPad from the US. While holding the gadget for the past two days, it is an excellent product where the loading up of apps is remarkably fast, long battery life and the feel and touch for the iBooks app is fantastic. It is actually pleasant to surf the web with an almost 10″ screen. The only gripe I have at the moment is that I can’t make any purchase of books either from Amazon Kindle or Apple Books. Still, I am currently working to configure this product (adding the Chinese components) for my parents so that they can read news, get their 4D lottery numbers and play SG Mahjong on the iPad. [Read more...]
I have received my Google Nexus One this morning and have decided to unbox it in Hackerspace SG along with Ruiwen. We did a Qik video on the whole unboxing of the Google Nexus One. Ironically, the whole video is filmed using the Qik application on my iPhone 3GS. On the whole, the whole experience has been really great from opening the box and setting up the phone immediately in Singapore. Upgrading the phone OS to the recent version was very fast and we managed to get a few apps quickly working: Facebook, Twidroid, FourSquare, GMail and Maps. We also did a test with Google Goggles as well.
Google Nexus One Unboxing @ HackerSpace SG 1
Google Nexus One Unboxing @ HackerSpace SG 3
When I was listening to Leo Laporte’s This Week in Tech special episode on the CES, Tom Merritt mentioned and recommended the book “Daemon” by Daniel Suarez. The author self-published the book, sought the influencers in Silicon Valley and ended up with a book deal. A science fiction thriller destined to be made into a movie, the story left me thinking about the inter-connected world which we lived in even though the premise started from the online gaming world. So, here are some thoughts after reading the book which I highly recommend for those who loved science fiction. [Read more...]
FourSquare is a location-based social networking service combining the web and mobile phone. FourSquare has incorporated a game element that makes it extremely viral among her users. Originally, the app only works for major cities in the US and Europe. Recently on 20 Nov 2009 (a day before Barcamp Singapore 4), FourSquare has expanded beyond 150 cities including Singapore. After evangelizing, stress-testing, discussing and reviewing the app, here are my muses, impressions and hacks on FourSquare for those who want to know more about the app. [Read more...]
The book “The Audacity to Win” by David Plouffe focuses on the inside story from the perspective of the campaign manager for the Obama Presidential campaign 2008 and the lessons learnt from the historic victory to elect the first African-American president. With an insider view, the story starts from how David Plouffe together with Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod put together an inner circle with candidate Barack Obama that subsequently led to a two years campaign culminating to his presidency. The book does not talk about the present day where we are debating whether President Obama have lived up to expectations, but provide the snapshot of the years that end with the day of his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States. [Read more...]
Last week, Google released their initial version of how Google Chrome OS will look like. Within 24 hours, a lot of developers took a look at the first release of the OS. There are two ways to build Google Chrome OS: (1) You can build the Chrome OS from source code on Ubuntu following thru with this set of instructions (finally, I can now justify why I put a Ubuntu Linux in my Macbook Pro) and (2) Use the Google Chrome OS image from gdgt.com and run it on VM ware. I tried both ways and both worked. Of course, I recommend the 2nd method to those who want to get a glimpse on Google Chrome OS (and one of the requirements is that you have VM ware). [Read more...]