Saturday, February 28, 2009

Depeche Mode - Wrong

The Video For HD
The video for "Wrong" is now on YouTube. This isn't a normal YouTube video, though. This is in YouTube's special HD format. The video looks so good that we embedded the full HD video on the front page of! You have to check it out.

SOTU Box Set Pre-Order
We now have pre-order links for the Deluxe Box Set Edition of Sounds Of The Universe. Additional direct links will be added as they become available.

The DM Widget
In the Download area we now have a special DM widget! Using the "grab this app" button on the widget, you can embed the widget on your blog or social networking profile. As soon as the News or Tour areas are updated on, the widget is automatically updated! You also get pictures, and the latest videos. Check it out! While you are in the Download area...

Wrong Wallpaper
This wallpaper for "Wrong" is so right. We've taken select frames
from the Hi Def video, and made some great wallpaper. Show your love
for DM, and plaster these wallpapers everywhere!

In The Studio - Web Clip #11
In this week's clip, Martin works on a guitar riff...with a bowl of
fruit. We can't explain it. You have to go and check it out.

A reminder...

Luxembourg Contest
Simply put, this is the biggest contest we have ever had on the site! Go check it out!

Friday, February 27, 2009

A clear example of kiasuism

EVEN before the doors were open at noon on Friday, the queues getting into the Natas travel fair had snaked the length of four halls in Singapore Expo, extending all the way to the exit of the MRT station.

There were initial fears that the recession would keep Singaporeans home. But judging by the crowd size, this was clearly unfounded. Most consumers said they were there to check out bargains they could get.

Mr Robert Khoo, the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore's chief executive officer, said he expects some 50,000 to turn up for the three-day fair, spending some $50 million in tour packages. Sales is expected to remain on par with last year's show during the same period.

To help its members weather the difficult times ahead, Natas has set up a hardship fund to help employees of member agents who earn less than $2,000 a month. The fund, which stands at $50,000 now, has given out about 30 per cent of the money to 105 applicants to help them pay for household utilities bills, children's school fees, HDB service and conservancy charges.

Guest of honour at the fair, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishan also told the industry at the opening ceremony that the Government is fully committed to helping the travel industry and travel agents ride out the difficult times.

He said the Government has put in place many schemes that companies can tap on to help pay staff wages and training bills. The travel industry employs some 8,000 people.

The Natas travel fair takes place twice a year - in February/March and August/September.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bangladesh border guard mutiny spreads, PM to address nation

DHAKA: A deadly mutiny by members of Bangladesh's paramilitary border security force has spread to areas outside the capital Dhaka, police said on Thursday.

Police chiefs in six border districts told AFP that guards in their areas had joined a rebellion that had begun in the capital in Dhaka early Wednesday but appeared to have run its course.

"They are firing indiscriminately," said one of the police chiefs, from the northeastern Moulivibazar district. "Their commanding officer told me that he has fled the camp."

Independent Bangladeshi news channels reported rebellions in 12 border districts – or roughly a quarter of the areas where border security forces are stationed.

As many as 50 Bangladeshi army officers may have been killed in the initial uprising in Dhaka where thousands of border guards staged a mutiny over pay and working conditions, sparking fierce gun battles in the capital.

The unrest is the first major crisis that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has to face since she took office less than two months ago, after a landslide election victory that ended two years of army-backed rule.

Sheikh Hasina's office said she would address the nation on Thursday.

The mutiny appeared to have dwindled out when weeping women and children emerged from the headquarters of the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in Dhaka early Thursday after the rebels began laying down their arms under an amnesty offer.

Officials said tensions in the BDR had been simmering for months but exploded into violence when senior officers dismissed appeals for more pay, subsidised food and holidays.

Sheikh Hasina made the amnesty offer after emergency talks with the rebels in which she also agreed to look into their grievances.

Since winning independence from Pakistan in 1971, Bangladesh has had a history of political violence, coups and counter-coups.

The impoverished country was run by military dictator Hussain Mohammad Ershad from 1982 to 1990, before democracy was restored in 1991.

In January 2007, the army again stepped in, cancelling elections and declaring a state of emergency following months of political unrest. Democracy was restored with elections last December.

- AFP/so

Singapore's economy grew by 1.1% in 2008

SINGAPORE: Singapore's economy, already in recession, shrank 4.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2008 from a year earlier, with overall annual growth coming in at 1.1 per cent, the government said on Thursday.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said it was maintaining its 2009 forecast of a shrinkage in gross domestic product (GDP) of between 2.0 and 5.0 per cent.

On a seasonally adjusted annualised quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP declined 16.4 percent in the Q4 last year, the ministry said in its economic survey.

"The economy is likely to continue to perform weakly in the first half of 2009," the ministry said. "The spillover effects of the global crisis will have an impact on many sectors."

Initial estimates released last month by the government showed the economy grew 1.2 per cent in 2008.

The manufacturing sector declined by 10.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, similar to the preceding quarter. Most of the clusters, particularly electronics, precision engineering and chemicals, contracted.

Growth in the construction sector slowed to 18.5 per cent, from 26.0 per cent in the third quarter, weighed down by a slowdown in industrial building activity and the deferment of several private sector projects.

The services-producing industries as a whole contracted by 1.3 per cent, down from the 5.5 per cent growth in the previous quarter. All sectors, except information and communications and business services, contracted.

Growth in the financial services sector fell by 8.1 per cent on the back of significant declines in trading activities in foreign exchange and stock brokerage, fund management and Asian Currency Units.

MTI said the sharp decline in world trade towards the end of 2008 also resulted in contractions in the wholesale and retail sector (-5.3 per cent) and the transport and storage sector (-2.4 per cent).

For the whole of 2008, MTI said the manufacturing sector contracted by 4.1 per cent, compared to a growth of 5.9 per cent in 2007.

With the exception of the transport engineering sector and general manufacturing, the majority of manufacturing sectors (electronics, chemicals, biomedical manufacturing and precision engineering) contracted in 2008.

The construction sector grew strongly by 20.3 per cent in 2008, outperforming the growth of 18.2 per cent in the previous year.

Overall growth of the services producing industries slowed to 4.7 per cent in 2008, compared to 8.1 per cent in 2007.

The slowdown was led by significantly slower growth in most of the industries, in particular, the wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, and financial services.

- CNA/AFP/de/so

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Cocorosie video

From Touch and Go/Quarterstick website

There is a really fantastic documentary-style interview video of CocoRosie that was just recently posted on The video includes intimate backstage footage as well as some great question & answer material with Bianca and Sierra Casady. Check it out for yourself by visiting

Friday, February 20, 2009

MondoForex gives away an iMac 24" !!!!

MondoForex, which is the milestone italian website dealing with Forex, is giving away an iMac 24" with a contest and, honestly, I would be happy to win it !

To enroll for the contest just write an article on your blog(s) containing the picture above, a rough text about the contest and comment it in this link on MondoForex website, but rush it because you have time till today at 23.59 italian time !!!

Good Luck

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Singapore: EZ-Link bus and train fares will be lowered from April 1.

The Public Transport Council (PTC) announced Thursday that there will be an overall 4.6% reduction in fares, comprising both a fare rebate and an increase in transfer rebate.

The transfer rebate for all adult and senior citizen concession EZ-Link journeys will be increased by 10 cents, to 50 cents from 1 April 2009.

The existing 10-cent transfer rebate for child/student concession EZ-Link fares will remain unchanged.

However, all adult EZ-Link fares for buses and trains will enjoy a reduction of 2 cents per trip, across all fare bands.

As for child/student concession EZ-Link fares, these will be reduced by 1 cent per trip, across all fare bands.

This balances out to lower fares overall.

EZ-Link fares for adult and senior citizen concession journeys for instance could see a fare reduction of 2 cents for a direct journey with no transfer, to a reduction of 14 cents for a journey with 1 transfer.

Journeys with multiple transfers will see correspondingly greater fare reductions, of up to 38 cents.

Chairman of the PTC, Gerard Ee, said due credit must be given to the transport operators for their decision.

“The PTC is pleased that the operators are mindful of prevailing economic conditions... not only are they not applying for a fare increase, they have decided to give a fare rebate to commuters."

The PTC said the public transport operators decided to bear a larger share (two-thirds) of the cost of this year’s 10 cent increase in transfer rebate to benefit commuters. The move translates into a permanent revenue loss of $22 million per year for transport operators.

Mr Gan Juay Kiat, Chief Operating Officer of SBS Transit, said: “These are difficult times and we believe in doing our bit to help our commuters."

"As commuters are increasingly relying on public transport for their travel needs, we believe these measures will bring some relief to them, and in part, help lower their cost of living” added President of SMRT Corp,Saw Phaik Hwa.

In addition to the fare adjustments, the pricing on all monthly concession passes will be reduced by between $1 and $4.

The monthly primary and secondary student bus and train concession passes will become $1 lower while the student hybrid concession passes will be reduced by $2.

As for tertiary students and National Service-men, their monthly bus and train concession passes will be down by $2 while the hybrid concession passes will see a $4 reduction.

There is no change to all cash fares for buses and single-trip ticket fares for trains.

The PTC said the 4.6% fare reduction package which stretches over a 15-month period (from 1 April 2009 to 30 June 2010) will cost public transport operators about $80 million.

It comprises a fare rebate of $52 million, of which about $37 million are the savings from the Government Budget measures that the transport operators are passing on to commuters. Another $28 million is the amount over a 15-month period to fund the transfer rebate increase.

It was announced in January that both SBS Transit and SMRT would not apply for fare adjustments in 2009 and instead work with the Public Transport Council to pass the savings from the 2009 Singapore Budget to commuters.

The next time train and bus fares can be adjusted will be in July 2010, and the full implementation of distance-based through-fares could take place then.

Transport operators in the past submitted fare revision proposals to the PTC in August for changes to be implemented in October.

However the PTC said Thursday that it has decided that submissions and approvals for fare revisions will be brought forward in 2010 to May-July in view of the rapidly changing economic conditions.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Speaking Engrish ...

It is the most widely spoken language on Earth and has produced some of the most wonderful literature known to man.

But for non-native speakers, the English language's inconsistencies in spelling and grammar mean that it is often frustratingly difficult to make yourself understood.

Found on everything from poorly translated signs and menus to bizarrely worded adverts and strange t-shirt slogans the mis-use of English can be found everywhere.

Scroll down to see the latest collection of amusingly 'creative' English from around the world.


Salad days: The mayonnaise will do wonders for the softness of your clothes

Mr Friendly

Mr Friendly: A cheery warning to just stay away, ok?

Home cooking:

Home cooking: Mmmm, you can't beat the flavour of charred flesh in a biscuit

Safety first:

Safety first: Just make sure your child's body is kept away from the pointy end

Chinese supermarket

Honest: A worrying warning at this Chinese supermarket

Take the plunge:

Take the plunge: A step-by-step guide to drowning - how handy

Dangerous work:

Dangerous work: They get through painters and decorators at a terrifying rate in this part of the world


Patience: And who knows when they're going to start building tomorrow?

Animal cruelty:

Animal cruelty: In fact maybe it would be best just to leave the animal alone altogether?

window cleaners

Don't feed the cleaners: Every precaution is taken to keep the window cleaners safe... and hungry

Don't jump

Don't jump: Take one more step and I'll turn over, I swear

Bathtime is always fun in Japan

Clean and happy: Bathtime is always fun in Japan

Dead set

Dead set: Another hero falls by the wayside

More examples can be found at

When US needs money...there is only this solution in their idiot minds...

WASHINGTON - In his first major military move, President Barack Obama Tuesday approved the deployment of 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, saying they were needed "to stabilize a deteriorating situation."

"There is no more solemn duty as President than the decision to deploy our armed forces into harm's way," Obama said in a statement.

"I do it today mindful that the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan demands urgent attention and swift action.

"This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires," he said.

Obama said the deployment orders were in response to a months-old request by the US commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, who had asked for 30,000 more troops.

He said that "to meet urgent security needs" he had approved a request by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates to deploy a Marine Expeditionary Brigade in the spring and an Army Stryker Brigade and support forces later this summer.

"The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and Al Qaeda supports the insurgency and threatens America from its safe-haven along the Pakistani border," he said.

The White House said some 17,000 troops will deploy to Afghanistan ahead of the Afghan national elections scheduled for August 20, significantly building up the 38,000 US force battling the spreading insurgency.

They include 8,000 marines in the marine expeditionary brigade, 4,000 troops in the army Stryker brigade, and 5,000 support troops.

Obama indicated that the units being sent to Afghanistan had been earmarked for Iraq, saying the drawdown of US forces there "allows us the flexibility to increase our presence in Afghanistan."

The deployment decision comes amid a comprehensive review of US strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but Obama said it would not pre-determine the outcome of the review.

"Instead, it will further enable our team to put together a comprehensive strategy that will employ all elements of our national power to fulfill achievable goals in Afghanistan," he said.

"As we develop our new strategic goals, we will do so in concert with our friends and allies as together we seek the resources necessary to succeed," he said.

It was unclear how the additional troops will be used, with many warnings that there is no military solution to Afghanistan's growing problems.

Senator John McCain, Obama's rival for the presidency, welcomed the move but expressed hope that it was "just the first step in a new comprehensive approach to Afghanistan."

"A major change in course is long overdue," he said.

The US-backed government in Kabul has come under an intensifying challenge as the insurgency has gained strength and spread from the east and south into parts of the west and areas around the capital.

US intelligence has warned that endemic corruption and the government's inability to deliver services and protect the populace has eroded its legitimacy.

- AFP /ls

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is it Windows 7 or KDE 4?

Stiffer penalties for litterbugs

SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) will be increasing the penalties for littering. From April 1, first-time offenders will be fined S$300 for minor littering - up from the existing fine of S$200.

Minor littering is classified as irresponsibly discarding items like cigarette butts, match-sticks, parking coupon tabs or even sweet wrappers.

Repeat offenders will be slapped with a fine and corrective work order or CWO.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, stressed that this is necessary to ensure continued deterrence as statistics have shown the problem to be on the rise.

Speaking in Parliament, he said: "NEA has already committed additional resources to clean up littering hotspot areas such as Little India, Chinatown and Geylang. This cannot continue indefinitely.

"We must tackle the source of the problem - littering. NEA has stepped up enforcement against littering and the number of offenders caught increased from about 4,000 in 2005 to 33,000 in 2008. The increase clearly shows that littering remains a concern in Singapore and we should work hard to tackle this problem."

Dr Yaacob noted that NEA is aware of their enforcement limitations, but the agency will continue to focus its efforts at littering hotspots to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Similarly, NEA will continue to review the need to increase other punitive measures against littering.

- 938LIVE.

Singapore to roll out $90m plan to boost tourism

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Tourism Board will roll out a S$90m initiative to stimulate demand in the tourism sector.

Speaking in the Committee of Supply debate, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, S Iswaran, told Parliament that the new initiative is called Building On Opportunities to Strengthen Tourism, or BOOST.

Mr Iswaran said the key initiative under BOOST is a marketing campaign with the theme "2009 Reasons To Enjoy Singapore".

He said: "Travel patterns are expected to change in the current climate with a switch from long-haul to shorter-haul holidays. The campaign will target this potential higher intra-regional traffic from our key regional markets.

"STB will also reach out to our resident population as a complementary strategy to generate additional demand for our tourism sector."

In addition, STB will continue to work on attracting more events to Singapore over the next two years.

It will target MICE events that are aligned to Singapore's economic priorities such as digital media and environmental technology as well as other specific segments that are resilient in the global downturn.

As part of BOOST, STB will also provide more support for businesses to train and upgrade the skills of their employees under the Training Industry Professionals in Tourism scheme.

Singapore expects visitor arrivals to drop as much as 11 per cent this year as the global recession curtails consumer spending and holiday plans.

Mr Iswaran said 2009 will be a difficult year for the global tourism industry and that tourist arrivals may fall to between 9 and 9-and-a-half million this year. Tourist arrivals fell 1.6 per cent to 10.1 million last year.

Total tourism receipts generated are also expected to fall to a range of S$12b to S$12.5b this year, down from S$14.8b in 2008.

- 938LIVE.

Monday, February 9, 2009

PM Lee urges S'poreans to focus on future during current recession

SINGAPORE: Singapore is in a recession, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says Singaporeans must not sit idle and wait for things to get better.

He urged Singaporeans to seize opportunities to learn new skills to keep their jobs.

Mr Lee was speaking while celebrating Lunar New Year with some 1,000 residents in Yio Chu Kang.

He said: "Even in this downturn, let us focus on the future. We cannot sit idle, and just wait for the storm to hit us."

Mr Lee said the government is already using the downtime to upgrade Singapore's infrastructure.

He also defended the government's Jobs Credit scheme in response to those who say it benefits companies more than workers.

Mr Lee said: "The government pays part of the CPF for every worker, on behalf of employers. The company pays less, but the worker gets the same pay as before.

"This way, we want companies to find it less expensive to keep the workers, so that they'll keep the workers instead of retrenching them."

Mr Lee said that the Jobs Credit scheme also reduces the cost of employing Singaporean workers so that companies find it "more attractive to hire Singaporeans than foreign workers".

But Prime Minister Lee cautioned against pushing out foreigners "because that would harm businesses, and also Singaporean workers."

Prime Minister Lee also gave residents an update on Yio Chu Kang MP Seng Han Thong who was set on fire at a community event about a month ago.

Mr Lee said he visited Mr Seng before he was discharged from hospital.

"He was in good spirits, much better than when I first saw him after the incident," said Mr Lee.

"And he asked me to tell you that even in this downturn, let us press on in the Year of the Ox and as Mr Seng says 'upturn the downturn'."

Mr Lee also gave some examples of how community groups are helping the less fortunate during this downturn.

He said one grassroots organisation even started a "Rice Party" in June last year where volunteers give out free meals, food vouchers and rations to low income families.

- CNA/ir

No passengers for 3 mths

SEOUL - A US$260 million (S$390 million) South Korean airport has become a 'ghost airport' with not a single passenger in the past three months, officials and a news report said on Monday.

Yangyang International Airport on the east coast handled its last flight on Nov 1, the Korea Airport Corporation said.

The state firm admitted that last year 146 airport staff served only a daily average of 26 passengers at the seven-year-old airport.

The airport, built with a government budget of 356.7 billion won (S$390 million) to promote regional tourism, has posted a deficit of more than 10 billion won each year for three consecutive years, it said.

The corporation estimated that 11 out of 14 local airports around the country posted a deficit last year.

The conservative Chosun Ilbo newspaper on Monday termed Yangyang a 'ghost airport'. It blamed 'incompetent planning and administration' by previous liberal governments and said the airports should either be shut down or privatised.

Korea Airport Corporation spokesman Park Soon-Cheon told AFP construction had been suspended at two other airport projects, Uljin in the south-eastern province of North Gyeongsang and Gimje in the south-western province of North Jeolla.

Authorities are considering turning Uljin, which is 85 per cent completed at a cost of US$141 million, into a pilot training centre, he added. -- AFP

Saturday, February 7, 2009

New single by Starsailor

Hello Again,

New Single

As you hopefully are aware, our new single, 'Tell Me It's Not Over' is due to be released on 2nd March.

Here's a reminder of the formats that will be available:

CD: Tell Me It's Not Over, In Their World (new song, not on the album)

7" vinyl: Tell Me It's Not Over, All the Plans (feat Ronnie Wood.)

Digital: Tell Me It's Not Over, Stuart Price Radio Mix and Thin White Duke Club Mix

All of these songs will be available digitally (apart from In Their World) and all count towards the singles chart. A 3 format bundle (for only £3!) including exclusive signed artwork is available through our site.

The Album Chart Show - Monday 9th February

We're pre-recording this on Monday and we'll be performing 3 songs live for transmission on either 13/2 or 20/2. It's recorded at Koko in London. Anyone who'd like to come needs to fill in the form here
before 5pm on Friday. Unfortunately its for 18s and over.
Other artists performing will include Seasick Steve, All American Rejects, The Wombats and Alesha Dixon.

Jonathon Ross - Radio 2

We'll be playing TMINO on the show this Saturday 7th February.

XFM London

James will be playing acoustically on Dave Berry's show this Friday afternoon (6th Feb)

Luminaire Show

The tickets for this show sold out within the hour. Fortunately some bright spark at our record company held some back. We're delighted that we can offer 5 pairs of tickets. Click here to enter.

Valencia MTV Show on 24/2 (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias)

It turns out that entry to this gig is absolutely free. Just walk straight in.

Thinks that's it for now,
Stel, James, Ben and Baz.

Union of Knives - New songs

new live show

all new songs

u want to make visuals for it?

details on the event page

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Placebo announce tour dates!

Hi friends!

Placebo confirm 7 festival dates, including Rock Am/Im, Pinkpop and Nova rock.

Check our facebook page for dates, and Placeboworld or the Placebo Myspace for all the little details!

Placebo Team xoxo

Quake in your browser

The developer of the popular Quake game series, id Software, has released a closed beta of their newest prodigy, Quake Live. Based on the 1999 hit game Quake III Arena, Quake Live brings the same graphics and gaming experience to a browser near you -- if you own a Windows Vista or XP computer and have a Firefox (version 1.5, 2.0 or 3.0) or an Internet Explorer (version 6, 7 or 8) web browser. Quake Live does not support Mac, at least not yet.

Quake Live comes with pretty much all the same features as Quake III Arena -- character selection, control customization, video settings and full screen mode. As an addition it introduces gaming statistics and a friends list.

Quake Live should scale pretty well and you don't need the latest and greatest PC on the market. That being said, if you want to enjoy full graphics and details a netbook won't do it. Anyway, everyone obviously wants to see what it looks like so here's a video:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Menstrual Calendar Apps…For Dudes

From Boobs to Air Hockey, iPhone apps run the gamut from weird to naughty to marginally useful and the lastest app receiving a little buzz could have some use in relationships where Aunt Flow’s (haven’t heard that since 1978, eh?) monthly visit causes a slew of problems. PMS Buddy targets men wanting to keep track of their significant other’s menstrual cycles and already boasts 150,000 registered users. No word if the app also allows men to keep track of less hormone-driven events like anniversaries and birthdays.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Most Popular Twitter Acronyms

Twitter, on account of the 140 character limit, encourages extensive use of shorthand typing. Most of these acronyms might be familiar to regular Internet users but some are very specific to Twitter.

Here is a list of top Twitter acronyms that we know so far.

RT = Retweet.

PRT = Partial Retweet / Please Retweet.

OH = Overheard.

DM = Direct Message.

@ : Reply to [username].

BTW : By The Way

FTW = For The Win.

FTL = For The Loss.

IRL = In Real Life.

FTF = Face to Face.

IMHO = In My Honest Opinion.

YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary.

BR = Best Regards.

b/c = because.

JV = Joint Venture.

LMK = Let Me Know.